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King James Error

Back Ground.

The magazine 'New Zealand Beacon' published an article titled “The Old Chestnut” written by by Derek Pearce, (May 1998 vol.17 No.1 p.9-11).

My letter [here] so fascinated Dr Spackman he gave it to the “New Zealand Beacon” [PO Box 36376 Auckland NZ]. The Beacon is a extremist King James publication. The editor (Pearce) writes the articles, criticizes and lampooning anyone he fancies. As judge and jury “the Beacon editor personally DELIGHTS” he says, without hesitation to hatchet any who differ with his perception of the KJV. This means insulting people and has no concern what any think. All you Beacon readers click here to view my book a more detailed explanation of my doctrine.

Pearce wrote a booklet. He boasts to be an expert “….qualified when teaching New Testament Greek and MSS evidence” (p.3 'The Doubter's Dozen’ D. Pearce. Scripture Preservation Society. nd). So his comments should reflect a wealth of knowledge on this subject. But he was so astounded with my letter he had to tell his readers. His newspaper begins by quoting selected parts of my letters and then comments -

>>...But we are not going to give him too much space, in fact, by the sound of the size of his intellect we probably couldn’t fit him into a dozen editions!<<

Obviously my letter struck a nerve, he titled his review “The Old Chestnut” and devoted 3 pages to it. Amazing how great teachers are fascinated with small 'intellects'. He writes,

>>And anyway his 'problems' have been answered so many times in the international arena and by people who can trot out MORE degrees and bigger libraries than this poor soul that there is no NEED for us to give him more than a glance.<<

Honestly, its hard to find a Bible scholar who agrees with Pearce's radical views. He writes,

>>He is a proud and unspiritual WRETCH. He is POVERTY-stricken in terms of wisdom, humility and spiritual understanding. And it never ceases to raise a chuckle to see how STUPID these folk make themselves appear with their 'learned' objections that can be answered by a third form Bible-believing Christian lad wit five seconds.<<

Well I've never claimed to be perfect :) But notice Pearce believes the ‘proud, wretched’ ‘poverty - stricken’ ‘stupid’ and “unspiritual” are those who don't agree with his KJ radical doctrine.

When I first read the literature by these people I was amazed how they hammered people. As “lairs, fools, dung, stupid-jerks, dogs, blasphemers", etc. Some comments are slanderous and libel and private addresses published. And they get into nasty mail campaigns and abusive phone-calls. This antagonism might appear as God's work to them but it indicated to me something seriously wrong.

If ‘Grace and truth’ came by Jesus Christ [Jn.1:14,17], His followers should be the same. If radicals have the truth they should have ‘grace and truth’. How we share the truth is a testimony to whether we really have the truth. Since Christ died for us, how can we be anything else but gracious to one another? There maybe reasons to disagree but there is never a reason to be unkind. "Holy practice is the most decisive evidence of the reality of our repentance" [Jonathan Edwards]. Pearce writes,

>>The massive problem our learned doctor has here is that you have to learn a specific language if you want to read the very words of God. Or in his words, "in order to read and know the very Words of God they must learn to read and speak English". So this diminutive apprentice thinks that because God's words are in ONE language then somehow that fact disadvantages the poor native in the jungle or any one to whom that language is foreign. Did you get? His insurmountable problem is that all the Chinese Christians would somehow be at a disadvantage because the word of God was “Trapped in time (1611) and in a language (English)”. Same for the Russian convert, and the Swahili convert and the French and so on. Or to borrow more words from this titan of biblical knowledge, "God has given His Word for all people of every nation, not just part of it. The Commission was to the universal church "Go ye therefore, and teach ALL NATIONS" (Mt. 28).<<

I agree, if God’s Words are ONLY in a King James English version, all non-English speakers certainly are at a "disadvantage". He writes,

>>Therefore it follows from this 'crushing logic' that the King James CANNOT be the true word of God because it is in English (i.e. ONE language) and that would put every other non-English speaking person behind the eight ball. What is the matter with this poor soul?!!<<

