Five Questions for King James Only Believers—Part Three

Has God perfectly preserved His word in only the 1611 King James Version of the Bible?

This should be my final post in this series on sincere questions for King James Only believers. As I explained in the first post, this series is not addressed to those who are better classified as Only King James or King James Preferred. These people will use only the KJV or strongly prefer it over others, but they don’t spend energy criticizing or condemning fellow believers for using other translations, actions commonly performed by King James Onlyists.

In just two days of the first post in the series going up, I have already been accused of serving a different god than the God of the Bible. This kind of nonsense needs to stop. As Christians, should we be so afraid of someone asking some genuine, thoughtful questions that we immediately condemn them for it? How weak is your faith if that is your response? What are you placing your faith in? I did not call into question the gospel of Christ’s sacrificial death and His subsequent Resurrection. I have asked questions about a particular Bible version, and yet those who have responded negatively to my posts have made no effort to answer the questions.

In the first post, I asked where the Bible teaches that the KJV would be the Bible in which God would preserve His word. In the second post, I asked if it was a sin to use a Bible with an error in it and why the KJV has removed verses or parts of verses, and I gave two clear examples where it does this. So let’s move on to our two final questions.

Question 4: Why does the King James Version add verses or parts of verses?

Not only is the KJV missing parts of verses, it also has additional verses that were not in the original manuscripts. KJOs claim that these are the verses that were removed by what they call the corrupt or new age versions, allegedly from the Alexandrian family of manuscripts. In some cases, it is difficult to determine if the verse was original or a later addition. However, as will be shown, it is very easy to determine in some cases. Also, the attempt to categorize every ancient manuscript as being either part of the so-called Alexandrian group or the Masoretic text massively oversimplifies the situation.

Comma Johanneum

Perhaps the clearest example of an added material is found in 1 John 5:7–8. KJOs often claim that the the so-called Alexandrian manuscripts were produced by heretics attempting to remove the Bible’s teaching on the Trinity and other key doctrines. But a quick look at some facts will make it clear whether material was added to or removed from the originals. Here is the passage:

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” (1 John 5:7–8, emphasis added)

The bold words are known as the Comma Johanneum. Text notes in most modern Bibles explain that these words above do not appear in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts. If these words were removed, you can see why KJOs would argue that someone tried to take out text that mentions the Trinity. But there are at least two major problems with this claim.

First, simply saying that the verse doesn’t appear in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts doesn’t come close to conveying the whole picture here. This verse doesn’t appear in any manuscript until the tenth century where it only appears as a note in the margin, having been a later addition. The first time it shows up in the text is in a manuscript from the fourteenth century, but even in this one, the wording is quite different. It isn’t until after Erasmus published his Greek New Testament in 1516 that this wording appears in a manuscript. He did not include it in his first edition, but he was pressured by the Catholic Church to add it in his third edition (1522), even though he strongly objected to doing so.

Second, the lack of this verse did not stop the early church fathers from defining and defending the doctrine of the Trinity. Countless discussions and debates about the Trinity took place in the first few centuries of the church. Augustine published a massive book called De Trinitate (On the Trinity), which I had to read in a doctoral class. English versions of this work are often over 500 pages long with small print. Yet not once did Augustine or any other church father quote this passage in support of the Trinity. It is unthinkable that the church fathers would have neglected to use this verse in defense of the Trinity had they known about it. However, the reason they did not quote it is because it was not part of John’s letter—at least not until many centuries later.

Adding an Angel

In our previous post, we saw that the KJV was missing a mention of angels. Well, there is also an example where an angel appears to have been added. Let’s look at one more example before moving on to our next question. In John 5 Jesus healed a paralytic at the pool in Jerusalem. Here is what we read in the NKJV.

In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. (John 5:3–5, emphasis added)

As you probably guessed by now, the bold words do not appear in the earliest manuscripts. The case against their inclusion is not as solid as it is for the Comma Johanneum, but there are some strong arguments against it. The words are not found at all in the earliest manuscripts. When the words do start showing up in later manuscripts, they have a variety of readings and are often marked by an asterisk or obelisk, indicating that the scribe knew the wording was spurious. It seems as if a later scribe wanted to explain why the sick and lame waited by the pool, so he may have cited a tradition about an angel stirring the waters, and this explanation eventually found its way into the text.

The Pool of Bethesda by Robert Bateman. Notice the angel preparing to stir the water. The name of the pool is another example where different titles appear in the manuscripts. The majority of scholars today believe it should be Bethzatha.

