Is the AV1611 written at a 4th grade Level?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

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    On another thread it was stated that the AV1611 (and whatever revision you use and call the KJV) is "written at a 4th grade level".

    Is this true? I've heard 20 different stories about the "reading level" of MV v AV et al.

    Any know the FACTS, not just sermon illustrations you've heard? Tanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Lace

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    I have no sermon illustrations [​IMG] but I do have a granddaughter in the the third grade who reads the King James Bible very well.

    Does that count for facts?

    signed:
    pleasantly pleased grandmother
     
  3. Terry_Herrington

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    Take the KJV to the average 4th grader in your nearest public school and you will see that it is NOT written on anything near an elementary school level.
     
  4. mesly

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    I have children that are in the 4th grade age bracket. They do memorize verses from the KJV very well. In fact, they put me to shame in their memorization and I applaud them for it. The real problem comes when I ask them what the verse(s) mean that they just memorized. They have no idea!

    I am very skeptical of these grade level ratings. What do they really mean? Its one thing to be able to read the words and another to be able to understand what is being read. So, is it being able to read the words or is it comprehension (or both)?
     
  5. Alcott

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    It is not surprising that this "KJV = 4th grade reading level" is cited only by those who push the KJV. I am not assuming it was Ruckman or Riplinger or their sort that came up with this, but where was any such study or comparison done, and under what circumstances? (Were the only kids examined in this way ones who were fed the KJV from the cradle, for instance?).

    I doubt if there is a truly unbiased way of determing and comparing the reading levels of different scripture translations. But if any such study on 4th grade kids was actually done, I think there is little question that it was the type of 'study' which had a conclusion first and then sought the right subjects to reach such a conclusion.
     
  6. Lace

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    Terry "Take the KJV to the average 4th grader in your nearest public school and you will see that it is NOT written on anything near an elementary school level."

    Take the Bible to any public school and see how quickly you are asked to leave or removed by force!

    mesly "I am very skeptical of these grade level ratings. What do they really mean? Its one thing to be able to read the words and another to be able to understand what is being read. So, is it being able to read the words or is it comprehension (or both)?"

    Luke 24:45 Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." God opens understanding......versions do not. There is a vast difference between comprehension and understanding.

    Granted. My granddaughter reads above grade level....and is a very bright child. I am certain she does not understand everything she reads in God's Word......nor do any of us. But we are to "Train up a child in the way he should go..."
     
  7. Terry_Herrington

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    Lace,
    You do not know what you are talking about. I take a bible to the public elementary school every time I go. When is the last time you were inside a public school?

    Take the average public school student and have them read a verse out of the KJV and then the NIV and see which one they can understand the best.
     
  8. mesly

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    Lace, with all due respect, we are not talking about spiritual undertanding here, we are talking about the understanding of language. I could sit down and read german or french and even memorize it, but without an understanding of language itself, it will profit me nothing. I believe that is what we are doing with our children by having them memorize old english.

    I am glad to hear that your granddaughter is memorizing scripture - that is a good thing! I would be interested if she could explain every verse to you that she has memorized from the KJV. And I'll qualify that by not necessarily explaining the theology behind it, just be able to explain it from a sentence/word breakdown.
     
  9. AV Defender

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    And neither do you;my 5th grader reads it with NO problem whatsoever.Look up James 1:5 and Proverbs 22:6..Or does God not know what He's talking about either?
    I diagree.Consider John 14:26,and 16:13; 1st Cor 2:9-10.

    [ April 27, 2003, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: JYD ]
     
  10. Lace

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    Hmmmmmmmmmm

    Me thinks me smell some of those intolerant people who call people intolerant...... [​IMG]

    I love it!

    I am well aware we are talking understanding of language. I'm not asleep [​IMG] but you cannot discount spiritual understanding when discussing the Word of God......even IF you don't understand the meaning of thee and thou ;)

    surprise....surprise.

    When God starts opening up the spiritual understanding He also allows us a clear understand of the language.

    If you hear and read Spanish long enough....you begin to comprehend those "strange" words. Granted it may come by instruction and explanation. No one is denying that. We are instructed to "instruct" our children.

    As for understanding what the NIV says more easily....BEWARE...."Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which God had made." Look what the serpent's very first recorded move was........miscontruing the Word of God! "Ye shall not surely die......" But die Eve did. The serpent had a more "feel good" message than God did. "Naturally" Eve took the feel good way.......We are no longer "natural beings" when we've got Jesus in our lives. [​IMG]

    And that sneaky old serpent is thriving and up to the same old tricks.....miscontruing the Word of God.

    The NIV actually calls Mary's husband Joseph, Jesus'father. I am of the belief Jesus' Father is God. It is a small play on words to dispute the deity of Jesus Christ.

    I realize I just chased a rabbit.....but oh well. One of you folks set that little thumper loose in front of me........and I can't resist a good rabbit [​IMG]

    And to the teacher in Houston....feel fortunate you can still take your Bible to school and read from it in class....or have a child read from it in class without some "do-good for the sake of all mankind bleeding heart liberal" hauling you off to court. It's happening all over America. In my state a child cannot even celebrate the birth or resurrection of Jesus Christ in the public schools............lest someone be offended.

    It may be time to wake up and smell the roses....
     
  11. Terry_Herrington

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    JYD,
    Great? I'm glad that your 5th grader can and does read the KJV or any other bible. The problem is that we work with inner-city children who have not been exposed to any gospel at all. We usually use the Living Bible because it is at least a starting point so they can understand the gospel.
     
  12. mesly

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    So, according to JYD and Lace, the conclusion that we have to come to is that the english of the KJV is "spiritual language" and that we cannot possibly hope to understand it unless God grants us understanding (i.e. opening our "spiritual eyes"). :confused:

    Ok, back to the original question, does this "spiritual language" ring in at a fourth grade reading level?
     
  13. russell55

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    Here is a page that gives reading levels of various English versions of the Bible: Comparison of versions .

    If you disagree with what the page says....I'm just the messenger. Please don't shoot me! :D
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    Interesting site and info, Russell. I still have the question that has been asked before - where do they get these numbers? Is there any reliable study that has been done to which we can be referred? I am also just curious about "grade level" reading. Is there is a national standard? Is it set by individual states (for their schools in their states)? From where does that come? Who tells us what a child should be reading at any particular grade level?
     
  15. ColoradoFB

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    It is NOT illegal to carry a bible into a public school. It IS illegal for a representative of the government (e.g. a teacher) to proselytize the children in his or her tutlage in a public school. This is only fair...if the Bible can be taught, so could an Islamic teacher teach the Koran, a Satanist teach from the writings of Anton LeVay, etc. This protection leaves religious teaching where it belongs...in the hands of the parents of the children.
     
  16. russell55

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    Well, the word "grade level" doesn't really mean what a child SHOULD be reading, but tells us what the average child in that particular grade is reading with adequate comprehension. There are lots of different methods to determine it, and lots of disagreements among reading experts on what is the best way to determine it.

    I used to know a whole lot more about this, but I haven't worked with it for a long time. But I would guess that when it says the KJV is at a 12th grade level, what that means is that if a representative group (randomly selected) of 12th graders were given several different representative passages from the KJV to read, and then asked questions about what each passage meant, the average score of that representative sample would be 80% comprehension. The 11th graders would score something less than 80% on average. Or something like that.....

    Of course, there are shortcut methods that are are often used determine grade level, like counting the average word size, or looking at average complexity of sentences, but as you can imagine, these are not necessarily always accurate.
     
  17. Terry_Herrington

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    Russell55,
    That sounds about right. I would put the KJV at a 11th or 12th grade level. The NIV is probably at a 8th or 9th grade level, IMO.
     
  18. rsr

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    On reading levels, I ran across this:

    HOW READING LEVELS ARE DETERMINED

    Sorry I couldn't find anything more specific.

    Dr. Bob, I think the "fourth grade level" you referred is based on the Flesch index, which determines readability by a mathematical formula: Count the number of words, syllables and sentences and plug the numbers into the formula.

    As a writer, whose work is on the following link, said:

    FLESCH READABILITY INDEX
    READING LEVELS
     
  19. Wisdom Seeker

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    Dr. Bob, That the KJV was written at a 4th grade reading level at the time it was written was conveyed to me (and the entire congregation) by my Pastor, Dr. Paul Chappell, and it is a view that is shared by the pastorate at Lancaster Baptist Church, and at West Coast Baptist College. ( A ministry of L.B.C.)

    I admit that I am taking my Pastor and the others who ascribe to this information on faith, and did not read it in a book or learn it on my own volition. And granted reading levels of today may be entirely different than they were at the time it was written. But nevertheless, that is what is a common understanding that at the time the KJV was written, it was written in a 4th grade reading level.

    edditted to add: Having linked to the first link provided, I can now understand why when I was saved at the age of 12, the Living Bible was what I preferred reading. The link says that it is written at an 8th grade level. Cool.

    [ April 28, 2003, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: Wisdom Seeker ]
     
  20. Wisdom Seeker

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    Amen, I have grade school children, and one of my children's teachers is a member of my church. I can confirm that your statements are true and accurate.
     

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