King James and Validty

Is there anything I need to know about King James before arguing the validity of the King James Bible?

Arguing how? The King James Bible is an honorable and valid Bible. It is the basis for the RSV which Catholics read with the blessing of their clergy. Is the lack, or naming of the Apocrypha what troubles you? Even a partial Bible is still a valid Bible in the sense that it is still the word of God. However the King James Bible was MEANT to have the Apocrypha included.


Are you for or against it’s validity?

There is nothing major wrong with the translation, I would even say it’s better than some modern Catholic translations. The main problem is that it does not include the seven books of the Old Testament that Catholics also affirm as sacred scripture.

I use RSVCE as my personal Bible. But,I think the OP is asking (and I may be wrong, I often am), why in the world we should consider KJV as the “authorised” version.

Actually it does. At least earlier editions did.

Yep, the 1611 King James did/does include the deuterocanon, what they refer to as Apocrypha.

There’s nothing invalid about the King James Bible. The issue is “King James Onlyism”, or the belief that the King James Bible is a perfect translation and is itself basically a work of the Holy Spirit as accurate as the original Greek penned by the actual Biblical authors. There’s also some points about the different manuscript traditions it uses compared to modern critical editions, accurate or not, it’s not anything that should result in King James Onlyism.

The KJB is a Bible translation like any others, and suffers from the same types of pitfalls.


Amen to all. KJV is better than NRSVCE (which actually have the word Catholic in it).

Yes. There is.

You need to know the definition of the word “validity.” Meaning that you need to choose one definition of the word in order to apply it to the subject. You also need to be sure that whoever you are debating is using the same definition.

What do you mean when you use that word.

What makes a particular bible either valid or invalid?


Do you mean “anything I need to know about King James,” the man himself?

Does that enter into the argument about validity?

The King games is NOT a valid bible, It was placed on the Index. Sorry Ambrose, I realize you are an SJ but you are wrong on this point. So the KJV is not a bible which is useable by Catholics. It was a prohibited bible.

The RSV only pays lip service to the KJV and is a VERY DIFFERENT BIBLE! The RSV is based on the Westcott and Hort which goes back to the MSS Aleph text. Which makes it a good critical text bible. The are far better critical texts today translated from the NA prepared texts. The very best of the best manuscripts is MSS B which is used for the NA 27/28 back up my OL codices.

The KJV is based on the Textus Receptus which was based on six incomplete byzantine manuscripts - none which had legs past 1450. The TR is not a manuscript but a prepared manuscript which was made by Erasmus. Thus a majority text bible. According to a computer algorithm designed by protestant scholars, the KJV was the very worst translated mainstream bible, it found itself in last place. NKJV was in second last place. Anyone notice the unicorns in the KJV? Yes a very bad translation. The very best majority text bible according to the same program was the Douay Rheims.

Today the standard is the Nestle Aland prepared texts. The ASB, NAB ESV are the top three for accuracy. The Vatican provided the NA team the OL codices and access to MSS B. MSS B is so important to critical (minority) bible texts as it has the oldest pedigree and is considered the first bible produced as a part of a contract of about 30 bible, the first of which was presented to the pope. MSS aleph on the other hand is newer and is a part of a second batch of bible paid for by Constantine. MSS B pedigree in terms of heritage can be traced to fragments to 165 AD. MSS Aleph is much newer by about 100 years.


I have never encountered the criteria “valid or invalid” with regard to a bible or a particular translation of a bible.

What, in this context, does the word “valid” mean? Can anyone tell me?


There are bible which are useable for Catholics to study, use as a lectionary or use for the Liturgy. The bible is primarily a Liturgical book. The reason we even have the bible today is because we needed to know as to which books can be used for the Sacred Liturgy (this is the formal canon). The criteria for a Liturgical bible is strict and has to be approved by the Vatican (western patriarch) - each of the patriarchs have that ability. Bibles for catholic study can be approved by the ordinaries once a NO and Imp are given.

The KJV cannot be used in any of these as it is an indexed, prohibited bible for Catholics. It is however not indexed for those whose work requires its use.

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Exactly. Thus it should not be the only one.

Actually the KJV was translated to support some of Queen James’ claims. There was quite a bit of political meddling in that bible. But Queen James did keep the congregationalists from sinking their claws too far into the texts.

Why do you say the KJV is better than the RSVCE? If the language the preference? In that case use the Douay Rheims as it is according to even protestant scholars a more accurately translated majority text bible, in factm as majority text English bibles got it take #1 spot.

The index was formally abolished in 1966 by Pope Pius VI. Catholics today are not forbidden to read the KJV Bible based on the Index. The KJV Bible can be read safely by Catholics, as much as the D/R Bible. It is obviously not approved for Liturgy (in the Latin rite anyway.) In fact I would say that there is less to shake the Faith of Catholics in the KJV than in the NABRE. Notwithstanding better source documents today, which do indeed clarify some previously obscure or hard to understand passages, the KJV Bible is virtually word for word what you find in the RSV-CE Bible, except for more modern renderings in places.

In fact, where the KJV differs from the D/R Bible, it is in agreement with the RSV-CE!

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I am talking about NRSVCE, not RSVCE, when comparing to KJV. Specifically, it’s the wording choice. Even though KJV is on the index, which AFAIK is formally abolished in 1966, if you look at “Which Bible Should You Read” by Thomas Nelson, of the examples, there are more in accord with Catholic teaching (in fact, AFAIK, once you ignore the footnotes, the only one problematic is Luke 1:28). They fixed it in RSVCE leaving Isaiah 7:14 in place as maiden (while KJV have at least have Isaiah 7:14 as virgin), but NRSVCE keep the “favored one” and young woman.

KJV without the notes are acceptable; at least no worse than NRSVCE. And apparently it is used in Anglican Ordinate.

KJV have one advantage: Price and easy to find. I am lucky to actually physically find Douay Rheims, but many are not so. Plus, the version with Deuterocanon allows one to understand the Eastern Brethen’s thinking, which is missing from challnor version. The ideal bible, of course, is the full DR bible in the compact 4x6 format.

While I myself do consider Douay is the best choice (and purposely ordered it so I will have a paper bible), I will need proof in accepting it being the best majority text. Or as they say in wikipedia, “Citation needed”

That was my first question as well. A Bible translation can be good or bad (or a mixed bag), but I don’t see what is meant by referring to it in terms of validity.

It seems I may have worded this wrong. Instead of valid, let us use the phrase, “safe to read” or “generally accepted”. I was going to debate whether the KJV version of the Bible was safe to use and read as a Christian. I am arguing for the reading of the KJV, as personal use though. Not during homilies or Mass.

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