Honza Pokorný

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A few quotes from The King James Version: Its tradition, text, and translation

Here are a few choice quotes from the The King James Version: Its tradition, text, and translation article in the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible edited by Dr Joel Beeke:

Should we set the KJV aside because it’s too difficult to read?

Notwithstanding its age, there is no good reason to disregard it or to relegate it to the past. […] In every way, the KJV is an outstanding version of the Scriptures, worthy of continued use as well as historic respect. […] The supposed difficulty in understanding the language of the KJV can be remedied by habitual exposure to it. […] It does not take much exposure to figure out that “to wit” means “to know,” “to prevent” means “to precede,” “quick” means “alive,” or “conversation” means “behavior.”

Should we set the KJV aside because it’s based on the wrong text?

Our principal reason for retaining the KJV after all these years is the text from which it is translated. We believe that the extant evidence justifies the conclusion that the Greek edition used by the KJV translators represents the best tradition preserved in the majority of witnesses to the text of the New Testament. The KJV’s predecessors were based on the same basic text, but with the exception of the New King James Version, its successors have used a different textual basis. In the providence of God, which text to use was not an issue for the seventeenth-century translators; they used the only text available to them. But what was the only text then remains the best text tradition now. That is not surprising, since it represents the text perpetuated by the church, to whom God entrusted His Word. […] The few manuscripts available to Erasmus represented the text tradition that had prevailed from the early church and had been preserved in what we now know to be the vast majority of witnesses to the inspired text of the New Testament. When compared with the majority of extant Greek manuscripts, the Received Text agrees ninety-nine percent of the time. What a testimony this is to the providence of God in preserving His Word!

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