"Archaic and Inerrant" beats "Modernized and Wrong" Any Day of the Week
The King James Bible is NOT written in Old English. The period of Old English began around 450 A.D. The next period in the evolution and development of English is called Middle English. This period is dated between 1100-1500 A.D. Then began what is called Modern English.
Both the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare are well within the time period of what is technically called Modern English.
And example of Old English are the Anglo Saxon gospels which date back to 900-1000 A.D. This is what John 3:16 looks like in Old English -
“God lufode middan-eard swa þt he sealde his ancennendan sunu. þt nän ne forwurðe þe on hine gelyfð. ac hæbbe þt ece lïf;”
God is the only recognizable word in this verse. “lïf” is a close second for “life”. That is what Old English looked like.
Translation and Subversion, by R.J. Rushdoony
“One of the charges consistently leveled against the King James Version is that its language is archaic and obsolete. The answer is a simple one: it is intended to be. In 1611 the King James Version was “out of date” as it is today. The translators avoided the speech of their day for a basic English which would be simple, timeless and beautiful, and they succeeded. Their version spoke from outside their age and tradition with elemental simplicity.”
Why the King James Bible Remains the Best
The 400-year-old translation is denigrated because of its archaic language. That’s one of its greatest strengths.
“Indeed, the KJV’s archaic language, often cited as a point against it, strikes me as one more argument in its behalf. The language of the Hebrew Bible, after all, is archaic, too; it is precisely this that makes us feel when reading it that we are in contact with an age more wondrous and fervent than our own. The same holds true of the KJV. We should not want the Bible to sound modern. Of modernity we have more than enough; the Bible needs to be read against modernity’s grain. I’ll stick with the King James.”
One of the main reasons the modern version promoters tell us we need to get rid of the King James Bible and buy one of the multiple choice modern versions is because they say that the old King James Bible is too hard to understand and it uses "archaic" words. They tell us that people don't talk like that today (with all those "thee"s and "ye"s) and that we need something easy to understand.
First of all, let me point out what none of these people are telling you. You need to know where they are coming from and where they want to take you. It is a proven fact that not one of them actually believes that ANY Bible in ANY language IS or ever was the complete, inspired and infallible words of God.
Just ask them. I have been discussing and debating the King James Bible issue for years now, and I have never run into a single modern version user who honestly believes that his particular version IS the infallible words of God and that when other versions differ from his in either text or meaning, then the others are wrong and his is right. NOT ONE.
When you ask them to SHOW you a copy of this "infallible Bible" they seem to want you to think they actually believe in, most of these people then begin to backtrack and come out with something like "Well, only the original Hebrew and Greek are inspired."
What they utterly fail to notice is the obvious FACT that there IS NO "the original Hebrew and Greek" in existence. They have never seen a single word of these "original autographs" and have no way of knowing if their particular flavor of the month bible version (which are always changing with each new edition to come down the pike) matches their unseen, unknown and unreadable "the originals" or not. They are bluffing and they are professing a faith in something that they KNOW does not even exist!
Furthermore, I always find it amusing and highly ironic that these same people (Bible agnostics - they don't know for sure what God may or may not have said) and unbelievers in the infallibility of ANY Bible end up referring us to "the" Hebrew and "the" Greek.
It should be pointed out that there is no such thing as "the" Hebrew and much less anything called "the" Greek. There are literally THOUSANDS of variant readings in both the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and numerous very different printed Greek editions are out there in Bible Babblelonia Land today.
I also find it highly ironic that these same people who complain about the "hard to understand and archaic language" of the King James Bible, now want us to learn two very difficult archaic languages that are no longer spoken today and that are FAR more difficult than anything you will find in the English text of the King James Bible.
Biblical Hebrew and Greek are very different from modern Hebrew and Greek and no native speaker talks that way. Don't these people ever stop to think through their position and what they are actually saying?
Where do these modern Version promoters want to take us? The simple truth is they want us to become bible agnostics and unbelievers in the infallibility of the Bible - ANY bible in ANY language - just like they are.
The only Christians I have run into over the years who REALLY believe in an infallible Bible are the King James Bible believers. We may not always agree on what the Biblical texts MEAN, but we all DO agree on what the Bible text SAYS.
Those in the Bible Babble Buffet Camp don't always agree on what their varying texts mean either, and they certainly do not agree on what their contradictory and ever changing texts SAY.
USA Today came out with a very interesting article in 2011 that found that people who actually READ the Bible, are far more likely to be King James Bible readers. It's called Bible Readers Prefer King James Version. You can see the article here.
Here is one quote from this USA Today article - "Although there are two dozen English-language Bibles in many contemporary translations, THE KING JAMES VERSION REIGNS EVEN MORE SUPREME AMONG THOS WHO ACTUALLY READ THEIR BIBLES: 82% of those who read the Good Book at least once a month rely on the translation that first brought the Scripture to the English-speaking masses worldwide."
It is a proven fact that the majority of present day professing Christians no longer believe that "The Bible" is the infallible words of God. Among the clergy and seminary students the percentage is in the 90's. See what the polls and professors are saying here - "The Bible is NOT the infallible words of God." -
IF a Christian REALLY believes the Bible is the infallible words of God, then the "old fashioned language" is not an issue at all. Sure, the King James Bible has some words that are older or have different meanings than we may be familiar with.
But people are learning new vocabulary or new meanings to English words all the time in any field of study, be it sports, biology, the sciences, mathematics, medicine or just about anything imaginable. If you are interested in something, you learn the meaning of the words that are found in this field of interest. Even when you start using the computer we have to learn some new words or different meanings to words we already knew - Words like "mouse", IPad, "Kindle", Office, Word, "paste".
Do we need to "update" the language of the Bible?
Usually it is the bible agnostic crowd that keeps telling us that “The N.T. was written in Koine Greek” and this somehow proves that bible versions need to be “updated and revised” and put into modern English and other languages.
But let’s look at it a different way. Does God see the beginning from the end? What is the pattern we see Him use in history? Usually the bible agnostics and unbelievers in the infallibility of ANY Bible tell us we need to study and learn “the Hebrew and Greek” or “the original languages” in order to find out what God REALLY said. Right?
