Sunday, November 25, 2007

KJV vs. other versions of the Bible

Sophomore year in college I had to take a speech class. One of the assignments was to do a speech on an controversial issue. I asked my speech professor during class one day if it would be appropriate to do a speech on the differences between the KJV and other versions of the Christian bible.

Immediately there was an outburst from other students in the class. People were downright angry, and both the professor and I were surprised. She told me that it definitely sounded controversial, and that if I wanted to try it, to give it a shot. My best friend (a pastor) and I then spent two weeks researching and putting together a presentation. The following is the general information I gave the class minus the PowerPoint presentation.


So, I’ve got to admit, I’m a little disappointed. I went into a bible bookstore the other day with my friend who’s a pastor. Now, a bible bookstore’s entire purpose is to sell bibles, and other religious material. They have an entire wall filled floor to ceiling, wall to wall with bibles. We went and looked at this wall of bibles, and there were all these really cool bibles with different covers. There was a duct tape bible, a metal bible with a cool metal cover, bibles with gator skin, suede, two toned bibles, everything. Now, I was getting really jazzed, I mean, I was going to buy a really cool looking bible, so I picked up the duct tape bible and started looking through it, but then I saw that it was a New American Standard bible, or NAS. I read the King James Version, so I thought, “Ok,” and I put that one back, and picked up the metal bible. But alas, it was the New Living Bible, still not KJV! We looked through bible after bible, and the only King James Version Bible’s we found were three, plain black bonded leather bibles… and bonded leather is the kind they attach to paper that falls apart after you use it a few times.

So I asked my friend, “Why are there no cool looking King James Bibles?” and he told me, “Most people today hate the King James Bible.” I didn’t understand it at the time until my speech class got mad at me just for mentioning the KJV.  I’m going to tell you my personal reasons for reading and using the KJV rather than other versions. I’m not saying my bible is better or yours is better, I am only giving my personal reasons.  While this isn't meant to offend you, I can almost guarantee that it will, because this is what I've encountered now over and over with people who use other versions.

1) First let's start off looking at why most people don’t like the King James Version:  People say “It’s too hard to understand.” Let's have a look.

Matthew 8:29 KJV vs. Matthew 8:29 NAS

Matthew 8:29 KJV
And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come to hither to torment us before the time?”

Matthew 8:29 NAS
“And behold, they cried out, saying, what do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

As we can see, most words in this passage (blue) are the same, and very few are changed. Those that are changed are not too difficult to understand. Let’s take a look at another passage: 

Luke 4:4 KJV vs. Luke 4:4 NAS

Luke 4:4 KJV
“And Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 NAS
“And Jesus answered him, “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone.”

Again, most words here are the same, the only thing that the NAS has changed from the King James, is that they have taken out the words “But by every word of God,” from the end of the passage. Ok, let’s take a look at one more passage. 

Isaiah 7:14 KJV vs. Isaiah 7:14 RSV (Revised Standard Version)

Isaiah 7:14 KJV
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14 RSV (Revised Standard Version)
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Here I have compared Isaiah 7:14 between the King James and the RSV (Revised Standard Version), rather than the NAS. All words (blue) are the same with the exception that “Virgin,” has been changed to “Young Woman.” We know that Young Women and Virgins are not the same. Here they are not changing words to be more easily understood, because most of us should know what a virgin is.

2) Why most people don’t like the King James Version: People say, “I don’t like the Thee’s and the Thou’s.” 

Well, let’s take a look at that briefly:

Thee, Thou, and Ye equal You. Therefore, Thou shalt not steal equals You shalt not steal. But wait, here’s something cool! Thee and Thou, which start with a T are singular, meaning only one person, and Ye, which starts with a Y is plural, meaning more than one person. So if you are standing in a group of friends and I point to you and say Thou shalt not steal! I could be talking to the whole group, but because I used the word “Thou” I just made it personal and I’m just talking to you. If you are standing in a group of friends and I point to you and say “Ye shalt not steal,” I’m talking to the entire group, which is one cool thing that the King James Version does.  Other bibles just say 'you shall not steal' and are therefore not as accurate because the reader doesn't know if the speaker is talking to a group, or one person in that group.

3) Why most people don’t like the King James Version: People say, “My translation is better than the King James because the words are newer.” 

According to the, a website that is actually against the use of the King James Version: “In fact there are instances where the use of Archaic words are more accurate than what our modern English allows.” For example: In the KJV, shambles means marketplace. Today marketplace means something different to us. The newer versions of the KJV just say marketplace.

