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]

29822 reads

There are 202 Comments

James K's picture

RPittman, I was just trying to help you clear up the confusion. I can't make you understand it.

What you are failing to grasp is that it was Monte who made the claim that the current TR is the preserved word of God. This is just something he accepts by faith. His argument isn't based on any biblical passage or historical evidence. He just believes in his belief which is what he wants to believe.

Instead of priding yourself on argumentation, step back and try to understand.

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.

rrobinson's picture

Becky Petersen wrote:
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."

Thanks, but my "bad experience" was neither here nor there. My personal experience consisted of little more than squirming through the second half of the sermon with a reeling mind and emotions, and enduring an hour of stilted conversation before bed. Nothing terribly new there.

No, I was heartsick for the people in that church. And I am concerned for the testimony of conservative American missions in that region.

That's exactly what they were telling their people -- "the Bible available to you in your own language is not acceptable. We use the KJV; therefore, I will read to you from the English KJV only, and I will, with the translator's help, translate the words for you, until such time as we have completed your authorised version for you." Apparently, any unauthorised version, English or otherwise, is unacceptable. Apparently, not only is it better to translate from the English KJV, even badly, than to use another "Bible", but also that it is their main mission.

What??? The implications of this are enormous. It goes well beyond any "honesty" problem that you and I would both have with this. I am trusting this is a very extreme and rare case.

Rob Fall's picture

ARRG, :tear:, the standard Bible for Russian speakers is the Synodical Version with origins in the Russian Orthodox Church. With this logic. our martyred brothers and sisters did not have the Word of God.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Becky Petersen's picture

Rob Fall wrote:
ARRG, :tear:, the standard Bible for Russian speakers is the Synodical Version with origins in the Russian Orthodox Church. With this logic. our martyred brothers and sisters did not have the Word of God.

Here in Poland there is a group that is reworking an old Bible (because the one they like is too old and people tell them they can't understand it) based on the TR, from what I understand.

One of the problems is, of course, that the people they were getting to help them were without any background in Biblical languages to help them as they work on updating the old Gdansk version. Then, when they are done, what is it called? The Updated "..." version? Is it a translation, or a paraphrase? It all seems unnecessary and divisive. However, to them it is very important. However, one nice thing are doing is putting a cross reference in the middle so it is more like a study Bible.

They are excited about it but we aren't really sure what to call it when it is done. I think they've finished the New Testament.

Matthew Richards's picture

pretty frustrating when you ask specific questions in a thread and they are ignored--guess that tells me all I need to know...

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

Brandon King's picture

Want to give you my background before I ask the question. I am a PCC Alumni, I sat under Dell Johnson, and Greg Mutsch for my undergrad. I took a class from Dr. Johnson on the preservation of our Bible, and textual criticism. I watched the videos from PCC and read the book "From The Mind of God to the Mind of Men". I later went on to receive my MDIV from Luther Rice University. Our church uses KJV for its worship and programs. Here is the hypothetical that I have asked?

If PCC, Westcoast, Crown and others brought their scholars together to create a new version in English from the TR would it be accepted?

If yes why, If no why?

The usual answer that i get is that we dont need another version. Yet from history, I don't see the translators saying "We don't need another version"? I think the problem lies in our doctrine, tradition, or in contemporary translators.

Bob T.'s picture

Brandon King wrote:
Want to give you my background before I ask the question. I am a PCC Alumni, I sat under Dell Johnson, and Greg Mutsch for my undergrad. I took a class from Dr. Johnson on the preservation of our Bible, and textual criticism. I watched the videos from PCC and read the book "From The Mind of God to the Mind of Men". I later went on to receive my MDIV from Luther Rice University. Our church uses KJV for its worship and programs. Here is the hypothetical that I have asked?

If PCC, Westcoast, Crown and others brought their scholars together to create a new version in English from the TR would it be accepted?

If yes why, If no why?

The usual answer that i get is that we dont need another version. Yet from history, I don't see the translators saying "We don't need another version"? I think the problem lies in our doctrine, tradition, or in contemporary translators.

