The Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible is used exclusively throughout the English-speaking congregations of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. This is based on the belief that it is the most accurate and faithful version of God’s Word available in the English language today.
Two essential and fundamental principles undergird the Authorised Version:
- It is translated from the right Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, the ones providentially preserved by the God who inspired them.
- It is translated according to the right principle, that of formal equivalence, whereby the words of the original languages are translated into English as literally as possible.
Most Bible translations today reject either or (more usually) both of these principles.
The following articles make for much interesting reading, and support the position that in the English language only the Authorised Version should be used.
The Authorised Version: The Enduring Legacy. This paper was given by Rev Hugh M Cartwright in Glasgow in 30 July 2011, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version. In it he made six vital points:
- In the Authorised Version we have a translation which originated in an environment still conditioned by the Reformation attitude to Scripture and to theology in general.
- In the Authorised Version we have the translation of an original text on which we can rely.
- In the Authorised Version we have a translation made on principles which give us confidence that it accurately reflects the very words which God spoke.
- In the Authorised Version we have a translation which in its simplicity and dignity corresponds with the character of the Scriptures as originally written.
- In the Authorised Version we have a translation especially suited to memorising and to reading aloud in the context of worship.
- In the Authorised Version we have a translation which originated in the church, which provided the English-speaking churches and peoples with a common Bible and which has been much used in the salvation of sinners and edification of saints and in promoting a sense of the authority of Scripture.
The Importance of the Authorised Version for the Church in Britain. This interesting article, which maintains that “the choice of a Bible version is as much a spiritual matter as a rational one”, demonstrates the disadvantageous effects of moving away from the the Authorised Version:
- Abandoning the Authorised Version is associated with, and in part contributes to, declension in worship, conduct and doctrine.
- Abandoning the Authorised Version opens the door, not to the use of one replacement version, but to many different versions, with all the drawbacks that brings.
- Abandoning the Authorised Version marks a departure from, and rejection of, the Protestant heritage of Britain.
The 2015 Synod passed a resolution on Versions of the Bible which can be found at this link.