What It Means To Be A King James Bible Believer
(and What It Doesn't)

The Traits, Blessings and Misconceptions of Being a King James Bible Believer

Timothy S. Morton

In the most general sense, the term Bible Believer came along to distinguish those who take a "literalist" approach to the Bible from those who don't. It appears to be a self designated term that some Fundamentalist groups coined in the second half of the 20th century to show how they differ from those who add tradition to the Bible (such as the Roman Catholics) and those who interpret the Bible allegorically (Modernists, Liberals, etc.).

A King James Bible Believer (also called King James Only) is simply a Bible Believer that believes the King James Bible specifically. Unlike a generic "Bible Believer" who can't produce a tangible Bible they actually believe, a King James Bible Believer can produce his authority.

Note: It is theoretically possible for a person to call them self a Bible Believer while believing a Bible other than the King James, but your author has never seen any examples of an NIV Bible Believer, ESV Bible Believer, or similar. They do not truly believe the translation they prefer.

Many today don't realize that the first King James Bible Believer was actually king James himself. When a new translation was first proposed to the king in 1603 he directed his chaplain to inform the committee,

"That a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek...and only to be used in all churches of England in time of divine service."

The King James Bible was to be the "only" Bible used in all the churches. That makes the king most definitely King James Only, and for most of the next three centuries the King James Bible was the only English Bible in print.

In this article we will look at some traits that make a true Bible Believer, some of the benefits of being a King James Bible Believer, and then examine several misconceptions and false assumptions from those who misunderstand.

Traits of a True Bible Believer

1) A True Bible Believer Believes the Bible is Authored and Preserved by God

A Bible Believer insists "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2Ti 3:16) and that same Scripture is preserved by God (Psa 12:6-7). He believes he has “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4) that God wants him to have and that Jesus commanded all to live by. The true Bible-believer judges his preacher (Acts 17:11), his church (Romans 16:17-18), his beliefs (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and even his thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5) by the tangible and real Bible God has put in his hands (Psalms 12:6-7).

2) A True Bible Believer will have a literal approach to the Scriptures and not treat them as allegory.

This does not mean there is no figurative language in the Scriptures, there is considerable, but that the believer adheres to the simple and plain meaning of the text instead of reading it allegorically.

3) A True Bible Believer Will Not Question, "Correct," or Cast Doubt on The Bible He Professes To Believe

This is an obvious point but it must be stated because some actually deem themselves as Bible Believers and yet sometimes "correct" the Bible by referring to the original languages or various lexicons for an "alternate translation" that says something different than the text. In doing so they are proving they are not a true Bible Believer; they are not believing the passages in the English Bible they are trying to "correct." Furthermore, a true Bible Believer will not try to rationalize, explain away, or in any way weaken a statement or doctrine found in the Scriptures, but will accept it as it stands.

4) A True Bible Believer Will Change His Doctrine When Confronted With What the Bible Actually Says.

Every person brings with him certain presuppositions and assumptions he has acquired throughout his life when he approaches any text. Some presuppositions line up with the Scriptures (Bible is God's word, God exists, God is good, God is almighty, etc.), while others do not (Bible is a fable, fatalism, God is indifferent, predestination [Calvinistic]). A true Bible Believer will adjust his beliefs to match what he understands to be the overall teaching of the Scriptures.

5) A True Bible Believer Will Be Honest With The Bible; He Will Not Claim It Says Things That Cannot Be Proven.

The God of heaven states that He exalts His word above His own name (Psa 138:2). This is a level of exaltation we mere humans cannot fully fathom. Thus with the Lord raising His word to this ultimate level, every believer should be very careful not to in any way misrepresent his word or claim it says things as certain when they cannot be scripturally proven as such.

What can be proven as fact can only be found in explicit Bible statements. Implicit statements and inferred beliefs may or may not be true and thus cannot be conclusively proven. Thus the Bible believer will plainly state what is actually proven and what is only inferred or suggested in the Scriptures. For more information on this topic see How To Determine True Bible Facts.

