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Is the King James Bible Harder to Understand Than Modern Versions?

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2 Timothy 3:2-5; "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Most of us have seen the advertisements in Christian Book Stores, on Television and billboards and we've heard the radio ads concerning different bible versions that are supposed to be "easier to read" than the King James Version.

Do you realize WHO wrote those ads? Let me give you a little hint, if I may: It was NOT English majors, but Advertising majors. In other words, it was not anyone who really KNOWS about the subject, they just know how to get your attention and to make you think you're getting a really good thing (Have you ever listened to automobile ads? You know the ones, "IT'S OUR GREATEST SALE EVER"..."YOU'LL NEVER SEE PRICES THIS LOW AGAIN") Hehe...it's a little amusing that people still fall for them. In any case, though, this is exactly the type of thinking that most of the "new version" ads attempt to force upon you.

For you that perhaps are authors, poets, technical writers, educators, etc., you have no doubt heard of the Flescher-Kincaid Company's 'Grade Level Indicator'. They are not biased and it matters very little to them the CONTENT of any book. They assign a Readability scale to books in order to determine the ease with which one might read and understand a particular book.

The results are BLACK AND WHITE. There is no room to question, they are entirely fair and unbiased and they are recognized worldwide as definitive. The KJV ranks easier in 23 out of 26 comparisons.

(Their formula is: (.39 x average number of words per sentence) + (11.8 x average number of syllables per word) - (15.59) = grade level. The first chapter of the first and last books of both the Old and New Testaments were compared. (All complete sentences, whether terminating in a period, colon, or semi-colon, and all incomplete phrases ending in a period, were calculated as 'sentences'.)

Comparison

Compared

KJV Grade Level

NIV Grade Level

NASB Grade Level

Today's English Version Grade Level

New KJV Grade Level

Genesis 1

4.4

5.1

4.7

5.1

5.2

Malachi 1

4.6

4.8

5.1

5.4

4.6

Matthew 1

6.7

16.4

6.8

11.8

10.3

Revelation 1

7.5

7.1

7.7

6.4

7.7

Grade Level Average

5.8

8.4

6.1

7.2

6.9

To extend the inquiry, one each of the three book-types (Gospel, Pauline epistle, General epistle) were surveyed. The resulting data confirms the readability of the KJV.

Comparison 2

Compared

KJV Grade Level

NIV Grade Level

NASB Grade Level

Today's English Version Grade Level

New KJV Grade Level

John 1:1-21

3.6

3.6

4.2

5.9

3.9

Galatians 1:1-21

8.6

9.8

10.4

6.7

8.9

James 1:1-21

5.7

6.5

7.0

6.0

6.4

Grade Level Average

6.0

6.6

7.2

6.2

6.4

Once again, the King James Version prevails in readability. Why? The KJV uses one or two syllable words while new versions substitute complex multi- syllable words and phrases. Their "heady, high-minded" vocabulary hides the simplicity of hope of salvation from saints and sinners alike. Look at these examples:

2 Corinthians 3:12; "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:"

The NASB substitutes "lividness of speech" here and carries this confusing and condescending vocabulary from cover to cover. Children and church members need to change to the KJV for real "clarity." An extensive list is not given, but enough IS given to get the picture. Unfortunately, it is not often that Christians of today are encouraged to READ, to THINK or to REASON for themselves.

Most people, when questioned as to WHY they believe a particular thing will proclaim "BECAUSE MY PASTOR TEACHES IT THAT WAY" (or someone else they trust). The Cold FACT of the whole matter is that very few ever read and study the word for themselves!

Below are 100+ examples of this thinking om the NASB: though I've already covered the NIV in detail, and the NASB in detail in more complete comparisons.

KJV versus NASB

Passage Compared

NASB's word(s) (easier?)

