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King James Error

Hi Kent,

At last time to reply to your "
Answers" email. Thanks for your offers of help and mail. I like the way you warn me 'don't go telling everyone no one answers your questions'. So thanks for your "Answers" letter, I think we are getting somewhere. I would like to comment on your reply and correct me if you will. You wrote,

>>I did not see a radical position on that website.<<

Of course. What I would expect. You wrote,

>>I tell you that I believe preservation is in the original languages, and then you go on to argue against a radical position<<.

You had denied something and then confirmed it by a statement, so I replied to that issue. I'm sorry if I appear to have overlooked your point. With what you say above, I could agree "preservation is in the original languages" but most Biblical scholars agree its in all MSS, versions, texts.

See reread my last mail. It reads - "There's an insoluble problem in the Byzantine tradition itself, no two MSS agree perfectly. Your own preferred text-type falls under condemnation along with the other text-types".

Meaning the "
text behind the KJV" has no two manuscripts that agree. In other words, you should realize that the "text behind the KJV" is not "perfect" as you used the word. The text of the KJV is inferior; it accepts readings attested in no Greek manuscript whatsoever. You wrote,

>>This reveals something about you, that you cannot stay with what I said.<<

And I thought that I answered all your mail, as I answered every bodies. But bring me back to things missed. I answered the others and avoid nothing. But it seems to me you are off topic. You wrote,

>>I don't need to hear your ability to argue against something that I don't believe. I am agreeable with an "above all thy name" translation. It would be consistent that the Lord Jesus Christ is also exalted above, written Word-living Word.<<

You have a problem with Scripture which insists Jesus has a name about all others. The KJV is NOT above the name of Jesus. The last part of what you say here is confusing or a contradiction. Either the 'KJV is above His Name' or 'Jesus has a name above all names'. Which? A question I'm sure you won't answer. You wrote,

>>There is subjectivity and a humanistic slant that manifests itself by your using whatever version seems to suit what you want.<<

Really? Reading a Bible version is "subjectivity and humanistic"? Is this also true of the millions around the world who can't use the KJV? Yet I can be saved reading another version, right? You respond,

>>It isn't unavoidable.<<

So God is using other versions and people are "being born again by the Word of God". You wrote,

>>There are 7% word differences. 93% is the same. My belief is that the 93% is sufficient for someone to be saved. Because there are corruptions does not mean that there is not enough that has not been corrupted so that a person could not be saved. For you to spin this issue into something where every KJV proponent must believe like the radicals does not help your credibility.<<

Two points.
[1] Is the 7% of differences graded according to the 1611 or today's KJV? If people can be saved through other versions, surely they have equal chances of knowing and walking with God in all truth.

[2] I didn't '
spin the issue'. It's comes from the claims of the KJ radicals that link salvation to the KJV. They are insisting we can't be sure of salvation. Others on the KJ website have confirmed this [You deny it?] They write -

"How do you know that you are saved? Please don't say '...because the Bible
says so', if you CAN'T produce that Bible..."
"Not faith in something that has mistakes, because how can we be sure that
we have eternal life."
" - God's Word we believe is preserved in the AV. We preach it and eternal
salvation is dependent upon God's Word".
"You are a King James Bible Believer or you are an enemy of the Word of God"
"Anyone who uses any OTHER bible has a corrupt bible".
"ALL other translations are Satanic".

I merely make the observation, which [to me] is obvious. Repeatedly the claims are made that words are deleted and doctrine is unsure. They link salvation to the KJV. I can see the error of what they claim. You wrote,

>>My belief is that the text behind the KJV represents "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." That is based on God's promise, the agreement on the KJV in the churches, and, therefore, faith in the Lord.<<

But Jesus was not referring to a particular version or text behind it and warning against all others. Jesus didn't say, "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God is within my Father's King James". He did not foretell the text-type or the 1611 KJV. And the 'churches' are not all in 'agreement on the KJV'. And 'faith in God' is not the same as faith in human translations.

You wrote, "
perfect preservation" I wrote 'special inspiration'. However, your claim of "perfection" [if you insist on it] is applicable across the broad. To me the doctrine of inerrancy applies in the strict sense only to the originals, but in a derivative sense to copies and translations, that is, to the extent that they reflect the original. And I fail to see how the KJV has become the originals while others haven't. You wrote,

>>The existence of textual variants does not mean that God cannot assure us having the words as they were found in the original.<<

What it reveals is that in your preferred text type there are variants. Which means it has the same problem as the other text-types. Another point to make is that the "very words found in the original" were in Greek or Hebrew. Could God have kept them in the originals? Yes, but He didn't, we don't have them. God never intended His word [message] to be locked up in one language; it's for all nations. Even if we had the originals, Greek words will still be Greek words and English is still English. You couldn't read "the words as they were found in the original". You wrote,

>>The Bible itself warned that there was purposeful textual corruption in the first century. That does not mean that God could not keep a pure text available to believers. Your "is crazy" argument is propaganda. It would be like me saying that all the critical text people have an extra chromosome. It shows the weakness of your position.<<

Sounds to me like you are been silly. The argument you are making does not mean one text-type is chosen by God. Or 781 manuscripts are chosen while others are "Satanic". Having said that, I rejoice that God has marvelously preserved the Bible. The words of the prophets and apostles have been recorded and preserved for generations.

