Reviewing “Which Bible Would Jesus Use?” [2]

Mcelroy207202015The Introduction

I am reviewing KJVO apologist Jack McElroy’s book, Which Bible Would Jesus Use? This will be the second entry. For background and preliminary remarks, see my first post.

What I will try to do is provide a brief summary of each chapter or chapters depending on how much I can cover in one post before becoming boring and the reader drifts off and clicks over to Facebook or somewhere. I will then back up and address specific talking points I think are important, especially important with offering a rebuttal and response.

With that in mind, let’s get started.

Summary

McElroy begins his introduction by making the claim that before 130 years ago, the Christian Church understood that the real Bible (in bold italics) was a real, genuine book. Now the Bible is believed to be just an idea. That being, the real Bible exists in the originals, but, as McElroy points out, no one has ever seen those originals and so the Bible of today never really existed.

McElroy finds that view point ridiculous. It represents a dysfunctional God who allegedly “inspires words but fails to deliver them to you.” [4]. The Bible versions recommended these days are really a mixture of men’s words and God’s words and it’s just left up to the modern textual critic to figure out which ones are which. Thus, the so-called original Bible exists only in the imagination of the modern academics.

The author also lays out the challenge that Jesus can only use just one Bible. He can’t use them all. To do so would make Jesus look really, really foolish. Hence, there is only one Bible He could use that would save His integrity. (Can you guess which one it will be?). He then outlines his presuppositions and finishes out the introduction by providing a brief overview of the upcoming chapters and his writing strategy.

His presuppositions are [11]:

1. There has to be a book called the Bible — A physical book.
2. The book must contain ALL of God’s words and only God’s words. It can’t be a mixture of men’s words and God’s words.
3. Most importantly, the work of providing this authentic, physical Bible is the responsibility of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He then claims that he is qualified as an author to offer his book for today’s readers because he has done all the necessary study and research to show you why his preferred Bible version is the only one Jesus could genuinely use, and hence the one all Christians should use as well.

Review

laughMcElroy’s introduction is regrettably outright laughable.

Take for example his personal charge on page 11 in which he says that the readers of his book will be getting a unique and informed slant on the issue, not someone else’s repackaged teachings.

Is he kidding me? As I move through my reviews, I’m going to demonstrate how he rehashes pretty much every argument ever made by KJVO apologists the last 40 years. Sure. He may have organized those arguments differently, added some updated illustrations, and slapped a new cover on his book, but the challenges he levels were offered years ago by such folks as Peter Ruckman, Sam Gipp, and even Gail Riplinger.

And additionally, those challenges have also been answered. For instance, the “where can I get a copy of God’s Word” and “where are those originals” arguments I originally answered nearly 10 years ago when I did my own overview of KJVO apologetics.

McElroy must think his critical readers are dullards or something.

But seeing that his focus in his introduction is the “where are the originals” challenge let me respond just for fun.

Like all KJV Onlyists, McElroy begins with the presupposition that the King James translation is the pure Word of God. That presupposition is clearly implied within the three presuppositions he outlines in his introduction: The Word of God must be a physical book that contains all of God’s words, no mixture of the words of men, and that is protected by Jesus.

KJVO apologists believe the KJV is that book. It alone is the standard to which all other Bible translations are to be compared. That means it should never be questioned as an English translation because it is the best that needs no correction and to do so alters and corrupts God’s Word. Hence the philosophical formula, The KJV alone = the Word of God alone.

Anyone paying attention will immediately identify a major contradictory flaw with his second presupposition that states the book must not be a mixture of God’s Words and men’s words. The KJV is an English translation of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages. If we are talking about language to language translation, there has been a mixture of men’s words that had to be “added” in the translation process. There is no possible way to get around that dilemma. Already the KJV fails McElroy’s own stated presuppositions.

That means, then, that he has to defend the idea that in the process of Jesus providing and protecting the physical book, Jesus inspired the translation process as well so that the KJV translators would translate accurately without error. That of course creates a major problem with basic Christian orthodoxy regarding the doctrines of inspiration and preservation of Scripture. It would in essence introduce a second level of divine breathing out by God beyond the original prophets and apostles to the very translating committees of the King James that in turn resulted in the Bible they produced. It also retells history so that an alternative story line is manufactured that traces the textual genealogy of the biblical texts down to the creation of the King James.

