The Problem With KJV Onlyism

Okay, so there is more than just one problem with the KJV Only movement. I know that. But having grown up in a KJV only church, there is one major problem that sticks out to me above the rest. It is not just a major problem; it is an insurmountable problem. And it drives me crazy.

If the King James Version, which is a 1611 English translation of the Bible, is truly the only infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God, then what about the billions of people who have lived and died and never understood a word of English? At this very moment, there are more than 6 billion people in the world who understand little or no English.

And lest we forget, it wasn’t until 1455 that the first Bible was printed (on the Gutenberg Press) and then much later into the 16th century before the Bible became affordable and widely available. These early Bibles were printed in Latin. This begs an important question. Did the Faithful over the centuries who either never had access to the Bible or had to read it in Latin go to hell because they never held the King James Version in their hands?

By claiming that the King James Version is God’s only chosen version, the KJV Only crowd is dismissing tens of centuries of Christendom and implying that the majority of the world populations today cannot know the truth of God’s word. Such a claim is arrogant and nonsensical. Most of these KJV types proclaim their adherence to “Sola Scriptura” yet nowhere in the King James Version does it tell us which version is the true one. Many of these same people also express their disdain for  the”traditions of men” while at the same time swearing allegiance to a tradition that that has been passed down to them since 1611.

The King James Only claim is also deeply and disturbingly ethnocentric because it implies that English speakers have a much better chance of inheriting the Kingdom of God because of their ability to read the KJV. This claim is used to show that God bestowed His special blessing on the West and that we are his Chosen people. I recently heard a KJV only proponent suggest that the best way for non-English speakers to know God’s word was to learn English so that they could read the KJV.

You will find many of these KJV Only pastors leading independent fundamentalist churches. This is not surprising. Such pastors use the KJV to wield control over their congregation by claiming that without it (and also without their personal guidance), the truth of the scriptures cannot be ascertained. The thought of attending another church where some modern “devil-inspired” version is being used is simply out of the question.

I will leave you with one final thought about the King James Only issue. The so called “4ooth Anniversary Edition” of the King James Version that Zondervan printed in 2011 was not as it was claimed an “exact replica” of the 1611 edition. Noticeably absent was the Apocrypha (also referred to as the Deuterocanonicals) which had been included in every printing of the KJV until 1885. Say what you want about the inspiration (or lack thereof) of the Apocrypha but any KJV Onlyist who claims that he is using the 1611 version of the KJV is delusional.

I welcome your comments below. Let’s keep it civil.




48 thoughts on “The Problem With KJV Onlyism

  1. Discussion (and civil, at that) is indeed needed on the subject! My maternal progenitor, Rev. Lawrence Saunders (Fox’s Book of the Martyrs) was burned at the stake for Protestantism by Queen Mary a full 56 years before my paternal progenitor, Robert Barker, was awarded knighhood by King James for printing the first KJV. I tend to believe grandad Barker would have insisted that Reformation pioneers such as grandad Saunders were fully saved–even though none of them had ever seen a KJV!

    1. You miss the point. The only reason kjv only is right is because kjv only used the right manuscripts all other English bibles use fake manuscripts ……. If the other versions used the right manuscripts there would be no problems.

      1. The KJV was written without the Massorah, the translators weren’t even aware of it. It’s the most absurd notion in the world that this is even being debated. There is no debate. I can show a 4 year old all kinds of mistakes in the KJV and to add insult to injury most KJV only people actually have 1885 revision. They don’t know what they have. Of course Christ saved us all over 2000 years ago because he wouldn’t leave the fate of his children in the hands of such scholarly sorts as KJV only pastors.

      2. Ed

        No, You miss the point. CHRIST is our salvation – not the KJV. The author mentions several KJV heresies. I’m not going to waste my time listing them.

        KJV Onlyists are just like Catholics as they hold their tradition ABOVE scripture.

  2. Many of the false doctrines , i.e., eternal torment, spiritual death, substitutionary atonement, etc, are all founded on KJV interpretations. While the Version is poetic and reasonably accurate, it fails greatly to provide the value of a study source. It is too corrupted with interpretations instead of translation.

    A sectarian spirit is emblematically displayed in this heretical group. Undoubtedly the larger portion of its adherents are fellow saints, nevertheless the works done under the influence of that spirit will provide little in the way of praise from the One Who will one day mount His dais and requite the believers for the things He achieved in them in this life.

