Calvary Baptist Seminary: A Plea for Realism: The Version Debate Lives On

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Becky Petersen's picture

In what circles is the KJV thing a really big issue nowadays?

It seems like the churches that I'm familiar with that are KJV only are slowly (or not so slowly) going downhill.

Matthew Richards's picture

West Coast in Lancaster is spoken of highly here by some--they are KJVO.

RPittman's picture

This article brings nothing new or persuasive to the table. It's the same old stuff that that this particular view has brought to the table upon each preceding debate. Why do we chew the same old cud and think it is something new or innovative? It gets more soggy and mushy upon each succeeding regurgitation, mastication, and swallowing. It gets harder and harder to swallow. The whole argument is predicated on a rationalistic epistemology that has not dealt effectively with the notion that God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text. Even so, the nature of the matter precludes its investigation and proof by scholarship. Furthermore, this methodology is based on disproving or failing to disprove hypotheses and it is incapable of establishing an universal proof. Thus, rationalism cannot establish this position because it cannot disprove the alternatives. It cannot satisfy its own requirements. Did it ever occur to these scholars that perhaps intentional scholarship, a human endeavor subject to the frailties of the human state, cannot establish that which is supernatural and transcends the scope of human reason. In other words, this topic is actually beyond the scope of human reason and scholarship. It is a matter of a reasonable faith.

Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

Becky Petersen's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
West Coast in Lancaster is spoken of highly here by some--they are KJVO.

OK. Gotcha.

I was thinking of a church in our home town in FL that says something about KJV 1611 on their sign. They're attendance is down to almost nothing. It seemed like I had seen several like that.

The more moderate KJV churches are doing okay (by moderate I mean that they prefer to use the KJV and even only recommend it but wouldn't go so far as to say that using another translation is not using the Bible, etc.), but it does seem like a lot of the "old time churches" that were really big into it are getting smaller (i.e. Windsor Hills-- Oklahoma City and others that are similar).

RPittman's picture

Becky Petersen wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
West Coast in Lancaster is spoken of highly here by some--they are KJVO.

OK. Gotcha.

I was thinking of a church in our home town in FL that says something about KJV 1611 on their sign. They're attendance is down to almost nothing. It seemed like I had seen several like that.

The more moderate KJV churches are doing okay (by moderate I mean that they prefer to use the KJV and even only recommend it but wouldn't go so far as to say that using another translation is not using the Bible, etc.), but it does seem like a lot of the "old time churches" that were really big into it are getting smaller (i.e. Windsor Hills-- Oklahoma City and others that are similar).


No doubt there are KJVO churches that are declining. However, this does not necessarily indicate that KJVO is the factor causing the decline. Usually there are several concurrent factors contributing to a decline including leadership, community demographics, etc. We really can't put much stock in one or two anecdotal accounts. Some KJVO ministries are growing.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

RPittman wrote:
The whole argument is predicated on a rationalistic epistemology that has not dealt effectively with the notion that God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text. Even so, the nature of the matter precludes its investigation and proof by scholarship. Furthermore, this methodology is based on disproving or failing to disprove hypotheses and it is incapable of establishing an universal proof. Thus, rationalism cannot establish this position because it cannot disprove the alternatives.

While this is true, the real problem for those who aren't KJV-only isn't that they can't disprove it, it's that the burden of proof lies on those who say that the KJV is God's only anointed Bible to prove that the Bible declares this will be the case (not proven by the KJVO advocates). For a KJVO person to just state "We believe the KJV (or the MT/TR for those 'softer' KJVO types) is the only acceptable version of God's word to man," and then throw a few barely related or completely unrelated scripture references around and expect it to be accepted as evidence any more than what you tend to call "rationalism" is completely unreasonable. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. However when the word of God states that not one jot or tittle will pass from the law, that makes no statement at all about a particular copy, TR, KJV, or otherwise. So-called "faith" that the KJV or TR (neither of which came into existence until fairly recently) is exactly what God is referring to here is not the kind of faith that comes by hearing the Word of God.

Most of us who are not KJVO (and I'm KJVP, by the way) are not standing up and saying that the KJV *isn't* God's word. It's the KJVO people saying that other translations are not God's word, that they are corrupt, perverted, etc. I understand you don't accept arguments you label as rationalism. Fine. But don't wonder so much when everyone else can't accept blind fideism being equated with "reasonable faith."

Quote:
Did it ever occur to these scholars that perhaps intentional scholarship, a human endeavor subject to the frailties of the human state, cannot establish that which is supernatural and transcends the scope of human reason.

Which is exactly why we can't make dogmatic statements beyond what God has revealed to us in scripture. (Personally, I would add inescapable logical conclusions of things stated clearly in scripture to that as well, for principle and application, but you would call that "rationalism.") Will God preserve his Word? Yes, he has revealed that to us. Will that word be preserved ONLY in the TR? That has not been revealed to us and cannot be stated dogmatically (at least not with scriptural support).

