King James Only movement
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The "King James Only movement" advocates the superiority of the Authorized King James Version (KJV) of the Protestant Bible. Use of the term is itself disputed, for instance theologian and apologist James R. White states that the phrases "KJV Only" and "KJV Onlyism" are not "insulting" or "inaccurate." However, KJV proponent D. A. Waite states the term is a "smear word."
The date of the birth of the King James Only doctrine is disputed, although a case has been made for the concept of "King James Onlyism" having begun in some fundamentalist churches in the 1930s.
The radicalization of the movement has led to a more stringent definition which refers to the "King James Bible" rather than the King James (or authorised) "version". Thus, instead of the abbreviation “KJV” members of the movement will use “KJB” (this subtlety has been accused as factionalizing the movement, of "preserved" vs. "inspired)." Further divisions separate those who would draw on Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, Concordances, and other external sources to improve our understanding of the meanings of "King James Language" words: from those who hold that the King James Bible contains within its text all the definition required, and that no other sources are acceptable. In Joey Faust's 2011 book, The Word: God Will Keep It, Faust cites diverse quotations going back to the mid-1600s. His book asserts that the movement is not new at all but has rather become more vocal as the new Bible versions have become more popular. The movement itself grew stronger years later, perhaps after David Otis Fuller's book, Which Bible?, published in 1970. The movement came to be known for its exclusivity for the King James Bible, specifically the KJV "Pure Cambridge Edition" Bible.
- "I Like the KJV Best" – Although White lists this point of view as an aspect of the KJVO group, this would be disputed by others. This group simply regards the KJV as a very good translation, and prefers it over other translations because their church uses it, because they have always used it, or because they like its style.
- "The Textual Argument" – This group believes that the KJV's Hebrew and Greek textual bases are the more accurate than the later texts used by subsequent translations. Many in this group might accept a modern version based on the same manuscripts as the KJV. White claims Zane C. Hodges is a good example of this group. However, Hodges would consider that the Majority Text "corrects" the Received Text as seen, for example, in the Majority Text textual apparatus of the New King James Version. The Trinitarian Bible Society would fit in this division; but "the Trinitarian Bible Society does not believe the Authorized Version to be a perfect translation, only that it is the best available translation in the English language," and "the Society believes this text is superior to the texts used by the United Bible Societies and other Bible publishers, which texts have as their basis a relatively few seriously defective manuscripts from the 4th century and which have been compiled using 20th century rationalistic principles of scholarship."
- "Received Text Only" – Here, the traditional Hebrew and Greek texts are believed to be supernaturally (or providentially) preserved. The KJV is believed to be an exemplary translation, but it is also believed that other translations based on these texts have the potential to be equally good.
- "The Inspired KJV Group" – This faction believes that the KJV itself was divinely inspired. They see the translation to be preserved by God and as accurate as the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts found in its underlying texts. Sometimes this group will even exclude other language versions based on the same manuscripts, claiming that the KJV is the only Bible.
- "The KJV As New Revelation" – This group claims that the KJV is a "new revelation" or "advanced revelation" from God, and it should be the standard from which all other translations originate. Adherents to this belief may also believe that the original-language Hebrew and Greek can be corrected by the KJV. This view is often called "Ruckmanism" after Peter Ruckman, a staunch advocate of this view.
These latter two views have also been referred to as "double inspiration".
These classifications are not mutually exclusive nor is it a comprehensive summary of those who prefer the KJV. Douglas Wilson, for instance, argues that the KJV (or, in his preferred terminology, the Authorized Version) is superior because of its manuscript tradition, its translational philosophy (with updates to the language being regularly necessary), and its ecclesiastical authority, having been created by the church and authorized for use in the church. The KJV's wide availability, popularity and public domain status also come into play on top of or apart from any theological preference.
The history of the King James Version Only (hereafter KJVO) movement can best be described by a genealogical outline of writers whose books have not only given birth to the movement but also influenced their doctrines. Dr. James D. Price's book, published in 2006, gives the same information in a summary.
