The KJVO Belief that God is an English only speaker

While reading this post, a commentator post a link to what we will examine below. One of the issues with KJV-Onlyism is that it is Anglo-centric, meaning that many of those who promote it would declare England/American as the lost tribe(s) of Israel. I want to just answer a few things from Sam Gipp’s take on why there is not perfect bible in any other language.

QUESTION: If there is a perfect Bible in English, doesn’t there also have to be a perfect Bible in French, and German, and Japanese, etc?

ANSWER: No. God has always given His word to one people in one language to do one job; convert the world. The supposition that there must be a perfect translation in every language is erroneous and inconsistent with God’s proven practice.

First, there is nothing biblical about this – Yes, God did give the Jews the oracles, but that is example, not a practice established over time. Easily, we can point to the New Testament in Greek which was given not to one people or one language – but to Jews and Gentiles alike. Further, there is evidence that some of the NT was written in Aramaic (Matthew, perhaps). If we take Gipp to mean that it was given solely to the Church, then that is fine, but the Church as a whole never spoke one language, nor does it today.

EXPLANATION: This explanation comes in three parts: the Old Testament, the New Testament, the entire Bible.

(1) The Old Testament:

It is an accepted fact that, with the exception of some portions of Ezra and Daniel, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. It is also accepted that it was divinely given to the Jews.

Thus God initiates His pattern of operation. He gave His words to one people in only one language.
God, apparently unintimidated by modem scholarship, did not feel obligated to supply His words in Egyptian, Chaldian, Syrian, Ethiopian, or any other of the languages in use on the earth at the time the Old Testament was written.

The Old Testament was given exclusively to the Jews. Anyone desiring the word of God would have to convert to Judaism. Ample provision was made for such occurrences.

First, he defeats his premise with his own words. If the KJV is the only true bible because God has ‘always given His word to one people in one language…’ then to acknowledge that some of the OT survive in Aramaic (not Hebrew) would either destroy his premise or deny that the OT is the word of God. Daniel also includes Aramaic, or Chaldean as it was once called.

Further, we know that the OT was translated into Greek long before the time of Christ.

Now, let us ask why the OT was more often than not kept in the original Hebrew? Because, Judaism was centered on one people, where as the Gospel is given to all people.

Notice he makes the point about having the word of God and converting to Judaism. That’s not necessarily the case, as the we know that the Eunuch of Acts 8 who because of his condition could not convert still had the bible in his hands.

(2) New Testament:

It is also an accepted fact that the New Testament was written in Greek. Koine Greek to be exact. Again, the Lord apparently saw no reason to inspire a perfect original in all of the languages of the world extant at that time.

Only this time, instead of giving His Book to a nation, such as Israel, He simply gave it to the Christians who were told to go out and convert the world. (Matthew 28:19) His choice of Greek as the language of the New Testament was obvious in that it was the predominant language of the world at the time.

His first point is not valid. First, there can only be one original language. Very shortly after the writing of the NT, we find evidences of it translated from the Greek into Latin (Old Latin) and the Syric. Further, we know that by the 4th century, bibles were starting to be translated into Goth, among other languages. Christianity was spread because of this.

His second point is equally invalid. While Greek was the lingua franca of the day, it did not remain so for very long. Nor was it the predominant language in Palestine, and if you ask the Chinese and those that lived on the North American continent, I seriously doubt that they would have considered Greek the world language. Nothing in Scripture supports the ‘dominate language’ thesis of Sam Gipp, either by example or practice.

Below you will note the jingoistic language of the KJVO crowd:

(3) The Entire Bible:

It is obvious that God now needed to get both His Old Testament and His New Testament welded together in a language that was common to the world. Only English can be considered such a language.

Why? Latin was common to the world in the early 1500’s, as was French, Spanish and Chinese. The point of Tyndale and the early Translators, and translations today, is that the bible could be read by everyone, in their own language.

The English language had been developing for many centuries until the late sixteenth century. About that time it finally reached a state of excellence that no language on earth has ever attained. It would seem that God did the rest. He chose this perfect language for the consummation of his perfect Book.

Actually, English as we know it developed rather quickly, mixing in a whole host of other languages due to invasions of the English isles since the days of the Roman Empire.

First England and later the United States swept the globe as the most powerful nations on earth, establishing English in all corners of the globe as either a primary or secondary language.
Today nations who do not speak English must still teach English to many of their citizens. Even nations antagonistic to the West such as Russia and Red China must teach English to their business and military personnel.

Yes, and we are now learning Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. So?

Thus in choosing English in which to combine His two Testaments, God chose the only language which the world would know. Just as He has shown in His choosing only one language for the Old Testament and only one language for the New Testament, He continued that practice by combining those two testaments in only one language.

Again, Gipp denies this premise himself when he acknowledges that portions of the OT were not written in Hebrew.

But let us not forget the fact that, by choosing the English language, God has given us a mandate to carry out the great commission. He did not give us a perfect Bible to set placidly on the coffee table in our living room to let our guests know that we are “religious”. He did not give it to us to press a flower from our first date, or to have a record of our family tree. He gave it to us to read! And to tuck under our arm and share with the lost world the good news of Jesus’ payment for sin that is found inside.

Have you yet to see a Scripture in anything that Gipp has written?

You Might Also Like

9 Replies to “The KJVO Belief that God is an English only speaker”

  1. Thanks for this very interesting and well-written post. The original language of the Tanakh is Hebrew and Aramaic. Anything else is a translation, subject to errors in translation.

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.