A response to Pastor Melton’s Questions for the KJV Critics
A reader posted a comment with a link to Bible Baptist Church in Sharon, TN in which the author poses questions to Critics of the KJV. I would like to answer those questions in this post. They are below.
Before I begin, I think it’s important to bring to the reader’s attention that Pastor Melton is coming from the point of view that the KJV is a perfect translation which taints his entire perspective. The KJV is no more perfect then the other translations. One need not much more than common sense to understand that the KJV is a translation and was translation by imperfect human beings making it impossible for it to be a perfect translation. The idea that the KJV was inspired is ridiculous at best and heretical at worst. If you’re so inclined, you can find out more about Pastor James Melton’s cultish beliefs here and how he profits from his followers here
Despite this obvious flaw in the thinking of KJV onlyists, I will try my best to answer the questions posed by Pastor Melton.
1. Since you’re smart enough to find “mistakes” in the KJV, why don’t you correct them all and give us a perfect Bible?
First, only KJV advocates claim that there is a perfect Bible. Those of us who aren’t delusional and feel free to use other versions recognize that there is no such thing as a “perfect Bible”. This alone voids your assertion since critics of KJV onlyism realize that a “perfect Bible” is impossible.
Second, even if someone corrected all the mistakes in the KJV, a “perfect Bible” would still be impossible since we don’t have all the original documents.
Third, being smart enough to find mistakes doesn’t necessarily constitute the knowledge to make a “perfect Bible”. Flaws in the KJV are so obvious that it doesn’t take much “smarts” to see them, just an open mind.
Finally, this is essentially what the translators of the modern versions have done. They have corrected mistakes found in the KJV. Although they aren’t perfect they are certainly more accurate then the KJV.
2. Do you have a perfect Bible?
No. See answer to question 1
3. Since you do believe “the Bible” is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, could you please show us where Jesus, Peter, James, Paul, or John ever practiced your terminology (“the Greek text says…the Hebrew text says….the originals say…a better rendering would be….older manuscripts read….” etc.)?
Jesus and New Testament writers, especially Paul, frequently quoted from Old Testament texts, especially from the prophets like Isaiah and Daniel. These text were written in Hebrew. Jesus quoted the original Hebrew text as many as 24 times during his ministry. See Luke 24:24 for an example.
Even so, I will throw the same question back at you. Can you please show me in the Bible where Jesus, Peter, James, Paul or John ever practice YOUR terminology? Can you please show me in the Bible where Jesus, Peter, James, Paul or John ever quoted from the KJV? English wasn’t the language that Jesus, Peter, James, Paul or John spoke so that alone negates the idea that they quoted from the 1611 KJV.
I’ve sat under many KJV Only advocates who refer to the original language of the scriptures. This isn’t something that only advocates of modern versions do.
Anyway, logic dictates that Jesus, Peter, James, Paul and John made minimal reference to the original manuscripts because they weren’t available yet. There was nothing to refer to except the Old Testament so they couldn’t use terminology like “the Greek text says… older manuscripts read…” etc.
4. Since you do not profess to have a perfect Bible, why do you refer to it as “God’s word”?
For the same reason we refer to the KJV as “God’s Word” and at the same time declare it to be imperfect. It is God’s Word, the Bible. The true Word of God is the original documents. All others are translations, but we still refer to them as God’s Word.
Secondarily, “God’s Word” is a reference to His promises, NOT the scriptures. The interested reader can read more about that here.
5. Remembering that the Holy Spirit is the greatest Teacher (John 16:12-15; I John 2:27), who taught you that the King James Bible was not infallible, the Holy Spirit or man?
I could ask you the same question. Remembering that the Holy Spirit is the greatest Teacher (John 16:12-15; I John 2:27), who taught you that the King James Bible IS infallible, the Holy Spirit or man? I think that we would have the same answer.
6. Since you do believe in the degeneration of man and in the degeneration of the world system in general, why is it that you believe education has somehow “evolved” and that men are more qualified to translate God’s word today than in 1611?
It’s not about being more qualified and it has nothing to do with education. It’s about having more accurate manuscripts that are closer to the originals and having better ways to study and translate those original manuscripts. Can you share what the difference is between the education/qualification of the translators of the 1611 KJV and the modern translations?
7. There is one true God, yet many false gods. There is one true Church, consisting of true born-again believers in Christ, yet there are many false churches. So why do you think it’s so wrong to teach that there is one true Bible, yet many false “bibles”?
I don’t think it is wrong to teach that there is one true Bible. I just think it is wrong to teach that the KJV is that one true Bible. There are many false Bibles. I don’t deny that.
8. Isn’t it true that you believe God inspired His holy words in the “originals,” but has since lost them, since no one has a perfect Bible today?
This is partially true. I don’t believe that the original manuscripts are “lost” since we do have parts of the original text, but we don’t have all the original texts so yes, it is true that no one has a perfect Bible today?
9. Isn’t it true that when you use the term “the Greek text” you are being deceitful and lying, since there are MANY Greek TEXTS (plural), rather than just one?
No this isn’t lying or deceitful. There is only ONE original Greek text. But just like today’s Bible is broken down into verses and chapters the original Greek Text is broken down into many different parts. We use the term Bible (singular) and Books of the Bible (plural). These terms are interchangeable. For convenience sake you have committed a classic straw man fallacy. You are arguing semantics here and it really has nothing to do with translating the Bible.
10. Before the first new perversion was published in 1881 (the RV), the King James Bible was published, preached, and taught throughout the world. God blessed these efforts and hundreds of millions were saved. Today, with the many new translations on the market, very few are being saved. The great revivals are over. Who has gained the most from the new versions, God or Satan?
Your use of the word “perversion” shows your bias, but I will ignore that for now and ask, how do you know that very few are being saved? What a bold statement. I find it very hard to believe that you have the ability to know who is and who isn’t saved (or are you assuming that unless the KJV is used one can’t get saved?).
It’s a bit short sighted and closed minded to hand wave the many good things that have happened because of the newer, more modern translations and focus on the negative. Just because the great revivals are over (and I’m not sure they are) doesn’t mean that the modern translations are the cause.
Now let me ask you… if the KJV is the reason for the great revivals, why aren’t there still great revivals going on in churches that still use the KJV? Seems kind of strange to me that you would blame the lack of revivals on modern translations anyway given that there could be a thousand other reasons. Again, how do you know that the decline in revivals is due to the use of modern versions?
Lets say for argument’s sake that you are correct and revivals began to decline at the same time as the modern translations came on the scene. A first year philosophy student knows that correlation doesn’t equal causation. It could very well be that something else is to blame for a decline in revivals.
Ultimately, I could, again, ask you the same question. Given the damage that dogmatic and inflexible proponents of the KJV have done to Christians and non-believers, who has gained the most from the KJV, Satan or God?
I hope my answers to those questions are satisfactory, although I doubt they will be. I would love for Pastor Melton to read this and let me know if he is satisfied with my answers. It would be great to have a debate. I’m not getting my hopes up though.