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The Error of ‘King James Only’

September 30th, 2016 | 18 Comments | Posted in Developing Discernment, Miscellaneous
Dr. Daniel B. Wallace

Dr. Daniel B. Wallace

I often receive comments on my blog written by people claiming that the King James Bible is the only translation people should read and that all other translations are untrustworthy. I disagree with this view strongly. It’s not only mistaken; it has caused much harm and division in the church and, thus, should be soundly denounced.

Notice that I’m not saying the King James Bible is a bad translation. I’m saying that it’s not the best translation and it certainly isn’t the only divinely authorized translation, as some so strongly assert.

Below I’ve linked to an article written by Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary–one of the world’s foremost authorities on textual criticism. He provides a powerful refutation of the King James Only position. Read this article and share it with your friends.

Why I Do Not Think the King James Bible is the Best Translation Available Today by Daniel B. Wallace


Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

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18 Responses to “The Error of ‘King James Only’”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for addressing this. While I appreciate KJV Onlyer’s zeal for truth, it’s just not an accurate or profitable belief. The original, breathed out text is most certainly pure (Proverbs 30:5). Translations can fall short, though overwhelmingly most decent modern translations (ESV, NASB, NIV 1984, etc) are mostly accurate with a poorly rendered verse here or there.

    I was KJV until I reached the Book of Galatians and encountered all the archaic 17th century vocabulary. That’s when I realized the best Bible translation is an accurate one that you can understand.

  2. Jeff Says:

    On second though, isn’t the Dallas Theological seminary quite liberal in their doctrine these days? While I agree with the sentiment, I cannot say I agree with the man or the institution.

  3. Holly Says:


    I’m not sure what you heard about Dallas Theological Seminary. I know it to be theologically conservative.


  4. Kevin Mason Says:

    I once made the mistake of getting into an on-line discussion with a group that claimed the “King James only” belief. I learned that some were zealots for their micro-cause, and any questioning of their rigid beliefs was evidence that the questioners were reprobates. My questions about translations into other languages went unanswered. Their minds were made up and no amount of facts would alter their beliefs.

  5. Chuck Says:

    I have to agree with Jeff. Dallas Theological Seminary is not an institution one should turn to for trustworthy theological reference. Nor should you point anyone else to DTS or affirm it as a conservative institution. There may a couple of decent professors there but the seminary as a whole has become quite liberal. Even in its heyday, the school dogmatically held to an erroneous dispensational eschatology that pervade and distorts proper bible interpretation. Additionally, the bedrock theology of DTS is that of Lewis Sperry Chafer and Charles Ryrie, both of which have serious problems. Famous DTS alumni include Jack Deere, Tony Evans, Priscilla Schirer, Hal Lindsey, Bruce Wilkinson, and Andy Stanley. Look at that list for crying out loud! These people are adherent and promoters of the mystical errors that are flushing the American church down the drain. Well, except for Andy Stanley, he is just a bible denying heretic. Dallas Theological is firmly entrenched in the emergent camp and is a proponent of the “spiritual formation” movement that is so riddled with liberalism. Please Holly, I hope you can re-evaluate DTS lest find yourself in a spirit of error.

  6. Holly Says:


    You’ve made multiple missteps in your reasoning, including employing the logical fallacy known as “guilt by association.”

  7. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for chiming in, Holly. I’m really not that familiar with DTS, so I should not have been so presumptive. I appreciate your input.

  8. Scott Says:

    As someone who has studied this extensively, upon reading this article it is apparent the objections that are levelled at the KJV are a little dishonest.

    The points made are easily addressed by many kjv only proponents. It isn’t the strongest argument I have seen.

    i managed to find respectable and detailed answers to all this apparent problems on kjvtoday.com

    For example, the apparent 100,000 changes to the text of the KJV in later three editions, these were due to changing the text font itself, never was the translation changed. It was where in the old scripts, which we can see in facsimiles, had what looks like an f which was a strange s, and v and u etc.

