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Flawed Perfection

February 9, 2007

The painter dipped his brush, and with a flourish, proceeded to add a stroke of light here and there. Mixing the colors carefully, he added here a touch, there a shade, in another place a shadow. Standing back and deep in thought, he carefully inspected the canvass, occasionally touching up, once wiping out, striving for just the right look. Though the work appeared to be complete, the artisan would not stop until satisfied that he had indeed created a masterpiece. And then, with a final stroke, he stepped back to admire his work and sighed with satisfaction. “Perfect!” he said.Of course it wasn’t. Nothing is. There were flaws. He knew it. Some were intentional. He was painting real life, not for a Kinkaid gallery. He had made some accidental mistakes too. Some he had tried to cover, some he would discover a year later. But when he said, “Perfect,” he didn’t mean “mistake-free.” He meant, “just what I wanted it to be.”

God created a perfect world. When God saw everything that he had made, behold, it was very good. But was it? Was it really? What about Adam? There was not found an help meet for him. God said that this was not good. So, what did God mean when He said that it was “very good?”

What about Adam and Eve? If it was very good, then why did God leave that chink in their armor that allowed them to sin? When God said it was very good, he must have meant something different than what we might think. Certainly, God created a perfect world. But by perfect we must not mean “flawless”. We must mean, “the way he intended it to be.”

God’s Word is inerrant. True believers affirm this. But the proof of inerrancy is not that a great preacher I know studied the Bible for his whole life and never once found an error. The Bible is not inerrant because we can prove it to be so. The Bible is inerrant because God says it is (Ps 12:6; 19:7, 8; 119:140; Pr 3:5).

Of course, this means that we assume that the Bible is inerrant. We presuppose the inerrancy of Scripture. And no amount of evidence to the contrary will shake us off of that conviction. Did God tell Abraham that the Egyptian captivity would last 400 years? Did it last 430 years? Couldn’t God just as easily have said 430? But he didn’t. God said 400. And Israel stayed for 430. And that is correct. That is what God intended. So, that is a part of perfection.

How many generations were there from Abraham to David? Matthew says there were fourteen. Count them for yourself, in the Old Testament. There are more than fourteen. We believe that the Bible is perfect. So, we are quite sure that there is an explanation. But no explanation is necessary for me. If there were no explanation at all, I would still believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Matthew is right. So is the Old Testament.

And if you were to point out a “mistake” in the Bible – say the number of soldiers in David’s army (2 Samuel 24:9 says 800,000; I Chronicles 21:5 says 1,100,000), then I would simply reply (as I heard one preacher say) “mistakes must be a part of perfection.” We’ll not bore you with an explanation of this… we have a high view of God, so we strive to harmonize, not question. We walk by faith, not by sight.

How else can we explain some of the Bible’s ideas, ideas which true believers accept without hesitation, ideas which to the world appear contradictory? Take for instance the deity of Christ. God is not a man. Yet Jesus is a man. And Jesus is God. Therefore, God is a man. Isn’t that contradiction? God is not a man, and God is a man? Can the two ideas be true, both at the same time? Absolutely. Because God is the Lord. What God says is true. Perfectly true. We accept it, submit ourselves to it, believe it and therefore speak it. We fear the Lord, and therefore we know. And most if not all of those involved in this debate will concur. We accept the inerrancy of Scripture on these terms, but our opponents refuse to accept the inerrancy of preservation on the same terms.

Now, God promised to preserve His Word (Ps 12:6, 7 for starters). And whatever God does, He does perfectly. God requires men to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. If God requires this, then God enables this. We have every word, perfectly preserved. Whatever God does is perfect – variants and all. It strikes me as a red herring when some insist that God didn’t promise to preserve these words “in one place.” First, we know that in at least one place, God’s words are “in one place” (Ps 119:89). But God’s words really are found in “one place.” They are in the one place God put them. They are in the family of texts and manuscripts which the churches have accepted through the centuries since Christ.

All this illustrates the double-standard. We have one standard for inerrancy when it comes to the inspired Word, and we have an entirely different set of rules when it comes to the preserved Word. As was demonstrated yesterday, we have a standard for canonicity (which the Bible does not teach), and then we deny that this standard could work for preservation (as the Bible does teach). The Bible was inerrant originally, but our opponents say that it has deteriorated ever since. It is not up to men to “save” the Bible. The Bible is inerrant, preservation is perfect, and it falls upon us to acknowledge that, and submit to God’s power(I Cor 2:5)

Should we look at evidence and history? Yes. But this is not any real justification for the approach which textual criticism takes. On this issue, it is not “whether” we look at evidence, but rather “which” evidence we look at. As was demonstrated yesterday, this is not a debate between scholasticism and fideism. This is a debate about which form of fideism we should use. Or rather, upon which rock do we place our faith. Faith in man, or faith in God.

On the one hand, the fideism of the critic rests on the ability of forensics to determine which words belong and which do not. Higher critics seek to determine what the content should be. Lower critics seek to determine what the words should be. They trust scholarship. They trust their own ability. They accept what the detectives tell them. They seek to establish.

Our form of fideism differs greatly. They want to establish, we simply accept. They seek to determine what are the words of God, we seek to recognize what are the words of God. They prove, we receive. They would have us all investigating for fingerprints and DNA, trying to decide what should be included and what should not, what the “best” words are. They strive to create an error-free preservation, rather than accept that preservation is without error. We simply accept what believers have accepted through the centuries.

And to refute our approach, they point out the errors. This is a typo. That is obscure. This shouldn’t even be here. We can’t be sure. God preserved content. Words could be better translated. On and on the critics march. They have rejected Modernism’s unbelief, and have swallowed its major premise. They seek perfection – God hasn’t kept it perfect, so it is up to them to perfect God’s work. They seek perfection, a perfection of their own creation. A mistake-free perfection. And they believe that through the power of forensics, they can achieve this.

If I were to paint a picture, I would struggle to get the picture to transfer from my mind to the canvas. Artistic I am not. When I finally gave up, I would not be satisfied with my painting. However, if a master sets to painting, with brush and paint and easle, he will find a satisfaction with his finished product. He will pour all of his creative energies into the task, and will only stop when he can say, “That’s it. That’s what I wanted.” Nevertheless, his work will be flawed. He is human. Some mistakes he could not see, some he could not help.

But when God set to creating, the flaws that one could find were design features. This is what God intended. This is what God has done. This is perfect. We accept and receive what God has given, not what man has made. Our faith rests on God and on His work, not on man and his.

