A Treatise of an "Anti-King James-Only" Website
Copyright 1999 Brandon Staggs
(Note: this is being written on September 23, 1999. It is possible that links and quotes may become outdated after this is written.)
After I moved the King James Bible Page to a new server, I had to go through my referral logs and notify anyone linking to the KJBP of the new address. While searching the list I came across Joseph Ng's "The Heresy of KJB-ONLYISM Page." (Note: page no longer online!) After reading through his work I figured that I should make some mention of it and deal with some of the issues presented. Joseph's site is not really one which deals with many of the facts on the site (but most anti-KJV sites don't), but it does display a clear attitude toward Bible Believer's (meaning those who do not have a need for multiple authorities or the "original Greek") and links to several documents supposedly giving a more "Biblical" (!) view of the subject.
- Where are God's words preserved?
- What is heresy?
- The "Big Goliath" of King James Only sites, blasphemous.
- More ranting.
Psalms 119:89 reads, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." (KJV). As is typical of anti-KJV writings, this verse is proposed to mean that yes, God's words are perfectly preserved, but in HEAVEN, not anywhere on earth. To quote Joseph Ng, "Note where the Psalmist says Yahweh's Word is eternally preserved: 'in heaven.'" Well, note, that Psalms 119:89 doesn't actually say anything about preservation. It says God's words are SETTLED in heaven. To suggest that this represents God's only ability or will of preservation is nonsense. These guys can't leave anything alone, can they? To borrow a tactic, Strong's Concordance definition for this word (settled) is "a prim root; to station, in various applications (literally or figuratively):--appointed, deputy, erect, establish." This doesn't have anything to do with preservation, does it?
Let's take this a bit further. Examine a few more passages, and assume that Mr. Ng is correct in his belief that God's words are preserved only in heaven.
Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Clearly this commandment is telling us to listen to God's word that is given to us and live by it. But, Christ gave us a commandment that even people at the time could not obey. We must go to heaven to obey this commandment, right?
2Ti 3:16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
If God only preserved his words in Heaven, what good is it for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction here? How then can the man of God be perfect and throughly furnished unto all good works?
Psalm 12:6-7 reads, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Admittedly, the anti-KJV crowd says this translation in the KJV is an inaccurate one. (Naturally they are wrong, it is a correct rendering.) However, if Joseph Ng can use the KJV as a source of verses to try to argue his position, so can we. It is clear from this verse that God gave a promise to preserve his words. And it does not say "Thou shalt keep them in heaven," does it? Just ask yourself one question: What are God's words for? The answer is "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." Why would God lock up his word from us, and preserve it exclusively in a realm the "man of God" has no physical access to?
Deuteronomy 30:11,12 reads, For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
It is necessary for the non-Bible Believer to explain God's promise of preserving his words in a way that permits the loss of them on earth. The key verse for them is Psalm 119:89, but as we can see, that verse doesn't have anything to do with preservation. Furthermore, if it did, then we have some serious problems when it comes to the numerous commandments to actually use and believe God's words. Believe this: if God can use sinful men to write his words in the first place, he can certainly use sinful men to accurately copy and translate them for us to use.
Quoting, "both the false teaching's going beyond or against the Bible's, and its effect of tearing apart the fellowships it afflicts." Mr. Ng's assertion is that the belief in a trustworthy Bible is beyond or against the Bible. Chapter and verse, please? There is simply no scriptural basis for that. If you believe that the KJV is God's unadulterated word in English, then you are a heretic, and people like you are responsible for "tearing apart the fellowships!" This is clear nonsense in light of the fact that Churches were not being "torn apart" by the Bible version issue until VERY RECENTLY, for the simple fact that just about everybody used the King James Version! If we are to judge a heresy based on how it "tears apart" our Churches, then aren't the modern Bible proponents at fault? Doesn't adhering to a single standard help prevent this kind of division? Besides, Churches are split for many reasons (I have heard of Churches splitting over what color the hymnals should be!). Certainly something is not automatically heretical because people part from each other over it.
