Throughly vs. Thoroughly (reposted from FB)

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:17

Something that I never realized until I took a class on the book of Hebrews was that we have a misconceived notion that the words “throughly” and “thoroughly” are interchangeable. I guess I never even noticed they were different words. They are, however, which affects how this verse reads.

Thoroughly means “fully; entirely; completely” according to the Webster’s 1828 dictionary. Thorough means “from side to side or from end to end.”

Throughly means “completely; fully; wholly; without reserve and sincerely.”

What is the difference? Look again. You do not have to be sincere or engaged to do something thoroughly, but you do to do something throughly. Let’s break this verse down a bit to see where I am going with this.

“That the man of God may be perfect . . .”
Perfect here means mature not flawless. God wants us to mature in our spiritual walk. He wants us to grow and become more like Him as we learn and develop through our prayers, devotions, and studies.

“. . . throughly furnished unto all good works.”
First of all, since we haven’t defined it yet, furnished means “to supply or to store; to equip; fit for expedition” according to the Webster’s 1828 dictionary. So, God is telling us that he not only wants us to be prepared to do good works, we must be willing and sincere in doing so.

Anyone could gain knowledge of things without having a heart for it. God doesn’t want us to go through the motions with a head knowledge. I believe what God is telling us in this verse is that He wants us to grow and mature, sincerely gaining WISDOM so as to be fit for the expedition of serving God to the fullest.

If one does not place a sincere heart in their walk with Jesus, they will not mature properly and will not truly be supplied with the power that God needs to give us. We cannot serve God on our own power. We cannot depend upon the knowledge that we gain from reading on our own. We can only depend upon the power of God to work through us, which is impossible without a sincere heart.

So the difference between throughly and thoroughly? The difference is all about a sincere, willing heart!!!



Filed under Just a thought, My Lord and Saviour

10 responses to “Throughly vs. Thoroughly (reposted from FB)

  1. DJ Thomas

    I have, in the past, noticed this difference, too, and checked several KJV Bibles, and it IS used with different spellings in some different KJV Bibles…
    Any thoughts on WHY?

  2. The only reason I can come up with is the publisher didn’t know his Bible well enough to realize that it wasn’t a typo. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. I DO check before I purchase a Bible, even if it is KJV, to make sure it is correct. I wish I had an answer for that one……

    I like my KJV Reference Bible. It kept some older spellings of other words. For example, they say “shew” instead of “show.” I have a 1611 replica too. Always fun to compare. 🙂

  3. Louis Margitan

    Hi Sis,
    I enjoyed that very much. I’ve always known there was a difference in words there but never had taken the time to study it out. But God says, that every jot and tittle are important and there are no words there by accident. You couldn’t be more right in that without a sincere hearts attitude in what we do for the Lord, we run the risk of being puffed up with that sin of all sins (as we’re learning on Sunday nights)……PRIDE. The first verse that came in to mind after reading your post was 1 Cor. 8:1(b) “….Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (aka: Love, Compassion…..) edifieth” (buildeth up). In light of your study I take that to mean now that both the person we are serving to help and
    WE ourselves will be build up properly, on the right foundation (God, who is Love) on not our own works, which will cause us to “think” we are built solidly on knowledge, but in reality we are only build Thoroughly……and not Throughly.

    Bro. Louis

    • I think Pastor’s sermons on Sunday nights have inspired many of my thought paths lately. We are so blessed with Pastor Brown! Last Sunday’s message drove a nail through my heart as I realized the true ugliness of sin. Nevertheless, I don’t believe I have the entire concept yet, or even close. I don’t think any of us do!

      Pride lurks at the bottom of EVERY sin . . . and one of those sins is serving thoroughly instead of throughly!

  4. OK, so do you mind if I get critical? You won’t think less of me or call me a liberal, will you?

    What I see here is a well-meant, but flawed approach in the study of this verse. What you have done is a classic example of “eisegesis.” In other words, instead of “exegesis,” which is the bringing out of something within Scripture, you have read something into the meaning.

    The meanings of “thoroughly” and “throughly” are interesting, but where you mess up is in declaring what the Bible says based on an English word. The choice of words in this verse is irrelevant to the original meaning of the Greek. To be specific, ἐξηρτισμένος (exērtismenos) is one word that is translated into two English words. There is no Greek word in this verse that is the equivalent to “thoroughly” or “throughly.” So, to say that the verse either means something or not based on what Webster says is going about study in the wrong direction. Anything having to do with the “sincerity” of the man of God, as spoken of in this verse, would have to be inferred from the context surrounding this verse; not from the verse itself. It’s just not in there.

    Let me put it another way. It is true that we should be sincere, but the point about sincerity is not in the original text. If the KJV translators used “throughly” instead of “thoroughly” in order to convey that meaning, then I hope they did it based on the surrounding verses. However, even if they did, there is NO textual basis for it in this one verse alone.

    OK, it’s your turn to fire back at me, if you wish. Maybe I am wrong on this one. If I am, I will be happy to admit it. But seriously, this is why I always study the original language before I risk making it say something it does not.

    God bless you, really!

  5. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really know what you’re
    speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also discuss with my
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  6. Max Allen Molyneux

    “Throughly” is the archaic version of “thoroughly.” Here is a list of 500 other words that have changed meanings in 400 years:

  7. Thank you so very much for your Biblically sound comment about the word “throughly”
    – for it is a help to me as a ‘KJV Only’ ‘Biblical CHRISTian’ – and a Providential confirmation of my learning to have total and absolute trust in “THE CERTAINTY OF THE WORDS OF TRUTH” ~ as they are written in the 66 Books of “the law of God” ~ “THE WORD OF THE LORD” ~ as they are Divinely preserved ONLY in the Holy Bible [AV]
    – For I have personally made the choice “through faith” in “the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” to “believeth” what HE personally prayed unto “God the Father” in John 17:17 [AV] :
    “Sanctify them through THY TRUTH:

    I know that I am one of the fewer and ever-fewer Biblically “peculiar people” who has made the personal choice “through faith” to accept the Wondrous promises about “THE CERTAINTY OF THE WORDS OF TRUTH” written in Proverbs 22:17-21 [AV]
    I have made the personal choice to dogmatically “believeth” that which is written in Proverbs 30:5-6 [AV] :
    he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    Add thou not unto HIS WORDS, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

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