The King James Version is one of the big issues that regularly surfaces in my world. I talk about it with pastors and laymen alike and literally have friends who are all over the place in relation to where they stand! I have more than a few friends who are KJV-only, although I have to acknowledge that there are multiple degrees of meaning for that term. By that, I mean that some believe that the translators were just as inspired as were the holy men who wrote it in Hebrew and Greek way back at the very beginning. Others believe that it corrects the failures of the Hebrew and Greek copies and is therefore the final piece of God’s preservation work. Many simply believe that it is accurately translated and is so well done that it is irreplaceable. Not all of my friends are KJV-only. I have some friends who are KJV-preferred, but who have no issue with modern versions that are accurately translated. I even have some friends who have no idea that this is an issue (and sometimes I find myself loving them for it), and, of course, I have some friends who strongly believe in using modern versions.
Here are five observations I have made regarding this matter:
1. Those I know personally who use other versions love God just as much as those of us who use the KJV. They read their copy daily and meditate on the words they read. They preach and teach it to their congregations. They use it in family devotions. They win souls. We can hold differing views here and still love God.
2. Those I know who use other versions have just as much confidence in Gods Word as I have. They believe it must be accurately translated and when it is, they believe it is the Inspired Word of God. In the KJV-only camp, we tend to talk as if it is not possible for a person to use a modern version with confidence. By experience, I have to disagree.
3. Those I know who are ok with other versions believe as strongly in inspiration, preservation, and the importance of accuracy as I do. We would all agree that the Bible came to us by divine inspiration as God spoke to holy men who wrote the very words God led them to write under the leadership of His Holy Spirit. We both agree that God promised to preserve His word. From there, we then come to a variety of opinions as to how He accomplished the task. I have learned that we can disagree quite strongly regarding the “how” and yet still agree on the doctrines of inspiration and preservation, and on the importance of accuracy in translation work.
4. Those I know who use other versions believe the fundamentals of the faith as strongly as I do.
5. Those I know who use other versions, do so, not because they are rebels and infidels, but because they primarily want Gods Word to be readable and understandable to the common man. To be fair, that was certainly one of the reasons the KJV was translated in the first place, at least according to those who did the translation work. My observation is simply that many who use modern versions want a translation that is both accurate and understandable. I do give some leeway here because I am very aware that our KJV was translated with those same goals in mind.
So, why share these observations? First, it is always right to accurately portray another’s views. Further, we are to “think no evil” about others (see 1 Corinthians 13). Then, it is always helpful to understand where someone else is “coming from” in regards to their particular beliefs. Finally, it is a good thing to recognize that while we can frequently have different views, we can still treat each other with love and respect.
So go ahead and discuss these issues. Listen to those who see things differently and try to understand them. Debate and write if you are so inclined. Talk about how and why we see things differently. Then, invite them to your home, have fellowship together, and talk about our Savior Jesus Christ. And then maybe, just maybe, go soul winning together and tell someone how God’s Word has changed your life. You may find a great friend! You might even win a soul!
I would love to hear what you think and why! Feel free to comment below.
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,