Question for KJV onlyists...

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tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
So...I know I posted about KJV updates recently and, please don't think it's a hobby-horse, but I've got a question that's been niggling since my last thread...

Will there ever be any point at which KJV-onlyists would acknowledge that the language of the KJV can be legitimately updated?

I ask the question because I've just started using the KJV Easy Read edition from Whittaker House and, I've heard/read various comments about the edition to the effect of advising against using it because it changes the KJV. But the KJV Easy Read edition ONLY alters the old verb forms (believeth to believes, etc) and the pronouns (thou becomes you and ye becomes you with a 'P' superscript to indicate plurality.) The publishers say that, in effect, the KJV easy reader is a new edition not a new version and I agree with them.

So, since 'believeth' being changed to 'believes' really is no different from changing 'musick' to 'music', is there any good reason not to change it? Just for the record, 'it doesn't need changing' and 'But I like how it sounds' aren't good enough reasons. Listening to exactly the same sermons that my dad used to play in the car on crackly old cassette tapes but that I now have in cleaned up MP3 audio isn't 'wrong' even if some people might prefer how the old cassette sounds. So, what I want to know is, is there any reason that it would be wrong to update verb and pronoun forms? If so, what is it?

By grace,
Tim
 

BG

Puritan Board Junior
Tim you said:

Will there ever be any point at which KJV-onlyists would acknowledge that the language of the KJV can be legitimately updated?

If they did that they would not be KJV onlyists.

Many believe the KJV should correct the Greek manuscripts.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Tim,
I don't think you'll find any KJV Only folks of that stripe on the Puritan Board. There are many of us that prefer the KJV, many of us who think that it should be the only one used in the Pulpit (implied in that position are some elements of Presbyterian government that are foreign to many Americans--it's not a view based on superstition), and there may even be some who would advocate for its exclusive private use by Christians. However, the reason for all of this is because it is the most faithful English translation, not because it is immediately inspired.

I'll refer you to the Westminster Confession:
The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated in to the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

Any view that would explicitly contradict this would not be allowed on the Puritan Board.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
So, since 'believeth' being changed to 'believes' really is no different from changing 'musick' to 'music',

I am not a KJO, but I am not sure I agree with this statement.

Changing the form of the 3rd person singular would, I assume, be accompanied by a change in the 2nd person singular as well, which would then require a change in the singular/plural pronoun paradigm. Changing 'believeth' to 'believes' is not as simple as changing 'musick' to 'music'.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
Tim you said:

Will there ever be any point at which KJV-onlyists would acknowledge that the language of the KJV can be legitimately updated?

If they did that they would not be KJV onlyists.

Many believe the KJV should correct the Greek manuscripts.

Touche! That's a good point...
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
Tim,
I don't think you'll find any KJV Only folks of that stripe on the Puritan Board. There are many of us that prefer the KJV, many of us who think that it should be the only one used in the Pulpit (implied in that position are some elements of Presbyterian government that are foreign to many Americans--it's not a view based on superstition), and there may even be some who would advocate for its exclusive private use by Christians. However, the reason for all of this is because it is the most faithful English translation, not because it is immediately inspired.

I'll refer you to the Westminster Confession:


Any view that would explicitly contradict this would not be allowed on the Puritan Board.

Thanks Tyler. I think there a probably a few borderline cases. ;-) The church government aspect is an interesting one. Although the terms 'vulgar language' or common language wouldn't allow for KJVonlyism...
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
I am not a KJO, but I am not sure I agree with this statement.

Changing the form of the 3rd person singular would, I assume, be accompanied by a change in the 2nd person singular as well, which would then require a change in the singular/plural pronoun paradigm. Changing 'believeth' to 'believes' is not as simple as changing 'musick' to 'music'.

Thanks Ken. Not sure you what you mean about the 3rd person. The changes are all to the second person. As Whittaker House explain: 'The KJVER changes all second person singular pronouns to their modern equivalents: thee (you), thy (your), thine (yours), and thyself (yourself). To distinguish the plural pronouns from the singular ones, the KJVER places a superscript p (meaning plural) after each plural second person pronoun. Accordingly, the Old English forms yield to the modern equivalents: ye (you p), you (you p), your (your p), yours (yours), and yourselves (yourselves).' (The superscript doesn't work on here but it looks like 'you²' but with a 'P' instead of a '2'.)

It seems to confuse a lot of people but I'm really not sure why. It just means thee and thou and ye and you are all changed to you but the plural forms have a superscript P over them. No need to rewrite the English language. :)

As for the verb endings, I disagree. Believeth went out of use and was replaced with believes. Just as musick went out of use and was replaced with music. Language evolves.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks Tyler. I think there a probably a few borderline cases. ;-) The church government aspect is an interesting one. Although the terms 'vulgar language' or common language wouldn't allow for KJVonlyism...
Funny enough, I didn't realize I was talking to a Brit when I wrote of "some elements of Presbyterian government that are foreign to many Americans." "Uniformity in religion" was the aim of the Westminster Assembly. The looseness of many Presbyterian denomination is a far cry from the uniformity envisaged by our Puritan forebears.

I see that you belong to an Independent Baptist congregation. Ironically, in my part of the world, the ones we call "Independent Baptists" are the most vehement adherents to KJV Onlyism.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
You said:

So, since 'believeth' being changed to 'believes' really is no different from changing 'musick' to 'music',

'Believeth' is third person singular.

Then you said:

Thanks Ken. Not sure you what you mean about the 3rd person. The changes are all to the second person.

'Believest' is second person singular.

Are you saying they changed both the second and third person forms of the paradigm, or just one or the other?

Nevertheless, the complexity of our conversation alone proves my case. Changing an entire verb paradigm is not as simple as changing the spelling of a word that appears only 16 times in the whole Bible. Your question is based upon an assumption that should be carefully considered.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
No problem! I factored that in... ;-) That's what it was even more foreign to me :)

Yep, it's strange how different things are on either side of the Atlantic. To be honest, there are very few denominations over here that would be pretty much exclusively KJV-only. KJV-onlyists are actually fairly rare here I would say. 'Independent Baptist' in the UK can mean pretty much anything though to be fair... It's a catch-all term.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
You said:



'Believeth' is third person singular.

Then you said:



'Believest' is second person singular.

Are you saying they changed both the second and third person forms of the paradigm, or just one or the other?

Nevertheless, the complexity of our conversation alone proves my case. Changing an entire verb paradigm is not as simple as changing the spelling of a word that appears only 16 times in the whole Bible. Your question is based upon an assumption that should be carefully considered.

OK - Got you! Well, the verb tense just conforms with subject so it's changed on a case by case basis. It's not just a 'find and replace' job. It's done to make sure all verb forms are maintained - just transposed into the current equivalent.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
As the main question is for KJV Onlyists I am unable to answer.

We are required to use those helps that assist in understanding the Bible. Regarding the suffix system of the AV, if a work facilitates someone's reading of the Bible it should be used in the way any other help is used. It should be observed, however, that the differentiating pronouns and the suffix system function together. To alter the suffixes in correlation with the pronouns is to create a new language form.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Just for the record, 'it doesn't need changing' and 'But I like how it sounds' aren't good enough reasons.

In addition, it seems to me that if one was convinced that the KJV doesn't need changing it would be a perfectly good reason not to change it.
 

Fool for Christ

Puritan Board Freshman
There are many reasons not to meddle with the language. One primary reason is the "th" endings mean that the action began in the past, continues in the present and will continue in the future. Therefore, when one quotes John3:16 in a modern version there is a doctrinal difference. In the NIV you are only required to believe today in order to have everlasting life. But in the KJV "believeth" means you must continue to believe in order to have everlasting life. Thus, he that "endureth unto the end shall be saved." It does not teach a once saved, always saved, doctrine (when you really understand it) like many modern churches. I would like to comment more on other reasons, but don't have the time now.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
As the main question is for KJV Onlyists I am unable to answer.

