KJVO – Pt 1, Sam Gipps and the Apocrypha

A few years ago I left the KJVO (King James Version Only) when their scholarship could not stand the test. Their doctrine was based on falsehoods and promoted by inept men and women who themselves promoted erroneous knowledge of very late Tradition. Upon closer examination, the KJVO doctrine falls to pieces. One of it’s proponents is a man by the name of Sam Gipp. (Peter Ruckman and Gail Riplinger are others). He claims to be a pastor and evangelist as well as claiming to be a staunch defender of the ‘perfect bible’.

I view the King James Version like this: It served it’s purpose, but 400 years later, with the English language having changed, it is outdated. I use it as my primary bible, not only because I grew up nursing on it, but because it is the only bible used in our Church. For myself, I would rather stick with the NKJV or my own translation; however, in reaching people you use their language. I do not view the KJV as the only inspired Word of God, and when it comes down to preaching from it, I could care less about textual criticism. I have to followed the advice that if something is in the Bible that I use that does not belong, it will not hurt me. I have yet to see any doctrinal changes from textual variants, so until then, I will hold to what many call the Received Text, or the Textus Receptus.

Some time ago, Sam Gipp published a book entitled the Answer Book, in which he defends his position while attempting to justify the many changes that the King James as underwent since 1611. (It was a revision of the English bible before it.) It is one of these answers that first opened my eyes to the error that is King James Onlyism. He attempted to answer the question concerning the Apocrypha, or as I call it the Deuterocanon. As many of you may know, the 1611 printing, and nearly every printing until the 19th century included the Apocrypha, so a reasonable question to ask is why if they were translated and printed with the KJV, this pure and perfectly inspired Word of God, does the modern King James Version no longer carry them?

I all attempt to answer his ‘answers’ for the benefit of those interested in the Truth.

1. Not one of them is in the Hebrew language, which was alone used by the inspired historians and poets of the Old Testament.

Sirach is a well-known book among the Wisdom writings that does in fact have a Hebrew original. As a matter of record, Sirach was in debate by the Jewish leaders concerning it’s inclusion. Along with the Book of Jubilees, a Hebrew version of Sirach was found in Cave 2 during the discovery at Qum’ran. Psalms 151, included in the Orthodox Church’s canon, was found in Cave 11. Linguists can point to the fact that Judith was originally written in Hebrew, as was Tobit. Speaking of Tobit, 4 versions of Tobit written in Aramaic was found in Cave 4. As well as a single Hebrew version of the book. A simply reading of Tobit will reveal a connection to John’s vision of the New Jerusalem.

2. Not one of the writers lays any claim to inspiration.

The same can be said of Esther, Ruth, Proverbs and Job of the common canon; however, if we go further, we read in Baruch

The Book of Baruch 2:21 Thus saith the Lord, Bow down your shoulders to serve the king of Babylon: so shall ye remain in the land that I gave unto your fathers.

As a counter point, there has been numerous books to claim inspiration, but a mere claim – or lack thereof – is not enough to remove a book from the bible.

3. These books were never acknowledged as sacred Scriptures by the Jewish Church, and therefore were never sanctioned by our Lord.

Actually, that is false as well. There was no common Jewish canon, as the Talmuds from Palestine, Babylon and the Traditions from Alexandria related differences in the acceptance of Scriptures. Sirach, as we have demonstrated, was still in debate until around the time of Christ. Even Esther was in doubt. The Septuagint, which included these books, was not a Christian invention, so if the Church took over the Septuagint from the Jews, then the Jews, or at least some of them, must have used these books as well. Another way to look at this, is to inquire concerning the provision in Scripture where the Jews were allowed to dictate to the Church which books to use? More than likely, the closing of the Jewish Canon was precipitated in direct opposition to the establishment of the Church’s Canon, which seemed to happen around the same time.

4. They were not allowed a place among the sacred books, during the first four centuries of the Christian Church.

This is clearly false as well, since several of the early Canon lists included Wisdom. The early Church Fathers even quoted from them. Further, when Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate’s Old Testament from the Hebrew, he actually placed the Deuterocanon into a secondary place in Scripture, thereby removing them for a time from the canon list. Not every area of the Church did this, though. (Rome is a favorite villain for the Fundamentalists, yet they willingly accept the removal of the Deuterocanon by the Catholic 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.

This may be true of some of the books of the Deuterocanon and only in part, as we know that Judith contains historical inaccuracies; however, Protestants have thrown out the baby with the bathwater, as it were. With Judith and Esdras, they have dismissed Sirach, Wisdom, and 1st Maccabees, some of the most powerful post-captivity writings of the Jews.

6. The Apocrypha inculcates doctrines at variance with the Bible, such as prayers for the dead and sinless perfection.

Sinless perfection” is actually taught by many denominations today, without the Deuterocanon. Generally, no verses are used to substantiate the claims of these variant doctrines in the Deuterocanon.

7. It teaches immoral practices, such as lying, suicide, assassination and magical incantation.

Again, generally nothing is submitted for proof.

Sometimes an eight point pulled out to teach that the Deuterocanon does not belong in the Bible. It states:

No apocryphal book is referred to in the New Testament whereas the Old Testament is referred to hundreds of times.

I will answer this in the second part to this series; however, by giving fully accredited responses to these seven objections, it seems that in the very lest, the KJVO promoters are using a lie in defending their truth.

Post By Joel Watts (10,115 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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