We affirm that perfection should be defined, not as “without mistakes,” but as “what God has given and preserved.” His way is perfect, His will is good.

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Categories: King James Only, Mallinak
  1. February 9, 2007 at 11:39 am

    “We accept and receive what God has given, not what man has made. Our faith rests on God and on His work, not on man and his.”

    God has chosen to use man to give us what He gave. With inspiration, everyone agrees that each word and letter was perfect and came from God jus the way he wanted it. With preservation, all agree that every copy and every text we have today has at least some mistakes. That is how God chose to give us preservation. That on its surface level tells us there is a difference between preservation and inspiration.

    But lets move on. God used men to produce the copies and texts but He did not inspire (breathe out) those copies and texts. So when ever we “receive” a copy or text, we are receiving a man produced (in some very real sense) thing.

    You say you have received the TR. Erasmus and other editors actually made the TR. They compiled it and put it together from several different copies. It never before existed as they made it before they had made it. Again, they “made” it. You receive what man made.

    They made discriminating choices to include this manuscript and not that one. To dismiss this reading and not that one. Read Erasmus’ text notes if you doubt me on this. What they did is the essence of text criticism.

    You guys are fine with it taking almost 100 years for the text to be fine tuned enough for God to make the KJV out of it. Again God made the KJV but it was 50 or so odd men who made it too. And God did not breathe it out, they produced it in a fallible man-wrought way. Read their preface as they acknowledge just this, that it is fallible and imperfect.

    If it was okay for there to be a 100 year period of text improvement, then it is just fine (at least in theory) for there to be a 400 year period of text improvement. After all we are about 1500 years removed from the writing of NT when we start that initial 100 year period.

    I too receive God’s words. I receive what God has done through the improvement of both the text and our understanding of Greek. A.T. Robertson admits that only in the 1800s and early 1900s did our understanding of Greek lexicography dramatically improve. There was the invention of a new branch of science: philology. And this contributed to our understanding words much better than the translators of hundreds of years ago did. If God is fine with letting us forget Greek as a church for years and years and then make strides forward in our understanding of Greek, they surely he would be fine with an improving text.

    I receive what God did, even as the men themselves did, in letting manuscripts be discovered, letting our science develop more, letting technology be invented to make it easier to determine for sure what certain manuscripts say, and directing and guiding many believing people to produce such Bible versions as the NKJV, NASB, NIV, and ESV. I receive what God did through those men, just like you did. I just don’t put an end cap on God’s working like you do.

    The churches never made an authoritative or definitive choice for the KJV. They just used the best there was. Churchmen were involved in improving the Greek text all along. John Wesley himself produced an updated text with 20,000 variant readings. Many of the key figures in the growth and development of textual criticism were devout men of faith. God was at work in all of this. And I receive the new, carefully translated, conservative Bibles. (For other reasons, I do not use the NIV, although it was produced by God fearing men.)

    You say:

    “God’s words really are found in “one place.” They are in the one place God put them. They are in the family of texts and manuscripts which the churches have accepted through the centuries since Christ.”

    That is not exactly accurate. The manuscript family of choice, that you are referring to, doesn’t have many key readings that the texts of choice (TR) have. So God’s readings are not exclusively in one manuscript family. Several of them have almost no Greek support and were brought over from the Latin side.

  2. February 9, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    “God’s word is inerrant … We assume that the Bible is inerrant … We affirm that perfection should be defined, not as “without mistakes,” but as “what God has given and preserved.””

    How can you define inerrant as “imperfect”? Are these not mutually exclusive terms and concepts?

  3. February 9, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    This is Dave’s article. I want to wait for Him to answer it. However, I believe that there is a wrong understanding of Providence. This is at the crux of the issue. God’s Providence is Miraculous. We see God’s Providence in Scripture and God is able to use everything, including the bad, to work all things to His good. God takes the mistakes of the world to use for His glory, and that more than makes them not mistakes any longer. If Assyria became a tool in God’s hand, and even wicked Haman to prance Mordecai around on a horse, announcing here is the man of whom the king delights, then God can bring everything together perfectly and in complete harmony despite the attacks of men. God expects us to accept what He did. The thing is, churches did, but there have always also been those who did not, would not, and still do not.

  4. February 9, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    I want to agree where I can. And I generally agree with Pastor Brandenburg’s last comment. Sometimes God uses seeming errors in the Biblical record to trip up those whose faith would rest in sight only. And certainly God’s ways are higher than man’s ways.

    I however would not conclude that the TR alone is a pure text. And so most of the people with questions from the right of the authors here might not listen to anything I say. But I just wanted to point out that Pastor B. is right. And that not everyone who disagrees with the TR only view necessarily thinks the Bible is inerrant. We exercise faith too.

  5. February 10, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Charlie first, then Bob.

    Charlie, I understand why this sounds confusing. In this case, I am arguing against the generally accepted definition of “perfect” or “inerrant”. I don’t believe that we can force our definition on God, who is perfect. Since God is perfect, and since God’s Word is inerrant, we have to look at what God is and what His Word is in order to determine what “perfect” or “inerrant” means.

    Bob, I’ll write a separate answer to your #1 (in a bit), but before I do, could you clarify what you said at the end of #4? I’m guessing that you misspoke, or else I’m just not getting it.

  6. February 10, 2007 at 11:07 am

    In Bob’s response, we see clearly illustrated the basic difference between the two sides in this debate. Clearly, when it comes to textual issues, Bob is an evolutionist. Bob sees man improving, growing ever smarter through textual criticism and academics. So, Bob illustrates what we are arguing. We are saying that his faith is in man, ours is in God. He approaches this issue asking, “what must men do” while we ask, “what has God done.”

    I already know what your response will be to that statement, because you said it in your first comment. You are arguing that “what God has done” is to use men and to use scholarship. We are arguing that God has used confessing Christians, and used the church. We both agree that God has used men. We differ on which men.

    So, let me answer a few of your comments. First, you are correct that there is a difference between inspiration and preservation. I agree, but I would point out that the methodology for the two is exactly the same. How did God inspire? Holy men of old spake as they were moved… How did God preserve? The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. God used His church to preserve His Word. That necessarily involved the work of men.  As one man says, Inspiration and Preservation are twins.

    We agree that men must do the work. We disagree about which men should do it. Or rather, in what sense men should do it. And that is where the Erasmus argument comes into play.

    Second, we should remember that textual criticism, whether of the “higher” criticism variety that questions the content, or of the “lower” criticism variety that questions the words, is a product of modernism, and as such is less than 300 years old. That means this approach to manuscripts is post Erasmus. Modernism’s major premise was that the evidence must be our guide. We must examine extrensic proofs in order to determine the veracity of the content, or of the words.

