KJV Onlyism: A Travesty of Bible Understanding

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In 2016, a family friend and I went to the church bookshop. He wanted to buy two Bibles for his children. He scanned through the Bible shelf and picked out a King James Bible. “Why? But they are still children,” I protested.

He didn’t seem to get it, he apparently felt the KJV should be the default version for everyone because of its regular usage by the church’s general overseer.

“These children won’t understand the old English of the KJV. It should be bought for adults,” I opined. “Children need a Bible that they can fluently read and understand as much as what they read in school. If the Bible is too complicated for them in their young ages, they will grow up not studying and understanding it.”

He listened on, so I selected the Contemporary English Version and gave it to him. He’s not a native English speaker, but after reading a few lines from it, he smiled in excitement saying, “Its English is so clear; it’s like the sermon of a modern European evangelist!”

We both laughed and he purchased the Bibles.

It later dawned on me that this man had hitherto not been exposed to reading any English translation except the KJV. He had been locked in the KJV from the start and this has blunted his personal study and knowledge of Scripture.

The fact is: the language of the KJV can make the Bible complicated to a modern reader.

This has to be demonstrated, not merely claimed. But before I get to this, I want to first point one of the dubious arguments that led me to into KJV Onlyism 12 years ago. Here it is:

“It is all a question of authority! If we say that God wrote only one Bible, and for us today it is the Authorized Version – 1611, King James Version, then our problem is solved. But if we say this version is nice, and that version is nice, and it is a matter of preference, then the authority becomes human opinion” (William Schnoebelen, Blood on the Doorposts, Chick Publications, 1994, p. 211).

This is a mendacious rhetoric that illustrates the cognitive dissonance of the KJO belief. Its major flaw is how the writer places Bible authority on a certain translation whereas the Bible’s authority rests on its inspiration – not its translation.

The Bible’s original languages were Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. These are the inspired and authoritative languages. English is merely one of the translations of the originals. God didn’t write the KJV, and history reveals that the roots of fundamentalism rest in the authority of the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible, not in any English translation.

Second, the idea of God writing “only one Bible” occurs only in the bubble universe of the KJOs. They peddle their beliefs by collapsing Bible inspiration into transmission and translation. God inspired the original autographs but many copies and translations were made from them.

All through history, there have been different translations of the Bible. People who believe that only the KJV should be used, fail to recognize that men like Peter, Paul, and Jesus Himself didn’t always use the same version!

Just a few of many examples from the KJV confirm this point:

When Isaiah 53:7 is quoted in Acts, it says: “…as a sheep before her shearers is dumb” (Acts 8:32). But when we turn to Isaiah 53:7 it says, “…like a lamb dumb before his shearer.” One says her, the other says his.

When the writer of Hebrews refers to Genesis 47:31, he says that as Jacob died, he “worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff” (Heb. 11:21). But when we turn to Genesis 47:31, it says he “bowed himself upon the bed’s head.”

When Paul quoted Isaiah 28:16, he wrote: “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom.10:11). But when we turn to Isaiah 28:16, it says: “He that believeth shall not make haste.”

What is clear here is that New Testament writers did not always use the same version. This is beyond dispute. In these examples, they quoted from the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) whereas the Masoretic text was used for the King James translation of the Old Testament.

I have no problem with people using or loving the KJV, but I have a problem with persons insisting that we must use only the KJV if we are to be in a right standing with God, and then employ all kinds of manipulation, bullying and ad hominem to validate that sectarian position.

When a teacher disseminates wild conspiracy theories and obvious falsehoods all in a bid to bind Christians under a tradition – such as sole usage of a certain bible version – it’s cultic indoctrination and it should be thoroughly rejected.

A KJV Onlyite wrote rather facetiously:

“Readability statistics generated from Grammatik and Word for Windows show why the KJV is 5th grade reading level, while the NKJV and NASB are 6th grade, and the NIV is 8th grade reading level! … According to readability statistics generated by Pro-Scribe, the KJV is easier to read than USA Today, People Magazine and most children’s books.” (Gail RiplingerThe Language of the King James Bible, AV Publications 1998 p. 159 emphasis hers).

