A Book Review of D. A. Waite’s “Defending the King James Bible”

Dennis Kwok


The Bible for today is the battle for today. The King James Bible, which is founded on the preserved Received Text, has stood the test of time for over three hundred and eighty-one years. But Satan’s wiles have flooded the Christendom with at least a hundred new Bible versions since the last century. And the NIV is the leader of all these modern ‘perversions.’ They are perversions because they are based on the corrupt text of Westcott and Hort.

The book, Defending the King James Bible by Dr. D. A. Waite, clearly shows why the King James Bible must be preferred and why we must reject all other English versions available today. The book also expounds God’s promise that His Word shall be kept intact forever. It also explains the superiority of the King James Bible in four areas: text, translators, techniques, and theology. And Dr. Waite wrote that in all four of these areas, the King James Bible has no equal.

Bible Preservation

The first chapter emphasises the importance of Bible preservation. Dr. Waite has rightly said that the Bible is a timeless book. Since the Bible is a timeless book, it must be preserved for ever.

Dr. Waite gave two strong biblical reasons for Bible preservation. The first reason is that God has repeatedly promised in both the Old and New Testaments that He would preserve and keep every one of His Words that He had originally given in the Hebrew and Greek languages. The second reason for believing in Bible preservation is that God had always kept His promises in the past, and therefore, He will continue to keep His Word (Psalm 12:6–7; 78:1–7; 105:8; 119:111, etc.).

The Historic Creeds are also cited to provide added support for Bible preservation. There are many historic Confessions of Faith that allude to Bible preservation. And the best and clearest of these confessions is the Westminster Confession of Faith. It states that God’s Word is kept pure in all ages. This indeed is a strong testimony to the preservation of the original words of the Bible.

Dr. Waite also explains the relationship between Bible Preservation and the King James Bible. The King James Bible accurately preserves the Hebrew and Greek words in the English language by accurately translating God’s divine Words. Dr. Waite gives 4 excellent reasons for this belief: (i) superior texts, (ii) superior translators, (iii) superior techniques, and (iv) superior theology.

Superior Original Language Texts

The textual foundation of the King James Bible is the best compared to that used by all other English Bibles that exist today. The King James Old Testament is translated from the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text (Ben Chayyim). The Masoretes handed down this text from generation to generation, guarded it and kept it well. The majority of the modern versions were taken from other texts like Rudolph Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, Samaritan Pentateuch, etc., which are different from the Traditional Masoretic Text. If the foundations of the modern versions and the King James Bible are different, how can their words be the same? Surely, they cannot be the same. They are different.

Why is the Old Testament Hebrew Text of the King James Bible superior? It is superior because: Firstly, it was accumulated by the Jews. Secondly, the traditional text of the Jews was authorised by Jesus. He has never refuted any text, any word or any letter in the Hebrew Old Testament. He stamped His authorisation on the Masoretic Hebrew Text. He did not give His approval on the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, some scribal tradition, Josephus, Jerome, the Syriac version or any other document present at that time! In Matthew 5:18, Jesus said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This proves that our Lord believes in the preservation of the Scripture to the extent that every word of it has been kept intact.

The King James Bible is also based on a superior Greek New Testament text, the Textus Receptus. The chief opponent of the Textus Receptus is the Nestle/Aland Greek New Testament 26th edition, which is used in most colleges, universities, and seminaries today (even conservative and/or fundamental ones). The editors of this Greek Text were made up of a committee comprising unbelievers, a Roman Catholic Cardinal, and apostates. Basically, it is this same Greek Text that underlies almost all modern English versions.

Dr. Waite believes in the superiority of the text of the Textus Receptus that underlies the King James Bible. It was received by the Church for almost 1,800 years until it was taken out in 1881, when Westcott and Hort’s Greek Text came into the scene. Since then, almost all preachers studied this false Greek Text, but preached out of the King James Bible, which was based on a different Greek text. Later, the King James Bible was also kicked out in favour of versions based on the false ‘preferred’ Greek text.

Superior Translators

To add more weight to the evidence for the superiority of the translators, Dr. Waite quotes from firsthand sources concerning the superiority of their spiritual life and ministry. They were men of great spiritual insight. The King James translators believed that people need to read the Bible, and therefore, there was a need for proper translation of the Scripture.

