October 24, 2017

King James Only Debate

FACTS FOR FAITH
(October, 1972)
Debate on the King James Version

This month's FACTS FOR FAITH is a very special issue, in that it comprises a debate on one of the most widely interesting questions of our time. Are we to put our confidence in the King James Version as the best, perhaps even the only dependable, version of the Bible? Or, are some later translations more accurate? This question does not involve the "modern" or free-speech type of versions; it is limited to the King James versus, say, the American Standard or New American Standard Versions. The subject has received a good deal of publicity among evangelicals, and we think it needs to be discussed.

We have asked Dr. David Otis Fuller and Mr. Daniel H. King to write their differing views of this matter. Both of them are conservatives, agreeing that the Bible is the verbally inspired and inerrant Word of God.

Dr. Fuller is pastor of the Wealthy Street Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is well known as an interpreter of Spurgeon, and, more recently, the editor of the book, Which Bible? Mr. King is a minister of the Church of Christ, in Millington, Tennessee. He is a graduate in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies, being well known to our regular readers as the author of a fine series of articles on Archaeology and Old Testament Accuracy. Both men have studied the subject of their articles over a long period of time.

David Otis Fuller is relatively aged and Daniel King is relatively young. The wisdom of Dr. Fuller and the knowledge ability of Mr. King (not to imply that Fuller is not knowledgeable or King not wise!) should make for a good balance in the discussion. The specific proposition is: "Is the King James Version nearest to the original autographs?"

Each of the writers presented a paper on the proposition without having seen that of the other. Then, each was given a copy of the other's major article and asked to write a rebuttal. The articles appear here in the order: first, Fuller's article, then King's; then Fuller's rebuttal, then King's rebuttal.

It is our conviction that one of the finest ways to arrive at truth on any disputed question is through open and free debate. Where both sides of a subject are presented side by side, it is possible to make comparisons and to reach conclusions. We have confidence in the "average man" as to his ability to weigh evidence and reach a decision. Both sides cannot be right in the question now before us, but both sides do deserve to be heard. We trust that our readers will study with open minds.

We express our appreciation to both men for their excellent contributions.

(Gordon Wilson, editor)

Is the King James Version Nearest to the Original Autographs?
by David Otis Fuller

From 1611 to 1972 is a long time in any man's language; three centuries plus sixty-one years. That is how long the King James Version of God's Holy Word has lasted. It is still going strong despite the attempts of liberals and --alas!-- conservatives to downgrade this version with the timeworn cliché of the critics: "Older and more accurate manuscripts have been discovered to change the meaning of many passages." Such a statement is not true and we have abundant evidence that it is not.

Let us ask a few pointed and practical questions. We as evangelicals believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant, without error. So we ask, Is there one version extant among the multiplicity of versions which is without error today? If there is not, then we worship a God who is either careless or impotent to keep His Word pure through the ages. How can we say we believe in the inerrancy of the Word of God and yet say there are errors in every translation?

We do not say that the KJV does not permit of changes. There are a number that could be and should be made, but there is a vast difference between a change and an error.

In the early church there came a time or times--just when or where we have no reliable record--when some godly men definitely directed of the Holy Spirit selected the twenty-seven books which comprise our New Testament and arranged them in that order. That this was done over a long period of time could well be and probably was, but it was done; we have the evidence at hand to prove it. This writer is just as firmly convinced that the Holy Spirit played a very definite part in bringing together the brilliant scholars who in time produced the KJV of 1611. These men were the greatest scholars of their day or any day, so erudite that the scholarship of today pales by comparison. John Boys was able to read the Bible in Hebrew at the age of five years! He was a proficient Greek scholar at the age of fourteen, and for years he spent from four o'clock in the morning until eight o'clock at night in the Cambridge library studying manuscripts and languages. The chairman of the committee was Lancelot Andrewes who was the greatest linguist of his day, being at home in twenty different languages.

