Sunday, April 26, 2015


by Rev. Margaret Aranda, MD, Ph.D.

The King James Bible (KJV) is used by many Christian religions, as are other modern versions such as the New American Standard Bible (NAS). Alas, there is a rumbling under the earth that has been a grumble, surfacing its head and even making it into social media. This movement is an active debate for the overall good, in my opinion, especially because people either do not take a Bible to church (i.e., seen empty-handed en masse, entering church service), or they do not use any Bible at all (e.g., Book of Mormons).

Some have called it "King James-Onlyism" or "the KJV Only Movement" and it espouses that obviously, only the KJV of the Bible should be used. Hmm. Nice historical debate on the original Bible scrolls, the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Old Testament, and the wanderings of different gospels that were decided to be deleted by panels of men, and/or the integration of translating a translation of the Bible. One could imagine a lengthy dissertation on this debate, so I'll just whittle it down. And so you know my position on the matter, I use the NAS Ryrie teaching Bible, that cross-references many of the original New Testament Greek words back to the chapter and verse of the Hebrew Old Testament, and puts an introduction of each book for all to read. So the geography, time scale, and cultures of the time are also more integrated into the Bible when looking at the NAS Ryrie vs the KJV.

The type of Greek text used to translate the New Testament is the crux of the debate. Bear in mind that the only true "inspired by the Holy Spirit" Bible was the one original Bible; none of the translations were truly "inspired by the Holy Spirit" in the same manner.

It all seems to start with the KJV movement holding that "Textus Receptus," or the Received Text of the Greek New Testament is in fact, the "most accurate version of the Greek text" used at that time. That being said, the argument is that of all translations, only the KJV is a translation from the original Greek. All other versions are translations of this text, adding unintended meaning or context. This is a hard-line stance, and that is what is at the core of the movement. Additional translations of the Bible changed over the course of time, due to various discoveries, which were not always taken into account by the KJV movement.

Here is a Timeline for the Bible Translations and Discoveries:

YEAR                                          EVENT*                                                      
1500:                              Publication of Textus Receptus.
Various:                         Numerous Greek translations discovered.
1st Century                    New Testament written by numerous disciples; contains 27 books.
Early 2nd Century         St. Paul and his writings.
Late 2nd Century          Writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
1611                              Numerous Discoveries (above) taken into consideration for Bible inclusion.
1844 to 1899:                The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered. (The first complete New Testament)
1947 -1946                    The Dead Sea Scrolls printed; Ancient Hebrew Scrolls, were found in 11                                                caves of the Dead Sea. They are 981 different texts.

* Disputed Books that were eventually added to the Bible: The Book of Revelation, Minor Catholic Epistles. Earlier works that were originally accepted and then Rejected Books to be excluded from the Bible are: 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron.

Image. The Dead Sea Scrolls.  Used from 2 B.C. to 10 B.C., 
the Hebrew scrolls were printed in the 1900's.  Image courtesy Wikipedia.

So all in all, there was one "true" and "inspired by God" Bible, and only one. To hold that any or all KJV Bibles are the "only true versions" of the Bible is simply a mathematical error which fails to consider subject x, the "one and only" true Bible. Either way, I consider this to be a refreshing, historical, and multi-cultural debate that traverses many years of time. I find this discussion to be inspiring and it makes me eager to know more about the origins, languages, findings, additions, and deletions that comprise the #1 Best-Selling book in the world. I welcome your thoughts.

The Bible

Got Questions Ministries

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