We are aware that some Christians who are lovers of the KJV will not welcome any changes made in it. They may argue that there is no point in changing a version that God has so greatly blessed and that so many English speaking Christians have used for centuries. Many who think like this may not be aware that the original translators of the KJV made much use of previous translations, and that the KJV has already been revised a number of times. The version generally available to Christians for many years now has not been the original version completed in 1611, but the revision made in 1769. The producers of the 1967 edition of the Scofield Reference Bible did some revising of the KJV, as they inform us in their Introduction. Others also have produced their own revision – for example, the New King James Bible.
The revision we have made should not be confused with any of those. However, our purpose has been the same as that of the original translators of the KJV, and of those who have made helpful revisions of the KJV since then. We have wanted to provide a very accurate version with language clear and understandable to all those who read the Bible. When God originally gave His Word to those who wrote it down, He gave it in the forms of speech and language that people commonly used at the time, because He wanted His revelation to be easily intelligible to the people. We have tried to follow His example.
It should be clear to all those who study the KJV that some of its words and expressions are no longer understood, and that some have changed their meaning altogether.
This is by no means a full list of words in the original KJV that present_day readers may not know the meaning of. A number of these words are not even in some modern dictionaries. Perhaps the ordinary reader may guess the meaning of some of them by the context in which they appear, but surely not all of them, and he may actually make wrong guesses. In any case, should our understanding of any part of the Word of God have to be a matter of guesswork?
And consider the following phrases in the KJV – phrases which no doubt were clear enough to people 400 years ago, but which are not clear to a reader today not familiar with that kind of English. Some of these phrases sound very strange to our ears, and some actually convey the wrong meaning today:
“He entreated Abram” (Gen 12:16) – changed to “he treated Abram well”. The word “entreated” no longer conveys the proper meaning of the Hebrew here.
“Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Acts 5:30) – changed to “whom you killed by hanging him on a tree”. The KJV sounds as though they first killed Jesus and afterwards hung him on the cross. The word “and” is not in the Greek.
In Hebrew and Greek (as in all languages) some words have more than one meaning, and
because of this, words and whole sentences, may be translated differently from this version we have produced. We have sometimes placed in the notes these possible alternate translations.
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