Pastor Melton James Melton has written “10 Reasons for Accepting the KJV as God’s Preserved Word” none of which hold water as I will show below with my responses to each of his reasons.
1. God promised to preserve His words (Psa. 12:6-7; Mat. 24:35). There has to be a preserved copy of God’s pure words somewhere. If it isn’t the KJV, then what is it?
Simply put… Jesus! Jesus is the Word of God (See John 1:1,14 and 1 John 1). He is preserved for all eternity at the right hand of God, but that’s not all…
It’s important to make the distinction about what is meant by God’s “words”. This essentially has three meanings. 1: It means Jesus. Jesus is called the Word of God on more than one occasion. 2. In today’s Christian circles, “God’s Word” is typically taken to mean what we know of as the Bible or the “Word of God”. 3. God’s words can also mean his promises. I’m working under the assumption that Pastor Melton is making the argument that God’s words represent #2 the Bible since that is the context in which he writes these things.
As such, this is a good example of where the KJV is wrong. When the Bible talks about God’s word – especially in the two passages that Pastor Melton mentions in reason number 1 above – it is talking about literally God’s word or God’s promises, NOT the Bible as we know of it today. It’s similar to our phrase “you have my word on that”. It means God’s promises NOT the “Word of God” (i.e., the Bible). The bible wasn’t assembled, as it is for Christians today, during the times that those verses were written. We refer to the Bible as the “Word of God” but when those verses were written that phraseology wasn’t used so to interpret “God’s words” as the Bible or the Word of God is incorrect translation. (by the way the NLT among others properly translate those verses as God’s promises).
But lets say for argument’s sake that God did promised to preserve the “Word of God” (the Bible). God may have promised to preserve his Word, but he never told us how he would accomplish that promise. One thing is for sure, he did not promise to preserve his words by using only the KJV (if this is in the Bible somewhere I have yet to see it). To think that the KJV is the preserved Word of God simply because God promised to preserve his Word is nothing more than mere speculation and hearsay.
Furthermore, you’ve done some poor exegesis of scripture. Psalm 12:6-7 is about God keeping his promises, it has nothing to do with the preservation of the Bible. Matthew 24:35 says that God’s words will never pass away not that God will preserve his word through the use of the KJV. You are taking those verses and twisting them so that they fit your agenda. Your use of those verses to support your argument is manipulative at best and heretical at worst.
I will offer a challenge to anyone who want’s to accept it. If you can prove by using the Bible that God promised to preserve either the “Word of God”/the Bible or even God’s words/promises, by way of the KJV I will take this site offline and put up a site promoting KJV onlyism in it’s place.
2. It has no copyright. The text of the KJV may be reproduced by anyone for there is no copyright forbidding it’s duplication. This is not true with the modern perversions.
This is simply a lie. The KJV does have a copyright. See Myth 1 in this article. In the US anything prior to 1922 is free of copyrights. This is simply because of the lack of copyright laws at that time. If that were the only issue then the KJV would not have a copyright. The problem, however, is that the KJV is not a work produced by an American citizen. The KJV is actually copyrighted under the Crown Copyright of England therefore the copyright of the KJV falls under the jurisdiction of England. Since the Crown Copyright is a perpetual copyright it will never end. The US has agreed to honor copyright laws of other countries. As a result the KJV is actually copyrighted here in the US as well. It is rarely enforced simply because of logistical issues – its just not practical. But the KJV is under copyright here in the US.
But even so, what exactly does a copyright have to do with it being a perfect preservation? In my mind a work that’s public domain is at a much greater risk for errors since anyone can take the text and modify it and re-purpose it. This reason just doesn’t make sense nor can I figure out an association with your belief about a perfect preserved word of God.
3. The KJV produces good fruit (Mat. 7:17-20). No modern translation can compare to the KJV when it comes to producing good fruit. For nearly four hundred years, God has used the preaching and teaching of the KJV to bring hundreds of millions to Christ. Laodicean Christians might favor the new versions, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t.
Using this logic one would have to conclude that the Latin Vulgate translation should be the version to use since it was in wider use and for more than twice as long as the KJV. You use the KJV, no doubt, because you don’t understand the Latin Vulgate just as many use more modern translations because they don’t understand archaic English.
But what’s more, this is an “Appeal to Tradition” fallacy. Just because something is older or been in use for a longer duration doesn’t automatically make it more correct. That’s like saying President Bush has done more good in office then President Obama. Well of course that’s going to be true since President Bush was in office for 8 years and Obama has only been in office for 9 months (at the time of this writing). The KJV has been around longer then any other modern translation, therefore, yes, it would produce more “good fruit”, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better or more reliable.
Also, “good fruit” is a pretty subjective term. How do you define “good fruit”? One could just a easily say that God has used the preaching and teaching of modern translations including the Spanish KJV, French KJV, and others to bring hundreds of millions to Christ. See, it works both ways.
