Mat 10:25 "zebub" or "zebul"

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larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I found this interesting...the esv/NASB/ubs text has "beelzebul" in mat 10:25 whereas the KJV/NKJV/tr has "beelzebub" in this verse.

As "beelzebul" means roughly "Lord of Heaven" or "Lord of the High Place" and "beelzebub" means roughly "Lord of the Flies"...what are the implications of each rendering?
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
I would assume that the "beelzebul" rendering reflects "the prince of the power of the air". But that's just an assumption.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
According to the Robinson's Word Pictures, and Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary, there is no Greek "-bub". In other words, some of the English translations may do nothing but follow Old Testament convention, in rendering the name of a Philistine deity.

"Baalzebul" could be the strict designation (seeing it is more dignified), but "Baalzebub" the Israelite patois for the same, being a mockery of the idol. Just an idea.

In either case, the term is being applied to its "ultimate" referent--the Devil. I don't think that the possible meanings of the underlying term affect our understanding of the passage at all. :2cents:
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Yes, that's the Scrivener's "TR" (according to my e-sword), and so far as I know (so far) there isn't any Greek mss with a B instead of an L.

It lists the Stephens 1550 TR, and the Alex/Byz ALL as having -bul. And I believe the modern MT has -bul as well.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Rev. Buchanan,

I was under the impression that Scrivener used Greek mss to develop his text, is that incorrect?
 

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
It is Beelzebub in the Vulgate. Could this be another instance of back-translation like the Comma Johanneum?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is Beelzebub in the Vulgate. Could this be another instance of back-translation like the Comma Johanneum?

Yes, I would say this may be one of those rare cases where the TR requires emendation. However, the Johannine Comma is not an instance of back-translation.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I researched this a little. All the Reformation Bibles have the Beelzebub reading:

Wycliff, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishop’s, Great, Geneva, Luther (1545),

and the Syriac Pesh-itta, the Latin Vulgate, Wesley’s NT (1755); the RV (1881) has it, with “bul” in the margin, and likewise the ASV (1901). The NIV has “bub”.

I suspect it was in Erasmus’ 3rd edition (anyone have a pdf or HTML of that they can send me?), as per the note following:

“These readings [in Erasmus’ Greek-Latin edition] were already supported by unspecified Greek manuscripts and other sources mentioned in the appended Annotations. The Annotations show that quotations from the early Latin ecclesiastical writers (called Fathers) were often decisive in his choice of readings, despite lack of support in Greek copies.” http://www.bible-researcher.com/bib-e.html; see under Erasmus.

The (original) ISBE considers it an error [the “bub”], but says, “There can be little doubt that it [Beelzebul] is the same name as Baalzebub [cf. 2 Kings 1:2, 3, 6. 16]….Why Baalzebub became Beelzebul, why the b changed into l, is a matter of conjecture. It may have been an accident of popular pronunciation, or a conscious perversion…”

Evidently “bub” was the ending in the Hebrew source word, and I believe “Beelzebub/Baalzebub” was the actual name they said to the Lord in Aramaic.

What I would like to know is why the Greek reads “bul”. What the source of that is in the Greek texts.

I will hold with the AV reading (and the other Reformation Bibles).

I am saving up for a copy of Erasmus’ Annotations, and a ways down the line a pdf of his Greek & Latin 3rd edition NT. Happily I have obtained the latest UBS’s 4th edition of the Greek Critical Text, and Metzger’s latest Commentary on that text – thanks to Alan Kurschner’s pointing out to me I was remiss in not having them – but they set me back $63 incl. S&H!

In earlier years I truly followed Erasmus’ adage, “When I have a little money, I buy books; if there is anything left I buy food and clothing.” But being married to a sensible woman I have had to curtail that tendency somewhat!

If I come up with more information on the Beezlebub issue I will post it.

Steve
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Reading in Dr. (& pastor) Kirk DiVietro’s Where the King James Bible Leaves the Greek Text of Theodore Beza 1598 I found more on Beelzebub.

It was laid upon the AV translators to observe fifteen rules* pertaining to their work. DiVietro has a table in his book examining the variants between Beza and the KJV, and regarding Matthew 10:25 he says,

The name Beelzebub as opposed to Beelzeboul can be explained by Rule #2 which stated The names of the prophets and the holy writers with the other names of the text to be retained as nigh as may be, accordingly as they were vulgarly used.** The name Beelzebub had been established in English usage and so became the acceptable translation of [size=+1]beelzeboul[/size].​

So we can understand why the word was translated as it is in the King James, and appears as it does in Scrivener's TR Matthew 10:25.

It is possible Beelzebub was not in Erasmus’ edition, as it was not in Stephen’s or Beza’s, but rather was made a translation instead of a textual issue for those working on the new AV. [size=+1]beelzeboub[/size] does appear in Scrivener’s TR/1894 in Matthew 10:25, but not in 12:25, where [size=+1]beelzeboul[/size] is the reading.

But I still ask, why was Beelzebub the name commonly used in the English of the day (and why in Luther’s German)? Was it because Wycliff had translated his New Testament from the Latin Vulgate, and the Reformation Bibles followed suit? But that doesn’t explain Luther’s use of it. Luther did use Erasmus in translating the NT into German.

Still and all, given the information in my last post, I am confirmed in my support of the AV in this matter, although I would still like to study it further, and seek out new information and materials.

-----------------

* To see the rules: http://www.av1611.org/KJV/kjvhist.html (scroll down a bit). Note: Although Rule #1 said, “The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit”, it turned out that the new translation “agreed much more with the Geneva than with any other.” [K.D.]
** “The second rule requires that the mode then used in spelling the proper names should be retained as far as might be.” [K.D.]
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
This has all been very helpful guys.

Please keep the posts coming if you find anything new.


Thanks for all the responses.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I just got my copy (pdf - 283 MB) of Erasmus' 1522 Greek-Latin NT 3rd ed., and it has Beelzebul.

Today, in the modern world, if one were to write a play and term it "Beelzebul," would anyone (except Bible students) know what it was about? But if they called it "Beelzebub," that name is commonly recognized. It seems that may have been the translation choice of the early Reformation Bibles, and for the same reason.
 
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