Is the historical doctrine of preservation an embarrassment to multiple versionists (MV)? I do ask this question in part because one MV recently asked if the preface of the King James Version (KJV) was an embarrassment to King James Onlyists (KJO). The preface is supposed to be embarrassing to someone like myself because the translators wrote that their translation needed to be improved if it could---that's the gist of it. Thing is, I know that my present KJV (the 1769 Blayney edition) changes the English words some from the 1611. So why would I be embarrassed? I'm still KJO. I'm supposed to be embarrassed. So why am I not embarrassed? Well, because the KJV is the only English translation that comes from its particular original language words. The New King James Version (NKJV) has different words as a basis for its New Testament text (I've written about this before here). I've pointed out those words to people, and even though it totally debunks that argument, they remain silent about it (reason: they don't care).
The KJV translators say nothing in their preface about changes in the underlying text. They don't say, "If you find the actual text of Scripture, then please change the underlying text of what we translated." Nope. I can't be embarrassed about that, because it never happened, so I can think about it only in a hypothetical. "If they did say that, would I be embarrassed?" And I still have to admit that I wouldn't be embarrassed. I'm glad that never happened with the translators, but if it did, I wouldn't be embarrassed, because my position, my faith, my doctrine, doesn't come from the King James translators. I don't even think they generally represent historical Christian doctrine. Some of what some of them believed or taught is orthodox, historical Christian doctrine, but not all.
I guess this comes down to what is actually embarrassing, or what makes us embarrassed. I've been ashamed of myself on various occasions. What I hope is shameful or embarrassing to me is when I contradict Scripture with my belief and behavior. For instance, if I stopped believing what God said about the preservation of Scripture and what Christians have believed about it, I would be ashamed of myself. That keeps me from going that direction, even if it would result in having some new found popularity among evangelicals and fundamentalists, and maybe I wouldn't get made fun of as much as I do. But actually, when I received Jesus Christ, I gave up me for God. As I've grown as a Christian, I've noticed that the world tries to put pressure on you by attempting to make you feel silly or weird for what you believe and practice. The world uses worldly means and arguments to do so. Strength from the Lord directs and enables me not to be swayed with that kind of technique or manipulation. Often this works, however, which is why Satan and his system keeps doing it.
But all of the above brings me to the proposition that the biblical and historical Christian doctrine of preservation should embarrass evangelicals and fundamentalists about their views and positions. MV should be embarrassed in light of what the Bible teaches and what Christians have believed. MV should be embarrassed that they can't find their positions in history and that they contradict what the Bible teaches. MV should be embarrassed for their faithlessness, which doesn't please God. MV should be embarrassed that they have undermined the faith of many, these little children that they have caused to stumble---it would be better that they put a millstone around their neck and throw themselves into deep water, like Christ taught. I would be ashamed to be them. Their position doesn't stack up with the Bible or with history.
By the way, try to find a presentation from a MV that teaches the Bible and history on preservation. You won't get developed teaching, anything systematic out of them. They are at their best when they are merely criticizing (and usually just ridiculing) what Christians today write and believe on this subject. They don't have their own written-out positions though. I've tried to get some of them to do it, but as they go to the Bible, they run into some major problems. The Bible contradicts their positions. At most, they are reactionary to what other people believe and practice. Their stuff, however, like the major offerings of old-earth creationists, starts with science, and then attempts to frame Scripture to accommodate their science (so-called).
Now when I bring these things up, like I have with Daniel Wallace, he agrees. He knows his position isn't historical. He knows his position isn't what Christians have believed. Kurt Aland knew he didn't take the biblical and historical position. When I bring the historical part of this, William Combs at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary is silent. He chooses instead to deflect with sarcasm or insults and snide remarks. He is low hanging fruit for all of those himself, but that is not the spiritual weaponry that anyone needs. His use of carnal weapons, including the embarrassment-over-the-preface-of-the-translators argument, indicates that he desperately has little to nothing going for him. He should operate in faith, but he continues in uncertainty and doubt. He ignores the faith of the churches on this issue for the popularity of the society of scholarship, science falsely so-called. It reminds me of the temptation of the church at Corinth to fit in with the various wisdom of the Greek philosophers there, even though it clashed with apostolic doctrine. They denied the bodily resurrection for the mere immortality of the soul, because the former would have meant clashing with the scholars there. All of this should be embarrassing.
What is sad to me is that men are not embarrassed about their clash with a historical and biblical doctrine of preservation of Scripture. My opinion is that they actually are embarrassed, which explains the venom and the anger with which they write. It is sort of like Peter's anger when he warmed his hands at the fire when he denied Jesus. He was angry. He had to make questions go away and did so with his anger and his language. If you don't have truth to tell, and the Word is truth, not the preface of the translators, you've got to take the strategy that Peter took. The scoffers that Peter wrote about in 2 Peter 2-3 are similar. They have scientific arguments against the second coming of Christ, and Peter said, we've got a more sure word of prophecy. The scoffing was there to protect the lifestyle. Men like Wallace and Combs have positions to protect too.
It's embarrassing to be contradicting Scripture. It looks faithless and weak. I've seen men in these positions, when they are on the side of weakness. Instead of actually being strong, they put on a show of strength. That's what the articles on the preface of the KJV look like to me. They are a giant bluff. It has nothing to add to historic bibliology. These men can't go to the Bible for their positions, so they have to lean on authority-by-best-quote, something like what occurred with the religious leaders of Jesus' day. They speak as ones having no authority. It's embarrassing. It should be. I think it is. Perhaps in what is even more embarrassing, they'll say, "no, I'm not embarrassed." Shame on them.