Review – James White and the KJVO Controversy (3)

I am reviewing the newest edition of James White’s book for Bethany House. (Part 1, here – Part 2, here.) I am deliberately taking my time and spacing it out for several reasons –

  • I come from the KJVO background, and James White was our archnemesis
  • I have many from the KJVO group on various social networking sites that see the links, and the more that they see, the more likely they are to read at least one
  • It is a great resource in dealing with KJVO’ers

With that said, let’s continue with chapters 4, 5 and 6. I will not rehash every argument that he has – that is not my place as a reviewer. Let me go ahead and thank Bethany House for the courtesy copy of The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations? (2nd ed.) by James R. White. This is an excellent resource for anyone – especially those still in the myth of the KJVO. It is challenging to say the least to read White and not be offended at his position, if one is a KJVO, but he raises the exact points which helped to open my own eyes to that position.

In Chapter 4 (Putting it Together) the author begins to discuss the ‘specifics’ of the KJVO argument, and does so quite well. He takes us through there early attacks on Erasmus, who first assembled the Greek Text which underlies (for the most part) the King James Version. He focus on the most famous of all verses, 1st John 5.7. In modern versions it is not found – nor is it found among the debates of the Church Fathers regarding the Godhead. While I use to dismiss this argument out of hand – no good Catholics that the Church Fathers were and all – the point is well made while I explored the 4th Century Controversy.

From there, he takes us through the history of the Textus Recptus, including the revisions made to it over the years. He aligns the textual criticism of the Textual Fathers with the Textual Critics of today. Remarkably, the goal and intent, and methods are nearly the same.

His next stop are the words of the translators themselves – in which they acknowledge their own humanity, and encourage the use of many translations. He counters several of the myths that surround the translations, calling to mind the use of the same traditions applied to the translators of the KJV.

He then moves the KJV-1611 itself, and highlights the changes in style, form, and grammer. Further, he points out the direct revisions to the text itself. (Again, if you want to know the finer points, buy the book.) It is worthy pointing out, however, that no one used the KJV-1611 anymore. The majority of KJV users use the Oxford 1769. More of that, in the book.

In Chapter 4 (The KJVO Camp) the author examines the arguments of three people

  • Dr. Edward F. hills, who White remarks that he is the least offensive KJVO’er.
  • Gail Riplinger, who White seems to devote a large amount of time debating
  • Dr. Peter Ruckman, who is one of the worse ‘misinformationists’ today.

Both Riplinger and Ruckman fill a large number of footnotes, and indeed the main text, which is perhaps one of the few down sides to White’s work. To me, he spends too much time giving them the floor – and although he answers them, it makes it seem more like a personal conflict between White and Riplinger/Ruckman than an informative book.

There is no doubt that these two people have personally attacked White (and indeed they have). Their positions are filled with purposed misinformation, geared to those who read only their writings, as if they write with an inspired pen as well. While everything that White answers them with is dead on, it would have been better to answer them without either mentioning them directly or perhaps detailing their arguments.

In Chapter 6 (Translational Differences) White deals with the conspiracy theories which spew from the camp of the KJVO, that the modern versions defile, change, pervert, and murder the word of God. Of course, for them, the Word of God is still the KJV. They hold this as a standard – never really thinking why this alone is the standard.

Be briefly discusses several passages used by the KJVO camp in showing that the modern versions dilute the word of God – including the use of the word ‘peculiar’ which White points out is believed by the KJVO camp to mean ‘odd’ because that’s how Peter and Paul meant it, and ‘and Moses 4,000 years earlier.’

I want to stress that those in the KJV movement take the time to read this book. It helps to highlight many inconsistencies in the KJVO crown, and will help you to come to a better appreciation, I believe, of the bible.

For another review, go here.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,125 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).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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4 thoughts on “Review – James White and the KJVO Controversy (3)

  1. Thank, Peter. I added your review, which was a slip from the original post. I am hoping – praying – that those that still hold to this view will read the book.

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