realize I will lose fellowship with many readers of this article because of
the position I take on this subject. However,
the truth is the truth and I believe the facts presented in this article will
bear out the truth. I have felt
for a while that an article on this subject may be beneficial to God�s
people. However, I feel now it is
necessary. Some of our people
have begun to teach that if a church doesn�t use the King James Version
(hereafter referred to as the KJV), it cannot be considered a true church.
Considering the problems of the New Testament churches, this teaching
is simply preposterous. The KJV
is proudly called, �The Authorized Version� as if God Himself has put His
stamp of approval on it. However,
it was never �authorized� by anybody but King James I of
Before I begin, I want to explain how I was brought to see the error of
Several years ago, I would have probably considered myself a �mild�
I didn�t go as far as many.
However, I surely believed every other version was corrupt and only the
KJV was a �valid� translation.
Then, I hit an unexpected snag while studying this subject.
I found an outright lie written by one of the KJV promoters.
Being the inquisitive person that I am, I began to research supposed
fact after fact.
I found many of the arguments of the KJV-onlyists to be nothing but
A few of these will be discussed in the article before us.
I realize that many of our people are ignorantly KJV-only.
They have been told things by people that have been told things.
Most have never studied this for themselves as I hadn�t.
Don�t take my word for it, research it yourself.
Let me also be clear.
I am not suggesting anybody should abandon the KJV.
I am not saying the KJV is not a very good translation.
I am not condemning anybody for their use of the KJV.
This article is meant to set the record straight concerning KJV-onlyism
and the lies that have been set forth by the proponents of this doctrine �
In doing so, I will bring out some shortcomings in the KJV.
However, the purpose is to show that the very things they condemn other
versions for can be said about the KJV.
Also, I am not advocating that all new versions of the Bible are good.
To be perfectly honest, many of the modern translations are not solid
for various reasons.
The New International Version (commonly called the NIV) is a horrible
At best, it�s a paraphrase of the Bible.
In fact, if the �translators� had been honest and said it was a
paraphrase, I could respect them.
However, you can�t judge every modern translation by the NIV.
Each version must be judged on its own merits.
However, every Baptist (and, therefore, Biblical) doctrine can even be
found in the worst translations such as the NIV.
Though I wouldn�t use it as my study Bible or preaching Bible, God
surely can (and has) used it in the life of many of His children.
It�s much more than many children of God had during the dark ages.
Let me begin this treatise by saying Baptists have surely not always
used the KJV.
Since the KJV didn�t come on the scene until the 17th
century, Baptists used something else for 16 centuries.
English speaking Baptists have not always used the KJV either.
Some of the Bibles they used were the Coverdale version, the Bishop�s
Bible, Wycliffe�s translation, Tyndale�s translation, and the Geneva
Were they without the Bible for 16 centuries?
Of course they were not.
KJV-onlyists maintain that God has placed His �stamp of approval�
on the KJV.
However, this is opinion at best.
Some would say, �God worked through the KJV for 400 years.
That proves He acknowledges it alone to the English speaking people.�
When did Baptists begin creating doctrine out of experiences?
We could say that God is, no doubt, saving many people in Arminianism
Does that mean we ought to all be Arminians?
Of course not.
This line of thinking wouldn�t be used by a Baptist in any case other
than this one.
Early American Bibles were not the KJV.
When the Puritans fled to America due to religious persecution in
England, they brought their Geneva Bibles with them.
If the Protestants opposed the KJV, there is little doubt that Baptists
(being more persecuted than any other group) opposed the King James Version. One
of the silliest arguments made by the KJV-onlyists is that the KJV was never
copyrighted and other versions were.
Admittedly, this is true.
However, copyright laws didn�t exist until decades after the last KJV
edition was completed.
How did the KJV end up taking over the English speaking world?
King James outlawed other versions such as the
James is often revered by KJV-onlyists as a great man.
KJV-only groups have sought to make him a pillar for truth. However,
some reputable historians have found information that at least suggests
he was a homosexual.
He was buried between two men that many have maintained were his
Whether that is true or not, there is little doubt that King James I
was a hater of Baptists.
and at least 6 of his translators were known persecutors of Baptists.
Thomas Crosby (who wrote the first known English Baptist history
book) spoke of Baptist persecution under James� reign.
He said, �The
other one [burned] was Edward Wightman, A BAPTIST, of the town of Burton upon
Trent, who on the 14th day of December  was convicted of diverse
heresies before the bishop of Coventry and Litchfield; and being delivered up
to the secular power, was BURNT at Litchfield the 11th of April following.�
This (the April following) was the same year the 1611 KJV was released!!
The same year, James had Bartholomew Legate and his brother Thomas
imprisoned for heresy.
They were vocal opponents of both Roman Catholicism and the Church of
England. Thomas died in prison.
