Why Use the King James Bible 1611?

Text: 2 Peter 1:19-21
Title: Why We Use the King James Bible 1611 and avoid new Translations?

Psalm 12:6-7: God promised He would preserve His Inspired Word.
Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; 1 Pet. 1:25; 2 Tim. 3:16

Terms we need to understand:
Bibliology is the study of the Bible.

Inspiration: the recording, or giving of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit used holy men to give us the holy Scriptures. The literal definition of the word translated “inspiration” in 2 Tim. 3:16 is “God-breathed”

Revelation: The act whereby God communicates truth to mankind that was previously unknown (and no other way to be known). God reveals truth.

Note – During Bible times, God used dreams and visions as a means to reveal His truth.

We no longer have those since we have God’s final revelation.

Illumination: The act in which God clarifies His Word so that man can understand and apply it.

Quote – You may get illumination on the already-given revelation, that was written down by verbal inspiration but you don’t get new revelation!

Let’s begin our study.

I. Text

Note – we mean the compilation of manuscript (a portion of Sciprture that was handwritten by early believers) evidence that is used to form the Bible.

A. Received Text

Note – This phrase is used to refer to the biblical manuscripts that authentic churches and Christians have accepted since the beginning of the local church.

This text has many synonyms:

1. Traditional Text: This term implies that this text has been used tradionally by authentic churches.

2. Byzantine Greek Text: A synonym for the Received text notating that it flowed throughout that Byzantine Empire, which historically correlates with early missionary efforts and apostolic writings of the first century.

3. Antiochian Text: This term is used to identify this text with the early church. It was in Antiochm, Syria where believers were first called Christians. It was from this city where missionaries were first sent. The Antiochian Text is sometimes called the Syrian Text.

4. Textus Receptus: This is the Latin phrase that is translated as “Received Text”.

Note – this is the text from where we get the King James Bible. Before that, the Tyndale, Geneva, Bishops and the Coverdale Bibles.

B. Critical Text

Note – this “new” Greek text put forth in the late 1800s, is an attempt to reconstruct or restore the true Bible text of the New Testament by assigning a higher importance to the few “oldest manuscripts” rather than trusting the larger body of evidence in the Received Text.

Synonyms for this text:

1. Alexandrian Text: This term implies the location of where these manuscripts are believed to have originated. In the early church, two competing “colleges” were formed. One was at Antioch, the other was at Alexandria. The school of Antioch held to a literal interpretation of the words; the school at Alexandria held to an allegorical approach to interpretation.

2. Minority Text: This term shows that this text is based on handful of manuscripts. This “minority” is in refrerence to the Greek manuscripts only.

The two dominant manuscripts would be:

i. Sinaiticus (Aleph or A) – A fourth century manuscript of the Greek Bible, widely belived to be written between AD 330-350.

ii. Vaticanus (B) – This manuscript has been housed in the Vatican Library (founded by Pope Nicholas V in 1448) for as long as it has been known, appearing in its earliest catalog 1475 and in the 1481 catalog. Its place of origin and the history of the manuscript is uncertain, with Rome, southern Italy and Caesarea all having been suggested.

Note: These texts were found in the 1800s and presumed to date back to the fourth century. They disagree with themselves over 3,000 times in the Gospels alone and both show clear signs of corruption.

3. Eclectic Text: The concept is that scholars supposedly took an unbiased look at all families of manuscripts and selected the best from each one.

4. Nestle-Aland Text: This is the text often used in seminaries and Bible colleges today. This team has printed twenty-seven editions of the Critical Text.

5. Westcott and Hort Text: So called because of the two men who paved the way for all critical text editions were Westcott and Hort, who released their text in 1881. While these men did much to lay down the theories of textual criticism, this field of study has come a great distance since their day.

Note – Dr. Brooke F. Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort were both of Trinity College in Cambridge, England. These two men were leaders in the realm of Textual Criticism in the 19th Century. Their new Greek text was published in 1881, with the English Revised Version being the first translation from their work. Their work laid the foundation for most future new Bible translations.

Note – Westcott and Hort were biased against the Received Text.

