November 5, 2011 in Question of the Week, Spotlight Answers, Which translation of the Bible do you use and why? by Bob McBride
Which translation of the Bible do you use and why? Why King James? Why not King James? How do you decide which translation/version of the Bible or other holy scriptures to use?
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have also been commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible this year. As a detailed witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ we have used the King James Bible since the Church was restored to the earth in 1830. “It is not by chance or coincidence that we have the Bible today,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Men like John Wycliffe, the courageous William Tyndale, and Johannes Gutenberg were prompted against much opposition to translate the Bible into language people could understand and to publish it in books people could read. I believe even the scholars of King James had spiritual promptings in their translation work.” It was the KJV of the Bible in James 1:5, that a young 13 year old boy named Joseph Smith was reading, which prompted him to pray in faith, nothing wavering, to the Father for religious direction in his life. Through his humble prayer, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth.
While many feel that the KJV is antiquated and difficult to understand, others find that the language is poetic, crisp and flows easily. It speaks to the heart as one reads and meditates upon the passages. Based on the doctrinal clarity of latter-day revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Church has held to the King James Version as being doctrinally more accurate than recent versions.
The Holy Bible is one of four Standard Works accepted as canonized scripture in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The other three are; The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. As the Bible is a witness of Jesus Christ, these other books of Scripture also stand as a witness of the divinity of the Savor. Each are intended to bringing us closer to Him.
While Christian denominations may differ on which translation of the Bible to use or if additional scripture is needed; the great importance is what we are doing with the revealed word of God. The intent of Scripture is to bring us unto Christ by instilling within us a desire to learn, repent, increase our faith and follow Him. It is one thing to know but all the knowledge in the world will not benefit man if we do not use it to our benefit and to bless the lives of others. It will bring eternal happiness and peace for those who seriously study its words. For more than 1000 years, the Bible was not available to the common man. Through the work of the reformists and at the cost of their lives, we have this sacred work available to us. Let us use it wisely.