After being brought before James numerous times, Bartholomew was burned
at the stake on
KJV-onlyism is far from a Baptist distinctive.
In fact, the single most responsible book for the KJV only position is Which
Bible?, edited by David Otis Fuller.
Besides Fuller, there are 11 other writers of this book.
46% of this book was written by Benjamin G. Wilkinson.
In reality, 10 chapters of Our Authorized Bible Vindicated were
included in Which Bible?.
Originally, there were 16 chapters of Mr. Wilkinson�s book.
Fuller leads his readers to believe that Mr. Wilkinson was a
�scholar� of the �first rank.�
Sadly, this influential man was neither a scholar nor a Baptist.
Wilkinson was a 7th day Adventist.
He is, perhaps, the most influential person in the KJV only movement.
Lest anybody think I am misleading you, the college he taught at was
is the documented beginnings of KJV-onlyism.
Let none of the readers suppose that this began or was advocated by any
Baptists of the time.
Well respected Baptists have not always felt the KJV was the best
B.H. Carroll says in his Introduction to An Interpretation of the
English Bible, �The
only textbook absolutely requisite is the English Bible. The Common, or King
James Version, can be made to serve, but the
KJV-onlyists claim that the KJV is to be preferred because it was
translated from the Textus Receptus in 1611.
This is simply false. The
Textus Receptus wasn�t published until 1624.
The KJV translators used Stephens of 1550 which was a predecessor for
what is commonly referred to as the �Textus Receptus� today.
Stephens text is a revision of the Dutch humanist (and Catholic)
Erasmus� work. However, none of
these are completely identical. Also,
the term from which we derive �Textus Receptus� wasn�t used until the
1633 printing. For that matter,
there are only 50 known complete Greek New Testament texts.
None of these completely agree and the KJV doesn�t agree with any of
them completely. In fact, 29% of
the KJV was taken straight from Tyndale and 61% of it was taken from other
versions. To be honest, the KJV
translators were more a group of revisers of previous versions than they were
translators. Please don�t
misunderstand; I am confident that the KJV translators used a solid text.
It�s the misinformation of the KJV-onlyists I wish to discredit.
One of the most common falsehoods is that the KJV used by the
KJV-onlyists is the 1611 version. A
church near my home often has �We use the 1611 KJV� on their sign.
Many web-sites promoting KJV-onlyism claim to use the 1611 version.
Some of them say �to read the 1611 Authorized Version, click here.�
Without exception, every time I�ve �clicked here� I have been
taken to a recent edition of the KJV. Today�s
common KJV is actually the 10th edition. I
have yet to find one church among the Lord�s churches that use the 1611
version of the KJV. Check your
Bible. If it doesn�t contain
the Apocrypha, it is not the 1611 version.
If it doesn�t contain 8,422 marginal notes offering alternate
translations, it is not the 1611 version.
If doesn�t use �f�s� for �s�s�, it is not the 1611
version. Many major changes
have taken place since 1611 � not merely language updates as the
KJV-onlyists would have us believe. The
Apocrypha was dropped, of course and the 8,422 marginal notes were dropped.
Most likely, not one person reading this article uses the 1611 version
as their primary Bible and most have neither read it or have owned a copy of
Considering this, if the present KJV is not the original 1611 (and it
definitely is not), which KJV should be used?
Which of the 10 editions is error free?
It could easily be shown that numerous phrases and words were changed.
They were not only changed to update language (we do readily admit that
some of the changes were language updates), but many other words were changed.
The first revision took place two years after the original printing in
1613. There were more than 400
variations from the first edition. It�s
simply ridiculous to assert that the language had changed so much in 2 years
as to warrant this number of changes. The
next revision occurred 3 years later in 1616.
The only change was I Cor. 4:9. It
changed from �approved to death� to �appointed to death.�
In 1629, the first major revision was printed at
The Translators of the KJV themselves disagreed with the KJV-onlyists.
They stressed the need for constant revision to update the language.
They confessed they were not inspired and were unsure about many of the
words they translated.
In their introduction, they said �"The
original there being from heaven, not from the earth, the author�s being
God, not man, the editor, the Holy Spirit, not the wit of the apostles."
They fully understood that they were simply men.
They knew the originals were inspired by God.
They never claimed inspiration whatsoever.
They also gave credence to all other translations of the day calling
them �The Word of God.�
They said, �Nay,
we affirm and avow that the meanest translation of the Bible in English is the
word of God.�
In other words, even the poorest translations were God�s Word.
They felt that the Septuagint was not a very good translation saying it
�was faulty in many places. It descended from the original and did not come
near it in grandeur or majesty.�
This is the OT translation used by Jesus and the apostles!!!
Did they condemn it because they felt that way?
Did they say it was �corrupt� as the KJV-onlyist�s do in
attacking any other version today?
