This author had previously read about a discrepancy involving two
supposedly different Old-Testament Hebrew texts of the Bible:
I thus typed in both of them (one at a time) into major internet search
engines to investigate.
One KJV-only diehard wrote on the subject, failing to declare that there was once a need for the creation of the at-that-time new King James Version itself, and that "the KJV" has undergone many revision and edition changes. He spoke of "THE Masoretic Text" without defining if THAT meant the ben Chayyim or the ben Asher text (purportedly discrepant against each other). He condemned Rudolf Kittel and his editor Kahle for putting footnotes in the text of their Stuttgart-edition Hebrew Bible based on a Leningrad Manuscript - with the presumption that Kittel wanted to confuse readers by insinuating that they randomly replace the main text with footnote alterations or substitutions. He went on to state that the American Bible Society offers an 1866-incepted Letteris (ben Chayyim) Hebrew Old-Testament text for sale, but this author has never seen any such advertisement from ABS at any time ever.
Mr. KJV-only also failed to state WHY the ben Asher Hebrew Test was THE (recognized) Received Text in authority until the 1500s, but somehow lost that authenticity until Kittel's 1937 edition of ben Asher's Text - which Text the RSV and NASV are thankfully based upon. Seventh, KJV-only gave credence to a certain "Daniel Bomberg" (whoever HE was) and who (according to the preface of the NKJV Bible) concocted and printed a so-called "first rabbinic bible" in 1516 (whatever THAT was)......followed by [oh oh!]: a SECOND edition (the FIRST was NOT GOOD ENOUGH)? One internet source stated that Jacob ben Chayyim was apparently "some jewish refugee" who the source alleged to have become a Christian (sounds suspicious)! So WHO WAS ben Chayyim, and what were his motives for trashing the traditional ben Asher Text?
With all this in mind, I synthesized two internet pieces from one Jewish author giving further info about ben Asher:
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher lived in Tiberius during the first half of the 10th century. His family had been involved in creating and maintaining the MASORAH for either five or six generations. Ben Asher rapidly gained fame as the most authoritative of the Tiberian masoretes, and even after his death, his name continued to hold respect. His vocalization of the Bible is
still - for all intents and purposes - THE Text Jews continue to use.
Moreover, Aaron ben Moses ben Asher was the first to take Hebrew grammar seriously. His SEFER DIKDUKEI HA-TE'AMIM (Grammar of the Vocalizations) was an original collection of grammatical rules and masoretic information. Grammatical principles were not at that time considered worthy of independent study.
Ben Asher had a tremendous influence on the world of Biblical grammar and scholarship. From documents found in the CAIRO GENIZA, it appears that this most famous masorete (and possibly his family for generations) were also - incidentally - KARAITES.
As early as the eighth century, Talmudic rabbis encountered a major challenge. A group of Jews led by Anan ben David declared that they did not accept the authority of the rabbis to interpret Torah. This group, originally called the Ananites, developed their own understanding of Jewish law based only on the written Torah. The Ananites were stricter and more rigid than the rabbis in their understanding of Torah law. They simply did not accept the rabbis as legitimate authorities of Jewish law. They denied the authority of the Mishnah and the Gemarra.
It is difficult to determine Ananite doctrines because the Ananites relied on the Torah Text. Anan's famous adage was: "Search thoroughly the Torah and don't rely on my opinions."
In the ninth century, the major group of Ananites combined with other anti-rabbinic groups and became known as the Karaites (followers of the Kra, or Torah Text) in their Masoretic tradition of including VOWELS in the Torah Text. They believed that the Torah had originally been written with vowels, and they viewed such Text as the ONLY legitimate one.
It should not be surprising to discover that many masoretes, so involved in the Masorah, held Karaite beliefs. After all, it was the Karaites who placed such absolute reliance on the Torah Text. It would be natural that they would devote their lives to studying every aspect of it. The surprising element was that being a Karaite did not disqualify Aaron ben Moses ben Asher in the eyes of Rabbinic Jews.
If the Ten Commandments etched in stone did not exist before God carved them out for Moses on the mountain, certainly the KJV did not exist before then either. After Noah and his kin descended down off the ark on a world devoid of any lifeforms and whatever hieroglyphics previously around (if any, whether Phoenician, Egyptian, Chinese, whatever), God laid down the Hebrew ALPHABET for Moses and the nations on Mount Sinai (amidst all the then-existing Babel languages and their written symbols occurring after The Flood).
