Now, About Those Differences, Part Twenty Three

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

Sinister et Dexter

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

—Evangelist Dwight Smith

The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use; the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use.

—Temple Baptist Church and Crown College, Knoxville, Tennessee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advent, 1
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

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

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

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

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

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There are 202 Comments

Forrest's picture

Thank you RPittman for a very straightforward and clear post.
You said:

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

In my opinion your problem on a logical level with the "rational reasoning" is in the line "Therefore, there is not one text or translation that can claim superiority or ascendancy over all the others." If I am wrong that you do not find that to be one of THE major problems with the rational reasoning then forgive me and disregard the rest of this post.

But to be fair all texts are not created equal. Certain texts are earlier and more reliable than others. (Note "earlier" and "more reliable" are not necessarily the synonymous, tho they often are.) Scholars do not pick their readings by dubious means or for theological reasons. They are picked according to the established rules of textual criticism.

In answer to your hypothetical test:

Quote:

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

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

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Mostly, but I am assuming you are expecting a straight yes or no, so no (although I am dying to caveat that, but for sake of argument I won't.)
6. Whichever is faithful to original autographs

Then the rub, how do you know which one is faithful?
I say it is the text that are the earliest and come from the most reliable manuscripts. Sure, its a man-made system that is used to find the earliest and best texts (in my opinion).

You say its the text which was composed by a man-made system in the 1500's to be the best text. You accept this on faith. You believe God preserved his text, and he did so perfectly in the TR.(If I am wrong in thinking you believe its the TR I apologize; it's sometimes hard to remember who believes what in this thread.)

I accept my position on faith as well. I believe God preserved his text. I believe that he preserved it in such a marvelous way that a text composed of readings from from manuscripts that were composed a thousand years before those of the TR are nearly identical. I believe that my criteria for selecting the text is better than yours.

That's what it comes down to.

Your serve . . . .

Forrest Berry

RPittman's picture

Dave Doran wrote:
RPittman,

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

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

The ball is back in your court...

Dave, it depends on what you looking for here. If you really just want to defend your already stated positions in your articles and books, then we're wasting our time. If you really want to seek truth, to hear alternative answers to some of these questions, and to understand another viewpoint, then we may have something to talk about. However, we need to go back and talk about our views on language. We are not on the same page when one assumes that systematic, rational inquiry (i.e. scholarship) based on available evidence is the way of resolving the textual problem. We cannot begin here. There are points that we simply are not going to be able to rationally resolve. Matters of Scripture involving inspiration, canonization, and preservation require both faith and reason. Also, we need to modernize our view of language from the static semantic content to a more contextual/cultural/usage view. Then, the variants take on a different hue. No, I'm not denying variants but I am questioning what they mean.

Dave, I'm trying to generate intelligent conversation about questions that no one seems willing to discuss seriously. No, I have no interest in chasing around the barn either. However, I must pose such questions as I did to the Bauder's statements in order to create tension and questions of the commonly consumed pabulum.

Quite honestly, I cannot offer a definitive solution to the variants problem, although I do have the shape of some ideas. However, no one else can either. So, my point is that it is better to say we don't know or don't have a solution just now than to offer a wrong solution. The idea that the Word of God is contained collectively in all the extant manuscripts is untenable. The dissertation, IMHO, that proposed and made this acceptable in Fundamental circles is not really a good, well-thought-out work. Variants are NOT the major problem, IMHO.

If you're interested, we'll talk about some specifics.

Ball returned . . . . .

RPittman's picture

Forrest wrote:

But to be fair all texts are not created equal. Certain texts are earlier and more reliable than others. (Note "earlier" and "more reliable" are not necessarily the synonymous, tho they often are.) Scholars do not pick their readings by dubious means or for theological reasons. They are picked according to the established rules of textual criticism.
Methodology is one of the central features of Modernistic rationalism. It is the assumption that if data is processed by the proper methodology, then the outcome is an accurate and true result. Not so. We cannot depend on an infallible methodology. One is not assume that the right outcome will be achieved even under the best or ideal conditions. This is a major sticking point in our rejection of modern textual criticism. There is not objective benchmark to compare the results. We simply don't know how close we are to the originals. What vouches for "the established rules of textual criticism?" (BTW, scholars do "pick their readings by dubious means or for theological reasons.")

Matthew Richards's picture

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

Matthew Richards
Indianapolis, IN

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

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

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

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

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

RPittman,

Your assumptions are quite comical. I am also a recovering man-worshipper. I actually never held William Grady in the same awe that I held Jack (I spent the better part of 22 years as a member of FBCHammond)--but I did sit under Bill's teaching in classes on the KJVO position at HAC. I have long ago repented of my man-worship and do not hold anyone up in that way anymore--Praise the LORD! I will answer your other post directed at me here as well when I say that labels tell us something and KJVP is a far cry from KJVO. If someone prefers the KJV more power to them--most of us have memorized countless passages in this version and continue to use it to this day. It is entirely possible to be in the KJVP category (gasp!) and hold to the orthodox position on the Holy Scriptures. If you find yourself in the KJVO sect you cannot hold the orthodox position, IMHO. 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. When someone crosses that line and makes their favorite text a doctrine worth separating over that is when my radar goes off. Thanks for not calling my person, character, sincerity, motivation, spirituality or love for Christ into question!

Matthew

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper said, "Faith is the ultimate certainty."

The missing element in this discussion is FAITH. I believe the words of my TR are the words of God BY FAITH. Ultimately, it comes down to FAITH, and that's OK; because "without faith it is impossible to please God." There are, generally speaking, two approaches to epistomology: faith and rationalism. Prior to the Enlightenment, the faith approach reigned supreme. Every Christian believed the received texts to be the Word of God by faith. The rise of rationalism and the enthronment of rationalistic principles of literary criticism (the "cannons") as applied to the Biblical text muted faith.

