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Why King James Only? Comparing the KJV with Modern Bible Versions

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

In 2020, it may seem extreme and downright impractical to say that we only get our Christian doctrine from the King James Bible. However when one compares the text of King James with other English Bibles and examines the factors that contributed to the creation of the modern Bibles, it becomes abundantly clear that the King James Bible is the most doctrinally correct English Bible on the market today. The other Bible versions compared to the King James in this article are the NIV, ESV, NKJV, NLT, HCSB, and NASB. This will not be an exhaustive overview, but will present enough information to make this point.

Modern Versions of the Bible Change the Meaning of Verses

The biggest problem with the text in modern Bible versions is that it changes what the Bible says to the point that it preaches a false gospel that does not save. In many passages, the modern versions present a works salvation, corrupt key passages that are frequently used to combat false doctrines, and present the readers with a false definition of repentance in the Bible.

1) Modern Versions Present a Works Salvation

In Matthew 7:13-14, the ESV, NKJV, and NLT make it sound like getting into Heaven is a "hard" or "difficult" thing to do, whereas the King James Bible simply says that the way is narrow, meaning that faith in Jesus is the only way.

KJV 13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

ESV 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

NKJV 13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

NLT 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."

In 1 John 3:9, the modern versions fail to make the distinction between the spirit and the flesh. Regarding salvation, it is the spirit that gets saved, not the flesh. That is why we believe that a person's soul goes to Heaven when their physical body dies. The difference between the spirit and the flesh is that the spirit cannot sin, whereas the flesh still does sin just as much as it did before the spirit was saved. The King James Bible makes sure that these are not confused, but the modern versions and false prophets blend them together to create the false doctrine that every saved person has a "change of life" or "will sin less often" or "will stop sinning." For context, we will also include 1 John 5:1 "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." This is to reinforce that the only thing a person has to do to be "born of God" or be "born again" is to believe on Christ and trust nothing else.

KJV 9 "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

NIV 9 "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God."

ESV 9 "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God."

NLT 9 "Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God."

2) Modern Versions Corrupt Verses Used to Combat False Doctrines

Specifically relating to combating Calvinism, there are many verses in the King James that can be used to show that God wants everyone to go to Heaven. Typically, we reference 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 to prove this, but there are other verses that can be used in addition to those.

Romans 12:3 is a great verse to use when showing that God gives everyone faith. From knowing this, one can see that if everyone has faith, then the reason why they don't get saved is because they choose to put their faith in something other than Christ. The modern versions change this verse from saying that God has given faith to everyone in the world to everyone in the Church at Rome when the book of Romans was written.

KJV 3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

NIV 3 "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."

ESV 3 "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."

NLT 3 "Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us."

Pertaining to predestination, Revelation 13:8 has been completely flipped on its head in multiple Bible versions. In the King James, it describes Jesus "the lamb" as being slain from the foundation of the world. In others, it says that there are people who at the foundation of the world are not written in the Book of Life. This is a big difference!

KJV 8 "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

ESV 8 "and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain."

HCSB 8 "All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered."

NASB 8 "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain."

This is why it is so difficult to convince someone who believes in a "faith + works" false gospel or one who believes in predestination that it is not true. They are using a different Bible with a completely different message.

3) Modern Versions Corrupt the Meaning of Repentance

Throughout the King James Bible, the word "repent" is used 112 times in many different contexts, making it clear that repentance is simply to change one's mind. When comparing the usage of "repent" in the King James with seven modern versions, the modern versions remove "repent" every time that God repents and every time a person repents when the context is obviously not repenting of sin. This can be seen on Google drive here: The Usage of "Repent" in 8 Different English Bibles.

The reason for this is because there is an agenda today to corrupt what the Bible says and change the definitions of words, therefore deceiving people into believing good works/deeds must be present as part of salvation. They are not. The NLT is the worst of all because it replaces "repent" with "repent of your sins and turn to God." Repentance is not to turn from one's sins, and anyone who says that it is is not saved and is preaching lies.

Modern Versions of the Bible Remove Verses

The New Testament in the modern versions of the Bible have 16 full verses removed from the texts. These include Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44, Mark 9:46, Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36, John 5:3–4, Acts 8:37, Acts 15:34, Acts 24:6–8, Acts 28:29, Romans 16:24, and 1 John 5:7–8. The some of the greatest verses in the Bible are taken out in these modern versions.

Matthew 18:11 on salvation 11 "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Acts 8:37 when the Ethiopian eunuch gets saved 37 "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Many other verses that did not make this list have parts of them removed, one of them being the second half of 1 John 5:13, which tells the unsaved readers to believe on the name of the Son of God in addition to giving assurance of salvation to those who already are trusting in Christ as their savior. In other sections, groups of verses are boxed off with comments telling the reader that some earliest manuscripts do not have the verses that are written on the page, making the reader think that it is not God's word. The most significant of these is in Mark 16, verses 9-20. This butchering of the Bible is no different than when Thomas Jefferson took a razor and scissors to cut out sections of the Bible that he did not believe in. The best evidence for this intentional corrupting of the Bible is the book of Mark itself. If you add up the number of verses of each chapter of Mark using the King James Bible, you will total 678 verses.

When you take out verses 9 through 20, the final 12 verses of the book, you have 666 verses in the book of Mark. What makes this even worse is that this section is called The Great Commission, where Jesus tells us to proclaim God's love to the entire world. Mark 16:15 states "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." These verses that are missing from the modern versions prevent us from being able to preach the love of God adequately, which is why we hold to what the King James Bible says.

These are just some of many examples of the intentional tampering with God's word in our English Bibles. Though some of the words may be difficult to understand when reading the King James, it is still superior to the modern versions. It is better to have to put effort into understanding a message that is full of truth than be fed easily understood lies. For those who want to know the best resource for looking up difficult words used in the King James, Webster's Dictionary 1828 edition because of its thorough explanation of the many definitions of each English word as it was used at the time. For a hard copy of the book, the one I personally use is the 1828 Facsimile Edition.

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