2 Timothy 2:15 KJB – “STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
NKJV (ESV, NASB) – “BE DILIGENT to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Jehovah Witness New World Translation – “DO YOUR UTMOST to present yourself to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of.”
Catholic St. Joseph New American bible 1970 – “TRY HARD to make yourself worthy of God’s approval, a workman who has no cause to be ashamed.”
Bible critic Reese Currie again reveals his profound ignorance. He writes: “2 Timothy 2:15
KJV: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
NKJV: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I was really hoping this one would come up, as it shows once again that KJV Onlyists generally have no idea what their own Bible is saying to them because they do not understand 1611 English. One of the meanings of the word “study” is to “take pains to achieve”; to be diligent. It is an excellent example of how the KJV has imprecise renderings that could be understood improperly, especially to those with poor levels of literacy, like those unfortunates who send me e-mails saying, “Only the KJV 1611 tells you to study your Bible!!!!!” The Greek word spoudazo literally means “to use speed” but figuratively means “to make effort.” It simply means to be diligent.” (End of Reese’s Pieces criticism)”
Bible correctors claim the King James Bible is wrong or incorrect when it says “STUDY…rightly dividing the word of truth.” They tell us it should be translated in this place as “be diligent” or “do your best” or “make every effort”.
Greek words as well as English words can have very different meanings depending on the context. Admittedly, the Greek word spoudazo can mean “to endeavor”, “to be diligent”, “to labor” or even “to be hasty” but it also has the meaning of “to STUDY something with great care”.
So even if you thought that “study” should be “be diligent”, what are you to be diligent in? – the answer is in the verse – “rightly dividing the word of truth”. That’s why contextually it makes perfect sense to translate the word as “study”. In fact, this is THE ONLY TIME the King James Bible translated this word as STUDY; and they got it right!
There is another Greek word that is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 where the KJB (and many others as well) tells us: “And that ye STUDY to be quiet, and to do your own business, as we commanded you” Here the Greek word used is “philotimeomai“, a completely different word than the one used in 2 Timothy 2:15. The English word “study” has a couple of different meanings, as any good dictionary will tell you.
Webster’s Dictionary 1828 – Study
STUDY, verb intransitive [Latin]
1. To fix the mind closely upon a subject; to muse; to dwell upon in thought.
I found a moral first, and then studied for a fable.
2. To apply the mind to books. He studies eight hours in the day.
3. TO ENDEAVOR DILIGENTLY.
That ye study to be quiet and do your own business. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
1. (usually academic) To revise materials already learned in order to make sure one does not forget them, usually in preparation for an examination. Students are expected to start studying for final exams in March.
I need to study my biology notes.
2. (academic) To take a course or courses on a subject. I study medicine at the university.
3. To acquire knowledge on a subject. Biologists study living things.
4. To look at minutely. He studied the map in preparation for the hike.
5. To fix the mind closely upon a subject; to dwell upon anything in thought; to muse; to ponder.
6 TO ENDEAVOR DILIGENTLY; TO BE ZEALOUS
In 1 Thessalonians 4:11 “STUDY to be quiet” means “to endeavor diligently to do something”. Admittedly, it sounds a bit archaic to modern ears, but it is a perfectly accurate use of the English word “to study”. Not only does the King James Bible tell us to “STUDY to be quiet” in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 but so also do Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, the Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster’s Bible 1833, the Living Oracles 1835, the Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, The American Bible Union N.T. 1865, Noyes Translation 1869, The Alford New Testament 1870, Young’s literal 1898, the Revised Version 1885, the Dillard N.T. 1885, the American Standard Version 1901, the Clarke N.T. 1913, The Word of Yah 1993, the 21st Century KJV 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, God’s First Truth 1999 – “that you STUDY to be quiet”, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Tomson New Testament 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust) – “and that you STUDY to be quiet”.
The word spoudazo in Greek – 2 Timothy 2:15
I have a modern Greek dictionary that has nothing to do with the Bible at all. It is like a Spanish/English- English/Spanish dictionary you buy in the stores. It is Divry’s Modern English-Greek and Greek-English Desk Dictionary. If you look up the English word “study” as a noun you find spoudee and the verb form, to study, is speudazo. It MEANS TO STUDY! And this is in modern Greek, not 1611 Greek.
Also the well known lexicon of Liddell & Scott 17th edition 1887, on page 1630 lists one of the meanings of spoudazo as ‘TO STUDY’. The noun form means ‘study’ and another noun form spoudastees means ‘A STUDENT’!
