Arminian Today

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KJV Onlyism and Redefining As You Go

I was listening to a KJV-Only preacher this morning (whom I enjoy by the way) and he was reading from the KJV in Acts 5:13 where we read:

And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

He read this and stopped and pointed to the word “durst” and he said, “Without removing this word from our King James Bible, can I replace it with the word ‘dared'” to which the crowd agreed.

The NASB translates this verse as:

But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.

This is just what the KJV-Only preacher translated it as.  I found it ironic that this man did this.  If the KJV is truly the Word of God and if it is the inerrant Word of God, why should we mess with the Word of God?  We should use “durst” since the KJV uses that word.  We should not change its meaning.  We should abide by what it says.

The KJV-Only supporter will cry, “But we don’t use the word durst today so this man was correct to do this.  He didn’t change the Word of God, he just translated the word differently here.”

Agreed.  But why seek then to point out “errors” in the modern translations (all of them) if in fact they are simply seeking to do the same thing as the KJV translators did.  Like William Tyndale before them, the KJV translators wanted the Word of God to be in the language of the common people.  The common language of the 1611 KJV is no longer with us.

In fact, the 1611 reads this way:

And of the rest durst no man ioyne himselfe to them: But the people magnified them.

The KJV we have today is not the “original 1611.”  We would struggle indeed to read it.

The essence of Bible translating is not easy.  I believe the KJV translators did a good job with the Greek texts that they had.  The duty of the faithful Bible translator should be to be essentially literal as possible.  Modern translations such as the NKJV, the NASB, the NET, the HCSB, and the ESV seek to do just that.  They are not perfect translations but they are faithful as best they can be as were the KJV translators.

Some prefer the KJV and this post is not aimed at you.  My point is simply to point out the inconsistency of the KJV-only position.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/23/2013 at 12:09 PM

2 Responses

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  1. SD – With the KJV being the only translation makes me wonder how one can “accurately” relays God’s Word in other languages. For example, “durst” is translated in Spanish with the infinitive “atrever” making this verse in Spanish “Ninguno del los otros se atrevia…” Atrever means “to dare.”

    So, how can one have an accurate translation into another language when durst must be translated into “dare” to be able to translate into another language?

    To me, KJV-onlyism sounds ethnocentric and prohibits the gospel to be relayed “accurately” to those who don’t understand Elizabethan English. It smacks of elitism.


    06/23/2013 at 1:40 PM

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