Why the King James Bible?

The Christian world has changed. Much that once was, has been lost. It began with the forging of a new Greek text, and new bibles were made. Into them Satan poured his corruption, deception, and his will to dominate all the Christian world. One by one, many Protestant leaders and organisations fell to the power of slick advertising and modernisation. However, they were all deceived – for the hearts of men are easily corrupted. But there were some who resisted! God raised men to stand against the devil and his minions. They gave us reasons to stand for the true Word of God. Now those reasons are in danger of passing out of all knowledge. History becomes legend. Legend becomes myth. Darkness creeps back into the Christian world. Learn the true story about the battle for the Word of God today!

[] Five good reasons for holding to the Authorised (King James) Version of the Holy Bible:

The Bible says, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3) We hope you will look into the vital subject of ‘Why the King James Bible?’ with an open mind, as we present five good reasons why Christians should hold to the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible, and forsake the various ‘modern’ translations currently available.

Reason 1. The King James Version Uses the Most Reliable Manuscripts.

This point alone is enough reason for us to hold fast to the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). First, you need to understand how we got from the original (Hebrew and Greek) Bible, to the Bible in our own language (English):

Let’s start from the very beginning…

1. God inspires original writer to write a portion of the Bible (e.g. The Apostle Paul writes the book of Romans [part of the New testament]) 2. Copies of this inspired book are made and sent all over the ancient world (e.g. Palestine, Greece, Italy, Turkey, etc.) 3. As these copies are used and worn out by the early Church, copies of copies are made down through the centuries. So the very originals (penned by the original writers) are lost or received up into Heaven. 4. Later, all the inspired books are pulled together into one volume, and translated into various old languages (e.g. Latin, Syriac, Coptic, etc) as one book (or ‘Bible’). 5. Centuries later, the desire is to translate the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into English. All available manuscripts in the original languages, and translations in other languages, are diligently compared. It is found the around 95% match and agree with each other. 6. This ‘majority text’ is used in the translation process. By comparing ALL the manuscripts and taking the 95% that agree with each other, the translators can be confident they have God’s preserved Word. It also means that copying mistakes, errors (sometimes deliberately made by corrupt scribes) are discovered and put into the 5% category that are rejected. 7. The culmination of this mammoth task (after a number of previous English Bible versions) gives us the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible. As more ancient manuscripts are discovered it is found that they too support the majority text in almost every instance, and the KJV is still reliable.

Imagine for one moment if God had decided to preserve His Word in only the very original book written by the original writer. It would be good to have just one copy – there would be no arguments then about ‘manuscripts’ and ‘texts’. However, what if that one original were lost? Or an enemy of God’s Word burned or destroyed it? What if a corrupt religious system hid God’s Word away from the people? What if hundreds of ‘fakes’ were made too, and brought confusion and trickery?

Praise God this didn’t happen! Instead, in His infinite wisdom, God caused faithful men to make many, many copies of His Word, which meant God’s Word could not be destroyed (though many have tried!) He then caused faithful men to diligently compare all of these copies, finding God’s preserved Word in the 95% that agreed with each other. It’s like having a hundred witnesses of a road traffic accident: 95 of them tell the same story, but 5 suspicious characters give a different version of events. Who would you trust?

Once you are made aware of how God has preserved His Word, and the translation process that was used, it should give you great confidence that the KJV is a faithful translation of God’s Word. It should also prepare you to understand a great deception that occurred about 130 years ago…

Reason 2: Modern Versions are Based on Corrupt Manuscripts and Deception:

About 130 years ago calls were made in the English Church to have the KJV of the Bible ‘updated’. This had occurred before, with the language and spelling updated and a few words changed. These minor revisions occurred in 1629, 1638 (by this time nearly three quarters of corrections were made), 1762 and 1769 (spelling changes made, [e.g. ‘Originall Greeke’ to ‘Original Greek’). The many other editions [i.e. 1613, 1616, 1617, and 1743] amount to nothing more than running changes and touch-up work at the printers (try to bear in mind the printing methods back in those days!) Therefore, today we use the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorised King James Version of the Bible. However, this new ‘revision’ that occurred from 1871-1881 would actually turn out to be a completely different translation. The original brief given to the translators was to exceed no more than one change in every five verses of the New Testament (1400 verses in total). However, the committee went well beyond these boundaries, resulting in over 36,000 changes made to the text!

