It is impossible to have a word for word translation without the use of the words "thee", "thou", "thy", "thine" and "ye" and the inflectional endings of "-eth", "-est", "-st", "-lt" and "-rt".
The translators of the King James Version of the Holy Bible intentionally preserved, in Early Modern English, archaic pronouns and
verb endings that had already begun to fall out of spoken use. This enabled the English translators to convey the distinction between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular and plural pronouns of the original Hebrew and Greek sources. (see the section below on second
1. It is impossible to have a word for word translation of the Bible without the use of the words: "thee", "thou", "thy", "thine" and "ye", and with the inflectional endings "....est" "....th" AS THEY ARE IN THE ORIGINAL HEBREW AND GREEK & HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS. (See the sections below on second person pronouns & on the mistranslated use of the word "You". These are just 2 of many examples. )
2. The words "thee", "thou", thy", "thine" and "ye" and the inflectional endings "....est" "....th" are a literary dialect and a deliberate style of antiquity, and reverence. (See at the bottom of this page for actually examples in the Greek)
3. The words "thee", "thou", "thy", "thine" and "ye" and the inflectional endings were not in common use when the Tyndale Bible (not a complete Bible) and the King James Bible were translated. The popularity of these two Bibles resurrected the use of these words and endings.
4. The grammar for these King James words is: "Thou" and 'thee" are used for second person singular, referring to one person in the second person. "Ye" and "you" are used for second person plural, referring to more than one person in the second person. NOTE, this is important as not only is this exactly what is in the original Greek,and Hebrew has, but there is NO modern English equivalent without added several words, AND there is NO modern version that has this distinction AT ALL, they don't even add the additional words needed to make the distinction, losing all legal reference to what the passage is referring to.
This is easy to remember: "Y" has 2 lines going up, at an angle, for more than one, and "T" has one line at the top of the word going across for just one person.
The inflectional endings of "...est" and "...eth": Some second person singular verbs end with "...est". Some third person singular words end with "...th". This is easy to remember: for "...est" the "s" is for second person, and for "...eth" the "th" is for third person.
The rest of the King James grammar is similar to modern English: "Ye" and "Thou" are the subjects of the sentence, "Thee" and "You" are not subjects of the sentence.
"Thy" and "Thine" are used for singular possessives. "Thy" is used before a word that starts with a consonant, and "Thine" is used before a word that starts with a vowel or the letter "h", or at the end of a sentence.
Point 1. above continued-second person pronouns: The original Hebrew Old Testament and the original Greek New Testament have singular words that distinguish between singular second person pronouns and plural second person pronouns. In other words, they distinguish between the singular words for "you"- singular and the singular words for "you" - plural. The modern English language has no such one word equivalences.
The King James correctly translates the singular words for the singular second person pronouns, or singular words for "you" singular as: "thee", "thou", "thy" and "thine". And the singular words for the plural second person pronouns, or the singular words for plural "you" as: "ye", "you", "your" and "yours". When reading the KJV a simple rule to remember is that if the pronoun begins with the letter "t" it is singular, referring to one person, if the pronoun begins with the letter "y" it is plural, that is, it is referring to a group or more than one person. This is important.
Look at Jeremiah 5:13-14 in the NKJV, NASB, NIV and the ESV: "and the prophets become wind, for the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them. Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'because you speak this word, Behold, I will make My words in your mouth as fire'". Here it sounds like because the prophets speak falsely God will make His word in their mouth as fire. This, of course, doesn't make sense, and is not what the original Hebrew says.
The KJV correctly translates this passage as v.14:...."Because ye (plural-the false prophets) speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy (singular-Jeremiah) mouth fire". This not only is the correct translation, but it makes sense.
Another example is John 3:7,11,12. The following is in the NKJV but the NIV and the NASB have the same incorrect usage of the word "you". See if you can tell which of the words "you" are singular and which are plural or whether they are all singular or all plural. "Do not marvel that I said to you , 'You must be born again'....most assuredly, I say unto you, we speak what we know and testify what we have seen and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?". Can you tell? The only way you can is to have first read it in the KJV.
Look at the correctly translated KJV in this same passage: "Marvel not that I said unto thee (singular-Nicodemus), Ye (plural-all people) must be born again....Verily, verily, I say unto thee (singular-Nicodemus), We speak that we do know and testify that we have seen; and ye (plural-the Pharisees) receive not our witness. If I have told you (plural-the Pharisees) earthly things, and ye (plural-the Pharisees) believe not, how shall ye (plural-the Pharisees) believe, if I tell you (plural-the Pharisees) of heavenly things?"
In the NKJV of the passage above it seems that it is possible Jesus was only referring to Nicodemus when he said "you must be born again" when the passage means all people must be born again. Notice, this is life or death. We take for granted the references to the word "you" in the NKJV because we're read it in the KJV for so long. But if we had not first translated it correctly in the KJV we would have a religion of false doctrines. And people going to hell. You cannot tell by the context in the NKJV in this passage which of the words "you" are plural and which are singular and who exactly is being referred to (and other passages of like situation).
Also, it's not Nicodemus that is not receiving or not believing Christ, he is coming to Christ in the passage. It's the Pharisees that Christ is referring to as not receiving and believing. There are many other examples.
To translate the second person pronouns in modern English you would have to use extra words not in the original texts and the choice of those words many times would be of personal interpretation and many times be awkward or worse yet a mis-translation and leading to a false doctrine or false belief as in the examples above.
The KJB is closer to the Greek text because it keeps the inflected verb endings that are seen in Greek. Inflection simply means a turning or bending. Hebrew and Greek are inflectional languages, much more so than modern English. Hebrew is more inflectional than Greek. Biblical English should also be as inflectional as possible if we are to have a literal translation and one that shows the most respect for Hebrew and Greek. Inflection makes a language more compact, with shorter sentences, and we see shorter sentences in the KJB.
|Inflected verb endings,||nominative case singular|
THE WORD "YOU" IN MODERN TRANSLATIONS IS MISTRANSLATED MOST OF THE TIME
The modern translations mistranslate the following for the word "You" most of the time: English word "Thee" Original Greek word "Se"which is second person singular personal pronoun mostly used in cases at the end of a sentence or clause. The English word "Thou" Original Greek word "Su" which is second person singular personal pronoun mostly used in cases in the beginning of sentences or clauses. The English word "Ye" Original Greek word "Humon" which is second person Plural pronoun.
As you can see, the are different Greek works for all 3 of these, but modern translations translate them always as "You", giving NO distinction of what they really mean.