Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Historical Development Of The Roman Catholic Doctrine Of Papal Infallibility

                                                        By Keith Mathison

 A theological development of profound importance to our study of the late Middle Ages is the introduction and development of the doctrine of papal infallibility. [1] The origins of the doctrine of papal infallibility in the years 1300 are a fascinating story, but the scope of this work will focus on the main points.Because some trace the origins of the doctrine of papal infallibility to canonists, these will be the starting point. [2] In the century between 1150 and 1250, a study of the writings of canonists and theologians reveals that "they did not know any magisterium conferred upon Peter by the power of the keys; that they believe that in matters of faith an ecumenical council was greater than the pope;that they did not hold that papal pronouncements were irreformable ex sese[in themselves] . " [3] As Tierney points out, "above all, canonists did not teach that the pope was infallible." [4] On the contrary, the position was generally supported contrasted the unfailing faith of the Church with the fallibility of individual popes. Theologians, who wrote much less on the subject, also shared this general point of view.

In 1254 a dispute arose between the mendicant friars and the secular masters at the University of Paris. [5] Both Dominicans and Franciscans were involved, but it is the Franciscans who require our attention. Their order had been granted privileges since 1230, and their dependence on these privileges would prove to be problematic. The problem came from his assertion that his doctrine of "apostolic poverty" was not simply a good way of life or a better way of life, but that it was an essential aspect of Christ's perfect form of life transmitted to the apostles. [6] Many of them claimed that St. Francis had been the first Christian to properly understand the gospel since the days of the apostles and that the Franciscans were the only members of the Church who truly led Christian lives. [7] Of course, these allegations were highly controversial and raised with little opposition. Bonaventure, the head of the Franciscan order, responded to arguments against order by developing a theory of poverty which he himself called "condescension." Without going into all the details, it is enough to say that in 1279, in the Bull exiit qui seminat , Pope Nicholas III gave papal sanction to the doctrine of Bonaventure and stated that "the Franciscan form of life really corresponds to the form of perfection that Christ taught the apostles ". [8]

The first great medieval Christian to affirm the doctrine of papal infallibility was Peter of John Olivi, a highly influential Franciscan in the decades after Bonaventure's death. He lived and wrote in a period of time in which the Franciscans were divided into two great camps: the greatest and least rigorous "Community" and the strict "spiritual" ones. Olivi himself was a prominent spokesman for the spiritual. [9] The reason why Olivi, unlike Bonaventura, developed the doctrine of papal infallibility, unlike his predecessor, was his constant fear of the possibility that a future pseudo-pope would seek to overthrow the true faith (ie the Franciscan way of life) . In Olivi's mind, it was necessary for the decrees of popes (such as Nicholas III) "to be regarded as not only authoritative for the present, but immutable, unreformable for all time." [10] This, however, was impossible within the framework of the doctrine of the papal sovereignty of the canonists. They understood that a doctrine of infallibility would limit the sovereignty of an individual pope. Olivi knew that much. His "new theory of papal infallibility was designed to limit the power of future popes, not to free them from any restraint." [11]

The new doctrine of Olivi was ignored for forty years, but in 1322 Pope John XXII revoked the pro-Franciscan provisions of the Exiit and issued a new statement on the doctrine of Christ's poverty. [12] The Franciscans were dismayed and reacted by issuing two encyclical letters defending their doctrine.Pope John answered at the end of 1322 in the bull Ad conditorem . For John, "the idea that any decisions should be incorrigible was presented ... simply with a threat to its own sovereign authority." [13] This bull elicited a passionate response from the Franciscans who appealed against it to the pope himself. In November 1323, Pope John XXII issued his final judgment on the issue of the poverty of Christ in the bull Cum internovulos . The bull refers to the view that "Jesus Christ and his apostles had nothing in common or in common" as erroneous and heretical. [14] Because this bull explicitly contradicts the old bullExiit , the Franciscans began to assert the incorrigibility of the former to the point of condemning John's view as heretical. As Tierney notes,

The first evident condemnation of a papal bull came from ... a group of Franciscan dissidents who found refuge at the court of the excommunicated emperor Louis IV of Bavaria. Their protest, included as a sort of digression in the Emperor's Appeal of Sachenhausen on May 24, 1324, not only defended the doctrine of evangelical poverty and denounced John XXII as a heretic for attacking doctrine, but also presented a new formulation of theory of papal infallibility. In this work, for the first time, the ancient teaching that one of the keys that had been delivered to Padro was the "key of knowledge" was used to support the doctrine that the pope was infallible when he used this key to define truths about faith and morality. It was a great theological breakthrough. [15]

The Sachenhausen Appeal brought the discussion to the domain of Catholic thought for the first time.

