Joel Beeke: King James Version Study Bible

Status
Not open for further replies.

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
I find it difficult to accept the argument that we need study notes or more modern Bible translations in order to make the scriptures more lucid for the average laymen. Is it that hard to use a KJV dictionary? If a Scottish farmboy can memorize the Westminster Shorter Catechism, why is it so difficult for educated American Christians?

I don't know where such an argument is being made, i.e. one of "need." I think this is a matter of convenience.

On this note I should add that I don't think the use of such conveniences makes a person a fast food Christian either; just in case one would make such a conclusion from my previous post.

I would like to have KJV helps in my bible where there are yet none. It would give me more time to read and provide fewer opportunities for distraction. If a KJV dictionary is useful to make the KJV more lucid, why not a margin note? Condoning a dictionary for lucidity and arguing against a margin note for the same purpose doesn't much advance the argument against study Bibles, but shoots it in the foot.

On the matter of "more modern translations" and "study Bibles" for everyone including your dog, I believe enough damage has already been done; not that I disapprove of an updated version of the Bible or study Bibles. Capitalism has just done it in the wrong way.

I believe it is difficult for educated American Christians to be patient with the KJV because there are other choices and there is a legitimate desire for a Bible that is less archaic even though the KJV remains a vulgar tongue. While I enjoy the KJV, I cannot be convinced that such a desire is an ungodly one.

Given several comments already given in this thread, I would like to encourage others to be more irenic in their tone on this issue. There are more reasons for not choosing the KJV than Christian immaturity or stupidity. Nobody likes to be misunderstood in this way.
 

Bob66

Puritan Board Freshman
My mother was a very devout Roman Catholic, dad was Methodist, at least in denomination, he never attended church. So I was brought up Catholic, which in the late 1940’s - through the 1950’s discouraged the reading of the Scriptures. Kind of amusing to me at the time, because we had a Douay version at the house, which was mainly used to record family, births, deaths, etc, etc...... I remember looking at it because it had a lot of pictures, but if mother caught me, she would take it away and put it back in the dresser drawer....We were essentially taught that the priest would tell us what the Bible said and what it meant.....Because we were poor folk, we couldn’t afford a Catholic school education, I went through the public school system. At that time, when God was permitted in our public schools, most teachers had a Bible on their desk or in the book shelf in the classroom. I had several teachers who used it in reading classes. We would often be called upon to read from the Psalms....... I still remember my fourth grade teacher saying that if you could read the King James and remotely understand it, you would develop an above average reading and comprehension level....And so was my introduction to the KJV.....Years later after marrying my Presbyterian wife I was essentially in a KJV only environment at 1st Pres Gulfport, Ms, which gave me a slight chuckle at the time, for many in the congregation would frequently mention that they felt the BIble was hard to understand..........So here I was in a Reformed church waiting for the pastor to tell me what the Bible said and what it meant.....Its not that I don’t appreciate the flow and language, in fact I do, but its a translation, and what I have found with many ministers and lay people is a near obsession with the KJV as though other translations are Hersey.....At least here in the South. I honestly can’t say that I have traveled the nation or the world conducting a survey, but here in the deep south, the KJV has a very shall we say devoted following. Over the years my love for the Scriptures has bloomed mainly because I’ve used and enjoyed many other versions of the Bible. Currently I have devoted much of my time in the HCSB, which I find very reliable and a joy to read. I’m about to undertake a study of Greek through Mounce’s method, which should be a real challenge for a layman, but I’m determined to at least improve my understanding of the original language of the New Testament. I hope I haven’t come across as someone opposed to the KLV, I’m clearly not, I simply feel as Christians we should be taking every opportunity to broaden our understanding of God’s word through many sources........
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Sure,

Alan MacGregor
Andrew McIntosh
Chuck Barrett
David Silversides
Gerald Procee
Jerrold Lewis
Jerry Bilkes
Joel Beeke John Greer
John McKnight
John Thackway
Malcom Watts
Mark Allison
Maurice Roberts
Mike Barrett
Pooyan Mehrshahi

Reads like the who's who of my ipod's preachers' list. And thanks for pointing out that the AV is still the vulgar edition in English and for pointing out the work of TBS in translating God's word faithfully into other languages. The closest thing I own to a study Bible is a copy of the Geneva Bible and my Cambridge AV. I may get this AVSB.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Chris: You wrote "...that the AV is still the vulgar edition in English...". Well, no. The vulgar ("spoken by ordinary people") tongue has moved on since 1611. In fact, the vulgar tongue had already moved on, somewhat, by 1611, since the "thee" and "thou" of the KJV were becoming obsolete even then (this is because about 80% of the NT was carried over bodily from Tyndale's translation of nearly a hundred years before). But English has definitely moved on, so the KJV no longer represents the vulgar tongue.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Okay... I will get cyber-punched for this...

Wouldn't $250,000 be better spent making a faithful translation from the Hb/Gr Mss behind the KJV? That seems to be a real need in the church- an Ecclesiastical Text in "vulgar" language to use the WCF's term.

