1 Corinthians 10:25 - “whatsoever is sold in the SHAMBLES”
1 Corinthians 10:25 KJB - “Whatsoever is sold in THE SHAMBLES, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake”
Some bible critics mock at some of the “archaic” words found in our beloved King James Bible and tell us we need to update the language and make it more understandable to modern ears. I understand their point of view, but they usually have an agenda that goes far beyond “updating” a few archaic or unfamiliar words in the King James Bible.
Most of these people also tell us that the KJB is based on the wrong Greek and Hebrew texts, and that it is poorly translated in many places and that we need a very different bible version today. Instead of believing that God has actually worked in history to give us a complete and inerrant Bible, they think we need a group of scholars to keep working at it in the hopes that eventually we might eventually end up with some kind of a “ballpark, probably close enough” version of what God might have said.
But as time goes on, we find that they “bible” versions they keep coming up with are getting worse in many ways because they reject many of the Hebrew readings, add to them, and have removed about 3000 words from the Reformation Bible texts, and have created numerous theological errors because of the way they have translated what texts they DO agree on. And fewer and fewer people actually READ these new versions, let alone study them or take them very seriously.
So what is the biblical pattern for what the Bible believer should do when he runs across a word he may not be familiar with? We see it in the book of 1 Samuel chapter nine verses 9 through 11. Here we read:
9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)
10 Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was.
11 And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here?
Notice that the unfamiliar word “seer” is first defined for us, telling us what the word means. Then, instead of abandoning this unfamiliar word, they continue to use it - “Is the SEER here?”
The modern versions have many words in them that most people do not know what they mean. Take The NKJV, NIV Vocabulary Test and see how you do.
The "Old fashioned language" of the King James Bible
So, what about this perhaps unfamiliar to many word “shambles”? Let’s go ahead and find out what it means, if you don’t know. Actually, those who criticize this word and others like it, already know what the word means. They just prefer to change it, as though others are not smart enough or just too lazy to find out what it means on their own.
Webster’s Dictionary 1828 - 1. The place where butcher's meat is sold; a flesh-market.
shambles, (used with a singular or plural verb)
British Dialect. A BUTCHER’S SHOP OR STALL.
Collins English Dictionary
Definitions - noun (functioning as singular or plural)
1. a place of great disorder = the room was a shambles after the party
2. A PLACE WHERE ANIMALS ARE BROUGHT TO BE SLAUGHTERED
3. any place of slaughter or carnage
4. (British dialect) a row of covered stalls or shops where goods, originally meat, are sold
“sold in THE SHAMBLES”
Not only does the King James Bible use the phrase - “whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat” but so do the following Bible translations - the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, The Bill Bible 1671, the Daniel Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, John Wesley Version 1755, Worsley Version 1770, the Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, the Clarke N.T. 1795, the Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster’s Bible 1833, there Dickenson N.T. 1833, the Living Oracles 1835, The Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, The Morgan N.T. 1848, the Etheridge Translation 1849, The Hewett N.T.1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T.1862, The Alford New Testament 1870, The Revised Version 1885, Darby’s Version 1890, Douay-Rheims American Edition 1899, the American Standard Version 1901, The Corrected English N.T. 1905, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Word of Yah 1993, The Tomson New Testament 2002, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Evidence Bible 2003 (Ray Comfort), The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “whatsoever is sold IN THE SHAMBLES”, The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011, and The Revised Douay-Rheims Bible 2012 - “whatsoever is sold IN THE SHAMBLES, eat”.
Wycliffe Bible 1395 - “seld in the BOCHERIE” (modern spelling - “sold in the BUTCHERY”)
Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540 - “sold in the FLESHMARKET”
Tyndale 1534, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568 - “sold in THE MARKET”
Young’s 1898 - “sold in THE MEAT MARKET”
New Life Version 1969 - “sold in THE STORES”
World English Bible 2000 - “sold in the BUTCHER SHOP”
Conservative Bible 2011 - “sold in THE PUBLIC MARKETPLACE”
The King James Bible reading of “whatsoever is sold IN THE SHAMBLES, eat” is perfectly accurate and not even “archaic”. There are at least 8 different Bible versions from the 21st Century that still use the word.
All of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible.
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