What follows will be my fourth installment to my complete rebuttal of Mr. John Wolf’s “article” entitled “King James Onlyism”. In this portion of my response I will deal mainly with Mr. Wolf’s complaints that our Authorized Version is written at a level that is too difficult for the common reader and that it contains “archaic language”. I will be splitting up my response into two parts so that I may deal specifically with this subject. In this first part I will be addressing the charge of “archaic language” and be discussing several of the examples Mr. Wolf lists in his chart of “Archaic Language” (which, of course, was “borrowed” from another website). I will be once again demonstrating with examples that Mr. Wolf has no idea what he is talking about and has, in fact, not done ANY personal research on this subject. To proceed!
Many Bible critics (or would-be critics) often complain about what they label “archaic language”/words in our King James Bible. Most of these self-proclaimed Bible critics will usually have a chart on their website listing what they label as “archaic language”/words in our AV (much like Mr. Wolf has done). While I certainly will not dispute that there are a few archaic words in our AV I must at the same time point out that there are “archaic” words in nearly EVERY modern translation as well. I also propose that the problem with “archaic” words is nowhere near as bad as these Bible critics try to make it appear. Mr. Wolf himself has reported that our AV is written on a 12th grade level. Have any of you bothered to research and see what “12th grade level” constitutes??? Have you bothered cracking open a “12th grade level” text book and see how it reads??? According to modern standards a “12th grade” reading level is not very high at all. If our KJB was indeed filled with “archaic language” as Mr. Wolf intimates it would certainly read higher than a “12th grade level”. The truth is that the “archaic” words are not nearly as widespread as Mr. Wolf would lead his unsuspecting readers to believe.
In this portion of my article I would like to deal with specific examples that can be found in Mr. Wolf’s “chart”. Before I begin allow me to state that there are nearly 800,000 words in our Authorized Version. Keep this in mind as I go through the following list of words.
1) Abject (Ps. 35:15). Technically speaking the word used here is “abjects” and not “abject”. This minor detail aside, this is exactly what I was talking about in my opening remarks above. This word appears a grand total of ONE time in our AV. However, Mr. Wolf lists it first as though it was some difficult word that can be found on every page of our Authorized Version.
2) Adamant (Ezek. 3:9; Zech. 7:12). One has to honestly wonder when the word “adamant” became an “archaic” word!?!? Once again we find good proof that Mr. Wolf has not done any “research” of his own but is merely acting as a parrot. Had he done any real “research” he no doubt would not have listed this word. Ironically enough the NKJV, which Mr. Wolf promotes, reads “Like adamant stone” in Ezek. 3:9. Of this version (i.e. NKJV) Mr. Wolf reports that it uses “more modern words and phrases” than our KJB. Additionally, he notes that it (NKJV) has replaced the “archaic language” of our KJB “with modern words that a contemporary audience would understand.” Mr. Wolf also points out in his little chart that the NKJV is written on a “7th” grade level. We must honestly wonder if Mr. Wolf isn’t just complaining to hear himself complain! What exactly does Mr. Wolf really want? “Adamant” is an everyday word and is found in a translation that he reports is “7th grade level”. You see, it isn’t the “12th grade level” that bothers Mr. Wolf. The bottom line is that he loathes our King James Bible, therefore, he has to make up such ridiculous claims as above to appease his conscience.
3) Agone (1 Sam. 30:13). This word appears ONE time in all
of our Bible! From the context it is very easy to decipher the meaning of the
word. The verse reads, “And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou?
and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of
4) Alamoth (1 Chr. 15:20). This word is also found in Ps. 46:1. Here we see more proof of John’s deceitful motives and we further see that John hasn’t done the first bit of “research”. Mr. Wolf has numerous times flaunted his education and has upbraided others for not having a doctorate or masters yet we will once again see that it is Mr. Wolf who seems to be short on knowing the facts. You would think that someone as learned as Mr. Wolf purports himself to be would at least take a few minutes to verify information before he puts it on his website and invites others to “check it out”. Nevertheless, such is what I typically find with individuals such as Mr. John Wolf. As I’ve pointed out in the past, the sad thing is that many unsuspecting saints will read John’s “article” and will be fooled into believing that he actually knows what he is talking about. I’m sure the “KJVO churches” Mr. Wolf boasted about sending his “article” to will laugh themselves delirious when they see what he was written. The example before us is sure to be a ‘side-splitter’. Mr. Wolf complains that “alamoth” is an “archaic” word found in our ‘hard-to-understand’ KJB. John’s “personnel (sic) favorite” version reads, “Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the lyres according to ALAMOTH,” (1 Chr. 15:20). Psalms 46:1 in the NIV reads, “For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to ALAMOTH. A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” The NKJV (“7th grade level”) reads “Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with strings according to Alamoth” (1 Chr. 15:20) Further, the NKJV (“7th grade level”) reads, “To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.” (Ps. 46:1). Just for fun, John, can you tell us how the NASV reads in these two verses??? 1 Chr. 15:20 reads, “and Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah, with harps tuned to alamoth;” Will you give us the reading of Ps. 46:1 from your NASV John??? Was this word a product of your personal “research”??
