Archive for the ‘King James Only Debate’ Category

Dr. James A., PhD

It is well known that James White is a Calvinist. As a Calvinist, he has rejected compatibilism on numerous occasions, and affirmed it in others, which leaves really only a hard determinist view which is what compatibilism ultimately boils down to anyway. When White had a conversation with George Bryson and Hank Hanegraaf*, he admitted that rape of children occurs because God ordains it and has a purpose for it. That’s not soft determinism (compatibilism). Calvinists often vacillate between compatibilism and hard determinism, but both sides are normally quick to affirm that man has no free will. His only “freedom” is determined by the nature in which he has, and since God determined that very nature in the first place….well, you get the point. All of your actions are determined whether you are a hard or soft determinist, and only the Calvinist’s conflicting view of “permission” and “secondary causation” attempts to make a distinction.**

According to White, all of our human actions are not free. Following in the footsteps of Pink, Clark, and many other Calvinists who bite the bullet on free will, White concedes that man’s every thought and action is determined. To consider otherwise, in White’s opinion, makes you either a Molinist or an Open Theist.

However, White isn’t so consistent in this view when it comes to the transmission of the Bible. In White’s book, Scripture Alone, he dedicates a chapter discussion on the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, and on Article VIII writes,

whitedictationtheory

Without going into great detail on the intricacies of the dictation theory of transmission, in a nutshell, it is the view that God controlled everything that the writers penned as Scripture (although it does NOT hold that God did not use the writer’s individuality as wrongfully implied by White). White REJECTS this view.

Now here’s the MAJOR inconsistency between White’s view of inerrancy and his Calvinism. The Dictation Theory of transmission OUGHT to be every determinist’s creed when it comes to transmission because it is the one time even non determinists accept that there are at least some things that God determines (Shhhhh…Most Calvinists believe us Non Calvinists do not believe that God ever determines anything at all!!!). Yet White deviates from his view within Calvinism that says man has absolutely no free will, to a complete capitulation of free will when it comes to the transmission of the Bible.

This reveals an ENORMOUS inconsistency in White’s Calvinist view of free will that simply can not be explained away with his normal obfuscation and equivocating rhetoric. However, it is convenient for White to reject human free will in the transmission of the Bible because his rejection of the Majority Text, Textus Receptus, and King James Bible, depends on human error. Thus, White has stuck himself in a conundrum on both his Calvinism and his view of Bible transmission.

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*

White Lie

**Ironically, when James White attempts to appeal to compatibilism, he refers to it as a “mystery”, something that he vehemently ridiculed Leighton Flowers for.

Simply because it is a mystery though, doesn’t mean Reformed people don’t have any Biblical information to prove their view. The Bible repeatedly shows us that God decreed all things [IT DOES? REFERENCE PLEASE], and that people are still held accountable for their actions, especially their sinful actions.Theologians refers to this as compatibilism: God’s decree is compatible with a person’s will. They don’t contradict each other.” LINK (Emphasis added)

 

Dr James A, PhD

I’m beginning to think anyone that listens to James White is as brainwashed and lacking in proper cerebral oxygen flow as the liberal anti-morality mafias. White is simply a flat-out nutcase. And I really don’t care how many of his followers criticize the manner in which I address his character because he treats those who disagree with him in the EXACT same manner, if not worse. White normally takes what he considers the “radicals” of KJVO advocates, and uses them to broad-brush the entire group. He tries to use the “gotcha” moments to paint the worst caricature of any KJVO believer. White is one of the most dishonest and disingenuous critics I have ever encountered.

On 5/19/16, White discussed a video by Brian Denlinger that claimed James White was a Jesuit. Now I agree with Brian that James White is a Jesuit, but not for the reasons that Brian gives such as his book The King James Only Controversy being endorsed by Norman Geisler, who graduated from Loyola University-a known Jesuit college- in the late 1960s. However, where White sticks his foot in his mouth is that in the video, White admits that he always wondered about Geisler’s Jesuit connections, and that it bothered him. He also attributes Geisler’s rejection of Reformed Theology to Geisler’s training at Loyola (William Craig and Geisler both graduated from Wheaton, so does White attribute Craig’s rejection of Reformed Theology on Wheaton? White just did the exact same thing he accused Brian of. So should we attribute White’s rejection of the KJV on his degree from Fuller Seminary!). Did anyone catch that? Of course not. White’s followers rarely think through anything he says. If you KNEW Geisler was so influenced by a Jesuit university that it affected his view of your precious Reformed Theology, why would you have him endorse your book anyway? 

Anyway, on to the issue.

At the 1:10:00 mark, White made his normal spew against King James Only believers, with the exception that this time, he qualified that not all King James Only believers are “cultic”, which is quite ironic because that’s not what he said just a little over a month ago when he addressed yours truly on his radio show over the racist issues and once on what started as a joke I made about his bike riding stats that White took to a new level of crazy.

I challenged White to debate that KJVO advocates are cultists, and posted for all to see, and that my debate partner would be a KJVO Calvinist. Of course, White would never accept such a challenge because I win the moment I walk in the door with a person who holds to the same 1689 LBC confession that he does. So White has to modify his rhetoric to fit the topic of the day. So how does White “prove” that there are “KJVO Cultists”?….here it is….ready!!!

Because Peter Ruckman and Sam Gipp make the KJV CENTRAL to their theology, and believe if you don’t believe and use the KJV you’re going to hell!!!

Here’s an excerpt from Sam Gipp’s Answer Book , Question #35, that proves James White is a bald-faced liar.

QUESTION: Can someone get saved if you are using a bible other than the King James? ANSWER: Yes.

EXPLANATION: Generally, the facts surrounding the gospel of Jesus Christ and the simplicity of salvation are found intact even in the grossest perversions of Scripture. It must be remembered though that the Bible is a weapon in the hand of the Christian. See Hebrews 4:12, Job 40:19 and II Timothy 3:16. It is also food that a new Christian might grow properly. See I Peter 2:2. It is in these areas that new bibles are weakened. In fact, the very verses given above are altered in many new versions, thus weakening Scripture. It is therefore possible to get saved through other versions, but you will never be a threat to the devil by growing.

Anyone who has ever read a few of Ruckman’s books knows he has NEVER said that a person who does not use the KJV is “going to hell”. Ruckman has given testimony on several occasions of entering Catholic homes and using their own Bible’s to lead them to Christ. The only thing White is ever consistent about is consistently foisting straw man arguments on to KJVO advocates.

Furthermore, White also made the comment that Ruckman, Gipp, etc…never “debate” Roman Catholics. Here’s Peter Ruckman debating Catholic apologist, Karl Keating . White seems to make “debating” the criteria for spreading the gospel, even though Paul makes it clear that it’s PREACHING (1 Cor 1). So I guess we could say that since James White never preached in the streets like Ruckman did (even at 93 years old), he’s a phony.

