“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”Romans 13:13
Originally published April 30, 2020, updated January 6, 2022
The loudest argument against the King James Bible is that it is outdated. The reasoning is that technology, society, and language have all advanced, and left the Bible from 1611AD in the past. The “cases-in-point” of this logic are the so-called archaic words in the Bible.
What are archaic words? Dictionary.com defines ‘archaic’ as ‘marked by characteristics of an earlier period; antiquated; commonly used in an earlier time but rare in present-day usage except to suggest the older time.’ Webster’s 1828 Dictionary doesn’t have an entry for ‘archaic’ but lists ‘archaism,’ which means, ‘an ancient or obsolete phrase or expression.’ These outdated words and expressions are the basis of every revision (perversion) of the Bible since 1611.
Same old argument.
This verse from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is full of archaisms. The average reader will drop their Book at such a verse as this and walk away from the words of God in frustration. But perhaps… the words are not old, rather they are far more advanced than we realized?
After all, don’t we all like to learn a new term to impress people with our education? New TV series’ entertain daily with episodes featuring colorful, sharp, distinct language that is uncommon. In fact, the cult classic, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was rejected by publishers because its “sentence structure was too complex.” However, the tens of millions of copies which have now been sold, attest to the fact that, ‘…children seem to like its Britishness…'” (Gail Riplinger, In Awe of Thy Word, p. 485, 2003, quoting Tim Bouquet: “The Wizard Behind Harry Potter”) Many are intrigued by Hollywood, but few will ever get a grip on the prophetic implications of one word from this verse: ‘chambering.’
Romans 13 begins by outlining the believer’s relationship to human government in verses 1-6. It continues by giving the believer’s responsibility to moral law in verses 7-10. The last section of the chapter is the believer’s rally to spiritual warfare, verses 11-14. This last section is a call-to-arms that provides specific details of the Devil’s technology in 2020.
Specifically, verse 13 warns of temptations that technology has made hard to resist.
Rioting & Drunkenness
The first pair are sins of expression, that is, the way you act when you are around other people. Public forums have become less bloody, but nonetheless violent through the internet. Social media indulges a person to voice to every insecurity, every disagreement, every uninformed opinion. Yes, “in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.” (Proverb 10:19) and that describes rioting and drunkenness.
Strife & Envying
The last pair are sins of motivation, that is, heart attitudes that work under the surface like molten magma before it erupts in a blazing volcano. Strife internally is what causes instability. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) Indecision works hand-in-hand with jealousy; covetousness that will do whatever it takes to get what it wants. Yes, these two are a brutal pair. Ask Pontius Pilate, he knows.
“For he knew that for envy they had delivered him (Jesus).”Matthew 27:18
But it is the combination in the middle that speak to the overwhelming, irresistible temptations of the connected Christian. Both of these are considered archaic, unnecessarily complicated words that only an outdated King James Bible would carry. Yet both of these underestimated sins are the brutal slayers of men, women, families, churches, communities, and nations, especially in a time where looking into the magic screen of the internet is encouraged. Chambering and wantonness are sins of impression- sins of solitude.
We can easily define these words with any common dictionary. This reinforces the ‘archaic words in the KJV’ position: they must be looked up. But are the old words disposable since they have newer counterparts? Or was there a prophetic meaning locked up for 400 years in an archaism that God would use to warn YOU? Yes, you, staring at your screen.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago called Overcharging, where we examined Christ’s forewarning of the screens we watch. Here now is a warning on the screens that watch us.
Chambering & Wantonness
Most Americans are content to sit and watch. That is a detestable evil, but not the vilest. There comes with it an insatiable desire not just to see, but to BE seen. This wantonness is pride synthesized with lust. And chambering is how you GET what you WANT.
Chambering is gratifying attention that is mostly sexual– in fact that is the old-fashioned way of ‘getting attention.’ The idea of getting alone with someone, where there is nobody to look at but you, and you are idolized, and you are indulged in a romantic affair is the default definition of chambering. Today, men are lured into the novelty of believing someone loves them by pornography. The sad truth is, that kind of person is loved by nobody, even themselves.