      1. The Concordant Literal New Testament. Other than changes of idiomatic expression, it renders each Greek word with one English equivalent, thereby scientifically avoiding interpretation of any passage. Because of this method of translation, it can sometimes read in an odd way, since certain Greek words have no common or modern word that is comparable. It was compiled over many years through the cooperation and vetting of many scholars here and abroad, and reviewed extensively by peers and foes alike. It is available at the Concordant Publishing Concern or Amazon online. I also recommend the Interlinear Scripture Analyzer at Scripture4all freely available online as a program download. It is a very valuable tool for study and can quickly guide the student to any passage in the KJV, CLNT, or the YLT, along with the Strong’s Concordance in its program. Very useful.

        1. I am having difficulty understanding how rendering each Greek word with a single English equivalent is not interpretation. Is that not the height of interpretation? I read Koine Greek, and it would be a gross oversimplification to choose to render, for instance, χαρις (charis) only as “grace” or “gift” or κοσμος (kosmos) as only “world” or “universe” or “humankind”. Also, looking at the translation itself, it is rather bad.

          To use a small example,

          Ephesians 2:8 For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God’s approach present,

          The Greek is
          τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια της πιστεως και τουτο ουκ εξ υμων θεου το δωρον
          te gar chariti este sesosmenoi dia tes pisteos kai touto ouk ex humon theou to doron

          The first problem we run into is the translators’ interpretation of the very first word: a dative definite article, τη. Te does not in any way definitively mean “in”, nor does it always carry that force, nor is it generally understood to carry such force here. Words have a range of meaning, or “semantic domain.” Datives can communicate, among other things, the ideas of in, by, to, for, of, with, among, etc. “In” is an interpretation. Nothing less.

          To be short, I’ll skip the middle of the verse, but there are multiple interpretations there, too.

          The last part of the verse is also problematic. θεου το δωρον means, in its most simplified form, “of God the gift” or “the gift of God”, “theou” being the genitive case form of “theos”, meaning God or god, and “to doron” meaning “the gift” or “the present”. At first I was quite puzzled about the word “approach”, not seeing any justification for it in Greek; but checking other instances of “doron”, it seems that “approach present” is the rendering the translators have chosen to use for that particular word. “Approach present” is an interpretation, which, ironically, is so ambiguous that it lends itself to two or three (incorrect) English interpretations. The translators choosing to believe that is the thrust of the word doesn’t mean their belief is correct or even agreed upon by the scholarly community (although scholarly opinions are a poor metric for judging biblical truth; I’m using them here to point out the fact that this is not a strictly literal rendering) or by the Greek lexicons.

          If I were to read this translation as someone who didn’t know a lick of Greek, but thought that I was getting the closest possible meaning in English, I would assume that God’s grace is something that he gave so He could approach to us, which is backwards, and not to be found in any Greek manuscript I can find.

          I don’t object to people using the best study tools they can find, even if the tools have some issues, but the claims you made about the scientific avoidance of interpretation were a bit much here, not to mention wholly impossible in any translation.

          Full disclosure: I believe God preserved His words perfectly in English in the KJV, but I admit that there is interpretation required in translation, and I believe the Holy Spirit guided the KJV translators to the correct interpretation of each passage.

          1. Matthew, I agree with this “I am having difficulty understanding how rendering each Greek word with a single English equivalent is not interpretation. Is that not the height of interpretation?”

            When you say, “I believe the Holy Spirit guided the KJV translators to the correct interpretation of each passage.”, are you saying that translators of other (English) translations were not guided by the Holy Spirit? If so, on what do you base that claim?

            Are you saying that people who are translating the Word of God into other languages are not guided by the Holy Spirit? Are you saying that my parents-in-law, simply because they can’t speak or understand English (and certainly not King James English), can not know God’s Word?

            Are you saying that the translation of His Word that God has led us to do in Quiatoni Zapotec is not valid? That even though it is still not finished, it has indeed changed people’s lives?

            What it comes down to is: Do you believe Rev. 7:9-10? (“9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.)

    1. Philip Nickel, eternal torment and substitutionary atonement is clearly taught in all versions of the bible and they are the truth. If you reject Christ you will eventually be cast into the lake of fire which is eternal torment (Revelation 14). Christ died for our sins…if Christ did not die for you (substitute)…for your sins…then you too will die in your sins. That is a clear teaching that you cannot reject and say that you are Christian.

  3. My go-to version in English is the English Standard Version (ESV). It has its flaws like any other version but it does pretty well for all it does have them. I have the Concordant Greek Text edition and it is pretty good. However, some folks may have some trouble with its universalist bias, though I don’t. I am personally of the view that the best purchases a serious student of the Bible can make are Jay Green’s Interlinear and Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott, another interlinear edition. Since Green uses the Revised Text for the New Testament one is better off using Wilson’s for the New Testament which uses Griesbach’s Text. I have both of them sitting on my desk and in my computer program.

