KJV-onlyists are stuck in a position to defend the archaic English in the Authorized version of 1611; due to responses from critics when they try to enforce an archaic translation on EVERYONE*.
*I do use the KJV a lot for my personal studies, but I couldn't recommend it for everyone, and since I deal with MIDDLE ENGLISH and OLD ENGLISH, I am aware of archaic words and phraseology that has been depreciated.
I thought it would be interesting to compare and respond to some of the KJV-only arguments. The quotes in question come from this website, most of the quotes are actually quoting other material such as D. A. Waite:http://www.wayoflife.org/database/isnt_the_king_james_bible_too_antiquated.html
I hope it's not a violation to have commentary and publicly refute some of this stuff. Anyone is free to 'contest' my statements written here.
2. THE OVERALL READING LEVEL OF THE KJV IS NOT VERY HIGH.
a. The KJV is written on an 8th to 10th grade level. This was proven in the 1980s by a computer analysis made by Dr. Donald Waite. He ran several books of the KJV through the Right Writer program and found that Genesis 1, Exodus 1, and Romans 8 are on the 8th grade level; Romans 1 and Jude are on the 10th grade level; and Romans 3:1-23 is on the 6th grade level. I would guess that many parts of the four Gospels are on that same level if not lower.
From the 1980's??? Are you serious
? Does Dr. Donald Waite still use his 386 Packard Bell from the 1980's to write up KJV-only arguments as well?
There are a lot of fallacies with this statement:
#1 algorithm programming has since improved since the 1980's to provide more accurate results (and for example, better artificial intelligence as a result).
#2 The computer won't provide an accurate result since it was never programmed to consider possible multiple interpretations caused by a confusion with old english (i.e. 'quick flesh' could be read by an 8th grader to mean flesh that is literally fast, as opposed to ALIVE flesh
). It may be possible with something such as IBM Watson and a team of linguists that specialize in early and modern English. But not in the 1980's, and especially not with D. A. Waite since his bias is hindering accurate results.
3. THE KJV HAS A SMALL VOCABULARY.
While Shakespeare used a vocabulary of roughly 21,000 English words, the vocabulary of the King James Bible is composed of only 6,000 (Albert Cook, The Authorized Version of the Bible and Its Influence, 1910). This compares favorably to the vocabulary of the Hebrew Old Testament, which is 5,642 words, and the vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, which is about 4,800 words.
The KJV-onlyists just proved themselves wrong since they're admitting that a translation loses words; however Albert Cook's estimations from 1910 are not accurate at all. You would have to be a lunatic to think the KJV only has exactly 6,000 words. Old English uses WAY more words than our modern equivalent (and many terms that have changed meaning and that we're not familiar with as I've shown elsewhere). How many words does the KJV use? This is according to Bible Works:
Version ID: KJV
Description: * King James (1611/1769) with Codes
Number of Books: 66
Number of Chapters: 1189
Number of Verses: 31102
Number of Blank Verses: 0
Total Number of Words: 790252
Number of Unique Words: 12831
The KJV has 12,831 words in total, over DOUBLE the claimed about from Albert Cook. That's a precise tally from Bible Works, not an archaic citation from 1910; and anyone who has Bible Works can prove this in five seconds.
Now we may as well go over how much words the original language texts have since it's interesting (this is also calculated from Bible Works 9, BGT and WTT respectively):
That's a staggering 93,275 unique words. So that means the KJV is 80,444 unique words less than the original language texts. Major information loss.
4. THE KJV USES SIMPLE WORDS; MOST ARE ONLY ONE OR TWO SYLLABLES.
“The entire KJV averages 1.31 syllables and 3.968 letters per word. This word length puts the KJV in the same readability category as the children’s books” (D.A. Waite, Jr., The Comparative Readability of the Authorized Version, Bible for Today, Collingswood, NJ, 1996).
a. Consider Psalm 23, for example: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
Of the 119 words in this Psalm, only 24 are more than two syllables and only 5 are three.
Are you serious? Okay Dr. Waite, here's some KJV vocabulary for you: espied / artificer / bewray / holpen / kine / succour
Did you see any of those in children's books? I didn't think so, and those aren't even the most alienating words found in the KJV. If you DELIBERATELY cherry pick your arguments and evidence, of course you're going to paint an inaccurate picture (so the KJV-onlyists have just proven themselves to be just like macro-evolutionists).
5. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN A BIBLE TRANSLATION IS NOT SIMPLE LANGUAGE BUT FAITHFULNESS TO THE ORIGINAL.
a. Dr. Donald Waite has made the following excellent comments on this subject: “The Bible is not a first grade primer. It is God’s book. It is a book that must be diligently read. It is only by ‘searching the Scriptures’ that we find what pertains to life and death. It tells of creation, of the mighty universe, of the future or the past, of the Mighty God and His wonders, of the Holy Spirit’s ministry among Christians, of the Son of God’s great sacrifice for sin, of home in Heaven for the believer, and of a fiery hell for the unsaved. How dare we assume that His Word can be capsulated in a comic book [or a version that reads ‘like the morning newspaper’].
