Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Answers that KJV onlyists are afraid you will provide (pt 2)

I have undertaken a response to the 33 Questions that modern Bible version advocates are afraid they will be asked. The author of these questions is under the mistaken notion that his questions are stumper questions designed to shut down anyone who dares to raise an objection against King James onlyism. I emailed the site administrator to alert him to my responses to his questions but have yet to receive a reply. Perhaps I will have him interact in the comments.

My first set of responses can be read here.

Moving along to the next set of questions:

Number 11 is a long one that contains some sub-questions, so I will not cite it in its entirety.

11). Are you aware that if you reject the Greek Text which underlies the King James Version, that you are rejecting the Bible and the Validity of the Bibles, and undermining the credibility and witness not only of the historic christian [sic] martyrs who were English, but also those from Spain, and From [sic] Holland, and from France, and from Germany and from Switzerland, and from Italy, since they all also rely on the Greek Textus Receptus that the King James uses?

The question suggests that if you are reading a MBV instead of the King James, then you are choosing a translation that stands opposed to the historical translations from the period of the Reformation. Because those versions were translated from the Textus Receptus, or the Received Text, and the King James was one of the final English translations based upon the Received Text, to use a MBV instead of the King James means you are rejecting all of these other historic translations, as well as the one favored by the Christians who died for their faith during the period of the Reformation.

The author then goes on to list some of those translations, including the Geneva Bible in among the list of the other foreign language translations based upon the Received Text and tying it to the American Pilgrims and Puritans.

We need to consider some important historical facts and have them set into context.

Keep in mind that when Erasmus first published his Greek text that would eventually be called the "Received Text," textual criticism of any serious nature was still in its infancy. Principles of textual criticism were still being hashed out by scholars and it wasn't an exact science just yet.

Additionally, Christians were also recovering their knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek languages. Any serious study of the ancient biblical languages was primarily limited to the professional clergy and even then the languages were not necessarily studied with any depth, especially to uncover meaningful exegesis of the biblical text.

Furthermore, the collection, collation, and editing of Greek manuscripts into one textual apparatus from which a person could translate was also severely limited. I noted last time that Erasmus only had 10 or less to start with and even those manuscripts were incomplete. As the Reformation expanded across Europe, so also did the knowledge of Christian scholarship with regards to textual criticism.

Thus, for our questioner to suggest that the only viable Greek text is to be found in the Received Text alone and the only viable translation is the King James alone is not being honest with the historical facts of how textual criticism developed. Moreover, there is a reasonable explanation for why only the Received Text was utilized in the translation of those other foreign language Bibles:

Putting together a textual apparatus from which to translate is just plain hard.

Once the work had been accomplished by Erasmus, no one else necessarily had the "know-how" or the resources to compile an alternate text. For the growing Protestant Reformation all that the Christians cared about was getting the Word of God into the hands of the people. The Received Text was used, not because it was considered orthodox and the pure Word of God over other rival texts, but because it was the only one really accessible to the general public for use in translating.

As for the claim about the Geneva Bible being used by Puritans and Pilgrims, I noted in my final two articles examining the claims of King James Onlyism (here and here), that the Puritans rejected the KJV because it was in their minds a Conformist Anglican produced Bible. They choose the Geneva, not because it was based upon the Received Text, but because it had strong ties to the Protestant Reformation and because it wasn't the KJV.

A couple of excellent questions to pose to our KJV onlyist in return would be:

Which edition of the Received Text do you have in mind? You do know there are nearly 25 editions/revisions of the Received Text? And, Are you a King James Onlyists or a Received Text Onlyist? If you only care about the Received Text being preserved, would you favor an up-dated English translation based upon the Received Text to replace the aged KJV?

Let me treat these next 4 questions together because they address similar things:

12). Do you know (a) the life, (b) the character, and (c) the teachings & (d) beliefs of the Bible translators of the Modern Versions that you are defending? Do you know - for example - what they believed about Jesus Christ?


13). Do you know - for a fact - what they believed about the Deity of Jesus Christ?


14). Do you know - for a fact - whether or not they believed that Mary should be worshiped?


15). Do you know - for a fact - what they believed about the Trinity?

[how would you prove or demonstrate your answers to others ... like us?]

This series of questions implies those scholars who were involved in the textual criticism that produced the Hebrew and Greek texts used to translate our MBV like the NASB and the ESV, were really heretical in their theology and their work cannot be trusted. Generally, questions like these are aimed at Westcott and Hort who are considered by KJV onlyists to be the arch-heretics who displaced the Received Text.

Heretics, however, rarely corrupted the physical text of either the OT or the NT. What they did do is to keep the text intact, but pour their heretical teaching onto the Bible. They twist the scriptures, as Peter says, to their own destruction.

So, how exactly do I go about proving or demonstrating what it was these individuals believed? Well, probably the easiest way to "prove" or "demonstrate" what any group of individuals says about these issues is to go to their works where they have written about Christ's Deity, Mary worship and the Trinity. Sadly, KJV onlyists rarely do this type of leg work before offering their personal attacks against the textual critics who have provided so much excellent historical work for the Church at large in the area of our Bible. Even if citations can be provided that do prove the person was orthodox in all of these areas, the KJV onlyists rarely except the citations as convincing.

I, in turn, would asked the KJV onlyist if he was aware that Erasmus, who gave us the Received Text, was a staunch Roman Catholic priest who did believe in the power of the Eucharist and worshiped Mary. I would further ask him if he was aware of the fact that the KJV translators were staunch Anglicans who believed in infant baptismal regeneration.

16). Do you know - for a fact - WHY they rejected the Textus Receptus, that underlies the King James?

