Marks Of The False Teachers Among Independent Baptists--Part 3 Noting The Examples Of Hyles, Schaap, and Sexton

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Marks Of The False Teachers Among Independent Baptists--Part 3 Noting The Examples Of Hyles, Schaap, and Sexton

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Rob Fall's picture
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Yet another

conflation of one sector (now hopefully shrinking) sector with the others.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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I am not comfortable calling Sexton a false teacher

I am not comfortable calling Sexton a false teacher. He wasn't on my list that I put up last week that had "the two Jacks" plus Bill Gothard plus Riplinger + Ruckman

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Which dog is in the fight

I have heard Sexton preach on several occasions.  His messages have been biblical and Christ honoring.  Seems like the article's author does not like how Sexton practices separation.  Right now, I am with you, Jim.  Sexton does not fit in the room with the 2 Jacks.

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Jim,

Jim,

I agree that Sexton is not in the same position as Hyles and Schaap. However, the author also concedes this. I think he does raise a legitimate issue about Sexton and frequently about other IFB leaders who refuse to police their own group. Cultural conformity is frequently more important than doctrinal purity. Personally, I would also hold Sexton's feet to the fire over the KJV issue. He seems to dance really hard around KJVO without openly condemning it, and he refuses to call out those within his orb who openly move beyond the fuzzy line he tries to hold.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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False teachers, false teaching, erroneous teaching

False teachers, false teaching, and erroneous teaching:

  • I mentioned Frank Garlock in another thread and called him a false teacher. I retract that statement. There was no nuance in that comment. Frank Garlock is a true believer who in my view has an unbalanced, erroneous teaching on music
  • Sexton: I frankly have not followed this guy close enough to comment with much specificity
  • Gothard: I count him as a brother who has a very poor hermeneutic. A portion of his teaching is erroneous
  • Schaap: "by their fruits you will know them". His current appeal where he blames the aggressive teen demonstrates a man who has failed to repent. I consider him and his F-I-L false teachers. I hold out hope for the church in Hammond under its new leadership. 
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On Sexton and KJVO

On Sexton and KJVO. It strikes me that there are various flavors of KJVO:

  • ​Ruckman and Riplinger: Double inspiration
  • The majority text / best text / best translation view
  • Those to whom the KJV is a very strong preference but they tolerate others 
  • Then those for whom the KJV is the only valid English language translation and any who use another translation are compromisers (DA Waite would probably be here (he's a very nice guy, by the way, and I like him and his wife))

Sexton is not a Ruckmanite that I can tell. 

 

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Jim,

Jim,

 

Somewhere around your second bullet is the issue of rejecting all existing translations as the Word of God other than the KJ. This is frequently nuanced behind a smokescreen of willingness to accept a hypothetical modern version while rejecting all existing modern versions as inadequate. Many in the IFB claim to reject double inspiration, but likewise reject any other translation as being equally the word of God. This is false doctrine. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Is this KJVO? Crown College position

https://thecrowncollege.com/whatwebelieve/

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Bible, “as it is in truth, the Word of God...” (I Thessalonians 2:13). We believe in verbal, plenary inspiration in the original writings, and God's preservation of His pure words to every generation (II Timothy 3:16, Psalms 12:6-8). We believe that the Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed.

The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we use; the Authorized King James Version of the Bible is the English version we use in the English-speaking world. The Bible is our sole and final authority for faith and practice.

Is this KJVOism? I don't think so! But if I'm wrong help me out to understand it. Thanks

Suppose I said: "The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Novum Testamentum Graece  of the New Testament (Nestle-Aland) are those texts of the original languages I use; the English Standard Version of the Bible is the English version we use in the English-speaking world." Would that make me ESVOnly?

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Sexton does not fit in the

Sexton does not fit in the room with the 2 Jacks.

But Sexton was in the room with one of the Jacks, well after Jack's theological problems were well known. And they were in the room together because he (Sexton) invited him (Jack II). They were not in the same room by virtue of some third party invitation. Clarence Sexton thought Jack Schaap, with all of his doctrinal heterodoxy, was someone his church, school, and Baptist friends should hear from. This seems no small matter.

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Jim,

Jim,

Remember how I described Sexton as fuzzy on the issue. You quoted from the school doctrinal statement, but here is the church doctrinal statement. Notice the subtle difference in bold.

The Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Bible, “as it is in truth, the Word of God...” (I Thessalonians 2:13). We believe in verbal, plenary inspiration in the original writings, and God's preservation of His pure words to every generation (II Timothy 3:16, Psalms 12:6-8). We believe that the Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed. 

The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use; the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use. The Bible is our sole and final authority for faith and practice.

That is definitely crossing the line into kjvo-ism.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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@Chip

Thanks 

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Sexton is speaking at the

Sexton is speaking at the 2014 FBFI annual meeting along with Minnick, Van Gelderen and Vaughn. Interesting.

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Sexton.....

Sexton is not the enemy. While I may not be a fan, I know who my enemies are, and he ain't it. 

Lee

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Your prerogative Lee. I lump

Your prerogative Lee. I lump Van Gelderen into the same category as Sexton.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Lumping ...

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Your prerogative Lee. I lump Van Gelderen into the same category as Sexton.

A dangerous game. 

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Sexton and.....

Sexton and VanGelderen are Christ-deniers? 

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend..."  You may want to back up a couple of notches; you're shedding credibility fast.

Lee

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Lee wrote:

Lee wrote:

Sexton and VanGelderen are Christ-deniers? 

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend..."  You may want to back up a couple of notches; you're shedding credibility fast.

I didn't say that. I went to great lengths to explain exactly what my issues with Sexton are and to differentiate between Sexton and Hyles/Schaap. I view Van Gelderen in essentially the same light as Sexton. He is fuzzy at best on the KJO movement and his relative place regarding it. He refuses to criticize anyone who approaches Christianity from the same cultural viewpoint as himself. These are both dangerous shortcomings and doctrinal errors.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Suggest nuanced responses that avoids "broad brush strokes"
  • Start with points of agreement 
  • List points of disagreement 
  • Do doctrinal triage and consider something like the bulls-eye below

 

Essential vs. Peripheral Doctrine

Comment: I'm mindful of the fact that because I claim to be a 5 Pt Calvinist there is someone who considers me a "false teacher"

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Nuance? What's nuance?

To some separation is all or nothing. In practice, they see no difference between Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, John Piper, John MacArthur, or Al Mohler. Their label of what constitutes false teaching may be stuck on anything from denial of the trinity and virgin birth, amillenialism, multiple elders, differing modes of baptism, to (yes Jim) Calvinism.

Sometimes they remind me of the little town I knew that had four KJV Only churches that had split from each other over their views on the KJV.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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GregH wrote:

GregH wrote:

Sexton is speaking at the 2014 FBFI annual meeting along with Minnick, Van Gelderen and Vaughn. Interesting.

I wonder if anyone will write a blogpost calling Minnick, VG, and Vaughn to repentance for not being separated enough from the KJVO movement or from Hammond.  /humor

Seriously, you have to think of the FBFI as a coalition of Fundamentalistic cultures. The theology doesn't fit, but from what I can tell, the cultures of the churches and how they operate are very, very similar, so they probably get along fabulously.  They use the same Bible translations, the same music, the same parachurch ministries, so they're natural friends.  Now why Minnick in particular doesn't address the KJV issues at Sexton's church is beyond me, considering he and his church was the lead for Mind of God, Mind of Man and the other book that was published on the issue.  Maybe he sees it as a theological aberration, but doesn't think that Sexton has elevated it to the level of heresy.  Maybe he feels like he is helping Sexton come out of the Hyles cess.  Who knows?

I do think that the FBFI ought to have more sense than to invite Sexton, but I've thought that for years and it hasn't seemed to have happened yet.  It's part of why I'd be reticent to join up with them.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

  • Start with points of agreement 
  • List points of disagreement 
  • Do doctrinal triage and consider something like the bulls-eye below

 

Essential vs. Peripheral Doctrine

Comment: I'm mindful of the fact that because I claim to be a 5 Pt Calvinist there is someone who considers me a "false teacher"

Jim,

Not sure if this was specifically a response to me or just a general post on the thread. However, I think I repeatedly nuanced my take on these men. On the other hand, I don't think Bibliology is a periphery issue. Why are inerrancy and inspiration fundamental doctrines if preservation is not? Aren't they all equally necessary to have an authoritative document?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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@Chip ...

