Why we use the King James Version (1611 Authorised Version) of the Bible: Staying with the most accurate version available
Probably the most common arguments for using newer translations are that they are "better versions" of the original, where "original" refers to the King James Version, and that these make use of more modern English. Our response to these two statements is the following:
Newer is not always better
No translation is ever going to be perfect, since this is always the work of man. However, the King James Version is the most accurate available English translation of the original sources. These sources are the:
- Hebrew Masoretic Text for the Old Testament; and
- Greek Textus Receptus for the New Testament.
With some modern English translations, little by little the truth of the Word of God is eroded. This ultimately leads the reader away from the true Word of God. To prove this, let us look at just one example how two modern translations have changed and diluted the original meaning. Compare this text:
7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. – Galatians 4:7, King James Version
with two newer translations:
7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. – Galatians 4:7
7So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. – Galatians 4:7
Removing the part that we are heirs of God through Christ now seems to imply that we can be reconciled to God without the saving grace of Jesus Christ. However, according to the apostle John, this is impossible:
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6
Given that there are many different English translations available, based on a number of sources, there is a good chance that many of them say what man wants them to say and not what they should say. Paul warned Timothy that this would happen:
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Note the highlighted parts. Sound doctrine is doctrine that is sound (correct) according to the Bible. What are people doing in our time? They change the parts they do not like. It may still be doctrine, but it is now false doctrine. They turn away from the truth, the sound doctrine. Once the truth has been changed and diluted, it is nothing more than a fable.
If the two examples of Galatians 4:7 were taken from a source that did not contain the vital phrase "through Christ", then those are corrupted sources. If the phrase was in the source but now left out, then it points to a deliberate corruption by the translators. Given that through the years each "original" source was copied by hand, and then copies made of the copies, mistakes that were made with each copy process, whether intentional or not, diluted the original and deviated from the original.
A more modern use of language does not make it more correct
The argument that language changes over time may be true for aspects that also change over time. However, the Bible does not change and any human effort to change it is not in line with God's inspired word:
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:16
People in our time claim they want a Bible translation that fits in with their way of reading and speaking. The Word of God is meant to be read and spoken the way it was first written. Instead of tired arguments about "archaic" grammar and vocabulary used, rather learn to understand it and experience the beauty of the language. The Bible is a divinely-inspired work which has no equal.
As stated in the disclaimer, whenever we quote from the King James Version, the original text is used. Whenever we discuss these verses, we use modern British English.
The earliest versions of some pages on the website may still contain other translations. For the sake of consistency, these are being replaced with KJV versions.
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