SOME THOUGHTS ON THE KING JAMES VERSION ONLY DOCTRINE
I will begin by saying that I know nothing about judging the age of manuscripts and will therefore not include any argument that depends on that expertise.
But I believe that there are errors in the KJV and this paper will present those errors as well as how those passages should have been translated in order to avoid the errors.
There are basically three types of errors in the KJV. They are:
Translations Which Are Illogical
Passages Which Contradict Other Passages
Passages In Which The Reader of the KJV Is Led To An Incorrect Understanding
Translations Which Are Illogical
We read in Luke 2:1, “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed”. We learn from this verse that the Roman Empire of the first century was setting about to tax the whole world. The phrase “all the world” obviously refers to parts of the earth that were certainly not included in the Roman Empire such as China, Japan, the entire American continent etc. Therefore we must conclude that it was not all the world that was taxed. How should we understand this verse?
The Greek word translated “world” is “oikoumenee”. Dr. E. W. Bullinger defines “oikoumenee” as “The world as inhabited. It is from the verb “oikeo:= to dwell. It is used of the habitable world as distinct from “kosmos“. Hence it is used in a more limited sense of the Roman Empire which was then predominant”. It is clear that what is intended for the reader to understand is a limited part of the world that was taxed by the Roman Empire.
But because the KJV does not qualify the term “all the world” the KJV is in error and therefore not inspired by God.
Rev. 1:4-5 reads, “grace and peace from Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; And from Jesus Christ and from the seven spirits which are before His throne”.
There is only one Person Who is and was and is to come, i.e. the Lord, Jesus Christ. In other words, John sent a message of “grace and peace from” Jesus Christ. But verse five begins “and” which means that John sent the message of grace and peace from Christ (i.e. Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come”) and also from Christ. Obviously, that makes no sense. How are we to understand this passage?
To begin, we must understand that in verse five, the Greek word translated “and” is “kai”. “Kai” is often translated “even” in the KJV and the context will always tell us how we are to understand it.
The only way we can possibly make sense of this passage is to interpret “kai” as “even”. So the passage would read “grace and peace from Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come……..: Even from Jesus Christ …..” .
The KJV translation is illogical in that it says that grace and peace came from Christ and from Christ. It is therefore in error and cannot be inspired by God
Passages Which Contradict Other Passages
Let us consider Peter’s message of Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord”.
This verse, as translated in the KJV, says that sins will not be forgiven until the times of refreshing. To what period of time does the phrase “the times of refreshing” refer? The Greek word translated “refreshing” occurs only once in the New Testament but a related word, translated “restore” occurs in Acts 1:6 where the disciples asked the Lord if He would at that time restore the kingdom to Israel. In other words, the English translation “refreshing” and the related word translated “restore” give us a good idea of the way it was intended to be understood. It is obvious that in Acts 1:6 the disciples were asking about when Christ would return and establish His kingdom on earth. We may conclude therefore that the “times of refreshing” refers to the kingdom of Heaven during the millennial reign of Christ. This conclusion is consistent with the fact that we learn in Acts 3:19 that the times of refreshing shall come “from the presence of the Lord”.
In short, as translated in the KJV, Acts 3:19 says that sins will not be forgiven until Christ’s return to earth. But that contradicts Eph. 4:32 which says that the sins of believers have already been forgiven. That verse reads, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”.
How then are we to understand Acts 3:19? The note in the Companion Bible on the word translated “when” reads, “when = in order that. Gr. hopos. Occurs 15 times in Acts and always expresses a purpose“. In point of fact the Greek word “hopos” is used 45 times in the New Testament and is always used in the sense of “in order that”, and is never translated “when” except in Acts 3:19. So this verse should read, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, in order that the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord”.
Because there are no contradictions in the inspired Word of God, we must conclude that the KJV is not inspired by God because it is incorrect in the translation of Acts 3:19.
I Timothy 3:16
We read in I Tim. 3:16, “….God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world……”. Note that the KJV of this verse says that the message of God manifest in the flesh was preached to the Gentiles. Gentiles are, by definition those who are not Jews. But it is a matter of record in God’s Word that God was indeed preached to Jews.
The Greek word translated “Gentiles” in this verse is “ethnos”. “Ethnos” is often translated “Gentiles” but in approximately one third of the occurrences is translated “nation (s)”. But in some contexts when translated “nation(s) it is to be understood as the people of the nation(s). Jn. 11:52 is a good example of when “ethnos” is to be understood as the people of the nation. That verse speaks of the high priest prophesying that “Jesus should die for that nation“. Jesus did not die for a nation, He died for the people of the nation.
If “ethnos” had been translated “nations” in I Tim. 3:16 as it is in many passages, the reader would understand correctly that it refers to people of the nations, including Israel.
Because this verse says that Christ was preached to Gentiles, excluding by definition Jews, it contradicts many passages in the book of Acts and is therefore in error because there are no contradiction in the Word of God.
Passages In Which The Reader of the KJV Is Led To An Incorrect Understanding.
We read in the KJV of Rev. 17:3-5, “So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”.