You Mean the NASV 77?
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Chris: You wrote "...that the AV is still the vulgar edition in English...". Well, no. The vulgar ("spoken by ordinary people") tongue has moved on since 1611. In fact, the vulgar tongue had already moved on, somewhat, by 1611, since the "thee" and "thou" of the KJV were becoming obsolete even then (this is because about 80% of the NT was carried over bodily from Tyndale's translation of nearly a hundred years before). But English has definitely moved on, so the KJV no longer represents the vulgar tongue.

This post rather defeats itself. The AV did not stick with the distinctive second person singular forms of verbs and pronouns to stay close to Tyndale, but because that distinction was found in the texts they were translating. They used the resources available in the English language to transmit a feature of the text that is often of exegetical significance. Thus the same decision was made nearly 300 years later when the ASV of 1901 was released. The speech of the every day person was rather different; the speech of the educated was rather different; the textual basis was different; but the AV and the ASV share that linguistic feature because both sets of translators wanted to convey an aspect of the original language.

To state the principle more generally, the fact that features of the original may prove difficult for contemporary readers is not in itself sufficient warrant to simply ignore them.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
...They used the resources available in the English language to transmit a feature of the text that is often of exegetical significance. Thus the same decision was made nearly 300 years later when the ASV of 1901 was released. ...To state the principle more generally, the fact that features of the original may prove difficult for contemporary readers is not in itself sufficient warrant to simply ignore them.

I suppose a faithful KJV update would include the thee's and thou's and ye's while updating other archaic words and idioms. This would, no doubt, make some people very unhappy: "How come you say its an update? Look at all the the thee's and thou's in there!" I think it would be impossible to make everyone happy. Even Beeke, for all the faithful work he likley to do on the KJVSB, is bound to make someone upset. Some will probably be upset for the fact that he ever lifted his pen to do it.

As I think about all the translations over which we divide, it seems quite likely that we will still have more bible translations in the libraries of heaven rather than less. On that note, let EVERY tribe and TONGUE be glad.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
...They used the resources available in the English language to transmit a feature of the text that is often of exegetical significance. Thus the same decision was made nearly 300 years later when the ASV of 1901 was released. ...To state the principle more generally, the fact that features of the original may prove difficult for contemporary readers is not in itself sufficient warrant to simply ignore them.

I suppose a faithful KJV update would include the thee's and thou's and ye's while updating other archaic words and idioms. This would, no doubt, make some people very unhappy: "How come you say its an update? Look at all the the thee's and thou's in there!" I think it would be impossible to make everyone happy. Even Beeke, for all the faithful work he likley to do on the KJVSB, is bound to make someone upset. Some will probably be upset for the fact that he ever lifted his pen to do it.

As I think about all the translations over which we divide, it seems quite likely that we will still have more bible translations in the libraries of heaven rather than less. On that note, let EVERY tribe and TONGUE be glad.

You'd have problems with the majority of idioms as they were Hebrew idioms. To accurately represent the originals we would have to keep those idioms.

I've never had any problems with understanding the AV and read it as a child. Just as any other book, when I found a word I didn't know I went and looked it up. I do this regardless of the subject. If I'm reading a physics textbook, mathematics textbook, renaissance treatise on Ars Memoria, John Gill's Exposition, Zacharias Ursinus' Commentary on The Heidelberg Catechism, Computer Programming manuals, etc., when I reach a word I am unfamiliar with, I break out the dictionary. That and context always gives me the meaning. So "archiac" words are no problem either. That to me has always been one of the weakest arguments against the AV. The implication is that we should translate scripture using only words that everyone would be familiar with. And then of course if we are to be consistent, then we must remove such "archaic" words from our theology. But then what is to be done with words like "propitiation"? Appeasement doesn't carry the same connotative weight. Taking the "archaic" line of reasoning to its logical conclusion we should remove such words from our creeds and confessions and even from the writings of the Reformers. For my part, I'd rather use a dictionary and have a pittance of inconvenience, than lose the richness these "archaic" words provide us. It would be comparable in my mind to substituting a Bouguereau, Raphael, or Durer with a piece of modern art. Or for the mathematically minded, it would be equivalent to replacing quaternion algebra with vector calculus. You will always lose information that cannot be recovered.

My hope for the study Bible is that it has the notes from the Bible HRB was offering a few years ago that had old Dutch Reformed study notes.
 
Last edited:

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
...They used the resources available in the English language to transmit a feature of the text that is often of exegetical significance. Thus the same decision was made nearly 300 years later when the ASV of 1901 was released. ...To state the principle more generally, the fact that features of the original may prove difficult for contemporary readers is not in itself sufficient warrant to simply ignore them.

I suppose a faithful KJV update would include the thee's and thou's and ye's while updating other archaic words and idioms. This would, no doubt, make some people very unhappy: "How come you say its an update? Look at all the the thee's and thou's in there!" I think it would be impossible to make everyone happy. Even Beeke, for all the faithful work he likley to do on the KJVSB, is bound to make someone upset. Some will probably be upset for the fact that he ever lifted his pen to do it.

As I think about all the translations over which we divide, it seems quite likely that we will still have more bible translations in the libraries of heaven rather than less. On that note, let EVERY tribe and TONGUE be glad.

You'd have problems with the majority of idioms as they were Hebrew idioms. To accurately represent the originals we would have to keep those idioms.

