This group falsely teaches that the 1611 King James Bible is the only accurate and inerrant English language translation bible to use. This “KJV Only” sect claims (loudly) that all other English language bibles are completely corrupt and not to be trusted or used at all. They also issue a lot of very vocal threats and noise about your condemnation and damnation if you don’t use it!
While I appreciate (and support) their desire to keep the word of God free from corruption and error, their argument and teaching is without merit and logically inconsistent. That claim is not only false, it’s illogical and cannot even be defended by well-formed logical reasoning. I’ve researched this topic myself quite a bit.
I’ve also found the KJV only crowd produces false claims (which they call facts) in support of their argument. Are we really to believe that the Almighty Holy Sovereign Lord and God of the entire universe stopped protecting the sanctity of His Holy Word in the year 1611? And only in the English language? Ridiculous! Preposterous!
Furthermore, and here their own logic fails: what about the speakers/readers of other (non-English) languages? Are they all just left out in the dark by God? How does the Spanish reader handle their “the KJV is the only bible ever that can ever be trusted and is accurate” claim? Must the Spaniard learn English if they want to read the Word of God?
It always amazes me when I ask the “KJV Only” advocates this question: Hey, so what about my Spanish speaking friends? They look at me like I have 3 eyes, 2 heads, and a tail and just spoke to them in an unknown tongue – as they of course have no logical answer to that question.
And while I do greatly appreciate that the KJV bible was “nearest” to the reformation, whose men (and Bible translators) paid for their faith and works with their own lives, so they certainly would consider integrity to be something to value in any bible they worked on/with. This does help KJV in terms of pedigree quite a lot, but that is a different matter than what they are teaching.
Furthermore, remember that language continually evolves. What English words used to mean several hundred years ago doesn’t always mean what they mean now. For a dramatic (secular) example, see this original “Old English” version of the Boewolf poem: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/beowulf-oe.asp. Yes, that is written in “English”, and yet I think you will agree that you can scarcely recognize even one word of it, let alone understanding it! – it’s nearly impossible for us to read today. In contrast, you can see an updated “Modern English” translation of this very same poem which is much more readable; visit this link: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/beowulf.asp.
So, you can see that it makes zero logical sense to say stop all translations on any one given date/year (e.g. 1611). And that is an example of just how English to English evolves over time, ignoring translations of the Bible to other languages, which are still ongoing to this very day.
My first bible was a NASB bible and luckily (simply by chance, although you will find as a believer that nothing simply happens by chance any longer) it was the life application study version. It was the one I used when I accepted Christ, and the one I still read the most today; that translation has been great, and it is still my main bible!
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in fact very wary of translation/revision errors (which do occur) and also translator bias (their opinions) being introduced in any bible but please read the chapter in this book on “Choosing a Bible” to see how to solve that.
There are human introduced differences in any translation/version due to choices (and theological beliefs) made by those who did the translation. It also matters which Greek texts they used for basing their translation on. The translations I have listed in bold in the “Choosing a Bible” chapter are all very solid with regards to the Gospel, although each has differences in wording and some verses. Even the original 1611 KJV bible had some very unfortunate translation word choices, as well as printing errors! This “KJV Only” sect conveniently fails to mention those of course.
While it is true that the original Holy Spirit inspired Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic books (scripts) were inerrant, man does introduce some differences (and even small errors, e.g. printing errors) as new translations are performed and released. The only way to fully get the verse meanings properly sorted is to use MULTIPLE versions of the bolded bibles above; yes, even the KJV bible has “errors” in it of translation and style.
I do think their claim that more “modern” bibles can be subject to more “corruption” by man and publishers who may have their own agendas; that is a very valid concern, even more so today as the message of God faces increased hostility from the world. It is true today that most (nearly all) of the publishers of bibles today have non-Christian “owners”, and there are other issues, but we are to expect that if God wanted His word preserved, it would have been preserved, except in all but the most blatantly perverse translations or those produced from cults and sects, which aren’t really “Christian” to begin with.
One final counter-argument to the “KJV Only” that they never mention to you is that as time passes archeologists have uncovered finds of more ancient scripture texts and scrolls which were previously unknown, and these can be used to actually increase the accuracy of newer bible translations.
Lastly, finding a bible you can actually understand and read correctly is just as important. If you are happy speaking the “King’s English,” then the KJV is quite good of course, and there is a regal majesty to the language of that period – that cannot be disputed.
The only inerrant Scriptures (without any error introduced by man) are the originals in the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) that they were written in. I therefore do agree with some of the issues this group warns about, in particular that many modern bibles (in any language) have been diluted, and corrupted. This is to be expected, as once again, the schemes of man seek to suppress Truth, and Christ, and His ultimate Deity.
So, while I do very much like (and use) the KJV translation myself, this “KJV Only” claim is just ridiculous. Please see also the “Choosing a Bible” chapter for more information.