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Thanks for the reply Kevin.

Good we can discuss these matters. Having read your letter I see we agree and differ at times. You wrote,


>>I do not want to make short answers to your questions as the doctrine of preservation is dear to my heart. I know that these days the doctrine appears radical, but it WAS for many centuries an accepted doctrine. Please be patient with me: I will not try to "convert" you. I would value the opportunity to show you that my doctrine is not actually radical; it is just different than the doctrine that you hold. I expect that we share many doctrinal positions. I have made comments to your assertions inline in the text that follows (adding scripture references where appropriate). I had to reformat parts of you original message to adequately speak to the context of you statements.<<

I value your kindness. And agree that God has preserved the Bible. You wrote,

>>Again please to not expect me to answer everything in this first email. I would like the opportunity to discuss this over the coming weeks (as iron sharpens iron).<<

Sure. I mentioned the website, you responded saying -

>>Please do not ascribe their sins to me. I would have expected them to answer as well.<<

Yes of course, you are right. My email was careful not to criticize recipients. But some took it personally, while others disassociate from the website and others from the implications of KJ doctrine. I understand why. You wrote,

>>Now Dr. Purchase, I am sure that you have been aggravated by the claims of the KJ folks, but this is the second time that you have done name calling in just the first two paragraphs. Perhaps, they did not think that you were sincere. I will look passed this for now.<<

I haven’t applied the word directly to all or assume all on that website were ‘radical’. I took the name from one who named himself such, Tom Lamb -http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/tlamb I’m not “calling” names for names sake. But it's not as harsh as names used by radicals to describe those who question their claims or use other versions. The more radical they are, the more nasty their name-calling [I can tell you]. It would be nice to call them something nice, but their behaviour is not just another doctrinal practice within mainstream Christianity. It accurately describes those who make radical claims. You wrote,

>>With all due respect, I do not know who A. Hoekema is, nor should I care for that matter. God's book is the bible. Let's not be specific about versions at the moment. Do you believe that your bible is complete? Mine is. Therefore, I need not look to any other written authority. The bible defines the doctrine of the church. Any organization that ascribes (canon) authority to any other written work is apostate (I don't think that cult is a bible word).<<

Yes the Bibles 'complete' and the final 'authority.' But you "ascribe (canon) authority" to a translation, against every other translation, including the Greek. That has NOT been for "many centuries an accepted doctrine." But there have been various small groups at various times in church history who have made great claims about ‘old’ versions and defended them against new ones. The first example is those who defended the old Latin against the Vulgate. Centuries later others defended the Vulgate against English versions.

I didn’t site Hoekema as canon. He wrote about '
cults' [‘sects’ Lk.5:30 Ac.24:5, 14 26:5 28:22]. And found that sects [or cults] all have similar characteristics. It’s true. KJ radicals read thousands of verses and words in the KJV and give them a meaning the original writers never intended. Note their DEFINITIONS for words -

‘Sinner’ – a user of any other version but the KJV
‘Error’ – only found in other versions, never in the KJV
‘Inerrant’ – only refers to the KJV
‘The Word of God’ - the KJV
‘Words of God’ – words in the KJV
‘Thy Word’ – the KJV
'Heretic' one who "tears down" the KJV
‘Infallible’ – only refers to the KJV
‘Inspired’ – only the KJV, not even the originals
‘Bible corrector’ – any bible translator but not the KJV translators
‘Faith’ - that the KJV is God’s Word ‘Scripture’ - the KJV
’Gospel’ - believe, repent, baptised, learn English use KJV
‘Corruption’ – only in other text-types never the TR of the KJV
‘Bible’ – only one true KJV.