That’s not what I said. The KJ is God's Word but only a version. God's Word has been translated into many languages. Notice how it's impossible for Pearce to write about those he disagrees with, without personal reflections and insults. He writes,

>>I mean, WHERE ARE HIS BRAINS?? What good has his doctorate in Theology done for him, or his Ph.D. or his 400 Christian books??? Why cant he see what even a child can see, that is, that the originals, the very inspired autographs, were also only written in one language…<<

That’s all right if the “inspired autographs” in “one language” are only to one nation, but it’s useless when teaching them to “all nations”. And what about the next generation - their language changes? Since we don’t have the original autographs, obviously God intended His Word to be translated.

But the “
original…inspired autographs” were not "written in one language" but in 3 languages. Where are his brains? Those languages were alive and changing. It should be mentioned Pearce doesn’t believe the originals were “inerrant”. He only applies that term to the KJV. Radicals believe the originals were likely “so messed-up in places” they had to be rewritten, so the KJV “surpasses” the originals [p.1-4 Bible Believer’s Bulletin. Vol.22 no.11 Nov.98]. Pearce writes,

>>…so does that mean that they couldn’t be the word of God because they were only written in Hebrew or in Greek or whatever??<<

God's Word becomes God's Word to us when we can read and understand it (1 Cor.14:9-11). Otherwise, 'how shall it be know what is spoken?' He writes,

>>Is this 'learned' gentleman totally without reasoning power? Is he really THAT silly?! I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to understand that do you? Can’t you see that when God gave the original of Isaiah that he gave it in one language only, and that if you were Chinese and wanted to "read the very words that God had given" you would have had to learn to read HEBREW? Yes, you would have had to go to a tiny nation called Israel and learn HEBREW. OF COURSE the Chinese would have had to learn Hebrew if he wanted to read the very words God had given. SO WHAT??! <<

That’s correct, the "tiny nation" Israel, the temple, and Jerusalem all relate to the Jewish faith. But the Church is in a new dispensation and God’s Word is NOT for just “one language” or a “tiny nation”. The “commission” of the Gospel of the New Covenant is to GO to “all nations”. So Chinese don't need to learn ENGLISH to read God’s Word. Where's his ‘reasoning power? In fact, God gave the gift of tongues (various languages) to Israel (the early Church) as a sign He was moving from a single nation Israel. A clear indication the message was not to be locked up in one language but for all.

So even the original manuscripts would be useless if not translated in an understandable language (Not all Jews spoke Hebrew Neh.13:24 Dan.1:4 Ac.2:6-11). But if Pearce is correct, millions are disadvantaged because of language. Notice, he never denies this, he teaches it. But he does not realize his doctrine involves the nature of the gospel and introduces works in salvation. Pearce wrote,

>>Why to follow his argument to its natural conclusion then God would have had to write the originals in all the languages of the world simultaneously so that the French weren’t disadvantaged, or the poor young convert in Rwanda had the same opportunity as the Eskimo or the NZ maori natives.<<

Note the silly logic of Pearce. The "natural conclusion" is that God never intended His Word to be locked up in time and language, or we would still have the originals. If God chose one language, then that is VITAL. And we can't be sure of salvation (or any doctrine) unless we learn the language to read “His words”. This adds works to the Gospel of grace, it demands the convert not only repent and believe, but to know God’s Word, they must learn Elizabethan English. Foreign to the Gospel and contrary to Scripture, for “the word of God is not bound” [2 Tim.2.9 KJV]. Pearce writes,

>>You cant trap it “in time or language" eh learned brother?? Well God seemed to trap it fairly nicely didnt he?? And YOU as well. Romans 3:2 plainly says that to the Israelites "were committed the oracles of God". DID YOU GET THAT?? Go and read the verse right now. Unto the Jewish nation, and to the Jewish nation ALONE, only them, just the Israeli's (how else can I say it to penetrate the miasmic FOG that envelopes your brain?).... to ISRAEL ALONE and in HEBREW ALONE, God gave his words.<<