There are several more passages in the New Testament that include words, phrases, sentences, or even entire passages (e.g. the woman caught in adultery and the ending of Mark) that do not appear in many of the earliest and most reliable manuscripts. There are varying degrees of evidence for and against the inclusion of these sections, and each one should be handled on a case-by-case basis. The NET Bible can be read online and includes over 60,000 translator notes, many of them dedicated to explaining the data for these variants in the manuscripts. Check it out here.

The study of the differences between the manuscripts falls under a discipline known as lower textual criticism, which does not mean that it criticizes the text. Instead, it is a scholarly attempt to discover the text of the original manuscripts through detailed studies of the many copies. This topic is so important for Christians to understand, particularly young people from Christian homes before they head off to college. If we teach young people that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and infallible word of God (as we should), but fail to explain that this applies only to the original manuscripts and any faithful reproductions of them, then we set them up for disaster, no matter what Bible they use. If they think their faith is rooted in the inerrancy of an English Bible translation, then all an opponent needs to do is point out some of the differences in the manuscripts to undermine the young person’s misplaced faith. I use “misplaced” because one’s faith should be rooted and grounded in the historical reality of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross and His subsequent Resurrection. Inerrancy is a very important doctrine, but it is not the basis of our faith.

Question 5: Instead of attacking fellow believers and sometimes lying about them and other Bible translations, why don’t you use that same energy and zeal to share the Gospel and love your fellow believers?

King James Onlyists can be quite aggressive in how they approach this topic, and I have no doubt that I will receive some strongly worded comments in response to these posts. I have heard KJOs condemn fellow Christians for all sorts of reasons, but most of the time it is related to whether the person uses the KJV. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s position, but it’s entirely different to misrepresent and outright lie about them.

Perhaps no KJO has done this more than Gail Riplinger, author of New Age Bible Versions. This book and her video presentations on the topic are so full of misrepresentations and lies that it’s sad anyone has ever been persuaded by her claims. My wife and I watched Riplinger speak to a large crowd on alleged errors of the NIV. We had an NIV open and checked out each of her claims, and in many cases, the text did not even say what she claimed or she yanked phrases out of context, but I’m sure no one in her audience would be caught dead with an NIV to check her claims. She also regularly slanders many godly men and women who have been involved with various translation committees, accusing them of being part of the New Age or any number of horrible organizations.

Besides her many baseless claims, this type of argument is a form of the genetic fallacy. That is, even if she were right that Dr. So and So was a cultist, it would not invalidate the translation work. A similar charge is often made against the KJV when someone claims that King James was a homosexual. I don’t know if he was, but even if the charge were true, it would not invalidate the KJV. One must look at the work itself to see if it stands up rather than avoiding the real issues.

The late Peter Ruckman was also a staunch promoter of King James Onlyism who did not hesitate to use extremely harsh language against those who supported any other version. Apparently, he didn’t mind abusing Scripture to make his point either. In a pamphlet titled “A Critique of the NIV,” Ruckman lambasted the NIV and threw in the NASB for good measure as being of the devil like the Alexandrian text before them. Then came this appalling statement. He said that their granddaddy, Satan, “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Excuse me! That is a quotation of Hebrews 13:8, which states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Ruckman used it to refer to Satan, which wouldn’t even be true. Satan was originally a holy angel (“yesterday”), is now a fallen angel actively opposing God (“today”), and one day will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity (“forever”). So even if it were legitimate to apply those words into a different context, it would be false to apply them to Satan.

Many webpages have been devoted to critiquing the errors of Riplinger and Ruckman so there is no need to rehash them here. They have arguably been two of the most abrasive and misleading promoters of King James Onlyism. So it wouldn’t be fair to paint all KJOs with a Riplinger/Ruckman brush, however, many of the gentler KJOs use some of the same false and misleading arguments.

I can appreciate the strong desire held by KJOs to have God’s inerrant word in our hands. However, like the Israelites Paul referenced in Romans 10:2, their zeal is often not according to knowledge. It’s a misplaced zeal that has often been divisive, hurtful, inflammatory, and slanderous. It would be wonderful to see KJOs reorient their energies to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with unbelievers and living in harmony with fellow believers who might happen to prefer a different Bible translation.

Conclusion

As I bring this blog series to an end, there are some more questions I have for KJOs.

