I have been talking with a KJV-only person and I am wondering if there is an easy way to respond to the various criticisms of popular modern Bibles?

It just so happens that yesterday (7/6/02) I attended the monthly meeting of the Minnesota Apologetics Project (MAP) whose topic of discussion was KJV-onlyism. I was attending to meet up with the founder to talk about how we would bring the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry convention up to the Twin Cities 1. I was also attending because I hold that the received text (Textus Receptus; TR) as superior to the Alexandrian text, and thought that it would be fun to talk with a bunch of other folks who were clued in on this topic.

As providence had it, I ended up sitting next to a KJV-only person who was silent throughout the two hour presentation. After the presentation this person attempted to ambush the presenter who wasn't necessarily prepared with a nice easliy understood apologetic and so I first prayed and then stepped in:

I told this gentleman, that I too read the KJV and that I preferred the TR. I then asked him why he held to only the KJV? He offered that Satan has been trying to corrupt the Bible and these new versions of the Bible are of the devil. Although I'm extrapolating for you, in a nutshell his thesis was that since the KJV is the standard by which all other Bibles are judged, and being that all other Bibles are different than the KJV, his conclusion was that all other Bibles are corrupted by the hand of Satan when compared to the KJV.

My response was to ask two questions and present a conclusion of my own based on the answers tendered to my two questions:

I asked the KJV-onlyist if people could get saved from the reading and believing of other Bibles. The KJV-onlyist answered that people can be saved from reading and believing other Bibles. I also asked the KJV-onlyist if the reading of popular non-KJV Bibles introduced doctrines that were deviant from when English speaking peoples only had the KJV to read from. Again the KJV-onlyist responded that people didn't necessarily get deviant doctrine from the reading and believing of non-KJV Bibles.

With these two answers given, my conclusion for the KJV-onlyist was this: If we accept that Satan is trying to attack the Word of God (and we should accept this premise), yet people who read non-KJV Bibles can get saved from their reading of these Bibles, and that these non-KJV Bibles don't introduce teachings and doctrines other than those which have been historically received by the body of Christ, then the devil hasn't done a very good job of corrupting the Word of God has he?

At this point in the discussion, any further argument offered by the KJV-onlyist position is purely academic.


Eric Landstrom

1 You can visit the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry at http://www.carm.org


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