Is this following another gospel? Is it King James Onlyism?
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, as worded in the AV1611, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all those who believe the KJV.” Romans 1:17
“…on the day when God will judge all people by my gospel (only as worded in the KJV)”
“…if you confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, and believe in your heart that the KJV is the only Word of God, you shall be saved…”
My Responses to KJV-only People, or people typical of King James Onlyism
I do not want anybody to think that I do not like the King James Version. I like it, and love to read it. It is the word of God, and many other good translations are also the word of God. And I can easily understand why someone would want to use the King James Bible exclusively, and no one has a problem with that. That is not the same thing as King James Onlyism.
But the thing that constrains me to respond, is the very harsh and vehement attacks made against fellow believers who believe differently on how we got the Bible, and what is the inspired word of God, etc. I grant that King James Only people have a zeal to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” But my wish for them, in the name of Jesus, is that their zeal be a “zeal according to knowledge.” I hope that this page will be effective toward more unity among us. Wouldn’t it be great if we stopped attacking each other, and attacked our mutual spiritual enemy instead?
“Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.”
King James Onlyism
First, here is a King James Only position that I respect. (This also is not quite King James Onlyism.) It is a statement on a web page of a Christian book seller.
The great 19th century preacher, C. H. Spurgeon, said: “If the Book be not infallible, where shall we find infallibility? We have given up the Pope, for he has blundered often and terribly; but we shall not set up instead of him a horde of popelings fresh from college. Are these correctors of Scriptures infallible? Is it certain that our Bibles are not right, but that the critics must be so? Now, Farmer Smith, when you have read your Bible, and have enjoyed its precious promises, you will have tomorrow morning, to go down the street to ask the scholarly man at the parsonage whether this portion of the Scripture belongs to the inspired part of the Word or whether it is of dubious authority….We shall gradually be so bedoubted and be criticized that only a few of the most profound will know what is Bible and what is not, and they will dictate to the rest of us. I have no more faith in their mercy than in their accuracy… and we are fully assured that our old English version of the Scriptures is sufficient for plain men for all purposes of life, salvation, and goodness.” [emphasis mine]
We believe that God has preserved His word perfectly down through the ages (Psalm 12:6-7) so that Christians today can have access to the same word of God that the first century church had. God is no respecter of persons, and He would not leave His people in a situation where they could not completely obey His word because “we don’t have the ‘original’ manuscripts.” How can a Christian obey God’s word if he’s not sure if the Bible he has can be trusted 100%? If there is no perfect, infallible word of God available today, then God has asked His children to do the impossible. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus said to the Devil, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” If there is no perfect Bible available today, then God is asking Christians to do something that they cannot do–obey EVERY WORD. (See also Luke 4:4 and Deut. 8:3.) >>
I respect what Spurgeon said, or at least, what he is reported to have said. The first paragraph I would not call King James Onlyism. But the second paragraph, by the web site author, is wishful thinking, and factually wrong, and I would consider to be King James Onlyism. The main point seems to be that if there are several versions with different wording, then it is impossible for us to obey EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God. But, this ignores the fact that the same situation existed in the time of Christ and the apostles. The believers then, had at least four versions of the Old Testament that I know of: The Hebrew, The Greek Septuagint, and the two Aramaic Targums. It seems that many Christians today still don’t realize that the majority of Jews of Jesus’ day, worldwide, could not understand Hebrew very well, and spoke Aramaic or Greek. Yet they need only look at evidence within the gospels themselves. For example, when Jesus said on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” he said that in Hebrew or Aramaic. Yet, the Jewish bystanders did not even recognize the word for God in Hebrew/Aramaic, let alone the whole sentence. Which they would have recognized if they were not Greek speakers, since Jesus was saying something out of Psalm 22. But instead, the bystanders said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” (If the bystanders were not Jewish, they would not know about or care about Elijah. They were probably Jewish pilgrims that arrived from Greek-speaking countries, for the days of Unleavened Bread.)
Secondly, the verse quoted, saying “every word” does not strictly mean every “word.” The Greek word is ῥήμα – hreema: “upon every ῥήμα – hreema that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Look at Deuteronomy 8:3 in the KJV, and you see that “word” is in italics.) In Hebraistic Greek, ῥήμα was used not only for words or statements, but when combined with the Greek word πᾶν – “pan” as in this verse, it can mean “every matter” or “every thing.” Look at how some translations rendered Deuteronomy 8:3 as “everything that comes from the mouth of God.” (ASV, JPS, Spanish Reina Valera, YLT, Darby, NASB) And the KJV in Deuteronomy 8:3 has the word “word” in italics, showing you that there is not a Hebrew word for “word” there. The Hebrew does not exactly say “every word” as the above person is understanding it; it just says something like “what proceeds from the mouth of God.” So the point is, that scripture does not mean, “every exact syllable or every exact word” necessarily. It certainly means, “every statement” and “every teaching.” And the fact that believers during Jesus’ day accepted the statements of God worded so many different ways in their 4 versions of the Bible shows that they did not view Deuteronomy 8:3 the way the above person did.