We are required to use those helps that assist in understanding the Bible. Regarding the suffix system of the AV, if a work facilitates someone's reading of the Bible it should be used in the way any other help is used. It should be observed, however, that the differentiating pronouns and the suffix system function together. To alter the suffixes in correlation with the pronouns is to create a new language form.

Sorry, I'm seriously confused. How is switching to current, everyday usage creating a new language form? We no longer say 'thou hast', we say 'you have' instead. We no longer say 'he saith', we say 'he says' instead. No meanings or tenses of verbs have ever changed.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
In addition, it seems to me that if one was convinced that the KJV doesn't need changing it would be a perfectly good reason not to change it.

That's like saying, 'Just because.' is a valid reason for doing something. It may be good enough for that person but it will never persuade someone else that the point of view is correct.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Sorry, I'm seriously confused. How is switching to current, everyday usage creating a new language form?

Sorry for the confusion. It came across to me that you were advocating for a change only in the suffixes. I did not realise you were also advocating for a change of pronouns. Please disregard my previous comment as it only applies to a mixture of forms.

If the pronoun distinction between singular and plural is abandoned I would say the accuracy of the AV is lost. This form was chosen by the AV translators for accuracy even though it was not the every day spoken English of the time.
 
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tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
There are many reasons not to meddle with the language. One primary reason is the "th" endings mean that the action began in the past, continues in the present and will continue in the future. Therefore, when one quotes John3:16 in a modern version there is a doctrinal difference. In the NIV you are only required to believe today in order to have everlasting life. But in the KJV "believeth" means you must continue to believe in order to have everlasting life. Thus, he that "endureth unto the end shall be saved." It does not teach a once saved, always saved, doctrine (when you really understand it) like many modern churches. I would like to comment more on other reasons, but don't have the time now.

This is one of the main reasons I think the KJV language does need updating. Because, with the greatest of respect, you're wrong about verb suffixes. And you're not the only one - not by a long stretch. I hear people talk like this all the time but, if you're a student of English, then you know that there has NEVER been any such tense in English. Believeth can mean that (just like 'believes' can because it is absolutely indistinguishable from believeth apart from a modernising of the ending), but in English, it is not explicit. And never has been. The only people who tell you that there has been are Christians in discussion like this. :)

Here's what the suffixes mean - there's been nothing more than a straight swap. No lost meaning in any of the tenses. http://www.shakespeareswords.com/Verb-forms

Hope that helps.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
Sorry for the confusion. It came across to me that you were advocating for a change only in the suffixes. I did not realise you were also advocating for a change of pronouns. Please disregard my previous comment as it only applies to a mixture of forms.

If the pronoun distinction between singular and plural are abandoned I would say the accuracy of the AV is lost. This form was chosen by the AV translators for accuracy even though they it was not the every day spoken English of the time.

No problem! I think it goes without saying that trying to change one and not the other would be crazy. and would show a complete lack of understanding of the language. :)

In my original post, I put details of how a simple indicator (a superscript in this instance) can be used to indicate Plural vs Singular pronoun forms. So that has been dealt with as well. No meaning need ever be lost is using modern forms.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
In my original post, I put details of how a simple indicator (a superscript in this instance) can be used to indicate Plural vs Singular pronoun forms.

That would be a new convention requiring a new symbolism. It is not conventional English.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
And if that's necessary in the Bible to make it clear which pronouns are singular and which are plural then why is that a problem?
 