There were fifty-seven translators, divided into six teams. They met in three cities, namely, Cambridge, Westminster and Oxford. They began their work in 1604 and completed it in 1611. In both Westminster and Oxford, the translators focused on the Old Testament and New Testament. In Cambridge, they had a team working with the Old Testament and Apocrypha. Even though the translators included the Apocrypha in the original King James Bible, they did not believe it was inspired. Therefore, they translated it as history between the Old and New Testaments. Dr. John Reynolds, a devout puritan, led this great work of translation from the beginning to the end.

Many of them possessed superb language skills and were known for their expertise in Hebrew, Greek and English. They applied their skills and did excellently in the translation. With all these fifty-seven superior translators, we can be assured of the superiority of their product.

Superior Technique

According to Dr. Waite, there are two aspects to the superior technique used by the translators of the King James Bible: Superior Team Technique, and Superior Translation Technique.

The King James Bible was translated differently from other modern versions. Each translator had to translate the books on his own, unaided by anyone else. Every translator on the six teams, fifty-seven of them, had to be so skilled in the Hebrew or Greek books assigned to him that he had to translate all of them by himself in his own handwriting. In addition, they had a total of fifteen rules to govern their translation work.

They had a team technique that is unequalled by any modern translators. This is how they do it. They had about seven translators in a team. One translator is assigned to one book. For each completed book, it had to be examined by the other six translators individually, and one more time meeting together to go over it to decide which translated words would stand – in total eight times. Then it will be sent to the other five teams for vetting – that is five more times and at the end they had a joint meeting of two men from each of the six teams – twelve men. That makes a total of fourteen different times for one book. That was how they translated, analysed and corrected in their translation from Genesis to Revelation. This was a team effort and certainly superior without any doubt!

The technique adopted by the King James translators is the verbal and formal translation technique. This method is the translation of Hebrew and Greek words as closely as possible into English. Every noun, adjective, preposition, participle and so on in the Hebrew and Greek text is brought into the English in the same way. That includes the structure and form as well. Dynamic equivalence is directly opposite of the verbal and formal equivalence technique. It is not a word-for-word translation. The words were either added, changed or subtracted in the English. Paraphrase is another word for it.

Should not God’s Word be read in English exactly as we would find in the Hebrew and Greek text? We can see this in King James Bible which has been translated by the verbal and formal equivalence technique, but not in other modern versions which used the dynamic equivalence technique that mixed God’s Words with man’s words. Therefore, I say with Dr. Waite that indeed we can confidently trust that the King James Bible is God’s Word accurately translated into English.

Superior Theology

There are those who say that no vital doctrine is affected by the modern versions. This claim is clearly false. There are two possible ways theology can be affected in the Bible: Either the paraphrase found in the versions causes doctrinal changes, or the basic Greek text is in error. Dr. Waite believes that the main cause is error in the basic Greek text.

Theology is affected in the versions when important words in the basic Greek text is changed, or omitted. The theology affected are the doctrine of Holy Trinity (1 John 5:8), the doctrine of the church (Revelation 2:15), the doctrine of angels (Luke 22:43), the doctrine of Satan (Luke 4:8), the doctrine of the Bible (Mark 16:9–20; John 7:53–8:11; etc.), the doctrine of last things or prophecy (Matthew 25:13; Mark 12:23; etc.), the doctrine of salvation (Revelation 21:24; 1 Peter 2:2; etc.), and the doctrine of Christ (John 3:13; 1 Corinthians 11:24; etc.).

Theology is indeed affected and undermined in these modern versions today. How can the whole counsel of God be faithfully taught in these perversions?


It is important for every serious Christian to search the Scripture. However, it is equally important to ensure that the Scripture they search from is truly the Word of God. God’s Word must be accurately and faithfully translated.

Dr. Waite has undoubtedly proved the case that the King James Bible is the best English Bible because of its four-fold superiority, namely, (i) superior texts, (ii) superior translators, (iii) superior technique, and (iv) superior theology. Since we have God’s Word, preserved and faithfully translated in the King James Bible, let us read it, understand it, believe it, study it, memorise it, and practise it! Amen.

Mr. Dennis Kwok is the preacher of Calvary Bible-Presbyterian Church.

Published in Bible Witness, Vol 2 Issue 4 (October – December 2002)