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King James Error
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The King James Error

By Mark Phillip Purchase ThD PhD

CONTENTS

1 Introduction

(a) Definitions

2. Who Can Be Saved?

3. A Misguided Faith

4. A Perfect language?

5. Translators Satanic?

6. Sinful Bible Readers

7. The Meaning of Word

(a) Where are the words?

8. The KJV

(a) Many KJV Editions

9. Scripture is Inerrant

10. Scripture is Preserved

11. Scripture is Inspired

12. Texts and Manuscripts

13. Text-Types

14. Textus Receptus

(a) Defenders of the TR

15. Transition to a Better Text

16. By their Fruit

17. Authority & Clarity

18. Signs of a Cult

19. Conclusions

20. Books

References

Abbreviations

AV            Authorised Version
ARV          American Revised Version
Cor.          Corinthians
KJV           King James Version
Lk.            Luke
LXX          Septuagint
Mtt.         Matthew
MS           Manuscript
MSs          Manuscripts
NKJV         New King James Version
NAS          New American Standard
NT            New Testament
NWT          New World Translation
Psa.          Psalms
RT             Received Text
RV            Revised Version
TR            Textus Receptus

Introduction

This debate dividing good churches. Christians are insisting the KJV is the only true Bible and all others are ‘of the Devil’. These King James Only people are often divisive in their comments and caustic in their attacks on those that disagree. A plea for sanity, fairness and Christian love is needed.

Many English-speaking Christians love the KJV and have been brought up on its Shakespearian eloquence, memorising Scripture in that form. With such I have respect, I have used that version since childhood and join with all who desire God use His Word (whatever version) for the blessing of many. It is those who over exaggerate the KJV which I write about. I use the name “radical” referring to them. It might be considered strong. I would rather call them differently, but their behaviour is often far from 'Christian'. Originally this name comes from one who called himself "radical" on his KJ Only website: http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/tlamb/Index.htm So I'm not calling names for names sake. But it accurately describes the radical claims. I see a clear difference between a KJ radical and one who uses and believes the KJV is the best available.

Whenever there is a long ecclesiastical usage of a particular version there is always a strong reaction to any superseding version. And this is the case in this debate.

Can Christians read a Bible version of their choice? The KJ radicals say, “no”. The idea of “preference and toleration” is unacceptable. All must use the KJV there's no personal choice. They call Christians who don’t use it “fools, deceived and hypocrites”. They urge them not to trust their version but burn it, to use that is to “apostatise”. Without the KJV they say, there’s no right or wrong or final authority in Christian living or doctrine.

We are going to look at their comments. Their literature claims the KJV is always right and never wrong. And often contains lists where other versions differ to the KJV. Then they castigate these for differing and insist only the KJV is correct. This methodology proves nothing but assumes what is yet to be proved. And of course, the KJV is never regarded as wrong or unclear in its rendering on any verse but clearer than all others. They constantly fail to realise doctrine is not determined by one-verse or comparing translations. It’s correct, modern translations omit-words or phrases the KJV retain but its also true the KJV omit words or phrases others retain. No Bible doctrine is in question by differences in translations or difficult verses. [i] And the authenticity of a verse should never be defended simply because it happens to be a useful peg to hang a doctrine on. We would have the ultimate proof that the KJV is the recovered autographs if we had the original autographs, but we don’t.

The Bible is the simplest yet most profound book ever written. This is true of the inspired original itself and in some respect also of the translations. The great fundamental truths are so apparent on the surface that the worse manuscript (MS) in existence does not alter “one article of faith, or one moral precept”. On the other hand, the best translation is imperfect and often fails to express the delicate shades of meaning which distinguish one word from another [Preface Dic., of Bible Words and Synonyms. R Young].

My theological position is simply this: I endorse the importance of the full inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, for when confidence in Scripture begins to wane, so does the historical Jesus and ultimately the only plan of Salvation  [ii] I stress the authority of Scripture for measuring theological claims. KJ radicals turn this debate from the authority of Scripture, inerrancy and inspiration to the question which version is Scripture? Then apply these precious truths accepted by evangelicals, exclusively to the KJV. If any disagree with their claims, they are labelled "liberals" and "brain-washed." Then they argue inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration of Scripture is lost. This is completely untrue. Our common faith is the belief that God has spoken through one Bible but there are many translations.

The KJ radicals are convinced the world is against them. When promoting the KJV they demonize others. They insist Bible scholars; churches, Bible Societies, theological colleges, translators, translations, textual critics and the Vatican are all against the KJV and so against God. All part of a conspiracy which has existed throughout church history. In describing this conspiracy they exaggerate their argument beyond truth. I cannot accept their claims, the NT is the primary witness to the events associated with the supreme revelation of God - in Christ. And the apostolic witness is the final word of objective revelation. When redemption reached it's climax, special revelation also. With the end of the events of redemption came the end of special revelation. The NT as written by the apostles is the delegated authority of the Lord Jesus, not translations and their translators, they do not have the same authority.

DEFINITIONS

When analysing the radicals literature it becomes obvious many words ie., Scripture, Gospel error, faith, sin, corruption, inerrancy and God’s Word all have new meanings. And interpreted with meanings the original writers never intended. This is part of the problem. Since words have different meanings, agreement with them is difficult. Hence their new vocabulary –

‘Sinner’ – one who thinks the KJV has a mistake – or uses any other version.
‘Error’ – only found in other versions, never in the KJV
‘Inerrant’ – the KJV is exempt from error – never other versions.
‘Infallible’ – the KJV is incapable of error
‘The Word of God’ - the KJV – (Often radicals won’t define this term)
‘Words of God’ – the words in the KJV
‘Thy Word’ – the KJV
'Heretic' - one who "tears down" the KJV
‘Inspired’ – only the KJV, not even the originals
‘Bible corrector’ – any bible translator but not the KJV translators
‘Faith’ - that the KJV alone is God’s Word
‘Scripture’ - the KJV
’Gospel’ - believe, repent, baptised, learn English use the KJV
‘Corruption’ – found only in other text-types/versions never the TR or KJV
‘Bible’ – the KJV.
‘Hypocrite’ – a Christian that uses another version other than the KJV
‘Apostate’ - a Christian who will not use the KJV
‘Bible-haters’ – Christians who use other versions, or say bad things about the KJV
‘Enemy of the Bible’ – Bible translators [but not the KJ translators]

So when 2 Pe.3.15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer”. To KJ radicals this means be prepared to defend the KJV. Often defence of the Gospel to them is defence of the KJV. They always have more to say about the later.

A common radical ploy is to always ask questions and never accept answers. They ask – "Where are the words of God?" Or "Which Bible is the real one?" Or “What are the scriptures? Or “What is the word of God? Its a circular debate. One can answer the question only to have them ask again. I have seen this repeatedly. Whatever answer is given, it’s never good enough unless it states their belief.

2. Who Can Be Saved?


How does this subject relate to salvation? Why would this question arise? Can we be saved through reading another version? Radicals argue all other versions are “works of the Devil…Satanic imitations…lies…polluted counterfeit rubbish” and "full of mistakes". G.A Riplinger says they are the "sinful seed" of the "dragon" and "harmful, defiled" and "unholy" (p.18, 12 Understanding the KJB). They are so untrustworthy one cannot be sure about any doctrine unless the KJV is consulted. They say,“an unsaved person can only be saved and born again by the Word of God” which they insist is the KJV. When they say, “we believe the Bible, every word of it and through it we are saved”, they’re referring to the KJV. A problem arises because if they believe an unconverted can be converted through other versions, they must define what they mean by the “Word of God”. And how much of God’s Word is in other versions. 1 Pet 1:23 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” This indicates “God’s Word” has a wider definition than the KJV. Yet they write,

“How do you know you are saved, if you cannot prove it from an "Inerrant" Authority?”

“If your god, cannot keep his promise of preservation, how then can your 'god' keep his promise for your salvation?

"It is just as important to have the True Word of God as it is to have True saving faith" (p.30 Letter from Dr Spackman to Dr Purchase’ 31st Mar.98).

If you doubt the validity of the word of God [KJV] how can you be sure of your OWN salvation.”


We might wonder the state of those before 1611, the printing press and when most people were literate. What hope did they have? Another quote,

“How do you know that you are saved? Please DON’T say ‘..because the Bible says so’, or ‘the Scriptures say so’ or…‘the word of God says so’… if you can't produce that Bible”.  [iii]

He is saying we can’t be sure regarding salvation unless we produce the KJV.

God has never promised, nor is obliged, to provide his words in more than one language  [iv]

He thinks the language God chose is KJ English. Even the KJV will not support this claim. Think about these quotes and you will realise their serious implications. Salvation becomes intrinsically linked to a language and a Bible version. I contend the NT does not teach salvation rests on a language or translation, but on Christ's atonement, death and resurrection (Jn.3:16-17 Rom.10:9). There will be many in Heaven who never read the KJV or even spoke English.

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred's, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" Rev.7:9 (cp.5:9).

This questions the whole argument. 75% of all Bible-believing Christians live in the non-Western World. The heavenly vision speaks of millions from all nations and languages who simply accepted the Gospel message. Indeed, all nations shall worship before Him (Ps.22:27,28. 72:11,17. 96:1,3,10). Concerning salvation, Paul never mentions dialects or languages. Read the great salvation chapters of Romans and Galatians three and four. People become Christian’s when they receive Christ as their Saviour and the Holy Spirit, enters their heart (Gal.3.1-3 Rom.8:9). Neither the Apostles, nor Early Church Fathers suggest converts must learn another language. In fact, right from the beginning of the Church, the Gospel was proclaimed in various languages and dialects. God gave the gift of tongues as a sign He was moving from the single nation Israel. An indication the message was for all tongues.

"Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God”. Acts 2:7b-11 (See also Ac.10:34-35, 17:26-30 22:2 Mk.16:15 1 Pe.1:1-2).

If God only provides "His words" in one language, then that language is vital. And none can be sure about salvation (or any doctrine) unless they learn that language to read “His words”. This adds works to the Gospel of grace. It demands the convert not only repent and believe the Gospel, but to know God’s Word, they must learn Elizabethan English. This is foreign to the Gospel "once delivered unto the saints" (Eph.2:8-9). To require this of converts is a departure from truth and makes the KJ radicals characteristic to a cult. It also implies God is racist and discriminatory. God’s promise to Abraham was that all the nations would be blessed through faith (Gal.3:8).

The KJV is read by English speakers, but not all. Millions don’t have a firm grasp of English to use it. There are millions of functionally illiterate people even in the USA and millions worldwide illiterate in English and even their own language, with no possibility to learn English. There's at least 380 million who speak a language with no Scripture. 250 million don't have Scripture or any translation.

Yet God can communicate with illiterate (or fluent) in their own language (1 Cor.12:13-26 Gal.3:28). “Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people” [Psa.119.130]. Acts 2:7-11 refers to those who heard the Gospel. As “Faith comes by hearing,” so the Bible was meant to be clearly heard and easily read. But if God only communicates in a foreign KJ language or ambiguously then millions have no show of understanding (1 Cor.14:6-9). This suggest God was racist or discriminatory for Israel first and then for England.

3. A Misguided Faith

An illustration: If Lutherans were to claim Luther’s German translation of 1522 is God’s Word and “ALL others” are “Satanic”. Then obviously we must learn German to read the only correct Bible. And there become two classes of people in the Church – learned intellectuals [who read and speak German] and those who can't [but use “Satanic counterfeits”]. A recipe for division and an exercise in misguided faith.

This effectively removes the focal point of faith in God’s Word, to faith in a human translation. Faith in a translation is different from faith in God. Biblical faith is - trusting God and the message of His Word. Biblical faith is not - trusting human translations whatever their words, simply because translations are the work of men who make mistakes. I have faith in God's Word but translation mistakes [in KJV or NIV or whatever] don't rob me of my faith in God. If we find an error in a version, we don't throw away our Bible and wonder if we have eternal life.

