Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why I'm King James and the Contrast with a Dangerous King James Version Position

Like many English speaking people, I rely on the King James Version.  I have biblical reasons.  There are biblical reasons.  The number one biblical reason is the doctrine of divine, perfect preservation of the text of scripture in the language in which it was written.  The Bible teaches its own perfect preservation, including how it was to be and is preserved by God.  This is also the historical view. The view I believe is also the view, the only view, of believers for centuries.  The King James Version is translated from that text of scripture.  There is no other English translation from that text.  For that reason, I trust the King James Version.

Translation is good.  Jesus translated.  His translation was accepted as the Word of God.  The apostles translated.  God knew translation was necessary.  God's Word isn't lost through translation.  A major reason for this is that God created man in His image with the capacity of language.   God created language.  Adam and Eve spoke in the Garden of Eden from the get-go.  Languages can be translated into other languages, because God created it that way.  You can read Don Quixote in English and understand it, even though it was was originally written in Spanish.  You can read The Art of War in English even though it was written in Chinese.

The only biblical position is that God preserved His Words, all of them and every one of them, in the language in which they were written.  For purposes of this post, I'm focusing on "the language in which they were written."  If you believe that God has preserved His Word in the English language, then you do not believe the biblical and historical position.  You don't even believe in divine, perfect preservation.  There is no way that you could.  You deny preservation.  You deny the biblical doctrine. You take a strange, new doctrine not even passed down by His people in true churches.

First, preservation entails preserving something.  It preserves something that was there already.  If it wasn't there, it isn't preservation.  Translation itself is not preservation.  What is preserved existed already.  The English language didn't exist in the first century.  The English language began with the arrival of three Germanic tribes, the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes, crossing the North Sea from now Denmark to Britain during the 5th century AD.  I stress, "began," because there was still no English for quite awhile, because the Angles and the Saxons still needed to combine to the degree that a hybrid, AngloSaxon, could become a different and new language.  That was Old English, which was English until 1100.  As you observe it below, you will see that you cannot read it, because it is so different in nature than even Middle English.
As you look at Old English, you don't see Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, do you?  You can't even read the above Old English.  It is a foreign language to you if you are English speaking.  You would have had to learn Old English to read it.  It isn't spoken anymore.

God did not move holy men of God to write Old English.  The King James Version, however, wasn't even written in Middle English, the language of Chaucer and Canterbury Tales.  The King James translators translated the Hebrew and Greek that was preserved by God into Modern English, the language of William Shakespeare.  The English of today is still Modern English, even though it is late Modern English.  God did not preserve His Word in Old, Middle, or Modern English.  The English Bible of Alfred the Great wasn't the English Bible of Oliver Cromwell.

A person who believes that God preserved His Words in English in fact denies the preservation of scripture.  God preserves what He wrote.  He didn't write English.  This is so simple that it should insult someone's intelligence.  I'm hoping this insults your intelligence.  Yet, this that insults the intelligence is very common among independent Baptists among others.  They are insulted, but insulted because I'm saying God didn't preserve scripture in English.

With a prescience of what would occur regarding His Word, God in the Bible says that He would preserve "jots and tittles," which are letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  "Scripture" itself refers to the writings, the actual etchings or markings.  God would preserve the Words He inspired.  We should all be happy about that.  There are reasons God inspired His Words in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The concepts of the New Testament come through the Greek language.  We translate into English, but the very Words of God are Greek ones in the New Testament.

Many independent Baptists do not believe in the preservation of scripture.  They say, "We do believe in it -- it's in the English."  That is not preservation of scripture.  I'm saying that I don't believe the same as many independent and unaffiliated Baptists.  They believe this novel and untenable English-preservation position.

I've noticed that a bunch of King James guys will get together and they'll be together with the thought that they are all King James guys, so it's all OK.  If you get past the idea that they all use the King James and look under the surface, you see something different.  Some believe in preservation of scripture and some do not.  Some King James guys don't believe in preservation of scripture any more than a critical text guy.

My church, our church, separates over doctrine and practice.  The doctrine I believe isn't the King James Version.  I rely on the King James Version because of the text from which it is translated.  That text is the one preserved.  The doctrine is the preservation of scripture.  We separate over the denial of that doctrine.  King James men who do not believe in preservation should not get a pass from me.  I know what I'm doing when I give them a pass.  I'm saying that the doctrine isn't what matters, but that you have the approved translation.  I know I'm doing it.  It bothers me.  I know what I'm doing.  I'm starting by laying this out on the table.  It isn't going to continue.  I'm not going to keep giving a pass here.  These men do not believe in the promises of God in His Word.  They are not living by faith. They are not pleasing God.

I've been questioned on my King James position as though I'm less King James than other men, who also use the King James.  These men talk or behave as though they have the more authentic, approved King James position.  To them the King James is the final authority for faith and practice.  English is the final authority to them.  If it isn't the final authority to me, they see me as not suitably King James.  If that's what they believe, they are right that we are different, so if they separate over doctrine, I would understand their questioning.  I don't take offense at that.  I'm just saying that the very question itself manifests that they know there is a difference too.

Let me give an example that comes to mind.  1 Corinthians 13:8 says that "prophecies, they shall fail . . . . knowledge, it shall vanish away."  "They shall fail" and "it shall vanish away" -- those are different words, right?  Wrong.  They are the same Greek verb, kartargeo.  Those hearing this passage in the first century knew that Paul was using the same Greek word.  English speakers today might not know that, but it shouldn't be denied once they know.  The first is a third person plural, because the referent is plural, prophecies, and the second is a third person singular, because the referent is singular, knowledge.  That's the only difference, but it is the same exact Greek verb in both cases, both future tense, passive voice, from katargeo.  You don't have to know Greek to figure that out.  You could find it in Strong's Concordance.

On our missionary questionnaire that we give to potential missionaries to support, we have the following two multiple choice questions (all 34 questions are multiple choice):
The Bible has been perfectly preserved....
a.     Somewhere in the abundance of all the manuscripts, the hand copies from copies of the original manuscripts.
b.     In the underlying Hebrew and Greek text behind the King James Version.
c.     In the English translation of the King James Version. 
In studying the King James Version New Testament, I would primarily study the words by....
a. Finding what the underlying Greek word is and means.
b. Looking up the English word in the dictionary.
Missionaries who call or write to schedule a meeting with us will sometimes (often) answer "c" to the first question and "b" to the second.  These are the people I'm talking about.

Since there is no way that God preserved His Words in the English, what is the actual position being espoused here?  I would want to be as kind as possible to say that some have not thought this through all the way to the end.  I don't know.  The position, however, must be something that has been called "double inspiration."  If the English takes precedent over the original language, then the English has authority over the original language.  Something in the way of inspiration occurred with the translators, the Holy Spirit moving on them like He did with the human authors of the originals.

In translation work, the people who believe the above also believe that translations  to non-English languages should come from the King James Version.  They would support translators who go from the English to the receptor language.  It is no wonder that critical text supporters view this King James position like that of the Latin Vulgate with Roman Catholicism.  There are similarities.

The position I'm describing departs from the Bible and from historic Christian doctrine.  Some would call it "heresy," and I would understand that.  It corrupts the true doctrine of inspiration and of preservation.  This position has taken on almost sacramental nature among some independent and unaffiliated Baptists.  They are more serious about that position than they are the gospel.

Very often, I've noticed that the ones with this advanced Holy Spirit revelation of the King James Version also look for the Holy Spirit to keep talking to them today.  It fits.  The double inspiration of the KJV would be a form of continuationism.  It is consistent with a position that the Holy Spirit is still talking.  The two go together and are very often both believed.  You will hear the same language, both positions.  The KJV translators must have received some special unction and these men are still receiving some special unction of the Spirit that tells them what to preach, who to preach to, and whether to build a building.

A very common position on the Bible among independent and unaffiliated Baptists is false and dangerous.

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pastor Brandenburg,

I think the position here well communicates what I read in the Scriptures. I am disappointed that so many disparage the original languages. I think churches would do well to teach them to their people. The believers themselves should highly honor those languages and want to learn them because such knowledge can enhance their understanding of immutable truth (knowledge can also puff up, of course, but that's no argument to remain uninformed/ignorant).

I liked those two questions from your questionnaire – well worded. Would you mind posting the rest of your questions :)

Thanks.

E. T. Chapman

Daniel Holmes said...

Pastor Brandenburg,

You are really on a row here lately with your articles! I really appreciate the Biblical clarity here on this blog and appreciate this ministry of yours. Just wanted to voice my full-throated agreement with your recent posts.

I got behind a pulpit in Texas a couple of years ago to read the words in BOLD, underlined, and italicized: "Use ONLY King James English! NO GREEK! NO HEBREW!"

Daniel Holmes

Anonymous said...

What would you say to the objection of which Greek texts did the King James translators use? Assuming they had access and used multiple Greek copies to translate the KJB. How did they use the inspired and inerrant text?

Paul

Terry Basham, II said...

i was sitting with a pastor friend recently in a bible conference - we were listening to a lecture on the bible - from the trinitarian bible society view point.

i looked over and my friend was following the sermon - with a greek new testament... pretty unusual experience for me.

it was an independent baptist meeting... mind blown.

Kent, if a guy wanted to start work on learning greek and hebrew but was not near a seminary (of any kind) what do you suggest?

-

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi E.T.,

Thanks. I support people who use the KJV and don't know Greek. They can do fine with the KJV. The KJV itself doesn't support their erroneous position on inspiration and preservation. However, I believe there are good reasons to learn Greek and at least some Hebrew if one would be willing to consider them. Thanks again.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Daniel,

Thank you.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your question. It is a question asked as well by critical text supporters. Scripture doesn't teach that God would preserve the physical original manuscript or one perfect physical copy. I don't know of anyone who would espouse that position. Scripture teaches the preservation of Words (and letters). It is a biblical presupposition to the manuscript question. The KJV translators translated from something and I believe we can find those words preserved. Men who used the KJV also used the original languages. They were satisfied for centuries they possessed the very Words, even as seen in their writings.

Thanks again.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Terry,

There are several options. Churches start up Greek on google hangout and you could join the class that way. I taught second year Greek on google hangout to three men. It's quite doable. There are some self-learning options out there that I haven't used and perhaps some video classes if someone is self-motivated and willing not to take shortcuts. People buy a first year Greek self-learn and it sits there.

Teaching 1st year is like being a personal trainer. You are forcing someone to use his mind in a way that his mind doesn't usually want to be used. A person will learn it because the quiz is coming and he doesn't want to flunk it. Second year is less difficult for the student, but requires more knowledge from the teacher. Third year similar to second, just more advanced.

Bill Hardecker said...