I would imagine that if pressed, McElroy would try and wiggle out from the intellectual conundrum his presuppositions created by redefining what he means by a “mixture of men’s words.” He would probably fall back by appealing to the “Jesus directed the translators to translate what He wanted” and “The KJV translators were the greatest, godliest scholars ever” argument.”

But anyone who seriously knows how our Bible came to us realizes how problematic his presuppositions are for him. He’s stuck having to acknowledge that when the translators translated from the original biblical languages into English, they had to make man-made decisions on how phrases and words were to be rendered into the receptor language. That by default means any translation, even the KJV, has a mixture of God’s words and man’s words.

In order to further strengthen his point about what modern evangelicals supposedly believe about the “original Bible,” McElroy cites from Randall Price’s book, Searching for the Original Bible. (Available on Google Books). He quotes from Price who stated that the autographs written by the original, inspired prophet or apostle is the original Bible. He then declares how inadequate that position is because the original animal skins Moses wrote on have since disintegrated and even Jeremiah’s “original” scroll was destroyed by Jehudi (Jeremiah 36:23). See how silly Price’s original autographs theory is?

strawmenOf course, that’s a typical strawman argument that comes stalking out from the rolling fields of KJV Onlyism. McElroy selectively quotes from Price in order to make him appear muddled with his views of Scripture. It really is a dastardly thing to do on McElroy’s part and is not becoming of one who names Christ as his savior. If a person will take the time to actually go and read what the guy really stated (I mean, the book is available online, for crying out loud!), you’ll see that Price defines his position rather clearly.

McElroy conveniently leaves off Price’s further remarks about his position. After citing article 10 from the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, Price writes that the concepts of inspiration and inerrancy applies only to the autographic text of Scripture and extends to copies and translations only insofar as they faithfully represent the original [Price, 35 emphasis mine].

You will note that Price believes we have the originals with us to this day. That is the position of the Bible-believing Church. (Heck, it’s the position of the Catholics as well, but we won’t go there). Price, like all sober-minded Christians, believes the originals are contained in the faithfully preserved copies of the biblical texts and faithfully translated editions of the modern Bible.

But like all KJVO apologists, that is not good enough because “sinful men” have their hands on the process way too much. And liberals critics were involved in the process as well! Can’t have that!

Again, folks who know how our Bibles came down to us over the centuries realize that McElroy’s historical theory is not as pure and clean as he let’s on. The Bible was a handwritten document for over a thousand years before the printing press was invented. Man mixed with the biblical texts a lot. Every time they hand copied a copy, with all the bad handwriting, misspelled words, spilled ink, water stains, etc., they were mixing with the text. That is just overwhelmingly evident for anyone considering the facts of textual transmission and criticism.

Now. Does God preserve His Word? Most certainly. But is it according to a KJVO daisy chain view that involves a mythical genealogical line of flawless Xeroxed manuscript copies that resulted in just one, never to be corrected English translation frozen in the 17th century? No. But we do have the “originals” in our hands, because the real way God preserved His Word effectively kept it safe, in the hands of His redeemed people, who faithfully passed it along so that we hold in our hands God’s written revelation.

McElroy, and the host of KJVO advocates will dispute my claim, but I’ll answer their disputations as I move along.

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23 thoughts on “Reviewing “Which Bible Would Jesus Use?” [2]

  1. Brave man to tackle KJVO not once…but multiple times over the years.
    Good work concerning Randall Price being misquoted

  2. I think I read, some years ago, there were 20,000 plus variants within the various editions of the King James; thousands of them quite insignificant but variants all the same. Is that true?

  3. I’ve always wondered about KJVO position.

    How do you decide which printing of the KJV to use? I mean wouldn’t it make the most sense to use the actual “authorized” version?

    How do they deal with the fairly well known areas where King James forced a particular wording on the translators? (for example, divine right of kings).

    How do they deal with translations into other languages? Should there be none or should these translations have been based on the KJV? I think a fairly good argument could be made that many words in the KJ English require a modern translation because modern American English has a radically different meaning.

