Giving the KJV the Truth Test

I’m not going to link to any­one, point fin­gers, name names, or oth­er­wise reveal who was the inspi­ra­tion for this post; I don’t know them, though pre­sum­ably they have read here before.

Suf­fice it to say that this per­son is a King James Only­ist. They believe that the King James Bible is the best — if not the per­fect — trans­la­tion of the Scrip­ture sin Eng­lish. What I read from this per­son was large­ly non-argu­ment rhetoric; how­ev­er, the point was made that he or she “knows” that the King James Ver­sion is true, and there­fore it pass­es the Bible’s inter­nal tests — the Word of God must be true being the key one here. In oth­er words, if a trans­la­tion con­tains a lie, it can­not be the Word of God.

This per­son said that if a trans­la­tion lies in Mark 1:1 – 3, it is not a worth­while trans­la­tion. The issue is one I’m famil­iar with; vers­es 2 and 3 con­tain two Old Tes­ta­ment quo­ta­tions from two dif­fer­ent prophets — Isa­iah & Malachi. Ver­sions which rely on the West­cott-Hort texts give a cita­tion of “Isa­iah” or “Esa­ias” in vs. 2, while ver­sions rely­ing on the Byzan­tine Major­i­ty Text or the Tex­tus Recep­tus give the read­ing of “the prophets.”

With­out any regard to the con­cept of con­flat­ed (fused) cita­tions, the usage of “Isa­iah” rather than “the prophets” is deter­mined to be a lie, and so ver­sions which are “guilty” of such are disregarded.

I applaud this per­son­’s zeal for the truth; how­ev­er, I do not feel he is being con­sis­tent. What hap­pens if we apply the same stan­dard to the King James Version?

Does not 1 Tim­o­thy 6:10 tell us that, “For the love of mon­ey is the root of all evil…”? Is that a true state­ment? Is mon­ey real­ly the cause of all evil? If it is not, then the King James Ver­sion’s trans­la­tion is, well, wrong. Mon­ey has noth­ing to do with a great many of sins which are com­mit­ted today and which have been record­ed in the Scriptures.

Sor­ry to say, but the love of mon­ey is not the root of all evil. Looks like that verse could use an over­haul. Indeed, a lit­er­al trans­la­tion would have us believe, “For the love of mon­ey is a root of all evils.” Mon­ey is no longer the root but is one of many — a true state­ment. Nor is mon­ey the root of all evil, but of all evils, a change which empha­sizes vari­ety rather than total­i­ty. The love of mon­ey can cause a vari­ety of evils, but it is not the root of all evil.

The King James Ver­sion is wrong in this instance, plain and sim­ple, and this per­son­’s test that he applies to oth­ers’ trans­la­tion caus­es his own to fall out from under him.

The atti­tude I derived from his post­ings would lead me to believe that if he felt that the King James Ver­sion had error, then there would be no per­fect Word of God on the earth today. That’s an accu­rate state­ment — God’s Word is set­tled in Heav­en. On Earth, it is pre­served in a vast array of man­u­scripts — many of which King James Only­ists want to reject in favor of a trans­la­tion, which is some­how more accu­rate than the actu­al evi­dence God has pre­served for us.

The doc­trine of bib­li­cal inerran­cy extends to the orig­i­nal auto­graphs only, and they have been lost to time. And while they can be faith­ful­ly recon­struct­ed based on the vast array of evi­dence at schol­ars’ dis­pos­al, their trans­la­tion into Eng­lish will always be an art which can be improved upon, for the sim­ple fact that trans­la­tion is a human work. God promised inspi­ra­tion to the orig­i­nals and preser­va­tion of their words to all gen­er­a­tions. What He did not promise was to super­in­tend a trans­la­tion into every lan­guage. Let’s be care­ful not to turn a tra­di­tion (King James Only­ism) into a Bible doc­trine invent­ed to jus­ti­fy our practices.

2 thoughts on “Giving the KJV the Truth Test”

  1. “Sor­ry to say, but the love of mon­ey is not the root of all evil.”

    Could­n’t agree more… clear­ly ‘Reli­gion’ is the root of all evil ;)

  2. Ooh, clever; think of that one all on your own? ;)

    I’ve no prob­lem at all believ­ing that what peo­ple believe caus­es all evil. I mean, if peo­ple did­n’t believe in mur­der, they would­n’t mur­der. If peo­ple did­n’t believe in lying, they would­n’t lie. And so on.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use your Gravatar-enabled email address while commenting to automatically enhance your comment with some of Gravatar's open profile data.

Comments must be made in accordance with the comment policy. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam; learn how your comment data is processed.

You may use Markdown to format your comments; additionally, these HTML tags and attributes may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

A Salted Faith
%d bloggers like this: