Puritan Board Sophomore
If Early Modern English was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it's good enough for all of ya'll.
I know it has been stated here before that the WCF requires a modern translation, but are you positive (i.e., is it demonstrable) that such is exclusively what they meant? Or rather is it possible that they meant it simply in the standard meaning of "English, not Latin, Hebrew or Greek", such as this example from 1612 taken from the Oxford English Dictionary: "I haue giuen them vulgars, or Englishes, such as I haue deuised, to be made in Latine"? I'm not in any way suggesting the WCF somehow requires an older translation or a specific translation; I am asking for any shred of evidence for the oft repeated claim that the divines' use of the term "vulgar" in the WCF necessarily invokes the legitimate subset of the definition which includes being contemporary or pertaining to the common speech of the lower orders specifically.
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 into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come
But again the KJV was not "common" or "vulgar" in 1646 or 1611 by that definition. Your average cobbler running around London in 1611 was not using "thee"/"thou" in his daily life or other language we have taken to call "KJV" language.
Recite to yourself the 23rd Psalm, or read the first chapter of John and tell me it is a different language which requires teaching people a new language in order to understand it.
Besides, as a youngster I never could understand why I wouldn't want the Lord. I was so confused! I shall not want indeed!! I'd never allow my kids to go through that. And why? To what purpose????
Interesting, Don; thank you for the clarification. I think that fact greatly changes the nature of the conversation.
Also, please accept my apologies if you thought me too harsh when I said, "This at least makes me pause to wonder how much emotion and prior assumption is the driving force behind much of this argumentation." I do not mean to actually accuse you of being led solely by prior assumption and not by reasons; but I just found it most remarkable and curious that, in sequence, both parties made the same seemingly unusual statements about the KJV's use of confusing language in Ps. 23, which at least had to give me pause.
I'm new to Reformed Theology as of this summer and have grown up with the NIV. I recently asked my husband to buy me a Reformation Study Bible from Ligonier Ministries that is an ESV version. Since getting that I'm appreciating the notes but still miss the verses I memorized through the NIV. I've become a bit biased to the ESV now since I'm hungry for truth and want something more accurate yet not as far from what I came from.
I've never learned to appreciate the KJV and due to this would probably not recommend it to others. I think about it like this. The ESV used the KJV as a standard during creation (at least this is what I'm told from teachers I respect) and is the most accurate aside from KJV in English. Reading through the comments that have come before allow me to respect those with a different position but in the end I will use what I feel will be the most effective in ministry as well as for my own maturity and edification. I liken it to people who enjoy Shakespeare and those who don't. If you take each verse of a sonnet apart you may get much more from it but overall the context may be too much for a clear meaning to come across. The bible was never intended to be read a verse here or there. Paul wrote letters that were intended to be read in full. Verse headings were added later. If a translation loses meaning when taken in the full context of a book then issues "may" arise. Martin Luther wanted the bible put in the language of the people even though "the church" feared the mis-interpretation of scripture as a result. This happens all the time but are we going to allow someone else to interpret scripture for us or stand with Luther on the view that the average person has this right? I think the Holy Spirit makes scripture ring true or not... in spite of the version. I agree with all of those that said we should compare versions if we are unclear. The meaning is what is important.
I have worked with women going through un-planned pregnancies as an alternate house mother for a home that provided support during their pregnancy. These women were very hesitant in church settings as it was because they already felt like they would be "made into a project" by someone and were often correct in this fear unfortunately. While living in the house they were required to attend services on Sundays and support groups throughout the week. I often had girls come into my room crying, begging me that they would not have to go back. I would generally run down the list of questions like: Was it just one person you had issues with? People are human and make mistakes and that doesn't mean they are representative of everyone or the church as a whole. They responded with feeling like a general judgment was experienced. They didn't have any other support system in their lives and had been abandoned by the men responsible for the pregnancy. When walking them through scripture I wanted it to be something they could readily understand and feel applicable to their lives. I still volunteer on the side at times but I don't think I would use a version that asked them to also decipher meaning. Yes, I believe that those God chooses will come to Him in spite of what I do but I also believe it's best to make whatever I do as easy as possible for God to do his work. If someone can understand the meaning of his word then I see that as "getting out of the way," to a greater degree so God can work in their hearts. If they feel like the language of the version is boring, lol, which is often what I hear, then this is getting in the way of what God may have for them in the meaning of his word. I'm not sure if others in ministry have encountered this but that may be a topic for another thread. Ultimately I want to serve those God calls me to be around the best I can. My utmost for his highest right? It's not just about what I prefer since what I'm using will indirectly influence someone who wants to be like me, or comes in contact with me, depending on how they see me. It's relational and the only reason I'm here still is to serve Christ (to live is Christ Phil. 1:21) and the mechanism he uses to bring about salvation in the lives of others. It boggles my mind, but if God is going to use me I want everything I do to make it the easiest for him to reach others. This includes the version of the Bible I read.
1.) The KJV was translated using far less manuscript resources than we now have for later translations.
2.) The KJV was translated in reaction to the Geneva Bible. I had read that James did not like the notes of the Geneva Bible (done by the Reformers) and so comissioned his own translation. BTW, the Puritans, when they came here, used the Geneva Bible, NOT the KJV
3.) The KJV has archaic language that can be misunderstood. For example, the word "conversation" when used in the KJV refers to a person's behavior, but the modern person understands the word "conversation" to mean a verbal dialogue between people. It's pointless to encumber people with such potential for misunderstanding, when a more modern translation takes care of this problem more easily
4.) The construction of the KJV, while aesthetically pleasing to those who love older English, can be laborious and tiresome for people to read. Don't we want to REMOVE hindrances to understanding the Word of God instead of adding to them?
It's just not the best translation. The NASB, ESV, and even the NIV in some instances does better in handling certain passages than the KJV does. Again, this is because more manuscript evidence is available, and scholars can work better with the addition of information.
While this is not true in all cases, I find too many "KJV only" people associated with the KJV. James White has done a very good job of refuting this position in a book he wrote