Stylized Writing in a King James Bible
And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child, Luke 9:38.
I was in my forties before I ever began to write seriously. I have often commented that the word processor did for writers what Jeroboam did for the priesthood; but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places, 1st King 13:33.
Until word processors became affordable, the ability to put my thoughts on paper eluded me. I still type with two fingers, but as I type I keep getting these red lines that tell me what a chorus of school teachers tried to tell me. I am a dunce at spelling. I once tried to learn to use a typewriter, but whether it be keys on a typewriter, or on a piano, or parts on an engine, or any other discipline that requires that my hands perform what my brain is telling it, I just can't do it.
Now that such a man as I has been elevated to an ersatz writer, I have begun to look at writing styles. There is simply no one who writes with the style and grace of a King James Bible. The King James Bible ignores many of the rules beat into my head by frustrated English teachers. It has delighted me to follow suit.
The King James Bible starts sentences with conjunctions. And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, Luke 9:18. This was absolutely verboten in Junior High, High School and College English. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep, Luke 9:32. Over and over, a King James Bible arrests its readers. For an example, look as Luke 9:31 speaks of Moses and Elias; Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. Imagine such a scene. Imagine what it would be like to see Jesus Christ transfigured before your eyes while Moses and Elias spoke with him.
Who could not be absolutely transformed by such an experience? But! But... But... But! Peter and his comrades were heavy with sleep. The Apostles were acting all too human in one of Jesus Christ's greatest moments. Your King James Bible wants to emphasize that moment. It uses a "but" to command you to look. Who would have taken such brilliant style out of the English Language? There has been a lot of violence done to the grammar of the English Language, but the King James Bible didn't do it. I wrote before of the use of double negatives in a King James Bible (Click Here). We lost much when we lost double negatives.
Reading down through Luke Chapter 9, I couldn't help but be amazed at the brilliance of the grammar as it used the word "And". The word "And" arrests us for 8 verses in a row.
And when the voice was past, vs.36.
And it came to pass. vs. 37.
And, behold, a man of the company cried out, vs. 38.
And, lo, a spirit taketh him, vs. 39.
And I besought thy disciples to cast him out, vs. 40
And Jesus answering said, vs. 41
And as he was yet a coming, vs. 42
And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God, vs. 43.
The King James Bible uses the words "and" and "but" to arrest and hold our attention. It reminds me of when I was a child and an adult would grab my chin, force me to look straight at them and slowly explain what I was not prone to hear.
And behold! What a brilliant expression! Over and over the King James Bible paints one picture for us and then springs open a hidden door with a revelation.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns, Genesis 22:13.
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, Genesis 28:12.
And he looked, and behold a well in the field, Genesis 29:2.
With the word "behold" we are ordered to look. We are taken back thousands of years and shown a scene. We see the scene and then the word of God rips away a vail and cries, "Behold". How weak and beggarly the new versions become when we see the absolute glory and brilliance of these expressions. In a King James Bible we are not told what happened. We are ordered to look. We are transported back to the time just as if it had been recorded on a video file. A finger points to what God wants us to see and we are told, "behold"!
The new versions are to the word of God what a child's coloring book is to a Rembrandt.