By Dr. Paul Heaton
Paul Heaton is pastor of Bible Baptist Church, 3338 Main Street, P.O. Box 42, Lupton, Michigan 48635, USA. This article is copyrighted and reprinted here by permission of the author.
This article may not be printed in any other form. One copy may be made for the readers own personal use. The article cannot be photo copied, electronically transmitted, reproduced, etc, and distributed in any form for any purpose whatsoever. If you need further copies, contact the author. E-mail: Parbar@i-star.com
A number of years ago (1977) a man by the name of G. Christian Weiss wrote a small book by the title "What You Should Know About Bible Translations." I received a complimentary copy of this book upon correspondence with the Back To The Bible radio program. There is much to be said of this book, but little of it would be complimentary.
In this short treatise, I want to examine just a few of the accusations made in this book in light of the true Word of God (the K.J.B.) and see if they are able to stand up against the claims of Mr. Weiss. Obviously, we will have to resort to other sources, such as a dictionary to look up words that Mr. Weiss claims are obsolete and/or archaic. But, we will always assume that God is correct and man is plainly ignorant and brutish!
On pages fifty-one through fifty-three Mr. Weiss gives us a list of words that are said to no longer be "in current use." We shall comment more fully upon this later. As you might be aware, these words are where most commentators shine. They like the feeling it gives them to be able to say, "The King James is majestic in its Elizabethan English and it was fine in the old days. But, we refined, cultured people of this highly technical and scientific age need a more up-to-date language Bible." Mr. Weiss comments by saying:
No one doubts that the translators did a superb job in capturing literary beauty as they translated God's Word into Elizabethan English.1. (Christian Weiss, What You Should Know About Bible Translations, Lincoln: Back to The Bible Pub., 1977, 51.)
On this account Mr. Weiss is correct! They did such a superb job that is has lasted 383 years (1994) and is still in the language of the day. Do you realize how many versions have hit the market since 1881 and not ONE of them has become the standard of judgment. Yes, my friend, the mighty King James still holds that position. My, isn't God wonderful! "How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out." (Romans 11:33)
Dean Burgon (1813-81), a defender of the King James Bible, made an interesting statement concerning the language used in the R.V. He says of the Revised Version of 1881 [Which is sister to all subsequent versions up to, and including the soon to be published (Feb. 1995) politically correct Bible.] that due to the unsound text it was from it became "the most astonishing as well as the most calamitous, literary blunder of the age." (John William Burgon, The Revision Revised, Paradise, PA: Conservative Classics, n.d., xi.) But, he becomes more personal than this when he writes to Lord Cranbrook concerning his work written in defense of the "Sacred text." In this letter he tells Lord Cranbrook that:
"The English [emphasis his] (as well as the Greek) of the newly 'Revised Version' is hopelessly at fault. It is to me simply unintelligible how a company of Scholars can have spent ten years in elaborating such a very unsatisfactory production. Their uncouth phraseology and their jerky sentences, their pedantic obscurity and their unidiomatic English, contrast painfully with 'the happy turns of expression, the music of the cadences, the felicities of rhythm' of our Authorized Version. "(Ibid., vi.)
Yet, there is no question that part of the reason that would have been given for this revising was to get a Bible in a more "readable" language, and to correct some of the "problems" that the translators could not accomplish because they did not have all the necessary manuscripts. Consider what Dr. Edward Hills declares concerning the same thought.
In the second place, those who talk about translating the Bible into the 'language of today' never define what they mean by this expression. What is the language of today? [emphasis his] The language of 1881 is the not the language of today, nor the language of 1901, nor even the language of 1921. (Edward F. Hills, The King James Version Defended, Des Moines; The Christian Research Press, 1973, 213.)
God does not lower the standard of His book by putting it into the language of today. Kenneth Taylor tried this in his 1971 edition of The Living Bible (the first one) where in I Samuel 20:30 he used a phrase common to this vulgar world. He has since removed the phrase. We do not need a Bible in our language, it would have no spiritual power whatsoever! [Just as none of these "new" Bibles since 1881 have EVER produced a local, national or worldwide revival.] It would be just like reading the newspaper, fictional reading materials, or any other materials written, and "inspired" by men. Note what Mr. Taylor says in the preface of this modern Bible.
This book is a paraphrase of the Old and New Testaments. Its purpose is to say as exactly as possible what the writers of the Scriptures meant, and to say it simply, expanding where necessary for a clear [emphasis mine] understanding by the modern [emphasis mine] reader. (The Living Bible, Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1971, Preface.)
