How I Know That The King James Bible is The Word of God
Copyright © 1994 James L. Melton
Used by permission
Published by Bible Baptist Church, Sharon, TN
How I Know that the King James Bible is the Word of God is written and copyrighted by James L. Melton. We are honored to be using this information on our website by permission from the author.
|NOTE: This tract reference is available in printed form. It is an excellent “quick” and inexpensive resource for easy distribution. Please order printed booklets and tracts from: Bible Baptist Publications.|
There are many good works that one can read on the authority of the King James Bible, and this particular effort offers nothing really new. However, it does attempt to explain the issue in a simple and brief manner for all to understand. Over the years I have learned a great deal about this issue, and I believe that a truth worth learning is a truth worth telling.
Many preachers and teachers across our land talk about “preferring” and “using” the KJV, but I haven’t heard them speak much about BELIEVING it. Many prefer it and use it, because that’s what their congregations prefer and use, but they do not BELIEVE it to be the infallible words of God. They are taught in college to USE, PREFER, and RECOMMEND the KJV, but they are NOT taught to BELIEVE it. Most “Christian colleges” teach that the King James Bible is only a translation, and that NO translation is infallible. Consequently, the average minister today uses a Book which he doesn’t even believe.
Now, I thank God that I don’t have that problem. I don’t have to play make-believe with anyone about the word of God. I believe it. I believe the King James Bible is the preserved and infallible words of God. It doesn’t merely “contain” the word of God: it IS the word of God. I’m absolutely sure of it, and I’d like to give a few reasons why. Here are twelve reasons how I know that the KJV is the word of God:
God Promised to Preserve His Words:
Psalm 12:6-7 says, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Then we read in Psalm 100:5 that “. . . . his truth endureth to all generations,” and Jesus said in John 17:17 that God’s WORD is truth.
These words state very clearly that God’s preserved word MUST be available to us today, because God PROMISED to preserve it for us. There MUST be an infallible Book somewhere.
You say, “But ALL translations are God’s word, not just one.” That’s impossible, because the various translations contain different readings, and God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). Besides, if all of the versions are the word of God, then where are the “corrupt” and “perverted” versions that we are warned about in II Corinthians 2:17 and Jeremiah 23:36? If everyone is innocent, then where are those who are said to be GUILTY of subtracting from and adding to the word of God (Rev. 22:18-19)? God wouldn’t have warned us about Bible perversion if it wasn’t going to be a reality. According to the scriptures, there must be a single Book that is the word of God, and there must be MANY which are involved in CORRUPTING the word of God.
Now, if the Authorized Version isn’t the infallible word of God, then WHAT IS? There has to be a Book somewhere in “all generations” which is God’s word; so what book is it? Those who “use” the new versions believe that these are good and reliable translations, but they do NOT believe these to be INFALLIBLE translations. However, I know MANY people who believe the King James Bible to be an infallible Book. Why? Because they know that the One True God has ONE TRUE BOOK. He promised to preserve His words, and we believe that He has done just that. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). If His words didn’t pass away, then where are they? I want to read them. There has to be a perfect volume somewhere. I know the King James Bible is the word of God because God promised to preserve His words.
The Authorized Version Was Translated Under A God-Ordained English King:
The main subject of the Bible is the kingdom which God intends to give to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will be crowned “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,” according to Revelation 19:16. Ecclesiastes 8:4 says, “Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?” Unlike the modern versions, the KJV was translated under a king. In fact, the king’s name was “James,” which is the English word for “Jacob,” whom God renamed “Israel,” because he had power with God and with men (Gen. 32:28).
The new versions have been translated in America, which is not a monarchy. God’s form of government is a theocratic monarchy, not a democracy. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that His word would be translated for the English speaking people under a monarchy with an English king. I know the King James Bible is the word of God because it was translated under a king.
Because It Has No Copyright:
The original crown copyright of 1611 does not forbid anyone today from reprinting the Authorized Version. It was only copyrighted then for the purpose of allowing the printer to finance the publication. For nearly four hundred years now we have been printing millions of copies of KJV’s without requesting permission from anyone. Over eight-hundred million copies of the Authorized Version have been printed without anyone paying royalties. This cannot be said of any of the new translations.
