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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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I think it's clear that the essay does not lump all who use the KJV exclusively in the "parallel with neoevangelicalism"/"need to be separated from" category. Doesn't exactly say that everybody who puts exclusive use of KJV in their doctrinal statement is in this category either, though it's clear he sees this as a serious problem.

But I do think there is a problem here...

Kevin B wrote:
The second is, does the use of the King James fall under the category of personal preference or under the category of doctrine?

I suggest there is a missing category here and this is why, in part, some are taking Kevin to have a larger "target" than he really intends in this essay.
To include the missing category, the question might better read...
"does use of the King James fall under the category of personal preference or the category of doctrine or the category of application of principle?" The third option there is not quite doctrine but is more than personal preference.
If we look at the "exclusive use of KJV" landscape and try to make everyone fit in the first two categories, we end up not being fair to some of them. Because there are a good number who are not claiming the Bible teaches KJVO but who believe application of what the Bible teaches requires KJVO. The difference matters because we call do this in deciding matters of conscience (more than matters of preference). We consider the conclusion binding on ourselves and those we are responsible for, but recognize other's liberty in arriving at their own conclusion.

But those who emphatically class all users of non-KJV as apostate or the like are clearly not in the "application of princple" category. They have made it fundamental doctrine.
That's divisive... and Kevin is not being divisive to call for some form of separation from these.
(I agree w/JG though that separation isn't "all or nothing" in many cases, so not in this one)

Bob T.'s picture

I appreciate the stand and perspective of Dr. Bauder. But may I offer a different perspective on the parallel but opposite group to the KJVO.

I see the Charismatic movement as parallel but opposite to the KJVO and TRO movement. First many in the TRO movement are not advocating the TRO because of their own knowledge of the textual issues. There are a few well educated but not too many. The more well educated are TR preferred but find no exclusive perfection. Most of those are often Byzantine text type preferred not TR preferred. Most of the TRO advocates do so based on some book they read or the influence of others and do so without valid textual arguments but faith based on preservation texts as applied to the TRO.

The KJVO and TRO are therefore close together in application of Biblical preservation texts and their premise of reasoning or non reasoning. Both twist the preservation Biblical texts meaning and then chose where to apply that meaning. One applies it to the TR. Another applies it to the KJV. Both have many Pastors and leaders with sub par training and education.

The parallels to the Charismatic movement are: Both are orthodox in the doctrines essential to salvation and have saved people (for the most part). Both have some who are zealous for soul winning. Both have growing churches. Both place an inordinate emphasis on pragmatic results in ministry. Both emphasize a peculiar doctrine that is non historical and evolves from a twisting of scripture meaning and mis application. Both also have a wrong view of sanctification but in different ways. Both are non cessationist but in different ways. One allows for Post Apostolic miracle gifts and revelation. The other allows for Post Apostolic inspiration of a text type or version, or asserts a doctrine that requires some sort of miracle preservation which scripture only gives to the inspired authors and which is allowed only to the Jews (Rom.3:1-2). The KJVO and TRO therefore allow for a type of non cessationism as applied to the text and preservation of scripture. Both movements have a wide variety within the them. There are wild extremists in both. There are dictatorial style leaders in both. There are very sincere and spiritual in both. Both have those who are used of God. God appears to show he uses all who proclaim His true gospel.

The KJVO and TRO are to the right of the Historic Fundamentalism movement. The Charismatic movement is to the left of both Historic Fundamentalism and main stream Evangelicalism. Some more conservative Calvinist Evangelicals separate from Charismatics and KJVO and TRO (MacArthur). Some conservative Evangelicals embrace none cessationism (Piper). Some such as Mahany are Charismatic. New Evangelicals today have evolved where there is a wide acceptance of Charismatics and a wide acceptance of scripture as being errant to various degrees.

My main point is there are two widely different yet parallel Christian movements that have and are growing. They win souls. They appear blessed by God in many ways. Yet they both embrace peculiar doctrines that cannot be supported by the common sense handling of scripture regarding their peculiar doctrines.

