Friday, January 14, 2011

The King James Version Only Controversy

King James Version Only?

One of the biggest controversies raging in churches today has to do with which Bible you use. My history runs as follows: King James Version as a child, Scofield KJV as a teenager, Revised Standard in college (required), New American Standard (Ryrie version) after college, New International Version during my late twenties and early thirties, some other version during my late thirties, multiple versions simultaneously during my early forties, and then in my mid-forties, an epiphany at which point I switched irrevocably to the King James Version for good. This came about due to my inability to find a particular verse that I had learned as a child in any of my modern versions, no matter how hard I tried. I knew the verse was in the New Testament, so I patiently waded through the entire New Testament of each of my modern versions in a desperate search for the verse I sought. My Strong's Concordance, which was written using the KJV version, did me no good, even though some of the words in the verse should have not changed no matter what the version. In vain I searched for this verse for the longest time, finally deciding that I must be crazy for thinking that this verse existed. I finally gave up, but one day I happened to have my KJV Bible out for some reason and was reading it. I turned the page and lo and behold, there was the verse staring right up at me. 

Now I was really puzzled. How on earth had I missed it so many times when looking through my other Bibles? So out came all the other versions. With great anticipation at seeing the modern rendition of this verse that had so eluded me, I opened each Bible in turn to the passage where this verse was located. And shock of all shocks, not a single one of them had this verse in there. The major and most important part of the verse was gone. Missing. Disappeared. How on earth could that happen, I wondered? How could all of these versions have removed an entire section of the verse from the Bible. What on earth was going on? The verse about which I speak was the only verse in the Bible that clearly stated one of the core principles of Christianity. That the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were three persons, but one entity. That verse is found in 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” Why on earth would anyone remove such a crucial (and obviously inspired by God) verse of the Bible? And so began my search for the truth, and my research into how these Bibles came to be written.

The first thing I started to investigate was from where these Bible translations had come. I, in my ignorance, thought that they had all used the same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Therefore I was puzzled as to why there could be such differences. To my surprise I found out that the KJV Bible was translated from one set of texts, and the rest of the modern Bibles were translated from another. The KJV Bible was translated from a compilation of what is known as the Majority Texts or Textus Receptus, or (by other names) the Byzantine Texts, the Traditional Texts, and the Antiochian Texts. The other versions of the Bible were based upon a compilation of texts known as the Minority Texts or Alexandrian Texts of which there are two main manuscripts, the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus. (At this point I want to insert that no matter what manuscripts a paraphrase uses, paraphrases are not the Word of God, they are the words of man and should be put in the trash.)

It is important to understand the differences in the texts so that one can make an informed decision as to which Bible they feel is more accurate. The Majority Text is known by the variety of names listed above for the following reasons: we will start with the easy one, the Majority Text. It was called that simply because the vast majority of extant manuscripts are the ones in this group. It is called the Traditional Text, because traditionally, this was the text used by the people. It was called the Antiochian Text or Byzantine text because of geographic designations. That is from where they came. Textus Receptus means “received text”, because it was the one that the people received from the apostles. The vast majority of New Testament manuscripts came from the locales in and around Greece and Asia Minor where the early churches were located, hence Antiochian (they were first called Christians in Antioch, Acts 11:26) and Byzantine. This was where the originals of these manuscripts would have been circulating. As these originals were passed around and copied for the churches, (and there were strict rules for copying to preserve God's Word), they would have been used, worn out and recopied. Writings back then were made on either parchment (scraped animal skins) or papyrus (inner bark of particular plants) and these did not withstand a great deal of use before needing to be replaced. In fact due to the usage these manuscripts would have seen, the possibility of finding any original copies, much less extant original manuscripts is literally zero percent.

If an ancient copy were to be preserved, it would probably imply something, namely that it did not see use. Why might this be? Probably due to known corruption of the text, copyist mistakes, etc. As writing material was hard to come by, when a mistake was made on a document, instead of throwing it out as we might, they would set it aside and eventually scrape the ink off, making it available for use again. Therefore to find a stash of really old manuscripts would indicate that they were not being read or used and therefore had flaws. As the Christians in and around Asia Minor and Greece were reading and using theirs, they of course continued to wear out and recopy the texts, meaning that the extant copies that exist are much closer to our day in origin and therefore not as old as the Minority group of manuscripts. Also, the vast number of manuscripts would act as a check and balance for accuracy. The more copies, the more chances of catching a mistake in a faulty copy. In fact, there are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in this group of manuscripts (hence the name Majority Text), ranging from small fragments to almost entire Bibles. The ages vary from the second century to the sixteenth century when the printing press took over. Between these thousands of copies, there is very little discrepancy. In fact it has been described as thus by Wilbur N. Pickering in The Identity of the New Testament Text in this way, “A better, though more cumbersome, way to describe the situation would be something like this: 100 % of the MSS. (manuscripts) agree as to, say, 80% of the text; 99% agree as to another 10%; over 95% agree as to another 4%; over 90% agree as to another 3%; only for 3% (or less) of the Text do less than 90% of the MSS agree.” This means that 90% of the manuscripts agree on 97% of the text. Of the 10% of texts that have some disagreement, 5% agree on 94% of the text. Of the remaining 5% of texts, 4% agree on 90% of the text and the last 1% of the manuscripts agree on 80% of the text. This tells us that the copyists were extremely careful in their jobs and there was very little error. There is no mutilation of texts, no additions or deletions between manuscripts, and it agrees with the earliest versions of the Bible such as the Old Latin Vulgate and Italic Bibles (both from 157 A.D.)

They had started by copying the originals, then copied the copies, but always took care to see that the copies were as accurate as the originals. Due to the vast quantity of manuscripts produced, and the minuscule amount of discrepancies, it can be seen that this group of documents are very reliable. It is this group of manuscripts from which the King James Version was translated by a group of forty-seven scholars (originally there were fifty-four). Because of the number of scholars working on this task, it ensured that no personal prejudice or interpretations could be incorporated into the work. They were so careful in their task that they did a couple of things, one of which people complain of to this day. Although the words “thee”, “thou” and “thine” were archaic to the language of King James' time (some people think that is how they talked then, it is not), to be as accurate as possible in their translation they chose to use what were to even them, archaic words. Why? Because in modern English we have no difference between the second person singular (you) and the second person plural (you). They were scrupulous to see that even that distinction was maintained and therefore chose to go back to the poetic “thee”, “thou”, “thy”, and “thine” for the second person singular and use “ye”,“you”, and “your/yours” for the second person plural. Also as anyone who speaks more than one language knows, literal translation often means awkward phrasing in the other language. To help clear up that problem, the translators often threw in an article or conjunction or other small word that was not in the original language. Again, scrupulous in their translation, they did not want anyone to think that the word was in the original if it were not, so they would put any words that were not in the original, in italics in English. This is how carefully they approached the job of translation. Just as an aside to this, my son studied Greek for several years so that he could read his New Testament in the original language. A regular part of his homework was to take a passage of Scripture and translate it. When he did he found that, other than not using archaic words, he ended up with what essentially was the King James Version of the Bible. This only further solidified in my mind that this was a good translation.

Now on to the modern translations. They are all based on the Alexandrian - Sinaiticus, or Vaticanus manuscripts. As implied by the geographic names, these manuscripts were found in Egypt and/or are in the possession of the Vatican. It is true that they are older than the Textus Receptus, but as said before, that probably indicates that they were not used and were faulty in their composition. According to Dr. William P. Grady in Final Authority, the Sinaiticus manuscript was found in a monastery trash can (where it belonged). Unlike the Majority Texts, these are a small minority of manuscripts, in fact about 1% of all manuscripts. Simply because these texts were older, they were thought to be better, but as mentioned above, older does not mean better, it might mean flawed. And indeed they are. Up until the 1800s they were rejected by Christians because of that. They have some serious problems in many ways. First there are obvious errors where texts are sometimes repeated several times in succession or completely omitted when compared to the multitude of other manuscripts. Then there are sections where the text has been mutilated by someone taking a pen and drawing lines through the text (as we do when we want to obliterate something from our writing) making the text illegible. Due to the extremely few manuscripts, it is obvious that these were not in widespread use, there was no way to have checks and balances to catch the flaws, and the copyists were obviously not as careful as those of the Majority Texts.

