King James Bible (KJV)
There are really only two Bible types:
1) Those translated from the Textus Receptus (aka the Received Text, or Majority Text)
2) Those translated from the Alexandrian Codices (aka the Critical Text)
The King James Bible was translated from the Textus Receptus, and the other modern Bibles (NIV, etc) were translated from the Alexandrian Codices.
Check out the YouTube video below for an overview of where these manuscripts have come from:
- Kent Hovind
The Textus Receptus are the most reliable manuscripts in the world (thousands of manuscripts, and confirmed as genuine by the Dead Sea scrolls). The Alexandrian Codices are inconsistent, and are tempered with.
Here are some examples of why the King James Bible is simply the best Bible there is:
|Exodus 20:5||Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;||You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,|
|Matthew 28:1||In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. Jesus risen at the end of the Sabbath (just before the beginning of a new day).||After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Jesus risen at dawn on the first day of the week.|
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,
He said to them, When you pray, say:
Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.
You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.
|1 Corinthians 12:3||Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.||Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.|
|1 Timothy 3:16||And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.||Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.|
|Revelation 22:14||Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.||Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.|
The verse from Exodus 20:5 (second commandment) is a doctrine error in the NIV, e.g. God visits the third and fourth generation to see if certain sins have come back (as they often did), but certainly does not punish the children for the sins of the father.
Ezekiel is quite clear about who is responsible for sin:
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
- Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV)
So "punishing" is completely wrong, and that error was made in the Ten Commandments!!
Don't settle for a watered down version of God's Word.
Some say that the Authorized Version of the King James Bible (1611) has been changed as well, and is no longer like the original. That's far from the truth however. The King James Bible only has new editions, but no new revisions.
For example, when the English language was standardized the word "Hee" was changed to "He". Agreed, many changes came from that, but not structural or in the doctrine. In some cases the printers/editors had made a mistake, and accidentally omitted a word (the most notorious one in 1 John 5:12, leaving out "of God"). In some cases a lowercase "s" was used instead of an uppercase "S". For example, "spirit of God" should be "Spirit of God", etc. These mistakes however were quickly corrected.
The King James Bible as it is today, is by far the best translation of the Bible that we have.
There's now also the New King James Bible, also based on the Textus Receptus, but it's a completely new translation, and has its fair share of mistakes, and also omits many important words such as "the Lord", etc. However, if you need something you can read in modern-day English, it's probably better then a NIV.
If you really can't stomach the old English from the King James Bible, then consider buying a side-by-side Bible. My Bible is a KJV/NIV Bible, and is great for learning the old English, and if there's any doubt, you can go straight to the King James side of the page.
Just to be clear, God revealed Himself to me using a "Groot Nieuws Bijbel" (Dutch), and a plain NIV Bible, so God clearly does use non-KJV Bibles as well. I do think however that as time progresses, and you mature as a Christian, you should try and get a KJV Bible. It will definitely help you understand God's Word better.
The King James Bible / Cambridge Edition is probably the best KJV Bible you can get.
You can download an electronic version here.