Some Bibles in the KJV tradition, from left to right: The Modern English Version(MEV), the Jubilee 2000 Bible, the New King James Version(NKJV) and the original King James Version(KJV).
O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.
Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.
Psalm 96:1-5 (KJV)
For over four hundred years, the Authorised King James Version(KJV) of the Bible, arguably the finest work of English prose ever created, has filled the spiritual stomachs of milions of Christians across the English speaking world, through war and peace times, booms, recessions and depressions. When one thinks of a ‘Bible’ it is the KJV that most people bring to mind first. Its influence on western civilization, in particular, has been incalculable, inspiring literary genuises like William Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Seamus Heaney, T.S. Elliot, VS Naipaul, C.S. Lewis, Raymond Chandler and P.D. James to name but a few. The austere beauty of its composition found its way onto the lips of such eloquent speakers as Abraham Lincoln, John Wesely, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Dr. Martin Luther King. And high above the Earth, the Apollo 8 astronauts recited the Book of Genesis during Christmas 1968, as they courageously plyed the seas of outer space on their way to the Moon. Its lofty, passionate language was considered essential reading for any English-speaking man or woman wishing to acquire a well-rounded education. Over a billion(perhaps as many as 2 billion) copies of the distinguished Bible have made their way into homes, libraries, churches and hotels scattered throughout the face of the Earth.
In commissioning the new translation of the Bible in “ploughman’s English,” King James VI of Scotland (and the 1st of England), used it to help cement the crowns of both nations, uniting both Puritans and Anglicans under a common ecclesiastical heritage. Although much of the language of the KJV is now out-dated, with some word meanings having completely changed with the march of time, it is still cherished by an adoring legion of Bible readers from both the Protestant and Catholic traditions.
Because the English language is constantly evolving, scholars have endeavoured to up-date the KJV so that it would appeal to a modern readership. In this blog, I wish to discuss a modest sampling of such efforts, including the New King James(NKJV), the Jubilee 2000 and the Modern English Version( MEV), all of which show great deferentiality to the Authorised Version, and formulated using much of the same underlying manuscript tradition.
But before embarking on an analysis of these newer Bibles, I would like to provide a few reasons why all Christians should read the KJV through at least once in their lives. Firstly, its language is unchanged since it was last updated in 1769 (the original 1611 version is almost unreadable in comparison) and so what you are reading now is what your forebears also read. There is no danger of it being altered or updated to conform with modern culture(which unfortunately has become a dangerous trend with some modern translations). It thus provides a timeline uniting previous generations to our own. Secondly, its poetic qualities are second to none. Created to be read out loud, its words resonate whenever a passage from it is recited. The Book of Psalms, in particular, is sublime when read from the KJV.
The KJV is also very precise (or literal), the original committee of translators being very careful to produce a translation which is faithful to the original tongues(Greek and Hebrew) in which the Scriptures were formulated. That’s why so many older Biblical commentators used it so extensively.
The KJV appeals to the intellect. If you consider yourself educated and have never read the Authorised King James, you need to remedy this by spending some time with it. Countless proverbs and idioms we still use in contemporary conversation originated with the KJV. Consider some of these phrases, all of which originate in the Old Book:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
Through a glass, darkly
A law unto himself
A drop in the bucket
Holier than thou
Put the words in her mouth
The skin of my teeth
All things to all men
Pearls before swine
Land of milk and honey
Suffer fools gladly
Eye for an eye
Fallen from grace
Blind leading the blind
Den of thieves
Eat, drink and be merry
At their wit’s end
In the twinkling of an eye
Better to give than to receive
Signs of the times
Woe is me
The powers that be
Out of the mouths of babes
The blind lead the blind
Let my people go
My brother’s keeper
Seek and ye shall find
The KJV is also a historic version of the Bible. If you want to better understand the works of such classic theologians as Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards and many from the Puritan tradition, such as Isaac Watts, William Williams, Augustus Toplady, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan and other great revivalists, you will understand their mindset better by familiarising yourself with the old King James.
Many of the hymns we sing at Christmas and Easter, and in our weekly worship on Sunday mornings at Church were written in the King James vernacular. It is also universal in scope, celebrating a very wide international usage across many denominational lines.
An Aside: Read the Bible, any Bible: Jesus said “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). This freedom not only entails salvation but also the truth concerning what is going on all around us. The prophet Isaiah warned us 700 years before Christ;
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5: 20).
In this dark generation, where cultural Marxism is rapidly gaining a foothold in our societies, there is a moral role reversal taking place before our very eyes whereby we are now accepting of lifestyles and behaviours that were always deemed intrinscally depraved.
Then came Osmosis. Thence mass deception.
It’s so important in this wicked age to remain grounded in the truth!
Reading the Bible is arguably the best way to know and guard truth.
The Jubilee 2000 Bible(from the Scriptures of the Spanish Reformation)
The Jubilee 2000 Bible.
The Jubilee 2000 Bible was the brain child of the Hebrew scholar, Russell M. Stendal, who came across an old Spanish Bible, first translated from the original tongues by Casiodoro de Reina in 1569. The manuscripts available to de Reina were the same as those used by reformers who compiled the Authorised King James Version and so belong to the so-called Majority Texts(i.e. Textus Receptus). de Reina made use of earlier Spanish translations of both the New Testament(by Francisco de Enzinas) and Psalms (Juan Perez de Pineda). Stendal also had the presence of mind to compare his Spanish-to- English translation with the earliest translation work carried out by William Tyndale, who produced an English translation of large parts of the Bible as far back as the 1530s(for which he was burmed at the Stake).
Stendal’s translation is very respectful of the Authorised King James Version and in fact, conforms more closely to the KJV than any of the other versions mentioned above. For example, Stendal elected to keep the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ in this translation because, as he claims in the introduction, “serious doctrinal error can result from the consequences of changing Thee, Thou, or Thy to You or Your. This can cause scriptural promises or directives addressed to the individual to be mistakenly applied to a corporate group. Modern English is ambiguous in this regard and lacks the precision necessary to accurately render the true meaning of the original.”
I think Stendal has a point to make here. Consider, for example, the passage from the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, in which Jesus talks to Nicodemus(a Pharisee) about being born again. Here’s how the KJV renders it:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Now, compare that to how the NKJV renders the same passage, without the archaic phraseology:
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Notice that the archaic English distinguishes between ‘you’ singular (thee) and ‘you’ plural( Ye). Thus the reader of modern translations cannot as easily distinguish singular from plural. Here’s how the Jubilee 2000 presents the same passage:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again from above.
John 3:5-7(Jubilee 2000).
Personally, I have no problem with the modern renderings, as usually one can discern whether a “you” is singular or plural from the context of the passage. I do however, like seeing “thee,” “thou” and “Ye,” as they are not in the least bit hard to get used to. After reading a chapter or two of Scripture, you will very quickly assimilate and appreciate them. Besides they have a certain quaintness that appeals to me.
An Amusing Aside: In modern Scots, one will often hear “yous” referring to more than one person.
” Are yous away out tonight?”
Sticklers of course, would balk at the notion of using “yous” in any formal correspondence, but at least it does distinguish between singular and plural!
The Jubilee 2000 translation also maintains many other archaic words found in the KJV such as “published” which means “announced,” “raiment” which is “clothing,” and “charity” which is love. But in many places, Stendal updates some words used in the KJV which are easily misunderstood in the modern vernacular. For example in Genesis 3:1 the Jubilee 2000 replaces “subtil” with “astute,” when referring to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. This generally works, but in one case where he maintains the word “study,” it can be a bit confusing. For example, consider 2 Timothy 2:15:
Study to show** thyself approved unto God, a workman that has nothing to be ashamed of, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15(Jubilee 2000)
** The KJV has the old English word, “shew” instead of “show.”
The trouble is “study” as it is written in this verse of Scripture does not mean “study” as we understand it today. It actually means something like “strive hard.” This passage is better rendered in good, literal versions of the modern Bible, like the NKJV:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
Stendal also outlines in the introduction that all important Hebrew or Greek words maintain the same meaning throughout the entire translation, which makes doctrinal matters very consistent and easy to understand.