Since your view does not require observation or evidence, I wonder at your surprise and disappointment at it being called NOT "realistic," since realism depends on both of those things. I would think you want to completely disclaim a "realistic" view as being part of a paradigm you don't accept.

Dave Barnhart

Jim's picture

RPittman wrote:
This article brings nothing new or persuasive to the table. It's the same old stuff that that this particular view has brought to the table upon each preceding debate. Why do we chew the same old cud and think it is something new or innovative?

Observations: The author did not claim "new or innovative". He said

Part 1 wrote:
virtually every semester, I find myself drawn into a discussion with a “concerned” pastor or prospective student whose first question is ‘what version or Greek text do you use in the classroom?’

AND

Part 1 wrote:
While I am not so naive to think that this three-part blog posting will persuade those deeply entrenched in a particular tradition, I would like to take this opportunity to state the position of Calvary Baptist Seminary and express my heartfelt desire that a spirit of Christian grace and forbearance might characterize the ongoing discussion.

So there you have it ... for anyone who wondered ... the official position of Calvary Baptist Seminary

RPittman wrote:
.... God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

Isn't it a problem, however that there is no single identifiable text behind the KJV (or any other version)

Part 2 wrote:
Specific to the version issue, it should be noted that Erasmus, the individual often associated with the Greek text behind the KJV, had less than eight Greek manuscripts (all Byzantine in character and none earlier than the 10th century) when he prepared his now famous Greek NT. Even so, in evaluating the limited manuscripts he possessed ([color=red ]with no two identical in every reading[/color ]), Erasmus had to make text-critical decisions. Furthermore, the 1611 King James translators made extensive use of two of Beza’s Greek NT editions, both of which reflected text-critical decisions. Thus, the King James Version, like virtually every translation before and since, is based upon a text whose preparation involved text-critical decisions. That is not meant as a criticism, but merely an oft-overlooked fact.

Matthew Richards's picture

RPittman wrote:
Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

The new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is what is tired...few here get tired of hearing the orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow! Praise the LORD for the Sacred Writings we enjoy as English speaking believers! BTW, I am a member of a KJVP church and believe it is a wonderful translation.

Matthew Richards

Jonathan Charles's picture

What is unrealistic is this statement:

RPittman wrote:
God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

There is NOTHING you can support this statement with.

RPittman's picture

Jonathan Charles wrote:
What is unrealistic is this statement:

RPittman wrote:
God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

There is NOTHING you can support this statement with.

No, your assertion is unrealistic because you must possess omniscience to support it. You cannot categorically state NOTHING exists unless you have exhaustively included all knowledge in your search. There are many ideas and much knowledge that you have not encountered. So, in effect, you are making a statement of faith--i.e. what you believe. Perhaps you ought to go back and think this thing through again.

RPittman's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

The new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is what is tired...few here get tired of hearing the orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow! Praise the LORD for the Sacred Writings we enjoy as English speaking believers! BTW, I am a member of a KJVP church and believe it is a wonderful translation.

Matthew Richards

So, how recent is this "new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is [that ]is tired[? ]" I'm not sure to which specific teaching you are alluding. My statements are predicated on the simple premise that the KJV is the inspired Word of God in English. Either it is or it isn't. I'll let you quibble about the other scholarly problems or ramifications that you may have with this issue. Please clarify your meaning.

Furthermore, do you equate the "orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow" to the Biblical teaching or what Scripture teaches. If so, how do we identify the reliable translations? Scholarship? Are there unreliable translations? How do we identify them. And do all the translations teach the same doctrine or the same thing? How so being diverse?

Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability? It would seem to my simple mind that scholarship assumes ascendancy if it determines what is and what is not Scripture. Finally, no one has explained to my satisfaction the role of the Holy Spirit in the scholarly definition, translation, textual criticism, and interpretation of Scripture. How does the Holy Spirit interact with reasoning and human scholarship?

RPittman's picture

Jim Peet wrote:

RPittman wrote:
.... God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

Isn't it a problem, however that there is no single identifiable text behind the KJV (or any other version)

Part 2 wrote:
Specific to the version issue, it should be noted that Erasmus, the individual often associated with the Greek text behind the KJV, had less than eight Greek manuscripts (all Byzantine in character and none earlier than the 10th century) when he prepared his now famous Greek NT. Even so, in evaluating the limited manuscripts he possessed ([color=red ]with no two identical in every reading[/color ]), Erasmus had to make text-critical decisions. Furthermore, the 1611 King James translators made extensive use of two of Beza’s Greek NT editions, both of which reflected text-critical decisions. Thus, the King James Version, like virtually every translation before and since, is based upon a text whose preparation involved text-critical decisions. That is not meant as a criticism, but merely an oft-overlooked fact.
This argument only holds water in a framework of modern rationalism that demands an observable, natural explanation for everything. This, my friend, is naturalism in embryonic form. If one, by reasonable faith in God's promises, believes that God has miraculously and inexplicably preserved His Word, then he doesn't need to understand the specific mechanism of preservation. In other words, understanding the mechanism of preservation is necessary for credible belief unless one holds some form of a naturalistic, rationalistic epistemology.

