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A Critique of From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man

by Jeffrey Khoo. Used with permission.

From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man (231 pp)—published in 1999 by Ambassador-Emerald International (Greenville SC, USA, and Belfast, N. Ireland), and edited by James B. Williams is the latest book to attack KJV-only advocates. KJV-only advocates (1) believe the King James or Authorised Version (KJV/AV) to be the most faithful, trustworthy, and accurate translation of the English Bible available today, and (2) contend that the English-speaking Church should use it alone. A number of books have already been written against the KJV by modernists and neo-evangelicals. From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man, however, is written by fundamentalists. Sadly, instead of defending God and His Word, we find fundamentalists singing the same anti-biblical tune of anti-fundamentalists. Sounding like modernists and neo-evangelicals, Williams scoffed at KJV-defending fundamentalists, calling them "unqualified", "immature," and a "cancerous sore" (pp. 4,7). Is there not treachery within the camp?

James B. Williams, the general editor of the book, is on the Bob Jones University (BJU) Board of Trustees. The 19 who contributed to the book are professors, graduates, or friends of BJU. It is reported that Dr. Bob Jones III—president of BJU—highly recommended the book in the 1999 World Congress of Fundamentalists, calling it the "most significant book for fundamentalism in this century." It sold like hot cakes. A sad day for fundamentalism it was. By such an endorsement, BJU has kowtowed to the god of humanistic scholarship. From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man exalts man's mind over God's. It promotes unregenerate and modernistic scholarship, and downgrades spiritual and biblical discernment.

Now, let us examine the book chapter by chapter.

"Introduction: The Issue We Face" by James B. Williams

From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man seeks to address the KJV controversy within fundamentalism. According to Williams, the view that the KJV should be the only translation used by fundamentalists "has created unnecessary confusion and division. ... [and] is doing more damage to the cause of Christ among Fundamentalists than any ... other controversies" (p. 2).

Williams's charge that KJV-only advocates have created "unnecessary confusion and division" is false. The only agenda KJV-only advocates have is to call the Church back to the traditional and preserved text of Scriptures as found in the KJV and its underlying Hebrew and Greek texts over against the plethora of modern and corrupted versions (or perversions) of the Bible. Why should fundamentalists who should be on the Lord's side be angry with those from within their camp who refuse to bow the knee to the modern Baal of Textual Criticism and side with modern Balaams like Westcott and Hort? Williams is upset over the militancy of KJV-only advocates, but is this not what the Lord requires of His Church militant? When false teachers seek to destroy God's Word and His Church, how can God's people not be filled with righteous indignation and speak out passionately in defence of both the Living and Written Word? How can we not be like loyal David who declared, "Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies" (Ps 139:21-22)? Westcott and Hort and their cohorts are enemies of Christ and His Word. The prophet Jehu's words to compromising Jehoshaphat apply equally to BJU, "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD?" (2 Chr 19:1-2). The Bob Jones sanhedrin is telling KJV-only fundamentalists to shut up. But we reply with the Apostle Peter, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

The biblical voice of KJV-only advocates is one and is clear, namely this: We believe and teach that "the Texts which are closest to the original autographs of the Bible are the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text for the Old Testament, and the Traditional Greek Text for the New Testament underlying the King James Version." And we believe and teach that

the King James Version (or Authorised Version) of the English Bible is a true, faithful, and accurate translation of these two providentially preserved Texts (ie, the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text and Traditional Greek Text underlying the KJV), which in our time has no equal among all of the other English Translations. The translators did such a fine job in their translation task that we can without apology hold up the Authorised Version of 1611 and say 'This is the Word of God!' while at the same time realising that, in some verses, we must go back to the underlying original language Texts for complete clarity, and also compare Scripture with Scripture (The Dean Burgon Society, Articles of Faith, Section II.A).

Wherein lies the confusion? The confusion is not caused by KJV-only advocates but by fundamentalists who blur the issue by being neutral, claiming to be "balanced" (p. 9). What is BJU's official position on Westcott and Hort, and modern versions? David L. Turner in his book—Standing Without Apology (BJU Press, 1997)—on the history of BJU, wrote,

The position of the school's Bible Department was especially important. The statement authored by Stewart Custer and Marshall Neal was approved by the entire Bible faculty. ... the department believed "that the text based upon the Alexandrian manuscripts is, as a whole, superior to the text based upon manuscripts of the Middle Ages." ... They concluded the statement by saying, "Christians should be free to choose and use either of these texts and still work together in harmony to teach and preach the Word of God to those who are without it."

In keeping with the University's commitment to balance, it is interesting to note that among the Bob Jones University graduate school Bible faculty, there are some who hold to the superiority of the Majority Text and others who hold to the Westcott and Hort Alexandrian Text. None of the Bible faculty accepts the Textus Receptus of Erasmus as superior to either the Majority or Alexandrian texts.

BJU adopts a neutral position on the Bible versions. This yes and no, neither for nor against, both-and equivocation of BJU is the cause of the confusion and division within fundamentalism. Was it not middle-of-the-road neo-evangelicalism that created the confusion that is plaguing Christendom today? In his excellent treatise—The Tragedy of Compromise—Ernest Pickering, quoting W. B. Riley, rightly warned against those "in-betweenites." Sadly, on the KJV issue, Pickering has become an "in-betweenite." He contributed to the confusion by writing a congratulatory preface to this so-called "balanced" (read "compromising") book. John Ashbrook warned others against the dangers of "New Neutralism" in his book by the same title. Like Pickering he too succumbed to the "Neutralism" he so ably exposed by contributing a neutral chapter to a neutral tome. It is this neutral attitude of BJU that is causing the confusion within fundamentalism! Dr. Dell Johnson of Pensacola Theological Seminary has rightly called this neutralism and compromise "the leaven in fundamentalism." Our plea to our fellow fundamentalists is one they know well: Be ye not unequally yoked together with Westcott and Hort!

"Our Final Authority: Revelation, Inspiration, Inerrancy, Infallibility, and Authority of the Bible" by Randolph Shaylor

Shaylor has done well to argue for the plenary and verbal inspiration of the Bible (p.19). He believes the Bible to be absolutely inspired in every detail, and without error in all matters (p. 23). The scriptural texts he quoted as proof are the two classic passages on biblical inspiration: 2 Tim 3:15-16, and 2 Pet 1:21.

However, the shortcoming of Shaylor's chapter is his failure to address the doctrine of biblical preservation. Many KJV-opponents deny the existence of this doctrine. Shaylor did not deny this doctrine, but he does seem confused over what preservation entails. In his brief two-sentenced paragraph on "The Preservation of Revelation," he states his belief that God preserves His Word, then confuses it with the way He does it. Shaylor wrote, "God has made His revelation available to others than those to whom it was immediately given ..." How? "... by preserving His truth in written form" (p. 16). This is a fine statement (though it would have been better if he had cited some proof-texts). God has indeed promised that His Holy Scriptures would not only be presented in all its purity to the Church then, but also to the Church now (Ps 12:6-7). But Shaylor reveals his confusion over preservation by saying that God "guaranteed the veracity of these writings by using the special method of imparting His truth that we know as inspiration." God did not promise to preserve His Word by means of inspiration! This last statement should be placed under the section on inspiration, not preservation. Inspiration is miraculous, but preservation is providential. Inspiration is a non-repeatable work of God in history; preservation is a continuous work of God throughout history. I would therefore rephrase Shaylor's statement this way, "God imparted His truth without error in written form by using the special method known as divine inspiration, and guaranteed the veracity of these writings by means of another special method called providential preservation."

Shaylor's confusion over the twin doctrines of inspiration and preservation is compounded by his erroneous view that God's inspiration of His Word resides only in the autographs (i.e., the author's actual scripts), and not the copies (regardless of whether it is a particular manuscript or a group of manuscripts) (p. 22). What Shaylor is trying to tell us is that we can only be absolutely sure that the autographs are infallible and inerrant. Only the autographs are inspired, the copies are not. If what Shaylor says is true, then the Church today is bereft of the inspired Scriptures since we no longer have the autographs, only the copies. From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man touts itself as "a layman's guide to how we got our Bible." But its rejection of the doctrine of biblical preservation, telling us that only the autographs are inspired, undermines the layman's confidence in his Bible, and casts doubts in his mind whether he has indeed the pure Word of God. Is not this agnostic view of our Scriptures today a stumbling block to the layman? The Lord's warning applies, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt 18:6).

