"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 12, Number 11, November 2009
“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.
I will show partiality to no one. Nor will I flatter any man.” Job 32:17-21
“That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.”
Earl of Kent
Shakespeare’s King Lear
Act I, scene iv, ll. 32-34
[“As I See It” is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God. The editor’s perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.
AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com. You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address. Back issues sent on request. All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org
All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only. Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand. Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given upon request.]
“Paul does not paint the future with rose-colour; he is no smooth-tongued prophet of a golden age, into which this dull earth may be imagined to be glowing. There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better, until at last, this present age ripens into a millennium. They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture gives them no solid basis to rest upon. We who believe that there will be no millennial reign without the King, and who expect no rule of righteousness except from the appearing of the righteous Lord, are nearer the mark. Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into a pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the occasion. We look to the darkening down of things; the state of mankind, however improved politically, may yet grow worse and worse spiritually.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1889
Vol. 35, p. 301
[Note: this quote is particularly significant since one of the regular criticisms raised against dispensationalism is its pessimistic view of the future. Spurgeon, while strongly pre-millennial, gives no evidence of embracing dispensationalism. Indeed, there are perhaps none among conservative Christians who are so regularly singled out by Spurgeon for criticism as the Darbyites (the leading “dispensationalists” of that era), especially William Kelly. Yet Spurgeon, by a simple reading of the Biblical text, comes to the same negative view of future events prior to the Second Coming, and here rebukes the Pollyannaish post-millennial expectation of an ever-improving world. This “negative expectation” is not the creation of dispensationalism, but is part and parcel of Scripture itself, from whence dispensationalism has adopted it.--editor]
The Error of “Verbal Plenary Preservation”
". . . That by a perpetual miracle, Sacred Manuscripts would be protected all down the ages against depraving influences of whatever sort,--was not to have been expected; certainly, was never promised."
Dean John William Burgon
The Revision Revised
London: John Murray, 1883. p. 335
A correspondent wrote:
Hello Doug, we met back in January at Calvary Baptist in Derby. I trust you and your ministry are going well!
I appreciate your work to clarify the nature of the Bible's preservation in response to KJVO zealots! I've been mulling over this issue and would appreciate your input:
1) How have you demonstrated from the Bible that KJVO [“King James Version Only”: the belief that the KJV and it alone is a valid translation in English, and, as usually held, that the KJV is infallible, inerrant, and perfect, just like the originals--editor] is inaccurate?
2) Since it is biblically inaccurate to be KJVO, then how does the Bible describe this kind of inaccurate teaching? In other words, what kind of false teaching (in biblical terms) is the KJVO position?
Thanks for any input you have on these questions.
Dear Brother ----
Thank you for you letter.
First--the KJVOites have created a new doctrine which they call "verbal plenary preservation" (VPP)--never heard of among fundamentalists before the 1990s--, supposedly a necessary corollary of "verbal plenary inspiration" (VPI). "What good," they demand to know, "is perfect inspiration without perfect preservation?" Of course, they don't ask the next logical question--"What good are perfect inspiration and perfect preservation without perfect interpretation?" Yet they don't--as far as I know--demand or claim the necessity of infallible teachers and preachers (the Roman Catholic Church of course claims all three--perfect inspiration in the originals, perfect preservation in the Vulgate, and perfect interpretation in the papacy).
A careful examination of the "proof-texts" set forth in support of perfect preservation in the KJV demonstrates that NONE of them is talking about the copying or translation process of transmitting Scripture. Psalm 12:6-7 is actually, in context, talking about the preservation of the persecuted saints of v. 5, not the words of v. 6 (see my attached paper, which needs some updating--I wrote it 25 years ago). [Consult the commentaries of John Gill and Franz Delitzsch for sound treatment of the Hebrew text here--editor].
Matthew 5:17-18 is talking about the absolute standard of righteousness contained in the Law, which is not going to be abrogated, lessened, lowered or reduced--indeed, Jesus proceeds in the rest of the chapter to RAISE the standard to include not just actions but motives. God still demands absolute obedience to the letter and the spirit of the Law. And the mention of "jots" and "tittles" clearly has reference to the Hebrew text, and would have no reference to English or English versions at all even if we allowed the KJVOite "spin" on this verse.
Then Matthew 24:35 cannot be a promise than none of the words of Jesus would ever be lost--indeed, there are doubtless millions of Jesus' spoken words that were never recorded (such as His hours-long exposition of OT Messianic prophecy to the two who were walking to Emmaus in Luke 24), which are irretrievably lost to us now. Rather, in context, Jesus is pledging the absolute certainty that the prophetic words which He has just spoken in Matthew 24 will be completely fulfilled. In none of these places (and these are the chief proof-texts of the KJVOers for VPP) does their interpretation coincide with what the text actually says.
Furthermore, if God has promised to preserve His word inalterably, would He not be compelled to do so in the original languages, rather than merely restoring it via an English translation? Not only so, but I would expect to be able to trace this preservation almost continuously through history. Yet what we absolutely do NOT find is any evidence in extant Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of infallible copying. Every one of the thousands of Hebrew OT manuscripts as well as every one of the thousands of NT Greek manuscripts has acknowledged copyist errors and alterations. Where anywhere in history is there evidence of perfect, error-free scribal reproduction of the OT in Hebrew or the NT in Greek? Surely if such occurred, there would be sufficient evidence--or at least some evidence--to support this claim, but we find none.
And when we come to the era of printing, we find that no two printed editions of the "textus receptus" Greek are identical in all details; the same is true for the various editions of the printed Hebrew text. Where is the evidence of "verbal plenary preservation" in any of that? And even if we let them claim infallibility for the KJV (really "verbal plenary restoration" rather than "preservation" since no Greek or Hebrew manuscript or edition corresponds with the KJV in every detail), they still are faced with the question of "which ONE KJV edition is the infallibly preserved one?" since even the first two editions (both issued in 1611) differ from one another in some 2,000 places, and later editions differ in many more places from these. And further, if some 17th or 18th or 19th or 20th century edition of the KJV is or could be identified as the infallibly, verbally perfectly preserved text, that de facto would mean that God did not keep His supposed promise of VPP until that edition came into existence, and even then, at best, merely restored the text He had not previously preserved.
The chiefest problem with the error of KJVOism is that it imputes to God promises He never made [as Dean Burgon himself noted--see the opening quote for this article--editor], thereby creating false expectations as to His actions. When such false expectations are shattered by facts and reality, the result is often great disappointment, disillusionment, spiritual let down, and commonly bitterness and anger mis-directed toward God (this same kind of disillusionment occurs among those who buy into the "health and wealth" flim-flam of the Charismatics; when healing does not occur, when riches do not come tumbling in, God is blamed for failure to keep His word, when in reality it is the Charismatic con-men who have deceived people in the name of God who are to blame).
The second effect of KJVOism's false claims is that by enslaving people to one, now very archaic, often obscure and not infrequently inaccurate version, the KJVO Pied Pipers deprive their followers of the better understanding of Scripture that would be theirs if they were to read a good version in more contemporary English (elsewhere, I have written in recommendation of the NASB, NIV, ESV and HCSB as individually and collectively much better translations--better in accuracy and better in intelligibility--for the contemporary English readers, than the KJV [See “Which Bible--For Today?” AISI 10:3]). I suspect that the widespread lack of Bible reading among Baptists is in part a frustrated reaction to the frequent inability to understand the English of the KJV, and so the task is given up as largely unprofitable.
And I won't even mention the chaos that KJVOism has generated on many mission fields, where people who don't read English at all are told that they have no Bible since they don't use the KJV. Now THAT is HERESY. (I know from personal use that there are several Spanish and Romanian Bible versions that are decidedly SUPERIOR to the KJV. Native speakers of those languages could just as well tell stupid Americans that they have no Bible, since they don't use the Reina-Valera 1960 Spanish Bible, or the Cornilescu Romanian version, especially the 1989 revision!).
Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.
I attach some articles relevant to the issue.
Paul Harvey--No Adventist
In our previous issue, we had an article about the conversion in Kansas of Paul Harvey, famed late news commentator, and his later baptism in an Arizona Baptist church. We added a cautionary note, indicating that we had seem claims on Seventh-day Adventist web-sites that Harvey had become an SDA member during the final decade of his life.
A reader, who is an Adventist and works in the conference book store in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is in the same building as the offices of the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, wrote to say that, “Paul did not become an SDA though he was visited by the pastor of the Phoenix Camelback SDA Church who was also one of the speakers at Paul's funeral. Paul and his wife would attend the Camelback church whenever they were in town. Paul, if not an Adventist, sure was a friend to Adventists. He made a large donation for the sound system at the Camelback church after his wife's passing.”
The Spirit of KJVOism
As Evidenced in an Exchange of Letters
September 10, 2009
To Doug Kutilek,
My name is Nathan Tyler, I am a King James Bible believer who has read some of yours [sic] and other fellow modern version proponents [sic] materials. Is there an article on your site that you state your position on Bible inspiration and preservation in? I am putting together a presentation about the Bible and the version issue and I would like to make sure that you and your fellows are represented accurately.
It has also come to my attention even in the relatively small amount of your material that I have read (compared to the voluminous amount of KJB hate speech (?) that fills your page) that you have misrepresented people like John Burgon and D.O. Fuller, and you frequently insert your dogmatic opinion where there is not sufficient grounds for you to do so. Such as in your article on Ps. 12:6-7, the usage of “God forbid” in the AV, etc. I am a strong advocate of dogmatism whe [sic] it comes to us knowing the certainty of the Words of truth as I *believe* are perfectly preserved in the AV, but for you to dogmatically insist that Ps. 12:6-7 *cannot* have anything to do with the preservation of God’s Words because of a Hebrew grammar rule that the Bible itself does not consistently follow (i.e. Ps. 119) and because most commentators reject the view that the passage in question alludes to the words of the Lord is not reasonable, and just comes across as you trying to force your prejudice on everybody.
Anyway, much more could be said about my disappointing findings on your website, but you are no doubt a busy man (trying to destroy peoples [sic] faith in the AV is hard work!) so I shall leave off here for now.
I John 5:7, (that was very disappointing how you misrepresented the evidence for that passage, too!)
P.S. I am of the opinion that to deny that Scripture is Scripture is heresy. Do you agree with that?
October 3, 2009
You offer not a word of evidence that I engage in hate speech with regard to the KJV, or that I misrepresent Fuller or Burgon. I send you (as attachments) an article regarding I John 5:7; another on Burgon’s views; and two on how D. O. Fuller grossly distorted the views of Spurgeon and R. D. Wilson. Please point out any factual errors (not differences from your opinions) in these.
October 8, 2009
You offer not a word of evidence that I engage in hate speech with regard to the KJV, or that I misrepresent Fuller or Burgon."
Kutilek, most of your website is hate speech. Time and again you make it
clear that you loathe the notion theat [sic] the KJB is God's perfect Words. Why you would deny that in light of what you say is strange.
"I send you (as attachments) an article regarding I John 5:7;"
You are obviously biased in your view and therefore have distorted the
evidence. Scoffield [sic] was influenced by the critics of his day, as you are of yours.
"another on Burgon's views;"
This is a strawman. No defender of the AV says he was infallible or that he thought the TR/KJB was perfect. He did despise the ERV/WH text and showed the bad evidence they relied on for their changes, many of which are continued in the moderns today, and he did strongly defend the AV[.] That is why he is referenced by many defending the TR/AV.
"and two on how D. O. Fuller grossly distorted the views of Spurgeon (pardon the formatting problems with this one) and R. D. Wilson."