We cannot judge the rightness or wrongness of their peculiar doctrines by the pragmatic standards of apparent blessing and growth. Only scripture must be the standard for judgment. However, we should learn how God uses the willing and may not use the theologically correct who are often unwilling.

Many may disagree with my thesis here. Thats OK.

Becky Petersen's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
I have no love lost for Hyles or HAC although I still have better than 30 relatives caught in her clutches. My position is that we can all prefer whichever text or version we would like and still be Fundies.

So do you separate from your relatives still with HAC? Or have they separated from you? (Isn't Bauder saying that we are to separate from people of this persuasion?--nod to original theme of the thread--)

And how exclusive is this separation if it happens? Is it one step from calling them "anathema" and not having them in your home? Would you go to something at HAC. i.e. a graduation from college experience of a nephew/niece?

What does this actually mean to the average person--separation from a person who is "hyperfundy"? I think we've been labeled that by people but of course, I don't consider myself that at all. We're definitely not KJVonly. I'm not sure how any missionary who works in another language could be.

One time a person "told me some things that I believed" that I just sat back in shock over--They weren't true but this person had never discussed these issues with me. They were making some rather broad assumptions. It's easy to try to label people and be wrong. The best way of finding out what someone believes is by asking them directly.

However, I have a sis and her husband who is a pastor who have started to believe more like WCBC and Ambassador (leaving their more "liberal BJU" background). According to Bauder, should we not stay in their prophet's chamber/missionary house when we go back on furlough?

Bob T.'s picture

Becky Peterson wrote:

So do you separate from your relatives still with HAC? Or have they separated from you? (Isn't Bauder saying that we are to separate from people of this persuasion?--nod to original theme of the thread--)

A

Quote:
nd how exclusive is this separation if it happens? Is it one step from calling them "anathema" and not having them in your home? Would you go to something at HAC. i.e. a graduation from college experience of a nephew/niece?

I think Bauder sees this as mainly ministry or Ecclesiastical separation. The personal separation aspect would need to take in the relationship and circumstances. These are not Apostates. Separation is based on the Acts 20 principle and the Rom. 16:17-19 principle. You need not separate from relatives or friends unless their KJVO position becomes a contentious disruption on their part. You can have them in your house unless they try to convert others to the KJVO view. We can have personal relationships but should not join KJVO churches or be aligned in ministry. I know Charismatic Pastors that I can have some spiritual fellowship with and would have them over for dinner. But I would not allow them to spread their doctrine and would not be involved in any ministry relationship. The same for the KJVO or TRO persons.

We can hold positions of separation with Christian love and common sense application.

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Doesn't exactly say that everybody who puts exclusive use of KJV in their doctrinal statement is in this category either, though it's clear he sees this as a serious problem.

Maybe not exactly, but strongly implied....
Aaron Blumer wrote:
I suggest there is a missing category here and this is why, in part, some are taking Kevin to have a larger "target" than he really intends in this essay.
To include the missing category, the question might better read...
"does use of the King James fall under the category or personal preference the category of doctrine or the category of application of principle?" The third option there is not quite doctrine but is more than personal preference.
If we look at the "exclusive use of KJV" landscape and try to make everyone fit in the first two categories, we end up not being fair to some of them. Because there are a good number who are not claiming the Bible teaches KJVO but who believe application of what the Bible teaches requires KJVO. The difference matters because we call do this in deciding matters of conscience (more than matters of preference). We consider the conclusion binding on ourselves and those we are responsible for, but recognize other's liberty in arriving at their own conclusion.

This is precisely what I was trying to express when I talked about "application of doctrine" earlier in the discussion. You have completely nailed it, in my opinion. This is the real problem with the article -- there is a third category. A person may or may not agree with the application of those in this third category, but they aren't demanding that you agree, anyway. Is Clarence Sexton in this third category? I don't know. Based on Marc Monte's comments on this thread, I would say your third category describes him.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
But those who emphatically class all users of non-KJV as apostate or the like are clearly not in the "application of princple" category. They have made it fundamental doctrine.
That's divisive... and Kevin is not being divisive to call for some form of separation from these.

