Saturday, November 22, 2008

More objections to the KJV (J. Herrin) Pt. 2

He continues, quoting from a letter he received:
Following is an excerpt from Gary Amirault that reveals some of the information he found on the KJV Bible in doing his own research.
It was extremely painful for me (Gary Amirault) when researching Bible translations to come across the fact that in 1851 the American Bible Society compared six different editions of the King James Bible and discovered over 24,000 variations between the editions of the same Bible translation! How could there be an inerrant King James Bible when even the different editions of the King James Bible had ten's of thousands of variant readings!? I was told by tradition not to question the inerrant King James Bible. No one ever told me that even in the very first year of the King James Bible, two different printings of the very same King James were not the same. No one ever told me that the editions of the KJV up until the 19th century contained 14 additional books not in today's editions. We have an exact reprint of one of the 1611 printings that contains books such as: The Idole Bel and the Dragon, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, The prayer of Manasseh, Tobit, Judith, the Song of the Three Children, Baruch, etc.. Can you find these books in a present edition of the King James Bible? If the Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy is a true doctrine, which of the many editions of the KJV is the inerrant one? The original one contained books no longer in the present editions. Have these publishers "taken away from the Word?" Will the plagues of Revelation be on your head because you are using a KJV missing 14 books?
It's too bad the discussion usually gets started on a note such as this, which has been addressed many times by the many KJV-only defenders, but perhaps they should be held to blame for it because of their aggressive insistence on inerrancy, and even in some cases the "inspired" perfection of the King James. Clearly, the existence of even minor errors at any time in the history of the Bible text shows that is not the case. [See Theodore Letis article, link at very bottom of post, for a discussion of the history of the term "inerrant."]

The usual answer, however, is that the changes made WERE extremely minor, predominantly a matter of correcting printers' errors and bringing various spellings to a consistent standard. The Apocryphal books were not treated as canonical although they were included. And so on.
The Bible Inerrancy Camp and the King James Only Camp teach that we have a perfect Greek text or imply it. It is called the "Textus Receptus" by the KJV camp which is Latin for "Received Text." They teach this text was available to the King James translators which allowed them to produce an inerrant English translation. Historical records regarding this "Textus Receptus" proves their view to be totally false.
Although some do make this claim, not all defenders of the KJV claim that either the translation or the Textus Receptus are flawless. Dean J W Burgon, for instance, is one who described both as needing some correction.
First of all, the term "Textus Receptus" first appears in a second edition of Stephanus Greek text produced by the Elzevire Brothers in 1633, twenty two years after the King James Bible was printed!
When the term appeared shouldn't be important. Things often get labelled after they've been in existence for some time.
It was an advertising pitch as false as most commercials are today. The so-called Textus Receptus began its debut in 1516. It started as a work which took a self-proclaimed "humanist" Roman Catholic monk only several months to, in his own words "throw together rather than edit."
Yes, he was in a rush and yes, he was a "humanist" but that term in those days was far from what it means to us today. Nowadays people are likely to read the term "secular" into the word, as in "secular humanist," but there was nothing secular about the term in those days. Too many silly ideas get perpetuated by people reacting from a modern context to an old way of thinking.
One critic in England called it the "least carefully printed book ever published." Erasmus in trying to be the first to get a Greek text in print, threw together in a few months what it took his competitors at Alcala de Henares University many years to assemble. The University's text came to be known as the Complutensian Polyglott. Erasmus only had a handful of very late manuscripts to work from, none of which contained the complete Greek New Testament, so he filled in the gaps from the Latin Vulgate. That is why the Textus Receptus has words that do not agree with any known Greek text. He corrected his text in 4 subsequent editions.
Yes but the number of actual differences among them all is really small considering how they were put together.

Again, Mr. Amirault's astonishment and doubt comes from a lack of knowledge of how the varieties of Greek texts are dealt with. I think we're all a bit shocked when we first learn something about the enormous number of them and the number of variations in them, but the more you get to know about the subject the more you see that the differences are quite small and for the most part can be traced to a simple error in transmission.