4. A Perfect Language?

Muslims believe the Qur’an can only be correctly read and studied in Arabic. Muslims can only receive blessing by reciting the Qur'an in Arabic, even if they don't understand it. So the radicals believe English of the KJV is as they say, “God’s chosen perfect language”. Apparently Israel, Adam, Jesus and the angels missed out.

While English has a richness and variety its not "perfect". No language on earth is perfect; all are governed by human and cultural influence. Human language is a social phenomenon bound to time and culture. The Word of God is conveyed in the words of men, so the Scriptures are both human and divine. The expression ‘word of God’ is a Biblical concept [originating before 1611] it conveys God’s self-communication. Yet the words of the Bible are the words of humans about the word of God. If we hold to Biblical inerrancy we should realise truth has come to us through fallible means. And Christians preach and teach truth in human words, which are fallible. If one believed that at every point only perfect words could convey truth, one could not preach or witness in any manner except to quote Scripture from its original manuscripts [which we don't possess]. When we admit truth may come to us in imperfect words, we in no wise indicate the original manuscripts were also imperfect. All Bible versions convey truth only in imperfect languages of men and all language is somewhat inadequate to the reality to which it points.

 English became a global language because it's flexible. As Greek for 3,000 years underwent many changes, so English continues to evolve and change to suit it's own advances. English of the Colonial era is not modern English. Why can't God use modem English? Many countries have their own form of English because language is a cultural expression. And what might be a state of excellence for some, can be a linguistical obstacle course for others. So their mother tongue is vital and an understandable translation. For millions the most effective means of communication is their mother tongue. The Church has long realised that communicating the gospel is critical to her existence. Communication must be clear and accurate for understanding. So no translation can ever be considered final because language and words change over time. Contrary to this, King James defenders write,

God has never promised, nor is obliged, to provide his words in more than one language” “God chose ONE language in which to reach the world" Just as "Anyone desiring the word of God would have to convert to Judaism"

Now why would God select a grandiose sounding English excluding modern English or other languages? He didn't, note Acts 10:35 "but in every nation he that feareth Him and live good lives are acceptable to Him."

The Bible has been translated in to over 1,200 languages (more than any book). Praise God millions have the Bible in their modern tongue. Do they have a weak corrupt faith without the KJV? Or find it impossible to obey, trust and know God? No! Those who confine Scripture to a limited 1611 edition doubt the power of God’s Word and seek to restrict it, contrary to 2 Tim.2.9 “the word of God is not bound”. (KJV).

If God chose one language what about Hebrew? Was it the original God-given language for man? Were Gentile languages given as an act of divine judgment? What about Aramaic or Greek? Jesus used Aramaic, not the Hebrew of the nation of Israel. The Aramaic was not ideally equipped for the conveyance of God’s revelation in Christ; comparatively few readers outside the nation Israel used it. God purposed to use the people of Israel as instruments to spread Christianity, yet their own language was not suitable for the task. In His providential overruling He gave to the devout Hebrew heart a Greek tongue in order to make the message intelligible to the world. He can use any language!

God’s plan was that, “whoever believes in him should not perish” Jn.3:15,16 (Jn.4:13 Acts 2:21. 10:43 Rom.9:33. 10:13. 1 Jn.3:6, 3:9, 4:15, 5:1. Rev.20:15). God is “willing…that all should come to repentance” (2 Pe.3:9). God desires all “men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim.2:7).

Paul spoke various languages (1 Cor.14.18) and evangelised at Syria, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Asia, Thrace, Macedonia and Rome. He realised people could not acknowledge the truth of God and continue in the faith if the message was not natural, clear, simple and unambiguous. He wrote, “For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand.” He desired those that ‘understood in part, would come to understand fully’ [2 Cor.1:13-14]. His desire was clarity and understanding to those who read his words and their walk of faith depended on it.

It's absurd to think God intended to lock-up "His Words" in an English publication [KJV 1611]. Why would God conceal this from Paul, send no prophet to warn the Church and then in 1611 initiate this secret plan for the rest of the church age? Paul declared the whole counsel of God (Ac.20.27) yet rejects any revelation not found in Christ (Col.2.2-8 Gal.1:6-12). Why would God send missionaries to lost souls in foreign countries but after 1611 restrict His Word and reject the new discoveries that clarify His Word to us? The simple answer is ‘He has not’! There is no divine stamp from heaven on the KJV as something other versions are not.

5.Translators Satanic?

Bishop:
"Luther you cannot allow holy Scripture in the hands of the common man. If the common man were to have the Scriptures what would happen?
Luther:
"Why the answer is simple my dear Bishop, you would have more Christians"


The KJ radicals insist, “anyone who uses any OTHER bible has a corrupt bible”  [v] and translators are ‘arrogant bible correctors’ doing Satan's work. Translators are part of "the most vicious and malicious attempted assassination of the word of God ever seen on plant earth." They are, “the most dangerous enemy of the word of God  [vi] Think about those claims. Has wickedness triumphed over God’s Word? No! God’s Word is “living and powerful” (Heb.4.12) because the Holy Spirit is The Translator (Jn.16:13-15). Christ said,

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn.6:63).

These words contain a caution how hearers understand Christ’s words in the literal sense (eg., as though His 'body' were the communion Bread). His words are to be spiritually understood because the life they promise is of a spiritual nature. These words of life are so powerful they can’t be trapped in time or language. God’s Word is alive today as it was to Augustine, Wyclif or Luther, because we are the recipients of a Divine Revelation not a divine translation. The Holy Spirit illuminates as we read, He bears witness with our spirit to the truth of what we read. Without His work Scripture is dead letter (1 Cor.2:14 2 Cor.3:6 Eph.6:17). So the proper balance is to acknowledge The Translator (God the Holy Spirit), the writing, the writer and the reader.

The Bible has always been a missionary book, it’s not a 'White-Man’s Bible’. God has given His Church the responsibility to communicate the gospel. But for years the church lost it’s way. To date, there are only 429 full Bibles translated into other languages. The more Bible translations, the more people come to faith in Christ and more Christians grow and mature in their faith. But translators have problems. Firstly, they are not perfect. They are trained for the task and must study and use the best resources available while learning difficult languages. So no translation can be infallibly correct unless the Holy Spirit guide with the same degree of inspiration as the original Bible writers. Secondly, we don’t have the original autographs and just as well or we would make idols of them. And thirdly, human languages are not perfect. There are always cross-purposes in understanding, words change and become obsolete, so the need for revisions and new translations.

The KJ sect would withhold Scripture from millions of needy souls, by insisting translating is corrupting Scripture. This would steal what belongs to the whole Church. God has given His Word for all His people of every nation and generation. Christ commanded His disciples to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, "Go ye therefore, and teach ALL NATIONS" (Mt.28). Since the original tongues (and English) aren’t known to all God's people (who have right and interest in Scripture) the Scriptures MUST be translated into the languages of every nation. Translating Scripture and communicating the Gospel is all part of the Great Commission. The Latin, Coptic and Syriac versions all are evidence of early translating.

The level of understanding the Bible will vary with the reader’s cultural and educational background. Those with a limited comprehension of English require their language translation. Through Scripture we come to know God’s will as He conveys His good Word to us. It’s a Word of transformation and there can be nothing more important than to hear God’s Word clearly and accurately and respond to His voice. Only by understanding God’s Word can His Word change our lives. If what we read (or hear) is confusing, obscure or incomprehensible our “mind is unfruitful”. Paul says,

“…except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me...” (1 Cor.14.9-11).

The aim of translators is to increase the understanding of Scripture and accurately and clearly communicate God’s Word into common speech. They often record and testify to what they believe is Divine guidance and protection. KJ radicals have called translators “deceitful… dishonest… lovers of money…evil…bible correctors”. Yet translators have often been called ‘heretics’ and persecuted throughout history. There has always been those who have endeavoured to restrict the influence and availability of God’s Word. The Samaritians only accepted the Pentateuch as canonical and authoritative, Marcion only accepted his own version of Luke and ten Pauline epistles. King Henry 8th wanted a single standardised edition, so he passed a law for all copies of Tyndale’s, Matthews and other translations be destroyed. When Tyndale’s was published it was called “crafty, false and untrue” and forbidden to be “kept and used in the land”. Many copies were burned.  [vii]

Jerome’s dictum was that ‘ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ’. Yet some regarded him as an ‘enemy of the faith’, because he revised the old Latin version. His new version [Vulgate] was badly received because the older version was held in respect. Jerome attempted to relieve the text of errors that had crept into it. In the course of time the worth of his labours was recognised.

And then men went to the other extreme, they made the Vulgate the standard text of the NT from the original tongues, notwithstanding that it was only a Latin translation from the original tongues. For years the Latin Vulgate was the only version officially recognised [or authorised] by the Roman Catholic Church. They believed it was inspired and without error. Any translating into the common tongue of any language was considered corrupting Scripture. So the Papists wickedly withheld Scripture from people and translators were martyred and persecuted as heretics.

Even after this view changed, for years, Catholicism would not translate from any other text than the Vulgate. This high view of the Vulgate was based on its long ecclesiastical usage, NOT dictated by a judgment in matters of scholarly criticism. So for years “sellers of the Word” were cursed from the alters of churches and excommunicated. Bonfires of Bibles blazed. Men were flung into dungeons as the Roman Church attempted to control the disputation of books. The KJ debate is all about long ecclesiastical usage. Any version that’s been around a long time and found it’s way into the writings and faith of the churches is hard to break with. Even when it becomes out of date. Luther faced a similar problem. The RCC had their “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” (Index of Forbidden Books) as radicals have their list of 'evil versions'.

John Wickliffe translated the Bible into English. The zeal of the bishops to suppress the Scriptures promoted its sale, with anger bishops even dug-up and burnt his bones. The Lollards [Wyclif’s followers] helped spread this Bible and many were martyred. The bishops would fasten about their necks scraps of this version [found in their possession] and burn them alive. The Priests, in hurch services in that day would only read the Bible in Latin. After the services (without the authority of the Priests) the ‘Lollards’ or ‘babblers’ (as called) read the English Bible to people (which annoyed Priests and bishops).

John Hus (1380-1415) was burnt at the stake in 1915. The church believed he had committed heresy. He believed everyone should be allowed to read the bible in their own language. The fire was kindled with the pages of the forbidden bible of John Wycliffe.

William Tyndale risked his life to translate the Scriptures. He fled to Germany and printed it there and had it smuggled into England. The bishops called it a false erroneous translation and “full of heresies”; he died as a martyr in 1538. Some were martyred for no other reason than reading it and the Priests urged men to “burn those dangerous books”. In fact, a huge fire in St Paul’s churchyard was arranged for that task (1525). Likewise Thomas Cranmer and his translation were opposed. Yet these homemade hand-written Bibles didn’t ‘corrupt’ Scripture but caused a spiritual revival across Europe and the Reformation itself. Tyndale states why he undertook his work,

Which thing only moved me to translate the New Testament? Because I had perceived by experience how that it is impossible to establish the lay people in any truth, except the scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue, that they might see the process, order, and the meaning of the text.” “W. T. to the Reader.

A few KJ radicals will try to avoid the serious implications of their doctrine by claiming the “KJV is translated into foreign languages”. This might make them feel better but it also reveals a contradiction and a misunderstanding of translation work.

The KJV uses archaic English names regarding objects that are known by other names today. And meanings of old English words have changed, so the AV is of little help to translators. Foreign language translations are not justified to the text of the 1611, but the Greek, Hebrew or Critical Text. Translators don’t depend on one version; they use a variety of sources. So the KJV is not used as the primary text for translating. Even if it was, words translated between languages don't always have equivalence respectively. Translating is not merely some kind of mechanical process. Sentences and words must be very carefully selected to make proper sense. In all translations, the translator(s) must on occasions make decisions as to the meaning of a passage. Even if translators correctly understand the meaning of a passage, they may be forced to decide which of the several options in the receptor language to use. This illustrates a problem; they are always looking for words to express the meaning in the recipient language. They must choose only one word and can’t always please critics regardless of what they do.