I, for one, believe faith is far superior to rationalism. Faith, after all is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." In the textual debate, there are a lot of "things not seen." By faith, I simply believe that the Textus Receptus that rests on my desk is the Word of God. I never question it or second guess it. I take it at face value by faith. My faith, therefore, excuses me from having to rummage around the variants of the critical text apparatus. I'm not looking for God's words; I have them.

This flies in the face of contemporary scholarship, but I think I'm better off just believing in the words God's church has always believed. My approach has not harmed me spiritually, and when I look upon the sacred words of the TR, my heart is filled with gratitude for the God who gave and preserved His word.

Of course, my position--if universally accepted--would put some folks out of a job.

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

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

I thank Dr. Bauder for this article. When it comes to the KJV article, here are some personal observations.

  1. 1. We use the KJV in our church but the KJV crowd is still not happy with us. Many times they are not happy with each other.
  2. 2. Someone recently told me that they will always stick with the KJV because it came from the textus receptus. When I told them that there are a number of times where the KJV chose the Vulgate over the textus receptus, they did not know what to say.
  3. 3. There are a number of ministries that were not KJV only, that now are. It is easy to get the impression that is a bandwagon type of thing in certain circles.
  4. 4. Many of the people I meet who graduated from colleges that are KJV only do not hold that position when they get outside of those educational bubbles. My guess is that this is why West Coast has to have their graduates make that pledge.
  5. 5. Most of the people of this world are never going to see, let alone read a KJV and more English speaking people than ever before do not understand 1769 English. You would think that the experts on the textus receptus would be more concerned about getting and updated English translation out there if they believe there is not one, than writing books about how bad all of the other updated English translations are. What is really ridiculous to me is for them to tell people who do not understand 1769 English that they should understand it, knowing that the KJV updated the English a number of times between 1611 and 1769.
  6. 6. There are a number of people who say they are KJV only based on the textus receptus who say that it is not a test of fellowship with the brethren but it does create a lot of testy felllowship.
  7. 7. Oh, someone told me they use the KJV because it comes from the textus receptus and it does not use that dynamic equivalency. What planet teaches that there is no dynamic equivalency in the KJV? How do you translate without implementing dynamic equivalency?
RPittman's picture

In all of our discussions of scholarship, the Holy Spirit seems to be missing. Does He in fact lead us into truth? Jesus said:

Quote:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:7-15)
What did Jesus mean here? Is the Holy Spirit's role limited to initial inspiration? Is the Holy Spirit operating in the preservation of Scripture? Does He really guide us in our reading and understanding of Scripture? If so, how do we factor the Holy Spirit into the rational process of scholarship? Even more, how do we reconcile our faith and rationalistic methodology?

It is one thing to demand rationalistic explanation of textual variants but the shoe is on the other foot for the scholars to justify the legitimacy of their methodology. Does rationalism trump faith?

RPittman's picture

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
I thank Dr. Bauder for this article. When it comes to the KJV article, here are some personal observations.
Joe, I respect you and you are entirely entitled to your opinion. Others have personal observations too.
Quote:

  1. 1. We use the KJV in our church but the KJV crowd is still not happy with us. Many times they are not happy with each other.
Many of the MV crowd are not happy unless they are ranting against the KJV. And they're not happy that some only want to use the KJV.
Quote:
  • 2. Someone recently told me that they will always stick with the KJV because it came from the textus receptus. When I told them that there are a number of times where the KJV chose the Vulgate over the textus receptus, they did not know what to say.
  • I suppose the Vulgate may be considered in the line of received texts. It is roughly based on those texts and perhaps older texts.
    Quote:
  • 3. There are a number of ministries that were not KJV only, that now are. It is easy to get the impression that is a bandwagon type of thing in certain circles.
  • Yes, it was a non-issue in the past that has become an issue with some groups pushing their MV's.
    Quote:
  • 4. Many of the people I meet who graduated from colleges that are KJV only do not hold that position when they get outside of those educational bubbles. My guess is that this is why West Coast has to have their graduates make that pledge.
  • Well, it seems that observations #s 3 & 4 are somewhat contra one another. Yes, some graduates jump on the bandwagon when they move between groups. You're right about the bandwagon.
    Quote:
  • 5. Most of the people of this world are never going to see, let alone read a KJV and more English speaking people than ever before do not understand 1769 English. You would think that the experts on the textus receptus would be more concerned about getting and updated English translation out there if they believe there is not one, than writing books about how bad all of the other updated English translations are. What is really ridiculous to me is for them to tell people who do not understand 1769 English that they should understand it, knowing that the KJV updated the English a number of times between 1611 and 1769.
  • This is a red herring because the issue is not about updating the KJV but it is about a major shift in translation philosophy and textual criticism.
    Quote:
  • 6. There are a number of people who say they are KJV only based on the textus receptus who say that it is not a test of fellowship with the brethren but it does create a lot of testy felllowship.
  • Yes, the MV'ers get very vitriolic toward the KJV boys.
    Quote:
  • 7. Oh, someone told me they use the KJV because it comes from the textus receptus and it does not use that dynamic equivalency. What planet teaches that there is no dynamic equivalency in the KJV? How do you translate without implementing dynamic equivalency?
  • Again, this is a red herring because we talking about dynamic equivalence as a guiding philosophy as opposed to making word choices that has no one-to-one equivalence. There's an important difference.

    Merry Christmas, Joe.

    Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    RP wrote:
    one concludes that Bauder follows the accepted Modernist epistemology of rationalism although he would probably qualify a few presuppositions

    Roland, you trot this one out whenever someone makes a cogent argument for a position you disagree with. As an attempt to dismiss the cogent argument, it's not a very effective maneuver.

