Amos 3:3 - "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
In this text of Scripture, a shepherd from the south has a sermon for the Northern Kingdom. Although he was no prophet or a prophet’s son, this simple herdsman was prophesying to Israel that they could not walk in unison with the Lord because of their differences. Israel had fallen into sin, and they were not progressing with the Lord, thus they could not walk together.
Another illustration of this principle was given by Moses. Deuteronomy 22:10 states, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” According to Aben Ezra, an ass did not have the equal strength of an ox, and plowing the two together would be a calamity.
Paul also addressed this issue in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” The unequal yoke would not lead to fellowship and communion. Therefore, unless two are in agreement, there will be differences, unless two are in agreement there will be different strengths, and unless two are in agreement there will not be any fellowship and communion.
Such is the case of the Cambridge editions of the King James Bible and the Oxford editions of the King James Bible. They cannot walk together, plow together, and labor together because they are different in their actual text of the Scriptures. In other words, the Oxford KJV does not match word-for-word the 1611 King James Version and the Cambridge KJV. Why is this so? Which one is right?
Most King James Version defenders state that the 1629 and 1638 revisions of the 1611 correct printing errors while the 1762 and 1769 changes standardized the spelling of the 1611. They state that after 1769, there were no more revisions to the 1611. To some extent this may be true, but not altogether.
Cambridge had their 1629, 1638, 1762, 1790, 1824, 1833, 1842, 1844, 1865, 1869, 1872, and 1887 editions with newer ones on the market today. Then, Oxford had their 1795, 1804, 1810, 1821, 1828, 1829, 1835, 1838, 1840, 1847, 1857, 1859, 1865, 1868, 1870, 1876, and 1880 editions with newer ones on the market today.
Now the question is which one of these editions will be true to the 1611 printing of the Authorized Version. A comparison of the Cambridge “Concord 8vo” to the Oxford “8vo Refs.”, commonly used in the Old Scofield Bible, will reveal that the Cambridge University Press has preserved the original 1611 with accuracy while the Oxford University Press has many differences. Let us note just a few of the differences between the companies.
1 Samuel 17:48
1 Samuel 31:2
2 Samuel 5:14
2 Samuel 21:21
2 Samuel 23:37
1 Kings 8:56
1 Chronicles 2:47
1 Chronicles 2:49
1 Chronicles 7:1
1 Chronicles 7:19
1 Chronicles 7:27
1 Chronicles 23:20
1 Chronicles 24:11
2 Chronicles 33:19
2 Chronicles 35:20
1 Corinthians 4:15
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Are you supposed to plow an ox and an ass together? Isn’t an unequal yoke forbidden? It appears if an individual desires the King James Version without any changes they need to purchase a Cambridge King James Version. To put it in the words of Samuel Goldwyn, Oxford University, “You’ve improved it worse”.
Many a preacher has suggested to their congregation that they should use the King James Version (formerly known as the Authorized Version) as their Bible. However, given the many translations of the King James Version, they need to state specifically which one to use. It must be brought to our attention that there are many varieties of the King James Version on the market today.
Does it really matter from which company you purchase your King James Version of the Bible? Are not they all the same? After a careful examination of the text of these, we find that not all of these are the same. However, in almost all these instances the Cambridge text held true to the original Authorized Version (1611). Therefore, we must conclude that the Cambridge text is the only text that is reliable enough for our daily reading, study, teaching, and preaching of the Bible.