English Translations–After the KJV

Eventually, some weaknesses in this translation made more recent revisions necessary. For one thing, the King James Version rests on an inadequate textual base, especially regarding the Greek text for the New Testament. The translators had used essentially a medieval text that had some mistakes that had accumulated through the years. The key point is that the King James Version is a translation of an inferior Greek text. Since 1611 so many more early and better manuscripts have been found. Another problem of this translation is its many archaic words – howbeit, holden, peradventure, thee, suffer (today we say “allow”). In addition, the King James Version includes errors of translation.


As a result of these problems, new translations poured forth, especially in the last 150 years. In 1901 the American Standard Version came out, which was based on the Greek text. It was far superior to that used by the King James translators. In 1952 the Revised Standard Version was released in an attempt to improve on past problems. Its greatest achievement was its readability in an attempt to recapture the beauty of the King James style in a way that is clear and pleasing to the reader. Even this translation did not please everyone, so in 1990 the New Revised Standard Version was published. It altered paragraph structure and punctuation, reduced old-fashioned words, strove for greater accuracy and clarity, and eliminated all masculine-oriented language when references are made to both men and women.