Do you really believe that people who speak a language other than English need to read from an outdated form of English to have a real Bible? Isn’t it commendable for missionaries and Bible translation committees to translate Bibles into the language of people groups who did not previously possess a Bible in their language? If God perfectly preserved His word for English speakers, as KJOs believe, then could He not do the same for other languages? Why would it be wrong to update the version as our language changes? I am not aware of anyone who speaks Early Modern English anymore, so why not update it to the way modern English is written and spoken?

Would you stop misleading people about why some translations don’t have certain words? Instead of believing they are caught up in a conspiracy against God’s word, would you at least acknowledge the careful scholarly work that has been done in a sincere attempt to accurately translate the Bible?

Take a look at the spelling and font used in the 1611 version. Most KJV Bibles today do not look like this because they have been updated.

Would you carefully study an issue before making wild accusations against fellow believers?

Would you be consistent and acknowledge that you probably are not using the 1611 KJV with its difficult outdated formatting, such as “I” instead of “J” in “Jesus” and “f” instead of “s” (as was common at the time), and would you check to see if your Bible includes the Apocrypha as the 1611 did?

Finally, dear King James Onlyist, would you please carefully consider the points I raised in this series and dig deeper into the truth of these matters. Would you spend less time creating division in the body of Christ and more time loving fellow believers and reaching the lost alongside them?

If you are not a KJO and have made it this far, I ask that you do not make it your goal to berate, belittle, or argue with KJOs. Instead, extend them some of the grace God has given us and then gently and humbly correct those who are in error, and we must be willing to accept correction as well if we are in error.

About Tim Chaffey

I am the founder of Midwest Apologetics and work as the Content Manager with the Attractions Division of Answers in Genesis. I have written (or co-authored) several books, including In Defense of Easter, God and Cancer, The Sons of God and the Nephilim, and The Truth Chronicles Series (see the publications page for more details). Please note: the opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Answers in Genesis.

Comments

Five Questions for King James Only Believers—Part Three — 35 Comments

  1. I can’t seem to keep from getting notified for every comment made to this years-old blog post, so I might as well chime in.

    Whatever you believe about particular translations, you have to consider this:

    1. When the “Word of the LORD” came to an OT prophet, it was not a printed Bible, KJV or otherwise, being delivered to him by Ancient FedEx.

    2. When the writer of Hebrews wrote “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” he was not referring to any 66-book Bible — KJV or otherwise; English or other language.

    3. Throughout the Bible, when the “Word of God” or “Word of the LORD” is mentioned, it is spoken, heard, received, sent, etc. It is never “written” or “read”.

    Therefore, it is biblically unsound to apply any statement made about “the Word of God”, the NT “logos”, etc. and apply it to a translation of the Bible made into a language that didn’t exist at the time the words were spoken, or technically even to the original manuscripts. This is not to call into question the accuracy of the manuscripts, their divine origin, or the value of their words to our lives. It is only to say that we are often arguing over semantic nothings, using illogical arguments to make irrelevant points about doctrines that are arguably non-existent.

    Discuss. 🙂

  2. I wonder why the consensus of YOU people is that you always want to be smarter than God? Isa 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
    Ps 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
    Has to be the originals, which makes it easy, part were destroyed immediately and the rest disappeared.

  3. Again, I ask a simple question. If God wrote the book (and he said he did) where is he today on the book.
    Danny

    • Danny,
      God didn’t write the Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of it. The original manuscripts were inerrant, inspired, and infallible, as are any copies that accurately reflect the originals. However, if you are looking for any single translation in English that is completely inerrant, inspired, and infallible, I think you’ll be disappointed. We know it can’t be the KJV, since it contradicts itself, as I pointed out in these articles. Its NT quotes from the OT, but in a few places, the KJV OT is missing those words. So either the KJV OT is missing text or the KJV NT is mistaken in quoting something that wasn’t Scripture.

