King James Only as a New Revelation

I am reviewing Dr. White’s book this week, and it will be a multi-part review/discussion. I want to first discuss the idea that is prevalent among many, either by self-statement or by consequence of their doctrine.

Those that hold to the King James Version Only generally fall into several categories, according to Dr. White:

  1. Those who hold to the KJV out of the beauty of the text. It is for those a translation of choice, just as the NIV is for others.
  2. (and 3) Hold that the Greek and Hebrew which underlie the KJV is inspired
  3. Inspired KJV Group. They hold that the KJV is the only inspired translation, and the standard by which we must judge all others by. The illogic of this is that for 1500 years previously, the KJV did not exist. The KJV itself as a revision of a revision of a revision, dating back to the first English translation, that of William Tyndale (who we note was burned at the stake for reading a modern translation, namely his own, over the Latin Vulgate.)
  4. The final group is the logical outcome of the previously mentioned group – those that old that the KJV is the New Revelation, that somehow in 1611, God re-inspired the Bible in the English Language. Further, they proclaim that the KJV is more inspired than the Hebrew/Greek originals. For them, God waited until 1611 to correct the mistakes that the Apostles made.

Dr. White notes that Ruckman, in his book, ‘The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence” states that “Mistakes (against the Greek) in the A.V. 1611 are advanced revelation.” He further calls for any Greek of the Received Text that does not disagree with the KJV to be ‘placed in file 13.’ People in Dr. Ruckman’s camp generally hold to:

  • The Eternal Existence of the KJV – written in heaven and used by God
  • This is the Book that we will be judged out of as mentioned in Revelation 20:12

The first and foremost problem that we have is that this view is wholly unbiblical, and if taught, becomes more than an error, or a mistake, but a false doctrine. It allows the Word of God to be corrected by humanity. Further, it disallows initial inspiration of the Scriptures requiring us to believe that God Himself uses the KJV, and before all Eternity settled the KJV in Heaven (which might be possible in the extreme forms of Calvinism). It requires us, as well, to suspended Reason and believe that the Prophets spoke Elizabethan English, as well as the Apostles, and that English is alone the language of the heavens.

Further, in light of Paul’s statement in Galatians – if we can trust that he and truly not the Anglicans which translated the KJV in 1611 –  we know that the Apostle was against anything new introduced into the Faith. Jude (1.3) also makes the rather bold claim that the Faith given to the Apostles was the Faith once for all delivered – with no new changes, no new revelation, no new thoughts to be added. To say that suddenly, in the year of our Lord, 1611, that a new revelation in the form of the KJV descended is to stand against what the Apostles taught.

Note especially that the KJV in use today is not the KJV in 1611, but I will cover that later.

I will continue with my review for a while, but Dr. White has opened the discussion, not with the salvos common from the KJVO camp, but with a calm tenor. He is not criticizing those that use the KJV but questions those that demand that this translation alone is the either standard or a new revelation from God Himself.

You do know how utterly foolish this all is, right?

BTW, Nick offers his own review here.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,151 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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25 thoughts on “King James Only as a New Revelation

  1. No P. He is NOT about the only one.

    I am looking forward to reading more of your review of Dr.Whites book as well.I have read Dr. Douglas Stauffer’s book ” One book stands alone ” I did not find it all that _____. I do prefer the KJV above all of the modern English paraphrases or translations.save the NKJV.I have only gone to IFB churches which are KJVO. I have heard (the God inspired translation tales too) It is a good translation,nonetheless.

    I find it more than interesting that the KJV translators added words and phrases in (italics) and most if not all of the modern English translators followed them,by adding the same words and phrases,creating errors in their own translations.

    One example is the word ” sacrifice ” used in Daniel chapters 8,11,12. All three instances the KJV has the word sacrifice in italics.All of the modern English versions have the word written in,as though it appears in the Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts of the book of Daniel,but it does not.Only in Daniel 9:27 is the actual word sacrifice found. (Hebrew/Aramaic # 2077)

  2. Hi P

    You are right of course.Nevertheless,had the KJV and the NKJV translators, NOT added the phrase ” the brother of ” in italics,then the same error would have been made in those 2 versions in 2 Samuel 21:19 also.I am not saying that there are errors in God’s written word in its original languages of Hebrew,Aramaic and Koine Greek.

    However,it is a fact of scripture that David and not Elhanan slew Goliath.I just wonder how did the modern translations/paraphrases, get 1 Chronicles 20:5 correct and not 2 Samuels 21:19? Like the KJV ( which is not a literal translation) the Young’s literal translation got it correct in both passages,why didn’t the modern English paraphrases and translations?

  3. Morning P

    Absolutely not.All scripture is given by inspiration of God.Therefore God’s written word is inerrant in the original languages.I would say that these are copyist errors.There is no reason to believe that any of the translators of the original languages of God breathed scripture,were led and guided by the Holy Spirit.Including the KJV translators.

    Again,i am not KJV only.It is my preferred translation.I do not believe that the KJV is God’s inspired word in the English or his way of correcting 1500 plus years of copyist errors and omissions.That’s none sense.

    If there were two Goliaths,then the KJV did a very good job in distinguishing between the Goliath that David slew and Lahmi his brother,whom Elhanan killed.I think that there were actually a total four Philistine or Gittite giants of that family.

    And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the [ brother of Goliath the Gittite,] the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 2 Samuels 21:19 KJV.

    And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew [ Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite,] whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam. 1 Chronicles 20:5 KJV.

    Brackets added.

  4. But, the only way that they ‘correct’ the problem is to add to the word of God. Who is to say that there is not two Goliaths? I would say that that is more possible that God failing in the preservation of His word? The KJV added to the phrase here, which is their interpretation, but in the end, what is more believable? That in 1611 God corrected His word after 1500 plus years (since the time of the writing of the passage in question) or that there were two Goliaths?

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