Tag Archives: Cheryl J. Sanders

The King James Bible in African American Churches


Dr. Virgil Wood and his African American Jubilee Edition of the King James Bible

The following comes from the essay “The KJV’s Influence on African Americans and Their Churches,” by Cheryl J. Sanders, in Translation that Openeth the Window, ed. David Burke.

[On the KJV in American Churches generally, see here.]

Here is a scholarly African-American author who is also pastor of her Church of God assembly (a Pentecostal church) reflecting on when and why she chooses to use the KJV in worship services:

“When celebrating the Lord’s Supper or baptizing believers by immersion, we always tend to use the KJV language, even in paraphrase. We say, “This is my body, which is broken for you,” “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” and when we baptize, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Somehow, it seems that special dignity and grace are added to these symbolic rituals of the church when we use this language, especially for a church that does not have a book of discipline or a prescribed liturgy for these observances.” (144-145) Continue reading