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KJV only rebuttal

What’s the shortest verse in the Bible?  1 Thessalonians 5:17 only has 2 words.  John 11:35 has 3.  However, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 has 22 letters and John 11:35 only has 16.  It’s all perspective, I guess.

This makes me uncomfortable.  I was not going to do it, but God impressed upon my heart to do so.  I use a KJV myself.

First and foremost, I want to say the Bible does not contradict itself; there is nothing to justify in the Bible.  The Bible cannot contradict itself.  If the Bible contradicts itself, we may as well throw the entire thing away.  How else could we trust it?

[Acts 16:31; omit “Christ”]  This verse is consistent in all major texts, except for the word “Christ”.  This, the passage that tells us how to get saved, is consistent throughout all manuscripts.  There’s no question about what you must do to be saved, and there’s no question about whether or not this salvation of the spirit can be lost.

The Bible is consistent.  Why then all the problems?  This, the KJV or whatever translation you’re using is a work of man.  The original Word of God was written in Hebrew and Greek (with a smattering of a few other things thrown in there, mostly phrases).  All man can attempt to do is to translate it.

Are some translations better than others?  Certainly, and for different reasons.  Does trying to get a better translation of certain phrases weaken the Word of God?  Not at all; it strengthens it, when you get a more clear view!

The Word of God contains no contradictions!  Perhaps our understanding may lead to something that appears to be a contradiction, though.

Distraction is one of Satan's favorite tools for hindering the work of God. If he can't pervert or stop the message, he does his best to sidetrack the messenger with trivial debates.  After studying the issue of King James Version Onlyism (KJVO), I’ve concluded that we have yet another prime example of the devil's handiwork.  (Does not mean that those who espouse it are Satanic, only deceived.)

The advocates of KJVO believe that the King James Version is the only God-inspired translation of the Holy Bible.  They insist that all modern translations have been modified to the point that they are unreliable or even dangerous for Christians to use as a resource. One writer claims that these "New Age" translations are somehow preparing the way for the rise of Antichrist.

I have a long list of problems with KJVO people (at least the ones who are extremists).  First is my inability to find the damage supposedly being caused by all these other translations.  I haven’t found any major Bible version that contradicts well-established Christian theology and doctrine.  (We looked at Acts 16:31, and it’s consistent in all texts, and in all translations that I’ve ever inspected closely.)

Some so-called translations do corrupt the Word of God but these versions are best described as revisions or paraphrases rather than translations. For example, the New World Translation Bible, produced by the Jehovah's Witnesses, is more of a rewritten version of the Bible than a translation.  The New World Translation renders John 1:1 as: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god."  Notice that the word “God” has been changed to the phrase "a god."  (Which is technically true, but Greek Grammar often omits the definite article “the” when it is certain what you are referring to.  (Town.)  Another example of a version that’s been rewritten rather translated is the gender-neutral Bible, which tries to rob God the Father of His masculine nature.  (Street English version is another good example.  One example has been simplified, and many complain, but I think it’s made for children.)

Many people believe that the King James Bible is infallible. They boldly claim the translation is so blessed by God that it is 100-percent free of errors. This kind of talk is just bluster because there are several minor translation errors in the KJV.  The Bible was not written in English!  English Bibles are just man’s attempts to translate.

Even the marginal notes indicate, the King James translators did not regard their work as perfect or inspired, but they did consider it to be a trustworthy reproduction of God's Holy Word.  I think they did a pretty good job!

[Hebrews 10:23]  The word "faith" is erroneously substituted for the word "hope." All (I think) of the source documents use "hope." It is very obvious that Paul meant to use faith, hope and love in verses 22, 23, and 24.  (Verse 23 should be “hope”, not “faith”.)

[Revelation 22:19; read verse 14 first.]  The scholars made the mistake of thinking Jesus was speaking of the "Book of Life." 99% of all Greek manuscripts read "(xulon) tree of life."  The context of verse 14 verifies that the Lord was speaking of the "tree of life."

For many people, it is not enough to just have any King James Bible. They take the extra step of proclaiming the Authorized 1611 KJV translation to be the only true Word of God.  Because the King James used today has been revised several times, they don't feel it can be trusted.

I have some bad news for these 1611 KJVO folks: There is no existing copy of the original manuscript produced by King James' faithful translators. The pre-print text and the original autographs confirming the validity of the translation have all been lost to history. There is no way the KJVO advocates can be certain that the 1611 translation has not been tampered with.