How many times has the word "modern" been used as an excuse for men to make the Living Word of God a prevarication? It is again reiterated by Dr. Hills concerning the type of language that our Bible is (was) written in when he clearly states:
In the first place, the English of the King James Version is not the English of the early 17th century. To be exact, it is not a type of English that was ever spoken anywhere. It is biblical [emphasis mine] English which was not used on ordinary occasions even by the translators who produced the King James Version. (Hills, ibid., 212-13.)
Imagine, if you can, putting a Bible into the language of the people of the United States. The way the language varies just in the north, south, east and west would demand at least four different versions.
The reason Mr. Weiss has gone to such length to make the language of the Bible look weak, is to show that we really do not have a true copy of the Bible since each generation must have its own copy in a language it can read and understand. To make this position stronger, he goes into a spiel about missionaries who translate the Bible into the most "understandable" language of the nations they are in. He does this while including John Wycliffe (1320-1384), Martin Luther (1483-1546), William Tyndale (1494-1536), and others into this same category. That's like a liberal comparing himself with the Apostle Paul because he (the liberal) has written a book like Paul.
Consider that Mr. Weiss' reasoning is not much different from that of Rev. Burton Throckmorton, one of the scholars for the new "politically correct" Bible. Throckmorton says:
We think there are large numbers of people yearning for a Bible that isn't oppressive to so many different groups of people.....The word Father [emphasis his] has always been just a metaphor for God, but the word has become so common that people have forgotten that God does not really have a sex.. David Crumm, "Scholars make Bible politically correct," (Detroit Free Press, 14 November 1994, 1A, 3A. )
Do you suppose that Mr. Weiss would agree with the above statement? If not, why? After all, what is any different from his point of view than Throckmorton's?
Now, let it not be said that Mr. Weiss is (was) not a believer in an inspired Bible! While he can not put his hands on it, he does believe in a book that is inspired and without error. On page 10 of his book he states very emphatically:
The biblical authors did not write by their own impulsion [but]....were inspired by God's Spirit, who Himself moved and directed them. This is what sets the Bible apart from all other books and all other human literature. The belief in the divine inspiration of the holy Scriptures constitutes the cornerstone and foundation of true Christianity. (Weiss, ibid., 10.)
The above statement assures us of his "fundamental" approach and standing on the "Bible." Later on, Mr. Weiss again assures us that he believes in an "inspired" version of the Bible when he says "As with the Old Testament, the original, inspired New Testament manuscripts (also called 'autographs') are no longer in existence." (Ibid., 21.)
However, lest you might mistake his total belief in this on going inspiration just twelve pages later he writes:
"It is important to bear in mind that the words 'Textus Receptus' do not signify any authoritative endorsement of a particular Greek text, as seems to be implied by some people today." (Ibid., 33.)
Now, it is clear that Mr. Weiss does not believe that an infallible, or inerrant version of the Bible is in existence today. But, he does take the stand of many, many Bible believing fundamentalists of our day when he states the following concerning the originals. "Only the original writings were inspired of God; therefore, only the original writings were inerrant, or without error.". Ibid., 60. That statement was made as though Mr. Weiss really knew it was the truth. The question I have is, which copy of the originals? For instance, in Jeremiah 36:2 an "original" is made, and in verse 23 it is burnt. Then in verse 32 Jeremiah makes another "original" and in this one he adds some words to it (at the direction of God). Then this second copy is tossed into the Euphrates river in chapter 51:63! Which one was the original? Was the first one, or the second one the correct copy? If it was the first, then why didn't God save it from the fire? If it was the second, then God must not think much of the originals, for He had them thrown into the river! Here's another thought. Mr. Weiss assures us that certain words now found in the Bible were not in the "original text" (see page 61 of Mr. Weiss' work). How would we know this since the first copy was burnt and the second one was buried in the Euphrates (along with extra words)? Now, we do have a problem do we not? Note the following words of Dr. Herb Noe as he answers this question concerning this very passage.
Was this second roll less inspired than the first because some was written from memory? Another question: Are there any Scriptures anywhere that are not [emphasis his] the autographs that we can say are fully inspired? I guess not, because Bible teachers, preachers, and translators have been trying to change Acts 8:37 for a century. Were the Scriptures that made Timothy wise unto salvation really inspired [emphasis his] Scriptures, like II Timothy 3:15-16, say they were? One thing is certain, neither the Eunuch nor Timothy had the autographs. How could these men be reading inspired Scriptures after hundreds of years of copying? Because God preserved them [emphasis his] -That's how!! (Herbert Noe, Messages to Magnify the Monarch, Milford, OH: John The Baptist Printing Ministry, n.d., 23.)
