Here is another case where the contemporary theologians, bloggers, dictionaries, et al., face a discrepancy in the KJV text and subsequently fail to exercise faith. However, we believe every word, including even the punctuation marks; therefore, we give the benefit of the doubt to the word of God, and we ‘catch up’ to its wonder.
The word example is commonly used and commonly understood to be a pattern, something or some process that is to be noted (and copied if favorable; shunned if unfavorable). So the question someone posed was, what’s the difference between the well known word, example, and the seldom used word, ensample? (Ensample or ensamples appears six times in the KJV).
The point is, ensample always and only refers to man’s characteristic and behavior. Ensample never applies to an inanimate product. Example, on the other hand, may apply to both personal or (and as typically used), general products and processes (not personal).
Watch the context and key words in 1 Peter 5: 1-3 where ensample is used:
“Among you…partaker…among you…being ensamples…”
In other words, live among them, let them see your personal characteristics, your personal habits and such.
Being ensamples is a charge to their person: be a living pattern that others can emulate. (You do not emulate inanimate objects, you copy them) .
1 Corinthians 10: 6 : “Now these things were our examples…” Note these things, these experiences (vs. 1-4). Things are the patterns for us to learn from, the cause and effect of things past. Notice in vs 1-6 there is no personal characteristic revealed. We only know ‘all’ did this and that, and then God overthrew them.
1 Corinthians 10:11: “Now all these happened unto them for ensamples” After a list a personal characteristics (lusted, idolaters, fornication, tempters, murmurers), the word ensamples is used, with an exact admonition to follow “flee from idolatry” (10:14). It’s a very personal and detailed pattern; and in this case, one to avoid!
One more: 1 Thessalonians 1:7: “…So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia….”
The context is obvious: these believers were a great pattern in their personal walk with Christ. Paul said he needed to write nothing—they had provided so great an ensample for others to emulate. He even said “And ye became followers of us” (vs 6) — and uses the word ‘manner’ twice in context, referring to their personal conduct.
So, in conclusion, when the word ensample(s) is used, look for a pattern of personal behavior and conduct, be it good or bad. A subtle difference in spelling cues the reader about the context.