It would be helpful if our author would stick with either using the Received Text or the Textus Receptus. He assumes his readers are familiar with these two terms and the history behind them.

Any way, it is a tad dishonest to suggest these textual scholars rejected the Received Text. What they did was to improve NT textual scholarship and part of that was laying aside the Received Text as the most accurate NT text. As I have already noted in the previous post on this subject, as well as in my series on KJV onlyism, many scholars have documented the problems found in the Received Text. The key one being that it was based upon inferior textual witnesses to the original autographs.

What the question implies is that scholars rejected the Received Text because it was "orthodox" and they were liberal heretics who couldn't stand for God's Word. Nothing is further from the truth.

17). Do you know who their professors were in their colleges & universities were, and how those college professors influenced them?


18). Do you know who their professors were in their colleges & universities were, and what the Biases of those colleges professors was [sic] - in terms of being in favor of (a) God, (b) Christianity, and (c) the Bible?

My first challenge back to any KJV apologist who asked me these two questions would be simply: Do you? I would be willing to wager a Costco ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped almonds that he would be clueless as to who the professor were who taught these suspect NT scholars and what biases they had against the faith, if any at all.

The only point to these two questions is to try to increase the severity of these scholar's heresy. Not only were they personally heretical in their beliefs, but they also learned from heretics. Thus a person should throw out any MBV quicker than he was going to do before.

Of course the burden is upon the KJV onlyists leveling these charges to demonstrate the heresy of the professors and universities in question, and then to demonstrate that if any heresy did exist how if at all did it impact the scholars who handled the NT documents in question.

19). Do you know - for a fact - whether or not those translators even believed that the real and true Word of God (the Bible) could be found within the manuscripts either (a) that they used or (b) that the Historic Christian Church has used for 1900 years?


20). Do you know - for a fact - whether or not those translators - of the modern versions you rely on for your spiritual growth and communion with God - believe in the fall of mankind (Genesis 1-3) and the Biblical Doctrine of Original Sin?


21). Do you know - for a fact - whether or not those translators - of the modern versions you rely on for your spiritual growth and communion with God - believe in the same historic Christian teachings that you believe in? Do they even claim to believe in the historic Christian teachings?

Again, my first challenge back to the KJV onlyist would be the same as above: Do you? Here our author has switched from bashing the scholars who put together the Greek text to bashing the translators. The reader may not catch the switch, but the NT textual scholars are not necessarily the same as the NT translators. There have been translators who have translated MBV that even I would say are unorthodox and liberal. However, those liberal translators did not tamper with the physical Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, they merely translated their work to reflect their bias.

Moreover, the translations usually targeted by KJV onlyists are conservative and were translated by conservative, God fearing and Bible believing men. I happen to personally know some of the translators involved with the production of the NASB and they most certainly do believe in the historic Christian teachings of the Church, contrary to what our author suggests with his questions. Additionally, the ESV was translated by many godly men, including Wayne Grudem, who has been a strong apologist for the biblical perspective on manhood and womanhood. I would encourage our author to visit a wonderful little website called the Bible Researcher that traces the historical development of many of our English versions. He will discover that most of them do not have the sinister background that he believes they have.

I will finish up my responses with the next post.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent work as always. Your posts are always educational.

8:47 PM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger pilgrim said...

A lot of good points and clarity--I agree their questions need to be turned around and asked of them.

The Erasmus one is usually fun to wacth them answer--but they either disregard it or twist around it.

9:03 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

If the KJV manuscripts say the same things as the Modern Version manuscripts 99% of the time then woulden't claiming Modern Versions are corrupt mean the KJV corrupt?

11:02 AM, December 29, 2006  
Blogger Bible Discernment said...

Sorry about all the fuss...what was I thinking!

6:35 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Yes, what were you thinking? Many folks get confused by such shoddy information and it just breeds doubt in the ability of God to preserve His Word.


11:10 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Bible Discernment said...

I think God has already shown His ability to preserve His WORD through the AV! God bless

2:10 PM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

It is one thing to "think" this, it is quite another one to demonstrate it using credible evidence. I do not believe you have and what has been presented is confusing and can lead to unbelief.


2:37 PM, December 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't grow up in a church where the KJV was used very frequently so I guess I don't understand properly what the problem would be if other accurate English Bible translations are produced? Why do KJVO people hold so strongly to their point of view? Maybe you can't answer that, but just confuses me!

5:27 PM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...


Well, to catch you up to speed with KJV onlyism, I suggest that you read my blog articles examining their arguments. They are linked in the side bar on the right of my blog main page. Scroll down to the Must Read articles section and you will see them.

I use to be a KJV only apologist for about 10 years until God opened my eyes to see the truth. I chronicle my journey here which is the introduction to my study.


7:45 PM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Gummby said...

Fred: love these posts. Not only do I appreciate your replies, but also the rebuttal questions.

Of course, one of the things the KJVO advocate's questions are designed to do is put someone on the defensive from the beginning. Sort of the Bible version equivalent of "So, how often do you beat your wife?"

I'm curious--how many of them could answer the same probing questions about the translators of the AV? What do they do with the Apocryphal committee?

And what is their response to the research that when you boil it all down, 85% of the KJV was just imported directly from William Tyndale's translation anyway?

Anyway, keep up the good work, friend, and Happy New Year.

10:55 PM, December 31, 2006  
Blogger Mike-e said...

I would be willing to wager a Costco ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped almonds that he would be clueless as to who the professor were who taught these suspect NT scholars and what biases they had against the faith, if any at all.

Best line EVER!!!!

I think, as you continuously point out, that the best line of defense against KJonlyism is consistency, because if they only applied the same standards against the KJ, then the argument would be over! Great post Fred!

11:30 AM, January 02, 2007  

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