Not Elizabethan English. If we read the preface to the King James Bible, we discover that the language used is not Elizabethan, but the language of the Holy Spirit. The words used by the translators in the preface are different in many cases than the ones used in the text.
Having said that let us look at the primary problem. If I couldn't understand the Bible, I would deeply ponder my spiritual standing with the author.
Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit penned these words: "But the natural men receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned". (1Corinthians 2:14).
Therefore one of the reasons we cannot understand the word is because we are carnally, rather than spiritually, minded. The solution to this is to get on our knees and confess our sins to God. This will restore our spiritual relationship to our heavenly Father.
Then, if we approach the King James Bible with a humble heart and inquiring mind, God will open up his truths to us.
Notwithstanding the above, God did not mandate us to understand all that is written, but simply to believe it.
If we could understand every word in it, it would prove that the Holy Spirit is no smarter than us therefore, God will keep certain portions obscure as long as we dwell on earth, but will reveal all that he wants us to know. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. "(1Corinthians 13:12).
So much of the King James Bible is simple enough for a fourth grader to understand on its own, more can be understood simply by consulting an English dictionary, but most of all, what we need to know can be understood by faith.
It is true that the tendency of the world is to dumb down the population, and it is also true that the meanings of words have been changed (usually in accordance with the first law of thermodynamics).
Given that however, we cannot expect God to lower his standards, or change his words because the world does so.
It is at this stage now when we must look at the importance of the words of the Bible.
When he was on earth the Lord Jesus Christ made a number of references to his words.
In John 14:23 we read:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my
and my father will love him, and we will come unto him to make our
with him." (Underlining added). These words, as given in the King
( and only in the King James Bible), are found in around 98% of all the authorities ( over 5000). Nonetheless modern bible critics think that they have the right, and the scholarship to change those they don't like or understand. Was it not Satan who first asked, "yea hath God said"(Genesis 3:1)?
There are many Christians today who are using these "new versions" in ignorance, but there are also many who know these truths but are continuing to dupe their readers. Remember ignorance of the law is no excuse, and we will all have to answer to the Lord Jesus Christ about our treatment of His word. We cannot afford to believe what any man tells us. "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written .That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”(Romans 3:4).
My friend I urge you to examine your heart motives in this matter and that the Holy Spirit will guide your perception of his book.
With deep Christian love, Peter Graham.
(By the late PJ Graham.)