A friend of mine, Dr. Sam Gipp, writes in answer to a question on our loyalty to the originals by using this very same passage (Jeremiah 36). Bro. Gipp points out that chapters 45-51 are a reproduction of the second original thus constituting a third original! Now there is a point to make one ponder! But, let me reprint you his final closing remarks on this question.
Thus, since we have the text of the 'originals' preserved in the King James Bible we have no need of the originals, even if they were [emphasis his] available. (Samuel Gipp, The Answer Book, Shelbyville: Bible & Literature Missionary Foundation, 1989, 2.)
Dr. David Otis Fuller was at my church back in April of 1981 for a Bible conference. Dr. Fuller was a giant of the faith for years. It was he who founded the Which Bible? Society [Now called the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies.]to help propagate the truth concerning the K.J.B. In this meeting Dr. Fuller spoke the following words from my pulpit.
Now, you know they're - they're playing a game of - I don't know what kind of a game or what it is. It's a foolish, foolish game and it makes me angry. At the same time it makes me think of how absurd, how ridiculous, how childish, how foolish these so-called conservative scholars are! They will say, and they say it, they've said it to me! They say, "Why, I believe in the verbally, plenary, inspired, inerrant Word of God, yes I do!" Well, where is it? "In the original manuscripts." [emphasis mine] Now, let me - I'll agree there - all right I'll stop there. If God did that and caused these original manuscripts, way back there, to be without error then what in the world what was it anyway, what good was it to do that if He allowed His Word to be twisted and changed and aborted and everything else, until today we haven't got it? (Dr. David Otis Fuller, "Sinning Against The Holy Ghost" , audio cassette, Lupton, MI; Bible Baptist Church, 11 April, 1981.)
There it is in plain 20th century English! Yet even 90% of our fundamentalist can't get it. But let's get it one more time from Dr. Fuller as found written by him in the introduction of a book written by Dr. Samuel C. Gipp. Concerning the "originals" Dr. Fuller says:
"I have spoken to many in meetings in this country and Canada and have stated flatly that this is a life and death matter, for IF [emphasis his] we do not have an infallible, pure, inerrant Holy Word of God NOW [emphasis his] (NOT [emphasis his] in the originals which have been lost forever centuries ago) to rest our weary souls upon for time and eternity, THEN [emphasis his] we have but one alternative or option, 'Let's eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and go to hell.'" Dr. David Otis Fuller, Introduction to An Understandable History of the Bible, Dr. Samuel C. Gipp., n.p. 1987, ii. )
Another man, Dr. Robert Barnett, writes concerning this same subject. He says:
"When our forefathers inserted the words 'as originally written' into our doctrinal statements to protest our doctrine of verbal-plenary inspiration, they severed the doctrine of preservation of the scriptures from inspiration........ Verbal-plenary inspiration is a strawman doctrine of the classroom, unless it is paralleled by equal doctrine of verbal-plenary preservation." (Robert Barnett, The Word Of God On Trial; n.p, n.d; 23.)
Call it what you will but when we come to the point that all we have are "copies" of an UNKNOWN (Acts 17:23) original then just as the doctor stated, you have "nothing." If the King James Version is NOT the Word of God, then pray tell, where is it? Hidden among the garbage cans of so-called "reliable" translations that have NO agreement among themselves, translations that deny the Saviour His deity, God His throne, Jesus His virgin birth and a multitude of other doctrinal perversions! If I am wrong about the King James, then I would rather take my punishment for believing that, than ASSUMING that some "reliable" version (or versions) was God's Word only to discover in heaven that God hates them (Proverbs 6:19). Who would not agree that there are some manuscripts somewhere that were inerrant, infallible, and so forth. But unless I can say that I have an inerrant copy of those IN MY HANDS, my faith is empty. Is God "broke" (I speak reverently) that He can not keep His Word? My, my, if He can keep your soul (I Peter 1:5) is He incapable of keeping His Word? I trow not! See Psalms 12:6,7 where we are told they are KEPT and they are PRESERVED.