Furthermore, there is a little specious reasoning in the quote. Stating that "the King James Version, like virtually every translation before and since, is based upon a text whose preparation involved text-critical decisions" is assuming that the text is preserved through the quality of the scholarship and good "text-critical decisions." Not so, unless we are back to the preservation of God's Word being dependent upon scholarship, which raises scholarly decisions above the Word. These good men at Calvary overlooked the role of the Holy Spirit behind the scenes. No, I am not arguing re-inspiration here. As the Holy Spirit superintended the canonization of the Scriptures, I believe He also preserves and illumines the Scriptures, which are reasonable beliefs based on Scriptural teaching of the Holy Spirit's role. Thus, arguments about Erasmus and his manuscripts are pretty much superfluous and irrelevant because preservation depends on God, not human scholarship.

Furthermore, my preceding comments are criticisms of the Calvary's statement and position. I am disappointed in their rehashing and serving up the same old pabulum. These are men of reputation for scholarship and intellectual abilities, yet they show little of either in this article. Certain segments of Fundamentalism, I fear, are sliding into a self-justifying political correctness of an insipid intellectualism where degrees, positions, titles, and an aura of intellectual attainments persuade the gullible to accept intellectually bankrupt ideas. I may be an intellectual pariah but I simply cannot buy wobbly ideas because seminary professors write them.

RPittman's picture

dcbii wrote:
RPittman wrote:
The whole argument is predicated on a rationalistic epistemology that has not dealt effectively with the notion that God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text. Even so, the nature of the matter precludes its investigation and proof by scholarship. Furthermore, this methodology is based on disproving or failing to disprove hypotheses and it is incapable of establishing an universal proof. Thus, rationalism cannot establish this position because it cannot disprove the alternatives.

While this is true, the real problem for those who aren't KJV-only isn't that they can't disprove it, it's that the burden of proof lies on those who say that the KJV is God's only anointed Bible to prove that the Bible declares this will be the case (not proven by the KJVO advocates). For a KJVO person to just state "We believe the KJV (or the MT/TR for those 'softer' KJVO types) is the only acceptable version of God's word to man," and then throw a few barely related or completely unrelated scripture references around and expect it to be accepted as evidence any more than what you tend to call "rationalism" is completely unreasonable. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. However when the word of God states that not one jot or tittle will pass from the law, that makes no statement at all about a particular copy, TR, KJV, or otherwise. So-called "faith" that the KJV or TR (neither of which came into existence until fairly recently) is exactly what God is referring to here is not the kind of faith that comes by hearing the Word of God.

Most of us who are not KJVO (and I'm KJVP, by the way) are not standing up and saying that the KJV *isn't* God's word. It's the KJVO people saying that other translations are not God's word, that they are corrupt, perverted, etc. I understand you don't accept arguments you label as rationalism. Fine. But don't wonder so much when everyone else can't accept blind fideism being equated with "reasonable faith."

Quote:
Did it ever occur to these scholars that perhaps intentional scholarship, a human endeavor subject to the frailties of the human state, cannot establish that which is supernatural and transcends the scope of human reason.

Which is exactly why we can't make dogmatic statements beyond what God has revealed to us in scripture. (Personally, I would add inescapable logical conclusions of things stated clearly in scripture to that as well, for principle and application, but you would call that "rationalism.") Will God preserve his Word? Yes, he has revealed that to us. Will that word be preserved ONLY in the TR? That has not been revealed to us and cannot be stated dogmatically (at least not with scriptural support).

Since your view does not require observation or evidence, I wonder at your surprise and disappointment at it being called NOT "realistic," since realism depends on both of those things. I would think you want to completely disclaim a "realistic" view as being part of a paradigm you don't accept.

Well, Dave, you handled this rather well--you seem to understand my arguments and did not misconstrue my ideas too badly. However, you did make a big blunder in the last paragraph.

To say that my "view does not require observation or evidence" is wrong. It just does not require the same methodology and observation or evidence that modern rationalism requires. However, my faith in Christ Jesus depends upon the evidence of His resurrection. If He did not rise, then there is no basis for my faith. Yet, the evidence depends upon my faith in the veracity of the Scriptures. This appears to acceptable though. It is passing strange that my faith the truthfulness of Scripture is intellectually acceptable but that same faith in God's preservation of the same Scriptures is not intellectually acceptable because I have no proof satisfactory for a system of modern rationalism. Can you explain this strange paradox?

RPittman's picture

Susan R wrote:
Ditto Bro. Pittman. Just because you've met some dumb blondes doesn't mean all or most or even many are dumb, and it certainly doesn't mean there aren't any dumb brunettes or redheads.

It's those bald guys you gotta watch out for. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-fc/old.gif[/img ]


Susan, my wife is a natural blond and I'm bald . . . . so how do I make the application? :bigsmile:

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
...rationalistic epistemology that has not dealt effectively with the notion that God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

Quote:
...Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability?

