Through a Glass Darkly: Trying to Understand the Scriptures
This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Royal Skousen that was published in issue 26:4. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.
In the first section of my paper I would like to deal with the problem of obsolete words in the scriptures. The King James Version of the Bible dates from 1611 and many of the words used in that version are now archaic and basically indecipherable to the ordinary reader.
Consider, as a first example, the word mete: "and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matt. 7:2). The Greek word here is metreite, meaning simply "you measure". In other words, "with what measure you measure, it will be measured to you." The word mete has essentially dropped out of the English language, although there is occasionally a literary use of it, as in the phrase "to mete out punishment."