I try not to post other people’s work here, because I don’t want to get the reputation of relying on other’s research. From time to time, however, I am blown away by the work of another, and I just have to re-post it! This is one of those times.
This week, Kent Brandenburg of “What is Truth” posted an article about the several different views that come under the umbrella of KJV onlyism. Only one of those views is biblically correct, and that is the one that Mr. Brandenburg is teaching. This is not a superstitious view of the King James bible, as if God’s words were lost and the KJV Translators had to restore it. Nor is this the view that the English is somehow better than the original Greek and Hebrew. No, this view is the one traditionally held by Christians around the world; that God providentially preserved His words in the original languages, and the Authorized Version, aka the King James, is an accurate translation of it.
Mr. Brandenburg does a better job of explaining it than me, so please take the time to read through his post. I’m sure you will be blessed;
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Let’s Be Very Clear: Not All King James Version Views Are the Same
A crafty way that multiple version (MV) or eclectic text (ET) advocates oppose the support of the King James Version is by lumping together all King James Version proponents as if they are all the same. There are extreme differences between different King James Version positions. To pick out the weakest, or even the strangest, a weird one, that has almost no veracity, and to knock it down, demolish it, doesn’t mean that you’ve actually proven much, if anything. And MV and ET defenders do mow down the worst of the KJVO (King James Version Only) and treat it like they’ve downed Goliath, included often times with strutting and trash-talking.
From the outside looking in, the MV/ET approach the odd KJV views like how upperclassmen, who still play freshman football, might pick on someone like themselves, but who plays on the junior high team. The upperclassmen are pathetic. Those KJVO aren’t reading you and those who do read you are not in any risk of reading them. Please leave them alone.
Ultimately, you just want to follow the truth and honor God, right? Isn’t that what you want? You aren’t trying only to win a debate or an argument. You want to take the position that represents God, what He’s said, right? So just because we are able easily to dispose of some far-out, non-historic, non-exegetical viewpoints, doesn’t mean that we’ve reached that goal. We haven’t even defended our own belief by doing away with other wrong beliefs.
So what are various King James Version positions?
I’m not going to attempt to label each of the views that people take, who support the King James Version, because the advocates will say I got it wrong. This will not come in any particular order.
Some believe that God has improved upon the original Hebrew and Greek by inspiring the Bible in English. Those who believe this say that the King James Version is the final edition of God’s inspiration and God chose to accomplish this in English. Obviously, these are people who support the King James Version and they’re King James Only, but they are much different than other iterations of KJVO. As I’ve read this type of KJVO and then MV/ET, I have found them to be very similar in their underlying error. They are both detached from bibliology.
Some teach that God preserved His Word by means of the English translation, the King James Version. They don’t believe that Scripture is preserved in the underlying text, because they would say that we don’t have a whole Greek text of the New Testament from which the King James Version was translated. The preservation of Scripture is found in the English, the King James Version. Any reference to the underlying Greek text is an attempt, it seems, to correct the KJV.
Majority or Byzantine Text
There are those who prefer the King James because it comes from the majority of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament or from the Byzantine manuscripts of the New Testament. It became a standardized translation, so they prefer it. They don’t accept the modern versions, because those are influenced by the critical or eclectic text. They aren’t dogmatic about the King James Version. They just approve of it themselves without condemning people who use other translations.
Accurate English Translation of a Providentially Preserved Text
God preserved His Words, everyone of them, in the language in which they were written, and those Words have been accessible to every generation of believers. The King James Version is the best English translation of those Words and has been acceptable to churches. This position is buttressed upon biblical and historic teaching on the preservation of scripture. This position doesn’t say that every Word was preserved in any particular printed edition of the textus receptus previous to 1611, but that the perfectly preserved Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic Words were received by and accessible to true churches (believers). Some have called this the “sacred text” position. I have called this the doctrine of the perfect preservation of scripture. This is the historic and biblical position.
I believe the fourth and last position here. I don’t believe the top three positions. There are many just like me. Most MV/ET advocates, who do not hold a historical or biblical view, argue against the proponents of either double inspiration or English preservation, and then they act as though they have shown what’s wrong with KJVO. They get back slaps and ‘atta-boys’ for having done so. They don’t fare so well when they have to take their positions into the consideration of careful exegesis of scripture. The just shall live by faith.
I would invite the reader to read through the articles on Mr. Brandenburg’s blog. There are a lot of excellent articles about the KJV only debate there. You will see debates with modern version proponents such as Dan Wallace there. Scroll down his blog and click on the headings on the right hand column, especially those under the heading “posts on the preservation of Scripture”. Whatever disagreements we might have on other subjects, I am in total agreement with him on the Textual debate.