KJV (King James Version) vs. other versions of the Bible.

Revelation 22:18-19 (the last book and chapter of the Bible) has this to say about Biblical changes:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (18): And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (19)

I prefer the King James Version of the Bible. It was first published in the early 1611 as authorized by King James in 1604, so its stood the test of time. It was a collaboration of scholars so no one person had undue influence as some modern “translations” have. It has been revised only 4 times (in 1629, 1638, 1762, and 1769). Unfortunately, this version has lost popularity and influence as more “translations” come available. It is a bit harder to read with the older English phrasing and spellings. However, it is the one from which most of the other are based.

Some more recent “translations” include the Revised Standard Version in 1952, The Amplified Bible in 1965, The New English Bible in 1970, The New American Standard Bible and The Living Bible both in 1971, Today’s English Version in 1976, The New International Version in 1978, and the New King James Version in 1982.

These all have some form of “new” in their titles to reflect that they are different from the original English in the King James version. These are all modern interpretations of the Bible and differ in how closely they resemble the KJV. There are over a thousand differences from KJV and the NIV (New International Version)! Some of the changes are insertion of words; some are substitution of words or phrases. Still others are down right omissions of words, phrases or even entire verses! Many of these changes are supposedly make the Bible more easily readable in “modern English” or “user friendly”. Other changes are clearly the opinions of the translators and/or to make the version fit the cultural norms of society. “God didn’t really mean that, He meant this”. Or “That was only for ancient times and not relevant to modern society”. Some scholars say these newer translations were necessary to “correct translation errors”. While I’m not saying there may have been some errors in the KJV, it is still modern interpretation as to if mistakes existed and how they should be corrected.

All this aside, I am not one adamant about strictly KJV. I just prefer it because it has stood the test of time and if I am confused, I will refer to KJV. However, I do use other versions from time to time. I would encourage others to look into some of the differences between various Bible translations. It can make for interesting study.

One note. Some adamant KJV only believers base their stance upon the word “Authorized” which is sometimes used to refer to the KJV. This only means that it was authorized by King James, not that it was authorized or endorsed specifically by God.

Here are a few links about changes between versions I found interesting.

Discussion with Biblical references on the dangers of Biblical changes.

Intro to Bible Translations a good primer into some modern Bible translations with brief history of the KJV

Which Bible is for Me? Discussion of major English Bible translations with pros and cons for each

What is the Best Bible Translation? Discussion of bible translations (pro-KJV site)

The NIV Report (condensed) changes from the KJV to NIV

33 Responses

  1. It is interesting to me how reading Shakespeare is required of students as young as 13, yet the church declares the KJV is too difficult to understand! Are they trying to dumb down the congregation?

  2. Yet Shakespeare too is being “translated” into modern English. The KJV isn’t seen as modern or trendy and you do have to think a little more, especially compred to some of the versions which aren’t even complete but just a summation hitting the high spots. So I’d have to say yes, subtly they are dumbing down the Bible and/or the congregation.

    Still, how many people have even read the entire Bible in any version? Is what the hear in church or a small nightly devotional verse all they know? This should never take the place of personal reading. The KJV is very lyrical almost poetical in places once you get used to it (especially the New Testament). But you do need to read it for yourself to understand it, which I think is one of it’s best features.

  3. The KJV is the Bible that has stood the test of time. Please note also that the KJV is the only bible without a copy right. There is no money to be made off of the KJV unlike all modern versions.

  4. Biblemysterygirl,

    More good reasons to support the KJV. I don’t fully understand the reasons for the copyrights. I can understand copyright for any commentaries, but not the Bible text itself. Copyright law says that to have a copyright separate from similar works, yours must be noticeably different. The KJV is still copyright in England from what I understand, just not here in the US.

  5. In addition to all of this we must understand that the new versions of the bible have been corrupted since they were created from a London Spiritualist — Brook Foss Westcott.
    click over to this blog for more information: http://sharingtruth.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/versions-of-the-bible-created-by-a-london-spiritualist/ — want more information on the corrupt versions of the bible — go here >> http://www.forgenerations.net/truthseries/pdf/modbibleversions.pdf
    Warmest Regards in the name of Jesus Christ,
    Jeremy from http://www.forgenerations.net

  6. sorry correction to the above link to the versions of the bible that are corrupt — http://www.dme-solutions.com/ministry/truthseries/pdf/modbibleversions.pdf

  7. Jeremy,

    I’ll have to check that site out. Briefly, which new versions are you referring to? I know several have come from many different translators and sources.

