Thursday, March 04, 2021

New Words or New Languages?

At Dust Off the Bible blog, I recently read Archaic and Outdated Words in The King James Bible (KJV). The post includes a list of words in the King James Bible that the author considers archaic or outdated.[i] In itself, the list might be useful to those who use the KJV. In processing his thoughts, the compiler of this list suggests that if you really want to know what the Bible says then you should learn the original languages. Do these folks not understand how silly their super-smug suggestions really are? Some people are (maybe) having difficulty of a couple of hundred words in their own language.[ii] In essence, he tells them that those words are too hard to learn. Instead, they should learn three new foreign languages![iii]

In one of the all too frequent “I love the King James Version, but” passive-aggressive attacks on the KJV pervading the internet, I read the following comment. “I cannot say in my three score and five years have I ever heard anyone use the word froward in normal conversation.” Oh, yes, but I wonder how many times he has heard βραδυπλοουντες and μισθωματι “in normal conversation?” Probably the same!

Another anti-KJV rhetorical device frequently trotted out goes like this: “I have seen an original 1611 King James Version. I cannot read it. It looks like a foreign language.” Then these same folks flip and ask people to learn three foreign languages to study the Bible. Which is it? Are you too stupid to figure out how to read the typeface of the 1611 King James Bible? If so, why should we put stock in anything you say?

[i] The blog administrator identifies himself as a “Seminary M.Div graduate with a love for history and the Old Testament,” but does not give his name.
[ii] There are 146 words on his list, as of 11:55 am 25 February 2021.
[iii] I do not object to learning new languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. But, can we not see there is some nonsense in asking people that we think cannot learn 146 “archaic” words to learn three languages?

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