This matter has been discussed so thoroughly by men like Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, Sam Gipp, William Grady, Gail Riplinger, and Kyle Stephens that it seems the argument would be finished. Nevertheless, some items should be highlighted. The average Independent Baptist church will give a cheap profession to believe the King James, but when pressed, they will retreat to the foolish profession of a belief in the Textus Receptus (TR) for their final authority. Or as it was given to me by email, “both were preserved and (we) use both.” There are many reasons that this is a faulty position.
First, there is more than one version of the Textus Receptus. That would lead to the position that there are multiple final authorities which is a contradiction of terms. “Multiple final authorities” is the same as saying NO final authority. This elementary logic clearly demonstrates the error of saying we “use both” the KJB and the TR. Having said that, the typical Independent Baptist is either lying or uneducated because there are multiple versions of the TR. Each of these men, Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Elzivir, Colinaeus, and Scrivener, wrote multiple versions of the TR themselves, pushing the total number of TR versions to around 20. Which version do you mean when you say, “I believe the TR.”? The version is never named. Always remember that the differences between the editions of the TR are greater than any supposed differences between the so-called editions of the King James Bible.
Second, the TR-only crowd never addressed the Old Testament (OT). By definition the TR is only the New Testament, so the question would be, “Point to the inspired OT.” Again, this issue is never addressed. When I am asked the question, I point to the English King James OT that is on the table in front of me. The average Independent Baptist cannot. I believe that the issue is an issue of ignorance. Some will point to the Hebrew OT printed with the TR by the Trinitarian Bible Society. But this will not do. As good as that text is, there are errors in it.
Let me give an example. Clearly, most people have not dealt with the Jews out of their OT because if they would have taken them to one of the greatest messianic prophecies in the OT, Psalm 22:16, they would have seen the discrepancy between the truth (KJB) and the corrupted manuscripts of the Hebrew OT. The KJB states, “they pierced my hands and my feet.” The Hebrew reads, “like a lion, my hands and feet.” What nonsense! It is an independent clause without the necessary verb. This demonstrates that as careful as the Jews have been when they took care of the OT (as compared to the treatment of the devil’s scribes with the Alexandrian NT), they were not above changing the text to remove prophecies of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. This example should suffice. But these issues are never discussed by the average Independent Baptist who just wants to leave “well enough” alone and just tell people that they believe the TR.
Third, there are differences between the KJB and the TR in the New Testament (NT) as well. These issues have been thoroughly dissected by many authors over the years so a few examples should suffice. In Acts 12:4, the TR says “Passover” but the KJB says “Easter.” Easter is correct. In Acts 19:37, the TR says “robbers of temples” but the KJV says “robbers of churches.” The KJB is correct. Add in the differences in the book of Revelation and you have a whole heap of times that the King James and the TR differ. Most “Baaaptists” have two final authorities, the King James Bible and the TR. This issue is one where a Bible Believer and an independent Baptist should just part ways.
Fourth, the issue of translation is never discussed. None would dispute the fact that there are NO speakers of Koine Greek alive today. This is the language in which the NT was written. So how do we know what the words mean? The average Christian (Independent Baptist included) will go to a source like a Strong’s or Young’s concordance of the Bible. But where did they get their definitions? These got their definitions from sources outside of Koine Greek often from the Attic Greek of the Greek Philosophers. These are the men that Paul called “too superstitious” in Acts 17, but apparently they can be a trusted source for finding out what our Bible REALLY means. And even if those definitions are correct, in a sense, how could they know how it fit in the translation grammatically? Definitions of words change depending on how they are used in a sentence. For example: I LIKE to be tall vs I felt LIKE I was tall. These differences can make translating very complex. In these situations, dictionaries can be very little help. The translators of the King James had a huge advantage over any translator today. These men were a generation or two removed from the fall of Constantinople in 1453. From this last bastion of what is called Medieval or Byzantine Greek, came scholars fluent in a language much closer to Koine Greek than Attic. These scholars fled throughout western and northern Europe and taught their considerable familiarity with the language of the Greek NT to the men who would teach the men who translated the KJB. This expertise cannot be matched today and was definitely not matched by men like Strong or Young. To go back to their definitions is to go back to the definitions of queers like Socrates and Fascists like Plato.
Hopefully, these reasons will open the reader up to, at least, considering that the King James Bible is God’s final authority for the years 1611 to today and that it is the fulfillment of the Biblical verses Psalm 12:6,7, Isaiah 34:16, Matthew 24:35, and II Timothy 3:16, etc. It is a sad fact that the average Independent Baptist church in your town believes that man can sit in judgement on the word of God and believes there are errors in it. A final example will suffice. In my town there are really 2 Independent Baptist churches of any significance. When you walk out of the auditorium of one, you will see a sign behind the secretary’s desk that says something to this effect, “Love suffers long and is kind…” This is a perversion of I Cor 13:4 and anyone familiar with the chapter (I know this EXCLUDES 97% of all Christians) knows God is talking about “charity” and not the mongrelized “love” of perverted Americans. They are supposedly “Bible Believers” and “King James Only,” but somewhere along the line, they have compromised. God help them (Rev 22:18,19).