Scattered thoughts on the KJV
Primary among the transgressors are the latinizations - words like justification, sanctification, salvation, propitiation, redemption, temptation, fornication, damnation, etc. They can't be disposed of entirely but they can be used minimally, choosing only those that are essential. The Greek itself uses words that were already present in the language. It would be nice to do the same with English.
Along with these intruders in the text are the ecclesiastical terms: church, bishop, deacon, etc. Then come the transliterations: synagogue, mystery, and baptism. All of this vocabulary lends an unevenness to the English that the Greek does not have. It makes for an awkward mix.
Next, and most offensive are those terms which owe nothing to either Latin nor Greek in origin, and don't sound like much in English either.
- former conversation
the old man
bowels of mercies
- That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love Col. 2:2
'Quicken' is the same. The Greek says 'made alive'. So the translators were indeed improving on the original. But this kind of translation obscures the compound nature of these words; it covers up the genius of the Greek.
Here is another set of phrases, delicately configured alliteration and imagery. But they do not in any way reflect the structure, or evoke the style, of the original.
- world without end Eph. 3:21
peculiar people Titus 2:14
often infirmities 1 Tim. 5:23
do thy diligence 2 Tim. 4:21
in times past Gal. 1:13
tossed to and fro Eph. 4:14
- singleness of heart Col. 3:22
lowliness of mind Phil 2:3
breathing out threatenings Acts 1:9
nurture and admonition of the Lord Eph.6:4
bringing into captivity every thought 2 Cor. 10:5
- according to his mercy he saved us Titus 3:5
I cannot reverence the KJ version, but I can appreciate its position in English literature and consider what it has to teach us. Whether this in any way inspires me to think of how a new version might look, I don't know. I don't want to think about one more translation - not right now!