Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

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Old 07-04-2009, 03:55 PM
Will Kinney's Avatar
Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
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Location: Colorado, a beautiful state with four distinct seasons; sometimes in the same day!
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Default What about the English word "corn"?

What do we do with the word “corn” as it stands in the King James Bible?

I recently had an email exchange with a man I know who is a Wycliffe missionary working in Papau New Ginea. He and his family are translating the Bible into the Koluwawa language. My wife and I help support them in their work and wish God’s blessings upon them and their labors to bring the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the native Koluwawa speaking people.

Over the years we have from time to time discussed the Bible version issue and whether or not there exists such a thing as a Bible that can truthfully be called the complete, inspired, infallible and 100% true words of God. My position is that there is and it is the King James Bible. His position is that there is not, but we need to do the best we can to communicate God’s “message” in the language that the target audience will understand.

This article is in response to some of the objections my missionary friend Brad brought up. He writes: Hello again to Will and all. I want to address a couple things you said in your reply. You said: “He (the Lord Jesus Christ) was talking about His preserved words. They would not pass away. Where are His preserved, inspired and infallible words today? Your side doesn't know. Or they tell us that they are scattered all over the place in a multitude of conflicting and partial mss. Not in a single Book.”

Brad continues: “You talk about "His preserved words." My concern for the accurate preservation of God's Word is exactly why I can never be a KJV-onlyist. Take for example the word "corn." Matthew 12, Mark 2, and Luke 6 in the KJV all have Jesus walking through the "cornfields." But "corn" in modern American English does not mean what it meant in King James English. The term "corn" was good, accurate translation when it was used in the KJV, but if you ask a person on the street today to give you all the words and ideas they can think of that associate with the term "corn," you're going to hear about maize and ears of corn and popcorn and caramel corn, etc. You'll even hear something about corny jokes and corned beef and foot corns before you hear anyone say that it is an archaic general term for "grain" (if you hear them say that at all). The meaning that Jesus walking through the cornfields had for readers of the KJV 350 years ago is not preserved for readers today when that same form "corn" is retained. But your position holds that you must preserve the form "corn" because it is inerrant and inspired, and in order to hold that position, you must either face the fact that you are retaining a form that no longer carries the meaning originally intended, or you have to deny that the meaning has actually changed in the face of extremely strong evidence to the contrary.” (end of quote from Brad)

So what do we do with the word “corn” as found in the King James Bible?
Well, the short answer is - We keep it, just as it stands.

People who do not believe that there ever existed and does not exist now any Bible in any language that is the preserved, inspired, complete and 100% true words of God seem more concerned about “communicating in the target language” their assumed meanings of a few individual words like “corn”, “conversation”, “let” and “gay” than they are about whether or not literally thousands of God inspired words, whole phrases or entire verses (anywhere from 17 to 45 in the N.T. alone) belong in the true Bible or not.

I and many others firmly believe that the sovereign God of history has indeed fulfilled His promises to give us “the book of the LORD” which we can hold in our hands, read and believe every word. This real and tangible Book is the Authorized King James Holy Bible. It is the Standard and final written authority by which all other “bibles” are to be measured.

God put His pure words in the end times universal language of the English tongue. The true Bible comes from England, not the United States of America, nor Rome, nor Spain, nor Germany nor from Papau New Ginea. All we need to do to understand the meaning of those few English words that some people label as “archaic” or misunderstood, is to simply look them up in a dictionary and learn what they mean.

In the old days they used to call this “getting an education”. Students look up and learn new words and meanings every day of their lives. Technical names, scientific terms, medical terminology and slang are picked up on a regular basis. Don’t even Bible teachers have to teach the meaning of words like Amen (So be it - Greek, from a Hebrew word meaning Truth or Certainlty), Hallelujah - (Hebrew/Greek meaning Praise to Jehovah), “the rapture” (from the Latin rapt meaning to be carried away), “Trinity” (Latin meaning a unity of three) or “Messiah” (from the Hebrew meaning ‘anointed’)?