4) Why most people don’t like the King James Version: People say “Have you ever tried to teach a five year old on a King James? They won’t understand!” 

Well, personally, I haven’t tried to teach a child on the King James Version bible, but:  (Update -->) We teach our daughter from the King James Bible.  She learns bible stories and memorizes scripture straight out of the KJV.  We've been teaching her from it since she was three years old (she's almost five now) and she hasn't had an issue with it.  It's our duty to help her to understand the verses no matter what Bible it comes out of.

Other things to consider: Before 1881 there were no new Translations so:
  • The King James Version was the only version people had to teach their children on (no matter what age), and:  
  • My best friend taught and saved his young daughter on the King James Version

5) Why most people don’t like the King James Version: People say “It’s just another translation isn’t it?”

Actually it isn’t, and here’s why: The King James Bible, and newer translations, are translated from: TWO Different manuscripts! 

Lets take a look and compare these two separate manuscripts:
  • After the bible was compiled, each church copied the bible word for word. 
  • 95% of the copies matched each other word for word.
  • Those 95% that matched word for word were called the Textus Receptus (Received Text). 
  • The 5% text that did not match word for word was called the Critical Text.
  • The Textus Receptus (or the 95% text): agreed with each other (or matched the texts contained within).
  • The Critical Text (or the 5% text): Not only disagreed with the Textus Receptus (95% Text), but also: disagreed with it’s two main texts (The Vaticanus and Sinaticus) contained within.
Now the bible says, “God is not the author of confusion,” (1 Corinthians 14:33), which means that he will not write one thing and mean another. 

It also means that God will not contradict himself, as the Critical text (5% Text) often does. 

Lets take a look at the Critical text (5% text that disagrees): 

  • The Critical text disagrees with itself over 3,000 times in the Gospels alone. 
  • The Critical text makes over 6,000 CHANGES from the Textus  Receptus (95% Text). 
  • Changes made in the Critical Text include: omitted words, whole omitted verses, changed words, and changes in doctrine (Doctrine being something that is agreed upon and taught by the people). 
  • Also: 12 entire verses are left out of the last chapter of Mark 16 in most bibles translated from the Critical Text (5%).

Ok, let’s take a look at the Textus Receptus or (95% text that agrees) briefly: 

  • Every text within the Textus Receptus (95%) agrees with each other. 

Take a look at this list of different bibles translated from the Textus Receptus (95% that agrees text) and bible translated from the Critical Text (5% that disagrees text)

Translated from the Textus Receptus (95% text) (agrees)

  • (KJV) Authorized King James Version
  • William Tyndale Bible (English)
  • Coverdale 1533 (English)
  • Valera 1602 (Spanish)
  • Matthew’s (English)
  • The Great Bible (English)

Translated from the Critical Text (5%) (disagrees)
  • (ASV) American Standard Version
  • (ESV) English Standard Version
  • (NASV) New American Standard Bible
  • (NIV) New International Version
  • (NKJV) New King James Version
  • (NLV) New Living Translation
  • Amplified Bible
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible
  • New Life Version
  • The Living Bible
  • Young’s Literal Translation
  • The Message Bible
  • New International Reader’s Version
  • The Vaticanus (part of the critical text)
  • The Sinaticus (part of the critical text)

Lets take a look at a few changes in Doctrine that bibles from the Critical text have made.
Below we see the same verse we first compared, Matthew 8:29, between the KJV and NAS versions (KJV being translated from the Textus Receptus and NAS being translated from the Critical Text).  Where I showed you what was the same before in blue, I will now show you what is different in red:

Matthew 8:29 KJV (95%)
“And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come to hither to torment us before the time?”

Matthew 8:29 NAS (5%)
“And behold, they cried out, saying, what do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

Here the NAS version takes out Jesus, suggesting that Jesus isn't the son of God. This is only one verse out of hundreds where “Jesus” is changed to “You,” or “Son of God,” is changed to “Son of man.” There is a book called "The Eye Opener" that contains page after page after page of changes in doctrine such as this one.

Below is the second verse we compared before Luke 4:4:

Luke 4:4 KJV (95%)
“And Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 NAS (5%)
“And Jesus answered him, “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone.”

“By taking out, “But by every word of God,” the NAS just changed the entire meaning of this passage. We know that man can not live by bread alone… both verses say that. The KJV tells you what he can live by (but by every word of God). 