When it comes to agreement of texts, there arises another problem. Two of the oldest of the manuscripts dating from around 200 A.D., have only about seventy verses in common, and in this section they differ from each other over seventy-three times, not including simple mistakes in copying. Some of these manuscripts have literally thousands of discrepancies. Not only do these not agree with the Majority Texts, (Vaticanus has at least 8,000 differences, Sinaiticus at least 9,000; both including the deletion and addition of texts among other problems) they do not even agree with each other. There are many technical details that could be gone into to show how corrupt these texts are, but time and space does not permit that, as it would take a book to cover all of the information. 

To continue in another direction, none of the original manuscripts by the apostles ever made their way down to Egypt, so these people never saw an original. Alexandria was the center for a school of theology which taught the allegorical or figurative approach to Scripture and was known for its heresies, which explains the addition and deletion of text. What they did not agree with, they removed and added in their own opinions. In Antioch the theological school taught literal interpretation. This difference alone would create a different sense of importance placed upon the accuracy of every single word. While Scripture says that it was at Antioch that they were first called Christians, God was always calling his people out of Egypt and this is what He says about Egypt, “The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.” Isaiah 19:14. So these texts came out of a place that God condemns as having a perverse spirit of error, and a place that does not place any priority on the literalness of God's Word. Antioch on the other hand was a place known for its Christians.


The Minority Texts have serious problems, yet it is these copies that two (not forty-seven) men named Westcott and Hort decided to use as their basis for the text they cobbled together that has been the basis of all the modern translations. God can use people that are not the best Christians in the world to do His work and He often will, however the fact that Westcott and Hort were known to be dabblers in the occult should give people pause as to what their agenda may have been in putting together this “better” manuscript source from which these modern translations have been made. They had no large group of scholars who would double check their work to look for biases and the twisting of Scriptures to fit their own theologies. And their theologies are quite suspect. Besides dabbling in the occult, they also both wrote about their pro-stance on Mariolatry (the worship of Mary), and believed in evolution rather than the historical fact of Genesis and creation. “Westcott's 'superior intellect' also prevailed upon him to allegorize away a literal Heaven, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the millennial kingdom. Hort's theological hangups included: a denial of the trinity's oneness; a doubting of the reality of angels; belief in a ransom paid to Satan; a questioning of the soul's existence apart from its body; a suggestion of several degrees of salvation; and a conviction that Christ's earthly ministry lasted but a year.” (Grady, Final Authority) This is the basis for the modern translations of the Bible.

Much more could be said about the manuscripts and the people who created these translations, but I believe this is enough to suffice in background information for this article. If one desire's more information, there are a number of books available on the subject as well as a great deal of information on the internet.
Before going on to show some of the differences, I would like to quote some Scriptures.

Psalm 12:6-7,”The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.”

Psalm 119:89, 152, 160, For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Deut. 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Prov. 30:5-6, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

Rev. 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Prov. 13:13, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”

These verses tell us first that God can, will, and does preserve His Word. God has the power to do this. He is not powerless as man is to prevent it from happening. He is not about to let His Word disappear. He has not stopped Satan from leading man astray, right from the beginning (hence He has allowed these corrupt Bibles), but He always protects and preserves the truth for those who really are seeking it. The question is, where is that truth found? I believe it is found in the King James Version, as that is the Bible He has provided for modern man. It is based upon the manuscripts that the early Christians read. Second, God has given some very strong warnings about adding to or deleting from His Word. Those who do it (Westcott and Hort to start with) are asking for God's judgment to fall upon them.

