Friday, September 25, 2009

Bowels in the KJV

The King James Version of the Bible is arguably the best English translation of all time. But one of the common criticisms of continued use is the now-archaic words. One such word is "bowel". With the common definition of bowel now being the intestines, these verses are a little strange, if not humurous:
2 Corinthians 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

Philemon 1:20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
And so the standard line is that we need to update the KJV because it is archaic and uses words that we don't use anymore. Of course, the modern versions change the wording in 20,000-30,000+ places and go way above and beyond just updating the archaic language. The argument is simply an alibi for justifying an entirely new translation from corrupt texts and duping the public into buying them because they have up-to-date language. Bit of a bait-and-switch tactic if you ask me. But I digress, and will save those comments for another post.

I stand on the position that the English language has sadly degraded too much since 1611 (we are lazy speakers?) and that the good old-fashioned KJV gives a much clearer sense in many passages, if you go with the original definitions of these "archaic" words.

For example, archaic personal pronouns such as thou, thee, thy, thine are actually more accurate in speech. Believe it or not, there are many passages in the Bible where these words make the passage clearer. I'll give you one example:
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee (singular), Ye (plural) must be born again.
You wouldn't get that in a modern, "up-to-date" version. He was talking to one man, Nicodemus, but the verse applies to many - "ye". What a wonderful truth that John 3:7 applies to me, today, in 2009. In our modern language, "you" can mean either singular or plural and "you" are left to guess which is meant based on the context. "You" can't always tell. John 3:7 is only one example; there are many others.

But lets get back to the bowels! Bowel is a word that has changed meaning over time. If you look up the word etymology for bowel or the definition in the 1828 Webster's dictionary, you'll find it simply meant the interior part of a thing. Like the "bowels of the earth".

What English word does bowel sound and look like? Bowl. A bowl is a hollowed out container that you can put stuff in. So is the bowel of a person. Biblically speaking, its everything from the hips up to the shoulders, including the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, spleen, intestines, etc.

You'll find many jokes online regarding the bowels, as they are used in the KJV. And Mark Lowry has some funny comments to say. But every one of these people has a misunderstanding of what "Biblical bowels" really are. Look at the verses below and you'll see how the word bowels is used in many different ways -- heart, womb, inward parts, stomach, etc. All the organs that comprise the hollowed-out inside part of a person. And notice the words I have bolded. The KJV has a built in dictionary that defines the words in the context they are used. You won't find this in the modern versions.
Psalm 71:6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

Isaiah 16:11 Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh.

Isaiah 48:19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.

Jeremiah 4:19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

Ezekiel 3:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
When we get excited or happy, doesn't our heart race? When we get nervous, don't we get sick to our stomach? When we get terrified, don't we breath fast? All of these feelings come from what the KJV calls the "bowels" -- the hollowed-out bowl-like inside part of a human, containing the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, and many other organs. The English definition for bowel might have become very specific over time, now referring only to the intestines, but you'll have to agree that all of these organs ARE indeed the "seat of emotions", always have been, always will be. Regardless of where the person came from, what country they live in, and what language they speak, the truth is timeless. No Old Testament Hebrew ever thought his small and large intestines were the seat of his emotions.

Look up these verses in modern versions, and you'll see how degraded or generic the language is compared to the KJV and how the change of words makes it hard to compare Scripture with Scripture. Once again, the good old-fashioned Authorized Version of the Bible wins and is far ahead or advanced of any modern day science, historian, politician, linguist, or poet.

Its a bit sad to me that words such as "bowel" have changed so much over time that our English Bible becomes a mockery. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics strikes again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address is a great read. You can find it at this link --

I've never heard much about this particular speech, but Lincoln's perspective on why God allows a war like the Civil War is quite amazing. He quotes Matthew 18:7, "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!".

Carefully read this sentence from his speech, for it clearly gives his beliefs on the war. I find this to be an incredible quote:

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Abraham Lincoln has a better and greater understanding of God than our current President does today. In spite of all our power and technology and financial or military might, we have become lacking in a basic understanding of who God is and why He does what He does or why He allows problems in this world.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Billy Graham interview by Robert Schuller

Television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller. Part 1, an approximately 7-minute-long broadcast in Southern California on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The following is an exact transcript* of an excerpt close to the end of this broadcast.

Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?
Well, Christianity and being a true believer--you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven.
What, what I hear you saying that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?
Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.
I'm so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.
There is. There definitely is.

2 Peter 2:1-2
1 ¶ But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.