Although the introductory pages of the Jubilee Bible are written in American English, I was pleasantly surprised by Stendal’s use of the original British English the KJV adopts. So, for example, instead of “Savior,” which you will see in many other translations, the Jubilee 2000 uses “Saviour.” This is a nice touch that other members of the KJV Bible family have not addressed to my knowledge.
The Jubilee corrects many of the obvious mistakes inherent to the KJV, such as changing the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” to “Thou shalt not murder” and the erroneous use of “Easter” in the Book of Acts to the correct term “Passover.” Intriguingly, Stendal chose to retain the mythical “Unicorn” in Palm 92 and 29 rather than “wild ox” used in other word-for-word translations.
Eventhough the Jubilee 2000 is very close to the Authorised King James Version, it is distinct enough to qualify as a sister text to the latter. For example, consider this passage from 2 Thessalonians first in the KJV:
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2 Thessalonians 2:7-11 (KJV)
Now consider the same passage in the Jubilee 2000:
For the mystery of iniquity is already working, except that he who dominates now will dominate until he is taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth and remove with the clarity of his coming:
that wicked one, who shall come by the working of Satan with great power and signs and lying miracles,
and with all deception of iniquity working in those that perish because they did not receive the charity of the truth, to be saved.
Therefore, for this cause, God shall send the operation of error in them, that they should believe the lie;
2 Thessalonians 2:7-11(Jubilee 2000)
Note how the phrase “strong delusion” used in the KJV and many other highly literal translations is replaced by “the operation of error” in the Jubilee 2000.
Throughout the Jubilee 2000 translation, Stendal elected to use the term “saving health” instead of “salvation.” When this alternative rendering was first presented to me, I admit to being more than a little surprised, but having thought about the term “saving health,” I have now come to appreciate this alternate rendering, as what else does ‘salvation’ from the Living God mean except preservation of health in a body otherwise destined to return to dust?
The Jubilee 2000 Bible I received has a nice synthetic leather (trutone) cover with a beautiful tree as an icon. It is a very plain, somewhat understated, presentation, which appeals to me, with unusual, light yellow-coloured pages. Another unusual feature of this Bible is the way in which it presents the individual chapters, which are denoted by the Book name and chapter number throughout:
The unusual rendering of the book and chapter numbers in the Jubilee 2000 Bible.
The Jubilee 2000 also has an extensive dictionary of Biblical terms at the back of the work, together with a solid concordance for furher study.
A page from the Bible dictionary of the Jubilee 2000.
A sample page from the Jubilee 2000 concordance.
Although I have read through about 50 per cent of the Jubilee 2000, I have been hard-pressed to find any errors, with the possible exception of Psalm 29:6, which has a rather odd phrasing in my copy:
Note the wording of Verse 6 of Psalm 29.
However, when I consulted the online Biblegateway Jubilee 2000 text, the wording appears to have been corrected:
“And He made them skip like calves; Lebanon and Sirion like the sons of the unicorns.”
Psalm 29:6 (Jubilee 2000)
In summary, the Jubilee 2000 is a beautifully rendered sister text to the Authorised King James Version. It will only serve to enrich one’s knowledge of this universally lauded Bible and deserves to be part of the library of all those who love the rich tradition preserved in the KJV. Its only weakness, so far as I can see, is that it is a highly personalised interpretation of the Byzantine texts and does not appear to have been formed by a committee, which increases the likelihood of doctrinal errors creeping in. As King Solomon of old perceived:
...in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
That said, I have not uncovered any such deviations, and I happen to think it is an excellent translation that is certainly easier to read than the original KJV, mostly because the archaic use of punctuation in the latter is updated in the Jubilee 2000, which is altogether sensible, making it that little bit easier to navigate.
The Modern English Version(MEV)
Title page of the MEV Bible.