There is a big problem in that I do not know of a single faculty member on any of their faculties that can be classified as a scholar capable of doing textual and translating work. Leave out the textual work and there is no one capable of being an accepted translator. Not only do most all have bachelors degrees from sub par schools, but many have masters and doctorates from sub par schools or even a degree mill. PCC may come the closest to having a qualified person. Please understand that many with earned doctorates from highly esteemed schools would not be asked to be on a translating committee because they lack the years of academic research to be recognized by peers as a reliable language scholar.

The NKJV was translated from the same OT and NT textual resources as the KJV of 1611. It was translated by recognized scholars. It was translated by scholars who had far more Biblical theological views than the Anglicans that translated the original KJV. Yet it is rejected by the KJVO and TRO advocates based on their so called critical ( which is human reasoning) and analysis. An analysis by men who are mostly lacking in scholarship credentials.

However, if such a task were to be undertaken by these schools no one would object. It would be interesting to see what they would come up with. Perhaps they would claim divine inspiration for their work. Wink

Brandon King's picture

I agree with your assertations concerning scholarship. But the question was formed around the "If". Many TR only and KJV only often site liberal scholars as part of the reason for not accepting a particular version. So the question is assuming TR Text, conservative theological bent, literal translation from scholars in the Independent movement. Dr. Barnhart was one that was knowledgeable in the texts at PCC.

Why cant we have a new version from TR Text? Could R Pittman or Pastor Monte help me here?

RPittman's picture

Brandon King wrote:
Want to give you my background before I ask the question. I am a PCC Alumni, I sat under Dell Johnson, and Greg Mutsch for my undergrad. I took a class from Dr. Johnson on the preservation of our Bible, and textual criticism. I watched the videos from PCC and read the book "From The Mind of God to the Mind of Men". I later went on to receive my MDIV from Luther Rice University. Our church uses KJV for its worship and programs. Here is the hypothetical that I have asked?

If PCC, Westcoast, Crown and others brought their scholars together to create a new version in English from the TR would it be accepted?

If yes why, If no why?

The usual answer that i get is that we dont need another version. Yet from history, I don't see the translators saying "We don't need another version"? I think the problem lies in our doctrine, tradition, or in contemporary translators.

Brandon, this is a good question. It is straightforward and direct. However, the problem is that no one knows. There lies another question behind your question. Can man produce a new translation at will that is God's Word? Or, is God directing the preservation process in His own way? If so, how do we know which translation is God's Word and which translation isn't. If God is working behind the scenes in preservation of His Word, can we take intentional control of the process and direct it? How do we know?

I don't know the answers to these questions but I do have some thoughts. The process of canonization took a period of time. I think the acceptance of the KJV took time as well before it was adopted by the Believing Church. For this reason, I believe, we ought to be very slow in accepting any new translation, even based on the TR, until we see how the Believing Church accepts it. The interesting thing is that even the modernization of the KJV, such as the New Schofield Reference Bible, really never became that popular among the Believing Churches.

You noted the many translations of the past. However, you will also note from history that these many translations fell by the wayside in fairly short order. The KJV became the accepted Bible among the Believing Churches for almost 400 years. This says something.

Now, I have a few questions for you. Why do we need another version? If you believe that the KJV is the Word of God, would you be willing to go to a modern version that has not be tested and proven by time? If you believe that modern versions are the Word of God as well, do all the versions say the same thing? If not, how do we determine which are correct and which are in error? Are they authoritative?

Brandon King's picture

Thanks for your post RPittman. I agree that a translation needs to be analyzed before acceptance. If the modern version sticks to the hebrew and greek text, I believe it is reliable and authoritative. I do believe that God can bring together men to accomplish such a task. I believe all things are possible, if led by God. So back to the question

Could you accept a modern translation from the TR using conservative approved scholars? Yes or No

My answer is yes.

Don Johnson's picture

Brandon King wrote:
I agree with your assertations concerning scholarship. But the question was formed around the "If". Many TR only and KJV only often site liberal scholars as part of the reason for not accepting a particular version. So the question is assuming TR Text, conservative theological bent, literal translation from scholars in the Independent movement. Dr. Barnhart was one that was knowledgeable in the texts at PCC.

Why cant we have a new version from TR Text? Could R Pittman or Pastor Monte help me here?

A couple of years ago one of the writers over at JackHammer suggested that a new translation from the TR would be acceptable. He was crucified for it. He then beat a hasty retreat.

You see something of that spirit in Roland's answer to you, where he says, "why would we need a new version, we already have an authoritative version".

