Wednesday, February 24, 2021

KJV and Conformity with Greek

In the New Testament, the KJV often follows the Greek word order more closely than most translations.  For example, Matthew 17:19 says, “Then came the disciples to Jesus.”  This syntax, which has the verb preceding the subject, may seem peculiar to contemporary English-speaking audiences; but the word order in the KJV follows the Greek word order (“τοτε προσελθοντες οι μαθηται τω ιησου”).  Mimicking the exact style and structure of the Greek can sometimes preserve what is emphasized in the Greek.  Another feature common in the KJV is the historical present tense.  The KJV often uses the present tense to describe past action: e.g. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John” (Matthew 3:13).  This is because the KJV faithfully translates the Greek which is also in the present tense.  Greek writers used the historical present tense to add emphasis to important past actions.  The historical present tense has the effect of making past narratives more vivid.  Modern translations unfortunately tend to translate the historical present tense in the simple past tense.

From Why read the Bible in the King James Version?

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