Is It Possible to Be King James Only and Not Be Militant about It?

Over on my primary blog, I posted today about Dr. Kevin Bauder’s eight characteristics of hyper-fundamentalism. One of those characteristics is adopting “a militant stance regarding some extrabiblical or even antibiblical teaching“. Bauder then mentions the King James Only question as an example of this. He concludes that characteristic with: “When individuals become militant over such nonbiblical teachings, they cross the line into hyper-fundamentalism.”

I completely agree with Dr. Bauder, that it is militancy over a nonbiblical teaching which is the sticking point. A commenter on my blog mentioned that he felt Bauder was just trying to paint all King James Onlyists as hyper-fundamentalists. I countered with this: “He specifically mentions being militant over a non-biblical position. So people who prefer the KJV, even with strong convictions, who nevertheless remain non-militant in their stance on that question and who don’t make one’s view of the KJV as a mark of being a legitimate fundamentalist or not (the 6th characteristic), they would not be hyper-fundamentalist. I know several who are KJV only who would probably not be hyper-fundamentalist.”

My question to the readers here is, “Do you agree? Can one be King James Only and not be militant about it?” Certainly one can question the prevailing assumptions of textual criticism and not be militant, but can one be KJV only and be cognizant of the fact that it is a sticky issue and others don’t agree for valid-sounding reasons?

The SBC Expresses “Disappointment” over the NIV 2011 Bible

Do you think the recent resolution from the SBC on the NIV 2011 translation has gone too far? I think it has. Let me know what you think.

Here’s the report from Baptist Press following the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, held June 14-15.

Resolutions: SBC tackles immigration, NIV

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 | by Tom Strode

In an unusual move, messengers called to the floor and passed a resolution on the “gender-neutral 2011 New International Version” (NIV) that was not reported to the convention by the Resolutions Committee….

The NIV resolution overwhelmingly approved by messengers “expressed profound disappointment” with publication of the new translation and “respectfully request[ed] that LifeWay” not sell the version in its stores.

The resolution came to the floor when Indiana pastor Tim Overton persuaded messengers to address the 2011 version of the popular translation that his resolution said had “gone beyond acceptable translation standards” regarding gender. His resolution said 75 percent of the flawed gender translation in the TNIV appears in the new NIV. Southern Baptist messengers expressed their disapproval of the TNIV in a 2002 resolution.

Overton, pastor of Halteman Village Baptist Church in Muncie, Ind., told messengers the Southern Baptist Convention needed to address the issue in its role as a leading voice in the evangelical Christian community.

Speaking for the committee regarding its decision not to present Overton’s measure, Russell Moore said the members did not believe the issue “rose to the level of needing to be addressed by this year’s convention.” Moore said the TNIV was “something of a stealth move,” which was not true in this case. He also said the NIV is not in the same position now as it was in the past, since such translations as the Holman Christian Standard Bible and English Standard Version are now available. He also said the NIV is “just one of many Bibles out there [with] similar language.”

The committee did not oppose passage of the resolution. At the news conference, Moore said, “The committee, of course, shares the concerns that were expressed in the resolution. The issue was not whether or not we would affirm the NIV and its changes but whether or not we thought the current changes were worthy of being addressed” at this year’s meeting.

Moore is dean of the school of theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as teaching pastor for Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.

Thoughts?

Was the King James Bible Published on May 2nd, 1611?

I have a confession, I depended on Google to verify the publication date of the King James Bible when I posted my recent video review of Dr. Donald Brake’s A Visual History of the King James Bible. I had heard the date May 2, given for the publishing of the KJB from the Haven Today radio interview of Dr. Brake. I Googled and found that several other sites were saying May 2 was “the date”.

I came across this blog post, where the blogger directly asked Dr. Brake if May 2nd was the date. Here’s an excerpt from his post and I think this answers the question.

