Some time ago I posted some discrepancies between the King James and some of our modern translations. I will not bore my readers with the formidable number of differences. Instead I will re-cite the admonitions of God given in four different places of scripture (most of which are repeated in the newer translations) not to add to, diminish, or change His word. I have also included verses and passages that, to me, empasize the need to have one standard rather than a smorgasbord of choices.
This is not intended to be a criticism of anyone who uses other translations, nor is it meant to turn into a debate. Rather, it is meant to be food for thought for those who may be considering which Bible to choose.
Deut. 4:2: Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deut. 12: 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Ps. 12:6–The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Ps. 119:89– For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Ps. 119:160–Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Ps. 138:2–I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Prov. 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Matt. 5:17-19 — “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” If not one jot or tittle will pass away, then it follows that there would only be one correct version for His people, in whatever language they speak. One jot, one tittle=the smallest letter and a mark which distinguished two letters in the Hebrew words of the Old Testament. Thus, even the letters are divinely inspired.
Rev. 22:18, 19–For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Ps. 12:6, 7–“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD , thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
“The approved method of the present carnival of unbelief is not to reject the Bible altogether, but to raise doubts as to portions of it , . . .” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The fall of mankind began with this question: “Yea hath God said. . .?”
The battle is for the word of God. Modern “translators” use the excuse that the King James was not based on the original manuscripts. The argument that the manuscripts used to translate the KJV were in terrible condition, some of which supposedly were found in trash receptacles, is precisely what makes them more reliable. When something gets used frequently, such as ancient scrolls, the frequent handling of them would deteriorate the papyrus on which they were written. When they get so worn as to be difficult to read, new copies would have been copiously, meticulously copied by scribes in order to preserve them. Those in turn would also become deteriorated from frequent usage. When modern translators prefer the manuscripts (scrolls) that are in better condition they are using scrolls/manuscripts that had been put aside as unreliable.
There are other varied excuses for changing it too. I am really tired of hearing people say that the KJV is too hard to understand. It is written on a fifth grade reading level. More likely we are in a society that wants everything spoon fed to them so they don’t have to think about what they are reading. There isn’t enough time to think. We’re too busy. Too busy to learn about how to walk with our Creator? What if He didn’t have time for us?
When people feel that they have to explain a passage of scripture using the Greek and Hebrew they are 1)trying to correct the word of God, and 2) they are not using the ancient languages, but rather the languages as they have evolved since the original.
Perhaps the skeptics of the KJV will say that I am naïve in my belief. They may think what they choose. They will anyway. But when God says He values His word above His name (Ps. 138:2), I assume He knows how to preserve that word to all generations. My God is not bound by time, ethnicity, nor circumstance.
Ps. 119:89–“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” So, which word would that be? We need to realize that the Bible is not a book of fairytales, or history written by man’s whim.
The Psalms are filled with verses about keeping not just God’s commandments, but His statutes. In order to know what they are we must have them, and have them correctly. If we study all of the different versions and the changes (some very subtle) we will see how the very meanings have been altered.
God is not an idiot. He created all languages and understands every nuance of every meaning, right down to the intent of the heart of the person who changed the word, and thus the meaning. There must be a standard; else any religion, philosophy, or theosophy will do. If there is no standard then God is a liar and unable to preserve His word as He intended it. How then can we know His mind and His thoughts if we are unsure of His word?
The Bible is not a book of great ideas and morals. It is the very words of God, down to the last jot and tittle.
Is. 59:21–“As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. ”
Did you catch that? This is God, the Mighty God, Jehovah, the Great I AM speaking. These words are not just for Isaiah. They are for all of God’s children. We are told in Deut. 6:7 and 11:19 to teach God’s word, every word, to our children and our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren as we go for a walk with them, as we play with them, as we read to them, and as they prepare for bed, to all future generations. This is not an option. It is a command yet not listed in the Ten Commandments of Ex. 20.
Which words should we teach? All of them from the Authorized King James Version (for English speaking people). There has been a growing movement among educated people to teach their children language, reading, math, and culture from a very early age. If a child is able to learn these things from the cradle, because they have become the norm for that child, the child will also learn scripture from a very early age because it is part of the child’s routine. Any parent can do this. Scripture is available to all of us in so many different venues. There is no reason for any parent not to be able to teach their children scripture. We have blogs, websites, social media, Dollar Tree, Walmart, Amazon, brick and mortar bookstores. If a person can’t afford a Bible, any pastor worth his salt would be glad to give a Bible to a parent who wants to educate their child in the precepts of God.
Jesus said In Matt. 4:4–“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Not just the Ten Commandments, but EVERY word. In order to obey this command we must have EVERY word. It’s not a smorgasbord where we get to pick and choose that which is palatable and ignore that which is uncomfortable. If we want a close FELLOWSHIP with the Lord, we must value His word as He wrote/inspired/dictated it.
When Jesus quoted scripture (Matt.4:4) He didn’t have the original manuscripts but He had a copy that matched the passage He quoted from the O.T. As in the case of His quote from Deut. 8:3. He added the word “word,” which was in italics in Deuteronomy, meaning it was not in the original. Yet Jesus knew the correct word because He is the Living Word. Only He has the right to add or diminish because He is God. (see Is. 53). He quoted the verse correctly without the original (written nearly 2,000 years before His incarnation.)
The Authorized King James Version has a built-in dictionary. In most passages it defines itself (except where archaic measurements are used and a few Old English words whose meanings can be derived from reading the context of the passage. Please don’t think I am some scholarly person trying to sound like I have all of the answers. I am of average intelligence, but I take God at His word. I believe He is able to preserve His word in one form for eternity. If we have to keep changing it then there is no standard, and it just becomes some publisher’s idea of what that scholar or group of scholars who put it together, thinks it SHOULD mean. Are we greater than God that we can tell Him what His word should say? I would be sorely afraid of God’s judgment should that be my attitude.
One final note: The King James uses words like throughly, which many newer versions have translated to thoroughly. They are not the same thing. Going through a door is not the same as seeing through the door. When something is done throughly, it is done from the inside out. When something is done thoroughly, it is done from the outside in. Through is avenue; thorough is the complete transaction.
When scripture says we live by the faith of the Son of God, is not the same as having faith in the Son of God. The former is the practice of living by God’s faith which has been imputed to believers. The latter is believing in God the Son. If you look in a dictionary you will find that these two prepositions do not have the same meaning. God’s faith (the faith that created the words that He used to create the universe) is given TO believers. It is His faith at work in us. We then exercise that faith to believe IN the Lord Jesus Christ, and His death, burial and resurrection.
All of our modern non-KJV Bibles change these, to the current mode of conversation. God understands language and chose the right words in the first place. He expects His children to “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15.