In November 1324, John XXII replied in the Bull Quia quorum that the "Father of lies" has led his [Pope's] enemies to defend the erroneous thesis that "what the Roman Pontiff once defines in matters of faith and morality with the knowledge is so immutable that it does not allow a successor to revoke it." [16]

The 1324 exchanges are of fascinating interest to a historian of the doctrine of papal infallibility. Here, for the first time, a doctrine of papal infallibility based upon the Petrine power of the keys was manifestly proposed. But the doctrine was for antipope father rebels and not theologians of the Curia. And far from embracing the doctrine, the Pope indignantly denounced it as a pernicious invention. [17]

The most striking thing about the doctrine of papal infallibility is that it "was invented almost fortuitously because of a historical concentration of unusual circumstances that gave rise to a doctrine useful to a particular group of contenders." [18]

There is no convincing evidence that papal infallibility constituted any part of the theological or canonical tradition of the Church before the thirteenth century; the doctrine was first created by a few Franciscan dissidents because it was convenient and convenient for them to invent it; eventually, but not only after much reluctance, it was accepted by the papacy because it suited the pope's convenience in accepting it. [19]

The Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility was not declared as official Catholic dogma until the first Vatican Council in 1870, but its origin can be traced to this obscure thirteenth-century battle between radical Franciscans and the papacy.

[1] For an excellent historical study of this issue, see Brian Tierney,Origins of Papal Infallibility: 1150-1350, (Leiden: EJ Brill, 1988).

[2] Canonists or canon lawyers were those who studied and systematized canonical laws - established church rules for practical purposes of order and discipline. Very often the canons of order and discipline were established in councils (such as Nicaea in 325 AD). But the collection and standardization of canon law reached its peak in the work of Gratian, whose decretum was the standard textbook throughout the late Middle Ages.

[3] Tierney, op. cit., 57.

[4] Ibid.

[5] A "mendicant" is someone who depends on alms to live

[6] Cf. Latourette, op. cit., I: 429-436.

[7] Tierney, op. cit., 67-72.

[8] Ibid., 59-70.

[9] Ibid., 93-101.

[10] Ibid., 125.

[11] Ibid., 130.

[12] La Due, op. cit., 146-147.

[13] Tierney, op. cit., 178-179.

[14] Quoted in Tierney, op.cit., 178-179.

[15] Ibid., 182.

[16] Quoted in Tierney, op. cit., 186.

[17] Ibid., 187-188.

[18] Ibid., 274.

19] Ibid., 281.

From the book The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith A. Mathison, pp. 58-61

Excerpts originally taken from:

Evolution Cannot Explain Bacterial Flagellum

  • The microscopic, whiplike appendage that provides unicellular organisms with movability and kinetic activity is evidence for intelligent design. Consider the words of Darwinian biologist David J. DeRosier, in a scientific journal titled Cell:
          -“More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human."

Patristic Writings Offer Powerful Evidence For The Accuracy Of The New Testament

  • Scottish Advocate Sir David Dalrymple (1726-1792) Was Once Asked The Following Question:
          -"Suppose that the New Testament had been destroyed, and every copy of it lost by the end of the third century, could it have been collected together again from the writings of the Fathers of the second and third centuries?"
  • To Which He Had Answered:
          -"That question roused my curiosity, and as I possessed all the existing works of the Fathers of the second and third, I commenced to search, and up to this time I have found the entire New Testament, except for eleven verses."

What Fascism Really Is

"Fascism is an Italian term that means “groupism” or “collectivism.” The fasci in Italy were groups of political activists who got their name from the fasces of ancient Rome—the bundles of rods carried by the lictors to symbolize the unified strength of the Romans. The core meaning of the term fascism is that people are stronger in groups than they are as individuals. 

… Here is a direct quotation from [Anthony] Gregor’s The Ideology of Fascism: “The movement itself was not conservative. It was revolutionary. Its clear intention was to destroy all the social, economic and political artifacts of classical liberalism.” And here is a quote from [Stanley] Payne: “The nucleus that eventually founded fascism in Italy did not stem from the right-wing nationalists but from the transformation of part of the revolutionary left.” 

Dinesh D’Souza, The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, pg. 37, 38

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Biologos Is An Institution Of Worldly Compromise

Now, I am sure that the church needs to be rescued from many things. But, is this really one of them? This raises the question of what is driving the Biologos crusade to rescue the church from non-theistic evolutionists. What allows them to be so certain that a straightforward reading of Genesis is detrimental to the church? Is their certainty driven by convictions about what the Scripture says? Not so much. The newsletter reveals the grounds for their certainty very plainly. Biologos wants to change the church’s view on this issue because “the church of the coming decades cannot divorce itself from matters about which there is scientific certainty.”

In other words, the motive for Biologos is the certainty of science. And, in their minds, credibility of the Christian faith is at stake. If we reject evolution then we will look foolish and ridiculous in the eyes of the world that knows it true.

What is stunning about all of this is the absolute, unequivocal, and almost religious certainty Biologos has about evolution. It is absolutely undisputed—it cannot be questioned. Ironically, at the same time, the meaning of the earliest chapters of Genesis is entirely uncertain, unclear, and very much in dispute. It could mean just about anything, we are told (except for straightforward history). Put differently, when it comes to interpreting Genesis no certainty is possible, but when it comes to interpreting scientific evidence then apparently certainty is possible.