Below are examples in the KJV refuting her assertions:

In the KJV, it is stated that Ruth went out to glean in the fields, “ears of corn” (Ruth 2:2). A 21st century reader would have maize corn in mind, but the Hebrew word there is se’orah which means “grain” or “ears of grain.” In ancient Israel, it was popular to grow wheat and barley, but not maize corn (Zea mays).

Also, in Mark 2:23 we read that Jesus “went through the corn fields on the sabbath day.” The image conjured up is of Jesus walking through maize fields, but maize was wholly unknown in the Old World, including Palestine until A.D. 1492.

The Greek word there refers to “fields of grain/wheat.” In old English, the word “corn” was generally used to refer to grains, wheat or barley as well as maize. But English language has changed since then.

In the KJV, we read about a person coming into a church wearing “gay clothing” (James 2:3). The Greek word translated “gay” is lampros which (like “lamp”) simply meant bright. In old English, “gay” in this context meant bright or attractive clothing, but today it means a homosexual. A modern reader can end up with a confused interpretation of that text.

In Acts 28:13, Paul and others were on a ship, when the KJV says “they fetched a compass.” Reading this, you would think they used an instrument with a little needle pointing to the cardinal points. But what we call a “compass” had not even been invented at that time! This expression simply meant to circle  around (see Josh. 6:4; 2 Sam. 5:23).

In the KJV we read: “…thou knowest all the travel that has befallen us” (Num. 20:14; cf. Lam. 3:5). The “travel” in the text was an old English word which meant travail or hardship. We use the word differently today.

In the KJV, we read: “Be strong, and quit yourselves like men” (1 Sam. 4:9). An almost identical wording is found in Paul’s admonition of the Corinthian Church: “Stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1Cor. 16:13). The word “quit,” as used here, is obsolete. In modern English we would say: “Conduct yourselves like men” or “be brave like men.”

The Song of Solomon 2:11, 12 in the KJV reads: “The winter is past, the rain is over and done; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

Reading this text, one would immediately think of a turtle, a slow-moving reptile with a hard shell. But how does it have a voice, you’d wonder. In the age of the KJV translation, the word turtle meant a turtledove which is known to make a soft purring sound.

In the KJV, we read: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit…” (Col. 2:8). The word “spoil” here evokes images of decay and putrefaction, but the underlying Greek word means “to plunder” or “take as plunder.” To a 17th century English reader, “spoil” or “despoil” conveys that meaning, but not in the 21st century.

In the KJV we read that a delegation of Jewish leaders was sent to prophetess Hulda, who lived “in Jerusalem in the college” (2 Kgs. 22:14). In Elizabethan English, the word college had a different meaning than today.

The Hebrew word so translated means second. That’s why newer versions, including the NKJV, translated it “second quarter” or “second district” of Jerusalem. A modern reader who reads the KJV text would think Hulda was living in a college dorm!

1 Cor. 16:15 “they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” The word “addicted” is now used with negative connotation, like someone addicted to nicotine or drugs. Modern translations have correctly rendered the text as, “devoted themselves” to the ministry of the saints.

In 1 Thess. 4:15 Paul says “by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” In 1611, the word “prevent” doesn’t mean what we today mean by that word, namely, “to stop or hinder.”

That word as used back then meant “to precede” and the reader in 1611 wouldn’t have stumbled over its meaning, but a contemporary reader would stumble. A modern rendering would be, “we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep” (NIV).

Similarly, Psalm 119:147 says “I prevented the dawning of the morning.” In today’s English, the word “prevent” means “precede.” The Psalmist was simply saying he rose before dawn!

Paul wrote, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: He who now letteth will let…” (2 Thess. 2:7). When the KJV was translated, “let” meant to hinder as Paul told the Romans, he had intended to come to them “but was let hitherto” (Rom. 1:13). He was hindered in coming to them. But today, the word “let” is used in an opposite sense. It implies allowing a person to do a thing, not hindering him from it!

In the KJV, we read that when Paul came to Jerusalem “he assayed to join himself to the apostles” (Acts 9:26). The word “assay” in modern English means substances being tested in the lab, but here it means Paul attempted to join the apostles.

Rom. 1:28 “…God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

Some ungodly things people do are actually convenient. In 14th century English, “convenient” was used to refer to what is proper and appropriate. So the text is referring to things that are indecent.

