Donald L. Brake has written an interesting article on the English of the King James Bible. His article deals with the principles adopted by the translators of the King James in order to guide them in producing a version of the Bible that was accurate and that reflected the original intent of the biblical writers. Below is an excerpt from the article:
The King James Bible was intended to be a literal, word-for-word translation. They insisted on an English word for every Hebrew and Greek term. Any additional words for the sake of English grammar necessity were to be printed in italics. Ecclesiastical terms were to be retained from the Bishops’ Bible when possible. However, they frequently abandoned these principles. No language can be translated directly into another without additional works to clarify or explain a nuance of meaning or metaphoric language.
Over the year I have written dozens of posts dealing with translation problems. Although I have disagreed with the translators of the King James several times, their attempt at producing an accurate translation of the Bible must be commended.
Brake’s article is very good and worth reading. Visit the Washington Times online and read this article on the English of the King James Bible.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary