Tyndale’s Translation of Mark 9:42-43

24 September 2010 by Wes Bredenhof

This coming Sunday I’ll be continuing with my series on Mark.  We’ve come to Mark 9:42-43.  I ended up doing a bit of study into the Greek noun ‘skandalon’ and its verbal relative ‘skandalizo.’  That led me to William Tyndale and his introduction of the expression “stumbling block” into English Bible translation.  He didn’t actually use “stumbling block” or anything like it in Mark 9:42-43.  I’m not sure exactly what word he used.  Have a look for yourself.  The word in question is the fourth word in, “And whosoever shall…”  It looks like “hourtewd.”  Never heard of that word before.  Can anyone help?

9 responses to “Tyndale’s Translation of Mark 9:42-43”

  1. I cannot help, but perhaps Dr. Bill Helder would have an idea.

  2. Cecilia Vandevelde says:

    my guess would have been an old english version of “hurted.”
    but i’m no scholar. 🙂
    hope you find the answer!

  3. Bill DeJong says:

    I with Cecilia; whoever shall “hurt” one of these little ones.

  4. Jan Bredenhof says:

    The Tyndale translations I look at show that word as being “offende” which might work if you say “hourtmed” in a booming thick old-english accent.

  5. William Helder says:

    What looks like “hourtewd” is really “hourte” plus “won,” which is the author’s spelling of “one.” The d is actually an o. What you see above the o is a mark or squiggle indicating that the word is abbreviated—the kind of thing found very frequently in medieval documents. (Note that in the next line “wons” is the spellling used for “ones.” Won = one. Wons = ones.)

    • Thanks! That makes sense. I had recognized that convention elsewhere in this passage, but thought the first ‘d’ looked like this one. The early European/medieval orthography can be confusing. Throw in obsolete (to us) words and unregulated spellings and it becomes even more so.

  6. Rick Duker says:

    I came across those abbreviations many times when I transcribed the book of Revelation from the 1560 Geneva Bible into a more modern format. You can see another example in the second last line above, where the line over the ‘e’ in ‘the’ means to add an ‘n’ at the end of the word.

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