Stauffer, Douglas D. One Book Stands Alone: The Key to Believing the Bible. Millbrook, AL: McCowen Mills Publishers, 2001.
On the copyright page, the author encourages readers to examine carefully the evidence themselves. Doug Stauffer observed; “When truth and error are examined side by side, the facts become clear” (p. 316). Having already carefully examined the evidence, this book causes this reviewer to wonder how carefully and thoroughly Doug Stauffer examined the actual evidence. The truth is consistent. On the other hand, Stauffer’s book promotes an inconsistent, man-made KJV-only view as though it were the only defense of the Bible or as though it was “the key to believing the Bible.” A consistent, scriptural view of Bible translation would be true both before and after 1611 and for all believers regardless of the language that they speak. English-speaking believers before 1611 were not without the key to believing the Bible. William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale, John Rogers, the translators of the Geneva Bible, and even the translators of the KJV did not hold to a KJV-only view. How can it be assumed and thought that the inconsistencies, speculations, and double standards of a modern KJV-only theory will strengthen the faith of believers? Does it strengthen the faith of believers that speak Spanish, German, or some other language?
If some of the essential claims and reasoning of this book were applied consistently, they would undermine or harm the English roots or foundation that is the basis of the KJV [Tyndale’s to Bishops’] (pp. 282-283). According to the rules given the translators, according to the preface of the 1611, and according to the title page of the 1611, the KJV is a revision of multiple, earlier English Bibles as well as being a translation of the original languages. While Stauffer acknowledged the KJV’s connection with the earlier English Bibles, he seems to be unaware of their actual contents. In less than 100 years [1526-1611], many of the same-type differences can be found between the pre-1611 English Bibles and the KJV as can be found between the KJV and some later English Bibles such as the NKJV. Sometimes the KJV has more words than some of the earlier English Bibles, and sometimes it has fewer words. There are also differences in meaning of words, in part of speech or grammatical form used, in number of pronoun or noun, etc. In several verses, one or more of the earlier English Bibles have a reading or rendering that KJV defenders condemn as a doctrinal corruption when found in a later English Bible. Would KJV defenders claim that the KJV is a revision of multiple English translations that weaken our doctrine and faith?
Would Stauffer claim that Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, and Matthew’s Bibles were “counterfeit bibles” because they were missing Mark 11:26 or Luke 17:36 (p. 56)? Would Stauffer claim that Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Great, and Bishops’ Bibles “cast doubt on the virgin birth of Christ by calling Joseph His father in Luke 2:33″ (p. 297)? Would he claim that Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, and Great Bibles downplay “the fact that Mary was a sinner in need of a sin-offering” at Luke 2:22 (p. 206)? Would he claim that Coverdale’s Bible elevates idol worship at 2 Samuel 5:21 with its rendering “carried them away” (pp. 209-210)? Over and over, Stauffer seems to ignore or be unaware of the actual renderings of the earlier English Bibles of which the KJV is a revision. What benefit comes from the KJV-only view’s undermining the English foundation and basis of the KJV?
Concerning Psalm 12:6, Stauffer claimed: “The King James Bible became the seventh purification of the English translation in fulfillment of this prophecy” (p. 282). Does he interpret this verse correctly? Does Stauffer think that Psalm 12:6 means that people have to have seven translations into their language before they can have an accurate, reliable one? The phrase “purified seven times” indicates that God’s Word was 100% completely and perfectly pure when given by God. This phrase does not indicate that God’s Word had some impurities and needed to go through an improvement process of seven purifications in seven English translations.
Stauffer wrote: “The King James Bible is the word of God for the English-speaking people. There is no other” (p. 273). Does this exclusive, only claim for the KJV conflict with the fact that the KJV is a revision of earlier English Bibles that are the word of God? Surely, Stauffer would not imply or claim that the KJV is a revision of earlier English Bibles that were not the word of God. Does Stauffer claim that the KJV translators introduced “confusion and chaos” when the English already had God’s Word translated in their language in the beloved Bible of the common people–the Geneva Bible? Would Stauffer claim that an English Bible ceases to be the word of God if a later translation revises or updates it?
Stauffer seemed to accept or comes close to accepting the extreme claim that makes salvation depend on the KJV. He wrote: “Our relationship with Jesus Christ is based upon a particular Bible translation” (p. 97). He also seemed to imply that accepting a KJV-only view is essential to believing and studying the Bible. He claimed: “One loses the opportunity for effective Bible study by using these modern versions” (p. 96).
This book on the KJV-only view has been highly recommended by several fundamentalists such as Tom Malone, Hugh Pyle, Mickey Carter, Bob C. Gray, Jack Trieber, David Reagan, Jerry Rockwell, Dennis Corle, R. B. Ouellette, and William Grady. This book is recommended as “a classic work,” “a wonderful work,” “a noteworthy entry,” and “a thorough, nearly exhaustive book.” It is surprising that a book such as this one with some of its inconsistent, incorrect, harmful, and extreme claims is so highly recommended.
Based on a careful examination of the actual evidence and on the consistent truth, this reviewer has valid, scriptural grounds for disagreeing with this book’s inconsistent, misleading, and inaccurate claims. The Scriptures do not actually state nor teach a KJV-only view as is advocated by this book. Does a KJV-only view in effect cloak the KJV translators with such robes of superiority and infallibility that even a pope could only envy? Does a KJV-only view interpose the KJV translators as some unique, exclusive priesthood who stand between English-speaking believers and God? Does this KJV-only view imply that the final, ultimate authority beyond which there is no other was produced in 1611? The Scriptures do not teach that the interpretations of Church of England scholars in translating in 1611 should in be made in effect greater in authority than the preserved words of the prophets and apostles in the original languages that were given by direct inspiration of God.