Is camphire old form of camphor?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Logos1560

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    Oct 22, 2004
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    Is the KJV's rendering "camphire" the old form or spelling of "camphor?"

    The multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary gives no separate entry for camphire. Under its entry for camphor, the OED stated: "Various forms of the word occur in 16th C. England, but the typical form down to C. 1800 was camphire.

    In his 1828 Dictionary, Noah Webster had no entry for camphire. In his 1833 revision of the KJV, Noah Webster updated the spelling or form to "camphor" at Song of Solomon 1:14 and 4:13.

    The Illustrated Bible Treasury maintained that "camphire is an old form of the word camphor" (p. 289).

    Henry Osborn wrote: "The word 'camphire' is but another form of the word 'camphor' of the present times" (Plants of the Bible, p. 67).

    Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary (Unabridged) did have an entry for camphire with the definition "camphor" and noting that it was "obsolete" (p. 261).

    If camphire is an old form or archaic spelling for camphor, why did no other editions of the KJV besides Webster seem to update it?
  2. robycop3

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    Jul 31, 2000
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    Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of 1913 lists it as an old spelling of camphor.

    It is the common name of the henna plant A type of camphor is derived from its flowers. And most MVs render the Hebrew 'kopher' as henna.

    The Etymology Dictionary shows the word 'camphor' as being used in English as early as 1313. Since spelling of many words wasn't then standardized in English, 'camphire' coulda easily been an alternative spelling for camphor.

    And 'camphor' doesn't occur in older KJV editions that i've ever seen.

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