Protestants and the KJV Bible

Why do certain Protestant groups insist on only using the King James Version of the Bible? I was told all other newer versions are ‘corrupt’.

Perhaps this question would be better asked on a website/forum sponsored by such a groups that feels this way. :shrug:


Some people feel very traditional about the Bible. For a long time, when I was a Protestant, I felt the KJV was the version I should use.

But eventually I bought an NIV and it was so much easier to understand. I had no idea what I was missing in the KJV. And so far as I know, all respected versions of the Bible are based on translations from the original texts. They are not just modifications to the KJV. They went back to the original texts and re-translated them into modern English.

Generally if you read the information in the front of whatever translation you are interested in, it will explain the origin of the translation.

I currently primarily read the NABRE and RSV2CE Catholic translations now.

Why not here? On the Non-Catholic Religions sub forum, we do have some Catholics who very respectfully sit in on the discussions, but we never, ever judge or evaluate beliefs that might be different from ours. On the contrary, we are very self-aware of our unfamiliarity with such topics, and if we do shyly comment, it’s only so we can be better informed. Criticism is banned, sarcasm unheard of.

They think that the KJV is the best and most accurate English language translation of the Bible. If they don’t ascribe divine inspiration to the translation itself, they come pretty close. Any other translation is perceived as being created by untrustworthy translators who have introduced errors.

In reality, the KJV was written in the 17th century, and while the language is beautiful, there are slight mistranslations that have been corrected in newer ones.

Silly me. I should have realized. :slight_smile:


Who told you that? Do they have credible evidence for this claim?
Who do you believe put the Canon together in the first place?

There are groups of Christians who put all authority in the KJV version of the Bible. Unless they’ve visited a site like this, Clare, they probably don’t know the history of how the books of the Bible were put together.

God bless!


We can use the same words that were spoken in the 1700’s…but have different meanings.

‘Jane Eyre’ was written over 100 years ago, but its use of language changed 2,000 times.

I spoke to people in the KJV-only movement who insist God did indeed provide “extra inspiration” to the KJV Bible.
I personally think it is a beautiful version, I’ve lapsed into it myself when I lector.

When I memorize chunks of the Bible, I use the KJV - I like the flourid language, and I’m not chasing the “best translation of the day.”

The KJV is a translation of a translation. Most bible translations were that way also until the 20th Century. The Christian Old Testament canon in the Septuagint which was an ALL GREEK translation had 46 books. The Jewish canon was set after the Septuagint was already in use and it excluded 7 books in the Septuagint, not because they were not inspired but because there was no Hebrew text for them - only Greek (which some Protestant bibles include as “apocryphal” ). Christians have always agreed in the New Testament books. St Jerome translated the Greek Septuagint into Latin: that translation is the Vulgate. During the Reformation, Protestants went back to the Hebrew canon. Until the 17th century only the Vulgate was used.

The first English Catholic version of the bible (Douay-Rheims in late 16th/early 17th century - as well as its revision in mid-18th century) was a translation of the Vulgate - which was a translation of the Septuagint. Mid-20th century the Bishops Committee on Christian Doctrine requested that the Catholic Biblical Association of America translate the sacred scriptures from the original Hebrew languages or from the oldest extant form of the texts to present the sense of the biblical text in as correct a form as possible.

The KJV was prepared in the 16th century and the King of England instructed it was to reflect the Church of England ecclessiology - not that of the rest of Christendom - and therefore its ‘accuracy’ was not ‘independent’ to be faithful to the text but to be guided by the King’s point of view. It was ‘inspired’ to exclude books/writings that had been part of the ‘canon’ for centuries and reaffirmed as being true and correct and complete? I have no idea what ‘extra’ inspiration means.

As far as ‘beauty’ of the language: that is in the eye of the beholder. I find cumbersome to stumble over thee/thou and -th endings of words. I have to almost translate it into English I understand. I personally find the Jerusalem absolutely beautiful. But words that are different have shades of meaning that are slightly not the same.

Did you mean ‘lapse’ which means to ‘fall’ into a fault, a mistake? Just wondering.

My understanding of the lector ministry in the Catholic Church is that we are to use the LITURGICAL text both in preparation and in proclamation. KJV is none of those.

Pax et bonum,

I know that. I’m a LEM.
It’s a question directed at the OP, thanks.

Is it just me, or it seems like this person just posts questions and then disappears with no response. Won’t waste my time.


My experience is that the Protestant groups that insist on this also believe that the ancient Israelites (along with 1st century Jews) spoke 17th century English - with some believing that God gave the Bible complete in its entirety to either the early Israelites or to the apostles in 17th century English.

In other words, most people who believe that the KJV Bible is the “only legitimate Bible” are vastly misinformed as to how the Bible came to be in the first place.

I thought Jesus was given the Bible. :wink:

(There are people who believe this)


It seems to be dedication to a tradition, as opposed to looking at manuscript evidence and deciding on a translation that fits the Biblical message the closest. The decision is made; that the KJV is infallible and then they work around that by seeing other Bible translations as corrupt in some way. You shoot first, aim later.

The closest thing that Islam has to that is the Qur’anists. They believe that the Qur’an alone is worthy of being followed. They throw the Sunnah under the rug, so to speak. It’s a house of cards. The Sunnah may not be revelation, but it tells us, on a practical level, how the muslim is to live life.

Sorry, didn’t mean to underestimate your knowledge of the OP. What’s and LEM?



There are different levels of commitment to KJV.
Some think it is the best translation, but that other translations are valid too. Some think it’s the only authentic English translation, and every other translation is just a paraphrase of Scripture.
Some think the KJV is not a translation at all; that it represents the original of God’s revelation, created in its entirety before Adam and Eve. In other words, they not only think it’s the best translation in English, but that it is the template that every thing else more or less follows. In other words, they don’t think the KJV is the best translation of Genesis, they think the various Hebrew manuscripts are imperfect recreations from the original KJV, which already existed, though it was not seen on Earth until the 1600s. (I suspect this movement overlapped with the movement that taught that the English (and American) peoples are the descendents of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel). In other words that God planned England to rule the Earth, but He had to wait for the opportune time, and after the Reformation, for his original revelation to be perfectly revealed.

Before we roll around on the floor laughing at human folly and our own sophistication, lets take a look at the KJV. Chesterton looked at some of the newer translations in his time. He said that while the modern translators knew Greek and Hebrew better than the translators of the KJV, the translators of the KJV knew the English language lots better than they did. The KJV, and Shakespeare, essentially made the English language. The KJV has inspired millions of literary works. Most modern translations (far more banal, wishy washy, mundane that the translations Chesterton found crummy) couldn’t inspire a TV sitcom.

The often majestic language in the KJV makes it sound like communicating to God and people is something significant. Modern translations have the tone and majesty of what gets communicated at a fast-food drive through.

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