Modern Versions update the King James Version with current language
Fifty years ago the King James, or Authorized, Version of The Bible was considered by many to be the only reliable translation and choosing a Bible involved selecting the binding and colour. Today, dozens of English translations are available.
First, we need to recognise that there is no one translation that is the best. Even the writers of the New Testament books quote from several Greek translations of the Old Testament. Today we have no perfect translation, but there are a number which are very good. The real question is: Which is best for our particular needs?
So what is wrong with the good old King James Version? It probably is the most beautiful, elegant, literary English translation that will ever be produced. It has contributed a great deal to the formation of the English language. Modern translations usually lack the poetry of the King James because modern biblical scholars are more scientists than artists.
Nevertheless, there are two major problems with the King James Version. First of all, when it was translated in 1611, there were relatively few Hebrew and Greek manuscripts available. In the 400 years since then, literally thousands more manuscripts have been discovered, ranging from small portions to complete copies of the Old or New Testaments. Many of these are very early and more accurate.
Secondly, the English in the King James Version is not at all the same language spoken today. Both the vocabulary and grammar have changed considerably. As a result, we must frequently retranslate the King James into modern English that is current for us. For many people, especially children, reading the King James Version is like reading a foreign language.
Modern translators have done this work for us.
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