The claim that the ‘KJV is translated into foreign languages’ is contrary to their doctrine. They say that ‘individual words’ are vitally important. And changing or translating them is “tampering with God's Word” and “corrupting the text". Their literature is full of warnings about even the smallest change. We might also wonder who decides if these so-called KJV foreign language translations, have any errors? Not the KJ radicals, no, because they are a English sect only concerned with debate.

And why then, is it wrong to translate the KJV into Modern English? Translating into English is far less difficult than into languages where rules of grammar are less developed and years of study are required to learn the receptor language first. How could a KJV remain a KJV when translated into foreign languages, yet when revised (ie. RV & NKJV) become corrupt? The NKJV is based on the defective 1611 TR, yet radicals regard it more dangerous than any other “because of the subtle changes in its text  [viii]

It's correct some translators could be accused of liberal, catholic, or overly conservative viewpoints on certain doctrines and it colours their work. Taylor for example, with the Living Bible in places departed from the original to translate so his children could understand. But if God's children grow strong using that, that’s good. Even the KJV translators advised, "Therefore as St Augustine saith, a variety of translations is profitable for finding out the sense of scriptures".

But to say "All the new versions" had "translators that were liberalists, rationalists, and spiritists" is typical of KJ radical's. They're convinced the world's against the KJV, so they demonise everyone as part of a conspiracy. In describing this conspiracy they tend to exaggerate their argument beyond the truth. Yes some of the colourful versions have had translators without a biblical background, perhaps without much education. Those types of translations will continue, but they don't serve the general public and have a very small audience. Some rightly feel those translations are sacrilegious and we would all agree.

Not only are the KJ radicals, anti-version and anti-translator but also appear anti-evangelistic. They offer no support for world-wide Bible Societies promoting distribution of scripture. They scorn such as greedy and dishonest. Yet Bible Societies receive no government funding or profits from Scripture sale. They depend on the financial support of Christians and churches through gifts and legacies [p.4 The Word at Work. Bulletin 143 Scripture Union]. Recently the NZ Bible Society reached 3,000 Palestinian families by distributing 3,000 Bibles. By the end of 2000 it hopes for 10,000. In the remote areas of the Arabian Peninsula a distribution programme hopes to reach more than 50 different languages. In Jordan 44,000 Bibles in Arabic and another 20,000 Bibles in Iraq. It spends over $100 million per-year in translation production and distribution in 235 countries. This requires support, prayers and finance. Spreading God’s Word brings tremendous blessing, hope, inspiration and reaches millions for the Gospel. Only eternity will show the real results of what the Lord has done in many lives because of this urgent and important work.

It’s surprising but KJ advocates have a rather simplistic view of Scripture. Scripture is more complex, detailed and filled with wonder and intrigue than even the most learned linguistic scholars describe. It’s the powerful revelation of God, but it wears garments of human language and presentation. Faith is to be in Scripture, not in a language translation for that is the object of scholarly investigation. So radicals ought to desist from claims that defenders and readers of modern versions represent a heterodox view of Scripture.

6.Sinful Bible Readers?


KJ radicals have a new definition for sin. Either “…you are a King James Bible Believer or you are an enemy of the Word of God” [ix]. They say reading all other versions is “apostate unbelief”. And if you use another version because you think its more correct and are not prepared to admit the KJV is right, then in effect you are “telling the Holy Spirit He is wrong”. This is referred to as, “next door to the unpardonable sin”. [x] In this manner, they parallel the wilful rejection of the Gospel with a wilful rejection of the KJV. This is completely unscriptural. Jesus refers to those who commit this “unpardonable sin” as endanger of eternal damnation (Mt.12:31-32). But He was not talking about using Bible versions. And most commentators believe that those who know Christ as their Saviour can ever commit this ‘unpardonable sin’ Jesus refers to. So it’s another example of their poor Scriptural exegesis.

They insist Christian’s cannot grow in faith without the KJV. And if a Christian uses any other version they have “forsaken God’s word” and will be “punished” by God. [xi] Yet the facts are, Christian’s can use the KJV or any version all their life without developing any of the strange ideas of radicals and grow spiritually in the Lord. Christian’s are not characterised or identified by the language or translation they use. They are characterised by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal.3:1), their love for Christ (Jn.14:15) and “one another…” (Jn.13:35)

God’s people testify that He is using the clarity of modern versions to feed, speak and guide people. These Christian’s are not “Bible-hating, Bible-rejecting apostates[xii] But they receive comfort, encouragement and guidance, God speaks and glorifies His name through modern translations. But it’s more likely an incomprehensible translation would produce immature Christians. Any suggestion not to read our Bible is more likely to come from Satan than God for the Bible is for the benefit of the Church.

7. The Meaning of 'Word'


Radicals place too much emphasis on English words in the AV. Eg, when they see the word “word” in the KJV, they assume [and insist] it refers to the KJV itself. And so, this results in strange ideas regarding the KJV. In the Bible the expression ‘word of God’ can mean -

1 all of God’s communications with human beings in it’s various forms and modalities.
2 the events of salvation history, the speaking of words of God
3 the spoken words of the prophets (including Jesus) on who the Spirit rests.
4 Pre-eminently applicable to Jesus the Incarnate One the fullness of God’s self-communication
5 the Christian proclamation
6 God’s message to man
7 The written words contained in Scripture.


Radicals mix up the expression so much they hold the strangest views regarding the KJV. When it says, “For the word of the LORD is right and true” (Psa.33.4) they believe this refers to the KJV alone. And regard Psa.138:2, “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name as referring to the KJV. They conclude God has magnified it above His Name  [xiii]. But if we read Psa.138:2 in a modern version we see that this error originates from an incorrect understanding of a poor translation in the KJV.

 “…for Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name." (NAS). Yet they insist the KJV alone is correct and the KJV has the name above His Name. Contrary to Phil.2.9 God has given Jesus “a name, which is above every name”. Paul did not share the radicals interpretation of Psa.138:2. If we examine word-meanings in the original languages to understand the meaning, Radicals reject this outright. They believe if the meaning of a Greek word differs from the meaning of an English word in the KJV, then the Greek is wrong. They say the Greek has “no authority” in interpreting Scripture, the “final authority” is the KJV. Some radicals claim, we “…don’t even know if the originals were in Greek…in fact, the entire NT almost certainly was not written in Greek.  [xiv] (However, they quote the Greek as an authority in support of the KJV) [xv]

To suggest the NT was not written in Greek is nonsense. No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of MS witness. There’s abundant evidence the NT was written in Greek. The KJV translators, although remarkable scholars, wrongly believed the NT was originally written in the Attic Greek of the Classics. The relevant MSs had not yet been discovered. We now know it was ‘”Koine” or ‘Common Greek’ of everyday life. This “priceless” discovery makes a huge difference when translating. [xvi] It also teaches us from the very beginning God intended His Word to be clearly understood by the common man. The difference between Attic and Koine is significant for the interpretation of the NT. Scholars give numerous examples of how ‘inaccurate’ the Attic Greek is when reading the NT compared to the Koine Greek. [xvii] Most speakers of the Koine were non-Greeks, for many of them Greek was a second language. So Koine did not have the precision and elegance of the classical Attic tongue. Written Greek had a number of dialects Doric, Acolic and Ionic. Attic was related to the Ionic of Athens which fostered a brilliant array of witness, hence called Classic Greek. Koine was used by common people as a communication in hellenistic age (ca 300BC-ca AD500). It was surpassed by the Greek of the Byzantine period which in turn yielded to the advent of modern Greek (1500).

Before this discovery by Adolph Deissmann (which had gone unnoticed for nearly 2000 years) the NT Greek had been difficult to classify, for it did not conform closely to the Greek that was written in the same general period. Some had referred to NT Greek in terms of "a Holy Ghost Greek". Deissmann was first to draw attention to the similarity between the vocabulary of the non-literary papyri and that of the NT [See his books “Bible Studies” 1901 “Light from the Ancient East” 1910]. Others continued the research Grenfell Hunt, George Milligan, J.H Moulton.

(a) Where Are The Words?

I exchanged emails with a KJ radical called ‘Doc Henley’. It went like this-

Doc: “Where are the words of God?”

Me: “God's Words are in the Bible.”

Doc: “But in which Bible, they are all different?”

Me: “Yes, God then obvious uses different words for different people. He speaks to them in their language using their words. We are the recipients of a Divine revelation not a Divine translation. The Word of God is conveyed in the words of man.”

Doc: “I don't mean that, where are the words, the ones He promised to preserve?”

Me: “Well, God never promised to preserve the original words and that is proven by the fact we don't have the original manuscripts. They after all, had all the original words on them. And God has not preserved them”.

Doc: “Then what did God promise to preserve?”

Me: “The translated message of those words. Words together form the message; words of themselves have little or no meaning. It's when they are put together they make meaning. Scripture is authoritative not because of style, phrases or even the words, but what the words say.”

Doc: “Answer the question. Where are the words of God?”

Me: “Are they in the KJV?”

Doc: “Yes”

Me: “Then they have changed from one language into another. And for millions of people who don't know English, they must learn English to read the 'words of God'. In order to read the very 'words of God' and be sure about salvation or doctrine they must learn English. If not they are at a disadvantage, for God has not spoken to them. You are adding works to the gospel, in fact it's not the gospel taught in the Bible. God never intended the gospel message to be locked up in one language because the gospel is for all tongues and languages of the nations 'Whosoever will'.”


8. The KJV


The Greek text of the KJV was essentially the Greek text of the NT as edited by Beza [1589]. He closely followed that published by Erasmus [1516-1535] and based it on a few medieval manuscripts. Erasmus was the foremost among the ‘humanist’ scholars of the Reformation period. The earliest and best of the 8 manuscripts Erasmus consulted were from the 10th century, and he made little use of them because they differed most from the common received text. Beza had access to 2 manuscripts of great value dating from the 5th and 6th centuries, but he made very little use of them because they differed from the text published by Erasmus. What a mess! Now we posses many more manuscripts and are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text. Our manuscript evidence is far better than for any other ancient book both in number of manuscripts and their dates.

The Authorised Version is not named because it was “God Authorised” as radicals imply. It's named because it was “authorised to be read in the churches". The 1611 was a revised version and proof of the need and value of Bible revision. Revision does not seek to change the truth but make the truth clearer. The Great Bible (1539), and Matthew’s Bible (1537), and Bishop’s Bible (1568) were all revisions. And Tyndale after he produced his version (1525) he also revised it (1534). Although the AV is the pickings of other versions much of Tyndale’s version is found in it. A case could equally be made for the inerrancy of the Great Bible or Tyndale’s. Yet KJ advocates only trust the opinions and interpretations of the KJV translators. They argue these scholars had infallibly and equal inspiration to the original Bible writers. They say that the Bible wasn’t complete or reliable until 1611. But the facts are that neither the KJV translators, copyists or printers were infallible.

Their claims are so exaggerated it means they cannot admit to one incorrect verse or word in the KJV. For that would mean they have lost the whole argument. They believe the KJV could not have ONE mistake for that would suggest ‘God has a mistake’. If anyone questions the KJV they question God, for it is regarded as perfect, even as God. In fact, the impression they give us is that the final authority is the KJV not God (This kind of logic is not new. The cults have a similar problem. Their leaders or belief system is also revered as infallible. Dedicated cultists never question what they are told or believe). Note these claims from KJ radicals –

"If you change ANYTHING you are a bible corrector”
“The KJB is the same word for word unaltered inerrant, unchanged 1611”
"How can the true Word of God contain even one error?”
"Because Prov.30:5 states “EVERY word of God is PURE:... An inaccurate word is not a pure word”.
"The KJV is “totally and completely faultless” [p.6 ‘Doubters Dozen’ D. Pearce]
“Do you really believe that God’s Word is truth? – because if so, then it cannot have any mistakes in it" (p.1,7 Probing the Problems and Finding the Answers. Dr D Spackman. Scripture Preservation Society.1982)


But why mention Proverbs 30:5 and ignore verse 6? This reads,Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar”. The KJ translators added words to make the translation conform to English. These words were printed in roman type to indicate there was no exact equivalent in the original. In today’s KJV (also the NASB) the "supplied” words are printed in italics.

