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Shew, Show

SHEW, SHOW

sho:

"Show" (so always the American Standard Revised Version) is simply a modernized spelling of "shew" (so always in the King James Version and generally in the English Revised Version), and it should be carefully noted that "shew" is never pronounced "shoo," not even in the combination "shewbread"; Compare "sew."

In the King James Version "shew" as a verb is the translation of a very large number of terms in the original. This number is reduced considerably by the Revised Version (British and American) (especially in the New Testament), but most of these changes are to secure uniformity of rendition, rather than to correct obscurities. The proper sense of the verb, of course, is "to cause a person to see" (Genesis 12:1, etc.) or "to cause a thing (or "person") to be seen" (Deuteronomy 4:35; Judges 4:22, etc.). "Seeing," naturally, can be taken as intellectual or moral (Jeremiah 38:21; Psalms 16:11, etc.), and can even be used for "hearing" (Isaiah 43:9, etc.; contrast the Revised Version (British and American) 1 Samuel 9:27). Hence, "shew" can be used as a general translation for the most various phrases, as "be shewed" for ginomai, "come to pass" (Acts 4:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "be wrought"); "shew forth themselves" for energeo, "be active" (Matthew 14:2, the Revised Version (British and American) "work"); "shew" for poieo "do" (Acts 7:36, the Revised Version (British and American) "having wrought"); for diegeomai, "relate" (Luke 8:39 the Revised Version (British and American) "declare"); for deloo, "make clear" (2 Peter 1:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "signify"), etc. In Song of Solomon 2:9 the King James Version (English Revised Version) "shewing himself" and the American Standard Revised Version (English Revised Version margin) "glanceth" both miss the poetry of the original:

"His eyes shine in through the lattice" (tsuts, "blossom" "sparkle").

The King James Version's uses of the noun "shew" usually connote appearance in contrast to reality. So Luke 20:47, "for a shew" (prophasis, "apparent cause," the Revised Version (British and American) "pretence"); Colossians 2:23, "shew of wisdom" (so the Revised Version (British and American), logos, "word," "repute"); Galatians 6:12, "make a fair shew" (so the Revised Version (British and American), euprosopeo, "have a fair face"); Psalms 39:6, "vain shew" (so the American Standard Revised Version tselem, "image" the Revised Version margin "shadow"). However, in Sirach 43:1 (horama, "spectacle" (so the Revised Version (British and American))) and in Colossians 2:15 deigmatizo, "to display") "shew" = "spectacle." In Isaiah 3:9 "the shew of their countenance" is a bad translation for "their respect of persons" (so the Revised Version margin for hakkarath penehem). The "shewing" of the Baptist "unto Israel" (Luke 1:80 the King James Version, the English Revised Version) is of course his appearing to begin his ministry.

Burton Scott Easton


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SHEW, SHOW'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.