Which King James Bible? A Double Standard

It goes without saying that KJV Onlyists make a big deal about differences–any differences– between the KJV and modern versions. I’ve heard some stress that changes even in word order (as in Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ) and spelling (every jot and tittle, remember) are equally important. In many KJV Only materials, the presence or absence of Lord in Jesus’ title (Lord Jesus Christ) is called out as a doctrinal deficiency in the modern versions. Whenever “God” is removed (it depends how you look at it whether it was removed or added in by the KJV), important contextual clues like “my” or “their”, and even when words are have a different number, red flags fly and our suspicions are to rise regarding the doctrinal position of the translators or the editors of the text.

So when it comes to the King James Only position, David Cloud sums things up well when he asserts:

In the N.T. alone there are almost 10,000 word differences between the Textus Receptus and the Westcott-Hort text… It is true that many of these changes are not as significant as others–but ALL ARE real differences. More than 2,800 of the words in the Received Text are omitted in the W-H text underlying the modern versions….  — David Cloud, For Love of the Bible: The Battle for the King James Version and the Received Text from 1800 to Present (WoL 1995), pg. 57.

While they do set up the KJV as the standard by which everything else is judged (which begs the question), I can understand their point.  Differences matter, even small ones.  But when we come to the different editions of the Textus Receptus and the differences between King James Bibles in common use today, the KJV Only tune changes.  Almost in total, KJV Onlyists downplay the differences between the King James Bibles.  They try to pretend they aren’t signifcant differences even as they elevate every minor difference between the KJV and modern versions.

Isn’t this a double standard?  I’m not saying the differences between the KJV editions are as many or as big a deal as the difference between the KJV and modern versions.  But it is an important point for KJV Onlyists to answer.  If small differences are enough to condemn modern versions, think NKJV here too; then small differences of word order and even to God’s name exist within the various KJV editions.  Why is it okay that King James Bibles differ among themselves, but not okay that modern versions differn from King James Bibles?

Consider what some leading KJV Only advocates say about the various editions of the KJV:

The present King James Bible changes the spellings and the punctuation and the capitalization, but not the words of the 1611.  I have compared the 1611 original to the present King James Bible (the old Scofield editor (sic) of 1917) and I found very few changes to the ear (about 136 where they add an “and” or a “but” or some other minor word or eliminate such a word).  There are almost 800,000 words in the Bible and to have only 136 words which are revised is very (sic) small number indeed. — D.A. Waite, Central Seminary REFUTED on Bible Versions (BFT 1999), pg. 112.

To admit that the KJV could be updated and improved in certain points is not to say that it contains errors.  We believe this is an important matter, because we are dealing with biblical authority.  Further, those who point out errors in the KJV often act as if this version were merely the informal product of a few inconsequential translators.  On the contrary; the Authorized English Version is the product of the most intense, scholarly, sacrificial, wide-reaching Bible translation and revision effort ever to be made in any language in history. (The revisions since 1870 cannot properly be placed into this stream, as they have taken off on an entirely different textual and methodological direction.)  If the KJV has all of the errors that so many speak of, why weren’t these errors found and corrected between 1526 and 1638 (the date of the last formal revision, other than the orthographical revision of the 1760s, of the 1611 KJV)?  We personally do not believe there are any true errors.  — David Cloud, For Love of the Bible: The Battle for the King James Version and the Received Text from 1800 to Present (WoL 1995), pg. 93.

Though it [the KJV] has gone through a number of revisions to update spelling, punctuation, and other publishing errata, it held virtual monompoly status in the English-speaking world for three hundred years….  David Sorenson, Touch Not the Unclean Thing: The Text Issue and Separation (NBM 2001), pg. 46.

Reading this one should basically just ignore the differences because they are meaningless and small.  But the leading authority on the KJV text, and the very one who produced the version of the Textus Receptus most widely revered and used in KJV Only and TR Only circles, would disagree strongly:

Most readers will be aware that numberless and not inconsiderable departures from the original or standard edition of the Authorized Translation as published in 1611, are to be found in the modern Bibles which issue from the press by thousands every year.  Some of these differences must be imputed to oversight and negligence, from which no work of man can be entirely free; but much the greater part of them are deliberate changes, introduced silently and without authority by men whose very names are often unknown.  Now, if such alterations had been made invariably for the worse, it would have been easy in future editions to recall the primitive readings, and utterly to reject the later corruptions.  This, however, is far from being the case.  Not a few of these variations, especially those first met with in Cambridge folio Bibles dated 1629 and 1638, which must have been superintended with much critical care, amend manifest faults of the original Translators or editors, so that it would be most injudicious to remove them from the place they have deservedly held in all our copies for the last 250 years….  — F.H.A. Scrivener The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611), Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives (Cambridge University Press, 1884), pg. 3-4.

Scrivener goes on in his work to detail the state of the current KJV, and he betrays a vast wealth of knowledge of the various past editions of the KJV.  He includes appendices which list variations from the 1611 KJV retained in his 1873 Cambridge paragraph Bible, variations between the two editions of the KJV each published in 1611, and readings of the 1611 KJV which had been corrected in later editions which are restored in the 1873 Cambridge Bible.  He also adds an appendix on the places the KJV departs from Beza’s 1598 or Stephanus’ 1550 Greek text, or both.  Certainly his scholarship should not be doubted.  Upon perusing his work and the listing of variations I tend to agree with James White’s honest assessment:

Does the modern edition of the KJV differ significantly from the 1611?  That depends upon how one defines significantly.  For the general audience seeking merely to understand the KJV’s textual tradition, no–most revisions have dealt with small matters of spelling, punctuation, etc.  But for those who assert the KJV’s absolute inerrancy, the question looms large: which KJV?…

Are these changes important?  Surely they present a sticky problem for the radical KJV Only proponent.  How are textual changes like this to be handled?  How can one determine the “right” reading, when the KJV is made the absolute standard?…  — James R. White, The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?, revised edition (Bethany House, 2009), pg. 124-125.

With no further ado, I present a list of 50 changes from the 1611 edition to the 1873 edition.  There are twice as many more that are as signficant, if not more.  Sure the number is low, but its not a matter of 2 competing Bibles either.  There are hundreds of variations.  Compare your Bibles at home on these passages and see if they are all alike?  There are other differences such as thoroughly vs. throughly at 2 Tim. 3:17.  And there are places where the changes made in later years were later retracted.

So I ask, Which King James Bible?  Which one was approved by the churches?  If the text in 1873 is established, waht about the textual choices behind the 1611 KJV?  How do they give us the approved version of the TR?  If 1873 or some such later year is chosen as the perfect KJV version, then hasn’t the textual stabilization and developmen process been progressing all along, for hundreds of years beyond 1611?  Why couldn’t the 1881 revision be seen as a legitimate extension of this revision process?  These questions can wait for another post, but for now again ask yourself, Which Bible?

Click the chart below to expand.  Skip down past the chart to the end for a couple links for more information on this issue.

For more info on variations between King James Bibles:

30 Responses to “Which King James Bible? A Double Standard”

  1. I challenge the question, “Which King James Bible?”

    If you take all the ordinary editions from 1611 to, say, circa 2000, what you will find is one and selfsame underlying text and one and selfsame translation. In other words, there is only one King James Bible, despite the edition differences which might be listed, and if you look on my bibleprotector website, I list over 2000 of them!