    1. The ESV is just another NIV. It is just a revision of the RSV. If anything it is merely a closer translation to the Vaticanus. I wrote a book on it if you would like to see a bunch of the contradictions and blasphemous translations is has within its pages. It too puts the Golden Altar of Incense in the Holy of Holies. An obvious error. No Jew, God’s chosen people, would EVER accept a translation with that blasphemous error as being from God. So, witness all you want to the Jews, you are wasting your breath with such a gross error. You would think with such an error as that, that some of you would reject the false, misleading, doubt producing garbage. But no. You will defend the notion that God did not preserve His Bible and that while He can speak the universe into being, He is not powerful enough or doesn’t care enough to preserve His word. I mean, if He was really omnipotent and omniscient, surely He would have seen that His Bible would be corrupted and not have inspired it in the first place. I mean, what purpose would there be to inspire the autographs inerrantly and perfectly if He wasn’t going to preserve it?

  4. There are blatant scribal errors in the AV [ Authorised Version, erstwhile name of the KJV ].
    Dr. Luke’s Praxis Apostolon [ Acts of the Apostle ] says in one citation that “… they waited until after EASTER to ….” [ whereas the original Greek says Pascha and translates as passover in english].
    Also . . . 1 John 5:7-8 has a classically erroneous text which did not appear in the oldest and best Greek codices :

    KJV rendering :
    “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

    NewAmericanStandardBible Revised
    “So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord.”

    Comment: The KJV is superb Theology. It is 100% true, and supports Trinitarian doctrine.
    Sadly, it doesn’t appear in the oldest and best Greek manuscripts [ most were not available in 1604-1611 ].

    1. Herod was a pagan. He did not worship as did the Jews. He did not observe the Passover. He observed Easter or Ishtar the pagan goddess. The answer lies in verse 3, Then were the days of Unleavened Bread. The feast of Passover was already past (hence the definition of what Holy Day the Jews were celebrating) If the pagan Herod was going to wait until after Passover, he was going to have to wait an entire year until it happened again. Pascha is not ALWAYS the Passover. Not to mention that the pagan Ishtar is celebrated on or about the same time as Passover. Obviously the context is clear that it CANNOT be Passover but HAS to be Easter (Ishtar). No contradiction in the King James.

      By your “Oldest and Best Greek codices” you mean the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Oldest does not mean best. IF you are proclaiming that the Minority texts Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus are the best manuscripts, then you must agree that Revelation does not belong in the Bible and that the Shepherd of Hermes belongs in its place. You must believe that the Apocryphal books are inspired and belong in the Bible. You must believe that Exodus, I&II Kings, 1&II Samuel, Judges, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Revelation, Philemon, Titus, I&II Timothy don’t belong in the Bible because they aren’t in the “best and most accurate codices”. You must also believe the Prayer of Manasses and the Epistle of Barnabas belong in the Bible since these too are included in the texts. That’s okay if you believe that, you just need to make sure the translation you are using reflects what you proclaim.

      As per your [most were not available in 1604-1611] comment. Sadly you are mistaken again. Erasmus had access to them but declared them corrupt. (Research his communications with the Vatican.) Or you can easily witness the facts hidden within the text because the Apocrypha was in the first printings of the Bible in English including the King James. (It was illegal to print a Bible without the Apocrypha) (It was collated between the 2 testaments with a note stating they were not inspired, but to be considered of a historical importance) Since these are obviously in your “best and most accurate” manuscripts they obviously had access to them and their witnesses. You also completely ignore the church fathers quoting the verses, and you completely ignore the translations made in sister languages of Coptic, Syriac, Peshitta, etc. etc. etc. So, to answer your statement, yes, they did have access to those readings. You cannot deduce it any other way.

      1. Steven Hite:

        It’s well known in scollarly circles Erasmus’ wrote to a friend at the Vatican to check VATICANUS seeking “Greek support” for 1Jn5:7-8* as he didn’t have SOLID evidence for the same. For that reason his first & second TRs did not contain same.

        While this story has a longer ending, good night

  5. What has been said about Westcott and Hort is true and the modern bible versions do use a different greek text to that used by the King James Bible. The King James Bible is the best translation of the bible into English…even though the more modern versions do use a “modern” English. HOWEVER, the problem with the KJV only group is that they will refuse to update the Archaic English to a more modern English that the people of today can readily understand.

