I was browsing another site’s Calvinism articles, and the author couldn’t help but bring the “Bible version issue” into the matter, pointing out that the King James Version is of course superior. Such points were irrelevant in the context, and I won’t name names or link to the site at hand…
But I extend a simple challenge to those who believe that only the King James Version can properly be regarded as God’s Word in English and that any and all other English versions (especially those published after 1850 or so) are in some (or many) ways corrupt.
The challenge: Show me from the text of the King James Version itself reason to believe that it it is the best of all Bible versions. Establish the doctrine using the Reformation principle of sola scriptura, or by Scripture alone.
I do not believe that challenge can be completed by anyone, so if you have a novel answer to the challenge, I would love to hear it! I was once a King James Onlyist, but I walked away from it when I realized that David Cloud, Terry Watkins, Jack Chick, and others had become a final authority rather than the Bible itself. I can open a New American Standard Bible, a New King James Version, or an English Standard Version and expound from its text every teaching that God says will equip a man for every good work (1 Timothy 3:16–17).
If the teachings of King James onlyism cannot be built up using Scripture alone, then its adherents tread dangerously close to adding traditions to the Scriptures they so strongly defend. For them, using the King James Version solely is a great thing, profitable to one’s spiritual well-being. So if such an important doctrine cannot be defended using the Scriptures alone, it should be concluded as unnecessary and even dangerous, for it denies the sufficiency of the Word of God.
This challenge really isn’t for me; my mind is made up. Rather, I put forth the challenge so that my dear King James onlyist brethren will, I hope, think through their position biblically, just as I did several months ago. It all comes down to a matter of authority: either Scripture is a sufficient authority for all necessary Christian belief and practice, or it is wholly insufficient and the teachings and writings of various fundamentalists are required to fill in the gaps regarding the dreaded “Bible version issue.”