KING JAMES VERSION

Matthew 1:12, 1:17

deportation

carried away

Matthew 1:20

considered

thought

Matthew 2:1, 2:7

magi

wise men

Matthew 2:16

environs

coasts

Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17

winnowing fork

fan

Matthew 5:15

peck-measure

bushel

Matthew 5:19

annuls

break

Matthew 5:21

murder

kill

Matthew 8:1, Luke 5:29

recline at the table

sat

Matthew 8:32

begone

go

Matthew 9:13, 12:7

compassion

mercy

Matthew 9:17

wineskins

bottles

Matthew 9:18

synagogue official

certain ruler

Matthew 9:20

hemorrhage

issue of blood

Matthew 9:20, 14:36

fringe

hem

Matthew 9:38, Luke 10:2

beseech

pray

Matthew 10:1

summoned

called

Matthew 10:10

tunics

coats

Matthew 10:16

shrewd

wise

Matthew 11:26, Luke 10:21

well pleasing

good

Mark 2:16

unshrunk

new

Mark 14:3

vial

box

Mark 14:3, 14:18

reclining

sat

Mark 15:18

acclaim

salute

Luke 1:22

mute

speechless

Luke 3:5

ravine

valley

Luke 6:17

descended

came down

Luke 5:5

bidding

word

Luke 6:22

ostracize

separate you from their company

Luke 6:48

torrent burst

stream beat

Luke 6:49

collapsed

fell

Luke 7:2

highly regarded

dear

Luke 7:32

sang a dirge

have mourned

Luke 8:15

perserverance

patience

Luke 8:31

the abyss

the deep

Luke 8:33

rushed

ran

Luke 9:39

seizes

taketh

Luke 9:42

dashed him to the ground

threw him

Luke 9:45

concealed

hid

Luke 10:2

plentiful

great

Luke 10:20

recorded

written

Luke 11:21

undisturbed

in peace

Luke 11:28

observe it

keep it

Luke 23:45

being obscured *

darkened

* Being Obscured? I wonder why they changed this? Could it be that they were trying to tell us that this was not supernatural move of God, but maybe was an "eclipse" or come other "natural phenomenon"?

John 6:60

difficult

hard

John 7:6

opportune

ready

John 10:3

portico

porch

John 10:24

suspense

doubt

John 11:17

tomb

grave

John 11:57

seize

take

John 11:39

stench

stinketh

John 12:45

beholds

seeth

John 13:23

reclining

leaning

John 14:27

fearful

afraid

John 16:8

concerning

of

1 Thessalonians 2:17

having been bereft of you

being taken from you

1 Thessalonians 2:18

thwarted

hindered

1 Thessalonians 5:1

epochs

seasons

1 Thessalonians 5:14

admonish

warn

2 Thessalonians 2:3

apostasy

falling away

2 Thessalonians 2:3

lawlessness

sin

2 Thessalonians 3:2

perverse

unreasonable

2 Thessalonians 3:6

aloof

withdraw

1 Timothy 1:15

foremost of all

chief

1 Timothy 2:8

dissensions

doubting

1 Timothy 2:9

discreetly

sobriety

1 Timothy 3:2

prudent

sober

1 Timothy 3:2

respectable

of good behavior

1 Timothy 3:3

pugnacious

striker

1 Timothy 3:3

uncontentious

not a brawler

1 Timothy 3:8

sordid

filthy

1 Timothy 5:12

previous pledge *

first faith

* Previous Pledge? Faith is equated to being a "pledge"?

1 Timothy 6:3

advocates

teaches

1 Timothy 6:4

conceited

proud

1 Timothy 6:10

a pang

sorrows

2 Timothy 3:2

arrogant

proud

Titus 1:6

dissipation

riot

Titus 1:7

sordid

filthy

Titus 3:2

to malign no one

to speak evil of no man

Titus 3:2

uncontentious

to be no brawlers

Titus 3:10

factious

heretick

Philippians 2:1

consolation

comfort

Philippians 2:3

deficient

lack

Hebrews 2:17

propitiation

reconciliation

Hebrews 5:10

designated

called

Hebrews 7:2

apportioned

gave

Hebrews 12:1

encumbrance

weight

James 1:2

encounter

fall into

James 1:11

in the midst

in his ways

James 5:11

blessed

happy

1 Peter 4:4

dissipation

riot

1 John 5:7

CORRUPTED !!!

These Three ARE ONE

This is one scripture that most modern bible versions ALWAYS corrupt. Why don't they like it?

1 John 5:10

borne

gave

Revelation 1:3

heed

keep

Revelation 2:23

pestilence

death

Revelation 5:11

myriad of myriads (this is comical)

ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands

Revelation 6:8

ashen

pale

Revelation 6:8

famine

hunger

Revelation 7:15

spread his tabernacle over

dwell among

Revelation 11:11

who were beholding them

saw

Revelation 12:3, 13:1

diadems

crowns

Revelation 13:5

arrogant words

great things

Revelation 16:9

fierce

great

Revelation 16:21

severe

great

Revelation 17:18

abyss

bottomless pit

Revelation 18:11, 18:12

cargoes

merchandise

Revelation 21:8

cowardly

fearful

Revelation 22:7

heeds

keepeth

So which is more readable to you?

You must realize that an "interpretation" is NOT a "translation". READ the PREFACE to a few of todays modern versions and you'll find that they had no intention of providing a correct interpretation but felt it was OK to change, eliminate, or rearrange entire passages of the Word, all in the name of "better readability".

The test results by far show that the King James version IS MORE READABLE than any other.
One more excuse for NOT reading it is now removed!

In summary look at this final comparison and decide ... IS IT OK to DELETE portions of the Bible? If you say now, then you need to go back and rethink your reasons for adopting a "modern" version.

Word Counts

Version

Number of Words

Number of words in your vocabulary required to understand this version

Number of Total Verses

Comments

King James (AV)

790,685

12,784

31,102

Fewer Vocabulary Words Required to Understand

New International Version (NIV)

726,019

14,500

31,085

64,576 words deleted

New King James (NKJV)

770,930

13,309

31,102

19,755 words deleted

Revised Stan dard Version (RSV)

760,151

14,110

31,083

30,534 words deleted

This chart speaks volumes. In each instance, there are FEWER words, and Fewer verses in most cases, yet a LARGER Vocabulary is required to read and understand. Hmmm.

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