Why NOT the KJV?

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I have never used the KJV as my private and family worship Bible until this year. In recent years it's been the NKJV. But I've been reading the KJV this year due to the 400th Anniversary and my realization that I've never read it all the way through. I've always had a high degree of respect for the KJV and some of the brethren here have helped in that regard as well.

I've also never regularly attended a church that used the KJV as the pulpit Bible. Usually it's been the NKJV or NASB, and occasionally the NIV or increasingly the ESV.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
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.

To understand what the WCF means by "vulgar," you need to read the WCF in context. "Vulgar language" is not talking particularly about English at all; it's talking about any language where Greek and Hebrew are not understood by all.

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

Because the original languages are not known to ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOD, the Scriptures ought to be translated into a language they understand so that they can read them and search them. Thus, "vulgar" is not specifically saying that the translation needs to be "modern" or "contemporary" or "of the lower orders." What matters is that ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOD can read and understand it.

The first definition in OED for "vulgar" is "the common or usual language of a country; the vernacular." "Common" means it is the language common to ALL THE PEOPLE. The WCF wants ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOD to read and search the Scriptures. Therefore, this is the definition the WCF uses.

Now, to apply the Confessions today, we need to ask is whether KJV English is the the common language in any nation today. I believe the answer to that is clearly no. Therefore, I believe the Confessions compels us to use translations in which ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOD can read and search.

The WCF could have said "all the people of God do not know Greek and Hebrew. Therefore, we ought to teach them to read the Scriptures in Greek and Hebrew." But they didn't. In the same way, I don't think it is in accordance with the WCF to say "all of the English-speaking people of God do not understand KJV English. Therefore, we ought to teach them to read the Scriptures in KJV English."

It certainly is a mark of an educated person to understand KJV English, just as it is to be able to read and understand Greek and Hebrew. However, the Confession is not concerned about giving everyone a beneficial education. It is concerned about ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD reading and searching the Scriptures, in every tribe, tongue, people and nation.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
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.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
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.

Do you have any citations to prove this?

"Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacobs well (which was deepe) without a bucket or some thing to draw with: or as that person mentioned by Esau, to whom when a sealed booke was delivered, with this motion, Reade this, I pray thee, hee was faine to make this answere, I cannot, for it is sealed."
- KJV original preface

The KJV was a translation into the vulgar tongue so that the unlearned could understand it. If the average cobbler in London in 1611 didn't understand it, then the KJV translators failed in their stated goals.

Today, the unlearned cannot understand the KJV. Hence, we are Confessionally bound to use an understandable translation. This is in keeping with the KJV translators' goals.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Don,

I thank you for your meaningful interaction on the topic.

Yes, the first definition is "the common or usual language of a country; the vernacular." That is, the language that is common to all in a country, including the uneducated. I think, given our modern situation in America, with only one language (English), whic is common to both the educated (the academic and clerical class) and less educated (the "everyone else" class), it is far too easy to import a meaning to it which is, indeed, an allowable meaning, but not essential to the word itself. Do recall the situation in which the confession was drafted, and in which was carried out the debate over whether or not vulgar translations should be produced: there was a language which belonged to the common people (in England, English), and a language which belonged to the educated people (Latin, plus Hebrew and Greek for the ministerial class). The one was not vulgar, and the other was. It does not matter whether the English was written in high-styled, academic, inacessible and "fancy" prose, or whether it was the most "street-y" language out there - it was the vulgar: it was the language shared by all (even if it was difficult), not the language of the few (Latin); the style or sophistication of the language is not at issue. Poets who wrote in English were the vulgar poets - this did not necessarily mean their language would be in every case instantly comprehensible by those with no education; but it did mean they were writing in the language of the people, and which the people could come to understand without learning a new language. There is a vast, vast different between learning a new language, and learning a few new words and syntactic patterns in your native tongue.

Is the style and vocabulary of the KJV often more difficult to comprehend for the unacquainted than the language of the HCSB or the NIV? Obviously. Is it a different language than spoken by English speakers? Hardly. 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.

