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Battle Cry
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:16

Authorized Version No More Archaic Than Modern Versions Or Even The Newspapers

Issue Date: March/April 1998

"Does the AV Bible (King James Version) contain archaic words? Certainly," says author Laurance Vance in his recent book, "Archaic Words and the Authorized Version."

But, he points out, so do modern publications such as Time, U.S. News & World Report, the Chicago Tribune, Forbes and the New Republic. "Also without dispute is the striking revelation that modern, up-to-date Bible versions like the NRSV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV likewise contain archaic words." Which Vance proceeds to prove by listing, in alphabetical order, all the "archaic" words used in the AV with full explanation of their origin, meaning, and their use or alteration in the four most popular "modern" versions. For good measure he throws in quotes containing those words in contemporary publications.

If no one ever complains to the editor or cancels his subscription over these "archaic" words, why should it be such a big deal over the AV Bible? Vance further demonstrates that a great many of the same words in the AV that people complain about even show up in the "modern" versions.

"For just as no one revises Shakespeare or Milton, but instead learns the vocabulary necessary to understand those particular works; and just as a certain vocabulary is necessary to understand science, medicine, engineering, or computers; so to read and understand the Bible one must be familiar with the vocabulary of the AV instead of dragging it down to one's own level by revising it."

In order for people to develop familiarity with the AV vocabulary, Vance has written a comprehensive study book of all the supposedly archaic words. It is arranged in alphabetical order so that a specific word can be researched, but it also makes for excellent reading.

Since a proper understanding of the Word of God depends on a clear understanding of the words in the Word, just browsing through Vance's book brings a richer, fuller understanding of God's Word.

Vance contends that it would be far better to stick with the AV and simply learn the meanings of the few words which are not in common use than risk the confusion caused by the distortions of meanings found in the modern versions.

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