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Is Your Modern Translation Corrupt

المؤلف: James White
التاريخ: 14.04.2011
Category: الحق والتعددية, الكتاب المقدس في العمل المرسلي

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I’m sharing the following document as a supplement to the two Bible Studies I just posted entitled "What is the Bible" and "Why Study the Bible".  The following is from James White.  If you are interested in learning more about his ministry visit htt://


Answering the Allegations of KJV Only Advocates 

by James R. White


King James Version Only advocates argue that all modern translations of the New Testament are based on Greek manuscripts that contain intentional doctrinal corruptions. However, an examination of the most important manuscripts underlying these translations demonstrates that such charges are based more upon prejudice than fact. The papyri finds of the last century, together with the great uncial texts from the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., do not deprecate the deity of Christ, the Trinity, or salvation by grace through faith. Modern translations, such as the NIV and NASB, are not "corrupt" but instead trustworthy and useful translations of the Word of God.

Baptist writer William P. Grady, in a chapter titled the "Synagogue of Satan," writes, "The average Christ-ian is unaware that the manuscripts from which the modern Bibles have been translated are Egyptian in origin; more specifically, Alexandrian. This lack of understanding is exacerbated by little or no knowledge of Egypts heretical climate at that time. When these factors are appreciated, the weakness and hypocrisy behind the modern revision movement becomes more readily apparent."1 

The claim that modern Bible translations such as the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) are based upon "corrupt" editions of the Greek and Hebrew texts is a common argument of King James Only advocates. Believers who encounter the claims of individuals such as Peter Ruckman,2 Samuel Gipp,3 Gail Riplinger,4 or D. A. Waite5 will often hear that while the King James Version (KJV) is based upon "God honoring manuscripts," the modern translations are based upon only a handful of heretical, corrupt manuscripts.6 They allege that these manuscripts can be linked to every kind of heretical belief, even when those beliefs are contradictory to one another. One will find KJV Only advocates7 linking these manuscripts to Arianism, Gnosticism, liberalism, and Roman Catholicism. These manuscripts allegedly deny salvation by grace through faith, the resurrection of Christ, and the existence of hell, and affirm any number of other heresies and errors. Therefore, since nearly all modern translations8 are based upon these "corrupt" manuscripts, the translations are also corrupt and should be rejected by all "Bible believers." 

The importance of the topic should not be underestimated. While the vast majority of conservative Christian scholars completely reject the KJV Only position,9 the emotionally charged rhetoric of KJV Only advocates causes unnecessary concerns among many believers. It is a sad truth that most Christians have only a vague knowledge of the history of the Bible and almost no knowledge of the mechanisms by which the Bible has come to us today. Issues regarding the transmission of the text over time (the process of copying), the comparison of one written text to another (textual criticism), and translation are not popular topics of discussion or study in the church today. Therefore, the claims of KJV Only advocates are liable to deeply trouble many Christians, even to the point of causing them to question the reliability and usefulness of their NIV or NASB Bibles. When believers are wrongly led to doubt the integrity of the translation they have used for years, Christian scholars have a responsibility to set the record straight. 

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كلمات مفتاحية: Bible, apologetics, KJV

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رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني L_Sills (1)
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I have only just found your post, as I was researching articles under the topic "Truth and Pluralism."  So, while I am a bit behind regarding comments, I would like to thank you for what you have written about so thoroughly and insightfully. 

I find value in several different translations of the Bible, and I find that looking at them and comparing them (as time allows for this) is a wonderful way to learn more about God’s word and how it might or can be interpreted.  That there should be some restriction on this or some notion that anything but one version is the wrong approach to reading scripture is narrowing the ways in which we can hear and understand  God’s word. 

For the words in the KJV that "trip" me up, I am grateful for others who have spent time offering other valid translations that can have meaning in the reading.  For the verses in the KJV that sing to me in poetic and poignant ways, I am grateful for that kind of writing.  I am hard pressed to like another translation of Psalm 23 or the Birth narrative in Luke 2 than the ones we are so familiar with from the KJV.  They are beautiful writings.

But, the words in the Bible are more than just pretty words.  They have meaning, depth, substance and significance.  They are relevant to our lives today.  Without them, we cannot know completely how we are to live as God’s people.  So, as you state so well, I am hard-pressed to understand the insistence that we must adhere to only one source, which is also an interpretation, for our reading of scripture.  At the risk of stretching the point, it seems almost like saying the way medicine was practiced in 1611 in England is the only way medicine should be practiced now.  Forget whatever advances and new knowledge that has been offered up and practiced and proven to be effective.  Stick to what was given to you 400+ years ago.  How much sense does that make?

Again, thank you for the post and I am glad to have found it.


L. Sills

رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني weinzierl_diomedes (0)
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This might go a bit deeper for KJV lovers than that version being the "acceptable translation." This has all the makings of a Tradition versus Truth argument, and we as a people have seen many of these over the years.  In my opinion, the King James is a bit too literal and tries to be a dynamic equivalent to the original Koine Greek; I find the NRSV to be a much better resource (yes, partly because it’s easier for this generation to understand).  

