Talk:New King James Version

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Archaic language?[edit]

The major criticism of the NKJV is that is rendered in a language that no one has ever really spoken

Err, that needs a source, or I don't think it's true. The KJV is in archaic English; the NKJV is not. The major criticism of the NKJV is criticism of its Majority text base. Jdavidb 17:04, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It needs a source, all right, and I'm trying to remember the places that I've seen it in print rather than just heard it said. The sentiment is out there. I hope that I've suggested the nature of the Majority text/Textus Receptus problem. To me, the project would have been better conceived and executed had it been one to remove from the KJV "prevent" in the sense of "precede", "communicate" for share, etc., and otherwise kept the basic Elizabethan diction. This would still have been a different project from the ERV/ASV family, which in large part kept the Elizabethan diction but used what was then modern scholarship and later-found, earlier-dated texts. This would have kept the literary grandeur of the KJV while ridding it of anachronisms which prevent it from being widely-understood in the English-speaking world of today and thus the exact opposite of what the original translators say that they intended. The NJKV is one of those things that is neither fish nor fowl -- for the large part not a product of truly modern scholarship, but far more than a mere revision of the KJV.

Rlquall 16:09, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The problem is, the language of the KJV itself, like most Elizabethan literature, was written in a literary style that did not necessarily reflect everyday conversation. So the NKJV not reflecting a spoken kind of English is not really a criticism. (talk) 19:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the NKJV doesn't use the Majority Text, but the Received Text. The article's been updated referring to the preface of the NKJV in this case. Sledge84 03:42, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


The Article reads

"The New King James Version is a revision of the King James Version that does not make any alterations on the basis of the Greek New Testament or Hebrew Old Testament texts established by modern scholarship, but adheres to the readings presumed to underlie the King James Version."

The statements - as it reads - is inaccurate. The contention of the above paragraph is that the NKJV "does not make any alterations" on the basis of the Hebrew Old Testament texts established by modern Scholarship.

The statement is untrue. If a person were to read that statement, the impression created is that the text used for the Old Testament section of the NKJV is the SAME text in Hebrew that was used for the old testament of the original 1611 King James Version.

That would not be an accurate statement, or an accurate conclusion. The 1611 King James Version used the 1525 Hebrew Text of Ben Chayim (Ben Chayyimm/Ben Hakkim). It was a text in Hebrew and produced by Ben Chayim who was a Jew and fluent in Hebrew.

The New King James Version of Hodges and Farstad has entirely changed the basis for its translation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament Hebrew manuscript that was the basis for the NKJV was Biblia Hebraica of 1937/1977 which was produced in Germany during the time of Hitler, specifically the edition of 1937. There is an updated version (the BHS of 1977). However, it also uses the 1937 Edition of the Old Testament of Kittel, as its own basis.

The Text of the Biblia Hebraica of Kittel was NOT the Hebrew Text of Ben Hakkim. Instead, Kittel substituted a manuscript called the Leningrad Codex, which was produced by Ben Asher.

In addition, Kittel plainly stated in his two volume work "History of the Hebrews" several personal beliefs which would impact his Hebrew translation. Rudolph Kittel:

- did not believe that any accurate copy of the Old Testament existed

- believed that the current Old Testament was an amalgamation of several contradictory texts (rather than believe that God has sovereignty preserved the Old Testament)

- believed that Jehovah and Adonai were two totally separate Deities, whose identities had been confused and mixed up by those who came after the composition of the original Old Testament. The implication is that either the verses that speak of Adonai are Fraudulent, or the verses that speak of Jehovah are fraudulent, or they are BOTH fraudulent.

The Old Testament of Kittel is the basis used for Almost all modern versions of the Bible in English. This means that whenever a person reads their Old Testament in English, believing that they have the Word of God, they are reading the verses from those who specifically denied that the same verses Were or Could be from God. although nominally and officially a Lutheran, Kittel was Not a Christian and did not believe in the authenticity of the Bible.

This did not stop him, however from producing an Old Testament which advanced his status, his prestige and his academic career.