Pastor B, it seems to me that you are pointing out two errors instead of one. Double inspiration (I get that, and I agree), the other would be double preservation (or what you classify as "English Preservation"). I think what motivates people to believe in an inspired and/or preserved translation is fear or not having something authoritative. Naturally, many don't know Hebrew and Greek and so that adds to the motivation to cling tenaciously to a translation, instead. Is it fair to say that you and Bro.Tom disagree on this issue? I think he holds to something that is essentially "English preservation" unless I am off on that (and please feel free to correct me). I admire and respect both of you (just for your edification's sake).

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bill,

I've called it English preservation, but that was a generous attempt to see them as believing in preservation, but English isn't preservation.

It has to be double inspiration, because they are saying that something that wasn't there is now there. They aren't saying it comes from a text but originates directly from above.

I know what Thomas believes and we are on the same page, that I know of. I don't think we're different. He thinks God's providence enters the translation, so he respects it greatly on those terms.

Bill Hardecker said...

Glad to hear that (between you and Bro. Tom). Thank you.

Jeff said...

Funny, one of the men supporting your position of a non-preserved KJV is in obvious disagreement with his sending church's doctrinal statement which reads:

"Preservation: We further believe that every word of the inspired Scriptures has been preserved by God (Psa 12:6-7) for the English speaking people in the Authorized (King James) Version which we believe to be the infallible, or inerrant Word of God. We reject all of the modern English versions."

If I have misunderstood something, please clarify.

preachingalways said...

I am curious your thoughts on the camp that believes in leadership of the Spirit (as in where to work, who to specifically marry) as opposed to the "just do something" camp which says you operate off wisdom- then even within that camp you have non- cessationists still.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jeff,

Thanks for your comment. Love believeth all things. That is in the KJV and it is also in the Greek text. You believe the best about someone until you know otherwise. It's not naive, but it doesn't assume the worst. If I read that statement in the best possible way, because it is unique wording, I could see that person taking the same position as I, stated however differently than what I would. I'm not saying that what I'm saying is true, but I would think it until I knew otherwise.

Let's say that "every word of the inspired Scriptures" is Hebrew and Greek, and by saying that it is preserved for the English speaking people in the King James, it is speaking of the underlying text. It is missing some precision and technicality, but was written for people who do not know Greek and they don't want thinking that they have to learn Greek to have the Bible.

I'm saying that statement could be explained as the same view as mine. The ambiguity, however, is often why everyone is lumped together, when actually there are two very different positions being represented.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Preachingalways,

Thanks. I'm not sure what your question is. I don't mind if you come back to help me. Are you asking if there are continuationists among those with the same view as me on "waiting on the leading of the Spirit"?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jeff,

One more thing. Saying that the King James Version is God's preserved Word for the English speaking people is different than saying that God preserved His Word in the King James Version. When presented with a choice like my first multiple choice question, it will become clear what someone thinks, but the statement you quoted does not necessitate "b" to that question rather than "c."

Jim Peet said...

Thanks Kent. We used on S/I here

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jim,

Thanks. It won't be much of a discussion. I think everyone at SI takes a different position.

For anyone reading here,

Like any other biblical position, you start with what the Bible teaches. We get doctrine from the Bible. The Bible does teach on its own preservation. It's the same way we get our creation position, our salvation position, our Trinity position. It is the sincere milk, the pure mother's milk.

What does the Bible teach about its own preservation? You start with that presupposition. English preservationism or double inspiration or Ruckmanism is not the same as divine preservation in the languages in which the Bible was written.

Kent Brandenburg said...

For those reading from SI,

Like almost anyone else who writes a post, an article, a dissertation, a book, you deal with the point of the book. I think today if someone takes it a different direction, there are names for that -- I'll let you decide what that name is. However, just looking at the individual point, and whether it is true doctrine, is my point. That one point should be judged on its merit.

Someone in the SI comment section said that my position is the same as double inspiration. He said that without proving it. It was an assertion without proof. It isn't true.

Before we ever start talking about "manuscript evidence," I would like to know what people believe the Bible teaches on its own preservation. This article is dealing with a doctrinal issue, not the so-called science of textual criticism.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I repeat, what does the Bible teach? What is the historic doctrine? Then follow from those presuppositions. From those you get the right position. We should start with those. No one should understand why someone won't start with that.

As an aside, I've never met one person ever who takes a position of one perfect physical copy making it all the way through. Not one. That's a straw man. No one takes the position. No one ever has.

Jim Peet said...

We link to you because it drives traffic (not really)

Would you view your position as essentially the same as DA Waite's? If not how would you differ?

Thanks

Tyler Robbins said...

Kent:

You are quite right to remark that the real issue is what you believe the Bible says about HOW the Bible would be preserved. I've been meaning to delve into this, based off the discussions from your book, for some time. I was waiting until I had enough Hebrew to engage with the arguments, but I may try my hand at it just using English and the LXX, in the interim. That is the real issue, honestly.

Thanks for your article.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jim,

I enjoy reading you. It's always clear where you stand. I'm glad you are still with us by whatever means. One more thing. I've not found that you misrepresent, at least that I've seen so far ever. I can't say the same for most of those who comment.

D.A. Waite and I don't take the same position. We are the same in this: we both agree that God preserved every Word, i.e., supernatural preservation of scripture. God promised it. God did it. It's basic, but it does mean a lot as to coming to a similar text.

Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Tyler,

I would be interested in someone showing me the good work, the established work, of those who take the critical text position -- their scriptural presuppositions. Of course, they started with what the Bible says, right? The sincere milk of the Word, how we get a Christian worldview, thinking transcendental, one truth. This started with a hunger for the Word, right? They loved God and out of that came the critical text, right?

Today's critics say, no how explained in scripture. Always interesting to me. It's a new teaching, this no how. It's got to be true though, even though it isn't historic. The historic position does explain how. The Bible explains how.

What is the theme of the pastoral epistles? Is it not that God committed His deposit of truth to the church, which in turn passes it down to the next generation? Pastors are to make sure that occurs. That sounds like how. It runs its way all the way through scripture.

I'm going ahead and answering things that are not the subject of the post, although I'm very interested in the subject of the post. Can people agree that English doesn't represent preservation. By the way, the Scrivener criticism, the re-engineered text, I believe, is a straw man. It just ignores the position we take. It's a diversion, and as that, a red herring. People who use it can grab ahold of it to find warmth, but they still don't start with scripture to come to their position. And they don't care.

What I've noticed is that they have a position, already grabbed that position, and then later thought, I should look to see if there is a verse for that, like a Hyles sermon.

Jason Noel said...

Where are you with the Modern English Version, which is a 2014 English translation from the SAME sources as the KJV?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Jason,

I don't mind someone wanting to translate the received text into another language. The problem is then looking to a new translation done arbitrarily from that text with the expectation that it will be received as authoritative. We're talking about God's Holy Word here. Someone says, hey, we know the original languages, so let's do a translation from the received text and then offer it. As you look at the Bible, that's not how projects in divine, spiritual, of God matters get accomplished. There is agreement from true churches to accomplish this, something akin to a long drawn out process before we say, this is the Word of God, because that's what happens for people with their Bibles. Or else all it does is cause confusion and make the Bible look like it is subject to whatever whim or activity that someone wishes.

The problem, as I see it, for a KJV guy is that if he doesn't say, yes to the 2014, then he is in fact an English preservationist -- "See, he only accepts the KJV!" No matter what the dispute or the reason, that's got to be the reason, because he sees the KJV like the Latin Vulgate or some form of advanced revelation. The Bible shouldn't be regularly tweaked.

Imagine if we wanted to update the language of the U.S. Constitution, would that matter? Could someone argue from the modern version and that be acceptable?

Even when the KJV translators went about their task, they finished a sacred book, that had its own unique brand of English to set it apart from regular language. It wasn't in Latin any more so the plow boy could read it, but it was also in a very respectful prose. We live in a culture in which that kind of respect is hardly even understood. I could say, "Pardon me, but I'm not going to willy-nilly accept whatever, as it relates to the Bible, especially, especially today."

If a self-appointed committee decides they will make a new translation, perhaps even to use for their commentary sets, so that they will not be charged for something not in the public domain, isn't that a little suspect? It should be.

Jason Noel said...

So you aren't against the MEV (how could you be, since you aren't actually King James Only). Good to know.

Thank you!

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

I don't know you at all, so I don't know how to take your statement -- perhaps then you could go a little in depth, so that we don't leave something ambiguous here. "Against the MEV"? I'm not against translating from the TR, but I haven't vetted the MEV to know. The NKJV for instance claims to be translated from the same text as the KJV, but it obviously isn't, so they are lying when they say that. Would that bother you? That is, to hear someone say, because of a particular agenda, this comes from the same text, when, wink-wink, he knows it doesn't.

Would it be "good to know" that I am not "against the MEV" if the MEV wasn't a good translation or was causing confusion or something else that we don't know yet? What I just said to you was that I'm not for willy-nilly self-appointed non-authoritative committees deciding arbitrarily to publish a new translation. Are you? I would be against that. Is that the MEV? I would have to look into it more. There's a lot that would be good to know, but it isn't good to know something that you don't really know.

Jesus went 80 miles to be baptized by John, because John's baptism was from heaven. If I heard my neighbors baptized each other in the swimming pool, that wouldn't be good to know, because at least they were baptized. They aren't baptized, and baptism is more serious than that. (Last paragraph a parallel or an illustration).

Thanks.

Jason Noel said...

Kent,

Actually, I just kind of figured that you had already considered the MEV, seeing as how it is the first time a translation was made that actually was strictly from the same sources as the KJV. I am pleased that the MEV translators have, at least on paper, stated that they translated strictly from the same sources as the KJV. HCSB started that way, but changed mid-project.

I'm quite familiar with the wink-wink situation with the NKJV, how it clearly, at times, is not strictly non-critical text, so it will be interesting to see what comes of the MEV.

So since you haven't actually tested the MEV, I'll assume it is off the table, for now; but I'll also assume that you would not disagree with it if it were proven to be a viable non-critical-text-sourced modern translation. That kind of KJV-only mindset is, unfortunately, rather rare. These days, it seems the chips are falling on 2 sides of the table, mostly - ESV/NASB/HCSB/NKJV/KJV-accepting churches, and King James Ugly churches.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi,

I'm going to answer a comment at SI here: http://sharperiron.org/comment/86382#comment-86382

Steve Newman says the belief of perfect preservation in the original language text behind the KJV is also double inspiration, asserting that without proof. I argued my post, but he merely accuses, which I find typical of the other side, very regular of them -- not all, but most.

I've heard eclectic-critical text people previously say what Steve did, never with proof, but even though he doesn't explain, let's see if we can figure it out for him and deal with it. To say my positions is double inspiration, he would be saying that to believe the words from which the King James translators translated were the very words of God, one would have to believe they were inspired by God at the time of the translation -- not the English, but the Hebrew and Greek. He's saying that the way that someone can say that the preservation was perfect is that the words had to be re-inspired. A lot that critical advocates admit, when they write such things, conflict with scripture, but that's another post (one I've written a few times before).

