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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

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  94 Ratings  ·  30 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, 154 pages
Published January 24th 2018 by Lexham Press
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Mark Jr.
Aug 24, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: 2017, 2018
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
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.
Joshua Rodriguez
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 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.

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
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
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
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
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
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outside of certain very conservative Christian circles, the church has stopped using the King James Bible. Yet, according to sales data, more than half of the Bible sold are KJV. Ward addresses that 55% of Bible buyers in this fine little book. He begins the book with a recognition that something is lost when the English-speaking church is no longer united in the version of the Bible that it uses. The following chapters in the first half of the book deal with the problems involved in using the K ...more
Solomon L
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read and quite useful. If you're already familiar with the debates around the use of the KJV, it won't rock your world, but the author does a good job of putting it all together.

Ward appreciates the beauty of the Authorised Version but feels that, ultimately: "For public preaching ministry, for evangelism, for discipleship materials, indeed for most situations outside individual study, using the KJV violates Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14." The instructions being, of course, to
Anthony Hayden
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully concise, precisely reasoned, and unodiously pointed (this book made me want to use more colorful verbiage). I appreciate Mark's passion, heart, and intellect. This is oft times an unnecessarily harsh debate, and numerous occasions in the lead up to the book, I have observed Mark responding with patience, meekness, and Christian love.
His arguments are sound and reasonably convincing, if one has not already made up their mind on the issue. Even if you already have an opinion, his pers
This is a good book on why it's ok to use translations other than the KJV. Based on the title, I thought it was going to be more of a history of the KJV translation, so I was a little disappointed. While Authorized would be a great book for someone raised on the KJV who wants to use a contemporary English translation but knows almost nothing about the arguments against KJV-onlyism, it's way too basic for anyone who is verses in those arguments (ex. Did you know that "thee" was actually the way E ...more
Michael Schmid
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A clear, informative and enjoyable read on the value (and problems) of the language of the King James Version in today's society, shedding some light on words in the KJV that may still be in use today, but have changed their meaning over time, and also arguing for the value of reading various translations of the Bible. The author recognises the merits of the KJV but at the same time also does well to support his reasoning for the importance of reading the Bible in an understandable language that ...more
Bob Deangelo
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I think that it is a fair and thought provoking discussion of this issue, providing thoughts on both sides.
Joshua Schwisow
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent summary of the reasons to no longer use the KJV as the primary or only translation, based primarily on considerations of English language. Good application of 1 Cor 14 to the question. I would have liked to see how Mark might have suggested we can retain some of the things we lose when a common unifying translation is no longer the situation. This is still an important question.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2018
I appreciate the author’s passion to understand, and help others understand, God’s Word. In relation to that goal, I think he raises some serious questions that merit our consideration.
Stephen Drew
Mar 08, 2018 marked it as to-read
Highly recommend by Justin Taylor
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible" is an even-handed, gracious, and wonderfully thought provoking book. This is a book for readers of the Christian Bible who are intent on understanding Scripture.

Mark Ward doesn’t engage in the which-version-is-best debate, but rather compares attempting to identify a single English translation as the consummate best is similar to “trying to prove that hammers are better than screwdrivers.” Just as both tools are useful, multiple translatio
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
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mark Ward is a Logos Pro who writes weekly on Bible study for the Logos Talk Blog training users in the use of Logos Bible Software. He has a PhD in New Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University and is the author of several high school Bible textbooks, including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption (BJU Press, 2016). Most recently, Ward has published a helpful and balanced little book on the King James Bible.

Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible is a generous
Brian Pate
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I can't wait to see what Ward puts out next. His blend of wit, eloquence, and scholarship made this one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who gravitates to one translation only (and I have to admit that I am one of those people).

Main point: "English translations ought to be made into the current English vernacular because, through no fault of the KJV translators or of us, KJV language is no longer completely intelligible" (117). He recomme
Bruce Meyer
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the hardest balances to achieve in a polemical book is the balance between strong argumentation/explanation and a gracious/humble spirit. Ward does both effectively with thorough instruction and an endearing sense of humor. Both sides of the argument would benefit greatly from this read because of the practical approach he takes on readability and understandability. I pray it continues to help those who are longing for solid answers on the use of modern versions.
Matt Miller
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, a balanced book that is charitable to both sides of the discussion, although it will by no means settle anything. It’s not unnecessarily technical, and even a good introduction to the debate. Chapter 4, on the KJV reading level, was very intriguing, especially regarding the analytics tools. A qualm I would have with the book is the formatting. It felt a bit sloppy and unstructured at times. In the end, I would definitely recommend.
Garry Geer
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As one who came out of the KJV only movement I appreciate this book more than I can say. The tone is gracious. The arguments, while firm, are careful and demand a lot of thought.
I believe that it is the KJV-only doctrine that holds fundamentalism back from expository preaching itself. Until it casts off that shackle, it will continue to shrink and warp those who claim its name.

Matt Quick
Oct 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reliability is more important than readability.

As a Christian, I have a responsibility to think on the things God tells me (Philippians 4:8). I will not sit back with blinders on and pretend that all modern translations and translators have my best interest in mind. I ask this question: Has it really helped America to have at least 1,000 different Bible Translations?
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few quibbles, but good overall

Although the author's bias seeps through and leads to a few factual errors, this was overall a fantastic book. I have no problems recommending it as an overall good resource.
John Benzing
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read a number of books concerning translations. I like his thesis that people need a translation in their vernacular and base it in part on a similar experience teaching kids the Bible. His approach is very irenic and his humor adds gentleness to an unnecessarily touchy subject.
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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
“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.” 1 likes
“The idea that the word of God should be permitted to cal- cify 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.” 0 likes
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