Here's a description of the actual composition of the KJV in relation to all the Greek texts available, from The Text of the King James Version at David Cloud's Way of

The translators that produced the King James Version relied mainly, it seems, on the later editions of Beza's Greek New Testament, especially his 4th edition (1588-9). But also they frequently consulted the editions of Erasmus and Stephanus and the Complutensian Polyglot. According to Scrivener (1884), out of the 252 passages in which these sources differ sufficiently to affect the English rendering, the King James Version agrees with Beza against Stephanus 113 times, with Stephanus against Beza 59 times, and 80 times with Erasmus, or the Complutensian, or the Latin Vulgate against Beza and Stephanus [Scrivener, Authorized Edition of the English Bible, p. 60]. Hence the King James Version ought to be regarded not merely as a translation of the Textus Receptus but also as an independent variety of the Textus Receptus.
So it's not as simple as it is often misunderstood to be. The King James translators made careful choices among many options. And it doesn't appear that Erasmus' translation was any the less to be deserving of consideration for all his rush.

But Mr. Amirault goes on in his painfully disillusioned state of mind:
In the mid 1500's a man named Stephanus took Erasmus' text, and combined it with the Complutensian Text. He produced several editions making changes along the way. The Stephanus text, which the King James translators used, differed from the self-proclaimed "Textus Receptus" in 287 places. There are no known Greek manuscripts that agree "inerrantly" with either the Textus Receptus or the Stephanus text. Erasmus, the originator of the so-called "inerrant" Greek text later to be called the "Textus Receptus" dedicated his work to Pope Leo X who later would condemn Luther and the Reformation. For a full account of this sad chapter of church deception, read "The Text of the New Testament" by Bruce Metzger. Foundation Press in Anaheim, California also has some valuable information.
And again, the discovery of some of the facts in the history of the messy business of textual criticism and construction and reconstruction have raised doubts in his mind, which are simply the product of a lack of familiarity with enough of the facts, the methods and the history to judge. From the idea of "inerrancy" he had apparently arrived at an expectation of a perfection that wasn't in fact intended by anyone familiar with the actual texts, although the term was probably a bad choice (See the Theodore Letis comment linked at the bottom of this post concerning "inerrancy").
The teaching that the King James translators had a perfect Greek text is denied by the translators themselves. In the original edition of 1611 are marginal notes as follows: Note on Luke 17:36, "This 36th verse is wanting in most of the Greek copies." Note on Acts 25:6 where their text reads: "When he had tarried among them more than ten days," they inserted the following marginal note: "or, as some copies read, 'no more than eight or ten days.'" Unfortunately notes such as these as well as much other information contained in the Original KJV have been removed to support the "Inerrancy" fraud. Enough . . . of this sad chapter of Bible translating...
Just because you have been shocked at your first apprehension of the varieties of different Greek texts that actually exist doesn't mean that it is "fraud" or that anyone has intended to deceive by the use of such terms as "inerrancy." [Read the Theodore Letis article linked below for a discussion of the history of this term.]
There was a time when Bible writing was strictly in the hands of the church. The end result was the church put the Bible into a "Sacred" language called Latin which common people in latter times could not and were not allowed to read. It was called the Vulgate. The common people could not read the Scriptures in their native tongue of English, German, French, etc.. Getting caught with any portion of the Scriptures in your native language could get one killed by the church! Please believe us. This is true. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox churches did not want Christians or non-Christians reading the Scriptures.
Yes, but this is a red herring. Let's get it in perspective. The original determination of the canonicity of various Greek texts and their translation into the Latin did not carry any of this baggage, and is regarded by defenders of the KJV (including Theodore Letis at the link below), as the basis for the Traditional Text or Textus Receptus used by the KJV translators, as far superior to any other textual tradition. The tyranny of the Latin translation developed later in the history of the Roman Church, but the Bible had been translated into many languages in the early years, such as Syrian and I believe also Armenian, which were also available to and taken into account by the KJV translators, so they were not dependent on the Latin translation. Of course in the Roman West it was translated into Latin which was the language of that time and place.
When the first Common Language Bibles began to appear in the languages of the world, the state and church still had much control over the wording, who could read it, and which translations one could read. An Anglican Protestant was not allowed to read a Lutheran Bible. King James did not want the people of England to read the English Geneva Bible produced by John Calvin and his associates. Church leaders used the notes in the Geneva Bible as Scriptural support to tell the King how to rule. Before James the first was king of England, he was King James the sixth of Scotland. The Presbyterians caused him much trouble and their favorite Bible was the Geneva Bible. King James commissioned the King James Bible because of political reasons, not because of a love of the Creator. The English were strongly being influenced by the marginal notes in the Geneva Bible which states that the people of a monarchy had the right to overthrow that monarchy if it did not line up with Scripture? King James believed in the "Divine Right of the King." He called the Geneva Bible "seditious." Therefore, he commissioned the King James Bible.