    Now, to examine some issues in particular. In listing the changes between the editions of the King James Bible, I have found that they fit into these three categories:
    1. corrections of printers’ errors (e.g. typesetters errors in 1611),
    2. standardisation of the language (e.g. spelling and grammar), and
    3. other editorial regularisation.

    Now, if D. A. Waite or D. Cloud are produced as giving statements about this area, I would point out that they are actually TROs, not strictly King James Bible Only.

    Also F. H. A. Scrivener is a kind of modernist. Although he made some detailed listings and records in this area, nevertheless he erred in the production of the 1873 Paragraph Edition, which work does not represent a normal King James Bible — just as the editions produced by the American Revisers of the circa 1850s do not represent normal King James Bibles — in that such works are heavily modernised, altered and were never “normal”.

    When James R. White was asking whether or not the differences were significant, we should not ask that question regarding Scrivener’s extraordinary (and misguided) edition. Rather, if we take normal Oxford and Cambridge copies from, say, the 1950s, are we to say that these normal Bibles, which texts are duplicated on the internet today, we ask, are these significantly different from 1611?

    Of course, Scrivener’s 1873 is significantly different because of the many and bold changes he makes, which are wrong. (That is, significantly different enough to be rejected by any King James Bible Onlyist who knows about how different Scrivener’s edition really is. I don’t reject his raw research though.)

    But it is plain and evident that since the same text and translation are in the normal current KJB editions as compared to 1611, there are no significant differences of a substantial kind.

    However, it would be negligent to say the differences are unnecessary. Fixing typographical errors, standardising spelling and regularising the English throughout (including a consistent use of italics) is good. These are significant, but not the kind of “significant departures” that might be observed in Scrivener’s Paragraph Edition.

    Thomas Turton of Cambridge (1833) wrote:

    “Let me take this opportunity to state, as my deliberate opinion, that the Text of 1611 is, in consequence of its incorrectness, quite unworthy to be considered as the Standard of the Bibles now printed; and to express my conscientious belief, that to revert to that Text, as the Standard, would be productive of serious evils.”

    “For accuracy of printing, the Oxford edition of 1769, superintended by Dr Blayney, Regius Professor of Hebrew, at Oxford, is much esteemed.”

    This was not Scrivener’s view: he muddled up the order of the 1611 editions, made changes to the underlying texts and rubbished the 1769 Edition.

    Now, the very small differences between present editions, — that is, if we take Oxford printings and Cambridge printings from, say, the 1950s, and compare them, — are in themselves not significant in regards to the version-text or translation, but they are significant once we move to presentation. If the Oxfords are perpetuating a typographical error at Jeremiah 34:16, that is not a problem in the King James Bible. It is a problem in Oxford printings though. In this, edition differences and publishers differences are of great importance and large issues, for that the very acknowledgement of the jots and tittles of the Word of God in English is at stake. The solution is to see the standard, which is the Pure Cambridge Edition.

    So, to answer the questions:

    Which King James Bible? There is one, in the whole line of traditional editions to 1769, and which is followed in numerous editions since. There is still only one King James Bible. However, its exemplar representative is the Pure Cambridge Edition.

    Which one was approved by the churches? Again, one Bible, and all the normal editions have been used.

    If the text in 1873 is established, what about the textual choices behind the 1611 KJV? The 1873 is not established, and it is impossible that it would be. The textual choices of 1611 are the same today. (An interesting side note is that on a few occasions a difference in the King James Bible appears to match a variation in the originals, however these may easily be explained as coincidences. The “Amen.” at Ephesians 6:24 is the classic example, missing in 1611, it was restored in 1616, and continued in 1629 onwards.)

    How do they give us the approved version of the TR? In that the KJB presents one version-text, as is found in all its normal editions, it must be considered itself as an independent variety of the TR.

    If 1873 or some such later year is chosen as the perfect KJV version, then hasn’t the textual stabilization and development process been progressing all along, for hundreds of years beyond 1611? The Version-Text was already perfect in 1611, and that abnormal Paragraph Edition of 1873 is not perfect. However, any ordinary Cambridge or Oxford edition printed around 1873 was perfect.

    Why couldn’t the 1881 revision be seen as a legitimate extension of this revision process? Simply because it challenged the single, fixed, stable and ongoing underlying Version-Text which was present in all normal traditional line of editions of the King James Bible.

    Which Bible? There is only one true, proper King James Bible, it is the one known as the Authorized Version.

  2. So when the KJV 1611 says one thing, and a modern KJV today or the PCE says another, and when both reflected in varying TR or other textual sources available, how are we to establish which reading was accepted and approved by the churches?

    How many churches beside your own in Australia, accept the “Pure Cambridge Edition” as the definitive KJV text? Since that edition came out after 1873 and since it differs 2000 times from the KJV, why would we say the text was not establishe donly when the PCE was produced?

    What about italics? If the KJV 1611 was inconsistent with their use and later editions restored a more consistent use of italics, does this matter? Also the KJV stopped giving paragraph break marks in the NT somewhere in Acts.

    It seems you are not doing justice to the differences. Yes it is one basic Bible, but various and many different editions. It is not only Scrivener who affirms significant changes. One scholar by the 1650s could say there were 20,000 variations among current printed editions in his day.

    • Fundyreformed, I think that you have misunderstood some of the points and issues.

      The 1611 Edition is not reflecting a “varying TR” to the present editions of the KJB. All the differences that exist between them cannot be honestly said to be a differing textual basis. Thus, one reading at every place has always been accepted. I pointed out that the accidental omission of “Amen.” at the end of Ephesians is one of the few places where a 1611 difference happens to agree with variations in the originals.

      Now, there are various King James Bible Only people who, on being more aware of the differences between editions, realise that the presentation must be perfect and proper. There has been a general awareness of the Cambridge Edition being the standard. Some portion of these believers distinctly believe that the Pure Cambridge Edition is the best, because, clearly, there are people around the internet who are agreeing with it.

      The 1873 Scrivener Edition has really nothing to do with ordinary King James Bibles. Thus, even though ordinary editions today differ in over 2000 places (typographical errors corrected, spelling standardised, etc.) the differences in Scrivener’s Edition are more, and many of his changes are not commendable.

      As far as italics, the work upon them does not matter as regards to text, but does matter as far as scrupulous accuracy of presentation. Paragraph markers do not matter, but the tradition is to stop them in Acts.

      I am accused of not doing justice to the differences. If thousands were occurring in badly printed copies from the 1650s, if thousands were said to be around the 1830s, if thousands are claimed by the 1850s American Revisers, if hundreds are listed by Scrivener in 1873, and if I list over 2000 differences on my own website, I can assure you that I am well aware of differences. But it is obvious that most of the differences are easily dismissed as trivial, and those which appear more important are found to be for certain perfectly legitimate reasons. They are corrections of printing mistakes, standardisations of the language, and other editorial regularisations, all of which are perfectly acceptable and legitimate. There is nothing sinister or puzzling about them.