I have not read Mr. Fuller's book, but your slanders are not believable since you have so clearly shown yourself to not be above lying and misinformation to argue your faulty lack of belief in the AV and the Traditional Text. David Cloud has addressed your lies and slander years ago and you continue to perpetrate it [sic].
You need to consider doing some research yourself about the Bible issue. Here is a good place to start.
"Please point out any factual errors (not differences from your opinions) in these."
You attempt to shift the burden of proof. You are the one who has to prove that your accusations are correct; no one is required to prove what you have not shown false.
You are a liar on many counts on your website.
1. You claim the AV is archaic, when the majority of it's [sic] vocabulary is still in common use, and the relatively few words that are not or that have changed meaning are easily resolved with the use of a dictionary, which is also much more practical than a new version every few years. We both know however that archaism is not the true issue though, the real issue is that 1) it is very appealing to the pride of life that is innate in man to set oneself up as the final authority as you do, and that 2) there is big money in producing "Bibles".
2. You malign the intentions of the writers of the Westminster Confession to say that they did not believe in perfect preservation of God's Words, when the very words of the document say that the originals are by God's singular providence and care "kept pure in all ages." Your strawman about KJB defenders saying God's Words have to be in English is historically false. Just the same there is no reason that God's Words could not be perfectly translated into English or any other language God sees fit to use.
This could go on and on, but I suspect it is no use, "except God shall touch your heart". Thus much was written in order to "answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit". (Pr. 26:5) To continue with such as you, I perceive, would be to disobey the command to "answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." (Pr. 26:4)
October 9, 2009
As I suspected, you have drunk deeply from the poison wells of David Cloud's writings.
October 9, 2009
Do not waste my time or yours any more by sending slanderous material about the Bible or Bible believers. I am not reading them anyway. Enough of my life has been wasted reading your faithless opinions, As *You *See It. You are a bitter, twisted, Bible-hater who has lost all credibility with me and anyone else who is not of your opinion or subject to being tossed to ad [sic] fro by every wind of doctrine. I remind you that your writings have shown me this, and another person’s evil report about you, as you are now trying to do to my Christian brother Cloud. (I doubt that you are saved, so I cannot call him our brother)
I pray God smites your conscience and that you will repent of your wicked words and spend the rest of your terrestrial existence re-calling them and encouraging *faith* in God’s Word, as you slanderously intimated that my brother Sorenson should do for his defense of the Bible you hate.
[Note: the articles we wrote to which Mr. Tyler objects strenuously include:
--“What Did John William Burgon Really Believe About the Textus Receptus and the King James Version?” AISI 1:6
-- A Review of “TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING” by David Sorenson, AISI 5:12
--“Robert Dick Wilson: How Fuller Misrepresented His Views,” AISI 7:11
-- “The Westminster Assembly and the Inspiration and Preservation of the Word of God,” AISI 6:9
All these are accessible at www.kjvonly.org The others, on I John 5:7, and Psalm 12:6-7 have appeared elsewhere and have not yet been published in AISI--editor]
Notable Quotes from Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith
by William F. Buckley, Jr. (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1997)
“As an old man, Bill, looking back on one’s life, it’s one of the things that strike you most forcibly--that the only thing that’s taught one anything is suffering. Not success, not happiness, not anything like that. The only thing that really teaches one what life’s about--the joy of understanding, the joy of coming in contact with what life really signifies--is suffering, affliction.” (p. 211; quoting Malcolm Muggeridge. Italics in original. This accords with the ancient Greek proverb “pathein mathein”--“to suffer is to learn” and calls to mind that most mysterious of NT verses, Hebrews 5:8, “Though a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.”--editor)
“[U]topianism. . . inevitably--whenever formally actualized--brings on the death of liberty.” (p. 233; typical of these was the Soviet empire which was doctrinaire “utopianism” with a vengeance. Was it not called--absurdly--a “workers’ paradise?”)
