One of my personal amusements is to occasionally drop by David Cloud’s Way of Strife… I mean Life website and look over his daily articles listing. I don’t know what entertains me more? The alarmist, hand-wringing warnings to his devoted readers to separate from such-and-such a preacher or church organization violating his list of secondary separation rules. Or maybe it is his misinformed exposes of contemporary Christian music using as his source 25 year old articles taken from Christianity Today.
Whatever the case may be, pastor Cloud is a bright and shining beacon of that misguided independent fundamentalism elevating personal preferences to the level of doctrinal orthodoxy and passing it off as being biblical Christianity.
When pastor Cloud is not chasing down theological windmills, like the danger of Calvinism in IFB churches, he takes up the cause of defending the KJV against the criticisms of neo-evangelicals.
A recent example is his August 20th article defending the KJV rendering of Romans 8:16 which reads, “The Spirit itself…” In addition to defending what is truly a horrific translation by the KJV translators, whom Cloud praises as the greatest scholars the world has ever known with the same amount of gusto bimbo actress Scarlett Johansson praises Obama as being the savior of humanity, he also launches an assault against Doug Kutilek who wrote a lengthy article explaining why the translation is in severe error.
Kutilek’s article articulates clearly why the KJV rendering of the neuter pronoun auto as “it” in relation with the neuter noun pneuma “spirit” must be translated as “The Spirit Himself…” rather than the KJV translation “The Spirit itself…” Along with grammatical accuracy in translating the Greek language, one primary reason is theological. The Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Socinian heretics have taught. Kutilek even suggests that one of the reasons the KJV translated auto with pneuma as “it” in at least 4 instances in the KJV may have to do with the fact some translators on the KJV committees may had been closet Socinians.
Supplementing Kutilek’s article is James May’s article adding some highlights to the Greek neuter noun/pronoun nuances as it is used throughout the NT. He addresses the ridiculous assertion by KJV defenders that the KJV is merely translating the passages literally. Together, Kutilek and May’s articles demonstrate that any KJV-only argument attempting to defend the KJV translation of Romans 8:16 as “The Spirit itself…” is profoundly flawed. Such argumentation is based upon a stark ignorance of the original Greek language and to what lengths KJV-only apologists will go to blindly defend their presupposition that the KJV is error free.
Enter David Cloud. Handkerchief tied around his eyes and stick in hand, he is going to try to whack this pinata.
He opens up by first criticizing Doug Kutilek’s credentials as a scholar and writer. According to Cloud, Doug Kutilek is no recognized Hebrew or Greek scholar of any renown expertise. Nor has he ever done any significant translation work of God’s Word. So Kutilek is out of his league to even offer any critique of those heaven sent KJV translators.
[Keep this opening remark mocking Kutilek’s scholarly abilities in mind as we move along]
After heaping sycophantic praise upon the KJV translators, Cloud then offers the same argument that the KJV translators were merely translating the Greek into proper English when they translate Romans 8:16 as “The Spirit itself…” This claim is utterly debunked by Kutilek and May’s articles. However, who does Cloud cite as a source affirming his argument? Is it a recognized language translator? A scholar of renown expertise? No. He appeals to none other than Thomas Strouse! You know, the Thomas Strouse who has attempted to argue that the Bible teaches a geocentric view of the solar system! That Thomas Strouse.
So much for scholarly abilities to defend the KJV-only view of Romans 8:16.
Oh, but there is more.
Cloud then appeals to the argument that the English translation “itself” can refer to a person. In order to prove this assertion, he then cites from an article which quotes from the Random House New Webster’s College Dictionary. Apparently, there are secondary instances where the word “itself” can be used when the gender of the object is unknown or the gender is mentioned in the sentence. But it isn’t a primary usage. Moreover, Cloud seems to forget that regardless of the usage of a particular word in the English language, there is still the Greek usage. The fact remains that the Greek and English languages do not treat the grammatical gender of a word in the exact same way.
But that is not the best part. Where do you think Cloud pulled this information about the English use of “itself?” Did he consult a recognized NT language scholar? A biblical translator of renown expertise? Nope. He got it from internet gadfly, Will Kinney! The Will Kinney who operates a KJV-only website and involves himself with a variety of email discussion groups (a couple of which I have been kicked off) with a bunch of anti-Trinitarian Oneness Pentecostals. Will Kinney, as far as I know, teaches high school Spanish classes somewhere in Colorado. If Cloud was so desperate to defend the presupposition that the KJV contains no translational errors with Romans 8:16 why didn’t he just quote Peter Ruckman or Gail Riplinger? But Will Kinney?
Doug Kutilek, who is a better scholar than what Cloud lets on has given a tremendous response to this cloudy mess of KJV-only apologetics. You can read it here: As I See It, Vol. 11, Num. 9, September 2008.