I once was talking with a man who claimed that he knew for certain that the Bible permitted slavery and supported racism (the superiority of one race over another). This man also told me that the King James Version of the Bible was the only true version.
I told him that I could show him in the Bible (in the King James Version Bible) - in clear words - that neither of his ideas was correct. At this, he refused to look at the Bible with me and exclaimed..."Well, you're just a slick talker and besides...you might show me something that I don't want to see!"
Let me assure you, I am not a "slick talker," but I indeed may show you something that you do not want to see, if you are absolutely convinced that the King James Version is the ONLY and TRUE version of the Bible.
I will begin by saying that I think the KJV is a beautiful and useful translation of the Holy Scriptures. I read it, and use it often in my study. I quote from it regularly and will occassionaly preach from it. However, I do not hold to the misinformed teaching that this "translation" is perfect and the ONLY true translation to be used by a Christian. Following are just three of the several factual reasons why I cannot and do not hold this position.
Have you ever heard someone say, "If you don't say Holy GHOST, you are misusing the scripture?" They will often say that to use the more "modern" words Holy Spirit is incorrect and that one should use the phrase "Holy Ghost" because that is the "correct" King James Version usage. They will then proclaim that any of the "modern" translations that use Holy Spirit are "corrupt" and/or "new age."
Here is the problem. The KJV is the only version that uses the terminology "Holy Ghost." Unbeknownst to many KJV "only" folks, the words "Holy Ghost" are not found even one time in the Old Testament in the King James Version. What words ARE found there? Holy Spirit. The phrase - (Holy Spirit) is found three times in the Old Testament (KJV) and interestingly enough ...the phrase - Holy Spirit - is even used FOUR times in the KJV New Testament!
In both the Old and New Testaments the KJV sometimes capitalizes spirit and/or holy and sometimes not. In Psalm 51:11, (KJV) David prays "Take not thy holy spirit from me."
The Old Testament word for spirit is RUACH - the KJV translators translate it correctly as "spirit." Never do they translate RUACH as "ghost." The Hebrew word for "expire" or "to die" is often translated in the KJV in the Old English manner of saying "he gave up the ghost." Again, not the correct Hebrew expression or even the modern English expression.
In the New Testament, the Greek word for spirit, breath or air is PNUEMA...sometimes the KJV translators rendered it as Ghost (scores of times) and sometimes they rendered it as Spirit (4 times) ... the very same word and the very same context. Here is the odd thing...the Greek word for ghost is a completely seperate and unique word...FANTASMA.
Three times, once each in Matthew, Mark and Luke when the account of Jesus walking on the water is given...the disciples exclaimed that they thought it was a ghost. The Greek text uses the word FANTASMA in each of these accounts. The KJV renders this word...SPIRIT! Unbelievable...the one time they had the opportunity to translate the Greek word for ghost as ghost - they translated it as "spirit." And to make matters worse, the many times they should have translated PNUEMA as spirit - they translated it as GHOST...but even then, not all the time!
So why the obvious and factual discrepencies? Why the OBVIOUS MISTAKES in proper language translation? No one really knows for certain. All translations have "problems" and nuances...the KJV is certainly not without its own set of problems.
Another obvious "mistake" made by the KJV translators occurs in Acts 12:4. The word "Easter" is used. In New Testament times, there was no holiday called Easter. Easter is a pagan word coming from the celebration of the rites of Ishtar - the pagan God of fertility...thus the bunnies and eggs. The Greek word - incorrectly translated as Easter by the KJV is PASHCA or "Passover." Twenty nine times the word PASHCA is found in the Greek text of the New Testament. Twenty eight times the KJV translators got it right - one time they missed it - and they missed it badly. Not only did they badly mistranslate the word but also they put a word in Luke's mouth that would not have even been in use in the New Testament times. Why the discrepency here? Again, no one knows for certain.
Additionally, the KJV contains several words that are considered quite vulgar in our common usage today, such as; piss, pisseth, whore, bastard, ass and damned. None of these words are found in the original Hebrew or Greek texts as we use them now. But, these words were quite commonly used in the 1600's in Britain and Europe where the KJV found its original audiences.
I find it interesting that many KJV preachers spend quite some time "explaining" or "re-interpreting" these words in the KJV text when they are preaching,(and they call this "reinterpreting" of words..."preaching") yet when a newer and more accurate translation of God's Word (like the New King James version) does the very same thing so that today's preacher does not have to deal with these embarrassing (and mistranslated) words...that preacher is condemned by the KJV preacher for not using the "perfect" KJV translation.
There are several more examples, just as prominent and just as factual as the three above. I have purposely kept this expose as short and succint as possible. Suffice it to say, the KJV is a beautiful translation that has served us well and continues to do so. However, to say it is a "perfect" translation and the ONLY TRUE translation of the Holy Scriptures is just not honest or correct.
If one prefers to use the KJV, I certainly have no problem with that. I would consider it, overall, to be a very scholarly translation. But please don't tell me or another brother in Jesus that if the KJV is not used that somehow that person is wrong , or even worse...lost and going to hell.