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King James Version


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I grew up in a church that was strictly KJV. The pastors all used a KJV, and anyone in a leadership position better use a KJV if they were teaching. Any Bible after the KJV was said to be incomplete and would invariably damn you to Hell if you used ito to determine salvation. I never understood this mindset once I was old enough to learn that the Bible was not handed in one piece, or even kept together in one peice, but was assembled through by teams of scholars, and used to be considered heretical.

 

Any ideas for why people cling to the KJV? Are the modern translations easier to understand? The language of the KVJ lends itself to misunderstandings. My preachers all said that there are some verses we're not MEANT to understand. (Why the hell did God give them, then?) However, if people can understand the text, then perhaps they can come up with their own ideas about what it says, much like publishing a Bible in the vernacular during the Renaissance triggered the reformation.

 

Of course, saying people want to use the KJV to purposly mislead followers is a bit cynical, but the question is still there.

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I don't know why people cling to it, seeing as it is the most inaccurate translation in existence. It's probably easier to keep people believing if they're not sure what's being said, so the leadership keeps them reading the KJV. It could also just be nostalgia since it was the first English translation.

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They follow the KJV because the new translations translate many things differently, but also because many new transcripts have been found since the KJV was written.

 

Many of them proving inconsistancies in the bible. Such as the section added to the end of Mark, or the story of the woman caught in adultury in John. The new transcripts show that these sections were not put thier by the original authors, but added by someone else later. It calles into question biblical authority, therefor the KJV readers claim these new transcirpts were put there by satan to lead us a astray....or more often just ignore them all together.

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The language of the KVJ lends itself to misunderstandings. My preachers all said that there are some verses we're not MEANT to understand. (Why the hell did God give them, then?)

 

How stupid do these pastors have to be to say things like that? Don't they understand that in 1611 their precious, mysterious KJV was in THE LANGUAGE OF THE COMMON MAN? Everyone who read it would understand it perfectly! Language evolves too, idiots! Take a look at the English language in another 500 years and see! Can you imagine? It would be such a hodgepodge of so many other languages that we wouldn't be able to understand it!

 

This whole KJV Only thing was one of the things that brought me to the end of the line with Christianity. When I was a fundy, I was on AOL and my screenname was NotKJVOnly. I fought tooth and nail with the KJV Only crowd and those arguments led me down the path to rational thought. Why the hell were we arguing over what translation of "God's perfect word" we used? If God was so perfect, couldn't he keep his word perfect despite the translation? It's not as if there is some conspiracy among Christians to turn others away from the path of righteousness (of course the KJV'ers believe there is). This in turn led to questioning creation, the need for salvation, and ultimately God himself.

 

Now that I think about it, this little "anti-testimony" of mine is a KJV'er's wet dream! "SEE!!! HE DENIED THE KJV AND BECAME AN APOSTATE!!!"

 

:lmao:

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It's like any tradition that is embraced as sacred without questioning it. Beliving it and defending it are not based on reason and are purely emotional and irrational. I think it raises a good illustration to Christians for them to look at, how hard it is for believers to let go of bad ideas and what heights of illogic faith will drive them to to defend their beliefs. Now have them apply this example to their own denying evolution and embracing the "science" of the Creationists.

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I honestly wouldn't doubt that now for many it is the "Thee, thou, thine" crap that makes them think it is the version to have. C'mon, we all know that God speaks an English that at times is almost impossible to understand (ok, maybe just for me, but doesn't God want to talk to me?).

I will say this though, some verses are more exciting in KJV than in the NIV. Like Numbers 21:6. KJV says "fiery serpent" (awesome!) and NIV says "venemous snakes" (lame!)

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At another job I used to work at, there was a bible-thumping lady there and I asked her about the New Inclusive version of the Bible and what she thought of it. I can't really remember what she said, but it had something to do with the words in Revalation about changing the words of the bible. I don't think she realized that what she was reading was a translation or if she did, she must have thought that the KJV was the word of God in English.