It is correct the OT Jews enjoyed a superior honour, benefit and privilege as God’s people. But Rom.3:2 DOES not mean that God now communicates in ENGLISH ALONE and the KJV ALONE. Rom.3:2 does not mean English has replaced Hebrew, or the Gospel is for one nation. Pearce is wrong thinking the English speaker who uses the KJV has with God, a superior honour, benefit and privilege than non-English speakers. If God’s blessings relate to one language, millions are excluded simply by birth and education. And the word “whosoever” (Rom.9:33 10:13 1 Jn.4:15 5:1) becomes nonsense. Pearce writes,

>>Am I getting through dear doctor?? Listen mate, dont you realise that we have heard all your stupid 'problems' so many times it makes us YAWN ... yes, YAWN?<<

Instead of “yawning” try thinking. If “God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation” (Ac.10:34-35) then He has not chosen any “one language” over and against another. It would be “stupid” to say otherwise. Pearce wrote,

>>Dont you think we have done all our research BEFORE we teach something? Do you think we are like you who only looks for things to support what you already have decided to believe? The big difference is that we are BELIEVERS, not PHONEYs ‘phoney' comes from the Greek word phonew - to speak), i.e. some people believe while others just TALK.<<

Speaking of a lack of "research" who wrote this? “You don’t even know what the original NT was written in. ...in fact, the entire NT almost certainly was not written in Greek” ("The Doubter’s Dozen" Derek PEARCE. pg.31). To say we “don’t even know” is nonsense. No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witness. There’s abundant evidence the NT was written in Greek. Radicals utter such nonsense because they argue the KJV is MORE accurate than even the ORIGINAL Greek manuscripts. If any Greek manuscript text differs from the English KJV then its wrong. They believe the KJV is always right and NEVER wrong, so they refer to the Greek only when it suits. And ignore it when verses and words in the KJV are found with NO GREEK MSS support at all.

Needless to say “
phonew” is not found in Greek dictionaries nor does it mean ‘talk’. The Bible uses ‘phoneuo’ [12 times] ‘phonos’ [12 times] and ‘phoneus’ [7 times] and these words have NOTHING to do with ‘speak or talk’ [pg.450 Expository Dictionary of Bible Words. L.O.Richards Regency 1985. Also see W.E Vine Expository Dictionary of NT Words]. If Pearce researched “BEFORE” he wrote his booklet he wouldn’t imply C.H. Spurgeon was a KJ radical. Pearce wrote,

>>You, Dr. Mark Purchase, [my residential address] are a TALKER, i.e. you do not really BELIEVE in the Bible.<<

Here's evidence radicals publish private addresses. This results in nasty phone calls and letters etc., from KJ extremists. So much for any idea those who use ‘the one true Bible’ are more ‘spiritual’.

Evangelicals don’t always agree on every aspect of Bible doctrine but radicals regard their doctrine as essential. They won't allow freedom to use any version but the KJV. And it's ‘
unspiritual’, ‘stupid’, almost forbidden to question why. But surely, ‘if something is true it can stand to be questioned, if it is not true it needs to be questioned’. Pearce wrote,

>>….you do not really BELIEVE in the Bible. You SAY you do, but you dont REALLY believe that God's words, his every, pure word, is available to the child of God today , as he promised it would be. You SAY that you do, but you practise mental reservation when you say it.<<

Sure, I “believe in the Bible” it’s “God’s Word”, but radicals can NEVER accept that answer. It’s not a question of BELIEVING the Bible, the radicals make it into a question of which version. That effectively removes the focal point of faith in God’s Word, to faith in a human translation. Faith in a translation is different to faith in God. Biblical faith is - trusting God and the message of His Word. Biblical faith is NOT - trusting human translations whatever their words, simply because translations are the work of men who make mistakes. I have faith in God's Word but translation mistakes [in KJV or NIV etc] don't rob me of my faith in God. If I see an error in a version, I don't throw my Bible away and wonder if I have eternal life.