    If Jesus appeared today he would not speak to English people in Archaic Shakespearean English but he would speak clearly in a language that could be understood. So I agree that the modern versions are using a questionable Greek text which does plainly remove the deity of Jesus and in some cases is seeking to remove the blood sacrifice…this can be proved by just simple comparison.

    However, at the same time a cannot, and will not, agree with the snobbery that we must leave the word “canst” and “wot” to name two words in the KJV that can easily be written today as “can” and “know” which is much more clear. By holding onto the elitist snobbery of Shakespeare we have deprived a generation of knowing the full word of God in plain English.

    1. It is not Shakespearian English. It is Accurate English. If you have a problem with Thee’s and Thou’s then complain about the hymns as well. (You probably have 7-11 worshipfest songs so don’t understand what I am talking about) Thee’s and Thou’s are more accurate than your “modern” English. If I said, I want you to go to town, am I talking to a group or to one person? Modern versions can’t tell the difference. King James is able to DEFINE the difference. No guesswork. If I said I want thee to go to town you KNOW that it is only talking about one person. Thee’s and thou’s are more CLEAR. I believe that is your reason for the existence of a Bible, clarity. The Geneva was quoted by Shakespeare hundreds of times. The King James is 2 translations from the Geneva. Tyndale set out to make sure that the Bible could be understood by the ignorant plowboy. The ignorant, illiterate plowboy evidently had a better grasp than a person with a 6th grade education today seeing how that is the reading level of the King James. Tyndale used monosyllabic word so kids could understand. He also scanned it (like poetry) so that it could be memorized while walking. Heaven forbid someone learn a new word or two. I mean, if they want to learn a specific job, they have to learn its vocabulary. One cannot be expected to learn what thee’s and thou’s mean. Since it is SOOOOO archaic, why do they use the same words in crossword puzzles EVERY DAY? Why do they still sing hymns with the same archaic words?

      1. “letteth” being used to mean “hinders” is NOT proper or accurate English. “Let” means allow, even throughout most of the KJV, yet they decide once to use it to mean “hinder.” Tsk tsk. And won’t somebody please tell pastors who use the KJV to pronounce “haling” as “hauling” (not hailing) in Acts 8:3 (look real close, that first i is not there in your KJV) and “divers” as “diverse”! They had me so confused as a kid wondering how one could “fall into diver’s temptations.” Like, the kind of temptations you get if you fall into a lake?

      2. I agree with the OP, because when you look at the state of education today there are a lot of young kids who will not understand the KJV. If you are serious about witnessing, you need to update the language. I grew up Christian, reading the NKJV as a young child, so for me it was no problem. But witnessing to the modern-day, unchurched, Bible-illiterate generation is going to require something better than KJV language.

      3. Steven

        In my experience traditional churches w/ALL their traditions aren’t FREE to Worship because of all “Dont” traditions.

        I was raised Catholic now Pentecostal. Hadn’t heard of the KJV till after my 39th birthday. I’m nearly 62. I will continue to feel FREE to Worship at a modern church any day of the week & twice on Sunday.

        You keep your traditions* like the Catholics as “they’re* more important” than Jesus and the scriptures.

    2. The King James Version Easy Read (KJVER) Bible is the best translation (in my opinion) that’s not widely known sadly but does make the KJV in modern English! Whitaker House publishes this inexpensive Bible which can be found on! It even has the direct words of God in the Old Testament in red! It even helps to give insight on confusing phrases like “set him on high” (Psalm 91:14 KJV) which is underlined and at the end of verse says “i.e. exalt him”. Also, it underlines words that refer to God such as “Lord” or “God” and will say “Jehovah” or “Elohim” at the end of the verse. In the beginning of the KJVER Bible includes a study of God’s Hebrew names and goes into how many times they’re seen in the Bible and briefly explain what they mean. There’s many more features in this wonderful Bible but I highly recommend everyone even KJV Onlyists to check it out! The people of Whitaker House also believe, and I quote, that “Good theological doctrine tells us that it is only the Hebrew and Greek autographs (the original texts) that are inspired of God, not copies nor the translations.” This quote is directly from the introduction page of the KJVER Sword Bible. They also make a KJV Sword Bible as well but I’m in love with the smooth as caramel reading of the KJVER because it’s basically a modernized KJV. This is the perfect Bible translation for anyone, especially if you don’t want any study notes in your Bible and just the pure text. Note: Anyone who doesn’t like the Apocrypha will stumble across a study aid article in the middle of the Sword Study Bible that explains it. Just a heads up but overall I still highly recommend everyone and anyone should have this amazing Bible! There’s written reviews and video reviews of this bible on YouTube so please look more into it for anyone who reads this! God bless you all!

    3. “What has been said about Westcott and Hort is true and the modern bible versions do use a different greek text to that used by the King James Bible.”

      NKJV uses the same base text as the KJV though, so different base text is only an argument against the rest, but not against the NKJV. People who want to claim that the NKJV used a different base text because it translates a word different here or there, are just ignorant of how translation works and especially of Greek. Both the KJV and NKJV are based on the Stephanus 1550, AND YES the KJV is based on the Stephanus 1550 (because we don’t use the 1611 whose base text is unknown but we–as in everyone today–use the 1789 that was literally revised to make it conform to the Stephanus 1550).

  6. First you call those of us who actually believe we have an inerrant perfect word of God delusional and then you want a civil conversation. Here’s a jab in the face and I’m going to call you names and then tell you how unChristian you are. Nice. Let me guess, you believe there is no such thing as an inerrant perfect word of God anywhere in any language. What a slap in the face of God. How dare the creation tell the creator He didn’t do His job and that God lied. Ya’ll must be proud. Look at me! I told God He didn’t preserve His word. (and you preach from behind the pulpit that you are teaching God’s word?) How does that work?

    Hebrews 9:4 in your New translations that are based on the Vaticanus, all say that the Golden Altar of Incense is located in the Holy of Holies. This is a FLAT OUT LIE. No Jew would EVER accept that translation as being true, or honest, or even remotely preserved. Most of you don’t pay any attention to what you are reading. You just blindly go on believing the doubts and lies about mistakes in the Bible that your misguided prophets teach you. God spent 40 chapters teaching about His Tabernacle and ya’ll don’t pay ANY attention to what God pays attention to. God holds His word ABOVE His name. (I will let you find the verse on that one, if it’s in your Bible) Since God holds His word ABOVE His Name, would He preserve it with the Holy of Holies blasphemously having the Golden Altar of Incense in it? (Ya’ll probably don’t know that the Golden Altar of Incense is the picture of man thereby putting man equal to God in the Holy of Holies) The Censer from on top of the Golden Altar was slid under the curtain to fill the Holy of Holies with the prayers of the saints. If they didn’t God would kill the High Priest. You want to play pretend church and dismiss and belittle a Bible based on manuscripts from Antioch where the Disciples were first called Christian, you go right ahead. You want to support blasphemous heresies (that you never saw until I showed this to you) you go right ahead. Go ahead and make fun of people who actually believe God when He said He would preserve His word. (not in your Vaticanus translation) Every Vaticanus translation into foreign languages that puts the Golden Altar of Incense into the Holy of Holies is a blasphemous translation. You go right ahead and tell God He didn’t do His job. You proclaim that All Scripture is God Breathed, yet, Timothy had in hands Scripture. But Timothy didn’t have the originals. He had something called Scriptures. And ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God. You proclaim only the Originals are given by inspiration. You just don’t read your Bible. Timothy didn’t have the original autographs, but he had Scriptures.

    1. Woah. You missed the whole point of this article. It is not that I don’t believe in the inerrancy of scripture – it is that I do not believe the KJV to be the only inerrant version. Do you see the difference?

      Where did I belittle the KJV? This article is about the people who worship the KJV, not about the KJV itself. You might want to reread the article.

    2. “Hebrews 9:4 in your New translations that are based on the Vaticanus, all say that the Golden Altar of Incense is located in the Holy of Holies.”

      NKJV which is based on the Stephanus 1550 just like the KJV says “which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;”

      But KJVOs will probably complain about the addition of the word “the” before “manna.” Lol.

    3. I didn’t understand the KJV until I got saved; the others are shallow and unexciting. I am convinced the KJV is God’s Word for the ENGLISH SPEAKING people of the world. I suppose you can add me to the lynching list after Mr. Hite.

  7. The perfect Bible would be that in the original languages. Why people choose to consider themselves as King James Only is nothing to do with accuracy, but plain biblolaty – a dogmatism founded in insecurity and arrogance. I prefer the King James Bible, but that is a personal preference based on what I learnt as a child. I am aware of its imperfections, just as I am also aware of the dubious provenance of the RV and its successors. However, I believe it is neccessary to rely not just on objective information, subject to the imperfect human interpretations of the reader and commentators.
    Scripture itself tells us that understanding come through revelation, and as we learn to listen to the anointing (given as we are born again and baptised by the Holy Spirit): 1John 2:27
    ”But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him”.

    1. I didn’t understand the KJV until I got saved; the others are shallow and unexciting. I am convinced the KJV is God’s Word for the ENGLISH SPEAKING people of the world. I suppose you can add me to the lynching list after Mr. Hite.