King James had very little to do with the translation itself, so it really doesn't matter how corrupt he was. Yes, he persecuted believers, and yes, he had a thing about the Divine Right of Kings. But in fact this latter is an arguable point for a Christian, considering the scripture that says it is God who appoints government. Consider that David would not do anything to dispute the divine right of Saul to reign despite Saul's apostasy. In any case it's an arguable point and not the basis for condemnation you are making of it.

He gave the committee 15 rules which they had to abide by while translating his Bible. Several of those selected for the committee resigned because of these stipulations. This list is printed in most well researched Bible translations reference books. We will mention just a couple to show you that this version was not going to be pure nor "inerrant." "1. The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit." (Doesn't sound like a "new" translation , does it?)

Did he come up with those rules? I thought they were developed by the KJ group themselves.

Why were you expecting a completely new translation? The King James translators intended to put together the best English translation from the already-existing translations, such as the Tyndale and the Bishops Bible, and some 95% of it reflected those. They painstakingly compared every known text and every known translation of the time. They were aiming for the best version, not a new version. All the previous translations were regarded as God's word. But you are astonished because you expected something else without justification.

"3. The Old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. The word church not be translated Congregation &c." (This was to insure the old Roman Catholic\Anglican rituals, ordinances, and doctrines be not altered. They couldn't change the word baptize into immerse, for example.) "4. When a Word hath divers Significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most of the Ancient Fathers, being agreeable to the Propriety of the Place, and the Analogy of the Faith." (In others words, they must abide by the "traditions of the elders." Remember Jesus' words, "You have made the word of God of none effect by your traditions?)
They were aiming to maintain as much of the Bible familiar to the people as possible. What's wrong with that? The terms do not falsify the meaning. The problem with the proliferation of Bibles today is that it's hard to know what people are quoting when they use a translation you're unfamiliar with, and there are so many of them this experience is repeated quite frequently. It may be arguable whether congregation is better than church, or immerse is better than baptize, but good preachers always aim to bring out the meaning of the text anyway, so I've been taught that "church" means "assembly" and "baptize" means "immerse" in more than one church. There's no reason to impute scurrilous motivations to the people who decided to maintain the traditional terms. Again, ALL the previous Bibles were regarded as God's word.
These examples should be enough to show one that the King James translators were not "anointed by God" to produce an authentically original translation free from political and denominational bias.
Oh, this is simply nonsense, based on only a partial research into a very complicated situation. The idea of "an authentically original translation" is a false expectation. But if you understand that they carefully considered every word of the existing translations and compared them to the Greek texts and to other translations in other languages, you have to see that in a sense theirs was original. Where they could they confirmed the language of a previous English version, and where they saw the need for change in keeping with the Greek text, they made the change.
They were "appointed by James" for political and monetary reasons. King James didn't put a penny into the project, but he could make money out of the project since it was his Bible. Not only were the translators not "anointed," but the King's printers weren't anointed either. The early printings had printers errors which were downright embarrassing for a so-called "inerrant" Bible.

As I understand it, the Church of England owns the King James Bible. Where are you getting the idea that the king benefited from its sale? Please, quote something to show that this has any validity.

Also, those were the first years of the printing press and you are expecting printers to be experts in the English language as well as perfect at the skill of setting type. Actually, the translators were genuine Christians. Read something about them. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for Westcott and Hort who did the 1881 revision and foisted a whole new set of Greek texts on the church: they think more like rationalists than Christians.

Please, give up the conspiracy thinking. KJV-onlies do go overboard in their insistence on supposed inerrancy, but they also recognize all these differences that you are only just discovering, and you really need to read them all before you arrive at such a blanket condemnation. See my list of links in the right margin.

In one edition they forgot to put the word not in the 7th commandment!
Yes, and I learned all about these things from the KJV-only defenders. Printers' errors are not errors of substance. Spelling errors are not errors of substance. Errors of substance are all that should really count.

The translator's [sic] have this to their credit. They noted in the preface to the reader that they only took previous men's work and hoped to make a better one, knowing others would follow them and produce even a better one yet. This preface has been also removed from present day King James Bibles because it does not conform to the fundamentalist's "inerrancy" teachings. That is why the translators preface is no longer printed in current King James Bibles.
Are you sure that's why, or is it just your imagination working overtime now that you've decided it's all a conspiracy?
We have made several tapes dealing with the many misconceptions and untruths proclaimed about the KJV. We mention here, only a few points to clearly show that the teaching of an "inerrant" KJV is a pure myth.
Again, see the Theodore Letis quote I've linked at the bottom of this post.
In 1611 two separate editions of the KJV were printed. They came to be known as the "Great He Bible" and the "Great She Bible" because one printed Ruth 3:15 as "he went" and the other printed "she went." These two original King James Bibles, printed in the first year this Bible was issued, had several thousands differences.
Another printer's error, well known and discussed by KJV-onlies. Go to the forum at the AV1611 site to find such discussions. Many many printer's errors and spelling inconsistencies, and really very little substantive.
When asked to endorse the KJV, Hugh Broughton, foremost Hebrew scholar of England at that time said he would rather "be rent to pieces by wild horses than have had any part in the urging of such a wretched version of the Bible on the poor people."
Was he reacting to the many errors or did he prefer the Geneva or something like that? Many objected to the KJV when it was first published. The same was true for every translation before and after it. Similar things have been said about every version of the Bible. A little more information has to be given in order to judge the validity of the statement.
It is vital to understand that when the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox church removed the Scriptures from the common people, these churches were then able to bring in hundreds of pagan doctrines, idols, and false religious rites. The mythologies of the Romans, Greeks, Teutons, Norse, Druids etc. were incorporated into church teaching which produced great darkness. Read about the dark ages of Europe which were brought about by Christian leaders, the popes, bishops, cardinals, and kings appointed by the pope.
What exactly are you finding in the KJV that reflects any of that pagan darkness? The King James translators made use of all the previous translations and a whole slew of Greek texts as well as texts in many languages, and they were solid Christians so they would not be interested in pagan teaching. Where are you getting such ideas?
When the Reformation began, the minds of Christian leaders were so cluttered by superstition and false doctrines that the progress they made in breaking away from the total darkness of Romanism was really only a small step out of darkness. We forget that the Anglican Church began, not because of Godly reasons, but from political and personal ones. Also don't forget, King James was much more interested in a Bible to support his view of the "divine right of the king" than to produce an inerrant Bible. Church historians have glorified the Reformation far beyond what was really accomplished. Today, we still have a long way to go.
It is good to be reminded of the context in which it was done, but you can't let your feelings about the context judge the outcome as you are doing. Despite the politics of the English version of the Reformation, there were great men of the Reformation there that you may be implicitly slandering, including the KJ translators. But concerning the Bible, you have to SHOW that there were pagan influences IN the text. Where are they? You have to SHOW that the "divine right of kings" is contradicted by the scripture. You have to SHOW that King James had any influence on the text. it was an interpretive note in the margin of the Geneva Bible that he objected to, not the text itself, no?
Today, most Bibles are produced by merchants. The church proved it only perverted the "Word of God" when she was sole guardian of it. She hid it, then changed it. Now merchants produce most Bible translations which must be sold for a profit which usually means giving the market what they want. Over 350 English translations of the New Testament have been marketed to date. The most popular and accepted translations are, of course, those which can be used to support Christendom's doctrines. Pastors will push those translations which work for them the most.

