In late 2016, early 2017, I started developing a social media presence on what would be considered alternative social media (Gab, MeWe, Minds, Matrix, etc.) Initially it was for my business (hence the Dividends4Life name on some of the sites), but I quickly saw the opportunity for witnessing.
I began posting Devotionals and Bible verses - both of which were KJV since that is all I ever used for 35+ years. I soon realized that many young people and the unsaved had no interest in the KJV.
In 2019, after numerous conversations with several different people, God began to work on my heart. When I realized where God was leading me I did not want to go there - updating the KJV into modern English while maintaining the doctrinal integrity would be a herculean task, and certainly not appreciated by the KJV-Only community.
Late in 2019, I decided on the name "King James Version, Updated" and purchased the KJVu.com domain. Soon afterwards, I learned there was a similar project Updated King James Version (UKJV) and it was in the public domain. I did not see anything doctrinally wrong with the UKJV.
However, the UKJV relied on a computer program called the "translator" to apply a set of rules to identify places changes needed to be made; as such, it didn’t always flow well. I also did not like some of the updates made (e.g. "knew" became "had sexual contact with", "Ye" became "all of you"). Without a human reading, meditating and praying over the verses, it didn’t always read as well as it could.
At this point I started negotiating with God. I thought I could just clean up the UKJV and call it a day. I did a couple of chapters and COVID-19 hit, so I stepped away and was in no hurry to go back. I started back in June 2021, and went through Genesis 14. I knew I wasn’t doing it like God wanted me to do it. My attitude was wrong. So I stepped away again, complaining that hand writing HTML code in a text editor was too hard.
In January 2022, God solved that problem by showing me AsciiDoctor. Finally, I committed to doing it His way - no matter how long it takes. As it turns out, spending this much time is God’s Word is invigorating. Now the time I get to spend working on the KJVu is my favorite part of the day, and when I am not working on it, I am meditating on and pondering verses. God knew what He was doing all along. Go figure. :)
You can see the history and follow the project’s progress here.
The updating process starts and ends with the KJV.
The first step is to copy the KJV verse as is.
Look at the verse and see if any of the following exists:
- Old English words (e.g. Goeth, Shalt, etc.)
- Antiquated spelling of words (e.g. Instructer, Musick, etc.)
- British spelling of words (e.g. colour, labour, etc.)
Update common words whose meanings have changed (e.g. meat, fowl, etc.)
Update archaic words (e.g. Ague, Potsherd, Sith, Trow etc.)
Remove inanimate object gender assignments (e.g. the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind…. etc.)
Now look for non-standard use of "A" and "An" (e.g. an heifer, an house, an helmet etc.)
Look at sentence structure and wording to see if the verse can be made more clear. See the example below where switching "called he" to "he called" made the sentence read more clearly without changing the meaning of the verse.
Update punctuation to add "quotes" around spoken words, and update the use of commas, periods, colons, et. al.
Look at a few other translations to see if other items should be considered. As an aside, doing this step has highlighted some really odd things in other translations when compared to the KJV.
Make sure italic words and red highlighted words are correct.
Copy the KJV verse and the KJVu verse to the updates page. Highlight the changes in both. This creates a clear transparent path for verse changes. See the Genesis 1:10 sample above. You can get to the updates page by clicking "Updates" under the chapter title (Genesis 1, in this instance), or to go directly to the verse you are reading click on the verse number. Verse numbers with updates are shown with parentheses around the verse number and a link to the KJV/KJVu comparison. When finished reviewing the updates, you can click "Back" and return to the verse.
Now the most important step, read the KJV version and read the KJVu update. Make sure the doctrinal meaning does not change. Make sure nothing doctrinally was added or subtracted (Revelation 22:18-19).
Move to the next verse and start the process over. Continue until the chapter is complete. Notify the community the chapter is available for public review and comment.
Move to the next chapter and start over.
Who Am I
I am just a lowly servant of the most high.
As some general background on me, I was saved in 1987 and have attended an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church since that time. The churches I have attended are KJV-Only and I am very comfortable with the KJV.
If the question is am I qualified to do a translation, then the answer is, No. I do not speak, read or write Hebrew or Greek. But then again this is NOT a translation - it is an update relying on the quality of the KJV translation. I am comfortable using the Strongs Concordance and various Bible dictionaries, especially when being led by the Holy Spirit.
God rarely calls the qualified, but instead qualifies the called.