Tag Archives: king james version

Claiming that the King James Version Is Easier to Read than Modern Versions


If you’ve ever heard the Fleach – Kincaid Grade Level test used to “prove” that English from the 1600’s is easier to understand that English from today, then you might be a fundamentalist. Claiming that the King James Version is written on a 7th grade level is a common defense of that particular version of Scripture. Of course, fundies don’t exactly explain how many 7th graders know the meaning of the word “wot” or could tell you what a “scrip” is used for. It’s doubtful that even a majority of adults know that the word “let” can actually mean “to prevent.” Think ye, amongst the congregations of these stripling youths that such words would be taken as acceptable for the nonce?

Perhaps fundamentalists believe that when a person is truly saved the Holy Spirit gives them an immediate education in 1611 vocabulary. As a test, can you, without looking it up, tell me what the word “carriage” means in the following sentence? “And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage,and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.” If the Holy Spirit did not reveal to you the correct answer, then you may very well be in need of repentance.

It seems strange that a version which started out as a way to put the Bible into the hands of common people now has the opposite effect. The resistance to a new translation done from the Majority Text with ‘literal’ translation techniques shows that the version has become more than a translation of the originals. It has, in short, become a way to separate “we” from “thee.”


greekHave you ever heard a sermon based on the differences between eros, phileo, and agape? Can you never remember not knowing what Koine Greek was? I’d dare to bet that at some point you have been a fundamentalist.

Fundamentalists believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the only accurate translation that has been preserved for English speakers. They believe this so firmly that they are willing to separate from other churches and groups who don’t use the King James. Then through some strange cognitive dissonance, they also spend years in church basements learning the original languages to enable them to explain what the Greek really means in English.

“In the original languages,” the pastor will intone “This verb “to sit” is really a pluperfect subjunctive. This means that the original author really meant “he will have sat at some point in the future perhaps but has not actually sat yet nor will he sit until the present time is over.” One is left to wonder how those incredibly bright King James translators missed out on all of this detailed material that is so vital to the second point of the pastor’s sermon.

Ask any fundamentalist and they’ll tell you that the King James is as absolutely perfect as gold purified seven times — as long as you’ve got a fundamentalist pastor there to tell you what the original Greek says, that is.