An Interesting Observation

What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God, Romans 3:1,2.

One of the great privileges that I have received in life has been my opportunity to become friends with Mr. Avi Gold of Israel. Avi has been quoted in this blog before and has a standing invitation to contribute at any time. (Do you hear that Avi?) He is a student of languages and has delved deeply into many languages ancient and modern. He is a Jew who takes seriously his obligations under the Law. He is a good friend to any who will receive him and he is especially fascinated by King James Bible Believers. He once told me that King James Bible Believers are like Jews in that they quibble over little words and nuances of speech. He loves that.

He had this to say in an email after reading the post titled How Sharp is Your Sword?:

Dear Pastor John,

Greetings from the Negev desert!

A moment ago I read your recent post: How Sharp is Your Sword?

I thought it might be of interest to comment on the Hebrew text of Ezekiel 34:31. The three terms for deity in the verse in Hebrew are written as: 'lhykm, 'dny yhvh.

The first is pronounced "Eloyekhem", where the -khem is the suffix "your pl.". It is a grammatical variation on "Elohim". The second is pronounced Adonay. The third is a rather interesting case. When yhvh appears by itself, the traditional Jewish pronunciation is "Adonay". It is the form which would represent "Jehovah" in King James terms. However, when yhvh appears adjacent to Adonay, the traditional Jewish pronunciation is "Elohim".

It is impressive that the typography of the King James text is able, through careful use of capital letters, to distinguish between the two cases of Elohim, the one in which it represents the Hebrew spelling 'lhym, and the one in which it represents the spelling yhvh, and is only pronounced Elohim due to being adjacent to Adonay. The spelling "God" is indeed appropriate for the former and GOD for the latter. And that is indeed the approach carefully followed by the King James.

What I have not yet done is to examine the distribution of "God", "GOD", "Lord", "LORD" in the New Testament in the King James. The two common terms for deity in Greek are, of course, "Theos" and "Kurios". The former would be expected to match with "God" and the latter with "Lord".

Obviously, in such a search of New Testament verses, it would be necessary to factor out the ones in which Old Testament verses are quoted, where the pattern would be expected to follow Old Testament usage in any case. Offhand, the verse that occurs to me which is not an Old Testament quote is Rev 19:16. However, there I suspect the capitalization is to emphasize that the text is an inscription. There, "LORD OF LORDS" appears in Greek as "kurios kurion". If I happen to come across a usage of "LORD" or "GOD" which stands out in the King James on the New Testament, I'll make a note of it, and will gladly mention it in future correspondence.

I hope that the attention that this citizen of Israel, Jew and friend to King James Bible Believers is giving to studying out how the King James Bible depicts God provokes many of you to do the same.


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