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King James Error

Pastor Kent
Thanks for the email. You wrote,

>>I will answer you in your text, in order to clarify, what our church believes, and also so that you do not use your broad brush to describe every church that uses only the King James Version, and that believes in perfect preservation<<

If your 'church' is truly different perhaps you should have them remove your email address from their site. Then you won't get tarred with the same 'brush'. I based my email on the claims of the KGB website which has an incorrect interpretation of Scripture. Yet apparently you disagree and respond -

>>It is the Bible that teaches one interpretation? 2 Peter 1:20,21. There is no private interpretation. Is it cultic to believe there is only one interpretation and many applications.<<

Yes the KJ radicals have their private interpretation. The radicals do what the cults do. They reinterpret heaps of Bible words with meanings the original Bible writers NEVER intended. They wrongly imagine when the KJV says "thy word" it refers to the KJ VERSION [no other version]. That's a private interpretation, only found with them [& you]. Eg, when the KJV says, "For the word of the LORD is right and true.." (Psa.33.4) they apply this to the KJV alone. And when reading, "for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name" Psa.138:2, they apply this the KJV. They then wrongly conclude that in 1611 God magnified the KJV above His name. Only by reading Psa.138:2 in a modern version we see that this error originates from an incorrect understanding of what is a poor translation in the KJV.

"...for Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name. (NAS)

Yet they insist the KJV alone is correct and it has a name above His name. A private interpretation is contrary to Phil.2.9. Paul says God has given Jesus "a name, which is above every name". But neither the Psalmist nor KJV translators applied Psa.138:2 as the KJ radicals. You said your church is different; it will be interesting to hear if it is. All cults reinterpret Bible words to mean something Scripture writers never intended. Then, they think the rest of us have an incomplete faith without their special interpretation. Just like the KJ movement.

If the KJ is the only true Bible and all others are "misleading", surely logically salvation is linked to a particular Bible version, with its words and language. You write -

>>Only a radical, unScriptural segment of those that use the KJV believe there is only salvation using the KJV<<

Yes, but it is the unavoidable conclusion to the KJ doctrine. Since all other versions are "works of the Devil - Satanic imitations - lies - polluted counterfeit rubbish" and "full of mistakes" they are untrustworthy. None can be SURE about ANY doctrine unless the KJV is consulted. They say, "an unsaved person can only be saved and born again by the Word of God" which they insist is the KJV, not RV, NIV etc. The Bible says,

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. [1 Pet 1:23 NIV]

So to insist the KJ Version alone is the 'word of God' is unscriptural. One radical wrote -

"How do you know that you are saved? Please DON'T say ' - because the Bible says so', or 'the Scriptures say so' or - the word of God says so - if you can't produce that Bible".

He's correct, I couldn't be SURE about salvation, because other versions are called 'Satanic and untrustworthy'. He is saying no one can be sure regarding salvation unless one produces the KJV. Another radical wrote, "God has never promised, nor is obliged, to provide his words in more then one language". The language they insist God has chosen is English. Anyone thinking about this will see the serious implication - Salvation intrinsically linked to a language and a Bible version. You wrote,

>>The Mormons also use the KJV. Does that make everyone who uses it a Mormon? That is the kind of logic you are using.<<

Correct not everyone who uses the KJV believes it came down from heaven in 1611 and all other versions are evil. Although I notice cults quote the KJV continually. Their books and literature prove this fact. They hide behind the ambiguity and they know misleading verses in the KJV and use them. Often they quote the KJV supporting their doctrines and ask me not to use modern versions. I have studied cults too and know how they work. Repeatedly one can discover their falsehood by simply opening a modem version and reading it. You wrote,

>>We believe in perfect preservation of the original languages as found in the text behind the KJV.<<

Your "church" appears no different than the others. My "broad brush" covers correctly. To argue for special inspiration "in the text behind the KJV" is crazy. There's an insoluble problem in the Byzantine tradition itself, no two manuscripts (MSS) agree perfectly. Your own preferred text-type falls under condemnation along with the other text-types. There's only a difference of degree between the textual variants that exist within one textual tradition and the textual variants found when two or more textual traditions are compared. If verbal inspiration is theologically tied to one textual tradition, it does not escape the kind of problems presented if more than one textual tradition is admitted.

The TR in particular has major problems to overcome. A dozen or so readings in the KJV have no support in any Greek MS whatever. The last few verses of Revelation can be traced back to Erasmus who had to prepare a Greek MS for these by translating back from the Vulgate. If you condemn those who add to God's Word, you must urge us to throw away our KJV along with the other perversions you would refer to. You wrote,

>>That means anyone in any language can translate it into their language<<

Radicals insist all other translations are evil. You try to avoid the serious implications of your doctrine by claiming the KJV or its text-type "can translate into" foreign languages. This reveals a contradiction and misunderstanding of translation work.

