I never thought I’d find myself writing a blog about the KJV. But, here I am. I suppose stranger things have happened. However, for me, this is unique. You see, I wasn’t always a KJV advocate. To me that was the last thing I would become. Nevertheless, I am here to say: I am a KJV advocate. Might as well get that out upfront.
Suffice-it-to-say, no other book on the face of the planet has had more influence than the KJV. It has impacted and shaped the course of countries and cultures in unimaginable ways. The world would not be the place it is (or, maybe I should say — was) without this, the greatest of all Bible translations.
Yes, it is the greatest of all Bible translations. I think we fail to comprehend that this Book has been around for over 400 years. That is AMAZING. This body of work has stood the test of time. It has undergone countless attacks. And yet, it keeps on hanging around. I’m suggesting God had His hand in this.
What was it that got me thinking about this issue again? It was my devotions this morning. I’ll explain.
I’m reading the book of Job. Chapter 10 verse 15 says: “I am full of confusion.” This unmasked statement by Job really struck me. Allow me to show you the path my thinking took this morning.
Because I’ve been programmed (for various reasons) to question the reliability of the KJV, my first thought was: Is “confusion” actually the correct word to have been used? Could Job be openly admitting for all the world to see, for generations to come, that he hit a point of absolute confusion in his life? Personally, I have no problem with accepting that but I needed some backing for my conclusion.
So, what did I do?
I got my iPad and opened up my Online Bible tool and started digging. Here’s what I found. The Hebrew word is used 17 times: shame 13, confusion 1, dishonor 1, ignominy 1, reproach 1. The first time the word is used is in our verse.
What are we to make of this? Were the KJV translators confused?
I dug some more.
Here’s what several modern translations use in the place of the word “confusion”: NKJV, disgrace; Young’s Literal, shame; American Standard, ignominy; New American Standard, disgrace (they changed it from the original ASV “ignominy” to “disgrace” — why?); English Standard, disgrace; Revised Standard, disgrace; Hebrew Name Version, disgrace; NET Bible, shame; New Living, shame; New International, shame; Bible in Basic English, shame; Holman Christian, shame; Darby, shame; Webster (understandably so) confusion.
Isn’t that interesting? None of them (except Webster) translate the Hebrew word as confusion. Is this … confusing?
Next, I went to the Textus Receptus Bibles site and used their parallel versions page. The beauty of this is it let’s you see how the translations prior to the KJV translated the Bible. Here’s what I found.
Wycliffe 1382, “turment” (I think: torment); Tyndall 1543 no translation of Job; Coverdale 1535, “confucion”; Matthew’s 1537, confusion; The Great Bible 1539, confusion; Geneva 1560, confusion; Bishop’s 1568, confusion.
So what’s going on?
It's apparent there is a conscience effort on the part of modern translations to steer clear of the KJV and to discredit it when possible. (This begins to unfold as you start looking into this issue in greater detail.) The pre-KJV translations agree concerning the use of "confusion" in this verse. However, the post-KJV translations avoid using “confusion” altogether.
I thought I’d do more looking. I consulted the Webster’s 1828 Online Edition. Here’s what it says:
1. In a general sense, a mixture of several things promiscuously; hence, disorder; irregularity; as the confusion of tongues at Babel.
2. Tumult; want of order in society.
The whole city was filled with confusion Acts 19:29.
God is not the author of confusion 1 Corinthians 14:33.
3. A blending or confounding; indistinct combination; opposed to distinctness or perspicuity; as a confusion of ideas.
4. Abashment; shame.
O Lord, let me never be put to confusion Psalms 71:1.
We lie in shame and our confusion covereth us. Jeremiah 3:25.
5. Astonishment; agitation; perturbation; distraction of mind.
CONFUSION dwelt in every face.
6. Overthrow; defeat; ruin.
The makers of idols shall go to confusion together. Isaiah 45:16.
7. A shameful blending of natures, a shocking crime. Leviticus 18:23, 20:12.
I also decided to check the Online Etymological Dictionary. Here’s what it says:
Confusion (n.) late 13c., "overthrow, ruin," from Old French confusion (11c.) "disorder, confusion, shame," from Latin confusionem (nominative confusio) "a mingling, mixing, blending; confusion, disorder," noun of action from confundere "to pour together," also "to confuse" (see confound). Sense of "a putting to shame" (a sort of mental "overthrow") is late 14c. in English, while that of "mental perplexity" is from 1590s.
This is so interesting.
You know what the problem is? We’re too lazy to actually find out what words mean in English. If we did, we’d find out the KJV translators knew precisely what they were doing and why they did it.
We’ve been programmed to think the KJV translators were not adequately equipped intellectually in languages or in the use of manuscripts. That’s not even remotely close to being true. They were geniuses. Please, do some research on these men.
I believe God knew exactly what direction the landscape of Bible translating would take. Is it just a coincidence that all Bible translations since the 1800’s use (for the NT) a different family of manuscripts than all translations up to the KJV? Were all the folks prior to the 1800’s using an inferior Bible from inferior manuscripts? Did God lose His Word only to be at the mercy of “scholars” to find it for us — now? Did all the martyrs die for a Bible that was full of “errors”?
We have to start asking some basic common sense questions. Here’s one you need to ask yourself. “Can I honestly affirm that the Bible I hold in my hand is the inspired Word of God?”
You cannot say that about ANY modern Bible translation. They all have undergone several revisions and updates. Which edition is correct? How will you decide? Will you go to the Nestle-Aland? What edition of that will you use?
Here’s what the Nestle-Aland website says: “It has been long awaited, the Nestle-Aland 28th edition will be available soon: indispensable for study and teaching!” (Is that a sentence?) How many more editions will it take for them to finally get it right?
Hopefully this will spark your interest to do your own research. I have looked into this issue for decades and this is where I stand …
I hold in my hands the King James Bible of which I say with conviction:
This is the inspired Word of God.