How does a contemporary reader without the Greek text, a foreign version or a modern translation understand 2 Cor. 6:11-13?

“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense (I speak as unto my children), be ye also enlarged.”

Now compare this with the NIV:

“We have spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts. We are not withholding our affections from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange–I speak as to my children–open wide your hearts also.”

In the light of these examples, no one with a modicum of fairness and honesty would argue that the language of the KJV is clearer than USA Today, People Magazine and most children’s books.

Obsolete Words

Isa. 8:21, “And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry.” Today we would say hard-pressed or greatly distressed.

Isa. 14:23 “…I will sweep it with the besom of destruction.” We now call it broom.

1 Cor. 12:13 “but by the Holy Ghost.” Due to different translation companies, there were inconsistencies in the KJV renderings of the Hebrew word “ruach” and Greek word “pneuma” in reference to the Holy Spirit. Some resorted to the old English use of “ghost” for all spirits. (Same for “Sodoma” in Rom. 9:29 instead of “Sodom”).

John 2:6 “…after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.” Today we would say three gallons.

Isa. 3:22 “The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins.” In today’s expressions, the items listed are fine robes, capes, cloaks and purses!

Gen. 8:1 after the flood “the waters assuaged.” In modern expression, we would say, “the waters subsided.”

Isa. 19:8 “all they that cast angle into the brooks.” Now we call them “hooks” instead of angles.

Job 41:18 “By his neesings a light doth shine.” This is an obsolete word that puzzles a contemporary reader. The right word is sneezing.

Jer. 4:22 “For my people is foolish … they are sottish children.” Now we say stupid or senseless children.

There’s no child in the 5th grade or primary school that would have a grasp of the KJV than the NIV.

Grammatical inaccuracies

English, like most other languages, has evolved over a period of 400 years, therefore, many words in the KJV that were grammatically correct in 1611, are now awkward and flat out wrong today:

Phil. 1:23 “betwist” [between]
1 Thess. 1:8 “God-ward” [toward God]
Matt. 25:44 “athirst” [thirsty]
John 21:3 “I go a fishing” [I am going fishing]
Matt. 25:35 “for I was an hungred” [for I was hungry]
Gen.26:31 “betimes” [early]
Ruth 4:4 “to advertise thee” [to advise you]
James 1:25 “whoso” [whosoever]
1Cor. 7:28 “but and if thou marry” [but if you marry]
Matt. 13:21 “dureth” [endure].

Embarrassing/Vulgar words

The socio-cultural expression of 17th century England is not the same as today. There are some words that were acceptable back then that would be outright rude, embarrassing and even vulgar by modern standards. Here are some examples:

1 Kings 21:21 “him that pisseth against the wall.” Instead of using such an embarrassing description, newer translations use an euphemistic term: “male.”

Song of Solomon 5:4 “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”

An American lady once quoted this in a forum some years ago and wrote, “See, there’s fisting (a sexually perverse act) in the Bible.” If she had read this verse in any newer version, she would have been cleared of her ignorance that bowels was used of the heart in old English.

Gen. 12:16 “and he asses … and she asses.” If you read this out to a teenage or youth group, it will be met with snickers due to the urban usage of “asses.” Newer translations render it as male and female donkeys.

Hebrew 12:8 “then are ye bastards…” This is a strong word. So for proper decorum, “illegitimate” is used in modern translations.

2 Peter 2:16 “the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice.” This is also a strong word which for the avoidance of unnecessary distraction is now rendered as “mute donkey.”

Scholars in linguistics and philosophy of language would agree that language has the dual roles of communication and representation. It is a receptacle of human thoughts and the medium through which we give expression to our subjectivities.

Thus, the central purpose for having a Bible translation is to convey the meaning of words (in the Hebrew and Greek originals) to people in such a way that they can understand it as clear as tomorrow’s newspaper.

The KJV may have served this purpose over 400 years ago, but by modern English and translational standards, it can at best, puzzle and at worst, mislead many a reader.

The rigid insistence that Christians must stick to a less clear, obsolete and rather complex translation – which is difficult for common people to grasp – is similar to the dogma of Rome that made the Latin Vulgate the only “authorized text” in Europe, leading to the dark ages of ignorance and deception.

