Bayith Home | Bayith STH Home | Bayith BTR Articles
© 2001, Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald, Bayith Ministries www.bayith.org email: email@example.com You are very welcome to make copies of this article for personal research or for free distribution by print or email, but please respect our conditions that the content remains intact (including this copyright statement); that no misleading impression is given that we are necessarily associated with or endorse the distributor; and that proper reference is made to the title and author. Website owners are encouraged to link to this page, but you must not incorporate this article into your own website without our prior written consent. Thank you and bless you.
If the reader notices any error of any kind in this document, they are urged to send us the details. Thank you.
Why Should I Use the
by Dusty Peterson and Elizabeth
|Many people now tend to read modern
versions of the Bible, but after a great deal of very careful and
thorough research we are absolutely certain that the Authorised
Version is by far the best and most appropriate Bible to read.
We briefly explain some of the reasons below:
(1) All the translators who worked on this Authorised (or 'King James') version had an extremely high regard for the Scriptures. They believed the Bible was, as it claims to be, holy and infallible. They thoroughly believed that God had inspired AND providentially preserved His written Word. They revered His Word and therefore sought to translate it from the Hebrew and Greek texts with the utmost care. Sadly, this is not true of many of those people who have worked on modern translations.
(2) The AV translators were very highly qualified; they were the very best in the whole country. Also, there were a large number of translators involved in producing the AV; separate teams worked on the same books and they then compared their independent results. This made for great objectivity and precision. The result of all this was an incredibly accurate and reliable version. Again, this unfortunately cannot be said of the modern versions.
(3) There are many reasons to believe that the Lord had His hand firmly on the creation of the AV. For example, the fact that the content of this version is so trustworthy and its language so beautiful, as well as being easy to memorise, could surely only have been achieved by the Holy Spirit. The AV has also proved supremely robust in the face of all the enemy's attacks upon it throughout the centuries and has been powerfully used to bless huge numbers of people - both Christians and non-Christians - for a very long time. It has also been vindicated by the overwhelming weight of manuscript evidence that has come to light since it was produced. All these things demonstrate that the AV is indeed an inspired version. Once again, these things are simply not true of other versions.
But what about the charge that the AV is so old that it has become hard to understand? There are many things to be aware of regarding this question...
(1) Invariably, it seems that the folk who claim the AV is hard to read have never read it through - indeed, in many instances they have never even read one of its books. The AV starts out very easy to read in the early books so that people can get used to the style and are then able to read the remainder quite easily. We have only come across a tiny handful of passages which are not perfectly straightforward and which require any real effort. But in any case, no-one questions the fact that if one were studying any other book (e.g. Shakespeare or Chaucer) one would expect to have to do some work; and that's also the case when we come to reading and studying the Bible - which is vastly easier to read than either Shakespeare or Chaucer.
(2) Many people are led to believe that the AV is full of archaic words. This is both wrong and entirely misleading. Firstly, there are very few archaic words in the AV, and any good dictionary would cover them. (There is a very helpful little booklet in this connection titled, A Bible Word List & Daily Reading Scheme, by the Trinitarian Bible Society, which lists any archaic words in the AV and explains their meanings.) Secondly, these few 'hard' words only appear once or twice in the whole Bible. Thirdly, the context in which they appear usually makes the meaning obvious anyway. The modern versions actually use a very large number of significantly harder words in place of the much simpler AV words!
(3) You may also have been told that the AV was written in the style of the day and is therefore out of date. This is another false argument. In fact, the sentence structure has nothing to do with the style of English in use at that time and everything to do with seeking to reflect the structure of the original Hebrew and Greek sentences, so as to faithfully retain the emphasis etc of the original autographs. The Lord deliberately arranged for the AV to be created when the English language was at its broadest and best - at its glorious peak, so that it was at its maximum potential to express God's Word aright.
(4) Another proof that the AV was not influenced by transient style is its use of 'thee' ('you' singular) and 'ye' ('you' plural) etc; for this distinction had gone out of usage many years earlier. These need to be employed because the original texts used distinct words for singular and plural, and the meaning of many verses would be undermined if they were lost. We should also remember that the version we use today came out over 150 years after the original, so old spellings have been removed.
What else needs to be borne in mind about the modern versions? There are many very serious problems we could list, but below are just a few:
(1) They have been created not to maximise their trustworthiness but to maximise sales. This has inevitably resulted in compromised readings so as to avoid offending potential purchasers with any questionable beliefs.
(2) Due to modern copyright law, each new version has to be substantially different from any other version in existence otherwise they cannot be copyrighted. Needless to say, since money has been the driving force, the publishers have done whatever it took (i.e. made their versions less accurate by introducing unnecessary changes) to get a copyright.
(3) Modern versions have been based on demonstrably corrupt manuscripts (please see the links to our other articles about the Bible Versions Debate at the end of this article). Just as the enemy counterfeits other aspects of God's Kingdom, so has he created subtly perverted manuscripts, and hence Bibles, which attack the central aspects of the faith; including the Deity of Christ. We could list over 100 examples of this, but for now please consider verses like John 6:47, Acts 8:37, Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 3:14, and 1 Timothy 3:16, to see what we mean.
We assure you that you will receive greater blessings from reading the Authorised Version of the Bible than from any of the modern versions. Though the AV may at first look quite daunting, God does promise to bless anyone who reads His Word. If you ask God prayerfully and respectfully to speak to you through it He will delight to teach you and you will rapidly get used to - and soon find tremendous joy in - its language and style and its wonderfully musical rhythm.
May God bless you.
The Bible Versions Debate ~ Part I:
Methods of Translation
Bible Versions Debate ~ Part 2a: Materials of Value
Bible Versions Debate ~ Part 2a: Materials of Value