Watch our July 30, 2021 Friday family night service including prayers, hymn singing, and a talk by Paul on how to understand and enjoy “behold” and “thee and thou” in the King James Bible. He uses analogies from screenplay and movie to better understand the Bible, too. (As mentioned in the talk, whatever Bible translation you read the most and apply the most is the best one for you.)
We have Friday family nights for the summer months of July and August. Join us for 6:15 PM potluck and our 7:15 PM informal Friday night service.
Here is the outline with notes that he used:
There are many new easier to read Bibles. What’s the value of a more literal one?
The best Bible for you is the one that you read the most and makes you trust, hope in, obey, and love God more, and love others more.
Some translations bring the original closer to the reader, and others bring the reader closer to the original. The first is easier at first to read, but doesn’t go to sleep. The second is harder to read at first, but you can go deeper.
We have the King James Bible as our pew Bible, so here are some methods that can help you read it to see the original more clearly.
We will look at “behold” and “thee and you.” If there’s time, we will look at more movie analogies like “behold.”
The King James English was even not standard English and old even when it was first written. Compare the KJV Bible to the dedicatory epistle to king James; no “thou”s in the latter.
Except for thee and thou, many of these techniques can be used with other more literal translations.
IMPORTANT: You don’t need a literal translation like these to get the truth about God and the gospel and important doctrines. Easier to read translations are easier to understand the Bible truths. More literal translations, with a little effort, allow you to see some things in some passages more clearly or more in focus.
For “behold” and movie analogies, these came from people who have studied the literature of the Bible like Robert Alter and Gary Rensburg. For “thee and you” list, from looking at websites online that covered similar material. Ask me if you’re interested for more details.
Listen to the following and see if it makes sense to you, check it out against the Bible.
BEHOLD (and sometimes lo)
This means look, pay attention, A persons perspective of something of interest, or wow. I like “wow”, which Tom Cantor used last Sunday, as a general one, as it seems to cover all of them. It can be surprise or not.
PAY ATTENTION, THIS IS INTERESTING/IMPORTANT or LOOK: It is first used in Genesis 1:29. Here it focuses attention, “29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Here it is to focus Adam and Eve’s attention their food. And coming from a potluck, food is of interest.
John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.”
WOW: The second time it is used, Genesis 1:31, it is used for the “wow” factor. Before when God created things it says, “and God saw that it was good.“ But on the last day when everything’s done it says, “31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
It is also use this way at the start of the famous Isaiah 53 prophecy about the Messiah, Jesus, “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently…“ (52:13)
POINT OF VIEW SHOT (POV): in the narrative, story telling part of the Bible, it can be used to show something of interest from one of the persons perspectives. This is like in a movie when they cut from one person looking to what the person is looking at.
For example, “Die Hard” screenplay by Jeb Stuart:
McClane grabs his shoulder harness off the back of the chair, moves quickly to the doorway. He looks down the hall.
MCCLANE’S P.O.V. [BEHOLD]
Two terrorists, FRANCE and FRITZ, armed with M-5 machine guns searching the offices on the hall one by one…
Think of your own movie examples.
Genesis 18:1–2 1And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him
Genesis 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
Exodus 14:10 10And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
Luke 2:8-9 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
THEE AND YOU
About 3800 “Thee, thou, thine, thy” and about 2600 “You, ye, yours, your” in the Bible
Thou – singular, You – you all. Memory aid: “we say ‘you all’, not ‘thou all’.
SIN: Deuteronomy 4:3-4 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. 4But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.
BIRTH: Isaiah 7:11-13 10Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 13And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
BORN AGAIN: John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
GOSPEL: John 14:8-11 8Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
TEMPTATION: Luke 22:31 31And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
RETURN: Matthew 26:63-64: But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
MORE “MOVIE” ANALOGIES
SLOW MOTION: I Samuel 17: 48–50: “And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him..” (Note the full speed “INSTANT PLAYBACK” in verse 50.)
PARALLEL ACTION: How to record two events that happened at the same time?
Peters denial of Jesus is given before his trial by pilot in all four Gospels, but: (1) Matthew 26 gives all of Peter’s denial of Jesus after the Jewish trial; (2) Mark 14 does the same; (3) Luke 22 gives all of Peter’s denial of Jesus after the arrest; but (4) John 18 cross cuts between the trial (12–14), Peter’s first denial (15-18), back to the trial (19-21), and then Peter’s second denial (25–27).
“AND IT CAME TO PASS”: this can indicate a break in the action. I think it was Robert alter who compared it to fading to black or the screen going black, but all it really means is a break or gap. This could be short or long.
Gaps may or may not be able to be filled in by our further study, as the information missing may or may not be important.
Back in time: Luke 2:1 uses it to jump back from a grown-up John the Baptist to around the time of his birth when Jesus was born.
Back to normal: Luke 2:15 uses it for the psychological break between all the angels proclaiming “Glory to God…“ back to regular life.
Gap: Luke 5:1 uses it as the gap between Jesus preaching in the synagogues of Galilee and standing by the lake of Gennesaret.
I think whichever Bible is drawing you closer to God and living the Christian life is the best one for you now.
Some Bible translations bring the text closer to us, others bring us closer to the text. The King James brings us closer to the Hebrew and Greek originals.
Remember to check the following ideas against your own reading of the Bible. That’s how people got them, if they’re really in the Bible.
“Behold” means wow, or look at this. In narrative, it can be a point of view (POV) shot.
The Bible has many other interesting “movie” features like slow motion, instant replay, parallel action, and with “it came to pass” – a break or gap in the action, like fading to or going black.
“Thou“ is singular you, “you“ is plural, like “you all.”
Remember, check these ideas against your own reading of the Bible.
Hopefully these will help you follow Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
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