The “Old Path” Is Not Always the Best Path – The KJV Is a Great Example!

I’ve seen it several times recently. “We are following the old paths!” I got an invitation to an “Old-Fashioned” tent revival. As the modern world rushes headlong in new, strange and frightening ways, there is a tendency for us to try to hold on to what is old, what is comfortable – that which we have known. We look back to the middle of the 20th Century as a golden age for the church (well, white Americans do – blacks probably don’t remember that era of church-approved racism, discrimination and segregation quite so fondly!).

I’ve known people (lots of them) who think that everything that is wrong with the church today is because we have abandoned the “old ways” of the mid-20th Century. The solution, then, is to simply go back to how we did them back. If we just did today what we did then, what happened then would happen now!

I think every church ought to, in some ways, be “old-fashioned.” My quarrel with the phrase is that when we talk about the old ways, we miss it by about 1900 years. For most, old-fashioned means, “the way we did things back in my day.” We ought to seek to pattern our churches after the New Testament church as much as we can. Our doctrine ought to be old doctrine, built directly from the scriptures. Our practices ought to be biblical practices translated into modern situations. But I fail to see the value in trying to take the modern church (as messed-up as it is) back to the 1950s and 1960s. Suits and ties. Hymns with a piano and organ. Spring and Fall Revivals.

And, of course, the good ol’ King James Version – the “Authorized” version that is so familiar and comfortable to the non-whippersnapper crowd.

It may be familiar and comfortable, but I cannot think of a single good reason, other than tradition, that anyone would still use the KJV in Bible study or in preaching. You make your own decisions and you obviously don’t have to answer to me, but those who hold to the “tried and true” King James Version are generally making it harder, not easier, for their people to understand the Word of God.

1) The KJV is contrary to God’s revelatory pattern. 

There was a flowery, formal language available in those days. Classical Greek was used by the educated, but the average man or women spoke Koine Greek. Koine means common. God inspired his Word in the language of the people. The KJV, when it was first translated, may have been a representation of that. But 400 years later, it is an arcane language that people don’t speak. Time for a new and better translation to help modern Americans understand the perfect Word of God.

2) The KJV confuses rather than enlightens. 

In addition to the thees and thous, the KJV uses words that are simply confusing because of the way the language has changed over the centuries. The word “conversation” now implies two people talking. In King Jimmy’s day, it meant lifestyle. The word “let” has completely changed its meaning, from “prevent” (hence, the tennis term) to “permit.”

Is not our purpose to make the Word plain? Why would we use a Bible that confuses instead of illumines? If you are constantly having to correct or explain the words and their meanings, why not use a more accurate Bible?

3) Dramatic advances in textual and morphological studies have rendered the KJV archaic.

Since 1611, there have been lots of ancient biblical texts found which give us a textual basis that is much better than the KJV. Morphological studies have advanced our understanding of words, grammar and usage, not only in Greek, but also in Hebrew and its cognates. Simply put, we understand better today what the autographa meant.

Because of this, there is a simple fact. Modern translations are superior in just about every way to the KJV. There are some exceptions to that, of course, where intentional mistranslations have been made. But is is, generally, a fact. A modern translation is a superior rendering of the meaning of the Word of God than the KJV.

4) The KJV adds to the Word.

Because of the unfortunate textual basis of the KJV (especially in some books), there are several passages that were simply added to the Word of God. The most notable was the addition of the Trinitarian verse in 1 John 5. That has absolutely no textual support until nearly 1500 years after Christ. The pericope on adultery in John 8 is another example, though the origin and authenticity of that passage is more clouded than that of the 1 John passage.

The KJV-Onlyists often accuse modern translations of taking away from the Word. The opposite is true. Because of its inadequate (by modern standards) textual basis, the KJV adds to the true Word of God in ways that we ought to oppose.

The Point

This is not meant as just an anti-KJV screed, though my experience with KJV-Onlyists (I call them KJV-idolaters when I’m in a bad mood) is not positive. We must return to the “old ways” but only if you mean the NT ways. The ways of the 1950s and 60s worked in that time, but were not God’s approved methods for all of time. As the world changes, the church must change. Our reliance on the perfect Word of God must not change. Our belief in the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, etc, must never change. But our methods must grow, change and adapt.

Passionately holding on to the past will not help the church prosper in the 21st Century. The church cannot go forward if all we are doing is looking in our rear-view mirrors.


  1. Evan says

    So what version is more accurate? I agree with some of your points. Especially about KJV being used by tradition. My father was a preacher and that was what he used. I was brought up using KJV and still do. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand and I am accused of the same things you were mentioning. I have often thought about going to a “modern” translation, but I don’t want to use anything that either takes away or adds to God’s word. I do enjoy reading your posts. They seem to be very well researched and I find myself agreeing with a lot of your opinions as well.

    • Dave Miller says

      I used the 1984 NIV for a long time. It is such good English. I study from the originals, so I liked the way it read in public. I let go of the NIV when they started monkeying with it in terms of gender neutrality.

      So, I went to the ESV. Like it pretty well. Accurate in general. Not nearly as good a public read as the NIV, but probably more accurate. The NASB is very accurate, but it is horrible English.

      I think the HCSB is a pretty good translation as well, but I never really got into using it.

      So, I would recommend, in general, the ESV or the HCSB, perhaps.

      • Bart Barber says

        Speaking of horrible English, :-) I would recommend a different word choice. The NASB is grammatically and syntactically correct. The English in this translation is not “horrible.” Perhaps you simply meant to say that it is “less accessible” or something like that?

      • Tim J. says

        Dave, when you say things about the ESV being “accurate in general” and “probably more accurate” than the NIV, what you’re ultimately saying is “the ESV is not absolutely perfect, but it is closer [to some subjective conceptive or ‘orginality’] than are other translations.”

        Your description here of the ESV (and other modern translations) highlights the real issue. KJV-onlyists are concerned that you can never hold up an ESV from a pulpit and say “THIS is the infallible Word of God!” The most you can say is, “This is a very accurate (albeit imperfect) representation of the original Word of God!” Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?

        Now, I am certainly not a KJV-onlyist. But what I generally appreciate about that crowd is its genuine insistence upon Scriptural inerrancy and infallibility. Per your original post, KJV-onlyists may be misguided and some of them under-educated, but their heart (with notable exceptions) is generally in the right place.

        If one of your goals in writing this post was to educate and convert KJV-onlyists, you should have “built bridges” by graciously acknowledging and praising their insistence upon inerrancy. As it stands, your somewhat depreciating tone will likely build more walls between your position and the KJV-onlyists.

        Nonetheless, you make some insightful points. It is obvious from this post and others that you have a genuine love of the Word of God and want to see it accurately conveyed. And I appreciate your willingness to draw the readers’ attentions to this issue.

    • says

      For accuracy –

      New Testament: the NASB is the most accurate translation from the Greek

      Old Testament: the NKJV is the most accurate translation from the Hebrew.

        • says

          I appreciated the NIV getting across some things that aren’t clear in a literal translation. E.g. Amos 8:1,2. In the NASB:

          “Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit. He said, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me, “The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.”

          Eh? How do we get from “summer fruit” to “the end”? The key is, in the Hebrew, there’s a pun involved (I’m still pondering the theological implications of God cracking a pun in the midst of pronouncing judgement). “summer fruit” is the Hebrew Kayits, and “end” is the Hebrew Kates. The NIV hints at this:

          This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. “What do you see, Amos?” he asked.
          “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered.
          Then the Lord said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

  2. Dave Miller says

    I am looking forward to the hate-mail I will get from the KJV-Only crowd. They are pretty bellicose – like africanized honey bees when disturbed.

  3. says


    Great post! One thought of yours that you stole from my brain,

    “We look back to the middle of the 20th Century as a golden age for the church…”

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. All periods of the church have their faults and should not be dogmatically followed. Great stuff!

    • says

      Josh, here’s my theory. The 50s and 60s were very successful for SBs because our church culture matched the US culture – especially in the south. As culture changed, we refused and became sort of fish out of water.

      • says

        Sounds correct. Maybe this “golden age” of the 50’s and 60’s was actually a “wicked age” of damning cultural Christianity. I believe this is evidenced by the godlessness the children of this “golden age” have embraced.

        Cultural Christianity produces generations of God-haters, not a moral majority.

        • says

          There are times I’ve wondered if “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” might be a valid description of the 50’s.

      • Dave Miller says

        Don’t take this the wrong way, Josh, but it is common for younger folks to look at previous generations as if they were somehow defective – just as the old folks look at youngsters today and think your ways are defective.

        I don’t think the Christianity of the young whippersnappers today is any more genuine and vital than the Christianity of the folks in the 50s and 60s.

        Christians were real, with a passion for the lost and a desire to reach people for Jesus. They were concerned with walking in Christ and proclaiming the word. It was genuine, not just cultural Christianity.

        As I see it, the problem was that the world changed and people held on to the cultural old ways instead of the biblical old ways.

        • Dave Miller says

          It just was not the Christian utopia that many of us old codgers remember it as being.

          • cb scott says

            There has never been a “Christian utopia.” However, Christ will return and make all things right.

            Josh, From my generation there were and are those who were and are followers of Christ with genuine, biblical faith. In your generation there are those who are followers of Christ with genuine, biblical faith.

            In my generation and yours, there were and are hypocrites, apostates, theological dwarves, the weak, the deceived, the spiritual immature, and the foolish who are all swollen up with themselves in their own self-importance. It shall be so unto the time of the appearing of the Lord.

  4. Allen Davidson says

    Great points but I fear some who disagree will consider them as an attack on themselves or traditions (at least this has been my experience).

    I believe that if you are going to preach you should go to the original language (the true old way) and do the hard work if you have the abilities and shouldn’t rely on commentaries until you have worked through it yourself. Nowadays there are so many resources and opportunities available for this that all you need to do is look (though Liberty Online isn’t the best it is better than nothing). There have been times in preaching when I had to disambiguate some of the translations in the NASB and others because the English pronouns or word order could be easily read a way that was vague. This is one struggle in preaching regardless of version but we should commend those that are clearer to the reader.

    Secondly, we need to be careful that we don’t become attached to our contemporary methods or translations because they too will be old and outmoded as society and language changes. The goal of the preacher is to bring the ancient text (the old way) to bear on contemporary culture.

  5. says

    You could make a long series of posts of various problems with the KJV and why people shouldn’t use it today. Many of those problems are also present in the NKJV as well. Neither translation ought to be used by someone who claims to be a teacher of the Bible.

  6. C L Allen says

    I’m 60 years old. When I was 12 years old, the preacher at my Fundamentalist Baptist church referred to the Revised Standard Version (RSV) as the Rotten Stinking Version. KJV only with Scofeild notes.

    • Dave Miller says

      It is always unfortunate when preachers resort to that kind of ignorant accusation. Thank you for sharing that unfortunate story. Hopefully, we can all be more reasonable in the future, right?

      By the way, one of the things I learned from Howard Hendricks is not to use study Bibles on a regular basis – at least not as a primary source. We tend to think the notes are authoritative as well as the text.

          • volfan007 says

            I have found the NKJV to be a good translation. I preach out of it now. I also like the ESV, and the NASV. I do not like the NIV, and the Revised Standard Version.

            There was a day…not too long ago….in W. TN, N. MS, W. KY, and NW Arkansas….that you’d better use the KJV when you preached, or else the people wouldnt like it….some would quit listening to you….and others would have a “talk” with you after Church…..

            Thank the Lord we’re getting away from that mentality.


          • Leslie Puryear says

            David Worley,

            It’s still that way in parts of NC. You better not preach in the mountains of NC with anything other than KJV.

          • John Wylie says

            But there is a problem men according to some on here you can’t claim to be a Bible teacher and use the King James ever or the NKJV either. SMH

          • cb scott says

            John Wylie,

            I use the NASB, have done since its birth — used its daddy prior to that as a primary Text. I am not a “KJV Only” guy. I think those who would develop and preach a sermon based on the subject of using the KJV only are just simply lacking of understanding and in reality, education in most cases.

            However, those on this comment thread or elsewhere who would claim a person can’t be a true Bible teacher and use the KJV as his primary Text are just as lacking of understanding and in reality, education in most cases.

            Some of the greatest Bible teachers and preachers who ever lived and walked on any continent of this planet used the KJV. To discredit those men for the translation of Scripture they used is a flashing, neon sign manifestation of ignorance at best.

            I tend to agree with William Thornton about this post, but I hate the Yankees and love fishing.

          • says

            @CB I’m not saying that people who used the KJV in the past were wrong to do so. It was an excellent translation for it’s time and for a long time was the only game in town.

            But today there are much better and more accurate translations available. There are errors and mistranslations in the KJV. There are readings of phrases and even complete verses included in the KJV that virtually no one claims are original to the text. And sadly, the NKJV followed the KJV in most of those places. What was simply unknown to the KJV translators was well known by the NKJV team. What I’ve heard is that the NKJV translators didn’t want to include the spurious readings in many cases but were forced to by their publisher.

            I study every week with 9 parallel translations for sermon prep and Wednesday nights. I am consistently disappointed with the NKJV’s adherence to the KJV tradition. I try and give props to different translations when one stands out among all the others as having done a particularly good job rendering a passage. Lately I’ve noticed I’ve been commending the HCSB pretty frequently. But I cannot recall one time when I have made the comment that the KJV or NKJV “do a great job of rendering this passage.” The newer translations have absorbed the good, left the bad, and made improvements all over the place.

            Using the KJV or NKJV is like using edition 1 or 2 of a seminary textbook when the publisher has just released the 6th edition.

          • John Wylie says


            The HCSB keeps almost all of those spurious passages as well. The introduction of the HCSB explains why they chose to do so.

