Repeatedly we hear that the best translation is the KJV bible. Sometimes, that it is the only bible inspired of God. Without a doubt its ubiquitous, and thus impossible to ignore.
Let's start with comments about the person of King James himself:
King James became the first earthly monarch to successfully sponsor and encourage the distribution of the entire Word of God in the daily language of his people. (King Alfred had made an attempt centuries earlier).
William Tyndale, the Father of the English Bible, had been ostensibly used by God to bring an early translation of the Bible in English. For this "crime" he was declared to be a heretic and was burned at the stake.
His last words were "Lord, open the King of England's eyes."
It seems his prayer was heard because subsequently a born again English king sponsored an English Bible, produced openly on English soil for English Christians.
This was of course was King James who appointed 54 learned men to make "one more exact translation of the Bible." King James encouraged financial gifts to this project and set the example by agreeing to underwrite the salary of several of the translators himself.
Even though the official name for this translation would be the Authorized Version, it was soon known as the King James Bible. It was uniquely made accessible and promoted by the King of England himself. Laymen now had no more fear of owning their own Bible.
Historian Steven Coston Sr. makes following comment about King James: "King James was, no matter what tales some may tell, a virtuous man of good intentions, who did the best he could as God gave him strength."
In view of such an inspiring beginning why would anyone not predominately use the KJV ?
King James Weakness:
Regardless of his good intentions and excellent character references (sometime criticized. But who isn't?) King James had one weakness. This particular foible was a trait many Kings had, namely a delusion of grandeur. We could argue
that it's not a "delusion" when a person is actually the most elevated person in the country, so why even mention it?
It is mentioned because of his affectation regarding the "importance of the King" and the King's position as ordained by God,
He was insulted by the Geneva Bible's translation of Matthew 2:20 which seemed to brand all kings as tyrants.
Thus King James exerted his influence on the translators to reflect his hierarchical perspective in their translation work. This was done despite the translators unsuccessful objections, after all he was the one paying for the translation to be done.
Its dedication read: "To the most High and Mighty Prince James, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith.
Another issue revolves around inerrancy.
the average Christian may not be aware of the debate regarding various translations and may indeed receive the impression that the Bible favored in his or her church is inerrant.
In the words of evangelical Christian Gary Amirault:
“At an early point in my walk with Jesus, I was strongly under the influence of men and women who believed in the ‘Inerrant Bible’ doctrine. They believed the King James Bible was the only one Christians should use because it was inspired of God and without errors. They believed other translations were inspired of Satan, the “Alexandrian cult” and the Roman Catholic Church.”
David Sorenson, even goes so far as to deem “apostates” those who follow the “critical text,” such as the Revised Standard Version, as opposed to those who maintain the inerrancy of the “Received Text,” i.e., the basis for the KJV. He said “It is my belief that the King James Bible, originally known as the Authorized Version, first published in the year 1611, is God’s word in the English language without admixture of error.”
In reality these claims are diametrically in opposition to the truth.
Instead of being inerrant the KJV is replete with errors. (errors relative to the original texts)
Why can that be said?
Perceptive scholars point out that a translation can only be as good as it's source. The best basis for a translation are the extamt Hebrew, Aramaic and Coine Greek Manuscripts.
The Authorized Version (KJV) however took a shortcut. Instead of using these original mss, the translators used a mix of preceding translations, namely the Textus Receptus (TR) some new Greek texts (12 to 15th century) and the Latin Vulgate.
The original Textus Receptus was hurriedly put together and contained “thousands of typographical errors,”
It then was eventually reissued by Parisian printer Robert Estienne, whose edition was the basis of the KJV, with a significant amount of the same problems unchanged.
Scholar Dr. Bart Ehrman remarks:
“…The King James Version is filled with places in which the translators rendered a Greek text derived ultimately from Erasmus’s edition, which was based on a single twelfth-century manuscript that is one of the worst of the manuscripts that we now have available to us!…In fact, the Greek text that the KJV largely followed is now considered a seriously flawed composition, “hastily compiled” by Desiderius Erasmus, who pieced it together using a single Greek text from the 12th century and a few other manuscript portions, producing the “Textus Receptus” or “Received Text.”
And that is the crux of the matter.
The KJV is replete not only with translation errors, but an outdated language. These errors are the basis for a constant flow of assumption that the bible is illogical, incomprehensible and contradictory.
We now possess many more ancient manuscripts of the New Testament, and are far better equipped to recover the original wording of the Greek text. That means today's translations can be (not always) much better than one written in 1611.
One more thing needs to be said. If a person reads a translation as a panacea for the problems of life, by all means the KJV might with it's poetic and traditional language be the perfect solution.
However when attempting to find out the original meaning inspired by God a more modern translation is generally recommended.
The serious reader should even consider a good word for word translation, whilst difficult to read it is more accurate.
Lots more could be said, perhaps you could add some additional comments or point out reasons you think I'm wrong.
Note: Keep in mind that ingenious remarks such as "you are so wrong...(and similar)" whilst amusing, reveals more about the one making the remark than the one receiving it.
Since I'm certain the more inquisitive amongst you, will be asking some example of errors, here is a short list. Of course not all versions have the same ones.
Some verses with English words that have changed meaning since the KJV include:
replenish -means- supply fully
closet - means - private or a secret room,bedroom
compelled - means -threatened, urged, or pushed -
conversation - means - way a person travels through life
cousins- means -related (anyone outside of immediate family)
doctors- means -Teacher
bewitchment - means -leading astray
instant- means -insistent or -urgent
carriages- means -luggage
leasing- means -deceit
meet- means -fitting,proper
KJV Bible: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Better Translation: "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
Comments: This is another instance of a poor preposition. Moses did not proclaim his OWN law, but the law that GOD gave him to proclaim.
KJV Bible: "And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water . . . And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost."
Better Translation: "And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing in water . . . And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost."
Comments: Pouring or sprinkling with water is not the scriptural method of baptism, but only thorough immersion in water.
KJV Bible: "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."
Better Translation: "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people."
Comments: The Greek word pascha (Greek: πάσχα, Strong's Concordance Number #G3957) in this verse has been inaccurately translated as Easter. This word should be translated as Passover, which agrees with the translation of pascha as Passover as found in Matthew 26:2 and other verses.
KJV Bible: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. "
Comments: This verse should NOT have the italicized words "it were." It IS possible for the elect to be deceived. They need to be on guard!
KJV Bible: "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. "
Comments: This verse actually NEEDS some italicized words to make the meaning clear, such as: "For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, rather the important thing is the keeping of the commandments of God."
Keep in mind the KJV wasn't necessarily always wrong at the time it was written, just many words are outdated, and can have a completely different meaning today .
We should take care not to read into each and every word meanings used in today's English without checking it out.
What are the ERRORS in the King James Version Bible
Errors in the King James Bible
Are there Errors in the King James Version (KJV)? | PeterGoeman.com
A Brief History of the King James Bible - Stellar House Publishing
THE REAL STORY OF KING JAMES I