The fact of the matter is, the language of the KJV is able to be comprehended by any English speaker. Please note (as I know this statement will be taken differently than I intend it), I do not say immediately, intuitively and entirely clear to each English speaker at each level of education. This is not what I am saying. But with a guide and a teacher, it is able to be read by anyone who can read as they slowly grow in familiarity with its style. I note you quoted the "Jacob's well" passage from the AV translators' preface; this is a good quote; but it needs to be taken in conjuction with the Reformed approach to learning the scriptures, captured by the Ethiopian Eunuch's cry, "How can I understand, except someone teach me?" A person may not understand all the words in a passage, and it may seem confusing at first: but when it is explained and taught to him, he can back and read it and understand; that could not happen with a Greek, Hebrew or Latin Bible - and I say this is precisely the meaning of the WCF's use of the term "vulgar."

Finally, please keep in mind that my purpose in this thread is not to establish or set forth the merits of the AV, or to say it should be used; do not import that concept into this thread. Rather, my purpose is simply to vindicate the churches that do use the AV as their translation from the calumny that they betray the confession's teachings by using a "non-vulgar" translation. I'm not even trying to make an argument that the AV should be used by churches, but rather that it emphatically fits the Confession's definition of "vulgar," should a church decide to use it.

Again, thanks for your kind interaction, brother.

P.S. Yes, I of course understand that vulgar does not mean English; but obviously in England, the vulgar tongue is English.

P.P.S. I think you press the phrase "all the people of God" too far. If it simply means, translated into the language of a country, therefore being accessible to anyone who speaks only that language and is willing to put in the time and effort, then the phrase makes sense. If you press the meaning too far, however, we're left with trying to create a translation comprehensible to infants, small children and those who cannot read at all. Is this farther than you would press it? Of course; but such seems the inevitable conclusion of pressing it as done.

P.P.P.S Please read the citation from Whitaker in post 7 of the "Vulgar A.V." thread linked above; his use of the term is important, given the influence of his work on the first chapter of the WCF.
 

Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
I use the LXX (Greek translation of the OT) and the USB4 for church and private worship. Why? I like to work with the Greek text, its good practice, and am not constrained by interpretation of the KJV, ESV, or other English translations.

If my USB4 or LXX is not around then I will probably use NASB, NKJV, or Young’s Literal.

For Bible teaching however I typically use the NKJV, because I like it as a translation for its updated language, style, and a couple translational corrections to the KJV. I also use it because I think it’s a good balance from KJV to ESV to NIV.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
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.

That's not only a bad argument it's illogical. My hand is in warm water is the same in English and Afrikaans :) so should I use that as proof they're the same language? 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???? Fortunately except (mostly) in some of those micro denominations it's generally not a problem in Reformed circles anymore.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
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????

Curious you should pick this as an example...

Psalm 23:1 in the NASB:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 23:1 in the ESV:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

I'm very glad someone sat down with you when you were a youngster and helped you understand the verse, just as I'm thankful that someone sits down with many children today who use the contemporary ESV or NASB translations which word it exactly the same way and explain it to them; the words and phrases are explained and confusion is removed, so the child understands and can successfully read it over and over again throughout his or her life.

Peace brother,
Paul
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Everyone!

I don't think, from my perspective, it is a matter of *not* using the KJV. It is a matter of *how* the KJV is used. The KJV is very good in terms of wording things in English in cases where no further information has been found about the Hebrew text, or where the English is not archaic. I like to use the KJV in this regard, as a translation, because it was written during the golden age of English.

Still, as I mentioned on the other thread, in terms of our understanding of Biblical Hebrew, I believe the KJV is outdated. There has been much light that has been shed on the text of the Hebrew Bible since the publication of the KJV, due to studies in linguistics, archaeology, and the decipherment of other Ancient Near Eastern languages. As far as translations go, I like to use the NASB, and I was introduced to the ESV, although I don't like it as much as the NASB. I will also use the NIV if I need a translation that is more meaning for meaning rather than word for word, but normally the translations I will consult are the NASB and sometimes the ESV. If there is an issue of English style in cases where no further information has been found about the Hebrew text, or where the English is not archaic, then I [surprisingly probably to most people] don't mind consulting the KJV.

God Bless,
Adam
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Hi Paul,

Thank you also for the interaction.

My response is simply this: what was the purpose of translating into the vulgar? The stated purpose in both the KJV preface and the WCF was that so as many people could read and search the Scriptures for themselves. This may not include infants, but it would include those who could not read. The Scriptures ought to be read to them such that they understand.

