Protestants and the KJV Bible

Do a search on “King James only” on youtube. There are a number of videos on both sides of the question.

If the KJV was good enough for the Apostle Paul, then it should be good enough for the rest of us :smiley:

All kidding aside, I use the NIV but I know there are other reputable versions, as well.

I once remarked to a group of KJV onlyists in an online chatroom that the majority text was used first and primarily by the Orthodox Christians of the Greek Orthodox church. They proceeded to deny this fact and told me a group of secret Christians in Byzantium preserved the scripture which I suppose the Orthodox stole.

I’m not sure exactly what this means when considering KJV onlyists, but it was rather interesting to see them think that if the text had any connection to a church like the Orthodox church, it would impact the spiritual authority of the supposed only biblical text we are to consider.

Yup…I was raised Baptist and one of my relatives gave me a nice leather bound KJV with my name on the cover when I graduated from high school. It’s even a Scofield Reference Bible with nifty annotations by Cyrus I. Scofield about a Pretribulation Rapture. I like the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) a lot more since it’s easier to understand than the 17th century English of the KJV.

I would agree that the KJV, along with Shakespeare, made the English language. May I also add in there Cramner’s Book of Common Prayer? A wonderful time for language.

The KJV Arguments I used to hear were based on what they believed were corrupt modern Bibles like the NIV, American Standard, Living Bible, ect. The claim was, in their attempt to modernize the text, the meaning is changed.
Thank you for your answers.

There’s a motherlode of crazy ideas coming from KJV-only fundamentalists to keep a shrink in business for years.
“The KJV’ was purified seven times”.
“Jesus IS the KJV Bible”
“The KJV Bible is the Stone cut out without hands (from Daniel)”.
How about singing hymns to the KJV Bible? Or a liturgical-like procession taking a giant styrofoam KJV to the pulpit?
I could go on, but you get the picture…:cool:

Before the prolific explosion of translations, the KJV was the primary bible in use by many protestant denominations. And the more traditional denominations were skeptical of the new translations due to a worry of imprecise or agenda driven translations. With the growth of biblical studies in seminaries from Oxford to the numerous Southern Baptists much work has been done in attempting to get the translations as acurate as possible. There are some excellent translations out now. Remember, if you base your denomination on sola scriptura only, you want to make sure you are getting the most acurate translation possible.

I prefer more literal translations which do not use dynamic equivalence or inclusive language.
But for my old ears, listening to read scripture from the KJV or the Douay-Rheims cannot be beat.

As an aside, i have several different study bibles that I use for bible study. Catholic and Protestant.

I have to agree. I tried to read the Bible as a child and as a teen and the KJV was what was available. My Dad would not let us touch the books in his study, so I never had access to other version till I was older. [and I was too embarrassed to ask, I thought he would think I was slow, which is ridiculous now.] I simply could not understand the KJV.

The NIV was better, and then came Good News, and the NAB. I really liked the Oxford Bible as well. I think a readable and accurate version is very important, as well as the inclusion of Books that earned a place centuries before Luther.

The bottom line however is, almost any version is better than not reading at all. :twocents:

I had heard this before, but could not ever remember where. So many have said the KJV was so accurate… I just could not cite the detractors. I feel better now.:smiley:

This is incorrect. All editions of the King James Version included the Apocrypha in a separate section from its first compilations up into the late 1800s. The decision to remove the Apocrypha was made by 19th-century Bible publishers not by the original compilers of the KJV. They were Anglicans who respected the Apocrypha as teaching important lessons and providing important inter-testamental insight but with doubtful or uncertain inspiration.

I keep hearing this “it was included in a separate section” as though it is supposed to make sense and to be justified as “not being in the bible”. The fact that later versions do not include the Apocrypha prove that there was something included in their earlier version that they did not want to include in the more modern version. The question is why did the original version ever include them at all? Whether in the front, back, or between the OT and NT, the fact remains that the standard for including them trumped not including them. So what was the standard at the time?


Really depends on which reason you wish to believe. Most evangelical Protestant Bible theologians point out that the OT books were of questionable authenticity.

