Our son Jedd asked two “what’s that?” questions within seven seconds last Sunday. He wanted to know what a shoe horn was and what the shoe trees were. (Incidentally, two distinct objects go by the label “shoe tree.” I was dealing with this type.)
Have you ever thought about explaining words with obscure or double meanings to a toddler? I mean, he knows what a tree is, and what a horn is. What on earth could these odd objects have to do with trees and horns? I suddenly felt more inadequate than usual.
This little interaction highlights once again — for me, anyway — that in church, we need to avoid the KJV, especially when dealing with the uninitiated or lesser-experienced, and especially when the scene calls for understanding and meaning. While I can try to explain “shoe horn” to Jedd, there’s simply no time to explain “concupiscence” or “similitude” or “upbraideth” to a new, adult believer. Why stumble over, and grin about, “hath” this and “doth” that? Would you really know what the following passage from Romans 12 means if it weren’t for more modern versions? “Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” There are better things to do with our Christian time.
Once in a while, the majesty of KJV poetry is in order. But most of the time, please, use a more modern version of the scriptures.