Analyzing another KJV-Only Comment

Analyzing another KJV-Only Comment

A person identifying himself as J B has added a comment to my video post Why I Hate the KJV. It contains so many examples of the misinformation and invalid reasoning presented by KJV-Only Advocates that I couldn’t resist commenting.

I don’t know how you can say the KJV “communicated the scriptures wonderfully to the people of it’s time, over time that language has changed.”

You know, for a moment I thought the comment might be from one of those folks who thinks I give the KJV too much credit. But it turns out that J B thinks that communicating effectively is not an attribute to be desired in a translation.

First you don’t seem to know much about the KJV, at the time it was translated (the 17th century) the “people of it’s time” did not speak the English of the King James Bible, (often referred to as “Kings English.”)

First, I want you to note that at this point J B seems to think knowledge is valuable, as he accuses me of lacking it. Hold that thought. We’ll come back to it later.

Second, what is it with KJV-Only folks and “scare quotes”? Does J B imagine that there were no people at the time of the KJV translation?

Third, I am well aware of the type of language used, but I tend to measure things a little more objectively. I don’t imagine how people would understand a particular dialect, I observe. The rate at which the KJV gained dominance indicates, I believe, that it communicated well.

I am happy to note, however, a KJV-Only advocate actually admitting to archaic language in the KJV. Many of them try to pretend it is relatively close to modern English. But however archaic it was when the translation was made, it is more archaic now. If you place a high value on the failure to communicate, I suppose this is a good thing.

Most language develops for the purpose of communication. There is a dialect of English, politician-speak, which is designed to employ words whilst preventing the readers or hearers from comprehending them, but that’s a special case.

The KJV was translated into this already “archaic” form of English because it was the most perfect form of English, our language is not getting better over time it’s getting worse.

This is rather interesting. What makes a language “perfect”? Would it not perhaps be communication? I have never seen the characteristics of a perfect language. Would a theoretically perfect language structure and vocabulary, but which was not used by anyone be perfect, whilst also being useless?

And on what basis does one say that our language is getting worse? I know that language curmudgeons regularly complain about it, but I give that about as much credence as I do the complaints of people who use computers and the internet to wish they could go back to the “good old days.” Presumably they don’t want to die of the same diseases that people did back in the “good old days” or have the life expectancy of that time.

That old language is of very little use to me in my daily life. The “perfect” English lacked any vocabulary with which to describe this computer at which I’m typing. It lacked terms for large numbers of items in my daily life.

Perfect for what? Presumably perfect for people who think language exists in a vacuum and who don’t care what is done with it. Language is a tool. It’s quality or lack thereof depends on how well it accomplishes that task.

Yet “the people of it’s time” didn’t seem to want a more modern “version” of the Bible, they were merely interested in a more perfect Bible.

Well, actually the people of that time didn’t really have much to say about it. The king wanted a Bible to help unify the church. Various other people had quite a variety of ideas. And the Bible was not immediately accepted by those same people. Like many others, they did not find it easy to accept a new translation easily.

Also the KJV is the most widely used Bible today even more so than it was when it was translated so I don’t quite understand how you can consider those in the 17th century “people of it’s time” and not the people of our time who use it more widely.

Oh, so that’s the purpose of those scare quotes. The “people of its time” are those who were living at the time it was translated. I know you want to extend its time, but wishing doesn’t make it so.

The time of the KJV has not passed, neither of those two groups then or now speak King James English, and both groups have the KJV so how it can be the Bible of their time and not the Bible of our time just doesn’t make sense.

It makes sense to those who acknowledge facts. You can, of course, imagine it to be anything you want.

The other thing that you mentioned is that you study the Bible in “it’s original languages” which I believe I can easily conclude as Greek and Hebrew.

Well, those and Aramaic. Part of the Bible was written in Aramaic, and I read that too.

A lot of people say that you really should learn Greek and Hebrew to understand the Bible more clearly.

Those are smart people. Not everyone needs to know Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew, but they are valuable. Those are the languages in which the prophets and apostles wrote.

I don’t understand why I should study Greek and Hebrew when God has already preserved His Word in English, God had the foresight to know that the common World language would be English.

