Saturday, July 11, 2020

Correctly Handling The Word Of Truth

Observing what we see in the biblical text, we then should correctly handle it (2 Tim. 2:15). The participle “correctly handling” (incorrectly translated in the King James Version “rightly dividing”) translates the Greek word orthotomounta. This combines two words that meant “straight” (ortho) and “cut” (tomeo). One writer explains the meaning of this as follows:

Because Paul was a tentmaker, he may have been using an expression that tied in with his trade. When Paul made tents, he used certain patterns. In those days tents were made from the skins of animals in a patchwork sort of design. Every piece would have to be cut and fit together properly. Paul was simply saying, “If one doesn’t cut the pieces right, the whole won’t fit together properly.” It’s the same thing with Scripture. If one doesn’t interpret correctly the different parts, the whole message won’t come through correctly In Bible study and interpretation the Christian should cut it straight. He should be precise…and accurate.

Roy B. Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation, p. 12-13


Justin Horn said...

Although i differ on this guys opinion on whether the kjv translates this verse correctly he is right that misinterpretation can definitely cause problems such as contradicting other text, and can cause heresys. I know its pointless to argue about which translation is right since hebrew words can be translated as several different words. Im just wondering do other new versions agree with the kjv on thid passage or do they say correctly handling? I might check strongs concerning this.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Since the Greek says "straight cut" the KJV "rightly dividing" is good, but so is "correctly handling" as a good interpretation of what "straight cut" means.

Other translations which also translate to what the term means is the NET with "teaching the message of truth accurately"; HCSB: "correctly teaching the word of truth." ETC. The point is to translate to understanding. The KJV is a formal translation, as are the NAS ("accurately handling the word of truth."), ESV ("rightly handling the word of truth"), Wycliffe ("rightly treating the word of truth.")

I could spend a lot of time looking at numerous versions and maybe find the same translation as the KJV, but it doesn't matter. The point is, do other translations give the proper understanding of the text? Yes they do. (by the way, Jay Green's literal translation does say the same as the KJV)