I must confess I didn't always read the AKJV though it was all my Grandmother and folks at that little church read when I was a child in Kansas City growing up. It was in the 50's and I remember a little about those times. My Grandmother joined our Lord when I was four (I"m 60 now) and I miss her still. Anyway there was a time in my life that I was so lost in this world believe me. I was strictly about the streets and I lived it well (if there is a thing, what I mean is I was a good follower of satan) selling drugs, womanizing, the whole nine yards. I know only that certain things kept entering my mind at times and I like to think it was my Grandmother talking to me. I use to say to myself that I believe in God and know He is real but for some reason I didn't believe what I was getting when I was forced to go to church. I mean how could He be the God I was being taught with all the turbulence and commotions going on in the world. I was ignorant of course. I went through a period of time when I tried Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim (Black) and Self Realization. The problem was I couldn't and didn't get fed. I couldn't believe most of the stuff like reincarnation and you could come back as a bug or something and that that cow may be your uncle. I had a conversatiion with my mother one day and we were talking about spiritual things and I told her how one day I found myself in a fetal postion on my living room floor in the house all by myself. I was so tired of my life and this world and what I was about. I was crying my eyes out to the Lord and was asking Him to take over my life and guide me because I seemed to mess everything up. It seemed as though I felt a presence but you know when you're in the state I was in I was probably tripping. Anyway my mother said to me "Paise the Lord for this." We talked about God and then got into the bible and I said to her "Mother why don't you stop reading that white man's bible. It's written by some white king in England name James." She listened patiently like she always did and does when I'm giving her my wisdom (smile). When I finished stating my point there was a silence (I knew I was going to hear something then) and she said in her usual soft voice "Oh son, you don't understand, do you? The KJV wasn't written by the king of England, he was just in power at the time and God knew that the major language in the world was English at the time so He needed to get His Word put in English for the world. He put it in King James heart to allow this translation to be made by the translators. The KJV was written by God she told me." After I picked my chin off the floor it was as though an awakening or light went off in my head. She then told me I couldn't understand because the KJV because I was picking it up and trying to understand it with my understanding, wisdom and knowledge and that I simply couldn't do that and God wouldn't give me His unless I asked Him. She said I could't pick up the bible like I do man's books and read It. It was alive and man's books are dead! Man she always knows how to put things right and from then on God changed my mind in His Word. He was giving me His understanding of His Word that I had never received before and I read (tried to anyway) the bible lots of times but gave up because I couldn't understand It. I'll just say that the rest is history and I give all the praise and glory to God and I thank my mother for straightening my way of thinking about His Word. I felt like I had to provide this background for you to see where I'm coming from.
Ok so here is why I read the AKJV only though I have done comparisons with the others.
"I am the LORD, I change not." Malachi 3:6
God is unchangeable. God's word is unchangeable too. In Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Why then are we so ready to accept changes to God's word in the form of different Bible versions? The Authorized King James text has faithfully served the body of Christ for almost 400 years. During this time, and during its translation, Satan has viciously and relentlessly attacked it. I now hear Christians attacking it too! I've heard preachers and lay people say things like, "it's too hard to read" or "it doesn't properly reflect the true meaning of the original Greek". The issue about the original Greek sets my teeth on edge--which Greek? There are Greek manuscripts galore, including the corrupted manuscripts that the Roman Catholic religion uses. The snide remarks and attacks against this utterly reliable text are unfounded.
We must remember that the Bible is a spiritual book and is understandable to those who are led by God's Spirit. It is not possible for the natural man to understand it [I Corinthians 2:14], hence paraphrasing or simplifying it will do no good. The Bible is not supposed to read like a fairy tale--Peter said, "for we have not followed cunningly devised fables" [II Peter 1:16]. The words of the Authorized King James are not laborious to me, they are beautiful and full of God's power. Even the world knows it--the Authorized King James has been listed on Norton Anthology's list of "the world's best literature" for decades.
The new versions have come up with some dangerous changes to the scriptures. The Lord God gives us stern warnings about changing His Word--
Revelation 22:18-19, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Proverbs 30:5-6, Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Look at this change in the NIV:
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son...
The authorized King James says,
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son.
In this instance, the NIV changes the scriptures by saying that Jesus is God's "one and only" Son instead of His only begotten Son. This change causes a contradiction in the word of God because God has more than one son according to both the King James (Genesis 6:2, Job 1:6, John 1:12) and NIV (Genesis 6:2).
I do not buy the line that the inerrant word of God is found only in the originals-- which nobody has. I know that God has the power to preserve His word and that he wouldn't leave us out in the dark with an "imperfect" translation. In the authorized King James Version God assembled, and moved with His Spirit, a team of some of the world's best scholars to translate His word into the world's most popular language, English.
The complete translator's notes of the Authorized King James scholars are not included in today's publishing’s. This is unfortunate because these notes say a lot about these men-- they were humble, loved the word of God, loved the King, were berated by the Catholic religion, and they desired a translation for the common man who was kept in darkness. Some of the translators where killed for their faith. This book was forged in blood, sweat, and tears.
I've heard folks make a big to-do about the italics in the Authorized KJV. Well, unlike many of today's translators, the authorized KJV translators let us know which words they had to add in translating in order to give the full meaning of the original text (these are the words in italics in the KJV). Other translators have added words too--but they don't tell you what they've added. I speak a little Spanish and know that it is oftentimes necessary to rearrange or add words so that the translation makes sense. These men went through the extra trouble of identifying which words they added. That's real scholarship and integrity.
Let's fall in love with the Authorized KJV again and stand on it. Let's get down to business and read the Word and stop spending so much time reading what others have to say about the Word in commentaries, Greek lexicons, study bibles, etc. We want the Holy Ghost to talk to us.
How many classes have you been in where every student has a different textbook? It just doesn't make good sense on a very practical level. We all need to be on the same sheet of music so that we are in harmony. Let's not confuse our kids by teaching/preaching from the NKJV, NIV, NASV, LB, the Message, Phillips, GN, etc.
Let's not accept the premise that the tried and true Authorized King James is somehow outdated and is to be replaced by dozens of new translations. A standard test determined the Authorized KJV reading level to be 5th grade because it contains mostly one and two-syllabic words making it one of the easiest to read. People have been getting saved by reading it for a long, long time. We know that it contains the Word of life whereby we live and grow.
Satan knows that in a generation we won't uniformly quote the scriptures. Imagine ten people with ten different translations trying to recite a psalm together. Confusion! Satan knows that many newborn babes in Christ will not have the real milk that they need in order to grow because they'll have a watered down version of the truth. He figures that if he can't kill the babes, he'll do the next best thing-stunt their growth. At the same time the world will point to Christianity and say, "They don't even have a definitive word of God. Anybody can write a Bible." They already say that the Bible was "just written by men".
Being able to talk to a child of God and have our spirits commune on the parts of God's word that we've memorized is great. I now find people who are quoting scriptures that I know, but they are worded so differently that I have to ask the reference. This is confusion, and we know who authors confusion, the enemy of our souls, the Devil. I believe that the emergence of these many different "Bible" versions is Satan's most successful attempt to attack God's word. The Bible says that in the last days there's going to be a falling away of the church and I believe that these other versions are helping to usher it along.
Thank you for your time and reading what I have to say. May God bless and keep you always.