That is precisely why so many are dubious of the sincerity of some who hold the KJO position. The KJV appears to be more than just a translation, regardless of their protests that they don't believe in double inspiration. No other translations need apply...

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

RPittman's picture

Bob T. wrote:
Brandon King wrote:
Want to give you my background before I ask the question. I am a PCC Alumni, I sat under Dell Johnson, and Greg Mutsch for my undergrad. I took a class from Dr. Johnson on the preservation of our Bible, and textual criticism. I watched the videos from PCC and read the book "From The Mind of God to the Mind of Men". I later went on to receive my MDIV from Luther Rice University. Our church uses KJV for its worship and programs. Here is the hypothetical that I have asked?

If PCC, Westcoast, Crown and others brought their scholars together to create a new version in English from the TR would it be accepted?

If yes why, If no why?

The usual answer that i get is that we dont need another version. Yet from history, I don't see the translators saying "We don't need another version"? I think the problem lies in our doctrine, tradition, or in contemporary translators.

There is a big problem in that I do not know of a single faculty member on any of their faculties that can be classified as a scholar capable of doing textual and translating work. Leave out the textual work and there is no one capable of being an accepted translator. Not only do most all have bachelors degrees from sub par schools, but many have masters and doctorates from sub par schools or even a degree mill. PCC may come the closest to having a qualified person. Please understand that many with earned doctorates from highly esteemed schools would not be asked to be on a translating committee because they lack the years of academic research to be recognized by peers as a reliable language scholar.

Bob, your rant against the aforementioned schools is inaccurate and heavily biased. I personally know one faculty member at West Coast who did translation work into native languages as a missionary. Much like William Carey, he had to develop his own language tools such as a dictionary to do the translation. It's not the degrees, which you seem to value so highly, but what a person can do.

Also, I think your criticism of the faculty degrees is overblown. Would you mind sharing with us where you received your law degree?

As for bias, West Coast seems to be a particularly worrisome burr in your saddle. You've stated that you're trying to establish a church plant in the same town. It appears that you try to take a dig at them whenever you can. What's the problem? I know that you're highly opinionated but is this a Christ-like spirit to air before the world?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
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?

Yes.
When you're making an application you're not claiming no other views are orthodox. You're putting it in the category of liberty and conscience and agreeing not to "despise" (in the Rom.14 sense) those who arrive at a different conclusion. Same category as music, entertainment, dress, holidays.

Edit: I am assuming here that folks in category 3 know what category 3 is... that is, they've come to grips with Rom.14 (and, if I remember right, 1 Cor.10). Sadly, for many, category 3 does not even exist--in reference to anything--so they are not able to put their views on the KJV in that category. (That is, these do not see any difference between a position you derive by application and a position that is taught directly in Scripture. In that case, they are really in category 1... it's a matter of doctrine for them, right up there with virgin birth and not renting PG rated videos)

RPittman's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
Brandon King wrote:
I agree with your assertations concerning scholarship. But the question was formed around the "If". Many TR only and KJV only often site liberal scholars as part of the reason for not accepting a particular version. So the question is assuming TR Text, conservative theological bent, literal translation from scholars in the Independent movement. Dr. Barnhart was one that was knowledgeable in the texts at PCC.

Why cant we have a new version from TR Text? Could R Pittman or Pastor Monte help me here?

A couple of years ago one of the writers over at JackHammer suggested that a new translation from the TR would be acceptable. He was crucified for it. He then beat a hasty retreat.

You see something of that spirit in Roland's answer to you, where he says, "why would we need a new version, we already have an authoritative version".

That is precisely why so many are dubious of the sincerity of some who hold the KJO position. The KJV appears to be more than just a translation, regardless of their protests that they don't believe in double inspiration. No other translations need apply...

Don, I am very dubious of you. It is bad enough when people misunderstand one's points but it is completely unacceptable for someone to put words in one's mouth. You have attributed to me words that I didn't say. I did not write what you have attributed to me in quotes. Using quotes indicate that I wrote those words. It's not only that I did not say the words but they do not represent my spirit or intent. You should not try to be an amateur mind reader and guess my spirit or intent behind what I say. Take what I say at face value. You owe a retraction and a request for forgiveness. You are in the wrong!