Well, this same God who sees the end from the beginning also knew that the biblical languages of the never seen by any man alive today and the forever lost originals would be written in a form of Hebrew and Greek that are no longer spoken or used today. They are both in a slightly “archaic” form, yet the native speaking Jews and Greeks today can read them and understand them.
Would any Bible believing, devout Jew change a single syllable of his “archaic” Hebrew Bible? Or a believing Orthodox Greek Christian change his “old fashioned” Textus Receptus New Testament? Of course not; they have too much respect and reverence for the biblical texts.
I believe it is the same thing with the English language. God knew that languages would change over time and that His pure words, as found only in the King James Bible, would sound slightly “strange, different and old fashioned”, but this is a good thing.
When people read out of the King James Bible we are immediately struck by the fact that it reads like NO OTHER BOOK on this earth. It is an OLD Book that has been around for a good long time, and it speaks God’s eternal truths to us like no other book or Bible on this earth. The very way it is written sticks in the mind and makes you think about what it is saying the way the watered down and dumbed down modern versions do not.
Most modern versions have more the taste of cardboard than of the sweet honey of God’s pure words as found in the King James Bible. And it is the ONLY one seriously believed by thousands even today to be the complete, inspired and 100% true words of the living God.
I’m always amazed when I hear a college educated person say, "I can’t understand the King James Bible with all its "thee"s, "ye"s, and other archaic words." To see why the use of all those "thee"s and "ye"s are far more accurate and should be retained see -
In his book, Answering the Myths on the Bible Version Debate on page 91, Mr. David Cloud quotes linguistic scholar A.T. Robertson (by no means a KJB onlyist) who makes this observation about the King James Bible: "No one today speaks the English of the Authorized Version, or ever did for that matter, for though, like Shakespeare, it is pure Anglo-Saxon, yet unlike Shakespeare, IT REPRODUCES TO A REMARKABLE EXTENT THE SPIRIT AND LANGUAGE OF THE BIBLE." (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 56).
Amazing quote from the Professor of English Literature at Yale University.
From the Introduction to Human Nature in the Bible, August 22, 1922!. "But the Crowning achievement of those spacious times was the Authorized Translation of the Bible, which appeared in 1611... The art of English composition reached its climax in the pages of the Bible... We Anglo-Saxons have a better Bible than the French or the Germans or the Italians or the Spanish; our English translation is even better than the original Hebrew and Greek. There is only way to explain this; I have no theory ...to account for the so-called "inspiration of the Bible," but I am confident that the Authorised Version was inspired. Now as the English-speaking people have the best Bible in the world, and as it is the most beautiful monument ever erected with the English alphabet, we ought to make the most of it, for it is an incomparably rich inheritance, free to all who can read. This means that we ought invariably in the church and on public occasions to use the Authorised Version; all others are inferior. And...it should be used exclusively in private reading. Why make constant companions of the second best, when the best is available?" - William Lyon Phelps, Lampson Professor of English Literature at Yale 1922
Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones
In answer to any who would argue that its language is too difficult for the modern reader we might quote the words of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones: "We are told that the Bible must be put in such simple terms of language that anybody taking it up and reading it is going to understand it right away. My friends, this is sheer nonsense. What we must do is educate the masses of the people up to the Bible not bring the Bible down to their level. One of the greatest troubles today is that everything is being brought down to the same level; everything is cheapened. The common man is made the standard of authority; he decides everything, and everything has to be brought down to him…we need to do is not to replace it...we need to reach and train people up to the standard and the language, the dignity and glory of the old Authorized Version."1
1. Part of an address given by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at the National Bible Rally in the Royal Albert Hall, London, on October 24th, 1961; quoted on
A Christian lady told me about a home for retarded children here in the U.S. They tried using one of the modern bible versions for their school plays about the birth of the Saviour and His resurrection, but the kids could not remember their lines. Then they went back to the King James Bible and the kids recited their lines much more easily. The King James Bible is much easier to memorize and its words stick in the mind precisely because of the way it is written.
I'm old enough to remember a time when Christians could actually quote large sections of Scripture. People don't do this anymore. What's the point? Their versions keep changing all the time and everybody's "bible" reads differently. This should tell you something. God Himself is sending a famine of hearing His words. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." Amos 8:11
I will only briefly mention the textual issue in this article; there are many places to find out more about that. All Bibles are not translated from the same Greek and Hebrew texts. The NIV, ESV, Holman Christian Standard, and the NASB use a different Greek text than the KJB; they don’t always agree with each other; and their Greek text differs from the KJB text by about 5000 words. There are 17 entire verses missing in the NIV new testament, some 45 verses missing from the RSV and the ESV omits 18 entire verses plus hundreds of other words.
You may find this hard to believe, but here is the Proof. Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET and Holman Standard are actually the new "Vatican Versions". The Vatican has made a formal agreement with the United Bible Society (the Greek text behind these and the modern Catholic versions) to create an "interconfessional" text. See the proof in their own words and in the version comparisons here - Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
Scores of times the NIV, ESV, Holman, and the NASB do not follow the Hebrew text, but use the Greek Septuagint, Syriac, or some other source. I have found at least 40 examples where the NKJV does not follow the same Greek text as the KJB, and is different still from the NIV, ESV, Holman, and NASB. None of these translations have the same meaning as the others in hundreds of verses. Which one then is God’s infallible word? I’m convinced it is the King James Bible.
Even when some group of men take it upon themselves to try to "revise and update" the King James Bible, they end up creating a colossal mess like the NKJV. See "Is the NKJV the infallible words of God? Not a chance!" here -
There is an book called, “Archaic Words and the Authorized Version”, by Laurence M. Vance. In it Mr. Vance shows how most of the so-called archaic words in the KJB are not archaic at all but are found in modern magazines, newspapers, and dictionaries. There are only about 200 words usually picked out by critics of the KJB, yet of the approximately 800,000 words in the Bible this is only .004 % of the total.
He also shows many examples of words in the modern versions which most people would have to look up in a dictionary. Here are some of those words found in the "easy to read" NIV.
abashed, abominable, abstinence, abutted, acclaim, adder, adhere, admonish, advocate, affinity, alcove, algum, allays, allocate, allots, ally, aloes, aloof, amend (not a patch), antitype (not opposed to typewriters), appease, ardent, armlets, arrayed, astir, atonement, awl, banishment, battlements, behemoth, belial, bereaves, betrothed, bier, blighted, booty, brayed, breaching, breakers, buffeted, burnished, calamus, capital (not a city), carnelian, carrion, centurions, chasm, chronic, chrysolite, cistern, citadel, citron, clefts, cohorts, colonnades, complacency, coney, concession, congealed, conjure, contrite, convocations, crest, cors, curds, dandled, dappled, debauchery, decimated, deluged, denarii, depose, derides, despoil, dire, dispossess, disrepute, dissipation, distill, dissuade, divination, dragnet, dropsy, duplicity, earthenware, ebbed, ebony, emasculate, emission, encroach, enmity, enthralled, entreaty, ephod, epicurean, ewe, excrement, exodus, factions, felled, festal, fettered, figurehead, filigree, flagstaff, fomenting, forded, fowler, gadfly, galled, gird, gauntness, gecko, gloating, goiim, harrowing, haunt, hearld, henna, homers, hoopoe, ignoble, impaled, implore, incur, indignant, insatiable, insolence, intact, invoked, jambs, joists, jowls, lairs, lamentation, leviathan, libations, loins, magi, manifold, maritime, mattocks, maxims, mina, misdemeanor, mother-of-pearl, mustering, myrtles, naive, naught, Negev, Nephilim, nettles, nocturnal, nomad, notorious, Nubians, oblivion, obsolete, odious, offal, omer, oracles, overweening, parapet, parchments, pavilion, peals (noun, not the verb), perjurers, perpetuate, pestilence, pinions, phylacteries, plumage, pomp, porphyry, portent, potsherd, proconsul, propriety, poultice, Praetorium, pretext, profligate, promiscuity, provincial, providence, qualm, quarries, quivers (noun, not verb), ramparts, ransacked, ratified, ravish, rabble, rawboned, relish (not for hot dogs), recoils, recount, refrain, relent, rend, reposes, reprimanded, reputed, retinue, retorted, retribution, rifts, roebucks, rue, sachet, satraps, sated, shipwrights, siegeworks, sinews, sistrums, sledges, smelted, somber, soothsayer, sovereignty, spelt, stadia, stench, stipulation, sullen, tamarisk, tanner, temperate, tether, tetrarch, terebinth, thresher, throes, thronged, tiaras, tinder, tracts, transcends, tresses, turbulent, tyrannical, unscathed, unrelenting, usury, vassal, vaunts, vehemently, verdant, vexed, wadi, wanton, warranted, wield, winnowing and wrenched.
There are many cases where the NIV uses a harder word than the KJB. Compare the following: The NIV has “abasement” in Ezra 9:5 whereas the KJB has “heaviness.” Isaiah 24:23: “abashed” (NIV) = “confounded” (KJB). Ezekiel 40:18: “abutted” (NIV) = “over against” (KJB). 2 Chronicles 15:14: “acclamation” (NIV) = “voice” (KJB). Isaiah 13:8: “aghast” (NIV) = “amazed” (KJB) Psalm 107:5 "ebbed away" (NIV) = "fainted" (KJB). A personal favorite is “squall” (NIV) instead of “storm” (KJB) in Mark 4:37.
It is funny that I can put together the phrase from the KJB which says; "The very sad green giant was hungry” and in the NIV it would be: “The overweening dejected verdant Nephilim was famished."
Well, how about the New KJV? Can you pass this vocabulary test even with a few of my "helpful hints"? Let's see.
The vocabulary of the New King James Version, along with some "helpful hints".
Abase, abashed, abode, adhere, admonish, adversity, aground, algum, alienate, alighting, allays, allotment, alloy, aloof, alms, amend, amiss, annihilated, anise, antitype, arbitrate, apprehended, archives, armlets, ascertain, asps, attire, austere, backbite, banishment, baths (not to get clean), bdellium, befalls, beggarly, begetting, behemoth, belial, beseech, betrothal, beveled, birthstools, bittern, bleat, booty (not modern slang), borne, breach, brandished (not drunk), bray, bristling, buffet (not a restaurant), buckler (not a belt), bulrush, (not a stampede), burnished, butress (not a chair), calamus, caldron, capital (not a city), carcasses, carnally, carrion (not luggage), cassia, caulkers, centurion (not a 100 years), chalcedony, chalkstones, chaste (not pursued by a runner), chasten, (not related to previous chaste), chrysolite, chrysoprase, circumspect, cistern (not feminine of brethren), citadel, citron, clamor, cleft, cloven (not a spice), commission (not money), commonwealth (not shared money), compound (not a barracks), concede , compulsory, conciliation, concubine (not a tractor), congealed, contemptuously, confederacy (not the South), contingents (not same as large land masses), corban, coriander, countenance (not adding up ants), couriers (not an hordourve), covert, crags, crescents, crest (not the top of a hill), cropped (not food), cubit, custodian (not the one who cleans the school halls), curds, dainties (not effeminate), dandled, daubed, dappled, dayspring, denarii, deposed (not relaxing after a foto op), deride (not same as dismount), despoiled (not really, really rotten), diadem, diffuses (not to disarm a bomb), dilapidation (not the act of standing up), dispensation, disrepute, dissipation, diviner (not a grape grower), docile, dragnet (not a detective drama), dregs, drachmas, dropsy (not clumsiness), dross, dryshod, eczema (God bless you), edict, edification, elaborate, embellish, emitted, enigma, enmity, entrails (not a short cut), envoy, eventide, epistle, ephod, exorcise (not jogging), expiration (not a date on a carton of milk), faction, fallow, famish, fare (not average and not money), fatlings (not piglets), feigned (not passed out), festal, fetched, fidelity (not good sound), figurehead (not a statue of a head), filly, flanges, foreskin, fostered, fowlers (not a baseball term), fuller (not less empty), furlongs (not cat tails), gad, garland, garrison, gaunt, gecko, graven, Hellenists, hew (not a man's name), homers (not baseball), hoopoe (not a garden tool), immutability, indignant, insolence, insubordination, intervene, itinerant, jackdaw, jeopardy (a TV show, but what does it mean?), jubilation, kors (not a brand of beer), laden, lamentations, laud (not Boston pronunciation of lard), lusty, mail (not a letter), mammon, matrix (other than the movie), mattock (not a TV lawyer show), mercenaries, mina (not a type of bird), mite (not a bed bug), moorings, nativity, offal (not terrible), offscouring (not dandruff), omnipotent, onager (Job 39:5 - you won't believe this one!) oracle, pangs, papyrus (not a fruit), paramours, parapet(not a dog and a cat), penitents, perdition, phylacteries, pilfering, pillage, pims, pins (not like needles or bowling- has to do with a chariot), pinions (not a type of nut), plaited (not dishes), platitudes, potentate, potsherd, poultice (not chickens), Praetorium (not a place to pray), prattler, principality, prodigal, proconsul, prognosticators (not people who put things off till later), propitiation, pslatery, prow, pulverize, pyre, quadrans, quiver (not to shake), rampart (not a piece of a truck), ravenous, ravished, raze (not to lift up), reconciliation, recount (not to double check your arithmetic), rend, renown, reprisal, retinue, rifled (does not have to do with guns), rivulets, rogue, salute ( does not have to do with the army), satiate, satraps, scruples, sepulcher, shamefaced, shards, Sheol, shod, shuttle (not a type of bus or spaceship), siegeworks, sistrums (not an affectionate term for your sisters), skiff, soothsayer, spelt (not anything to do with spelling words), straits (not the opposite of crookeds), superfluous, supplanted, tamarisk, tares, tarries, temperate, terebinth, terrestrial, tetrarch, throng (not a skimpy bathing suit), timbrel, tittle (not the name of a book), tresses, usury, vagabond, vassal, vehement, vermilion, verdure, verity, vestments, waifs, wane, wanton (not desiring something), warp (not to bend), wend, wield, winebibber, woof (not a dog or stereo), wrought.