By the way, here is what John R. Rice says on the issue: “The doctrine of infallibility in the King James is not a Bible doctrine; it is a manmade scheme by some partly ignorant and some partly influenced by bad motives.” John R. Rice – The Sword of the Lord March 30, 1979 issue.
Fact: The Septuagint was significantly different from the Hebrew, yet the true believers among God’s people considered BOTH of them to be the very oracles of God. By the above King James Only reasoning, then, only one of them could have been the “perfect” word of God. But that was not the belief of Christ and the apostles. Thus, King James Onlyism is a new doctrine, and a man-made doctrine, and a false doctrine.
Fact: The New Testament writers quoted the Septuagint quite often. They considered it the Bible, the Word of God. Peter Ruckman and other extreme King James Onlyists spread the myth that the Septuagint did not exist until well after the time of Christ. That is simply false. The Jewish historian Josephus says that there was such a Greek translation of the five Books of Moses, at least that much, in the time of Christ. Other books of the Bible were added later by various parties, but a good argument can be made that the Septuagint was done at least as early as some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, because they often agree with the Septuagint against the Masoretic Text.
There are passages in the KJV that agree with the Septuagint and not with the Hebrew text. For example, 1 Samuel 5:9, the KJV says the emerods were in their “secret parts” but that is not in the Hebrew, but it is in the Septuagint.
For the Jewish historian Josephus’ detailed description of events surrounding the original authorship of the Septuagint, see Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XII, ii, 1-4.
The fact is that the Septuagint was the one of the main Bible for believers worldwide then, both Jews and Christians. Relatively few people could read the Hebrew scriptures. I believe the Septuagint existing in the time of the apostles contained at least the Pentateuch and the Psalms, because of how quotations of those 6 books in the New Testament line up so well with the Septuagint. See this link which compares NT quotations with the various Old Testament versions of Jesus’ times.This kind of KJV only writer also ignores clear translation mistakes in the KJV, mistakes translating even from the Greek texts which KJV onlyists accept. I need to post a list of such mistakes here, and I intend to do that in the near future.As for Charles H. Spurgeon, check out this link for other things he said on Bible versions and inspiration.
Here is a good article listing proofs that the Septuagint, the whole Old Testament, existed in the time of Christ.
Guestbook Entry from someone who believes as what I would call King James Onlyism
angelyn stevens visited from Genoa OH US
excuse me sir, you may want to be careful about what you take away from the one and only true inspired word of God, KJV 1611. i truely do not want your name taken out of the book of life. love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Messiah, angelyn
Thank-you. I appreciate that. I will be careful not to take away from the inspired word of God.
Following is what the scriptures do say in Revelation 22:19.
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the tree of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Following is what the scripture does not say in Revelation 22:19.
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the KJV translation, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
First of all, John did not write “take away his part out of the “BOOK” of life, but out of the “TREE” of life. The KJV says “book,” even though there is not one single Greek manuscript that reads that. H.C. Hoskier says that the reading “book” is found only in manuscripts 57 and 141 (296 & 2049), but he also states that those manuscripts are merely later copies of Erasmus’ Textus Receptus themselves! (See the footnote on this verse in my translation of Revelation.) You cannot prove the TR reading is found in Greek Manuscripts by showing that it is found in the TR, later copies of itself. Those two manuscripts are 16th century manuscripts that Erasmus did not even have access to.
The “words of the book of this prophecy” that the apostle John was referring to, were in Greek, were written about the year 95 A.D., and the actual writings have disintegrated, because the earthly material they were written on did not last this long. God did not inspire John to write the King James Version. God inspired John to write the original Apocalypse of John, in Greek, in about 95 A.D.
As for Mark 10:21, if that is what you were referring to, the scribe who added the words “take up the cross” to the gospel of Mark, must have been more familiar with the gospel of Matthew, because he added words to Mark that were in Matthew 19:21. God did not inspire Mark to write the King James Version. What God inspired was the original writings of Mark. The question is, what words were added to the original, by the the copyists down through the centuries.
People who teach that Revelation 22:19 says that anyone who takes away from the words of the KJV will have their names taken away from the Book of Life, could it be that they themselves are the ones who are adding to the Bible? Because that is not what the Bible says. So they are adding to the Bible a teaching that it does not teach.
