Why we use the KJV Bible
Some new Bible are dangerous because of the theological bias of their translators. The
Revised Standard Version (R.S.V.) of the Bible was presented to the public as a
completed work in 1952. The notoriously liberal National Council of Churches
authorized it. The unbelieving bias of the majority of the translators is evident in such
readings as Isaiah 7:14
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a young woman shall conceive
and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (R.S.V.)
The difference between this reading and the way the verse reads in the King James
Version (K.J.V.) is very important. The old Bible says that “a virgin shall conceive, and
bear a son.” The liberal bias against the doctrine of the of the virgin birth of Christ is
reflected in the R.S.V. translation of this verse. To make matters worse this liberal
version translates Matthew 1:23, “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” This
is a correct rendering of the Greek, but with the incorrect translation Isaiah 7:14 in the
same Bible, the impression is given that Matthew misquoted Isaiah. Not only is the
doctrine of the virgin birth undermined in the R.S.V., but also the doctrine of the
infallibility of the Bible! No fundamentalist Christian would accept as his standard a
theologically liberal translation of the Bible like the R.S.V.
The Good News Bible, (or, properly, Today’s English Version) was translated by neo-
orthodox Richard Bratcher, and purposely replaces the word “blood” with the word
“death” in many New Testament Passages that refer to the blood of Christ (such as
Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 10:19, and Revelation 1:5). Bratcher also replaces the word
“virgin” with “girl” in Luke 1:27. His theological bias ruins his translation.
The N.I.V. (probably the most popular version of recent days) calls into question these
same doctrinal issues, as well as teaching the false doctrine of baptismal
regeneration. In Acts 8:26-40 you will find the account of Philip and the Ethiopian
Eunuch, the N.I.V. completely omits the 37th verse, which says, “And Philip said, if thou
believest with all thine heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This leads the reader to believe that salvation is not a
prerequisite to baptism.
Liberal or neo-orthodox religionists also produced other versions, such as Phillips
Translation and the New English Bible. For this reason we will not use them.
Many in the pew do not know that most of the more than one hundred new versions of
the Bible are not translated from the same Hebrew and Greek texts that the King James
translators used! When somebody says that the translation of a certain verse in the
King James Version is “unfortunate,” usually the problem is text rather than translation.
In the late 1800’s a committee of British and American scholars began work on a
revision of the King James Bible. It was decided by them that the Greek text of the New
Testament used in the translation of the old Bible was seriously defective. Although that
text represented the New Testament as most Christians had accepted it over the
centuries, it was spurned because is disagreed with some of the older manuscripts.
Almost all of the new versions are actually translations of the new Greek text generated
by this committee. This new text is significantly different from the traditional text.
When the reader comes to John 7:53-8:11 even in conservative translations such as
the New American Standard Bible (N.A.S.V.) or the N.I.V., he finds the whole story of the
woman taken in adultery set apart with lines or brackets. A note is place in relation to
the bracketed section that says something like this:
“The earliest and most reliable manuscripts do not have John 7:53-8:11.”
Something similar is done to the Great Commission in Mark 16:9-20. What the textual
critics of a century ago were saying is that a large amount of the New Testament read,
believed, preached, and obeyed by most of our spiritual forefathers was actually
uninspired material added to the text! If this new text theory were true, it would be
revolutionary news to the church. However, the new theory is still very controversial.
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God! A man’s needs will not be met unless he has received “every word”
that God has spoken. So said the Lord Jesus. Jesus also said “Heaven and earth shall
pass away. But my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) With this promise,
Christ assured us that the very words we need in order to live as we should would be
preserved throughout the ages, through wars and persecutions and disasters, even
through the fiery end of creation!
So-called “textual criticism” is more faith than it is science. If one studies the thousands
of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament with the belief that God has preserved His
Word through the years, he will come to different conclusions than one who studies the
same documents with the belief that such preservation is unlikely. Much of the work is
guesswork and many of the conclusions are debatable. For this reason, thoughtful
conservative Christians will decide that it is safer to stay with the traditional text than to
adopt the revised one. The only widely used English versions that are translated from
the traditional text are the King James Version and the N.K.J.V.
Christians ought to be interested in having the very words of God, since this is what
Jesus said we need! The King James Version is a translation that seeks what scholars
call “formal equivalence” to the original text. Others, however, seek “dynamic
equivalence.” The “formal equivalence” approach seeks to express in English the
meaning of the words in Greek. The dynamic equivalence” approach seeks to express
the meaning of the writer in modern idiom. Anyone who takes seriously our Lord’s
admonition in Matthew 4:4 will want formal equivalence” translation. Most of the new
versions do not offer this to us. The so-called “Living Bible” does not even pretend to be
translation of the words. Copies of this book clearly identify it as a “paraphrase” of God’
s Word. Dr. Kenneth Taylor wrote the Living Bible, and freely admitted that it was his
paraphrase of the scriptures. In other words he was putting the Bible into his own
words. When a pastor reads John 3:16 to his congregation Sunday morning, that is one
thing. When he rephrases it in his own words in order to explain what the verse means,
that is another thing. Preachers make it clear when they are reading God’s Word and
when they are paraphrasing it. It is acceptable to paraphrase the scripture in explaining
it, but it is unacceptable to confuse the paraphrase with the actual Word! The Living
Bible is not a Bible; it is Dr. Taylor’s paraphrase of the Bible. Please keep in mind the
distinction. Sadly, the result of Dr. Taylor’s paraphrasing was not always very helpful
even though he claims to hold “a rigid evangelical position” in his theology.
For example, in 1 Samuel 20:30, he introduced vile profanity in the Holy Writ without
warrant from the original text!
The very popular N.I.V. is a “dynamic equivalency” translation. The looseness of the N.I.
V.’s translation is admitted by the publishers and well known. The scholars who did the
translation believe that it is possible and beneficial to put into English what the writers
of scripture meant rather than what they actually said. One great problem with this
approach is the element of interpretation that is introduced into English. To interpret is
to explain what it means. Experts will say that all translation involves some
interpretation even when this is not the object of the translators. However, much more
interpretation will go on when the composers of a new version try to convey the thoughts
rather than the words. If we let the translators interpret the Bible for us, we might as well
let the priest do it! Our belief in the priesthood of the believer calls on us to reject highly