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The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?
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The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  281 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A thoroughly researched discussion of the development of Bible translations ancient and modern, including key differences between versions such as the New International, New American Standard Bible, and the Authorized Version of 1611.
Paperback, 2nd, 364 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Bethany House (first published March 1st 1995)
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Michael Brown
The King James Only Controversy: Can you trust modern translations? By James R. White is now an updated expanded second edition. I never got a chance to read the original edition and I know the question on many people’s mind is “Why is an new edition needed? – I thought the KJV only thing died out awhile ago.” While the main focus of the book is to explain and help the reader understand how and why the King James and modern translations (i.e. NIV, ESV, NKJV, and NASB to name a few) came into bei ...more
L. R. Bouligny Bouligny
Claims of religious exclusivity are nothing new to the church. There have been myriads of movements and sects over the years that contain the label “Christian,” yet promote separatism from other believers over something they alone deem essential. While orthodox Christianity has always held specific doctrines to be necessary, divisive dogmas of these sects go far beyond the foundational truths of the faith. One group might claim that they are the only true Christians based on their baptismal form ...more
Rex Blackburn
Wow. This book is a must-read. Whether you know anything about the issue or not. White's book is a great intro for textual study.

I came from a highly KJVO background, and am still attending a TR Only Christian College. I use the ESV, but could never fully justify my use of it until now.

White gives great historical background of textual transmission and translation, as well as a revealing look at the translations done by Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza for the Textus Receptus. He follows the TR up
James White does a great job of debunking many outrageous claims made by KJVO advocates. He also paints a great picture of what textual criticism looks like for even the non-scholar to understand. I was a King James Onlyist for some time and struggled greatly with this debate. However after reading this book my struggle was put to rest and I have faith God has preserved His word in other translations than the KJV.
Though written by one outside of Fundamentalism, this work provides a powerful response to the lunacies of Fundamentalist writers such as Ruckman and Riplinger. White is aggressive and pulls no punches throughout the extremely readable volume. He does one of the best jobs at laying out the various strands of belief in the textual debates, and divides his argumentation along the lines of textual and translational differences. White also does an excellent job walking the reader through the histori ...more
Having spent three years in my life in a rural Tennessee city where King James Onlyism is still a major controversy, James White's book is very helpful in disarming the accusations of KJV Onlyists. However, this book is not just a book about why the KJV should not be the only English Bible translation. It is also a brief history of how the English Bible came to the form that it is now. While this topic is fairly narrow, it is a helpful treatment on the subject for those who are interested.
This is not an anti-KJV book. Useful in refuting the claims of KJV-onlyism, but also a good introduction to textual criticism and issues concerning the reliability of modern Bible translations. Intermediate read. Not light reading, yet not to technical.
Dan Nazaruk
This book is an invaluable resource for any Christian seeking to understand the translation of Scripture and the controversy engendered by the the proponents of the King James Only position, or really any Christian. Dr. White carefully documents the logical errors as well as out-right lies of different proponents of the KJVO position. One of the best features of the book is the footnotes. Dr. White carefully documents all his sources, and the footnotes are extremely useful for further study. Thi ...more
I read the four books which are considered the standard for KJV Onlyism criticism and this one was by far the best. Candidly I could have skipped the others, just read this one and would have done just as well for myself.

As a result of reading this book I was able to write the following article on KJV Onlyism as it relates to Mormonism:

And while only cited twice in the article this book's influence can, I'm sure, be felt throughout.

If anyone is looking
As an Independent Baptist, I have been frustrated for years by the hang up of this particular breed of church on deifying a single, extremely error-ridden and outdated translation of the Bible. Before I knew anything at all, I complained of its cumbersome text; later I found out that everything I had ever heard in defense of the KJV was an outright lie.

I was told it was the first translation in English -- but that would be John Wycliffe's Bible, 1380-1400.