      • Is not the Holy Spirit God? As is the father and the son? NO ONE has ever seen the ORIGINALS so how would we know we have a reflection of them?
        Danny

        • Hi Danny,
          Yes, the Holy Spirit is God. Why would you assume that I don’t believe that? Instead of automatically assuming the worst about me (as you’ve done in some other comments I haven’t had time to respond to yet, such as thinking that I want to be smarter than God), why don’t you read the articles and carefully try to understand my position before attacking me? There are several verses in Proverbs that encourage us to do that.
          My point was to correct the notion that God “wrote” the Bible. As both an author and theologian, I try to use precise terminology in these types of discussion, and it is erroneous to say that God “wrote” the Bible. The Holy Spirit didn’t dictate the message to the writers either. If so, this would make Him rather inconsistent in His use of spelling, grammar, and syntax, because the various authors show a different level of proficiency in these areas. The Holy Spirit guided the writing of Scripture, and the writers produced manuscripts that were inerrant, infallible, and inspired.
          As far as knowing whether we have an accurate reflection of the originals…This is the value in having so many early and reliable manuscripts. The facts that there are differences (often very slight differences) is actually helpful. We can compare and contrast these minor differences and try to understand what the original said. Often, the difference is as minor as spelling or word order, but there are a few somewhat significant differences, as I highlighted in the articles (additional verses in KJV or fewer verses in others, depending on one’s view). Yet, these so-called missing verses do not add any crucial new information for believers if they are put in because the same information can be found elsewhere.
          If you happen to hold to the KJV-only position, which seems to be your motivation in asking these questions, then please take the time to answer one or more of my five questions from this series. If you’d like for me to consider the KJV-only position, then I need answers to these questions. Yet, as we can see in the comments, no one has done that yet. Instead, those who disagree tend to go on the offensive and impugn my motives without ever offering a logical defense of their own view.

          • Again, I ask a simple question. If God wrote the book (and he said he did) where is he today on the book.
            Danny
            De 9:10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

            Danny,
            God didn’t write the Bible. (SEE ABOVE VERSE FOR CLARIFICATION) The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of it. The original manuscripts were inerrant, inspired, and infallible, as are any copies that accurately reflect the originals. However, if you are looking for any single translation in English that is completely inerrant, inspired, and infallible, I think you’ll be disappointed. We know it can’t be the KJV, since it contradicts itself, as I pointed out in these articles. Its NT quotes from the OT, but in a few places, the KJV OT is missing those words. So either the KJV OT is missing text or the KJV NT is mistaken in quoting something that wasn’t Scripture.

            Tim
            Is not the Holy Spirit God? As is the father and the son? NO ONE has ever seen the ORIGINALS so how would we know we have a reflection of them?
            Danny

            Hi Danny,
            Yes, the Holy Spirit is God. Why would you assume that I don’t believe that? Instead of automatically assuming the worst about me (as you’ve done in some other comments I haven’t had time to respond to yet, such as thinking that I want to be smarter than God), why don’t you read the articles and carefully try to understand my position before attacking me? There are several verses in Proverbs that encourage us to do that.
            My point was to correct the notion that God “wrote” the Bible. As both an author and theologian, I try to use precise terminology in these types of discussion, and it is erroneous to say that God “wrote” the Bible. The Holy Spirit didn’t dictate the message to the writers either. If so, this would make Him rather inconsistent in His use of spelling, grammar, and syntax, because the various authors show a different level of proficiency in these areas. The Holy Spirit guided the writing of Scripture, and the writers produced manuscripts that were inerrant, infallible, and inspired.
            As far as knowing whether we have an accurate reflection of the originals…This is the value in having so many early and reliable manuscripts. The facts that there are differences (often very slight differences) is actually helpful. We can compare and contrast these minor differences and try to understand what the original said. Often, the difference is as minor as spelling or word order, but there are a few somewhat significant differences, as I highlighted in the articles (additional verses in KJV or fewer verses in others, depending on one’s view). Yet, these so-called missing verses do not add any crucial new information for believers if they are put in because the same information can be found elsewhere.
            If you happen to hold to the KJV-only position, which seems to be your motivation in asking these questions, then please take the time to answer one or more of my five questions from this series. If you’d like for me to consider the KJV-only position, then I need answers to these questions. Yet, as we can see in the comments, no one has done that yet. Instead, those who disagree tend to go on the offensive and impugn my motives without ever offering a logical defense of their own view.

            Tim you really do not know me nor I you. If you look “carefully” you will see that mine is a question. As a fairly new convert (one who does not know the fine intricacies of bible translations) I was told to come to this site and learn the differences in bible translations. This is what I did. I gave you a verse where God did write some of the bible and this is part of my bible study. I have about eleven versions and I was just trying to find out which is the best one. NO ONE attacked you in any way nor thought despairingly about you. I certainly never impugned you in any way and for you to say I did reflects again on my first sentence. All through school they called me Mr. Milquetoast And I thought it funny for a man that never says anything bad even if my mouth was full for you to say I impugned you was laughable. Me, thinks you may have an ulterior agenda but I can assure you I was looking for TRUTHFUL answers. NO ONE has ever seen the ORIGINALS so how would we know we have a reflection of them?