Because the KJV has upper case letters in the words “mystery” and “Babylon the great” most conclude that the mystery associated with the woman who represents the great city is which city she represents. It is imperative that we understand from Scripture exactly what the mystery was that was associated with this woman.
Verses 3-5, quoted above, tell us that John saw a woman sitting on a beast. In verse 7 the angel said to John, “I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her…..”. Verses 8-17 reveal the meaning of the mystery of the beast, and verse 18 reveals the mystery of the woman herself. We read in that verse, “and the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth”.
The mystery associated with the great city is not which city the woman represents, it is that the city reigns over the kings of the earth. If the mystery had to do with which city the woman represented, the angel would have revealed the name when he revealed the mystery in verse 18. But he did not, he revealed the fact that the woman represents a city that reigns over the kings of the earth. Again, the mystery is not which city the woman represents, the mystery is that the city she represents “reigneth over the kings of the earth”.
By using the lower case letters of the word “mystery”, which is not part of her name, and we leave off the description “the mother of harlots and abomination of the earth” we have the woman’s name as “BABYLON THE GREAT”. So the woman’s name that will appear upon her forehead will be “BABYLON THE GREAT”. And the mystery concerning the woman is that she represents that great city which will reign over the kings of the earth.
In short, by including the word “mystery” in the woman’s name by the use of upper case letters, the KJV has mislead many to believe that the mystery associated with the woman was which city she represents. But verse eight of this very passage informs the reader that the mystery was not which city she represents, but that the city will reign over the kings of the world.
John 3:3 reads, “…..except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. But the translation of the Greek word “anothen” in the KJV deprives the reader from the truth that a man is born from above, i.e. from God. Let us consider how the Greek word is used and the context of this passage so that this point will be made.
The Greek word translated “again” is “anothen”. Because the meaning of any word is established by its usage, we will look at every occurrence of the word in the New Testament.
The first occurrence is found in Matt. 27:51 which speaks of the curtain that was torn at the time of the crucifixion of Christ and reads, “…the vail of the Temple was rent in twain from the top (“anothen”) to the bottom….”.
Mark 15:36 tells of the same event and is, of course also translated “top“.
Luke 1:3, “It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first (“anothen”)…”.
We will return to the two verses in John 3 where “anothen” is translated “again”.
Jn. 19:11, “”….Thou could have no power at all except it were given thee from above“ (“anothen”).
Jn. 19:23, “…now the coat was without seam, woven from the top (“anothen”) throughout”.
Acts 26:5, “Which knew me from the beginning (“anothen”)….”.
Gal. 4:9, “But now after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again (“anothen”) to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage”. Because this is the only time, apart from Jn. 3, that “anothen” is translated “again” it warrants further consideration.
In verse 8 Paul wrote, “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods”. Evidently, these Galatians were wanting, in some ways, to go back to their original state of worshiping idols. They were wanting to go back to the way things were at the beginning. The concept of going back to the way things were at the beginning is in keeping with the translation of Luke 1:3 and Acts 26:5 quoted above, and in every other occurrence. It is not used in the sense of “again”, but in the sense of “from the beginning”.
James 1:17, “Every perfect gift is from above (“anothen”)“.
James 3:15, “This wisdom descendeth not from above (“anothen”).….”.
James 3:17, “The wisdom that descendeth from above (“anothen”) is first pure, then peaceable gentle….”.
We have seen that “anothen” is used in the sense of “from above”, “from the top” and “from the first , or “beginning, but never in the sense of “again”.
We are now ready to discuss Jn. 3. The Holy Spirit never uses the word “anothen” to express the idea of “again“. That, in my opinion, is sufficient evidence to prove that “anothen” should be translated “above” not “again”. But let us consider the context as well.
I believe that this entire passage presents one single message. Note that verses 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 all speak of being born of the Spirit. In verse 3 it is “born from above”, in verse 5 it is “born of water and of the spirit“, in verse 6 it is born of the Spirit, verse 7 repeats verse 3 and verse 8 reads, “so is every one that is born of the Spirit“. So, to be born from above is the same as to be born of the Spirit .
We are now ready to determine from the context whether this birth is “from above” or if it is “again”. We read in verse 6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. In other words, Jesus is explaining to Nicodemus that there is a contrast between the birth of the flesh and the birth of the Spirit. There is no contrast between being born of the flesh and being born again. But there is indeed a contrast between being born of the flesh and being of the Spirit. When man is born of the Spirit, he is born from God, Who is above. The message is that one must be born of the Spirit, i.e. from God, which is the same as saying that he must be born from above.
I suppose it can be argued that to be born from above is to be born again, but if we translate “anothen” as “again” we miss the lesson that we are born from above, i.e. from God. Therefore, I believe that Jn. 3:3 should read, “….Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God”.
In short, with the translation of “anothen” as “again” in the KJV the reader does not get the true sense of this passage which is that the believer is born from God, i.e. from above.
As shown in this paper, there are several errors in the KJV. If there were just one error it would prove that the KJV is not inspired by God. Therefore, we must conclude that the KJV is not inspired by God.
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org