Finally, let’s compare Isaiah 7:14 again:

Isaiah 7:14 KJV (95%)
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14 RSV (Revised Standard Version) (5%)
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Here the only thing that the RSV (translated from the Critical Text) has changed is they have changed “Virgin,” to “Young Woman.” By doing this the RSV attacks the doctrine that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Christ. Now young women have children all the time and are not Virgins. The KJV says “Virgin,” because it means Virgin. This passage talks about waiting for a sign.  If a young woman giving birth was the sign God was going to send, it wouldn’t be much of a sign, because we’d be getting the same sign over and over again every day. This is why the word was translated to Virgin rather than Young Woman. The original word that was translated actually had three different meanings: virgin, young woman, and damsel. By looking at the context, we know that the KJV translated it correctly to Virgin. There are also other verses where Mary talks about never having known a man, meaning she never had sexual relations with a man.  This also tells us that the original word was translated correctly to “virgin.”

So now we come to the point where we have to ask ourselves: How did we get two separate transcripts, where one is flawed?

Here’s what happened: 

  1. One of the original transcripts from the Textus Receptus made it’s way to a monastery in Alexandria Egypt. 
  2. A man named Origen decided to edit the Bible, to his beliefs. 
  3. Origen and 10 other people edited the transcripts. 
  4. Those transcripts found their way to the trash heap in the monastery, where they were later found by archeologists and called the Critical text and used for modern translations of the bible today.
By the way: Origen was later disowned by the church for heresy (teaching false doctrine).

Let’s review:

Although there are many words in the KJV not widely used today, the KJV is usually just as easy to understand as other translations if you try.  People who read the KJV also use the Webster's 1828 dictionary (available for free online or purchase in the store) to determine the meaning of words as they were translated then (such as shambles). 

Before 1881 there were no other (full) bible translations, so the KJV was the only version people taught their children on.
The King James Bible and other bibles are not the same: 
  • The KJV and other translations are translated from TWO different texts. 
  • The transcripts used for the Critical Text (5% text) disagree with each other, and the Textus Receptus/majority text (95% text) 
  • The Critical Text (5% Text) was edited over 10 times by 10 different people and then discarded in the trash! 
  • The Critical Text (5% Text), omits words, phrases, and entire passages as well as changing doctrine!

The Bible says: The word of God cannot be improved upon, meaning: you can’t make the bible better by putting your own beliefs in. 

From the facts listed here it's clear that the Critical Text (5% text), changed and edited by Origen and 10 other people, is flawed by it's very nature because they injected their own beliefs into the bible. 

You may also be interested to know that since the time of the discovery of the Critical Text, modern day Bible translators have continued to edit and inject their own opinions and beliefs into the Bible.  You can read a short article about that HERE.

I hope this has been as much as an eye opener for you as it has been for me.

Final Authority by William P. Grady, PHD
Let’s Weigh the Evidence by Barry Burton
The Answer Book: A Help book for Christians by Dr. Samuel C. Gipp, TH. D.
As a final note, I'd like to point out the sources cited above. If you'll notice, the NAS and RSV have a little copyright symbol included in their name, which means a man wrote it and I have to get their permission to use what they wrote. The KJV has no copyright symbol, and is the only bible that claims to be the "Authorized" translation of God.

If you would like to read a tract (comic) absolutely packed with information about how Satan tries to attack the purity of the Bible, click here.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The King James is a really, really excellent translation. Here are some other points to ponder.
    1. The New King James uses the same manuscript base as the King James.
    2. I honestly don't understand the quote that says that "shambles" means marketplace, but "marketplace" doesn't mean marketplace.
    3. People in other languages must use something other than the KJV, and the Lord saves them. That implies that the KJV isn't the only valid translation.
    4. One value of using the KJV: It's often easier to memorize something that sounds slightly strange to us, than something that completely matches our everyday speech.
    5. You considered only one of the two possible explanations for the difference between the received text and the Alexandrian text. I'm honestly not sure which is right.
    6. I don't think the argument about doctrinal differences holds up, except in the case of the RSV. I can't think of a single doctrine about the nature of God, the person and work of Jesus, the nature of salvation, or the nature and duties and destiny of man, where a person who used only the KJV would come up with a different answer from a person who used the ESV or NKJV or NAS...except for when you asked them, "What's the best translation of the Bible into English?"

