Now, About Those Differences, Part Twenty Three

The entire “Now About Those Differences” series is available here.

Sinister et Dexter

The best and most accurate body of manuscripts underlying the New Testament is the Textus Receptus. This then supports the King James Version for which I unashamedly stand and from which I exclusively study and preach.

—Evangelist Dwight Smith

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.

—Temple Baptist Church and Crown College, Knoxville, Tennessee

At first glance, the present essay will appear to be a digression from the conversation about fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—and a lengthy digression at that. It is not. It is rather an attempt at recognizing that, when the principles of Christian fellowship and separation are applied consistently, they affect our relationship with professing fundamentalists as well as our relationship with other evangelicals. To illustrate this point, let me begin with a personal anecdote.

Not long ago, a reader of this publication sent the following question, signing himself as Richard V. Clearwaters: “I preached my entire ministry from the KJV. Was that wrong, outmoded, or ineffective? You seem to loathe anyone who does preach from this Bible and won’t preach from another? [sic]” Naturally, the author of these words was not R. V. Clearwaters, but the question was meant seriously.

This kind of query always leaves me nonplussed—not because of the pseudepigraphy, but because of the assumption behind the question. It assumes that a critique of King James Onlyism constitutes a critique of the King James Version. To question the legitimacy of King James Only convictions or tactics is somehow to attack the King James Bible and all who use it. On occasion, correspondents have informed me that my critique of their position identifies me as a member of the “Alexandrian cult,” which is supposed to be a secret society going back to Patristic times. One even said that he had my number, “and it’s 666.”

Objecting to the misuse of a thing, however, is not the same as objecting to the thing itself. I dislike the idea of hearing Bach’s Goldberg Variations played by kazoo, not because I dislike Bach, but because I do not wish to see Bach debased. By the same token, my objection is not to the King James Version, but to those who make false claims about it. This distinction seems so obvious that I have trouble taking critics seriously when they cannot seem to grasp it.

In the interest of full disclosure, perhaps I should state that I am one of those misfits who still prefers to use a King James. Given a choice, it is what I will preach from (and since I am almost always given a choice, it is almost always what I use). It is the English text that I employ in my seminary teaching. It is the Bible that I have committed to memory and the Bible that I quote. Never in my life have I raised any objection to reading or using the King James Version.

Let me go further. I confess the King James Version to be the Word of God. It is Holy Scripture. I hold it to be authoritative. When I read it (as I do each day), God holds me responsible to obey what I read.

Some might believe that my attitude displays too much deference or reverence toward what is, after all, a translation of Scriptures that were originally written in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. Can a translation carry that kind of authority? On this point, I agree with the King James translators themselves.

[W]e do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English…containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the King’s speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere.

Since I highly esteem the King James Version of the Bible, then what is my disagreement with the King James Only movement? Between us lie two bones of contention, two questions that must be answered. The first is, how do we regard other versions of the Bible? The second is, does the use of the King James fall under the category of personal preference or under the category of doctrine?

To illustrate the differences, I have included two quotations at the beginning of this essay. The first is from the doctrinal statement of a well-respected itinerant preacher. The second is from the doctrinal statement of a prominent, church-based, independent Baptist college.

Both statements come out in the same place. Both are willing to recognize and employ only the King James Version as the Word of God in the English language. The preacher prides himself that the King James Version is the only Bible that he will use, not only to preach, but to study. If someone places a New International Version in his hand, he will not study it. If a church asks that he respect their decision to use the New American Standard in their services, he will not do it. He does not want to study God’s Word if it is not the King James Version.

The second statement is even more emphatic. The King James Version is the only English version that the college is willing to accept and use. They do not accept the American Standard Version of 1901. They do not accept the New American Standard. They do not accept the New International Version. They will not accept the English Standard Version. As far as this school is concerned, only the King James Version is the Word of God in English.

Given the stated attitude of these sources toward modern translations, two observations are in order. The first is that their position does not represent historic, mainstream fundamentalism. Speaking of mainstream fundamentalists, the real Richard V. Clearwaters wrote the following in The Great Conservative Baptist Compromise.

Honesty compels us to cite the 1901 American Revised as the best English Version of the original languages which places us in a position 290 years ahead of those who are still weighing the King James of 1611 for demerits….We know of no Fundamentalists…that claim the King James as the best English translation. Those in the main stream of Fundamentalism all claim the American Revised of 1901 as the best English translation.

My second observation is that the attitude displayed by the aforementioned preacher and college is genuinely contemptuous of the Word of God. If I were to declare that the King James Version was not the Word of God, then King James Only advocates would quickly and rightly excoriate me for my contempt of Scripture—regardless of my attitude toward other versions. Yet they themselves refuse to acknowledge the American Standard Version (et al.) as the Word of God.

Read again what the King James translators wrote to their readers. Translations may differ in grace or fitness of expression, but even a “mean” translation must be regarded as God’s Word. A person who despises the King James has shown contempt for God’s Word. By the same token, a person who despises the NASV or the NIV has shown contempt for God’s Word.

What is more, this contemptuous attitude toward the Word of God is not held merely as a personal preference. Rather, it is affirmed as a matter of doctrine—indeed, of vital doctrine. These King James Only advocates do not simply agree to disagree.

Look again at the quotations at the beginning of this essay. These citations are not drawn from position papers or editorials. They are taken from doctrinal statements.

The point of a doctrinal statement is not to articulate the entire system of faith. No one tries to include every belief in a doctrinal statement. When we write doctrinal statements, we aim to include only our most characteristic and important beliefs.

