A MOST UNUSUAL KING JAMES EXPRESSION
Many of us grew up hearing and reading the wonderful King James Version of the Bible. In 1603 when King James I became King of England he faced a religiously divided nation. Some suggested that the problems had to do with different Bible translations. John Rainolds, president of Corpus Christi College at Oxford, England suggested the making of a new translation that would be so good that it would win the approval of every religious person. King James took charge and led to getting the translation completed. 54 men were selected for the task on June 30, 1604. Only 47 of those names appear on the list of those who actually did the translation. The translation was completed in 1611. The King James Version has even been called the “Authorized Version.” Copies of the King James Version of the Bible have been sold throughout the world. The most used edition of the King James Bible, often identified simply as the King James Version, especially in the United States, remains the standard text printed in 1769. There are some unusual expressions in the King James Version. One such expression is the words “To Wit.” “To Wit” means “to know.” An example of the expression was when Moses was placed in an ark of bulrushes along the banks of the Nile River. The Bible says, ‘His sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.” (Exodus 2:4) She stood there to watch and to see and to know what would happen to him. The expression “To Wit” is found in three New Testament verses. From each use we learn a valuable lesson.
The “To Wit” of the redemption of our body: In Romans 8:23 we read, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” What Paul had in mind here is that we should know about the resurrection of our bodies. It is because Christ has risen from the dead that we have this blessed hope of our personal resurrection. When our body is raise it will be transformed and equipped for dwelling in heaven. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21) Salvation includes our bodies. We will have complete redemption of the body and soul.
The “To Wit” of reconciliation: In 2 Corinthians 5:19 we read “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” What Paul had in mind here is that we know about reconciliation through Christ. The message is that “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.” Jesus lived a perfect life and gave Himself for the sins of the world. He took my place and by dying on the cross satisfied God's wrath. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8) God punished Jesus in our place. "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24) Jesus suffered for sins once, the just for the unjust so that He might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)
The “To Wit” of the grace of God: In 2 Corinthians 8:1 we read, “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia.” What Paul had in mind here is that we know about God’s grace. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:11-12) Grace has been extended to all men. Sadly, not all men have access to God’s grace. You see, we have access to grace by faith and not all men have faith. (Romans 5:1-2) God’s grace is always there if you believe and obey His will. We live and move and have our being by the grace of God. By His grace we breathe and eat and walk and talk. Every physical blessing we enjoy comes by the grace of God. Salvation is by the grace of God, but not by grace alone.
John said, "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:11-12) Will you be baptized into Christ to put on Christ? (Galatians 3:26-27) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. Please listen to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles and do as they teach so that you too can be saved, thereby becoming a child of God. Continue to walk with God so you can receive a crown of life. (Revelation 2:20)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037