    We are not arguing that men are not/cannot make choices. Rather, we are arguing which men should be making those choices, and on what basis those choices should be made. Up until the rise of Modernism (which is a form of blatant unbelief), churches did not scrutinize texts looking for DNA. They simply accepted what was given and did their best to compile it and translate it. There is a big difference between the way Erasmus went about compiling what eventually became the TR, and the way modern scholars do it. And the academic approach is the approach we reject. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth, not the academy.

    Now, Bob agrees with us on this when it comes to the canonization of 66 books in the Bible. He disagrees when it comes to the words. But rather than spend much time on this, let me refer the readers to Doug Wilson’s debate with James White on this. Note that White never answers Wilson’s question “Given your argument, on what basis can you consistently hold to the closure of the canon? Or are we only to be open to more light if it is a word or a verse, and not a book or two?”

    For the sake of brevity (this won’t be brief), let me answer some statements point by point.

    1.) If it was okay for there to be a 100 year period of text improvement, then it is just fine (at least in theory) for there to be a 400 year period of text improvement.

    I’m not sure how adding all these modern versions can be considered improvement. You can’t clear muddy water by stirring it up more. But that seems to be what we are doing. I have to ask how the idea of “text improvement” can be considered faithful. Faithfulness simply accepts what is there and attempts to faithfully translate the received word into the language of the people. Text improvement puts too much stock in the ability of scholars and forensics.

    2.) If God is fine with letting us forget Greek as a church for years and years and then make strides forward in our understanding of Greek, they surely he would be fine with an improving text.

    Again, Bob proving that he is an evolutionist. Bob, in what sense can we improve on the text? And in what sense can we improve on what God has preserved perfectly? This is where you and those on your side of the debate prove that you think we can get “more light” through man’s effort.

    3.) I receive what God did… letting our science develop more, letting technology be invented to make it easier to determine for sure what certain manuscripts say,

    Again, Bob is proving my point for me. He is busy determining what God said. We are simply recognizing what God said.

    Essentially, this is where the debate lies, and this is where future comments from Bob and those on his side should address. Why and in what sense is it superior to “determine” what God said, rather than simply to “recognize” what God said?

  7. February 10, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    The translators of the King James Version attempted to “determine” what God said. It’s simply unrealistic to expect the world to sit back and accept the King James Version as the gold standard of English Bible translation. It’s unanimously accepted as the gold standard of the English language, and it is accepted as such on its English literary merits, not superstitiously in spite of its “imperfections.” The King James Version as a translation of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures leaves much to be desired, regardless of how you twist words like “perfect” in order to justify decrying revision of that which stands in such obvious need of revision.

    There is nothing revealed in Scripture telling the world when to stop translating his Word. Those who think they can are wasting their time.

  8. February 10, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Captain,

    Welcome. First mate here, and I encourage you to read the initial post of the month by Mallet in which he gives some basic positions that we take that would render what you wrote a moot point. We know there were several editions of the KJV and we are not against another update, but we believe that the churches did settle on the words of the text behind the translation.

    Thanks.

  9. February 10, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Dave, just one point… I will take exception to the use of the term ‘evolutionist’ to describe Bob’s point of view. Using the term ‘evolutionist’ seems to be a propaganda technique. Do you suppose that man knows more now about every subject than men did even say, 50 or 100 years ago? Knowledge increases over time, man doesn’t improve. That would be, I think, Bob’s view. That is not evolutionism.

    Whatever conclusions one comes to on the texts, the fact is that we have more data now than scholars or churches had 100 years ago and way more than they had 400 years ago.

    The thing that is remarkable about that increased knowledge is how little is challenged at all in the text, unlike most other ancient books.

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  10. February 10, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Don, this is how Dave is right.
    1) Evolution is naturalistic, uniformitarianism. It doesn’t depend on supernatural, Divine intervention. It waits on man to get done raising money for the trip, traveling, digging, finding, analyzing with secular principles, and then deciding based on what he found. The evolutionary theory is based upon something that is totally explainable by man, like what would be done if we were discussing the preservation of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.
    2. It is evolutionary in that it needs time, and still needs time, time to wait for more uncovering, more criticizing, more touching and feeling.
    3. Like evolution, the supernatural is ruled out immediately. Often, like evolutionists, the textual critics mock supernaturalists, mock their faith. Now the faith works fine for canonization for this group, oh yes, which has nothing from the Bible to back up their canonization of books position. And where does the Bible mention 27 books? Complete fideism. Miracle for canonization—no Scripture on this. No miracle for preservation—even though Scripture on this. Here we depend on God. But of course, this is where Bart Ehrman is totally correct in questioning the textual critics who stop at words. He has figured that out. If you are going to get natural; you better get natural. Ehrman’s all natural. This mixture of natural and supernatural is quite selective. Selection. Natural selection. That sounds like evolution too. It is all very much natural selection.

    So, Don, I ask that you would reconsider.

    Notice that I didn’t mention Erasmus or Westcott and Hort.

  11. February 10, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Bob posted your positions on his site. I commented on them over there. The last time Bob commented at my site, it sounded like he was the only modern Bible proponent participating in your month-long series, so I thought I’d throw something into the mix here and there. What I lack in scholarship, I make up for with opinion, as I’m sure you just noticed!

  12. February 11, 2007 at 3:20 am

    Hi Kent, I am glad you didn’t mention the infamous trio. You also didn’t mention Darwin, so I am glad of that too!

    You did mention Homer…

    Well, let me quit fooling around. I don’t completely understand your post. I don’t think you are making the same point that Dave is, but I’ll wait and see if he jumps in here or if Bob jumps back in on this particular point.

    Well… I am finished with a long week and relaxing before heading for the rack… It’s all Ephesians tomorrow, uh… today!… in our Thru the NT series. My only regret is having to preach through these books so fast. I’d like to sit down and camp on a word by word five year study of each book in the NT… I don’t think I will live that long.

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  13. February 12, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Don first,

    Evolutionist because he believes that the text is evolving through the efforts of scholars. It is a humanistic desire, hardly consistent with Calvinism.

    Captain Headknowledge,

    Are you related to the Chitty’s I read about in the Tales from the Temple?

