Monday, July 19, 2010

Brief Dialogue With a King James Onlyist

I don't want to deal with King James Onlyists. I really don't. I avoid that topic like wildfire because of how inane and close-minded many advocates of King James Onlyism are. Unfortunately, you do sometimes have to inevitably deal with them. Recently, I was debating the reliability of the bible with some Muslims, and one particular Christian chimed in and commented on one of my Muslim opponents' use of the NIV for his prooftexts. What she said was rather disturbing for me, as rather than correcting the Muslim's misuse of scripture, she instead chose to attack his choice of translation,

If you quote from the n.i.v which is a perversion of the bible not the bible thats not a fact. read the king james bible 1611 not some new age garbage book that calls it self a bible

the niv had homosexual translators on its committee like virginia molencott and was done by people who did not even trust God' is perfect it was also unnecessary since we already have an english bible I.E. the K.J.V

At this point, I had to chime in:

Stop dealing with tangents regarding English translations and stick to the main topic!

And she replied back to me,

it absolutely matters about the translation if one has no errors and the other does which one is the genuine article and which one is a counterfeit? If you use the counterfeit to prove an argument how can one debate when the whole premise is the bible is man made? if i made my own science book that was riddled with errors and then someone said science is wrong based on my error prone book who could argue?

Of course, the idea of a translation having "no errors" is patently absurd. Every English translation is imperfect, even the King James Version (although she would of course deny this). If there was a single English translation of the bible that was perfect, then studying the Greek and Hebrew text of the bible would be unnecessary. Thus I replied,

There's no perfect translation. There's a reason why studying Greek and Hebrew to determine the best way to translate any given passage is necessary, you know.

Of course, her only response to this was to malign the New International Version even further:

in the niv it says elkana killed goliath in the king james it says that elkana killed the brother of goliath david killed goliath so greek hebrew or not we have two storys one is fact one is not

At this point, we took the discussion to PM. I could not let her continue making her inane KJV-Only rant in public for fear that it would only give the Muslims even more ammunition to use in discrediting the bible. I thus PMed her:

Like I said, no translation is absolutely perfect. Some translations will get it right and others screw up. The fact that the KJV got it right in this case doesn't make up for the fact that the KJV gets it wrong elsewhere: For example, the ιησους in Hebrews 4:8 is obviously referring to Joshua, but the KJV translators goofed up and said it was Jesus. Well we know for a fact that Jesus gives us rest (cf. Matthew 11:28), so going with the KJV rendering would give us an unnecessary contradiction at this point.

There is an excellent book on this issue called "The King James Only Controversy: Can We Trust Modern Translations?" by Dr. James R. White. If you have time, do get it.

What follows is a rant about the brilliance of the KJV and its translators and an attack on the translators of modern bible versions. My rebuttal to her comments are included in between her statements:

your wrong all they did was transliterate the word joshua which in greek is jesus isoos=ιησους this is not an error the king james translators new it is joshua a transliteration is not an error look at the word jehovah and in the n.t saboath both transliterations

Of course we both know that Jesus and Joshua are the same name in Greek, which is ιησους. However, the reason why we translate it as two different names is precisely so that we can distinguish one person from another, and rendering Hebrews 4:2 as Jesus just invites misunderstanding for those who don't know the Greek text.

the kjv was translated by between 55 and 60 men all of which were more qualified than the modern day pseudo scholars which are all textual critics and none bible believers...

Umm... I don't know how to break this to you, but those men were working on a limited number of manuscripts dating to around the middle ages and later. I don't doubt that they were masters of the languages, but if you're using inferior manuscripts, then you'd basically be producing a high quality translation of a low quality text.