However, when they say, "If you change ANYTHING you are a bible corrector!" their word "anything” does not mean anything, it means ‘some-things’. "Bible Correctors" have been busy changing the KJV. I have two pages photocopied from the 1627 KJV. I count 139 changes compared with today’s KJV. The changes in today’s KJV, from the 1611 have been estimated to be 75,000.[xviii] Whether 45 or 75 thousand, a “correction” is a “change”. It only takes one to fail the perfect test. Why argue all other versions have corrections and changes and avoid using these words concerning the KJV? Today’s KJV is not the “word-for-word …unaltered 1611”. The orthographical errors alone verify a huge numbers of alterations.

In 1612 the KJV under went the first reprint for corrections. In 1613 another edition, which corrected some errors but introduced others. It contained over 300 differences from the 1611. Criticisms resulted in a further revision in 1629. In 1638 an attempt was made to produce an "authentique corrected Bible". This was undertaken by a committee including two of the original translators. These two ‘original translators’ recognised errors in the 1611 requiring attention. In 1653 there was another call for revision because of errors in printing, translation, and language but nothing came of the proposal. In 1675 a spelling revision was made. In 1762 another corrected edition. And yet another in 1769. KJ advocates are forced to admit this is the KJV used today and they don’t tell us which KJV has less errors, the 1611 or 1769 ? A summary of the 1769 is given by J. Isaac -

'The marginal references were checked and verified, over 30,000 new marginal references were added, the chapter summaries and running head notes were thoroughly revised, the punctuation was altered and made uniform in accordance with modern practice, textual errors were removed…”  [xix]

So insisting the 1611 KJV did not “contain any error” is nonsense. There has been a long history of changes and errors. In 1631 an error resulted in the KJV been called the “Wicked Bible” and in 1795 been called the “Murderer’s Bible”. And so the same criticisms made by these people about other versions are true of the KJV. Yet they condemn the errors in other versions as “corruptions and evil” while the errors in the KJV are brushed aside as trivial. This double standard saturates their writings. When they say, “an inaccurate word is not a pure word" they ignore even the simple basic spelling mistakes found in the 1611.

When challenged on this, they gingerly respond ‘all errors have now been corrected’. This flies in the face of their whole emphasis on a perfect, inerrant, infallible KJV. And we are now asked to believe that “Bible correctors” have given us an inerrant KJV. The very fact of changes and errors proves that the same inspiration afforded to Scripture did not follow to translations. Even the KJV translators recognised the need to revise and change their work. Their introductory note to the reader – "Neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done".

The addition of the Apocrypha in the 1611 also constitutes an error. Those who had the final authority on what went into the 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha. Whether agreeable or not the KJ translators “diligently” translated the Apocrypha for the 1611 [they use the word “diligently” in their introduction to the Apocrypha]. The Apocrypha contains errors in geography, history and contradicts the Bible. It contains many absurdities. Lying is sanctioned, suicide and assassination are justified, almsgiving, magical incantations, etc., are all found within. There’s a noticeable style and difference between the Apocrypha and the canon, they do not belong together.

The KJV of 1611 contained a lengthy preface entitled. “The Translators to the Readers” which reveals the guiding purposes, attitudes, and methods of the translators of that great version. It states that the task of translating is one -

which helpeth forward to the saving of soules. Now what can be more available thereto, than to deliver God's booke unto God's people in a tongue which they can understand? - - Now shall men meditate in that which they cannot understand? - How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue? Translation it is that openeth the window to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtains, that we may looke unto the Most Holy Place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water.... Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but children at Jacob's well (which was deepe) without a bucket or something to draw with"

How contrary the thoughts of the KJ translators compared to the KJ radicals. God never intended Scripture to become ‘dead letter’ in a time-trap. Translators desire Scripture shouldn't be hard to understand and people have a translation the common “vulgar” man would understand [The word “vulgar” is another example how words change. People in 1611 would not use the word as we.]

Many KJV Editions

There have been approx 75,000 changes from the 1611 to our KJV. The 1611 suffered so many spelling errors it was reprinted in 1612. Today there are many KJV editions, so everyone cannot be ‘on the same page’ or necessarily read the same words. The first KJV off the press came with marginal column notes. The translators said they added these for "wordes and sentences" that seemed to present "difficultie and doultfulesse" to the reader. They argued the text needed further explanation so they provided the explanation in a footnote. Bible students need a Bible that offers a few notes and study aids. As successive editions of the KJV came off the press, the editors and printers would add more 'helps' to the margin: cross-references, alternate readings, variant spellings and interpretative comment. In 1701 a chronology was added and a date for major Biblical events. All without mistakes?

The KJV Criswell Study Bible has an introduction, outline and subheadings. Dake's KJV Annotated Reference Bible has lengthy margin notes and gives a veritable commentary on the text and subheadings. Nave's KJV Study Bible has alternate readings from the RV. The KJV Open Bible updates some of the versions more archaic words. Some KJ editions put portions of Scripture in small italic footnotes because the authenticity of the passages is in doubt [ie Ac.8.37 1.Pe.5.2]. The Footnotes in these KJV provide textual notes and recommended 'probable' texts with alternative readings regarding deletions [Mt.24.36], substitutions [Mk.1.41], additions [Mt.21.43], etc.

Note also the many Topical KJV's. Topical Bibles place Scripture in alphabetical order. Space limitations don't permit the quotation of Scripture verses in full so the editor edits some readings. Some of these KJV's are misleading when editors glean some far-fetched collection of Scripture verses for a topic. Or an editor claims an authoritative message from God on matters that the Bible is silent, he can distort our understanding of Scripture. Nave's Topical KJV has the occasional alternate reading from the RV. While the Zondervan KJV Topical Bible includes ASV, RSV and RV alternate readings. We could also mention the Defender's Study Bible (KJV) which states "Easter" should be "Passover" and states twice, "no translation in any language is perfect" (Intro OT & NT). Or 'The Evidence Bible' compiled by Ray Comfort. The text is a 'Comfort-able KJV' a sensitively revised KJV in which archaic words have been simplified to make God's Word more understandable [publishes notes. Bridge-Logos Publ. 2001].

Which KJV do I believe when one differs from another? I have a plain simple Cambridge KJV and regarding Acts 12.4 the margin tells me "Easter" should be "Passover". What happens when my KJV tells me that the understanding held by the KJ radicals, of their KJV is wrong? That’s when their interpretation holds more authority than the KJV itself.

9.Scripture is Inerrant

"If the KJB is the true Word of God, then it cannot contain any error..."

Scripture is without error or fault in all its teachings. It’s inerrant in all it affirms. But translations are not inerrant. When it comes to translations the text is not inerrant but the truths that the text conveys are inerrant. Translations have all the properties of human words and all the liabilities as well. One of the qualities of human language is that the connotation of human language is historically and culturally conditioned. So many 16th century words do not have a 21st century meaning, and many words of this century would be meaningless for a 16th century readership.

Inerrancy does not explain how to interpret a word or verse. How we do that, is the realm of hermeneutics. KJ radicals use inerrancy to make major issues out of minor matters and create disunity among Christians who otherwise have much in common. These people don’t believe the originals were “inerrant” for them that term only applies to the KJV. They believe the originals were likely “so messed-up in places” they had to be rewritten, so the KJV “surpasses” the originals.[xx] If translators work from the principle the originals were inerrant, they will have a high goal to work toward. If they work from the principle they weren’t then the task is hopeless and nothing we believe can be regarded as certain.

The meaning of the word "error" changes when it suits these people and their understanding of “inerrancy” is unscriptural. They are totally unaware that the word “inerrant” is not a biblical concept. In no passage in either OT or NT is the claim made that the Biblical books are free from error. In the Bible, erring is a spiritual or moral matter not intellectual and the opposite to truth is not error but deceit. Inerrancy isn't explicitly taught in the Bible. The writers of Scripture believed Scripture completely true, but that doesn't mean inerrancy. The Bible’s implication that it’s free from error doesn't describe what the errorlessness entails. We should appreciate the culture and the means of communication developed at the time the Bible was written. If we consider the purposes for which the Bible was given, then it is fully truthful in all it affirms. While it does not err, the important thing about the Bible is that it teaches truth. Radicals wrongly apply inerrancy in the sense of some kind of scientific exactness, in a strict sense. So even punctuation marks, capital letters and numbering of verses are all regarded as inspired and inerrant. Yet these were absent in the originals and added by translators. The chapter divisions we have today originate from the 13th century archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton [died in 1228]. The division into verses comes from the 1551 edition of the NT in Latin and Greek by Robert Estienne [1503-59].

KJ radicals need to declare which KJV is ‘infallible’, the 1611 KJV or today's? And are they asking us to find a Bible where the translators, copyists and printers were infallible? The facts are, even with the KJV, the translators, copyists or printers were not infallible, proven by the orthographical errors in the 1611. They alone verify a huge numbers of alterations to the text. So which KJV the 1611 or today’s?

Traditionally the Church has believed the doctrine of inerrancy applies in the strict sense only to the originals, and in a derivative sense to copies and translations. Only in that they reflect the original. Does that mean we discard punctuation to reflect the originals? No! Because the copies and the translations are the Word of God, to the degree that they preserve the original message. So Paul could write to Timothy that all Scripture is inspired, although undoubtedly the Scripture that he was referring to was a copy and probably also a translation (the LXX) [xxi] KJ radical reject the LXX as part of the conspiracy against the KJV [xxii] The existence of the LXX is valuable tool for Textual Criticism and for the meaning of Bible words. It was used by the Apostles and quoted in the NT and used by Christians for the first 300 years. It gives light on several NT quotations of the OT which did not agree with the Hebrew text and supports them. In the John Ryland University Library Manchester there is part of a Greek Papyrus 458 showing Dt.25:1-3. One of the earliest surviving texts of the Greek Bible and dated AD.125. Written within 30 yrs of the original copy "or at least within 30 years of the death of John" (p.97 The Bible The Living Word of Revelation. Zondervan 1968 R.L. Harris). The speculation regarding the origins of the LXX has been put to rest from the discovery in the Judean desert of a Greek leather scroll from the 1st century. But KJ advocates ignore these discoveries.

[Textual Criticism; is not a conspiracy, game or pass-time its a science. And I refer only to one kind, I distinguish between the good Higher Criticism of the conservative movement, and the improper destructive higher criticism of liberal theologians (which is rubbish). This includes the JEPD theory which teaches there were 4 authors for Genesis. They also attribute different OT books to authors and dates which insist the Bible was written by men, rather than inspired by God].

10.Scripture is Preserved


Scripture is full of detailed and historical facts of events and places. God has preserved this as a true record for today. No other historical record can equal the Bible. But radicals ignore that, they believe the KJV is preserved for the English-speaker. But, we must add, not every English speaker understands English the same. English is only a second language for many. Has God done for one language group what He has not done for another? No! [Ac.10:34-35]. There are ancient Bibles in the British Museum and the Vatican Library in a very good state of preservation even after 1600 years. So what makes the KJV ‘preserved’ and not other versions? There’s nothing in the Bible that refers solely to the KJV and no other version. Not unless we are to imply the Bible writers have said something they didn’t. Radicals can make unprovable claims about the KJV but the ultimate proof that is the recovered autographs would be to have the original autographs, which we don’t have.

Yet we could argue God has preserved the Byzantine tradition and the KJV. That’s true; but He has also preserved the Western, Caesarean and Alexandrian traditions. The radicals say,

if God has not preserved every word what does that say about God, how can I obey if we have not every word".

