Monday, October 20, 2014

The Two Most Important Facts about the Bible Version Issue -- Ignored or Covered Up

Frontline magazine, a publication arm of the FBFI, dealt with the Bible Version issue in its latest edition, which led to a so-far short discussion at SharperIron.  Our book is mentioned and referenced in one of the articles (you should buy and read the book).  When you read discussions such as these, the two most important facts about the Bible Version issue are either ignored or covered up in what seems like a conspiratorial manner.

Most people who use new or contemporary translations of the Bible think that the issue is readability. They think their churches use a newer translation, because they are easier to read.  They do not know that there is a textual issue, that their new Bibles are not the same.  They don't know that, and the men in charge are glad to have them continue thinking under that delusion.  They don't care.  And they will not bring in the doctrine of preservation.  That is left out of bibliology.  It would clash with practice.

The two most important facts about the Bible Version issue are the following two:

The Bible Teaches Its Own Perfect Preservation and General Accessibility

Our book expounds important passages that teach the preservation of scripture.  Our exegesis represents the passages.  You will find many, many men through history writing the same meaning that we say these sections of scripture or verses mean.  Still today, men looking at the passages in their context know they teach what we are saying they do.  It is easy to see that the Bible itself teaches that God would preserve every one of His Words to be accessible to every generation of believers. You will flesh that out from God's Word.  And we could have brought in even more verses than we did, and probably will in a future second volume.

The average Christian, when he reads his Bible, will think that we have the Bible.  He will not come to the position from reading the Bible that he doesn't have all the Words of God.  He will think that he does.  It will take someone from the outside to put a spin on that particular teaching, to have him think otherwise.  Your rank and file church member, who just reads his Bible, believes in this same position on the Bible.  The Bible is very clear about its own preservation.

You will not read anything coming from textual critics on what the Bible teaches about preservation.  It has only been recently and as a reaction to men who have published a biblical theology of the perfect preservation of scripture, that you have started to see some interaction to a bibliology of preservation.  Men are trying to figure out how to fit these passages in with textual criticism and having a difficult time.  The doctrine was not a basis of textual criticism.  The practice of textual criticism was atheological and even anti-theological.  The textual critics themselves say that you can't go into figuring out what the words of the Bible with any kind of scriptural or theological presuppositions.  Instead, you have to allow the evidence to lead you to the truth.  And when they say that, they don't mean to absolute certainty of what the words are.  They don't think you will ever know, which flies in the face of what God says you will know.

What I read are attacks on the doctrine of preservation.  A common statement that has been answered many, many times, and is answered in our book is this bit of propaganda that the Bible says God preserved His Word, but He didn't say how He would do it.  Since this has been written on and answered, at this point, all the forms of that statement are a lie.

The Bible tells us how God would preserve His Words.  It is all over the place in the Bible.  It's not a matter of the Bible not saying, but of men not accepting what God said.  They won't accept it, but it is part of the strategy for ignoring or covering up the doctrine of preservation of scripture.

The eclectic and critical text position, that denies perfect preservation, by the way, is the same position taken by Islam and the Jehovah's Witnesses on the doctrine of preservation.  The major argument for Islam against the Bible is that it has not been preserved.  I don't think that is the best argument against eclectic and critical text, but it should be tell-tale.

Some of the most vocal critics against the biblical position call it a stupid position.  They attack the intellect of it.  It isn't intellectual just to believe what God said He would do.  It's also not intellectual to believe in the miracles of the Bible, young earth creationism, and justification by grace through faith alone.  A faith position is often called the stupid position, but you should still take it, because when you believe what God said He would do, you are following wisdom from above, not the wisdom of this world, which is earthly, sensual, and devilish.

True Believers Have Also Taken the Position of Perfect Preservation and General Accessibility of Scripture

The Frontline article said that systematic theologies don't have a doctrine of preservation in them.  To its credit, I believe the article was saying that was bad.  However, a true statement is that modern systematic theologies have left it out.  You will find it in the old theologies.  It is a major teaching of Francis Turretin and John Owen among others.

You will also find this position, the one we show is what the Bible teaches, is the one that Christians historically believed for hundreds of years.  That is left unreported.  People will not say that this is true.  Many will not.  This, my friends, is dishonest.  They at least should be required to deal with the arguments made for centuries and they don't.  They act like history started in the late 19th century. If anything is stupid, that is.  And then they have to think we're all stupid to think the way they do.

