Why Do I Use the King James Bible ONLY?
n his essay Texual Criticism, Dr. Thomas Cassidy writes: “The Traditional text of the New Testament has existed from the time of Christ right down to the present. It has had many different names down through the years, such as Byzantine Text, Eastern Text, Received Text, Textus Receptus, Majority Text, and others. Although no complete Bible manuscripts have survived which would allow us to date the Traditional text to the first century, there is a strong witness to the early existence and use of the Traditional text by the early church in its lectionaries.”
Please hear me friend. There are scores of Bible versions available to English speaking people today which are in actuality good translations from the wrong manuscripts. While good men will probably always differ on the issue of Bible translations, we don’t believe this is an issue worth breaking fellowship over.
So what are manuscripts and why are they of such great importance when se-lecting a translation of the Bible to trust and study? A manuscript is a hand-copied document which was the method employed for writing and duplicating existing literature prior to the invention of the printing press in 1440 AD. There are exactly 5,309 existing manuscripts of the Scriptures. Some of them contain a large portion of scripture, while others are fragments. There are two distinct families of Greek texts from which all New Testament Bible translations are derived. Discernment is necessary in selecting which of them you will subscribe to.
Dr. Sam Gipp writes: “The two Bibles, in manuscript form, and their corre-sponding ideologies originate in two vastly different locations in the Mid East. Alexandria, Egypt and Antioch, Syria. Discerning which location gives us the perfect Bible and the correct ideology and which gave us the devil’s bible and incorrect ideology is one of the easiest tasks imaginable.”
The Minority Texts from Alexandria
The first family we’ll discuss is called the “Minority Texts” because a small mi-nority of less than 5% actually agree together. These include the Alexandrian Codex, Parisian Codex, Codex Bezae, Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Sinaiticus. Strangely, when Westcott and Hort- more on them in a moment- wrote their Greek New Testament, they relied heavily on the Roman Vaticanus and Sinait-icus even though these two codices contradict each other over 3,000 times in the gospels alone.
The Origen/Alexandrian Corruption
The Bible warns us about those who would corrupt the word of God (2nd Cor. 2:17) and handle it deceitfully (2nd Cor. 4:2). Origen, a well known “apologist” fits this perfectly. Like religious liberals and theistic evolutionists, Origen was constrained to harmonize Christianity with pagan philosophy, especially that of Platonism, Stoicism, and Gnosticism. While he claimed a high regard for the Scriptures, He denied its inerrancy and historical accuracy (which has been gleefully adopted by atheists and liberals), the physical resurrection of Christ (adopted by JWs and Mormons), and the equality of the Father and the Son (adopted by many cults including Armstrongism, JWs and Mormons). He be-lieved in universalism and the pre-existence of the soul (also adopted by Mor-mons). According to scores of trusted sources, Origen was largely instrumental in editing the so-called “Alexandrian” texts of the New Testament which of ne-cessity carry his deplorable and divergent doctrinal proclivities clearly evidenced by the many word and passage omissions throughout the new versions which have been ultimately based upon his final edits. Benjamin Wilkinson summarizes this perfectly in his book Truth Triumphant: The Church in the Wilderness: “Origen, of the Alexandrian college, made his editions and com-mentaries of the Bible a secure retreat for all errors, and deformed them with philosophical speculations introducing casuistry and lying.” And while all of this is sadly true about Origen, his real claim to fame may be in the legacy he left that was later used as the basis of every modern Bible translation in America since the mid 19th Century.
The Westcott and Hort Heresies
While Origen, intertwined in paganism, was arguably deceptive, Westcott and Hort- who some allege held occult ties- were demonstrably diabolical. Moreo-ver, their theological inklings were so far out of the mainstream of orthodoxy, they even surpassed that of Origen; according to the Lord Jesus, surefire recipe for a wicked work:
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matt 7:18).