Two men, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) dominated the ‘revision’ committee of 1871-1881. They proposed that a completely new Greek text be used in the revision instead of the ‘Received Text’ (‘majority text’) used in the KJV. This new Greek text was based largely on two manuscripts that fell into the ‘minority’ Greek text (the untrustworthy, and previously rejected 5%). Let’s look briefly at what these two men believed and the new ‘text’ they pushed for…

Brooke Foss Westcott believed in the worship of Mary, prayers for the dead in purgatory, and denied the literal account of Creation, the Second Coming of Christ, the Millennial Reign of Christ, and a literal Heaven and Hell.

Fenton John Anthony Hort believed that the worship of Mary had a lot in common with the worship of Jesus, the keeping of Roman Catholic sacraments, baptismal regeneration (saved/born again by baptism), prayers for the dead in purgatory, and denied the infallibility of Scripture, the literal account of Creation, a literal Hell, the Trinity, and the existence of angels.

“No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis give literal history.” BF Westcott
“I have been persuaded for many years Mary worship and Jesus worship have very much in common in their causes and their results.” FJA Hort

While working on their Greek text (1851-1871), and on the Revision Committee for the Revised Version (1871-1881), both men took great interest in occult practices and secret clubs (see: 1 Timothy 4:1). They started the Hermes Club in 1845, the Ghostly Guild in 1851, and Hort joined a secret club called The Apostles in the same year. They also started the Eranus Club in 1872. The Ghostly Guild was a spiritualist group that believed in communicating with the dead (necromancy). These men were far from Christian. They were in fact, liberal scholars who had picked up false teachings and abandoned true ones. Would you trust these men to translate your Bible?

The ‘new’ Greek text they proposed was equally suspect. The two main manuscripts to be used were called codex Sinaiticus (Aleph) and codex Vaticanus (B). The argument made for using these two manuscripts in the new Greek text went like this…

It was proposed that the two manuscripts were much older than any previous manuscripts used, and so were more reliable. It didn’t matter what the vast majority of manuscripts (95%) agreed on, the older manuscripts were presumed to be closer to the originals, and so were more reliable… right? Sadly, many bought into this con, and the ‘new’ Greek text was accepted. The Revised Version of 1881 was the first Bible version based on the new Greek text. All ‘modern’ translations since then in English are based on (or at least are influenced by) this new Greek text. The argument they used seems a good one… but we know better!

Forgotten History

Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were both 4th century Roman Catholic manuscripts. In the ancient world, as copies of God’s Word were made, God’s people ever had to be on the lookout for corrupted copies of Bibles creeping into the early church. Many corrupt texts came from the ancient city of Alexandria (in Egypt). It contained a huge library of ancient books and scrolls, and was a centre of learning and philosophy. But it was also a breeding ground for heresies and false teachings. The Gnostics thrived there, as well as the Arians (modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses.) These groups denied key fundamentals of the Christian faith such as the deity of Christ, and they made edited or perverted copies of Bible manuscripts (i.e. they took out bits they didn’t like). The early church noticed and rejected these corrupted manuscripts, and so through their lack of use, these corrupt manuscripts were often stored away and forgotten.

It was these older (perverted) manuscripts that Westcott and Hort believed to be more accurate because of their age. However, their age is accounted for by the fact that they were rejected by the early church and not used. You see, the faithful copies of God’s Word were used so much that they wore out and had to be copied again and again, but the corrupted/rejected manuscripts didn’t wear out and so survived longer. In summary: perverted copies that were not used got older, whilst faithful copies were worn out through frequent usage and had to be replaced. It’s like a good pair of shoes: you use them – they eventually wear out. Whereas a faulty pair of shoes may just be stored away in your wardrobe and forgotten about. Thus, these scholars made the mistake of presuming that older means more reliable when in fact it doesn’t!

