ANSWER: Shewbread
“Why not ‘showbread’ … I mean … as you walked into the first section of the tabernacle, called the sanctuary, in the desert, there was “… the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread (Hebrews 9:2) … and they were all on show, that is, they were all on display, that is, they were being shown off. What’s wrong with that?”

“Anyhow, no-one talks like that these days “Oh look at that … the new Winter coats are being shewn off in the window at David Jones!” or “Let’s go to a shew” or “Oh! What a shewstopper!” or “Don’t be a shew-off!” or “Shew me that!”

A: “You are absolutely correct! The answer to that lies in the fact of two different meanings of the two words ‘shew’ and ‘show’.

The meaning of the word ‘show’ is as follows … and as soon as you see it, you’ll understand.
Show’ (Websters 1828 Dictionary) means ‘superficial appearance’; ‘not reality’; ‘likeness’; ‘phantom’; hypocritical pretence’.

The King James Bible word ‘shew’ has the opposite meaning of the word ‘show’, and it means ‘not superficial’; ‘real’; ‘actual’; ‘not a phantom’; ‘not a hypocritical pretence’.

Q: So what’s your point?
The shewbread in the tabernacle was not for show or to be shown off; nor hypocritical, nor was it a phantom … it was the real thing. 

Q: How do we know that the shewbread was real and not just common bread?
We have the example of the priest giving David the hallowed bread. It was the shewbread … and that although it was just ordinary common bread, it had been sanctified.
The scriptures state as follows …

“So the priest gave him (David) hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread …” (1 Samuel 21:6)

And as the previous verse says “… the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.” (1 Samuel 21:5).

Furthermore, when Jesus appeared on earth in the flesh as a man, he was the ‘shewbread’ from heaven. He was not the actual shewbread of the tabernacle, being a shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:17), but he was the real deal. He was not a phantom, not a hypocrite, not a superficial being … he was actual God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). He was the actualisation of the shewbread in the Old Testament.

Furthermore we have …
“Howbeit for this cause I (Paul) obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy 1:16).

Correct! Jesus did not come to show forth a pretence at suffering, as in will worship and false humility (Colossians 2:23) as that would be the act of a con-artist, a hypocrite and a smoke and mirrors show. No, he came to shew forth what the actuality of authentic longsuffering was. No pretence there! No pulling the wool over people’s eyes!

Q: So?
There’s nothing wrong with using the word ‘show’ for today’s things … because that is all they are!
Today people watch a show on TV … it’s not the real thing, it’s showy, it’s make-believe, it’s a con, it is supposed to be a photocopy/counterfeit of real life. It’s entertainment. Correct! No-one watches a shew on TV… Why? Because it’s not real.

Let me give you another example:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

This means “You are not to pretend at studying!”. God wants the real study.

So when Mum says to her son: “Are you studying to shew yourself approved at the next test at school?” She means it! Are doing proper, real and actual study?

The son replies: “Yes Mum, I am studying to show myself approved” meaning “Mum, I’m just putting on a show. I’m faking it!”.

You see, he’s watching football on TV, and playing computer games, but switches them off and starts turning pages of his textbooks, pretending to study, when he hears Mum in the hallway. 

Dear Reader, can you see the difference between real study (shew) and fake study (show).

Dear Reader, the word ‘shew’ is a Bible word and not an archaic and ancient word … eliminated in today’s modern versions, being translated as ‘show’. It has a highly specific and spiritual meaning.

Dear Reader, near enough is not good enough. God is exact and his words are exact and are not open to be tampered with in any way… and God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). 

By the way, Dear Reader, do you have the ‘shew’ Christianity or just a pretend ‘show’ Christianity.

Do you study to ‘shew’ thyself approved, or do you just ‘have a go’ and ‘do your best’ and ‘be diligent’, to merely ‘show’ thyself approved? 


Harley Hitchcock



 Much confusion surrounds the use of the terms ‘covenant’ and ‘testament’. We’ll look at how each is separate, and also, how they interact.


 Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia