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Old 07-12-2009, 07:51 AM
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Ripdood Ripdood is offline
 
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Default Webster's Dictionary 1828

As I have studied the various threads on the forum. I have noticed a trend that bothers me.

Time and time again members when discussing something, refer to the 1828 Edition of Webster’s Dictionary. While I have personally nothing against Mr. Webster or his dictionary, I do find it distressing that some quote it giving it the same level of authority with the Holy Word of God (the King James Bible).

As I pondered this I began to wonder about Mr. Webster. The following excerpts are from various sources on the Internet.


Mr. Webster’s biographical info:

Born in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1758, Noah Webster came of age during the American Revolution and was a strong advocate of the Constitutional Convention. He believed fervently in the developing cultural independence of the United States, a chief part of which was to be a distinctive American language with its own idiom, pronunciation, and style.

In 1806 Webster published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, the first truly American dictionary. For more information on this milestone in American reference publishing, please see Noah Webster’s Spelling Reform and A Sample Glossary from A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. Immediately thereafter he went to work on his magnum opus, An American Dictionary of the English Language, for which he learned 26 languages, including Anglo-Saxon and Sanskrit, in order to research the origins of his own country's tongue. This book, published in 1828, embodied a new standard of lexicography; it was a dictionary with 70,000 entries that was felt by many to have surpassed Samuel Johnson's 1755 British masterpiece not only in scope but in authority as well.

One facet of Webster's importance was his willingness to innovate when he thought innovation meant improvement. He was the first to document distinctively American vocabulary such as skunk, hickory, and chowder. Reasoning that many spelling conventions were artificial and needlessly confusing, he urged altering many words: musick to music, centre to center, and plough to plow, for example. (Other attempts at reform met with less acceptance, however, such as his support for modifying tongue to tung and women to wimmen—the latter of which he argued was "the old and true spelling" and the one that most accurately indicated its pronunciation.) http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/noah.htm

Mr. Webster’s Religious Views:

Webster was a devout Christian. His speller was grounded in Scripture, and his first lesson began "Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink ; nor for your body, what ye shall put on ; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things."

His 1828 American Dictionary contained the greatest number of Biblical definitions given in any reference volume. Webster considered education "useless without the Bible". Webster claimed to have learned 20 different languages in finding definitions for which a particular word is used.

From the preface to the 1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language:

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... . No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”

Webster released his own edition of the Bible in 1833, called the Common Version. He used the King James Version (KJV) as a base and consulted the Hebrew and Greek along with various other versions and commentaries. Webster molded the KJV to correct grammar, replaced words that were no longer used, and did away with words and phrases that could be seen as offensive. (I made this bold for a reason. A downloadable copy of his version is available here, if you wish to compare it). http://www.believersresource.com/con...e-webster.html )

All editions of Webster's Dictionary published in 1913 and earlier, along with the Webster Bible and Dissertation on the English Language are available in the public domain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Webster


Over and over we talk about how it is wrong to correct the Word of God whether by addition or subtraction. Here we have a man who is constantly quoted as an authority on terms and language in the English language as it appears in our Bible. The emphasized portion in the above quote shows the Mr. Webster corrected the King James.

Let’s take a look at an example of a Webster’s definition. (This one caught my attention this morning; it is not a reflection of the member who used it his post. Just an example)

Pastor - noun
1. A shepherd; one that has the care of flocks and herds
2. A minister of the gospel who has the charge of the church and congregation, whose duty it is to watch over the people of his charge, and instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the Christian religion. http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/pastor


Look at the definition, especially item 2. “instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the Christian religion” Where do we get our doctrine we live by brothers and sisters? Is it from religion or from the Holy Word of God?

Any book any person produces it is flavored with their own opinions, slant, and take on things; whether it is Ruckman, Riplinger, Spurgeon, Gipp, or any other popular Christian writer. We must take care not to impose too much authority on anyone’s interpretation of the Words of God. Any other author who is quoted or referenced here, it seems everyone knows much about the writer, Mr. Webster it seems is accepted without anyone ever checking into his background. His dictionary is a great Bible study tool, but it is only a tool not the Final Authority on Scripture. Only Scripture can define Scripture.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2009, 01:09 PM
Steve Schwenke
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I appeal to the dictionary only to clarify what the Bible already says. We must have a standard of defining words, so that we don't talk past each other. So, if I cannot give a precise definition to a word, I look it up in the dictionary, test the dictionary with the Scripture to see if the Scripture agrees with how the word is defined, and when it agrees, I use it to bring clarification to the argument, and to keep the argument focused on the correct thing.