As for the scribes who added words to the gospel of Mark that were not originally there, will they fall under the curse of Revelation 19:21? I don’t think so. They did not add anything to Jesus’ mouth that he did not really say. We know Jesus did say those words, from Matthew’s account. Still, they should not have added the words to Mark, if Mark did not write them. But it was probably an innocent mistake.
Following is what the scripture says in Revelation 22:18: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:”
The Textus Receptus, which was translated into the KJV, contains many readings that are very suspect as not being original. Witness the following:1.) Revelation 21:24. The Greek manuscripts say, “And the nations walk around by its light,” but the KJV says “And the nations OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED shall walk in the light of it.” (H. C. Hoskier says in vol. 1, at the top of p. 748: “As regards xxi. 24 it is well-known that Erasmus took the commentary reading for his text, and left the real text in the commentary. It is not surprising, as the two sentences are conjoined. Our present MS. , however, adopts both clauses as text….There can be no doubt as to this, for his text proper is all in red ink.”)
2.) Acts 9:5 “It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”
Regarding Revelation 21:24, and the words “of them which are saved, H. C. Hoskier says in vol. 2, p.74 : “As regards xxi. 24 it is well known that Erasmus took the commentary reading for his text, and left the real text in the commentary. It is not surprising, as the two sentences are conjoined. Our present MS. , however, adopts both clauses as text.”
KJV Only people protest that people like me, out of one side of my mouth profess that the KJV is the Word of God, and out of the other side say that “not every word in the KJV is the word of God.” Well that is true that I say both things, except that I say both of them out of the unabashed center of my mouth. The words “out of the book of life” in the KJV of Rev. 22:19 are not the word of God, yet I can accept that the KJV is the word of God. You see, I accept that no translation of the word of God is perfect. The KJV certainly is not perfect, as I have shown here. KJV onlyists need to accept that. It is a false doctrine that the KJV translation is perfect, or that it is the only English translation approved by God. Or that the Textus Receptus is infallible.
Indeed, when making a translation of the New Testament that is faithful to the Greek manuscripts, we often must take out words that the Textus Receptus has added to the Word of God. The TR and the KJV are chock full of examples of this. Take one verse in Revelation: 2:24. The Textus Receptus adds TWO instances of the Greek word KAI, “and,” which are not in the Greek manuscripts. Thus the KJV erroneously reads the extra “and”s.
KJV: But unto you I say, AND unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, AND which have not known the depths of Satan…
Correct: And to the rest of you in Thyatira I say, as many as do not hold to these teachings– the ones who have not known ‘the deep things of Satan,’
One might say that this difference is minor, but KJV onlyists are not allowed to say it is minor, because they are ones who say that not one jot or one tittle must be off. And, “things that are different are not the same,” etc. They can’t have it both ways, and claim their version has no errors when in truth it is full of errors.
Psalm 12:6,7 says God will preserve his words forever. That means they can’t keep changing. My AV1611 is the final authority.
First of all, even if that passage is talking about God’s words, there is nothing in it which speaks of the KJV over any other translation. And if it means the KJV, what did it mean then before 1611, before the KJV first came out? Obviously, this is not referring to the KJV Bible over any other Bible. To say it does, is to be a false teacher.
Secondly, and the main point is, that this verse is not referring to the words of God, but to the people of God. Psalm 12:7 “You will keep them, O Jehovah, You will preserve them from this generation for ever.”
The original KJV of 1611 says in a marginal explanatory note that this pronoun, “preserve THEM” is singular in the Hebrew and that it means “him,” “preserve HIM.” That is, the godly man mentioned in the opening of the Psalm. This “them” therefore is referring to the godly, the poor, and the needy. The Septuagint says “us” here. This verse is clearly not referring to “the words of God,” but to the godly person. It is the godly person that David is saying God will preserve. The first verse of the Psalm sets the subject: “Help, O Jehovah; for the godly man ceases; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.”
This is one of the main proof texts for KJV Onlyism, and they don’t even know what it is saying or means. They deny what the AV1611 itself says it means. This is a prime example of the ignorance, and carnal pride of KJV Onlyists, that they will not be corrected even by the translators of the AV1611! KJV Onlyists truly are their own final authority, and the AV1611 is certainly not their final authority.
As for “Final Authority,” it has to boil down to this: each person determines what translation or scholar or authority is true and reliable and final for themselves. Some might profess that they are letting a certain set of scholars determine it for them, but that is still YOU YOURSELF determining which scholars are reliable.
If you decide it is only the AV16ll or only the Textus Receptus that is reliable, YOU YOURSELF determined that, or YOU YOURSELF determined which other determiners to believe.
