May 2, 1996
Dear Brother Morton,
Thank you for taking time to respond to my letter even though you ignored answering the major problems with your manmade tradition. I read your book carefully. Perhaps, your book is not as consistent and as reliable as your own biased opinion of it indicates. Why do you attempt to keep at arms length your responsibility to prove your own claims? You justify your view by your own religious experience or that of other fallible, uninspired men; therefore, you are asserting your view based on your own authority or that of other men. Your final authority is man: yourself, other KJV-only advocates, or the KJV translators. Your final authority does not exist for the many believers who lived before 1611 or 1789. Your final authority is not available to the many believers who only speak languages other than English.
Do you have a completely Biblical concept of inerrancy? It is clear that inerrancy defined with reference to the Bible is absolutely no errors of any type of kind. Logically by definition, it is undeniably true that an inerrant Bible could not have misprints since misprints are still errors. An error would still be an error whether it is made by copyists, printers, or translators. Printing errors can change the meaning just the same as translators' errors. A spelling error or printing error can sometimes make a word into a completely different word. For example: good or God, "sin no more" versus " sin on more," "lions" versus "loins," etc. Hopefully, you would agree WIth all Bible-believers that the original autographs were inspired and inerrant (no errors of any kind). However, when you apply the words inspired and inerrant to a translation, the KJV, you are forced to change the meaning of inerrant to allow the presence of some copying or printing errors. Unless you are playing word games, you should know that you cannot properly use the word "inerrant" for the 1611 KJV with its printing errors. If language such as the word "inerrant" can be legitimately interpreted in this way to include misprints, nothing could never be proved or disproved. To make words include the opposite of what they really mean is to empty words of all meaning. To make inerrancy include misprints would be as ridiculous as claiming that the whale swallowed Jonah and Jonah swallowed the whale at the same time. Since one proven disconfirming example falsifies a claimed universal generalization, one misprint disproves the claim of an inerrant translation.
You admit that the KJV Bible you presently use has printing errors in it. You suggest that the edition of the KJV on the Online Bible is the most accurate. Why didn't you inform your fellow KJV-only advocates of this fact in your book and why don't KJV-only advocates have this edition of the KJV published for their people to use? I would agree that the edition of the KJV on the Online Bible Is more accurate than the editions of the KJV published in America. I wonder if you would really agree with all the differences in the edition of the KJV on the Online Bible. The Online KJV has "the scribe's penknife" at Jer. 36:23a while most KJVs are missing 'scribe's' (there is a Hebrew word for scribe in the Hebrew Masoretic text). The Online KJV has 'robbers of temples' at Acts 1 9:37b Instead of 'robbers of churches.' Peter Ruckman claimed that the mistake of 'churches' at Acts 19:37 is an 'advanced revelation.' At 1 Samuel 20:40a, the Online KJV has 'weapons' in agreement with Coverdale's, Matthew, and Great Bibles instead of 'artillery' in other KJV's. At 1 Cor. 4:4a, the Online KJV has 'against myself in agreement with the ASV, New Scofield, Green's Literal Translation, NASB, NRSV, and NKJV instead of 'by myself.' Some KJV-only advocates have attacked this rendering 'against myself' in modem translations since it is different from their edition of the KJV. The Online KJV has 'body of soldiers' at Acts 23:27b in agreement with 'soldiers' In Tyndale's, Matthew's, and Great Bibles Instead of 'armies' in most KJV's. 'Army' is also the rendering In the Cathoic Douay-Rheims. which of these two renderings do you consider to be more accurate? At 1 Cor. 1 0:25a. the Online KJV has 'provision market' in agreement with 'market' in Tyndale's. Matthew's, Bishops, New Scofield, and KJ21 while your KJV has 'shambles,' this rendering comes from the Catholic Douay-Rheims. At Deut. 27:18a, the Online KJV has 'Cursed be he that dishonoureth his father or his mother In agreement with the New Scofield and close to 'dishonors' In the NASB. The Online KJV has 'and she happened to come' at Ruth 2:3b in agreement with New Scofield, NKJV, and MKJV instead of 'and her hap was to light' In your KJV. I am sure that you will ignore the above facts. Perhaps, these differences explain why you did not recommend the Online KJV to others. Are these differences only spelling and punctuation errors? One of the teachers in our Christian school stopped using the Online KJV to check his students memorization of verses from the KJV since he found differences between the two in almost every verse. Is the Online KJV your final authority or will you change your final authority to another edition of the KJV more acceptable to your fellow KJV-only advocates? You claim that you will not change one word of it to suit your opinion, but you leave the huge open door of being able to change words which you claim are printing errors. Do you have a copy of the original handwritten copy of the 1611 KJV to be able to determine accurately what errors the printers actually made and which errors are only your imagination? By what final authority did you find the supposed printing errors in the current KJV you use: your own finite mind?
