I recently read a promoter of exclusive use of the King James Version who argued that if anyone has trouble understanding KJV English, they can just go to Matthew Henry’s commentary for all the explanations they need.
I was skeptical. I still am. It’s just not the job or the concern of a turn-of-the-18th-century commentator to help turn-of-the-twenty-first-century readers understand turn-of-the-17th-century English words that have either died or changed in the last 400 years.
So I checked one of my false friends passages, Romans 5:8—and sure enough… If you know what you’re looking for, Henry nails it. 1) If you realize you don’t understand the word “commend,” and 2) if you realize that Henry’s use of the word commend is putting on display his knowledge of 17th century English, you’ll hear Henry explain the word to you.
So stop: what does commend mean in Roman 5:8 in the KJV?
But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ask ten redheaded Christians what that word means in that context, and I think eight of them will tell you it means “demonstrates...