KJV Only?

I live in the Bible Belt of America.  We have churches everywhere and a few of those churches will only use the KJV (King James Version) Bible.

I don’t understand their reluctance to use other translations.  The KJV is difficult to read and most of their conjuration will have trouble understanding the text.  Wouldn’t their followers learn more by reading a modern version they can understand?

I am honestly baffled by their reluctance to change.


36 thoughts on “KJV Only?

  1. AWETHENTIQ says:

    People cling to dogma and trample truth into the mud. It is called MediEVIL to be like that. Thanks for touching a raw social nerve. 😁 You are braver than I.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many people will stay with the King James version simply because it is what they are familiar with. It’s a comfort thing! Some people, acknowledging the potential pitfalls in the early translations, simply distrust later versions that purport to an easier understanding of the Bible. “The Good News Bible” came under some criticism when it was first published, based on claims of misrepresentation.
    As for churches using the KJV as their primarily teaching tool? Possibly job security??? If everybody accepted a version in modern English, would there be much of a need to explain it to whoever showed up on a Sunday morning?
    I believe that most churches are still experiencing a declining interest…. and you have probably highlighted one of the (many, many) reasons!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most people who say the King James version is the only true and right translation even are not using that Bible translation themselves but are using a contemporary edition of the King James version which in some cases may use even very much different words than the original Authorised King James Version of 1611 which can well be found in other translations being the same as in the old KJV but in modern spelling.

      Many of them also do not use the very poetic language or way of speaking which can be found in the pre-World War II versions of the King James Bible. Some versions may also be using a mixture and use certain words already long forgotten or even having an other meaning at the present time. But naturally such version would require a pastor explaining the meaning of such words and could keep a place open for such ‘schooled’ people or bible scholars.

      As colinandray points out not going with the times avoiding to use the contemporary language may be causing people loosing interest and leaving church. There are enough very good modern translations in more than 2500 languages and people should find one or an other translation that can be in the tongue they speak in daily life.

      The magic or that what makes God His Word special is that by all the times that people tried to destroy it, they never succeeded in doing so and all the Bible translations say exactly the same, when you do know the language key and compare the verses from one passage to another.

      As such you may find that one translation say goblet, an other glass, an other a mug or uses an other word, then in an other part for the same object you shall find the same word appearing again, so that you may know that they talk about the same chalice or cup in another version or similar object in the original KJV of 1611.


  3. I’m with Gerard, but grew up going to a Presbyterian church. I still prefer the KJV bible because the language is beautiful. It reads like poetry. For the same reason I prefer Catholic and Orthodox churches because they are beautiful. A famous sociologist or anthropologist (Claude Levi Strauss I think) made the distinction between the sacred and the profane. Religion is the sacred realm and I think should contain rituals, objects and language that reflect and endorse that. If believers are really interested in the bible’s teachings, they learn the language, the way any group of fans does. Think of sports fans or people playing Pokemon Go: they share a language incomprehensible to outsiders and that’s part of the belonging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had not thought of it like that “learning the language” but that is really so true. Sometimes in our desire to be culturally acceptable and up to date we do lose things. And yes I do love to read Luke 2 in the KJV bible. It is much more visual when Mary is “great with child” than the NIV just saying she is pregnant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Do you really still use the KJV with this language which meaning of the text should be in our head?

      Exodus 6:3 KJV-1611 And I appeared vnto Abraham, vnto Isaac, and vnto Iacob, by the Name of God Almighty, but by my name IEHOVAH was I not knowen to them.

      2 Peter 1:21 KJV-1611 For the prophecie came not in olde time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moued by the holy Ghost.

      1 Peter 1:25 KJV-1611 But the word of the Lord endureth for euer: & this is the word which by the Gospel is preached vnto you.

      in any case we are pleased you still use than a version where God’s Name is printed in the Book of books, because most trinitarian churches prefer to use a Bible where God’s Name is omitted (except in the import place of Excodus 6:2-3) and is replaced with a simple ‘lord’ to provide enough confusion for the churchgoers so that often they do not know about whom is spoke, about God or about the son of God, two totally different Biblical characters, but by Presbyterians and many other protestants like by Catholics that son also being taken to be God, instead of the son of God.

