Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Be Afraid of the King James Version

At some point Christians got it in their head that the King James Bible is too difficult for adults to understand let alone children.  But is it really?

I began reading and memorizing the King James Bible from a very young age, and I understood it.  I understood it because it was explained to me.  Any scripture needs explaining to small children, you might as well use the most accurate English translation while your at it.

In high school I devoured Shakespeare while my friends were struggling with it, because I was familiar with the Elizabethan English. In college terms like justification, propitiation, and sanctification never threw me for a loop because I'd grown up reading and memorizing them.

At 6 I wasn't afraid of King James English and I didn't think it was difficult to understand.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I even began to hear complaints about how challenging the Bible was to comprehend.

What do you think, when were you first introduced to the KJV?  Was it ever difficult for you to understand?


Adorning Grace said...

(internet trouble - forgive me if this posts twice!)
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(1Co 2:14)

Without the Holy Spirit to guide a man, the truth of God's Word will be confusing. The natural man cannot receive it which is why so many are turning to watered down, man-made perversions and imitations of what they are calling the Bible.

I was fortunate to grow up in a home and church that was solely KJB. I went to a Christian school that was solely KJB. My children are growing up in a home and church that is solely KJB. By the grace of God, that is never going to change. If I do not understand something, I pray for discernment, I search the Scriptures, I ask my husband, I pray some more. God reveals the truth of His Word a little at a time and is limitless in its depth! The Bible is truly an amazing living book!

Lisa said...

I did not grow up in church. When the Lord saved me at 18 years old, I began to feast on the Word of God (the KJV). It was like water to a parched soul in a desert. Sure! I had difficulty with some passages, but I didn't go searching for another "Bible". I still have difficulty with some passages after almost 30 years, but I just pray for understanding, read more and study more.
The Holy Spirit reveals meaning to us as we need the truths uncovered. 2 Co 3:18 says, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
It is my understanding that the KJV is not a translation, as other versions are. The KJV was converted to English word for word, while other versions are translated thought for thought. Well, we know that God says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:8)

Kasey @ TFOMplus2 said...

I love the beauty of the writing in the King James. I personally, have a very different reading experience when I use another version. My kids all have KJ bibles and I have never heard them say anything about it. It is just what they have grown up with and are accustomed to.

Anonymous said...

What a great comment section. Forget about the KJV issue, there needs to be some preaching on the sin of taking verses out or context. Wow! If people love the Bible, they should not make it say something not being said in the text.

These comments expose the problem in many churches today.

KM Logan said...

Expressing a preference of Bible translation is only a facet of our many ministries.

Sin is preached on, souls are saved, the destitute are helped, and new people's are exposed to the gospel.

Is using only the King James Bible an important issue, those who involve themselves seem to think so.

The point of this post wasn't to bash other translations, merely to state that one needn't be afraid of introducing children to archaic language.

(The fact that many translations are thought for thought rather than word for word is an issue to be discussed in another post)

Erika said...

I grew up KJV, but "rebelled" for a time using other translations... I am now- for good- a KJV girl! And teaching my children it as well!

Clint Baker said...

Though provoking! Thaks for posting. I would like to invite everyone over to my blog. I talk about Jesus and Gardening, they work well together.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the KJV because of its beautiful language. However, I'm thankful that my salvation is not dependent on the version of the Bible that I read. Word for word or thought for thought, the Word of God does not return void but accomplishes its purpose (Isaiah 55:11).

Anonymous said...

I was introduced to the KJV long before I can remember. It contains some lovely verbiage--the works of Isaiah and Hosea among my favorite. I did not understand much of it when I was younger, but just as Paul says that babes in Christ desire the sincere milk of the word, it ministered to my soul in the way that I needed at that point in my relationship with God. There are many things I still don't understand. The scripture itself says in Peter that there are some things Paul wrote that were "hard to be understood," but I believe it speaks to the subject matter and not the phrasing of the words. See 2 Peter 3 for context.

I do not think the King James Version's majestic language should be feared, but studied, admired and imitated. Our generation has lost the gift of speaking eloquently. You mentioned reading Shakespeare's beautifully expressed works--he was said to have a working vocabulary of 25,000 words, while the average person's today is about 5,000. Our children would benefit immensely from the reading of the King James Version, both in their souls and in their intellect.

P.S. I read the KJV blog because I do love the KJV and believe it is the word of God. If we as Christians cannot discuss the Bible without electing ourselves potentate to judge others' sins or feeling threatened or bashed, then may-hap we should ask ourselves if the problem resides in the words of others or in the insecurity of our own convictions about what is mentioned.

When we ask for the thoughts of man on such a serious matter as a version of the Bible, there will always be subjectivity and we cannot expect it to be discussed without some difference of opinion.

Belinda Jo Adams said...

I have no problem with the KJV!I grew up with it and love it!
Here is what I think: