HISTORY OF THE TRANSLATION OF TESHUQA.
138. Were the teaching true that all women must suffer pain and servitude for the sin of Eve, then it were pertinent to ask, Why must they suffer thus,—because they are Eve's offspring? Are not men equally the offspring of Eve? The only answer is, "Because they are female offspring." But who made them female offspring,—women or God? GOD. Then are we taught that God is punishing women, not for their own fault, not because they are sinners, not even because Eve sinned; God is punishing women for what He Himself made them—because they are women, not men. Away with such an attack upon God's reputation for justice! And further, the idea that "sorrow," in this verse means labor pains, or periodical suffering in women, is far-fetched; the same word is used of Adam in the very next verse. This word is not used for such suffering anywhere in all the Scriptures.
139. Since this passage in Genesis, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband," has been the cause of much immorality among men, in the cruelty and oppression they have inflicted upon their wives; since this false translation has been the cause of much degradation, unhappiness and suffering to women; and since this translation has been made the very keystone of an arch of doctrine subordinating woman to man, without which keystone the arch itself falls to pieces; and since the Apostle Paul's utterances on the "woman question" are always interpreted as though this perversion of the sense of Genesis 3:16 was his accepted foundation upon which he builds his super-structure, it behooves us to review again the history of the ancient translation of the word teshuqa, and this we will do with the aid of the appended table:
From this Table we readily see that of the twelve ancient versions, 10 furnish us with the rendering “turning,” in at least one passage.
Of the 28 known rendering of teshuqa, in the above Table, the word is rendered “turning” 21 times.
In the 7 remaining renderings, only 2 seem to agree; all the others disagree.
140. With such testimony as this before us (and we have quoted every ancient version we have been able to find, and none of importance, as likely to shed the least light on the meaning of this word are omitted from the list), we can see no justification for rendering this word "desire." Even the Babylonian Targum renders it "turning" in the second passage (Genesis 4:7), and thus lends its authority to this sense. Nothing but that rabbinic perversion and addition to the Scriptures, teaching that God pronounced ten curses on Eve (something that Scripture nowhere teaches) seems to be at the bottom of this extraordinary reading. A hint of such a meaning for teshuqa as "lust" seems to have crept into the Bible through Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. But even he did not give the sense "appetite" for the word as relates to Eve, but as to Abel; and further, even Jerome adds his authority, in his translation of the third passage, to the sense "turning," and for 3:16, in his writings,—see Additional Note.
141. But let us now trace the adoption of "desire" into the English versions. In 1380 appeared the first English version by Wycliffe. It was not made from the Hebrew original, but from the Latin Vulgate, and it follows its readings in all three places. The Douay Bible, of 1609, of the Roman Catholic Church, is also a reproduction of the Latin Vulgate. Putting these two on one side as mere translations of the Vulgate, we turn to the others.
142. After Wycliffe's version, and before any other English Bible appeared, an Italian Dominican monk, named Pagnino, translated the Hebrew Bible. The Biographie Universelle, quotes the following criticism of his work, in the language of Richard Simon: "Pagnino has too much neglected the ancient versions of Scripture to attach himself to the teachings of the rabbis." What would we naturally expect, therefore? That he would render this word "lust,"—and that is precisely what he does in the first and the third place; in the second, he translates, "appetite."
143. Pagnino's version was published at Lyons in 1528. Seven years later, in 1535, Coverdale's English Bible appeared, published at Zurich, probably. Tyndale's version, in sections, had appeared in the time between Pagnino's and Coverdale's, published at Cologne and at Worms. It is to be noted that these were days of persecution, when no English Bible could have been published in England, and this may in part account for these versions being influenced by Pagnino. At any rate, from the time Pagnino's version appeared, every English version, excepting the two Vulgate translations we put on one side, has followed Pagnino's rendering for the first passage, up to the present day. As to the second passage, Cranmer's Bible (1539) first introduced "lust" into this place, which was later followed by the Geneva Bible, and the Authorized and Revised versions. But Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew (John Rogers) and Cranmer all retained "turning" in the third passage. But the three latest Protestant Bibles, Geneva, Authorized and Revised, have obliterated all trace of any other sense but "desire." The reading of the older English Bibles which follow Pagnino is, "Thy lust (or lusts) shall pertayne to thy husband."
144. Now will you please turn to the Title Page of your Bible. If you have an Authorized Version, you will read the assurance given to the reader, that the Book has been "Translated out of the original tongues; and with the former translations diligently compared and revised." If you have a Revised Version of 1884, it will claim to be "the version set forth A. D. 1611 compared with the most ancient authorities and revised." These assurances do not hold good, in this case where the status and welfare of one-half the human race is directly and vitally concerned; and the highest good of the other half just as vitally concerned, if even more remotely and less visibly. Pagnino's word has been retained against the overwhelming authority of the ancient versions.
It is to be noted that the Church Fathers seem to be ignorant of any other sense but "turning" for this word. We have noted that the following employ "turning," in one, two, or all three passages: Philo (a Jew—not a Ch. Father died 60 A. D.), Clement of Rome (d. 100), Irenaeus (d. 202), Tertullian (born 160), Origen (b. 186), Epiphanius (b. 310 in Palestine), Jerome (b. 335,—in both Genesis verses, in spite of his own different renderings), Ambrose (b. 340), Augustine (b. 354), and Theodoret (b. 386).
In spite of the plain sense of the Greek words apostrophe and evistrophe, and 'the Latin rendering of teshuqa, conversio (all conveying, in their root, the sense of "turning"), the well known translation of the Church Fathers, published by T. and T. Clark of Edinburgh, renders the word "desire," in these passages. But these words cannot be lawfully rendered thus.Notes
 or alliance.
 We give this date for the publication of the Talmud on the high authority of Prof. D. S. Margoliouth, M.A. of Oxford, in his valuable work, Lines of Defense of the Biblical Revelation. The date has often been fixed as early as 300 A.D.