As a matter of doctrine, the itinerant preacher refuses to study any translation of the Bible except the King James. As a matter of doctrine, the college accepts and uses only the King James Bible. For these individuals, rejecting other versions of the Word of God is so important that they feel compelled to include their rejection in their creedal affirmations.

Such attitudes are hardly rare. In a series of videos released during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Pensacola Christian College (PCC) accused several fundamentalist institutions of sinful hypocrisy for not following a King James Only position. PCC has never repented of these public attacks. At West Coast Baptist College, graduating seniors do not receive their diplomas until they publicly stand to affirm that “God has preserved His Word in the King James Version for the English speaking people,” and agree that if they ever abandon this belief, they “should return [their] diploma and relinquish all rights, privileges, and honors that are accompanied with it.”

Extreme as these pronouncements are, evangelists such as Smith and colleges such as Crown, Pensacola, and West Coast actually represent the very moderate side of the King James Only movement. I have seen others cast the New American Standard Version to the ground. I have heard them denounce the New International Version as a “perversion.” More vitriolic King James Only advocates are even willing to attack the more moderate expressions of their own movement. For example, author William P. Grady has blasted Crown College and its president, Clarence Sexton, charging that school with apostasy (incidentally, Grady’s books—especially Final Authority: A Christian’s Guide to the King James Bible—are indispensable reading for those who wish to understand the mindset and sensibilities of the King James Only movement).

Sadly, these people are attempting to create a new fundamentalism on the basis of a new fundamental. They have set themselves up as judges over the Word of God, determining for hundreds and thousands of Christians what will and what will not be recognized as Scripture. Alongside the gospel, they have introduced loyalty to the King James Version as a test of Christian fellowship.

How are these observations relevant to the relationship between fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals? To answer this question, we must remember a bit of history.

American evangelicalism broke with fundamentalism when people like Harold John Ockenga, Edward John Carnell, and Billy Graham created a new evangelicalism. The error of neoevangelicalism was serious. New evangelicals rejected the fundamentalist insistence that the fundamentals of the gospel constitute the boundary of Christian fellowship. Fundamentalists tried to separate from apostates, but neoevangelicals tolerated apostates in their organizations, sought to cooperate with apostates in the Lord’s work, and tried to infiltrate enterprises that were controlled by apostates.

The error of the King James Only movement is opposite but equal to the error of the new evangelicalism. The new evangelicals wanted to remove the fundamentals (i.e., the gospel) as the boundary of Christian fellowship. The King James Only movement wishes to add to the fundamentals (i.e., the gospel) as the boundary of Christian fellowship. Neoevangelicalism could be called “sub-fundamentalist,” while the King James Only movement is hyper-fundamentalist.

Of course, the King James Only movement is only one species of hyper-fundamentalism. Hyper-fundamentalism may revolve around personal and institutional loyalties, idiosyncratic agendas, absurd ethical standards, or the elevation of incidental doctrines and practices. The thing that characterizes all versions of hyper-fundamentalism is the insistence upon draconian reactions for relatively pedestrian—or even imaginary—offenses.

Hyper-fundamentalism and the new evangelicalism are mirror images of each other. The old neoevangelicalsim damaged the gospel, not by denying it, but by attacking its role as a demarcator between Christianity and apostasy. The hyper-fundamentalist does the same kind of damage by adding something else alongside the gospel. If anything, King James Onlyism is worse, for it shows contempt for the Word of God. It attacks the heart of Christianity by sitting in judgment over its source of authority.

Neoevangelicalism and hyper-fundamentalism are equal errors. Whatever we should have done in response to the new evangelicals is the same thing that we should do now in response to hyper-fundamentalists. Historic, mainstream, biblical fundamentalism has no more in common with Pensacola, Crown, and West Coast than it had with Ockenga, Carnell, and Graham.

Incidentally, no one should infer from this discussion that I think every King James Only advocate is hypocritical or defiant toward God. Nor should anyone assume that God cannot use King James Only churches, preachers, and schools. In His grace, He can and does. And of course, these same caveats should be applied to neoevangelicals: they were not necessarily insincere or defiant toward God, and God did work through them.

Furthermore, not all fundamentalists are hyper-fundamentalists, any more than all evangelicals are (or were) neoevangelicals. Several mediating positions exist. Historic, mainstream fundamentalism has been one of those mediating positions. Conservative evangelicalism is another.

In my opinion, fundamentalists are biblically obligated to separate from brethren who practice the neoevangelical philosophy. In the same way, and for much the same reasons, we are also obligated to separate from hyper-fundamentalists. We should not separate from either group as if they are apostates or enemies. Nevertheless, our ability to work with them is limited by their errors.

Conservative evangelicals do not want to be recognized as fundamentalists, and they do not belong in that category. At the same time, they are not guilty of the more serious errors that plagued the new evangelicalism. Unless separation is an all-or-nothing matter (and in the case of separation from Christians it is not), then we should recognize a greater degree of commonality and fellowship with conservative evangelicals than we could with neoevangelicals—or with hyper-fundamentalists.

Fundamentalists of the main stream do have more in common with conservative evangelicals than they have in common with hyper-fundamentalists. In particular, we have more in common with biblically responsible conservative evangelicals than we do with the captains of the King James Only movement. If we believe in separation, we ought to be separating from hyper-fundamentalists more quickly and more publicly than we do from conservative evangelicals.

How do these relationships work out in real life? For the final essay of this series, I would like to deal with two personal examples. The first was an occasion when I was invited to share a platform with a hyper-fundamentalist. The second was an occasion when I was invited to speak with a conservative evangelical. I plan to compare my handling of these situations to the way that other fundamentalists have responded in similar circumstances. While my response to these situations is certainly subject to critique, these episodes offer good, existential case studies of the effort to apply biblical principles to fellowship and separation.