Not only that, but codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus both contained many deletions and had large portions missing. They also had extra Biblical material added to them and were found to contradict the majority text (95%), and in many cases contradict each other! Neither are they the oldest manuscripts. Older manuscripts (that support the KJV) include: the Pashitta (145 A.D.), the Old Syriac (400 A.D.), about fifty extant copies of the Old Latin from about 157 A.D., a Gothic version (produced by Ulfilas) for Europe in 330 A.D., the Armenian Bible (with over 1,200 extant copies, translated by Mesrob around 400 A.D. )

Westcott and Hort’s new Greek text was submitted to the Revision Committee in secret, and members were sworn to silence as they worked on the translation for 10 years. The corrupt Greek text was not released to the public until just five days before the debut of the Revised Version, thus preventing a close inspection of the underlying Greek text by scholars such as John Burgon. Thus, modern Bible versions were born out of error, deception and outright corruption. Does this sound like the directing of the Holy Spirit to you?

The conclusion of this point leaves you with a choice to make: which Bible do you want? One based on the majority Greek text or one based on the corrupted minority?

Reason 3. The KJV Translators Used a Superior Translation Method

The translators used what is called ‘direct translation’, which is a direct word for word translation of the original text. However, due to the differences in language structure and other complications, the translators of the KJV had to insert extra words in the text to help it make sense in English. These words appear in italics in the KJV so that you know that they do not appear in the original Greek or Hebrew. Modern versions on the other hand often use what is called ‘dynamic equivalent’, which means the translators try to capture the meaning of the text rather that the exact wording. A committee decides what the Bible is really trying to say. But would you want to read what God actually says, or what a committee of Bible doubters thinks God says?

The thorough translation, revision, and checking process that the 47 translators of the 1611 KJV was implemented as follows:

1. The translators were split into 6 different groups in 3 different locations (2 at Westminster, 2 at Oxford, and 2 at Cambridge) 2. Each group was given a selected portion of Scripture to translate. 3. Each scholar made his own translation of a book of the Bible, and then passed it on to be reviewed by each member of his group. 4. The whole group then went over the book together. 5. Once a group had completed a book of the Bible, they sent it to be reviewed by the other five groups. 6. All objectionable and questionable translating was marked and noted, and then it was returned to the original group for consideration. 7. A special committee was then formed by selecting one leader from each group. This committee worked out all of the remaining differences and presented a finished copy for the printers in 1611.

The translation process the scholars used was open. Any learned men in the country who thought they had a better rendering of a text could submit it to the translation committee, and the churches were regularly kept informed of the progress. The translator’s viewed God’s Word as divinely preserved and uncorrupted. They believed they were handling the very Words of God.

In contrast, modern translations are largely carried out by men and women who deny that God has preserved His Word. They do not believe what God has stated in Psalm 12:6-7 (see back cover). They rather believe that the message, or the gist of what God is trying to say is preserved, but not the original words. They believe that through time man has corrupted God’s Word by adding or taking parts away. Think of it: According to them, Almighty God inspires His Word, then lets men corrupt and change it! If that is true, then the Bible is just like any other corrupted ancient book. No! God gave His perfect Word, then preserved it perfectly through time, so that today we have the same words preserved and inherited today. Think about it; if any one part of the Bible is corrupted, then how could we trust any of it?

This point highlights two important doctrines Christians need to be aware of and believe by faith:

1. Inspiration and Inerrancy: God gave His perfect Word to mankind. It was verbally inspired by God, and is perfect and without error.

2. Divine Preservation: God has preserved His perfect Word through time, so that today we have that same Word still in its perfect state.

“The Old Testament in Hebrew…and the New Testament in Greek…being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.” (The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1648)

These two doctrines go hand in hand, the one complimenting the other. Although much evidence supports these two doctrines and the miracle of God’s Word, they are still doctrines that are believed by faith (i.e. you could never prove them 100% in your lifetime). Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) He said: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). Should we believe Jesus statements? Yes! But we do so by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Some say that God’s perfect Word is in Heaven; but remember, He wrote His Word to us (humanity)! What good would it be to us in Heaven? Besides, if God’s perfect Word is in Heaven, then it is lost to us. No so! God promised He would preserve His Word, and we have every good reason to believe Him!

Reason 4. The Best Translation Committee – Ever!