A little earlier you were complaining that I know little about the KJV, though actually you are wrong on that point. But there you seemed to think knowledge was valuable. Here you seem to think knowledge is not valuable. Odd, isn’t it?

You see, nobody could tell just how well God’s Word was preserved in the English of the KJV unless someone read the languages in which the Bible was originally written. The KJV translators used the manuscripts at hand, their language skills, and all the resources they had at hand, and they translated. Do you or any other KJV-Only advocate understand what that means? I doubt it. Translation is hard work. Translation always loses some aspect of the source. Even the best translation is not and never can be equivalent to the original.

When you say that God has preserved his word in English through the KJV you are doing at least two extremely arrogant and stupid things:

  1. You cut yourself off from the Christian community. As a KJV-Only advocate who makes this claim you should no longer call yourself a Christian. I rarely say this, but Christianity has been built on many centuries of tradition. The Bible itself is the result of things that were passed down from the early church. You are free to grab hold of anything you want and call it God’s one true word, but this claim cuts you off from that community.
  2. You make the claim that the English speaking world is specially privileged by God. Even though I am appalled by the first point, I find this one even worse. You and I, who speak English, are not one bit better spiritually than the least tribesman who speaks an as yet unwritten language. God has no more desire to communicate his message to us than to him. The incredible arrogance of claiming that our language has set us above everyone is astounding. If a claim could be made for the privileging of any language it would be the one spoken by the prophets or apostles through whom God spoke.

<blockquote.
If I’m having a hard time understanding the English Bible wouldn’t it make more sense to study English?

And suddenly you think understanding is important. Now get this: If studying it in an archaic form of English is better than studying it in Greek, then studying it in a modern, comprehensible form of English is better than studying it in archaic English.

You need to decide which it is on these points. Are you interested in communication or in having the scriptures in an allegedly “perfect” language? Are you interested in knowledge or do you condemn it?

The only thing learning Greek & Hebrew does is allow each individual to translate God’s Word the way he sees fit and not accept it as God intended.

But God intended to present his word in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. At least I believe God does what he intended to do, and that’s what he did, so I assume he intended it.

You, on the other hand, want to replace that with an English translation. What originally astonished me about KJV-Only advocates is the way they try to claim to truly respect God’s Word, and yet at the same time have no concern with the accuracy of translation. Whatever the KJV did is OK with them, no matter how wrong. That’s not respect.

It’s more confusing to me to “purchase multiple English versions” because I do not “read the source languages,” especially now when the majority of modern translations have been continuously revised within the last 20 years.

I’m sure you don’t want to be confused with facts, but the fact remains that no translation conveys everything in the source language. That’s why people keep trying.

How would I know the version I’m currently using is going to be relevant to the next generation, I would be perpetually upgrading to the latest version.

Actually you can be quite certain that at some time in the future any version you’re using will become dated and require revision. Language changes. When it changes enough, people no longer understand it as well as they should. Thus revision is needed.

The people of 17th century England not only had the Bible in it’s “original languages” they also had “multiple English versions,” the whole reason they took on the task of translating the Bible, was so that English speaking people would have a “more exact Translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English tongue;” (quoted from the Epistle Dedicatory which was written by the translators themselves) so going out and buying “multiple English versions” is taking a step backwards not forwards.

You should read “From the translators to the reader.” That gives many of their ideas of how to translate and also their comments on the resistance to new translations.

Just because the English language has become more and more watered down over time doesn’t mean we should water down God’s Word to match it so that it will be more relevant to the world.

First, you have yet to establish what a “perfect” language is and in what way English has been “watered down.” Second, it is not an issue of relevance, but of comprehension. We do not water down the scriptures by translating them, nor do we make them any more or less relevant. We make the relevance that is there understandable.

The world rejects the Word of God because His Word is Holy and it convicts them of their sin. Changing His Word to be more relevant to the world allows the world to be comfortable in their sinful state and does not bring true repentance of sin.

Which applies quite well to any well-done translation of the Bible.

I will leave you with something I found on the the University of Virginia’s website while trying to look up a free online RSV bible.

