Jeremiah 8 v8b

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at
Sat Jul 21 08:42:38 EDT 2001

Dear Ian,

You write:

>What is the best grammatical, contextual and literal
>translation of Jeremiah 8v8b? I know this is more than
>one question but I'm hoping to get as many views as
>This seems a controversial text to construct and has
>many variant translations. ''Surely, behold'' seems
>straight forward but, ''l$qr '&h '+ $qr sprym" seems
>This verse is used by some to suggest that Jeremiah
>believed the Torah to contain scribal errors.

>p.s Can anyone suggest further reading on the Old
>Testament that deals in depth with the variously held
>views of the history of the text itself.

HH: There is a good history of the OT canon by a man whose last name begins
with a B, I think--a name like Beckwith (maybe Thomas). Perhaps you could
search under OT canon at a seminary library which is on-line.

HH: As far as Jer 8:8, the passage need not have to have anything to do
with attributing errors to the Torah. Remember how the preacher in
Ecclesiastes said that of the making of books there was no end. Hence many
things were written down besides copies of the Scripture. A fairly literal
rendering of the text is:

"How can you say, 'We are wise, and the instruction of Yahweh is with us"?
Surely for (the) falsehood works the false stylus of scribes."

The NIV is good:

Jer. 8:8 "'How can you say,  "We are wise, for we have the law of the
LORD," when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?

				Harold Holmyard
				Dallas, TX

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