Many people choose a version of the Bible based upon readability. This has lead many to believe that is why there are so many versions. The truth is, at what point do we stop mass producing new versions, and ask ourselves how many do we really need? There have been hundreds if not thousands of English Bibles produced since the KJV was completed. Starting with the Revised Standard Version of 1881, to the Voice and Message of today.
But they all say the same thing. No they don’t. That is why this website exists. To expose the truth about why there have been so many Bibles. Readability is not the priority for modern translators. This is evident in the names of the new translations. The word “standard” is in the vast majority of modern Bible translations. So then why isn’t there a standard? Why does every church employ a different version?
This will be dealt with in the future. But for right now we will dispel a myth about the King James Version.
1. The King James uses outdated English.
This is true to the degree that early modern English is not in use. However, the English in the King James Bible is still understood.
This article will show why, no matter how different our modern English is today, the KJB English is clearer and should be the only English used for a Bible version.
Early modern English had clearer distinctions for the word you.
In early modern English, ye refers to multiple people.
Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
Thou and thee and thy refers to one person.
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. (Matthew 6:9)
This distinction is necessary. When Jesus was talking to one individual person, yet the KJV renders it ye, it is because He is referencing multiple people.
For example, in John 3:7 Jesus (talking to Nicodemus) says:
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Since ye is plural, it is clear Jesus is referencing more than just Nicodemus.
This distinction is lost in modern versions.
Take for instance, Isaiah 7:10-14
Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee (singular) a sign of the LORD thy (singular) God, ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I temp the LORD. And he said, Hear ye (plural) now, O house of David, is it a small thing for you (plural) to weary men, but will ye (plural) weary my God also? Therefore the LORD himself shall give you (plural) a sing, Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
This prophecy of the virgin Birth, is not just for Ahaz, it is for the entire house of David. This distinction is made clear by the context, and the early modern English.
Let us see this verse in the modern version.
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13 Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. (NRSV)
Since ye was removed, one cannot tell if this prophecy refers just to Ahaz or to the house of David. Regardless, it doesn’t matter because they changed virgin to young woman.
This is seen as well in 2 Chronicles 7:17-20
And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;
Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.
The KJV’s English makes the proper distinction between the singular and plural.
As for you, if you walk before me, as your father David walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I made covenant with your father David saying, ‘You shall never lack a successor to rule over Israel.’
“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will pluck you up from the land that I have given you; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. NSRV
As you can see, the modern version’s English made the distinction disappear. This is why the KJV’s is necessary.