So when 2 Pe.3.15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer”. Radicals think this means be prepared to defend the KJV. Often defence of the Gospel is second to their defence of the KJV. They always say more about the later. One of my concerns was that they link salvation to the KJV [hence called ‘radical’]. You reply,

>>NOBODY THAT I KNOW WHO BELIEVES IN THE DOCTRINE OF PROVIDENTIAL PRESERVATION OF THE HOLY BIBLE THINKS THAT SUCH A DOCTRINE IS A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION! I think that you would be hard pressed to locate a quote to the contrary. If I believe without a doubt that the sky is blue, it does not mean that everyone needs to believe that the sky is blue to be saved. It's true, but it is NOT a requirement for salvation<<

It’s easy to find quotes. Some strongly argue that since all other versions are “works of the Devil…Satanic imitations…lies…polluted counterfeit rubbish” and “full of mistakes” that they are totally untrustworthy. They insist "ALL other translations are corrupt" and the KJV is “the one true Bible”. And they say, one can’t be sure about ANY doctrine unless the KJV is consulted. They say [quote], “an unsaved person can only be saved and born again by the Word of God” which they insist is the KJV. When they say [quote],“…we believe the Bible, every word of it and through it we are saved”, they’re referring to the KJV. Some write [quote] -

“How do you know you are saved, if you cannot prove it from an "Inerrant" Authority?” “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”.

This says I can’t be sure about salvation unless I produce the KJV. Almost every Bible doctrine it treated the same. Another slant on this subject is seen from this quote -

"God has never promised, not is obliged to provide his words in more than one language"

He thinks God chose King James English. Even the KJV will not support that. Think about this and you will realise the serious implications. Salvation must become intrinsically linked to a language and a Bible version. Most readers of Scripture know the NT does not teach salvation rests on a language or translation, but on Christ's atonement, death and resurrection (Jn.3:16-17 Rom.10:9). To suggest anything else adds to [or corrupts] the gospel. You wrote –

>>Correction (as far as I am concerned), I believe that at most one ENGLISH bible can be completely true. No two English translations agree 100% with one another. They are either ALL corrupt. Or at best, one can be pure.<<

The measure by which you judge “ALL” other versions “corrupt” is the assumption the KJV is the only “completely true” version. You cannot prove the KJV is the recovered autographs, or 100% correct. The errors in the KJV have been so many it makes your words “completely true...pure” without knowledge. You define error and determine doctrine by comparing translations. Your faith is based on a translation by men. And also now you must defend every mistake in the KJV [with your life]. To admit to just one error means you have lost the whole argument. You quote -

>>Proverbs 30:7 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.<<

This is a classic example of applying meaning to Bible writers they never said. There’s nothing in Pr.30 or Ps.119-12 indicating the writers refer to the KJV. If you stop thinking the KJV refers to the KJV in the KJV you would help yourself. Nothing in those passages indicate they won’t apply to other versions. You wrote,

>>My bible teaches that "Every word of God is pure...". I believe that the God who guided men to pen the Word of God, later providentially intervened in history to assure it's preservation. Preservation involved translations as old languages (ancient Greek) became no longer spoken. Do you believe Psalm 12:6 is true today?<<

Yes God has ‘preserved’ the Bible, true of all versions and manuscripts regardless. Please note: the expression ‘word of God’ is a Biblical concept [originating before 1611] it conveys God’s self-communication. Radicals confuse the expression resulting strange ideas regarding the KJV. In the Bible ‘word of God’ can mean -

[1] all of God’s communications with human beings in it’s various forms and modalities.
[2] the events of salvation history, the speaking of words of God.
[3] the spoken words of the prophets (including Jesus) upon whom the Spirit rests.
[4] Pre-eminently applicable to Jesus the Incarnate One the fullness of God’s self-communication.
[5] the Christian proclamation.
[6] God’s message to mankind.
[7] The written words contained in Scripture.

And note: if we hold to Biblical inerrancy we should realise truth has come to us through fallible means. All Bible versions convey truth only in imperfect languages of men and all language is somewhat inadequate to the reality to which it points. Christians preach and teach truth in human words, which are fallible. If one believed that at every point only perfect words could convey truth, one could not preach or witness in any manner except to quote Scripture from its original manuscripts [which we do not possess]. When we admit that truth may come to us in imperfect words, we in no wise indicate that the original manuscripts were also imperfect.