Fool for Christ

Puritan Board Freshman
This is one of the main reasons I think the KJV language does need updating. Because, with the greatest of respect, you're wrong about verb suffixes. And you're not the only one - not by a long stretch. I hear people talk like this all the time but, if you're a student of English, then you know that there has NEVER been any such tense in English. Believeth can mean that (just like 'believes' can because it is absolutely indistinguishable from believeth apart from a modernising of the ending), but in English, it is not explicit. And never has been. The only people who tell you that there has been are Christians in discussion like this. :)

Here's what the suffixes mean - there's been nothing more than a straight swap. No lost meaning in any of the tenses. http://www.shakespeareswords.com/Verb-forms

Hope that helps.[/QUOT
Thanks for responding to my reply. But I am not wrong. I am and have been a student of my Bible for over forty years, reading it through for the first time when I was about 13 years old. I have studied from many versions and have found the accuracy of the KJV to be unsurpassed by any other. This has been a passion of mine for the last 20 years. I have collated several versions, reading texts side by said in many books and noting the differences in the words and content. I am convinced there there is a whole lot more afoot than just "modernizing" the language. The new versions of scripture change the meaning in subtle ways that only a person who knows their bible very well would perceive.

The website you quoted on verb endings says this (regarding the "th" endings) "the factors governing the choice of this ending are not entirely understood. Context is important..." Much about the King James bible is not understood today. The argument that the language of the KJV needs updating is a smokescreen for changing content, accuracy and power. You really should study, not just the English behind the bible, but the bible itself. If you did you would know beyond a shadow of doubt that there is definitely a difference in the verb ending between believeth and believe, or loveth and love. Accuracy is at stake. Inspiration is at stake. The knowledge of God is at stake.

Read John chapter 21 in the KJV and then read it in any other bible. Here Jesus wants to know, not if Peter loves him at times, but if Peter will continue to love Him to the end of his life. "lovest thou me?" clearly does not mean, just, "do you love me?" but, "will you continue to love me" when you are facing torture and death? (vs 19) Remember, Peter has already denied the Lord three times. Will he do so again? This is the subtle but critical difference between the KJV and all others in thousands of places.

In the KJV the "th" endings, although they are not entirely understood by most of us today, import an accuracy to the text of scripture that cannot be ignored by those who care.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman

Well, firstly, I agree with you completely regarding the accuracy and precision of the AV. I've also studied it although not as long as you have and, despite what many claim, I have never found a single translation error in the AV. It really is second to none.

I also agree that sloppy translations are far too common and, in places, truths are watered down or even done away with completely. However, the careful modernisation of verb tenses is categorically not the same kind of issue.

In the English, we have the simple present and the present continuous tenses. Using John 3:16 as an example, we have two choices, we can either say 'whoever believeth/believes' which are both the simple present tense of believe or we can use the present continuous of 'whoever is believing'. Whichever choice you make (and neither are wrong per se), what the verse is saying (or 'what the verse says' - which means the same thing :) !) can still be misinterpreted if the reader is intent on it. 'Whoever believes or believeth' could be interpreted as a one off action of belief but then 'whoever is believing' is also not necessarily saying anything other than that the believing is happening right now. In John 3:16 the ongoing nature of the believing is only ever implied. Correctly implied of course. But still just implied.
The fact is that, if you study English grammar, there is no single tense and never has been a single tense which simultaneously shows a past, present and future action. Despite the fact that we know that that is what the Word of God is saying, we cannot use that (correct) interpretation to infer that the old version of the simple present tense always has that meaning. 'Believeth' can and does mean that the believing is more than just a here-and-now action but no more so than 'believes' also can and does mean more than a here-and-now action. Those are facts of English grammar. Ask any English teacher worth their salt. Or look for both words on yourdictionary.com. They don't have any theological axe to grind and they list both 'Believes' and 'Believeth' as 'third person singular simple present indicative form of believe'. There's no grammatical difference whatsoever.

