Examples of KJV verses which could be better translated

The Bible only perfect in English?

I certainly couldnt be a ”KJV-onlyist” because I prefer to read the Bible in my own tongue which is Swedish.

If the KJV was ”perfect” then you would never have to go back to the Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic at any time for references and to get a more clear view, because the KJV is supposed to stand on its own legs and fully able to solve all queries. Nevertheless also KJV-onlyists sometimes go back to the Greek when they want to see the more ”original” meaning of a passage, and this is evidence in itself that KJV is inferior to the original languages and and not ”perfect”. Sometimes it’s hard also for native English speakers to understand some of the words in the King James Bible. They may have to look up the meaning of words and some words have changed meanings over the years. If the KJV was ”perfect”, the language used should always be up to date, but this is an impossible demand for any Bible translation.

Some suggest that people who don’t have English as their native tongue could still use their own Bible version of ”Textus Receptus”, and be a ”onlyist” when it comes to this particular version, but not all languages have this type of translation. Since the year 2003, there is a Swedish translation (”Reformationsbibeln”) rather close to the ”KJV” because Textus Receptus is used as a source (or the main source), but only the New Testament is translated. Besides, I’ve seen examples of errors in this translation, like adding question marks where there are none in the original Greek. Neither can we conclude that ”the very first Bible translation” from the original language to another language is the superior one for that language. This simply isn’t always the case.

Why would God select the King James Bible of all versions to be supernaturally preserved? Because he likes English speakers the best? If KJV was superior over all other versions, then all those who are not English native speakers would have to sit down by the feet of those who are, to learn the ”real” truth. As soon as there is a difference of opinions concerning a Bible passage, then the person who is a native English speaker could claim to be more accurate since he is basing his understanding on the KJV.

There are many examples of where a particular expression can be better captured in Spanish, Swedish, or some other language, rather than in English. (In other cases it might be the other way around.) It makes better sense if it’s the original Greek, Hebrew and Arameic which should correct us and not a secondary translation. As soon as you translate a sentence from one language to another, there is always a risk that the perfect nuance of the original language gets lost.

Anyway, here are some examples where KJV has an inferior translation than other versions in English. (Note, that I still feel the KJV is the best translation overall in English.)

Titus 2:13 Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
The New American Standard Bible 

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  
The King James Version 

In the NASB ”our great God and Savior” refers to one person, Jesus Christ Himself. This makes the deity of Christ clear, by calling Him ”our great God.” The KJV opens up for the possibility that ”the great God” and ”our Saviour Jesus Christ” may refer to two distinct persons.

Romans 9:5 
Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!
The New International Version 

Romans 9:5 
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
The King James Version 

Whereas the NIV proclaims that Christ ”is God over all,” the KJV avoids this claim to Christ’s deity, stating only that Christ is ”over all.”

John 5:18 
For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
The New American Standard Bible

John 5:18 
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 
The King James Version

The deity of Christ is better shown in the NASB, because only Jesus had a completely unique relationship with God, where God is His ”own” Father. God was no one else’s Father in this unique way. If we all had God as our Father in this unique way, then we would also be making ourselves equal to God.

Matthew 26:63-64 
But Jesus remained silent.  The high priest said to him, ”I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”  64 ”Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
The New International Version 

Matthew 26:63-64 
But Jesus held his peace.  And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.  64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said.
The King James Version

The NIV makes it clear that Jesus’ response to the high priest, literally ”you say,” is a Greek idiom meaning ”yes, it is as you say,” (i.e. ”what you have said is true”).  Therefore, Jesus’ response is an indication of that He claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God. The KJV, fails to translate this idiom into its full meaning for modern readers, and consequently leaves doubt as to whether Jesus actually claimed to be the Son of God.

Revelation 1:8 
”I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God . . .
The New American Standard Bible

Revelation 1:8 
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord . . .
The King James Version

The KJV omits the word ”God” (Greek theos), supplying instead only the word ”Lord,” which by itself does not necessarily denote deity.

Hebrews 1:3 
And He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;
The New American Standard Bible

Hebrews 1:3 
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  
The King James Version

The NASB makes it clear that the nature of Jesus is precisely identical to the nature of God Himself (”the exact representation of His nature”). The KJV diminishes this expression to merely the ”image” of God.  Given that all human beings are said elsewhere to be made in the image of God (Genesis 2), it becomes difficult to establish from the KJV rendering of this passage anything more than the humanity of Jesus.

Another evidence that the KJV is not ”perfect” is the below verse.

Hebr. 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

The word IF is not in the Greek in verse 6!

Yet, this word is what many theologians base their understanding of when it comes to this verse. Consider what Adam Clarke wrote about this and the aorist tense:

”And having fallen away” I can express my own mind on this translation nearly in the words of Dr. Macknight: ‘The participles who were enlightened, have tasted, and were made partakers, being aorists, are properly rendered by our translators in the past time; wherefore parapesontas, being an aorist, ought likewise to have been translated in the past time, ”HAVE fallen away”. Never­theless, our translators, following Beza, who with­out any authority from ancient MSS. has inserted in his version the word ”if” have rendered this clause, IF they fall away, that this text might not appear to contradict the doctrine of the perse­verance of the saints. But as no translator should take upon him to add to or alter the Scriptures, for the sake of any favourite doctrine, I have trans­lated parapesontas in the past time, ”have fallen away” according to the true import of the word, as standing in connection with the other aorists in the preceding verses.

(Theodore Beza is John Calvin’s successor.) Young’s literal translation reads:

”And having fallen away, again to renew them to reformation, having crucified again to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame” (v. 6).

More articles concerning errors in the KJV can be read here and here. 