Radicals constantly fail to realise inerrancy doesn't explain how to interpret a word or verse. How we do that is the realm of hermeneutics. Yet they use inerrancy to make major issues out of minor matters and create disunity among Christians who otherwise have much in common. The meaning of the word "error" changes when it suits these people and their understanding of “inerrancy” is unscriptural. They are totally unaware that the word “inerrant” is not a biblical concept. In the Bible, erring is a spiritual or moral matter not intellectual. Inerrancy isn't explicitly taught in the Bible. The writers of Scripture believed Scripture completely true, but that doesn't mean inerrancy. The Bible’s implication that it’s free from error doesn't describe what the errorlessness entails. They fail to appreciate the culture and the means of communication that had developed at the time the Bible was written.

If we consider the purposes for which the Bible was given, then it is fully truthful in all it affirms. While it does not err, the important thing about the Bible is that it teaches truth. Radicals wrongly apply inerrancy in the sense of some kind of scientific exactness, in a strict sense and only to an English version. Concerning 1 Thes.2:13 you wrote -

>>Paul said that the text was received (Textus Receptus) as "The Word of God".<<

I disagree. Paul didn’t say that, nor imply, “that the text was received (Textus Receptus) as "the Word of God”. Cults also take verses and read strange ideas into them. You are reading into it something not there. Paul never used or knew of a “Textus Receptus” let alone ‘receive’ it as "The Word of God”. When Paul wrote “Ye received the word of God”, he's saying they received the doctrine of God, not as anything fabricated by man, but as coming immediately from God Himself.

Yes, the TR is called the “Received Text”. But not the “Received Text” in the sense that it was “received” from God while other texts were not. It is received as the standard text at the time of the Elzevirs brothers. The concept of a received text is nothing more than an excerpt from an advertiser’s copy in 1633.

But the TR is within the Byzantine family of MSS. It’s a late corrupt form of the Byzantine text-type. Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) with a handful of Greek MSS published it in 1516 and the KJV is based on it. Because late MSS from the middle Ages were used, there were copy errors and some important passages were affected. Translators today have MSS, which are less than a century from the original autographs. You wrote,


>>It is no secret that the lineage of the KJV is from Textus Receptus. The KJV folks are just attempting to receive the scripture as Paul said "it is in truth, the word of God". Is that radical?<<

There’s nothing 'radical' receiving the Bible as the ‘word of God’. But it becomes radical if for example, the Lutherans were to make the silly claim that Luther’s German translation of 1522 is the word of God’ and all other versions are “Satanic”. Because then obviously every Christian must learn to read German in order to read the words of the only ‘pure’ Bible. And there become two classes of people in the Church – learned intellectuals who can read and speak German and those who cannot but use “Satanic counterfeits”. A recipe for church division.

The words ‘
word of God’ don’t just apply to the KJV. 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 the ‘word of God’ has a wider definition than the KJV. You effectively remove the focal point of faith in the word of God, 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. You wrote,

>>I have already stated that believing the KJV specifically is not necessary for salvation, so let's drop the multi-variants of that argument. But taking God at his word and believing it in truth is required for salvation.<<

Yes the “KJV specifically is not necessary for salvation”. Nor a high view of the KJV or believing one version ‘100% pure’. For the unregenerate and salvation, “taking God at His word and believing it in truth” has nothing to do with these concepts. You wrote,

>>Romans 10:9-14 will work almost equally well if the NIV is preached, or the NASB, or the KJV. The gospel is not watered down in these passages (and many other passages for that matter). But there are more subtle differences between the texts. How badly did Eve misquote scripture in the garden? Don't you know that "the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field" (Gen 3). Differences matter. Subtil differences between the various English translations are NOT insignificant. But even the Living Bible can get you saved.<<

Yes someone could misquote the Gospel and one not believe correctly. And fail to realise they’re not saved, having heard incorrectly. But applying this to Bible versions doesn’t work. No doctrine is lost or in doubt by using other text-types. No doctrine hinges on disputed readings, 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.