Benjamin G. Wilkinson (1872–1968), a staunch Seventh-day Adventist missionary, theology professor and college president, wrote Our Authorized Bible Vindicated (1930), in which he attacked the Westcott-Hort Greek text and expressed strong opposition to the English Revised Version New Testament (ERV, 1881). He was the first to apply to the King James Bible, claiming that the reference is a prooftext for divine preservation of the Scriptures.
Jasper James Ray (1894–1985), a business manager, missionary and Bible teacher, wrote a booklet entitled God Wrote Only One Bible (1955). It was nearly identical to Wilkinson's Our Authorized Bible Vindicated book without note or acknowledgement to Wilkinson's authorship. The result was a continued propagation of Wilkinson's statements but with the misconception of a separate, corroborating affirmation of Wilkinson's ideas.
Regular Baptist pastor David Otis Fuller (1903–1988) edited a book entitled Which Bible? published in 1970. It is an anthology by authors such as Robert Dick Wilson (1856–1930), Zane Clark Hodges (1932–2008) and others, who distinctly reject the "Textus Receptus only" / "KJV-Only" viewpoint and whose writings actually give some information refuting some of the extremes of the KJVO movement. This book, however, is singularly responsible for [the birth of] the "King James only" / "Textus Receptus only" controversial viewpoint that gained wide acceptance among KJV-Only believers. Almost half of the book is dedicated to the ten out of sixteen chapters from Wilkinson's Our Authorized Bible Vindicated.
Peter Sturges Ruckman (1921–present), a Baptist preacher, wrote many books: a series of uniformly bound books that are claimed to be commentaries on various Bible books, topical books on Bible-related subjects and books related to Bible text and translation issues. At least some of his books are characterized by harsh criticism of almost everyone involved in textual criticism, such as Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851–1921), Archibald Thomas Robertson (1863–1934), Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892) with the likes of Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918) and Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878–1969). The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence (1970) is among them. Ruckman was influenced by J. J. Ray's God Wrote Only One Bible, and Ruckman's The Bible Babel (1964) is nearly identical to Ray's 1955 book. Some supporters of the KJVO movement reject Ruckman's position that the King James Version Bible is superior to existing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and they also criticize Ruckman because "his writings are so acerbic, so offensive and mean-spirited that the entire movement has become identified with his kind of confrontational attitude."
Edward F. Hills (1912–1981), who wrote Believing Bible Study (1967) and King James Version Defended (1956, 1973) and wrote a chapter on Dean John William Burgon in Fuller's Which Bible?, did not advocate the inerrancy of the King James Version nor the Origenian origin of the Septuagint. However, Hills’ works are commonly cited to give support to the KJVO's position, even though Hills never supported such KJVO positions. Hills’ writings have been taken to task in slanting the public opinion toward the KJVO stance proffered by the movement, as well as against other Bible versions.
The KJVO movement as it stands today is inspired by Wilkinson, Ray, Fuller and Ruckman. As the movement progressed from one generation to the next, it became more radicalized and extreme. Movement adherents typically use the 1769 revision rather than the original 1611 version, which contains apocryphal books as well as a much more difficult language.
See also 
- Bible translations
- Bible version debate
- Dean Burgon Society
- List of Bible verses not included in modern translations
- List of major textual variants in the New Testament
- Modern English Bible translations
- Textual criticism
- White, James (1995). The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?. Minneapolis: Bethany House. p. 248. ISBN 1-55661-575-2. OCLC 32051411.
- Waite, Donald (2007-02-03). "King James Only As Slander #1".
- Waite, Donald (2007-02-06). "King James Only As Slander #2".
- Price, James D., King James Onlyism: A New Sect, p. 1
- White, James (1995). The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?. Minneapolis: Bethany House. pp. 1–4. ISBN 1-55661-575-2. OCLC 32051411.
