The King James Bible

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 26th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

The King James Bible Version (KJV) of the Bible, alternately referred to as the Authorized King James Version (AKJV) of the Bible is still my favorite Bible version. I grew up on the King James Bible. I love the language used in the KJV or AKJV. I am comfortable with the language, but many new believers, especially younger folk, have trouble with the language. There are many good modern translations. It is more important the new believer understands the Word of God than tradition.

Common Misconceptions about the AKJV

The greatest misconception is that King James did the actual work. Although King James ordered the translation, contrary to popular belief, he never took an active hand in the translation process. King James hired an overseer, who then assembled several translation committees consisting of scholars and poets to do the actual work. Many people also believe that the AKJV was the first English translation of the Bible, another misconception. There were several earlier English translations of the Bible, and some of them are still in use today, the Wycliffe and Tyndale. They burned Tyndale at the stake for translating the Bible into the English vernacular. There are also no historical records showing that King James actually authorized the KJV of the Bible to be used in the churches of England, so “Authorized” is still another misconception.

More Accurate Versions of the KJV

Contrary to what many “purists” would have you believe, there are several newer, more accurate translations of the KJV Bible. The New Revised Standard Version, or NRSV, of the KJV is the revision preferred by most academics today because of its modern scholarship. The NRSV is based on the most recently discovered manuscripts, including those found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The NRSV also removes archaisms and pay stricter attention to genre types; Poetry is typeset as poetry, The Song of Songs is typeset as drama, and so forth. Appropriate gender-inclusive language is also used in the NRSV of the King James Bible.

Many Other Good, Modern Translations

As I said earlier, it is more important that Christians understand what God is teaching them through His written Word, than the language used to express those teachings. The New International Version, the (NIV), and Today’s New International Version, the (TNIV) are preferred by many Protestant clergymen. The New Jerusalem Bible is the favorite among Catholic clergymen. In fact, the New Jerusalem Bible only comes in a Catholic edition, which means the Apocrypha is always included. Many poets and writers today, and I personally know a few of those writers; prefer the Revised English Bible, or the (REB).

The KJV is a Tradition

The KJV has become a building block of our culture. The Early English has become ingrained in our memories and in our imaginations. Every president, from George Washington to Barack Obama, has placed his hand upon a King James Bible as they took their oath of office. Believe it or not, in 2009, president Obama used the same KJV Bible that had been used by Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln took his oath of office. Now that really is tradition.

Some of Our Favorite Expressions

Whether you realize it or not, many of our favorite, most often used expressions come from the KJV of the Bible. How often do we use these expressions?

  • eat, drink, be merry (Luke 12:19)
  • the apple of his eye (Deuteronomy 32:10)
  • an eye for an eye (Matthew 5:38)
  • it came to pass (Genesis 38:27)
  • fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12)
  • fell flat on his face (Numbers 22:31)
  • the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4 and Ephesians 1:10)
  • can a leopard change his spots? (Jeremiah 13:23)
  • am I my brother's keeper? (Genesis 4:9).

Phrases from the King James Bible have explained subtle life lessons to us in ways that are irreplaceable. Where would we be without expressions like?

  • God's care for us: "The Lord is my shepherd" (Psalm 23:1)
  • freedom from slavery: "Let my people go" (Deuteronomy 5:1)
  • A life wasted in worries over unimportant things: "Vanity of vanities" (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
  • A self-righteous person: "Holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:5)
  • Work that you adore: "A labor of love" (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
  • A metaphor for being good in the world: "The salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13)
  • A metaphor against in-fighting: "A house divided against itself shall not stand" (Matthew 12:25)
  • Our relationship to truth: "We see through a glass, darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:12)
  • What we say when a politician's dirty secrets are revealed: "How are the mighty fallen" (2 Samuel 1:27)
  • A really close call: "By the skin of my teeth" (Job 19:20).

We use those expressions and metaphors without even considering their origin. Now you know where they came from. Read them for yourself in the KJV.

The KJV Bible is Still King

The KJV and the AKJV has changed more lives than any other book ever written. There are dozens of modern translations of the Bible available today. Do people understand the Word of God any better today than they did 100 years or 200 years ago? Most comprehensive studies show that they do not. The KJV will be 403 years old in a few days. Why not celebrate its august birthday by reading it? You do not have to make it your primary study Bible, but read it along with your modern English translation. The language it is written in is a beautiful language.


Authorized, Authorized King James, Bible, Bible Passages, Bible Quotes, Bible Reading, Bible Teaches, King James, King Of Kings, Modern Translaions

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
26th Dec 2013 (#)

Fascinating and beautifully presented. My favorite is also the King James Version. It is hands down the most poetically and beautifully written. Great star page, Jerry.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you Steve

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author avatar Tony Barnes
27th Dec 2013 (#)

Very well written Jerry. When I first saw the title...I thought "Oh no...he's one of those." :-) I remember being invited to preach at a church in Montgomery, AL once...but, was warned by someone familiar with the church that I better not preach out of anything but the KJV.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
27th Dec 2013 (#)

Good morning Tony. No, I'm not one of those :-)) What version of the Bible you teach or preach from doesn't matter, what matter is that people here the Word of God and come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. I think that I am the only member of the In His Grip Ministries that uses the KJV, most all of our members use the NIV because they find the modern language easier for them to understand and that's important. Reading the Word serves no purpose if one doesn't understand what one is reading!

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author avatar M G Singh
28th Dec 2013 (#)

Great Post Jerry. Lots of info for a non Christian like me

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author avatar Jerry Walch
28th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you Madan for reading and for commenting.

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