No other ancient book is attended by such a vast number of manuscripts. There are thousands and they prove God has preserved Scripture. The Holy Spirit has excised control to produce inspiration, accuracy in every statement and divine wisdom in the words penned. God's Word is authoritative because it is the voice of God; it is intelligible because it is in the language of men. Inspiration then, is dynamical and not mechanical.

The writer's penned the words that God gave. And God has "preserved" and this is true of all manuscripts and text-types regardless. Consider of the frail state of the original MSS on parchment and in the form of scrolls. No scroll was large enough to contain more than one book and the OT was not bound together. In the papyrus scroll era the NT also could never circulate as a whole. Yet God wonderfully preserved His Word. Another proof of God's marvellous preservation is the failure of the NT Apocrypha. This was the result of a flood of spurious writings, yet those books were rejected by the whole Christian Church. And Text Criticism is another proof as scholars compare manuscripts to locate textual errors.

The KJV has readings found in no Greek MS at all, but are traced to the Vulgate. And there are readings in the TR with no MS support at all [eg Ac.9:5,6 1 Jn.5:7] and some from the Vulgate. The text-type on which the KJV is based has no two MS that agree perfectly, so God has used Textual Criticism to guard His Word.

For the KJV translators there were unknown Greek words. As late as 1886 J.H.Thayer [Greek textual scholar] could list 767 distinctively NT words with no parallels in any known language or Greek literature. The list in 1986 was under 50 and today is still shrinking. You wrote,

>>Scrivener's and the ben cheryan can be translated into other languages. It is being done today.<<

Not with the text behind the 1611. Scrivener's text of 1894 differs from all previously printed editions of the RT. Yes it has been used today to produce the NKJV. However, Stephanus's standard textus receptus of 1550 [used for the 1611] is not used today for foreign language Bibles. If you argue they "can be translated into other languages" that's one thing. But to say they are, is not true. It reveals a misunderstanding of translation work. Even if Scrivener's old text was used -
[1] You will still not have a Hindi or Icelandic or Malay KJV.
[2] Translating still means Greek words remain Greek.
[3] Foreign language versions today are justified to Greek and Hebrew of the Critical Text. Not Stephabus's or Scrivener's. I know of no version that has used such texts but the NKJV. You wrote,

>>I have not once argued for translation from the English into the foreign language. It may be easier for you to frame this argument as against someone who does, but it isn't the case. For that reason, you just do a whole lot of useless exhalation here, arguing with nobody on this end, essentially, as I see it, to toot your horn as to your knowledge of translation methodology. You tell me that the meanings of English words have changed. It doesn't relate to anything I said<<

I covered both claims of the KJ radicals. Some have claimed the KJV is translated, that's why I wrote - "the KJV or its text-type". My "second" point was 'framed' for you - "Secondly: Foreign language [and modern] translations are not justified to the text of the 1611, but the Greek, Hebrew or Critical Text." You wrote,

>>I don't think I have "read" their literature, but being careful in a translation with every word sounds like a good idea for translation. You don't like that?<<

Firstly, I have "read" their literature. Secondly, All translators are careful, it is never ever an easy task. Yet KJ radicals insist translators are arrogant "bible correctors" who are "doing the work of Satan". And 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". What a sick joke. They often pay with their blood doing the Lord's work.

Yes they are not perfect. They are trained for the task and must study and use the best resources available while learning difficult languages. And languages are not perfect either. So no translation can be infallibly correct unless the Holy Spirit guide with the same degree of inspiration as the original Bible writers. The KJ sect would withhold Scripture from millions of needy souls, simply by insisting it mustn't be "corrupted by translating". This steals what belongs to the whole Church. God has given His Word for all His people of every nation and generation. According to you, is translating good or bad?

So who then decides if these [so-called] foreign language translations from the KJ text have errors? You reply,

>>The Scriptural local churches of that language would come to an agreement about what represents the best translation of His preserved words.<<

Surely they need to use the KJV. If the KJV is the only correct version they need to compare those translations with that. Or otherwise [as the radicals claim] how can they know if they have eternal life? They can't be sure! [Their ideas not mine]. So they 'come to an agreement' with the KJV or do they talk about it and believe what sounds right?