How could Steve think that our belief is double inspiration? It could be, as I see it, only in 2 possible ways. One is that the words from which the translators translated were not available, so they reappeared by inspiration. Second and more likely, he would be saying that supernatural intervention of almost any kind by God as to the identity of the biblical text must be labeled as inspiration. If the knowledge of those words is anything but naturalistic, then it is inspiration occurring. What presupposition is this kind of assumption based upon? You can't expect divine intervention as it relates to the Word of God. The only viable explanation for a text is a natural one. Things continue from the beginning of the world until now. The basis of the critical text is a natural one, which would be an honest and accurate assessment on the part of Steve. God's Word is in our hands, truly, in our hands. If we mess it up, it will stay messed up, and we've only got ourselves to blame for it, and good luck from there. Without supernatural divine intervention, which won't occur, scripture is going to be messed up permanently, so that we have no hope for the very words of God, left only with human estimation. Place odds on it. Thank my lucky stars. This is what we trust for doctrine and practice and as an authority for our lives and eternity.

First, translators translated from original language words. They existed, so they didn't need to be inspired. They were preserved in some manuscript. Hebrew and Greek words did exist to be preserved. People who believe in preservation, and I mean believe, do think that preservation occurred. Preservation by God must be supernatural.

Second, what God says will occur, believers will anticipate. Jesus expected people in His day to anticipate what the prophets prophesied. I anticipate the second coming because of God's Word. I anticipate the kingdom of God because I believe I'm saved based on what God said. They had to believe the Messiah would die, would be cut off, would suffer. Those who could not anticipate that didn't believe in Him. We should anticipate preservation, because God promised it. That is living by faith.

Third, preservation by God is supernatural, and that doesn't mean it is inspiration. Canonicity isn't inspiration. Everyone that believes in canonicity takes it on the same basis as their belief in preservation. Canonicity isn't inspiration, even though it is divine.

Fourth, something has to represent what God said He would do. People should look for what's obvious, look for horses and not zebras when they hear hoofbeats. God preserved what was actually preserved. You can't add or take away from something unsettled. Believing God preserved what He gave us isn't inspiration. The Words were there.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jonathan Charles,

http://sharperiron.org/comment/86393#comment-86393

I'm going to give two examples. There are several more.

Jude 1:19
NKJV -- These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
KJV -- These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

NKJV follows the critical text, leaving out "themselves," the Greek word eautou.

Acts 15:23
NKJV -- They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
KJV -- And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

NKJV follows the critical text, leaving out "after this manner," the Greek word tade.

Look at it yourself. Retraction forthcoming, I anticipate.

Kent Brandenburg said...

G.N. Barkman,

Same for you: http://sharperiron.org/comment/86394#comment-86394

Expectation of retraction.

Tyler Robbins said...

Kent:

My wild guess would be they didn't ditch the TR for the UBS-* (whichever edition it was then!), but for the Byzantine Text. Dr(s). Farstad and Hodges put out their own edition of the Byzantine in the early 1980's, I believe.

But, your examples are certainly correct. They deviated from the TR in many places. No question. I was truly surprised to learn about the MEV, but I notice that they, too, dropped the reflexive pronoun from Jude 1:19.

As far as Jude 1:19 goes, it is possible they (e.g. NKJV, MEV) thought the pronoun was redundant in English, because it would read something like, "these people themselves are causing divisions." You could interpret the pronoun to be expressing self-interest ("these people are causing divisions FOR themselves"). Or, you could omit it. It might not be a good translation philosophy (especially if you believe the TR is the vehicle for the preserved word of God!), but it may not be malicious at all.

Tyndale, for example, in his 1534 NT, omitted the pronoun all-together ("these are makers of sects"), even though he was working with essentially the same Greek text.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Tyler,

The so-called majority text (the majority is still yet to be determined, because not all the manuscripts have been collated -- it is a fictional designation) of Robinson-Pierpoint (1995), what I call the math view, includes tade in Acts 15:23, so they were not following the "majority text" either. People can't just move the goalpost in the middle of the discussion. They can't say, "It's the same," and then when you show them it isn't the same, they turn the discussion about something else. Usually I don't want to keep talking to those kind of people. I'm not saying, you, but those people.

Someone else said that there are no two manuscripts exactly alike, urban legend, even as Wilbur Pickering in his The Identity of the New Testament text names manuscripts that are identical. He says there are ones the same, so that little talking point should disappear. He actually has collated manuscripts unlike some who are talking too.

Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One more thing. It is disingenuous to call something the NEW King James Version and change it at the level of the underlying text. For people who would call themselves textual scholars, this is more of a lie, more accountability required. When they are called on it, I've noticed Clintonian style responses. People on their side don't care, which is like the mainstream media response to the Clintons. I would expect more, but I've grown accustomed to it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jonathan Charles,

Error pointed out. Clearly.

Answer: http://sharperiron.org/comment/86413#comment-86413

Paste link to articles that don't answer the point. Red herring.

Sad, but typical. If it doesn't matter anyway, why not tell the truth? Can't even tell the truth on something simple.

Here could be answer: "Thanks. I see that the NKJV does not come from the same text as the KJV. That was wrong. Thank you. I like to say what's true. Thank you. It doesn't matter to me though because I don't believe in verbal plenary preservation."

Darrel Post,

Answer: http://sharperiron.org/comment/86414#comment-86414

The KJV uses dynamic equivalence -- red herring -- followed by mocking sarcasm. Is the gift of mocking sarcasm found in the list of spiritual gifts in 1 Cor 12?

It actually shows incredible ignorance too. People who use the NASV know the King James is a formal equivalent that uses some dynamic equivalence, but overall is a literal translation. So, we talk about preservation in original language text, answer -- let's talk about translation philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Kent I read your blog regularly, and I believe you have said or implied you find no fault with the words translated in the kjv translation,, meaning you find the kjv inerrant.. is this true ? I understand the underlying text behind it is the reason you support the kjv,, but I am interested in your exact view of the words in the kjv translated from the text that has been preserved. Are they inerrant ? if not what would you consider errors? Thanks , T. J. Hall

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi T.J.,

I believe the KJV is an accurate translation. Almost no one studies the 1611, you probably know. If we thought the translators did a perfect job of translating, then we would not want one letter changed. Words and letters were changed between 1611 and 1769.

When you say "inerrant" in the translation, it depends on what you mean by that. I believe the underlying text is perfect. Inerrant wasn't a word used for the Bible until the late 19th century and it means that the Bible is without error in its teaching. I don't think there is any wrong teaching in the KJV, but I'm guessing that you don't mean that when you say "inerrant."

Jason Noel said...

Mr. Brandenburg,

I am not playing devil's advocate - this an honest question that I don't think I've ever received a straight answer from anyone one.

You stated "I believe the underlying text is perfect."

What Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic (etc., as applicable, in original languages) texts do you cite as being the perfect, extant, underlying texts for all 66 books of the Bible?


Thank you,
Jason

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Jason,

Your question doesn't seem like a devil's advocate question, but it does read like a "trap question." I'm actually fine with trap questions, except for one point. If you answer it, it brings no fruitful result for a faithless person. His problem isn't an intellectual one, but a volitional one. I have the question answered in many places on this blog. I'll answer it again, but you'll have to bear with me a little here.

For instance, you don't believe in perfect preservation, which I assume means that you don't believe the Bible promises that we would have every and all of His Words in the language in which they were written, that they would be available for believers. Do you believe there is a promise of any percentage in scripture? Why that amount in particular? Do you believe that we have all the books? Why? How do you know, know, which books we are supposed to have? What is your basis?

Have you noticed that I was criticized by guys on the blog, I answer the criticism, and there is no retraction, yet no one cares? I answered at least four different people, actual answers, and I got nothing from them. This is what I grow to expect on this.

Your position on preservation is a novel position that did not arise until at least the late nineteenth century, but I had not read it verbalized by non-liberals until the late 20th century.

Anonymous said...

Kent ,
Sorry for using the word inerrant ,dont want to get sidetracked,, I understand the underlying text preserved, was used to translate the kjv , and and I take it you preach from the 1769 kjv ,, the question I had was do you believe there are any errors in the kjv translation that you preach from..? it would be as simple as yes, there are a few errors.. or no there are no errors in the bible I preach from.. .. not trying to be complicated or tricky just a simple question.

thanks T.J. Hall

Kent Brandenburg said...

TJ,

Not trying to have this be confusing. I don't think they made any errors as one judges translation. They translated the text correctly.

Let's consider some things though. Tyndale translated ekklesia, "assembly," while the KJV translators, translated it, "church." Was Tyndale in error?

1 Cor 12:31 translates zeloute, as imperative, covet earnestly, and yet the form zeloute is the same form for the present indicative as the present imperative. Would it be an error to translate it as an indicative instead of an imperative, since both are accurate? Instead of "covet earnestly," "you are coveting earnestly"?

Jason Noel said...

Forgive me for sounding trap-like. Probably the ISTJ in me. Was just trying to be specific in the question, that's all.

Standing by ("I'll answer it again, but you'll have to bear with me a little here.").

Jon Gleason said...

Well, Kent, I just read the SI discussion and it went about like I expected. Jim was gracious as expected, one or two were fair, some snark, and a whole lot of misdirection.

Most of them probably aren't intentionally engaging in misdirection -- they really don't get it. They need a paradigm shift. I used to be where they are, so I sort of get where some of them are coming from.

Too many people live in a false dichotomy world. If you aren't this, then you must be that. You aren't with them on this topic, so you must essentially be the same as Peter Ruckman. Once that conclusion is drawn, the tendency is to read for evidence that you are like Ruckman so they can safely peg you in the box they've got him in. So they neglect to actually read / comprehend what you've actually said. Too bad.

Not all of them, of course. Some of them do get it, whether they accept it or not.

Jason Noel really did hit the nail on the head over there in his one comment. He was driving the nail into the wrong piece of wood, mind, but he hit it solidly. The key is a Biblical understanding of the doctrine of preservation. I certainly don't believe in the Ruckman doctrine, but I'm not with the guys on SI, either.

A Biblical doctrine of Scriptural preservation takes the amazing step of starting with Scripture, examining both explicit and implicit teachings from Scripture, formulating a doctrine, and then examining the evidence we have in the light of that. This process is so rudimentary (for formulating doctrine) that it is sad and astounding it has to be stated, but it does.

The doctrine taught in most seminaries now, and held by most on SI, doesn't do that. It says, "X can't be true because the manuscripts...." The doctrine is adjusted to fit what it is thought the manuscript evidence says. We don't do that with the doctrine of creation, but somehow the doctrine of Scriptural preservation is different. I don't think it is, and I know you don't.

Anyway, I was glad to see Jason put his finger on the key divergence. Maybe he'll actually study out a Biblical doctrine of preservation. A great place to start, if he's willing to actually read and consider other views.

Jason Noel said...

