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Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible
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Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The King James Version has shaped the church, our worship, and our mother tongue for over 400 years. But what should we do with it today?

The KJV beautifully rendered the Scriptures into the language of turn-of-the-seventeenth-century England. Even today the King James is the most widely read Bible in the United States. The rich cadence of its Elizabethan English is recogni
Paperback, 168 pages
Published January 24th 2018 by Lexham Press
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Mark Jr.
Aug 24, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: 2019, 2017, 2018, kindle, audio, logos
Mark Noll and the Pew Research Center tell us that of all the people in America who pulled an English Bible off the shelf today, 55% of them pulled down a KJV. I found this very surprising—and concerning. I love the KJV, I truly do. One tends to love one's mother's milk. But after many years using it exclusively and then many more using it alongside other good translations, I slowly came to realize how much I was missing through no fault of my own or of the KJV translators.

My book says not one n
Jim Cooper
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bible
This is probably the most balanced take I’ve ever read on the usability of the KJV. Ward is a KJV guy, and he says we shouldn’t get away from it, but he also sees it’s shortcomings. His main point in this book is that we should all be using multiple Bible translations to study and teach.

He’s written it in a style meant to convert people to his point of view, though I don’t imagine there are that many people left who are KJV-only (and if they are they certainly aren’t going to read this book). Bu
I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the King James Version discussion. I thought I knew what I believed and I didn't think there was much else to be learned. This book proved me wrong.

Mark Ward handles this subject more graciously than anyone I have ever read or heard. He doesn't condemn anyone. He's not afraid to confront hard issues and answer real questions. He doesn't build straw man arguments, but instead walks the reader through a logical process in true "line upon line" careful study.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute delight to read for several reasons. First, Mark is a friend and it is always exciting to see a friend's gifts on display for the glory of God and the good of his people. Mark loves God, loves God's people, and loves God's Word. And he loves to see people love God's Word. Second, I grew up, like Mark, on heavy doses of the KJV and have an appreciation for it. I grew up and ministered for 11 years in a denomination that used the KJV for public worship. I was raised in a ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Someone once said, if you can't question your convictions you shouldn't have them.

This was a very thought-provoking book on the KJV issue. As a KJV user myself this author did not turn me off by being hateful. He brought up several very good points that I'll need to chew on some more. Well done.

Joshua Rodriguez
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author clearly communicates the need for a newer widely-accepted translation rather than the archaic KJV. I would agree with him. However, although he briefly touches on textual accuracy, I think he skims over this topic rather quickly. I also understand that the point of this book is not to provide a complete solution for the textual debate but to cause the reader to delve deeper into what he believes or should believe about English translations.

Overall, he provides serious reasons to consi
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what English Bible they ought to use, for anyone who loves and uses the King James Version (and for those who neglect it), and to those who have been judged by or judgmental of others (or both) because of the Bible translation we or they use. Mark writes as a lover of the English Bible and the English language, irenic and respectful, full of a desire to help all in Christ's Church. His style is winsome and anecdotal, and h ...more
Brian Koser
Ward has a lot of good to say about the King James Version of the Bible. He grew up reading it, memorized its verses, and still uses it for study. In Authorized, he argues against using it as your only translation. The main thesis is that the KJV is not in today's language, leading to misunderstandings with archaic words or words that have changed meaning. He addresses all the counter-arguments I've heard growing up in churches and attending a college that only used the KJV.

My position for the l
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished the book a few minutes ago.

The book commendeth Mark's obvious love for linguistics, the Bible, and Christians by presenting a clear argument with grace.

Two quick thoughts of praise:
- The book is the perfect length, which is not a common feature of many books. Books often feel like butter stretched over too much bread. But here, I needed each sentence and not one more.
- The structure of the book advanced with real clarity, covertly raising questions in my mind and then subsequent
Chad Warner
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: KVJ readers
Recommended to Chad by: Zack
Helpfully and with kindness makes the case that because the language of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible isn't easily understood by modern readers, they should use modern translations instead. Ward outlines his argument as follows:
1. We should read the Bible in our own language.
2. The KJV isn't in our language.
3. Therefore we should update the KJV to be in our language, or read vernacular translations.