Again, I agree.

Thanks, Aaron, for clearly expressing what I've been fumbling around to express. My other objection to the article was attributing to Clarence Sexton a divisiveness which is contrary to the little bit of evidence I have. But I've stated that earlier -- so now I really will drop out.

rrobinson's picture

Becky Petersen wrote:
We're definitely not KJVonly. I'm not sure how any missionary who works in another language could be.

You would think so, but, sad to say, it happens...
A couple of years ago I was on a trip to Eastern Europe where I was involved in a particular ministry project related to my work. On the way back I changed trains in another city and stopped the night over. A contact had arranged for me to stay with their American missionary pastor and I met them at a mid-week Bible Study.

I was really enjoying and appreciating and feeling blessed by the sermon. It was about dealing with persecution and standing firm and labouring on regardless. For thirty minutes I was really on the edge of my seat. ...and then the penny dropped. I was dumbfounded, I was shocked and I was pretty numb for the rest of the time in that city. I regret that I did not walk out, even if it meant having to find another place to sleep and alternate transportation back to the train station.

Mid-way through the sermon, it was finally revealed to me that the "persecution" being faced by this pastor was from other missionaries and pastors in the area who adamantly disagreed with him and urged him to turn from his controversial and unnecessary course of action (and presumably had separated from him, and rightly so)... Namely, he was in the process of, and determined to complete, the translation of another version of the Bible for the local language.

The Bible already in the local language, as used by national indigenous churches for, I don't know, generations, and as used by other missionaries, simply was not good enough. Did he have a team of trained linguists familiar with the local language, as well as Greek and Hebrew scholars? I don't think so. It seemed to be just him and his personal translator... taking the English KJV and translating it into the local language! (Why would he attempt to translate from original languages -- the Lord already blessed the KJV translators). Either way, I was absolutely speechless. My whole conversation with my hosts that night consisted of monosyllables only.

I have heard of this happening in another place in Eastern Europe / CIS.

Bob T.'s picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Quote:
If we look at the "exclusive use of KJV" landscape and try to make everyone fit in the first two categories, we end up not being fair to some of them. Because there are a good number who are not claiming the Bible teaches KJVO but who believe application of what the Bible teaches requires KJVO.

Since it appears that the last step in the KJVO or TR thesis is application, why is this a category apart? None claim to see the KJV or TR text actually named in scripture. It is that their interpretation and application of the scriptures regarding preservation demand a perfect text or translation exist and the KJV or the TR are that to which they apply the principle.

Also, to have a doctrinal statement regarding the text type such as the TR, or a translation such as the KJV, makes that statement one of your ministry doctrinal certainties upon which you stand. Any deviation is not acceptable. Those statements have sections concerning God, the Trinity, Christ, and all the necessary beliefs that are ones essential certainties. A statement on a text type or translation is elevated to the same essential status in importance.

The importance of the James Price book I mention on a prior post on this thread is that all these issues are handled well by him. The book is almost 700 pages and covers it all. In our ministry here we have definite statements against the Charismatic movement and the KJVO, and TRO movements.

The only Fundamental Baptist churches in this area are four KJVO except for a GARBC church which has been influenced by the Ministry of John MacArthur and Masters. A graduate of the old LA Baptist Seminary was there 26 years. He was a good expositor. It grew to about 500. Some members demanded an elder rule and more emphasis on the LS Gospel and the so called "doctrines of Grace." The Pastor was sort of forced out. Two Master Seminary graduates followed him. Each did not last two years. Their present attendance is now down to 50. By contrast the Hyper Fundamentalist KJVO Lancaster Baptist is at about four thousand and now has plans for expanding their Auditorium from 2600 to 4000. Now they are really very attractive to many. They have beautiful music with traditional hymns only and a full orchestra and large choir. They are attracting many both old and young who are fleeing from the noise called CCM in all other churches. Their Bible College is over 800 and growing. This is a very attractive ministry with several odd quirks of doctrine and practice such as the Divine blood and not accepting the Baptism of other Baptist churches unless the churches were Fundamentalist and KJVO. My wife and I would have to re Baptized to join. They do not put their KJVO belief up front but it is taught and enforced once in the door. They will use the term KJV preferred. However they teach KJVO and sell the O'Grady book which I bought in their book store. Their ministry is very attractive but moves toward a cultic in mindset. This is why I have a real interest in this issue.

