Three Misconceptions about Non-King-James-Only People

Here are three common conceptions that King-James-Only people have about those who are not KJV-Only that just aren’t true:

(1) If you’re not King-James-Only then you hate the KJV.

This just isn’t true. I love the KJV. I just think there are other versions easier to understand and I would rather people own and read a New King James than be KJV-Only and not read it. Having said that, most of the Scripture I have committed to memory is KJV and some passages in the KJV are unparalleled in terms of beauty and simplicity.

I regularly recite the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes to myself and I quote them from the KJV. There are several psalms that I recite to myself (my Hebrew Prof. used to say that “the Psalms feed the soul”) and I recite them from the KJV. I read through the Psalms (and sometimes Proverbs) each month and regularly do it from the KJV.

At times I find that the KJV offers a better understanding of a given text or passage than newer versions and I will point that out from the pulpit. In fact, sometimes when I am preaching from a familiar passage, I preach from the KJV because everyone is so familiar with it. So don’t accuse me of hating the KJV.

(2) If you’re not King-James-Only then you must want others to abandon the KJV.

Again, not true. If you have a KJV and that’s all you want to read, more power to you.

My wife only uses the KJV, as do my mother and father. We have people in our church who only read the KJV, who only teach using the KJV. Our VBS and Released-Time Class leader uses only the KJV and about half our church brings a KJV to worship. I would no more think of asking them to change than I would ask them to be Arminian or to speak in tongues.

In fact, in my preaching, I often point out from the KJV difficult words or words that have changed meaning, not to put down the KJV, but so that those who use the KJV can understand also.

But, if someone asks me for a version that is easier to read, I have no problem pointing them to one or two other conservative versions that they will read (usually the New King James since that is what I usually preach from). Notice I said, “one or two.” This leads me to the last misconception.

(3) If you’re not King-James-Only then you’ll accept any version that comes down the pike.

It’s all or nothing with some people; if you don’t use the KJV then anything goes, or so they think.

I agree that all the translations out there can be confusing, that’s why people who don’t know should ask their pastor, and the pastor should know about the basic ones. There are only four translations (out of the 135 or so English translations) that I feel comfortable recommending and, no, the NIV is not one of them. As stated above, for people in our church, I usually recommend the New King James because that is the one I usually preach from and they will have no difficulty following someone who is using the KJV.

I, too, think there are too many English translations out there and many of them I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to read. So just because I don’t always preach from a KJV, doesn’t mean I’ve gone apostate, or have abandoned biblical truth; it just means I’d rather people read the Bible than think they’re right about the Bible but not read it.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
This entry was posted in Graciousness, KJV-Only. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Three Misconceptions about Non-King-James-Only People

  1. Arthur Sido says:

    Bah, everyone knows that the ESV is the Word of God in English. After all, it is the ENGLISH standard version.

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