The joke goes about the translation of the Bible, “If the King James was good enough for Peter and Paul, it’s good enough for me.” But is this really laughable? Here’s 10 reasons for using the King James over other versions:
- The King James Bible is less expensive to buy.
- The King James is not under copyright infringement law; so, you can copy all of it if you want in your latest book.
- The Blue Letter Bible study app defaults to the King James providing study links to each word. This is not available generally in the other translations.
- It is best in a group setting, especially a Bible study, because it is readily available for all. Most churches stock copies of the KJV in pew racks, for example. Use it as notes.
- Memorizing scripture means you must choose a translation. Most scripture memorization in VBS and Sunday School programs are in the KJV. The KJV is tried and proven for this important aspect of Christian life.
- The Psalms are poetry. as is a large part of the Old Testament, which best matches the rhythmic cadence of the KJV translation. Most Scriptural songs are taken from the KJV.
- The KJV is the most popular version among Protestants and universally accepted. It is clear that after more than 400 years, the King James Bible has more than proven its staying power. It’s had a very powerful influence on our language and our literature, to this very day.
- Most Christians, doctrinally, support the Verbal Plenary Theory of Inspiration which says the words—and not just the ideas—are inspired, [That’s why we study Biblical languages.] This gives added credence to a literal (word for word) translation of the Bible, like the KJV. Some, so-called, paraphrased translation, are more like a commentary of the Scriptures, rather than the Scriptures. themselves. So, if you are doing a group word study, the King James version gives you opportunity to focus on any word that you want to whereas interpretations of the Bible may not. Often the NIV is like the Message, a free flowing interpretation that makes it hard to locate the word in question. Word-for-Word is regarded as the most accurate. It leaves the least wiggle room for error or misunderstanding.
- Most Concordances for Bible study, like Strong’s Concordance, use the KJV as their base translation. For the scholar who wants to dig deeper but is not familiar with the original languages, there is a lot of material if you are familiar with the KJV.
- Why change! Churches began using it and stuck with it because it met the needs of believers. If it’s not broke ….
A Summary: The KJV remains the most popular Bible in the English-speaking world. It’s because of its amazing literary qualities, its memorability, and the fact that many of the Study Bible cross references originated with the KJV. To paraphrase the joke: If it was good enough for gramma, it is good enough for me.