In spite of the attractive and effective nature of some KJVO ministries, the issue cannot be ignored. The long term consequences for the foundation of truth for the Christian religion cannot be ignored. Their often poor doctrine and militant disciplinary practices cannot be easily over looked.

Dr. Kevin Bauder is right on. A further explanation of his position is in the book "One Bible Only?" Published by Central Baptist Seminary.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

BobT wrote:
Since it appears that the last step in the KJVO or TR thesis is application, why is this a category apart?

It's a category that exists independently of the KJV issue. There are matters of top-level (or maybe bottom-level as in foundational) doctrine, then there are matters of direct ethical/moral teaching in Sccripture, but so many of the choices we make are arrived at only by identifying the relevant principles, studying conditions on the ground and making a connection.

So all I'm really saying is that there are some who are firmly in the "exclusive use of KJV" category who arrive at that position not because they believe it is Bible doctrine (certainly not foundation-level doctrine) or direct moral/ethical teaching but because they believe principles+conditions on the ground warrant that position as application/a matter of conscience.
I'm not agreeing with them--because I don't believe they've correctly understood what I'm calling "conditions on the ground." (For example, many seem to have no grasp at all of how significantly English has changed since the 1600's... you can look up difficult KJV words but the definitions you find in many cases are no longer the same def's they used in 1611. Then you have the whole text issue which I think many are quite confused about also.)

At any rate here are the three categories as I see them:

  1. We believe exclusive use of the KJV is a matter of fundamental doctrine (even this does involve some application, it's true... so there's a built in problem here in putting any application at a doctrinal level)
  2. We believe exclusive use of the KJV is a matter of personal preference (a variety of reasons might exist here: It's more familiar to me, I'm more comfortable with it, I find it easier to memorize, I like the grandeur of the language, etc.)
  3. We believe principles (such as respect for what God revealed, the need for accuracy, the need to avoid the word of deviant groups, etc) warrant exclusive use of the KJV because of the nature of the other options out there at present.

    Of course, option c can be problematic in many ways... what princples are we talking about? What's the truth about the other text/translation options? But my point is not to say the category 3 folks are right (I don't think any of the categories are "right"), but to say that the ones in category 3 are not in separation territory, but can easily be confused for folks in category 1 (which are in separation territory)

    But if folks in category 3 haven't really thought through their rational and, as a result, put their position in doctrinaire language and put it in their doctrinal statements up there with the substitutionary atonement... well, I can't feel all that sorry for them if folks put them in category 1 and think they need to distance themselves. They need to work through the issue carefully and articulate their stand carefully. It's not OK to be sloppy with bibliology just because we're being sloppy in a "conservative direction" (ie, toward the right).

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Aaron, why wouldn't category three people be in separation territory? Does it have any practical difference in every day life from the people in category 1?

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

Becky Petersen's picture

rrobinson wrote:

(Why would he attempt to translate from original languages -- the Lord already blessed the KJV translators). Either way, I was absolutely speechless. My whole conversation with my hosts that night consisted of monosyllables only.

I have heard of this happening in another place in Eastern Europe / CIS.

Sorry for your bad experience. I do know KJV only missionaries even here in Poland but I don't understand how they can be honest with their believers about the Bible. A lot of it is sheer ignorance, I guess. This is what they've been taught. Sometimes they are just simple people with very little Bible training but with a lot of enthusiasm/zeal.

Sigh.

I know there is a whole discussion about the Spanish Bible as well, but I'm kind of out of that whole realm. I still don't see how a missionary who is dealing constantly with a language other than English can be honestly, KJVonly-at least not as in category 1 as Aaron describes it. They have to stand up to their people and tell them,"Sorry...but we don't have the Bible for you all."