Advent, 1
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

‘Come,’ Thou dost say to Angels,
To blessed Spirits, ‘Come’:
‘Come,’ to the lambs of Thine own flock,
Thy little ones, ‘Come home.’

‘Come,’ from the many-mansioned house
The gracious word is sent;
‘Come,’ from the ivory palaces
Unto the Penitent.

O Lord, restore us deaf and blind,
Unclose our lips though dumb:
Then say to us, ‘I will come with speed,’
And we will answer, ‘Come.’

[node:bio/kevin-t-bauder body]

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There are 202 Comments

James K's picture

Dave, you are right on the mark in your observations of both Monte and Smith.

I am not sure who made the point better, Bauder or Smith. I will go with Bauder due to him not sounding like the kid left out of the neighborhood dodgeball game.

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.

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Dr. Doran: Let's please remember that Dr. Bauder launched an unprovoked attack in his criticism of Dwight Smith and Clarence Sexton. Neither of these men expected to be highlighted in Kevin Bauder's blog. I think the word "belligerent" overstates the case a bit. I could probably be called a "defendant," but hardly a belligerent.

In email we have exchanged in the past, I asked you if you thought it was a "crime" for me to refer to the TR in my exegetical studies. I pointed out that Calvin used essentially the same text I use in exegetical work. If I recall correctly, you kindly responded that my adherence to the TR is not a theological crime. I hardly think my defending my choice of Greek texts constitutes belligerence. Dr. Bauder prefers the KJV based on sentimentality; I use it because it is an accurate translation of the traditional texts of Scripture, the ones the church has historically used (the ones used by John Calvin himself).

As to Mr. Smith's article, I posted the link for ONE REASON: He asked me to post it because he forgot his Sharperiron password and can't figure out how to retrieve it. (Could a MODERATOR send me his user name and password via email? I promise to send it to him, and I will impersonate neither him nor Dr. Clearwaters on this site!)

Once Mr. Smith is up and running again, I think he should answer your questions about Clearwaters. I don't want to answer for him, and I don't want to be a mediator or referee.

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

Jim's picture

Pastor Marc Monte wrote:
As to Mr. Smith's article, I posted the link for ONE REASON: He asked me to post it because he forgot his Sharperiron password and can't figure out how to retrieve it. (Could a MODERATOR send me his user name and password via email? I promise to send it to him, and I will impersonate neither him nor Dr. Clearwaters on this site!)

Password recovery help is here: http://sharperiron.org/user-guide-for-si-30

We will not send passwords via other members (and as far as I know .. no moderator / admin knows anyone's password!)

Dave Doran's picture

Well, I wasn't thinking of co-beligerents in terms of niceness or not, but of having a common opponent, i.e., Lou and Dwight share some commonality in desiring to discredit Dr. Bauder. (And by discredit, I simply mean to lessen the regard that his views are given.)

It hadn't occurred to me that Bauder was offering an unprovoked attack on Dwight Smith, especially since Bauder quoted Smith's disgusting pseudepigraphical attack. Perhaps Smith apologized somewhere for cloaking his misguided prejudices in the mantle of R. V. Clearwaters, but I haven't seen it. If Smith has acknowledged the cheap, dishonest tactic that he used as such and Bauder still held it against him, then maybe it was an unprovoked attack. I've not known Kevin to be an unforgiving man, so my inclination is to think Bauder was acting legitimately to provide evidence that some men have made the KJVO position a point of doctrinal orthodoxy and ecclesiastical fellowship. And it seems clear that Smith's post at Lou's place confirms that.

I'll just note in passing that the portion of your post that should serve everybody well as a point of contemplation is this, "Calvin used essentially the same text I use in exegetical work." Specifically, think about the significance of the fact that you used (and must use) the word "essentially" rather than a word like "exactly." I would suggest that conceding that it is essentially the same rather than exactly the same vitiates the KJVO and TR arguments. IOW, you argue as if it is "exactly" the same, but have to admit that it is "essentially" the same.

DMD

Dwight Smith's picture

Merry Christmas everyone. I just thought that I would chime in here on a few points. First, no one is trying to say that Clearwaters was King James Only. This was never said in what you did you call it? The "pseudepigraphical" attack. (That is a mouthful!) It was simply stated that this was the version Clearwaters used throughout his ministry, which is fact.

As to the Pseudepigraphy - It was clearly stated at the bottom of the post that I wrote it, not Dr. Clearwaters. I also left my e-mail at the bottom of the post for anyone who wished to personally correspond with me about it. Of course, I don't hold it against anyone for not remembering this clearly because my post was only given an hour or so of internet time on si.

Having a Dad who sat under Dr. Clearwaters and having sat under his preaching minstry for a time, I knew well enough to state that Clearwaters was not a proponent of multiplied versions. This is clarified in the quotes from his autobiography.

As to my relationship with Dr. Bauder, the note was not just posted open and online. It was sent to him personally. He sent me back a timely and personal reply as if he were writing Dr. Clearwaters, and he maintained a good sense of humor about it. Smile

"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

Greg Long's picture

Pastor Monte, if you're going to appeal to Calvin's textual and translational choices, shouldn't you be using the Geneva Bible instead of the KJV?

Remember, King James decided on a new translation because the Geneva Bible (especially its notes) was too Protestant (one might even say, too Calvinistic!).

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Forrest's picture

I'm a little confused at the use of Calvin to support the TR. Calvin used the TR but even in his commentaries he offered emendations for particular passages and rejected some readings for others.

Wouldn't this make Calvin a bad guy for TR guys?

Forrest Berry

Charlie's picture

Forrest wrote:
I'm a little confused at the use of Calvin to support the TR. Calvin used the TR but even in his commentaries he offered emendations for particular passages and rejected some readings for others.

