If you have dabbled around this site long enough it should come to no surprise that I am not King James only. I have written another, much longer, article here. King James Onlyism is a new belief that purports that the 17th century translation is the only translation English speaking Christians should use. Check out my top reasons below for not being KJV only.
1. The Manuscript History
I am a fan of the old ways. I guess you could say I am pretty old paths when it comes to manuscript tradition. The older a text family or manuscript is the more validity I think it has. For me the Hebrew is best in its oldest witnesses such as DSS (Dead Sea Scrolls) and its early translations. Throwing this in the mix moves me a little further away from the KJV’s version of the Masoretic text.
When it comes to the Greek, I prefer it to actually be Greek in its entirety and to be closer in age to the actual writing of the New Testament. The “Textus Receptus” of the KJV meets neither of these qualifications, so I am going to have to reject this textus. To me it makes more sense not to use a rushed Greek text that was based on a newer text tradition and that inserts Latin renderings that make it unfaithful to said newer text tradition. Basically, the Greek New Testament of early translations such as the KJV aren’t the best representation of the Greek New Testament by a long shot. Big deal for me.
2. The Common Preservation Assumption is Baseless
KJV fans often purport that God promised to preserve the Scriptures, which they call “His word”, and also that somehow because of this promise there must be only one English translation. The first premise is often “supported” by verses that are totally taken out of context and do not refer to God preserving the Scriptures one bit. The second premise is based on strange logic that is unrepresented in the entirety of church history. Big red flag for me. The other red flag being that it totally doesn’t make sense. So I am not KJV only because the authors of Scripture didn’t promises to preserve the Scriptures and they especially didn’t promise them to be preserved in every language. Hint: In Matthew 24 Jesus is talking about His teaching about His return not passing away, not the Scriptures.
3. KJV1611 is not the same as KJV today
Many KJVOnlyist actually think that the KJV they hold today is no different than the one originally translated in 1611. While for the most part this is true, there are a number of differences outside of the changes of archaic language that show that this is not entirely true. One may cross check Ruth 3:15 and John 11:3 to see that these aren’t actually the same as they are today. One may do so here (https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/). If God was involved in this “super natural” process we should wonder why “he” (Ruth) went into the city and if it was Lazarus’ “sister” or “sisters” that went to meet Jesus?
My top three reasons for not believing KJV onlyism are the subpar manuscript traditions, my lack of belief in the “preserved text” theory, and the obvious changes in the King James’ successions. There are other reasons such as the olde style that is harder for us today to read, but that only makes non-KJVOnlyists look “dumb” am I right? Who would want to read a translation in a way they could understand it without studying archaic language anyway? All joking aside the KJV is an aight translation, but certainly it has its faults as all translations do.
Read my wife’s testimony about her journey away from the movement here.