WHY THE KING JAMES BIBLE?
We believe the King James Bible to be the inerrant, preserved word of God in the English language. While there are many modern Bible translations, we can see from the Bible itself that only one translation can be the preserved word of God, “For God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Thus, if all Bible translations were the preserved word of God they would have to agree entirely with one another, negating the need for multiple versions.
Many modern Bible versions — which differ one from another and even more so from the King James Bible — omit words and phrases, as well as entire verses, especially those that exalt the deity of Christ and other fundamental doctrines concerning our Lord and Savior. When Jesus was speaking to the Jews who sought to kill him for healing a man on the sabbath and for saying, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17), thus making himself equal with God, he said to them:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39)
Thus, two big red flags of modern translations is that they don’t agree with one another, resulting in confusion since there appears to be no final authority, and they minimize the deity of Christ and other fundamental doctrines concerning him.
God’s Promise to Preserve His Word
The Bible, itself, tells us that God will preserve his words for all time.
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalms 12:6-7)
Since God’s word is truth — as spoken by Jesus in John 17:17 when he prays to God the Father: “thy word is truth” — and the Bible tells us that God’s word will last for all generations, we can understand that the following verse in Psalms also refers to God’s word abiding for ever:
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalms 100:5)
But how can we be sure God will keep his promise? The answer is inherent in the fact that God’s word is truth, as we read in the above verses, and which is also inherent in the following two verses:
God is not a man, that he should lie; (Numbers 23:19)
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:2)
Thus, given that God who cannot lie promised to preserve his words for all generations, it’s entirely congruent that He would ensure the preservation of the original texts, such as is the case with the 5,700+ Byzantine texts which constitute the Textus Receptus, the basis of the King James Bible.
The Strength of Language
Today, many consider the language of the King James Bible to be difficult to understand. However, what some claim to be a hindrance — the vocabulary and complexity of sentences — is the very thing that aids our understanding of the Bible.
Unlike other European languages, Modern English makes no distinction between singular and plural forms of second-person pronouns, whereas Early Modern English does distinguish — singular: thou, thee, thy and thine; and plural: ye, you, your, yours — and these distinctions are key to correct understanding of scripture. It matters that we know who is being addressed, whether it’s an individual or a group of people.
Modern English collapses the singular and plural forms into one, adopting the plural forms for both instances — you, your and yours. This lack of differentiation creates ambiguity at best, and at worst results in non-Bible reading Christians being led astray by false doctrine.
The complaint that the King James Bible uses archaic or difficult vocabulary is essentially a non-argument. As with any word that’s not familiar to us, all we need do is consult a dictionary for the meaning — and when we do, our understanding will certainly deepen.
Further, the claim that many complex sentences throughout the Bible make it difficult to understand is based on the same belief as the above complaint: that the Bible ought to be immediately easy to understand. However, when we grapple with the logic of sentences that span numerous verses our understanding is inevitably sharpened. In other words, instead of thinking we understand simply because we encountered nothing to cause us to pause and think, we reach a point of deeper understanding because we have followed and understood the logic and relationships within the sentence.
The Strength of a 17th-Century Translation
That the King James Bible was translated at the beginning of the 17th-century is another of its great strengths. The men on the translation committees were not only Bible-believing Christians but also pre-dated the Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, which laid the foundations for 20th-century political correctness and 21st-century cultural Marxism. Thus, while the translators were undoubtedly products of their time, their time was far less cluttered with “progressive” ideas and ideals that emanate not from the truth of God but from the so-called wisdom of man.
The translators were, therefore, not influenced by such considerations as “reason”, science falsely so called (1 Timothy 6:20), evolution, humanism, ecumenism, dispensationalism and liberal theology, all of which work together to undermine the truth of the Bible. On the contrary, the fact that the King James translators were the products of a God-fearing society resulted in their firm belief that the Bible is God’s word, as is apparent in their dedicatory epistle to King James:
But among all our joys, there was no one that more filled our hearts, than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God’s sacred Word among us; which is that inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of earth; because the fruit thereof extendeth itself, not only to the time spent in this transitory world, but directeth and disposeth men unto that eternal happiness which is above in heaven.
KJV Today gives a good summary of the background to the King James Bible:
King James who authorized the KJV was a Bible-believing Christian king who unapologetically upheld the doctrines of biblical inerrancy, infallibility and sufficiency (sola scripture). On biblical inerrancy he said, “When ye read the Scripture, read it with a sanctified & chaste ear: admire reverently such obscure places as ye understand not, blaming only your own incapacity” (Book I:13, Basilikon Doron). On biblical infallibility he said, “The whole Scripture containeth but two things: a command, and a prohibition; to do such things, and abstain from the contrary. Obey in both;” (Book I:7, Basilikon Doron). On biblical sufficiency he said, “The Scripture is ever the best interpreter of itself. But press not curiously to seek out farther nor is contained therein; for that were misnurtured presumption, to strive to farther upon Gods secrets nor he hath will ye be: for what he thought needful for us to know, that he hath revealed there.” (Book I:13-14, Basilicon Doron).
Brief History of Bible Translations
The Tyndale Bible of 1526 was the first complete translation of the Bible into Early Modern English. Over the course of the next 85 years, there were six further translations — the Coverdale Bible in 1535, the Matthew’s Bible in 1537, the Great Bible in 1539, the Geneva Bible in 1557, the Bishop’s Bible in 1568, and the Douay-Rheims Bible in 1582 (NT) and 1610 (OT) — before the King James Bible was published in 1611.
Twenty further translations of the Bible were published between 1611 and 1950 (339 years), and from 1952 to 2017 (65 years) 77 new were translations published. When it comes to the New Testament only, 27 versions were published between 1826 and 2012 (186 years), 20 of which have been since 1950. Thus, the vast majority of all Bible translations were undertaken and published from 1950 onwards.
For a more in-depth history of the Bible, do watch these Christian J. Pinto’s documentaries: A Lamp In the Dark: The Untold History of the Bible, Tares Among the Wheat and Bridge to Babylon: Rome Ecumenism & The Bible. (Note: While we don’t agree with Pinto’s position on the state of Israel, there’s still enormous value to be found in his documentaries.)