          • says

            John W. & David W.,
            I agree. The New King James Version (NKJV) is a good translation of Scripture. It is the one I most often use.

            Some can be as extreme condemning a translation, as others who are KJV Only.

            I have no problem with someone who prefers the KJV. But I certainly disagree with the KJV Only view. God supernaturally and inerrantly inspired the original manuscripts, not a particular translation.
            David R. Brumbelow

          • says

            @John Wylie,
            the HCSB doesn’t keep the obviously spurious reading in 1 John 5:7, but the NKJV does. No modern translation that keeps that reading deserves respect as a competent translation. They knew better and still included it. I lost any respect for NKJV when I saw they had included that reading THAT THEY KNEW WAS NOT IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT.

          • John Wylie says

            Brent Hobbs,

            Your words, “Neither translation ought to be used by someone who claims to be a teacher of the Bible.”

            Asinine, ignorant, and over the top. It’s one thing to make your argument for or against various translations, many on this comment stream have done that. But it is quite another thing to imply that a person cannot be a competent Bible teacher and use either the KJV or NKJV. Simply a false statement that is demonstrably wrong.

          • John Wylie says


            I realize that I was a bit over the top myself in my response. I apologize, please forgive me.

  7. Greg Harvey says

    It reminds me of the common sermon illustration of cutting off the ends of the roast passing as a tradition from a grandmother with a short oven to daughter and then granddaughter. KJV, regrettably, reflects the authority of King James a little too thoroughly. I think we ought to call it the “Authorized Great Britain Edition” to make the point clear. 😉

    I enjoy reading the KJV. I recognize the potential problems with paraphrases from a textual standpoint, but I recognize there is value to editions such as the “Good News Bible”, “The Living Bible”, and “The Message”, though NOT as primary study bibles. For the record, since I’m not a capable Greek student–you could call me a hobbyist instead–I actually use a VERY defective interlinear that hosts that includes the Concordant Greek Text Sublinear. I know what the defects are and I know how to recognize when I’m dealing with those defects. But the combination of a useful Greek manuscript source (Scrivener’s) with any interlinear that includes Greek grammar notes with both an English transliteration AND an English translation (KJV) is extremely helpful.

    An electronic, free-to-use interlinear from Southern Baptists for both Hebrew and Greek–and preferably one that the HCSB was based on–would be extraordinarily helpful if it had that combination of features even if the license were limited to public use in SB-contributing churches. Being able to follow manuscript to syntax to transliteration to final copy would be invaluable especially for new pastors and for SS teachers who are trying to base their teaching directly on the Word.

    • Jake Barker says

      Silly boy, don’t you know…..they all want to be in one….wait for it….”ACCORD”. 😉

      • says

        Right. And the first reference to baseball in the Bible? Gen 1:1…..In the Big Inning.

        Of course, David didn’t have a car, he had a motorcycle. His Triumph could be heard throughout the land.

  8. Bruce H. says


    I do not think the majority of old fashion tent revivals were racist. There was a fear of whites among the blacks due to the non-churched whites and how they treated them. Christian whites had a difficult time changing. Today, that mentality is truly racist, but not so much then. Our society has reinforced the definition of racism and we look back viewing our grandparents as racist. They just didn’t know better. I am not justifying their actions, just their true knowledge of what racism is all about. I think they would have changed in today’s information age, given time. Black churches were flaming the fires of slavery in their sermons. I remember blacks in my neighborhood who had a prejudice of me because I was white. I shared my toys with them and they simply tore them up in front of me. I know there are good and bad blacks and whites. I just have a better understanding of each and know when to cut my losses. I’m just considered racist because I know when to call it what it is.

    I have been visiting a variety of churches recently. Where I have found a good mixture of all the races is where the music has more of a beat and the people move around and raise their hands. There is more emotion in the sermons, too. Maybe it isn’t just a racist atmosphere in the church. Maybe it is something else.

    My mother invited a Mexican couple to our dyed-in-the-white-wool SBC church in the early 60’s. They got saved. They were welcomed with open arms and became active in the church. Lena Balderas became my mother’s best friend. That is where I fell in love with Mexican food. It wasn’t TexMex, it was authentic. The preacher liked to call on her husband, Johnny, to pray. He could only pray in Spanish. There was something humble in his voice that made people cry every time he prayed. No one knew what he prayed but he never stumbled.

    When I was saved in 1979 I was asked to lead music in church plant. The pastor wanted to move to a better side of town where he could grow a better church. It was an Independent Baptist Church. Later a pastor came to that new church from Hyles Anderson College. He was more of a KJV only but didn’t push it much. That is all I had to read as I discipled myself. I would arrive at work 1 hour early to read my KJV Bible and pray. I read the KJV for about 8 years that way. Eventually, you begin to understand the kings language. I made mistakes but did my studies to overcome what I didn’t understand. I agree that the KJV 1611 isn’t necessary for today, however, to be able to cross lines I would be hesitant to draw a line against it. Thank God for King James. He took the necessary action to bring God’s word into the people’s language.

    Good post.

    • Bruce H. says


      I did further research here:

      This is a paragraph from the site:

      “In 1798, a huge gathering in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, marked the unofficial beginning of the style of worship that became known as the Camp Meeting. There were over 20,000 people–black, white, free, and bonded–joined Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist ministers for several days of non-stop, fiery religious celebration. Many of the prominent characteristics of the Cane Ridge meeting, such as outdoor location, intense emotionalism, and physical frenzy, became the model for future revivals.”

  9. Jonathan Holste says

    I do not usually comment, but I would appreciate some clarification. I agree that the KJV Only position is untenable. I also agree that it is unwise to rely solely on the KJV due to some of the issues that you have raised. Nevertheless, I have a hard time seeing how the assertion that the KJV should not “be used by someone who claims to be a teacher of the Bible” is justifiable.
    Of course, any Bible teacher should become familiar with the original languages, if possible, and consult all manner of translations/ resources. To say that the KJV should not even be used, however, is taking the case too far. The KJV has been used by many a preacher and teacher to great effect, even after the advent of modern advances in text criticism. I would much rather a preacher work primarily from the KJV while at the same time consulting the original languages and the best available Biblical scholarship, than use the NIV and trust that the translators got it right. As to your points:
    1) “Koine” is not simply equivalent with “marketplace”. It includes a wide range of styles, some quite close to Attic, some much “lower” in nature. This range is reflected in the New Testament. Some parts of the New Testament are quite “flowery”. We shouldn’t make the Bible more difficult than it has to be, but not all of the New Testament was written in “easy” Greek.
    2) As someone who reads Greek, I rather appreciate the second person singular/plural distinction in the KJV. Nevertheless, your point is valid and one should take care in reading the KJV lest its language serves to confuse (should I have said “lest”?).
    3) I am glad for advances in scholarship as well.
    4) As for the assertion that the KJV adds to the Bible, that is in some sense true, but so do all modern translations. The woman taken in adultery, the end of Mark, and other texts are all included in the ESV, NASB, etc. Those translations just use brackets and footnotes to indicate textual data. How is that any different from a KJV with textual notes (“the best mss exclude…”)? It isn’t.
    Sorry for the long post, but this really did seem like an unjustified attack on an undeniably beautiful, historically significant, and reasonably accurate translation of the Scriptures. I really enjoy your blog, but this was uncharacteristically uncharitable.

    P.S. I agree that the 1950s were not the era of Christian perfection, or even close.

    • Dee says

      Well said, Jonathan Holste…I am not a KJV advocate…but I use it most often, using my phone or laptop Strongs and my Paleo Hebrew alephbet pictograph chart for the original ‘Moses understanding’ of the word meanings. I make sure to translate my Greek into in-context Hebrew before determining the intended meaning of the author. I desire accuracy and to avoid the Alexandrian manuscripts at all costs. I feel even the original NIV is not a translation but changes verb tenses willy-nilly to promote an agenda. I like the flow of the poetry in KJV and the pronoun accuracy you mentioned. I like the accuracy of the NASB if it were only from manuscripts I trust. So just paste it all together and viola! That is why I like my phone Bible…I can switch back and forth as often as I like and look up what I need to know as I go!

      My preference would be for the churches to teach Paleo Hebrew and Greek so we can all study and realize these are not as difficult as seminaries try to make it. We must go back to the original and not just the pastors!

  10. says

    Interesting post. I have not had a single KJV only person confront me in a while. I regularly snoop around our people and those in other churches to see what they are using. This has led to the discovery that fewer KJV only users are out there from my perspective.

    I use the NKJV in my preaching simply due to the fact that regardless of what translation a person is using, the NKJV seems to be easy for all to follow. I study with numerous but personally have really found a home I think in the NKJV. My wife uses mainly NASV.

    So here is a thought, someone ought to do a study on couples and see how many couples use different translations – might be a hoot! :)

      • Dee says

        I am an odd duck indeed. Even as a teenager, I always wanted a different version than my preacher so I could see the differences in translations. I always wanted to know the variations to deepen my understanding.

        But if you are using NIV…that is the last one I would choose from the dreaded Alexandrian manuscripts. I have found too many verb tenses switched on the unsuspecting lay Bible reader who doesn’t know any better. My husband, Roy, still uses it for a print Bible, but with caution and he does look up the Hebrew and Greek. I recall the day he compared different versions with it and he was aghast!

        Most of the time we study on our laptop and phone Bibles so we can compare and look up the original languages.

  11. says

    Instead of following the path man says we must take to be effective why don’t we take the path we feel God wants us to take. We sung both the old hymns as well as today’s music. Everyone seems to be satisfied. I preach from the King James because it is what I am most familiar with and every member uses what he prefers and nobody complains. If you teach the scripture that is what’s important. I don’t care what bible you read as long as you read a bible unless it is the new Queen James version. Finally what’s wrong with setting a time on the calendar for revivals. We still have spring and fall revivals and we see many saved. We are reaching the lost and not simply stealing someone else’s sheep to build a church. So why not do what you feel led to as I will. If we both focus on doing what we are called we won’t waste our time criticizing one for worshiping as they feel led. You can go to far either way.

  12. dean says

    Dave, no real bone of contention. I am in agreement with almost everything that you said in your post. I would like to make a few observations if I can. If you read from the original language that the modern translations are translated from then you are reading from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for the OT and the latest edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament or Nestle-Arland’s New Testamentum Graece for the NT. These are viewed as the standards in modern critical editions of the Bible. For one to say these are the best sources dogmatically and condemn others they would need to do some side by side comparison with Jerome’s sources and do some level of side by side with Jerome’s Latin to determine a translation’s accuracy. On top of that they would need to do side by side comparison of their preferred resources with William Tyndale’s sources. I know no one personally who has made such an effort. I believe in the scholars who stand behind these sources from which the newer translations are translated but I have not nor am I able to do the textual criticism that needs to be done to condemn a legitimate translation. I certainly am not able to say that no serious Bible teacher should teach from the KJV. To make such a statement is to call in question the ability and results of teachers who have used this translation over the last 400 years. Such a statement could be seen as arrogant.

    A second thought is that many who hold to the “old ways” by using the KJV do so because it does have a connection with the Vulgate. The Vulgate was the Bible for almost a 1000 years. (I do find it ironic that many who hold to the KJV only among Protestants seem to almost have a hatred for Catholics.) I am in no way a KJV only guy. As a true SBC my favorite is the HCSB. However, I do have an appreciation for the KJV that you do not. It is still the most printed book in the history of the world with over a billion copies. It is the Bible that was preached from during this nation’s greatest days spiritually. I think it is foolish to say it fell from heaven and is the only version that is to be used. I think it is equally foolish to condemn it as a teachable version of the Bible.

  13. says

    The way we did church 50 years ago is what has produced what we have today. Including a largely indifferent, uneducated and plateaued SBC.

    And I DO agree with what you say here.

  14. William Thornton says

    Your usual good judgment and insight has gone AWOL and this article (I suspect a slow blog day’s response with a provocative posture on something dear to many) is pretty much a mess.

    The KJV has been dropping in popularity for a generation or more. What’s the profit in stamping it out once and for all?

    I’ve preached NASB and NIV for about 35 years in all my pastorates. In two of the three, the most popular version was KJV, no one ever complained. Folks can manage.

    You say one thing that demonstrates your (TIC) corn field ignorance: “I cannot think of a single good reason, other than tradition, that anyone would still use the KJV in Bible study or in preaching.” That you cannnot think of it does not mean there are none. Scholars and laypeople alike appreciate the dignity and gravity of the KJV along with many genuinely lovely readings. Sure, some are all goofed up but far, far more are sublime. It is a remarkable, wonderful miracle of the English language. You would be hard to live for a single day and not encounter in casual conversation some metaphor, phrase, or saying whose source is the KJV.

    Accuracy? Yeah, I am familiar with the textual matters. Textual criticism has been aided by resources unknown by the King’s crowd; however, the KJV is certainly sufficient for matters of faith and practice and while some supplemental info should be incorporated, no one need apologize for using it. It may not be the first Bible recommended for a new and particularly younger believer.

    Show me a single page of a single translation that does not add or subtract from the Word. Translator have to make decisions, compromises if you will, on virtually every phrase or sentence. (And will you be the first brave soul to jettison the long ending of Mark or the great, though weakly attested, John 8:1-11 passage? Some may say that adds to the Bible.)

    And, please, all you Greek and Hebrew neophytes, please, for your congregation’s sake, just preach the word. It really doesn’t add anything other than to your ego when you blather on about ‘aorist’ this or ‘subjunctive’ that. All you language divas are doing is parroting from some real scholar who actually understands, after a lifetime of study, the languages. Do your study and share the results. No one cares how many dusty volumes you consulted along the way.

