God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Do You Speak KJV?

Thanks to A. Admin for pointing out an interview with Dr. Benjamin Shaw.

I do want to credit the interviewer for asking for input both from those who agree and who disagree with Dr. Shaw.

But I’m always skeptical of people like Dr. Shaw who recommend the KJV for accuracy.

Even ignoring the flawed translation strategy of the KJV authors and the advances we’ve made regarding ancient manuscripts in the past 400 years, I think we have to recognize that English has changed in four centuries. So even where the KJV used to be accurate, sometimes now it is not.

Here’s a short quiz of KJV English. How many can you get right? (The answers are right at the end. Don’t peek.)

1. The “turtle” (Song of Solomon 2:12, Jeremiah 8:7) is:

A. An animal that crawls on the land.
B. An animal that swims in the sea.
C. An animal that flies in the sky.

2. “Prevent” (E.g., Psalms 59:10, “The God of mercy shall prevent me”) means:

A. Allow.
B. Disallow.
C. Precede.

3. God “So loved….” (John 3:16) means:

A. Loved a lot.
B. Loved a little.
C. Loved in this way.

4. “Suffered” (E.g., Matthew 3:15, “then he suffered….”) has to do with:

A. Pain and agony.
B. Patience.
C. Consent.

5. “Who shall let it?” (Isaiah 43:13) means:

A. Who shall allow it?
B. Who shall reverse it?
C. Who shall prevent it?

The answer to all five is (C).


February 7, 2010 - Posted by | translation practice | , , ,


  1. I once heard a “sermon” where the preacher quoted “My heart is fixed” with the sense of “My heart has been repaired!”

    Comment by WoundedEgo | February 7, 2010

  2. Have I yet mentioned the story of the preacher who worked in a small congregation that drank from a pitcher of wine for communion? They misunderstood “drink ye all of it,” and he felt obliged to finish the pitcher by himself after service every week.

    It did not work very well.

    Comment by Gary Simmons | February 8, 2010

  3. Re Gary Simmons: In mainstream Christianity (at least RC and CofE) the priest is REQUIRED to finish all leftover wine and the wafers. The rather odd reason is that properly blessed bread and wine are needed for proper black masses. For this reason the priest has to watch you eat the wafer, a well trained priest won’t get more than two people farther on in the queue in case you pocket the body of Christ for your own satanic purposes.
    Black masses also have to be done on consecrated ground, usually ruined churches. I met a priest from Norfolk, which has hundreds of ruined churches and is therefore a Mecca (if that’s the word) for satanists, who had to reconsecrate defiled churches a couple of times a week.
    The boys of Eton College one played a practical joke. They were all – more than a thousand – made to attend chapel every Sunday where almost all of them usually took communion. One Sunday, by prior agreement, nobody did. The poor priests had to knock off several bottles of wine immediately after the service and were utterly sozzled for the rest of the day.
    Both these examples are from the Church of England, which doesn’t even believe in transubstatiation.

    Comment by Mark | February 13, 2010

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