I don't view either Bibliology (or for instance Christology) as peripheral issues. But with regard to Bibliology (and of course we have discussed this at length on S/I):

  • What is the nature of a preserved Word of God? (You have those who view the received text as perfectly preserved)
  • Are translations theologically neutral? (thinking of the old RSV with "maiden" instead of "virgin") (article)

My conclusions:

  • I have not reached definitive conclusions on these matters (so to my critics ... I have concluded not to conclude! Smile )
  • The KJVP (strong preference people), love the Word of God as much as I do. They have a high view of Scripture (Brandenburg, DA Waite) (Sexton's view may be in here too .. not sure)

And then I see:

  • Some who have a different view of the "Evangelist". I see him as a church planter .. others see the role as a revivalist itinerant preacher
  • Various views on the Sovereignty of God in salvation (most know my view ... but in sum the golden thread of Romans 8:29-30) 
  • And then you have various approaches and views of sanctification and personal separation. (For example ... for me a Christian who privately has a glass a of wine with a meal is not sinning)

You mentioned Van Gelderen earlier. I don't know much about him but I suppose there is some connection between him and the Van Gelderen over in Wisconsin. I like those guys at Falls River. I'm not writing them off. I hope they haven't written me off! 

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So Jim,

So Jim,

You didn't say specifically whether you see preservation as a less important issue than inerrancy or inspiration. Can we still claim an authoritative document if we are lacking any one of these three assurances? Are we going to give the same latitude to those who disagree with our understanding of inerrancy or inspiration, or are we going to hold preservation to a different standard?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Your line of questioning reminds me of my ordination council :)

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

So Jim,

You didn't say specifically whether you see preservation as a less important issue than inerrancy or inspiration. Can we still claim an authoritative document if we are lacking any one of these three assurances? Are we going to give the same latitude to those who disagree with our understanding of inerrancy or inspiration, or are we going to hold preservation to a different standard?

My best responses:

  • I do believe in inspiration and inerrancy
  • I don't see preservation as less important. I see that Word of God is preserved in the extant manuscripts. The problem is that if one believes in verbal inspiration (as I do), why wouldn't one believe in verbal preservation. AND because all of the manuscripts do not agree and as a matter of fact they disagree in some places. AND there is no complete "received" manuscript. So it is all kind of muddy for me. Sorry but that's where I'm at.
  • Is the Bible authoritative. Well of course it is. 
  • Back to my ordination council (where I had at the lectern my KJV). I was asked "Do you in your hand have the inspired, inerrant, preserved Word of God?" Oh those ordination questions - they get tricky! 
  • For me I acknowledge that God promised to preserve His Word and I would say (see above but repeated), He preserved it in the extant manuscripts. I'm sorry that I cannot be clearer than that. That's as far as I can go.
  • Are there textual variants? Sure! The received text position has the same issue - they don't have one complete "received" MSS.
  • Basically because the variants are so (relatively) few and minor it rarely is an issue for me. But when it comes to the last twelve verses of Mark (a relatively large chunk!) or the Pericope de Adultera (John 7:53-8:11) (another rather large chunk!) ... I am going with the majority!
  • Everyone Christian who has studied textual criticism / textual variants / history has the same struggles. I'm OK that Sexton says he prefers the KJV. At least he is out front about it. Not equivocating!
  • On the KJV specifically: I have it to the left of my chair as I write now. It is  beneath (they are stacked horizontally) the ESV, NKJV, NASB. We had a speaker at church this last Sunday who preached from the KJV. I think this is perhaps the first time in a number of years I have heard the KJV from the pulpit. It's not modern English and I am a modern 
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Thanks Jim,

Thanks Jim,

 

I agree with everything you said apart from the verbal preservation. However, that's my point. When people start attacking all other translations and denying they are scripture, they have violated a bibliology, a fundamental aspect of our faith. When Sexton writes in his church doctrinal statement that the KJ is the only English version they will accept (not just prefer or use), they are clearly self-identifying with that error.

