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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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  You Are Here: Bridge / Galley / Ask The Pastor / Question
Ask the Pastor
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes I use the King James for personal study, although I own several other translations as well (The Amplified Bible, NASB and ESV), and occasionally refer to them when I am studying a difficult passage. (sometimes they help to clarify, other times they do not.) My question is this: how, if you truly believe that the King James Bible is the only version worthy of use today, do you explain the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the 1611 edition? Clearly the Apocrypha is NOT inspired scripture, containing numerous errors and outright heresies. Certain blogs devoted to the KJO position assert that the KJ translators really didn't believe that the Apocrypha was canonical, but they included it for historical value. I have a problem with this argument, since I find no mention of this supposition by the translators themselves. Can you shed any light on this for me?

You may click on verses to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes I think you raise an interesting question, and I do believe that there are some KJV Only men who should be asked that question because they hold to the KJV being inspired by God in 1611. If a man believes that God did a new work of inspiration when the KJV was written, then he should logically hold to the authority of the Apocrypha as well.

 However, I do not believe that God did a new work of inspiration in 1611. God inspired His Word once (Jude 3): at the time it was penned by the "holy men of God" (II Peter 1:21). Those inspired words (Proverbs 30:5), and even the letters themselves (Matt. 5:18), were preserved by God in their original languages (Psalm 12:6-7, I Peter 1:23-25) down until today. I believe that they are preserved in the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Textus Receptus of the New Testament for reasons that are probably too lengthy to go into in this letter. Thus, if the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus are the preserved words of God, I would only want to use a translation that is based upon those manuscripts. The King James Version thus becomes my only option. It is an accurate, literal, word for word (as opposed to a Dynamic Equivalency) translation of the preserved copies of the inspired Scriptures, so that's why I only use it. The Bibles you mentioned are not based upon the TR, but rather on the Eclectic/Alexandrian/Westcott and Hort Greek texts, which were not compiled until the late 1800's.

 I think it could be possible that some different translations could help in understanding a passage, but this problem arises: are the two Bibles different because the translation is different or because the underlying text is different? If it is a textual difference, then the other Bibles are basing their different translation on a faulty text, and I am not going to aid my understanding of a passage by reading it from an incorrect text. If the text is correct, is the difference based upon a conflicting translation technique? A Bible translation that is only concerned with getting the ideas correct and not the words themselves is not going to aid my understanding either.

 Please allow me to give you one illustration. In the Amplified Version, Mark 1:2-3 reads:

"Just as it is written in the prophet Isaiah: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will make ready Your way-- A voice of one crying in the wilderness [shouting in the desert], Prepare the way of the Lord, make His ]beaten tracks straight (level and passable)".
The New American Standard says:
The ESV says:
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”

 Please note that all three of these say "in Isaiah". They say that because that is what the underlying Westcott and Hort Greek text says. However, the quotations given in verse 2-3 are not from Isaiah alone. The quote which directly follows the statement "written in the prophet Isaiah" in verse 2 is in fact from Malachi 3. The quote from Isaiah does not begin until Mark 1:3. Thus, those three versions that I have listed, along with the NIV, CEV, and most other modern translations, are incorrect. The KJV says:

"As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight",
which is factually correct. When the text is wrong, the translation will be wrong, so I would only use a Bible in any language that is based upon the correct text (assuming one exists, which is not always the case).

 I have probably given you more of an answer than you wanted. However, I wanted you to see that the fact that the Apocrypha was included in the KJV is irrelevant to the discussion as far as I am concerned. I don't know why it was included, and I do not think it should have been. However, since the KJV is a translation of the inspired, preserved, Word of God, the fact that the translators added a section that was not Scripture does not make a difference. They used the proper Hebrew and Geek texts for the Old and New Testaments, they had a proper translation philosophy, and they did an accurate, scholarly job giving us the words and meaning of the texts. This is why I use the KJV, and why I reject those translations that come from different texts.

 Pastor Mark Montgomery

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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
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