Here the KJV-onlyists just contradicted themselves. They try to say 'it's as easy to read as a children's book!' Then they say 'it sholdn't be read like a comic book or morning newspaper'. So basically... KJV-onlyists don't want you to notice that they're caught with their pants down, so they'll argue AT THE SAME TIME that it's easy to read / but also that it SHOULD be difficult 'since it's God's Word.
I don't really have a comment about D. A. Waite's emotional filler text, yes yes yes, the Bible says a lot of things, so what. That has nothing to do with proving the KJV is inspired. Nor does "It is a book that must be diligently read". Okay D. A. Waite, let's dilligently read your KJV:
Isaiah 59:5 They hatch cockatrice egges, and weaue the spiders web: he that eateth of their egges dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
There you go D. A. Waite, there's your diligent reading of the AV 1611 and its cockatrice eggs. Sorry... "egges". Be careful Dr. Waite, if you keep sitting on them for too long, you might hatch too many cockatrices.
6. PART OF THE ANTIQUATED FEEL OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS ITS USAGE OF THE SECOND PERSON SINGULAR PRONOMINAL FORMS, “THEE,” “THOU,” AND “THINE.”
a. These should be retained because their use allows the distinction in English between singular and plural pronouns. In other words, “you” and “ye” are plural, while “thou” and “thine” are singular. The singular forms have disappeared from contemporary English, so that there is no difference today between “you” plural and “you” singular. The Hebrew and Greek languages, though, have both a singular and plural form of the pronoun, and the King James Bible was able to pass this distinction along to the English reader.
b. The use of thee, thou, thine was already antiquated when the King James Bible was translated. The King James translators did not adopt thee, thou, thine because those forms were common to their day, but because they wanted to faithfully translate the original Scripture text into English.
This actually isn't defending the singular / plural distinctions. This is actually attempting to defend to 'keep' the archaic English (so they can keep on using it when they SHOULDN'T in the year 2015). And here's why: a KJV-onlyist should
know (but doesn't or conveniently ignores) that the original language texts have FAR more than just plural and singular on "you" and "thou". So this isn't even preserving 1% of singular and plural context of SENTENCES
7. PREVIOUS GENERATIONS EDUCATED THE PEOPLE UP TO THE BIBLE, AND THAT IS WHAT WE SHOULD DO TODAY.
It is my conviction that we don’t need a new translation today; we need to renew our study of the excellent one that we already have. “Instead of lowering the Bible to a lowest common denominator, why should we not educate people to rise to the level required to experience the Bible in its full richness and exaltation?
This is where the KJV-onlyist arguments get interesting...
#1 previously they were saying the KJV is as easy to read as a children's book / 8th or 10th grader
#2 they said then that it was actually more complicated than that and SHOULD be since it's God's Word (and continue to say that here)
#3 BUT THEN! They then claim people should be educated in this old English to experience the 'richness / exaltation'. So that's a reversal right there: to learn a dead English language instead of... LEARNING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE TEXTS!
Which I assure you are far more interesting and cool. Plus God'll help you out via 1 John 1:9, so there's no need to worry.
Never trust a Christian who says "they have a CONVICTION". That means they're drunk on emotion, you know, you'll often hear some say "I am CONVICTED to use Yeshua instead of Jesus Christ". Well good for you, KJV-onlyists are "also" convicted to throw away the original language texts as well. Boy, lots of convictions
happening which all curiously
lead to poisonous opinion.
8. THOUGH THE TERMS “THOU” AND “THINE” HAVE BEEN OUT OF COMMON USAGE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE FOR MORE THAN 400 YEARS, IT WAS ONLY A FEW DECADES AGO THAT PEOPLE STARTED COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.
Even then it was done largely at the prompting of Bible publishers greedy to make ever larger profits by introducing an ever more bewildering smorgasbord of “up-to-date” Bibles. Believers of the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and even most of the 1900s, loved the “quaint” old English of the King James Bible.
Yep, they're proving exactly what I wrote before: the defence of "thou / thee" was NOT to 'preserve the singular' but to provide an EXCUSE to keep the antiquated English. And how would printing alternative Bible translations be any more "greedy" than printing a KJV? You can find KJVs cheaper than NIVs, or NIVs cheaper than KJVs. They've gone so negative that they just want to say printing Bibles in general is greedy... excuse me? People DIED trying to get *any* translation in countries that have it banned! Oh that's right, these KJV-onlyists live in the U.S. and aren't familiar with non-English speakers that are being persecuted.
9. THERE ARE MANY TOOLS AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE KJV. FOLLOWING ARE A FEW OF THESE:
The Bible Word List from the Trinitarian Bible Society of London, England. This is a pamphlet that defines 618 antiquated words in the King James Bible. See http://www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org/
. The Concise King James Bible Dictionary, available from Way of Life Literature.
HAHAHA! They just said printing translations other than the KJV is greedy, and then go on to list resources you can buy to help you learn 17th century English.