The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

How to Read Your King James Bible

I've heard lots of excuses why people read other translations. Now, I'm not one of those who think that the KJV is better than the Hebrew or Greek or that think your doomed to hell if you ever read another version, but considering the serious theological errors in ALL of the modern versions with the exception of the KJV, I have always used it and encourage others to.

"But it's so hard to understand," People say. Actually once you overcome a few minor hurdles the KJV is not only easy to understand, it comes closer to representing the original languages than any other English version.

Other than names and a few archaic nouns and verbs, the following make up the entirety of what most people have problems with. It's not that hard to grasp the syntax.

Thou, Thee, You, Ye

Ever wondered (if you've studied other languages) why English is one of the few languages without a different singular and plural second person singular? The French have vous and nous, the Spanish have usted and ustedes. But we just have you. (Of course down South here we've attempted to correct this flaw by adopting the word ya'll, as a plural form of you, and some areas up North occasionally will use the word yous, as in "yous guys")

Well, we used to have four word for the first person: singular, plural, subjective and objective. (If you don't understand the difference between subjective and objective, I is the subjective form ("I give it to you") and me is the objective ("you give it to me").

In King James English:

Thou is the second person singular subjective. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:.." Gen. 2:17a

Thee is the second person objective "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman..." Ge 3:15a

Ye is the second person plural subjective. "...Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Gen. 3:1

You is the second person plural objective. "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed..."Gen. 1:29 (note: He is addressing both Adam and Eve.)

As far as understanding goes, the objective and subjective are really just parts of grammar and since in English, sentence placement is more rigid than in Greek (for example, If the phrase "thee throw to I" were in the Greek equivalent it would be OK grammar, and would be understood as "I throw to thee", but in English we would still need to place the words like this, "I throw to thee") it's easy to figure out what's being said.

Reread the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. chapters 5, 6 and 7) now with the knowledge that you and ye are plural and thee and thou are singular. Does it add to the message? (it helps me to substitute ya'll for you and ye as I read it.)

Thy, Thine, and Mine

Thy and thine mean your or yours, thy word is your word. This is thine is this is yours. Of course when the noun begins with a vowel, thy becomes thine as in thine anger.

My and mine work the same way, just as in modern English, my word, this is mine, but unlike modern

English, KJV would say mine anger. ...eth, ...est, etc

There are a lot of words that end with “eth” in KJV English. Do you remember learning verb tenses in grade school? This is the same stuff. Take the word “answer”. There are three tenses: past, present and future and three persons: first (I, me or we), second (you) and third (he, she or they). Here is how the word answer works with each tense and each person:

Notice how thou seems to always add a t or st somewhere. But notice that whether you know what the correct tense form of the verb is, the text is still understandable.

Now...Dost thou think thou shalt understand thy Bible when next thou takest it up?

First Person
I answered.
I answer.
I shall answer.
Second Person
Thou answeredst.
Thou answered.
Thou answerest.
Answerest thou
Thou shalt answer.
Third Person
He answered.
He answereth.
He shall answer.