The KJV's source of the Hebrew OT[edit]

The claim that the KJV was based on the Second Rabbinic Bible published in Venice in 1525 (also known as the Bomberg text - although Bomberg had published a number of editions, and also known as the Ben-Chayyim edition because edited by the Hebrew grammarian Jacob ibn Adoniyah ben Chayyim) is, at best, exaggerated. The identity of the Hebrew edition used by the KJV translators is unknown (acc. to Daiches, History of the English Bible). It is very probable that more than one edition was used, there being more than a hundred printed editions of all or part of the Hebrew Bible in existence before the KJV was worked up. There are a number of KJV readings that simply are not to be found in the Ben-Chayyim edition, although they are supported by other early Hebrew editions such as the OT portion of the Complutensian Polyglot (1518) -- the Complutensian text was fairly popular with subsequent Christian editors of a Hebrew OT, who frequently included the chapter and verse numbers from the Vulgate, while the Ben-Chayyim edition was popular with Jews - none of whom were in England when the KJV was being worked on.

By the 19th century the Ben-Chayyim was generally recognized, even by Christian scholars, as the most reliable text to date, and was probably used as the basis of the OT in the English Revised Version of 1885 (Christian David Ginsberg, who was on the OT committee of the RV had worked up an annotated Hebrew Bible based on the Ben-Chayyim edition).

In the 20th century, Rudolph Kittel used the Ben-Chayyim text for the first two editions of his heavily annotated Biblia Hebraica, but the third edition (1937), published some years after his death and mostly edited by Paul Kahl, used the Leningrad Codex for the main text; this was the oldest complete and dated (1009 AD) Hebrew Bible manuscript and purported to have been copied directly from a master copy written by Aaron ben Asher. Subsequent editions have corrected the text further, using high technology to study and copy the manuscript, and it is now regarded as the most authoritative text - although its differences from the Ben-Chayyim are relatively few and virtually none of them would be significant to a translator.

King James Onlyism[edit]

While the New King James Bible is obviously "descended" from the original King James, I think there should be more about the NKJV itself, like which churches/denominations use it, etc., rather than the controversy about its differences from KJV, especially since the KJOnly-activists are fewer and farther between than ever. They're only known because they keep a high profile on the internet, but are very sparsely populated compared to most other American Christians. There's too much controversy covered on Wikipedia as it is. Of course it's not the King James, and it's not meant to replace it. It's for people (such as myself) that like the King James, but are thrown off by the archaic language and grammar. Flutequeen84 02:07, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

The whole "criticism" section is highly POV, and contains a lot of unreferenced assertions. If references can't be found for these, they should be deleted per WP:NOR. Having a separate section devoted to "criticism" should itself be avoided: see WP:WTA#Article structure. VerticalDrop (talk) 03:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

I took care of it. (talk) 14:52, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Must improve the Wikipedia article to include info on the different NKJV revisions[edit]

Dear friends,

I have always used and enjoyed the NKJV, but once, in 1996, while comparing my print edition to the edition on my Bible-study computer program, I discovered several discrepancies. On the computer John 14:15 said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments," while the print edition that I had had since 1991 said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." I also noticed other similar discrepancies, but this is just an example.

I called Thomas Nelson Publishers by phone, in 1996, and, to my surprise, the secretary was kind enough to allow me to speak with one of the members of the translation committee itself, while she herself stayed on the line listening in. The gentleman from the committee told me that the NKJV had been re-revised since its original full-Bible publication, and that I had been observing some of the minor changes that had been made in my digital version, a few years after my printed version had been published.

At least I had an explanation.

What I began to worry about, was whether they would continue to revise the NKJV, every few years, again without ever announcing the revisions publicly, pointing out which changes were made, or noting the distinction by giving the translation a new name (e.g., NKJV99, as I believe the NASB and others may do; it is certainly common practice in the Spanish-speaking world, as Bibles are sold as the RVR1960, RVR1977, RVR95, etc., each reflecting certain minor updates).

Which revision is better is not the question; I simply mean to suggest here that someone look into the matter, do a little research, and include in the Wikipedia article, official data reflecting the years of revision since the original publication date. It would be nice to have statements from Nelson regarding why the changes were made, and why they have chosen not to notify the public when they are. I wonder just how many different versions of the NKJV are out there these days, in 2013.

If I had the time, or the knowledge of Wikipedia, I might do it myself. Thanks for your cooperation.