The Holy Spirit knew what He was doing, as He always does, when He gathered these dedicated minds for such a purpose. True, there were High Churchmen among them and those with whom we might disagree on minor points of doctrine, but without exception all held in highest esteem and deepest reverence the Bible as the verbally inspired Word of God, and treated it as such. We venture to say, never in all history has there been such a convocation of scholarly men of God as that which produced the masterpiece of the KJV, hailed by the greatest literary lights in every age since, as the lodestar of literature which has led all writings to the present hour.

The 1611 scholars used as the basis for their version the Textus Receptus which was originally collated by Desiderius Erasmus, and later improved by Stunica, Robert Stephens, the Elzavirs, and Beza's five editions. The Renaissance of Europe produced that giant intellect and scholar, Erasmus. The common proverb then was, "Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it." To quote one scholar, "Endowed by nature with a mind that could do ten hours work in one, Erasmus during his mature years in the earlier part of the sixteenth century was the intellectual giant of Europe." There were hundreds of manuscripts for Erasmus to examine and he did; but he used only a few. What matters? The vast bulk of manuscripts in Greek are practically the Received Text; not identical, of course, but most of the variations are superficial, and in general character and content they represent the same kind of text. lf the few Erasmus used were typical; that is, after he had thoroughly balanced the evidence of many and used a few which displayed that balance, did he not, with all the problems before him, arrive at practically the same result which could only be arrived at today by a fair and comprehensive investigation?

Moreover, the text Erasmus chose had such an outstanding history in the Greek, the Syrian, and the Waldensian churches, that it constituted an irresistible argument for, and proof of, God's providence. God did not write a hundred Bibles; there is only one Bible, and the others are at best only approximations. In other words, the Greek New Testament of Erasmus, known as the Received Text, is none other than the Greek New Testament which successfully met the rage of its pagan and papal enemies.

Two hundred seventy years passed which brings us to 1881 and the publication of the Revised Version. Three brilliant scholars dominated the whole committee: Brooke Foss Westcott (later Bishop of Durham), and Fenton John Anthony Hort, both professors at Cambridge University; and Bishop Ellicott, chairman of the committee, who some years before was solidly in favor of the Received Text. Ellicott was swung over to the position of Westcott and Hort, so much so that he aided and abetted them in the pledging of the rest of the committee to absolute secrecy when each received a copy of the newly published Westcott and Hort Greek Text. Why the secrecy? That remains to be seen. Our study, over a period of ten years, of this whole subject has confirmed the conviction that this was what Burgon calls "a conspiracy." Neither Westcott nor Hort ever stated or believed that the Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God. They have gone on record as saying it was to be treated like any other book. It is our studied belief that this was one of Satan's subtlest assaults on the purity and integrity of God's Holy Word and the repercussions of this assault have been felt through the decades to this very hour.

All of this has to do with the Westcott and Hort textual theory which the vast majority of evangelicals have accepted at its face value without being given the truth about it. Both of these Cambridge professors, for one thing, elevated antiquity above accuracy and thus championed the two oldest manuscripts of the Scriptures in existence: Codex Aleph (Sinaiticus) and Codex B (Vaticanus), both dating from the fourth century. Both of these have been branded by Herman Hoskler, John Burgon, and Prebendary Scrivener as being filled with errors and contradictions; two of the "foulest" of manuscripts in the words of Burgon. Westcott and Hort put all of their eggs in these two baskets, completely ignoring and at times deprecating the hundreds of Greek manuscripts which agreed with the Received Text, on which the KJV was founded, in 90 to 95 per cent of their contents.

It is clearly shown in the writings of some of the greatest scholars in our book, Which Bible? that the oldest manuscripts have been proved more often than not to be the worst and the least trustworthy. Westcott and Hort invented some clever clichés and plausible arguments in favor of their theory, such as "intrinsic probability," "transcriptional probability," "Syrian recension," etc., all of which prove to be entirely subjective with no real facts to substantiate them save the opinion of the scholar. Practically every version of the Bible from the publication of the RV in 1881 down to the present time has followed the Westcott and Hort Greek text and theory almost in full. In the words of Dr. Alfred Martin, "During the past seventy years it has often been considered textual heresy to deviate from their position or to intimate that, sincere as they undoubtedly were, they nay have been mistaken."

