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King James Onlyism Pt. 1

I was debating whether I should write this series or not. The response could get a little crazy but the truth is important. The reason for this series is to highlight some arguments that the King James onlyist will throw out and how the average person can respond to them.

I also want to point out that there has been some great work on this subject. I highly recommend Dr. James White’s work entitled The King James Only Controversy for a more in-depth study on this subject.

For this series I want to respond to a video that I ran across on youtube from Grace Bible Church in Montgomery, Alabama entitled “King James Bible”. I am going to respond to each of his claims point by point. Each response will be brief but will be  adequately answered…God willing. Here is the video:

Notice right off the bat that he claims the King James Bible is “the word of God”. I agree with him on this point but I do not agree with what he implies by that statement. What he means is the King James Bible is the only word of God. This implication is highlighted by his math equation.

I stop long enough to point out that his equation is misinterpreting the text of John 1:1. John 1:1 is not referring to the Scriptures. The Word = Jesus not the text of Scriptures.

With that, it is important to recognize the presuppositions of the KJV Onlyist. Dr. James White gives an equation when describing KJ Onlyism:

The King James alone = The Word of God alone

That equation describes every KJ Onlyist I have ever listened to. There is a huge problem with pastor Hampton’s equation and the equation that KJ Onlyist’s use. What’s the problem? The arguments are circular. Their starting point is their ending point.

We see clearly that pastor Hampton is operating under the equation Dr. James White points out. He asserts that the King James Bible is the only word of God then will argue all of his points back to it. Let’s start with his first text Matt. 18:11.

Pastor Hampton rightly points out that most of the modern translations remove Matt. 18:11 from the main body of the text. This does not mean they are editing the Bible. It also doesn’t mean they are completely omitting it from the text. I typically use the ESV when I study the Bible. When one opens an ESV and flips to Matthew 18 they will notice that the verse appears to be missing from the text. But, if you look at the bottom of the page it says, “Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost.” So, what does this mean? It means that the more reliable manuscripts do not have verse 11 in their texts but the ESV still wants to respect those other manuscripts by footnoting it. If the ESV wanted to hide this verse then why would they even bother to footnote it?

I also want to point out that the early KJV had textual notes in it describing the variations in the manuscripts. Here is a picture to give an example:

Photo Credit: http://www.bible.ca

This textual variation comes from Judges 19:2 and it raises two questions. Was the traveller’s concubine at her father’s house for “foure whole monthes“? Or, for, “a yeare and foure monthes“? The KJV translators gave us both. It is hypocritical for the KJOnlyist to point out that the modern translations footnote variations when the 1611 KJV does the same.

We also need to recognize that pastor Hampton is using circular reasoning. He says, “in many versions of the Bible; you know what it does? It goes Matthew 18:10 and Matthew 18:12. I’ll give you a chance to go get your Bible.”  So, verse 11 isn’t in the body of my Bible but what does he compare it to? The KJV. You cannot prove that the KJV is superior by starting with the KJV. Pastor Hampton would need to show us the manuscript evidence to prove his point but he does not do so.

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on November 12, 2011, in Christianity, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey Travis,

    This is good and very informative. I would hate to think in my life I only could use “one” interpretation of the Bible. When I do a Bible study I have Bibles and other books as well going from the north to the south. Enjoyed reading. God Bless, SR

  1. Pingback: The Absurdity of King James Onlyism «

  2. Pingback: Am I Using the Wrong Bible? | I'm All Booked

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