 

I really don't know, but it is sad really that one translation is taken as the literal truth and the others are heresy and one will be damned for changing the words. It's just ignorance. I don't mean that in a bad way, but ignorance none-the-less.

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I see that I didn’t exactly offer a response to the topic’s question, so here’s my two cents worth now.

 

I think their decision to support the KJV as “God’s Only Word” stems from the belief that God’s word does not change. For at least a couple of centuries, the KJV was one of the only translations available. People tend to not like change, though change is for the most part usually good. When we had the explosion of “new” translations, these primarily poor and uneducated folk simply know that they are not to “add to” or “take away from” the Word. The new translations to them seemed to both add to and take away from their precious “Good Book”. So they rebelled against it. This is all purely speculation on my part. It seems to make some twisted sense to me. Of course there are people with doctorates in Theology that still believe this horseshit, so I’m probably totally off.

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Which version of the KJV-1611?

Good point. Most Christians are too stupid to realize there are several versions of KJV bible. I once showed one the evidence of there being different versions and they refused to belive me, thought it was some sort of trick.

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There's a total nob posting all over the Ethics & Morality fora at CF who is KJV-only. He's a bit of an arrogant, stubborn fuckhead, so that partly explains his insistence that it's the translation of choice...

 

The supreme irony, of course, is that the guy is Catholic.

 

Diehard, Pope-worshiping, Saint-adoring, conservative literalist Catholic. He's hell-bent on insisting that everything he follows has been endorsed by the RCC, including his Protestant KJV.

 

Unless there's some version of the KJV hanging around that I don't know about, the guy's an idiot.

 

I don't know why on earth anybody clings to the KJV for dear life. Maybe it's just a habit, one of those things where people get stuck on what they've been taught and get really really stubborn about even questioning anything.

 

Maybe people are scared of not being in control of everything too. I mean it really seems to freak some people out when you challenge their idea that THIS IS THE WAY EVERYTHING IS AND GOD SAYS SO AND I'LL NEVER CHANGE!!111!!ONE!!!111

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I was a KJV-only independent, fundamental, etc. etc...

 

The "KJV-only" position, I believe, is just taking Christian fundamentalism to its logical extreme. In order to be a Christian, you have to be willing to tailor the evidence to fit your pre-conceived notions of what is true in every aspect of your faith, from the belief in a 6 day creation and a 6,000 year old earth to the notion that you really do have a personal relationship with God and that the Bible, and not some other set of books, is God's only revelation to mankind.

 

Once you've made this leap of faith it seems logical that God's revelation would be perfect. Yes, it's contrary to all the manuscript evidence, and contrary to what we know about how the canon itself was formed, but then again, everything else a Christian believes is contrary to the evidence, so this isn't much of a stretch. Try to get inside the fundy mind for a moment (I know, it's a scary place).

 

If God authored the Bible, it must be perfect, and why would he bother giving us a perfect Bible only to allow men to make it imperfect through copying/translation errors? Obviously, he wouldn't do that. Wait a minute, this all sounds too much like human reasoning, I'd better get some Scriptures to back up what I'm saying. I can read this position into Matthew 24:35 and Psalm 12:6-7, so I'll use those as my proof texts. But why are there so many manuscript variations? It must be Satan! Of course, that old serpant was attacking God's word from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, so of course he's doing the same thing right now, eroding our confidence in the Bible through all of these corrupted manuscripts. So if God gave us a true Bible and the rest are from Satan, which is the true Bible? Well, what did we have before all of these corrupted modern versions came about? The King James Version, of course. This is the Bible of the Puritans, the Bible of the Great Awakening. Obviously God has blessed it, so it must be the right one, based on the right manuscripts, and any manuscripts that disagree with the KJV are from Satan.

