ABIDE IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE
The word “abide” carries more meaning than a mere “exist” “wait” or “lying down.”
“when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket?” (NIV)
“when they crouch in their dens and lie in wait within their lairs?” (CSB)
(Job 38:39 KJB) Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
(Job 38:40 KJB) When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
The abiding of the lion included a low profile (crouch) but also patiently waiting on a small, flat, couch, a resting place, located in a select hidden covert, expectantly and silently awaiting the arrival of prey to satisfy the appetite of her young lions.
The word “abide” carries more meaning than only ‘living” or “enduring”
(1 Peter 1:23 KJB) “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
“because you have been born again — not of perishable seed but of imperishable — through the living and enduring word of God.” (CSB)
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (NIV)
The word “abide” carries more meanings than “continue” or “remaining alive”.
(Philippians 1:24 KJB) “Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."
But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. NIV
But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. CSB
The English word “abide” embodies a multiplicity of thoughts: to wait in expectation, to be ready, to wait submissively, to remain patient, to be tolerant, plus many others. The context in which the word is used defines the meaning.
Why was it “more needful” for Paul to abide in the flesh to the Philippian church rather than to depart and be with Christ, which was the far better course of the flesh? As the context proves, Paul’s testimony of faithfulness in the face of gospel adversaries would benefit the joy and furtherance of the Philippian’s faith. Paul’s “abiding” would include encouragement and strengthening of the church’s testimony.
(Philippians 1:23-30 KJB) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Compare the Christian Standard Bible with the KJB in John 15:4-7.
(John 15:4-7 KJB) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
(John 15:4-7 CSB) “Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.
6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.”
There is a great difference in the English word “remain” and the KJB “abide”. The word abide contains the meaning of remain or to continue---but so much more. The context of usage in the KJB will define the meaning of abide. Try finding the meaning of “remain” by the context of usage in the CSB! The word “remain” occurs 157 times in the CSB and only with the idea of “continue to exist”.
The inept translation of “remain” in John 15:6 is revealed:
“If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire…”
How can a branch not remain on the vine---and in that same instance or condition remain to be thrown aside to wither? The word “remain” is not sufficient for the case. If a man no longer continues to remain, how can he continue or remain to be thrown aside? “Abide” carries a more definitive state than merely continuing to exist in a location.
Henry F. Lyte (1847) a Church of England clergyman, was the author of the hymn lyrics. In this hymn he captured the vast majority of definitive meanings and nuances behind the word, abide.
“Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”
Try replacing “abide” with “remain” in Lyte’s hymn above and see what juvenile nonsense it demonstrates. “Remain” invites no further study, no more meaning, and requires no search for synonyms. “Abide” challenges the intellect for conditions of that state and implies further nuances of meaning. “Abide” requires deeper study and reflection upon its definitive meanings revealed by careful and believing study.
The King James Bible carries a dictionary in the warp and woof of all its words. One word is not isolated from all other KJB words. This is why such careful study is commanded.
Deuteronomy 4:2: Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Proverbs 30:5-6: Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Revelation 22:18-19: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Dave Reese is a long time veteran missionary to the Philippines. He is no slackard in the things of the word of God and I am very grateful for this gem that he sent out to his email subscribers.