Chillax. Language is a strange thing. It is always changing, always adapting to different vocabularies, levels of education, cultural influences, and the use of slang. In every generation, wordsmiths struggle to stay current while words and meanings change every day. It is even more challenging these days as gigabits of web jargon flood popular culture.
So how do language experts keep relevant with all those changes? Simple. Every now and then, they update. This Wednesday, we are going to see a big update…well, a big one if you play Scrabble.
This Wednesday, language expert Merriam-Webster will release the 5th addition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. In an effort to keep Scrabble relevant after 66-years, Webster is adding 5,000 new words! Though some traditionalists say, “it was fine the way it was,” many are applauding the effort to bring Scrabble to a new generation.
The update comes 10 years after the last addition, and includes technical jargon such as “vlog,” “geocache,” and newbies such as “selfie,” “hashtag,” and “buzzkill.” Some additions seem to have questionable staying power, such as, “frenemy,” “bromance,” “meh,” and “chillax.” Others should have been in a long time ago, such as “schmutz,” “texter,” and “funplex.” Finally, a couple latecomers include “mixtape” and “beatbox.”
The Bible has gone through a few changes over the years too. A short generation or two ago, everyone used the King James. Many newer translations such as the NASB and the ESV have been applauded as using relevant, understandable language while remaining true to the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic of the original manuscripts.
Regardless of translation, though, there are things that must be understood from every version, every language, and every preacher who preaches the truth of the Word. God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), through and by His Son (Colossians 1:16). Everyone who believes in Him (John 3:16), is baptized into Him (Rom 6:3-9), and walks in the light (1 John 1:7) will see eternal salvation.
If the Words of the Bible you are reading don’t tell you that important message, then you might as well throw it out. Adding words to Scrabble might not make purists happy, but adding and subtracting words that change the meaning of salvation will cause curses to fall upon those who would pervert the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19).
We are not perfect messengers, and we admit our personal shortcomings, but if we speak the perfect message of scripture, the perfect Word of God will fulfill its perfect purpose.