  4. No. There have been a few who left comments on my previous entry. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and offer a response.

    Will Kinney has left a number of “comments” here, but I don’t approve them because his comments don’t really engage the post. They consist of him cutting and pasting stuff he wrote against me from like 6 or 7 years ago and linking me to articles on his personal website. He also has the tendency to become abusive when I engage him. KJVO apologists and Theonomist defenders are similar in the personal nature of their outrage toward dissenters.

    Also, if you go to Jack McElroy’s Facebook page, they are discussing my posts there among themselves.

  5. Neither McElroy or Butler believe in the divine preservation of the words God inspired. God wrote them in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and preserved them in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. McElroy rejects that, saying that God either reinspired them in English or preserved them in English, when He didn’t write them in English. Butler says we don’t have them or we don’t know where they are. Both contradict biblical presuppositions. They take essentially the same position both of which stagger in unbelief. Textual variants provide too great a stone of stumbling, so both jettison the biblical and historical position. The arguments between these KJVOists and Butler look like a vulture and coyote fighting over roadkill.

    I’ve observed Butler for awhile from a distance and he tops everyone as the most insulting. Perhaps only Peter Ruckman tops him, but it’s a toss-up. I apologize to Butler if he desires to be number one in this category, because he is vying and maybe he is first place here. What makes it more interesting is that after he insults in the most demeaning way and is answered in kind, he claims they’re unchristian in their behavior, so not worthy of consideration. He really does get it both ways here where he is both judge and executioner.

  6. Shelby writes,
    Butler says we don’t have them or we don’t know where they are.
    Where exactly have I said such? Please show me.

    Both contradict biblical presuppositions.
    And those “presuppositions” that I am contradicting are what exactly? Please, do tell me?

    I’ve observed Butler for awhile from a distance and he tops everyone as the most insulting.

    Really? Please. Provide me with some examples.

  7. Looking at changes in various King James editions in just the 12 versus of II Samuel 2: 20-13.
    “Summary: of the 362 words in these twelve verses, the KJV has undergone 41 (forty-one) specific alterations. This averages out to one change per 8.83 words. This is just slightly less than one change per 7.91 words that I suggested was the average,3 but two hundred and thirty-seven times the number Scott suggested. To be sure, these changes are not particularly significant—but this has been admitted by both sides. What is not admitted by KJV-only folks is that the changes in most modern translations from the KJV (though on a verbal level are certainly greater than these) do not affect the essentials of the faith. My argument about the KJV is not that it has undergone radical changes in its long history (although, to be sure, there are some rather significant changes in the KJV in various places, as has been frequently pointed out in the books by Bruce, Lewis, Kubo, etc. [see below for a few examples]), but that it has undergone changes—100,000 of them. I submit that many of the changes that modern translations make are a mere updating of the language of the KJV, yet even these get condemned on the basis of altering the Word of God. On that same basis, for the KJV to change at all would mean that it, too, stands condemned. I am not, of course, arguing that this is the case; I am arguing that there is a great deal of selective evidence used by KJV-only advocates used to support their position. As the adage goes, “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.””
    [ I was wrong about the 20,000 changes in the KJV. It’s more like 100,000 changes apparently.]
    LINK – https://bible.org/article/changes-kjv-1611-illustration

  8. Fred, off topic but hopefully relevant. Is it appropriate to pray that supporters and enablers of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers be “smote hip and thigh?”

  9. Pingback: Answering the Claims of KJV-Onlyism | hipandthigh

  10. I would like to start off by saying thank you to Fred. For him to take his time and critique two books whether he is right or wrong is something to be appreciated. Thank you Fred. I mean that:)

    If anyone wants to know what Randall Price believes just listen to him in this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY0beiyX5ds
    or visit the website of his Church or past church http://www.gbcsanmarcos.org/beliefs.html
    If you want to know what Fred and his pastor believes and teaches go here https://www.gty.org/connect/doctrine#Scripture
    McElroy did a great job representing Randall Price. I got that book according to my Amazon account in 2008. I know the book very well and Randall Price’s work.
    Fred your answer to “where are the originals?” Reminds me of the answers that damaged my faith when I was a young Christian. When I was a young Christian I believed every version was the pure word of God. It was remarks like yours that caused me to doubt.
    Fred who is using this The KJV alone=The Word of God alone?
    I just say the King James Holy Bible is Scripture and is therefore given by inspiration of God. Do you the KJB is Holy Scripture Fred?

