Re: KJV on "which"

From: Stephen C. Carlson (
Date: Tue Jun 30 1998 - 09:02:24 EDT

At 11:07 6/29/98 -0500, Donald W Price wrote:
>Why does the KJV (in Matt. 6:9) render the phrase "ho en tois ouranois"
>as "our Father WHICH art in heaven" instead of "WHO art in heaven" as the
>ASV put it?

The reason is an English dialectal difference. While it is not
appropriate today to refer to persons with the relative pronoun
"which," it was acceptable and quite common to use "which" to
refer to persons in Early Modern English. One of the largest
difficulties people have in interpeting the KJV is in not
realizing to extent to which the English has changed since 1611.
At least when we study the Greek, we are on guard that we can't
just assume what a word means.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson                   : Poetry speaks of aspirations,              : and songs chant the words. :               -- Shujing 2.35

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