On one of my posts dealing with the King James Only movement, I recently had someone leave a comment directing me to an article he had written entitled “Dangers of ‘KJV Onlyism’ or KJV Perfectionism”. Upon going to his website, I discovered that this guy preferred the KJV and even thought it is the most accurate English Bible translation available. Yet he took issue with KJV Onlyists. Why? Aside from his conclusion that the extreme KJVO views are very problematic, this man actually owned up to the fact that the KJV has a few minor errors!
An Honest KJV Advocate
Here is a man who deserves to be recognized. He upholds the KJV as the most accurate translation and at the same time feels no compulsion to explain away any and all errors in it. This man is an honest KJV advocate!
Sadly, most American advocates (this man is from England) of the KJV, even those who agree that the Greek and Hebrew texts underlying the KJV are more important for study than the English translation, cannot admit to any error in the KJV at all. Many of these same advocates identify with the Dean Burgon Society. They claim to hold the same views as the Anglican John Burgon, yet he admitted to hundreds of errors in the TR, and they admit none. Some KJV Onlyies go so far as to allow for discussion of the Greek, and even to claim that a better or more accurate translation could be given. Yet they refuse to go beyond a certain point. They cannot admit one error in the KJV.
Perhaps they feel such an admission destroys their whole doctrine of Scripture. It is emphatically important to them that they unquestioningly hold every inspired word of God in their hands, when they lift up a KJV. Anything less than this opens the door, they claim, to questioning whether John 3:16 or any other verse is really God’s word or not. Many of these people also claim that God promised to preserve all of the words of Scripture perfectly and inerrantly, and that these words can be found in the texts that underly the KJV.
Regardless of their reason, such advocates unreasonably hold to their wishful thinking. No matter your theological position, I wish you were honest with the facts. The King James Version has some indisputable errors. More on that later.
Another Wacky KJV Only Website
In reading the article mentioned above (it is written by Pavlos Karageorgi and you can read it by scrolling down about 1/3 of the way down this page), I came across some of the most shocking and alarming quotes I have yet seen in all of my research into KJV Onlyism. These statements can be read here, and describe the position of Touchet Baptist Church (Touchet, WA).
I would say that you may be amused by the craziness you’ll find at this church’s website. But it should be more than amusing, it should be grossly disturbing. Let me provide a few of the statements you’ll find on that page under a section entitled “We are King James 1611 Bible Only!”:
- We are KJB more than most folks can even imagine!
- We will not willingly listen, seek out or encourage any greek in our studies or sermons – or in or from the pulpit – NONE!
- No Hebrew is necessary, either!
- English Language of the King James Bible is the language God put His words into for the 7th and last writing.
- This KJ1611 Bible is alive with the Spirit of God and ALL the modern versions/perversions are alive with the spirit of the devil!
- The King James 1611 Bible is essential for one’s salvation.
- The King James 1611 Bible is truly the sword of the Spirit and is essential for spiritual circumcision, without which Christ can not enter nor can we be made holy!
- The King James 1611 Bible is the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation!
- The King James 1611 Bible is the only inspired, inerrant, preserved word of God and IS the very words of God.
- The King James 1611 Bible is higher than any physical or mental experience that one sees or feels.
- John 1:1 is referring to the King James 1611 Bible today as well as Jesus Christ.
- If you could take the King James 1611 Bible and turn it into a flesh and blood person, you would have Jesus Christ.
- Blood was shed for this book to be in our hands today – as was the blood of Christ so we could be in His hands today! (emphasis added)
One of the subtitles the church claims for itself is “Magnifying His Word Above All His Name”, and sadly, I fear this becomes blasphemy and idolatry in the case of this church. I hope I’m wrong, but such a position manifests an extremely skewed focus for this church.
Some of the KJV’s Errors
Going back to the article written by an honest KJV advocate, I thought it would be good to list all the errors that Brother Karageorgi mentioned in his article against “KJV Perfectionism”.
- In Hebrews 10:23, the KJV translates the Greek word meaning hope as “faith”, but the Tyndale Version originally had “hope” as the translation (as do most of the modern Bible versions).
- Luke 14:10 has the KJV translating the Greek word doxa (glory) as “worship”, resulting in a verse which claims men receive worship, rather than as Tyndale had it, receiving “glory”.
- Rev. 18:13 has the KJV translating the Greek word soma (body) as slaves. This could be attributed to dynamic equivalence, or loose translation, however.
- Mr. Karageorgi thinks the phrase “drink ye all of it” in Matt. 26:27 is unnecessarily unclear, in comparison to Tyndale’s “Drink of it every one”. I agree.
- In Matt. 14:9, he points out that modern KJV’s have “for the oath’s sake” but originally in the Tyndale (and even in the 1611 KJV, as I found) it was for the othes sake” (no apostrophe was used back then). The Greek word is plural, so it refers to more than one oath, which you would not know if you depended on your modern KJV (either the Cambridge or Oxford edition).
- In John 10:16, the KJV translates two different Greek words both as “fold”. The Tyndale version more accurately reflects the Greek reading “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also must I bring that they may hear my voice and that they may be one flock and one shepherd.” This is a translational error which affects the sense of the text.
- Brother Karageorgi also sees problems with the use of “charity” in 1 Cor. 13 for the Greek word agape, because even in 1611 there were various connotations of almsgiving associated with the word “charity”.
- Lastly, he points out the use of “Easter” in Acts 12:4 as wrong. Since Tyndale used easter lamb and paschal lamb interchangeably (see Mark 14:12), it is clear that to him and others of his time Easter had the meaning Passover. What this means is that the KJV translators missed one of the “Easters” of Tyndale, when they removed all the other instances of this not quite correct word (it is not an actual translation of the Greek word).
- Brother Karageorgi also mentioned a few instances of the differences between the Cambridge and Oxford editions of the modern KJV. Jer. 34:16 has “whom ye” in the Cambridge and “whom he” in the Oxford. At Nahum 3:16, Cambridge has “flieth” and Oxford has “fleeth”. And at 2 Chron. 33:19 the Cambridge has “sin” but the Oxford has “sins”.
Keep in mind these are just errors of the translation, places where it does not reflect its own Greek text well. The Greek text itself is in error, I would claim. Even as it has many readings not supported by the majority of Greek texts or other textual witnesses. E.F. Hills (another honest KJV advocate) admits that in Rom. 7:6 (“that being dead wherein” instead of “being dead to that wherein”) and Rev. 16:5 (“shalt be” instead of “the holy one”) the KJV followed conjectural emendations Beza introduced to his text. Hills also says that in Rev. 17:8 a typo from Erasmus’ first edition was perpetuated through all editions of the TR and into the KJV (TR has “and yet is” but it should be with the majority of Greek texts “and shall come”).
A few other errors in the KJV English would be Lk. 18:12 where it says “possess” instead of following the Greek TR which has “get or acquire”. And in Mt. 23:24 there is an English typo reading “strain at” instead of “strain out”.
Brother Karageorgi, thank you for being honest. I only wish a few other KJV advocates would be honest as well. I join with you in standing against the wacky KJV Perfectionists, and the not-so-wacky ones as well.