TW article on the 1611 King James Version

[Image of John 1 from the 1611 KJV]I appreciated Mr. John Meakin’s article in the current issue of the Tomorrow’s World magazine on the anniversary of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.  It did a great job of honoring that wonderful work without falling into the trap of idolizing it as some “Christians” do (in fact, Mr. Meakin warns specifically against it).

Hopefully those who have fallen for the horrible arguments claiming that the KJV is a perfect translation will re-examine those arguments, as they really are bad arguments.  For all of its outstanding merits, and there are many, the KJV is not a perfect translation.  (I won’t repeat here much discussion of the fact that most who claim the perfection of the 1611 do not actually use the 1611 but a revision of it made in the late 1700s. I discussed that here.)

And, also, hopefully those who have fallen for the “National Enquirer”-style “research” that claims the New King James Bible and some other modern translations are completely New Age products of devotees to witchcraft will also re-examine those arguments, as well, which are just as shoddy.  While I am not a fan of most modern translations on the whole, having actually researched some the facts (as opposed to simply accepting the first thing I might find on the internet that validates my ignorant opinions) I am a huge fan of the New King James version, and there are some more accurate readings in some of the other translations, as well.

Again, I discuss more details in my previous post about the NKJV and the 1611 KJV, but I do recommend Mr. Meakin’s article, and it was great to see it in the current issue of the magazine.

10 thoughts on “TW article on the 1611 King James Version

  1. Thanks for a good post about the history of the Bible.

    A good book to read is by Bart D. Erhman called Misquoting Jesus.

    Our history is more complex than what we thought. Keep Blogging. Keep Writing.

  2. Steven

    It boggles my mind why the KJV gets used at all, since there are so many mistranslations within it! It should be banned from being sold in the bookstores. I would cite Acts 12:4 as the most prominent MIStranslation.

    It would be like continuing to sell a mapbook whereby the authors/distributors knowingly admit to it having several maps that are INCORRECT! Imagine you use one of those maps thinking you are on your way to Texas, and you end up in Alaska…Tell me that makes any sense?

    The only version that matters (as far the “King James Version” goes) would be the NEW King James Version, which CORRECTS (for the most part) the errors of the original. However, after recently hearing a wonderful Christian radio talkshow debating the topic of Bible versions, both the host and his two guest scholars agreed 100% that (in the end) the NIV (my personal choice) is the one they deem as most “correct”. That is a topic for another day, but the NKJV would be a close second (in my opinion) which is why I have that version at home and NOT the original KJV.

    Therefore, my question is, since the KJV is error-laden, why celebrate it in the first place? Instead of celebrating error, we should be celebrating “correct” versions of the bible! For Heaven’s sake!!!

    For a complete list of erros in the King James Version, see the link below:

  3. Yes, I may have missinterpreted your own views of the bible. Please feel free to delete any of my comments freely as I can see now that that our views may in fact be different. God bless you, have a good day.

  4. @Steven: First, did you actually go through the KJV “error” list you sent us? If so, you would have found that the NIV makes many of the same “errors.” I looked up four of the “errors” in both my KJV and my NIV, and the NIV made exactly the same “error” as the KJV. You really ought to study these things before you advertise them. If that list condemns the KJV, it does damage to the NIV, as well.

    (The author of the article you linked to, Richard Nickels, has this to say elsewhere (emphasis his, not mine): “The King James Version Bible is a word-for-word translation. Other translations, such as the New International Version (NIV), are meaning-for-meaning translations. The multitude of modern translations have not captured the elegance and beauty, NOR THE OVERALL ACCURACY of the King James Version. C. S. Lewis sagely remarked, ‘Odd the way the less the Bible is read, the more it is translated.’ In spite of its imperfections, the King James Version remains a masterpiece.” So YOUR source believes the NIV is WORSE than the KJV. Still happy with that source? 🙂 )

    As for the rest… The KJV simply isn’t error laden. Acts 12:4 is, certainly, an error. Yet, its translation of other verses, such as Galatians 2:20, is better than both the NIV and the NKJV. The NIV, however, generally weakens the deity and work of Jesus Christ (e.g., the KJV and NKJV best the NIV in passages such as 1 Tim 3:16), though it improves in some other verses. The NIV is simply plagued by a bad translation philosophy that violates the Bible’s own advice (Prov. 11:14).

    There are worse translations than the NIV, to be sure, and one can learn the truth in spite of its faults. (And the acclaim given it by ministers of counterfeit Christianity mean nothing to anyone interested in the truth, by the way.) But if you really do think that the KJV is so corrupted by errors, it indicates that you may not be as familiar with is as you think you are.

    @informationforager: Hey, no harm, no foul! 🙂 I’m just glad that you stopped by. Have a great day!

  5. Norbert

    I tend to recall verses in NKJV because that is the one I predominately read and studied when first learning the scriptures. I do favor it as a translation but not like a sports team.

    I could argue that the 92-93 Toronto Blue Jays were the best baseball team historically assembled, but that would only create severe difficulties in getting the rest of the world to believe as I do. 🙂

  6. Ed Ewert

    In the 1960s, the KJV was the Bible to have. Church literature would then and for years after heavily quote from the KJV. I remember Mr. Armstrong seemed to strongly favor the Moffat version, and I spent years trying to find where I could get a copy.

    I just checked on the internet now, and you can buy it through Amazon. I also looked up a Wiki article, and among other things, it says: “he [Moffat] departed from traditional translations in several areas. First, he held to the documentary hypothesis (that the first five books of the Old Testament were written by four different authors…)”
    Also: “he rearranged the biblical texts (usually by switching chapter orders) based on his judgments about the content, authorship, and historicity of the texts. For example, John chapter 14 comes after John 15 and 16 in the Moffatt Bible.]

    Well, that doesn’t sound very good! I don’t feel so bad about never having obtained it!

    In the 1970s, I got the NASB, and as far as I could make out, that was the most accurate translation out there. But when the NKJV came out, I did a careful comparison between the NKJV and the NASB, and I strongly believe that the NKJV is the more accurate translation. I also have the ESV now, and I cannot say whether the NKJV or the ESV is more accurate. [The HCSB also seems okay, and I use it as a third word for word translation.]

    I had used the NIV as a paraphrase bible, but because of the gender-neutral alterations of a 1996 version, I feel this version is moving away from accuracy and towards political correctness, and so dumped it from bibles I read.

    A final note: I still like the KJV for the beauty of the language. The version of Psalm 23 I’ve memorized is the KJV version.

  7. Thanks, Mr. Ewert. I don’t know if it’s that Mr. Armstrong liked the Moffatt so much as that he appreciated the way it translated certain passages. As an atheist, Moffatt translated with “no dog in that hunt,” so to speak, which sometimes gave him a clarity with regard to some passages since he was (relatively) freer from Pre-conceived theological bias. Of course, however, everyone has a dog in the hunt, so his translation, like all others, must be evaluated and considered carefully. As you’ve noted, he took huge liberties with the text. I’ve found it interesting as an “alternate reading” source for some passages but otherwise not of great benefit.

    Thanks for writing!

  8. I found the ESV quite easy to read but became (probably overly) concerned about the obtrusive bracketing of some verses and gave the book away to an acquaintance. Went back to my trusty NKJV. Sometimes do prefer the language of the old KJV but can be tedious at times.

    What do you think of the ESV?

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