    Anyway, you are welcome to comment here, but it would be good if you disagreed with something that we are actually saying. All that was written in this article was written concerning the TR, not the KJV. We have been clear that the KJV is a translation. We are saying that it needs to be updated. So, we aren’t saying what you are saying that we are saying. So stop saying that we are saying what we aren’t saying, or else we will start saying what you weren’t saying we were saying, and claim that you were saying what we aren’t saying and you aren’t saying… if you get my drift.

    On the other hand, I will say that the “imperfections” of the King James are no argument against it. It is what it is. The scholarship, the beauty, the majesty of it are unparalleled anywhere. Certainly, there are issues, but by and large, the version is trustworthy and faithful. And we can be sure of the Providence of God in that translation.

    We aren’t twisting definitions of “perfection” in order to fit our argument. We are trying to give a consistent definition. I would argue that your side has set a rigid definition when it comes to preservation, and a different definition when it comes to inspiration. That was the point of the article.

    ‘Nough said. Have a great one. Come again. Make sure you read what I wrote before responding. Can’t wait to see your cartoon of Captain Headknowledge… I think he needs a great big forehead to hide his great big brain!

  14. February 12, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Dave, you take CHK to task for saying that you are saying something that you are not… but in the same post you are doing the same thing to Bob.

    I am sure Bob is not saying that the text is evolving. I don’t know ANYONE who would make that statement, except the most rank liberals, and precious few of them would be so bold as to say that.

    What is being said is that our knowledge of the data is increasing (as opposed to improving) and thus our perception of the true text is improving (which of course is a conclusion and open to debate).

    That is not evolutionism.

    Further, here is the comment I was objecting to:

    “Clearly, when it comes to textual issues, Bob is an evolutionist. Bob sees man improving, growing ever smarter through textual criticism and academics.”

    In the comment, you said that Bob sees MAN as improving. Now you are changing that to trying to say something else that Bob is not saying.

    I am objecting to the use of the term for at least two reasons:

    1. It is demonstrably not true. Nothing Bob is saying can be construed as evolutionism.

    2. It is pejorative, distracting from real engagement with the substance of the arguments by casting a personal slur.

    Dave, I keep beating this horse because I think you can do better than this. Your argument is not served by name calling. Such tactics make your opponents completely dismiss your argument so that they don’t hear what you are saying, even when you make valid points.

    And let me say this, there are valid points to be made from the KJO side, and there are reasonable cautions to be put on the eclectic text side. The problem is that the issue gets clouded with rhetoric and propaganda which tend only to build resistance and harden positions rather than effect any change.

    If you truly want to communicate something about your point of view, leave the rhetoric aside.

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  15. February 12, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Don,

    You might have a point here, and I see what you are saying. I’m struggling to separate the two ideas. If man is improving in his ability to determine what God said, then the text itself is also improving in direct proportion to man’s improvement.

    If I am misreading what Bob is saying, I would welcome his correction. But what I am understanding from his first comment is that he believes that the manuscripts are growing, that we are receiving more light as we learn more about languages.

    If that is not what he is saying, then please correct me. If that is what he is saying, then that is what I mean by “evolutionist.” It strikes me as evolutionist to say that we have a more accurate text today than we did 300 years ago, and hopefully our grandchildren will have an even more accurate Bible.

    But again, I could be mis-reading what Bob has said. I agree that we need to debate what the person is actually saying, not a caricature of what they are saying.

  16. February 12, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Sorry for leaving the discussion for a while. I have been battling the flu bug here on the homefront.

    No, I am no evolutionist. Thanks Don for defending me.

    Before I go on, let me clarify my comment #4 above. Yes, it was a classic misstatement. I meant for the second to last sentence to read: “And that not everyone who disagrees with the TR only view necessarily thinks the Bible is not inerrant.”

    Now to my defense.

    I can see how my stating that mankind has “improved” the text could seem very similar to the ideas of evolution. But this shows a complete misunderstanding of my intent. My intent is as Don correctly surmised above. Man’s ability to understand the text has undoubtedly improved. Man’s ability to ascertain which text, from those God has left us, is has improved. The text needs no improvement. But we are in the midst of a debate over what the preceise wording of that text is. I allow that mankind today is much more equipped to ascertain what that wording is, than he was in two hundred, four hundred, and certainly a thousand years ago. This is no evolution of man, but a blessing bequeathed on us by God.

    Now before I continue down this road of debate, let me stop and quote what Pastor Mallinak said in comment #6.

    “Essentially, this is where the debate lies, and this is where future comments from Bob and those on his side should address. Why and in what sense is it superior to “determine” what God said, rather than simply to “recognize” what God said?”

    Gladly will I discuss this issue, because this is also where I see the debate lying. The authors here insist that their position is a passive “receiving” or “recognizing” what God said. And they further insist that my side actively “determines” or “improves” what God said.

    If that were how things really stand, who could be blamed for rushing to the TR only position. But such is not the case. While they would like to think of their position as a passive “receiving” position, it is in fact not this.

    In proving this to be the case, let me illustrate how Pastor Mallinak misunderstood me or did not hear me in dealing with 3 of my arguments. You can follow along from the end of #7 above.

    On the first point, he takes issue with my phrase “text improvement”. He claims such is not faithful and then says, “Faithfulness simply accepts what is there and attempts to faithfully translate the received word into the language of the people. Text improvement puts too much stock in the ability of scholars and forensics.” He did not understand what I was saying, apparently. And that may well be my fault. Let me be clear:

    There was in fact about a 100 year period of textual editing that took place prior to the KJV 1611. One classic example of textual editing (and may be considered “improvement” depending on your textual position) was Erasmus’ inclusion of 1 John 5:7 in a later Greek text, when it was not in his first two editions. There were other much more minor “tweaks” done to the text. Some involved expunging printing errors, and others involved minor things. Beza included some textual emendations (educated guesses as to what the original Greek was) two of which show up in the KJV, according to E.F. Hills a KJV only/ TR only man, himself.

    My argument was that if it was okay for Erasmus and later textual editors to improve their printed Greek text over time, why would it not be okay for that improvement process to continue with the development of later printed texts like the Majority Text and the Nestle-Aland text?

    I should stop here and emphasize that the printed Greek text did not just appear. It was something put together by fallible (and likely unregenerate) men like Erasmus. It is historical fact that he had between 7 and 15 manuscripts at his disposal when he began the work. And that he was rushed into putting down a printed Greek text much sooner than he wanted to. Originally he just wanted to produce a new Latin text, but the printer insisted on adding a Greek text to it. Now granted Erasmus had copious notes that he kept with him, on the readings of several scores of manuscripts he personally studied throughout Europe, but he himself was not happy with having to produce the text. And while he may have had notes, he did only have the dozen or so manuscripts at his disposal. None of which had the last six verses of Revelation in them, and so he backtranslated them from Latin into Greek. Incidentally those six verses have more than twenty or so Greek readings that are not found in any Greek manuscript.