His premise in the book:
"I therefore do not think the KVJ is sufficiently readable to
Shawn Durham
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the KJV

What Bible translation is the best? Why are there so many different translations? Is the KJV the ONLY good translation? Are all other translations “bad?”.

In this detailed, yet fairly short book, Mark Ward gives us reasons why WE SHOULD still read the KJV, but he also gives us reasons why we SHOULD NOT be KJV Only!

In ch. 1-2, Ward informs us of what we would lose if we abandoned the KJV altogether. One of those being that we lose “scripture memory by osmos
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book written by Mark Ward who loves the Authorized King James Version starts with the case for retaining the AV/KJV as the main English Bible. However, he goes on to make a strong case for the idea that the AV has had its day. There are not only words that have become archaic there are those which Ward calls'false friends' which have changed meaning although they are still used. These mislead to-day's readers into a misunderstanding of the text. He notes changes in grammar and punctuation th ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute pleasure to read. Ward is a gifted writer whose love of language comes across clearly in the way he expresses himself.
As to the book itself, I was expecting Ward to overthrow the KJV-only crowd once and for all. Although he does clearly explain why the Bible in vernacular is important, I came away from reading with a desire to read the KJV myself! Ward’s view is balanced, gracious, and thought provoking.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I have never been a part of a church that believed the King James Bible is the only Bible, but I did grow up attending "KJV-preference" churches and sometimes "KJV-onlyism" wasn't very far away.

When I was a teenager, I remember a college student reading a verse during a Bible study and she prefaced it saying, "I have a NASB and it says it like this: ___". It was the first time I remember someone I looked up to using anything other than the KJV and I remember thinking, "We can do that?" And also
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish every thinking person in the pew, every pastor, and every person who is serving in the church would read this book. I am surprised by how few reviews there are and how few people have read it! Mark Ward, Jr. is very gracious in his approach to the subject. I will be forever thankful to the friend who called the book to my attention!
Dec 19, 2018 marked it as to-read
MoS interview here. Logos interview here. GPTS podcast interview here. Faithlife TV film (trailer).

Related videos:
Part 1: "The Top Five Things We Lose as the KJV Goes Away"
Part 2: "Another KJV Verse I Never Understood"
Part 3: "Dead Words and False Friends in the KJV"
Part 4: "Is the KJV at a Fifth-Grade Reading Level?"
Part 5: "What Does the Bible Teach about Bible Translation?"
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favorite book of 2019. Ward might be my Spirit animal. Half way through there wasn't any thing new or revolutionary if you get read anything on the subject. What is revolutionary is the tone. I have never read a more gracious book on any subject. The final "twist" was unexpected but earned by the extreme good natured chapters leading up to it.

If i cared about such things I would remove a star for using end notes. But I don't, so I won't.
Brian Collins
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What role should the King James Version play in your life and in your church at present? This the question Mark Ward answers in Authorized. This book is a must read. Though Mark holds argues against a King James Only position, he does so with respect. He wrote this book while developing personal friendships with leaders of King James Only churches and institutions, seeking their input and coming to understand their viewpoints better. Mark's thesis is that, whatever one's view of textual criticis ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, christianity
I have never been particularly attached to one specific Bible translation and have generally stayed out of arguments with purists who insist that there is only one right Bible to read. Perhaps that is why I appreciated Ward's gracious, measured take on the subject. He clearly delights in the minutia of the English language (a man after my own heart) and wants to see people reading and learning from the word of God. While he ultimate conclusion is that everyone should be reading a Bible translati ...more
Grayson Gilbert
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully helpful little book, especially if you’re looking to give a resource to someone who is KJVO. The author speaks positively of the KJV throughout the book and keeps an objective focus on his main thesis: vernacular translations are good. His love for the KJV is apparent, but he handles objections from KJVOnlyists quite thoroughly and aptly.
Kristopher Schaal
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bibliology
Don’t use the KJV exclusively because it is not a modern vernacular translation. Point well made.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very good book
Rebecca Ray
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you ask 100 people to pull a Bible off their shelves, 55 of those people are going to pull down a King James Bible. Two of those people will be my husband and my father. It is the translation that I am going to hear from the pulpit of my church. It is beautiful, lyrical, and not quite as archaic as Shakespeare. Hearing thee/thy/thou as I read the scriptures just makes me feel more spiritual.

