A lot of well-meaning people think that the KJV (King James Version) translation is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This idea is not Biblically sound.
Please note this blog post is *not* attacking KJV Only people, nor am I saying that using the KJV is bad. I am just pointing out problems with this idea that make it unBibilical.
Now let’s go though some problems with this idea.
- God’s Word itself is inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), not just a specific translation of God’s Word. Nowhere in the Bible can you point to a verse saying that the “KJV is the only inspired translation”. That is a 100% man-made opinion.
- What happens if you translate the KJV into another language? Since not every language is exactly the same, would the KJV translations – in other languages other than English – not be inspired since translating will be slightly different from the English version? Would everyone on Earth have to read in English to read the Bible?
- The KJV-Only advocates supposedly believe that the Holy Spirit directed the translators in translating the KJV. How do they know this to be true? No one yet has explained to me how they know God “inspired” the KJV translation over the rest. They have not given me any technical arguments (proof with detailed facts). Instead, everything I have read have been unsubstantiated claims.
- I read that in several different places, in the original 1611 KJV translation, the KJV translators gave alternative manuscript readings. Why give alternate readings if the Holy Spirit was guiding you? The translators would have known exactly what to write down, and not have to resort to alternate meanings if they were truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.
- The King James Only movement is technically adding to the Bible’s revelation by saying that the KJV is inspired. Quite frankly they might as well add a verse in the Bible that says God inspired the KJV translation, since that is what they are verbally telling people anyway.
- King James Only-ism can be considered a form of idol worship, since these people seem to (in my experience) revere the KJV translation as much – if not more – than Jesus Christ Himself.
- Another thing that is interesting about this whole KJV Only idea is that there are several people who say that the NASB (New American Standard Bible) translation is the closest (or at least very close) to the original manuscripts. If this is in fact true, then the KJV Only movement is flawed from the beginning, since the NASB is supposed to be closer to the manuscripts than even the KJV.
- The KJV adds the word “easter” to refer to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ironic thing is that the word easter is *not* in the Biblical manuscripts at all. It was just a word the KJV translators added. Not to mention that the word “easter” is from pagan origins. From Google’s dictionary: “Old English ēastre ; of Germanic origin and related to German Ostern and east. According to Bede the word is derived from Ēastre, the name of a goddess associated with spring.” The early church did not observe “easter” in any way. Technically the KJV translators replaced a part of the Bible with a word that is used for a demonic false “goddess”. How can someone say that the KJV is “inspired and perfect”?
Why believe the KJV-Only idea? The idea is to make translations that people can understand better. Yes, I know there are bad translations out there, but not all of the Bible translations are bad.
The Lord has preserved His Word for thousands of years, and He will continue to do so (Isaiah 40:8). However, we must be careful in assuming that the Lord has “inspired” a specific Bible translation. God’s Word is inspired regardless of what (good) translation we happen to prefer.
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