You can find many, many men who have written the perfect preservation position.  It was the only position taught.  Daniel Wallace has admitted that, to his credit, unlike fundamentalists.  Bart Ehrman knows the Bible teaches preservation like I'm saying and he knows that this is what people believed. He, however, wasn't willing to believe it, because his "evidence" told him otherwise, so he pushed the eject button on the Christian faith.  Wallace doesn't want that, so he comes up with a new position and even a new doctrine of inerrancy.  And many fundamentalists and evangelicals will defend him on that.  This is how important it is to them to keep people away from the true doctrine of preservation.

I have written about the history here many times.  I have debunked all these things here.  I don't get answers.  You won't get answers.  You get ignored and ad hominem attack.

However, these two facts, the two in bold print above, are the most important to the Bible Version issue.  If you know and believe these two, then you are left with the King James Version.  That's why.  It is not out of loyalty to the English or to King James or to tradition.  It is because it is the conclusion you are left with.

I noticed that one person commented that the KJV side has been badly defeated in debates on the issue.  I would agree that the debate is cherry picked against the most inept debater.  I slam dunked over a little person.  There hasn't been a good debate on this.  I've also said I would be glad to debate the issue.  I did debate Frank Turk at his debate blog.  You should read that debate.  If he had won the debate, you would have been hearing it all over the internet.  But, alas, crickets. It would be proclaimed far and wide.  The fact that you hear nothing about it is because he lost that debate. Granted, he isn't the best to debate the other side, but I don't think it would go much different if it were James White, Daniel Wallace, or Bart Ehrman.  The truth will win out.  Others could fog or red herring a little more, but they don't have the truth on their side.

So again, what I'm saying here, and what we teach, is what the Bible teaches.  And, it is what Christians have believed for hundreds of years.  It's all you read as a position until post textual criticism.  Were all those people wrong?  Was this a total apostasy of the true doctrine of preservation?  Which is what?   The other side hasn't produced their treatment of preservation.  They didn't start with what the Bible says.  What does that say about their position?  Hopefully, that is bad to you.

These are the two most important facts about the Bible Version issue, and they are either ignored or covered up.  I say that it seems conspiratorial. Why?  If you are not sure what the words of God are, then you will not believe them and practice them.  This is an attack on God and His Word, on the faith once delivered.


Anonymous said...

I did not need to get convinced historically or base my evidence on textual preservation. As you said, the bible itself speaks clearly about the scriptures being preserved. All I needed to do is read along with my NIV while one was reading a King James Bible. It was apparent that one was a fraud, for I knew by faith, even reading an NIV that something was wrong! Suffice it to say, all I did was read Ephesians 1 in a King James Bible and KNEW that this was the true bible and the NIV was corrupt. Threw that false book out two years after my conversion.

The just shall live by faith, and it is obvious today that my faith has substance and it has evidence beyond historical or textual evidence (though both are on the side of the Holy King James Bible), for the scriptures that I read are those of the Holy Ghost, living and eternal.

I praise the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God for his unspeakable gift of absolute truth and authority as found in that Holy King James Bible.

Tyler Robbins said...


I strongly encourage anybody who reads this to buy Bro. Brandenburg's book. I don't agree with his position at all, but his is probably the absolute best book there is on the other side of this issue.

I read about half of it a few years back. I need to sit down and read the whole thing again with the benefit of more experience and a bit more wisdom!

Don't restrict yourself to scoffing at Riplinger's book and other low-hanging fruit! Get Bro. Brandenburg's book for a legitimate and thought-provoking take on this issue!

No, I was not paid to offer this endorsement . . . !

Kent Brandenburg said...

If this post is true, which it is, some people have some problems with God. They should be concerned about Him.

Joshua said...

I read that debate back in 2009 when I first discovered this blog, and most of it went over my head. I have to say that that debate with Frank Turk is an extremely heartening read now that I've got a firmer grasp on the debate.

He did ask some good questions, but it was fascinating how he stayed away from defining a Scriptural position like the plague despite constant attempts to draw him on it. You show up to talk Bible with these guys and they want to talk anything but. Heartening indeed.

Mike Wood said...

Kent, you've probably written about it elsewhere, but your opening comments make me wonder: is readability an issue? I mean, if you get the text right, wouldn't it be okay in principle to make a new English translation of the Bible? In my own evangelism I find it extremely difficult to get anyone to understand the verses we read together. I always end up "translating" the KJV whenever I use it, and it goes beyond archaic wording. It's also syntax and the lack of punctuation. Many times I have wondered—"Why not just get a new translation of the right text?"

What are your thoughts?


Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Mike,

I'm on the road right now and not able to comment, I don't think, although maybe, depending. In the meantime, before I answer your question, what about the point of the post? Is it legitimate?