Part 2 - Those Dreadful Archaic Words

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In chapter Two of Rick Norris' book, The Unbound Scriptures, he takes up the issue of archaic words. Mr. Norris says: "Nothing does more dishonor to God's Word than to leave it in the condition where there is a necessity for the ordinary preacher to update its archaic words, clarify some renderings, or correct its errors, whether errors of printing or of translation."

Mr. Norris asks: "How are differences in explaining the meaning of archaic words different from having an updated translation with the correct updated meaning of the archaic words?"

Mr. Norris overstates his case just a tad when he says: "Words used with quite different meaning from what they once possessed are like hidden rocks which give no notice of their presence but on which a boat is more likely to be shipwrecked than on rocks that can be seen above the water."

"When KJV-only advocates complain about claimed archaic words remaining in modern translations, in effect they are also condemning the greater number of archaic words in the KJV."

First of all, when Mr. Norris says "nothing dishonors God's word more than having to update or explain archaic words", I strongly disagree with his assessment. If I am to choose between an older version that occasionally uses archaic or difficult words yet is in fact the true, preserved, inerrant, and doctrinally sound words of God, and a more modern version that may be easier to understand but which omits thousands of God inspired words, waters down or perverts sound doctrine and changes the meaning of what God has said, then the choice is a clear and easy one to make.

Mr. Norris is being more than a little inconsistent in applying his standards. On the one hand he tells us ONLY the original Hebrew and Greek are the final authority for evaluating all translations. Yet the Hebrew and Greek languages are both far more difficult and archaic than anything you will find in the King James Bible.

Then he recommends we use a more modern bible version, without ever identifying WHICH Bible version he personally thinks is more accurate and true to "the originals".

I myself have not always been a King James Bible only believer. Several years ago I was presented with the claims of King James Onlyism and I began to examine what I really believed about the Bible. As I studied, prayed and compared the various versions out there, it soon became obvious that they are not all the same and that I can easily find proveable errors in them all except one - the King James Bible.

God has clearly set His providential mark of approval on the English Bible in the way He has used it throughout history. I believe in the sovereignty of God. It was the King James Bible and its underlying texts that was used from the late 1700's to the mid 1900's to carry out the worldwide missionary movement and to translate the Bible into hundreds of foreign languages.

It was the King James Bible that was used of God in every legitimate revival among English speaking people, including the First and Second Great Awakenings in both England and America. The King James Bible was the one taken to the moon and read from outer space - just a "coincidence".

It is the King James Bible that is defended as the only true, inerrant, complete word of God by many believing Christians not only in America, but also in England, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the Phillipines. None of the modern versionists seriously defend their versions as being the inerrant word of God.

It is the King James Bible that has been mercilessly attacked by its critics and yet after all this time not one single error has been proven to exist within its pages. Believe me, I have heard most of the allegations of error in the King James Bible and upon further examination they are found to be groundless.

The King James Bible has become the Standard for all other English translations. Tyndale's New Testament did not follow the same book order as is found in the KJB, and the Geneva Bible, which was the first English Bible to have chapter and verse numbering, did not match the King James Bible's verse numbers. Yet now every English bible version follows the chapter and verse numbers of the KJB, and even when versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, ISV omit whole verses, they simply "skip over" the numbered verse.

Of far greater dishonor to God's pure words is the perversion of sound doctrines and the subtle attacks on the character and deity of Christ found in ALL modern versions.

Various modern versions teach that God can be deceived; Jesus lied; Christ has an "origin"; there was a time when Christ was not the Son of God; Christ needed a sacrifice to atone for His sins when he was a baby; Satan is the ruler of this world; and our righteousness is our "good deeds".

For several examples of how modern versions detract from the Person of Christ and undermine sound doctrine see my article titled No Doctrines are Changed? at this site.

It seems that Mr. Norris cares little about what the various bible versions actually SAY, and which texts they are based on, just so long as they are "easy to understand".

Mr. Norris is mistaken when he says King James Bible believers "complain" about archaic words in the modern versions and thus condemn those that are found in the KJB. Rather we try to point out the inconsistency of those who attack the KJB for words hard to be understood when most modern versions contain many words that the typical high schooler would not know how to define.