Quote:
...unless we are back to the preservation of God's Word being dependent upon scholarship, which raises scholarly decisions above the Word

The whole rationalism/scholarship vs. Scripture thing is a false framing of the debate and a distraction from the real issue.

What does the Bible itself teach? If the Bible teaches that it will be continuously preserved in a single identifiable text, then to say otherwise might be exalting scholarship above Scripture. If it does not teach this, then yes--human beings must use their minds and exercise discernment in striving to identify the correct text in places where we have discrepancies in the MSS.
So the real issue is do we have a promise of this kind of preservation or not? There is no Scripture vs. rationalism conflict if the Bible does not teach this view of preservation. If there is no teaching in Scripture of this kind of preservation it is also true that people copying the Scriptures since OT times have had to compare MSS and make judgments about which are correct--and the whole "textual criticism" bogeyman is also a fantasy.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Matthew Richards's picture

RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

The new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is what is tired...few here get tired of hearing the orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow! Praise the LORD for the Sacred Writings we enjoy as English speaking believers! BTW, I am a member of a KJVP church and believe it is a wonderful translation.

Matthew Richards

So, how recent is this "new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is [that ]is tired[? ]" I'm not sure to which specific teaching you are alluding. My statements are predicated on the simple premise that the KJV is the inspired Word of God in English. Either it is or it isn't. I'll let you quibble about the other scholarly problems or ramifications that you may have with this issue. Please clarify your meaning.

Furthermore, do you equate the "orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow" to the Biblical teaching or what Scripture teaches. If so, how do we identify the reliable translations? Scholarship? Are there unreliable translations? How do we identify them. And do all the translations teach the same doctrine or the same thing? How so being diverse?

Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability? It would seem to my simple mind that scholarship assumes ascendancy if it determines what is and what is not Scripture. Finally, no one has explained to my satisfaction the role of the Holy Spirit in the scholarly definition, translation, textual criticism, and interpretation of Scripture. How does the Holy Spirit interact with reasoning and human scholarship?

Wilkinson started the ball rolling in the 1930's and Fuller brought the heresy from the Seventh Day Adventists to the fundy planet in 1970. Obviously Ruckman took up the fight as well and Jack Hyles entered the fray as a "johnny come lately" when his personal scandals began coming to light and he needed to circle the wagons.

Here is a novel idea foreign to some within Fundyism...exercise discernment. No translation of Scripture is inerrant--there are always some problems. The KJV is God's Word. Praise the LORD for the KJV! Copies and translations of Scripture are inerrant insofar as they are true to the inerrant autographs. Do you believe that the King James Version is perfect? Do you believe that it has zero translational or textual mistakes?

Matthew Richards

Jonathan Charles's picture

RPittman wrote:
Jonathan Charles wrote:
What is unrealistic is this statement:

RPittman wrote:
God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

There is NOTHING you can support this statement with.

No, your assertion is unrealistic because you must possess omniscience to support it. You cannot categorically state NOTHING exists unless you have exhaustively included all knowledge in your search. There are many ideas and much knowledge that you have not encountered. So, in effect, you are making a statement of faith--i.e. what you believe. Perhaps you ought to go back and think this thing through again.

I know what a universal negative proposition is; you are on logically shaky ground as well. Just as one cannot omnisciently say "God hasn't preserved His Word is a single text," you cannot omnisciently say that He has when God has not revealed that to us. Maybe you out to think this thing through again.

RPittman's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

The new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is what is tired...few here get tired of hearing the orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow! Praise the LORD for the Sacred Writings we enjoy as English speaking believers! BTW, I am a member of a KJVP church and believe it is a wonderful translation.

Matthew Richards

So, how recent is this "new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is [that ]is tired[? ]" I'm not sure to which specific teaching you are alluding. My statements are predicated on the simple premise that the KJV is the inspired Word of God in English. Either it is or it isn't. I'll let you quibble about the other scholarly problems or ramifications that you may have with this issue. Please clarify your meaning.

Furthermore, do you equate the "orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow" to the Biblical teaching or what Scripture teaches. If so, how do we identify the reliable translations? Scholarship? Are there unreliable translations? How do we identify them. And do all the translations teach the same doctrine or the same thing? How so being diverse?

Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability? It would seem to my simple mind that scholarship assumes ascendancy if it determines what is and what is not Scripture. Finally, no one has explained to my satisfaction the role of the Holy Spirit in the scholarly definition, translation, textual criticism, and interpretation of Scripture. How does the Holy Spirit interact with reasoning and human scholarship?

Wilkinson started the ball rolling in the 1930's and Fuller brought the heresy from the Seventh Day Adventists to the fundy planet in 1970. Obviously Ruckman took up the fight as well and Jack Hyles entered the fray as a "johnny come lately" when his personal scandals began coming to light and he needed to circle the wagons.