Let us face this fact: the Westcott-Hort method is certainly basically rationalistic, for it exalts the judgment of the individual critic. They were influenced either consciously or unconsciously by the liberal tendencies of their tine. It was a period when the theory of evolution had been thrust before the popular attention with the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859. This theory had tremendous repercussion in every area of life. Both Westcott and Hort seem to have been theistic evolutionists. Men are always seeking some self-evident principle that will explain everything. The Westcott-Hort Theory is an attempt to find such a principle in New Testament textual criticism. This theory enabled the two editors to reject as of no value about 95 per cent of the available evidence, and in effect, to make the text of Vaticanus the magic touchstone. If anyone would doubt this, then listen to Hort's own words on the subject: "Tried by the sane tests as those just applied, B (Vaticanus) is found to hold a unique position. Its text throughout is Pre-Syrian, perhaps purely Pre-Syrian, at all events with hardly any, if any, quite clear exceptions. Highest interest must already be seen to belong to a document of which thus far we know only that its text is not only Pre-Syrian but substantially free from Western and Alexandrian adulteration."

Prebendary Scrivener was on the committee of the RV of 1881 and was about the only one who had the great scholarship and courage necessary to cross swords with Westcott and Hort. Listen to his words: "Dr. Hort's system, therefore, is entirely destitute of historical foundation. He does not so much as make a show of pretending to it; but then he would persuade us, as he has persuaded himself, that its substantial truth is proved by results .... With all our reverence for his [Hort's] genius and gratitude for much that we have learned from him in the course of our studies, we are compelled to repeat as emphatically as ever our strong conviction that the hypothesis to whose proof he has devoted so many laborious years, is destitute, not only of historical foundation, but of all probability resulting from the internal goodness of the text which its adoption would force upon us" (Plain Introduction, Volume 2, pages 291-92, 296).

A further sweeping, although not impassioned, refutation came from the pen of Dean Burgon, who with his superb sense of satire reduced the whole hypothesis to an absurdity. No matter how many heretics there were in the church in the third and fourth centuries, and there were many, they would not have dared to handle the sacred text of Scripture in the way that Hort supposes. Even if they had dared to do so, they could not have succeeded with impunity. There would have been some writers who would have raged against them as Burgon did against Westcott and Hort in the nineteenth century. If there is no Syrian text —-and there could be none without some such recension as Hort imagines-- then there is no Westcott and Hort theory. One may not agree with all of Burgon's views, nor can one condone the irascibility and smugness which he at times exhibited, but one who believes the Bible cannot but rejoice at his love for God's Book and admire his masterly defense of verbal inspiration.

The opponents of Westcott and Hort have not hesitated to impeach Vaticanus as a fallible and false witness. It is clear that the traditional text and Vaticanus cannot both be right; and if the traditional text is at least as old as Vaticanus--Hort admits this--why should the authority of one manuscript be acknowledged against the host of manuscripts, versions, and Fathers which support the traditional text?

Is the King James Version Nearest to the Original Autographs?
by Daniel H. King

When the King James Version was first translated in l6ll, the general public did not immediately view the revision as manna from heaven. Affections were divided between the Geneva Bible, the Great Bible, and the Bishop's Bible, and fifty turbulent years passed before the King's new version attained supremacy. No doubt, the translators had this very problem in mind when they commented in The Translators to the Reader:

We do not deny nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession .. . containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God ....

Yet before we end, we must answer a third cavil and objection of theirs against us, for altering and amending our Translations so oft; wherein truly they deal hardly, and strangely with us. For to whomever was it imputed for a fault (by such as were wise) to go over that which he had done and to amend it where he saw cause?

