A DEFENSE OF THE KING JAMES ONLY POSITION
By Caswell A. Reeves
Today some are confused over the KJV Only position. Some think it is a position of antiquity held by a few people that just dont want to give up the old. Others confuse it with those who hold to a radical position that God has inspired the English words over all other words including Hebrew and Greek, the original language words. Some are just confused because they dont understand why the King James Version of the Bible is being ardently defended as the only acceptable version that should be used in the Lords N.T. local churches. There are a number of reasons for only using the KJV Bible.
Reason one: The Bible teaches that God preserves His inspired words. The KJV Only position promotes this truth.
Comment: A born again Believer believes in the preservation of Scripture, not because he understands how God preserves it, but because God said that He would preserve it. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Mt.5:18).
Reason two: The Bible teaches that God does not lie. The KJV Only position upholds this truth.
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. (Titus 1:2).
Comment: A Bible that is preserved by God cannot have mistakes. Yet believers are told of numerous mistakes in the margins of various versions:
NASV, Isa.7:14: Marginal Note: the word virgin should be translated young maiden.
Comment: A young maiden having a child is not a miraculous sign, on the other hand, a virgin having a child is a true miracle.
NASV, Jn.3:16: The words only begotten should be translated unique.
NIV, Jn.3:16: The words only begotten should be translated one and only.
Comment: There are many unique children of God, every saved person is a son of God (Jn.1:12), but there is only one begotten virgin born Son of God. By removing the words only begotten the true identity of the Lord Jesus Christ is shaded by merging his identity with all believers. Jesus is not the only son of God, He is the only begotten Son of God.
Reason three: The Bible teaches there are to be no additions to or subtractions from Gods words. The KJV Only position adheres to this truth.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Rev.22:18,19).
Comment: There are two sets of copies of Greek Manuscripts from which bibles originate today. The Byzantine Manuscripts (Textus Receptus-Received Text) from which is translated the KJV and the Alexandrine Manuscripts (Westcott & Hort, Nestle) from which is translated the NASV and NIV. The translators of the Alexandrine Manuscripts, rather than simply receiving the words of the text, reconstruct the words and the texts using a man centered scientific and rational approach. This approach has lead to new interpretive renderings; Where by, they have added and subtracted from the Scripture.
NASV So the church (singular) promotes universal church
NIV Then the church (singular) promotes universal church
KJV Act.2:47, added to the church promotes local church membership
NASV was adding to their number word church omitted, ambiguous
NIV added to their number word church omitted, ambiguous
KJV 1 Jn.5:7, For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Doctrine of the Trinity
NASV And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
NIV For there are three that testify.
Comment: In 1 John 5:7, it is noted: the clear obscuring and re-translating of a cardinal and essential doctrine taught throughout the Scripture. Verse 7, is one of few verses in the Bible that clearly contains the three persons of the Trinity. Because of its uniqueness to the Trinity, Satans elimination and confusion should be obvious. It is a Satanic attack upon the Godhead, as it has been since the beginning.
KJV - Act.8:37, Gives the clearest qualification for baptism in the Bible.
NASV completely omitted - the Protestant influence in translating
NIV completely omitted - the Protestant influence in translating
KJV Mrk.16:9-20, Teaching: Jesus resurrection, his glorified body, his ascension; the churchs sign gifts, its commission and salvation by faith.
NASV It is there, but marginal note says it should be omitted.
NIV It is there, but marginal note says it should be omitted.
Reason four: The Bible teaches that today the local church is the sole caretaker of the Scriptures. The KJV Only position supports this truth.
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim.3:15).
Comment: Today many believers are put a great deal of trust in what the scholarship of Bible colleges and seminaries are teaching about the Word of God. For the most part these institutions of higher learning are trying to do their best. However, most of these institutions operate outside the authority of a N.T. local church. They look to the accreditation of men to legitimize their institutions for the welfare troth of secular and governmental monetary entitlement, compromising the biblical principles of separation. As well, many of the professors of these institutions are inundated with Protestant teachings and influences regardless of their identification with Baptists. In turn these Protestant leanings are passed along to students who return to a local church ministry and infect it with Protestant leaven. Today there are probably more Protestant Baptists than there are Baptists. This of course greatly influences the doctrine that is taught within local churches. One of those areas of doctrine is Bibliology. Rather than teaching exclusively what the Scripture teaches about the words of God, extra-biblical materials are adopted from scholarship and taught as well. For example, today some men question whether God has preserved His words. They teach that God has preserved His message not His words. They teach believers not to be alarmed at the changes and omissions from one Bible version to the next. They lead believers to put their trust in the scholarship and councils of men rather than the counsel of Gods words.