By what kind of reasoning can you claim that God apparently has no problem with printing errors but that He must have a problem with translating errors? Does God judge printers by a different standard than He does translators? Are not errors still errors in the eyes of God regardless of hew they got there? Rather than admit you are inconsistent, you would make God inconsistent by claiming God prevented any translators' errors in the KM but permitted printing errors. According to what is known as the chief rule of thought (the law of contradiction), 'the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject and in the same respect.' Therefore, it is impossible for a translation to be inerrant (no errors) and errant (printing errors) at the same time. Your view has a big problem with consistency and truth.
By the way, you might be interested to know that the early translators of our English Bible considered the writers of the originals to be inspired. Five of the early English Bibles have the rendering: 'for David himself inspired with the Holy Ghost' (Mark 12:36). This is early Bible terminology from the very good Bibles in the me of good Bibles promoted by KJV-only advocates. How does inspiration of the words differ from inspiration of the Holy Spirit-moved writers? Attempting to separate the inspiration of the words from the inspiration of the men moved by the Holy Spirit is only your new straw man needed because of the assumptions of KJV-only advocates. Because I believe God's Word and what it says about no additional revelation or no new inspiration and what it says about the depravity of man, you claim that I'm emphasizing man's weakness. I believe In God's sovereignty and God's strength regardless of what you may claim. While God sets limits or gave commands concerning the proper treatment of His Word, He left to fallible men the task of translating His Word into various languages. Who gave you the right to demand 100% perfection In the ordinary tasks God has left to uninspired man such as in preaching or in translating?
This Issue is not about what God could do but about what God has actually done. God could have given exact copies of His Word in every language engraved In metal, but He didn't. God could have inspired translators, but He did not according to what He has revealed in His Word. In His decision not to inspire translators, God will not submit to the opinions of any man including KJV-only advocates. God does not choose to work in the world by perpetual miracle. When believers are called on to place their faith not in God's Word itself but in the claims of KJV-only advocates, it robs God of His sovereignty to preserve His Word in the manner He chooses. It seems that you would dictate to God the way He has to preserve His Word. Where does God's Word identify the KJV as its only preserved form? You seem to deny that God has preserved His Word in the original languages. What did the KJV-only translators translate from if they did not translate from the preserved Word of God In the original languages? The underlying text used by the KJV translators are still available. If they were the authority for the KJV translators, they are of greater authority than the translation. The only reason you will not accept the underlying texts in Hebrew and Greek for the final authority is that you know in some cases the KJV translators departed from their texts and followed other sources such as the Latin Vulgate. You will not answer reasonable questions like: what was the final authority before 1611? A consistent and Biblical view of translation will be true both before and after 1611. if the KJV-only view was true, KJV-only advocates should be able to name and identify the inerrant Word of God before 1611 and also able to do the same in other languages today? If it is not essential and necessary to identify the inspired and inerrant translation before 1611 and today in other languages, by what Scriptural reasoning is it essential in English today? It is time that you stopped hiding by always attacking other believers' views instead of fulfilling your responsibility to prove your own claims.