This is not to deny that Scriptures do not need to be taught. You brought up the Ethiopian eunuch, but his misunderstanding wasn't "not understanding all the words in a passage," as you seem to suggest. His confusion was theological: he did not know about whom the prophet was speaking. Yes, "with a guide and a teacher, it is able to be read by anyone who can read as they slowly grow in familiarity with its style," but I don't think the Word of God was intended to read this way. The time and energy of the teacher ought to be spent teaching about explaining the theology, not helping the learner understand what the words mean. The new believer ought to be immersing himself or herself in the rich meaning of the Scriptures, not struggling over understanding what it says.

The 23rd Psalm and John 1 seem easily comprehensible because we've heard them quoted so many times, but even those are difficult to understand for those who did not grow up in the Church. Take the first two verses of Psalm 23. "The Lord is my shepherd." So far, so good." "I shall not want." I shall not want ... what? I shall not want anything? Is this teaching a Buddhist-type of repressing our desires? "He maketh me lie down in green pastures." He's making me lie down? Why is he forcing me to do this?

Even in something as straight-forward as Psalm 23, the KJV language is unnatural at best, and conveys the wrong meaning at worst. No one says "want" without a direct object, so it's not immediately understood, and we might instead substitute "anything" as the object. "He makes me" implies that someone is forcing you to do something against your will." A better translation from the Hebrew would be "The Lord is my shepherd. I have everything I need. He lets me lie down in green meadows." It fulfills the three standard guidelines for Bible Translation: clear, accurate, and natural.

As you can see, there is a huge potential for misunderstanding even in these relatively simple passages. There are many passages in the KJV which are much more difficult, and easier to misunderstand! For example, reading 1 Thessalonians 5:22 in the KJV, "Avoid every appearance of evil," has been the source of all kinds of legalism among fundamental KJV churches. Generations of Bible teachers failed to prevent this misunderstanding because it looks so clear in the KJV, causing untold harm.

You stated that you are seeking to affirm KJV English as a "vulgar language" in order to defend those Reformed congregations that use it. From my view, I am seeking to be true to the vision of the KJV translators and the WCF authors for the Word to be understood by as many people as possible. Perhaps you are right, and that under a technical definition KJV English is a "vulgar language" today. But is using a difficult-to-understand Bible version really what the KJV translators and the WCF drafters would have wanted 400 years later?
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I use the KJV almost exclusively this year (in honor of the 400th anniversary).
* Great historical significance
* Unparalleled scholarship of the translators (probably the only work of art ever accomplished by a committee)
* Majesty of the language (since so much of the Bible is poetic in the original, it is good to have a translation that moves the emotions as well as the intellect and will)
* Historically documented impact upon the language, culture, and literature of the English speaking world
* And, as to the deliberately "old fashioned" English of the translation in 1611 in making use of already archaic forms, cf. Ryken, McGrath, Campbell, and pretty much any serious history of the KJV done by Oxford University Press

NEXT year, I will use the ESV for my preaching, teaching, and devotions. I love the ESV and consider it a worthy successor to the KJV, at least that is what the Crossway marketing people told me to repeat over and over when they put me in the "special" chair and did the water drop treatment on me. :rofl:

Seriously, despite my preference for the Majority Text, the hegemony of the ESV is just too great for me to overcome. As the Borg used to say in the Star Wars series: "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated." Lacking the assimilation resistance skills of Jean-Luc Picard and the escape ability of Seven of Nine, I have surrendered all individual choice and will take my place in the Crossway-ESV collective in January.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I do not think the KJV is that difficult to understand, and I have only been using it for about a year or two.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Hello Don,

I will give three points in response, and then leave the last word to you if you should desire anything more to say on the matter; I will of course carry on the discussion if you would like, but I am content to let the matter rest here if you are.

1. For clarification, I do not mention the Ethiopian Eunuch as an example of one having difficulty with language; but simply for the broader fact that we are never expected to be without guides to help us understand the Word - and that includes the language of the Word. Someone may have confusion about the wording or language of a passage, but those students which listen to a sermon or lesson on the passage, or who take time to have the passage explained to them, walk away understanding the wording for the rest of their lives, and can thenceforth read it just as any other English literature.