>>And if that is not true, then I challenge you to make a statement (and I will print it here without alteration, along with an apology) that you have the pure words of God, and IDENTIFY THE EXACT TEXT to which you are referring. Go on friend, DO IT.<<

The idea that we MUST "identify THE EXACT TEXT” does NOT mean that it MUST be the one that underpins the 1611 version. That text has the same problems as any other when examining it. No two manuscripts [MSS] agree perfectly, so to argue inspiration of MSS or text type, is ridiculous. Today textual critics do not lean too heavily on one family, but the best MSS available. And they have so much MS evidence it’s difficult to decide which text-type is superior.

Why should we be restricted to one text-type when God has provided such wealth? No doctrine is lost or in doubt by using other text-types. No doctrine hinges on disputed readings, but the vast majority of the actual words in the NT are beyond doubt. And there’s nothing in Scripture indicating a rejection of the Byzantine text results in ignorance of God’s will. The research over the last 150 years has not presented us a radically different Bible. Not one article of the Christian creed has been overthrown by newly accepted readings.

My ‘
statement’ says the “Beacon” lacks so much creditability it can’t be taken seriously. A homemade paper, written, edited and published by Pearce. Some articles reflect a disgraceful un-Christian like character. The editor is more interested in rubbishing people than common sense. Many KJ followers distance themselves from such a publication.

>>And while you are doing that please DEFINE, yes, define exactly what 'the Bible' is, and then define what 'the word of God' is, then define what the 'Word of, God' is, then define what 'the Holy Scriptures' are. EXACTLY. Each one, each with your personal definition. Then we'll all know whether you are a Bible-believer or not, wont we? Go on' smart alec, show us how clever you are. And I'll print them for you. Lets see what you are really made of, good doctor, DEFINE those expressions for us all to see. Go ON! But I wont hold my breath until you do because we've dealt with your sort so often we've learnt how you respond. But surprise us, go on, SURPRISE US.<<

Surprise!! For all the KJ radicals eager to read my words, I'm happy to list a few definitions they have given me.

‘The Word of God,’ the KJV
Words of God’ – the words in the KJV
Thy Word’ – the KJV
Bible’ – the KJV.
‘Heretic’ one who “tears down” the KJV
Sinner’ – one who thinks the KJV has a mistake – or uses any other version.
Error’ – only found in other versions, never in the KJV
Hypocrite’ – a Christian that uses another version other than the KJV
Bible-haters’ – Christians who use other versions, or say bad things about the KJV
Apostate’ – a Christian who will not use the KJV.

Surely only one who is ‘
dumb, stupid and proud’ would disagree with those definitions :) Obviously its impossible to define the Bible and be accepted by KJ radicals unless we state their error. Thousands of Bible words and verses have different meanings. Radicals reinterpret words and verses with meanings even the original writers never intended. Every time the KJV says “thy Word” they think it's the KJV referring to the KJV.

They constantly challenge with questions never accepting the answers. They ask – “Where are the words of God?” Or “Which Bible is the real one?” Or “What are the scriptures? Or “What is God's Word? One can answer only to have them ask again. I have seen this repeatedly. Whatever answer is given, it’s never right unless it states their belief. It’s not enough that I believe the Bible is ‘God’s Word’. The radicals insist we must believe only one version is God’s Word, or we have no Bible. The authority, inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture are truths commonly accepted by evangelicals but radicals apply these exclusively to the KJV. And when any disagree with their claims, they are labeled “
liberals” and “brain-washed”.

It’s remarkable KJ radicals demand we must ‘define definitions’ for them. They are the ones making the claims about the KJV and all others are “
Satan’s”. All they do is confuse and undermine our trust in Scripture to embrace a corrupt doctrine of bitterness and animosity. They're not really interested in ‘definitions’, from me, a Bible Dictionary or anyone, just their own debate.

