Sunday, September 11, 2016

The King James Only Movement

by Tony Thomas

You may have heard about the King James Only Movement.

 Many of its proponents believe that the King James Version is the only preserved Word of God and all other versions have been influenced by Alexandrian gnostics who tried to remove doctrines like the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, and hell from the text.

There are numerous videos on You Tube from KJVO proponents. Most notable are the ones from Chick Publications and produced by David W. Daniels, a seminarian with an MDiv from Fuller.

I have watched many of these and they are full of circular arguments. They assume that the KJV is God's only preserved Word but give no proof. 

They say that words have been added/removed/changed, but only compared to the KJV, not to any underlying Greek/Hebrew text. Erasamus collated a dozen or less Greek manuscripts to produce the TR (and he translated the end of Revelation into Greek from Latin). What about the other 5,000+? Most of these disagree with the Textus Receptus (the underlying text of the KJV) in some form or another.

The KJV was not some unique translation. It is largely based on the Tyndale translation, the Great Bible and the Geneva Bible. The Geneva Bible was the favorite of the Puritans/Pilgrims, not the KJV. King James dictated that it be translated to conform to the doctrines of the Anglican church and to remove the Puritan influences.

And finally, none of the KJVO folks I have seen use the supposedly "pure" 1611 text. They use one of the revisions by Blayney, Oxford or Cambridge. It is fine to love and enjoy the KJV version. But maligning Christians that choose to use other versions or the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts is uncalled for and demonstrates that many in the KJVO movement are seriously deceived.

There is no legitimate scholarship in the movement and it is purely based on faith and not evidence. No evidence of some Alexandrian conspiracy to mangle God's Words. If the Alexandrians that produced some of the older manuscripts were truly Gnostics and wanted to eliminate doctrines like the Deity of Christ from the Bible, they did a poor job!

The KJVO movement exhibits many characteristics of a cult. It worships and idolizes a single translation: the KJV. While the KJV was a great translation for its time (and is a literary masterpiece), it is no longer the best translation given the changes in the English language since the 17th century and the tremendous advances in the study of ancient manuscripts, many of which were found after 1611.

For an excellent critique of the KJVO movement, read "The King James Only Controversy" by James White.

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