Thank you for the comments, Jon. Yes, I am actually willing to read and consider other views, which is one reason I am reading on both sides and still waiting for answers on both sides. SI has not answered my question about Preservation, and Kent has not yet answered my question about his statement that "[he believes] the underlying text is perfect" (I asked him to specify which text he believes are perfect). He did say he'd answer, so I'm just waiting for that response.

The more I hear the many sides of the debate, the more it appears to me that we are not meant to resolve it any more than we are meant to resolve various doctrines that God purposefully left ambiguous in scripture.


I really appreciate Mark Ward's post.

http://byfaithweunderstand.com/2016/08/29/a-vow-regarding-the-kjv/

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

Just to be clear, so I'm going to update the previous version of my comment. People want old versions updated. I wasn't clear enough. When I asked you to bear with me, I had answered many, many questions, and I was asking you to answer my questions before I answered yours. I've answered your question many times. It's a very commonly asked question. When I answer it, people are jubilant and ready to change positions, of course. I pretty much know what's coming next after I answer it. I should write it out so that you know that I know. I want to hear your answers to my questions first. It wouldn't surprise me if you have to come up with something you haven't considered or written before. In other words, I don't want to do all answering questions.

Regarding Mark's column. He and I have written a few times. I don't understand his column. It doesn't make sense to me. He's not going to discuss the text of scripture, just the translation. You like that though? I don't have a problem with a few translations of the critical text. It's the text that is the problem.

Jason Noel said...

Kent,

Here are the questions you listed:

"Do you believe there is a promise of any percentage in scripture?"
"Why that amount in particular?"
"Do you believe that we have all the books?"
"Why?"
"How do you know, know, which books we are supposed to have?"
"What is your basis?"
"Have you noticed that I was criticized by guys on the blog, I answer the criticism, and there is no retraction, yet no one cares?"

I'll answer your last question only: of course. Happens all the time on blogs everywhere. Authors have to decide how much time and energy they will put into everything, just as you and I, now.

The others have nothing to do with my question to you. Even just point me to someplace on your blog, if you want. I spent about 20 minutes searching all over your blog for the answer, but I could not find the answer.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

Thomas Ross, who writes here on Fridays, has put together a very concise presentation of the position we take. Read it here:

http://faithsaves.net/inspiration-preservation-scripture/

This is essentially what we wrote in Thou Shalt Keep Them. Read it and you will get the biblical and historical position. It is our position.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

I understand your not wanting to answer biblical questions with your position. You don't have answers. I'm sorry for you. You go 100 percent to extra scriptural as your authority.

Tyler Robbins said...

Bro. Brandenburg:

I'll shoot you an email as I begin to deal with the common preservation passages usually cited in these discussions. I agree that this is really where the rubber meets the road. I don't have a whole lot of time, but I'm going to begin tackling them. I'll look at what you said in your book, and the original languages, and see how things come out.

Off the cuff, I've not taken many of those passages the way TR guys usually take them. But, I'll take a fair look at them, along with you have to say from your book.

Thanks for your comments here and your article.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Tyler,

Here's how critical text guys take them, as I've read. First, they don't take them according to plain meaning. Two, they don't take them according to historic meaning. Three, they don't take them very often like they would if they were just preaching the text and were oblivious to the doctrinal implications to preservation. Four, when they do talk about them related to preservation, they talk about them with naturalistic presuppositions. It's actually totally new talk and reactionary talk.

Here's the issue. You've got many hand copies, many manuscripts. They have variations. How can we know what's in the originals? Critical text advocates stumble there, like Jews stumbled over the Messiah being crucified. They can't accept providence being that exacting, that real. They modify the meaning of the Bible to fit their unwillingness to go there. They have to make it mean something else, something new. New doctrine arises, like Warfield's doctrine of inerrancy. Muller points out how that Warfield was inventing a novel position to deal with what we're talking about. It appeared for the first time in history, and men accept it. Why? They won't accept what God said would occur, actually did occur. They are embarrassed by what God said.

The only way guys, I found, deal with it, is to force someone like myself to come down on one paper copy of a perfect Greek New Testament. If I can't or won't do that, then I better change my doctrine to fit it. And then mockery. The talking snake type of mockery. That's the best Bible they've got to read, my answer of something like, essentially the 1598 Beza. Why that one? If I just said Beza, not essentially, Beza was perfect. Not good. Scrivener's. Not Good. All of the TR. Not Good. It has to be no preservation in words, but the concepts or doctrines. Jason's position. At least he is honest, like Daniel Wallace's novel position, saying no teaching on preservation in the Bible, all in hindsight to his textual work.

I saw your ad for the NET Bible. I think it's sad. You don't know what the Bible is. Too bad for you.

Anonymous said...

Kent,
you said Quote : 1. Not trying to have this be confusing. I don't think they made any errors as one judges translation. They translated the text correctly.

no errors as one judges translation... Kent it seems ,, not trying to put words in your mouth , but it seems you are elevating the kjv to a place , no other translation in history has been elevated to..
How can you make such a judgment in light of all the translation errors reputable scholars find in the kjv translation ?

Quote :2 They translated the text correctly.

If they translated the text correctly ,, then it stands to reason anyone who believes the text is incorrect is wrong according to this statement

I don't want to put words in your mouth but it seems you are elevating the kjv translation to a supernatural place ..

1. no errors as far as one judges a translation is quite a feat considering the multitude of translation issues that are brought against the kjv , your statment seems to be close to an English preservationist position

2. they translated the text correctly, again,, its hard to accept your not somehow elevating this translation to a place of preeminence over and above the multitude of bible translations ..

am I misunderstanding you ? does anyone else reading these posts get the same impression ?


thanks T. J. Hall

Kent Brandenburg said...

T.J.

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the errors in the translation of the KJV. I would think you could do that since it is a big deal to you that I say that. There were a lot of checks and balances in the translation committee.

I noticed you didn't answer any of my questions. Is that the way this goes? So your question was all to get here, not really caring for a discussion?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jon,

Sorry I didn't say this earlier, but I agree with all that you said.

Joshua said...

Regarding Mark Ward's post - I call this "Must-Change-Onlyism". It's built off the rock solid faith that there is no option other than changing your version right now, or at least refrain from criticising other versions and people who switch to them. He seems to be utterly besotted with it, because he refuses to even discuss with people who have still given themselves the option of an update at a future time.

In the last century we went through a massive, roiling change in versions that has led to a proliferation of problems and confusion. We went from a single unifying translation to hundreds of conflicting English versions from a multiplicity of contradictory manuscript traditions and a sliding scale of translational methodology, with hundreds more in the pipeline to add to the dogpile. Confidence in the Scriptures is at an all time low. The unsaved rightly scoff with retorts like "oh yeah, which Bible? Why so many translations?" If ever there was a time to make a switch or update - now. is. not. it.

But there is the line in the sand. Join them in the sea of confusion, and do it right now, or become the new Catholic church keeping the Scriptures from the masses.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joshua,

Well-said. I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Kent, Sorry about your question,, I understand there are different ways to translate various greek and hebrew words into english, your example shows this,,
I personally dont have any examples of errors in the kjv translation,, I said reputable scholars have places where they say the kjv is in error,{mistranslations of the text}, and I wondered in light of the criticism of the kjv translation how you would come to the conclusion it is error free .

I personally dont have a problem with saying its free from error..and I dont criticize it.. but often I see men saying this word is incorrectly translated , it should be translated this way or that way,, and of course that demonstrates to the person reading or listening that the kjv is in error.

Hopefully you can see what I'm saying,, the fact you say it was correctly translated, and is free from error of translation made me think you seem very close to the english preservationist position

thanks, T.J.Hall

Kent Brandenburg said...

T. J.,

Certain Greek prepositions can be translated 20 different ways, numbers of which in a given situation could be correct. Different doesn't mean inaccurate.

Jason Noel said...

"Jason,

I understand your not wanting to answer biblical questions with your position. You don't have answers. I'm sorry for you. You go 100 percent to extra scriptural as your authority."

Forgive me if I offended you in some way, Mr. Brandenburg. I really was just asking a question and hoping for an answer.

I read the link you posted twice, and I have a couple of follow-up questions - because I really am a person who is trying to learn what is the correct doctrine of preservation, and because some of what is said in that declaration I find a little confusing.


First (very minor question, I hope) what is the relationship to the Textus Receptus to the Old Testament? The confession only mentions "Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Received Texts of Scripture." I'm assuming this is a pretty easy answer, and possibly a minor shortcoming in the confession, but I thought the Received Text is only the NT.

Second, I appreciate that your and the position in the confession requires faith, since the autographs do not exist ("Furthermore, any copy, to the extent that it has the same words and sentences as the autographs, is to that extent the inspired Word of God."). My question here is this: who gets to choose which copy matches the autographs and is, therefore, 100% accurate with the autographs?

Last question. Which Received Text do you believe is the perfectly preserved Greek NT, Stephanus? Elzevir? This isn't a trap question, it should be an easy one, because you and the author of the confession claim we do have an original language text that 100% agrees with the autographs (I am not denying that possibility, I'm just trying to understand how you come to the conclusion that a specific one is, in fact, without question, THE 100%, perfectly copied version).


One closing thing that I still ponder - it is said by many that there are no 2 original language manuscripts that agree with each other 100%, regardless the family. So who chooses which word or set of words are the guaranteed preserved letters and words from the autographs? What man should I have faith in that his choice of which manuscript is the correct one? This is why I have, only in recent years, moved away from your position on preservation to the one in which I can confidently say every doctrine of the Bible has been preserved and will continue to be so.


The barb you cast does not help in exhorting me and really comes across as rather childish - it really surprised me. You do not know me any more than the little bit I have written in a couple of blog posts. I am just trying to understand your position on the issue because people on other sides of the preservation question do an equally good job in stating their positions with scriptural support, so I am asking questions that I assume you have answers to. In the multitude of counselors there is safety; but not all interpret scripture correctly.

I hope we can move forward in a mutually respectful manner.

Jon Gleason said...

Jason, I know your comment was directed to Kent, but if I may I'd like to address this one paragraph:

"One closing thing that I still ponder - it is said by many that there are no 2 original language manuscripts that agree with each other 100%, regardless the family. So who chooses which word or set of words are the guaranteed preserved letters and words from the autographs? What man should I have faith in that his choice of which manuscript is the correct one? This is why I have, only in recent years, moved away from your position on preservation to the one in which I can confidently say every doctrine of the Bible has been preserved and will continue to be so."

This is not how to formulate doctrine. We should examine carefully all Scripture says on a subject to formulate doctrine. If we then find it difficult to understand how that doctrine applies to a particular problem, we must then confess that we don't know sufficiently how to apply the doctrine, not assume the doctrine is wrong.

I do not change my believe in the Hypostatic Union in the nature of Christ simply because I don't understand fully how to apply, in every respect, the complete dual nature (Divine and Human) of His Person. I still believe what the Scripture says. Similarly, I will not change my understanding of the Scriptural doctrine of preservation simply because I don't fully get how to apply it to the question of the NT text.