After the heat of the controversy had waned however the KJV attained an unparalleled significance which it has continued to enjoy for almost three centuries. Its simple, majestic Anglo-Saxon tongue, its clear, sparkling style, its directness and force of utterance made it a model in language and dignity for writers since. Indeed, it has endeared itself to millions and has molded the characters of leaders in every walk of life.

But three centuries have passed since its translation, and notwithstanding numerous changes made in 1769 to bring the KJV to its current form, much has occurred in Biblical research as well as in the English language. We must remember that the purpose of Bible translation is to give men the Word of God in language they can understand. If the translation is not based on the most accurate text possible or if it does not communicate God's Word in understandable terminology, then it certainly cannot be described as "nearest to the original autographs."

The principle defect of the KJV was one for which the translators cannot be held responsible, namely, the text on which it was based. They used what is called the Textus Receptus, or Received Text, which had been prepared by the Dutch scholar Erasmus (the third edition in 1522), and Erasmus never had more than eight or nine manuscripts at his disposal. Only one of these was even moderately old and reliable. None of his manuscripts contained the entire New Testament, and Erasmus added some verses which were not in any of then, which he had re-translated into Greek from Latin. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the King James translators were limited to the second edition of the Bomberg Bible, published in Venice in 1525, and a few texts going back to the Soncino printing of 1488. It was naturally the case that scores of copyists' errors, repeated from early centuries, escaped the notice of these scholars and entered their translation.

Modern scholars have estimated that the King James translators were limited to but a hundredth part, or one per cent, of the Greek evidence now available. Erasmus' oldest manuscript was Minuscule I, dated in the tenth century. Further, only one manuscript from the Uncial period (4th-9th centuries) was available to the translators in 1611. This was Codex Bezae, from the 5th or 6th century. Since that time scores of older and more complete manuscripts (Bezae contains only the Gospels, Acts, and the Latin text of 3 John 11-15) have been discovered. Some important ones are Codex Sinaiticus (4th century), Vaticanus (4th century), Alexandrinus (5th century), Ephraemi (5th century), and a number of others dated in the 4th to the 9th centuries.

Also significant is the fact that even a century ago, not one fragment of papyrus was known which contained any New Testament text. To date, scholars have catalogued sixty-four such papyri, and several others which have not been given official listing are known. Among the most important are 25, dated about A.D. 140; p46, consisting of forty-six leaves dated about 200; p66 , containing John 1-14 and dated about 200; p45, dated about 250; and p47, dated about 275. Many of these are too small to be of much value textually, but their cumulative value is immense. They establish the form the text took very soon after the existence of the autographs, and they are certainly a tremendous advance for New Testament translation.

In the area of Old Testament textual criticism, the year 1890 is significant. This was the year of the discovery of the genizah of the Church of St. Michael in Cairo. An astounding 200,000 fragments were removed from this cache, including Biblical fragments which contained significant variations from the Massoretic Text. Among the major discoveries was the Cairo Codex of the Prophets (895); the Aleppo Codex (1050); and the Leningrad Codex (1008), which forms the basis of Kittel's Biblia Hebraica III. With this discovery, efforts at textual reconstruction were moved back as far as the sixth century in some instances.

Even more significant were the 1947 discoveries at Qumran and Murrabba'at. Prior to the discovery of these Qumran Scrolls our direct knowledge of the Old Testament text was limited largely to the Massoretic Text of Rabbinic Judaism. With the Dead Sea finds, however, the history of the text was taken back to between 169 B.C. and A.D. 233. Biblical manuscripts of most Old Testament books have been found, with some books (Deuteronomy, Psalms, and Isaiah) appearing in ten or more copies. Again, examples could be multiplied of ancient versions, but surely the evidence offered will be sufficient to convince the undecided that in the past three centuries we have gained manuscripts which take us much closer to the original autographs than the KJV translators could possible have come.

