Tuesday, September 20, 2011

KJV Only vs. only KJV

How does someone who only uses the KJV differ from a ‘KJV Onlyist?’  It's seems to be a derogatory term used to put someone down.

While I personally only use the KJ translation, I do not consider myself a "KVJ Onlyist.”   I've had two brief encounters with the issue and found that it is a real hot topic that blows their emotions up beyond reasoning.  I’d be very interested in your thoughts regarding the “KJV Only” crowd. 

First of all, like a lot of things when talking about the bible with someone else, there is a lot of emotion involved when it comes to their personal choices like what church they go to, and what doctrine they believe. The same is true also when it comes to the issue of which bible someone uses!

But getting emotional about the bible you use, in and of itself, is not a problem; as God does desire for people to be passionate about His Word.

Job 23:12
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Deuteronomy 8:3
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Psalm 42:1
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

And the way that we get to know God is through His Word!

So the fact that a person might get emotional (if it is out of a passion for God's Word) is not wrong. But the problem comes when your emotions about which bible version one uses clouds one's judgment about whether or not that particular version is right or not. In that particular case then, emotions are not well pleasing unto God!

And when it comes to this issue of King James Version versus all the other so-called English versions, this issue of emotion usually gets in the way of making the rational/logical choice—one which is based not upon how emotional you are about your particular version, but whether or not that particular version you use (and are emotional about) is right!


But for now, to deal directly with your initial question...

Simply put, the main difference between someone who "only uses the KJV," and someone who is a "KJV Onlyist" is their attitude when it comes to giving others the grace and freedom to come to their own conclusions in time when it comes to the bible version issue!

The person who is a KJV Onlyist does not subscribe to what our Apostle Paul wrote…

1 Corinthians 8:1b
…Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

2 Corinthians 1:24
Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

2 Timothy 2:24-26
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance [a change of thinking] to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

In these verses, our Apostle makes it abundantly clear that those of us who "know" about this issue, must seek to "edify" others about it as well. But that edification is not done with haughtiness, nor with unkindness, but with “charity,” the goal being of "helping" others understand God's Word, so that they may stand by faith!

The KJV Onlyist seeks to "have dominion" over other peoples' faith when it comes to this issue (which bible version to use is a heart/faith issue, aka a personal decision); that is, they seek to "control" them by forcing them to use it—or else! Instead of being gentle and patiently, in the spirit of meekness (defined by our Apostle in Galatians 6:1-2 as "considering thyself lest ye also be tempted;" that is, but by the Grace of God, you could be—and were—in the same boat) as they explain this issue to others.

And yes, those who do not use the KJV "oppose themselves" and are in Satan's "snare," but the way to help them out is not by beating them over the head with the KJV, but to sit down with them and "reason" with them about the topic from the scriptures by showing how God's Word must be perfect or it is not His Word. And, that all other versions have errors in them, thus making them not His Word at all!

But even when sharing this with them, we must give them the freedom to make the choice to decide to use it or not in their own time!

The person who only uses the KJV (like me), will both study it, teach from it, proclaim it, stand strong for it, tout it, recommend it, and be ready to give an explanation to others of why it is not only just the best English version, but that it is the only English version of the bible without error (I'll explain more at the end).

This attitude of Grace and patience and long-suffering towards others (the exact same attitude God Himself has towards others when dealing with this issue) is lacking among the "KJV Onlyist," at least in my experience over the years with them. The KJV Only crowd will not only attempt to do all the things that I explained before that those people who "only use the KJV" do (i.e., study it, teach it, defend it, etc.), but they will condemn (usually with much un-Christ-like vitriol and unkindness) anyone else who does not use the same!

The KJV Onlyist would answer the following question that I get occasionally, a lot different than I do:

Questioner:  Pastor Ron, is your church a KJV Only church?

KJV Onlyist’s response:
You bet it is! And EVERY church should be and better be or they are condemned of Almighty God! Don’t even think of walking into this place with ANY other so-called version! If we even SEE anyone with any other version….out the door they go if they don’t agree to put that one away and start using the KJV!

(Also, any good KJV Onlyist worth his salt would also blast the questioner for calling him “Pastor” and not the KJV word for the teaching elder: “Bishop”!

Again, the attitude of the KJV Onlyist towards other people is what separates them from one who “only uses the KJV.” Both of us stand for and defend the KJV, but there is a huge difference in the attitudes (and sometimes actions).

My response would and has been:
Yes and No. Although I as the Bishop of this particular local Grace Assembly choose to both study out of and preach/teach out of the KJV only—and the leadership of this local Body of believers has decided that whoever is preaching/teaching from this pulpit will in fact do it only from a KJV—as far as those who attend the Assembly, they are free to use whichever version of the bible that they want!

I then go on to explain that my own personal conviction about the KJV was formed many years ago as I studied out this most important issues of the inspiration and preservation of God's Word from the scriptures. I have come to my own conclusion and conviction after much diligent study of the topic, that for me, the KJV is the only translation that is the true word of God—but, each individual must come to that conclusion on their own!

If they wished, I would sit down and help wade through all the particulars and showing how and why I have come to this conclusion.  But it is and would be wrong for me to force my conviction about anything upon another person!

The same holds true with our pulpit. The leaders have decided that whosoever preaches/teaches here at our Assembly, will do it from a KJV only! Again, that is because among these leaders, they too have come to a conviction that the KJV is the only one without error for you and I who speak English.

But with that said, if someone comes to visit our church, or even if someone is a "regular" but still chooses to use another version, then that is their freewill choice! I will share my convictions about the KJV both from the pulpit and in private conversations with them, and I will let them know that it would be more beneficial and edifying to them to follow along with my teaching if we are using the same version, but that is up to them to decide. But they are free to use whatever version they choose to and still fellowship with us as long as they want. Really, in my view, it's their loss (as they “oppose themselves”) if they do use any other version, but they are given that freedom from God, to choose for themselves, nonetheless.

So hopefully this helps dear sister. I have also included a little information from a real life question that I got on the bible version issue, as well as some of my other thoughts down below for you to peruse.


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