Posted tagged ‘Hell’

Changing Words and Theological Adjustments

July 18, 2018

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The word “nice” used to mean silly. The word “awful” conveyed full of awe. In Old English, the word “wench” meant a child.

Centuries ago “clue” was a ball of yarn and “naughty” meant poor or possessing nothing. “Sly” expressed knowing and wise in the 13th century. A “hussy” was a housewife while a “cheater” looked after the King’s land holdings after his death. In our lifetime, we’ve seen the word “gay” change its meaning while “bad” can mean really good.

When studying the Bible, it’s important to understand that words change. The word “hell” meant a place of protection or to cover as recently as the 1600’s. In Proto-Indo-European “hel” was the root for helmet, hill, and hall. A “hellure” placed potatoes under cover, into the ground to grow. In the 7th century sheol and hades were replaced with “hell,” which had a hopeful or positive sense at the time. Sheol and hades simply meant a place of rest or waiting for resurrection.

Other words have tremendously differing meanings than when they first entered English bible translations, such as justice, judgment, eternal and wrath. A careful re-evaluation of the true meanings of these words will drastically change our understanding of modern theology.

Mike Owens
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None Know Enough

June 25, 2017

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None of us know enough to be dogmatic. All that we wisest can say is, “At the present time, such and such appears to be true”; if we be wise, we add, “But fuller knowledge may make a change of opinion necessary.”

Miles Hanson
Post Office Mission #4 (1925)
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The Purification Process of God’s Word

January 24, 2009

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalms 12:6)

Every generation needs to go through the purification process as words change meaning … The best translation of the Bible is of no value if the reader cannot understand what is written. The changing of word meanings can make a majestic translation to one generation a poor translation to following generations. This is why the Psalmist refers to more than one purification.

William “Bill” Petri
Universal King James Version, Preface


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