Saturday, May 09, 2009

Lust

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend who was bemoaning the sexualization of our culture. That got me thinking about lust. Every guy I know struggles with lust, so I thought I'd investigate specifically what the Bible says. I was familiar with the general Biblical principles about lust (1Peter 1 has some great guidance), but I also did a little data mining on BibleGateway.com. I did a word search for "lust" in the New Testament (NT). Here are the numbers for how many times "lust" appears in the NT for these English translations.

40 - King James Version (KJV)
30 - New King James Version (NKJV)
14 - New Living Translation (NLT)
9 - New International Version (NIV)
5 - English Standard Version (ESV)

I thought this was a most curious set of data points. The KJV and NKJV had substantially more mentions of lust than the modern translations. Why? It would take a lot more work and data gathering to come up with a hypothesis. But, I'm curious what my friends think. These blog entries cross post in Facebook, so if I tagged you with this note it is because I'm interested in your opinion on this topic. I also welcome comments in my blog.

1 comment:

  1. I received this comment in email and thought I would post it here:

    "The most significant difference between KJV and modern translations is the some 4000 words in the English language that changed meaning over the last 400 years. 'Lust' is certainly one of them. NKJV attempts to preserve as much of the flavor -- meaning: incomprehensibility -- of the KJV as they thought they could get a way with. Comparing the context in the various translations where "lust" does or does not occur will help you to see how the word changed meaning."

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