The word “besom” should not be replaced

In the King James Bible, we find the word “besom”. This is an example enemies of the KJB point to trying to make out the KJB is hard to understand and using old fashioned language. They say that word should be changed to “broom”. But is that right?

Getting rid of a specific word like “besom” is in fact an assault on the sacred language of the Scripture, it is an assault on the exact meaning of words and it is an assault on a good tradition that we have had for years.

The sacred language of Scripture means that the Bible is a religious book with religious words. For example we have special religious words like “Christ”, “baptism”, “anoint”, “sanctify”, etc.

Some of these words came into English from Greek, some came from Latin and some are English words which have a specific religious meaning.

For example, you don’t “anoint” your meat with gravy, you don’t “baptise” potatoes when cooking them, and when you eat dinner, it is not the same as “partaking” of the Lord’s “Supper”.

We find then that religious words in the Bible have a different meaning to just the mundane use of words, even if they appear to be the same words. In the case of words coming from Greek or Latin, they already went through a process of sacralisation in those languages, and since an appropriate word was not available in English, the foreign word would come in, with the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, and later with the Protestant Reformation.

The King James Bible words are to be treated as special, as God’s use of English. After all the best form of Christianity in the world, it’s highest achievements, are with English-speaking Christianity.

So when we read of “besom” we are not just reading of some mundane broom, but a special kind of broom with a special kind of meaning. And we see that with the “besom of destruction” a particular religious meaning — and the symbolic meaning in the passage — we are reading God’s use of English, a sacred language, Biblical English.

Now to the next point, which is that the KJB’s wording is particular, it is conceptually exact. Trying to change “besom” to “broom” would be to erase specific nuances and concepts, it would be to lose meaning.

A besom, you understand, is a particular kind of broom, one which is made of tied together sticks on a pole. To reject the seemingly unusual word “besom” for the common word “broom” would therefore reject the specific meaning of the word “besom”.

There is a big problem with dumbing down language and losing concepts. Unless we stick with the KJB, there is going to be a descent into fuzzy thinking.

Now, there is a direct continuum between KJB words and religious understanding/doctrinal accuracy. Effectively, real Christianity explained to the nth degree of the full counsel of God requires and is integrally linked with the KJV and its language. This continuum travels both directions. We need the words and the thoughts to understand the complexities of doctrine, and of course, there is a doctrine which points back to the words, that they have been supplied providentially by God and that the Spirit of God is at work in this very space.

It is no accident that the highest and best expression of Christianity in the history of the world exists today in English with English-speaking Christians.

The Holy Ghost wants people to know the truth. He has set up teachers in the Church for this purpose, and this teaching includes using the KJB and explaining its word meanings.

The role of the Holy Ghost is to guide people into all truth, so even poorly uneducated people can understand the truth. Understanding Bible words is the building block method for understanding high and complex doctrine.

Instead of saying that people don’t know what “besom” is, and that it should just be replaced by a less accurate or less specific word, people actually should learn what a besom is, just how people learn what “sanctify” or any other Bible concept means. Thus, the connection between doctrines and Bible words.

The modernist influence into how to approach the Bible, both in its words, and in understanding doctrine, is concerning.

The modernist influence in much of Evangelicalism and Reformed Christianity primarily derives from the influence of the Enlightenment. They may not be liberals and atheists, but there is an undue influence of naturalistic, materialistic, empiricist, rationalistic and deistic thinking in how the view the transmission of the Scripture and how they view interpreting the Scripture.

These same people believe that the Bible is inerrant and inspired by God, but they tend to have a very low view about God getting His words to today, and also have a low view in how they interpret Scripture and this impacts how they understand doctrine, because it is debilitating their upward progress in Christian truths.

One person tried to tell me about how the Hebrew word translated “besom” was grappled over by rabbis and Latin scholars, etc., which is a philological approach based upon the modernist system of Bible interpretation called the grammatico-historical method.

On one side, they are treating the present understanding of the word in the original Hebrew as a distant and hollow echo of what was once written long ago in some far place to some remote culture. Yet, they are also saying, it is just a mundane broom, but used a symbol. So, in their thinking, the English word “broom” is both a pale shadow of some great Hebraic truth, and yet, at the same time, it’s just a broom, like some sort of cheap made in Bangladesh $2 job.

Whereas, when we have a high view of the KJB, and a high view of doctrine, and a high view of words, and a high view of God’s ability to both transmit through time and communicate to us today, we find we are doing what the Scripture itself states, “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” (Proverbs 1:23).

The truth of Scripture is of old but exists right now in the present. The right meaning of that old Hebrew is fully represented in English, because the word “besom” is correct translation. The word has been supplied to us at hand by providence. And we have a whole Bible which has been providentially expertly translated in English.

So then, the present English words in the KJB are sacrosanct, they are imbued with rich religious meaning, they are high and specially chosen by providence to convey so exactly and precisely the truth.

We are able to grasp the Holy Ghost’s communications. When it comes to a word like “besom”, we perceive the worlds of meaning, the specificity and conceptual accuracy of that word and its use.

Finally, the word “besom” has been present for a long time, and we still know what it means, so there is no need to replace it. If there was a need to correct, to improve and to clarify, then yes, it should be replaced. But no such need exists, and since those arguing for change are doing so from a non-Scriptural, opinion-based and anti-traditional viewpoint, we must reject their agenda, and continue to protect the correct word “besom” for all.