To add more fuel to the fire, White said that KJVO Baptists don’t have philosophy degrees. I have an earned PhD (not honorary) from Calvary Christian College & Seminary. Furthermore, I know quite a few KJVO Baptists with earned PhD’s (Waite, Sorenson, Brown, et al), and linguistic scholars who have demolished White-among other modern version proponents-regarding textual criticism (Pickering, Letis, Robinson). However, this is an interesting critique since White criticizes William Lane Craig, Jerry Walls, David Allen, and Leighton Flowers for their emphasis on philosophical attacks on Calvinism.

Thus we have White lying about Ruckman’s and Gipp’s position on the KJV, lying about Baptists with PhDs, lying about KJVOs debating Catholics, ad nauseum… how does anyone take this guy seriously? Of course, I don’t really expect White to repent & retract his lies. He will ignore it, repeat it again some time in the future, and his followers that harass us will find a way to excuse it. What a shameful crowd.

So while White is bragging about debates (Romans 1:29) he does once or twice a year, in luxury hotels with accommodations and air conditioning, he’s slandering those who debate with unbelievers in the  streets of Miami, Pensacola, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, etc…. every day.

 


   

From Nazaroo’s old website. Nazaroo, and a group of other Bible believers, have created a site that deals specifically with the Pericope Adulterae . One article in particular addresses the argument that James White stole from Daniel Wallace (almost verbatim) on a recent podcast. I wanted to preserve this article here before the website closes and the information is lost.

Dr. James A, PhD

 

 

Synopsis: A definitive, factual account of John 7:53-8:11 with positive proof to show that it was in the original autographs of John’s Gospel.

 


Introduction

I have purposely reserved for the last the most difficult problem of all: namely, those twelve famous verses of St. John’s Gospel (chap. 7:53-8:11) which contain the history of “the woman taken in adultery” – the Pericope de Adultera, as it is called.

It is altogether indispensable that the reader should approach this portion of the Gospel with the greatest amount of experience and the largest preparation. It would be convenient, no doubt, if he could further divest himself of prejudice; but that is perhaps impossible. Let him at least endeavor to weigh in impartial scales the evidence which will now be laid before him. He must do so of necessity if he would judge rightly, for the matter to be discussed is confessedly very peculiar and in some respects even unique. Let me convince him at once of the truth of what has been so far spoken.

It is a singular circumstance that at the end of eighteen centuries two instances, and but two, should exist of a considerable portion of Scripture left to the mercy (so to speak) of textual criticism. Twelve consecutive verses in the second Gospel and as many consecutive verses in the fourth are in this predicament.

It is singular, I say, that the Providence which has watched so marvelously over the fortunes of the deposit, the Divine wisdom which has made such ample provision of its security all down the ages, should have so ordered the matter that these two coextensive problems have survived to our times to be tests of human sagacity – trials of human faithfulness and skill. They present some striking features of correspondence but far more of contrast, as ill presently appear.

And yet the most important circumstance of all cannot be mentioned too soon namely, that both alike have experienced the same calamitous treatment at the hands of some critics. By common consent the most recent editors deny that either set of verses can have formed part of the Gospel as it proceeded from the hands of its inspired author.

It has already been demonstrated in a separate treatise how mistaken this opinion of theirs is in respect to the last twelve verses of the Gospel according to St. Mark. I must be content in this place to deal in a far less ceremonious manner with the hostile verdict of many critics concerning St John 7:53-8:11.

That I shall be able to satisfy those persons who profess themselves unconvinced by what was offered concerning St. Mark’s last twelve verses, I am not so simple as to expect. But I trust that I shall have with me all candid readers who are capable of weighing evidence impartially and understanding the nature of logical proof when it is fully drawn out before them, which indeed is the very qualification I require of them.


Historical Background and Burden of Proof

And first, the case of the Pericope de Adultera requires to be placed before the reader in its true bearings. For those who have discussed it are observed to have ignored certain preliminary considerations which, once clearly apprehended, are all but decisive of the point at issue. There is a fundamental obstacle, I mean, in the way of any attempt to dislodge this portion of the sacred narrative from the context in which it stands, which they seem to have overlooked. I proceed to explain.

Sufficient prominence has never yet been given to the fact that in the present discussion the burden of proof rests entirely with those who challenge the genuineness of the Pericope under review. In other words, the question before us is not by any means, Shall these twelve verses be admitted into the sacred text or must they be refused admission? That point has been settled long, long ago.

St John’s twelve verses are in possession. Let those eject them who can. They are known to have occupied their present position for fully seventeen hundred years. As far as is known, there never was a time when they were not where, and to all intents and purposes, they now are. Is it not evident that no merely ordinary method of proof, no merely common argument, will avail to dislodge twelve such verses as these?

Twelve such verses, I say. For it is the extent of the subject matter which makes the case so formidable. We have here to do with no dubious clause concerning which ancient testimony is divided, no seeming gloss which is suspected to have overstepped its proper limits and to have crept in as from the margin, no importation from another Gospel, no verse of Scripture which has lost its way, no weak amplification of the Evangelical meaning, no tasteless appendix which encumbers the narrative and almost condemns itself. Nothing of the sort.

If it were some inconsiderable portion of Scripture which it was proposed to get rid of by showing that it is disallowed by a vast amount of ancient evidence, the proceeding would be intelligible. But I take leave to point out that twelve consecutive verses of the Gospel cannot be so dealt with.

Squatters on the waste are liable at any moment to be served with a notice of ejectment, but the owner of a mansion surrounded by broad acres which his ancestors are known to have owned before the Heptarchy may on no account be dispossessed by any such summary process.

This (to speak without a figure) is a connected and very striking portion of the sacred narrative. The description of a considerable incident, complete in itself, full of serious teaching, and of a kind which no one would have ever dared to invent. Those who would assail it successfully must come forward with weapons of a very different kind from those usually employed in textual warfare.

It will be presently shown that these twelve verses hold their actual place by a more extraordinary right of tenure than any other twelve verses which can be named in the Gospel.


The First Two Verses of the Passage

It would, however, be premature to enter on the proof of that circumstance now. I prefer to invite the reader’s attention next to the actual texture of the Pericope de Adultera, by which name (as already explained) the last verse of St. John 7 together with the verses 1-11 of chapter 8 are familiarly designated.

Although external testimony supplies the sole proof of genuineness, it is nevertheless reasonable to inquire what the verses in question may have to say for themselves. Do they carry on their front the tokens of that baseness of origin which their impugners so confidently seek to fasten on them? Or do the, on the contrary, unmistakably bear the impress of truth?

The first thing which strikes me in them is that the actual narrative concerning the last nine of these verses: being preceded by two short paragraphs is of an entirely different character and complexion. Let these be first produced and studied:

“and every man went to his own house: but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” “And again, very early in the morning, he presented himself in the temple; and all the people came unto him: and he sat down and taught them.”

