Excuses people make for promoting the King James Version of the Bible

Closed Bible by Anonymous - Clipart of a closed Bible by Aaron Johnson

By Spencer D Gear

There are any number of reasons (or excuses) people make for promoting the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible and rejecting modern translations. Here is one that I recently came across:

I just looked at all the missing verses in the NIV bible! I am shocked, they even removed part of Psalms 12:6-7 where God said he would preserve his word!
I think I’ll stick with the KJV and NKJV now![1]

How does one respond to such a view? The following is my first and brief response: ‘Why are you not saying that the KJV and NKJV added these words?
You seem to be making the NIV an ogre of Bible translations’.[2]

How would the KJV promoter respond?

The title page's central text is:"THE HOLY BIBLE,Conteyning the Old Testament,AND THE NEW:Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties speciall Comandement.Appointed to be read in Churches.Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie.ANNO DOM. 1611 ."At bottom is:"C. Boel fecit in Richmont.".


This was his rejoinder:

The KJV did not add these words, even the NWT has these words:
6 The sayings of Jehovah are pure sayings,+
As silver refined in a smelting furnace* of earth, clarified seven times.
7 You yourself, O Jehovah, will guard them;+
You will preserve each one from this generation to time indefinite.(NWT)
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold[a] refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,(NIV)[3]

How should I, a supporter of modern translations, reply? [4]

Slimline Center Column Reference Bible NLT, TuTone
Tyndale House Publishers

It beats me that this person would be using the NWT of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to compare with any committee translation of the Bible. Is he a supporter of the JWs?

These are some different renditions of Psalm 12:6-7. Why are the KJV and NKJV correct and the others wrong?

Psalm 12:6-7

King James Version (KJV)

6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.


Psalm 12:6-7

New King James Version (NKJV)

6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
7 You shall keep them, O Lord,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.


Psalm 12:6-7

New International Version (NIV)

6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold[a] refined seven times.

7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,


  1. Psalm 12:6 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text earth


Psalm 12:6-7

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7 You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us[a] from this generation for ever.


  1. Psalm 12:7 Or guard him


Psalm 12:6-7

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

7 You, O Lord, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation for ever.


Evangelical commentator on the book of Psalms, H C Leupold, in Exposition of Psalms  wrote of Psalm 12:6-7,

    6. David reassures himself that this will take place by recalling the general nature of God’s words as he and all of God’s saints know them: they are “pure words,” which expression removes the alloy of undependability. Many may often intend to do well and may promise help but may fall short of keeping his promise because of human frailty. Not so God. Therefore His promises may be likened to “silver defined in a smelter in the ground, purified seven times,” the very purest of the precious metal.
7. Since God may rightly be described in reference to His words as just indicated, the psalmist draws proper conclusions with regard to the situation in which he and other godly men like him find themselves. Addressing God in prayer, he expresses the confidence that God will keep His watchful eye on those that have suffered oppression (“Thou wilt regard”) and will go farther in that He will keep His protecting hand over them. The psalm here takes on a note of the more personal feelings in that the writer includes himself (“Thou wilt guard us“). This protection is offered in the face of this wicked class of oppressors above described (in this sense the word “generation” is here used), and this protection of God will be exercised for all times to come (Leupold 1959:132-133, emphasis in original).

Here we have Leupold writing his commentary in 1959, long before the translations of the NIV, ESV and NRSV, but his understanding of the Hebrew text is the same as from these translations and not the KJV and NKJV.


Another supporter of the KJV

This KJV promoter wrote:

What Bible did the Pilgrams (sic) bring over on the Mayflower?
What Bible has historically been used by Baptists since before America was a country?
The KJV has proven itself reliable for over 400 years.
Sure the language is antiquated, sure its out of date, sure it uses words like “ye” and “thy” but is that so hard to understand that it needs serious updating?
I wonder what people would say if William Shakespere’s (sic) works were updated into todays (sic) English?
From Romeo and Juliet:
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”
Shakesphere (sic), Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2
Would be changed to:
“Romeo, Yo! Where you be!”[5]

I provided these responses:

Do you mean to say that you know the KJV meaning of ‘superfluity of naughtiness’ (James 1:21) without consulting a commentary or another translation?…

That’s using a straw man logical fallacy as we are talking about a translation (the KJV) and not the original languages (Hebrew & Greek).[6]

A trend among these KJV supporters:

To justify support for an archaic English translation of the Bible, these promoters used these tactics:

clip_image002 The modern translations are the culprits. They delete verses from the KJV. It’s not that the original languages (earliest editions) have less words and the KJV has added to the originals.

clip_image002[1] Even a cult Bible, the New World Translation of the JWs, has the KJV verses, so the KJV verses are the accurate ones.

clip_image002[2] The KJV translation of Psalm 12:7 is the accurate translation and the modern versions (e.g. NIV) are to blame for changing the KJV.

clip_image002[3] The false claim that the Pilgrim Fathers took the KJV with them from England to the New World when it was the Geneva Bible that they used.

clip_image002[4] The false claim that translating Shakespeare’s works would be parallel to what has been done by the NIV translators to the KJV translation.

clip_image002[5] The superiority of a 1611/1769 KJV translation, based on late Greek New Testament manuscripts (the Textus Receptus), rather than modern translations that are based on, say, the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament that uses manuscripts that are much older and closer to the original manuscripts.

clip_image002[6] The KJV supporters seem to have a presuppositional bias towards the KJV, without examining the manuscript evidence for the newer translations.


Leupold, H C 1959. Exposition of Psalms. London: Evangelical Press 1959 – reprinted by Baker Book House in 1969.


[1] Christian Forums, Baptists, ‘I’ve started to become attached to the KJV, is there any proof that its’, yogosans14#13, 25 April 2013, available at: http://www.christianforums.com/t7740683-2/ (Accessed 25 April 2013).

[2] Ibid., OzSpen#14.

[3] Ibid., yogosans14#15.

[4] Ibid., OzSpen#21.

[5] Ibid., DeaconDean#10.

[6] Ibid., OzSpen#22.


Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 25 June 2018.