How has God preserved His Word? Should you place your faith in the science of textual criticism to restore the New Testament text, bit by bit? Or, should you simply believe, by faith, that God has already preserved His Word in the manuscript tradition which has been preserved and used by the church down through the centuries?
In a book which he edited, entitled Thou Shalt Keep Them, Kent Brandenburg argued for the primacy of the Textus Receptus and, more specifically, the King James Version of the Bible. In this excerpt, he explains why he believes a Christian must accept this by faith.1
Living by faith is so integral to and synonymous with Biblical Christianity, and such a foundational truth in the New Testament, that this declaration of the Lord to Habakkuk is quoted three times in New Testament passages (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). The believer is a believer; he lives by faith because that is what it is to be a Christian. Faith is the basis of the righteousness from which someone lives (Rom 1:17; Gal. 3:11). Those who do not live by faith are apostates and the Lord has no pleasure in them (Heb. 10:38). Faithlessness is a serious issue for serious people.
Mark Ward: I can’t seem to find a single person in all of KJV-Onlyism who has ever publicly asked the question, “How do we know when English has changed so much that the KJV will need to be revised or updated?” They don’t seem interested in imagining circumstances in which their viewpoint is overturned.
Mark Ward: "[H]enceforth and forevermore, God helping me, I will not discuss textual criticism with people who insist on the exclusive use of the KJV . . . [v]ernacular translation is the only issue I’ll debate. Resolved: the KJV is not—or rather, is no longer—a vernacular translation. Let’s talk English."
The Doctrine of Scripture: As It Relates to the Transmission and Preservation of the Text by Jason Harris is published by InFocus Ministries in Australia. I’m excited to recommend this new book to our readers here in the United States as I believe this book can go a long way toward helping those confused or entangled by King James Onlyism. Jason is a long-time SI member, and that is one reason why I am enthusiastic about this book. Another reason is more selfish: I was privileged to write the foreword to this book.
The King James-only view argues that only the 1611 KJV is the Word of God in English. All other versions or translations are so corrupt that they are not to be used, nor be appealed to as the Word of God. Most KJV-only advocates contend that the printed Greek text from which the KJV was translated, commonly called the Textus Receptus (TR), is inspired and inerrant, and the KJV is the only translation that accurately translates the TR. But this is not true. The New King James Version (NKJV) is also translated from the TR. Being TR based, the NKJV cannot so easily be discounted by KJV-only proponents. Therefore, they seek to find other ways to disqualify the NKJV.
A common complaint against the NKJV by KJV-only advocates is the use of notes provided by the translators. For example, D. A. Waite says:
The diabolical nature of the New King James Version shows itself in their printing all the various readings of the Greek text in the footnotes. They print all sides and take their stand in favor of none of them. By so doing, they confuse the readers. The editors have made no decision as to what God’s Words really are (Defending the King James Bible, p. 125).
William P. Grady sounds a similar warning: