Psalm 12:6 and KJV-Onlyism

Eisegesis is the practice of reading something into the text of Scripture rather than letting it mean what it says. It is devastating when sincere brothers in Christ use this practice to justify the traditions of man as being doctrines of God.

The verse in question is Psalm 12:6, which says, “The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times” (NKJV).

Taking the Bible for what it says, God’s words are similar to seven-times purified silver, possibly the purest substance David would have known about.

Note that this verse does not say God’s words are purified seven times. One must destroy basic English sentence structure to make “purified seven times” apply to “the words of the Lord” and not “silver tried in a furnace of earth.”

Note that this verse does not say, “The words of the Lord are pure words, purified seven times, like silver tried in a furnace of earth.”

Rather, God’s word is pure, and it would take purifying silver seven times for it to be worthy of comparison with regards to purity. Do you see that?

Okay, we now know what Psalm 12:6 says and means.

That is, unless you are a King James Onlyist who happens to believe that the King James Version is the culmination of a purification process of Bible translations. You see, KJV-Onlyism is a curious thing in that it is a man-made tradition held by a group of men who believe the Bible to be the only source of faith and doctrine. So in order to support this man-made tradition, they must read it into the Bible (eisegesis, as we mentioned above) what they want it to say.

That’s right, certain KJV-Onlyists make the claim that the King James Version is the seventh English Bible that God authorized.:”(The King James Bible is actually the tenth complete English translation; however, only the versions which the KJV translators used as source material are counted as “authorized by God.” So while the onlyists ignore the claims of the KJV translators that even the “meanest” translation not only contains the word of God but is the word of God, they’ll take a list of Bibles and “read into it” their own interpretation, that of God authorizing those Bibles and culminating in the seventh, the KJV. This inconsistency of logic is characteristic not just of KJV-Onlyist teachings, but of all traditions of men.)”: Being the “seventh,” they then assume that this must be the fulfillment of Psalm 12:6, an event that the translators themselves didn’t mention in their preface to the King James Version.:”(A complete overview of the Bibles that supposedly make up God’s authorized English line of translations.)”:

This is interesting logic. If applied consistently, it would mean that the words the apostles originally penned wouldn’t be pure until they were copied at least seven times. It means that no language has a perfect Bible unless the Bible has been completely translated into that language seven times. It means that unless seven translations of the Hebrew Bible into Greek were made prior to the First Advent, Christ and the apostles quoted from impure, unrefined versions.

This logic also means that the Bibles previous to the KJV were “six times pure,” “five times pure,” and so on. Consistently applying the logic means that translations after the KJV would be “eight times pure,” “nine times pure,” etc.

That logic actually makes sense: the King James Version refined previous versions. Do you know what that means? Prior to the King James Version, no one had an inerrant translation. (That doesn’t mean that the word of God isn’t inerrant, just that translating it is an imperfect practice and likely always will be.)

Modern versions, for the most part, continually refine the word of God, taking into account new manuscript evidence, new understandings of the ancient languages, etc. God’s word, so far as translation is concerned, will always be being “refined.”

The only reason to stop at the King James Version is to apply extrabiblical teaching or to misinterpret the Bible, in this case Psalm 12:6. The misuse of Scripture, even to promote “good” doctrines, is a dangerous thing. God’s word ought to always be handled carefully and ever reverently.

One thought on “Psalm 12:6 and KJV-Onlyism

  1. Isaac says:

    Interesting that you used the NKJV for your quote.  I understand that you obviously don’t subscribe to the infallibility of a version, but in an argument on that topic, why not use the opponent’s translation to prove the point? The King James happens to use a colon after the word “words,” which means the following clause, thought, etc.  is a description or explanation of the former.  Ignoring the seven translations, seven languages, and seven revisions arguments, did you ever ponder the meaning of “tried”?  It’s An obsolete word according to the wiktionary simply meaning to “separate.” So, as to where the pure words were before KJ, they were there in the “ore” of other languages and texts. The refining is not making something pure, purer, but separating the pure material (silver molecules) contained in the ore, from the foreign molecules around it.  Nothin’ like a dictionary…

  2. Mark says:

    This may never be properly settled unless the KJV believer submits to the original Hebrew which would be the way to go. Remember, English punctuation was in its infancy in 1611 but target the word preserve… How often was it used for people?

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