Summary: God has a book and man has a book. Which do you have? Are you sure?
Why The Good Old KJV Is Still The Book For Thee!
Many folks wonder why I am still using the KJV when there are a multitude of versions out there that are so much "easier" to read. Indeed, they are amazed that I am a KJV only man. Many would say that while the KJV is a great translation there is no reason to oppose the others since they allow the reader to better understand the Word. After all, should not a preacher want people to read and understand the Word? Why then pick on the newer versions?
If it were only a matter of simplifying the English, I would not be so adamant in my stance. Unfortunately, the problems go far deeper than that. I do not hold to the belief that the King James translators were inspired like the Apostles and Prophets or that there is no longer any reason to study the Greek or Hebrew now that we have the KJV. Double Inspiration folks are way off balance and probably do far more harm to the KJV only position by their extreme stance and their demeanor than some of their Liberal opponents. While they and I may share some similar convictions on some issues, I could not fellowship with him nor would we use the same paths in logic or theology to get to any similar conclusions. Bottom line is that I count him a hindrance rather than a help to the truth.
As a matter of background, I was not raised in a KJV only church. I was raised in or at least exposed to the United Methodist Church. I received a RSV for perfect attendance at a Vacation Bible School back in elementary school. It saw little light and when I pulled it out of its box after I was saved in 1975 at age 22, it still had the new book smell to it. The Gideons issued me a KJV New Testament in 1970 when I was in Air Force boot camp. My only other exposure to the KJV was through Oliver B. Greene and other tracts that I found in the Laundromat while in High School. It appears that these tracts stuck with me. When the friend that witnessed to me asked how I would know something was in the Bible, I said that if it had thees, thous and hasts in it I would think that it was probably in the Bible. Of course, that means that someone could have quoted an obscure Shakespearean line to me and I might have assumed it was in Scripture. Nonetheless, I equated KJV English with the Bible at that time.
The man responsible for getting me to church and ultimately saved was afraid that the KJV would turn me off so he gave me a NASB as a gift and I read that for awhile. However, I went back to the KJV when I came across John 7:8-10 in the NASB. Jesus tells His brethren to go up to the feast, but he is not going up to it in verse 8, but He does go up in verse 10. This was rather disconcerting because it appeared that Jesus has just lied to His brethren. As a new convert, I wondered how Christ could lie to those folks like that. I don’t know why I did, but I pulled the KJV off the shelf and it said, "I go not up yet..." It is a big difference between not going up at all and not going up until later. The word yet was not italicized. Italicization indicates that it is not in the text, but rather supplied by the translators to allow flow of reading or to allow proper context and intent of the Greek to be viewed in "modern" English. The word yet was in the Greek text. All it took was the word yet to change the whole tenor of the passage and remove any doubt about Jesus’ intent or character. With that I put the NASB on the shelf. Had it not been a gift, I would have thrown it away. I have read tha even one of the men on that revision board has since recanted his position and has asked for God to forgive him for what he did.
Remember I was only a new convert. I had never heard of any textual issues. If my pastor then was a KJV only man he never preached his position only the Word. I had no external pressure to go either way. I had tossed my RSV because I questioned an evangelist about Hell and he asked me what version I was using and told me that I was not using a very good one. Later I learned that he was right, but I took his word on it then. The NASB went away from my own "research" and choice. I never did like "The Living Bible", which is what the lad that led me to Lord used. It is a paraphrase and not a true translation. Then it was a preference, now it is a conviction that the King James Version or the Authorized Version is the best translation because it comes from the Textus Receptus or Received Text. The New KJV does as well, but they muddied up some passages that I understood in the Old KJV. Maybe they tried too hard. They also brought the false scholarship into it via the footnotes thus discrediting it as a proper version if it condones the errors of the other manuscripts.