Harder Words in the NKJV (provided by Sam Gipp)
Gen 9:9 _____________seed___________ _____decendants
Gen. 18:1____________plains________ _______terebinth trees
Gen. 35:4____________oak___________ ______terebinth tree
Lev. 4:11 ____________dung________________offal
Dt. 15:7______________coney_______________rock hyrax
Jud. 8:13_____________sun was up___________Ascent of Heres
Ruth 4:5______________raise up______________perpetuate
1Sam. 22:6____________tree_________________tamanisk tree
Isa. 34:14_____________screech owl___________night creature
Luke 12:14_____________the deep________________the abyss
Acts 27:21_____________quick sands_____________Syrtis sands
So you see, besides the very serious textual matter, the modern versions also have words hard to be understood. Try giving this list of words as a vocabulary test and see if your son or daughter, or even yourself gets a passing score.
There is a huge battle going on today about the Bible. We are headed for the falling away, the apostasy, which will occur before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory and judgment. This is the most biblically ignorant generation of Americans ever, in spite of, or perhaps, BECAUSE OF the modern versions.
The explosion of multiple-choice, conflicting modern versions has encouraged the student to pick and choose his own preferred readings and has created a tendency to treat every Bible lightly and to look upon none as the final words of God.
I believe the KJB to be God’s preserved, complete, pure, and inspired words. If I have to choose between a modern, up-to-date language Bible version that omits thousands of God inspired words from the New Testament (as do the NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman), that rejects the Hebrew readings in numerous places, and that teaches false doctrine in several verses, or choose the old King James Bible that has a few "archaic words" but teaches the whole truth of God in purity of doctrine, it is a no-brainer. I will gladly and thankfully take the Holy Bible that God has set His mark of approval on like no other - the King James Bible. If you don’t have one, get it, read it, believe it, memorize it and hid its words in your heart.
The Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
The Bible itself is not meant to be a book which can be easily understood. Who can read through the minor prophets and not ask himself: "What is he talking about? What does this mean?" Yet there are many parts of the Bible that even a child can comprehend.
I do not believe the Bible is supposed to be translated into contemporary street language. The English of the KJB 1611 was not written in "street language" even at that time.
According to Oxford University, and the PBS series 'The History of English':
William Shakespeare used a total vocabulary of just over 24,000 words. In 2003 16,000 of those words are "obsolete".
Edgar Allen Poe used a total vocabulary of under 18,000 words. In 2003 9,550 of those words are "obsolete".
The King James Bible contains a total vocabulary of just over 6,000 words. In 2003 approximately 8 of those words are "obsolete".
Look at the divine pattern through history. We believe the Hebrew Old Testament was inspired by God. Yet the Jewish people in Israel today do not speak in the same Hebrew as is found in their scriptures, but they understand it. Not one of them would even consider "updating" the Hebrew text.
Most Bible critics I meet tell us we need to "go to the Hebrew and the Greek" to find out what God really said. This is so ironic. If we find a few old "archaic words" in the King James Bible that are hard to understand, they recommend instead that we learn Hebrew and Greek! Now, that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?
Besides this, all of the translators behind such versions as the NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman CSB believe the Hebrew texts have been corrupted or even lost in numerous places, so they reject these readings. Yet, even if we followed the Hebrew and Greek texts, we would then be learning hundreds and hundreds of "archaic words", because the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts do not read as do modern Greek and Hebrew!
The same is true of the Greek Orthodox church. The Greek New Testament is not written in the same Greek that is spoken today in Greece, yet they understand it. None of those who believe it to be God's words are clamoring for a modern, up to date, "comic book" version.
God knew beforehand that languages would change and I believe He intended that His word would be placed in a form of language that would be different from that spoken on the street. God's Book is not supposed to read like people on the street talk. It never did.
The King James Bible reads differently from any other book. It is not like a newspaper, nor is it meant to sound like one. The Bible is an ancient book filled with timeless wisdom. I am impressed by the fact that this King James Bible has been around for a long time; it reads differently than any other book; it speaks like no man does in the pulpit, on radio or television, and I have to think about what it is saying. I don't just breeze through it like a tabloid magazine. When I slow down to think about what it says, I find that God speaks to me.
King James Bible believer, pastor, teacher and author Douglas Stauffer writes: Archaic Language?
"The term archaic when used by the modern version proponent refers to “words no longer in use.” By definition, this does not apply to the King James Bible since all of the words of the KJB are preached in thousands of churches and read by millions of believers worldwide. Therefore, the word archaic cannot be applied to any of the KJB words since they all remain in use. However, we will use the term in a more generic sense for sake of argument herein.