    There is no tension between the work of the Spirit and the use of the mind rationally any more than there is tension between the work of the Spirit and use of the mind intuitively (or non-rationally, or whatever term you prefer). The mind is tainted by sin in all parts. One "part" or function is not more reliable than another.

    So, to answer your question...

    RP wrote:
    how do we factor the Holy Spirit into the rational process of scholarship?

    We listen to what He says in Scripture. We seek His aid in thinking clearly. We yield to the unmoveables Scripture clearly hands us. Then we reason to conclusions based on what Scripture asserts, what we observe around us, and the work thinkers of the past have generated over the centuries. There is really no problem here. (Not that it's easy to execute, but the way is not hard to identify)

    Where we run into trouble with enlightenment "epistemology" or "paradigms" etc., is when we start to buy notions like a) all the truth that matters can be arrived at via observation and reasoning, b) the human ability to reason is only limited by capacity and intelligence (i.e., there is no moral factor, no sin factor, no spiritual factor), c) whatever is inconsistent with what we ourselves observe and reason is not true/real.
    Throw in the modern notion of materialism... d) the material is either all that is, all that matters, or all that can be known with any certainty.
    These ideas are what make "modern epistemology" a problem. Without these and other unbiblical ideas, no epistemology/paradigm is "modernistic" in any way that matters.

    The KJVO argument that says "all other views are de facto modernistic/rationalistic and therefore false" is probably the least compelling argument in the whole bag.

    RP wrote:
    If you're interested, we'll talk about some specifics.
    Ball returned . . . . .

    Roland, you still have the ball because you didn't answer the question. It was a simple question. Is there a MSS tradition that is without variants or not? It requires nothing more than a "yes" or a "no." Your unwillingness to answer it directly speaks volumes. The "it depends on what you want" and "we can't begin there" stuff is an extremely thin smokescreen because it in no way impacts the answer to the question.

    RPittman's picture

    Aaron wrote:
    Roland, you still have the ball because you didn't answer the question. It was a simple question. Is there a MSS tradition that is without variants or not? It requires nothing more than a "yes" or a "no." Your unwillingness to answer it directly speaks volumes. The "it depends on what you want" and "we can't begin there" stuff is an extremely thin smokescreen because it in no way impacts the answer to the question.
    No, Aaron, I'm just not going to let you frame the outline of the debate. From my perspective, this question is not crucial at this point. I do not agree that the existence of variants means what you and others think it does. You are locked into a mindset that leaves you no alternatives. I have alternatives but they will make no sense to you as long as you are set in concrete. This is not a smokescreen. How you pose the question is very important. You're asking me to answer a question with a foregone conclusion. You've already decided that the existence of variants refutes the KJV position. It's not a "yes" or "no" answer without being a trap. I refuse to walk into it. You don't like my saying that your position is based on Modernist methodology, yet you set out to define the ramifications of my position. Is this fair? I am saying that you can't force the logic of your system upon my thinking.

    RPittman's picture

    Quote:
    Quote:
    RP wrote:
    one concludes that Bauder follows the accepted Modernist epistemology of rationalism although he would probably qualify a few presuppositions

    Roland, you trot this one out whenever someone makes a cogent argument for a position you disagree with. As an attempt to dismiss the cogent argument, it's not a very effective maneuver.
    Listen to D. A. Carson's MP3's on Post-modernism at Gospel Coalition. He basically agrees that the default modus operandi of both Fundamentalists and evangelicals is Modernist methodology. If you won't hear me, then perhaps you'll hear him. This is not a ploy but it is a major point of disagreement. You're locked into a very narrow and mistaken view.

    JG's picture

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

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

    I agree. But this makes a very doubtul basis for a blanket call for separation. Inclusion in a doctrinal statement might make me more cautious about cooperation, but to tell me I must separate I want something more Biblically based.
    Aaron Blumer wrote:
    When you're stated doctrine of Scripture officially refuses to pursue the most accurate Bible available in the future, that's a far more direct assault on orthodox bibliology than a garden variety lapse in obedience.
    (What I mean by "in the future" is that a doctrinal statement that commits to the KJV, period, vs. one that commits to accuracy (and KJV "for now") is rejecting ahead of time more accurate work that may come along in the future)

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

    I'd guess KJVOers spent far more time scrutinizing the NKJV for accuracy than anyone else in the world. Smile

    But seriously, doesn't this boil down to, "We're not sure that these people are any different from Peter Ruckman and the second act of inspiration people, and they ought to do better at distinguishing themselves"? We can say his willingness to fellowship with BJU and others distinguishes himself in some ways, but a KJVO doctrinal statement that doesn't refute re-inspiration can make us wonder where he stands.

    That "wondering" is entirely legitimate. But to leap from "I have questions, I wonder, and he hasn't made it clear in his doctrinal statement" to "I'm separating and you must too, if you believe in separation," is highly dubious.

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

    To me, this isn't that difficult, because ecclesiastical "separation" isn't all or nothing. I withdraw/disfellowship/don't join (primarily the latter) based on the area of disobedience/difference. So while I might pulpit share with a Free Presbyterian, I won't invite them to preach on prophecy.

    Where is my great disagreement/difference with the mid-20th century neo-evangelicals? They specifically (and militantly, often) rejected the Biblical principles of ecclesiastical "separation". To have ecclesiastical relationships with them would be to join them in the specific area in which I believe they are disobedient. It would be to say that their approach to ecclesiastical association is one I can accept/endorse.

    The neos forced on consistent fundamentalists a virtual "all or nothing" ecclesiastical separation by their very rejection of separation. To not separate from them was to endorse anti-separatism.

    I see a significant difference between the neoevangelicals and anyone who accepts the principles of separation. Obviously, among separatists, we still fully separate from those who are guilty of I Corinthians 5/II Thess. 3/Titus 3:10/Romans 16:17 situations. For others, we simply decide on a case by case basis whether an ecclesiastical association at some level makes sense based on the areas of differences and how important those are.