    All that to say that the text Erasmus created had never before existed. It was compiled from several different sources as well as from notes, but their is no evidence that the text as such ever existed before. Because of the great demand for the Greek Text, the text was copied and re copied, and edited and re edited as fast as printers could manage. There was no official acceptance of the text by churches, it was just something that was used. And it was assumed to be closer to the originals (and rightly so) than the Vulgate. And very early on scholars, many from the church, worked on compiling lists of variants. Some variants were so important the KJV translators gave them to us in the margins of the 1611 KJV–later editions left off giving the variant notes, although the 1769 Cambridge kept the variants. Martin Luther, never accepted the authenticity of 1 John 5:7. Calvin and others gave their thoughts on textual readings. John Wesley compiled an improved New Testament changing some words here and there and incorporating some variants into the text. It seems that the mainstream Church never accepted the TR as infallible, but rather a work in progress. And they understood that God had preserved the original Greek and Hebrew, and they were busy “determining” what those exact words were.

    Now back to #2 from Mallinak’s comment #7: I wouldn’t call it more light, but we definitely understand Greek more than we did in the 1200s, when no one in the West was studying it hardly at all. A.T. Robertson, whose monumental Greek grammar Brandenburg claims to have read 3 times, was a proponent of philology and firmly believed in the new lexigal advances of the time. In many ways, for instance, local church pastors before the publishing of works such as Strong’s Concordance with Dicitionaries, and Kittel’s mammoth set on Greek lexicography, and also before works such as BDAG the definitive lexicon of the last hundred years, such local church pastors would not have recourse to the wealth of learning and understanding of the Greek language as is currently available. Knowledge has been increasing, and all of this according to God’s wisdom. It was in His wisdom, that a widespread knowledge of Greek was only just beginning to be won back through the efforts of Erasmus and other scholars of the humanities. God allowed the knowledge of Greek to pass by the wayside during the dark ages. In fact, he allowed the use of corrupt version: the Vulgate, and he also allowed almost all translations from the Vulgate or whatever other version into a moder day vernacular language to be squelched. God allowed this. We can hope that the true church still had faithful copies of Scripture, and likely they did. But God made Scripture inaccessible to many people for a long time, in His wisdom.

    So we should all agree that 1611 was a huge step forward from 1211. Why then must we needs think that God finalized everything in 1611, that none of the advances in knowledge that He allowed would have any bearing on our understanding of the text? Your side is admitting that all the words are not on any one text or edition but are preserved throughout the Byzantine Greek manuscripts. However key readings in the TR come from Latin sources and are virtually non existent in Greek sources. If God could have preserved some of His Words in with faulty readings in the Vulgate copies, surely He could have preserved some of his words in non Byzantine Greek manuscripts.

    To finish now, I hope you can understand what I am saying. Both sides have to actively “determine” what God said. One side produced the TR and then says we should just stop right there. No need for improvement. There are various arguments in support of that. My side says the TR was just a first step in producing our best representation of what we the churches believe God preserved as His Words. As far as methodology is concerned, both sides are similar. Textual criticism was not as advanced in Erasmus day as in our own, granted. So there are differences in what Erasmus did and how he did it. But from his copious notes that he left us today, the fact is inescapable that Erasmus did an awful lot of “determining”.

    As soon as you lift your pen to copy from more than just one manuscript and plan on calling the result of that copying a Greek text, then you have ceased from simply “recognizing” what God said. Instead you are making choices as to which readings you think best represent what God said. I hope that is clear.

  17. February 12, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    One other small point: you like to bring in Douglas Wilson on canonization and the TR. Wilson, as I understand him, would argue for canoniztion on the grounds of church councils, since he has no problem accepting RC baptism. And he, like Ted Letis and others, view the TR as correct because “the church” ratified it ex cathedra, if you will.

  18. Bobby Mitchell
    February 12, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Dave Mallinak wrote:

    “On the other hand, I will say that the “imperfections” of the King James are no argument against it. It is what it is. The scholarship, the beauty, the majesty of it are unparalleled anywhere. Certainly, there are issues, but by and large, the version is trustworthy and faithful. And we can be sure of the Providence of God in that translation.”

    Good job, Dave. Very balanced. Very thoughtful. So reasonable! (Sarcasm folks). No one can accuse you of being some nutty IFBx who foams at the mouth and actually believes the KJV is the preserved Word of God for the English-speaking people. Why you even admit there are “issues” and “imperfections” in there! (Sarcasm again. I do not agree with Dave here).

    And all of the Bible Departments at BJU, Northland, Maranatha, DBTS, CBTS, Calvary, and International would agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote there, Dave. That is what they have been saying for years. It is also what the FBF has resolved a trillion times. “That old KJV is beautiful and poetic, blah, blah, blah.” They even hold it over their heads while preaching and say things like, “The Bible is the inspired Word of God! This book is infallible!” Of course, when you ask them if they really mean that they stutter, stammer, and say things like, “Inasmuch as it is true to the original . . . .” AND, THEY WOULD NEVER FIGHT OVER A “GOOD, CONSERVATIVE” TRANSLATION. THEY WOULD NEVER SEPARATE OVER A “GOOD, CONSERVATIVE” TRANSLATION!

    So, my question is: Will you divide or separate over English translations? Do you believe the KJV is the exclusive translation in English that can be referred to as the Word of God? Do you repudiate the TEV, NIV, NASB, TLV, and the other versions based on the CT as “perversions”? Do we have the Word of God in English or not? Is it the imperfect Word of God or the perfect Word of God?

    I fear that you are becoming more interested in appearing “balanced, reasonable, and thoughtful” in the eyes of the SharperIron types than you are in upholding the Bible that has been delivered to you as an English-reading, English-speaking, English-studying, English-preaching Baptist pastor. It must be neat to get all the kudos from those who are saying, “Well, Dave does admit that their are flaws in the KJV. He’s not one of those kooky types that actually believes it is the preserved Word of God or something.” Is it a fear of the label “ruckmanite” or what?

    In another post you questioned whether we should be defending the Bible. Well, the English word “keep” translated from the Greek word “tereo” so often has that exact meaning. God commended the pastor at Ephesus for defending His Word in Revelation 3. That is what the local church is to do as “the pillar and ground of the truth.” The “pillar” has to do with promoting the Word and the “ground” refers to the defense or preservation of the Word.

