ESV And KJV Difference

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Puritan Board Junior
I thought this verse was interesting, as the two translations are saying much different things. The KJV makes it sound like the old sailor came out in Peter, which we can all learn from - we need to be careful of our old sinful ways coming back. The ESV doesn't portray Peter in the same way.

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Matthew 26:74 KJV

Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately the rooster crowed.
Matthew 26:74 ESV

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Ryan,

Yes, it might appear that the translations are saying two different things, but understanding the Greek shows they are not: in Matthew’s account the Greek word for curse is καταναθεματίζω katanathematizō, to imprecate, to curse; and in Mark’s account, at 13:71, it is ἀναθεματίζω anathematizō; to declare or vow under penalty of execration: — (bind under a) curse, bind with an oath—to devote to destruction, to declare one's self liable to the severest divine penalties.

It is almost the same word Paul uses in Galatians 1:9, ἀνάθεμα anathema, accursed-- a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction.

Perhaps the ESV does bring out the nuances more clearly, but the KJV is accurate. Cursing was, among the Jews of that day, not as we know cursing, but rather the bringing down of divine judgment, an imprecation, as in the imprecatory psalms. I heard a sermon on this passage recently, and it is now etched in my mind, as no doubt it will be in yours also from henceforth!
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