    For Dr. Bauder, having a KJVO position may be enough to mean that he will fully separate. That is his right, but he hasn't made much of a case in asserting that the Scriptures call us to follow his lead.

    The conservative evangelicals are an interesting case. Do they accept the principle of separation? And do they practice it at all? For many, the answers seem to be "no" and in many cases "yes". They'll reject the principle, but in practice they aren't going to join in with just anyone, either. That makes it harder to know how to respond to them. If they accept the principle and seek to practice it consistently, then to my mind they are fundamentalists whether they admit it or not (no, I'm NOT Joel Tetreau :)). They might be "sloppy" ones, they might draw the line in places so differently from me that I'm very limited in how much I can fellowship with them, but I'm not prepared to label them "neos", etc. But that's rather off-topic to our discussion. It is on-topic to this series of articles, of course. And I believe the right answer to "conservative evangelicals" is "it depends". But it doesn't only depend on the Gospel as Dr. Bauder is claiming. It also depends on their view and practice on ecumenical/ecclesiastical associations. If they say "anything goes", I can't go there with them.

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

    In this we agree entirely. In the past, I've been as vocal on this forum as anyone could wish about Hammond, for instance. As far as I am aware, Pensacola has been extremely divisive on this issue, and I believe Titus 3 applies to them. Proud divisiveness is a significant problem in much of the KJVO movement.

    Thanks for the discussion, Aaron. I'll check back over the next few days for any further comments you may have, but I probably won't find the time to comment again.

    Joel Tetreau's picture

    Pastor Marc Monte wrote:

    4. If, as Bauder asserts, the so-called "hyper fundamentalist" is as bad as the New Evangelical, then it becomes the responsibility of the fundamentalist remnant to name and denounce these men and institutions as heretical. Before anyone picks up torches and pitchforks, remember that you will be going after godly men such as Dr. Ron Comfort, Dr. Clinton Branine, and Dr. Sam Davison--just to name three. I wouldn't want to stand at the judgment seat having condemned their ministries!

    My use of the King James Bible is based upon my faith in the traditional texts of Scripture--the ones in which the church always believed. And, just in case you're wondering, God seems to bless preaching from that book. We had over 700 in church on Sunday morning, 15-20 adult professions of faith, and numerous decisions at the altar. I say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

    Mark,

    I'm thrilled for the professions of faith - that is a blessing.

    Let me remind you that many of the revivals over the centuries around the globe, took place without the King James Version. Also, your agruement for the traditional texts of Scripture points to a use of a variety of text types - not just one. When the church used one - it was most often not because of discernment - it was because for the most part, there were no other options. In some cases all you had with a a few verses was a Latin witness. Mark, many of us do separate from Hyper-Fundamentalists as quickly as New Evangelicals. And we name them. The newevangelicals would be able to use the same logic on you - you are naming and separating from So-in-so, and these are Godly men....! Mark, even if you have men who have preached the gospel and who love the Lord....if they become "disobedient" and "off" by taking separation to isolation, by taking God's standards and confusing those with men's standards, they are at some level twisted and need to be confronted just as Barnabas and Peter were wrong and needed to be confronted by Paul. I'm not sure that I am required to name the names of hyper-fundies on the other side of the country or the world that don't impact our church family. However, for those ministries around us that might negatively impact our ministry or the families in our ministry - we do indeed "name them." Some of them have as large a church as yours.....that means nothing. The Vatican, Scores of Hybles, Hyles and all sorts of other "churches" have larger numbers than you do.....many of them have as many "decisions" as you do. Unfortunatly too often their fruit does not remain.....which might say something about the kind of seed that was used.

    I pray that your fruit will remain my brother!

    Straight Ahead!

    Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

    Pastor Marc Monte's picture

    Joel: As I put in the thread, I only included the number count (which, by the way, was accurate) to get folks fired up. It worked! (This blog needs a little life once in a while.)

    Now, you did accuse me of "naming and separating from so-and-so." Who might that be? I have not had to actively separate from anyone in a LONG time. Separation has become a sort of natural thing--unless, of course, you're headed to the left and want to broaden fellowship across established barriers. (No one would argue that the barriers between fundamentalists and the newly minted conservative evangelical have not existed. Recall, if you will, Dr. Bob Jones Jr. and Bob Jones III's ongoing rant about John MacArthur "denying the blood.")

    Do I read books authored by some conservative evangelicals? Yes! My reading list is beyond extensive. (By the way, if you like to read, purchase the new Kindle--the one with 3g and wi-fi. You will be delighted!) Just because I won't preach with a brother doesn't mean I won't read what he has to say.

    Here's the problem with the new category "hyper-fundamentalist:" No one except Kevin Bauder has defined it. In his opening quotations, he tied "hyper-fundamentalism" with anyone who holds to the traditional text position. That is very problematic. Let me give you an example:

    Kevin Bauder is a member of the FBF. There are a number of men in the FBF who hold to the traditional texts. In fact, the 2011 meeting of the FBF is scheduled to be at a church where the preacher holds to the traditional texts of Scripture. That's not the drum beat of this ministry, but he quietly holds that textual position. He told me so himself. He is a good, balanced man. He is a soulwinner. He is a man I hold in highest esteem. He is a personal friend. Now, according to Bauder, I should limit my fellowship with him. Should I not attent the FBF annual meeting? Should I withdraw from the fellowship? Shouldn't Kevin also withdraw from the fellowship?

    You see, Bauder has called for nothing short of a split in the fundamental movement. His article is very divisive. He has impugned good men. I can understand consternation over Ruckmanism, but there is absolutely no reason to condemn good men whose only crime is believing what the Lord's church always believed prior to the late 1800's. You may not like that last statement, but it's a fact.

