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Why I Use The KJV
By Milburn Cockrell
(1941-2002)

In my 44 years in the ministry I have used the KJV of the Bible, and so have the members of the churches I have pastored. I urged all church members to secure and study the KJ Bible. I do not recommend to them that they throw away their KJV and get new modem Bible versions. That this is so can be ascertained from any church where I have ever pastored, although there are rumors to the contrary being circulated by some brethren.

Some of the brethren use the KJV because they have read and studied books by a cussing Arminian preacher in Florida, or because they are afraid they will be called a liberal or modernist by the followers of this man. I, for one, marvel that some brethren follow a cussing Arminian preacher and are influenced by him. Our King James Version says in James 1:26: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.” Evidently, some brethren do not believe the KJV here and prefer a new version of some kind.

Some years ago I attended a Bible conference where one preacher got up and said in his message that he was a follower of this cussing Arminian preacher in Florida. I immediately wrote him down as an ultradispensationalist, a universal church man, and an Arminian heretic. I did appreciate his honest confession. Our churches need to be aware of such men so as to keep them out of their pulpits.

I do not use the KJV because of the teachings of some cursing Arminian preacher. Neither do I use it because I am afraid some of the followers of this man in our group will call me a liberal or Bible corrector. I used the KJV before I ever heard of this man. In fact the idea that this man teaches is not as old as I am. It is a mere novelty never believed or taught by any Baptist before the modern era.

Brethren, here are the reasons I use the KJV.

1.) First, I believe it was made from the best Greek and Hebrew texts, which are the preserved Word of God. I refer to the Masoretic Hebrew Text preserved by the nation of Israel, and the Textus Receptus Greek Text (or the Byzantine text). This is the Greek text preserved from A. D. 452 to 1453 by the Greek church, the Waldenses, and Albigenses.
All modern translations are based upon the reconstructed Greek text of Westcott and Hort, two Romanist oriented scholars, whose purpose was to replace the Protestant and Baptist text with those of the Roman Church and thereby wean back Protestants to the Roman fold. These two men denied the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, exalted Mary worship and the Romanish mass, denied the Genesis record, and were ardent evolutionists and had universalist tendencies.
About 95 percent of all Greek manuscripts that we have are the Byzantine type. This means that the Westcott and Hort texts disagree with 95 percent of extant sources, including Scripture quotations from the writings of the early church fathers, who antedated the texts on which the Westcott and Hort reconstruction was based. The Westcott and Hort texts came from Rome and Egypt, depicted as God's enemies in Scripture, whereas the text of the KJV came from Syria and Greece, the areas of the initial outreach of Christianity.
All translations since 1611 have not been made entirely from the Textus Receptus. These did include some of the Textus Receptus but they largely depended on the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Codex Vaticanus was found in the pope's library in A. D. 1481 and Codex Sinaiticus was taken from a waste basket on a Mt. Sinai monastery in 1859. Both of these manuscripts include the apocryphal books outside of the New Testament canon. This makes the new translations based largely on these texts essentially Roman Catholic translations. They resemble Jerome's Latin Vulgate and the Rheims-Douai versions of 1582 authorized by the Roman Catholic Church at the infamous Council of Trent.

2.) The KJ translators employed a method of verbal equivalence (a word for word translation) rather than the method of paraphrase of dynamic equivalent (a meaning for meaning). The idea of the KJ translators was to give us what the Bible writers really wrote instead of what some committee of liberal scholars thought they wrote. This practice was not followed by modern day translators.
The KJ translators believed every word placed in the original text was exactly as God intended. Their regard for verbal inspiration is reflected in the use of italics in translations wherever words were added in English, which were not in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. This practice has not been followed by modern versions.
Personally, I look upon most modern versions (especially the New Testament) as new Bible versions. I say this because a translation of the Bible to be true to its name must be the writing down of the message into another language without changing its meaning. The natural man cannot understand the things of God (I Corinthians 2:14), and he cannot be trusted to put God's thoughts into correct English.

3.) The KJV has been read and examined by some great minds since 1611, and wherein it has weak translations these have been pointed out by men like, Henry, Pool, Trapp, Gill, Spurgeon, Pink, Graves, etc. This is not true of any of these modern versions. The examinations which have been made of these are limited, and they have resulted in unsatisfactory reports.

4.) The KJV has been the Bible of my Baptist fathers. It is the one I have studied, memorized and preached from for 44 years. It was the one being preached from when I was converted to Christ. It was the Bible of the church which baptized me, and of the church and men who ordained me to the ministry. It is the Bible I have heard preached all of my life. I have no plans to throw my KJV away for some new version made by infidels from Catholic manuscripts.

5.) I believe the KJV is a faithful translation of the preserved Word of God in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. It is the best we have for the English speaking world in this generation. As long as any translation follows the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Hebrew text, they are inspired. When they choose to do otherwise, they are in error. This rule applies to the KJV as well as to others. I believe that only the original autographs were perfect or inspired. God has preserved His Word in Hebrew and Greek, but no translation has come down to us from inspired translators, and this includes the KJV.

(This short article was from “Cockrell's Corner” in the Berea Baptist Banner - April 5, 2002)"

 


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