The KJV translators were also limited in the area of linguistics. In New Testament studies it is generally admitted that scientific philology did not begin until the 19th century. The papyri discoveries have given much assistance in the proper understanding of the New Testament vocabulary and syntax. In Old Testament linguistics, the modern scholar has access to both excavational and inscriptional aids only fairly recently available. Excavated towns have brought about a clarification of numerous passages (compare Esth. 4:6 and 2 Chron. 32:6 as rendered in the KJV and RSV). Objects formerly only guessed at have now been identified (compare Ex. 25:29; 37:16; Num. 4:7; Lev. 26:30; Isa. 17:8; 27:9; Ezek. 6:4 in the KJV and RSV). King James' translators, being unaware of the actual identification of several animals, placed mythological designations upon many. Satyrs (Isa. 13:21), Dragons (Job 30:29), Unicorns (Deut. 33:17), and Cockatrices (Isa. 14:29), have all been identified and accurately translated in later versions. What these men thought was "sapphire" is now known to refer to "lapis lazuli." Other examples could be cited.

The Hebrew vocabulary is also now much better understood than it was in 1611. Masses of comparative material are now available from studies in the ancient cognate languages, two of which are Aramaic and Akkadian. A considerable amount of Canaanite inscriptional material has also come to light. The foremost find was the 1929 discovery of the library of Ugarit. Knowledge of Ugaritic and other cognate languages has enabled philologists to make valuable additions to Hebrew lexicography, which makes it possible for us to have a much more accurate rendering of the original. Formerly only Arabic was available for comparison.

Another problem with the accuracy of the KJV concerns the nature of languages. It is axiomatic that no language remains static. Word meanings gradually change in connection with usage. Benjamin B1ayney's alterations in 1769 brought vast improvements to the KJV, but it must be realized that two hundred years have passed since then and other evolutions have certainly taken place in the English language. In some instances the proper meaning is quite lost to the modern reader.

For example, the three allied expressions: "anon" (as in Mk. 1:30), "by and by" (as in Lk. 21:9), and "presently" (as in Matt. 26:53) all new carry a vague sense of time in the near future, but originally meant "at once." The most striking example is to be found in a word which has completely reversed its meaning. "Prevent" now means to hinder, but in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 it was rightly used in 1611 to mean "go before." Many words used then are now obsolete, such as "wist," "divers," and "privi1y." If such words either mean nothing to us, or give us the wrong impression, they certainly do not represent the original autographs more accurately.

We have given here three reasons why the KJV cannot be the nearest to the original autographs. (1) The text upon which it was based was corrupted in numerous instances; materials now available bring us closer to establishing the original text. (2) Lexicography is new far advanced beyond the time of the KJV; many words are now known to have been inaccurately rendered in 1611. (3) The English language has changed sufficiently in two hundred years to cause lack of clarity and even inaccuracy in many instances.

Response to Mr. King
by David Otis Fuller

The eight or nine manuscripts which Desiderius Erasmus had access to, from which came the Textus Receptus, and which was improved upon and corrected by the Elzivirs, Stephens, and Theodore Beza's five editions, from which came the King James Version, correspond with 90 to 95 per cent of the between 4,000 and 5,000 Greek manuscripts which we have today.

I have never claimed to be a scholar; I do not claim to be one now; I never intend to claim such. But I do claim without hesitation, reservation, or trepidation, that it has been my privilege to study under some of the greatest scholars that this country, or indeed the world, ever produced: Robert Dick Wilson (master of 45 languages and dialects), J. Gresham Machen, one of the greatest of Greek scholars, Caspar Wistar Hodge, grandson of the great Charles Hodge, Cornelius Van Til, who took the measure of Karl Barth and is still living, etc.

I also claim to know a Christian scholar when I read his writings or hear him speak. By "Christian" we mean one who holds God's Holy Word in reverence, as different from any other book and believes it to be the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God. Westcott and Hort did not believe the Bible to be such, and they treated it as they would any other book.