Now as everyone must see, the former of these two paragraphs is unmistakably not the beginning but the end of a narrative. It purports to be the conclusion of something which went before, not to introduce something which comes after. Without any sort of doubt, it is St. John’s account of what occurred at the close of the debate between certain members of the Sanhedrin which terminates his history of the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The verse in question marks the conclusion of the feast – implying, in short, that all is already finished. Remove it, and the antecedent narrative ends abruptly. Retain it, and all proceeds methodically, while an affecting contrast is established which is recognized to be strictly in the manner of Scripture. 1 Each one had gone to his home, but the homeless One had repaired to the Mount of Olives.

In other words, the paragraph under discussion is found to be an integral part of the immediately antecedent narrative, proving to be a fragment of what is universally admitted to be genuine Scripture. By consequence, itself must needs be genuine also. 2

It is vain for anyone to remind us that these two verses are in the same predicament as those which follow: are as ill-supported by MS evidence as the other ten and must therefore share the same fate as the rest. The statement is incorrect, to begin with, as will presently be shown.

But what is even more deserving of attention, since confessedly these twelve verses are either to stand or fall together, it must be candidly admitted that whatever begets a suspicion that certain of them at all events must needs be genuine, throws real doubt on the justice of the sentence of condemnation which has been passed in a lump on all the rest.


The Gospel Context of the Passage

I proceed to call attention to another inconvenient circumstance which some critics in their eagerness have overlooked.

The reader wil bear in mind that – contending, as I do, that the entire Pericope under discussion is genuine Scripture which has been forcibly wrenched away from its lawful context – I began by examining the upper extremity, with a view to ascertaining whether it bore any traces of being a fractured edge. The result is just what might have been anticipated. The first two of the verses which it is the fashion to brand with ignominy were found to carry on their front clear evidence that they are genuine Scripture. How then aoub the other extremity?

Note, that in the ‘oracular’ Codices B and Aleph immediate transition is made from the words “out of Galilee ariseth no prophet,” in chapter 7:52, to the words, “Again therefore, Jesus spake to them, saying,” in chapter 8:12. And we are invited by all the adverse critics alike to believe that so the place stood in the inspired autograph of the Evangelist.

But the thing is incredible. Look back at what is contained between chapter 7:37 and 52, and note the following: two hostile parties crowded the temple courts (vv 40-42); some were for laying violent hands on our Lord (v.44); the Sanhedrin, being assembled in debate, were reproaching their servants for not having brought Him prisoner, and disputing one against another 3(vv.45-52). How can the Evangelist have proceeded, ‘Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, “I am the Light of the World”? What is it supposed then that St. John meant when he wrote such words?

But on the contrary, survey the context in any ordinary copy of the New Testament and his meaning is perfectly clear. The last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles is ended. It is the morrow and “very early in the morning.” The Holy One has “again presented himself in the temple” where on the previous night He so narrowly escaped violence at the hands of His enemies, and He teaches the people.

While thus engaged – with the time, the place, His own occupation suggesting thoughts of peace and holiness, and love – a rabble rout, headed by the scribes and Pharisees, enter on the foulest of errands; and we all remember with how little success. Such an interruption need not have occupied much time. The woman’s accusers having departed, our Saviour resumes His discourse which had been broken off.

“Again therefore” it is said in verse 12, with clear and frequent reference to what had preceded in verse 2: “Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World.” And did not that saying of His refer as well to the thick cloud of moral darkness which His words, a few moments before, had succeeded in dispelling, as to the orb of glory which already flooded the temple court with the effulgence of its rising – His own visible emblem and image in the heavens?

I protest that with the incident of “the woman taken in adultery,” so introduced, so dismissed, all is lucid and coherent; without those connecting links, the story is scarcely intelligible. These twelve disputed verses, so far from “fatally interrupting the course of St. John’s Gospel, if retained in the text,” 4 prove to be even necessary for the logical coherence of the entire context in which they stand.


The Content and Meaning of the Passage

But even that is not all. On close and careful inspection, the mysterious texture of the narrative, no less than its “edifying and eminently Christian” character, vindicates for the Pericope de Adultera a right to its place in the Gospel. Let me endeavor to explain what seems to be its spiritual significance; in other words, to interpret the transaction.

The scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to our Saviour on a charge of adultery. The sin prevailed to such an extent among the Jews that the Divine enactments concerning one so accused had long since fallen into practical oblivion. On the present occasion our Lord is observed to revive His own ancient ordinance after a hitherto unheard of fashion. The trial by the bitter water, or water of conviction, 5 was a species of ordeal intended for the vindication of innocence, the conviction of guilt. But according to traditional belief the test proved inefficacious, unless the husband was himself innocent of the crime whereof he accused his wife.

Let the provisions of the law, contained in Numbers 5:16-24, be now considered. The accused woman having been brought near and placed before the Lord, the priest took “holy water in an earthen vessel” and put “of the dust of the floor of the tabernacle into the water.” Then, with “the bitter water which causeth the curse” inhis hand, he charged the woman with an oath. Next he wrote the curses in a book and blotted them out with the bitter water, causing the woman to drink the “bitter water which causeth the curse.” Whereupon if she were guilty, she fell under a terrible penalty, her body testifying visibly to her sin. If she was innocent, nothing followed.

And now, who sees not that the Holy One dealt with His hypocritical assailants as if they had been the accused parties? Verily they had been brought into the presence of incarnate Jehovah; and perhaps when He had stooped down and wrote on the ground, it was a bitter sentence against the adulterer and adulteress which He wrote.

We have but to assume some connection between the curse which He thus traced “in the dust of the floor of the tabernacle” and the words which He uttered with His lips, and He may with truth be declared to have “taken of the dust and put in on the water” and “caused them to drink of the bitter water which causeth the curse.” For when, by His Holy Spirit, our great High Priest in His human flesh addressed these adulterers, what did He but present them with living water 6 “in an earthen vessel”? 7

Did He not further charge them with an oath of cursing, saying “if ye have not gone aside to uncleanness, be ye free from this bitter water; but if ye be defiled…” On being presented with this alternative, did they not, self-convicted, go out one by one? And what else was this but their own acquittal of the sinful woman, for whose condemnation they showed themselves so impatient? Surely it was “the water of conviction”, as it is six times called, which they had been compelled to drink; whereupon, “convicted by their own conscience”, as St. John relates, they had pronounced the other’s acquittal.

Finally, note that by Himself declining to “condemn” the accused woman, our Lord also did in effect blot out those curses which He had already written against her in the dust, when He made the floor of the sanctuary His “book”.

Whatever may be thought of the foregoing exposition (and I am not concerned to defend it in every detail) , on turning to the opposite contention we are struck with the slender amount of actual proof with which the assailants of this passage seem to be furnished. Their evidence is mostly negative, a proceeding which is constantly observed to attend a bad cause; and they are prone to make up for the feebleness of their facts by the strength of their assertions.

