When it comes to Bible translations, easier to read doesn’t mean easier to understand.
I was born in Haiti. And thus, French was the first language I learned to read until middle school. But my native tongue is Haitian Creole. You can ask most Haitians born and raised in Haiti, and they’ll tell you that though they speak Creole, French is easier for them to read in comparison to Creole.
My escape from all of this was to learn a new language, speak it often, and read it often. Hence, English.
If we can’t use the same expressions and even idioms of the hearers’s language to pass on the message, then the translation may be easy to read but hard to understand. As a result, the message will be forgotten.
KJV and all previous translations of the Bible had tried to solve the same problem for its generations. With every new generation, our ears are twisted with new forms of usage of plain words, like new colors being emphasized on a light spectrum. You can look at fashion from 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago, and you’ll notice new patterns and mixture of colors being emphasized today compared to years ago. This is the same trend with words in languages. And literature is the museum that hold records of these changes.
An expression of two words can save you from writing 5 paragraphs of explanation. But it will only help those who are familiar with those expressions.
Some folks value KJV for one reason: that’s all they’ve ever read since infancy. Others argue that it’s the “true” translation. Whatever that means, as if English is one and only language spoken in the entire world.
The purpose of reading any content should strictly be to hear and understand the message and grasp it.
Research have actually proved that even highly educated readers prefer reading simple messages. There’s a reason for that. It can be medically explained. The further you move away from simple words, the more work the brain has to do to recall the meaning of those words to quickly illustrate to the mind what is being said.
Imagine the signs on the street were to be changed to KJV vocabularies overnight. Imagine arriving at work and everyone was addressing you in Shakespearean terms. Oh….what a day, or rather a nightmare, that would be!
Speak to be understood, not to impress others with eloquence, but to impress them with Christ.
“But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.” (1 Corinthians 14:19)