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A Reader Responds to "Subtil"

July 29, 2019

       It should also be remarked about the "subtilty" of modern (per)versions in even just those three examples.  In Gen. 3:1 the NASV, NIV, NRSV and ESV have "crafty", the NKJV and HCSV "cunning"; in 2 Sam. 13:3 the RSV, NRSV, NKJV and ESV have "crafty", the NASV, NIV and HCSV "shrewd"; in Prov. 7:10 the NIV and NKJV have "crafty", the ASV, RSV, NRSV and ESV "wily", the NASV "cunning", and the HCSV "having a hidden agenda".  

      First, there is no consistency even within the same version.  Second, many of these things have a positive connotation to them at times, as Aholiab who made much of the tabernacle was cunning (Exodus. 38:23), and Hiram who made much in the temple was cunning (1 Kings 7:13-14).  Paul says he was crafty in 2 Cor. 12:16; and crafty can be a good thing today if you are resourceful.  With "shrewd" that can have a very positive connotation for a conservative person that won't be wasteful with their money.  And, "wily" sounds childish, like Looney Tunes with Wile E. Coyote...  The KJB's rendition of "subtil" is more clearly unconnected to anything positive, and the old spelling is much better than the ASV putting "subtle", which only makes me think the taste of coffee is not strong enough but weak.  Let's stick with the KJB!!  Amen! 


Thank You Missionary Danny Foss!

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