  8. Oh, you have so correctly described the KJV Only adherents! Ones I know are completely dogmatic, stubbornly resistant to any suggestion of logic that doesn’t fit their opinions, and arrogant to the nth degree.

  9. I’m just a random Romanist/Papist passing through, but I’ve been looking at KJV Onlyism out of curiosity and I can very much agree with your post.

    As a Hispanic, you can very much imagine how I felt when I found in places like PuritanBoard where pro-KJV folks were arguing that folks like me should just learn English instead of having a translation from the KJV handed down to us. I find that to be highly hypocritical as wasn’t the whole point of the Reformation to make the Bible available to all through translation from Latin? By that logic I could just tell you to stop complaining that the medieval church kept the Bible out of reach and just learn Latin! That Luther guy was crazy enough to do so!

    Steven Hite, if you’re reading this I want to know if you want me to force my family members living in Mexico to learn English just to know the KJV, if so then my point about hypocrisy still stands.

    Also, if we’re all supposed to learn English to know God, then what was the whole of Pentecost then? Shouldn’t the Apostles told everyone to know one language (Aramaic probably) to understand God? I can’t help but wonder if such blatant ethnocentrism and pro-Anglo sentiments are two steps away from Christian Identity and British Israelism, they seem to believe that English speaking peoples are God’s chosen. If that’s an argument for me to convert to Protestantism, no thanks.

    One last point, but those in the KJV Onlyism movement who are sincere enough to be more consistent and thus suggest some translations in other languages, there’s more or less a Spanish equivalent to the movement surrounding the Reina Valera. Problem is noone really seems to agree which version, and most complain that the 1960 version is awful, so guys like Jack Chick suggest a whole new, yet more faithful version as the 2010 one his website sells, while a minority follows a 1865 version. Other than that the movement just suggests to follow old translations for other languages, including the Luther Bible for German and a 17-century translation for Dutch that conservative Calvinists use. Even once someone suggested an early 19th century version for a Hebrew translation.

    Us Romanists have a movement somewhat similar to the KJV Only, except that it surrounds the Douay Rheims for English and just about any translation (for other languages) from the Vulgate, and preferably done before Vatican 2 (as after this translations such as the New American Bible are seen to be liberal). But no one is a heretic enough to claim that the Douay Rheims to be divinely inspired, the only Bible officially followed by Rome is the Vulgate.

    Once again, thank you for the post.

  10. Also, another point I forgot to mention and just occured to me is that the KJV-Onlyists who insist on us learning English (and archaic one to be sure) have more in common with Muslims and Jews than their fellow Christians in regards to the scriptures, as the former usually ask their adherents to learn old versions of Arabic and Hebrew to know God through the Qur’an or Torah. After all the Muslims make it their selling point that through memorization their scriptures are intact, unlike ours which we supposedly corrupted centuries after the original manuscripts were lost. The same could be said for any other religion that uses a “sacred language”, and the KJV-Onlysts seem to have one themselves (again, Shakespearean English, although by the comments here they seem to deny it).

    Just some food for thought.

  11. The KJVO movement is irrational, plain and simple.

    First of all, it is arbitrary. I could randomly select any translation or version that we have from the past or from today and just decide to declare that it is the only pure word of God. I could select the Geneva Bible, I could select the Latin Vulgate, I could select the Peshitta, I could select the NIV. Then, in order to “defend” my choice, all I would have to do is point out that all other extant versions/translations differ in this or that respect from my arbitrarily chosen standard and therefore the rest must be, at best, deficient, or at worst, of the devil.

    At this point the KJVO advocate will then say: But where then is our perfect Bible if the KJV is not it? Where are the words of God that he promised to perfectly preserve? And perhaps with this line of questions the KJVO advocate reveals another flawed assumption: That God did, in fact, even promise such a thing in the first place. The first Christians did not carry around a leather bound “Bible” with them like modern day street preachers in America. There were scrolls of the Old Testament in the synagogues, and there were hastily copied letters circulating from the new Christian movement, with compilation and canonization of the latter coming hundreds of years later. And even the Old Testament had a great deal of variants — as the Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls prove when compared with the present day Massoretic text.

    It seems to me that the hunger for a “perfect Bible” is a peculiarly Protestant invention, that has come about as a result of the advent of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Indeed, the KJVO movement is, I think, the logical end result of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. IF God has spoken through the written word, AND that written word is our final (perhaps only) authority on earth, then I can see the logic of KJV Onlyism. We would want to know every single word down to the last jot and tittle.