The new “bibles” are the work of MEN, but the KJV is a divine work of the Holy Spirit. The term “Authorized” has traditionally been applied to the King James Version alone, for this is the one Book which the Holy Spirit has blessed and used for so long. The fact that it bears no copyright allows printing ministries throughout the world to print millions of copies each year for the mission field. I know the King James Bible is the word of God because it has no copyright.
Because God Always Translates Perfectly:
The words “translate” and “translated” occur three times in the Bible, and GOD is the Translator each time. The scholars insist that the KJV cannot be infallible, because it is “only a translation.” Do you suppose that such scholars have checked II Samuel 3:10, Colossians 1:13, and Hebrews 11:5 to see what GOD has to say about translating?
In II Samuel 3:10 we are told that it was God Who translated Saul’s kingdom to David. We are told in Colossians 1:13 that Christians have been translated into the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and Hebrews 11:5 tells us that God translated Enoch that he should not see death. God was the One doing the translating each time. What’s the point? The point is that a translation CAN be perfect, if God is involved in the translating.
When the New Testament writers would quote the Old Testament (Mt. 1:23; Mk. 1:2; Lk. 4:4; Jn. 15:25; Acts 1:20; 7:42; I Cor. 2:9; Gal. 3:13, etc.), they had to TRANSLATE from Hebrew to Greek, because the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, but THEY wrote in Greek. So, if a translation cannot be infallible, then EVEN THE NEW TESTAMENT IN THE “ORIGINAL GREEK” ISN’T INFALLIBLE, because it contains translations from the Hebrew text!
Obviously God assisted them in their translating by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and He assisted the King James translators as well. The scholars will never understand this, for most of them have QUENCHED the Holy Spirit in their own lives by looking to higher education for truth, rather than seeking the Lord’s leadership (Jn. 16:13).
The Holy Spirit Who inspired the word of God through “holy men of God” (II Pet. 1:21) is quite capable of guiding His servants to KEEP the words which Jesus told us to keep (Jn. 14:23). In essence, the KJV translators were merely INSTRUMENTS which God used in translating and preserving His word. In fact, they said this themselves in the Dedicatory to the Authorized Version: “. . . . because we are poor instruments to make God’s holy truth to be yet more and more known to the people. . . ”
I know the King James Bible is the word of God, because God is very capable of using anyone He pleases as His very own instruments of righteousness in order to preserve His word.
Because It Produces Good Fruit:
The Lord Jesus said that every good tree will bring forth good fruit, and we can know them BY their fruits (Mt. 7:17-20).
God had the KJV translated for the purpose of bringing forth fruit, and it has been very obedient to the call. The greatest preachers of the past four centuries have been King James Bible believers. Billy Sunday is said to have led over one million people to Christ, and he was a KJV believer. Spurgeon, Moody, Whitfield, and Wesley were all KJV men, and the list goes on. God has richly blessed the ministries of such men as these because they stayed busy OBEYING His word rather than questioning its authority.
The KJV produces good fruit. I was led to Christ with a King James Bible. Nearly every Christian I know was led to Christ with a KJV. Why? Because it produces good fruit.
The new translations produce EVIL fruit. The modern perversions of scripture are producing infidels who do not even know what the word of God is, much less where to find it. The new translations produce spiritual babies who are totally incapable of discussing Bible doctrine. The new versions produce NEWER versions, which produce MONEY for the publishers, and I Timothy 6:10 tells us that the love of MONEY is the root of all EVIL.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t bear witness to the modern translations, but He DOES bear witness to the King James. I’ve always believed the KJV to be God’s word, even before I was saved. No one ever told me to believe this, but the Holy Spirit just bore witness to the King James–not the others. After being saved, I spent several years of my Christian life not being aware of the big debate going on these days between King James Bible believers and New Age Version believers. The whole time I believed only ONE BOOK to be God’s word, and even then I was suspicious of the new versions, although no one had told me to be. When I discovered that over eighty percent of the “Christian” schools in our nation do not believe the KJV to be the word of God, I was shocked.
