Early KJV Users Did Not Believe It Was an Inspired Translation.


III. Let it be observed, that not the matter of the Scriptures only, but the very words in which they are written, are of God. … says David, one of the writers of the Old Testament, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue, 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. And the apostle Paul speaks of himself, and other inspired apostles of the New Testament, Which things, says he, we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, 1 Cor. ii. 13; and it is the writing, or the word of God as written, that is, by inspiration of God, 2 Tim. iii. 16. But then,

John Gill

IV. This is to be understood of the Scriptures, as in the original languages in which they were written, and not of translations, unless it could be thought, that the translators of the Bible into the several languages of the nations into which it has been translated, were under the divine inspiration also in translating, and were directed of God to the use of words they have rendered the original by; but this is not reasonable to suppose. The books of the Old Testament were written chiefly in the Hebrew language, unless in some few passages of Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezra, and Esther, in the Chaldee language, and the New Testament in Greek; in which languages they can only be reckoned canonical and authentic; for this is like the charters and diplomas of princes, the wills or testaments of men, or any deeds made by them; only the original exemplar is authentic, and not translations, and transcriptions, and copies of them, though ever so perfect; and to the Bible, in its original languages, is every translation to be brought, and by it to be examined, tried and judged, and to be corrected and amended, and if this was not the case, we should have no certain and infallible rule to go by…

[John Gill (1697-1771), A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity: or A System of Evangelical Truths Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures, Vol. 1, (London: Thomas Tegg, 1849), 17-18.]


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