      Thus, all the changes that have occurred are not of a “significance” to call into question that the underlying text or actual translation has been altered. Scrivener’s differences in his Paragraph Edition are questionable. (By the way, while Scrivener’s book details the differences, Scrivener’s Bible makes all kinds of wrong changes, and Scrivener’s Greek is probably no better than Lloyd’s.)

      As for the man who reported many thousands of differences in the 1650s, these thousands are all types of things which have not altered the actual integrity of ordinary editions running from 1611 to the present time, and many are unique problems which are not perpetuated in ordinary editions.

      Since there is only one King James Bible text, no edition of any of the proper ones throughout history can be said to be any better or worse in regards to the Version-Text. If you talk about presentation in English, then of course, discerning people do not want editions marred by perpetuated printing mistakes, or to be full of unaccepted modernisations.

    • Which TR edition is the perfect one? Scrivener’s, Lloyd’s, Stephanus’, Beza’s? How can we make that choice?

      Of the 2000 differences you list, is there a unanimity in understanding every difference was either a printed error or a later editorial error? Or are some of those differences a correction of an initial translation error in 1611? Heb. 10:23, for instance translates pistis as hope. So Scrivener fixes that error.

      In Esther, the KJV uses the Vulgate spelling for Vashti. Later editions bring the spelling in line with the Hebrew. Were the 1611 translators in error there?

      In Rom. 3:24, the 1611 has a reading “Jesus Christ” which follows Beza’s Latin translation which is the only known work according to Scrivener having that ordering. Later editions put the order back to “Christ Jesus”, in line with the Greek TR editions. So is this a translator’s error? Did they follow Beza intentionally or not?

      The vast majority of TR Onlyists today affirm Scrivener’s text as the embodiment of all preserved NT words of God. However, Scrivener’s text manifestly claims to disagree with the KJV text in some few places where the KJV translators appear to depart from all known Greek texts. Therefore, when the KJV sides with the Vulgate or an unknown source, the Scrivener’s text doesn’t.

      Most KJV Only people claim the KJV 1611 translation was a special time and place in history where God brought the right people together and got the job done. But if we claim an edition which fixes and cleans up the text, including the italics, that was made in the late 1800s or early 1900s is actually the correct edition, what happens to this argument for the KJV position? Is the church of God today accepting the KJV text of 1611 or later editions when they claim it as the received text in English?

      These mistakes do matter, and I have not seen them adequately owned up to, and explained by KJV or TR onlyists.

    • Fundyreformed, I am glad that you do see that there is a distinction between the TRO position and the KJBO view. The question, “Which TR edition is the perfect one?” can only be answered: The King James Bible, as being the final form of the Received Text, in English.

      In fact, the third draft of my book lists 3733 “word” differences between the 1611 Edition and the Pure Cambridge Edition. Besides this there are 272 listed differences between the PCE and the Oxford Edition. Once you take into account individual variations found in any edition, including every typographical error ever made, or every variation of spelling, you could found tens of thousands of variations. But lets say that the first two figures I give are adequate representatives.

      Now, the change at Hebrews 10:23 cannot count, as it was made in Scrivener’s Paragraph Edition, and goes against the King James Bible. If people want to say that Hebrews 10:23 is wrong, or that “strain at a gnat” is wrong, or “Easter”, etc., that is up to them. But if we look at the internal history of the line of normal editions of the King James Bible, we find that Hebrews 10:23 is always “faith”, it is always “strain at”, it is always “Easter”, etc.

      In the above, it is clear that one text and translation is being presented in the proper editions of the King James Bible. Scrivener’s Edition is not a normal edition, and any which has been extensively modernised cannot be counted as a typical edition. (Except of course, the authoritative standardisation which took place in 1769.)

      So, in dealing something like “Vashti”, we find her name is early so presented. This is a case where the 1611 matched the Bishops’ Version, but it was afterward changed to match with the Geneva. Several of the 1611 translators were involved in the 1638 Edition, and that retained “Vashti”. Thus, while no conclusive case may be made about this particular issue independently, but it indicates no reason to alter the view that the change (to the Bishops’) was intended in 1611.

      The case of Romans 3:24 is in some likelihood a typesetters’ error. Since “Jesus Christ” is the familiar form, it is not unlikely that at this place, a typesetter could have accidentally used the familiar form, instead of the “Christ Jesus” form. (After all, “Jesus Christ” appears two verses above.) Since both the Bishops’ and the Geneva Versions have “Christ Jesus”, it makes it a great deal less likely that the 1611 printing was actually the translators’ chosen form.

      Now, let us allow for a moment that these, and several other examples are really changes to the work of the translators of 1611. If so, they represent no kind of substantial alteration in either meaning or the text. This is not like omitting something which could affect a doctrine! Even in this scenario, such differences hardly constitute an “error”.

      Now, the vast majority of TR Onlyists today affirm Scrivener’s text as the embodiment of all preserved NT words of God. However, Scrivener’s Greek text manifestly to disagree with the KJB text. Clearly, Scrivener’s Greek is to some degree “imperfect”. It is said that sometimes the KJB is siding with the Vulgate against the Greek. In reality, it is very likely that the reading in question will be found in Greek sources. In fact, Scrivener’s artifical constraints in dealing with the Greek have produced a Greek text which cannot be the standard pure and perfect Word of God. There simply is no final authoritative Textus Receptus Edition.

      When we look at the state of things in 1611, we see that the right text and translation was there. What we do not see is infallible typesetters, standard spelling or a consistent use of conventions as we have today (e.g. italics). Thus, TEXT and TRANSLATION were settled and right in 1611, but the PRESENTATION was not. If the presentation appears to alter the text and translation, the issue is not the text and translation, but the presentation. For example, if we find a phrase repeated or omitted in 1611, we are not to assume that this is was actually the translators’ intended text and translation, (even if such places happen to coincide with actual variations in the originals/Latin). What we are to do is consider the cause of such a difference. In so many cases it is obvious that it was a typesetter’s error in 1611. Errors of this kind have often occurred. There are plenty of cases where standardising the language has made things clear too. And there are occasions where other editorial regularisation has taken place. Therefore, when it comes to an issue like the italics, clearly the 1611 Edition was not the standard, for in such matters, the 1611 Edition cannot be standard.

      It must be obvious that there is a vast difference between textual and translational issues, and the issues surrounding the English use itself. These are two distinct fields of inquiry. The confusion (and it seems deception) arrises where English issues are confused with Version issues. In those cases, people point out “seek good” versus “seek God” or other such seemingly big “differences”, when one can easily be shown to be a typographical error. (There is such a suspicion upon KJBOs, that when they state facts, or things which are taken to be factual, some begin to doubt them, because they have somehow been taught to doubt anything a KJBO says, even though he is right on that issue at hand.)

      I do not think 1611 was a special time, except I do see that God had the right people together with the right resources to providentially accomplish the making of a perfect Bible text. But all the issues to do with printers, and spellings, etc. etc. would not be resolved then, but years afterward.

      Thus, the fixing and cleaning up of the “text”, meaning the English text, is nothing the same as someone attempting to alter (read “corrupt”) the underlying text. It is one thing to bring about improvements in the presentation, such as the 1769 Edition. It is another thing to actually change the King James Bible (as Scrivener actually did in 1873).