    Sir Aaron

    You ask great questions. There is no grand council or body that decides what the official answers to your questions are, but as for me I thought I tell you what I would say.

    1.How do you decide which printing of the KJV to use?
    I decide based upon the printer. I trust Oxford, Cambridge, Local Church Bible Publishers. TBS and any press that is in line with the ones I just mentioned. Greatsite.com has great reprints of 1611 Edition. I believe any edition of the KJB is given by inspiration of God.
    (How do you choose your Greek and Hebrew printings/editions?)
    2. Wouldn’t it make the most sense to use the actual “authorized” version?
    If you are referring to just using an exact copy of the 1611 edition, then I would say it depends what the purpose is. I will teach my children about the printing press, God’s purification process, English spelling. The 1611 edition and still today have and had printer mistakes. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of Paul’s scribes made a mistake and they fixed it.
    3.How do they deal with the fairly well known areas where King James forced a particular wording on the translators? (for example, divine right of kings).
    Please document where King James did this in regards to the Divine Right Of Kings. Plus let’s say he did. Who is to say that God would not move him to make such a choice?
    Your question reminds me of how Fred was incorrect on his understanding of the KJB on the Mayflower and his false view of King James and the Pilgrims. See my past post in Review #1. Fred is has no rebuttal. He wants me to be wrong. What he calls “factoids,” I call blessings of God. If you are sincere in your questions then you will take my responses well.

    4. How do they deal with translations into other languages? This is how I deal with it. I purchased this Bible for my Mom. http://localchurchbiblepublishers.com/product/321-mid-size-spanishenglish-black-hardback/
    My family Dad and Mom are from Mexico.
    Also Gail Riplinger sells a foreign language Bibles. I got a Chinese Bible for my Friend here.
    https://shop.avpublications.com/index.php?cPath=26&osCsid=s24ilo0iusf97nuapkg708d5m4
    When I lived in German I purchased a French Bible for a friend and a German Luther for another.
    I also take the approach of Bible Societies in the past and that is they used the KJB as the basis for their Foreign Bibles. I don’t don’t think God had an issue with it. I think his hand was all over it.

    5. Should there be none or should these translations have been based on the KJV? See my answer above.

    6. Sir Aaron your comment “I think a fairly good argument could be made that many words in the KJ English require a modern translation because modern American English has a radically different meaning.” I almost dropped out of high school, and I was poor in English class. I suggest you read the Holy Bible and not rewrite it. Also my advice is that you read all the post if you are following Fred’s reviews. I answer your question in detail with helpful links addressing your comment. What Bible do you take to Church?

    Senecagriggs yahoo

    If you take those verses from 2 Samuel and read them out loud as a group you will discover everyone is saying the exact same thing. English spelling wasn’t standardized. Dan Wallace misrepresents Christians like myself. In my opinion the person who sent that letter to him was either doing a joke or just plain silly. I would like to know who the guy is who sent the letter. Hebrew and Greek has gone through the same thing. I don’t think this is a problem to God. One thing is clear the Modern Version in no one way compares. If I was in a Bible study and you had a NASB, NIV, even a NKJV (NKJV is a misleading name it is not new and it is not a King James, just like the ESV-English Standard Version. What a lie! May be english but it is not the Standard version.), and a New World Translation, and I had a King James Bible, you know who would be in most agreement? All expect the KJB. Go try it. Pick random verses and notice how most agree with New World Translation. I do it with people to show them the truth. The Spirit behind the Modern English Version movement is not the Holy Spirit. I would argue that the new english versions are paving the wave for the Anti-Christ.

  11. David writes,
    McElroy did a great job representing Randall Price. I got that book according to my Amazon account in 2008. I know the book very well and Randall Price’s work.

