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

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JNoël's picture

Anyone care to rebut Kent Brandenburg? He calls SI's position on Preservation "New Doctrine" that should be rejected. He is adamant that the Doctrine of Preservation has always, up until modernists got their hands on it, meant that every single "jot and tittle" would be preserved for all time, and that we have, available to us today, a perfect, 100% exact copy of the autographs available.

I'm all ears, because I honestly want to know more about the subject.



Kent Brandenburg said...


One side has a doctrine and the other doesn't. What one side says happened was what everyone was saying at one time, and then with the advent of modernism, another side said another thing was happening, brand new. A new doctrine shouldn't be given credence, like proxy baptism or transubstantiation. New doctrines should be rejected. They're new. Doctrine isn't new. When doctrines change, there should be something in the Bible itself that should signal that the Bible teaches something different, but that would also mean a total apostasy of doctrine on scripture. Could that occur? Of course not.

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)

TylerR's picture



Buy and read Bro. Brandenburg's book (linked somewhere above, near the beginning), if you'd like to know more about his position. Before we do historical theology on a position, we should look at what the Scriptures say about that position. It's genuinely helpful to see how different people have historically wrestled with a position, but something which ought to come after looking at the Scriptures.

Off the cuff, I have found the historical theology claims to be very anachronistic. It reminds me of how Baptists like to claim the Novatians as their "kin," because of some superficial doctrinal parallels on ecclesiastical separation which evaporate upon further examination. Also, to a certain extent, I find the historical theology discussion on this issue pointless. Would Calvin (for example) have eagerly accepted the papyri? Well, he didn't have it. We can speculate. Maybe he would have. Maybe he would have also liked the new Ben-Hur movie, too, I guess. I know he would have enjoyed Culvers. He just didn't have the papyri. He didn't write about it. However, he did do textual criticism in his commentaries and spoke about preferring one reading over the other based on internal evidence.

To me, it's not very useful to speculate about what somebody would have thought about something they knew nothing about. Would Marco Polo have liked the idea of the International Space Station? I guess, but I don't really know. Would Alexander the Great have really liked to have had drones at his command? I'm guessing yes, but he knew nothing about drones, for goodness' sake! Would Augustine have liked the NA28 critical apparatus? Maybe . . . Does it really matter? What does the Bible say?

Bro. Brandenburg's discussions on the preservation passages in his book are where the argument needs to go. Read the book, study the passages, make a decision. It's a good book, and is probably the best presentation of a TR position you'll likely find. Most people never read people they disagree with, and rely on strawmen and second-hand caricatures. Read the book.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

JNoel, I think I hinted at this in my comment on the 26th at 10:06 am--as did Tyler and Darrell about the same time.  More or less, what he's asking for  is a doctrine of what is, and is not, a good representation of the Scriptures.  His is that the TR qualifies (whichever one was used for the Geneva Bible of 1599 of course), and that eclectic or majority texts do not.  

OK, that's his view, but....does that really follow from Matthew 5:18?  Is Christ really saying that every letter is going to be preserved?  I don't think so; there are times when Christ quotes from what appears to be texts apart from the Ben-chayyim text used in the KJV.  Moreover,, He would have been very aware of rabbinic councils standardizing the Tanach not too long before He was born​ (the variances had become too great), the Septuagint, and more.  So I think the context of Scripture and history simply doesn't support Brandenburg's argument.

Nor, for that matter, does the history of Bible translation.  The Vulgate was commissioned when the variants of the Old Latin became too embarrassing, I'm told, and the very task of Erasmus and others in his trade was to weigh the variants of many Greek manuscripts spirited out of Asia Minor after the fall of Constantinople.    So I'd argue that believers have always weighed textual variants to arrive at an approximation of the autographs.  

In other words, I think Brandenburg's position is the innovation.  That that this means we must reject his thesis--that would just be a basic genetic fallacy--but at the same time it means I can't exclude positions like "Majority Text" or "eclectic text" out of hand, either.

My personal position, which I think works well with Matthew 5 and the testimony of history, is that a great part of the preservation of the Bible derives from the fact that Hebrew and Greek are phonetic and declined--so if a letter is misplaced, one can reckon the sense from the sound and the context.  Combine that with the number of manuscripts in various languages, and we've got a very good sense of what the autographs said through texts like the eclectic text.

Though I'd still argue that the presence of some of the debated passages in the Vulgate suggests that Jerome might have had a text before him every bit as old as the Alexandrian manuscripts with those passages in it.  :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.