15 thoughts on “Examples of KJV verses which could be better translated

  1. Pingback: “The Message” is giving the wrong message! « Christianity as it should be understood.

  2. The protestant Gustov bible is the proper Bible for Sweden. God purifies his word 7 times (Psalm 12:6-7) so it is possible this Swedish Bible text is altered to conform closer to the AV – but for no other reason.
    We reject men’s opinioins about ”mistakes” in the AV and accept it as the words of God that ”mightily grew and prevailed”. The other versions you cite (NIV, NASV) are dying Bibles that hardly sell any more – and which are filled with infidelity and blasphemy and ommissions. You think God’s words are found in such texts? HA.
    Titus 2:13 the AV is correct that Jesus is our saviour, but he is God over all the world (not just a God for us, like NASV says).
    Romans 9:5 human ancestory is ”traced” is a refusal in the NASV to admit that Jesus Christ came in the flesh – this is the antichrist spirit. The AV is correct, the Son is blessed by the Father, and is not a God over him (another trinity error in the NASV).
    John 5:18 the AV is correct – ”his own” means exclusive but Jesus did not deny that God is Father, so the NASV is theologically wrong yet again.
    Matthew 26:63 in the AV is correct, the statement Christ made was intentionally a vauge one – nobody every caught him in his talk or forced him to say what he did not wish to say. It was a very clever answer that the NIV changed into a droll bit of bad dialogue (typical).
    Revelation 1:8 in the AV is correct – it is Jesus talking. The NASV heretics put ”God” in to obscure the speaker as if Jesus was not first and last (i.e., himself the LORD).
    Hebrews 1:3 in the AV is correct, God is not a part of nature or the natural world. This is the heresy of pantheism. Typical apostate trash in these new versions.
    You obviously have very limited critical reading skills in English and don’t catch the theological nuances. What you did was repeat the examples you found in James White’s book without bothering to think about them. The AV is entirely correct – it is the final authority.

    Gilla

    • Hey there
      Your post ended up among my spam-mail, but it looks authentic 🙂

      Gustav Vasa’s Bible is rather useless for most Swedes since it’s from 1541 and contains a language that is old, outdated and foreign. I would just understand a word here and there if I read it. On top of that it’s NOT perfect and contains many errors. Just like the KJV, Gustav Vasa’s Bible contains errors and translations that could be improved. This is not an opinion but a matter of fact. Most people think that Karl XII’s Bible is the version closest to the KJV, but also this version contains errors.

      Concerning the NIV and other modern translations, I’ve never claimed they were good. My post was about errors in the KJV. You can reread my article and see this for yourself. I’m therefore, afraid you wrote most of your post in vain.

      God bless

      Gilla

  3. Bjork:
    Since you proved no errors in the King James Bible, your reply is in vain. Also, the fact that you have a limited Swedish vocabulary and cannot understand complex words is unfortunate, but your admission that you have limited education gives us good reason to dismiss your opinions about the Bible as just foolishness.
    Thank you.
    – Mack.

    Gilla

    • ”Since I proved no errors”? Did you look in the article you commented on? The rule is to read the article first and THEN comment.

      I have a great Swedish vocabulary, but not good enough to read Swedish from the 1500´s. Besides, you can’t get access to this Bible any more, unless you visit some kind of museum. There are no recent editions of this book.

      God bless

      Gilla

  4. Bjork:

    Karl XII’s bible is from 1703 and if you don’t understand it then you should try to learn more words in your own language.

    Also, please learn that just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean the Bible has an error. Change your opinions to match the Bible — then you will be a good Christian who is learning from God.

    But when you change the Bible to match your opinions you are backwards. The atheist also sees ”errors” everywhere in the Bible and changes it to fit their opinions. Your mindset is the same.

    – Mack.

    Gilla

    • So now you have switched the preferred Bible to Karl XII’s Bible? I thought it was the Gustav Vasa Bible you suggested Swedes should read to get the true word of God? Yes, naturally Karl XII Bible would be a lot easier to read than a Bible from 1540. Not for a child or teenager perhaps, but still. It’s not easy to get access to Karl XII Bible either, so this would mean that close to ALL Swedes would be out of luck.

      I’ve already showed you some KJV errors, and I notice you’re not able to ”solve” them.

      Gilla

  5. Bjork:
    It is good you finally read my comment explaining your errors. Of course, it is not up to me to ”solve” all your failings to understand the Bible. The fact that you have difficulties does not cause any errors in the AV – it is only the result of an error in your thinking.
    – Mack.

    Gilla

  6. Check out biblegataway.com-there you have LOADS of different translations that you easily can compare online. There is even the Complete Jewish bible- not only a direct-translation but one that goes into depth with cultural words that has been lost in translation in all other direct-translations. It´s the most detailed bible I´ve ever found! There are loads of hebrew and greek words in the text explained in footnotes.

    Regarding the KJV it´s the third translatin to english and it´s ok.. but I seriously think it´s gravely overrated because it´s become so popular. People often just follow what others choose, without actually comparing options for themselves. Even when it comes to bible-versions.

    Gilla

  7. Pingback: AV Bible is Final Authority | MackQuigley

    • This interesting chap doesn’t seem to understand that Vasa’s Bible is 1) not inerrant, and 2) impossible for normal Swedes to even understand because it’s so ancient. I’ve explained this to him but he doesn’t seem to believe me.

      Gilla

    • This interesting MQ-blogger doesn’t seem to understand that Gustav Vasa Bible is 1) not free from errors and, 2) impossible to understand for most Swedes who live today. I’ve informed him about it, but he either doesn’t understand or he ignores me. It doesn’t seem as though he had read my blog article either.

      Gilla

  8. Pingback: Localization (Part 1) | Theology Gaming

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