I’m going to admit to one of my own prejudices here. If you want to make a Biblical argument to me, don’t pull out the King James Bible. The minute the thees and thous start flying, I’ve tuned out. It is not disrespect for the KJV. It served for centuries as the Bible everyone read. I don’t really even want to get into an argument over the pros and cons of the various texts that were used in creating the translation. Some feel that the texts from which it was translated represent God’s promise to preserve His word through the ages and that the older texts we have found are not necessarily more accurate. Okay. Try the New King James version. At least people will understand you when you share from it.
For reasons I cannot understand, some people have ordained King James English as somehow holy. I’ve heard the claim that when we speak of the things of God we should use special language to emphasize His holiness. Okay. Where’s that in scripture? Furthermore, the King James Version you read today is not the exact transcription of the version produced in 1611. Changes were made to it over time to keep it contemporary until this relatively recent glorification of the language itself. Some seem to believe Jesus Himself spoke old English. We call it the King’s English, but that’s the wrong king.
So, when I hear quotes from the good ol’ KJV I immediately think, “This person probably doesn’t understand what he’s reading.” “His comprehension is hampered by archaic language with words that don’t mean the same thing as they did when they were written.” I picture someone in the grip of some wacky would-be prophet building a religion from snippets of arcane pros, or at least someone who is probably not very smart.
I freely admit that isn’t fair. That attitude has probably caused me to miss some profound wisdom over the years. I think God speaks to people any way they are able to hear Him. The only time I can say with any confidence that I heard Him speak in words to me, He spoke Southern English. So I’ll try to listen, but if you are one of those who believe the King James is the only real version of the bible, I suggest you do some investigation. You may find that both your understanding of God’s word and your ability to communicate it to others is greatly improved by using words that make sense to the modern ear. Enjoy the KJV for its beauty of language, but study something that will help you understand what is being said.