    Before jumping on Bauder's bandwagon, everyone should consider the consequences and implications--from both a contemporary and historic perspective.

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

    Dave Doran's picture

    RPittman,

    I was genuinely interested in receiving an answer to the questions you put to Dr. Bauder and the ones I put to you. I was treating yours as sincere questions to him and mine was sincere to you. For the sake of time for both of us, I'll withdraw mine. I think we both have some idea of where the other one is coming from and neither of us think very highly of the other's view on it. I'm content to leave it to the Lord.

    For the sake of others reading, though, I'd simply like to point out that all sides have to acknowledge (as you did) the "variant problem" and that means folks should be very careful about hearing the "hiss of the serpent" in textual criticism (to quote Dell Johnson from his infamous video of years ago). Even very staunch KJV defenders like Tom Strouse and Edward Hills acknowledge that Erasmus engaged in textual criticism.

    I believe that your admission regarding variants and Marc Monte's use of the word "essentially" (in distinction from "exactly") are the Achille's heel of the whole KJVO movement. I don't know you or your ministry, and I don't know Marc Monte or his ministry, so my next statement is not intended to say this is true of you. My deepest concern for the KJVO movement, and those who tolerate it, is that it makes loud claims publicly which it does not really believe and are not true, and the inevitable outcome of that will be to shipwreck the faith of some.

    IOW, if you beat the drum of "things which are different, are not the same" loudly and long enough, God's people will be harmed when they find out that those who claimed that also admit that there are variants even within their preferred textual family/tradition (or even that they talk about a family of texts rather than a single text/edition). By establishing a false object of faith (the existence of Greek or Hebrew testaments that are without textual variants), they set God's people up for a real crisis of faith and also destroy their credibility as teachers of God's Word.

    I will yield the court back to you and hang up my racket. This is not a game that I desire to play.

    DMD

    Bob Bixby's picture

    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.

    Marc Monte,

    I appreciate the obvious effort you are making to be respectful and kind in this debate. I also have to say that I highly sympathize and admire and embrace your call for faith. But I have a problem with your call for faith and its application to the TR. It is obviously true that faith "is the evidence of things not seen," but "things not seen" does not signify "things without evidence." I could then say that I have faith that the world will end in May, 2012 and dismiss any criticism against it because I believe in "things not seen."

    But, biblical faith is not a leap in the dark. The "things not seen" are the promises of God in the Word of God, the Person of Jesus that we love even though we have not seen him, and the realities of the cosmos ("principalities and powers") that are documented in the Scripture. The "evidence" is my adjusting my whole life and attitude (i.e. obedience) to those unseen things. To suggest that we are men of a weaker faith because we do not embrace your view of the TR on the basis that we must believe without evidence is, in my humble opinion, a misapplication of the concept of biblical faith.

    The fact of the matter is that the TR does not say anything about the TR and though you have a rational (and I use the term positively) reason for preferring the KJV, the only evidence that KJVO people give is extra-biblical. And, when pressed about the weakness of that evidence they say that we need to accept it by faith.

    Would it be more appropriate to employ, say, a Romans 14 approach to this KJV issue and vehemently defend the rationale for your preference without impugning the faith of those who are less convinced with your rationale?

    Mike Harding's picture

    The FBFI doctrinal statement reads as follows:

    Section 1. The Scripture: We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments alone as verbally, plenarily inspired of God, without error in the original writings and the sole authority of faith and practice, providentially preserved as God’s eternal Word (2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 1 Pet. 1:23 (b)-25). We believe in a dispensational understanding of the Bible based on the progressive unfolding of the divine mysteries from God, which result in distinguishable stewardships of God’s truth (Heb. 1:1-3; Eph. 1:10; 1 Cor. 10:31). [emphasis mine ]

    When people assert as a matter of Scriptural doctrine that mss. copies and translations partake of the miraculous qualities that can only be said of the original text, that is a doctrinal problem as well as an ethical problem of intellectual honesty.

    In a recent resolution the FBFI declares:

    "2008 Resolutions
    Loyalty to God and His Word: Resolution Affirming the Biblical View of Inspiration, Texts, and Translation

    Whereas,

    •The Bible claims that it is plenarily and verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit in its original writings;
    •The Bible claims that it will be preserved by God throughout the ages;
    •The Bible claims that its Spirit-indwelt readers will be illumined by the Holy Spirit as they read;
    •The practice of translating the Scriptures into common languages was affirmed by the practice of Jesus Christ and the practice of the New Testament Church;
    •The Bible makes no claim to the specific manner by which it would be preserved, or to further inspiration or perfection through any translators in any language;

    The FBFI affirms the orthodox, historic, and, most importantly, Biblical doctrine of inspiration, affirming everything the Bible claims for itself, and rejecting, as a violation of Revelation 22:18-19, any so-called doctrine, teaching, or position concerning inspiration, preservation, or translation that goes beyond the specific claims of Scripture."

    Pastor Kevin Schaal wrote the accompanying FBFI position paper for the resolution which says:

    "The Bible testifies to the fact of its own preservation but makes no particular statement about the method of its preservation. The Bible claims that its contents will not be lost but makes no claim concerning the transcription of Scripture itself. It gives no guidelines for transcription. There are no Scriptural promises concerning any future method of approval that would eliminate all questions concerning variations between copies. Opinions will vary on how God chooses to preserve His Word. In our zeal to defend or promote a particular text or translation, we must remember that we do not have a right to raise our opinion to the level of Bible doctrine. (emphasis mine)

    The practice of translation is clearly intended in Scripture. The idea that the Word of God should be in the generally spoken language of the people is affirmed by Christ's quoting from a Greek translation of the Old Testament. The inspiration and inscription of the New Testament in koine (common) Greek rather than classical Greek, Hebrew, or another language clearly indicates God's intent to put the Scriptures within the reach and understanding of the most possible people. We believe and commend the practice of the translation of Scripture into as many world languages as possible as a noble and Biblical part of the Great Commission.

