Why I Prefer The KJV Bible and Why You Should NOT Read The Message

Bible versions

By Greg Holt

There are many versions of the Bible out there – I prefer the KJV even over NKJV (which has made many revisions to the text, not just eliminating the thees and thous etc.) (3)

Honestly all the thees, and thous and yeas etc. I find to be annoying – there I said it. I resisted this version for a long time because of the words used – silly maybe I know. At times the archaic English used in the KJV is hard to understand – this despite my having been reassured in an article I read online that said: “the KJV is written so as a 5th grade student can understand it”. Hmmmm – maybe I need to go back to school then? I digress, still all in all, I prefer this version over others.

Did you know that the only Bible with NO copyright is the King James Bible? As it is in the public domain anyone can reproduce it with no need of changing the text, nor payment of royalties. All other Bibles have to change the text to get a copyright. Does this mean that any and all changes to the text of the Bible are critical affecting our understanding of God’s Word and the basic concepts and the premise of the Word? Honestly – no. Then again, some of these changes DO affect our understanding – discernment is required.

The wording of many verses in versions other than the KJV is different, sometimes this is ok, sometimes though this is very bad. What words are used when changes are made to the text can and does change the meaning of the text – and that is not good.

Isaiah 66:5 (KJV) Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed

Isaiah 66:5 (NIV) Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy!‘ Yet they will be put to shame.

Big difference in meaning between these two sets of verses. This verse refers to the Pharisees casting out the believing Jews from the synagogues. In the KJV the Lord will appear (second coming perhaps?) and you (believing Jews and others) will feel joy at this. In the NIV the verse reads like the people are to glorify God that yet others may see their joy – do you see the huge difference here?

2 Corinthians 2:17 (KJV) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:17 (NKJV) For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ

Big difference between corrupting the Word of God versus peddling the Word of God.

Acts 8:37 (KJV) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God

Look the above verse up in the NIV, ESV, GNT – it does not exist. Look it up in the RSV, verse 37: * [No text] Really? An admission of the eunuch that Jesus Christ is the Son of God was left out?

Next look up John 5:4 In many versions other than KJV, this verse is not there either.

Look at Philippians 2:6 in the KJV and then in the NIV – HUGE difference in meaning. Then look at this article that does a great job of explaining the differences. (1)

Question: who in the Bible killed Goliath? Easy right? David killed Goliath. Not so according to the ESV and other versions as well –
2 Samuel 21:19 (ESV) And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam

The KJV says that: Elhananslew the brother of Goliath the Gittite – huge difference here! (2)

Matthew 18:11 (KJV) For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost
The above verse is missing completely from the ESV and GNT among others.

Daniel 3:25 (KJV) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Daniel 3:25 (NIV) He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3:25 (GNT) “Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire?” he asked. “They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt – and the fourth one looks like an angel.”

Huge difference in what is being said here in the different versions. The KJV makes it plain that the 4th figure is Christ, the NIV says the 4th figure is like a son of the gods, while the GNT says the 4th figure is like an angel – wow what a difference! (3)

There are many other changes as well, to many to list here in fact and many of the changes are not simple grammatical changes, they actually alter the meaning of the text. In the reference listed below (3) you can see many of these changes – the actual changes used in different versions – you may well be surprised.

I won’t go so far as to say all other Bible versions are worthless, as I consult them at times for clarification and my own understanding. Still it behooves us to understand some of the devious changes made in some revisions of the text in other Bible versions.

One final thought: if your translation of choice is The Message – throw it out right now and get a different Bible! The Message does not even deserve to be called a Bible.

Eugene Peterson author of The Message is involved in the New Age Movement. In this book he basically paraphrases the Bible taking out whatever he decides to and adds things that are not to be found anywhere in the Bible. We are expressly warned in God’s Word not to do this, yet Eugene does this with seeming indifference while being praised by big Christian names!

Consider the following:

If The Message is accepted as Biblical truth, three distortions of New Testament teachings could spread and permeate the Church, conforming “truth” to popular consensus and false unity:

  • Since God is love, He wouldn’t be so cruel as to cause someone to suffer, perish or burn in hell. So don’t mention Biblical consequences or punishment.
  • Since God forgives, don’t be too concerned about specific sins such as homosexuality or adultery. Jesus wouldn’t want you to offend someone.
  • Since God is tolerant, don’t correct others. Be tolerant of all, except those who criticize something you like. (This politically correct attitude censors much-needed rational, objective criticism as a corrective force.) (4)

Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 (MSG) With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.

Note the part of the verse in red from The Message – visit the link below to see why this is significant.
as above, so below (5)


(1)Thought it not robbery to be equal with God
(2) KJV the most accurate English translation of the Bible
(3)Why the King James Bible is Still the Best and…The Most Accurate
(4)What kind of message is The Message?
(5)as above, so below


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7 replies

  1. Wow, you really had a lot of work to put this together. I’ve never used The Message and won’t even think about it using it now. I had no idea there was so much difference even though I do use different Bibles for research, etc. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Thank you Sue, yes this involved a lot of research. This has been on my heart to write this for a while now. Many people do not realize the significant differences between the different texts and this is important.

  2. I knew I had bookmarked this and went looking for it again after a conversation with a friend. I still can’t get into KJV because of the language but I CAN look at my preferred NKJV AND the KJV for the same passage so that I can see the differences. Also a good reminder to check on Eugene Peterson as I have a friend that sometimes likes to see what this version says 🙂


  1. Why I Prefer The KJV Bible and Why You Should NOT Read The Message | The Olive Branch Report

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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