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Practical Applications of Pronouns

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it, Deuteronomy 30:14.

I have happened upon this excellent but simple list of second person pronouns used in your King James Bible compiled by Missionary Robert Patenaude.

Since Brother Patenaude has posted this list on Facebook, it has been shared by well over 1000 people. What becomes obvious looking at this list is that the new versions actually confuse their readers by simplifying the pronouns.

To understand that, read the Book of Deuteronomy and keep track of the pronouns. As Israel assembled to hear Moses give his last speech, each and every individual in the assembly needed to discern the difference between their collective responsibilities as a nation, and those responsibilities that fell upon them as individuals. That was obvious to those who heard him speak in Hebrew and it had been obvious to generations of English Speakers until the new versions dulled their understanding under the guise of helping them to understand.

These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth, Deuteronomy 12:1.

Notice that in Deuteronomy 12:1, two different pronouns are used. "Ye shall observe", that is a collective responsibility to Israel as a nation. "Giveth thee to possess it", each man who heard that thought of his own possession to come. As they stood in a crowd with hundreds of thousands of people listening to Moses, each was able to discern when the speaker was addressing him in a one on one capacity as opposed to when the message was addressed to them as a congregation.

Certain statements made to multitudes need to be absorbed by individuals who do not look to the left and the right of themselves to see how the crowd is receiving the message, but instead accept individual responsibility for what is said.

Collective commandments meant to be obeyed by the congregation under the direction of the elders use second person plural pronouns.

Deu 12:10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Deu 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:

Deu 12:12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

Notice that in King James English it was the collective responsibility of the nation to identify the place that the Lord had chosen to bring their tithes and offerings. It was the collective responsibility of the whole congregation to bring their sons and daughters and servants to rejoice with the Levites.

Watch that responsibility shift.

Deu 12:13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:

Deu 12:14 But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

Deu 12:15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

For each and every individual who stood among the thousands of Israel, the message and the instruction was to them. By the use of the singular pronouns they understood that each and every one of them had been given individual responsibility.

Knowing what is an individual responsibility and what is a collective congregational or national responsibility is a key to being a good Christian, a good church member and a good citizen. If there has ever been a time in the history if the English Speaking People when the very concept of responsibility whether individual or otherwise is muddled, that time is now.

Just a study of the pronouns in our King James Bible illustrates the damage done by the new versions. The King James Bible was once engraved upon the collective consciences of our several nations. Our national constitutions were formulated by men who had grown up studying its precepts. They knew the differences between their responsibilities towards God and man as individuals and they knew which ones rested upon the state.

That understanding is so far removed from our societies today that socialism is becoming ever more popular. Churches are floundering and both men and women alike stay perpetually confused as to their roles and responsibilities. I understand that the authorship of this confusion rests upon hell itself. I understand that many institutions both public and private have contributed to the confusion, but the undermining of the text of our scripture was a brilliant move by the forces of hell in upending righteous societies. I hope that this look at the use of pronouns has helped those of you who still have your King James Bibles.

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