In a printed message Dr. Bruce Cummons tells us why he believed the K.J.B. is the Word of God. Dr. Cummons states,
"I believe the King James Version to be the very Word of God BECAUSE THE TRANSLATORS OF 1611 BELIEVED THEY WERE HANDLING THE VERY 'WORD OF GOD.'" [emphasis his] (Dr. Bruce D. Cummons, The Foundation And Authority Of The Word Of God, n.p., n.d.; 59.)
Now there is a thought! Though I probably knew that, I had NEVER considered the fact that these men were not trying to rewrite the Bible, rather they were trying to get the very Word of God into print so that even the most unlearned could read the Words of God. They were seeing to the cry of William Tyndale (1494-1536) who, in sharp reply to a popish divine's defense of the Pope's laws said:
'I defy the Pope, and all his laws:' and added, that if God spared him life, ere many years he would cause a boy that driveth the plough, to know more of the scripture than he [the divine] did.. (W. Grinton Berry, ed., Foxe's Book of Marytrs, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978, 139.)
I will conclude this section with a quote from a man by the name of Yarnell. I don't know if Dr. Yarnell wrote the following himself, or found it somewhere (since it's not footnoted I assume it's his own thoughts) but this puts the "icing on the cake" so they say. This is a very lengthly quote, but well worth the paper and ink to reprint it. Dr. Yarnell declares:
Let us look at some undisputed facts about the originals. First: there never was a book of 66 originals of the Bible. Second: there never was a book of the 39 originals of the Old Testament. Third: there never was a book of the 27 originals of the New Testament. Fourth: no one living or dead ever saw the 66, 39 or 27 originals. Fifth: each of the originals was lost, worn out, destroyed or gone within 100 to 150 years of their writing. Sixth: the originals were written over a period of about 1600 years from the first book of Job to the last one Revelation. Seventh: the originals were written a distance of 1500 to 2000 miles apart from each other. Eighth: the originals were written in at least three different languages. Ninth: the originals were written on any number of kinds of materials, with any number of kinds of writing fluid. Tenth: the originals under God's will and guidance incorporate many kinds of culture and background. Eleventh: no version in existence today was or is translated from any original. Twelfth: no one living today would know or recognize any one of the 66 originals if they saw one. And on and on and on. Therefore, in the light of the above to flee to the supposed sanctuary of the originals is unreal, hypocrisy, a fetish, and worse than the proverbial ostrich hiding its head in the sand and thinking it is covered and out of sight. (Dr. Ralph I. Yarnell, A Fresh Look At The King James Bible, Marietta, OH: n.p., 1983, 33-34.)
I do not believe I have ever seen it written or heard it spoken any clearer than that, have you? Again, I say, if you do not have the inerrant, infallible, uncorrupted, etc., Word of God in your hands, then IT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO ANYBODY and we are "of all men most miserable" (I Corinthians 15:29) to quote the Apostle Paul.
There are eighteen words listed on pages fifty-one through fifty-three of Mr. Weiss' Book which are said to be "no longer in current usage and are thus not immediately understandable to the present generation." (Weiss, What You Should Know About Bible Translations, ibid., 52. )
Along with these eighteen words, he has also listed some words which he says have lost their meaning today. We shall take a look at these words and see if this is true or not. Each of these words, except for two, were found in a standard dictionary and each one was found in less than a minute. Two had to be looked up in an unabridged dictionary. But considering there are said to be 810,796 words in the Bible, that's not too bad. Matter-of-fact, I would be willing to say that the average book on the market can not do that well. Even if there are some one hundred or so words which are considered obsolete or archaic, what is that among so many? If you are interested in percentages, that is a percentage of .0123. Do you suppose the word "study" in II Timothy 2:15 might have any bearing at this point?
Now, let's look at these horrible words which give us so much trouble that we must rewrite the Word of God. The asterisk (*) by each word indicates that it was found in the 1988 edition of Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition.
Exodus 9:31 - And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. The word *bolled seems to be the one that gave Mr. Weiss the problem. Context makes the meaning clear and the dictionary would have defined it if someone could not understand the text. The dictionary does not list "bolled" as obsolete or archaic.
Exodus 28:8 - And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. The word *curious in verses six and seven describe the ephod, and verse eight said it would be of the same work. "Curious" is defined as 'executed with ingenuity or skill; elaborate.' This word is not listed as obsolete or archaic.
Exodus 28:11 - With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. Perhaps the word, *ouches, reminded them too much of their childhood when they used to get "booboos." Again the context would determine the meaning. 'Set in ouches.' This word is listed as rare, but is still listed as a usable word.
