King James Problem Words

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Crabtownboy, Apr 1, 2008.

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  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    A big problem for many people are the obscure words used in the King James Bible and words whose meaning has changed through the centurues.

    Examples --- what do the following words mean. How many did you get right before looking them up?

    1 Cockle

    2 Corn [remember corn as we know it came from the "New World."]

    3 Gin

    4 Greaves

    5 Quaternion

    6 Haft

    7 Diadem

    8 Lot

    9 Lees

    10 Verily


    There are many more. How did you score?
     
  2. readmore

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    I got a couple right... :smilewinkgrin:

    For me the problem is not so much words that I don't recognize--I can just look them up. The problem is words that have changed their meaning, but don't give any indication that they mean something different right away, such as "prevent" or "quick".
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    Yes, that is a problem....and think how difficult it is for whom English is a second langauge.
     
  4. David Lamb

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    Here is what I as a speaker of British English, understand by those words:

    1 Cockle: a shellfish

    2 Corn [remember corn as we know it came from the "New World."]: Corn means the same to me as it did to the translators of the KJV/AV - a generic word for grain.

    3 Gin: an alcoholic drink, or a trap (The second meaning is the one in the bible)

    4 Greaves: a piece of armour for the legs

    5 Quaternion: As a centurion was an officer in charge of a hundred soldiers, I would guess that a quaternion would be a group of four soldiers, or the officer in charge of them.

    6 Haft: The handle of an axe, or similar implement.

    7 Diadem: a crown

    8 Lot: a personal name (as in Abraham's relative); portion

    9 Lees: dregs

    10 Verily: truly

    Only 2 and 6 are used with any regularity in modern British English, with the same meaning as they had in 1611.

    I agree with Readmore, who said: "The problem is words that have changed their meaning, but don't give any indication that they mean something different right away." There are many such words. "Let", "meat", "suffer", "peculiar", "pretence", "anon", "conversation" and "bowels" are just a few.
     
  5. Crabtownboy

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    Very good for you. I am impressed.

    And let's not forget "charity" that meant "agape love" and not generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one's life to charity. Most Americans would understand the word as aid to the poor.
     
  6. Jkdbuck76

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    I remember when we read Shakespeare in 10th grade..... Our teacher had to explain to us that against back then means with in today's usage.

    I have a NKJV and a Bibleworks CD-Rom, so I don't sweat it too much. I think if anyone is going to study the Bible, they need some good study aids.
     
  7. Jerome

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    A big problem for many people are the obscure words used in modern versions and words whose meaning has changed in just a few years.

    Corn [remember corn as we know it came from the "New World."]
    "grind the corn" Isaiah 47:2, New Living Translation(1996).

    Greaves
    "on his legs he wore bronze greaves" I Sam. 17:6, New International Version.
     
    #7 Jerome, Apr 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2008
  8. Jerome

    Jerome
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    I shudder to think what most Americans would guess "agape love" means.
     
  9. tinytim

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    ONe that I found just this week that has changed it's meaning is the word "without" it means in the KJV to be "outside of" something, not just to be lacking something...
    We are either "IN" Christ or "WITHOUT" (outside of) Christ

    Maybe you all already knew this... but I didn't, and I grew up using the KJV.

    Look at this passage, and read it using this meaning of without.. it makes the passage come alive...
    (bolded emphasis mine)
    John 15:5
    (5)
    I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
     
  10. David Lamb

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    Yes, I remember as a child singing a hymn that said:
    There is a green hill far away
    Without a city wall.

    I used to think how strange it would be for a green hill to have a city wall. But of course it meant that the hill was outside the city wall, and indeed modern hymn books tend to use "outside" rather than "without".
    Similarly, another hymn we sang as children said that Jesus "chose a poor and humble lot", and I thought it meant that the disciples were a humble lot. Perhaps Americans would think of car parks, (which they call "parking lots") or areas of land (as in "the neighbouring - whoops! - neighboring lot").

    Even so, does not the Greek word translated "without" in John 15.5 mean "separate"? Strong's says it means "separately or apart from (often as preposition):— beside, by itself, without." It is not the same word as that used in Hebrews 13.12 and 13, where "without" does indeed mean "outside":


    12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.


     
  11. tinytim

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    If you are seperated from being IN Christ, as Christ is speaking of in John 15:5, are you not "outside" of Christ?....

    If Christians are IN Christ, and someone is seperate from that group, they are outside Christ. So even though it is a different word, the ultimate meaning is there. What is the opposite of being IN something? Being outside of something...
     
  12. Logos1560

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    Words that are not in use can be looked up if they are found in a present one-volume English dictionary. While there are a number of words used in the KJV that may not be found in some present one-volume paperback English dictionaries, most of them with the meaning as used in that day are found in the multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary. On the other hand, most readers would not look up words whose meaning they assume or think that they already know. Therefore, the words whose meaning has changed from the meaning the words had in the 1500's and 1600's can lead to a misunderstanding of various phrases and verses in the KJV.
     
  13. Logos1560

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    If you list any more examples, you will soon contradict the claims of some KJV-only authors who say that there are only twelve to twenty-four obscure or archaic words in the KJV.

    KJV-only advocate Robert Sargent claimed: "No one denies the AV does contain some archaic words, albeit no more than a dozen" (Is the NKJB the Word of God, p. 4). Pastor Bruce Cummons claimed that there are "perhaps 12 or 14 at the most" archaic words in the KJV (Critique of the NKJV). Jack Moorman wrote that no more than twenty words in the KJV would cause a problem as "Old English" (Modern Bibles--the Dark Secret, p. 2). Lloyd Streeter maintained that "there are only about two dozen of these" 'difficult' words" (75 Problems, p. 279).
     
  14. Logos1560

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    Eccl. 9:4 in the 1568 Bishops' Bible
    for a quick dog [say they] is better then a dead lion

    Romans 12:1 in the 1568 Bishops' Bible
    I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercifulness of God, that ye give up your bodies a quick sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service

    Romans 14:9 in the 1568 Bishops' Bible
    For to this end Christ both died and rose again and revived, that he might be Lord both of dead & quick.

    Did the KJV translators improve on the Bishops' Bible by updating "quick" in the above three examples?
     
  15. Salamander

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    Since I am commanded to study and show myself approved, I won't attemtpt to let my understanding dictate what the word of God means.

    To suggest this is almost encouraging that as to be authoritive over what the word of God actually says. I like to keep God as my Pilot and not the co-pilot.:godisgood:

    Oh, I forgot, I failed miserably, but GOD scored 100% !!!
     
  16. Salamander

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    Since a quick dog must be alive to outrun a dead lion, and a dead lion can't run, I fail to see your point!
     
  17. Salamander

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    Whenever I read something I am not completely familiar with all the words to come to a conclusion, I look the words up in a trustworthy dictionary, and so do you.

    You seem to demand everyone who speaks English to know the definition of every word offered in any version, then object to anyone using a dictionary to fully understand the KJB, that is very hypocritical in essence and even kindof promoting ignorance in the same breath.
     
  18. Salamander

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    Nice conjecture and nothing offere as proof.
     
  19. Logos1560

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    Are you implying that there was no need for the KJV translators to change "quick" at Eccl. 9:4 to "living" or that it was wrong for them to update it?
     
  20. Salamander

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    How many members of your church are you suggesting are unfruitful that God would have men take outside and burn?

    Isn't it rather understood that those who are in the body of Christ as church members, yet having no ability to produce fruit due to their not having the eternal relationship in Christ, as being those who have made a false profession and are truly lost?

    Whereas James said faith is dead without works.
     
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