400th Anniversary of the 1611 King James Version

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This little post will fall quite short of the momentous event it will mention, but I know myself too well: if I wait until I believe I have time to write a lot, I will never write. So I am settling for writing a relatively small amount, knowing that at least I will have written something!

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the 1611 King James Translation of the Holy Bible — beyond all doubt, a singular milestone in the long and storied history of God’s Word!  Perhaps no translation of the Holy Scriptures in the last 2000 years has affected the world like the KJV has.  Whether you love the KJV or hate it, you have to confess that the work of those scholars four centuries ago has had an impact that has far outlasted them.

For those interested in thinking of ways to recognize this anniversary in some relevant way, I recommend reading about the history of Bible translations.  Many people who love the King James Version have no idea about its history or the versions which preceded it and laid the foundation on which it stands.

For instance, I often get funny looks from people when I say that many who think they have “original” 1611 King James Translation, when, in fact, they almost certainly do not. “But it says ‘1611’ at the front!’  True, but read more closely; often it says that the text they possess is “conformable to” the 1611 version.  It is not, itself, the 1611 version. Practically every King James Version today is the result of the revision made of the King James Version in 1769 to correct its spelling, punctuation, a small number of perceived translations problems, and printing inconsistencies.  (Actually, there’s more to it than that. Read the history for yourself–it’s good stuff!)  This is part of what annoys me about those in the “KJV Only” crowd who treat the 1611 King James Version as if it were a “perfect” translation: In almost all cases, the “1611 KJV” they quote from is actually a revision of that supposedly perfect translation and they often have no idea.  Which do you have?  Well, one of the quickest ways to check is to check the spelling: The original 1611 translation has very archaic spelling, even moreso than the King James Version in use, today.  For instance, here is Genesis 1:1 in the 1611 King James Version:

“In the beginning God created the Heauen, and the Earth. And the earth was without forme, and voyd, and darkenesse was vpon the face of the deepe: and the Spirit of God mooued vpon the face of the waters.”

If your King James Version Genesis 1:1 doesn’t read exactly like that, then it is not the 1611.  No typos there: u’s for v’s, v’s for u’s, “Heauen”, “voyd”, “mooued” — that‘s the true 1611 King James Version.  Or, perhaps I should say the trve 1611 King James Uersion. 🙂

There’s more to be said — and maybe I will say more another day.  But suffice it to say that a true 1611 translation is a rarity.  If you have a King James Version, it is, in almost all cases, a product of the 1769 revision — a revision to improve spelling, punctuation, and translation, similar in spirit in many ways to the New King James Version, my personal favorite.

There is no perfect translation into English — at least none that has been produced so far. In this, the misguided-but-sincere “1611 Only” folks are mistaken.  At the same time, many of the modern translations are truly very faulty.  It may not be popular to say so amongst many of the reigning “intelligentsia” in the field, but the King James Version remains–however imperfect–a marvelous translation, and the New King James Version–however imperfect, itself–is an excellent one, as well, and, in my humble opinion, beat the pants off of most of the more modern translations, today.

That said, there is, still, value in other translations: the RSV, the NASB, the newer ESV. Even the NIV translators occasionally offer an improved translation, however accidentally they may have tripped over it.  Then there are singular and unique translations, such as Moffatt, the Williams New Testament, or Young’s Literal Translation.  While I know of no other translations that I consider to be “all around” as good as the KJV and the NKJV, there are many benefits that come from comparing translations carefully and considering another translator’s take.  Our Church has a history of using primarily the KJV and the NKJV, but being open to using other interpretations occasionally which may, in some points, be better.  This reminds me in ways I do not have time to discuss of the approach of the original New Testament authors, themselves, in their quoting of the Old Testament.  It is an approach that has served us well, and, thankfully, I do not see it changing any time soon.

