Which King James Bible? A Double Standard

It goes without saying that KJV Onlyists make a big deal about differences–any differences– between the KJV and modern versions. I’ve heard some stress that changes even in word order (as in Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ) and spelling (every jot and tittle, remember) are equally important. In many KJV Only materials, the presence or absence of Lord in Jesus’ title (Lord Jesus Christ) is called out as a doctrinal deficiency in the modern versions. Whenever “God” is removed (it depends how you look at it whether it was removed or added in by the KJV), important contextual clues like “my” or “their”, and even when words are have a different number, red flags fly and our suspicions are to rise regarding the doctrinal position of the translators or the editors of the text.

So when it comes to the King James Only position, David Cloud sums things up well when he asserts:

In the N.T. alone there are almost 10,000 word differences between the Textus Receptus and the Westcott-Hort text… It is true that many of these changes are not as significant as others–but ALL ARE real differences. More than 2,800 of the words in the Received Text are omitted in the W-H text underlying the modern versions….  — David Cloud, For Love of the Bible: The Battle for the King James Version and the Received Text from 1800 to Present (WoL 1995), pg. 57.

While they do set up the KJV as the standard by which everything else is judged (which begs the question), I can understand their point.  Differences matter, even small ones.  But when we come to the different editions of the Textus Receptus and the differences between King James Bibles in common use today, the KJV Only tune changes.  Almost in total, KJV Onlyists downplay the differences between the King James Bibles.  They try to pretend they aren’t signifcant differences even as they elevate every minor difference between the KJV and modern versions.

Isn’t this a double standard?  I’m not saying the differences between the KJV editions are as many or as big a deal as the difference between the KJV and modern versions.  But it is an important point for KJV Onlyists to answer.  If small differences are enough to condemn modern versions, think NKJV here too; then small differences of word order and even to God’s name exist within the various KJV editions.  Why is it okay that King James Bibles differ among themselves, but not okay that modern versions differn from King James Bibles?

Consider what some leading KJV Only advocates say about the various editions of the KJV: Continue reading

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