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

Monday, January 10, 2011

No Liars in Heaven

liarsCartoonist, Jack Chick, continues to peddle his tin-foil hat revisionism of Church History illustrated with pictures of stern faced angels, glowing titanic faceless images of God, and bad guys with exaggerated Semitic features like thick eye-brows and hooked noses.

I was alerted to one of his recent tracts called No Liars in Heaven by a passionate evangelist who sent our ministry a copy. For this paranoid outing, Chick has enlisted the aid of fellow KJV-only conspiratorialist, David Daniels, (not to be confused with the Tyndale scholar or the tenor with the similar sounding name). Together they have produced a new tract providing an introduction to the deluded world of KJV-only textual criticism.

The tract opens with a scene set at a Christian radio station. A banner above the picture tells us the following really took place. A sinister looking talk show host, with an evil scowl, is taking questions from callers. One caller asks, “When is it okay for Christians to lie?” The Bible answer man of darkness responds by telling the caller that of course it is okay for Christians to lie, Jesus lied to his brothers. (Cue ominous music). When the caller asks where it says in the Bible Jesus lied to his brothers, the reference it is given to John 7:8-10

At this point, a cartoon version of our intrepid KJV-only advocate, David Daniels, illuminated with a righteous, soft glow, interjects and says “Yep, because of only one little missing word,” that word being “yet.” A contrast is given between what one of many modern Bible versions supposedly says at John 7:8-10 and what the King James Version says.

Unnamed Modern Bible Version: You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time is not fully come. After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.

KJV: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet fully come…

The deletion of the word “yet” makes Jesus to be a liar, because after he tells his brothers he is not going up to the feast, he goes up anyways. Oddly, no where in the entire tract is the KJV named as the one Bible that contains ALL of God’s Words. It is quite a subtle ploy on the part of Chick to avoid mentioning the KJV, or any other modern Bible translation.

Anyhow, after this stunning comparison is revealed, we are told that 20 (count them!) popular Bibles are missing this one little word. A picture of horrified people ask “What should we do?” to which Daniels responds, “Get a different Bible” and again, the correct Bible isn’t named. The cartoon narrator then explains to us how publishers, illustrated with the exaggerated Semitic features I mentioned, have been removing words out of the Bible down throughout the centuries. We are asked, “Which Bible would you trust?” and a few more examples of textual editing are provided along with more horrified people. Such verses as Luke 9:54-56 where Christ’s answer to His apostles is said to be removed, and Acts 8:37 where the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch is supposed to be taken out.

The David Daniels character pops back in and says how he has spent nearly 30 years comparing Bible versions. God warns us throughout Scripture, Daniels says, to “not add to or take away from my words.” No examples of “adding to” are noted, however. More characters with exaggerated Semitic features are shown confusing pastors and lay people with the “latest and greatest” modern Bible translations, all of them missing hundreds of individual words that supposedly alter the text to such a profound degree no one truly knows what God’s Word says. The tract ends with an advertisement for Daniels’s book. There is a link to an on-line video where you can actually see him explain all of this in person: See here.

It truly is sad such buffoonish deceit is passed off as Christian apologetics and evangelism. Jack Chick and David Daniels are in danger of being labeled liars themselves. Not only are they misrepresenting the reason for these so-called "missing" words, they also impugn the character of generations of faithful Bible translators and textual critics who would recoil at the notion of dishonoring God's Word.

Consider the first two examples:

Does removing the word "yet" make Jesus a liar? Daniels conveniently ignores the entire context of Christ's interaction with his brothers. If one were to begin reading the account before the alleged removal of "yet," John makes it clear that Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him (7:5) and that they were chiding Him to go and make Himself public in Jerusalem as Israel's Messiah. Jesus tells His brothers, who had it wrong about the intent of Christ's ministry, that His time had not yet come (7:6). In other words, His purpose in going to Jerusalem for the annual feast was not to declare Himself publicly as Israel's Messiah. That is the whole point of the discussion and Him saying "I am not going up to this feast." It wasn't that he purposely misled his brothers, but that He wasn't going for the reason His brothers wanted him to go.

There is a similar discussion Jesus had with Mary in John 2 at the wedding of Cana. Did Jesus lie to his mother after she asked Him to help when the party ran out of wine? He responded to her, "What do I have to do with you woman? My hour has not yet come" (2:4). It is almost the exact same wording as He gave to His brothers in John 7. But then Jesus turns water into wine. Did He just lie to His mother according to Daniels's absurd notions?

Secondly, did Luke eliminate Jesus' response to His disciples? No. Daniels is misstating the facts of Luke 9:55, 56 (dare I say lying?) when he says that the missing words eliminates Christ's answer to His disciples. The text, with the so-called, intentionally deleted words, says: And when His disciples James and John saw this they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them? But He turned and rebuked them. (9:54, 55). Notice that Jesus did answer them contrary to what Daniels alleged in the tract. He answered them with a rebuke. Luke just didn't record what Jesus specifically said when He rebuked them.

What Daniels and Chick fail to tell their readers is that there is a good possibility that well intentioned copyists ADDED to the text in order to save Jesus embarrassment in these instances, rather than DELETED the words to insert heresy into the Bible. Just as Daniels preaches that we are not to take away from God's Words, we aren't to add to them either, especially with wacky conspiracy theories.

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4 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Fred,

Thank for the post, cause--as you know, I gets all my book larnin' from comics!

--David

1:08 PM, January 10, 2011  
Blogger Edward said...

I went to the link and read the track. I didn't have to read far until I started thinking that this is a King James Only track and I was right. Long live the ESV and NASB. While the KJO people are peddling their misinformation I am reading and understanding God's word in my own language.

6:09 PM, January 11, 2011  
Blogger Paul L said...

I am NOT a fan of Jack Chick at all. However, with your references to the "exaggerated Semitic features" in this tract you seem to imply that Jack Chick is an anti-Semite. In fact Jack Chick is philo-Semitic, a Christian Zionist in fact.

This can be seen in his tract "Somebody Angry?" in which he claims that major natural disasters in the US are the result of the government not supporting Israel enough. (http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1055/1055_01.asp)

Much of what Jack Chick says is absurd, but it is not fair to imply he is anti-Jewish.

4:24 PM, January 14, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Paul,
I never said Chick is anti-Semitic. I would imagine he being a typical fundamentalist probably is as you say. However, that doesn't mean that in pretty much everyone of his tracts bad guys are routinely depicted with exaggerated Semitic features. That may not be his intentions, but it doesn't diminish what I can plainly see.

5:13 PM, January 14, 2011  

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