King James Version (KJV)

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The King James Version remains quite popular and has the significant advantage of having a great many study helps referenced to its text. Three of the tools mentioned below (Young’s Analytical Concordance, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, and The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge) are themselves most helpful when used with the KJV. The majestic structure of its language lends a grandeur to the text to which many modern translations cannot compare. It is quite literal and very specific in its use of English phrasing and so is highly accurate. A drawback of this translation is that it contains many words which, due to the changes in the English language since 1611 which were not updated in the subsequent revisions, are obsolete or used in a different manner than they were when it was originally printed and thus require translating themselves. It is also a difficult translation to read in public for the same reason, although in general its sentence structure is easier to read than that of the NIV.

A very good update of the King James Version is the New King James Version (NKJV), which updates much of the language yet retains the beauty of the text and accuracy of translation and makes available the results of modern textual research. One outstanding feature of both the KJV and the NKJV is that they indicate by use of italics words that have been added during translation to make the English flow more easily.