Welcome to the Translators King James Version (TKJV) website!
A New Authorized Version
The Translators King James Version is an Authorized Version for Non-English Speakers.
We will stress from the start that this revision is NOT for native English speakers, although some may prefer its more modern format.
The goal of the TKJV is to provide a crowd sourced edit (update) of the King James Version (KJV) (Authorized Version) of the Bible, to people with English as a second language. This to enable them to translate the TKJV to people of their own language, without extensive knowledge, beyond basic English skills, and a common English dictionary.
This, the first crowd sourced version of the Bible, attempts to maintain the richness of the KJV, by updating archaic words along the lines the the original editors did after 1611, in a manner that would be beneficial for those with limited English as a second language skills.
However, some word replacements may be objectionable to persons who have not spent decades on foreign mission fields. It is one thing to argue textual criticism in an English only group, in an English speaking nation. It is quite another thing to try to convey the Gospel in a country with their own language bias, understanding of English words, and their own mother tongue. We therefore will give more weigh to suggestions from Gospel Missionaries, who have labored for decades on the mission field in areas where English is not in common use (other than as a lingua franca for higher level business). For example, English is a vernacular in the United Kingdom, but is used as a vehicular language (i.e., a lingua franca) in the Philippines, which may have as many as 175 mother tongues.
We expect a few changes (some may be considered major), may not sit well with some who believe the KJV is perfect in its current form. We would not seek to disagree for English readers, our mission and goal is for people with non-English mother tongues. The changes we allow, are what decades of foreign missions work have taught us are helpful to foreign language (non-English) speakers in making simple translations.
For example, in most places the well ingrained understanding of the English word “church” is “a building for religious programs.” This is reflected in common English dictionaries publish in countries where English is not the mother tongue. The older (and some newer) translations of English Bibles used the words assembly or congregation, instead of church, which is much more understandable for most non-English, non-religious people. The Greek “ecclesia” more readily matches the common dictionary understanding of assembly rather than church. Therefore TKJV will use assembly to represent the Greek word ecclesia.
The driving force of this edited of the KJV is a Bible missionary with four decades of experience among people with little to no English skills. He noticed that many people have no working scriptures in their language…
For example: In the Philippines, there are between 120 and 175 languages, depending on the method of classification. Less than 10 of these have even a readable New Testament. In fact, Filipinos will talk about “Deep Bisaya” or “Deep Tagalog”, this is “dictionary Bisaya” or “dictionary Tagalog”. Most “Bisaya” speaking teens and young adults cannot understand the “Deep Bisaya” of their grandparents. The “Deepest Bisaya” of only three or four generations ago (when most dictionary were written), would appear to modern Bisaya readers to be a totally different language.
One of this missionary’s ministry partners is a native speaker of the Subanon language, spoken naively by about 270,000 people in the Zamboanga peninsula. There are, unfortunately, only a hand full of verses (not even one chapter) translated into this language. Plus a few child’s stories about the Son of God.
The few Subanon language verses were actually translated from “modernized” KJV verses, and became the inspiration for a edition of the KJV for Translators we now call the Translators King James Version (the TKJV).
Most translations are done by scholarly translators with knowledge of both the Biblical Languages, and the common language for which the translation is intended. The result of this, is that very few of the worlds 4,000+ languages of the world have Bible translations.
In many places, more modern, easier to read, translations are being used as a basis for local translation. These may include the Good News Bible (Todays English Version) or the Living Bible as examples. This is due to the compound effects of both learning modern spoken English, and at the same time trying to produce a reasonable local dialect scripture for people, from people no formal training in either Biblical languages, and simple English skills.
Many Americans do not know that there is an English language skill test for aliens who apply for USA citizenship. “Simple English”, as some call it, is the ability to use as little as 600 English words properly. A small booklet called the King James Bible Companion by David W. Daniels, list about 600 archaic words that are likely not found in the pocket dictionaries of non-English speaking peoples.
Add in the confusing words like: thee, thou, thy, thine, and ye. Plus verbs with eth and est. No wonder people who have English as a second language resort to the Living Bible or Good News Bible, they simply cannot understand the KJV. This amount of words, they cannot find in an English pocket dictionary they have available to them, is more English than the United States Government requires a person to know to become a naturalized citizen of the USA!