Also, how do YOU know what fruit the translations have produced? You aren’t omniscient so you can’t make that claim. Only God knows the “good fruit” of the different versions of the Bible. It is very possible that the versions of the Bible other then the KJV have produced much more “good fruit”. It isn’t our responsibility to keep track of the fruit anyway. That’s God’s business.
Finally, I’m wondering how you KNOW that the Holy Spirit doesn’t favor the new versions? That’s a pretty bold and, I must say, arrogant claim to knowledge that you don’t, nor ever could, possess.
4. The KJV was translated during the Philadelphia church period (Rev. 3:7-13). The modern versions begin to appear rather late on the scene as the lukewarm Laodicean period gets underway (Rev. 3:14-22), but the KJV was produced way back in 1611, just in time for the many great revivals (1700-1900). The Philadelphia church was the only church that did not receive a rebuke from the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was the only church that “kept” God’s word (Rev. 3:8).
Any first year philosophy student can tell you that correlation does not equal causation. Just because there is a correlation between the lukewarm Laodicean period and modern translations coming on the scene doesn’t mean that the cause is the modern translations. The same is true for the revivals. Just because there is a correlation between the time of the revivals and the KJV coming on the scene doesn’t mean that the KJV is responsible for the revivals.
Revelation 3:7-13 does not tell us that “the KJV was translated during the Philadelphia church period.” I don’t know why you referenced that passage. Your history is a bit off. Philadelphia was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 17, almost 1600 years before the translation of the KJV.
Also, Revelation 3:14-22 doesn’t tell us that “the modern versions begin to appear rather late on the scene as the lukewarm Laodicean period gets underway.” I’m not sure why you referenced that passage either. The modern versions arrived on the scene about 1500 years after the Laodicean period started. Are you making this stuff up or are you really that confused about the history?
Finally your gross misinterpretation of that passage in Revelation is your error and is extremely laughable. God was praising the Church in Philadelphia because they were obedient, not because they used the KJV. The correct interpretation is obedience NOT “kept”. The use of the word “kept” is confusing you. “Kept” does not mean that they refused to use translations other than the KJV. The Greek word in Revelations 3:8 that was translated “kept” by the King James translators is (teresis – tay’-ray-sis) which can either be translated as a past participle or a present participle and means “complied with, obeyed” or “a complying with, obeying” (1). It doesn’t mean preserved or guarded which is the meaning your are ascribing to it. By the way, again, the NLT and other “perversions” use the correct terminology here. This is a good example of where the confusion regarding the transliterated wording of the KJV can be very dangerous.
5. The KJV translators were honest in their work. When the translators had to add certain words, largely due to idiom changes, they placed the added words in italics so we’d know the difference. This is not the case with many new translations.
Another fantastic claim to knowledge. You can’t possibly know the integrity and intent of the KJV translators. There’s just no way you can KNOW that “the KJV translators were completely honest in their work”.
Placing added words due to idiom changes is just one style of converting text from one language to another. There’s nothing sacred or miraculous about that process. Other translators do the same thing except there are footnotes and/or margin notes added for clarification. Italics or footnotes/margin notes, it’s the same thing.
By the way I find it humorously ironic that you just admitted that the KJV translators “added words” to the Bible. Don’t you claim that the KJV is the perfect preserved Word of God? If the translators added things to it for ease of understanding then it isn’t perfect. Furthermore, I don’t see the difference between the translators of the KJV “adding” things to scriptures and translators of the NIV, NLT, NKJV, etc. making similar changes for ease of understanding. You seem to hold the “newer translations” to a higher standard than the KJV for some reasons. I assume it’s because of the sacredness you ascribe to the KJV. If so, and I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, that’s idolatry. When you ascribe perfection to anyone/anything other than the perfect all mighty creator you’ve elevated that thing/person to god status. That’s nothing short of idolatry. I think ultimately that’s what’s happening with this KJV perfection mindset.
6. All new translations compare themselves to the KJV. Isn’t it strange that the new versions never compare themselves to one another? For some strange reason they all line up against one Book–the A.V. 1611. I wonder why? Try Matthew 12:26.
Where do you get the idea that “all new translations compare themselves to the KJV”? I’ve never heard that before and I don’t believe it’s true. Do you have proof of this?
Let’s say for the sake of argument, though, that that statement is true. There are many explanations for this. One could surmise that the reason is because people are deceived into thinking that the KJV is perfect by con artists like yourself and in order to promote the new translations the translators use the KJV as a basis for helping people understand that the KJV only arguments don’t hold water (not unlike what I’m doing now). It could also be simply because the KJV is so popular that the translators simply wish to show people that the new translations are just as good if not better then the KJV. It could also be so that when people make the transition from the KJV to another version the transition is easier and goes more smoothly. So no, it’s not strange at all that the new versions compare themselves to the KJV (if that’s even true). I just gave three simple reasons why that’s not very strange at all.