When a major Bible translation is undertaken by a publisher or some other institution, the directors are not only responsible for getting the text translated; they must also make sure that the resulting work will, over time, pay for the cost of translation and make a profit. In other words, they are under a directive to make sure that the completed Bible supports the majority view of Christendom's doctrines. The market first, accuracy to original texts second. The bottom line of present day Bible translating is: It must sell!

Yes, the place to look for the perversions is in the Bibles that are put together for money. For all your objections to some supposed intentional perversion of the text first authorized by the church and passed down the millennia you have shown none. On the other hand, there is in fact reason to suspect intentional perversion of the Greek texts that were chosen by Westcott and Hort (see my last link at the bottom of this post, where Jay P. Green discusses the corruptions of those texts), though by your attacking the KJV you may be implicitly defending them.

Your objections may possibly be a valid basis for some needed corrections to the KJV, but by your attitude it seems you would apparently throw the whole thing out and start over. This is the mistake that Westcott and Hort made and the church has been suffering ever since from their inferior English and their inferior Greek texts. The most minimal restrained correction of the KJV is what they were supposed to produce, and since they didn't do it, it still needs it. Instead, many editions of it have been subjected to the falsifications of their corrupted Greek texts and a wild variety of English substitutions without rhyme or reason.

[J. Herrin] D., this reveals just some of the things I have found about Bible translations as I researched them. It is also often overlooked by people who support the superiority of the KJV that this was the same king of England that persecuted those who disagreed in any way with the Anglican Church of England. He would even imprison men and confiscate their houses, leaving their women and children to struggle for survival. Is this the heart of someone who really loves God and who loves the children of God? It was this same King James that persecuted those we know as the Pilgrims and he tried to keep them from leaving England. Eventually they did flee to Holland to escape his tyranny, and later they sailed to America.

Is it not a conflict that we venerate these early pilgrims for their desire to worship God in Spirit and in truth, and we feel pity for all the hardship they faced, yet we also venerate the King who caused the hardship and we declare that the translation of the scriptures that he authorized is a superior translation? Somehow the church's prejudices have disconnected them from the truth. King James was a tyrant and he was by no means a godly ruler. Yet many in the church staunchly defend the Bible that he ordered written for political and monetary reasons.

King James is probably neither as bad as the anti-KJV paint him, nor as defensible as some of the KJV-onlies paint him, and it would be good to know for sure, but again, King James did NOT do the translation. Perhaps his name should be removed from it. Many have suggested that.
Again, I don't share these things with you to antagonize you, and I hope you are not offended that I have shared them. These are things I have learned as I have done my own studies, and I believe it is the Spirit of Yahweh that has led me to these things. I want to walk in truth and to avoid error so I weigh carefully the things people speak to me. Paul praised the Berean believers for doing this very thing.

May you be blessed with the wisdom and understanding that is in Yahshua our Lord,


I would like to append some more information here to this page, as there are many more things that I have come cross in my study of Bible translations. Adlai Loudy, in support of the Concordant Literal Version of the Bible, made some of the following observations.
And he goes on to quote Loudy:
In John 20:1, the King James reads:
“The first day of the week . . .”

It is little known to Christendom that this is a “bogus” translation foisted upon the church by the translators, a “camel” that has been swallowed by scholars and students alike. The writer had a well meaning brother in the Lord, who became so concerned about me and my teaching that he traveled a long distance to go over the matter with a view to readjusting me in the truth. After patiently listening to all that he had to say, I suggested a few things to him, one of which was the fact that the Scriptures, correctly translated, knew nothing about “the first day of the week.” He threw up his hands in astonishment that I would make such an irreverent indictment of the “Bible!” After facing the facts. He apparently preferred “error” to the truth, as he made no attempt to reply and quit the subject without any explanation whatever.