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I suspect this point has been made in there somewhere but I'm not seeing it. Christian faith is always a believing response to what God has said. Study it from Gen. to Rev. and this is the consistent pattern. It is not possible to have faith in the Christian sense unless God has said something. Consequently, any claim that "only translation a is any good" is a matter of faith must be able to point to what God has said that the faith is a response to.

Otherwise, it's not faith at all. It could be any number of things from wishful thinking to having a hunch to being the product of observation and reflection (but that would be "rationalism" to some). But one thing it is not is faith.

James K's picture

Brandon, the true tragedy is that there is no such thing as a conservative KJVO. They are all liberal as they deny the scriptural doctrine of inspiration and replace with their own manmade concepts. They impugn the actual scripture. They are not conservative, they are just liberalin a different manner.

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.

Bob T.'s picture

To: RPittman.

Sorry, but by the nature of your many posts on SI and the doctrinal position you hold, I would not consider you one that I would consider responding to on here or elsewhere . Your responses on SI are disingenuous at best. It is called the application of personal separation to the internet.

Bob T.

RPittman's picture

Brandon King wrote:
Thanks for your post RPittman. I agree that a translation needs to be analyzed before acceptance. If the modern version sticks to the hebrew and greek text, I believe it is reliable and authoritative. I do believe that God can bring together men to accomplish such a task. I believe all things are possible, if led by God. So back to the question

Could you accept a modern translation from the TR using conservative approved scholars? Yes or No

My answer is yes.

Brandon, whether you did it intentionally or unintentionally, you did to me what I did to you. I posed questions to start you thinking and defending your position rather than simply questioning the other side. It's easy to ask questions but sometimes it is very hard to answer them from your own perspective. I have often been wrongly accused of equivocating when I refused to answer YES or NO questions. Well, I have an unique problem. Most of my ideas do not follow the normally accepted pattern. After all, this thing has been so much debated that things have fallen out into patterns according to whichever view one propounds. In my case, I have some differing views of language than what you were taught at PCC, or BJU, or Central, or . . . . I have problems in viewing words with static semantic content. The semantics change with time and location. Even the Greek and Hebrew are suspect. No one living today has spoken or heard spoken Biblical Greek or Hebrew. Furthermore, no one has lived in a culture where these languages were in everyday use. Now, we know that people speaking languages today show great variability and there are problems in understanding, especially fine shades of meaning. Obviously, those living in the culture understand a language to a greater degree than those who don't.

I remember the story told by Brother Andrew about his English teacher in Holland who confessed to him, just before his departure to England, that she had never heard English spoken. When Bro. Andrew arrived in England, he could not understand the language. Such, I believe, is the condition of Biblical language scholarship today. They offer many esoteric insights of a language that they have never heard spoken. Their entire body of work is based on a relatively few extant manuscripts from widely varied sources. In the OT, there is the widely spaced time factor as well. Without a benchmark to objectively judge their work, I fear that we are creating artifacts. Thus, I am highly skeptical of scholarship.

Personally, I believe in divine preservation of Scripture although it is not explicitly stated as such. God works behind the scenes to preserve His Word. Often, we do not see that working at the time but later we may catch faint glimpses of His working. I believe God worked through the early translators such as Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale's interpreters, etc. to preserve His Word in the English language. Through various means, God continued working to bring about the KJV although I don't think the translators had any notion of what they had done. Can God replace the KJV with another translation? Most certainly! But, how do we know?

The other matter is contextualization. For a translation, internal contextualization is essential. The whole of Scripture provides the context for the parts. Then, there is the contextualization thing with the language and culture. The amazing thing about the KJV is the dominant role that it played in molding the English language. This is well documented in many scholarly works over several centuries. More recently, Mark Nole collaborated with several scholars in describing the social and cultural impression that the KJV imposed on the English-speaking world. No, I haven't changed horses to prove my argument by scholarship but I mentioned these to show that I'm not lost somewhere in cyberspace. IMHO, the KJV imposed a kind theological understanding or injected Scriptural ideas into the English language. Thus, our understanding of Scripture is deepened by the particular relationship between the language and the KJV. No other translation, especially a modern translation, can make this claim. Thus, I would be very slow to accept a new translation. Because I came to faith in Christ from the KJV, I accept it by faith as true, accurate, trustworthy, authoritative, and the Word of God. Because of the preeminence and importance of Scripture, I would be very slow and careful in leaving what I know to be the Word of God for something else that has not been tried, proven, and tested by time. This is a problem for any modern translation--it has not been proven by time. Because there are many factors to consider, I cannot say YES to your question without knowing the other factors. However, I cannot say NO either. It is just too complicated to answer on a hypothetical basis without knowing all the pertinent factors.

