Sword of the Spirit (part two) - A Brief look at KJVER & MEV
I am a strong King James Bible advocate. Though I wouldn't consider myself a devote "KJV-Onlyist" I have adopted something of a "KJV-exceedingly-dominant" view for our English Bibles. I understand that the KJV is not "THE" Bible but that it is a translation of "The Bible". The "BIBLE" from the Greek word Biblos meaning "book" is a compiled collection of Sacred Hebrew and Greek manuscripts commonly accepted by Christendom as Divinely Inspired Texts. A single relatively young language translation cannot be the only acceptable Word of God in a world consisting of many diverse tongues and nations. The KJV for me, is the gold standard, it is hands down the most excellent translation in the English language compiled of the "Received Text" manuscripts as they were tried, purified and refined like silver in a furnace (Psalm 12:6). I personally believe the Holy Ghost was very much involved the production and translation process of the Authorized 1611 King James Bible to pass on to this final generation of these last days.
I explain my KJV stance and convictions a little further in detail in my previous blog post titled "The Sword of the Spirit - Why the KJV beats them All."
I am not going to deny, that although I believe most modern translations are best suited in the trash, there is at least some value in these modern Bibles. It would be ignorant of me to pretend the English language hasn't changed dramatically since the early1600's. I would be lying if said I didn't think some of the words used in these modern Bibles are better translations for today. I will admit there is some words or sentences better understood by this current generation in reading a newer version even if they are gross perversions in many subtle ways. Anyone who has used a concordance will quickly learn that we can get a much deeper understanding of scripture by looking into the original language used for our English translations. Many words, phrases and sayings as they are used in the KJV mean entirely different things today. Corn for a simple example as it was used in the KJV is not Maize Corn as I have grown to know the word, or Penny which is worthless and obsolete today (used in Revelation 6:6 explaining inflation/famine, the greek word which was denarion and was given as a entire day's wage see Mt. 20:2). I can't deny that there are some sentences and words in the KJV that are difficult to understand at times due to the age of language used. Even most King James Bibles printed today have been modernized from the original language of the 1611 to that of the 1769 version which included many thousands of changes to better adapt with the times.
When my family reads our Bible's as we do so often together, we use the KJB and we will at times pick up other tools, perhaps a smartphone Bible app holding multiple translations, dictionary or a concordance to better understand the meanings of words or phrases. As English continues to change over time we are slowly becoming far removed from this 'olde english style' language. Though beautiful to read there are also many people who struggle with basic reading and comprehension. Throwing a King James Bible at them could hold some people back from wanting to read it. Some in my very own family have their struggles with reading so I understand that insisting all to strictly read the difficult old english translation might be a stumbling block for some depending the circumstances. I mustn't forget how I got to where I am now. I think back to when my mother used to read to me as a child from a Children's Bible and can see the value of it and profound effect it had on me. Neither was I saved reading out of a King James Bible. I didn't come to the KJV until much later on as I grew Spiritually in my walk with Christ Jesus and searched these kind of matters out.
Considering all this, it has been somewhat difficult for me to navigate a best one size fits all option for sharing the written Word. While I cannot in good conscience endorse any deceptive Bible that came from Wescott, Hort and Alexandrian texts of the Sinaiticus & Vaticanus. I can't help but feel I'd be making sharing the Gospel more difficult for some potential new converts than it has to be by forcing my King James Bible convictions onto them. I'm torn by this as there is little of English options available for recommending outside the KJV. The New King James has been the closest thing we've had to a modern English King James for some time which claims to be cut from the same cloth so to speak but is almost just as bad as the other gross modern perversions available. The NKJV does not faithfully follow the Textus Receptus or the King James. It removes the word "Lord" 66 times, "God" 51 times, "heaven" 50 times, "repent" 44 times and not to mention the plethora of other very subtle changes found all throughout.
After years of searching, I have found two newer modern English Bibles derived from the KJV that are excellent alternatives to the NKJV which many people are unaware of, as was I. Aside from losing the plurality of Ye, and singularity of Thee and such-like obsolete archaic pronouns the KJVER and MEV remain true to that of the King James Bible translation in most cases. There is a good handful of verses I know to look for when trying to expose a butchered perverse Bible where most fail in a tremendous amount of instances. But when first searching through these for the same attacks I was relieved to see the words and meanings twisted and omitted in so many others still remain intact. So for those who might be looking for a more modern english version to read alongside your old english Original KJV's for clearer understanding these are great study tools that remain very true to that of the King James Bible. I would not suggest either as replacements for the King James but excellent companion reference Bibles.
First, introducing the KJV-ER... The King James Version - Easy Read
The KJVER is similiar to the NKJV in that the text reads more modern by removing the "eth"'s and "est"'s endings of many words and replacing the thees and thous with you and yours, but unlike the NKJV it leaves in the original archaic KJV words and follows along in almost mirror-like fashion. Many of the more outdated words are often merely underlined and updated words are given at the end of the verse. I find oftentimes they define words that probably don't need explaining and leave out others that definitely should have been included. Surprisingly, it does highlight the differences in certain words translated in the english as one like, "Love" that are derived from words that are different in the Greek (Agape & Phileo) with similar but different meanings. Overall, it's a really straightforward easy read modernized King James. It's flow for me seems somewhat awkward as it removes the very basics of the old english but keeps everything else word for word which leaves us with sentence structure that in my opinion was better left as is but my wife enjoys reading from hers. There really isn't a whole lot else to say about it. Overall, the KJV-Only camp looking to scrutinize the KJVer will be hard pressed to find the mountain of gross error contained in so many others. I'm not going to get into the particulars of each copy rather than just focus on the content of the text. I'm not a fan of how they break up syllables in words like Israel to Is’ra-el but aside from that I have only discovered very minimal minute changes.
