Note: The following article by Pastor David Harness was first published in two parts in
the local newspaper where the writer lives under the caption "The Pastor's Pen".
It was directed at a general audience.
Interesting Facts about the King James Bible - Part 1
Christians are told to "hold fast the form of sound words" (1Timothy 1:13), yet when it comes to Bible Translations many are guilty of being "carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men and cunning craftiness" (Ephesians 4:14).
The King James Bible has been the standard Bible for English speaking believers for almost four centuries, but it is now being forsaken by many Christians for modern translations. I would like to present some interesting facts about the King James Bible (KJV) which will hopefully cause the reader to re-examine the version issue and stay with "the good old book".
a.. The KJV was completed in 1611 after seven years of translation work by 42 of the best Hebrew and Greek scholars who have ever lived. King James of England did not translate it: he only authorized the translation of a new Bible. In Great Britain the KJV is referred to as the Authorized Version.
b.. No modern English Bible has the beauty and majestic grace that the KJV has. It is considered one of the greatest pieces of English literature ever produced, even by those who are not Christians.
c.. The English language was at the height of its grammatical accuracy during the Elizabethan period. The KJV is the most accurate English translation on the market today.
d.. The KJV is the only English version available today which is not copyrighted outside England. Everyone can freely use it and reproduce it. Many early reformers and translators such as John Wycliff, John Huss, and William Tyndale suffered hardships, were persecuted and even burned at the stake for trying to distribute the Scriptures. Nowadays, a person could be sued in court for reproducing a modern version without the written permission of the copyright owner!
e.. Many criticize the KJV because it uses some out-of-date or archaic words. However, there are only about 100 or so of these often used in the Bible and each of them can be found in a good dictionary like Webster's. There are many study editions of the KJV with either glossaries or reference columns which give the modern equivalent of these words. [Besides, these words are Bible words.]
Interesting Facts About the King James Bible - Part 2
Last week I presented some facts about the King James Version (KJV) that would challenge Christians not to abandon the KJV, but to appreciate its superior quality. Summarizing the facts presented: the KJV is almost 400 years old, translated by 42 Hebrew and Greek scholars; it is beautiful and majestic in its style; more grammatically accurate than modern versions; and
the archaic words are comparatively few and readily defined in a English dictionary. Here now are other interesting facts about the King James Bible:
a.. Thee and thou, you and ye are more than style in the KJV; they identify singular and plural. Thee, thou and thine are always singular. Ye, you and your are always plural. In modern English, you and your are interchangeably singular or plural. An example of the need for this accuracy is found in John 3:7: "Marvel not that I said unto thee (Nicodemus), ye
(everybody) must be born again".
b.. The Bible has not been translated, re-translated, and changed throughout the centuries to where it would not be like the original. There are at least 5,309 Greek manuscripts (the language in which the New Testament was written) in existence today. Compare this to only 7 manuscripts of Plato's writings and 49 of Aristotle's existing today. The KJV is the only English translation translated from a body of Greek manuscripts called the Received Text. The Received Text comprises over 95
per cent of the existing manuscripts and agree almost perfectly together.
c.. The modern versions are based upon some faulty manuscripts and have been tainted with the theology of the skeptical higher criticism. Especially important is how the doctrine of Christ is treated. I invite you to make a careful comparison using the KJV with your modern version of the following verses: Mark 16:9-20; Acts 8:37; John 8:1-11; John 9:35; Acts 2:30; Acts
8:37; Colossians 1:14; I Timothy 3:16; and I John 5:7-8.
The issue of modern translations and the numerous English versions available today has brought much confusion among saved and unsaved alike. A person need not be caught up in this confusion is they will take an honest look at the evidence supporting the good old book which has been the firm foundation of Christians for over 390 years.