The sole depository and caretaker of the truth is the N.T. local church. There is no other institution that is given this authority or commissioned with this responsibility.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Mat.28:18-20).
Comment: Note that in the Great Commission given to the Lords local church, it is the local churchs responsibility in preserving all that the Lord commanded through teaching to observe all his commands, this being of course, the whole counsel of the Word of God.
Reason five: The Bible teaches principles to authenticate the Scriptures as the words of God. The KJV Only position supports this truth.
There are three principles that the Bible teaches with regard to its canonicity:
Principle one: God authored the words of Scripture.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim.3:16).
And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words (Ex.34:1).
Principle two: God approved holy men penned the words of Scripture.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pet.1:21). Cf. 2 Pet.3:2
Principle three: God authorized institutions accepted the penned words of Scripture.
O.T. Institution - the nation of Israel
Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel (Deut.31:19).
N.T. Institution - the local church
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (2 Tim.2:2). Written in the context of the local church. Compare with: (1 Tim.3:15).
With these three biblical principles, any believer, using the Scripture can attest to the authenticity of Gods words without any extra-biblical evidences devised by a man originated scientific approach. They simply must ask: 1) Was it authored by God? 2) Was it penned by God approved men? 3) Was it accepted by God ordained institutions?
at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established (Deut.1519).
In the final analysis, those who hold to a KJV Bible Only position are not confused over the version issue. They believe exclusively that the KJV Bible is the preserved inerrant words of God in the English language and that their position is founded by faith solely in Gods words and not in an evidence of mans scientific proofs and intellectual abilities, which others mistakenly think they need in order to determine which Bible is acceptable.
Reason six: The Bible teaches holding on to biblical traditions. The KJV Only position follows this truth.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle (2 Thes.2:15).
Comment: The KJV Bible is based on the Byzantine Manuscripts, which are written in the Ancient Koine Greek. There are thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament in Ancient Greek still around today. There are multitudes of these manuscripts that are dated before the First Church Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The existence of these manuscripts establishes which books of the Bible were used prior to their official canonization at Church Councils (Nicea, Hippo and others). It is interesting to know, but for a small fraction, many of these ancient N.T. Greek manuscripts agree with each other. This in large measure, perhaps, because they are copies of the N.T. used by the Lords local churches scattered throughout the Byzantine Empire. Some have tried to create confusion over suggesting multiple Greek versions; however, historically, confusion does not exist.
In Italy following Constantines merging of the Roman Empire with a corrupted Christianity in 325 A.D. the Lords true local churches fled to the Alps in hiding and taking with them their Greek copies of the Scriptures. One of these groups of believers that emerged was the Waldensians, which from their Greek manuscripts made copies of the Bible in several languages of nations bordering the Alps (French, German, Latin and Italian). What is truly interesting: Many years later, when these translations were compared to the Byzantine Manuscripts, they were found to be in agreement with each other. It is a testimony to the truth that God is able to preserve His words even through different language translation. How else could the Great Commission be carried out?
The traditional roots of N.T. Koine Greek historically follow a course through the local churches of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine Greek agrees with the Greek of the early local churches of Italy that fled to the Alps after 325 AD. It is the Greek Byzantine Manuscripts that are compiled in the Textus Receptus from which is translated the English 1611 King James Bible. This is not the case for the RSV, ASV, NASV, NIV, the
Westcott & Hort, Nestles Greek N.T., which are products of the Alexandrine Manuscripts of Egypt retrieved from Roman Catholic monasteries.
