How Can a Pastor Respectfully and Lovingly Move His Congregation From the King James Version to a Better Translation?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
How can a pastor respectfully and lovingly move his congregation from the King James version to a better translation?
Well I do think there are better translations. Better in the sense that they are just as accurate and more helpful.
The King James was a magnificent gift to the church for 300 years, and it still is a gift.
But I think the New and Old Testaments were written in the common language, not formal, educated, literary language. Therefore the Bible should be in ordinary English, German, French, Swahili, and not 300-year-old and stilted English, French, German, and Swahili. And so we need new translations from time to time.
But how is the question here. I would say,
1) Be totally respectful of the King James.
2) Teach on what I just said about "How does language work?"
3) Don't insist that the people who love the King James need to leave it. "I'll allude to it, I'll refer to it as we put in our pews the ESV (or whatever we're going to us), and I'm going to preach from this."
So I think respect, and letting them keep their versions, and teaching on the nature of language.
And then pursue a groundswell of support. Don't come in as a pastor and say, "From now on we'll only read, we'll only do, we'll only memorize..." singlehandly. Why would anyone do that?
Rather, try to get the elders on board first. Get your Sunday school teachers. Then try to just move. And it may take you a few years to do that. You don't need to switch right away.