 

I think that's a pretty fair summation of the KJV position. Once in my old church (Faith Baptist, Canoga Park, CA) a guest preacher (David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association) was preaching about this issue. He said he once had a demon-possessed man in his office whom he was trying to help. When he opened his KJV to begin counseling, the demon-possessed man started screaming, yelling for him to close the book, because he couldn't stand the blinding light it gave off. This gave the esteemed Mr. Gibbs an idea. He had some other bible versions in his library (for research purposes only of course, to show how corrupt they are), so he pulled one out, opened it up, and asked the demon what he thought of it. The demon relaxed considerably, and said there was almost no light coming out of it at all. Then Mr. Gibbs pulled out a KJV interlinear (which has the KJV New Testament text in the margins, surrounding the Greek text it was translated from). The demon complained that there was light coming from the margins of the text. Mr. Gibbs then pulled out a particularly wicked bible version (the Living Bible if I remember correctly) and asked what the demon thought of it. The demon became estatic, dancing and merrily saying, "That's our Bible, we wrote that!" In any other venue he would have been laughed off the stage, but there, of course, he got a rousing chorus of Amens. People talked for weeks about this stunning proof of demonic involvement in the corrupted bible versions.

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  • 2 months later...

I was a KJV-only independent, fundamental, etc. etc...

 

The "KJV-only" position, I believe, is just taking Christian fundamentalism to its logical extreme. In order to be a Christian, you have to be willing to tailor the evidence to fit your pre-conceived notions of what is true in every aspect of your faith, from the belief in a 6 day creation and a 6,000 year old earth to the notion that you really do have a personal relationship with God and that the Bible, and not some other set of books, is God's only revelation to mankind.

 

Once you've made this leap of faith it seems logical that God's revelation would be perfect. Yes, it's contrary to all the manuscript evidence, and contrary to what we know about how the canon itself was formed, but then again, everything else a Christian believes is contrary to the evidence, so this isn't much of a stretch. Try to get inside the fundy mind for a moment (I know, it's a scary place).

 

If God authored the Bible, it must be perfect, and why would he bother giving us a perfect Bible only to allow men to make it imperfect through copying/translation errors? Obviously, he wouldn't do that. Wait a minute, this all sounds too much like human reasoning, I'd better get some Scriptures to back up what I'm saying. I can read this position into Matthew 24:35 and Psalm 12:6-7, so I'll use those as my proof texts. But why are there so many manuscript variations? It must be Satan! Of course, that old serpant was attacking God's word from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, so of course he's doing the same thing right now, eroding our confidence in the Bible through all of these corrupted manuscripts. So if God gave us a true Bible and the rest are from Satan, which is the true Bible? Well, what did we have before all of these corrupted modern versions came about? The King James Version, of course. This is the Bible of the Puritans, the Bible of the Great Awakening. Obviously God has blessed it, so it must be the right one, based on the right manuscripts, and any manuscripts that disagree with the KJV are from Satan.

 

I think that's a pretty fair summation of the KJV position. Once in my old church (Faith Baptist, Canoga Park, CA) a guest preacher (David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association) was preaching about this issue. He said he once had a demon-possessed man in his office whom he was trying to help. When he opened his KJV to begin counseling, the demon-possessed man started screaming, yelling for him to close the book, because he couldn't stand the blinding light it gave off. This gave the esteemed Mr. Gibbs an idea. He had some other bible versions in his library (for research purposes only of course, to show how corrupt they are), so he pulled one out, opened it up, and asked the demon what he thought of it. The demon relaxed considerably, and said there was almost no light coming out of it at all. Then Mr. Gibbs pulled out a KJV interlinear (which has the KJV New Testament text in the margins, surrounding the Greek text it was translated from). The demon complained that there was light coming from the margins of the text. Mr. Gibbs then pulled out a particularly wicked bible version (the Living Bible if I remember correctly) and asked what the demon thought of it. The demon became estatic, dancing and merrily saying, "That's our Bible, we wrote that!" In any other venue he would have been laughed off the stage, but there, of course, he got a rousing chorus of Amens. People talked for weeks about this stunning proof of demonic involvement in the corrupted bible versions.

 

My, oh my.

 

Some seem to believe that Paul the apostle carried around the KJV. If they only knew that Jesus spoke in Aramaic; his words were translated into 1st century Greek; fifteen hundred years later, they were translated into Elizabethan English; and these days they are translated into modern English -- if they knew, maybe they could relax a little and not be so "fundamentalist" about things. I do think, however, that this fact of various translations, etc., is getting around. I do see a spirit of "liberalization" moving across the Christian denominations. It's nothing like it was when I was a kid. I sure hope this continues.

 

-CC in MA

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My, oh my.

 

Some seem to believe that Paul the apostle carried around the KJV. If they only knew that Jesus spoke in Aramaic; his words were translated into 1st century Greek; fifteen hundred years later, they were translated into Elizabethan English; and these days they are translated into modern English -- if they knew, maybe they could relax a little and not be so "fundamentalist" about things. I do think, however, that this fact of various translations, etc., is getting around. I do see a spirit of "liberalization" moving across the Christian denominations. It's nothing like it was when I was a kid. I sure hope this continues.

 

-CC in MA

I wish. I've been in an actual screaming match, within the past year, trying to get someone to understand that a translation can't be better than the originals. But since the KJV1611 has the HS aiding the translation it, in fact, is not only better but the best possible version (it surpasses the originals including the autographs if we were to find them). The critical texts are just plain evil.

 

mwc

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saying any bible translation is wrong is like saying fire is hot. They are all wrong. It is only the degree. The OT is completely without evidence. The NT was made up of some 5000+ documents with upto 400,000 differences. The oldest manuscript we have is a few verses from John, circa 125AD. The next is a fair number of books from the beginning of the third century. We do not know the names of who wrote the gospels as they were assigned later. We know there have been some additions that were not in earlier manuscripts (read Bart D Ehrman's - Misquoting Jesus).

 

There are/have been some 20,000 different versions of christianity, all based on the one book. What more evidence does anyone need that it is worthless?

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Saying any bible translation is wrong is like saying fire is hot. They are all wrong. It is only the degree. The OT is completely without evidence. The NT was made up of some 5000+ documents with upto 400,000 differences. The oldest manuscript we have is a few verses from John, circa 125AD. The next is a fair number of books from the beginning of the third century. We do not know the names of who wrote the gospels as they were assigned later. We know there have been some additions that were not in earlier manuscripts (read Bart D Ehrman's - Misquoting Jesus).

 

There are/have been some 20,000 different versions of christianity, all based on the one book. What more evidence does anyone need that it is worthless?

 

The various interpretations of the Christian religion demonstrates the health and versatility of the message. While I'm quite aware of the instances of lack of tolerance and even persecution of alternate theories, overall the Christian religion -- especially since the Refomation -- has allowed for varying perspectives and points of view. LIkewise with the multitude of biblical translations. I think this is a good sign of vibrancy that the text is pliable. Neither the proliferation of denominations nor that of translations of the foundation documents demonstrates, to me, that Christianity is worthless.

 

-CC

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currentchristian. What can you trust in the bible? Some believe in creation, some in evolution and that creation, etc was just allegory (or similar). Many cannot accept hell, though Jesus talks of a real hell. Some find difficulty in a "god of love" killing everybody in a worldwide flood, or the other atrocities in the bible. And of course, the gays, mentioned in another discussion elsewhere.

 

Back in the 1980's in the UK, the rather infamous Bishop of Durham, one David Jenkyns admitted to not believing in the virgin birth, the ressurection, etc. He said many priests, bishops and others he had met and talked with had similar reservations and did not believe many "accepted" parts of the bible.

 

Many pick and choose which bits they like but how can you say: "this bit is infallibly true but that bit is obviously wrong"?

 

A few years back while waiting for a programme to start on TV, I caught part of a children's interview with J K Rawling who did the Harry Potter books. One of the kids had found a mistake on something like page 490 of her book where a character is in prison, then out on page 503. One mistake in several hundred pages. Yet we have the bible with some 1184 mistakes and contradictions, more than one per page. Surely the poorest book ever written in that respect? How can anyone trust such a book?