The Modern English Version (MEV) is a translation of the Textus Receptus and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the MasoreticText, using the King James Version as the base manuscript. It is published by Passio, a division of Charisma Media Book Group and first appeared in 2014. Unlike the Jubilee 2000, the MEV language has been fully updated into clear, modern(American) English, but still maintains much of the cadence of the old KJV. Just like the KJV, the MEV was created using 47 Biblical scholars derived from a broad, inter-denominational Protestant background, just like the Authorized Version, the identities of whom are listed in the introductory pages of the Bible. As stated in the introduction, the MEV was inspired by US and British army chaplains who wanted their troops to “understand the KJV better,” but it soon became apparent to them that this fresh translation would actually benefit “the entire English-speaking world.”
Just like the KJV, the introduction also has a dedication to the reigning monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Queen Elizabeth II;
Just like the dedication to King James I of England, the MEV also has a dedication to Queen Elizabeth II.
Each book of the Bible (66 in all) comes with an introduction which is useful for study and for placing a passage in the correct historical context:
Each of the books of the MEV Bible have an introduction for setiing historical context.
True to the Authorised Version, the MEV faithfully includes verses which are often omitted by many modern translations based on the older(minority or Alexandrian) manuscripts.
Consider, for example, 1 John 5:7
There are three who testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and the three are one.
1 John 5:7(MEV)
Or the case of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:
As they went on their way, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” He answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
However, there are some passages that KJV diehards might be concerned over. Consider this passage from 1 Corinthians Chapter 1:
For to those who are perishing, the preaching of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18(MEV)
Notice the reference to ” being saved” rather than just “saved” as recorded in the KJV:
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18(KJV)
I’ve heard some dreadful KJV onlyists (those who believe the Authorised King James Version is the only inspired Word of God) claim that changing “saved” to “being saved” represents some sort of demonic conspiracy to water down the truth of the Bible lol. However, on consulting my NASB reference Bible, I note that the original Greek can be translated either way.
Much ado about nothing?
I’d say so!
Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship. And just like any good relationship, it ought to be continual, ongoing, new every morning. I relate more to “being saved” than just “saved,” as this entails an active participation, in harmony with the will of our Lord and Creator, Jesus Christ.
The MEV large print Bible edition comes with an excellent 132 page concordance for further study.
Only one error was noted. If you look at Isaiah 58:8 in the MEV it reads:
Then your light shall break forth as the morning,
and your healing shall spring forth quickly,
and your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your reward.
The problem lies with the word “reward” in line 4. This should read “rear guard.” There are about a half dozen other incidences in which the same term is correctly translated in the MEV as “rear guard” suggesting that it was a genuine translation error.
The MEV large print edition is available in a variety of different coloured faux leather covers, all smyth sewn and all possessing a single ribbon marker. This edition is also a redletter (words of Christ are printed in red). The quality is quite good but it appears the MEV is not yet available in premium formats. That said, I believe Passio will shortly provide an updated version of this Bible, which will weed out any remaining bugs with the work. These updates cost money though; to pay for the scholarship as well as the presentation of the Bible as a whole. By purchasing a copy, you can help this fledgling Bible in the KJV tradition go from strength to strength.
The clear, double-column format of the MEV large print Bible.
The large print MEV is a nicely made Bible, available in a number of different coloured covers.
Though this is not a reference Bible, I would highly recommend the MEV to all those who enjoy the old KJV but in a more contemporary, readable, modern English format.
The New King James Version(NKJV)
The New KIng James (Holman version); arguably the finest blend of the old and the new.
The New King James Version(NKJV) is the oldest of the modern attempts to update the Authorised Version. First commissioned by Thomas Nelson in 1975, the NKJV project involved a committee of 130 Biblical scholars chosen from a ‘broad church’ of Christian denominations to create an entirely new translation of the Scriptures from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. True to the original intentions of the KJV translators, who themselves consulted older English translations than the venerable 1611, the committee strove “not to create a new translation but to make a good translation better.” The first edition appeared in 1982 and after some revisions were made, a finalised version appeared in 1984. This is the version which we now have and enjoy.