Try giving this vocabulary test from the NIV to the average English speaker and see if they would get a passing score.

NIV Vocabulary Test

abashed, abominable, abutted, acclaim, adder, adhere, admonishing, advocate, alcove, algum, allocate, allots, ally, aloes, appease, ardent, armlets, arrayed, astir, atonement, awl, banishment, battlements, behemoth, belial, bereaves, betrothed, bier, blighted, booty, brayed, breaching, breakers, buffeted, burnished, calamus, capital (not a city), carnelian, carrion, centurions, chasm, chronic, chrysolite, cistern, citadel, citron, clefts, cohorts, colonnades, complacency, coney, concession, congealed, conjure, contrite, convocations, crest, cors, curds, dandled, dappled, debauchery, decimated, deluged, denarii, depose, derides, despoil, dire,dispossess, disrepute, dissipation, distill, dissuade, divination, dragnet, dropsy, duplicity, earthenware, ebony, emasculate, emission, encroach, enmity, enthralled, entreaty, ephod, epicurean, ewe, excrement, exodus, factions, felled, festal, fettered, figurehead, filigree, flagstaff, fomenting, forded, fowler, gadfly, galled, gird, gauntness, gecko, gloating, goiim, harrowing, haunt, hearld, henna, homers, hoopoe, ignoble, impaled, implore, incur, indignant, insatiable, insolence, intact, invoked, jambs, joists, jowls, lairs, lamentation, leviathan, libations, loins, magi, manifold, maritime, mattocks, maxims, mina, misdemeanor, mother-of-pearl, mustering, myrtles, naive, naught, Negev, Nephilim, nettles, nocturnal, nomad, notorious, Nubians, oblivion, obsolete, odious, offal, omer, oracles, overweening, parapet, parchments, pavilion, peals (noun, not the verb), perjurers, perpetuate, pestilence, pinions, phylacteries, plumage, pomp, porphyry, portent, potsherd, proconsul, propriety, poultice, Praetorium, pretext, profligate, promiscuity, provincial, providence, qualm, quarries, quivers (noun, not verb), ramparts, ransacked, ratified, ravish, rabble, rawboned, relish (not for hotdogs), recoils, recount, refrain, relent, rend, reposes, reprimanded, reputed, retinue, retorted, retribution, rifts, roebucks, rue, sachet, satraps, sated, shipwrights, siegeworks, sinews, sistrums, sledges, smelted, somber, soothsayer, sovereignty, spelt, stadia, stench, stipulation, sullen, tamarisk, tanner, temperate, tether, tetrarch, terebinth, thresher, throes, thronged, tiaras, tinder, tracts, transcends, tresses, turbulent, tyrannical, unscathed, unrelenting, usury, vassal, vaunts, vehemently, verdant, vexed, wadi, wanton, warranted, wield, winnowing and wrenched.

It is funny that I can put together the phrase from the KJB which says; "The very sad green giant was hungry" and in the NIV it would be: "The overweening dejected verdant Nephilim was famished."

So you see, the modern versions also have many words that are hard to be understood and Mr. Norris' "logic" has again been shown to be fallacious.

Many people clamor for updating the language of the King James Bible, and I will admit there are a few words that do need to be explained and that could be modernized, such as "conversation" when it means "manner of living" and "let" when it means "to hinder", and possibly "prevent" when it means "to go before or to precede", but who is going to do it and not mess with other things that make it worse?

The NKJV and several other modern versions have "modernized" these few words but in addition they have messed up scores if not hundreds of other passages. For some examples of this see my article on The Old Fashioned Language of the King James Bible

Is Archaic language always bad? What about all those "Ye"s, and "Thee"s? Would you change all those words like "ye, thee, thine, and thy"? Do you know the difference in meaning and why they are actually more accurate than the modernized, generic "you" as found in the NKJV, NIV, ESV?

Most languages have a singular and a plural form of the second person - the person being spoken to - "you". There is the singular "you" and then there is the plural, like "you all". This is found in the Hebrew and Greek languages as well as Spanish, French, Italian and many other world languages.

In English this distinction is expressed by "Thou" meaning "you singular, and you alone" and "Ye" meaning "all of you, plural". This distinction makes a big difference in hundreds of passages in the Bible.

