Why Is The King James Bible So Popular
16 May 2021
Shakespeare was still alive when this Bible was published.
Shortly after he ascended the English throne in 1603, King James I commissioned a new Holy Bible translation that, more than 400 years later, is still widely read around the world.
This Bible, known as the King James Version , helped King James leave behind a lasting cultural footprint one of his goals as a leader. “James saw himself as a great Renaissance figure who wanted to impart on the world culture, music, literature and even new ways of learning,” Bruce Gordon, a professor of ecclesiastical history at Yale Divinity School, told Live Science.
But given the KJV’s age, why is it still so popular across different Christian denominations?
In short, the KJV’s influence has waxed over the centuries because, Gordon said, it was the version that was most widely read and distributed in countries where English was the dominant language and that its translation was “never really challenged until the 20th century.” In that time, the KJV became so embedded in the Anglo-American world that “many people in Africa and Asia were taught English from the KJV” when Christian missionaries brought it to them, Gordon said. “Many people weren’t even aware that it was one of many available translations,” he added, “they believed the King James Version was the Bible in English.”
But there’s more to the story that goes back to the translation’s inception.
Why Are There Different Bible Translations
Language has changed drastically over the years, inciting the need for new translations of the Bible. As languages modernized, Bible translators along with Greek and Hebrew scholars were tasked with being true to the original meaning of the text while attempting to translate these ancient languages and terms for modern day readers.
Some versions are meant to serve as a thought-for-thought reading, where the ideas of passages and verses are loosely based, and other versions are meant to serve as a word-for-word reading, with a more strict but potentially harder-to-understand basis for the text.
Many, if not most Bible translations fall in between that spectrum and serve to honor the original meaning of the words in a readable, understandable translation.
There Are Dozens Of Translations Of The Bible Into English None Of Which Are Perfect
So, youve decided to make an extra effort and finally read the Bible. Perhaps you have an old family Bible in the house, but you feel like you need a fresh copy, a better translation, something you can read and understand. You take a trip to the local Barnes and Noble or a Catholic bookstore, and the clerk directs you to the Bible section.
I didnt know there were so many different versions, you might think to yourself. Does it matter which one I buy? Which one is best for a Catholic like myself? This one looks good, but is it worth it to pay more for it?
The choice can be daunting. At Barnes and Nobles website, a search for Bible, narrowed down to hardcover versions, yields over 4,700 results.
If the Bible might be considered a guide to life, one might actually need a roadmap to find the version most suitable for the average pilgrim.
According to some Catholic scholars and teachers, there is no one best Bible for Catholics, but several versions are suitable. Often, it depends on the individual, his background in Bible reading and study, and the way he wishes to use the Good Book.
The New American Bible was first published in 1970 and is the basis for the readings at Mass.
Read more:Where did the Bible come from?
Whether any versions of the Bible are translated in such a way that the language might mislead readers from the true faith,
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How To Read And Understand The Bible
Reading the Bible on your own is a great start to growing in your walk with Christ.
However, if you want to understand the Bible, you have to learn how to study the Bible.
Attending your local churches weekly bible study is a great place to start.
Bible studies are less formal than Sunday service. Usually, you can ask the Pastor or group leader questions and gain insight from other members of the congregation.
There are also ways to study the Bible on your own, but thats a topic for another day.
I hope answered all of your questions about the Bible and how to read it.
Dont forget to download a copy of my Bible Reading Plan for Beginners!
As always, remember to keep Jesus in the center of everything you do.
Your Sister in Christ,
Get A Bible You Enjoy Reading
Bible reading isnt very fun when you dont understand what youre reading. Its incredibly helpful to have a Bible that can help you understand whats happening .
If youre looking for a helpful resource, the NIV Student Bible will provide a lot of insight. Built specifically for students of the Bible, it gives you just the right amount of help without overwhelming your time in the Word. And it has its own three-track reading program!
Another great resource is The Books of the Bible. Broken into four-volumes and by many of the genres mentioned earlier, this Bible is free from chapter and verse numbers that provides a seamless reading experience. When done with a partner or group, this approach to reading the Bible can be very enlightening and meaningful.
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Easiest Bible Versions To Read And Understand For Beginners
Which are the easiest Bible versions to read and understand for beginners?
Are you feeling spiritual in the New Year? Have you decided to dive into reading the Bible for the first time or the first time in a while? Great, then we have a perfect list for you.
