Is the King James Version the Only Authorized Version?

King James VersionNo.  The question as it is asked assumes that the authority of the scriptures lies in the translation.  It isn’t the translation that has inherent authority, but the inspiration of the original texts that are authoritative.  Let’s talk about the King James Version for a moment.  In 1537, a man named John Roger’s published a translation known as Matthew’s Bible.  It was a combination of translations done by Matthew Tyndale and Myles Coverdale.  This Bible became so popular that Myles Coverdale revised it in 1539 and it became known as The Great Bible.  King Henry the VIII authorized this version of the Bible to be read in all of the churches in England.  People flocked to the churches to read the Bible in their own language, but they were not content with this.  In 1560, The Geneva Bible was printed and it became the most popular Bible of the century.  Many people had a copy of this Bible in their homes, but the clergy of the church of England was not happy with it because it reflected the views of John Calvin.  To compete with this, The Great Bible was revised in 1568 and became known as The Bishop’s Bible.  It still was not as popular as The Geneva Bible.  At a 1604 meeting called by King James, Dr. John Reynolds of Oxford suggested that a new translation of the Bible be produced.  One of the rules of translation was that no notes or comments were to be included in the version except what was essential to translating.  The work was begun in 1607 and completed in 1611.  This is the beginning of what we know as The King James Version of the Bible.  In 1613 a new edition was printed with over 400 changes to the 1611 version.  Ultimately it ended up replacing The Geneva Bible as the popular Bible of the people.  In 1769, another revision was made of The King James Version and this is the version that many people have today.  Sometimes The King James Version is referred to as The Authorized Version.  That does not mean authorized by God, but authorized by the King of England who was the head of the Church of England in 1611.  The popularity of The King James Version carried it through to the late 1800s when many concluded that a new version was necessary.  This resulted in The American Standard Version of 1901.  In the 1952, the Revised Standard Version was released.  In 1978 the New International Version was released.  The New King James Version was published in 1982, and the English Standard Version was published in 2001.  All of these versions are authoritative inasmuch as they accurately reflect the original books of the Bible as they were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.  If they don’t accurately reflect the original languages and what was said, then they are not authoritative.  The authority of the Bible lies in God’s inspiring the original texts that were given, not the translations that were made of them.