Truth Warrior

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Plea for Zeal WITH Knowledge from AISI

S. M. writes:

”I always thought that the main point regarding the vast contrast between The KJB and other so-called Bible versions was the fact that the other so-called versions dangerously miss-translated [sic] important words like "virgin", as in virgin birth, referring to Jesus’ mother as a "young woman" instead of a virgin.

Is this not dangerous?

I get the feeling that this site [i.e,] and the writers herein are minimizing the KJBers effort to maintain the basic tenets of the faith like the virgin birth which separates Christianity from other religions.”
“Dear Mr. M----
I will grant that many in the KJVOnly movement are zealous for what they perceive to be "the truth" but very often (indeed, almost always) this is a blind zeal, even fanatical zeal driven by emotion and not by knowledge. Almost every major precept or conventional "proof" of KJVOism is based on erroneous assumptions or false information. It would be easy to make a list of 20 to 30 major "givens" of KJVOism that have no basis in fact (examples: the KJV is superior because it is not copyrighted; the KJV always follows the TR Greek and MT Hebrew texts; the TR is the same as the majority text; Psalm 12:6-7 is a promise of preservation of written Scripture; ditto for Matthew 5:17-18; ditto for Matthew 24:35; the KJV translators were the greatest Bible scholars ever; the KJV is the Bible of real fundamentalists; Baptists have historically held to the KJV as the best translation, or as a perfect translation; Westcott and Hort were spiritists; the Vaticanus manuscript is inaccessible to Protestant scholars; the Old Latin follows the TR; Luther's version contains I John 5:7; Spurgeon vowed to break fellowship with anyone who didn't use the KJV; etc. etc. EVERY ONE OF THESE CLAIMS--and many more--IS PROVABLY FALSE, indeed has been documented as false in published articles and books, most accessible on the web-site).
That some translations do play fast and loose with the original language text I readily acknowledge. Probably the most famous case is the Revised Standard Version at Isaiah 7:14 (and recently the NET Bible issued by Dallas Theological Seminary professors!). Indeed, the modern KJVO movement in large measure at its beginning fed off the criticism of the RSV in the 1950s. But just because that version abused that particular text in translation is no basis for condemning all other modern Bible translations. Among versions which do NOT mistranslate Isaiah 7:14 are the NIV, NASB, HCSB, NKJB and ESV. To condemn all because of the fault of one is equivalent to condemning all Baptist preachers because some are adulterers. We should condemn the guilty, not the innocent. And before we do either, we need to investigate and discover which is which! This, KJVO adherents have not done, or not done adequately.

And then there are glaring theological issues with the KJV itself--4 times it refers to the Holy Spirit as "it"; in this blasphemy, only the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the New World Translation, exceeds it with five such references (and strangely, the KJV doesn't hesitate to refer inversely to demons with the pronoun "he). And the KJV obscures the clear declarations in the Greek of the Deity of Christ in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. As the Deity of Christ and the Personhood of the Holy Spirit are FUNDAMENTAL doctrines, is it not dangerous to encourage people to continue to use such a translation as the KJV which falsely and inaccurately translates these passages? Would not the NKJB be far better in this regard, or the NIV or NASB?

And is it not counterproductive to urge people to continue to read a version that is filled with obscure, archaic and obsolete vocabulary and syntax, which they cannot understand and which cannot assist them in seeking a fuller knowledge of God, when other translations at least the KJV's equal in accuracy (its superiors, I would affirm) are readily available? How does this differ in kind from the Roman Catholic Church's long insistence on the "Latin Vulgate Only" in its liturgy?

KJVOism is an edifice of cards built on a foundation of sand. Until KJVOers begin to get their facts straight and apply to the KJV the same kinds of criticisms they so readily apply to other versions, they are guaranteed to remain blind leaders of the blind.

What is dangerous is having fanatical zeal to defend a view which is neither orthodox nor Biblical. That was the essence of Phariseeism, and Saul's persecution of Christians. And it is the essence of KJVOism as well.

Doug Kutilek



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