If you do not know Greek and want to verify this for yourself simply go to this online Greek-English Dictionary;
and do one of two things: 1. type the word spoudazo in the Greek to English side or 2. type in the word “study” on the English to Greek side and see what result you get. You don’t have to have a seminary degree to do that.
Not only does the KJB translate this word as STUDY but so also do Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540 – ” STUDY to shewe thy selfe laudable vnto God, a workman”, Matthew’s Bible 1549 – “STUDYE to shewe thy selfe laudable vnto God a workeman”, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 – “STUDIE to shewe thy selfe approued veto God”, the Beza New Testament 1599, the Douay Rheims version 1610, The Bill Bible 1671, Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745, The Thompson Bible 1808, The Improved N.T. 1809, The Revised Translation 1815, the Thomson N.T. 1816, Kneeland N.T. 1823, Webster’s 1833 translation, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Hewett N.T. 1850 – “carefully study”, The Commonly Received Version 1851, Murdock’s Translation 1852 of the Syriac text – ” And STUDY to present thyself before God”, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Calvin Version 1856, The Kendrick N.T. 1862, The Revised N.T. 1862, Noyles Translation 1869, The Alford New Testament 1870, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Godbey New Testament 1902 – “STUDY to present yourself to God approved”, The Clarke N.T. 1913, the Amplified Version 1987 – “STUDY and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved”, Green’s interlinear and his Modern KJV – Earnestly STUDY to present yourself approved to God”, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, the Urim-Thummin Version 2001, the Third Millennium Bible 1998 and the English Jubilee Bible 2010 – “STUDY”.
Other English Bibles that also read STUDY are The Word of Yah 1993, God’s First Truth 1999, The Tomson New Testament 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Conservative Bible 2010 – “ACT AS A STUDENT of God”, and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 – “STUDY to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The Far Above All Translation 2011 reads: “BE STUDIOUS to present yourself approved to God” The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011 says: “Carefully STUDY to present yourself approved unto God”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE BIBLES
The Italian Diodati 1602 and the Nuova Diodati 1991, and the 1927 Italian Rivudeta have “study” spelled ‘studiati’. “STUDIATI di presentar te stesso approvato a Dio…”
The French Martin 1744 also reads like the King James Bible with: “ETUDIE-toi de te rendre approuvé à Dieu
Likewise the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez Spanish bible says: “ESTUDIA con diligencia para presentarte a Dios aprobado, como obrero que no tiene de qué avergonzarse, que traza bien la palabra de verdad.” = “STUDY with diligence in order to present yourself approved to God…”
And the 2014 Romanian Fidela Bible actually reads: “STUDIAZA scripturile să te arăţi tu însuţi aprobat lii Dumnezeu” = “STUDY the Scriptures to show yourself approved of God”
Even the earlier Douay-Rheims Catholic bible 1582 had “study” – “Carefully STUDY to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
But of course the more modern ones like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem Bible 1985 match the modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB.
The New Jerusalem Bible says “make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker” while the St. Joseph says: “Try hard to make yourself worthy of God’s approval”!!!
KJB – “STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman”
NIV – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved”
J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962 – “Concentrate on winning God’s approval”
Lexham Bible 2012 – “Make every effort to present yourself approved to God.”
ESV – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved”
NASB – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman”
NKJV – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker”
NET – ” Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker”
Matthew Henry comments on this verse saying: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, 2 Timothy 2:15. Observe, The care of ministers must be to approve themselves unto God, to be accepted of him, and to show that they are so approved unto God. In order thereunto, there must be constant care and industry: STUDY to show thyself such a one, a workman that needs not be ashamed. Ministers must be workmen; they have work to do, and they must take pains in it. Workmen that are unskilful, or unfaithful, or lazy, have need to be ashamed; but those who mind their business, and keep to their work, are workmen that need not be ashamed. And what is their work? It is rightly to divide the word of truth. Not to invent a new gospel, but rightly to divide the gospel that is committed to their trust. Observe here, 1. The word which ministers preach is the word of truth, for the author of it is the God of truth. 2. It requires great wisdom, STUDY, and care, to divide this word of truth rightly; Timothy must study in order to do this well.“
The Pulpit Commentary – “The A.V. “study,” if we give it its proper force, as in the Latin studeo, studium, studiosus, expresses the sense of σπούδασον exactly.
To me the difference is the new versions with their “do your best” or “be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved” seem to imply a lot of self effort to gain approval, whereas the King James Bible seems to be saying ‘study so you can be sure you have the right doctrines God has revealed.’
Perhaps the reason the Every Man For Himself Bible Versionists prefer “do your best”, “work hard”, “be diligent” etc. is due to a fundamental difference in one’s approach to God’s words!
Maybe those who do not believe that any Bible in any language is or ever was the preserved, inspired and infallible words of God feel they need to gear up for a rigorous Bible reconstruction project, since they have no Bible they can trust completely.
They must work hard, sweat nails to ferret out every Greek nuance, every learned scholar’s conjecture.
They first consult 50 different versions, Cardinal Martini, James White, R.C. Sproul, Dan Wallace, then consult Thayer, Kittel, Driver; look for some fragment from an Egyptian garbage DUMP, Ugaritic tablet, Dead Sea scroll etc. – anything that could aid the never ending search for what God possibly, maybe, might have said so as to reach a tentative idea on the meaning of the text.
Or maybe they just want a translation that “feels right” to them. The “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” syndrome.
In contrast to this, the Bible Believer is blessed to have God’s INERRANT PRESERVED wordS in the King James Bible. They feed upon and study God’s infallible words and rejoice in them as Jeremiah of old who said: “Thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
The King James Bible believers don’t try to correct it, or alter it or change it to fit the passing fads of modern “scholarship”. The Bible Believer praises God that He has providentially preserved His words so we can read them today in the 17th century English of the King James Holy Bible, the only Bible seriously believed by thousands of living saints (*I am one of them) to be the very words of the living God.
I believe the modern version editors who change this word here to something like “be diligent” or “do your best” or “make every effort”, have neglected the context of the verse and made a change only for the sake of changing things to get their copyrights, make money, and to undermine the Christian’s faith in an inerrant Bible.
Even the secular world has noted that those who actually READ their Bibles are those who read and study the King James Bible, as this article from USA Today called ‘Bible Readers Prefer the King James Version’ shows.
“for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Luke 16:8
“RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth”
Some bible critics have further criticized the King James Bible in this verse by telling us that “rightly dividing” is a wrong translation. One such man is pastor John Carpenter, who is one of the new Vatican Version users. The ESV has “rightly handling the word of truth”. The NASB says: “accurately handling the word of truth” and the NIV has: “who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Agreeing with the King James Bible’s “rightly dividing the word of truth” are Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza New Testament 1599 – “dividing the word of truth aright”, the Bills Bible 1671, Whiston’s Primitive N.T. 1745, the Worsely Version 1770, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, The Clarke N.T. 1795, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, the Newcome N.T. 1796, the Revised Translation 1815, the Wakefield N.T. 1820, the Kneeland N.T. 1823, the Family Paraphrase Bible 1831, the Dickinson N.T. 1833, Webster’s Translation 1833, The Living Oracles 1835, the Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, the Hammond N.T. 1845, the Hussey N.T. 1845, the Morgan N.T. 1848, the Commonly Received Version 1851, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Calvin Version 1856, the Sawyer N.T. 1858, The Revised N.T. 1862, The American Bible Union N.T. 1865, The Emphatic Diaglott Bible 1865, The Noyes Translation 1869, The Davidson N.T. 1876, The Smith Bible 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, The Dillard N.T. 1885, The New Covenant N.T. 1888, Darby 1890, The New Dispensation N.T. 1897, Young’s translation 1898, the Godbey N.T. 1902, The Worrell N.T. 1904, The Coptic Version 1905, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Improved Bible 1913, The Sinaitic N.T. 1918, The Montgomery N.T. 1924, the NKJV 1982, The Recovery N.T. 1985, The Amplified Bible 1987, The Word of Yah 1993, The 21st Century KJV 1994, the Lawrie Translation 1998, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglott Bible 2003, The Evidence Bible 2003, Green’s Literal 2005, The Mebust Bible 2007, The Non-Ecclesiastical N.T. 2008, the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Faithful N.T. 2009, the Hebrew Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Jubilee Bible 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The Disciples’ Literal N.T. 2011, The Concordant Version 2012, The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012, The English Majority Text 2013, The Far Above All Translation 2014, The Mitchell N.T. 2014, and the Modern English Version 2014 all say “RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth.”
The King James Bible is ALWAYS right. Get used to it!
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(*Emphasis mine VeritasLib3rat)