    It would seem all the apparent criticisms are really moot points.

    i am not a KJV Only’ist.

  9. Donald Bate Says:

    People who insist that the King James Bible (or any other English translation for that matter) is the “best” seem to be blind to the obvious: that most of the world’s inhabitants do not speak English!

  10. Dr.Genti Says:

    You also are employing the logical fallacy known as “guilt by association.” when saying: Below I’ve linked to an article written by Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary–one of the world’s foremost authorities on textual criticism. He provides a powerful refutation of the King James Only position. Read this article and share it with your friends.

  11. Holly Says:

    Dr. Genti, how is what I said guilt by association? I’m not seeing it.

  12. Dr.Genti Says:

    “You are judged by the company you keep, so you can be viewed as guilty because of your association with wrongdoers.”  So, in this case you promoting and speaking highly of D.Wallace, when saying: one of the world’s foremost authorities on textual criticism. (Actually WALLACE IS AN IGNORANT AS he does not teach but parrots).
    The other is that you are in company with someone like Wallace who in ignorance or purposefully attacks the KJB which is the real word of God historically and theologically, thus leading many astray.


  13. Holly Says:

    Dr. Genti, I’m afraid you don’t understand what the logical fallacy of “guilt by association” is.

  14. Paul Worden Says:

    2Tm:3:5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
      this includes those……..
    2Tm:3:7: Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    (In all honesty, I am pretty much a KJV only.  That is a personal choice honed from 60 plus years of the KJV being sufficient unto all my needs. I view modern “word for word” translations as Bibles and ok, even if they seem watered down to me.  I view modern “thought for thought” translations (NIV) ….as just books. 


  15. kit Says:

    Hi Holly, thought I would add my 5 cents worth ..lol.

    1: I do read and translate Koine Greek. This means I can offer a valid opinion on translations. Book titles such as; “NIV, translation from hell” & “Newage bible versions” etc, and the like are written by ignoramuses who have no recognised biblical language skills and make complete fools of themselves, displaying their ignorance before the world when they write such rubbish. To be able to compare and comment on translations it’s imperative to be able to read the original language; Heb/Greek as well as have some learning of textual criticism.

    2: Dr Genti uses the standard paradigm of those who are biblically illiterate. “If you can’t destroy the message, destroy the messenger. You have no right to make “personal” judgements

    3: Really, what is the best translation?? It is the one that a person can understand and put into practise with the result that they become more and more Christlike – after all, isn’t that the aim of reading the bible?

    Note: Dear Dr. Genti, you need to read: Matt 7:1
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” I remember Jesus being accused of eating and drinking with sinners! You may want to book an appointment with your psychologist as you appear to be suffering from ‘cognitive dissonance.’ Bless you

    An excellent commentary here: https://www.moriel.org/sermons-in-english/5893-bible-versions.html

  16. Bryan Says:

    I choose the KJV because it has been consistently easy for me to read and understand. There are so many commentaries available for this version that it also makes it easier to get mulitple views. I won’t say it’s breathed by God as holy words, but I think at the time of its translation it was very well constructed from the existing texts. Newer versions have not been consistent and have been sometimes confusing when not capitalizing certain words or leaving out words. Usually it takes me longer to research the verses in newer versions. Plus the poetic structure is actually really nice to listen to. I understand others don’t feel that way or take that view but, I think they would eventually learn to appreciate it if they read as a side-by-side comparison.

  17. Edward Palamar Says:

    The KJV follows suit with the Coverdale Bible error of moving the word “vile” from Daniel 11:20 to Daniel 11:21.

  18. Ron Says:

    I’ve used the KJV for over 30 years, and the NKJV starting about seven years ago. Within the past year I have come to appreciate the ESV bible as well. My point is that hopefully every serious student of the Bible will continue to grow and learn by using the version best suited to their particular learning needs. Personally, I will always be partial to the KJV because that is what I started out with and I love the language. That does not mean however that it is the best study text available.

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