Another King James Bible Believer




“Reins”,  “Heart”, “Mind” "Brains" or “Emotions”?


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


“But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that trieth THE REINS and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.”  Jeremiah 11:20


Here is another of the many examples where an accurate and precise Biblical  English word has simply disappeared from the  “updated” (read - “dumbed down”) modern versions.


This English word is “reins”; and it has been completely eliminated and replaced in modern versions like the NKJV, NIV, RSV, ESV, NASB, NET, Holman and modern Catholic versions with inexact substitutes like “heart, mind, or emotions”, all of which are NOT what the Hebrew nor the Greek actually say.  There are other Hebrew and Greek words for those things, but none of them is the specific word for “reins”.


Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary


Reins:Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin rene 1 : kidneys b : the region of the kidneys 



ATS (American Tract Society) Bible Dictionary - REINS  - Or KIDNEYS. The Hebrews often make the reins the seat of the affections, and ascribe to them knowledge, joy, pain, pleasure; hence in Scripture it is said that God searches the heart and tries the reins.


Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Reins  kelayot. The "kidneys"; the supposed seat of the desires and affections (Psalm 7:9; Psalm 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10; Job 19:27). For "the loins" (halatsaim), Isaiah 11:5.


Smith's Bible Dictionary - Reins (i.e. kidneys). In the ancient system of physiology the kidneys were believed to be the seat of desire and longing, which accounts for their often being coupled with the heart. (Psalms 7:9; 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20; 17:10), etc.


The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia -  REINS - “Derived from Latin "renes" through Old French "reins", has given place in modern English to the word "kidneys".  According to Hebrew psychology the reins are the seat of the deepest emotions and affections of man, which God alone can fully know.”


The Hebrew word translated in the King James Bible has only two meanings.  It is found 31 times and is translated in the KJB and many others as either “kidneys” or “reins” depending on the context.  When the word specifically refers to the internal organs of an animal, it is translated as “kidneys” (17 times). 


“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


“The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness...with the fat of the KIDNEYS of rams...”  Isaiah 34:6 



Once it refers to “the fat of the kidneys of wheat” (Deut. 32:14), and 13 times it refers to “the seat of emotions” within man, and is often found in conjunction with the heart.


However the “updated” (dumbed down) versions have completely eliminated this perfectly good and accurate English word for a series of  generic and inaccurate substitues.  The first major version to remove the NOT archaic word "reins” from  their translation was the liberal RSV of 1946.  Soon afterwards, versions like the NASB, NKJV, NIV, NRSV, ESV, Holman Standard, modern Catholic versions and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation followed suit.  


The NASB translates this single word (#3629 klah-yohth) as “feelings, finest, heart, inmost being, inward parts, kidneys, mind, and within.”


The NIV translates this single Hebrew word as “kidneys, heart, mind, inmost being, kernels, and spirit.”


Likewise the NKJV translates it as “kidneys, heart (Job 16:13 footnote: Literally ‘kidneys’ NKJV), mind, inward parts, inmost being and loins (Lamentations 3:13 footnote: Literally ‘kidneys’ NKJV).


Bible translations that got it right and correctly have the accurate word “REINS” in places like Jeremiah 11:20 - "O LORD of hosts, that judges righteously, that triest THE REINS and the heart" when it refers to the “seat of emotions found within man” are the following: Wycliffe 1396, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1560-1602, the Douay-Rheims 1582, the King James Bible 1611, The Thompson Bible 1808, Webster's Bible 1833, the Longman Version 1841, The Lesser Bible 1853, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Wellbeloved Scriptures 1862, The Jewish Family Bible 1864, The Smith Bible 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877,  the Revised Version 1881, the Sharpe Bible 1883, Darby’s translation 1890, Young’s translation 1898, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the Jewish Publication Society version 1917, the Hebrew Publication Society version 1936, The Word of Yah 1993, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, Green’s ‘literal’ 2000, the 2004 Judaica Press Tanach, the Bond Slave Version 2009, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2013,



Other Bible versions that also contain the word “reins” in many of the same passages are the American Standard Version 1901, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, and Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta. Lamsa's translation was inconsistent; sometimes he has "reins" and at others things like "souls" or "hearts".


