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 King James Only

I found the following writing recently, and have read it over several times. On this site some folks have jeered me a little for being a defender of the KJV. It doesnt bother me that that happens because I understand that a lot of times it comes from folks that really have never studied the real issues surrounding the entire debate.

This particular writing was written by a gentleman who has studied and written extensively for nearly 20 years on the KJV issue. When i read this, I said to myself "this states exactly where I stand on this!"

Too many times we lump people into one category or under one label, and that shouldnt be. I personally know those who have taken the KJV issue to extremes, and it can become irrational... as with any issue.

However, I believe the following piece is very well balanced, and may perhaps shed some light as to where I stand on this issue.

Krispy

[i][b]Please read the entire article before you respond to this![/b][/i]

[size=medium]King James Only[/size]
by David Cloud

There is a lot of debate and confusion surrounding the man-made term "King James Onlyism." This term has been popularized in recent years by men who claim they are concerned about an alleged cultic view of the King James Bible. Rarely do they carefully define this term, though, and as a result a wide variety of Bible-believing men are lumped together and labeled with a term the meaning of which is nebulous.

I have been labeled "King James Only" because of my writings on the subject of Bible texts and versions. To set the record straight, let me explain what I believe. I know from decades of experience that this is also what a large number of other King James Bible defenders believe.

If "King James Only" defines one who believes that God has given an inerrant Scripture in Greek and Hebrew and that He has preserved that in the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received Text underlying the King James Bible and other Reformation Bibles and that we have an accurate translation of it in the English language in the Authorized Version, call me "King James Only."

If "King James Only" defines one who believes modern textual criticism is heresy, call me "King James Only." I have spent hundreds of dollars to obtain the writings of the men who have been at the forefront of developing the theories underlying modern textual criticism, and I have read them. They are not dependable. Most of them are unbelievers, and I refuse to lean upon their scholarship. I am convinced they do not have the spiritual discernment necessary to know where the inspired, preserved Word of God is located today.

If "King James Only" defines one who believes God guided the Reformation editors and translators in their choice of the Received Text and that we don't have to start all over today in an to attempt to find the preserved text of Scripture, call me "King James Only." The theories of modern textual criticism all revolve around the idea that the pure text of Scripture was not preserved in the Reformation text but that the Reformation editors, because of their alleged ignorance and carelessness and lack of resources, rejected the pure text and chose, instead, an inferior text. You are free to accept that view if it suits you. I, for one, believe it is absolute nonsense.

If "King James Only" defines one who rejects the theory that the "preserved" Word of God was hidden away in the Pope's library and in a weird Greek Orthodox monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai (a monastery which has a room full of the skulls of dead monks) for hundreds of years, call me "King James Only."

If "King James Only" defines one who believes it is important to have one biblical standard in a language as important as English and who believes that the multiplicity of versions has created confusion and has weakened the authority of the Word of God in this century, call me "King James Only."

[b]ON THE OTHER HAND[/b]

If "King James Only" defines one who believes that the KJV was given by inspiration, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only. The King James Bible is the product of preservation, [b]not inspiration[/b]. The term "inspiration" refers to the original giving of the Scripture through holy men of old (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). At the same time, I agree with the Pulpit Commentary when it says, "We must guard against such narrow, mechanical views of inspiration as would confine it to the Hebrew and Greek words in which it was written, so that one who reads a good translation would not have 'the words of the Lord.'"

If "King James Only" defines one who believes the English KJV is superior to the Hebrew and Greek texts upon which it was based, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only." In fact, I believe such an idea is pure nonsense and would mean the preserved Word of God did not exist before 1611.

If "King James Only" defines one who believes the English Authorized Version is advanced revelation over the Hebrew and Greek text that God gave through inspiration to holy men of old, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only."

If "King James Only" defines one who believes that we do not need to study Greek and Hebrew today or that it is not proper to use lexicons and dictionaries, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only." God's people should learn Greek and Hebrew if possible and use (with much caution and wisdom) study tools. When the Bible says that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," we know that the words they spake were Hebrew and Greek words. I encouraged my youngest son to begin studying Greek in high school, and he is scheduled to have four years of Greek and two of Hebrew when he graduates from Bible College. But foundational to the study of the biblical languages is a thorough understanding of the textual issue. We must study the right Greek and Hebrew, and we must also be careful of the original language study tools, because many of them were produced from a rationalistic position and most were produced with great bias against the Received Text.

If "King James Only" defines one who believes the preserved Word of God is available only in English, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only." The Masoretic Hebrew and Greek Received texts translated properly into any language is the preserved Word of God in that language, whether it be German, Spanish, French, Korean, or Nepali.

If "King James Only" defines one who believes that translations in other languages should be based on English rather than (when possible) Greek and Hebrew, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only."

If "King James Only" defines one who believes that a person can only be saved through the King James Bible, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only."