But another interesting take on chambering in addition to the adulterous angle is simply the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you performed well. I must admit, I didn’t know entirely what chambering meant, and so I looked it up on my regular online dictionary.
Now, I always feel a little cheated by having someone give me the answer to a question. I love answers, but I also want to know how to learn– so I scrolled to the etymology of the word. Etymology is the study of the origins and sources of words. This is my favorite vocabulary-enhancing tool. Here is what I learned: the origin of the word ‘chamber’ is found by simplifying it to its root form, which is a Latin word we use every day. Are you ready?
Take the word CHAMBER and remove the “H.”
“B’s” were often silent (as in thumb) so let’s remove it also. (Not the thumb, the “B”)
Let’s add an appropriate Latin ending, “A.”
What kind of device, so small and insignificant, found everywhere from the grocery store counter to your pocket, can allow a person to be so private, and yet reward him with the publicity to gratify his pride? You are probably staring right at one.
Self-isolation has always been problematic. (See Proverbs 18:1-3) It is moreso now because it is being enforced. Some have chosen to video chat instead of meet in person. Homework is reduced to standing in front of a camera and reading a script. Meaningful real-world work is being put off in order to satisfy the need for ‘content,’ that is, filling the empty void of the internet world with your face. Cherished family moments are ruined because someone wants to take a picture, instead of actually enjoying the occasion.
People changed when they were filmed in front of a camera. Initially, they were awkward and self-conscious. Now they are comfortable and relaxed. They have been trained to perform, and slowly they are forgetting how to live. Hollywood is now your home.
Dr. Sam Gipp wrote a thought-provoking essay in 2004 titled, “Can The Camera Lie?” where he exposed the hypocrisy of what Time Magazine projected through photographs to lead the public to agree with their agenda. It is no secret that the news media will fake a scene to make a point. Wicked you say! Yes, how very wicked of them.
But we have followed in their footsteps. How far we have come from 2004, where today America’s Funniest Home Videos, are not accidental, they are staged? Teenagers will spend hours to perfect a trick shot to make them famous on TikTok. People will experiment with danger they would not normally tamper with, except now, they do it to gain fans on Youtube! “Look at me,” they cry, “I’m on Snapchat or Instagram” or “I have my own vlog!”
All this, and we never have to leave our ‘chambers’ and our ‘cameras’. Beware the words of God, because He knew this day would come. That is why He authored the warning in advanced, archaic English. Beware of chambering!
Tuna fishing is an ancient practice that bears witness to what happens behind many a selfie-stick in many a bedroom. These hundred-to-thousand-pound fish are too strong to be caught and slaughtered outright- so they are lured from chamber to chamber, as historian Mark Kurlansky describes the method:
“Instead of exhausting the fish on the end of a line, the bluefin is worn out by being led through a series of nets over a number of days. A net wall 150 feet high, four and a half miles long, is anchored to the ocean floor running east to west. In May and June, the tuna enter the Mediterranean. Approaching the coast of Sicily, they turn south to pass through the straits between Sicily and Tunisia but instead hit the net wall and run along it into what is called “the island,” which is a series of net rooms… Today, this is done by a scuba diver known as the big bastard.
The big bastard’s job is to coax the tuna from one room to another– each of the rooms has a name– until, after about two weeks, the fish are exhausted, awaiting their fate in the camera di matanza, the slaughter room. The net is hauled up, and fifty-five fishermen in a long boat spear and gaff fish… The large bluefin, even though tired out from the weeks of manipulation, thrash and struggle. The Mediterranean turns black with their blood, and the foam of the water turns scarlet as they are stabbed, gaffed, landed, and shipped…”Excerpt from Salt: A World History, “More Salt Than Fish”
I wonder, spiritually, if this is what God sees when the filming starts?