Addressing “King James Only” Christians (Click here for a 1611 King James Version facsimile)
Recently, during our visit to some Christian Identity brethren in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I was introduced to a man from Missouri who considers himself an Identity Christian and a pastor. He and some others actually sat in the room with me and listened to one of my presentations of Bertrand Comparet's sermons.
We had a long discussion after that program was completed. But I quickly found out that this man, who I do esteem to be a sincere Identity Christian, did not like anything of what I had said about the King James Version translation of the Bible. In fact, he refused to acknowledge that the King James Version could be amended or improved upon in any way. He insisted that talking about the Scripture, “we need a sold foundation”, as he called it, and that the King James Version was the only solid foundation inspired by God.
Is it really true, that the King James Version is the only Scripture inspired by God, and is it true that it was inspired by God? In Psalm 147:19 we read that God “... sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.” Therefore there must have been Holy Scriptures before 1611, that Israelites could understand. In Acts chapter 17 we see the account of the men of Berea, who hearing Paul and Silas had “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Therefore there must have been Holy Scriptures before 1611, that the Greek and Judaean men of Berea could understand.
Paul of Tarsus had wrote asking Timothy to come to him in Rome, and when he did he also asked him that “when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). Since the King James Bible was not published until 1611, there were books and parchments that Paul of Tarsus considered to be Holy Scripture long before the King James Version. So we must ask this: which books have the greater authority, the King James Version, or those which Paul had considered to be Holy Scriptures, whether they were in his own possession, or in the possession of the men of Berea? The phrase “word of God” appears many times in Scripture, but the King James Version did not exist until nearly 1600 years after the Crucifixion. So what was the “Word of God” until then?