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New King James Version

The New King James Version (NKJV) offers an acceptable alternative for those who seek a more readable Bible without forsaking the traditional acceptance of the King James Version.

The NKJV is an attempt at updating the language while preserving the literary structure of the KJV. It is not a new translation, but a new and improved version of the old.

The KJV itself has never been fixed. The KJV in use today differs greatly from the one that was originally published in 1611. The KJV of today differs markedly in content, size, typography, spelling, punctuation, and, to a lesser extent, in vocabulary. In addition to the 66 books generally accepted by Protestants, the 1611 version of the KJV included to Apocrypha.

In 1975 an international group of 130 scholars began work on the New King James Version, which was to be a revision, using the KJV as a base, and not a new translation of the Bible. The NT was completed in 1979, the OT in 1982.

The task of updating the English of the KJV involved significant changes in word order, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. One of the most significant features of the NKJV was its abandonment of the second personal pronouns "thou," "ye," "thy," and "thine." Verbal endings and verb forms were also modernized in the NKJV.

As in the KJV, the NKJV follows the format of printing the numbered verses of Scripture as separate units rather than arranging the text in paragraphs. The text is arranged in two columns per page, using a clear and legible typeface. When used in the NT, quotations from the OT are presented an oblique typeface. Interpretive words that have been added to the translation are indicated by the use of italics, which can be confusing to the reader who is used to italics being used to call special attention to something the author wishes to emphasize.

The New King James Version is a reasonable attempt by a large group of competent scholars to produce an English language Bible that retains as much of the classic KJV as possible, while updating the language to accommodate the modern reader.

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. -- Genesis 1:1-2

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16


Overview of Bible Study