Mike Harding's picture

Bob T,

Thank you for your excellent summary of the issue in your post numbered 92! Hard to say it much better than that.

Mike Harding

Pastor Mike Harding

Mike Harding's picture

Bob, I was referring to your KJV summary in comment number 88 not 92. Editing time had run out.

Pastor Mike Harding

DavidO's picture

James K wrote:
Monte has made a very good point about faith though. His faith is contra the evidence. His faith leads him to believe the current edition of the TR is the preserved Word of God. Just think about that for a minute. So really Monte has a positive feeling about the current TR. His comments demonstrate well the difference between faith and positive thinking.

Our faith in a six day creation event is also contra what appears to be very strong evidence. I don't think contra the evidence has much to do with it. Brother Monte's real problem is his faith extends beyond the statements of scripture, with a Wile E. Coyote-running-past-the-land-beneath-him result.

James K's picture

My point is the same point Larry made. Monte's faith lacks an object. It is just positive thinking. That is sad.

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.

JNoël's picture

Mike Harding wrote:
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.

JNoël wrote:
Perhaps 1611Os are in violation of the first commandment (Comment #51 on http://www.sharperiron.org/article/let-minutiae-speak).

Thank you, Pastor Harding.

V/r,
J Noël

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

RPittman's picture

Bob Bixby wrote:
First of all, just as a general statement to all: I think RPittman does not understand modernistic rationalism because he actually employs it in his argumentation. Simply put (if trying to figure out all the degrees of rationalism is simple!), believing a priori truths as self-evident and then by deductive process developing more truths is rationalism. Ironically, the KJVO position is a form of rationalism.
Bob, I think you don't understand Modernistic rationalism. You jump in the conversation when I've posted literally dozens of comments on this topic across several SI threads. You only expose your own ignorance. You are generalizing rationalism to any use of reason. This is not Modernistic rationalism, which has a definite, traceable path in Western intellectual history. You are proposing an inane argument by asserting that all use of reason is rationalism--it is not. Virtually all modern Western scholarship, except for what passes for Post-modernist scholarship, is based on Modernist rationalism. This was the same scholarly methodology used by the Orthodox, Fundamentalist, and Modernists theologians of the great Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy. Most Fundamentalists use it today. At the risk of overly simplifying, Modernist rationalism is based on the idea that reason systematically applied through the correct methodology, akin to the scientific method, will arrive at truth.

Bob, have you read Thomas Kuhn's The Nature of Scientific Revolutions? Although it is now an older work, it will give you a perspective on the thing closest to fulfilling the rationalistic model (although it fails)--science. Ironically, Bob, your intellectualism and scholarship (based on Modernist rationalism) falters at its strongest point.

Bob, your misunderstanding of Modernist rationalism is much like the over-simplification others use to argue that the compilers of manuscripts, comprising what is popularly know as the Textus Receptus, were textual critics. This is a red herring. When textual criticism is discussed in the modern debate, we are speaking of specific theories, beginning with Westcott and Hort, and challenging the basis of these theories and textual rules.

RPittman's picture

DavidO wrote:
James K wrote:
Monte has made a very good point about faith though. His faith is contra the evidence. His faith leads him to believe the current edition of the TR is the preserved Word of God. Just think about that for a minute. So really Monte has a positive feeling about the current TR. His comments demonstrate well the difference between faith and positive thinking.

Our faith in a six day creation event is also contra what appears to be very strong evidence. I don't think contra the evidence has much to do with it. Brother Monte's real problem is his faith extends beyond the statements of scripture, with a Wile E. Coyote-running-past-the-land-beneath-him result.

David, I assume that you have faith in the Bible that has led you to faith in Christ. Would you explain how your faith in the Bible as the Word of God, other than it's own internal statements, is superior to Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God. Your faith in the statements of Scripture presupposes a faith in the veracity of those statements. Thus, the statements cannot be used as evidence because they are based on faith, not observable evidence. So, it is a comparison of your faith that the Bible is the Word of God versus Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God. What's the difference?

