Time to retire the KJV?

Dave Miller @ SBC Voices thinks so. Maybe to the chagrin of some who may pop in here from time to time, but I’d say he makes good arguments for reading/preaching primarily from more modern translations. Personally, I’ve not preached from the KJV since I first started preaching in 2000, so it’s not an issue for me. I can appreciate the KJV’s place in the church the past 400 years and I can appreciate that many Christians cherish and even prefer it. I don’t necessarily cherish it and I certainly don’t prefer it, primarily because if I’m going to read something in English that is supposed to inform the life I live, I want to understand what I’m reading (I know, all translations obscure meaning to some degree), at least as much as is permitted considering the historical and cultural gaps.

Miller’s post may rile some, but it’s not meant to accomplish that. Rather, it’s a gentle prodding for students of the bible to take fuller advantage of the discoveries and research incorporated into most modern translations. On that, I’d agree.

Or you could just learn the biblical languages and cultures with a dash of linguistics and be done with it.🙂

Αυτω η δοξα

9 thoughts on “Time to retire the KJV?

  1. I hate how the KJV gets people to think the Bible is written in a way that is radically different than everything else because of its old style of English. I think it contributes to misunderstanding about what type of book the Bible is.

    Retire it for that and other reasons.

  2. I love the KJV and am in a very traditional group that is very slow to accept anything other than that.
    It is not always feasible to walk away from it.
    It is feasible to be an expositor using any dependable version. Thus I try to use what little Greek I know, and gain from the works of others in exegesis and translation (Love the ESV and NASB) so that the people get the Word.
    I think the translation battle regarding KJV vs other versions misses the point. The point is that people need the Word. Teach them to think and to study. Anyone can learn, regardless of whether they use KJV, NIV, NLT (ugh!), HCSB, ESV, etc.
    I think we often are too distracted by the Bible translation issue.

  3. well here we go again ! GET RID OF GODS WORD SERIOUSLY WHAT BOOK WAS GOD REFERRING TO IN PSALM 12:6-7 ? KEEP ON ALL YOU WANT. TALK ALL YOU WONT “PASTORS” . GODS WORD WILL STAND FOREVER THE OLD KJV AV 1611 ALL OF YOU HAD BETTER UNDERSTAND ONE THING THE OLD KING JAMES IS THE MONARCH OF BOOKS. IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE DEVIL AND FOLKS LIKE YOU HAVE TRIED TO GET RID OF IT FOR YEARS AS BRIAN FULTHORP POSTED IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN THANK GOD FOR AT LEAST ONE SPIRIT FILLED BELIEVER WHO KNOWS WHAT THE TRUE WORD OF GOD IS. IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE OF THE KING JAMES I DONT NEED THE GREEK OR HEBREW I JUST NEED TO KNOW THE AUTHOR! ITS THE ONLY BOOK IN THIS WORLD I CAN READ WITH THE AUTHOR PRESENT. BY THE WAY I DO HOLD DEGREES IN BOTH. AN IDOL-PLEASE I BELIEVE TELLS US IN JOHN 1:1 GOD IS CLEAR ON THIS YOU CANT SEPARATE THE WORD OF GOD (THE BOOK) FROM GOD EVER READ REVELATION 19:13? THIS THREAD OR BLOG IS SIMPLE THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE IN BIBLE BELIEVERS AND BIBLE CORRECTORS! GO TELL YOUR COLLEGE PROFESSORS THAT!
    JUST MORE BROKEN HAMMERS LAYING ON THE FLOOR BROKEN BY GODS HOLY ANVIL THE OLD K.J.V. PRAISE GOD AND SHAME ON THE DEVIL!!

  4. Why is this an attack on the KJV? If someone that is KJV-only or KJV-preferred were attacking other versions they would be called “Old-fashioned” “Pharisaical” or “legalistic”. But why is it ok for someone to attack the KJV (a word for word translation) and that person be praised or considered an Ecclesiastical superstar?

  5. I have been raised in the church. I read the Bible through several times in my teenage years in the KJV. Then I read in the NIV (very popular in the early 80’s) and was amazed at how many things I missed when reading in the KJV…simply because I didn’t fully comprehend the language. So I am very much for using a variety of translations in personal study. However, the success of moving to other translations in the church service should be judged by looking at what has happened to the church in the years that we have been switching. The effect has not been positive. We have a generation that can’t quote any scripture…because they’ve never heard it twice the same way. We use so many different versions in public services that it cannot be retained. What Mr. Miller calls archaic wording is the very thing which made it easy to remember and memorize. We cannot read Scripture together in a service because there are so many different versions at work. But perhaps the worst result has been the implication of fallibility. When people like Mr. Miller act like another translation is so superior, that implies ERROR in another version. When we keep harping on these things, then our younger generation starts to question if anything they read means exactly what is says. There is NO theological error in the KJV. Mr. Miller’s claim that we have such a greater wealth of manuscripts is nuts. Our greater wealth has only led us to confirm the accuracy of the original. Is the translation itself infallible? No. But there is no theological error. No one meant to imply that you can’t trust God’s word…but this is what has happened. This is largely responsible for why we hear people keep saying “well it really didn’t mean that”. I believe the church world would better be served by sticking to one version for memorization and church reading. If the wording is unfamiliar, the pastor can explain the passage—that’s what he is supposed to be doing anyway. But KJV is not going away. I can’t stand KJV idolization but over the past 20 years, more evangelical churches would have opted for the NIV over the NAS. Yet here we are now and the NIV is gone but KJV is still here. The church (not just Southern Baptists) need a common version for memorization and public reading…and you’ll never get a good consensus on anything but the KJV. The damage to the church from the lack of memorization and the questioning of the Bible’s authority is far greater than any problems caused by archaic language. Remember, they didn’t talk like KJV in Adrian Rogers lifetime either…but somehow it functioned fine for the church. And I believe it still can today…and would be far less divisive.

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