Many anti-King James books point to the supposed archaic words found in this Old Black Book as though these few words somehow make the King James Bible unintelligible and unreadable. Interestingly, this position points its accusatory fingers right back in the direction of the much harder to read modern versions. When all of the facts are weighed in the balances, this untenable position ultimately discredits the modern versions.
For over 100 years now, the modern versions producers have been trying to force the pure words of God into our degenerated English of the 20th century (and now the 21st century). This is both unwise and impractical. God gives no indication of condoning the updating of His word using words with different meanings. God gave us His word and He also gave us the means of expressing His word through the medium of language.
Some Bible critics ask what is wrong with updating the supposed archaic words of the King James Bible. Like every other important God-honored truth, the scripture spells out God’s approach to “archaic words.” In this case, God’s word points out that during King Saul’s day the word seer was by modern definition an archaic.
1 Samuel 9:9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)
God defines the word seer as a Prophet. Amazingly, our English Bible (the word of God) continues to use this archaic word after defining it. Then God takes the point concerning archaic words one step further. God provides man with an example to follow as He does not discontinue the use of the archaic word once He has defined it.
1 Samuel 9:10 Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was. 11 And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here?
Do you see that? God defines an archaic word so that the reader of His word understands what it means, but continues using that same archaic word. We should do no less than the example set for us by God in His word. Simply define any so-called archaic words so that the individual knows what it means and then continue using the Bible word knowing that your audience now understands its meaning. God educates his audience and by example reveals what He means through study. God can and will give evidence to those seeking the truth." (end of quote by Douglas Stauffer)
There seem to be two attitudes towards the KJB - those who want to understand it and defend it, and those who want to criticize and attack it.
To illustrate some of the confusion being wrought today by the conflicting "bibles" let me give you a few examples from the modern versions. In Job 42:6 the KJB along with the RV, ASV, NKJV, NIV, and ESV says: “Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF and repent in dust and ashes”. The NASB says, “Therefore I RETRACT, and I repent in dust and ashes.” The Holman CSB says: "Therefore I TAKE BACK MY WORDS, and repent..." There is a big difference between abhoring myself and "taking back what I said".
In Exodus 26:14, “Thou shalt make a covering for the tent of ram's skins dyed red, and a covering of BADGER'S skins". The NKJV, Geneva, Darby, Young’s, Webster's, KJB 21, Third Millennium Bible, Rotherham's Emphatic Bible, and the Spanish all agree with the KJB. The NASB has "PORPOISE skins" while the NIV has "SEA COWS". The RSV and the 2001 ESV both have "GOATSKINS". The Holman says: "MANATEE SKINS". In the wilderness, badger's skins would be a difficult to come by, but how many porpoises (NASB) or sea cows (NIV) , or manatees (Holman) do you think they could have scrounged up?
In Exodus 14:25, The LORD troubled the host of the pursuing Egyptians and "TOOK OFF" their chariot wheels. The RV, ASV, NIV, NKJV all equal the KJB, but the NASB and Holman tells us, "He caused the chariot wheels TO SWERVE". My car wheels have at times swerved but they didn't come off. Not quite the same meaning, is it? The RSV and ESV say: "CLOGGING their chariot wheels" with a footnote that tells us "clogging" comes from the LXX and the Syriac, but the Hebrew says "removing", like the KJB has.
In Deut. 33:25, "As thy days, so shall thy STRENGTH be." No matter what difficulties I may encounter, God will give me the strength to bear them and to go on. The NIV, NKJV, ASV, Geneva, Youngs, Holman, and Spanish all agree with the KJB. The NASB has: "And according to your days, so shall YOUR LEISURELY WALK be." Did God ever promise us a leisurely walk? Not if I read the rest of the Bible, He didn't.
Is there a difference between an eagle and a vulture? In Matt. 24:28, "For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the EAGLES be gathered together." The RV, ASV, NKJV, Darby, Young, RSV, and Spanish all agree with the KJB. The NIV, ESV, Holman, and NASB have "vultures", yet it is a quote from Job 39:27-30 where it refers to eagles, even in the NIV, ESV, Holman, and NASB! The NIV, ESV, Holman, and NASB translate this same word as eagles in Rev. 4:7 and 12:14.
If someone said our national bird were the vulture, I think Americans would be a little upset; yet the NIV, Holman, ESV, and NASB think nothing of changing the eternal word of God, and few Christians seem to mind at all.
In Psalm 63:10 it says, "They shall be a portion for FOXES". This is the reading in Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the RV, ASV, Young's, Darby, Douay, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society version, the more recent Judaica Press Tanach, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac, the Spanish Reina Valera (zorros), the Italian Diodati, the Bible in Basic English and the NASB. However the NKJV, Holman, and NIV have "jackals". This word is found 7 times in Hebrew and always translated as foxes by the KJB and NASB, yet the NKJV has foxes (as in Samson catching 300 of them) 6 times, but only here changed it to jackals. The NIV has foxes 4 times and jackals 3 times.
In 1 Kings 12:11 it says, "I will chastise you with SCORPIONS." The NASB, ESV and NIV agree with the KJB, but only the NKJV has "SCOURGES" here and even a footnote telling us it is literally "scorpions", while correctly translating it as scorpions in other passages. The Holman says: "I will discipline you with BARBED WHIPS" - Then it footnotes: Literally - scorpions.
Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the WHALE'S belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
The word correctly translated as "Whale" is ketos. I have a modern Greek dictionary. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Bible; it is just a Greek/English dictionary. If you look up ketos it simply says whale. If you look up whale, it says ketos.
In Websters dictionary 1999 edition, there are two English words listed which come from this Greek word ketos. Cetus is the constellation of the Whale. Cetology is the branch of zoology dealing with whales and dolphins. These are both English words derived from ketos. This word occurs only one time in the New Testament. The word is not "fish" which is ixthus.
Jonah 1:17 refers to a great fish. The whale, though technically a mammal, has a fish like body, and the word fish is defined loosely as including any aquatic animal with a fish like body. This "scientific" classification was unknown in the days of Jonah and of Jesus, and is really of little relevance. Most people even today, when they see a whale, think Wow is that a big fish! Until some pedantic type says No, that's a mammal.
God Himself has His own "scientific classifications" as listed in 1 Corinthians 15:39. "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds."
