The Apostle Paul told the assembly in Corinth that “God is not the author of confusion" (1 Corinthians 14:33). Yet, confusion may be the best word to describe the reality facing the Lord’s churches today in America with regard to the plethora of English Bible translations available today. This confusion is self-evident by walking into a religious assembly today and listening to a sermon given by a religious leader wherein multiple English translations are cited within this single message. To further illustrate the confusion in these assemblies is that within the same congregation even more English translations are in the laps of the congregation (Although many in these assemblies do not bring their most recent "Bible" of choice because what is the point really? What are the chances the preacher will quote from your translation?). This is madness and erodes confidence in the written Word of God! Confusion surrounding God's words are as old as the garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 3:1ff. with 2 Corinthians 2:11). This all too familiar scene is a mockery of “let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
This brief explanation of BBC’s use only of the KJV is not intended to detail all the points of our Bibliology or our defense of the texts underlying the KJV, nor is it the purpose of this explanation to expose the problems of the Modern Versions Only (MVO) movement’s bibliology. Our singular purpose here is simply to explain to our website readers WHY we use only the KJV in our assembly.
The Reason for the KJV only position of BBC
Because of the great confusion surrounding the translation debate many Christians have no idea that the Hebrew texts (portions Aramaic) of the Old Testament (OT) and the Greek texts of the New Testament (NT) that underlie the KJV and those that underlie the modern English translations post-KJV are quite different. How big of a difference? As much as 7% difference! In the texts underlying the NT alone, there are over 8,000 word differences.
The two texts at the heart of this debate are the Received Text [sometimes called the Textus Receptus or the TR) and the Critical Text (CT). The TR is the text that underlies the KJV, while the CT underlies most of your post-KJV English translations (Allegedly, the New King James version translates the TR, but there are numerous places the translators ignored the TR readings). Therefore, a local church must make a decision guided by the Scripture as to which underlying text that underlie the English translations is in fact God’s words. We recognize that God did not breathe out English words!
As we open the Scriptures, we read consistently of the “My sheep hear my voice” Movement such as found in Jn. 10:27 (cf. Acts 28:25; I Tim. 5:18 [see Deut. 25:4 & Lk. 10:7]; 2 Pet. 3:15-16; et al). This led to the Received Bible Mindset (Jn. 17:8; Acts 2:41; 8:14; 11:1; 17:11; I Thess. 2:13; et al.). The NT teaches that local churches exclusively are given the stewardship responsibility of guarding, keeping, protecting, and teaching the words of God (cf. Matt. 28:20; I Tim. 3:15; Rev. 2:25; 3:8,10; et al.). Therefore, BBC determined to discern which underlying text fits the teaching of Scripture! Remember, there is some 93% agreement between the TR and the CT; so, that 93% agreement is not the debate at all. It is the 7% of variant readings (or nearly 10,000 word differences) that are the question.
What have the biblical custodians of the Lord’s words, the Lord's churches, received and what did they reject over the past 2,000 years since the Lord’s earthly ministry? In short, it is without question that the readings that make up the TR are the words that the Lord's churches have received, preached, published, and read for nearly two millennia. Isn’t it very telling that the Greek Text underlying the KJV NT is called the Received Text? The phrase, Textus Receptus comes from the Latin “textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptus” (or “therefore you have a text now received by all”). Although the aforementioned phrase was coined in AD 1633, its theology didn’t originate in AD 1633, but with Jesus Christ in Jn. 17:8; et al! Additionally, the TR is known as: the Ecclesiastical text (church text) and the Byzantine text (the region closely related to many NT churches mentioned in the book of Acts)! Would not one expect such after reading the NT’s command for churches to “hold fast” to God’s words? We think so!
In stark contrast to the TR stands the CT. The CT is primarily made up of two texts known as Aleph or Sinaiticus (because it was discovered at the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai in 1859) and B or Vaticanus (because it was kept at the Vatican library at Rome). These two locations are hardly the citadel of orthodoxy, and certainly not the Lord’s churches. In addition, they were not available to the Lord’s churches for centuries. Some MV use an Eclectic text (a blending of several text types). However, the conclusion is this: The underlying texts of the numerous modern English versions that are post-KJV are translated from a DIFFERENT underlying text than that of the KJV. Things that are different are not the same! Therefore, it is not a matter of the MV simply updating the words to modern English! This is a grave and serious error if one believes that MV only modernize the English of the KJV! Two different textual bases are in view!
The NT makes clear the necessity for translations (cf. Matt. 28:19,20; Rom. 16:25,26; et al.) of God’s preserved words. We certainly believe that faithful translations, using the principles of formal equivalency (word-for-word translation), can be made from these preserved, received texts into receptor languages of all nations, and that such is the testimony of the KJV into English.
We recognize that there are a series of English translations that were translated faithfully from the Received Text (ie: Tyndale, Geneva, etc.), but the English translation that God has used and blessed in a unique way over the past four centuries in His English speaking churches is the KJV. It has no equal among modern English translations! It has been and will continue to be the Bible of English speaking NT immersionist churches! Therefore, BBC with great conviction uses only the KJV in all of its ministries!