Another King James Bible Believer


1 Timothy 2:9 "shamefacedness"

Shamefacedness 1 Timothy 2:9

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with SHAMEFACEDNESS and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array."

In one of the Bible clubs I belong to a member posts the following criticism of the King James Bible reading in this verse: "In 1 Timothy 2:9 the original KJV had "shamefastness" rather than "shamefacedness" which is what the modern KJV has.  These are two different words, the latter of which found its way in the current text by accident.  It is not a literal translation of the underlying Greek word either." [End of bible critic's comments]

Keep in mind that this Bible critic himself doesn't believe that any Bible or any text is the inerrant word of God. He says: "I believe that God has preserved His Words perfectly in the multiplicity of manuscripts and versions that exist today.  I do not believe, however, that He has perfectly preserved it in any one text, text type, or version."

This illogical double-speak is essentially saying that God has preserved His words in much the same way they are found in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary - they are in there somewhere out of order and mixed up with a lot of words that are not inspired, but nobody knows for sure which ones are which.

Even though this man admits he has no inerrant and inspired Bible, he still thinks he is somehow qualified to criticize the King James Bible and apparently assumes we are to yield to his mere opinion on the matter.

He makes three points about the King James reading of 1 Timothy 2:9; one is correct and the other two are totally wrong. He first says the original 1611 had the word "shamefastness". In this he is correct. In its history, the King James Bible has corrected some printing errors and updated the spelling of certain words, but it has never changed its text or the meaning.

The word "shamefastness" is merely the archaic form of the word "shamefacedness" - which is simply the combination of two common English words - shame and face.

The Online One Look Dictionary


Shamefast \Shame"fast\, Modest; shamefaced. --adverb Shamfastly; noun Shamefastness. [Archaic] See Shamefaced.

Shamefast she was in maiden shamefastness. --Chaucer.

Conscience is a blushing shamefast spirit. --Shak.

Modest apparel with shamefastness. --1 Tim. ii. 9 (Revised Version)

The Webster's dictionary I have here in my study lists Shamefastness and then shows Shamefacedness as the synonym.


Merriam Webster Dictionary 10th edition


Function: adjective Etymology: ALTERATION OF SHAMEFAST (Caps are mine) 1 : showing modesty: bashful 2 : showing shame; ashamed - shamefaced·ly adverb - shame·faced·ness noun


According to  "shamefast" is the archaic word for "shamefaced:" before 900; Middle English schamfast shamefaced, orig., modest, bashful

Collins English Dictionary defines "shamefastness" as: 1) the state or quality of being modest, shy, or 2) bashful the state of being shamefaced or full of shame reports that a half century after the first edition of the KJB in 1611 the spelling "shamefacedness" supplanted the archaic spelling of "shamefastness." "Shamefacedness" is a form of "shamefastness" but not a word of "entirely different meaning" as Rick Norris suggests. 

Even E.W. Bullinger acknowledged that these two words carry the same meaning when he stated, "shamefacedness = shamefastness, as originally in the A.V. 1611" on page 1802 of the Companion Bible.

The Bible critic is wrong on two counts. These are not two different words as such, but the same word with the same meaning but spelled in a different way. Many dictionaries tell us this.

Secondly, he is completely wrong in saying this word "found its way in the current text by accident.  It is not a literal translation of the underlying Greek word either."

It is no accident, but a deliberate change in the spelling of the word. It is not even an archaic word, but a perfectly acceptable English word that accurately expresses the thought of the passage.

Furthermore it would be impossible to give "a literal translation" of this word (aidous) since a literal reading would be "not seen" or "not known" which makes no sense and no version renders it this way. The NKJV has "with propriety", Young's "with sobriety", NASB - "with modesty", the ESV has "with self-control" and the NIV "with decency", none of which are "literal translations" either.

This man who pontificates his mere opinion on such weighty matters is apparently unaware of the meaning of the words involved or of the work of previous Bible translators.

The previous Bible translations that have rendered this passage using the older spelling of SHAMEFASTNESS are Wycliffe 1395 - "with SHAMEFASTNESS and soberness", Tyndale 1525 " in comlye aparell with SHAMFASTNES", Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549 - "wyth SHAMEFASTNES", the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "with SHAMEFASTNES and modestie.", Theodore Beza's New Testament 1599 "SHAMEFASTNESS",  the Revised Version and the American Standard Version of 1901 - "women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with SHAMEFASTNESS and sobriety."

Whiston’s N.T. 1745 - “that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with SHAMEFACEDNESS and sobriety”

God’s First Truth 1999 actually uses the older English word “shamefastness”. 

It reads: “Likewise also the women that they array themselves in comely apparel with SHAMEFASTNESS and discreet behavior, not with broided hair, other gold, or pearls, or costly array”

And so too does the Tomson New Testament of 2002!  It reads:"with SHAMEFASTNESS and modesty"

The King James Bible merely updated the spelling of this older form of the word to now read SHAMEFACEDNESS. Hey, it was even ahead of the Revised Version and the American Standard Version! :-)

The word "shamefacedness" is not even an archaic word, as any English dictionary will tell you, and the Third Millennium Bible 1998 and the KJV 21st Century Version 1994 read: "In like manner also, that women should adorn themselves in modest apparel, with SHAMEFACEDNESS and sobermindedness, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array."

Notice that though these versions unnecessarily changed the word "sobriety" to "sobermindedness" they did not change the word "shamefacedness".  

Also reading "SHAMEFACEDNESS" are The Word of Yah 1993, The Evidence Bible 2003, the Bond Slave Version 2009, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "SHAMEFACEDNESS" and the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust)

This particular Bible critic may not have an inerrant word of God or even know his own English language well enough to teach a junior Sunday school class, but there are thousands of us who believe the Book and will not trade it in for the ever-changing opinions of those who make up their individual "bible versions" as they follow their own creative instincts.


All of grace, believing God's Inerrant Book - the King James Bible


Will Kinney  


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