What is your position and practice regarding inspiration and the King James Version?
By David Cox
Let me make some simple statements before I elaborate. I am a missionary and I am fluent in English and Spanish, and I have studied many years of Greek, and a couple of years of Hebrew (both of these in Seminary). I am not ignorant of either the ancient Bible languages, nor am I ignore of what it is to take the Word of God from one language to another (which is a difficult challenge between any two languages).
- I use two different Bibles, a Spanish Bible (Reina Valera 1960) and the King James Version.
- There is no KJV in some other language.
- I recommend that English speakers use the KJV.
- I am an independent, Fundamental, separated Baptist Missionary-Pastor.
Why I am not KJV ONLY
The answer here is very simple. I believe in the Baptist distinctive, therefore I believe in soul liberty and the priesthood of each individual believer. That coupled with the sufficiency of Scripture means that if God would have demanded that we take the KJV only stand, then God would have clearly commanded us to use the KJV translation in Scripture itself. If you believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, then it is a false religion, a cult, a doctrinal error to make something that God did not clearly state as so to be equal with Scripture. That brings upon you the invocations of the plagues of Revelation in the closing verses because you are adding to Scripture.
- God did not give us His word in the English language, rather Greek, Hebrew, and a few passages in Aramaic. Therefore the Scripture being given in English is not how God did things. Nothing can change that.
- The King James Version is a human translation, not divinely inspired (the version or translation of it into English, yet the Greek and Hebrew is divinely inspired). Therefore to maintain that the KJV has more inspiration, similar or exactly like the original transcripts, is to hold to a secondary work of inspiration that has no biblical foundation. Therefore, confusing the inspiration of the original manuscripts with the inspiration of its translation is a gross error.
- As a pastor giving recommendations and using a particular version in every service I hold, I have to make a decision about which version I use and recommend for our church and services, and it is perfectly valid that I recommend what I deem as best. I recommend the KJV in English and the RV1960 in Spanish. I do not demonize people who use other versions.
- I observe and analyze the different versions, and I note that the KJV (and there are a very few others) that strive to be literal as possible while maintaining clarity and understanding, and these are “good Bibles” in my opinion, while the looser, and more liberal translations do not do a good job at representing the originals, preferring to insert much interpretation of the translators. I consider these versions to be “bad Bibles”, such as the NIV, Good News for Modern Man, the Message Bible, etc. Making these observations, I also note that the same mindset that chooses “liberal and looser” Bible versions also are observable in doctrine and practice in these churches in general, and therefore, I do not like or fellowship with people of this sort by preference.
- I insist that the biblical position is to protect our Christian liberty, but at the same time, I condemn loose and liberal doctrine, practice, and Bible versions. We cannot add planks to back of our Bible of our conclusions without adding to Scripture and violating Christian liberty, yet we can analyze and reason why we use or not use a particular Bible version.
- I oppose the concept that anybody or any group that is KJV only is good, and any group that isn’t KJV only (to the extreme as some would insist all should be) is bad. Historically there have been many cults like the Seventh Day Adventists, David Koresh and Branch Davidians, etc. that have espoused exactly the KJV only position, and yet their doctrinal fidelity is simply not there. It is a rouse to presume that adscribing to any Bible version will make a person sound doctrinally or make his practice biblical. That is only decided by examining doctrine and practice particularly.