This is part of my expanding Bible Manipulations series.
Inspiring Source: The End of Biblical Studies (pg 49-50) by Hector Avalos
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes barely made it into either the canon of the Jews or Christians. Its theology runs counter to most of the rest of the bible concerning justice, life and God’s role in the world. The book meditates on the meaningless of life. Thus translators have made attempts to tone down the author of Ecclesiastes. Below is an example:
In Ecclesiastes 2:25 the writer alludes to the fact that God is irrelevant in the happiness of human beings and that one should pursue happiness for the sake of oneself, not for some god. Here are passages that faithfully translate the passage:
For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
|Darby Bible Translation
For who can eat, or who be eager, more than I?
|English Revised Version
For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I
|Young’s Literal Translation
For who eateth and who hasteth out more than I?
|Geneva Study Bible
For who can eat, or who else can hasten to it, more than I?
But below are translations where the translators try to clean up the writer’s ideas to homogenize the theology with other Bible canonized authors. The word “God” does not appear in the Hebrew, nor its pronoun equivalent of “Him”:
|God’s Word Translation
Who can eat or enjoy themselves without God?
|Revised English Bible
For without God who can eat with enjoyment.
|New Living Translation
For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?
For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?
for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
or apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
|New American Bible
For who can eat or drink apart from him?
|New Jerusalem Bible
for who would get anything to eat or drink, unless all this came from him?