Some readers (including some individuals in discernment ministries) have wondered why I hold so strongly to the King James Bible. Hopefully the following blog helps clarify my position.
Born again Christians have a hard time agreeing on what version should be used, or if one version should be used. So, perhaps we can start with what versions should NOT be used, and work our way backwards in a process of elimination. We can thus work our way down to fewer versions, which means less doctrinal chaos.
So here’s a list I’m starting of the worst of the worst, in no particular order:
1) New Age-ish versions such as The Message (this was published before the advent of the Emergent movement)
2) Emergent versions such as The Voice
3) Contemplative versions/study Bibles such as Renovare Study Bible (renamed The Life with God Bible NRSV)
4) Bible versions that are specifically Catholic
5) Bible versions that are considered Protestant, but have some printings today which include the Catholic Deuterocanonical Books
6) Bible versions that are specifically liberal. (Example – the RSV, which was commissioned by the National Council of Churches. In Isaiah it refers to the Messiah as being born of a young woman, rather than being born of a virgin).
7) Bible versions that use dynamic equivalency rather than word-for-word translation (remember the warning about adding to and/or taking away from God’s Word – Rev. 22:18-19)
8) Bible versions such as the NIV that are trending toward gender neutral language (accurate word-for-word translations should never be sacrificed in the name of feminist political correctness). The newest revision of the NIV has been condemned by the Southern Baptist Convention for this reason.
9) Bible versions that water down biblically sound doctrine – such as replacing the word “Hell” with the word “Hades”. My question is, why remove the word “Hell”? Christians for 400 years have known exactly what doctrine “Hell” refers to (a place of eternal torment). If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
So what Bible version(s) does that leave us, that are acceptable? That is the million dollar question.
I believe very strongly that we should use only translations of the Textus Receptus New Testament and Masoretic Old Testament. (These are the source documents of the King James Bible.) Such translations DO NOT HAVE ANY of the nine problems itemized above.
And, ideally, there would be one “authorized version” in each language of the world. In the English-speaking world, I believe this should be the King James Bible. To help us understand its archaic vocabulary, I would suggest using a good Bible dictionary, a Webster’s classic (1800s) dictionary), and a good Bible commentary. I would not recommend a study Bible – too many erroneous or even heretical teachings are placed inside the covers of our study Bibles – even KJV study Bibles.