The Embarrassing Preface to the King James Version

Republished with permission from Theologically Driven.

When the King James Version of the Bible came off the press of Robert Barker in 1611, it contained an eleven-page preface titled “The Translators to the Reader.” This preface is primarily a defense of the new translation, but it also provides important information about the translators’ views on the subject of Bible translation. It is an embarrassment (or should be) to King James-only advocates because it contains statements from the translators that are in direct opposition to the KJV-only position. It is most unfortunate that this pref­ace is no longer included in modern copies of the KJV. This post is the beginning of a series that will examine the actual words of the preface in order to refute the erroneous ideas of KJV-only movement with the words of the translators themselves. But before beginning that examination, I will summarize the contents of the preface.

The preface begins by noting, along with examples, that all new en­deavors of whatever kind will commonly face opposition. This is also true for persons who attempt to change and improve anything, even if they are important people like kings. However, the greatest opposition and severest vilification is reserved for those who modify or change the current translation of the Bible, even if that translation is known to have defects.

Next there follows a long section praising Scripture, noting its great value and divine origin. But the perfections of Scripture can never be appreciated unless it is understood, and it cannot be understood until it is translated into the common tongue. Translation is therefore a good thing. Thus, God in his providence raised up individuals to translate the Old Testament into Greek. The Septuagint, though far from perfect, was still sufficient as the Word of God, such that the apostles quoted it in the NT. And even thought the Septuagint was the Word of God, scholars believed it could be improved, which led to the Greek versions of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus, as well as the Hexapla of Origen. Both testaments were then translated into Latin, culminating in Jerome’s Vulgate. Finally, the Scriptures were translated into many tongues, in­cluding English. However, the preface observes, the Roman Catholic Church has generally not allowed the Scriptures to be rendered into the common tongues. Recently, they have produced their own translation of the Bible into English though they seem to have been forced to do it against their better judgment due to the number of Protestant English Bibles available.

The preface then returns to the problem of opposition to the new translation, and translations in general, by answering several objections. The main argument against the new translation questions the need for it, that is, since there had already been a number of English translation of the Bible, why is there need for another? If previous translations were good, there should be no need for another; if they were defective, why were they ever offered in the first place? The answer is, of course, that “nothing is begun and perfected at the same time.” While the efforts of previous English translators are to be commended, nevertheless, they themselves, if they were alive, would thank the translators of this new translation. The previous English Bibles were basically sound, but this new translation affords an opportunity to make improvements and cor­rections.

The translators argue that all previous English translations can rightly be called the Word of God, even though they may contain some “imperfections and blemishes.” Just as the King’s speech which he utters in Parliament is still the King’s speech, though it may be imperfectly trans­lated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin; so also in the case of the translation of the Word of God. For translations will never be infal­lible since they are not like the original manuscripts, which were pro­duced by the apostles and their associates under the influence of inspira­tion. However, even an imperfect translation like the Septuagint can surely be called the Word of God since it was approved and used by the apostles themselves. But since all translations are imperfect, the Church of Rome should not object to the continual process of correcting and improving English translations of the Bible. Even their own Vulgate has gone through many revisions since the day of Jerome.

Finally, the translators state the purpose and plan of the present translation. They have not intended to make a new translation, but to make the best possible translation by improving upon previous ones. To do so they have, of course, carefully examined the original Hebrew and Greek since translation should only be done from the original tongues. Also, they did not work hastily, as did the translators of the Septuagint, who, according to legend, finished their work in only seventy-two days. The translators also availed themselves of commentaries and translations of the Scriptures in other languages. In their work they felt it was essen­tial to include marginal notes, despite the fact that some might feel such notes tend to undermine the authority of the Scriptures. These notes are essential since the translators confess that oftentimes they were unsure how a word or phrase should be translated. This is especially true in Hebrew, where there are a number of words which only occur once in Scripture, and even the Jews themselves are uncertain about their trans­lation. And so, as Augustine notes, a “variety of translations is profitable for finding out of the sense of the Scriptures.” Lastly, the translators ob­serve that, in spite of criticism from some quarters, they decided not to always translate the same Hebrew or Greek word with the same English word and have retained, over the objections of the Puritans, the old ec­clesiastical words like “baptism” instead of “washings.”

