Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

 
 
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Old 07-01-2008, 01:23 AM
Connie
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I have been wondering something about the history of the KJV versus modern versions situation, if anyone knows some details about it or can refer me to an article that covers it that I've missed.

That is, as I understand it, back when Westcott and Hort did their new "translation" in the 19th century they had originally told people they were merely going to update the King James, correct? Then they pulled a fast one, so to speak, and introduced this other set of Greek manuscripts and did their new translation from that instead of using the manuscripts the KJV had been based on. Also correct?

What I'd like to know is to what extent the people who first used their new version thought it was just an updating of the Authorized Version and did not understand that it was based on a different set of manuscripts? OR at least didn't understand just HOW different the different sets are from each other?

I'm asking because I have the impression that this whole story was not well known at first, maybe even until rather recently (a few decades?) and that many or most church leaders at first had accepted the new versions as just new translations of the same Greek texts, and I think some even today may still have that impression.

I guess the question could also be framed: When did the KJV-only position get started -- or get going in earnest -- to combat the claims of the new versions?

Anybody know about the timing of all this?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2008, 02:17 AM
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Various exposes already existed in the public consciousness during the time of the making of the Revised Version, such as the controversy surrounding having a Unitarian involved, etc. And while various people were known to pull out of the process, and criticise it, nothing was more devastating as Dean Burgon's articles in editions of the Quarterly Review. While there was some generated excitement during the release of the Revised Version, whatever enthusiasm was there quickly dwindled. The Revised Version New Testament came out in 1881 and the next year Burgon released the most devastating of his articles against it. Burgon and others recognised the value of staying with the King James Bible.

It seems that it was not until around the 1950s that the present King James Bible only movement really developed into what it is known today (e.g. Ray, Fuller and Hills). This came out of a general view that viewed modern versions with suspicion, and that the King James Bible was the best. The King James Bible only view proper, as an articulated defence of the King James Bible built upon a pre-existing sentiment, but further developed into the kind of views that might be expressed today by those who recognise the full purity of the King James Bible.

The highest form of King James Bible only now is not reactionary to modern versions, and is not primarily concerned with comparing the AV to modern versions. This is because more than enough has been shown to expose modern versions (and this knowledge should continue), without having to continually blast modern versions or make extreme claims for the King James Bible (e.g. inspiration, hidden codes). In fact, study into the very nature of the King James Bible yields its perfection, its exactness to the nullification of all other modern versions. To highlight the truth is better than to just be attacking error.

While there is a problem with many sincere Christians believing that the new Greek basis is superior to the King James Bible, those who are arguing for a continuing Majority Text or a Textus Receptus basis are not much better, because the battle in regard to the original languages is overtaken by an entirely wrong approach, namely, that arguing for one Greek text form over another seems to bypass that God has provided His full truth in English. While the Textus Receptus is superior, there is no authoritative immaculate Greek Textus Receptus document which exists right now. In other words, the present arguments and counter arguments concerning “which Greek text form is a better foundation?” is entirely the wrong field for the battle, since God promised that the Gospel would go forth to all nations, and that with another tongue would He speak to the Jews, etc. His working in history has been to abandon the field of Greek for the raising up of one final, full and perfect Bible in English for the world.

Read the book "The Revision Revised" put out by Waite's "Bible For Today" to see Burgon's view of the Revised Version.

There is presently little which describes development of the King James Bible only view.
  #3  
Old 07-01-2008, 02:42 AM
Connie
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Thank you very much for that helpful overview. I want to read Burgon's view so will look for that book.

Do you think I'm right or wrong that many church leaders have not understood that the new versions are based on a different set of manuscripts? It really bothers me that the likes of Spurgeon and Tozer and Ravenhill, and I think also Lloyd-Jones but I'm not sure, apparently accepted the new versions.

For the other point, I'll just say that I've read that argument about the finality of the KJV making it superior to the Greek texts over and over at this site, and tried to accept it and just can't. I still hold that it is perfect in itself but for a time when English was different than it is now, and now we need some (very minimal) updating done also by an authorized group. I still can't see it any other way. (I know of too many people who simply misread it because they read contemporary meanings into old words that look the same but aren't, solid believers, and KJV-onlyers.)

Anyway, thanks again.
  #4  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:47 AM
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Sorry, I see you did answer that already:

Quote:
While there is a problem with many sincere Christians believing that the new Greek basis is superior to the King James Bible, those who are arguing for a continuing Majority Text or a Textus Receptus basis are not much better, because the battle in regard to the original languages is overtaken by an entirely wrong approach, namely, that arguing for one Greek text form over another seems to bypass that God has provided His full truth in English.
But apparently I didn't notice because it was a lead-in to your main point about the uselessness of the argument about the Greek texts.

Thinking further about it, I don't think I'm really interested in getting embroiled in the Textus Receptus controversy, I just don't see why whatever the KJV translators used wouldn't be taken as the standard. Well, I do have another thought, that if a lack of perfection in the text is going to throw off people's faith, then don't we have to assume that for something like 1500 years nobody had a trustworthy Bible and how can that be? How can we think that God would only provide the last few centuries of believers with His pure word? And didn't the KJV translators affirm that previous Bibles were also the word of God?

But since the English language has changed and does trip up some very sincere readers, I see the need for updating, and that throws me back on the question of the underlying texts, since the updaters would be seeking the modern equivalent for the Greek words.

But again, very minimal updating. Because this gets off into other things too. I did get a copy of the Defined King James and I don't like the bolding of words in order to define them -- it distracts me while I'm reading -- or the repetition of the principles of definition. I personally don't have a problem with the majority of the words they have chosen to define so that continually drawing my attention to them is merely distracting. I'm aware of a few words being a problem for people, words like "prevent" and "dumb" which simply don't mean now what they meant in 1611 and those do need to be defined. It turns out I actually like my old King James better with its tiny print marginal notes (though I end up crossing out most of them because they too are distractions and not useful), even though it was my aunt's and she got it from the Bakkers' PTL club and it has their logo on it which is very annoying. It has an excellent index and concordance and maps too.
  #5  
Old 07-01-2008, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
But since the English language has changed and does trip up some very sincere readers, I see the need for updating ... I'm aware of a few words being a problem for people, words like "prevent" and "dumb" which simply don't mean now what they meant in 1611 and those do need to be defined.
This is not the case. The Bible words have not changed their meaning, nor has the meaning of the Bible words been lost, nor have they been erased from public consciousness. While many people may be ignorant of the meaning of a few words, this does not mean that we should change the Bible to suit modern tastes or modern usage.

It is a very slippery slope to even change one word. As soon as you allow this, you allow the idea that modern people can impose their present ideas onto God's Word. You see, if you changed a small thing like "marishes" to "marshes", you allow for any change. You would have just said that the Word of God is not fixed, but open to continual adjustment. That is exactly how the modern version thing came about. In the 1800s people talked about updating a few minor things, what they got was Westcott and Hort's work. Every now and again one or other publisher might bring out a slightly modernised King James Version, such as the KJ21 or the MKJV, but these kinds of things are often sinister in that they contain much more... they invariably contain meaning changes.

This is because people do not yet understand that a word like "glistering" does not mean "glistening". The Oxford English Dictionary shows that they are two different words from two different etymologies. "Glistering" is brilliant sparkling light, whereas "glistening" is twinkling sparkling light. The difference is in the intensity. Now, the well meaning reviser will come along and change something like "glistering" because he thinks it to be some archaic spelling, not realising that he has just altered the inerrant Word of God.

I do not agree with what Edward Hills said here concerning the "changing English", but he did show how his own position would fail if any ever tried to revise just the English of the King James Bible:

"It is possible, if the Lord tarry that in the future the English language will change so much that a new English translation of the Bible will become absolutely necessary. But in that case any version which we prepare today would be equally antiquated. Hence this is a matter which we must leave to God, who alone knows what is in store for us. For the present, however, and the foreseeable future no new translation is needed to take the place of the King James Version."
  #6  
Old 07-01-2008, 06:22 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
 
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Hi Folks,

A lot of fine thoughts in this thread.

First, counterpoint. I very strongly disagree with the concept that the issue of the underlying Greek text (the Reformation Battle of the Bible) should be abandoned now as inconsequential or secondary.

The underlying principle is very simple.

"Precept upon precept, line upon line..."

Without first understanding, at least to some extent, the superiority of the Reformation Bible (which can include the gross inferiority of the Vulgate and the utter textual decadence of the alexandrian-based versions) it is difficult to expect that a person will leave the corrupt modern versions for the King James Bible. In seeking information, they will be fighting against an avalanche of agiprop, peer pressure and the version industrial complex, with tentacles throughout public Christendom and academia, such as paid 'critical consultants' shilling for the corrupt versions. All designed all around trying to prop up the decrepit modern versions. Some will see the truth nonetheless, however if one gets informed about the underlying battles and issues it can be very helpful . I speak from personal experience as well.

The main argument used against the King James Bible position is that it is cultist, one-dimensional, unconcerned with the underlying texts, and such. Rarely will textual paradigms be examined on a level playing field. All of these criticisms are wrong, however if we do not helpfully show the truth about the Battle of the Bible it will certainly look like we are defending an underlying source text (the Received Text) that the scholars 'rightfully' reject. Since their arguments will be uncountered. Thus some of us feel one proper calling is to show and describe and expose the false textual criticism paradigms that give the corrupt versions. And how this relates to their futile efforts trying to prop up the false underlying Greek texts and the modern versions against the historic Bible.

And in my view, to be very clear, this does not clash one iota with the work of those defining and declaring the perfect edition of the King James Bible.

On the updating, Connie in a sense answers her own questions. While beginning to talk about some minor 'updating' you then point out how 'Defined' Bibles can be much more a distraction than a help. In my view most all the 'difficulties' with the King James Bible are generally fluff and puff of wrong focus, designed to steer people away from deep and sincere study of the pure word of God. Which includes at times simply confirming the meaning of a word, especially by looking more fully at the context. Nothing wrong with an occasional footnote or margin note, however very rarely an issue.

And Connie, I believe your points about many folks languishing in modern-version-land having an element of scholastic cluelessness is spot-on. Not so much in the Dean Burgon era, but later, from around 1920 to 1980, with the exception of Hills, Wilkinson, Fuller, and a few others, easy to be fringed, the field was largely vacant. (It would be interesting to see how the men you mention, and others like Arthur Pink, related to the Bible question in a period where there was an element of scholastic unawareness. So I may be looking them up, it seems only Spurgeon has been really studied some.) And in the period mentioend the evangelicals were being indoctrinated in dumbed-down seminaries with little opposition. And note, Connie, that the battle did not begin with Westcott and Hort, there were some before their errors and Dean Burgon's refutations, who saw what was on the horizon and issued early clarion warning calls.

Overall, the written material covering pure Bible defense from 1850 to 1950 is spotty. David Cloud has some of the best summaries, yet they could be greatly augmented in order to give a much fuller picture to the reader. I discovered some excellent writers and quotes when looking up their views on the Johannine Comma and on inerrancy and infallibility. Material today is far more available than even five years ago, due to the fact that often the better writing, the earlier writing, is off copyright and now available. A bit of an irony. Even online and free in many cases, at a university library in some others.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

Last edited by Steven Avery; 07-01-2008 at 06:47 AM.
  #7  
Old 07-01-2008, 07:58 AM
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I will explain somewhat of my view that the English is master, and that a Christian cannot do better than to be acquainted with this, and accept and understand of what Burgon, Hills, Holland and other friends have shown regarding the Greek. (A great body of evidence now exists more than sufficient that nothing further need be said, but that it should be accepted and perpetuated by believers.)