I've never had any problems with understanding the AV and read it as a child. Just as any other book, when I found a word I didn't know I went and looked it up. I do this regardless of the subject. If I'm reading a physics textbook, mathematics textbook, renaissance treatise on Ars Memoria, John Gill's Exposition, Zacharias Ursinus' Commentary on The Heidelberg Catechism, Computer Programming manuals, etc., when I reach a word I am unfamiliar with, I break out the dictionary. That and context always gives me the meaning. So "archiac" words are no problem either. That to me has always been one of the weakest arguments against the AV. The implication is that we should translate scripture using only words that everyone would be familiar with. And then of course if we are to be consistent, then we must remove such "archaic" words from our theology. But then what is to be done with words like "propitiation"? Appeasement doesn't carry the same connotative weight. Taking the "archaic" line of reasoning to its logical conclusion we should remove such words from our creeds and confessions and even from the writings of the Reformers. For my part, I'd rather use a dictionary and have a pittance of inconvenience, than lose the richness these "archaic" words provide us. It would be comparable in my mind to substituting a Bouguereau, Raphael, or Durer with a piece of modern art. Or for the mathematically minded, it would be equivalent to replacing quaternion algebra with vector calculus. You will always lose information that cannot be recovered.

I think you thought I was arguing against the usefulness of the AV. I wasn't. I find the AV quite useful during my times of regular reading. When I suggested that some things could be updated to modern idioms or modern words, it doesn't mean that damage to the original language would be necessary. King-James-lish is not the only language with rich nuanced meanings. Eng-lish has rich nuanced meanings as well, as the poets can well testify.

When I said that archaic words and idioms could be updated, I wasn't suggesting that the AV is good for nothing. And when I said that archaic words could be updated, I was thinking of words such as "let" or "told. It is not ALWAYS evident from the context in which these and other words are used in the AV that there is another meaning.

Someone reading the phrase "let hitherto" could take it to mean "allowed up to this point" rather than "prevented up to this point" (the opposite meaning). How would they know instantaneously while reading? Or, someone reading the phrase "the high priest...told the money that was found in the house" - well, what did he tell the money? Words like these don't carry a helpful nuanced meaning that helps the reader get to some profound theological truth. Instances such as these are frequently found in the AV and they would seem to disguise the proper time for one to pull out a dictionary—they would seem to come from every page. How does the reader always come to the conclusion that the word they are reading has actually changed meaning? One could say it is by the context. I agree. But that takes experience and knowledge. While some without a high school education can get the hang of it, not everyone is so savy without years of practice. Until they get to that point, they are hindered.

So I say the AV is useful and helpful and needful, but why don't we change words like "let" to "prevent" while keeping words like "propitiation" and admit that the word "let" doesn't carry one single nuance or depth that is needful.

If the TR is so important for the masses, why not do them a favor and help their erring scruples concerning the AV and give them what they want? - an updated version that would help months and years before they're hindered. A true English STANDARD Version with all the verses in a bible that is based on the TR would be a welcomed delight. Until then, long live the KJV.

Now I am almost positive that I have upset someone somewhere; even though that was not my goal. I hope its not you. Everyone has an opinion, right?
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
I think you thought I was arguing against the usefulness of the AV. Nope, didn't think that at all. I wasn't. I find the AV quite useful during my times of regular reading. When I suggested that some things could be updated to modern idioms or modern words, it doesn't mean that damage to the original language would be necessary. King-James-lish is not the only language with rich nuanced meanings. Eng-lish has rich nuanced meanings as well, as the poets can well testify.

False dichotomy. "King-James-lish" as you call it is English. If you're referring to the "thees" and "thous" as pointed out earlier in this thread those are necessary to accurately reflect the originals.

When I said that archaic words and idioms could be updated, I wasn't suggesting that the AV is good for nothing. Nor did I think you were suggesting such. Not quite sure where this is coming from. And when I said that archaic words could be updated, I was thinking of words such as "let" or "told. It is not ALWAYS evident from the context in which these and other words are used in the AV that there is another meaning. Or perhaps peradventure as well. Even those at TBS have talked about how some words could be updated. But as one lecturer for the TBS put it, who determines what is and is not to be updated and in updating how do we preserve the majesty, power, and cadence of the original? And what benefit does updating offer that simple margin notes or reference to a dictionary does not?

Someone reading the phrase "let hitherto" could take it to mean "allowed up to this point" rather than "prevented up to this point" (the opposite meaning). How would they know instantaneously while reading? As the exegetes always say, "Context is king." I never had a problem with that passage as it was clear from the context that Paul was prevented. Or, someone reading the phrase "the high priest...told the money that was found in the house" - well, what did he tell the money? Nothing, context makes it clear that "told" means counted. Words like these don't carry a helpful nuanced meaning that helps the reader get to some profound theological truth. Instances such as these are frequently found in the AV and they would seem to disguise the proper time for one to pull out a dictionary—they would seem to come from every page. How does the reader always come to the conclusion that the word they are reading has actually changed meaning? One could say it is by the context. I agree. But that takes experience and knowledge. While some without a high school education can get the hang of it, not everyone is so savy without years of practice. Until they get to that point, they are hindered. I disagree with this sentiment completely. To quote:

BTW, I can show passages that common day language will need explanation and commentary to understand. Study to show thyself approved is a discipline. The word of God should not be taken in as fast food is in our day. The KJV is just fine.

