The KJV: very near and dear to my heart

When I was at a used book sale the other day, I saw an elderly lady looking for a bible and noticed that she picked up a King James Version. A part of me inside cringed. I thought to myself: “Why would anyone want to buy a KJV today when we have so many other better translations of the bible?” I didn’t say anything to her but a part of me wanted to steer her in the right direction. Then I remembered back to my younger days. The old KJV was very dear to my heart and the KJV still has a very special place in my heart. It was the bible I turned to read when I saw the light and “met Jesus”. The bible became the love of my life. I remember reading the bible day-in and day-out for 8 hours a day. I poured through the entire New Testament two times in a row in 2-3 months. I highlighted and underlined special passages that spoke truth to me. I still have that bible and will probably keep it forever, even though I don’t understand everything I read. So who was I to tell that little old lady buying a KJV to go for a modern translation? Well, I haven’t done any serious reading using the KJV for years now, but I know that behind the old, outdated, and archaic English of King James, there is still a mystical and mysterious air about it. What would drive a person who does not speak like the KJV to read the KJV study bible? Maybe they don’t even like to read it but feel driven toward it anyway. I don’t know; but for some people, learning the outdated English is an education process in itself. For some, it seems to speak the gospel most accurately. But anyway…for whatever reason they choose to read the King James Version, it still gets across the message of the gospel–that’s most important. For die-hard KJVers, there are other alternatives without the archaic language. It’s a modernized King James (still based on the old standard textus receptus) but without the “thee” and “thou”, e.g., 21st Century King James Version (on BibleGateway.com), Third Millennium Bible (On Crosswalk.com), Modern King James Version, and Updated King James Version. And of course, the New King James Version is still quite popular. The Third Millennium even comes with the apocrypha. It’s the standard pew and preaching bible in many evangelical and pentecostal congregations. Thomas Nelson offers the Open Bible, MacArthur Study Bible, Blackaby Study Bible, Life Plan Study Bible, and Thompson-Chain Reference Study Bible in the NKJV.

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Author: Kevin S.

A follower of Jesus, a husband and a father. Hobbies include biking, keeping fish if they don't die on me, blogging when I can, theologizing and ministry, and pondering about world affairs.

4 thoughts on “The KJV: very near and dear to my heart”

  1. Kevin, I think your attitude is commendable. If people are reading the KJV, at least they’re reading the Bible!

    It’s hard to get us “old folks” to try something new, but if somebody is really reading the Bible, though it be the KJV, the Spirit may nudge them into something we would see as “better”.

    It really doesn’t matter what version people own if they aren’t reading it!

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  2. All we can do is inform them about newer translations. I never arm-twist anyone into reading a version… even if it is much better. And Gary, I find that, like anything else in life, people always move in small increments toward new changes.

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  3. “Kevin, I think your attitude is commendable. If people are reading the KJV, at least they’re reading the Bible!”

    You speak of the KJV as though it were almost a disease. But I would challenge you on the point of modern translations that are supposedly better, how they make Rev 7:14 and Rev 19:8 contradict each other. In modern versions, the whiteness of the robes is earned by works in one verse but comes from being washed in the blood of Christ in the other verse. In the KJV this error does not exist. Again, in Heb 3:16, the modern versions say that everyone who came out of Egypt by Moses provoked, but the KJV says that not everyone who came out of Egypt by Moses provoked. The modern versions here contradict the OT and the KJV does not. Then, the KJV alone actually renders plural-yous as plural and singular-yous as singular. Su and Umas are the same word to the moderns! Rendering both su and umas as simply “you” causes confusion in some passages, and is just simply not translation. Then the moderns break Paul’s run-ons, changing “, who” to “. He” and constantly removing “for” or “and” from the beginning of verse. They are more interested in re-writing than translating. They eradicate the Hebraic style of the Scriptures and feign for themselves a new Bible that seems to have been written but yesterday, because it was written but yesterday.

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  4. At last I believe so many think they are rich spiritually with so many modern translations and biblical helps. And indeed we are. Yet what a testimony for an elderly saint to have a deep love and reverence for the Word of God, and to know that God has produced this as their life’s testimony is displayed before us.

    Something to think about. During the time the Lord Jesus Christ walked as the God-man down here the Septuagint was in use. This Greek translation, while very good, contains errors and yet there is no indication in the Gospels (and elsewhere) that He felt the need to challenge the text, only to challenge the people of Israel to believe it.

    I wonder if my interest in modern versions somehow has me focused on language issues more so then spiritual ones. Do they help me become the “perfect” translation of God’s Word or do they keep me districted in worthless debates?

    What a testimony this old lady provided. Wonderful.

    Best regards

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