By noticing statements* that lash out against the King James Bible translation itself rather than its proponents, we can establish that there is a fervent, living, breathing Baptist crowd who are "anti-KJV". Yes, anti-KJV, not just opposed to KJV-Onlyism. They are extravagant in spreading around the KJVO accusation, but don’t like to be called anti-KJV. Why? Probably because the KJV is still loved and used by so many people. But if you think the KJV is a seriously outmoded preservation of a poor translation from inferior manuscripts which ought not be used by God’s people…then wear the shoe that fits!
Consider the arrogance, ignorance, confusion, derision, and distortion that exist among the anti-KJV crowd, by their own testimony.
The arrogance of the anti-KJV-ists
"Neither translation [KJV and NKJV] ought to be used by someone who claims to be a teacher of the Bible." "The King James Version is seriously outmoded. It does confuse the reader. Words exist in that text that we no longer use. One can actually be reading the KJV of the Bible and misunderstand the Word of God." "...modern translations, unless monkeyed with in some unacceptable way (New World or gender neutral or such) are superior to the KJV."
Stating that modern translations are superior to the KJV implies that those who use modern translations are also superior to those who use the KJV. Some don't bother to hint at it, but state forcefully that the KJV ought not to be used by anyone claiming to be a teacher of the Bible! To imagine that one can "actually be reading the KJV of the Bible and misunderstand the Word of God" is too seriously inane to even be funny. Certainly no one reads any modern translation and ever misunderstands the Word of God!! Go figure.
It is quite arrogant and elitist to elevate oneself above others – others who are often sincere, dedicated and successful teachers of the Word of God – simply because you use a modern version of the Bible and they do not. It appears to not be enough to state “I have studied this and have come to this conclusion.” No, all who do not come to the same conclusion must be outed as back-numbers and Neanderthals. Cave men shouldn’t be teaching the Bible!
The ignorance of the anti-KJV-ists
"I cannot think of a single good reason that anyone would still use the KJV in Bible study or preaching." "To ask people to read a Bible in a language they neither understand nor speak is destructive to the purpose -- getting people to the Bible. King James English is fast becoming a foreign language." "I have seen an original KJV...it absolutely does look like a foreign language."
The anti-KJV crowd exposes their ignorance with rank hyperbole and by repeating useful derogatory information, regardless of its accuracy. Even folks who do not prefer the KJV could reply at SBC Voices with “single good reasons” to use the KJV in Bible study and preaching. On his web site, John MacArthur discussed the four most popular formal-equivalency versions of the Bible –KJV, NKJV, NASB, and ESV – and said that all have “strengths and weaknesses, but they are all reliable translations of the Bible.” Perhaps he too is not qualified to be a teacher of the bible, seeing he recommends people could use a Bible in a language they neither understand nor speak.
A foreign language? How can we sincerely consider your suggestions when you make statements that cause us to question your intelligence? Yes, the spelling and typesetting of a 1611 KJV is a little different than modern spelling and typesetting, but a foreign language? Please!!! I'm no genius. I wasn't the valedictorian or salutatorian in my class. I didn't make the National Honor Society. But I can read a 1611 King James Bible. I have read it through from Genesis to Revelation. I know people who may not even be as smart as I am who have read the 1611 King James Bible! And you think it looks like a foreign language? If a Bible teacher isn't educated enough to read a 1611 KJV, then I doubt he is educated enough to tell folks which translation of the Bible they ought to use.
The confusion of the anti-KJV-ists
Q: "So what version is more accurate?" A: "So, I could recommend, in general, the ESV or the HCSB, perhaps."
"I have found the NKJV to be a good translation...I also like the ESV, and the NASV. I do not like the NIV, and the Revised Standard Version." "I used the NASB for many years...I felt God leading me to use the NIV for awhile...Nowadays, I'm using the ESV for daily reading and the NET for study."
The anti-KJV crowd is truly an aginner society. Asked directly about which Bible to use, the author demurred a recommendation “in general” “perhaps”. They know which Bible not to use, but they don't know which Bible to use. Some say this and others that. They can agree against the KJV, but can't agree amongst themselves what to use. Others are tossed to and fro, using this for awhile then changing to that. Like the man owning two watches, they seem to never know what time it is. In their confusion the anti-KJV crowd agrees to recommend almost anything – so long as it is not the King James! That doesn’t exude much confidence from them or excite much confidence for me in them.