It's the same with lovest in John 21 I'm afraid. The Lord has no more emphasis on Peter's love for Him in the future than Peter does when he says to the Lord, 'thou knowest that I love thee'. Are you saying that the emphasis there is on the Lord continuing to know in the future that Peter loves Him? You are going beyond the plain reading of Scripture in saying anything apart from that Peter is in fact saying, as we would today, 'you know that I love you'. The same applies to the Lord's words to Peter - He's saying 'do you love me?' The emphasis is, in fact, less on when the loving is happening but on the word for love which is being used. The Lord says do you agape me? And Peter says, you know that I phileo you. And the Lord asks the same again with the same response. And then the Lord uses the same word as Peter. He says do you phileo me? And Peter was grieved etc and says you know all things, you know that I phileo you. The emphasis is on Peter's restoration and the Lord allowing him to declare his love for Him three times instead of condemning him for his three renouncements of Jesus.

Again, this is why the KJV language needs updating. It's all too easy to infer meaning which is not necessarily there because our partial understanding of the old English suggests it to us.
 

Fool for Christ

Puritan Board Freshman
Well, firstly, I agree with you completely regarding the accuracy and precision of the AV. I've also studied it although not as long as you have and, despite what many claim, I have never found a single translation error in the AV. It really is second to none.

I also agree that sloppy translations are far too common and, in places, truths are watered down or even done away with completely. However, the careful modernisation of verb tenses is categorically not the same kind of issue.

In the English, we have the simple present and the present continuous tenses. Using John 3:16 as an example, we have two choices, we can either say 'whoever believeth/believes' which are both the simple present tense of believe or we can use the present continuous of 'whoever is believing'. Whichever choice you make (and neither are wrong per se), what the verse is saying (or 'what the verse says' - which means the same thing :) !) can still be misinterpreted if the reader is intent on it. 'Whoever believes or believeth' could be interpreted as a one off action of belief but then 'whoever is believing' is also not necessarily saying anything other than that the believing is happening right now. In John 3:16 the ongoing nature of the believing is only ever implied. Correctly implied of course. But still just implied.
The fact is that, if you study English grammar, there is no single tense and never has been a single tense which simultaneously shows a past, present and future action. Despite the fact that we know that that is what the Word of God is saying, we cannot use that (correct) interpretation to infer that the old version of the simple present tense always has that meaning. 'Believeth' can and does mean that the believing is more than just a here-and-now action but no more so than 'believes' also can and does mean more than a here-and-now action. Those are facts of English grammar. Ask any English teacher worth their salt. Or look for both words on yourdictionary.com. They don't have any theological axe to grind and they list both 'Believes' and 'Believeth' as 'third person singular simple present indicative form of believe'. There's no grammatical difference whatsoever.

It's the same with lovest in John 21 I'm afraid. The Lord has no more emphasis on Peter's love for Him in the future than Peter does when he says to the Lord, 'thou knowest that I love thee'. Are you saying that the emphasis there is on the Lord continuing to know in the future that Peter loves Him? You are going beyond the plain reading of Scripture in saying anything apart from that Peter is in fact saying, as we would today, 'you know that I love you'. The same applies to the Lord's words to Peter - He's saying 'do you love me?' The emphasis is, in fact, less on when the loving is happening but on the word for love which is being used. The Lord says do you agape me? And Peter says, you know that I phileo you. And the Lord asks the same again with the same response. And then the Lord uses the same word as Peter. He says do you phileo me? And Peter was grieved etc and says you know all things, you know that I phileo you. The emphasis is on Peter's restoration and the Lord allowing him to declare his love for Him three times instead of condemning him for his three renouncements of Jesus.

Again, this is why the KJV language needs updating. It's all too easy to infer meaning which is not necessarily there because our partial understanding of the old English suggests it to us.

Dear Brother: I am not an English major. I have never been to a university. But I have studied this book (King James Bible, which years ago used to be referred to just as The Holy Bible) extensively and I love it. If you want to read an "updated" version, there are plenty of corrupted alterations to choose from.