Perhaps in an attempt to appear scientific rather than correctly translating what the word really means, the NKJV and Holman have "the great fish", the NIV has "the huge fish" while the NASB has "the sea monster"!
Bible versions that have correctly translated this word as WHALE are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540, Matthew's Bible (John Rogers) 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Revised Version, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, Worsley Version 1770, the Revised Version 1885, the ASV of 1901, Goodspeed 1923, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, the Italian Diodati, the RSV of 1952, the St. Joseph's New American Bible of 1970, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994 and the Third Millenium Bible of 1998. The oldest semi English version I could find on the internet is the Anglo-Saxon gospels Corpus Christi manuscript 140. It dates to 1000 A.D. and though it is almost impossible to read, you can make out the word "whale's"; it looks like this "What big fish would have swallowed Jonah except a whale? Or was it the NASB's SEA MONSTER? Again, the KJB is correct and the NKJV, Holman, NIV and NASB are not.
For a much fuller discussion about the WHALE in Matthew 12:40 see the complete article here -
What about that “archaic” word “TO LET”?
Those who don't believe any Bible, and more particularly the KJB, is the inspired word of God, frequently criticize the KJB for using words like "to let, prevent, suffer, and conversation".
This is a bait and switch tactic, a smokescreen, and a poor excuse to get us to switch to a modern bible version which differs from the KJB both in text and meaning in hundreds of verses.
And it is supremely important to point out the FACT that NO non-King James Bible only Christian really believes there IS or ever WAS such a thing as a complete and inerrant, 100% true words of God Bible in ANY language - including “the” Greek and “the” Hebrew.
If you don’t believe this, then just ask them to show you a copy of this inerrant and complete Bible they supposedly believe in. They will never do it.
If they tell you that “only the originals are/were inspired”, then they have a faith in a Phantom “bible” that not only they have never seen, probably couldn’t read if they had it, but (more importantly) that THEY KNOW DOES NOT EXIST.
And the originals never did make up an entire Bible - not even close to it. Always keep these facts firmly in mind when dealing with the King James Bible critics.
The verb "to let" is used in three ways in the King James Bible (and many others, as well).
"Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind." "planted a vineyard. . .and let it out to husbandmen."
The third example is the archaic use of to “let”, which means to withhold or to hinder.
There are still traces of this meaning today. Webster’s defines the noun "a let" as an obstacle, a hindrance, or a delay. In tennis if a ball hits the net, it is called a let ball.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7, "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now LETTETH, will LET, until he be taken out of the way."
Romans 1:13 - “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was LET hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”
The term “without LET or hindrance” is used in the passport notes of Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Israel. Thus people who work with immigration, such as border guards, lawyers, policy makers, and many educated people are familiar with the term “without let or hindrance.”
This makes "let" a bit of specialized vocabulary rather than an archaism.
Also, anybody who plays or watches tennis will know that a “let” is called when a stroke does not count and hinders the gameplay (including when it hits/is hindered by the net and lands in the correct service box). Thus a word such as “let” may be infrequently used today, but it is not entirely obsolete."
Not only does the KJB use the word "let" in the sense of to hinder or withhold in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, but so also do Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 "shall let till he be taken out of the way.", the Beza N.T. 1599 - "shall LET till he be taken out of the way", the Bill Bible 1671, Whiston's N.T. 1745 - "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth, will do it, until he be taken out of the way.", The Revised Geneva Bible 2005 - “shall LET till he be taken out of the way”, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “only he who now LETS [will let], until he be taken out of the way.” and The Bond Slave Version 2012 - “For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who NOW LETS WILL LET, until he be taken out of the way.”
Romans 1:13 "but was LET hitherto"
Romans 1:13 - “oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was LET hitherto,)”. So too read Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1524, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza New Testament 1599, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, God’s First Truth Translation 1999 - “but have been LET hitherto”, The Tomson New Testament 2002, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, and The Mebust Bible 2007 - “but have been LET hitherto”
Isaiah 43:13 "Yea, before the day was, I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall LET it?"
Again we see this "archaic" use of the word "let" meaning to hinder or restrain.
Not only does the KJB use the the word in the question "And who shall LET it?" but so too do the Great Bible 1540, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599 - "I will doe it, and who shall let it?", the Bill Bible 1671, the Revised Version of 1885 - "I will work, and who shall let it?", The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "I will work, and who shall LET it?", The Word of Yah Bible 1993, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Bond Slave Version 2012 and The Biblos Bible 2013 - "I will work, and who shall LET it?"
Bait and Switch
What I mean by bait and switch is the new versions say in effect "Let us clear up the confusion of the KJB and give you a modern rendering."
But look at the NKJV and NASB. They have updated the word "let" but have introduced a private interpretation into the passage by capitalizing certain words and not others (NKJV and NASB - compare verses 6-8 and the "he"s and the "His")
The NKJV says, "And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way."
Do you see how they have capitalized some of the "He"s and not others? They are forcing you to look at the passage in a certain way to understand its meaning. Yet there is a totally different way of looking at the passage, which is obscured by these new versions.
If you really believe that God worked in a special way to bring forth the King James Bible and that it is The Standard by which all other translations are to be measured, and it IS the complete and inerrant words of God, then when it comes down to a choice between a slightly “archaic” but INERRANT Bible, versus a more Modern Speech, Easier to Understand version that is NOT the inerrant words of God, but are mixed with errors, both textual and theological, then for me and many other Christians the choice is both simple and clear.
Give us the inerrant words of God as found in the English text of the King James Bible, and accept no inferior substitutes.
The word "to prevent" can have the meaning of to come before, to precede. The Oxford dictionary does not list this meaning as archaic. It is found in the 1936 Jewish translation of the Hebrew Publishing Company, the 1950 Douay Version, and in the Revised Version.
In Amos 9:10 it says, "the evil shall not overtake nor prevent us." The 1950 Douay reads like the KJB in Psalm 119:147-148, "I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried; I hoped in thy word, Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word."
The word can mean a "pre-event", something that happens before something else, and it is used in this way in 1 Thessalonians 4:15. "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede, come before, a pre-event) them which are asleep."
Even when others criticize this word, they know what it means. It is easy to just explain the meaning of the word in this context, then you understand it, and let it stand as is in the KJB.
