Omissions in the KJV

by Luke Wayne
10/31/18
Return to King James Onlyism

King James Onlyists often point to any place where the KJV has a word or phrase that is not present in a modern translation and then accuse the modern translation of "deleting" it. Of course, such an argument simply assumes the KJV to be the ultimate final standard and thus makes any difference from the KJV an "error." It takes for granted the very thing it is supposed to be proving, i.e., that the KJV is the superior translation. One could do the very same thing the other way! I could point out numerous places where the KJV has "removed" or "deleted" important things found in, say, the NASB. Just like with the examples used by King James Onlyists, most of these examples would in actuality be quite trivial. Things like the KJV "removing" the word "quickly" from Luke 15:22. King James Only literature also often makes much of places where a modern translation just says "Jesus" while the KJV says "Jesus Christ" or the "the Lord Jesus." They claim that this is an attempt to downplay Jesus' authority. I could, in turn, show examples like Revelation 4:1 where the KJV says only "Thou art worthy, O Lord," whereas the NASB says "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God." Following KJV Only logic, I could accuse the KJV of trying to hide or deny that the Lord is God. It's a silly argument no matter who's using it.

Leaving such trivial examples aside, there a number of places where the KJV is lacking terms and phrases of a bit more substance, the kind of thing that KJV Only authors obsess over when it goes the other way. It is important that I note clearly up front that I am simply using these as examples of how KJV Only arguments, if taken seriously, cut both ways. Their own flawed logic undermines their own position just as much as it does the position of modern translators. The truth of the matter is that none of these examples, nor any of the examples to which King James Onlyists point, actually effects any central Christian doctrine.

A Few Key Examples

While such examples could be multiplied, here are just a few key instances of where, using KJVO logic, I could accuse the King James Translators of "deleting" important words that are still preserved in the NASB:

 

"to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen," (Jude 25, NASB)

"To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen," (Jude 25, KJV).

Omission: Both "through Jesus Christ our Lord" and "before all time." The sovereignty and eternity of Jesus Christ are plainly stated here in the NASB. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Is the KJV trying to "hide" that Jesus Christ is "before all time?"

 

"To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law," (1 Corinthians 9:20, NASB).

"And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law," (1 Corinthians 9:20, KJV).

Omission: "though not being myself under the Law." The NASB clearly states that Paul, though living in accordance with the law to reach the Jews, was not actually under the law. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Is the KJV trying to promote the heresy of the Judaisers by removing this phrase so as to imply that Paul really was still under the law of Moses?

 

"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?" (James 4:12, NASB).

"There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" (James 4:12, KJV).

Omission: "and judge." The phrase "and judge" makes better sense in light of the contrast. There is one judge, so who are you to judge your neighbor? This also becomes important in the next chapter where Jesus is then called "the judge," (James 5:9). Thus, if 4:12 says that there is only one "Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy," (clearly talking about God) then for 5:9 to speak of Jesus as "the judge" in the very same context clearly identifies Jesus as God. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Is the KJV trying to hide the fact that Jesus is God?

 

"like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation," (1 Peter 2:2, NASB).

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby," (1 Peter 2:2, KJV).

Omission: "in respect to salvation." The NASB makes it clear that the "growth" that the word gives us is spiritual growth in faith and knowledge of the saving work of Christ. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Is the KJV trying to deny this and imply a vague, general, or even physical growth?

 

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him," (1 John 3:1, NASB).

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not," (1 John 3:1, KJV).

Omission: "and such we are." The NASB explicitly states that those who are in Christ really are children of God. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Is the KJV trying to suppress our confidence in our adoption in Christ?

 

"The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up," (Revelation 8:7, NASB).

"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up," (Revelation 8:7, KJV).

Omission: "and a third of the earth was burned up." The Book of Revelation gravely warns against removing anything from the words of this book of prophecy (Revelation 22:19). If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask how the KJV dares to remove the prediction that a third of the earth will be burned up?

 

"Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads," (Revelation 14:1, NASB).

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads," (Revelation 14:1, KJV).

Omission: "His name and" The NASB clearly makes that name of Christ equal with that of the Father and says that we must have both. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Is the KJV trying to hide the deity of Christ and the necessity of His name for salvation?

 

"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it," (John 14:14, NASB).

"If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it," (John 14:14, KJV).

Omission: "Me" This may seem like a rather small omission, but by deleting the word "Me," the KJV is removing an important reference to the fact that we pray to Jesus and that He Himself hears and answers our prayers. If I was an NASB Onlyist, I might ask: Were the KJV translators trying to slyly eliminate this reference to Jesus as the God to whom we pray?

Conclusion

Of course, the King James Translators were doing no such things. The differences are real, but it would be ludicrous to argue doctrinal deficiency in the KJV based on such instances, and it is equally absurd to argue for doctrinal deficiency in the NASB (or other modern translations) based on the same kind of differences going the other way. All of these examples have very mundane explanations in common scribal mistakes. The KJV translators faithfully rendered the Greek text they had before them and modern translators faithfully render the text they possess. The KJV may, for example, be "weaker" on the deity of Christ in a few of the above verses, but it is stronger on the deity of Christ in other verses (see, for example, 1 Timothy 3:16). No matter which solid Christian translation you use, it is going to teach that Jesus is God. No central doctrine is affected by any variant between our many sound translations.