Wouldn't this make Calvin a bad guy for TR guys?

Since this thread has no hope of staying on a single topic, I feel no regret for this digression. In Calvin's New Testament Commentaries, T. H. L. Parker examines Calvin's use of the Greek text. Skipping through the boring stuff (and I say that as someone who has studied both Calvin and NT text criticism), Parker comes to some surprising conclusions. Earlier in Calvin's career, he has a marked preference for the Colinaeus and Complutensian editions rather than for the Erasmus text. Both those texts have a number of features that conform strikingly to modern critical editions.

Later in life, Calvin embraced what we now know as the TR texts. Why he changed, no one knows. Stephanus and later Beza came to live in Geneva, and there is a good chance that the relationships there, coupled with the growing scholarly acceptance of Erasmus, influenced him. Parker notices, though, that oftentimes Calvin will as an exegete prefer a reading that we would now see in our critical texts, but based on the scholarly consensus of the TR finally opt for another reading. That to me is fascinating. Had Calvin followed his exegetical instincts, he would have been much less TR friendly.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Mike Harding's picture

Dr. Bauder's article and Evangelist Dwight Smith's response illustrate both the strengths and weaknesses in the current remnant of the fundamental movement today. Bauder's article pointed out that a significant element in the fundamental movement holds to the KJVO position and that some do so in such a fashion that is doctrinally aberrant or historically misinformed. Enough ink has been spilled on this issue to correct the problem, and yet the problem dogmatically persists. The KJVO movement in its various forms was never a part of historic, biblical fundamentalism. If Brother Dwight, Pastor Monte, or Dr. Sexton use the KJV exclusively on account of its longtime history and use, familiarity, eloquence of translation, or textual base, that is legitimate. However, it is not legitimate to categorically demonize all other English translations, all other Greek texts, misrepresent the position of great men in fundamentalism such as R.V. Clearwaters, make claims about the KJV that are patently false, or hold the KJV as the ultimate standard (test case) for the Word of God in any language. These latter characteristics make the KJVO movement schismatic. As one poster has pointed out, not all KJVO types are schismatics. The ones who are should categorically be separated from. If I made the same typical claims about the NASV that are regularly made by KJVO advocates in regard to the KJV, KJVO advocates would cry foul (and rightly so). Dr. Bauder is simply returning the favor. The current exaltation by many KJVO advocates of the KJV is nothing short of "bibliolatry" -- the worship of a particular translation and a complete denial of the Baptist doctrine of soul liberty.

Pastor Mike Harding

Bob Bixby's picture

Pastor Marc Monte wrote:
And, just in case you're wondering, God seems to bless preaching from that book. We had over 700 in church on Sunday morning, 15-20 adult professions of faith, and numerous decisions at the altar. I say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I hope I'm not derailing the argument and I'll let the geniuses debate the texts, but for us reg'ler folk born in the South who quote the KJV to ourselves when we go to sleep at night I just have to point out a little problem with Brother Monte's argument. There's a preacher man 'cross town that seems quite persuaded that God is blessing his preachin' 'cause he has -- get this -- way more than 700 folk come to his preaching all the time and he gets decisions galore. He doesn't preach from a Black Book, the KJV, or sometimes -- sakes alive! -- he doesn't even preach from a book! Sometimes he gets all intellectual and sits on a stool, for cryin' outloud, 'cause he thinks talkin' is better than preachin'. Now I'm sittin' here scratchin' my head 'cause if havin' 700 folk is proof of the blessing of God Almighty on a preacher man's ministry then I'm sort of gettin' greedy for more than a measly 700. I'm thinkin' I might check out the good ol' boy down in Texas who, folks say, is gettin' upwards of 30,000 people to come to the house of God each an' evr'y Lord's Day. And all he does is grin. Grinnin' is sure 'lot easier than studyin'. And Brother Monte, bein' the fightin' fundamentalist that he is, has just reassured my soul that if it works it's a bein' blessed! Seems one might be able to be a fightin' fundamentalist and be smittin' starry-eyed by the same kind of ph'losophy that slick-haired preacher down in Texas has. I think they call it pragmasumthin...

Forrest's picture

Thanks Charlie, that was a very good answer to my question.

And Bob Bixby...:D

Forrest Berry

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Dear Greg: Geneva Bibles are hard to come by these days. The Geneva Bible was, however, a very good translation of the traditional texts. I would have no problem preaching from the Geneva. I know the guys on this blog are NOT missing my point, but I think it is troubling for them to admit that John Calvin believed the traditional texts of Scripture were God's words. He exegeted them, explained them (sometimes right, sometimes wrong), and revered them as God's words. For Calvin, the traditional texts were the final authority--the court of last resort. When translation issues arose, Calvin always appealed to the traditional texts of Scipture--ALWAYS. In fact, as you read his commentaries, you go away with the idea that he was a little "fanatical" about the details of the text!

If I believe the same thing about the text of Scripture that John Calvin believed and if I use the traditional texts that he used, why is he a hero and I a villan? (or at least a "hyper-fundamentalist").

Dear Bob Bixby: I put that little line about Sunday's results at the close of my post just to touch on a nerve! I was being mischievious. We did have a great Sunday with scores of first-time visitors, and the numerous decisions for Christ I mentioned. Rejoice with me that the power of the Gospel drew men to Christ!