      All in all, people should see that the edition issue is different to the version issue. People are ever labouring on Shakespeare or various historical authors, to critically correct them, and to present them in a uniform English mode. The Bible has gone through a process like this, which might be viewed scientifically, but it must also be seen as a “received tradition, an accepted lineage”.

      This means that the 1611 Text is final, but the 1611 Edition is not. That is, that the Received Text is there in 1611, just as it is in the Pure Cambridge Edition today, but the polishing of presswork, the uniformity of the language, etc. now allow that the presentation is perfected.

      So there cannot be any cause and affect drawn between an edition error of 1611 and the translators’ own intended text and translation, which doubtless was presented in their final master copy handed to the press. To accuse the translators of a mistake because they probably spelt “be” as “bee” (for example) is silly. To imply that the King James Bible has gone through thousands of Version-Text alterations because (for example) “be” is now uniformly spelt, is completely absurd.

  3. ModernBibleReader says:

    Most modern KJVs are not even the Cambridge/Oxford texts (ironic that there are two textual traditions for the KJV; is one a good tree and the other a bad tree?) but modernized Thomas Nelson versions. I don’t have a Zondervan KJV available at the moment, but Thomas Nelson significantly modernizes the text. The Old Scofield Bible at least prints the old Oxford text, which is different at points than the modern Nelson text. So I don’t know which text is acceptable. I guess, for Waite, the Defined KJV (can’t remember, but I think it is maybe Cambridge) is the accepted text.

    I dispute the idea of Waite, TBS, etc being “TRO” — they expend more energy and vitriol on the NKJV than all the other modern translations put together. The TBS seems to be dedicated to make the NKJV look bad.

    They can always change — and will always change — the definition of an acceptable translation to be satisfied by only the KJV. They didn’t like the liberal RSV. Then they didn’t like the literal, conservative NASB. Then they didn’t like the dynamic NIV. Then they didn’t like the TR-based NKJV. Etc. It will never end. They control the definitions, so they always win. Unless you don’t play the game. There is no translation which will satisfy them other than the KJV.

  4. Too true, Modern Bible Reader. Welcome.

    In one sense they claim to be TR Only, but the TR they espouse is the particular version the KJV used which was a hodge podge of Stephanus and Beza with a few odd readings here and there. It’s Scrivener’s 1881 text. So you again have the true text not available till the late 1800s.

  5. plus, as James Price and others point out, those advocating a sort of de facto “KJV because of the TR” stance, are truly KJVO because they will never, ever call into question any distinctly King James reading.

  6. Bibleprotector,

    You say: “Now, let us allow for a moment that these, and several other examples are really changes to the work of the translators of 1611. If so, they represent no kind of substantial alteration in either meaning or the text. This is not like omitting something which could affect a doctrine! Even in this scenario, such differences hardly constitute an “error”.”

    But KJV Only proponents will allege such changes are errors in modern versions. They also will bend over backwards defending the readings “Easter” and “faith” (for Greek elpidos–earlier I had goofed and said pistis).

    I’m more than happy to assume many changes were due to typesetting and printing errors. But isn’t it just wishful thinking to assume all the changes were actually the Translator’s intent? And as far as the KJV = an edition of the TR, that is also wishful thinking. Which KJV choices? Translations routinely clarify a text’s meaning, and so if the KJV is an edition of the TR, then every time it doesn’t translate a de, are we to include that no de is to be intended in the Greek?

    I agree the KJV is substantially one edition, one version. But there are textual choices to be made with respect to it. The principle holds true then, that having to make textual choices is okay. So in principle, one cannot object to the modern versions for having to make textual choices. The editors of the TR had to, and the modern readers of the KJV have to.

    • Fundyreformed,

      It is clear that a difference on the spelling of “Vashti”, or whether it is “Christ Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” at a certain place could not be justly compared to changing a word on the accusation that the King James Bible’s translation is wrong. (I have already shown that such cases in their former presentation could never certainly be claimed to be the 1611 translators “deliberate judgment”. It is easy enough to show it unlikely in most cases.)

      “But isn’t it just wishful thinking to assume all the changes were actually the Translator’s intent?” It is not wishful thinking. Remember that many spelling changes due to standardisation of the language cannot directly be said to be the translators’ intent, but such work is certainly in line with or in the spirit of the translators’ work. That is to say, if the translators are responsible for the text and translation, they were not responsible for all the editorial work, which was required afterward, and which does not directly affect the text and translation. (Editorial work which actually affects the text and translation, like Scrivener’s, is another matter altogether.)

      “And as far as the KJV = an edition of the TR, that is also wishful thinking.” The King James Bible is an independent variety of the Received Text. This should be an obvious fact. The fact is that the King James Bible matches no extant single original manuscript or critical edition alone perfectly. This is because the translators took a holistic view of all such witnesses, and on the evidence made their own judgment as to what would be the right text and translation.

      “Translations routinely clarify a text’s meaning”. A text strictly means what readings are present or not. An interpretation clarifies meaning. A translation is supposed to give the text in another language with the same meaning as what that text would have had in the originals.

      “I agree the KJV is substantially one edition, one version.” You mean, many editions of one version. “But there are textual choices to be made with respect to it.” No, there is one text. By text, I mean, Critically Gathered Text-form as Based Upon Prior Existing Witnesses, that is, the Version. If you mean choices among variations in the English text in King James Bible editions (e.g. spelling differences), that kind of “text” just means the English words. There is no real relationship between variations in the English text and the Underlying Version-Text of the King James Bible.

      “The principle holds true then, that having to make textual choices is okay.” It was proper for English translators to make textual choices from TR editions, the Latin, etc. when making the translation.

      “So in principle, one cannot object to the modern versions for having to make textual choices.” The problem here is that if the King James Bible men chose rightly out of variations, then the modern version makers must be wrong, because their text choices (e.g. 1 John 5:7) differ.

      “The editors of the TR had to, and the modern readers of the KJV have to.” Modern readers of the King James Bible do not make textual or translational choices other than to accept that one Text and Version from 1611, which they KJBOs view as “infallible”. The translators of 1611 were not infallible, but the Scripture was and is. The KJBO therefore rejects any textual variations. Thus, to use the Pure Cambridge Edition of the King James Bible is no problem, because it has exactly the same Text and Translation as was there in 1611!

      All in all, this entirely refutes the whole idea that there are “different King James Bibles”. If any King James Version is different, it is not really a King James Bible. Thus, the following cannot be considered or accepted as proper, normal or traditional King James Bibles at all: Webster’s Version, the 1850s American Reviser’s work, Scrivener’s Paragraph Edition, the Modern King James Version, KJ21, Norton’s New Paragraph Edition, and so on.

      So, let’s get this straight. The 1769 Edition is not a different Version-Text and Translation to 1611. Yet this is what the original Blog above seems to be indicating. (Actually, the original blog wrongly assumes that the 1873 Paragraph Edition is a normal representative King James Bible edition. It is not.)

  7. Why is it okay that King James Bibles differ among themselves, but not okay that modern versions differn from King James Bibles?

