Can anyone give me some good arguments against the "King James only" philosophy that many fundamentalist Protestants proclaim?
The biggest one for me is "which KJV?" The actual original version is full of archaic and bizarre spellings of words, which is NOT what we have when we go buy a copy of the "KJV" today! I think it was updated in the late 1700's as well as corrected in some places and THAT KJV is the one you can go out and buy today in a book store. The one originally released in 1611 is full of weird phrasings and spellings it's really difficult to understand, even to some people who grew up with the KJV and won't read anything else. The true original KJV might as well be in another language as far as I'm concerned. If you've never seen a copy, I think there is, or used to be, a version of it online. At first glance it simply doesn't even LOOK like modern English...and in fact, it's really not IMO. But I suppose some people can read it and just love it. I'm willing to bet your brother in law isn't one of those people though. The common version of the KJV that everyone uses is simply not the same one printed in 1611.
Here are some arguments that I have heard agains the "KJV only" view:
1. The only truly "inspired, infallible, inerrant, and uncorrupted" Word of God is to be found in the original languages of the Scriptures, which are Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
That's a good one, but if I recall KJV only folks are not monolithic. (believe it or not) I've read arguments that YES the Hebrew and Greek original are still inspired, but that the KJV is the ONLY one to be used for the English language. Others argue since we don't have the originals anymore so God inspired the KJV to be the new inspired version. There are all sorts of arguments out there, I'm not sure where your brother in law would fit it.
You could try and point out that Jesus didn't speak English, as well, believe it or not, some KJV only people actually DO think Jesus spoke English. That may not be common anymore, but even 25 years ago, it was an assumption made by some.
2. The King James Bible was perverted by some of King James's subjective prejudices and cultural biases.
I wouldn't use words like "perverted", as we don't like those terms when Islamic scholars say that about the New Testament.
I would simply point out that none of the KJV translators EVER said that it was an inspired translation, and that such a belief is simply a "tradition of men"....(or simply a tradition if you want to be really diplomatic). It would be interesting to find out when the "inspiration" of the KJV was first claimed, I have a feeling it would be somewhat recently, maybe within the last 100 years. And it probably was an anti Catholic argument if I were to guess.
I mean really, the question is WHO says the KJV is inspired? The translators never claimed it, the bible does not say in 1611 a newly inspired version of the bible will come out, just where do they get this idea?
3. The King James Bible is incomplete because it is devoid of many of the inspired Scriptures that were decreed canonical by the early Church councils.
Considering he is a "Fundamentalist Baptist" I wouldn't argue ancient Councils or anything like that. And I would not try and tear down the KJV, as it really is a pretty good translation and loved by millions of people worldwide. I know Orthodox we grew up with it, and won't read anything else because they simply love it. It's a personal preference for many, and its a good translation for those who can understand it. However it's totally foreign to those who didn't grow up with it, and the actual
original is even more foreign than what we all are familiar with. ironically the KJV only crowd are going down the same route that the medieval Catholic Church did, claiming that a translation is the "real" version of the bible, when in fact the "real" version still exists. No, we don't have the "autographs" but we don't have the actual "autographs" of the KJV Bible either, so in the end it's all tradition.
Some KJV only people argue "but it's so reverent"...indeed it is, but frankly the New Testament was written in the "common" tongue, and many who spoke higher Greek, like philosophers thought that koine was basically sub par. Christ comes down to us, and became a "common" human being, not a king in a palace, and so even if the KJV WERE inspired, most of the world does not speak English and many Americans simply do not understand the KJV well, and so concessions should be allowed. I don't know how reasonable of a person he is though, so who knows what arguments would work. Only you can decide that in the end. Just keep in mind, he IS family, so be civil and don't trash that KJV because while I do not use it or read very often, it IS beautiful, even though I realize the actual NT was far from beautiful and poetic in the original language, however he may not know that.