    And really, does anyone think that if we confiscated all the KJVs and replaced them with whatever, that folks would stop whining about the church of the 50s retro? One tiny slice of our problem today may be the advocacy or use of the KJV.

    And the HCSV (which I use occasionally) does anyone think that if LifeWay wasn’t foisting that on SBC churches because they own the copyright that it would have gained a foothold? Nah.

    I am calling “strike two” on our Fearless SBCV Leader, Dave. The first was his whiff on the CP percentage/voting rights post. Now this.

    Hey, write about the Yankees, you might dribble an infield hit on that subject.

    I am so upset about this that I think I will go fishing for a few days and ponder the subject on salt water in a gently rocking boat with a gentle, warm breeze.

    • Dave Miller says

      For the record, Dr. Plodder, I never said anything about, ” stamping it out once and for all.” Those were your words.

      I said if anyone wants to use it, they are welcome, but I think the reasons for using it are more based on tradition than on a desire to accurately communicate God’s Word. I gave my reasons, I won’t reiterate them.

      In its time, the KJV was all you described it to be – beautiful and useful. That time, in my opinion, has passed. I am speaking of the preaching and teaching task, and I think the KJV is counterproductive there.

      I never said anyone should apologize nor that KJVs should be confiscated. You are arguing against that which I did not say. Again, I think it is just better for the people we preach to if we use modern translations. That is what I believe. You are certainly welcome to disagree, though I’m not sure why all the flailing about is necessary.

      If you wish to go fishing, do so. I still like you and would not wish that punishment on you, just for your aggression here. You cannot atone by inflicting the pain of fishing on yourself!

      • William Thornton says

        Heavy dose of humor, Dave. I claim for my comments here the SBCV principle of not being bound in my reply to what you wrote in the first place.

        Serious executive summary of my previous comment: I think the KJV should always be appreciated for its enormous value even if it is not the best practical choice for modern times.

        …likes the Yankees and hates fishing? I recognize a serious emotional imbalance here.

    • says

      “And, please, all you Greek and Hebrew neophytes, please, for your congregation’s sake, just preach the word. It really doesn’t add anything other than to your ego when you blather on about ‘aorist’ this or ‘subjunctive’ that. All you language divas are doing is parroting from some real scholar who actually understands, after a lifetime of study, the languages. Do your study and share the results. No one cares how many dusty volumes you consulted along the way.”

      This made me laugh. Did you realize how Romish this sounds? We are shepherds not spoon-feeders. We show them where to graze not stuff food into their mouths.

      I concur that it can be over done and used for self-righteous motives but please, this was uncalled for.

      • William Thornton says

        Joshua, this is opinion stuff (and my statement you quoted was meant to be a bit provocative) but I’ve heard a lot of preaching from different colleagues in the last year or two and am puzzled by some of the brethren who like to inflict technical Greek (seldom Hebrew) jargon on the hoi polloi, as if doing so instantly raises the depth of a sermon. It doesn’t. It often confuses and not infrequently mars an otherwise decent exposition of Scripture.

        Me genoito, bro.

        • says

          My Greek professor says we should use Greek like our underpants…underneath for support but never showing on the outside. I agree.

          • says

            One thing I have found interesting (and this is anecdotal, not scientifically proven) is that preachers I know with a little Greek preach with a lot of Greek, and the ones who have taken the language deeper preach with less reference to it. They explain it without having to throw out the “this is a subjunctive with a hina clause showing….”

            Just an observation–supports the idea that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, while a lot of knowledge can be quite helpful.

          • Dave Miller says

            My observation is that the meaning of the passage is carried 90% by context. When people try to solve issues with “the Greek” they are often taking one of several possible interps and making that the only possible one. Because few in the pews have knowledge of Greek, it is kind of like pulling rank.

            “I’m not sure that is what it says, preacher.”
            “Well, the Greek says…”

            I’ve heard the Greek referenced often when it just made me cringe.

          • Keith Price says


            I agree with the 90% comment, that might be a bit low though. Honest question…What sources do you use to help determine context?

          • says

            Mike, I’d like to use that quote. I’ll give your professor credit for it — generically if need be, but by name if you’ll send me his name. If you don’t want to post it here, you can send to me at rl_vaughn -AT-


  15. says

    I agree with William. Instead of dribbling an infield hit, you’ve whacked a foul ball. You’re really mixing your “metaphors” here with two different discussions that don’t go great together like peanut butter & chocolate. :-)

    I use the term “old paths” a good bit, even in my blog title. We had this discussion at church awhile back. The “old paths” are not what church was like when I was a boy, or the glorious days my father told me about when he was a boy. The “old paths” are the ways of the Bible, pure and simple. We need to forget the “golden days” of the 50s and 60s (that’s 1950s and 1960s for you yung’uns), and, like the title of Warren Wiersbe’s radio program, get “Back to the Bible.” (Of course, it’s a little more complicated than just saying it.)

    I posted a G. K. Chesterton quote on Facebook yesterday. Though it’s about politics, to me it applies somewhat to churches. “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” The ‘church Progressives’ come along and mess something up, and then in the next generation or two the ‘church Conservatives’ think that is the “old path” and won’t allow it to be corrected.

  16. says

    For a more literal wording and translation, I prefer the NRSV. It has its weaknesses, but it is a pretty strong translation in terms of adhering to the original language. That’s one of the reasons it reads a little bit rough. What I learned from the Biblical languages department at Southwestern in the late 80’s was to use three translations for study if you are teaching or preaching. For me, that was the NRSV, the NASB and the NKJV until I started with a senior adult class about 8 years ago. Then I switched to the HCSB, because that was cited in the quarterly and it made it easy. That translation makes me think the translators “peeked” at the NASB and NIV texts to determine their wording.

    I still own the KJV Bible my parents bought for me when I was in eighth grade. Its the only one I’ve ever owned, and I haven’t used it since high school, so it is in reasonable shape. I like the ESV, and I also like the readability of the New Living Translation, which is less of a paraphrase than the original Living Bible was. You can nit pick about anything, but modern translations operate under a much stricter standard as far as text goes, and don’t include the additions made by the KJV translators.

    • Christiane says

      I have my grandmother’s KJV.
      It’s very, very worn . . . it was already that way when it was given to me.
      I think a ‘worn’ Bible is a beautiful thing . . . it is as it should be.

      • John Wylie says

        I know you take a lot of heat around here sometimes, but you have a very elegant way of expressing yourself.

        • Christiane says

          Hi JOHN,

          my comment was made in honor of a beloved Southern Baptist grandmother of blessed memory

          perhaps if my comment was elegantly phrased,
          then that also must be a reflection on my memories of her

          thank you for your very kind remark
          and have a good Sunday

  17. says

    I used the NASB for many years (I wore out two of the old orange-cover NASBs). I appreciated its very literal translations, and nick-named it the HSV (Hair-Splitter’s Version), as the language and translation style lent itself to those who tended towards hair-splitting theology. At one point, I thought I felt God leading me to use the NIV for awhile. The transition felt a little funny (looking back now, I can compare it to my post-college computer transition from reading IBM manuals for leisure reading (nerd alert!) to reading Burroughs manuals for my new job working on Burroughs computers – the manual styles were quite different). What I eventually found was that the NIV was better for following the flow of thought of a passage, something helpful for keeping things in context, and also something a lot of people don’t get to.

    What I found even more valuable for Bible study, though, was learning something about listening, in the sense of listening to people who don’t share your own background and viewpoint, and having what you’re hearing actually bear a resemblance to what the speaker is trying to say. After all, that is to some extent the situation we’re in when listening to the Word, whose Author tells us “Your ways are not my ways, and your thoughts are not my thoughts”. You learn to pick up on the clues that tell you that the speaker is trying to get across and what you’re getting out of it don’t mesh, and to figure out why. It’s a very valuable skill when studying scripture, as you *will* have times when what you’re reading from scripture and what it actually says will not mesh.

    Nowadays, I’m using the ESV for daily reading and the NET for study. Not only do the NET’s extensive translators and study notes add a lot to study, but it has a way of producing an at times surprisingly colloquial translation (often with a translator’s note to explain why), which tends to get you thinking.

  18. volfan007 says

    A long, long, time ago, in W. TN, I stopped at a McDonalds. I said, “My good Madame, I needst 2 of thou’s best burgereths, and I doth requireth a coketh, for I thirst. I shall giveth thee pence and a farthling, and that amount shall surely be enough.”


  19. Bart Barber says

    I preach from the NASB. I have considered switching to the ESV, not because I am dissatisfied with the NASB, but because the ESV is more popular, and if I were to preach from it, perhaps not one person in my congregation would ever, ever again purchase an NIV…but I digress.

    My major purpose in commenting is to give a reason why people would use the KJV. The KJV is more poetic than almost any modern translation, and on some occasions, for some passages, poetry IS accuracy. Sometimes I read Psalm 23 aloud. I do with with an NASB open before me. What I recite out loud is the KJV that I memorized in my childhood, pretty much.

    • Dave Miller says

      My dad memorized several thousand verses from the KJV. Then, at some point, he switched to the NIV (in the 80s). When he would read verses in the NIV that he had memorized in the KJV, he would get tongue-tied. It was kinda funny.

  20. says

    Since I have a KJ version of my own name (Kenneth), I will always have a fondness for the KJV; but I mainly use ESV and NKJV.

    One “old path” thing that ought to be maintained is the principle of word-for-word translation. For example, if Paul uses the word for “flesh” in a figurative manner for the idea of the sin nature, the translator should render the word “flesh” and not try to exegete the passage for the reader by rendering it “human nature.”

    • Dee says

      Translating ‘word for word’ would have been wonderful if they had really ever done it. One English to translate one Hebrew work. That same word used to translate the Greek equivalent. So much doctrinal dissension would have been avoided. But even so, I prefer taking it all back to the Paleo Hebrew pictographs to understand the original agri-biological intent of the words.

      • says


        I did not mean that “word-for-word” should be the translator’s strict rule, but rather, that the translator should be committed to getting as close to that ideal as is possible. It is a philosophy of translating that differs from the more recent philosophy of “dynamic equivalence.” And yes, the Bible has been translated that way in many versions, such as KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, etc.

  21. Bruce H. says

    I wonder if some men used the KJV only so they could preach or teach as if they know more than the common people, as if they really understand the KJV. One example is, a preacher, in the day, tried to prove that tongues had ceased in 1 Cor. 13:8 because “that which was perfect” (the Bible) had come using 1 Cor. 13:10. At the time, even I was scratching my head on that stretch of the imagination.

  22. C L Allen says

    Another thing that my Fundamentalist church said was that the seminary should be referred to as the “cemetary”. Kibitzing on y’alls discussion is interesting as although I majored in Biology (was schoolteacher) I had a minor in American Litereature. We had all sorts of discussions about what the author Really Meant. Like, was Moby Dick a Christ figure or a Satan figure? My pet theory was that the whole book turned on chapter 10 where Father Mapple preached on Job’s travail. I contend that Ahab’s main problem was that he would not accept punishment. We really had fun with Emily Dickinson’s poetry which apparently was discovered hidden in an attic and never intended for anyone but Emily ” her ownself”.
    English majors need a copy of the KJV or Geneva bibles. Puritans didn’t trust the KJV. As an English minor all I had to deal with was Standard english but you guys are dealing with about 4 layers of language with a framework of millenia of cultural development. I have had to memorize Caedmon’s Hymn in Old English and the first 40 lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English but y’all are so far above me in these discussions that I am like Charlie Brown when the Peanuts characters were commenting on the shapes of clouds. “I was going to say a duckie and a horsie”. I do have some appreciation for what you folks are dealing with.

    • Christiane says

      nice to hear Emily Dickinson mentioned here . . .

      she read deeply of the KJV (there is a KJV inscribed to her when she was twelve, so we know she had one)

      here is one of her beauties:

      ” Given in Marriage unto Thee
      Oh thou Celestial Host—
      Bride of the Father and the Son
      Bride of the Holy Ghost.

      Other Betrothal shall dissolve—
      Wedlock of Will, decay—
      Only the Keeper of this Ring
      Conquer Mortality—”

      (Emily Dickinson)

      she is a favorite of mine and many,
      and for anyone who has ever questioned the existence of the human spirit and the human soul,
      even a brief examination of her writings can affirm that she indeed was undoubtedly gifted with both

  23. C L Allen says

    Here’s another thought ,apparently my Lit minor has awakened. If Moby Dick was written in a Puritan mileu and Puritans were Calvinists, then Ahab was predestined to lose his leg. He was destroyed because he didn’t accept his predestination and embraced Arminianism and possibly semi-Pelagianism. (I apologize, it’s early on Saturday morning)

  24. Dee says

    You should be proud…when I learned as a young SBC child and teen and continued to hear from you in later years how the Baptist tradition is to emulate the era of the disciples…I took you a little too seriously. I really believe that I am to do as Jesus and the disciples did and not be swayed by the later decisions of Constantine and the popes and take the reformers ideals to heart so much that I do the feasts and Sabbath:)

    When one just picks up a Bible and reads and does not have someone to sway them into traditions that came up later…that is what I want to be. I want to understand the Hebrew and the Greek as it was intended…Hebraicly. I want to look at the Paleo Hebrew pictographs in regard to a Hebrew word and ask God ‘what did this particular word mean to Moses when he shared it with Your people?’ That is possible now.

    The resurrection of the Hebrew language to modern usage is also a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy: “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of ????”(Zephaniah 3:9)
    Every letter of the Hebrew alephbet is in the preceding verse.

