Friday, January 12, 2018

The King James Version--Preserved Or Restored?

  • Defining The Issues:
          -Certain King James only advocates argue that their translation of preference has been infallibly preserved by its translators as the Word of God. Consider this argument set forth by a fellow who believes such:
              "And while I agree that comparing translations would be a good idea, that work was already done for us when the kjv translators compared all the previous english translations plus the manuscripts in other languages of the majority text...the Lord providentially used the KJV translators to preserve his inspired words."
    • Offering A Logical Critique Of King James Only Claims:
              -If the King James Version translators were able to make comparisons with the texts that were available to them, then why are we not allowed to do comparisons with the numerous ancient manuscripts that we have discovered after the seventeen century? How come we cannot do the same?
              -The transmission that has been described in the above comments from the King James only advocate is the process of restoration, not preservation.
              -What people who subscribe to this position on the King James Version fail to recognize is that their logic contains a logical contradiction. Having various readings spread abroad which accurately record portions of the inspired words of biblical authors is completely different than having all the correct words aligned perfectly in a single document. In other words, what has been termed by King James only proponents to be an "infallible preservation" of the Bible is contradictory because having such would not be based upon manuscripts which contain textual variances. It is inconsistent to equate "correction" with "preservation" because both terms are contradictory. The first word implies the existence of error, whereas the later connotates maintaining the accuracy thereof. If errors are found and corrected in the manuscripts which form the basis behind a Bible translation, then how is the Word of God perfectly preserved?
              -Did the King James translators somehow obtain a perfect translation of the Scriptures? Also, King James only advocates fail to recognize that they have raised their own unique standard of textual criticism when they express their feelings for the text of the King James Version and resentment for other translations of the Bible.


    1. There is rarely any complaint from the KJVO set about newer translations of the O.T., the focus being primarily on the N.T. and which Greek text is being used for the translation. What is interesting is that, for all the KJVO claims of Catholic involvement of the newer version, they KJVO relied heavily on the Catholic Vulgate. From Wikipedia we have this:

      For their New Testament, the translators chiefly used the 1598 and 1588/89 Greek editions of Theodore Beza, which also present Beza's Latin version of the Greek and Stephanus's edition of the Latin Vulgate. Both of these versions were extensively referred to, as the translators conducted all discussions amongst themselves in Latin. F.H.A. Scrivener identifies 190 readings where the Authorized Version translators depart from Beza's Greek text, generally in maintaining the wording of the Bishop's Bible and other earlier English translations. In about half of these instances, the Authorized Version translators appear to follow the earlier 1550 Greek Textus Receptus of Stephanus. For the other half, Scrivener was usually able to find corresponding Greek readings in the editions of Erasmus, or in the Complutensian Polyglot. However, in several dozen readings he notes that no printed Greek text corresponds to the English of the Authorized Version, which in these places derives directly from the Vulgate. For example, at John 10:16, the Authorized Version reads "one fold" (as did the Bishops' Bible, and the 16th century vernacular versions produced in Geneva), following the Latin Vulgate "unum ovile", whereas Tyndale had agreed more closely with the Greek, "one flocke" (μία ποίμνη). The Authorized Version New Testament owes much more to the Vulgate than does the Old Testament; still, at least 80% of the text is unaltered from Tyndale's translation.

      What about the KJVO claim to having the T.R. as their source? More from Wiki:

      The translators appear to have otherwise made no first-hand study of ancient manuscript sources, even those that – like the Codex Bezae – would have been readily available to them. In addition to all previous English versions (including, and contrary to their instructions, the Rheimish New Testament which in their preface they criticized); they made wide and eclectic use of all printed editions in the original languages then available, including the ancient Syriac New Testament printed with an interlinear Latin gloss in the Antwerp Polyglot of 1573. In the preface the translators acknowledge consulting translations and commentaries in Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

      The translators took the Bishop's Bible as their source text, and where they departed from that in favour of another translation, this was most commonly the Geneva Bible. However, the degree to which readings from the Bishop's Bible survived into final text of the King James Bible varies greatly from company to company, as did the propensity of the King James translators to coin phrases of their own. John Bois's notes of the General Committee of Review show that they discussed readings derived from a wide variety of versions and patristic sources; including explicitly both Henry Savile's 1610 edition of the works of John Chrysostom and the Rheims New Testament, which was the primary source for many of the literal alternative readings provided for the marginal notes.

      1. Yep, I've read about these people, and I've always found it amusing that a cult member (SDA) is one of the origins of this nonsense. It really sort of started with John Burgon, who was against late 1800's revisions with the earlier manuscripts which had been found. He sort of started the idea of the idea that the manuscripts were corrupt.

      2. Oh, I agree. My point is that he started the questioning of manuscripts, and KJVOs always point to him for support of their ideology. Their publishers continue to print Burgon's books, which I used to have but finally passed on.