What scholar said, "the KJV has over 20,000 errors"?

This is based upon a recent question:

"KJV Bible. Does it really have 20,000 errors as claimed by JW on R +S?"

To find the answer please go to:


Under "History of English Translations" page 6


I would like to thank everyone for their answers.

Most choose - 'not to actually answer' the question, BUT to state their opinion as to the quality of the KJV. - Either pro KJV or against KJV.

The intent of this question was show that, I wasn't stating my personal opinion that there are 20,000 known errors in the KJV, BUT it was the opinion of the scholar BENJAMIN WILSON who created a Greek to English Interlinear.

You may agree with this scholar or disagree, that is your choice.

Update 2:

As to how many errors are actually in the KJV? Is it 1,000 or 8,000 or 20,000?

The number depends on what accounts as '1' error? At 1Jn5:7 is it 1, 8 or 38 errors,

Since B.Wilson doesn't explain how he came up this this number, I can't confirm it.

How many prophecies pertain to Jesus? 100, 300? According to the Jews - none.

How many actual errors are in the KJV? According to B. Wilson, 20,000

Or enough to know it isn't the 'best or only translation' the 'KJV ONLY' proponents claim it is.

Update 3:

I agree with B Wilson, who stated, 'at the time of translation, the KJV was the best translation available'.

Today we know it fell short for many reasons; including King James insisting upon inserting his beliefs into the translation.

I would love to own a Model T to drive it. BUT it wouldn't be my primary car.

I have several copies of the KJV and enjoy reading it. But I wouldn't base my eternal life on it.


12 Answers

  • 2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are over 8000 alternate English renderings from Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that were identical.

    The first example (Judges 19:2) below shows a place where the meaning of the Hebrew is obscure. Was it "4 months" or "a year and four months"??? Quite a difference! But the structure of the Hebrew makes it difficult to for any translators to know for sure which it is. So they show the alternate reading, NOT KNOWING THEMSELVES FOR SURE WHICH IS CORRECT!

    No one questions the Greek and Hebrew is inspired. But if the translators were also inspired by the Holy Spirit, in their work of translating the inspired Hebrew into English, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN GUIDED BY DIVINE INSPIRATION THE CORRECT RENDERING, hence no need for any alternate readings in the margin.

    Remember, although we have only shown one example of this first type of marginal reading, there are over 8000 more we have not shown!

    KJV ONLY advocates believe that the translators were directed by the Holy Spirit to make the correct choice between two variations in the Greek or Hebrew text.

    There are a number of marginal readings that indicate alternate manuscript readings. This is different from two English readings from identical manuscripts.

    The fact that the translators placed into the margin alternate manuscript readings PROVES BEYOND ANY DOUBT that they WERE NOT GUIDED by the Holy Spirit as to which one of the two readings were correct.

    We have included in this collection 13 different places in the original 1611 edition of the KJV where the translators give alternate manuscript readings.

    The images on the right are from the original 1611 edition KJV. Few have ever seen it and are unaware that the original edition, like "modern versions" signal the reader of alternate readings in the underlying Greek manuscripts. If the KJV translators were inspired in their work... they didn't know it.

    KJV translates...

    Textus Receptus actually says...

    "robbers of churches." Acts 19:37

    Every known Greek manuscript has HIEROSULOUS, "robbers of temples"

    "Lucifer" Is 14:12

    "O Day Star" (Lucifer is a human origin nickname for the Devil in the 1600's refers not to the devil but the king of Babylon)

    "Easter" Acts 12:4

    "Passover"(Easter very poor choice as it confuses the pagan origin Roman Catholic "Easter" holy day with what the TR clearly says is the Jewish Passover!)

    "Baptism" (entire New Testament) Acts 2:38; 22:16

    immersion, because sprinkling was the mode of baptism in 1611AD, they jelly-fished out and transliterated the Greek "baptizo" but refused to translate it.

    "Tithes of all I possess" Lk 18:12

    "all I acquire" (Not only variant with the TR, but quite wrong. Tithes were never paid on capital, only increase)

    "Schoolmaster" Gal 3:24

    "attendant" (the law was the one who brought us to Christ, not taught us about Christ)

    "God save the King": 1Sam 10:24, 2Sam 16:16, 1Kings 1:25

    "May the king live" ("God" not in TR, but reflects the British culture of the 1600's. Proof that the translators used dynamic equivalents.)

