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 (Exodus 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 Isaiah 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 (Matthew 5:8, Blessed are the pure in heart," etc.), but also of hagnos (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 5:22; James 3:17; 1 John 3:3--always in an ethical sense). A different word (eilikrines) is used in 2 Peter 3:1, the Revised Version (British and American) "sincere." "Purity" (hagneia) occurs only in the King James Version in 1 Timothy 4:12; 5:2; in the Revised Version (British and American) in 2 Corinthians 11:3 (as the translation of tes hagnotelos).


W. L. Walker

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'PURE; PURELY; PURITY'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.