For much more on this word "prevent" please see my article called: "What about that archaic word "prevent"?
The word "suffer" is criticized as being archaic in Matthew 19:14, "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
If you look at a dictionary, the word "suffer", meaning to allow or permit, is not archaic at all. Have we been so dumbed down that we think a word can have only one narrow meaning? The Revised Version, the ASV, Darby, Young’s, Tyndale, Geneva Bible, Third Millenium Bible, and the KJV 21st Century versions, all render this word as "suffer to come unto me."
Psalm 107:38 One example of many. Here we read: "He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and SUFFERETH NOT their cattle to decrease." Also reading "suffereth not" are Coverdale, Bishops' bible, Webster's 1833, the Douay-Rheims, the 1950 Douay, Darby 1890, Lamsa's 1936 translation, the Hebrew translations of JPS 1917 and the Hebrew Publishing Company 1936 version, the Revised version 1881 and the American Standard Version of 1901.
April 2, 2003, a commentator on Fox News, in opposition to the war, stated that, "...it may be incumbent upon us to possibly SUFFER the presence of Saddam Hussein as leader of Iraq in order to maintain a buffer between the Sunnis and Shiites."
The Rocky Mountain News in 2003 said of a politician: "He does not suffer fools gladly, and Washington is full of fools."
Feb. 1989 editorial in the Dayton Daily News, Dayton Ohio, stated that the "...Soviets ESCHEW any and all international presence in ending the Afghan War...". Likewise in 2003 the Rocky Mountain News spoke of a baseball team member who ESCHEWED taking a lower salary", and that was in the Sports section!
"wist" - This older English word is found 13 times in the King James Bible and a simple look at any dictionary informs us that it is the preterite tense of the verb "to wit", meaning "to know". For example, in Exodus 34:29 we read: "AND IT CAME TO PASS, when MOSES came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in MOSES' hand, when he came down from the mount, that MOSES WIST not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with HIM."
So reads the Hebrew text, and the word Moses is found three times in this single verse, and it ends with the simple word "him". Also reading that Moses "WIST not" are Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599 and the Revised Version of 1881.
However when we come to many modern versions like the NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman, we see several textual changes, even though they have gotten rid of that nasty old "archaic" word "wist". In the NIV, for example, they entirely omit the Hebrew words translated into English as "And it came to pass". In fact, the NIV complete concordance tells us that they have omitted this Hebrew phrase a whopping 887 times! Then the NIV omits two of the three times the word MOSES appears in the text, and then adds the word LORD, which is not in the text. The NIV concordance again tells us that the NIV has added the word LORD some 52 times when NOT in the text, and have NOT translated it 38 times when it DOES appear in the Hebrew text! All this information is right there in their own complete concordance.
Likewise versions like the RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman have all omitted the word MOSES when it appears and added the word LORD or God when it is not in the text. If you think this type of "updated translation" is fine as long as we manage to get rid of that pesky little word "wist", then go for it; but I and many thousands of others will stick to our King James Bible, "archaic" language and all. At least we know we have the true words of God.
Another example of "bait and switch" is the word “conversation”. This word used to mean the manner in which one deals with others in social intercourse and exchange. It is very close to the Greek word used, anastrefo, which means to turn back and forth with others; con-versation is literally to turn back and forth with others. It is now limited only to our speech, but our speech is also a great part of how we conduct ourselves with others. Simply explain the word in its context, and leave it at that.
The bait and switch comes in 2 Cor. 1:12-14, "For our REJOICING is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our CONVERSATION in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward . . . we are your REJOICING even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus."
But look what the NIV, NKJV, and NAS have done in this section. The NASB says: "For our PROUD CONFIDENCE is this. . .we have conducted ourselves in the world. . .we are your REASON TO BE PROUD as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus." The NKJV, Holman, and NIV have "boast" instead of "rejoicing"- there is a big difference.
Philippians 2:16 KJB "that I may REJOICE in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."
NASB: "in the day of Christ I may have REASON TO GLORY because I did not run in vain"
NIV, Holman CSB : "in order that I MAY BOAST in the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
No one will have a reason to be proud or boasting in the day of the Lord Jesus; we will all be flat on our faces! Which is worse, using an old word like conversation and explaining its meaning, or introducing pride as a Christian virtue in the new versions?
If the Bible is our rule and standard for both faith and practice, let's follow its own example for dealing with "archaic " words. In 1 Samuel 9:9, we are told, "(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer)"
You see, God explained the meaning of a word, and then He continues to use the word again and again, once He has explained its meaning. See the verses that follow in 1 Samuel 9:11, and 19.
These are just a few of the many examples I could give, but they will perhaps give you something to think about. All bibles are not the same and God is not the author of confusion. God's message is complete and not contradictory. If I get conflicting messages from the different versions, they can't all be from God. Satan and man are the ones who pervert the Scriptures.
At this point I would like to recommend an excellent article by my friend Marty Shue. He has put together a very good article and included many quotes from a prominent Christian writer who is not even King James Bible only, showing the Fallacies of Difficult Words. You can read it at brother Marty Shue's site here:
If you want to find rest for your soul, peace of mind and confident faith in the words of the living God, read and believe the Holy Bible God has clearly put His mark on as being His infallible words - the King James Bible.
From the Internet
If you are a King James Bible believer, this 30 minute video message will be a great encouragement to you.
Dr. Phil Stringer's message preached at the 2014 National King James Bible Research Council Bible…
The Language of the King James Version - Very good article explaining why the King James Bible is written the way it is. Done by a brother from Canada. KJV Today
Good article dealing with the benefits of the older English language of the King James Bible. This brother brings up some very good points in his article called "KJV Older English is Rightly Retained to Glorify God & Promote Study" by Dr. Larry Bednar
Footnote: There is also a very good article about the language of the King James Bible found at the King James Version site. You can see it here:
Brother Teno Groppi wrote this on his blog about how the English of the King James Bible is Modern English -
KJB IS MODERN ENGLISH
“Despite some differences in vocabulary, material from the early 17th century, such as the works of William Shakespeare and the King James Bible, is considered to be in Modern English, or more specifically, they are referred to as Early Modern English, and most people who are fluent in the English of the early 21st century believe they can read these books with little difficulty.” (Wikipedia, see “Modern English”)
Clearly Wikipedia doesn't have an axe to grind, so they state the facts objectively. Our King James Bible is written in Modern English and can be read “with little difficulty”. Old English is dated from 450 AD-1100 AD. Middle English is dated from 1100 AD-1500 AD. Modern English is dated 1500 AD-present.
