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Dangerous Doctrine: King James-Only Elitism

Another false doctrine circulating on social media are the proponents of “King James Only”, the belief that God only speaks through the King James Version of the Bible, and that all other versions are either corrupt, intentionally misleading, or Satanic.

Some of these proponents will tell you that you are not saved unless you read the King James Version. The obvious insanity of these “King James Onlyists” is that they will even insist that when evangelizing in other countries, the people must first learn English and THEN read the King James Version in order to obtain salvation. They believe that any other version, or any version translated into a language other than English, is not the “true” word of God. Again, talk about placing obstacles in front of the gates of heaven! First and foremost, God promises us His word will be preserved:

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Secondly, the KJV contains archaic language that can be confusing to modern English speakers in the 21st century. Therefore, I believe we must make available translations in modern language, and in foreign languages, so that the Word of God can be clearly communicated to all people. Ironically enough, the translators of the 1611 KJV would agree, as they wrote in their preface entitled “The Translators to the Reader”:

“Happy is the man that delighteth in the Scripture and thrice happy that meditate in it day and night. But how shall man meditate in that which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close [veiled] in an unknown tongue?… [Contemporary] Translation it is that opens the window, to let in the light….indeed, without translation into the vulgar [common] tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well (which was deep) without a bucket or something to draw with…” (pages 3,4).

As believers, our loyalty shouldn’t be towards a specific translation, but to the inspired, inerrant Word of God that is communicated by the Holy Spirit through ALL (reputable) translations.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

KJV-Only is Bible-elitism that makes an idol out of the Bible and is wholly unprofitable for anyone. When “believers” convince themselves that it is acceptable to condemn and judge you over the Bible translation you prefer, we can clearly see that there is a problem with their “spiritual fruit”…

And while we are on the subject of judgement, condemnation, and spiritual fruit, let us be reminded of Jesus’ actions in John 8:

John 8:6-7 But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Remember, there WAS someone amongst that crowd who was sinless and could have cast the first stone – Jesus Himself. Yet He did not. Let us all be more like Jesus.