King James Only

Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Jdgs. 21:25 π Prov. 11:14 π Isa. 57:15 π Mt. 13:30; 2nd π Mt. 13:41 π Mt. 16:18 π Mt. 18:17 π Mt. 24:10 π Mt. 24:12 π Lk. 5:38-39 π Jn. 1:1 π Jn. 1:14 π Jn. 5:39 π Jn. 16:13 π Rom. 6:14 π Rom. 15:4 π 1 Cor. 2:14 π 1 Cor. 14:33 π 1 Cor. 15:45 π Gal. 4:16 π Eph. 1:22 π Col. 1:18 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Tim. 2:15 π 2 Tim. 3:16-17 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Heb. 4:12 π Heb. 8:10 π Jas. 3:15 π Jas. 3:17 π 2 Pet. 1:4
Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Lawlessness, “Iniquity” (KJV) anomia – [458] π Demonizeddaimonizomai – [1139] π Assembly, “Church” (KJV)Ekklesia – [1577] π Belonging to a Lordkuriakos – [2960]

Some Obvious Truths

There are some who hold the King James version as the only Bible that bears God’s stamp of approval. In this age when many further discoveries about the original text have been made, why this view is so prevalent is difficult to understand. All translations from the Greek to the English have their strengths and their weaknesses. The King James version has both as well.

We must also remember that Jesus did not speak English – neither the King’s English, the Queen’s English nor the bastardized American slang-glish.

Note well that this obvious truth is “blasphemy” or at least a surprise to many “KJV only” people.

We must also remember that only a relatively small percentage of the world speaks English. Will the French or Russian-speaking believer be condemned to hell because he or she never read the KJV? Anyone who has to think long on this question or who finds that this is the first time he has considered such a thing needs to realize that he is a victim of deception.

Note well also that the KJV-only crowd is very likely to consider you an enemy or at least no longer a brother for having dared to speak this truth to them. (see Gal. 4:16; top )

Jesus spoke Hebrew (perhaps Aramaic but that is debatable) and it is also debatable whether or not that He spoke or understood koine Greek which all (or almost all – this too is an ongoing debate) of the New Testament was originally written in. It is the original message as penned or dictated by the original authors that is held to be the closest rendition we have to the original Gospel – not a translation conducted by scholarly “experts” from one language to another some sixteen centuries after Jesus and the original apostles had come and gone. And yet this weakness of being a translation sixteen centuries after the fact pales in comparison to the demonic strategy that is also inserted into the King James Bible.

Note well that now a majority of the KJV-only people will be burning me in effigy and looking for a cross to crucify me on!

Spiritual Sabotage

But let me give you a couple of examples of spiritually strategic weaknesses in the KJV translation.

These are but three examples of the behind-the-scenes spiritual influence that is incorporated into the KJV and there are more. These things were allowed by God to be inserted into His written words because He knew that the humble and contrite in spirit would be led into all needed truth by His Spirit of truth. ( Isa. 57:15 , Jn. 16:13 ) The schemes of the devil (the prison gates of darkness and death) cannot hold the one who is determined to find the freedom offered in Christ Jesus. The poorly rendered words also gave places for the tares to hide until such time as the Master sends forth His angels to remove them from the field. ( Mt. 13:30; top )

The Book and the Word

The devil puts forth subtle lies that are aimed at keeping the people of God from walking in the power and life of God. In the translating of the Scriptures into English in the early 1600s (a time when the koine Greek was still a fresh rediscovery), the devil instigated some simple substitutions of certain words (and much more archeological and linguistic information has since been recovered to substantiate these claims). This substitution causes us, to this day, to have difficultly experiencing the reality of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and trains us to settle for our own understanding and intellectual abilities. All this goes a long way in reinforcing the notion that we are our own gods in control of our own destinies and this is the devil’s overall strategy toward all men in all times and in all seasons.

