GotQuestions is a good resource. I am thankful for them and have used their information many times over the years. However, they fall flat on their face when it comes to the Bible Version Issue. This is not unlike CARM which just sent out a mass email that they would be showing the errors with the ideas of the KJV-Only movement. I can hardly wait…
As usual, their article is copied from here. My comments are in bold.
Question: “What is the KJV Only movement? Is the King James Version the only Bible we should use?”
Answer: Many people have strong and serious objections to the translation methods and textual basis for the new translations and therefore take a strong stance in favor of the King James Version. True, but the ultimate issue is the issue of Final Authority. A King James Bible Believer has a Final Authority that he can hold in his hand. Most Christians, like GotQuestions, are no different than atheists. They don’t have a Final Authority in their lives. They claim that their Final Authority is “God”. But What did God say? They have no answer. Others are equally convinced that the newer translations are an improvement over the KJV in their textual basis and translation methodology. Their main problem is that they have multiple Final Authorities, which is the same things as saying that they have NO Final Authority. GotQuestions.org does not want to limit its ministry to those of the “KJV Only” persuasion. Nor do we want to limit ourselves to those who prefer the NIV, NAS, NKJV, etc. Note – the purpose of this article is not to argue against the use of the King James Version. Rather, the focus of this article is to contend with the idea that the King James Version is the only Bible English speakers should use. This is what is called DUPLICITY. If the King James is right, then dump the modern versions. If the modern versions are right, then dump the King James Bible, because it is wrong. THEY BOTH CANNOT BE RIGHT.
The KJV Only movement claims its loyalty to be to the Textus Receptus, a Greek New Testament manuscript compilation completed in the 1500s. This is false. Does the author not know the difference between KJV-only and TR-only? TR-only has multiple Final Authorities as there are multiple versions of the TR. They are also at the mercy of Lexicons and Concordances. This stance is at odds to the main point of the KJV debate. TR-only has no Final Authority. To varying degrees, KJV Only advocates argue that God guided Erasmus (the compiler of the Textus Receptus) to come up with a Greek text that is perfectly identical to what was originally written by the biblical authors. Basically no one believes this. Nice try though. However, upon further examination, it can be seen that KJV Only advocates are not loyal to the Textus Receptus, but rather only to the KJV itself. Again, the author is trying to lump together two different ideas. In so doing, he demonstrates that he has missed the whole issue: Final Authority. The New Testament of the New King James Version is based on the Textus Receptus, just as the KJV is. Yet, KJV Only advocates label the NKJV just as heretical as they do the NIV, NAS, etc. The problems of the NKJV are demonstrated here.
Beyond the NKJV, other attempts (such as the KJ21 and MEV) Both these are copy written and their purpose is to make money. This is completely different than the copy write free King James Bible. have been made to make minimal updates to the KJV, only “modernizing” the archaic language, The MEV reads like a modern Bible. while using the exact same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. These attempts are rejected nearly as strongly as the NKJV and the other newer Bible translations. This proves that KJV Only advocates are loyal to the King James Version itself, not to the Textus Receptus. If the author has always known about this, why did he write like he did in the preceeding paragraph? There’s something fishy about this. KJV Only advocates have no desire or plan to update the KJV in any way. The KJV certainly contains English that is outdated, archaic, and sometimes confusing to modern English speakers and readers. What the author doesn’t say is that all versions have archaic wording in it. The Book of Job is almost 4000 years old. Of course it will use old language. Even the modern versions have to admit that. See Job 6:6 in the RSV and here. Why can’t the author admit this? It would be fairly simple to publish an updated KJV with the archaic words and phrases updated into modern 21st century English. Or, as Doctor Ruckman said for over 50 years, why not write the definitions in the margin? Why change the text because our vocabulary has changed? If we go down that road, we’ll need to have a new update every 10 years and in all major dialects of English. I would, however, enjoy seeing a Bible written in North Carolinian… However, any attempt to edit the KJV in any way results in accusations from KJV Only advocates of heresy and perversion of the Word of God. Praise the Lord!
When the Bible is translated for the first time into a new language today, it is translated into the language that culture speaks and writes today, not the way they spoke and wrote 400 years ago. That’s one way to do it, but there are other acceptable ways. Older language is always seen as more authoritative and in many cases archaic language can be more accurate. The King James translators brought back the difference between thou/thee and you/ye that had been lost before the 1600s in order to make the Bible better. They distinguished between the singular and plural 2nd person pronouns that does not exist in English. The language of the King James was already archaic in 1611. Their reasons for this are correct. To make the simple change of all the 2nd person pronouns to YOU, would result in a lack of Accuracy. Does the author care about accuracy or no? The same should be true in English. The Bible was written in the common, ordinary language of the people at that time. So does the author think that every time that the “common, ordinary” Greek changed, that the Greek should be updated? How many times did the Greek language change in the 500 years after Christ? Did the early Christians think they needed to change the text all those times? I Trow Not. Bible translations today should be the same. That is why Bible translations must be updated and revised as languages develop and change. The KJV Only movement is very English-focused in its thinking. One could just as easily say that the OT being solely inspired in Hebrew is very Hebrew-focused. The same with the Greek… Why should people who read English be forced to read the Bible in outdated/archaic English, while people of all other languages can read the Bible in modern/current forms of their languages? Because that’s not the issue. The issue is Final Authority. Plus, they are making it sound like the whole KJB is unreadable for us today. When I street preach, people don’t get mad because I am using archaic words, they get mad because they know exactly what I am saying when I quote the King James. There are a few outdated/archaic words, but the text overall is easily understood.
Our loyalties are to the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. So basically, you don’t have a Bible that you can point to. The originals are gone. They no longer exist. Your loyalties are to nothing. Only the original languages are the Word of God as He inspired it. So, you believe no one can know what God said. We are all at the mercy of Lexicons and dictionaries, which have been proven to be of dubious help. What a pity! A translation is only an attempt to take what is said in one language and communicate it in another. The modern translations are superb in taking the meaning of the original languages and communicating it in a way that we can understand in English. So what, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the author has no Final Authority. However, none of the modern translations are perfect. Every one contains verses that are at least somewhat mistranslated. By comparing and contrasting several different translations, it is often easier to get a good grasp on what the verse is saying than by only using one translation. So you believe in multiple final authorities. No final authority. You are a practical atheist. Our loyalty should not be to any one English translation, but to the inspired, inerrant Word of God that is communicated by the Holy Spirit through the translations (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Interesting that you bring up that verse. It says that Timothy had the Scripture. Did Timothy have an original copy of Moses that he’d written 1400 years before? Of course not. He had copies. Copies can be inspired according to this verse. Furthermore, God has never had a problem with translation. Only modern scholars do. The verse teaches the very opposite of what the author thinks. Open his eyes, Lord!
The modern versions and the King James Bible cannot both be inspired Scripture. They are too different. One is from God and the other is from the Devil. Which one is it?