    The Hebrew word for “letter” is ot (????), which can also mean “sign” or “wonder.” When the Creator spoke the world into existence this means he used a divine language to do it…one which transcends time and space. Messiah is ‘devar elohim’…the Word of God made flesh. Acrostics are embedded in Esther which spell God’s name several times…weren’t we all taught God’s name was not there?

    The Paleo Hebrew alephbet was set aside/replaced during the time of the Babylonian captivity…Daniel’s time…when he was instructed in Daniel 12:4 as follows: “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

    This time has come. The pure language is there for us to find. Interestingly, an elephant is spelled in pictures as ‘staff which is both mouth and hand’, eretz /earth is spelled strong head with fishhook (gravity)! An example of how this works is the root word ‘ab-‘ meaning father and spelled aleph (ox/strong leader), bet (tent/house/family). So the meaning is the spelling. Mother is spelled ‘im-‘ aleph (strong), mem (flow, womb, river). This works on so many levels…she births, she cries, she is often the flow of emotions. This is the root for amen (add a nun for seed the continuance of the strong flow, emet (truth….add a tav for the sign of the strong flow…aleph is the first letter of the alephbet, mem the middle, tav the last…so truth is the first last and all in between!!!), emunah (faith…is amen plus the letter hey [window,see, behold] which implies behold the strong flow is continuing into the future with an heir)!!! Every Hebrew word works this way. Your Bible will open up to you in exciting ways you never imagined.
    And there are other ways to study like chiastic structures (a-b-c-d-c’-b’-a’) comparisons, etc. Various scriptures have the same structures if you look in the Hebrew for what verbs are used in the stories. This was a mnemonic device for oral recall, however God also ordained these so we will see patterns he wants us to notice. Look at all the ‘say you are my sister’ stories…and compare the variations and consider how they relate to messianic prophecy. Look at all the stories where a child dies, almost dies, possibly dies (Jephthah’s daughter, Ishmael, Shunamite’s son, Isaac, etc.) and is resurrected/yet lives/is delivered…or in the case of Jephthah’s daughter the olah is generally considered a whole burnt offering that goes ‘up’ but there is a possibility that the meaning of the word doesn’t necessarily mean she was killed but set apart to go ‘up’ to mountain and serve God for her whole life as a virgin. The important part is not to decide which happened but to notice there is a sense of death and yet raising ‘up’!

    Jeremiah 6:16 in the NIV just for you, Dave:
    This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

  25. Dee says

    And Paleo Hebrew is simpler to learn:) A child can tell what most of the letters sound like…because many of them are just English letters turned on their sides.

  26. Dee says

    So…easy enough for a child (western language heritage) to pronounce and the letters are pictures that tell you the meaning.

    It was hidden (PLANTED) till the time of HARVEST!

    Way too cool!

  27. Dave Miller says

    A question for all of you guys.

    Is the KJV Only not a strong force where you are? In Sioux City, we have an aggressive (obnoxious) guy at one of our local indy fundy Baptist churches who harasses the rest of us.

    From comments, it seems that the KJV-Only crowd may be stronger around here than in other places.

    • says

      Not in this town. There’s me and a liberal Methodist who doesn’t actually need a Bible.

      Now, there’s an isolationist group 10 miles down the road, and they useth only the King James, and also useth not modern medicine.

      But they don’t exactly interacteth with the wide world.

    • Jonathan Holste. says

      I don’t think I have ever actually met a real KJV only advocate, and it certainly hasn’t caused any problems in my experience. Perhaps I can better understand your post in light of the fact that, for you, this is an active issue. I love the KJV. I think it is an absolutely beautiful, faithful translation of its underlying texts and, you are right, I like the “tradition” of it. If, however, I had someone berating me for availing myself of modern advances in text criticism, and telling me that the KJV is the perfectly preserved Word of God in English (demonstrably false), I might have a different perspective.

      Nevertheless, I think we should be careful to not launch KJV only-esque attacks on the version itself which might undermine people’s faith in their Bible. If a sudden catastrophe were to wipe out all of the advances in Biblical scholarship over the last four centuries, and we were left only with King Jimmy, the English speaking church would still have an edifying translation of Scripture, dependable for all matters of faith and practice (but I would sure miss my UBS4).

    • Keith Price says

      In the NW there are pockets of KJV only (when I speak of KJV Only I do not mean those that favor the translation, but those that think it is the only inspired English translation or that it is the newly inspired word of God). There was an association in the NW that took a beating over that issue.

      In our little town the issue seems to come and go. Right now we are in a “go” phase as a church has made a theological shift to Romans to Philemon only for Gentiles based upon “rightly dividing the word” (vs. rightly handling) in Timothy. That phrase is found in the KJV.

      I get calls occasionally from folks that want to know what Bible we have in our pew. I know what they mean and I don’t have the heart to tell them that we don’t have pews. True story…

      One time I got a call –
      “What book do you preach from?”
      I answered, “the Bible.”
      “No, what booook.”
      “Right now I am in Ephesians, but I’ll preach from any book of the Bible” I could sense his frustration growing.
      “No, no, I mean what language do you use?”
      “No, no, what English do you use?’
      “No, no, I mean what English version of the Bible do you use?”
      “Oh! You want to know if I’m using the 1611 KJV authorized version of the Bible…the answer is no. I generally use the ESV, but I use several translations including the KJV for study and clarification.”
      “What’s an ESV?”

      He actually attended our church for awhile during their short stay in our town. After several conversations he appreciated my commitment to the Word, even if he didn’t like my language.

    • Bart Barber says

      I’ve been preaching from the NASB since 1992 in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. I’ve had exactly one complaint, from a prospective (not really) new member in Texas in about 1995.

      • Dave Miller says

        To clarify, Bart, you’ve had only one complaint about your preaching, or the fact that you are preaching from the NASB?

        Just wondering….

    • says

      Not a strong force here in northeast North Carolina. The independent Baptists around here seem to range from KJV-only to KJV-preferred. But they don’t have much to do with anyone but themselves. In Southern Baptist churches, I’ve never come across any KKV-onlyism around here.

      I did ask a Gideon one time why they still handed out KJVs. He told me because it was “the best” translation. Other Gideons I’ve talked to had a more realistic take on it: if they switched, some of their financial support might dry up.

      • Bruce H. says


        My dad was a Gideon in the 80’s. You are correct, however, they are handing out NKJV now.

        • cb scott says

          Bruce H.,

          I have spoken at numerous Gideon functions throughout the years. I spoke at their International Convention in Dallas last year. I am pretty sure that they still distribute the KJV.

          • Dave Miller says

            They still distribute the KJV, but they also distribute other translations. At least the Gideons around here do.

          • cb scott says

            That explains why Jack Hyles has never been at any of the Gideon functions wherein I was a speaker. He didn’t like dirty water.

          • says

            Is it possible that at some level this is a financial issue (apart from the possibility of losing contributors if they switched)? The KJV (at least in the U.S. – I understand the situation is different in the UK) is in the public domain. They can give it away solely for the cost of printing. The more modern translations are, by and large, still under copyright, and the publishers will want royalties. This means that for a given amount of money, you can give away more KJVs than you can more modern versions. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s one of the things keeping them to the KJV.

            That’s one speculation. I would expect, too, that you may get different reasons from different Gideons. Not every Gideon is going to be party to the decision-making on this, but being human, if asked, they’ll come up with what would be their reasons for doing it. If you want to get the real motive for the decision, you’d have to find those who were actually party to the decision, and ask them.

          • Bruce H. says


            Somehow I obtained a pocket Gideon Bible in the NKJV. I keep it in my back pocket and read it. It is all marked up and I need to start over again.


            You make a good point about the copyrights. That may be the best argument on the KJV. You really can’t copyright God’s word, or you shouldn’t.

          • cb scott says

            Bruce H.,

            Don’t let the disciples of Jack Hyles catch you with it in your pocket. They might boil your stinkin’ feet for stepping in their water.

          • Bruce H. says


            Lol. I can go toe to toe with them in a nice way. We have to confront them in love so they understand the right side better. They do love the Lord, but with a very legalistic approach. Gentleness has worked for me in a couple of cases.

          • Dale Pugh says

            When I asked about the distribution of the KJV by Gideons I was told by the Gideons that the issue was indeed one of paying for copyrights. That’s the sole reason for them continuing to distribute the KJV.
            Personally, I haven’t had a Gideon in my church in years. They aren’t that active around my area anymore.

  28. John Wylie says

    In Oklahoma even in SBC circles there is still a very vocal KJV crowd albeit a small crowd. The Indepedent Baptists depending on which variety are probably 90% hardcore KJV here. I personally use the KJV on Sunday mornings out of respect for my older people and any issues I encounter in this version I just explain from the pulpit.

  29. volfan007 says


    In the Mid South(W. Tn, W. KY, NW Arkansas, N. MS), in the more rural areas, using the KJV is still a big deal in some Churches. It’s fast going away, but there’s still some Churches around where you’d better use the KJV, or else, they will not be happy. Les said above that it’s still that way in some parts of North Carolina.


    • cb scott says


      Since being in GA, I have preached in two local churches who demanded the KJV only.

      I did not use it. I used the NASB as always. The leadership of one of the churches asked me to come back the following Sunday and stated that since I knew their belief about the use of the KJV only, I should use it when preaching. They said they thought I was a “good preacher” and if I would use the “right Bible” I would be even better.

      I told the fellows that I would have to decline the invitation under those circumstances. To yield to the requirement would be hypocrisy on my part. We parted on peaceful terms.

      However, I must confess I was tempted to give in to their demands. Those folks really did serve a grand pot-luck lunch after the morning worship service. :-)

  30. Chief Katie says

    I have encountered a good many KJVOnlyists. My step-father has descended into it. **sigh** According to him, my ESV, NIV ,NASB SIX LETTERED S* A* V* I* O* R is nothing short of the son of perdition.


    Truly, my step dad believes this:

    The seven-letter Saviour is the only begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. The six-letter Savior is the son of perdition, the anti christ. He wants to be like the most High (Isaiah 14:14,) but not in a good way, but in an evil way. He is not a follower. He’s a counterfeiter. Therefore his final destination is the lake of fire. The new versions, along with the new age movement, and some of the King James Bible counterfeits are preparing the way for this six-letter so called Savior. That’s the way he will spell his name, S-a-v-i-o-r not S-a-v-i-o-u-r. No thank you Satan. I’m sticking with the seven-letter Saviour as portrayed in the old black Book that I inherited from my forefathers.

    There are many other things going on by the worldly publishing companies. Almost all of them have hardened their hearts against the standard text of the Holy Bible. They do not believe God actually had His hand upon it much less wrote it. They treat it as a product of men. That is why they do not hesitate to publish all the different new versions. Nor do they hesitate to change the old King James and still call it the King James. If a person can’t see the fingerprints of God upon this Book then he is either clouded in the cabassis or he is as lost as a duck in the desert with his head in the sand!

    • Dave Miller says

      That is amazing. To argue that the British spelling (with the u) as a matter of inspiration is mind boggling.

      • says

        The other day I came across as unascribed quote in the Linux ‘fortunes’ file:

        “Most people prefer certainty to truth”

        I don’t know who first said it, but he had some wisdom. And the mechanisms some people resort to to manufacture their “certainty” can indeed be mind-boggling.

      • says

        But, Dave, everyone knows that 7 is a perfect number and 6 just misses the mark, unless you’re talking about the mark of the beast…

        Don’t you know Dave, all 7 letter words are holy and 6 letter words are from Satan. In fact, after this post, I’m going to start using only 7 letter words. If I have to use something less, I will do so begrudingly; and those 6-letter words will be off-limits!

        (Mulitples of 7 are okay, too… so we’re good with 14 and 21 letter words, but woe to the one who uses 12 or especially 18 letter words)

        • Dave Miller says

          I think 18 would be the worst. Twelve – you’d have an excuse. Say you were thinking of the apostles, or the tribes or something.

          • Chief Katie says


            It gets worse. Just a bit from Wiki:

            Ruckman believes a fetus does not become a living soul until it is born and takes its first breath.[20] He believes in Unidentified Flying Objects and aliens, specifically blue aliens with blue blood, black aliens with green blood, and gray aliens with clear blood.[21] Ruckman believes the Central Intelligence Agency has implanted brain transmitters in children, old people, and African-Americans and that the agency operates underground alien breeding facilities.[22]

            In 1984, Ruckman wrote, “Negroes have to be carried. Where they are left to themselves they resort to mugging, rape, slavery, dope traffic, and eventually cannibalism.[23] In 1994, he wrote that “no matter how much integration is carried out, the IQ of blacks is always lower than whites.”[24] In 1997, Ruckman claimed that Attorney General Janet Reno had drawn up a list with his name on it and predicted that the “Government Mafia” would make a hit on him during “the next two or three years.”[25]

            I can only conclude that the governments ‘hit’ upon him, failed.

            Ruckman believes that the KJV represents what he calls “advanced revelation”. That means that the KJV rises above the level of the original manuscripts since he believes it is completely inspired. He rejects the Chicago statement on Biblical inerrancy.

            This young man was notified personally by the Holy Spirit, that some KJV’s are counterfeits.


          • Christiane says

            so Ruckman is from what theological background exactly (if you trace it back to its origin) ?

          • cb scott says


            His theological background is somewhat like yours. He makes it up as he goes along.

          • John Wylie says


            I’m not sure how to answer that because it’s hard to nail down. As a lost man he claims to have dabbled in Zen Buddhism, but he was led to Christ by an Independent Baptist Evangelist by the name of Hugh Pyle. He theological perspective would be dispensational, revivalistic type Baptist theology. But as I said in an earlier post he is more of a hyper dispensationalist now with some very strange views.