Ahhhhhhh . . . that's what I thought you were referencing . . . the standard old argument. Well, the real issue of Scriptural text came to a head with the proposal of a specific critical text theory by Westcott and Hort. This theory was opposed by John William Burgon, popularly known as Dean Burgon, and other godly men. I believe this predates Mr. Wilkinson considerably but there was a Fundamentalist grassroots opposition to the RSV when it was introduced that predates Fuller, Ruckman, and Hyles. They, no doubt, capitalized on this grassroots movement.

My point is that the Wilkinson-Fuller-Ruckman-Hyles scenario is a red herring. Whereas it is true that these men all held some form of KJVOism, the similarity ends there. You cannot compress all KJVO views into this narrow venue.

Quote:

Here is a novel idea foreign to some within Fundyism...exercise discernment.

Yeah, you need to be careful of whom you read and listen.
Quote:
No translation of Scripture is inerrant--there are always some problems.
So, how do you arrive at this conclusion? Is it not by a rationalistic process rather than Scripture. Can you establish this by Scripture as you ask the KJVO proponents to do?
Quote:
The KJV is God's Word.
Amen! I agree but you seem to think that God's Word contains errors according to your preceding statement.
Quote:
Praise the LORD for the KJV! Copies and translations of Scripture are inerrant insofar as they are true to the inerrant autographs.
Were there no inerrant copies?
Quote:
Do you believe that the King James Version is perfect?
Yes, it says what God intended to say. It is the Word of God. Would you anything less the Word of God?
Quote:
Do you believe that it has zero translational or textual mistakes?

Matthew Richards

Matthew, you need to retool your question. What are "translational or textual mistakes?" Think through the ramifications before you answer.

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Quote:
...rationalistic epistemology that has not dealt effectively with the notion that God has supernaturally preserved His Word in a single, identifiable text.

Quote:
...Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability?

Quote:
...unless we are back to the preservation of God's Word being dependent upon scholarship, which raises scholarly decisions above the Word

The whole rationalism/scholarship vs. Scripture thing is a false framing of the debate and a distraction from the real issue.
No, Aaron, you are mistaken. This is the most basic issue that determines all that follows. You are comfortable in your own little microcosm and refuse to entertain any unsettling thought outside of it. My point is that you are proposing the preservation of God's Word through intentional human scholarship. Thus, scholarship is the determiner in establishing the text, the very Word of God itself. When you promote an eclectic text, this is precisely what you are doing--letting scholarship (i.e. human reason) determine what is and what is not the Word of God. What else can you say?
Quote:

What does the Bible itself teach? If the Bible teaches that it will be continuously preserved in a single identifiable text, then to say otherwise might be exalting scholarship above Scripture. If it does not teach this, then yes--human beings must use their minds and exercise discernment in striving to identify the correct text in places where we have discrepancies in the MSS.

Apply this same standard to canonization and what do you have? Using the same arguments and criteria, you are forced to deny canonization.
Quote:

So the real issue is do we have a promise of this kind of preservation or not? There is no Scripture vs. rationalism conflict if the Bible does not teach this view of preservation. If there is no teaching in Scripture of this kind of preservation it is also true that people copying the Scriptures since OT times have had to compare MSS and make judgments about which are correct--and the whole "textual criticism" bogeyman is also a fantasy.
Aaron, how many times have I stated that my beef is with modern textual theory. This is an established theory and a methodology; it is not the simple comparing of texts and choosing the right one. You are using specious reasoning that won't hold up under scrutiny. It is every bit as much a red herring as the Wilkinson myth. Aaron, you're avoiding the issues instead of refuting them. If I read you correctly, you are a little bit fearful that my arguments might make sense to some reader so you attempt to discredit my arguments by ridicule. It's the old marginalization propaganda trick to discredit your opponent when you are weak in substance.

Forrest's picture

We need to get back to the truly inspired word of God in America today. This version is far more accurate and far more beautiful than any of these modern perversions.

It has been used as THE Bible of the church for 17 centuries. We need to get back to the inspired Vulgate text, translated by that saintly man Jerome.

Our pastor's need to get into the Latin text and expound the true Word of God! After all the Word of God says, " Omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata utilis est ad docendum, ad arguendum, ad corripiendum, et erudiendum in justitia." Epistola B. Pauli Apostoli ad Timotheum Secunda 3:16

This Bible is the true word of God "jota unum aut unus apex non praeteribit!"

Forrest Berry

Greg Long's picture

Forrest wrote:
We need to get back to the truly inspired word of God in America today. This version is far more accurate and far more beautiful than any of these modern perversions.

It has been used as THE Bible of the church for 17 centuries. We need to get back to the inspired Vulgate text, translated by that saintly man Jerome.

Our pastor's need to get into the Latin text and expound the true Word of God! After all the Word of God says, " Omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata utilis est ad docendum, ad arguendum, ad corripiendum, et erudiendum in justitia." Epistola B. Pauli Apostoli ad Timotheum Secunda 3:16

This Bible is the true word of God "jota unum aut unus apex non praeteribit!"


I like it, Forrest. The Vulgate is the only inspired, inerrant Word of God; all other translations are just vulgar!