As stated this morning, Christian doctrine demands a need for an authority.  The ultimate authority is God; it’s not the church, wisdom of man or priests; however, the Bible is what we have as authority or as the written Word of God.  Does anyone here doubt that the Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God?

But, which Bible do we use?  [2 Timothy 3:16:  every/all Scripture.]

Four Theories of Inspiration:

2 Timothy 3:16:  Holy Spirit – God is the author

Neo-Orthodoxy – “wholly other God” – Barth, Brunner, etc.  God is so distant and different that when He spoke, we didn’t get it all.  The Bible is only a witness to God, not complete witness, but does contain the words of God.

Dictation or Mechanical Dictation – Word for word.

Limited – Inspired the thoughts – few believe this because the theory holds that there are errors and mistakes.  Similar in this aspect to Neo-Orthodoxy.

Plenary Verbal – “Plenary” – all, whole or complete word of God is inspired, not just certain portions.  Every word is inspired.  The words they chose accurately conveyed the meaning.  “Verbal” – the very words and meanings the writers chose to pen scripture are inspired of God.  The writer chose the words to convey what God spoke to them.  God guided the process in such a way that the finished product faithfully reflected His message.  This is the view held by most Evangelical Protestants.

The main differences between KJV and others:

First of all, there are two types of translation, as was mentioned this morning.  They are:

1.      Formal Equivalence – Wooden

2.      Dynamic (Thought) Equivalence.

Secondly, contrary to what was stated this morning, the Textus Receptus was used for several versions other than the KJV.  [Overhead.]  There are several other Greek texts that are used, most notably, Westcott-Hort and the Nestles-Aland.

The Textus Receptus primarily resulted from the work of a Dutch Roman Catholic priest and Greek scholar by the name of Desiderius Erasmus, who published his first Greek New Testament text in 1516.  The first edition of Erasmus' text was hastily and haphazardly prepared over the extremely short period of only five months.  That edition was based mostly upon two inferior twelfth century Greek manuscripts, which were the only manuscripts available to Erasmus "on the spur of the moment".

The Greek New Testament project was seen by its publisher, Johann Froben, as a considerable commercial opportunity.  Accordingly Froben expeditiously negotiated with Erasmus, who had already nobly intended to produce a Greek-Latin parallel text New Testament for the primary purpose of allowing Latin readers to become better acquainted with the original New Testament text, which he wanted to approximate as best as possible.  Froben rushed Erasmus' first edition text to market, in his attempt to get it into circulation ahead of the much more methodically prepared Complutensian Polyglot Bible, which was due to be published soon.  (In contrast to the five months that Erasmus used to hurriedly put his text together and get it printed and circulated, the Complutensian text required eighteen years of careful preparation before its first edition appeared.  Erasmus himself said in a letter in Latin in 1516 that this first edition had been "praecipitatum verius quam editum," -- more precipitated than edited.)

[1 John 5:7,8]  Even up to the fifth and final edition of Erasmus' Greek text in 1535, Erasmus occasionally fell prey to pressure from Roman Catholic church authorities to add to subsequent editions phrases and entire verses that he strongly (and rightly) suspected were not part of the original text (remember, he didn’t have the oldest and best texts from which to compile).  Many scholars document how Erasmus was manipulated to include what later was translated into the KJV in 1 John 5:7,8, the following text: "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth."  Conservative biblical scholar F.F. Bruce (History of the English Bible, Third Edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, pages 141-142) explains the sad history of how those words were errantly added to Erasmus' Greek text of 1 John 5:7,8.

The words ["in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth."] omitted in the R.V. [Revised Version, 1881] were no part of the original Greek text, nor yet of the Latin Vulgate in its earliest form. They first appear in the writings of a Spanish Christian leader named Priscillian, who was executed for heresy in A.D. 385. Later they made their way into copies of the Latin text of the Bible. When Erasmus prepared his printed edition of the Greek New Testament, he rightly left those words out, but was attacked for this by people who felt that the passage was a valuable proof-text for the doctrine of the Trinity. He replied (rather incautiously) that if he could be shown any Greek manuscript which contained the words, he would include them in his next edition. Unfortunately, a Greek manuscript not more than some twenty years old was produced in which the words appeared: they had been translated into Greek from Latin. Of course, the fact that the only Greek manuscript exhibiting the words belonged to the sixteenth century was in itself an argument against their authenticity, but Erasmus had given his promise, and so in his 1522 edition he included the passage. (Today one or two other very late Greek manuscripts are known to contain this passages; all others omit it.)

Erasmus' final 1535 edition still relied upon no more than six Greek manuscripts, the oldest (but least used!) of which was from the tenth century.  (Though Erasmus did in later editions of his work consult the Complutensian version of the Greek New Testament.)

The very first complete Greek New Testament to be printed was the Complutensian Polyglot New Testament, which was to become the New Testament portion of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible. It was first printed in 1514, two years earlier than Erasmus' first edition, but it was not published until 1520, when the Complutensian Polyglot Bible was complete, including the Old Testament, and it was not circulated until 1522. Thus, Erasmus was the first to have a printed Greek New Testament actually published and circulated.

The title, Textus Receptus is nothing but a publisher's self-proclaimed statement that became a dogmatic title.  Though Erasmus' text was not as consistent with the original texts as was the Complutensian text, Erasmus' text was marketed earlier and much more effectively and thereby achieved centuries of preeminence.  In 1550 a French publisher, Robert Stephanus, published his third edition of an Erasmus-based Greek text.  (Stephanus, the name by which he is best known, is just the Latin equivalent of Estienne, which was his French surname.)  Stephanus' 1550 Greek text was very close to being the same as Erasmus' fourth- and fifth-editions.  It was the primary basis for Beza's 1565 edition, which was virtually the same as the Elzevirs' 1633 edition, which became known as the Textus Receptus.

The term Textus Receptus, or Received Text, was derived from the self-proclaimed statement by the Elzevir printer family, in their preface to the 1633 edition of their Greek New Testament. They stated (in Latin), "Textum ergo habes nunc ab omnibus receptum, in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus." In English this means, "Consequently you now have the text received by everyone, in which we present nothing that has been changed or that is corrupted."  Rather than pronouncing divine sanction, the Elzevirs simply were stating that they had made no textual changes in their 1633 edition of the popularly accepted 1624 text -- the text that had been received from the work of various scholars and publishers of the New Testament Greek editions and that had been received by the scholarly community as the standard text representing the Greek New Testament. Erasmus' 1514 text and the continuingly evolving texts over the next 119 years, which came to be known as the Textus Receptus, were to most European Bible scholars of that time what the United Bible Society's Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (UBS4) is to most international Bible scholars of today. They all represent conscientious endeavors to best approximate the original Greek New Testament writings. The reconstruction of the original Greek texts will continue as additional ancient manuscripts are discovered and analyzed and as the methodology for such textual reconstruction becomes even further refined. Through this reconstruction process -- which included the Textus Receptus and its conceptual offspring of today, the UBS4 -- will always be a work in progress, the Word of God is always complete.

Modern preachers and teachers us the following phrases (bottom of page 1):  This type of teaching does not damage the authority of the Word of God, it strengthens it!  God’s Word is perfect; man is not.  God has given us the ability to understand His Word.  How it can be stated that this weakens the authority of God is beyond me.

[Page 2; read “the importance of God’s words.]  Ideas are important also, but not at the expense of the words.  The words can explain the ideas.

[The greatest error.]  We’ve already seen Acts 16:31.

[Dynamic Equivalence vs. Verbal Equivalence]  Only state that not all versions do this.  Introduce the CLV here.

[Next page:  Satan used…]  He did not use Dynamic equivalence, he lied!  He changed words.  There’s a difference.  He appealed to man’s soul and tempted him with lies.

[Warning against altering:  Revelation 22:18,19.]  [The paper’s statement that the KJV is the only widely accepted version that does this is simply not true:  Point out the overhead.]  I agree that all versions need to be used carefully and prayerfully by the reader.  KJV adds to God’s Word.  We’ve already looked at that in the history of the TR.  That’s why we investigate these things, for a clearer understanding of God’s Word!  [Our names can’t be taken out of the Book of Life; God’s Word states clearly that our salvation is secure.]

[Next Page]  I’m not familiar with the first two, but the last one is completely discredited.  Even if the basis is correct, there are lies and distortions about individuals contained in the book.  (Blurb was a lie, etc.)  If her foundation were righteous, why would she lie?

[Next Page] 

1.      The KJV changed it.  Is it wrong to change it back?  It still refers to the Trinity, but I was not aware that God forgot anything.  This passage was specifically added in the 16th century.

2.      Revelation 2:15 “Thus you', also, |have those holding the teaching of the Nicolaitans, likewise.”  It does say it in 2:6:  But this you |have, that you are hating the acts of the Nicolaitans, which I', also, am hating.”

3.      There is much doubt that Mark 16:9-20 is legitimate.  There are also arguments for it’s inclusion.  (Maybe we could study this passage some time.)  Just because it’s in the KJV, does that mean we should not inspect it?  I will teach it, but will add that many manuscripts doubt its authenticity.  John 7:53-8:11 is included in Luke in some manuscripts.  Once again, is it not worthwhile to investigate this passage?

4.      That statement’s not in the Greek.  It is implied.  Removing it in no way denies that Daniel was the author of the book of Daniel, nor does it deny that he was a prophet.  Removal of this statement is most certainly not a matter of doctrine and theology, it is merely translating directly.

5.      Luke 4:4:  The phrase is not in there.  It’s implied, and it is in Matthew 4:4.  Luke is emphasizing that man shall not live merely by a dependence upon bread (Luke is writing to the world); Matthew is emphasizing the Word of God (he was writing to the Jew.)  The phrase is not in Luke in the Greek.  Once again, I don’t think God needs our help in writing His word.

6.      It says “wine”.  Wine mingled with gall.  Late MSS. read vinegar (oxos) instead of wine and Mark 15.23 has myrrh instead of gall.  The myrrh gave the sour wine a better flavor and like the bitter gall had a narcotic and stupefying effect.  Both elements may have been in the drink which Jesus tasted and refused to drink.  Women provided the drink to deaden the sense of pain and the soldiers may have added the gall to make it disagreeable.  Jesus desired to drink to the full the cup from his Father’s hand.  “Wine” here and “vinegar” in Psalm 69:21 does not contradict each other, but we don’t have time to go into that here.

7.      It’s not in there.  There’s nothing contradictory by omitting it, and it certainly doe nothing to remove the reality of perishing, or losing our souls.

8.      It’s not in there, in that verse.  ***

9.      How does this deny the virgin birth?  “His father” is a common Jewish idiom.  [Luke 2:33:  And His father and mother were marveling at that which is spoken concerning Him.]

I have a book of textual criticism here, if anyone’s interested.

Translations and copies are man’s working.  We should investigate them to determine their authenticity.  Remember, Tyndale was burned as a heretic for his work, and his work was foundational to the KJV.  Whatever version you use, pray about it and study it to make sure that it’s true to the original.

***One of the most widely quoted verse used by the folks who argue for the King James version's supremacy is Colossians 1:14. A comparison is made to all the modern translations has them omitting the blood of Christ from this passage. If no one bothered to investigate why those three words were deleted, it would be very easy to conclude that skullduggery was at work.

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:14 KJV).

"In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:14 NIV).

There is a very simple explanation why the scholars who produced the NIV did not include the words "through his blood." When the passage was translated into English, the words did not come from the early Greek manuscripts. The phrase was most likely borrowed from Ephesians 1:7, which happens to be a parallel passage to Colossians 1:14.

The King James translators got a little wordy in their translating. The NIV translators simply corrected what should not have been added to the passage. The KJVO crowd, however, says that we should trust their favorite translation over manuscripts that date back to the third century.

There is a lot of talk about the removal of the phrase "through his blood" as being some sort of conspiracy to destroy the doctrine of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. If the devil were working to corrupt the Bible, this would have to be his slowest-moving scheme of all times. It makes no sense to do this with only one verse while leaving dozens of other verses untouched. Here are a few examples:

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." (Ephesians 1:7 NIV)

"But with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Peter 1:19 NIV).

"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood" (Revelation 1:5 NIV).

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13 NIV).

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that led to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:14 NIV).

I hope this study has cleared up a few things.  I don’t want anyone to be deceived by these cult-like teachings that these KJV Onlyists are promoting.  It doesn’t mean that reading the KJV means that you are in a cult, but these people worship this translation of the Bible as an idol(Bibliolatry); they hold this work of man in higher esteem than the original, revealed Word of God.

Don’t be deceived.