Not so long ago I was talking to my wife in our dining room. We had a guest over who had dropped by and were enjoying one another’s company. I had finished whatever I was snacking on and went to discard the trash into the waste basket. Seeing the trash can reminded me of something that had occurred earlier in the day. I decided that I would share it with my wife. I told her that someone had given me a free study bible, but that I didn’t recognize the name of it. So I went online and tried to find out as much as I could about the bible. The bible was recently released in 1985 and it was reportedly a bible that was to have been translated from the original Greek and Hebrew texts. I told my wife upon discovering this information I promptly through the book away. This was of no surprise to her, but to our guest… well you should have seen the look on her face.
I told her that that was not the bible, despite what the cover may have said. The number one clue is that is says that it is translated from the original Hebrew and Greek, yet the sight did not say if it was the Messianic and Received Text or the Septuagint. In fact is was very difficult to find anything on the translation or transliteration of the text of this version of the Bible. This would indicate that either the publisher or the authors were ignorant or lying. It did indicate that it was in a modern English version and therefore easier to read. That would incline my thoughts that it was a transliteration, or paraphrased bible, as many are today. This is the main argument that most new bible versions make. The original translation and all before this one, were not quite accurate. They were unreadable do to ancient English words, and their new version is more easily understood and more accurate to the intent of the original texts… of which do not exist.
Some arguments just do not make sense. What I am talking about is that many people have come to the belief that the King James Bible was written in Old English and is harder to understand than modern versions. I believe that this is just because the lie has been told so many times, that it has become accepted as the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is not even sought after. The truth is that the King James bible is written in modern English. Here is an example, below it the Lord’s Payer (Our Father), which is something that most all of us are familiar with from the King James version of the Bible.
The Lord’s Prayer King James Version (KJV)
9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
-Matthew 6:9-13 (https://www.lords-prayer-words.com/king_james_version_kjv.html)
The same thing if written in Old English would appear as:
Example of Old English
The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)
Fæder ure ðu ðe eart on heofenum si ðin nama gehalgod to-becume ðin rice geweorþe ðin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofenum. Urne ge dæghwamlican hlaf syle us to-deag and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgifaþ urum gyltendum ane ne gelæde ðu us on costnunge ac alys us of yfle.
I think that it is relatively easy to see the difference in the King James Version and the Old English version. The King James is clearly written in modern English and is quite understandable in its delivery of the subject and the matter of prayer. With a little work on ones English vocabulary, using a modern dictionary, we would have no difficulty in knowing the definition of any word we could not readily understand. This is because the words are immediately identifiable in modern English.
Now to look at another point. Are the “latest and greatest” versions of the bible easier to understand than the English of the King James version? Well, let us take a look at just one verse. Psalms 12:6 is a great verse to consider. The reason why is that if we believe that the bible is the inspired word of God and is therefore complete and authoritative then we should pay attention to this verse. In the King James which comes from the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus which was used by the earliest Christians, it reads as follows.
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. – Psalms 12:6 KJV
We believe this, correct? The words of the LORD (Jehovah) are pure. They have been tried in a furnace like silver is. They have been done so seven times, meaning that they are completely pure, and therefore do not need to be corrected by man. Is that what we believe? Well, let us take a look at this same verse in The Message Bible. Let us see how they have improved the text and made it easier to understand.
God’s words are pure words, Pure silver words refined seven times In the fires of his word-kiln, Pure on earth as well as in heaven. -Psalm 12:6 MSG
Let us look at the obvious first. How many of you know what a word-kiln is? How many have even heard of such a thing? Is this just some made up word to make the word furnace easier to understand? I mean a furnace seems like a good word to put an image in your mind of a something that is extremely hot and used to purify precious metals in. But the word-kiln? Well, there is a reason for your not understanding. It is a made up word that is a variation of an Old English word.
There is no word-kiln that I could find. But there is a kiln and it is an Old English word which means an oven, or furnace. It has it’s origins from the Latin “culina” meaning “kitchen”. So, in making the bible more understandable to modern Christians he changed the wording to a language that no one has spoken since around A.D. 1150. Well maybe it was just this one thing in this translation, after all many of the original translators from the Masoretic texts had to revise their version as they grew in knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. It would be possible except it is not a translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts at all.
Now if you read the publishers advertisements on this bible version, you will see things like “translation from the original languages” that “accurately communicates the original Hebrew and Greek”, and other such claims. However, the author did not set out to make a more accurate translation of the bible. Instead he noted, “his congregation was bored with the Biblical text as they knew it, and so, in order to stimulate them, he wrote a paraphrase”. (http://www.bible-researcher.com/themessage.html)
This is quite a difference from having a bible in your hand that you can believe is the authoritative word of God. Instead you have the opinion of a man, who may have done some light translations, but then added to that his own meaning, in order to liven up the text. He was just trying to help God out, because it appears that God, in his infinite wisdom, had obviously fallen short in reaching his congregation. I don’t know how the devil talks to such men to pervert the very text they claim to believe in. But he is not the only one who has been mislead by men and devil. It is clear in this referenced verse that his paraphrase of the verse has changed the meaning of the verse altogether. In the Messianic Text version (KJV) God says that his words are completely pure, while in the MSG paraphrase it says that Gods words are pure silver words. This takes away the everlasting context from the Word of God. In other words… LOL the Word of God may have been good and relevant at the time God gave them, but not so much today, or in our current circumstance. This is a dangerous, humanistic point of view. Still not convinced? Here is another one of many:
Romans 9:27-28 (KJV)
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
Compared to the same verses in The Message Bible.
Romans -:27-28 (MSG)
27 Isaiah maintained this same emphasis: If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled “chosen of God,” They’d be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection. 28 God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus.
Well… do I need to go into this one? OK, I will just to see if you see the same things that I see. In the first verse there is passion in the heart of Isaiah (Esaias). He is crying and pleading for Israel. In the KJV we see that Isaiah is warning Israel that not everyone who is a citizen of Israel with be saved. No matter how many there are, only a small fragment will be saved. Because God is just and he will complete his work of righteousness, no matter they are prepared or not. This is quite a different view of the text given by the MSG, whose main concern seems to be with arithmetic. While it is still true that God call us all individually, it is of more concern that God can call a nation, and still not save the entirety of a nation. There you see that the paraphrase version once again missed the meaning of the verse and stripped God of his authority to judge in righteousness.
This is only one of many new versions of the bible that are out there. They all have these smooth-talking words that sound good and great, but they totally miss the meaning of the text and the character of God. What is worse is the subconscious effect on how we see the authority of God. I cannot tell you how many times, as a preacher, that someone has come up to me and asked, what version should I read? I tell them there is only one Bible, the rest are impersonators. This one we were able to debunk in an easy textual criticism and research with a quick google on the authorship of the version. Other versions we have to go deeper into the authorship, the texts, and the political climate, and financial reasoning for their releases.
If you ask me which English version of the bible to use, I will always say to use the oldest and most reliable version that has been around for over 400 years and who the devil has been trying to discredit and burn since before it’s inception, the King James, Authorized Version of the Holy Bible.