Most Christians using foreign language translations are lucky to have one version NOT many; and they don't know English. This make those who can read English VERY special, for only they can correct the others. But how will they know which is correct when the KJV says something which is nonsense to them, but has meaning to English readers? You wrote,

>>There is nothing wrong with it. You show an ignorance of the NKJV. The Old Testament was based on a textual variant. It was the last edition of Kittel's Old Testament Hebrew text, not the same text as the basis of the KJV. Because of this, it is fraudulent. That ought to bother you, especially since it incorrectly calls itself a modern version of the KJV. It comes from a different Hebrew text<<

The Gen. Ed. J.P Green [translating comtt.] in the NKJV Interlinear indicates the OT was taken from the RT particularly the Masoretic Text, as the KJV [pg.vi Preface, Baker Book House]. For the NT it was the same as that which underlines the KJV as reconstructed by F.N.A Scrivener in 1894. So the NT text corresponds to the text followed by the AV and the differences are minor.

So the NKJV was 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". In other words, to use your grading system. 7% differences are WORSE then 70% differences. But no sooner do you say "There is nothing wrong with" translating Scrivener's text into foreign versions, than you imply its wrong to translate it as the NKJV. So do foreigners have an 'B Grade' and you have an 'A Grade' KJV? You wrote,

>>It is a case-by-case basis.<<

How can it be 'a case-by-case basis? They must learn English to check their version. They MUST have a B grade Bible and disadvantaged. Or are you telling me their foreign language Bible is as good as if not better than the KJV? What happened to all your claims about the "very Words of God"? It appears to me that the radicals are characterized simply by their hatred for English versions more than anything else. If it's a 'case by case basis' some will have a B grade version. Is that true or false? You reply,

>>I deny it. It is not part of my doctrine.<<

I find it hard see how you can "deny it". You wrote,

>>I was a Biblical language major and started my Greek while in high school. I teach 3rd year Greek in our Bible institute. Anything else you want to show me on translation? I know, for instance, that the perfect tense in the Greek is difficult to manifest in the English. That does not mean that God cannot use a translation, or that there cannot be a translation into another language that is accurate.<<

Oh good! This is very important information. What about Vine's Greek Dictionary? What Greek word does 'Easter' translate from? Are the radicals right in using 'metatithemi' regarding the work of the 1611 scholars? If the NT Greek disagrees with the KJV which should we follow? Why was Kittel such a "Rat Bag" that you reject his work? What's the difference between Attic and 'koine'? And why does that mean the KJ translators made a major mistake? There are a thousand questions I would like to ask, but I'm not sure you are telling the truth. If you are, you have forgotten a great deal. I will await your reply.

In fact this changes the course of our letters [if you know Greek]. So I think we can use Greek, since you know something about it. I would like you to confirm this before we start exchanging letters as I have a great many points to make which you hopefully will answer. You wrote,

>>Yes, but dynamic equivalence is not accurate translation.<<

Amazing! And I thought you knew something about NT Greek. It ought to be obvious to you that to some extent every translation, from anywhere on the spectrum [literal or loose] is necessarily involved again and again with finding the dynamic equivalent. Just as no translation is perfect, also no translation is perfectly objective. The question to ask of any rendering is 'Is it the best possible translation of the passage taking into account the meaning of the words in both languages, the syntax, their idioms, how this rendering is understood as compared with how a reader of the original text would understand what he read [and even that is a tricking test]. Hope I have not misunderstood you, but it might depend on what kind of strange translation you want. You wrote,

>>When Philip met the Eunuch, he did not retranslate, but he explained. Interpretation requires understanding how the people would have understood it in that day, but changing the words to provide a cultural equivalent results in a corruption of the text.<<

The problem with your illustration of Philip and the Eunuch is that it was an 'explanation'. The closer one stands to the loose end, the greater the changes of subjective bias. Ultimately what we want of a translation is a rendering that means what the original means both in denotation and connotation (dynamic equivalent). But it is equally possible to be too literal. The NASB tries so hard to reflect the underlining Heb. Gr. & Aramaic that it often resorts to awkward English. The KJV too falls under the condemnation of being too literal at certain points If you want a literal translation the NASB is more so then the KJV.

If you really knew two or more languages you would recognize how difficult it is to translate material from one to the other in such a way that the material sounds as natural in the receptor language as it does in the donor language, and with the meaning and nuances persevered intact.

So I'm surprised you reject my point. Makes me doubt you are genuine in your claims about Greek, as you should know something about translation work. I would like to see how you respond to the questions I have raised here before going further through the rest of your letter.

I hope to come back to the rest of your letter and finish it even if you do not respond. No I am not avoiding anything! Don't know why you think it has the answers. It hasn't answered my comments.

Hope you reply in due course.