"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 15, Number 4, April 2012
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.
That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.
Shakespeares 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 editors 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.]
You cannot slander human nature; it is worse than words can paint it.
Charles H. Spurgeon
The Salt-Cellars, vol. II, p. 5
(Pasadena, Texas: Pilgrim Publications, 1975)
[A thank you to Pastor Kerry Allen from providing the documentation for this quote]
The Bible IS on the Side of the Fundamentalists
It is a mistake often made by educated persons who happen to have but little knowledge of historical theology, to suppose that [Christian] Fundamentalism is a new and strange form of thought. It is nothing of the kind; it is the partial and uneducated [sic] survival of a theology which was once universally held by all Christians. . . . No, the Fundamentalist may be wrong; I think that he is. But it is we who have departed from the tradition, not he, and I am sorry for the fate of anyone who tries to argue with a fundamentalist on the basis of authority. The Bible and the corpus theologicum of the Church is on the Fundamentalist side.
The Religion of Yesterday and Tomorrow, p. 62
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1925)
Ancient Bible Versions in English Translation
Among the most valuable tools for the study of the Scriptures are the early translations of the Hebrew and Greek originals into foreign languages. I speak specifically of the Septuagint Greek version of the OT (see The Septuagint--B.C. or A.D.? parts I, II, As I See It, 7:7, 7:8), the Latin Vulgate Bible version of Jerome (see The Latin Vulgate Bible Translation in Historical Perspective, parts I, II, As I See It, 5:4, 5:5), the Peshitta Syriac version of both testaments, and the Targums (or Targumim) which are diverse Jewish Aramaic versions of nearly the whole Hebrew Bible. (We must ignore here, to avoid getting wholly bogged down in details, other less influential ancient versions in Latin [the Old Latin versions of both testaments] Greek [the 2nd century A. D. Jewish versions of the OT], and Syriac [numerous non-Peshitta versions of both testaments], and other languages). The aforementioned ancient translations are valuable, in fact second in importance only to the Bible text in the original languages, and for several reasons.
First, these ancient versions, all made directly from the Hebrew and Greek texts, testify to the state of those original Hebrew and Greek texts at the times and places where these versions was made. All the OT portions of these versions were made centuries before the oldest complete currently extant Hebrew manuscripts were copied, even as much as a millennium and more, and the NT portions (Latin and Syriac) pre-date all but the very oldest of extant Greek manuscripts. This antiquity is of great importance in the subject of the textual criticism of the Old and New Testaments, and is in great measure a confirmation of the integrity of the original language texts as presently preserved. Indeed, if we only had these translations and not the Hebrew and Greek originals, we would still have essentially the whole of the Biblical revelation intact, without any fundamental loss.
Second, the ancient translations are a guide to the ancient interpretation and understanding of the Biblical text. We can readily see how the ancients, who were considerably closer in time, space, culture and language to the originals than ourselves, understood the text, especially in its more obscure details.
Third, historically, these ancient versions were the means of the propagation of the Divine revelation to first Jews who did not understand Hebrew, and to then to Gentiles who understood neither Hebrew nor Greek. For the millennium preceding the Reformation, the Scriptures were far better known even by scholars--if known at all--in translation than in the originals.
It would be worthwhile--and in my own case I can testify that it has been very much worthwhile--to learn the Greek, Latin, Syriac and Aramaic languages so as to be able to read with lesser or greater facility these versions. Indeed, had I only these versions (and suitable grammars and lexicons), with or without the original language texts, I could exhaust my energies studying these alone, and with very great mental and spiritual profit and insight.
In the post-Reformation century, when the ancient versions were becoming better known, great multi-lingual Bibles were repeated published, setting forth these and other extant ancient texts and versions. The most famous and most magnificent of these was that edited by Brian Walton, Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, published in 1667 in six large folio volumes. It contained the OT and NT in the original Hebrew and Greek as well as numerous ancient translations of these texts into the Aramaic, Syriac, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Ethiopian, and Persian languages, accompanied where necessary by a literal Latin version.
In reviewing this magnificent production, Thomas Hartwell Horne said, "The simple reading of a text in the several versions often throws more light on the meaning of the sacred writer, than the best commentators which can be met with," (An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, 8th ed, 1839; Baker reprint 1970, vol. 2, part 2, p. 37). While few scholars could read all of these texts and versions in the original, they nevertheless were immediately accessible to them through the accompanying literal Latin versions, Latin being the common language of scholars in that era, and so indirectly could profit from them by reading them in translation.
The Greek, Latin, Syriac and Aramaic versions here under consideration are still of great interest, value and importance, but how shall we, who are without Waltons Polyglott (or the capacity to read the accompanying Latin versions of these versions) gain access to them? It is not quite so difficult as one might suppose. Separate printed editions of these Greek, Latin, Syriac and Aramaic versions are not rare, nor are they excessively expensive (I have acquired multiple copies and editions of these, at usually considerably less expense for each than most people would spend in a weekend at a college or professional football game). But their purchase and possession still doesnt solve the problem, for in spite of the great value of learning the requisite ancient languages, not one in a thousand will do so. The solution: acquire if possible these versions translated into English. And English versions of adequate accuracy do exist for many of these ancient versions. Of course there are issues for discussion regarding such English versions of these ancient versions--which must be by-passed here--as to whether these English versions were made from manuscripts or printed editions, and which manuscripts or printed editions of the ancient version they were made from, and so on. We shall not further digress on this point.
For the Septuagint Greek OT, there are several English translations. The earliest was that made by Charles
Thompson (1729-1824), who was secretary to the Continental Congress from
1774-1789. This version in 3 volumes,
with an accompanying translation of the NT in volume 4, was first published in
The most commonly met with English
version of the Septuagint--printed with a parallel Greek text of the
Septuagint--is that of Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton. Originally published by Bagster in
There is yet another English version of the Septuagint: that found in the Orthodox Study Bible published by Thomas Nelson. The NT portion of this Bible is the New King James, but the OT is a translation made from the Septuagint (since that is the accepted authoritative OT text recognized by the Orthodox Church; all my various copies of Orthodox Romanian Bibles are based in the OT on the Septuagint text). I do not yet have a copy of this edition (though one is on order, as of today!) and cannot characterize this particular version further.
And there is reportedly in progress and nearing completion (if not already complete) a committee project to translate the Septuagint into English. Thus far the English versions of the Septuagint.
English versions of the Latin Vulgate date earlier and are
easier to obtain than is true of the Septuagint, largely due to the Roman
Catholic Church adopting the Vulgate as its official Bible at the Council of
Trent in the 16th century.
The first English translations of the Vulgate were the versions, one
very literal and one more literary (an early NASB versus NIV of sorts) of
John Wycliffe and his associates including John Purvey and Nicolas Hereford,
which were made in the late 14th century. Wycliffes versions were of course originally
propagated solely in manuscript; the NT portion was first printed (probably the more literary version which is much more
common in the manuscripts) in 1731 in
The first printed English translation of the Latin Vulgate NT was done by famous Protestant English Bible translator Miles Coverdale in 1538. He made this Vulgate-based version, published with a parallel Latin text, to show to English readers that the doctrinal content of the Vulgate did not differ from that of the Greek text behind Protestant versions. This version is available in a sometimes difficult to read facsimile print on demand reprint.
Of course, the whole of the Vulgate was
translated, albeit reluctantly, under Roman Catholic auspices in
English versions of the Peshitta Syriac version are much fewer in number. The only translation that claims to be an English version--professedly accurate--of the Peshitta is the Lamsa version (published by Holman, 1957) by George Lamsa. But as I pointed out in a previous issue of As I See It ("A Word about the Lamsa Version," 3:1),
The rendering is often inaccurate, and inconsistent, and should not be trusted implicitly by the English reader as though it faithfully reproduces in English the Peshitta. . . . In my experience, I have learned that it is never safe to rely on Lamsa's version for the reading of the text of the Peshitta without also checking the Syriac directly.
I know of no other English version of the Syriac OT.
For the Peshitta Syriac NT, at least two English versions were made, both in the 19th century, and at least one of these has been reprinted of late. The first was done by Methodist Semitic scholar J. W. Etheridge (1804-1866; see MClintock-Strong, Cyclopedia, vol. III, p. 319, for a biographical sketch). The Gospels were published in 1846, the rest of the NT--including those parts absent from the Peshitta (2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude and Revelation)--in 1849. The 1849 volume is listed as available in on-demand reprint of undetermined reading quality. Etheridge was an excellent and accurate scholar and I suspect this version to be a fair and accurate representation of the contents of the Peshitta NT.
The other English translation of the Peshitta NT is that done by Congregationalist minister and scholar James Murdock (1776-1856; see MClintock-Strong, Cyclopedia, vol. VI, p. 742, for an account of his life and labors). This translation was published in 1851, and reportedly reprinted some six times not including the reprint in 2001 by Gorgias Press (ISBN 0-971-5986-8-1). This most recent edition contains a modern foreword, an extended 19th century introduction, a biographical sketch of the translator, the translators original preface, and two 19th century appendices, besides the complete English version of the Syriac, with frequent marginal and foot notes. Though I have not read the whole of it, what I have read can be commended as accurate and trustworthy, albeit somewhat archaic in English and occasionally misled by the common English rendering of words. This modern reprint should be easy to come by.