  19. February 13, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Kent said,

    “We can’t give pat thirty second sound-bytes. We can’t lie either. For instance in Ruth 3:15, the King James does not come from the Hebrew Masoretic. The Masoretic is “he went,” and the KJV says “she went.” So which are the Words? the Masoretic or the English in this case? I believe the translators gave a sense of the context in this case, but my view of preservation is that it is, “he went,” because I go with the Hebrew text. Strouse talks about this on p. 154 in our book.”

    What was he saying here?

    And why did I put quotation marks around imperfections?

    Right now, we are embroiled in an important competition with the other side, and our teammates are fighting. We both believe in perfect preservation. We both believe that the King James Bible is a faithful translation of that, and we both believe that this Bible is the Bible that English-speaking people should use because it is the Bible that the churches historically have accepted.

    Or must I use your terminology in order to be OK with you?

  20. February 13, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    One thing I love about debating Bob (Hayton) is that he will always leave a response so long that you could not possibly answer everything in it. As some wise guy said, “He types faster than I can read.” So, I’ll take a deep breath, and…

    I’ll pick and choose what to answer (read into that as you wish)…

    Bob said, “I can see how my stating that mankind has “improved” the text could seem very similar to the ideas of evolution. But this shows a complete misunderstanding of my intent. My intent is as Don correctly surmised above. Man’s ability to understand the text has undoubtedly improved. Man’s ability to ascertain which text, from those God has left us, is has improved. The text needs no improvement. But we are in the midst of a debate over what the preceise wording of that text is. I allow that mankind today is much more equipped to ascertain what that wording is, than he was in two hundred, four hundred, and certainly a thousand years ago. This is no evolution of man, but a blessing bequeathed on us by God.”

    First, I was not asserting that you believed in the evolution of man. I am asserting (and your explanation did not change this perception) that you believe that the text is evolving. And it seems that this is what you are saying in the paragraph quoted above. The text is improving. That’s what you were saying. It improves with man’s ability to do Reeserch.

    I don’t see how you could deny that this is what you are saying. Your brother clearly said this on your blog. In your explanation of what you meant by “text improvement”, I’m seeing the same thing. I could be wrong, and I do realize that we often waste much time in debate because we fail to listen to our opponent (ahem, Bobby!), but please clarify what you mean. If you aren’t saying that our ability to ascertain what the text should read is improving, then what are you saying? If you aren’t saying that the text improves with our ability to ascertain what the text says, then what are you saying?

    A second point I would make is that we do not say, I don’t know how you could say, that God preserved His word in Latin.

    Thirdly, you said, “God allowed the knowledge of Greek to pass by the wayside during the dark ages. In fact, he allowed the use of corrupt version: the Vulgate, and he also allowed almost all translations from the Vulgate or whatever other version into a moder day vernacular language to be squelched. God allowed this. We can hope that the true church still had faithful copies of Scripture, and likely they did. But God made Scripture inaccessible to many people for a long time, in His wisdom.

    So we should all agree that 1611 was a huge step forward from 1211. Why then must we needs think that God finalized everything in 1611, that none of the advances in knowledge that He allowed would have any bearing on our understanding of the text? ” And etc…

    I want to point something out here… I’m glad that you admitted that the “determining” of Erasmus was different than the Textual Criticism of today. But once again, we see a “dichotomy” between what you are saying about History and what we are saying about History. We look at history to see what God has done. You look at History to rationalize what men should be able to do. There is a very large difference between these two views of history.

  21. February 13, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Pastor Mallinak,

    Thank you for a kind and clear response. I do tend to be longwinded, and that is probably counterproductive. Do forgive me, please! I am totally fine with you responding to only some of what I said by the way. That is all I can manage at times with some of your guys posts/comments. It goes with the territory.

    On the first point, let me clarify if I may. The Text (as in the autographa) is the same and always has been. Obviously the TR text changed somewhat throughout its editions. Later texts changed as well (with much more changes), and the widely used Nestle-Aland text and also the new Majority Text all have changed from Erasmus’ first edition (in 1517 was it)? So the printed text has been changing and improving, but the Text has been the same. Now keep in mind, Erasmus’ printed edition in 1517 was a change for the better from a non-printed text.

    So I am saying that man’s understanding of the Text has improved and is not exactly the same throughout time. Certainly many believers in England during the 1200s who were using Wycliffe’s translation from the Vulgate did not have the same understanding of the Text that we did. Our text improved since then, but the Text has been the same. This is not man evolving or the text evolving, but God blessing us with printing and then better printing methods, and then with the discovery of more and more Greek mss. (Keep in mind not too long before Erasmus there were hardly any Greek mss known by Christians in the West. So Erasmus and company went on a hunt and discovered many of them which were not known to the West before. And likewise the discovery has continued down to our time. Certainly this could be seen as Providential, but that opens up another line of argumentation I don’t want to get into here.)

    Okay, now point 2. E.F. Hills, and others (probably Burgon, but not quite sure there), say that God used the Latin to preserve some readings which were displaced from the Greek for a time and then put back in via the TR. Acts 9:6b and 1 John 5:7 are two places where there is virtually no Greek evidence (in the case of Acts 9:6 no Greek evidence) but these texts are in the Latin. With regard to Acts 9:6 Erasmus told us he couldn’t find it in Greek but used the Greek from a parallel account in Acts to maintain the passage similar to how it is in the Latin. There are possiblytwenty or more places where the TR has the support of NO Greek manuscripts anywhere. Some of those places, Jack Moorman in his detailed KJVO defending research, also comes up with zero Greek support for those places. In such places it is the other language versions, Latin and Syriac, etc. which are used to defend the TR reading. Or I guess some could just assume the TR had recourse to Greek copies no longer known to us today. Anyways, this is why people will say God used the Latin. In fact some would say that God used the English in a similar way, with the KJV being the repository of the correct words of God until Scrivener’s 1894 came along to backfill the Greek underlying text into a single edition.

    Now # 3. (Sorry I’ve been longwinded again. I guess I’m hoping to gain clarity as I go or something….) On this point we are still talking past each other, I think. Okay so you view what Erasmus actively did as something God did. Great, so do I. However, I don’t stop with Erasmus. I view what later textual editors and compilers, doing the same things as Erasmus, albeit with possibly some more newfangled methods than he had, as also something which God did. I don’t see how that is a different view of history.