Part 2 in this series posts later this week —Ed.

[node:bio/wcombs body]

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juitdeflesch's picture

As a KJV-advocate, this introduction presents no embarrasment to me. My loyalty to the KJV is not based on the year it was translated, the number of translators, or the king's endorsement. Rather my devotion to the KJV lies in the textual choices behind it. There are a large number of KJV advocates who don't see it as reinspired. I stand beside the most accurate translation of the best texts. (It is also interesting to note that the "updating" of previous translations consisted of other translations made upon substantially the same texts used with the KJV.)

John Uit de Flesch

Matthew Olmstead's picture

juitdeflesch wrote:
I stand beside the most accurate translation of the best texts.

I presume you advocate the "best text" as the TR, but what is the basis by which you evaluate a translation as "accurate"? For instance, what makes the NKJV less "accurate" than the KJV (both us the TR for the NT, right?)? Or what makes the edition of the KJV you use more "accurate" than the original translation?

Father of three, husband of one, servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I blog at mattolmstead.com.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The embarrassment is for the position that says the translation and text of the KJV is permanently superior when the men who made the translation did not hold to that position themselves.
There are several editions of the TR, each differing a bit in wording from the others, and KJV text did not follow word for word any of the TR's in existence in that day. The KJV TR was published later.
James White does a pretty good job of http://effectualgrace.com/2012/03/01/king-james-onlyism-exposed-again/ explaining the sequence of events here .

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

More phony balogna has been served to fundamentalism in the name of the KJV only debate than any other issue out there.

In recent months, I have received packets from missionaries headed to foreign fields where the people speak foreign languages where the missionary candidates indicate they will only use the KJV. Really?

Oh well. I'll stop there.

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
The embarrassment is for the position that says the translation and text of the KJV is permanently superior when the men who made the translation did not hold to that position themselves.

Aaron, I don't get it.

Do you believe that the Biblical authors were personally inspired and infallible? I trust not.

Do you believe Balaam prophesied accurately the word of the Lord? Are his other actions and words "embarrassing" to that belief?

Do you believe his donkey was given words by the Lord? Is that belief "embarrassed" by other actions and thoughts of the donkey?

For a Ruckmanite who believes in a second act of inspiration, they don't believe the translators were inspired / infallible any more than you or I believe the donkey was inspired / infallible. It is the product that is inspired, not the human agent. The human agent (or even donkey) may be desperately wrong at other times (as Peter was at Antioch, Jonah was both before and after going to Nineveh, Balaam was, and Caiaphas was).

Ruckman would certainly say that the preface wasn't inspired and the translators were wrong, just like Peter was wrong at Antioch. He would say we still accept I & II Peter even though Peter was wrong at Antioch, and we should still accept the KJV even though the translators were wrong in the preface.

Dr. Combs' argument against Ruckmanism is counter-productive. It actually strengthens Ruckman's hand to make a big deal about something he can shoot down so easily. It gives the impression that critics don't even understand his position.

If anything is embarrassing, it is that people keep using this argument. Can we not do better than talking about the preface? It's almost like arguing against the ESV because some note in the ESV Study Bible is flawed -- the personal opinions of the translators has nothing to do with the accuracy or not of the translation or the quality of the underlying text, unless you can demonstrate that those personal opinions influenced their work. That would be very hard to prove in the case of the KJV translators.

The preface means nothing in this issue, because no one on either side is basing their belief on the opinions of the translators.

Mitchell_Killian's picture

JG wrote:
If anything is embarrassing, it is that people keep using this argument. Can we not do better than talking about the preface? It's almost like arguing against the ESV because some note in the ESV Study Bible is flawed -- the personal opinions of the translators has nothing to do with the accuracy or not of the translation or the quality of the underlying text, unless you can demonstrate that those personal opinions influenced their work. That would be very hard to prove in the case of the KJV translators.