The Bible, Revised Standard Version
We regret that we are unable to host the Revised Standard Version of the Bible on our website any longer. We were recently contacted by the National Council of Churches of Christ (http://www.ncccusa.org/), who own the copyright for the Revised Standard Version of the Bible in the USA. They have asked us to remove the text from our website, and we have complied with their request. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The King James Version of the Bible may still be accessed on our website at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/kjv.browse.html.

The KJV was translated to be freely available to all men, while all other versions were created to be under the control of men. What right do we have to hinder others from freely accessing the Word God for our own greedy gains? Apparently a lot if you own the copyright.

We follow with the standard complaint about copyrights. But the KJV was originally published under a license granted by the crown. That was as close to copyright as it got in those days. Modern translators are no different on this point. I see no reason why they should not be compensated for their work. Surely you can afford the cost of an electronic copy of the RSV.


The arguments for the KJV-Only position never seem to change; they just get stated in different words.

6 thoughts on “Analyzing another KJV-Only Comment

  1. I would appreciate it if you didn’t fit me into a category, as I have not done so with you, you place me in the KJV-Only camp. However I do not agree with the many of their thought processes, I don’t think that being hateful, is a very good way to get others to see your side of an argument. I also do not believe that you can only be saved through a King James Bible as many times my Father has led people to the Lord using the Catholic Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other religious text. I also don’t believe that it’s my job to clean up America by running all the homosexuals, Pro-Choicers, Evolutionists, Proponents of stiffer gun laws, Liberals, and Democrats out of the country. I believe that “…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23, I believe that “…the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23, and “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rather than trying to make America more moral we should be concerned about winning them to Christ and let the Holy Spirit change their hearts concerning sin. One thing I have in common with them is that I do use the KJV exclusively and do believe that God perfected His Word through it. So if you must categorize me call me a KJV Exclusivist, or a Dual Inspirationalist as KJV-Only advocate has too many stigmas that don’t apply to me.

    Also if you feel that using quotation marks to indicate when you are quoting what someone else said as “scare quotes” that KJV-Only folks love to use then why did you fill your response with them? I thought the purpose of using quotations was to indicate verbatim what the person you were referencing said, I didn’t realize that it scared you, or of what I was intending to scare you either into or out of.

    I believe that the best way to study Scripture is to compare Scripture to Scripture, as I have not found any error in the KJV I compare it to itself. This is were I learned how to deal with archaic words in the Bible, if you are familiar to I Samuel chapter 9 about how Saul the son of Kish was looking for his father’s lost asses. He and one of the servants are about to turn back but remembered their is a prophet (Samuel) in the area and decide to see if he can help. Then you come to a very unique passage of Scripture, in verse 7 Saul asks what to bring the man as a payment and in verse 8 the servant replies. “…Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.” and verse 9 is completely in parenthesis which is commonly used for supplemental information. “(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)” You might note that this verse was not added by the translators but was a part of the original text. Then in verse 11 it says, “And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here?” I’m sure you can agree that according to this passage the word Seer was an archaic word in Saul’s time, and what does he do? He uses it. There are many archaic words in the KJV and if I don’t understand one it’s much easier to grab my handy Bible word book which is a glossary of archaic words in the Bible. If that doesn’t clear it up for me I can always grab my American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster’s 1828 Edition. I do not replace that word with the new one as God chose to leave the archaic word in verse 11 of the text. If I still don’t understand I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His Word to me and it hasn’t failed me yet. I find that the best way to find out what the author was trying to say is to ask the author Himself instead of inserting the word that I feel most comfortable with. But you claim that God preserved His Word in the original languages, “God intended to present his word in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. At least I believe God does what he intended to do, and that’s what he did, so I assume he intended it.” I guess I would have a hard time consulting the author because He speaks, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, and I only speak English.

    I also would appreciate if you did not put words in my mouth, if you want to know what I was trying to say about something ask me. In this case I’m the author and I would be happy to clear it up, I do not appreciate it when people put words in my mouth.

