"...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..."
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
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?