  8. every single version that has come from any works of Westcott and Hort …. basically every one that is based on the “NEW” Greek text of theirs. I highly recommend the book New Age Bible Version by G.A. Riplinger. If you can’t buy that one, then visit the link I inserted for the modern bible version document. It is a good comparison of scriptures taken away from the Word of God. The New Age Bible Book goes over the subtlety the enemy has used in infiltrating the Body of Christ.

    You should know this also, Brook Foss Westcott was a Theosophist.

  9. BTW all the different translators and sources all pull their information from Westcott and Hort…. making every bible that is a new translation corrupt and not the true Word of God. And on a smaller note, KJ is the only NON COPYRIGHTED bible…which is because you can not copyright the Word of God.


  10. Jeremy,

    The KJV is the only Bible not copyright in the US. However, it IS copyrighted in England still! I’ve heard of people having them confiscated at customs.

  11. hmmm…must be because og the publisher of that version. Because the real KJV CANNOT be copyrighted…. 🙂

    the 1611 version for sure, and others…

  12. btw, everyone, I remembered I had a video of the above mentioned book. She did a seminar at the prophecy club and goes over the infiltration of the New Age into the new versions of the bible. Very informative. I am in the process of uploading the flash version of this video. I will post the link soon for you to check out.
    Jeremy from http://www.forgenerations.net

  13. Jeremy,

    Yes, the “real” KJV can be copyrighted. It was when it was first translated and still held by the Crown of England today. Since the copyright existed before expiration limitation laws, it is still enforcible. Here’s a good website about that.


    Wikipedia has this to say about it’s copyright:
    “In most of the world, the Authorized Version has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. In the United Kingdom, the British Crown holds perpetual Crown copyright to the Authorized Version. Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and the Queen’s Printers have the right to produce the Authorized Version.”

  14. Yes, you are correct, but I am talking about the KJV before the Crown got their hands on it and tried to stamp their name on staking some sort of claim to it…. here is a great website for info on the KJV: http://jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/1611_authorized_king_james.htm

    I do not endorse all of everything on this website, as the opinion I have may vary on some of his topics.

    What we have to realize is that all the translations and version that have come out since the Crown’s time, being the Westcott and Hort were very much in relationship with the crown, that these are all PERverisons and the Word of God.

    In actuality we all need to learn Hebrew and Greek… LOL.. don’t ya think? 🙂

  15. “the Word of God.”
    correction for above: NOT the word of God

  16. I’ve read that site before as well as many more about different histories. The Crown was the one who Authorized the translation to begin with in 1611. That’s why it’s the Authorized King James Version. Yes, if we could all read the ancient languages, it would simplify things a bit. I was in a hurry when I typed, sorry. I’m trying to homeschool and do this at the same time so I’m a bit distracted this morning. Unless we do the primary source reading ourselves, it will always be debate as to what meaning to draw for imperfect alignment between languages.

  17. how right you are.. 🙂

    BTW, I am not a KJ only protestant… 😉

    The only reason I choose the KJ over the other versions is because of the taking away of scripture from the Word of God as the new versions have done. And that the translators were heavily involved with satan worship — whatever name they want to put on it is fine, it all comes down to it though as old fashioned satan worship.

    We are warned in Revelation about words being taken from the prophecy and what will happen to those that condone it.

    Bless the Lord with all honor!

    Thanks for the great site,
    Jeremy from http://www.forgenerations.net

  18. Jeremy,

    “BTW, I am not a KJ only protestant… 😉 ”

    You could have fooled me. Good discussion though. That’s why I added the verse at the top of this post.

  19. AMEN!!

    Most people do think I am a KJ only type person, but really, as I said, it is because of the adding and subtracting from the Word of God that the new version editors have done. The New Age infiltrators that have their roots in Theosophy, Spiritualism, and Occultic Guilds. We must keep ourselves from idols and evil.