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currentchristian. What can you trust in the bible? Some believe in creation, some in evolution and that creation, etc was just allegory (or similar). Many cannot accept hell, though Jesus talks of a real hell. Some find difficulty in a "god of love" killing everybody in a worldwide flood, or the other atrocities in the bible. And of course, the gays, mentioned in another discussion elsewhere.

 

Back in the 1980's in the UK, the rather infamous Bishop of Durham, one David Jenkyns admitted to not believing in the virgin birth, the ressurection, etc. He said many priests, bishops and others he had met and talked with had similar reservations and did not believe many "accepted" parts of the bible.

 

Many pick and choose which bits they like but how can you say: "this bit is infallibly true but that bit is obviously wrong"?

 

A few years back while waiting for a programme to start on TV, I caught part of a children's interview with J K Rawling who did the Harry Potter books. One of the kids had found a mistake on something like page 490 of her book where a character is in prison, then out on page 503. One mistake in several hundred pages. Yet we have the bible with some 1184 mistakes and contradictions, more than one per page. Surely the poorest book ever written in that respect? How can anyone trust such a book?

 

Excellent questions. Each person must be "fully persuaded in his own mind" (to quote from the Bible...St. Paul, I think), about the Bible. I don't think there are easy answers. The "Bible is total bunk" and the "Bible is the inerrant word of God" extremes equally seem unwise positions, neither supported by the evidence. But this is what some people believe in their heart of hearts and brain of brains, and they have every right.

 

We've talked on this forum before about whether there is a distinction between major points and minor, circumstantial points. For example, we know the gospels each tell a slightly different story about who encountered the empty tomb and how this encounter took place. This seems to me a circumstantial detail that matters little. All agree that the tomb was empty; this is the central detail. If one gospel had the tomb empty, one had it still containing the body, one had the body stolen away and one had the body eaten by dogs (a modern view of some), this would be a serious problem.

 

Each person, ultimately, must employ their reasoning skills, their skills at logic, their understanding of history and religion, their spirituality and emotions, etc., and arrive at a position their conscience deems an honorable one. This will differ for everyone, I think. The key is guarding one's conscience in this and all matters.

 

-CC

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The "Bible is total bunk" and the "Bible is the inerrant word of God" extremes equally seem unwise positions, neither supported by the evidence.

 

But the bible is total bunk unless you wish to render it some historical value the way you would the Iliad. Why is that extreme if true? I find vastly more inspiration reading Thoreau for example.

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The "Bible is total bunk" and the "Bible is the inerrant word of God" extremes equally seem unwise positions, neither supported by the evidence.

 

But the bible is total bunk unless you wish to render it some historical value the way you would the Iliad. Why is that extreme if true? I find vastly more inspiration reading Thoreau for example.

 

If after careful research and consideration, one embraces either the "total bunk" or the "inerrant word of god" positions, that's fine. To me, however, both are extreme views since we can prove at least one thing in the Bible is true (therefore, it's not all bunk) and likewise we can prove that at least one thing in the Bible is not not true (therefore, the inerrancy doctrine fails to pass, as well). This is why both positions seem extreme to me. But, to each his own.

 

Speaking of Thoreau, if you ever get to this fine state I currently live in, you would really enjoy a visit to Walden Pond and the replica and actual site of Thoreau's cabin during the stay that turned into that famous book. One can walk the entire circumference of the pond, swim in it, boat, etc. Very nice.

 

-CC

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If after careful research and consideration, one embraces either the "total bunk" or the "inerrant word of god" positions, that's fine.

 

Well, again it would depend on what type of value you are endowing it with. Historical? About as accurate as the Iliad. Inspirational? I can list at least 100 other books that give me far more inspiration that aren't mixed with messages of hate and that have not inspired such violence. Spirtual or supernatural? Then I would just use Occam's razor and slice right through while I sit back and wait for someone to provide me extraordinary evidence for the extraordinary claims it makes.