RPittman's picture

James K wrote:
My point is the same point Larry made. Monte's faith lacks an object. It is just positive thinking. That is sad.

James, assuming that you believe the Bible is the Word of God, how is your faith different from Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God?

DavidO's picture

RPittman wrote:
David...Would you explain how your faith in the Bible as the Word of God, other than it's own internal statements, is superior to Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God. Your faith in the statements of Scripture presupposes a faith in the veracity of those statements.

My faith in the statements of scripture presupposes nothing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Those words, by being spirit and used by the Spirit, work faith in the hearer.

DavidO's picture

RPittman wrote:
it is a comparison of your faith that the Bible is the Word of God versus Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God. What's the difference?

I agree the KJV is the Word of God (in addition the the ESV, NASB, NIV, etc). Bro. Monte says only (faithful) translations of certain Greek, Hebrew, and Latin manuscript/families are the Word of God. I argue that the statements of scripture, whence cometh our faith, affirm my position not the other. Bro. Monte states his faith, derived, apparently, from his imagination and his perception of church tradition, affirms his position and not the other.

There is a difference there.

Bob Bixby's picture

RPittman wrote:

Bob, have you read Thomas Kuhn's The Nature of Scientific Revolutions? Although it is now an older work, it will give you a perspective on the thing closest to fulfilling the rationalistic model (although it fails)--science. Ironically, Bob, your intellectualism and scholarship (based on Modernist rationalism) falters at its strongest point.

Bob, your misunderstanding of Modernist rationalism is much like the over-simplification others use to argue that the compilers of manuscripts, comprising what is popularly know as the Textus Receptus, were textual critics. This is a red herring. When textual criticism is discussed in the modern debate, we are speaking of specific theories, beginning with Westcott and Hort, and challenging the basis of these theories and textual rules.

Um, I'm pretty sure my definition of rationalism is dead on. How you define the 'modernistic' may be where I'm missing your point. You clarified:

"Modernist rationalism is based on the idea that reason systematically applied through the correct methodology, akin to the scientific method, will arrive at truth."

But I still say that per your definition of modernistic rationalism that is exactly how KJVO advocates argue.

Yes, I've read Kuhn and was fascinated by it.

James K's picture

Hi RPittman, thanks for asking.

I believe the Bible is the Word of God because it declares that it is.

Monte believes the current edition of the TR is the preserves Word of God because he believes it is.

My faith is in scripture, his faith is in his faith. Thanks for the opportunity to explain the difference.

Cheers.

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.

RPittman's picture

DavidO wrote:
RPittman wrote:
David...Would you explain how your faith in the Bible as the Word of God, other than it's own internal statements, is superior to Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God. Your faith in the statements of Scripture presupposes a faith in the veracity of those statements.

My faith in the statements of scripture presupposes nothing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Those words, by being spirit and used by the Spirit, work faith in the hearer.

Yes, your faith by hearing may be persuasive for you but it speaks nothing to others. Of course, you used a circular reasoning to to establish that faith comes by hearing--so you did presuppose something. Now, please explain why Bro. Monte's reading of the KJV cannot bring him to the same faith that the KJV is the Word of God.

RPittman's picture

James K wrote:
Hi RPittman, thanks for asking.

I believe the Bible is the Word of God because it declares that it is.

Monte believes the current edition of the TR is the preserves Word of God because he believes it is.

My faith is in scripture, his faith is in his faith. Thanks for the opportunity to explain the difference.

Cheers.

Right, so you have faith in the veracity of Scripture. Scriptural declarations mean nothing until you have confidence in the Scriptures. So, you must have faith in Scripture before you accept its declarations. Circular reasoning establishes nothing. Back to the original question, what makes your faith in the truthfulness of Scripture superior to Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is Scripture?

RPittman's picture

Bob Bixby wrote:
RPittman wrote:

Bob, have you read Thomas Kuhn's The Nature of Scientific Revolutions? Although it is now an older work, it will give you a perspective on the thing closest to fulfilling the rationalistic model (although it fails)--science. Ironically, Bob, your intellectualism and scholarship (based on Modernist rationalism) falters at its strongest point.