Shaylor went on to argue that nowhere does the Bible teach or even imply that the copies of Scripture are inerrantly and infallibly inspired (p. 22). If Shaylor is right, then Jesus is wrong. Jesus testified that the OT Scriptures—the Law and the Prophets—that He had (which were copies and not the autographs) were infallible and inerrant to the jot and tittle, and must all be fulfilled (Matt 5:17-18). Jesus knew full well that His Word was not only divinely inspired, but also divinely preserved. This is clearly taught in Ps 12:6-7,

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.

Shaylor cites B. B. Warfield to support his view that inspiration extends only to the original autographs (p. 25). We respect Warfield for his many conservative views, but he was wrong to limit the inspiration of the Bible only to the original autographs; inspiration should extend to the apographs (ie, copies) as well. Dr. Edward F. Hills, in his book—The King James Version Defended—explains why,

If the doctrine of divine inspiration of the Old and New Testament Scriptures is a true doctrine, the doctrine of the providential preservation of these Scriptures must also be a true doctrine. It must be that down through the centuries God has exercised a special, providential control over the copying of the Scriptures and the preservation and use of the original text have been available to God's people in every age. God must have done this, for if He gave the Scriptures to His Church by inspiration as the perfect and final revelation of his will, then it is obvious that He would not allow this revelation to disappear or undergo any alteration of its fundamental character.

... if the doctrines of the divine inspiration and providential preservation of these Scriptures are true doctrines, then the textual criticism of the New Testament is different from that of the uninspired writings of antiquity. The textual criticism of any book must take into account the conditions under which the original manuscripts were written and also under which the copies of these manuscripts were made and preserved. But if the doctrines of the divine inspiration and providential preservation of the Scriptures are true, then THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS WERE WRITTEN UNDER SPECIAL CONDITIONS, UNDER THE INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND THE COPIES WERE MADE AND PRESERVED UNDER SPECIAL CONDITIONS, UNDER THE SINGULAR CARE AND PROVIDENCE OF GOD.

In another book—Believing Bible Study—Hills warned,

If we ignore the providential preservation of the Scriptures and defend the New Testament text in the same way that we defend the texts of other ancient books, then we are following the logic of unbelief. For the special, providential preservation of the holy Scriptures is a fact and an important fact. Hence when we ignore this fact and deal with the text of the New Testament as we would with the text of other books, we are behaving as unbelievers behave. We are either denying that the providential preservation of the Scriptures is a fact, or else we are saying that it is not an important fact, not important enough to be considered when dealing with the New Testament text. But if the providential preservation of the Scriptures is not important, why is the infallible inspiration of the original Scriptures important? If God has not preserved the Scriptures by His special providence, why would He have infallibly inspired them in the first place? And if the Scriptures are not infallibly inspired, how do we know that the Gospel message is true? And if the Gospel message is not true, how do we know that Jesus is the Son of God?

It is a dangerous error therefore to ignore the special, providential preservation of the holy Scriptures and to seek to defend the New Testament text in the same way in which we would defend the texts of other ancient books. For the logic of this unbelieving attitude is likely to lay hold upon us and cast us down into a bottomless pit of uncertainty. ...

The Bible teaches us that faith is the foundation of reason. Through faith we understand (Heb. 11:3). By faith we lay hold on God as He reveals Himself in the holy Scriptures and make Him the starting point of all our thinking. ...

Like the Protestant Reformers therefore we must take God as the starting point of all our thinking. We must begin with God. Very few Christians, however, do this consistently. For example, even when a group of conservative Christian scholars meet for the purpose of defending the Textus Receptus and the King James Version, you will find that some of them want to do this in a rationalistic, naturalistic way. Instead of beginning with God, they wish to begin with facts viewed apart from God, with details concerning the New Testament manuscripts which must be regarded as true (so they think) no matter whether God exists or not. ...

Conservative scholars ... say that they believe in the special, providential preservation of the New Testament text. Most of them really don't though, because, as soon as they say this, they immediately reduce this special providential preservation to the vanishing point in order to make room for the naturalistic theories of Westcott and Hort. As we have seen, some say that the providential preservation of the New Testament means merely that the same "substance of doctrine" is found in all the New Testament documents. Others say that it means that the true reading is always present in at least one of the thousands of extant New Testament manuscripts. And still other scholars say that to them the special, providential preservation of the Scriptures means that the true New Testament text was providentially discovered in the mid-19th century by Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Westcott and Hort after having been lost for 1,500 years.

If you adopt one of these false views of the providential preservation of Scriptures, then you are logically on your way toward the denial of the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures. For if God has preserved the Scriptures so carelessly, why would he have infallibly inspired them in the first place? It is not sufficient therefore merely to say that you believe in the doctrine of the special, providential preservation of holy Scriptures. You must really believe this doctrine and allow it to guide your thinking. You must begin with Christ and the Gospel and proceed according to the logic of faith. This will lead you to the Traditional text, the Textus Receptus, and the King James Version, in other words, to the common faith.

Not only was Warfield's definition of biblical inspiration faulty, he was also wrong to teach the destructive textual critical theories of Westcott and Hort. Many fundamentalists have unwittingly imbibed the poison of Westcott and Hort through Warfield. BJU and other fundamentalist schools like Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Northland Baptist Bible College, and Temple Baptist Seminary (all listed on page iii), have all been infected by the Westcott and Hort leaven.

It will not do for Christians to affirm biblical inspiration, yet at the same time deny biblical preservation. Dr. Timothy Tow has rightly said,

We believe the preservation of Holy Scripture and its Divine inspiration stand in the same position as providence and creation. If Deism teaches a Creator who goes to sleep after creating the world is absurd, to hold to the doctrine of inspiration without preservation is equally illogical. ... Without preservation, all the inspiration, God-breathing into the Scriptures, would be lost. But we have a Bible so pure and powerful in every word and it is so because God has preserved it down through the ages.

We affirm with the Westminster divines that our Old and New Testaments, "being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical" (WCF 1:8).

Shaylor concludes his chapter by stating in bold, "We have the Word of God" (p. 28). But the question remains, which and where? His idea of inspiration, that only the original autographs are inspired, which we do not have today, has left us without a Bible we can say with utmost confidence, "This is the Word of God, inspired, inerrant, intact." If we follow Shaylor's logic with regard to inspiration, we would not be able to say, "We have the Word of God."

"Canonization and Apocrypha" by Paul W. Downey

Downey provides a succinct, factual account of the process of biblical canonisation. However, Downey's chapter is skewed by his comment that the KJV of 1611 "followed the Council of Trent, not the Reformers, in its treatment of the Apocrypha" (p. 45). By so saying, Downey gives the distorted impression that the KJV translators had considered the Apocrypha as part of inspired Scripture. This cannot be further from the truth. It is without question, that the translators accepted these apocryphal books only for their historical value. They in no wise considered them to be inspired Scripture. Alexander McClure, in his book—The Translators Revived—gave seven reasons why they rejected the Apocrypha:

1. Not one of them is in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament.
2. Not one of the writers lays any claim to inspiration.
3. These books were never acknowledged as sacred Scriptures by the Jewish Church, and therefore were never sanctioned by our Lord.
4. They were not allowed a place among the sacred books, during the first four centuries of the Christian Church.
5. They contain fabulous statements, and statements which contradict not only the canonical Scriptures, but themselves; as when, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in as many different places.
6. It inculcates doctrines at variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection.
7. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantation.

Downey has thus unfairly portrayed the KJV as a Popish Bible because it included the Apocrypha. He cast a slur against the KJV by saying that the Puritans and Separatists rejected the KJV in favour of the Geneva Bible because the latter excluded the Apocrypha (pp. 45-6). But this is not the whole truth. Dr. Errol F. Rhodes and Dr. Liana Lupas who edited—The Translators to the Reader: The Original Preface of the King James Version Revised—present a more accurate picture,

The books of the Apocrypha were included in the King James Version from the first as a matter of course, as they had been in all versions of the English Bible from the time of Wycliffe (c. 1384), including the Calvinist Geneva Bible of 1560. ... The deliberate omission of the Apocrypha from an English Bible is first noted in the 1640 edition of the Geneva Bible, ... Not until the nineteenth century, however, did the omission of the Apocrypha in Protestant Bibles become normal.

The Protestants in those days were obviously a victim of their times. Although the Apocrypha was found in Reformation Bibles (including the Geneva) since Wycliffe, it is clear that all of the Reformers opposed the Roman Catholic Church, and by the same token, rejected the Apocrypha as spurious. The feelings of the KJV translators, some of whom were Puritans, must necessarily be the same as those who produced the Westminster Confession of Faith (1645). In no uncertain terms, the Westminster divines wrote,

The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings (WCF 1:3).

It is also significant to note that when it came to translating the Apocrypha, the KJV translators did not care very much for it. Scrivener wrote, "It is well known to Biblical scholars that the Apocrypha received very inadequate attention from the revisers of 1611 and their predecessors, so that whole passages remain unaltered from the racy, spirited, rhythmical, but hasty, loose and most inaccurate version ... made by Coverdale for the Bible of 1536."

What can we say about this book—From the Mind of God to the Mind—which aims to present a "balanced" view on the KJV issue? So far, this reviewer gets the sense that instead of presenting a "balanced" view, the writers are bent on finding fault with the KJV.

"Let's Meet the Manuscripts" by Mark Minnick

Mark Minick, in his chapter, dealt with the so-called science of textual criticism. He goes to great lengths to explain to the layman that textual criticism does not "criticise" the Bible but explains and analyses it (pp. 70-98). It ought to be noted that most KJV-only advocates do not dispute the need for constructive textual criticism that is founded on the principles of faith and spiritual discernment. What we are against is humanistic and modernistic textual criticism that seeks to take away God's words from us. Such destructive textual criticism is found in these two infamous modernists—Westcott and Hort—who did not believe in the plenary, verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. Westcott and Hort were translators of the Revised Version (RV). In their translation of 2 Tim 3:16, they questioned the doctrine of biblical inspiration by rendering the verse this way, "Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable..." By placing the copula "is" after "inspired of God," the clause is made to mean that not all parts of Scripture are inspired of God; only those portions which are inspired are profitable. The KJV translators, on the other hand, correctly placed the copula "is" right after "All Scripture:" "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable..." The KJV leaves no ambiguity whatsoever that all of Scripture is divinely inspired. Westcott and Hort's alteration of the KJV's rendering of 2 Tim 3:15 in the RV evinces their limited inerrancy view of Scripture.

When the RV came out in 1881, Robert L. Dabney, was furious over its rendering of 2 Tim 3:16, and wrote a scathing attack against it in the Southern Presbyterian Review (July 1881),

The poisonous suggestion intended is that, among the parts of the "scripture" some are inspired and some are not. Our Bible contains fallible parts! The very doctrine of the Socinian and Rationalist. This treacherous version the revisers (viz, Westcott and Hort) have gratuitously sanctioned!

Indeed as modernists, Westcott and Hort were not fit to handle the Scriptures. They cannot be trusted.

What is indeed strange is that Minnick who quoted Dabney (pp. 90-91) cannot see that Westcott and Hort are not friends but enemies of the Bible. Their poisonous fruit reveals their reprobate root. In Matt 7:15-18, Jesus had warned,

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

We would think Minnick—a BJU Bible Professor—would rise up in defence of the faith. Sadly, the opposite is true. He praised Westcott and Hort and called them "careful" textual critics (p. 85). He adopts Westcott and Hort's destructive textual critical method.

Minnick also bought into the Westcott and Hort lie that the difference between their revised Greek text and the traditional Greek text is no more than "a thousandth part of the entire text," which he adds is no more than "one page of my entire Testament" (p. 86). Scrivener's Greek Text published in 1881, and reprinted by the Dean Burgon Society Press in 1999, compared the Textus Receptus with the Westcott and Hort Text. Scrivener's comparison reveals 5,604 places where the Westcott and Hort Greek Text differed from the Textus Receptus. His footnotes show that Westcott and Hort changed a total of 9,970 Greek words either by addition or subtraction. That is almost 50 pages of my entire Testament.

Minnick went on to argue that fundamentalists should view the Westcott and Hort text positively as did C. H. Spurgeon, G. Campbell Morgan, Alexander MacClaren, C. I. Scofield, H. A. Ironside and others (pp. 87-8). As a fundamentalist, Minnick ought to know that our faith must rest not on man (no matter how conservative they might be) but on the Bible alone. Sola Scriptura! Minnick's mention of those great preachers of the past only goes to prove that the leaven of Westcott and Hort's destructive textual criticism had also infected them. The leaven has indeed spread far and wide. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Gal 5:9).

The general pro-Westcott-Hort slant in Minnick's chapter is not only seen by what he says, but also what he does not say. The great textual scholar—Dean J. W. Burgon—who defended the KJV is often neglected or ignored by supporters of the modern versions. Minnick is no exception. Burgon is markedly absent in Minnick's discussion about the text. Who is Dean Burgon? Why should he be taken seriously? I will leave Hills to introduce him to you,

John William Burgon (1813-1888) became an outstanding English scholar and textual critic. Burgon was born at Smyrna, the son of an English merchant. He studied at London University (1829-1830) and then was engaged for a time in his father's business. In 1841 he returned to his studies, entering Oxford University. He received his BA, MA, and BD degrees from Oxford in the years 1845, 1848, and 1871, respectively. He was elected fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, in 1848. He was appointed Gresham professor of divinity at Oxford in 1867. He became vicar of St. Mary's Church, Oxford, in 1863, and he was appointed Dean of Chichester in 1876.

Burgon was no mean theologian, and his preaching was well attended. He was the author of numerous publications, including sermons, tracts, commentaries, and biographies. But as he pressed his studies of the New Testament text, he became best known for his work in the sphere of NT textual criticism.

Burgon's lively literary style could possibly be traced to his early days in Smyrna, Turkey; his mother being a native of that country, and his father an English merchant there. At any rate he developed a warm and enthusiastic nature, not typically English, together with a forthright and honest character which would not allow him to accept pseudo-textual criticism.

Being driven by the desire to get to the bottom of the false statements being made by the reigning Critics of his day, Burgon devoted the last 30 years of his life to disprove them. Believing firmly that God had providentially preserved the true text of the New Testament, he set out to discover how the depraved and corrupt readings developed. This required him to travel widely. In 1860, for instance, he traveled to the Vatican Library to personally examine Codex B. And in 1862 he traveled to Mt. Sinai to inspect the many manuscripts there. Later he made several tours of European libraries, examining and actually collating NT manuscripts wherever he went. At the same time he was compiling his massive Index of the NT Quotations in the Church Fathers, which is deposited in the British Museum, but never published.

Throughout his life Burgon remained unmarried, and no doubt this had some bearing on the fact that he, as he put it, was willing to spend an entire 13-hour day to establish the authenticity of a single letter of the New Testament Text. His masterly accumulation of evidence first became apparent when he confronted the Critics with his 300-page book—The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to Saint Mark—in 1871. His evidence was so complete, and his arguments so unassailable that no one tried to refute this book—either point by point, or in total. When the English Revised Version appeared in 1881, he was asked to review it for the Quarterly Review. The result was the printing of his review articles in a book which he entitled, The Revision Revised. During all of his active life Burgon was accumulating notes and research data in order to establish what he called The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels as the historically authentic and proven Word of God. After his death in 1888, his long-time friend and co-worker—the Rev. Edward Miller—gathered together the Dean's notes and issued the two valuable books entitled, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels; and The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels (both 1896).

Through all these works runs Burgon's fundamental thought, viz, that the textual criticism of the Scriptures must be according to the analogy of faith, and because of this it must be different from the textual criticism of any other book. On this he wrote, "That which distinguishes Sacred Science from every other Science which can be named is that it is Divine, and has to do with a Book which is inspired, and not to be regarded upon a level with the Books of the East, which are held by their votaries to be sacred. ... Even those principles of Textual Criticism which in the case of profane authors are regarded as fundamental are often out of place here" (Traditional Text, 9). In this Burgon was diametrically opposed to the other 19th century critics, notably Westcott and Hort, who stated plainly that textual criticism of the Bible should be handled in the same way as with any other book. But Burgon, who never lost sight of the special providence of God which has presided over the transmission of the New Testament down through the ages, expressly set out to maintain against all opponents that the Church was divinely guided to reject the false readings of the early centuries, and to gradually accept the true text. He denied that he was claiming a perpetual miracle that would keep manuscripts from being depraved at various times, and in various places. But "The Church, in her collective capacity, has nevertheless—as a matter of fact—been perpetually purging herself of those shamefully depraved copies which once everywhere abounded within her pale" (The Revision Revised, 334-5). He believed that just as God gradually settled the Canon of the New Testament by weaning His churches from non-canonical books, so He did with the Text also.

Not being willing to dig to the depths that Burgon dug, and not being able to disprove Burgon's facts, his opponents (particularly Westcott and Hort) refused to accept his challenges. They adopted a course of simply portraying Burgon as some kind of Don Quixote who jousted at obstacles too hard for him to understand. Or else they pictured him as too violent in his statements, and thus as if he were a madman, they ignored him. In textual criticism textbooks it has become a tradition to hold Burgon up to ridicule, as if he were an obscurantist who foolishly challenged the "assured results" of modern scholarship. This gross misrepresentation is gradually being exposed by the simple expedient of reproducing Burgon's books. The scholarly, close-reasoned, fact-filled works of Burgon have persuaded many a scholar in this last part of the 20th century that God indeed has not abandoned His words from the day after they came abroad, but has instead guided His children so as to preserve every jot and tittle of His Word. The Traditional Text (or, Byzantine Text, as it is called today) being virtually the same in the manuscripts from the 4th century onward, is proof enough of the doctrine of God's preservation of the Text, according to Burgon's reasoning, and his massive accumulation of evidence.

Dean Burgon had an extremely high view of God's Word. He believed in a 100% inerrant Bible. He said,

The Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth upon the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is direct utterance of the Most High. The Bible is none other than the Word of God, not some part of it more, some part of it less, but all alike the utterance of Him that sitteth upon the throne, faultless, unerring, supreme.

At every annual convocation, the faculty of the Far Eastern Bible College take an oath of allegiance to the Holy Scriptures based on Burgon's words. Whose side are you on? Burgon or Westcott and Hort? If you are on the Lord's side, you would support the former and not the latter.

Minnick lacked discernment and wisdom when he labeled KJV-only advocates "unscripturally divisive" (p. 98). He then reassured his readers that the poisoned waters of Westcott and Hort are safe. He believes the corrupt Westcott and Hort text is superior to the Textus Receptus, and quoting Scofield, condescendingly said that Westcott and Hort "have cleared the Greek Textus Receptus of minor inaccuracies" (p. 96). He also believes that the older but corrupt Alexandrian or Minority Text is to be valued and preferred over the readings of the Majority Text (p. 96).

Is the Alexandrian or Minority Text that good? Dean Burgon in his 550-page magnum opus—The Revision Revised—has convincingly proven that the Alexandrian manuscripts of Westcott and Hort are among the most corrupt copies of the New Testament in existence. He said that the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus are,

most scandalously corrupt copies extant:—exhibit the most shamefully mutilated texts which are anywhere to be met with:—have become ... the depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings, ancient blunders, and intentional perversions of Truth,—which are discoverable in any known copies of the Word of God.

It is significant to note that those two codices run against the readings of the majority (99%) of Greek New Testament manuscripts (over 5000) we have today. To prove the point, let me just cite one example from Dean Burgon to show how corrupt the 5 uncials—Sinaiticus (Aleph), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Rescriptus (C), and Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D)—Westcott and Hort deemed most reliable really are. The passage under consideration is the Lord's Prayer in Luke 11:2-4. The findings of Burgon are as follows:

1. D inserts Matt 6:7, "Use not vain repetitions as the rest: for some suppose that they shall be heard by their much speaking. But when ye pray ..."
2. B and Aleph removed 5 words "Our," and "which art in heaven."
3. D omits the definite article "the" before "name," adds "upon us," and rearranges "Thy Kingdom."
4. B removes the clause, "Thy will be done, as in heaven, also on the earth." Interestingly, Aleph retains these words, but adds "so" before "also," and omits the article before "earth" agreeing for once with A, C, and D.
5. Aleph and D changed the form of the Greek word for "give."
6. Aleph omits definite article before "day by day."
7. D, instead of the 3 last-named words, writes "this day" (from Matt), substitutes "debts" for "sins" (also from Matt), and in place of "for we ourselves" writes "as also we" (again from Matt).
8. Aleph shows great sympathy with D by accepting two-thirds of this last blunder, exhibiting "as also [we] ourselves."
9. D consistently read "our debtors" in place of "every one that is indebted to us."
10. B and Aleph canceled the last petition "but deliver us from evil," going against A, C, and D.

Dean Burgon astutely judged,

So then, these five 'first-class authorities' are found to throw themselves into six different combinations in their departures from S. Luke's way of exhibiting the Lord's Prayer,—which, among them, they contrive to falsify in respect of no less than 45 words; and yet they are never able to agree among themselves as to any single various reading: while only once are more than two of them observed to stand together,—viz. in the unauthorized omission of the article. In respect of 32 (out of the 45) words, they bear in turn solitary evidence. What need to declare that it is certainly false in every instance? Such however is the infatuation of the Critics, that the vagaries of B are all taken for gospel. Besides omitting the 11 words which B omits jointly with Aleph, Drs. Westcott and Hort erase from the Book of Life those other 11 precious words which are omitted by B only. And in this way it comes to pass that the mutilated condition to which the scalpel of Marcion the heretic reduced the Lord's Prayer some 1730 years ago, (for mischief can all be traced back to him!), is palmed off on the Church of England by the Revisionists as the work of the Holy Ghost!

So what is the bottom line? Should fundamentalists use the Westcott and Hort text and method? Our BJU friends should listen to Dr. Alfred Martin, former Vice-President of Moody Bible Institute,

The only road to progress in New Testament textual criticism is repudiation of their (i.e., Westcott and Hort) theory and all its fruits. Most contemporary criticism is bankrupt and confused, the result of its liaison with liberal theology. A Bible-believing Christian can never be content to follow the leadership of those who do not recognize the Bible as the verbally inspired Word of God. The Textus Receptus is the starting-point for future research, because it embodies substantially and in a convenient form the traditional text.

"The History of the Textus Receptus" by John E. Ashbrook

Ashbrook's chapter employs a "soothe then slap" approach to evaluating the Textus Receptus, and its first editor—Erasmus. Ashbrook begins by praising Erasmus for his genius as a biblical and textual scholar, and then castigates him as a modernist (p. 102). It is very careless of KJV critics to label Erasmus a modernist. Erasmus, like Luther, had his doctrinal weaknesses, but he was hardly a modernist. Modernists like Westcott and Hort have a very low view of Scripture. Erasmus on the other hand had a high view of Scripture evinced by his painstakingly edited Greek New Testament which in no small way aided the cause of the Reformation. Like the Reformers, Erasmus desired the Scriptures to be translated into all languages so that every one could read it and know Christ for himself. Hear his testimony,

I would have the weakest woman read the Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul ... I would have those words translated into all languages, so that not only Scots and Irishmen, but Turks and Saracens might read them. I long for the plowboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow, ... Other studies we may regret having undertaken, but happy is the man upon whom death comes when he is engaged in these. These sacred words give you the very image of Christ speaking, healing, dying, rising again, and make Him so present, that were He before your very eyes you would not more truly see Him.

Ashbrook disparagingly says that Erasmus was "a loyal son of the Catholic Church" (p. 102). This is another misrepresentation. Erasmus publicly exposed the heresies and superstitions of the Roman Catholic Church. This angered the pope so much that he branded Erasmus "an impious heretic," and banned his books from being read by Catholics. The pope evidently was able to see that Erasmus was a Reformer at heart. However, as a Reformer, Erasmus's main fault was in his failure to separate from the false Catholic Church (cf 2 Cor 6:14-7:1). Luther succeeded in his reformation because he did it from without, but Erasmus failed because he chose to do it from within. Nevertheless, it was Erasmus who laid the egg of the Reformation, and Luther was left to hatch it.

Ashbrook is unhappy with people who scoff at Westcott and Hort just because they were textual critics (pp. 104,108). He contends that KJV advocates who reject Westcott and Hort as textual critics, must likewise reject Erasmus for he too was a textual critic. We do not dispute that Erasmus did the work of textual criticism, but the question is not on textual criticism per se, but the type of textual criticism employed. Westcott and Hort invented a textual critical method which sought to take God's Word away from God's people. The amount of verses Westcott and Hort scissored out from our Bible is equivalent to that of First and Second Peter. Erasmus, on the other hand, did not engage in this type of deconstructive textual criticism. Erasmus's textual critical work was guided by the common faith, i.e., the belief that God had providentially preserved the Scriptures down through the ages. Edward F. Hills said,

In the days of Erasmus, ... it was commonly believed by well informed Christians that the original New Testament text had been providentially preserved in the current New Testament text, primarily in the current Greek text and secondarily in the current Latin text. Erasmus was influenced by this common faith and probably shared it, and God used it providentially to guide Erasmus in his editorial labors on the Textus Receptus.

What sets Erasmus apart from Westcott and Hort was his belief that God has kept His Word intact down through the centuries. This caused him to edit the Greek New Testament with great reverence, taking care not to snip away God's Word. Westcott and Hort's textual critical work was quite different. Both denied the doctrines of inspiration and preservation, and thus had no qualms whatsoever in spurning the majority of New Testament Scripture that God had preserved for His people down through the ages in favour of two extremely corrupted texts which the Church had already seen fit to discard.

If Erasmus was such a faithful textual critic, then how does one explain the charge that in his hurry to complete his Greek text, he translated the last few verses of Revelation from Latin to Greek because the last page of his manuscript on Revelation was missing? Hills gave another side to this,

The last six verses of Codex 1r (Rev. 22:16-21) were lacking, ... According to almost all scholars, Erasmus endeavoured to supply these deficiencies in his manuscript by retranslating the Latin Vulgate into Greek. Hoskier, however, was inclined to dispute this on the evidence of manuscript 141. In his 4th edition of his Greek New Testament (1527) Erasmus corrected much of this translation Greek (if it was indeed such) on the basis of a comparison with the Complutensian Polyglot Bible ...

It is customary for naturalistic critics to make the most of human imperfections in the Textus Receptus and to sneer at it as a mean and almost sordid thing. ... But those who concentrate in this way on the human factors involved in the production of the Textus Receptus are utterly unmindful of the Providence of God. For in the very next year, in the plan of God, the Reformation was to break out in Wittenberg, and it was important that the Greek New Testament should be published first in one of the future strongholds of Protestantism by a book seller who was eager to place it in the hands of the people and not in Spain, the land of the Inquisition, by the Roman Church, which was intent on keeping the Bible from the people.

Ashbrook is right to observe that the view of biblical preservation "must be accepted by faith," but wrong to say that this faith is based on "human assumption" (p. 106). This belief on biblical preservation is based not on human assumption but divine revelation (Exod 32:15-19, 34:1-4, Pss 12:6-7, 78:1-8, 105:8, 119:89,111,152,160, Prov 22:20-21, Eccl 3:14, Jer 36-30-32, Matt 4:4, 5:17-18, 24:35, John 10:35, Col 1:17, 1 Pet 1:23-25, Rev 22:18-19).

"Printed Greek Texts" by William H. Smallman

Smallman's chapter presents a succinct update on the history of the printed Greek texts. However, in his evaluation on the two distinct families of printed Greek texts, viz, the Minority/Westcott-Hort/Critical text, and the Majority/Textus Receptus/Traditional text, it is unfortunate that he favours the so-called "eclectic" text or "balanced" approach which is generally pro-Westcott and Hort.

In his opening discussion, Smallman says that the first printed Greek text (which became the Textus Receptus) by Erasmus was "hastily edited," and that he used only "half dozen or so manuscripts" (pp. 169-70). This invariably gives the layman the impression that the Textus Receptus was a result of sloppy work. Is this an accurate portrayal of Erasmus and his work? Hills rose to Erasmus's defence,

By his travels [Erasmus] was brought into contact with all the intellectual currents of his time and stimulated to almost superhuman efforts. He became the most famous scholar and author of his day and one of the most prolific writers of all time, his collected works filling ten large volumes... As an editor also his productivity was tremendous. Ten columns of the catalogue of the library in the British Museum are taken up with the bare enumeration of the works translated, edited, or annotated by Erasmus, and their subsequent reprints. Included are the greatest names of the classical and patristic world, such as Ambrose, Aristotle, Augustine, Basil, Chrysostom, Cicero, and Jerome. An almost unbelievable showing.

To conclude, there was no man in all Europe better prepared than Erasmus for the work of editing the first printed Greek New Testament text, and this is why, we may well believe, God chose him and directed him providentially in the accomplishment of this task.

Did Erasmus employ other manuscripts besides those five he had when preparing his Greek text? Hills answered,

The indications are that he did... It is well known also that Erasmus looked for manuscripts everywhere during his travels and that he borrowed them from everyone he could. Hence although the Textus Receptus was based mainly on the manuscripts which Erasmus found at Basel, it also included readings taken from others to which he had access. It agreed with the common faith because it was founded on manuscripts which in the providence of God were readily available.

To those who sought to demean Erasmus and the Textus Receptus, Dean Burgon had this to say, "to describe the haste with which Erasmus produced the first published edition of the NT, to make sport about the copies which he employed, all this kind of thing is the preceding of one who seeks to mislead his readers to throw dust in their eyes, to divert their attention from the problems actually before them." I cannot agree more.

When it came for Smallman to describe the Westcott and Hort text, he called it "an important development," and hailed the Codex Sinaiticus as "one of the finest quality manuscripts" in existence (p. 172). He said that the Westcott and Hort text "produced a revolution," which led to "a new quest to define the original text," to be "based on new witnesses ... and on new approaches to interpreting the variants." He also noted that the Westcott and Hort text and its offshoots contain "significant differences" from the Textus Receptus (p. 171). Were those differences for the better or for the worse? Are the verses removed from the Textus Receptus by Westcott and Hort authentic or spurious? Smallman in his attempt to maintain his balancing act refused to say or commit himself. He wrote evasively, "It is not the purpose of this essay to debate the fundamentals of Wescott [sic] and Hort's principles and canons" (p. 173).

Smallman considers the modern, critical Greek texts of Nestle and Aland (NA), and the United Bible Societies (UBS) to be the "Standard Greek Testament." He said, "The establishment of the United Bible Societies/Nestle-Aland Text as standard is accepted by many virtually without argument" (p. 179). He also says that this "Standard Greek Text" "has been achieved by the majority of textual scholars who prefer the minority of manuscripts" (p. 179). Despite the fact that this so-called "Standard Greek Text" is based only on a "minority of the manuscripts" (i.e., the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts), Smallman has interestingly nothing negative to say about it. Like the modernists and neo-evangelicals, he takes the eclectic view that the critical UBS and NA Greek texts are truly "scholarly" and "balanced" vis-a-vis the Textus Receptus.

Are the UBS and NA Greek texts truly eclectic (i.e., a mixture of all available texts), or are they really the Westcott and Hort text disguised; a wolf in sheep's clothing? According to Radmacher and Hodges, the new "Textus Receptus" of the UBS and NA "do not differ a whole lot from the text produced by Westcott-Hort in 1881." Gordon Fee, who is no fundamentalist, also acknowledged, "[In] Modern textual criticism, the 'eclecticism' of the UBS, RSV, NIV, NASB etc., ... recognizes that Westcott-Hort's view of things was essentially correct." Thus the term "eclectic" is but a smokescreen.

