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King James Error

Brother Weiss,

Thanks for your response. Good to read your letter, compared to some others received. Hope you don’t mind me concluding our correspondence by briefly commenting in agreement mostly. You wrote,

>>Brother Purchase. I've read your e-mail about your concerns dealing with those who hold to the KJV as God's inspired and preserved word for the English speaking people. I don't know about any others who hold to their King James Version, but I don't think that everyone believes a lot of the things you say we do.<<

True, there are a variety of views. And KJ people have various stages of understanding regarding the conclusions of their doctrine. But many don’t realise the serious implications of this teaching and have never considered thoughtfully their belief. You wrote,

>>For myself, I do believe it is God's inspired and preserved word for the English speaking people.<<

I don’t believe God has rewarded one language group over another [Ac.10:35]. What makes the KJV ‘preserved’ while others are not? As I read, there’s nothing in the Bible that refers solely to a KJV and not others. Not unless we are going to say the Bible writers have said something they didn’t. The ultimate proof that the KJV is the recovered autographs would be to have the original autographs, which we don’t have.

So you are welcome to hold this ‘belief’ but it’s unprovable. True I could argue God has preserved the Byzantine tradition and the KJV. But equally I could argue God has also preserved the Western, Caesarean and Alexandrian traditions and other versions. God has “
preserved” and this is true of all manuscripts (MSS) and text-types regardless.

I believe God has marvellously preserved His Word, but not locked it up in English or the KJV (“the word of God is not bound”) [2 Tim 2:9]. Instead, God has preserved His Word by translation and copying for generations. The fact Christians began to copy and translate Scripture almost immediately in the early history of the Christian Church has been vital in preserving the faith and guaranteeing accuracy in what is written. Strange as this may seem, the translating of God’s Word for others has benefited the Church. You wrote,

>>I don't believe it is the only one that saves. I have personally witnessed to many people from their own versions (even Jehovah's Witnesses from their New World Translation) and am more than happy to show them Bible truths from their own Bible.<<

I agree here. I've had the KJ radicals write me insisting all other versions are “works of the Devil…Satanic imitations…lies…polluted counterfeit rubbishfull of mistakes and no one can’t be sure about any doctrine unless the KJV is consulted. Eg., –

“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”.

See, I can’t be sure regarding salvation unless I use the KJV. When they say, “an unsaved person can only be saved and born again by the Word of God” they insist it's the KJV. But if one believes an unconverted can be converted through other versions then one must define what they mean by the “Word of God”. 1 Pet 1:23 “For you have been born again.....through the living and enduring word of God.” Indicating “God’s Word” has a wider definition than just a KJV. I would agree, there are good/bad translations, clear/unclear and understandable for some and not for others [A good reason to have modern English versions today]. You wrote,

>>I also believe that many more people will be saved and in heaven from other countries and other languages than just America or from English speaking countries. This means that there must be the Word of God in their language also. I have not ever tried to give people the idea that only English speaking people can get saved.<<

Agree. Good to hear this from someone even from that website. Good on you for standing up for the Gospel. You wrote,

>>Finally, I do believe that some have taken a much more radical stand on the KJV than others, even to the point of trying to translate the KJV into other languages rather than using the original Greek and Hebrew texts. I personally believe this is a mistake and view it much like trying to xerox and copy of the original. The farther away from the original you get, the less clear the copy is.<<

Yes and where the KJV differs from the Greek NT text they insist the KJV is correct and the Greek is wrong. In fact the KJV [they believe] is never wrong anywhere on any verse or word. We now posses many more MSS than in 1611 and are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text. Our manuscript evidence is far better than for any other ancient book both in number of MSS and their dates.

Before the Printing Press (1455) all literature was laboriously hand copied. When scribes hand-copied documents they made mistakes which resulted in errors intruding over the centuries. The more frequently copies were made, the more errors the copies acquired. And of all the thousands of MSS today there’s none without error and no two agree exactly.

So its nonsense to argue any MSS (or text-type) is inerrant, that term must be reserved for the originals. Early MSS generally have few errors compared to those of the late middle Ages because less copying between MSS and the autograph means better copies. Although some early MSS were carelessly copied and their early date does not mean greater accuracy. And the number of witnesses behind a particular reading means nothing. It is the quality of those witnesses that counts. Thankfully conservative Christians are at the forefront of this science we call ‘Textual Criticism’. It also involves finding errors, which need to be deleted and corrected wherever possible, additions traced and alterations replaced and attempting to reconstruct original readings and explaining the reasons for any alterations.

Today textual critics do not lean too heavily on one family, but the best MSS available. And they have so much MSS 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. Men have less excuse today for not believing the accuracy of the Bible than ever before. You wrote,

>>I trust that the Lord will bless you, brother, but please don't put us all in the same boat. I'll try not to do that with you and I'd appreciate it if you would not do it with me.<<

I find the KJ radicals tar all other versions with the same brush they use for the NWT. And place all users of other versions in the same boat. One KJ radical wrote, “…you are a King James Bible Believer or you are an enemy of the Word of God”. He regarded the reading of other versions as “apostate unbelief” [A new definition of sin]. You conclude -

>>May God richly bless you! In Christ Brother Weiss<<

And I wish you the same. God richly bless you.

Your brother in Christ,