 

I agree in spirit (and in practice I hope) with the visual you posted here. However, over the years as I have been forced to sort through what I identify as primary and secondary issues, bibliology has risen into the primary category. If we start undermining the authority of the scripture, as the KJVO crowd does, we undermine the very authority on which our faith is established. We are nothing without our Bibles. While I may disagree with and argue against the KJVO-preferred position, I see the clear difference between them and the KJVO crowd. The dividing line is how they esteem other English translations.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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@Chip

In my neck of the woods, a Baptist church (with a Christian School) famously burned an NIV (not 4th Baptist which is both in my neck of the woods AND has a Christian school). 

On the NIV: Ernest Pickering (a former Central Seminary President and former Pastor of 4th Baptist - now with the Lord) was a proponent of it. GARBC article ... also I attended his "Pastors' School" when he pastored in Toledo, OH. 

What I learned from Pickering: While I am not a fan of the NIV, I realized that he had a high view of Scripture. Not comparing myself to him because I'm not in his class, but he believed inspiration, inerrancy, and preservation as much as I!

Back to my colored bullseye above, for me the version issue is not in the red zone. 

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Circle Bleedover

Jim, 

I think that Chip trying to figure out where and when does a topic or issue moves from the 'convictions' circle to 'absolutes', and what the appropriate response to that issue should be if it violates clear doctrinal positions.  By moving the KJV to the place where the use of the KJV is an absolute, as per Sexton's church DS, then it has become an absolute and also runs contrary to established and orthodox Bibliology.  So that would merit separation on the part of those like Minnick, Vaughn, etc. That's why I'm confused that Minnick is involving himself with Sexton and the rest.

You seem to be saying that you don't see an issue with them putting it as an conviction.  I think we all agree on that.  The question is kind of threefold:

  1. Is it truly an absolute for Sexton's church?  It seems to be.
  2. Is this an issue that Sexton would preach against or discipline someone over?  Again, the answer seems to be yes.
  3. What, then, should be our response to this since we consider the use of the KJV as an "doctrinal absolute" to be wrong.  It seems like a "game-breaker" to Chip and I.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Question

Does anyone here have an issue with the King James Version being an excellent sample of the preserved Word of God in English?  I would think that 200 plus years of practical exclusivity in the English speaking church would allow us to agree at least on that.   

Lee

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"I hold in my hand the Word of God!"

Lee wrote:

Does anyone here have an issue with the King James Version being an excellent sample of the preserved Word of God in English?  I would think that 200 plus years of practical exclusivity in the English speaking church would allow us to agree at least on that.   

Back to the GARBC article that I mentioned above 

  • I am very comfortable saying the KJV is the inspired, inerrant Word of God with a proviso that I mention below
  • I am also comfortable saying this about the ESV, NKJV, the NASB, the NIV, and the HCSB 
  • My proviso: inspiration and inerrancy only applies to the original autographs
  • So the inspiration and inerrancy of a translation is "derived
  • What I am not comfortable saying is that any of the above translations are perfect translations. 

A minor quibble with the KJV. I do not think 1 John 5:8 is part of the Word of God

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long past time to retire an old translation

Lee wrote:

Does anyone here have an issue with the King James Version being an excellent sample of the preserved Word of God in English?  I would think that 200 plus years of practical exclusivity in the English speaking church would allow us to agree at least on that.   

The King James Bible is terrible for use today. It is written in archaic language that no one uses. It is based on a handful of manuscripts which, if Erasmus had his druthers, would have added more.

I am not going to argue with you Lee but you seem to restrict "the church" to your definition of who is "in". Wescott and Hort did the church a great favor with their work. The RSV has been used by many Christians for over a hundred years and is superior to an English translation that is 400 years old.

 

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When it Becomes a Matter of Doctrine

Something a more experienced pastor shared with me on the version issue that I found valuable in thinking through the practical implications... is the matter addressed in their doctrinal statement or not? A preference, even a strong one, can be covered in a policy statement establishing a standard text for a ministry, even covering the reasons one is convinced of the validity of their conclusion. Spelling it out in a doctrinal statement, though, does more than establish practice, but also speaks to the level those who conclude differently are considered to be in error- not to mention that one is including conclusions that require more than Scripture itself to arrive at.

Regarding Sexton, specifically- at this point, his church does address the matter as an issue of doctrine. I would find that enough of a reason to avoid most partnerships, if for no other reason than I would think it would be difficult for them to work alongside someone they have determined to be in doctrinal error, since I use something other than a KJV.