For instance, in Luke 22:31-32 the Lord says to Peter: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have YOU, that he may sift YOU as wheat: But I have prayed for THEE, that THY faith fail not: and when THOU art converted, strengthen THY brethren."

Here the word YOU is plural in both the Greek and the English, meaning Satan was going to sift all of the disciples, "you all", but Jesus is letting Peter know that He had prayed for him (thee) specifically as an individual.

In John chapter four, the Samaritan woman at the well is speaking to Jesus and says: "Sir, I perceive that THOU art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and YE say (all you Jews)that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."

Then the Lord says to this individual: "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when YE shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. YE worship Ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews." Here the YE means "all of you who are Samaritans", not just the individual woman to whom He was speaking.

One more of hundreds of such examples that could be given shows this important distinction between "thee" (an individual) and "you" meaning "you all". The young David had gone out to meet Goliath the Philistine and he was speaking to one individual, the giant. David says to him: "THOU comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield, but I come to THEE in the name of the LORD..for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give YOU into our hands." David was not just telling Goliath that God would deliver him up, but ALL of the Philistines - "you all".

A simple rule of thumb is if the word begins with a T, as in thou, thy, thee, then it is singular; and if it begins with a Y, as in you, your, ye, then it is plural, meaning "you all".

The use of "thou" and "ye" may be "archaic" because we don't speak this way today, but it is far more accurate and reflects the Hebrew and the Greek languages that underlie the King James text. In fact, not even in 1611 did they speak this way. Read the preface to the KJB and you will see they did not use the "thee"s and "ye"s as they are found in the Scriptures.

Not only does the King James Bible use "thy" and "thee" and "ye" but so also do the Revised Version, and the American Standard Version 1901, the Douay version 1950, Young's, Darby, the KJV 21st Century version and the Third Millenium Bible.

Even the RSV 1952 and the NASB in 1977 used "thee" and "thou" when addressing God in prayer, though the words "thee" and "thou" are not just used to show reverence for God, but rather express the second person singular of anyone, including the devil himself. The NASB, RSV both say in John 17:2 " thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him." But then in 1995 the NASB changed their texts again and now read the generic "You". So were "thou" and "thee" not archaic in 1977, but then became so in the next few years?

The King James Bible is more precise and accurate with its use of "thou" and "ye", and when you update and modernize these "archaic" words to the generic "you", you do so at the expense of sacrificing an important distinction God has placed in His inspired words.

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Other Artilces by Will Kinney

Other Artilces by Will Kinney in the Textus Receptus database ~

Old Testament

Genesis Genesis 1:28 Replenish or Fill? - Genesis 6:6 Can God repent? - Genesis 22:1 Did God "Tempt" Abraham? Exodus Exodus 20:13 Thou Shalt Not KILL - Exodus - the Israelites "borrowed" of the Egyptians Numbers Numbers 22 Why was God Angry with Balaam? Job Bible Babel in Job - a comparative study 1 Samuel 1 Samuel 13:21 "a file" a "pim" or "two-thirds of a shekel"? 2 Samuel 2 Samuel 21:8 Michal or Merab? - 2 Samuel 21:19 Who Killed Goliath? 1 Kings 1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face - 1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed" NKJV Nonsense Psalms Psalm 8:5 Lower than the Angels, or a little lower than God? - Answering Doug Kutilek's anti-Preservation in Psalm 12 - Psalm 74:8 the synagogues of God; Psalm 77:2 my sore ran in the night - Psalms 1 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 2 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 3 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 4 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 5 How Different the Versions! Proverbs NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs - Bible Babel in Proverbs Isaiah Isaiah - a Comparative Study - Does God Create Evil? Isaiah 45:7 Jeremiah Jeremiah 8:8 the pen of the scribes is in vain - Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim or Zedekiah? - Ezekiel Ezekiel 29:7 Hebrew, Greek or Syriac? Hosea Hosea - a Comparative Study

