In a recent video, the producer, our friend and now self-styled “apostle to the ‘King James Only’,” condemned “condemned” and “entreat” as “false friends.” In the video, this speaker “shamefully entreated” readers who sincerely wish to read and understand the King James Bible. In his usual manner, he invites them to Flee the KJV; It is no good for thee; look unto the ESV.
Two things directly about the video itself. First, though “condemned” and “entreat” are “false friends” (so-called), the interview itself shows that they do not meet the standard. False friends, according to Mark Ward, are “words you don’t know that you don’t know.” Yet the reader (the interviewee, one of the great unwashed who cannot read Greek) knew that he did not know and that he needed to study the words to know what they meant. Second, he also knew a way or ways to find out what they meant! Amazing!
One beef I have with Nic Kizziah is that he makes a Bible an offender for a spelling that he determines. One beef I have with Mark Ward is he offers his reasons to abandon the KJV, but no tools to promote understanding it – even though he says, “If you want to read the King James the rest of your life and believe it, wonderful, praise God.”
Here’s a hint. The tools one uses to search out and prove “false friends” can also be used to understand the meaning of words in the KJV (or any Bible, for that matter). [i] Context is a friendly instructor, which should make condemn in 2 Chronicles 36:3 readily understandable (punish by exacting a fine). Comparing scripture with scripture is never outdated. Have we forgotten it in our quest for higher authorities? Find “entreat” in 1 Thessalonians 2:2 a bit confusing? How is it used elsewhere in the Bible? How about Genesis 12:10-20? Abram (Abraham) was afraid in Egypt, but Pharaoh “entreated” him well. Did he ask him a bunch of questions? No, he was enamored with Sarai (Sarah) and gave Abram lots of stuff. In Matthew 22:6 the king’s servants were “entreated” spitefully. Did they ask them hard questions? No, they killed them! A comparison of the 12 verses in the King James Bible will teach that “entreat” does not mean ask, implore, beg, or beseech – but to treat in a certain way (how treated being found in the context).
In the English language “entreat” and “intreat” can be variant word spellings with the meaning “to ask earnestly.” However, in the King James Bible the two words (“entreat” and “intreat”) are distinct and used to mean different things. [ii]
“Entreat” is found in 12 verses in the King James translation (5 in OT and 7 in NT), where it is a verb meaning “to treat in a certain way.” [iii]
“Intreat in found in 34 verses in the King James translation (27 in OT and 7 in NT), where it is a verb meaning “to beseech; implore; beg; to ask earnestly.” [iv]
Sometimes a printer may typeset “entreat” instead of “intreat,” or vice-versa. This does not make a Bible “counterfeit.” However, it is best to leave “intreat” and “entreat” as they are in the King James translation. The difference in spelling functions to cue to the difference in meaning. It is best to persist in using the tried-and-true King James translation for reading and Bible study. It is no novice; it has a long track record of trustworthiness.
[ii] entreat (v.). “c. 1400, ‘to enter into negotiations,’ especially ‘discuss or arrange peace terms;’ also ‘to treat (someone) in a certain way,’ from Anglo-French entretier, Old French entraiter ‘to treat,’ from en- ‘make’ (see en- (1)) + traiter ‘to treat’ (see treat (v.)). Meaning ‘to beseech, implore, plead with (someone)’ is from early 15c.; meaning ‘to plead for (someone)’ is from mid-15c.”
[iii] Entreat: Genesis 12:16: Exodus 5:22; Deuteronomy 26:6; Job 24:21; Jeremiah 15:11 | Matthew 22:6; Luke 18:32; Luke 20:11; Acts 7:6; Acts 7:19; Acts 27:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:2.
[iv] Intreat: Genesis 23:8; 25:21; Exodus 8:8-9; 8:28-30; 9:28; 10:17-18; Judges 13:8; Ruth 1:16; 1 Samuel 2:25; 2 Samuel 21:14; 2 Samuel 24:25; 1 Kings 13:6; 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 33:13; 33:19; Ezra 8:23; Job 19:16-17; Psalm 45:12; 119:58; Proverbs 18:23; 19:6; Isaiah 19:22 | Luke 15:28; 1 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 8:4; Philippians 4:3; 1 Timothy 5:1; Hebrews 12:19; James 3:17.