      • Bruce H. says

        I guess Elvis is King, Peter Ruckman is Warlord. I have heard him preach. His chalk talk sermons are pretty good. I stopped by his church on a Disney trip in the early 80’s. It was a Wednesday night. The church was packed and Peter Ruckman was not there. One thing I liked was when the music director called out the hymn number everyone knew what it was and a round of Amen followed. Everyone sang loud. I could hardly hear myself singing. What would that be like? Believe it or not, it was a very worshipful evening for me. They didn’t even push the KJV1611 only issue. Just good old fashion preaching. I enjoyed it and it is one of my good worship memories.

        • cb scott says

          I remember Peter Ruckman from the early 70s. He was a racist then. He is older now. Maybe he has changed, hopefully. If I am not mistaken, he also had some really strange ideas about when the humanity of the unborn. All-in-all, he was basically a jerk back then. However, I know nothing of him now. Men do change with time and often for the better. Maybe Peter Ruckman is one who has changed for the better after these many years.

          • Bruce H. says


            He said that the South viewed blacks individually and the north viewed blacks as a group. I do not know much more about him on the race issue than that. I was still a young Christian and listened to a wide variety of preachers at that time. He was pretty much set in his ways, too. He, Lester Roloff and Jack Hyles led me to believe they would never change their minds about anything they believed. I’m sure Peter Ruckman is still somewhat of a jerk.

          • cb scott says

            Bruce H.,

            He made some pretty racist comments back in the time I mentioned. However, as I stated, maybe he has changed in his latter years. Some people do.

            As for the other two you mentioned, they were different men entirely than Ruckman. Seemingly, they both died pretty much as they had lived.

          • Dave Miller says

            I’ve certainly heard nothing of any changes in Ruckman’s approach. In what I read, he seemed to think that the way to honor Christ was to eviscerate verbally anyone who disagreed with him.

            Pretty harsh stuff.

          • Bruce H. says


            Maybe Ruckman has seasoned some over the years.

            I was leading the music for a pastor named Johnny Pope in Northwest Houston. On October 31, 1982 we had Lester Roloff preach that day. I was able to meet him personally and pray with him before we began the service. Bro. Roloff spoke softly and kindly to me and his prayer was as if we were in front of Jesus. When he preached, he was full of power and the Spirit. He died in that plane crash 3 days later. They said he had his KJV Bible clutched against his chest when they found him.

            Ruckman was not like Roloff or Hyles theologically, he just believed what he believed as strongly as the others.

          • says

            “he seemed to think that the way to honor Christ was to eviscerate verbally anyone who disagreed with him.”

            Wouldn’t that put him in vigorous rebellion against 2 Tim 2:24.25)?

          • Bruce H. says


            I can’t remember if Johnny Pope was a native to Alabama, but I thought he was from Florida. The word was, he preached like Billy Sunday.

          • Dale Pugh says

            Ruckman’s approach is probably best illustrated by the fact that he’s been divorced twice and married three times. I’m pretty sure that such a lifestyle is not supported by ANY version of the Bible, especially when one is as legalistic as he is.

  31. Dave Miller says

    I have to admit that my experiences with KJV-Onlyists has been so unpleasant that I tend to be a little aggressive in my approach to the KJV.

    I don’t hate the KJV. I appreciate its history and the poetic beauty and all of that. But I stand by my sense that the best way to communicate God’s Word to people today is to use a good modern language translation.

    However, if someone accused be of being overly aggressive in my approach to the KJV because of my interactions with King James Onlyists, I would deny it, but know in my heart that there is probably something to that!!

  32. C L Allen says

    Writings of Peter Ruckman were a part of my life from 7th – 10th grade. Roughly 1964- 67. One was entitled “The Mark of the
    Beast” which insisted that Communists were in a conspiracy with the Catholic church to produce racial integration. We also had Clarence Larkins Dispensationalist volume with major fold-out pages. The Gregorian calender was in error, so you had to deduct 7 years for that mistake. Then 7 years for the Tribulation so the rapture was going to be in 1986. I wonder what the new numbers are. 1000 year dispensation periods. Since this is 2013 I guess we have missed both the Rapture and the Tribulation.

    • Bill Mac says

      I don’t know anything about Ruckman but it sounds like he might have been the inspiration for Jack Chick.

      • John Wylie says

        I always appreciated Dr. Ruckman’s zeal for souls but his views on a lot of things are quite a bit out of kilter. He is what is called a hyper dispensationalist. I have a recording of him saying that people who live during the tribulation will be saved by faith and their works. And he was so KJV that he honestly taught that it was superior to the originals Greek manuscripts. He is reported to have said where the KJV and the Greek disagree the KJV corrects the Greek.

        • John Fariss says

          I remember that someone put out a bunch of pamphlets correcting the Greek from the KJV–actually, photocopied, typewritten sheets, using English characters for Greek words as I recall–back when I was in Seminary. It was anonymous, unsigned both as to author and deliverer. We all had had a good laugh going into whatever New Testament or Greek class that Dr. Don Cook taught that they were left outside of.


  33. Bill Mac says

    In my early years as a Christian I read from the KJV and the Living Bible. I use the NKJV now, mainly because once you are familiar with the KJV, it sticks in your head and in your mouth. NIV and NASB just don’t taste right.

    • Bruce H. says


      Same here. Nothing against the other translations, they read more like a storybook and it is difficult to translate it in my mind. I did change to the NKJV and have enjoyed it very much. When I have any difficulty or need more information I can pick up another version, commentary or go online.

  34. Jess Alford says


    I’ve noticed you have walked up to the edge of the cliff several times,
    but this time you have jumped. The KJV is the only true Bible, this is why
    I walk in the old path, the path the early church walked in.

    Dave, you are speaking in an unknown tongue, too much learning has made you mad. I thought everyone has heard the song, The KJV that’s the book for me. Hast thou not heard the song? Didst thou sleepeth in class
    when the master taught this part? Thou art altogether a lunitick.

    • cb scott says

      Bruce H.,

      I wonder if Dr. Hyles had the choir to sing “Dirty Water” by The Standells before he preached that sermon.

    • Jess Alford says

      Bruch H,

      Wow! The guy is concrete in what he believes. We need more of that today.

      • Bruce H. says


        He preached at our Annual Bible Conference. He was always scheduled to close each of the three (3) nights he was there. It was good at the time, but I would have difficulty hearing that type of preaching every service.

        He preached one message called, “Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out”. It was about the two (2) tribes that stayed on the East side of Jordan. One thing he said was that he would never name a church East Side Baptist Church and never would preach in one by the same name.

        • Bruce H. says


          Let’s do a play on names. Moses and David were murderers and David committed adultery. There are more names we can drop here as you know. If we did our research we would only have a few examples we could point to. Hebrews 11 only speaks of their faith, not their sin. I am not necessarily promoting Jack Hyles but if someone doesn’t know his past and hears a good sermon that motivates them we do not need to throw acid.

          Same goes for Dale Pugh below.

          • Dale Pugh says

            Bruce, if you’re willing to drink his poison, go ahead. I won’t. Same goes for Jack Schaap, his successor. The fact is that there is nothing to show that he EVER repented or even acknowledged his sin. I don’t think you can say that of Moses or David. That’s a matter of the heart.
            Sorry, brother, but you can’t bury your head in the sand.

          • Bruce H. says

            Dale Pugh,

            If a Christian fails, the discipline of the church would determine if they repented or not. We should not be involved or say anything about anyone. That is the main problem within the SBC when addressing sin issues in the church. If you sin, and it is public information, a public apology and repentance is necessary or further disciplinary action is necessary. It would also require public forgiveness and restoration from the church body. That is who we are. We must love the body of Christ the same as we love ourselve and we should be practicing it by loving our wife like we love our own body. Someone needs to do a post on how we deal with sin in the church when the sinner repents. If there is no evidence that the sinner repented in FB Hammond then the church didn’t do its job and the church should be dealt with. Teach your church how to deal with sinning Christians so your church doesn’t fail the test on day. They are either our brothers/sisters in Christ, or not. It is bad enough that they sinned in the first place, no need rubbing salt in it unless what they did was due to Satan entering them. BTW, he cannot enter a Christian. I do not see this as sweeping it under the rug or drinking poison, I see this as how Christ has responded to my sin. He and I are the only one’s who know about. It is under the blood and it is as far as the east is from the west . When we repent, we are as pure and clean in God’s eyes as the day we were born again. Wish more people were like Christ.

          • Christiane says

            thing is, the Church is taught by Our Lord to pray collectively (in community) in this way:
            ‘forgive us our sins,
            as we forgive those who trespass against us’

            to pray this ‘as Church, collectively’ is way, way different
            from the private confession of a person to God, who having been convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, and having repented, and seeks God’s forgiveness . . .

            forgiveness before God must be sought by a person through the intervention of the HOLY SPIRIT
            . . . the process? the Holy Spirit points to Christ, and facing their Crucified Lord, a sinner is then enabled to be convicted, and to sincerely repent of his sins, and then may seek God’s forgiveness for them

            the conviction of a sinner by the Holy Spirit is so very different from someone being accused publicly and ‘tried’ by a group of his peers . . .
            only the Holy Spirit brings about true repentence

          • Bruce H. says


            As a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives in me. I am convicted the moment the sin is committed, unless I have been sinning for a while and I am numb. You are right that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, however, the conviction is not the same every time. Just knowing I have sinned means I know I am unclean and need to simply look at the serpent on the pole for cleansing. Knowing how my sin affected Christ on the cross brings a contriteness in my soul and there is an immediate response. The problem I have is that the church does not view the sin of others the same way we must see our own sin. The church is the body of Christ and we must work together to address the infectious sin for the purpose of restoration. We seek amputation first before we seek a cure. Then we justify why we amputated by disgracing the amputated limb.

      • Dale Pugh says

        Hyles’ drinking water, his words, was polluted by his own stinking feet, his life. If you hold him in high regard for his zeal or so-called “powerful preaching” with no regard for the man’s well-documented ungodly lifestyle, then you have a problem.
        “21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
        22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
        23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
        24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
        25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
        26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”–
        That’s from James 1, 1611 King Jimmy.

        • Jess Alford says


          God can use a false prophet to utter right words, if Hyles lived and
          unGodly lifestyle. Things did start going down hill when all these new versions of the Bible were written.

    • Frank L. says

      Unfortunately, Jack Hyles’ life was twisted and crooked and undermines any position he took.

      I do admire his way with words, however.

      • Adam G. in NC says

        Havent seen you around here lately. Hope everything is going OK. Welcome back!

        • Frank L. says

          Thanks Adam. I have been in a hard place lately and have been focusing on prayer.

          Blogging became a distraction that was turning deadly spiritually.

          Thanks for the note of encouragement. I plan to be very cautious in spending time blogging. It gets to be too much like “vain questioning” too easily for me.

          God Bless, All

          • Frank L. says

            PS. I use the Holman. It is a very good Bible but has an “isolationist” feel to it. Not many people outside of SB’s seem to use it.

            I use it because our SS lit uses it. I am not sure having a SB version is helpful. I am considering a change. Maybe ESV or NLT.

            Yea. I know. Two sides of the ocean.

          • Greg Harvey says

            I use the Holman when confronting Southern Baptists with what the Bible actually SAYS. The rest of the time I lean towards the 1984 NIV though also enjoy NKJV and NASB. Dr. Virtus Gideon proved beyond a shadow of doubt to me that the RSV is the version a scholar ought to trust. And that includes understanding that the translation of the Hebrew “almah” as “young woman” v. the traditional “bethulah”. For a far more thorough review of strengths and weaknesses of the RSV, I offer this page.

            Intentionally mistranslating the Bible–or inconsistently translating the same word due to the translators understanding of context–strikes me as a weakness, not a strength. That page also mentions occurrences in the same discussion where the KJV ends up with different renderings in English of the same Hebrew word. It isn’t that such a thing shouldn’t happen, but I’ll offer that it ought to be rare.

            A really well-constructed interlinear should shoot for transliteration in the interlinear and then address the jump from literal transliteration to selected idiomatic renderings in notes near the provided translation when it can be explained. A good Greek or Hebrew student will always translate first to a transliteration, then typically diagram the sentence before even reviewing the first commentary. A weak student will always start with the commentary. Most preachers are not, specifically, students of the biblical languages but have been EXPOSED to the biblical languages if they have a degree from college or an MDiv with biblical languages.

            Any preacher who has the time to be an excellent student of the biblical languages probably is teaching someone about those languages in some kind of formalized setting. I doubt there is any preacher that regularly comments here that would make the claim they always translate from scratch prior to the first preparation from the English or the first visit to “helps” references.

            For the more casual student of the biblical languages, you need a reference edition that does as little damage to the transliteration as is practically possible. I’ll offer the RSV, again, as a good choice for that need. No: I don’t preach. I’m not sure I could even locate my RSV in my current abode. But if I did preach, that would be my primary study text based solely and specifically on the recommendation of Dr. Gideon. His argumentation of the case for the RSV was without flaw.

  35. Adam G. in NC says

    Churches ’round here (halfway between Raleigh and the VA line) arent known as being KJVOnly. But, when there is a dispute the KJV is usually produced as the “right” version. You just dont dare dispute that unless you want to be called a kook.

    • Adam G. in NC says

      I personally use the ESV and HCSB.

      When I was in school, I actually had a Harvard Divinity trained professor attempt to evidence the inaccuracy of the KJV by producing the old Shakespeare-in-Palm-46 conspiracy. As I look back on it now, I cant help but think, “that’s the best she could do?”

  36. says

    Jack Hyles originally believed the historic Christian view that the original manuscripts of the Bible were inspired and inerrant, not a particular translation (though during this time he used the KJV). Somewhere in the 1980s he changed to an extreme view of KJV Only; even to the point he believed you could only get saved by the KJV.