Your argument is the same as that of Wescott and Hort and they did what they would to their text. What I say about the verb endings is plain to me from comparing scripture with scripture. I do not trust modern scholarship, dictionaries, concordances, etc. None of them are inspired. They are for suggestion only. The Word must be our final authority. The Word of God has a name: Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Neither should His Book. It was settled forever in heaven when David wrote the book of Psalms. And, as you said, it is without error. We should educate ourself upward, not demand that it come downward to our depraved intellect.

Pride, doubt and unbelief are rife in Christendom today. There is no possible way for us to go back to the time of the reformation and witness the holy living and the power of the lives of those persecuted for their trust in the scriptures. They believed they were handling the very words of a holy God. Most scholars today do not believe that. They believe the lies that W/H introduced, that the true text of scripture had been lost, and only the "spiritually enlightened" could correct the "grave" mistakes found in that text. They did far more than just "update" the text. History shows us that they changed the truth in thousands of places. We have their manuscript. We do not have the one used by the KJB translators. All we know is that they told us that they had the originals and we now know that those have apparently ceased to exist. They said they translated "out of the original tongues." That means to me that they believed that they had original manuscripts that were then on the verge of extinction.

Have you ever read "The Translators to the Reader" in the 1611 edition? Most scholars have not. There is an abundance of information that comes to us from that document. They tell us all about the Septuagint. How it was translated, who did it and why. Most scholars would tell you that the King James translators didn't know anything about that corrupt document. They give a pretty good history of the "chopping and changing" that has been a perpetual history of men who corrupt the scripture. Therefore, I would heartily resist any changes in this noble text. I believe that it could be possible to come up with a better translation that that done by the KJ translators, but it would have to be done by angels, for there are few men alive today who have the love and respect for the Word that they had. This book has been around for four hundred years and my 2008 edition reads virtually the same as my 1611. I love that. That is the testimony of Jesus Christ. The same yesterday, today and forever.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Brother: I am not an English major. I have never been to a university. But I have studied this book (King James Bible, which years ago used to be referred to just as The Holy Bible) extensively and I love it. If you want to read an "updated" version, there are plenty of corrupted alterations to choose from.

Your argument is the same as that of Wescott and Hort and they did what they would to their text. What I say about the verb endings is plain to me from comparing scripture with scripture. I do not trust modern scholarship, dictionaries, concordances, etc. None of them are inspired. They are for suggestion only. The Word must be our final authority. The Word of God has a name: Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Neither should His Book. It was settled forever in heaven when David wrote the book of Psalms. And, as you said, it is without error. We should educate ourself upward, not demand that it come downward to our depraved intellect.

Pride, doubt and unbelief are rife in Christendom today. There is no possible way for us to go back to the time of the reformation and witness the holy living and the power of the lives of those persecuted for their trust in the scriptures. They believed they were handling the very words of a holy God. Most scholars today do not believe that. They believe the lies that W/H introduced, that the true text of scripture had been lost, and only the "spiritually enlightened" could correct the "grave" mistakes found in that text. They did far more than just "update" the text. History shows us that they changed the truth in thousands of places. We have their manuscript. We do not have the one used by the KJB translators. All we know is that they told us that they had the originals and we now know that those have apparently ceased to exist. They said they translated "out of the original tongues." That means to me that they believed that they had original manuscripts that were then on the verge of extinction.

Have you ever read "The Translators to the Reader" in the 1611 edition? Most scholars have not. There is an abundance of information that comes to us from that document. They tell us all about the Septuagint. How it was translated, who did it and why. Most scholars would tell you that the King James translators didn't know anything about that corrupt document. They give a pretty good history of the "chopping and changing" that has been a perpetual history of men who corrupt the scripture. Therefore, I would heartily resist any changes in this noble text. I believe that it could be possible to come up with a better translation that that done by the KJ translators, but it would have to be done by angels, for there are few men alive today who have the love and respect for the Word that they had. This book has been around for four hundred years and my 2008 edition reads virtually the same as my 1611. I love that. That is the testimony of Jesus Christ. The same yesterday, today and forever.