If you are religious or interested in exploring different religions then reading the Bible is a great place to start. However, reading the Bible is also great for those who are absolute atheists, agnostics, or who practice other organized religions. It is an interesting book that can give you insight into world history. If nothing else, the Bible is an excellent historical source document wherein you can understand a great deal about
With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, the Bible is often referred to as the most read book in the world. The full Bible has been translated into 636 different languages with thousands more languages having partial translations. There are at least 108 different versions of the Bible. Versions differing from translations in that a translation is in a different language than the original while a version is an interpretation. Different Bible versions have different contexts, different interpretations, leave out or add books or verseswhich ultimately can make it a more or less accurate book.
Copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo
Literal Translations Of The Bible
Based on Functional Equivalence or Literal here are the 5 most accurate translations of the Bible:
1. New American Standard Bible
The NASB holds the title of Most Accurate Translation due toits strict adherence to Literal translation methods. It wasoriginally published in 1963 and was revised in 1995.
Another thing that makes it so accurate is the NASBs use of the text from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum critical text.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the oldest of Old Testament texts. They are regarded by scholars as among the best original texts.
The NASB is not too easy to read, due to the strict adherence to literalism. The translators wanted to stick to the structure of the source language as closely as possible.
This gives the NASB the title for most accurate English translation at the expense of readability and comprehension.
There are quite a few people who love reading such an accurate translation, so the NASB has a strong following.
But there are other translations that are easier to read than the NASB. .
2. English Standard Version
The ESV is a revision of the Revised Standard Version .It is also very close to the NASB. It was originally published in 2001.
A new edition was published in 2009 including thedeuterocanonical or apocryphal- books. This makes it suitable for reading forCatholic believers.
It is written in very modern English, yet readers still find that it reminds them of the KJV and RSV.
3. New English Translation
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Best Bible Version For Beginners
What is the best bible version for beginners? I have three to recommend! Each of these versions is the best bible to understand and included the New Living Translation , The New International Version , and The New International Readers Version .
Each version presents thought for thought translation and helps to provide in-depth study as well as personal development making each the best bible for beginners to understand!
New Living Translation Version This translation is accomplished by translating entire thoughts into modern English rather than word for word. The result is an easy to understand bible with our everyday language.
New International Version This translation was formed through many bible scholars seeking ways to best capture the original language and context into modern English and continues to be updated. The NIV is the most-read version of the English bible.
New International Readers VersionThis is based on the NIV but offers an even easier version of the NIV to read and understand.
I was introduced to this version when my children received an Adventure Bible For Early Readers with this translation. It boasted at getting kids excited about getting into Gods Word and I can attest that this is true. Yes, there are also NIrV bibles for adults, too!
A proper translation makes a world of difference!
Which Bible Translation Should I Use
“How sweet are Your words to the taste of my mouth! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” â Psalm 119:103
There are a lot of Bible translations available for every Christian today, whether in paperback or in digital form. But of the many translations currently available in the market today, which one should we use?
The Best Version for you
Today there are dozens of Bible versions available. There’s the King James Version , which although beautiful, can be a challenging read for those not accustomed to old English there’s the easy-to-read The Message version, although it’s actually a paraphrase, not a translation, which is an issue for critics and the widely-accepted New International Version , among others. There’s a lot more to choose from, so which one should we use?
Asheritah from One Thing Alone says there are three different kinds of translations. All of them are based on the original Greek and Hebrew languages used in Scripture:
Now, how do you choose a Bible version for yourself?
It’s between you and God
Friend, I can’t choose a translation for you. While I read the NLT on a daily basis, I also countercheck it with various versions such as the KJV, NKJV, and the Modern English Version as it helps me get a better grip on what God is saying. It helps me hear Him better.
I will leave you with this piece of Godly counsel from Pastor John Piper:
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Which Bible Version Is Best For You
We could have a very long conversation about the many different translations and all the technical reasons to read one or another version of the Bible.
And different people may have different reasons for selecting the version they read every day.
There are many good translations. And many people have theirpreferences.
Here are some things to think about and questions to askyourself when deciding which translation to get:
Will I enjoy the translation?
Will it be easy to read?
Will I understand it?
Will I be motivated to read it?
For many folks, just one translation will never do. If you are like me, you will have multiple translations around the house, on your computer and all your electronic devices.
Its a wonderful blessing that we have so many options for enjoying the Word of the Living God.