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

RP wrote:
I know what a universal negative proposition is; you are on logically shaky ground as well. Just as one cannot omnisciently say "God hasn't preserved His Word is a single text," you cannot omnisciently say that He has when God has not revealed that to us. Maybe you out to think this thing through again.

No, he's right. "Universal negative?" Would it be a universal negative for me to say that there is no evidence that I'm a toad? You don't have to be omniscient to take a proposition off the table for lack of evidence.

RP wrote:
Apply this same standard to canonization and what do you have? Using the same arguments and criteria, you are forced to deny canonization.

Actually, I've never claimed that lack of biblical teaching for an idea proves the idea is false. Rather, it proves that the idea does not have biblical authority and must be supported by external evidence. It's true that canonization is a bit of a sticky wicket. But it's also true that the case of canonization is not parallel to case of word perfect preservation.
Historically, Christians have agreed that the true Scriptures are self-attesting and the church has simply recognized them. But this has not been done without a thought process and criteria. The criteria have included things like apostolic proximity, self-consistency, doctrinal agreement with the rest of Scripture, etc.
But there has never been any Christian consensus that each individual word is self attesting and we need only recognize it. If we try to take that position, we immediately run into the problem of criteria. Whatever is in the majority of known MSS? Whatever makes a doctrine seem stronger? Whatever makes for better grammar and style? Since scores of the differences are obscure details, there are no criteria that clearly point toward which words would be canonical. In a few cases, there is a point of doctrine. In quite a few there is just about nothing of consequence.

About textual criticism, the modern theory & practice are not monolithic. There are competing schools of thought. But they are all doing the same thing the ancients had to do: compare and decide. Majority texters have to compare MSS to determine majority readings (which differ from TR readings in several places). I don't know if there are really any pure Westcott-Horters left, but WH had their theories and many text critics draw some from WH but have have their own ideas about to weight things like geographical spread of a reading, MS family, quality of individual MSS, etc.

RP wrote:
So, how do you arrive at this conclusion? [that there are no inerrant translations ] Is it not by a rationalistic process rather than Scripture. Can you establish this by Scripture as you ask the KJVO proponents to do?

The basic problem with this reasoning is that we are not comparing equal assertions. If I understand you right, Roland, your view is that Scripture teaches word perfect preservation. Since this is an assertion about what Scripture teaches, Scriptural evidence is required. If your assertion was that external evidence indicates word perfect preservation (or even just "word perfect preservation is true"), no Scripture would be required... only the external evidence.

But the assertion you are attempting to counter here is that external evidence shows there are no inerrant translations. People who believe the Bible do need two lines of evidence for this: 1) the external evidence and 2) the absence of Scriptural teaching to the contrary.

If the assertion you are attempting to counter were that the Bible teaches there are no inerrant translations, then you'd have a strong argument in asking what the biblical evidence for that is. But nobody's really making that claim here I don't think.
(As it turns out, there is some biblical evidence for that, but that's another long post)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Matthew Richards's picture

RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

The new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is what is tired...few here get tired of hearing the orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow! Praise the LORD for the Sacred Writings we enjoy as English speaking believers! BTW, I am a member of a KJVP church and believe it is a wonderful translation.

Matthew Richards

So, how recent is this "new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is [that ]is tired[? ]" I'm not sure to which specific teaching you are alluding. My statements are predicated on the simple premise that the KJV is the inspired Word of God in English. Either it is or it isn't. I'll let you quibble about the other scholarly problems or ramifications that you may have with this issue. Please clarify your meaning.

Furthermore, do you equate the "orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow" to the Biblical teaching or what Scripture teaches. If so, how do we identify the reliable translations? Scholarship? Are there unreliable translations? How do we identify them. And do all the translations teach the same doctrine or the same thing? How so being diverse?

Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability? It would seem to my simple mind that scholarship assumes ascendancy if it determines what is and what is not Scripture. Finally, no one has explained to my satisfaction the role of the Holy Spirit in the scholarly definition, translation, textual criticism, and interpretation of Scripture. How does the Holy Spirit interact with reasoning and human scholarship?

Wilkinson started the ball rolling in the 1930's and Fuller brought the heresy from the Seventh Day Adventists to the fundy planet in 1970. Obviously Ruckman took up the fight as well and Jack Hyles entered the fray as a "johnny come lately" when his personal scandals began coming to light and he needed to circle the wagons.

Ahhhhhhh . . . that's what I thought you were referencing . . . the standard old argument. Well, the real issue of Scriptural text came to a head with the proposal of a specific critical text theory by Westcott and Hort. This theory was opposed by John William Burgon, popularly known as Dean Burgon, and other godly men. I believe this predates Mr. Wilkinson considerably but there was a Fundamentalist grassroots opposition to the RSV when it was introduced that predates Fuller, Ruckman, and Hyles. They, no doubt, capitalized on this grassroots movement.

My point is that the Wilkinson-Fuller-Ruckman-Hyles scenario is a red herring. Whereas it is true that these men all held some form of KJVOism, the similarity ends there. You cannot compress all KJVO views into this narrow venue.

