June 5, 1996
Dear Brother Morton,
Thank you for taking time to respond to my letter. If you are so confident that your view is correct, why do you continue to refuse to answer my questions? I told you that I was willing to accept your view if you will prove it to be consistent with the overall teachings of God's Word. I do not claim to be perfect and infallible so I realize that my interpretations of Scripture can be wrong. I am willing to be corrected and shown when my views are wrong. Please answer my concerns and questions which point out major problems with the KJV-only view. Since you refuse to answer my questions and refuse to prove your view, I can only think that you know that it is not possible to prove your man-made KJV-only tradition. Are you willing to admit that you can possibly be mistaken in your interpretations or do you think that you and other KJV-only advocates are infallible? Do you think that the illuminating of the Holy Spirit can make believers today perfect and infallible or supposed believers In 1611 perfect and infallible in their interpretations? Do you divorce your view from all facts and evidence and place your confidence in the claims of men?
I have not attacked your character or attacked you personally. I have simply disagreed with your opinions and have pointed out weaknesses in them. I have considered you to be a sincere believer entitled to your beliefs and under scriptural obligation to give reasons for them while you have accused me of unbelief. You are mistaken when you assume that pointing out the problems and inconsistencies with your man-made KJV-only tradition is the same as attacking God's Word. My view defends the final authority of God's preserved Word in the original languages while your view seems to undermine the final authority and complete sufficiency of God's Word in the original languages.
I explained to you in my April 3rd letter my understanding of revelation, inspiration, and illumination as taught in God's Word. No more revelation and no more recording of Scripture by inspiration of God has been given since the completion of God's Word in the originals (Rev. 22:13). Any translation by Holy Spirit-moved writers of God's Word in the originals was a part of the original inspiration of God. There is a difference between the inspiration of God and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. After the completion of God's Word in the originals, all translation of God's Word by believers can only involve illumination by the Holy Spirit. Translation after completion of God's giving of revelation is not by a new inspiration of God. According to the teachings of God's Word, it is impossible for believers in the 1800's or today to be given new revelation or a second inspiration. There is no difference between the illumination of the Holy Spirit in Syraic Peshitta, Tyndale's, Luthers German Bible, the Geneva Bible, the KJV 1342 Bernard's Bible by Baptists, NKJV, MKJV, KJ21, etc. To suggest that the supposed illumination of the Holy Spirit concerning the KJV was different then the illumination of the Holy Spirit in other translations would be to imply that God was partial to the KJV translators. My differences between the above example translations would be due to differences in the fallible interpretations of the uninspired translators or differences in the underlying texts, but clearly the differences are not due to the illuminatlon of the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit is not partial or biased to one group of translators.
Since you probably realize that any claim of new revelation or second inspiration for the KJV translators is clearly unscriptural, you hide behind the new claim of only 'inspired words." The various early English Bibles were all based on same 'inspired words' and yet there are many differences in the translations. While many KJV-only advocates would claim that up to 90% of the KJV New Testament comes from Tyndale, you ask 'who cares that some of the early translators believed the writers of the originals ween inspired?' If you read the preface to the 1611 KJV, you will find that the KJV translators had basically the same view of translation as did Tyndale, Coverdale, and Geneva Bible translators. Several Baptist Confessions of faith thru the centuries stated that the writers of the originals were 'divinely' or 'supernaturally inspired' including a Fundamental Baptist Confession in the 1920s. in the statements of faith of many local Baptist churches Including some KJV-only ones, you can stiu find this same belief that the writers of the originals wore 'divinely inspired." I challange you to give me a documented quotation from one Bible-believer before the 1950s who denied that the writers of the originals wore inspired by God. This is a new claim hatched out of desperation in hopes of finding some reason for the unproven KJV-only view.
If inspiration of the inspired words of Gods Word in the original languages transfers to one translation, by the same reasoning it should have transferred to all translations from those same underlying texts. It is impossible to be consistent and claim that 'inspired words' makes the KJV inspired but the same inspired words' did not make the Geneva Bible inspired. It could also be expected by the same reasoning that inspiration of the inspired words in the translation should be expected to transfer to all revisions of that translation. This claim of 'inspired words" seems to attribute causal power to words, but only in the case of one translation (partialty).
Was a new final authority invented or discovered in 1611? Of course not. The KJV translators considered God's Word in the original languages to be the final authority. not a translation. Why do you condemn beuevers whO accept~the same final authority as that accepted by the KJV translators? While for the most part. the KJV translators followed their final authority; for some reason, In a few cases. they departed from it. Sometimes they were not sure of the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek so they tended to follow the interpretations of one of the early translations such as the Peshitta, LXX, or Latin Vulgate. it is also interesting to note that for their authority In an English translation the KJV translators quoted in their preface from the Geneva Bible instead of from their own translation. It is also interesting that several of the KJV translators preached from one of the earlier English Bibles as their authority for many years after the KJV had been published. Perhaps some of the KJV translators were still upset with Bishop Bancroft for making fourteen changes in their tefl after Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson had finished their editing. Henry Jessey, a Baptist pastor and Bible scholar in the 1600's complained about the KJV for its episcopacy and said that Bishop Bancroft" who was supervisor of the present translation, altered it in fourteen places to make it speak the language of prelacy.' If you need support of Jessey's claim, you can check a book recommended by KJV-only advocates: Gustavus Paine's THE MEN BEHIND THE KJV, p.128. Are these fourteen changes inspired? By making the KJV the final authority, KJV-only advocates seem to have actually made the Latin Vulgate their final authority In those places the Vulgate was followed, the Douay-Rheims their final authority in those places it was followed, and Bishop Bancroft their final authority in the fourteen changes he made. his a fact that in some places the KJV forsook the rendering in all the early English Bibles and followed the rendering in the Catholic Douay-Rheims.
By the way, you are wrong in your claim that these
early Bibles have been out of print for centuries. In my research, I have
seen many reprints of them thru the years. Coverdale's Bible was last reprinted
in 1975. In fact, some of them are still available in print. A facsimile
reprint of the 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible is still available. A modern-spelling
edition of Tyndale's New Testament was published in 1989 and is still available.
Modern-spelling editions of three of the early New Testaments were published
by a KJV-only advocate John Wesley Sawyer which were still available. The
modern-spelling Tyndale's is even available in our local public library.
Of course, ft would not really matter if they were out of print. It would
still be valid to ask which English Bible was the authority before 1611.
Furthermore, it is a fact that many, many renderings of the early English
Bibles live on in the KJV and in other modern translations. In addition
KJV-only advocates list these early Bibles on their line of good Bibles
and they try to link the KM closely with them. Since some of these Bibles
are available and many of them are available at libraries, It is surprising
that no KJVonly advocates include them in their comparisons of translations.
Perhaps, some KJVonly advocates know the fact that sometimes these early
good Bibles would be in agreement with modern translations while the KJV
would be found to be in agreement with the Douay-Rheims or Latin Vulgate.
Of course, these early Bibles sometimes also followed the Latin Vulgate.
I have personally examined several verses In these early English Bibles
and have completely read a couple of the New Testaments, comparing them
to the KM. I have attempted to check my information. Have you checked these
early Bibles to see for yourself if they really agree with the KM or are
you depending on the claims of other KJV-only advocates concerning them?
You are also wrong to claim that I have an aversion to dealing with Scripture. If your book was only Scripture. them would be no need for it. My views are based on Scripture just as much as yours are. In fact, mine are based on the overall teachings of God's Word while your assumptions concerning this issue seem to be based on an extreme view of one doctrine.. You seem to be well-informed enough to recognize that my reasoning is actually based on the principles of God's Word without me having to quote you a verse for every point.
Why do you consider my applying the claims of the KJVonly view to the KJV an attack on the KJV? Just because I do not accept the unscriptural claim that uninspired, falible translators are infallible in their translating you condemn me. I have great respect for the early English Bibles including the KJV. In fact. my references are to the KJV although the same points are in all reliable translations including the Geneva Bible, Bernard's Bible's, NKJV, MKJV, or KJ21. All of these translations would be acceptable authorities in English. Wouid you condemn the Baptists in the 1500's and up to even the 1640's who preached from the Geneva Bible as their authority In English? Would you condemn the many Baptists in the 1800s who preached from the 1842 Bernard's Bible or 1866 American Bible Union New Testament (both translated 'baptizo' as immerse')? Of course. the final authority to settle any differences between them must be God's Word in the original languages. If you think it is wrong to quote from the KJV while believing that another translation has a clearer or more accurate rendering in some verses, then by the same reasoning it was wrong for the KJV translators to quote from the Geneva Bible in their preface while revising and changing it many places.
You challange me to print a list of errors in the KJV. Most likely, you are repeating the same challange of other KJV-only advocates. Over and over, believers thru the years have proven that other translations have a clearer or more accurate rendering than the KJV in some verses. One KJV-only pastor published a similar claim In his KJV-only newsletter last year. I answered his challange and sent him a copy of my comparisons of over 100 verses in many translations. So far, he has not even acknowledged that his challange was answered. He has not sent me any proof of any mistakes in my comparison. I am going to send you half of a comparison which gives you evidence that another translation has a clearer, more accurate, or better rendering than the KJV in at least some verses. Some of these verses were selected from the comparisons of KJV-only advocates to show where they are other translations that agree with the KJV. Instead of examining and answering this evidence, most likely you will ignore it. If you can prove it wrong. please do so and I will gladly correct it. Please check the facts for yourself.