And that brings us finally to the Targums. These Aramaic versions of the OT Hebrew Scriptures exist for all the OT except Daniel and Ezra (which were in part in the original already in Aramaic). For some books, such as the Pentateuch and Esther, there are multiple targums extant. In their present form, the Targums date to not earlier than the third century A.D. to as late as the 10th century A.D., though their roots may go back to the time of Christ and earlier. As regards translation technique, they span from largely literal translations of the Hebrew text (such as Onkelos to the Torah, and Jonathan to the former Prophets--Joshua through 2 Kings, excluding Ruth), to the highly interpretive and expansive paraphrases, such as the various Jerusalem Targums to the Torah. For only a limited number of the Targums have there been English versions, until recently.
E. W. Etheridge, who made an English translation of the Peshitta Syriac NT also was active translating Targums of the Pentateuch. In 1856, he published in two volumes complete translations of the Targum Onkelos to the Torah and the so-called (Pseudo-) Jonathan to the Torah. His renderings are close and accurate (with occasional exceptions). This edition was reprinted in one volume in 1968 by Ktav. I purchased a good used copy of this reprint for about $50 just over a year ago.
Targum Jonathan to Isaiah was published in a parallel Aramaic-English edition by J. F. Stenning (Oxford University Press, 1949). I have found this extremely helpful.
An edition of the Aramaic text of Targum Neofiti (or, Neophyti), a recension of the Palestinian Targum to the Torah, was issued by A. Diez Macho in 6 volumes (1968-1979), complete with translation into Spanish, French, and English. If you can even find these volumes for sale, they will be hyper-expensive. If you find two sets, buy both and send me one of them!
In the 1980s, a series called The Aramaic Bible, under the editorship of Kevin Cathcart, Martin McNamara and Michael Maher, was initiated, with the expressed purpose of producing modern English translations for all the of the extant Targums. In their foreword (included in each volume in the series), the editors explain:
In recent decades there has been increasing interest among scholars and a larger public in these Targums. A noticeable lacuna, however, has been the absence of a modern English translation of this body of writing. . . . It is hoped that this present series will provide some remedy for this state of affairs. The aim of the series is to translate all the traditionally-known Targums, that is all those transmitted by Rabbinic Judaism, into modern English idiom.
Each volume has an informative introduction, and the text is heavily footnoted with references noting departures from the Masoretic text, parallel passages in rabbinic literature, and other relevant matter. The set is apparently now complete, totaling nineteen numbered volumes. The least expensive volume in the set goes for more than $30 from internet booksellers and the most expensive for over $100, but if you need or want an English version of a Targum, you have it here.
These, then, are the available English versions of the Greek Septuagint OT, Latin Vulgate Bible, Peshitta Syriac Bible and Aramaic OT Targums. These ancient versions retain their high importance in our day, and are worthy of consultation and study. Their availability in English is not entirely satisfactory (there being no English translation of the Peshitta OT), and consulting these versions in translation is less than ideal (they, too, like the Hebrew and Greek originals, lose something in translation), but reading them in translation is better than not reading them at all. And then, being scattered among diverse and sometimes expensive volumes adds to the difficulty.
Had I the time, energy and money, I would entertain the notion of making the now lacking English version of the Peshitta OT, but it would be an expensive and time-consuming project. And I have often thought about making a parallel OT, with English versions of the Septuagint, Vulgate, Peshitta and Targums in parallel columns, perhaps with a literal English version (the NASB would serve well in this regard), to facilitate the English readers consultation of these versions. But the same obstacles appear--time, energy and money. Which all requires, inter alia, a willing publisher.
And the Peshitta NT versions of Etheridge and Murdock could use a touch up to correct some defects and contemporize their English. And, . . .
All I need is about three more lifetimes.
Warning: Satire Ahead!
"Not One Iote or One Title..." : A Plea for Original Spelling
by Smyles Mith
Just days ago, I realized that we have not gone far enough in insisting that the Bible be preserved unchanged "in the form God intended for us to have." Of course, I speak of the infallible, inerrant, verbally-inspired and unalterably preserved English Bible, the Authorized Version (AV 1611), "the Bible God uses and Satan hates." Sure, there are lots of zealous defenders who have shielded it from the corruptions of such heinous translations as the NIV, the NASB and that most sinister NKJB, and have kept us from returning to the now-completely-unnecessary Hebrew and Greek. But while they kept their watch on one front, the Enemy has come in unawares by another route and sown seeds of corruption that have, I fear, already yielded a corrupt harvest.