And, neither did the apostles since they used it.
KJV-onlyists often claim that the KJV translators were �directed by God�
in the translation process.
Were they �directed by God� to make these comments as well?
Gail Riplinger has influenced contemporary KJV-onlyism as much as
anybody. Most of our KJV-only
brethren continue to use information from her book New Age Bible Versions
whether they know it or not. However,
this book has been found to be full of outright falsehoods.
I personally have owned this book for years.
When I began �re-researching� this position, I checked many of her
arguments and found them to be complete misrepresentations.
There�s simply no way Riplinger didn�t know it.
She purposely misrepresented the facts to support her belief.
As with many KJV-onlyists, she didn�t want her �truth� to be
confused with facts and she was willing to purposely mislead her readers to
support her position. When one
writer refuted her book, Texe Marrs (a KJV-onlyist) replied by saying
�Don�t write me again unless in sincere repentance. You are a devil, plain
& simple. I understand well why Mrs. Riplinger does not respond to your
ridiculous assertions. Why dignify the lying claims of a servant of Satan!�.
Since when has an investigation of facts been heresy?
Was not it the Berean (and Baptist) saints that looked into the
Scriptures daily to make sure what they were being told was the truth?
Should we not do the same thing even concerning KJV-onlyism?
Interestingly, most of our brethren would never acknowledge a woman
teacher or writer. However, on
this issue, she is given full credence because her books supports their
position. Sadly, this one woman
they are willing to follow purposely misled the masses in numerous places.
For instance, in her tract �NKJV errors and omissions�, she slams
the NKJV by saying that it �ignored the KJV Greek Textus Receptus over
1,200 times.� However,
she never compares it to the Greek. She compares it to the KJV which is not
the standard. She should have
said it disagreed with the KJV in 1200 instances.
In her tract, Gail claims that in the NKJV, there are 66 omissions of
�Lord.� However, she didn�t cite one verse to prove this.
She (and many of our brethren) goes on to say that the NKJV wishes to
discredit the deity of Christ by the 66 omissions of �Lord�.
However, the truth is that these are not omissions at all, but
legitimate translations. In fact, the NKJV uses the title �Lord� for Jesus
Christ, but not for human masters. For instance, Mat.
says, �A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.�
(NKJV) The KJV renders the Greek word kurios as �lord� instead of �master.�
The NKJV actually has the more correct translation in these passages.
Why do our brethren not know this?
Simply, they take her words as gospel rather than simply checking into
her �facts.� As I�ve said,
there�s absolutely no way that she didn�t know this information was wrong.
As far as I�m concerned, that makes it a lie.
Therefore, when we use it, we are promoting lies.
Baptist people, we must check our facts rather than quoting
misinformation simply because it agrees with our traditions.
I don�t know of any reputable Baptists that didn�t see the need for
Greek helps. They knew the KJV
was a translation. They saw the
importance of referring to the Greek to make sure they were getting the proper
meaning as given in the original languages.
I was taught to do this by men that are considered scholars by most
readers of this article. It
is with great caution that I bring these points out.
I do not wish to destroy the faith of any.
However, we have reached a point where the truth must be told.
We have the abilities to check the KJV with Greek helps.
There is no doubt that �Easter� in Acts 12:4 should have been
translated as �Passover� as it was in every other instance in the NT.
For the record, every other modern version has the correct translation.
The word �ecclesia� should have been translated �congregation�
or �assembly� as every solid Baptist preacher I�ve ever heard readily
admitted. Why did the KJV not
correct this error of the earlier English translations?
Because King James I had a rule that all of the Ecclesiastical words
were to be kept. If
�ecclesia� had been translated as �congregation� and �baptizo� had
been translated as �immerse�, there may be much less confusion on these
subjects than there is today. One
will also notice that newer versions changed �God forbid� (as translated
in the KJV) to something like �certainly not� (as used in the NKJV).
Though some will claim that the word �God� was omitted by the newer
versions, honest seekers will find that it was actually added by the KJV
translators. If our readers
will simply check the Greek New Testament, you will find that every passage
translated �God forbid� in the KJV is incorrect.
The Greek word for God is absent in these passages in the Greek
New Testament. This is adding to
God�s Word at the least and taking God�s name in vain at the worst.
When I found this out, I honestly felt betrayed.
KJV-onlyism among modern Baptists is nothing more than tradition.
Our people have fallen into the same trap as the Jews in the days of
Christ. We have gotten
comfortable in our way of thinking on this subject and we have made a doctrine
out of it. As I said earlier,
some now are �un-churching� congregations that would use another
translation. It matters not how
accurate the doctrine and practice of churches are; they could lose their
candlestick if they forsake the beloved KJV for another version that may be as
solid as the KJV. This is purely
tradition and, sadly, there are no real Baptists roots for it.
