First Sammy ends with a very bizarre tale. Allow me to paraphrase – for those of you who want to read it from the translation of your choosing, it’s First Samuel, Chapter 28.
Saul is camped out on the side of Gilboa, and the Philistine army is down below in the Jezreel Valley… perfect place to use the chariots with which they dominated the warfare of the period. Saul and his Army could fight a good defensive campaign in the forested mountainsides where chariots were no good, but he who controlled the Jezreel controlled the Via Maris, the road to the sea linking Egypt and Damascus and therefore the whole region.
View of the Jezreel from Gilboa where Saul was camped.... Endor's down there, and so were the Philistines.
Israel HAD to occupy the Jezreel if they had any chance of staying in the area. Actually, it was known at the time as the “Road of the Philistines”. That’s what made Megiddo and Beit Shean the critical garrisons from the Canaanite period all the way up through Napoleon and World War 1. It’s the scene of the battle of Armageddon (har-meggido). Interestingly, the name Jezreel means “God Sows”
Saul’s in deep dookie, and he knows it. Samuel just died, and before he did he told Saul that his kingship was doomed, and David would take it over. He was freaked out because God had stopped communicating with him through prophets and in dreams, or via the Ephod (kind of like an Israelite magic 8-ball)
So he decides to go see a necromancer. He asks his peeps where one could be found (they were to be killed by levitical law, and Saul had done just that), and they tell him there’s one down in Endor.
So, he takes a few guys, dresses down, and goes to see the Witch of Endor, and asks her to raise the spirit of Samuel from the dead – ancient Israelites thought the spirit hung around for a year after someone died.
She supposedly does, and Samuel tells Saul that the Philistines are gonna clean house on Israel the next day, and that he and his sons were gonna die.
The next day, sure enough Saul is about to be taken, so he kills himself (almost, an Amelekite slave finishes him off at Saul’s request, David kills him for that later). The Philistines hang Saul’s body from the walls of Beit Shean, which was kinda like hanging him on a billboard by an interstate (the Via del Maris).
Here’s the things I find curious and would like to discuss:
In general I prefer translations that rigorously strive to be as literal as possible. That is to say translations that strive to translate (if not transliterate) exactly what the original words were, except where the grammar and syntax of both language makes this rather difficult. In some cases it is necessary to render the original word into readable (if not understandable at face value) English. The trend these days is towards translations that read more "colorfully" or conversationally. For one thing, as students of the divine word we ought to be concerned with what actually the writer wrote, and base our understandings therefrom, rather than to cloud or even falsify the meaning for the sake of readability (or, for the sake of couching doctrine). The fact that there is much "doctrine" which is, by its ubiquity, thereby assumed to be true, and therefore the translators, particularly if they are receiving religious funding, are moved to render words, expressions of phrases to support such doctrine even if the actual words not. I like the The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (published by The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). In many cases (but not all) I like Holman Christian Standard, the first edition of The Jersusalem Bible (Catholic) and The New American Bible (Catholic) and, otherwise, The New International Version.
Regardless of which translation of the Holy Scriptures one prefers I believe that it is possible to learn the truth about God and his Christ from any version provided one subscribes to the tule stated above: a steadfast insistance in the uniformity of Bible truth and letting the Word speak for itself rather than simply relying on that body of doctrine to which some religious institution adheres. God is not a God of confusion.
I agree with your premises... I disagree with your conclusions...
case in point:
King James Version (KJV)
33 For God is not THE AUTHOR of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
33 for God is not a God of confusion but of [a]peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
33 since God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints,
I fail to see your point. It was 1 Corinthians 14:33 I was referring to with my last comment. A peaceable God would never engender all the doctrinal and behavioral confusion we see extant in a so-called "Christian" world.
. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all -- 2 Timothy 2:5,6
Although, in this case, the word "author" in KJV is not in the Greek text, as witnessed to by the other two. Still, the thought is still accurately portrayed. The NWT renders it as do these others:
33 For God is [a God], not of disorder, but of peace. (NWT)
I'd enjoy continuing this conversation with you in the "Bible Translations" discussion... since we are getting off topic here...
I will also post this same comment over there...
The NWT isn't considered a reliable translation by non-JW's... which
for example: John 1:1 NWT
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god
Every other translation renders it as "the Word WAS GOD"...
The following is from: http://bible.cc/john/1-1.htm
Please see my comments over there.