    But I don’t think salvation has anything to do with whether or not a person can read and comprehend a certain book. That’s how the Bible has come to be an idol for many people. Salvation is not in a book, it is in a person: Jesus Christ. At least that’s how I understand the Christian faith.

    And I say all this as an ex-Christian. It’s issues like these that led me to abandon a worldview that became increasingly impossible for me to defend. I’m sure some readers will reject everything I said above because of what I have said here in the last paragraph. But I think most intelligent readers will recognize that my argument is reasonable.

    1. About that last paragraph, don’t throw the baby out with, what I will admit is, the very dirty bathwater. Sinful man has caused all this confusion, not God. As the woman at the well said, when Messiah comes He will tell us all things.

      Also, a kind warning. God will not accept the temporary foolish controversies of man as an excuse for you to abandon what He has allowed you to understand. You will be held accountable for the light you do have, not the light you don’t.

      1. Brian Matthews:

        I can assure you, it is far more than the KJVO controversy that led me to abandon Christianity. Among many, many problems I found with it’s core beliefs and teachings, I came to realize that Christianity is simply self-refuting. It either a) worships a man as God (which cannot be squared with the Hebrew Scriptures which it claims to uphold), and/or b) it makes its central focus a man who accomplished something apparently God could not do on his own. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

        Also, your statement that “sinful man has caused all this confusion, not God” is also demonstrably false. In the causal chain, it all goes back to God. So whatever man has mucked up, God is ultimately responsible because he created man with the capacity to sin, knowing that man would, in fact, sin.

        I don’t make “excuses” for my lack of belief in something that is absurd and irrational. I don’t have to. Just like I’m sure you don’t make excuses for not being a Hindu or Buddhist. Religion is man-made, period. I simply don’t need it.

        And one final word. If you want to now try to scare me into belief with some sort of threat of eternal punishment, that won’t work either. I find any philosophical or religious system that must resort to threats (as a motivation to accept its tenets) to be entirely intellectually and morally bankrupt.

          1. Ron, you’re so convincing. I guess now I’ll start worshiping as God a particular Palestinian Jewish man from 2000 years ago who burped, sneezed, farted, urinated and defecated. Seems like the “right thing” to do.

  12. It’s strange that you call for civility while also calling people “delusional” who believe that the KJV today is the same as the KJV in 1611. Two quick points here: 1) the KJV is the same today as in 1611, with the exception of font, spelling, and print error corrections; and 2) the Apocrypha was included, but not as part of the scriptures, so what point are you trying to make?

    I know of almost no one who is KJV-only who represents the first strawman you created: that “a 1611 English translation of the Bible, is truly the only infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God.” There are one or two dead people who’ve said that, and at least one living person that I know of, but the overwhelming majority of the thousands of KJV-only believers do not hold that view. If you’re telling the truth, please provide a list of at least 10 pastors that hold that view. If you can’t then why do you choose to argue against a strawman as opposed to engaging in honest debate?

    The second strawman you created: “Did the Faithful over the centuries who either never had access to the Bible or had to read it in Latin go to hell because they never held the King James Version in their hands?” Name someone who is saying that you go to hell if you don’t read the KJV only? If you can’t, then why ask this bizarre question?

    More questions for you:
    1. Did God promise to preserve his words? If no, then no need to waste your time reading further.
    2. Where can one find the preserved words of God on earth today (in any language)?
    3. Why do you suppose God would allow the most printed book in human history (the KJV, with no close second) to contain fraudulent information, e.g., I John 5:7?
    4. Why do you suppose that God allowed the “corrupted” KJV to be used for several hundred years to spread Christianity throughout the world while the “better” manuscripts were hidden in the Egyptian desert and the Vatican? Is it reasonable to believe that God chose to hide his preserved Word from the Church for the better part of 2,000 years?
    5. If you don’t agree that the KJV is “corrupted,” explain why we shouldn’t read I John 5:7 as original?

  13. With a little research, I found the God will “preserve” His word idea apparently came from Psalm 12:7. Regardless, as a young student in Christian apologetics, I need to ask a couple of questions: (1) what does someone mean by His “word” and is that descriptive or prescriptive of what He will do? (2) Since God is omnipotent, why didn’t He have His words carved in something permanent, ala Mount Rushmore for example? Portability would be an obvious problem, but at least we would have a virtually unchangeable fixed reference “library” to go back to. (3) Why do my KJVO Christian brothers seem to go ballistic when any disparaging word is cast in the KJV direction? The emotional response seems more Muslim-like than Christ-like…but maybe that’s just me. Thanks!

