WRIGHT WAY: A new King James Bible?


A new King James Bible has broken a centuries-old tradition and is following in the footsteps of several Bible translations that restored the Divine Name to its original place in the Old Testament.

The Divine Name King James Bible is raising eyebrows in the world of Bible translators for replacing the capitalized GOD and LORD with the English translation “Jehovah” in 6,972 places. In Hebrew the four letters representing the Divine name, also called the Tetragrammaton, is YHWH. To this day no one is certain of its exact pronunciation.

Translators of the Divine Name King James Version are following the pattern of other Bible translations, including Young’s Literal Translation, Darby Translation, The New World Translation, The American Standard Version and The Bible in Living English, in restoring the Divine Name where it was originally written.

Publishers of this latest King James Version wrote, “We specifically left the Authorized Version as it is except to restore the Divine Name. We hope then to make people pause and ask themselves if they want ANY modern English Bible that does not display God’s Divine Name as it is found in the original writings no matter how well translated it is.”

The group also stated it is not affiliated with or sponsored by any religious organization and the new edition was not produced by the direction, assistance or approval of any religious organization or religious community.

Explaining their reason for restoring the Divine Name where it originally appeared, the publishers stated online, “Does it not seem clearer than ever why Jesus instructed us at Matthew 6:9 to pray ‘Hallowed be thy name’ not ‘hidden be thy name.’ Jesus faithfully showed why the name of Jehovah must be known to us, for only by that way would we know who Jesus is and how actually Jesus set the pattern for pure worship.

“This is directly tied to our having eternal life, for Jesus himself said in prayer to Jehovah, ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’” — John 17:3.”

While some scholars prefer the transliterated pronunciation “Yahweh,” others say the name Jehovah has already been established over centuries and preserves the four consonants of the original Divine Name in English (JHVH). Publishers of this latest effort to restore the Divine Name said, “The base text of the Authorized King James is in the public domain but the exclusive feature of restoring the name Jehovah or Yahweh to the otherwise unmodified content of the base text constitutes an important new literary expression.”

One example given of this “new literary expression” is at Isaiah 42:8 where the Divine Name KJV reads, “I am Jehovah: that is my name.” Numerous translations continue to insert “LORD” or “Lord” where the Divine Name originally appeared, a practice that is being challenged by adherents to more literal translations.

There is also the “21st Century King James Version”(KJ21), completed in 1994, which updated obsolete words from the 1611 edition by using Webster’s New International Dictionary, second edition. Spelling, punctuation and capitalization were also updated. While the more popular Authorized King James Version uses the Divine Name “Jehovah” in Exodus 6:3, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 and Isaiah 26:4, The New King James Version replaced the name with LORD or YAH in those verses and Psalm 68:4.

The 21st Century King James Version, however, restores the Divine Name in the four places where the Authorized King James Version used it for centuries. The Divine Name King James Version, however, restores the name Jehovah in nearly 7,000 places where YHWH or JHVH (Latin) originally was.

Personally, I am in favor of the most literal translation of the Holy Bible in its entirety regardless of who translates it. I understand the need for modern translations in view of the way meanings of words change. Still, any translation that is going to be closest to what was originally written and what was originally meant is bound to bring its readers closer to God, wouldn't you agree?

Besides, at Deuteronomy 4:2 — the verse that tells humans not to add or take away from God’s Word — many translators removed the Divine Name! Do you find that offensive? Should you? I wonder how does that make God feel? I simply want the truth as God intended us to have it, don't you? You don’t have to be a scholar to know that removing someone’s personal name and replacing it with a title is not accurate translating. One might call it an audacious, even presumptuous move by translators.

Some people are adamant about sticking with the Bible they were raised on. Others see the benefit in modern translations. To each his own. I was raised on the King James Bible. I will always love it. But I also love modern translations which give me the benefit of more advanced research into the original Hebrew and Greek language. My goal, like yours, is to understand the Word of God, not change it.

Whichever translation you personally prefer, most people will agree there should always be room for the author’s personal name in His own book.

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