Having “every word” in the literal sense is having the original MSs. God did not promise to preserve the original autographs, which have “every word” in the literal sense. So why would “every word” exclude other translations? Before the printing press a complete Bible was rare. This lack of Scripture didn't “say” anything bad “about God” His desire is all should read His Word. Today many Christian’s still lack and some only have portions of Scripture. Christians in China are prepared to suffer and die for the little they have, yet the KJ radicals say they doubt they can obey God unless they have“every word”.

The constant cry of these people is “God said He would 'preserve' His words, if they are not in the KJB, where are they? ”They quote Matt.24:35 Jn.17:8 as though Jesus was referring to the KJV.

When Jesus said "every Word' which “proceeded out of the mouth of God” He was not referring to the KJV or giving “a commandment” regarding any version. He was indicating that Satan desires we distrust God in a way not authorised by God’s Word, just as Satan desired Christ depart from God's word and follow self. I too have no reason to expect that God will support me in a different manner from what he has promised in His Word. This has nothing to do with translations, but the purpose God has made known, with regard to preserving the lives of his creatures.

They quote Deut.4:2 Psa.119:89 Pr.30:5-6 Rev.22:19 as though their very existence refers to the KJV. Their favourite Psa.12:6-7,

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

From this comes another example of an over emphasis on the words in the AV while ignoring the context. Psalm 12 is not describing the work of scribes, or God promising to preserve for “every individual” words on MSs forever. God didn't preserve the original autographs and evident in that we don't have them. None can produce those ‘very words’ in any manuscript. Nothing here necessitates a future English translation is referred to, while other translations are not! (We don’t even have the original 1611 KJV). God’s preservation of Scripture is far more wonderful than the KJ radicals imagine. He has provided a system whereby all men can receive a Bible, His Word in the words of their language. Including modern man with translations [ie NIV GNB ASB etc] that people can read. How silly to say the KJV is the only "preservation" God has been able to achieve, after considering at all He has done. A correct meaning of Psa.12:6-7 is discovered in a modern translation when read in context. Note the NIV -

Psa.12:5 "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,"says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them."

Psa.12:6 "And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times".

Psa.12:7 "LORD, you will keep us safe nd protect us from such people forever."

Look at verse 5. Who will the Lord protect”? He will protect the ‘poor’ and ‘needy’ [Israelites]. And verse 6 is telling us the promise [vs.5] is sure and certain. God does not make false promises, His words can be trusted. The result? The Lord can be trusted to “keep us [the Israelites] safe and protect us from such people forever”. God can be trusted to do what He says He will do. The Psalmist is not making a claim his scrolls will last “forever”.

So these verses don't suggest the KJV is something other versions are not. For the Psalmist God's words were in his tongue, but Christ’s words were in Aramaic and written in Greek. So regardless of how careful or literal the translation into English, the result is still English words. The semantic range of the English word will seldom (if ever) correspond exactly to the semantic range of Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek word (or expression) that underlines it. Translators repeatedly seek the dynamic equivalent. Even the ‘formal equivalent’ must take into account the meaning of languages, their syntax and idioms. And how the rendering is understood compared with how a reader of the original text would understand what he read. Is the KJV a literal word for word translation? No! Many words were added to complete sentences in English. So even if we had the originals a translation can only bear witness to the meaning of the original, not to its exact words.

Evangelical Christianity rejoices that God has marvellously preserved the Bible. The words of the prophets and apostles have been recorded and preserved for generations. No other ancient book is attended by such a vast number of MSs. There are thousands which prove God preserved Scripture. The Holy Spirit excised control to produce verbal inspiration, accuracy in every statement and divine wisdom in the words penned. God’s Word is authoritative because it is the voice of God and intelligible because it is in the language of men. Inspiration then, is dynamical and not mechanical.

The writer’s penned the words God gave. And God has “preserved” all MSs and text-types regardless. Consider the frail state of the original MSs on parchment and in the form of scrolls. No scroll was large enough to contain more than one book and the OT was not bound together. In the papyrus scroll era the NT also could never circulate as a whole. Yet God wonderfully preserved His Word.

Eg, the Codex Ephraem [discovered after 1611 in Paris] is called a 'palimpsest' because there was a time when Scripture was held in little esteem. And writing materials were so valuable they rubbed out the Scripture words until barely legible and then wrote over them some theological treatise. Such a MS was found and carefully restored. It dates from the 5th century! The Alexandrian Codex also dates from the early 5th century and was preserved for centuries in the very centre of the wicked Turkish dominion. Yet God in His wisdom and power, as Ruler over men and nations in His providence fulfilled His purposes, however rebellious men may be. The Church of Rome also was used by God to preserve another of these ancient witnesses to the text of the NT. The Codex Vaticanus was also preserved through the centuries when the Word of God was considered unimportant. The Vatican refused permission to any scholar to do more than look at it under supervision and only for a belief space of time. When God's time was ripe, it was photographed and studied further.

Contrary to the thinking of KJ radicals God has preserved His Word by translation and copying. The fact Christians began to copy and translate Scripture almost immediately in early history was vital in preserving the faith and guaranteeing accuracy in what was written. Strange as it may seem, translating God’s Word to others benefits the Church. Modernists, sceptical about the composition of various Bible books as to what the author really wrote, or what might be added, have a problem with the early MSs. Indeed, modernists attribute an unwarranted measure of freedom and creativity to the Christian tradition.

Another proof of God’s marvellous preservation is the failure of the NT Apocrypha. This was the result of a flood of spurious writings, books rejected by the whole Christian Church. Works from the Inter-testamental period have not been included in the canon even though the list grows with fresh discoveries. Yet there’s been no call to add any to the cannon. And Text Criticism is another proof. The KJV has readings found in no Greek MS at all, but traced to the Vulgate. The text-type on which the KJV is based has no two MSs that agree perfectly, so God has used Textual Criticism to guard His Word. Today, with technology we can take a 'Dead Sea Scroll' and shine a light like an x-ray through while taking pictures. Then, rebuild a picture of the scroll and read it, even though it can't be opened. And the result is that men have less excuse today than ever before in history when rejecting the Bible. Instead of modernism destroying the Bible by unbelieving claims, it has caused men to fervently study and research MSs and new discoveries and thus verify the faithfulness of God giving and preserving for us His infallible. He has preserved the Bible by its enemies and friends, by circumstances and calamities as no other writing has ever been preserved.

11. Scripture is Inspired


Radicals apply Verbal Inspiration to the KJV - God inspired the very words of the KJV, so it had to be in those words and no other. They find inspiration everywhere in the KJV and nowhere in other versions unless they are exactly as the KJV. The slightest word change (ie “whosoever” – KJV to “anyone” - NIV), causes them to defend the KJV and criticise the other. And then conclude, “NIV has made a liar out of God”. Their arguments for special KJ inspiration are so excessive and relentless one wonders why they must impress what should be obvious. Yet their views on inspiration allow for any kind of error if in the KJV. We might call this a “Divinely Inspired Error” theory.

Traditionally the Church has held the Scriptures proceed from God's Spirit, He opens our eyes to its truth. And the emphasis must be that the message has come of God - not the language. Human languages are entirely arbitrary and err. God’s Word is confirmed by its amazing unity, not by the version used. Jesus declared Scripture inspired not by referring to a language translation but by saying that ‘all things in Scripture must be fulfilled’ (Mtt.13:14. Lk.21:22 Jn.13:25. 15:25 17:12). He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mk.13:31) This is not referring to a translation but scripture. He authenticated Scripture saying, “…it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one title of the law to fail” (Lk.16:17). This could point to verbal inspiration but again does not apply to one particular translation. Another proof of inspiration is the Bibles appeal to all people and races. It existed before 1611 and did not change then. Millions of copies are printed every year, in various languages, yet it’s never out of date, but translations do go out of date. This appeal is because of God given adaptability.

The NT wasn’t collected or complete when Paul wrote 2 Tim.3:15-16. So he speaks of the OT, which came by Divine inspiration. He calls it the Holy Scriptures, [2 Tim.3:15]. It is the OT alone that this passage refers; and although the NT has the same inspiration, yet Paul could not have referred to it. It was not collected at that time. But to read this verse from a version and then apply it to that version is clearly not the meaning of the verse at all.

The KJV reads, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. (2 Tim.3:16) What does this mean? The absence of “is” in the Greek text causes difficulty. English language translations must insert some form of the verb ‘to be’ in order to form a complete sentence. Even the placing of that verb depends on whether ‘Theopnenstos’ is to be taken as an attribute or an predicate. If “Scripture” means the inspired Word of God, how are we helped by being told, “All inspired words of God are given by ‘inspiration’ of God? If the word “graphe” is understood in its wider sense as merely being “a writing”, then of course, the statement would include Wesley’s hymns for instance, and clearly this would be far too wide.

The RSV reads, “All Scripture is inspired by God,” this gives a dignified, God-honouring meaning. The word 'theopneustos’ - 'inspired by God' means 'God breathed'. Warfield's definition is 'produced by the creative breath of the Almighty.' No translation can claim this; neither can it be said of any version it's "produced by the creative breath of the Almighty".  God inspired men to write Scripture to bring the knowledge of God to men; this is not repeated in “translating” Scripture into other languages. So Divine Inspiration does not entail holding rigid ideas that do not allow for mistakes or differences in translations.

The Bible claims inspiration for the writers (2 Pet.1:21) the writings (2 Tim.3:16) the words (1 Cor.2:13 2 Pe.3:2) but not for any translation. The obvious proof of this is that there are copyist errors in translations. The reason God inspired men to write Scripture was to bring His knowledge to men. But to appreciate the message of Scripture we must understand the meaning of the human text. Thus also the need for linguistic analysis and examination of literary forms. The codes of weights, measures and lengths in Scripture must be converted into modern equivalents to understand correctly. This is another area where understanding is universally impossible without continual up-to-date translating.

Radicals will insist every letter and dot is inspired. This form of divine authorship equates with verbal dictation in a mechanistic sense. Its not unique to them. It began with the Spanish Dominican Melchior Cano (1509-60) and the members of his school. Cano held that in the Scriptures “not only the words but even every comma (apex) has been supplied (suppeditatus) by the Divine Spirit”. From this form of plenary literary inspiration, Cano deduced the inerrancy of the Scriptures “…falsity is excluded by the sacred authors”. He proposed that “everything great or small has been edited by the sacred authors at the dictation of the Holy Spirit” (Spiritu Sancto dictante esse edita) (De locis theologicis, 11, 17).

The works of Calvin do not imply this theory of mechanical dictation. He held the scribes who copied the scriptural texts were prone to error. And since Paul did not cite verses as they appeared in the OT, the sacred authors also suffered from human frailty. For Calvin the key to inspiration is what he says about doctrine. Doctrine is imparted by God, yet is not identical with Scripture words. It is the truth to which scripture attests. The Reformers held that God has inspired each individual verse, chapter or book insofar as they are constitutive parts of the whole of Scripture.

Summary: Inspiration is a work of God. Inspiration is something God does in the heart. "God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit". If the Holy spirit doesn't open our eyes and heart, even good versions are un-inspiring. God speaks to us through His Word, in our language. Translations are only inspired as they reflect the originals because the message comes from the originals. If we could not read the originals, even they are not inspired to us. If we could read them, but not understand we are not inspired. The test of inspiration is that our Bible finds me, not that I find the Bible, so God speaks to me.

12. Texts and Manuscripts

We have some 5,300 Greek MSs of the NT. Altogether, including Syriac, Latin, Coptic and Aramaic, we have a whopping 24,633 texts of the ancient NT to confirm the wording of the Scriptures. With the great body of MS evidence it can be proved, beyond doubt, that the NT says exactly the same things today as it originally did nearly 2,000 years ago.

