Is the King James Bible Harder to Understand?
"In the last days. . .men shall be HEADY, HIGHMINDED" II Timothy 3:4

At the intersection of Bible Boulevard, Madi$on Avenue and Wall $treet, there are many crooked turns of the truth. Advertising campaigns create a cloud of confusion, calling the KJV "obscure, confusing and sometimes incomprehensible." While they crown the NIV's "clarity and ease of reading" and the NASB's "contemporary English." Christians are coerced by full color ads written to color the plain facts by advertising, not English majors.

The Flesch-Kincaid research company's Grade Level Indicator betrays the strictly black and white nature of the issue showing the new version's true colors. The KJV ranks easier in 23 out of 26 comparisons. (Their formula is: (.39 x average number of words per sentence) + (11.8 x average number of syllables per word) - (15.59) = grade level. The first chapter of the first and last books of both the Old and New Testaments were compared. (All complete sentences, whether terminating in a period, colon, or semi-colon, and all incomplete phrases ending in a period, were calculated as 'sentences'.)

KJB Grade LevelNIV Grade LevelNASV Grade LevelTEV Grade LevelNKJV Grade Level
Gen. 14.45.14.75.15.2
Mal. 14.64.85.15.44.6
Matt. 16.716.46.811.810.3
Rev. 17.57.17.76.47.7
Grade Level Average5.8 8.46.17.26.9

To extend the inquiry, one each of the three book-types (Gospel, Pauline epistle, General epistle) were surveyed. The resulting data confirms the readability of the KJV.

KJBNIVNASBGood News (TEV)NKJV
John 1:1-213.63.64.25.93.9
Gal. 1:1-218.69.810.46.78.9
James 1:1-215.76.57.06.06.4

Why is the KJV easier to read? The KJV uses one or two syllable words while new versions substitute complex multi-syllable words and phrases. Their "heady, high-minded" vocabulary hides the hope of salvation from simple saints and sinners.

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech. (KJB) II Cor. 3:12

The NASB substitutes "lividness of speech" here and carries this confusing and condescending vocabulary from cover to cover. Children and church members need to change to the KJV for "clarity." An extensive list is given because Christians have been so extensively brainwashed to 'believe a lie'.