    "God Forbid." Ro. 3:4,6,31; 6:2,15; 7:7,13; 9:14; 11:1,11; 1 Co. 6:15; Ga. 2:17; 3:21; 6:14

    "may it not be" or "let it not be." (KJV adds the word God where it is absent in the TR because it was a common expression in 1600's. Proof that the translators used dynamic equivalents.)

    "sweet savour" Lev 6:21; 8:28; 17:6; 23:18

    "soothing aroma" (KJV appeals to wrong senses- taste instead of smell in the TR)

    "ashes upon his face" 1 Kings 20:38

    "bandage over his eyes" (KJV varies from TR by using ashes)

    "flagon" 2 Sam 6:19; 1 Chron 16:3; SoS 2:5; Hosea 3:1

    These verses contain the word "flagon" which is a fluted cup from which liquid is drunk. However, the Hebrew word is "ashishah" which has always meant raisins or raisin cakes. This is especially true in Hos 3:1 because raisin cakes were often offered to idols. This is an obvious error in translation.

    the tragic part of it all is that the people who still call it the "Authorized Bible" understand by that term something very different from this. They understand it to mean DIVINELY AUTHORIZED. I have today received a letter from a very zealous young minister in Atlantic City, definitely declaring his belief in the verbal inspiration of the King James Version. This extraordinary view is very widely held.

    Of course the Translators made no such claim; indeed, their account of their method of work fits very poorly with such an idea:

    "Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch; neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered; but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at length, through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to that pass that you see."

    "Some peradventure would have no variety of senses to be set in the margin, lest the authority of the Scriptures for deciding controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgment not to be so sound in this point. ... Yet for all that it cannot be dissembled, that partly to exercise and whet our wits, ... and lastly, that we might be forward to seek aid of our brethren by conference, and never scorn those that be not in all respects so complete as they should be, being to seek in many things ourselves, it hath pleased God in his divine providence, here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, ... that fearfulness would better beseem us than confidence, and if we will resolve upon modesty with S. Augustine, .... There be many words in the Scriptures, which be never found there but once, ... so that we cannot be helped by conference of places. Again, there be many rare names of certain birds, beasts and precious stones, etc. ... Now in such a case, doth not a margin do well to admonish the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily? ... Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that variety of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is not so clear, must need do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded."

    Source(s): www.jw.org
  • 2 years ago

    With the question above I would think the best way forwards is to ask the poster if he himself, actually believes that the KJV has 20,000 errors.

    I say that because his JW sister believes totally the opposite.


    What did the sister say? “The answer to your question is no, there do not appear to be 20,000 errors in the King James.”

    She also said:

    “I will also say FLAT OUT that I DO NOT claim there are 20,000 errors in the King James. IT DOES NOT EVEN SEEM POSSIBLE inasmuch as there are only 31,173 verses IN the King James. If there is an issue with the claim that there are 20,000 errors in the King James, then that should be taken up with all who make the claim.”

    O.K. now onto the link provided in the question.

    The JW sister mentioned, make a further quote.

    “In the 1950 Watchtower - an issue that is literally 69 years old - there is mention of the KJB having 20,000 errors”

    This is quoted as if the passage of time (69 yrs) negates the teaching. So bearing this in mind we can use the exact same reasoning for the link that is provided in the question. The link is to the ‘Emphatic Diaglott’ by one Benjamin Wilson.

    Simple Facts about the Diaglott and Wilson.

    (1) Published in 1864 by Fowler & Wells of New York. (Making it 155 yrs old)

    (Remember the JW sister and her reasoning that the watchtower article was 69 yrs old thus somehow negating it’s conclusions?)

    Notice first of all that the question poster in his link shows the ‘Emphatic Diaglott’ as it was first published in 1864 by Fowler and wells. This is no doubt an attempt to hide the fact that C.T.Russell obtained the copyright after wilson’s death. And thereafter from 1902 the international Bible Students Association (later the Watchtower society), distributed wilson’s work widely around the world.

    Until 1952 when the copyright expired it was published by Guess who? Yup you got it ‘The Watchtower Bible And Tract Society’.