  3. Sorry...I forgot to click the button asking to be notified of follow-up comments.

  4. Thank you for your comment Jim. Allow me to address some of the issues you brought up.

    1)The NKJV uses the Textus Receptus only part of the time. When it comes to a point in scripture where the Textus Receptus and Critical Text disagree, it uses the Critical Text. This is why we do not consider the NKJV an updated version of the KJV.

    2)Shambles was like a bunch of shacks on the side of the road selling goods (and it looked like what we would consider something in shambles). A marketplace today brings to mind Wal-Mart, or Safeway, or some other grocery or chain store. Definitely different, even though selling takes place in both.

    3)I am not implying that the KJV is the only valid translation, I am saying that it is the most accurate translation in English today because of the way it was translated, and because it is from the Textus Receptus instead of the Critical Text. There are in fact many wonderful translations in other languages. This post was only about English translations however.

    5)What is the other of the two possible explanations between the differences of the two manuscripts?

    6)I listed many doctrinal changes in the article. Check out the NIV acid test on our resources page and go online to a comparative Bible and compare the verses selected between the NIV and KJV, and you will see a multitude of irreconcilable differences just between those two bibles alone. I would also recommend getting a copy of the book the Eye Opener, and it will reveal so many doctrinal differences that you will be amazed.

    Thank you again for your comment, and I hope I have been able to clarify some of the points made in the article. If not, feel free to ask more questions and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

  5. I know this post is rom 2009, but I stubbled upon this site a few days ago. I've always wondered the difference between Bibles. Thanks for posting this. It gave me the information I needed to know and will now stick with KJV.

  6. I too have just stubbled across your site! Thanks be to God, He works in amazing ways.
    I have been further stumbling in being involved in our village parish being an avid KJV reader, (enforced by our family friend and mentor)not allowed to do readings from the KJV because the pew bibles are NIV. It's rightly dividing the Word of God that we can only do through the KJV.
    With any other version, as you point out, where the scripture has been tampered with, you cannot learn the amazing truth as the TRUTH was intended through the books inspired by the Holy Ghost.
    Not inspired by someone too lazy to explore the real Word.
    God continue to bless you.X
    -Val Young.

  7. Firstly, let me thank you for your work. My family are KJV readers and feel this is the only way to rightly divide the inspired Word of God.
    We enjoy lively studies that involve Satan, salvation, and the Truth that refuses to let you rely on your own understandings.
    May God continue to bless and give you renewed strength. X
    -Val young.

  8. To Letters from a small village: perhaps it's time to look for a new church that uses the KJV? Where we live there are few that do that match up with our beliefs, so we run an in-home church. My husband pastors it just as he used to pastor a church a few years back in another city before he moved. Finding Christian schools to send your children to that use a KJV is also hard. It amazes me how misguided people are about the KJV, and how much they actually outright hate the Word of God.

    Thanks for your comments!

  9. Yes! i do love KJV. the preserved Word of God. i do use other version for studying and reference only. Thanks for this infos.from

  10. Hello. Can you recommend for a a Bible? I'm going to purchase my first KJV Holy Bible. I used to have the niv, then"upgraded" to the nkjv, and I noticed the are discrepancies in the NKJV, and want the original version. My thing is I see that there are many publishers who published the KJV that also print other versions. I want the original one and not one of the others, if that makes sense. Thanks

    1. Hi Jimmy D, if you're looking for KJV bibles you can always check out the KJV store: . Just because publishers put out multiple versions doesn't mean they are selling 'bad' KJV's. I would be careful however, because I have heard that Mormon's have a version of the KJV that they are only allowed to buy from Mormon sellers because it is not a true version of the KJV but actually heavily modified. I can't verify if this is true or not however. I would also be careful and do some research because there is now a company out there that is selling a "KJV" with scriptures removed that are against homosexuality. As far as I know everything from the KJV store is good though. I hope this helps. You can also pick up a 1611 KJV, but you should know that even though all words are the same as the KJV today, they are spelled differently and it can take some getting used to when you read it. We were curious to see how the KJV of today measured up to the 1611 and so we purchased a 1611 and read them side by side for several books and found no discrepancies other than spelling and use of letters. I hope I answered your question, and apologies if I didn't. God bless!

  11. "Eye Opener", could you give me an author or something to go by other than just the title?
    Thank you.

  12. An objective and upright person would agree on the difference particularly on the doctrines which downplay the role of Jesus to be the perfect and only acceptable Sacrifice that appease the wrath of God the Father because other versions essentially attack His deity. The effect on person who reads KJV and other versions have stark difference as well.


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