More often than not, I have done myself the great disservice of putting too many eggs in my basket. Of course, eggs being tasks and the basket being my poor gray matter. Down the road, I want to revisit the subject of KJVO since I ‘rebooted’ the podcast. My initial thought was to create a PDF (which may come with the podcast episodes), but then I decided a quick write-up (in bullet form for convenience) and resources may be more helpful. You can read the write-up, or of course, just scroll down to my suggested resources.
Quick Points of Consideration:
1. King James Onlyism is a spectrum
Like everything, there are extremes in the King James Only view. Some wouldn’t even consider themselves “King James Only,” but rather individuals who have a preference for the KJV. This is a long-winded way to say that, we should remember to engage with individuals, not caricatures or assumed extremes.
2. King James Onlyism is not necessarily TR-Onlyism
This means that some individuals will die on the hill of the English translation with little respect for the underlining Greek text (the TR, or Textus Receptus), while others will defend the TR. This is worth pointing out because, on the ground floor, most individuals haven’t engaged with or learned about textual criticism, meaning that discussions on textual criticism often aren’t necessary. Further, some individuals have read information on the manuscripts behind modern texts yet don’t know much about the topic. Thus, it is more helpful to discuss English and discuss why the differences between the texts are exaggerated (take for example, the claim that Modern translations threaten the deity of Christ; an individual can demonstrate this as false by comparing the ESV with the KJV on John 1:18 and Jude 5. Additionally one can point out that some cults who deny the deity of Christ will choose the KJV over modern editions, i.e., the Jehovah’s Witnesses).
3. There are meaningful positions in KJV Only
There are some who appeal to the KJV because of what is called the Majority text. This position has arguments worth considering, but these arguments get into the weeds of textual criticism that most won’t dive into. This point really circles back to point 1 and keeps point 1 in mind.
4. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater
The KJV is not my favorite Bible, and even my go-to English translation based on the TR is the 1599 Geneva Bible put out by Tolle Lege Press. Still, it is a solid and beautiful translation. Ultimately, the discussion boils down to – we shouldn’t be dogmatic on the topic ourselves. Sometimes in pushing back and encountering those who are dogmatic on the topic, we can become dogmatic ourselves, which is counterproductive.
1. The King James Only Controversy by James White (Paid). This book is probably the go-to to understand the issues on the ground floor. It discusses textual criticism a bit but ultimately will aid the layman in discussing the issue.
2. King James Onlyism: A New Sect by James Price (free). This book/pdf is more technical than White’s volume but will have information that will be helpful for those diving into the subject. It really will cover all the basis, however, and the fact that Price made it available for free is fantastic.
3. Mark Ward’s Channel (Free). Mark Ward’s channel is free (though he also has a book on KJV that I have not read). He covers a lot of subjects about Bible translations and has several playlists dedicated to the KJVO discussion.
4. KJV Parallel Bible (Free). This free website allows individuals to examine the differences between the Greek texts of the KJV and the Modern Bibles without knowing English. Daniel Wallace describes the website as follows, “Mark Ward’s KJV Parallel Bible accomplishes two significant feats: First, it makes the comparisons of the underlying Greek texts of the King James New Testament and that of modern translations accessible to everyone. Second, it lays out all the differences that affect translation in the style of the KJV. This second accomplishment is brilliant in its simplicity, showing just how little modern translations differ from the King James in their underlying text.”
5. Textual Criticism Lectures (free). If you want to go deeper into all of this subject, Daniel Wallace’s lectures on Textual Criticism can be picked up on Biblical Training.org for free.
Many more resources could be discussed, such as debates available on youtube for free (which are incredibly beneficial to examine), but this should be sufficient to get you started! You can also check out some of my book recommendations, “On the Bible,” here.
I hope this proves helpful for you all, and God bless you all!
Nick resides in Texas with his wife, daughter, and son. After meeting Christ in 2012, Nick began a blog in order to teach things that he found interesting. Eventually, this blog would become a podcast in 2017 and Christ is the Cure would grow significantly in its scope and mission. The vision was to teach the scriptures and theology while facilitating a love for God, his word, and critical analysis of hard issues.