GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #512
WHY DO YOU USE THE KING JAMES VERSION?
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
This is a question that I am frequently asked by friends as I travel from place to place. I realize there are many who use other, more modern translations of Scripture. If the people I preach to used another translation, I would probably use the translation they used, if it were acceptable. (The only modern translation acceptable to me is the New King James Version.) However, I do prefer the King James, or Authorized Version for the following reasons:
1. All other translations are developed by comparing ancient manuscripts. If a passage is found in the oldest, best manuscripts, and in the majority of them, it is received. If not, it is deleted. THE KING JAMES VERSION IS A TRANSLATION BASED UPON THE RECEIVED TEXT. It is a translation, but not a comparative translation.
2. THE KING JAMES IS, IN MY OPINION, THE BEST, MOST ACCURATE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. Certainly, there are some passages that are translated more accurately in other versions. But on the whole, I think the Authorized Version is best.
3. THE KING JAMES IS THE MOST READABLE TRANSLATION. Granted, we no longer use, "thee", "thou", and "ye". But that does not mean that we are unable to read and understand such simple words. Though we do not use the "eth" ending on our verbs, it is important to note that ending as it is used in the Scriptures. Whenever it is employed, it means that the verb is a verb of continuous action. For example, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16).
4. EVERY ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIPTURES THAT I HAVE READ EITHER OMITS 1 John 5:7 OR SAYS THAT IT SHOULD BE OMITTED. Though it is taught throughout the Scriptures, the doctrine of the Trinity is plainly stated in only one verse in the Bible - I John 5:7. "This text", wrote John Gill, "is so glaring a proof of the doctrine of the Trinity, that the enemies of it have done all they can to weaken its authority, and have pushed hard to extirpate it from a place in the sacred writings."
For me, these are sufficient reasons for staying with the King James. God has always preserved his Word in the language of the people, and in the King James it is preserved in our language for us. If you must have a modern English translation, I suggest The New King James Version.