Doug Wilson on Only Using the KJV

Pastor Doug Wilson provides a very brief, 3-point answer as to why he chooses to preach exclusively from the King James Version.


10 thoughts on “Doug Wilson on Only Using the KJV

  1. Damien T Garofalo April 8, 2010 / 11:24 am

    I’m a big fan of Wilson’s writings. I also have no problem with how he articulates his view here. I think we’ve all heard these three points, but still, notice there are no conspiracy theories, there’s no vitriol, and if you know anything about Wilson’s ministry, this issue is not a separating issue for him.

    I would obviously disagree that the mss behind the KJV are the “best” but I wouldn’t claim I’ve arrived either. I’m still learning. Where I would contend more is certain aspects of those manuscripts. For example, I do have a problem with late, secondary readings in the Byzantine tradition. But I appreciate Wilson on this, as well as Majority Text proponents, because at the end of the day there’s still more work to be done in this area.

    His point about the church is also true, but I’m a little leery of dubbing the KJV the standard since it was under the authority of a church – a state church nonetheless.

  2. fundyreformed April 8, 2010 / 11:38 am

    Great video, Damien. I can respect those reasons. And I’m with you on thinking it isn’t all figured out yet.

    Also, I wish the church would agree on a standard and on a text basis today and do a church sanctioned modern translation that is apart from the corporate or society based structure. That would be great.

  3. Pittsley April 8, 2010 / 11:43 pm

    I’m not sure I buy the distinction between the way that translation business works now and the way that it worked with the King James version. The academy and the church were not a single entity in Jacobin England. And, as someone already mentioned, the state had its hand in the affair as well. Furthermore, I’d be surprised to find out that Oxford (a state-funded academy) has ever had a deacon’s fund to distribute the profits they make from their calfskin leather KJVs.

    I also disagree that it’s a good idea for the visible church in the English speaking world to get together to produce a single church-authorized translation. One of the great advantages that English-speaking Christianity enjoys is a multiplicity of translation. Why would we ever willingly go back to dependence on a single translation?

    On the other hand, if Doug Wilson’s ideal Bible existed (i.e., a Majority-text based, formally equivalent, church-owned, contemporary English Bible that belonged to the tradition of the King James), I’m sure I would buy it, love it, and occasionally consult it in my own studies of the original.

    • fundyreformed April 9, 2010 / 11:07 am

      You make some good points Pittsley. That model works more when there is a state church. And some of Wilson’s views would lean him more in that direction, too, if I’m not mistaken.

  4. Pittsley April 8, 2010 / 11:45 pm

    I guess that would be Jacobean not Jacobin 🙂

  5. CD-Host April 9, 2010 / 3:24 am

    I’m kind of fond of Wilson and CREC. That being said, I think it is worth coming on with one of his key points.

    The idea that most translations are owned by corporations which are profit driven is kind of a gross oversimplification. Most of the people involved in actually creating the various bible text work for various bible societies which emerged out of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The NA27 comes from the United Bible Society. TNIV copyright is owned by Biblica which is the new name for the International bible society, Lockman (NASB, AMB) is a non profit ministry. Lifeway which owns the HCSB is a non profit. Even Good News which owns Crossway (ESV)is a non profit ministry. Joint Committee of the Churches (NEB/REB) is outright owned by the churches. And of course the NAB is owned by the CCD which is directly a church organization.

    Now there are bibles owned by corporations like the NKJV or the NLT but its not the case for the majority of them. In general today’s bibles are under the control of various parachurch organizations. One can support or attack the use of parachurch organizations but in a world of niche denominations, like CREC, parachurch organizations handle most of the large scale projects.

    As an aside his list of what he is looking for:
    a) Church owned / controlled or public domain
    b) Majority text or TR
    c) formal
    d) more modern language
    e) respectful of church tradition

    Sounds like Young’s bible to me.

    I would be much more curious to hear what Wilson would say if asked what CREC people should use for personal study and/or devotional reading. Expository preaching can be done with an original language text, by its very nature understandability is not very important. But, for personal study its a different issue and more complex.

    • JasonS April 9, 2010 / 8:13 am

      Speaking of profit, Erasmus’ text became the one on which others leaned for so long due to the profit motive. Word got around that a certain man was working on a Greek NT, so Erasmus teamed up with another guy to beat him to the punch to get the first one printed.
      Now we have KJVO folks yelling about copyright and profit in regard to newer translations, but neglect the history of the KJV.

    • fundyreformed April 9, 2010 / 11:09 am

      Are you referring to Young’s Literal translation when you say “Young’s Bible”? Just wondering.

      Re: the NLT, Tyndale House is owned by a non-profit group too, I believe. All profits from the NLT are used for non-profit Christian charitable work. At least I’ve heard that is the case.

  6. CD-Host April 9, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    Bob —

    Yes Young’s Literal. Yes and in checking in on it in 2001 a large chunk of Tyndale House Publishers was transferred to Tyndale House Foundation”. So good point another essentially non profit.

  7. James Snapp, Jr. April 27, 2010 / 10:51 am

    Interesting interview. I wonder if brother Doug Wilson has encountered the copyright-free online World English Bible, or the Apostolic Version.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

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