    Jack Hyles also had a multitude of other indiscretions:

    David R. Brumbelow

    • Bruce H. says

      David R. B.,

      It may be true, and I really have not heard of the other gossip about him, but he was one of the greatest and most effective soul winners I have ever heard. I knew of him and heard him personally through the mid and late 70’s. Do you think we all have some indiscretions toward God?

      “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19,20.

      “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.” Proverbs 11:30

      I will not say anything against him until I supersede his work for Christ in the area of soul winning. I may not agree with his methods or other things, but they worked for him. I’m sure he was not Calvinist either.

      • says

        Bruce H.,
        I heard Jack Hyles preach a number of times in the early 1970s in Houston, TX. I have some of his books autographed.

        Even back then I noticed a couple of things: He thought very, very highly of himself (and taught others to practically worship him), and he never witnessed to someone but what they got saved. Every single time. Made you wonder about his credibility. In other words, he was not the soul-winner he claimed to be.

        Since then much more has come out (not just gossip) about how he did not live up to what he preached. I would urge you to read the information in the link above.
        His daughter also wrote an open letter:

        These are charges backed up by multiple witnesses.
        Frankly, I have no respect for such a preacher.
        David R. Brumbelow

        • Bruce H. says

          David B. R.,

          Did you happen to attend a Bible Conference at Greenwood Village Baptist Church whose Pastor was Harold Clayton? That is where I attended in the 70’s and heard Jack Hyles. I never heard of any other church he preached in.

          I have recently heard some of what you have said. One of the things I noticed in Hebrews 11 regarding the cloud of witness, none of their sins were mentioned, just their faith. That has inspired me to do the same.

          • says

            Bruce H.,
            Yes, that is where I heard Jack Hyles, as well as his son, David Hyles (who later had to leave the ministry).

            I also heard a number of the other leading Independent Baptist preachers there, and a few SBC. My dad preached there in the early days of the Greenwood Village Bible Conference. My brother and I also preached at Greenwood Village in the past.

            By the way, I have great respect for Independent Baptists like John R. Rice, Robert L. Sumner, Lee Roberson, etc. Not so for Jack Hyles or Jack Schaap.

            In some situations I believe we are to follow the advice of Paul:
            Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. -1 Timothy 5:20
            David R. Brumbelow

          • Bruce H. says

            David R. Brumbelow ,

            Your name has a familiarity to it. I just cannot place it. I attended Greenwood Village Baptist from 1972 to 1980 and then I was asked to help start the Northwest Greenwood Village Baptist Church in northwest Houston as the music director. That is where I met Johnny Pope and led music for him for 7 years. The area where GVBC was located began to go down and Bro. Clayton wanted to relocate. Bro. Clayton moved toward Tomball, TX and started another church in Tomball.

            I remember Sammy Allen and Ed McAbee who were great pulpiteers. Sammy Allen would quote over 200 verses per sermon while running back and forth on the podium at octave levels that made the sermons stick in the brain. Ed McAbee could come up with the funniest anecdotes related to the subject he was preaching. My earliest memory of this type of preaching was at the GVBC Bible Conference when I was 4 or 5 (1958 or 1959) in the wooden building that had ceramic-based screw-in light bulbs. I remember the loud singing and preaching. I think I remember it so clearly because I smashed my finger in the wooden folding chair I sat in.

            My Sunday School teacher was the father of Mark Lowery. at GVBC. Mark and I are about the same age and he was also in the class. Mark’s stories are accurate, but inflated for humor. Mark is truly ADHD and, on the other hand, I am ADHLAS (Attention Deficit, Hey Look A Squirrel)

          • says

            Bruce H.,
            Seems like Johnny Pope was just getting really well known about the time we moved from Houston in 1976. My dad, Joe Brumbelow, was pastor of Doverside Baptist Church on Berry Road in Houston. In the early days, the Greenwood Village church bulletins were run off on the memograph machine at Doverside (the cutting edge of technology!).

            I did have a chance to hear Johnny Pope preach a time or two. I also briefly talked to him in 2006 at a Greenwood Bible Conference. The church relocated several years back; north to the FM 1960 area.

            I tell folks I knew Mark Lowery when he was a nobody. He is a great singer and comedian. In his comedy he knows how to walk right up to the line, without stepping over it. He led the singing for a revival I preached when we were both teenagers. I think he did the same for my brother. I loved to hear him, his mother, and Christy sing.

            I bet you have plenty of stories to tell. If you don’t mind, send me your mailing address. nsbc77562 [at]
            David R. Brumbelow

      • Frank L. says

        Effective soul winning seems a poor excuse for adultery and other grievous errors in character. Consider his most recent successor. Same errors.

        I am not willing to give someone a pass on adultery and other such errors because of something God did. If there was any glory to be given for Hammond it was to God–inspire of Hyles.

        • says

          There seems to be some questions as to whether there *was* effective soul-winning going on. It may very well been just running people through a “sinner’s prayer” that wasn’t actually understood by the people reciting it, just to run up numbers.

        • Bruce H. says

          Frank L.

          When someone sins, what is our first reaction? Compassion. Why? That is the emotion of grace in our hearts. When I heard of some things done by Jack Hyles my heart went out to him. I was not part of his church but I still had a respect for him. The pastor who was the first man that I began to learn the truths of scripture from fell in adultery with the church secretary (his wife was better looking). Somehow my soul grieved for him and the work of Christ. He came to us and I embraced him sincerely. He asked for forgiveness and I was the only one who told him he was forgiven. Do we seek to condemn men and women who sin? That is one of the events that go on around us that we can show Christlikeness. Somehow it comes more natural for me as I have seasoned. If we can only shoot our wounded we do not possess the same grace of our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit is numb within us. No one has produce Jack Hyles response in what he has done. All I hear is condemnation here without a cause. I wonder what sentence would have been for the woman at the well if Jesus didn’t need a drink. The Pharisees would have treated her differently. Oh, that is a different post, isn’t it?

          • Frank L. says


            Show me anywhere in print where Jack Hyles repented of his lapses in character. I have never seen them. I’ve seen him condemn those who would even consider challenging his behavior, but I’ve never read a letter of repentance.

            I’d be open to reading it. Jack Hyles was a dictatorial leader just like his successor. Heavy-handedness and harsh rebuke were his calling cards. Any good that he may have done is clouded by the reputation he left behind to the broader public.

            I think the Bible holds leaders up to a much higher standard than Jack Hyles held for himself.

            You have an opinion of him that not many outside of fundamentalist Baptist circles hold today. As I said, I’d be willing to read Jack Hyles heartfelt letter of repentance. Perhaps it is on video–he put thousands of hours on video.

            Let me be clear: I’m not condemning the good that anyone has done. I’m simply saying that doing good in one area does not by you an indulgence to sin in another area.

          • Frank L. says

            PS–I was a Jack Hyles fan for many years until some of the “truth” of his character started coming to the fore.

            I still read many of his messages I have in print, but I’m a bit more skeptical of them than I was before.

            I have been labeled a “fundamentalist” or “independent” more than once so I do not have an ax to grind with Hyles.

          • Bruce H. says

            Frank L.,

            I know of no confession or repentance from Jack Hyles. I know that brothers and sisters defend one another and keep things in the family. God is our Father and He delves out the proper discipline if one is not repentant. We work together and try to help one another along the way. We restore, not condemn. The church has as much responsibility to walk the straight and narrow as the pastor. If they didn’t address his actions they had some responsibility in this as well. They were the ones who should have published if he was repentant or not. Even if he was not repentant, I would be careful about what I would say. “Nothing” is the best information we can put out there when dealing with another Christian we think or know has sinned.

          • Frank L. says

            “”We restore, not condemn””

            I find this a bit ironic in defense of Jack Hyles. You say you learned much from his example. I can think of more than one sermon where Jack Hyles condemned brothers and sisters in the faith in no uncertain terms.

            No, I don’t think we should “keep it in the family.” I don’t think we should hide our sins behind the doors of the sanctuary.

            Also, I’m sure you are aware that the Bible treats the transgressions of a leader (teacher) with much harsher judgment than an adulterous woman at the the well. And, I’ve said more than once that I am not “condemning” Jack Hyles. I’m generally a fan as I have said.

            I’m condemning hypocrisy that was covered up, overlooked, and “kept in the family.” The result: it bred another generation of adulterous leadership.

            I didn’t bring up Jack Hyles, but I am merely responding to the obvious truth that has become general public knowledge. I am comfortable letting God deal with Jack Hyles–I’m speaking more about condemning hypocrisy that breeds generations of adulterous leadership.

          • Bruce H. says

            Thanks, Dave. But it doesn’t solve anything here. Post something down the line like we are arguing about here and let’s see if we can get to the truth of it. Sorry we got off the subject.

  37. Joe McGee says


    I rarely use your NIV (Nearly Inspired Version) translation (just kidding). Nonetheless, I often preach and teach from the NKJV. This is not to say that I do not like the ESV or HCSV; I use them both. I do carry a KJV in my truck because I still have churches within my association that have actually voted that any other translation will not be allowed; they see them as the devil’s version. Being a teacher of Baptist history I propose the reason why so many Baptist are KJV only goes back in the early formation of Southern Baptist. Before 1845, actually during the 18th century, soon after the Great Awakening, the Separatist Baptist only accepted the KJV. Later after 1845 the KJV was the translation of the Landmarkers. During the early 20th century the Separatist Fundamentalist attacked anyone who used any translation other than the KJV. This ideology has been past down throughout the generations. By the way when the KJV was being translated the translators used the best translations from several earlier English translations of their time. The great majority was copied from the Geneva Bible, the notes were left out. Just food for thought.

  38. Jon says

    The King James Version is seriously outmoded. It does confuse the reader. Words exist in that text that we no longer use. One can actually be reading the KJV of the Bible and misunderstand the Word of God. That’s definately an issue that needs to be addressed. Proponants of the KJV-only philosophy seem to ignore all of this. One of the people behind the movement is a lady who drew on occultism to make the point of the significance of words and why no new translation is acceptable. It’s not exactly evidence that stands up.

    • Greg Harvey says

      The worst isn’t words that no longer are in use. It’s words that have changed meaning like “comfort” (to strengthen from French and Latin com- (with) fort (strength)) and “common” (overtone of vulgar). It’s very possible to dig out the meaning, but it’s better to treat the KJV as literature than as a helpful translation. Yes, with enough practice it is both. But it isn’t helpful for a new believer to be immersed in the KJV only world. It’s idolatry. Which Dave isn’t saying out loud, but is the common theme with all of our stories about KJV only abuses.

      And that isn’t to say that my own maternal grandfather didn’t carry a very nice KJV Bible that I asked for when he passed. But he also subscribed to Plain Truth.

      • Dave Miller says

        No, I think I have actually come out and said that outloud. I certainly believe it. KJV-Onlyism is a form of idolatry, in my mind.

        • says

          I suspect it’s at times a form of self-idolatry, of the “*WE* are the ones who got it right!” flavor. Not that there isn’t a lot of that going on elsewhere.

        • Greg Harvey says

          I didn’t remember if you had or had not. But I wanted to be very clear that I wasn’t putting words in your mouth either directly or by casting aspersions. Thank you for clarifying since I thought you were basically “there” already.

  39. Joel says

    I can’t believe nobody has brought up the ESVUK (ESV Anglican) yet. It solves all the problems, by being the Elect Standard Version, as well as sticking with the 7-Letter Saviour. :)

  40. Jess Alford says

    The problem with changing from the KJV Bible (to a book, some call it another version of the Bible) is the Hebrew,
    and Greek words are translated already. The people who translated the words did so to suite their doctrine and own selfish needs. We just cannot do away with the KJV. When we come to the point where we do not
    look up the meanings of God’s words our ownselves, the true church is short lived.

    • Greg Harvey says

      I agree and disagree. We should never go back to either of the two following times:

      1. A professional clergy that is the keeper of the secrets in languages that the everyday person can’t understand.

      2. A “vernacular” translation that cannot be questioned largely because the everyday person isn’t offered the tools–including language training–to see behind the green curtain.

      But with that said, I believe the preserver of our faith and of the remnant is the Holy Spirit, not people. The fact that God works through people to accomplish this over time (or you might even say IN SPITE OF people) shouldn’t be considered a deep, non-understandable mystery. Of all groups, Southern Baptists have the best ecclesiology for being preserved as a remnant. Though perhaps not always the best doctrine or theology. Those falling into the KJV only trap have theological issues that they’re allowing themselves to be deluded by.

      But that, again, isn’t an argument that the Holy Spirit is unable to lead the believer to understand and correctly apply the Bible as collected by King James’ translators/compilers. I just happen to believe that for the most of our history, Southern Baptists have done well by behaving like Bereans. There are times where some oddball stuff got through, and there is the very specific problem of supporting slavery especially in a very racist formulation based not just on skin color but also on “racial mixing”.

      But God will still preserve his remnant. We just need to be honest: it might not include us and we ought to be humble and transparent about that fact. I think the celebration of Southern Baptist life as a priori exceptionalism treads a little too close to a lack of humility.

    • Dave Miller says

      Jess, again, I hope you are joking, but guessing that you are not.

      The KJV was translated by sinful and imperfect men. They did the best they could with the resources available to them in that day and they made a translation of God’s perfect word. It was an imperfect translation but it was useful nonetheless.

      Now, the English language has changed – dramatically. To ask people to read a Bible in a language they neither understand nor speak is destructive to the purpose – getting people to read the Bible. King James English is fast becoming a foreign language.