If we discuss "ordinances" and Chette thinks "ordinance" means one thing, and I think "ordinance" means something else, but we never agree on a definition of the word, the discussion becomes useless. The dictionary brings us to a point where we should be able to agree on how a word is being used, and then we might be able to get somewhere. Otherwise, we are right back in Judges where everyone does that which is right in his own eyes, because there is no common definition of the words we use.

(BTW - my mentioning Chette and "ordinances" was only an illustration - not an attack! Please do not take offence!!! )

So the final authority for doctrine, etc is the AV. The Dictionary brings clarification to the words we use in our dialogues so that we can understand what we are saying to each other. It also helps us understand how the Bible uses words, particularly those that have multiple meanings, and particularly those that are being misused in modern language.
  #3  
Old 07-12-2009, 02:01 PM
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Jassy Jassy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schwenke View Post
FWIW, I think you are reading too much into this definition. It is the pastor's function to teach the Christian what to believe and how to live.

I Tim. 3:1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

All of the other major portions of Scripture dealing with the Pastor reflect the same thought. Eph. 4:11-15, Acts 20, I Pet. 5. That is part of the function of the office.
I've got to disagree with something you said. You stated:
"It is the pastor's function to teach the Christian what to believe and how to live."
First of all, "apt to teach" WHAT? It is the pastor's function to teach the TRUTH and that means showing what the BIBLE says. Never should a pastor interpret Scripture privately and teach what he thinks a Christian ought to know, or teach the way that he thinks a Christian ought to live.

Let the Bible tell the Christian directly.

Therefore, a pastor should be encouraging the Believer to pray and to go to the Word of God for wisdom and understanding. A pastor should trust the Holy Spirit to guide Christians in their daily Christian walk.

I'm adding something that follows the thread. Of course, the Bible should be the source of all truth. Yet I see nothing wrong with going to Webster's 1828 Dictionary to clarify unfamiliar terminology. We don't go to Webster for doctrine or for other biblical purposes. We go directly to the Bible for that. However, using Webster's 1828 Dictionary is certainly not anti-Christian!

Jassy
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:25 PM
Winman Winman is offline
 
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Jassy

I respectfully disagree with you. Bro Steve did not really say anything wrong there when he says a pastor should teach the Christian what to believe.

2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

So, I think the Bible shows that it is a pastor and a bishop's duty to continually be aware of false doctrine and correct it.
  #5  
Old 07-12-2009, 02:45 PM
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George George is offline
 
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Default Re: "Webster's Dictionary 1828"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jassy View Post
I've got to disagree with something you said. You stated:
"It is the pastor's function to teach the Christian what to believe and how to live."
First of all, "apt to teach" WHAT? It is the pastor's function to teach the TRUTH and that means showing what the BIBLE says. Never should a pastor interpret Scripture privately and teach what he thinks a Christian ought to know, or teach the way that he thinks a Christian ought to live.

Let the Bible tell the Christian directly.

Therefore, a pastor should be encouraging the Believer to pray and to go to the Word of God for wisdom and understanding. A pastor should trust the Holy Spirit to guide Christians in their daily Christian walk.

I'm adding something that follows the thread. Of course, the Bible should be the source of all truth. Yet I see nothing wrong with going to Webster's 1828 Dictionary to clarify unfamiliar terminology. We don't go to Webster for doctrine or for other biblical purposes. We go directly to the Bible for that. However, using Webster's 1828 Dictionary is certainly not anti-Christian!

Jassy

Aloha sister Jassy,

Right on sister!

It is an elder's/pastor's job to "give themselves to the ministry of the word" and to "preach the word" - NOT "to teach the Christian what to believe and how to live."! Somebody is trying to REPLACE the Holy Spirit! "Discernment", "Understanding" and "Wisdom" come from the Holy Spirit of God - NOT some man! [1Corinthians 2: 1-16]
Quote:
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.


Acts 6:4
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.


Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
You're on the right track sister - keep up the good work!
  #6  
Old 07-12-2009, 02:57 PM
Winman Winman is offline
 
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George, you probably won't answer me, that's OK. But when 2 Tim 4:2 says reprove, the very definition of this word means to:

From Strong's Concordance;

1) to convict, refute, confute
a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose
2) to find fault with, correct
a) by word
1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove
2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation
b) by deed
1) to chasten, to punish

Those are strong words, to convict someone with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted, to expose, to find fault with, correct, chide, admonish, call to account, show one his fault, chasten, to punish.

So, I still believe it is a pastor and bishop's duty to correct those in his care. You know, a shepherd does keep the wolves from attacking the sheep, but also once in a while a shepherd has to strike the sheep who would stray from the flock for it's own good. That is a shepherd's job.
  #7  
Old 07-12-2009, 02:58 PM
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George George is offline
 
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Aloha brother Gary,

I'm with you 100% per cent of the way brother! The Bible is it's own "BEST DICTIONARY"! And when it comes to spiritual issues NEVER trust Webster, or Strong, or some Lexicon. The following are some comments (on this Forum) that I have made before on this subject:

Quote:
"For most "Old English" words I have used Webster's 1828 Dictionary - However, when it comes to any words that may have significant spiritual meaning I always use the Bible only (words like: soul, spirit, heart, mind, conscience, etc.). When it comes to spiritual meanings of some words Noah Webster may not have understood their meaning - because God may not have shown him."

"I did not obtain these definitions from Webster's Dictionary or Strong's Concordance or any book, article, etc. written by another man. When it comes to spiritual matters Webster & Strong are very little help, since only God can give us the discernment, understanding, and wisdom to understand His words. These definitions are the result of searching the Scriptures for over a year in pursuit of a study that I have done on the Biblical heart of man:"

"Webster's 1828 English Dictionary may be of some "help" when looking up a so-called "archaic" English word; but I have made it a practice, for over 40 years now, that whenever a word in the Bible has any "spiritual significance" at all, to never trust Webster or the Lexicons - instead I have relied on the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what God has to say about a particular subject or issue by searching the scriptures and comparing scripture with scripture."

"I have been studying the King James Bible for 50 years now (40 of those years intensively). From 1968 up to 1996 I used either Young's Concordance or Strong's Concordance to look up English words in the Bible and to compare scripture with scripture (NEVER as a Lexicon i.e. to get the "meanings" of words). I can testify to you here and now that using Swordsearcher hasn't made my study just 10 times faster and more convenient - it has made my Bible study anywheres from 10 to 100 times faster and more convenient!"

"The word “spirit” (pertaining only to mankind – and excluding God’s Spirit or evil spirits, etc.) is mentioned approximately 144 times in 134 Verses in the Holy Bible. To accurately describe something that we cannot see, but accept by faith in the Scriptures, is extremely difficult. Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 is not that much help here either, because of the difficulty distinguishing between the soul and spirit (Check out Webster's "definition")."
When it comes to any word in the Bible which has any spiritual significance I do NOT recommend going to Webster's Dictionary. Search out the words (Scripture with Scripture) to find God's definition. When you have determined in your heart, mind, spirit and soul what the meaning is, you might check out Webster's as a comparison - but I recommend that you do not go to Webster's first - it might "influence" your search (without even knowing it.)

For your information, when it comes to the Biblical words soul, spirit, heart, mind, and conscience, Webster's will not be much help. Looking up the words and comparing Scripture with Scripture will give you a much more "accurate" definition than Webster.
  #8  
Old 07-12-2009, 03:34 PM
Winman Winman is offline
 
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1 Thess 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

I believe these verses tell a Christian to know (identify) those who labor and are over you in the Lord in the church. So, while we are brothers and sisters and equal, we are supposed to show high respect for the pastor, bishops, deacons, and elders. And vs. 14 says that we do have a duty to warn those who are unruly.

Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Now who is it that speaks the word of God in church? The preacher, the pastor primarily.

Of course, I realize that some here do not believe Hebrews applies to the Gentile.

1 Tim 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)


1 Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

So, I do believe the pastor is the shepherd over the flock. Of course, all these verses apply to a local body of believers.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Schwenke View Post
FWIW, I think you are reading too much into this definition. It is the pastor's function to teach the Christian what to believe and how to live.

