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KJV Adds 9 Words With Unintended Consequences




Hi Doug

Do you think 1 Cor 7:36 is about allowing a lustful father to marry

his virgin daughter (incest)? ***** Anon. (7/5/2020)



My Answer (7/5/2020.)


Appearances would make you think Paul is making allowance for incest. 

Here, however, I will come to Paul's defense. You will see below it was caused by the KJV's foolish insert of nine words in the English translation of verse 38. Solely by doing that does it now appear verse 36 means a father -- the KJV's subject of verse 38 - can fulfill his sexual urges with his own daughter. 


I will explain below that the KJV's additional nine words in verse 38 were added obviously to guard a marriage tradition of King James' England that a single man was not allowed to marry a young lady without a father's permission. These changes in verse 38 left the unintended impression that incest between a father and daughter was now 'no sin' in verse 36. 


The big take away from this is that you cannot trust the KJV as not motivated by politics and bias.


For the KJV translators were more concerned about perpetuating a custom in England than protecting against adding to a verse materially by means of an outrageous addition of not 1, 2, or 3 words, but instead adding deliberately nine words to make appear a tradition of men was endorsed in the passage at issue!



NIV ADDS TO VIRGIN  --  FIANCE ("he is engaged to")


First, let's read the NIV of verse 36.


36 If anyone is worried that he might not be

acting honorably toward the virgin he is

engaged to, and if his passions are too

strong[a] etc.  ***** (1 Cor. 7:36 NIV.)

However, you can see "he is engaged to" is not present in Greek at Mounce's Transliterated version free online: link. So the NIV did this to minimize the risk it otherwise reads as a father acting towards his own daughter.


Parthenos in Greek simply means virgin. The NIV's addition of  the notion of a fiance (i.e., one "he is engaged to") is a possible context. But the NIV is not free to insert this without advising us in a footnote or some other manner that "he is engaged to" are four words not present in Greek. (Italicization is what the KJV did in 1611 to alert us to their word inserts.)


Regardless, the point is the NIV's change was done only because of the necessity caused by the KJV's English "translation" adding nine words to verse 38, as we shall prove next. 











Now Paul speaks about a virgin again in verse 38, and to avoid the appearance of someone marrying without a father's permission -- something in 1611 that was required in England, the KJV deletes "MARRIES HIS" AND ADDS  NINE WORDS NOT PRESENT IN GREEK !!!!!  So the same simple word "virgin" which is in 1 Cor. 7:36 whom you can marry to satisfy sexual passion is called one's "daughter" in the KJV of verse 38. Uggh!!

You [Anon] were being very observant.

What's going on? 

Now if you read the KJV of verse 38, you would have to conclude looking back two verses -- to verse 36 -- that it permits incest unless you do what the NIV did and add "engaged to" to verse 36.  

However, the NIV did not need to add "engaged to" to distinguish itself from verse 38. It was compelled to do so by the familiar but false KJV version of verse 38 - a tortured verse with NINE --- not one, two, three, etc., but nine -- words added!!  

For in verse 38,  Mounce's transliteral shows the correct Greek, and compared to the Greek, you will see nine words are not in Mounce. See this link to Mounce: link

Here is the KJV with the false words bolded: 


 "So then both he that giveth his own virgin daughter in marriage doeth well; and he that giveth her not in marriage shall do better." (1 Cor. 7:38 KJV.)  


The bolded words are all completely fabricated !!!! 

So if we go to Mounce at this link, and we simply write out the words found there --

verse 38 reads instead:


"So then the one who marries his virgin does well, and the one who does not marry will do even better." 


Incidentally the KJV Bible says that whenever it is adding words not present in the Greek it italicizes them. But in this problem-causing verse 38, it shows italics only for her in two places. It otherwise omits notifying us of any of the other additions. Here is the official KJV online, italics and all. This is a good reference to know if the KJV admits it is adding words not present in Greek. See this link for 1 Cor. 7:38, italics and all. Here it was duplicitous -- only italicizing 2 of the nine words it added.





So the only reason allowance of incest appears plausible in verse 36 is that the KJV changed the subject in verse 38. It went from presumably a single  man in verse 36 having a right to marry a virgin (with whom sexual passion was acknowledged) into impliedly a father in verse 38. That obviously unintended consequence must be because otherwise, without those nine extra words, it would sound like a single man could marry a virgin without any permission from the father. So it was altered to sound like a father had to give permission to allow a daughter to marry.