KJ advocates seem to think Scripture disappeared for centuries and reappeared in 1611. God completed His words “..in a perfect form…exactly word for word, as God…would have them [xxiii]. The ultimate proof that the KJV is the recovered autographs would be to have them, but we don’t. Nevertheless, from very early days Christians have been translating the Bible into other languages. Before the Printing Press (1455) all literature was laboriously hand copied. When scribes hand-copied documents they made mistakes which resulted in errors intruding over the centuries. The more frequently copies were made, the more errors they acquired. And of all the thousands of MSs today there’s none without error and no two agree exactly. This is a problem to the extent that some Church authorities occasionally intervened in the process of textual transmission in order to achieve some type of uniformity – new editions of the Greek NT. Yet all these are only reconstructions based on the documents and thousands of MSs available to us.

Examining these MSs is an immense task and never fully completed because new MSs come to light. So it’s nonsense to argue any MS (or text-type) is inerrant, that term reserved for the originals. Early MSs generally have few errors compared to the late Middle Ages because of less copying between MS and the autograph which means better copies. Although some early MSs were carelessly copied and their early date doesn't mean greater accuracy. And the number of witnesses behind a particular reading means nothing. It is the quality of those witnesses that counts. Conservative Christians are at the forefront of this science we call ‘Textual Criticism’. It also involves finding errors, which need to be deleted and corrected wherever possible, additions traced and alterations replaced and attempting to reconstruct original readings and explaining the reasons for any alterations. We should be grateful to those who so painstakingly strive to know and exact words of Scripture as originally written.

We can also be thankful the Church from the start has taken care to detect forgeries, guard and preserve the canon. Yet scribes and copyists did make changes some accidentally others intentionally. They would update language, clarify, correct and make mistakes all without any conspiracy involved. They did not deliberately make easy sentences difficult. The vast majority of variants are not due to doctrinal prejudice but plain carelessness. However, radicals fabricate their own history regarding texts and MSs. They believe in a conspiracy theory against the KJV before and after 1611. They argue the Byzantine text-type of the Eastern church underpinning the 1611 is eminently pure. Everything else is labelled “rubbish, perverse and corrupt” (although these MSs are not corrupt in the sense they use the word).

13. Text-types & Grouping

The defenders of the RT argue that there are only two text types [1] the Byzantine, (‘Majority Text’) and [2] all the rest. However it’s not that simple. What we have -

5300 Greek MSs
267 uncials (written in capital letters)
2768 minuscule MSs (small letters)
146 Greek lectionaries
81 papyri portions of NT text

(a) Mixed:

Classification of some MSs is not precise, so they are called "mixed". If a ms reflects two or more text-types, they are said to be ‘mixed’. Text-types are determined by comparing MSs. They show similar characteristics, which are recognisable to experts. When a text critic compares a number of MSs he first seeks to determine the interrelationship among them so as to judge their relative authority, which is dependent on one of the others. Each document has a relationship to others. Textual Critics don’t treat documents independently of each other, instead examine them as connected as parts of a single whole. Because of their historical relationship, they are grouped in families, since one often was copied from another. Several MSs may go back to a single exemplar. Text-types did not emerge full-blown but experienced a process of growth so that later witnesses to a given type have a more definite text than earlier witnesses. When MSs read the same, it can be because they share the same origins. An example of a “mixed” manuscript is the Codex Vaticanus. It contains texts belonging to both the Alexandrian and the Byzantine families.

(b) Families:

“Text-types” are not the same as “families”. The smallest identifiable group of MSs is the family. The members of a family generally come from a relatively short span of time and a restricted geographic area. Thus about 20 families have been identified.

(c) Text-Types:

"Text-Types" are established by comparing MSs and the most common features determining the grouping. They came into existence because of the linguistic isolation of Christian Churches, the development of learning within the church and the strengthening of ecclesiastical authority. And there are a few MSs [on the basis of their relative rarity] that cannot be presumed to offer a less reliable text than other MSs on the basis of their numerical superiority. Textual scholars believe all the MSs may be classified on the basis of genealogical relationship into four groups. We find that the MSs belonging to a particular text-type all reflect the same sort of errors, the same variants at crucial passages, the same general pattern of development. But keeping in mind, no two MSs in any one textual tradition are precisely identical. And no text-type can be dismissed in toto on theological grounds. The following grouping can be made, although there are various groupings that have been suggested historically by Textual Scholars. The recognizing of text-types did not emerge full-blown over night but experienced a process of growth.

1. The Byzantine. [Hort’s Syrian] This is the latest text-type, it became the standard throughout Christendom and the KJV is based on this. Of all the MSs in this tradition, no two agree perfectly. So to claim special inspiration is ridiculous. Most MSs are relatively late and cannot be found in the earliest Greek MSs, the earliest Bible versions, or the quotations of the early church writers. Readings found in the ante-Nicene fathers are also Western or Alexandrian and prove they are equal (not better) to other texts. A primary feature of this text-type is the tendency to conflate readings. Signs of secondary influence are the 38 major harmonisations, the Alexandrian has only one. It’s correctly said its the text of the Great Reformation, but also correct that they had no other option available to them.

[a] The TR is part of this text-type. But we must keep in mind the TR is not exactly the same as the Byzantine tradition. The Byzantine text-type is found in several thousands witnesses, while the TR which underpins the KJV did not refer to one hundredth of that evidence.

2. The Western. While the Eastern Church had a Bible in the Byzantine text, the Bible of the Western church was based on this text-type. It can be traced back to the 2nd century and was used by Marcion (160) Taian (160) Irenaeus (140-210) Tertullian (150-248) and Cyprian (258). It's characterised by additions and the tendency to include legendary material and scribal glosses. It’s also called “Re-Wrought Text” and ‘pre-Syrian type of text’. And described as a text that leaves nothing out and added almost all it could lay it’s hands on.

3. The Caesarean. This text-type is a modern discovery. The identification of this text came about by the study of the 9th century Codex Koridethi. Yet as early as 1868 scholars began to find clear evidence of it. It probably began in Egypt and is a mixture of Western and Alexandrian readings. Possibly Origan (185-254) took this to Caesarea as its found in his later works. Some have characterised it as roughly midway between the Neutral and the Western.

4. The Alexandrian. This has also been called ‘Hesychian’ a ‘pre-Syrian type of Text’. Some MSs reveal a trend in the direction of correcting readings in the interest in grammatical accuracy and polish. Its home was Egypt hence the term Alexandrian. Most modern translations are based on this so KJ advocates call their readers the “Alexandrian Cult”. They incorrectly claim it “attacks the deity of Christ”, the “virgin birth” and Salvation by grace. This is completely untrue. For example, the NIV ascribes deity to Jesus where the KJV does not – Jn.1:18, Titus 1:13, 2 Pet.1:1, (Christ’s deity is affirmed in modern translations with the understandable exception of the NWT). The Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are not the only exemplars of this text. It’s found in quotations by ante-Nicene fathers and traced back to the 2nd century and early versions, so it has excellent credentials. The best Western and Alexandrian texts are discoveries of the last two centuries.

[a] Hort called the prime exemplars of this text the “Neutral” text and held them in great regard. (He also insisted not one-tenth of one per cent of the NT text is in dispute and none of this concerns any doctrine of our faith).

Radicals generate much heat in their conviction that non-Byzantine texts are theological deviant. If this could be substantiated that settles the issue, but it can't. Today textual critics don't lean on one family, but the best MSs available. They have so much MS evidence it’s difficult to decide which text-type is superior. Why should we be restricted to one text-type when God has provided such wealth? No doctrine is lost or in doubt by using other text-types. No doctrine hinges on disputed readings, but the vast majority of the actual words in the NT are beyond doubt. Nothing in Scripture indicates a rejection of the Byzantine text results in ignorance of God’s will. Research over the last 150 years has not resulted in a radically different Bible. Not one article of the Christian creed is overthrown by newly accepted readings. One objection to throwing off the TR was that, why would God allow the church to have a defective text for hundreds of years, with the better text confined to a few documents? When we realise the text of many of the Greek and Latin classics rests on a handful of MSs, the force of this objection is lessened.

The KJ radicals claim if the MSs don’t agree with the KJV they are wrong. But note Acts.9.6 KJV "And he trembling and astonished said, lord, what wilt thou have me to do?". These words are found in no Greek MS at all. Erasmus introduced them from the Vulgate. And they are an obvious assimilation to the parallel account in Ac.22.10. Yet the KJV advocates insist if the words are in the KJV they are acceptable, if not, they're unacceptable.

Alpha  a Byzantine text-type
Beta  B Alexandrian
Gamma  7 Caesarean
Delta d Western
Epsilon  e Syriac
Vau  ƒ Not Classified

During the first generation of Christian leaders, referred to as the Church Fathers, we find numerous quotes of the NT from their personal correspondence. Eg, Clement of Alexandria, who lived about AD150 - 212, has 2,406 quotes from all but three books of the NT. Tertullian, who was an elder of the church in Carthage and who lived around AD 160 - 220, quotes the NT 7,258 times. Of these quotes, around 3,800 are from the gospels. Other quotes from Church fathers include Justin Martyr, 330 quotes; Irenaeus, 1,819 quotes; Origen, 17,922 quotes, Hippolytus, 1,378 quotes; and Eusebius, 5,176 quotes, making a total of 36,289 quotes of the NT.

What's significant about these NT quotes is that someone destroyed all MSs and NTs in existence, we could reproduce all but 11 NT verses from the Church Fathers. So, when it comes to checking and cross checking readings, the NT is the most historically attested work of the ancient world.

14.Textus Receptus


Since the discovery of the great uncials, papyri and other finds, no great writer of the church has adopted the TR. The great 'uncial' MSs were discovered after the AV [eg. the Codex Ephraem 'palimpsest']. The TR was developed when few were in a position to consult the original tongues. When Wycliffe produced his version no one in England was capable of translating from either Hebrew or Greek. By 1620 there was a time of great revival of general scholarship particularly in the study of ancient literature. The Greek language had been neglected through the dark ages. Today there's two main texts, used in translation work. The Textus Receptus (TR) and the Critical text. Most scholars would use one of these two or a combination of the two. But today’s TR is NOT the one underpinning the 1611. And it’s far from the most accurate text now available. Stephanus standard TR of 1550 was used for the 1611 KJV and is not used for translating Bibles today. The TR today is the product of Scrivener. This text differs from all previously printed editions of the TR. It was used today to produce the NKJV but that does not mean that those translators thought the TR was the best Greek text available.

The TR was only in vogue from 1516-1750 from 1750 to about 1830 it became apparent a better text was needed. From 1830 to this day, the improved text has been used. The Critical text has produced most of our current translations and paraphrases. The radical’s debate is concerning which text is the proper text. They feel the TR is the inspired text and the Critical text is heresy. The other side of the coin is that the Critical text is the best text to use, but most using it do not feel that it is inspired and the TR is not. They would feel that both texts are resultant from the inspired originals and the Critical text is closer to the originals.

When these two texts are compared there are only 5000 variants between the two. These are all minor and change no doctrine whatever. Many are variations of only a letter or two, and some misspelt words. A few include a verse or two. Mk.16:9ff a larger variant which may or may not be Scripture. Even so the text does fit with Chapter and Scripture and could be scripture. Remember, no doctrine is changed. Many of the new translations list these variances in the footnotes.