    However, the Bible itself makes no claim and gives no specific instructions concerning the method of translation or the nature of future translations. The Bible makes no claim concerning the transfer of the gift of inspiration to future translators. If it had done so, we should believe it. But it did not make such a claim. For us to claim inspiration for translators would be error and could be categorized as a violation of Revelation 22:18, 19, changing the words of the Book as given under divine inspiration and bringing with it the accompanying Scriptural condemnations."

    FBFI 01.5 Regarding Schismatic “Brethren”

    "In light of the public attacks and false accusations upon the FBFI, its leaders, and other like-minded Fundamentalist institutions regarding their respective positions on the text of Scripture and translations, we reaffirm that within the historic orthodox doctrine of Bibliology these are matters of soul-liberty and should not be a test of fellowship for Fundamentalists. Since not all professors or pastors have expertise in the field of textual studies, disagreements regarding text or translation should be resolved by honest discussion as opposed to libelous contention. Those who repeatedly attempt to unnecessarily divide Fundamentalists over this issue and refuse to repent should be regarded as schismatics who must be rejected as the Word of God instructs (Romans 16:17-18; Titus 3:9-11; I Corinthians 3:10-17)."

    98.18 CONCERNING VERSIONS AND TRANSLATIONS:

    The FBF deplores the attempts being made unnecessarily to divide fundamentalists over the matter of versions and translations. We reaffirm our previous resolutions on this matter and the historic fundamental position that infallibility, inspiration, and inerrancy are posited only in the autographa and are not to be ascribed to any manuscript or version of the Holy Scriptures. We deplore translation attempts by those not committed to the integrity of Scripture. At the same time, we condemn those who, in an attempt to defend a particular translation, resort to perverting and misusing statements of those whom they consider their opponents in this debate. We recommit ourselves to living truths of Scripture as well as defending them.

    Pastor Mike Harding

    Forrest's picture

    Pastor Marc Monte wrote:
    Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper said, "Faith is the ultimate certainty."

    The missing element in this discussion is FAITH. I believe the words of my TR are the words of God BY FAITH. Ultimately, it comes down to FAITH, and that's OK; because "without faith it is impossible to please God." There are, generally speaking, two approaches to epistomology: faith and rationalism. Prior to the Enlightenment, the faith approach reigned supreme. Every Christian believed the received texts to be the Word of God by faith. The rise of rationalism and the enthronment of rationalistic principles of literary criticism (the "cannons") as applied to the Biblical text muted faith.

    This is a very problematic post for me for a few reasons. I'll try to run through them in a coherent way.

    1. Epistemological foundations:
    If you think faith and rationalism are the only two approaches, then you've missed the development of postmodernism which is an extremely effective rebuttal against the rationalism of modernism. However, the rationalism of modernism was an effective rebuttal against the oppression of gullible faith (superstition is probably a better term but I'll use faith).

    I reject all three systems, but recognize that all three bring good things to the table. Postmodernism recognizes that people and cultures are different. Cultural norms and taboos differ and no society has ascendancy or superiority over another. (I recognize this to mean that all societies are depraved; they would recognize it to mean that no society is objectively moral or immoral.) Modernism recognizes that the world works in logical ways. There are observable phenomena that can be classified, used, and systematized. Faith recognizes that there things that are arational. Faith looks to God to explain things.

    Modernism destroyed faith by claiming that there are rational things, things that can be explained materially. Postmodernism destroyed modernism by denying truth claims. It reached under modernism and took away its foundation.

    2. Either Or Epistemology

    I take all three systems of thought. Its not an either or. I believe that there are arational things that are only found in God. At the heart of the matter, I cannot prove these things; I believe them. Faith is my foundation.

    But I also believe that there are rational things. I use reason. I train my mind to think logically, rationally. I think through the Bible. The Bible is my starting point. It is from the Bible that I draw my premises.

    And I use postmodernism. I recognize differences between cultures and applications of the Bible. I recognize that there is no authority for outsiders. I also recognize that my rationalism may be flawed. But I rest firmly on my foundation -- Faith.

    3. You don't really want to go back to pre-Enlightenment thinking. (I don't think.)

    Prior to the Enlightenment (and for a long time afterwards) everything was "faith"-based. There was no concept of germs. You got a cold because someone put a curse on you. For a woman it was believed that wearing a red ribbon on her head was an effective means of birth control. Trial by ordeal was the common method because what is proof? Etc. Etc.

    4. Everyone believed the received texts?

    I'm assuming you don't mean the TR since this didn't exist until the 16th century. But even today all Christians hold to the received texts. For them its whatever Bible translation they prefer, just like in pre-Enlightenment times. Except for them it was whatever text was available. Nevertheless both receive the text by faith. Scholars/Pastors look over their textual apparatus, but so did the scribes in pre-Enlightenment times. In many manuscripts it is possible to find emendations and/or impositions of a reading the scribe thought was missing.

    Just some thoughts...

    Forrest Berry

    Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    RPittman wrote:
    You're asking me to answer a question with a foregone conclusion. You've already decided that the existence of variants refutes the KJV position. It's not a "yes" or "no" answer without being a trap. I refuse to walk into it. You don't like my saying that your position is based on Modernist methodology, yet you set out to define the ramifications of my position. Is this fair? I am saying that you can't force the logic of your system upon my thinking.

    You're pretty much trapped already when you can't answer a straightforward question ("Is there a MSS tradition that has no variants?").
    None of the other stuff (what anyone has already decided, what anyone doesn't like, what anyone is setting out to define, etc.) has anything to do with it.
    Is it fair to ask a person who holds a position to account for its relationship to basic facts? Yes, that's quite fair.

