It is said that each generation needs its own new translation of the foreign classics, and the Bible is no exception. The translators’ Preface to the Revised Standard Version details many of the “grave defects” in the King James, including words and expressions that have become archaic or that no longer mean what they meant at the time (“prevent,” for instance, meant “to go before” rather than “to obstruct”). Many of us have, quite simply, grown up with a Bible embellished in a mindset of the times of Henry VIII, rather than our own.

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