The UBS Greek Text itself when it first came out acknowledged that its work was carried out "on the basis of Westcott and Hort's edition of the Greek New Testament." It is thus no surprise that the first two editions of the UBS text relegated the pericope de adultera (John 7:53-8:11) from its original and traditional place to the end of the Gospel; this to show that the passage is considered non-authentic. This clearly reveals a Westcott and Hort attitude. Like Westcott and Hort, the UBS editors accepted without question the omission of those verses in the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts over against the Traditional and Majority Text. It is interesting to note that the third edition transposed John 7:53-8:11 back to its original location. Are the editors now admitting their error in rejecting the pericope? Although the pericope is now returned to its rightful place, the passage is enclosed by double brackets. What do these double brackets mean? The UBS editors say, "Double brackets in the text indicate that the enclosed passages which are usually rather extensive are known not to be a part of the original text." Not only this precious passage, but also Mark's last 12 verses are also assigned double brackets. The UBS editors would like us to know that both passages are not inspired Scripture. Do you not see the forked tongue of the snake here? Why are fundamentalists hissing to the same tune? Are the last 12 verses of Mark, the pericope de adultera (John 7:53-8:11), the Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7-8), and a host of other verses Westcott and Hort removed from the Textus Receptus, divinely inspired? If you are looking to Smallman for answers, look no more! He is so "balanced," he leaves you clueless.

Smallman would not debate or examine Westcott and Hort, but would spend three full pages (pp. 172-5) explaining their textual critical method which he deemed "profitable" (p. 173), as compared to only half a page for the Textus Receptus (p. 180). Do you not see the bias? Dean Burgon was only given cursory mention. Smallman did not consider Burgon's books in defence of the Textus Receptus and KJV to be worth his time. Yet, Smallman was quick to use Burgon when it came time to undermine the layman's confidence in the KJV. He quoted Burgon as saying,

Once for all, we request it may be clearly understood that we do not, by any means, claim perfection for the Received Text. We entertain no extravagant notions on this subject. Again and again we shall have occasion to point out ... that the Textus Receptus needs correction (p. 182).

But Smallman should not have stopped there, giving a skewed picture. Burgon went on to express how deeply he appreciated the Textus Receptus,

We do but insist, (1) That it is an incomparably better text than that which either Lachmann, Tischendorf, or Tregelles has produced: infinitely preferable to the 'New Greek Text' of the Revisionists (viz, Westcott and Hort). And, (2) That to be improved, the Textus Receptus will have to be revised on entirely different 'principles' from those which are just now in fashion. Men must begin by unlearning the German (i.e., liberal) prejudices ... and address themselves, instead to the stern logic of facts.

In his conclusion, Smallman reveals his confusion. He wrote quite rightly that,

The divine preservation of the Scriptures is a fact that gives great assurance to those who read the Bible today. It is the Word of God, and every "jot and tittle" of it is kept intact for the readers of successive generations (p. 182).

But in the next sentence he turns agnostic: "Still, our certainty of the preservation of the text does not identify which text family is the object of that providential oversight." To him, the text is preserved in all the texts whether corrupt or not. Such a position is clearly illogical, and contradictory. I would urge readers to listen to Hills instead of Smallman, Let me repeat Hills's most pertinent warning here,

It is a dangerous error therefore to ignore the special, providential preservation of the holy Scriptures and to seek to defend the New Testament text in the same way in which we would defend the texts of other ancient books. For the logic of this unbelieving attitude is likely to lay hold upon us and cast us down into a bottomless pit of uncertainty. ...

The Bible teaches us that faith is the foundation of reason. Through faith we understand (Heb. 11:3). By faith we lay hold on God as He reveals Himself in the holy Scriptures and make Him the starting point of all our thinking. ...

Like the Protestant Reformers therefore we must take God as the starting point of all our thinking. We must begin with God. Very few Christians, however, do this consistently. For example, even when a group of conservative Christian scholars meet for the purpose of defending the Textus Receptus and the King James Version, you will find that some of them want to do this in a rationalistic, naturalistic way. Instead of beginning with God, they wish to begin with facts viewed apart from God, with details concerning the New Testament manuscripts which must be regarded as true (so they think) no matter whether God exists or not. ...

Conservative scholars ... say that they believe in the special, providential preservation of the New Testament text. Most of them really don't though, because, as soon as they say this, they immediately reduce this special providential preservation to the vanishing point in order to make room for the naturalistic theories of Westcott and Hort. As we have seen, some say that the providential preservation of the New Testament means merely that the same "substance of doctrine" is found in all the New Testament documents. Others say that it means that the true reading is always present in at least one of the thousands of extant New Testament manuscripts. And still other scholars say that to them the special, providential preservation of the Scriptures means that the true New Testament text was providentially discovered in the mid-19th century by Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Westcott and Hort after having been lost for 1,500 years.

If you adopt one of these false views of the providential preservation of Scriptures, then you are logically on your way toward the denial of the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures. For if God has preserved the Scriptures so carelessly, why would he have infallibly inspired them in the first place? It is not sufficient therefore merely to say that you believe in the doctrine of the special, providential preservation of holy Scriptures. You must really believe this doctrine and allow it to guide your thinking. You must begin with Christ and the Gospel and proceed according to the logic of faith. This will lead you to the Traditional text, the Textus Receptus, and the King James Version, in other words, to the common faith.

Can we be certain of God's Word? God in Prov 22:20-21 says, "Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?" Be sure of this: God wants us to have certainty concerning His Words.

"The Making of the King James Version" by John C. Mincy

Despite its helpful historical data, this chapter misrepresents the KJV translators in a most deceitful way. In support of modern and corrupt versions, Mincy argued that the KJV translators themselves "viewed even the worst English versions as the Word of God" (p. 141). He quoted them as saying, "Now to answer our enemies; we do not deny, rather we affirm and insist that the very worst translation of the Bible in English issued by Protestants contains the word of God, or rather, is the word of God." This statement is most illogical and totally unbiblical!

Were the KJV translators capable of those words; the ones who extolled truth and condemned error? Consider what they wrote in their preface—"The Translators to the Readers,"

But now what piety without truth? What truth (what saving truth) without the word of God? What word of God (whereof we may be sure) without the Scripture? The Scriptures we are commanded to search (John 5.39; Isaiah 8.20). They are reproved that were unskilful in them, or slow to believe them (Matthew 22.29; Luke 24.25). They can make us wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3.15). If we be ignorant, they will instruct us; if out of the way, they will bring us home; if out of order, they will reform us; if in heaviness, comfort us; if dull, quicken us; if cold, inflame us. Tolle, lege, Tolle, lege, Take up and read, take up and read the Scriptures ... The Scriptures then being acknowledged to be so full and so perfect, how can we excuse ourselves of negligence, if we do not study them? ... It is not only an armor, but also a whole armory of weapons, both offensive and defensive; whereby we may save ourselves and put the enemy to flight. It is not an herb, but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medicine. It is not a pot of Manna, or a cruse of oil, which were for memory only, or for a meal's meat or two; but as it were a shower of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole host, be it never so great, and as it were a whole cellar full of oil vessels; whereby all our necessities may be provided for, and our debts discharged. In a word, it is a panary of wholesome food, against fenowed traditions; a physician's shop ... of preservatives against poisoned heresies; a pandect of profitable laws against rebellious spirits; a treasury of most costly jewels against beggarly rudiments; finally, a fountain of most pure water springing up unto everlasting life. ... Happy is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrice happy that meditateth in it day and night.

Could the men who penned the above words have sanctioned a corrupted translation of the Scriptures? Would they have cried, Tolle, lege, Tolle, lege, if John 1:29 had read thus, "Behold the Pig of God, which taketh away the sin of the world?" If the "fountain of most pure water" had been polluted by enemies of the Word in such a way, I am quite certain that the KJV translators would have cursed that version for blasphemy, and cast it into the fire. It is truly absurd for Mincy to think that the KJV translators humoured wicked versions. Indeed the Puritans among the KJV translators appealed to the king for a new English Bible because the Bible as found in the Communion book was according to them, "a most corrupted translation." Evidently, corrupt translations did not sit well with them at all.