The derision of the anti-KJV-ists
Jokes one commenter as he makes fun of the KJV, “My good Madame, I needst 2 of thou’s best burgereths, and I doth requireth a coketh, for I thirst. I shall giveth thee pence and a farthling, and that amount shall surely be enough.” Somehow making fun of a Bible doesn’t seem like a proper amusement for Christians.
In an online article (unrelated to Dave Miller's) one author finds amusement in obsolete words and expressions of the KJV -- trow, waxed, publicans, ravening and so on. Perhaps we are not supposed to notice that the definitions of these can be found—he found them—or that some "obsolete" words are found in modern Bibles (try Jeremiah 2:20 in the NIV, ESV, NRSV for ravening), or that some "obsolete" words are not listed as obsolete or archaic in modern dictionaries. That Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth were "well stricken in years" is "almost amusing" to twentieth-century ears. Maybe to twenty-first ears, but my twentieth-century ears hear exactly what it means.
The distortion of the anti-KJV-ists
I have previously limited my complaints to charges directed at the KJV Bible itself. But these attacks include a certain amount of ad hominem and guilt by association tactics that need to be mentioned. Those who only use the KJV, who have a strong preference for it, or who support the Received Text or Majority Text instead of the Critical Text are caricatured by association to the most extreme versions of KJV-Onlyists.
“Ruckman believes that the KJV represents what he calls 'advanced revelation'. That means that the KJV rises above the level of the original manuscripts since he believes it is completely inspired.” “And he [Ruckman] was so KJV that he honestly taught that it was superior to the originals Greek manuscripts. He is reported to have said where the KJV and the Greek disagree the KJV corrects the Greek.” “Somewhere in the 1980s he [Hyles] changed to an extreme view of KJV Only; even to the point he believed you could only get saved by the KJV...Jack Hyles also had a multitude of other indiscretions...” “I have encountered a good many KJVOnlyists. [Some believe] my ESV, NIV ,NASB SIX LETTERED S* A* V* I* O* R is nothing short of the son of perdition...The seven-letter Saviour is the only begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The King James Bible and its supporters are vilified with Peter Ruckman, his racism and his strange views from fetuses to UFOs, as well as Jack Hyles and his personal and interpersonal "indiscretions". Yet many King James Bible supporters have also spoken out against these men, their doctrines and their foibles. For example, I have stated and written on several occasions that Ruckman's views on Bible preservation and advanced revelation are in direct conflict with what God has revealed in His Word.
Not only that, but KJV supporters are also Catholic-haters, idolaters, cults, and, God forbid, Landmarkers!
“I do find it ironic that many who hold to the KJV only among Protestants seem to almost have a hatred for Catholics.” “KJV-Onlyism is a form of idolatry, in my mind.” “I have heard some KJV Onlyists (which is a cult in my opinion) say that to win those in foreign countries, we must first teach them English so they can read the KJV.” “Or are you a Landmark Baptist?”
I think most of the above is self-explanatory except the last quote. A KJV supporter was asked to confess to being a Landmark Baptist. On SBC Voices the charge of being Landmark Baptist is apparently tantamount (in effect) to the charge of being a racist. Once the slander is bought, the individual labeled, no amount of bleach could remove the stain. This point also goes toward the ignorance on the subject. While some Landmark Baptists are KJV-Onlyists or KJV supporters, others are rabid anti-KJV-ists who attack an Anglican Bible with egregrious errors such as translating baptizo baptize instead of immerse, or ekklesia church instead of called-out assembly or congregation.
I do not wish to dish out the same kind of caricatures as the others. The statements only belong to those who made them (and at times they may not have even intended them as they sound). Let me forcefully and clearly state that all supporters of the critical text and modern versions do not fall in line with the ad hominem and guilt by association attacks of the "anti-KJV-ists". They are satisfied to find their niche, believe it, support it, and do not vilify all who disagree. KJVO extremists could learn a lesson here as well. We ought not label one another heretics or idiots just because we disagree. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
* These are random statements from commenters on this blog article, and are not necessarily quotes of Dave Miller, and if not, do not necessarily represent his views.