Obviously, these 9 words were added to uphold a  marriage tradition of 1611 England. On such tradition in old England, see Monger, Marriage Customs of the World, etc., page 90.


Quite unscrupulous translating, wouldn't you say? 


The NIV tried to help by another false addition -- adding the concept of fiance ("engaged to") to verse 36. But without the nine words in verse 38, such a fiance addition would never need to be added to verse 36.




I will say you get a high score for being observant. I hope this shows you the importance of having Mounce as a backstop to avoid weird outcomes such as this. I did not know of this passage issue before your email.  Now I do, thanks to you. I will add it to my list of KJV mistranslations.


I trust you will see that by using Mounce you are able to better weigh a criticism of Paul.  We have to be fair and honest with Paul, and test even criticisms leveled at him. We must defend Paul when he is not in the wrong, and unfairly accused when all the facts are known. As you correctly said yesterday, the only important thing is the truth.


Blessings of Christ


PS Please feel free to send any questions you have. I enjoy helping out.   

W Reply 7/5/2020:


My concern is that Paul emphasizes that “he is not sinning”. So I think he is talking about something that is considered a sin by many people but explains why it is not a sin in certain situations.****



My Answer:


I see the issue more clearly that you are having. I think Paul is saying "it is not a sin" to marry or give in marriage, although it is "better" not to marry. For Paul puts down marriage as a destraction for both men and women, and not a sin to marry if it is a man, but if a man marries, he should live with his wife as if he is not married with her, i.e., no relations of a marital nature.

So I think Paul means that even though he puts down marriage, this does not mean it is a sin to marry. But the cure to the sin of losing focus on God, for Married men, is they must follow Paul's command not to have marital attention on your wife. For a married Christian woman under 60 who is freed from a husband, however, it is a damning sin for her to even desire to Marry. Here are these lessons -- rarely taught or exposed -- all combined in these 4 verses:

1. In 1 Cor. 10:27-28, Paul advises those not married to stay that way: 


"Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free.  Are you free from a wife?  Do not seek marriage."


Paul adds here it is "no sin" to marry but better if you don't.


2.  Paul explained earlier why it is better for a man not to marry a wife:


1 Cor. 7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife


3. So what if a man becomes married? Paul says although it is not a sin for a man to marry, there is a cure on the problem you will now "care for the things of the world" by having married against Paul's counsel that it is better not to marry. Paul in1 Cor 7:29. commands this solution: 


“the time is short [so] from now on those who have wives should live as though they do not.”  


What does this mean? It means to live with a wife as if you do not have a wife. As Paul says elsewhere in 1 Cor. 9:5 KJV, he is entitled to a "sister wife" -- implying he would treat his wife as a sister, not a true wife. The Greek is "adelphaen (sibling, sister) gunaika ("wife")


4.  However, Paul is harder on women than man on whether it is ever a sin to marry. While it is no sin for a man to desire to marry, with the protection against caring for the world in 1 Cor. 9:5, Paul says a believing widow woman who is under 60 and desires to marry is damned.  Paul in 1 Timothy 5:9-12,14 KJV says:  


 9 Let not a widow be taken into the number [for charity] under threescore years old [i.e., 60 years old],... 11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry (sic: "desire to marryASV); 12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.


 I hope that helps understand Paul's words that it is "not a sin" to marry. He did not imply he was changing something that previously was prohibited such as the law against incest.


It is not a sin for a man to marry because by withdrawing relations from the woman, you will not "care for the things of the world." But widowed believing women under 60 are flatly damned for a desire to remarry. Unlike men, they are not given an option to marry, and then have a "brother husband" with whom they have no marital relations so as to avoid "caring for the things of the world."





Note to Readers:

It turns out that this "incest" question was noticed by a Chinese Christian. After further discussions, it was realized that the Chinese Christian Bible he used, and is in most common use, is the Chinese Union Version from 1919. (See "Chinese Union Bible," Wikipedia) It had words in verse 38 that reflected the KJV English, not the Greek original words.


Note on Reina Valera 1909.

Valera made his Spanish translation a couple of years prior to 1611. Assuming the 1909 version is authentic, it appears he bowed to the Calvinists running Geneva where the tradition of parental permission was also in play. Valera was a minister in that church. As reflected in the 1909 edition, Valera shows a different solution that allowed his friends to keep their new words about "giving in marriage" (twice added), etc., in verse 38 by altering verse 36. Instead of it speaking of "passions" for one's virgins, it says "do what you desire" - apparently "passion is replaced by "do what you desire."