Again, what is heresy? How can it be heresy to believe that God inspired and then preserved his word? Obviously it is not heresy to believe that God inspired his words. Equally obvious is his promise to preserve them. Again obvious is God's ability to have his words translated into other languages (simply observe the inspired translations from Hebrew into Greek found throughout the New Testament). What, then, is heretical? I suppose it is believing that we can have God's words in English. Well, if you are going to call someone a heretic, you need a verse or two to support that position. In all the ranting I have seen about us "King James Onlyists" I have yet to see a single verse that indicates my position is heretical.
Perhaps we can look at their position: God did NOT preserve his words for us to use. (Notice carefully that they will never argue that God did not preserve his words. Review above where another verse is mutilated to say that God preserves his words in heaven, in an attempt to show that we have no right to expect them here on earth.) At least to me, Scripture is quite clear that God did preserve his words for us to use. Who's position is heretical here? Or they may claim they believe all versions are God's word. Logically that is impossible because they are different in thousands of places.
They also believe that you simply cannot have a completely accurate Bible to read. Therefor they clearly teach that it is necessary to rely on scholars for the correct (or at least the latest) interpretation of God's word. This is called the fear of man, and is patently against scripture. Proverbs 29:25: "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe." God does not want you to rely on someone else for his words. That's why he gave you a Bible! And if they argue that they believe no such thing, then what is the alternative? If you don't believe that you can use the Bible as your ultimate and final authority from God, then what do you use? There is no answer except man, whether it be yourself or another. And we are heritical?
It is necessary for the non-Bible Believer to brand his opponents as heretics in order to prevent you from learning from them. In the link on Mr. Ng's page to the definition of heresy, we read: "those adhering to heresy are assumed to be lost, although Christians are unable to make definitive judgments on this matter." While Mr. Ng may not be able to make a "definitive judgement" as to your salvation, the "assumption" is that you are lost and in need of salvation if you believe that the KJV is God's pure and accurate word in English, and that the plethora of modern versions we have today are not from God. Further, as a heretic, you must be ejected from Church and not associated with. Who is splitting Churches here? The Bible Believer will never assert that salvation is impossible without the King James Bible. I know this because I was saved when I was being taught to with an NIV. But the modern Bible proponents like Mr. Ng will assert that if you have complete faith in the accuracy of your Bible, and try to share your conviction with other believers, then you may be in need of salvation! What nonsense. Who's the heretic again?
In some sort of twisted way a compliment is paid to the King James Bible Page by calling it "Big Goliath Bibliography of a Skewed Bibliology" Mr. Ng goes on to say that "Many of the articles actually blaspheme the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God in other translations." It is unclear to me what Mr. Ng means here (and the fact that no examples are given doesn't make it any eaiser), but it appears that Mr. Ng is referring to articles which expose incorrect and corrupt translations in modern versions. It is his position that this is blasphemous, probably due to his belief that the Alexandrian (minority) text-type is superior to the Majority and Received texts, and any claim that an Alexandrian reading is a corruption of God's word is somehow blasphemous to the Holy Spirit (an unforgivable sin). It is statements like these where anti-KJVers show their true colors of hatred of the King James Bible. To him it is heresy to believe that the King James Bible is God's accurately preserved and translated word in the English language, but it is blasphemous to say that certain translation choices in modern versions are corruptions of God's word. Go figure.
Under the same heading Mr. Ng calls Sam Gipp a heretic and proceeds to link to some supposed examples of this heresy. Dr. Gipp can defend himself, and my only recommendation is to actually read what he says. One thing bears mentioning, though. Mr. Ng says Dr. Gipp "Dares to contradict the KJV translators themselves." This is a very common straw man that anti-KJVers bring up. They assume that since we believe the KJV is God's word that we must also believe that the KJV translators were perfect or something. They then go to say that we must also agree with everything they wrote in their Letter to the Reader (the preface to the KJV). This is simply not true. The Letter to the Reader is not scripture. It is an important document. When one compares the KJV translators' preface to those of modern translators you will find a vastly different attitude. Modern translators view their work as a simple process of translation, while the KJV translators believed they were translating God's words, and that it was a spiritual matter. Were the KJV translator's "King James Version Onlyites?" No, and if they were, I probably wouldn't trust their work. But that has little bearing on the facts of the issue, which are the accuracy of their work and the inaccuracy of the work (and poor choices of manuscripts) of modern translators. The KJV translators rejected Alexandrian manuscripts (which anti-KJVers incorrectly claim were not available to them at the time). Modern translators, on the other hand, rely almost exclusively on these manuscripts, whose variants make up the vast minority of the texts.
