Sensible reasons for retaining the KJV

The following is a summary from an article entitled The King James Version of the Bible by Steven Houck, a minister in the Protestant Reformed Church:

• It was translated by men who are unsurpassed in their knowledge of Biblical studies.

• The translators were pious men of God who believed in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

• It is the mature fruit of generations of English translations as well as the careful work of its translators.

• The King James Version is based upon the Received Text rather than the critical Greek text of modern versions.

• It is a word-for-word translation which faithfully and accurately reflects the originals.

• The language is one of reverence and respect which gives honor to the majesty of its Author.

• Of all the English versions of today, it alone is the Bible of the Reformation.

• Our spiritual forefathers thought so highly of it that they were willing to suffer and even die for it.

• It is the version which has been recognized for generations and generations as the Bible God has given to His English-speaking Church.


3 Responses to “Sensible reasons for retaining the KJV”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Faithfully and accurately reflects the originals”? But he nor the translators have never seen the originals. How is this a “sensible” comment? I assume you are aware of this if you are familiar with Ruckman’s writings. I know that you know this fellow or the translators have never seen an original. Why do you keep on using this term than when you know it’s not true. God hates a lying tongue. You are deceiving people, knowingly using terms that aren’t accurate….and certainly not “sensible”

    “A word for word translation”??? Not every time it isn’t.

  2. Webmaster says:

    I’m not the author of the outline, and I would probably word some things a little different. No Bible translations are word-for-word, except for interlinears. However, it is obvious that the author is speaking of the KJV in general terms. Generally speaking, the KJV is word-for-word when English grammar allows for it.

    As to the term "the original/originals," for hundreds of years writers have used that phrase in such a way that the context indicates that they were not pretending to have checked the actual autographa, but rather they are referring to what is agreed to be the reading of the original based on the consensus (sometimes unanimous) of the manuscripts. Keep in mind that all Bible manuscripts (when dealing with the 66 books in the Protestant Bible) tend to agree at least around 95% of the time. The dispute in textual criticism only deals with about 5% of the Bible. (I don’t mean by this that we should treat the Bible as only 95% reliable, but that is another subject altogether). In other words, around 95% of the time there is no dispute as to the reading of the original even among liberal textual critics when we restrict it to the 66 books of the Bible. The KJV translators themselves used the term “the original” 3-4 times in the preface to the 1611. Would you repudiate them as deceivers and liars? I don’t think so. Even Ruckman himself, in earlier writings at least, made references to “the original.” Here’s an example from page 32 of the 1st edition of his 1964 book “The Bible Babel”: “In the original, it had the word ‘God’ written [theos in Greek characters] – the reader of course realizing that the word ‘original’ depends upon  whether the received text of the AV is correct, or the Roman text of the ASV and RSV.” Here Ruckman used the term “in the original” in spite of the fact that not all Greek manuscripts have “God” in 1 Tim. 3:16. For the record, I personally believe that “God” was in the original in that verse, although we can’t prove it, except for pointing to the overwhelming manuscript support for the reading. I don’t agree when Ruckman years later began to attack people who used the term “in the originals,” (when it was done responsibly) as if he had never done it himself.


  3. Anonymous says:

    First, my understanding is that it is an error to call the KJV the Bible of the Protestant Reformation. I thought that title generally is ascribed to the Geneva Bible. Of course, if you consider the KJV to be the descendant of the Geneva Bible, and consider that the Geneva Bible is not a version of today, perhaps the above quote would be entirely accurate.

    Second, this is a wondering for the webmaster. It seems to me that reformed people who are interested in the purity of the scriptures are generally quite open to the critical texts and sometimes even insist upon using them because of their purity.

    Could this be traceable back through the history of the Protestant church through the Catholic church and the Baptistic lines apart from the Catholic church? In other words, since many Catholics and later many Protestants despised those Baptistic groups and their “heretical” teachings, they would mistrust any Bible that was copied by them while assuming relative purity of copies from regions they dominated. In turn, could it be that Baptists mistrust those Bible translations that are renown for their doctrinal errors while assuming relative purity from those copies from areas where they were more numerous?

    Luke Townsley

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