How is it that one comes to believe the KJV naturally, but must be EDUCATED OUT of his belief in it? Why is it that King James believers are accused of following men when GOD is the One Who led them to believe it? Why do opponents of the KJV accuse us of following men, when THEY are the ones who allowed MEN to talk them out of believing the KJV?
The KJV produces good fruit, because the Holy Spirit bears witness to it like no other book in the world. It’s easier to memorize than any new version, and the beautiful old English language gives the reader the impression that he is reading a Book very different and far superior to the rest. It reads different because it IS different, and it IS different because it has a different Author. We shall know them “by their fruit”, and I know the King James Bible is the word of God, because it produces GOOD fruit.
Because the King James Translators Believed They Were Handling the Very Words of God:
One can see this truth by reading the Prefatory and Dedicatory remarks in the Authorized Version. These men didn’t believe they were handling “God’s message” or “reliable manuscripts.” They believed they were handling the very words of God Himself. As I Thessalonians 2:13 says, they “. . . . received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
Like the serpent of Genesis 3:1, modern translators approach the scriptures in skepticism, saying, “Yea, hath God said?” This was the first recorded sin in the Bible, and it still runs rapid through the hearts and minds of most scholars and new version promoters.
God has always allowed such people to be DECEIVED because of the IDOLS in their hearts (Ezek. 14:1-9; II Thess. 2:10-12; I Kings 22). A man who lacks faith in God’s word is in no condition to translate it. This eliminates every revision committee in the past one hundred years, because these committees have consisted mostly of highly educated men who were heady, high-minded, and proud, thinking that their intelligence qualified them to tamper with the pure words of God.
The KJV translators were not like this. Their scholarship FAR EXCEEDED that of modern translators, yet they remained humble and allowed God to use them in order to produce an infallible masterpiece. They didn’t set out to “judge” and “correct” the word of God. Their purpose was to translate God’s word for the English speaking people, as they were told to do by their appointed king. I know the King James Bible is the word of God because the KJV translators believed it themselves.
Because the King James Translators Were Honest In Their Work:
The critics of the KJV enjoy making a fuss about the words in italics, which were added by the translators, but the argument is entirely unnecessary and unfair.
The italic words in the KJV actually PROVE that the translators were honest in their work. When translating from one language to another, the idioms change, thus making it necessary to add certain words to help the reader grasp the full meaning of the text. When the KJV translators added such words they set them in italics so that we’d know these words were added, UNLIKE we find it in so many new versions today, which do NOT use the italics.
Besides, no one has ever PROVEN that the italic words are not the words of God, because no one has “the originals” to check them with. In fact, we know for sure that the translators were led by the Holy Spirit to add at least some of the italicized words.
One good example of this is found in II Samuel 21:19. When the translators came to this verse in the Hebrew text, they noticed that an exact translation would give Elhanan credit for slaying Goliath, but we know from I Chronicles 20:5 that he actually slew THE BROTHER OF Goliath. So the KJV translators added the words “the brother of” to II Samuel 21:19. If the Lord had not led them to do so, then II Samuel 21:19 would contradict I Chronicles 20:5 (as it DOES in the New World Translation!).
Another fine example is I John 2:23. The last half of the verse was missing at the time, but the KJV translators inserted it anyhow (in italics), feeling that it was necessary. This naturally disturbed many people, but since that time new manuscripts have been found which CONTAIN the last half of I John 2:23. The translators were RIGHT in adding the italicized words.
One last example of the Holy Spirit’s guiding influence on the KJV translators is found in Psalm 16:8, which says, “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” As you can see, the words “he is” are in italics. According to many scholars they should be omitted, but according to the Apostle Peter they should NOT be omitted. Peter quotes Psalm 16:8 in Acts 2:25, and he USES the italicized words! How did the translators know this if the Lord didn’t lead them?