If "King James Only" defines one who believes that the King James Bible's antiquated language is holy or who believes the KJV could never again be updated, I am [b]not[/b] "King James Only." I doubt the KJV will ever be replaced in this apostate age, but to say that it is wrong to update the language again after the fashion of the four updates it has undergone since 1611 is not reasonable, in my estimation. Having dealt constantly with people who speak English as a 2nd or 3rd language, I am very sympathetic to the very real antiquation problem in the King James Bible. [i][b]But I am not going to trade a Bible with a few problems due to old language for a Bible filled with error due to a corrupt text and/or a corrupt translation methodology.[/b][/i]

 2005/3/4 9:49
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: King James Only

I have no interest in getting into the "King James Only" debate. I do not think the KJV is merely "a Bible with a few problems due to old language," nor do I think the modern translations are "filled with error due to a corrupt text and/or a corrupt translation methodology." In my opinion, the problem of the Church today is [b]not[/b] which version to use, but how to encourage believers to make use of all the available resources to engage in [i]life-changing[/i] Bible studies.

As for David Cloud, who represents the fundamental baptist wing, would be classified by many as [b]"extremely conservative"[/b]. It is quite hard to find [b]any[/b] brethren in Christ outside of his circle not being nit-picked for some "apostasies," e.g. Charles Stanley, Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, Philip Yancey, Jim Cymbala, Elisabeth Elliot, Jerry Bridges, etc. His attitude has always come across to me as, "everybody's wrong but me, David Cloud."


_________________
Sam

 2005/3/4 10:39Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: King James Only

Quote:
If "King James Only" defines one who believes that God has given an inerrant Scripture in Greek and Hebrew and that He has preserved that in the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received Text underlying the King James Bible and other Reformation Bibles and that we have an accurate translation of it in the English language in the Authorized Version, call me "King James Only."

Well, it all depends on what you mean by 'Received Text'. If you mean that you can ignore the remainder of the Byzantine Textform, and that the 6 manuscripts were word perfect copies of the original writings, which would be difficult in that there will have been divergences even in the 6 manuscripts...

It all depends on what you mean by 'accurate translation'. Do you mean that the KJV's obsession with role and hierarchy is a good tranlsation of the original concepts, and that church is better than assembly, and charity is better than love, and confession better than acknowledgment. If by accurate translation you are comparing it with other translations... in strictest terms of meaning the ASV is a more 'accurate translation' but, in my view, based on inferior manuscripts. HOwever when based on the Masoretic text or NT texts which are identical in Western and Byzantine textforms, the ASV is often much more 'accurate'.

Quote:
But I am not going to trade a Bible with a few problems due to old language for a Bible filled with error due to a corrupt text and/or a corrupt translation methodology.

Nor me, which is why the KJV is still my version of choice, but to close our eyes and ears to nuances which other translations may have captured is self impoverishment.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/3/4 10:52Profile









 Re:

Quote:
As for David Cloud, who represents the fundamental baptist wing, would be classified by many as "extremely conservative". It is quite hard to find any brethren in Christ outside of his circle not being nit-picked for some "apostasies," e.g. Charles Stanley, Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, Philip Yancey, Jim Cymbala, Elisabeth Elliot, Jerry Bridges, etc. His attitude has always come across to me as, "everybody's wrong but me, David Cloud."



I'm not... let me repeat... NOT promoting everything that David Cloud writes. I do, however, have a lot of respect for his knowledge of Bible versions. I've personally corresponded with him on several occasions, and have found that your characterization of him is incorrect. He brings up some concerns about those that you mentioned, and I have to say that he does make some interesting points. [b]HOWEVER...[/b] this is not a thread about David Cloud, so please do not make it one.

Quote:
I have no interest in getting into the "King James Only" debate.



...but you responded with your opinion on the issue. Does this mean you dont want to hear opposing views while you give yours? If your going to jump in with you opinions, then you should be open to debate. Thats just good chat board manners. I posted this knowing full well it would spark a debate... isnt that why we're here??

Quote:
I do not think the KJV is merely "a Bible with a few problems due to old language"



...elaborate.

Quote:
nor do I think the modern translations are "filled with error due to a corrupt text and/or a corrupt translation methodology."



Why do you think this? Which underlying text is correct then? They cant both be right. One, or both, has to be wrong.

Quote:
In my opinion, the problem of the Church today is not which version to use



It may not be THE problem... but to say it isnt a problem is to totally ignore all of the issues surrounding the versions. Thats just putting a spiritual head in the sand and wishing the problem away.

Quote:
but how to encourage believers to make use of all the available resources to engage in life-changing Bible studies



Well, you certainly get no argument from me about that. The church is weak because most believers have abandoned any real meaningful study of God's Word. We are in one accord on that one.

However, I do not believe the answer is to study Bible versions that are based on corrupted text. Thats akin to saying that there are starving people in Africa... lets ship them 20 tons of rice cakes, and no fruits or vegetables or meat.

