“God didn’t drop an English, Shakespearean bible out of the sky; it was a translation from the original languages,” says Ken Wytsma, President of Kilns College and Founder of The Justice Conference, “and as a translation, you then need to be able to hold it against other translations and say: which is best?” The Greek manuscripts are available for anyone to evaluate the authenticity or reliability of a translation. Ancient manuscripts are the authoritative texts, not any English translation, King James or otherwise.
“The King James 1611 had the Apocrypha in it: does that mean that the Apocrypha is holy scripture too?” The prefaces of the 1611 King James Version said that it was their best attempt with the material they had, but that others would come along and continue their work. “The committee that translated it, themselves, said in real time that this is not supposed to be the ‘be all, end all.’”
The texts that the King James was translated from were only from around AD 1000. While there were many manuscripts, they weren’t particularly old. “Most of the major archaeological finds we’ve had with regard to manuscripts have happened in the last 200 years. So the best manuscripts available, the oldest and closest to the time frame that the New Testament was being written, weren’t even available to the King James translation committee.”
Want some more insight? Here are three other Redux speakers addressing this question:
• Dr. Daniel Wallace
• Dr. Clint Arnold
• Luke Hendrix
Looking for more information?
King James Bible on Wikipedia
Bible translations on Wikipedia