The italics in the King James Bible are the marks of an HONEST translation, for no one added these words to mislead us, or to change the word of God. They added the words to help us, and they set the words in italics so we’d know they were added. That’s honesty. I know the KJV is the word of God, because the translators were more honest in their work than any of the modern Bible translators.
Because All New Translations Compare Themselves to the KJV:
The new versions do not compare themselves with each other, because they’re too busy comparing themselves with one Book–the King James Bible. This fact alone proves that there is something very special and unique about the KJV.
Why does everyone line up in opposition AGAINST the King James Bible? Why not attack one another? That’s easy: Satan has no desire to divide his own kingdom (Mt. 12:26). His desire is to discredit the word of GOD, not himself; so he attacks only one Book, God’s Book, the KJV.
Those who oppose the KJV are unsure of themselves, for they have no Final Authority; so they despise those of us who DO have an Authority. They’re unstable, insecure, dishonest, and very inconsistent. They’re all TERRIFIED of One Book, the KJV, and they’ll stop short of nothing in their efforts to rid the Body of Christ of that Book.
I know the KJV is the word of God, because it’s the standard which all others use for comparison.
Because of the Time in History in Which It Was Translated:
The King James Bible was not translated during the apostate and lukewarm Laodicean church period, like the new translations. The Laodicean period is the last church period before the Second Coming of Christ. It is the last of the seven church periods in Revelation chapters two and three. One can clearly see that we are living in the Laodicean period today by simply comparing modern churches to the church of Revelation 3:14-22. This lukewarm period began toward the end of the 1800’s and will continue until Christ returns. The new versions fit well into the lukewarm churches, because they are lukewarm “bibles.”
The Authorized Version, however, was translated LONG BEFORE the Laodicean churches appeared. It was translated during the Philadelphia church period, which is the best church period of all. It was this church that the Lord Jesus COMMENDED for KEEPING HIS WORD( Rev. 3:8-10)!
In 1611, when the King James Bible was completed, the scourge of lukewarm Laodicea had not yet swept over the world. There was no “scientific” crowd around in 1611 to put pressure on the translators. There was no civil rights movement going on at this time to influence the work of these men. The women were not screaming for “equal rights,” and the humanists and socialists had not yet taken control. The massive army of liberal and modernistic preachers had not yet been assembled. The open public denial of God’s word and the Deity of Christ was practically unheard of among ministers. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that professing Christianity became flooded with lukewarm preachers who would be willing to compromise the word of God for self gain.
The greatest missionary work in church history occurred between 1700 and 1900, so it makes perfect sense that God would have a Bible ready for this great work, and He did – the KJV. Unfortunately, the new translations appeared a bit LATE on the scene! Think about that. I know the KJV is the word of God because of the time in history in which it was translated.
Because No One Has Ever Proven That the KJV is Not God’s Word:
Any honest American should know that innocence is supposed to prevail in our land until guilt is proven. The KJV should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Has anyone proven it guilty? No. Has any scholar actually PROVEN that there are errors in the King James Bible? No. Enemies of the KJV delight in IGNORING the facts about the Authorized Version, while never PROVING anything. All apparent “errors” in the KJV can be explained through prayer and a careful study of the scriptures, but the opponents of the KJV aren’t interested in looking for TRUTH; they’re interested attacking God’s word, while never proving anything. I know the KJV is the word of God, because, over nearly four hundred years, no one has proven otherwise.
Because of the Manuscript Evidence:
Only a very deceived individual could believe that the new versions are equal to the King James Bible. Ninety-five percent of all evidence SUPPORTS the text of the King James Authorized Version. The new versions are supported by the remaining five percent evidence.
The new “bibles” are supported by two very corrupt fourth century manuscripts, known as the “Vaticanus” and the “Siniaticus.” These manuscripts are filled with many text alterations to meet the demands of Roman Catholic tradition. They also include the Apocrypha, which the Lord Jesus Christ EXCLUDED from the Old Testament in Luke 24:44. All new versions contain readings from these corrupt manuscripts, and all new versions use their tiny five percent evidence to attack the ninety-five percent majority text of the King James Bible.