      Plus, we now have better, more reliable manuscripts and more of them. We have much better understanding of what words meant and the grammar of Greek and Hebrew.

      So, de facto, modern translations, unless monkeyed with in some unacceptable way (New World or gender neutral or such) are superior to the KJV.

      It was a good Bible, but now it is no longer the best choice, in my opinion.

      • Greg Harvey says

        The funny thing is that on this site we’re NOT arguing for the Geneva Bible which carries a much more faithful Calvinistic perspective in its annotations. But we need to give a tip of the hat to the person that made ALL of the English versions possible:

        “In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536 he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying request that the King of England’s eyes would be opened seemed to find its fulfillment just two years later with Henry’s authorization of The Great Bible for the Church of England—which was largely Tyndale’s own work. Hence, the Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and eventually, on the global British Empire. His version also worked prominently into the Geneva Bible which was taken to the New World to Jamestown in 1607, and on the Mayflower in 1620. Notably, in 1611, the 54 independent scholars who created the King James Version, drew significantly from Tyndale, as well as translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s, and the Old Testament 76%”

        –From the Wikipedia article on William Tyndale

        This is NOT idolizing Tyndale. But there is a common heritage shared by the Coverdale “Great Bible”, the Geneva, the King James, and even the Elizabethan Bishop’s Bible and the Rheims-Douai edition were influenced by the existence especially of the Tyndale verses and the Geneva.

        Tyndale might not have been the best scholar in biblical languages, but he focused on faithfulness to the original languages and set in motion the Bible-centered portion of the Reformation especially for the nations that shared the English language. The KJV was one split stream off of this great river of influence. And the fact that Tyndale gave his life should help brace us over trivializing the availability of translations into contemporary language.

        Regrettably, the KJV-only crowd have fallen into the trap of repeating errors that the Holy Spirit freed us from. We should not return to that and we should do so as an act of will and an act of conscience.

      • Bruce H. says


        The language between the North and the South different, too. (Youse guys & y’all) I see some more versions popping up soon.

    • Dave Miller says

      Jess said, “The people who translated the words did so to suite their doctrine and own selfish needs.”

      Does that include the KJV translators? Did they translate to suit their own doctrine and selfish needs?

      • Bennett Willis says

        A way to check on the KJV translators would be to compare the originals with their translation on the rights and authority of kings. If it appears that they shaded the translation in favor of the kings, one could argue that they did what Dave is asking.

        • John Fariss says

          Plus they translated 1 Timothy 3:11 as “wives” when the Greek clearly has “women,” since the Church of England had already decided that “deacons” (who for them were an order of the priesthood, and not an ordained layperson) could only be male. Hence they translated according to Anglican doctrine rather than allowing the Word to stand for itself. Whether this follows Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, or an earlier copy, I have not checked, but even if it does, the same argument could be made. And of course, other (including more recent) translations likewise reflect the doctrines of the translators, whether intentional or unarticulated. It is a consequence of being human and having convictions.


          • John Wylie says

            John Fariss,

            Not to be argumentative, and I certainly am not a KJV only guy, but the Greek word in question can also be translated “wives” and I think that the context of that passage certainly justifies that rendering. The ESV, NKJV, HCSB, God’s Word Translation, the Good News Translation all render the word “wives”.

          • Dave Miller says

            The Greek word can be translated either wives or women – same word.

            The correct translation of that passage is still debated, and it is not clear which is correct.

          • Bart Barber says

            There is no word for “wife” in Greek other than the word for “woman.” And in the very next sentence we are told that a deacon must be the man of only one of these women. That’s a pretty strong contextual indicator that “woman” here means “wife,” IMHO.

    • Derek says

      Jess, are you insisting that translations other than KJV are the result of human selfishness? Did the translators of the KJV (whom we can accurately submit were imperfect and sinful in thought and nature) translate for selfish reasons? I agree that we should not get rid of the KJV, but I would not go so far to say that any translations are based off a selfish reason.

      • Jess Alford says


        If you translated the Bible into English, I don’t believe you would do it for profit. The publishing companies are a different story, they publish for profit and could care less if you learn the Bible or not. All the publishers want are sales.

  41. Bill Mac says

    KJV Onlyists will never acknowledge that the KJV available now is not the same language that was read in 1611. It has been modernized, the very thing they say they hate. The beauty of the KJV was that is was a bible version in the language of the people (of 1611). Well, it’s not the language of the people any longer.

    • Dave Miller says

      Have you ever seen a page from the actual KJV 1611? Looks pretty much like a foreign language.

      • volfan007 says


        That’s usually what I bring out to the KJV only crowd…..I ask them if they’ve ever actually seen an original 1611 version of the KJV? That it’s been changed many times to fit the language of the day….and that if they did read the original, it would look like a foreign language.

        I have seen an original KJV… absolutely does look like a foreign language.


      • says

        Dave, at this point I would ask you what you asked Jess, “I hope you are joking, but guessing that you are not.” I own a 1611 edition that is supposed to be “A word-for-word reprint of the First Edition of the Authorised Version.” There is nothing particularly unreadable about it. Unless there is some other 1611 KJV in a foreign language other than the one that is found HERE, it really makes one worry about y’all’s intelligence. The typesetting (“s” that looks like “f”, “u” that looks like “v”, “i” that looks like “j”, etc.) and sometimes the spelling in a 1611 KJV is a little different than modern spelling and typesetting, but a foreign language?? Come on guys, tell us you’re joking. But I’m guessing that you are not.

        • Jess Alford says

          Robert Vaughn,

          I also have a reprint of the Authorized Version, 1611, KJV. The spelling throws me off a little sometimes, but I have no problem reading it. Thank you.

      • says

        I intended to write, but left off, that I not only own a 1611 KJV but have read it through for my Bible reading one year. I wasn’t valedictorian or salutatorian in my class. I wasn’t in the National Honor Society.

        Again, maybe you guys are kidding — or trying to be provocative. Nevertheless, I’d have to say that if you aren’t educated enough to read a 1611 KJV, then you’re probably not educated enough to tell folks which translation of the Bible they ought to use.

        • r. smith says

          Yes, I agree. We have too many translations. I’ve never understood why people say they can’t understand it. Maybe they haven’t read it enough.

  42. Jess Alford says

    We cannot change the KJV Bible to suite the peoples language of today.
    Picture this, Jesus seeked rest and findeth none, now for modern language, Jesus tried to go chill, and could not meet his intentions.

    With all respect, some of you preachers need to check and see if you have any lace on your underwear. Your liberal views of the Bible is exactly what is wrong with the church today. Very few Christians know how to live right because of your cemetery degrees, I would say seminary but it would be the wrong word since you have killed yourselves spirituallly by getting away from the KJV. Why not be the man God wants you to be, and get you a KJV and trash the comic books.

    We are to proclaim God’s word to a lost and dying world. None of you can say your Bible is perfect. The KJV is perfect, get you one and teach your congregation how to read it after you learn yourself.

    • Greg Harvey says

      No…the KJV is not perfect. That’s like claiming the QWERTY keyboard is perfect because it predominates in the typewriter and computer space. The KJV is an adequate translation that leverages Tyndale’s work to good use and provides a completion of that work. It’s amusing that the reason the KJV exists is because of opposition by the Anglican Church to the Geneva Bible (also in English). Or that Southern Baptists would consider themselves better served by an edition of the Bible sponsored by pseudo-Catholics than by a Bible in today’s language.

      We would be MUCH BETTER OFF to teach Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek then to make the claim that the KJV is an exceptional document that cannot be replaced. That is precisely the idolatry that we ought to oppose with respect to the false god of human traditions being permitted worship in the Temple of our minds where the Holy Spirit interacts with us and illuminates ANY version of the Bible we read.

      • Greg Harvey says

        grr…”…Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek than to make the claim…”…I hate it when I can’t see a misspelling until after I’ve hit “submit”.

        • Jess Alford says

          Dear distinguished gentlemen, we cannot add to or take away from God’s word. That is why the the KJV is the Bible for me.

          • Greg Harvey says

            You ought to choose your own preferred version. You ought not to make the claim that the KJV is in any way special. Not that it isn’t, but it’s a claim that we have no basis for making from a human perspective.

            That said: if you are able to let God work in your heart with any specific version of the Bible, then you ought to use that version. But realize that the reason he’s working in your heart is because of your faith in him, not because of the version.

          • Dave Miller says

            Jess, by declaring a certain English translation as “the one”, you are adding to the the Word and thus failing your own test.

          • Frank L. says

            “”that the KJV is in any way special.”””

            Until a modern version has 400 years of supremacy under its belt and has had the kind of influence on the English language from poetry to philosophy and all points in between, I think one can say quite reasonably: “The KJV is special.”

            Just because its day may have passed, let’s give credit where credit is due. And, keep in mind the KJV has not dropped off the globe completely just yet.

            It is doubtful there is enough time before Jesus comes for any modern translation to have anything like the “special” influence of the KJV.

            It is still, for me, a great tool to understanding God’s message. Often, the KJV just says some things better. I feel no need to discard my old friend simply because a new generation of friends has been born.

          • Greg Harvey says

            I can offer a “you’re welcome” if somehow the point I proved is the one I was making. 😉

    • says

      “Picture this, Jesus seeked rest and findeth none, now for modern language, Jesus tried to go chill, and could not meet his intentions.”

      Uh, no. Not even the NET, which can get very colloquial in places, would use language like that. In a modern translation, you’re more likely to get “Jesus sought rest, and found none”. Just plain, modern English.

      • Jess Alford says

        Ben Coleman,

        What I shared with you is the English that people are using today.
        There are more words placed in the dictionary all the time. I’m just saying we shouldn’t be so subject to change. It will end up hurting Christ’s body and lead folks astray.

        • says

          Actually, it sounds like a cross between urban-speak and marketingese, neither of which comes close to being standard English. No serious modern translation has come close to language like that. The LOLCat bible, maybe, but that’s not so much a translation as a humor project.

  43. Joel says

    Unless Jess Alford is a Poe, his/her line of reasoning makes me giggle. And if he/she IS a Poe, it makes me giggle anyway. It’s not even making an effort to be intellectual about the KJV, it’s just making a (at best) a lame argument that doesn’t even qualify as a lame defense. :/

  44. says

    About a month ago, I was preaching through 1 Corinthians 14. Speaking of the use of spiritual gifts in worship, and specifically the place for prophecy and tongues, Paul says several things, including:

    1) Different instruments make distinct sounds just as different languages. If a person doesn’t know the meaning of a language spoken, then there is no communication and thus no edification (14:6-12).

    2) The primary goal in the church is to speak in a clear manner that engages both the spirit and mind, so that all might say “Amen” together as all are instructed (14:13-19).

    Thus the goal for what we do in church is edification of each other, which involves the clear communication of the Gospel message. As a side point I brought up English Bible translations. First Corinthians 14 is the reason why I do not use the KJV for anything in our corporate worship. It goes against the heart of clarity for the whole.

    Language changes. The English we speak today (with its many dialects) is a different breed of English from the 1600’s. The same words do not communicate the same meaning. To use the KJV to communicate to people with little-to-no background in older English is no better than speaking in tongues with no interpretation.

    I told my people if they grew up with the KJV, understand it, and want to use it in personal devotions and study then that’s great. But in order to attempt to edify everyone, we’re going to corporately use a translation that communicates well to a modern audience.

  45. Jess Alford says

    Mike Bergman,

    I’ll bet you also have modern music that appeals to the young people in
    your church, when they need the old hymns that will move their hearts.

    We are to teach the old path, and not change with the times.

    • says

      Actually we mix our music–we base it on words and theology, not new or old.

      I agree we need to teach the old path–the way of Jesus. Go, make disciples of all nations; love God, love others, etc.

      1611 is not the old path. In fact in 2000 years of Christianity, it’s rather new. Also, many of the “old hymns” I’m sure you reference also probably fit that category–probably mostly 1700-1800’s, right? Again, in the big picture, rather new.

      Or is your church the one church that has only lyrics, musical styles, and instruments from the first century AD? Since you’re aiming for this “old path,” I’m assuming your New Testaments that you use consist only of 1st century Greek as well. Otherwise, you’re using something that was “new” at one time in the not so distant past.

    • Dale Pugh says

      Jess, your statements stretch the issue so far out of rationality as to be ridiculous. Based on your arguments, one should return to the first century if one is to be truly touched by God’s Spirit. After all, those old hymns aren’t really all that old. They’re just what you like. Since you like them they must be right. Same goes for your fondness for the KJV. This is silliness.

    • Christiane says

      I was so tempted to mention LOLcat, and I’m sure gland you got there first . . . can’t have a translations debate without mentioning LOLcat!

    • Greg Harvey says

      Are you making the claim that there are limits to contextualization of the Gospel message? Even if you aren’t, I think you might have demonstrated the concept rather completely anyway.

      Which is to say: there are some contexts that invalidate the message of the Bible. LOLCat might be one such context.

      I actually have enjoyed dusting off and improving my understanding of the history of English versions of the Bible. The rough history is:

      Old English

      Late 7th century the Venerable Bede began translating portions of the Bible into Old English/Anglo Saxon. Specifically Aldhelm Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey translated the complete book of Psalms and other extended Bible passages from the Latin Vulgate.

      In the 10th Century the Lindisfarne Gospels of the first four books of the New Testament provided a word-for-word gloss from Latin to Old English between the lines of the Latin. It was done by Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street and is the oldest, extant English translation. Note it is an interlinear format.

      The Wessex Gospels were first available in roughly 990 and are the first English translation without the Latin text.

      The Old English Hexateuch was done by Abbot Ælfric in the 11th Century and has the traditional first five books of the OT plus Joshua. It’s an illuminated manuscript.