  14. Most KJVO advocates will quickly tell you how evil the Codex Vaticanus is, and therefore involved the Vatican, and the Catholic Chucrch, that is should have nothing to do with the Bible. Fine … but if you want to eliminate all traces of Rome from the Bible, remember that the Textus Receptus was edited by Desiderius Erasmus, who was a … Roman Catholic! Oh the horror!

  15. 1. Did God promise to preserve his words? Yes. In Hebrew, Aramaic, & Koine Greek.

    2. Where can one find the preserved words of God on earth today (in any language)? In the Bible

    3. Why do you suppose God would allow the most printed book in human history (the KJV, with no close second) to contain fraudulent information, e.g., I John 5:7? Man
    4. Why do you suppose that God allowed the “corrupted” KJV to be used for several hundred years to spread Christianity throughout the world while the “better” manuscripts were hidden in the Egyptian desert and the Vatican? Is it reasonable to believe that God chose to hide his preserved Word from the Church for the better part of 2,000 years? The KJV merely had a good head start. If the printing press was invented in the mid 19th century instead of the mid 15th, just in time for the discovery of Sinaiticus, I’m certain we’d say today, “what’s a KJV?” And let’s not forget King James said “no more Geneva bibles etc. No one who had influence & lots of money would get behind Bible reproduction.
    5. If you don’t agree that the KJV is “corrupted,” explain why we shouldn’t read I John 5:7 as original? No Bible translation MUST contain 1 John 5:7-8* to effectively support the Trinity and what’s “original*” is a matter of perspective.

    In conclusion:
    1. The KJV is just “corrupt” as the NASB NIV ESV NLT, Holman, NET, Geneva*, NKJV, and the CSB to name a few.
    * all reformation Bibles really
    2. The KJV is no more perfect than any of the above either. Factually speaking, as any expert linguist will whole-heartily agree, a perfect translation of anything is impossible.
    3. When I factor in words & phases that make the KJV*, hands-down, THE most difficult, some passages impossible, to understand**, I’m forced to leave it* on the shelf next to the LB.
    ** didn’t hear of the KJV until after I was 39. I’m 62
    4. I’m grossly sorry to tread on your tradition w/ a difference of opinion, supported by the FACTS in 1, 2, & 3

  16. Just because you smile when you insult somebody doesn’t change the fact that you were insulting them. God promised he would preserve His word.
    Where is it?
    There are no originals in existence today.
    Versions that disagree cannot both be right.

    ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ‘

    Hebrews 11:6

    God’s Word is not a book to criticize as you would any other.

    Let God’s word change you not the other way around.

    If the King James Bible is not the infallible word of God then we don’t have it and if we don’t have it God has lied and we are all doomed.

    I believe he has preserved it.

    As for the straw man who says that you can’t go to heaven without a KJV. That’s non-sense.

    ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. ‘

    Romans 10:13

    1. Response to Scott Sowrheaver:

      But why the KJV? It’s an entirely arbitrary selection you have made. KJV-Onlyism is simply very bad logic.

      Insert “NIV” in all your statements about the KJV and you get the same result, just a different bible. When you start with the presupposition that “God preserving his word” means what you think it means, select a particular bible version/translation as the standard, then you’ll view any deviation from that “standard” as proof of an error.

      This is not a new phenomenon by the way. The Catholics did it with the Vulgate, the Eastern Orthodox did it with the Septuagint, and some people do it with the Peshitta. Why are they wrong and you right? Those versions all came before King James.

      Like it or not, at the end of the day, the KJV is a TRANSLATION — it is NOT the original. And no translation is a perfect reflection of the original. There are demonstrable textual and translational errors in the KJV which anyone who is approaching the issue with common sense and honesty will easily recognize.

      I would submit to you that KJV-Onlyism is the result of a hyper-literalistic interpretation of the Sola Scriptura doctrine which, I would remind you, not all Christians agree with anyway. Having accepted the Sola Scriptura doctrine of the 16th century Protestant Reformation, you then impose your own expectations for what preservation should look like onto history and arbitrarily choose the KJV as the standard.

      Jesus and the apostles quoted the Old Testament frequently, and even in your King James, the NT quotes do not always match up exactly with the OT renderings. Apparently, the NT authors did not have the same view of “preservation” as you do.

      And one final point. KJV-Onlyists often say things such as, “Why would God allow a Bible with so many errors to go around and evangelize the world? It’s the number one bestseller, therefore it must be the only true Bible!” Again, very poor logic. Simply ask yourself the very same question regarding the other versions/translations. Believing as you do that every Bible other than the KJV is filled with errors, why would God allow so many different versions/translations to be so widespread throughout the earth? Please meditate on that a bit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.