The question remains: Did the KJV translators really say that the "worst" versions are acceptable? They certainly did not. Mincy's quotation of the KJV translators is taken from Rhodes and Lupas's paraphrase (published by the American Bible Society in 1997) of their original statement. It is obvious that Rhodes and Lupas employed the dynamic equivalence method, and felt quite free to change the original intent of those words, taking them out of context. How does the original version read especially in context?

Now to the latter we answer, that 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 (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: as the King's speech which he uttered in parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King's speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, ...

It is clear that by the word "meanest" they do not mean "worst" (i.e., "evil in the highest degree"). Who would dare mistranslate the king's speech? Clearly they were not talking about sense but style. By "meanest" they meant poor in literary grace. When beginning Greek students translate their Greek Bible into English, it may be rough and wooden; but if it is literal and precise, it is the Word of God.

"The Changing King James Version," by Mark R. Simmons

In this chapter, Simmons ridicules KJV-only advocates by setting up a straw man. He calls KJV-only advocates overly simplistic for believing that the actual "1611" KJV is the "preserved" Word of God (p. 161). Of course, no right thinking KJV defender would say that. First, KJV-only advocates believe that the preserved text is the Hebrew and Greek text that underlies the KJV. The Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament (Ben Chayyim edition, 1524-5), and the Greek Textus Receptus (Beza's 5th edition, 1598) on which the KJV is based are the preserved Old Testament, and New Testament text respectively. Second, when KJV defenders say they uphold the KJV of 1611, they do not mean the exact 1611 edition. KJV defenders like their detractors know that the KJV currently in print is the 1769 edition. 1611 is the year in which the KJV was born. To refer to dates in such a way is common practice. For example, Biblical Theological Seminary was founded in the year 1971. It was not known as "Biblical Theological Seminary" at that time but "Biblical School of Theology." When there was a name change in 1978, did the school also change its year of establishment? Of course not! It remained 1971. Likewise, to refer to the present edition of the KJV as the KJV of 1611 is neither unusual, nor deceptive; it simply reflects history.

Simmons exaggerates when he says that the KJV is "extremely difficult" to understand because "over four thousand words in the King James Bible are not found in even the best of our one volume English dictionaries today" (p. 153). There are just about 200 archaic words in the KJV, and most of these words can be found in our Webster's, Oxford, and Chambers dictionaries. The recently published Defined King James Bible, edited by Dr. D. A. Waite and his son, has footnoted the modern meaning of all archaic words in the KJV. There is really no excuse now not to use the KJV just because some of its words are archaic.

Anti-KJVists often ridicule the use of the "thees" and "thous" in the KJV, simply because these archaic pronouns are no longer common today. But is this a good reason to abandon the KJV? In an article entitled, "Is a Pronominal Revision of the Authorised Version Desirable?," Dr. Oswald T. Allis wrote,

It is a well-known fact that in contemporary English the forms thou, thy, thine have almost disappeared from secular use. They are largely restricted to the language of religious devotion, in which they are constantly employed, and which is largely formed by, and owes its peculiarities to, the Authorised Version. Consequently, it is often asserted or assumed that the usage of the AV represents the speech of 300 years ago, and that now, three centuries later, it should be changed to accord with contemporary usage. But this is not at all a correct statement of the problem. The important fact is this. The usage of the AV is not the ordinary usage of the early seventeenth century: it is the Biblical usage based on the style of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The second part of this statement needs no proof and will be challenged by no one. It is undeniable that where the Hebrew and Greek use the singular of the pronoun the AV regularly uses the singular, and where they use the plural it uses the plural. Even in Deuteronomy where in his addresses, and apparently for rhetorical and pedagogical effect, Moses often changes suddenly, and seemingly arbitrarily, from singular to plural or from plural to singular, the AV reproduces the style of the text with fidelity. That is to say, the usage of the AV is strictly Biblical.

If the fundamentalists who wrote From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man believe in verbal inspiration, they should be quick to defend the use of the "archaic" pronouns of the KJV which accurately renders in English the singular and plural pronouns of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. It would indeed be a contradiction in faith and practice for them to consider the "thees" and the "thous" to be unimportant and insignificant.

Simmons also makes a big deal out of the many revisions of the KJV (pp. 156-165). The KJV of 1611 went through a number of revisions soon after publication but all of which were completed in 1629. The revisions that occurred between 1611 and 1629 were due to printing errors. These errors were corrected by the KJV translators themselves, namely Samuel Ward and John Bois. In the course of typesetting, the printers had inadvertently left out words or phrases; all such typographical errors were corrected. For example, Ps 16:17 in the 1611 edition read "good" instead of "God." This was clearly a printer's error, and was corrected in 1617. Another revision of the KJV was done between 1762 and 1769. This revision had to do with spelling. For example, old forms which had an "e" after verbs, and "u" instead of "v," and "f" for "s" were all standardised to conform to modern spelling. For example, "feare" is "fear," "mooued" is "moved," and "euill" is "evil," and "alfo," is "also." All these Gothic and German spelling peculiarities have been Romanised by 1769. It is important to note that the 1769 edition is essentially the same as the 1611.

"English Versions Since 1880," by J. Drew Conley

Conley in his article cast KJV-only advocates in a bad light. Quoting the KJV translators who said that the Bible should be translated into the language of the common man, he obliquely accused those who insist that the "archaic" KJV alone is the acceptable English Bible for hiding God's Word from people just like the Romanists in days gone by (pp. 187-9). Conley argues that the profound changes in English since the 1600s has caused many words in the KJV to

come up blank in the reader's thinking—or worse, misunderstood ... And when the text is the Bible, lack of understanding does spiritual harm. ... For me to expect members of the congregation—especially new converts—to devote themselves to profitable study of a Bible in an unfamiliar language is certainly wishful thinking at best" (p. 183).

Conley's concern over the "understandability" of the KJV is well taken, but his solution to the difficulty is a step backwards, not forwards. For young believers, it is not just the archaisms in the Bible that may pose some difficulty, but also the many hard theological terms. How should the pastor advise the young believer? Use the NIV, or TEV, or CEV, or RSV, or NASB, or the Living Bible? This is like giving a baby milk laced with arsenic! Conley rightly says that the pastor has a duty "to communicate God's truth so others understand" (p. 192). He continues,

There are words of such great theological significance that they should never be replaced. A preacher should define them, explain them, and illustrate them so that others can make them their own. Justification, sanctification, glorification, propitiation, atonement, reconciliation, understood by few except those who have been taught the gospel, have been too precisely defined over the years to abandon them without grave consequences" (p. 192).

If pastors have a duty to explain all those important theological terms to their congregation, why cannot they do the same for the archaic words in the KJV? Furthermore, why cannot the young believer be taught to use the dictionary to locate the meaning of those words, or better still, why cannot the pastor present to him a copy of The Defined King James Bible? Why should the young Christian be told to throw out his KJV and get an NIV or some other perversion of the Bible just because of some old words?

The excuse not to use the KJV because it contains archaic words is really quite flimsy. When we read a modern book, do we not find words that we do not understand? When we encounter such difficulties in our reading, what do we do? Throw the book away? or hit the dictionary? We go to the dictionary. We search for the meaning, and we become the wiser for it. We are not fools are we? Why should God's Word in the KJV be treated so disrespectfully, that when we come across difficult terms, it is beneath us to turn the dictionary? Should modern English versions be preferred over the KJV? Dr. Robert B. Alter (PhD, Harvard) in 1996, wrote, "Modern English versions put readers at a grostesque distance from the ... Bible. To this day, the Authorized Version of 1611 (the "King James Bible") ... for all its archaisms ... remains the closest we have yet come to the distinctive experience of the original." Therefore, stick to the KJV, and use the dictionary!