But my experience, as one who has given a considerable amount of attention to such subjects, tells me that the narrative before us carries on its front the impress of Divine origin. I venture to think that it vindicates for itself a high, unearthly meaning. It seems to me that it cannot be the work of a fabricator. The more I study it, the more I am impressed with its Divinity. And in what goes before I have been trying to make the reader a partaker of my own conviction.


The Style and Diction of the Passage

To come now to particulars, we may readily see from its very texture that it must needs have been woven on a heavenly loom. Only too obvious is the remark that the very subject matter of the chief transaction recorded in these twelve verses would be sufficient in and by itself to preclude the suspicion that these twelve verses are a spurious addition to the genuine Gospel.

And then we note how entirely in St. John’s manner is the little explanatory clause in verse 6: “This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse him.” 8 We are struck besides by the prominence given in verses 6 and 8 to the act of writing, allusions to which are met with in every work of the last Evangelist. 9

It does not of course escape us how utterly beyond the reach of a Western interpolator would have been the insertion of the article so faithfully retained to this hour before lithon in verse 7.

On completing our survey, as to the assertions that the Pericope de Adultera “has no right to a place in the text of the four Gospels,” is “clearly a Western interpolation, though not Western of the earliest type” 10 (whatever that may mean), and so forth: We can but suspect that the authors very imperfectly realize the difficulty of the problem with which they have to deal.


A Survey of Liberal Critical Opinion

Dr. Hort finally assures us that “no accompanying marks would prevent” this portion of Scripture “from fatally interrupting the course of St. John’s Gospel if retained in the text”; and when they relegate it accordingly to a blank page at the end of the Gospels within “double brackets” in order “to show its inferior authority,” we can but read and wonder at the want of perception, not to speak of the coolness, which they display. Quousque tandem?

But it is time to turn from such considerations as the foregoing and inquire for the direct testimony, which is assumed by recent editors and critics to be fatal to these twelve verses.

Tischendorf pronounces it “absolutely certain that this narrative was not written by St. John.” 11

One, vastly his superior in judgement (Dr. Scrivener), declares that “on all intelligent principles of mere criticism, the passage must needs be abandoned.” 12

Tregelles is “fully satisfied that this narrative is not a genuine part of St. John’s Gospel.” 13

Alford shuts it up in brackets and, like Tregelles, puts it in his footnotes.

Westcott and Hort, harsher than any of their predecessors, will not, as we have seen, allow it to appear even at the foot of the page.

To reproduce all that has been written in disparagement of this precious portion of God’s written Word would be a joyless and unprofitable task.

According to Green, “the genuineness of the passage cannot be maintained.” 14

Hammond is of opinion that “it would be more satisfactory to separate it from its present context and place it by itself as an appendix to the Gospel.” 15

A yet more recent critic [Nicholson] “sums up” that “the external evidence must be held fatal to the genuineness of the passage.” 16

The opinions of Bishops Wordsworth, Ellicott, and Lightfoot will be respectfully commented on by and by.

In the meantime, I venture to join issue with every one of these learned persons. I contend that on all intelligent principles of sound criticism the passage before us must be maintained to be genuine Scripture, and that without a particle of doubt.

I cannot even admit that “it has been transmitted to us under circumstances widely different from those connected with any other passage of Scripture whatever.” [Scrivener] 17

I contend that it has been transmitted in precisely the same way as all the rest of Scripture and therefore exhibits the same notes of genuineness as any other twelve verses of the same Gospel which can be named.

Nevertheless, like countless other places it is found, for whatever reason, to have given offence in certain quarters; in consequence it has experienced very ill usage at the hands of the ancients and of the moderns also, but especially of the latter.

In other words, these twelve verses exhibit the required notes of genuineness less conspicuously than any other twelve consecutive verses in the same Gospel. But that is all.

The only question to be decided is the following: On a review of the whole of the evidence, is it more reasonable to stigmatize these twelve verses as a spurious accretion to the Gospel or to admit that they must needs be accounted to be genuine?

… I shall show that they are at this hour supported by a weight of testimony which is absolutely overwhelming. I read with satisfaction that my own convictions were shared by Mill, Matthaei, Alder, Scholz, and Vercollone. I have also the learnedCeriani on my side. I should have been just as confident had I stood alone – such is the imperative strength of the evidence.


Alleged Textual Evidence Against the Passage

To begin then. Tischendorf (who may be taken as a fair sample of the assailants of this passage) commences by stating roundly that the Pericope is omitted by Aleph, A, B, D, L, T, X, Delta and about seventy cursives.

I will say that no sincere inquirer after truth could so state the evidence. It is in fact not a true statement. A and C are in this vicinity defective. It is therefore no longer possible to know with certainty what they either did or did not contain. But this is not merely all:

Sidebar: Codex Alexandrinus

I proceed to offer a few words containing Codex A:

Woide, the learned and accurate 18 editor of the Codex Alexandrinus, remarked (in 1785) “Historia adulterae videtur in hoc codice defuisse.” But this modest inference of his has been represented as an ascertained fact by subsequent critics. Tischendorf announces it as “certissimum.”

Let me be allowed to investigate the problem for myself. Woide’s calculation (which has passed unchallenged for nearly a hundred years, and on the strength of which it is nowadays assumed that Codex A must have exactly resembled Codices Aleph and B in omitting the Pericope de Adultera) was far too roughly made to be of any critical use. 19

Two leaves of Codex A have been here lost, namely, from the word καταβαινον in 6:50 to the word λεγεις in 8:52: – a lacuna (as I find by counting the letters in a copy of the ordinary text) of as nearly as possible 8,805 letters, allowing for contractions and of course not reckoning St. John 7:53-8:11.

Now in order to estimate fairly how many letters the two lost leaves actually contained, I have inquired for the sums of the letters on the leaves immediately preceding and succeeding the hiatus; and I find them to be respectively, 4,337 and 4,303: a total of 8,640 letters. But this, it will be seen is insufficient by 165 letters, or eight lines, for the assumed contents of these two missing leaves.

Are we then to suppose that one leaf exhibited somewhere a blank space equivalent to eight lines? Impossible, I answer. There existed, on the contrary, a considerable redundancy of matter in at least the second of those two lost leaves. This is proved by the circumstance that the first column on the next ensuing leaf exhibits the unique phenomenon of being encumbered, at its summit, by two very long lines (containing together fifty-eight letters), for which evidently no room could be found on the page which immediately preceded!

But why should there have been any redundancy of matter at all? Something extraordinary must have produced it. What if the Pericope de Adultera, without being actually inserted in full, was recognized by Codex A? What if the scribe had proceeded as far as the fourth word of St. John 8:3 and then had suddenly checked himself? We cannot tell what appearance St. John 7:53-8:11 presented in Codex A, simply because the entire leaf which should have contained it is lost.

