“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff shot down a nonbeliever’s argument that the King James Version of the Bible has been used to control people and take away their rights.
Hanegraaff, an Eastern Orthodox radio talk-show host who leads the Christian Research Institute, heard in a clip posted on Facebook on Monday from a woman who explained that her nonbeliever roommate believes that the KJV was used as “propaganda” to suppress people and their rights.
Hanegraaff said that although the argument is often made in culture, “it bares [sic] no semblance to reality whatsoever.”
“There are lots of translations, and the translations have errors. But we today have what is called the science of textual criticism, by which we can compare one translation with another translation, and by doing that we can get back to the autograph,” he said.
“The embarrassment of riches as respect to translations helps us get back to the originals.”
The “Bible Answer Man” said that whichever version of the Bible one takes into account, the message from God is not that He is a “killjoy to gays and lesbians,” rather that He “sets parameters around human beings in general, so that their joy may be complete.”
“The Bible is not in some way to discriminate against them, it is that their joy may be full. If you go against the owner’s manual, there is always an incredible penalty that you pay,” he added, using buying cars as an example.
“You don’t want to use your body in some way that it was not constructed to be used. And that is true not only of the physical perspective of your body, but it is also true to the metaphysical aspect of our reality,” he continued.
“All of this must be used in conformance to principles God lays out for us. That is for our good, it is not for our detriment. So what this person is communicating is a false narrative,” he said of the unbeliever criticizing the KJV.
Hanegraaff insisted that the multiple translations of the Bible “don’t diminish the authority of the Word of God” but that they “enhance the authority of the Word of God.”
“Secondly, the Word of God is not simply the ideas of human beings at a particular point in time. This is God speaking divinely through human beings, so that we understand His purposes for our lives,” he added.
The KJV, commissioned by England’s King James I and published in 1611, has remained popular throughout the English-speaking world. A LifeWay Research study in 2011 found that 62 percent of American adults own a KJV Bible. Still, another 27 percent admitted that they never read it, because they found the language difficult to understand.
In 2016, researchers at Bluefield College in Virginia found that the KJV remains the most frequently used translation among four Protestant denominations in the U.S., namely Baptists, Pentecostals, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, along with Mormons.
“The King James Bible remains in use amongst a number of denominations, despite being published more than 400 years ago, in 1611. Additionally, we found that the most searched-for Bible passages include Romans 12:2, Joshua 1:9, and Philippians 4:6,” Andrew Lawrence, associate vice president for online and distance education and instructor of management and leadership, told The Christian Post at the time.
“The graphics we provided highlight which denominations are using which versions of the Bible. Our research did not investigate why certain versions are more popular than others,” he added.