Also, I know many conservative bible believing Christians who were/are involved with modern day bible Translations as editors and consultants. D.A. Carson, Bruce Metzger, Gordon Fee, James White, etc. I don't think you can accuse those people of not being bible believers (unless you already decided in advance that the KJV = The Word of God). well they used a text called the wesscot and hort Greek text which was not one text but a picking and choosing of 5 or six text to form a completely new text. that never existed in history. wescott and hort deified themselves giving themselves authority to change what ever they "deemed" as correct. the men behind the kjv were believers who thought that they would be punished by God if they changed even one iota of scripture. some of those men had mastered up too 15 languages. i speak four languages but i'v mastered none. William Tyndale who spoke six languages so well no one could decipher which one was his mother tongue. It never ceases to amaze me how people can come along with some book written by one man and use it to correct the 55 to 60 of the greatest intellects of their time.

Uhh... Westcott and Hort started the production of what is now known as the critical text, but it didn't end there. What most bible translations use today is known as the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition Greek New Testament, which is produced by taking all our earliest and best-attested manuscripts and deriving the original reading from those.

If you wish I can also show you where my old spanish bible agrees with the kjv 100% of the time yet the modern spanish disagrees in the exact same places. coincidence? I think not.

That'd be no surprise if your modern Spanish bible is relying on the same critical text I just mentioned whereas your older bible (Which I presume to be the 1919 [slight mistake here on my part, it's actually 1909] Reina Valera, correct me if I'm wrong) is based on the same late manuscripts that the KJV (and NKJV, by the way) was based upon.

By the way, I love reading from the King James Version. I love the poetic feel of all those thees and thous. I just wouldn't advise using it in an indepth bible study because of some of the archaisms and uncritical acceptance of later readings. For bible study, I would suggest a more up to date translation such as the New American Standard Bible or the English Standard Version (both of which are translated by godly, bible-believing men).

See this powerpoint presentation regarding all the textual issues pertaining to the King James Version and modern Bible translations.

Also see this article on the history of Erasmus of Rotterdam (whose publication of the Greek New Testament paved the way for what would eventually become the Textus receptus):

I hoped that maybe at this point we could enter into a reasonable discussion of the history of English translations of the bible, plus the vital textual critical issues involved. However, when King James Onlyism has poisoned your mind, you become immune to all forms of rational thought. What followed my rebuttal to her assertions was this rather lengthy and inane rant:

Inferior text according to you and textual critics. yes nestle aland and more eclectic manuscript. by what authority and with what manner did they choose good from bad under what basis was a choice made? the textus receptus or received text is a far superior as well as historical text. erasmus did not make the textus receptus he translated the old latin-vidus latina= into greek. thousands of t.r manuscripts were in existence apart from the Erasmus translation by the way the old latin; not the vulgate but the vidus latina agrees 100% WITH the t.r. and that was translated in the first century. never in the history of the churches did the hodge podge of nestle-aland exist so what you and the modern doubters are saying is that there was no valid text until wescot, aland and the other critics came along they base all their arguments on the so called original manuscripts which they have yet to show anyone. so they say if its older its better. how would they know its better what do they have to compare it to? the original meaning? who died and made them God? by the way just because people cant understand the kjv doesn't make it erroneous.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

the holy spirit is the only way to understand the bible not your intellect-- Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

as far as those men I would consider them liberals most fundamentalist wouldn't I'm a bible believer not a fundamentalist as far as that term is used.

I dont believe in a universal church or para church ministries so why would i go to those who have false doctrine to use as a valid source. I did not just read some book some guy wrote i read greek and hebrew i dont need some theologian to tell me what it means or what it meant I have the holy spirit And God manifest his word through preaching in his local churches not in Christendom. I am not referring to the 1909rv. the reina valera gomez 1909 and the 1543 enzinas which are exactly the same are the ones I have. if you study the byzantine empire you will find that thousands of manuscripts came out of there that had nothing to do with erasmus yet funny they did agree with his translation far more than the critical text which used manuscripts that were easier to find contradictions in than similarity. You have been misled

I never replied back to this person. I figured that there's simply no point in doing so. Besides, I have more important things to do...

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