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KJV-Only Book Burning

October 29, 2009

I am a firm believer that when someone is doing a foolish thing you should tell them it is a foolish thing. Well the folks out at Amazing Grace Baptist Church in North Carolina (all 14 of them) have decided to have a barbecue on October 31. What is on the menu you ask? Books. To be more specific, bibles, and other books by authors they don’t like. To be even more specific they are burning bible versions that are anything other than the KJV. This would include the NIV, NASB, NRSV, NKJV, The Message, and a few others. Books to be torched include those by well known authors such as John MacArthur, Rick Warren, Bill Hybles, Bruce Metzger, and many more.

Now, I may agree with the sentiment on a couple of the Bible versions and authors mentioned on their website (NWT, T.D. Jakes…)  but that does not mean that I agree with the sentiment behind this. The position articulated here is one of blind, willful ignorance to plain facts and the complete sacrifice of basic logic for certainty.

To be fair, this is not really a KJV-only church. It is plainly stated on their website, “We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.” For those who may not be aware, the TR is referring to the Textus Receptus (or, Received Text) from which the KJV, Geneva, and Tyndale New Testament was translated. (Though Wycliffe translated his from the Latin Vulgate…) So they are a TR-only church. The question is why are they a TR-only church? Well, this is asked and answered on the website,

Do you have any real “concrete” evidence that the KJV is God’s Word?

God said in Psalms 12:6-7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

This is all the concrete evidence I need. God’s Word. This is a typical question by a liberal New Evangelical Bible doubter. God has promised to preserve His Word, and He has through the TR, and then through the KJV. Those who question God’s Word don’t believe what God said. That’s not enough for them, they need something more “concrete.” There is nothing more concrete than God’s Word.

I hope the circular reasoning is obvious here. God said He would preserve His word. This is true but we are expected to assume that He has done so through the TR and KJV only. No evidence for this is presented. We are expected to simply assume it. Time does not permit me to specifically respond to all the points presented on their website. However, everything that is said is based on this simple assumption: The TR/KJV alone = The Word of God alone. God simply could not have preserved His word in any other way…

I am deeply grateful for both the TR and KJV and their place in history. However, there is no reason Biblically or historically to assume that these must be the standard by which all others are measured.

As I said, this is a foolish thing that will not further the kingdom and only serve to give the enemy yet one more rock to throw against the Christian faith. If you are a Christian and have been confronted by King James onlyism, allow me to offer a few facts for your consideration:

1. The KJV is a beautiful translation of God’s word that has served His church for a long time.

2. Contrary to what is on many KJV-only websites, there is no cardinal doctrine that is impacted by the newer versions.

3. The KJV is not perfect in its translation or the text from which it is translated.

I encourage anyone interested in this to read, The King James Only Controversy, by James White. Claims of the KJV-only movement are analyzed and dealt with extensively. One more item, KJV-only supporters on the web are not known for being the nicest people around. I am willing to allow comments on this post but will not tolerate any improper behavior.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2009 2:22 am

    Wow i heard about this story from my father. I did not believe it at first but its outrageous. The followers of this King James cult you could call it obviously dont know there history of the english bible. They need to read “A Visual History of the English Bible” by Donald L. Brake and they would see the King James Version came after a long list of other english translations like the Tyndale bible. Nice blog keep up the good work God Bless.

  2. Knight permalink*
    November 5, 2009 2:01 pm

    This attitude only flourishes where willful ignorance runs rampant.

    I do want to clarify one thing. My comments are specifically directed at this fringe KJV-only group not to those who prefer the KJV or even to those who would argue in favor of the TR or Majority text type.

    This is only directed at those who would hold up a single Greek text or translation as the only infallable word of God and condemn all others as tools of Satan.

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