His quote is the nail in that bugaboo's coffin. If you wish to resurrect it, then you face the same problem with every Bible. Or to put it another way, do we educate the people or dumb down the scriptures?

So I say the AV is useful and helpful and needful, but why don't we change words like "let" to "prevent" while keeping words like "propitiation" and admit that the word "let" doesn't carry one single nuance or depth that is needful.

And by what standard have you determined that "let", as you say, "doesn't carry one single nuance or depth that is needful?" Personal preference? Then my personal preference trumps yours.

If the TR is so important for the masses, why not do them a favor and help their erring scruples concerning the AV and give them what they want? - an updated version that would help months and years before they're hindered. A true English STANDARD Version with all the verses in a bible that is based on the TR would be a welcomed delight. Until then, long live the KJV.

Assuming as true your description of the masses, which I don't, why do this at all when we have the AV? If you say the need is due to "their erring scruples concerning the AV" and that we should "give them what they want", then I ask, why submit to their erring scruples and wants? And as PC pointed out in the quote above, the issue is found in all versions and I would say even in theologies. Instead of catering to as you put it, erring scruples and wants, why not a dictionary and some hard work? But I also don't like the implication you lay at the feet of those who, for whatever reason, do not wish to use the AV.

Now I am almost positive that I have upset someone somewhere; even though that was not my goal. Not me nor I'd wager most others who hold to the superiority of the AV.

I hope its not you. Everyone has an opinion, right? Gah! Awful statement for a philosophy discussion thread.

Responses in red.
 

darrellmaurina

Puritan Board Freshman
Its not that I don’t appreciate the flow and language, in fact I do, but its a translation, and what I have found with many ministers and lay people is a near obsession with the KJV as though other translations are Hersey.....At least here in the South. I honestly can’t say that I have traveled the nation or the world conducting a survey, but here in the deep south, the KJV has a very shall we say devoted following.

From Joel Beeke's site (post: King James Version Study Bible):

Amid the vast array of study Bibles written in the past century, there has not been a single Study Bible using the beloved and trusted King James Version written from a sound Reformed perspective. The KJV Study Bible for Personal and Family Worship (KJVSB) will promote the preservation and use of the KJV while leading the reader into a deeper and richer understanding of the Word of God.

The widespread devotion to the King James Version among Christians who affirm inerrancy, especially in the South, is an important point.

I hope those who prepared this new study Bible recognize that there is real potential for marketing this new study Bible far outside the Reformed world. There are many, many, many people in fundamentalist churches who are King James readers and are not necessarily opposed to the Reformed faith (at least in a Reformed Baptist version) who could be potential customers for a study Bible which works with a position of inerrancy and six-day creation.

The lack of marginal notes in the King James Version was, of course, deliberate on the part of King James who saw the "problems" being caused for Anglicanism by the marginal notes of the Geneva Bible. Unfortunately, that meant that the English-speaking church world, right from the days of Puritanism, didn't have access to the same sort of resources that the Statenvertaling provided to the Dutch laymen.

A good case could be made that the lack of marginal notes in English was a major contributor to the collapse of the Reformed faith in the late 1700s and early 1800s among people in North America who took the Bible seriously, compared to the experience of the Netherlands (or, for that matter, in confessional Lutheran circles in Germany where Lutheranism persisted much longer among pious laypeople).

A couple of generations later, things like the Scofield Reference Bible become popular in American evangelicalism less because of their content and more because they provided simple and easy-to-use marginal notes to the King James Version, and the consequences in spreading bad doctrine are obvious. A good set of Reformed marginal notes could be very useful to a lot of people who consider non-KJV translations to be suspect, thus spreading good doctrine instead of bad in church circles which use the KJV.

I'm not going to make the argument for the KJV. I think we all know the issues for and against it. I don't agree with KJV-onlyism, but I don't have a problem with the KJV, either. My personal position is that the KJV isn't a bad Bible, the underlying manuscripts are at least arguably better than the ones used by the RSV/ESV, and the literal-whenever-possible translation principles of the KJV are much better than the dynamic equivalence principles of the NIV. I think the archaic language presents a real problem for comprehension, but for a lot of Southern fundamentalists who grew up with the KJV, that's not a problem in the same way it would be trying to give the KJV to an unchurched kid on the streets of Seattle or New York City.

I do, however, believe that the lack of any other good study Bible using the KJV provides an opportunity to spread the Reformed faith in a large part of the fundamentalist world. We might as well use that opportunity, and our Reformed Baptist friends could be helpful in that regard. At the very least, the spread of this study Bible may make it a lot easier to talk to our fundamentalist brothers and sisters for whom our use of the NIV and ESV is a serious barrier since they've been taught that people who don't use the KJV have a low view of Scripture.

If the end result is a bunch of fundamental Baptists start becoming four- and five-point Calvinistic Baptists, that would be a very good thing.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
...Responses in red.