    No he did not. He cherry picks citations from Dr. Price and says his view of what constitute the original Old and New testaments is inadequate. He skips the paragraph I note in my article in which he states that the originals are contained in the copies of the text that faithfully represent the originals. Just like in the Youtube video you post, he says the same thing. In fact, that Youtube clip represents the historic, Bible-believing position of the Christian church.

    Fred who is using this The KJV alone=The Word of God alone?

    If you believe that any revision of the KJV is tampering with the Word of God, then you believe the KJV alone=the Word of God alone. For example, I would venture a guess and say you’d be against any update or modern version based on the KJV tradition, say for example the MEV, http://modernenglishversion.com/. In fact, I bet I can find articles written by KJVO apologists explaining how it is compromised and so forth.

    Do you the KJB is Holy Scripture Fred?

    Yes, I do.

  12. Fred

    The KJB is the complete word of God. now that was standard belief by the English speaking Christians for hundreds of years. You don’t treat the KJB like Holy Scripture because if you did you would not be critical of the translation that was petitioned by a Puritan.
    I totally oppose updating the KJB. Like I said I was almost dropped out of high school and I hated English. I became a workman.
    I beg you to tell me and quote where Randall Price in the YouTube video says he believes “only insofar as they faithfully represent the originals?” Or anything like it. Look at the link I sent of the church he pastors. It only mentions the originals. In his book he was just pointing out what Chicago believed.
    By the way your pastor doesn’t believe inerrancy and inspiration extend to translations also. Just look at your statement of faith for your church. I included the link in my past post.
    You did not answer my question. Who is using this KJB equation? Is it James White and his book? You got that equation from someone. I would like to know please.
    Plus when are you going to address my statement on King James and his relation to the Pilgrims and the KJB being on the Mayflower?

  13. @Balanced:

    “Please document where King James did this in regards to the Divine Right Of Kings. Plus let’s say he did. Who is to say that God would not move him to make such a choice?”

    Well, I’m a Calvinist so I know that nothing happens which God did not ordain. That is a real problem for you because God ordained Pharoah just as much as he did Paul. But it is poor theology to base one’s doctrine on speculation on whether God moved somebody to make X or Y choice, especially since that doesn’t say anything about his approval of said choice.

    And I would like to think that if I were alive during James’ reign, I would have greatly preferred the Geneva Bible with its notes.

    “Your question reminds me of how Fred was incorrect on his understanding of the KJB on the Mayflower and his false view of King James and the Pilgrims. See my past post in Review #1. Fred is has no rebuttal. He wants me to be wrong. What he calls “factoids,” I call blessings of God. If you are sincere in your questions then you will take my responses well.”

    I have no idea what you are talking about. But this is irrelevant in any case.

    “I also take the approach of Bible Societies in the past and that is they used the KJB as the basis for their Foreign Bibles. I don’t don’t think God had an issue with it. I think his hand was all over it.”

    “Sir Aaron your comment “I think a fairly good argument could be made that many words in the KJ English require a modern translation because modern American English has a radically different meaning.” I almost dropped out of high school, and I was poor in English class. I suggest you read the Holy Bible and not rewrite it. ”

    Not unsurprisingly, you contradict yourself in the same response. You are perfectly fine with foreign language translations based on the KJV but not with a modern English translation of any kind, even if based on the KJV. Why shouldn’t you require foreigners to learn KJ English and read the Bible in that language just as you do Americans?

    What Bible do you take to Church?

    Irrelevant. Besides, I am not a cave man, carrying old paper products around with me. I do not take a book, scroll, clay tablets, or any other antiquity to church. I believe those things are best left in a museum. ;) On second thought, this “factoid” makes the KJVO even more absurd.

  14. Hi Fred,
    There are a lot of books on the Bible version debate.
    Thanks for considering my book, WHICH BIBLE WOULD JESUS USE?––The Bible Version Controversy Explained and Resolved worth of the time and effort it takes to write a review.
    If you’re interested, you can find more information about me here:
    http://www.jackmcelroy.com

  15. Pingback: Reviewing Which Bible Would Jesus Use? [8] | hipandthigh

  16. Pingback: Reviewing Jack McElroy’s Which Bible Would Jesus Use? | hipandthigh

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