Exposing Error: King James Onlyism

A Response to a Brother in Christ: Dr. Morris’ “Defense” of the King James Bible Reviewed

by James White

The June, 1996 edition of Back to Genesis contains a short, 3-page article titled, Should Creationists Abandon the King James Version? The article, unfortunately, repeats the same erroneous arguments that KJV Only advocates have been putting forth for a number of years now. It is regrettable that Dr. Morris would lend his weight to these kinds of arguments. I was heartened, to some degree, a few years ago when Dr. Morris withdrew his endorsement of Gail Riplinger’s book, New Age Bible Versions, a work that has been rejected as utterly inaccurate and without merit by nearly every knowledgeable Bible scholar and minister that has reviewed it. When I spoke with Dr. Morris at that time, he repeated his preference for the KJV, but admitted that he had not read Mrs. Riplinger’s work well enough to realize what it really contained.

The arguments put forward by Dr. Morris are thoroughly examined and, in each case, refuted, in my full-length work, The King James Only Controversy (Bethany House, 1995). However, as the questions that are raised by Dr. Morris are common, I would like to comment on them in passing.

Dr. Morris, throughout the article, falls into the trap of making the KJV the “standard” by which all others are judged. The problem is, the KJV is not the standard, and cannot be the standard. Think about it for just a moment. Were there not translations before the KJV? Of course. Wycliffe, Tyndale, the Geneva Bible, the Bishops’ Bible, and so forth, all served the needs of English speaking Christians prior to 1611. So why not choose one of these as the “standard”?

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