The Word of God is meant to be lucid even to a child, otherwise it would be a travesty of the Gospel that is being preached from it which should give light to everyone.

Chick’s World of Alternative Facts

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For decades, Chick Publications Inc. has gained popularity for attacking deceptive religious systems, hence, one would expect it to have a high degree of intellectual honesty in what it presents to the public. Sadly, that is not the case.

In fact, the Body of Christ needs to scrutinise and fact-check the claims made in their vlogs, books, articles and comics.

Last year, I pointed out a number of egregious errors and deliberate falsehoods in their materials which tragically continue to emanate from that ministry even now that its leadership rein in now in the hands of David Daniels.

The misleading information and flawed arguments in the Battle Cry May/June 2017 article entitled “Pope Decides It’s Okay to Read the Bible?” underscore the fact that KJV onlyism can only be sustained on tissues of lies.

I will be responding to that article. Quotes from it will appear in blue.

In his Sunday message to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, March 5, Pope Francis urged the people to carry their Bible as diligently as they do their smartphones. Protestants, and the civilized world in general, applaud that this dark-age “church” has seen the light. As head of an institution that tried for centuries to stamp out the Bible, this appears like a miracle

As far as I can see, only ignorant Protestants who are easily swayed by sweet words and pageantry will applaud the pope’s message. A part of it on the Vatican’s website reads:

The Word of God: this has the strength to defeat Satan. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible; read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it. The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always timely and effective.

Anyone familiar with Catholic teaching knows that when they talk about “the word of God,” they are referring to an amalgam of the Bible, traditions and teachings of the Magisterium, not Scripture alone.

The statement that “the Bible contains the Word of God” should give a red flag to a true Christian.

While modern Catholics are allowed (and even encouraged) to read the Bible, Rome still keeps it from their hearts by diminishing its authority and insisting that only the Magisterium can interpret it.

Fair enough, the Battle Cry article ends with this fact, but the meandering before it deserves some attention.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side of the story. The Bible that he is talking about is a very different Bible from the one which dozens tried to obliterate. But it wasn’t that the popes wanted to do away with all Bibles, they just had to stop one Bible. Even during the Inquisition the popes had their own approved Bible

Notice how the writer quickly deflects to the issue of Bible translations. He is pitting the Latin Vulgate (approved by the pope) with “one Bible” that dozens of popes wanted to stamp out. From other Chick works, we know he’s referring to the old Latin bible.

In the book, Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? (by David Daniels) we are told:

Catholic Rome got the reins of government and began destroying God’s words in Old Latin” (p. 54).

This alternative history is uncritically lapped up by many KJO patrons, but there is no historical evidence that dozens of popes obliterated the Old Latin bible. These are stuff some people make up in their own heads and have the temerity to publish them as truth.

For most of Christian history, there has been a struggle over which Bible should be used. When the Revelation 17-18 counterfeit church was burning all the Bibles, (and Bible believers) during the Inquisition, they also had a counterfeit Bible they were promoting. Of course, “promoting” is hardly the right word when their “Bible” was chained to the pulpit and written in Latin, a language few could read

All through church history, Christians have always had preference for certain Bible translations – from the Septuagint to the Vulgate to the KJV.

The real struggle started when the Catholic religion decreed that only the Latin Vulgate version was divine – a cultic idea curiously similar to KJV onlyists’ claims about the KJV.

Just as the people had to learn Latin to know God’s Word at the time, today, everyone would have to learn English to know His Word as KJOs insist.

Earlier, we read that popes “just had to stop one Bible” but now we are told they were “burning all the Bibles.” How did one Bible became all the Bibles?

We need to ask: which Bible translation was the “only true Bible” during the Inquisition (between 12th-16th century)? It couldn’t have been the Old Latin versions (Italic, African and European) because their texts differ markedly from the Received text from which the KJV was translated. Bruce Metzger observed:

The textual affinities of the Old Latin versions are unmistakably with the Western type of text … On the whole, the African form of the Old Latin presents the larger divergences from the generally received text and the European the smaller” (The Early Versions, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977, 325).

God’s counterattack was the invention of the printing press. Soon, copies of the right Bible began to flood the Western World. But his enemy did not give up easily. Satan’s plan B was to “fix” the supposedly “archaic language” of the real Bible. If it could be subtly altered to begin to match the counterfeit, maybe no one would notice. The astounding success of that plan is why the Pope can now urge his people to read the Bible

The first movable printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg circa 1450.

Between 1450 and 1611 when ‘the right Bible’ began to flood the West, which Bible translation was the ‘only real one’ and why was it replaced?

We need to know why the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bishop or Geneva Bible versions were fake but the King James version was real.

Perhaps bereft of tangible arguments, the writer invokes “Satan’s plan B” to explain why the KJV translation wasn’t (and still isn’t) regarded as perfect.

In fact, the KJV used many outdated (and by modern usage, embarrassing) English terms e.g “cockatrice” for viper; “apothecary” for perfumer; “shambles” for meat markets; “unicorn” for wild ox; “dumb ass” instead of mute donkey; “bastard” instead of illegitimate; “spoil” instead of plunder; “Elias” for Elijah, “Eliseus” for Elisha and “Osee” instead of Hosea.

The purpose of every legitimate Bible translation is to render God’s Word in the simplest, clearest way possible such that even an uneducated person can understand it. Since the KJV failed in this regard, it necessitated a better English translation.

Furthermore, the Latin Vulgate (“the counterfeit”) had much influence on the KJV. Frederick Scrivener points out at least 60 places where the NT of the KJV follows the reading of the Latin Vulgate without a single Greek text as support (The New Testament in Greek, 1881, ix).

Bible scholars, W. E. Plater and H. J. White stated that even the vocabulary of the KJV repeats words directly lifted from the Vulgate e.g “publican,” “charity,” “Calvary” (A Grammar of the Vulgate, Oxford University Press, 1926, p. 4).

It is disingenuous for Chick’s team to demonize the Vulgate whilst idolizing the KJV.

Using modern research techniques, linguist David W. Daniels has uncovered the details of this epic war on God’s words

Unfortunately, much of the details Daniels presents are closer to tabloid sensationalism than established facts.

The footnotes and bibliography of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? indicate that his information on Bible transmission were largely sourced from Chick materials, along with the questionable works of other KJOs like William Grady, David Otis Fuller, Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman.

Such self-quoting, “circle-the-bunkers” technique is an insult to credible research.

The move to “fix” the Bible involved forming “Bible societies,” bringing together linguists, translators, publishers and sophisticated marketing. Satan used the opportunity to infiltrate those “societies” with unbelievers and men dedicated to his agenda

How did the writer know these details? Interestingly, Daniels and Chick believed the KJV translators were also infiltrated by Jesuits. This idea came from Dr. Alberto Rivera’s “testimony” in the Crusaders’ comics:

Among the group of men chosen by King James to translate the King James Bible in 1611, was a heavy concentration of undercover Jesuits posing as members of the Church of England. God, in His sovereign grace, preserved His written word, and they were not able to change it as they had planned” (The Force, 1983, p. 14).

Now if God could preserve His Word in spite of heavy Jesuit concentration among KJV translators, why didn’t He do the same for other Bible translations before and since then?

You see, a section of KJOs believe that the KJV is a perfect translation because its translators were also inspired by the Holy Spirit, therefore anyone suggesting that it’s flawed or clamours for a better translation  is part of Satan’s folks! How convenient.

Rather than updating the language, a whole new basic Greek text was formed. Instead of using the thousands of manuscripts supporting the real Bible, a few new ones were faked as “oldest and best.” And coincidentally, their readings often supported the unbiblical doctrines of the counterfeit church…

1. This false, KJO Manichean binary of a ‘preserved’ Received text versus the ‘corrupted’ new Greek text needs to be disassembled.

Between 17th-19th century, several Protestant scholars collected several critical Greek texts other than Erasmus’ Received text.

Theodore de Beza (1519-1605), John Calvin’s successor, collected critical Greek texts.

John Mill (1645-1707) also collected and published Greek texts. Sir Richard Bentley (1662-1742) was the first to propose a revised Greek text.

Johann Bengel (1687-1751) critically studied Greek texts and was the first to classify them into Alexandrian and Byzantine.

About the only scholar from that period, John Martin Scholz, who published a text similar to the Received text, was a Catholic theologian.

2. Erasmus’ Greek text wasn’t based on “thousands of manuscripts.” He used 10 manuscripts, none of which were earlier than the 10th century.