5) Almug (1 Kings 10:11-12). John, this is really getting ridiculous! I am honestly starting to get embarrassed for you. Is “almug” an “archaic” word? This is the type of ignorance I commonly find among those that seek to condemn our Authorized Version. “Almug’ is a type of wood. It is FAR from an “archaic” word. John, be honest, did you bother to do ANY “research” at all before you began to criticize God’s word – the King James Bible???
NIV reads, “(Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones.
12 The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)
NKJV - Also, the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought great quantities of almug wood and precious stones from Ophir. 12And the king made steps of the almug wood for the house of the LORD and for the king’s house, also harps and stringed instruments for singers. There never again came such almug wood, nor has the like been seen to this day.
NASV - Also the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a very great number of almug trees and precious stones. 12The king made of the almug trees supports for the house of the LORD and for the king’s house, also lyres and harps for the singers; such almug trees have not come in again nor have they been seen to this day.
Another ‘side-splitter’ from the keyboard of John Wolf! And, once again we see that Mr. Wolf has no clue what he is talking about and certainly hasn’t done any “research” of his own. With an “article” written like this it is little wonder he has difficulty reading and understanding the Bible.
6) Aloes (Prov. 7:17; John 19:39). This example must be a joke! Please say you aren’t serious John. Aloes an “archaic” word??? I guess you really want to Bible written on a 1st grade level. Any 1st grader knows this word! I won’t bother asking you again if you actually did any personal “research” because with examples like this I already know the answer. I guess John won’t be able to read his “personnel (sic) favorite” translation anymore because it reads “aloes” in both Prov. 7:17 and John 19:39. Neither will John be able to understand his “7th grade” NKJV because it also reads “aloes” in both passages. He will also have to trash his NASV because it will have to be considered “archaic” when John learns that it too reads “aloes” in Prov. 7:17 and John 19:39. John, I don’t mean to burst your bubble but did you know that he NIV, NKJV (7th grade) and NASV all read “aloes” in Num. 24:26; Ps. 45:8; Song. 4:14???? What, oh what, are we to do John?
Lest I be accused of abusing the patience of my readers I will only briefly comment on a few of John’s other examples. I believe I have sufficiently proven with my comments above that John’s list of “archaic” words is a total joke.
7) Ambassage – Appears only one time and is certainly not an “archaic” word.
8) Ambushment – I guess John didn’t bother looking this one up either! Surprise, surprise! The reference is 2 Chr. 13:13 NOT 1 Chr. 13:13. NIV, NKJV (“7th grade”) and NASV all read “ambush”. Hardly an “archaic” word!!
9) Angle – Another joke I’m sure! I suppose John has never fished a day in his life. I imagine he has never heard of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.)!?!? Certainly not an “archaic” word.
10) Myrrh – Good one John! Any Sunday School aged kid knows this word and what it means. John lists as references Gen. 37:25 and Matt. 2:11. John, just for fun, please give us the readings of the NIV, NKJV (7th grade level) and the NASV for both of your references.
11) Naught – I’m actually learning a lot from John’s “article”. I didn’t even know that “naught” was an “archaic” word! I guess I should stop using it since no one understands it. Hey John, did you know that your “personnel (sic) favorite” version also contains that old “archaic” word “naught”??? You didn’t! Here is how Isa. 40:23 reads, “He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.” Time to update that old “archaic” New International Version!! As Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies used to say “naught plus naught equals NAUGHT!”
12) Wizard – Certainly not an “archaic” word. If it is, as John supposes, someone had better tell the Washington Wizards to quickly change their name to a more ‘modern’ name. Perhaps they should try the NIV’s translation, viz. Washington Spiritists! And by all means please tell that Harry Potter that “wizard” is an “archaic” word and no children will be able to understand his books!!
13) Coney – The NIV reads, “coney” in Lev. 11:5 and Deut. 14:7!!! Perhaps John would prefer the more modern NASV as it reads “shaphan” in both passages. Or, maybe he likes the NKJV (7th grade level) “rock hyrax”???? We read and marvel!