But why is this? Is science immune to subjectivity of interpretation? Is science a neutral enterprise that involves no perspectives and no bias? Biologos, it seems, has a misplaced confidence in modern science. Indeed, it could use a fresh dose of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Sadly, the whole “Christianity must acquiesce to the claims of science or lose its credibility” speech is not a new one. This same phenomenon happened in the 18th and 19th centuries regarding the credibility of the miracle accounts in the Gospels. After all, modern science during that time (and even during our modern day) found miracles to be rather unscientific. Science had shown that people just do not rise from the dead. As a result, some Christians took it upon themselves to “rescue” the church from its unscientific commitments.

For instance, Heinrich Paulus (1761-1851), one of the original participants in the so-called Quest of the Historical Jesus, sought to save the church by suggesting the Gospel accounts should not be interpreted as describing real miraculous events. Instead, he suggested that they be interpreted as natural events that the disciples simply misinterpreted. Thankfully, his approach was not heeded by most evangelicals in that time.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Syncretizing Christianity with Psychology is Dangerous

“Syncretism” is “the combination of different forms of belief or practice.” It’s one of Satan’s most deceptive and appealing techniques, devised to destroy true faith and undermine the Christian’s confidence in God’s Word and dependence on Christ. Psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies are actually religious in nature and practice. They’re like oil and water! The euphemism for this kind of syncretism is “integration,” which occurs when two or more ideas or systems are combined. However, psychotherapeutic beliefs cannot truly be integrated with Scripture. One works with the old man of the flesh (carnal); the other works with the new man in Christ (spiritual). They’re at enmity with each other, just as the flesh and the Spirit are contrary to each other (Gal 5:17) and just as the carnal man is at enmity with God (Rom 8:7). They can’t mix, because they’re enemies just as the idols of the nations around Israel were at enmity with God.

Christians who mix psychology and the Bible aren’t practicing and promoting ordinary integration but rather religious syncretism, overlaying their psychology with the Bible. This ultimately disguises the psychological religious systems they’re using, and then this psycho-syncretism subverts and subtracts from the faith. The “integrating” of psychology and Christianity appeals to those Christians who believe that what is being discovered about the mind, the will, and the emotions is science—that it’s part of God’s creation yet to be discovered in the same way that discoveries have been made in physics, chemistry, and biology. Since psychology misrepresents itself as a science, and psychotherapeutic ideas are organized into theories, many pastors don’t even realize that these scientific-sounding theories are simply another competing belief system.

Instead of knowledge being added to knowledge with more recent discoveries resting on a body of solid information, in this case, one system contradicts another, one set of opinions is exchanged for another, and one set of techniques replaces another. Psychotherapy changes along with current cultural trends. Just the knowledge that there is an accumulation of about 500 separate psychotherapeutic systems, each claiming superiority, should discourage anyone from thinking that so many diverse opinions could be scientific or even factual. Psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies are amassed in confusion, with their pseudoknowledge and pseudotheories resulting in pseudoscience."

Dr. Martin and Deidre Bobgan and T.A. McMahon, PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (PART 1).

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Immateriality Of The Human Mind

"One important biblical and anatomical concept to keep in mind is that the human being is both material and nonmaterial. He has a physical body, which can be seen, and a spirit or soul, which is nonphysical and cannot be seen. The brain is material and the mind is nonmaterial. The mind uses the brain, but it is not the brain. The brain can be diseased and sick, but not the mind.  If the brain is damaged, the mind is not sick. With brain damage, the damaged part is no longer available to the mind, and thus function is altered. But the damage can be demonstrated. This is not a mental condition, but organic brain damage." 

Robert D. Smith, M.D., The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference, pg. 96

The Myth Of Chemical Imbalances

"Chemical imbalance is a theory based on inconclusive research.  Even though considerable scientific study has been done, the conclusion is that the view is no more than theoretical.

There are true chemical imbalances in the body; but when they are present, the condition is no longer labeled chemical imbalance.  It is labeled according to the chemical that is out of balance, and it is given a medical disease label.  Low thyroid is a chemical imbalance, but it is called “hypothyroid” instead of “chemical imbalance.”  Low potassium is a chemical imbalance, but it is called “hypokalemia.” High blood sugar is a chemical imbalance, but it is called “diabetes.”  When people talk about “chemical imbalance” as a cause for depression, it is because there are no laboratory tests to prove this.  Remember, an illness means something is wrong in the tissues of the body.  If there is truly something wrong with the body, it can be proved by objective tests performed by an objective observer.  The reality is that there are no laboratory tests that can prove the presence of a chemical imbalance. The chemical imbalance diagnosis of an illness is not proven by tests, but is based on what a person thinks and feels as described by DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition).  Whenever the term “chemical imbalance” is used, it is as a generic term without proof that any change is present in any chemical."