I just want to say thank you for your gracious responses!! It's refreshing to see. I have to be honest and say I disagree with your position - I am absolutely opposed to W&H and their goals and methods. I will certainly not be using any corrupt alterations. That is not what I'm talking about with updating grammar and syntax at all. But I will bow out there. Thank you for your contribution!

By grace,
Tim
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And if that's necessary in the Bible to make it clear which pronouns are singular and which are plural then why is that a problem?

Why must readers learn something you have invented when there is already an established convention in English? The reader can look up a dictionary and other aids to assist him in understanding conventional English. He knows that others will have access to these things. He has no idea whether others have access to your invention or what they might make of it.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
Why would readers have to 'learn' anything? It's not exactly rocket science... :) The use of italics is exactly the same. You'll rarely find a word of explanation in a Bible for their use, and the average person will never come across the system apart from when they pick up a Bible, but I don't hear people complaining about having to 'learn' how it works. Italics were first used in the 1500s. Would you have said the same thing about that if you were there at the time? I know KJV-onlyists who say the pronoun issue is one of the main reasons for resisting an update and yet I've had to correct some of them when they get confused as to whether thee or you is plural! Why? Because we don't use that system anymore in our everyday language.

This was the purpose of my question in the first place. When do KJV users say the English language has changed sufficiently for an update to be acceptable? If the Lord was to remain away for another thousand years, then will there still be people insisting that nothing needs to change? Beowulf was written in English just over a thousand years ago – it starts like this, ‘Hwæt! Wé Gárdena in géardagum þéodcyninga þrym gefrúnon hú ðá æþelingas ellen fremedon.’ Language changes. That’s not something to be scared of.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Will there ever be any point at which KJV-onlyists would acknowledge that the language of the KJV can be legitimately updated?

This was the purpose of my question in the first place. When do KJV users say the English language has changed sufficiently for an update to be acceptable?

Part of your frustration might be that you originally asked the question about KJV-onlyists, but now you ask it of KJV users. They are not the same thing.

As for me, a KJV user, I am not opposed to an update, per se. But, I am opposed to an update that makes changes from an older form of conventional English to a brand new convention altogether that no one else in the English speaking world uses.

For the record, I am also opposed to updates generally that are for the primary purpose of making the KJV more 'readable'. 'Preachability', 'hearability', and 'teachability' are just as important, if not more so.

LBC Chapter 22; Paragraph 5. The reading of the Scriptures,16 preaching, and hearing the Word of God,17 teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord;18 as also the administration of baptism,19 and the Lord's supper,20 are all parts of religious worship of God,

Adding marks to the page does not help a Bible's preachability or hearability, because the hearer cannot see the marks. Also, I would argue that teaching the difference between 'thee' and 'ye' is simpler than teaching about underscores.
 

tdh86

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm conscious of that. I was kind of trying to widen it out... :)

The issue is that the current convention has already done away with the distinctions between plural and singular. So we have two choices. We can persist in using archaic forms which certainly don't allow the Word of God to 'speak as in the language of Canaan' which was the 1611 translators' stated intention. Or we can use our initiative to make up for what is lacking in modern English.

I agree that readability in a specific sense is not the only consideration but I would include 'Preachability', 'hearability', and 'teachability' in public readability, if you will. I appreciate the issue of hearability. The same applies to the use of the word 'love' in English I guess. And also LORD/Lord. And 'will' as in exercising the will as opposed to 'will' meaning 'going to'. In the places where those things make a difference to interpretation, it's always the teacher's/preacher's responsibility to make his hearers aware.

I guess my point is that, while it wouldn't be for everyone, I am yet to see any unanswerable objection to a genuine update. A genuine revision without critical footnotes etc. In my opinion, we have done the church a great disservice by being so bound to our archaic pronouns and verb forms that we have allowed the Bible critics the monopoly on modern English.
 
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