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Learning the Bible

12. Which Bible to Use

The King James is the closest to the original of all the most commonly available translations. However, there are no differences between the translations that would make the difference between heaven and hell.

The King James Bible is the simplest, to read. It only has about 8,000 different words as opposed to the NIV, which has over 14,000 different words.

In comparisons of different translations for grade level placement, one scholar came to the following assessment:

· The King James averages grade level- 5.8 (fifth grade, eighth month)

· New International Version- 8.4

· New American Standard Bible- 6.1

· The English Version-7.2

· New KJV- 6.9

I am convinced the KJV is the most accurate English Bible commonly available. It does have some problems, but it came from superior transcripts and had more scholarly translators who actually believed the Bible was true. Some other translation’s translators didn’t really believe the Bible was true, especially concerning Creation, before they started and this has affected how they translated certain passages.

There are people that have learned Greek and Hebrew to aid in their study of the Bible. They say that there is nothing like reading It in the original to get the full meaning, but the KJV comes closer than any of the other translations.

It also is written in the most beautiful form the English language has ever taken; Shakespearian English. Not only is God’s Word worthy of being presented in the most beautiful form available, this near-poetic language is easier to memorize. See which sticks in the brain better;

“First this: God created the Heavens and Earth--all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.” (The Message Bible)


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (King James Version)

Though similar, the later has a poetic cadence that makes it easier to memorize.

The unfamiliar words (form, void, etc) give me a perfect opportunity to increase my vocabulary. And since the new words are used in real life, I will remember them far better than if they had come from an abstract workbook page.

I will use other translations occasionally as study tools, to get a different perspective on a verse and help me with my understanding, but when there is a difference of translation, I will go with the KJV.

Psalms12:6-7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them (His Words), O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away”.

“Cling to the whole Bible, not a part of it. A man cannot do much with a broken sword.”

The “thee’s and thou’s” that bother so many in the KJV have a specific purpose. When the King James was translated, thee, thou, thy, and thine were singular pronouns while “you” was plural. (In modern English “you” is both singular and plural, occasionally causing some confusion.) This makes it much clearer who the author is talking to or about.

There are some problems with the KJV, however. For one, the men who translated it added a few verses in, originally as footnotes, that have since been incorporated into the main text. 1 John 5:7 is one of those. This is due to the influence of the very inaccurate Latin Vulgate.