The preface means nothing in this issue, because no one on either side is basing their belief on the opinions of the translators.

JG,
I must respectfully disagree with you on this point. There are a good many moderate King James Onlyists that cite the King James translators' scholarship as one reason to accept it above all other translations. Supposedly, the translators' language skills transcend those of any modern scholars. To such people, it would indeed be a helpful thing to see what the translators themselves had to say about their own work. Admittedly, the term "embarrassment" is probably a bit strong, but I do think the preface, while it shouldn't be the lynchpin of the argument, can be really helpful when dealing with issue.

Mitchell Killian
II Corinthians 12:9

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Furthermore, it has been taught that the KJV translators were godly saints whom God chose to use for the preservation of the Scriptures.

juitdeflesch's picture

What makes the NKJV less accurate is not the texts used, but the translation itself. There are just too many blunders for me to accept it over the KJV. (For a few to check, see, Acts 17:29, Romans 4:25, I Cor. 6:9, II Cor. 2:9, Matt. 21:22, I Cor. 1:22, and Gen. 2:18, [pandering to egalitarians ] Psalm 109:6, Gen. 4:7, Gen. 10:11, Gen. 14:15) The NKJV has places where the translators interpret rather than translate. I want to know what God said, and then I’ll do the interpreting.

As to the TR issue, I am aware that all TR’s are not identical. However, the variances that exist consist of a dozen or two…maybe as many as fifty. That’s a far cry from the 1,000’s of variances that exist in the 1881 text when compared to a TR. The variances within the TR consist of prepositions, articles, tenses of verbs etc. The variances in the 1881 text consist of (in some places) phrases, verses, and even one entire passage, missing. Furthermore, some Greek texts of Nestle-Aland and UBS contain brackets rated A, B, C, and D. A=are the Words of God, B=might be the Words of God, C=might not be the Words of God, and D=are not the Words of God. (Of course, that is my rephrasing Smile ) I am not comfortable with that approach to Scripture. (I am not implying that anyone who uses another version has that approach, but they do use the results of such approach.)

Another thought to consider in translating is not only the skill of the translators relating to Greek, but also their talent in regards to English. The KJV translators did not always choose the common words of the day. Sometimes they used words more precise than the average words. (Pronouns, etc.)

Although the major reason for my use of the KJV is the TR, I am also pleased to be aligned with the Bibles of Spurgeon, Whitefield, the AnaBaptists, Tertullian, D. L. Moody, and Wycliffe. (The Greek Text, not the KJV!) God has mightily used the KJV, and when it quits working, I’ll look for a revision (based on the TR).

John Uit de Flesch

James K's picture

juitdeflesch,

God forbid you not be embarassed by translators who make up words and phrases not found in the Greek. I wonder if that has ever happened.

Tell me, when I look up 1 John 2:23 in the KJV, it says this:

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

However, the last half of the verse is in italics. Now I understand the use of italics to help clarify maybe something implied. So...the translators felt the need to add half a verse in italics? They must have been way smarter than me. They probably were. However, when I look at the new versions with their corrupted greek text which underlies them, I see this:

ASV: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that confesseth the Son hath the Father also.

NASU: Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father ; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

HCSB: No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.

ESV: No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

Oh I see, the KJV translators rejected the superior TR on this verse and opted to follow the inferior texts.

Maybe someone can explain to me how that worked.

By the way, Spurgeon preached a whole message on a phrase not even found in the TR. 1 John 3:1

Look at how great a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God's children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn't know Him.

The KJV "works" because God promises to use His word. There isn't a magical spell over it. More times than not facts are not relevant in this discussion. I am a work of God's grace though being restored out of KJVO/TRO.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Matthew Olmstead's picture

juitdeflesch wrote:
I want to know what God said, and then I’ll do the interpreting.