Deuteronomy 21:4 - And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley: Here the word eared is the trouble maker. A valley that has not been sown, has not been plowed! (My brother-in-law is a farmer and he always breaks the soil before sowing!) The context will determine the meaning, as always. This word had to be located in an unabridged dictionary. By the way, did you know it only occurs "once" in the Bible and that the context defined it for us.
Deuteronomy 28:26 - And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. Mr. Weiss , along with the scholars, were given quite a scare (!) by the word *fray. In its first meaning it is listed as archaic. It means 'to frighten away.' It is used only three times in the Bible (Jeremiah 7:33; Zechariah 1:21) and is defined in its context.
Judges 9:53 - And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull. Here it was not a word but the phrase "all to brake his skull" that gave Mr. Weiss and birds of a feather such a headache! I asked my two daughters (in 1982), who were 6 and 9 at the time, what they thought it meant. They both told me that it meant that he (Abimelech) 'got his head broke!' The youngest said "he got killed and the blood probably gushed out!" She has a tendency to be dramatic. [Perhaps it was prophetic, she is currently an RN.] To say that this phrase is "old" and out-of-date is just too much. The world says, "I'm going to bust your head" or "I'm going to bash your brains out." (Check any Helliwood program.) These phrases come from the biblical phrase, 'all to brake his skull.' If 'n you don't believe that's what happened, just have someone drop a millstone on your head!
Judges 18:21 - So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them. Mr. Weiss says *carriage means baggage. Well, it does in Acts 21:15, but the word is defined as "the act of carrying." It can also mean "a wheeled frame for carrying something heavy." Again, as always, the Bible defined itself. It is listed as archaic but not obsolete.
II Samuel 14:26 - And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight. One of the difficulties for many folks who live in the city is that they often do not get a chance to see the type of world that brought about the one they live in. But, that is no excuse for a scholar who can study. For instance, take the word *polled. There is no excuse for a man of Mr. Weiss' distinction to have any problem with this word. If he thought others did, then he ought to have seen to it that they were provided with the information about these words without changing the Bible.
Let it be known that this word is not listed as obsolete or archaic. As a matter-of-fact, this word is still used in hundreds of households around the country. In a past issue of The Michigan-Indiana Holstein magazine there is an article concerning "polled" animals. Half way down the page in 1/4 inch bolded letters it reads "half of his offspring will be polled.". The Michigan-Indiana Holstein, January 1981, vol. 10, no. 1, 26. If you don't understand, that means that half of the off-spring of this bull will be born without any horns. That is, you won't have to POLL them! Imagine, such an out-of-date, archaic, obsolete word appearing in a magazine in 1981. [I can get updated materials for 1994 if you need them.]
Job 9:33 - Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both. The word *daysman would not be hard to understand in the context even if you didn't look it up. It means "arbitrator or mediator." This is a reference to someone who is going to be the judge between two parties. This word is listed as an archaic expression. (I wonder if any of the "scholars" have ever thought of publishing a list of these archaic and obsolete words with the definitions? Probably not, since it would not be in their favour economically.)
Job 41:18 - By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Neesings is without question a word that can be classified as archaic and perhaps even obsolete. I had to look it up in the unabridged dictionary. It is given as the word for sneezing. But, then would not the context have indicated that for you?
Psalms 35:15 - But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: Perhaps the word *abjects bothered the critics since it seems to be the position they have taken not only against God, but against His Word. This word can be determined by the context as the rest have been. The word means: "lowest degree, miserable, wretched," or it can also mean "lacking self-respect; degraded." Also be it known that this word is neither archaic or obsolete. Mr. Weiss says "'Abjects' is an old word for 'slander' or 'smiter.'". Weiss, ibid., 52. Well not according to the dictionary I am using or the other two I checked! These words were not even given as synonyms.
Isaiah 3:18 - In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, *Bravery is the word that is causing the scholars to set up and take notice. This word has more than one meaning, as is the case with many words in our language. The second meaning given for this word is "elaborate or finery." Finery, by the way has the following meaning: "A hearth where cast iron is made malleable, or in which steel is made from pig iron." Now you just know that they were not thinking of that meaning! This word is not listed as archaic or obsolete.
Isaiah 8:21 - And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. *Bestead is the word that the kindergarten class couldn't handle. Mr. Weiss says that "bestead" means "situated." The synonym for bestead may be situate, but the definition is different. Bestead means "to help or avail" where situated means to "place as to site or position; located." Now, read the verse again and see which word works best.
