The King James Version in Washington D.C.

The American Protestant Church is conspicuously neither fluent in Old Testament Hebrew or New Testament Greek and the principal reason for unperceived need for trilingualism is the faith and trust placed in the Authorized Version as the word of God in English. Since the Nation’s founding the Authorized Version has been the Bible of the American Protestant church. To say America has the word of God is to say it has the King James Bible, its verses engraved on buildings and monuments across the Washington D.C. National Mall:

The Washington Monument: “Holiness to the Lord,” Exodus 28:26, 30:30, Isaiah 23:18, Zechariah 14:20; “Search the Scriptures,” John 5:39; “The memory of the just is blessed,” Proverbs 10:7.

The Lincoln Memorial: “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh,” Matthew 18:7; “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether,” Psalms 19:9; “every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh see it together,” Isaiah 40:4-5.

In the Library of Congress: “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not,” John 1:5; “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding,” Proverbs 4:7; “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God,” Micah 6:8; “The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork,” Psalm 19:1.[1]

Our Forefathers in the middle and late 18th c. held to a pre-critical, Reformation era understanding of the nature of Holy Scripture. Though it was the Geneva Bible that Pilgrim William Bradford brought with him on the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock, December 11, 1620, it was the King James Bible that built America: built churches, sent missionaries, formed a benevolent society, and was at the foundation of the freest, most prosperous, and greatest nation the world has ever seen. Countless souls have come to Christ through the teaching and preaching from the King James Version. Indeed, American exceptionalism, the moral resolve, and the courage of the American people such resolve breeds, are evidences of the spiritual impact of the King James Version upon the American culture. Though a point of contention in the current post-critical milieu, the pre-critical mind of those brave men and women that make up our American heritage decisively and clearly understood that translation was not a barrier to the transmission of God’s Word into English.

Romans 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that know it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”


[1] https://www.allabouthistory.org › spiritual-heritage-and-government-monuments-faq.htm. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, based on Isaiah 40:4-5. Isaiah 40:4-5, “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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