The King James, the Church of England, and the Apocrypha

“The King James Version (KJV)… is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England.” So says Wikipedia. I’m wondering. Would any of our KJV-only people have felt comfortable in the Church of England? Do they understand that the church of England was very Catholic-like, the main difference being the human headship […]

The King James, the Church of England, and the Apocrypha

“The King James Version (KJV)… is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England.”

So says Wikipedia.

I’m wondering. Would any of our KJV-only people have felt comfortable in the Church of England? Do they understand that the church of England was very Catholic-like, the main difference being the human headship of the church? That church saw the King of England as the head of the church. Rome saw the Pope in that position.

Various purifications of the English Church were to come, but the basic structure of its meetings and government were such as to make any modern fundamentalist quite uneasy.

It will be seen that some of the translation of the KJV was pointed in the direction of that English denomination of Christians, and not to the church at large. It was the church/government of England that demanded the translation, and certain guidelines were set in place. Certain interpretations were expected.

Take for example the word “baptize.” Where did that word come from, what does it mean? The Greek is baptidzo. It means to overwhelm, to immerse. In the Biblical context, it would mean an immersion in water or the Spirit. But the context of 17th century England demanded a sprinkling of water for new converts or even children. What is an honest translator to do?

What they did was coin a word, which to this day can mean anything one wants it to mean. But mark it down. The KJV translation, and all others that have followed, have yielded to compromise in this matter.

We continue with Wikipedia…

“… commissioned in 1604 and completed as well as published in 1611 under the sponsorship of James VI [of Scotland, aka James I of England.] “

The Apocrypha.

“The books of the King James Version include the 39 books of the Old Testament, an intertestamental section containing 14 books of the Apocrypha, and the 27 books of the New Testament.”

Whoa! Stop the quote. Serious explanation needed!

What?! The apocrypha in the KJV Bible? Oh yes, as stated above, the church of England was still very Catholic. Some of the weekly readings for church services demanded use of apocryphal books.

But surely, you say, this was corrected in the 1769 version which is used today, and which, when pressed, is the KJV of choice?

Yes, and no. Originally the 1769 version carried these books of doubtful origin also!

There had been a long-standing controversy about these 14 books, but the fact that most church fathers and reformers considered them helpful, though not inspired, kept them in until the late 19th century!

Finally, in 1880, the American Bible Society voted that they be removed. Five years later they were also removed officially from English printings by an act of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Nearly three centuries had passed. Those years saw a KJV that had 14 uninspired books in it! Now, here in 2020, we are asked to believe that the world’s only perfect English Bible has been around to lead people to perfect truth for less than a century and a half of the church’s history.

I have trouble believing that. God has always had a book for His people. Always.

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