In more recent times I've been finding that I'm regularly bumping into KJVO believers. While it isn't a salvation issue, I do think it's an important issue. Personally I usually use NIV version as I find it to be a good version, but I'm happy to look at other versions, and I think it's unhelpful to tell people that they have to read a book that uses outdated English that is difficult to understand. In fact at times, due to the change in language over the centuries since the KJV was written, some of the words and phrases in the KJV sound absurd to us today. For example the KJV uses the phrase "gay clothing" whereas most modern versions correctly say "fine clothing" due to the obvious change in the meaning of the word gay in today's vernacular. (See KJV Archaic Words).
Also in more recent times I've been blessed to listen to some of James White's videos online. He is a gracious and highly intelligent man that I highly respect. He has also had public debates with Muslims on a number of occasions and does so with hum.
A few weeks ago I watched this video - Should we exclusively use the King James Bible? I found it really helpful. It's a debate between James White and Jack Moorman. Interestingly, just several days after watching this debate I met someone at a church meeting who I discovered was a KJVO person, and I was able to share some of the things I'd learned from watching this debate.
Some questions I have for KJVO people are:
- Which KJV Bible do you follow?
- If the English in the KJV is inspired then why didn't God enable the translators to get it right the first time and not have so many different versions that could cause confusion?
- The original 1611 version which almost no one uses and is almost unreadable due to the archaic typesetting? (E.g. They used the letter v for the letter u.)
- The 1760 revision?
- The 1769 Blayney revision? (This is what most KJV people use, and it's often referred to as a 1611 KJV because it's considered that it's not a new translation but is a new edition).
- The 1769 Blayney Cambridge version?
- The 1769 Blayney Oxford version? (There are over 100 differences between the Oxford and Cambridge versions).
- The 1769 version with no italics for words added by the translators?
- The NKJV?
- Why are you believing something about the KJV that the original 47 translators of it never believed? (They never believed that the KJV translation was inspired or innerant in terms of the English words, nor did they believe that their translation was the final translation that would ever be needed in English.)
- Doesn't it strike you as odd that there are absolutely no KJVO people who are scholars with relevant qualifications? (I've searched in vain to try and find even one KJVO scholar with even a degree in biblical exegesis and biblical Greek. I'm not saying that KJVO are lacking in intelligence - it just seems to me that they are lacking in solid critical thinking skills or haven't yet applied those critical thinking skills to this issue. The closest I could find to a KJVO scholar is "Dr" Sam Gipp, who I discovered doesn't have real qualifications).
The bottom line is that modern Bible translations such as the NIV, NASB, and ESV are based on far more manuscripts than were available when the KJV was translated. These manuscripts enable the translators to know with much greater accuracy what the original autographs actually said. We can trust God's Word, and should not think that we have to use only the KJV.
One of the key issues in this whole debate is the fallacy of begging the question / circular reasoning (i.e. assuming what you're supposed to be proving). An example of begging the question is when KJVO people argue that it's terrible that modern translations have removed so many verses (which is one of the main accusations KJVO people use against modern translations), but from a non KJVO perspective it could just as easily be argued that it's terrible that the KJV added so many verses that weren't in the original texts!
KJVO people make the KJV their ultimate standard a priori and anything that doesn't fit into that paradigm is critically explained away, but they will not apply the same kinds of critical arguments to the KJV itself. This is a form of double standard, as illustrated well here by James White:
"Gail Riplinger appeared with Dr. Joe Chambers on June 4, 1994 on a radio program in Charlotte, North Carolina. Again Mrs. Riplinger allowed the interviewer to make reference to her academic credentials without once mentioning the fact that her field of study is not at all related to the Bible, history, or any type of linguistic or textual study. Again Mrs. Riplinger brought up Virginia Mollencott, but then, when a caller brought up the charge of homosexuality that history places against King James I of England, she was vociferous in her defense of King James. The interviewer rightly pointed out that James had nothing to do with the translation itself: of course, Virginia Mollencott's unannounced lesbianism had no impact upon the NIV, either, though Mrs. Riplinger would inconsistently deny this." (From 'New Age Bible Versions Refuted', by James White).
KJVO LIE: Westcott and Hort (who made an updated Greek New Testament in 1881) were spiritists / involved in the occult. (This lie seems to come from Gail Riplinger - see the video below - 'Gail Riplinger vs James White', and the above article 'New Age Bible Versions Refuted').
TRUTH: Westcott and Hort were not spiritists or involved in the occult in any way. Also this rumour overlooks the fact that the Greek used for modern Bible translations today differs significantly from Westcott and Hort's.
For Further Reading / Research:
- The King James Only Movement - Alpha and Omega Ministries.
- The KJV Only Controversy - Always Be Ready.
- Eric Hovind Discusses Bible Translations With Dr James White - Creation Today.
- Dr James White Full Interview 'NWO Bible Translations' - YouTube.
- Dr James White (on Wretched) - YouTube.
- Kent Hovind on the KJV: Reply Part 1 - YouTube.
- King James Version - Wikipedia.
- King James Only Movement - Wikipedia.
- Gail Riplinger vs James White, 1993, KRDS Radio Part 1 - YouTube.
- A Mega Plus (2:20) Long Dividing Line! Alpha and Omega Ministries.