David Norton in his book A Textual History of the King James Bible says “The printing history of the KJB is plagued throughout by inadequate publishing records. Presumably because it was considered a revision rather than a new book, the first edition was not entered on the Stationers’ Registers, so we do not know when in 1611 it appeared.” (page 46)

Norton’s book was published in 2005 so I thought maybe some new evidence had surfaced which fixed the date to May 2nd. I immediately thought of Donald Brake. After reading his first book, A Visual History of the English Bible, I had emailed him a couple of questions and he quickly provided me with answers. Since he just published a book specifically on the history of the King James Version (A Visual History of the King James Bible) I thought I would try him again. Two days later came his reply. Here’s what he wrote:

“The actual date of the publication is unknown. Tradition has placed it in May but no specific date can be verified. We know it was being sold in November from a diary of a resident in England, a Mr. Throckmorton. I believe David Norton is correct and I too am puzzled by the fact it was not in Stationer’s Registers. They were generally disciplined to include all new publications. I question the reason ‘because it was considered a revision rather than a new book.’ While it was designed to be a revision of the Bishops’ Bible as clearly stated in the Introduction, few would consider it an actual revision of the Bishops’. The translators consulted most of the 16th century Bibles (as set forth in the 15 rules for translators) plus the Greek and Hebrew texts. Having said that, I don’t have a better explanation. Perhaps it was released over a period of time as the copies were sold.”

As it turns out Brake was in DC during May 2nd and 3rd for a celebration of the KJV anniversary. The date, he said, was a “date the anniversary committee decided as the official day.”…

[Read the whole post]

Presuppositional Apologetics & KJV Onlyism: A Question

My friend John Chitty asks a question of those familiar with E.F. Hills and his book The King James Version Defended.  The question centers on Hills’ use of the “logic of faith”, and the idea of presuppositional apologetics.

I’m sharing the question to let our readers chime in, here or over at Chitty’s blog.

…since Edward F. Hills, author of The King James Version Defended is a graduate, not only of Yale, but also of Westminster Theological Seminary, and that much of Hills’ defense of the Textus Receptus (the popular name of the Greek text that underlies the King James Version New Testament) is written from a characteristically Reformed standpoint… when he further makes his defense from what he calls “The Logic of Faith,”… this must be his way of applying presuppositional apologetics to the defense of the superiority of the Greek Text underlying the King James Version, as well as that translation itself.

My question for presuppositionalists who’ve read The King James Version Defended, therefore, is: Am I right? Was Hills a presuppositionalist, and is his so-called “Logic of Faith” a fair representation of the presuppositionalist apologetic, and is belief in the inherent superiority of the Textus Receptus therefore the consistently Reformed answer to the question, “Which New Testament text is closest to the original manuscripts?” [emphasis mine]

If you are familiar with presuppositionalism or with E.F. Hills, please feel free to chime in. John would appreciate your interacting with the comments already over at his blog. Or feel free to leave your thoughts below. I will post my reply under this post here, as well as on Chitty’s site.

Preserved and Pure?

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.  (Ps. 12:6-7)

If Ps 12:6,7 speaks of God’s words being kept without error, and kept pure, why was there ever a “Wicked” Bible?¹

You will remember that the “Wicked” Bible had a misprint.  The misprint omitted the word “not” in the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

Thus, it read, “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

It certainly makes one wonder how the preserved Word of God was allowed by God to become so very corrupt.

The point of this article? If we were to speak of God’s preserving His Word, we should speak of His keeping His Word from becoming so adulterated as to become:

1.  Lost and unrecoverable

2.  So corrupt as to encourage immorality (By the way, that is precisely why this “Wicked” Bible is a collector’s piece.  Only about eleven of one thousand copies survived.  The rest were destroyed because of the error.  One only wonders how the rest evaded destruction.  They are known to be in error, thus there is no danger of their being a danger to morality.)

3.  So corrupt as to teach anything that contradicts the essence of Christianity.

Let us honestly ask ourselves a question:  Do the modern Bible versions that are produced by honest translators and publishing houses (Watchtower, Seventh Day Adventists, and other cults’ translations are excluded from this.) actually encourage immorality, or contradict the essence of Christianity?  It is obvious that God has kept His Word.  It has not become lost.  Neither do I know of any honestly produced modern Bible translation that encourages immorality or promotes doctrines that are heterodox.

It seems that God has indeed preserved His Word, and that across a number of translations that attempt to be faithful to the original language texts.

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Bible Accessed 08/03/2009