There is a movement out there that agrees with my stand that the Authorized King James version is the only trustworthy English translation of the Bible. They base this belief on putting more relevance on one method of translation over another. While I could join into that conversation and find some relevance in it, my thoughts are along a different line. I am trying look at things through a practical way of thinking, for example, what would cause the least confusion, etc. The explanation that I hear most for those using other translations is for ease of understanding. They claim that the King James does not use modern day language so that it may be more difficult to understand. Following this logic, I would assume that in their eyes, the King James, being difficult to understand may be a hindrance to someone spending time reading the Bible. This to me seems like a logical and very influential point to be made. Adding to this, one might say that one translation method is superior over another making one more accurate than another. Those that advocate one translation over another will point out the weaknesses of the methods used to translate others translations over their preferred, and also point out entire verses that have been removed, etc. I do have my opinions on this as well but I will not go into it in this post. That is a completely different argument in itself but it tends to lead to the same issue that I do want to talk about in this post.
I have several reasons for only using the King James separate from those mentioned above with respect to translation methods. One is the appearance of confusion to the un-learned and the other is standardization in learning. The appearance of confusion can be clarified in this… When a new person is evangelized and convinced to follow the Christian faith, they are likely a bit overwhelmed with how little they know. When they go to do some research to learn, they are met with 15 different translations. When they search the Internet to find out what translation is best, they are met with thousands of articles point out the virtues of one translation while pointing out the heresy in others. To a new convert, this can lead to confusion or outright frustration. The question can arise… “Which one is right?” To those that have more maturity in their learning, they may think of the various translations as not being in conflict but rather a different way of saying the same thing…A way to better understand the original text. To one that does not know, they will see one as being right and the others being flawed. There are plenty of people on both sides that would agree with them, making it even more confusing. There are many that are mature in their knowledge that will argue that other translations are heresy and are more than happy to go to this un-learned person to convince them not to use one translation over another. There are many other reasons that I choose not to use any other translation.
Probably one of the reasons that I am so staunch in my stand that I will only use the King James version is for standardization. Many people including myself have older relatives and friends that have been Christian for decades. They can quote scripture on a subject to point out whether something is Biblical or not. This is similar to the courts system’s duty to interpret law by whether or not it is Constitutional. We as Christians have a duty to learn and understand scripture as is told in the Bible…
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV”
People commit the scriptures to memory because the world is against God. When the world comes against the believer, they must know the words of God from the Bible. I am not saying that a person must memorize every verse in the Bible but it is inevitable that certain scriptures will be retained, word for word. Historically our grandparents could quote many scriptures in the Bible to make points to us in their endeavors to teach us. Since at that time, all that was available was the King James, those scriptures were taught in those words. Now, it a person decides they want to learn the scriptures of the New Living Translation (NLT) for example, there will be confusion when he or she is joined with someone who has learned the King James when their combined efforts to teach someone else is joined together. I am sure that many people have been in the same situation as I have when I have gone to church and the preacher puts a verse on the board and we look it up so we can follow. He is reading from the American Standard Version (ASV) and I am reading the King James Version. I find myself getting confused because he is reading different words and throwing off my concentration. This is just one of the things that bothers me about using other translations.
I am sure that the motive people have for using other translations is pure. I am not saying they are wrong for using them though many people would vehemently disagree. My point in this is that it makes it too easy to get confused and less likely to commit scripture to memory. It is hard enough to get people do spend time in the Bible learning the words of God. When you throw in 15 different translations, it is just another excuse not to read the Bible. The devil beats us all in the name of being busy. We are too busy with life to spend time in God’s word. Add to this that the church cannot agree on a single translation of the Bible and you have confusion.
It is my contention that God never wanted confusion. Paul even said so much to the Corinthians.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV”
I am not saying that people are bad if they use different translations of the Bible but I am saying that potential is there for confusion to creep in. If a person does not believe that one translation is right, it leaves open the door for a lack of faith. In Romans 14 it says…
“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romand 14:23 KJV”
This scripture as others, needs to be read in its context. Never take a single scripture quoted to you at face value without first reading the whole chapter to get the context of the verse. The point of me posting Romans 14:23 is to show that to a person that does not believe something to be righteous, and yet they still do it, to them it is sin. The context of this verse relates to the rituals of one group putting more emphasis on one thing over another in their worship to God. It can be applied here in this context. To me, the Authorized King James Version is the only version that “I” have complete faith in. For that reason, when someone starts quoting some other translation to me, I leave with a question mark until I can get home and search to see what the King James version says. When we bring multiple versions of the Bible into a group that already lacks the discipline to spend time learning God’s words, then I think the devil wins. He succeeds in keeping Christians immature in their learning and so, keeps their testimony weak. If I am wrong, then I apologize. I just have a very strong conviction on this and I tend to shy away from web sites that quote other translations. If I don’t have complete faith in its accuracy or application, then I tend to shy away from them.
I hope this post is not offensive and not taken as an attack by those that use other translations. I am just telling you my reasoning and conviction. If you disagree with my take on this, then there is nothing I can do. It was certainly not meant to single anyone or any translation out as being inaccurate. That is another discussion.