Now that we have covered all of that information, I would like you to see for yourselves and decide whether or not what I have written above is indeed true. Below is a comparison of just a few verses. There are hundreds of verses with changes, additions, and deletions.

Let's first look at verses or parts of verses that have been removed and what their removal means.
Do you say the Lord's prayer? In Matthew 6:13 in the KJV it reads “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” If you check the modern versions you will find that the words “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” has been removed.

Remember when the disciples could not cast out the demon in Matthew 17? In the new Bibles when they ask Jesus why they could not cast him out, you find in the new versions it says that Jesus said it was because of their unbelief and if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed, nothing would be impossible to them. And then it goes on to another incident. So what is the problem here? Satan very cunningly removed a very crucial piece of information about casting out demons. Information that would render it possible for some demons to not be removed. And what was deleted? In KJV there is another verse and it reads, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” There exist some demons that are so difficult to remove that only prayer and fasting can remove them. That was why the disciples could not. Not just because of unbelief.

How about showing how Christ fulfilled prophecy? In Matthew 27:35 (KJV) we read, “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets. They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” Modern versions delete the last part of the verse that starts at “that it might be fulfilled.” Why would Satan not want people to realize that Christ was fulfilling prophecy? It happens again in Mark 15:28 when these words in the KJV are completely removed from the modern versions. “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.”

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in hell. I wonder why? Maybe because the verses that prove it exists and people will be there in conscious eternal life have been removed from their Bibles. In Mark 9:44, and 46 we find that the words “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched (same words in both verses)” is totally removed from the modern Bibles.

A man by the name of Harold Camping teaches that prophecy should be taken spiritually, not literally. As a result he is teaching that the abomination of desolation spoken of by Christ in Mark 13 is referring to the state of the heart, not some literal event. In the KJV version we can see that Camping's interpretation is incorrect, because Christ adds the words “spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” In Daniel we see that the abomination of desolation was when Antiochus Epiphanes set up the idol of Zeus in the temple. It was a very real event that Christ is referencing, so that people will recognize it when it occurs again. By leaving out "spoken of by Daniel the prophet", which the modern versions do, one can spiritualize the abomination of desolation just as Camping has done. Camping must use a modern Bible. It is his only excuse for such poor exegesis.

I believe everyone is aware that the last twelve verses (vs. 9-20) of Mark 16 have been removed from the modern Bibles. In some cases, they are put in some of the Bibles in parentheses with the note that these verses are not found in the Minority Texts and therefore are suspect. I wonder why they should be suspect when they are in the majority of available texts? Go read what it teaches.

In Luke 6:48 we have the story of the man who built his house upon a rock. According to the KJV, it says that the flood could not shake it “for it was founded upon a rock.” That rock of course represents Jesus upon whom is the foundation of our faith. A modern version makes us, not Christ, responsible for surviving the floods of life, when it says that it survives the flood because it is “well built.” Well built implies something we have done which is much different from having a solid rock foundation provided for us.

How about a verse that makes Christ a liar. Would that disturb you? In John 7:8-10 in some modern texts Jesus tells his disciples that his is not going up to the feast, but then in a later verse it says that he goes. So did he lie to his disciples? In the KJV it says, “I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.” Jesus told them he was not going up yet. There is a vast difference between not going up, and not going up yet. One makes Christ a liar.

What confers salvation? Baptism? According to a modern version yes. In Acts 8 we read the story of the eunuch from Ethiopia whom Philip found reading the Scriptures and then told him about Jesus. In the modern Bibles, when they come to some water, the eunuch asks Philip what hinders him from being baptized. The story says that they stopped, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. Just like that. In the KJV, something more was required before baptism. Something that shows that infant baptism is not how God mandates baptism. That baptism has to be done after belief is confessed. Note the missing verse that we find in the KJV, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This verse shows that belief and confession in Christ is required before the ordinance of baptism is carried out.