NASV vs. KJB
HARD WORD (NASB)EASY WORD (KJB)
Matt.1:11, 1:17 deportation carried away
Matt.1:20 considered thought
Matt.2:1, 2:7 magi wise men
Mark. 2:21 unshrunk new
Matt. 2:16 environs coasts
Luke 3:17, Matt. 3:12 winnowing fork fan
Luke 11:33, Matt. 5:15, Mark 4:21 peck-measure bushel
Matt. 5:19 annuls break
Matt. 5:21 murder kill
Luke 5:29, Matt. 8:11 recline at the table sat
Matt. 8:32 begone go
Matt. 9:13, 12:7 compassion mercy
Matt. 9:17 wineskins bottles
Matt. 9:18 synagogue official certain ruler
Mark 5:25, Matt. 9:20 hemorrhage issue of blood
Matt. 9:20, 14:36 fringe hem
Matt. 9:38 beseech pray
Matt. 10:1 summoned called
Matt. 10:10 tunics coats
Matt. 10:16 shrewd wise
Matt. 11:26 well pleasing good
Mark 14:3 vial box
Mark 14:3, 14:18 reclining sat
Luke 1:22 mute speechless
Mark 15:18 acclaim salute
Luke 3:5 ravine valley
Luke 6:17 descended came down
Luke 5:5 bidding word
Luke 6:22 ostracize separate you from their company
Luke 6:48 torrent burst stream beat
Luke 6:49 collapsed fell
Luke 7:2 highly regarded dear
Luke 7:32 sang a dirge have mourned
Luke 8:15 perseverance patience
Luke 8:31 the abyss the deep
Luke 8:33 rushed ran
Luke 9:39 seizes taketh
Luke 9:42 dashed him to the ground threw him
Luke 9:45 concealed hid
Luke 10:2 plentiful great
Luke 10:2 beseech pray
Luke 10:20 recorded written
Luke 10:21 well-pleasing good
Luke 11:21 undisturbed in peace
Luke 11:28 observe it keep it
Luke 23:45 being obscured darkened
(This has other implications. It states that the sun was darkened by being obscured, implying the natural phenomenon of an eclipse rather than a supernatural move of God.)
Luke 18:40 questioned asked
John 6:60 difficult hard
John 7:6 opportune ready
John 10:23 portico porch
John 10:24 suspense doubt
John 11:17 tomb grave
John 11:57 seize take
John 11:39 stench stinketh
John 12:45 beholds seeth
John 12:40 perceive understand
John 13:12 reclined set down
John 13:23 reclining leaning
John 14:27 fearful afraid
John 16:8 concerning of
I Thess. 2:17 having been bereft of you being taken from you
I Thess. 2:18 thwarted hindered
I Thess. 5:1 epochs seasons
I Thess. 5:14 admonish warn
2 Thess.2:3 apostasy falling away
2 Thess. 2:3 lawlessness sin
2 Thess. 3:2 perverse unreasonable
2 Thess. 3:6 aloof withdraw
I Tim.1:15 foremost of all chief
I Tim. 2:8 dissensions doubting
I Tim.2:9 discreetly sobriety
I Tim. 3:2 prudent sober
I Tim.3:2 respectable of good behavior
I Tim. 3:3 pugnacious striker
I Tim. 3:3 uncontentious not a brawler
I Tim.3:8 sordid filthy
I Tim. 5:12 previous pledge first faith
I Tim. 6:3 advocates teach
I Tim.6:4 conceited proud
I Tim. 6:10 a pang sorrows
2 Tim. 3:2 arrogant proud
Titus 1:6 dissipation riot
Titus 1:7 sordid filthy
Titus 3:2 to malign no one to speak evil of no man
Titus 3:2 uncontentious to be no brawlers
Titus 3:10 factious heretick
Phil. 2:1 consolation comfort
Phil. 2:30 deficient lack
Heb. 2:17 propitiation reconciliation
Heb. 5:10 designated called
Heb. 7:2 apportioned gave
Heb. 12:1 encumbrance weight
James 1:2 encounter fall into
James 1:11 in the midst in his ways
James 5:11 blessed happy
I Pet.4:4 dissipation riot
I John 5:10 borne gave
Rev.1:3 heed keep
Rev. 1:9 perseverance patience
Rev. 2:2 perseverance patience
Rev. 2:3 perseverance patience
Rev. 3:10 perseverance patience
Rev. 2:23 pestilence death
Rev. 4:1 standing was
Rev. 5:11 myriads of myriads ten thousand times ten thousand
Rev. 6:8 ashen pale
Rev. 6:8 famine hunger
Rev. 6:8 pestilence death
Rev. 7:15 spread His tabernacel over dwell among
Rev. 9:11 abyss pit
Rev. 11:7 abyss pit
Rev. 11:9 laid in a tomb put in graves
(It refers to the two witnesses, so graves plural are needed.)
Rev. 11:11 who were beholding them saw
Rev. 12:3 diadems crowns
Rev. 13:1 diadems crowns
Rev. 13:5 arrogant words great things
Rev. 13:10 perseverance patience
Rev. 16:9 fierce great
Rev. 16:21 severe great
Rev. 17:1 harlot whore
Rev. 17:8 abyss bottomless pit
Rev. 17:16 harlot whore
Rev.18:1 illumined lightened
Rev. 18:2 prison of every. . .bird cage
Rev. 18:7 mourning sorrow
Rev. 18:8 pestilence death
Rev. 18:11, 18:12 cargoes merchandise
Rev. 19:12 diadem crown
Rev. 19:20 seized taken
Rev. 20:1, 20:3 abyss bottomless pit
Rev. 21:8 cowardly fearful
Rev. 22:7 heeds keepeth

(source: New Age Bible Versions, G.A.Riplinger, 1993 (690 pgs),

Dr. Waite continues: "Some people say they like a particular version because they say it's more readable. Now, readability is one thing, but does the readability conform to what's in the original Greek and Hebrew language? You can have a lot of readability, but if it doesn't match up with what God has said, it's of no profit. In the King James Bible, the words match what God has said. You may say it's difficult to read, but study it out. It's hard in the Hebrew and Greek and, perhaps, even in the English in the King James Bible. But to change it around just to make it simple, or interpreting it, instead of translating it, is wrong."
Version WordsVocabVerses
KJB7906851278431102
NIV7261091450031085
NKJV7709301330931102
RSV7601511411031083

Dial-the-Truth Ministries Home Page Other Publications Page