Greg Linscott
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Lee wrote:

Lee wrote:

Does anyone here have an issue with the King James Version being an excellent sample of the preserved Word of God in English?  I would think that 200 plus years of practical exclusivity in the English speaking church would allow us to agree at least on that.   

Lee,

I would agree with your statement as far as it goes. When I argue against its use, it from the position Alex O states. It's a beautiful translation, but it's not a very good translation to use today. I was raised from birth on the KJ and used it exclusively until about the 2nd or 3rd year of my pastorate. Then, almost 10 years ago I switched to the NKJV. Then about 3 years ago I switched to the ESV. Now, despite nearly 40 years of using the KJ, it is painful to try to go back to it. When I fill pulpits in churches that still use the KJ, I respect their autonomy and preach in their pulpits from the KJ. However, if anyone asks, I strongly recommend moving to a modern version. Within IFB circles, you can still find many people who use and love the KJ, but for outreach and discipleship of new believers in an increasingly pagan America, the KJ is almost (still scripture and still more profitable than having nothing) more of a hindrance than a help.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Less useful today

Lee,

I'm with the others here. I agree that the KJV was greatly used to preserve God's word in English, but for use with evangelism today, it's really not the easiest for people to understand.

Personally, I still use the KJV myself, even though I'm in an ESV church. Since I grew up in churches that used it, I am comfortable with its language, and I think that's largely the reason many of my age in the pews still use and prefer it -- they are also comfortable with it. Reading from it "feels like" church. It's the one I use for memorization, and I still have trouble doing responsive readings in our church when the newer text conflicts with what I learned and know.

But that's just the problem -- do we really want our churches to minister only to people of an older generation who are more comfortable with that English? If we continue to insist on using archaic language (and thereby insist that the newer generation does too) we will eventually realize we are becoming extinct when the few people interesting in attending church at all would rather attend a church with language they understand. Much as I love the KJV, I don't really want to be there.

Dave Barnhart

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That is an excellent way to

That is an excellent way to think of it and one I had not really considered.

Greg Linscott wrote:

Something a more experienced pastor shared with me on the version issue that I found valuable in thinking through the practical implications... is the matter addressed in their doctrinal statement or not? A preference, even a strong one, can be covered in a policy statement establishing a standard text for a ministry, even covering the reasons one is convinced of the validity of their conclusion. Spelling it out in a doctrinal statement, though, does more than establish practice, but also speaks to the level those who conclude differently are considered to be in error- not to mention that one is including conclusions that require more than Scripture itself to arrive at.

Regarding Sexton, specifically- at this point, his church does address the matter as an issue of doctrine. I would find that enough of a reason to avoid most partnerships, if for no other reason than I would think it would be difficult for them to work alongside someone they have determined to be in doctrinal error, since I use something other than a KJV.

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Maybe..........

Maybe I wasn't clear.  I was not asking whether it was the best translation/version for use with the masses in 21st century America.  That is an entirely different question.  I was asking if we agree that it is a reliable, accurate translation, an example of the Word of God preserved for the English speaking world.  That it is not a bastard child translated to advance some anti-scriptural agenda as some English translations have proven to be?

If this were Germany, I might ask the same thing about the Luther translation (which, BTW, I know little about; it is the only German version I know).  

Is it or is it not a good sample, example, representative (or whatever synonym you choose) of inspired Scripture preserved and translated into English?

Lee

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I thought I answered it ...

Lee wrote:

Is [the KJV] or is it not a good sample, example, representative (or whatever synonym you choose) of inspired Scripture preserved and translated into English?

I thought I answered it here.

I would say "yes". There is nothing wrong per se with the KJV .. it's just in an English that is not spoken / written / read anymore. 

 

 

 

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Version

I am seriously pondering proposing a version shift in my church in a few years to either the NKJV or the ESV. We'll see. Anybody else done this, or had problems doing it?!

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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Switched...

Switched to NKJV when I came 6 years ago. No issues at all, but much of the groundwork had pretty much been laid by predecessors, and indirectly the influence of Central Seminary. The adult SS teacher when I came was using the NIV to publicly reference as a comparison, and I had a fair number of non-native English speakers, too, so it wasn't a hard sell. They had also already been using the NKJV in Awana.

Greg Linscott
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