The discovery of more ancient and larger number of manuscripts prompted newer English versions. Their differences with the KJV affect no vital doctrine.

3. According to Dr. James George Carleton, the KJV has taken some 2,803 readings, besides 140 marginal reading from the Catholic Rheims translation (The Part of Rheims in the Making of the English Bible, Clarendon Press, 1902, p. 259).

This shouldn’t be shocking since the KJV translators were 17th century Anglicans, not 20th century independent, fundamentalist Baptists.

Today, that bogus text, known as the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies Greek Text, is nearly universally accepted by translators of modern Bible versions …

Fake manuscripts like the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were “discovered” by men like Constantin Tischendorf. From them, Westcott and Hort prepared their Greek New Testament that became the foundation text for most modern versions

Never mind, the only reason the Nestle-Aland Greek text is termed “bogus” by KJOs is because it’s not Erasmus’ Catholic Greek text.

Bible manuscripts stand on their own merits, not by who possessed them, otherwise, the Byzantine Mss. used for the Received text would also be “fake” since they came from Eastern Orthodoxy.

The efforts of the above named scholars were geared towards producing a non-Catholic critical Greek text, and many of them were theologically conservative. Tischendorf, for example, was a Plymouth Brethren.

Many conservative Christian scholars in the 19th and 20th century preferred the revised critical texts over Erasmus’ Catholic-inclined Received text.

The next step was a broad marketing campaign to “sell” the church on the new Bibles. Part of that was an intensive effort to discredit the real Bible in English … This hugely successful effort has effectively persuaded churches, denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries to “speak evil” of the KJV in favor of the altered Bibles

This scenario was illustrated by Jack Chick on page 134 of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? book.

The Pope asks his Jesuit general, “How is the Master Plan coming, General?” He replies, “We’ve funneled billions into the ‘new’ versions. No one will know which one to believe! Very soon the King James will be the most despised Bible on earth!

To Christians with a ‘Daddy-there-is-a-Jesuit-in-my-pyjamas’ paranoid mindset, this is all the evidence they need to stay away from any other Bible version.

But a reasonable Christian questions the source of such a shallow rhetoric. I have said this before: without conspiracy theories, KJV onlyism cannot stand.

Notice also the writer’s use of emotional terms like “discredit” or “speak evil” for any criticism of the KJV.

This article offers one a glimpse into the pervasive shift in the KJV only camp: a shift from the gospel message to conspiracy tales; from fact to fiction; from faith to suspicion and a Christ-centered life to an obsession with a 17th century Bible version.

The outgrowth? Persons bereft of character and truth – who ironically see themselves as “better” Christians approved by God because they use the King James bible.

KJV Onlyism – A House of Cards

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In this piece, I’ll be continuing my critique of the book by David Daniels and Jack Chick, Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible?

One thing I want you to realize is that the King James Version-only position is majorly built on two weak and faulty pillars – conspiracy theories and poisoning the well. Take these two “pillars” away from it and little will remain.

When some information – whether true or false – is presented with pictures, it evokes a stronger emotion and has greater impact on people. For instance, if someone writes an article titled “Donald Trump is the Antichrist” accompanied by a picture of Trump looking mean, dressed in black, with a ram’s horn shown on his head and a pentagram drawn on his chest, it will strike a chord.

Some folks would only see that picture and never see Trump in a positive light again. This is an appeal to emotion, and Chick materials frequently utilize this tactic in their illustrations.

The back cover of the Give Us The Bible book shows its basic premises:

Written in a down-to-earth style, and packed with cartoon illustrations by Jack Chick, this book shows that the Bibles Rome gave us are really clever counterfeits, designed to eliminate God’s preserved Word in English, the KJV.”

There are two unproven axioms here. One, the idea that other Bible versions except the KJV are from the Catholic Church (or the Whore of Babylon).

Two, that God chose English as the only language in which His Word has been preserved. The next line written by Chick is also instructive:

It took 300 years of clever maneuvering to bring us where we are today.”

This is how a conspiracy-driven mind works. Virtually every conflict of interest or opposing information is linked with an age-long clever maneuvering of the powers that be.

While some KJV onlyists assert Rome as the force behind all modern Bible versions, others point to New Age cults or the New World Order.

