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Frank W. Nelte

KJV Words and their Meanings Introduction

Many people are used to reading the King James Version, also known as the Authorized Version. However, many words in the English language have changed their meanings somewhat since the KJV was first produced, while other words have become obsolete. Sometimes people try to apply the modern meanings of the English words used in the KJV to the Scriptures, when in fact that English word had a somewhat different meaning at the time the KJV was produced. This difficulty is to some degree dealt with by modern language translations. Unfortunately most modern translations have in the process of modernizing the language also departed to some degree from the generally high standard of remaining faithful to the intended meanings in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the two testaments. So while modern translations have made the text more readable for people today, they have at the same time introduced new flaws of their own.

Thus, while the language of the KJV is a little difficult for many people today, it is nevertheless overall a more faithful translation from the original languages than most other English language translations. So a good solution is for people to stick with the KJV, but to become familiar with those words in that version which have to some degree changed their meanings from 300 years ago, or which may not have changed their meaning but are simply not used very much today in our everyday lives.

So here is a list of some 250 words and expressions you will find in the KJV. This list is by no means complete, as far as the words that could be included in a list of this type is concerned, and I will in all likelihood add more words to it over a period of time.

In some cases only the spelling has changed. I have included such words because if we ever want to do a search for these words, then we need to be aware of the spelling used in the KJV. In other cases the meaning of the word today is different from the meaning the same word had 300 years ago. Lastly, I have also included a few words whose meaning has not changed, but, because these words are not that commonly used today, their meanings are not that well known to many people.

The first list covers words in the OLD TESTAMENT of the KJV, and the second list then adds further words that are found primarily in the NEW TESTAMENT of the KJV.

In Column #1 I have listed these words that are found in the text of the KJV. In column #2 I have given "the intended meaning IN THE BIBLE". In other words, column #2 provides a correct translation into modern English for what the Hebrew or Greek word thus translated into the KJV actually means. In some cases THIS MAY NOT BE A STRICT RENDITION OF WHAT THE KJV ENGLISH WORD ACTUALLY MEANT. Here I have felt it to be more important to convey what the Hebrew or Greek word in question meant rather than what this word's translation into King James ENGLISH meant. This should help to make clear how we today should understand what the Bible is actually telling us when we find these English words in the text of the KJV. In column #3 I have given one Scripture reference example for each of these words in the text of the KJV. In many cases these Scripture references are the only occurrence of this KJV English word, while in other cases there are many other instances where this word is also used.