And, by the way, some (though not all) of the negative things said about other versions and their translators have been proven false. For instance, I may agree that much of the work of Wescott and Hort is fundamentally flawed and I may disagree with their approach, but the claim that they were secretly anti-“Christian” spiritualists speaking with the dead has been refuted and should die.  Some people are so ready to defend the translation methods of the KJV and the NKJV, as I am, that they are too ready to believe such scurrilous tales. Yes, I’ve seen the so-called “quotes,” too, but I’ve also seen their sources and checked them out. Look deeper, and be more careful about besmirching the character of another human being. As Christ commands, don’t just judge: judge with righteous judgment and not according to appearance (John 7:24).  This usually involves doing more thorough research than most do–and not stopping just because you find “evidence” that supports the position you’ve already taken.  (Just to be clear: I am not a fan of Wescott and Hort; but the truth is too important to me to accept a lie, even if that lie can be used to “support” the truth I believe. Truth is never served by supporting it with lies, however sincerely believed.)

So, hopefully we can take advantage of the 400th anniversary of the creation of the King James Version of the Bible to educate ourselves.  It may not be perfect, but it is a beautiful translation–still, in many ways, better and more accurate than its more recent competitors.

For those wanting to peruse some internet resources, click here for a website containing images from a 1611 KJV, page by page, provided by the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image.

Something similar (with a fancy page-turning effect) is provided by the King James Bible Trust, the website of which has a great deal of information that you might find interesting.

Some great, detailed information on the change from the 1611 King James translation to the “Oxford Standard” of 1769 that is in use today can be found here at www.bible-research.com.

A very accessible book I have really enjoyed which authoritatively discusses the creation off the New King James Version — and, in doing so, says much about the King James Version, itself — is The New King James Version: In the Great Tradition, written by the NKJV translation’s Executive Editor, Arthur L. Farstad.

Also, Thomas Nelson is publishing in various forms a 400th Anniversary reprinting (facsimile) of the 1611 King James Version, itself.  The packages vary: some are bundled with similarly bound NKJV’s, others are just the 1611 KJV, while still others are the 1611 KJV but with lower quality binding to keep the cost down.  At least some of the packages promise something free from the History Channel–perhaps a DVD or something, I’m afraid I do not know what.  Expect to pay $40-$100 in stores, depending on what package you get, but it might be a nice resource to have, and some of the printings I handled seemed to be in great shape and very sturdy.  (Cheaper printings by other publishers are available.)  At the very least, having a real copy or facsimile of the 1611 in your hands is enough to help any doubter to realize that his KJV is not the 1611 original.

There is much I disagree with when it comes to many in the “KJV Only” crowd, but on this we are in strong agreement: The creation of the King James Version was an event that had the attention of heaven and represents a milestone in the history of God’s Word that demands our respect and our appreciation.  The hard and faithful work of those scholars in 1611 has not only shaped history for the last 400 years, it has shaped lives.  And it continues to do so.  I, for one, look forward to meeting those fellows when they are brought up from the grave to physical life once again, and to helping them to see the true meaning of the words they devoted so much of their own lives to translating.  Their work has had truly eternal consequences, and several centuries’ worth of humanity owe them their gratitude.

13 thoughts on “400th Anniversary of the 1611 King James Version

  1. The publication of the KJV shaped modern English too, and on that note I feel constrained to point out something:

    Perhaps no translation of the Holy Scriptures in the last 2000 years has effected the world like the KJV has.

    That’s “affected”, not “effected”. 😀

    [Got it. Thanks! — WGS]

    I grew up with the RSV (having attended the Presbyterian Church that created it – the Bible was given to me at 12 upon graduating from the Junior Bible Class), and I took it with me into the Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College Pasadena, using it for my study Bible. It still is my desk Bible in English, although I’m trying to switch over to the all-Hebrew/Aramaic Letteris Edition/Targum Franz Delitzsch (more on that very influential edition in a moment) out of love of Classical Hebrew (but not out of some belief that Hebrew is “sacred” or that we “must” use it – inevitably even Delitzsch’s excellent Hebrew translation of the Greek loses some original information). I barely cracked the KJV even in College, and didn’t read in it in earnest until I started studying Biblical Hebrew and got Hebrew-KJV printings of the Letteris Edition and the TFD.

    I have always admired the RSV for its beauty and dignity of language, in some ways even more than the KJV. One has to hand it to the translators for their stated efforts not to stray too far from the KJV’s model there. And yet it does have its faults – omissions in the New Testament, especially, thanks to its manuscript sources, and especially the fault common to all Protestant versions (even Delitzsch a time or two) of speaking against God’s spiritual Law where the original texts do not. But while at AC I learned to identify and work around those few problematic areas.

