Which Sounds Best?

Read this out loud:

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Now read this out loud:

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Which reading “sounds” better? Both are renderings of Psalm 23. The first is taken from The New Living Translation, (copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation). The latter comes from the King James Version of the Bible.

Today, many translations of the Bible exist. Sadly, the purpose behind most of these translations is that of profit (not prophet). I could argue about the inferiority of modern translations based mostly on the source texts (mostly in the New Testament, but some in the Old) used in their translations, but I’ll lay that aside for now. One of the goals of the King James translators “was to produce a Bible that would ‘sing’ with beauty and power and would retain literal faithfulness to the Greek and Hebrew texts, which had themselves been written with majestic musical beauty” (Henry M. Moris, The Henry Morris Study Bible, p. 2152).

If this were my only reason for sticking with the KJV, it would be enough. It just “sounds” like Bible. However, the KJV is the only English translation (with the exception of perhaps the Geneva Bible) that was translated from the Textus Receptus – the “Received Texts,” aka, the “Majority Texts.” All other modern translations use the Westcott-Hort Greek texts which utilize old manuscripts that were rejected by early church fathers. There is much information available to the reader who really wants to investigate. For now, I will just leave it at that.


Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Random Musings

6 responses to “Which Sounds Best?

  1. Amen!
    King James Version for me.. I read both passages and the NLT version lacks power. I stopped reading other translations years ago when I heard they actually leave out scriptures. I compared scriptures and saw the warning was correct. Westcott and Hort dabbled in new age, and pagan beliefs.. That caused me to see why the newer versions are distorted.
    People get really snarky when you tell them their Bible version is not a true translation..
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, Mary Ann. You are so right. I’ve read a lot on the different Bible translations, that I don’t think I would write an article succinct enough to make a good argument. One book I would recommend is “New Age Bible Versions” by G.A. Riplinger. If people knew who these men (Westcott and Hort) really were, they would burn their translations.

  2. Yes, Ernie, you are absolutely correct! May God Bless Your Heart!

  3. The KJV may not be an absolutely perfect version, but it is surely the most memorable (and memorizable) version for me.

    • I’m not one who would claim the KJV is perfect. I don’t think it’s possible to get a “perfect” translation. However, I do believe it is the BEST, literal translation due to the source texts from which it was translated. Modern translations sprang up in the late 19th century when textual criticism and religious liberalism was taking root at the height of the “Enlightenment” and the rise of Darwinism. ALL modern translations use the Westcott-Hort Greek texts which were derived from “older and better” manuscripts that were rejected by the early church fathers. These two men were liberal theologians. They were involved in occult practices and sexual perversions. Yet we willingly accept what they handed to us on the pretense of “good scholarship”! Those who complain that the KJV is too difficult to read ought to be ashamed of themselves. It is written at about a fifth-grade reading level. It employs a vocabulary of only 8000 words and most of the words are monosyllable. Words that are considered archaic can still be found in modern dictionaries and the “thees and thous” are there to distinguish between singular and plural – “ye, you, your” are plural. So, while not “perfect” it is the best translation in my estimation even though RJ thinks it’s a “stupid” translation. 🙂