Here is a wonderful, humorous, intensely British lambasting of modern Bible translations. I cannot possibly reproduce it, but if you love the English language, read it. You will be tempted, like me, to read it aloud to someone else. Here are a few samples, just so you'll want to go and read it:
We enjoyed a parish visit recently to St George’s Chapel, Windsor: the Queen’s Chapel. In there was a big sign saying, “Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible”. I must say, it was a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance. For at Choral Evensong, the lessons were both from some illiterate, godforsaken modern version. I knew we were in for trouble from the start when, in the Old Testament lesson, King Solomon addressed the Almighty as, “You God…” – as if the deity were some miscreant fourth-former in the back row. Of course it went from bad to worse.
The real Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The NEB gives us instead, “The first step to find wisdom.” But that is only the way in which babyish primary school teachers speak to their charges. The first step to find wisdom – and then, if you are ever so good little children, I’ll show you the second step.
The King James Version says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord …” In the New Jerusalem Bible this degenerates into tasteless obscurantism: “If you live in the shelter of Elyon and make your home in the shadow of Shaddai, you can say to Yahweh …” The Revised Standard Version (RSV) loves to parade the translators’ acquaintance with the slightest nuances in the ancient languages but their utter ignorance of what will go into ordinary English. It renders the “giants” of Genesis as “nephilim” – to the confusion, one supposes, of elderly ladies everywhere.
The KJV translates Psalm 139: 16--a beautiful poem in which the Psalmist declares that God knew him "while he was yet in his mother's womb--as thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect." This is allusive, evocative, tender. Unbelievably, the NJB gives us instead, "Your eyes could see my embryo"--as if God were a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Okay, okay, I'll stop. Just go read it.