    As for Letteris (edited for the British and Foreign Bible Society): it was a publishing phenomenon, and I hear it is the most reprinted book in Hebrew of any kind of all time, reprinted by Jewish and Christian publishing houses around the world. In some quarters it was treated as practically inspired. And there may be some truth to that; for reasons I have yet to learn it has the best melodic accentuation of any edition of the Masoretic Text by far, surpassing even Ginsburg (based on the Hebrew text used by the KJV, the Second Rabbinic Bible) or the Aleppo Codex (the oldest and best extant “exemplar” manuscript of the Masoretic Text, ca. 930 AD, now partially damaged).

    Several editions of the Hebrew New Testament have appeared in early and modern times and each has its defenders. For my money, I say go with Delitzsch. Its classical Hebrew is excellent and poetic, if not without occasional quirks, and I understand it’s the version that Jewish scholars respect the most. And it too is very widely reprinted. Combined, the Letteris/Delizsch Edition is a formidable pairing and I wish it were being printed still. I had to go to eBay to find small unused copies and one used older one, now my desk Bible alongside the RSV.

  2. And incidentally, the free e-Sword program has the KJV-1611 text and like the program itself it’s free. Said text includes the Apocrypha. Here are some samples:

    (Matthew 24:1 KJV-1611) And Iesus went out, and departed from the temple, and his Disciples came to him, for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
    (Matthew 24:2 KJV-1611) And Iesus said vnto them, See yee not all these things? Uerily I say vnto you, there shall not be left heere one stone vpon another, that shall not be throwen downe.
    (Matthew 24:3 KJV-1611) And as he sate vpon the mount of Oliues, the Disciples came vnto him priuately, saying, Tell vs, when shall these things be? And what shall be the signe of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
    (Matthew 24:4 KJV-1611) And Iesus answered, and said vnto them, Take heed that no man deceiue you.
    (Matthew 24:5 KJV-1611) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceiue many.

    (1 Maccabees 1:1 KJV-1611) And it happened, after that Alexander sonne of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettum, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that hee reigned in his stead, the first ouer Greece,
    (1 Maccabees 1:2 KJV-1611) And made many wars, and wan many strong holds, and slew the kings of the earth,
    (1 Maccabees 1:3 KJV-1611) And went through to the ends of the earth, and tooke spoiles of many nations, insomuch, that the earth was quiet before him, whereupon he was exalted, and his heart was lifted vp.
    (1 Maccabees 1:4 KJV-1611) And he gathered a mighty strong hoste, and ruled ouer countries, and nations and kings, who became tributaries vnto him.

    This is no recommendation of the Apocrypha, just a reminder of what was actually printed in the 1611 edition. So much for the “Only KJV crowd”, technically speaking. 😀

  3. Steven

    Perhaps, the best way to address this topic is use a quote. However, before I give you the quote, I would like to say that (as far as Bible translations go) the NIV would be #1 and the NKJV would be #2. The NIV is the ultimate for accuracy and the NKJV would be the best combination of accuracy and beauty of English used. My personal concern is accuracy, so with that, the NIV wins hands down. Read this quote carefully and I think you will see why the NIV blows all other translations away. Can your version of the Bible say this?:

    “The New International Version (NIV) is a completely original translation of the Bible developed by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

    The initial vision for the project was provided by a single individual – an engineer working with General Electric in Seattle by the name of Howard Long. Long was a lifelong devotee of the King James Version, but when he shared it with his friends he was distressed to find that it just didn’t connect. Long saw the need for a translation that captured the truths he loved in the language that his contemporaries spoke.

    For 10 years, Long and a growing group of like-minded supporters drove this idea. The passion of one man became the passion of a church, and ultimately the passion of a whole group of denominations. And finally, in 1965, after several years of preparatory study, a trans-denominational and international group of scholars met in Palos Heights, Illinois, and agreed to begin work on the project – determining to not simply adapt an existing English version of the Bible but to start from scratch with the best available manuscripts in the original languages. Their conclusion was endorsed by a large number of church leaders who met in Chicago in 1966.

