Divers; Diverse; Diversities


di'-verz, di-vurs', di-vur'-si-tiz:

"Divers" meaning "various," "different in kind," is now obsolete and used only as a synonym of "several," i.e. more than one. The distinction between "divers" and "diverse" in the King James Version seems to be that the former is the wider term, the latter being restricted to the meaning of "different in kind," while "divers" is also used to express difference of number. the Revised Version (British and American) retains "diverse" in all instances but changes "divers" nearly everywhere, except where it has the meaning "several." Compare Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; Hebrews 9:10, and others. It is hard to understand why the Revised Version (British and American) retains "divers" as a translation of poikilos, in Matthew 4:24, et al., because poikilos certainly cannot have the meaning "several" but "different in kind," and the idea expressed in these passages is not that some of the people had several diseases but that different people had different kinds of diseases. The same is true in Hebrews 13:9 where "divers" does not refer to number but to various kinds of teaching. Hebrews 2:4 and James 1:2 rightly change the reading of the King James Version "divers" to "manifold."

In other passages the Revised Version (British and American) changes "divers" to "diverse," and thus renders the idea of the original text "different in kind." Compare Deuteronomy 25:13; Proverbs 20:10,23. Other passages are changed the better to render the original text:

Deuteronomy 22:9, "two kinds of seed"; Judges 5:30, "dyed"; 2 Chronicles 30:11, "certain men"; Mark 8:3 and Acts 19:9, "some." the King James Version reads. in all these passages "divers." the Revised Version (British and American) changes the King James Version Hebrews 1:1 "at sundry times and in divers manners," an expression often found in Old English, to "by divers portions and in divers manners."

"Diversities" is found twice as translation of diairesis, literally, "distribution" (1 Corinthians 12:4), but the Revised Version (British and American) changes the King James Version, 1 Corinthians 12:28, "diversities" to "divers kinds," as translation of gene, "kinds."

A. L. Breslich

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'DIVERS; DIVERSE; DIVERSITIES'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.  

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