Why I DO use the King James Bible
I never “order” anybody to do anything. Persuasion is the only way to help someone see your point of view. I doubt anybody who told a Christian who used the NIV to instead use the KJB had an expectation that it would be treated as an “order” to obey. I would never call anybody the “devil’s blogger” unless maybe they were an open Satanist.
But I do want to thank Mr. Don for inspiring this reaction to his blog titled, “Why I DON’T use King James”. Of course he obviously means the King James Bible.
A good source for learning specific reasons and general reasons why the King James Bible is the standard for an accurate Bible is here: http://www.av1611.org
Dear reader, I do not use the KJV because it is written in a language that nobody speaks; it’s just that simple. In that sense, it has much in common with things that are written in Latin, it’s a dead language that isn’t spoken anywhere, with the possible exception of Ivory Tower professors somewhere.
Well, I speak my native English and my Honduran wife and her children (mine too now of course) tell me I speak Spanish like a native. My King James Bible is in pure English. The same language I speak today at work. My KJB is not written in any dead language at all. Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew are not spoken today in Greece or in Israel either one, but my friend’s local Greek Orthodox church uses the King James Bible in English.
Is not the King James written in English? Standards used in other venues for grade-level reading (in English) show it’s at something over a 6th grade level. In fact, it helped keep the English language stable because of the ubiquitous use of it.
Don, let us know what specifically did you mean by the “things that are written in Latin” as relates to the topic of dead languages and the KJB? And explain how that relates to the point, please? English is not only alive today, it is accepted as the number one international language everywhere in the world for commerce, trade, science, medical journals, international airport air traffic controllers, and business in general. In fact, this is one reason God would inspire a Bible for today’s world in the most ubiquitous of spoken and literate languages alive today. Even ESL hackers insisted that Eric Raymond of the Open Source Foundation include it as a basic requirement for those who want to be hackers (the good kind).
At the following link you will find the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Indicator showing that the King James BIble is easier to read even for kids, compared to the NIV, the NASB, TEV, and NKJV: http://www.av1611.org/kjv/kjv_easy.html
You agree it’s “beautiful and poetic”, but that’s not because everyone was forced to be “beautiful and poetic” in the language any more than today. After all, it’s the same English language, except spelling became more stabilized over the following of century.
The article also points out the cadence and rhythm in the sentences make it easier to read. It was made to be read aloud from the pulpit in the churches of the day. Whoops, people started buying them and taking them home and learning literacy with them.
Yet ask any freshman student about studying Shakespeare: they have to translate it into modern English before they can follow it!
Yes, it’s harder to read than the KJB, which you do not have to translate to understand.
Please provide a couple of examples of verses you cannot understand in the KJB. If it is a general problem with the KJB and not an isolated case, then they should pop right up everywhere.
Meantime do not confuse it with the spiritual understanding and the “line upon line” understanding as told by the prophet Isaiah, or “meat” like in Paul’s letters that Peter warned had to be studied with focus.
I’m not a detractor, but accuracy is important.
For example, take the second person singular pronoun, which the KJB clearly distinguishes from the second person plural. The modern versions (NIV, NASB, ESV, Net, NKJV, and many others) do not. This makes a big difference sometimes.
Look at just one example of thousands where “thee” and “thy” makes all the difference, Luke 22:31-32:
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
It’s clear there in verse 31 that the Lord was saying Satan wanted to have them ALL, to sift them ALL as wheat. It was “you” plural, meaning all the disciples. It does not need “you all”, nor “all of you”, and all that.
But Jesus directed his words in verse 32 to Peter himself, the singular: “prayed for thee“, that “thy faith fail not, and when “thou art converted”, strengthen “thy brethren”.
(By the way, I read a preface to a printed NIV that claimed that they had dropped “thee” and “thou” for more accuracy! This is so easy to refute one wonders how the writers could be so careless with their description of their own Bible, or worse, they think nobody’s going to catch them. With the warning about “every idle word”, one should be extra careful with The Word.)
The count of the words “hell” and “damnation” show more attention to accuracy than finding less offensive words, or to lift up other doctrines. I am sure another blogger also mentioned the “politically correct” term, but I prefer some other term, since there is nothing correct about many of the attitudes it implies. Of course with the Word, the text should be Biblically correct, not “correct enough”.
BAPTIZE. The word “baptize” was already a word with its own meaning in the English language and had been used for centuries before the King James Bible to mean baptism. The King James translators used a word very commonly used at the time for baptism. What’s more, the word was then and is now more accurate than “immerse”, because “baptism” implies the spiritual experience, while immerse is something you do with a cookie in milk even if you don’t cover it all. “Dunk” might even carry the meaning more.
See how “immerse” looks like in the only version, CET, I could find for Acts 8:36:
As they were going down the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Here’s some water! Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be immersed?”
KJV fans, the original language is the best, not the KJV
Do you have a copy of the Bible in this “original language” or the “original languages”? Is the NT in the “Majority Text” or the “Alexandrian”? Does it have the full version of Mark 16, or does Mark end the testimony of his Gospel with Jesus dead in the tomb?
Here in South Florida are people from everywhere. Met a sister from Brazil reading the KJB, and she said the other English translations did not have the same spirit (her words). Another from Haiti once said the same thing as to why she used the KJB.
So you can speak KJV and you like it, but have you even tried teaching in it? Are your students so lacking that they cannot understand a couple of contemporary English words that might not be street talk?
Do any of them speak another language? How about Spanish? I learned in one hour when I learned Spanish (at 23 years old) how to distinguish second person singular. That’s one of the reason the KJB is less confusing than the modern translations.
If you want a Bible in the common street vernacular, or even the language of newspapers, you should use some wild text like the Message!
The thought that convinced me most, however, applied the idea in 1 Corinthians 14 where it says “God is not the author of confusion”. The most important thing God cares for giving us is his very Word. That’s the most important gift to us. If we allow that nothing can contradict it, you have no way to correct the errors unless you have a Bible in your hand that does not have a confusion of multiple “translations” that contradict each other in many important passages. Like it says, “Let ONE interpret” (my caps).