I am not a native English speaker so I am not sure if I understand the text wrong. It seems to me 2 cor 7:12 the two versions are meaning differently.


..., but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.


..., but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.

Aren't "you are devoted to us" and "we care for you" two different things?


Devotion to and care for are somewhat different in modern English usage. However the KJV translation is not modern English and cannot be compared apples-to-apples with the NIV.

Although the KJV you are reading is not the original 1611 version, all the updates have kept inside the general literary tradition it set. Hence the usage of 400 years ago sets the stage for it today and what you really need to wonder is whether the usage of a word from 400 years ago compares to the usage if a different word today.

In this case I don't think they are very far apart at all. I started by saying in modern usage they somewhat different, but that does not mean they are altogether different. The general take away value from both readings is the same even to my modern English ear. If anything "devotion" sounds a little more serious and involved while the every day usage of "care" has such a wide semantic range it can be used for everything for "caring for" an ailing loved one or "not caring for" green vegetables. While the KJV is likely not a bad translation on this point modern usage is so vague it would be hard to tell from just that phrase what level of "care" is implied. The NIV rendering here clarifies that is a very involved interest.

Given that other modern translations use similar wording with the same implication (ESV: "earnestness", NET: "eagerness", HCSB: "diligence", and a dozen other variants including some that prefix "care" with "earnest care" and other similar renderings) I would say it's fairly likely what is lost to us is the implications of the word "care" of 400+ years ago.

A quick look at a lexicon shows other usages in Scripture imply considerably more urgency than just a modern usage of "care" by itself. Again this isn't to say the KJV was wrong, just that the usage of that word has weakened/broadened over time and it likely doesn't covey the original intent very well to a modern ready not familiar with it's nuances.

  • I think the OP's question is referring to the exchange of subject/object of σπουδὴν (care/devotion) presented by the two translations, i.e. KJV's "OUR care for/devotion to YOU" vs NIV's "YOUR care for/devotion to US"
    – enegue
    Mar 12 '18 at 6:49

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