Quote:

Here is a novel idea foreign to some within Fundyism...exercise discernment.

Yeah, you need to be careful of whom you read and listen.
Quote:
No translation of Scripture is inerrant--there are always some problems.
So, how do you arrive at this conclusion? Is it not by a rationalistic process rather than Scripture. Can you establish this by Scripture as you ask the KJVO proponents to do?
Quote:
The KJV is God's Word.
Amen! I agree but you seem to think that God's Word contains errors according to your preceding statement.
Quote:
Praise the LORD for the KJV! Copies and translations of Scripture are inerrant insofar as they are true to the inerrant autographs.
Were there no inerrant copies?
Quote:
Do you believe that the King James Version is perfect?
Yes, it says what God intended to say. It is the Word of God. Would you anything less the Word of God?
Quote:
Do you believe that it has zero translational or textual mistakes?

Matthew Richards

Matthew, you need to retool your question. What are "translational or textual mistakes?" Think through the ramifications before you answer.

Sorry, dear friend, but Dean Burgon was not KJVO. He did not believe in a perfect Received Text nor in a perfect KJV--his own words prove this. Looks like you are dead wrong on your red herring but feel free to try again. The new-fangled doctrine of KJVO did not really present itself until the Seventh Day Adventist, Wilkinson in the 1930's. If you read the Fundamentals and their position on the Scripture you will understand that KJVOnlyism was utterly rejected.

Copies and translations are inerrant insofar as they reflect the inerrant originals. I believe there are translational and textual mistakes in every translation but that is OK--these mistakes do not affect any cardinal doctrines. Jesus didn't quote along with the KJV when quoting the OT so I am OK with the same. So let me try again, do you believe that the KJV is free of any translational or textual mistakes? Consider how you answer before you utter a retort--you are on very dangerous ground here...LOL!

Matthew Richards

Forrest's picture

Thanks Greg, indeed all translations but the latin are vulgar!

RPittman,

Since you seem to be the only KJVO advocate on the thread, can you introduce me to the KJVO position?

I do know a small bit about textual criticism, but quite frankly, I do not know a lot about the specific beliefs or reasons of KJVO. I have heard bits and pieces, but only from a non-KJVO perspective.

To be transparent, I would follow an eclectic text base.

So, since I know so little of your position can you introduce me as if I was an ambivalent to KJVO in two to three paragraphs?

Thanks.

P.S. For those of you know are non-KJVO but understand that position I would rather hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

Forrest Berry

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Will leave most for "the horses' mouth," but want to point out that there is not a single KJVO view. James White and others have categorized the variants. Some KJVOs believe the KJV is imperfect but is nonetheless the best available English translation and that it is foolish to use less than the best. Some might term this KJV-preferred, but these are not always satisfied with that term.
Another group holds that the KJV is uniquely preserved and perfect on that basis. Usually this view includes the idea that there is one preserved translation in each major language group (some say "one reformation era" translation).
Another group holds that the KJV translators were inspired during the process of translation. Usually this includes the idea that Greek texts can be corrected from the English and that foreign language Bibles should be translated from the KJV.

There are other variants as well, I'm sure.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

RPittman's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Matthew Richards wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Furthermore, the article is not an impartial survey of the positions or an objective look at the issue. The title, Plea for Realism, stacks the deck against those of a differing view inferring that they are not realistic. It would appear that those who appeal to objectivity are not objective themselves.

The new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is what is tired...few here get tired of hearing the orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow! Praise the LORD for the Sacred Writings we enjoy as English speaking believers! BTW, I am a member of a KJVP church and believe it is a wonderful translation.

Matthew Richards

So, how recent is this "new-fangled teaching of the KJVO is [that ]is tired[? ]" I'm not sure to which specific teaching you are alluding. My statements are predicated on the simple premise that the KJV is the inspired Word of God in English. Either it is or it isn't. I'll let you quibble about the other scholarly problems or ramifications that you may have with this issue. Please clarify your meaning.

Furthermore, do you equate the "orthodox Christian and historic Fundy view that Scripture is inspired and we have reliable translations to study and follow" to the Biblical teaching or what Scripture teaches. If so, how do we identify the reliable translations? Scholarship? Are there unreliable translations? How do we identify them. And do all the translations teach the same doctrine or the same thing? How so being diverse?

Of course, the real question is the matter of scholarship and Scripture. Which is superior if scholarship is the determiner of Scripture whether in translation, interpretation, or reliability? It would seem to my simple mind that scholarship assumes ascendancy if it determines what is and what is not Scripture. Finally, no one has explained to my satisfaction the role of the Holy Spirit in the scholarly definition, translation, textual criticism, and interpretation of Scripture. How does the Holy Spirit interact with reasoning and human scholarship?

Wilkinson started the ball rolling in the 1930's and Fuller brought the heresy from the Seventh Day Adventists to the fundy planet in 1970. Obviously Ruckman took up the fight as well and Jack Hyles entered the fray as a "johnny come lately" when his personal scandals began coming to light and he needed to circle the wagons.

