The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations? by James R. WhiteAs an Independent Baptist, I have been frustrated for years by the hang up of this particular breed of church on deifying a single, extremely error-ridden and outdated translation of the Bible. Before I knew anything at all, I complained of its cumbersome text; later I found out that everything I had ever heard in defense of the KJV was an outright lie.
I was told it was the first translation in English -- but that would be John Wycliffes Bible, 1380-1400.
I was told it was the first [English] Bible to be popularly available -- but there were 11 complete English Bibles available between 1547-1553, and 31 English New Testaments between 1542-1553.
I was told it was the first [English] Bible supported by the government -- but Matthews Bible (1537) was printed with royal license and the basis of all later Authorized Versions; Cromwell commissioned The Great Bible of 1539; even Coverdales had a note reading, Set forth with the Kynges moost gracious license. (Also, side note, why would the governments approval be something I want? If the American government put its stamp of approval on a translation, Id be sure to never touch it!)
I was told there had never been another Bible like it before -- but it lifted fully ONE-THIRD of its material straight from Tyndales 1526. It also copied straight from Coverdale (1535) and the Rheims New Testamen of 1582 (a Catholic vernacular translation).
But then I started coming up against arguments that my background in Jacobean history couldnt solve. I was told that the KJV got its authority from the Textus Receptus -- what was that? Verses and textual issues of translation that I had no background in started surfacing in these arguments, and I needed help. Thats when a KJV critic who also happens to be a Baptist posted this video on my Facebook page. I watched James Whites succinct argument strip away all the credibility of the Authorized Version, of the Textus Receptus, and explain in plain language just what the issues of this controversy are.
This warmly sarcastic bald guy with a book-stuffed office immediately won me over and I began searching for him on Goodreads. As soon as I saw The King James Only Controversy, I knew it was a must-read. I enjoyed every moment of it, and learned a great deal. He is very gentle about the KJV, not looking to offend anyone but simply to explain the truth about Bible translation. In fact, Ive now given this book to my KJV-proponent mother because I know his style wont offend her.
Everyone who is interested in apologetics should definitely read this book, no matter what translation you prefer to use. You may ask, why is this even an issue? Or, why should I encourage this issue by reading up on it? White points out that many cultic offshoots such as Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses prefer the KJV, and emphasizes how difficult it is to witness to them using this error-pocked version. Unfortunately, the KJVOers have made this an issue, and a responsible student of God should definitely be acquainted with the argument and its defense.
Errors in the King James Version
7 things you may not know about the King James Bible
Then there was Charles I, the first European king who was executed by his own subjects. But in between these two very controversial and well-known monarchs, there was James Stuart, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. But what was this legacy, you might ask? Read these facts and get a better idea. He had been ruling Scotland for thirty-seven years before he ever became King of England. James was born in Edinburgh Castle on the 19th of June,
43. Two Thrones
There is no book in the world like the King James Bible! No book in the history of the world has sold more copies. No other book can claim, as the KJV does, to be the purified, preserved, word of God in the English language. No other book has caused more revival, and no book has ever been used and loved more by preachers to present the gospel to lost souls, preach harshly against sin, and encourage Christians of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ at the rapture. Yet, probably no other book in the world has been more hated, more debated, and more spoken against. Modernists, liberal scholars, and apostate Christians invent excuses why they think the King James is archaic and out of date. Instead, they try to give us new versions, which they claim are better because they are based upon older and better texts.
The King James Version of the Bible is a great translation and has helped countless thousands of people to find and know God, to receive his gift of salvation, and to effectively serve him and his people. The Bible was beautifully written by some of the best scholars of the day and its reputation as fine literature is deserved. Some Christians and churches are so enamoured with the KJV that they refuse to use, or give credit to, any other translation. The stance of these Christians has been referred to as King-James-Onlyism. The KJV is an excellent English Bible and if you can easily understand it there is no real reason to change to another translation. However, one of the biggest shortcomings for most people is its dated language. The KJV uses many archaic words: words such as jangling, subtil, privily, and holpen, etc.
This article and series was first published on John C. You can click here for the original and more great content. Click here for part 1. Click here for part 2. In fact, you might find King James in many Black homes.