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What’s Right with KJV-Onlyism?
By David W. Daniels
A friend just showed me the website of a Christian minister who has begun speaking out against “KJV Onlyism.” Wait a second. God wrote only one Book. So what’s the problem with me trusting and submitting to that one Book, God’s preserved words in my language, the King James Bible? Why did they decide to name-call and label our simple trust in God’s words “KJV-Onlyism?” You’ll understand in a bit.
Have you ever tried to get these guys to state what they do believe? It’s harder than it looks. Try asking them this: “If not the KJV, what Bible do you accept as your absolute authority? What words will you submit to?”
They may hem and haw about the “Original Greek and Hebrew” (which nobody has) or say “I like so-and-so version.” But nail them down. Or at least, try to. What you’ll find is they have no absolute authority. So they’ll accept almost any Bible—anything but the King James!
The problem for these guys is that if they willingly submit to what God actually said, they cannot “squirm out” of any of His commands or teachings that they don’t like. They don’t have that problem with modern Catholic and so-called “text-critical” Bibles. These give lots of “wiggle room” for Bible disbelievers to feel comfortable in their sin. If they don’t like one version, they’ll switch to another one that allows them their “personal preferences.”
One popular “preference” these days is homosexuality. From 1984-2010 the NIV claimed “homosexual offenders” would not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). This left a huge loophole. Many homosexuals claimed, “I’m gay, but I’m not an ‘offender,’ so that verse doesn’t apply to me.”
The Message Bible is even worse, saying their sin is reduced to being “all lust, no love” in Romans 1:27. And it turns a clear list of gay behavior and nine other specific sins in 1 Timothy 1:9-10 into this mishmash: “…riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever!” (The Holy Ghost does not convict people for the sin of “whatever!”)
Many assume they have the right to lie. There are 20 Bibles on the market that grant them permission, by omitting a single word in John 7:8. As a caller claimed on a Christian radio show, “It’s okay for me to lie, because Jesus lied to His brothers!” (See Look What’s Missing, Chapter 1.)
God’s Words Only
By contrast, the King James Bible has been proved (tested and approved) for over 400 years. God has used these words powerfully to convict the hearts of millions of believers. As He said to Jeremiah:
“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
Every word of scripture is inspired and profitable (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And I can be sure of what God said, what it means, and how I must behave, because I have the scripture clearly written in English, the King James Bible.
“KJV-Only” simply means “God’s Words Only.” We trust it as our only written, absolute standard for faith and behavior. All the “Anything But-ists” seem to trust is their personal preferences, which can (and do) change from Bible version to Bible version. You can take your pick.
Just remember that one day we’ll have to give account to God for whichever we choose (Romans 14:12).