Jeremiah 46:4 - Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines. No doubt you figured out that the word *brigandines was the troublesome word in this verse. Anyone with an ounce of military sense could figure this word, which is not archaic or obsolete. The context will determine the meaning to be "coats of armour."
Joel 2:24 - And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. Perhaps the word *fats convicted some of the overweight brethren else why would they want to get rid of a word still used by modern day chemist? The word is a scientific word in use by the modern (haven't we heard this word before?) biochemist to define the 'solid or liquid substances widely distributed in plant and animal tissues.' This word is NOT listed as archaic or obsolete. You know, I don't believe Mr. Weiss even took the time to look up these words for himself. He no doubt did what the majority of money making critics do, copied someone else's words. By the way, wouldn't you agree that the context was clear enough to define the word without a dictionary?
Matthew 13:21 - Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. It is really hard for me to believe that the following words are even challenged by Mr. Weiss. *By and by are considered to be words that need to be changed. The phrase is defined as "unspecified future time." The dictionary does not say that the phrase is out-of-date, archaic or obsolete. Perhaps Mr. Weiss should have read some children's story books to his grandchildren or to any children for that matter.
Matthew 14:8,11 - And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. *Charger. For the life of me I cannot see how Mr. Weiss "lost his head on this one." [Go ahead, a good laugh will do you good.] This word, as used in this sense, is declared to be archaic.
In my last year of Bible school I had the great pleasure (!) of critiquing a section of Wuest's Word Studies in Mark for third year Greek. My assigned section took in Mark 5 which deals with this word "charger." Dr. Wuest says that: "the English word is obsolete.". Kenneth Wuest, Wuest's Word Studies in Mark, (Grand Rapids: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co., 1974), 130. He failed to learn the difference between archaic and obsolete! It is not obsolete! Dr. Wuest says that the Greek word used in the Greek text (Nestle) is the word pinax (pinax). He tells us that this word means: '"a dish, plate, platter"'. Ibid. thus, the word should be "platter" not "charger." However, the word "platter" is spoken of as being of U.S. origin, or an American word! It is used in Matthew 23:25,26 as well as Luke 11:39 where it is translated from the above mentioned Greek word. You will recall that this passage is where Jesus is "warning" the Pharisees about their hypocritical religion. Here He says they: "make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter." The context defines this as an "eating utensil" not a "serving utensil."
The etymology of the word "charger" is traced to the middle English. Thus it is an ENGLISH word. The English served the royalty using a charger! [Remember we're in the palace of Herod.] Our King James Bible is of ENGLISH origin, not American. [Hello, A.S.V., N.A.S.V., etc.] Here is a case where the ENGLISH is one step ahead of the Greek! [uh oh! Now we've gone and messed with the originals.]
Speaking of archaic words, did you ever look up the word "godly?" When used to mean: "belonging to or emanating from God.". "godly," The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedia Dictionary, (Pleasantville: The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1967). it is said to be archaic. As a matter-of-fact the unabridged dictionary declares that usage to be rare.. "godly," Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language, (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1983). Isn't it strange that you do not hear the scholars refer to the word "godly" as one that needs to be changed! Yet this word occurs 15 times in the Bible! But, words like daysman, abjects, bravery, and bestead all occur ONCE and they want to use these words as excuses to change the entire Bible, or else make excuses for the corruptions called Bibles. Jeremiah 17:9 is correct, the heart is definitely deceitful and desperately wicked.
While we are looking up words, did you know that the word "scholar" has a rare usage? The rare usage is used to refer to "one who sets under a teacher." However, the word scholar also means "one learned in the humanities." Let's see, uh -- "h-u-manities, yes there it is." It means "languages and literature, esp. the classical [emphasis mine] Greek and Latin. The branches of learning concerned with human [emphasis mine] thought and relations, as distinguished from sciences; esp. literature, philosophy [emphasis mine] (see Colossians 2:8), history, etc.. "humanities," Webster's New World Dictionary Third College Edition, (Cleveland: Webster's New World Dictionaries, 1988.) So, a godly scholar could be an out-of-date, not quite done (rare!) teacher of humanistic concern. That is, one concerned with what man thinks or says, more than what God thinks or says.
I Peter 3:11 - Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. The word *eschew is one the scholars feel should be "avoided." While the word occurs only four times in the Bible, three times in Job and once here, it is NOT listed as archaic or obsolete. Are we to "avoid" it even though it is not said to be out-of-date? Do you suppose there is a conspiracy going on in the ranks? Did it ever occur to you that someone "hates" the true Word of God! I think it might be advisable to "eschew" the modern perversions!