Just for reference sake here is a passage of scripture from an Old English Bible. The Anglo-Saxon Version:
On fruman waes Word, and thaet Word waes mid Gode, and God waes thaet Word. Thaet waes on fruman mid Gode. Ealle think waeron deworhte thurh hyne; and nam thing naes geworht butan him. Thaet waes lif the on him geworht waes, and thaet lif waes manna leoht. John 1:1-4
Here is Wycliffe's 1382 Middle English rendering of the same passage:
In the bigynnyng was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. This was in the bigynnyng at God. Alle thingis weren maad bi hym, and withouten hym was maad no thing, that thing that was maad. In hym was lijf, and the lijf was the liyt of men; ... John 1:1-4
Our KJB is a Modern English Bible:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4
Recently (2013) at our Facebook forum called King James Bible Debate one of the brothers posted this about the "Old English" of the King James Bible -Porter Jun 29
"I have to chuckle when people refer to the King James Bible as Old English. I just replied in another group with the Lord's Prayer in Old English: Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum, Sī þīn nama ġehālgod. Tōbecume þīn rīċe, ġewurþe þīn willa, on eorðan swā swā on heofonum. Ūre ġedæġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dæġ, and forġyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forġyfað ūrum gyltendum. And ne ġelǣd þū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele. Sōþlīċe.
Now here is the Middle English: Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name; thi kyngdoom come to; be thi wille don, in erthe as in heuene. Yyue to vs this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce, and foryyue to vs oure dettis, as we foryyuen to oure dettouris; and lede vs not in to temptacioun, but delyuere vs fro yuel. Amen.
Now how can anybody deny that the KJB is in modern English?"
Why the English of the King James Bible is Better than that of all Modern Versions by James H. Sightler here:
And another one by Dr. Ken Matto, called The Language of the King James Bible - An Excuse. It can be seen here:
There is an excellent 4 part series (about 15 minutes each one = 1 hour) produced from England that aired on British TV called The Making of the KJB. I thought it was very interesting and informative and it explains a lot about the specific language of the King James Bible and the scholarship that went into the making of this most wonderful masterpiece of English literature. You can see the first part here and the other 3 are on the side for easy access -
A Recent Letter from a native foreign language speaker regarding the King James Bible -
In August of 2010 at our Which Version club we received this post from non-native English speaker. He writes:
"I am an immigrant from the Far East. English is my third language, Taiwanese dialect was the "home language" and Mandarin was the "national" language. I came to the US when I was 12 years old. Language is not one of my natural gifts, I really am stink at English vocabulary and grammar, my Mandarin is really rusty, and I can only understand some Taiwanese but can't get to say anything intelligent.
I grew up using the NIV as a born again Christian not knowing anything about manuscript issues. About 12 years after I was saved, a pastor showed me Acts 8: 37 which my NIV bible didn't have. Soon after that I switched to KJV.
It was hard in the beginning to read a new Bible for sure. I constantly asked my pastor what this and that means. The break-in period for me was about three months til I got more comfortable and I was reading many chapters a day to get there. Sure it was hard, but to me since it was God's only preserved word in English, I didn't complain. It's not about my personal preference. I want to glorify God by studying the Bible he kept for me to read. Many died and shed their blood for this Bible and I cherish it with all my heart. If God can teach someone like me to read and understand this Book, he can teach anyone. This "archaic issue" is only an excuse.
Another Letter -
Soon after-wards, another non-native English speaker posted this response -
Tim, Like you, English is not my mother tongue. I speak some Chinese dialects like Cantonese, Hokkien and Mandarin is the mother tongue we learn in school. English is the official language taught in school and Malay is our national language.
“In regard to Bible versions many contemporary Christians are behaving like spoiled and rebellious children. They want a Bible version that pleases them, no matter whether it pleases God or not. “We want a Bible version in our own idiom,” they clamor. “We want a Bible that talks to us in the same way in which we talk to our friends over the telephone. We want an informal God, no better educated than ourselves, with a limited vocabulary and a taste for modern slang.” And having thus registered their preference, they go their several ways. Some of them unite with the modernists in using the RSV or the NEB. Others deem the NASV or the NIV more “evangelical.” Still others opt for the TEV or the LIVING BIBLE.
BUT WHERE, OH WHERE, DEAR BROTHER OR SISTER, DID YOU EVER GET THE IDEA THAT IT IS UP TO YOU TO DECIDE WHICH BIBLE VERSION YOU WILL RECEIVE AS GOD’S HOLY WORD?
As far as literary beauty and excellence go, the KJV stands in a class by itself! There is absolutely no comparison between – “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow”! [KJV] and “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed” [NIV]. And surely a “Thus saith the Lord”! [KJV] has more majesty and authority behind it than a weak “This is what the lord says” [NIV]
Read what literary critics and authorities have said about the King James Version:
Prof. Charles A. Dinsmore, for many years professor of literature at Yale Divinity School, in his great work THE ENGLISH BIBLE AS LITERATURE, spoke of "the unique and sovereign greatness of our King James Version," saying: "It is unlike any other book in our language, and in charm and power is above them all."
Prof. William Lyon Phelps, educator, essayist, and longtime professor of English literature, said in reference to the King James Version: "Priests, atheists, skeptics, devotees, agnostics, and evangelists, are generally agreed that the Authorized Version of the English Bible is the best example of English literature that the world has ever seen."
Social and literary critic H.L. Mencken, rarely extravagant in his praise, said: "It is the most beautiful of all translations of the Bible; indeed it is probably the most beautiful piece of writing in all the literature of the world."
The translators of the Revised Version of 1881 had this to say about the King James Version: "We have had to study this great version carefully and minutely, line by line; and the longer we have been engaged upon it, the more we have learned to admire its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression, its general accuracy, and we must not fail to add, THE MUSIC OF ITS CADENCES AND THE FELICITIES OF ITS RHYTHM."
Oh there is something supernaturally musical and rhythmic in many portions of the KJV which is not found in any other version!
The King James Bible is always right.
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