            My statement and/or question was how do we know what the originals said. You said, “As both an author and theologian, I try to use precise terminology in these types of discussion, and it is erroneous to say that God “wrote” the Bible.

            Yet my meager studies show that statement to be FALSE.

            You said, “The original manuscripts were inerrant, inspired, and infallible, as are any copies that accurately reflect the originals” and yet you truthfully admit NO ONE has ever seen them.

            My question is how do we KNOW what is doctrinally TRUE or not TRUE if we do not know what GOD said apart from something no one has ever seen, how do we KNOW. As a seeker of truth (as you must be also), I have some trouble with all of this. Admitted it is not a simple quest but it sure is seeming harder all of the time. Thanks for the help

            • Hi Danny,

              Showing that God wrote the Ten Commandments in stone for Moses is not the same as saying that God wrote the Bible. If it is, then I could say that Nebuchadnezzar wrote the Bible, because he wrote Daniel 4, which is more text than the Ten Commandments. Yes, I’m aware that God wrote the commandments in stone for Moses. And as I stated before, the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the entire Bible.
              If all you were trying to do is ask a sincere question, then you probably should have avoided writing the following:
              – “I wonder why the consensus of YOU people is that you always want to be smarter than God”
              – “That is an easy answer Tim…………. YOU are unreasonable sooooooooo you most likely will find nothing”
              If you did not intend to attack me personally, then perhaps you shouldn’t have written these things. These are the statements I was referring to. They are not sincere questions but are claims about my character (that I’m unreasonable and I want to be smarter than God).
              You say that you are a fairly new convert who does not know the fine intricacies of Bible translations and that you have about 11 translations are are trying to figure out the best one. Perhaps this is accurate, but I find it difficult to believe all of this since you are the same person who has written at least three articles for the KJV-only site (BibleBelievers). This includes a book that Amazon dates to January 1, 1994 (perhaps that date is in error…the fact that it doesn’t show a cover and lists January 1 seems like it might be in error). I also found a sermon by Paul Fritz from May 31, 2009 (nearly 13 years ago) that credited your work about 53 Blessings. So forgive me if I find your statement above less than sincere.
              I’ve already answered your question by discussing how we can compare and contrast the many manuscripts to determine what the original said. People have seen the originals. Obviously, various people wrote them and passed them around. These were then copied, and it is in the copying process through the centuries where certain mistakes were made. Ultimately, we are not going to “KNOW” with mathematical certainty that what we’re looking at matches the original, but we have very strong reasons to believe that what we have is essentially the same as the original text in nearly every single instance, and in the relatively few places where there is considerable debate, then I’d recommend looking at the undisputed passages for building our doctrine. For example, the last 12 verses of Mark 16 are probably not original. Yet, we lose nothing if these verses are removed since we still have the reports of Jesus’ resurrection and versions of the Great Commission in other writings.

              • I am really confused now as I thought the Book of Daniel was written by Daniel? All of the scholars say it was Daniel writing about an apocalypse. In 4 of my translations……….see below.
                Does not the doctrine change from present yourself to study? That does not make me a KJO guy though I lean that way because of my reading (why I came to this site). It seems no one has a FINAL authority but themselves and their OPINION. Probably what I was saying when you thought I was attacking you.
                Danny

                ESV 2 15 ; Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,3 a worker bwho has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
                NIV
                15 : Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
                NKJV
                2 Timothy 2:15 — The New King James Version (NKJV) 15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

                2 Timothy 2:15
                King James Version
                15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

                • Hi Danny,
                  The book of Daniel was written by Daniel, as far as we know. He uses “I, Daniel” multiple times throughout the second half of the book. There’s no good reason to think that he didn’t write the first half as well, with the exception of chapter 4, which opens by telling us it is from Nebuchadnezzar. So Daniel wrote the book and included a message from Nebuchadnezzar as one of the chapters.
                  Regarding 2 Timothy 2:15 — this seems to be a good example of one of the difficulties with the KJV. According to several sources, the word “study” in 1611 “to strive” or “to be diligent.” Merriam-Websters says that “study” is from the Latin studere (“to devote oneself”). The leading Greek-English lexicon states that the Greek word (spoudazo) means “to be especially conscientious in discharging an obligation, be zealous/eager…” So, these are all really saying the same thing, if we understand what “study” meant in 1611. In this case, our current understanding of “study” surely plays a part in what it means to be diligent in presenting oneself as approved to God as we rightly divide the word of truth.
                  Another good example comes from Gen. 1:28 where the KJV uses the word “replenish” instead of “fill” as in most other translations today. That’s because in 1611, the word “replenish” meant to fill rather than “to fill again” as it means today. Without that understanding, one can easily reach the wrong conclusion about the meaning of these verses.
                  In 1611, these verses would’ve been understood correctly, but because languages change over time, it can sometimes be difficult to reach the correct understanding of a passage from the KJV because the meaning of certain terms has changed.
                  Hope this helps!
                  Tim

                  • Actually, NO it does not. It seems to make ME the final authority on what God has said instead of God. Does this make sense? Daniel may have written in a quote by old NEBBY, but Nebuchadnezzar never wrote anything in the bible. God did with his finger. To say Nebuchadnezzar wrote more than God did of the bible is just not true. If God (the Holy Spirit had Daniel write a book of the bible and he had Nebuchadnezzar quoted in one of those books does not give any credit to the quotee the best, I figure. All of the credit would still go to God (Holy Spirit) for “allowing” Daniel to write anything in the first place. It leaves me hanging with still no authority but me.
                    Danny

                    • Danny,

                      Just read Daniel 4. It opens by telling you who wrote it. “Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.” (Dan. 4:1–2) The last verse in the chapter begins with, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven…” (Dan. 4:37). The whole chapter is first person from Nebuchadnezzar’s perspective.
                      He uses first person pronouns (I / me). Sure, he could have dictated this to a scribe, perhaps even Daniel. Either way, Nebuchadnezzar is the one who is communicating the message, and the book of Daniel faithfully records his words.
                      God clearly did not write all of the Bible with His finger. He wrote the Ten Commandments that way (Ex. 31:17–18). But Paul wrote 13 books of the NT. He mentions his own handwriting in Galatians 6:11 and Colossians 4:18, and he refers to other letters he had written to churches (1 Cor. 5:9 / Col. 4:16).
                      If God wrote these letters, then why does Paul take credit for them? If the Holy Spirit dictated the books, then why do the various NT writers show different styles and capabilities in Greek? To quote Daniel Wallace, John was a creative speller.
                      None of these things take away from the full inspiration of Scripture since the Holy Spirit still guided the entire process to ensure that God’s Word would be conveyed through the pens of the biblical writers. Yes, all of the credit goes to God for inspiring the writing of His Word. I’m not taking any credit away from Him by acknowledging the people He used to write Scripture. In fact, I’m just pointing out what He has clearly revealed in His Word.
                      The Bible is our authority because it is the Word of God. But it was not “written” by God (apart from the part we discussed).

  4. I would recommend two book authors on this subject. The first one is dr. Jack McElroy and the 2nd is Nathan Floyd Jones. Both of these men wrote books defending the king james Bible. Maybe consider writing a review of both books. I would be happy to read them.

      • It “seems” that he cares about his word? Psalm 138:2
        I guess my question is why does he not get involved in the presenting of it?
        Danny

        • Yes, the Lord cares greatly about His Word. This is why it is so important for us to care deeply about it and do our very best to understand it. And if one happens to be a teacher of Scripture, then it is even more important for us to be as careful as possible when handling the text (James 3:1). This is what I’ve devoted my life to doing and is the focus of most of the posts on my blog.
          And while it’s true that the Lord cares deeply about His Word, look closely and you’ll notice that there is not a single verse that states that He would perfectly preserve it in written form for all time, let alone one that says He would do that in an Early Modern English translation, such as the King James. The latter would be extremely problematic, since it would mean that God inspired errors in His Word (as pointed out in the articles).

      • I agree wholeheartedly Tim. My difficulty comes when the translations affect the DOCTRINE. I cannot turn to the ORIGINALS for help, so where do I go to get the CORRECT DOCTRINE. Thanks for all the help. Danny

        • Hi Danny,

          In these very rare instances (where translations might affect doctrine), then look at the undisputed passages to build your doctrine on. Can you give an example of one that affects doctrine so that I can show how I would deal with it?

          Thanks!
          Tim

  5. I’m not a KJOnly person but I prefer it because I believe it’s based on the best manuscripts. Plus, the thees, thous and yous allow better study; thee & thou being singular and you being plural, therefore, more accurate translation.
    But the main thing I want to comment here is the inferiority of the older manuscript re John 5. If you read it from a NASB you’re left wondering why sick people would go into “troubled” water. Who writes a story like that??
    No, the obvious here is that the “added” part re the angel is the original, proper narrative – otherwise you’re left with questions rather than answers.

    • Hi Perry,
      Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure why the NASB is confusing. It places the brackets right where they should be. It states, “In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.]”
      If you remove the bracketed material (which is only found in later manuscripts and contains vocabulary and syntax that doesn’t really match John’s writings) then the passage makes good sense. It wouldn’t have anything about the troubled water.

      Tim

    • Hi Allen,

      Rather than listing all of the ancient sources without it, most scholars cite the ones that do have it (much smaller list). The NET Bible includes a detailed note about this. You can read it here: https://netbible.org/bible/1+John+5
      Also, consider the following details from Metzger’s Textual Commentary of the Greek New Testament, which does cite some of the ones you asked about (pp. 647–649):

      That these words are spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament is certain in the light of the following considerations.
      (A) EXTERNAL EVIDENCE. (1) The passage is absent from every known Greek manuscript except eight, and these contain the passage in what appears to be a translation from a late recension of the Latin Vulgate. Four of the eight manuscripts contain the passage as a variant reading written in the margin as a later addition to the manuscript. The eight manuscripts are as follows:

      61:
      codex Montfortianus, dating from the early sixteenth century.
      88v.r.:
      a variant reading in a sixteenth century hand, added to the fourteenth-century codex Regius of Naples.
      221v.r.:
      a variant reading added to a tenth-century manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
      429v.r.:
      a variant reading added to a sixteenth-century manuscript at Wolfenbüttel.
      636v.r.:
      a variant reading added to a sixteenth-century manuscript at Naples.
      918:
      a sixteenth-century manuscript at the Escorial, Spain.
      2318:
      an eighteenth-century manuscript, influenced by the Clementine Vulgate, at Bucharest, Rumania.

      (2) The passage is quoted by none of the Greek Fathers, who, had they known it, would most certainly have employed it in the Trinitarian controversies (Sabellian and Arian). Its first appearance in Greek is in a Greek version of the (Latin) Acts of the Lateran Council in 1215.
      (3) The passage is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions (Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavonic), except the Latin; and it is not found (a) in the Old Latin in its early form (Tertullian Cyprian Augustine), or in the Vulgate (b) as issued by Jerome (codex Fuldensis [copied A.D. 541–46] and codex Amiatinus [copied before A.D. 716]) or (c) as revised by Alcuin (first hand of codex Vallicellianus [ninth century]).
      The earliest instance of the passage being quoted as a part of the actual text of the Epistle is in a fourth century Latin treatise entitled Liber Apologeticus (chap. 4), attributed either to the Spanish heretic Priscillian (died about 385) or to his follower Bishop Instantius. Apparently the gloss arose when the original passage was understood to symbolize the Trinity (through the mention of three witnesses: the Spirit, the water, and the blood), an interpretation that may have been written first as a marginal note that afterwards found its way into the text. In the fifth century the gloss was quoted by Latin Fathers in North Africa and Italy as part of the text of the Epistle, and from the sixth century onwards it is found more and more frequently in manuscripts of the Old Latin and of the Vulgate. In these various witnesses the wording of the passage differs in several particulars. (For examples of other intrusions into the Latin text of 1 John, see 2.17; 4.3; 5.6, and 20.)

      (B) INTERNAL PROBABILITIES. (1) As regards transcriptional probability, if the passage were original, no good reason can be found to account for its omission, either accidentally or intentionally, by copyists of hundreds of Greek manuscripts, and by translators of ancient versions.
      (2) As regards intrinsic probability, the passage makes an awkward break in the sense.
      For the story of how the spurious words came to be included in the Textus Receptus, see any critical commentary on 1 John, or Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, pp. 101 f.; cf. also Ezra Abbot, “I. John v. 7 and Luther’s German Bible,” in The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel and Other Critical Essays (Boston, 1888), pp. 458–463.

