Is it a Problem if the KJV was Edited by Francis Bacon?

In response to a listener who asked how he can believe a supposed cherished translation that was influenced by Rosicrucian Francis Bacon, and an egotistical Freemason King James, I addressed his concerns.

Some ask how we could rely on such a translation that was supposedly edited with influence of Francis Bacon, who was a Rosicrucian. Just for background, Rosicrucians consider themselves Christians, yet in a form of mystic Christianity adopting some of the same esoteric principles of Kabbalah. They are Christian in name only as Gnostics and consider themselves of higher evolved intellect.

[2Ti 3:5 KJV] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Question comes from having considered that Francis Bacon, an affiliate of King James, had his influence in the final version of the KJV after having been handed over the final draft for a final edit approval in 1611. The request for such version had been ordered by King James over his objections of the footnotes in the Geneva Bible that questioned his authority as Head of the Church of England. He employed Richard Bancroft to lead a campaign of Bishops to provide a more suitable translation.

I’m not certain of this fact about Bacon, but if he did have a hand in the final translation, it would have been mainly to add the poetic flow, as well as rate it among Literary works with the formal language of the Elizabethan English. However, he likely would have added some hints of his secret affiliations with using certain choices of words, and the Bible version’s illustrations embedded that were probably his influence. Those illustrations were not continued in later versions and revisions corrected some of the other questionable problems since (up to 1769).

However, to charge that the KJV is contaminated because Bacon had such an influence of the scriptures would be an overstatement and exaggeration. First of all, the KJV scholars weighed the original extant manuscripts of Hebrew and Greek, known as the Textus Receptus. Much of the KJV based its comparison with the already established Tyndale and Coverdale, regarding context of the Geneva and the Bishop’s Bible, so little changed.

Despite the inspiration of King James, and proofreading/editing by Bacon, you can still be quite assured it did not vary much from its predecessors of the Luther, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Geneva, Bishop Bible that ALREADY had a place before Bacon. So it would easily be found out having a reference in which to compare and the standard remained.

An argument was also brought up that the translations were an invention of unreliable sources. Yes, Bacon was not an authentic example, nor was King James for that matter. Yet the translations were not using their own construction, but based on that of original manuscripts. Even before King James were the early early writings of the Masoretic texts, the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), Syriac, Byzantine, and even many letters distributed in the early church, which make up the Majority of comparison originals to weigh any question upon.

We cannot base our denial or resistance of scripture on the frailty faults of men, since even the ORIGINAL authors of the Bible (those who penned their experience with God to record what is considered the scriptures) had many faults and were not perfect. BUT God’s Word is perfect and His message came through clearly despite, that we are without excuse. It was DESPITE the frailty of man.

So as you can see, relying on these translations, despite their editors, has little to no bearing on its authenticity, as long as the source was not from a contaminated writing.

There are new Bible versions popping up from manuscripts found in 1881. The Alexandrian Critical texts (CT) of Gnostics Wescott and Hort began popularity in the 20th century to become a considerable manuscript source. However, these manuscripts have contextual disagreements a significant percentage and omit verses, avoid large portions of passages, and contrast in certain words and phrases in places of scripture. Yet these less reliable manuscripts have been used as a source for post-modern translations such as the NT, NIV, NASB, NET, HCSB, and ESV.

I prefer the Majority Texts (MT) of versions such as Tyndale, Geneva, KJV, and NKJV rather than the later found Alexandrian Critical Texts that bring question to essential doctrine and omit verses and passages that are key.

Share this article: