In Acts 9:5 the KJV says:
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:
it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
The translators of the modern versions claim that the word ‘pricks’ is a mistranslation in the KJB. And in Acts 9:5 the NIV says: kick against the goads.
Keep in mind the NIV translators often claim the King James Bible uses out dated language and because of that, they need to update the language so people can understand it.
Well if you’re supposed to be updating language that is more modern, why are you using an archaic, out of date word like ‘goads’?
Makes me wonder if they are against out-of-date words OR if they are against 1 bible?
So why did the translators of the NIV use: goads. After all, it is a word that is outdated, out of use and unfamiliar to most people.
So what is a goad?
A goad is something farmers would use. It’s a spiked stick used for driving cattle.
What that has to do with context of Acts 9:5 is still a mystery to me? My guess is there are trying to point out that Saul is like a cow being stuck with a stick. I guess if you try hard enough you can make that work. But I don’t see why or how an agricultural word picture helps anyone understand the passage better.
But ‘pricks’ means to hurt oneself by persisting in useless resistance.
And that’s exactly what Saul was doing. He is trying to kick against the pricks of his inmost heart and conscience.
As a side note, the ERV: Easy-to-Read Version (yes, there is really a version called this) says:
‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself by fighting me.’
Ironically enough the ERV uses NO agricultural word picture that remotely defines a goad. BUT, they do DEFINE the word ‘pricks’ by saying: to hurt oneself by persisting in useless resistance.
To wrap up, here are 3 reasons why the NIV translators got it WRONG:
Number One: If you're against archaic words, then why are you using one.
Number Two: The context of the verse gives no indication of an agricultural analogy.
If any word is to be used based on context it's clear that pricks: ‘to hurt oneself’ certainly fits the context.
Your conscience pricked you. (It's to cause guilt when YOUR doing something wrong).
No one would ever say: your conscience goaded you.
Number Three: ’kick against the pricks; is in:
- the Old Latin and some Vulgate manuscripts
- the Peshitta
- the greek of Codex E and 431.
- The only supposed manuscript that goad is found is the NIV, NKJV, RSV, NASB
Every word of God is pure! And the King James translators surely got it right when using: ‘pricks’.