Reasons I Adore the KJV #3: The joy of cross referencing

I am so excited to share today’s journal entry with you — the joy of cross referencing. This is truly one of my favorite things about reading the King James Bible.

Maybe that sounds weird to you? Or perhaps boring or strange.

Maybe you’ve never heard of cross referencing before.

Or maybe you’ve noticed cross-references in the notes of your current Bible. But, like me, you only paid them a passing glance during your Bible time. 

Friend, I am here to tell you that cross referencing has taken on a whole new depth of meaning since I started reading the King James Bible. It has truly become one of the most joyful parts of my Bible reading!

God truly speaks through cross referencing in the KJV in a way he can’t in other versions, because so many words have been changed!

What is cross referencing?

Here’s how I define it:

It’s when God uses the same word or phrase in different places throughout the Bible. And then, the more you read, the more the Holy Ghost brings to remembrance those other verses, so you can grow in knowledge of God’s wisdom and truth.

Previously, I used a concordance, or notes in my Bible, to find related verses. But even then, I was at the whim of what words and verses the publishers said were related.

God created cross referencing

Once I started reading the King James Version, though, I realized that God himself brings to mind cross references because his words are so pointed and sure.

In fact, he tells us in his word that we learn godly things not through man’s words but through God’s words, comparing spiritual things with spiritual:

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

—1 Corinthians 2:12-13

Cross referencing is for our benefit

In previous Bible versions, I might have synonyms in my mind from various versions I had heard or memorized. But because some of those words had been swapped out with synonyms, the cross references — which God created for our benefit — were lost.

The words in the King James Bible, though, in part because they are so unique, come to mind more readily than they ever did in previous versions.

The very thing that used to intimidate me — the fact that some words were unfamiliar or rarely used — is exactly what helps them to stand out and makes cross referencing work so well! 

Reading in order

Another thing I noticed when I started reading the KJV was that cross referencing happened naturally as I read the Bible straight through, as it was intended to be read. If a word popped out to me in one verse, I might see that word reinforced just a few verses or chapters later. 

For example, the first time I read the King James Bible from beginning to end, I noticed that God promised to preserve his words in Psalm 12:6-7:

“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” —Psalm 12:6-7

—Psalm 12:6-7

Then, because I was reading the King James Bible in order, I noticed that just a few chapters later, in Psalm 16, God used the same word, preserve. Only this time it was about the soul of those who trust in him:

Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.”

—Psalm 16:1

This got me thinking: If God can be trusted to preserve our souls, then of course we can trust that he can preserve his words!

It took seeing that same word, preserve, used about our souls and about his words for me to make the connection and see that an all-powerful God should certainly be able to preserve words if he can preserve souls!

God’s words are exact

I have never been more convinced that exact words are important. And it is only with God’s exact words that cross referencing comes to life and informs our souls the way God intended.

“Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them who put their trust in him.”

—Proverbs 30:5

There is such joy in discovering all of the cross references and depths of meaning in God’s Word. It is truly a book for every day, every week, every month — for a lifetime. If we can’t understand something today, chances are God has meaning waiting for us at another time.

And when we seek him diligently every day, he will reveal truths and connections though cross referencing that we would have missed otherwise.

Cross referencing is truly one of the most surprising joys of reading the KJV for me. I pray you will begin seeing God’s words come to life for you in this way too! 

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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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