Or even the simple word “Bible”. How many people know what this word literally means and where it comes from? All we need to do is a little study if we do not understand the meaning of a Bible word. We do not need to dumb down the greatest book ever written. People actually read these modern language, conflicting and contradictory “updated” bible versions and believe them less and less every day.

Corn - what does it really mean and how many Bible translations use this useful and accurate word?

If you bother to actually look up the English word “corn” to see what it means rather than assuming you already know what it means and that the King James Bible is “deficient or out of date”, you will learn some very interesting details about this wonderful, all embracing, generic English word “corn”.

Webster’s Dictionary tells us that the word “corn” comes from the Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German & Old Norse korn grain, Latin granum. And it means: a: the seeds of a cereal grass and especially of the important cereal crop of a particular region (as wheat in Britain, oats in Scotland and Ireland, and Indian corn in the New World and Australia) b : the kernels of sweet corn served as a vegetable while still soft and milky.

Another English dictionary tells us that corn is:
1.a cultivated American cereal plant (Zea mays) of the grass family, with the grain borne on cobs enclosed in husks; maize
2. the ears or kernels of this cereal plant
3. British - the seeds of all cereal grasses, as wheat, rye, barley, etc.; grain
4. any plant or plants producing grain
5. the leading cereal crop in a particular place, as wheat in England or oats in Scotland and Ireland

So we see that the simple word “corn” can refer to any type of grain crop including Indian maize, or wheat, barley, oats or rye. It is a general term for any kind of cultivated grains.

One of my nieces, a really wonderful and highly intelligent young Christian woman, told me about how when she was in 4 H clubs they used to make what they called “Corn Dolls”. These are actually made out of wheat sheafs or any other kind of grain. You can read about them here:

How many English bible translations use the word “corn” besides the King James Bible? The answer may well surprise you. Beginning with the liberal RSV of 1946 some English bible translations began to remove the word “corn” and substitute the generic term “grain”, apparently unaware that the word “corn” is itself a generic term for any kind of edible grain. Now the word “corn” is also omitted by the NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NASB and NIV.

However, the word “corn” is found in the following English language Bible translations throughout history. The Wycliffe Bible 1395, Tyndale 1525 - example: Matthew 12:1 “In that tyme went Iesus on the Sabot dayes thorow the CORNE and his disciples were anhogred and begane to plucke the EARES OF COORNE and to eate.”, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1557 to 1602, John Wesley’s translation of the New Testament 1755, Webster’s bible 1833, Youngs ‘literal’, Darby’s translation 1870, the Douay-Rheims bible, the Revised Version of 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac 1936, the New English Bible 1970, the Complete Jewish bible, the Jewish Publication Society bible of 1917, the Hebrew Publishing Company’s 1936 translation, the World English Bible - (example: “For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn." 1 Corinthians 9:9), the New Life Bible 1969, the Amplified Bible 1987, the Jerusalem Bible 1968 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985, the Revised English Bible 1989, the Living Bible 1981 (see Mat. 12:1 and other verses); the 21st Century KJV 1994 and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.

Surprise! Even Peterson’s 2002 The Message contains the use of the word “corn” to describle any type of edible grain.

Micah 7:1 - “I'm overwhelmed with sorrow! sunk in a swamp of despair! I'm like someone who goes to the garden to pick cabbages and carrots and CORN And returns empty-handed, finds nothing for soup or sandwich or salad.’”

Hebrews 6:7 “Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and CORN for its gardener gets God's "Well done!"

When people tell you that such and such a word in the King James Bible is either “archaic” (How can it be archaic if it is used every day by thousands of Bible believers?) or misunderstood, it is all a smokescreen and a shallow excuse for their not submitting to any Book as God’s final authority for both faith and practice. Not one of these people who claims that either the underlying texts or the English translation should be “revised” actually believes there exists such a thing as the complete and 100% true Holy Bible in any language.

For me and thousands of other Bible believers the choice is very clear and simple. If we have to choose between the absolute Truth of God’s preserved words in the English language, though it may be harder to understand in certain places, or the multitude of conflicting, contradictory and often false modern language versions, we will take our stand on that old Book that has stood the test of time and the enemies attacks - the King James Holy Bible.