Well, maybe that’s not so much of a problem since Mr. Chick has said “the Roman Catholic institution … the Jesuits, the Illuminati, the Opus Dei, and Masons are guiding” the activities of the “New Age Movement.” (Smokescreens, Chick Publications, 1983, p. 92)

Now, let’s examine some of the main arguments in the book:

1. “Origen made up a strange Greek Bible. He pasted together his own Greek Old Testament, mixed with some old folks tales called the Apocrypha and added on his own perverted New Testament … Satan used unbelieving Origen to make the first counterfeit Bible, adding and removing what he wanted” (p. 36).

The strange “Greek Old Testament” being alluded to is the Septuagint (LXX) translation which they also termed “Origen’s Septuagint” (p. 53). Actually, the LXX pre-dates Origen.

Philo of Alexandria (20 B.C.-55 A.D.) extensively quoted from the OT in Greek in a text that corresponds to the LXX. Josephus Flavius (d. 100 AD) made reference to it, since it was a translation made between 250- 150 B.C.

Most of the Old Testament passages quoted in the New Testament are from the LXX. Christian writers before Origen (185-254 AD) such as Justin Martyr, also quoted from the LXX. since it was uniformly used among Greek-speaking Jewish communities. In fact, several pre-Christian and pre-Origen Bible manuscripts of the OT in a Greek translation have been found e.g. Papyrus Ms. 458 (dated second century BC).

There is no evidence that the LXX in its original form contained the apocrypha or that it was added by Origen. Daniels and Chick offered no proof or specific dates to support their claims, because they have none. It’s one thing to make a claim, it’s another to back it up – which you will have to do if you say it too loudly.

Origen did compile a scholarly edition of the OT called the Hexapla which included the LXX, the Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus versions of the LXX. How this “one-man perversion” wasn’t exposed by all the keen scholars in early church is what Daniels and Chick will have to explain.

2. On page 40, the Vaudois were said to travel to Antioch to translate the Bible into Latin in 120 AD and complete it in 157 AD. It says: “At last the Old Latin Bible was finished!” (p. 41).

This is pure fiction. The Vaudois didn’t exist until the 12th century. In the appendix, Daniels says Frederick Scrivener “shows that the Vaudois Bible was dated by historians at no later than 142-157 AD” (p. 145). But he didn’t quote this work, why? Because the author doesn’t say what he claims.

What Frederick Scrivener said was that John Mills (1645-1707) believed the Old Latin version arose in Italy by 157 AD. Scrivener then dissents from this view stating that the Old Latin came from North Africa (A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 2:341-342).

Both authors also conveniently hid from their readers that the Old Latin Bible was directly translated from the LXX – which they dubbed “Origen’s counterfeit!” (p. 52). Such forthright honesty would have been fatal to their cause.

3. Page 41: “The Old Latin Bible spread so wide … Vaudois missionaries spread God’s words even down to Rome.” It’s inferred that the Vaudois rejected the Catholic Latin Vulgate.

The cartoon on page 53 shows a Pope fuming with rage saying: “WHAT? They still use the Old Latin? I’ll kill them all and destroy their Bibles!

But history shows that the Bible used by the Vaudois – followers of Peter Waldo – was translated from the Catholic Latin Vulgate:

“The Latin Vulgate Bible was the only edition of the Scriptures at that time in Europe; but that language was inaccessible to all, except one in an hundred of its inhabitants. Happily for Waldo, his situation in life enabled him to surmount that obstacle … [H]e either translated, or procured some one else to translate the Gospels into French” (William Jones, History of the Christian Church, 1826, 2:7, 9, 10).

Another source says:

“He [Waldo] employed Stephen of Ansa and Bernard Ydross to translate the Gospels from the Latin Vulgate of Jerome into the Romance dialect for the common people” (Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists, 1890, 295).

Scholars have shown that very minute agreements existed between the Old Latin versions and the Roumance Bible. So, if the LXX was “Satan’s perversion,” that means the Old Latin as well as the German, French, Italian and English bibles translated from it (as asserted on p. 80) were also Satan’s perversions!

4. The Latin Vulgate is called a “Catholic perversion by Jerome” (p. 41), but John Wycliffe translated his English Bible from it. How did the authors get around this uncomfortable fact?

