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Engaging A Few King James Only Talking Points

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          -This article serves as a rebuttal to a post on an otherwise interesting blog operated by Pastor Kent Brandenburg, where he defends his King James onlyism against claims of that translation being influenced by the Latin Vulgate. As is the typical fashion for doing article critiques on this blog, we begin this discourse with a quotation from the author:

          "Those who use a Latin Vulgate attack either are ignorant of the position of KJO or of history, or are just devious."

          The King James Version was for the most part based on the accessible Greek manuscripts at that point in time. However, those same manuscripts were late in history and incomplete in a few places. As a result, the Vulgate was consulted as a source to aid in translation. Some of the verse readings of Erasmus’ came from the Latin in places where he had no Greek text. Stephanus assumed the superiority of the Latin text in various places. Theodore Beza occasionally reconstructed texts using Latin readings. In fact, the reference to "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12 of the King James Version was derived from the Latin Vulgate itself. It simply cannot be denied that certain portions of the King James Version were influenced by Latin manuscripts.

          Latin influence itself is not exactly a negative thing. Latin manuscripts are not necessarily devoid of scholarly merit and value.

          "The view of the Protestants and Baptists came out of a pre-enlightenment way of thinking, transcendent thought, that started with God and Who He was. They took a position that came out of the exegesis of Scripture, in complete contrast to Roman Catholicism."

          Notice how the author distinguishes between Protestants and Baptists. The fact of the matter is that Baptists are a sect within Protestantism. All true believes across the globe make up the family of God (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 1:2). So we would all do well to depart from the "one and only true church" mentality.

          It is not as though the Apostle Paul had the King James Version in mind when he said that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). There are simply no passages which forbid us from having multiple translations of the Bible.

          How does dogmatically upholding traditions that are nowhere to be found in the Bible not testify against our belief in it being self-sufficient?

          If the King James Version contains the inspired, proper form of English, then how come King James only proponents do not speak it in their ordinary lives?

          If all modern Bible versions are perversions of the Devil, then how does one account for the numerous conversion testimonies to biblical Christianity through the usage of translations such as the New International Version?

          "The modern multiple-versionists represent a post-enlightenment thinking that begins with man's reason. It does not rely upon the beliefs of God's churches for centuries. Instead of depending on the Holy Spirit by faith, they reject what the churches received for the forensics of scientific theoriticians. They not only abandon an old and accepted Bible, but the testimony of the Holy Spirit through His churches...They reject historical bibliology for the uncertainty of textual scientists."

          These statements sound oh-so pious, but are not established in fact and even undermine the trustworthiness of Scripture. Also, we have no promises from God to preserve every jot of His Word in some random translation. Believers in the first century did not have these nice leather-bound Bibles as do we folks in modern-day America. First century Jewish synagogues had Old Testament scrolls which no doubt contained a handful of textual variants. The Bible has much greater depth in history and reality than what King James only advocates allow for. A person can embrace the doctrine of biblical inerrancy without believing that a single translation (which is simply a copy of God's Word) has no defect whatsoever.

          There are no reputable commentaries, scholastic works, and historic creeds or confessions of faith that make any mention of an alleged infallibly preserved translation of the Bible. Interestingly enough, the Puritans preferred the Geneva Bible over the King James by and large. The author being critiqued misleads his audience with a bad (and even illogical) historical narrative.

           God originally had His Words transmitted in the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic languages. Does this not prove that God would desire the same to be done in the common tongue for every civilization? It sure does. The King James translators would definitely agree with such a proposition, as is evidenced by this excerpt from the 1611 preface:

          "But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?"

          What the King James only position essentially boils down to is the adamant clinging to an extra-biblical tradition. It is a variation of the great apostasy tale, which can also be found in Mormonism. The issue is not so much a disputation on textual criticism, as many within this movement disdainfully condemn other translations for merely using up to date language. Another point worth mentioning is the remarkable similarities between the Authorized Version and the translating work of William Tyndale. As the following two article excerpts elaborate:

           "Dr. Dan Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, tells us that over 90% of the AV is Tyndale. An examination of Matthew chapter five reveals the truth of this statement. Of the 1,063 words, there are only 108 differences, making the percentage roughly 90%—spot on with Dr. Wallace’s figure. Examination of entire books would, no doubt, reveal similar results."

           "The fact that the translators took these quotes (and many others) from Tyndale speaks to his greatness as a translator. His greatness today is still unknown to the general church-going public. The pundits who promote the AV as the only version we should use (in contrast to the “corrupt” modern translations) would be less apt to speak if they only read Tyndale’s translation."

This post first appeared on Rational Christian Discernment, please read the originial post: here

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Engaging A Few King James Only Talking Points


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