The Scriptures do NOT tell us what manuscript to use, because obviously they were written before the manuscripts were copied. So it's a fool's game to look for that kind of direction. But the Scriptures do give principles.

With apologies to Kent, I'll drop some links of my own on preservation here. As with Thomas Ross, I've started with asking, "What does the Scripture actually say?"
mindrenewers.com/2012/01/03/his-word-will-not-return-void-preservation-implied/
mindrenewers.com/2012/01/05/his-word-will-not-return-void-direct-teaching-on-preservation/

Those cover somewhat similar ground to Thomas Ross's article that Kent cited. The next three elaborate on things he only touched on in his article, and do somewhat go to the questions you are asking:
mindrenewers.com/2012/01/07/his-word-will-not-return-void-preservation-in-action/
mindrenewers.com/2012/01/10/his-word-will-not-return-void-when-copies-differ-1/
https://mindrenewers.com/2012/01/13/his-word-will-not-return-void-when-copies-differ-2/

My final summary article on preservation:
https://mindrenewers.com/2012/01/18/his-word-will-not-return-void-summary/

I once accepted many of the theories of modern textual criticism. I learned my textual criticism from Harry Sturz, the same man who taught Daniel Wallace (though neither Wallace or I ended up agreeing with all of Sturz' conclusions). I walked away from those theories because the Scriptures simply don't fit them. You have to go where the Scriptures take you. You can see a little of my background here: mindrenewers.com/2012/01/26/not-like-any-other-book/.

One other article that many people seemed to find very helpful on the questions you are asking: mindrenewers.com/2012/01/30/is-the-oldest-manuscript-really-best/. It is intended to be thought-provoking, and may help you understand the paradigm shift I experienced and described in my earlier comment here.

Kent, sorry for spamming your blog with a bunch of links. It's getting to be a bad habit of mine, I'm afraid. :) But I know you don't have any problem with those articles, and perhaps they will help Jason, if he really is looking for answers.

Jason Noel said...

"This is not how to formulate doctrine. We should examine carefully all Scripture says on a subject to formulate doctrine. If we then find it difficult to understand how that doctrine applies to a particular problem, we must then confess that we don't know sufficiently how to apply the doctrine, not assume the doctrine is wrong."

Of course, I agree. And when a subject is beyond the reach of the average lay person, he consults those who have greater understanding, knowledge, wisdom, experience, etc. That is one reason God gave us pastors. And what does a lay person do when such individuals disagree on a subject, both responsibly interpreting scripture in the process? The lay person must then seek further council and prayerfully consider who is correct, and who is in error. In other words, someone is incorrectly interpreting the Bible in his doctrine of preservation. That is why I am asking questions - I am seeking to understand how each comes to his conclusions. I'm not trying to trap anyone, I'm just looking for answers to what should be pretty simple questions.

So, back to the manuscript question, what original language manuscript in existence is the 100% match with the autographs? Please don't just say "The Received Text." Answer it as if I wanted to do a brand new, 21st Century American English translation and I wanted to use the original language Old Testament and New Testament manuscripts that are the 100% match with the autographs. Because that's the only way I can be sure to have a translation that is the most accurate, correct?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

One side has a doctrine and the other doesn't. What one side says happened was what everyone was saying at one time, and then with the advent of modernism, another side said another thing was happening, brand new. A new doctrine shouldn't be given credence, like proxy baptism or transubstantiation. New doctrines should be rejected. They're new. Doctrine isn't new. When doctrines change, there should be something in the Bible itself that should signal that the Bible teaches something different, but that would also mean a total apostasy of doctrine on scripture. Could that occur? Of course not.

What you are asking isn't doctrine. We should still be at the doctrine stage of this if you, of course, agree. I've read you at SI and you have said you don't believe in preservation of scripture. It seems like you've already rejected biblical and historical doctrine.

In this comment: http://sharperiron.org/comment/86409#comment-86409

You explain how you come to doctrine. You go to what you think you are observing, that there are variants in copies, and so that means that the passages on preservation don't mean what they say or what men have said that they say. You interpret scripture in light of what you think occurred in history. Men who believed like I do, and have for centuries, knew there were variants. Why are variants suddenly a stumbling block to believe what scripture said? It wasn't before.

This is akin to the modernistic interpretation of the historicity of the gospels. Miracles don't occur, so miracles didn't happen. A new position isn't because miracles were occurring in the 15th-19th centuries. It changed because of modernism, not new biblical teaching.

I know this could read like I'm being provocative with you. I'm not. There is some talking past us here. You are not starting with exegesis and doctrine. Your question is not dealing with doctrine. Existence of variants isn't doctrine. You won't read, if there are variants in copies, be free not to trust my promises.

You say, don't say TR. If I say Beza 1598, which is the same as what was translated into the King James, except in 190 readings, that couldn't be good enough. I could say essentially Beza 1598, and that would not be perfection, so does that mean "critical text"? It shouldn't if you have biblical presuppositions. Then I say, OK, Beza 1598 except in those 190 readings, and you couldn't allow for that either. That isn't good enough, but why? God's people used that text for hundreds of years. They translated from something, and the pastors relied on a Greek text as they used the King James.

The biblical presupposition is the perfect preservation and availability of words. We're talking about the canonicity of words, when the words, like the books, are homogenized into one printed edition. We believe, like Jon Gleason wrote, that where there was a mistake in copying in one hand copy, it was corrected in another. What was available was the received text.

The received text of the Old Testament is the Hebrew Masoretic. It was called that. Even the English translation was called "received. Harper's Magazine in 1859 printed the following: We believe we may safely assume that whatever new translations of Scripture may be made for scholars or private reading, the use of our received version will never be superseded by any other among the people." In 1852, the American Bible Union printed this statement: "The Society declares its adherence to the commonly received version, without correction, and its determination never to aid in its correction directly or indirectly; neither to do the business itself, nor to procure it from others."

I could provide more.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joshua,

I never commented on your comment, but it is excellent. Thanks.

Jason Noel said...

Kent,

Thank you for answering my question. I appreciate your time to respond.

Sincerely,
Jason

Anonymous said...

Kent you said quote:
Certain Greek prepositions can be translated 20 different ways, numbers of which in a given situation could be correct. Different doesn't mean inaccurate.

Kent I said earlier,,,, reputable scholars have places where they say the kjv is in error,{mistranslations of the text}, and I wondered in light of the criticism of the kjv translation how you would come to the conclusion it is error free .


I'm not sure what your response has to do with my question,,are you saying its alright to say the bible you preach from has error in it as long as that proof backed up by a lexicon, or a commentary ?And how would you convince a person that the kjv you preach from is error free if you allow such ? And why make such a fuss about the kjv if its mistranslated in many places, that could be straightened out with alternative English words ?

thanks T.J. Hall

Kent Brandenburg said...

TJ,

The fuss about the KJV is not about the accuracy of the translation. It's about the underlying text, which modern textual criticism says is not the best text, and readability, translating it into a more modern English. It's not about mistranslation.

KJB1611 said...

ear Jason,

Thanks for the comment.

I don't have the time to get into the discussion here right now, but I wanted to direct your attention to the article:

Is It True That No Two NT Manuscripts Are The Same?

at:

http://faithsaves.net/bibliology/

since if you indeed moved away from a position of verbal, plenary preservation because of the idea that there are no two original language MSS that are the same, now would be a great time to move back again, since there are quite a number of MSS that are exactly the same.

Also, the Hebrew and Greek texts from which the KJV was translated are 100% identical with the autographs. You can buy a copy of these OT and NT received texts from the Trinitarian Bible Society. You can also find them online at the website above and in various other places online.

Thanks.

Jason Noel said...

KJB1611,

Thank you for the link. I'll take a look at it.

Regarding "Also, the Hebrew and Greek texts from which the KJV was translated are 100% identical with the autographs" - that is a statement you must take by faith, since the autographs do not exist.

I'm also a little puzzled about the statement "from which the KJV was translated" because some say the KJV was translated from Beza, some from Stephanus. Might just be my lack of understanding on which is which, so I'm still trying to learn what the differences are and just which manuscript is the one that is claimed to be 100% identical to the autographs.

Jon Gleason said...

Jason, if you are still here, I understand the difficulty in applying the doctrine. If I say the Bible teaches that true churches, in general, will receive and use the true text, you can legitimately ask, "How can we measure that? Which one is it?" It's a fair question.

And someone who believes in the Biblical doctrine of the preservation of the Greek and Hebrew might end up with a different TR than someone else with the same doctrine. I could see that happening. Maybe he even ends up with a Majority Text position, I could see that, too. Of course, you'd have to decide whether "Majority" means "majority of Greek manuscripts" or "majority including Latin", etc.

But I'll tell you where you won't end up, if you hold to a Biblical doctrine of preservation with a sovereign God working through His people / churches.

You won't end up with a deistic view of preservation. You won't end up with an evolutionary philosophy underlying your textual criticism. You won't attribute to early believers a disregard for the Word and accuracy, nor arrogantly assume that you are smarter than they were and can do a better job of recognising the true text, 2000 years later, than those who were making textual decisions 200 years after the books were written and had older manuscripts than almost anything we have now.

You won't discard whole passages that the churches have accepted for centuries because they've been left out of a manuscript that sat unused in the Vatican, and another that sat unused in a monastery in the Sinai, for 1500 years. You'll say those old manuscripts are an interesting historical quirk, but that if churches have been accepting / preaching / teaching those passages for two millenia, you'll go with the churches, rather than with manuscripts that show abundant evidence that they were made by careless scribes.

You might end up disagreeing with others who believe in a Biblical doctrine of preservation on a word here and there, some of the spellings, maybe the word order here and there. But you won't be chopping out whole sections of Scripture that the churches have been accepting on the basis of a handful of manuscripts.

So, yes, I understand the difficulty you are raising. But to go from that to rejecting the Biblical teaching, and to a view of preservation which says God is completely silent on the topic and on how we can know the true text, is hardly appropriate.

I always find myself being dragged back to II Timothy 3:16-17. If the Scripture is sufficient for everything, then in a world where manuscripts differ, Scripture must also be sufficient to give us SOME guidance on how to recognise the true text. One side of this debate has posited at least a theory which has some Biblical basis. Nobody else has.

No one on the Critical Text side, as far as I know, has ever provided any kind of Biblical answer as to how we can recognise the true text of Scripture. It's all about textual theories.

No one on the Ruckman side has, either. It's all about affirming by faith that which the Scripture itself does not say -- that God divinely superintended one translation in the same way He superintended the giving of the original text. The Scripture doesn't say that anymore than it says what the Critical Text adherents affirm.

So, it's easy to point out difficulties in applying what we are saying, but your alternative is to apparently to go with those who deny the sufficiency of Scripture and say it is silent on the topic.

Jason Noel said...

Still here, still listening...

