There are many people in the English speaking world of today who are firm believers in and dedicated supporters of the so-called 1611 Authorized Version of scripture, which they also call the King James Version. While their conviction and zeal are to be admired, their reasons for that conviction and zeal often leave much to be desired.
Their major claim is that the 1611 KJV is THE inspired translation and providential preservation of the word of Yahuwah (Whom they call GOD) in the English language and therefore ALL new or modern versions and translations are apostate and unreliable. While I am in full agreement with them about the apostasy when they are discussing any translation or version whose Greek is based on the apostate Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts, that is as far as my agreement can go. If there is only ONE error of translation or rendering anywhere in the King James Version (and I do not mean errors of transcription or printing, although if it was providentially preserved scripture those errors wouldn't occur either, but actual errors of translation) then it cannot be inspired. Yahuwah would NOT allow ANY errors, and that is that.
A question that may be asked is if this version is in fact what they claim, then why are not all of the sources of the King James Version considered to be providential preservations of the word of Yahuwah also.
The translators fully and readily admitted the fact that numerous valid bibles, including several in the English language, existed before their 1611 version. Their lengthy preface (no longer included in recent editions) to the 1611 Bible strictly ruled out the idea that the King James Version was the "original Bible," even in English. They examined Bibles in French, German, Italian and Spanish, all previous versions in English or otherwise, the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, and even the Roman Catholic Bible in search of a correct rendering of the Scriptures. Finally, about ninety percent of the King James Version came from Tyndale's English translation.
Any version or translation of scripture that is truly based on a valid Ibriy manuscript (such as the Masoretic Ben Chayyim) and solely on the Greek that is usually referred to as the Textus Receptus (Majority Text, Byzantine, etc.) can be a valid and useful translation if the translator uses correct and valid exegesis for his translation. One thing you should know, however, is that there was no Greek manuscript or collection of Greek manuscripts available to the KJV translators that was known by the term Textus Receptus. That term was coined in the second edition of Abraham and Bonaventure Elzevir’s Greek Text of 1633: "textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum..." (the text that you have is now received by all).
So far as calling this KJV the "Authorized Version," they refer to the "authorization" of the translation by King James himself. Now he did "authorize" the work to be done, but the new version had a difficult time becoming accepted in the various parishes of the Anglican Church. In fact, several texts that were in use when this one was finished remained as the favorite reading by bishops and vicars throughout the English speaking world for many decades to come. These other texts also carried the notation that they were "authorized for use in all churches," which the KJV did not carry for many years after it was published.
Unhappily, most of the so-called scholars have their own axes to grind and are trying to support their own doctrine rather than letting the scripture be the foundation of that doctrine. In doing this they will attack without basis other people who do not agree with them about the inspired translation and preservation of the KJV, even knowing all of the preceding very well themselves.
This willingness and predilection to attack rather than to discuss in a civilized manner is a terrible thing that I have noted among most of the people who claim the divine inspiration of the King James Version. They are almost without fail vitriolic, specious, and also very arrogant and rude in their speech and their writings, concerning the matter. They will not discuss, listen to any opposing arguments, or even consider any evidence that may be offered, regardless of its source. They KNOW that when King James the First "authorized" their version that it was a directive straight from "God" to the English speaking people and therefore they don't want to hear any thing that may refute that claim, regardless of how strong the basis for that refutation may be. It kind of reminds me of the same kind of wild claims made for the divine inspiration of the qur'an by muslims even in the face of direct evidence of Muhammad's plagiarization of Ibriy and Christian literature and scripture and his fantasies about its source.
They will also use passages of scripture in ways that have absolutely no bearing on the subject, but they are convinced and will try to convince the unwary that they do.
An example of this is the statement that if "one word is changed anywhere in the KJV" then the person changing it faces the wrath of Yahuwah because of the statement in Revelation 22:18 concerning adding to or taking away from the words of the book. What they fail to understand is that this admonition applies to the book of Revelation only and not the entire Roman Catholic canon of scripture.
If the above claim was true and accurate, then they too are in deep trouble about the changes made in the King James Version since it was first published in 1611. They fail to take into account the FACT that the original 1611 KJV is NOT the book they are reading today. The indisputable facts show that what is available today is in reality the 1769 version and that it actually came about after many "updates" of the original. There were approximately 24,000 differences found in the first four major revisions of the King James Version. With each new revision corrections were made in punctuation and sometimes alterations of the text. It took time and change to reach the modern King James Version that is in common use today and that the KJV-onlyists shout so loudly about being the only providential preservation of the word of Yahuwah. Those updates, or revisions, of the original work consisted of correcting translational errors made by the translators, replacing "archaic" words with the words that were currently being used but which we today consider to be archaic, replacing words whose meanings had changed over time, and changing the letters used in spelling to the then modern form of usage. The spelling modifications updated the spellings of words when a letter fell into disuse by the common people, letters such as f in place of the modern s. They also changed the letter i usage to the letter j. Looking at the REAL 1611 version you will see that the false name JESUS was still spelled in the vernacular of the Latin, IESUS.
Those "archaic" words and forms of spelling are no longer to be found in the King James Version and so there have been MANY words changed in and removed from the King James Version since it was first offered for publication. Some of the modifications have even changed the meanings of passages when the changed meaning of the word is considered.
