King James Bible and "thee, thou, thy, thine" – JAM

When the KJV was published in 1611, one of the interesting features was the inclusion of the “thee, thou, ye” pronouns, though these had generally been replaced by “you” by that time. So why did the KJV translators use pronouns than had fallen into disuse? It had nothing to do with respect or reverence. This can clearly be seen in that these pronouns are used not only of God but of people and even of Satan! The fact is that the switch to “you” in the 1500’s was an influence from the French “vous”. Following French practice the singular (thou, thee, thy) were family terms when addressing an inferior (parent to child or slave). The plural was used more generally. By 1611 what little use of the singular (“thee, thou, thy”) still existed, was used to show superiority to the one addressed. So why then,  did it find its way into the KJV? That, too, is interesting. The translators were given strict rules to follow and the first rule said: “The ordinary Bible read in the Church (of England), commonly called the Bishop’s Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit.” Richard Bancroft , an avowed enemy of Puritans and the Geneva Bible that had motored their growth, became archbishop, the most powerful position under the King. It was Bancroft who chose the translators (of the nearly 50, only 2 were Puritan) and who set the 15 rules. This first rule was intended to minimize in influence of the Geneva Bible. Thus, the translators were to follow, as closely as possible, the Bishop’s Bible (Anglican) of 1568. The Bishop’s Bible used the “thee, thou, they” pronouns throughout, as was in common use. But by 1611 they had fallen from use, yet because of rule 1, the translators were compelled to use them in the KJV. The Anglican archbishop Bancroft left his mark on the KJV in other ways as well.