The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 5 of 185
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Archaic and Obsolete Words
of the Authorized Version.
pp. 19, 20
SIMPLICITY.  It is difficult to know why the A.V. translators used `simplicity' in
Rom. 12: 8, "he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity", specially as they have
correctly rendered it "liberality" in II Cor. 8: 2. The Greek word means generosity or
bountifulness which comes from singleness of mind. The Apostle is exhorting giving to
be done with liberality.
is an ancient word meaning `since' and occurs once in the Bible in
Ezek.xxxv.6 "Sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee". Shakespeare
uses it a number of times.
SKILL. There is an obsolete phrase "can skill" used in Solomon's message to Hiram,
king of Tyre. "There is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the
Sidonians." The words mean "have knowledge" or "know how to do" a thing. "Can skill
of" occurs in II Chron. 34: 12 "all that could skill of instruments of music", meaning
skilful with musical instruments.
SLEIGHT has practically passed out of modern usage except in phrases like "sleight
of hand" used in juggling or tricks. `Sleight' in Eph. 4: 14 means literally dice-playing,
cheating or trickery, which is a warning against the wiles of the arch-deceiver, Satan.
SLIME was a word Tyndale used in his translation and the A.V. translators followed
him "Slime they had for mortar" (Gen. 11: 3). "The vale of Siddim was full of slime pits".
The Hebrew word means bitumen or asphalt and the Greek Septuagint uses asphaltos.
Bitumen should be used in these contexts.
SNUFF. This is an Elizabethan word which means to inhale the breath audibly. To
"snuff at" something expressed disdain or contempt. This is now replaced by "sniff at".
Mal. 1: 6-14 accuses the priests of apostasy and showing contempt for the altar. Verse 13
says "ye snuffed at it". We should say now "You sniffed at it" (in contempt).