What am I getting at? Simply this: we have insisted on the verbal inspiration of the English, that is, that the very English words were divinely chosen and given to the Learned Men. But simply insisting on the perfection of the English words and preserving the words is not enough. A careful consideration of the true intent and meaning of the words of Matthew 5:18 is necessary:
"Till heauen and earth passe, one iote or one title, shall in no wise passe from the law, till all be fulfilled."
(I have made no mistake in my spelling, as I shall shortly explain). Notice how Jesus insisted on the verbal inspiration, not just of the words, but also of the very letters of the words of Scripture. And since this verse is a specific promise of the preservation of Scripture in our infallible Authorized English Bible, we must insist on following, not just the original KJV words but also their very spelling. What other meaning can we draw out of the words "one iote or one title"? Every letter--the very spelling--is certainly inspired, and to alter the spelling of a single word, to alter even a single letter in a single word, is to deny and reject the inspiration of the AV 1611. If God had wanted us to spell the words in the AV 1611 different in our Bibles, He would have given them to us in that form originally. Modern spelling is as hideous and hateful a thing as modern translations. Its new age corruption, pure and simple. No one was ever authorized to corrupt, to "modernize" the infallible original spelling. There are eight spelling corruptions in John 3:16 alone!!!
I'm sure some "liberal" soul will say, "What difference does spelling make?" Argue it out with Jesus, brother! Didn't He say that inspiration of the words included the very spelling, every iote, not just the words? Will you reject the teaching of Matthew 5:18 of letter/spelling inspiration of our preserved AV 1611? To stop at "word inspiration" and not insist on spelling inspiration is to be second cousin to mere "thought inspiration." It is creeping apostasy, through and through. Next someone will deny the inspiration of the chapter and verse numberings in the AV 1611. Where will it stop?
And I think we must recognize that Jesus' infallible English word was "title" and not the now-corrupted "tittle." A tittle is part of the ornamentation of a Hebrew letter (at least that's what I've heard at preachers meetings, so I have assurance that it's right). But a title is something else. I have complete confidence that this promise of Jesus was a specific reference to the preservation of the chapter and page headings, the titles found in the original AV 1611. Sadly, those infallible titles, attached by the Learned Men under divine inspiration at the top of each page and at the beginning of each chapter have been removed from our modern editions. Without them, we cannot claim that we have a perfectly preserved Bible, and by allowing them to be removed, we have called God a liar, and denied that He is able to preserve the inspired English Bible He has given us.
It is no secret that none of the commonly used English Bibles published in our day have the original AV 1611 spelling, or punctuation (that, too, is part of our directly inspired, infallible English Bible) or titles of which Jesus spoke, so in reality, these Bibles, even though they say "King James Version" or "Authorized Version" are really not Bibles at all. Only the Zondervan and Nelson reprints of the original 1611 AV are real Bibles; all the others are sinister corruptions.
And there is growing upon me the deep conviction, as deep as anything I've written in this article, that no English-speaking person can be saved if he was not saved by an original, unaltered AV 1611, with original spelling, original punctuation, and original chapter and page titles. This simply means that anyone who thought he was saved by reading a revised "KJV" or by hearing a sermon from such a "Bible" or by reading a Gospel tract that quoted the words in a revised spelling form, even if it was labeled "KJV" is not really saved, has never been saved, and never will be saved until he gets a true, fully-preserved AV 1611. That will mean that virtually all those who thought they were saved--preachers, deacons and all--will have to go back and get truly saved through a real AV 1611, then get rebaptized. Verbal inspiration of the English requires inspiration of the very spelling as well. Anything less is rank modernism.
I will confess to one further worry: original type style. The real AV 1611 was printed in what printers call "black letter," a very ornate type style much like Gothic script, which is still used many times for the banner at the top of the front page of newspapers. This original type style was replaced with Roman type sometime in the 18th century. Note that name: Roman. I fear that once again, the Jesuits have conspired to corrupt the pure word in English (just as them Chick tracts claim). They have taken away the original Gothic (and as everyone knows, the Gothic Bible used the textus receptus for its foundation which proves with certainty that the Gothic was the correct script for a real Bible), and have substituted the corrupt Roman script. In a real sense, even the KJV has become a Roman Bible, since its modern editions use Roman script and not the original black letter. As further proof that Roman type is a corruption, notice that all these apostate Bibles--the ERV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NKJB, and the rest, have always been printed in Roman type. That's proof enough for any KJV defender that any Bible in Roman type is no Bible at all, and that only a Bible with the original script, the black letter, given to us in the form we should have it by the Learned Men, is a true Bible. Perhaps even those saved by the true original spelling KJV are not saved at all, and must locate a black letter edition. The Roman script Nelson reprint may not be enough (it's just like those Bible corrupters at Thomas Nelson to pass off a Roman script KJV as though it were a real Bible!). The Zondervan facsimile reprint of 2011 may have to be used (but theyve omitted the Apocrypha from that edition, so Im filled with doubts about even using that Bible). Fortunately for me, my brother has a facsimile reprint in the original black letter of the AV 1611, and I'm secure since I've studied out of it several times.
