The KJV: Is it THE Bible? Part 9: Paraphrases and Biased Renderings
In the last post we looked at textual errors in the KJV over the years. This post is a kind of “part 2” in which we examine paraphrases.
In many ways, the KJV is a very accurate translation, especially considering the limited knowledge of ancient language and access to manuscripts the translators had. But it is not free from paraphrase. It is not a fully literal translation, though many people are under the assumption that it is. For example, the KJV renders Gen. 25:8 as “Abraham gave up the ghost,” whereas every other translation more literally renders it “Abraham breathed his last“. Paraphrases like this one may harmless, but they do remind us that nobody can rightfully claim the KJV is a literal translation. Every translation—and I mean every translation—has passages that are paraphrased. Jack Lewis affirms that “no translator would argue for a completely literal translation, but the degree of paraphrase is always under dispute” (1).