This article will show you a little bit of history of how the King James Bible was made and some common objections to the King James Bible issue.
Alexandria vs. Byzantine
The modern translations including those translated in the 20th century, are influenced by Alexandrian text.
Among the scholastic world, there are four main family lines of manuscripts. Still, scholars will generalize to make things so simple that there are only two main lines – Alexandrian and Byzantine.
The manuscripts from Syria are called Antioch, which is where the King James Version originates from. Modern Bible versions are mainly from Alexandria.
It is important to understand that not every verse in current versions is from Alexandria, and not every verse from King James Bible is from Antioch.
What does the Bible say about Byzantine manuscripts (Antioch)?
Acts 11:19-23: “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”
The Bible already gave you a clue if you want the closest area for the word of God. It is a matter of fact that that’s where the first Christians were called.
Acts 11:26: “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
What does the Bible say about Alexandrian manuscripts (Egypt)?
If you look up every verse in the Bible that talks about Alexandria, it’s a negative reference. Alexandria came from Egypt. There is nothing good about Egypt in the Bible.
So a lot of scholars will say that the KJV did not come from Antioch and Byzantine manuscripts. This was later coined as Textus Receptus. The Old Testament of the KJV came from the Masoretic text – the Hebrew. The New Testament of the KJV came from Textus Receptus. So what scholars are going to say is point out verses in the Textus Receptus & Masoretic text that differ from the KJV and say, “See, it does have errors, and it’s not infallible.”
Some Independent Fundamental Baptist churches say that the Textus Receptus is correct and not the KJV, and that’s a red flag because they are always going to choose Textus Receptus over the KJV. A lot of these people are anti-semite and post-tribulation in doctrine. They have gotten their doctrines wrong. But not only, they are rabble-rousers who went rogue.
So there are two oldest manuscripts – old Latin and Syriac Peshitta. These two ancient manuscripts can be proven to be as early as the second century. Do the modern versions boast of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus? The famous argument that scholars use is that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are the older ones, but that’s a lame one.
Between 85% to 99% of Greek manuscripts support Textus Receptus. Even so, they try to argue their way that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus are older texts. There are also statements from the church fathers that back up the Greek texts.
The papyrus manuscripts are considered to be the oldest ever. But do you know where Papyrus comes from? Egypt – Alexandria.
But the argument that it is older doesn’t mean it’s better. If an older Bible is written by a Satanist, does it make it better?
Look at the background between Antioch and Alexandria. Which one is more Christian? Would you pick the manuscripts from a more trustworthy area that the Lord picked, or would you go with an older manuscript?
Which manuscripts are the KJV translated from?
We believe KJV comes from all manuscripts in the line of Antioch and Byzantine. So, where there’s a Greek manuscript that KJV doesn’t have, you’ll find old Latin supporting it. Where the Greek manuscript failed, you’ll also have the Syriac Peshitta.
There are also papyrus manuscripts, but these are famously called the traditional texts. This line has many different names:
– Textus Receptus, (remember it is Greek only).
Why is traditional text better?
Traditional text is better because it comprises of all the Greek manuscripts and everything in line with Textus Receptus or Antioch.
Old Latin came out in the second century after Greek originals in Antioch. Syriac Peshitta is in the second century also.
When the KJV translators translated, they used these two manuscript families but also all the manuscripts that were birthed out of Antioch – Byzantine. They picked the best words out of them and gave you the KJV.
Before the KJV, there were other earlier translations, e.g.,
- Old English Wickliffe (13th century)
- Polyglot Bible (14th century)
- Luther’s German (15th century)
- Valera Spanish (16th century).
There are 7 to 14 different editions of the Textus Receptus – so the KJV translators took all of these to give you a superior bible.
That’s why the KJV is superior to the Textus Receptus and the Hebrew Masoretic text.
The blood of the martyrs who bled and opposed the Roman Catholic church gave up their lives to translate the Bible are the ingredients of your Bible.
The Bible consistently says, look at the fruits.
Whose fruits look better?