Perhaps the greatest modern confusion upon many followers of Christ, especially “evangelicals” and their “theological” descendants, is the failure to distinguish between the Book and the Word. The Book is those 66 books inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by over 40 authors across 3 continents in 3 languages over a period of 1500 years - in whatever order we prefer, we know them best as “Genesis through Revelation” with the apocryphal books left out (which the KJV retained). It is the written testimony of the Holy Spirit of the works and actions of God towards certain men during a certain period of time. It is useful for reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, equipping for good works, for bringing hope, and it is the written source of all of God’s great and precious promises to us. ( 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ; Rom. 15:4 ; 2 Pet. 1:4; top )

But it is not God. It is not the Word. The Book is only words written on a piece of paper, a book which will burn if dropped into a fire. The Word, in contrast to the Book, is alive and powerful, separating between that which is soulish and spiritual, between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the Spirit. ( Heb. 4:12 ) The Word became flesh and lived among us - and we beheld His glory as of the glory of the unique Son of God. ( Jn. 1:14 ) In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. ( Jn. 1:1; top )

The Book is the Book and the Word is Jesus Christ who became a life-giving spirit. ( 1 Cor. 15:45; top ) When we embrace the Book as if it were the living Word of God, we subordinate the words of God to the powers of our intellect - an area of the soul in which it is impossible to spiritually know the things of the Spirit - and we spurn the Person of the Word, the Person who is the truth - the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is in this light that we see that those who intellectually embrace the Book as the final arbitrator and standard for all of life and conduct are misguided. The Pharisees did this and Jesus rebuked them soundly by saying, “You study the Scripture because you think that in them you possess eternal life. But I tell you that it is these Scriptures which point to Me.” ( Jn. 5:39 - emphasis added) Without the Holy Spirit to spiritually illuminate the words He spiritually inspired, there is no hope that we, through the use of our natural minds, could ever rightly divide the word of truth. (see 1 Cor. 2:14 ; 2 Tim. 2:15; top ) The Bible is not God Himself – it is merely a “door” by which we might find Him and enter into His presence and experience His life. May God be merciful to those too blind to grasp this vast difference!

If the Holy Spirit does not cause the words of the Book to be filled with the Spirit of truth, the life-giving Spirit of the second Adam, then it is only a dead letter administered in the life-quenching energies of the soul. There is no hope that it will ever produce a life that brings glory to God. Words devoid of the Spirit of life, even when read directly from the printed pages of the Book, will only administer death.

Thus, as the people of the end times heap up to themselves teachers, they will hear much of the words of God - but they will never, through the soulish administrations of these unanointed and spiritually dead teachers, become personally acquainted with the living Word of God, the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will be greatly acquainted with fables, many of them about God and about Jesus Christ and many containing a great deal of factual data, but they will be fables nonetheless because they were not brought to life in the heart of the individual by the Spirit of life and truth. (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4; top )

Old Wine

So in the matter of KJV only or not, it is not a matter of one translation is the absolute best nor is any one translation infallible. Only the Holy Spirit can help us rightly divide the word of truth no matter what version we happen to be reading. The truth is found in many ways and not just in the KJV and not even in just the Bible as the Spirit of truth reigns wherever men’s hearts seek only truth - though the Bible, as originally given, are the words God gave and preserved for us so as to lead us to Him. The KJV does offer many strengths, almost all of which were retained in the New King James version. The NKJV especially removed one of the KJV’s biggest and growing weakness, the usage of archaic language that few can grasp. Give the English language a few more decades and reading KJ English won’t be much different for most from reading Latin – “What’s the point?” The KJV is mostly a literal rendering that also retains a beauty of speech and a high level of scholarly approach (with only those places, like above, where the enemy was allowed to deceive and cause the translators to insert what we would now - charitably - call, from our advantage point 2,000 years later, poor word choices).

One reason the KJV has the strengths it does is because of the work of William Tynsdale, a man gifted by God in the area of language and linguistics. Tynsdale, though born into a common family, is reported to have mastered seven languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English and French) and was functional enough in German to translate some of Luther’s works. Over 90% of his wordings were used in the 1611 KJV! And even 75% of his words were retained in the Revised Standard Version of 1952! So it is God’s gracious gift of William Tynsdale – and not King James – that makes the KJV the strong edition of the Bible that it is! A large part of the 10% that does not come from Tynsdale includes the heavy authoritarian words that King James insisted remain – “church” instead of “congregation” or “assembly” for “ekklesia,” “pastors” instead of “shepherds” for “poimen,” “bishop” instead of “overseer” or “elder” for “episkopas,” etc. If one is going to argue for the supposed infallible qualities of the KJV, one should at least know the whole history of the thing! But then, one who forsakes complete historical ignorance and comes to know what really transpired has great difficulty arguing for the infallible nature of the KJV.

As for the staunch KJV-only fanatics who demonize and cast aside those who own, read and use other versions of the Bible, whoever these “pillars” might be, what do they really add to or take away from anyone? James wrote, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits.” ( Jas. 3:17 ) Since these staunch fanatics don’t seem to be operating in anything like the wisdom that is from above, we must rationally and spiritually conclude that they are really the ones demonized and not the users of other English translations. (also see Jas. 3:15; top )

By the way, “daimonidzomai,” [ 1139 ] “demonized,” which means “under the influence and manipulations of the demonic” and not “demon possessed,” is another word pulverized by the KJV. The KJV even uses “devils” and not “demons”!

Many groups – not just the KJV-only crowd - have transferred the notion of divine inspiration and flawless presentation onto the translators of the various English translations that have been done over the years. It is true that the translators of the various translations of merit have approached their work in the Scriptures with great respect and even reverence. But it is also true that God left a “window” open whereby the tares would not be prematurely exposed as the sons of the devil and thus the wheat and the tares could grow side by side. ( Mt. 13:30 ) As the day of harvest fast approaches, when the angels will first remove the tares ( Mt. 13:41; top ), God is graciously revealing the many deceptions and devices the devil has used to keep the identity and nature of his children a well-kept, well-guarded secret. But God is now giving the people who claim to be His (but who have co-mingled too closely with the ways and ideas of the tares) a last-minute opportunity to repent of the idolatry they have carelessly absorbed and practiced.

The devil has taken particular advantage of the translation of certain words and concepts involving Christian leadership and assembly. Careful study and a return to the original writings – combined with a humble and contrite spirit that trembles at God’s words – exposes these deceptions fairly quickly if one can step away from one’s addictions to the old wine one has accustomed himself too. (see Lk. 5:38-39; top )

The Bible says there is safety in a multitude of counselors ( Prov. 11:14; top ) and the many versions of the Scriptures available today can be used as a means by which to help the sincerely seeking reader take the first step in avoiding the trap of getting locked into one (perhaps imperfect, biased) translator’s rendering. Often one translator’s inadequate, biased rendering clearly points out the superior renderings of the real meaning of the original language in the other translations. Where all the English translations have followed a poor rendering and this rendering sabotages the original meaning, one is well-advised to return to the original Greek as best as one is able, both in a scholarly and in a spiritual sense. But this is an extremely rare occurrence.

As we scrape off the distortions and additions the devil has deceived us into, thereby allowing him to write over top of God’s laws and ways in our hearts ( Heb. 8:10; top ), the pure, undiluted, spiritual truths will be revealed to us and they will become light and life for us – rather than the contradictory, confusing mass of religious “theologies” the teachings of men (and demons!) has produced throughout modern churchianity.

Let he who has ears hear the mind of the Lord in this matter and let those whose minds are closed to the truth be considerate to others and keep their mouths as equally closed.

Amen – so be it.

I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!

Site Panel π Home π MNQs π New Posts π Books π Series π Articles
Authors π Subjects π Titles π Top 50 Writings π Twisted Scriptures π Bible Bullets
Scriptures π Top 25 Scriptures π Needs π Links π Donations π Correspondence