The TR is also called the “Received Text” RT. It did not become the RT until sometime after 1611. Not the “Received Text” in the sense that it was “received” from God while others weren't. It's received in that it was the standard text at the time of the Elzevirs brothers. The concept of a received text is nothing more than an excerpt from an advertiser’s copy in 1633. The edition boasted “Textum ergo hades, nunc abomnibus receptum, in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus” (Therefore you have the text now received by all, in which we give nothing changed or corrupted). The fact was it was “received by [nearly] all”, the KJV 1611 was not so received as many objected to the translation. The TR is within the Byzantine family of MSs. It’s a late corrupt form of the Byzantine text-type. Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) with some papal encouragement and a handful of Greek MSs published it in 1516 and the KJV is based on it. Because late MSs from the Middle Ages were used, there were copy errors and some important passages were affected. Translators today have MSs, which are less than a century from the original autographs. These and other discoveries have clarified word-meanings. D.A Carson points out,

As late as 1886 J.H.Thayer could list 767 distinctively NT words with no parallels in any known language Greek literature. The list in 1986 was under 50 and today is still shrinking”. [xxiv]

As more MSs of greater age came to light, by 1900 it was apparent the RT must be set aside and attempts to reconstruct the original text. So modern translations are no longer based on the TR. With most of the TR there’s no debate, but corruptions are easy to find particularly with the vast array of information available. Eg, Erasmus for the book of Revelation had but one MS and it was lacking the final leaf so he translated the Vulgate into Greek and published that. Sothere are words in the KJV that are in no MSs whatever. [xxv] He introduced other material from the Vulgate into the KJV and was criticised for ‘attacking the Vulgate’. 1 Jn.5:7-8 KJV has no support in the Byzantine family and Erasmus couldn't find the words in any Greek MS and was criticized for leaving them out. A MS was made to fool him that the reading was genuine, so he inserted the words with reluctance and under pressure. [xxvi] In the footnotes he mentioned with suspicion the MS was not genuine. So the words are in the KJV but missing in modern versions and the KJ radical’s cry-out of a satanic conspiracy against the trinity. Yet they are not found in any MS prior to 1600.

(a) Defenders of the TR

Westcott and Hort were attacked by adherents of the TR. Most notably were Burgon and Miller, who claimed God would not permit his church to have a defective text for hundreds of years with a better confined to a few documents. When its realised the text of many of the Greek and Latin classics rests on a handful of MSs, the force of this objection is greatly diminished. The books of Millers and Burgon date 1896, scholarship has advanced since their day.

Another defender of the TR is W.N. Pickering [The most able of all defenders the TR]. Others include T.Brown Z.C. Hodges E.F. Hills. J. Van Bruggen [Although he defended the Byzantine Text not the TR]. D. Waite, D. Cloud, D O. Fuller. And F.H.A. Scrivener who wrote "The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611) Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives" (Cambridge University Press, 1884). This book outlines the actual changes from one edition to the next. Scrivener's is one side in his interpretations. And his Annotated Greek NT can be still purchased today and differences with the critical text are marked in the text and placed in the footnotes. His Greek text of 1894 differs from all previously printed editions of the RT. It was used to produce the NKJV. However it was Stephanus's standard textus receptus of 1550 that was used for the 1611 KJV. We might ask does Scriveners text have fewer errors than the text behind the KJV? And today's KJV has less error than the 1611?

Recent KJV defenders are S. Coston, D. D. Stauffer, G Bouw, S. Gipp, J. Sightler, J Moorman, Adair, D.W Daniels, L. Vance, N, Webster, G.A Riplinger. Riplinger even claims the KJV contains "miraculous mathematically ordered sounds". KJ radicals follow the authors above as if every line they have written is true. And repeat the errors with multiplying fervour. They don’t lack zeal but first hand knowledge of good textual work done by men like B.B. Warfield, J.G. Machen and G.D. Fee.

15. Transition to a Better Text


The TR is based on a handful of late MSs compared to the thousands that are in the Byzantine tradition. It does not even reflect the broad evidence of it’s own tradition. Even so, it must be realised the closest MSs within any textual tradition average about 6-10 variants per-chapter. No two MSs agree perfectly. More extensive study of MSs has been undertaken since 1611 than ever before. The abandonment of the TR began from the influence of JJ.Griesbach (1745-1823). He did not break with the TR but set about to vindicate the authority of the older Codius, to clarify authorities, and to use them for text restoration. He detected a type of text he called “Western” characterised by scribal glosses and so needing correction. He also detected the Alexandrian type and one he called the “Constantinopolitan”. His real failure lay in not taking the logical step of publishing an improved text rather than clinging to the TR.

A number of scholars and editorial projects also resulted in abandoning the TR.

(1) Richard Bentley [1720] issued certain proposals for arriving at a better Greek Testament. He suggested a greater use of the ancient versions and more thorough collation of the known Greek MSs.

(2) J.A Bengel. He did his work under the shadow of the TR although not satisfied with it. He published a text in 1734 and was first to stress the genealogical method and classification of MSs into families on the basis of obvious kinship.

(3) Karl Lachmann’s edition of the Greek NT in 1831. He abandoned the TR and went back to the old MSs for a basis. It had a limited objective - to restore the text of 1400. Unfortunately he didn't aspire to pursue the original text as his goal. His work was exclusively on the most ancient MSs available. For the first time a text of the NT had been constructed directly from the ancient documents without the intervention of any printed edition. He published 24 editions of the NT.

(4) Constantin von Tischendorf in 1862 finished the first edition of the NT to make use of the Codex Sinaiticus. He was an ardent collector of MSs and a prolific editor.

(5) Westcott and Hort published the NT in the original Greek. They had the best possible uncial texts [19 in all]. Their text still remains the basic text of the NT in Greek. Their work was to restore the original text in so far as that was possible. Their textual theory followed that of Griesbach, but their work was more searching and more comprehensive.

Translators endeavour accurately as possible to know the meaning of the original. At times the meaning cannot be precisely known, not only because the meaning of some words cannot be determined with certainty but because the underlying cultural and historical context is sometimes beyond recovery. The KJ translators for a variety of reasons gave alternative rendering because there are different ways in which the text may be understood.

16. "By Their Fruit"


If the KJV alone is the “only true Bible”, these radicals should be outstanding examples of all that Christians should be. Surely those who walk in truth should live the truth. According to the Apostle John, lack of love was the greatest proof Christians don’t walk in the truth (1 Jn.4:12). The evidence of authentic spirituality according to John was in a word “love”. According to Paul the clearest indication Christians know God’s Word, is growth in faith and love (1 Thes.1:3-6 5:8. 2 Thes.1:3-4. 1 Tim.4:12 6:10. 2 Tim.3:15-17 etc). Jesus said, all men will know you are My disciples by your love one for another (Jn.13:35).

Some of the literature the radicals publish might be called “hate literature”. They refer to those who use other versions or question AV as – lairs, fools, dishonest, dung, stupid-jerks, dogs, blasphemers, brain-washed, up-starts, hypocrites, heretics, deceitful, devil possessed” etc. Some of their comments are slanderous others libel. They are also known for campaigns of hate mail and abusive phone-calls to those who hold contrary views. They target individuals - print their names and address then target them with mail and phone-calls. This antagonism is the most revealing aspect to their whole theology. We might echo the CEV that, “God doesn’t like what they do and neither does anyone else” [1 Thes.2:15b]. Any sect that names God's born again Children (who read the NIV RSV etc., not the KJV) and places them among thieves, liars, unsaved and worthy of eternal judgment is far from truth and should be avoided.

Evangelicals don’t always agree on every aspect of Bible doctrine but surely we must practice the old saying, ‘In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty, in all things charity’. And surely, ‘if something is true it can stand to be questioned, if it is not true it needs to be questioned’. Cults also display such antagonism to mainstream Christianity and those who question their doctrine. This behaviour of KJ radicals is incompatible with the KJV (Jn.13:34, 15:12. Rom.13:8 15:7. 1 Thes.4:9. 1 Pe.1:22. 1 Jn.3:11 4:7,11. 2 Jn.5). Without love doctrine is a noisy clang (1 Cor.13:1). It is the one who says ‘I love God’ yet hates his brother who is a liar (1 Jn.4:20).

KJ radicals claim God gives His Word in one language version yet they can’t control their tongue. The Apostle James is right. “Men use their tongue to give thanks to God and also to curse their fellow man, who is created in the likeness of God” [Jas.3:9-10]. “Words of thanksgiving and curses pour out of the same mouth, this should not happen’.

Why do they behave that way? Because they only read and hear what they want to read and hear. When faced with evidence to the contrary, they fly into a rage and shoot the messenger. They’re the first to complain when what they do to others - happens to them. They say nothing when their colleagues engage in campaigns against opponents. This antagonism and personal ridicule is found where ever their doctrine is found. This fruit is evidence of their error.

If ‘Grace and truth’ came by Jesus Christ [Jn.1:14,17], His followers should be the same. If radicals have the truth they should have ‘grace and truth’. How we share the truth is a testimony to whether we really have the truth. Since Christ died for us, how can we be anything else but gracious to one another? There maybe reasons to disagree but there is never a reason to be unkind. "Holy practice is the most decisive evidence of the reality of our repentance" [Jonathan Edwards].

17.Authority and Clarity


The primary purpose of the Bible is not one of ‘authority’ but salvation. Most evangelicals accept the inspiration, authority and infallibility of God’s Word, but radicals apply these truths only to one translation. Which is a different subject, excluding common sense. They sidetrack ‘authority’ from God’s Word to “which version has the final authority?” And maintain without the KJV one can’t know right or wrong or have a final authority for Christian living.

They ask, because versions differ on their rendering in some verses, which is correct? Otherwise we don’t have “any authority”. Yes versions differ, but we don’t determine doctrine and which rendering is correct by comparing translations [as KJ radicals]. Also, no Bible doctrine is determined by the rendering in one verse or by one translation.

They overlook that Scripture is authoritative not because of style, phrases or even the words, but what the words say. Authoritive versions don’t exist without clarity. So no one particular translation can be regarded as the final authority. Scripture is God's Word because the mind or voice of God communicates through the words - it's what they say. All translations are designed to transfer, the meaning of the original text. And meaning has priority over grammar. If I ask what happens when the KJV is wrong or ambiguous in a verse? They reply it can never be wrong anywhere and it alone determines doctrine. But the fact is, if we follow a version whatever the rendering, we would end up defending mistakes. Note the crises of authority and clarity with these verses,

(1)     An error in the KJV? In Heb.4:10 the KJV says "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day". What? Jesus hasn't given rest? The KJV is misleading, so modern versions clarify, eg. “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.” Clearly the NIV avoids the misunderstanding. Heb.4:10 speaks of Joshua not Jesus. But KJ radicals are committed to the KJV and will defend it regardless of the truth the Holy Spirit wants to teach us. So the English KJV has the final say – not God the Holy Spirit.

(2)    Another example in the KJV is the word “Easter” in Act 12:4 KJV. They claim the text was correctly altered to include the word. Yet it wasn’t used or known by Luke, but it's foreign to the NT MSs. The KJ translators introduced “Esotre” from the ancient Anglo-Saxon service-books. Are they right and Luke wrong? Who has the final authority Luke or the KJV? Since we are dealing with God's Word surely it’s important to establish the text in every detail, as much as possible.

(3) The KJV in Psa 146:3 reads, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help”. What, don’t put your trust in “the son of man”? The One we know as the “son of man” [Mtt.8:20 9:6 10:23] IS to be trusted. Least we should mistake this verse the NIV clarifies the unclear part from “son of man” to “in mortal men, who cannot save”. Are we to suppose the KJV must be regarded as the authority? Surely authoritive translations don’t exist without clarity.

(4) Another example: In Rom 8:28 the KJV reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”. Yet it is not “things” that work but “God” who works in ‘all things’. The Vat. and Alex. MSs. read ‘God works all things.’ The NIV has it, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. It’s more blessed to know God's working, not ‘things’. We should not think ‘all things’ includes sin. Verse 28 refers to the things of 8:28-30 and our afflictions, which are comparatively insignificant. Our afflictions call us to exercise faith and give an occasion for the Holy Spirit to work in us. So far from being inconsistent with our salvation, they contribute to our good. So it is God that works in ‘all things’ not ‘all things’ that do the working.