The neo-evangelical spirit that pervades this book—From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man—is clearly seen in Conley's approach to the versions. One would think Conley, a fundamentalist pastor, would be careful to guide his sheep to the right pasture with regard to the versions. Instead, we find him saying that his chapter is not "intended to be a critique or a recommendation of any version" (p. 195). He will not tell the layman (and mind you, this book is supposed to be a guide for the layman) which version is good and which is bad. As God's under-shepherd, he is telling the Lord's sheep, "There are weeds, thistles, and grass out there. I do not wish to tell you where to go, or what to eat. Just go and take your pick." But wait, Conley does not do even that. In a footnote, he recommends the following versions which he says "are valuable for serious Bible study" (p. 195): the Revised Version, American Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Note that all three are based on the corrupt text of Westcott and Hort. In a whisper, he tells the sheep, "Go eat the weeds and the thistles." It is thus no surprise that Conley writes sympathetically of the liberal and ecumenical Revised Standard Version (RSV). He quotes without any refutation that the RSV embodies "the best results of modern scholarship" (p. 198). He quotes the RSV as saying that the KJV has "grave defects" without any rebuttal whatsoever, except for a cowardly parenthetical remark, "their words, not mine" (p. 198).

What is truly troubling is Conley's tacit approval of the RSV's heterodox translation of the 'almah of Isa 7:14 as "young woman" instead of "virgin" (p. 199). He justifies the RSV by pointing out that Matthew's quotation of Isa 7:14 in the RSV reads "virgin." Why did Conley not defend the orthodox translation of Isa 7:14 as found in the KJV over against the RSV? Perhaps Conley holds to the neo-evangelical view that Isa 7:14 has two fulfilments: one in the time of Isaiah, and the other in the time of Christ. If Conley does allow for such a translation and interpretation of Isa 7:14, he is no fundamentalist. It is well known that in 1952, when the RSV was released, fundamentalist scholars took the RSV to task for its heretical treatment of Isa 7:14. Conley must surely know this, yet he does not seem to care.

If Conley is sympathetic to the RSV, he is enthusiastic about the NASB. He says the NASB

incorporates the gains made by the discoveries of additional manuscripts (i.e., Alexandrian manuscripts) ... and has thus proven of great value in discerning the underlying text. To some its strength carries with it a weakness—that of falling short of a smooth English style. Others fault it, along with almost all the modern versions for the Greek textual family it uses. Neither charge is totally fair to this excellent tool for Bible study" (p. 201).

Conley tells his readers that he will neither recommend nor critique, but does not his remarks about the NASB sound like a recommendation? The layman would do well to note that the NASB, though rather literal, is unreliable because it is based on the corrupt Westcott and Hort text.

If the layman wants to find guidance on which English versions are reliable and which are not, he would do well to skip Conley, and find it somewhere else.

"Conclusion: The Response to These Facts," by Keith E. Gephart

Gephart reiterates the aim of the book which is to chide certain fundamentalists for taking a pro-KJV or KJV-only position. He says, "As always, Fundamentalism's greatest difficulties are caused by those within its own ranks who by some actions, statements, or doctrinal positions bring embarassment and unnecessary discord" (p. 211). Such rhetoric is no different from that of Ahab to Elijah, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" (1 Kgs 18:17)." Like Elijah we reply, "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim" (1 Kgs 18:18). KJV-only advocates have been faithful to the text God has inspired and preserved down through the ages. Pan-Versionists like Gephart have shunted from the traditional and preserved text to embrace the modernist and critical text of Westcott and Hort, the UBS, and NA. The old, conservative textual line began in the time of the Apostles, and preserved all through the centuries by God, culminating in the Textus Receptus of the 16th century Reformation. This line continued until Satan introduced a new, modernistic line in the Westcott and Hort text of 19th century liberalism. Know that the 19th century was a time of great unbelief when new-fangled "isms" like Evolutionism, Liberalism, Freudianism, Marxism, and Ecumenism came into being. It looks like modern fundamentalists instead of traveling on the "good old gospel train," have hopped onto the new and seductive Westcott-Hort train which will only lead to unbelief and apostasy. Hills has rightly warned that those who take an eclectic view of providential preservation of Scriptures (i.e., the Textus Receptus is good, but so is Westcott and Hort; the KJV is good, but so are all the modern versions) "are logically on [their] way toward the denial of the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures." Let me also repeat the good advice of Martin,

The only road to progress in New Testament textual criticism is repudiation of their (i.e., Westcott and Hort) theory and all its fruits. Most contemporary criticism is bankrupt and confused, the result of its liaison with liberal theology. A Bible-believing Christian can never be content to follow the leadership of those who do not recognize the Bible as the verbally inspired Word of God. The Textus Receptus is the starting-point for future research, because it embodies substantially and in a convenient form the traditional text.

Gephart enjoins all his readers to be like the noble Bereans who searched the Scriptures (p. 214). Yes, it is vitally important for all true theologues to search the Scriptures. However, it is equally important also for them to ensure that the Scriptures they search from is truly the Word of God, accurately and faithfully translated from the original. The reason is plain and simple: If you are not reading from a pure and unadulterated Word, you will not find the truth for which you seek.

Let me give an example. In the KJV, Ps 12:6-7 reads, "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 perserve them from this generation for ever." It is very clear from this text that God has promised to preserve His Word: He will keep and preserve "them," i.e., His "words" (v. 6). But in the NIV, we find something quite different, "And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever." Note the change from "keep them" and "preserve them" (KJV) to "keep us" and "protect us" (NIV). The NIV changed the pronouns from the third person plural ("them") to the first person plural ("us"). The NIV has changed the Word of God here. In the Hebrew text, the first word is tishmerem. The -em suffix is third plural, "them," not "us." He will keep "them" (so KJV) is correct. The second word is titzrennu. The -ennu suffix is third singular with the energetic nun, meaning literally, "every one of them," and not "us." We therefore find Ps 12:6-7 teaching us that God will preserve His Word as a whole (plenary preservation), and His Word in its parts (verbal preservation). But the NIV by way of a "dynamic" (read "demonic") method has corrupted the text, and by so doing, removed the doctrine of Bible preservation from the Scriptures. By all means, search the Scriptures, but make sure you search from the right one!

Gephart accuses KJV-only advocates of "pride and prejudice" (p. 215). He behaves very much like David's eldest brother—Eliab—who scolded David for wanting to fight the Philistine giant—Goliath. David wanted to defend God's name, but Eliab rebuked him saying, "I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle" (1 Sam 17:28). This same charge is now leveled against KJV-only fundamentalists by their fellows. We reply with David, "What have I now done? Is there not a cause?" (1 Sam 17:29). Indeed, there is! There is a battle for truth to be fought today. It is against the Westcott-Hort Goliath! Are you a David, or an Eliab?

If the fundamentalists of this book—From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man—will not hear us, then let them hear from Dr. Ian Paisley who is a friend of BJU and a prominent leader of the World Congress of Fundamentalists:

I believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of the living God and because the Authorised Version is a faithful English translation of the original Hebrew of the Old Testament and the original Greek of the New Testament, it is the very Word of God in my mother tongue. Being a translation does not alter one iota of its integrity, inerrancy and infallibility as God's Word. ...

I believe this English Authorized Version is unsurpassably pre-eminent over and above all other English translations, because like the blessed Joseph there rests upon it the blessing of the heavens above and of the deep that lieth under (Genesis 49:25).

I cry out "There is none like that, give it me," and in so doing I nail the Satanic lie that the Authorized Version is outdated, outmoded, mistranslated, a relic of the past and only defended by stupid, unlearned, untaught obscurantists.

As its deriders and revilers pass on to the judgment of the thrice holy God whose revelation they despise, the Old Book,

"Incomparable in its faithfulness, majestic in its language, and inexhaustible in its spiritual fruitfulness, continues to reveal to millions the matchless grace of Him whose name is THE WORD OF GOD, and who is crowned with glory and honour."

I believe this Book will always be the unsurpassable pre-eminent English version of the Holy Bible and no other can ever take its place.

To seek to dislodge this Book from its rightful pre-eminent place is the act of the enemy, and what is attempted to put in its place is an intruder - an imposter - a pretender - a usurper.

We plead with BJU and fellow fundamentalists who love God and His Word to defend the KJV, and defend it only. "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?" (2 Chr 19:1-2). Be like David who had the mind of God to fight Goliath. If we have the mind of God, we must also have the heart of God: "Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies" (Ps 139:21-22).

Used with permission. Originally published in The Burning Bush, Vol. 7, no. 1 (January 2001). The Theological Journal of the Far Eastern Bible College, 9A Gilstead Road, Singapore 309063, www.lifefebc.com/febc  Original title: Bob Jones University and the From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man.

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