Yet, as I have become more and more involved in the study of the Bible, I find that I tend to pull ou
Tori Samar
"We need God's word in our language, not in someone else's."

I appreciate this book immensely, both for its content and tone. Mark Ward is gracious, clear, nerdy, insightful, funny, and passionate as he makes his argument 1) that English Bible translations ought to be in the modern vernacular because the KJV, through no fault of its own, can no longer be understood entirely, and 2) that we need to let go of the pursuit of finding the "best" translation and instead celebrate the rich number of goo
Ann Withers
Apr 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I had a review written out detailing all the theological and historical errors this book has. I still have it saved on Google Docs, if you want it.
But I'm sick of sin. I've spent this week in the presence of GOD, as much as possible. He's been doing things, changing things, cleaning out this vile, sin-blackened heart of mine. And I just don't want to spend time reading and entertaining blasphemy.

The problem with this book and its theology is this: the author (and all who hold his views) change
Todd Bryant
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good read on an important subject. This book is not a rebuttal of KJV-onlyism nor is it an explanation of Byzantine vs. Alexandrian vs. Eclectic (Nestle-Aland) manuscripts...though he does discuss those things. It's more of a personal journey by the author. He grew up reading the KJV and, although he still loves it, he has learned to appreciate modern translations, especially in study. We lose much as a Christian society when Christians don't study the same translation. The author admits this up ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible by Dr. Mark Ward is a book about whether or not today’s society should use the KJV as a primary translation. He uses lots of situational stories to demonstrate his points and provides lots of examples from Scripture.

In this 154 page book, Dr. Ward discusses the KJV with the utmost respect. He isn’t attacking anyone (including KJV-onliests). He isn’t criticizing the KJV translators. He’s respectful of them. Dr. Ward is 100% positive toward th
Ronnie Nichols
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great little book! A much easier read than the works by D.A. Carson or the one by James R. White on the same subject. Informative and captivating. I would highly recommend this book for any of my KJV brothers and sisters. Mr Ward does not bash the KJVor its adherents, but lifts it up as a wonderful translation and tastefully argues against the one translation only mindset of many modern Christians. I picked it up and rarely put it down until I was done. Bravo!
Laura Adams
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the most gracious non-KJVO book I have ever read. For a good counterpart that defends KJVO, consider reading A More Sure Word by R. B. Ouellette. Reading both books provides a well-rounded understanding of the issue.
Randy Mccracken
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very informative and well-balanced look at the KJV and the need for modern English versions of the Bible. Ward loves and appreciates the KJV, but he also presents clear reasons why the Bible is needed in one's contemporary language.

Ward quotes an interesting statement made in the preface to the KJV. It reads, "As nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the latter thoughts are thought to be the wiser; so, if we building upon their foundation that went before us, and being holpen b
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Mark L. Ward, Jr. received his PhD in New Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University in 2012; he now serves the church as an Academic Editor at Lexham Press, a division of Faithlife. He also writes weekly articles on Bible study at the Logos Talk Blog. He is the author of multiple high school Bible textbooks, including The Story of the Old Testament and Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, ...more

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27 likes · 7 comments
“The idea that the word of God should be permitted to calcify slowly into a language normal people can’t read is one of the reasons we had a Protestant Reformation, a movement launched by a monk whose first act a er defying a church council with, “My conscience is captive to the word of God” was to hole himself up in Wartburg castle and translate the Bible into German. There he sat; he could do no other.” 2 likes
“because translation frequently demands minor trade-offs of nuance, it’s wise to make use of multiple translations.” 0 likes
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