    The JW poster is using for support, a book which until 1952, the copyright off, was owned and printed by the Jehovah’s witnesses themselves! His own organization.

    Also note that under the heading ‘History of English Versions’ when Wilson makes the statement, “It has been convicted of containing over 20,000 errors.” He also says, “Nearly 700 Greek MS are now known.” That was in 1864. Well today, the total supporting N.T Manuscript base is over 24,000.

    Things move on. (as the JWs are prone to tell us in their excuse of ‘New Light’ for their ever-changing doctrines).

    Wilson is not regarded as authoritative by modern Biblical scholars.

    And he did not have the benefit of the advances in the understanding of Koine Greek that emerged over the past 100 years; he did not have Colwell or Harner's studies available to him, nor the subsequent scholarship that bears on the subject.

    He was not formally trained in Greek, and he was a follower of John Thomas the founder of the unitarian Christadelphian movement.

    Good relations between Wilson and Thomas lasted until 1863 or 1864 when the two brethren fell out over how to reconcile 1 Corinthians 15:52 "raised incorruptible" with Romans 14:10 & 2 Corinthians 5:10.

    So, taking all this into consideration, I have to conclude that the case made for the scholarship presented as an authority for stating that “the KJV has over 20,000 errors”. Is at the least very weak. And quite biased.


    I never said Wilson was a JW teem. What I did say is that you used 150 yr old scholarship (From someone who wasn't recognised as a Greek scholar) to try to prove your case. And as I pointed out your attempt failed.

    Because you failed to inform people that your organization were the publishers and owners of the copyright of Wilson's book until 1952, proving Bias.

    I notice you didn't answer the question "do you believe that the KJV contains 20.000 errors?"

  • Nous
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    The King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words

    Then that says every word in it is false, every word must be misspelled and still means there must be far more things wrong! Thus Christianity is totally false!!!!!!!!

  • User
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    You didn't read the passage you cited, did you?

    I quote:

    (Note: the author is describing the "King James' Bible")

    "It has been convicted of containing over 20,000 errors."

    So: what we have is you citing a source that tells us that someone said that the KJV has 20,000 errors.

    So: what scholar said that the KJV does in fact have 20,000 errors?

    You have NOT answered that question.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    Since nothing's is correct it's probably more .

    Mean while Harry Potter. Has zero since he doesn't pretend to be fact

  • Donald
    Lv 6
    2 years ago

    this is a lie.

    the KJV has very few errors in it.

    about 90 copyist errors I believe.

    one is easter. (should be pascha) = Passover

    that's one fix.

    you cannot prove your words.

    you were taught this by your church.

    this so called scholar is a joke.

    so are those who listen to him.

  • 2 years ago

    Teem. You said it here dude. Is there meant to be more to your link than one page? There's nothing there saying 20,000 errors? Unless I need more direction to find it? Amidst the verses that Teem has supplied, has anyone noticed 20,000 errors?!

  • 2 years ago

    Learn Greek and you'll see the KJV isn't perfect. However, the NWT is even worse.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    One needs to keep in mine when reading the KJV was not this legendary god inspired version, it was a version like all others, it took over 40 scribes to translate it, and they borrowed a lot from the Geneva and Tyndale Bible anyway. It even received heavy criticism for about 100 years for it's poetic liberties and errors.

    To add the that, the version Christians use today was a standardization from Oxford in 1769, which added many more mistakes and liberties. Eventually, the apocrypha was removed, and so were the translator notes that were originally in the margins of KJV, explicitly expressing the scribes' fallibility. I have a 1611 version of the KJV and I turned to a random page, In Genesis 22:33, the main text has "And Abraham planted a grove..." but they wrote in the margins that grove can also mean "tree", so they were not 100% sure. They were as fallible as any translators, especially 400 years ago with much less biblical knowledge than we do today.

    For the person who downvoted me, can you tell me what you disagree with? I have irrefutable proof that they were unsure right here. Would you like a photo? If you're not closed minded you must admit that the KJV is not perfect.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    2 years ago

    Must be in John Ruffle's article, eh? That the book has any semblance of a textbook, with footnotes and references is absolutely zero.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    KJV is sure not the most accurate bible of all bibles (some Protestants seem to think that)

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.