KJV vs NKJV: Difference and Comparison

KJV and NKJV are the most popular translations of the Bible. Both of them have unique characteristics which make them different from each other.


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Key Takeaways

  1. The King James Version (KJV) uses archaic language, whereas the New King James Version (NKJV) employs modern English, enhancing readability for contemporary audiences.
  2. The NKJV adheres to the Textus Receptus manuscript for the New Testament, just like the KJV, but also incorporates the latest biblical scholarship and research.
  3. The NKJV updates some verses to reflect more accurate translations and clarifications based on various sources, ensuring a closer alignment with the original text.


The King James Version (KJV) was first published in 1611 and is one of the most popular and widely used translations of the Bible. It was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts into English. The New King James Version (NKJV) was first published in 1982 as a modern update to the KJV. It uses the same formal equivalent translation approach as the KJV but incorporates modern language and grammar.


KJV stands for King James Version. This is also one type of English translation of the Bible. This was done for the Church of England.

NKJV stands for New King James Version. This is also one type of English translation of the bible. This bible was published in 1982.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKJVNKJV
KJV readersYesNo
Modern wordsNoYes
Alexandrian TextNoYes
AimGeneral populaceGeneral population
Formcomfort, familiarityReminiscent of KJV

What is KJV?

KJV is an English translation of the Bible. This whole translation was commissioned in 1604. This was done under James VI and me.

This book was first printed by Robert Barker and John Norton. This was the third translation of the Bible approved by English Church Authorities.

The translation can be hard to read by the general population. The first translation was termed The Holy Bible. The first was published under the council.

The authorized version was considered the official version of the Church of England. Book of common prayer supplanted the Great Bible in the Epistle and Gospel readings.

king james bible

What is NKJV?

Arthur Farstad conceived the project of NKJV. NKJV guidelines were prepared by the group of people who were later invited during the inauguration ceremony.

The inauguration ceremony was done in the presence of 130 biblical scholars, pastors, and theologies. The translation was done to make the vocabulary and grammar easier.

New Testament was first published in 1979, and then in 1980, Psalms were published. The translation is derived from the KJV version only.

NKJV bible became the best-selling Bible in the USA. An organization named Gideons International places Bibles in hotels and hospitals and offers KJV and NKJV.

king james

Main Differences Between KJV and NKJV

  1. KJV is for the general populace, but NKJV aims at the general population.
  2. KJV has comfort and familiarity, but NKJV is reminiscent of KJV.
Difference Between KJV and NKJV
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jdM7CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT12&dq=kjv+bible&ots=fw9wQyhxDQ&sig=I0PB4A2DW87WLqUhYcYLJsSIcQU
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ObKAXxGdmMkC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=nkjv+bible&ots=cgBVmRXpyg&sig=CwoXqyyGCQq2SdLVl0m-cJmaMF4

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