I have undertaken a response to the 33 Questions that modern Bible version advocates are afraid they will be asked. The author of those questions has deluded himself into believing they are debunkers designed to shut down anyone who dares to raise an objection against King James onlyism.
See Part 1 for a brief intro and my response to the first set of questions.
Moving along to the next set:
Number 11 is a long one that contains some sub-questions, so I will not cite it in its entirety.
11) Are you aware that if you reject the Greek Text which underlies the King James Version, that you are rejecting the Bible and the Validity [sic] of the Bibles, and undermining the credibility and witness not only of the historic christian [sic] martyrs who were English, but also those from Spain, and From [sic] Holland, and from France, and from Germany and from Switzerland, and from Italy, since they all also rely on the Greek Textus Receptus that the King James uses?
The question suggests that if you are reading a modern Bible version (MBV) instead of the King James, then you are choosing a translation that stands opposed to the historical translations from the period of the Reformation. Because those versions were translated from the Textus Receptus, or the Received Text, and the King James was one of the final English translations based upon the Received Text, to use a MBV instead of the King James means you are rejecting ALL of those other historic translations as well as the ones favored by the Christians who died for their faith during the period of the Reformation.
The author then goes on to list some of those translations even including the Geneva Bible in among the list of the other foreign language translations based upon the Received Text and tying it to the American Pilgrims and Puritans.
We need to place some important historical facts into context.
Keep in mind that when Erasmus first published his Greek text that would eventually be called the “Received Text,” textual criticism of any serious nature was still in its infancy. Principles of textual criticism were still being hashed out by scholars and it wasn’t an exact science just yet.
Additionally, Christians were also recovering their knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek languages. Any serious study of the ancient biblical languages was primarily limited to the professional clergy and even then the languages were not necessarily studied with any depth, especially to uncover meaningful exegesis of the biblical text.
Furthermore, the collection, collation, and editing of Greek manuscripts into one textual apparatus from which a person could translate was also severely limited. Erasmus only had less than a dozen or so manuscripts to start with and even those were incomplete. As the Reformation expanded across Europe, so also did the knowledge of Christian scholarship with regards to textual criticism.
Thus, for our questioner to suggest that the only viable Greek text is to be found in the Received Text alone and the only viable translation is the King James alone is not being honest with the historical facts of how textual criticism developed.
Moreover, there is a reasonable explanation for why only the Received Text was utilized in the translation of those other foreign language Bibles:
Putting together a textual apparatus from which to translate is just plain hard.
Once the work had been accomplished by Erasmus and others, no one else necessarily had the “know-how” or the resources to compile an alternate text. For the growing Protestant Reformation all that the Christians cared about was getting the Word of God into the hands of the people. The Received Text was used, not because it was considered orthodox and the pure Word of God over other rival texts, but because it was the only one really accessible to the general public for use in translating.
As for the claim about the Geneva Bible being used by Puritans and Pilgrims, they rejected the KJV because it was in their minds a Conformist Anglican produced Bible. They choose the Geneva, not because it was based upon the Received Text, but because it had strong ties to the Protestant Reformation and because it wasn’t the KJV.
A couple of excellent questions to pose to our KJV onlyist in return would be:
Which edition of the Received Text do you have in mind? You do know there are nearly 25 editions/revisions of the Received Text? And, Are you a King James Onlyists or a Received Text Onlyist? If you only care about the Received Text being preserved, would you favor an up-dated English translation based upon the Received Text to replace the aged KJV?
Let me treat these next 4 questions together because they address similar things:
12). Do you know (a) the life, (b) the character, and (c) the teachings & (d) beliefs of the Bible translators of the Modern Versions that you are defending? Do you know – for example – what they believed about Jesus Christ?
13). Do you know – for a fact – what they believed about the Deity of Jesus Christ?
14). Do you know – for a fact – whether or not they believed that Mary should be worshiped?
15). Do you know – for a fact – what they believed about the Trinity?
[how would you prove or demonstrate your answers to others … like us?]
The series of questions implies those scholars who were involved in the textual criticism that produced the Hebrew and Greek texts used to translate our MBV like the NASB and the ESV, were really heretical in their theology and their work cannot be trusted. Generally, questions like those are aimed at Westcott and Hort who are considered by KJV onlyists to be the arch-heretics who displaced the Received Text.