    JG wrote:
    I'd guess KJVOers spent far more time scrutinizing the NKJV for accuracy than anyone else in the world.
    Well, I'm pretty sure quite a few of them were much more interested in finding inaccuracy. Smile

    JG's picture

    FBF as cited by Mike Harding wrote:
    98.18 CONCERNING VERSIONS AND TRANSLATIONS:

    The FBF deplores the attempts being made unnecessarily to divide fundamentalists over the matter of versions and translations.


    One wonders if the FBF deplores it when Dr. Bauder writes an article calling for separation from those who say they believe they should only use the KJV. Or does the FBF only deplore divisiveness "over the matter of versions and translations" when it originates in the KJVO camp?

    JG's picture

    Aaron Blumer wrote:
    JG wrote:
    I'd guess KJVOers spent far more time scrutinizing the NKJV for accuracy than anyone else in the world.
    Well, I'm pretty sure quite a few of them were much more interested in finding inaccuracy. Smile

    There you go with "motives" again. Wink

    Rob Fall's picture

    JG wrote:
    FBF as cited by Mike Harding wrote:
    98.18 CONCERNING VERSIONS AND TRANSLATIONS:

    The FBF deplores the attempts being made unnecessarily to divide fundamentalists over the matter of versions and translations.


    One wonders if the FBF deplores it when Dr. Bauder writes an article calling for separation from those who say they believe they should only use the KJV. Or does the FBF only deplore divisiveness "over the matter of versions and translations" when it originates in the KJVO camp?

    If I'm reading the cite correctly, the resolution dates from 1998. In the last twelve or so years, positions have hardened even further. So, I'll hazard is the FBFI were to write the resolution today they be more in line with Dr. B.

    Hoping to shed more light than heat..

    Mike Harding's picture

    Rob,

    Notice that the FBFI resolution authored by Kevin Schaal is fairly recent (2008). Also, we ratify the doctrinal statement every year.

    JG,

    I hope I am not putting my words in Kevin's mouth, but if I understand the tenor of his article correctly, Kevin has no problem with those who use the KJV and the RT exclusively. He minds those who create novel Bible doctrine in the field of bibliology to justify it. I think it would be a mistake, however, to assume that all the organizations listed in the article have created a novel bibliology to justify their use of the KJV and RT.

    Pastor Mike Harding

    JG's picture

    Mike Harding wrote:
    I hope I am not putting my words in Kevin's mouth, but if I understand the tenor of his article correctly, Kevin has no problem with those who use the KJV and the RT exclusively. He minds those who create novel Bible doctrine in the field of bibliology to justify it. I think it would be a mistake, however, to assume that all the organizations listed in the article have created a novel bibliology to justify their use of the KJV and RT.

    The reason I said "those who say they believe they should only use the KJV" is because the article implies that treating the choice to use the KJV and RT as one of a set of "beliefs" is equivalent to "novel Bible doctrine".

    Though I am not KJVO in the least, I agree with your last sentence -- not everyone who uses the KJV exclusively (or even everyone who says so in their doctrinal statement) uses novel Bible doctrine to support their view. That is what I find so troubling about Dr. Bauder's article. If his intent in this article was as you suggest, then I agree with that intent, but the article goes further than that. I hope your assessment of his meaning is correct. The article as written is divisive, in my opinion.

    Todd Wood's picture

    (just another commercial break)

    When I think of wicked, sinful division, it was how Joseph Smith started using the KJV in the 1800s.

    The biggest atrocity in the use of the King James Version of the Bible in America is along the whole stretch of our country's I-15 Corridor.

    I know I am off topic. But these kinds of discussions appear to me like intense squabbles within the factions of the Jewish Knesset while terrorists are out and about . . . .

    blowing up the whole countryside.

    et

    Matthew Richards's picture

    Pastor Marc Monte wrote:
    If I were to give myself a lable, it would be "TR only," meaning that I accept the Textus Receptus to be the inspired words of God. Now, before any of the other bloggers ask me, "Which one?" (as in which edition), I will tell you: I believe that the Textus Receptus that sits on my desk is the inspired word of God. I believe this by faith.

    Pastor Monte,

    So do you believe the Textus Receptus that sits on your desk is inerrant? I believe that only the originals are inspired and therefore inerrant. I believe that God has preserved his Word for us today in the totality of manuscripts and translations still in existence--I also believe this by faith. Copies and translations are inerrant insofar as they are true to the original inerrant autographs. Wasn't this the historic stance of the original fundies on the Holy Scriptures? Quick question for you, do you believe that the ESV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV are God's Word?

    Matthew Richards

    James K's picture

    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.

    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

    I was a student at Central Baptist Seminary of Minneapolis from 1972 to 1975, graduating in 1975.

    The following is from a workshop conduced by Doc Clearwaters in 1974.

    Doc Clearwaters on Bible Versions in 1974

    This is from a 6 (six) page handout paper that Dr. Clearwaters used on April 23, 1974 in a Workshop at a Central Seminary Founders Conference. At the conclusion of that workshop paper, Dr. Clearwaters wrote:



    Quote:
    "At the present time, only two translations are recommendable: the “King James Version” and the “New American Standard Bible.” The “King James Version” is unsurpassed in the beauty of its language, even if it may sound somewhat archaic to modern ears. It continues to be the translation that is most often quoted and memorized by conservative Christians in the English–speaking world. The “New American Standard Bible” is unsurpassed in its accuracy and its fidelity to the Greek text. Its language is also very readable."

    This should supplement the quote from Dr. Bauder which was a Doc Clearwaters statement prior to the NASB being released and concerning Fundamentalists of the first generation. Doc preached from the KJV but was not a KJV only or preferred advocate. He referred to the NASB in study. During my time at Central I carried an NASB.

    The rise of the KJVO Issue.

