If I called you a Nimrod, how would you feel? If you are like most people you would probably feel insulted. The popular definition for a nimrod is inept person, a moron, an ignoramus. The original name Nimrod really meant to be a skillful mighty hunter. It’s original origin is founded in Genesis 10:8 – Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man.[a]9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”
How did the mighty hunter become an inept oaf? Well, it’s all Bugs Bunny‘s fault.
OK, maybe not all his fault. You see in the popular cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, Bugs often times will refer to Elmer Fudd as a “little Nimrod”, a sarcastic reference to the mighty hunter of the Old Testament. The writers might have gotten the joke but the general public didn’t. They assumed in their ignorance, that the word was an insult and began to use it as such and the new meaning took over.
This doesn’t just happen in cartoons, there are numerous examples of people taking Biblical words and concepts and flipping their meaning to the point that more people accept the new definition than the Bible one. Pastors are not the Biblical group of overseers that they are meant to be, but a single preacher (Acts 20:28). Grace is made into a license to sin (Jude 1:4). Baptism has gone from a complete immersive burial in water to pouring to just sprinkling (Colossians 3:12).
Words have meaning. If we change that meaning we might as well change the word. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are Biblical if you still use a Bible word yet have a different definition than the Bible has. If we truly want to be biblical we must hunt through the Scriptures to see if the things we are taught are really the things that are in Scripture (Acts 17:11).
When it comes to what the Bible says, we need to be a Nimrod not a nimrod.
– Barry Haynes, Hope Church of Christ, Hope, Arkansas