Translating "witch" (was RE: The Potterverse)

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sun Feb 22 12:09:17 EST 2004


> That's the story I find in 1 Samuel 28.  Y'know what I think interesting
> there?  That we call her the Witch of Endor, whereas that word is *not*
> used in the King James (nor in the New English) any more than it
> is in the original.  She's called "a woman who had a familiar spirit".  So
> when and from where did she get the title "witch" tacked on to her?

Interesting question - I think the short answer is that it *is* in the King
James Bible, but in the page heading, not the text itself. But whether that
was the first English bible to use the word, I'm not sure. Interestingly
it's not in the Geneva Bible's translation or marginal notes - though the
notes emphasize that it wasn't the real spirit of Samuel that she raised,
just Satan in disguise - as with the necromantic scenes in *Dr Faustus*!

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