I appreciate that you want to know what God said and do the interpreting yourself. How do you take capitalization of pronouns? Would not those be the "interpretations" of the editors and not "what God said"?

Father of three, husband of one, servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I blog at mattolmstead.com.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

juitdeflesch wrote:
I want to know what God said, and then I’ll do the interpreting.

That would mean that your life goals would include mastering Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

Come to think of it, that would make the KJV translators smile H:)

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

JG's picture

Mitchell_Killian wrote:
I must respectfully disagree with you on this point. There are a good many moderate King James Onlyists that cite the King James translators' scholarship as one reason to accept it above all other translations. Supposedly, the translators' language skills transcend those of any modern scholars. To such people, it would indeed be a helpful thing to see what the translators themselves had to say about their own work. Admittedly, the term "embarrassment" is probably a bit strong, but I do think the preface, while it shouldn't be the lynchpin of the argument, can be really helpful when dealing with issue.

But Mitchell, they endorse their language scholarship, not their theology. No KJVOers become Anglican because of the translators. The comments Dr. Combs highlights are not translation work, but theology, and no one considers the theology of the translators normative.

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
Furthermore, it has been taught that the KJV translators were godly saints whom God chose to use for the preservation of the Scriptures.

You're right, of course. But watch. I'll pull on a KJVO hat AND use your words. "Peter was a godly saint whom God chose to use for the inspiration of the Scriptures. The translators were godly saints whom God chose to use for the preservation of the Scriptures. Peter got things wrong at Antioch. The translators got things wrong in the preface. The end." KJVO hat removed.

This argument is akin to an ad hominem, addressing the person / view of the translators rather than the translation work itself. Until it is proved that the translators' view in the preface impacted translation decisions, or that KJVO is based on the personal infallibility of the translators, it means nothing.

Let's bash Westcott-Hort for joining the Ghostie club as students! Show how it impacted their text work, and I might care, but otherwise.... I don't CARE if Hort held to evolution. I do care if evolutionary philosophies impacted his textual work. Likewise, if someone shows that the views in the preface impacted translation decisions, I'll cheer this article, then shut up and go away. Smile

Two kinds of KJVO:
1. It is the only acceptable translation of the only acceptable text. You can only refute this by challenging the text or the translation work itself, or demonstrating the validity of alternate translation decisions. If you can't do any of that, you're dead in the water in opposing this view, whatever the preface says, and might as well become KJVO yourself. These people simply don't care about the opinions of the translators, or they would be Anglican.
2. There was a second act of inspiration (Ruckman). The preface is even less relevant to this view. This is essentially a continuationist view held by those who claim to be cessationists. If you can't challenge the continuationism, you're dead in the water in opposing this view, whatever the preface says, and you might as well follow Ruckman yourself. These people simply don't care about the opinions of the translators, or they would be Anglican.

A third is that the KJV is the best translation of the only acceptable text. This isn't really KJVO, it's a form of KJV preferred. These people don't care about the translator's views, either, or they would be, you know, Anglican. Smile

We tend to join the bandwagon of any argument that appears to support our view. It's a bad idea. It actually strengthens our opponents if the argument is fallacious or weak. This one will shake those who haven't thought it through, and they will ask a KJVO teacher about it, who will point out that their view isn't based on the personal infallibility of a bunch of Anglicans. That person will become more confirmed in their view than they were before.

I'll now shut up and go away, anyway, which will make my employer and everyone else happier. Smile

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's interesting to me that some have difficulty seeing the problem the KJV preface poses for the KJVO position.
At any rate, I think the argument is intuitively strong and that it's important to increase awareness of what's in that preface. At the gut level, it's a powerful thing to know that the makers themselves did not hold a KJVO position in reference to either the text or the translation.

But of course the entire case against KJVO does not rest on the preface. Nobody is saying it does. But many of the arguments for KJVO are emotive appeals that claim a historical superiority--as though the non KJVO position was a new-fangled notion dreamed up in 20th century by modernists. The relevance of the KVJ translators' views against that particular argument is pretty obvious.

