Yesterday Keillor pointed out that May 2nd is an important date in Bible translation history. On May 2, 1611, the first edition of the King James Bible was published. His comments on the translation are worth noting:
“King James I thought that a new translation of the Bible might help hold the country together. There had been several English translations of the Bible already, but King James wanted a Bible that would become the definitive version. Previous versions had been translated from Latin. King James wanted his Bible to be more accurate to the original Hebrew and Greek. King James also decided that his Bible should have as few explanatory notes as possible, so that it would appeal to the widest audience.
James assembled a committee of 54 of the best linguists in the country. They believed that the most important quality of the translation would be that it sound right, since it would be read aloud in churches. So when the committee would gather, each man read his verses aloud, to be judged and revised by the other men.
The translators also deliberately used old-fashioned language. At the time they were working on the Bible, words like "thou" and "sayeth" had already gone out of fashion. Some scholars believe that the translators wanted to give the sense that the language in the Bible came from long ago and far away.” [emphasis mine, RAR]
This understanding is also noted in the excellent history of the KJV by Adam Nicholson God's Secretaries. If you haven't read it, do.
It's worth pondering the fact that the KJV was translated to sound a particular way. Much of the heat around different translations is about how they sound. The choices of the King James translators aren't a matter of revelation. As Nicholson reveals it had as much to do with politics as with inspiration.
Just something to consider.