Robert D. Smith, M.D., The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference, p.66

Addictions Are Not Diseases

"Addiction treatment is a cash cow for the Psychology Industry, which has argued, in most cases successfully, that treatment of the “disease” ought to be covered by health insurance.  The state of Minnesota has declared alcoholism to be a treatable disease and adopted legislation against the firing of employees who are unable to perform their jobs because of drunkenness.  They must be treated at the employer’s (or insurer’s) expense, even though most of the data show treatment to be ineffective. A survey of Fortune 500 companies indicated that 79 percent recognized that substance abuse was a “significant or very significant problem” in their organizations.  However, when asked whether the treatment programs did any good, “the overwhelming majority saw few results from these programs. In the survey, 87 percent reported little or no change in absenteeism since the programs began and 90 percent saw little or no change in productivity ratings.” . . . 

It seems that, whatever the results, addiction treatment is identifiably a business that ignores its failures.  In fact its failures lead to more business.  Its technology, based on continued recovering, presumes relapses. Recidivism is used as an argument for further funding rather than as evidence of an ineffective treatment."

Dr. Tana Dineen in, “Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People,” pg. 214-215

Beware of Antidepressants

"A large number of studies have linked antidepressants with suicidal thoughts and a greater tendency to act upon them. Antidepressants have also been linked to violent thoughts accompanied by seemingly irresistible compulsions to act upon them -- even if such thoughts and behaviors are inconsistent with a person's character prior to receiving these medicines."

Elyse Fitzpatrick & Laura Hendrickson, M.D., "Will Medicine Stop the Pain?", p.51

Chemical Imbalance Depression Is Rare

"Doctors bought the story line that all depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain and therefore requires a chemical fix—the prescription of an antidepressant medication. This is absolutely true for severe depressions, absolutely false for most milder ones. The proof of this pudding is that psychotherapy is just as effective as medication for milder depressions, and neither has a big edge over placebo. Millions of people take medicine they don’t need for a diagnosis of MDD that they don’t really have, on the false assumption of chemical imbalance."

Allen Frances, M.D, "Saving Normal," p.155

The Gospel According to Jack Chick

A Quick Way To Witness To Jews

  • Following Is A Quick And Effective Method For Christians To Use In Gospel Outreach To Unconverted Jewish People:
          -First, it would be wise to remember and utilize the text of Proverbs 30:4, where we are told that God has a Son.
          -Then, be sure to mention Psalm 2:11-12, where we are told to take refuge in His Son. Parallel this text with Jeremiah 17:7. We should only be trusting in God. Those who fail to do so are cursed. We are not to place our trust in mere man. All of this regarding trusting in God applies equally to the Son, as well. The sole object of our faith should be in the Son of God. He is also our refuge. It is from Him that we are blessed. He is provoked to anger for not being worshiped. 
          -If we deny the Son Jesus Christ, then we also deny the Father (1 John 2:23). It is only through Him than mankind can be saved (John 14:6). These Old Testament truths may be shocking for Jewish people to hear.

Study: Psychiatric Diagnoses Are ‘Scientifically Meaningless’ In Treating Mental Health

"No two people are exactly alike. Therefore, attempting to classify each unique individual’s mental health issues into neat categories just doesn’t work. That’s the claim coming out of the United Kingdom that is sure to ruffle some psychologists’ feathers.

More people are being diagnosed with mental illnesses than ever before. Multiple factors can be attributed to this rise; many people blame the popularity of social media and increased screen time, but it is also worth considering that in today’s day and age more people may be willing to admit they are having mental health issues in the first place. Whatever the reason, it is generally believed that a psychiatric diagnosis is the first step to recovery.

That’s why a new study conducted at the University of Liverpool has raised eyebrows by concluding that psychiatric diagnoses are “scientifically meaningless,” and worthless as tools to accurately identify and address mental distress at an individual level.

Researchers performed a detailed analysis on five of the most important chapters in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Heath Disorders (DSM). The DSM is considered the definitive guide for mental health professionals, and provides descriptions for all mental health problems and their symptoms. The five chapters analyzed were: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma-related disorders.

Researchers came to a number of troubling conclusions. First, the study’s authors assert that there is a significant amount of overlap in symptoms between disorder diagnoses, despite the fact that each diagnosis utilizes different decision rules. Additionally, these diagnoses completely ignore the role of trauma or other unique adverse events a person may encounter in their life.

Perhaps most concerning of all, researchers say that these diagnoses tell us little to nothing about the individual patient and what type of treatments they will need. The authors ultimately conclude that this diagnostic labeling approach is “a disingenuous categorical system.”

"Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice. I hope these findings will encourage mental health professionals to think beyond diagnoses and consider other explanations of mental distress, such as trauma and other adverse life experiences.” Lead researcher Dr. Kate Allsopp explains in a release.

According to the study’s authors, the traditional diagnostic system being used today wrongly assumes that any and all mental distress is caused by a disorder, and relies far too heavily on subjective ideas about what is considered “normal.”

