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The New King James Version (NKJV)
In 1975, more than two-hundred years since the King James Version's last update, the boldest and most extensive revision in the history of modern Bible publishing began. With a 130-person team of Greek, Hebrew, and English scholars, editors, church leaders, and Christian laity Thomas Nelson Publishers sought to preserve the accuracy and poetry of the King James Version, but in a language that the everyday person could understand. In 1979 the NKJV New Testament was finished, releasing only the Book of Psalms in 1980. In 1982, the New King James Version was released in its entirety, seven years after its commission, making it the fifth major revision to the beloved King James Version.
The NKJV preserves the authority and accuracy, as well as the rhythm and beauty, of the original King James Version while making it understandable to current readers.
The NKJV preserves the traditional literary quality of the King James Version. As the latest revision of the time-honored 1611 Bible, it deliberately seeks to maintain the sound, language, and rhythm that lovers of the Bible have come to expect, while modernizing when necessary to prevent misunderstanding.
The NKJV translates from the traditional texts of the Hebrew and Aramaic Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, and it has footnotes wherever variations are found in critical texts that would affect the wording of the English translation. The translation method is "complete equivalence," which is sometimes known as formal equivalence. It gives the meaning clearly in natural English while maintaining as much of the wording and grammar of the original languages as possible.
The NKJV is written in today's language for today's reader. All of the accuracy and beauty in the world wouldn't mean much if it couldn't be understood. To achieve maximum clarity, the NKJV uses modern English that is dignified but natural.
The NKJV Lucado Encouraging Word Bible is designed to encourage believers along their journey with the Lord. Max Lucado's warm, conversational style ensures that the marginal notes, short articles, and various study tools meet you where you are, providing encouragement and insight. This Bible will strengthen you as you follow the included reading plan and incorporate this Bible into your daily devotional life. The 30-day study guide will help you jumpstart this practice. This Bible will help you as a believer, and with Pastor Lucado's gentle yet powerful notes, it's a beautiful gift for your non-believing friends and family who could use some encouragement with Scripture.
- Fully redesigned and expanded Bible from Max Lucado (based on the Life Lessons Bible)
- 98 new "People of the Word" articles encourage believers through the lessons learned by people throughout the Bible
- 691 "For Your Journey" marginal notes mix masterful storytelling with biblical context to lead you into a deeper walk with the Lord
- 115 "Jesus Through the Bible," and "Growing in Christ" articles provide both inspiration and practical lessons to build you up
- 30-day personal or group Bible study enriches your knowledge of the Bible
- "God Cares for You" and "Growing Up Spiritually" verses are subject-specific and provide another resource in your study of the Bible
- "Where to turn when . . . " Scripture reference list means you can always find a biblical answer to the challenges you face
- Dotted margin space for journaling or taking notes
- Bible book introductions contain a brief outline of the book and an introduction written by Max Lucado
- Bible reading plan
- Full-color maps
- Clear and readable NKJV Comfort Print(R) 9-point type size
NKJV in Comparison to Other Translations
"People often ask me why I use the New King James translation of the Bible. First and foremost, it's because I like an exact equivalency translation—one that is meticulous with the text of the original languages. This is not to say that other translations or paraphrases of the Bible don't present the truth; they do. It is to say that in my study, when I want to grow in the Word of God and know I'm reading it exactly the way it came out of the Bible, the New King James Version is the translation I choose."
Dr. Jack W. Hayford (Founder and President, The King's University)
"The idea of revising or updating the beloved King James Bible isn't a shocking, new idea at all. The current edition is the fifth revision of 1769. In the New King James Version, the 1611 Bible has been systematically-and prayerfully-analyzed and revised word-by-word under stringent guidelines to ensure that the original meaning of God's Word is preserved in understandable language."
Dr. James D. Price (Temple Baptist Theological Seminary, Chattanooga, Tennessee)
"I'm fond of the New King James Version and decided to use this translation for the START! Bible because it's easy for new believers to understand. I've been preaching from the NKJV for years. It holds to the poetic and accurate qualities of the King James Version, but yet it uses modern words that give a clear understanding of God's Word."
Greg Laurie (Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship)
"When writing articles and insights offering guidance for couples to accompany the Bible, it was our hope to maintain the poetry and beauty found in the King James Version Bible and a clarity understood in today's language. The New King James Version allowed just that. This accurate and faithful translation can inspire couples to let God become a stirring presence in their marriage and allow them to experience a richness that only He can bring."
Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the goal of the New King James Version?The goal of the New King James Version is to preserve and improve the King James Version, restoring its originally intended meaning.
- Who were the translators and scholars for the New King James Project?A 130-person team, including Greek, Hebrew, and English scholars, editors, church leaders, and Christian laity, was commissioned to work on the project. Each pledged commitment to the basic aims of the project, signing a statement of faith declaring a belief that the Scriptures in their entirety are the inspired Word of God, free from error in their original autographs. The process was very similar to the one which produced the beloved 1611 King James Version, but today's technology allowed for higher levels of accuracy and easier communication among the scholars.
- Is the New King James geared to a particular denominational interest?No. One goal was to produce, once again, a King James Version worthy of universal trust and acceptance as the text for all English-speaking Christians. The international team who worked on this version was made up of conservative scholars, editors, and laity representing a broad cross-section of Bible-oriented Christianity.
- How does the New King James Bible version compare with other modern translations?Based on the more recently discovered texts, some modern translations omit some of the phrases and verses found in the original King James Version. The scholars of the New King James Version retained every verse of the original King James. Significant textual variations are footnoted, showing the source of every variant reading.
- Were any scholarly checks built into the translation process to guard against possible error?Yes. Scholars were assigned specific Old and New Testament books based on their areas of expertise. They submitted their work to the Executive Editors for the Old and New Testaments, who next gave it to the English Editor to be checked for grammatical accuracy, literary beauty, and effective communication of content. Throughout the entire editing process, the work was regularly reviewed by the clergy and lay advisers on the British Oversight Committee and the North American Overview Committee. The final exhaustive process was carried out by a separate Executive Review Committee for each Testament.
- How long did the revision take? How much did a project of this magnitude cost?Altogether it took seven years to produce the complete New King James Version. (Coincidentally, the original 1611 translation also took seven years to complete.) The New King James Version represents an investment of over $4.5 million. All of those costs have been paid by Thomas Nelson Publishers.