If we say, “The Holy Spirit’s Leading” is the final authority, it is still “me and you” who determine what really is the Holy Spirit’s leading v. voices from space or rioting synapses or hormones or drugs or Satan or what have you.
If I had my druthers, I would just remain in bed until God struck me blind and deaf or something, and stood in my room and declared to me without all doubt, what Bible version I must exclusively use. I would LOVE it if that happened. Who wouldn’t?
But he hasn’t, and I have to conclude that all this process, the very process we are engaged in right now discussing these things, is what God wanted us to be exercised in. Hebrews 5:14 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
King James Onlyism believes that the Bible cannot be improved since the King James Version.
Another cherished belief of many, is that the King James Version of the Bible is the one error-free, preserved word of God for the English language. But for that to be true, the men who translated it would have to be inspired like the prophets and authors themselves, and workers of miracles, to some degree. Because it is humanly impossible for them not to have made any mistakes. And they did make mistakes. The Bible says that the original authors were inspired, not subsequent translators. The translators of the KJV had no extraordinary pipeline to God for inspiration to solve vexing translation problems, no more than translators today have. Here is an example of a problem they did not solve correctly.
The King James Version translators could not figure out what English word to use to translate the Hebrew word “pim.” That was because there was only one known occurrence of it in any literature in the world, and that was in the Bible in 1 Samuel 13:21. So they took a guess, from the context of the Samuel passage, about Israelite farmers taking their farming tools to Philistine blacksmiths to be sharpened, that the word meant “file,” the tool. But in the early 1900’s, archaeologists found in Palestine some sets of weights, having paleo-Hebrew words inscribed on them. One of the words was the Hebrew word “pim.” This revealed that a “pim” was the name for one of those measurements of weight, 7.61 metric to 7.8 grams. (See Biblical Archaeological Review, May/June 1990, p. 55.) So now, modern translations of the Bible correctly state that the Philistines charged the Israelites one “pim” in exchange for sharpening a plowshare or a mattock. And the King James Version is wrong in that verse. God did not give them revelation to prevent that mistake.
An email from a reader
Ron wrote: << I am an adult Sunday school, Bible discussion leader in a United Methodist Church. Multi translations are used in my discussion class. … I minister to homeless persons and have been hit with “the original KJV is the only true Bible and all of the rest are the works of the devil”. What do you say to these guys who have been so indoctrinated? One person really gave me a hard time and said I was not fit to teach from the Bible of Satan. That almost did me in. My faith keeps me going in this ministry ……. It ain’t easy! Great stuff, and thanks! Ron >>
Dear Ron, Thank-you for your email. I have been made very sad many times by the same type of people. You asked me what I say to them. The problem is, it is necessary to say a long list of historical and technical things to them, but those people are not of the spirit to wait and learn and listen. So you can’t tell them facts. The key is something you already said: “They almost did me in.” Ron, who is it that wants to do your faith in? It is Satan. So now, I have reluctantly concluded, that the thing to say to those people is, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” By saying that to them, you are not telling them they are not Christians. Jesus said that to Peter, and He knew Peter was a believer. But Peter was saying things that were very harmful to Jesus’ faith. And he had to be stopped in his tracks. If they seem open to you after that, then reason with them like this. Tell them that there are millions of Christians now, here and around the world, whose faith came from reading the NIV, or the New King James, or the NASB. Tell them that their words could DESTROY the faith of those little ones who belong to Jesus, whose faith came from reading other versions. Ask them, what does the KJV say about those “who cause any of these little ones who believe in me, to stumble”? Go with the peace of Jesus
Assertion: The KJV is the only English translation authorized by God and inspired by God.
Response: The translators of the KJV themselves, in their original preface to the KJV, entitled “The Translators to the Reader,” recently re-published by Thomas Nelson & Co., have this to say:
“We do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English…containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the King’s speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere. “
(By the “very meanest” translation, they meant the most humble, common, or mediocre. They were speaking of all translations of the Bible in general, not about their own translation specifically.) They clearly did not believe that the King James Version was the only, last, and final Word of God for the English language.
Neither did they believe that their translation work was perfect. They said, “A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life, (else, there were none virtuous, for in many things we offend all) [James 3:2] also a comely man and lovely, though he have some warts upon his hand, yea, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. For whatever was perfect under the Sun, where Apostles or Apostolic men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God’s spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand?”
They clearly stated that neither was their work perfect, nor did they as men have the privilege of infallibility. They were in a position to know this, since they knew each other, and they knew what was involved in Bible translation. Therefore this belief that the KJV translators’ work was perfect, and that they were infallible, is a false belief.
