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1:33 PM
A: How do protestant Christians keep the sabbath?

NathanielWithin Protestantism there are many views regarding the proper way to keep the Sabbath. I'll provide a brief overview of three of the main views: Spiritual Sabbath, Continental Sabbath, and Puritan Sabbath. Spiritual Sabbath This view is probably the most common among Protestants. Proponents...

This old question has been answered many times, but no one has attempted to provide a brief overview of major protestant views. I've added an answer to that effect.
2 hours later…
3:41 PM
@ThaddeusB Dick's answer also came years later.
Regard brasshat's answer:
English listeners from the early 17th century would have had no understanding of the word "slave". I think you need a source. — fredsbend 41 secs ago
I think it's mostly speculation.
Your answer is certainly the best. Jim Thio comes back about once a month. He might give you the selection eventually.
3 hours later…
6:21 PM
@fredsbend You are probably right. Hopefully, brasshat will return and provide some support for his answer.... My answer doesn't really apply to the KJV, as I was only answering for modern translators (the question links to NIV). The KJ translators presumably made their choice for other reasons.
3 hours later…
9:02 PM
@ThaddeusB brasshat's answer sounds logical, but I have doubts that "slave" was not a well understood word in 17th century England. Other than what brasshat has suggested, I don't know why the KJV would favor "servant".
Slavery in the British Isles existed from before the Roman occupation. Chattel slavery virtually disappeared after the Norman Conquest to be replaced by feudalism and serfdom. From the 17th century until well into the 19th century, transportation to the colonies as a criminal or an indentured servant served as punishment for both major and petty crimes in England and Ireland. During the same period, workhouses employed people whose poverty left them no other alternative than to work under forced labour conditions. British merchants were among the largest participants in the Atlantic slave trade...
That leaves me with the impression that "bond-servant" might have actually meant more than slave to 17th century England. Though still speculation without some kind of source or data. If I can find references to slaves in literature from that era, then the hypothesis is shot.
> From the 16th to the 19th centuries it is estimated that between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and Barbary slave traders and sold as slaves.
I have my doubts still. That section continues with a quote from 1611:
> many great ships of value and thousands of His Majesty's subjects have been taken by [Barbary pirates], and do still remain in miserable slavery.
Britain was also the leader in the African slave trade by the end of the 16th century. [Same wikipedia source].
I think I could probably find many instances of slavery imagery using the word "slave" in English literature from that time.
I think that puts a big hole in the hypothesis.
9:25 PM
@fredsbend From the Oxford English Dictionary:
1569 R. Grafton Chron. II. 2 Before the commyng of the sayde William there were no slaues or bondmen.
1616 Shakespeare Tempest (1623) i. ii. 310 Wee'll visit Caliban, my slaue, who neuer Yeelds vs kinde answere.
(the closest two entries to the 1611 date for the original KJV)
@ThaddeusB I don't really know how to use it, but I think its called Google ngrams. It's pretty sweet for this kind of thing. Automatically makes graphs and everything.
The OED does offer a couple archaic definitions that could explain why a KJ translator might avoid the term, depending on how common the term was at the time.
Used as a term of contempt (example 1616 Shakespeare Coriolanus (1623) i. vii. 39 Where is that Slaue Which told me they had beate you to your Trenches?)
In less serious use: Rascal; fellow (example: 1616 Shakespeare Coriolanus (1623) iv. v. 175 Oh Slaues, I can tell you Newes, News you Rascals.)
This is interesting. KJ translators certainly wouldn't want confusion like that.
@fredsbend Ngrams is fun to play with, but it only goes back to 1800. Here is the relative frequency graph for slave vs. servant
Relative to servant, slave was rarely used.
9:39 PM
@fredsbend Nice, didn't know it could do that. :) The corpus size might prevent drawing too firm of a conclusion, but it does provide at least some evidence that "slave" was a rare word in 1611
@fredsbend Though ironically, on the chart at your link, "slave" and "servant" approach one another right around 1611, when the original KJV translation was published.
@LeeWoofenden What I actually see as more revealing is "servant" moving up drastically after 1611, perhaps because of the KJV's influence on the populace.
@ThaddeusB is ngrams handling those spelling variations that the OED includes?
@Nathaniel Yeah, I've noticed slave with a u more than once. I searched "slaue" but came up with about the same thing.
@fredsbend Perhaps. The KJV did have a major impact on the English language. Still does today.
9:55 PM
@Nathaniel With the u's and v's: books.google.com/ngrams/…
@fredsbend Nice; that's a great tool.
@Nathaniel I would imagine that the ngrams does not attempt to group words with alternate spellings since it is mostly automated. That also means that republications that change u to v (among other letter changes in English history) would report under the modern spelling.
@ThaddeusB True... so I guess works like the "Ante-Nicene Fathers," where all the works are translations of 2nd and 3rd century documents, would get grouped with 19th century works based on the publication date of the translation
@ThaddeusB Also, you might want to study the relationship between alternate spellings, so you wouldn't want them automatically grouped.
@fredsbend Very true
2 hours later…
11:55 PM
I have updated my answer:
A: Why do translations use words like "servants" to mean "slaves"?

ThaddeusBTranslation philosophy The translator's job is to pick the best word(s) to fit their translation philosophy. This could mean the most "literal" (i.e. technically accurate, ignoring connotations) term, or it could mean trying to most accurately capture the intent of the original author, even if ...

Incidentally, word frequency only taps the surface of Google N-grams. Those questions would be "1-grams". To a linguist, things really get interesting more around the the 3-gram level where you can start to see a word's usage pattern.
Here is an overview of what the tool can do.

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