"Reprove" in Elizabethan English had a variety of meanings ("reject" "disprove" "convince," "rebuke"), with "put to the proof" (see 2 Timothy 4:2 the Revised Version margin) as the force common to all, although in modern English the word means only "rebuke" (with a connotation of deliberateness). the King James Version uses the word chiefly (and the Revised Version (British and American) exclusively, except in 2 Esdras 12:32; 14:13; 2 Macc 4:33) for yakhach, and elegcho, words that have very much the same ambiguities of meaning. Hence, a fairly easy rendition into English was possible, but the result included all the ambiguities of the original, and to modern readers such a passage as "But your reproof, what doth it reprove? Do ye think to reprove words" (Job 6:25,26 the American Standard Revised Version) is virtually incomprehensible. The meaning is, approximately: "What do your rebukes prove? Are you quibbling about words?" In John 16:8 no single word in modern English will translate elegcho, and "reprove" (the King James Version), "convince" (King James Version margin), and "convict" (Revised Version) are all unsatisfactory. The sense is: "The Spirit will teach men the true meaning of these three words: sin, righteousness, judgment."
Burton Scott Easton
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