On page fifty-three of his book, Mr. Weiss concludes his attack upon the list of obsolete and archaic words. He does this by listing one paragraph of words which he indicates "are not meaningful" anymore in our everyday speech. He tells us that the word charity should be substituted for the word love. Anyone knows that the world (lost and liberal) does not know the difference between these two words. It is also obvious that Mr. Weiss does not know the difference. He goes on to tell us that entreat should be treat. As I said earlier, I can not believe that Mr. Weiss looked most of these words up or he would not be so foolish as to assume that they can be substituted one for another. Neither of these previous words have the same meaning! Besides, his favorite Bible, the N.I.V. (see page 66 of his work) uses this word in II Corinthians 8:4 while the K.J.B. uses "besought." Do you suppose he knows they did that?
As the list continues he tells us that conversation should be conduct or manner of life. Does he mean to tell us that the word conversation in II Peter 1:15 could NOT mean "talk" as well as "manner of life?" If you want to see a real private interpretation (translation, etc.) of this word, see Hebrews 13:5 in the N.I.V., N.A.S.V., et al. Since you may not be able to put your hands on any of these perversions I shall reproduce the variation as recorded in the N.I.V.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
Do you suppose someone has a problem with a certain "conversation?" Does "covetousness" just mean money? He seems to be ignorant that it can have two meanings. Paul knew the difference and made it clear in Romans 7:7.
Mr. Weiss continues by telling us that quick should be changed to the word alive. However, this will not work. Remember, something alive may not be quick, but something quick could well be alive. While the word quick (quicken) can include the meaning of living or alive, the opposite is not true. God is wiser than men and knows the correct words to use. Man's "correction" of God's Word only lessens Its power and authority.
We are then told that the word careful needs to be substituted for the word anxious. The word careful is a compound word consisting of the words "care" and "full" meaning full of care. It entails the idea of one who is very thoughtful in their work or actions. It also carries the idea of being cautious or guarded. Anxious is not said to be archaic and/or obsolete. It means one who is worried or overly concerned about things. I do not find that either is a synonym of the other. Maybe Mr. Weiss should have been more careful at this point and not so anxious about the Words of God!
He proceeds to tell us that ghost should be spirit. This simply shows the ignorance of the author. Here is a man writing a book and he tells us that the Bible has used a word like ghost when it should have used the word spirit. He obviously does not know the difference between the two words. A spirit can not be seen while a ghost has a "visible" figure!!! I suspect that Mr. Weiss does not believe in ghosts, witches or dragons, all which do EXIST! He should have compared Luke 4:1 and 23:46 before he made such a judgment. It might have done him well to have compared the unity between the two in John 1:33 where the "Spirit" and the "Holy Ghost" [emphasis mine] are spoken of as two different entities (cf. 7:39). In Acts 5:3,4 God and the Holy Ghost appear to be one and the same! (You'd better think on that awhile.) But, note verse 9 (Acts 5) and you will see that this "sin" was also committed against "the Spirit of the Lord." If that is not enough see I Corinthians 12:3. I believe Mr. Weiss had better just leave the subject alone until he gets the Trinity figured out!
Well, we could go on with this drudgery as the list contains another eight words which Mr. Weiss is "sure" have lost their meaning in this present modern age. To assure you that he really believed this let me quote you just a few lines following this "hit list." Mr. Weiss tells us that:
These words were excellent choices when the King James Version was produced in 1611 because they were commonly used in everyday life. But time has changed the English language, so changes are necessary in translation work if there is to be proper communication. (Weiss, What You Should Know About Bible Translations, ibid., 53.)
Anybody who has even the poorest eyesight could read through that statement in a second.[Refer to Dr. Hills statement on Page 3] He did not prove that the words were common everyday usage, he never gave ONE example. He just assumed that "change" is necessary. Anyway, have you seen one Bible on the market that changed JUST the archaic and/or obsolete words? Well neither has Mr. Weiss. Even the version which he "personally like[s] and esteem[s]" (his very words, page 66) changes verses, leaves out words and verses, changes words that are NOT obsolete and archaic, and who knows what else. A crook is a crook no matter what type of clothing he wears!