Firstly: The KJV uses archaic English names regarding objects that are known by other names today. And meanings of old English words have changed, so its of little help to translators. Translators don't depend on one version; they use a variety of sources. So the KJV is not used as the primary text for translating. Even if it was, words translated between languages don't always have equivalence respectively.

Secondly: Foreign language [and modern] translations are not justified to the text of the 1611, but the Greek, Hebrew or Critical Text. Translating is not merely some kind of mechanical process. Sentences and words must be very carefully selected to make proper sense. In all translations, the translator(s) must on occasions make decisions as to the meaning of a passage. Even if translators correctly understand the meaning of a passage, they may be forced to decide which of the several options in the receptor language to use. This illustrates a problem; they are always looking for words to express the meaning in the recipient language. They must choose only one word and can't always please critics regardless of what they do.

Also, the claim of translating into foreign languages is contrary to the doctrine held by the KJ only mob. All their literature insist that [quote] "the individual WORDS of Scripture are vitally important". And changing or translating them is [quote] "tampering with God's Word" and "corrupting the text". Their literature is fill of warnings about even the SMALLEST CHANGE, even one word altered.

If what you say was true, who decides if these [so-called] TR foreign language translations have errors? And why is it wrong to translate the TR or KJV into Modern English? Why does the KJV remain the KJV when translated into foreign languages, yet when revised (ie. NKJV) becomes corrupt? Do foreigners have an 'B Grade' and you have an 'A Grade' KJV? Your doctrine means foreign Christians are always at a disadvantage [And ANYONE who uses any other version]. You can't deny this because it's part of your doctrine. Your doctrine then is telling people that they can't be sure of salvation unless they have the KJV [This is disgraceful]. Even if you did translate the TR or KJV into Hindi you won't have a Hindi KJV. It's impossible to translate word for word. Below I translated into English from Chinese. See the problem between written - spoken and translated?

Chinese [1] English [2] Spoken English [3]
[1] Ta zuo shi you rexn you renzhen
[2] She/he make/do work/job and/both enthusiastic and/both earnest
[3] She/he -- work(s) both enthusiastic(ally) and earnest(ly).

'Chinese makes sense for Chinaman' but for English the word order, adding, choosing and deleting words is vital. Also words for different people have different meanings. In Papua New Guinea to say "May Christ dwell in your hearts" is nonsense, the word must be in your "throat". Many KJV words have no equivalent in ANY other languages. The syntax differs between languages. Translators then, could not translate the TR into another language and still have a KJV. They must decide what words best suits the other language, and make decisions about idioms, and search out the appropriate syntax in the receptor language. At all of these steps, there are dangers lurking everywhere for the unwary or unskilled. They must deal with languages whose vocabulary and rules of grammar have been lost. Compare words with words, discover the meaning and convey that into another language. So your doctrine insists people can't be sure of salvation unless they have the KJV. This is unscriptural. You wrote,

>>The KJV is the only version that uses the TR and the Hebrew Masoretic (ben cheryan).<<

You had told me the TR was translated into other languages and now the KJV is the "only version". A contradiction? However, it's well known that the NKJV is based on the defective 1611 Textus Receptus, yet the radicals regard it as more dangerous than any other version "because of the subtle changes in its text". You wrote,

>>All the others are based on corrupt Greek and Hebrew texts.They are also based on secular rationalism.<<

Texts are not 'corrupt' in the sense you people use the word. Neither are they based on "secular rationalism". Your comment is a classic example of bold statements often made without researching facts. It's well known the discovery of older and better MSS for both Testaments enables today's scholars to have a sounder text of the original to translate. Several outstanding Greek MSS of the NT have come to light in this century. The oldest of these were written on papyrus. One of the most important collections of biblical papyrus MSS was acquired in 1930/31 by Chester Beatty and is now in the Beatty museum in a suburb of Dublin. Three of these were NT codices. One contained portions of 30 leaves of an estimated original 220 of the four Gospels and Acts dated in the first half of the third century. Another, dated around 200, has 86 leaves of an original 104 of 10 of Paul's Epistles. The third comprises 10 of an estimated original 32 leaves of the Book of Revelation from the middle or latter part of the 3rd century.

