Another King James Bible Believer


What are "the REINS" and why is it more accurate?

What are THE REINS, and why is the King James Bible more accurate?


“I the LORD search the heart, I try THE REINS, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”  Jeremiah 17:10


“And I will kill her children with death; and all churches shall know that I am he which searcheth THE REINS and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”  Revelation 2:23


There are a few words in the King James Bible that the modern version reader is usually unfamiliar with. THE REINS is such a word. But God Himself chose this particular word to put in His infallible Book and it is far more accurate than the paraphrases in many of today’s “modern versions” which nobody actually believes are the inerrant words of God.


The REINS is not the heart, it is not the mind, and it is not the thoughts. In fact, numerous passages clearly show that “the reigns” and “the heart” are two different things.




Webster’s 1828 Dictionary  = Reins, noun, plural. From Latin ren, renes.  


1. The kidneys


2. In Scripture, the inward parts; the seat of the affections and passions.


We can see the Latin root of the English wood “renal” which means “of or near the kidneys” and doctors will sometime speak of “renal failure”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913

Reins  n. pl. [F. rein, pl. reins, fr. L. ren, pl. renes.]

1. The kidneys; also, the region of the kidneys; the loins.

2. The inward impulses; the affections and passions; -- so called because formerly supposed to have their seat in the part of the body where the kidneys are.

My reins rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. Prov. xxiii. 16.

I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts. Rev. ii. 23.



American Heritage Dictionary


The reins - plural noun. 1. The kidneys, loins or lower back.  2. The seat of the affections and passions.


Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary 11th edition


Reins - 1a. Kidneys  1b. the region of the kidneys; loins

2. the seat of the feelings or passions



Definitions from The Online Plain Text English Dictionary:



(n. pl.) The inward impulses; the affections and passions; -- so called because formerly supposed to have their seat in the part of the body where the kidneys are.

(n. pl.) The kidneys; also, the region of the kidneys; the loins.


The main Hebrew word translated as REINS is # 3629 k’lah-yohth. In the King James Bible it is found 26 times, and is translated 13 times as KIDNEYS, and 13 times as REINS. 


There is one other Hebrew word that is translated at REINS one time in Isaiah 11:5 “faithfulness the girdle of his REINS”, and as “loins” 9 times. 


The verses having to do with KIDNEYS are mostly those that describe the sacrificing of animals on the altar.  


“And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and THE TWO KIDNEYS, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.”  Exodus 29:13


Then there are 14 verses in the Old Testament that mention THE REINS and several of them show a contrast between “the heart” and “the reins”.


“God trieth the hearts and REINS” Psalm 7:9


“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try MY REINS and my heart.”  Psalm 26:2


“But, LORD of hosts, that judgeth righteously, that triest THE REINS and the heart, let me see my vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.”  Jeremiah 11:20  See also Jeremiah 17:10 and 20:12


In the New Testament the word REINS appears only one time, and once again, it is in contrast to the heart.  


In Revelation 2:23 we read: “And I will kill her children with death: and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth THE REINS and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”


Here the underlying Greek word is nephros, and this word is found only one time in the entire New Testament. It literally means the kidneys, just as the Hebrew words does, and is correctly translated in the King James Bible as “THE REINS”


And once again there are several English words that are derived from this Greek word. Nephralgia is pain in the kidneys. Nephric means “near the kidneys”.  And Nephritis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the kidneys.


Many popular modern versions mistranslate the word. These changes in translation began with the ASV of 1901 and now continue in versions like the RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, NET and Holman Standard as well as in the more modern Catholic versions and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation.  I will show some examples to illustrate.  


The ASV 1901 began to make these changes in translation gradually. Instead of having a total of 15 times, it reduced the number to a mere 2 times in the O.T. (Job 16:13 - he cleaveth MY REINS”, and Lamentations 3:13 “the shafts of his quiver to enter into my REINS”) AND it retained the only instance found in the New Testament where it correctly had “searcheth the REINS and hearts”. So the ASV eliminated 12 instances where the word “reins” was used.