    Because normal traditional editions of the KJB do not differ on the actual text and translation, whereas modern versions do differ on these, and greatly.

    • Philip D says:

      You said in an earlier comment that “ultimately, every word matters,” and present a couple of Bible verse references to support that. But do you see the difference between saying that and what you are now saying, which is that it’s not the “word” itself that matters, but the “text and translation” behind the words?

      Put differently, a version with even one word changed because of a textual choice must not be God’s word, but if a changed word that persisted in the printed KJV for over a century resulted from a “typesetter’s error”, it gets a “free pass”. If those Bible verses you mentioned have anything to do with translation and preservation of God’s word, this is not a warranted distinction, because in the end, it is still a different word, no matter what the reason is.

    • Every word does matter ULTIMATELY.

      But any copy of the Scripture, though it have copyist errors, etc. is still a copy of the Scripture.

      I see that it is problematic to treat a manuscript or a version which has the signs of widespread deliberate changes and corruptions of the text (and translation) as “Scripture”. I do not just mean the NWT, but include the whole of modernist-based works as well.

      On this general rule, any normal Greek copy, or Latin copies, or Reformation English translations can be called “The Word of God”. But the line is drawn somewhere. We come to a point where a book may contain to some degree the Word, but have so much corruption, that it really should not be treated as the “Holy Bible”.

      But of all Bibles and copies, I see the King James Bible not only as the best, but as the perfect standard.

      Clearly, the text and translation do matter, but many Christians for hundreds of years did not have the King James Bible. Just because they did not have a perfect text (or a perfect translation), we cannot say that they were without the Word of God. They were without the final form of the Received Text, but they were not without the Received Text. Even if a person was using Latin (in 7th Century England or 14th Century England), there is enough witness and presence there for a person to have “the truth”.

      Having dealt with the Text issue, I will now deal with the different words which are seen in KJB editions.

      Now, I am certainly not saying that every difference in the King James Bible is a printer’s error. And I am not saying that differences don’t matter. But God was able to communicate in 1611, despite whatever impurities existed in the King James Bible’s presentation, just as He is able to communicate today through the edition of the King James Bible which gets the presentation exactly right. The differences have not thwarted God, but to let wrong words stand, or to think that a typesetter’s error is “God’s particular choice” at that place is not right.

      Therefore, not only should there be perfection in the Text and Translation, but there should also be perfection in the Presentation. The reality that God’s Word for so many years in so many places was not in one form matching this criteria does not negate the argument for the forming of perfection down to the jot and tittle, that is, the English letters and punctuation.

      Any representation of Scripture should be sufficient. Yet, in the end, I mean, in the very end of all inquiry, there must be one right set of words.

      The right text was there scattered about in many copies, and finding representation generally throughout copies of the Scripture.

      The right text was found at last in one volume of one book in 1611, and also, one perfect translation.

      But the very presentation was not finalised in 1611. This occurred with the Pure Cambridge Edition. It has, in its actual outworking, only been complete now with the presentation of a scrupulously accurate electronic text of the Pure Cambridge Edition.

  8. Bibleprotector seems to have his cake and eat it too. It’s convenient to speak from both sides of your mouth on this issue. The text vs. presentation argument is completely novel from my reading in the KJV Only position.

    What is the warrant you have for concluding that the Pure Cambridge Edition is 1) the perfectly presented edition of the KJV over and against each and every other edition of the KJV 2) absolutely perfect with respect to representing each and every word of God given by inspiration perfectly? Would the fact that the KJV includes readings which are found in no Greek manuscripts or Hebrew manuscripts be a problem to your perfect KJV position?

    • Fundyreformed, yes, there are two separate issues:
      A. Text (and Translation).
      B. Presentation.
      The arguments that the Text must somewhere and sometime in history be resolved (the KJBO argument) allows that even the presentation should be perfected (see Neh. 8:8 and Hab. 2:2).

      1. The Pure Cambridge Edition is the correct presentation of the KJB because it,
      a. comes out of the line of traditional editions from 1611,
      b. it is the Cambridge tradition which has been recognised generally as correct,
      c. there is a finite ending of purification of this sort, i.e. seven times,
      d. when examined in minute detail, the PCE is right in every place, including every place where its presentation differs with 1611 or a contemporary edition (e.g. a Scofield Oxford).

      2. The KJB is presenting every word which God have in inspiration, but in English. The PCE is merely a correct presentation of this, to eliminate typographical errors, etc.

      Knowing that the true wordings were scattered in many copies, early versions and in the citations of the Fathers and in other sources (like lectionaries), it required a gathering process to come to its finite conclusion, so that there would be a perfect settled text. This occurred in 1611.

      Now, I ask, if all sources written in the Greek language do not have the READINGS found in the King James Bible, this would be something to ponder. This is besides the accusation that the English does not always translate the Greek the way that some people like. But the issue is not which translation is correct (I believe the KJB is infallible), but whether or not somewhere in the Greek whether or not every reading may be found. (Not including any 19th century manufactured “Greek” readings.)

      I certainly believe that Latin (especially Old Latin) and other sources are fair to draw upon. Is there really evidence that no source in Greek can be found for some KJB readings? For example, even Revelation 22:19 “book of life” is found in a few Greek sources! I suggest that it is possible to find every reading in Greek somewhere, but this is a rather pointless exercise, since every reading has been resolved, checked, accepted and received in English.

      As for the “warrant” for accepting the KJB particularly, and the PCE particularly, is based on recognising providence, and seeing that the internal (the words) and the external (how the words came to us) matches up exactly with the claims which the Word of God makes about itself. That is, if the Word of God is tried, pure, etc., then it follows that we should have even a presentation of the words which is correct in human history.

  9. in light of your views, bibleprotector, what is your view on preservation? Do you believe that God has promised to preserve every word to every generation? If so, and the “PCE” KJV represents every word, where was the Word of God prior to 1611?

    • God has promised to preserve His Word, and it has been made available generally.

      1. While the Canon was incomplete, it is impossible that every generation had all the Word.

      2. While the Word was not in practice in all the world, though made to be so by faith, we cannot say that the Word was actually manifested universally for all of history.

      3. While people had copies which were in part, or contained errors, they did not specifically have every word. However if copies were taken collectively, then every word was present and never lost.

      4. The Word of God did not remain only in the original languages, but also went forth in other translations. Sufficiently enough was in other translations, even if they were not perfect.

      5. In the Reformation there was enough witness about to draw from to be able to present the Word of God in successive refinements, that is, in the various Textus Receptus editions, which then, when taken collectively would themselves provide a sound basis to draw upon.

      6. The succession of English translations ensured that there was a purifying so that the very words being gathered would match in English in one Bible what was originally inspired in the Autographs, which were never gathered into one book, though each Autograph was perfectly written.

      7. The King James Bible represents every word in English (that is, in English words, for that sometimes more English words are required than the original may have at a place, or less, but the very same sense is given in English). Clearly, the press errors or fluid spelling of the 1611 editions (there were two print runs that year) do not thwart the reality that God’s Word was there present.