Before I bring this part of my response to a close I would like to give John a small list of “archaic” words that he apparently ‘overlooked’. Consider the following:
abutted, alcove, ardent, armlets, astir, behemoth, belial, bereaves, bier, blighted, brayed, breaching, burnished, calamus, capital (not a city), carnelian, carrion, chasm, chrysolite, citron, colonnades, cors, dandled, dappled, debauchery, deluged, depose, despoil, dire, dispossess, disrepute, dissuade, dropsy, earthenware, emasculate, encroach, enmity, enthralled, epicurean, ewe, excrement, felled, festal, fettered, filigree, fomenting, forded, gadfly, gird, gauntness, goiim, harrowing, hoopoe, ignoble, insatiable, insolence, jowls, leviathan, libations, loins, mina, mustering, naught, Nephilim, nettles, odious, offal, overweening, parapet, pavilion, peals (noun, not the verb), pinions, phylacteries, plumage, porphyry, portent, potsherd, poultice, Praetorium, profligate, qualm, ramparts, ransacked, rabble, relent, rend, reposes, retinue, sachet, satraps, sated, siegeworks, sinews, sistrums, spelt, stadia, stench, sullen, tamarisk, tether, tetrarch, throes, thronged, tiaras, tresses, unscathed, usury, vassal, vehemently, verdant, vexed, wadi, wanton, wield, winnowing
Here is another list of archaic words John obviously ‘overlooked’.
Abase, abashed, aground, alighting, allays, aloof, alms, anise, antitype, armlets, asps, austere, baths (not to get clean), bdellium, befalls, behemoth, belial, beseech, birthstools, bittern, bleat, brandished (not drunk), bray, bristling, buffet (not a restaurant), buckler (not a belt), bulrush, (not a stampede), burnished, butress (not a chair), calamus, carrion (not luggage), cassia, caulkers, centurion (not a 100 years), chalcedony, chalkstones, chasten, (not related to previous chaste), chrysolite, chrysoprase, citron, clamor, cleft, cloven (not a spice), compulsory, conciliation, concubine (not a tractor), contemptuously, confederacy (not the South), contingents (not same as large land masses), corban, coriander, couriers (not an hordourve), covert, crags, cropped (not food), curds, dainties (not effeminate), dandled, daubed, dappled, deride (not same as dismount), despoiled (not really, really rotten), diffuses (not to disarm a bomb), dilapidation (not the act of standing up), disrepute, dissipation, diviner (not a grape grower), docile, dragnet (not a detective drama), dregs, dropsy (not clumsiness), dross, dryshod, edict, embellish, emitted, enigma, enmity, entrails (not a short cut), eventide, expiration (not a date on a carton of milk), fallow, famish, fare (not average and not money), fatlings (not piglets), feigned (not passed out), festal, fetched, filly, foreskin, fowlers (not a baseball term), furlongs (not cat tails), gad, garland, gaunt, graven, Hellenists, hew (not a man's name), homers (not baseball), hoopoe (not a garden tool), immutability, insolence, insubordination, itinerant, jackdaw, jubilation, kors (not a brand of beer), laden, laud (not Boston pronunciation of lard), lusty, mammon, matrix (other than the movie), mattock (not a TV lawyer show), mercenaries, mina (not a type of bird), mite (not a bed bug), moorings, offal (not terrible), offscouring (not dandruff), onager (Job 39:5 - you won't believe this one!) pangs, paramours, parapet(not a dog and a cat), phylacteries, pilfering, pillage, pims, pinions (not a type of nut), plaited (not dishes), platitudes, potsherd, poultice (not chickens), Praetorium (not a place to pray), prattler, proconsul, prognosticators (not people who put things off till later), pyre, quadrans, ravenous, ravished, raze (not to lift up), recount (not to double check your arithmetic), rend, reprisal, retinue, rivulets, rogue, satiate, satraps, scruples, shamefaced, shards, shod, shuttle (not a type of bus or spaceship), siegeworks, sistrums (not an affectionate term for your sisters), skiff, superfluous, supplanted, tamarisk, terebinth, tetrarch, throng (not a skimpy bathing suit), timbrel, tresses, usury, vassal, verdure, verity, vestments, waifs, wane, wanton (not desiring something), warp (not to bend), wend, wield, winebibber, woof (not a dog or stereo), wrought.
Most likely John ‘overlooked’ these words not because they are found in our AV but because the first list is found in his “personnel (sic) favorite” (NIV) and the second list is found in his ‘easy-to-read’ 7th grade level NKJV. Would you like to comment about these ‘archaic’ words John?