• Review

    Book Review: Authorized—the Use & Misuse of the King James Bible

    Every so often I try to write a brief book review on a book that interests me. Because I have written in some detail about the King James Version, I was sent Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible, written by Mark Ward. Mark received his PhD in NT Interpretation at Bob Jones University, and currently works for Faithlife. He works in a variety of capacities, one of which is being an academic editor for Lexham Press. He also blogs at By Faith We Understand. Authorized is an interesting take on the KJV Only issue because it approaches the issue from an English language perspective. Most books that deal with the KJV deal with mistranslations or inadequate manuscript support. However, the approach in this book is to have a serious discussion about some of the problems of reading the KJV in English. Reading the KJV in English…

  • Scripture

    Seven Posts about the King James Version

    I have done a fair bit of reading, research, and writing on the King James Version. Part of the reason I have spent much time on the issue is because I have often heard the teaching that modern English Bible translations are theologically dangerous. I have had many charitable exchanges with friends who have argued that we should only use the King James Version, and my heart desires people to think biblically and accurately about Bible translations. Thus, I thought it would be helpful to list all of the posts I have written about the King James Version for easy accessibility. In light of this, the following posts deal with various issues pertaining to the King James Version and Bible translation in general. 1. Thou Shalt Not Only Use the King James Version This post acts as an introduction to the King James Version and briefly discusses why it is…

  • Scripture

    The Received Text, the KJV, and Erasmus

    We can’t talk about the KJV without talking about the Received Text (often called the Textus Receptus, or TR for short). The Received Text is the Greek text which underlies the KJV. It is called the Received Text because that was the phrase used in the introduction of the Elzevir brothers 2nd edition of their Greek New Testament in 1633. The phrase “Received Text” became a moniker to refer to the Greek text from Erasmus in 1516 on.  This Greek text is largely different from the Greek text which underlies the modern versions (NASB, ESV, NIV, etc.). Why does that matter? Modern versions (NASB, ESV, NIV, etc) use a translation philosophy which is usually called an “eclectic approach,” This means they evaluate over 5,800 Greek manuscripts, looking at patterns, external and internal evidence, and thereby determining what the original Greek manuscript read. Some of these manuscripts that are utilized in the…

  • Scripture

    Common Arguments from Those Who Hold to KJV Only

    In the last two posts we have discussed some of the problems with holding to the KJV as the only translation that should be used today. The first post addressed the general background of the translators who worked on the KJV. The second post looked at differences between the 1611 KJV and the modern KJV. Today I want to address some of the common arguments that are used by those who hold to the KJV only position. 1. There has to be a Bible version that is completely inerrant, hence God gave us the KJV. There are multiple problems with this. First, is it true that God has to give us an inerrant translation? No, God never promised us an inerrant translation. He promises His Words are perfect and inerrant (which is in the form of the original text). However, saying that God has to now provide an inerrant translation…

  • Scripture

    Are there Errors in the King James Version (KJV)?

    Last time we looked at some of the reasons why one should not hold to a view that the KJV is the only version Christians should use. Today I want to go deeper into the issue and look at the KJV itself. We will note some of the corrections that have been made from the original publication to the modern version. The KJV was originally published in 1611 by translators who followed 15 principles of translation. However, as the years past, the KJV (also known as the Authorized Version) was in serious need of an update. Because English grammar and spellings had changed, in 1762 a Cambridge printer, Joseph Bentham, made many revisions. These revisions updated the spellings, punctuation, and the like. However, this version never caught on because the printing impressions were largely destroyed by fire. In 1769, however, Benjamin Blayney, took Bentham’s revisions and incorporated them into his…

  • Scripture

    Thou Shalt Not Only Use the King James Version

    My first Bible growing up was the King James version. I did not only use the KJV, but I memorized all my verses in the King James version and I learned much reading through its stories. Then, one day my parents got me the New King James version. It was a lot easier to read, and I memorized more verses. Years later, in high school I switched to the New American Standard Version. After college, I decided to make the switch to the English Standard Version. Thus, I have run the version gamut. In high school I first ran across people who said that you should only use the King James Version. This always struck me as a bit odd, but I better understand now where they were coming from. It is important to differentiate between two groups. First, there are people who only use the KJV because that is…

  • Scripture

    15 Rules of Translation for the King James (KJV)

    When King James commissioned the King James Version, he approved 15 principles of translation which were instituted by Richard Bancroft, the bishop of London in 1604. These translation principles are as follows: The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit. The names of the Prophets, and the Holy Writers, with the other Names of the Text, to be retained, as nigh as may be, accordingly as they were vulgarly used. The Old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. the Word Church not to be translated Congregation &c. When a Word hath divers Significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most of the Ancient Fathers, being agreeable to the Propriety of the Place, and the Analogy of the Faith. The Division of the Chapters to be…

  • Old Testament

    Is Lucifer Satan’s Name or a Star?

    Is Lucifer Satan’s Real Name? Some would answer in the affirmative, using Lucifer as the original name of Satan before the Fall. The KJV also seems to agree with that sentiment. Isaiah 14:12 reads: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! However, if we compare the KJV with other translations we notice the absence of the name Lucifer. NIV How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! ESV How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! NASB How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!You have been cut down to the…