Why I'm King James and the Contrast with a Dangerous King James Version Position

He consistently makes the statement that God perfectly preserved His Word in the documents behind the KJV. Perhaps he does not mean this, but what it sounds like he is espousing is T.R. onlyism. While a more nuanced approach to the KJVO issue, I am really not sure that his position is actually that much different as he posits “The King James Version is translated from that text of scripture. There is no other English translation from that text. For that reason, I trust the King James Version.” (Emphasis mine) This line of thinking flies in the face of both what the scriptures teach regarding preservation and what we observe as preserved. In reality, there is no difference between what he is saying and what those he criticizes are saying. At least as I see it.

Phil Golden

So, Kent is a TR-Only man. Okay, so now he just needs to demonstrate why that is the only viable choice to believe in preservation.

Note that he’s assuming more or less on faith that the TR is the preserved Word, and almost entirely dodges the entire science of analyzing other ancient texts of the New Testament to infer the autographs. Beautiful way to dodge the issue most of us consider important, really.

And a factual correction; I’m pretty sure that Oliver Cromwell would have been using the 1599 or 1560 Geneva Bible, since it did not contain the apocrypha, while the 1611 KJV does. I love my KJV, and I know and appreciate the arguments that the controversial passages not found in the Alexandrian texts really were in the autographs—we might start simply by noting that even if they were “put back in” by Erasmus from the Vulgate, their inclusion in the Vulgate suggests that Jerome might have seen those very passages before him in the Greek in the 4th century AD—a time comparable with the age of the most ancient Alexandrian texts.

But to ignore the debate….sigh.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kent Brandenburg edited a book, Thou Shalt Keep Them: A Biblical Theology of the Perfect Preservation of Scripture, where he explains his position in detail. I referenced the book in my first article on the Trinity when I mentioned 1 Jn 5:7b-8a. I appreciate his article, because he specifically calls out the “KJV is inspired” crowd. I respect the fact that he prefers the TR, because his authority is in the original language.

I continue to prefer TR and BYZ readings in some cases for contextual reasons; see, for example, whether it is an “angel” (TR) or an “eagle” (UBS-5) who heralds the impending woes to the rest of the world before the final three seals are opened in Revelation 8:13 …

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

Whenever I hear someone arguing for a TR only position, I always want to ask, which textus receptus? The first edition, by the confession of Erasmus himself was a editorial mess. Subsequent editions cleaned up a lot of problems, and some were never cleaned up. Even so, except for the book of Revelation, the text upon which the TR is based is largely the 12th century minuscule GA 1. Erasmus made some textual critical decisions from a handful of other manuscripts, but the lion’s share of the first edition TR is minuscule GA 1. Why? It was available to him in Basel when he arrived there to print his own new Latin edition, which turned into a project to print both Latin and Greek.

So what about GA 1 made it a perfect preservation of the New Testament? Or perhaps more precisely, what about GA 1 plus the corrections made by Erasmus made it perfect? At which edition of the TR did it reach this point of perfection? The common answer is the edition upon which the KJV was translated—and there we have returned full circle to the problem.

from Theopedia

The KJV translators never published the Greek text from which they worked, so Scrivener attempted to reverse-engineer the text by examining the various texts that would have been available to them. Scrivener merely matched various readings (primarily the Beza and Stephanus texts) to fit the English used by the KJV translators.

There is no single Greek manuscript that represents the Textus Receptus, for the more than 30 varieties of the Textus Receptus were all eclectic texts formed by incorporating variant readings.

Older and more manuscripts used in translation, as opposed to fewer and newer manuscripts!

Erasmus was the author of five published editions from 1516 to 1535. His consolidated Greek text was based on only seven minuscule manuscripts of the Byzantine text type that he had access to in Basel at the time, and he relied mainly on two of these - both dating from the twelfth century.

A speaker said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that we have 110 pieces in the manuscript evidence as opposed to 90 pieces of a 100-piece puzzle.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

[TylerR] I continue to prefer TR and BYZ readings in some cases for contextual reasons

When I do textual analysis as part of my sermon prep, I always compare the NA28 to the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine text. I find both very helpful.

If you’ve been in the military, you know “ALCON” means “all concerned!”

I have Bibleworks setup to compare TR, BYZ (Robinson & Pierpont), and UBS-5 whenever I look at the NT. Very interesting and helpful.

Brandenburg has addressed all your questions about the TR on his blog or in his book. All of them. No, I’m not a TR guy, but I always consult it. Always. Many times, as in Rev 8:13, I believe it provides the best reading. Sometimes, as in Rev 5:9-10, I believe it is flat wrong.

The more you compare Greek printed texts, the more you realize this is a complicated and often case-by-case issue. I believe many people make a mistake by simply slavishly adopting the UBS-5 and never looking back; and the opposite is also true.

JohnBrian wrote:

There is no single Greek manuscript that represents the Textus Receptus, for the more than 30 varieties of the Textus Receptus were all eclectic texts formed by incorporating variant readings

And, in the interest of fairness, we all must acknowledge (as Maurice Robinson noted in his edition of the BYZ), that there is no single manuscript which contains the text of the UBS-5, either! Remember this before we start disparaging the TR. Every printed text is the result of textual criticism. Compare the printed texts, and investigate discrepancies as you come across them.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

Here are two facts that must be acknowledged as a foundation to the whole textual critical discussion:

1) The original New Testament documents have perished.
2) The extant copies have differences, with no two exactly alike.