6) A True Bible Believer Can Produce The Bible He Professes To Believe

What could be more disingenuous than a person claiming to be a Bible Believer and then not be able to produce the Bible he professes to believe? Yet this very thing happens among those who claim to believe the "original autographs" compose the only "Bible" they believe. In actuality they are admitting they don't believe any tangible Bible. As most today realize, the original autographs no longer exist, and when they did exist, they never were compiled together to make a complete Bible. Someone who claims to believe only in an "original autograph" Bible believes in a fantasy. No such Bible ever existed.

The true Bible Believer can produce the text he is referring to when he speaks of the "Bible" or the "word of God," thus a King James Bible Believer can readily produce the text he believes.

Benefits Of Being A King James Bible Believer

1) You Now Have Access To the Pure, Unadulterated Words of the God of Heaven

It is a great blessing to have access to every word the Lord wants you to have in a language you can understand. Many believers throughout the past centuries did not have access to the complete word of God, but anyone who has and believes a KJB has it all.

2) You Can Have Complete Assurance In Your Salvation and Savior

Because you have a book of TRUTH, you can learn of all that God in Christ has done for you and promises to your once you believe on Him as your salvation.

3) You Have a Complete Final Authority From Which The Holy Spirit Can Teach You

With a pure, complete, and written final authority you can judge any preacher, minister, church, or group for error. You can now "Prove all things..." (1Th 5:21). You have every word the Lord wants you to have. (Matt 4:4). With diligent study you can learn truths found in the word of God with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (1Jo 2:27) and grow into the person the Lord wants you to be.

4) You Can Find God's Perfect Will For Your Life

With study God can reveal to you what it is He would have you do with your life; His perfect will (Rom 12:2).

5) The Scriptures Can Effectively Work Inside You

When you received the word of God as His very word and not as the word of man it can effectively work inside your for God's purpose and glory (1Th 2:13).

False Assumptions About King James Bible Believers

1) That King James Bible Believers Believe the King James Bible Because of Tradition or Nostalgia

Not at all. Although there are many reasons why KJB Believers believe the KJB a key reason is because it has God's marks of preservation indicated by its fruits. No other Bible in any language approaches the fruit the KJB has produced. It is clearly the Bible the Lord has "placed his stamp of approval on." All other English translations pale in comparison.

2) That Bible Believers Insist the King James Bible Can Correct The Hebrew and Greek.

This assumption has two answers. First, we do not believe the KJB can or needs to "correct" the original language texts it was translated from. We believe it is an accurate translation of these texts into English, and to say it can "correct" these texts would be saying it is NOT an accurate translation of them.

Second, we believe the KJB can and does correct the flaws and corruptions in the Alexandrian Greek texts which it was NOT translated from. These texts are significantly different from the Textus Receptus the it was translated from, thus the KJB is very capable of correcting their errors and omissions. Any person will have access to more truth by believing the English KJB over any Alexandrian Greek text, even if he was fluent in Greek.

3) That Bible Believers Do Not Refer To Or Consult the Hebrew and Greek

This is not the case at all. Bible Believers can and do consult the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie the KJB. Greek and especially Hebrew words can have many shades of meaning and seeing how a certain Hebrew of Greek word is used throughout the Scriptures can have value. Plus reference to the original languages can show how the KJB is an accurate translation of those languages.

4) That Bible Believers Claim a Form of "Double Inspiration" for the King James Bible

Another faulty assumption. Bible Believers do not believe the Bible ever lost its "inspiration" or purity to need to be inspired again. Words do not loose their purity, power, or effectiveness by being translated thus the King James translators did not have to have or claim any special "inspiration" to translate the already preserved and pure words.