I assume that you are sincere in what you believe. On the other hand, you accuse me of infidelity and apostasy. I have not reasoned myself into unbelief. I believe God and His Word. I have God's Word in the form that He chose to preserve it. Evidently, that Bible is not good enough for you. if you are not claiming that God's Word Is bound only to the KJV. then why would you object if I used another translation of God's Word. Perhaps. I could use God's inspired Word as preserved in the original languages. For example, perhaps even one of the editions of the Textus Receptus used by the KJV translators or perhaps the Majority Text. Do you object to believers using the TR to evaluate al translations? Do you believe that the English corrects the Greek? You do not believe God's Word too much as you imply. The problem is that you do not believe all of God's Word. The problem is that you misinterpret one doctrine and make it contradict other doctrines of God's Word.
You Imply: 'What harm is there in believing the KJV is an inerrant, inspired translation?' However, you are not consistent since you don't ask: 'What harm Is there in believing the Latin Vulgate Is the perfectly preserved Word of God as claimed by Cathoics?' You don't ask: 'What harm is there in believing the Septuagint Is the perfectly preserved Old Testament as claimed by Greek Orthodox?' You don't ask: 'What harm is there in believing the old Syriac Peshitta is the perfectly preserved Word of God as claimed by some of the Eastern Church?' You don't ask: 'What harm is there in believing the Spanish Reina-Valera is the perfectly preserved Word of God?' The real issue is not whether the KJV-only view is harmful, useful, probable, or successful, but whether this view is actually taught in Scripture. It should be evident to all believers that it is always harmful and dangerous to promote as divine a view which is only human in origin. The KJV-only view Impugns God's wisdom by claiming it Is needful or required when Christ did not appoint it. The KJV-only view would supplant the authority of God's Word in the original languages and would replace it with the authority of 'superior scholars-the KJV translators.
I am willing to accept your view If you will prove it is consistent with the overall teachings of God's Word. I am going to consider all the evidence. Perhaps you suggest that writing to me is futile since you know that your man-made KJV-only tradition cannot be proven from Scripture. Your assumption or your experience Is not valid proof for your claims. I could give you many examples of whether another translation including even some of the earlier ones have a clearer, more accurate rendering than the KJV. By permitting your preconceptions and assumptions to become a 'cause,' you appear to allow truth to be tossed to the winds when it does not fit into your mold. Most likely, you will ignore the facts and refuse to deal with the serious problems with your view. Thank you for your consideration of these matters.
Dear brother Norris:
We have been very busy lately and have only now had time to consider your last letter, but really there is not much to consider. If your position and claims were not so desperate and pathetic they would almost be comical. You make all of these mighty claims, arguments, and charges but utterly refuse to reveal what basis you claim your statements are founded on. Your sometimes refer to something called "Scripture" but never identify what that Scripture is. After repeated requests by a brother in Christ in two letters for you to tell him what your final authority is and what you mean when you say "Scripture," you ignore him like he never asked. You finally did say you "have God's word in the form He has chose to preserve it," but don't tell us what it is, where it can be found, or in what form God preserved it (did God preserve it without error or does it contain errors and you are able to find them all?)! How pathetic. If you think we are wrong on the AV, why don't you give us what you think is right? That's the least a Christian brother should do (1 Thes. 2:13; Jam. 4:17). The Lord said man lived by "every word" of God (Matt. 4:4) yet you won't reveal what or where these words are. Concerning the word of God being bound, you have it bound so tight that only you know what it is!
All you have done in your three letters is attack, destroy, and tear down. You seem to have some "holy mission" to take the AV from all of the "unthinking" people who believe it as the inerrant word of God, but you offer no inerrant Bible to replace it. All you offer is preference and opinion based on "logic" and "reason" from a "finite mind" (Mk. 8:~7; Lk. 5:21). You like to "talk the talk" and sometimes refer to Scripture to appear orthodox, but you never identify what your few references refer to so one can check them. All you have done is criticize the AV so they can't refer to it. Or, again, are you able to find all the errors in the AV (or any other text or translation)? If so, why don't you print a list of them all so everyone will be enlightened?