Concerning the issue of whether there are other valid ways to translate Greek words than the way they themselves did it, they had this to say:
“Some peradventure would have no variety of senses to be set in the margin, lest the authority of the Scriptures for deciding of controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgment not to be sound in this point. For though, “whatsoever things are necessary are manifest,” as S. Chrysostom saith, [S. Chrysost. in II. Thess. cap. 2.] and as S. Augustine, “In those things that are plainly set down in the Scriptures, all such matters are found that concern Faith, Hope, and Charity.” [S. Aug. 2. de doctr. Christ. cap. 9.] Yet for all that it cannot be dissembled, that partly to exercise and whet our wits, partly to wean the curious from the loathing of them for their every-where plainness, partly also to stir up our devotion to crave the assistance of God’s spirit by prayer, and lastly, that we might be forward to seek aid of our brethren by conference, and never scorn those that be not in all respects so complete as they should be, being to seek in many things ourselves, it hath pleased God in his divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern salvation, (for in such it hath been vouched that the Scriptures are plain) but in matters of less moment, that fearfulness would better beseem us than confidence, and if we will resolve upon modesty with S. Augustine, (though not in this same case altogether, yet upon the same ground) Melius est debitare de occultis, quam litigare de incertis, [S. Aug li. S. de Genes. ad liter. cap. 5.] “it is better to make doubt of those things which are secret, than to strive about those things that are uncertain.” There be many words in the Scriptures, which be never found there but once, (having neither brother or neighbor, as the Hebrews speak) so that we cannot be holpen by conference of places. Again, there be many rare names of certain birds, beasts and precious stones, etc. concerning the Hebrews themselves are so divided among themselves for judgment, that they may seem to have defined this or that, rather because they would say something, than because they were sure of that which they said, as S. Jerome somewhere saith of the Septuagint. Now in such a case, doth not a margin do well to admonish the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident: so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption. Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that variety of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: [S. Aug. 2. de doctr. Christian. cap. 14.] so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is no so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded.”
Amen! A variety of translations is profitable for finding out the sense of the Scriptures. Amen.
And it looks to me like they believed it was possible for themselves as translators to have made a mistake.
And as they said elsewhere: “For is the kingdome of God become words or syllables?” I urge us all to emulate the humility and reasonableness of the translators of the KJV.
You can actually view one of the original KJV’s marginal notes, on the web. It is a marginal note indicating that they included the verse Luke 17:36, even though they admit in the margin that most of the Greek manuscripts did not have it. To see that, click here, then click the Back arrow at the upper left of your screen.
Assertion: “Modern translations are Roman Catholic-influenced perversions.”
This is one of the most amazing of all the KJV Onlyist beliefs, because the truth is so completely the opposite. For example, the most influential scholar producing the Greek text edition from which the King James Version was translated, was a Roman Catholic, Erasmus.
Then you have the fact that there are passages in the King James Version that come from the Latin Vulgate, and not the Greek texts.
It can also easily be shown that the King James Version uses “high church” political terminology, that these very King James Onlyists would normally object to, since many King James Onlyists are Baptists and other groups that protested the “high church” denominations. An example of KJV high church terminology is the word “bishop.”
The King James Onlyists sound exactly like Roman Catholics a lot of the time. I will give an example, a quotation from a web site written by a Roman Catholic apologist, instructing Roman Catholics on how to talk to “Bible Christians.” It lays down ground rules, and Rule Number One is:
<< Ground Rules
1. Before discussing the Bible with them, tell them that the King James version is the only acceptable Protestant version of the Bible. Normally they will not object to this, unless they are incredibly unlearned. Insisting on the King James version merely makes you seem a little fundamentalist. This version has a more correct translation than other Protestant versions. If they insist on using their version, have them compare I John 5:7 in their version with the same verse in the King James version. The comparison should convince them. If not, they are probably those whom St. Peter calls “willfully ignorant (II Peter 3:5).” They probably will not listen to anything you have to say. >>
The main reason this Roman Catholic prefers the KJV is that it contains Roman Catholic words like “bishop.”
<< correct translation is “bishop.” However, you find episkopous translated correctly in I Timothy 3:1>>
By the way, for a discussion of the textial variant in 1 John 5:7, read this PDF.
Assertion: The Alexandrian text type was tampered with by Origen and others, to put Gnostic and other heresies into the scriptures.
