The sweetest, godliest, beautiful grandma you could ask for is a friend of mine. She attends the community’s leading “KJV only” church which has been a bastion of traditional Christian values for our morally-bent city. Following is a letter I sent to her reg. the concern of KJV only-ism — with a few modifications for the sake of community.
First, I want to say what a blessing it is to see you at the store from time to time. Your love for the Lord and desire to see His Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven just gushes out of your soul — that’s a beautiful thing to see and always lifts my spirit.
This email has several blue hyperlinks which you can click and bounce to blueletterbible.org for references.
When I met with your pastor just 2 weeks ago, I was deflated to infer that he was a “KJV only” promoter. Not just because I disagree with that — who cares what I think. But because it is such a distraction to what matters.
I grew up in the Church of Christ and went to a private school in Nashville of that denomination.
The KJV only argument is one of those “derailing” issues.
It’s a great translation. King James 1 was a highly educated man who was a near genius. The KJV pulled his unstable realm together through masterful political strategy and kept Brits away from the Geneva Bible which was the rival within the Protestant Church, the KJV being superior to the Bishops’ Bible of the 1500’s.
Henry started the church and broke from Catholicism because his very faithful wife, Catherine of Aragon, was totally infertile and his crown was in serious danger.
He found it, uniting the Church of England with the Puritans in Scotland with a common cause. Like Luther in Germany who created/refined/universalized “High German”, James united the language of English. Brilliant politics. Being a Scot myself, I am predisposed to admire him greatly, but James earned it.
Is the KJV “doubly inspired”? Is it inspired the same way that the Greek from Luke’s or the Hebrew from Moses’ pen was inspired? All we need is ONE instance of inaccuracy to disprove any prophet. If a respected “prophet” makes a statement as being of the Lord and that statement does not come to pass, then that man is a false prophet and was subject to harsh judgment in the Old Testament, possibly death by stoning.
While no one need stone the KJV for having ONE error in translation, it is wise to simply say that the KJV is a very good translation — better than others which have tampered with the text and watered down the gospel in evil ways.
The KJV does not ACCURATELY TRANSLATE the original text which says “May the king live”. Rather, the KJV uses a “dynamic equivalent” that was a phrase of purely British origin. What could be a more natural British phrase than “God save the queen”? You hear it all the time, but it’s not Biblical.
That is to say, it is not in the original text. But that phrase became biblical when the Brits sat down to make a new English version and were not absolutely scrupulous about a word-for-word translation; no, they allowed for some of their natural and national idioms (sayings which were peculiar to their culture) to slip into the “Authorized Version”. The Hebrew uses two words “live” and “king” — no mention of “God” or “save” — Click on the blue hyperlink above on 1Sam 10:24 and the other instances of “God save the king” and see for yourself. I find this idiom – altogether natural to Brits – to betray a lack of SUPERnatural origin which the “double inspiration” group seeks. To be Inspired, the Word ought not be peculiar in favoring one culture over another – unless it be the Jewish culture.
Ma’am, the problem that you are going to struggle with now has nothing to do with the KJV only issue. Now, you are struggling with the doubt you have in your mind over whether you can trust your pastor or not. It is the same issue that we all have in that we WANT to find that man of God whom we can believe in all things — a degree of “hero worship”.
The “father” does not hold an office of “priesthood” by which he performs the daily miracle of transubstantiating bread into Flesh. Nor do we yield our minds to any man without reservation. This is honoring to God.
I have suffered this pain several times in life. I loved Adrian Rogers and know that he is Home with the Lord as a champion of the Faith. I watch him preach on cable TV to this day. However, I have several letters from him which are bittersweet because he refused to reverse himself on a small error of interpretation which was demonstrably incorrect. This is almost 20 years ago. It was some encouragement to me that he stopped saying it from the pulpit (that “agape” is the same as “divine love” which it is not), but his pride would not permit him to agree with me in candor. Ah, the loss to me was painful. It happens. We are all Fallen — until the Day when redemptive Glory shines on us and we are like Him! But I wanted for him to be Perfect, fool that I am. My greatest loss in “hero worship” has been regarding the fall of our nation. I was raise to be so patriotic that it was almost, yes, a form of idolatry. This year, with DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) being found to be unconstitutional, I see the July 4th celebration of Independence to be the celebration of independence from God and basic, biological decency. Fallen. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18)
I have carefully treated this issue in a presentation which I shared with Pastor two weeks ago. That is attached to an email which will follow shortly regarding the Rapture and precedent signs in the heavens.
Here is a link to a website which refutes the KJV only dogma well. I am sorry that the author is not very gentle in his angst to be correct and refute error — such is the temperament of most “doctrinal” types.
Finally, I may put the content of this email on my blog, devoid of any names. I put pictures with those articles to make it fun to read.
By the way, when I met with Pastor, I shared Genesis 12:3 with him as my most serious cause for concern regarding the KJV. The KJV error there is GLARING and reveals a smoldering contempt for the Jewish people — they will soon be upheld by God as the most favored Chosen people among many brethren. What a paradox! I treated that concern in my blog at this link. It may be that he will reconsider his opinion on this matter.
Grace cures all our Fallenness. Righteousness points out the error. Justice condemns the error. Grace resolves the error — even to God’s satisfaction — and makes the way for us to be at Peace with the God who is thrice Holy. Blessed be the Name of our Substitute — Jesus the Scapegoat (Lev. 16) who took our Sin into the Wilderness of God’s forgetfulness and left it there, forever!
As Jude said, “He is able to . . . present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy”. (Jude 24f)
It may be that, out of loyalty to your pastor, you never want to hear from me again. That would be almost expected; it’s difficult. Pastor is a godly man who does deserve to be honored for having taken a strong stand in our community for the Word and for right living and for traditional values. May God richly bless him and entrust Pastor with a glorious reward in the Kingdom which will be here soon! May Grace be shown to us all — one to another — even as the Lord has been the author of Grace and will bring us all together in one accord. I am sorry that none of us are without error — especially sorry about me. That noted, let us do our best, inspired and empowered through the Holy Spirit.
There are SO MANY issues worth dividing over: the Virgin birth, the toleration of known unrepentant Sin in the local church, the Resurrection, etc., etc. Let us be very slow to vivesect the Body of Christ like Frankenstein’s monster unless the matter be of the first degree. Pride will be found as a motivating force otherwise. Pride for “doing good” is the most diabolical and insidious form of Pride. It is in me, I know. Hasten the Day all such vanity be totally damned out of us all who Believe through the Purification which is to come.
Blessings to You, Dear Lady of God,