The King James Bible advantages

September 21, 2008 at 11:57 am (Religion)

I apologize that it has taken me so long to finish this series of posts. If you haven’t read the previous ones, they are:

Now that we have narrowed the field to one (The King James is the only literal translation based exclusively on the Textus Receptus) let’s look at some advantages that it has over others that may be ‘easier’ to read.

The King James bible frequently uses rhyming patterns (iambic, trochaic, anapestic, dactylic and cretic rhythms), which make passages easier to memorize. This is easy to understand when you hear someone reading the King James Bible. There is a poetic quality that is not found in other translations. And how can you hide God’s word in your heart without memorizing?

Some terms that are used in the King James Bible are quite often unfamiliar to modern readers. Fortunately, there are two very simple solutions. Noah Websters American dictionary of the English language, published in 1828, has the proper meaning of unusual terms.  Any ‘King James Dictionary’ will typically be an abridged version of this dictionary.  Printed copies are still available quite readily, and there is an e-sword module for it, as well as several online versions.  Additionally, terms are usually internally defined the first time that they are used.  When we use the rule of ‘first mention’, we can determine not only the meaning of the word, but also the tone in which the word is used.

Finally, the King James Bible isn’t written in Elizabethan English as is commonly thought. It is written in a form of English that is exclusive to the King James Bible. And that language is precise. As awkward as the ‘Thees and Thous’ may be, they are there for a reason. One of the major flaws (IMHO) of the English language is its lack of a plural ‘you’ (2nd person pronoun – think y’all). In the King James Bible, anywhere you see the pronoun ‘ye’ or ‘you’, it is plural. When you see a ‘thee’ or ‘thou’, it is singular. This makes a SIGNIFICANT difference in passages like John 3:7. Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic all have both a plural and singular ‘you’, and the King James translators maintained that distinction by using ‘thee, thou, and thine’ for singular and ‘ye, you, your’ for plural. For more detailed information on the history of ‘thee and thou’ in English, take a look at wikipedia.

If the Bible that you use doesn’t distinguish between singular and plural you, then you are liable to have trouble with those passages.  I did a quick search in e-sword, and found that there are 716 verses with both a singular and plural you.  And that doesn’t include passages where the singular and plural appear in adjacent verses.

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