When I said ‘Scripture MUST be translated into the modern languages of every nation and modern English’. You replied –


>>Every nation: yes. And modern English: I am still waiting for the modern version that agrees with the KJV.<<

Yes the KJV is your final standard. Always right and never wrong. Radicals believe it could not have ONE mistake for that would suggest ‘God has a mistake’. If any questions it they question God, for its regarded perfect, even as God. In fact, the impression they give is that the final authority is the KJV not God (This kind of logic is not new - cults have a similar problem. Their leaders or belief system is also revered as infallible. Dedicated cultists never question what they are told or believe). When there’s a contradiction in the KJV translation you will stand by it regardless.

You are happy God’s Word is translated into the various languages [rightly so]. Why then, object to modern English speakers having God’s Word? Why is that translating Scriptural and the other of the Devil? Who checks the non-English versions – a few enlightened KJ radicals? They are not based on the Textus Receptus. Do they have a “B” grade Bible while you have a “A” grade? You wrote,


>>How much of the World's population speaks English? Is it a historical accident on God's part that English-speaking people have been central to world commerce since the 1600s. Was God also ignorant of this when the KJV was printed in 1611. Does God let things happen or does he empower his people by his Holy Spirit?<<

I see what you mean. But it’s estimated there's 90 million functionally illiterate people in the USA alone. They depend upon hearing to learn about Christ. There are millions of souls worldwide who are illiterate in 'English' and millions more illiterate in their own tongue, with no possibility to learn English. English became a globe language because it's flexible. As Greek for 3,000 years underwent a multitude of changes, so English continues to evolve and change to suit it's own advances. The 'English' of the Colonial era is not modern 'English'. Why can't God use modem English?

Many countries have their own form of '
English' because language is a cultural expression. And what might be a state of excellence for some, can be a linguistically obstacle course for others. So their mother tongue is vital and an understandable translation. For millions the most effective means of communication is their mother tongue. The Church has long realised that communicating the gospel is critical to her existence. Communication must be clear and accurate for understanding. For this reason, no translation can ever be considered final, simply because language and words change over time. You wrote,

>>What reformation occurred around the NIV or the NASB or the RSV or the NRSV? Jesus said to judge every tree by it's fruit. Where's the fruit. The KJV was THE bible in the Mission era of history.<<

God used the Latin version for years (and Luther's). The church started with the Greek. And the Chinese version today has a massive use. But the KJV hasn’t competed with the NIV for even 50 years. The KJV can’t save those who can’t read it. There will be millions in heaven who have never read it.

There’s plenty of “
fruit” regarding other versions. The level of understanding the Bible varies with a reader’s cultural and educational background. Today even less can read the English of the KJV. They require a translation in modern English. Through Scripture we come to know God’s will as He conveys His good Word to us. For 'fruit' there’s nothing more important than to hear God’s Word clearly and accurately and respond to His voice. Millions of Christian’s worldwide testify today God is producing 'fruit' using the clarity of modern versions to feed, speak and guide. These Christian’s are not “Bible-hating, Bible-rejecting apostates”. But they receive comfort, encouragement and guidance, as God speaks and glorifies His name through modern translations. It’s more likely an incomprehensible translation wouldn't produce 'fruit'. You wrote,

>>Paul told Timothy that he had the "holy scriptures" in 2 Tim 3:15. I imagine that you claim 2 3:16-17. What does that mean if the words that I hold in my hands contain errors?<<

Like I said, biblical “faith” is not “faith” in a language translation. When Paul says the “just shall live by faith” it is faith in “…the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation” [See Rom.1:15-16]. I have “faith” in God’s Word, but translation mistakes don’t rob me from God’s promises. When I read words like “unicorn” in the KJV [Deut.33:17] I don’t throw away the KJV or wonder if I have eternal life. Are you telling me translation errors etc are enough to make you give up the faith? Wow, that’s a weak faith.

The logic of what you say is, if there are errors in the Bible “how can we be sure that we have eternal life? I believe “eternal life” is not dependent on the KJV itself, rather, it rests on what Christ has done. Nor is learning old English vital to repentance, faith and knowing God and true doctrine. If the non-English speaker must learn English “to be sure” about God’s Word, then that is NOT the GOSPEL once delivered to the saints! That gospel was not proclaimed by the Early Church Fathers, the Reformers, nor even in 1611. No, that gospel has been formulated of late.