      8. With the Pure Cambridge Edition as has been printed multiple times throughout the twentieth century, the presentation of the King James Bible was presented in its purified form, even though various Bibles might from time to time have a unique printing error, or a one off missing punctuation mark, which is usual in any printed book from the twentieth century.

      9. With computers (comparing files), cross-checking to various printed copies, and public viewing, it has been possible to see and resolve what is exactly correctly the letters, words and punctuation of the Pure Cambridge Edition.

      10. There is no need (for salvation, or for defining what is “Scripture”) to have a jot and tittle perfect Bible any time in the past 1700 years (Diocletian’s fires burnt many copies), but that it fits with the nature of God that we should desire to have a perfect form of Scripture, and that it is good to have a certainty in regards to the very READINGS, the very TRANSLATION and even gladness at the very PRESENTATION to be resolved and scrupulously correct.

      Conclusion: the Word of God has been present in earth since the days of Moses, and complete since John was at Patmos. A Latin Bible in Ireland could be called “The Word of God”. The Word of God has gone forth to the ends of the Earth.

      But although God has used many sufficient forms of Scripture, there is, I think, a case that one is the best, and that it should be upheld as the standard, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deut. 32:4).

  10. bibleprotector,

    thanks for your comment. you’ve certainly put a lot of thought into this.

    Based on your reasoning, by what standard can we know that the King James, or any Bible, represents every one of God’s Words? What would you say to someone who agreed with you, up to point #6, but that the KJV still needed correction and the NKJV actually represents every one of God’s words? By what measure can we determine which it is, even a modern version?

    also, based on your statement in point #10 (which I would think many in the KJVO camp would disagree with), I feel that you don’t have the vitriolic hate for the modern versions that other have, you just think the KJV is ultimately the best. Am I correct?

    finally, along those same lines, you are willing to admit there was no absolutely perfect, complete Bible until the “PCE”. How does that affect your view of preservation today? In other words, you said that preservation promises the words being “generally” available. But now, post 1611, would you say they are “generally” available in the modern versions, but “perfectly and specifically” available in the King James? I mean, do you apply the common “preservation passages” to conclude the KJV as being perfectly preserved, and if so, how can a pre-1611 believer apply those verses?

    Lots of questions. . but I’m just trying to better understand your position. And I’m happy you’re here, by the way. It’s refreshing to speak with someone passionate about this position, from the other side, who doesn’t resort to name-calling. Thank you and God bless!

    • Damien (and others),

      I think that some KJBO proponents have not adequately shown a proper spirit or even proper reasoning in all that they have done. Often times those on the other side willingly distort things because they have a commitment, it seems, to rejecting the King James Bible or support of it, to the point where if a KJBO says something which they would accept from another person as factual, they seem to be suspicious of even that. Good disputes and discussions are for the better understanding of our view on the subject, and if we are wrong or mistaken, we should come to the truth rather than hold to mere opinions. Of course, if honest people attempt to persuade one another of their positions, it should work out that honest people will actually be able to come to a higher understanding, and even, God willing, agree.

      “Based on your reasoning, by what standard can we know that the King James, or any Bible, represents every one of God’s Words?” Seeing that we do not have Autographs, it would never be enough to rely on constructing out of copies alone. To have a theoretical view of how to get “as close as possible” is not enough. What we actually have to do is start from what we know Scripture says today. In other words, if God really is God, he would have got His Word to me today, which is His Word to me indeed, even though I (the hypothetical person) does not have any idea how it actually got here. All I (the hypothetical believer) can do is believe and receive. In other words, “faith is” or “have faith” requires present truth, a present form of Scripture which is sufficient.

      At this time, there is a witness from some quarters that the King James Bible is the best. Others who argue for theoretical reasons why the modern versions are better do not insist on the perfection, nor on a single standard, nor do they allow absolute truth to be manifest, for they argue that error is in some way present. This is not what the witness for the King James Bible is saying. (Which is why there is a great conflict between the two positions, and those who attempt to create middle ground positions like Majority Textism, etc.)

      So, if I believe the Gospel and get to looking in the KJB, I find that the Scripture teaches that it is pure, kept, quick, etc. From that position of having the Word, we then look back to see the inspiration of the Autographs, and see what has happened since (a great scattering) and then the gathering at the Reformation, and refining to the 1611 Authorized Version. By that reasoning, any changes or differences since would be wrong.

      Now, if an internal examination is made on the very words and their meaning in another version (e.g. the NKJV) it will be found that it does not have exactness or perfection. There will be conceptual errors there. This implies that it is not matching with the Autographs, even though someone may have a wonderful theory about how the majority of Greek manuscripts will be closer to the Autographs, or how the King James Bible translation was improved in various places, etc. In the end, people know that the NKJV has errors, and that there is only really a witness (often maligned) that the KJB alone is perfect.

      “What would you say to someone who agreed with you, up to point #6, but that the KJV still needed correction and the NKJV actually represents every one of God’s words?” By what standard would the NKJV be correct? There is no providential evidence that the NKJV is right, unlike the various signs which surround the KJB. Again, by what standard, what higher judgment would someone appeal to say or show the KJB to be wrong or requiring correction? Either there is no real standard, or there has been a providentially supplied standard.

      Now, it is plain that the Bible did exist before 1611, and that the translators of 1611 were not inspired. But there are actually many KJBOs who would agree with that. There has been a large misrepresentation of KJBOism (by some), so that people assume that KJBOism is made up of name-calling, 1611-inspirationists who think that the Apostle Paul used the KJB.

      “I feel that you don’t have the vitriolic hate for the modern versions that other have, you just think the KJV is ultimately the best. Am I correct?” Well, I am not quick to discount that there are words of God contained in modern versions, but I hate them very strongly, and think they are antichristian and devilish because of their basis upon the principle of error (the doctrine that no Bible can be right because ‘error is’), though I do not agree with irrational or dishonest tearing down of modern versions, or for dubious arguments about the divine origin of the King James Bible. If we are reasonable, honest and spiritual, we should come to proper conclusions without having to resort to over-simplification, vulgarities or downright deception to make our case.

      “finally, along those same lines, you are willing to admit there was no absolutely perfect, complete Bible until the ‘PCE’.” Not so, the correct version and text was perfectly and completely present from 1611, I am saying that the words were presented aright in the PCE.

      “How does that affect your view of preservation today? In other words, you said that preservation promises the words being ‘generally’ available. But now, post 1611, would you say they are ‘generally’ available in the modern versions, but ‘perfectly and specifically’ available in the King James? I mean, do you apply the common ‘preservation passages’ to conclude the KJV as being perfectly preserved, and if so, how can a pre-1611 believer apply those verses?” I do not like to even say or think that there is even a “general” giving of the Word in modern versions, but there is a general preservation in all Bibles (which are not tainted by the spirit of error). I mean, versions and translations which have error in them, like the LXX or the Vulgate, are not so wrong that Christians were not able to use them. However, the trend of the modern versions is quite different. The NKJV must be placed into the same category with the others, even though it attempts to be similar to the KJB (which actually makes the NKJV worse for the “deception factor”.)