Heretics, however, rarely corrupted the physical text of either the OT or the NT. What they did do is to keep the text intact, but pour their heretical teaching onto the Bible. They twist the Scriptures, as Peter says, to their own destruction.
So, how exactly do I go about proving or demonstrating what it was those individuals believed? Well, probably the easiest way to “prove” or “demonstrate” what any group of individuals say about doctrine is to actually read their works where they have written about Christ’s Deity, Mary worship and the Trinity.
Sadly, KJV onlyists rarely do that type of leg work or they do lazy research just reading selected citations. None the less, they still offer their personal attacks against the textual critics who have provided so much excellent historical work for the Church at large in the area of our Bible. Even if citations can be provided that do prove the person was orthodox in all of those areas of theology, the KJV onlyists rarely accept the citations as convincing.
I, in turn, would asked the KJV onlyist if he was aware that Erasmus, who gave us the Received Text, was a staunch Roman Catholic priest who did believe in the power of the Eucharist and worshiped Mary. I would further ask him if he was aware of the fact that the KJV translators were staunch Anglicans who believed in infant baptismal regeneration.
16). Do you know – for a fact – WHY they rejected the Textus Receptus, that underlies the King James?
It is dishonest to suggest those textual scholars rejected the Received Text. What they did was to improve NT textual scholarship and part of that was laying aside the Received Text as the most accurate NT text. Scholars have clearly documented the problems found in the Received Text, the key one being that it was based upon inferior textual witnesses to the original autographs. That doesn’t mean they were bad witnesses, but that there are better ones.
What the question implies is that scholars rejected the Received Text because it was “orthodox” and they were liberal heretics who couldn’t stand for God’s Word. Nothing is further from the truth.
17). Do you know who their professors were in their colleges & universities were, and how those college professors influenced them?
18). Do you know who their professors were in their colleges & universities were, and what the Biases of those colleges professors was [sic] – in terms of being in favor of (a) God, (b) Christianity, and (c) the Bible?
My first challenge back to any KJV apologist who asked me either one of those two questions would be simply: Do you?
I would be willing to wager some Chic-Fil-A waffle fries that he would be clueless as to who the professors were who taught those suspect NT scholars and what biases they had against the faith, if any at all.
The only real point with even asking those two questions is to increase the severity of those scholars’ heresy. Not only were they personally heretical in their beliefs, but they also learned from heretics!
Of course, the burden is upon the KJV onlyists leveling the charges to demonstrate the heresy of the professors and universities in question, and then to demonstrate that if any heresy did exist how if at all did it impact the scholars who handled the NT documents in question.
19). Do you know – for a fact – whether or not those translators even believed that the real and true Word of God (the Bible) could be found within the manuscripts either (a) that they used or (b) that the Historic Christian Church has used for 1900 years?
20). Do you know – for a fact – whether or not those translators – of the modern versions you rely on for your spiritual growth and communion with God – believe in the fall of mankind (Genesis 1-3) and the Biblical Doctrine of Original Sin?
21). Do you know – for a fact – whether or not those translators – of the modern versions you rely on for your spiritual growth and communion with God – believe in the same historic Christian teachings that you believe in? Do they even claim to believe in the historic Christian teachings?
Again, my first challenge back to the KJV onlyist would be the same as above: Do you?
Notice the dishonest slight of hand here. The inquisitor has switched from bashing the scholars who put together the Greek text to bashing the translators. The reader may not catch the switch, but the NT textual scholars are not necessarily the same as the NT translators. There have been translators who have translated MBVs that even I would say are unorthodox and liberal. However, those liberal translators did not tamper with the physical Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. They merely translated their work to reflect their bias.
Moreover, the translations usually targeted by KJV onlyists are conservative and were translated by conservative, God-fearing and Bible-believing men. I happen to personally know some of the translators involved with the production of the NASB and they most certainly do believe in the historic Christian teachings of the Church, contrary to what our author suggests with his questions.
Additionally, the ESV was translated by many godly men, including Wayne Grudem, who has been a strong apologist for the biblical perspective on manhood and womanhood. I would encourage our author to visit a wonderful little website called the Bible Researcher that traces the historical development of many of our English versions. He will discover that most of them do not have the sinister background that he believes they have.
I will finish up my responses with the next post.