Mr. Weiss failed to tell his readers that his "esteemed" Bible has invented words. In Mark 4:21, Revelation 2:5, etc., the K.J.B. uses the word "candlestick." In the N.I.V. the word has been changed to "lampstand." However, when one seeks for this word in the dictionary he finds that NO SUCH WORD EXISTS! You read the statement correctly. You will find the words "lamp" and "stand", but not as a compound word. Thus the editors and revisors of the N.I.V. have invented a word. I guess it would not be archaic or hardly obsolete!
But even better than that is the word "pastureland" use in Jeremiah 50:44 and II Chronicles 11:13 in place of "the habitation of the strong." Or how about the word "siegework" for the word "bulwark" in Ecclesiastes 9:14. Isn't scholarship astounding? Think of it, they accuse the King James translators of using words that are out-of-date, archaic and/or obsolete and yet they can invent words that have NO meaning at all and we are to accept that type of bungling scholarship! I have more respect for George R. Kelly (1897-1954), alias: Machine Gun Kelly and Lester Gillis (1908-34) alias: George Nelson, alias: Baby Faced Nelson than any one hundred so-called Bible correcting scholars. At least you knew what these men were, as they didn't hide behind a pretentious front of being "honest" citizens.
The scholars are even so careless that they changed the word "swine" to the word "pig" not realizing that there is a difference between the two types of animals. The trouble is, that they have spent their time rooting and wallowing (II Peter 2:22) in the muck and mire of the "original manuscripts," and "a better translation should be," that they have become totally ignorant of the truth. I once heard a man say that if you messed with God's Word He would mess with your mind. I believe we have an abundance of evidence to verify that statement.
Well, enough is enough. We could go on with this silly circle of words (semantics) but it would profit little for the scholars or us. They are bent on trying to deceive Christians and destroy the Words of the living God. We know that we have a book that is without error, as it has stood against some of the "greatest" minds of any age or time and is still standing! Do not let them fool you, there are NO improvements to be made and there could NEVER be a better translation than the old black backed AV1611, King James Bible.
In closing let me leave you with the words of the 18th president of the United State, Ulysses S. Grant (1822-85). Grant served as president for two terms from 1869-77. Prior to being president he served in the Army achieving the rank of lieutenant general. While there is no question that the man had a few personal problems [one of them was drinking] he nonetheless, had some character. Once, while serving as president, he was ask to write a message from the president for the Sunday School Times. (John Sutherland Bonnell, Presidential Profiles, Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1971, 126. ) His reply was the following:
Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." (Tryon Edwards, ed. The New Dictionary of Thoughts, New York: Standard Book company, 1954, 47.)
Barnett, Bob., The Word of God on Trial. n.p. n.d.
Berry, Grinton W., Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Grand Rapid, MI.: Baker Book House, 1978.
Bonnell, John Sutherland., Presidential Profiles. Philadelphia, PA.: The Westminster Press, 1971.
Burgon, William John., Revision Revised. Paradise, PA.: Conservative Classics, n.d.
Cummons, Bruce D., The Foundation And Authority Of The Word Of God. n.p. n.d.
Edwards, Tryon., The New Dictionary of Thoughts. New York, NY.: Standard Book Company, 1954
Fuller, David Otis., Introduction to An Understandable History of the Bible. Dr. Samuel C. Gipp., n.p., 1987.
Gipp, Samuel C., The Answer Book. Shelbyville, TN.: Bible & Missionary Literature Foundation, 1989.
Hills, Edward F., The King James Version Defended. Des Moines, IA.: The Christian Research Press, 1973.
Noe, Herbert., Messages To Magnify The Monarch. Milford, OH.: John The Baptist Printing Ministry, n.d.
Weiss, G. Christian., What You Should Know About Bible Translations. Lincoln, NB.: Back To The Bible Pub., 1977.
Wuest, Kenneth S., Wuest's Word Studies in Mark. Grand Rapids, MI.: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co., 1974.
Yarnell, Ralph I., A Fresh Look At The King James Bible. Marietta, OH.: n.p., 1983.
The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedia Dictionary. Pleasantville, NY:, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1967.
Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language. New York: NY., Simon & Shuster, 1983
Webster's New World Dictionary Third College Edition. Cleveland, OH:, Webster's New World Dictionaries, 1988
Detroit Free Press, November 14, 1994. Sec A, 1,3.
Fuller, David Otis., Audio Cassette. "Sinning Against The Holy Ghost". Lupton, MI.: n.p., 1981.
Living Bible The., Wheaton: IL.: Tyndale House Pub., 1971.
The Michigan-Indiana Holstein, January 1981, 26.
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