Even the English Revised Version of 1885 maintained the difference between heart and reins. It had the word REINS all 15 times that it occurs in the King James Bible and many others.  For example, in Jeremiah 17:10 it reads “I the LORD search THE HEART, I try THE REIGNS”, and had “faithfulness the girdle of his REINS” in Isaiah 11:5 and in Revelation 2:23 is says: “I am he that searcheth the REINS and HEARTS”


After the ASV began to eliminate the word REINS, this was then followed by the liberal RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, NET and Holman Standard . ALL of these versions have completely omitted this word from their translations. You will not find this word in any of these modern versions.



In Revelation 2:23 the Lord Jesus Christ says “I am he which searcheth THE REINS and THE HEARTS” (ειμι ο ερευνων νεφρους και καρδιας)


The Perverted Versions - examples


The RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NASB, NET, Holman,  - “I am he who searches THE MIND AND HEART “ 


NIV and Names of God Bible 2011 reverse it and say - I am the one who searches HEARTS AND MINDS.” 


Green’s Literal 2005, Concordant Version 2006, Faithful N.T.2009, Jubilee bible 2010 - “I am he that searches THE KIDNEYS and hearts”  


Lawrie Translation 1998 - “I search THE INNERMOST PARTS and hearts”


The Holy Scriptures VW Edition - “I search THE INNER THOUGHTS and hearts”


Biblos Interlinear bible 2011 - “I am the One searching AFFECTIONS and HEARTS” 


Moffatt paraphrased it as - “I am the searcher of THE INMOST HEART”  


Weymouth 1912 paraphrased it as “I am He who searches INTO MEN’S INMOST THOUGHTS”


The Montgomery N.T. 1924 also paraphrased it as “I am he who searches THE HEARTS AND SOULS OF MEN”  


The Catholic Connection 


The previous Douay-Rheims of 1582 read like the KJB with “I am he that searchest the REINS AND HEARTS.”

Then the 1950 Douay changed this to “I am he who searches DESIRES and hearts”. 


Then the 1968 Jerusalem went with “I search HEART AND LOINS”. 


The  1970 St. Joseph New American bible reads: “I am the searcher of HEARTS AND MINDS” 


and the latest New Jerusalem has gone even further in paraphrasing it as “it is I who TEST MOTIVES AND THOUGHTS”  


While the Jehovah Witness NWT has “I am he who searches THE INMOST THOUGHTS and HEARTS”


Bibles that Got It Right


Bible translations that contain the literal Hebrew and Greek words translated correctly as “THE REINS and HEARTS” (νεφρους και καρδιας) are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley  Version 1770,  Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Etheridge N.T. 1849, Lesser Bible 1853, Julia Smith Translation 1855, The Emphatic Diaglott N.T. 1864, Anderson N.T. 1864, Noyes Translation 1869, the Revised Version 1885, Darby 1890 “search the heart, I try the REINS”, Young’s 1898, Godbey N.T. 1902, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, Worrell Translation 1904, the JPS (Jewish Publication Society) 1917 - “search the heart, I try the REINS” (Jer.17:10), The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994, Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), God’s First Truth 1999, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, Conservative Version Interlinear 2005, The Context Group Version 2007, American Bible Union N.T. 2008, the Bond Slave Version 2008, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the BRG Bible 2012, and the Interlinear Hebrew - Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust)


Keep in mind that God Himself chose this word to put into His Book. The word REINS is far more accurate to describe the seat of emotions and passions, and it is not even archaic. Many other modern translations use it.


If you wish to see MANY examples of the total confusion that results from mistranslating specific Body Parts in the modern versions, see “You Better Hope Your Surgeon is Not a Modern Versionist”


All of grace, believing the Book - the King James Holy Bible


Will Kinney


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