Friday, July 11, 2008

Here we go again - KJVO

OK - Since I cannot comment on Michelle's blog because she's censoring my responses, I need to address the posts here.

First off, let me just say that I'm not Anti-KJV or a KJV critic. I love the KJV and use it often. I find it's poetic style of writing beautiful and it's an excellent translation. I'm a critic of the poor scholarship of the KJVO camp. Again, what I find interesting is that those who have fully studied the translation issue do not stand with the KJVO crowd. That speaks volumes, IMO.

OK, so the response to my comment (which is in my last post) is this:

I was hoping to share with you my notes from last night's service. But I guess that it will have to wait until tomorrow. Instead I'm going to address the latest comment from my KJV Critic. The only time that she comments on my blog is when I make a comment stating that the KJV is God's perfect word and that it is the Bible for the English-speaking world. Usually I just ignore the comments and go on with my life, but this time I decided to address the comment. This is a portion of the comment that I received from my KJV critic concerning Acts 8:37.

"Yes, this verse is in the KJV and the Textus Receptus but it's actually not in the text of any Greek manuscript that the Textus Receptus is based on - just in the margin in one of them. It was also in the Latin Vulgate - the version produced by the Roman church. So, while this verse is orthodox in it's meaning, it is likely nothing that Luke wrote and was inserted later."

I decided to study this a bit and here is what I found. Acts 8:37 was put into the Textus Receptus by Erasmus, who, from what I've been able to gather, was the one who compiled the various Antioch Texts into one Greek Translation. Here is what Dr. Samual C. Gipp had to say about him in his book An Understandable History of the Bible.

The man responsible for the Textus Receptus was Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). He may well be called "The Original Editor." Ersamus was a genius. He was without argument the most learned man of the sixteen century.

And in describing how he went about the Textus Receptus, Gipp writes:

Before beginning his work, Erasmus collected all the available witnesses to the text. . . . he carefully examined them to determine which were reliable and which were to be rejected as tainted.

And considering the amount of time that Erasmus had spent studying in the libraries of the Roman Catholic church, I am sure that he had available to him not only the pure texts of Antioch, but the corrupt texts of Alexandria.

Let's compare this with the scholarship of Wescott and Hort. They used just a handful of manuscripts, most of which don't even agree amongst themselves.

The Textus Receptus was compiled from only some of the available manuscripts during that time period. He began with just 6 manuscripts. While he did receive a few more, his body of work used a very small number of manuscripts - a VERY small fraction of what we have to study today. He also didn't even have the whole of Revelation so used the Roman church's Latin Vulgate to fill it in.

Erasmus produced a printed Greek text (1516), the first of it's kind to be published, and a Latin translation too (not the Vulgate but a new one). His Greek text was revised in 1519, 1522, 1527 and 1535, the year before his death. Attached to his texts were his Annotations that included, initially, notes on various passages and comments on the scriptural themes. As there was controversy over his texts, the Annotations grew to explain why he translated as he did. One of the great things about Erasmus was that he produced such a fine text with so few resources. But even so, Erasmus showed himself a true scholar and his Annotations address many of the same textual variants that are discussed today by modern scholars, many of which are relevant to the KJVO discussion as well. Interestingly enough, Erasmus found a great bit of resistance and controvery over his texts - much like the argument that we have today against the modern versions.

Dr. Samuel Gipp is an interesting man and not known as a translation scholar. He feels that if the original Greek manuscripts disagree with the KJV, then the KJV is what is the truth. This would be even if ALL of the Greek manuscripts were to say the same thing. He places the KJV over even those texts that the KJV was translated from. Of course, since there is no manuscript evidence for Acts 8:37, he still feels that the KJV stands true when the manuscripts are IN ERROR. He also said that a person who does not speak English needs to learn English in order to have the infallable Word of God. In other words, there are no other languages that have the infallable Word of God. He states "God has always given His word to one people in one language to do one job; convert the world. The supposition that there must be a perfect translation in every language is erroneous and inconsistent with God's proven practice." (The Answer Book, pg. 32) Yet let's see what even the translators of the KJV said "Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well (which is deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with; or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, "Read this, I pray thee," he was fain to make this answer, "I cannot, for it is sealed." [Isa 29:11]" Quite a different thought, huh?

As for Wescott and Hort, well, they had quite a bit more than "a handful of manuscripts, most of which don't even agree amongst themselves". And since then, discoveries have shown that their translations were quite accurate. But besides that, the versions that we have today, that those who are KJVO feel are "perverted" are not based on the Wescott and Hort. It would be proper for those who argue TR Vs. WH realize that they're fighting the wrong battle. That's like saying "Don't buy from Japan because they're the enemy." ;)

As for Sheree's comment "Its a shame she can't just move on. She insists that anyone who is KJV only is wrong and that her opinion is the only right one and apparently the only one that matters. It seems more of a pride issue to me than anything else. She insists she is the only one who could possibly be right about what version is true and correct. Very sad that she continues to use her blog only to refute yours. There is so much more in life to blog about than to consistently attack someone whom you disagree with, kwim? I am so sorry you are having to deal with this."

