Coming Clean With the King James Version

Yes, I use soap. I had to make that clear before I started. I’m going to talk about soap a little and I don’t want someone thinking I’m against it. Anyway…

I was reading the book of Leviticus not too long ago. Some of the book is devoted to the festivals and sacrifices. It mentions washing the utensils, etc. with water.

God makes it clear in the Bible how important cleanliness is. Among other things, it mentions washing your hands and Jesus himself even washed the disciples’ feet.

What surprised me was that soap was never mentioned. How odd. I always just assumed soap was used, but it kept mentioning washing with water. Period. Nothing else. I spent some time thinking of where I heard soap mentioned in the bible. I couldn’t think of one example, so I finally moved on.

At a later date when I was reading the bible, I found it!

Job 9:30 Even if I washed myself with soap and my hands with cleansing powder… (NIV Journal the Word Bible)

Ah ha! There it is!

Or… is it?

Something wasn’t sitting right with me. Why wouldn’t soap get mentioned during the process of purification? Also, when Jesus was healing people, he would tell them to dip in the pool of Siloam. He never said to scrub with soap. So, why was it mentioned here?

All the times I’ve read Leviticus before, I never even thought of this. I’m thinking it’s because of Covid and this obsession that came with it to sterilize everything that made it jump out at me now.

I don’t think the bible says you have to use soap or you shouldn’t use soap, so you may continue to use soap; but I still continued to mull this over.

I’ve listened to many teachers of God’s word on the internet. I like to hear what they say because I learn a lot from them. I, of course, will check anything suspect or new with the bible to make sure they’re not in error. A few of these teachers have said that they only use the King James version. Nothing else. Not even the New King James version. They say the more modern translations have errors in them. So, out of curiosity, I looked up the King James version of this verse. Here it is.

Job 9:30 if I wash myself with snow water and make my hands never so clean.

What?!! No soap! Why did they add soap in newer translations? What was the purpose? What gives them the right to alter God’s word? I know you’re thinking that soap or no soap isn’t that important and maybe it’s not, but it makes you wonder what else they decided to add or change? That’s what’s bothering me. Maybe those ministers are right about subtle changes to the bible that could completely change the meaning of something God was trying to tell us. Scary stuff.

I’m going to add the links to Gene Kim’s videos. He’s one of them that supports only using the King James Bible.

The point I’m making here isn’t about the soap issue. It’s about making sure you’re hearing God’s Word in its’ truth and purity. Translators make errors. Ministers make errors. Hopefully, they’re innocent errors and not being done intentionally. Either way; I’m convinced to start reading the King James in the future. I’ve mainly been using the newer translations, but I’ve always enjoyed reading the gospels in the King James. Somehow, reading Jesus’ words in red letters make them pop out at you and you give them more attention.

Before I close, I want to add one more thing. I did find two verses in the King James that mention soap. Jeremiah 2:22 and Malachi 3:2. (Just an F.Y.I.)

Read God’s word. Devour them.

Psalm 119: 103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.

14 Thoughts

  1. It is always good to compare translations. Actually the ESV is more “accurate” than the KJV. Consider when you read the KJV the italicized words are SUPPLIED by the translator, not part of the original language. However, without these supplied words, it would often not make sense in English.
    This is part of “textual criticism,” the attempt to get at what the original author wrote in a different language.
    The words in Job 9:30 are subject to dispute, as the second phrase is better translated “with lye,” as the Complete Jewish Bible, the ESV and the Amplified Bible attest.
    Try out for comparative side-by-side readings. 🙂
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes! This can all be confusing. I’m self-educated when it comes to God’s word. (Which means I have a lot to learn and there’s a lot I don’t understand). I wish it was more simple. Can’t God just knock on my door and hand me a bible and say “This is the one you should read.” That would help me a lot. Now I have the King James, the Complete Jewish Bible (you mentioned this one before and I thought that sounded interesting) and the ESV to put on my list. I don’t know anything about the ESV. What is your reasoning as to why that one is more accurate? The choices of translations can be over-whelming to someone like me. Thank you for your advice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We used to joke as college kids, “If the KJV was good enough for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for us.” 😂 Of course, the KJV was translated from 1604 to 1611 and Paul was busy writing much of the New Testament when he and Silas were put in the Philippian jail.

        There are three main approaches to Bible translation:
        Word for word
        Thought for thought (i.e. phrase for phrase)
        Paraphrase (which is NOT phrase for phrase).
        I will address this in today’s blog about Biblical literacy.
        Essentially, any translation “word-for-word” will read awkwardly in another language. I will have a very helpful graph to explain the differences in the “accuracy” of the translations, because “word-for-word” is not always the most accurate.
        The main thing is to “keep the main thing the main thing.” Jesus loves us and died to save us and to relieve of of the judgement. As long as you rely on the Holy Spirit to lead you, and love the Truth, Jesus promised HE would lead you into all truth. As we stumble along (including ME!) we continue to discover new information that changes the way we understand our Father, The God Who Is.
        ❤️&🙏, c.a.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. BTW, the Bereans were “self-educated” in God’s word, too and look where it got them: special mention in Acts 17 as being noble and searching the Word of God! 😉


      1. I recommend The Amplified Bible, ESV and The Complete Jewish Bible for reasons that will be in today’s blog. But others have value as well at times.
        ❤️&🙏, c.a.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. They always meant spiritual cleanliness…having a pure heart receptive to God’s grace…of course…Did they use soap in that part of world c. 1000 BC? 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that God definitely meant spiritual cleanliness. That’s the most important form of cleanliness, but he also spoke of cleansing the utensils, etc. and physical cleanliness too. Reading Leviticus got me wondering also if they used soap back then. I guess it’s not important when it came into use, but I think about all kinds of crazy, unimportant things.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary I believe you are correct SOAP is not the issue with God….. It truly is a spiritual cleansing we are to do as we leave the way of sin and God will cleanse us and make us as white as snow (Isaiah 1:16-19) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.
    Mary you are doing exactly as scripture teaches that we are to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling, meaning God sees you are fearing you may be doing wrong against His way and are taking the time to even double check what others are teaching! (Philippians 2:12-15)
    It’s not easy with so many translations, but the King James version has never been too hard for Gods Holy Spirit to teach me as I’ve read it for years. Rely solely on Gods Spirit Mary and He will guide you into all truth. (Romans 8:26-28). Stay strong.
    Many Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

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