Question on Copyist Error and KJV-Only

A Reader Sent the Following Question:

I am sorry to trouble you with this question but hope you can help.

I am in the process of having to deal with a Ruckmanite who is causing real problems in a Church. I have pointed out to him a copyist error in the KJV and cannot come up with any other explanation than the fact that it is a copyist error that has crept into the translation. The 2 paralell passages in question are 2 Chronicles 22vs 2 & 2 Kings 8 vs 26.

2 Chronicles 22:2

” Forty and two years old was Ahaziah whn he began to reign and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri”

2 Kings 8:26

Two & Twenty Years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign: and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mothers name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri”

I have checked some other translations which suggest he was 22 on both counts. I have also read an attempt by a KJV nut to try an explain it and it was absolutely crazy. I know that the Individual in question will revert to M. Ruckman & Mr. Gipp personally on this issue and further more my knowledge in this area is clearly limited.

The Variorum has in its footnote that 2 Chronicles 22:2 should be 22 and not 42. The NIV & Darby Translation have it on both occasions at age 22.

Thanks for your help I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Jacob Responds:

This is a complicated question.

That he was 22 biologically does not fit the recorded chronology from the death of Ahab until the simltaneous death of his uncle Jehoram with his own.

Many Gentile commentators just attribute it to scribal error. However, the most ancient Jewish sources available explained and attempt to reconcile the apparent contradiction according to an early rabbinic commentary called “Seder Olam” (“The Order of The World” or “Age”) maintaining that the Kings account was reckoned from the emergence of the dynasty of Omri while the Chronicles account is his literal age. This view was later defended by a famous rabbi named Rashi. (Not that I look to rabbis or to any non-believer for doctrine, but I do take into account extra-biblical sources, including rabbinic, for matters like this related to textual criticism). This explanation is plausible but cannot be absolutely proven on the basis of known existing evidence even though such reckonings do have certain scriptural precedents.

In other Words it would be like someone writing that “Jacob Prasch was a born in 1953, 8 years into the Post Second World War era and married at age 30”, while another wrote “Jacob Prasch married 38 years into The Post Second World War era”. One counts from maternal birth while one counts from epochal birth.

I generally do not pay attention to Ruck,anites unless they cause trouble, but when they do there are better and easier points less complicated to nail them on.

In Jesus,
Jacob

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