Just to illustrate my point. Please allow me to ask you a question in turn. You believe that "if the modern version sticks to the hebrew and greek text, I believe it is reliable and authoritative." If so, how can two teams of good scholarly men sticking to the Greek and Hebrew come up with two differing translations? Would both be reliable and authoritative? In points of difference, who decides which is correct? Scholarship? Which scholarship?

RPittman's picture

James K wrote:
Brandon, the true tragedy is that there is no such thing as a conservative KJVO. They are all liberal as they deny the scriptural doctrine of inspiration and replace with their own manmade concepts. They impugn the actual scripture. They are not conservative, they are just liberalin a different manner.
WOW! This sounds very judgmental to me. Was it ex cathedra?

RPittman's picture

Bob T. wrote:
To: RPittman.

Sorry, but by the nature of your many posts on SI and the doctrinal position you hold, I would not consider you one that I would consider responding to on here or elsewhere . Your responses on SI are disingenuous at best. It is called the application of personal separation to the internet.

Bob T.

Well, Bob, you violated your own "personal separation to the internet." You did respond to me although you DID NOT answer my points. All you had to do was ignore me. I think that I caught you out on this one. Aren't there a couple of little prickly points in my original post that you would rather not answer?

RPittman's picture

Has anyone noticed that the prevailing strategy in this controversy is to vilify one's opponents. At first, its was the KJV bad boys--the Ruckmanites--who were doing this. And, Ruckman has a reputation of being contentious. Many of us, who accepted and believed in the KJV, were embarrassed by these tactics. We felt that it was more for attention than the defense of Scripture. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. The supposedly kinder, gentler, and more reasonable segment of Fundamentalism is throwing around hot accusations. They seem a little quick to call their brethren heretics, I think. Jesus warned, "That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37)." We would do well to remember Jesus' words when we post.

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
I suspect this point has been made in there somewhere but I'm not seeing it. Christian faith is always a believing response to what God has said [emphasis added ]. Study it from Gen. to Rev. and this is the consistent pattern. It is not possible to have faith in the Christian sense unless God has said something[emphasis added ]. Consequently, any claim that "only translation a is any good" is a matter of faith must be able to point to what God has said that the faith is a response to.

Otherwise, it's not faith at all. It could be any number of things from wishful thinking to having a hunch to being the product of observation and reflection (but that would be "rationalism" to some). But one thing it is not is faith.

Aaron, you are making a sweeping generalization without providing support. It is so sweeping that it's hard to refute, except you won't find Scripture saying this.

Also, there may be some examples where you cannot make this work. For example, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God (Hebrews 11:5)." And, we read: "And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect (Hebrews 32-40)." So, Aaron, can you positively say, without assuming a priori, that these are responses to something that God has explicitly said? How do you know?

Don Johnson's picture

Roland, please relax. This is just a blog, it isn't intended to be formal discourse. I am sorry I didn't add the word "paraphrased" to the words you object to. I had it in my mind to do it, but as I typed it slipped my mind before I hit 'Save'. You need to not take this so seriously, in my opinion.

Other than adding the word, "paraphrased", I stand by my entire comment, which was:

Don Johnson wrote:
A couple of years ago one of the writers over at JackHammer suggested that a new translation from the TR would be acceptable. He was crucified for it. He then beat a hasty retreat.

You see something of that spirit in Roland's answer to you, where he says, "why would we need a new version, we already have an authoritative version". [paraphrased ]

I was thinking of this statement by you when I wrote that:

RPittman wrote:
I don't know the answers to these questions but I do have some thoughts. The process of canonization took a period of time. I think the acceptance of the KJV took time as well before it was adopted by the Believing Church. For this reason, I believe, we ought to be very slow in accepting any new translation, even based on the TR, until we see how the Believing Church accepts it. The interesting thing is that even the modernization of the KJV, such as the New Schofield Reference Bible, really never became that popular among the Believing Churches.