It is important to understand what formed the philosophy for Westcott and Hort’s work to give the world a new Greek text:

i. Hort did not believe the Scriptures to be infallible.

Here are his own words about this subject:

“If you make a decided conviction of the absolute infallibility of the New Testament practically a sine qua (essential) for cooperation, I fear I could not join you, even if you were willing to forget your fears about the origin of the Gospels. I am most anxious to find the New Testament infallible, and have a strong sense of the Divine purpose guiding all its parts; but I cannot see how the exact limits of such guidance can be ascertained (to be definite). I suppose, you would say that any apparent errors discovered by criticism are only apparent, and that owing to the imperfection of our knowledge. I fully believe that this is true of a large proportion of what the rasher critics peremptorily announce to be errors; and I think it possibl that it may be true of all, but as far as my present knowledge goes, hardly probable.

ii. Hort firmly believed that no one ever attempted to change Scripture in order to promote false doctrine.

Note – Wilbur Pickering quotes Hort as saying, “There are no signs of deliberate falsification of the text for dogmatic purposes.”

2 Cor. 2:17

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God:..

iii. Westcott and Hort believed that the Traditional Text could be explained by a collective effort of the church.

Note – Their theory was that there must have been some kind of deliberate but misguided editorial revision of the Greek text, probably in Syria or at Antioch.

iv. Westcott and Hort believed that the shorter reading is more likely to be accurate than the longer reading.

v. Westcott and Hort believed that there were many errors and mistakes by the scribes.

Note – Westcott, from his own writing in denied the doctrine of creation. “No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history – I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did…”

vi. He doubted the history existence of Moses and David.

vii. Westcott also promoted baptismal regeneration.

viii. Hort encouraged the exploration of Mariolatry. “I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship.

Note – Practically speaking, there are only two Bible texts from which all English Bible versions are sourced. The Received Text can be traced to the historical record of the true church (Baptist), and the Critical Text is traced to a relatively few obscure manuscripts.

Note – Those who have held to the superiority of the Textus Receptus have believed the Scriptures to be infallible.

II. Translation

Note – it is the process of rendering God’s Word into another language.

John Wycliffe – Called “the morning star of the Reformation,” John Wycliffe caused a stir by preaching against the abuses and heresies of the Roman Catholic “church.” He and his followers (called “Lollards”) pointed people to the word of God, not the Roman Catholic hierarchy. In the 1380s, Wycliffe published the entire Bible in English based on the Latin Vulgate which is what he had available to him. The Roman Catholic “church” burned his Bibles and his books. Forty years after his death, in an act of disdain, the Roman Catholic “church” dug up his bones and burned them.

They did not stop with Wycliffe, they also persecuted his followers like Bohemian priest John Huss who they delivered to the “secular authorities” to be burned at the stake.

William Tyndale – Translated the holy scriptures as an outlaw on the run. His New Testament was published in 1526. Roman Catholic Cardinal Thomas Wolsey demanded his arrest as an heretick. Tyndale was eventually burned at the stake by Henry VIII in 1536. Much of his translation work is found in the Authorized Version.

King James – The first king of Great Britain, James I commissioned the Authorized Version of the holy scriptures, identified the pope as antichrist, and through his writings he was the principal force in discovering to European rulers the injuries they had long sustained by the usurping tendencies of the papacy. Roman Catholics tried to kill King James.

James Charles Stuart was born on June 19, 1566 at Edinburg Castle in Scotland. King James strongly delineated the errors of Roman superstition and spurned them.

Not only was King James the first monarch to unite Scotland, England and Ireland into Great Britain (as he liked to call it), but he commissioned what many consider to be the greatest piece of religious and literary work in the world–the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, aka the Authorized Version. King James gave his subjects the greatest gift he could–the Holy Bible so that they could be saved and fed from the Word of God.

In January of 1604, the King called the Hampton Court Conference in order to hear of things “pretended to be amiss” in the church. At this conference, Dr. John Reynolds, a Puritan, requested of the King a new translation of the Bible because those that were allowed during the reigns of Henry the VIII and Edward the VI were corrupt.