But we know why you won't. Because as soon as you claimed to have an inerrant Bible in any language you know you would be "blackballed" by your "peers" because they insist "only the original autographs are inspired." You would be in the "same boat" you place us in because you would claim the inerrant word of God is available in tangible form. Translations are not really the issue because your crowd will not allow an inerrant Bible in any language. And you say you have not reasoned yourself into unbelief. If you haven't, produce what you believe! If you can't produce an inerrant Bible then all that's left are the preferences and reasonings of your "finite mind." You look only inwardly through human logic and reason to find your authority while we also look outwardly at what God has done and to the Scriptures He has provided us to find ours.
Furthermore, if you came forward with an inerrant Bible you would be subject to nearly every charge you make against us. "Where was the word of God before the Textus Receptus?" Also, "Which Textus Receptus do you believe?" Where was the complete Bible before Erasmus compiled his first Greek text?" "Where was the word of God in say 800 AD?" According to you there must be a constant chain of inerrancy from the autographs and whether it ends with the AV, Receptus, or Majority Text is immaterial. We gave verses in our book showing that God's word could still be preserved yet unavailable to man because of unbelief, but we are sure you didn't even consider the passages (2 Chron. 15:3; 2 Kings 22). To fully know at any given time in the past what and where the word of God was then one would have to live at that time or at least have a record of someone who lived at that time. But we are not concerned with such meaningless, trivial questions, we are concerned as to where the word of God is today.
We will have to say that Dr. Ruckman is right in his observations of what he calls the "Alexandrian Cult." His "Creed of the Alexandrian Cult" fits you perfectly. He also claims that the reason some of those in it will not publicly admit an inerrant Bible exists even when they know it exposes their unbelief is the fear of ridicule--the fear of man. We believe this applies to you also else you would have produced you authority by now. Or you really believe only the lost autographs were the Bible.
One thing that somewhat surprises us though is your complete aversion of dealing with Scripture. In our letters and book we quoted and referred to scores of passages and you have not addressed or brought up ONE of them for dispute. You say you want to deal with "God's Word," but you ignore every reference we make to it. In your last letter, other than your quotes of the Online Bible (which we will get to shortly), you do not give ONE reference to Scripture for anything relevant to your claims.
You ask if we have a "Biblical concept of inerrancy" and don't quote one verse or list one reference to even suggest that we don't. We gave you verses for what we believed! You begin the next sentence with more "logic." It is obvious you trust your logic more than any Scripture. Also, we can see why you like to quote Mr. Conjurske. He makes six and one half pages of charges and claims against "unthinking" Bible believers without even alluding to one verse of Scripture, let alone giving a reference! "Birds of a feather." We don't have time to waste with those who "reason with unprofitable talk" (Job 15:3).
Your passion for misrepresenting us is again seen
in your statements about the Online Bible. You apparently have
a reading comprehension problem. First, we in no way endorsed the Online Bible in any way. We just stated what Mr. Pierce claimed for his software. Enclosed you will find his claims in his own words. Again, he claims that VERSION 6.0 is identical to a certain Cambridge edition which is supposedly the 1769 edition verbatim. He says Sharp electronics tried to prove him wrong but couldn't. We cannot prove either way, but his claim very well may be true. But one thing we do know, however, is that you ignored what we said in our last letter. We very plainly and specifically said this ONLY applied to VERSION 6.0 (and later). By this Mr. Pierce admitted that all earlier versions were inferior yet you make all these mighty charges and claims and get all "bent out of shape" using one of these earlier, inferior versions! Is this the way you do research, completely ignoring what was said and the limitations that were clearly mentioned? Did you not think we were going to check you out? Or are we supposed to believe you without question because you are "logical"? Your "finite mind" is really showing here.
