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The Other Onlyists: The Many Forms of Bible Version Onlyism Stupidity

(Series of Essays that Cover New King James Onlyists, NASB Onlyists, TR Onlyists & Others)


 

 

KJVO Defined: Bring Your Dimenhydrinate

What is King James Version Onlyism? It is a heretical movement within Christendom that is currently quite popular and established, especially among Neo-Fundamentalist, Independent Baptists, that can be traced back to circa 1930s (or even possibly back to the
late 19th century) as a panicked, ill-informed over reaction to the introduction of new texts based upon Alexandrian Biblical manuscripts. Its rise, and especially its current foothold, is also due in large part to extreme ignorance and paranoia.

While there are differences among adherents of this group on some issues (e.g., some argue the superiority of the KJV on the basis of the Byzantine manuscripts, others on that of the Textus Receptus), the King James Only Movement is largely based upon the (false) belief that the King James Version is the only true, trustworthy "Word of God" for the English speaking people, and that all other Bible versions (particularly ones produced in the last 150 years) are heretical and/or evil.

It is believed by King James Onlyists that these "modern" Bible versions (such as the N.I.V., N.K.J.V. or N.A.S.B.) "omit" verses, or downplay certain doctrinal concepts (or else insert false doctrine), because these versions are (allegedly) products of New Age, homosexual, Roman Catholic, Gnostic, and/or Satanic individuals.

As such, the individuals who comprise the KJV Only movement tend to see conspiracies where none exist and to misrepresent the views of others; if one does not agree with them, one is said to be a heretic, is suspected of being a "false Christian," or a naive rube who is too daft to see the "obvious" truth. (The compilers of one of the first modern Greek texts, Westcott and Hort, are routinely villified by those who are of the King James Only persuasion, for example.)

Additionally, while expressing great disdain for scholarship and intellectualism, proponents of King James Onlyism will resort to the use of scholarship when it suits their needs and helps to bolster whatever point they wish to make. They routinely confuse higher textual criticism (which is used by liberal scholars, most of whom are not Christians) with that of lower textual criticism (which is used by conservative scholars, many of whom ARE Christians). Some of them do make this distinction, but then deride lower textual criticism anyway, even though lower textual criticism was used in the making of the King James Version itself.

Overall, however, the KJO movement is NOT marked by intellectualism or even honesty-- instead, one usually finds example after example of ignorance, slander, name calling, blind faith, logical fallacies, and sometimes, lies, in their writings or websites.

Further, members of this group refuse to face reality: there is no such thing as a perfect translation, Biblical or otherwise. For admitting this truth, one is usually referred to as a "Bible hater," a "scholar worshipper," a member of the "Alexandrian Cult," or it is said that one doesn't believe that there is a "Final Authority" on earth, or else that one does not believe that God's Word has been perfectly preserved.

Anytime any of the errors, discrepancies, or mistakes of the KJV are pointed out (e.g., the KJV renders "passover" as "Easter"), the KJOists will typically deny that any such errors exist, and some will misconstrue (and misrepresent) this honesty as an "attack on God's Word." Some, such as leading KJOist Peter Ruckman, will go to great (and absurd) lengths to explain away such errors, e.g., "advanced revelation."

It does not occur to KJOists that God's Word can be expressed in more than one way, so that while the NIV, for instance, contains the same exact message as the KJV, the NIV (as well as other modern versions) are condemned by these people for not having the same exact number of words/verses/passages as does the KJV, or because the modern versions express the same concepts but by using different words.

This of course demonstrates one of the major weaknesses with the King James Only movement: Circular Reasoning. The KJV is believed to be God's One and Only true and trustworthy Word, so that any other Bible version that differs from the KJV is thought to be untrustworthy, false, or what have you. (My advice: Be sure to take dramamine, aka "dimenhydrinate,' or some other motion
sickness medication before reading King James Only materials.)

Members of KJOism routinely mock and criticize those who point out that only the very first Biblical Originals (a.k.a. the Autographa) were totally without error, and that study of the Bible's original languages, Hebrew and Greek, is beneficial to the understanding of and in translation of the Scriptures.

Some King James Onlyists will trump the supposed superiority of the Byzantine manuscripts over the Alexandrian ones, but then, at the same time, some of them will insist that the manuscripts are worthless and should be disregarded because, they say, the KJV
"corrects" the Greek manuscripts, and knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is pointless and irrelevant.

This brings us to another point: the King James Only phenomenon is marked by many double standards, e.g., (there are many examples, this is but only one), they attempt to discredit modern versions by linking some of them to Roman Catholics but downplay the fact that a Roman Catholic, by the name of Erasmus, indirectly contributed to the production of the King James Version.

Ultimately, the KJOers mean well, in that they believe they are "defending God's Word," but they are actually casting doubt upon God's Word, since they attempt to undermine the NIV (and other modern Bible versions, as well as ancient Biblical manuscripts). Many of them do not hesitate to refer to God's Word as "trash".

Disclaimers
What is KJV Onlyism?
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