Why Do Our TR-Only Brothers Reject the NKJV with Such Passion? The Trinitarian Bible Society’s “Examination of the New King James Version”

"I have now read Hembd’s long critique of the NKJV—and all of TBS’ other critiques of the NKJV" (detailed analysis follows) - Mark Ward

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Andrew R.'s picture

For many KJV-onlyists it's not actually about the TR; if it were, then they would not be so antagonistic to the NKJV. It's about a personal attachment to the version they grew up with (i.e., their tradition), and the textual issues serve as justifications after the fact for a pre-existing emotional attachment.

I can sympathize: I think of times when I've come to a conclusion based on a particular KJV rendering, only to find that modern translations render the same verse differently. The natural reaction is to dig in, rather than to re-evaluate.

I give Mark a lot of credit for wading through Hembd's arguments and then responding in such a measured and charitable fashion. I would have been strongly tempted to roll my eyes, throw up my hands, and walk away after the first example (Hades vs. hell).

Bert Perry's picture

One thing that struck me while I was interacting with a TR-only volume (David Sorenson arguing against the NIV, I believe) was that not only might one wonder whether there are superior modern renderings, but we might also wonder whether there are readings where a modern translation simply chooses a different rendering of a passage that is equally as likely.

For example, regarding 2 Cor. 2:17, the word rendered "corrupt" in the Greek actually refers to "peddling" (the NIV translation).  In other words, the NIV there was (contra KJVO argumentation) the more "literal" translation, but the KJV uses the more idiomatic form that conforms more closely to the ancient view of peddlers--a view that corresponds to our phrase "caveat emptor", or "let the buyer beware".  

Now is one of these "better", or might we find (if we're not the owner of a good Greek lexicon) that using both translations gives us a fuller view of the ancient text?  The latter is what I found as a young believer; when I'd read NIV/KJV/RSV or a modern German translation, I'd find nuances that spoke to the difficulties in translation, giving a hint as to the subtlety of the ancient languages.

Not perfect, mind you, but "better than nothing" in terms of approaching the original meaning.

Back to Ward's article, though, there is an incredibly damning thing about it; he notes, providing evidence, that Hembd does not even bother with the use of a Greek or Jacobean English lexicon, and in doing so, he is left at the mercy of his own biases, which he indulges in vicious guilt by association arguments.  

And in my view, that's why I think evangelicals and fundamentalists ought to politely but firmly tell their KJVO friends "you can either defend your position without guilt by association fallacies and personal attacks, or there's the door."  There is a tremendous amount of harm that is done by this movement because, as far as I can tell, the only way you can come to a KJVO position is by using guilt by association attacks against the Alexandrian/other text families.   There are, after all, no known contemporary documents suggesting that Arius or anyone else deliberately corrupted the ancient texts, and hence the only KJVO argument really boils down to "this text family is associated with someone I dislike". 

They need to be given firm reasons to repent of this.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.