    Whether or not Erasmus would agree with this or that canon of textual criticism is really beside the point. He acted as a textual critic de facto. By compiling a hitherto non existing text together, by creating a text, he was assuming the role of textual critic. He accepted this reading and discarded that. He went with the Latin here, and with this Greek mss there. He gave notes telling us much of what he did and why. And many of his reasons parallel the reasons used for the same moves by textual critics today.

    Now if you can point to what Erasmus did and say “God gave us that text”, then you can point to what later textual editors did, like Tregelles, Tischendorf, Wescott/Hort, Nestle/Aland, and say “God gave us that text”. God didn’t drop the TR down from heaven, and you won’t find it in any one copy or group of copies (as in this scroll for Matt. this one for Luke,…). It is a product of criticism (whether you label it textual criticism or not).

    So when you accept Erasmus’ work, you do so for many reasons. But you can’t do so for the reason that God gave us that work without the aid of any text editing. Because Erasmus was the editor of that text. Now Erasmus’ text for the most part came from the Byzantine manuscripts. But Erasmus’ text differs from what a good majority of the Byzantine manuscripts say, too. Later texts (non TR) draw from Byzantine and other non Byzantine sources. There are good argumetns to make in why you wouldn’t choose those texts based on the sources. But both texts TR and the later texts are products of eclectism. They were compiled eclectically. They were edited by text editors. And they never before existed as such in the world before they were created.

    Hopefully that helps with understanding my point of view on this matter.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Bob

  22. February 13, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    What I get from you Bob is that there was an incredible amount of textual corruption so that we had less than 93% accuracy of the original manuscripts. That was bad, but that was preservation in your opinon, Bob. Then with Erasmus we got better. We got to that 93% number because 7% is the difference between Erasmus and the critical text. Then with improvement from men, not manifested in more godliness, but in greater and greater ungodliness and more and more false religions and cults, we actually saw in this one area, because of what man could do because of his advanced abilities, an improvement on the text to where it could be very close to the original. We may have to change our numbers because we may find out in the future with even more advancement in ability of men, that 7% differences were actually low.

    Of course, all of this flies in the face of what the Bible teaches about preservation. It takes far more faith to believe your view for me Bob, than it does mine. You know, kind of like evolution versus creationism.

    (By the way, this is also coming from a man that said the Nag Hammadi manuscripts could help in the restoration of the New Testament, see comment twelve in this thread by Bob, scroll down to this question:  Do you believe that God used these three discoveries of texts recounted above in order to restore the New Testament back to a condition closer to the original manuscripts?  Bob’s answer:  “Yes, I do.”)

  23. February 14, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Your last paragraph is a very wrong attempt at trying to make me look bad. I never clarified what I said in that thread because I thought it painfully obvious to anyone reading it, that I was under the assumption (that most of your readers were, by the way) that that particular story (the one about the Nag Hammadi “gospels”) was like the other stories you listed, a discovery of canonical manuscripts. When you revealed that that particular story dealt with Gnostic Gospels, I basically said, “Oh, he got me then.” Obviously that story does not help us in coming to a more accurate understanding of the NT text.

    I hope your readers can see how obviously you are trying to smear me. Have fun with your little game, but I don’t believe that and never did.

  24. February 14, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Dave M.–“I could be wrong, and I do realize that we often waste much time in debate because we fail to listen to our opponent (ahem, Bobby!),”

    Dave,

    I am listening! Just because I don’t agree with the statement that I responded to does not mean that I’m not listening.

    You read my questions. Please answer them and I’ll know what I’m trying to find out. Have a great day and I’m off to shovel some more snow. We’re getting “hammered.”

  25. February 14, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Bobby, I guess you’ll have to separate from me. I don’t actually believe the KJV is the exclusive English translation of God’s preserved, inspired Word. I believe that The Psalms of David in Metre are an accurate translation of the preserved, inspired Word in the Psalms. The words (in English) there are different than the KJV, so I guess, if I were an exclusivist, I would have to say that the Psalms… are the non-preserved, non-inspired Words of God.

    Are you going to lead your congregation into singing those NON-preserved, NON-inspired Psalms of David in Metre? If so, maybe all your friends should separate from you. Don’t worry about it though. Kent and Dave use those NON-preserved, NON-inspired Psalms in their churches. So at least you can still fellowship with them.

    Maybe they would fellowship with you exclusively!

  26. February 14, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Jeff,

    It is pretty simple here and we don’t worry about impressing folks or being accepted as balanced, open-minded, reasonable . . . . . We accept the KJV as the received Word of God for the English-speaking folks. We don’t claim to be able to sit in judgement of the Word of God like you, you Greek scholar! Smiley face here!

    Your contention with me is increasingly amusing since I know that you are not a Hebrew or Greek scholar by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. I contend for the TR based on what I read and study in the KJV. It is really pretty simple. I contend for the KJV being the TR in English and hold to it and proclaim it, as it is in truth, the Word of God. These arguments are easily made from the KJV and folks with a received Bible mindset accept and appreciate the truth of it. I think that you would be better served making the same arguments in the same way since you don’t know Greek and Hebrew.

    If you would like to hear my arguments you can order a CD of a message I have preached a few different places. It will only cost you five dollars and the shipping is included!

  27. February 14, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Jackhammer,
    Are there any other modern English translations that you would consider ‘faithful’ other than the KJV? What would be your thoughts on Jay P. Green’s MKJV (Modern King James Version)? Would his be considered ‘accurate’ or ‘faithful?’ A more important question is would you say that English versions are a matter of separation? and to what extent?

  28. February 14, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Bill, Green’s MKJV might be a good translation. I haven’t read it. I wouldn’t endorse what I haven’t checked out. Presently, I endorse only the KJV. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that reading his interlinear literal translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts, for instance, would not be helpful in study. I own that four volume set. I would see them as more of a commentary at this point. Another factor is church confirmation of a translation. I could make a recommendation of something I believed was acccurate, but I would not assume that my recommendation alone would be at the level of “the pillar and ground.” I would look for the safety of several Godly men collaborating on the analysis of a translation. Those who support the preservation of the MT and TR aren’t looking to supplant the KJV. I would not want to confuse people about the Bible by accrediting something that was not agreed upon by churches to start and finish.

    I separate based upon Bibliology, the doctrine of preservation. It reflects upon God and, therefore, upon the Gospel out of which comes sanctification. I don’t know of anyone that uses a different Bible than the KJV that has the same view of preservation as I do. Since the NKJV does differ in its text slightly, among other reasons, I cannot endorse that version.

