Is Berean Baptist Church “King James Only?”
Like many of the terms used among churches, it largely depends what you mean by the label “King James Only”. We believe that the KJV is the most accurate translation available in the English language, because of the method of translation used (word for word), and because of the texts underlying it (Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received Texts). We are sympathetic to the difficulties that arise due to the antiquated language; we do not believe that 17th-century English is somehow “more spiritual” than more modern forms of expression. What we are concerned with is textual accuracy (for instance, when speaking to one another today, we do not use the words “ye” and “thee”—yet in a Bible passage, “ye” refers to a two or more people, while “thee” refers to a single person; there are many places where this distinction is quite important). On the other hand, we reject the wicked and arrogant attitudes that are often displayed by groups claiming to “defend” the King James Bible.
Here is brief summary of our views:
We DO believe…
- That God has perfectly inspired His Word in the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, that He has preserved His Word in the Masoretic Hebrew and Greek Received Texts, and that we have a beautiful and accurate English translation in the King James Version.
- That modern “textual criticism” is largely filled with heresy and unbelief.
- That there is no need to “rediscover” the preserved text of Scripture in modern times, but that God has preserved His Word through the common usage of the true churches throughout history.
- That while the antiquated English in the KJV contains some difficulties, it is still worth the effort to learn some new words and phrases in order to use the most accurate translation available.
We DO NOT believe…
- That all “modern” translations are equal. We would say the that NKJV, for instance, is far superior to the others.
- That a person has to be saved “from the King James Bible”. (It is Christ that saves, not a Bible translation).
- That the KJV was given by inspiration.
- That there is no use in studying the Greek and Hebrew original languages, or that the KJV is “advanced revelation” over the original manuscripts.
- That the KJV can never be accurately updated.
- That the preserved Word of God is only available in English.
- That Bible translations in foreign languages should be based on English instead of (when possible) Greek and Hebrew.
- That all men who disagree with us are useless to God, that we are “better” than them, or that it is acceptable to use carnal insults and curses against them. We absolutely reject both the attitude and extremes of so-called “Ruckmanism”.