Biblical English-Those Thee’s & Thou’s

“In reality, thee’s and thou’s are the language of the Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek. In Hebrew and Greek, thee, thou, and thy are singular words: and ye and you are plural words. To change all of these words to the generic English “you” is to miss the full meaning of the words in the Biblical text.”  Take John 3:7 for instance, “Marvel not that I said unto thee (Nicodemus), ye (everyone) must be born again.”  The Lord Jesus was speaking directly to Nicodemus singular, but says that everyone is to be born again.  So, we see that the thee’s and ye’s are a big help in understanding the Bible. Remember, thee, thou, thy, and thine are always singular, while ye, you and your are always plural.  This is called Biblical English which was becoming archaic even before the KJB was published in A.D. 1611.  Biblical English was effective then, and it still is now.

Edward F. Hill asks how we can dare put the Bible in “the language of today”:
“What is the language of today?  The language of 1881 is not the language of today nor the language of 1901, nor even the language of 1921.  In none of these languages, we are told can we communicate with today’s youth.”  “…the King James Version is enduring diction which will remain as long as the English language remains, in other words, throughout the foreseeable future.”  The KJB translators “used a basic historic English that would be simple, timeless, and beautiful” (Stringer).  This stems from a literal approach to Bible translation the doctrine known as word-for-word literal Bible inspiration which the translators held to.

Rousas J. Rushdoony sums up the issue well when he wrote:  “The issue is not that the Bible should speak everyday language, for this involves debasement, but that it should be understandable, and have, all arguments to the contrary not withstanding that King James speaks a language which, while sometimes difficult because the matter itself is so, is the more often simple, clean cut and beautiful.”  Well put.

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