Gettin’ It Started
Not all KJVOâ€™s* are created equal. I say that as one who is committed to the King James Version, and as a pastor whose church is and has been committed to the King James Version. I say that because among the KJVOâ€™s, there remains much controversy about how KJVO we need to be. For some, we are too KJVO. For others, we are not KJVO enough. There is a temptation to cower before the traditions of men â€“ ever seeking to exalt themselves above God. We must not do this. We stand before God, not before men. We answer to God, not men. Sin is transgression of Godâ€™s law. It involves transgression of or want of conformity to the law of God. Before we decide that a brother is in sin, we must hold him up to Godâ€™s law, not manâ€™s tradition.
Mark 7:3-9, 15Â For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.Â And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.Â Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?Â He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.Â Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.Â For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.Â And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
It is my goal to give a Scriptural position on this issue, and specifically, to reiterate what we are saying and what we are not saying. That means it is not my goal to place myself in anyoneâ€™s â€œcampâ€. We need to be careful on this issue. It seems that every different brand of KJVO wants to lay down the law as to â€œhowâ€ KJVO weâ€™re all supposed to be. I have no problem with setting a Scriptural standard. But many in the King James camp want to add a list of their own traditions to the mix, and want to set their own standard.
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Thus, while we are King James Only, we arenâ€™t â€œKing James Enoughâ€ for some, and are â€œToo King Jamesâ€ for others. None of these things move us. We must stand on the Word, and only on the Word. And when it comes to this issue regarding the preservation of the Word, we especially must take up our stand on defensible (and thus, Scriptural) ground.
With that in mind, we want to give a basic summary of our position. During the course of this month, we will be breaking this down to further explain what we mean. We welcome comments, criticisms, and concessions at this time. Please keep in mind that we will defend these things later.
What we are saying, what we are not saying:
1. We affirm that on the issue of versions, our most important duty is to be faithful to the Word and words of God.
2. We deny that innerrancy for a particular English Version of the Bible is necessary. We neither affirm nor deny innerrancy of versions â€“ it is a non-issue.
3. We affirm that perfection should be defined not as â€œwithout mistakesâ€ but as â€œwhat God has given and preserved.â€
4. We affirm that God promised to Providentially preserve His Word in the original languages.
5. We therefore affirm that whatever God has preserved can be said to be perfect, regardless of whatever “mistakes” someone might dredge up.
6. We deny that canonicity and preservation are separate issues. Canonicity refers to words, not merely books and chapters, and canonicity is a recognition of what God has preserved, rather than an establishing of what should be included.
7. We deny that preservation rests in any translation, including any English translation.
8. We affirm that translations should be chosen, not particularly for their â€œaccuracyâ€ as for their faithfulness.
9. We deny that any form of â€œdynamic equivalenceâ€ can be considered to be faithful. We deny that any modern version that utilized â€œdynamic equivalenceâ€ can be considered faithful.
10. We affirm that â€œformal equivalenceâ€ is the only faithful method of translation.
11. We deny that reliance upon the Critical Text could be considered faithful. We do not say, however, that the Critical Text could not be considered to be the Word of God on any level whatsoever. We deny that the Critical Text could be considered a faithful text of the Word of God.
12. We affirm that the body of texts known as the Received Text and the majority text have been proven through the years to be a faithful text of Godâ€™s Word.
13. We affirm that any version which attempts to translate either the Received Text or the majority text faithfully by means of Formal Equivalence can be considered a faithful translation.
14. We deny that it is a â€œsinâ€ (i.e. â€œtransgression of Godâ€™s lawâ€) to read an unfaithful version. (Mark 7:15)
15. We deny that there could never be any other English version of the Word of God that would be faithful.
16. We affirm that the 1769 edition of the King James Version should be updated. We affirm that plans should be made so that this can be accomplished in the not too distant future.
17. We deny that any publishing house, including Thomas Nelson, Inc. has any authority either to create a version of Scripture or to write a new edition of Scripture.
18. We affirm that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, and therefore the church itself (i.e. local churches) must take charge of the care and maintenance of the Bible.
19. We deny that any parachurch organization can be considered â€œthe church,â€ and therefore we deny that parachurch organizations can or should have any part in the translation or care of Scripture. We include parachurch â€œBibleâ€ colleges, no matter how scholarly their professors.
20. We affirm that an educated laity, skillful in languages, adept at handling Scripture, faithful to the written Word of God, and diligent in preserving, inasmuch as is humanly possible, can handle the Word of God and translation issues far more adequately and reliably than any other organization of manâ€™s invention.
* KJVO is â€œInternet lingoâ€ for those who are King James Only.