A note of caution: The New King James Version is not based on the same Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts as the Original 1611 King James Version. The NKJV uses different Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts. The Greek Text that the NKJV uses is not based on the Textus Receptus or Byzantine Manuscripts, but rather is the work of a German Textual Critic named Von Sodon, which was published in 1911. The NKJV actually creates many problems. The reason is that the NKJV is not what it pretends to be. The NKJV was simply supposed to be the King James in Modern English. But that is not what it is. Rather, the NKJV departed from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the original 1611 King James Version, which has been the most reliable and excellent English Bible since 1611. Noted differences in the NKJV: cf. Mat.4:24; 6:13; 7:14; 20:20; Mk.4:19; Jn.14:2; Act.4:27, 8:9,17:29; Rm.1:25, 4:25; 2 Cor.10:5; Col.3:2; 1 Ths.5:22; 2 Tm.2:15; Tit.3:10; Psa.79:1; Isa.11:3, 66:5; Dan.3:25 footnote; and many more.
Reason seven: The Bible teaches preaching the whole counsel of Gods Word. The KJV Only position demonstrates this truth.
The Declaration of Jesus Christ:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt.4:4).
The Great Commission:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Mat.28:20).
The Apostle Pauls Example:
And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ 27: For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God (Act.20:20,21,27).
The Purpose of God in Scripture:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim.3:16,17).
Comment: If all of the counsel of God is to be preached, then the preacher must have all of the Scripture to preach. The KJV Bible is the only Bible that has all of the words of God. The RSV, itself, has over three thousand changes from the Byzantine Manuscripts. Regarding the corruption of the Alexandrine Manuscripts, James W. Scott of New Horizons Publishing observes:
Over the years, my work has often involved checking authors' quotations from the Bible and other sources. I have carefully observed the nature of copying mistakes, and I can report that accidental omissions - even of whole clauses and sentences - are much more common than additions. My acquaintance with the actual copying process, then, leads me to think that the Alexandrian text is a corruption of the fuller Byzantine text.
It has been observed, if all the omissions claimed by the proponents of the Alexandrine Manuscript were compiled, they would be equal to the Book of the Revelation. How then can a preacher using the NASV or the NIV preach the whole counsel of the Word of God, when an equivalent of a whole book of the Bible is missing?
Reason eight: The Bible teaches that believers are to be discerning. The KJV Only position promotes this truth.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 Jn.4:1). cf. I Thess. 5:21
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven (Psa.119:89).
Comment: It is important that believers make judgments about what is right and wrong. Those judgments must be made solely on the basis of Gods words as the chief standard.
The KJV is Gods perfect words. It is 100 percent accurate. Those who hold to this Bible declare they have the perfect standard. On the other hand those holding to the NASV and NIV believe their Bible has a one or more percent chance of error. Thus, when one is trying to discern truth, they need to be sure of their standard of measure. KJV Only advocates know they are using the sure standard of judgment Gods words (2 Tm.3:16).
There is no argument against the KJV Bible, that careful study cannot answer. Believers should give Gods words the credit over all matters of question, rather than the understanding of mans intellectual and scholarly genius (Prov.3:5,6).
Reason nine: The Bible encourages believers to have right associations. The KJV Only position promotes this truth.
Phil:1:10: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Heb:6:12: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
1Pt:3:13: And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
Comment: It is important for believers to have the right associations. The wrong associations can lead one in the wrong directions. It can also lead to questions about ones testimony. Today the bible that one uses associates them. For those using the KJV Bible, they are usually known as staunch biblicists, unyielding to change, stalwart that their English translation is the preserved word of God and conservative as far as their standards are concerned. On the other hand those associated with bibles other than the KJV tend toward scholarship and evidentualism rather than fideism. They lean toward the contemporary rather than traditional in areas of music, dress, etc. Many of these call themselves Baptist, but are inundated with Protestantism. They go as far as saying that God has not preserved His individual words in any translation. They believe and accept that the Bible has errors, but add that it doesnt affect any major doctrine. They are very strong in promoting the universal church position rather than the local church position. In some instances they will promote the public use of the KJV, but the private use of other bibles. Many may be good men, who are simply practicing without personal study. They are simply passing along what has been taught to them. Ones associations are important.
Reason ten: The Bible suggests that believers be identified with the most excellent. The KJV Only position promotes this truth.