Bob, your misunderstanding of Modernist rationalism is much like the over-simplification others use to argue that the compilers of manuscripts, comprising what is popularly know as the Textus Receptus, were textual critics. This is a red herring. When textual criticism is discussed in the modern debate, we are speaking of specific theories, beginning with Westcott and Hort, and challenging the basis of these theories and textual rules.

Um, I'm pretty sure my definition of rationalism is dead on. How you define the 'modernistic' may be where I'm missing your point. You clarified:

"Modernist rationalism is based on the idea that reason systematically applied through the correct methodology, akin to the scientific method, will arrive at truth."

But I still say that per your definition of modernistic rationalism that is exactly how KJVO advocates argue.

I know. Many do but not all. So what? Warfield, Hodge, etc. were all caught up in it too. They fought Modernism with its own weapons. But now the fallacies of this methodology are becoming apparent. We must realize that many of our accepted ideas are inaccurate at best and perhaps wrong at worst.

Yes, I've read Kuhn and was fascinated by it.[/quote]Good! I was too! It was a pivotal point in my thinking because it addressed my own specialty--science. Perhaps it is time for Christians to think intentionally about changing their paradigm and seeking a more Biblical one.

James K's picture

Sorry RPittman, I thought I was clear enough for you to understand. I will try again.

The Bible declares itself to be the Word of God. By faith I believe that.

The Bible never declares the TR in any edition to be the preserved Word of God.

I hope that helps clear up your confusion.

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.

RPittman's picture

DavidO wrote:
RPittman wrote:
it is a comparison of your faith that the Bible is the Word of God versus Bro. Monte's faith that the KJV is the Word of God. What's the difference?

I agree the KJV is the Word of God (in addition the the ESV, NASB, NIV, etc). Bro. Monte says only (faithful) translations of certain Greek, Hebrew, and Latin manuscript/families are the Word of God. I argue that the statements of scripture, whence cometh our faith, affirm my position not the other. Bro. Monte states his faith, derived, apparently, from his imagination and his perception of church tradition, affirms his position and not the other.

There is a difference there.

KJVO advocates base their faith on Scriptural statements, although you may not agree with their interpretations. Yet, it's faith based on Scripture just like your faith. Your differences apparent pretty artificial at least and contrived at most.

RPittman's picture

James K wrote:
Sorry RPittman, I thought I was clear enough for you to understand. I will try again.

The Bible declares itself to be the Word of God. By faith I believe that.

The Bible never declares the TR in any edition to be the preserved Word of God.

I hope that helps clear up your confusion.

James, you have tunnel vision--these are myriad other possibilities out there other than what you see. The Bible's self-declaration has not value if it is not the Word of God. So, you believe it is by faith. Circular reasoning says nothing. You have not shown that it is essential for Scripture to declare itself as Scripture to be true. Likewise, the KJV can be the preserved Word of God without a self-declaration. Your argument leaks like a sieve.

DavidO's picture

RPittman wrote:
KJVO advocates base their faith on Scriptural statements

Can't shift the territory of the discussion in the middle of it. You asked me about Bro. Monte's faith (the basis of which he has expressed here), not "KJVO advocates" in general, some of whose faith is based on scriptural statements, while that of others isn't.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
Scriptural declarations mean nothing until you have confidence in the Scriptures.
Wow ... Nothing to beat a little neo-orthodoxy on a Friday evening.

The truth is that Scripture declarations have meaning whether you have confidence in the Scriptures or not.

Quote:
So, you must have faith in Scripture before you accept its declarations.
But mankind will answer to them and for them whether they accept them or not.

Just to be clear, I doubt there is any debate here over whether the TR or the KJV is the Word of God. The question is whether anything other than the TR or the KJV is the Word of God. Historically, the answer has always been yes. Recently, there is a move to say no. I have tried several times, as yet unsuccessfully, to get Marc to clarify for us what he believes. I think that would help us to know whether he is part of Bauder's target or not. Hopefully he will indulge us a bit.

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