Over the past couple of days, I have found myself involved in a number of discussions about the the Bible, specifically the King James Version. It would seem that there is a group of folks who believe that the King James Version is the only translation that can be used, that it is God's Word handed down from on high.
One thing about Christians is that we love to argue with each other. As a family, the family of God, we disagree all the time. As long as we agree on the major doctrinal issues, the other items are open for discussion. The problem arises when that arguing becomes dirty and the intent is no longer to debate, but instead to defame and destroy.
This, I believe, is where the King James Only crowd gets it wrong. They do a lot of things right. They honor God's Word, they believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and they believe that salvation comes through hearing the Word of God preached. But where they go off the rails is when they begin attacking the other translations, the individuals who worked on the translations, and the individuals who use the other versions. I have been called "worldly", had my salvation questioned, and have even been referred to as a "Bible perverter".
Please notice I have not made any assumptions or accusations about this group's beliefs. They are entitled to hold what beliefs they would like. I have no issue with the King James Version. I grew up using the KJV, it was the required translation in college, and my pastor at my church preaches and teaches from it. My problem arises when something that is clearly a preference becomes a measure of my spirituality and the attacks become personal. What we need to remember is that unsaved individuals are watching us and if our disagreements with each other continuous, why would they ever want to be a part of it?
Author's note: I do not want it to seem that all KJV Only folks are vicious and mean. I'm sure that the mean ones are probably a very miniscule part of the movement. I also want it to be known that folks who do not ascribe to the KJV Only stance can be just as caustic.