KJO or KJV Also? - 02/23/2004
I wrote sometime back, but never receive a response. I know that as much email that you get, you can't answer every one.
First off, God bless your ministry and the people that visit your site. I like what you're doing. I teach Sunday school and use both the KJV and the NASB, which ever the Holy Spirit leads me to use. I compare the verses and pray which translation to use, but my default is the KJV.
Not so recently, I've read about the Alexandrian Manuscripts. What I read, especially related to the newer translations disturbed me. This reputable preacher in another Baptist denomination from me stated that his research said the following: There was a sect of "Christians" that relocated itself from the Holy Land and to Alexandria. He furthermore
stated that this sect held beliefs similar to Jehovah's Witnesses in that they robbed Jesus of His deity. They even re-translated the Bible in order take out what they believed were
'inconsistencies'...i.e. His deity. Now, he also stated that when the scrolls of the Textus Receptus would start to wear out, it would be accurately re-copied and the old manuscripts were tossed out. Now there was a perfectly duplicated version of the original. As time went on the TR was used to translate the KJV and it lasted for around 200 years, but then someone said, "We've found much older manuscripts that are slightly different than the TR that we have. These must be more accurate." That is why "in/by the blood " has been taken out as well as whole verses in the newer current translations. See
If what he says is true, then lets say 1000 years from now(I personally think we'll be well into the Millennial Kingdom by then) , researchers find a Watchtower bible older than the one they are using at the time. Then they might incorporate cultic
teachings into another translation....scary.
What are you're findings on this issue? Is what he says ring true, even in part? The removal of the "in the blood' is true then it really could be Satan trying to take out the reference to the only way of remission for our sins. The NASB is much easier reading, but I have prayed about this and recently
bought a new KJV study bible. I don't know any ancient languages so I can only trust the Holy Spirit in my beliefs.
Once again, stay on the battlefield and don't be swayed. Keep up the good work for His glory. Also there are many brothers trapped in Freemasonry. You might think of expanding that section.
Christ preserve you.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Jeremy. Thanks for writing to us. I am sorry it has taken so long to respond, but as you said, we do get a lot of email. Oddly enough, since I wrote that article on the KJO controversy, a great deal of the email has been from KJO proponents. Perhaps not so oddly. :)
First, if you want to use KJV - even exclusively - then by all means do so. I bear no malice whatsoever towards the KJV, and view it as the Word of God. I just find the argument that it is the ONLY Word of God to be baseless. I use the KJV and NIV. NASB is more linear and less stylistic than either the KJV or NIV, and is also a good translation. You should thank God that you have at least a twelfth-grade reading level, so you are able to read and comprehend the 17th century English of the KJV translation. It sounds like you are doing exactly as the KJV translators exhorted the readers to do - use a variety of translation for a fuller understanding of Scripture.
The reputable preacher you spoke of is partially right, but he makes conjectures that are wrong in part, and unproven in others. The fact is that the NIV and NASB are not based solely on the Alexandrian family of manuscripts. They are based only in part on those. Also, the amount those manuscripts were changed to suit any particular doctrinal slant is disputable from what you read. The fact that the Byzantine manuscripts upon which Erasmus based the TR contained margin notes that became verses in the TR and KJV is not based on 2nd century manuscript evidence. It's a matter of history from Erasmus' era. The fact that the apocryphal books of the Roman Catholic Church were incorporated into the first edition of the KJV is a matter of historical record. The fact that the KJV wording in 1 John 5:7-8 differs not only from the newer translations, but also from the earliest Greek manuscripts, the earliest Vulgate, and even from the Byzantine manuscripts, and was only added after Erasmus was pressured to do so by the Roman Catholic Church is also a matter of historical record. The truth is, while the KJV wording in those verses provides clear support for the doctrine of the Trinity, I have been able to defend the Trinity successfully based on my NIV Bible. The doctrine of the Trinity is not lost in the NASB and NIV simply because the KJV and TR added words to 1 John 5:7-8. You see, the historical and textual criticism of the scholars who translated the NIV and NASB was not compromised by some non-Christian ideas or notions.
Let's take your analogy of someone finding a NWT Bible (Jehovah's Witness version) 1000 years from now (I too believe we'll be in the millennial Kingdom). Well, if a scholarly group examined this Bible, they would also learn the history of this translation. They would compare it to other known texts (including the NIV, NASB, NKJV, TR, and older manuscripts). When they compare, they find doctrinally significant differences (such as the NWT version of John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was A god.") Obviously, they see that only in one or two small versions does this anomaly exist. In the oldest and most reliable translations, as well as in the NIV, NASB, KJV, and NKJV, this verse reads differently. Those good scholars would do well to recognize that this was a doctrinal addition to the Bible and discard it. This is called "textual criticism", and is was used by the NIV and NASB translators, as well as by the KJV translators.
I have received several emails from people who are KJO. It is not insignificant that the most hateful, spiteful emails we have received from any group have come from those in the KJO camp. They displayed none of the Christian love that the Bible instructs us to have - an instruction found in the NIV and NASB as well as in the KJV. What's more significant though, is their response to this question: In spite of the fact that 0.65% of the verses are different in the KJV than in the NIV or NASB, what key doctrines are missing or twisted in the NIV/NASB that are found in the KJV? Do you know what every response was to that question? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not one KJO proponent has told me what key doctrines are missing from the NIV/NASB. That's because the NIV and NASB agree with the KJV on key doctrines. That being the case, why don't we do as the KJV translators told us, and use a variety of translations for a fuller understanding of Scripture, rather than tear apart the body of Christ with needless strife and hateful, baseless arguments.
Jeremy, you seem like the kind of guy who likes to research things, rather than just believe everything you're told. That's good. That's biblical. The Bereans were of noble character because they double-checked everything Paul told them (Acts 17:11). The Bible also tells us to test everything, and hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Since you seem to be a "test everything" kind of guy, I encourage you to check out one or more of the following books:
- History of the Bible in English, Third Edition; F.F. Bruce
- The Text of the New Testament, Second Edition; Bruce M. Metzger
- The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?; James R. White
These books go into much greater detail than I'm able to, so I strongly encourage you to check them out. After reading them, and comparing them with the research you've already done, then follow the Holy Spirit. Whether you choose to read primarily KJV, or expand into using NIV or NASB, I applaud you for being a student of Scripture. Read your Bible daily, and hold strong to the truths within. May our Great God and Savior bless you and keep you as you contend for the faith.
Ben and Jennifer Rast