The Textus Receptus (received text) from which the King James Bible came can be traced clear back to Antioch, Syria, where the disciples were first called Christians and where Paul and Barnabas taught the word of God for a whole year (Acts 11:26). The other “bibles” do not come from Antioch. They come from Alexandria, Egypt, and from Rome. We don’t need an Egyptian version, for Egypt is a type of the WORLD in the Bible. God called His people OUT of Egypt (Exod. 3-14), and God called His Son out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1 with Matt. 2:13-15). Why, the Bible says that “every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians” in Gen. 46:34, and the Lord Jesus Christ is called a SHEPHERD in John chapter ten. Alexandria, Egypt, is associated with SUPERSTITION in Acts 28:11, and Aquilla and Pricilla had to set an Egyptian straight on his doctrine in Acts chapter 18. Alexandrians are also found DISPUTING WITH STEPHEN in Acts 6:9. So we don’t need a “bible” from Alexandria, Egypt.
Then there’s the Roman text, also called the “Western Text.” We can also do without a Roman “bible”, because it was ROMAN soldiers who nailed our Lord to the cross. The harlot of Revelation 17 is a perfect description of the Roman Catholic Church, which has persecuted Christians for thousands of years. Romans persecuted the Christians in Acts18:2, and in 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Rome is the “dreadful and terrible” beast of Daniel chapter seven, and Christ will destroy the “Revised Roman Empire” at the Second Coming (Dan. 2; 7; and Rev. 13). It has been estimated that Rome is guilty of the blood of some 200 million people who have rejected her corrupt system. A “bible” from Rome is another thing we can live without.
There’s only one line of manuscripts that we can trust, and this is the line from Antioch, called the “Syrian” or “Byzantine” type text. The word of God speaks POSITIVELY of Antioch, and NEGATIVELY of Rome and Egypt. We should TAKE THE BEST AND DUMP THE REST! I know the King James Bible is the word of God because of the manuscript evidence.
Because It Exalts the Lord Jesus Christ:
Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: And they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39.
A REAL Bible will testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. The true word of God will always EXALT Jesus Christ, and it will NEVER attack Hid Deity, His Virgin Birth, His Blood Atonement, His Bodily Resurrection, His Glorious Second Coming, or any other doctrines concerning His Person. However, the new versions attack ALL of the fundamental doctrines concerning the Lord Jesus Christ at one time or another.
By perverting the many important verses of scripture which deal with the fundamental doctrines of Christ, the new “bibles” have a CONTINUOUS ATTACK launched against our beloved Savior, and this is NOT an overstatement! His Virgin Birth is under attack in Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:34, and Luke 2:33. His Blood Atonement is under attack in Colossians 1:14, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:7, and Revelation 1:5. The Bodily Resurrection is under attack in Acts 1:3, Luke chapter 24, and the last twelve verses of Mark. His Deity is under attack in Acts 10:28, John 9:35, and I Timothy 3:16. The new versions attack the Second Coming in Revelation 11:15, and Titus 2:13, and the list goes on, because the new versions have an extreme bitter HATRED toward the Authorized Version and the way it gives the Lord Jesus Christ the preeminent place.
If the reader doubts this, we challenge you to take whatever version you want and compare the above verses in it to the same verses in the King James Bible. If you still doubt it, after checking the verses, then write us and we will send you a great many more references to check. The new “bibles” have a very consistent record of attacking the Lord Jesus Christ; so they cannot possibly be “the scriptures” that He said would testify of Him in John 5:39. They testify AGAINST him.
The King James Bible NEVER attacks our Lord. More than any book in the world, the Authorized Version of the Protestant Reformation EXALTS the Lord Jesus Christ. If we had no other reason for receiving the Authorized Version as the word of God, this reason alone should be enough to convince any true believer, for how could we not become suspicious of the new versions for making such changes? I know the King James Bible is the word of God because it always exalts the Lord Jesus Christ.