A common criticism of the eclectic and critical text guys is the bad treatment of the KJV crowd. I think they're mainly referring to the English inspirationists (Ruckman). I've often said that the eclectic/critical crowd is nearly as bad. Consider these statements made in their articles and consider whether they contribute edification on this issue.
Mike Harding: "the unending KJV only non-sense"
Jon Pratt: "The fallacies of sound logic, revisionist historicism, and bold-faced scare tactics employed by King James Only supporters are not characteristics of scholarly fundamentalism (and no, this is not an oxymoron) and are, instead, an indelible stain on the garments of modern-day fundamentalism."
Dave Doran: "wide variety of theological and ministerial goofballs," "the lunacy in defense of the KJVO position."
KJVO people hold no corner on name-calling and insults, so let's let that one rest. Please. You can't complain about one side doing it and then do it yourself. If you're going to do it, then you have to leave it alone.
I can't put my finger on what fundamentalists really believe about separation. I had one tell me that it is impossible to be consistent in matters of separation. Doran laid out the DBTS terms of separation, however, in very clear fashion. This is one doctrine that he will separate over.
(1) our church and ministry will not have fellowship with any who claim for an English translation what can only be properly claimed for the autographs; and (2) we will not have fellowship with those who refuse to break fellowship from those who hold such false doctrine.
Doran lowers the gauntlet on this issue. I too believe we should separate over false bibliology and that's what I want to talk about.
Scripture should provide our basis for separation. We are separating over a doctrine or practice that the Bible teaches. So we look to the Bible to find out what the it says about itself. That sounds simple---just study the Bible. And it is. But not as simple as some make of it. To come to the right position on an issue, I have taught five criteria to our church.
1. Conversion --- The Holy Spirit illuminates those whom He indwells (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).
2. Study the Bible --- This is more than looking up verses in Strong's Concordance or checking out a commentary or systematic theology. This means understanding the Words in their context, their syntax, the usage of those Words elsewhere, comparing scripture with scripture, etc. (2 Timothy 2:15).
3. Historic Confirmation --- Since no doctrine is new, we look to see whether people believed it in history. If we can't find historic confirmation, we better have a lot of scriptural support to overturn what we do see in history. History doesn't have authority, but we would expect a perpetuity for the truth---no total apostasy (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Timothy 4:1).
4. Church Agreement --- The New Testament church should agree with the position. The Holy Spirit authenticates truth through those He indwells (1 Corinthians 3:16; John 16:13).
5. Courage --- If the Bible tells us something different than what we believe and practice, we must be willing to change (Hebrews 11).
Having my above stated criteria in mind, what are some of the main points that we see about Scripture in Scripture?
Pas graphe theopneustos kai ophelimos. 2 Timothy 3:16. Every writing is God breathed and is profitable. Graphe is an anarthrous (no definite article, "the") noun and the general rule is that an anarthrous adjective (theopneustos) related to an anarthrous noun (pas graphe) is normally predicate. Even though the graphe is anarthrous, the pas makes the noun graphe as definite as the article, so the adjective, theopneustos must be predicate. A copula is lacking, so it is supplied in the English. The natural place the copula goes is between the subject (pas graphe) and the first word that follows it (theopneustos). It is normal for the copula to be left out when it is obvious to the audience where it should be. It is obvious here.
We know that God breathed every writing in the past, but the assumption here is that what He breathed out continues to be that which He has breathed out, because it "is" breathed out by Him. The adjective theopneustos makes an assertion about the subject pas graphe. Writings that were breathed out continue to be breathed out. Like a child that is born continues to be born, the Words that God breathed continued to be His Words, continue to be breathed out by Him after He first breathed them.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 teach the sufficiency of Scripture. But what is sufficient? It is pas graphe that is sufficient. The assumption again is that we will have all of the Words. If being throughly furnished unto every good work is dependent upon pas graphe (every writing), then we would assume that we would have every writing. This is a logical conclusion that we get from these two verses when we are attempting to get our doctrine from the actual verses of scripture. We'll come back to this later, because it doesn't fit so much under the doctrine of inspiration.
The writings that God breathed out were Hebrew and Greek. Those were what He inspired. To say that English words are breathed out would be to say that God breathed out new Words after the completion of the canon (in contradiction to Revelation 22:18-19). That is false bibliology. Scripture doesn't say that.
So what about an English translation of those Hebrew and Greek writings? Is it inspired? That is where we have to come up with some new bibliological words to describe inspiration as it relates to a translation. I have no problem using the terminology "derivative inspiration." An accurate translation that properly represents the Hebrew and Greek writings is derived from those writings. With that in mind, we can call an English translation inspired.
God's Words, which He breathed out, are different with Him having breathed them. The Words have the breath of God in them. How do we know this? By what Scripture says about them. At least two verses come to my mind:
John 6:63, 68, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. . . . [T]hou hast the words of eternal life."
Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Psalm 19:7-10 also validate that the Words that God breathed out are significantly extraordinary.
How do men go astray on inspiration? They believe in natural inspiration or conceptual inspiration. They deny inspiration. They don't believe every writing was inspired. In certain cases men have taken a new position of "double inspiration," that is, that God had inspired the Hebrew and Greek writings, but He has done it again in an English translation, the King James Version. All of these go astray from a scriptural position. If we are going to protect the doctrine of inspiration and honor what God has said, we must separate over it. I think that is what Dave Doran is saying that he believes, that we separate over this scriptural doctrine.
More to Come!