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James Version like this: It served it’s purpose, but 400 years later, with the English language having changed, it is outdated.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.

Commentary on Wisdom, 1.1-6

Protestants have created this myth that the books commonly called the Apocrypha or Deuterocanon was suddenly accepted by Rome at the Council of Trent. This is far from the truth. In reality, the canon list was solidified due to Luther and others insistence that the disputed books be discarded. Many of these books have been used since before the time of the Apostles and even by the Apostles themselves. Whispers of Wisdom (of Solomon) can be heard from Luke’s Gospel and Paul’s pen. I hope to eventually get to those at a later date, but for now, I will occasionally blog about the book of Wisdom in hopes that we can attract some attention due to this ancient work.

The Wisdom of Solomon (although many simply call it Wisdom now) was written anywhere from 300b.c. to 50 years before Christ. (Author David Winston puts the date after Christ). From the evidence that I have seen, I would put the date between 175-50b.c. The Logos doctrine is not Philo’s, and somewhat undeveloped. It is a simply statement on Logos, much like I believe John’s to be. It is also not so Jewish as Sirach, and yet joined at the hip with the Maccabean revolt.

To be frank, I consider this book to be as inspired as John and Romans, so I cannot place this book anytime near or after Christ. I will explain that when we get to later chapters. At times, I have found great solace in these pages. When I could not read the words, for various reasons, I often times have my dear wife read them. Just as in Isaiah, the words in these pages belong more with the New than with the Old. They are wholly Christian and yet still Jewish. We find in them not just an expectation of Christ, but thoughts that helped to shape the Christological controversies, and I believe would have done more to limit those controversies had this book not been quickly tossed aside. We also find a structure that helps to see Luke-Acts and the deep things in that series in a different light.)

I will try to do my best to go through the entire book, passage by passage, but there may be times when I have to revisit a verse or two. I will be using the KJV as my primary translation. (Maybe just to show the KJVO crowd that ole King James thought it was a good idea to have the Apocrypha included)

In the following passage (Wisdom 1:1-15) seeks to develop the ideas of Proverbs 1:7, something that we see this author doing several times. The first idea  offers immortality to them man who pursues righteousness, or justice.

Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth: think of the Lord with a good (heart,) and in simplicity of heart seek him. For he will be found of them that tempt him not; and sheweth himself unto such as do not distrust him. For froward thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise.
(Wis 1:1-3 KJVA)

It is clear from the pointed expressions and exegetical relations that the judges (or rulers, in some) are apostate Jews. This should apply to the Jew (or in today’s case, the Christian) whether Egyptian or Palestinian, which is perhaps why this book traveled so far, so fast and was held in high esteem in antiquity. In 1Maccabbees 1:11-15 we read of such Jews (in Palestine, no less) that given the license to perform as the heathen did. Philo, writing some time after Wisdom, tells of the Jewish apostates that lived in Egypt that constantly ridiculed the holy scriptures.

The basic premise given in this single line is one that is maintained throughout the rest of the book and indeed gives credence to the unity of the work. The rulers, which is every child of God, are to love the Lord and in His ways seek Him. In the first half of the book, we are told of the Righteous Man and given the model of our life with Christ while in the latter half, we are reminded that through it all, God has always been there.

The phrase Diligiti iustitiam qui iudicatis terram (1:1a), appears around the blond head of Justice in Lorenzetti’s Fresco at the Palazzo Pubblico at Siena, Italy and seems to the central part of the painting. (See Chiara Frugoni Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 43. (1980), pp. 239-241.)

‘Judges of the Earth’ originates with Psalms 2:10 and not does simply mean kings or rulers, but should be pointed to the everyman. It is a rhetorical device used but later seemingly dropped in favor or urging the every man to strive to kingly lives.

Righteousness/Justice in Hebrew is used both of God and man and means what is right, just, and normal (as opposed to sin, which is abnormal or missing the mark). It can be said that Righteousness/Justice is God (see verse 3) which is a thought later developed by Rabbis, but in light of the rest of the book, the word means acting in harmony with God, which is the opposite of wickedness.

In Verse 2 more light is shed upon what is meant by the sincerity of heart: We must approach God with a heart and truly wants to know God and know of His Wisdom, not one that is tempting God. In Luke 4:12 we find that Christ is reminding the adversary of what has been written: that we are not to tempt the Lord. There is a world of difference in the way that we approach God. Do we approach Him as a scientist? Trying to fit God into a pre-determined existence or do we approach Him asking Him to reveal Himself to us? The writer here says that we must approach the Lord with sincerity of heart, and that is where we will find God (because He will not reveal manifest Himself to those that do not believe in Him.)

In Verse 3 we here the echo of Isaiah 59:2. In the New Jerusalem Bible, the last phrase reads: confounds the stupid. Confound is not the proper sense of the word, but rebuke/reprove is. It is God’s power that will rebuke the unwise. This thought is connected to verse 4 in describing what the Power of God is. When a foolish and perverse ruler tries to test God, the power quickly puts him to shame. The Alexandrian Jewish leaders were being reprimanded for their departure into heathen ways and by doing this, their testing of God.

