The Sacred Cow of KJVO (King James Version Only)

I am no fan of the KJVO myth. Simply put, there is n Scriptural evidence that one translation is the only translation that we can use. In fact, practice from within the Scriptures show that the Apostle used both the Hebrew and the Greek. This past week, on Facebook, I posted a verse,

And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:40 NLT)

Silly me. Here I was thinking that with all my friends on FB which may not know Christ, an easy translation would be a good way to start a conversation. After all, this is one of the most underused verses in the bible, it seems, and one which I use to reach both conservatives and liberals. It is the center of Christian compassion to treat others as if we were doing those things to Christ. More than anything else, it is a piece of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Well, it didn’t really go to plan –

I was told that we had to read the KJV and that as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I had to support that claim. (I have looked or confirmation of that in our Constitution and by-laws, but have not found it.) I said that in public speaking inside the fellowship circle, I would use the KJV, but for everything else, I would readily use other versions. I was then hit with this:

God sees all and u should never be quoting from any other version except for the KJV, if u wouldnt do it church why on earth would u do it where u r reaching so many other souls…

I countered with the fact that the KJV has never saved a soul, only Christ –  but I got back this:

im not saying shame on u b/c u read them i am saying shame on u b/c u r quoting them. if u need to quote then quote from the bible that hasnt been changed and i was also saying shame on you for not standing up to this sonny person and backing us up..

Of course, the problem with that is, is that the KJV has changed, considerably. No one responded to that link.

Now, I love these brothers and sisters, I really do, and I take nothing personally – after all, I use to attack the MV’ers as well. You know, those heretical people who blindly believed that you should be able to read the bible in their own language in the modern versions.

So, on Wednesday, I posted this:

τοῦτο γὰρ φρονείσθω ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ, ὃς ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ, ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος, καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν γενόμενος ὑπήκοος μέχρι θανάτου, θανάτου δὲ σταυροῦ. – the way the Apostles wrote and read it (Phil. 2.5-8)

Yesterday, I posted from the only KJV that did not change –

Let this minde bee in you, which was also in Christ Iesus: Who being in the forme of God, thought it not robbery to bee equall with God: But made himselfe of no reputation, and tooke vpon him the forme of a seruant, and was made in the likenesse of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himselfe, and became obedient vnto death, euen the death of the Crosse. (Phl 2:5-8 1611)

And finally, this morning I posted:

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NLT)

Nothing has been said.

This is one of my favorite passages, and even more so in the NLT – and it is befuddled by the King James Version. This passage is perhaps one of the greatest ones – it covers humility, compassion, doctrine, the Gospel. This was not merely an angel or something that looked like God, but God Himself, who spoke Himself into the frailty of the human condition. He loved His creation so much, that He made of himself a servant, a slave, humble, meek, lowly, and brought the things of God down to man. He was obedient to the utter most, and died no better than a common criminal.

This is denied by the KJVO myth – when we take the commonality of the Scriptures, putting them beyond reach, puffing them up, and making an idol, something untouched, unknown, a master over all who cannot understand it, demanding for it a position of authority in the thee’s and thou’s never spoken once by the Lord and creating it as a form of God. We deny the vulgarity of the Scriptures and the humbleness of Christ when we hold to the doctrine of the KJVO myth.

We reverse course the Incarnation Who made God within reach but pushing Him further away in the myth of the KJVO.

We claim the truth and the right doctrine, yet we hold to silly man-made doctrines. We readily spout off that we should leave grandma and grandpa in the grave when it comes to other doctrines, but when it comes to this doctrine, we just as easily utter that the KJV was what we have always used. We deny the Gospel when we hold to the false doctrine of the KJVO, making ourselves hypocrites, no matter how well intentioned, in the process.

I believe that it is past time for the Church of Jesus Christ to be the head and not the tail. These Scriptures are meant to be read, and understood, not bottled up in dictionaries and a musty old language.

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10 Replies to “The Sacred Cow of KJVO (King James Version Only)”

  1. Contrary to “popular belief,” the King James Version of the Bible is NOT the Bible that Jesus read. Biblical scholarship indicates that there are many flaws with this translation as there are with other translations. I applaud you for using a translation that uses language that is more understandable in our contemporary context.

  2. Interesting, a common Tibetan Buddhist method of learning to practice compassion (agape love) is to visualize the person you meet as an incarnation of one of your mothers in a past life. In other words (though it may sound bizarre), you visualize this person as your mother who bore you as a child and this encourage you to give love in ways you may not as naturally as you would to a stranger. Similar techniques (albeit, not perhaps to you) but at a deep level, they are the same method to effect human thinking.

    So, what version of the bible would you suggest Atheists read if they are only going to read one?

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