    Regarding the Psalms that have been brought up, and singing from the Psalter, I view myself as singing Scripture when I sing that, because it is a versification of the Hebrew Masoretic. However, I do also believe that some of the actual versification is not at the level of the King James. We have actually changed some translation in our Psalter because it changed the obvious meaning of the King James Translation. I could elaborate more on this, but I’ll stop it here for now.

  29. February 14, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Bob,

    When someone gets into the business of restoring the Bible, he becomes very much like Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS starts with presumption of guilt until someone can prove innocence. CPS also will find guilt because it is looking for it, not even because it is there. If we presume preservation then we stop looking for the Bible. When God said He would keep it perfectly we presume that He would and our behavior is based upon that presumption. We do not look for errors because we understand the doctrine of preservation of Scripture.

    Bob, you made yourself look bad because you start with a presumption of error. Yes, I set up a trap, but the trap was to illustrate clearly your presumption of errors in the Bible. Everyone can use this, but I don’t want you to steal it because I want it for a future blog title, but it is this: The Bible is settled in heaven, but is it settled on earth? I want to know, IYO, when the Bible will be settled. Your type only go about settling on the books. The books are forever settled on earth, but not the Words of God. I believe God is working on earth and recognition of those Words is complete. Since God said He would preserve it, I have no presumption that I need to restore it. You do. That colors everything that you look at.

    You saw Tischendorf and salivated like Pavlov’s dog. You saw Tregelles and you salivated again. You saw another story and the light came on and you salivated again. You aren’t done correcting the Bible. I have a Bible and I’m settled.  You guys never will be, and that is why I’m definitely not in your club, on your side of the fence, in your realm.  I base that on doctrine. I don’t see the Bible as unsettled on earth. If God settled on the books, then He surely settled on the Words, because the Bible actually teaches that.  You guys shoot yourself in the foot on preservation with the doctrine of canonicity.   This is all great fodder for the Bart Ehrmans.  It makes sense to me too.

    You guys call me numbers and numbers of names—fine, and you say that I’m illogical and that you are befuddled with my position.  But here’s your logical position.

    1.  All our Words are in the existent manuscripts, that is, unless more are found by the Tischendorfs of the world.

    2.  When we say existent, we also mean manuscripts that are still in hiding.

    3.  We have a perfect Bible out there, but no one actually knows what or where it is.

    4.  We believe that we can live every doctrine even though the variants change doctrine and practice.

    5.  We know we have sixty-six books even though the Bible doesn’t teach how many there will be or that God would preserve Books; however, we don’t know what the Words of the Bible are, even though God did say He would preserve Words.

    6.  We don’t believe the Bible teaches preservation in case someone expects us to show them, but we do believe that the Bible teaches preservation in case someone reads those verses about preservation, and if we do, we just say that He preserved them somewhere (dah-dee-dah-dee-dah-dee), and OK, certain places we don’t think that we actually have any original language text for that verse (but shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone—the God’s Word in our Hands position).

    7.  Inspiration-miracle; preservation-not a miracle; healing-miracle; providence like in Esther-miracle, providence like in preservation-not a miracle.

    8.  A Bible with ‘who knows how many errors’ fits with our view of God.

    9.  Make sure you get this straight and repeat after me to stay in my scholarship and logic club:  God could do a miracle at inspiration (even though I wasn’t there when it happened), but He couldn’t do a miracle of preservation (even though I still wasn’t there when it happened; well, He could, He just didn’t, even though He said He would); you see, the second miracle is just too hard to believe (it boggles and befuddles, but inspiration doesn’t).

    I’m supposed to respect the logic and scholarship of those, and I was just getting warmed up.

  30. February 14, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Bobby, it’s pretty simple here also.

    You said,
    It is pretty simple here and we don’t worry about impressing folks or being accepted as balanced, open-minded, reasonable . . . . . (I don’t either)

    We accept the KJV as the received Word of God for the English-speaking folks. (I do too)

    We don’t claim to be able to sit in judgement of the Word of God like you, you Greek scholar! Smiley face here! (I don’t sit in judgement of the Word of God, but my English version is judged by the Words of God)

    Your contention with me is increasingly amusing since I know that you are not a Hebrew or Greek scholar by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. (I never claimed any language scholarship, but I do know that God did not breathe the Scriptures in English)

    I contend for the TR based on what I read and study in the KJV. (Me too)

    I contend for the KJV being the TR in English and hold to it and proclaim it, as it is in truth, the Word of God. (That’s what I’m doing too)

    These arguments are easily made from the KJV and folks with a received Bible mindset accept and appreciate the truth of it. (That’s why I make those arguements also)

    I think that you would be better served making the same arguments in the same way since you don’t know Greek and Hebrew. (I have never argued from Greek or Hebrew)

    Now I’m not quoting anymore:
    Bobby, what does exclusive mean to you? To me, it means absolutely no other is acceptable. If we have different definitions of exclusive, then maybe we can sort this out that way. But it seems like my understanding would be correct. Honestly, the word “exclusive” is the only word in your paragraph that I cannot agree with. Case in point: I believe that it is very beneficial to churches to sing the Psalms. I think they should use the Psalms of David in Metre (PDM). The reason I believe so is because the PDM are a faithful translation of the Masoretic Text. Now when you read Psalm 1 in your KJV and in your PDM are they the same? I don’t think so. If you are an exclusivist, one of those is not the Bible. I can’t say the KJV is “It” exclusively because I believe the PDM are God’s Preserved, Inspired Word translated in English in metre. Now if you just use those Psalms because you like the tunes and you like twisting your mouth around so that they rhyme nicely, then you can still say that the KJV is the exclusive Word of God for English speaking people.

    I’m not trying to be balanced. But I’m honest. If the Psamls of David in Metre are God’s Word, the KJV is not the EXCLUSIVE translation of God’s Word in English.

    Hopefully that clears things up!

  31. February 15, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Sorry, Bobby, but I won’t be answering your questions. My positions and practice on these matters are well known. I’m not insecure about my stand. If you don’t trust me, then I guess my answers won’t do you any good anyway. I’ll not be forced to dance just because you piped.

  32. February 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Dave,

    Never said I didn’t trust you. If your positions and practice are well known and you are not willing to answer some simple questions, then why are you blogging? Why not just point me to your well known positions or something? I like the dancing/piping analogy, but I’m more of a plucker and picker. Now, that Pork kid can really blow the T-Bone, but I don’t know if that qualifies as piping. Maybe when you are in El Sobrante you can dance for him.

  33. February 20, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Mr. Mitchell, you stated the following: “I contend for the TR based on what I read and study in the KJV.”

    Do you think that using a translation to argue for the original is a bit backward?

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