The time when it feels like I spend most of Gospel Doctrine translating the scriptures into modern English instead of actually teaching them. I’ve posted about the problems the KJV poses before, but . . . that’s not going to stop me from doing it again.
Here’s a verse from this week’s assignment–Jeremiah 2:24–first in the KJV:
A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.
. . . and the same verse from the NETBible:
You are like a wild female donkey brought up in the wilderness. In her lust she sniffs the wind to get the scent of a male. No one can hold her back when she is in heat. None of the males need wear themselves out chasing after her. At mating time she is easy to find.
A prophet has given us an extremely vivid–not to mention blush-inducing!–image of Israel’s behavior. It is truly a fabulous verse to discuss; I plan on asking my class what the image of the donkey in heat teaches us about those who backslide or are apostate. I’m guessing that this unusual and compelling image will lead to a most interesting discussing!
But it isn’t a discussion that you can have after reading (just) the KJV, because I’d bet fewer than 1 in 100 adults (even in my reasonably well-educated ward) will be able to derive the gist of the verse from the KJV.
An easy way to see a variety of translations is to use the NetBible and then click on the verse number; that will take you to a page with a handful of various translations as well as other helpful resources.
I noticed (thanks to the diligent work of Kent Larson) that the NIV was quoted again in General Conference this Fall. I’d like to encourage all of y’all to study a modern English version alongside the KJV as your Gospel Doctrine class continues its slouch toward the New Testament; you’ll be surprised at what you find.
 Verse 33 is even more fun. The KJV:
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.
And the Netbible:
My, how good you have become at chasing after your lovers! Why, you could even teach prostitutes a thing or two!