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The Absurdity of King James Onlyism

There are a number of people who believe that the King James Bible is the only true Bible. Some claim that the Textus Receptus (TR) is the perfect Greek text and since the King James is based off it the KJ is perfect. Others simply believe that the King James translation itself is perfect. Either way, this argument has some serious problems. One problem shows itself in this video taken from the John Ankerberg Show. In this clip Dr. Sam Gipp argues that there is no perfect Bible that anyone can put in their mother’s hand unless they hand her a King James. What does this argument boil down to? You guessed it…Absurdity. If the King Jame is the only perfect Bible then what was the perfect Bible before 1611? See for yourself:

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King James Onlyism Pt.1 

King James Onlyism Pt. 2

King James Onlyism Pt. 3

King James Onlyism Pt. 4

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King James Onlyism Pt. 4

This will be the last post of this review of pastor Hampton’s youtube video called “King James Bible”. If you haven’t read the previous three posts in this series you should. You can find them by clicking the links here——-> “King James Onlyism Pt.1“, “King James Onlyism Pt. 2“, and “King James Onlyism Pt.3

We ended part 3 at about the 8:15 mark so you can start the video there.

Pastor Hampton’s final proof text for using the King James alone comes from Luke 2:33 which says:

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” -KJV

Pastor Hampton is correct that Joseph isn’t Jesus’ earthly father. But then he says an amazing statement. He says, “I believe that the father of the Lord Jesus Christ is God Almighty. But in most versions of the Bible they don’t think so.” He is accusing the modern translations of denying the virgin birth and Christ’s deity by suggesting that “they don’t think” God Almighty is the father of Jesus. Let’s see if he is on to something…

The ESV says this in Luke 2:33:

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.

Did you catch that? The modern translations are trying to deny the virgin birth by making Joseph the father of Jesus! And if they aren’t dong it to deny the virgin birth then surely people will be confused…right?

This an easy argument to respond to. Why you ask? Great question! It’s easy to answer because I don’t need to dive into manuscripts or look at the internal evidence. I can prove that pastor Hampton and KJ onlyists are inconsistent by quoting other passages in the KJV. If only pastor Hampton would have kept reading he would have run into Luke 2:41 which says:

 Now his (Jesus) parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.” -KJV

Wait, the KJV refers to Joseph and Mary as Jesus’ parents? Of course, this can be explained away by saying that Joseph only raised Jesus but he was not the father of Jesus. This could cause confusion couldn’t it? If the King James translators were so careful just verses before then why would they say “parents” here?

That’s not all. If pastor Hampton would have read even further he would have seen these words coming from the mouth of Mary in Luke 2:48 which says:

And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”

OK, so now you know why this was the easiest text to refute. It is simply absurd for the KJ onlyist to bring up Luke 2:33 and accuse the modern translations of making Joseph the father of Jesus when their own translation does the same. Not only that, it says Joseph is the father of Jesus in the SAME chapter as his proof text.

This specific argument shows the fatal flaw of KJ onlyism…they are inconsistent.

Allow me to leave you with the words of the King James translators themselves:

“Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.” -Preface “The Translators to the Reader”

King James Onlyism Pt. 3

In this third post we will continue our look at pastor Hampton’s video “King James Bible”. The first two posts were “KJV Onlyism Pt.1″ and “KJV Onlyism Pt.2″. Please read those before reading this one.

We have responded to pastor Hampton’s first two texts of Scripture and he puts forth his third starting at 6:20 so you can skip forward to that point now.

On the surface Galatians 2:16 may seem like a “powerful” argument for the King James onlyist but as we look at the text we will see this “powerful” argument is only surface level.

Before I go on and give my views of this text I want to point out that there has been extensive conversation on how to translate this passage. If you want more reading on this subject you can CLICK HERE.

Let’s start by looking at Galatians 2:16 in the KJV and the ESV:

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” -KJV

“yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” -ESV

Internal Evidence

You will notice this verse starts very similarly to how it ends, “works of the law” does not justify anyone. It isn’t by works but by faith that anyone is justified.

We see this contrast in both the KJV and the ESV. The problem with the KJV is that the verse stops the flow of argumentation between works and faith to discuss the “faith of Jesus Christ“. I am not suggesting that Christ isn’t faithful. He is, but the flow of Paul’s argument gets interrupted  if we us “of” instead of “in”. The internal evidence is on the ESV’s side. Beyond the flow of the text we see that Paul is using “faith” and “believed” synonymously. The ESV Study Bible defends their rendering when they write:

Some contend that the Greek means the “faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” But “faith in Jesus Christ” seems much more likely since “faith in Jesus Christ” is synonymous with the next phrase, “we also have believed in Christ Jesus.”

The harmony breaks between the two phrases when we use the KJV.

Beyond the flow and harmony of the text there are a couple of questions that needs to be asked of pastor Hampton and KJ onlyists.

Photo Credit: frjody.com

#1 Does using “of” or “in” really change the meaning of this text?

I would contend that good exegesis would lead you to Paul’s point. So, pastor Hampton may say that the translation difference is important or “powerful” but it does not change how one is justified. And that was his main contention in this section of his video. He implied that somehow modern translations were trying to overthrow salvation by faith. However, solid exegesis of both the KJV and ESV would lead you to the same conclusion…It is by faith and not by works one is saved.

#2 What is Paul trying to communicate to the Galatians in this text?”

Paul’s argument isn’t about Jesus being a faithful savior. Rather, it is about trusting in Jesus to save instead of works. Thus, “faith in Jesus Christ” is a faithful translation of the text.

On a grammatical level Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan says this:

“Grammatically, the ‘case’ is genitive (Iēsous ‘Jesus’), which is frequently rendered in English with the preposition ‘of’, hence ‘of Jesus’. But ‘of’ doesn’t always mean ‘from’ ‘out of’ or ‘possessed by’. It can mean ‘with reference to’ (and many other nuances    beside). So, when some have chosen ‘in’, that is a very good English rendering of the sense we mean to convey when we say ‘faith IN Jesus.’”

I agree with Rev. Buchanan on this point. The reason why he says that the word “in” could be used is because the word “of” has many different meanings. If, in fact, “with reference to” is a possible meaning then the internal evidence coupled with that makes the ESV’s rendering proper.

The ESV translators end their defense for their rendering of “faith in Jesus Christ” when they write:

 “But through faith in Jesus Christ” is the opposite of depending on one’s own good deeds for justification, since justification comes through faith in Christ alone.

Circular Reasoning

With all the internal evidence that I have explored for the support of how the ESV renders this verse there is still one HUGE problem with pastor Hampton’s argument. That problem is circular reasoning. I mentioned in the first part of this series that pastor Hampton engages in circular reasoning. He begins with his presupposition that the KJV is flawless then will argue all of his points back to it. That does not prove the KJV is better…it only proves that it is different. That is the real issue and it needs exposing.

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