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 Herb Evans
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Cockrell's Cockeyed Cockatrice  John Henry
 Sep 14, 2003 05:57 PDT 


By Herb Evans

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned
child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.    -- Isa. 11:8

Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee
is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and
his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. -- Isa. 14:29

They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of
their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a
viper.    -- Isa. 59:5

For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not
be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.    -- Jer. 8:17

. . . into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and
old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent . . . -- Isa. 30:6

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a
pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he
looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it
upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man,
when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.    -- Num. 21:8,9

Milburn Cockrell is the editor of "The Berea Baptist Banner," a
publication, which publishes anti--King James Bible articles, while trying
to convince everyone that it is pro-King James. More recently, in the
"Banner," Cockrell expressed his unhappiness with the March 1997 "Baptist
Challenge" confession of faith, which boasts a preserved and
Inerrant--Authorized Bible for all generations. He says:

"I will cite just one case of mistranslation to demonstrate that the King
James translators did err in a few places. Take the word 'cockatrice" which
occurs in some Old Testament passages (Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17).
In these verses the Hebrew word is either TSEPHA or TSIPHONI which means
'adder' or 'viper.' But for some reason unknown to me, our translators use
the word 'cockatrice.' To get the meaning of the word 'cockatrice' we must
consult an English dictionary. The 21st century Baptists care nothing for
the Hebrew and Greek, for only the KJV is the 'supernaturally preserved
inerrant' Bible for all generations. So what does the English word
'cockatrice' mean? Webster's New World Dictionary of the American language
(1959 edition) says: 'A fabulous serpent supposedly hatched from a cock's
egg* and having power to kill by a look.' Since the KJV is 'inerrant' the
writers of the 21st century believe that a chicken [sic] [*male chicken???
- Evans) laid an egg which hatched into a snake which has the power to kill
by a look." --Berea Baptist Banner (6/5/97) - page 119

Let's Play Dictionary

Cockrell puts all of his "cockatrice" eggs in one basket in order to offset
the "Baptist Challenge" declaration by claiming an alleged mistranslation
of an underlying Hebrew word. The outworn Bible Corrector trick tries to
find a dictionary or concordance that fits some preconceived position.
Cockrell has selected "Webster's New World Dictionary of the American
Language (1959 edition)." But Cockrell does not publish its secondary
definition (revealing his anti-King James Bible bias), which says: "2. in
the Bible an unidentified deadly serpent."

Cockrell says that the "cockatrice" is an adder or viper. But an adder is
also an "unidentified deadly serpent." There are many adders, among which
is the "horned" adder, the "sea" adder, the "milk" adder, and the "puff"
adder, which extrudes or swells his body when agitated (more to follow on
this aspect). Some adders are not even poisonous.   And what does the word
"adder" mean? Adders and asps are widely applied generic names given to
many snakes. Modern vipers are a family of snakes, which give birth to
living offspring. The various Hebrew names for snakes in the Bible (usually
generic), whether adders, asps, or serpents, are derived from their
characteristics not some zoological society, i.e., coiling, hissing, horns,
extrudable parts, malicious behavior. The uniform unanimity, which Cockrell
seeks the underlying Hebrew word is not demonstrated in either the Greek
Septuagint nor the Lamsa Bible (translated from the Aramaic Peshitta).
Still, other dictionaries shed more light on the "cockatrice:"

Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia (1948) says: "The name
(cockatrice) in the authorized version of the Old Testament, where the
original Hebrew word means evidently venomous serpent."

The New 20th Century Dictionary (1979), under the third definition of
"cockatris," says: "3. Figuratively, anything venomous or deadly."

The New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary of the English Language (1987), says
that a "cockatrice is a fabulous monster (*BASILISK)." "Basilisk" in
Cockrell's selected dictionary says that "[ME. ; L. basileus, king; hence,
king of animals] 1. a mythical lizard like monster with supposedly fatal
breath and glance, fabled to have been hatched by a serpent from cock's
egg: also called cockatris. 2. a tropical American lizard with an erectile
crest on its back and tail and an inflatable pouch on its head."

The New 20th Century Dictionary says that "[OF. cocatris, from a ML. form
from L. calcare, tread, used to render GR. Ichneumon, 'tracker.' In LATER
USE associated with a cock.] A fabulous serpent with deadly glance, reputed
to be hatched by a serpent from a cock's egg, and commonly represented with
the head, legs, and wings of a cock and the body and tail of a serpent; in
the Bible, some species of venomous serpent."

Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language (1828)," says, "[FR.
cocatrix, from coc. Junius mentions the word as in D. Kocketras. The Irish
call it 'riogh-nathair', the King-serpent (KING Cobra?), answering to

The Septuagint (not an endorsement) translates the underlying Hebrew word
of Isa. 59:5 to the Greek word "BASILKON" (BASILISKOS - royal or belonging
to the King).

Cassel's New German/English Dictionary (1936) renders "Cockatrice" -
"Basilisk" and vice versa, and the German Bible (1899) agrees with the KJB
cockatrice by using "Basilisk" or "Basilisken" in all four places (Jer.
8:17; Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5).

Although our dictionaries exhibit some uncertainty and variance, regarding
this word "cockatrice," they do give certain pieces of valuable
information. Both the dictionaries and the scriptures indicate that this
was no ordinary snake.   Our scripture proof texts evidence that the
cockatrice is no ordinary serpent. The word "cockatrice" is mentioned in
the same passages as the words "serpent," "asp," and "viper." The
cockatrice' offspring is a fiery flying serpent. Now, the kindred heavenly
creature to these fiery flying serpents are seraphim (Saraph) or six
winged, flying, burning ones (Isa. 6:2-6). Moses was commanded to put a
serpent on a pole (Saraph - seraphim - Num. 21:9). Some heavenly serpents
have the head of an Eagle (Rev. 4:7). Such creatures, no doubt, were the
source of various myths, fables, and legends. If there is an earthly
counterpart to the heavenly calf, lion, and eagle, why not an earthly
counterpart to the heavenly flying serpent? We wonder why Milburn Cockrell
does not get so upset about the word "dragon" in the King James Bible.
Surely, the dragon is associated with many more myths and fables than the
cockatrice. Moreover, Strong calls the dragon a "fabulous serpent" that is
derived from the word "look!" The extra-biblical evidence is such that
there has existed a unique venomous serpent in the past, called a
cockatrice or basilisk. In the future millennium the harmless cockatrice
(like the harmless lion) will be found (Isa. 11:8). Even in the present,
there exists a known lizard by the name "cockatrice" or "basilisk." This
reptile has an extrudable pouch and a crest. Cockrell's Hebrew word has the
idea of extruding or thrusting something out whether a crest, pouch,
appendage, tongue, or hood. The sequence of events seems to have this
order: 1. the unidentified venomous serpent 2. the myth that followed 3.
the naming of a South American lizard after the myth.

Whatever else the cockatrice was, it was a deadly, ferocious, dangerous,
venomous, fiery, flying serpent. Quite a snake! King of the serpents! Yet
not a mistake nor an error. What we see here are men bent on finding errors
and mistakes in our English Bible, judging it by modern dictionaries (which
are far from and far less inspired, preserved, and inerrant). They should
immediately have their noses rubbed in such nonsense. Public exposure of
men, who are found judging the Bible (when the Bible should be judging
them), tends to curb such desires. We do not intend to give place to them,
no, not for an hour.
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