    I do think knowledge is valuable although there is such a thing as too much of a good thing as I Cor. 8:1 says, “…Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” (Since there are archaic words in this Bible reference and you have stated you have no use for archaic words I will define the following words:) Puffeth; to make proud, to puff up, (I would use the word haughty, but then I would have to define it as well.) Edifieth: to build up. You said, “J B seems to think knowledge is valuable, as he accuses me of lacking it.” Now the word knowledge is a very general word unless you use it specifically, I never said you lacked knowledge as a whole or even knowledge in general. I said you lacked knowledge specifically regarding the KJV and the time it was translated, you are making it sound as if I was attacking your general intelligence and I in fact was not. The statement you made about the KJV being relevant to the the people of it’s time and not to ours because it’s archaic, tells me that you didn’t realize that to the people of it’s time the KJV was archaic and that didn’t stop it from being used for the last 400 years.

    As far as the English of the KJV being a more perfect form of English, I learned that in my public high school English class. We learned much about the English language and it’s origins, you can’t tell me the English used in Beowulf is as good as the English used in Shakespeare. Which I might add was also archaic at the time it was written and is considered Classic, last time I checked they quote Shakespeare word for word without need for modernization.
    I also never said the English speaking world was specially privileged by God, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew to reach the Hebrew people and the new testament was written in Greek and Aramaic to reach the Greeks. Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
    Each one was written in the language of the people it was meant to reach, that was the known world at that time. God knew the English language would replace the Greek language as the language of the world which is why He chose it to preserve His Word, so that it would reach the world. If God wanted to preserve His Word in the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic in order to reach the world than the world would speak Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Why would God preserve His Word in three languages when He could better preserve it in one? If someone found the secret for making perfect chocolate and it was only available in that one source, why would I go around trying to learn how to make 3 lesser chocolates so I can better enjoy the perfect chocolate straight from the source.

    I also never said those who speak English, are better spiritually than the least tribesman who speaks an as yet unwritten language. You are once again putting words in my mouth and/or making assumptions, if I said that put it in quotes. I also never said “that our language has set us above everyone” as you stated. It’s not an an issue of our language making us better spiritually than others it’s an issue of preservation. How do you explain Faith or Grace or Holiness to a tribe that doesn’t have words that come anywhere close to describing those? You can’t and that’s why God chose to preserve His Word in a language that does, just because the language is better doesn’t mean the people are better or more spiritual. Besides you argue a mute point, you said “When you say that God has preserved his word in English through the KJV you are doing at least two extremely arrogant and stupid things:” one of them being, “You make the claim that the English speaking world is specially privileged by God. Even though I am appalled by the first point, I find this one even worse. You and I, who speak English, are not one bit better spiritually than the least tribesman who speaks an as yet unwritten language. God has no more desire to communicate his message to us than to him. The incredible arrogance of claiming that our language has set us above everyone is astounding. If a claim could be made for the privileging of any language it would be the one spoken by the prophets or apostles through whom God spoke.” the fact that you later state, “But God intended to present his word in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. At least I believe God does what he intended to do, and that’s what he did,” which puts you in the very same category. According to what you said you have to learn the privileged “language spoken by the prophets or apostles” to properly discern God’s Word which means “the least tribesman who speaks an as yet unwritten language” couldn’t possibly be as spiritually discerned as you, because he doesn’t know Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, I guess that would make you a hypocrite, this word may be archaic to you so I’ll define it:
    Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritēs actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai
    Date:
    13th century
    1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
    2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
    — hypocrite adjective
    quoted from the Merriam Webster online Dictionary.

    English is most definitely been watered down, a lot of people don’t use the JKV because there is too many references to thee, thou, thy, thine and ye. If you do simple research you will find that TH’s; thee, thou, thy and thine are second person personal pronouns in the singular form. While the Y’s; ye, you, your, and yours are second person personal pronouns in the plural form. When you replace these 8 second person personal pronouns with the three most commonly found in modern translations of you, your, and yours, there is a bit of ambiguity that is perfectly clear in the KJV.

    I actually have read “From the translators to the reader” it’s printed in the front of every KJV I own, and in case your wondering it’s not the updated version that is void of those pesky archaic words.