My response: Show me one instance of a heresy present in the Alexandrian text type. This is how I respond to those who make this assertion, and none of them can give me an example. (That’s because there are none.) Conclusion: Such KJV onlyists are deceivers. They are lying about and slandering the current editions of the Greek New Testament, and the lifelong work of many godly Christian scholars and Bible lovers. In short, such King James Onlyists are guilty of the sins of : (1) hate for their brother; (2) lying (3) slander (4) railing (5) pride and unteachableness, and (6) the yeast of the Pharisees. On top of all that, they are not repentant, and they are not “easy to be entreated.” They have a wisdom that comes from below, an earthly, devilish wisdom, with tongues set on fire of hell.
The fact is, the Alexandrian text could be said to be MORE ORTHODOX than the majority text. For example, John 1:18 in the Majority text says “the only begotten son,” whereas the Alexandrian text says, “God the Only Son.”
Conversely, the Majority text contains inauthentic passages like Mark 16:18, “they shall pick up serpents,” that encourage such weird, cultic practices as snake handling, whereas the Alexandrian texts do not contain this passage.
One web site said: Concerning how to tell if you have the Authorized King James Version,  if it doesn’t say Authorized (a word that liberal “Christians” don’t like. I’m not surprised they took it off the title page) it should at least  say conformable to the edition of 1611. As a third check you can  take selected AKJV scriptures and compare them with your Bibles. I’d take some verses with ye’s and thee’s to compare. Even if it has the ye’s, I’d look at 2 Timothy 3:17 to make sure they didn’t change “throughly” to “thoroughly”.
Response: The word “authorized” there means that it was the official version authorized for the Church of England, by the head of the Church of England. The British monarch is the head of the Church of England. Now that King James, the then head of the Church of England, is dead, should the current head of that church, Queen Elizabeth, be the one to decide which version is authorized? Or, since Christian pilgrims came here to America in order to escape the Church of England, should it be the president of the United States of America who authorizes Bible translations for us?
The same web site said: Even if it has the ye’s, I’d look at 2 Timothy 3:17 to make sure they didn’t change “throughly” to “thoroughly”.
Response: Is she saying that the only inspired English Bible has to have misspelling? Is correcting misspellings a work of Satan? Are we to conclude that God speaks bad English, and Satan speaks good English? (Archaic spellings are misspellings. If you spelled thoroughly as “throughly” in school, you would be marked down for it. If you spelled it “throughly” in your newspaper column, it would get corrected before printing time.)
Assertion: The modern Bible versions changed the word of God, to take away the deity of Christ.
Response of Phyllis Richert, guest writer:
Here is another change in the KJV that needs to be considered. This particular change is not a matter of variant readings, this is a translational issue and yet another case where the KJV changed God’s word as preserved in His Standard.
Consider these translations of 2 Peter 1:1:
Geneva: “Simeon Peter the seruant and Apostle of Iesus Christ, to them which have obtayned lyke precious faith with vs by the rightuousnes of OUR GOD AND SAUIOUR IESUS CHRIST:”
Rheims: “Simon Peter seruant and Apostle of Iesvs Christ, to them that haue obtained equal faith vvith vs in the justice of OUR GOD AND SAUIOUR IESVS CHRIST.”
NIV: “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus christ, To those who through the righteousness of OUR GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST have received a faith as precious as ours:”
KJV: “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness OF GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS Christ:”
Now, this one is very interesting. In the interest of time and space, I did not quote Wycliffe, Tyndale, and Cranmer who all translated the phrase I have emphasized in capital letters, the same way as these I did quote. Wycliffe and Rheims represent God’s word in His Standard, the Latin Vulgate. Tyndale, Cranmer and Geneva represent God’s word in His Standard, the TR (in English translations). This is a case where the KJV translators have changed God’s word, whether you consider the LV the standard, or the TR the standard! And this change actually de-emphasizes the deity of Jesus Christ, where the others make the deity of Jesus Christ perfectly clear.
Why did the KJV translators make this change? Did they doubt God’s word? Did they doubt the deity of Jesus Christ? Were they trying to downplay His deity? Is this evidence of Satan tampering with the text? I know only know this fact: the KJV had a margin note that said this: “Gk, of our God and Saviour”. I have a KJV that includes the margin notes. I believe them to be the original notes, possibly with the later additions by one of the later revisors. This note was not added by someone influenced by the modern translations because this particular copy of the KJV predates the modern translations. If the note is not one of the original notes, the original translators are not off the hook because at least 5 earlier English translations agreed with the margin note. If the note is not one of the original notes, then it was added during one of the revisions, yet, the revisors, knowing that this was the literal translation of the Greek, let the lesser translation stand.
