Thee has’t been reading the King James v’rsion far too longeth. T’s confusing, right? I how art we did expect to readeth this language which is almost straight out of Shakespeare? Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Alright, I’ll stop, but the point is those of us amongst us who still cling to the outdated translation of the King James version need to explore some of the more accurate and clearer translation. Reminder to all, the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, inspired, and our final authority for faith and life. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the KJV, it’s been a fine translation, but reading the KJV is like eating an apple or potato without the skin, you’re losing a lot of nutrients. While the apple is still an apple, and it is very healthy you’re still missing out. If you keep reading the KJV you’re at no risk of becoming a heretic. I will admit it is an excellent translation but not the only one. I know plenty of people who love their noble KJV. So while I am not knocking the King James version, it was great when it was first written, but not since the 1970’s has the King James version been one of the more viable options. Now I know many people have been big fans of the KJV, and one of the things a lot of people really like is that its translation was one of the first English translations which remain closest to the time of Jesus Christ. That’s great and English speaking Christians forever owe a debt to the KJV. However, new information has come out and we now better understand the ancient text which we know as the Bible.
As much as we want to cling to the KJV for its time, let’s be honest here not a single person in the Bible spoke English, wrote English, or knew about English. Historians date the English language back to as early as 550 C.E. and it continued to form into the early part of the 11th century. Jesus and the Apostles predated English by 500 years. The first English Bible was not created until the late 15th-early 16th century. The King James version was not written until 1611, about 1500 years after some of the latest pieces of the Bible was written. So this notion that we need to cling to it, for this reason, is simply invalid. The people who wrote the Bible spoke and wrote either Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.
Many churches still use this, but my question is why? If they like the King James Version writing style then start looking at the New King James version, ok, not the same thing. The KJV did not have the luxury which modern translations had and did not have the same level of knowledge and evidence which we have. Since the KJV was created we have had a number of new findings which have helped us understand the Bible. When churches continue to cling to the KJV then they influence their parishioners to do the same. Many people hold onto this text because their church uses it.
One of the biggest reasons you show stop reading it though is the English is a dead form of English, it’s confusing. If you can’t coherently read the text then you’re missing out. Preserving what may have been a family tradition should not sacrifice your spiritual formation. Reading the Bible is hard, I am in seminary right now folks, and there are scriptures that still confuse me. Don’t make reading the Bible hard than it is.
So earlier in this I mentioned reading the KJV is like eating an apple without the skin. I know many people do not like the skin of the apple but again bear with me on this. One of the things which strike me is the KJV likes to call the Holy Spirit the Holy Ghost. Not only is this reference at risk of scaring small children it’s flat out wrong. In fact, so inaccurate the vast majority of denominations will correctly teach the name as the Holy Spirit even if they read from the KJV. To be honest, the only people I know who still say Holy Ghost are old southern women. Correct me if I’m wrong. Now many of you may see this as a harmless fact, but it doesn’t give the Spirit the full credit that He so greatly deserves. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and is the vehicle which drives our spiritual formation. Really, in general, the KJV does not give justice to the trinitarian doctrine. Additionally, the KJV leaves out an abundance of information which would be provided by a number Greek manuscripts.
Again, it’s a great translation but we should also be weary on limiting our Bible study to only one translation as well. The NASB, RSV, NKJV, NIV, and ESV to name a few are all quality translations which should be considered. Also, the HSCB is another translation which I also like to read from time to time. Reading multiple translations enhances our biblical literacy and makes us a better disciple of Christ. The KJV is not the only translation which was inspired by Biblical language. Let’s face it though there are over 14,000 manuscripts which lead us to the content of the New Testament along. So we can be sure what is written in the Bible is absolutely accurate. However, many translations explain it better.
Again, I am not here bashing the KJV, but it’s not the best anymore and we need to treat it as such. Reminder to all, the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, inspired, and our final authority for faith and life. Listen reading the Bible is the most important thing here and if the KJV is the only one you’ll read more power to you. Some of you are a KJV only people, but I challenge your to lighten this stance because you’re missing out. Likewise, if your a one translation person your should look at the various translations out there. This doesn’t even cost money anymore nowadays when studying your Bible you can read from your Bible translation of choice and look the same verses on a number of websites such as Bible Gateway, Bible Hub I think it’s called, and much more. So in the 21st century, we have no excuse to be a one-dimensional Christian. Not to mention the hundreds of free Bible Apps we have available, but do pay attention to the ratings on some. We cannot continue to eat this apple without the skin. We have to put our ego’s aside and realize that English is no the only language our there, and English did not even exist at the time of Christ. While the KJV may have been one of the best of its time, many more accurate translations have emerged. Shalom and May the Peace of the Lord Be With You Always my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.