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
If I believe the same thing about the text of Scripture that John Calvin believed and if I use the traditional texts that he used, why is he a hero and I a villan? (or at least a "hyper-fundamentalist").
Marc,

Two things:

1. I am not convinced appealing to Calvin here is helpful since (1) Calvin might be wrong (don't you think he was wrong on a great many things? In fact probably everything except this?), (2) Calvin is generally not a hero to people here even though they might share his view of soteriology, and (3) wasn't Calvin generally considered "pre-critical text"? In other words, Calvin couldn't really make a choice since the traditional texts were about his only option. I am not sure about this, but the eclectic text is a few years later than Calvin I think. Some of the readings would have been available, but not as widespread right?

2. I asked a couple of questions above that I hope you will take a minute to answer. They would be helpful, to people like me at least, in understanding where you are coming from.

Let me repeat them here to save the effort of looking for them (and add one for good times sake).

1. Is the KJV completely completely perfect in any issue of translation (whether word, grammar, etc)?
2. Would you accept another English translation based on the Traditional Text?
3. Do you believe that versions like the NASB and ESV are the Word of God?
4. How would view or treat a man or a ministry that used a NASB, an ESV, an NIV, a NKJV, or a HCSB for example?

Bob Bixby's picture

Marc,

I do rejoice with you. Truly. I was just making the point that it was irrelevant as an argument in favor of your position. I know that you know that, but I also know that there are plenty of readers who don't make that distinction. That was the purpose of my attempt to humorously discount that kind of argument for those working through all of this.

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Dr. Harding wrote:

"If Brother Dwight, Pastor Monte, or Dr. Sexton use the KJV exclusively on account of its longtime history and use, familiarity, eloquence of translation, or textual base, that is legitimate."

This, brethren, is all I have been trying to say! I used Calvin as an example, not because I'm a fan, but because a number of the men who post here favor Calvin. I enjoyed reading about Calvin's favoring the TR later in life in Charlie's post #38. I think he probably made the switch because, as he got older, he got wiser! Maybe he got saved! (THAT WAS A JOKE! LAUGH, LIGHTEN UP OUT THERE!)

Dr. Harding, thank you for your balanced comment. You are both factual and non-schismatic in your approach, and I appreciate it.

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

Rob Fall's picture

Pastor Marc Monte wrote:
Dear Greg: Geneva Bibles are hard to come by these days.SNIP
Not really, it's available in modern reprints and at least one web based Bible site.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Mike Harding's picture

1. Is the KJV completely perfect in any issue of translation (whether word, grammar, etc)?

No! This has been well documented by Dr. James Price, Dr. William Combs, Dr. Stuart Custer, and the KJV translators themselves. No translation can legitimately make this claim. Such a claim requires double inspiration and a perversion of the doctrine of providential preservation. This claim of perfection is true only of the original text of Scripture in its original languages.

2. Would you accept another English translation based on the Traditional Text?

Yes! There are actually three major texts--the Received text, the Majority Text (differs from the RT in about 2000 instances), eclectic text NA 27th edition which correlates all available textual information.

3. Do you believe that versions like the NASB and ESV are the Word of God?

Yes. Though I prefer NASB to the ESV, both are good literal translations. ESV, for instance, has corrected a translational error in Romans 16:7 both in NASB and the KJV, making it clear that there is no female apostleship endorsement in the NT.

4. How would you view or treat a man or a ministry that used a NASB, an ESV, an NIV, a NKJV, or a HCSB for example?

I would treat them with all the respect and honor due them. All the translations are legitimate translations of the original text. None of the translations can claim direct inspiration; however, all the translations derive their inspiration from the original text which God did inspire. I strongly prefer formally equivalent translations over functionally equivalent translations; however, a good functional equivalent, meaning for meaning translation is very helpful for interpretive reasons.

Pastor Mike Harding

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Sorry to post a post that says I'm going to post another post later.... just wanted to say that I'm looking forward to responding to your post http://sharperiron.org/comment/22982#comment-22982 ]here when I get a chance. Just swamped at the moment.
But I'm not ignoring you.

Paul J. Scharf's picture

If the Saint James Bible was good enough for the Apostle Paul, why do we think we are so smart that it is not good enough for us! :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Matthew Richards's picture

Great article, Dr. Bauder. I sat under William Grady in "College" and am a recovering KJVOnlyite. I have now been out of that group for roughly 13 years or so. There is a vast difference between someone who prefers the KJV and someone who is KJVO. I get it because I have attended both types of churches. Thanks for articulating what so many of us already believe regarding the grave errors of the KJVO movement. Looking forward to the next installment...

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

Matthew Richards's picture

Pastor Monte,

It sounds very much like you are King Jame Preferred--is this the case or are you King James Only? I think there may just be a huge misunderstanding on this thread... Do you agree with Pastor Harding's comments?

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

RPittman's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
Pastor Monte,

It sounds very much like you are King Jame Preferred--is this the case or are you King James Only? I think there may just be a huge misunderstanding on this thread... Do you agree with Pastor Harding's comments?

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

Why quibble over inanities? King James Preferred and King James Only are man-made definitions to differentiate between two similar positions. Neither is a construct of reality in that there is too much overlap and lack of consensus. Many times trying to paste one of these labels adds to the confusion rather than clarifies. Don't try to press Pastor Monte into your mold--he knows his own beliefs better than you or I. I agree there's much misunderstanding but I don't believe it is where you think it is.

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Matthew: I don't like using lables that involve the English translation name. I believe the issue is the text. God inspired the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. The traditional texts are the texts the church has historically accepted as the words of God. I concur. If I were to give myself a lable, it would be "TR only," meaning that I accept the Textus Receptus to be the inspired words of God. Now, before any of the other bloggers ask me, "Which one?" (as in which edition), I will tell you: I believe that the Textus Receptus that sits on my desk is the inspired word of God. I believe this by faith.

Those who accept the Critical Text are left with the daunting task of searching for God's words from among thousands of varient readings--all of which tends to foster doubts and questions as to the precise wording in almost any given passage.

Some folks use OKJV in place of KJVO, but these lables are too easily confused with the HERESY of PETER RUCKMAN. In order to distance myself from RUCKMAN'S HERESY, I will simply call myself TR only. If anyone else wants to join my newly tagged movement, you are welcome. Smile

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

RPittman's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
Great article, Dr. Bauder. I sat under William Grady in "College" and am a recovering KJVOnlyite. I have now been out of that group for roughly 13 years or so. There is a vast difference between someone who prefers the KJV and someone who is KJVO. I get it because I have attended both types of churches. Thanks for articulating what so many of us already believe regarding the grave errors of the KJVO movement. Looking forward to the next installment...

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

I am greatly amused by your self-appellation of "a recovering KJVOnlyite." In this politically correct world, one fad, which I think has passed its zenith now, is to be a recovering ____________. It's so typical for Christians to follow all the fads a day late. So being, it prompts me to observe that we're not so really different from the world, just behind the times.

Matthew, you are so adamant and forceful in your assertions. Did you leave the movement on good terms or do you have some lingering resentment toward KJVO folks?

As for recovering from whatever, I question if there's such a big change. It seems to me that one icon simply has been changed for another, William Grady for Kevin Bauder. What we really need are independent thinkers who can think for themselves. I cannot see much difference between your expressed attitudes, except for the content, and the stereo-typical Hyles-Anderson spirit.

Let me put it this way. Just because you were part of Hyles-Anderson does not necessarily qualify you as an expert or competent to articulate "the grave errors of the KJVO movement." You are puffing your limited experience with one fringe element, although high profile, into esoteric, expert knowledge. I don't buy it because I know that it is NOT representative of the whole position.

Matthew, I do NOT question your person, character, sincerity, motivation, spirituality or love for Christ but I do challenge your knowledge and conclusions.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

JG wrote:
Is there any Biblical basis for saying a doctrinal statement is worse than a policy statement?

No, I think it's more of a historical basis, which is more the way Kevin argues it as well... and a logical basis also. The history is that groups have been selective about what they put in creeds/statements of faith, etc., either because they are reacting to something weighty that is a current issue or because the doctrine itself has far reaching impact/implications. So they are saying it's a Big Deal.
The logical reality is that we are selective about what we put in these statements, and there must be some conscious or unconscious test of selectivity. Policy statements are selective also but the test is different: it's about execution, practical matters, etc.
So I think the difference matters.

JG wrote:
What matters on this is what he teaches and his actions towards others. If he is teaching that the 1611 translators were inspired, that is an error from which I would separate. If his actions towards others...
Well, I agree there except for the implied either-or: either it's what he teaches & his actions that matter or what he says in in doctrinal statements that matters... I'd just say they both do, but I'm splitting hairs I think.

JG wrote:
As to "unintended despising" of the Word of God, we are all guilty of intentional or unintentional despite of the Word virtually every day...
Perhaps. I think I might get through a day or two once in a while. Smile But, more seriously, the fact that various kinds of "despisings" happen doesn't mean they are all equally weighty or even in the same league. When you're stated doctrine of Scripture officially refuses to pursue the most accurate Bible available in the future, that's a far more direct assault on orthodox bibliology than a garden variety lapse in obedience.
(What I mean by "in the future" is that a doctrinal statement that commits to the KJV, period, vs. one that commits to accuracy (and KJV "for now") is rejecting ahead of time more accurate work that may come along in the future)

JG wrote:
1. Motivation tests make me nervous. In general, we are to be charitable in what we believe of brothers (I Cor. 13:7), whether KJVOers, evangelicals, or fundies. We need to separate where someone's actions force us to, but I'm not sure I see Scripture telling us to deduce motives and separate accordingly. Sometimes a person's motives are clearly stated (in which case the statement of wrong motives becomes an action we must evaluate). Usually, actions are driven by a mix of motives, and jumping into the "motives game" is a pretty doubtful exercise.
In general, I'd agree, but it is easier to eliminate a motive than to establish one. That is, if I say I buy pizza because I love the cheese, but then I pick the cheese off every time, the evidence is pretty strong that love of cheese is not my motivation... leaving the question open what my motivation actually is.

So when a group says we are KJVO only because we believe the KJV is the most accurate, they can easily demonstrate that this is not their actual motive if they are not continually looking for something even more accurate. That is, there must be more to it. It's not logically self-consistent to say "this is about accuracy and nothing more" then, as new translations come out, show no interest in examining them for accuracy. In reality, there must be some underlying convictions regarding the very possibility of something else being more accurate. So when I speak of "motivation" in this case, I'm really talking about thought process, which can be pretty transparent sometimes.

Quote:
There are reasons to limit our associations with Dr. Sexton to those places where we are in general agreement. There are reasons to limit our cooperation with conservative evangelicals as well. If separation were "all or nothing", perhaps we would cut off all contact with both. I Corinthians 5 and II Thessalonians 3 provide for almost "all or nothing" separation. But I see nothing that requires me to consider either Clarence Sexton or Al Mohler (for instance) in that category, and Dr. Bauder has not made the case.

I actually don't know anything about the Sexton case in particular.