The spoken (or oral) Bible started out rather simply with God verbally, audibly or however (without printed mass media) telling humanity to reproduce and eat green stuff (Genesis chapter 1), and telling Adam, in particular, to not eat of "the forbidden tree." Apparently, that divine tidbit of as-yet-nonwritten Scripture was conveyed (by whoever) to the inferior gender, who soon became the first nude preacheress on record to discourse with a snake. Her sermonette to Satan had a few omissions and additions pertaining to the intended Original Text (e.g. the word "freely" was left out, along with "midst of the garden," and a brand-new addition of hers "neither shall you touch it" was added.
Thus, that first weaker-sex woman (ancestral grandmother of us all) competed against the Devil on her own, without Adam, in power-hungry feminist-"equality" arrogance and female naivity (precursor of maryolatrous catholic who presume a female and God alone can create kiddies without any guy around).....and so corrupted the earliest and simplest Scripture. Her usually-clothed-thereafter progenie have continued to screw things up ever since, as more and more sacred sayings were mangled by myriads mouthing mindless blatterings masquerading as gospel truth.
Again, the LORD Himself intervened to (thankfully) a male human, again. On the two tablets of stone in rock, He Himself (with any one of His fingers, including His third) wrote down The Text, instructing Rabbi Moses in details enabling him to compose the Pentateuch (Torah) Old Testament according to creationist info supernaturally supplied.
God also talked to others verbally, like from between two cherubim above the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant after talking out of a burning bush which didn't really burn (i.e. DID burn but was constantly rejuvenated for more to burn (sort of like the future bodies of those who will forever continue to burn to the ages of the ages in the hellish Lake of Fire). He also spoke audibly out of a cloud, using the mouth of Jesus, out of a blinding light on some road to Damascus, and to a Peter, Paul, and John (original 12 apostles) and others in dreams and visions.
Outside of what is recorded in the Bible, any dreams or visions having occurred or allegedly occurred, occurring or allegedly occurring, to occur or allegedly occur, can be questioned as to authenticity of whether or not being GOD'S actual revelation on a more or less take it or leave it basis.
Which brings us to what is TRULY canonical bona fide Bible, and what is FAKE [pseudo]-"biblical" utterances. Jesus Himself read from a copy of the book of Isaiah handed to Him in a temple. Whatever Old-Testament books and writings He and his New-Testament gospel and epistle authors referred to can obviously be considered canonical.
Such historically happened, causing eyewitnesses to relate perfectly to next-generation faithful and honest copyists who non-carelessly read, recorded, and related ALL PERTINENT words written in common public alpha-to-omega Greek letters EVERYONE in their right mind could understand -- inerrant to the last iota jot and tittle. Dedicated printing of such on papyrus was inspired and infallible.
The Divine Copyright Enforcer had, has, and will have His ways to insure that His Word is clearly and obviously canonical......
First, He is the Jealous Executioner. To name a few examples of the disfavored in the Old Testament who bit the dust: the assaultive perverts of Sodom and Gomorrah, Er and Onan (Judah's son's of Genesis 38), pollutive harassing belligerant canaanites who Joshua and the Jews exterminated under orders from God, Haman the diabolical antisemite (Book of Esther), 100 state-trooper sheriff-deputy type soldiers ganging up on Elijah (II Kings 1), 186,000 Assyrian commandos (Isaiah 37:36), Hananiah the false prophet (Jeremiah 28), lying Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), child-murderer saint-beheader Roman governor Herod (Acts 12), at least sixteen 9112001 megavandal genocidal Saudi-terrorist kamakazes who admirably murdered themselves with suicide, etc.
Second, the LORD preserved (and preserves!) the lives of his elect, providentially provides for and fills them with boundless phenomenal faith, joy, and confidence. Remember The Bomb which annihilated Shinto-cultic Jap
terrorists and their supporters who had brutally demolished Pearl Harbor. Remember ethereally-uplifting Billy-Graham-crusade-choir singing.
Getting back to the Dark Ages, saints within and outside the Catholic Church faithfully copied The ONE Text which they had received from previous saints and preserved by a Power not of this Earth.
