Read Books with Archaic Words

This originally appeared as an email delivered on
Saturday, June 12th, 2021.

There is no reason to fear archaic words. In fact, you should read books with archaic words in them.

Modern dictionaries inform us that any word that was current more than a century ago (~1900) can be labeled archaic.

Egad! Do you know what this means?

Archaic words are not only found in the Bible, but also in Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Jane Austen. You could find archaisms in Kierkegaard, Mencken, Mendel, and the journals of Lewis and Clark.

Archaic words are not words in a different language. They are just old. The presence of archaic words does not mean that the writing is weak, inferior, or inadequate.

Many times, archaic words are better than modern words. Other times archaic words have no modern equivalent.

Learning more words (yes, even older words) increases knowledge of people, time, literature, and ideas.

So, why do people run to the hills when archaic words are found in the Bible? Could it be people today reject learning more from the Bible than they must?

Archaisms in Dickens and Tolstoy are not changed out of respect for the work. Then what does it mean that people are quick to change archaic words in the Bible? Could it be there is less respect for the Bible than other books with the same archaisms in them?

Read books with archaic words. Chief among them the King James Bible. Old words are often the best words.

For truth,

Justin “au courant” Johnson

Full List of Email Tips
This was originally published in the weekly Grace Ambassadors email sent free to subscribers.