As for separating from KJVOs in general... I do remain somewhat skeptical of the idea that the kind of KJVO Bauder is talking about here is equal and opposite of the neo evangelicalism of the 2nd half of the 20th century. So I'm not seeing applying separation princples to it as quite matching either (it's a little hard to explain why, because I haven't arrived at clarity in my own thinking on it yet... but one factor has to do with what the "nearest neighbors" are doctrinally and "movementally"... these are very different for KJVO and neo-evangelicalism, though both errors put those who hold to them in a precarious relationship with a near neighbor that is far worse)

But I am sold on the premise that our calls for separatism ring hollow if we are not willing to separate (or at least intentionally limit fellowship somewhat punitively) with serious error on the right as well as on the left.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
Great article, Dr. Bauder. I sat under William Grady in "College" and am a recovering KJVOnlyite. I have now been out of that group for roughly 13 years or so. There is a vast difference between someone who prefers the KJV and someone who is KJVO. I get it because I have attended both types of churches. Thanks for articulating what so many of us already believe regarding the grave errors of the KJVO movement. Looking forward to the next installment...

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

I am greatly amused by your self-appellation of "a recovering KJVOnlyite." In this politically correct world, one fad, which I think has passed its zenith now, is to be a recovering ____________. It's so typical for Christians to follow all the fads a day late. So being, it prompts me to observe that we're not so really different from the world, just behind the times.

RP... I'm trying to follow your argument here. So, because lots of people style themselves "recovering whatever," that means nobody has actually ever really recovered from anything? (In particular, it proves Matt has not recovered from KJVO?)

RP wrote:
Matthew, you are so adamant and forceful in your assertions. Did you leave the movement on good terms or do you have some lingering resentment toward KJVO folks?

Again, if there is an argument here, is it that if he left with lingering resentment this would mean he is incorrect? Just looking for the relevance.

RP wrote:
As for recovering from whatever, I question if there's such a big change. It seems to me that one icon simply has been changed for another, William Grady for Kevin Bauder. What we really need are independent thinkers who can think for themselves. I cannot see much difference between your expressed attitudes, except for the content, and the stereo-typical Hyles-Anderson spirit.

This one has me groping even more for an argument. First, when one "icon" is replaced with another, this is automatically not much of a change? What if the first "icon" is, say, Joseph Stalin and the second is, say, Bernard of Clairveaux? (I realize there's a chronology problem there. Sorry, long day.)
But the reasoning fails on multiple levels. Are you suggesting that agreeing with someone's position means you have made an icon out of them? I think I agree with about 4 billion people that breakfast is generally a good idea (give or take a billion).

RPittman's picture

We can all agree, I think, that Dr. Kevin Bauder is an intelligent and articulate man. Thus, we can accept what he writes at face value without a host of lesser interpreters telling us what he means or perhaps intended. Let the man speak for himself:

Kevin Bauder wrote:
In the interest of full disclosure, perhaps I should state that I am one of those misfits who still prefers to use a King James. Given a choice, it is what I will preach from (and since I am almost always given a choice, it is almost always what I use). It is the English text that I employ in my seminary teaching. It is the Bible that I have committed to memory and the Bible that I quote. Never in my life have I raised any objection to reading or using the King James Version.

Let me go further. I confess the King James Version to be the Word of God. It is Holy Scripture. I hold it to be authoritative. When I read it (as I do each day), God holds me responsible to obey what I read.


Dr. Bauder made these specific points:

  1. I confess the King James Version to be the Word of God.
  2. It is Holy Scripture.
  3. I hold it to be authoritative.
  4. When I read it (as I do each day), God holds me responsible to obey what I read.

Although there may be those in my camp who would accuse Dr. Bauder of disingenuously prevaricating, I, for one, believe him. He is a man of integrity, I believe, although I strongly disagree with him on the KJVO issue. The problem is not Dr. Bauder's honesty but his consistency within his own methodological system. From reading his articles and posts, one concludes that Bauder follows the accepted Modernist epistemology of rationalism although he would probably qualify a few presuppositions. It is easily established, I think, that Bauder loves logic and reasoning.

Now, Dr. Bauder likes the KJV. He plainly says as much. He prefers and chooses it for his preaching and teaching. On this, we are agreed. You might say he is KJV or as some would say, "KJV-preferred." The label is descriptive but I'm not sure that it is necessarily definitive. However, the obvious point of difference between Dr. Bauder and the KJVO position is the idea of "only." In other words, Dr. Bauder would not agree to the only the KJV being the Word of God in the English language.

If Dr. Bauder believes that the KJV is the authoritative Word of God in the English language, he must have some reason for not allowing an exclusive claim for the KJV. Apparently, Dr. Bauder has followed the usual path of rational reasoning in denying KJV only claims. In a very simplified manner, it goes something like this. Variants in manuscripts exist. These variants represent errors. Due to the variability found in all manuscripts, there is no perfect text. Therefore, there is not one text or translation that can claim superiority or ascendancy over all the others. Thus, all texts/translations are God's Word in as much they are faithful to the original autographs (whatever they may be).

Evidently, Dr. Bauder has NOT applied the same rationalism to his beliefs about the KJV to realize that he CANNOT hold both positions simultaneously without contradiction. Let's do a little hypothetical testing to see how this works.

  1. If the KJV is the Word of God, are other modern translations also the Word of God in English?
  2. If the KJV is Holy Scripture, are other modern translations also Holy Scripture?
  3. If the KJV is authoritative, are other modern translations also authoritative?
  4. If one is obligated to obey the KJV, is one also obligated to obey other modern translations?
  5. Do all translations, both KJV and modern, say the same thing?
  6. If a modern translation varies from the KJV, which translation is one obligated to obey?

Let's take this a step further. Supposing that all translations do not say the same thing, how can one know which is the correct one? The first answer is probably the one faithful to the original language. Well, how does one know the original language reading because there are variants here? The final answer is that scholars, who presumably know, must tell us. The point that the thing, which "came not in old time by the will of man," is now determined by a human system of scholarship. In other words, man and his scholarship has become the determiner of what constitutes the Word of God.