Autograph-accurateText in papyrus, headquartered in Antioch, was diversely scattered and read, becoming more ancient and worn as time went on, but CAREFULLY-copied duplicates were PAINSTAKINGLY produced, and such
already-canonical Text was disseminated in greater and greater numbers worldwide.
Inevitably, counterfeits (like weeds) began to appear from heretics such as Marcion and others who concocted corrupt Alexandrian and Sinaiticus type Greek-lettered replacements - blasphemously miscalled "manuscripts"- ultimately synthesized by the occultic-spiritualist demonic duo Hort and Westcott in England in the late 1800s, peddled and promoted thereafter by Metzger, Aland, and Nestle.
The ORIGINAL Text survived in entirety, however, true to God's promise and power of indestructibility and eternal longevity. Erasmus (respected by Martin Luther) tried to sort out the genuine from the garbage, and at that time did his best with consecutive improving editions. Beza and Stephanus continued the refinement, and Scrivener of England finally put it all together in 1894 into what is now known as the Scrivener Trinitarian Greek Text of the New Testament for these momentous last days before Christ's visible bodily return to Earth at Armageddon.
The TRUE Greek Text of Matthew 1:23 contains the Greek word parthenos for virgin (pronounced PARTH-en-ahss) speaking of that blessed [temporary] virgin Mariam (literal Greek spelling) who would conceive her FIRST-born (NOT "only"-born) son (per Matthew 1:24) of the Holy SPIRIT [not occultish "Ghost" and not by Planned Parentlessness/Planned Promiscuity] with legimately-carnal "knowledge" (Gr. gin(o)sk(o), pronounced jeen-OH-skoh) of and with a male human (see Luke 1:34) and....as a reproductive-choice-for-life living saint, bear a SON (Gr. uion, pronounced HWEE-ahn, per Luke 1:31) not abortive-tissue "fetus."
The Revised Standard Version (RSV) has, for its Isaiah 7:14, the following: "a young woman shall conceive and bear a son" (with contradictory "virgin" footnote)....whereas the King James Version (KJV) has the phrase "...the virgin shall conceive and bear a son" (instead of young woman) for the exact same passage.
Well, WHICH IS it: "young woman," or "virgin?" All young-women virgins are young women, but obviously not all young women are young-women virgins. If you the reader don't get it, I'll elaborate: A young woman who has lain (clothed or partially clothed or naked) with a man sexually is not a virgin, but she is still a young woman. Allow NONE to be accursed FOOLS and blatter that "it doesn't matter" or "whatever" pertaining to precise word choice. It certainly DOES matter!
To start to resolve this dilemma, we must turn to the original-language Textual words of Scripture, and in doing so, utilize Strong's Word Numbering designations to facilitate our delving into difficult-for-most strange-to-English Hebrew alphabet lettering.
Neither the words "young woman" (Strong's Word# 5959) nor "virgin" (Strong's Word# 1330) could legitimately be REPLACED with the SUBSTITUTE word damsel, maid, maiden, nor girl - being that such are not necessarily (and usually NOT) of childbearing age, NOR necessarily virgin. Indeed, the word "girl" in the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament is invariably identified with Strong's Word# 5291, as is the case in II Kings 5:2, Esther 2:7, and Esther 2:12. Besides, both boys and men can ALSO be virgins - though male ones, of course. That is why the KJV uses the somewhat-poorly-worded phrase: "a damsel that is a virgin" [in Deuteronomy 22:28] rather than RSV's term: "a virgin."
The word maid is INADEQUATE as a substitute word for either "young woman" or "girl," because "maid" of nondeniable necessity carries an additional connotation of SERVITUDE as a SLAVE or EMPLOYEE. Again, there is a separate and different Strong's Word# for the Hebrew words of slave-girl, maidservant, etc.
Below is elaboration exposing mistranslations (thus discrepancies) and inaccuracies of BOTH the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version.
Many have related the Matthew 1:23 passage of the prophet predicting that a VIRGIN shall conceive and bear a son....to the Old-Testament reference of Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah 7:14 does NOT contain Strong's English-lettered Hebrew-text Word# 1330, but does contain Strong's Word# 5959. The question is whether Word# 5959 is also identifiable with the word "virgin" - or is it instead simply "young woman?"
