Tabernacle Baptist Church
Monday, November 18, 2019

Devotional Thoughts

Thou’s

One of the most criticized characteristics of the King James translation of the Bible is the use of old English pronouns. Some unlearned scholars go to great lengths to make fun of thee’s, thou’s, and ye’s. Why not just use you? Yet, this is one of the strongest points of the Authorized Version.

In the language of the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Old Testament, there is a very distinct difference between the second-person singular and the second-person plural pronouns. We make no difference in modern English—both singular and plural are translated you. However, in old English there exists a difference just as there is in Greek and Hebrew. As a result the old English used in the King James Version gives far more precise translation than would modern English.

In our King James Bible, thee, thou, thy and thine are always singular. You, ye, and your are always plural. If the second-person pronoun starts with a t (in the English translation), then it is singular. If it starts with a y, it is plural. This information helps us to better interpret God’s Word.

It is interesting to note that, contrary to popular opinion, the word you is used in the King James Version of the Bible about 2000 times in fact. The thee’s and the ye’s are used also for accuracy and directness of translation; perhaps the so-called old English could better be described as good old Bible English. Praise ye the Lord for it.

—Fundamental Baptist Messenger (1982)

 

Tabernacle Baptist Church ♦ 1911 34th Street ♦ Lubbock Texas 79411 ♦ 806.744.4443