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Thread: Proverbs 11:30 wording?

  1. #1

    Proverbs 11:30 wording?

    Good morning everyone!

    I was reading through Proverbs 11:30 this morning. I usually read from the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard) but read from the NKJV this morning. I found a big difference in the wording between the translations. I compared it to the ESV and NASB as well. I realize the translation text is most likely the culprit. But here is my big question: Any thoughts on which is more correct? It seems like a pretty significant difference to me...

    The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    And he who wins souls is wise. (NKJV)

    The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    but violence takes lives. (HCSB)

    The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and whoever captures souls is wise. (ESV)

    The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    And he who is wise wins souls (NASB)

    Thanks for the help...
    Keith Gorman
    Associate Pastor - Children (& their families)
    American Baptist Association
    Henderson, TX

    Give me the doctrines of grace, and I am in clover ~ Charles Spurgeon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    If it were a textual difference, you'd think the NKJV would be different from the HCSB/ESV/NASB, but instead it appears the HCSB is different from the NASB/ESV/NKJV, which agree with each other in spite of different text bases.

    Also, just from looking at it and from what I know of the way languages function in general (I can't read the Hebrew, though), this appears to be a translation difference of the same text, i.e. the HCSB translators decided that "capturing souls" (whatever the Hebrew word(s) is) meant damaging them, whereas the translators of the other versions decided that "capturing souls" meant winning over a straying soul.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Here is the note from the HCSB Study Bible on Proverbs 11:30, Page 1047.

    The second part of this verse is difficult. The Hebrew reads literally "the one taking lives is wise." Elsewhere in the Bible the phrase "to take a life" is always negative.(1:19; 1 Sm24:11; 1 Kg19:10,14; Ps31:13; Ezk 33:6) it never means "to win a soul." But it dosen't fit with the rest of Scripture to say that a person who kills people is wise, so there must be another explination. The LXX implies that the original Hebrew might have read "violence" [chamas] instead of "wise" [chakam]. That is how the HCSBhas translated it.
    John Komenda
    Attending: Refreshing Springs Church
    Buffalo, New York

    Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. Is.65:24 ESV

    The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying. John Flavel.


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