New Testament

Did Jesus Tell Them to Take a Staff or Not? Matthew Is Matthew 23:14 Scripture or not? - Matthew 27:44 cast in teeth Mark Gospel of Mark - a Modern Version Mix-up Luke Is "cousin" wrong in Luke 1:36 - Luke 17:36 Is it inspired Scripture or not? John John 1:18 the only begotten Son Acts Act 3:19 times of refreshing; 7:20 Moses was exceeding fair - Acts 9:5-7 hear the voice; 7:20 exceeding fair - Acts 5:30 slew and hanged; 19:20 word of GOD - Acts 13:33 this day have I begotten thee - Acts 19:9 DIVERS were hardened, and believed not - Acts 19:35 Diana or Artemis? Jupiter, Zeus or Heaven? - The So-called "Science" of Textual Criticism. Science or Hocus-Pocus? Gospels through Acts Romans James White discussing Romans 6:17 Philippians Textual Studies in Philippians 2 Timothy 2 Timothy 3:16 Inspiration of God or God Breathed? Hebrews The Book of Hebrews - a Comparative Study 1 Peter 1 Peter - Shifting Sands of Scholarship 1 John And These Three Are One Article defending the inclusion of 1 John 5:7. - 1 John 5:7 These three are one Jude The Book of Jude - James White's "inferior" texts Revelations Revelation 13 Confusion - Vials or Bowls in the book of Revelation - Rev.16:5 and SHALT BE; 5:8-10 redeemed US - Revelation 17:8 "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" - Acts 28:13 We Fetched a Compass; 1 Tim5:4 Nephews - Matthew 24:3; Hebrews 9:26 End of World or Age?

Modern Versions

Bible Babel 1 - Bible Babel 2 - Bible Babel 3 - Bible Babel 4 - The Oldest and Best Manuscripts? - Every Man for Himself Bible Versions - the HCSB, NET, ESV, TNIV, NKJV - The Inerrancy of Scripture - are you a Bible believer or a Bible agnostic? - True Bible? - Modern Versions Teach Racism - Modern Versions Teach Pride as a Virtue - Do Ghosts Exist? Modern Versions say Yes ESV The English Standard Version 2001 NASB The Ever Changing NASB's NKJV NKJV Word Changes - When the NKJV departs from the TR - The New KJV is a Hack Job Translation - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - Is the NKJV the same as the KJB? - Don't go on Safari with a New KJV Translator - The NKJV is a Poor Substitute for the True Bible - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs

King James Word Definitions

Lucifer - Jehovah - Unicorns - Is the word "Easter" an error in the King James Bible? - Are the words "CHURCH" and 'BISHOP' wrong? - Hell and Damnation in the King James Bible - "By and by" versus "the-by-and-by" - Servants or Slaves? - Is "charity" an error in the KJB? - The Grace of God Destroyed - "Would to God" - Another alleged 'error' bites the dustIs "bottles" an inaccurate word in the King James Bible?

King James Bible

Is King James onlyism Scriptural? - Does the KJB only position "blow up"? - What About Those Printing Errors in 1611? - Does the King James Bible depart from the Hebrew Texts? - Why do you King James Bible onlyies Attack the word of God? - The Historic Confessions support the KJB position - Can a Translation be Inspired? - The Old Latin versions and the KJB


NO LXX Part 1 - NO LXX - the Fictitious Use of Septuagint

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco

Hebrew Text

The NIV, NASB reject the Hebrew Texts - NIV, NASB reject Hebrew texts Part 2 - How to Destroy Messianic Prophecies

Greek Text

"The Greek" and Hebrew Games

Gender Inclusive Versions

Gender Inclusive Versions Dealing with the TNIV

Answering Critics

E mail exchange with Bible Agnostic Doug Kutilek - John MacArthur - Pastor with NO Infallible Bible - A Bible Believer's Response to James Price's book King James Onlyism - a New Sect - A King James Bible Believer's Response to Rick Norris' book 'The Unbound Scriptures' - 17 Parts

Part 1 - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris

Part 2 - Those Dreadful Archaic Words

Part 3 - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible

Part 4 - Revision

Part 5 - Printing Errors and Spelling

Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy

Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible

Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways

Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?

Part 10 - Mules or Hot Springs?

Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?

Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?

Part 13 - The Usual Suspects

Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God

Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument

Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?

Part 17 - Final Thoughts

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