      As I said above, preservation passages do not mean that every generation was promised to have all the Word of God, or indeed, a perfect text and translation in one book. What we do know is that the words from inspiration to now are present because of the promise of incorruption, and that they are generally preserved, despite historical scattering (or despite the existence today of many false “Bibles”), so that they would endure from that time forever.

      There are many promises and prophecies in Scripture which do not come to pass until a later date. If people knew of promises of having the Word of God before 1611, it is no different to someone having the KJB. The difference is that God’s providence outworked the fulfilment of promises and prophecies, in line with the very nature of God, that there should be one day a perfect text and translation gathered and presented in one book. The reality that this took place in 1611 and not in 90 A.D. is no problem. God’s power has been manifested throughout history, not just in ancient times. In fact, God is the only one who has been able to unfold things so that the gathering of the true words and sense could be accomplished in history when those who do not wish to believe may always find a reason to doubt, saying, “well, because ‘error is’, God can’t have done it in 1611.”

      P.S. I find that some people forsake the KJBO view because they had wrong ideas, which upon realisation, opened up the way for them to abandon the KJB (a tragedy!), rather than to come to a right KJBO view.

      P.P.S. It is only providence which has allowed for a proper realisation of the doctrine of having both a perfect text and translation, as well presentation, NOT BY DOUBLE INSPIRATION, but by arriving at a fuller understanding of Scripture, which is being taught by (part of) KJBOism, especially from the end of the twentieth century onward.

  11. Bibleprotector,

    You said: “The difference is that God’s providence outworked the fulfilment of promises and prophecies, in line with the very nature of God, that there should be one day a perfect text and translation gathered and presented in one book. The reality that this took place in 1611 and not in 90 A.D. is no problem. God’s power has been manifested throughout history, not just in ancient times.”

    I thought God’s nature involved a perfect inspiration whereby all of God’s words were given at 1 time and assembled. So in your view it would be normal for God to allow man to lose those words gradually through improper copying, persecution, etc. and then 1600 years later after finally the printing press is invited, then God can finally restore them in 1611, and then wait another 250 years + to get to the PCE edition which has it exactly right? This is God’s character to act this way?

    You are using circular reasoning to arrive at your conclusions. You look at the KJV and say it best fits these principles we see in God’s word, that God must really have wanted a perfect edition. If God wanted it, why wouldn’t it be in the languages He gave the Bible in? You are making many assumptions and leaps here. Scripture never promises a perfect translation, a perfect transmission of the text or anything like that. It never addresses 1611 or claims God will equip Anglican scholars with such abilities that they will make all the absolutely correct decisions about the text….

    I’m sorry. I respect your position and how you come to it, but it isn’t a position demanded from Scripture, and it seems fluid enough to dodge any claim the KJV has errors. It must not be an error you presume. There aren’t places where the Greek doesn’t have a reading. Oh and if there are, the Latin is good enough… Oh, and it was perfect in 1611, but it’s even better now in 2009, but it’s not really different. You are having your cake and eating it too.

    • “I thought God’s nature involved a perfect inspiration whereby all of God’s words were given at 1 time and assembled.”

      Except we all know that isn’t so, and the Bible never taught that. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake AS THEY WERE MOVED by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. 1:21 emphasised).

      “So in your view it would be normal for God to allow man to lose those words gradually”

      Except the words weren’t lost, just scattered.

      “then God can finally restore them in 1611, and then wait another 250 years + to get to the PCE edition which has it exactly right? This is God’s character to act this way?”

      Actually, most Christians seem to believe that there has never been a perfect Bible AT ANY TIME since the inspiration. So what are they saying about God’s character? That He can’t or won’t do it?

      “You are using circular reasoning to arrive at your conclusions.”

      Maybe self-validating and self-authenticating. Circular is not wrong if it is right, and it is right if every last detail is right.

      I want to give an example as a case study:

      People say that “Easter” is wrong in the KJB. They say so because they believe that the Greek is the basis for examining the words, and they also find that the same word is translated elsewhere as Passover, even in the KJB. However, since we are looking at the Word of God in English (without necessary reference to the originals, etc.) then we should from this vantage alone be able to see whether or not it is true. And we find that Easter makes sense, contextually, doctrinally, logically, etc. In other words, if we take the KJB on its own authority, we will find that it vindicates itself every time. (There are years have argued that the KJB is accurate to the Greek, etc., so much so, that we can move away from always just testing its accuracy to actually accepting that it is true and perfect in English.)

      “You look at the KJV and say it best fits these principles we see in God’s word, that God must really have wanted a perfect edition. If God wanted it, why wouldn’t it be in the languages He gave the Bible in?”

      Several reasons, one because the whole Bible requires a third language, since each testament has its own, secondly, it requires an end time global language, and thirdly, because it demonstrates even more power if it is in a translation over 1500 whatever years after the initial inspiration.

      “Scripture never promises a perfect translation, a perfect transmission of the text or anything like that.”

      Actually, quite a few doctrines are read into Scripture which are not expressed specifically, including at what point the Church is to meet Christ in the air, the doctrine of Providence, etc.

      “It never addresses 1611 or claims God will equip Anglican scholars with such abilities that they will make all the absolutely correct decisions about the text….”

      But it never contradicts any Scripture. These men were not infallible, but God’s providence was such that these men had the right tools to make the right decisions.

      “There aren’t places where the Greek doesn’t have a reading. Oh and if there are, the Latin is good enough…”

      Are there really any places where there is no extant Greek witness of any kind? (Sure, I believe that the Latin was also a valid help in these matters.)

      “Oh, and it was perfect in 1611, but it’s even better now in 2009, but it’s not really different.”

      The Text and Translation was perfect in 1611, but the Text and Translation are not “better” now. The presentation was not perfect in 1611, but it is now. Therefore, the Word of God is not different. What is different is that it wasn’t in English, then it was. The English text was improved during the Reformation, certainly the text differs in different versions. That the English presentation was improved since 1611, because the presentations differs in different editions. But all these differences does not mean that the Scripture is yet unsettled, and all this process was leading somewhere, to a conclusion.

  12. “Circular is not wrong if it is right. . .”

    Well, ok then. I’m trying to understand your starting point, though. Do you start with the promises of preservation or do you start with the King James being perfect?

    I know you’re trying to cover all your bases, for which I give you credit. But the more you elaborate your position, the further away from the Bible this seems to be.

    • “Circular is not wrong if it is right. . .”

      For example, God is God because God is God.

      “Do you start with the promises of preservation or do you start with the King James being perfect?”

      I would suggest that person believing the Gospel starts from a simple faith that the Word of God he is hearing is true. This assumes both some sort of preservation and perfection even though Scriptures on this subject would be unknown, and the believer would probably not know anything about the Bible’s history except that it was inspired and written long ago.

      If someone starts from the promises of preservation, they can start with any non-KJB version, and they would have a general notion of it, but on close examination, various problems would be unresolved in their version, or worse, there would be doubt as to its fulness today. Even the promises of preservation could therefore come under suspicion. Is this really what the Scripture teaches? Has this been translated right? The controversy over the meaning of Psalm 12 is an example.

      If someone starts with the King James Bible being perfect, they would have heard the witness of KJBOism. Yet this would be an idle position without something to base it upon. Just because people say it is so is not enough, unless there are Scriptures to back it up, and facts to show why this is the case.