What must be kept alive and well is the knowledge of the fact that the true text at the basis of the King James Bible has simply won, it had always won against the modern versionist warfare, and for many to think that there is still some kind of "case" or "issue" or "debate" concerning this is not the right view: the text as presented by the King James Bible in English is THE TEXT that links through all the proper tradition and sound view of history back to the very autographs. Therefore, since the text is in English today, there cannot yet be comparisons with Greek this versus Greek that, except in regard to observing the history of our Bible. There is no "Greek" authority today that sits at the basis of our King James Bible which can be yet utilised today to continue to fight a war which we won in 1611, and was gradually recognised to have been won over ensuing years, despite loud and antichrist speakings to the opposite beginning in more recent times. The battle in or about the Greek is waged from the basis that New Testament Greek has already served its purpose.

There is nothing wrong with talking about the Greek if it is done from the view that the King James Bible, which is not in Greek, is the authority, in that it has gathered from the variations of the Greek one final text, and is equal to that text, should it exist in one Greek form: for the English translation is perfect, sense for sense identical. There is no problem in mentioning how the English gives the exact meaning as was also in Greek, or in confounding the critics in the area of their attacks in Greek against the Scripture (e.g. 1 John 5:7, the adulteress, the end of Mark, etc.) but the ultimate basis must be that God has finally and certainly rendered these things in the King James Bible.

Whereas the translators of 1611 made their case on what was the most likely based on the evidence (and sometimes what is right is accused of being in minority), we do not yet argue or view from that perspective. We do not prove or find the King James Bible right because we have discovered that the textual evidence supports its readings, on the contrary, we accept the rightness of what God has supplied, and the witness of many saints, and any such believing researches in this regard, but on the basis of having the Word with us. Thus, our authority is not placed upon what can be interpreted or what we can discover in the underlying evidence, but our authority is placed upon that the Word must be present now. While the translators of 1611 did see the underlying evidence as being the Word of God to them then (the Word which was received from tradition), this was well and good, but while the same principle is used by us, we do not rely upon or look to the same source (the Greek), but we rely and look on the English. Altogether it is the same Spirit which has worked to get what we have today in English from what was finally fully gathered from Greek 400 years ago.

The real problem is that today knowing Greek is used as a badge of pride, and that this hermetic Greek knowedge is used to somehow correct, alter, misinterpret or think differently of the King James Bible. As long as someone uses Greek as a servant to the English master, there is not going to be a problem. In fact, it is important to know about the issue concerning the settling and certainty of the text, otherwise there would be with King James Bible people complete ignorance and uncertainty whether or not it really did present the Scripture properly as textually gathered and translated from Greek as far as its historical validity.

"Precept upon precept, line upon line..." applies to the perfection of Scripture in English. Yes, we should understand that the Scripture came to be in English via Greek, but we should also see that there does not need to be an unfit mediator between our Bible and God for the better understanding of our Bible, by which I mean, neither Greek document, nor Greek-delving scholar should have any authority or esteem placed with them as if they were able to yet bring us to a better understanding of our Bible as God has provided it.

“From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.” (Isaiah 28:19, 20).

Last edited by bibleprotector; 07-01-2008 at 08:04 AM.
  #8  
Old 07-01-2008, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Connie View Post
Thank you very much for that helpful overview. I want to read Burgon's view so will look for that book.
Just an FYI, since there are some people using SwordSearcher here. I have made three of Burgon's books available in SwordSearcher format here:If you don't have SwordSearcher, you can read these online at CCEL here.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Diligent View Post
Just an FYI, since there are some people using SwordSearcher here. I have made three of Burgon's books available in SwordSearcher format here:If you don't have SwordSearcher, you can read these online at CCEL here.
Thanks be unto Brandon for his readable gift!
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Connie
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Thank you, Diligent. I actually ordered a secondhand copy of Burgon's Revised Revision from Amazon and they just notified me that they discovered their only copy is missing some pages so they can't send it. God's providence I think, so I can read what you link to.

I do have Swordsearcher and use it quite a bit but I haven't learned all the things it can do and sometimes end up going back for some things to the online Blue Letter Bible I had been using before. In searching SS for Burgon's books today I couldn't find them and gave up.
 

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