Where Texts and Translations Differ: Sources of Information
In Answer to a Reader’s Question
“Hi Doug, thanks for all your work online. I have browsed through a number of the articles and found them very informative. Could you please direct me to a book or an online article that points out all the passages or verses in modern English translations, e.g. NASB or NIV, that are deemed to be a major change in the meaning of the KJV? I am not after the numerous retranslations of archaic English words but more substantial changes to meaning.
I think most everyone can agree that we need a translation where every word is understandable, but we are bombarded from both sides about the translators, about the texts being used, about the age vs. numerical majority debates, about the corruption of the modern vs. the ignorance of the old. As a lay person trying to have confidence in a particular translation I need to see where the real differences in meaning are in the finished products. That way I can then go back to the manuscripts on those particular areas and see if the differences arise because the texts are structurally different or because the same Greek or Hebrew words were merely translated differently.
Some of the differences I have been shown before are virgin/young woman, the morning star/star of the morning (Lucifer and Christ), the tree of life/ book of life.
I realise that you are quite passionate about the subject, so I hope I haven’t sounded flippant or dismissive of your work. I just thought that something like this would be a huge help for me to feel more secure in making a personal preference in translation.
Again thanks for your help,
I am unaware of any such complete list as you describe; however, by consulting the footnotes of the New King James Version, you can see, in the NT, where the TR and KJV (which are not always identical, but the great majority of the time agree) differ from either or both the MT, i.e., "majority text," and the NU (the Nestle-Aland / United Bible Societies' Greek texts, the latest editions of the so-called "critical text"). The preface to the NKJV explains these notes. So, by simply working through these notes, you can find just about every place in the NT where the differences of the TR / KJV vis-a-vis the MT and NU texts affect the actual translation of a passage in the New Testament.
One limitation to the NKJV notes is that not a few of the differences among the TR, MT and NU texts cannot be expressed in English translation (for example, the presence or absence of the definite article in Greek before proper names; or a variant involving synonyms; or variant word order). But all the "major" differences will be noted. (I affirm without hesitation, and based on nearly four decades of study, that none of the differences in readings between these texts affects or alters the theological content of the NT).
One thing you will notice from the NKJV notes is that often the MT and NU have precisely the same reading, with the TR / KJV diverging. This is because in many places the TR / KJV depart from the majority of Greek manuscripts (Luke 17:36; Acts 8:37; Romans 16:25-27; I John 5:7; etc), while the NU text follows the majority testimony in those places. For a complete listing of places where the TR / KJV do not represent the majority text, you can work through the notes of the Hodges-Farstad, The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text (Thomas Nelson, 1985. Second edition). By one count there are 1,838 places where the "Textus receptus" (Stephanus edition) differs from the majority text. A preliminary compilation (somewhat incomplete) in list form of places where the TR differs from the MT in the NT was made by the late William G. Pierpont (co-editor with Maurice Robinson of The New Testament in the Original Greek according to the Byzantine / Majority Textform ). This list was published as an appendix to an interlinear Greek NT edition published by Jay P. Green, Sr.: The Interlinear Hebrew/Greek English Bible, 4 vols. (Lafayette, Indiana: Associated Publishers and Authors, 1976-1981). Knowledge of Greek is necessary to make use of either the Hodges-Farstad notes or Mr. Pierpont’s list.
Finally, one more list. The KJV follows most closely the Greek text of Beza published in 1598, but departs from it in about 250 places. In about 190 of these, the KJV follows some other then-extant printed Greek text. But in at least 60 places, the KJV abandons all printed Greek texts made before 1611, and instead follows precisely the Latin Vulgate reading (see F. H. A. Scrivener, editor, The New Testament in Greek according to the Text Followed in the Authorised Version, etc. Cambridge University Press, 1881). The appendix which lists all these differences is found on pp. 648-656, especially the last page which gives the passages conformed to the Latin Vulgate against the Greek. This text--the Cambridge edition only, not the Trinitarian Bible Society reprint,--also has footnotes showing where the English Revised Version follows a presumedly different Greek text than the KJV. The Trinitarian Bible Society, in their reprint of Scrivener's text, omitted completely the index showing were the KJV followed the Vulgate, as well as the footnotes in the text showing were the Revised Version NT differed from the TR, in what looks to me like a deliberate attempt to conceal evidence.