Again, this doctrine is founded in the teachings of a 7th
The KJV is a wonderful translation and those that use it should cherish
it. However, there are a few
other excellent translations. Knowing
the truth, we should give liberty on this.
Baptists have sought a better translation since the translation process
began. A small few KJV-onlyists
say they�ll use a better translation if one is ever produced.
However, they condemn all new translations � many without even owning
a copy and surely without much study. Again,
it�s the doctrine and practice of a church that makes it faithful to the
Lord or not. Without love (and
with the KJV), I am nothing. With
love (and with the NIV), I can please God.
I personally will not use the NIV for various reasons which the next
section will bring out. However,
my concern for a church is whether they are preaching the true Gospel, taking
the Commission to the World and standing for the distinctives which Baptists
have stood for since the days of the Apostles no matter which version of the
Scripture they use.
Taking all of this into consideration, what should we look for in a
Bible? Well, first, we
should look at the texts used in the translation process.
Let me preface this by saying I am not a textual critic.
The truth is that all of the texts are amazingly similar.
They are 98% alike. This, in itself, speaks of God�s preservation of
His Word. All Baptist doctrines
(and, therefore, Christian doctrine) can be found in every text without
exception. Even in the texts that
exclude certain passages or verses, the doctrines found in those omitted
verses are still found in other places. So,
deeming the texts as �corrupt� is, perhaps, a little harsh.
If the copyists were wishing to delete certain teachings from God�s
Word, they�ve had 2000 years to delete all of the verses and passages which
teach these truths. However, they still remain.
That said, I prefer the Majority Text.
This is the group in which the Textus Receptus belongs.
These texts were preserved by God in the areas where the epistles were
originally sent. The Alexandrian
(Westcott-Hort, Nestle-Aland, ect.) texts were found in places where the
epistles were not sent. It seems
logical that the possibility for copyist errors grew as these texts were
copied and sent to other areas. Secondly,
and perhaps the more importantly, the translation method needs to be checked.
For instance, the KJV, the NKJV, the KJ3, the Analytical-Literal
Translation of the NT (and a handful of others) all use a �word for word�
translation method from the Majority text.
The English Standard Version is a good �word for word� translation.
However, it may be a cause for concern that it uses the Nestle-Aland
text. The NIV, contrastingly,
uses �dynamic equivalence� (as noted in their introduction) which is a
�thought for thought� translation method.
This type of translation is a paraphrase at best.
The translators who use this method of translation attempt to tell you
what the Greek �meant� rather than telling you what it said.
In my opinion, they need to leave the interpretation to the reader and
the leadership of the Spirit. They
claim to use an �eclectic text� (a combination of various texts).
However, a casual observer can see that it leaned heavily on the
Alexandrian text making it doubly questionable.
Lastly, the Bible needs to be readable.
Some of the older English versions (such as the Wycliffe) take too much
work (in my opinion) for a modern English speaking person to study daily as
their main study Bible. Also,
some of the newer literal �word for word� versions are difficult to read
due to the word order. These
versions could (and should) be used for reference, but, probably won�t serve
well as a daily study Bible. Using
these 3 guidelines, one may well use the KJV, the NKJV, the Modern KJV, the
KJ3 and a handful of others. Just
make sure that you read the introduction of whichever Bible you use to check
into these things.
If nothing else, I hope this article challenges the readers.
I am fully convinced that the KJV-onlyists who read this article will
(in their minds) not believe the facts of this article.
They are adamant of their position.
As I�ve said, they don�t wish their �truth� to be confused with
real facts. Hopefully, the
majority of our readers are willing to consider these things.
As previously mentioned, the KJV is a wonderful translation.
God has used it. However,
it�s simply erroneous to believe that God is not presently using a good
translation such as the NKJV. I
have used it in my daily reading for years and have found it to be very solid.
In some places, it is better than the KJV.
In other places, I prefer the KJV.
Let us remember, neither of these is the standard.
The standard is the original articles as they were given to men by the
Holy Spirit of God. Therefore,
let us always keep Greek helps (a concordance, a lexicon, an interlinear, a
Bible dictionary, etc.) near us. Perhaps
more importantly though, let us judge a church by its doctrine and practice
since that�s what we see God judging a church by in His Word.
As I said in the introduction, I�m confident that my opinions on this
matter will cause some to break fellowship with me.
I wish that wasn�t so. However,
those that know me realize that I have never concerned myself with pleasing
�the brethren� in my ministry. My
desire is to �obey God rather than
). If you doubt what I have said,
the facts presented in this article are easily researched in various places.
I encourage every person that reads this article to do just that.
In fact, I encourage you to make sure any and all facts presented by me
or any other authors on this subject are accurate.
My primary purpose for writing this article is because there is so much
misinformation out there.
May God help us all.