You noted the many translations of the past. However, you will also note from history that these many translations fell by the wayside in fairly short order. The KJV became the accepted Bible among the Believing Churches for almost 400 years. This says something.

I think my paraphrase is a fair assessment of what you said. I'll leave it for others to judge if I am right or not.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Sorry I've missed all the fun lately. I took a couple of days off this week and have been away from the computer. I see the debate has been lively.

My point, which I will again emphasize, is that it doesn't make any sense to villify those who use exclusively the traditional texts. When the critical texts were introduced, some men accepted them and some men rejected them--seeing unmistakable differences. Those who rejected them because of the differences simply maintained loyalty to the traditional texts. They did what the church had been doing for hundreds of years.

Now, a little comment about faith and preservation: The idea that God has providentially preserved His word is NOT non-cessationism. (It's a little more like Calvinism, and a lot of you should be happy about that!) God is, after all, sovereign. Everyone on this blog, I presume, believes God has preserved His Word somewhere. I happen to believe it is preserved in the texts used consistently throughout church history--you know, those texts that all Christians believed in prior to the late 1800's. My faith is NOT in my faith. My faith is in the Bible, the traditional texts of Scripture. Do I believe that the Critical Text is the Word of God? Only in as much as it agrees with the traditional texts. Because they're different, they can't both be right at their points of difference. My belief rests upon the fact that God inspired His Word and He also preserved it.

There is nothing unorthodox about my position. Conservative Christians held this position prior to the late 1800's. There is nothing unscholarly about my position. Some of the most revered expositors of the church held to the traditional texts of Scripture as the Word of God. What crime is it to believe that in holding the TR I hold the words of God?

Dr. Bauder's blog, however, questions the legitimacy of believing what the church historically believed. Worse yet, some on this blog have equated simple faith in the traditional texts with heresy. That, my friends, is way over the top. As I see it, Dr. Bauder is attempting to broaden fundamentalism to the left while narrowing it on the right. That's too bad because orthodox Christianity is under no threat from those who simply believe in the traditional texts of its Scriptures.

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

Matthew Richards's picture

Great to have you back, Pastor Monte! Few questions for clarification here. Do you believe the specific version of the TR on your desk is inerrant? Do you believe that it is inspired or simply preserved? Do you believe the 1611 KJV is inerrant? What about the 1769 KJV? Is the ESV I have on the corner of my desk the Word of God? What about the NIV on my desk at work? You have constructed a nice strawman--Bauder doesn't take issue with people who use the TR--nice try--he simply is against the unorthodox teaching that it is the only source for God's Word. I think when you answer the above questions we will have a better idea of exactly what you believe.

I believe God has preserved his word in the totality of manuscripts and translations available today. FWIW, I believe that I have God's Word in the ESV on my desk and the NIV at my office.

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

RPittman wrote:
Personally, I believe in divine preservation of Scripture although it is not explicitly stated as such.

This has been the recurring point made by several people in different ways.

You believe.

You have no scriptural basis for the belief.

Yet you foist your beliefs of on others as inviolable.

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

James K's picture

Roland said,

Quote:
Personally, I believe in divine preservation of Scripture although it is not explicitly stated as such.

This has been my point about Monte. This point you failed to address. Now you make my point in explicit terms.

Your faith is in your own faith about what you want to believe.

Regarding KJVO not being conservative, yes that was judgmental of me. Some guys back in the 20s were judgmental against liberalism. I stand in their tradition against the liberal theology you hold to.

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.

Brandon King's picture

"1)If so, how can two teams of good scholarly men sticking to the Greek and Hebrew come up with two differing translations? 2)Would both be reliable and authoritative? 3) In points of difference, who decides which is correct? Scholarship? Which scholarship? "

Sorry i couldnt figure how to quote your questions.

Thanks RPittman for your response. I understand your reluctancy in answering the hypothetical, though i think in simplicity with an Almighty God, He could preserve a new translation in English.

So to your questions 1) I believe just as God brought together the cannon of Scripture, where no doubt their were differences in what people thought should be included and excluded, we have a simplified example of the preservation of Scripture. Onto the question of differences in translations, the question rises in how much a difference is their in the translations from the greek and hebrew from one another; this takes discrenment, faithfulness to the text, and great skill in the languages. I think that from the TR we can conclude their has been differences in interpretations over the years in the different readings from the various translations that you have mentioned. Ill let others cite the passages. I believe that in simplest form that textual criticism did take place in the cannonizing of Scripture, and in the production of the KJV. You may disagree with this point.

