THE FOUR-FOLD SUPERIORITY OF THE KING JAMES VERSION (Part 2)
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#2: THE KING JAMES BIBLE HAS SUPERIOR TRANSLATORS. The second reason for defending the KJV is because it has superior translators. This correctly implies that the various versions and perversions of the Bible have inferior translators.
Let’s take a brief look at the superior translators of the KJV. Why do I say that the KJV translators are superior? I say they are superior because they ARE superior! I think that there is no question about the expertise and ability of the translators who gave us our KJV. The new version people often say that the KJV translators were rather ignorant and didn’t know as much about translating as the “translators/paraphrasers” of today. This is not only prideful, but completely false. Their linguistic qualifications are unequaled!
The accomplishments of Lancelot Andrews. Let’s mention Dr. Lancelot Andrews. He was certainly a superior KJV translator. He had mastered fifteen languages. Someone said that if Dr. Andrews had been present at the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel, he could have served as interpreter general. I don’t know any of the modern “translator/paraphrasers” who have mastered fifteen languages, do you? Send me their names, if you have proof of this.
The acumen of William Bedwell. How about Dr. William Bedwell? He was famed in Arabic learning. I don’t know how many of these new men who are “translating/paraphrasing” for these modern versions and perversions who have studied as much of the Arabic language as he had. In fact, he published in quarto, an edition of the Epistles of St. John in Arabic with a Latin version. I don’t know how many men today could do that. Dr. Bedwell left many Arabic manuscripts in the University of Cambridge, with numerous notes and a font of types for printing them. In fact, he wrote an Arabic lexicon, or dictionary, in three volumes. He also began a Persian dictionary which is among Archbishop Laud’s manuscripts, still preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford today. I don’t think anyone among our modern “translators/paraphrasers” of today has done this or could do this! Do you know any of these men who have written an Arabic dictionary and begun a Persian dictionary, or done anything similar in the scholarly world that will even come close to the accomplishments of William Bedwell? If so, send me their names and the proof. In our day, many people watch too much television. They attend too many football games, baseball games. and basketball games. We are ignoramuses today compared to the scholars who gave us our KJV!
The acceptability of Miles Smith. Look at the acceptability of Dr. Miles Smith. He was an expert in Hebrew, in Chaldee, in Syriac, and in Arabic. They were almost as familiar to him as his native tongue. Dr. Smith went through both the Greek and Latin church Fathers, making annotations on them all.
The activities of Henry Savile. Sir Henry Saville was proficient in both Greek and mathematics. He became tutor in these two subjects to Queen Elizabeth. I don’t know how many queens or kings our modern “translators/paraphrasers” have tutored, do you? Saville translated the histories of Cornelius Tacitus and published the same with notes. He published, from the manuscripts, the writings of Bradwardin against Pelagius, the Writers of English History Subsequent to Bede, and Prelections on the Elements of Euclid. He was the first to edit the complete works of Chrysostom, the most famous of the Greek Fathers. He was a profound, and exact scholar.
The academics of John Bois. John Bois was expert in Hebrew as well as Greek. He studied at his father’s knee. In fact, at the age of five, he had read the whole Bible IN HEBREW!! At the age of six, John Bois was able to write Hebrew in a clear and elegant style. If you know anything about the Hebrew letters, it’s difficult to write in an elegant style, or in any style, for that matter. Much more could be said about John Bois.
The superior translators in general. Have you ever heard of Gulliver’s Travels? It tells of Gulliver’s adventures with the inhabitants of Lilliput. Do you remember what the Lilliputians did to poor Gulliver? They were tiny, tiny people, and Gulliver was like a giant to them. While he was asleep, they tied up Gulliver with tiny cords so he couldn’t move. I liken the KJV translators to the giant Gulliver and the “translators/paraphrasers” of today to tiny Lilliputians. It states in Ge. 6:4: “There were GIANTS in the earth in those days…” It was true also from 1604 to 1611, when these profound scholars gave us our incomparable King James Bible! They had mastered English as well as the Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek. They also knew the cognate or brother-sister- cousin related languages that shed light on the Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek such as the Aramaic, the Arabic, the Persian, the Coptic, the Syriac, and the others. When the modern “translators/paraphrasers” come upon a word they don’t understand, they throw up their hands in dismay. The KJV translators did not meet with such difficulty because they knew the cognate languages so well that they could unlock such mysteries. Our modern “translators/paraphrasers” are linguistically illiterate when compared to the men who gave us our KJV. They truly were “GIANTS”!!
