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December 01, 2008
Personally, I use the King James and the New King James Bibles as my primary study tools when I am studying the word of God. Occasionally, I will look up verses in other translations to help me understand what a verse is trying to convey.
I have had a few people unsubscribe to Sight Unseen because I quoted from the New King James instead of the King James Bible. To me, this is just silly.
There is a rather large camp of believers who firmly believe that the only bible version that should be used is the King James. Their belief is that all other bibles are corrupt and therefore not the word of God.
To put it another way, the King James is God's final authority and all the other versions were forged in the pits of hell, according to this line of thinking. In my own studies, I have found the New King James to be more accurate to the English of today than the King James.version.
I have a real problem with the King James only approach. I have a friend who believes that the King James version is the only one that should be used.
"Let's say there is a village in China who has new converts to Christ," I said. "They have no Bibles at all and are hungry for the word of God. The only version of the Bible available to send to them is the New International Version. Are you telling me that I shouldn't send these bibles to these new converts who are hungry for the word of God because, according to your point of view, that they are corrupted bibles?"
His answer was, "That is correct." I told him I disagreed. It's great to have a friend you can disagree with.
Last time I checked, all 66 books of the Bible were in the NIV version. This version recounts the story of Jesus and has all the same stories as the King James. It is my belief that it would have been far better to send a box of NIV Bibles to these new converts rather than to let them remain in total spiritual darkness.
This is why I think the argument for the King James only version is invalid. In a sense, it is downright blasphemous.
Arno Froese (who prefers the King James version) has this to say concerning this issue in the Letters to the Editor section of the October 2007 issue of Midnight Call, "All Bibles are translations, all are manmade, and all are subject to error. When I compare the King James government translation with Martin Luther's German translation, I, too, could find more than 65,0000 discrepancies. Why? Because a language must be lived and understood in its full context, otherwise, words will be replaced with other words and become meaningless."
What bothers me the most about the King James only camp is the fact that they view modern translations or "New Age" Bible versions as the work of Satan.
In John Chapter 8 we read, "46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." 48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges."
Millions upon millions of people have heard the word of God from a so-called "corrupted" modern translation and have responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as Lord thus saving themselves for all eternity. Yet, the King James only camp calls this the work of the devil.
Jesus (who was God in the flesh) was accused of having a demon by the religious leaders his day. Well intentioned religious people are doing the same thing to His children of today.
Arno Froese concludes his rebuttal by saying, "Our Heavenly Father, however, has seen fit to save millions upon millions of precious souls through various translations and languages, but Riplinger (an author) and company call it "the devil's work...New Age....false."
How can a soul being saved be the work of the devil? That is just the opposite of what he wants and it is the reason I will never tell anyone who is reading a Bible other than the King James that he is being led astray by Satan because it is simply not true.
Copyright 2008 by Gary Goodworth
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