    Bless Our Lord Jesus Christ with our Praise. Glory!
    Jeremy from http://www.forgenerations.net

  20. Here is the link I was telling you all about for the New Age Bible Versions: http://www.forgenerations.net/index.html

    Scroll down some and click play…


  21. Jeremy,
    I finally had a chance to read through one of the websites you recommended about Bible changes. I’ve read a lot about the omissions and total verse changes before but didn’t know about some of these more subtle changes. Thanks. Made for interesting reading although it was repetitive in places.

  22. I still believe the best way to study the Bible is the original languages. Since my language skills aren’t very good I prefer to use NASB or ESV because they are very literal translations. Having compared them to the Greek and Hebrew I feel comfortable using them.

  23. This argument over the King James being the ONLY TRUE word of God is really silly to me. I for the life of me can not understand how you can hold up a TRANSLATED work of an EARLIER written work to be GOD’S HOLY WORD. I mean if there truly is a GOD WRITTEN inspired written work don’t you suppose it would be in the hands of the Jews? After all God is a God of the JEW first and then the GENTLES. I mean why would the AUTHORIZED CHURCH BIBLE be held up over the actual scrolls of the ancient Jewish scribes? I would suppose then that the DEAD SEA SCROLLS which predates any text that the KING JAMES bible translators used in their so called accurate translation where not found until well after said KING JAMES bible was written.

    And then when you hold it up as THE ONLY TRUE bible you have to overlook a very obvious MISTRANSLATION in that TRUE BOOK which, if like you say, it is the ONLY TRUE translation they why is there an OBVIOUS ERROR in the book?

    And that error is EASTER in Acts chapter 12 verse 4 it should be Passover and it is not. Therefore it is not accurate at least at that verse. I believe all English bible translations of that day substituted Easter for Passover in all new testament references. Now the only ENGLISH bible that still has that word translation error is the KING JAMES bible. The NEW King James bible has returned the word to Passover which it should be.

    Another point of fact if you compare THE NEW KING JAMES bible with the KING JAMES BIBLE there are very few differences between them because they are the same book only written in modern English as opposed to Elizabethan English.

    As far as omitted verses are concerned, the recent bible scholars who have worked tirelessly on some of the modern translations note in their work that some of the passages found in the KING JAMES bible were not found on OLDER GREEK MANUSCRIPTS found which predate the texts used on the KJV.

    As far as you comment concerning William Shakespeare it is an interesting fact that SIR WILLIAM did not use the KING JAMES bible but he opted instead for the much older GENEVA bible as his source text. Most reformationists did the same.

    It might also be an interesting study for those who choose to do such study that King James I believed in the DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS which simply meant that GOD appointed the KING and HIS Authority could not be challenged because he was God’s representation on earth. Perhaps that is one reason the KING JAMES Bible gets held to such high standards?

    another point of fact is the KING JAMES Bible was copied basically word for word from the Earlier Bishops Bible as ordered by King James himself. Therefore the Bishops bible should be the one revered? The original 1611 KJ bible included 88 books which included the 14 books of the Apocrypha which were excluded in 1880’s. Could it then be said that the current KJ bible had whole chapters removed much the same as the newer English translations you all seem to dislike so much?

    Also did you know that all King James Bibles published in America are actually the 1769 Baskerville spelling and wording revision of the 1611. The original “1611” preface is deceivingly included by the publishers, and no mention of the fact that it is really the 1769 version is to be found.

    Could someone say this is a bastardization? Or a REVISION? After all it is not the AUTHORIZED word from God himself to King Jimmy.

    I said all this to simply say, I do not believe you can make a case for the KING JAMES Bible as being the only true bible when it was copied from earlier works by other transcribers and therefore was not DICTATED TO KING JAMES by God.

