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King James Onlyism?

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A lot of Fundamentalist Protestants in the United States hold to this doctrine, particularly Baptists but I guess also some Seventh-day Adventists as well. What exactly is the origin of this peculiar belief that a particular English translation of the Bible is not just the best, but literally the only translation that should be used?
 

hecma925

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It's in the language Jesus used.
 

Stinky

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I heard people favored it because it didn't have a copywrite. But who knows. I love it. It was what I used to read first so it's how God talks.
 

Alpo2

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Many tight-knit religious communities tend to dogmatize their small-t traditions when society around them starts to change. They probably have another rationale for it too but mostly it's just a way to keep the community together and to control who's inside and and who's outside. Think of Hasidic Orthodox Jews and funny furry hats.
 

David Young

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I asked an American 'Bible Baptist' friend why he believed in the AV/KJV/1611 only, and he said he couldn't remember! However, I think I know the answer, and although I don't hold that view, once you understand it it doesn't seem as daft as it otherwise might. As I understand it, the belief is that God providentially preserved the true text of scripture until the invention of printing, that is, at about the same time as the Muslim conquest of Byzantium. At the fall of Byzantium, Christian scholars fled West, bringing the true text (providentially preserved, remember). It thus became the basis of the only English version based on it.

There are other versions based on it, but they do contain footnotes which give the alternative readings, which seems to me to negate the point of the exercise.

By basing the English Bible on the textus receptus, the errors of translation (as in the Vulgate) and deletions (as in the Alexandrine texts) were avoided.

The other matter is the principle of translation: do we use verbal or dynamic equivalence? If the scripture was inerrantly inspired and written down, word for word, in the original, we should stick as closely as possible tom those words when translating; if it was the meaning (not the individual words) that was inspired, we should use 'dynamic equivalence'. So you have four possibilities: dynamic equivalence+textus recepus; dynamic equivalence+Alexandrine; verbatim+textus receptus; verbatim+Alexandrine.

The American Baptists you mention - and other Christians on both side of the Atlantic - opt for verbatim+textus receptus, on the belief that the best text was divinely preserved, and the scriptures were verbally inspired.

Personally I have been using the RSV (or more lately the ESV), but I understand my AV-only friends, and am happy to preach from the 1611 Bible if I am in a church which follows that belief.
 
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