Reasons I Adore the KJV #7: It’s easy to read!

You may not believe me when I say this, but the simplicity of the KJV makes it easy to read!

Wait. What? You might be thinking I mistyped there! In fact, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard the exact opposite — that the King James Version of the Bible will be too hard or difficult to enjoy.

But, oh, my friend, I’m here to assure you — reading the KJV is so much easier than you’ve been told!

A new venture (or adventure)

Let me be honest up front about one thing though. Anytime you enter into new territory — in Bible reading or in life — the language is going to seem unusual at first. This is true in any subject or profession you choose.

Any time you venture into something really new, there is a period of awkwardness as you get used to new lingo. Whether it’s for a career, or for school, or a personal area of study, you’re always going to have to learn new words.

Let me give you some examples.

  • If you decide to become a doctor, you’re going to gradually become more comfortable with medical terminology.
  • If you choose law as your profession, you’ll begin to learn legal jargon.
  • And if you become an accountant — well, I can assure you, that is a language all its own.

So the first time you crack open the King James Bible, take a deep breath and give yourself some grace. The language, the word order, and the rhythm will be different from anything you’ve ever read before.

But if you stick with it for even a short time, it will become familiar to you.

And as it becomes familiar, you’ll grow to love it!

6 Things that make the KJV easy to read

Don’t let anyone tell you it is hard. The truth is, it’s so easy even a child can read and understand it.

Don’t believe me? I’ll share some examples with you in a moment, but first, here are some facts no one may have told you before:

1. The KJV has more one-syllable words than any other version.

Let that sink in for a minute. It should put your mind at ease before you even begin. That makes it perfect for beginning readers, even children. Which leads to the second point….

2. The King James Bible and the King James Bible alone is what millions of people have used to teach their children to read over the years.

It was often the only book in a family’s home, and therefore it was used not only to impart spiritual wisdom but as a practical tool (the only tool!) for learning how to read. 

3. The Flesch-Kincaid computer-generated grade level indicator places the King James Bible at lower grade level than other Bible versions we have today.

I just read recently that many portions of the KJV are at a reading-level appropriate for a five-and-a-half-year-old. How is that for easy to read?

4. The sing-song quality of words, the word order, and the alliteration and assonance all make it easier to memorize verses.

This sing-song rhythm is one of the reasons children love it. I certainly don’t want to be the one taking away this joy for them by telling them the King James Bible is too difficult! 

 5. What people call the “archaic” or “Elizabethan” language of the KJV is neither.

It is simply God’s language, and the words we don’t use in everyday speech today (like the thee’s and thou’s) actually impart additional meaning. I don’t know about you, but I think God wants us to have the words with the most meaning, since he expects us to live by them. (And I’ll let you in on a secret: Millions of people still read the KJV, so by definition those words can’t be archaic.)

6. You may be shocked, as I was, to find that people didn’t actually talk like this when the KJV was first translated either!

The translators chose the words that we now find in the King James Bible solely for their faithfulness to the original Hebrew and Greek text! Therefore the language of the King James Bible is like no other language it the world — some people even refer to it as biblical English.

More proof the KJV is easy to read

Want more proof of how easy the KJV is to read?

I read a story recently about a prisoner in jail who couldn’t read. He ordered a reading program, but it was slow in coming.

So, while he waited, he picked up a copy of the King James Bible and taught himself to read.

By the time his reading program showed up, he no longer had need of it! 

The simplicity of the words

Here are some verses out of the King James Bible so you can see for yourself the simplicity of the words:

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

—Genesis 1:3

That’s 10 one-syllable words in a row. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

—John 1:1

That’s 17 words, and all but one are one syllable each.

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

—John 1:4

That’s 12 one-syllable words in a row. Not too hard, right?? 

Words you don’t know (yet)

If you are really nervous about coming across words you don’t know, you can simply pick up a King James Bible mini dictionary to keep in the back of your Bible.

It lists the small number of words that you might not know the meaning of the first time you come across them. (There are only about 600 out of 783,137 words — that’s only .0766%! I’m no accountant but I can assure you that the decimal in that percentage means it’s an extremely small percentage.)

Once you look them up, you’ll know them! Then you can teach them to someone else. 

The same is true in any Bible version, by the way. You are always going to come across words you don’t know if you are reading it all the way through and reading it faithfully. So don’t let anyone tell you the KJV is the only book with a few words that you might need to look up.

(I am thinking of doing a future article about the really difficult words in other Bible versions. Let me know if this would be of interest to you!)

If your 5-year-old can understand Yoda…

Finally, in case you think we are too simple to catch on to a slightly different word order, look at all the 8-year-olds who have picked up on the language and word order of Yoda.

“Consume you, it will.”

“Powerful you have become.”

“Patience you must have, my young padawan.”

Star Wars is your proof that if we admire and like something, we will learn how to emulate and appreciate it. People do it all the time when something matters to them.

The blessings of the KJV

The lie that the KJV is hard to read is propagated by those who would try to keep you away from the blessings, truth, and discernment you will gain when you read this book.

It is so much better to trust in what God has said about his own words, rather than listening to the words of men. 

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Are you interested in studying the Bible but you aren’t sure which version to choose?

Have you ever wanted to read the King James Bible, but someone told you it was too difficult?

My name is Michele, and I’ve had those same questions too. 

In my 23 years as a Christian, I’ve read many of the modern Bible versions. But once I started reading the King James version, I discovered it was unlike anything I had ever read before, and I want to share that joy with you.

I’m here to dispel the myth that the KJV is hard to read. To give you tools and tips to get started. And to encourage you as you begin reading the greatest book that’s ever been written!

Thank You

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