I am reviewing Dr. White’s book this week, and it will be a multi-part review/discussion. I want to first discuss the idea that is prevalent among many, either by self-statement or by consequence of their doctrine.
Those that hold to the King James Version Only generally fall into several categories, according to Dr. White:
- Those who hold to the KJV out of the beauty of the text. It is for those a translation of choice, just as the NIV is for others.
- (and 3) Hold that the Greek and Hebrew which underlie the KJV is inspired
- Inspired KJV Group. They hold that the KJV is the only inspired translation, and the standard by which we must judge all others by. The illogic of this is that for 1500 years previously, the KJV did not exist. The KJV itself as a revision of a revision of a revision, dating back to the first English translation, that of William Tyndale (who we note was burned at the stake for reading a modern translation, namely his own, over the Latin Vulgate.)
- The final group is the logical outcome of the previously mentioned group – those that old that the KJV is the New Revelation, that somehow in 1611, God re-inspired the Bible in the English Language. Further, they proclaim that the KJV is more inspired than the Hebrew/Greek originals. For them, God waited until 1611 to correct the mistakes that the Apostles made.
Dr. White notes that Ruckman, in his book, ‘The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence” states that “Mistakes (against the Greek) in the A.V. 1611 are advanced revelation.” He further calls for any Greek of the Received Text that does not disagree with the KJV to be ‘placed in file 13.’ People in Dr. Ruckman’s camp generally hold to:
- The Eternal Existence of the KJV – written in heaven and used by God
- This is the Book that we will be judged out of as mentioned in Revelation 20:12
The first and foremost problem that we have is that this view is wholly unbiblical, and if taught, becomes more than an error, or a mistake, but a false doctrine. It allows the Word of God to be corrected by humanity. Further, it disallows initial inspiration of the Scriptures requiring us to believe that God Himself uses the KJV, and before all Eternity settled the KJV in Heaven (which might be possible in the extreme forms of Calvinism). It requires us, as well, to suspended Reason and believe that the Prophets spoke Elizabethan English, as well as the Apostles, and that English is alone the language of the heavens.
Further, in light of Paul’s statement in Galatians – if we can trust that he and truly not the Anglicans which translated the KJV in 1611 - we know that the Apostle was against anything new introduced into the Faith. Jude (1.3) also makes the rather bold claim that the Faith given to the Apostles was the Faith once for all delivered – with no new changes, no new revelation, no new thoughts to be added. To say that suddenly, in the year of our Lord, 1611, that a new revelation in the form of the KJV descended is to stand against what the Apostles taught.
Note especially that the KJV in use today is not the KJV in 1611, but I will cover that later.
I will continue with my review for a while, but Dr. White has opened the discussion, not with the salvos common from the KJVO camp, but with a calm tenor. He is not criticizing those that use the KJV but questions those that demand that this translation alone is the either standard or a new revelation from God Himself.
You do know how utterly foolish this all is, right?
BTW, Nick offers his own review here.