#3: THE KING JAMES BIBLE HAS SUPERIOR TECHNIQUE. The third reason for defending the KING JAMES BIBLE is because it has superior technique of translation. This correctly implies that the various versions and perversions of the Bible have inferior technique of translation.
The KJV translators used the superior technique of verbal equivalence and formal equivalence–not dynamic equivalence. The modern versions and perversions have used, to a greater or lesser degree, the inferior technique of dynamic equivalence and have disdained both verbal and formal equivalence.
1. “God Forbid.” Some people allege that the KJB translators used dynamic equivalence in their expression “God forbid.” Even if it were the case (and I do not accept that it is), it is found only fourteen times in the New Testament: Ro. 3:4,6,31; 6:2,15; 7:7,13; 9:14; 11:1,11; 1 Co. 6:15; Ga. 2:17; 3:21; 6:14. It is a rendering of “mE genoito” which is “may it not be” or “let it not be.” This is perfect 1611 parlance for “God forbid.” It was quite literal in 1611. If you don’t believe it, consult the Oxford English Dictionary which gives you the meaning of “God forbid” in 1611. It is found only seven times in the O.T.: Ge. 44:7,17; Jos. 22:29; 24:16; 1 Sa. 12:23; 1 Ch. 11:19; Job 27:5. It is a rendering of “chalal” which is “may it be something profane” or “may it be far from me.” Again, “God forbid” is a perfect 1611- parlance for the Hebrew words used.
2. “God Save the King.” Another favorite allegation of dynamic equivalency in the KJV is the expression “God save the king.” Even if it were the case (and I do not accept that it is), it is only found four times in the O.T.: 1 Sa. 10:24; 2 Sa. 16:16; 2 Ki. 11:12; 2 Ch. 23:11. It means “may the king live long” or “may the king be preserved or safe.” Well, if the king lives long, he is “saved” is he not? [Editor: The term “salvation” was used in a much broader sense in past centuries.] So why not let the 1611- parlance of “God save the king” alone? The fact is that such examples are very, very few in the KJV, whereas they abound in the modern versions and perversions because in those, the dynamic equivalent technique is the rule rather than the exception.
The King James Bible’s verbal and formal equivalence. The KJV basically uses the technique of verbal equivalence and formal equivalence. Verbal equivalence means that the very words, wherever possible, are brought over from Hebrew into English and from Greek into English. The KJV also uses the technique of formal equivalence, that is, the translators brought over, wherever possible, the very forms of the Hebrew and Greek words into English. They didn’t transform the grammar. They didn’t take a noun and make a verb out of it. They brought a verb into a verb and a noun into a noun wherever possible. They were skilled craftsmen who had a proper concept of what “translation” really is. It comes from translatus which in turn comes from two Latin words, trans (“across”) and latus which is the past participle of fero (“to carry”). It means to “carry across” from one place to another, or from one language to another. It does not seek to CHANGE, or to ADD, or to SUBTRACT!
Let me illustrate “translation.” If I have my wife’s pocketbook and I want to translate it from one side of the church to the other, I would simply pick it up, take it across the aisle, and put it on the other side of the church. I wouldn’t leave any of it behind, even though there may be some things in it I wouldn’t want to take over. I wouldn’t add anything to it, and I wouldn’t drop any of it in the center aisle. Now that’s translation, translatus. That’s what the KJV translators did. They just simply took the Hebrew words and put them into English. They picked up the Greek words and put them into English. That’s translation. That’s the superior technique.
The modern versions’ use of dynamic equivalence. I have a computer print-out research of three of these modern versions–the New King James, the New American Standard, and the New International. When compared to the Hebrew and Greek texts, I found that the New King James Version had over 2,000 examples of dynamic equivalency, that is, adding to, subtracting from, or changing the Words of God. In a similar study of the New American Standard Version, I found over 4,000 such examples. In a similar study of the New International Version I found over 6,653 such examples.