Why Did King James Want A Newly Translated Bible
Before James commissioned the KJV in 1604, most people in England were learning from two different Bibles the Church of England’s translation, commonly read during worship services , and the more popular version most Brits read at home, known as the Geneva Bible, first published in 1560. The Geneva Bible was the Bible of choice among Protestants and Protestant sects, and as a Presbyterian, James also read that version. However, he disliked the lengthy and distracting annotations in the margins, some of which even questioned the power of a king, according to Gordon.
What’s more, when James assumed the English throne in March 1603, following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, he inherited a complicated political situation, as the Puritans and the Calvinists religious followers of reformer John Calvin were openly questioning the absolute power of the Church of England’s bishops. James’ own mother Mary, Queen of Scots had been executed 16 years earlier in part because she was perceived to be a Catholic threat to Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant reign. “Mary’s death made James keenly aware of how easily he could be removed if he upset the wrong people,” Gordon said.
James died from a stroke in March 1625, so he never saw his Bible become widely accepted. But even during his lifetime, after James commissioned the translation, he didn’t oversee the process himself. “It’s almost as if he got the ball rolling, then washed his hands of the whole thing,” Gordon said.
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Genesis: Where It All Began
In the Old Testament, Genesis, which means origin, is a good starting point too. Reading this narrative about the beginning of the world, how sin came to be and the impact it had on the world, gives us a reference point to start understanding the context of the New Testament.
Many famous Bible stories like Adam and Eve, Noahs ark, and the story of Joseph are found in Genesis.
Introduction to the book: The Book of Genesis tells us how everything began from humanitys history to become the world we know today. It reveals a dramatic prologue of Gods love for us, the tragedies of sin and the human race, and God initiating a brilliant plan to win us back from the clutches of darkness.
He does this by passing down a covenant blessing through Abraham and his family, including Isaac, Jacob, and other individuals, in order to bless all the families of the earth.
These descendants will become the foundation for the nation of Israel and Jesus the Messiah, who brings salvation for all of humanity.
List Of The Best Translations Of The Bible
The best translations of the Bible are mostly well-known, but there are also a few that are not so well-known. Scholars regard Word-for-Word as most accurate translation method that leaves the least room for error.
Thought-by-Thought and Paraphrase are much more readable, but they have been criticized because these translations can begin to interpret the Bible rather than only translating it.
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The English Language Continually Evolves
A modern translation takes into consideration words and phrases that are no longer used or have changed over time. For instance, the word let meant restrain in 1611 when the KJV was first published, but today it means allow. Its not uncommon to see modern translations come out with an updated version every 10-15 years to reflect todays language.
The Original Language Of The Bible
Translations exist because the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, with some Aramaic and Greek . Because of the multiple languages of the original text, all English versions we read today are a translation.
Until the mid-twentieth century, the oldest copies of the Old Testament were known as the Masoretic text, which were manuscripts translated between 500 and 950 A.D. In 1947, caves were discovered that held 900 ancient scrollsthe Dead Sea Scrollswhich dated back to the 2nd century B.C., well before Jesus was born. The Dead Sea Scrolls helped translators get much closer to the date the text was originally written. Remarkably the scrolls were found to be practically identical with the Masoretic textmost variants being minor spelling differences and none that impacted the meaning. In fact, since then, New Testament transcripts have been found dating as far back as the 2nd century A.D. confirming the reliability of the ancient texts.
Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic languages have different complexities compared to the English language. For example, there are often multiple English words for just one word in Greek. So when a person is translating the Greek biblical text from the original manuscripts into English, there may be many words to choose from to communicate the authors intended message. Bible translators can focus on either a literal or readable translation and many fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.
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Which Version Of Bible Should I Read
English Standard Version
The ESV is becoming a popular translation because its close to a word-for-word translation, but still clear and readable. The ESV is best for: The ESV is a great version for people who are looking for a Bible that is a good balance of easy to read but still great for serious Bible Study.
Then, What are the 7 extra books in the Catholic bible called?
What are they? A: There are seven books in the Catholic Bible Baruch, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Tobit and Wisdom that are not included in the Protestant version of the Old Testament. These books are referred to as the deuterocanonical books.
Which version of the Bible is closest to the original text? The Alpha & Omega Bible is the closest to the original translation and better to understand than any other Bible there is.
Keeping this in consideration, What is the easiest Bible to read and understand?
The Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version is an English translation of the Bible compiled by the World Bible Translation Center. It was originally published as the English Version for the Deaf by BakerBooks.