And one of the reasons why I am still listening is that Kent's article is refreshing in that he does not make an idol out of the KJV. I think this is my first exposure to a genuinely viable position, one in which a claim is made on extant original language manuscripts being perfect, and not a particular translation. It is refreshing to know that a group of believers could actually accept a 21st century American English translation if it were made from the sources they believe are identical to the autographs. I have long since stopped listening to the KJVUs.

I'm just trying to figure out why there are many who still believe we cannot be completely sure we have available to us a manuscript that is, indeed, a perfect match with the autographs. I know too many who are far more intelligent, educated, and skilled in proper exegesis who are perfectly fine with translations coming from a text that is not strictly The Received Text for me to ignore their arguments, many of which are also firmly based on scripture just as yours are.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

I noticed that there were three more comments over SI, one you, and I think two others. Notice that the two others did not offer a biblical or historical position. Nothing. Nadda. Really just speculation. I've asked for the biblical basis for the new position, its exegesis and its history, and I've never got anything. Nothing. Their whole position proceeds from doubt about variants. They won't answer the questions. They don't have to. It's like evolutionists don't have to answer the questions either, people with other than a Christian worldview, naturalistic, don't have to even answer the question. No proof at all.

Notice how they go immediately to the "manuscript evidence." They don't even really know what people had at their disposal. They don't. Calvin didn't have the papyri, that's supposed to be a doctrinal position? Calvin took the same doctrinal position as I do. A parallel was made as believing the Novations were Baptists? That isn't doctrine. Doctrine is "the gates of hell will not prevail against it," and "some will depart from the faith." That is doctrine. The confusion and chaos, the dust cloud, the red herrings. They start making me sick to my stomach, because they are deceptive.

The Novation example is especially bad, because it doesn't even represent historical doctrine. Historical doctrine of Baptists might refer to the Schleitheim Confession. It is so apples and oranges, I can't believe it was even mentioned. When I say that everyone believed our position, I go to every single thing said by the Westminster divines, the reformers, the post reformation Puritans. As far as the biblical position, they agreed with the position we take. When you read old commentaries on the passages, you see teaching on preservation. They wrote a lot! Read Owen, read Turretin. You can also see this reported by Muller in his historical theology. I have articles all over this blog, as does Thomas at Faithsaves.net. These have not been answered. Ever. There is no answer. They know.

We have exegeted many of the passage in our book, TSKT, but there are more passages to exegete. I sent you the Thomas Ross confession. This is all easily validated in history, tons and tons of historical validation. The position on the other side: crickets. The kind of attacks on our book are total hatchet jobs and I've read many books and reviews. People who are respectable don't do hatchet jobs. Hatchet jobs are political reviews, turf protection, like you would read at realclearpolitics. Very often they are not interested in the truth.

Bert Perry makes a brief allusion to the LXX argument, which is a recent argument for the critical text, such as less than 20 years. John Owen in his massive Biblical Theology, deals with the LXX. People are silent on Owen. This was their position, what Owen said. I've read his position in modern LXX books. The modern position adapts itself to their naturalism in a scramble to have a biblical position. It isn't formed by any verse. Besides that, it really is just a personal attack, and "I think Brandenburg's position is the innovation." That's almost as good as it gets. That statement.

In application of the biblical and historical doctrine, the good question is this: With the promises of God on preservation, would God's people not have His Words available for 400 years? It's really not 400, except for the sake of argument. Critical text giant, Kurt Aland (of Nestles-Aland text), himself says what I'm saying, except he doesn't care about historical theology, so he's willing to be honest when he writes, "the Textus Receptus . . . was regarded even to the last detail the inspired and infallible word of God himself."

Jason Noel said...

I hear you, but instead of just looking at the comments on that one post, realize that there are plenty of scripture based arguments, too. Aaron did a series on it (first piece here: http://sharperiron.org/article/preservation-of-scripture-its-process-and-form), and the analysis is reasonable, thoughtful, and scripture-based. Obviously you know about it, because you did your own rebuttal, which I have not read yet (I will - will take me some time to go through it all http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2010/01/answering-sharperiron-article-on.html).

So this entire paragraph is irrelevant, because it has been discussed with scripture-based arguments.

"Notice that the two others did not offer a biblical or historical position. Nothing. Nadda. Really just speculation. I've asked for the biblical basis for the new position, its exegesis and its history, and I've never got anything. Nothing. Their whole position proceeds from doubt about variants. They won't answer the questions. They don't have to. It's like evolutionists don't have to answer the questions either, people with other than a Christian worldview, naturalistic, don't have to even answer the question. No proof at all."

And this statement: "With the promises of God on preservation, would God's people not have His Words available for 400 years?" is also misleading, because just how many of "God's people" actually had His Words available to them during the Dark and Middle Ages? The vast majority did not. I agree with you that that doesn't mean God's Word (purposefully ambiguous statement) did not exist. But just because it existed does not mean God's people had access to it.

I will read your series, but I'll need time. I'm not a student doing a research project on preservation, I'm a dual-employed, married father of a quiver full, homeschooling family, so my time is limited.


Side-note (because I'm not at all interested in the KJVO debate - I've walked away from that one years ago...I'm interested in the source text question): would you agree to a 21st century, American English translation if it were based on the same source texts as the KJV and/or whatever text it is you say is identical to the autographs (I'm still trying to work that one out)? The follow-up to that is I'm wondering why no one will make one. It seems the latest attempt, the MEV, probably also misses the mark in not using what you believe is the autograph replica source material, but I'm guessing here...

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

You seem to be approaching this to know and not to shoot down something, which I didn't take as your approach at the beginning. It's helpful to me that you have done this, because it helps me when I start again with someone else who doesn't seem to me like he would want to know, to give him the benefit of the doubt -- love believeth all things, hopeth all things. I'm fairly prepared to get shot at, sort of like guys who come back from battle, hear a noise, and assume someone is shooting at him (PTSD).

When I say the position hasn't been answered, I don't mean there haven't been replies. It's like you've read a book that seals the deal and when you say that no one has answered it, you are not saying that people haven't written about it, just that the argument stands. Those two comments wrote replies, but they weren't answers. You are saying that Aaron did answer. You can have that opinion. It reads like someone trying to keep the eclectic text in business.

We are limited in our historic knowledge. Aland says that the TR was accepted before the printed edition. That was already the received text previous. The critical text people would say the true text, at least the best text, had been lost for over 1000 years at least. The point here is that it was a continuation of what was already accepted. Can we prove that dark ages folks had a Bible? We can't prove it with historical evidence, just like we can't prove that there was always a true church or even the doctrine of justification. We can do a pretty good job on the historical side, but our belief comes from the presuppositions. We know from scripture that this is how God wants us to think. He's been doing what He said He would do. That's the basis for saying every generation had it. What's the physical evidence? A lot of copies came through there and the majority agree.

I believe there would be a biblical way to handle an update translation that would result in something authoritative. It's hard to see it happening for many different reasons.

Thomas E Kresal said...

Please recommend a Lexicon based on the TR and any basic Greek study guides based on the TR - most of what is out their is from Critical Text authors (Wallace, Mounce, etc.)

Jason Noel said...

FYI, I read your series http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2010/01/answering-sharperiron-article-on.html and will be commenting at some point probably early next week. Busy few days coming up for me.

- Jason

KJB1611 said...


Thanks for the question. A good lexicon--if you are studying Greek BDAG is a must--will include the TR readings, just as "v. l.," variant readings. Words only found in the TR will still be listed in BDAG, so you are fine getting it. The theological liberalism of the authors does come through on occasion and other false doctrine, but just read it with discernment--it is no more off-limits than a modern English dictionary made by unbelievers.

I would recommend Mounce for 1st year Greek and Wallace for 2nd year. Lord willing, at some point I will have video courses available online to teach these. You could also contact Pastor Brandenburg to see the next time he wil lteach Greek over Skype. Yes, both Mounce and Wallace are critical text Greek grammars, but they are extremely user-friendly. Just reject whatever they say about textual criticism and you get rid of that problem. There are other problems, such as Wallace's very weak view not only of preservation but also of inspiration, but I have no problem using both of them in a classroom.

I would be willing to share my notes with answer keys and tests with answer keys from 2nd and 3rd year Greek, etc. with other IFB Greek teachers if they want them. I have hundreds of pages on selected texts from 2nd year Greek and detailed notes on Romans and Ephesians. They could contact me at faithsaves.net and explain their situation.

Thanks.

Thomas E Kresal said...

Thank you for the information KJB1611. The 3rd Edition of the BDAG is $165 Is there much of a difference from the 2nd Edition to the Third? Any recommendations for a less costly TR Lexicon?

Jason Noel said...

Kent,

"All truth" is "all scripture," every Word, "the words." And the same Holy Spirit who indwelt the apostles continued to indwell believers. That's why believers knew there were 66 Books. They would know what the Words were. This is a theological presupposition as it relates to scripture. Believers will be guided by the Holy Spirit to the very Words of God. Nothing would have us believe that we would not know what the Words are, they would be lost, and then we would need to use scientific means, forensics, to decide what they were, still never knowing for sure."

Do you believe that only those who agree with [your position/a TR-only position/the anti-critical-text-position/] on preservation are true believers? Further, do you agree with those who claim that if an English speaking person became a believer by means of a translation from a critical-text source, that he cannot be a Christian because the text is corrupt? That is what you are implying with that statement, because there are countless people who claim Christ and who appear to bear fruit who disagree with you. I don't think you believe that because you don't come across that way as I read the things you say. Just wondering.


In Part 4, you criticize Bob H. Disclaimer - I certainly am not in full agreement with him in at least one area and likely more (he believes it is not only "okay" for an American Christian to consume alcoholic beverages but that it is actually a "blessing from God" to do so...I could not disagree more). But even before I read through the comments on your post I recognized your argument as a strawman (“the tell tale line in all of Bob’s comment is: “Are word differences a really big deal?” There we go.”).


I re-read through all of Aaron's series and carefully, open-mindedly read through yours, and, honestly, you really didn't convince me that his series was off base. I'm not saying he has convinced me that his perspective is The One To Believe either, though. You both reference much scripture (I don't agree with your explanation of John 16 - but there is general disagreement on what various elements of John 16 mean anyway), and you both thoughtfully and reasonably try to apply it to your respective positions.


Which leads me to what I think will be the end of this thread, as I hope to hear more from a different angle in this regard.

(continued)

Jason Noel said...

(continued)

Christians disagree on many things. Honest Christians. Christians who truly want to know God better, understand the Bible more, walk with God more faithfully every day, be empowered by the Spirit moment by moment, and grow in faith. We all have the same Holy Spirit indwelling us, as well as the Father and the Son. In areas of honest disagreement, we should be able to disagree lovingly and not allow a difference in what we believe God is telling us through his Word to create division. I don't personally know any ESV, NKJV, NASB (etc.) Christians who are militant in their opinion that their English Bible is worth drawing lines in the sand over. But I know entire churches who create division among believers against the former over their belief that either the KJV is somehow inspired or that the TR is unquestionably 100% identical to the autographs and that those who disagree must be messengers from Satan being sent to undermine the Gospel. I know churches where the decision to change to the ESV or NKJV prompted significant percentages of the body to leave and seek out KJV Only brethren, even if the new church was significantly inferior in major areas of doctrine and practice. Perhaps the leadership did not handle the change well, but this should not be as polarizing an issue as Christians have allowed it to become. Satan is creating division in the church over good translations of the Bible. And Christians are allowing a translation/text to become an idol.
I appreciate your desire to pursue and proclaim the truth, and I also appreciate the fact that you are different from many KJVUs on the internet and in churches and colleges all over America. Thank you for being understanding towards me as I continue to try to understand the doctrine of preservation and how it applies to my life as a Christian.