In wrapping up his link to my site and "explanation" of Dr. Gipp's heresy, Mr. Ng says that Dr. Gipp made a statement that "We don't need a perfect Bible in heaven. I don't need a Bible I can't get a hold on!" Well, AMEN! If God really did lock his word up in heaven, what good is it to us? Again, it is Mr. Ng's position that "settled in heaven" (Ps 119:89) means that God only preserves his words away from us in heaven. We have already debunked that mutilation of Scripture above. The reader should carefully think about Dr. Gipp's statement. He is right.
The remainder of Mr. Ng's website are links to several different sites and documents purporting to be "Honest and Biblical Pointers" (how Mr. Ng can determine what is Biblical when God's word is hidden from him in heaven I do not know. Perhaps Mr. Ng has some sort of personal inspiration?). I'll briefly touch on a few of these but I leave it to the reader to do the rest of the homework. There is a vast amount of anti-KJV material available but it is all pretty redundant.
- Westcott and Hort were mighty fine gentlemen. You will find a lot of material defending these mutilators of the Bible (W&H). They insist several things about them -- they really weren't that bad, they weren't involved in the occult, etc., and then go on to call it "irrelevant" anyhow. Well it most certainly is relevant. W&H speak for themselves. They were darwinists who believed that the Bible was not inspired by God. How these "fundamentalists" can trust W&H to handle God's words without bias is beyond me. Besides, anyone who does not believe in the finished work of Christ is simply unqualified to handle God's words. More on these two can be found in my Introduction to the Bible Version Controversy. Even more material is available from Dean John Burgeon's The Last Twelve Verses of Mark and The Revision Revised, dealing with W&H and their notion that the chopped-up Aleph and B mss. were superior to the vast majority of Biblical mss. available.
- The Bible's a jar of Prego. You will find that almost no anti-KJVer can resist saying that the NIV, NASB, etc, have all the important doctrines in them so there really is no problem. I guess these guys don't cook, because anyone who does knows how much leaven it takes to leaven a lump (1Co 5:6, Ga 5:9). The problem is that until someone yanks out every reference to Mary's virginity, it's still "good enough" because it's "still there." The believer should understand that for what it is: nonsense. They are right in one respect: The NIV and NASB do have the Gospel in them. But they are wrong when they say that is "good enough." Hands off my Bible, please, I like it the way God inspired it. For details on what doctrines get dumbed down and harder to find in the modern Bibles, check out this. The reader should bear in mind that the justification for these alterations comes from W&H's teaching that the Aleph and B mss. and their kind are superior to the texts used in the KJV. These texts (and their kind) represent the vast minority of variants and one was even pulled from a trash can in a monastery.
- The 1611 edition of the KJV is different from the 1769. Yes it is. But not to the tune of chopping out verses, robbing Christ of his diety, etc. You could call this straining at a gnat. They say that the correction of typographical errors and the updating of spelling and grammar represent a complete revision of the KJV. Let me clarify my position: The King James Bible is God's word in the English language without error. If Mr. Ng and his friends want to say that "error" includes spelling, grammar, and typography, then they really are a bunch of gnat-strainers. I do not believe that spelling or typo problems make the KJV any less trustworthy, or that repairing those problems represent a revision. These guys will also try to wow the reader with scans of original 1611 editions of the KJV. Don't be wowed, you can get your own reprint of it from the bookstore section of this site.
