Sunday, March 10, 2013

Print Page Strange Women or Strange Things?

I was listening to a sermon that involved Proverbs 23:33. The verse mentions that a man who is drunk shall behold strange women (Proverbs 23:31,33). I was surprised that my King James Study Bible by Thomas Nelson not only once but twice tried to "correct" the King James Bible. Thomas Nelson isn't really known for being conservative but this slightly older study bible doesn't usually go around "correcting" the King James Bible. In my Study Bible both the center column and the commentary at the bottom of the page states that strange women should really say strange things.

Strange women was the translation used by all older translations until Wescott and Hort came along.:

King James  - Proverbs 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

Darby  - Proverbs 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thy heart shall speak froward things;
 
Geneva - Proverbs 23:33  Thine eyes shall looke vpon strange women, and thine heart shall speake lewde things.

Bishops - Proverbs 23:33  Thyne eyes shall beholde straunge women, and thyne heart shall vtter lewde thinges:

The 1901 ASV and every modern translation after that has decided to translate the Hebrew word zoor as strange things. The Hebrew word can mean both strange things or strange women. Given the context and the long history of translating the verse the proper translation is strange women. Sadly even the NKJV gets the translation wrong. This is just more evidence that the NKJV is not just an update to the KJV.

As person who lived a number of years as an unbeliever I did my share of drinking. Never did I see strange things while drunk. You see strange things if you are taking hallucinogenic drugs. When a man is drunk though he is inclined to be attracted to women who he should be avoiding. As Sorenson put so well in his Understanding the Bible commentary:

When intoxicated, moral inhibitions evaporate. Men and women who would normally shun adultery or fornication often succumb to such behavior when intoxicated. More adultery and fornication have taken place under the influence of alcohol than any other condition. The devil knows that and endlessly promotes alcoholic beverages. Moreover, verbal filth, profanities, obscenities, and stupidity flow from the lips of a drunk. Truly, out of the heart, the mouth speaketh. Alcohol removes the discretion and reservation which keeps the filth and ugliness of the human heart in check. When one is drunk, it all comes out.
The Geneva Bible commentary put it this way:

That is, drunkenness will bring you to whoredom.
This is another example of men elevating themselves above the word of God. There are so many translations out there because there are men and women that think they can do a better job of giving us the Word of God. We need to humble ourselves and submit to the Bible, not make the Bible submit to us (James 4:6-7).



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