Sincerely,
Jason

KJB1611 said...

Dear Thomas,

Thanks for the question.

The 3rd ed of BDAG is better than the 2nd ed., although the 2nd ed is also good.

You may be able to save a bit on the physical book by doing this:

http://faithsaves.net/save-money-internet/

although it will still be pricy.

I personally use BDAG on my Accordance (especially) and Logos Bible software much more than the physical book.

There are certainly other lexical resources available--you can take a look at what Accordance is selling in its Greek lexical page to get a sense of what is out there, although BDAG is the standard. Other detailed and comprehensive lexica of the NT and Koine will also include TR readings as (alleged) variant readings.

You can download the classical Greek lexicon, Liddell Scott, for free at:

http://faithsaves.net/greek-courses/

although that is not a specifically NT lexicon.

Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joel,

Do you think that my paragraph and sentence were making a point about judging who is saved and who isn't?

In the first through third centuries, could believers identify which was the correct NT books? What verses would you use to defend a "yes" answer?

There were non-canonical writings. How did they know they were non-canonical in contradistinction to canonical ones?

There is more to think about. I'm asking questions to you, because I've already written a lot. I didn't answer everything, just the beginning of your two comments.

Anonymous said...

Brother Jason Noel,

(part 1)

You wrote this: "I don't personally know any ESV, NKJV, NASB (etc.) Christians who are militant in their opinion that their English Bible is worth drawing lines in the sand over."

It all comes back to what the Bible says about itself. The Bible's text says its words and letters are preserved. And those who defend the reliability and "received-ness" of a certain text (set of words) expect its words and letters to be the same ones God originally gave, because He said it would be that way. I know of many pro-CT folks, who, indeed, will allow contradictory translations based on contradictory underlying texts, and they will even tolerate the KJV. But I've sensed from them various responses to others. (1) In some cases, it’s a pity (sometimes condescending, sometimes not) for those who believe there is an extant set of words that is reliable and identical to the autographs, because such people allegedly are so ignorant of what science has allegedly proven (i.e., that no two manuscripts are identical [which has been debunked], that it's impossible to copy a text without making errors, etc.). The underlying presumption of textual criticism is that the Bible is to be treated as any other piece of literature, when it is plainly obvious that it is not the same or similar to any other literature. The presumption is totally wrong, and thus the conclusions are totally wrong. (2) In other cases I’ve seen the pro-CT folks show a disdain for anyone who dares to say he or she doesn't believe the critical text and its renderings are legitimate. I guess it comes down to what you mean by militant, but seems to me there are plenty of pro-CT folks who fit this definition (from Apple dictionary): "combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods". As long as the Received Text believer will be silent and not question the legitimacy of the CT and CT-derived translations, the pro-CT folks are calm. When someone like Brother Brandenburg points out the Biblical fallacies of the pro-CT doctrine, then one sees the things that qualify as extreme and confrontational (though not violent) from the pro-CT camp. I think some of them indeed are militant if one says their position is wrong. Have you not sensed that in your study of this issue?

I used to be pro-CT, but I cannot reconcile that doctrine with the doctrines of the Biblical text itself. I think the Scriptures can be translated from the same text in different ways and the various translations can be OK, but the text and the way it's handled is the root issue.

To be continued…

E. T. Chapman

Anonymous said...

Brother Jason Noel,

(part 2)

You wrote this: "But I know entire churches who create division among believers against the former over their belief that either the KJV is somehow inspired or that the TR is unquestionably 100% identical to the autographs and that those who disagree must be messengers from Satan being sent to undermine the Gospel."

It is now clear that there are huge, big, gigantic, mammoth differences between various "flavors" of pro-KJV people. I probably disagree with more KJV only folks than I agree with (but I can't say for sure since I don't really know how many of which type there are). However, if someone is pro-KJV or KJVO, he does not represent all pro-KJV or KJVO people. I don’t believe in re-inspiration of a target language translation. The Bible doesn’t support that view. I would rather be known as Received Text only and pro-KJV. I believe the text underlying the KJV is 100% in agreement with the autographs. I think there are places where the KJV rendering could be improved (even disregarding changes in language over the years), and I'm not quite as defensive of the KJV as some of my brethren are. But I don't think it is possible to defend the Received Texts too much. Do I believe the pro-CT folks are, as you worded it, "messengers from Satan being sent to undermine the Gospel"? I definitely think some of them are. I recommend reading some of what folks like Metzger have said about the textual issues and deciding for yourself based on his words if he believed even the words in the CT. Did he believe in the Jesus of the Bible to the salvation of his soul? Did he ever show signs of being a justified-by-faith growing-in-Christ saint? Do I think all pro-CT folks are "messengers from Satan being sent to undermine the Gospel"? No. I once was pro-CT, and at that time I had already been changed by the glorious gospel and was a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The pro-CT position is invalid because it is anti-exegetical. Such a position cannot be derived from the text of the Bible, not even from the CT. The other issues are all secondary (although also important).

May the Lord give you wisdom as you grapple with the issues, my brother. God has spoken. You can know exactly what He has said.

E. T. Chapman

Thomas E Kresal said...

KJB1611 said:

"I personally use BDAG on my Accordance (especially) and Logos Bible software much more than the physical book."

Thank you for your input in regards to Greek Lexicons.

Which software package do you find more user friendly - Accordance or Logos Bible Software?

If you were only going to purchase one -- which is the better buy?

Thank you in advance.

Thomas E. Kresal



KJB1611 said...

Dear Thomas,

If I could only have one, I would have Accordance, but they both have their strengths. I use Accordance for my study (as a KJVO person, so I guess there is no conflict here, no?) of the original Biblical languages and for exegesis, while I use Logos for the library--I have the ability to search more books than are in some seminary libraries with a few clicks in Logos.

Thanks again.

Jason Noel said...

Kent,

Jason is my name, not Joel. No offense taken - happens to me frequently.

Your question 1: No, I understand that isn't the point of that paragraph and sentence, I only asked because I am trying to understand if you are in that group of TRs/KJVs who do believe that, as that sentence infers that.

Your questions 2, 3, and 4: you are asking about how we can be confident that the 66 books of the Bible are, in fact, God's completed work - no more, no less. My answers: yes; I do not know; I do not know. I have not studied out how a 21st century Christian can be confident that the 66 books in our Bibles are the completed Bible. I have heard some propositions (temporary spiritual gift, for example), but the Bible is ambiguous on the doctrine of canonicity.

I assume you disagree with me and that you believe the God clearly tells us that I can be confident that the 66 books are the completed canon. But there is no direct quote in scripture ("[thou shalt have 66 books]") and no strong inference from several combined passages ("[the law and the prophets' 39 books]" stated in multiple places and "[the 27 books of the new covenant]" stated in other places), so we are left with a doctrine that is reasonably open to interpretation - i.e. it is a subject still on the table for discussion and we should be willing to allow for Christian brothers to disagree with the "why the 66 books are canon" question without concluding that one or the other is a heretic. (This is the same argument I am making with regards to whether or not the use of a "Critical Text" or a "Received Text" translation is something Christians should be fighting about.)

Sincerely,
Jason

Jason Noel said...

Kent,

Jason is my name, not Joel. No offense taken - happens to me frequently.

Your question 1: No, I understand that isn't the point of that paragraph and sentence, I only asked because I am trying to understand if you are in that group of TRs/KJVs who do believe that, as that sentence infers that.

Your questions 2, 3, and 4: you are asking about how we can be confident that the 66 books of the Bible are, in fact, God's completed work - no more, no less. My answers: yes; I do not know; I do not know. I have not studied out how a 21st century Christian can be confident that the 66 books in our Bibles are the completed Bible. I have heard some propositions (temporary spiritual gift, for example), but the Bible is ambiguous on the doctrine of canonicity.

I assume you disagree with me and that you believe the God clearly tells us that I can be confident that the 66 books are the completed canon. But there is no direct quote in scripture ("[thou shalt have 66 books]") and no strong inference from several combined passages ("[the law and the prophets' 39 books]" stated in multiple places and "[the 27 books of the new covenant]" stated in other places), so we are left with a doctrine that is reasonably open to interpretation - i.e. it is a subject still on the table for discussion and we should be willing to allow for Christian brothers to disagree with the "why the 66 books are canon" question without concluding that one or the other is a heretic. (This is the same argument I am making with regards to whether or not the use of a "Critical Text" or a "Received Text" translation is something Christians should be fighting about.)


Sincerely,
Jason

Jason Noel said...

Mr. Chapman,

"I believe the text underlying the KJV is 100% in agreement with the autographs."

Why will no one write a 21st century American English translation of the 100%-in-agreement underlying text? The vocabulary and word definitions of too much of the KJV have evolved in 400 years that meanings of words and entire verses are no longer accurately translated into our language.


Sincerely,
Jason

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

I'm teaching in 5-10 minutes, so I'll answer later, sorry about the name. It was a typo definitely, as can be seen by the fact that I called Jason every other time. I mess my kids names up too. I was thinking it is, however, how textual variants would appear in the text, but see how easy it is to correct? :-D

Jason Noel said...

LOL

I certainly wasn't "criticizing" your incorrect translation of my first and last name. ;)

Anonymous said...

Part A

Brother Jason Noel,

You wrote this: "Why will no one write a 21st century American English translation of the 100%-in-agreement underlying text? The vocabulary and word definitions of too much of the KJV have evolved in 400 years that meanings of words and entire verses are no longer accurately translated into our language."

(1) Maybe a translation from the Received Texts will be done.
(2) The fact that a good one hasn't come along yet that has caught on might mean that Christ's churches can do just fine with the KJV. Reasons the KJV is an excellent choice for today's believers (besides being based on the correct text):
(2a) Much of the last 400 years' best literature about spiritual things is based on the KJV. He who knows the KJV can maneuver through the writings of godly men who were good scholars and learn a lot. Every word of the KJV has been analyzed and commented upon. And most of the literature is now readily available on the internet.
(2b) The KJV is a standard. It's a good thing to have a text that is the same from Church A to Church B to Church C, and when Christian A speaks with Christian B or Christian C. (I realize this status of a standard, as in "a translation common among us" is waning. But, it is a good thing.) Sure, there are words whose meanings have changed, but it really isn't that hard to get past them. In some ways the wording of the KJV, if it be archaic or quaint, actually makes it easier to "hang meaning on the words". The Bible is not like any other literature and it should not be read like any other literature. It must be meditated upon by those who believe.
(3) Probably whoever tried to update the KJV or re-translate from the RTs would end up making it a profit venture. Although I believe the laborer is worthy of his hire, I like the fact that the KJV totally accessible.

