An article that reviews the claims made by King James Only advocates and refutes them.
The false King James Version (KJV) ONLY CULT:
Distraction is Satan's favorite method in these latter days. What better way to do so than to distract Christians based on Bible versions?
A new sect that has recently sprung up in the last 150 years is becoming exceedingly prominent among some Independent Fundamental Baptists. They believe that the King James Bible is the preserved, infallible Word of God and that all contemporary English translations are corrupted and authorized by Satan. They also believe that God has preserved His Word down through the ages through the Textus Receptus (TR), a Greek text compiled by Erasmus that was used for the King James Version (KJV.) The TR was compiled around 1500 AD and was based on only about half a dozen late manuscripts. The Latin Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Holy Scriptures translated by Jerome in 400 AD was also referenced in the making of the TR. It's important to realize that KJV ONLY advocates really do not adhere to the vulgate or the TR. If they did, they would accept the New King James Version, however KJV ONLY advocates believe that the NKJV is heretical as well. They believe that the preserved word of God is the KJV and ONLY the KJV. There is only one way to verify these claims, that is- referring to the Original languages to see which translations are actually the most accurate and closest to the original autographs.
There are Three sets of Texts that Theologians refer to when reading the original languages. We will go over them. The First is the Textus Receptus (TR).
The Textus Receptus (or Byzantine Text) was compiled by Desederius Erasmus around 1500 AD. It was based on late manuscripts that had been copied many times. The more a manuscript is copied, the more likely an error is to be carried over. This is evident with the TR. Erasmus was under pressure from the Roman Catholic Church to produce a Text that would meet their requirements. For example, mention of the trinity in 1 John 5:7 reads in the KJV as follows, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one". The Catholic Church wanted Erasmus to make a very clear emphasis on the trinity. However, 1 John 5:7 was added and is therefore not what John actually wrote, but was added into the text later on. This is an example on where the Textus Receptus is not always the most reliable text because it contains verses that were added into the text. One more example is Acts 8:37. Acts 8:37 reads in the KJV as follows, "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God". Other manuscripts do not contain this verse and there is a very simple reason why they don't. Acts 8:37 was added by a scribe who wanted to make clear the requirement for Baptism. While Acts 8:37 is doctrinally true, it is not authentically accurate as Scripture. These examples shows how the Textus Receptus has flaws, as all texts do.
The Critical Text: The Critical text (or Alexandrian type text). The Alexandrian text is based on very earlier manuscripts that date back to 200-300 AD. These manuscripts are the Vaticanus and Sinaiaticus. Westcott and Hort based their edition of the Critical text on these. These manuscripts have been copied less and therefore would have a smaller chance of containing translation errors. However, it is important to note that the Critical text was translated by Westcott and Hort. These two people often disagreed with each other and questioned the accuracy of Scripture. There is however no internal or external evidence that this played a role in their translation. Most modern Bible translations are based on the Critical Text because it is older than the TR and is most likely more accurate to the Original autographs written by the apostles. It is not perfect, but it has not been edited as frequently as the Byzantine Manuscripts have been.
The Majority Text: The Majority is the simple and most modern of the three. To produce this text, all of the manuscripts that we have, have been taken into consideration. Whenever the majority of Manuscripts agree, that would be the translation. For example, if 1634 manuscripts agree against 479 manuscripts, the former manuscripts would be the translation. The positive side of this translation is that it strives to be extremely accurate. However, there are other considerations that should be made when translating. For example, the location, the date, and the translators. None of these were taken into consideration with the Majority Text. It is strictly based on the majority of manuscripts that agree or disagree.
The Majority text often agrees with the Critical Text but is closer in form to the TR. The Critical and Majority texts would therefore be more accurate which is precisely why contemporary English translations utilize these texts.
A reason some people do not appreciate the KJV is because of it's archaic language. There are hundreds of words in the KJV that are now obsolete and could lead a reader astray. Below is a short list:
" Almug, algum, chode, charashim, chapt, earing, gat, habergeon, hosen, kab, ligure, leasing, maranatha, nard, neesed, pate, pilled, rabboni, raca, ring-straked, stacte, strake, sycamyne, thyme wood, trode, wimples, ouches, tatches, brigandine, ambassage, occurrent, purtenance, bruit, fray, cracknels, nusings, mufflers, anathema, corban, talitha cumi, ephrata, aceldama, centurion, quarternion, delectable, sanctum sanctorum, carriage, wot, trow, sod, and swaddling clothes"
This is not even a fair portion of words in the KJV that are now considered archaic. These words, and many others would instead be translated into modern terms in modern Bibles.
The Psalm 12:6 argument. KJV ONLY advocates will often go to Psalm 12:6-7 to prove to you that God has preserved his Word. It reads, "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. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted." However, KJV ONLY advocates have a horrible problem with something called "context". To accurately understand this passage, verse 5 needs to be read also.
Verse 5 - "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him."
These are the Words the Lord will preserve. Attaching Psalm 12 to a 17th century English translation of the Bible is ludicrous and easily defeated once you read Scripture in context.
If KJV ONLY advocates would take these facts into consideration, they wouldn't be so hard to deal with. KJV ONLY advocates respond emotionally and not intellectually. That is where they are mistaken. An example of this is "God has preserved His Word for English speaking people through the KJV. Modern Bible versions are based on corrupted manuscripts". This kind of thinking messes up the history of the Bible and is a false doctrine. Christians ought not take part in nor believe in this kind of rhetoric because it's not of God. God never said how He would preserve his word and it's not for us to decide. God has preserved his word through all of the manuscripts and where there is a mistake in one, the other corrects it.
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Article on King James Onlyism.