      Middle English

      The Ormulum is a 12th Century work of exegesis in Middle English. The work includes homilies for the biblical texts used in Mass through the liturgical year. To support reading in the vernacular it also includes pronunciation tips and effectively is a repository that documents pronunciation changes with respect to the Norman conquest (which introduced more French).

      Richard Rolle (1290-1349) wrote an English Psalter that was used–among others–by the Lollards who generally rejected Catholicism’s traditions.

      1382-1395 Appearance of (unauthorized) manuscripts of the Wycliffe Bible attributed to John Wycliffe translated from the Vulgate (RCC Latin translation) into English. The early Wycliffe translations followed the word order of the Latin. The later ones which de-emphasized the Latin word order presumably were easier of English speakers to read from.

      Early Modern English

      The Tyndale Bible dates to the 16th Century–with the translation started by William Tyndale from Martin Luther’s German translation and notes–and includes translation work based on Hebrew and Greek along with enrichment from the Latin. It’s worth noting that it also was the first English translation produced on a printing press. The first partial NT version in English was published in 1525. The first complete NT version in English was published in 1526 Revisions completed by Tyndale followed in 1534 and 1536. His complete works were revised and released after his death in 1536.

      Similarly his Pentateuch was first published in Antwerp in 1530 followed by a revised Genesis in 1534. Other OT translations were done but not published specifically of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles and no manuscripts survive of those translations.

      Other versions–most of which were strongly influenced by Tyndale–include:

      The Great Bible compiled by Coverdale and released in 1539 under license of Henry VIII

      The Geneva Bible released in 1560 which introduced the innovation of dividing chapters into verses.

      The Bishop’s Bible sponsored by Elizabeth I as a second authorized version.

      Douay-Rheims Bible (NT in 1582, OT in 1609-1610) which is a Catholic translation into English (also heavily influenced by the Latin Vulgate). It’s called that due to the NT being done in Rheims and the OT being done in Douai both in France.

      Finally, the Authorized King James Version was published in 1611 as we’ve discussed extensively.

      I put all of this together out of sheer curiosity. If it benefits anyone that’s fantastic, but I’m not exactly prepared to defend my gleanings. If you want you can scan the various Wikipedia articles that are my sources by name. Specifically the article on English translations of the Bible was a very good overview.

      My personal view is that people focus on the KJV because of tradition and not because of a personal knowledge of the history of the English translations. And the word “authorized” is a signal to some believers of the authority of someone (an English king in this case) claiming essentially a divine prerogative to produce such an authorized version.

      As I’ve noted already, it’s absolutely silly that any Americans–and ESPECIALLY the Baptists that claim participation in religious liberty law in general and the First Amendment in particular–would highlight the use of a translation produced under the guidance of an English king. Which is why I’ve been commenting on this blog so prolifically.

      • says

        Mainly, I was saying (mostly tongue in cheek) that if someone wanted to get upset about a modern “translation”, this might represent an appropriate target. Though I get a giggle or two out of the LOLCat Bible, I’m sure there are some people out there who would consider it sacrilege.

        I’m not sure I can see LOLCat as a serious context. It’s not like there are people out there who unreachable unless you speak to them in LOLCat. The LOLCat Bible is, at best, entertainment. A “translation” with a philosophy of “As fun as possible, no more misleading than necessary” is not exactly one I could consider even for casual study.

        On the other hand, you *can* print the LOLCat Bible royalty-free. Maybe we should alert the Gideons?

  46. Bill Mac says

    Did the church have no scripture for 1611 years? Good grief. I have heard some KJV Onlyists (which is a cult in my opinion) say that to win those in foreign countries, we must first teach them English so they can read the KJV.

    • Dave Miller says

      I have not heard that. I have heard the suggestion that other language translations should be made from the KJV instead of from the original languages.

  47. Christiane says

    you speak ‘modern English’ today, you are drawing from Greek, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and French . . .

    if you move to the USA, try looking up a ‘new’ word someone uses (maybe your kid) and I bet you will sooner find it in the Urban Dictionary than in Websters :)

    our language changes daily . . . my grandmother of blessed memory once said ‘Look over yonder’ as she pointed to someone’s gardens . . . I didn’t know the word ‘yonder’, knowing only myself it’s cousin ‘beyond’ . . .
    and that is three generations ago . . .

    my son, my daughter . . . way different expressions from the ‘cool’ language of my day . . . some, I am not comfortable repeating, but apparently are in use in polite company of people their age (young adult)

    language is fluid . . . the implications of this for sacred Scripture are immense

  48. Jess Alford says

    Bill Mac,

    I cannot see very well, did you say you were in a cult since 1611, and the KJV got you out of it?

    This is what the newer versions of the Bible are doing to the KJV.

    • Bruce H. says

      Ben Coleman,

      When did other KJV come into being? When did the translations become accepted? There was a transition period. We need to allow others the time to accept. It took me some time to change. There should be many years of grace before we condemn someone. The Holy Spirit works just fine for every true believer. Patience is the answer.

  49. Jess Alford says

    Brothers, water down and sweeten the word all you want. I for one, am going to stick with a Bible that has withstood the test of time. The KJV
    is the only Bible for me. For you guys to say you are consertive, is like a kid saying I dont eat sweets with cake icing on his mouth. Wimps…

    • Bruce H. says

      Jess Alford,

      There should be no condemnation of one who chooses the KJV like there should be no condemnation of those who select the other good versions. I used the KJV for over 20 years and once you begin reading it you begin to understand the language. If we didn’t have the King James Version we might not have the other versions either. It seems we like our Bible versions like we like our football teams.

      • Jess Alford says

        Bruce H.

        I can go along with that, brother. I just can’t go along with all the updates. We have to get it wrong at some point.

  50. John Wylie says

    The KJV is not an inerrant translation and we as Baptists have never believed in inerrant translations only inerrant originals. One glaring example that demonstrates the fact that the KJV has translational errors in it is Acts 12:4 where it translates the word for Passover as Easter. This translation is indefensible although whole research papers have been written in defense of this nonsensical rendering.

  51. Jess Alford says

    John Wylie,

    Tn the situation of Acts 12:4, this is where the one studying the Bible
    should have a Greek and Hebrew dictionary to see what “Easter”
    means. Don’t allow someone else to look it up for us and then call it Gospel. I think a Bible can be revised too many times.

    Show me a Bible translation that don’t have a mistake in it, the KJV is
    the nearest Bible to being perfect, to me it is the one.

    Is there a Bible that Southern Baptists have translated? I don’t know of one, maybe you can enlighten me. If there isn’t one, why?

    Dave Miller, I’m insterested in your answers to these questions also.

    • says

      My point is that of the English language translations available today, the primary ones anyway (NIV 84, NASB, HCSB, ESV, etc) the KJV is the LEAST accurate of all of them. Each of those Bibles is closer to the original meaning of the text than the KJV.

      What reason, other than tradition, do you have for sticking with a less accurate English translation?

      • Jess Alford says


        I love looking up the words in the KJV, I love using my Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, Unless the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are wrong, I think I have a pretty good picture of what the KJV is revealing from God’s word.

        Is there a version of the Bible that Southern Baptist’s, or mostly Southern Baptist’s have got together and translated? If not, why?

    • John Wylie says


      I did look it up myself and the Greek word can never mean Easter, it always means passover and of the 29 times it occurs in the Greek N.T. even the King James translates it Passover 28 of those times.

  52. Jess Alford says


    I just goth through looking up the ESV and the HCSB along with associated problems that go along with these versions.

    Brother, I would not even have them in my home, there are too many problems for me to mention. I googled these two versions.

    So far the KJV is way out front in the true Scriptures. I’m not trying to argue for the sake of arguing. I’ve always wanted the truth, and the KJV has it.

    Dave, I plead with you, come back to the KJV.

    • Dave Miller says

      Not a chance. I love preaching the Word of God to people too much to mess that up by preaching from an inferior translation made in archaic English.

      That would be contrary to my calling to preach the Word.

    • Dave Miller says

      Jess, if you look things up on the KJV Only website, you only get the prejudice and ignorance that comes from KJV only websites. You need to leave those websites behind.

      • says


        I have no problem with people using the KJV and having it as their favorite translation. Many great preachers still preach from the KJV. It is a great translation.

        But it is wrong to say the newer translations are inferior.

        My favorite is the NKJV. But I have no major problem with the NASB, HCSB, etc.

        By the way, the NKJV is not a revision, but a translation. It has textual notes explaining the disputed texts.

        This is not directly referring to you, Jess, but it has always amazed me that Independent, Fundamental Baptists would only use a version (KJV) that was translated by a bunch of Episcopalians (or Anglicans), when they would have nothing to do with them today. Yet according to KJV Only Baptists, the Episcopalians produced the perfect English translation.

        Baptists did not participate in the KJV translation; if they had tried, they would have been thrown in prison by the king, for being Baptist.
        David R. Brumbelow

    • Chief Katie says


      On what facts do you base your belief that the KJV is superior? I hear a bit of the “It’s stood the test of time for ‘x’ number of years”. That’s true, but it’s not a good argument. People said the same thing about the Latin Vulgate to Desiderious Erasmus. It had been around for a thousand plus years. Nope, not a good argument.

      I notice you have a problem with publishers making money. Do you not believe that the KJV did the exact same thing? In fact, in the UK, it still makes money.

      Do you have any problem with the conjectural emendation at Revelation 16:5? By every account I’ve read, there is no manuscript support for it anywhere.

      Can you explain to me how the 1769 Blayney KJV has words added at 1 John 5:12? The AV1611 does not have them. Important words too!

      What about the recommendation of the KJV translators that encourage believers to read other versions?

      The KJV translators dedicated the AV1611 to “To the Most High and Mightie Prince Iames by the grace of God” (you can see it here: . Erasmus dedicated the Textus Receptus to Pope Leo X… you know, the pope who apparently took delight in burning protestant heretics at the stake. Any difficulty with these people?

      The AV1611 has a special page for the ‘Holy Days’. As a baptist, I’m not much on “The Annunciation of the blessed Virgin” or “The purification of the blessed Virgin”. How about you?

      You say the versions you googled don’t have the truth? Where do you see that? Where in particular do you find something that is untrue?

      Are you at all concerned about the Catholic influences on the KJV? I’m sure you know that the KJV translators used some renderings from the Douay Rheims. It’s common knowledge that the Vulgate is responsible for the last 6 verses of Revelation, and the Comma Johanneum. Both Erasmus and Burgon (among many others) reject the comma as original to the autographs.

      I have a great book authored by Rick Norris (an IFB guy) titled ‘The Unbound Scriptures: A Review of KJV-only Claims and Publications’. Rick has done a thorough job. If nothing else, he shows the influences of the Great Bible, Coverdale, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Genevea, Bishops upon the KJV. It’s a great book for seeing the development of our Bibles.

      If you love your KJV, I’m fine with that. I have four of them. I love mine as well. I do have a problem with saying other bibles don’t have truth. There are a good many Pastors who post here who use other bibles and even if I don’t always agree with them on every subject, I know that they are not being untruthful about Bibles.

      • Jess Alford says

        Chief Katie,

        Please Google, (the problems with), then name your version.
        Most Southern Baptist don’t even use the HCSB, and they wrote it.

        For me to change from the KJV would be like saying, God, I don’t trust your word. There are already been too many versions and revisions of the Bible. We cannot add to or take away from God’s word.

        Try the spirits see if they be of God, I would suggest this to anyone who wants to stray from the KJV. For me to stray from the KJV would be like straying from God.

        I cut my teeth on the KJV, for me it’s easy to read and understand.
        I have my KJV, Thompson chain reference Bible, the best in the land.
        I named it (none better.)

        Chief Katie, get you one and use it, Please.

        • Dave Miller says

          Jess, I would urge you one more time, to stop going on the KJV Only sites. They are filled with horrible research and dishonest presentations. They are logically untenable. I would urge you to stop getting your information from KJV Only sites that do not speak the truth and deceive people into believing what is false. It’s time to leave the lies behind, Jess.

  53. says

    Dave, it seems to me that the KJV only websites are not the only sources of prejudice and ignorance. Some of the anti-KJV posts in this thread are not innocent of ignorance.

    Even your fourth point that the KJV adds to the Word of God plays in the same park as the KJV only arguments that the modern translations take away from the Word of God. Simply put, we have no complete Greek New Testament that came down out of heaven or was passed down to us from the apostle Paul. Whether coming from the United Bible Society or the Trinitarian Bible Society, these are redactions of various manuscripts, fragments, etc. So talking about adding to or taking away as if there is some golden copy that can’t be varied from is incorrect (though we can certainly have an opinion which is best).

    Though in the minority in the last two centuries, scholars from John William Burgon to Arthur Farstad (originator of what became the HCSB project) have supported the Byzantine/Majority text type. Instead of charges of ignorance against those who embrace the Byzantine text and/or the KJV, folks might do well to acknowledge the statement of Daniel Wallace (certainly no KJV sychophant) in “Why So Many Versions”: “…it is possible to be intelligent and still embrace the Byzantine text…”

    • Dave Miller says

      Robert, I am very well aware of the Majority text theory. But even the MT theorists do not include some of the texts that the KJV adds to scripture. Dan Wallace was a doctoral student and taught some of my Greek classes in seminary.

      I think the critical text theory is more sound, but I do not completely discount Majority Text.

      But the silliness is that the two texts are not nearly as different as they are made to be. Different readings in a few areas, and a few are significant. But the differences affect no major doctrines, etc.

      The KJV was built on significantly inadequate textual bases, especially in some books.

    • Dave Miller says

      And while he is certainly a lightning rod in other debates, James White’s book on the subject is compelling.