I believe when examined closely, the Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament proves this by virtue of the manuscript family they chose to draw from: the Al-exandrian Minority Texts with Origen’s editorial slicing and slathering. Since both men loathed the Textus Receptus, labeling it “perverse, corrupt; vile and villainous” they never once consulted it even though 95% of manuscripts were in full agreement with it (more in a moment). Sadly, this shameful sham completed in 1881 not only continues to serve as the underlying basis for every Bible translation since then, but also as the seeming unassailable proof cited by all those attempting to impugn the King James Bible with the following phrase, or one similar: “the oldest and most reliable manuscripts render this . . .”
The Majority Texts from Antioch
The second family- the family we trust authoritatively- is called the “Majority Texts” because the vast majority (about 95%) agree. These manuscripts were compiled by various editors such as Lucian (AD 250-312), Stephanus , Beza, the Elzevir brothers, and Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). Erasmus was one of the greatest Bible scholars the world has ever known. In 1516 he assembled, edited, and printed the Textus Receptus which was the first edition of Greek New Testament and thus became the framework for many Bibles following including the 47 scholars that translated the King James Bible in 1611.
The Wide Acceptance and Use of the Majority Texts (Textus Receptus)
Admirers of Westcott and Hort’s are loathe to admit the superiority of the Ma-jority Texts. But the fact is ancient Versions, which could have gone Alexandri-an, followed the reading of the Majority Texts instead. These versions include: The Peshitta Version (AD 150), The Italic Bible (AD 157), The Waldensian (AD 120 & onwards), The Gallic Bible (Southern France) (AD177), The Gothic Bible (AD 330-350), The Old Syriac Bible (AD 400), The Armenian Bible (AD 400 There are 1244 copies of this version still in existence.), The Palestinian Syriac (AD 450), The French Bible of Oliveton (AD 1535), The Czech Bible (AD 1602), The Italian Bible of Diodati (AD 1606), The Greek Orthodox Bible (Used from Apostolic times to the present day by the Greek Orthodox Church). [Bible Ver-sions, D.B. Loughran]. So also have all English Bibles since Tyndale’s first New Testament (1526). These include Miles Coverdale’s Bible (1535), Matthew’s Bible (1500-1555), The Great Bible (1539), The Geneva Version (1560), The Bishops’ Bible (1568), and the King James Version (1611). [STORY OF OUR ENGLISH BIBLE, by W. Scott]
The reason the early church fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries and all the Protestant Reformers of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries chose the Textus Receptus in preference to the Minority Texts is because:
• Textus Receptus is based on the vast majority (over 95%) of the 5,309 Greek manuscripts in existence. That is why it is also called the Majority Text.
• Textus Receptus is not distorted by deletions, additions and amend-ments, as is the Minority Text.
• Textus Receptus agrees with the earliest versions of the Bible: Peshit-ta (AD150) Old Latin Vulgate (AD157), the Italic Bible (AD157) etc. These Bibles were produced some 200 years before the Minority Texts (like Vatican and Sinai) favored by the Roman Catholic Church.
• Textus Receptus agrees with the vast majority of the 86,000+ cita-tions from Scripture by the early church fathers.
• Textus Receptus is untainted with Egyptian philosophy and unbelief.
• Textus Receptus strongly upholds the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith: the creation account in Genesis, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, the Saviour’s miracles, His bodily resurrection, His literal return, and the cleansing power of His precious blood!
• Textus Receptus was (and still is) the enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. This is an important fact to bear in mind. Would God Hide His Word behind a wall or in a waste basket?
Final Thoughts About the Manuscripts
The original autographs are without question the authoritative, inspired Scrip-tures. The question you need to answer before devoting your life to studying the Bible is which manuscript family do you trust? With 5309 manuscripts extant, the choice seems clear: on one side you have 97% of them that don’t agree and on the other side you have 95% that do agree.
To answer the questions in a single sentence, I use the King James Bible exclusively because of its Antiochan Manuscript Authority!
Personally, after weighing the evidence of manuscript authority, I think the choice of which Bible to devote my life to studying is crystal clear. That’s why the PMI Center stands without apology in defense of the authority of the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures and wholeheartedly recommend it to all who desire to become serious students of the Word of God.