APPENDIX B: OTHER INTERESTING COMPARISONS OF VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
Just as there are some minor differences between the 1611 KJV and current KJV's, there are also some differences between various editions of the other Bibles listed here. The spelling of the earlier English Bibles has been updated to be the same as the spelling in current KJV's.
The evidence in these comparions provides proof
beyond any reasonable doubt that the KJV-only view is false. A companon
of these renderings in over one hundred verses with God's Word in the Hebrew
and Greek will show that in many of them another translation is more accurate
or better than the KJV. In some cases the problem with the KJV rendering
is because the meaning of words has changed. In at least some cases, it
is obvious that the KJV translators were mistaken in their choice of rendering.
One example of a clearer, more accurate, or better rendering in another
translation proves that the KJV is not a perfect translation. If the KJV
was actually completely superior to all other translations, it should stand
out as having the best rendering in every verse, not in just a few select
verses picked by KJV-only advocates, Of course, the fact that a translation
may have a better rendering in one verse does not prove that it is overall
better than the KJV, but it does indicate that the KJV can be updated or
improved in some verses. It would be possible for a translation to be better
overall than the KJV without being better than it in every verse. If the
KJV can be improved, it should be which explains why believers have attempted
to do so. Study the examples for yourself.
Matt. 1:23 [maid defined in 1755 Johnson's Dictionary
as "an unmarried woman; a virgin"]
Behold, a maid shall be with child (TYND, COVER, MATT, GREAT)
Behold, that maid shall be with child (WHIT)
Behold, a virgin shall be with child (GEN, BIS, KJV, WEB, KJ2I) "Lo" (ROEB)
Behold, a virgin will conceive (LAM) Lo, the virgin shall conceive (YLT)
Behold, the virgin shall be with child (ABU, ASV, ABPS, KJII, NASV, NKJV, GNC)
Behold, the virgin shall conceive in her womb (GLT, MKJV)
Look I the virgin is with child (NJB)
Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son (NRSV)
and they were christened of him in Jordan (WYC)
and were baptized by him in the Jordan (Douay-R, NKJV, KJ2I) "they" (KJII, MKJV)
and were baptized of him in Jordan (COVER, GREAT, BIS, KJV, WES)
and were immersed by him in Jordan (SCAR)
and were immersed by him in the Jordan (BERN, CONE, Estes' Better Version)
and they were immersed by him in the Jordan (ABU)
and were being immersed in the Jordan river (ROEB) "they" (Wuest)
and they were baptized (immersed) by him in the Jordan (ABPS)
and were baptized by him at the Jordan River (CCNT)
From thence, Jesus began for to preach, and say, Do ye penance (WYC)
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: repent (TYND, MATT, TAV, GREAT)
From that time forth began Jesus to preach and to say, Amend yourselves (COVER)
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Amend your lives (WHIT, GEN)
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: Do penance (Douay-R)
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent (KJV, KJII, NASIB NKJV MKJV)
Give us this day our daily bread (TYND, GEN, KJV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, MKJV, KJ2I)
Give us this day our supersubstantial bread (Douay-R)
Give us bread for our needs from day to day (LAM)
Give us today our daily bread (KJII, NJB) Our needful bread give us this day (ROEB)
Provide us this day with the bread that is needful to us (GNC)
And forgive us our trespasses, even as we forgive our trespassers (TYND, MATT)
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (COVER, GREAT BIS, Douay-R KJV)
And forgive us our offences, as we have forgiven our offenders (LAM)
Dear Brother Norris:
This is our final letter, and we almost didn't write this one because you refused to identify what you are referring to when you say "Scripture" and because of our busy schedule. But we will reply this last time so you can't claim we couldn't answer your ridiculous claims.
That you cannot identify and produce what you consider to be "the final authority" for a Christian should open your eyes to the fallacy of your position. If you can't tell someone what and where the inerrant word of God is, you have nothing to offer them but your opinion and preferences. Moses knew where it could be found, so did Christ, Paul, Peter, the Bereans, etc. etc., yet you, after claiming to know, can't tell a brother in Christ who has asked you repeatedly where he can get it! How pathetic. You keep building your "straw man" by saying we teach the translators were "inspired," received "new revelation," were party to a "second inspiration" etc. when we have said none of these things. We realized from your first letter you have a "knack" for misrepresentation, and you haven't changed since. That God could preserve His word which He had already given by inspiration in another language seems impossible to you, but it is not to us. Show us one verse that says otherwise.
We told you from the very beginning there was an element of faith involved in believing the AV is the inerrant word of God, but you seem to require a verse that says something like "In the year 1611 my word will be perfected in English, thus saith the Lord," which you know doesn't exist. You keep mentioning the "overall teachings of God's Word" without explaining what that is. First, you don't have a copy of God's inerrant word or are at least not willing to identify it, and second, even if you use the KJV as your source, you haven't explained what these "teachings" are.
Regardless of what you claim, you have a great aversion to dealing with Scripture. If our position on the AV is so wrong why don't you refute it with Scripture? You ask us to produce someone who believed what we believe about the Scriptures being "given by inspiration" in the past, but what would that prove if we did or didn't? Clearly, you are more interested in what men think than what the Scriptures say. If our position that only God is "inspired" is wrong, refute it with Scripture! We couldn't care less what men think about it. Your charge that our doctrine is "man-made" is backfiring. You are the one asking for proof from men.
But, perhaps, the greatest flaw in your position is your tendancy to assume things. You assume we are "well-informed" enough that you don't have to prove your position with Scripture, but we are not that "informed." Your position is not based on Scripture at all and you must know it or you would have proved your case by now. You assume only the autographs were "inspired" yet you know there is no verse that says so. You assume only the original languages can convey God's word in its purity and inerrancy, but there is no verse that says this either. You assume all copies must have errors in them since man is fallible (show us any verse that says a Christian HAS TO sin! You insist he has to and God can't preserve His inerrant word through him because of it) yet, again, no verse says so. Obviously, the reason you shun Scripture is it doesn't support your position! The three statements above are the basis of you position and you can't prove ONE of them!
We showed you from Scripture how God promised to preserve His word in its purity, how copies can be fully Scripture, and how Scripture does not lose anything by being translated. We listed references and produced Scripture for all three, and you didn't even try to refute any of them. These three statements are the basis of our position. Now who has an aversion to Scripture? Your position is based on sand, and you must use "logic" and rhetoric to defend it.
You say you are not attacking the AV and then send an appendix that says "another translation is more accurate or better than the KJV," and "In at least some cases...the KJV translators were mistaken in their choice of rendering." To say the AV has mistakes in it is to attack it.
Concerning your appendix, what are you trying to say? What is the "final authority" one should appeal to to see if another translation is "clearer," "more accurate," or "better"? As usual, you neglect to identify it. What in the world is "the Greek" when there are dozens of Greek texts? Who is to say what is "clearer" or "more accurate"? You, or each individual's opinion?
What are you trying to say about Matt. 1:23? That "maid" is a clearer or more accurate translation than "virgin"? Everyone knows what "virgin" means, but a "maid" doesn't have to be a virgin. What is unclear about "Behold, a virgin shall be with child"? I know lost people who understand what it means.
Are you trying to say in Matt. 3:6 that "christened
or immersed" is clearer or more accurate than "baptized"? According to
Webster's tenth edition, "Baptism" is an OLDER English word than "immersed"
and the root meaning is to dip or plunge. Tyndale used "baptized" in 1526
(which you neglect to mention) which proves the AV translators didn't invent
it as some claim.
Are you saying in Matt. 4:17 that "penance" or "amend" is better than "repent"? According to who or what? Somebody's opinion or preference?
Contrary to your biased opinion of it, your appendix proves NOTHING. No wonder the brother you mentioned didn't reply. All you have done is complied the opinions of men God didn't chose to use as the translators of His final word in English. You are much too concerned about what men think instead of what God has done and is still doing with the Bible He has chosen to use.
Are you saying in John 1:18 "only begotten God" is "clearer" or 'more accurate" as the Jehovah's Witnesses teach (NWT)? Even when the Textus Receptus says "son"? What is your "Greek text"? This is an Alexandrian reading. But, of course, whatever one "prefers" is all that matters. There is no final authority.
We don't have any more time to waste on your useless comparisons. Again, they prove nothing. You have no final authority but your own mind. It is possible we are wrong on the KJV, but, at least, we try to be consistent and openly declare what our final authority is and treat it as such. You, however, will not even clearly state what you "prefer." We have nothing further to discuss on this issue.
Thank you, anyway, for your appendix. Even though
it doesn't prove any errors in the AV, it is interesting. Also, we have
nothing against you personally, but your position is scripturally baseless.
We hope someday you realize there is an inerrant Bible.