Updated: Dec 30, 2019
In Bible Versions War I explain about King James Only (KJO) people.
They are people who believe modern versions of the Bible are corrupted.
They claim modern versions like the NIV, NLT, NASB, ESV, and HCSB remove the deity of Christ, removed entire verses, remove the blood of Christ (His atoning sacrifice), and are not the Word of God.
KJO people believe the King James Bible is the only inerrant and perfect word of God.
This is just not true.
If the KJV was inerrant (without error) and perfect, it would not have gone through 11 revisions. Published in 1611 and revised in 1612, 1613, 1616, 1629, 1638, 1660, 1683, 1727, 1762, 1769, and 1873. There is no perfect translation. And to say there is indicates a gross ignorance of the translation process.
The King James Version (KJV) is a wonderful version of the Bible, but so are the NIV, NLT, NASB, ESV, and HCSB.
The KJO people I have encountered offend me and tend to get me riled up. My friend asked me why I don't just ignore them. They make ridiculous claims and do so in an unkind, unloving, and well, quite frankly, a rude manner. They are perpetuating false information about our sacred text. I believe the Bible is the holy Word of God and to relay lies about it angers me.
And here's the thing. The KJO people claim we who read modern versions don't believe in the Trinity or the blood atoning sacrifice of Christ. We do. We are on the same page when it comes to the essential beliefs of Christianity. So why their attempt to separate themselves from the rest of us? I just don't get that.
The King James Only Debate does great harm.
The KJO Debate Divides the Body of Christ
They insult Christians who read from newer versions. They make Christians, who do not have a good understanding how the Bible was translated from the original language manuscripts to the Bible in their hand, doubt their text. In my last post, Bible Versions War, I shared a KJO meme which in essence said to be saved and then find a King James Believing Church. This infers other churches who don't hold to the KJO position are not doctrinally sound.
The KJO people want to separate from the body of Christ. Actually it seems they consider themselves the body of Christ and the rest of us somehow outside of it.
No matter how much factual information you present to the KJO people in order to try to unite the body of Christ, they hold onto their ludicrous claims. Hence, the huge amount of precious time that is wasted on this debate.
The KJO guy I was interacting with on a Bible forum made the following comments which show how they want to be divided from other Christians.
Wow. Just wow. He is calling the newer versions of the Bible "perversions" and calling the scholars who worked on the translating teams "homosexuals" and again with the "removed the deity of Christ"! I was giving him too many facts which he could not respond to so he resorted to name calling and lies.
"But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment."
The words of our Lord in Matthew 12:36.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
He is clearly stating here that the godly scholars who work on the Bible translating teams are NOT his brothers in Christ. (There are women working on the translating teams too.) Then he says there is no foundation to any of my beliefs and accuses me of NOT believing in the deity of Jesus because I do not read the KJV.
Note: He is not a believer in the universal church. What is the universal church? The body of Christ. We hold to the essentials of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ who is God came in flesh to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are saved by grace through faith in Him.
After much back and forth with this KJO guy, I told him I was writing a blog on this. To which he gave me more memes and added fuel to the fire with the following rant. I'm not even going to comment on the divisiveness of this because well, it is self-explanatory. [And before you read it, note this man is not some ignorant person (although what he says here is ignorant.) No, from other memes he has posted, I believe he is in an honorable profession which required a considerable amount of education. If so, I am just completely dumbfounded with his KJO stance.]
America's problems are all caused because we don't read the KJV. Ha! My "ideology has brought mass confusion to this country." Oh, and by the way, he thinks I'm a guy, hence, "the buddy." [I know I said I wouldn't comment, but I just couldn't resist.] When I asked him about if KJO people believe the Bibles in other languages are corrupted, he never replied. Days have gone by. If the KJO people believe this, then they are once again excluding the vast majority of Christians who read the Bible in a language other than English. If they do not believe other language Bibles are corrupted, then why would they believe that about modern English versions? He didn't answer because either way his position is wrong.
The Bible has a lot to say about the unity of the body of Christ. A lot.
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
By trying to be exclusive and separate from other Christians, the KJO are purposefully ignoring a large part of biblical teaching. They are cherry-picking Scripture to make their points and ignoring biblical teaching on unity of the body; slander, lying; and not being loving towards others. There is great harm in doing that.
The KJO Debate Harms the Gospel Message and Christian Mission
The truth is non-believers are watching us. When they see KJO people call other Christians names and slander us (KJO have frequently stated that heretics, occultists, and homosexuals have worked on the translating committees of the newer versions); and see us argue and bicker with each other; and speak to each other in unkind, unloving words - who wants to be a part of that? Can you blame unbelievers for rolling their eyes and turning their back on us? This debate certainly does nothing to further the kingdom of God in this world.
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Salt preserves. Speech that is winsome, witty, and full of moral quality.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Christ followers are to serve others. How does this debate serve anyone?
To my core I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I consider it sacred and holy. So I tend to get extremely upset when the KJO people spread lies with regard to it. But I need to keep it in perspective. As important as the Bible is to me, I must keep in view that the Bible is not what saves. It is by grace through faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord that we are saved. Period. Believers have a tendency to confuse faith and doctrine. We aren't saved by the Bible, by church tradition or by the church. All of these things are extremely important to the believer. But they aren't what saves.
We would all do well to focus on the One who does.
We would do well to focus on our own spiritual progress and turning from the sin in our own lives and serve the One who has told us to follow Him.
We would do well to allow the Spirit to transform our hearts so that we can love others.
Sadly, the KJO Debate should have been over a long time ago. Our little time we have left here on earth would be better spent on growing in our faith, witnessing to others, encouraging others and serving them.
Our time would be better spent building up God's kingdom, not harming it.
It is time to call a Cease Fire!
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.