“Perhaps it is time we stopped pretending that medical-sounding labels contribute anything to our understanding of the complex causes of human distress or of what kind of help we need when distressed.” Professor John Read comments."

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Outrageous Hostility From Calvinist Theologians

  • R.C. Sproul, In His Book Titled Willing to Believe, Said The Following:
          -"I agree with Packer and Johnston that Arminianism contains un-Christian elements in it and that their view of the relationship between faith and regeneration is fundamentally un-Christian. Is this error so egregious that it is fatal to salvation? People often ask if I believe Arminians are Christians? I usually answer, “Yes, barely.” They are Christians by what we call a felicitous inconsistency."
          -“God controls everything that is and everything that happens. There is not one thing that happens that he has not actively decreed – not even a single thought in the mind of man. Since this is true, it follows that God has decreed the existence of evil, he has not merely permitted it, as if anything can originate and happen apart from his will and power. Since we have shown that no creature can make completely independent decisions, evil could never have started without God’s active decree, and it cannot continue for one moment longer apart from God’s will. God decreed evil ultimately for his own glory, although it is not necessary to know or to state this reason to defend Christianity from the problem evil.”
          -"God desires that his sheep are saved. God desires that his people are saved. He does not desire that every single individual who has ever lived, live in glory with him forever. If that were the case, we have an incompetent, unhappy, and impotent God.”
  • The Words Of Edwin H. Palmer On God Causing Sin (From A Calvinist Perspective):
          -"Foreordination means God's sovereign plan, whereby he decides all that is to happening the entire universe. Nothing in this world happens by chance. God is in back of everything. He decides and causes all things to happen that do happen...[H]e has foreordained everything 'after the council of his will' (Eph. 1:11): the moving of a finger, the beating of a heart, the laughter of a girl, the mistake of a typist-even sin." (H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism: A Study Guide, p. 30)
  • The Accusation of Preaching A False Gospel:
          -“According to Arminianism, then, salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God and man. One is saved by grace through works, and one’s salvation is maintained by not sinning -- at least not habitually. Sort of like maintaining a balance between good works and bad works.” (The Omega Letter Intelligence Digest, Vol: 20 Issue: 3 - Saturday, October 03, 2009)

           I am not trying to say that Calvinists are not Christians or anything in those lines of reasoning. They most certainly are, and in fact are quite committed to Scripture. What I am pointing out is how some express areas of disagreement in the most unreasonable ways or engage in strawmen when articulating arguments.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Incredible Design Of Our Universe

"Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use, "Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be less than 1 part in 1040000." Of course you would…I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of 12C to the 7.12 Mev level in 16O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix...A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature."

Fred Hoyle, "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections", in Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 20, September 1982, p. 16

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What About The New King James Version?

  • General Points Of Consideration:
          -A fellow blogger who is King James only had sent me a link to an article doing a comparison between the King James Version and the New King James Version, listing various differences between the two in an effort to demonstrate this particular modern translation to be corrupt. Indeed, to accuse scholars (or anybody for that matter) of conspiring to corrupt the Word of God is a very serious charge, and so should never be taken lightly. It is therefore the scope of this paper to address the arguments that have been leveled against the New King James Version in the link provided above.
          -Throughout King James only literature, whether it be written by notorious proponents such as Gail Riplinger, Dr. Hovind, or Jack Chick, we see a commonly set forth proposition that has never been verified, namely that the King James Version (which one?) is the divinely inspired Word of God. These apologists for this movement never really seem to tell us why this particular translation should be treated as the standard by which all others be judged. But how can one build a house without a foundatiofn? This is a textbook example of circular reasoning. Why are we not allowed to judge the King James Version by older translations such as the Geneva Bible? No reason has been given. Thus, we see that the King James Only Movement is based primarily upon inherently fallacious reasoning. Each translation should be judged in accordance to the best available manuscript evidence. What is even more, is that the earliest Christian Fundamentalists were never King James only.
          -There are probably around twenty different Textus Receptus manuscripts, all of which also contain a number of different textual variants, in our hands today. Which ones are accurate? When the Textus Receptus manuscripts and the King James Version conflict with each other, why must we automatically assume the K.J.V. rendering to be correct? Why must we assume that the King James Version is right every time we come across an apparent discrepancy in modern translations? Why must we assume that modern translations add or delete verses of Scripture, instead of accusing the King James translators of adding or taking away from the pages of the Bible? What if I had decided to be N.I.V. or N.A.S.B. only? These are more questions which I believe illustrate the overall level of absurdity among the folks who proclaim all modern translations to be corrupt. Even if we could prove the New King James Version beyond a reasonable doubt to be a corrupt translation, that still does not prove that all translations are corrupt, or even that the King James Version is inerrant.
          -I personally do not have a problem with reading from the King James Version, or even with the people who prefer to read from it to the exclusion of other reputable translations, but they are crossing the boundaries of orthodoxy when they begin shunning brethren for disagreeing on this issue, wrongfully slandering scholars, or proclaiming to receive divine revelations from God (as do folks like Gail Riplinger). Thankfully, this is not at all the case with the blogger whose objections that I intend on answering today to the New King James Version. May God point us to His truth. Now, this is not to suggest that all other translations are accurate and thus reliable. There are certainly counterfeit versions, such as the New World Translation, Joseph Smith Translation, Clear Word Bible, Good News for Modern Man, and the Passion Translation. Of Course, discernment is needed when choosing to read from a specific Bible version. But the King James Version is not by any means the only reliable English translation for people to study.