      Therefore to make life easy and to come to the best understanding of God’s Word people should avoid to be using a paraphrased Bible translation (though for children and not so well educated people it may be a good start) but should use a literal translation where the Name of God is not omitted, in their own contemporary language.


  4. Many Churches use the KJV because it is deemed as the “true language.” I love the KJV now that I am older. As a youngster I was taught from the Good News and preferred the NLT to better understand the Bible. We are given the option to use what we like at my Church. The Word doesn’t change. However, different dialects and different versions water down the Word. I think it comes down to the preference of the Pastor, of Leadership. My Pastor is 76 years old and retiring soon I expect the use of KJV to be one of the first changes. I have the KJV and the another version that caters to my role as a woman and mother. I like them both. Signed, Lover of the Written Word, Bible Geek and Sunday School Teacher. 🙂 …use what makes you happy. #BibleBeltSouthernBlackEducatedSingleMother LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you still use a 1611 print or reproduction in your church? Or does your pastor and church has chosen a popular re-translation or reprint of the King James Version of the time they started using it?

      At first the Oxford and Canterbury versions where the same but with the years there into came also much difference.

      On of our preferred versions of the King James Bible, next to the 1611 KJV are the 1755, 1795 and 1947 versions, where still a very poetic language can be found. For the contemporary language we would go for the Restored Name King James Version from the end of last century (with Yahuwah for the tetragrammaton). The Modern King James Version, 21 st Century KJV and the KJV 2011 version have than the advantage for many to read easily.

      Lots of variety though often we encounter people speaking about “The Only Right KJV” but talking about different versions than others who also claim to be using the only right bible translation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Let us not forget that there were also some misprints by the reprints of the King James Version.

        Two editions were actually printed in 1611, later distinguished as the “He” and “She” Bibles because of the variant reading “he” and “she” in the final clause of chapter 3, verse 15 of Ruth: “and he went into the city.” Both printings contained errors.

        Some errors in subsequent editions have become famous:

        The so-called Wicked Bible (1631) derives from the omission of “not” in chapter 20 verse 14 of Exodus, “Thou shalt commit adultery,” for which the printers were fined £300;

        the “Vinegar Bible” (1717) stems from a misprinting of “vineyard” in the heading of Luke, chapter 20.


  5. Um, we use the original Hebrew at my synagogue 😉

    Actually, though, translation issues come up in Torah study and such. Hebrew is notoriously difficult to translate into English, so there are always complaints about this or that translation, and whether whatever translation we’re looking at is remotely adequate. A lot of that goes over my head.


    • That’s it. As churches we are often very limited in funds and have to chose for a basic general edition which can be provided for all. In english the KJV is a affordable version to buy in bulk.

      But next to it we as churches also should offer a good literal contemporary Bible translation to our members, and for that there are enough alternatives, though not always cheap, but essential for the growth of the community.

      And we bear the responsibility to have everybody in the community to grow at their own time and according to their means.


  6. It is true that the original 1611 KJV “is difficult to read and most of their conjuration will have trouble understanding the text”. Lots of people who swear only by the KJV often do not know or do not want to know they are using already on eof the many variations of the KJV. One person talking about the only right King James could be talking about an other version used by a person who is also convinced he is using the only right translation.

    As you indicate Christians would have it much easier to understand matters when they use a more modern literal translation which (like the original KJV) has the tetragrammaton in the places where it originally was. In that way they could see about whom is spoken Jesus or God and as such would not be so confused. That is why so many triniarian organisations are against putting in the Name of God again where it was standing in the original texts, because than people could come to see how the church has mislead them with the human doctrine of the Trinity.


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