Notice Love is explained, Verily, Verily = truly, truly, girded= wrapped, glorify=honor, meat= eat, sup=eat, gird=prepare, trow= think.
There are only a few actual changes outside the obvious that I am aware of which are as follows...
KJB / KJVer
Genesis 4:11-12 (see also Matthew 26:52, Luke 6:44)
her / it's
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
11 And now are you cursed from the earth, which has opened it's mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand;
fetch / bring
5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
5 And I will bring a morsel of bread, and comfort you your hearts; after that you shall pass on: for therefore are you come to your servant. And they said, So do, as you have said.
fetch is replaced with bring
nigh is replaced with near
Overall the KJVer is a most excellent modern English King James Bible and perhaps the closest we will ever get to a modern English version of the King James translation. One step further they perhaps could have gone would have been to incorporate the plurality of certain phrases such as replacing "Ye" with "You All" instead of You. Aside from the limited choices in different KJVer available in print today I have little to be critical of. I can certainly greatly appreciate this addition to my study collection.
Next Up, the almost great but then, sadly disappointing and not so great MEV - Modern English Version...
The MEV is an English translation of the Bible begun in 2005 and completed in 2014. It is an updated modernized english version of the King James, re-translated from the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus using the King James Version as it's base manuscript. Like the NKJV, the MEV still misses the mark. When I first got one of these in my hands, I was ecstatic. I went from verse to verse looking for typical ommisions or twisting of Bible verses in all the places I knew to look and they weren't there. I was overjoyed. Finally! Doctrines and messages and verses were as they should be or so at least I thought until deeper investigation. While at first glance I thought I struck Gold, I now have some great bones to pick with this Modern translation and those that put it together as well. It's not horrible by comparison of the other modern versions available out there and I would put it above the NKJV but some things ought to never have changed.
Lets start with Hebrews 6:2 where the KJV has the word "baptisms" the MEV uses the word "washings." The replacement is found just once but totally unacceptable. Baptism is not merely washing! Baptism is a fundamental Christian word that needs no updating. I was very disappointed when I found this, but as if this wasn't bad enough I then discovered the MEV removes the word "Godhead" and replaces it with the word Deity two times! I will give them they captialized the "D" however once again, totally unacceptable! I was shocked but then I guess I should have known what men will do for gain to get their copyright claims.
The King James Bible mentions the “Godhead” three times in three passages, but the MEV only once. There's a big difference between Deity and Godhead. Deity means God; whereas Godhead means the Tri-Un nature, the very essence of God, Our Elohim(plural) made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)...
KJV—Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” MEV—Romans 1:20, “The invisible things about Him—His eternal power and deity—have been clearly seen since the creation of the world and are understood by the things that are made, so that they are without excuse.” KJV —Acts 7:29, “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.” MEV —Acts 7:29, “Therefore since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to suppose that the Deity is like gold or silver or stone or an engraved work of art or an image of the reflection of man.” They did however get it right once..
KJV - Colossians 2:9, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” MEV—Colossians 2:9, “For in Him lives all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
If that wasn't enough they just had to put in a footnote attacking the Trinity by casting doubt on1 John 5:7 one of the most important doctrinal verses in all the NT and reassuring the lies of so-called "superior earlier greek manuscripts".
That was enough for me to be deeply troubled with this translation but just to be thorough I should bring forth a few more unworthy translations...
“Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ ” (MEV)
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.(KJV)
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (MEV)
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (KJV)
for who were they who heard and rebelled? Was it not all of those who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? (MEV)
For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. (KJV)
The changes to Hebrews 3:16 from a statement to a question is very serious. Because we know from the Old Testament that Joshua and Caleb didn't rebel so this appears to read as untrue.
I wish I could say nothing but good things about the MEV, but for all that is worth boasting it is almost all wasted away by these troubling errors.
As always the KJV reigns supreme among its counterparts but if there was ever a verse that would cast doubt on it being flawless to absolute perfection it would be Isaiah 45:7,
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."
This can be a troubling verse often used by atheists and dark forces in an attempt to attack the very righteous, loving and Holy nature of our God. God is not creating evil as many might erroneously interpret this verse or as some will twist it according to our understanding of the word. And while Satan is a created being he wasn't always evil nor were the angels that fell. Many who haven't looked into the original language and the context of this verse or even keeping the rest of the Bible in mind might have a hard time explaining it. After all we should understand "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all..." (1John 1:5) and that "God is love.." (1John 4:8). The Hebrew word used for evil here is H7451 - ra‛ râ‛âh which is only used this one time in all of the old testament scriptures. And though it's root word H7489 râ‛a‛ is translated evil 20 times and evildoer 10 times,
in it's context it a better translation to our modern english understandings would be adversity, calamity or trouble, the opposite of peace, a parallel to forming both light & darkness. Although this whole concept may be a tough pill for some Believers to swallow or even try wrap their brain around, the word evil used here in the King James is a poor choice of words in my opinion. The MEV and other modern english versions use Calamity in Isaiah 45:7 which I think paints a much better picture to todays english readers of God's character and what I believe this verse is referring to.
So though I can pick at the MEV translation, so also can I do the same for the KJV. If one were to pick up their first MEV. I would suggest the KJV/MEV parallel Bible. Having the two translations side by side verse by verse as you read along is an excellent reference study tool and my only real complaint would be the size of print. I hope this article will be helpful for some in their studies, ultimately better assisting others in pursuit of truth, wisdom, knowledge and discernment.
May God bless you in your studies and his glorious light shine brightly upon you! Amen!