On Dr. Leland Ryken’s comments about KJV

Dr. Leland Ryken was interviewed here: http://reformedcast.com/2011/01/03/e…2%80%93-11011/

My notes:

  • Dr. Leland Ryken is not “KJVO.
  • Dr. Ryken grew up in a generation when the AV was the only major English Bible.
  • Used AV from his childhood through college years.
  • After college he concluded the AV is not best for himself and other readers today because of the archaic language.
  • AV is the most influential English Bible.
  • Dr. Ry ken and other literary scholars agree that the AV is demonstratively the greatest English Bible.
  • AV was a revision and not an original translation.
  • AV is a synthesis of the 6 previous English translations.
  • Those who demand a colloquial language Bible and complain about the alleged high style language of the AV should take note that the AV has a modest vocabulary of 6000 words compared to 10,000 words of Milton and over 20,000 words of Shakespeare.
  • The AV is the best selling book of all time, the most influential book, the most quoted book, the most important book and most widely read book in the English language; it is a book of books.
  • Translators were selected because of their expertise in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and not on the basis of political or ecclesiastical allegiance. All translators were scholars and came from all parties within the Anglican Church – 1/4 were puritans. They were the best of the best of the Hebrew and Greek scholars. When translators were chosen and did their work everyone rose above partisan spirit, even the anti-puritans.
  • The AV was not an immediate sensation, but was an immediate success. In the first 3 years it went through 17 editions compared to 6 editions for the Puritan’s Geneva Bible, in the 3 decades following the AV went through 182 editions verses only 15 for the Puritan’s Geneva.
  • When the Puritans came to power in 1640 they did not push for their Geneva version. The AV replaced the very popular Geneva Bible and became “THE Bible” for English speaking people. For over three centuries it was THE Bible of English speaking Christians and read regularly.
  • Unlike modern translators, the AV translators put no premium on being original and daring. Truly, good Christian Reader, we never thought that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavor, that our mark. Continuity with the whole English Bible tradition was their goal.
  • Verbally equivalent translation, essentially literal translation.
  • The AV was never officially authorized either by the king, nor ecclesiastical authority, but received an even greater authorization on the basis of its inherit superiority. The AV was authorized by the people, a better authorization than by a king or ecclesiastical authority.
  • The most accurate English Bible…has better words than other translations…the words are beautiful, powerful and moving beyond other translations…superior…became dominate because of its excellence and it carried an authority that compelled allegiance…
  • The language of the AV is beautiful, its style is dignified and stately so unlike the dressed down language of modern colloquial versions. It is elegant. It would never have dominated had its language been reduced to common every day street language. Its style is uplifting, moving and sounds like a sacred book and not like the daily newspaper. Simplicity of style and majestic in effect.
  • For as many as two centuries English speaking children learned to read via the AV.
  • The AV is the singular literary source of English literary authors even in our day.
  • Popular sources assume that John Bunyan used the Geneva Bible, but that’s not true, John Bunyan quoted the AV.
  • New translation philosophy emerged only recently in the mid 20th century. It pains Dr. Ryken to hear disparaging comments about the AV from those who promote this new dynamic equivalence philosophy in translation.

All that from a non-KJVO!


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