Your serve . . . .

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
Great article, Dr. Bauder. I sat under William Grady in "College" and am a recovering KJVOnlyite. I have now been out of that group for roughly 13 years or so. There is a vast difference between someone who prefers the KJV and someone who is KJVO. I get it because I have attended both types of churches. Thanks for articulating what so many of us already believe regarding the grave errors of the KJVO movement. Looking forward to the next installment...

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

I am greatly amused by your self-appellation of "a recovering KJVOnlyite." In this politically correct world, one fad, which I think has passed its zenith now, is to be a recovering ____________. It's so typical for Christians to follow all the fads a day late. So being, it prompts me to observe that we're not so really different from the world, just behind the times.

RP... I'm trying to follow your argument here. So, because lots of people style themselves "recovering whatever," that means nobody has actually ever really recovered from anything? (In particular, it proves Matt has not recovered from KJVO?)

RP wrote:
Matthew, you are so adamant and forceful in your assertions. Did you leave the movement on good terms or do you have some lingering resentment toward KJVO folks?

Again, if there is an argument here, is it that if he left with lingering resentment this would mean he is incorrect? Just looking for the relevance.

RP wrote:
As for recovering from whatever, I question if there's such a big change. It seems to me that one icon simply has been changed for another, William Grady for Kevin Bauder. What we really need are independent thinkers who can think for themselves. I cannot see much difference between your expressed attitudes, except for the content, and the stereo-typical Hyles-Anderson spirit.

This one has me groping even more for an argument. First, when one "icon" is replaced with another, this is automatically not much of a change? What if the first "icon" is, say, Joseph Stalin and the second is, say, Bernard of Clairveaux? (I realize there's a chronology problem there. Sorry, long day.)
But the reasoning fails on multiple levels. Are you suggesting that agreeing with someone's position means you have made an icon out of them? I think I agree with about 4 billion people that breakfast is generally a good idea (give or take a billion).
Awwwwwwww . . . . . . Aaron, I've told you repeatedly that you're a Modernist rationalistic thinker. I'm not. I don't need documented proof. What's wrong utilizing the general knowledge already resident in the reader? Have you never read literature? If I waste my time laying all of this out for you, you will accuse me of being arrogant or talking down to you. But, what utterly amazes me is that you don't see my arguments but you do the very thing in your last sentence. Why do I get the idea that you toying with me?

Dave Doran's picture

RPittman,

With no intent of chasing this all the way around the barn, I am curious as to how you would answer your questions posed to Kevin Bauder. Of particular interest to me is the last question you ask in the final paragraph, "how does one know the original language reading because there are variants here?"

The reason that last question interests me most is the condition of all the textual families/traditions (i.e., there are no variant free ones). Perhaps I am misreading your comments, but are you suggesting that there is a Greek or Hebrew tradition available to us that is without variant readings? And if you acknowledge the reality of variant readings, how are these to be resolved apart from scholarly analysis?

The ball is back in your court...

DMD

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
Great article, Dr. Bauder. I sat under William Grady in "College" and am a recovering KJVOnlyite. I have now been out of that group for roughly 13 years or so. There is a vast difference between someone who prefers the KJV and someone who is KJVO. I get it because I have attended both types of churches. Thanks for articulating what so many of us already believe regarding the grave errors of the KJVO movement. Looking forward to the next installment...

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

I am greatly amused by your self-appellation of "a recovering KJVOnlyite." In this politically correct world, one fad, which I think has passed its zenith now, is to be a recovering ____________. It's so typical for Christians to follow all the fads a day late. So being, it prompts me to observe that we're not so really different from the world, just behind the times.

RP... I'm trying to follow your argument here. So, because lots of people style themselves "recovering whatever," that means nobody has actually ever really recovered from anything? (In particular, it proves Matt has not recovered from KJVO?)
No, it simply means that a "recovering KJVOnlyite" is a joke not to be taken seriously. How does one recover from a belief? an association? It is purely a politically correct paranoia. We're all victims! We're in recovery! We're survivors! Well, I don't buy it. It's too anemic, self-serving, and whining for me. Just say, "I was gullible and made a mistake in listening to the wrong people."
Quote:

RP wrote:
Matthew, you are so adamant and forceful in your assertions. Did you leave the movement on good terms or do you have some lingering resentment toward KJVO folks?

Again, if there is an argument here, is it that if he left with lingering resentment this would mean he is incorrect? Just looking for the relevance.
No, resentment means that he's biased and running on emotions.
Quote:

RP wrote:
As for recovering from whatever, I question if there's such a big change. It seems to me that one icon simply has been changed for another, William Grady for Kevin Bauder. What we really need are independent thinkers who can think for themselves. I cannot see much difference between your expressed attitudes, except for the content, and the stereo-typical Hyles-Anderson spirit.

This one has me groping even more for an argument. First, when one "icon" is replaced with another, this is automatically not much of a change? What if the first "icon" is, say, Joseph Stalin and the second is, say, Bernard of Clairveaux? (I realize there's a chronology problem there. Sorry, long day.)
Wrong again! The Hyles mentality is follow the leader. It's all about loyalty to the leader. Seems that someone just switched loyalty to another leader. You're way off base here, Aaron. I'm advocating thinking for one's self. There are guys who follow Bauder just as blindly and slavishly as Hyles' followers. Same error!
Quote:

But the reasoning fails on multiple levels. Are you suggesting that agreeing with someone's position means you have made an icon out of them? I think I agree with about 4 billion people that breakfast is generally a good idea (give or take a billion).
No, Aaron, you've just morphed my allusions into straw-men. I'm surprised you don't pick up on these things. I suspect that you're gulling me. You're smarter than this.

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