2. I find it fascinating that both you and Mr. Vaughan, after I mentioned Psalm 23, proceeded to show the danger of a "non-vulgar" translation from the confusion wrought by the obscure and archaic language of the King James version in this passage - when it is exactly the same wording as found in both the NASB and ESV, two of the most widely used contemporary translations, which I highly doubt anyone would accuse of being not-in-the-vulgar language. Both the ESV and NASB state (verbatim): "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures." So you have just made the positive case that the ESV and NASB are too removed from the vulgar, since you explicitly stated that, on the basis of the two word choices in this passage (1. The use of "want" without a direct object, and 2. the use of "he makes me"), that therefore "the language is unnatural at best, and conveys the wrong meaning at worst." This at least makes me pause to wonder how much emotion and prior assumption is the driving force behind much of this argumentation.

3. In answer to your question, yes, I fully believe based upon the way theologians used the concepts of "vulgar" and "vernacular" at the time, they would still today accept the AV as meeting the criteria, as per the Whitaker reference I provided earlier. Again, I'm not saying in this argument that it is required or even recommending it (I want to leave those issues out of this conversation), but merely stating that the KJV today still fits their understanding of "vulgar" and that churches which use the translation are not betraying the spirit of the WCF.

Peace, brother.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Paul, I don't have much to add, other than I believe that the NASB and ESV have the same flaw as the KJV. Because the KJV language is so familiar, translators (wrongly, in my opinion) are biased towards preserving the familiar language.

The problem is exacerbated even more in the last verse, that I will dwell in the house of the Lord "forever." But, forever is not what the Hebrew says! The literal rendering is "for length of days, "and HCSB gets the meaning correct when it translates it "as long as I live."
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
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.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
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.

Thank you, Paul, I appreciate it. :handshake:
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
I am stuck on the KJV. I prefer it. I had an 8th grade education when I quit school. I picked up a KJV Bible after becoming a Christian by reading the Living Bible Paraphrase. I had very little problem working my way through the KJV and the extra work was well worth the pay off. I don't buy the Archaic excuse. It is just something that people use because it is spouted off enough times that others believe it. I am living proof that that is true. I totally was a flunky and completely failed my 9th grade and quit school when I turned 16.

I still believe it is the best translation manuscript wise for the most part and English wise. There is much benefit to be gained by reading such a great translation. I do read other translations also. I bought my kids ESV's and NKJV's. I am not scared of them. I am not a eclectic text guy. Theodore Letis does a good job explaining what I hold to and why.

I use to joke about this issue at one time. The older I get, the more informed I become about the issue, the more grateful I am for the Providence of God's work in providing the KJV. I still believe it is the best.
 

arielann81

Puritan Board Freshman
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.
 

ericfromcowtown

Puritan Board Sophomore
I use the ESV because of its accuracy and readability. I have nothing against the KJV (it's a fine translation with a splendid history), only rabid KJV-onlyists.
 

GulfCoast Presbyterian

Puritan Board Junior
I constantly compare the KJV, ESV and NASB when studying. I still feel most comfortable with the NASB, since that is what I was given as a young adult as my first "serious bible." Like many, I started with "Good News for Modern Man" and then when my reading comprehension picked up, I got another version. I don't consider anything to be "wrong" with the KJV. However, I think the militant-strain KJVOnly folks have worked hard to push folks away to the NASB, ESV and NIV. And that is a shame, as the KJV is so majestic and historical.
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
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.

When typing this I would like to make clear I would never use the KJV. However this is for pride and stubborn reasons because I was an avid member and fighter of the faith for and IFB KJVonly church.

That being said the KJV is a beautiful translation and those who you say call it "Boring" are okay to call it that, however if that impedes them in their study of the scriptures when you quote them or their church quote them I really don't see the KJV being the agent of that. If I was to read the KJV (which I haven't in 3 years) and someone told me it was boring and that it impedes their understanding of the text (even after I lovingly explained it to them) then it is most likely not the KJV they are misunderstanding but the Bible in general.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
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?
5.) 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.
6.) 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.
 