For the OT there are the world famous Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 and since. The biblical scrolls among them are so sensationally significant because they have carried our knowledge of the Hebrew Bible back a thousand years. Before their discovery, apart from a few scraps, the oldest Hebrew MS known was dated toward the end of the 9th century AD. But now there are MSS dated as early as the 1st century B.C. These discoveries have their bearing on the conclusion of scholars regarding the original wording of Scripture. You wrote,

>>Your whole deal on the words being spirit, etc. sound neo-orthodox to me. The term in 2 Timothy 3:16 is graphe - that applies to the actual product of verbal plenary inspiration<<

I was indicating the living nature of Scripture. Why it's alive and powerful today as it was to those in the past. Jesus spoke in Aramaic, the NT was written in Koine Greek and we use English. Can you see the translation problem? The words change but the message remains. Jesus said, "The words I speak to you are spirit". So the Spirit gave Scripture, its "of God" not translators. If true, then God's Word is alive and powerful [Heb.2:12] and you can't trap it in time [1611] nor in a language [English] in this or the first century [2 Tim.2:9]. You wrote,

>>You also manifest your Roman Catholic influenced bias with your ranting about the 'traditional church' holding to only an error free original.<<

Talk about 'RC influenced'. The Roman Catholic Church once taught what you teach today. They believed that translating from the Latin into the common tongue of the people was corrupting Scripture. So the Papists wickedly withheld Scripture from God's people and translators were martyred as heretics [Jn.16.2]. For years they would not allow anyone to translate for that was corrupting the text. You wrote,

>>Was not Paul referring to copies when he wrote 2 Timothy 3:16. How can you live by words and judged by words if you don't have the words? (Mt. 4:4, a verse you referred to)<<

Yes, and so to be sure about salvation (or any doctrine) one must learn a language to read "the words". This adds works to the Gospel of grace. The convert must repent and believe the Gospel and learn words, ie Elizabethan English. I also wrote that no translation can ever be considered final, simply because language and "words" change over time. You overlook the reason why Scripture is authoritative. It's not because of style, phrases or even the words, but because of what the words say. You wrote,

>>Doctrines are lost---the doctrine of preservation, and then the veracity of God is at stake because He said He would preserve every word.<<

Having "every word" in the literal sense is having the original MSS. God did not promise to preserve the original autographs, which are "every word". But why would the phrase "every word" exclude other translations? I know you would quote Matt.24:35 Jn.17:8 as though Jesus was referring to the KJV. And Deut.4:2 Psa.119:89 Pr.30:5-6 Rev.22:19 as though their very existence refers to the KJV. Your favourite is likely Psa.12:6-7. However, this Psalm is not describing the work of scribes, nor God promising to preserve "every individual" word on MSS forever. God didn't preserve the original autographs and this is evident in that we don't have them. No one can produce those 'very words' in any MSS. So nothing in this Psalm necessitates that a future English translation is referred to while other translations are not ! (We don't even have the original 1611 KJV). A correct meaning Ps.12:6-7 is discovered in a modern translation when read in context. You wrote,

>>People can get the Bible if willing to do what it takes to translate.<<

No sir! They can't get a translation from you people you offer them NOTHING they can read. Those who can't read English like you; have nothing as well. The literature from you people insist [quote], "anyone who uses any OTHER bible has a corrupt bible", and translators are 'arrogant bible correctors' who are doing the work of Satan. And translators are part of "the most vicious and malicious attempted assassination of the word of God ever seen on plant earth". They are, "...the most dangerous enemy of the word of God". Are all other translations corrupt or not? You wrote,

>>The archaic word argument is moot.The Bible one understands is the one he studies and reads. My third grade son does fine with the KJV.<<

Fewer English people today understand the KJV words. The KJV abounds mysterious pronouns and phrases that can be misunderstood. It has complicated language, obscure and awkward words and difficult sentence structure. Words like justification, reconciliation, sanctification, propitiation, atonement, salvation and righteousness are obscure in meaning for millions today, yet their meaning is still found in modern versions. Your son does well, but these words are not used in everyday English so they hold little or no meaning for most who try to read the KJV. Such people give-up frustrated by the confusing jargon. Big words can block the readers view of God. While these words seem old and traditional in 1611 they were not.

The aim of the KJV translators was to make Scripture easy to understand for the common man. Yet they were accused of not using certain "old ecclesiastical words". To this they replied that words were not "images to be worshipped". They realised words change and no word in one language can fully express the meaning of a word in another language. Each generation must find the best way to express the truth of the Biblical text. They said, "We desire that the Scriptures may be understood even of the very vulgar". That is, people unaccustomed to traditional biblical jargon, because Scripture is the means of evangelism. You wrote,

>>It also is a matter of trust in God.<<

You have a different definition of "faith" than I. You think 'faith' in the KJ translation is identical to faith in God. Its not, Biblical faith is not faith in a language translation. If you entrust yourself to Luther's German Bible of 1522 and insisted that alone is God's Word then that would be equally absurd. By placing such faith in Luther's translation you effectively remove the focal point of faith in God's Word, to faith in a translation. So you are really placing your faith and trust in man [translators] rather than the One who opens heart and mind to the Scriptures. You also have a great deal of faith in the people who have told you the TR and KJV is better than the texts and discoveries that have come to us since 1611. Almost as if, the Bible has been closed since 1611. Thank you sir for your reply. Hope I haven't taken up too much of your time. Wishing you God's blessing.

Kind regards,
Mark Purchase