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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Shew; Show

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shō : "Show" (so always the American Standard Revised Version) is simply a modernized spelling of "shew" (so always in the King James Version and generally in the English Revised Version), and it should be carefully noted that "shew" is never pronounced "shoo," not even in the combination "shewbread"; Compare "sew."

In the King James Version "shew" as a verb is the translation of a very large number of terms in the original. This number is reduced considerably by the Revised Version (British and American) (especially in the New Testament), but most of these changes are to secure uniformity of rendition, rather than to correct obscurities. The proper sense of the verb, of course, is "to cause a person to see" (Genesis 12:1 , etc.) or "to cause a thing (or "person") to be seen" (Deuteronomy 4:35; Judges 4:22 , etc.). "Seeing," naturally, can be taken as intellectual or moral (Jeremiah 38:21; Psalm 16:11 , etc.), and can even be used for "hearing" (Isaiah 43:9 , etc.; contrast the Revised Version (British and American) 1 Samuel 9:27 ). Hence, "shew" can be used as a general translation for the most various phrases, as "be shewed" for γίνομαι , gı́nomai , "come to pass" (Acts 4:22 , the Revised Version (British and American) "be wrought"); "shew forth themselves" for ἐνεργέω , energéō , "be active" (Matthew 14:2 , the Revised Version (British and American) "work"); "shew" for ποιέω , poiéō "do" (Acts 7:36 , the Revised Version (British and American) "having wrought"); for διηγέομαι , diēgéomai , "relate" (Luke 8:39 the Revised Version (British and American) "declare"); for δηλόω , dēlóō , "make clear" (2 Peter 1:14 , the Revised Version (British and American) "signify"), etc. In Song of Solomon 2:9 the King James Version (English Revised Version) "shewing himself" and the American Standard Revised Version (English Revised Version margin) "glanceth" both miss the poetry of the original: "His eyes shine in through the lattice" ( cūc , "blossom" "sparkle").

The King James Version's uses of the noun "shew" usually connote appearance in contrast to reality. So Luke 20:47 , "for a shew" (πρόφασις , próphasis , "apparent cause," the Revised Version (British and American) "pretence"); Colossians 2:23 , "shew of wisdom" (so the Revised Version (British and American), λόγος , lógos , "word," "repute"); Galatians 6:12 , "make a fair shew" (so the Revised Version (British and American), εὐπροσωπέω , euprosōpéō , "have a fair face"); Psalm 39:6 , "vain shew" (so the American Standard Revised Version צלם , celem , "image" the Revised Version margin "shadow"). However, in Sirach 43:1 (ὄραμα , hórama , "spectacle" (so the Revised Version (British and American))) and in Colossians 2:15 δειγματίζω , deigmatı́zō , "to display") "shew" = "spectacle." In Isaiah 3:9 "the shew of their countenance" is a bad translation for "their respect of persons" (so the Revised Version margin for hakkārath penēhem ). The "shewing" of the Baptist "unto Israel" (Luke 1:80 the King James Version, the English Revised Version) is of course his appearing to begin his ministry.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Shew; Show'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/s/shew-show.html. 1915.

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