I was told it was the first [English]
This is a great resource for any pastor to have, concerning the King James Only (hereafter, KJVO) debate. James White has done a good job addressing this controversy in a matter that is Christ-like and fair, contrary to the attitude seen in the works of some proponents of KJVO. Even before reading the book, I was looking forward to reading on a topic that I know little about, having minimal interaction with it online and in the Marines. Overall, I thought the book was a good example of how one c ...more
Do you have a favorite version of the Bible? If so, it may be your preference for a number of reasons: perhaps it’s the version you grew up reading, or you like the poetic or old-fashioned language it uses, or maybe you just find the language easier to understand than in other versions. For most people, choosing a Bible version to read and study is based on factors like these.

Some people have their reasons for preferring or only using the King James (also known as the 1611 Authorized) Version o
Patrick S.
I can thank James White for getting me interested in the subject of textual criticism and have watch all his YouTube videos in six months. I have come to know his personality and his jokes and his passion and his style. Some people write like they talk (see Howard Hendricks) and James White writes like he talks, with a lot of passion. White had a video that said for a good introduction to textual criticism he would recommend this book so I picked it up as my intro to the subject and set to work ...more
An interesting read. I'm a big fan of the King James Bible, but for strictly stylistic and literary reasons. It's a good translation, technically speaking, but it has its problems. That said, I have only recently run into those formally part of the "KJV Only" movement and thought this might be worth reading as it's been collecting dust on my shelf for a couple of years. White does a good job of explaining the KJV Only position. For anyone knowledgable in the fields of text criticism and church h ...more
Phillip Lemons
Read this book for a class called "The Origin and Development of the Bible". I never took the KJV only argument seriously and after reading this book only confirmed why. White addresses the arguments of the KJV only crowd with respect while making a counter argument that is intellectual, yet accessible. For those who are interested in why the different translations have some variance, this is a good place to start, I think anyone who is struggling with the KJV only debate, this is a good book to ...more
Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete DUTRA
A very good summary, with little known historical and textual information, about the controversy about Bible versions.
Thorough and well laid out arguments against KJV onlyism. A must read for any facing these issues.
Must read. Great for conversations with kjv only believers.
To quote Norman Geisler, "This is the best book in print on a topic too often riddled with emotion and ignorance."

This book was at the same time scholarly and understandable. Although it could get pretty dry for some readers, as is to be expected with discussions about bible translation, it is a necessary read for anyone seeking clarity surrounding this controversy.
Feb 17, 2008 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you!
"If it ain't King James, it ain't Bible!" If you've ever said, or been attacked by someone who's said this to you, you should really read this book. James White isn't always the easiest read, but he knows his subject matter. He carefully explains how we got what we now call "The Bible," and makes it painfully clear how ridiculous the King James only debate is.
Thomas Harrison
Coming from an Independent Baptist Church that is Kjvo,this book was an answer to prayer. I had so many doubts and questions about the issue. This book opened my eyes to the truth about the controversy. A must read for anyone that wants to know the truth about king james onlyism
Doug Dale
This was a re-read, but it was again helpful. Beyond the specifics of the KJV issue, this book is helpful in understanding (and gaining confidence in) the process by which we have current, original-language texts and also the translations of those texts to English.
A very interesting look into what could be easily lost in translation, literally. It also approaches a few of the verses often used to question the Bible's reliability. It is full of endnotes and might be a bit dry for some people.
Paul Landkamer
After the first half of the book, the rest is fairly predictable. To sum things up, it presents a good argument that the KJV is an excellent translation, but the KJV 'only' fanatics are wrong. Most translations have merit.
Excellent book! A great introduction to textual criticism and the history of English Bible translation. The bizarre beliefs of King James Only enthusiasts are a little discouraging.
This was a great book! Not only did it deal with radical King James Onlyism, but it was a great introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism.
Tim Hayes
Good analysis of issues some fringe groups have with identifying the King James Version as the only valid version of the Bible
Jimmie L.
Excellent refutation of those who want to make the King James Bible the only official Bible.
Eric Durso
Glad someone wrote this book. Review coming later
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Dr. James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics. He has authored or contributed to more than twenty books, including The King James Only Controversy, The Forgotten Trinity, The Potter's Freedom, and The God Who Ju ...more
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