    A self-governing body of fifteen biblical scholars, the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) was formed and charged with responsibility for the version, and in 1968 the New York Bible Society (which subsequently became the International Bible Society and then Biblica) generously undertook the financial sponsorship of the project. The translation of each book was assigned to translation teams, each made up of two lead translators, two translation consultants, and a stylistic consultant where necessary. The initial translations produced by these teams were carefully scrutinized and revised by intermediate editorial committees of five biblical scholars to check them against the source texts and assess them for comprehensibility. Each edited text was then submitted to a general committee of eight to twelve members before being distributed to selected outside critics and to all members of the CBT in preparation for a final review. Samples of the translation were tested for clarity and ease of reading with pastors, students, scholars, and lay people across the full breadth of the intended audience. Perhaps no other translation has undergone a more thorough process of review and revision. From the very start, the NIV sought to bring modern Bible readers as close as possible to the experience of the very first Bible readers: providing the best possible blend of transparency to the original documents and comprehension of the original meaning in every verse. With this clarity of focus, however, came the realization that the work of translating the NIV would never be truly complete. As new discoveries were made about the biblical world and its languages, and as the norms of English usage developed and changed over time, the NIV would also need to change to hold true to its original vision.

    And so in the original NIV charter, provision was made not just to issue periodic updates to the text but also to create a mechanism for constant monitoring of changes in biblical scholarship and English usage. The CBT was charged to meet every year to review, maintain, and strengthen the NIV’s ability to accurately and faithfully render God’s unchanging Word in modern English.

    The 2011 update to the NIV is the latest fruit of this process. By working with input from pastors and Bible scholars, by grappling with the latest discoveries about biblical languages and the biblical world, and by using cutting-edge research on English usage, the Committee on Bible Translation has updated the text to ensure that the New International Version of the Bible remains faithful to Howard Long’s original inspiration.”

    I rest my case.

  4. Thanks, Steven, but I have to say that your case must be reopened. 🙂

    The key problem is noted in your very first quote: The NIV is not based on the “best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.” It suffers from an over-dependence on the Alexandrian texts and from a faulty foundational translation philosophy. It may go agaist the grain of many (but not all) scholars today to say so, but the philosophy behind the NKJV is vastly superior to that behind the NIV.

    I do agree with Dr. Farstad’s in his book I referenced above: “[T]he NKJV textual policy in the New Testament is more objective than in any modern version of which we are aware.” (The timing of his statement implies that he included the NIV in this.) Conversely, the NIV seems, to me, to suffer from the same approach that causes so much havoc in the public schools: an over-dependence on theory to the exclusion of real experience.

    Actually, I do highly recommend Dr. Farstad’s book, The New King James Version: In the Great Tradition, which explains the benefits of their approach better than I can.

    So, no, my friend, I cannot agree. The NIV is absolutely not the most accurate, and is quite corrupt in places. If one actually wants a “translation of the Bible developed by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts,” I would have to say that the NKJV is a far better choice than the NIV, hands down. Does the NIV have a better translation of a passage from time to time? Sure. No translation is perfect, and each has its strengths. But the NIV is certainly not the most accurate, and it suffers in comparison next to the more accurate NKJV.

    But, like we say on the program, don’t take my word for it! 🙂 Read up on the translation approaches and the source texts, and I believe you will see this for yourself.

    Thanks for writing!

  5. Steven, I find the NIV translators’ claims to their version hollow. I can read Hebrew and Aramaic, you see. I can recite Greek and parse it with the aid of certain software. And I can tell you, the NIV is a truly lousy translation in comparison to most I have seen. A good translation should bring one’s modern mind closer to the biblical world’s mind – not the other way around, or somewhere in a supposed middle. (I especially hate how the NIV handles Ecclesiastes; it makes Solomon sound like a doddering old fool.) The KJV and NKJV do a much better job in the real aim of a good translation.