Burgon, Hoskier, Prebendary Scrivener, Alfred Martin, all of these great scholars agree that Codex B (Vaticanus), and Codex Aleph (Sinaiticus) are among the poorest manuscripts, with contradictions a d errors abounding throughout then; and Vaticanus has missed all of Revelation, the first 46 chapters of Genesis, all of Paul’s Pastoral epistles, chapters nine through 13 of Hebrews, and 30 Psalms. Leaving all scholars language aside and coning down to the level of the average layman, we ask the following pertinent and important questions:

l. Are the Holy Scriptures the very Word of God, coming from God through His Holy Spirit in the original autographs? If we believe this, then must not we also believe--

2. That God has providentially preserved His Book through the ages without error? If He has not done so, then we assume He was either incapable of doing so, or was very careless. But what does God mean when He says, "Every word of God is pure"? What does the Bible mean when it says in Psalm 132:2, "Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name"?

3. If, as Mr. King says, the KJV is not the nearest to the original autographs, then which version is nearest? There must be one that is nearest; this is a natural consequent of this whole discussion. Would Mr. King tell us which version is nearest and give us proof for the same?

Every other version, with very few if any exceptions, is based almost squarely upon the Greek text of Westcott and Hort. And Westcott and Hort based their text on Vaticanus for the most part, and also Sinaiticus, which are, as we have observed, the poorest of all manuscripts.

If Mr. King will say that there is no version without errors in it, then I must ask him, or anyone else who would say the same thing, how he can believe in the inerrancy of holy Scripture? (inerrancy means without error). To say he did would be the crassest kind of double talk.

There are changes that could and should be made in the KJV, we freely admit. But there is a vast difference between changes and errors. An error changes the meaning entirely; a change enhances the meaning of the text, but does not alter it.

As for modern readers not being able to understand the English of the KJV, does Mr. King mean to say that the young people and adults of our day are more stupid than those of 30 or 40 years ago? Anyone who wants to can understand and appreciate and be blessed by reading the KJV. Young people learn other languages in school today. How? By digging in and getting it. And they could do the same with the incomparable KJV.

The King James translators were not limited in the area of linguistics. John Boys, one of the translators, was able to read the Bible in Hebrew at five years of age! He was a proficient Greek scholar at the age of 14, and spent from four o'clock in the morning until eight o'clock at night for years in the Cambridge library. As we have observed before, they were not cursed with televisions, telephones, radios, or trotting around to Bible conferences world without end and three days after!

Lancelot Andrewes was a master of 20 different languages, the greatest linguist of his day. He spent five hours a day in prayer, and was held in highest esteem by the reigning monarch, King James I.

One more thought. lf God thinks so much of His Word as He says He does, then He personally superintended the men, whoever they were and whatever times they met, in choosing the 27 books of the New Testament, and in the order in which we have them. And I am of the firm conviction that God had a definite hand in choosing and bringing together the 37 scholars who produced the KJV. If God is sovereign--which He is; and if God has jealously guarded His Book through these long centuries--and He has; then we may be sure that He has kept His Book free from all error to this present hour. It all depends upon who God is. If He is the above, then the problem is solved.

Response to Dr. Fuller
by Daniel H. King

The most unlettered reader may easily observe that Dr. Fuller finds himself defending the indefensible and, like the proverbial ostrich, he must needs hide his head in the sands of illogic. Note that in his affirmation he admits: "We do not say that the KJV does not permit of changes. There are a number that could and should be made..." If such is the case, can it then be the "nearest to the original autographs"?

Another glaring contradiction is his comment upon the Textus Receptus: "The vast bulk of manuscripts in Greek are practically the Received Text; not identical, of course, but most of the variations are superficial, and in general character and content they represent the same kind of text." Then, after having admitted that the text was plagued by "variations" which keep it from being "identical" to the originals he expects to convince his readers that the "Received Text is none other than the Greek New Testament." How can a thing be "the same as" while not being identical to that to which it is likened? A careful reading of these admissions alone will show that Dr. Fuller has virtually given up his proposition.

