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Thou, pn. In older English usage, the familiar second person singular
pronoun, as contrasted to 'you', the formal and plural second person
pronoun.

In 1611, when the King James Version was translated, addresses to the
Godhead were rendered as 'thou'. This was not in any sense a denial of
the glory and majesty of the King of Kings, but rather an accurate
rendering of the intimacy of the original language. Mark's account of
the Gospel preserves an Arimaic word, 'Abba', which Jesus used to
address the Father, and Paul's writings mention that word as something
which believers are to use in prayers; the best modern equivalent is
probably 'Daddy'. It was a very important element of prayer and
religion which was accurately preserved when the personal, informal,
familiar, intimate word 'thou' was used to accurately render the
corresponding words in the original language; it was a very important
element of Christian teaching which was preserved when that same word
was not simply left in Scripture as a special case owing to the
sanctity of the characters involved, but an example, to be repeated in
prayers.

Now, the word has generally fallen out of use. The one exception, the
one place where 'thou' is still used, is in formal prayer and liturgy,
where it is cherished for its elegance and stateliness.

-- Hayward's Unabridged Dictionary



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