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KJV Words Easily Misunderstood

 By Bernie Parsons     September 10, 2010

Sermon Writing & Delivery

Notes To Young Preachers



Key KJV Bible Words Often Misunderstood

by Bernie Parsons





Certain key words and phrases in the KJV New Testament are often misunderstood by Bible students, teachers, and preachers, resulting in incorrect doctrines and erroneous teaching.


Church in the NT is a mistranslation from the Greek word, ekklesia. Ekklesia means called out, and carries more the meaning of congregation or assembly.  Church, according to some scholars, comes from the Greek word, kyriakos, which means "of the lord". The KJV mistranslates ekklesia as church.


Hell in the NT is a translation of three different Greek words: Gehenna, Hades, and Tartarus.


Gehenna means the Valley of Hinnom, a place where ancient Israelites had offered their children as burnt sacrifices. God turned it into a place of slaughter and rotting corpses. It became a place for garbage and carcasses to be dumped, where fire burned and maggots worked continually


Hades was a place deep in the earth where souls of the dead were constrained.


Tatarus, or Tartaros, was an abyss located even further below the earth, beyond Hades. Said to be a place where fallen angels were imprisoned. 


World means eon, or age-- a time period, from Greek aion. End of the world means end of the age, referring to the end of a time period, not the planet. 


Earth means land, not the planet. As in, “the meek shall inherit the land”. 


Communicate means to share, in any sense, and not merely to speak back and forth. 


Conversation means conduct, or how a person lives his or her daily life, interacting with others, rather than to speak back and forth. 


Suffer means to allow, not just pain or trouble, but in any sense. 


Forever, in some instances, appears to mean a long period of time, not an infinite duration. 


Context is important to understanding what is being taught, described, or discussed in the scriptures. Always look at surrounding verses, chapters, and even the entire book or letter under consideration.


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