Whenever I study the scriptures, I use Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. I stay away from commentaries because I don’t want someone else’s gleaning but my own. On occasion, I like to look up the modern-day definition of a word and am so surprised at how “diluted” the definition has become through the years. In fact, at times the definition is far from what was intended when the King James Bible was given to us in 1611!! I thought I would share with you some examples, which I believe will surprise you. I did not alter the definitions at all but simply copied and pasted it.
I will list Merriam Webster’s definition first (in blue) and then Noah Webster’s 1828 definition (in red). I’ll then put a Bible verse using the word. I’ll let the definitions speak for themselves and you can draw your own conclusions. I hope this speaks to your heart as much as it did mine. I PRAY that it encourages you to study your bible instead of assuming that the definition in your head is the truly the one God intended.
1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible – it’s a sin to waste food c: an often serious shortcoming : FAULT
2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
synonym see OFFENSE
1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law. 1 John 3. Matt. 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam’s apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Matt.12.
2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.
3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]
4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)
1 : an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
2 : something offered in sacrifice
3 a : destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b : something given up or lost
4 : LOSS
5 : SACRIFICE HIT
1. An offering made to God by killing and burning some animal upon an altar, as an acknowledgment of his power and providence, or to make atonement for sin, appease his wrath or conciliate his favor, or to express thankfulness for his benefits. Sacrifices have been common to most nations, and have been offered to false gods, as well as by the Israelites to Jehovah. A sacrifice differs from an oblation; the latter being an offering of a thing entire or without change, as tithes or first fruits; whereas sacrifice implies a destruction or killing, as of a beast. Sacrifices are expiatory, impetratory, and eucharistical; that is, atoning for sin, seeking favor, or expressing thanks.
Human sacrifices, the killing and offering of human beings to deities, have been practiced by some barbarous nations.
2. The thing offered to God, or immolated by an act of religion.
My life if thou preserv’st, my life thy sacrifice shall be.
3. Destruction, surrender or loss made or incurred for gaining some object, or for obliging another; as the sacrifice of interest to pleasure, or of pleasure to interest.
4. Any thing destroyed.
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (I Samuel 15:22)
1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
2 a: to feel regret or contrition b : to change one’s mind
1: to cause to feel regret or contrition
2: to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for
– re·pent·er noun
1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken; as, to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.
2. To express sorrow for something past.
Enobarbus did before thy face repent.
3. To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.
Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return. Exo 13.
4. Applied to the Supreme Being, to change the course of providential dealings. Gen 6. Psa 106.
5. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God’s holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Please take special note at Merriam Webster’s definition of sin – “fault”??? Can you wonder why the world today does not see sin the way God sees sin? Also compare the definitions for “repent”!
I pray this encourages you in your own personal study time. If we received God’s word in our hearts with the same fervency with which it was translated in 1611, I dare say there would be no question as to what the words “sin” and “repent” mean. In so doing, our personal relationship and fellowship with the Lord would be more precious and sweet.