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The King James Bible and Me

I fell out of love with the King James Bible, the Bible I was brought up with, when a printout from Prison Fellowship pointed out the reading level required to really understand it: Above high school level. Most of the men I visited in prison (with PF) did not have more than a high school education; some were just learning to read. The newer translations are easier to read, so I encouraged the men to read the Good News Bible or another simpler translation. Why put barriers put up for them? Or for ourselves? Isn't the point to understand what we read, to get the meat, the heart?

Really, it started earlier, with an in-home Bible study in Connecticut. Chip and I were working with a couple, and they had a whole theology about "tarrying", quite apart from what the word meant. I read it in the NIV, and the gentleman said, shaking his floppy KJV at me, "This is the Authorized Version. Read it from the REAL Bible."

KJV Acts 10:48 reads: And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

NIV: Acts 10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

The NIV tore up their idea about what tarrying was, and that it was necessary after being baptized.