Unlike the other Bibles discussed in this blog, the NKJV consulted both the Alexandrian and Byzantine texts to bring its readers the finest Biblical scholarship from both genres, but strove hard to maintain the majesty of the Authorised Version. So, for example, verses 9 through 20 in the last chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel are reproduced but do contain a footnote stating that “Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU-text as not original. They are lacking in the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.” The ” Nu” here refers the older, Alexandrian texts(or the so-called Critical Texts).Likewise, the account of the woman caught in adultery in the Gospel of John Chapter 8 are also quoted in the main texts with footnotes indicating that many of the oldest manuscripts do not contain such verses.
Many verses omitted in other translations are faithfuly rendered in the NKJV. Consider 1 John 5:7 for example;
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
1 John 5:7(NKJV)
Some have expressed concern that too many changes were made to the NKJV that interfered with doctrine, but having embraced this translation as my go-to Bible for several years now, I have to say that I respectfully disagree with this assessment. Indeed, I think it to be the perfect amalgam of old and new. Specifically, it does not go as far as the MEV in updating the English, but does remove more archaic words than the Jubilee 2000 translation, for example. Personally, I think it’s an awesome translation, one that I favour above all others. What is more, I find it easy to go from the NKJV back to the KJV, but equally so, I find it just as easy to move over to fully modernised versions like the ESV and NIV.
One of the things that really appeals to me regarding the NKJV(American English) is that the text has not been updated since 1984. Indeed, some commentators have claimed that the language of the NKJV has already been outdated. That said, I have heard through the grapevine that Thomas Nelson have not said categorically that they will not update the text at some time in the future. To be honest, there is hardly any reason to undergo such changes for at least another century lol. If you feel the same way and don’t wish the NKJV to be updated in the foreseeable future, it might help to email them in order to let them know your thoughts and feelings concerning any such updates.
Another reason why many Christians stick with Byzantine-based texts is that they are, in many ways, less scientifically constructed than those that rely more heavily on the older Alexandrian counterparts. By this I mean, if you were to look at all the sermons used by pastors down the centuries, all the way back to the writings of the early Church Fathers, you will discover that much of their material came directly from the Byzantine manuscript tradition. In otherwords, the Majority texts actually formed the basis of their teachings, unlike the best scientifically constructed texts we see in modern Bibles(like the ESV, NASB and NIV). What is more, some other Bible commentators have noted that many of the heresies that arose within the early Church, such as Gnosticism, Arianism, Nestorianism, Psilanthropism etc, originated on the Alexandrian side. For these reasons, they claim that it is safer to stick with the western, Byzantine tradition.
Today, you can obtain beautiful NKJVs(and KJVs for that matter) published by Thomas Nelson, Holman and Cambridge University Press. Unlike the cheap, bonded leather of the older (read 1990s and noughties) copies, the newer NKJVs are adorned with ornate and durable leather-tex, with clear, large-print text(such as Comfort Print), smyth-sewn bindings in either black letter or red letter editions, which can be acquired at relatively little cost. As I affirmed elsewhere, I’m not one for collecting premium Bibles.
I now have two NKJVs in my possesion. The first is my Holman large print personal size Bible, which I have mentioned in more detail here. I use it while I’m away from home or while attending Church. It is small, compact and lightweight:
My travelling Bible; a plain NKJV by Holman with minmal footnotes.
I have another NKJV; the Thomas Nelson Deluxe Reader’s Bible, which only has the text. It was a Christmas gift from my wife in 2018. Though still not a premium Bible, it is very beautiful, with an all-black text with red headings and chapter numbers:
The protective casing of the Thomas Nelson NKJV Deluxe Reader’s Bible.
The NKJV Delux Reader’s Bible is guaranteed for life, has a strong smyth sewn binding, gold gilting and two red satin ribbon markers. It contains no notes, concordance or maps of any description(that’s why it’s referred to as a reader’s Bible). Because it is rather large and heavy, I use it entirely for devotional reading at home.
The plain but beautiful faux leather cover of the Thomas Nelson Deluxe Reader’s Bible.
The title pgae of the Deluxe Reader’s Bible.
The single column text is in black and has red headings. The layout is very easy on the eye.
There are many other NKJV Bibles that are even more ornate(but more expensive) but if you really want one with the finest leather bindings, they can be purchased in the region of $70 to $200.
