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Blog: Tom Job

A Note From Tom: June 10th, 2011

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey, everyone!

Wow! What a day! When you start your day with worshiping our Lord, even if you’re “at your wit’s end”, in a “twinkling of an eye”, all your problems just seem like a “drop in the bucket” when you just focus on His lovingkindness and tender mercies! Just knowing that you’re the “apple of His eye”!

Y’know, there was a time when I really couldn’t talk like this.

Neither could you!

500 hundred years ago, I couldn’t have said any of the things that I just wrote!

Because most of those words and phrases in that paragraph weren’t in our language yet!  They hadn’t been invented!

Most of those phases came from the version of the Bible that was ordered by King James 1 of England (or King James VI of Scotland…same dude). Everyone used the Geneva Bible back then, and the king didn’t think it emphasized enough the verses that talked about kings and how important they are! He wanted a royal Bible! (The Scottish king of England had some insecurity issuses…)

The KJV has a birthday this year! 400th! And it’s amazing how much we still talk in the King’s English (and in King James English!) without even knowing it!

TONS of words really came into the English language through the King James Version! Words that weren’t really used before until they showed up there. Tons of words and phrases were invented by the brave brother who translated most of the Bible into English for the first time. William Tyndale wound up losing his life for having the courage to get the Scriptures into a language normal folks could understand. But almost all of his work was adopted fifty years later directly into the King James Version. In fact, the King James Version is mostly not a “version” (translation) but a revision of the work of Tyndale.

Speaking of “adopted”…that’s a word that was invented by William Tyndale and the KJV scholars! So was “mortgage”, “glory”, “worship”, “beautiful”, “mystery”, “horror”, “fishermen”, “feel”, “advertise”, and “suburb”…

All those phrases I put in that first paragraph…

at your wit’s end (Ps 107.27)…

like a drop in the bucket (Is 40.15) …


tender mercies…

the apple of His eye(Deut 32.10)……

in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15..52)…

You guessed it! They all come from the original 1611 KJV and it’s “uncle”, William Tyndale!

Most English speakers who read the Scriptures everyday usually read a more modern translation that is easier to understand, like the NIV or the English Standard Version. But lots of folks still really love the antique sound of the words of the old King James Bible., even if it is a little old-ish to modern ears. (“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth…” John 3).

Some are really glad we don’t have use the “Thee” and “Thou” anymore when we talk to God! It seems so formal, distant, and cold!

But actually…

Our English language used to have two kinds of the word, “you”. “You” was originally the plural form. It’s like our “y’all”.  Or as some say, “y’uns”. The singular form of “you” was “thee”. But to show respect and honor to important or powerful people, you were only supposed to use the plural (“you”) when talking to those with a greater social status than yours. You could use the singular, more familiar form (“thee” or “thou”) with your family, friends, or your dog. But you could never use “thee” or “thou” with people more important than you! The Quakers were always in trouble for insisting on using the “thee” form of “you” with everyone. They believed that no one was better or more important than anyone else, so “thee” was good for me and thee!

So when the guys who translated the version the king wanted done…a version that was ordered to bring more respect and honor to kings and those destined for the throne…it’s amazing that when verses talked directly to God Almighty, King of kings, they used…not “You”…but ”Thee”! And “Thou”! It was their way of saying, “Lord, You are mighty and holy…but Thou art our friend! Thou lovest us! We’re in Thy family! We are Thy kids! Thou art our Dad! Praise Thee!”

Psalm 23 says He isn’t ruling far away in a distant place we could never enter. He’s our shepherd and friend who will never leave you alone! You can even say to Him,  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me…!”

You didn’t have to call Him the more formal “You”!

You could call Him…”Thou!”