TROY - Besides modern revelation, for what
reasons are we encouraged to read the King James
Version of the Bible? Is it because King James'
Scholars were bringing the book out of hiding
into the light for all to see and read and for
religious freedom? It appears newer translated Bibles
are done by specific religious organizations.
JOEL - Many accept the The King James translation of bible because it was such a large and extensive project which lasted from 1604 to 1611 and employed the expertise of 54 different scholars.
The LDS Church uses the King James (or Authorized) Version (KJV), mainly because it was the basic English text used by the Prophet Joseph Smith and because subsequent Church leaders have approved its use. The Church does not claim that the KJV is perfect, but it is currently the preferred English version. A few of the main reasons for using it are:
1. It was the common translation in use in the English-speaking world at the time of the Restoration.
2. All the other standard works use the same King James English language style.
3. A large number of passages in the Book of Mormon, which parallel the Bible, were translated into the English style of the KJV.
4. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) was based on the KJV, with 90 percent of the verses unchanged.
5. Most of the world is more familiar with the KJV, so it is used by our missionaries when teaching the gospel.
6. Doctrines and teachings are sometimes changed because of different wording used in the other translations.
LDS Bible scholar President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., said that the KJV was "the best version of any yet produced" . For example, he felt that the KJV translators clearly portrayed Jesus as the promised Messiah and as the Son of God, and accepted the gift of prophecy, the reality of miracles, and the uniqueness of the love of Christ; whereas modern translations have tended to promote naturalistic explanations for divine action, preferred the word "sign" instead of "miracle," and used "love" in place of "charity," and "appoint" instead of "ordain." (Clark, J. Reuben, Jr. Why the King James Version. Salt Lake City, 1956)
As I mentioned in the list, the problem with some of the other versions is that different words are sometimes used that tend to change the meaning of the verse. See this page.
The First Presidency has stated:
"Many versions of the Bible are available today. ... The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations. "While other Bible versions may be easier to read than the King James Version, in doctrinal matters latter-day revelation supports the King James Version in preference to other English translations" (First Presidency letter, 22 May 1992).
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