    The fact it is not copyrighted does not mean it is God’s word that is just silly. THERE are lots of works that are no longer copyrighted could we call them works of God as well?

    and finally I would hold up the ancient writings held by the Jews written by their scribes would be the most accurate and a point of fact that ALL MODERN ENGLISH bibles Old testaments are based on those very accurate preserved transcripts. Therefore the only point of contention between KJ and other modern translations lies in the NEW TESTAMENT which is simple to understand because the Greeks where not as meticulous when it came to their writings. There are many more Greek texts available and thusly many differing transcriptions can be found between texts because of this. This discrepancy is more a problem of the Greek text thanit is of the translations. IMO

  24. Steve,

    Good additional insight into Bible translations. Indeed, to find the “true” Bible we do need to read the original manuscripts, but since few of us can or ever will we have to do the best with what we have in translation. It does seem a bit oversimplified to say one is the ONLY Bible. Still, some of the more modern Bibles have obvious changes not only word choice which can change the meaning of passages subtly but here’s some versions changed intentionally to fit the views and biases of those creating them such as one that replace all the HE with it or other gender neutral words. From what I’ve been able to understand there are 2 different sets of “original” Greek manuscripts which like you said only adds to the confusion as for differences between versions.

    You are very correct in that many misconstrue the “authorized” to be authorized by God instead of authorized by King James. There was a church here with a billboard sign last fall, “Use the Bible God uses- the KJV!”. That was just silly. Plus, what about other languages? Then you get a translation (their language) of a translation (English) with all the word choice problems associated for both no matter what language.

    I like the KJV because it is among the first English translations. It is the New Testament where we gain much of our scripture and Biblical instruction, therefore we should strive to find as uncorrupted a translation as possible for study. I’m not a Biblical scholar, however from the little that I have read, the KJV stands the test of time with the least amount of modern wordplay and liberal slant. I’m not going to even guess at the agenda and intentions of the translators over half a millennium ago. However, I can know the agenda an intentions of many more recent translations as documented by those doing the work. From those readings and excerpts, is where I’m questioning several of the modern translations.

    The Shakespeare reference was by another commenter, not me.

    I’m not a strict KJV only person although I do prefer it. Nor am I a Bible scholar. I guess what I’m trying to say in this post is just be aware of changes between versions and where they come from. Are they intentional meaning drift to fit the agenda of the translators or just word choice? Don’t take all modern translations at face value. Why were they created? Who were they originally created for? What source material did they use? If after answering these questions, I think many people may be surprised at some of them.

  25. The Geneva Bible predates the KJV by about 5 or 6 years.

    As for the KJV in circulation now not being authorized because they are more recent than 1611. It is just common sense that the English KJV’s today is more recent. If it really were 1611 English very few of us could read it.

    I still hold that if you lack the language skills to read the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic then the ESV or NASB is the best option for a literal translation.

  26. Something you might find interesting. My alma mater recently received a collection of rare Bibles including a 1st edition 1611 KJV, a 1st edition Geneva Bible and a Great Bible from the 1500’s.

  27. Dee,
    That’s neat. You’ve probably said somewhere, but what was your school? What are they going to do with them?

    I like old books. My son is reading a book for boys from 1912. He’s really enjoying it. I had to explain some of the old words like aeroplane instead of airplane.

  28. Hardin-Simmons University, it is a Baptist school in Texas. You can read more about the collection here.

    I guess they will be in the rare book room. They were a gift from an alum.

    Dr. Charles Ryrie spoke a the dedication ceremony.

  29. I am with you. The KJV Bible is the inspired, preserved Word of God.
    ~ Heather

  30. I grew up using the NKJV and even though it is translated into a little more modern english, I feel like the old english feel to it helped me to understand Shakespeare a little better, and also other works in old english. I do like the original kj and newkj versions the best. Although the word expansion in the amplified sometimes spark a whole new way of looking at a certain passage from my own definition of a word. I do believe some of the new translations find ways to change the meaning of whole passages by one or two word changes. If I find someone reading the word in a more simplified version (at least they are reading the word) I am not going to be the one to tell them they sould switch versions. I would hope that as they read and Grow they would come to know the heart of God and seak him for themselves and he will reveal what they sould read.

  31. one more thought. People have been brought to love and serve God by finding one page of the bible to have for their own. how blessed we are to have the whole bible or several bibles at our hand.

  32. In order to get a new copyright, 10% must be changed. That means there is at least 90% of the “Bible” different in the newer translations, and since many are translated off newer versions, I’m sure there is much more than just 90% changed from the KJV.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: