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THE ARCHAICNESS OF THE ENGLISH IN THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE
- THE ARCHAICNESS OF THE ENGLISH IN THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE
- Kim, Hwa Ja
- Issue Date
- 대학원 영어영문학과
- archaicness; King James Version; Bible; Matthew; Gospel
- Graduate school of Ewha Womans University
- The Gospel of Eatthew consists of 28 chapters with 1071 verses but throughout all the 1071 verses comparing the Authorized Version with the New English Bible there are only less than 5 verses which have no replacement of the vocabulary or senteence structures from the Authorised Version to the New English Bible. Of course the fact does not positively show that the Authorized Version is archaic or unintelligible to the present readers but is can be a suggestion that the Authorized Version English is not colloquial.
The archaicness of the English of the Authorized Version in the usage, formation of vocabulary and combinations of words into sentences and also the different usage of prepositions, auxiliaries, pronouns, conjunctions are enumerated compared with the present day English which is used in the New English Bible. And also the grammatical chagnes in the tense, mood, case forms and the infinitives are shown in this paper.
As it is shown in this paper, the Authorized Version English is very archaic that some are not easily understood by present day readers, some are grammatically wrong by the modern English oriteria and some are not colloquial or readable to present day readers.
It is true that the English of the Authorized Version has the simple, pastoral beauty, the spiritual fervor and the childlike piety of the original Hebrew Scripturew, and the vigorous Greek. It is also true for most people that the language of sacred truth should be a little auchaic. And no one possibly can expect a new translation to reign as long as the Authorized Version has reigned. However, as it was pointed out in the early part of this paper, the Word of God must not be disguised in phrases that are no longer clear, or hidden under words that have changed or lost their meanings. It must stand forth in language that is distinct and clear to the people, and since the English of the Authorized Version is not the living language, it must give way to the imiomatic and plain living speech.
What was once a good usage is often no longer so at present, and what if so primary importance is not that the Bible be made a literary monument, but that it be read by the simple. For it is written :
I thank thee, Father, Iord of heaven and earth for hiding these things from the learned and wise, and revealing them to the simple Yes, Father, such was thy choice. Matthew 11-25
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