NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Citing a desire to preach the Word faithfully, local pastor Willy Caldwell spent most of last week in his home office and local library, engaging in intensive word studies of a passage from the Gospel of John in its original English.
According to sources close to the preacher and lay Bible scholar, Caldwell stayed up late throughout the week, trying to translate John 3:16 into modern English from the original King James English in which the Apostle John wrote the Gospel.
“If you’re not going back to the original languages used by the apostles—namely, Early Modern English—then you’re really studying the Bible secondhand,” Caldwell said, motioning toward the complete hard-copy Oxford English Dictionary stacked on his desk next to several King James Bibles. “I love digging into the riches of God’s Word as originally intended by the inspired authors, circa 1611.”
“See this word, ‘believeth’ here that John used? It is perhaps best translated into our modern tongue as ‘believes,’” Caldwell added, pointing to numerous pages of notes he’d used to come to the conclusion. “You can’t get this kind of depth and richness working in non-original languages like Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic—you’ve got to drill down to the original tongue if you really want to unpack what Jesus was saying in his native English.”