What do words in the
King James Bible MEAN?

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Although the English used in the 1611 King James Version (KJV) Bible is "modern," many of the words it employs are different than today. Some words are no longer used and many have changed their spelling over the years. The meaning of a word translated in the 17th century can at times be significantly different from the meaning we attach to it today.

An example of an archaic and confusing word in the KJV Bible is found in Leviticus 16. While discussing the preparations, events, etc. for the day of Atonement the word 'scapegoat' (Leviticus 16:8,10) is used. Our modern definition of a scapegoat is a person (or group, etc.) who is unjustly blamed for the negative actions of others. A boss, for example, who is stealing from the company he works for may try to blame an innocent lower-level worker for the thefts in order to avoid losing his job. This is not, however, the meaning intended by the verses. The scapegoat actually represents Satan the devil and his part in the sins of humanity. He will be responsible for his actions in deceiving others. He is certainly not an innocent party blamed for the actions of others!

Below is a list of words and phrases in the King James Bible with their modern English meaning.

How did we get the Scriptures?

When was the New Testament written?

Old Testament Important People

How do Bible translations differ?

KJV word or phraseModern MeaningReferences

Adoption

Sonship

Romans 8:23, 9:4;
Ephesians 1:5

Affection(s)Mind, PassionsColossians 3:2,
Galatians 5:24

Afflict soul

Fast

Leviticus 23:27, 32

ApothecaryPerfumerExodus 37:29

Assayed

Attempted

1Samuel 17:39

BeguileJudge against youColossians 2:18

Bestowed

Stationed

1Kings 10:26

BlainsInflammatory swelling,
Blisters
Exodus 9:9

Bosom

Have intimate relationship

2Samuel 12:3, 8;
John 1:18

CarriageBaggage1Samuel 17:22

Charity

Love

1Corinthians 13

Clean HeartRight AttitudePsalm 51:10, 73:1

Coast

Districts

Deuteronomy 16:4

CommunicateShareHebrews 13:16

Communications

Associations, Companionships

1Corinthians 15:33

ConversationConduct, CitizenshipPhilippians 2:27;
1Peter 3:1

Convince

Convict

Titus 1:9, James 2:9

CoulterBlade or disc on plough
that cuts through soil
1Samuel 13:20

Covereth his feet

Going to the bathroom

Judges 3:24;
1Samuel 24:3

CreatureCreationRomans 8:20-21;
2Corinthians 5:17;
Galatians 6:15

Crisping pin

Purse

Isaiah 3:22

CrossStakeMatthew 10:38;
Mark 15:30;
Luke 9:23, etc.

Cruse

Jug

1Samuel 26:11

CursedReviled1Kings 2:8

Damned

Judged

Mark 16:16

Do you to witMake known to you2Corinthians 8:1

Dissimulation

Hypocrisy

Galatians 2:13

DiversDifferentMatthew 24:7; Acts 19:9; Hebrews 1:1

Dividing

Expounding, Dissecting

2Timothy 2:15

DotingSick1Timothy 6:4

Due Benevolence

Sexual Dues

1Corinthians 7:3

EnsamplesExamples1Corinthians 10:11

Eschewed

Avoided

Job 1:1

FaintGive UpLuke 18:1; Galatians 6:9

Foxes

Jackals

Judges 15:4

FrowardEvil, WrongProverbs 2:12

Garnished

Set in order

Matthew 12:44

GayExpensive, CostlyJames 2:3

Ghost (Holy Ghost)

Holy Spirit

Matthew 1:18, 20;
Luke 1:15;
John 1:33, etc.

GlassMirror1Corinthians 13:12,
James 1:23

Haply

Perhaps

Mark 11:13

HardnessBlindnessMark 3:5

Hasting

Desiring

2Peter 3:12

HeartAttitude of mindJeremiah 17:9

Host

Camp

Judges 7:10

HusbandmanFarmer, RancherJames 5:7

Inn

Place to Lodge

Exodus 4:24

IniquityLawlessnessMatthew 24:12

Jealous

Zealous

2Corinthians 11:2

KnewHad Sex withGenesis 4:1

Laud

Celebrate

Romans 15:11

LetHinderExodus 5:4

Letteth

Restrains

2Thessalonians 2:7

ListedChoseJohn 3:8

Lusteth after

Earnestly Desires

Deuteronomy 14:26

MammonMoney, Riches,
Material wealth
Matthew 6:24

Mansions

Offices

John 14:2

MeatWheatLeviticus 2:1

Meet

Fitting, Proper

Matthew 3:8; Genesis 2:18

MeltDismayed2Samuel 17:10

Mocked

Deceived

Galatians 6:7

Morning StarsAngelsJob 38:7

Mortify

To kill

Romans 8:13

NetherLower or UnderDeuteronomy 24:6

Passion

Suffering

Acts 1:3

PavilionsBooths1Kings 20:12

Perfect

Upright, Sincere,
Spiritually mature

Genesis 17:1; Job 1:1

PerformFinishPhilippians 1:6

Person

Substance

Hebrews 1:3

Pisseth against
the wall
Men, Males2Kings 9:8, etc

Polls

One by One

Numbers 1:2

PrincesChief Officers1Kings 4:2

Prophesy

Inspired Preaching

1Corinthians 14

PublicansTax CollectorMatthew 5:46

Quick

Living

Acts 10:42

QuickenMake AliveRomans 8:11

Quit

Keep on

1Corinthians 16:13

RequiteOffer Support for1Timothy 5:4

Rudiments

Elements

Colossians 2:8

Secret partsPrivate parts1Samuel 5:9

Seethe

Boil

Exodus 34:26

ServantSlavePhilippians 2:7

Sheets

Shirts

Judges 14:13

ShoesSandalsExodus 3:5

Simple

Harmless

Romans 16:19

Slept with
his Fathers
Died2Kings 13:9,
2Chronicles 16:12

Sons of God

Angels

Job 1:6

SoreGreatly1Samuel 17:24

Sprinkle

Astonish, Startle

Isaiah 52:15

StrangerNewcomer, New ConvertDeuteronomy 14:29

Suffer

Let, Allow, Permit

Mark 10:14,
Revelation 11:9

TarryWaitLuke 24:49;
1Corinthians 16:8

Tenor

Intent or Purpose

Exodus 34:27

TonguesForeign LanguagesMark 16:17;
1Corinthians 14

Tower

Secret Place

2Kings 5:24

TrowThinkLuke 17:9

Unction

Anointing

1John 2:20

UnworthilyIrreverently1Corinthians 11:29

Virtue

Power

Mark 5:30

VisageAppearanceIsaiah 52:14

Whoring

Astray

Exodus 34:15


Additional Study Materials
Timeline of the New Testament
Biblical weights and measures
What are the ERRORS in the KJV Bible?
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