While it might at seem unlikely to us that an update could be done well in our day, I don't think I could ever get you to agree that God's people would indeed be benefited by it. To agree with the TBS that an update may not be done faithfully goes a long way toward showing that the AV is due for one. Perhaps my solution only exists in a perfect world.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
...We need to go grow up. I love my KJV. Stupidity has languished too long. I also use other translations so I am not KJVO.

...The word of God should not be taken in as fast food is in our day. The KJV is just fine.

Before someone bashes you for obvious reasons, I thought I might assume the right to clarify your intentions in order to support your sentiments, as I agree with you: Those who demand the word of God in the same manner as they demand their fast food should grow up as a Christian. I believe this is what you were aiming at? To that I say amen.

My words were sufficient. I didn't use the word demand. People don't want to work at preparation and we are an instant gratification society. I am also guilty of it. Let me reemphasize that we are a instant gratification society. That is what the reference to fast food is about. Preparation and know how is lacking today because of it. We don't even know what the ingredients are that we are consuming. The Word of God shouldn't be taken in the same way that we take in things such as our fast food. I hope that clears up my statement.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
...We need to go grow up. I love my KJV. Stupidity has languished too long. I also use other translations so I am not KJVO.

...The word of God should not be taken in as fast food is in our day. The KJV is just fine.

Before someone bashes you for obvious reasons, I thought I might assume the right to clarify your intentions in order to support your sentiments, as I agree with you: Those who demand the word of God in the same manner as they demand their fast food should grow up as a Christian. I believe this is what you were aiming at? To that I say amen.

My words were sufficient. I didn't use the word demand. People don't want to work at preparation and we are an instant gratification society. I am also guilty of it. Let me reemphasize that we are a instant gratification society. That is what the reference to fast food is about. Preparation and know how is lacking today because of it. We don't even know what the ingredients are that we are consuming. The Word of God shouldn't be taken in the same way that we take in things such as our fast food. I hope that clears up my statement.

I'm sorry, Randy. I should have asked you to clarify your own words.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Chris: You wrote "...that the AV is still the vulgar edition in English...". Well, no. The vulgar ("spoken by ordinary people") tongue has moved on since 1611. In fact, the vulgar tongue had already moved on, somewhat, by 1611, since the "thee" and "thou" of the KJV were becoming obsolete even then (this is because about 80% of the NT was carried over bodily from Tyndale's translation of nearly a hundred years before). But English has definitely moved on, so the KJV no longer represents the vulgar tongue.

This post rather defeats itself. The AV did not stick with the distinctive second person singular forms of verbs and pronouns to stay close to Tyndale, but because that distinction was found in the texts they were translating. They used the resources available in the English language to transmit a feature of the text that is often of exegetical significance. Thus the same decision was made nearly 300 years later when the ASV of 1901 was released. The speech of the every day person was rather different; the speech of the educated was rather different; the textual basis was different; but the AV and the ASV share that linguistic feature because both sets of translators wanted to convey an aspect of the original language.

To state the principle more generally, the fact that features of the original may prove difficult for contemporary readers is not in itself sufficient warrant to simply ignore them.

Ruben: As a side note, I'm currently reading through Samuel Rutherford's letters as part of my daily devotional time. I find it interesting that he regularly and consistently uses "ye" (the plural) for the singular "you." I don't know if that was an eccentricity with him, or whether that was a common practice in the 17th century.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Chris: You wrote "...that the AV is still the vulgar edition in English...". Well, no. The vulgar ("spoken by ordinary people") tongue has moved on since 1611. In fact, the vulgar tongue had already moved on, somewhat, by 1611, since the "thee" and "thou" of the KJV were becoming obsolete even then (this is because about 80% of the NT was carried over bodily from Tyndale's translation of nearly a hundred years before). But English has definitely moved on, so the KJV no longer represents the vulgar tongue.

This post rather defeats itself. The AV did not stick with the distinctive second person singular forms of verbs and pronouns to stay close to Tyndale, but because that distinction was found in the texts they were translating. They used the resources available in the English language to transmit a feature of the text that is often of exegetical significance. Thus the same decision was made nearly 300 years later when the ASV of 1901 was released. The speech of the every day person was rather different; the speech of the educated was rather different; the textual basis was different; but the AV and the ASV share that linguistic feature because both sets of translators wanted to convey an aspect of the original language.

To state the principle more generally, the fact that features of the original may prove difficult for contemporary readers is not in itself sufficient warrant to simply ignore them.

Ruben: As a side note, I'm currently reading through Samuel Rutherford's letters as part of my daily devotional time. I find it interesting that he regularly and consistently uses "ye" (the plural) for the singular "you." I don't know if that was an eccentricity with him, or whether that was a common practice in the 17th century.

Before 1611 the distinction of ye/thee had already been abandoned save for legal documents and many theological works. Samuel Rutherford's writing would not stand out for this. Even the AV translators in their Letter to the Reader and in their personal works used ye for singular & plural. However, in order to faithfully translate the distinction betwixt singular & plural found in the original Hebrew & Greek texts, the AV translators used the only tool English has for such a distinction; namely ye & thee and the verbal conjugations that go with them. Other European languages, unlike English, kept their Latin distinction betwixt singular and plural pronouns and verbal conjugations. This is also found in German. (I mention German to prevent the assumption that I only refer to Spanish, French, Italian, & Romanian.) In order to remain faithful to the wording of the originals we must translate them with ye/thee and the appropriate verbal conjugations. Removing ye/thee from our Bibles is removing part of scripture from them. If scripture made no such distinction, then there would be no issue. Scripture does, and so there is. A faithful translation must keep this distinction.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Updates are not a solution. Education and study is.