    Have you ever thought about why (for example) Genesis 1:1-2:3 has almost every verse, and almost every verb in it, begin with “and”? It has to do with the “sequential ‘and'” in Hebrew, which is an indicator of verb tense and sequence of action. (This carries over deliberately into the Greek language of Revelation.) A sensitive English reader, in the KJV, can sense this aspect of Hebrew which normal modern English simply can’t convey – and so a reader of the NIV will never gain a clue about a fundamental fact of all the biblical languages which is vital to interpretation. In English and other modern languages, time is the framework in which action happens. In the biblical languages, action is the framework in which time happens! Understanding that one thing changes one’s whole perspective on biblical thought, from history to wisdom to worship to prophecy. But the NIV will never give you a hint of that in a million years. Its insistence on “being true to modern English” makes that impossible.

    Now the NIV Interlinear – that I find useful at times. One can see there why the choices were made in the English translation of the Old Testament. And most of the time, the interlinear translation strikes me as superior to the NIV itself.

  6. Steven


    ^ Have a look at the sample video. Professor Douglas Moo (Chair of the Committee on Bible Translation) has a few additonal words for you.

    P.s. There is a reason why the NIV dominates every single Christian bookstore I have ever visited – occupying virtually 75% of the Bibles available for purchase in each store….Simply amazing! Bible Scholars, students and Ministers will (in most cases) want the best, so it should come as no surprise.


  7. Greetings, again, Steven, and I’m afraid you have an education awaiting you.

    I did watch the video, thanks, but it added nothing to our discussion. Also, you haven’t discussed any of the points Mr. Wheeler and I have brought up. And your most recent point is, essentially, “The NIV is really, really popular with ‘Christians,’ so it must be the best.”

    Steven, Steven, Steven… You know, Christmas and Easter are also incredibly popular with these same “Bible Scholars, students, and Ministers.” So is worshipping on Sunday. In fact, most “Christians” just adore the guy in Rome with the funny looking hat. Not that you aren’t correct: there is a reason that the NIV dominates sales. But that reason is not a good reason.

    We do not judge what is best based on what is popular. Rather: “Indeed, let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

    Again, read up on these things and don’t just lap up the NIV publicity stuff, nor the opinions of “enlightened” intellectuals. The Living Church of God’s position has always been the most sensible to me and compares wonderfully well with my own research, and the KJV and NKJV continue to outshine the NIV in accuracy. The NIV is simply unfit for doctrinal study.

    Here’s an article from the Tomorrow’s World magazine that I recommend on the matter: “How Did We Get the Bible?” by John H. Ogwyn. You will find it to be educational, I believe, and it may help you to understand why the NIV may be helpful at times, but it is absolutely not preferable to the NKJV. Here’s a quote from close to the article’s end, which puts the NIV in its place:

    “Since the 19th century, Bible translation has undergone a further change. Dismissing the idea that the Bible was supernaturally inspired and preserved, many scholars have taken the approach that the oldest manuscripts, whatever their source, are closer to the original and therefore must be more accurate. Most 20th century Bible translations, apart from the New King James Version, have used these texts touted by such critics, and relegated the readings of officially preserved texts to footnotes. While these translations can be useful for Bible study, they should be treated with caution, and not accepted to the exclusion of the more historically sound texts.” (“How Did We Get the Bible?” Tomorrow’s World Jan-Feb 2002, John H. Ogwyn)

    And that remains the position of the Living Church of God. The NIV, and other more modern translations, can be helpful, but they should be treated with caution compared to those translations, such as the NKJV, that use more reliable source texts.

    I hope this helps, Steven!

  8. Steve

    Well, I don’t know what I can add. It looks the basic points have already been covered. Personally, I use the NKJV for Bible study, but I certainly do resort to other translations as well.

    For me, it’s not a question of the English translation. It’s a question of the textual source behind the translation. Modern scholars have basically rejected the Received Text as inspired by God. In an effort to figure out what God actually said, they resort to a number of other manuscripts. These manuscripts not only disagree with the Received Text, they disagree with one another!

    And therein lies the problem. Did God leave humankind with no accurate record of His word? Was it left to physical human beings to figure out what He must of meant, based on conflicting textual sources?

    I personally believe that God did indeed leave humankind with an accurate record of His word; and that it’s found in the Received Text. Others will disagree, of course.