Enough however has been said already to prove that it is incorrect and unfair to throw Aleph , A, B into one and the same category, with a ‘certissimum’ as Tischendorf does.

 

As for L and Delta, they exhibit a vacant space after St. John 7:52, which testified to the consciousness of the copyists that they were leaving out something. These are therefore witnesses for – not witnesses against – the passage under discussion.

[Codex] X being a commentary on the Gospel as it was read in church, of course leaves the passage out.

The only uncial MSS therefore which simply leave out the Pericope are the three following: Aleph, B, and codex T. The degree of attention to which such an amount of evidence is entitled has already been proved to be wondrous small.

We cannot forget moreover that the two former of these copies (Aleph, B) enjoy the unenviable distinction of standing alone on a memorable occasion: they alone exhibit St. Mark’s Gospel mutilated in respect of its twelve concluding verses.

But I shall be reminded that about seventy (cursive) MSS of later date are without the Pericope de Adultera; that the first Greek father who quotes the Pericope is Euthymius in the twelfth century; that Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Cyril, Nonnus, Cosmas, and Theophylact knew nothing of it; and that it is not contained in the Syriac, Gothic, or Egyptian versions.

Concerning every one of these statements I remark over again that no sincere lover of truth, supposing him to understand the matter about which he is disputing, could so exhibit the evidence for this particular problem.

The first reason is because so to state it is to misrepresent the entire case. The next reason is because some of the articles of indictment are only half true – in fact are untrue. But the chief reason is because in the foregoing enumeration certain considerations are actually suppressed which, had they been fairly stated, would have been found to reverse the issue. Let me now be permitted to conduct this inquiry in my own way.


The Evidences Re-Examined: The Old Latin

The first thing to be done is to enable the reader clearly to understand what the problem before him actually is. The critics insist that twelve verses which, as a matter of fact, are found dovetailed into a certain context of St. John’s Gospel, must be dislodged. But do the critics in question prove that they must be? For unless they do, ther is no help for it but that the Pericope de Adultera must be left where it is.

I proceed to show:

(1) first, that it is impossible on any rational principle to dislodge these twelve verses from their actual context. Next, I shall point out that,

(2) the facts adduced in evidence and relied on by the assailants of the passage do not by any means prove the point they are intended to prove, but admit of a sufficient and satisfactory explanation. Thirdly, it will be shown that,

(3) the said explanation carries with it, and implies, a weight of testimony in support of the twelve verses in dispute that is absolutely overwhelming. Fourth,

(4) the positive evidence in favor of these twelve verses will be proved to outweigh largely the negative evidence, which is relied on by those who contend for their removal.

To some people I may seem to express myself with too much confidence. Let then be said once for all that my confidence is inspired by the strength of the arguments which are now to be unfolded. When the Author of Holy Scripture supplies such proofs of His intentions, I cannot do otherwise than rest implicit confidence in them.

Now I begin by establishing as my first proposition that, these twelve verses occupied precisely the same position which they now occupy from the earliest period to which evidence concerning the Gospels themselves reaches.

And this, because it is a mere matter of fact, is sufficiently established by reference to the ancient Latin version of St. John’s Gospel. We are thus carried back to the second century of our era, beyond which testimony does not reach. The pericope is observed to stand in situ in Codices b c e ff2 g h j.


Patristic and Versional Support

Jerome (A.D. 385), after a careful survey of older Greek copies, did not hesitate to retain it in the Vulgate. It is freely referred to and commented on by himself 20 in Palestine;
whereas Ambrose at Milan (374) quotes it at least nine times, 21
as well as Augustine in North Africa (396) about twice as often. 22
It is quoted besides by Pacian in the north of Spain (370), 23
by Faustus the African (400), 24
by Rufins at Aquileia (400), 25
by Chrysologus at Ravenna (433), 26
and by Sedulius, a Scot (434). 27

The unknown authors of two famous treatises written at the same period largely quote this portion of the narrative. 28

It is referred to by Victorius of Victorinus (457),
by Vigilius of Tapsus (484) in North Africa, 29
by Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492), 30
by Cassiodorus of Southern Italy, 31
by Gregory the Great, 32

and by other Fathers of the Western Church.

[See footnotes below: References are found in Burgon,
The Causes of Corruption in the Traditional Text, ]

To this it is idle to object that the cited authors all wrote in Latin. For the purpose in hand their evidence is every bit as conclusive as if they had written in Greek – from which language no one doubts that they derived their knowledge, through a translation.

…But in fact we are not left to Latin authorities:

Bohairic version: (Out of thirty-eight copies of the Bohairic version the Pericope de Adultera is read in fifteen, but in three forms which wil be printed in the Oxford edition. In the remaining twenty-three, it is left out.) How is it intelligible that this passage is thus found in nearly half of the copies, except on the hypothesis that they formed an integral part of the Memphitic version? They might have easily been omitted, but how could they have been inserted?

Once more. The Ethiopic version (5th century), the Palestinian Syriac (which is referred to the 5th century), the Georgian (probably 5th or 6th century), to say nothing of the Slavonic, Arabic,and Persian versions,which are of later date, all contain the portion of narrative in dispute.

The Armenian version (4th-5th century) also originally contained it, though it survives at present in only a few copies.

Add that it is found in Codex D, and it will be seen that in all parts of ancient Christendom this portion of Scripture was familiarly known.

But even this is not all. Jerome, who was familiar with Greek MSS (and who handled non of later date than B and Aleph!), expressly related that the Pericope de Adultera “is found in many copies both Greek and Latin.” 33

He calls attention to the fact that what is rendered ‘sine peccato’ is αναμαρτητος in the Greek: and lets fall an exegetical remark which shews that he was familiar with copies which exhibited (in ver.8) εγραφεν ενος εκαστου αυτων τας αμαρτιας, – a reading which survives to this day in one uncial (U ) and at least 18 cursive copies of the Fourth Gospel. 34

Whence is it – let me ask in passing – that so many critics fail to see that positive testimony like the foregoing far outweighs the adverse negative testimony of Aleph, B, T, yes, and of A and C to boot, if they were reproducible on this point? How comes it to pass that the two codices, Aleph and B, have obtained such a mastery – rather exercise such a tyranny – over the imagination of many critics as quite to overpower their practical judgment?

We have at all events established our first proposition: namely, that:

(1) From the earliest period to which testimony reaches, the incident of “the woman taken in adultery” occupied its present place in St. John’s Gospel.

Sidebar: The Ferrar Group: (Family 13)

The critics eagerly remind us that in four cursive copies (13, 69, 124, 346) the verses in question are found tacked onto the end of St. Luke 21. But have they then forgotten that “these four codices are derived from a common archetype” and therefore represent one and the same ancient and, may I add, corrupt copy?