The KJV-onlyists will shout and scream hysterically about how ALL scripture is "inspired of God" and cite some passages in the Greek to prove their contention. I guess they don't realize that the Greek text was not considered as part of the scripture until such time as the Roman Catholic Church, or what was to become that body, made the canon of scripture that they still follow today. The only difference is that the Protestant Churches for the most part have discarded the Apocrypha that was originally part of the 1611 King James Version and so changed the book even more. By the way, the "scripture" referred to in the apostolic writings is the Ibriy (Hebrew) scripture.
The lengths these KJV-onlyist people will go to deny any errors in that version border on the ridiculous and many times are definitely not intellectually honest. Ask one of them to explain why the word "Easter" is found in Acts 12:4 when Easter is actually the name of a pagan goddess applied to the modern and erroneous festival of the Roman Catholic Church that occurs right after Lent (another pagan festival). They will tell you something to the effect that Easter is a valid name for the Christian festival of the resurrection of haMashiach (the Christ) without being able to offer any valid proof.
Then ask them why a Yahudiyth (Jewish) king would be afraid to bring a Christian apostle for judgment before people who were not Christian or pagan and instead intend to wait until after a pagan holiday or a supposed "Christian festival." Does that make sense? Of course not! The day in question is the day of the Passover as seen by the underlying Greek word pascha which means and should have been translated as passover. The word pascha appears 29 times in the Greek text. Twenty-eight of those times it is correctly rendered as "passover" by the KJV translators and just once, in Acts 12:4, is it rendered Easter.
Now ask yourself why the translators would do such a thing. Would you suppose that it was a direct effort to prove the contention that Yahushua was raised on "Easter Sunday" as proclaimed by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and most Protestant Churches of the day?
I have also seen an explanation of that mistranslation that said Easter WAS a holiday that was celebrated by the Yahudiym and therefore pascha should have been translated as Easter. Seems that they want you to think the Yahudiym were still making hot cross buns and sacrificing to the "queen of heaven," whose name Ashtarowth in fact is a form of the name Easter. If that were true, the people doing that would have no interest in the fate of a Christian apostle and so Herodes would have had no reason to fear them.
They may also tell you that Herodes was really a Roman, Easter was a Roman festival, and therefore that was the reason why he was going to wait. Of course that latter explanation does not fit the scriptural account or the wording found in the Textus Receptus but is another made up explanation to attempt to rationalize this gross error of the translators. History proves that Easter is but one more pagan rite that crept into the early assembly at the urging of pagans who wanted to participate in the "new" state religion.
Were you aware that ALMOST ALL of the men of the committee that performed the celebrated translation of the KJV were members or ex-members of the Anglican Church (Church of England)? They were not far removed from the Roman Catholic Church in their views and doctrines and some actually supported the pope of Rome in many areas of doctrine. How many were truly Christian? According to the very scripture that they translated, none!
Yahushua said that in order to enter the kingdom of Yahuwah you have to be born again. You must be born of water and the Spirit. How many of these translators as adult and penitent believers had been immersed (born of water) in the name of Yahushua for the remission of sins? None! They were all "baptized" by sprinkling, or other such means contrary to the meaning of the Greek word baptidzo, as infants and "confirmed" when they were around 13 years old just as in the Roman Catholic pagan traditions from which their "church" sprang. Even the man whose "authority" supposedly makes that version "Authorized" was a heathen who was outside the body of Christ. Would Yahuwah use apostate men who were outside the body of Christ and disobedient to His word to translate an inspired English version of that word? According to the KJV-onlyists He would not and in this we are in agreement!
Why do you suppose that the translators rendered the true name of our Creator as "LORD" and "GOD" instead of using the name He stated as His eternal name (Exodus 3:15)? He said in many places, "My name is Yahuwah (yah-hoo-wah)" which literally means, "I AM THAT I AM" or Self-Existent. When these translators put the word "LORD" (with all caps as seen here) in the Ibriy scripture instead of His name, they basically demoted Him from His true position as Master and Creator of the Universe to a position as a "governor" or other person in a position of limited secular authority. Yet we know that He has ALL authority and that without His approval, no man can exercise ANY authority anywhere or over anyone.
Then when these same translators ran across an Ibriy passage being quoted in the Greek text, they went even further and rendered His name as Lord, which does not differentiate Him from any run-of-the-mill authority figure on the earth. We must always remember to give Yahuwah the honor, praise and splendor and NEVER do or say anything that brings discredit to His name. To do any less is in direct violation of the third commandment.
A very obvious and even laughable translational error, and one that defies explanation, is found in 2 Shemu'el 6:19 (same error is in 1 Chronicles 16:3) where the KJV (including the 1611 edition) has Dawiyd giving everyone a "flagon of wine." The word "wine" does not appear in the Ibriy in either of those verses and what was actually given was a "raisincake." Check it out for yourself and you will see that I am telling you the truth.
There are many, many more errors of translation in the King James Version that I have not gone into in this short article. For more information about some of them, select a topic from the below menu and peruse it to your heart's content. I am willing to discuss any and all of what I have written with anyone who wants discussion. As I have stated many places and many times, however, I am not willing to argue for one second about any of it. If you want to argue, don't bother contacting me, because I refuse. There will be more articles on other errors in the King James Version forthcoming as the Spirit moves me to produce them.