There are many foreign language Bibles that also have correctly translated this Hebrew word as “reins” and/or “kidneys”.


In Psalms 7:9 we can see these French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish Bible translations have the correct and more accurate translation.


The French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910 and the French Ostervald 1996- “les coeurs et les REINS” - the hearts and reins.


The Portuguese Almeida - “provas o coração e os RINS.” - ”you prove the heart and reins”


The Italian Diodati and the Italian Riveduta - “che provi i cuori e le RENI.- you prove the heart  and reins”


The Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, the Reina Valera 1909 - “Pues el Dios justo prueba los corazones y los riñones.- “the hearts and kidneys”


Reina Valera Gomez 2005 in Revelation 2:23- yo soy el que escudriño los riñones y los corazones;  (the kidneys and the hearts)


Reina Valera Gomes 2005 in Jeremiah 17:10 - “Yo Jehová, que escudriño el corazón, que pruebo los riñones, para dar a cada uno según su camino, según el fruto de sus obras.” (I prove the kidneys) 


In the New Testament we fine the word “reins” only one time and the underlying Greek word occurs only this once too.  It is found in Revelation 2:23 where we read: “...and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the REINS and the hearts.”


The Greek word used here and found only one time in the entire New Testament is nephos, which literally means kidneys.  In fact, in English we have the words nephritis - a kidney disease, and Nephrology, which concerns itself with the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases.  Even the word “reins” is related to the English word “renal” which refers to the kidneys as in “renal failure”.  Renal failure or kidney failure is a situation in which the kidneys fail to function adequately.


Instead of the correct “He which searcheth the REINS and the hearts” the RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, NASB, NET and Holman have “the MIND(S) and hearts”, while the NIV reverses the order and says “the HEARTS and minds.”, and Green’s “literal” (which it isn’t) has “INNER PARTS and hearts”, the Jehovah Witness NWT has "INMOST THOUGHTS and hearts", the misnamed Modern Literal N.T. 2014 says: "I search THE BRAINS and the hearts", while the Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 has "HEARTS and minds" and the Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 has "THE MOTIVES and thoughts".



"the REINS and the hearts"


Bible translations that have correctly translated Revelations 2:23 as “searcheth the REINS and the hearts” are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Douay-Rheims 1582, Beza's N.T. 1599, Mace's N.T. 1729, Whiston's N.T. 1745, Wesley’s 1755 translation, the Worsley Version 1770, the Living Oracles 1835, the Emphatic Diaglott 1865, American Bible Union N.T. 1865, the Noyes Translation 1869, the Anderson N.T. 1870, the Revised Version 1881, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, the Dillard N.T. 1885, Darby 1890,Young’s 1898, the American Standard Version 1901, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, Godbey N.T. 1902, the Worrell N.T. 1904, The Thompson Bible 1808, the Morgan N.T. 1848, the Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Alford N.T. 1870, the Davidson N.T. 1876, The Smith Bible 1876, the Clarke N.T. 1913, Anderson N.T. 1918 from the Sinaitic Manuscript, Douay 1950, The Word of Yah 1993, the 21st Century KJV 1994, the Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Tomson N.T. 2002, the Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011.


The word ‘reins” is not even an “archaic” word.  Look it up in any good dictionary and you will find it refers to “THE SEAT OF EMOTIONS WITHIN MAN." It is directly related to the word for “kidneys”.  This is exactly what the Hebrew and the Greek texts both have and it is how God’s Book - the King James Bible - has correctly translated it.


What is the difference between the "reins" and the "heart"?  There appears to be some overlap, but it seems that the "reins" are more restricted to the emotional center of man, while the "heart" is more concerned with the thoughts, though our thoughts can also be accompanied with emotional overtones.


Notice the first mention of heart in the Bible.  It is found in Genesis 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."  


Other verses seem to confirm this idea.  Genesis 8:21 "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth."


Genesis 27:41 "...and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob."


Psalms 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."


"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7  


and Mark 7:21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders...."


Don’t settle for a inferior “dumbed down” imitation.


For a related topic showing how utterly “un-literal” the modern versions like the ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV are when it comes to body parts, see ”You Better Hope Your Surgeon Is Not A Modern Versionist"


By His grace, believing The Book,


Will Kinney

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