The King James Bible is “Inerrant?”
On the King James Bible Versus Other Translations Controversy
By Gary Amirault
At an early point in my walk with Jesus, I was strongly under the influence of men and women who believed in the “Inerrant Bible” doctrine. They believed the King James Bible was the only one Christians should use because it was inspired of God and without errors. They believed other translations were inspired of Satan, the “Alexandrian cult,” and the Roman Catholic Church. But eventually, I was freed from their influence and decided to do some extensive research into Bible translations myself. I discovered that the people who were perpetuating the King James “Inerrant Bible” myth were actually promoting perhaps the most corrupt, inaccurate and error-filled translation of all of them! Furthermore, it has had more revisions by far than any other translation. If it’s “Inerrant” to begin with, why all the modifications and revisions? The answer if obvious – the King James Bible is FAR from inerrant.
The very first year the “Authorized” Version (KJV) was printed, it went through several quick changes due to errors. A careful review KJV Bibles with the date 1611 on them revealed they were not all identical. One 1611 printing contained “and he went into the city” in Ruth 3:15 while another 1611 had “and she went into the city.” Another 1611 printing had “Judas” for “Jesus” in Mat. 26:36. It came to be known as the “Judas Bible.” Many other such errors occurred throughout the printing of the King James Version over the centuries. Below is a list of some of the more humorous blunders contained in KJV printings.
(1) 1611, Great "He" Bible, (Ruth 3:15, "and he went into the city.")
(2) 1611, Great "She" Bible, (Ruth 3:15), "and she went into the city.")
(3) 1611, "Judas" Bible, (Mat. 26:36, "Judas" for "Jesus.")
(4) 1631, "Wicked" Bible, (Ex. 20:14, omits the "not.")
(5) 1638, "Forgotten Sins" Bible, (Luke 7:47).
(6) 1641, "More Sea" Bible, (Rev. 21:1, "There was more sea.")
(7) 1653, "Unrighteous" or Field's Bible, (1 Cor. 6:9, "unrighteous shall inherit.")
(8) 1702, "Printers" Bible, (Ps. 119:161, "Printers have persecuted.")
(9) 1711, "Profit" Bible, (Isa. 57:12, "shall profit" instead of "shall not profit.")
(10) 1716, "Sin On" Bible, (John 5:14, "sin on more" for "sin no more.")
(11) 1717, "Vinegar" Bible, (Luke 20, "parable of the Vinegar" instead of "Vineyard."
(12) 1746, "Sting" Bible, (Mark 7:37, "sting of his tongue" not "string."
(13) 1792, "Denial" Bible, (Lk. 22:34, Philip denies Jesus instead of Peter.
(14) 1801, "Murderers" Bible, (Jude 1:16, "murderers" used instead of "murmurers."
(15) 1802, "Discharge" Bible, (1 Tim. 5:21, "I discharge" instead of "I charge."
(16) 1804, "Lions" Bible, (1 Kings 7:19, "out of thy lions" instead of "loins."
(17) 1805, "To-Remain" Bible, (Gal. 4:29, "to remain" inserted instead of a comma.
(18) 1806, "Standing Fishes" Bible, (Ezek. 47:10, "the fishes shall stand" instead of "fishers."
(19) 1807, "Ears to ear" Bible, (Mat. 13:43, "ears to ear" instead of "to hear."
(20) 1810, "Wife-Hater" Bible, (Lk. 14:26, "hate not . . . and his own wife" instead of "life.")
(21) 1823, "Camels" Bible, (Gen. 24:61, "Rebekah arose, and her camels" instead of "damsels."
(22) 1829, "Large Family" Bible, (Isa. 66:9, "not cease to bring to birth" instead of "not cause to bring forth."
(23) undated, "Fool" Bible, Psalm 14:1, "The fool hath said in his heart there is a God" instead of "there is no God."
Many people do not realize how many times the King James Bible has been changed in some form or another. There have been changes made in the KJV in the following years: 1613, 1616, 1617, 1618, 1629, 1630, 1633, 1634, 1637, 1638, 1640, 1642, 1653, 1659, 1675, 1679, 1833, 1896, 1904.
All of the above changes retained the original name. However, in recent times, in additions to changes being made in the text, even the very name of the Bible has changed. Few people realize that all these Bible Versions listed below are nothing more than revisions of the original 1611 King James Version
Revised Standard Version
American Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version
New American Standard Version
King James Version II (KJII) (renamed to Literal Translation of the Holy Bible)
King James for the 21st Century (KJ21)
King James 2000 (KJ2000)
The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (LITV) (formerly named King James II)
Modern King James Version (MKJV)
New King James Version (NKJV)
Revised Authorised Version (RAV) (British edition of the NKJV)
Revised King James New Testament (RKJV)
The Third Millennium Bible (TMB)
Updated King James Version (UKJV)
There have even been “updates” (more revisions) of some of the revised versions of the King James Version, the New American Standard Version being an example.
So then the most “Inerrant” English Bible translation, according to the KJV-only fundamentalists, is actually the most changed and revised version on the market. How ironic! It would actually be hilarious were it not for the fact that we are dealing with the most important book in the world.
The tragic side of all these changes, revisions and updates of the Version that has held sway over most of the English-speaking world for several centuries is that the most corrupt part of this Bible translation, the very heart of it, has been left relatively unchanged. The foundational Greek text used to translate the New Testament portion of the KJV was NOT the best Greek text. Using an English form that appealed to the highly educated rather than the common people was NOT in accordance with the forms of the original languages of the scriptures.
The Greek of the New Testament, for example, was Koine Greek (common street Greek), NOT Classical Greek. For some time, when Bible scholars were reading the Greek New Testament, they thought they were reading a divine Greek because it was different from the Classical Greek. But as they uncovered more ancient Greek writings coming from the common people, they realized the Greek text of the Christian Scriptures, was not some Holy special Greek at all, it was everyday conversational Greek of the common people. That’s what God used 2,000 years ago and that’s what a modern English translation should sound like – like average people speaking as they normally would. The King James Bible didn’t serve that purpose in 1611 and it does not serve that purpose today. It was archaic and too formal in 1611 and it is even more archaic and formal today. Scores of words in that version have dropped from use or have changed in meaning so drastically that sometimes the verse has taken on the opposite meaning since 1611. The word “let” for example today has the meaning of “to allow.” But in 1611, it often had the meaning “to prevent or restrain.” For example, 2 Thess. 2:7: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” In this verse, the text actually means he is restraining, not actually allowing as one would read in modern English.