Tuesday, January 28, 2014

3 Reasons Why I Do NOT Use the KJV

I grew up using the King James Version of the Bible first published in  1611. I stopped using it at some point in high school, and I adopted the English Standard Version as my primary translation at some point in college. I want to start by saying that the KJV was useful, and was a good translation. It accurately portrayed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and was translated masterfully, but I do not use it, nor do I advocate its use in the current era. Why? Well Three main reasons actually:

1. It adds an extra barrier to understanding. 
Lets get one thing straight: the Bible takes work to understand. We have a barrier of time and culture between use and the writers. We have to over come those barriers through a proper understanding of the historical context, then we have to read carefully, seeking to under the literary context. We should remove any barrier we can from understanding the text. So why use a Bible translated in 1611 instead of a more modern one.

2. Language changes
This is the big one. Language has radically changed since 1611.  I remember hearing a story as a child about a little old lady prayer warrior climbing into her closet to pray for others. Now I cringe that this Godly lady who wanted to commune with God thought she was supposed to climb into her closet to pray. Matthew 6:5-6 in the KJV says;

"5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

The word "closet" at the time meant room, but now no one would use the word in that sense. This is not an error in the KJV, it is actually just the evolution of language over time.  Also the point of the passage is not that you should only pray in your room, but that you should not make a show of prayer.

3. We have more manuscripts now.
The King James Version was translated using significantly less manuscripts than modern translations are. We want to try to determine, from the manuscripts that we have, what the original writings of the Apostles, Patriarchs, and other writers said. We have significantly more texts now than they had then to use to determine what the original manuscript said. In reality this is not as important as it sounds, and affects a much smaller portion of the text than the other two points made above.

So those are three reasons why I do not use the KJV. And I urge you to do the same. If you have been using the KJV all your life you may realize that if you open the ESV or the NASB that you have failed to understand the text properly simply because of the language used.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! Didn't know you were blogging again! Grammy