Ahhhhhhh . . . that's what I thought you were referencing . . . the standard old argument. Well, the real issue of Scriptural text came to a head with the proposal of a specific critical text theory by Westcott and Hort. This theory was opposed by John William Burgon, popularly known as Dean Burgon, and other godly men. I believe this predates Mr. Wilkinson considerably but there was a Fundamentalist grassroots opposition to the RSV when it was introduced that predates Fuller, Ruckman, and Hyles. They, no doubt, capitalized on this grassroots movement.

My point is that the Wilkinson-Fuller-Ruckman-Hyles scenario is a red herring. Whereas it is true that these men all held some form of KJVOism, the similarity ends there. You cannot compress all KJVO views into this narrow venue.

Quote:

Here is a novel idea foreign to some within Fundyism...exercise discernment.

Yeah, you need to be careful of whom you read and listen.
Quote:
No translation of Scripture is inerrant--there are always some problems.
So, how do you arrive at this conclusion? Is it not by a rationalistic process rather than Scripture. Can you establish this by Scripture as you ask the KJVO proponents to do?
Quote:
The KJV is God's Word.
Amen! I agree but you seem to think that God's Word contains errors according to your preceding statement.
Quote:
Praise the LORD for the KJV! Copies and translations of Scripture are inerrant insofar as they are true to the inerrant autographs.
Were there no inerrant copies?
Quote:
Do you believe that the King James Version is perfect?
Yes, it says what God intended to say. It is the Word of God. Would you anything less the Word of God?
Quote:
Do you believe that it has zero translational or textual mistakes?

Matthew Richards

Matthew, you need to retool your question. What are "translational or textual mistakes?" Think through the ramifications before you answer.

Sorry, dear friend, but Dean Burgon was not KJVO. He did not believe in a perfect Received Text nor in a perfect KJV--his own words prove this. Looks like you are dead wrong on your red herring but feel free to try again. The new-fangled doctrine of KJVO did not really present itself until the Seventh Day Adventist, Wilkinson in the 1930's. If you read the Fundamentals and their position on the Scripture you will understand that KJVOnlyism was utterly rejected.

Well, friend, you are not reading well between the lines. Like Bill Clinton, you are answering a question that I didn't ask. I did not say Burgon was KJVO; you assumed that's what I said. It's really rather boring having to explain and explain my points again and again because folks read their own assumptions into them. Burgon's objection was to Westcott & Hort's theory of textual criticism. I think I said that. This is foundational to any critique of modern versions, which almost all are based on an eclectic sort of text spawned by some descendant of Westcott-Hort theory. Furthermore, you are assuming that to be KJVO, one must hold to "a perfect Received Text [or ] in a perfect KJV" as you conceptualize it. I seriously doubt that your concept of "a perfect Received Text [or ] in a perfect KJV" jives with mine. You would do better to stick to what I've stated rather than trying to read my thoughts behind my statements. So, don't feel too smug that you've refuted me. Just because Wilkinson said it doesn't mean that it originated with him or that KJVO's got their ideas from him. You must show causality.
Quote:

Copies and translations are inerrant insofar as they reflect the inerrant originals.

What do you mean that "[c ]opies and translations are inerrant insofar as they reflect the inerrant originals?" Are you speaking of a one-to-one correspondence or a consensus in meaning?
Quote:
I believe there are translational and textual mistakes in every translation but that is OK--these mistakes do not affect any cardinal doctrines. Jesus didn't quote along with the KJV when quoting the OT so I am OK with the same. So let me try again, do you believe that the KJV is free of any translational or textual mistakes?
So, what is a mistake? A grammatical error? Or is it something that God did not say? Or, does it say something other than what God intended? There is no simple answer to your question.
Quote:
Consider how you answer before you utter a retort--you are on very dangerous ground here...LOL!

Matthew Richards

I appreciate good humor, even at my own expense, but I am afraid that your attempt at ridicule or sarcasm fails.

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
RP wrote:
I know what a universal negative proposition is; you are on logically shaky ground as well. Just as one cannot omnisciently say "God hasn't preserved His Word is a single text," you cannot omnisciently say that He has when God has not revealed that to us. Maybe you out to think this thing through again.

No, he's right. "Universal negative?" Would it be a universal negative for me to say that there is no evidence that I'm a toad? You don't have to be omniscient to take a proposition off the table for lack of evidence.
Aaron, I know that you, like me, are probably writing on the fly but I think you misappropriated a quote. I did not write the above. That's okay, Aaron. We all make mistakes--it's the human thing. :bigsmile:

Saying "There is NOTHING you can support this statement with" is different from demanding evidence or saying "I see no evidence supporting this statement." Yes, it is an universal negative because it declares that something does not exist anywhere at anytime. But to quibble over this is inane.

And as for your being a toad . . . . . I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Cool

Daniel's picture

RPittman, because I have never done that much study on Burgon (we briefly discussed him in Greek Seminar in college), was his opposition to Westcott and Hort due to their theory of textual criticism, their primacy of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, and or...? Thanks.

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