Next, Dr. Fuller turns in righteous indignation to the Westcott-Hort method and text. Here he whips a straw man in suggesting that "the vast majority of evangelicals have accepted it." His statement would have been true had he stated that the vast majority once accepted it. The Westcott-Hort Text was a great improvement over the Received Text, but it did have the defects which Dr. Fuller noted. It has since been replaced by what is called an "eclectic text" (forms the basis of modern Greek Bibles such as Nestle's), which prints the readings supported by the best evidence. Again, in Dr. Fuller's response to this writer's negative comments, he begins by virtually admitting defeat to his cause. He says: "Textus Receptus...correspond with 90-95 per cent of the between 4,000 and 5,000 Greek manuscripts today." Cannot my opponent see that this five to ten per cent proves that this text could be (and has been) improved upon? The collation and critical examination of all Biblical manuscripts found to date would necessarily imply a more accurate text from which to translate. Such reverencing of the Received Text is naught but a human tradition (Matthew 15:9), just like his view that the KJV translators were gathered and guided by the Holy Spirit. Evidently such assumptions need not be proved, since no proof was forthcoming.

Next, Dr. Fuller says that the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are among the poorest of manuscripts, but cites only the names of a few men as evidence. Surely the reader can discern for himself that a set of fourth century manuscripts would be better for determining the original text of a passage than the Late Byzantine Received Text.

Now we turn to the questions asked in the affirmative's response.

l. "Are the Holy Scriptures the very Word of God, coming from God through His Holy Spirit in the original autographs?" My answer: Yes--in the original autographs.

2. "lf we believe this, then must we not also believe that God has providentially preserved His Book through the ages without error?" My answer: In qualification of Dr. Fuller's second question we would note that whatever this writer's position would have to answer for in regard to textual deviation from the autographs, Dr. Fuller's position would also require. Remember, it was Dr. Fuller who commented that the Received Text was not identical to the autographs and that it contained variations. Would he affirm that in God's providence He has guided the scribes of ages past to produce perfect copies of the autographs, when it is an observable fact that such is not the case? Would he state that every translation has exactly represented the words of the Holy Spirit in their various renderings? Would he say that the printers who have produced even the KJV have been without error? Of course he would not. Such would be pure folly. The facts mitigate against all such assumptions. In actuality it is only the original autographs which we must affirm as free from error, and translations only insofar as they accurately represent the originals. The reader may freely examine such examples in the KJV as I John 5:7,8; John 5:4, etc., along with those already offered, and will necessarily conclude them to be textual corruptions from earlier centuries.

As to his questions concerning God's providential care for His Word, the answer is self-evident. No other ancient book in all the world has weathered the ravages of time as has this Volume. After two thousand years of attempts to destroy it by the Roman Empire, the papacy, and the infidel hordes--still, no significant Biblical question rests upon a disputed text. That is the providential work of God. But it remains a fact that no Biblical passage affirms the infallibility of a translator or his translation effort.

3. "If, as Mr. King says, the KJV is not the nearest to the original autographs, then which version is nearest?" My answer: This writer would affirm that any translation today which accurately translates the superior Greek and Hebrew texts which we now possess is necessarily superior to the KJV. Such does not necessitate that we hold to a single translation as the one inspired translation, as Dr. Fuller seems to do.

Next, the affirmative in effect suggests that we instruct our children and others to learn to translate this translation. This is going to extreme lengths to escape a necessary conclusion. Why not force them to use the Greek and Hebrew texts? Dr. Fuller reverences the KJV as the Roman Catholic Church did the Latin Vulgate, and in so doing fails to realize that in a given length of time this would again remove the Bible from the hands of the common man. Deliver us from such human traditions!

Lastly, Dr. Fuller says that the KJV translators were not limited in the area of linguistics. The observant reader will kindly note that we offered abundant evidence that they were, and this proffered evidence was not refuted. I am afraid that evidence has been ignored throughout, to the certain detriment of the contrary position.

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