For into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin. For the holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit, and remove from thoughts that are without understanding, and will not abide when unrighteousness cometh in. For wisdom is a loving spirit; and will not acquit a blasphemer of his words: for God is witness of his reins, and a true beholder of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
(Wis 1:4-6 KJVA)

Verse 4 continues verse 3 in telling us plainly that Wisdom is the power of God. Romans 1:16 we read that the gospel concerning Christ is the power of God; in 1st Corinthians 1:18, the power is the preaching of the cross and just a few verses later in 1st Corinthians 1:24, we see that Christ is not only the power of God but also the wisdom of God.

If we are able to read that the Power of God of verse 3 is the Wisdom of verse 4 (and the Holy Spirit of Discipline in Verse 5), and then we read in Paul that Christ is both the power and wisdom of God, we start to receive a revelation about the oneness of the Godhead. ‘Wisdom, ‘spirit’, and ‘holy’ all seem to be synonyms but that idea that God manifests Himself as Wisdom persists throughout the rest of the book.

The word ‘malicious’ is rarely found in the Bible and means ‘to act fraudulently’

We find the thought expressed here fully developed by Christ in John 8:34 and with Paul in Romans 7:14-25. We will show several times that Paul echoed Wisdom, and here is our first time. Further, in Rom_8:9 and 2nd Corinthians 6:16 we see that Paul is saying the same thing in that the Spirit of God, or Wisdom, will not enter and dwell in an unclean temple (body), i.e., one that is enslaved to sin.

Verse 5 is the continuation of the thought in verse 4. In Wisdom 7:25-26 we found out why this Spirit cannot stay near deceit or unrighteousness, because she is the effluence from God. This Spirit is pure and required purity.

Verse 6 we find confirmed in Mark 3:28-29 by the word of the Lord. We find that John in 1st John 3:20 also holds that God knows the heart and it is from within our heart that we can have condemnation. And one does not have to read far into James to know the rules of the tongue.

Witness is ἐπίσκοπος and elsewhere in the LXX it means taskmaster or captain. In the NT it is used as overseer (Bishop) and applied to God in 1Peter 2:25. What we might draw from this is another echo of Wisdom in the Gospels.

More KJVO nonsense

First, let me say that I use the KJV as my primary bible. I will teach from it, preach from it, and read from it always, however for serious Bible study, I have to turn to the Greek.

There is a rancid doctrine out there that says that the KJV is the ONLY BIBLE that is inspired and inerrant. Here is a recent post from a Yahoo! group. See if you can pinpoint any doctrinal foundation for the KJVO teachings in this post.

“I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way as I do, when those that do not hold to the idea that there can only be one true Bible text in English, refer to those who do as a quote, ‘king James Onlyist’.which sends the smell of a kind of cult like group. This label (at least to me) sends a negative message to other Christians, that we are some how not quite right in our thinking and are an uninformed group following some type of Guru or something. I just can not help from feeling insulted by this label. Why can we not frame this to our benefit and correct those that try to demean us with this label, why can we not simply call ourselves what we are, a body of believers that believe that there simply can only be one true “English Holy Bible Text”, and suggest we be called, if anything at all, “Holy Bible Onlyist”, a label that will carry no
negative or demeaning connotation with it, and begin to move away from the private bible label of King James. We all know the work King James had authorized to be done is God’s word in English for all generations.

I think that our side of the issue has again allowed the evil one,(as with calling the King James Bible a version of the English Bible instead of simply the `English Holy Bible’) through the doubters to stick this label on us which is meant to demean us, our cause and lessens our effect in the modern Christian community. It also has the effect of weakening our voice in the arena of debate on this very important issue facing the Church today.

This label has always felt to me as sort of slimy some how. After reading David Emme’s last post were he said: (“I am shedding this coil of King James Onlyism. My beleifs have not changed. I still affirm that the King James is the inerrant word of God.”)

I again felt that negative vibe associated with that label, as I sensed he meant to send to this forum.

If he King James Onlyism label was not accepted and used, he would of had to say `I am shedding this coil of `Holy Bible Onlyism’ which would have condemned him as a heretic, but, because of this label he was able to double talk and in his mind he was evidently not even aware of his contradicting statement, or if he was, he was less than honest in his stated position on the `English Holy Bible’.

Blessings, Clyde”

KJVO Nonsense

Yes, that is right. KJVO Nonsense.

The wonderful ‘teacher’ is shallow. Shallow? Yes. Shallow. Why? Because she is comparing English translations to English Translations. I debate often with KJVO (King James Version Only) followers and the simple question to ask them is: Show me your scriptural authority for such a doctrine. They can’t, so like usual they will revert to name calling, etc… and their ole stand by defense: accusing us of not having an inerrant bible.

They blame the fall of the ‘Christian’ culture here in the U.S. on the lack of usage of the KJV.