...Responses in red.

While it might at seem unlikely to us that an update could be done well in our day, I don't think I could ever get you to agree that God's people would indeed be benefited by it. To agree with the TBS that an update may not be done faithfully goes a long way toward showing that the AV is due for one. Perhaps my solution only exists in a perfect world.

In order for me to agree "that God's people would indeed be benefited by" an update to the AV, you would need to demonstrate that the NKJV and the glut of other modern versions are a benefit. You would first have to provide an objective standard for determining what benefit an update would provide. Such is a Sisyphean task.

As to the TBS lecture I referenced, you seem to have missed one of its main points. Namely, "And what benefit does updating offer that simple margin notes or reference to a dictionary does not?" If they're too lazy to read margin notes and use a dictionary no update will benefit them. Updates don't cure laziness.

To prove the necessity of an update you would have to demonstrate that an update is superior to simply educating people and making them work for understanding. And working for understanding is commended in scripture (Pr 25:2; 2Tim2:15) while laziness is condemned(Prov13:14). For boiled down to its essence, the update idea is little more than saying, "Cater to the laziness of the masses. They are too lazy to use a dictionary and learn." As Randy has pointed out, I believe this is due to the prevalence of the instant gratification culture. And we should not cater to their flesh. This idea is seen broadly here in America is Romney's 47% comment and in Europe where the majority do not work and those who do think they are entitled to more pay and a shorter work week. I see the update theme as an indication that the Puritan work ethic is dying within our culture and particularly within Christendom.

Even by the end of the 17th century and as Christendom entered into the 18th century people were calling for updates to the AV and were using the same reasons that are used today. (Archaic words and thee/ye) Saner heads prevailed with education & working to understand the scriptures reigning triumphant.

If we're going to update because we're unwilling to educate ourselves and others and then work for understanding, how do we update Paul's writings of whom Peter has said, "in which are some things hard to be understood?"

And how do we justify spending years getting a degree in something that is difficult to understand such as physics or engineering and yet remain unwilling to spend the same energy educating ourselves and studying scripture? Anyone who says he can't understand something written in the AV hasn't tried. 1st through 5th graders in Sunday School had no problems understanding the singular/plural distinction, nor had they any problems with words they did not understand. When encountered, we would use a dictionary, look at context, and the meaning appeared. It's similar to the reading comprehension tests people take in their 9th grade English class. Now if 1st through 5th graders can do that, I see no reason save laziness that adults cannot do the same.
 
Last edited:

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
...Responses in red.

While it might at seem unlikely to us that an update could be done well in our day, I don't think I could ever get you to agree that God's people would indeed be benefited by it. To agree with the TBS that an update may not be done faithfully goes a long way toward showing that the AV is due for one. Perhaps my solution only exists in a perfect world.

In order for me to agree "that God's people would indeed be benefited by" an update to the AV, you would need to demonstrate that the NKJV and the glut of other modern versions are a benefit. You would first have to provide an objective standard for determining what benefit an update would provide. Such is a Sisyphean task.

I haven't the slightest idea what you two are disagreeing about. You both seem to be saying the same thing to me.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
...Responses in red.

While it might at seem unlikely to us that an update could be done well in our day, I don't think I could ever get you to agree that God's people would indeed be benefited by it. To agree with the TBS that an update may not be done faithfully goes a long way toward showing that the AV is due for one. Perhaps my solution only exists in a perfect world.

In order for me to agree "that God's people would indeed be benefited by" an update to the AV, you would need to demonstrate that the NKJV and the glut of other modern versions are a benefit. You would first have to provide an objective standard for determining what benefit an update would provide. Such is a Sisyphean task.

I haven't the slightest idea what you two are disagreeing about. You both seem to be saying the same thing to me.

I thought we were disagreeing over the necessity of an update. I don't think it necessary and I think he does. I might be wrong.
 
Last edited:

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
You did nothing wrong Jon. I have to remember that I am a generation older now and my cultural references might be a bit dated.

Concerning the Original Post... my two main Pastoral influences in life have both been troubled by Bibles with Commentary put so close to the text of God's Word. I see the problematic results from such a practice. Look at the Scoffield Reference Bible. Basically a hundred and fifty year old theology has been thought to be the orthodox teaching for two millennia of Church History when it hasn't been. Classic Dispensationalism was popularized and fronted as acceptable teaching via the study notes put in a Bible in 1917. Classic Dispensational thought as systematized by John Nelson Darby, C. I. Scoffield, D. L. Moody, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Charles Ryrie, and modified by Progressive Dispensationalists such as John MacArthur is basically a whole new system of interpreting the Bible. But you wouldn't know that unless you learned it. At least that is how I am understanding the situation.

God's Word and man's thoughts will always be something we have to separate at some level. But when it comes to actually dealing with a Bible we probably shouldn't complicate the matter any more. Discernment is needed when we have commentary and God's word so close together. I guess it can be like good preaching in comparison to bad preaching. Either way we are going to have to deal with men's thoughts being attached closely to God's words. Sometimes that is very needful and edifying. Sometimes it is just plain demonic. I do have a desire to buy a new KJV with the Westminster Standards added to the back of the Bible as an appendix for reference. It is more out of convenience so that I won't have to carry more than one book. I guess the same can be said of Study Bibles. I have seen them used wisely and with much benefit.

...We need to go grow up. I love my KJV. Stupidity has languished too long. I also use other translations so I am not KJVO.

...The word of God should not be taken in as fast food is in our day. The KJV is just fine.

Before someone bashes you for obvious reasons, I thought I might assume the right to clarify your intentions in order to support your sentiments, as I agree with you: Those who demand the word of God in the same manner as they demand their fast food should grow up as a Christian. I believe this is what you were aiming at? To that I say amen.

My words were sufficient. I didn't use the word demand. People don't want to work at preparation and we are an instant gratification society. I am also guilty of it. Let me reemphasize that we are a instant gratification society. That is what the reference to fast food is about. Preparation and know how is lacking today because of it. We don't even know what the ingredients are that we are consuming. The Word of God shouldn't be taken in the same way that we take in things such as our fast food. I hope that clears up my statement.

I'm sorry, Randy. I should have asked you to clarify your own words.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior

I have already done enough to divert the thread. There is so much that could be said about this issue. I believe I have failed to effectually communicate my thoughts. I will have leave dead horses for another day.

May it be sufficient to say that I do prefer the KJV for myself and my household. I even lovingly convinced my wife to switch to the KJV and she did so GLADLY after hearing on the matter (I believe it is the husband's duty to tell the wife what God has said). Thankfully, she no longer reads a MacArthur NKJV. She now reads a Matthew Henry KJV. I look forward to reading the KJV to my son during his earliest years (he's due Dec. 9). I have been reading a TBS Windsor Metrical Psalms edition of the KJV (inspired Psalms are cool too). I now look forward to a TBS Westminster Reference Bible with 200,000 cross-refrences to arrive tomorrow or Friday. I ordered it today.

While I do not prefer a study bible for myself; instead preferring a text or reference bible, I do welcome "Team Beeke's" contribution as it will offset the market of so many poorly done study bibles (this idea of offsetting the market is one of the concepts that drives my desire for an updated KJV). If there are going to be poorly done study bibles, may the church make efforts to atleast try to produce some good ones. In the same way, if there are going to be modern bible versions, may the church make an effort to produce an updated one that... Well, I'm beating that horse again.

I'm done hi-jacking the thread now.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior

I have already done enough to divert the thread. There is so much that could be said about this issue. I believe I have failed to effectually communicate my thoughts. I will have leave dead horses for another day.

May it be sufficient to say that I do prefer the KJV for myself and my household. I even lovingly convinced my wife to switch to the KJV and she did so GLADLY after hearing on the matter (I believe it is the husband's duty to tell the wife what God has said). Thankfully, she no longer reads a MacArthur NKJV. She now reads a Matthew Henry KJV. I look forward to reading the KJV to my son during his earliest years (he's due Dec. 9). I have been reading a TBS Windsor Metrical Psalms edition of the KJV (inspired Psalms are cool too). I now look forward to a TBS Westminster Reference Bible with 200,000 cross-refrences to arrive tomorrow or Friday. I ordered it today.

While I do not prefer a study bible for myself; instead preferring a text or reference bible, I do welcome "Team Beeke's" contribution as it will offset the market of so many poorly done study bibles (this idea of offsetting the market is one of the concepts that drives my desire for an updated KJV). If there are going to be poorly done study bibles, may the church make efforts to atleast try to produce some good ones. In the same way, if there are going to be modern bible versions, may the church make an effort to produce an updated one that... Well, I'm beating that horse again.

I'm done hi-jacking the thread now.

Rev. Winzer for the win. Seems we were saying a lot of the same stuff.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Its not that I don’t appreciate the flow and language, in fact I do, but its a translation, and what I have found with many ministers and lay people is a near obsession with the KJV as though other translations are Hersey.....At least here in the South. I honestly can’t say that I have traveled the nation or the world conducting a survey, but here in the deep south, the KJV has a very shall we say devoted following.

From Joel Beeke's site (post: King James Version Study Bible):

Amid the vast array of study Bibles written in the past century, there has not been a single Study Bible using the beloved and trusted King James Version written from a sound Reformed perspective. The KJV Study Bible for Personal and Family Worship (KJVSB) will promote the preservation and use of the KJV while leading the reader into a deeper and richer understanding of the Word of God.

The widespread devotion to the King James Version among Christians who affirm inerrancy, especially in the South, is an important point.

I hope those who prepared this new study Bible recognize that there is real potential for marketing this new study Bible far outside the Reformed world. There are many, many, many people in fundamentalist churches who are King James readers and are not necessarily opposed to the Reformed faith (at least in a Reformed Baptist version) who could be potential customers for a study Bible which works with a position of inerrancy and six-day creation.

The lack of marginal notes in the King James Version was, of course, deliberate on the part of King James who saw the "problems" being caused for Anglicanism by the marginal notes of the Geneva Bible. Unfortunately, that meant that the English-speaking church world, right from the days of Puritanism, didn't have access to the same sort of resources that the Statenvertaling provided to the Dutch laymen.

A good case could be made that the lack of marginal notes in English was a major contributor to the collapse of the Reformed faith in the late 1700s and early 1800s among people in North America who took the Bible seriously, compared to the experience of the Netherlands (or, for that matter, in confessional Lutheran circles in Germany where Lutheranism persisted much longer among pious laypeople).

A couple of generations later, things like the Scofield Reference Bible become popular in American evangelicalism less because of their content and more because they provided simple and easy-to-use marginal notes to the King James Version, and the consequences in spreading bad doctrine are obvious. A good set of Reformed marginal notes could be very useful to a lot of people who consider non-KJV translations to be suspect, thus spreading good doctrine instead of bad in church circles which use the KJV.

I'm not going to make the argument for the KJV. I think we all know the issues for and against it. I don't agree with KJV-onlyism, but I don't have a problem with the KJV, either. My personal position is that the KJV isn't a bad Bible, the underlying manuscripts are at least arguably better than the ones used by the RSV/ESV, and the literal-whenever-possible translation principles of the KJV are much better than the dynamic equivalence principles of the NIV. I think the archaic language presents a real problem for comprehension, but for a lot of Southern fundamentalists who grew up with the KJV, that's not a problem in the same way it would be trying to give the KJV to an unchurched kid on the streets of Seattle or New York City.

I do, however, believe that the lack of any other good study Bible using the KJV provides an opportunity to spread the Reformed faith in a large part of the fundamentalist world. We might as well use that opportunity, and our Reformed Baptist friends could be helpful in that regard. At the very least, the spread of this study Bible may make it a lot easier to talk to our fundamentalist brothers and sisters for whom our use of the NIV and ESV is a serious barrier since they've been taught that people who don't use the KJV have a low view of Scripture.

If the end result is a bunch of fundamental Baptists start becoming four- and five-point Calvinistic Baptists, that would be a very good thing.

One issue with this is that for many fundamentalists, dispensationalism is an article of faith. Anyone who disagrees with it is liberal or clinging to Romanist eschatology, etc. Other than separatism, this is one big difference between them and Southern Baptists and other baptistic evangelicals who may not be dispensational i.e. Piper, Mohler, Dever, etc. Hence, the enduring popularity of the Scofield. But this attitude does seem to be on the wane. There are changes afoot among the fundamentalists, with many becoming more Calvinistic and less legalistic. Predictably however, some have gone liberal. But those who remain connected with the fundamentalist movement tend to be dispensational.

Along similar lines as what Darrell posts here, the HCSB Study Bible has recently been issued in the KJV. While definitely not strictly Reformed, to some extent it very likely reflects the somewhat Reformed friendly shift in the SBC. (I don't know whether or not any of the notes question the TR. But even the Scofield does that on occasion and if Scofield would have had his way it would have been in the ASV instead of the AV. This is hinted at in the intro.) It's probably safe to say that the Holman KJV Study Bible is an improvement over the Zondervan and Nelson KJV Study Bibles, not to mention Scofield and (gasp!) Dake! I'm sure that's why they decided to put it out, in contrast to the ESV Study Bible apparently now and forevermore being available only in the ESV, probably because the ESV people/Crossway aspire to be the standard, unlike the HCSB.

I've wondered why the MacArthur has never been put out in the KJV although I'm not surprised. He and his associates clearly favor modern translations but they are putting it out now in the NIV 2011! This being after MacArthur excoriated the TNIV a couple of years ago and the NIV 2011 by implication. (That's probably still on YouTube.) I figure some of that development is due to legal/contractual circumstances beyond their control with Nelson and Zondervan now being under the same umbrella. When that news broke Phil Johnson posted that they favor getting it into as many hands as possible, which includes having it available in the most popular translations. By that reasoning, there's no reason to not issue it in the KJV as well. Whether they read it or not, it wouldn't shock me to learn that there are more people whose Bible is the KJV than NKJV, ESV and NASB fans combined.

I do think there may be some fundamentalists and other KJV preferred people who will pick up this SB from Dr. Beeke and co. But more likely, the audience will be Reformed people who sneered at the KJV as some outdated relic, etc. or else those who may be thinking of switching or have recently switched. As we've seen in this thread, some don't even own one. I know a brother who is involved in mission work who had to buy a KJV after he was invited to to preach at a KJV Only or KJV Preferred church. Also, many people who used to only use the KJV have now switched to the ESV. This includes some independent Sovereign Grace Baptists as well as fundamentalists. The people who doggedly stick with the KJV tend to be older--40+ or 50+. Many younger people have left those kinds of churches, either to something more broadly evangelical (or Reformed/Calvinistic in some cases) or nothing at all.
 
Last edited:

Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
Okay... I will get cyber-punched for this...

Wouldn't $250,000 be better spent making a faithful translation from the Hb/Gr Mss behind the KJV? That seems to be a real need in the church- an Ecclesiastical Text in "vulgar" language to use the WCF's term.

You Mean the NASV 77?

The NASV 77 is from a completely different ms. Family dear brother of which many of us are not fond of.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top