Krispy

 2005/3/4 11:02









 Re:

Quote:
Nor me, which is why the KJV is still my version of choice, but to close our eyes and ears to nuances which other translations may have captured is self impoverishment.



I'm with ya, brother... I agree. However, when it comes to the modern versions (NIV, NASB, NLT, etc etc) it is certainly not an issue of "nuances which other translations". As your know, I love the Tyndale Bible, and I'm working on getting a Wycliff... as the article I posted stated... it is [b]not[/b] and issue of the KJV being perfect in every way, and it's the only Bible English speaking people should ever read. I dont believe that at all.

Krispy

 2005/3/4 11:07
dann
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

 Re:

Like most of us, Mr. Cloud's opinions are influenced by his bias -- a bias that is self evident in his tone, word choice, and selective information.

At (or near) the heart of his bias is the opinion that textual criticism is a "corrupt methodology."

I think it was Daniel Wallace, who took a whole congregation one day, gave them an english translation of some apocryphal text - split the church in two - and had one half of them corrupt the text through various means - introducing many errors and whatnot back into the text.

He then took the other half of the church on the next day, and they were not given the originals, but only the corrupted texts - and using the most basic methods of textual criticism were able to reconstruct (in a matter of hours) the original text except for a word or two.

This was not a group of trained linguists, or textual critics - but your standard church pew fodder. Likewise the violence done to the original texts was *far more* sophisticated than the minute and near insignificant variances we find in the Alexandrian body of text - on top of this, they didn't dedicated their lives to it, but spent only a disinterested hour or two in the process.

Knowing that in the real world, godly (dare I say it - *conservative*) men dedicate their whole careers to putting this puzzle back together the right way - I feel Mr. Cloud's description of this 'methodology' to be ...less than charitable.

Anyone who imagines that "textual criticism" is a corrupted methodology may want to watch the series I mentioned above and, if nothing else, they will at least have more than Mr. Cloud's opinion on how corrupt it is. The series can be found [url=http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2439]-here-[/url] I think.

The problem with a translation such as the NLT (New Living Translation) is not that it is translated from an inferior text family - it is that it isn't an accurate translation - rather it is half translation and half interpretation!

The Islamics say that the Qu'ran is only binding and valid in the original language - that it's meaning and message cannot be rightly understood in a translation.

The bible, on the other hand, no matter how miserable and polluted the translation - no matter what language it is mashed into - it always has one effect - it produces faith which saves.

I love that - people have been genuinely saved when all they could find was a JW's bible! Praise the Lord!

Yet arguments about endless geneologies (and this is the sort of argument Paul was talking about) are to be avoided.

The question I ask myself - if men and women are being saved and living fruitful Christian lives with English translations other than the KJV - then who are the KJVO people striving against?

As Gamaliel said to the Sanhedrin - Let these guys be - if what they are doing is not from God, it will come to nothing. But if what they are doing is from God's hand you may well be opposing God Himself.

Dan


_________________
Daniel van de Laar

 2005/3/4 12:40Profile
ZekeO
Member



Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re: Baby Blues

Hey Krispy, good to have you back.
Just a question, is the baby keeping you up, you sound a little kranky......? :-P


_________________
Zeke Oosthuis

 2005/3/4 13:35Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Wycliff??
Treuli, treuli, Y seie to thee, whanne thou were yongere, thou girdidist thee, and wandridist where thou woldist; but whanne thou schalt waxe eldere, thou schalt holde forth thin hondis, and another schal girde thee, and schal lede thee whidur thou wolt not. (Joh 21:18 WycliffeNT)Could be a good cure for that insomnia?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/3/4 13:39Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Just a question, is the baby keeping you up, you sound a little kranky......?



Kould be... babies are wonderous kreatures, dont you think? Kouldnt live without 'em!

Krispy

 2005/3/4 14:33









 Re:

Quote:
The question I ask myself - if men and women are being saved and living fruitful Christian lives with English translations other than the KJV - then who are the KJVO people striving against?



Well, that is an interesting question, and one that deserves some discussion.

As you know, if you read my original post throughly, I certainly believe that people have been truly saved reading versions other than the KJV. I was! I was a staunch NIV supporter who switched to the NASB.

I find it interesting that we have a plethura of modern versions these days... suposedly in order to help people read and understand the Bible better... and yet I see incredibly gross compromise with the world in the church today. Barna research has done surveys in the past that show just how ignorant most people who call themselves "Christians" are of the scriptures.

So if all these new versions are supposedly helping everyone understand the Bible better... where is the evidence? I dont see it.

And I do believe sound Biblical doctrine is worth striving for... and doctrine is weakened (and in come cases removed) from modern versions. Doctrine is a huge deal, and Pauls letters to Timothy proove it. So also do the writings of the early church fathers.

Krispy

 2005/3/4 14:53





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