  • Getting To The Critique Of The King James Onlyist Arguments:
          -"Gen 22:18 changes seed to descendants (see Galatians 3:16). This is a prophecy about Jesus through whom all nations shall be blessed, not about the nations being blessed through a bunch of Abraham's offspring."

            I do not really see the problem here, as the words seed and descendants can indeed be used synonymously. We are literally descendants of Abraham, and children of God, by faith (John 1:12; 8:31-47; Galatians 3:7; 3:29). In fact, it is through Abraham that all nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; Galatians 3:8-9)--the Messiah would come to redeem the world from sin and death.

          -"Exo 16:28 changes ye to you. Was God angry at Moses or Israel"

             Well, the context plainly reveals that the "you" is referring to a collective, namely that of Israel disobeying God's laws and trying to gather manna of the Sabbath. So the King James only advocate is simply oresenting to us a false dilemma.

          -"Exodus 32:25 changes naked to unrestrained" 

             The Israelites were indeed "naked" in that Aaron had failed to prevent/protect them from going astray into idolatry. The usage of the word naked here is, however, pretty awkward. It seems archaic. Were the Jews literally naked, according to Exodus 32:25 in the King James Version? Unrestrained sounds much more appropriate, as they were out of control in that they were continually sinning against the Lord God Almighty.

          -"2 King 23:29 changes against to aid. Those are opposite meanings."

             Okay, both the King James Version and the New King James Version still clearly affirm that King Josiah was "killed" by Pharaoh Necho in battle--King Josiah did indeed "aid" the Egyptian leader in that his advance into battle got him killed (goal of Egypt, especially in war). So there is really no contradiction. Perhaps the word "aid" found in 2 Kings 23:29 as translated by the New King James Version can be somewhat ambiguous, but it is by no means an intentional corruption of the text. Other reputable translations use words such as "confront."

          -"Job 31:1 look upon--God doesn't Just Judge us on our Actions but on our thoughts too!" 

            This, too, is another false dilemma set forth by the King James only camp. There is no difference between "think upon a maid" and "look upon a young woman". Common sense tells us that lust originates from a sinful heart,which God will judge by definition. This particular charge, in my opinion, is ludicrous. See Matthew 5:27-30 in the New King James Version for additional proof of my claims.

         -"Pro 11:16 changes strong to ruthless (see Pro 13:22)"  

           The word ruthless is appropriate in this particular context, since the surrounding verses do contrast between godly ways of life and wicked ways of life. 

          -"Pro 16:1 preparations of the heart belong to man"

             So what? What exactly is the difference between "the preparations of the heart in man" and "the preparations of the heart belong to man"?

          -"Pro 16:6 Atonement is provided"

            There is really no difference between "by mercy and truth iniquity is purged" and "In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity". The message of the text remains the same, despite the slight differences in the translational renderings of the King James Version and the New King James Version. Why must we always concur with the archaic phraseology?

          -"Pro 16:10 divination"

            Well, let us see how a few other reputable translations render the text of Proverbs 16:10. The N.I.V. reads, 'The lips of a king speak as an oracle." The New American Standard Bible reads, "A divine decision is in the lips of the king." The New American Bible reads, "The king's lips are an oracle." The Everyday Bible reads, "The words of a king are like a message from God." Once again, there is only an imaginary corruption of the text of Scripture in the New King James Version. All these translations are conveying the same message in Proverbs 16:10, namely that society presumed the decisions executed by supreme judicial authority to be objective, proper, and correct.

          -"Pro 18:8 changes wounds to tasty trifles. So Gossiping is a good thing according to this translation?" 

               This verse from the Book of Proverbs is simply describing the negative nature of gossip. It simply analogizes the spoken words of a gossiper to delicious food. Many people tend to mentally absorb the news about another individual's state of general affairs, in the same manner that they would cling to a person giving away tasty deserts. Do King James only advocates actually take the time to read other Bible translations and logically analyze their own argumentation, or do they shallowly cherry pick random passages of Scripture in a desperate hurry and blindly trust in their leaders? 

          -"Pro 19:18 do not set your heart on his destruction" 

             What significant difference exists between "and let not thy soul spare for his crying" and "And do not set your heart on his destruction"?