Enclosed you will find every verse of the OB which you claimed differed with most American printings of the AV and there is not ONE difference between it and any of our KJ Bibles! Our Thomas Nelson edition, our Cambridge edition, and other editions agree with the GB. The difference is we used version 6.11. Version 6.11 is AFTER version 6.0. You said you agreed that the inferior version you used was superior to the editions printed in America so you must believe that version 6.0 and later is really the inferior editions since they are different from the one you quoted from and agree with the American editions!. On what basis do you believe it inferior? What is your standard KJV. Don't you realize that nearly every question you pose to us can be turned right back to you? We believe the editions of the AV we have are inerrant apart from obvious typographical misprints, and we have yet to encounter a typo that could be heard while reading aloud. Of all the verses, chapters, and books of the AV we have read over the years in public, we have never had one person come to us and say their printing of the AV said something else. Spelling "errors" are no really errors anyway because who or what is the final authority on spelling? There were no dictionaries until the eighteenth century, and they vary in spelling. The same can be said for punctuation "errors." Nowhere in the Bible is punctuation, per se, said to be given by inspiration. Only the "words" are Scripture (Jn. 6:63).
By the way, who cares that some of the early translators believed the writers of the originals were "inspired." God didn't care enough to preserve their belief in His word as found in the AV, and it is still in print. These translations have been out of print for centuries. If a man is inspired" by God he is infallible, but the Bible only allows God to be inspired and the Scriptures to be "given by inspiration." (We gave you the references last time, but you ignored them.)
Where did we ever say that you or anyone else could not believe any version, text, or translation you want to? If you want to believe the TR, fine; or the Majority Text, fine. How about the New World Translation or the Reader's Digest, fine. You believe whatever you want. How could we keep you from it, anyway? But it sure seems to eat at you that we believe the KJB is inerrant. Why don't you allow us the same liberty?
Finally, we are not willing to continue to correspond
if you are not willing to clearly state your position on the Bible, its
preservation, and whether it still exists in inerrant form today. If you
continue to hide behind your unbelief and throw stones at us without stating
your position from Scripture like a man, we will not answer another letter.
Though you may think us "misguided," "unbalanced," "unthinking," etc.,
we have at least openly stated our position. But if you do state your position
and show you are willing to discuss Scripture, we MAY continue. The Lord
has given us a lot to do and we don't have time to waste on humanistic,
linear, one-dimentional reasoning.
The following is extracted from a letter (dated June 28,1990) sent to the Trinitarian Bible Society, 217 Kingston Road, London, England 5W19 3NN by Ted Welmen, Terra Pacific Writing Corporation, PO. Box 1244, Corvallis, OR 97339. Sharp Electronics of Japan, hired Terra Pacific to verify that the Bible text used by the Online Bible was accurate. It was.
The result of our quest for Sharpe, is a report from us that there are no errors in the electronic text (Online Bible), provided the correct Bible ("Concond 8v0 Bold Figs Refs" printed on the title page) is referenced. We are assuming this Bible to be THE Bible. The following list the discrepancies between two Bibles published by Cambridge Press, the Concord v80 and the Pitt Minion Bibles. The discrepancies are minor, mostly punctuation and minor spelling problems.
Version 6.0 has the exact 1769 Authorised Version
(AV) text. Sharp Electronics in Japan spent a great deal of money to prove
otherwise and failed. They found no errors. We have found that AV Bibles
published by the University Printing House in Cambridge, England, are much
more accurate than those published elsewhere. Only the Cambridge Bible
with "Concord 8vo Bold-Figure refs." in the lower left hand corner of the
title page, has the exact 1769 text. If you think you have found an error,
check this Cambridge AV Bible. The next most accurate AV Bible has over
one hundred errors.
Jer 36:23 And it came to pass, [that] when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast [it] into the fire that [was] on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that [was] on the hearth.
Ac 19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.
1 Sa 20:40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry [them] to the city.
1 Co 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Ac 23:27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
1 Co 10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, [that] eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
De 27:16 Cursed [be] he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Ru 2:3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in
the field after