Wednesday, October 31, 2012


The King James version of Deuteronomy 14:2 says, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth."

I've heard this many times at church in talks and during lessons.  This verse is often discussed along with a definition of peculiar that means different.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we tend to wear this title happily.  We like to be called peculiar if it means that we are the sort of different that God wants us to be. 

I recently read something that I found very interesting.  Something I hadn't thought about before.  The King James Bible was translated in the 17th century, a.k.a. a LONG time ago.  And yes, I did already know that, but I hadn't connected it with how time affects our language.  How the meaning of words shifts over time.  Did you know that the 17th century definition of peculiar was actually closer to "owned by?" 

The New International Version of the same verse reads, "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession."  I like it.  We are His, chosen by the Lord.

I also like both definitions together.  I like that we (everyone) are His.  Choosing to follow His will (whatever your religion) can make you different than those around you.  Being peculiar (17th century: His) can make you peculiar (modern day: odd or different).  Pretty cool, huh? 

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