In our English language, is it possible for the virginity of a woman (i.e. a woman who has not "known" a male by "lying with him") to be designated virginity without exclusively using the word "virginity?" If so, WHAT exact other word (without resorting to the use of euphemisms) could we substitute which would convey the idea of woman's virginity? If none could be thought of offhand, perhaps only the word "virginity" adequately portrays the concept of virginity.
Thus, there are no other Hebrew words other than Strong's Word# 5959 representing the concept of "virgin" Strong's Word# 5959 (which this webauthor believes is accurately rendered with the phrase: "virgin") cannot also be identified with nor equivalent to Strong's Word# 1330 word as also "virgin!"
There is significant errant sloppiness and inaccuracy within both the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version Old Testament pertaining to the use and misuse of the Strong-Word#-identified words "virgin" and "maid" (again, two DIFFERENT entities altogether).
For example, Strong's Word# 1330 in Exodus 22:16 is incorrectly rendered "virgin" in the RSV but correctly rendered "maid" in the KJV.
Strong's Word# 1330 in Second Chronicles 36:17 is incorrectly rendered "virgin" in the RSV but correctly rendered "maid" in the KJV.
Strong's Word# 1330 in Job 31:1 is incorrectly rendered "virgin" in the RSV but correctly rendered "maid" in the KJV....relating to the type of female whom Job would not lustfully look upon.
Sometimes, both the KJV and the RSV have it the same pertaining to Strong's Word# 1330, as in both RSV's and KJV's Jeremiah 2:32 and in Jeremiah 51:22, where both versions state the word: "maid."
Do both Bible versions ever agree that Strong's Word# 5959 should be "young woman" instead of "virgin?" or vice-versa?
In Exodus 2:8, Strong's Word# 5959 is incorrectly rendered "maid" in the KJV and incorrectly rendered "girl" in the RSV pertaing to sister Miriam watching baby Moses. In Proverbs 30:19, both the KJV and the RSV wrongly render Strong's Word# 5959 as "maid". The KJV correctly renders Strong's Word# 5959 in Isaiah 7:14 as "virgin".
In Genesis 24:16 young woman Rebekkah [with whom no male had yet lain] and identified as Strong's Word# 1330, is mis-designated a "virgin" by the RSV. In Genesis 24:43, Abraham's servant requests of the LORD a Strong's Word# 5959 "virgin" (which the RSV has mistranslated as: "young woman").
Strong's Word# 5959 of Isaiah 7:14 correctly translated as "virgin" obviously means that Strong's Word# 1330 cannot also be correctly translated: "virgin".
Word #5959 in Exodus 2:8 is: "virgin" (not merely "maid," "damsel," "girl," nor "young woman") referring to Moses-baby-watcher Miriam. Being that Word #5959 found in Isaiah 7:14 is translated as: "virgin" in the KJV, why has the KJV then [illogically] rendered the exact-same Hebrew-lettered word #5959 in Exodus 2:8 [merely]: "maid?"
Strong's Word# 1330 is most definitely: "young woman." That precise Hebrew-lettered word is found in Genesis 24:16 (describing the Rebekkah of good form) but not in Genesis 24:43 (in which latter reference containing Strong's Word# 5959 the KJV correctly states as: "virgin" instead of: "young woman)." Word# 1330 is also found in Deuteronomy 22:19 (referring to a young woman of Israel).
A totally-different Hebrew-lettered word for: "girl" of non-specified virginity or non-virginity, is designated by Strong's Word# 5291.
The KJV correctly renders Strong's Word# 1330 in Job 31:1 as: "maid" whereas the RSV wrongly renders Strong's Word# 1330 in that Bible verse as: virgin" (whom righteous Job could not lustfully look upon).
One final serious but vital discrepancy is mentioned.
Ezekiel 23:8 of the RSV (involving Strong's Word# 1330) states that immoral lovers "handled her "virgin" bosom...whereas Ezekiel 23:8 of the KJV vaguely (and inadequately) states that immoral lovers "corrupted her" (whatever THAT sexually or non-sexually means or intended to mean).
Strong's Word numbering assists us in understanding properly-more graphic words the Lord intended us to see and perceive but only found in Ezekiel chapter 23 (e.g. Strong's Word# 1717 for "nipples" in verses 3,8, and 21 as also found in Proverbs 5:19.....Strong's Word# 6213 for "squeezed" therein.....and Strong's Word# 7699 for "breasts" in verses 4 and 21 - NOT found in Proverbs 5:19).