"[T]his is what defenders of the TR believe, too. You disagree only in degree, not kind, with the mainstream view."

"There are about two dozen printed 'TR' editions with varying levels of difference among them. Which one preserves the perfect text? Purchasers of which of these editions had the every jot and tittle promise fulfilled for them? It can be only one—if indeed you believe in perfect preservation." - By Faith We Understand

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Bert Perry's picture

Ward is realizing that if you don't take some level of the textual argument to the KJVO crowd, they are going to persist and split the ministries he holds dear.  Good for him.    I don't think it will get through to most KJVO advocates, but it will get through to most non-KJVO people who might be misled by them.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Darrell Post's picture

I put together a chart 20 years ago showing the various TR editions and the number of changes in each edition after the first edition--the one Erasmus himself admitted was faulty due to the haste in which it was prepared. 

I asked the same question as Ward...which is the perfect edition?

Anyone who answers the perfect TR edition is the one upon which the KJV was based has admitted to working backward, by starting with a fideistic claim about the KJV, and then presume the same conclusion back into the Greek edition. And of course that particular TR edition made no such claim of perfection.

Then any who answer the perfect edition of the TR is other than the one upon which the KJV was based has admitted the KJV is faulty. 

Of course the reality is ALL of the TR editions are faulty. I encountered one of the examples just last week preparing for teaching Revelation 17:16. Here is the NKJV (based on TR):

"And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire."

The preposition 'on' (epi) was apparently introduced by Erasmus, because Greek manuscripts read and (kai). And the change does affect the meaning, as the faulty reading might suggest the 10 kings were acting independent from the beast in the destruction of the harlot, but the correct reading shows the beast and the 10 kings were together in their destruction of the harlot. 

ScottS's picture

"Perfect," in the KJVO sense, means complete. Against the KJVO, that does not mean complete in a single Greek manuscript; but against Ward's statement (bold added):

When a mainstream evangelical textual scholar denies perfect preservation, the defenders of the TR will claim that he is denying preservation tout court. He is not: he believes the text of the Old and New Testaments has been carefully and faithfully—but not perfectly—preserved. Or, perhaps, he believes that God’s word has been fully preserved in the totality of available manuscripts, but that we don’t have a God-given method for determining which reading is correct in each and every case.

The issue here is that if a person does believe "God's word has been fully preserved in the totality of available manuscripts" (which I do) then he ought not deny "perfect preservation," because God has completely preserved the text.

Our recognition of that text is a different matter than the preservation of it, but there is no need to deny that perfect preservation (just qualify correctly what "perfect" should mean even in this context).

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Darrell Post's picture

And in case anyone was wondering...I just looked up Revelation 17:16 in minuscule GA-2814, the very 12th century manuscript of Revelation used by Erasmus in his edition of the TR. This is the famous one that lacked the last six verses of Revelation forcing Erasmus to use his Latin to translate back into Greek those six verses so the edition would be complete. GA-2814 also reads kai and not epi. "...the ten horns which you saw and the beast..."

Here is the link if you wish to see it:


You will have to click the refresh the page, then choose thumbnails, then scroll down to fol. 66r, select it, then count down the page 13 lines from the top and you will see it. If you don't know Greek, the kai is the third word from the right margin. 

This was a slip-up on the part of Erasmus, to give his printer a faulty reading of Revelation 17:16, thereby making his TR faulty, and of course this trickled down to the KJV, making that faulty as well.