      Ps 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

      Ps 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

      Since these are present tense, the reader of the KJB can then apply this to what they have right now. Not only in a general way, like a person could do with another version, but right down to the specific, this is the very text and sense of the Word of God. On examination, the KJB bears this out both in its external history (and ancestry) as well as upon minute investigation upon its internal composition, that is, that the very words of truth are exactly there, so that the very words, the very order of them, is correct, exact and perfect.

      If someone starts from the assumption that their version is perfect, e.g. the Vulgate, this would soon break down in both its internal and external inquiry. It cannot be externally correct because:
      a. there are different editions of it,
      b. it was continued under the auspices of the Papacy.
      It cannot be internally correct because:
      a. and then list various doctrinal problems in it, such as “do penance”, etc. Such considerations will be the result of textual and translational problems, but the object is not to find these first, but to conclude that they exist because of the internal conceptual problems.

      The foremost sign concerning whether or not a Bible is perfect (and whether the King James Bible is the ultimate one), is not in examining first the text and translation, or in trying to create a theory concerning these. In other words, the entire history of how the Bible now is with us is less important than one vital first step: to receive it as true in the present. Then, upon internal considerations to show its structure, its conceptual accuracy, its exactness in conference of one place to another, it is already bearing the internal or self-authenticating witness of its accuracy. There is nothing wrong with also going to textual criticism and looking at all the history of how we got our Bible, but we can only do that if we are starting from a Scriptural foundation of perfection that we actually own and identify.

      Therefore, the attack on modern versions is not first because they come from a corrupted line out of history, but because they internally exhibit error. This error is the result of the theory of error of their makers, who wrongly then took erroneous methods of giving great credence to a wrongly weighted “age” (e.g. Aleph and B), and/or a wrongly weighted “majority”, so that what they have produced textually is already deficient. Next, with wrong lexiconagraphy, newfangled translations have been constructed. The issue is not that the words and meanings have been studied, or cognate languages consulted, etc., but that with the foundation of error it is always going to be that such works will never be perfect, fully accurate, etc.

      So to summarise, I suggest:

      1. A person has simple faith in the truth of Scripture.
      2. A person receives the witness of KJBO, which would include hearing about the preservation of Scripture.
      3. A person believes that the KJB is perfect, and sees its internal perfection.
      4. A person understands how the KJB came to be, in line with the doctrine of inspiration and the preservation Scriptures, and why it alone should be used.

  13. David says:

    To throw the cat among the pigeons -

    I assume that the AV only people (KJV outside of the Queen’s dominions!) always include the Apocrypha in their Bibles, just as it was for a couple of hundred years from 1611.
    If not, then they are departing from the true text.

    Note: I do not hold the Apocrypha to be Scripture, but I know some believers who do.

    I pray always that we can remain, in love, one in the Lord.

    David S.

  14. Gypsyseeker says:

    Just found this blog. I’d like to briefly address the question: “Which TR?” Excellent question and especially pertinent for those who wrongly think that Scrivener’s text is the exact text/readings underlying the KJB. Scrivener clearly differs from the KJB in at least 28 places. I could make a case for all 48 that I’ve found so far, but have found a way to make Scrivener “work” into the KJB translation. The answer to the question posed above, for those who want a “Greek” answer, is: My TR is the exact textual readings underlying the KJB. The KJB correctly and inerrantly preserves those words (into the English language of course) thus preserving their inspiration as well into the English language. That’s not double inspiration, but preserved inspiration. And just for the record, whatever one’s personal view on BibleProtector and Matthew Verschuur’s PCE, those guys do have the correct position on the KJB and willingly submit to its Divine Final Authority. As do I, by the grace of God.

    • JasonS says:

      In other words, we are to read the KJV back into Scrivener’s and then it “works” as the “one and only” TR?
      Is that what you’re saying?

    • “the correct position on the KJB and willingly submit to its Divine Final Authority. As do I, by the grace of God”

      The grace of God led you to that? Is that even based in scripture? It’s evident how quickly things become silly, and I’m sorry that sounds offensive, but seriously, to claim that it’s by God’s grace (which implies that those who oppose are lacking that grace) that you have come to submit yourself to the King James Version, and one edition of that in particular is absolutely against the concept of the grace of God and revelation. God is a God who reveals. And the things He’s revealed are backed up by the scriptures. If it’s by His grace that we accept your position, it ought to be clear from the text – you know, maybe a verse that says Christians ought to “willingly submit” to a future English TRANSLATION of the Bible. But there is no such verse, no such concept. In your position, the Bible has been elevated above Jesus Christ.

  15. Neil says:

    Wow. I may be out of my depth here…
    We do not have the words of Jesus, we have the words the people heard and wrote and copied and hid and compiled and then translated and so on. On this we can all agree.

    By faith I accept the words I read as having been kept intact by the Lord God to the degree that I can be confident that it has not suffered any corruption that robs the Lord of the full and complete meaning and intent of His word.

    I can reject wholly corrupt versions such as Joseph Smith’s idiotic attempt and the Jehovah’s Witness New World ‘Translation’ but what I can’t do is dismiss devout and honest works of translation that attempt to provide modern readers with accurate renditions of the Scriptures.

    Furthermore, if I may be so bold:
    Do we have any recorded word of the Lord commanding us to compile the Bible? If not, whose idea was it? Did Paul say we should put his letters together and add the gospel witnesses? Did he even HAVE Mark’s or Luke’s writings? Luke took it upon himself to present an orderly account, God did not tell him to do it. John was told to write to the churches but as far as we know, that was all.
    I’m unaware that we have ANY evidence that God even authorized the Bible in the first place, let alone gave the king of a foreign nation permission to convert what was compiled into English.
    I would love to be corrected, let’s hear it…

    • Steven Avery says:

      Hi Folks,

      Neil, your questions are basically the Christian-skeptic debate about the Bible. However one point is worth special attention.

      “Paul .. Did he even HAVE Mark’s or Luke’s writings? ”

      Definitely. He referred in 1 Timothy 5:18 to a verse from the Gospel of Luke as scripture .. in addition there is a very strong case to be made that when Paul referred to “my gospel” he was referring to the Gospel of Luke. You likely know of the “we” verses in Acts that have Paul and Luke labouring together. The early dating of Luke, writing to the high priest Theophilus around 40 AD, fits extremely well with this, and a similar dating is given historically for Mark in early church writings, Chrysostom and perhaps others from memory.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

  16. Nazaroo says:

    “But although God has used many sufficient forms of Scripture, there is, I think, a case that one is the best, and that it should be upheld as the standard, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deut. 32:4).”

    I can assent to this, provided we acknowledge that the “one best bible” and its message can be simultaneously in more than one human language at the same time.

    This concept of “best” does not extend to singling out unique languages or cultures, but moves to wherever it appropriately fits. For all I know, the Latin NT to a 3rd century native Roman is as accurate and clear as my KJV is to me, just as the (now lost) Greek copy of Luke from the 1st century was as pure to a 1st century Greek-speaking Jew of the diaspora as my personal translation of it for myself in my own customized English is to me.

    peace
    Nazaroo

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