The King James Version of the Bible is really the culmination of 230 years of Bible translation work. Great men who were key figures in bringing us Gods Word in English were:

John Wycliffe (mid-1320s – 31 December 1384)
William Tyndale (1494 – 1536)
Desiderius Erasmus (1466/1469 – 1536)
Myles Coverdale (1488 – 1569)

The KJV was translated in a time that has been called the golden age of Biblical and oriental translation in England. The 47 translators were highly qualified for the task, which began in 1607 and ended in 1611. Most of the men were fellows of Cambridge or Oxford University, 12 of them were heads of colleges, the Regis (or Royal Professors) of both Hebrew and Greek from both universities were present. To illustrate, let’s look at the qualifications of just three of the men:

Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) Qualifications:

  • Studious even as a child
  • Trained chiefly at Merchant of Taylor’s School.
  • Appointed one of the first Greek Scholarships at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, at the age of only sixteen.
  • Catechist and later Master of Pembroke Hall.
  • Mastered many of the languages of Europe, but had particular interest in the Oriental languages. He was fluent in 15 modern languages and 6 ancient.
  • Lecturer at Cambridge University
  • Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I (1586)
  • Dean of Westminster and head of Westminster School (1601).
  • Bishop of Chichester (1605), Ely (1609) and later Winchester (1618).
  • Was one of the key figures in pulling together the translators for the KJV.

John Overall (1560-1619) Qualifications:

  • Vicar of Epping, Essex (1592)
  • Regis Professor of Divinity (1596)
  • Master of Catherine Hall (1598)
  • Dean of St.Paul’s (1602)
  • Accomplished Latin and Hebrew scholar (would today be considered the best in the country, although not the best in his day!)
  • Speaker at the lower House of Convocations (1604)
  • Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (1614), Bishop of Norwich (1618)

John Bois (Boyes) (1561-1643)

  • At the age of five he could read and write fluently in both Hebrew and Greek.
  • Went up to St. John’s in 1575, and passed the two year Greek course in only a month.
  • Was lectured by Andrew Downes who plied Bois with the twelve hardest Greek authors
  • As a student he spent 16 hours a day in the college library (4am – 8pm)
  • He later became a chief lecturer in Greek, often beginning his lectures at 4am
  • Studied medicine
  • Vicar of West Stow in 1591, Rector of Boxworth in 1596
  • As a translator, he was most precise. Unequalled in England for his understanding of the Greek, and unsurpassed for the long hours he devoted to the task.

It has been rightly said that from before that time or since, has such a qualified and competent company of men been assembled for the task of translating the Holy Scriptures.

“The King James Bible is a conundrum. It is the richest, most passionate and most bought of all works of English prose. It is full of grandeur, and a vivid heart gripping immediacy. The language of the King James is that of majesty, grace, stateliness, scale and power. Never have so many scholars been used for a Bible translation. The pivot was Lancelot Andrewes, Dean of Westminster Abbey, called preacher and scholar, fluent in fifteen modern languages and six ancient. Gifted with a musical understanding of English, which is responsible for much of the final effect of translation. He was a man with an extraordinary tender relationship with his God, praying five hours every morning and was said to have been in tears for most of them. There is no desire to please here. Only a belief in the overwhelming Divine authority. The translators of this Bible clearly believed that, and the majesty of their translation stems from its belief in that Divine authority. The diversity of the enormous committee is all in the end subservient to that idea. Yawning between now and then is the great invention of liberalism and the importance of individual freedom. Nothing like the King James Bible could ever be made again.”

The Daily Telegraph, 2nd June, 2002

Reason 5. The Strongest on Fundamental Bible Doctrine

The KJV exalts the Lord Jesus Christ, as the True Scriptures should (John 5:39). There is no book on earth that exalts Christ higher than the KJV. In numerous places modern versions attack the Deity of Christ, the Blood Atonement, the Resurrection, salvation by grace through faith alone, and the Second Coming of Christ. The true Scriptures will testify of Jesus Christ, not attack or undermine Him!

For example, compare these Scriptures in the KJV to other modern versions (we have used the NIV here as an example), and ask yourself; is the doctrine changed or weakened in these passages?

Changed doctrines:

Matthew 9:13
KJV: “…I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
NIV: “…I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Notice anything missing here? What has happened to the doctrine of repentance in this verse?