Quote:
As to the TR issue, I am aware that all TR’s are not identical. However, the variances that exist consist of a dozen or two…maybe as many as fifty.

Since the KJVO position--in it's most common form--holds that there has been a word-perfect text since the days when the documents were inspired, there only needs to be a single word of difference among the TRs to topple that view.
(Everybody knows that the eclectic texts are more different from the TRs than the TRs are from the Majority Text or from eachother--but that doesn't make the TR differences go away, and therein lies the problem.)

DavidO's picture

Quote:
Two kinds of KJVO:
1. It is the only acceptable translation of the only acceptable text. You can only refute this by challenging the text or the translation work itself, or demonstrating the validity of alternate translation decisions. If you can't do any of that, you're dead in the water in opposing this view, whatever the preface says, and might as well become KJVO yourself. These people simply don't care about the opinions of the translators, or they would be Anglican.

There are either more than two kinds or your #1 is incomplete. The version of KJVO/TRO I am most familiar with begins with the scripture's promising there will always be a pure text available somewhere and that the true church will [be able to ] identify it. This position can be toppled without addressing textual and translation issues since its foundation is theological rather than critical.

Quote:
the KJVO position--in it's most common form--holds that there has been a word-perfect text since the days when the documents were inspired, there only needs to be a single word of difference among the TRs to topple that view.

As long as there has existed at least one copy of the TR text of each book generally available since the autographs, it would not then matter how many variant TRs were out there-- the true text was available and could be recognized by the church(es).

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
The embarrassment is for the position that says the translation and text of the KJV is permanently superior when the men who made the translation did not hold to that position themselves.
There are several editions of the TR, each differing a bit in wording from the others, and KJV text did not follow word for word any of the TR's in existence in that day. The KJV TR was published later.
James White does a pretty good job of http://effectualgrace.com/2012/03/01/king-james-onlyism-exposed-again/ explaining the sequence of events here .

No one commented on Aaron's link, so I wanted to bring it to the conversation again. There are 6 videos at the site. The first, by Gipp, is short (8 minutes) and sadly comical for its ridiculous arguments. The first of White's responses is 22 minutes long and worth every minute invested. I'm 41, ordained, with 15 years of various vocational ministry, but there were things presented there I didn't know previously. Most notably, the TR that is published and promoted today is not the Greek text on which the KJV is based, but was instead created after the 1611 in order to have a Greek text that would match the English translation since the KJV has unique translations found nowhere else in the Greek manuscripts - except now in the TR which was created to match the KJV. Talk about circular reasoning - it's enough to make your head spin (pun intended).

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

Greg Long's picture

The KJV preface is absolutely devastating to the KJVO position, because the KJV translators argue against the key tenants of the position, whether KJVO proponents acknowledge it or not.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

JG's picture

His refusal to eat with Gentiles destroys the unified church view, because he was the one who first took the Gospel to the Gentiles in Acts 10, and he clearly rejected the key tenets of the unified church position.

David, I wasn't trying to cover every permutation. The people you describe hold to what I said -- the KJV is the only acceptable translation of the only acceptable text. Right? If they don't hold that, they aren't KJVO....

Greg Long's picture

JG wrote:
His refusal to eat with Gentiles destroys the unified church view, because he was the one who first took the Gospel to the Gentiles in Acts 10, and he clearly rejected the key tenets of the unified church position.
Huh?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

PSFerguson's picture

Dr Combs set out to prove his assertion that the KJV preface "contains statements from the translators that are in direct opposition to the KJV-only position." He claims that this would be an "embarrassment" to the KJV only position.

I have read through his attempt so far and frankly am underwhelmed by his logic. Where is the embarrassment? That the KJV translators believed that their translation could have alternative renderings? That the KJV translators believed that even the Septuagint reflected the word of God albeit imperfectly in places? This Emperor has no clothes!

