The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Proverbs 14:15

"I'm Buying

One of our readers sent the following e-mail on 4-4-97 and had previously sent mail concerning my comments about the Authorized King James version. Having received much negative mail about this issue from folks who read other versions, I was impressed with his desire to sensibly talk about this issue even though he didn't read the authorized King James. Our e-mails are in reverse chronological order.

E-mail #3

Dear Tracy,

Hi. I found your web site a week and a half ago. Your pages were a real eye opener for me. I was really shocked when I saw all your details on how consistent the pattern of alteration has been in the modern versions in diluting Jesus' deity and removing (removing!) whole verses. Also it made me angry at the arrogance of man to find out that these recently-discovered "older better manuscripts" are probably not that at all.

I was up all night reading your pages, and resolved that I had to get an Authorised [sic] King James version. I made a trip to a Christian Bookstore in Bangkok. They had two different AKJV's. One was very small with small type. The other was just the right size with easy to read type and Jesus' words in red, but it had no notes or cross-references, so I'm going to buy by mail order a copy of the "Defenders Study Bible" by ICR's Dr. Henry Morris.

I read a few verses and was surprised (shouldn't have been? but was) that it was completely straightforward plain English. I had had this idea that the words "wax" and "wroth" and "thee" and "thou" would appear multiple times every sentence.

After the first two web pages I read I sent you some e-mails to which you replied (see below). Thanks.

[Editor's note: in his correspondence, the writer includes several tyb quotes--they're in italics] I don't know about KJ's time, but I do know that God in His sovereignty knew that the English-speaking peoples were going to be the ones transmitting His word all over the world through missions.

Yes. This is a theme I've often thought about. About the relationship between Britain's Christianity, the British empire, and the spread of English culture and Christianity all over the world.

Two related themes that I've often pondered are how many God-fearing Christians within a nation does it take before that nation begins to achieve/be used for the sorts of things that England did during her Empire days. And how at the time of the Tower of Babel there was one language, one physical location of the world's population, and one (anti-God) government.

Now the world is again approaching that situation with one world language (English), with communications and transport technology having reduced the world to a 'global village', and with the direction of the UN, EEC, and Regional Trading Blocks making a one world anti-God government appear frighteningly close. But yes, yes, I know my Bible, theologically the current world situation's major resemblance is to the Days of Noah and of Sodom and Gommorah rather than to the time of the Tower of Babel...

I'm going to look for web pages about the history of Bible versions. I want to read more critiques on the various manuscripts that our Bibles are based on.

Thanks for your web pages.

E-mail #2

Dear Tracy,

Hi. I've been reading your kjvdefns.htm page and am feeling really fired up about buying a King James translation myself, however I think some of the anti-KJV arguments might not be without basis though. You say:

Let's not accept the premise that the tried and true Authorized King James is somehow outdated and is to be replaced by dozens of new translations. A standard test determined the Authorized KJV reading level to be 5th grade because it contains mostly one and two-syllablic words making it one of the easiest to read.

Languages are continually changing, in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. The way parents speak usually sounds a bit old-fashioned to their children and the way their grandparents speak sounds positively quaint. This doesn't necessarily make their speech harder to understand, however if we go back hundreds of years it can become difficult.

This holds true for other languages too, not just English. I have lived in Thailand for a few years and can speak Thai. There has been enormous social change here over the last ten years. Many times I've heard teachers and parents complaining about the youth speaking Thai that is unintelligible to their ears.

When I was at high school in Australia we studied plays by Shakespeare. Down one page would be the original lines and on the facing page would be notes and translations explaining what it all meant in modern English. Of course despite this your arguments still hold true. Just as Shakespeare is regarded as beautiful literature so too is the King James Version. However there were many parts of Shakespeare that I could not have understood without the modern translation and/or the explanatory notes.

I think that scholars even refer to the English of that period by a different name. I think there is "Modern English", "Middle English", and "Old English", which they regard as distinct languages. I haven't read a KJV for a long time (though I plan to now) but I remember having had difficulty with some of the grammar structures, especially verses which hinged an "as" or a "so" where in casual modern speech a different wording would be used.

In the authorized King James Version God assembled, and moved with His Spirit, a team of some of the world's best scholars to translate His word into the world's most popular language, English.

At the time of King James, English wasn't the most popular language in the world. I think Latin or Chinese might have been the most popular way back then. In fact even now I think there might be more Mandarin Chinese speakers and more Spanish speakers in the world than English speakers. "Widespread" or "widely used" might be a better term to use than "popular".

Thanks for your web pages, I've found them very motivating.

My response: Thank you for writing again. I'm glad for your interest. I'll briefly address your comments:

1. Perhaps the AKJV is harder to understand.

I disagree. The reason that I feel that it is easier is because sentence structures tend to be the same throughout, e.g., thus saith the Lord. You'll find this phrase a number of times in the KJV always worded the same. In a newer version, in one place it might be, "The Lord said," and in another "The Lord expounded" and in another something even different.

There are few, very few, archaic words, that need to be looked up. Otherwise, sentence structure is very easy. This does not make it more difficult. I've seen one new version that had a word in it that I couldn't define [In Ezra 8:36, KJV says "lieutenants", NKJV says "satraps"] and I would've had to have looked up in the dictionary.

Shakesphere had basically the same vocabulary to work with as the translators of the King James, but he "ransacked" the language and at times you can barely tell what he is saying. I had a hard time with him too. Not so with the AKJV. I've taught children who couldn't read and could barely speak English to recite from the AKJV and they knew exactly what they were talking about.

2. English wasn't the most popular language in KJ's time.

I don't know about KJ's time, but I do know that God in His sovereignty knew that the English-speaking peoples were going to be the ones transmitting His word all over the world through missions.

My point I was trying to make is that today English is the world's most popular language and that England and America have been beacons to the entire world as superpowers (even if they are going downhill) and sending out the gospel message. When people want to learn a second language--it's oftentimes English. I understand that the Chinese have close to a billion people, but that does not mean that Chinese is the most popular language. It may or may not be the most widely spoken.

In Jesus' Name,

E-mail #1

Dear Tracy,

Hi. I'm visiting your Jesus is Lord web site. I was impressed with your Easter page easterkj.htm . But if you're taking such care to be accurate and correct, then isn't using our calendar system a bit misleading? I quote from your page:

Passover only comes once a year on one day, April the 14th (Deut 16:1, Num 28:16).

I thought all these Hebrew festivals were set according to the Hebrew lunar calendar. In modern days is the Passover really celebrated on our April 14th each year? Doesn't the Jewish Passover date correspond to a slightly different date on our calendar each year?

If this is the case, then by using "April" instead of ...Mishri..? you might be making a mistake similar in kind to the one made by as those erroneous Bible translators who translated the greek word for that spring time pagan festival as Passover instead of Easter.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying reading your pages.

My response: Thank you for writing with a great point. The Hebrew calendar is different from ours and I shouldn't have used April. What I will do is change the article from April 14th to "the month of Abib, the fourteenth day".

I don't know if Passover is now calculated by the lunar calendar, but if it is, I don't have the liberty to change my discussion to reflect a Passover date based on a lunar calendar because in the Bible God gives a particular day.

That was good--thanks again for writing. I really appreciate it.


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