“Kept by the power of God through faith” - 1 Peter 1:5

Will Kinney
The King James Bible Page SwordSearcher Bible Software
Old 07-04-2009, 05:04 PM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 462

Hi Folks,

Beautiful study, and heart for sharing, Will.

You raised my interest, I always received corn as a fine an accurate Bible word, however the extra background is really neat. When I get back home shortly (a day) I will check one or two other versions (e.g. Soncino) and plan on doing a bit more reading and checking, and share a bit more with you.

It is amazing the walls of excusism that these fellows, especially those seminary trained, and Bible-translation trained, will raise in order to avoid identification of the pure an perfect word of God. Hopefully this brother will receive some and reconsider his positon of opposition.

Old 07-04-2009, 06:17 PM
Will Kinney's Avatar
Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Colorado, a beautiful state with four distinct seasons; sometimes in the same day!
Posts: 252

Hi Steven. It's great to hear from you again. I haven't really heard from you for a good while now so I was wondering what had happened. I always enjoy reading the research you come up with.

God bless,

Will K
Old 07-04-2009, 06:24 PM
Bro. Parrish
Posts: n/a

Steven good to hear from you again.
Bro. Will, great study thank you for posting that. I just had some delicious corn (on the cob) myself for the 4th of July, so I appreciated it even more.
Old 07-05-2009, 08:04 AM
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PaulB PaulB is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: The Northwest of England
Posts: 158
Default Hi Will

Thank you for your article every time I read one I get inspired to think!

Concerning your missionary friend’s desire to reword the Bible to his target audience, this is one of my arguments with Rick Warren’s “purpose driven phenomena” - where they redesign the gospel, the ethos of the church and the worship to please their target audience.

Once we start to apply the hammer and chisel to the rock on which we stand we don’t only weaken it but we disfigure it, no matter how well meaning our intentions may be. Once we start to question the need for relevance driven changes to the established foundations that are entrusted to us we are tampering with things that we have no right to and entering into a forbidden domain.

Once a person starts off down that route they are playing a dangerous game and I get concerned for folks like that because where do they decide to draw the line? If a culture has no equivalent to the number 4 (I speak hypothetically) does that mean that I redesign Scripture to win their hearts by being “relevant” – or do I remain faithful to the sacred text and change their understanding?

When I read the following:

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isa 40:8

I see that as something that is eternally established and not to be changed. If I decide to add a new number that fits in between 1-10 and make my own name up for it I totally ruin any sensible calculations that would be understood from a simple mathematical formula. This is exactly what the change agents are doing with the Bible and the gospel (today’s sell out in both areas speaks for themselves). And as a result many research polls now tell us that pastors and congregations alike are convinced that there is no absolute truth, that Jesus sinned, got married and had kids…etc.
All of these blasphemous conclusions had their origin and it normally comes down to the rejection of absolute authority.

Bibles to suit is satan’s reformation and now, after his labours during the 1800s even the authentic claims of Christ are dismissed as nonsense by those who claim to be His followers!

You are right Will, when you say that these “archaic” arguments are smokescreens because that’s exactly what they are. When the preserved word isn’t believed (as the foundation of their argument) then something else is being believed and that is the real basis of their quest.

God bless

Old 07-09-2009, 02:04 PM
magicref magicref is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 16
Default Pigs instead of Sheep

I don't recall the source, but I recall a story once of a Bible Translator who wanted to replace "sheep" with "pigs", because the native people the Scriptures were being intended for didn't know anything about sheep, but did know a lot about pigs.

Not only is this changing the Word of God (as explained above), but the very nature of pigs are different than sheep, and would ruin many of the symbolic pictures gained by using sheep.

We do lose a lot today when we don't reap and sow our own fields, but this doesn't mean we change the Words of God, rather, we teach people what it means to reap and sow, and we teach people what sheep are...

Doug A.
Old 07-09-2009, 04:02 PM
Will Kinney's Avatar
Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
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Location: Colorado, a beautiful state with four distinct seasons; sometimes in the same day!
Posts: 252

Good point. Thanks,

Will K

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