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Wealthy or Rich?

The new bible versions claim to be easier to read, and initially that may seem to be so, but I contend they are harder to understand!  When we study God’s word, which is the specific revelation he has given to us, it’s far better to seek understanding than ease of reading.  Here is an example:

“Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” - 1 Corinthians 10:24.  Using the OED’s definition of wealth – The condition of being happy and prosperous; well-being – this verse fits perfectly with the selfless ‘care for others’ theme of the chapter: “… not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many…” — v. 33.

Why do some versions replace wealth with riches?  In so doing, they completely confuse the understanding of verse 24 (above).  Should we disregard our own and instead seek other men’s riches?  What?!!  Isn’t this covetousness?   If I seek another’s riches (like a thief) - what kind of character do I have?


Wealth: a state of being happy, healthy, and successful: well-being, work to the public/common weal - Brittanica

- Notice the root word is Germanic: weal (common good, success), and is occasionally contrasted with woe (a miserable state).   Weal and woe - good times and bad times.

The rebuke to the Laodicean church was for their attitude to their increase in goods, their riches; it was not for being wealthy (Rev. 3:17).  So, why do some versions change the word rich to the word wealth?

Luke 19:2 – Why do they change the description of Zacchaeus from rich to wealthy?  He was apparently a hated tax collector: rich in goods, but not rich in goodness: not concerned with the well-being of others.  If wealth is a good characteristic (A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…) why do they change riches to wealth in Mark 4:19?  Wealth (loving favor) is not deceitful, but silver and gold can be.   

Luke 18:23 – Why do these versions claim the covetous ruler was wealthy (when, in fact, he was rich)?

Shall we address 1 Timothy 6:9: “… rich in this world…”?  They had money;  but they were snared by their misplaced love.  They supposed that gain (riches) equated to godliness, or in other words, they were deceived and high-minded to trust riches instead of God (v.17).  These are charged to do good and to do good works – that is, be wealthy!  So, why change rich to wealthy, a word that seemingly contradicts the rebuke of their selfish greed?

For a nearer and perhaps somewhat secular reference: Four of our United States are technically Commonwealths: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky.  The title describes their intent: common-wealth (well-being of all their citizens, as opposed to that of the King and his officers).  These individual State Constitutions mirror the intent Paul penned in 1 Corinthians 10.  I think the real Bible was being read at that time!  (We know Jefferson was influenced by the persecuted Baptists.)

Luke 16 (v. 19): “There was a certain rich man…” – this hell-bound man had lots of stuff, he was rich; but he was not wealthy – he cared not for his fellow man’s welfare, his well-being: poor Lazarus was ignored.  This disregard was a only a symptom, revealing the rich man was hardened against the law of Moses (Deut.15:7).  It’s such an obvious and, in this case, tragic misunderstanding between rich and wealthy!  So, again, why do some versions replace rich for wealthy?

If I had followed the new bible versions, being unwilling to study, and sought an easy-to-read text, I’d be awfully confused in 1 Corinthians 10:24, and other noted texts.  Instead, I want to carefully understand God’s revelation to us, not simply breeze through it as if it were a literary race to the finish line.  I’ll stay with the reliable, the understandable, the wealthy, Authorized Version. 

Thank you.

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That was a good read!


Amen that was amazing read very insightful to what I see being taught today at the places I attend


Mar 18

Amen! Glory! 👋🏼


Amen this is helpful, thank you.

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