In discussing these modernised versions of the King James Bible, I have certainly not exhausted all the choices available to the contemporary reader. For example, there is the 21st century King James Bible(KJV 21), which also retains much of the linguistic richness of the Authorised KJV but has updated the spelling and punctuation of the latter, yet like the Jubilee 2000, still retains the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’, etc and which is reportedly( I do not have a copy) easier to read than the KJV itself. More on the KJV 21 here.
Having said all of this, I feel the Authorised Version of the King James Bible ought to hold a very special place in the library of all Bible believing Christians. There really is nothing like the original in its sheer, towering majesty.
Of all the Bibles I have in my collection, I have more KJVs than any other translation, not just as a result of purchasing them, but also because they have been gifted to me by friends and family members over the years. And in this day and age, one can acquire truly amazing bargains. Here I would like to showcase just one example; the KJV Large Print Standard Bible, published by Christian Art Publishers(Republic of South Africa):
The Authorised King James Bible by Christian Art Publishers.
The cover is a very attractive dark brown LuxLeather in a most convenient lay-flat binding.
Title page of the Christian Art Publishers KJV Bible.
This Bible has good quality paper and the words of Scripture are in a very easy-to-read, line-matched, 14 point font size. And though an inch and a half thick, it is surprisingly light weight and easy to carry from place to place;
The beautiful, large and clear text of the Christian Art Publisher’s KJV.
This is a red letter edition (words of Christ in red) with convenient thumb indices to quickly locate each of the books of the Bible:
The Christian Art Publisher’s Large Print KJV has the words of Christ in red and has thumb indices for each book of the Bible.
And to round it all off, the page edges of this lovely, large-print Bible have a beautiful gold gilding with a single colour-matched satin ribbon page marker:
The beautifully applied gold gilding on the sides of the pages.
It has a full concordance and an eminently useful verse finder section, as well a number of full colour maps of the ancient Middle East.
Best of all, this remarkable edition of the Authorised KJV cost just £20 including shipping!
Well, this is where I would like to finish this blog on the King James Bible and a few of the other versions based on the same or similar manuscript tradition. I for one will always cherish this masterpiece of religious literature, which has inspired both princes and paupers alike, over many generations, to worship and adore the Ever Living God. I will continue to read it in contemplative silence to myself, or aloud, as it was originally intended, to my wife and children, where its words reverberate around the room.
Let us end with a solemn prayer inspired form its pages;
O God All-Sufficient
Thou hast made and upholdest all things
by the word of thy power;
darkness is thy pavilion,
thou walkest on the wings of the the wind;
all nations are nothing before thee;
one generation succeeds another,
and we hasten back to the dust;
the heavens we behold will vanish away
like the clouds that cover them,
the earth we tread on will dissolve as a morning dream;
But thou, unchangeable and incorruptible,
art for ever and ever,
God over all, blessed eternally.
Infinitely great and glorious art thou.
We are thy offspring and thy care.
Thy hands have made and fashioned us.
Thou hast watched over us with more than parental love,
more than maternal tenderness.
Thou hast holden our soul in life,
and not suffered our feet to be moved.
They divine power has given us all things necessary for life and godliness.
Let us bless thee at all times and forget not
how thou hast forgiven our iniquities, healed our diseases,
redeemed our lives from destruction,
crowned us with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
satisfied our mouths with good things,
renewed our youth like the eagle’s.
May thy Holy Scriptures govern every part of our lives,
and regulate the discharge of all our duties,
so that we may adorn thy doctrine in all things
From the Valley of Vision pp 382-3
Neil English is the author of Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy, which recounts how many amateur and professional astronomers throughout the ages maintained a strong and pervasive Christian faith throughout their careers.
More background on the King James Bible can be be found on these links;
Librarian P.J. Carefoote on the religious and historical importance of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.
The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicholson
The King James and other early Bibles at Wadham College Oxford
Thomas Nelson Publisher’s Miscellania on the King James Bible
President Abraham Lincoln’s Bible:
President Ronald Reagan’s opinion on the King James Bible
Problems with the King James Bible
The King James Only Controversy
Which English Translation of the Bible Should We Use?