I Tim. 3:1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

All of the other major portions of Scripture dealing with the Pastor reflect the same thought. Eph. 4:11-15, Acts 20, I Pet. 5. That is part of the function of the office.
I see Jassy addressed the same point I have to make about your comment:
Quote:
It is the pastor's function to teach the Christian what to believe and how to live.
One of the problems is that the majority of pastors teach the doctrines and "way to live" (much of it works related) according to their particular denomination's traditions. There are hundreds of denominations and sects in the US alone with varying doctrines and as brother George pointed out apparently around 450 different baptist groups. It seems obvious that the reason why there are so many churches is that Christians do not search the scriptures to find out what God says but instead follow men and man's traditions. Why should I believe what you teach and follow your standards of conduct when I can go down the street and get a whole new set of beliefs and code of conduct from another pastor. We are told to compare what men teach with scripture. It's funny how taking that very scriptural stand has elicited some very negative responses on this board.

George gets attacked a lot on this board lately, as you pointed out. He's attacked on his posting style, his decision to avoid divisive people and his teaching from scripture. Honestly, the first two are not the real reasons for the attacks. It all boils down to his teaching of scripture. He has a high level of scriptural knowledge, he approaches the Bible to find out what it says, not to support his private interpretations and he posts his Bible studies. That's what the devil doesn't like.
  #10  
Old 07-12-2009, 07:02 PM
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Ripdood Ripdood is offline
 
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Hey and howdy all,

I have been reading the replies to my posting and I think I need clear up something.

Quote:
Let’s take a look at an example of a Webster’s definition. (This one caught my attention this morning; it is not a reflection of the member who used it his post. Just an example)

Pastor - noun
1. A shepherd; one that has the care of flocks and herds
2. A minister of the gospel who has the charge of the church and congregation, whose duty it is to watch over the people of his charge, and instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the Christian religion. http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/pastor


Look at the definition, especially item 2. “instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the Christian religion” Where do we get our doctrine we live by brothers and sisters? Is it from religion or from the Holy Word of God?
I think I may have been misunderstood in my original post. My critique of the definition, was not aimed at the role of the pastor in the Bible.

Let me state this clearly, I AM NOT ANTI-PASTOR, I believe in the role of pastors in the church.

My contention was with the definition, the learning of doctrine from religion. We should get our doctirne from the Holy Bible. If a pastor isn't teaching it from the Bible we should separate ourselves from his teaching and go elsewhere. If anyone teaches a doctrine and bases it on what his church/denomination says we should not acccept it as fact.

There is an old saying I heard which I have always applied in my search for understanding and knowledge. "Just because I say it, or they say it; don't believe it search it out for yourself"

I have been in churches where people were taught the leadership was above reproach in all matters. I separated myself from them. The Holy Spirit is our only source which is above reproach he uses the Holy Word of God to speak to us as well as in our hearts.

I appreciate all who responded to my original post. Both sides made excellent points. But my post was not to belittle the pastor's role. As I stated:

Quote:
Let’s take a look at an example of a Webster’s definition. (This one caught my attention this morning; it is not a reflection of the member who used it his post. Just an example)
I only used that definition because it caught my eye this morning, and what Mr. Webster had said about where we get our doctrine.

I use Webster's, in fact I used it in my devotions/bible study the other night. I am reading in Genesis and ran across a word that I couldn't remember what it meant. A term related to a certain plant, not a spiritual word. And actually it started me on a thought process which I making for a great indepth Bible study.

Many years ago when I was still a teen, every Sunday morning our regular schedule was to have a certain preacher/pastor out of Virginia on the TV while we got ready for church. I loved to sit and listen to him. I had dreams of being a preacher one day, though I was unsaved at the time, but thought I was. One morning he made a statement about some item in his sermon, that same morning we covered the same passage in sunday school. My SS teacher interpreted it differently. Both men were Baptists and much more knowledgeable than I was, but it hit how two could be different in their views. I looked at the scripture later on my own and looked at verses that had the same words using my concordance in the back of my Bible. I didn't see it as either one of the men had. But it made sense to me.

And we have all heard that old saying, "When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, then seek no other sense."

Am I a genius when it comes to the Holy Word of God? NO!! I am a just a saved sinner who has the privilege of God speaking to me through his Word and the Holy Spirit.

Now I have rambled off on a rabbit trail, but the short point is we must test everything we learn or hear against Scripture.

Nuff said,
 

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