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Growing up in a KJV Only environment and still having to deal with them all the time on-line, I’ve come to know many (if not all) of their usual arguments. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love and study from the KJV myself and have for 40 years. It’s my preferred study Bible to this day, and the version from which nearly all of my “memory verses” were derived. My issue isn’t with the translation so much as it is with those who worship it as the fourth person of the Trinity and who make absurd claims such as it supposedly being “the most accurate, literal, word-for-word translation we have in the English language.” I could write an entire book on why that is a ridiculous claim to make, but for me, the most notable problem with such a view concerns the issue of YHWH’s Holy Name.

YHWH

How many times did YHWH declare His name? It wasn’t “I am the LORD” as the KJV (and others) would have us believe. No. He said His name the same way I would say, “I am Rob,” or you would introduce yourself to someone with your name. In like fashion, over and over and over again, He said “I am YHWH all through the Bible. He also said He wanted His name (not title) to be known in all the world. Indeed, He takes His name quite seriously. Shouldn’t we therefore do the same?

Exodus 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

Jeremiah 16:
19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.
20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?
21 Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is YHWH.

Isaiah 42:8 I am YHWH: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another {such as Baal, whose name means “lord}, neither my praise to graven images.

In the Jeremiah 16 and Isaiah 42 passages above, I restored His Name to the text, which the KJV translators saw fit to remove. While it is indeed true that “Adonai” is a Hebrew word which means and is translated appropriately as “lord,” there is another proper name, which actually means “lord” too: Baal. Seems to me that where the Hebrew uses the word Adonai, it is correct  – in a “word-for-word translation” – to render it as “lord.” However, where the Hebrew reads YHWH, it is not correct to substitute it – especially with a title, which when applied as the proper name of a deity, is Baal. Could this be what Jeremiah was warning against?

Jeremiah 23:
26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
27 Which think to cause my people to FORGET MY NAME by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have FORGOTTEN MY NAME FOR BAAL {which means “lord”}.

I’m not a “Sacred Namer” in the sense that they usually demand you say the Name and get it right or you are praying to a false god and thus going to Hell. I believe YHWH knows when we are calling on Him, whether we use “the Lord” or “God” or if we choose to use His Name but pronounce it as JeHoVaH (as the KJV Only types do, due to the few times the translators actually did render the Name instead of replacing it), YaHoVaH, YaHWeH or YaHuWaH. In each of those cases people are doing the best they can with 4 consonants, so I am not going to get dogmatic about that (like some Sacred Namers do). Personally, I believe the correct pronunciation is YaHuWaH based on my research, but I could be wrong. The following video gives my reasoning for the pronunciation I’ve chosen to use:

Likewise, others are fully convinced of a different pronunciation, but the fact of the matter is, all of us are at least trying to sound out His NAME. We are trying to make His NAME known. But the KJV translators (and others) apparently had a different idea and thought, “Nah… let’s replace His name and cover it up over 6,000 times with a generic title instead.” There’s simply no excuse for that… especially while claiming to be a “perfect, literal, word-for-word translation” as many a KJV Only type is prone to doing.

The prophet Zephaniah says…

Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.

Believe it or not, some KJV Only types actually claim that the 1611 English is the “pure language” being spoken about here (a patently absurd claim to make, but what else is new?). But note Zephaniah says, “that they may all call upon the >> NAME << not of “the LORD” as the KJV says, but of YHWH. Again, “the LORD” is a TITLE, and NOT a name – unless you use Baal, which as I said above is a name that means “lord.”

By the way, Baal is a god of war. So, we have what could potentially be a serious issue here. Especially since both YHWH and Baal are sometimes referred to the same way. Consider:

theLord

Baal

Sacred Namer arguments aside, all potential confusion is easily wiped away by simply translating the Name the way it was written in Hebrew into English and not substituting it and then making lame excuses for doing so. And this is my biggest beef with the KJV Only types. They get so dogmatic about the KJV being the perfect end all-be all for us English speakers, while making fraudulent claims for why they believe as they do, which can easily be debunked. You simply cannot make the claim of being “the most accurate, literal word-for-word translation” when you replace the actual words with other words that are not the literal meaning nor translation of the original text!

On a more serious note though, putting my personal beefs aside, I can’t really see YHWH being too happy with people doing what they’ve done either…

Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the NAME of YHWH thy God in vain; for YHWH will not hold him guiltless that taketh his NAME in vain.

Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith YHWH of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

One way to look at the word translated into “in vain” is to make the Name worthless or void or to use it deceitfully (like telling people His Name is “the Lord”). This is precisely what most English translations and their accompanying zealots have done. And the word translated as “in vain” in Exodus 20:7 is the same word used in…

Exodus 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a FALSE report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Simply put, rendering it as “the Lord” is giving a false report, thus making worthless and void His Holy Name. A time is coming when He won’t tolerate it anymore…

Ezekiel 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am YHWH, the Holy One in Israel.

But a time is also coming when those who chose to meditate on and remember His name will be rewarded:

Malachi 3: 
16 Then they that feared YHWH spake often one to another: and YHWH hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared YHWH, and that thought upon His name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith YHWH of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Thus, I’m not going to make up excuses for a book that changed and totally dismissed His wonderful Name over 6,000 times. Rather, I will strive to remember it, and make it known wherever and whenever possible… because I want to be written in His Book of Remembrance as one who feared and thought upon His Name, and not omitted from that book as one who ridiculed, mocked and made His Holy Name worthless and void, substituted with a generic title.

  • Rob Skiba