 

 

Speaking of Thoreau, if you ever get to this fine state I currently live in, you would really enjoy a visit to Walden Pond and the replica and actual site of Thoreau's cabin during the stay that turned into that famous book. One can walk the entire circumference of the pond, swim in it, boat, etc. Very nice.

 

-CC

 

Would love to. I really love Walden.

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Any ideas for why people cling to the KJV?

 

Pastors cling to the KJV because they were taught to believe it is the only True Interpretation™ of Gawd's Word™. Xians who cling to it do so because they, already primed to cling to whatever their pastor teaches them, were also raised with all the propaganda and the hype. And add into it the fear of Hell™ if one should dare use another sort of Babble, and the KJV propaganda sticks all the better.

 

Tell a big lie often enough, and people will begin to believe it.

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Wow, I'm glad I found this thread, because I was in a KJV-only church from age 6 to the present. I got to wondering a few years ago why it was so important to use only this version, and someone at church was circulating a pamphlet someone in town had given him about why the KJV isn't inerrant. I found it interesting and that basically started me down the path to distrusting the Bible's accuracy currently. I also grew up surrounded by Peter S. Ruckman and Jack Chick materials. Has anyone here had the misfortune to be influenced by either of these? I'm reminded of something in a recent sermon where the pastor admitted that it's possible to find contradictions in the Bible if 1) you are using fleshly thinking (as opposed to H.S. led thinking) and 2)reading the Bible as a book instead of the word of God. He also said that you can make it say pretty much whatever you want it to, and if you see contradictions than you must not be led of God, and so on. I just can't ignore the problems with it anymore, whatever the translation is. He's also said that if even one tiny error exists in it then Christianity is a waste of time or some such thing. I guess I'm just taking that comment to heart. I also wonder how Christians can stay faithful if they know there are mistakes in the Bible. I used to think it was possible to take some parts and leave the bad, but I have trouble with that now.

 

Sparkyone

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Wow, I'm glad I found this thread, because I was in a KJV-only church from age 6 to the present. I got to wondering a few years ago why it was so important to use only this version, and someone at church was circulating a pamphlet someone in town had given him about why the KJV isn't inerrant. I found it interesting and that basically started me down the path to distrusting the Bible's accuracy currently. I also grew up surrounded by Peter S. Ruckman and Jack Chick materials. Has anyone here had the misfortune to be influenced by either of these? I'm reminded of something in a recent sermon where the pastor admitted that it's possible to find contradictions in the Bible if 1) you are using fleshly thinking (as opposed to H.S. led thinking) and 2)reading the Bible as a book instead of the word of God. He also said that you can make it say pretty much whatever you want it to, and if you see contradictions than you must not be led of God, and so on. I just can't ignore the problems with it anymore, whatever the translation is. He's also said that if even one tiny error exists in it then Christianity is a waste of time or some such thing. I guess I'm just taking that comment to heart. I also wonder how Christians can stay faithful if they know there are mistakes in the Bible. I used to think it was possible to take some parts and leave the bad, but I have trouble with that now.

 

Sparkyone

 

Thanks, I guess, for the introduction to Dr. Peter S. Ruckman. The name is new to me, but I think I have come across some of his artistically-illustrated sermons.

 

Reading his Wikipedia bio I learned that he went to Bob Jones University for six years. Not to disparage anyone at that University, but it's about as radical right as one can get. And Dr. Ruckman became more conservative that BJU, according to this biography, teaching that the KJV1611 is the inspired word of God for English speakers and that it is more authoritative that the oldest Greek manuscripts. In fact, where the KJV1611 version differs from the oldest Greek manuscripts, this difference is "advanced revelation," he says, from God and more trustworthy than the originals. Wow.

 

To each his own, but his views sure wouldn't work for me or anyone else I know. Too bad you were indoctrinated by Ruckmanites.

 

I definitely remember the Jack Chick tracts!

 

-CC

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