Discussing
What we should - and shouldn't - celebrate about 400 years of KJV

Nathan Bierma

Xioc1138
March 14, 2011

I have no idea if those stories are true, but I know people that thought that the KJV was the original. Ha!<br><br>The KJV was a ground breaking idea for the people of that time. We should give much thanks that we have the Bible in English. There are still many languages that don't have it yet.

Jamesggilmore
March 14, 2011

There were Bibles in English before 1611... in fact, the KJV was seen by many of the more Protestant members of the COE as a nice (or not-so-nice, for the more radical members) companion piece to the much more accurate <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Bible" rel="nofollow">Geneva Bible</a>, which had been around for half a century by the time the KJV was first published.<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060838736/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=486539851&amp;pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&amp;pf_rd_t=201&amp;pf_rd_i=0521771005&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_r=0Z9DNQYD19KNTDRB0R3Y" rel="nofollow"><i>God's Secretaries</i></a>, an excellent history of the KJV, emphasizes that it was a Bible intended not for individual study but for lectionary reading; it was a Bible whose language and phrasing were specifically chosen for the purpose of sounding good when read from a pulpit. In other words, to experience the KJV the way it was meant to be experienced, reading silently isn't an option; you have to sound the words out, experience the balance in the phrasing and the way the word sounds work together. Accuracy took second place to accessibility and aesthetics... which for many of us isn't a bug, but a feature, given that we also have access to much more accurate translations now.

Don
March 14, 2011

It would be great to have an updated translation for those who don't understand what thee and thou means, the problem that exist todate is they are not all translated from the same text. there are 337 changes in the modern versions, changes of doctrine! the amount of text that has been removed in the NIV is equivalent to ripping 1st and 2nd Peters out of your KJV Bible. to date the best translation that we have is the KJV that was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew Text(the old testament) and the Textus Receptus (the new testament) the Masoretic Hebrew text and the Textus Receptus represent about 99% of all of the manuscripts found today. <br>the Modern Critical text that came out of Alexandria Egypt represents about 1% of all the new testament text that exists today with approximately 8,000 word differences from the Testus Reseptus yet the Modern Critical Text is what was chosen as the manuscript for the modern Bibles.

Don
March 14, 2011

with that said.......I think I will keep my old faithful well preserved Word of God in the form of my King James Bible, and celebrate the 400 years of preservation :) Thank You and <br>Make it a Great Day!

Paulvanderklay
March 14, 2011

Modern Critical texts are an attempt to review the broad textual history and arrive at some approximation of what the original text would be. We know far more about the manuscript tradition than the creators of the KJV could have in their day. It would seem strange to ignore this valuable information to simply go with a poorer, older (yet not ancient) version of the text.

Paulvanderklay
March 14, 2011

Bible translations pursue different values and serve different purposes. It can't be helped. I find a lot of value in this old text and for my adult Sunday School classes actually refer to it sometimes to make the text LESS familiar so that readers today can appreciate the space between themselves and the world that the text is bringing them into. When we read our world, assumptions, contextually shaped expectations, onto the ancient text funny things can indeed arise. Why would Moses want a widow to marry her brother-in-law for the sake of her dead husband?! :) Lots of stuff like that. The strangeness of the text can also invite inquiry. pvk

Chris
March 14, 2011

I agreed entirely with your piece, quietly hoping that you wouldn't then take the common course these days of rectifying the perceived problem by offering the opposite extreme as a remedy. But, like clockwork, out came "the Message". While the latter is a powerful translation, it should NEVER be read on it's own, but with an NIV or similar. Mr. Paterson takes too many turns that actually change the meaning rather than simply clarfiying it for a modern reader. I must say too, despite his passionate and almost believable justification for attaching his own name to the Bible, I find that fact deeply disturbing on many levels.

Maureen
March 15, 2011

I've found different translations serve different purposes for me. For study I like reading multiple translations esp. NLT, NAS and NIV and I find that NLT is the clearest. To feel like I'm in a conversation with God I love The Message. Maybe because it's the first version I ever read but I do find the poetic language in the King Jimmy resonates with my soul like music when I want to read the wisdom books or prophets.

JCarpenter
March 17, 2011

A word about "thou-thee-thy-thine", also seen in Shakespeare and in Brit. poetry, both contemporary to KJV: 2nd person pronouns, yes, but not exactly akin to "you-your-yours," also seen in the same texts. Recall that other European languages had two forms of 2nd person, the formal or distant, and the informal or close. Relationship and status were signalled by the use of the second person. Anecdotal accounting suggests "thou" became "holy" in American culture at least, when the revolution gave its citizens all the democratic level-status of "you."

Jason G
March 17, 2011

Thanks for highlighting the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. Your readers may also be interested in the National Celebration taking place in Washington D.C. May 2-3. For more information visit <a href="http://www.kingjames400.com" rel="nofollow">www.kingjames400.com</a>

Gavin
March 19, 2011

Try carrying a leatherbound KJV Bible in public sometime. It can never be mistaken for an iPad.<br>

Revshoot
March 24, 2011

Have you ever read he translator's notes in the original King James - thankfully available again in some of the 400th anniv. editions. It says stuff like they've used the best resources available to make a translation that is most usable in "modern English". Very similar comments appears in the translators note for many modern translations. KJV is an excellent translation, unfortunately it is no longer modern and some of the word meanings have changed - so one has to be careful when using it!

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