KJVONLY: The One and Only?

Let me start by saying that I’m fully convinced that the KJV is an excellent translation. Especially if you live in the 17th century. But I have yet to meet a human being that lives in the 17th century, and I don’t know anyone who speaks the Goode King’s English in daily conversation. So if a person is to preach that we need to abandon all modern Bibles and return to the 1611 King James, I have to scratch my head. Why? (They give lots of reasons, but those reasons simply don’t fly when you look at the evidence they call you to look at.)

So debates ensue. This is only natural.

I’m continually amazed at the lengths some KJVOs will go to in order to defend their view that the KJV is the “Only Authorized and Inspired 100% Perfectly Preserved Word Of God” among men today. If you put any kind of evidence in front of them, they’ll simply brush it aside and pretend it holds no value. Here are a few that I’ve tried, and the actual responses I’ve gotten from some of their more highly esteemed defendants:

  • Try and get them to define what they mean by “100% perfectly preserved”, and they’ll simply say you’re stupid, that it means what it says.
  • Show them discrepancies between the Hebrew and the KJV, and they’ll say that in the same way that our Lord was born perfect but improved (He learned obedience. ), so too the Hebrew manuscripts were born perfect but improved at the hands of the KJV translators.
  • Show them minor discrepancies between the KJV New Testament quotes of the OT and the KJV Old Testament itself, and they’ll say that the discrepancies are perfectly legitimate.
  • Show them major discrepancies between the KJV New Testament quotes of the OT and the KJV Old Testament itself, and they’ll say that the Holy Spirit can change His words whenever He feels like because it’s His Word.
  • Ask them again to define “100% perfectly preserved”, and they call you stupid again.
  • Ask them why the KJV translators are allowed to deviate from the Hebrew, but other translators (NIV, ESV, HCSB, NET, etc) are not, and they’ll say that the KJV translators are inspired and the others are not.
  • Ask them to prove it, and they’ll call you an unbeliever and a heretic.

Truly incredible.

Waiting for the worm to turn

I had a conversation with a man who used to be a KJVO. Out of curiosity, I asked him why he changed. His reply was a new one for me: he said that he read the KJV translator’s own comments and margin notes that did it for him. He saw that the KJV translators themselves weren’t KJVOs. Frequently, they posted multiple translations for particular Hebrew/Greek words, questioned the accuracy of their own translation, and even inserted whole verses that they claimed weren’t found in the majority of  manuscripts. In other words, they sounded exactly like the kind of translators that KJVOs rail against. So he figured the KJVO camp was pure hype and conspiracy fodder and left for greener pastures.

I’ve never heard of such a thing. So with the help of Google, I started digging, and lo and behold, the guy is spot-on.

Here’s a website listing all the KJV margin notes: http://en.literaturabautista.com/exhaustive-listing-marginal-notes-1611-edition-king-james-bible

Here’s a website showing various photos of a 1611 KJV with the margin notes, showing how the KJV authors were quite human and that there was quite a bit of uncertainty in a variety of the words and phrases they used: www.bible.ca/b-kjv-only.htm

At this point, there’s no use in embracing a KJVO view, and certainly no call for bashing people as heretics just because they don’t embrace the King James as the “Only Authorized and Inspired 100% Perfectly Preserved Word Of God”. The KJV 1611 margin notes prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the KJV translators knew they were not turning out a “100% perfectly preserved Word of God”.

Ya gotta love the the question put to the KJVOs by Steve Dunn, author of the 2nd link above: “If the translators died not knowing they were inspired, HOW DID YOU FIND THIS OUT???”


Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. (ESV)

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1 comment to KJVONLY: The One and Only?

  • The “only inspired translation” claim about the 1611 KJV leaves me scratching my head. Never have I read, ever, of the translators of the 1611 KJV claiming they were inspired, yet over and over that aspect remians the foundational defense attached to said translation. When placed under healthy scrutiny, the defense of the 1611 KJV “inspired” claim crumbles. The extra-biblical knowledge claims that trump the original manuscripts…those claims are disturbing, to say the least.

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