>>You see, Dr. Purchase, your true position is very easy to spot because of the STUPID PROUD MISTAKES (like the above) that you make. And I run away with the idea that the other points your letter makes are any different, They are all equally stupid and all equally EASY TO ANSWER We just have to draw the line somewhere. And the only reason that you have been given this much attention is to demonstrate (yet AGAIN) to all our readers just how DUMB people like you are. And we can answer your silly little ‘objections’ with one hand tied behind our back.<<

But the points I mentioned have NOT been answered. If the others are “easy to answer”, answer them. “A real soldier does his boasting after a battle, not before it” [1 Ki 20:11 GNB]. And calling people ‘dumb, stupid, proud, silly’ doesn’t explain anything. In fact, Pearce has so much abuse he wastes his words speaking nonsense. Eg,

>>Get out of the Christian church friend, we know who you are, a PHONEY, and we can spot your type a hundred miles away.<<

Yet Pearce can’t 'spot' simple translation mistakes in the KJV in front of his nose. In reality, Pearce wants to get the Bible "out of the church". He wants churches with no readable Bible. All those ‘phoney’ translations and versions (God uses to strengthen and guide His people) Pearce thinks it’s better to burn them.

As for getting "
out of the Christian church". What a foolish statement and contrary to Scripture. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb.10:25). Interesting the radicals also warn people not to read or trust their Bible.

>>Forty years ago the eternal God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ saved my soul by his grace and made me into a new creature, and that happened because I BELIEVED his Holy Scriptures, that is, the very words written in the King James Bible ON MY TABLE IN FRONT OF ME. Understand, doctor??

Fancy spending 'forty years' pushing the radical lie. No I can’t 'understand' why radicals constantly link salvation with the KJ version. As if salvation comes through a version. If the unconverted can be converted through reading other versions then radicals must define what they mean by the “Word of God”. And how much of God’s Word is in other versions. 1 Pet 1:23 “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” This indicates “God’s Word” has a wider definition than the KJV.

>>And a pipsqueak like you hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of taking those words from me. NOT A CHANCE. You dont have either the brain nor the brawn friend, NElTHER Go on now, get all pious and holy and say "look how he talks, no real godly Christian would talk like that", or some similar slippery evasive claptrap.<<

I have no intention of “taking” the Bible from anyone. That’s the radicals desire. They are the worst translator bashers and the most anti-bible people known. Having their way, they would rob Scripture from millions of souls. And insist it mustn't be translated because that corrupts Scripture. They would steal what belongs to the whole Church. God has given His Word for all His people of every nation and generation and every language. They would deny the Word of Life to those who can’t read old English and send them to a lost eternity. They would burn the Bibles of millions and rob them of God’s Word, which they have and would give their lives for.

I define ‘
talkers’ as those who can't discuss doctrine without abuse. Defending their belief often is secondary to personal abuse. Their antagonism is contrary to scripture (Jn.13:34 15:12 Rom.13:8 15:7 1 Thes.4:9 1 Pe.1:22 1 Jn.3:11 4:7,11 2 Jn.5). Doctrine without love is a noisy clang (1 Cor.13:1). According to the Apostle John, lack of LOVE was the greatest proof Christians don’t walk in the truth (1 Jn.4:12). The evidence of authentic spirituality according to John was in a word “love”. Jesus said, "all men will know you are My disciples by your love one for another" (Jn.13:35).

Love is the great measure stick, it reveals whether we have the truth or not. Not which Bible version we use. Love is kind, patient, it is not rude; easily angered and the clearest proof we know and walk in truth (1 Jn.3:18-19. 4:12)

I doubt Pearce is able to respond without abuse. He might be a big talker to his mates, hiding behind the 'Beacon' but as for answering objections against his radical claims about the KJV that is yet to happen.

Mark Purchase

[Article date - May 1998 - that's right, still waiting for Pearce to respond)