Just as the Lord led his Church to accept only the truly inspired books of the Bible as genuine, and to reject all others, so he guided his Church to make multiplied copies of the true manuscripts. Corrupt copies were also produced, but not in such large quantities. They were recognised for what they were, and rejected. And for this reason, the text found, for the most part, in the vast majority of manuscripts is the TRUE text of the Word of God. It is true that manuscripts containing this text are not as ancient as those containing the other text, and some critics contend that the oldest manuscripts are automatically the best; but this is not so. The manuscripts containing the true text would have been used far more than those containing the false one, and would have eventually fallen apart; so that a manuscript may be very old simply because it was not very accurate, and consequently not much used. The antiquity of a manuscript is one of the factors to take into consideration in order to ascertain whether a particular reading is the genuine one or not, but it is not the only factor. The number of manuscript witnesses to a particular reading, the variety of evidence from different places in favour of a particular reading, the context of the reading, various internal considerations, etc., are all factors which have to be taken into consideration. And in these respects, the Received Text is found to be far superior to the other text, the text of a very small minority of manuscripts.
Now we come to the subject at hand: the superiority of the English version of the Bible known as the King James Version over all other English versions either before or after it.
There are three things to look for in a Bible version:
1. Is it based on the true text of God's Word?
2. Is it an accurate translation of the true text?
3. Is it the best translation of the true text available?
Let us take up each one of these matters separately, and in this order: for if a particular Bible version is based upon a faulty, corrupt text, it does not matter how accurately it is translated: it is a faulty, corrupt translation. It cannot be otherwise. And if it is based on the true text, but is inaccurately translated, it does not matter that it is based on the true text: it is an inaccurate translation. And if it is based on the true text, and is accurately translated, but there is a more accurate version available, why should the Bible-loving Christian settle for anything less than the very best translation available?
Firstly, then, a Bible version must be based upon the true text of God's Word. That text is the Received Text. This was the text that was the basis of all the Bible translation work carried out in Europe at the time of the Protestant Reformation and afterwards, when the Bible was placed in the hands of the common man. This is the text that underlies the King James Version.
The King James Version was used by the overwhelming majority of the English-speaking people the world over until the year 1881. In that year, a new English version was published. This was known as the Revised Version, and it was the first of a long line of new Bible versions in English that have been published from then until now: versions which have caused immense confusion among professing Christians. The reader will probably be familiar with the names of at least some of them: the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the New International Version, the Good News Bible, the Living Bible, etc., etc. Almost without exception, the versions that have been published since 1881 have been based, not upon the Received Text, but upon another, corrupt text: a text found in only a very small percentage of all extant Greek manuscripts.
If a version is based on a corrupt text, the very foundation is faulty, and no Christian should use that version.