One man writes: "I have a problem with saying the KJV is the 'only' bible we should use. I have been using the NASB for 22 years and in my opinion have gotten all of God's word. I have had discussions on forums on the net about this. The claim is that parts or all of some verses are missing. That of course is compared to the KJV, but how do you know that what is written in the KJV is exactly what the writers of the NT and OT actually wrote. My contention is that can't be proven since no originals exist. There is no compromise of essential Christian doctrine in the NASB with those supposed 'missing verses'. I don't have any problems with the KJV. It is better than most, but it is still a copy or translation. I happen to like to read today's english." [Ken]
MY REPLY to Ken is as follows: I'm glad you asked about the KJV. It is an interesting subject. You say that there are no originals of the Bible in existence. That means you know more than most about the issue. Usually people say that their particular version is based on the "original" manuscripts, and of course that is a misconception based upon misleading information - usually put out by preachers, none the less, whether intentional or in ignorance. All we have are copies of copies of copies of the non-existent originals. Of course there are a lot of good materials on the Bible manuscripts and their preservation and evidence. One of the best summaries is one of Josh McDowell's books (I have it but can't remember the title now).
The controversy is primarily over the best translation/version of the Bible for the English language. My position of course is that the KJV is the word of God preserved without proven error. Other versions may 'contain' the word of God in them, but where they depart from the KJV I believe they are wrong. When it comes down to a contradiction between the KJV and another version, I go with the KJV. There are places where the words have been updated/modernized, which is not a problem so much as when the words themselves have been changed. When I say 'changed,' the reason for that is because most everyone is under the impression that the modern versions are simply updates of the KJV. This is not true. To answer your question about the differences between the KJV and other versions……….
Most, if not all, modern versions are going to agree with each other against the KJV when there is a difference. The reason for this is because of the underlying manuscripts. A falsehood is perpetuated by the Bible publishers and translators when comparing the KJV and other versions.
As an example: If you have an interlinear Greek New Testament that contains the KJV and the NIV or NASV or whatever, you will see how people are misled. At your local Christian bookstore (if you don't have one yourself), look in a Greek-English interlinear NT and you will see that the GREEK probably agrees with the modern version and the KJV is completely different (look at Luke 2:33 for a good example). The average layman will see that the GREEK matches the modern version, not the KJV - so he assumes that the KJV is WRONG in that place because it does not match the GREEK. Therefore he concludes that the modern version is closer to the GREEK - because he just read it in the interlinear NT he is looking at. BUT - here is the crux of the matter - WHICH GREEK TEXT IS THE VERSION BASED ON? Look in the introduction and it is probably ALAND-METZGER or NESTLE'S Greek text. If you look at an interlinear NT based upon what is called the TEXTUS RECEPTUS Greek manuscripts (mss.), and compare the KJV with modern versions, then the KJV will match the GREEK and the modern versions won’t.
The majority of mss. (i.e., 90 - 95 percent of them) match the KJV. When there is a different reading in the modern versions, most of the time they use that of the minority of Greek mss.; sometimes the reading is only found in a few, even two or three, mss., as compared to the KJV reading found in 90%or more of the mss.
So, really, the question is: which Greek manuscripts are the best and closest to the orginals? And 'best' does not mean the 'oldest' which is what some 'scholars' would have us believe.
Let me clarify something. There are two kinds of 'changes' in the new Bibles. They are due to 1) translational issues and 2) textual differences.
Translational issues are like 2 Thessalonians 2:7, where the word in the KJV is 'letteth' - in the new versions it may be translated as 'hinders.' The Greek word is the same, but the translation is different, but the Greek word and the English word mean EXACTLY THE SAME THING. Not a real problem here, and no doctrine is affected. But the KJV did not 'mistranslate' the word. (And, by the way, the word is used today in tennis and means 'hinder.' When the ball hits the net during a serve at Wimbledon, the announcer says it was a "let" serve.)
Textual differences are like Luke 2:33, where the KJV refers to Mary's husband as 'Joseph' and the new versions call him 'father.' BIG DIFFERENCE. This is definitely a problem. The Greek word for 'father' is 'pater' and the Greek word for 'Joseph' is not (can't find the font for it). If you have a Greek-English interlinear using the Textus Receptus Greek mss., the KJV will be correct and the NASV will be wrong. If you have one that uses a different Greek text, the KJV will be wrong and the NASV will be correct. So - which is right and which is wrong? This goes to the heart of DOCTRINE - was Joseph the literal "father" of Jesus Christ? Your answer will determine what you believe about the virgin birth of Christ. If He wasn't virgin born, then He can't save anybody. The KJV makes the distinction doesn't call Joseph his 'father.' (Some would object and say that other places Joseph is called the father of Jesus, but that is where the people are saying that. In Luke 2:33, Luke is writing what he knows, not telling us what people say of him in conversation. Luke, a medical doctor, knows that Joseph is NOT the 'father' of Jesus. ) So, now the question is not just which Bible is the correct reading, but which Greek mss. is the right one. The answer is determined by what your DOCTRINE is concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, His deity and virgin birth.
There are places where EVERY fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith is affected by the Bible you use and the Greek mss. it is based upon.
And then it goes deeper, into the motives of those who produced the Greek mss. and Bible versions, that would affect Christian doctrines.
What think ye? I will be glad to answer any more questions or clarify what we have already discussed.
Just a back-woods, Bible-thumping, KJV-only kind of guy………. [BroDa]
Ken writes back in reply: Thanks for your insightful reply. You probably gave me more than I needed. Still you won't change my mind. I don't want to get into a long discussion on this. I don't do it anymore on KJV. I have not done much research on this, but I have been around long enough to see this KJV issue as not something too important, to me anyway. It is not an issue to divide over. I actually like the KJV. It was the first bible I had. [Ken]
PS: "Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven" (Ps 119:89) --- Not on the pages of the KJV or any bible.
MY COMMENTS: If the words of God are in heaven only, then what in the world do we have down here? I've got all the words without a doubt, and they match what's up in heaven. And how can someone be so opposed to a view and yet not be interested in understanding the issue, particularly when it comes to the Word of God? [BroDa]