The “King James Only” Movement

By Wayne Schatzle

 

Over the years I have heard of more than a few curious beliefs extent in religious circles today. One that pops up every so often is: “The Kings James Version {KJV} is the only acceptable Bible translation Christians should use.” The argument is that “modern” translations {since 1901} are New age propaganda tools of the anti-christ to prepare the world to accept the end time, one world apostate church. Supposedly, there is a hidden alliance between all publishers of modern translations and the new age movement with ties to occult and homosexual organizations!    

Most adherents of this belief are not aware that this movement was formed by a handful of conspiracy theorists with sensational expose’ books and videos. Like all conspiracies the usual suspects are blamed. This debate has cause some heated, and very unchristian words, from both sides of the issue each calling on the results from their own professional researchers. To the average person, they will usually wind up following the argument that is best presented rather than doing their own research. As always, I encourage people to do their own study and prove things to themselves.

If one wishes to use the KJV only, as mentioned, that is fine, but for many people the archaic language of the 1600s is quite a distraction to study and makes study impossible for most beginners. In addition to the obvious grammatical errors, the “eth” suffix, thee and thou’s, and a host of common words that have changed their meaning over the centuries, study is diffucult to say the least. I have conducted and attended many open bible studies where several translations were in use and seldom were any significant differences found.

I have over two dozen different translations in my personal library and refer to many of them often. I have yet to find anything but minor problems in translations, even the much criticized Douay-Rheims version based on the Latin Vulgate is a valuable tool for searching Christians and again, few discrepancies . There is great value in using the KJV as a study bible, mainly because there are so many bible helps geared to it. Oddly enough, all my bible helps are KJV oriented and yet are easily used with my other translations! Also the KJV has been studied for so many years that most all errors are known- in spite of the fact that the KJV only adherents insist there are no errors.

Bible students should be aware that there are no original manuscripts in existence today, only many times copied copies over several centuries and all contain errors and include copyist marginal notes! Plus any translation will reflect a bias of the translators and the KJV translators are no different. Another facet of the KJVO proponents is that they believe King James of England was pure in character and purpose, which a little study will show just the opposite. For further study on this interesting topic check out these web pages:www.isitso.org/guide/kjvonly.html or www.kjvonly.org/doug/unlearned_men.htm

Written by Wayne Schatzle, Director,

 Freedom Biblical Information Center,

PO Box 1806, West Chester OH  45071                                                                                            

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