KJV Translation is God's Perfect Work - 12/24/2004

I am a big KJV person... I cant help the way I feel about it. I feel the rest of the the so called translations are commentary on scripture. This is my arguement in my mind for it and I dont argue about it cause it is my personal opinion IS ALL...
God made it all up and set it in motion and finished the work. In my mind the God does everything perfect the 1st time. King James is the 1st complete English translation. Therefore to suggest any other book is the FINAL AUTHORITY or A Perfect Work is to suggest that God doesnt do stuff perfect the 1st time and I just cannot say in my heart of hearts the King James Version is anything less than the only True Perfect Work. Since I feel that way all others are just commentary on what God said.
Moreover, I read the process that King James went through to have the translation done. It was pure genius in my opinion. The translators were not allowed to discuss the work with each other ever. They all worked on the same verse to be translated. They would bring the tranlated verse into a room then open them one by one not even being allowed to hear a fellow translators tranlation. IF one was opened didnt match EXACTLY then no more would be opened and the process started all over until one by one translations all matched exactly.They were not told whose matched and whose didnt either. They all had to come in there matching and not allowed to see the other translation. ONLY told "they all match" or they dont all match. So NOBODY could put their spin on it..When they all match ONLY then was it called translated. YOU gotta admit .. that is so brillant.
I just dont believe anyone can top that. That is my HONEST opinion for what it is worth to you.

Always,

Karon





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi Karon. I certainly won't begrudge you your opinion. If you prefer the KJV, then that is totally up to you. It is a decent translation, and I use it myself sometimes. However, I would caution you against criticizing other translations based on your opinion rather than fact. I would like to clear up some factual issues in your email.

God made it all up and set it in motion and finished the work. In my mind the God does everything perfect the !st time. King James is the 1st complete English translation. Therefore to suggest any other book is the FINAL AUTHORITY or A Perfect Work is to suggest that God doesnt do stuff perfect the 1st time and I just cannot say in my heart of hearts the King James Version is anything less than the only True Perfect Work.

First, let me start by saying that the KJV was not the first English language translation. Wycliffe and Tyndale arrived in the 16th century, and the KJV was published in the 17th century. By your reasoning, Wycliffe or Tyndale would have created the "perfect" translation. In truth, you're confusing the Word of God, written by faithful men in the first century as they were inspired by God, with a Bible translation, which was translated by regular people. Any translation is the work of mere men. The KJV was a scholarly work for that day, just as the NIV and NASB are scholarly modern translations. However, we should not presume the imprimatur of God on one single translation. Second, the 1611 edition of the KJV was just the first of several early editions. It contained the Catholic Apocryphal books (which were later removed), and errors persisted for some time. Each new edition was to correct errors. If you are going to assume that the hand of God guided this process, then you must assume that He made a mistake with the early editions of the KJV. However, we know God doesn't make mistakes, so we must conclude that the KJV translators were faithful and scholarly men who were not moved by God as were the authors of the books of the Bible. Your belief starts with the presumption that the KJV is the standard by which all English translations must be measured. In other words, you're starting with a conclusion, rather than following the evidence where it leads.

During the translation process of the KJV, there were subcommittees responsible for different portions of the Bible. Not only do we know this from history, but it is apparent in the translation itself. Some portions of the KJV translate a word one way, when others translate it a different way. Sometimes the number of different translations of the same Greek or Hebrew word throughout the KJV is staggering! If God had directly guided this process, I have no doubt that each subcommittee would have been in agreement with the others on the translation of various words.

Karon, if you start with the conclusion that God guided the KJV translators, thereby producing a perfect translation, then your argument is sound that later translations that differ will be mere commentary, and perhaps inferior. Yet if you do start with that conclusion, you're left with some unresolved problems, such as why God allowed so many divergent translations in the KJV and why He allowed so many errors in the early editions. You would also need to ask yourself: if God guided the translation of the KJV, which initially contained the Apocryphal books of Catholicism, then shouldn't the KJV and all Bibles have kept the Apocrypha in?

The best method is to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. The KJV was based ultimately on the Textus Receptus (TR) and Biblica Hebraica. The TR was based on a handful of relatively late manuscripts. Yet the KJV translators used this, because it was the best available to them at the time. The KJV translators also used the Latin Vulgate. Since then, thousands of biblical manuscripts have been discovered -- many manuscripts are several centuries older than anything upon which the KJV translation was based. In other words, they were created closer to the time of the initial writing of the Bible! What exciting discoveries! Starting in the 19th century, scholarly men (like the KJV translators) used the vast wealth of manuscripts available to create new translations. The translation process was just as arduous as that used by the KJV translators, but at the same time, they learned from the mistakes that the KJV translators had made. The end result is a few modern English translations that are textually superior to the KJV. For example: The KJV contains the Johannine Comma of 1 John 5:7-8. Only ONE Greek manuscript (among the thousands in existance) contains this phrase, and it was written in the 14th century. Even Erasmus, the compiler of the TR believed the Comma was a later addition. Accordingly, it is absent from most modern translations. The Comma is doctrinally sound, but it is clearly a later addition -- something we should NEVER do to the Word of God!

The differences (variants) between the KJV, the NIV, and the NASB are minute. Only about half a percent of the text is in doubt, and it does NOT affect the key doctrines of Christianity. The NIV and NASB are slightly clearer translations than the KJV with regards to the deity of Jesus Christ, but all are fine.

Karon, I don't attack the KJV, because I believe it's a decent translation. It's not the best, but it's decent and it's beautifully written. I don't hold a single translation up as THE Word of God. The Word of God is more than any translation by men. It is the sum of what God inspired the Apostles and Prophets to write. Every translation in existance will have questionable variants. But the variants are too minor to conceal or corrupt the Word of God. I don't accept every translation (for instance, the New World Translation is a corruption of the Jehovah's Witnesses that I readily rebuke), but the evidence indicates that some modern translations are every bit as good, if not better, than the KJV. Perhaps that's why the KJV translators wrote in their introduction an encouragement to use a variety of translations, and not just one. They never presumed divine inspiration in their work. If you still prefer the KJV, then that's great. I have no objections to that. Once again though, I stress the importance of not being critical of something without a factual basis for that criticism.

In Christ,

Ben Rast
Contender Ministries