    Consequently, while I do read them, I treat eclectic translations with a certain amount of caution; preferring those based on the Received Text, such as the NKJV, for doctrinal issues.

    (This is completely off the subject, but… It was Alfred the Great who embedded OT laws into the English legal system. Trying to settle a country torn by war and chaos, he commissioned judges to establish a rule by law, and told them to base it upon the Bible. It became the basis for the legal system still used by English speaking people of today. I was digging around, trying to find out the text they used, and who did the translating, but I can’t find anything. If somebody knows the answer, I’m eager to find out).

  9. Ben Maddox

    I would like to add a comment about the NIV. I did not find it a good translation, so, I gave it to a friend of mine who became a Lutheran priest. He was discussing it with his own pastor. The pastor/priest said, (paraphrased)”That translation has some problems we were never able to come to an agreement on, I was one of the scholars, and we compromised on some points.”

  10. Steven

    I didn’t “take your word for it”, I did some more research on the topic and found an outstanding article (with follow-up letters) that explain why I choose to use the NIV. Although I also have the NKJV at home, I rarely use it.


    ^ If you want the full “Technicolor” explanation, please feel free to read this article carefully, and perhaps it might open your eyes to new truths that may not have been aware of.

    God bless!

  11. Greetings, once again, Steven —

    Thanks for the link, and I am glad that you did more research, though it appears you need to do more. 🙂

    Mr. Pockett’s article not only added nothing that I did not already know, but it contained several items that contribute to the argument against the NIV as a primary reserouce for doctrinal study, as well as a repetition of some of the misunderstandings that cause folks like him (and you) to make the mistake you do.

    Before mentioning some of these things, let me remind you that: (1) I did not say that the NIV was completely useless. In fact, in some readings, it is better than the NKJV and KJV. Such circumstances are simply the exceptions rather than the rule. (2) I did not claim that the KJV (nor the NKJV) is perfect and represents the “true and infallible word of God in English.” This is indefensible and no translation is perfect. (3) I did not say that the NIV was “satanic” or that those who worked on it had a secret evil, anti-“Christian” agenda. In fact, I defended Wescott and Hort (whose work is a big part of the NIV’s basis) in my post. The NIV is not “satanic” — it is simply fundamentally flawed.

    The author of the article you passed along exposes the problem, himself: The faulty belief in what constitutes the “best” Greek manuscripts.

    I’m sorry, but for reasons that Dr. Farstad makes clear and obvious, the Alexandrian manuscripts simply are not as trustworthy overall as the so-called Byzantine and the “Majority Text.” The argument against the Alexandrian texts is not simply, “Oooo, I don’t like what that says,” as Dr. Wallace seems to imply though for some “KJV Only” folks, it is). Rather, there are sound scientific, historic, and evidence-based reasons to question the legitimacy of using the Alexandrian manuscripts as chief, primary sources.

    Can they contribute to our understanding of God’s Word? Sure! Should they be the definitive basis of translation? No, not at all. That is unsound, and it is yet another academic fad that is doomed to the dust bin of history, eventually.

    (None of this, of course, addresses any theological corruption present in the NIV. Few (if any) translations escape this problem, and the KJV and NKJV are not exceptions. BUt the corruption does seem greater in the NIV, in spite of the sincerity of its translators, which I am not questioning.)

    I should point out, as well, that Mr. Pockett’s comment that the Greek and Hebrew should be translated as if they were writing in modern English would be OK if he meant what he says, but his example shows that his thinking is horribly flawed. For instance, he says that “the third day” should be translated as “Tuesday.” In his words, “Tuesday” would be a “sensible modern translation.” However, this is horrible thinking and fails to respect God’s Word properly. For most of the Bible authors, including many of the New Testament writers, “the third day” would start at sundown on Monday, not Tuesday. In fact, the author who writes “the third day” might be very well speaking of Monday night and not Tuesday at all.

    That is, there is a huge difference between translating the words into modern English and translating them as if the original writers were English speakers. They were not. And if Mr. Pockett doesn’t understand such a point, then his advice about what makes a “good translation” is undermined in my view. And, regrettably, the NIV approach makes similar sorts of mistakes.

