In Genesis 8:20 through 21 we read of a phrase that is often found in the King James Bible - a sweet savour.
"And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled A SWEET SAVOUR; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..."
At one of the Bible discussion clubs a Bible critic said the phrase "sweet savour" in the King James Bible, such as is found in Genesis 8:21, Leviticus 6:21, 8:28 and many other places, is wrong because it appeals to the sense of taste rather than smell. He said the phrase should be "a soothing aroma" as is found in versions like the NKJV, NASB, Holman and NIV.
Is there any merit to what this "Bible scholar" says or is he just another pompous gas bag who reveals his ignorance and unbelief by such silly statements? I guess you can already tell what my conclusion is.
First of all, this guy needs to learn his own ENGLISH language. Any schoolboy can get an English dictionary and look up the word SAVOUR, or savor. Webster's Dictionary defines savor as "a particular TASTE or SMELL", and "the quality in a substance that affects the sense of TASTE OR SMELL."
The American Heritage Dictionary defines "savor" as "The taste OR SMELL of something."
The Cambridge Dictionary of the English language defines savor as: "A SMELL or taste, especially a pleasant one."
It is amazing how a little study of the English language can clear things up for those who have been dumbed down by the modern American education system.
Secondly, not only does the King James Bible render this word as "sweet SAVOUR" in Genesis 8:21 and the other passages but so also do the following Bible versions: Tyndale 1530, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Webster's 1833, Douay 1950, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, World English Bible, Hebrew Names Version, KJV 21st Century Version, and the Third Millenium Bible.
Thirdly, a very important connection is lost in the modern versions when they refer to the Old Testament sacrifices like that in Genesis 8:21 as a "pleasing aroma" (NIV) or "a soothing aroma" (NKJV, NASB) instead of a "sweet savour", and how they all point to Christ as the ultimate sacrifice.
In Ephesians 5:2 in the King James Bible we read: "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for A SWEETSMELLING SAVOUR." The King James Bible consistently refers to the O.T. sacrifices as God SMELLING a "sweet savour" and to Christ as their ultimate fulfillment as a "sweetsmelling SAVOUR".
"SWEETSMELLING SAVOUR" is also found in Ephesians 5:2 in the following Bible translations: Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Wesley's translation 1755, Webster's translation 1833, Darby 1870, the KJV 21st Century 1994 and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.
But this connection between the Old Testament sacrifices and the sacrifice of Christ both being "a sweet smelling savour" is obscured in most modern versions.
The NKJV has "a soothing aroma" in Genesis 8:21 but Christ as "a sweet smelling aroma" in Ephesians 5:2.
The NASB has "a soothing aroma" in Genesis 8:21 but Christ as "a fragrant aroma" in Ephesians 5:2.
The NIV and Holman Standard have "a pleasing aroma" in Genesis 8:21 but Christ as "a fragrant offering" in Ephesians.
The King James Bible is right as always, and this Bible critic would do much better to learn his own English language first rather than running around posting his nonsense.
Here is a list that compares two verses, one from the O.T. and one from the New Testament and shows how the various versions translate this phrase.
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Wycliffe’s translation 1395 - And the Lord sauerede the odour of swetnesse
Coverdale 1535 - And ye LORDE smelled the swete sauor
The Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540 - And the Lorde smelled a swete sauoure.
Matthew’s Bible 1549 - And the Lorde smelled a swete sauour,
Bishops’ Bible 1568 - And the Lorde smelled a sweete sauour
Geneva Bible 1587 - And the Lord smelled a sauour of rest
Webster’s 1833 translation - And the LORD smelled a sweet savor
Revised English Version 1885 - And the LORD smelled the sweet savour
ASV 1901- And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor
JPS (Jewish Publication Society) 1917 - And the LORD smelled the sweet savour
Hebrew Publishing Company 1936 translation - And the LORD smelled a sweet savour
The Douay-Rheims - And the Lord smelled a sweet savour
Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac - And the LORD smelled the sweet savour
KJV 21st Century Version 1994, Third Millenium Bible 1998 - And the LORD smelled a sweet savor
Updated Bible Version 2004 - And Yahweh smelled the sweet savor
NASB - The LORD smelled the soothing aroma
NIV - The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma
Holman Standard - When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma
ESV - And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma
NKJV - And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma.
2 Corinthians 2:15 - For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
Tyndale 1525 - For we are vnto God the swete savoure of Christ
Coverdale 1535 - For we are vnto God the good sauoure of Christ,
Bishops’ bible 1568 - For we are vnto God the sweete sauour of Christe
Geneva Bible 1587 - For wee are vnto God the sweete sauour of Christ
English Revised Version 1885 - For we are a sweet savour of Christ unto God
ASV 1901 - For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God
Webster’s 1833 - For we are to God a sweet savor of Christ
Lamsa’s translation 1936 -For we are a sweet savour to God through Christ
KJV 21st Century Version 1994, Third Millenium Bible 1998 - For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ
Updated Bible Version 2004 - For we are a sweet savor of Christ to God
NASB - For we are a fragrance of Christ to God
NIV - For we are to God the aroma of Christ
Holman Standard - For to God we are the fragrance of Christ
ESV - For we are the aroma of Christ to God
NKJV - For we are to God the fragrance of Christ
Douay-Rheims - For we are the good odour of Christ unto God