    During my time at Central the KJV was not an issue. David Otis Fuller's books had come out in 1970 and was just beginning to be discussed. I remember it being brought up in one of Dr. Vanhetloo's classes and him making a brief comment but then dismissing it as not being factual and not making much sense. At that time no one thought it would ever have a wide acceptance or be a real issue.

    Why the wide acceptance? Perhaps because so many who were becoming XFB Pastors were doing so with sub par education and an unbalanced view of ministry. The emphasis back then was beginning to focus on "Church growth" among the Evangelicals. One Evangelical called the 60s the decade of para church ministries and the 70s the new church emphasis decade. There was also the emphasis on growth by the Charismatic churches. The Fundamentalists were being widely recognized for their bus ministries and growing numbers. All Fundamentalists knew of Hyles, Falwell, and other growing ministries. Elmer Towns placed an emphasis on the fastest growing Sunday Schools. This pragmatic mentality often minimized theology and was susceptible to that which could give an easy certainty to the Bible and the gospel. The KJVO position gave the easy faith emphasis to knowing we have absolute innerancy in God's word. No need for the study of Apologetics, textual criticism or even Biblical languages. Just win souls and believe the KJV. They ignored all KJV imperfection. They just concentrate on anything that will characterize all other translations as threatening true doctrine. Soon churches and newly founded Bible colleges were making their statement of faith include the preservation and use of the KJV as part of their doctrinal certainty. You had certainty on the Trinity and Christ in one section and certainty on the KJV in another. It was the only acceptable version as all other translations were now perversions and their use indicated a disloyalty to God.

    Some established Fundamental Schools, Churches, and leaders spoke out but were somewhat mellow in their initial response because they felt many of the advocates were good men and had good ministries. Some failed to see the real issues or the extent of the threat in a timely manner. These threats were of new doctrine of post Apostolic endorsement of what was God's word. In some cases a later history Post Apostolic inspiration was advocated. Other KJVO advocates denied new inspiration but advocated that which demanded that preservation must still have the same outcome of certainty as the original inscripturated documents. This particular preservation demanded a specific time miracle to be conferred upon either an appearing text group or an appearing translation. Both views had much in common with the non Biblical cults also claiming Post Apostolic additional certainty and truth. Some did and do claim that they are merely KJVP (preferred). However, in some cases the preferred comes with a severe denunciation of all other translations so as to give an artificial perfection to the KJV and a non factual criticism of other translations.

    The threat of the KJVO position cannot be minimized. Hundreds of young people are continually led astray and given a fraudulent view of history and Christian certainty of truth. We do have certainty of truth but it must be seen honestly and as within the bounds God's sovereignty as seen in historiography and textual discovery. Our certainty emerges from human history and common reality just as Christ came in the flesh in human history and common reality.

    The arguments for the KJVO, and some KJVP, positions have now been thoroughly exposed and refuted many times. Yet the Pastors and leaders in the KJVO movement continue to side step common reality and seek to offer the same old mis information and factually wrong history. Some may be doing so sincerely. But the time has come to suspect and question the genuine sincerity of many advocating the KJVO position. It may now have become just a convenient position to gain a false loyalty and gather a following under a peculiar doctrine. My encounters with many in our area often leave me with the doubts of some leaders sincerity. Is the KJVO movement becoming a movement of the Deceivers and the Deceived? The result may be a cultic mindset that is interested in maintaining that which holds them together rather than a proper Biblical perspective. It often appears as that which is for a church or institutions glory rather than for God's glory.

    Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    JG wrote:
    Aaron Blumer wrote:
    JG wrote:
    I'd guess KJVOers spent far more time scrutinizing the NKJV for accuracy than anyone else in the world.
    Well, I'm pretty sure quite a few of them were much more interested in finding inaccuracy. Smile

    There you go with "motives" again. Wink

    Yeah... just a hunch.

    Larry's picture

    Moderator

    Marc Monte wrote:
    Those who accept the Critical Text are left with the daunting task of searching for God's words from among thousands of varient readings--all of which tends to foster doubts and questions as to the precise wording in almost any given passage.
    But you haven't really avoided the reality of the situation, have you? You haven't answered the questions. You have simply declared by fiat that the "Word of God" is the set of words in whichever edition of the TR you have ... which was different than the editions of the TR before it, and which set of words did not appear anywhere on earth prior to Erasmus ... er, Scrivener. You have, by default, ruled out much of what God has providentially preserved. Furthermore, you haven't given us any biblical reason why anyone should believe that. Even if you compare editions of the TR for the "right reading" you still have to choose which is God's word. Even if you don't compare, you have by default chosen one text out of many options. Calling it "faith" doesn't make it sound.

    Faith is not the issue. One can have faith in any number of things, and have firm and solid faith. But we have ask if they object of faith is worthy. Muslims have great faith in their religion. They make your argument, not about the TR, but about their own religion. They accept it by faith. And you would, I assume, tell them their faith is misplaced because it does not account for reality. I am not sure how your textual position is any different. I am not equating you with a Muslim. I am simply pointing out that your basis is the same as theirs.

    If I say that the critical text is the Word of God and the editors were supernaturally guided (not inspired) to pick the right reading, I am at the same place you are. But it denies the reality. There is no biblical basis for choosing the readings of the TR over any of the other readings. All bases for choosing the readings of the TR are extra-biblical. They may be good. They may not be. But believing in the TR (or any other option) is not the same as believing in the inspiration of the Scripture.

    Of course Roland Pittman calls this modernistic rationalism. I think usually we just call it common sense. It is easy to say that there are a lot of things not seen; but there are a lot of things seen, and the existence of variant readings is easily seen, as is the necessity to choose between them. Choosing the TR is a form of textual criticism. The only question is whether or not it is a sound one. Most evidence points away from the soundness of it.

    But I am still interested in your answer to the questions I asked to understand where you are coming from.

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