The original, in all three of the oldest manuscripts, reads: mia ton sabbaton, ONE OF­THE SABBATHS. Our translators presumed to know more than the great Author and corrupted the word of God. They altered “one” to read “first,” inserted the word “day,” for it is not in the original and is not needed in the translation, and changed “sabbaths” to the singular “week.” Can one imagine a more perfidious and deceptive act of man? It truly is repugnant to those who reverently regard the original as the very word of God, and want it to speak to them as He was pleased to give it...
I'll have to research this later, to find out what various others have to say about this particular phrase. Often there is a very good reason why a phrase was translated in a way that is less than literal according to the original Greek. Sometimes, in order to get across a meaning in the target language requires something other than a literal word-for-word rendering, but people with no knowledge of the language being translated, and no experience in the problems of translation, may misjudge as inaccurate or even fraudulent what is really the most accurate rendering for the sake of understanding. I don't know if that is or isn't the case here, but this whole problem of texts and translations has now become the playing field of so many novices and amateurs --including myself -- by necessity unfortunately, thanks to Westcott and Hort -- that this kind of misunderstanding is likely to be very common, and seems to have been committed by Mr. Amirault, quoted above, and Mr. Herrin too.

As for "bogus" translations, the place to look is in the lineage that has come down from Westcott and Hort.
The Authorized Version renders Romans 7:24 thus: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Since the King James “Bible” was made, this question has been read and reread by the saints of God, but the answer has been lacking. THE CONCORDANT VERSION, following the editor of Sinaiticus, restores the answer that has been lost all these years. It reads: A wretched man I am! What will rescue me out of this body of death? Grace! Now I am thanking God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord...
Is there an actual word in the Greek text that means "grace!" or did the editor of the Sinaiticus put it in as being implied? And if it is in the text, is it only in the Sinaiticus and not in the Textus Receptus or what? More explanation is needed.
These examples could be multiplied many times, but this will suffice to show that we should be very careful about building divisive articles, dogmas and doctrines on such imperfections, as are manifest in these older versions. Since the King James “Bible” was issued in 1611, some forty new dictionaries have been issued to keep pace with the growth and changes in the English language. The English and American revision committees made 36,191 changes —rectifications — of the King James Version that more closely conform to the original, after which President Schaff said the work was still far from perfect!
Of course we should be careful, and unless we are trained experts in any of the relevant fields, doubly careful. And yes, the English language has changed, but to bring that up here is not very helpful, as the problems with the various Bible translations and versions have very little to do with this mundane fact. A few dozen words at most are in question as far as archaic meanings go, and that may be an overestimation.

I assume the 36,191 changes referred to were made in the Westcott and Hort revision of the King James? If so, it is not hard to show that by far the majority of them are ridiculously unconscionably unnecessary, change for change's sake, and this fact was noted by Dean Burgon and Bishop Wordsworth and others when the revision was first published. I also did my little experiment using Psalm 91 at this blog and was appalled at the utter whimsicalness of the changes made. Purely destructive changes.

Schaff is known as a defender of the revision, but there is not enough information given to know in what sense he regarded the work as far from perfect.

The above comments are all by Mr. Loudy. I personally have not found any translation that would merit a stamp of approval as the single best and most accurate translation. Perhaps this has been God's will to keep His children ever seeking, and ever knocking, that they might find that truth is a person, and much more than mere words on a page. Yahshua said "I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life" and He has sent us His Spirit to guide us into all Truth. If we had a single inerrant translation many would fall into the habit of spending far too little time seeking the mind of the Spirit, believing that they could comprehend Truth through mere mental ascension.