(5) The KJV in Rom.8:16 reads, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. The rendering of the word “itself” is incorrect. The Spirit who witnesses this adoption; is no other than the Holy Ghost himself and certainly cannot mean an impersonal force. Orthodox Christianity holds to Christ’s Deity and the Holy Spirit’s personality. Modern liberalism denies both, yet modern translations depart from the old KJV. The NIV, GNB TAB RSV etc., change “itself” to “Himself”. Why? The NT Greek scholar R. Earle explains, “The KJV uses “it” because the Greek word for “spirit” pneuma, is neuter. Hence it is necessary for grammatical reasons that the pronoun referring back to a neuter noun as its antecedent should also be neuter in form. But not in meaning! This is just one of many examples of an accidental disharmony in the grammatical usages of two different languages. As every student of foreign languages knows, the precise distinction between masculine, feminine and neuter to which we are accustomed in English is little known outside our language. We have to translate the thought, not just the mechanical form of the word.” [pg. 179 Word Meanings in the NT. Baker Book House 1988]. Do the KJ radicals go about crying down modern translations and insisting “himself” should be “it”? They are strangely silent. Are we to suppose the KJV must be regarded as the authority? Surely authoritative translations require correct translation procedures on the part of translators.

(6) The KJ in Isa.37:36 says, “and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses”. This has the idea that the dead awoke the next morning dead. A proper meaning is found in a modern version. The GNB for example reads, “At dawn the next day there they lay, all dead”. This provides the meaning without confusing it. Obviously without clarity the meaning is confused and how can one defend the KJV rendering without an absurdity? The KJV is not the final form of God’s Word as the KJ translators themselves stated that various words and verses have various renderings.

(7) Radicals often take KJ words so literally they become misleading. In these examples following it’s obvious words need to be interpreted. “The whole world has gone after him” Did all the world go after Christ? “Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan” Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem, baptized in Jordan? “Ye are of God, little children, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one”. Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words “world” and “all” are used in some 7 or 8 senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts - some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentile.

(8) The word "Jehovah". The Hebrew word it is translated from has silent vowels and the Bible translators couldn’t pronounce the word. So they added “e” “o” and “a”. But that was a guess, because they could have added ANY vowels and the name would have sounded different. A more accurate rendering of the word would simply be YHWH (Yahweh). So ‘Jehovah’ doesn't come from the original Hebrew words of the OT but translators. "The form Jehovah is thus a malformation giving what is virtually a transliteration of a word which is found in the text of the Heb. OT, but which was never actually used as a word. It became current in the sixteenth century" (New International Dictionary of NT Theology Colin Brown. Zondervan). 'Yahweh' say radicals, is 'an off-shoot of the Canaanite god Yaho". But there is no proof of this. So KJV radicals reject real bible words and names for what the KJV translators wrote instead.

Cults love the ambiguity of the KJV and will use it to deceive and win followers. It's hard to read with many archaic words and phrases not "easily explained". In time language changes, words of today are forgotten tomorrow and no amount of playing with figures prove other wise. There's verbs, preterit forms etc, in the KJV which are antiquated and the NKJV has substituted current equivalents for them. Note the OKJV and NKJV.

OKJV NKJV
They… strake sail they struck sail Ac. 27:17
cut.. branches and strewed them. Cut.. branches and spread them Mt.21.8
He sware unto her he also swore to her Mk.6.23
threw him down and tare him threw him down and convulsed him Lk.9.42
and ware no clothes and he Wore no clothes Lk.8:27
it behoved Christ to suffer it was necessary for Christ to suffer Lk.24.46
and digged a winepress in it dug a Winepress in it Mt.21.33
Moses trembled and durst not behold Moses trembled and dared not look Ac.7.32
the thorns spinning up the thorns sprang up Mt.13.7
they trode upon one another they trampled one another L k.12.1
that he should be holden of it that he should be held by it Ac.2.24
He hath holpen He was helped Lk.1.54
they laded us with such things they provided such things Ac.28.10
where thou has not strawed where you have not scattered seed Mt.25:24
a light shined in the prison a light shone in the prison Ac.12.7
he sunk down with sleep who was sinking into a deep sleep Ac.20.9
and shall be spitted on and will be....spit upon Lk.18.32
certain men clave unto him some men joined him Ac.17.34

The KJV is not easily read or understood. Many obsolete words have changed their meaning. So no translation is final, they must keep pace with growth in biblical scholarship and language change.

The fact is the Bible is not the greatest story ever told if nobody understands the words. It seems the Apostle Paul's desire was that nothing he wrote should be misunderstood (1 Cor.1:13) his desire was for clarity for all his readers. The KJV abounds mysterious pronouns and phrases that can be misunderstood. It has complicated language, obscure and awkward words and difficult sentence structure. Words like justification; reconciliation, sanctification, propitiation, atonement, salvation and righteousness are obscure in meaning for millions today, yet their meaning is still found in modern versions. These words are not used in everyday English so hold little or no meaning for those who try to read the KJV. Such people give-up frustrated by confusing jargon. Big words can block a reader’s view of God. While these words seem old and traditional in 1611 they were not. The aim of the KJV translators was to make Scripture easy to understand for the common man. Yet they were accused of not using certain “old ecclesiastical words”. To this they replied that words were not “images to be worshipped”. They realised words change and no word in one language can fully express the meaning of a word in another. Each generation must find the best way to express the truth of the Biblical text. They said, “We desire that the Scriptures may be understood even of the very vulgar” That is, people unaccustomed to traditional biblical jargon, because Scripture is the means of evangelism.

A good translation should be based on the best Hebrew and Greek texts and the best MSs. Accuracy and clarity are important. Some readers want a word for word, as far as possible, to the original, while other readers want a translation more concerned with the thoughts and ideas to grasp the meaning of the original writers. Readers will make their choice. Personally I feel there are some translations that ‘water-down’ and lessen the meaning and others that are so ‘literal’ they complicate the meaning. Most students of Scripture can provide examples of poor or good translations.

18. Signs of a Cult

Many characteristics of cults as defined by Dr Hoekama [Th.D] in his book “Four Cults” are found with the KJ group.

[1] Antagonism. Intolerant of other belief. Extremely hostile to mainstream Christianity.
[2] Isolationism. Closed mindedness ‘we alone are right’. [Everyone who uses another version is regarded in error they only hold/protect truth] Bible colleges, scholars, societies, RCC translators - all considered opponents.
[3] Propagandism. With the aim to claim ‘we alone are right’ – win converts – discredit others.
[4] Perfectionism. The feeling of superiority to others. A perverted sense regarding sin, ie reading the wrong Bible version.
[5] An extra-source of authority. – from their literature and leaders. KJ people have a translation, which dictates how they understand God’s Word. The KJ Version is regarded as the ultimate authority, always right and never wrong.
[6] Justification by grace is questioned. The Gospel is flavoured with the doctrine of the sect. Can’t believe God if versions differ or have mistakes, can’t be sure of salvation unless the KJV is read.
[7] Exclusive community. They are particularly God’s chosen. The church/world is ignorant without their message. Last defenders of orthodox doctrine.
[8] Eschatology governed. Special dates or events after the Apostles. [The word of God canonised in 1611 KJV.]. So the cult thinks it’s called into existence by God and is teaching truth neglected by the ordinary churches.
[9] Distinctive terminology. Double meaning of words and terms, has it own gobbledegook.

All these are true of the KJ sect that acts and behaves like a cult.

Cults attack Christ's Deity, kJ radicals claim Christ's Deity attacked in "hundreds of places" eg in the NIV. Not true, note the versions that call Jesus God Y those that don't X.

  Y
  Jn.1:1 Jn.1:8 Ac.20:28 Ro.9:5 2 Ths.1:12 Ti.2:13 Heb.1:8 2 Pt.1:1
KJV   Y   X   Y    Y    X    X   Y    X
RV   Y   X    Y    Y    X   Y   Y   Y
RVmg     Y   X   X       X    X
RSV   Y     X    X    X     X   Y   Y
RSVmg    Y     X    Y     X     X     X     X
NEB    Y    X     X    X    X     Y     Y     Y
NEBmg      Y     X    Y     X    X
Moffatt    X    X    X     X    X    X    X     Y
Goodspeed   X   X   Y    X    X    Y    X    Y
TEV   Y   Y    X    X    X    Y    Y    Y
TEVmg    X    X   Y
NIV   Y    Y   Y   Y   X     X     Y     Y
NIVmg    X     X    X   Y
MLB    Y    X   Y   Y    X    Y    Y    Y
NWT    X     X    X    X     X     X     X    X

A number of observations with this. Only the NWT omits all references to Christ's Deity (predictable), even Moffatt/Goodspeed (liberal) include some. The KJV has only 4 of the 8 while the highest number belong to the NIV (a translation by evangelicals based on an eclectic text). Christ's Deity doesn't rest on passages that call Him God, but it is affirmed in all the above versions but NWT. KJ radicals will base doctrine on one verse but the fact is they are never based on just one verse, or even one passage.

19. Conclusions


Some might suggest all these chapters and their conclusions are only personal observations. Not so. One correspondent "Mathew Rob Cetas" who studied this issue brilliantly summarized the implications KJ Only doctrine. Used by permission, thank you Mathew. Any student on this topic cannot ignore this -

Implications of the King James Doctrine:

1. If the King James Version of the Bible is truly inspired by God, then God is capable of mistakes. We can no longer trust God's Word or God Himself. If He allows mistakes in His inspiration, in what else has He made a mistake? Furthermore, God had to correct the King James several times until He got it right - according to some, in the 1786(?) edition.

2. When the KJV was finished in 1611, the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts became unreliable and useless. If this is true, then our study of the Word need go no further than the text of the King James and any commentary which is based on it. Preachers, pastors, and teachers would be wasting their time examining the cultural and historical context of the passage as well as studying the words behind the English and seeking to understand the verb tenses employed in the languages of the Bible. The English language would become the final authority on the meaning of the text. Those in seminary struggling to learn the Hebrew and Greek would be wasting time and money, time best used getting to know the nuances of Elizabethan English.

3. The King James Version is the standard for godly living. Anyone who has come to Christ under any other ministry than that of the King James Version is not truly saved. Any pastor, teacher, or preacher who uses something other than the King James Version is an ecumenical apostate teaching heresy. It is through the KJV and the KJV only that we can truly know about God and Christ.

4. If the King James Version of the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then God is a liar. The Bible tells us that God is not a God of confusion. However, God failed to cite His act of inspiration in the King James Version, causing confusion in the debate over the King James Version and modern versions.

5. The King James Version of the Bible is the version that should be translated from for further copies of the Word of God in every language of the world."

Preachers, pastors, and teachers would be wasting their time examining the cultural and historical context of the passage as well as studying the words behind the English and seeking to understand the verb tenses employed in the languages of the Bible. The English language would become the final authority on the meaning of the text. Those in seminary struggling to learn the Hebrew and Greek would be wasting time and money, time best used getting to know the nuances of Elizabethan English. This also places the King James Version of the Bible over the original Autographs, making the copy greater than the source; since the KJVer states that we cannot know for sure about the Autographs existence in the first place - making the King James Version the standard for faith and practice. However, there is no place in the Bible which states this doctrine concerning the King James (unless you can show me), which makes the King James Doctrine extrabiblical.
(Pastor M.R. Cetas Email Wed, July 30, 2003 I underlined)


20. Books

For those who desire a few books on these matters -

M. Metzger, The Text of the NT: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. (N.Y: Oxford University, 1968) F. G. Kenyon, The Text of the Greek Bible. W. Adams (London: Duckworth, 1975).). H Greenlee, Introduction to NT Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964). V. Taylor, The Text of the NT, A Short Introduction. (London: Macmillan, 1963); J. Finegan, Encountering NT. Manuscripts: A Working Introduction to Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974). M Metzger. The Cambridge History of the Bible, 3 vols. (London: Cambridge University. 1970). The King James Version Debate, D.A.Carson (Baker Book House 1979). So Many Versions? Kubo & Specht (Acdemie Books). F.F Bruce The Canon of Scripture.

References


[xv]  For example, Rom.8:16 KJV. “The spirit itself…” The KJV seems to deny the personality of the Holy Spirit, calling Him ‘it’. Earle points out, This is an example of differences between languages…In English we are accustomed to feminine, masculine and neuter but little is known of this outside our language…. We must translate the thought, not the mechanical form of the word.” (See pg.178 ‘Word Meanings in the NT’ R.Earle. Baker Book House. 1988).