I have written for AISI studies regarding two of the three specific passages you mention--Isaiah 7:14 [AISI 12:7]; and Isaiah 14:12 [AISI 4:11]--as well as papers on the question as to whether variant readings affect the doctrines of the virgin birth [AISI 7:3] and blood atonement [AISI 5:8] in the NT. I attach all of these.
Regarding the "tree of life / book of life" variant reading in Revelation 22:19, be it noted that here the TR and KJV have no support whatsoever from any known Greek manuscript (except three which were copied from printed Greek texts having this reading, and therefore have zero value as independent witnesses). Instead, the TR / KJV here follow Latin Vulgate manuscripts against all Greek evidence. See similarly Acts 9:5-6.
(I have not mentioned any lists of variants between the KJV and modern translations in the OT, in as much as those variants would nearly all involve questions of translation, rather than the underlying text, since both the KJV and such contemporary versions as the NIV and NASB were translated from the Masoretic text, with minor departures here and there based on evidence from ancient translations).
I trust you will find this information helpful in your study.
Israel and the Nations by F. F. Bruce. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963. 254 pp. paperback.
The late F. F. Bruce (1910-1990) was a noted scholar of the latter half of the 20th century, chiefly in the area of NT studies, especially Paul. In this particular volume he is rather far afield from his specialty (only the final few chapters relate directly to NT times and events). Bruce surveys the history of Israel, beginning with the establishment of the monarchy (King Saul) and concluding with the Jewish war with Rome, ending in the destruction of Jerusalem A. D. 70.
Bruce generally traces the history of the united, then divided monarchies, followed by the two exiles, and the returns from Babylon in the 6th and 5th centuries, summarizing the Biblical text, and doing a good job of relating OT events to the larger Ancient Near Eastern world of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians. In the post-OT world of the Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids and Romans, he wades through the very complicated trail of Jewish history, and presents a generally coherent narrative, involving the political and religious leaders who came and went in prodigious numbers. He provides charts and tables of the various countries and their successions of rulers. The bibliography of some 40-50 titles is very largely made up of works by theological liberals.
Along the way, Bruce embraces the documentary hypothesis for the composition of the Pentateuch (p. 108), a late date for the Exodus (after 1290 B. C.; pp. 31, 81), the hypothetical "Deuteronomic school" (p. 79); "Deutero-Isaiah" (p. 97) and implies a Maccabean date for Daniel (a view he openly embraced in a Christianity Today interview in the 1980s). In short, Bruce was no conservative Biblicist on these matters.
While the book is not all we would like--it is decidedly second rate in comparison to Leon J. Woods’ Survey of Israel’s History--and is certainly disappointing in its theological presuppositions, yet it may be consulted with profit.
Leatherneck Legends: Conversations with Marine Corps’ Old Breed by Dick Camp. St. Paul, Minnesota: Zenith Press, 2006. 320 pp., hardback.
The author is a retired Marine Corps colonel, and here sets forth the careers and reminiscences of five legends of the United States Marine Corps, men whose cumulative years of service fall just short of 190 years. Those men, and the years of their service in the USMC are Roy Geiger (1907-1947), Lem Shepherd (1817-1956), Eddie Craig (1917-1951), Ray Davis (1938-1972) and Bob Barrow (1942-1983). All were highly decorated, all attained the rank of general, three served during World War I and the actions in Latin America and elsewhere between the World Wars, all were veterans of World War II, all but one served during the Korean conflict, and two served in Vietnam. Two become commandants of the Marine Corps. The accounts of bravery, courage, commitment, self-sacrifice and leadership given here will make the attentive reader more appreciative of the price others have paid for the freedom he enjoys. May we never be callously ungrateful.