But I don’t think any of this could speak to a person hanging onto the KJV.  ...The KJV was used by somebody’s grandfather’s grandfather, and it’s what a person heard read in church, and it’s what was memorized as a child.  It can be difficult to let that go for something relatively new.  Honestly, the KJV isn’t a bad translation or anything.  If that’s the version a Christian would like to hang onto, it shouldn’t be a problem, as long as that person knows that there are other options available.

رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني B_Robertson_NC (4)
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This is a fantastic contribution.  Thanks for sharing it with us.  Where I live in western North Carolina, I am frequently encountering KJV only advocates.  There is one bible college in the area with an ultra-conservative fundamentalist indoctrination program that is likely responsible for producing the phenomenon.  There are times when I’ve been invited to lead worship at area churches only to have post-event conversations quickly deteriorate when this topic comes up.  It’s amazing how passionate people are and how mean they can be regarding acceptable English translations.  I was actually punched in the forehead by one man after I suggesting that he learn to read Koine Greek so as to have access to the original New Testament instead of harping over translations.  At another church, the pastor told me that Westcott and Hort were burned at the stake for being homosexuals.  Sad, but true.  Needless to say, I’ve never gone back.  This article makes great strides in diffusing the volatility inherent with this issue.

رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني christopherhaymes (1)
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@ B_Robertson_NC:


I live in Boiling Springs, North Carolina and have preached at many churches in the surrounding area where this question comes up.  Before I go and preach as a guest in a church, I always ask what translation they prefer to be reverent to the churches wishes as I am their to serve, not to stir up fires.  There are many churches where the KJV is the ONLY Bible I am to preach and read from.  I do it.  First of all, wow, how tough is it to understand.  Sometimes I feel like the reason our part of the state/country seems so practically illiterate in regards to theology is because they can’t even understand it.  The congregations seem to depend only on their pastor for explanation.  It’s kind of like a chosen hindrance to understanding the Word of God for themselves; as if another translation might actually make things clear to an individual.  Also, unfortunately, it seems to me that these churches seem to be the least loving and open.  There is one encouragement I have found and the purpose for me responding to your comment, and that is the majority of the people from these congregations are incredibly faithful.  Meaning, they are there and involved in everything until their dying breath.  For instance, I see so many of these old people who faithfully teach Sunday school for decades, play the piano for the music for years, and many other aspects of involvement.  That is one small piece of encouragement I get.  It’s like they are happy where they are at and any talk of change (ie. translation) is not welcome (so much as to punch the head of someone who does??? That’s not cool.  I have often wondered what my role is in those situations.  I can’t bring change to that.  It’s like trying to teach my teenage (human years) dog to go fetch.  He looks at me and says, “nope”.  Paul, regardless of the churches problems, seems to always praise what the particular congregation is doing right.  In your discussed situation, it isn’t really passion to learn, desire for theological challenge, or practical study; BUT it does seem to stereotypically be faithfulness.  I’ve felt the Lord tell me on several occasions to not mess with His bride regardless of her faults and also to praise the good things going on.  At what point do we challenge though?  It’s hard for me as an evangelist to know what to do in those situations as God has  taught me so much about this type of stuff.  Old wineskins.  I want to encourage you as I completely understand your frustration.

رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني B_Robertson_NC (4)
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@ christopherhaymes:

Thanks for your response.  I never did any speaking, preaching, or scripture readings at these events.  The speakers, who invited me to provide worship music, always made prior contact with the church pastors to inquire whether there was a preferred translation to preach from and if there were any musical sensitivities I needed to be aware of.  Generally, I would just sing and play hymns on my guitar with the occasional “soft” contemporary song, e.g. How Great Is Our God.  The encounters that I mentioned in my earlier comment resulted from individuals noticing that I carried a NRSV translation with me and felt that they had to make a comment.  I find it funny that a person would feel the need to look at the bible translations being read by the people sitting beside them on the pew.

رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني theBlood (1)
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The word of God is inspired by God, and I believe when I read His Word; His Spirit gives me revelation on what He is saying to me.

رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني Mojoe (7)
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Cody, Thanks for sharing this.  I typically don’t spend much time in discussion with KJV Only people so I have not taken the time to do such close comparisions, but I will keep a copy of this.  One experience that I had, however, was when I was networking for our ministry, Compassion In Action (outreach type of ministry and we network service providers and ministries in our area).  The pastor of a church stated that they would not be able to cooperate with us, because we use guitars and drums in our worship instead of the Biblical piano and organ.  I was so set back by this stupidity that for once in my life, I was speechless.  I just wanted to share this experience so that someone else could laugh too.


رد ضع علم 0 يعجبني لا يعجبني Cody_Lorance (13)   
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@ Mojoe:

Biblical piano, eh? Funny and sad at the same time. Blessings to you!


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