KJV Vocabulary Lesson: What is Concupiscence?

I enjoy the King James Version. As a kid, I memorized verses in the KJV, so I can’t find verses in other translations like I can in the KJV.

I like the way it uses language. The prophets in any new translation just aren’t the same.

The poetry. The beauty of it all. I like it.

I also get frustrated with it. I am not a KJV Only guy.

It uses weird words. “Concupiscence” is one of them. This isn’t one of those weird English words that changes meaning either, it’s just a weird English word.

Concupiscence is in the KJV NT three times–

Romans 7:8–But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.

Colossians 3:5–Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry

1 Thessalonians 4:5–Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

All uses are from the Greek word epithumia, which is nice. The KJV will often translate different English words from one Greek word.

In fact, many translations struggle with that consistency. For instance, the ESV goes with “covetousness,” then “desire,” and then “lust” in these three verses. I hate that.

So, hey, cool, the KJV uses the word consistently from the same Greek word.

However, this Greek word is also translated “lust” nine times, “lusts” 22 times, “desire” three times, and “desired” one time, in other places in the KJV.

In essence, the word means, “desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust.”

Concupiscence is “wanting bad stuff.”I think that is the way it’s separated from simple lust, which could just be lusting after a thing, whereas concupiscence is wanting a bad thing.

Lust might just be wanting another Oreo; concupiscence is desiring more porn.

Concupiscence is not good. You shouldn’t do it, whether you use a big word to describe it, or a little word. Stop it.

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4 thoughts on “KJV Vocabulary Lesson: What is Concupiscence?”

  1. This one I love, having struggled with it in the Book of Concord. Fun to use if trying to sound intelligent.

  2. And he said to them, “With wanting-bad-stuff I have wanted-after-a-bad-fashion to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”. — Luke 22.15. ;-)

    Maybe not all concupiscence/epithymy is bad…

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