          -"Pro 25:23 brings forth rain; Again opposite meaning"

             Indeed, there does seem to be a contradiction between the King James Version and the New King James Version on this point, but nothing is effected doctrinally here. Furthermore, reputable translations such as the N.I.V., Y.L.T., N.A.B., N.A.S.B., G.N.B., E.S.V., A.M.P., R.S.V., and several others agree completely with the N.K.J.V. on this translational rendering. Modern scholarship must have confirmed the King James rendering "The north wind driveth away rain" to be inaccurate. So it turns out after all that King James only apologists have unknowingly and unwittingly refuted their own postulate by pointing out this so-called corruption between the K.J.V. and the N.K.J.V. 

          -"Ecclesiastes 12:11 masters of assemblies changed to scholars" 

              What's the big deal with this textual change? How does it impact the reliability of the Bible, doctrinal articles of the Christian faith, and the meaning of the text itself? This allegation against the N.K.J.V. does not even make any sense.

          -"Isa 66:5 removes he shall appear"

               Why is this at all problematic? The reliability of the Bible is not in any way degraded. No doctrine of the Christian faith is negatively effected. In fact, the meaning of the verse is not even altered. Many other reputable translations besides the N.K.J.V. do the same with the curious phrase found in Isaiah 66:5 of the King James Version. It can be said safely that the New Testament documents alone are almost one hundred percent textually pure. Who's to say that the phrase was not added at some point later in time?

          -"Zechariah 9:17 changes his to its"

             Actually, the 'his' reference mentioned in this text appears to be somewhat obscure in nature. The N.A.B. translates "theirs." The N.A.S.B. says the same. But the N.I.V. says "his." The E.S.V. also agrees with the N.I.V. and the K.J.V. on this matter. So it turns out that Bible translators are not one hundred percent certain as to the correct rendering of the passage, that is, whether "it" or "his" is appropriate in Zechariah 9:17.  The reliability of Scripture is not damaged. No Christian doctrine is endangered by this slight translational difference. The meaning of the verse is not altered. And it is a proven fact that there is not a shred of evidence supporting the K.J.V. only notion of scholars having wicked motives to deceive the Christian church. 

          -"Joh 3:7 changes ye to you; Was it just Nicodemus who needed to be saved or all of us?"

               Does CONTEXT mean anything to those who affiliate themselves with the King James Only Movement? The context of the passage plainly reveals to us that Jesus Christ was specifically addressing the Pharisee named Nicodemus. In fact, John 3:16 emphatically states that our Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate so that He could offer Himself as a propitiatory sacrifice on our behalf for our sins. 

          -"Joh14:162615:2616:7, changes Comforter to Helper"

              What is the difference among the words comforter, helper, and advocate? Do they not all serve the same purpose?

          -Act 12:4 changes Easter to Passover; Passover just occurred are we to expect he was going to keep Peter in jail for a full year. Why would a Pagan King observe Passover? 

                On the contrary, Textus Receptus translates the phrase as Passover. No manuscript supports this reading. In fact, the KJV contains the accurate rendering of "Passover" in Matthew 26:2, and everywhere else. So why is it not translated correctly in Acts 12:4? This is a widely known error in the King James Version of the Bible. It seems that King James Version only advocates engage in a circular tautology here by claiming the English text to be correct by comparing it to itself, rather than to the Greek manuscripts. 

          -"Romans 4:25  raised because of our justification" 

               What is the difference between "was raised again for our justification" and "was raised because of our justification"? How is this incorrect? 

          -"13:2 changes damnation to judgment"

              Are not those who are under the judgement of God's wrath not on the route to spending eternity in damnation? Do not both translations convey the same message regarding unrighteous rebellion to God-ordained authorities?

          -"1 Corinthians 1:18 being saved 1:22 changes require to request"  

               Eternal life is more than just a present tense possession, but also is a hope that we long to experience (Titus 3:7). Some people are getting saved at this very moment, whereas others are perishing. There is nothing wrong with how the New King James Version translates 1 Corinthians 1:18. Also, the text of 1 Corinthians 1:22 simply means that true wisdom and power are found in ways that we would probably never expect to obtain them on a regular basis. The natural man would view the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross as being absolutely powerless. The Jew looks for a sign and the Greek desires wisdom because the preaching of the gospel seems absurd in the highest degree to them.

          -"2 Corinthians 2:15 being saved..."  

               Okay, some people are getting saved by believing on Jesus Christ and His Glorious Gospel, whereas others are perishing for their rejection of God. This verse is not about Christian justification, but rather, is about sactification.

          -"...2:17 changes corrupt to peddling" 

                So the Apostle Paul did not corrupt the gospel message by using it for his own personal gain? Where is the "change" in this particular passage of Scripture? Why does every difference in wording in comparison to the King James Version have to be treated as a perversion of the text?

          -"10:5 changes imaginations to arguments"

              How does this change in wording make any difference? Are the italicized portions of verses, footnotes, page numbering, and the chapter and the verse divisions found in the King James Version divinely inspired, as well?

          -"Col 2:16 changes holyday to festival"

              Would not festivals qualify to be holidays? How are those different?

          -"1 Thess 5:22 every form of " 

              There is literally no difference in meaning here.

