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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Why the "Thee's" and "Thou's"?

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todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Why the "Thee's" and "Thou's"?

I have often wondered why even more modern translations, like the NASB, often leave Old English words like Thee and Thou in the translations. I have a NASB Key Word Study Bible which has been great for me. I think my main frustration with is is the occasional Old English translations. Why do they have to translate John 17 with Old English? I have taken time before to completely write it out in modern terms and I like it so much better and understand it easier.

Let's just take John 17:1-2 for example.
NASB translation goes:
"These thigns Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest HIm authority over all mankind that, to all whom Thou gavest Him, He may give eternal life."

I would prefer modernizing the language so that it says:
"...Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life."

Doesn't that sound so much better?

I find myself doing this instinctively now when I read the Bible. I just change the words in my head. This is very common in the Psalms as well. Psalm 145 is proabaly my favorite passage in the Bible right now and it has lots of Old English which, when I speak it out loud, just naturally comes out in modern English. Like, instead of "I will extol Thee... I will bless Thy name..." I would say it aloud "I will extol You... I will bless Your name" even though my eyes are looking at the Old English words.

I would spend a lot of money on a NASB version that modernized all the English. Because I want a good literal translation but I don't want the Old English.

Anyone else with me here? Does anyone know why this is the case even with many modern translations?

Also, for those who are KJV only, would they object to simply modernizing the words like Thee and Thou? I mean, that doesn't change the actual translations from the Primitive Texts, right? It just modernizes the language? RT, I would especially like to hear your thoughts on that.

 2005/7/7 13:35Profile









 Re: Why the "Thee's" and "Thou's"?

todd,

Are you sure that's the NEW ASB? I found these online and have never noticed a Thee or a Thou in either of my hard copies.

(NASB) John 17
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,
2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.
3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

and

NKJV John 17
1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 2005/7/7 16:31
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

hi todd
did you see this posting from way back? It will explain why, though you may prefer the modern language, a thorough Bible student is always going to need to reference a version which uses 'thees and thous'.

Do you know your 'thees' from your 'thys' and your 'thous' from your 'ye-s'? If not, help is at hand.

There is often significance in whether or not the pronoun is 'thy' or 'your' which can really only be captured by using the older versions. It may seem random as to whether to use 'thee, thou, thy, thine, ye,' but it is just old grammar. Here is a little explanation as to how the whole thing works and why.

If you are using the KJV, this is a must! Give Teach Thyself Olde English a visit.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/7/8 5:15Profile
todd
Member



Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re:

dorcas,
This is very strange. Yes, I'm [i]sure[/i] it's the New ASB. I'm looking at the information page right now.
It shows:

THE HEBREW-GREEK KEY WORD STUDY BIBLE
New American Standard Bible
c. 1984 and 1990 by AMG International Inc.
ISBN 0-89957-684-2

But you're right, I looked online at www.searchgodsword.com, and John 17 is not in Old English. I never noticed that before, I don't know what's going on. Same thing with Psalm 145. So strange!

Does anyone have any idea what the deal is here?

Has the NASB been updated since 1990?

 2005/7/8 15:21Profile
todd
Member



Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re:

philo,
I will try and check out that link you gave. Thanks.

 2005/7/8 15:22Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Why the "Thee's" and "Thou's"?

I think you might have the old version of NASB. My version of NASB doesn't have the thee's and thou's in it. NASB was last updated in 1995 I believe.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2005/7/8 16:17Profile









 Re:

Until recently many Quakers used Thee and Thou, as the upper class society used the more royal and majestic "you" and the Quakes had no respect for class divisions: all persons being equal in the sight of God. Same with wearing hats. Lower class people were expected to doff their hats to their betters. And Quakers were routinely beaten for refusing to do so.

Just some more insight into Thee and Thou.

Bub

 2005/7/8 16:40
jeremyhulsey
Member



Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

I have an older version of the NASB that has the "thee's and thou's" still in it. They took them out in the updated versions.


_________________
Jeremy Hulsey

 2005/7/8 18:35Profile
ravin
Member



Joined: 2004/5/6
Posts: 309
Washington st. u.S. A.

 Re: Why the "Thee's" and "Thou's"?

A marked difference in style between the text of the King James Version and its preface verifies that was not written in the style of that period but in the style of the Greek text. The use of word order in the Greek to indicate emphasis is followed precisely in the sentence structure of the KJV.
New versions boast of their substitution of the word "you" for the archaic "ye" and "thee," but do not notice that the KJV uses the word "you" two thousand times. It only uses "ye" and "thee" when needed, TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE GREEK SINGULAR AND PLURAL; "ye" is plural, and "thee" is singular. By using those particular renderings, the KJV gives an exact representation of the Greek word.
If Jesus walked into a room with a married couple and said, "Ye are of your father the devil," the husband could not say, "He's talking to you, honey," because "ye" is plural. In certain places in the Bible - Matthew 16 and other places - the singular and the plural become very important. In a recent United Bible Society newsletter for translators, a contributor recommended the KJV because of its preciseness in this regard.
Someone has said: "I go to Israel quite often to visit and lead tours. My guides in Israel use an English translation of the Bible. They and the scholars that I see in Israel prefer the King James Version because it is the closes to the exact meaning of the Hebrew. Those who have studied Greek also prefer the KJV for the same reason."

 2005/7/8 18:50Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Jake writes

Quote:
Until recently many Quakers used Thee and Thou

I referred to their reasoning for this in the 'teach thyself olde englishe' article. See previous posting.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/7/8 19:09Profile





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