In any language there is a strange anomaly where the positive and negative way to say a thing can mean the same thing. For example, “I could care less” and “I couldn’t care less,” or even in singular words like “let” where it has a negative and positive meaning. In today’s particular verse, it appears as though the Peking Bible translated the exact opposite of the King James. Of course the typical argument comes up, “There is a whole lot of difference between there being no language in which these words can be heard, and there being a language.” Of course, what is humorous is that in English, this is a literary device that is making the point that there is in fact no language where they are heard, but they are a language nonetheless. That is what makes the “speech” of the stars so magnificent, it is not an audible language, but a symbolic one that can be understood by speakers of numerous languages. This is painfully obvious in English without the aid of any commentaries. How exactly would you translate an extremely metaphorical phrase into an extremely idiomatic culture? Could you imagine saying that the stars spoke a language that was audible in all the languages of the world? See, in English, we understand “language” to be audible, emotional, and even metaphorical in a sense. For instance, we may say, “Their body language suggests…” while the idea of body language is present in Chinese, it is a loan word. For those who might still contend that we must clarify whether or not stars speak, I would then ask them in regards to the King James, do stars have an audible voice that is understood by every culture? Yes, I understand the scientific discoveries of stars and their “song” that can be heard by satellite. Yes, I understand the hum and communicatory vibrations they emit, but I asked if they have an audible voice understood by every culture. If we are honest, we know that the “voice” that is “heard” is a metaphorical voice that communicates God’s existence. This is similar to Abel’s blood that is crying from the ground. While I believe that to the God who created man’s blood in him, no doubt there was a voice only discernible by the Almighty, but the idea is that their message is evident. You know, “they being dead yet speaketh,” I mean, is that an audible voice? No! In the text in English, the point is that the heavens are “declaring” God’s glory, how? Through an audible voice? No, through their course in the sky. In the passage we see poetic language all throughout. We see “the Heavens declare,” we see “uttereth speech,” we see “no speech, no language,” we see “their voice is not heard,” we see “their words to the end of the world.” So in the context, he is talking about a metaphorical speech that manifests God’s existence. On that context alone, we should realize metaphors do not always translate easily. We must learn this fact, otherwise we may forget that the King James translators inserted in the column the very enlightening footnote which states: “Or, without these their voice is heard. Heb. without their voice heard.” Naturally, the skeptic retorts that the King James translators, dumb thumps that they were, had no idea, and the choice was the Holy Ghost’s. To that I might add, it was the choice of the Holy Ghost with the skeptics approval, as he seems to be able to pick and choose based off of what he thinks rather than rely on Scripture and its meaning. For those who think the Chinese is not saying the same thing as the English, you must pay attention to verse 4. After it just finished saying “there is no speech or language where their voice is heard,” it follows up in verse 4 saying, “However, their voice is heard all over the earth.” How is that not the same as the English again? If you are trying to prove that every “language” on the earth has a secret code language of the stars interwoven throughout then there is a difference. But, if you are trying to see if the King James says the same thing as the Peking Bible, you may relax, it is saying the same thing. He just told us that everywhere on earth can hear their voice.
While I do not speak Hebrew, it would seem apparent that the King James translators acknowledged liberty in the translation from the Hebrew. It was upon this liberty that the King James translators as well as the Peking Committee translators, chose the best way to translate, while saying the same thing either way. In the King James the idea is clear, “The stars have their own language that is heard throughout the earth.” In Chinese the verse is clear, “The stars while not having an audible voice in man’s languages, their voice is still heard throughout all the earth.”