As soon as Wycliffe died, soon-to-be Catholic John Purvey started perverting that Bible! Each year, Wycliffe’s Bible was changed to look like an English version of a Roman Catholic Vulgate!” (p. 61).

No evidence, documentation or footnote was given here. This is not merely a case of sloppy research, but a premeditated intention of the authors to re-write history when it doesn’t play their game.

5. Erasmus is said to have “read handwritten Bibles that were based on the preserved Old Latin” which he then translated as “the Received Text.” (p. 69)

This is false. The Old Latin Bible differs from Erasmus’ “Received Text,” and this has been documented by Bible scholars.

Perhaps KJV onlyists will be shocked to learn that Erasmus had only one Greek manuscript for the book of Revelation which lacked its 6 last verses, so he translated them from the Catholic Latin Vulgate into Greek.

He also inserted Acts 9:5-6 into his work from the Vulgate; those verses not found in any extant Greek manuscript. Erasmus even consulted the Catholic Complutesian Polygot, a Greek text by Archbishop Ximenez de Cisneros which formed the basis of his revisions of the Received Text.

This shouldn’t be surprising since Erasmus was a Catholic priest and his “Received Text” was purely a Catholic effort. The elaborate claim that Erasmus was “God’s undercover agent” popular in KJV onlyist circles is wishful thinking.

6. The book presents the reader with intricate Jesuit and papal conspiracies against the KJV. Daniels and Chick seem to be privy to the devious thoughts and master plans of all their characters (even Satan) all through history.

To explain away the inclusion of the Catholic apocrypha in the KJV 1611, Chick claims that “two agents” from Rome infiltrated the translation committees (p. 96) Of course, no evidence was provided.

We are told Jesuits “hated one Bible with a bloodthirsty passion: THE KING JAMES BIBLE! They vowed to destroy it” (p. 111), but all modern versions are “Catholic Bibles … whorish Bibles… [from] the Great Whore” which are dragging people to Rome (pp. 134, 136).

The ugly fact is that the KJV was closer to the Catholic church than modern versions. Both King James and the KJV translators were Anglicans, and the Church of England at the time, differed little from the Catholic Church in the area of baptismal regeneration, denial of salvation outside the church, union of the church and state, and persecution of “heretics.”

King James himself, had “enormous concessions to the Church of Rome” and said: “It has ever been my way, to go with the Church of Rome, usque ad aras [Latin: to the very altars]” (The Works of Augustus Toplady, by Toplady Augustus, J. Chidley, 1837, 247)

A Bible scholar points out at least 60 places where the New Testament of the KJV follows the reading of the Vulgate without any support from a single Greek text. (A. Scrivener, The New Testament in Greek, 1881, p ix).

The KJV translators also depended on the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible. About 2803 readings and 140 marginal readings in the KJV are straight from the Rheims version.

Bible scholar, Doug Kutilek, notes a total of 40 places in 5 chapters in the book of James alone where the KJV reproduces the exact wording of the Rheims version against all previous English versions.

To dismiss these evidence with the “magic wand” of Jesuit conspiracies is blind fanaticism akin to a cult.

7. As I re-read this book, one thing strikes me about the authors – their desperation. They concluded:

In which of these will you place your complete trust: 1. God’s blessed and faithfully preserved words in English, the King James Bible? OR 2. The ability of “scholars” to decide what they think God meant? Either way: you will have to face Jesus and tell him why you made that choice” (p. 142).

When you consider how almost every page of this book bleats with various tactics the authors used to suck the reader into their theories – slander, false assumptions, anachronisms, scholarly craftiness, revisionism, emotional epithets and fear-mongering – this preaching line rings hollow.

Disseminating KJV onlyism – an unbiblical, illogical man-made theory – is bad enough; attempting to tailor the Lord Jesus into such a view is reprehensible and sub-Christian at any level.

When a Christian ministry positions itself as a citadel of informing and educating others, it owes it to itself and the church at large, a responsibility of presenting facts and credible information instead of conjectures and lies.

While I heartily agree that the Catholic church did not give us the Bible, this book by Daniels and Chick is totally unconvincing to any unbiased or informed reader. Only those who already agree with its basic premises and are easily carried away by tabloid sensationalism would absorb it.