Mark 16:9-20
You won’t find ANY doctrine in this passage in many of the modern versions because this entire passage is missing! Also, look at how the Gospel of Mark ends in the modern versions. It ends in verse 8 with the disciples being: “bewildered” and says, “…they were afraid” (NIV). Modern versions give an impression of defeat, confusion and fear in this passage. In the KJV Marks Gospel ends with victory, resurrection, ascension, and going into all the world and preaching the Gospel (verses 9-20)!

Acts 8:37
In this passage the Ethiopian eunuch asks if he can be baptised, and Philip gives this answer: KJV: “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Here is explained the doctrine of believers baptism.
Does the NIV change the doctrine in this passage? Here is what the NIV says:
NIV: ” – “
That’s right: Nothing! The whole verse is missing!

1 Timothy 6:5
KJV: “…men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
NIV: “…men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”
The last part of the verse is missing here in the NIV. Thus, God’s warning to believers to separate from the corrupt men described in this passage is lost (the doctrine of Biblical Separation). That warning has been edited out of the NIV!

Weakened Doctrines:

Matthew 8:2
The phrase “and worshipped him” is missing in the NIV, and so this verse which helps demonstrate that Jesus was Almighty God in the flesh is ruined. In fact, in the eleven times Jesus is worshiped by someone in the Gospels, the NIV distorts the passage about half of the time. So, is the doctrine of the deity of Christ weakened in the NIV?

Luke 2:33, 43
KJV: The phrase “Joseph and his mother” is used in both verses. Why not “his father and his mother”? Because Jesus was the Son of God, not the son of Joseph! Now look and see what the NIV says…
NIV: The phrase “the child’s father and mother” is used in verse 33, and verse 43 simply says “his parents”. Here the doctrine of Jesus being the son of God is severely weakened in the NIV!

1 Timothy 3:16
KJV: “…God was manifest in the flesh”. A great verse we use to demonstrate that Jesus was Almighty God.
The NIV simply states: “…he appeared in a body”. Here in this passage the uniqueness of Jesus is lost in the NIV.

Often the footnotes in modern versions will say something along the lines of, “the oldest manuscripts omit this verse”, as their reason for not including it in their version. But in previous points we have shown that Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are actually corrupted minority Greek texts, and so are untrustworthy as a basis for translating God’s word. They have survived longer because the early Church rejected and didn’t use them.

In Summary

To summarize this short introduction to the issue of Bible versions, we should hold to the Authorized King James Version of the Bible because:
1. The KJV use the most reliable manuscripts, and is supported by the ‘majority text.’
2. Modern versions are based upon (or at least influenced by) corrupted Greek manuscripts, and modern versions are based on deception.
3. The KJV translators used the best translation method (direct translation).
4. The KJV translation committee was the best qualified and most competent ever formed.
5. The KJV is the strongest on fundamental Christian doctrine.

The Bible we use really is a fundamental of the Christian faith, as we are dealing with the very words of God. How would we know anything about God, Jesus Christ, or the Gospel, without the Bible? This is not a side issue! Look how highly God esteems His Word: “…thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2) If you decide today to hold to the KJV then you can have confidence in the above five reasons summarized earlier, as well as so many others. If however, you decide to go with one of today’s modern versions, you do so in the knowledge that it is based on corrupted manuscripts, translated using an inferior method, by men and women who often denied fundamentals of the Christian faith, and believed the Bible is a corrupted book. Which Bible will you choose? It is our sincere and earnest desire that you choose wisely (Proverbs 22:3). Amen.

The following resources come highly recommended if you want to look further into this most important subject, and equip yourself in the defence of God’s Word:

Recommended Reading: Things Hard To Be Understood (David Cloud) The Answers Book (Dr. Samual Gipp) An Understandable History of the Bible (Dr. Samuel Gipp)

Recommended DVDs: The Indestructible Book (Dr. Ken Connelly) Why We Hold to the King James Bible (David Cloud)

Recommended Websites:

Some of the materials recommended here are available from our store.

C. H. Spurgeon said: “The approved method of the present carnival of unbelief is not to reject the Bible altogether but to raise doubts as to portions of it.”

“I build on no authority, ancient or modern, but the Scripture. I want to know one thing – the way to Heaven: how to land on that happy shore. God Himself hath condescended to teach the way. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me that book of God.” (John Wesley, as cited in Bible Version Comparison pamphlet by Dr. Terry Watkins, Th.D.)

Copyright – The Lord’s Work Trust 2010.