          -"1 Tim 6:20 replaces science with knowledge" 

               The Greek word for knowledge in 1 Timothy 6:20 is gnosis, which means that the Apostle Paul was probably exhorting Timothy to avoid Gnosticism. This system of empty speculation and false, supernatural mythology began developing in the first century in milder forms. In fact, it was perhaps the greatest foe of Christianity for the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection. Even if this were untrue, it nevertheless remains a fact that "false knowledge" is more faithful to the ancient Greek texts than "Science so falsely called".

          -"Heb 2:16 not give aid to; The Context of this passage makes it clear that it's talking about Jesus being made flesh, not that he's helping someone or something. Thus this passage of this version is in error."

              On the contrary, consider this excerpt from The King James Version Bible Commentary, p. 1678: 

               "16-18. The third reason suggested by the author regarding the necessity of Christ's suffering is that He might become an intercessory high priest for His brothers. He took...on him. This verb (Gr epilambanomai) in verse 16 generally means to lay hold of, but in many contexts it takes on the added idea of 'helping.' Most likely, therefore, the idea of verse 16 is that Christ has taken hold of Abraham's seed in order to help them, whereas He has not chosen to help angelic beings. The verse probably does not have reference to a nature taken and one not taken, but to a help provided and not provided (cf. Westcott, pp. 54-55)."    

          -"Hebrews 4:8 changes Jesus"

               No, rather, translators of modern Bible versions are simply being mindful of the fact that "Joshua" in Hebrew is equivalent to "Jesus" in Greek. These two names are not the same in the English language, however. Thus, unbiased scholars should allow the context to be the key factor of interpretation and translation. Hebrews 4:8 is obviously speaking of Joshua, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, since it refers back to the Old Testament when he had successfully led the Israelites to the Promised Land. All the reputable translations of our day, which includes the New King James Version, are correct on this matter.

         -"Jam 5:16 changes faults to trespasses"  

              This is a silly argument to use because faults and trespasses are used interchangeably. There is no mention of a priesthood in this context (or in the New Testament), either. 

         -"2 Joh 1:7 as coming in the flesh" 

              If the wording of one translation differs even slightly from what is found in the King James Version, then King James only Christians generally assume it to be corrupt, even when they cannot substantiate their reasoning. We have a circular argument. Of course, there is really no change in the text, as is alleged by the author of the article being critiqued here. The so-called perversion found in 2 John 1:7 is only imagined. It is read into the verse. The text is only telling us to continually proclaim Jesus as God incarnate in the face of doctrinal apostates. See also 1 John 4:1-4.

         -"2 Joh 1:10 nor greet him; This passage claims you sin when you say hi to someone you don't even know if they don't have the doctrine of Christ when they meet you."  

             For crying out loud, greeting is a perfect substitute for the archaic English phrase "bidding God speed." I highly doubt that most people in our culture today would even understand what that phrase meant if it were applied in a casual conversation. In either case, the Apostle John is telling his reading audience to not associate with and contribute to the success of false teachers. That is obviously what the context of the entire epistle is about. Never forget to throw common sense out the door.

         -"Revelation 13:16 on their right hand" 

            The verse in both translations means the same thing. So it is pointless to make an argument for the superiority of the King James Version from this text in Revelation.

          -"some of these bibles have occult symbol on them..."

              Ah, this symbol, known as the Triquetra, has been used by Christians for centuries as an expression of their belief in the Holy Trinity. To accuse this symbol of being pagan is to engage in a guilt by association fallacy. It also involves a genetic fallacy. It would also be like arguing that the Trinity doctrine itself is of pagan origin. The truth of the matter here is that pagans have historically used all sorts of symbols as ways of portraying their beliefs. The meaning of a symbol is based entirely upon the context in which it is used. Can anybody justify the wacky symbolism present on the cover of Gail Ripingler's book titled New Age Bible Versions, or the creepy stuff presented throughout her literature? Why is not the original 1611 King James Version criticized for all the artistic design and symbolism contained within its pages? 

          -"Heb 3:16...was it not all who came out...? The way they put this verse it implies everyone who came out of Egypt rebelled but we know Joshua and Caleb Wholly followed the Lord. Num 32:11-12"

               In short, the context reveals to us that the author is telling a Jewish Christian audience to remain faithful to the God who created them, lest they provoke Him to anger through sin which hardens the heart. This text is saying to remain faithful to the sovereign Lord. Hebrews 3:16 simply illustrates this point by using the Jews of the Exodus time period as an example. The Israelites began worshiping strange gods. The problem with the King James only argument above is that it takes the word all too literally. Of course, God is not going to punish the righteous with the wicked, as He is a just God (i.e. Genesis 18:22-33). God will reward all who trust in Him for salvation and deliverance, whereas He punishes all the unrepentant and unbelieving in the literal flames of hell. God rewards all who are righteous in His sight; God punishes all who are unrighteous in His sight. Again, let us not throw common sense out the door.  
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