Scripture is capable of giving up its proper meaning for every generation. The Bible is intended for men of every age, social standing, type of education and so must be in an understandable language. But old versions are not always capable of a straightforward meaning. Would God offer man a revelation incapable of being understood? Such could result in people who are unsure whether they have eternal life.

When I wrote “no translation could be infallibly perfect unless guided by the same Spirit, with the same supervision as the writing of the inspired autographs”. You replied,

>>Agreed. So you are saying that Jesus' words were available ONLY to the first centuray Christians as God was unable to preserve for all people through the ages (contrary to PS 12:6-7).<<

While God has “preserved for all people through” this age the teaching of Christ, He did not “preserve” the first literal Aramaic “words” spoken by Christ, nor the original NT Greek manuscripts either. Nor even the very original words of Ps.12.6. The fact God did NOT promise to “preserve” those “words” is proven by the fact we don’t have them. I'm saying God has done something more wonderful than just fulfil Ps.12 [as you want me to take it]. He has given millions copies of His Word in the words of their languages. Including modern man with translations [GNB NIV etc] that people can read. How silly to say the KJV is the only “preservation” that God has achieved, after looking at all He has done. You wrote,

>>Easter is the correct translation. This is easily proven within the context. The passover had already past in Acts 12:4. Study "the days of unleavened bread". Herod was a pagan. He celebrated the pagan holiday Easter. That is why he intended to apprehend him after Easter. I will elaborate further on this later.<<

Please do. I mentioned Easter because the radicals have a serious problem. They must claim the text was correctly altered to include the word. Yet Easter wasn’t used or known by Luke it’s foreign to Acts and all the MSS. The KJ translators introduced “Esotre” from the ancient Anglo-Saxon service-books. Were they right and Luke wrong? That’s your choice. I would rather know what Luke wrote, while you would rather follow the 1611 translators, and that’s the bottom line. So 'Easter' is not good enough. When I mention that a 1613 KJ edition appeared with over 300 differences from the 1611”. You wrote,

>>Can you state any contractictions that arose from these differences?<<

I mentioned this point because the implications of the changes are not so much - ‘contradictions’ but the implications are that the radicals can’t prove the KJV is “pure” and “100% correct” after all these changes. The fact is there have been over 75,000 changes from the 1611 to today’s KJV. You don’t seem to realise this fact and wrote,

>>Please substantiate this with credible evidence.<<

It’s common knowledge and well documented. A figure “24,000” came from a hardcore radical, he understated. The changes in today’s KJV, from the 1611 have been estimated to be 75,000. [pg.274 So Many Versions? S.Kudo & W.Specht (publ. Zondervan). See also J Isaacs ‘The Authorized Version and After’ pg.225.] I have two pages photocopied from the 1627 KJV. I count 139 changes compared with today’s KJV on only one page. I could post you copies if you like. But whether 45 or 75 thousand corrections or changes it only takes one error to fail the perfect test. Why argue all other versions have errors and changes and avoid using these words concerning the KJV? You asked,

>>Why do new translations not read as the KJV here? 2 Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.<<

The NIV reads, “we do not peddle the word of God for profit”. That’s more faithful to the Greek. But how do you know the KJV is correct? You ask yourself; if the KJ English words are different in meaning than the Greek NT words, then which is correct? The KJ translators included readings and words that have no Greek support in any Greek manuscript (MSS) at all. Do you realise Greek words can have more than one possible rendering? Even the 1611 translators indicate they didn’t have the final understanding of NT Greek. You ask,

>>Also, the historical position (as stated by Paul) is to receive the scriptures as they are in truth, the word of God. Would you argue that Pauls Words have not been true for English speaking people ever?<<

Yes, I agree we should “receive the scriptures as they are in truth, the word of God.” (versions are the works of men). But all these words have different meanings for us. To you “scriptures, truth, word of God” are the KJV. I understand words differently, all men can receive the Scriptures as they are in truth, the word of God regardless of language.

This concludes your letter.

kind regards,
Mark


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