Pure; Purely; Purity

pur, pur'-li, pu'-ri-ti: This group of words has in the Old Testament and the New Testament an almost exclusively ethical significance, though the word "pure" is of course used also in its literal sense of freedom from alloy or other alien matter (Ex 25:11, etc.). "Pure" in the Old Testament represents many Hebrew words, most frequently Tahor; "purely," occurs once only in the King James Version, as the translation of bor, properly "that which cleanses" (compare Job 9:30, the Revised Version margin "Hebrew `cleanse my hands with lye,' " i.e. alkali for soap) in Isa 1:25, the Revised Version (British and American) "thoroughly (margin "as with lye," the King James Version "purely") purge away thy dross"; "pureness" is the King James Version translation of the same word in Job 22:30, the Revised Version (British and American) "cleanness." In the New Testament "pure" is the translation chiefly of katharos (Mt 5:8, Blessed are the pure in heart," etc.), but also of hagnos (Php 4:8; 1Ti 5:22; Jas 3:17; 1Jo 3:3--always in an ethical sense). A different word (eilikrines) is used in 2Pe 3:1, the Revised Version (British and American) "sincere." "Purity" (hagneia) occurs only in the King James Version in 1Ti 4:12; 5:2; in the Revised Version (British and American) in 2Co 11:3 (as the translation of tes hagnotelos).


W. L. Walker

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