1 Corinthians 1:21 reads (KJV) “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” This has been changed to “the foolishness of the message preached.” Say what? One says because the world in its own wisdom (or lack thereof) did not acknowledge God, he had to bother with the “foolishness” of sending preachers out, when if people just looked around them, the very creation proclaims God and they could know Him. The other says that the message, the gospel message, is what is foolishness. So which do you think is correct? Which do you think is inspired by God?

Who created the world? Was it God the Father or did He do it through Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 3:9, the KJV says, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” In the other versions the words “who created all things by Jesus Christ” are removed. Why would it be important to remove the words that tell us that Jesus and God must be the same being, as it tells us in Genesis 1:1 that In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”?

If you are trying to witness to a Jehovah's Witness that God is a Trinity, do not grab your modern version, for the verses that help you prove that have been either deleted or changed.

The first is a crucial verse that tells us that God the Father and God the Son are two aspects of the same being and are equal. The first is Philippians 2:6. In the KJV we are told, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” In other words, Christ did not think it stealing anything from God to declare himself equal with God. In some of the new versions we read that Jesus “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” In other words, Christ did not think that equality with God was something for which He should reach.”

And then there is the one verse that says God is a Trinity, 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, The Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” In the modern versions it deletes the words from “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.The one verse that definitively says that the Trinity is one being is gone.

1 Timothy 3:16 tells us, in the KJV, that God was manifested in the flesh. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” As Jesus was the manifestation, and was the one received up into glory, it is clear that if that person is God, then Jesus is God. By changing one word, the entire verse is rendered useless for proving that point. The change is this, the word “God” is changed to “he”. By doing this, it can be read as Jesus being the one who was manifested in the flesh. True, He was, but the fact that He is God is left out of the equation.

What is one of the greatest problems among Christians today? The fact that they do not know what their Bible says, because they do not study it. Oh, they may go to church and prayer meetings and even Bible studies, and listen to what other people have to say about the Bible, but they never really get into the Scriptures themselves. Why is that? Did not God command us to study it? Oh wait, He only did that in the KJV. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” In the other versions we read, “do your best” or “be diligent”. That is not the same as study. Only by studying will you know the Scriptures so well that you can spot Satan's deceptions. That is exactly the problem. Satan does not want you to spot his deceptions. He does not want you to study.

Quoting the Scriptures and showing the differences could go on and on, but I think I have proven the point I was trying to make. Besides these sort of changes there is one type of change that is very interesting in light of New Age terminology. Many times the words “the Lord” or similar references to Christ are changed to “the one” or “one”. The term “the One” is a New Age term for what they call the “Jesus spirit”. Essentially the “Jesus spirit” is a spirit which they say inhabited great philosophers of the ages, Jesus being one. To call Jesus “the one” in Scripture is to demote His deity. Also, in modern versions Joseph goes from being Mary's husband to being the actual father of Jesus. While he was the man who acted in the place of human father, Joseph was not Christ's real father. This also removes Christ deity. I realize that many will say I am being overly sensitive on this issue, but considering that many do not believe the Christ was the Son of God and is God incarnate, but a man, it is important that this distinction be maintained.

I realize that many people have other complaints such as the archaic terms being hard to understand. There is a pamphlet printed by Chick Publications (available online) that is a King James Bible Companion. Written by David W. Daniels, it gives the definition of over 600 archaic words. If you are not lazy, you can look up these words. As for the old style grammar being “hard to understand”, a person who researched this found that the KJV actually does not have above a 5th grade reading level, and that it progressively goes from a lower to higher reading level as you read through the Bible. On the other hand, some of the modern versions take simple verses and make them almost incomprehensible in their verbal gymnastics. Also, the use of some of these “strange” words makes it easier for people for whom English is not their first language to understand. A lot of words which may be unfamiliar to us actually are easier for people with a foreign language background to understand, because they come from the same original root, so therefore are more easily identified in their own language.