Also, I’m not sure what Matthew 12:26 has to do with this argument. How do you get the idea that new versions of the Bible are bad because of Matthew 12:26? In that verse Jesus was answering the Pharisee’s accusations that he was getting his power to heal from Satan. He was explaining that Satan can’t cast out demons because it would hurt his cause. I would absolutely love to hear how you get an argument for using the KJV from that verse.
7. The KJV translators believed they were handling the very words of God (I Ths. 2:13). Just read the King James Dedicatory and compare it to the prefaces in the modern versions. Immediately, you will see a world of difference in the approach and attitude of the translators. Which group would YOU pick for translating a book?
This makes no sense to me. You’re saying that because the preface is better in the KJV it is more reliable and trustworthy? Weird. I’ve never heard anyone use that argument before. Couldn’t it be that the preface for the KJV sounds better because of the language used and the era in which it was written? This feels like you are grasping at straws.
Also, I’m not sure what 1 Thessalonians 2:13 has to do with your argument. That verse does not say, or even hint to the idea, that “The KJV translators believed they were handling the very words of God”. Yet, another arrogant claim to knowledge and gross misinterpretation/manipulation of scripture. You should be ashamed.
8. The KJV is supported by far more evidence. Of over 5,300 pieces of manuscript evidence, ninety-five percent supports the King James Bible! The changes in the new versions are based on the remaining five percent of manuscripts, most of which are from Alexandria, Egypt. (There are only two lines of Bibles: the Devil’s line from Alexandria, and the Lord’s line from Antioch. We’ll deal with this later.)
This is simply a lie. I’m not sure where you are getting this information from. Care to share your source or are you just making it up?
There are several things wrong this this argument. First, the original manuscripts aren’t based on the KJV. You’ve got is backwards. The KJV is based on the Geneva Bible which is based on a long line of translations which can be traced back to manuscripts. This is another error based on your presumption that the KJV is the perfect, original Word of God.
Second, the Alexandrian family of manuscripts don’t represent “the remaining five percent” of the manuscripts that weren’t used by the translators of the KJV. The Alexandrian family of manuscripts are a completely different set of manuscripts then those used to translate the KJV.
Third, most scholars agree that the Alexandrian family of manuscripts are more complete and reliable (please visit this article for more information).
Finally, calling The Alexandrian family of manuscripts “the Devil’s line” is nothing more than an ad hominem fallacy. It does nothing to prove your point except to attack the opposing view – unless of course you can provide evidence that the Devil was involved in this line of manuscripts. I would love to hear you explain this further.
This is laughable. What a crock.
9. No one has ever proven that the KJV is not God’s word. The 1611 should be considered innocent until proven guilty with a significant amount of genuine manuscript evidence.
There are several things wrong with this argument as well. First of all, if we must admit that no one has ever proven that the KJV is NOT God’s Word then you must also admit that no one has ever proven that the KJV IS God’s Word. Furthermore, it’s impossible to prove a negative. YOU are the one making a claim to knowledge (the KJV is God’s perfect preserved Word). That claim requires at least evidence, if not proof. Sorry to say, but YOU bear the burden of proof for this argument.
Secondly, innocent until proven guilty doesn’t apply here. We are searching for truth not justice.
Third, this is an “Appeal to Ignorance” fallacy. Lack of evidence or proof is not a good reason to conclude that the opposite is true. The KJV should be considered a fallible translation simply because it is a translation done by fallible humans not because no one has ever proven that it isn’t God’s Word. Again this is a burden of proof issue. Given that fallible humans translated the kJV it should be considered fallible until proved otherwise.
Fourth, you are asking the impossible. No one could ever PROVE that the KJV isn’t God’s Word (see proving a negative above). Your standards are an impossibility which leads me to see your bias. You’re unwilling to consider the opposite side of the argument until the impossible happens, which of course never will.
Finally, there IS evidence to indicate that the KJV is not THE perfect, infallible, original Word of God, much of which is shared on this very website. To ignore the evidence for the sake of unattainable proof is nothing more than hand waving and bias.
10. The KJV exalts the Lord Jesus Christ. The true scriptures should testify of Jesus Christ (John 5:39). There is no book on this planet which exalts Christ higher than the King James Bible. In numerous places the new perversions attack the Deity of Christ, the Blood Atonement, the Resurrection, salvation by grace through faith, and the Second Coming. The true scriptures will TESTIFY of Jesus Christ, not ATTACK Him!
Where is your evidence of this? I have never read a translation that attacks the deity of Christ, the blood atonement, the resurrection, salvation by grace through faith, or the second coming. This is pure deception about modern translations. You are lying! There may be some minor differences in the various translations, but none of them make changes around core doctrine or absolutes of the faith.
I concede that there are “versions” of the Bible out there that do this, but they aren’t Bibles we would use. They are used exclusively by cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses or another obscure religion such as the Mormons that don’t believe the essentials of Christianity. In my opinion those don’t count among the versions we are discussing here. As such that point is irrelevant.
(1) The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon. (n.d.). Teresis. Retrieved from BibleStudyTools.com