Damon Rambo

Puritan Board Sophomore
I do not use the KJV, because I believe that it's underlying manuscript is fault-laden. It disagrees even with earlier versions of its own manuscript lines, in some pretty significant places. I prefer a translation that has a better documented, well substantiated underlying manuscript...preferably assembled by protestants, rather than Catholics.
 

Fogetaboutit

Puritan Board Freshman
I see a lot of emotion being use as justification in this thread. Justifying not using the KJV with the sole argument that you don't like KJV Onlies is completely absurd. This is as absurd as an Arminian pointing to Servetus as justification to reject calvinism. Many unbelievers point the the hypocrisy of some believers as justification for their unbelief, I wonder how this will work at the judgment seat.

Choosing a bible base on emotion is a flawed approach. Bibles should not be picked based on how it makes you feel and how easy to read it is, faithfulness to God's actual words should be the primary criteria. If the most accurate version available uses a richer language then this is the perfect opportunity to learn new words ;) I wonder how that would work, hmm sorry God I stumble on few words I didn't understand right away so I just stop reading the "literary" version of your word, even if it was more accurate, and just looked at the pictures in the comic book version. (I'm exaggerating but you get the point I hope :) )

The controversy over bible versions is primarily a textual one. Comparing the KJV with newer versions is like comparing apples to oranges, first you need to determine which textual tradition should be preferred (Textus Receptus/Ecclesiastical Text or the Critical text). Once this is settled then you investigate which bible translation (translated from the same textual tradition) is the best. Using arguments like the KJV was translated to supplant the Geneva Bible does absolutely nothing to justify the new version based on the Critical Text. The Geneva and the KJV used the same underlying Greek text therefore they are good candidate for comparison. The new versions all use the Critical Text therefore if they are to be compared they should be compared to one another.

Accepting both textual tradition as equally valid is the same as accepting Arminianism and Calvinism as equally valid exposition of scriptures. Then you would start comparing the Free Will Baptist statement of faith and the Westminster Confession of faith and argue which one you should be used based on which one is easier to read or which one in your opinion is better translated (if it would be translated in a different language from which it was originally written).
 
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tarrda

Puritan Board Freshman
the very first translation I used was the KJV in the Giddions NT given to me in the 5th or 6th grade, (I didn't become a Christian until I was @20), then I breifly used a Good News for Modern Man, and after being born again, a Chaplin Moore on my ship went to shore in Italy?, (not sure) and bought me a New Scofield Ref bible, in KJV, I really liked the cross references but the footnotes didn't make much sense a lot of times. Tried the Living Bible but didn't like it, tried the NIV and found it a little wanting, then the NASB came out and I stuck with it along with the NKJV and ESV, I still use the KJV but like to compare it with one of the 3 just mentioned to clear up some passages. I really like the New Geneva Study bible, bought before the name change and even have a 1599 Geneva bible Calvin Legacy Edition, for me it has a lot to do with the study aids and notes and cross references which I found in the New Geneva study bible to be real good, (now called the Reformation Study Bible) oh my NGSB is New King James.
 

Fogetaboutit

Puritan Board Freshman
1.) The KJV was translated using far less manuscript resources than we now have for later translations.

Maybe but these manuscripts agree with the vast majority of manuscripts known to us today therefore this is a misleading statement. Actually it is the Revisers who gave greater weight to the minority of contradicting Alexandrian manuscripts as opposed to the vast majority of Byzantine manuscripts (which support the textus receptus) when creating their new text.

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

Actually the translation of the KJV was suggested by John Reynold (a Puritan) and was approved and comissioned by King James I. And as mentioned in my previous post the Geneva and the KJV use the same underlying text, I would definitely suggest the Geneva over the newer version based on the accuracy of the underlying greek text.

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

There are many "difficult" words in new versions as well, the context ususally takes care of this.

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?

the difficulty of a passage can be dealt with some effort and research, on the other hand once the true meaning has been perverted due to paraphrasing, doctrinal and spiritual bankruptcy is the results.

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.

That is quite the statement, the "so called" few better translations from what I have seen are very debatable, plus when contrasted with the better translations in the KJV compared to newer version this argument is easily silenced. I suggest you read "The Revision Revised" by John Burgon.

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

While people are quick to point to the KJV onlies for their "bigotry" I think some of them should look in the mirror before pointing fingers.
 
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