Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is Modern Better? A Response to a Comment

Response to KCTeenCenter on Translation vs. Paraphrase


Your desire to make things "clear" for readers who come to this blog, that the KJV is out-dated in language begs the question is the modern language better in communicating the doctrine and teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

The short answer is no, one cannot assume because of an old language that the KJV does not and cannot offer the principles and teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His Gospel.

Which leads to the second point: "KJV was written with the Church of England's beliefs in mind"

Since it is not clarified in your point I have to assume within the context of your statement that you are insinuating the principles/doctrine of Christ has been compromised some how by the personalized beliefs of the Church of England.

With all due respect to the history of the King James Version, where are these “beliefs” evident in the KJV that undermine the sound doctrine/principles of His Word?

Putting this thought on hold, let me share with you... the 2 reasons you list as basis of support against the KJV are reasons I have heard repeatedly to support another translation over the KJV. In dialoguing with a Jehovah's Witness, the same reasons, in so many words or less, were spelled out to me. This person attempted to make their translation (Watchtower) appear as though the only difference between the two was the language, when I pointed out the two translations taught different doctrines, I was told it (KJV) was full of errors. She never could show me how and where the “errors” were. My point… anyone can say the KJV is full errors, but proof, as they say, lies in the pudding...not in an archaic language.

Does easy readability equals understanding?

There is no question the NLT is easy to read; after all it was my reason for choosing it in the beginning. But as I explained in the original post, I repeatedly ran into inconsistent passages. Thus is the problem and reason why the NLT is the subject of debate and dissatisfaction of many.

In all honesty, I would not have recognized the inconsistency, IF I wasn’t desirous of reading whole books/chapters at a time as opposed to reading stand alone scripture.

The truth… this is how Christians study and it is also how pastors preach... with stand – alone, out-of-context scripture. Truly I got MORE out of the KJV in my short 5 years, compared to the 10 PLUS years I studied and read out of the NLT.

But back to the question, does readability equate to understanding...the answer is no.

Found in both versions the "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (minus "the" NLT states the first part of Proverbs 1:7 VERBATIM, how's that for an archaic language?)
Reading further in Proverbs 2:1-6

"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."

"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."

(For your benefit: Proverbs 2:6 NLT For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.)

When asked why He spoke in parables, Christ answered this:

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Matt. 13:13

Keeping in mind that the disciples had the very presence of Christ teaching them, yet they still did not understand the fullness of what He taught…until the Holy Spirit was given to them.  Acts 2

In essence, NO, easy reading does not promote understanding.

The truth of the matter is today’s Christian culture desires the “easy” readability of translations today, they have, what I call a “diet pill” mentality.  Everything (Christians and non) must come quick, easy with immediate results.

With this diet pill mentality, Christians want the result without the work. They want the knowledge without the “fear”. They want the wisdom without searching and seeking (Him).

It is my very personal years of experience that the KJV has PROVEN to be consistent and wholesome compared to the NLT.

And YES, I absolutely need to study it with my Greek/Hebrew Lexicon! YES, I study it with a bible dictionary handy! And if I’m stumped for understanding, YES, I present my confusion to the LORD for He alone is my source of wisdom and understanding! I seek wisdom and knowledge of the LORD as for “hid treasures”. It is my absolute pleasure to do so!

In closing, I must say I find it disturbing when one promotes a translation as “end all, be all” for it seems to be a belief focused more on the “works of Man” rather than the truth of God.

Am I declaring in my post that the NLT is not to be read or studied out of? No, I am not. The NLT was apart of my journey in my walk with God. But I do declare and warn that the NLT can be inconsistent and at times confusing.

Why do I declare this? I am apart of NO denomination or church. I have made allegiance to no pastor of self-proclaimed prophet.

I promote SOUND doctrine and like the Word, I warn of “false prophets” and doctrine as it our duty to watch for and keep ourselves from. If I am wrong for exhorting and encouraging other like-minded Believers to search out a matter and cry out for knowledge, then by the standards of NLT lovers everywhere, I am wrong.

I leave with this question, if the NLT trumps the KJV in errors, language and understanding, why, then, are churches with different doctrines and denominations, reading from the same translation (NLT)? Why do they not agree with another?

Eph. 4:5,6 "There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all." - NLT

(I received the NLT from my pastor, when I was a member of the World Wide Church of God, considered a borderline cult, by many mainstream churches at that time)


  1. The issue i have is who says the KJV is right? Its riddled with errors and its in 16th century english.

    We are much better qualified today than in 1611 to make a modern English translation, understandable to the average English speaker in the 20th century. The KJV may have been a wonderful translation in its day, but it is a translation into 17th century English. English is a living language, it evolves. No translation into a living language can be permanent because the language itself will change, making old translations difficult at best, incomprehensible at worst.

    One question that comes up is the KJV is a better manuscript or i mean it was translated from a better manuscript.
    My answer is I find this argument rather amusing coming from someone trying to defend the KJV considering that the KJV was based on a single text. The KJV translators were working solely from the Textus Receptus which was compiled from a relatively recent set of manuscripts by Erasmus, a secular humanist.
    The more recent translations, such as the NIV, are based on many different manuscripts, which as I have said helps weed out the few copying errors that did creep in. Also, the translators had access to much earlier, and so more reliable texts than the KJV transators worked with.

    WHy is it always the KJV that everyone says is correct? Who says so? You know that the KJV onlyism came from a 7th day advetest back in the early 1900s? And his book went unnoticed it was not till many years later into the 70s that someone really was able to make it a worldwide thing. And there is no basis that the KJV is correct. Many of the ideas and things conveyed in the KJV are wrong. Because the translators were trying to convey what they were reading into something modern at the time.And it was written in England and even today even though they speak english i know many things they say are still different then the words we use to describe doing the very same thing.

    I say im going to call you they say ill give you a ring. To me it sounds like they mean im going to ring you like ring your neck but we know what they mean.

    My point is this.. That we know that many things or words in the KJV mean something different today then they did in 1611. Maybe the NLT or NIV say it different but if the meaning is the same then whats wrong? Many times people confuse a word or phrase in the KJV and think why does the NLT or NIV not have this or say it this way? COuld be a number of reasons but i firmly believe God uses many translations to teach us. DIfferent people have different preferences and considering that in the KJV i have to stop and think ok how would this be today or what was he trying to say it bothers me. Jesus did not speak 16th century english. So why on earth everyone thinks that is the bible we should use is beyond me.

    I will never understand why everyone thinks that the KJV is more accurate when its been proven its not. People who study this stuff i would think know more then the rest of us. I also like that the NLT is a thought for thought. We get to understand the thought that was trying to get across rather then a word for word.
    Now sometimes word for word is good but in other areas thought is better because the exact translation over word for word would not come out correctly.

  2. You will find my response to your comment as a post at:


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