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by (3.9k points)

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John Wycliffe was an early advocate for translation of the bible into the common language. (which wouldn't be so common to us today) He and his associates translated directly from the Vulgate. This work was started in 1382 and completed (with revisions) in 1388. The Vulgate is a fourth century Latin translation of the bible that was commissioned to unify all other existing writings and/or translations! It seems that Mr. Wycliffe (and many others) didn't see a need to properly translate the name “Jacob” and just used the Latin interpretation. There also seems to be an attempt to distance the New Testament from any Hebrew or Aramaic influence. (not necessarily by Mr. Wycliffe) When the bible was translated into Latin, the name “Iacobos” became transliterated into “Iacobus” and late Latin turned that into “Iacomus” the b and the m being somewhat similar in sound. (in nasal languages) The early French version of this Latin name became the shortened “Gemmes” which then traveled into the English speaking world as James. When the bible was translated into English, the translators shortened the Greek names into the versions we know now: Paulos became Paul, Petros became Peter and the name Iacobos didn't become Jacob, it became James, and this while King James VI of Scotland ordered in 1604, “a translation to be made of the whole bible, as close as possible to the original Hebrew and Greek.” The name James doesn't mean anything, but it came from the name Jacob, which means “supplanter.” This is just another instance where man has intervened to change the truth. This situation is minor, but where else has man changed the truth of the bible? Unfortunately, in many places! (contributed material included)
by (3.9k points)
Since Wycliffe was so consistent in his translation from the Latin Vulgate if he had had access to the Greek there is a good chance he would have translated Ἰάκωβος as Jacob.
by
With all due respect, are you suggesting that a Greek translation of James (Jacob) was not available to Mr. Wycliffe? There has been an on going debate on which language that James (Jacob) was originally written: Arabic or Greek. In either case, there is ample evidence that many Greek translations survived. The Codex Alexandrinus has been available since the fifth century.
by (3.9k points)
No, perhaps I wasn't clear. Obviously the Greek text of James is extant. I don't know whether Wycliffe knew Greek or had access to any Greek manuscripts.
by
The fact is, the English translation of "ThEOC" is "God" and the English translation of IHCOYC is Jesus and the English translation of IAKWBOC is "James". This doesn't mean it's "man intervening to change the truth". It's "man faithfully translating the text"—notice that even in the Bible itself, names are translated, like Cephas/Peter or Thomas/Didymus. Names are quite simply words like any other, and translatable entities.
by (3.9k points)
You are correct about names being translatable entities. The point of translating Ἰάκωβος as Jacob instead of James is for the consistency between the Old and New Covenant scriptures.
by (100 points)
Not true at all.  Names are not translated, but transliterated.  To translate a name is to give its meaning, but transliteration is the process by which sounds are passed from one language to another or adapted to a different alphabet.  James is not a transliteration of Ya'acov.  That transliteration would be Jacob in English.
by (3.9k points)
Carl, thanks for the clarification.
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