The present state of Bible translations forces the seeker of the mind of Christ to come to the throne of God time after time, asking the Father to lead us to Truth through the working of His Spirit in us.
I appreciate this point of view very much. I've wondered why God allowed the Bible to get into such a state as we now find it. Negatively, it is easy to see it as judgment against the church and I believe that is the case, but He never abandons His remnant and positively, "All things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose." Yes, it is Himself we want, and the Bible is the word that shows Him to us. It has to be accurate, but it doesn't have to be perfect for that purpose. People have been saved through reading a mere page of the Bible, without having access to more of it at that time. And we do have the Holy Spirit to show us what He desires to reveal to each of us individually. He opens and closes the doors. He brings the necessary knowledge to us as it is required for His purposes.

Unfortunately, the very existence of all these translations does in fact encourage an overuse of the fleshly intellect. That's one of the worst things about this situation.
Choosing a Bible translation is one of the thornier issues among Christians today, and many have exhibited a decided lack of grace and love toward their brothers who should disagree with some favorite translation. Nowhere is this more evident than those who have camped out around the KJV Bible, yet as we have seen, it was not divinely inspired in its translation, and has had thousands of revisions and changes, and is still full of so many errors and prejudices as to make it difficult to rely upon.
True about the attitude of the KJV-onlies, but the attitude of the anti-KJV-onlies also often leaves much to be desired.

As for the unreliability of the KJV, absolutely not. It was not "divinely inspired" because no translation can be inspired, only the original can be inspired, but it is the best translation we have these days. The "thousands of revisions and changes" are not as it seems at first glance, the first changes being mostly to correct minor errors, and ironically, the changes since Westcott and Hort being to corrupt the KJV along with all the other versions, to bring it into line with their corrupt Greek texts -- not the KJV's fault at all. The supposed prejudices, as far as they are regarded as deceitful, are largely imagined and not real. There are far more of those in the Westcott-Hort production.
The church today resembles very much the Corinthian church that Paul derided for their carnality. They had divisions among them based upon who their favorite teacher was, Paul, Apollos, Peter, and even Yahshua. The church today still has its divisions, and one source is found in arguments over which Bible translation is the best. I believe there is no "best" translation, and the serious student would do well to compare many translations and to do research of their own. A great help to me is in comparing how a word was used in other instances by the same author, or by other authors of the time. By comparing in this manner we can see what a word's actual meaning was, and we can see if the translators have altered it in certain places to fit their own views. Time after time this has led me to discover some alteration of the Scriptures that served to obscure truth from the readers.
I've been impressed by some of the conclusions Mr. Herrin has come to in his studies of various Bible passages, but it does seem to me that this very requirement that we spend so much time comparing translations is a handicap we're laboring under since Westcott and Hort, and not at all the ideal. How many rank and file Christians have the gifting to do that for starters? It's a lot to ask of the body of Christ. Throughout history God's people have learned His ways from one text or translation, and in some cases only part of a translation, and sometimes only from the readings heard in church. Many in the first generations of the church did not have a complete New Testament. God Himself teaches His people when they are seeking Him for understanding. The Holy Spirit interprets the scripture and fills in any gaps for those who are waiting on Him. It is not a blessing that we have this surfeit of choices in our day.
Let us not be saints that adopt some prejudiced view of which Bible translation is the best, but let us seek to urge one another to a pursuit of the truth and to expose error wherever we find it.

Here's a link to a discussion by Theodore Letis showing some of the history of the thinking on the question of inerrancy, which he explains in terms of Benjamin Warfield's inadvertently contributing to the Jesus Seminar mentality by accepting the idea of a "scholar's text" over the "traditional text" handed down by the church since Nicea.

I'm including this one from David Cloud's site as a clue to the thinking of textual critic Bruce Metzger. Search "Metzger" to see how he denies the inspiration of the Bible. Cloud calls him a "modernist."

And here's a good brief statement of what's right with the KJV and wrong with all other Bible translations, plus a quote by Jay P. Green. The article concludes:

The King James translators did a marvelous job with the materials they had. While this article is necessary to point out the KJV errors,it should be noted that the errors, omissions and additions made by the RSV,NIV, and other modern translations are much, much worse!
The writer of this article has a list of words he regards as archaic. Many of them I would hate to see changed according to his list myself. Some of the originals are poetic, but really not hard to understand. "Clean heart" isn't improved by "right attitude" to my mind for instance. In fact "clean heart" is a lot clearer.

From this last link I'd also like to quote a fair amount from Jay P. Green:

"What then is the evidence these Bible-alterers offer to persuade you to give up the precious words they have removed from their versions? Mainly, they cite two manuscripts, admittedly old, but also admittedly carelessly executed. The Sinaiticus was so poorly executed that seven different hands of 'textual critics' can be discerned as they tried to impose their views on the Bible . . . it was discarded, found in a wastebasket fourteen centuries after it was executed. The Vaticanus manuscript lay on a shelf in the Vatican library at Rome until 1431, and was considered so corrupt that no one would use it . . . . they have systematically removed Luke's witness to the ascension of Christ--and of course they have done away entirely with Mark's witness to the ascension, simply because these last twelve verses do not appear in those two corrupt manuscripts, the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus . . . .

" . . . Origen, an early textual critic . . . said, that 'the Scriptures are of little use to those who understand them as they are written' . . . . given the opportunity, many like Origen will actually alter the manuscripts to make them say what they understand them to mean....Justin Martyr, Valentinus, Clement of Alexandria, Marcion, Tatian, and a horde of others practiced their 'textual science' by operating on manuscripts, or by writing their own 'versions' . . . .

" . . . Today there are more than 5,000 manuscripts and lectionaries in Greek as witnesses to the New Testament text. And 95% of them witness to the Received Text readings [contained in Green's Interlinear and the King James Version]. Partly due to the fact that ancient manuscripts containing the Received Text were worn out by use, while the Alexandrian textbase manuscripts were preserved by the dry conditions of Egypt, some have sought to discredit the Received Text because they say it is not ancient. But now that manuscript portions from the second century are being unearthed, it is found that many of the readings of the Received Text which had been tagged scornfully as 'late readings' by nearly unanimous consent of the 'textual scientists' are appearing in these [newly found] manuscripts. Readings which were before called late and spurious have been found in these early-date manuscripts . . . . Yet strangely, in textual criticism classes, such discoveries are swept under the rug, not reported to the class."

1 comment:

Clark Coleman said...

A narrow point about John 20:1: mia ton sabbaton is translated "first day of the week" by every translation I can find, and for good reason. "A sabbath" was a common way of saying "a week" among the Jews. "I will come back in three sabbaths" means I will return in three weeks. Compare to many aboriginal peoples, with lunar calendars, saying "three moons" to mean "three months." This is the same kind of grammatical construction.

So, "mia ton sabbaton" literally would be "#1 of the week" and means the first day of the week.

When "Sabbath day" is meant, an explicit word for "day" is coupled with the word for Sabbath to make it clear. The word for "day" is absent in John 20:1 (right after "mia ton Sabbaton" comes "Maria e Magdalene" in the Greek; no room for "day" in there). Ironically, the quoted critic of the phrase that all versions use in John 20:1 objects that they added the word "day" when it is not present in the Greek! If it had been present, it would have caused the meaning to shift to Sabbath day, which is apparently his aberrant interpretation. He has the issue exactly backwards. And then he expects us to believe that there is a grand conspiracy by every translation committee that has ever existed.

Compare to the Septuagint's Greek rendering of the Sabbath Day commandment, Exodus 20:8, where the phrase "hemeran ton Sabbaton" is used to translate the Hebrew for "the Sabbath day." The Greek "hemeran" is "day" and "ton" is the definite article "the" and of course "Sabbaton" is "Sabbath." In Greek word order, "day the Sabbath" or "the Sabbath day" in English word order. The Greek word for "day" is missing from John 20:1 because the Sabbaton is a week, not a day.

Disclaimer: I prefer the NKJV and NASB and I am certainly not trying to defend all that you write here, but this kind of conspiratorial claim needed to be answered.