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Difference Between the KJV and the NKJV

bible-pdKJV vs NKJV

When it comes to debating the difference between the KJV and NKJV, even friendly conversations can become heated. Those who follow the King James Version or the New King James Version do so with great vigor and dedication. However, the more we truly understand the differences, the more we can unite in in terms of faith.

We have to remember that the English language was used more precisely in the 1600′s when the KJV addressed the word of religion for the people. By our more relaxed English standards, the NKJV often appears to be saying something different. This gives many individuals the belief that one or the other is more accurate.

It should also be stated that the KJV was written entirely based upon the exclusion of the Alexandrian Manuscripts. The NKJV includes the Alexandrian Manuscripts in an effort to find more potent and direct information. Translation of the Alexandrian Manuscripts is rejected by most KJV followers.

The New King James Version was partially written as a new translation for the entire framework of the Bible. It was also partially written to reflect a time when translating text into personal experiences can mean different things to different people. This does not make it more liberal, it just makes it more amenable to more modern thoughts and interpretations. This is not to insinuate that the KJV is wrong.

To make generalizations, many of those who follow the KJV are more literal in their interpretations of text. Literal translation of the NKJV can create different meanings. Word origins and original definitions need to be considered when contemplating either version, as well as the potential for human error.

When it comes to completely defining the difference between the KJV and NKJV, using linguist specialists would be applicable.

Summary:

1. KJV followers are likely to reject the NKJV.

2. The NKJV is written with word meanings that are more similar to today’s modern interpretations.

3. The NKJV includes Alexandrian texts.

4. The KJV neglected to include Alexandrian texts altogether.

5. The NKJV is written as a new translation to reflect better readability and interpretation.

6. The KJV is usually taken literally, despite the differences in language.


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3 Comments

  1. I thought maybe the NKJV might be the same as the KJV, but with word usage updated, but now I find that they used the Alexandrian texts from Egypt? Really?

    • Any bible version with an “N” meaning New has differences which may not be significant to most people who read God’s word. But to someone who studies it closely, there can be differences which significantly changes the meaning or context of a portion…

      An example of this, if we were to use the Law of First Mention (means, whenever a word is used for the first time in the bible, it has it’s greatest meaning). As you can imagine, Genesis is a wealth of “first mentions” and Chapter 1 of Genesis includes basic fundamental OT insight… nothing more than the first verse of Genesis 1.

      KJV “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

      NKJV “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

      One may think this is not significant. After all, Strong’s Concordance uses same word for both. Hebrew Word #8064.

  2. The NKJV uses the Textus Receptus, similar to the Byzantine text-type. OT: Masoretic Text with Septuagint influence not the Alexandrian texts

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