James A, ThM
Critics of the King James Only position (“KJVO”) rarely give an accurate or fair representation of the actual facts supporting our arguments, and often hold to bias and inconsistent contentions. Case in point: KJVO critic, Norman Geisler (who wrote an endorsement for the cover of James White’s “King James Only Controversy”), in attacking the KJVO position, on page 324 of his Systematic Theology, offers the following as his fourth reason for rejecting KJVO views:
“Fourth, the original KJV had the apocryphal books in it. They were not taken out until a 1629 edition, but this did not become general until the nineteenth century. If the original KJV was inspired, then why did it contain the Apocrypha? All fundamentalists reject these books as not being inspired”.
Now watch this: later in the book on the Canonicity of the Bible, when Geisler attempts to argue against reasons for accepting the canonicity of the Apocrypha, Geisler offers this logic as his tenth reason for rejecting the Catholic presupposition for accepting the Apocrypha as inspired authority:
“Apocryphal books appeared in Protestant Bibles prior to Council of Trent, and they were generally placed in a separate section because they were not considered of equal authority” Systematic Theology, page 388.
Geisler is quite aware of the King James Version translators placing the Apocrypha between the testaments (in which the KJV also made a distinct note that they did not consider the Apocrypha inspired), and here Geisler even admits that this is a solid reason for rejecting the Apocrypha. So why then does Geisler use this very fact against KJVOs only a few chapters earlier in attempting to discredit the KJVO position? King James himself stated,
As to the Apocriphe bookes, I omit them because I am no Papist (as I said before) & indeed some of them are as like the dietement of the Spirite of God, as an Egge is to an Oyster.” King James 1, Basilicon Doron, page 13.
It is hardly fair and quite disingenuous to use the same argument in which KJVOs agree with in rejecting the Apocrypha as authoritative, inspired or canonical as Geisler’s logic for rejecting the canonicity of the Apocrypha only to use that very same logic to undermine the KJVO position knowing that neither KJVOs nor the KJV translators (and the KJV predecessors) considered the Apocrypha inspired or canononical. This is right on par with KJVO critics slandering the over 5,000 manuscripts that support the KJV verses the few that support the modern versions, only to praise those received texts/manuscripts when they need their majority evidence to convince skeptics of the Bible’s authenticity and reliability.