Last time in Part 1 I dealt with some of the common verses raised by KJV-Onlyists when claiming that the modern versions have "taken" them out or "deleted" them. They claim they are "missing" verses and therefore because of this reason the modern versions are corrupt and attempting to pervert the Word of God and doctrine. I have dealt with this already and why this is not the case but it doesn't stop the radical form of this group from continuing to engage in this type of rhetoric.
Today, I want to focus on some of the key verses that KJV-only camp will claim that the modern versions have "changed" or perverted by not using the exact same English words that the KJV uses. You see for them it is not about textual criticism or proper translation techniques and choosing the correct words to translate the greek and hebrew. No, for them the KJV is a new revelation and inspiration from God, and to them it is quite obvious that English is the language God has inspired.
Many of these verses where they claim there are "changes" have more to do with the underlying texts behind the translations and why the translators made certain choices based on that. Others have to do with decisions in how to translate the same words into English.
1) John 3:36 - issue at hand (obey v. believeth) Greek Word is apeitheo meaning - to disobey or to disbelieve willfully. Word comes from another Greek Word apeithes meaning - not persuadable, disobedient.
NASB - He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
KJV - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
So in the NASB they translate the first word (believes) and the second word (obey), whereas the KJV translates the second word (believes or believeth). Both can be used and both would be accurate. The NASB is not corrupt simply because it does not use the exact same English word that the KJV does and then add "eth" to the end. They claim that by doing so the modern translations are adding works based salvation into the Bible which just simply is not true.
Let's look at the verse. He who believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has eternal life. Yes, this is true. The second part of the verse says that he who does not (believe or obey) the Son does not have eternal life. The first greek word translated "believe" in both the KJV and NASB is correct because it is the greek word for believe or faith. The second one however can be translated both obey or believe not or to willfully disbelieve. Since the belief is willful this is why it leads us to what I believe to be a more accurate translation of "not obey".
Now, let's look at the theology behind it since the claim is that we add works based salvation into the Bible with the modern translations use of the word obey instead of believe in this verse. Does using the word obey add works based salvation? Not at all. In fact, translating the greek word to obey doesn't change one single aspect of salvation as it is taught in the Scriptures. In fact, it is not even inaccurate to say that we are commanded to obey. Believing in Christ, believing in God, is commanded of us just like anything else.
1 John 3:23 - This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. NASB
Here is 1 John we are told that Jesus commands us to believe in the name of the Son of God, and that we are also to love one another. Now the "one another" here has in view other Christians specifically in context, but it surely is a Christian teaching to love all people and treat them respectfully and with dignity. However, what is primarily in view here is the command to believe in Christ.
We are commanded to love the Lord thy God with all of the heart, soul, mind, and strength; and since Jesus Christ is God Almighty in human flesh then we are commanded to love Him as God for He is God. So the concept of not believing in Christ being an act of disobedience as translated in the NASB is not a foreign thing to Scripture. There is a sin of disbelief.
2) Romans 1:16 - issue at hand (removal of words "of Christ"). Earlier manuscripts do not contain the words and it was most likely added by a copyist at some point.
NASB - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
KJV - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The KJV only crowd claims that the modern versions are removing Christ from the gospel and that they are trying to sneak in confusion as to who's gospel it is. And since they do not contain the exact same English words that the KJV does it is therefore a perversion. This is by far one of the more silly claims that they can make. The Scripture is abundantly clear that the gospel of Scripture is Christ's gospel. Just because this verse does not contain those words which I believe the original did not, does not mean that by not containing them you are denying that the gospel is Christ's.
Let me remind all of us that no doctrine is derived from any one verse. So also it can be said that no one verse like the one in question here can deny something that the Bible clearly teaches. Now, obviously I don't agree that this verse is denying that it is Christ's gospel simply by not containing the words that the KJV adds. That is the KJV only camp's claim. You do not have to have the added words here to know whose gospel to which it speaks.
The context of the passage itself makes it clear, and even if it did not there is plenty of other Scripture to point to so that we can understand what gospel it is talking about. In fact, you don't even have to go outside of Scripture written by Paul to know whose gospel it is. If someone has a KJV and has the verse as it does there is no issue with that, but by the same token if someone is using a more modern version that does not contain those two words it is not corrupt or a perversion either.
3) Colossians 2:9 - issue at hand (Godhead v. Deity) Greek Word is theotes meaning - deity.
NASB - For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
KJV - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
The reason the NASB translates it Deity is because that is what the Greek Word means. So not much difference here but the NASB supports and translates the verse to show the Deity of Christ just as well as if not better than the KJV.
The reason this verse is important to bring up is that the KJV-Onlyists claim that the modern versions deny the Deity of Christ often in the (deleted, missing, changed) words and verses. Here is a great example of how the modern versions actually defend the Deity of Christ better.
4) John 1:18 - issue at hand (only begotten Son or only begotten God) Greek Word is theos meaning - God.
NASB - No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
KJV - No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
So the modern version the NASB here translates the Greek Word theos as God and the KJV translates it as Son. The Greek Word is theos so the correct translation would be God here and not Son. Now, the context of the passage in terms of interpretation points to the Son of God for sure, but we are not dealing with interpretation here in refuting King James Onlyism. We are dealing with translational issues. So to translate the word as Son does not capture what the original was saying.
Does this mean the KJV is corrupt or a perversion because it does not translate the word correctly here? No, far from it. However, that is the claim that King James Onlyists would make against the NASB for using the word God instead of Son though even though the greek word means God. Since for the KJV-Onlyists the English of the King James is what is inspired and preserved then it takes priority over anything else. So it doesn't even matter if a word in the KJV could possibly be translated better we have to use the word that the KJV contains regardless.
There are many more examples I could give concerning this subject. Ultimately if you are interested in studying this subject further or in more detail there are resources outside of my website for that. I encourage you to check out my other blog posts where I link to Dr. James White's book about the King James Only Controversy. It can be purchased for a small amount of money usually under $15.