Oh - I can move on but I know that there are women who read Michelle's blog who are not well-versed on this issue and need to know the truth. Yes, KJVO is wrong - it is not in the Bible (even the KJV) and it leads many into error because it puts questions in their mind as to the very Word of God. Pride is not the issue - truth is. You know I stand for the truth, Sheree. If I see an error, I will address it. Since I am apparently censored from posting on Michelle's blog, I need to do so here. You yourself used your blog for quite a bit more anger, pride and slander. I'm not doing that but just posting truth. Michelle stated "
But then again, I probably shouldn't be surprised that people get the order wrong. Considering verse 37 is left out of the NIV, NLT, and ESV, and the NASB and RSV have it in parenthesis. So most people don't even no that the order of things is given. And I'm not surprised. The modern translations are based on the inferior Alexandrian or Vatican texts and not on the Textus Receptus.
" I have the ESV and the NIV. The verses are there. So to say "verse 37 is left out" is a lie. Clear and simple.

What version is true and correct? There are none that are 100% accurate. However, there is nothing in any of the valid versions - from the Geneva Bible (which predates the KJV) to the ESV that has changed any doctrine, any truth or any word that God speaks to us. And it is a proper student of the Bible who understands the translational differences and with the Holy Spirt, studies them for him/herself.


Prairiehomemaker said...

I been thinking on this. I am not KJVo. I do love my KJV out of all my Bibles (15 at last count) 7 are KJV.
While I have a couple I study to be able to warn others against them (such as the CEV, one man's attempt to dumb down the Bible) I read the others side by side. I do not get what all the fuss is about.

The core of salvation is Christ. I was always taught salvation went on this wise. Hear the word, believe the word, repent and be baptized. That is joining the ranks of the saints. Far as i have seen, none of that is left out in any of my 15 Bibles, even the ones I do not support.

The lists of sins and lists of attributes of a right heart are still the same.

Ann, I do understand and support what you are doing, some folks take bloggers words as gospel, just like they do preachers. They figure if they hear it from the pulpit or find it in a tract some where it must be true. Paul tells us otherwise. (2 Tim. 2)

What bothers me is, while you do this in a calm, nonthreatening way, I have seen (not lately, as I avoid KJVo discussions) others on boards i am a member of that do not. They are belligerent in their beliefs damning those who disagree.

This is not the job of saints. We are to seek and save the lost, not berate them for using the "wrong " Bible. What terrifies me is, how many souls are these adamant people losing for Christ? This angry attitude,is sin,it shows pride, arrogance and a haughty spirit. All of which Christians, real ones, are forbidden to have.

Every one of those lost souls will rise up at judgment and accuse us. I honestly believe this is in part behind the 1 Tim 1 command to refrain from useless (vain) arguing. Arguing sends people the message that Christian are disagreeable and not people to emulate.When Christ argued, it was ONLY on scripture, we are to follow His example.

I keep both sides in my prayers.

I do like your approach Ann, straight forward not personal, supplying verifiable facts for your statements.

Thanks Ann, for being here and doing such a concise job!

Mamame said...

Thanks Mel.

I was just thinking about this last night as I was waiting for the girls after youth group and why I feel the need to write about this. Well, I go to Michelle's blog to see how she's doing healthwise. I don't have time to leave comments all the time but I honestly want to make sure she's OK. I have subscribed to a lot of blogs - some from friends, some from those Christians I respect (such as Tim Challes, John Piper, Al Mohler). If I were to respond to each and every one, I'd never be able to get anything done. But when I see an attack on my beliefs and an attack on the truth (because that verse IS in my Bibles), I will respond. Since I have no way to respond in public (because I was not allowed to join her board, my comments are not being posted, and she left PH), I need to use the one thing I have - my blog. So I will answer questions. I will answer untruths.

If anyone does have questions about the translation issue, I will try to answer them. I've begun studying the KJVO issue and have found quite a bit of interesting information. It's fascinating to see just how we got our Bible and the faithfulness of those who have spent their lives translating it so we can understand it. No other book or writing has stayed as faithful to the originals as the Bible. God's hand is clearly all over it's history. :)

Anonymous said...

I know I am KJVO. I think Mel said it very well in her post.

I also will say and I know the the Lord will use any version of the bible to get to the sinners heart and teach them. I do agree with Michelle because of my own studies. However, I also agree with what I said above.