Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Does Psalm 12:6-7 Ensure Infallible Preservation Of The King James Version?

  • Discussion:
           -King James Version only advocates frequently cite the text of Psalm 12:6-7 as evidence of that particular English translation being infallibly preserved by God:

           "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." (Psalm 12:6-7)

           The context of Psalm 12:6-7 makes it clear that God is preserving His faithful remnant among the wicked. The context of the passage pertains to God preserving His saints in the face of persecution. King David, the psalmist, is pleading for the divine intervention and protection of the Lord in the midst of hostile opposition by those who despise the ways of holiness. Psalm 37:28 and Psalm 121:1-8 are valid cross references in this case. If Psalm 12:6-7 was meant to be a promise of infallible preservation of the Word of God through the King James Version, then which of the ten revisions of that translation is the promised one? Where was the Word of God when King David penned these words in Psalm 12:6-7? Where in context does this so-called promise of preserving the Word of God demand that it be applied exclusively to the King James Version?

           Consider this excerpt from the Translator Notes to the Reader which is found in the 1611 edition of the King James Version:

           "The Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New are the two golden pipes, or rather conduits, through which the olive branches empty themselves into the golden bowl. If truth is to be tried by these tongues, then whence should a translation be made out of them? These tongues therefore, we should say Scriptures in those tongues, we set before us to translate, being the tongues in which God was pleased to speak to his Church by his Prophets and Apostles.”

           This proves that the committee which gathered to produce the King James translation engaged in the same textual criticism as do modern translators. Furthermore, Psalm 12:7 in the 1611 King James Version contains this variant reading in a marginal note:

           "Heb. him, i. euery one of them."

           Renderings of Psalm 12:7 in English translations older than the King James:

           "[Wherfore] thou wylt kepe the godly, O God: thou wylt preserue euery one of them from this generation for euer." (Psalm 12:7, Bishop's Bible)

            "Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve us.: and keep us from this generation for ever." (Psalm 12:7, Douay-Rheims Bible)

           God has preserved His Word through the wealth of available manuscript evidence and early source attestation. The Bible as we know it today is inspired, inerrant, and infallible, with the difference being that it exists in a plethora of translations among different languages. God has preserved His Word, despite attempts to destroy it. We have not lost the Word of God, despite there being textual variances among biblical manuscripts. Not one casts doubt upon the articles of the Judeo-Christian worldview. The historic Christian position on the Bible is that it is the inspired Word of God, and has never been restricted to a single translation. The notion of a Bible translation being inspired in the same sense as the original autographs is a relatively novel concept.

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