Wikipedia has published the second preface that was added to many of the original KJV’s. I offer an edited portion of it as equally beneficial for modern readers, to see the hypocrisy of the current crop of KJVO adherents. Pay close attention to what the translators of what the KJVO folks believe to be their exclusive property, affirmed over four hundred years ago.
“The second preface [to the original KJV] was called Translators to the Reader, a long and learned essay that defends the undertaking of the new version. It observes the translators' stated goal, that they, "never thought from the beginning that [they] should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, ... but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavour, that our mark."
They wanted the best for their people. Understood. They gave it their best effort. True. They came up with a great product. Yes. But their goal was not “a new translation.” They simply wanted to make the Bible of their day better than the one currently in use.
This has been the aim of most Christian translators since. Though there were some that wanted a Bible to fit their heresies, as the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, there were many others who wanted to dig a little deeper, refine a little more, “make a good one (KJV in this case) better.”
“They also give their opinion of previous English Bible translations, stating, ‘We do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest [poorest] translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs [Roman Catholics] of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.’”
What a statement! Even the worst of the English translations are here called, by the KJV translators, “the word of God!” What would they think then of translations that have taken the scholarship a step farther, yea many steps farther? These men would rejoice! They feared not innovation, change, when correction was the motivation.
“Zeale to promote the common good, whether it be by devising any thing our selves, or revising that which hath bene laboured by others, deserveth certainly much respect and esteeme, but yet findeth but cold intertainment in the world. It is welcommed with suspicion in stead of love, and with emulation in stead of thankes: …For, was there ever any thing projected, that savoured any way of newnesse or renewing, but the same endured many a storme of gaine-saying, or opposition?”
True, brothers of England! Revisers are not trusted, whether in your day or ours!
“…these things which we speake of, are of most necessary use, and therefore, that none, either without absurditie can speake against them, or without note of wickednesse can spurne against them.”
Yes. To scorn the reviser is both absurd and wicked!
“Yet for all that, the learned know that certain worthy men have been brought to untimely death for none other fault, but for seeking to reduce their countrymen to good order and discipline; and that in some commonweals it was made a capital crime, once to motion the making of a new law for the abrogating of an old, though the same were most pernicious; and that certain, which would be counted pillars of the state, and patterns of virtue and prudence, could not be brought for a long time to give way to good letters and refined speech, but bare themselves as averse from them, as from rocks or boxes of poison;”
Change, even for correction, is abominable to some.
“…Envy striketh most spitefully at the fairest, and at the chiefest. David was a worthy prince, and no man to be compared to him for his first deeds, and yet for as worthy as act as ever he did (even for bringing back the Ark of God in solemnity), he was scorned and scoffed at by his own wife.”
The greatest of Biblical men have been envied and scorned.
The essay goes on to cite examples in history of the same phenomenon. Then this,
“His Majesty that now reigneth (and long may he reign, and his offspring forever, "Himself and children, and children's children always") knew full well, according to the singular wisdom given unto him by God, and the rare learning and experience that he hath attained unto; namely that whosoever attempteth anything for the public (especially if it pertain to religion, and to the opening and clearing of the word of God), the same setteth himself upon a stage to be glouted upon by every evil eye; yea, he casteth himself headlong upon pikes, to be gored by every sharp tongue.
“For he that meddleth with men's religion in any part, meddleth with their custom, nay, with their freehold; and though they find no content in that which they have, yet they cannot abide to hear of altering.”
A perfect description of KJVOnlyism, by KJV translators! The KJV is the custom, the tradition of so many. And to come against it is to incur their wrath.
There follows a praise of Scripture. And a question:
“But how shall men meditate in that which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue? As it is written, ‘Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian to me’. The apostle excepteth no tongue; not Hebrew the ancientest, not Greek the most copious, not Latin the finest.”
Well put, yes? Speak to me in my language or do not speak at all!
A lengthy argument now ensues for translation of Scriptures into the tongue of the people. This argument could well be used against the KJV of our day, which simply is not in the tongue of modern English-speakers:
“Now though the Church were thus furnished with Greek and Latin translations…yet for all that the godly-learned were not content to have the Scriptures in the language which they themselves understood, Greek and Latin… but also for the behoof and edifying of the unlearned which hungered and thirsted after righteousness, and had souls to be saved as well as they, they provided translations into the vulgar for their countrymen…”
“The unwillingness of our chief adversaries that the Scriptures should be divulged in the mother tongue, etc. Here is Rome’s refusal to allow the Scriptures in the tongue of the people.”
Keeping God’s Word out of the tongue of the people is akin to what Rome did in those awful centuries known as the Dark Ages!