What is meant by dynamic equivalency? “Dynamic” means “moving or changing.” “Equivalence” means “the same or unchanging.” You can’t have it both ways! It is either changing or unchanging. Those who use this false technique in the various “translations/paraphrases” think it’s a great technique. The bottom line for such a technique is that it gives a human being the right to ADD to God’s Words (which is sin), to SUBTRACT from God’s Words (which is sin), or to CHANGE God’s Words (which is sin). God pronounces the strongest possible CURSE on anyone who dares to do any of those three things to God’s Words!! Those who use this false technique are really paraphrasing rather than translating. Paraphrase comes from two Greek words, para (“along side or beside”) and phrasis (“a word or phrase”). It means to use a word or phrase that is along side of the real meaning. It is to state something in other words. We should seek, as the KJV translators sought, to put into English the exact and accurate meaning of the Hebrew and Greek Words of God rather than to give something that is “beside” or “along side of” the word or phrase.
#4: THE KING JAMES BIBLE HAS SUPERIOR THEOLOGY. The fourth reason for defending the KING JAMES BIBLE is because it has superior theology. This correctly implies that the various versions and perversions of the Bible have inferior theology.
Some denials that theology is affected by Greek or English versions. It is said by those who use the new versions and perversions of the Bible that there is no difference in any of them when it comes to theology. It is also said that there is no difference in any of the Greek texts in the matter of theology. This is even said by those who are looked up to as Bible believing leaders. There are two phases of their theological denial:
(1) These men believe that the Greek textual variants between the two basic Greek texts do not affect theology or doctrine. They believe that the false Westcott and Hort Greek text (when compared to the Greek text of the KJV) contains nothing that is theologically deficient or doctrinally incorrect. This is false.
(2) These men also believe that the modern English versions do not contain changes from the KJV that affect theology or doctrine. They believe that you can take any modern English version you wish and when you compare it to the KJV, that version does not have anything in it that is theologically deficient or doctrinally incorrect. This is also false.
Dr. John R. Rice stated: “The differences in the translations are so minor, so insignificant, that we can be sure not a single doctrine, not a single statement of fact, not a single command or exhoratation, has been missed in our translations.” (meaning the English Revised Version of 1881 or the American Standard Ver- sion of 1901)
This statement is clearly false. It is not true to the evidence. Dr. Sumner wrote: “The rare parts about which there is still uncertainty do not effect [sic] in any way any doctrine.” This is false! Doctrine IS affected. Dr. Robert L. Thomas, John MacArthur’s professor in his California Seminary, wrote: “No major doctrine of scripture is affected by a variant reading.” False, again. Dr. H.S. Miller wrote: “No doctrine is affected.” False again. Dr. Stanley Gundry stated: “Only a few outstanding problems remain, and these do not affect doctrine or divine command to us.” False again. Dr. Ernest Pickering wrote: “Important differences of textual readings are relatively few and almost none would affect any major Christian doctrine.” False again!
Some examples of theology that is affected by Greek and English versions. I have given 158 examples of the theological superiority of the KJV in my book. I selected these from Dr. Jack Moorman’s compilation of a total of 356 doctrinal passages that have been changed in the Egyptian heretical Greek texts of “B” (Vatican), “Aleph” (Sinai), and others. I’ll give you some examples of doctrines that are affected by these false Greek texts and new versions.
1. John 3:15. “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Do you know what the “B” (Vatican) and “Aleph” (Sinai) manuscripts do to the three words, “should not perish”? They REMOVE them. So, in the two false Greek texts, there’s no hell in Jn. 3:15. What versions follow these corrupted Greek texts? The NIV follows them, the NASV follows them, and the NKJV in the footnotes, follows them. So do the other modern versions and perversions. For them, there is no hell in Jn. 3:15. Is this not a major doctrine?
Because “B” (Vatican) and “Aleph” (Sinai) remove both verses, so does the NKJV in the footnotes; so does the NASV (by putting them in brackets); and so does the NIV. So do the other modern versions and perversions. In so doing, they take away the fires of hell. Is this not a major doctrine? [Editor: While it is true that verse 48 is retained in this passage in the modern versions, the power and authority is weakened by two- thirds. The God- honored Received Text says Jesus repeated this statement three times to emphasize the horrors of going to hell. The critical text removes two of these statements, thus weakening the force of the doctrine.]