So how we respond to these facts is where the debate unfolds.

In that the originals have perished, and the copies are not the same, how do we determine which is correct?

Three different ways to respond to this problem are as follows:

1) Some argue that divinely inspired originals require that God must have preserved a perfect copy. But who decides which manuscript is the perfectly preserved one?

2) Some argue that the originals are preserved only in the manuscripts that were the most frequently used and copied in Church history, often called the Ecclesiastical, or Majority Text. But this approach has problems. When in church history? Where in church history? What is counted? Greek mss only or do you look at early versions? It is simply arbitrary to approach the pile of evidence having already discarded out of hand evidence that doesn’t meet your standards—standards that by their very definition would shift and adjust throughout church history.

3) The originals have perished, and the copies have differences, so every available piece of evidence is explored to best propose the readings that were in the original autographs. This does not mean that every piece of evidence is of equal value. A 19th century copy known to have been hand copied from an extant manuscript has less value than manuscripts hand copied in the early centuries.

I am for #3.

Furthermore, there exists among the manuscripts a lot more complexity in varying readings than many might presume exists. There are some specific groups of manuscript ‘families’ with a higher degree of commonality of readings, however many of the manuscripts commonly identified as ‘Byzantine’ display significant variety, showing a mixture of agreement with readings outside those classified as common to the Byzantine text. For instance, when I collated the 10th century minuscule 2907, I concluded that the overall nature of the manuscript was Byzantine, however, there were several chapters in Matthew’s gospel with a larger number of readings that agreed with manuscripts classified as Alexandrian. Then in Luke’s gospel there were several ‘Western’ readings including one lengthy insertion only found in Codex Bezae, the chief witness in the gospels to the Western text-type. Then in John’s gospel the pericope adulterae is missing, without any notes. This omission is somewhat common for a 10th century manuscript of John’s gospel.

I say all this just to illustrate that many whose interaction with the issue of NT textual criticism is limited might wrongly presume neat and orderly manuscript evidence when the actual evidence shows much more disorder.

Even just 20 years ago, the discussion of textual issues was insulated from the actual manuscripts themselves as one would have to travel around the world and physically enter libraries to see the manuscripts. Those days are over due to the internet and the ongoing digitization and publication of manuscripts. Many can now be studied by anyone with internet access. I have recently completed an update of the list of Greek minuscules numbered 2001-2932 on wikipedia:


I have added a column with referenced links to the web page where you view images of the actual manuscript. I intend to do the same work on the other two pages showing minuscules 1-1000 and 1001-2000.

I wonder where he stands with the MEV, which is a 2014 translation from the SAME sources as the KJV. According to his philosophy, he should be in agreement with it.

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

Didn’t know that. I know the NKJV is from the TR. I have heard Dan Wallace, who worked on editing the NKJV with Art Farstad, claim that they had to remove readings from the NKJV that translators brought in from the critical text. That’s how dedicated they were to sticking with the TR. I read, at Bro. Brandenburg’s blog, that he believes the NKJV used several critical text readings, and I know the blog post I’m thinking of has documentation of that. I haven’t checked it out for myself.

But, I wasn’t aware a new translation had been made from the TR. Good to know.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

“Critical text readings” - The reality is most variant readings will have support from some manuscripts of a multiple text-types. It is actually rarer to see a situation where one text-type stands alone. Usually there is a mixture of support for competing readings.

But here is one example of a situation where Sinaiticus and Vaticanus (Aleph and B[03] ) agree and stand alone against all the Majority Text manuscripts: James 5:4. But if you check your ‘critical text’ (NA_27), you will see the reading of the Majority Text is chosen and the reading of Aleph and B is relegated to the apparatus. So in this instance, does NA_27 cease being the critical text and becomes the Majority Text because they chose to avoid the dreaded Aleph and B? No. All printed texts are at some level a ‘critical text’ unless they are simply a printed transcription of a single hand copied manuscript.

Even the TR is a critical text—though it was edited from only a small collection of manuscripts in Basel rather than a critical text considering hundreds of manuscripts.

It is my understanding that the Geneva Bible is based on the same TR as the KJV. Thus this claim:

“The King James Version is translated from that text of scripture. There is no other English translation from that text.”

causes me some concern. What does one do when faced with another translation that’s based on the that TR?

Actually I enjoy my 1599 Geneva. I’ve always thought its translation on John 1:1 was better than the KJV.

“In the beginning was that Word, and that Word was with God, and that Word was God.”

But, like any translation, I’m not inerrant.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

The author’s frame of reference is revealed in his questionnaire:

The Bible has been perfectly preserved….
a. Somewhere in the abundance of all the manuscripts, the hand copies from copies of the original manuscripts.
b. In the underlying Hebrew and Greek text behind the King James Version.
c. In the English translation of the King James Version.

In studying the King James Version New Testament, I would primarily study the words by….
a. Finding what the underlying Greek word is and means.
b. Looking up the English word in the dictionary.

If you believe (b) is the answer to the first question, your preservation really ends up being double inspiration, but the second object of inspiration is the TR, not the KJV. That is really what the modern “preservationist” wants to say, but it is cloaked.