    You said, “Now get this: If studying it in an archaic form of English is better than studying it in Greek, then studying it in a modern, comprehensible form of English is better than studying it in archaic English.” this makes no sense, there is no if. Studying it in an archaic form of English IS better than studying it in Greek, because I speak English not Greek, and have have no problems understanding the archaic KJV. Even if I did speak Greek that wouldn’t qualify me to translate God’s Word into a language His Word has already been translated into. I learned how to read at the age of 3 using the KJV, if a 3 year old can figure it out I’m not sure why so many others struggle with it.

    You said one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever heard, “That old language is of very little use to me in my daily life. The “perfect” English lacked any vocabulary with which to describe this computer at which I’m typing.”

    In case you didn’t know, the “perfect” English isn’t flawed because it doesn’t have words to describe things that didn’t exist at the time. The reason there wasn’t a word for the thing at which you’re typing is the same reason there is no word for computer in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, computers didn’t exist. Why would the “perfect” English of the KJV a) need a word for something that didn’t exist at the time? Or b) need a word that has no relevance to the Bible? Just because a language adds words to it’s vocabulary to describe things that are newly invented does not a better language make. I’m sure that if you try hard enough with your vast knowledge of the “source languages” you should be able to translate your own Bible with words like: computer, telephone, Google, automobile, and blog to ensure it’s relevant to your daily life.

    And finally, a license granted by the crown, does not a copyright make, in fact said license is an archaic thing which is is of very little use to me in my daily life. The fact still remains, I don’t need permission to quote or print the KJV, I do for all other versions.

  2. I would appreciate it if you didn’t fit me into a category, as I have not done so with you, you place me in the KJV-Only camp.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then I’ll call it a duck.

    As is typical of KJV-Only advocates, you want to dish out the insults, but you are angry when you’re called on it. You also regard it as putting words in your mouth when someone sees the clear implications. KJV-Only advocates do not want people to understand the implications of their position, as they would then certainly reject it.

    I have spent enough time on your illogic. You have said nothing that I have not already answered in my Bible Translations FAQ.

  3. I see you have read Ecclesiastes 1:9 “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” There are always those that will tear down, the Word of God and those they will stand to defend it, and those that are left with nothing to say.

    I am also glad that you left my comment complete on the same page so everyone could read it in it’s full context and not bits and pieces of it as you did with the first one I left.

    I realize that my first two responses were lacking by way of scripture so I would like to back up what I said with the Sword of the Lord. I go by the Bible method of studying Scriptures as in
    II Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
    I study to show myself approved unto God not men , so how you feel about the truth matters not to me, you’ll answer to God and not me. I study by rightly dividing the Word of Truth which you do not have in your faulty translations. I do this so I can be ready always to give an answer as I Pet. 3:15-16 says,
    “15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
    16. Having a good conscience; that wheras they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
    As I stated before if I have trouble understanding God’s Word I do not go to other versions but ask the author as James 1:5-8 says,
    “5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
    8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” as well as
    I Corinthians 2:10, 12-14
    “10. But God hath revealed them to unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the the deep things of God.
    12. Now we have received, not the sprit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    13. Which things we also speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    14. But the natural man recieveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    And why do I do this? So that I don’t become as those in
    Ephesians 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” and
    I Corinthians 2:5 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God.” because according to
    I Corinthians 1:25 “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

    I read some verses today that the Lord used to show me that it’s
    pointless to go round in circles with people who do not believe His Word.
    I Timothy 6:2b-6 “2b…These things teach and exort.
    3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the docrine which is according to godliness;
    4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
    5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

    II Timothy 2:16-17a “16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
    17. And their word will eat as doth a canker…”

    Ephesians 4:17-19 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
    18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
    19. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

    Ephesians 5:6-7 “6. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    7. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

    II Peter 2:1-2, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

    II Peter 3:16 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    But remember folks to follow verse 18 of the same chapter, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

    And finally, Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

  4. I am also glad that you left my comment complete on the same page so everyone could read it in its full context and not bits and pieces of it as you did with the first one I left.

    It might be useful to check before you accuse. Your original comment is still posted precisely where you put it–here. I promoted it into a post to comment on it, but I also included a link to the full comment when I did.

    I may well spend some time commenting on your use of texts, but if I do I will do it in a number of shorter posts. I’m fairly long winded, but your comments are longer than my average post here! 🙂

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