Like all "Multiple Bible Only" advocates, Combs does not actually recognise the diversity of the KJV-only movement. He paints with a broad brush smearing the whole with the least desirable views of a minority. That is the tactics of the modern evolutionary movements of men like Dawkins. Christians should be able to rise above that, especially Bible-believing ones. The vast majority of KJV advocates historically base their position on this issue by rooting it to a textual conviction. We do not say there are not alternative ways of rendering the English translation. Indeed, the KJV marginal notes in the 1611 put in these alternative renderings, which would be equally valid ways of translating the word in English.

The position of Masoretic/TR advocates that lead us to embrace the KJV as the best translation in the English tongue is based on a theological paradigm from biblical presuppositions that was embraced by the Reformers. That is why the Westminster Confession and Baptist Confession documents explicitly include 1 John 5:7 and the longer ending of the Lord's Prayer etc in their documents. It is not a Ruckmanite or Baptist conspiracy. I wish places like Detroit Baptist would recognise that church history actually extends beyond BJU and the founding of the FBF. I did my own research on this subject. The results of the views of Baptist and Presbyterian churches are presented there. I wish Dr Combs would actually deal with that evidence:

http://oldfaith.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/historic-views-of-the-preservat... Historic Views of Text

If part two does not radically improve from part one, the only embarrassment will be to the reputation of the academic dean of Detroit Baptist!

Rob Fall's picture

is IMHO too strong of a word. However, the Preface does represent a philosophy which is at variance with some of the more vehement and vociferous KJVO proponents. They must deal with the fact that the Translators did not support their position.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

James K's picture

PSFerguson,

3 questions.

1. Which TR is perfectly preserved?

2. Which KJV is the one that is most accurate?

3. Why did God only see fit to perfectly preserve His word for the English speaking people of the world and not anyone else?

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

JG's picture

Greg Long wrote:
JG wrote:
His refusal to eat with Gentiles destroys the unified church view, because he was the one who first took the Gospel to the Gentiles in Acts 10, and he clearly rejected the key tenets of the unified church position.
Huh?

Well said. What I wrote there doesn't make any sense, does it, Greg? Smile

But I was using the same logic used in this "preface" argument, just applying it to a different person (Peter rather than the translators) and a different doctrine (unity of the church rather than Ruckman KJVO).

***
Ruckman would say, "The KJV is an act of God, not an act of men. The men used to do it were fallible people who make mistakes. This is one of those mistakes."

Ruckman's error is in effectively rejecting the sufficiency of the Scripture. He has created a continuationist doctrine of a 1611 gift of prophecy or gift of miraculous tongues-interpreting. That doctrine is not found in Scripture. Sola Scriptura. Any extra-Biblical arguments are much weaker and only divert from the Biblical problem with his view.

ADThompson's picture

James K wrote:
PSFerguson,

3. Why did God only see fit to perfectly preserve His word for the English speaking people of the world and not anyone else?

How convenient for English-speakers to insist that the Bible that happens to be in their own language be the final authority for all other languages! It's worth remembering that, according to the original 1611 preface, the translators consulted foreign language translations.

"Neither did wee thinke much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrewe, Syrian, Greeke, or Latine, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch..."
James K's picture

There are few issues that could challenge the KJVO movement as to who is in complete denial. See some of the above.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

juitdeflesch's picture

Obviously, the way to receive comments on SI is to promote the KJV.

As to the specific issue at hand of the preface: The issue of the preface might be of help to a Ruckmanite. But to the many others who hold to the KJV for textual reasons, it makes no difference. It is a non-starter. Many who claim to "have the know" about those wacko KJVO-types simply put up a simple solution to a Ruckmanite straw-man and believe every KJVOer should be convinced. (By the way...not too many Ruckmanites read SI.)