It is a desperate situation. The shortage of black letter, original spelling AV 1611 Bibles is severe. There havent been any available for hundreds of years--Moody and Spurgeon and Billy Sunday didnt even have them. There is truly a famine of the preserved word of God in the land. And all our efforts at preaching, teaching, Bible study, and soul winning are completely futile until we return to the real, unaltered, perfectly preserved bonafide AV 1611, original spelling, original type font, original chapter and page headings and all. Perhaps the best thing to do for the present is to send off and buy one of those pages from an original KJV, even if it costs thousands of dollars and has all the appearance of Romish relic worship; if you can get a page that has a salvation verse, or part of the "Romans road," perhaps there will be enough of the Gospel in the true preserved English to rescue your soul.
[As a service to the reader, so he can be saved through a real AV 1611, I will quote John 3:16; in the inspired original spelling, punctuation and black letter script:
For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.]
And just today, I came to understand that the only proper format for any Bible is in scroll form (or at least loose-leaf), since the Apostle assures us that the word of God is not bound (2 Timothy 2:9). Therefore any book that is bound, regardless of its printed contents, cannot honestly be said to be the word of God. Im sure the inspired 1611 translators never intended for their translation to come sown and within leather covers (as issued from the press, the copies were in fact unbound). Such would be a travesty, in light of the Apostles clear and plain teaching.
Ive begun the systematic unstitching of all my sewn Bibles so that they can qualify, according to Pauls definition, as the word of God. I urge you to do the same.
George Washington Carver:
The Man Who Overcame by
Having recently written a review of biography of George W. Carver (As See It 14:8) and having more recently published an extended quote from him (As I See It 14:9), I had no thought of including another Carver biography review so soon, but when I ran across this previously unknown to me treatment, I couldnt resist buying and reading it, with my great interest in agriculture and my great admiration for Carver.
Carver, of course, was born in slavery in
southern Missouri, orphaned during the war, and at about 12 or there abouts left
the farm of his birth and earliest days, in search of education, which he over
the next almost quarter century acquired against great odds, as he moved from
town to town in Missouri, Kansas (mostly), and Iowa, always earning his own way
by extensive labors, and ultimately earning a masters degree in botany. His greatest achievements and fame were in
connection with his more than four decades at the Tuskegee Institute in
This popular (as opposed to technical and scholarly) treatment is well-researched, well-written, and while not footnoted in the least, does have a good bibliography. I commend to you the study of the life of this true saint of God.
Some quotes from George Washington Carver: The Man Who Overcame by Lawrence Elliott--
Quoting Tuskegee Institute president Booker T. Washington: We ask for nothing which we can do for ourselves. (p. 99) [A great life motto, I should think!--editor]
Carver writing to Booker T. Washington: No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it. (p. 104)
Carvers advise to a student: Learn to do the common things uncommonly well. (p. 116)
Carver on the farmland owned by the
Tuskegee Institute: They told me it was the worst soil in
Carver: The peanut and the sweet potato are twin brothers. If all other food were destroyed, a person could live well on peanuts and sweet potatoes. They contain all nutriments necessary to man. (p. 173; this statement is almost true. Both are deficient in vitamin B12 (and perhaps a few other things), which had not yet been discovered at the time Carver made the comment, but together they contain nearly complete nutrition, and are besides easy to grow and harvest)
Carver: Back of my workshop there is a little grove of trees. One has been cut down. It makes a good seat. I have made it a rule to go out and sit on it at 4 oclock every morning and ask the good Lord what I am to do that day. Then I go ahead and do it. (p. 200)
Carver: There is opportunity enough for anyone prepared to do what the world needs done. (p. 200)
Carver: We must disabuse the people of the notion that there is any short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation. Veneer isnt worth anything. (p. 200)
Carver: One of the things that has helped me as much as any other is not [to focus on] when I am going to die, but how much I can do while I am alive. (p. 200)
Tales of Old-Time
J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) was a
I expect to take up and read more of Dobies writing in the future, including those on longhorns, mustangs, and maybe even rattlesnakes.