[to be continued]

E. T. Chapman

Anonymous said...

Part B

Brother Jason Noel,

(4) The state of the true churches and of "Christianity" is such now that those of us who love and rely on the Received Texts are conservative – we know what we've got and we like it. Anything other than minor adjustments opens the door for people affected by or sympathetic to the textual criticism doctrines to make subtle changes to the text that it might take years to have weeded out and rejected. It's risky.
(5) In theory a new English translation from the Received Texts, done by devout people who believe every word they are translating and want to faithfully render the words in English is possible. I don't think it's very realistic though. Or if it happens, the likelihood that it would be accepted in a large way seems remote to me.

My view is that I'd not want a new translation. I'd rather have the same KJV I have now with in-line alternate translations which modernize the words (perhaps in a different color or font face). Then I could always still see what the original KJV rendering is. I would leave the "thees" and "thous" there. In my opinion, they are almost essential to understanding. The "T" words (thee, thou, thy, thine) are singular, and the "Y" (ye, you, yours) words are plural. I don't find that hard. They communicate both to the listener and to the reader, and in some cases dramatically affect the meaning. The only other option I've seen is "you" for singular and "y o u" for plural. But that only works if you're reading the text, not if you're hearing it read (which I think we should be whenever our churches meet; I Tim. 4:13).

I would like to see other's comments on this. These are just my quickly composed musings on the subject you brought up.

Forgive me if I can't continue the conversation much after this. I'm enjoying it a lot and hope it's a blessing to you. But it is time-consuming. I'd like to keep talking with you. We'll see if I can.

E. T. Chapman

P. S. I don’t think it’s totally accurate to say, as some have said, that the KJV is the only translation currently available in English that’s based on the Received Texts. Although I’ve hardly given them more than a glance, there are some others out there (KJ2000 by Couric, etc.). The ones I'm aware of didn't impress me either because they removed the "thees" and "thous" or made other changes I thought were unwarranted. Point #5 above.

KJB1611 said...


Dear Jason,

You seem to be very concerned about people who think everyone is not saved who either does not use the KJV or at least was led to the Lord with a KJV. This concern is certainly valid if such people actually exist in numbers greater than, say, dues-paying members of the Peace and Freedom Party who are working to get their candiate elected for President. I never seem to run into any of this alleged portion of the KJVO movement in the real world--they seem to be pretty much confined to pro-CT websites warning about the dangers of KJVO. Could you please name at least one KJVO Bible college or institution that takes the position that everyone is in hell who does not use the KJV, so that we can see that these people actually do exist and are a serious threat? We would love to find out where these people are hiding so that we can expose their dangerous errors on What is Truth here, instead of having their dangerous hordes only exposed on pro-CT websites that often contain numerous ridiculous mischaracterizations of KJVO.

Also, do you think that in the c. 1,000 years--far more than the time between the translation of the KJV and today--between the earliest portions of the OT and the latest portions there were any changes in the Hebrew language that made earlier Hebrew more archaic/difficult to understand? Did the Jews change the OT so that everything was written on a nice, simple, 7th grade level? Are there portions of OT poetry that would have been hard for native Hebrew speakers in the OT period--overwhelmingly simple, agrarian people-- to understand without doing a little work?

Please note that I am not saying the KJV translators were inspired by these questions. I am asking to see if your argument that an occasional archaic word is a clear no-no can be applied to the text of Scripture itself and what the people of God did with it.

Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

You are getting a lot of comments and you have a lot of stuff on your platter already, so take your time. I'm glad that you even want to know. The issue we're talking about here is what Bart Ehrman says sent him off on the deep end. Now, I don't think people just push the eject button on Christianity unless they were not saved, so the reality is that Ehrman was never converted which fueled his unbelief. However, in one of his popular books, he told his story and he said that the promises of preservation accompanying the existence of textual variants are what turned him into an atheist. How evangelicals deal with this is to redefine inerrancy, etc., and turn the perfection of scripture into something amorphous, ethereal, not really on the back burner, but in that space behind the stove.

I in part pointed out the canonicity argument because God used the church to canonize scripture.

Let me help you with a matter of faith, not everything, but at least getting it started. God gave Daniel prophecies in Daniel 11 that were fulfilled in history, for instance, concerning the Ptolemies, the Seleucids, and Antiochus Epiphanes. They were fulfilled. How do we know? That is a historic matter. We can believe the truth in real time. God expects us to do that.

We can know what the attire of a harlot is without being given a picture of it. God made us, so He knows we can and we should judge these things. It might seem like a stretch just to go ahead and believe that we always had all the Words. That basic idea does lead us to a very homogenous text. The next part of that journey is to go from 99 plus percent sameness between all the TR editions, and then to believe we have every Word. I just believe it. I might quibble over one word with someone in Revelation 16:5, the so-called textual emendation of Beza, but if that person is just like I'm describing in this paragraph, then he is assuming that God would keep His promises. This is the position of all believers until the 19th century, at least that was writing that we have to read. Inventing a new position should be a problem for you. That's not how doctrine has ever worked with people of faith.

Jason Noel said...

Mr. Chapman:

I also love the increased understanding obtained with thees and thous. Those words are very helpful, and I wish we had a form of that in our current English.


KJB1611:

Not really that concerned. It was just a simple question that I assume Kent can simply answer. I'm not trying to grab onto some small thing to end the conversation.

Regarding your second paragraph: apples and oranges. A non-Hebrew speaking person needed to study the original languages. We are talking about English-speaking people reading an English Bible. If word definitions and usages have changed such that meanings of words are sufficiently different than they were when the English was first written, then the reader will not even know enough to know whether or not the words are actually still an accurate translation in the reader's current dictionary. That is the dangerous reality with the KJV in the 21st century.



Kent:

Interesting comment about the attire of a harlot, since attire is culturally based (there are 21st century non-American cultures who would say 99% of American women dress like a harlot, for example).

But regarding the rest of what you said in your last paragraph, I agree. I believe this thing would be much easier if a good translation were made from the allegedly Perfectly Preserved original language manuscripts. I believe many of the KJV vs. Modern Version discussions would be much more significant. But since it seems to always come back to ESV/NASB/NKJV/HCSB vs. The Almighty KJV1611, those who desire a Bible that is more accurate in it's English usage (due to archaisms, definition changes, and word order) are readily accepting of critical text translations, and the if-it-were-good-enough-for-Paul-then-it-is-good-enough-for-me KJV-ers never budge...and never call for an updated translation of their source texts. If a new translation were done from that source, I believe there would be much more serious discussion on the table. I wonder if too many KJV-extremists have been so to their own peril, essentially boxing themselves out of serious discussion. You don't fall into that category, thankfully.

Sincerely,
Jason


James Bronsveld said...

Jason,

You wrote that the argument of Bro. Ross related to changes in language was apples and oranges. Not so fast. The force of your argument was about changes in language demanding updating. You have argued that English language has changed so drastically that there is a "dangerous reality" of continuing their usage today. How would that be different for the Hebrew student? The fact that we do not know a lot about translations into other languages during that time, or whether non-Hebrew speaking people had to study in Hebrew is irrelevant to ensuring an Old Testament Hebrew-speaking person should be confident after 4000 years that he wasn't using an archaic Hebrew word, sending him off into apostate doctrine. For that matter, they would have had to make doubly sure that the poor Greek proselyte (aka, HSL student) studying Hebrew should have been furnished with a Hebrew text that was modern, polished, and contemporary in language so he wouldn't have issues. You really should answer the question, rather than dismissing it.

I'm also wondering if you could present some examples of the "dangerous realities" of using the KJV with its language today.

If honesty and consistency are to be commended for their exhibition as virtues alone, regardless of their content, then I commend you for your consistency related to the doubts about whether canonicity is either promised or something of certainty for us today. Certainly, if the Bible does not promise word preservation, it does not promise book preservation. Aaron Blumer's (referenced earlier in this thread) response was that canonicity is simply a priori for him. Your response is that you do not know, and even that perhaps we cannot know, so we shouldn't argue about it. Taking that to its conclusion, one wonders whether this theological position should make room for manuscripts like the so-called Gospel of Jesus' Wife. Should we argue with someone about that? Trying to understand your position.

Jason Noel said...

James,

If we "can know" - if it really is that easy, then why does this continue to be a debated issue? Is it really just that those who seek to understand it and who conclude to take it "a priori" simply aren't Spirit-filled and therefore miss the black and white proclamation that God promised us 66 books and that a perfect copy of the autographs would always be available? Or perhaps two Spirit-filled individuals can honestly disagree on a doctrine that God left sufficiently ambiguous that we might seek God's grace to enable us to lovingly disagree as a means of enduring Satan's attacks to create division.

Your arguments are beyond my ability to debate, so I can offer no clever responses. I read them, and I will consider them, as I continue to consider all that Kent and others offer.


Sincerely,
Jason

James Bronsveld said...

Jason,

Your first question and your second question are related in their addressing the more significant issue of what exactly Biblical faith entails. At its base, faith involves believing--even committing oneself to--what the Scriptures say. Spirit-filling is directly related to that--we're filled with the Spirit as we submit ourselves to what Christ said (speaking about the whole of Scripture here). So, if I choose to believe something about the Bible, like canonicity, while rejecting that it's taught in the Bible, it's not Biblical faith and is therefore irrelevant to Spirit-filling. On the other hand, if I believe in canonicity, because the Scriptures teach word-perfect preservation of Scripture, that is Biblical faith and does relate to Spirit-filling.

Why do you believe the resurrection of Jesus occurred? Is it because scholars and reputable theologians tell you it likely occurred? Is it because you have seen such a thing take place with your own senses? Is it because you can see documented instances in secular history to prove it occurred? Is it because, as you meditate on it, you can see the probability of something like that happening? Or do you receive that as true because the Scriptures teach it? Only the affirmative to the last answer meets the Biblical measure of knowledge by faith.

The fact that there's debate over this does not mean that it is impossible to know. If it were, for example, so easy for the Jews to know that the Lord Jesus was their Messiah, why did they ultimately crucify Him? Why did they dispute with Paul in almost every city he entered? Why, 2000 years after the completion of Scripture, are we still having to combat numerous religious cult members with the Unitarian heresies about the Deity of Jesus or the Person of the Holy Spirit?

Could Eve know for certainty what words were given in the law placed upon man in the garden? Yes. She doubted their certainty nonetheless, because the problem was not her inability to know, but that she allowed her senses and experience to determine reality and truth for her, rather than the spoken command of God.

Do you believe the Bible, as we have it today (taking into account, out of generosity, all translations and paraphrases) is an accident of history?