So, is there a conspiracy today? My answer may surprise the reader: yes, I believe there is. But the conspiracy has not produced these modern translations. Rather, I believe that there is a conspiracy to cause division among believers, to deflect our focus from the gospel to petty issues, to elevate an anti-intellectual spirit that does not honor the mind which God has created, and to uphold as the only Holy Bible a translation that, as lucid as it was in its day, four hundred years later makes the gospel seem antiquated and difficult to understand. … It takes little thought to see who is behind such a conspiracy.
Our loyalties are to the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Only the original languages are the Word of God as He inspired it. A translation is only an attempt to take what is said in one language and communicate it in another. The modern translations are superb in taking the meaning of the original languages and communicating it in a way that we can understand in English. However, none of the modern translations are perfect. Every one contains verses that are at least somewhat mistranslated. By comparing and contrasting several different translations, it is often easier to get a good grasp on what the verse is saying than by only using one translation. Our loyalty should not be to any one English translation, but to the inspired, inerrant Word of God that is communicated by the Holy Spirit through the translations (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The bottom line is that it really does not make much difference which of the major Bible translations you use. It is true that, because of the vast increase in our understanding of ancient languages and the number of manuscripts upon which to base translation, there are some differences between the KJV and the modern translations. For the most part, these differences are minor.
In fact, the important point that so often goes overlooked in such discussions is that with over 5,000 early Greek manuscripts, there really is very little variation. Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks noted, “There are less than 40 places in the New Testament where we are really not certain which reading is original, but not one of these has any effect on a central doctrine of the faith. Note: the problem is not that we don’t know what the text is, but that we are not certain which text has the right reading. We have 100 percent of the New Testament and we are sure about 99.5 percent of it.”(11)
The KJV is a good translation, but so are the NIV, NASB, NRSV, etc. All of the major translations have their good points. All major translations, including the KJV, have their problems.
When choosing a translation, as long as you are considering a major translation, you do not have to worry if it really is the Word of God. The only real concern is whether or not this is a Bible you will read and study. For if you don’t bother to read and study the Bible, then the accuracy of the translation is of little importance.
While they rarely admit it, advocates of KJV Onlyism essentially believe that God re-inspired the Bible in 1611 A.D. Ultimately, they have to go there because if they place their loyalty on the Textus Receptus (the Greek manuscript compilation used by the KJV translators), that would open the door to new translations being created. […]
So, don’t be deceived by KJV Onlyism. God did not re-inspire the Bible in 1611 A.D. The King James Version is not the only Bible we can use. The new translations are not a part of a grand conspiracy to spread false doctrine. When the Bible was written, it was written in the common and current language of the people of that time. When the Bible is translated, it should be translated into the common and current language of the people. My first reaction to being exposed to KJV Onlyism was precisely correct. To force the English-speaking world to use an archaic and antiquated translation is ridiculous.
Finally, though it is true that the modern translations ‘omit’ certain words and verses (or conversely, the KJV adds to the Word of God, depending on how you look at it), the issue is not black-or-white. In fact, the most recent edition of a Greek New Testament which is based on the majority of MSS, rather than the most ancient ones (and thus stands firmly behind the King James tradition), when compared to the standard Greek New Testament used in most modern translations, excises over six hundred and fifty words or phrases! Thus, it is not proper to suggest that only modern translations omit; the Greek text behind the KJV omits, too! The question, then, is not whether modern translations have deleted portions of the Word of God, but rather whether either the KJV or modern translations have altered the Word of God. I contend that the KJV has far more drastically altered the scriptures than have modern translations. Nevertheless, I repeat: most textual critics for the past two hundred and fifty years would say that no doctrine is affected by these changes. One can get saved reading the KJV and one can get saved reading the NIV, NASB, etc.
James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries disputes the idea that the King James Version is the “only and best” version Christians should read. He says that there are translation problems as well as serious issues regarding the manuscripts the translators based it upon.
Revd Kyle Paisley, son of DUP leader Ian Paisley, defends the KJV as the best English version, despite any faults. He says that modern versions downplay key doctrines of the Christian faith and fail to live up to the prose of the KJV.
[W]e began by noting the advertisement produced by Dr. Waite’s ministry, “85 Large Pages of Scholarly Refutation!” Yet, have we found Dr. DiVietro’s work to be scholarly? I think not. Have we found anything “refuted”? Hardly. Yet, this is the best the KJV Only perspective has to offer. I strongly encourage the reader to obtain my book, and a copy of Dr. DiVietro’s work, and do some reading. A little homework, a little research into the cited sources, and you will see why I can only believe the advertisement should read, “85 Long Pages of Scholarly Obfuscation.”