So there you have it. While this article may seem long, there are lengthy books written about this that go into much greater detail, as there is much to cover. I have merely tried to hit some of the highlights to show why I believe the KJV is the only Bible we should be reading. You have to decide for yourself what you want to do, but I would advise doing some research rather than just dismissing the whole issue. God wants you to have the truth. Don't you? I know I do.

*I wrote this article three months ago, but just came across a major error that shows the total corruption of these bibles. In Mark 1:2 we are told in the King James Version that as written "in the prophets" God would send a messenger to announce the coming of the Messiah. In dozens of other versions (the modern ones) it says that as written in Isaiah, God would send a messenger. The problem is, that the Old Testament verse being referred to by Mark is in fact found in Malachi, not Isaiah. Malachi 3:1"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."
The corrupt copiers of these manuscripts did not even know the right book to quote.

**I recently read an article that claimed that the new versions are word for word and any serious student should read those. This is in fact false. Having a son who actually had to translate the Greek manuscripts, he found that when in fact he translated it word for word, he basically (he didn't use the older terms of thee and thou) ended up with the KJV version. In fact all other versions are really paraphrases, as usually when people translate they do not do it word for word, unlike the KJV. As languages are awkward when translated word for word, the translators did have to occasionally add words to make the meaning sensible in English. In those cases, the additions were put in italics so that people might know that the word was not in the original language. This is not true of modern versions. They add all sorts of words. Again, they are nothing but paraphrases, so a real scholar should only use the KJV. In fact secular scholars will tell you that the KJV is by far the best version not only for that, but for its literary quality. It far surpasses the other versions in that respect. As I am sure since the translators took as much care with the translation of the Greek, they did the same with the Hebrew and Aramaic parts of it. As for only clinging to the 1611 version, that version did have some spelling errors, and such, and over the years all the bugs were worked out so that the KJV version that we now have is pretty well set. The NKJV is not the same as KJV though, so one should not use that either.

I have recently picked up a King James Version that has been edited by David Norton, a Professor of English at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  His interest in the KJV Bible is that of an English professor toward a literary work, not a theological interest.  As such he critiques it from a literary point of view as compared to the modern versions.  He writes an introduction in his edition that explains the history of the KJV and why he prefers it for literary reasons.  He also takes it and removes the dual columns of the traditional typesettings and makes it read like a regular book, which truly makes it far more readable.  He quotes William Blake who made the following observation about the KJV Bible "I read Greek as fluently as an Oxford scholar, & the (New) Testament is my chief master: astonishing indeed is the English translation, it is almost word for word, & if the Hebrew Bible is as well translated....we need not doubt of its having been translated as well aw written by the Holy Ghost." Norton makes the comments "It's language is, of course, antiquated, and this presents the reader with both challenges and rewards. The challenges are the old grammatical forms (these only take a little getting used to), a number of unfamiliar words and the changed sense of some words.  The rewards are a language that is usually highly meaningful...and also highly pleasing.  The King James Bible offers the reader both meaning of the Bible and a religious or aesthetic experience of language that no modern translation can match."  Norton goes on to discuss that many times the language is simple and monosyllabic without pretense to grandeur.  The way the words are stressed in the poetic form make words stand out and give it a power that the other versions do not possess.  It has a rhythm that other versions do not have that makes it more effective.  Because modern versions tend to paraphrase more and do not translate word for word as does the KJV, it alters the stresses and emphasis of the original.  In this professors mind, the KJV from a literary standpoint (as opposed to a theological one) is vastly superior to the other translations, first because it is a word for word translation which makes it far more accurate, and second because the poetic form it takes maintains the original form's rhythm and stresses of its content.

If the reader has ever tried to memorize Scripture, it will be found that because of the KJV's poetic form, it is far easier to memorize.  Listening to the KJV being read can be compared to listening to a musical composition vs listening to the modern versions sounding like a reading of the news.  One captures the mind and holds it in beauty as well as taking in the content of the composition, while the other has a tendency to make the mind go to sleep.  For literary quality alone, the KJV reigns supreme.

Part 2 - added 3/14 

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