King James: Not as old as we think?

Some Orthodox jurisdictions, when chanting Scripture readings in English during services, use the King James Version of the Bible (aka the Authorised Version). Not to open that can of worms too wide(!), but a frequent objection to the KJV is its often-outdated, incomprehensible language, Early Modern or Archaic English, or vocabulary.

This won’t be one of the more common objections given as an example, but it calls the disciples’ fishing boat a “ship” (which sounds even funnier chanted several times!). Today this word usually indicates a far larger vessel than has probably ever plied the waters of Lake Gennesaret (aka Sea of Galilee/Tiberias). Or does it? Not so long ago, on the 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, you may remember, the Clampetts come into a small yacht at one point – in fact, they discover it completely by surprise, parked in front of their mansion. Jethro asks, “Is that ship ourn?” [Jed replies, “No, I think it’s wood,” taking Jethro’s regional pronunciation of ours – “arn” – for iron.]


For what it’s worth…! 😉

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