When you take the “literal fire” out of hell, as many new- evangelicals and (and even some fundamentalists) have done, and as all of the apostates have done, and as Mary Baker Eddy and all false cults have done, you are in serious trouble and in grievous doctrinal error! For centuries, many have removed the fire out of hell even though the KJV keeps it in. Now these false Egyptian Greek texts and the false English perversions will assist them in their heresy of a “fireless hell”!
3. John 6:47. Let me see if you can accurately lead a soul to Christ using exclusively Jn. 6:47 as rendered in the new versions. Note John 6:47 in the KJV, where the Lord Jesus declared: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
That verse is as clear as a bell, on how to receive “everlasting life.” But, the Westcott and Hort Greek text, following the “B” (Vatican) and “Aleph” (Sinai) manuscripts, takes out those two vital and precious words, “on me.” Because of their reliance on these false Egyptian Greek texts, the NIV also removes “on me.” So does the NASV. So does the NKJV in the footnotes. So do the other modern versions and perversions. If you’re trying to lead a soul to Christ with those new versions and perversions, using Jn. 6:47 exclusively, you’ll never lead them to Christ, because “on me” (Christ) is gone from that verse in their perversions! All they say is something like this: “Whoever believes has everlasting life.” Believes what? Their verse doesn’t say. Their verse merely says “believes.” According to these perversions of John 6:47, if I were to believe in atheism, Christ promises me everlasting life. The same if I believe in humanism, or in the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy, or in Santa Claus, or in Rudloph the Red-Nose Reindeer, or in Bugs Bunny, or in Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Modernism, or in anything else! That’s major false doctrine in my judgement, and it stems directly from false Greek texts and false English perversions!
4. Romans 1:16. Here’s what it says in the accurate KJV: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
The heretical Greek texts of “B” (Vatican) and “Aleph” (Sinai) remove the two words, “of Christ” in this verse. Because of this, the NIV also removes these words. So does the NASV. So does the NKJV in the footnotes. So do the other modern versions and perversions. This certainly is doctrine. “Gospel” means “good news” or a “good announcement.” What “gospel” could be inserted there instead of the “gospel of Christ”? Was it the good news about a pay raise? Was it the good news about a new car, a new hat, or a new house? No! It’s the gospel or good news about Christ. That’s doctrine! That’s theology!
5. John 7:8. Was the Lord Jesus Christ a liar? If you believe the false Greek text, “Aleph” (Sinai), and some of the versions, He was. Note Jn. 7:8: “Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.”
According to the Greek text “Aleph” (Sinai), the word “yet” must be removed. The NASV omits it also. So does the NKJV in the footnotes. So do some other modern versions and perversions. Why do I say this removal of “yet” makes the Lord Jesus Christ out to be a liar? Because He went up to the feast in question. If He told his brethren that He was NOT going up to the feast, and then later went up to that feast, He would have told a lie, would He not? This certainly is a major theological doctrine. As in all of the other 356 doctrinal passages, the KJV has superior theology here. The perversions are inferior in their theology and doctrine! Stay away from them!
Concluding remarks: I believe that in the King James Bible we have the Word of God kept intact in English. I believe we should defend the KJV for four reasons: (1) It has superior original language texts (Hebrew and Greek); (2) It has superior translators; (3) It has superior technique; and (4) It has superior theology.
We ought not to be ashamed of the Book of books that has stood the test of time and will continue standing. Let’s stand for it and with it. I hope the reader will secure for himself a copy of our book, Defending the King James Bible–A Four-fold Superiority–Texts, Translators, Technique, and Theology. In it we have elaborated on each of the above considerations. The KJV, which is being hammered and beaten on every hand today (by so-called “friend” and foe alike), can be very much likened to the “ANVIL” in that famous poem with which I close:
THE ANVIL OF GOD’S WORD
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door
And heard the anvil sing the vesper chime;
Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with blasting years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he; and then, with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so I thought, the anvil of God’s Word
For ages, skeptic blows have beat upon.
Yet tho’ the noise of falling blows was heard
The anvil is unharmed–the hammers gone.