I did a video interview recently with someone who really, really understands my new book, Authorized: my friend Tyler Robbins of Sharper Iron. We had a great discussion you might enjoy.
I agree with you that having a translation in up-to-date, modern English is good. I don’t use the KJV in teaching at church much simply because of the grammatical errors, which have nothing to do with contemporary language. Bad grammar from years ago is still bad grammar. Just a couple of quick examples: the incorrect tense “whiles” in Daniel 9:20 and 21; the outright crude misspelling in Job 16:5. I do use the KJV in my personal study, but don’t use it for public teaching. Just imagine a group of Junior High boys studying Job 16:5 and you’ll get the picture.
We once had a Junior High student who was confused by Jeremiah 30:17 about the Outcast. The word is only capitalized in the KJV, so the boy thought it was in reference to an early form of a motorcycle-type gang, which would be correctly capitalized if that were the case. The only thing is, this verse is not speaking in reference to a proper noun, so this is just another case of odd grammar in the KJV.
Mark, my daughter is a Christian Day School teacher and they don’t have any rules, but the school discourages faculty from using the KJV because of these types of errors. When they try to teach the kids the Bible, the KJV can’t even get basic information correct! For example, in Matthew 1 the KJV is the only version that says that Jacob was the father of Judas. Are you kidding? Judas?? That is such a glaring error that it’s just ridiculous. I want to be careful how I state this: I am NOT criticizing the Bible. That would be a serious error. I am only questioning whether the KJV, which is one translation of the Bible, should be used today. I cannot for the life of me figure out how this KJV-only movement began?!? I mean, if you’re going to pick one version to ONLY use, why in the world would it be the KJV? I think this is an interesting topic and I just wish that more people would come on and interact and share their thoughts and views.