- King James the Fool. Another common tactic is to throw out references to King James I's supposed homosexuality, deceitfulness, etc. Kind of funny since the same people would have you believe that homosexuals involved in the translation of the NIV, darwinists like Westcott and Hort, humanists like Origen, etc, all can be trusted with God's word, but King James I is to be mocked. Firstly, claims of King James' homosexuality are unfounded. A single second-hand account has been continually repeated, but the bottom line is that the claim does not meet any Biblical or legal requirements of conviction. Dr. Gipp deals with this. But it is irrelevant because James did not have anything to do with the translation process. The fact that the KJV bears his name is simply due to publishing decisions (it was called the Authorized version for years before the name was changed to make it easier for newer versions to compete on the bookstore shelves). But it also is important that "Where the word of a king is, there is power:" (Ec 8:4) and the King James Bible is the only English translation I know of that has this power. A key point to remember when considering the whole "ad hominim" thing of King James and Westcott and Hort is that King James I did not have a say in the translation or the manuscripts used when the KJV was made. Wescott and Hort were the fathers of modern textual criticism, the idea that Biblical manuscripts should be treated like any other writings one might find buried in the sand. W&H have had a far more profound impact on modern Bible versions than King James I could ever have had on the A.V.
- Education is god. You will also find that education is almost worshipped like Jesus Christ (and most certainly more important than the Bible) to these folks. One of Mr. Ng's links leads to a paper which actually mentions me scoffing at a "scholarly" discussion. I make no apology for my position that scholarship is not as important as sincerity. I cannot engage in a scholarly discussion because I am unwilling to fear man and be non-committal. The fact is that a great deal of "King James Only" men are well-educated, and so are "Non-King James Only" men. It is simply irrelevant. The Bible is about spirit, not how many letters you have after your name. The Bible knows of no educational requirements for salvation or for any office in the church. To require these things of people when discussing the Bible is unBiblical. Besides, we all know how Christ treated the scholars of his time. (Mt 23)
- Ruckmanitis. If you are a King James Bible Believer then you follow a man named Peter Ruckman (whether or not you know it). It is almost as if it is a disease to be cured. View Mr. Ng's KJBO Anonymous (note: page no longer online!) page. The "twelve step" section is especially enlightening. More straw men for your corn fields. Anti-KJV activists constantly rant about men like Ruckman and his female counterpart Riplinger. They say we follow a man when we teach the infallibility of God's word. (Just try to have a lengthy conversation on this issue with one of these guys and see who brings up Ruckman first.) I can see doctrinal position of the perfection of God's word, but I can not find any Scripture supporting the belief that God hides his words from us in heaven. Who follows a man? I don't need a man to give me God's words because I have them written in a book. Where does the non-Bible Believer go for God's words? Scholarship, his mind, his teachers, etc. Who follows a man? Another interesting tidbit is that men like Ruckman and Gipp are to be slandered for their beliefs in a perfect Bible, but men like Henry Morris are to be pitied. Henry Morris wrote such books as Scientific Creationism, co-authored the Genesis Flood, and founded the Institute for Creation Research, which has an excellent museum in San Diego, California. He also happens to believe that the King James Bible is a superior translation. Somehow he is forgivable while Ruckman is not.
Ps 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Apparently Mr. Ng doesn't realize how important God's words are. This is not an issue that can be made so light. It is also interesting that Mr. Ng says we "suppress knowledge of the Word by using a theological or linguistic padlock." How he can reconcile this with his mutilation of Psalm 119:89 only he knows. While he insists that God's words exist in unadulterated form only in Heaven, we teach that God's words are available to you in a language you can read and understand. Even the less-fanatical anti-KJVers who believe that God's words are perfect in their Hebrew and Greek form are more guilty of "padlocking" the word, because they insist that it is only available in languages hardly anyone knows today.
In concluding this article I want to state that I do not question Mr. Ng's salvation, or anyone else on his side of the camp. I believe this essay needed to be written to answer the attitude, not just arguments, of those who slander Bible Believers. I urge the reader to carefully examine both sides of the issue, Mr. Ng's branding of me as a heretic notwithstanding. The reader should realize that both sides of the camp have spokesman who should probably keep their mouths shut. A careful examination of the facts is what is needed, not a condescending "twelve-step" program for those of us with a conviction that God wants us to trust his words.