Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)

The KJV Is The Better Translation.

Sunday, February 27, 2005
I stand by that...

I mentioned a few days ago that the main reason I changed the title of the blog was the King James Version and my support of it. I also mentioned that I wasn't a KJV-only type like Jack Hyles and Peter Ruckman. This post will clarify why I support the KJV, and why I don't think much of other English translations of the Bible.

The KJV is the better English translation because:

-It is the only literal translation based totally on the Majority Texts.

The Majority Texts, or Received Texts, are just that, the largest collection of biblical manuscripts. Most other translations base themselves on the Alexandrian Texts which are few in number, and are filled with deletions, additions and amendments when compared to the Majority Texts, and even, when compared with each other. So why do some regard these Minority Texts favorably? Because they are older. The rationale is this: if it is older, then it is closer to the writing of the original manuscript, therefore, it is most likely more accurate.

I say: nonsense!

The Bible tells us:

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD OF GOD, WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOR EVER. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOR EVER. And this is the WORD which by the GOSPEL is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1:23-25)

God did NOT preserve His Word by keeping it in one location for hundreds of years while the church carried on with a sub-par Scripture. God preserved His Word by keeping the majority of the copies of the original manuscripts, held by various churches, free from error. And where an error did occur, the comparison between the individual manuscripts which composed the Majority Texts would easily correct the error.

-the KJV is far more translation, and far less interpretation when compared to other translations.

Concepts like "dynamic equivalency" makes me squirm when applied to Bible translation. You see, I believe that the "words" of the Bible are just as important as the concepts/ideas they form. Whenever possible, Greek and Hebrew words in the biblical manuscripts should be translated word for word. When this isn't done, the INTERPRETER (no longer translator) is taking liberty. A clear example of INTERPRETATION versus TRANSLATION:

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16, KJV translation)

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." (Galatians 2:16, NKJV interpretation)

Did you find it? "Faith of Jesus Christ" and "faith in Jesus Christ". The literal translation is "of", not "in". Galatians 2:16 isn't only saying that we are justified by faith IN Christ, but that the faith is OF Christ. Now the NKJV is supposed to use the Majority Texts only, just like the KJV, but you see, the men who "translated" the NKJV slipped in some "interpretation" as well. And to be quite frank my friends, when you look at some of the characters that were involved in putting Bibles like the NKJV, the NIV and the RSV together, I'm not too inclined to take their INTERPRETATIONS of Bible passages too seriously. Which leads me to my next point...

-the translation wasn't based on the "logic" or "system" of man (or modern textual criticism):

The KJV bible translators weren't all Christians, but when considering the method by which they translated, it really didn't matter. Men like Erasmus didn't set up their own set of criteria to judge which parts of Scripture were inspired and which part wasn't. They just went along with the rule of "majority wins" (or preservation wins!).

The modern versions, on the other hand, are usually translated by a group of unbelievers, who place themselves in the position of determining which parts of Scripture is inspired, maybe-inspired, or not inspired. For those of you who use the NIV or RSV (or worst yet, the NRSV), this is where you see italics or parenthesis in some portions of your Bibles, followed by words like: "not found in 'best' manuscripts". This is an attack on the Preservation of Scripture and I want no part of it.

-the slope is SERIOUSLY slippery:

We have evangelical churches today with "The Message" in their pew racks. "The Message", for those of you who are not aware of this version, is one little step higher in credibility than "the Bible: Comic book style"; this "Bible" is a complete interpretation into contemporary English. An extremely poor one at that.

So how did it get into the pews of an evangelical church?

Easy. You see Joe Bob had a son, Billy Bob, who is just starting to read. Joe Bob decides to make life easier on Billy Bob and gets him a New King James version of the Bible for church. Joe Bob figures when Billy Bob gets the hang of reading, he'll switch to the good, dependable King James version.

But, you see, Billy Bob never leaves the NKJV. And when Billy Bob has children of his own, he figures he'll make life easier on his daughter Dixie by getting her an NIV to bring to church. He, like his father Joe Bob, figures that with time, Dixie will come to use her father's version, the NKJV.

But again, you see, Dixie never leaves the NIV. And when Dixie has children of her own, she figures she'll make life easier on her children by getting them "The Message" to bring to church. And before you know it my friends, churches have "The Message" in their church pews. The part that creeps me out: what will come after "The Message"? (Rand shudders here).

-the most godly and faithful men I know use the KJV.

I can hear some of you through cyberspace right now. "Fallacy!" is what you are yelling. Well tough! I have trouble believing that the fact Romanists hate the KJV and the solid Bible fundamentalists love it is all purely coincidental. My parents taught me at a young age that:

"Ce qui se ressemble, s'assemble."

That's French for those who are alike, stick with each other. I have found that statement to be quite factual in my experience. And what I have observed is the more fundamental the Christian, the closer to the KJV he/she usually is.

-if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I work in the field of science. We use alot of sophisticated, yet temperamental, lab instrumentation, and if there is anything I learned, it's "if it works, don't touch!" The reason? Simple. When you touch, you can brake. So don't bother.

We have a good, faithfully translated English Bible version, the King James version. Why go down the path of splitting the church with NIV-users, RSV-users, NKJV-users...etc...etc? The KJV with it's "Thees" and "Thous" may be a mouth full sometimes, but it is not difficult to get passed the language. I should know, I'm a francophone. French is my first language, English my second. I had never seen old English until I was saved at the age of 12. One year in the church and I had the KJV language down pat.

On this point, let me add this: if they actually translated a Bible that was totally based on the Majority Texts, translated literally, minus the "Thees" and "Thous", I would have no problem switching. That being said, in these dark, wicked times, I just can't see such a faithful work being done.

This post is long enough, and I think there is enough here to get an honest soul thinking. If you want more information on all this, check out this short article on the Baptist Bible Translators website. It isn't a thorough work, but it will give you a bit more than what I posted here.

Now please, I know this is a divisive subject, so before commenting, take time to think. And after pondering on the matter, please be gracious and kind in your comments. Remember the TOU.

Take care, and God bless,
9:33 PM
  • At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello, Rand.

    I would like to point out numerous fallacies and double standards in your King James Only position.

    1. The KJV is not based only on the majority texts. It is based on a Greek Text, the Textus Receptus, which is a unique text. The TR is not the Majority text. Sometimes it reads like the Roman Catholic Vulgate in Latin.

    2. You basically assume that God has preserved his Word in only one English translation based on one unique text. And that a 17th century Anglican work. WHERE was this text in 1610? If God inspired each translation leading up to the AV1611, then why do youhave no evidence of that text prior to 1611? Where was his word then? Why allow variants in the mansucript tradition?

    3. You use a double standard when you say that the AV was done by some unbelievers but "it didn't really matter". then you criticise modern versions which you claim does matter if they are not Christians. That's totally arbitrary. Actually, Erasmus and the KJV translators DID use methods that are similar to modern methods. They had to make textual choices. It was not only a question of "majority wins".

    4. You ignore the fact that the KJV originally had the Apocrypha and many side notes with alternate readings. If you reject that in modern bibles, why not the KJV???

    5. You ignore instances of less than literal translation in the KJV, or inferior translation and errors.

    6. Basically, while you claim not to be like Ruckman, KJOism is a fundamentlaist man-made tradition, and as such it is only a matter of degrees between you and someone like ruckman. KJonlyism is not historical or scholaraly, nor is it biblically sound, it is conspiracy thinking, and a denial of reality, which is DECEPTION, not FAITH.

    I can give examples of these things later if you wish. But I simply say that if one brother in Christ is going to attack otherwise good versions, and put my conscience under the use of an Anglican bible, then I think your claims need to be addressed because Scripture tells me to "test all things, hold to that which is good".

  • At 4:52 PM, Blogger Rand said…

    Answer to (1): Double-talk. While I admit the wording in my post could have been a lot better, the KJV is based on the Majority Texts because the Textus Receptus is based of the Majority Texts. Saying “it reads like the R.C. vulgate” is a serious exaggeration.

    Answer to (2): No, that’s what Peter Ruckman believes, not what Rand believes. Read the post and comment on what’s there, not what you think should be there. The Majority Texts were the preserved Word of God. So, no big historical dilemma here.

    Answer to (3): Can you give me a clear example as to how, exactly the “textual criticism” of the KJV translators were like modern textual criticism. While I agree, choices were made, I sincerely doubt the choices were made the same way.

    Answer to (4): What a strange comment. I don’t care whether the Apocrypha was there or not. Really, I don’t. The only thing I care about is this: was it translated accurately, and was it translated from the correct texts.

    Answer to (5): Perhaps in this post, no such mention is made (it really wasn’t the goal of this post), but anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I do acknowledge “the less than literal translations of the KJV”.

    Answer to (6): And I really don’t understand why in the world you would spend so much time writing to someone you basically think is either stupid or a liar. I wrote that I was nothing like Ruckman, and I stand by it. The KJV isn’t the infallible, inerrant, pristine perfect version of the Word of God. Dear me! It doesn’t even translate Hades/Sheol and Hell properly!

    My own parting shot: this post was left here as “Anonymous”, but I have a couple of guesses as to who it may be. In both cases, the souls in question are unstable as water; definitely not souls who are well equipped to be playing “preacher” on the internet. I will also point out that the above comment is like an echo from Alpha & Omega ministries. Like an echo, it lacks the strength of the original voice. One can parrot anti-KJO to Ruckman-wanna-bes all he/she wants, but to do it here is foolish. There are no Ruckmanites here.


    Ps: the whole "Anglican Bible" thing was cute... though a bit juvenile.

  • At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    The KJV is an Anglican based bible translation, mainly involving the Puritans of England, so if you think I'm being juvenile, well, I'm just staing facts.

    Ok, let's bring it down to this...Can I still get all the essential Christian truth from the NKJV, NIV, NASB and ESV as I can from the KJV?

    In other words, Does reading/exegeting a good, literal modern version of the Bible in English actually result in a Christian faith that is substantively different than if you got it from the KJV? Do we lose the Deity of Christ or the literal bodily resurrection or such a thing if we read a modern bible?

    Let me know if that happens.

    Finally, whoever you think I am, I'm assuredly solid in what I believe, and seek to live consistenly with the Faith. That's all you need to know for this purpose.

    God bless, and hope to read your reply.

  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Rand said…

    Time to put this nonsense to rest...

    To quote my pastor:

    "I don't think we'd have to go too far to find an NIV reader that is more holy than us."

    Now there's a Ruckman quote for ya!

    Oh brother...


    Ps: this ends our e-correspondance. You want to know what we're really about (instead of what others tell you we're about), well, you know where to find us.

  • Post a Comment