    (As a Sabbath-keeper, Steven, this should make a difference to you. For instance, Mr. Pockett’s approach would translate “first day of the week” Acts 20:7 as “Sunday” when the context makes it clear that it was likely Saturday night after the Sabbath, and not a “Sunday service,” at all. Thankfully, the NIV doesn’t go as far as Mr. Pockett recommends, though in this case he seems to claim this is a bad thing.)

    The NKJV translators did a marvelous job of looking at the Textus Receptus, the Majority Text, and the Alexandrian family of texts, as well, and producing an excellent translation, with copious footnotes to note variations in sources (including the Alexandrian texts).

    Mr. Pockett’s article does a good job of explaining why “KJV Only” folks are wrong. But it falls short in its sincere attempt to show the NIV to be better.

    So, I’m glad you are reading and researching, Steven, but you need to escape the “pro-NIV” stuff and the “Academics versus KJV-Only” stuff. I’ve read much that is pro-NIV in my research. Why don’t you consider a book like Dr. Farstad’s? He’s a serious academic who believes that the NKJV’s approach is superior to the NIV’s. (He should, since he was behind it!) He is no “KJV Only” zealot, yet his words are reasonable and his arguments sound. Even if you read him and still disagree, at least you will have the benefit of reading a scholar who disagrees with you and who provides a sound alternative point of view.

    Otherwise, it looks as though we are at the end of our discussion. You can continue posting links to “scholars” whose points I have already read and disproven, and I can continue to post my explanations of what it is that you don’t seem to see, but I suspect that each of us has better things to do with the time we have. 🙂

    I may believe that you’ve given me no sound reason to agree with you (and several reasons why not to do so), but I respect your passion for the topic, and I appreciate your willingness to comment. Thanks, Steven!

    — Wallace Smith

    P.S. As I prepare to post this comment, I see that you have added another comment with the same link that Mr. Pockett used in his article. Nothing in that link seems to require me to say much additionally, other than to remind you (again): (1) I have not said that the KJV is somehow “perfectly inspired,” which is the main thing Dr. Wallace argues against. Thus his arguments agsint the KJV’s inspiration are irrelevant to our discussion; (2) I have said that the NIV is actually better in a few places (1 John 5:7 is an excellent example), though overall it is worse.

    Consequently, Steven, if you think that Dr. Wallace’s article is somehow relevant to our discussion, that simply shows that you don’t seem to be listening at all to the points I am bringing up (or those brought up by Mr. Wheeler). If you and I can agree with much of what Dr. Wallace says (and I make some of the same points myself), how do you think that his article “further illustrates [your] point”? His article in no way illustrates the superiority of the NIV at all, and has nothing to do with anything I am saying.

    You need to exit your echo chamber and read something from a scholar who not only disagrees with you, but who makes a good case (not a “KJV Only” addict). Again, even if you end up disagreeing with him, you should consider reading Dr. Farstad’s book. He would agree with much of Dr. Wallace’s comments, as well, as he is no “KJV Only” zealot, but he still realizes that the approach to the NIV (and most other modern translations) is inherently faulty.

    Again, I see no more profit in your posting links that say nothing I haven’t already read and disproved (and, in the last case, links which are irrelevant to the discussion at hand) while I make an extended comment that you don’t actually respond to. Really read Mr. John Ogwyn’s article. Read Dr. Farstad’s excellent book (it’s short — a very quick read). You may just decide to shelve your NIV more often and blow the dust off your NKJV. At the very least, even if you still disagree with these sound points you will at least have gained an education. — WGS

  12. Wow… I don’t know how I missed this…. late comer….. I got nothing to ad, but I will say that I concur with what you both (WGS & JW) have said. For me personally I generally use the NKJV, but I love the poetic nature of the KJV, especially in the prophecies of the Old Testament. The language seems to add color to the already beautiful promises of God’s Word. I also use many other translations only as comparative resources, which also includes the Non-Inspired Version… lol … kidding kidding…. it does have some spots that are really good, such as 2 Peter 3:17 where it translates the Greek “athesmos” to “lawless” rather than “wicked”.

    Anyway…. very enjoyable read, Mr. Smith!


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