This is a snippet from a two-part post available at the links below. People love the KJV. Most people anyway. Worth reading for both those that do and those not so enamored.
(OrthoCuban) – Orthodoxy in the USA and Canada has an English conundrum. No, I am not talking about the country of England. I am talking about the language used. At least two of our jurisdictions argue that the only proper version of English to use in prayer and worship is 18th-19th-century English. No earlier or later English may be used. How did a part of Orthodoxy arrive at such a conclusion?
The Bible’s King James Version (KJV) is partly responsible for our odd conclusion. But it is not even the original 1611 publication of the KJV. Instead, the later editions of the 18th and very early 19th centuries are what have influenced modern English-speaking Orthodoxy in the USA and Canada. One need only go to the website of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines to see that formal modern English is used in their worship, not a revised version of Elizabethan English.1 Nevertheless, the KJV and revised Elizabethan language used for worship continue in this continent.2 As a side note, I went to the website for the Antiochian Archdiocese of Santiago and All Chile to find that the Liturgy is in Modern Latin American Castilian, not in either Modern Continental Castilian Spanish or Early Modern Castilian Spanish.3
An early translation of Orthodox liturgical tradition into English was published in England in 1900.4 Revised Elizabethan English was still the norm at the time of its translation in the late 19th century. The American Standard Version and the English Standard Version of the Bible had yet to be published at the time the translation was made. Sadly, The Ferial Menaion was a poor translation. The then Archimandrite Kallistos and Mother Mary comment that “the resulting English version is so eccentric in style–and at times altogether grotesque and ludicrous–that it cannot decently be used in public worship.”5
Even in 1969, translating the Bible into Modern English had barely begun. The American Standard Version of 1901 still used revised Elizabethan language. The Revised Standard Version was the first popular Bible written in Modern English. The date of the full Bible was 1952, and its publication triggered arguments and accusations. It was published by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. The ASV had received a certain degree of acceptance. However, the RSV triggered the split between the KJV supporters and Modern Language supporters.
The RSV was accused of being a modernist liberal translation and, among fundamentalists, a translation deliberately attempting to corrupt God’s Word. “The Revised Standard Version is the forerunner of the English Standard Version. Both of these versions are standards of corruption.”6 Even the New King James Version is rejected. “The instances in which the NKJV breaks with the original KJV by substituting wording identical to that of corrupted modern Bible versions are too numerous to be considered coincidence.”7 Oddly enough, this means that the Orthodox Study Bible is also considered corrupt since the New Testament is the NKJV…
Complete article here.