Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Decker Perpetuates Myths about the KJV

In a disappointing article published in the latest edition of the GARBC Baptist Bulletin, NIV loyalist Rodney Decker perpetuates two false claims about the KJV that have often appeared in articles promoting new Bible versions.

He claims that the KJV was "bitterly opposed" by the Pilgrim Fathers. It is true that the Pilgrims continued to use the Geneva Bible, like most English-speaking Protestants and Non-Conformists of their generation; but a copy of the recently-published King James Bible was brought over on the Mayflower, and there is no historical basis for the claim that they were "bitterly opposed" to it. In fact there was no great opposition to the KJV from any quarter when it appeared, and its superiority to the Geneva Bible was soon recognized by all. The idea that the KJV was blasted by critics and rejected by die-hard Geneva Bible users is just a myth.

Another misleading claim made by Decker is that "The KJV was updated a half dozen times in its first two centuries." This claim is often made by those who are defending frequent revisions of Bible versions, as if the KJV had undergone the same kind of revisions. But there were in fact no "updates" to the KJV which can be compared to the revisions made in the NIV and other modern versions in the past few years. The spelling was thoroughly updated, there were additions to the marginal notes, and a few other trivial changes were made, but no substantial changes were made in the version. For more information on this see my article Changes in the King James Version.

1 comment:

Mr. G said...

Michael,
Thanks for posting this, demonstrating (from a non-KJVOnly position) common false statements regarding the Puritans' opposition to and revisions of the King James Bible. While I understand the reasons behind these statements (by some people anyway), the fact that they are skewing facts (against the standard "things that are different are not the same") and, as you said, perpetuating myths does not garner credibility, but does much the opposite, especially when combating King James Onlyism.
Thanks