KJV: 400 Year Anniversary

2011 marks the 400th year since the KJV was published. I am celebrating its publication in a number of ways. I’m using the KJV in my Bible reading plan this year (McCheyne’s Bible Reading plan). I will read through the OT in the KJV once, and the NT in the KJV twice this year. I’m really enjoying doing this. The KJV was my first Bible, my first memory verses were memorized in the KJV so it’s bringing back a lot of good memories.

I’m also reading a book about the KJV written by Leland Ryken, professor of English at Wheaton. This has really opened up my eyes to the value of the KJV, both in accuracy and in literary magnificence. No other versions come close to comparing with it when you use these two criteria. Some newer versions are more accurate, but none can approach it for sheer literary brilliance AND accuracy. This is the judgment of many men of literary genius, both those who are believers and those who are not.
While I’m reading the KJV, I’m tagging the word meanings of proper names in the KJV so that I will come back to the version again and again in my study. I think this will be a good thing. Just today, reading in Job, the KJV translates Job 19.2 with much more color and brilliance than the ESV: “How long will ye vex my soul?” asks Job (Job 19.2, KJV). The ESV can only manage: “How long will you torment me?” One can see how the KJV translation adds so much more depth and poignancy, and the ESV is a pretty good translation overall.

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