Bible English (basic rules of)

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Bible English (basic rules of)

Postby bibleprotector » 27 May 2014, 17:29

Someone asked about a definitive set of rules to do with -eth words being used in the KJB.

This was my answer:

No such distinct area of information exists, other than consulting in a general sense old grammar books and the like, e.g. Johnson's Dictionary.

The "exact" rules are difficult because it is a large and complex area. Basically, the interaction is between these elements: the subject, the verb and the object.

There are three questions: How many subjects, when did the action take place, and how many objects.

The subject and/or object are often given as pronouns, so these need to be rendered according to the first, second and third person rule.


I (1st person)
Thou (2nd)
He (3rd)

We (1st)
Ye (2nd)
They (3rd)


Me (1st)
Thee (2nd)
Him (3rd)

Us (1st)
You (2nd)
Them (3rd)

This is besides the ownerships, as in, my, thy, his; our, your, their; mine, thine, his; ours, yours, theirs.

And then the sub-rule which changes my to mine and thy to thine in front of words beginning with a vowel, and only sometimes words with the letter "h", which also applies to the use of "a" and "an". This even can occur with the same word, a house, an house, etc.

The grammatical form for the verb depends on the above pronouns in relation to time.


Take, for example, the verb "do", you have:

do, doeth, doth, does, did, doest, dost, didst.

These are dependant on time (when the action took place) and on pronoun.

Consider these examples:

thou (subject) heardest (past) them

ye (subject) heard (past) the voice

thou (subject) hearest (present) me

God (subject) heareth (present) us

There are different kinds of past tense, which fall into two basic forms: perfect (complete) or progressive. There are many examples, and this is evident in words like rang/rung etc.

Some words in some forms will change spellings, so you have break, brake, breaketh, breakest and broken so there is no -ed form in this verb, whereas, taking obey, you have, obeyed, obeyeth, obeyedst.

It is a massive area that requires much more information, but basically, you connect the pronoun form with the time when the action takes place.
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