2) I believe both would be reliable and authoritative if true to the text. If their was a bent or bias in translation due to practice, tradition, or of a particular doctrine that differed from Scripture , we would say it is corrupt.

3) As to scholarship, and who makes the decision on the correct translation. I believe God used men to bring His Word into this world. He inspired the Original writings through some 40 differing authors over the course of time. Can he use men today? Yes, He doesn't inspire the Word as He gave it to the prophets, and Apostles of old. But can he give men the ability in the translations of New versions in English? Yes. As to which scholarship, I would say the ones that stick closest to the Hebrew and Greek Text.

Ive seen both sides of the version debate. I use the KJV and have not been convinced to change. I enjoy the KJV, the language, my commitment to memorization etc... I think a strength for the TR view does side on history. Though i think from history we see that the translators did not have any problem with a new version that would follow the KJV. I don't believe that God inspired the translators of the KJV. I do believe it to be the Word of God along with other versions that remain true to the text. Hoped that answered your questions.

My concerns in fundamentalism:

As a churchplanter/Missionary, Ive seen first hand how Pastors will dismiss said missionary, if that missionary doesn't hold to his position in regards to version; he has dismissed them concerning deputation and support as a missionary. They separate from someone like myself when I dont hold to a strict KJVO position or precise position on the TR. I've seen and heard of missionaries being dismissed soley on the school affiliation; no prayer, no explanation of beliefs, simply a dismissal based on attending the wrong fundamental school. This separation is not due to a preference; its due to a percieved difference in doctrine, that to me, wasnt defined to the degree that we now define Bibliology in our doctrinal statements.

These same pastors will invite other independent Pastors to conferences and fellowships that they host; but will not attend a fellowship with the same pastors at a different church that might hold a different view in Bibliology. To me this is sad. This simply is about control.
Whereas, I have seen those from BJU and other like schools treat individuals differently from the example above. Now dont get me wrong i know their have been horror stories from the other side of the fence. But by far, i see less separation from those that hold to the Alexandrian Text over that of the TR persuasion concerning others. I think the jist of Bauder's argument is that separtaion is necessary from those that are KJVO, and that separation could occur to those that are TRO based on their doctrinal belief and practical application of the belief.

Again, I thank you for your time in explaining your position. Ill retire from writing, and read from here on out. Unless Pastor Monte or another TRO would entertain the hypothetical question.

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Did I misread Bauder? He opened his blog with quotations from two men who in their doctrinal statements proclaim a TR position. He went on to name TR schools--most notably PCC--as not believing within the realm of Biblical fundamentalism. I think folks need to re-read his article and consider the implications of separating from those who hold to the authority of the traditional texts.

If Dr. Bauder's blog is not a swipe at the TR folks, who is he addressing? Ruckmanites? If so, I could concur, but the institutions he named are not Ruckmanite.

Dr. Bauder simply didn't think this one all the way through. It's also interesting to note that the schools he mentioned are not likely sending grad students to Central, Calvary, or Detroit for that matter. These schools have literally thousands of undergraduates yearly, but very few would attend those three seminaries. One can't help but wonder if he would have been more charitable had one of the named institutions been a source for seminary students. Just a random thought!

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

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
Did I misread Bauder? He opened his blog with quotations from two men who in their doctrinal statements proclaim a TR position.
I think you misread him. The quotes he began with, and the schools in question, do not only hold a TR position. They hold a position about the English text, and that is the issue. Smith uses the word "exclusively" with respect to the KJV, and Crown uses the word "only." That puts the issue in the realm of English translation.

BTW, I hope, Marc, that you will get time to answer the questions I put forth. I think they would be helpful to us in understanding where you are coming from and exactly where you draw lines on this issue.

I think I speak for many if not most when I say I have no problem with someone who believes that the TR is hte best text or that the KJV is the best translation. I don't think that is Bauder's issue, based on how I read him. The issue comes when they refuse to believe that the critical text is a legitimate biblical text and modern translations are the Word of God.

Pages

Help keep SI’s server humming. A few bucks makes a difference.