Rom:2:18: And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Phil:1:10: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Comment: The KJV Bible is considered the most excellent English Bible translation. Time, itself, has proven it; While other translations have come and gone this Bible has lasted since 1611 with non-textual changes up to 1769. The excellence of this translation has its roots in the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Text. These texts are the preserved inspired words of God in the original languages of Greek and Hebrew. Those who conspire to cast doubts on these two great language texts are identified by the Apostle Paul,
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions, and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself (I Tim. 6:3-5).
Many have exalted the KJV Bible as the greatest piece of literature in the world. As well, they should have it is Gods words.
Reason eleven: The Bible teaches believers to build on a solid foundation. The KJV Only position builds on this truth.
Mat.7:24,25: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock (Mat.7:24,25).
Comment: The foundation is that upon which a house is built. Today, bibles are built on one of two foundations: 1) the Byzantine Manuscripts upon which the KJV Bible is translated and 2) the Alexandrine Manuscripts upon which the NASV and NIV Bibles are translated. A consideration of these two Manuscripts reveals the solidity of their integrity.
The Byzantine Manuscript (KJV)
It is made up of the majority of the ancient texts.
It is considered the traditional and dominant text from the time of the apostles.
It is from a region of the world known for having NT local churches in its day.
It is considered by many to be the true text surviving all corrupt text.
It is the accepted text used by the Lords NT local churches for centuries.
The Alexandrine Manuscript (NASV, NIV)
It is dubious because of a great deal of translator additions to the text.
It is dubious because of being in found in Alexandria, Egypt (Alexandrines A).
It is dubious because of being found in a center of Gnosticism.
It is dubious because of being in the Vatican library (Vaticanus B).
It is dubious because of being hidden for centuries from public scrutiny.
It is dubious because of being found in a monastery trash bin (Sinaiticus Alepha).
It is dubious because of its eclectic nature and association with the Septuagint (LLX).
It is dubious because of its text changes that diminish Bible doctrine.
Reason twelve: The Bible reveals that believers are to be of a sound mind having a confidence without confusion. The KJV Only position applies this truth.
2Tm:1:7: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2Tm:1:13: Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Titus 1:9: Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Comment: The Bible makes it clear that it is important that believers are to be confident in their faith and avoid that which is questionable. To do this, one must have a sound mind. This sound mind comes from knowing the words of God. But which Bible is the word of God? The KJV Only position demonstrates a strong unquestioning confidence in its Bible as the pure and preserved words of God. Because of this trust in their Bibles integrity, they possess a sound mind capable of embracing a sense of confidence, rather than confusion. It is a position in true harmony with the Scripture: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints (1 Cor.14:33).
In conclusion, Gods children should thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Bible version debate. The importance of this issue goes far beyond the believer having a good personal conscience in knowing which bible to use. At its core, is the integrity of God and His word, with its effect upon ones life and relationship with Him. Really, all the believer has to build his faith properly is his Bible. To dispel all questions and doubts, the believer must know with confidence that his Bible is the words of God and that he can believe them as such without any doubts whatsoever in their integrity. Believers of the KJV Only position should be able to give an account of their understanding, to declare what is truth, not to debate it. The KJV Only position is a position based on faith and not on extra-biblical evidence of scholarship. It is a position accepted on the merits of Gods integrity, believing He will faithfully preserve His words from one generation to the next and from one language to another. It is a faith position in harmony with (Heb.11:6).
The reasons are clear for holding to the King James Only position.
1) It is a position that promotes Gods preservation of Scripture.
2) It is a position that upholds Gods integrity promoting trust rather than doubts in
3) It is a position that adheres to a Scripture without errors.
4) It is a position that promotes the Lords N.T local church as caretaker of the truth.
5) It is a position that supports the authenticity of the Scripture.
6) It is a position that follows a truthful tradition of textual transmission of the
7) It is a position that demonstrates belief in the preaching of the whole counsel of
8) It is a position that promotes discerning of truth.
9) It is a position that encourages right associations.
10) It is a position that suggests identifying with the most excellent.
11) It is a position that builds upon a solid foundation.
12) It is a position that reveals a sound mind with confidence in the King James Bible a confidence that is without confusion.