  6. So I married my husband is a King James only assist I am not and without even me stating in words we have a lot of differences a lot of differences and my question is not just my husband but anyone in general that is a King James only assist are they really saved? I would greatly appreciate any Scripture wall feedback on this please and thank you

    • Hi Monica,
      Salvation is contingent upon faith in Jesus Christ, believing that He died for us on the Cross and then rose from the dead. That’s it. If your husband is a believer in Jesus Christ and trusts in Him alone for salvation, then he is saved. The same goes for anyone else — whether they are a KJV-onlyist or not.
      There are certain ideas out there that can become quite a hindrance to one’s faith. Obviously, sin will do that. But there are other things that people will fixate on that are not healthy. Some people tend toward legalism (which is common among KJV-onlyists), and this might be done from good intentions (trying to be faithful in serving God), but there is a danger in becoming self-righteous, trying to rely on one’s own holiness and efforts for salvation rather than trusting in Christ.
      Obviously, only God truly knows a person’s heart and whether they are saved. But He has promised to save all those who believe in His Son (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47).

  7. a relative of mine who is a pastor not only believes KJO but believes that Americans are the only Christians. when i post Bible verses on Facebook, i use ESV for my foreign friends who haven’t yet learnt King James English. For the record, Sir Walter Scott mentioned that King James was a funloving guy, a jolly joker, but not anything about homosexuality. methinks that has been an ugly rumour. also, i absolutely adore the Wycliffe bible. Middle English is so much fun to pronounce.

    • Hi,
      You’ll notice I never brought up the rumor about King James because it’s largely irrelevant. Even if it were true, which I don’t think it is, it wouldn’t necessarily impact the work of the translators. It’s essentially a form of the genetic fallacy, claiming that the version can’t be trusted because the person who sponsored it wasn’t a faithful believer. I find it hard to believe that the various passages against homosexual behavior would’ve made it into the KJV if the rumor was really true.
      I agree with you about Middle English being fun to pronounce — or at least try to pronounce.

  8. There is little point in debating this issue because your position and the KJV Only position proceed from mutually incompatible axioms— the logic of faith vs the logic of contemporary scholarship.

    The logic of faith proceeds from the fundamental assumption that 1) God has inspired His Word, right down to the last jot and tittle, that 2) God has preserved His Word, right down to the last jot and tittle, and that 3) God has provided us with His Word, right down to the last jot and tittle, first in the Received Text and then, finally, in King James Bible.

    The logic of contemporary scholarship proceeds from the fundamental assumption that 1) God has inspired the original texts right down to the last jot and tittle, but 2) God has not preserved His Word right down to the last jot and tittle, and so, 3) There is no 100% accurate source text or translation of the Word of God.

    In the final analysis, there can be no resolution to the tension that exists between these two mutually incompatible axioms, that is, the logic of faith vs the logic of contemporary scholarship. It all boils down to which perspective makes the most sense to the person who has investigated this matter. And so it is with all matters of faith.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for reading this series and for your civil responses.
      If I were arguing that the critical text is the only way through which God preserved His Word, then I might agree with you. However, that isn’t my point in this series. It doesn’t come down to the “logic of faith” or the “logic of contemporary scholarship.” It comes down to logic, period. The KJO position is contradictory, because as I’ve shown in this series, particularly in the second article, its version of the New Testament quotes from passages in the Old Testament that are not even found in the King James since they are not found in the Masoretic Text.
      My primary aim of this series is not to say, “The critical text is the correct one.” Rather, it is to help the King James Only-ist see that their position is untenable and illogical. Thus, it is hypocritical for them to attack readers of other translations for supposed inconsistencies or errors. And they should be more gracious toward fellow believers who disagree, as we are all commanded to be and as I attempted to be in this series.
      Finally, I hope that believers will develop a more nuanced understanding of inerrancy. If we happen to believe that the Bible we hold in our hands (whichever version that might be) is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God (and we don’t qualify those terms appropriately), then what happens when a skeptic points out a contradiction or copyist error in the text? This happens far too often to young believers, and they end up rebelling against what they were brought up to believe. This is very sad. If someone happened to find a copyist error in 1 Samuel, it would not change whether the Son of God came to earth, lived a sinless life, died for our sins on the cross, and then rose from the dead three days later.
      Blessings!

  9. I appreciate your 3 part series on KJVO. As a recent convert from KJVO to modern translation usage I found it very illuminating. What does one do if the church one attends is KJVO and they are not?

  10. Thanks for this detailed rebuttal to the KJO position. I am the proud owner of a letter I sent to Dr. Ruckman years ago in which I asked him which of the many editions of the KJV published in the last 400 years was “the” KJV. He scrawled “IDIOT” across my letter, then added “Any Gideon Bible” and mailed it back to me. Needless to say, I was moved not just by the depth of his scholarship, but by the love he showed for his brother in Christ.

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