Brent, if your criteria for acceptance of a translation rides on whether or not a translation has changed the text of the Standard, whatever the standard, (LV or TR) then I have given ample proof that the KJV is also guilty of changing the standard. I know, other than this verse, I have not given evidence that the KJV changed the standard found in the TR but, I can do so, and I did already at the Yahoo club some time ago. You need to either change your criteria, or admit that the KJV does not meet the criteria and must be rejected. I repeat, I am not trying to get you to reject the KJV. I am merely trying to show that the KJV does not meet your standards of acceptance any more than any modern translation.
If your criteria includes changing doctrine, or downplaying the deity of Jesus, then, once again, the KJV does not meet the standard. I have shown ample evidence here, too.
Once again, I am not trying to get anyone to reject the KJV. I am merely trying to show that claims made against the modern translations can be truthfully made against the KJV. If one translation should be considered to be excluded as the word of God based on these claims, then the KJV must also be excluded. We must realize that either the KJV must also be excluded, or we need to find truthful criteria that can be consistently applied. As it stands now, there is no reason to exclude modern translations that are faithfully and truthfully translated.
Assertion: The King James Version has never been revised since 1611.
First, the definition of “revise”.
American Heritage Dictionary, Standard Edition:
1. To prepare a newly edited version of (a text).
2. To reconsider and change or modify.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary:
1. to look over again in order to correct or improve, for example, a manuscript
2. to make a new, amended, improved, or up-to-date version of
So yes, the King James Version has been revised. There have been several revisions, in 1629, 1638, 1653, 1701, 1762, 1769, and two more, the last three by Dr. Blayney of Oxford. These varied in about 75,000 details, making changes, for example, in orthography and spelling. The orthography of a language is the letters and symbols used to represent the sounds. The KJV that people read today is a revision made in the 1800’s. If you found a copy actually printed in 1611, you would have to slog through some strange symbols. For example, the “s” sound was represented by “f.” There have been many, many spelling changes since 1611; for example, musick to music; olde to old, etc. The letter “u” in 1611 was “v”, and the letter “v” was “u.” See the section on this site responding to the assertion that the KJV is the only English version authorized and inspired by God. There you will find actual quotes from the KJV translators that show old spellings of English words. And, click here to see a photograph of the first page of Luke chapter 10 from an original King James Version.
It seems unreasonable to say that the updates of the English done to the KJV up to 1881 are good and inspired by God, but to revise the English subsequent to 1881, is “heresy” or “a work of Satan” or “new age.”
Here is a link to a web page that lists and details some differences between the 1611 edition of the KJV as compared to the 1769 Blayney revision. These differences are not merely spelling and orthography; they are differences in words that change the meaning of the verses.
The fact is, also, that the King James Version itself was only a revision. It was a revision of the Bishop’s Bible. At the time, the most popular version of the Bible among lay fundamentalists was the Geneva Bible. The Geneva Bible irritated both the clergy of the Roman Catholic church and of Church of England, and King James I of England, alike. The Bishop’s Bible had been made in reaction to the popularity of the Geneva Bible among Protestant dissidents. When King James I commissioned the Authorized King James Version, these instructions were issued: that they should follow the text of the Bishop’s Bible unless they found that the translations of Tyndale, Matthew (John Rogers), Whitchurche, and Geneva more closely agreed with the original text. And that original Greek text edition that the KJV translators consulted, was taken and edited from only a few if any of the best available texts of the 12th to 15th centuries, since it followed the 1516 and 1522 editions of Erasmus’ Greek text. Since the KJV used the Bishop’s Bible as its main base, that means it kept many old ecclesiastical words from the Catholic tradition, and many Latinisms, or Latin idioms translated into English.
But thanks be to God, God has raised up servants of his who have continued to update the English Bible. Noah Webster did a revision of the KJV. Then in England the Revised Version was a revision of the King James Version, and the American Standard Version was the revision of the KJV in America. Then came the Revised Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible. These are essentially revisions of the King James Version. And both the NASB and the RSV are good. In fact, if you wanted a good translation that is accepted by all the people of God in all camps, it would be the Revised Standard Version. A few conservatives may quibble about a couple words in it here and there, but I could show them more words in the New International Version than in the RSV, that would be more worth the quibbling. And God’s servants who have produced these benefits of modern translations for us have certainly suffered persecution for doing so; and unfortunately the persecution comes from people who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Statement: The MOTIVE of those who point out problems with the King James Version, is to destroy people’s faith in the Bible. Instead of being Bible-correctors, people should be Bible obeyers.
