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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Categorizing “KJV-Only” beliefs

James White in The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations and Bob Griffin in Definitions of KJV Only on the Baptist Board have classified Christians’ who favour the King-James-Bible-Only. There may be categorizations of King James Only by others, but I have not seen them. These two are developed by men who do not hold any “King James Only” position, but I think they give a fair representation of the views. I have followed their lead, but have added a 6th category. Categorization such as this can be generally helpful but always leaves gaps for some to fall “between” the cracks of the categories.

KJVO.1 The King James Bible is the best.
This group believes the King James Version is the best English translation available. Some of this group may have respect for other translations and some may not.

KJVO.2 The Hebrew & Greek underlying the King James Bible is best (White includes “Majority Text” advocates in this group).
This group believes that the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts used by the King James translators are superior to other original language texts.

KJVO.3 The Received Text alone is best.
This group believes that the Textus Receptus (behind the King James) identically represents the original inspired autographs, as opposed to other Greek texts.

KJVO.4 The King James Bible is God’s inspired word perfectly preserved for the English-speaking people.
This group believes the King James Bible represents the perfectly preserved Word of God, accurately translated into the English language. Some may explain this as “derivative inspiration.”

KJVO.5 The King James Bible is new revelation.
This group believes that the King James Bible was “re-inspired” in 1611, when it was translated into the English language by the King James translators.

KJVO.6 The Scriptures were inspired by God, the original words preserved by God, and the preserved words translated into other languages. In the English language, the King James Bible best represents this work of God.

All the above categories share in common the consistent use of and preference for the King James Bible. Those in KJV groups 1-3 could, at least theoretically, allow for the possibility of a new translation that could supersede the King James Bible. KJV groups 4-5 do not allow for the possibility of a new translation, and usually not even any slight revision/alteration to the King James Bible. The KJV group 6 would allow for limited alteration (and recognize there have been alterations – e.g., spelling, punctuation – in the past).

Bob Griffin’s list
  • KJVO #1 “I PREFER THE KJV”
  • KJVO #2 “I BELIEVE THE UNDERLYING GREEK/HEBREW TEXT OF THE KJV IS BEST”
  • KJVO #3 “I BELIEVE IN THE RECEIVED TEXT ONLY”
  • KJVO #4 “I BELIEVE THE KING JAMES IS INSPIRED”
  • KJVO #5 “I BELIEVE THE KJV IS NEW REVELATION”
James White’s list
  • Group #1 “I Like the KJV Best”
  • Group #2 “The Textual Argument”
  • Group #3 “Received Text Only”
  • Group #4 “The Inspired KJV Group”
  • Group #5 “The KJV as New Revelation”

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