5) That Bible Believers Reject All Forms Of Scholarship Or Higher Learning

Nonsense. Bible Believers admire and respect "scholars" or well educated brethren who approach the Bible with a believing heart and the right attitude. Edward F. Hills is one example. However, Bible Believers do reject for the most part the critical scholarship of those who would undermine the integrity of the Scriptures by promoting doubt and unbelief. These "experts" refuse to believe any pure, tangible Bible exists or even can exist.

6) That Bible Believers Do Not Use Any Other Translation

Another false assumption. King James Bible Believers often use several different translations for comparison purposes and other reasons. The KJB is not the only Bible they use; its the only one they believe is without proven error.

7) That Bible Believers Teach One Can Only Be Saved From A King James Bible

Not at all true. A Bible Believer understands there is enough truth in nearly any translation to show a person how to be saved. Even highly biased versions like the Jehovah's Witnesses New World Translation contains the gospel. Even a one page tract can contain enough truth to get saved. For one to have "every word" of God in English, however, he needs a King James Bible, but every word is not necessary for one to be saved; only the gospel.

8) That Bible Believers Reject People Who Bring Other Translations To Their Assemblies

Nonsense. Bible Believers are secure enough in their position that they are not threatened by other translations. If some in a congregation want to bring another version to a meeting, that is their business. Hopefully, they will be able to see the stark differences between their version and the KJB and consider believing it instead.

9) That Bible Believers Are Ignorant And Believe the King James Bible Goes Back to Bible Times.

No, the KJB was not published until 1611, nearly 1600 years after the time of Christ. However, some of the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts it is based upon do go back to the first and second centuries. 

10) That Bible Believers Contend the Spelling, Typesetting, and Punctuation of the King James Bible Were Error Free When It Was First Published

Not at all. The Bible indicates only the "words" are given by inspiration. Not spelling, punctuation, or even chapter and verse divisions. Words spelled in different ways still carry the same meaning. There were even printing errors in the initial editions, however, they were all corrected in subsequent editions.

11) That Bible Believers Insist People who Speak Languages Other Than English Must Learn English To Have Access To The True Word of God.

More nonsense. The texts the KJB was translated from were and still are available to translators of all other languages and many have used them to produce faithful Bibles in their language.

12) That Bible Believers Insist Bibles In Other Languages Be Translated From The King James Bible

Nonsense. Translators would be best served to translate from the same texts the KJB was translated from using the KJB as a reference. There are English idioms and figures of speech that may not translate well into other languages so a direct translation is preferred.

13) That Bible Believers Contend the Bible Did Not Exist Before 1611 AD

This is silly. As we just said above, the texts and manuscripts the KJB was translated from were available in various forms and places since the time the autographs were written. Although not everyone had a Bible in their own language (and some still do not today), the texts were preserved in various manners in various places.

14) That Bible Believers Insist There Cannot Be Another Legitimate English Bible To Replace the King James Bible.

Again, this is nonsense. Bible Believers well understand that if the Lord wanted to promote another English Bible translation to eventually replace the KJB He could do so, but there is no evidence that He is doing so in this Laodicean age. Just like the KJB replaced all the previous English Bibles and was simply known as "The Bible" for centuries, the Lord could honor another translation in the same manner. However, with over 100 attempts by Bible publishers to replace the KJB, none of their promotions have succeeded. The KJB is still the most beloved, sought after, and read English Bible in the world.

Although there are always more faulty assumptions people can come up with, these are some of the most repeated. The simple fact is the King James Bible has a more godly heritage with more godly fruits than any Bible this side of heaven.

To Sum It Up

Critics of the supremacy of the King James Bible fail to realize that a key reason the KJB was developed was to provide the English speaking world with "one principal good [Bible]" as the King James translators stated in the KJB preface. Their goal was to make a standard Bible that was a revision of the earlier Bibles and true to the original languages, and that is what they did. The Lord honored their labors and for nearly three centuries the KJB was essentially the only English Bible in print. In effect, the whole English speaking world was "King James Only," and they simply called their standard Bible "The Bible."