From the ESV Study Bible:
"The growing willingness of the pre-Reformation church to treat the Apocrypha as not just edifying reading but Scripture itself reflected the fact that Christians—especially those living outside Semitic-speaking countries—were losing contact with Jewish tradition. Within those countries, however, a learned Christian tradition akin to elements of Jewish tradition was maintained, especially by scholars such as Origen, Epiphanius, and Jerome, who cultivated the Hebrew language and Jewish studies. By the late fourth century, Jerome found it necessary to assert the distinction between the Apocrypha and the inspired OT books with great emphasis, and a minority of writers continued to make the same distinction throughout the Middle Ages, until the Protestant Reformers arose and made the distinction an important part of their doctrine of Scripture. At the Council of Trent (1545–1563), however, the church of Rome attempted to obliterate the distinction and to put the Apocrypha (with the exception of 1 and 2 Esdras and The Prayer of Manasseh) on the same level as the inspired OT books. This was a consequence of (1) Rome’s exalted doctrine of oral tradition, (2) its view that the church creates Scripture, and (3) its acceptance of certain controversial ideas (esp. the doctrines of purgatory, indulgences, and works-righteousness as contributing to justification) that were derived from passages in the Apocrypha. These teachings gave support to the Roman Catholic responses to Martin Luther and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation, which had begun in 1517.

Because of these controversial passages, some Protestants ceased to use the Apocrypha altogether. But other Protestants (notably Lutherans and Anglicans), while avoiding such passages and the ideas they contain, continued to read the Apocrypha as generally edifying religious literature. The Apocrypha, together with other postcanonical literature (esp. the pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of Philo and Josephus, the Targums, and the earliest rabbinical literature) can be helpful in additional ways. They provide the earliest interpretations of the OT literature; they explain what happened in the time between the two Testaments; and they introduce customs, ideas, and expressions that provide a helpful background when reading the NT."

Note the strong “evangelical” flavor in their ideas.

Which is all the more reason to not have included them at all, right? I mean from a logical POV.


The “standard at the time” was the standard that the Church of England used. This standard is clearly explained in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England. As King James was supreme governor of the Church of England, his authorized translation of the Bible would reflect the Church of England’s teachings.


HOLY Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books

The First Book of Samuel
The Second Book of Samuel
The First Book of Kings
The Second Book of Kings
The First Book of Chronicles
The Second Book of Chronicles
The First Book of Esdras
The Second Book of Esdras
The Book of Esther
The Book of Job
The Psalms
The Proverbs
Ecclesiastes or Preacher
Cantica, or Songs of Solomon
Four Prophets the greater
Twelve Prophets the less

And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:

The Third Book of Esdras
The Fourth Book of Esdras
The Book of Tobias
The Book of Judith
The rest of the Book of Esther
The Book of Wisdom
Jesus the Son of Sirach
Baruch the Prophet
The Song of the Three Children
The Story of Susanna
Of Bel and the Dragon
The Prayer of Manasses
The First Book of Maccabees
The Second Book of Maccabees

All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.

Well, sure but what I meant was what was the standard before the Church of England was formed or the Thirty-Nine Articles. From what did this list of the Thirty-Nine Articles derive?


I always felt it was not logical on the one hand the King determining what was in the bible. Then the United states Revolts against England but citizens who revolted still use the Kings bible.

From the 42 Articles which preceded them. And the King’s Book, prior to that, which followed the 6 Articles, which replaced the 10 Articles. And few other minor details.

All of which were a succession of documents outlining a succession of doctrinal positions for the Church of England, with respect to the controversies arising from the separation of the CoE from Rome, and the reformation issues arising on the Continent.

It was commissioned by King James I at the request of the clergy of the Church of England and was completed in 1611. The American Revolution took place between 1765-1783 during the reign of George III.

What sense would it make for Americans to reject an uncontroversial Bible translation that had been in use for 154 years simply because it happened to have been commissioned by a long dead king?

Greetings Don,
I entered this thread because of a standard comment “they were included in a separate section” “they” being the Apocryphal books and would like to determine when this separation begin. Is it the protestant view that the separation was in existence prior to any of these articles? Is there evidence of the separation prior to 1500?


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