The King loved the idea and by July of 1604 the King had appointed 54 men to the translation committee. These men were not only the best linguists and scholars in the kingdom but in the world. Much of their work on the King James Bible formed the basis for our linguistic studies of today.

Note – Authorized Version published on May 2, 1611 by the Church of England.

We must consider the:

A. Method of Translation

Note – Methodology is based upon principles. Principles are based upon one’s view of truth.

Note – The King James Version committee was made up of 57 men and divided into six companies. Each of these companies worked in different geographical areas.

Each company was divided and assigned its own sections of Scripture. Each individual translator was responsible to translate a portion of Scripture assigned to him. Once these individual translations were completed, the company assembled together in order to compare, discuss, and defend their work. Each book was reviewed and examined at least fourteen different times during the lengthy process. Contrast this with the New International Version Committee which boasted of going over each passage of Scripture only three times during their translation process.

This method by the King James translators is known as “formal equivalency”. This meant that both the words and the forms of the words were rendered as closely as possible from Hebrew or Greek into English. Also known as Verbal equivalency.

The other group used what is called the dynamic equivalency, a belief that it is the message and thoughts, not the words, which are important.

1. Formal equivalency

2. Dynamic equivalency

It is clear that the King James translators had a high view of God’s Word.

Matthew 4:4

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every (thought?) word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

B. The Men Behind the Translations

Note – Not only are the methods of translation important, but so are the beliefs of the translators.

1. King James Bible

Note – Consider the example of Lancelot Andrews – the man who oversaw the translation of the King James Bible. He had a manual for his private devotions prepared entirely in the Greek language. It was said that he was conversant in fifteen languages.

John Bois, another man who worked on the committee. By the time he was five years old, he could read the Old Testament in its entirety in Hebrew. At the age of six, he could write the Hebrew language eloquently.

These were remarkable men of their day and highly qualified to handle the task of giving the English world an Authorized version.

2. Other translation

i. They weaken or deny important Bible doctrines such as the blood atonement and the deity of Christ.

Colossians 1:14

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Note – the little phrase, “through his blood,” is left out of the NIV and the NASB.

ii. Their own promoters admit the uncertainty of their position.

iii. Their sources agree on obvious error.

iv. There was preconceived bias against the Textus Receptus on the part of Hort.

v. They create doubt and confusion about the reliability of the Word of God.

vi. The methods used in forming them is untrustworthy.

vii. They have omitted Mark 16:9-20 & other passages.

III. Treatment

A. King James Bible

1. Heavily opposed

Note – during the time called the “Dark Ages” 50 millions Baptists gave their lives for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus.

Ill – Two preachers – William Woosely and Robert Piggett they were preaching the Word of God on the street. During that time, it was against the law to have the Bible in the language of the people.

It was a law passed due to the influence of the Roman Church.

They wanted to keep the Bible out of the hands of the people so they can rob them through the teaching of purgatory and the sale of indulgences.

They were caught, arrested and sentenced to slow burning.

Fast burning – they used straw poured oil and would burn immediately.

Slow burning – green material, slowly burn the bare feet, legs, outer layer of skin. Fed with fire with the Bibles.

Woosly asked for the Bible and he read from the Gospel of John.

The men fell into Holy Ghost conviction and people began to cry, “Lord, help these men”

John 10:35

…and the scripture cannot be broken;

2 Timothy 2:9

…but the word of God is not bound.

2. No other Bible has seen conversion of souls, revivals than this one.

Note – the Great awakening,

Note – This was the Bible used by Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, D.L. Moody, Charles Finney.

Note – It never lost Inspiration.

If God both inspired and preserved His Word, then we can have the confidence that the preserved Word is equal to the inspired Word.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

B. Others

Note – It’s been copyrighted for profit purposes. Loved, liked.

Note – No revivals. No power.

Note – Used by almost all false religions.

We have God’s Inspired Word preserved for us in the King James Bible!

1. Read the Bible

Joshua 1:8

8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Job 23:12

12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

2. Let the Bible Read You.

James 1:22-23

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:


23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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