- White, James (1995). The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?. Minneapolis: Bethany House. p. 5. ISBN 1-55661-575-2. OCLC 32051411.
- Watts, Malcolm H. (2007). "The Accuracy of the Authorised Version" (PDF). Quarterly Record (Trinitarian Bible Society) 578 (1): 8.
- "The Text of the Bible used by the Trinitarian Bible Society", from Principles <http://trinitarianbiblesociety.org/site/principles.asp>
- Price, James D. (2006). King James Onlyism: A New Sect. James D. Price Publisher. p. 279. ISBN 0-9791147-0-5.
- Wilson, Douglas. "Hearers of the Word". Credenda/Agenda 10 (1). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- Price, James D., King James Onlyism: A New Sect, p. 4
- The Unlearned Men: The True Genealogy and Genesis of King-James-Version-Onlyism, second paragraph, or search on "All writers who embrace" phrase.
- The Unlearned Men: The True Genealogy and Genesis of King-James-Version-Onlyism, 2nd paragraph, or search on "Wilkinson was the first" phrase.
- The Unlearned Men: The True Genealogy and Genesis of King-James-Version-Onlyism, 3rd paragraph, or search on "when J. J. Ray" phrase.
- The relationship of Ray's booklet to Wilkinson’s text is documented in Gary Hudson's article, "The Real Eye Opener," Baptist Biblical Heritage, Vol. II, No. 1, Spring, 1991.
- The Great Which Bible Fraud, 10th paragraph, or search on "The book Fuller edited" phrase
- The Great Which Bible Fraud, first sentence
- The Great Which Bible Fraud, 2nd paragraph, or search on "But the overwhelmingly longest" phrase
- The Unlearned Men: The True Genealogy and Genesis of King-James-Version-Onlyism, 11th and 12th paragraph, or search on "Also in the third generation" phrase
- James White, The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations? (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1995), 1–4.
- White, 109. Sam Schnaiter and Ron Tagliapietra, Bible Preservation and the Providence of God (Xlibris, 2002), 364.
- The Unlearned Men: The True Genealogy and Genesis of King-James-Version-Onlyism, 13th paragraph, or search on "A word needs to be said" phrase
- The Unlearned Men: The True Genealogy and Genesis of King-James-Version-Onlyism, first sentence in the third-to-last paragraph, or search on "From Wilkinson in the first" phrase
Further reading 
- Anderson, Robert (1903). The Bible and modern criticism. ASIN B00069Y39O.
- Ankerberg, John; John Weldon (2003). The Facts on the King James Only Debate. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House. ISBN 0-7369-1111-1.
- Beacham, Roy E.; Kevin T. Bauder (2001). One Bible Only? Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications. ISBN 0-8254-2048-2.
- Carson, D.A. (1978). The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House. ISBN 0-8010-2427-7.
- Comfort, Phillip W. (2000). Essential Guide to Bible Versions. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers. ISBN 0-8423-3484-X.
- Dewey, David (2005). A User's Guide To Bible Translations: Making The Most Of Different Versions. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-3273-4.
- Macgregor, Alan J (2004). Three Modern Versions: A Critical Assessment of the NIV, ESV and NKJV. Salisbury, Wiltshire, England: Bible League. ISBN 0-904435-87-3.
- Mauro, Philip (1924). Which version?: Authorized or revised?. Boston: Hamilton Brothers. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Paisley, Ian R. K (1997). My Plea for the Old Sword. Emerald House Group. ISBN 1-84030-015-9.
- Ryken, Leland (2002). The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books. ISBN 1-58134-464-3.
Pro King James Only
- The Bible For Today
- Way of Life Literature
- AV Publications
- Bible Believers
- King James Bible Society
- Bible Inspection Checklist with downloadable Authorized Version
- A Wiki style site promoting the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible
- 400 Year Anniversary for the KJV
Anti King James Only