Drawing again from Laurence Vance’s Archaic Words and the Authorized Version we turn to Appendix 4 where he lists all the archaic words he found in the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and NRSV. It seem fair to conclude that archaic words would fall among those most suited to be False Friends seeing that archaic words have either passed out of use or are on the verge of passing out of use. As such English-speakers may very well think they know what these words mean but in the end do not which is the very definition of a False Friend according to Mark Ward.
The trouble for Ward is that such archaic words, False Friends, and potential False Friends occur in modern versions and in significant numbers as the following lists show.
Archaic Words in the NIV
abode, ancients, aright, asunder, away with, beckon, begotten, bier, bewitched, bowels, calved, celestial, coney, confections, convince, cormorant, decked, deride, distill, dung, effect, estate, forevermore, fowl, girdle, hallowed, haunt, heresies, infamy, inasmuch, insatiable, jeopardy, kernels, laden, lance, lusty, mantle, mattock, naught, nurtured, odious, osprey, pangs, phylacteries, plowshare, rend, respite, rushes, soothsayer, spoil, suckling, temperate, tetrach, trafficked, unto, usury, vaunt, vestments, vex, wanton, yokefellow.
Archaic Words in the NASB
abase, abated, abode, adjure, alms, ancient, apparel, aright, art, asunder, away with, backbiting, beget, beseech, bewail, bewitched, bondwoman, bowels, breeches, brimstone, calves, canst, cleave, comely, constrains, cormorant, coaches, covert, crib, dainty, dearth, deck, deride, didst, distill, doest, dost, doth, dung, effect, eminent, engines, estate, evermore, familiar, feigned, fetch, firstlings, fleshhook, footmen, forbearance, fowl, fuller, gaiety, garners, gavest, girdle, graven, gross, guile, handmaid, harrow, hast, haunt, heresies, hinds, importune, impotent, inasmuch, issue, jeopardy, know, laden, laud, layer, lightness, litters, lordly, lunatic, lusty, mail, maintenance, mammon, mantle, maranatha, mattock, milch, mill, nether, nurtured, odious, offscouring, pangs, paramours, perdition, phylacteries, pipes, plowshare, presbytery, principalities, putrefaction, raiment, rampart, ravening, remission, rend, reprobate, requite, riot, rushes, seemly, seest, seethe, shalt, sherd, speakest, stay, strait, suckling, swaddling, tares, temperate, tenons, teraphim, tetrach thee, thereon, thine, thou, thy, timbrel, trafficked, travail, unto usury, vagabond, valor, vaunt, venture, verily, vermilion, vex, virtue, wanton, warp, wayfarers, whence, wherewith, woof, wrought, yea, yonder
Archaic Word in the NKJV
abase, abode, alms, amiss, anise, apparel, aright, austere, away with, backbiters, beckoned, beggarly, begot, bemoan, beseech, bewail, bewitched, bittern, bondwomen, brimstone, calves, carnal, celestial, circumspect, cloven comeliness, concourse, confederacy, convince, covert, crib, dainties, daubed, dayspring, debased, decks, deride, dispensation, disquiet, distill, dung, effect, epistle, eventide, evermore, familiar, fan, feigned, fetch, flanks, flay, footmen, forbearance, foursquare, fowl, fuller, gad, godhead, graven, greyhound, gross, hallowed, haunts, hemlock, henceforth, heresies, immutable, impudent, inasmuch, issue, jeopardy, jot, know, laden, laud, laver, litters, lordly, lusty, mail, mammon, mantle, mattock, mill, mite, nativity, offend, offscouring, omnipotent, or ever, pangs, paramours, phylacteries, pipes, plowshare, potentate, principality, prognosticators, shod, smith, soothsayer, spoil, straits, suckling, tares, temperate, tenons, terrestrial, tetrarch, therein, timbrel, tittle, unto, usury, vagabond, valor, vehement, verity, vermilion, vestments, vex, virtue, visage, wanton, warp, wayfaring, whence, whereupon, whet, winebibber, woof, wrought, yea, yonder
Archaic Words in the NRSV
abase, abate, abode, adjuration, alms, apparel, assuage, asunder, augment, away with, backbiting, beget, beggarly, bemoan, beseech, bewail, bewitched, bier, bowels, calving, cleft, clemency, comely, coneys, constraints, cormorant, covert, crib, dainty, debased, decked, delectable, disquieted, dissembles, distill, dromedaries, dung, effect, enjoined, ensign, ensues, estate, eventide, evermore, execration, familiar, firmament, firstling, flagon, flay, footmen, forbear, foursquare, fowl, fuller, gad, garner, goodly, gross, guile, hallowed, haltingly, harrow, haunt, henceforth, hoarfrost, impudent, inasmuch, isles, know, laden, lance, laud, laver, litters, lusty, mail, maintenance, mantle, mattock, milch, mill, naught, noontide, obeisance, pipes, plowshare, pound, rampart, ravening, remission, rend, riotous, soothsayer, stay, straits, stripling, supplant, surfeit, swaddling, temperate, teraphim, thereupon, thrice, timbrel, trafficked, unshod
Of the 25 “False Friends” which Ward treats in his book, 5 are present in the modern translation: bowels, heresies, issue, spoil, and haltingly.
If edification requires intelligibility understood in a Wardian way, and so he declares the Authorized Version an unsuitable version of the Bible for modern day English-speakers, then to remain consistent he should include, at a minimum, the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and NRSV as unsuitable translations as well and by the same standard. Why? Because even the modern versions retain words which Ward regards as False Friends. Additionally, these modern versions contain a slew of dead/archaic words.
Again, Ward is a nice guy, but his scholarship on this point is spotty at best. And it is this point that rest at the very foundation of this argument and contribution to the textual/version discussion. It is my hope that he would have the integrity to walk back the greater part of his contribution to the textual/version issue and then rethink his aim and trajectory should he continue in this discussion. It is quite apparent. There is just too much he hasn’t thought about and too little that he has read on this topic.
On a separate note, in honor of the 4th of July we will be discounting ebooks over the course of the weekend. Stay tuned for more info and let your friends know because friends tell friends about free books.
3 thoughts on “A List of Archaic Words Appearing in the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and NRSV”
As is so often the case, hypocrisy is the order of the day.
Splendid work, but I would replace the NIV with the ESV, and the NASB 1977 with the LSB. The ESV is extremely popular among evangelicals while the LSB is loved by readers who used to love the NASB 1995.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the comment, Joseph.