Italics: I John 2:23 is admittedly an anomaly. Nowhere else does anything like this occur in the KJV. Evidently they had some reason to include it. They did not consider it to be authentic, or else it would not be in italics. (This is another reason I love the KJV. They communicate the Greek words in regular font, the implications and possibilities in italics.) It is an inconsistency to be noted, but I'm not going to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

Capitalization of Pronouns: This is a tricky topic. If no capitals are used, there are many places where the reader must wonder when the Greek is already clear who the antecedant is. There are a few places where the antecedant has two possibilities. Therefore, I believe the weight of the balance is tipped in favor of Capitalizing. You are correct though that some places will require (and communicate) an interpretation.

To the over all issue: I believe that God has preserved his words within the family of the T.R. manuscripts. I can even understand (Biblically) how someone could embrace a Majority Text position. I cannot understand those who hold to a Critical Text position. DavidO provides my reasoning.

Quote:
This position can be toppled without addressing textual and translation issues since its foundation is theological rather than critical.

Should not all of our beliefs begin with Scripture? Should we not investigate, exegete, ponder, study, and devour the Scriptures before moving to other aspects of a topic? (i.e. history, logic, scholarship, etc.) The only reason I came to the conclusion I did (and believe me, I have studied and pondered the other) is because God promised to preserve His Word. I know he didn't promise to preserve it in English. I know he didn't promise to make translators do an unimproveable job. I'm not promoting that.

I cannot see into each C.T. proponents history and heart. But it appears to me they have interpreted Scripture based on fact and history, rather than on its own merit. The foundation for me was the following verses. Psalm 33:11; 100:5; 111:7-8; 117:2; 119:89-90, 144, 152, 160; Isaiah 40:8; 59:21; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Luke 21:33; John 10:35; Acts 7:38; and I Peter 1:25. Especially exegete Isaiah 59:21. I do see a clear promise from God to preserve His words. It doesn't give all the details of how, but the promise is clear. Once that is established, I can begin to interpret the little truth of history based upon the big truth of God's Words. To reverse the order is faulty.

Everyone believes the Bible has been corrupted somewhere, somehow. To not believe that Satan has corrupted the Bible in some way is crazy--Satan seeks to corrupt everything good. C.T. advocates believe the Traditional Text (and KJV and its derivatives in other languages) have been corrupted. I believe the C.T. is the corrupted stream. I challenge anyone to show me a "born-again" or even orthodox church using the C.T. from the years A.D. 600-1800. C.T. advocates believe the accurate Bible God gave was absent from use during these years. Their "pure" Bible was not in use to edify, convict, and minister. In fact, this "pure" Bible of the C.T. folks is continually changing. Every new manuscript, each new tweeking of critical methods yields a different result. Meanwhile, C.T. brethren propose that the corrupted Word (Traditional Text) was used for the Reformation, Inquisition-period, Great Awakening, Billy Sunday etc. If I may be a bit sarcastic for a moment...have you noticed how the state of Christianity has been strengthened from 1881 until now? Have you seen the multitudes being saved and called into service? My belief is founded upon doctrine but is proven by pragmatism (does it work?).

Aaron pointed out the very few variants among certain TR's. They exist. I'm not hiding from it. But don't throw out the baby with bath water. Don't run to the C.T. where there are way more variants! Dean Burgon defended the T.R. and he was open to some revising of the T.R., but he was totally opposed to the 1881 text (As nearly all conservatives were!)

I'm open to a KJV update. There are older words. There some improvements that could be made. Maybe to you that means I'm not KJVO.

If you are interested in reading some serious works regarding this topic, read Which Greek Text, The Traditional Text of the New Testament, The Causes of Corruption, The Text of the New Testament. You don't have to run from Ruckman straight to any Bible goes. There is a better place-historically, logically, and most important Biblically. Can I explain every detail-no. But again, I don't have to. All I have to do is 1. Know what God said about preservation and 2. Find the Bible that fits with what God said.

Personally, I'd enjoy responding to each and every detail, but the young church and young family calls me to their attention. Hope this "sharpens" more than "dulls"!

John Uit de Flesch

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