Sunday, November 17, 2013

KJV Only movement? Is the King James Version the only Bible we should use?

For a long time after leaving the FOC, I was afraid to attend another church, having been told on numerous occasions that attending no church at all was preferable to going to one of those "worldly churches" who practiced false religion among other heresies. I was also afraid to read the Bible - connecting much of it with fear of hell-fire and damnation. After nearly six years, I became a born-again believer and began reading the New International Version of the Bible - I really needed to a fresh perspective. To this day, King James scriptures bring back the fear and intimidation I associate with the FOC.

But, some of my relatives were upset with my choice of Bible, stating that it was a heresy to change scripture. I didn't buy it because, obviously, Jesus didn't speak in the King's English and the Bible wasn't written in any form of English. It's all a translation. The article below addresses the KJV only beliefs of so many English-speaking Christians to this day.

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by S. Michael Houdmann 

Many people have strong and serious objections to the translation methods and textual basis for the new translations and therefore take a strong stance in favor of the King James Version. Others are equally convinced that the newer translations are an improvement over the KJV in their textual basis and translation methodology. does not want to limit its ministry to those of the "KJV Only" persuasion. Nor do we want to limit ourselves to those who prefer the NIV, NAS, NKJV, etc. Note - the purpose of this article is not to argue against the use of the King James Version. Rather, the focus of this article is to contend with the idea that the King James Version is the only Bible English speakers should use.

The KJV Only movement claims its loyalty to be to the Textus Receptus, a Greek New Testament manuscript compilation completed in the 1500s. To varying degrees, KJV Only advocates argue that God guided Erasmus (the compiler of the Textus Receptus) to come up with a Greek text that is perfectly identical to what was originally written by the biblical authors. However, upon further examination, it can be seen that KJV Only advocates are not loyal to the Textus Receptus, but rather only to the KJV itself. The New Testament of the New King James Version is based on the Textus Receptus, just as the KJV is. Yet, KJV Only advocates label the NKJV just as heretical as they do the NIV, NAS, etc.

Beyond the NKJV, other attempts have been made to make minimal updates to the KJV, only "modernizing" the archaic language, while using the exact same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. These attempts are rejected nearly as strongly as the NKJV and the other newer Bible translations. This proves that KJV Only advocates are loyal to the King James Version itself, not to the Textus Receptus. KJV Only advocates have no desire or plan to update the KJV in any way. The KJV certainly contains English that is outdated, archaic, and sometimes confusing to modern English speakers and readers. It would be fairly simple to publish an updated KJV with the archaic words and phrases updated into modern 21st century English. However, any attempt to edit the KJV in any way results in accusations from KJV Only advocates of heresy and perversion of the Word of God.

When the Bible is translated for the first time into a new language today, it is translated into the language that culture speaks and writes today, not the way they spoke and wrote 400 years ago. The same should be true in English. The Bible was written in the common, ordinary language of the people at that time. Bible translations today should be the same. That is why Bible translations must be updated and revised as languages develop and change. The KJV Only movement is very English-focused in its thinking. Why should people who read English be forced to read the Bible in outdated/archaic English, while people of all other languages can read the Bible in modern/current forms of their languages?

Our loyalties are to the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Only the original languages are the Word of God as He inspired it. A translation is only an attempt to take what is said in one language and communicate it in another. The modern translations are superb in taking the meaning of the original languages and communicating it in a way that we can understand in English. However, none of the modern translations are perfect. Every one contains verses that are at least somewhat mistranslated. By comparing and contrasting several different translations, it is often easier to get a good grasp on what the verse is saying than by only using one translation. Our loyalty should not be to any one English translation, but to the inspired, inerrant Word of God that is communicated by the Holy Spirit through the translations (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

This article was reprinted with permission and was originally published on 


  1. Are we all theologians or Seminary students? Probably a very few.
    Personally the KJV is my preference, for opposite reasons. It was the Bible I was raised reading(actually more taught from) Regardless..........
    The semantics of which translation we use or prefer is water cooler fodder
    If they were a blatant misrepresentation or an attempt to consciously subvert our beliefs would be one thing. As lay people how many instances can we personally point out faith altering contradictions What I the bottom line? John 3:16, probably....Let us not allow this to be a distraction. Which translation you prefer is only personal preference. WE WALK BY FAIH NOT BY SIGHT....IN JESUS NAME. Christs love and blessings to all

  2. "A wonderful and horrible thing is commuted in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" (Jerimiah 5:30,31) KJV

    "An appalling and horrible thing Has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?" (Jeremiah 5:30,31) NASB

    Now don't you suppose that it could be a little confusing reading the KJV in this verse? 400 years ago "Wonderful" did not mean the same as it does today, clearly NASB is a better translation for the age that we live in and the English that we speak!

  3. Brian... To each his own. Potatoe Potato Really. It's the Bible.
    That's why we pray for discernment. In Jesus name.

  4. The point I was making was that I don't speak the 400 year old archaic king's English, you can go through the KJV and find words in it and think to yourself what in the world does that word mean? I do not believe I should have to look it up in a dictionary to get the full understanding of a 400 year old text, the main point that I wanted to make is that words change over time, in fifty years from now "Wonderful" might mean something entirely different.

  5. I totally agree with most of what you're saying.
    We are all my brother in the same boat with the same GOD. Keep the Faith
    IN JESUS NAME..... Happy Thanksgiving

  6. Luke 2:33 KJV" and Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things"
    in modern translations Joseph is mentioned as the father of Jesus, he is NOT; he is Mary's husband.

    Hebrews 9:10 KJV "Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation"
    in modern translations for the word reformation the words NEW ORDER are used. The words new order are words that pave the way for the anti-christ

    Colossians 1:14 "In Whom we have redemption through His Blood, even forgiveness of sins"
    in modern translations "through His Blood"' these three so very important words are completely removed.

    Micah 5:2 KJV "Whose goings forth have been from old and everlasting.
    in modern translations the word everlasting is replaced by ancient times or ancient days. everlasting just as the word says everlasting. endless, no end.

    The modern translations are manipulative, ungodly, deceptive but above all are attacking the Deity, Jesus Christ and weaking the sovereignty of the LORD;
    satan's most powerful weapon is ignorancy of God's true Word. Read KJV only.

  7. Figured you would not publish the truth.

  8. Thank tou for posting

  9. KJV Only people can't force people read KJV!


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