Response: The translators of the King James Version were themselves “Bible correctors.” When they did their translation, there were already a half dozen translations of the Bible into English. So, they “changed the Bible.” Now why would they make another translation of the Bible into English, unless they thought there was need to correct and improve? One of the reasons they stated, for their doing a new translation, was to make the Bible “more current.” Those modernists! 🙂 I assume they meant to update the English, and to take advantage of new knowledge in textual criticism. Yes, the KJV translators were also textual critics. That means, they involved themselves in picking and choosing which text had the reading closest to the original, in any particular passage. That means they had to involve themselves in picking and choosing which texts to follow. Sometimes they chose a reading that differed from the “Textus Receptus.”
One of the primary false beliefs such KJV-only people have, is that God has chosen the King James Version as the only translation authorized in the English language, and therefore contains no translation mistakes, and also must be based on the best possible Greek manuscripts. As a result, they take a criticism of THAT ONE TRANSLATION as an attack on God, and on his word, as if the King James Version were God’s word itself. Jesus Christ is the Word, and he is not paper and ink. He never changes, and never errs.
When has God ever told us that he chose the King James Version over all other translations into English, and that this one translation contains no human errors? They state this as if it were gospel truth. But, it is a great evil to say, “Thus saith the Lord,” when the Lord did not say it. In the Old Testament, if a prophet said “Thus says the Lord,” and it turned out the Lord had not said it, he was to be stoned to death. Yet, these people turn it around, and say to anyone who challenges this false belief, “You are another serpent, who is saying, ‘Hath God really said?'” Brothers and sisters, we are to test every spirit, to see whether it is of God. Test this belief that the King James Version is the only translation into English approved by God, and you must find it false. You can like it best, and read it of course. But do not dare declare as if speaking for God, that it is the only one approved by God.
Yes, I know, they will say that it says in Psalms, “Thy word is perfect.” Amen. Note that it does not say, “The King James Version is perfect.” But you see, because of their false circular reasoning, you run into their brick wall false belief, that the King James Version IS the only Word of God. So therefore they believe this verse means, “The King James Version is perfect.” Well, if a person weak in the faith, or a new convert is saying this, it is not wise perhaps to argue with them. But Christian leaders and pastors should know better, and not be spreading this falsehood.
Assertion: The AV (Authorized Version or King James Version) is our final authority.
The scripture says, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…” Romans 8:14
Note that it does not say, “As many as are led by the AV, they are the sons of God.”
It doesn’t matter which version you use, without the Spirit’s leading, none of the versions do any good.
But with the Spirit’s leading, they all can be used of God.
<< 1. HOW is God our authority? Is it by direct revelation? Signs in the sky? Inner voice? How do we appeal to God as our final authority? For example when there is a heated debate as to which version to believe, how does our final authority (God) tell us? How does He answer us? >>
You are a missionary, and you don’t know these things? The wind blows where it wills. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it is coming from, or where it is going. Such is everyone born of the Spirit. Only you can learn this, in your own personal walk with God.
<< 2. All religions, pagan religions included, have God as their final authority. What’s the difference? Don’t followers of Islam have God as their final authority? >>
The difference is, Christians are “led by the Spirit of God.” That is the point here. Are you saying Muslims worship the true God? Are they led by the Spirit of the true God? Muslims are also “people of the book.” But are they led by the Spirit? Jesus told the Pharisees, “You diligently search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life. And these are scriptures that point to Me.” Scriptures point to Jesus, the living Word. He is the word.
<< 3. I thought the SCRIPTURES were the final authority in all matters of FAITH AND PRACTICE? >>
You did? I thought you maintain that the AV is the final authority in all matters of FAITH AND PRACTICE.
The Holy Spirit is our final authority. If not, all we have is opinions, your opinion, my opinion. Jesus spoke with noticeable authority. He quoted the same scriptures that the Pharisees quoted. What was the difference between Jesus quoting the scriptures, and the Pharisees quoting the scriptures? The Holy Spirit was the difference.
<< Is it really your intent to appeal to things that God “uses” for authority in matters of faith and practice?
God can and does use any version. He is not limited by our stupidity. He can USE a drunk to put the fear of God in a cellmate (in jail). He can USE a donkey to rebuke a prophet and a lying spirit to guide a deluded king. This is not to say we should appeal to drunks, donkey’s and lying spirits for guidance in matters of faith and practice. This debate is not about what God can and cannot use. It is about which English Bible is our final authority in matters of faith and practice. >>
No, I appeal to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
As to the debate about which English Bible is our final authority, there is nothing that says that that question has to be decided! You first have to convince me that this question must be answered at all. God has not led me to find out which SINGLE translation is THE authority. Now if you say that God says the AV is the single authority, you put words in God’s mouth, and you are a false prophet.
Are you saying the NASB is a donkey, or drunkard? I think you lack respect for your fellow believers.
Click here to go to the King James Onlyism2 Page. (Part Two of King James Onlyism).
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