(Article for publication week of 2-24-2010 AD)
"... to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Word" (Isaiah 66:2).
In previous articles we have been defending the Authorised Translation of the Bible as the best translation for the English-speaking people. Our first and foremost reason for this defense is the underlying text of the KJV, the Textus Receptus. Our second reason is that the KJV gives more glory to Christ, being clearer on His Deity than the newer translations. Our third reason is the good fruit that has been produced by the King James Bible and the other translations derived from the Textus Receptus.
Next, I want to suggest that the Authorised Translation tends to produce more reverence for God and His Word. One argument that some have made for modern translations is that they are easier to understand. Their proponents claim that the KJV is too hard for modern people to understand because of some of the difficult words and some of its archaic language.
First of all, I just ask you to open your KJV Bible and honestly look at the words. The KJV is for the most part composed of words of two or three syllables. Admittedly, there are some words that convey unique concepts to our minds and take some concentration and study. The word "propitiation" comes to mind (Romans 3:25). This delightful word came into the English language through the translation of the Bible by William Tyndale. We do not have a better word to convey the truth of the gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ suffered as a penal Substitute for His people. By his death He turned away the wrath of a Holy God from those who believe in Him. This is a truth that causes us to tremble before God and rejoice in the finished work of Christ. Propitiation is a glorious word for the believer in Christ and one that he would not trade for anything. Sadly the word "propitiation" is missing from many modern translations, and we fear the reason is that some of the modern translators do not believe in propitiation and are probably not saved.
Concerning "archaic " language, I will just say that most of us do not have that much trouble with understanding "Thee" and "Thou". We learned pretty early that it is the second person pronoun. Many folks today do not want to address the Lord as "Thee" and "Thou." They want to be on equal terms with God. But dear ones, we are not equal with God. The old majestic language of the King James Bible provokes a spirit of reverence that is missing in the modern translations and is evidenced by the lack of reverence in today's professing church. We are to tremble before the word of God, not read it like it is the daily paper or a funny book.
Then there are "archaic" words like "holp" and "reckon". These words were in the vocabulary of our grandparents, and rather than throw them away, we ought to cultivate their use. The modern church is cursed with a desire to be "hip" and like the world. Modern day church members and preachers try to imitate the world rather than setting a standard. May the Lord deliver us from such modernity. The King James Bible is written in a pure form of English that is worth preserving for spiritual and practical reasons.
Do you tremble at the word of God?