The same critics are reminded that in the same four codices (commonly called the Ferrar Group) “the agony and bloody sweat” (St. Luke 22:43, 44) is found thrust into St Matthew’s Gospel between chapter 26:39 and 40. Such licentiousness on the part of a solitary exemplar of the Gospels no more affects the proper place of these or of those verses than the superfluous digits of a certain man of Gath avail to disturb the induction that to either hand of a human being appertain but five fingers, and to either foot but five toes!

It must be admitted then that as far back as testimony reaches, the passage under discussion stood where it now stands in St. John’s Gospel. And this is my first position.

But indeed, to be candid, hardly anyone has seriously called that fact in question. No, nor do any (except Dr. Hort 35 ) doubt that the passage is also of the remotest antiquity.

Adverse critics do but insist that however ancient, it must needs be of spurious origin or else it is an afterthought of the Evangelist. Concerning both of these imaginations we shall have a few words to offer by and by.

It clearly follows – indeed it may be said with truth that it only remains – to inquire what may have led to its so frequent exclusion from the sacred text? For really the difficulty has already resolved itself to into that.


The Cause of the Omission

And on this head, it is idle to affect perplexity. In the earliest age of all – the age which was familiar with the universal decay of heathen virtue but which had not yet witnessed the power of the gospel to fashion society afresh and to build up domestic life on a new and more enduring basis; at a time when the greatest laxity of morals prevailed and the enemies of the gospel were known to be on the lookout for grounds of cavil against Christianity and its Author – what wonder if some were found to remove the Pericope de Adultera from their copies, lest it should be pleaded in extentuation of breaches of the Seventh Commandment?

The very subject matter, I say, of St. John 8:3-11 would sufficiently account for the occasional omission of those nine verses. Moral considerations abundantly explain what is found to have here and there happened. But in fact this not a mere conjecture of my own. It is the reason assigned by Augustine for the erasure of these twelve verses from many copies of the Gospel. 36

Ambrose, a quarter of a century earlier, had clearly intimated that danger was popularly apprehended from this quarter; 37 and Nicon, five centuries later, states plainly that the mischevious tendency of the narrative was the cause why it had been expunged from the Armenian version. 38 Accordingly, just a few Greek copies are still to be found mutilated in respect of those nine verses only.

But in fact the indications are not a few that all the twelve verses under discussion did not by any means labor under the same degree of disrepute. The first three (as I showed at the outset) clearly belong to a different category from the last nine, a circumstance which has been too much overlooked.


The Ancient Lectionary Tradition

In the meantime the Church, for an obvious reason, had made the choice of St. John 7:37-8:12 – the greater part of which is clearly descriptive of what happened at the Feast of Tabernacles – for the Pentecostal lesson. And she judged it expedient, besides omitting as inappropriate to the occasion the incident of the woman taken in adultery, to ignore also the three preceding verses, thus making the severance begin, in fact, as far back as the end of chapter 7:52.

The reason for this is plain. In this way the allusion to a certain departure at night and return next morning (St John 7:53-8:1) was avoided, which entirely marred the effect of the lection as the history of a day of great and special solemnity -“the great day of the feast”. And thus it happens that the gospel for the day of Pentecost was made to proceed directly from “Search and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet, ” in chapter 7:52, to “Then spake Jesus unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World,” in chapter 8:12, with which it ends.

In other words, an omission which owed its beginning to a moral scruple was eventually extended for a liturgical consideration and resulted in severing twelve verses of St.John’s Gospel – chapter 7:53-8:11 – from their lawful context.

 

We may now proceed to the consideration of my second proposition, which is that:

(2) By the very construction of her Lectionary, the church in her corporate capacity and official character has solemnly recognized the narrative in question as an integral part of St. John’s Gospel, and as standing in its traditional place, from an exceedingly remote time.

 

Take into your hands at random the first MS copy of St. John’s Gospel which presents itself and turn to the place in question. No, I will cite all the four Evangelia which I call mine, all the seventeen which belong to Lord Zouch, and all the thirty-nine which Baroness Burdett-Coutts imported from Epirus in 1870-1872. Now all these copies (and nearly each of them represents a different line of ancestry) are found to contain the verses in question. How did the verses ever get there?

But the most extraordinary circumstance of the case is behind. Some out of the Evangelia referred to are observed to have been prepared for ecclesiastical use. In other words, they are so rubricated throughout as to show where every separate lection had its ‘beginning’ and where its end.

Again I ask (and this time does not the riddle admit of only one solution?), When and how does the reader suppose that the narrative of “the woman taken in adultery” first found its way into the middle of the lesson for Pentecost? I pause for an answer. I shall of necessity be told that it never “found its way” into the lection at all; but having once crept into St. John’s Gospel (however that may have been affected) and established itself there, it left those ancient men who devised the Church’s Lectionary without choice. They could but direct its omission, and employ for that purpose the established liturgical formula in all similar cases.

But first, how is it that those who would reject the narrative are not struck by the essential foolishness of supposing that twelve fabricated verses, purporting to be an integral part of the fourth Gospel, can have so firmly established themselves in every part of Christendom from the second century downward, that they have long since become simply ineradicable?

Did the Church then, pro hac vice, abdicate her function of being a “witness and a keeper of Holy Writ”? Was she all of a sudden forsaken by the inspiring Spirit who, as she was promised, should “guide her into all truth”? And has she been all down the ages guided into the grievous error of imputing to the disciple whom Jesus loved a narrative of which he knew nothing?

For, as I remarked at the outset, this is not merely an assimilated expression, or an unauthorized nominative, or a weakly supported clause, or any such trifling thing. Although be it remarked in passing, I am not aware of a single such trifling excresence which we are not able at once to detect and remove. In other words, this is not at all a question, like the rest, about the genuine text of a passage. Our inquiry is of an essentially different kind, namely : Are these twelve consecutive verses Scripture at all, or not? Divine or human? They claim by their very structure and contents to be an integral part of the Gospel. And such a serious accession to the deposit, I insist, can neither have “crept into” the text nor have “crept out” of it. The thing is unexampled, is unapproached, is impossible.

Above all, (the reader is entreated to give the subject his sustained attention), is it not perceived that the admission involved in the hypothesis before us is fatal to any rational pretense that the passage is of spurious origin? We have got back in thought at least to the third or fourth century of our era.

We are among the Fathers and Doctors of the Eastern Church in conference assembled, and they are determining what shall be the Gospel for the great Festival of Pentecost. “It shall begin,” say they, “at the thirty-seventh verse of St John 7, and conclude with the twelfth verse of St. John 8. But so much of it as relates to the breaking up of the Sanhedrin, to the withdrawal of our Lord to the Mount of Olives, and to His return next morning to the temple had better not be read. It disturbs the unity of the narrative.

“So also had the incident of the woman taken in adultery better not be read. It is inappropriate to the Pentecostal Festival.” The authors of the great Oriental Liturgy therefore admit that they find the disputed verses in their copies, and thus they vouch for their genuineness. For none will doubt that, had they regarded them as a spurious accretion to the inspired page, they would have said so plainly.

Nor can it be denied that if in their corporate capacity they had disallowed these twelve verses, such an authoritative condemnation would most certainly have resulted in the perpretual exclusion from the sacred text of the part of those verses which was actually adopted as a lection. What stronger testimony on the contrary can be imagined to the genuineness of any given portion of the everlasting Gospel than that it should have been canonized or recognized as part of inspired Scripture by the collective wisdom of the Church in the third or fourth century?

And no one may regard it as a suspicious circumstance that the present Pentecostal lesson has been thus maimed and mutilated in respect to twelve of its verses. There is nothing at all extraordinary in the treatment which St. John 7:37-8:12 has here experienced. The phenomenon is even of perpetual recurrance in the Lectionary of the East, – as will be explained below.39

Permit me to suppose that, between the Treasury and Whitehall, the remote descendant of some Saxon thane occupied a small tenement and garden which stood in the very middle of the ample highway. Suppose further, the property thereabouts being government property, that the road on either side of this estate had been measured a hundred times, and jealously watched, ever since Westminster became Westminster.

Well, an act of parliament might no doubt compel the supposed proprietor of this singular estate to surrender his patrimony; but I submit that no government lawyer would ever think of setting up the plea that the owner of that peculiar strip of land was an imposter. The man might not have title deeds to produce, to be sure; but counsel for the defendant would plead that neither did he require any. “This man’s title,” counsel would say, “is – occupation for a thousand years. His evidences are – the allowance of the State throughout that long interval. Every procession to St. Stephen’s every procession to the Abbey has swept by the defendant’s property, on this side of it and on that, since the days of Edward the Confessor. And if my client refuses to quit the soil, I defy you – except by violence – to get rid of him.”

It is in this way then that the testimony borne to these verses by the Lectionary of the East proves to be of the most opportune and convincing character. The careful provision made for passing by the twelve verses in dispute, as well as the minute directions which fence those twelve verses off on this side and on that – directions issued we may be sure by the highest ecclesiastical authority, because recognized in every part of the ancient Church – establish them effectually in their rightful place. In addition, and what is at least of equal importance, these directions fully explain the adverse phenomenae which are ostentatiously paraded by adverse critics and which, until the clue has been supplied, are calculated to mislead the judgement.


The Silence of Early Commentators Explained

For now, for the first time, it becomes abundantly plain why Chrysostom and Cyril, in publicly commenting on St. John’s Gospel, pass straight from chapter 7:52 to chapter 8:12. Of course they do. Why should they, how could they, comment on what was not publicly read before the congregation? The same thing is related (in a well-known scholion) to have been done by Apolinarius and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Origen’s name, for aught I care, may be added to those who did the same thing, though the adverse critics have no right to claim him, seeing that his commentary on that part of John’ s Gospel is lost.

A triumphant refutation of the proposed inference from the silence of these many Fathers is furnished by the single fact that Theophylact must also be added to their number. Theophylact, I say ignores the Pericope de Adultera – passes it by, I mean – exactly as do Chrysostom and Cyril. But will anyone pretend that Theophylact, writing in A.D. 1077, did not know of St. John 7:53-8:11? Why, in nineteen out of every twenty copies within his reach, the whole of those twelve verses must have been present.

The proposed inference from the silence of certain of the Fathers is therefore invalid. The argument e silentio, always an insecure argument, proves inapplicable in this particular case. When the antecedent facts have been once explained, all the subsequent phenomena become intelligible. But a more effectual and satisfactory reply to the difficulty occasioned by the general silence of the Fathers remains to be offered.

Underneath the appeal to patristic authority lies an opinion – not expressed indeed, yet consciously entertained by us all – which in fact gives the appeal all its weight and cogency, and which must now by all means be brought to the front.

The Fathers of the Church were not only her Doctors and teachers but also the living voices by which alone her mind could be proclaimed to the world, and by which her decrees used to be authoritatively promulgated. This fact makes their words, whenever they are delivered, so very important; their approval, if they approve, so weighty; their condemnation, if the condemn, so fatal.

But then, in the present instance, they neither approve nor condemn. They simply say nothing. They are silent; and in what precedes, I have explained the reason why. We wish it had been otherwise. We would give a great deal to persuade those ancient oracles to speak on the subject of these twelve verses, but they are all but inexorably silent.

No, I am overstating the case against myself. Two of the greatest Fathers (Augustine and Ambrose) actually do utter a few words; and they are to the effect that the verses undoubtedly genuine: “Be it known to all men,” they say, “that this passage is genuine; but the nature of its subject matter has at once procured its ejection from MSS and resulted in the silence of the commentators.” The most learned of the Fathers in addition practically endorses the passage; for Jerome not only leaves it standing in the Vulgate where he found it in the Old Latin version, but relates that it was supported by Greek as well as Latin authorities.

To proceed however with what I was about to say.

It is the authoritative sentence of the Church then on this difficult subject that we desiderate. We resorted to the Fathers for that, intending to regard any quotations of theirs, however brief, as their practical endorsement of all the twelve verses. We desired to infer from their general recognition of the passage that the Church in her collective capacity accepted it likewise.


The Voice of the Early Church Identified

As I have shown, the Fathers decline, almost to a man, to return any answer. But are we then without the Church’s authoritative guidance on this subject? For this, I repeat, is the only thing we are in search of. It was only in order to get at this that we adopted the laborious expedient of watching for the casual utterances of any of the giants of old time. Are we, I say, left without the Church’s opinion?

Not so, I answer. The reverse is the truth. The great Eastern Church speaks out on this subject in a voice of thunder. In all her Patriarchates, as far back as the written records of her practice reach (and they reach back to the time of those very Fathers whose silence we felt to be embarrassing), the Eastern Church has selected nine out of these twelve verses to be the special lesson for October 8.

It would be impossible to adduce a more significant circumstance in evidence. Any pretense to fasten a charge of spuriousness on a portion of Scripture so singled out by the Church for honour is nothing else but monstrous. It would be in fact to raise quite a distinct issue, namely, to inquire what amount of respect is due to the Church’s authority in determining the authenticity of Scripture? I appeal not to an opinion, but to a fact. That fact is, that though the Fathers of the Church for a very sufficient reason are nearly silent on the subject of these twelve verses, the Church herself has spoken with a voice of authority so loud, that none can affect not to hear it. Indeed, it is so plain that it cannot possibly be misunderstood.

And let me not be told that I am hereby setting up the Lectionary as the true standard of appeal for the text of the New Testament; still less let me be suspected of charging on the collective body of the faithful whatever irregularities are discoverable in the codices which were employed for the public reading of Scripture. Such as suspicion could only be entertained by one who has failed to apprehend the precise point just now under consideration.

We are not examining the text of St. John 7:53-8:11. We are only discussing whether those twelve verses en bloc are to be regarded as an integral part of the fourth Gospel, or as a spurious accretion to it. And that is a point on which the Church in her corporate character must needs be competent to pronounce, and in respect of which her verdict in favor of these twelve verses, remember, at a time when her copies of the Gospels were of papyrus as well as “old uncials” on vellum. ON the contrary, before “old uncials” on vellum were at least in any general use.

True, the transcribers of Lectionaries have proved themselves just as liable to error as the men who transcribed Evangelia. But, then, it is incredible that those men forged the Gospel for St. Pelagia’s Day; and it is impossible, if it were a forgery, that the Church should have adopted it. And it is the significance of the Church having adopted the Pericope de Adultera as the lection for Oct 8, which has never been sufficiently attended to, and which I defy the critics to account for on any hypothesis but one: namely, that the Pericope was recognized by the ancient Eastern Church as an integral part of the Gospel.

Now when to this has been added what is implied in the rubrical direction that a ceremonious respect should be shown to the Festival of Pentecost by dropping the twelve verses, I submit that I have fully established my second position, namely, that by the very construction of her Lectionary the Church in her corporate capacity and official character has solemnly recognized the narrative in question as an integral part of St. John’s Gospel, and as standing in its traditional place, from an exceedingly remote time.


Critical Theories Fail to Explain Facts

For (I entreat the candid reader’s sustained attention), the circumstances of the present problem altogether refuse to accommodate themselves to any hypothesis of a spurious original for these verses, as I proceed to show.

Repair in thought to any collection of MSS you please – suppose to the British Museum. Request to be shown their seventy-three copies of St. John’s Gospel, and turn to the close of his seventh chapter. At that particular place you will find, in sixty-one of these copies, these twelve verses; and in thirty-five ofthem you will discover, after the words Prophetes ek tes Galilaias ouk eg. A rubrical not to the effect that “on Whitsunday, these twelve verses are to be dropped; and the reader is to go on at chapter 8:12”.

What can be the meaning of this respectful treatment of the Pericope in question? How can it ever have come to pass that it has been thus ceremoniously handled down through the ages? Surely on no possible view of the matter but one can the phenomenon just now described be accounted for.

Else, will anyone gravely pretend to tell me that at some indefinitely remote period (1) these verses were fabricated; (2) were thrust into the place they at present occupy in the sacred text; (3) were unsuspectingly believed to be genuine by the Church; and in consequence they were at once passed over by her direction on Whitsunday as incongruous, and appointed by the Church to be read on October 8, as appropriate to the occasion?

But further, how is it proposed to explain why one of St. John’s afterthoughts should have fared so badly at the Church’s hands and another, so well? It is suggested that perhaps the subject matter may sufficiently account for all that has happened to the Pericope de Adultera. And so it may, no doubt. But then, once admit this, and the hypothesis under consideration becomes simply nugatory; it fails even to touch the difficulty it professes to remove.

For if men are capable of thinking scorn of these twelve verses when they found them in the “second and improved edition of St. John’s Gospel,” why may they not have been just as irreverent in respect of the same verses when they appeared in the first edition?

How is it one whit more probable that every Greek Father for a thousand years should have systematically overlooked the twelve verses in dispute when they appeared in the second edition of St. John’s Gospel, than that the same Fathers should have done the same thing when they appeared in the first? 40

But the hypothesis is gratuitous and nugatory; for it has been invented in order to account for the phenomenon that whereas twelve verses of St. John’s Gospel are found in the large majority of the later copies, the same verses are observed to be absent from all but one of the five oldest codices.

But how (I wish to be informed) is that hypothesis supposed to square with these phenomena? It cannot be meant that the “second edition” of St. John did not come abroad until after Codices Aleph, A, B, C, T were written.

For we know that the old Italic Version (a document of the 2nd Century) contains all the three portions of narrative which are claimed for the second edition. But if this is not meant, it is plain that some further hypothesis must be invented in order to explain why certain Greek manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries are without the verses in dispute. And this fresh hypothesis will render the one under consideration (as I said) nugatory and show that it was gratutitous.


Spiritual Bankruptcy of the Critical Position

What chiefly offends me however in this extraordinary suggestion is its irreverence. It assumes that the Gospel According to St. John was composed like any ordinary modern book: capable therefore of being improved in the second edition, by rescension, addition, omission, retraction, or what not. For we may not presume to limit the changes effected in a second edition.

And yet the true Author of the Gospel is confessedly God the Holy Ghost, and I know of no reason for supposing that His works are imperfect when they proceed forth from His hands.

The cogency of what precedes has in fact weighed so powerfully with thoughtful and learned divines that they have felt themselves constrained, as their last resource, to cast about for some hypothesis which will at once account for the absence of these verses from so many copies of St. John’s Gospel and yet retain them for their rightful owner and author, St. John.

Singular to relate, the assumption which has best approved itself to their judgment has been, that there must have existed two editions of St.John’s Gospel – the earlier edition without, the later edition with, the incident under discussion. It is, I presume, in order to concilliate favor to this singular hypothesis that it has been further proposed to regard St. John 5:3,4 and the whole of St. John 21 (besides St. John 7:53-8:11) as afterthoughts of the Evangelist.

But this is unreasonable, for nothing else but the absence of St.John 7:53-8:11 from so many copies of the Gospel has constrained the critics to regard those verses with suspicion.

Indeed, on the contrary, there is not known to exist a copy in the world which omits so much as a single verse of chapter 21. Why then are we to assume that the whole of that chapter was away from the original draft of the Gospel? Where is the evidence for so extravagant an assumption?

So, concerning St. John 5:3,4, to which there really attaches no matter of doubt, as I have elsewhere shown, 41 we find the following: thirty-two precious words in that place are indeed omitted by Aleph B C and twenty-seven by D. But by this time the reader knows what degree of importance is to be attached to such an amount of evidence. On the other hand, they are found in all other copies. They are vouched for by the Syriac 42 and Latin versions, in the Apostolic Constitutions, by Chrysostom, Cyril, Didymus, and Ammonius; among the Greeks, by Tertullian; among the Latins by Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine. Why a passage so attested is to be assumed an afterthought of the Evangelist has never yet been explained. Nor will it ever be.

Assuming, however, just for a moment the hypothesis correct for argument’s sake, namely, that in the second edition of St.John’s Gospel the history of the woman taken in adultery appeared for the first time. Invite the authors of that hypothesis to consider what follows. The discovery that five out of six of the oldest uncials extant (to reckon here the fragment T) are without the verses in question, which yet are contained in ninety-nine out of every hundred of the despised cursives: what other inference can be drawn from such premises, but that the cursives fortified with other evidence are by far the more trustworthy witnesses of what St. John in his old age actually entrusted to the Church’s keeping?

[finis]

(Miller: The MS. [Burgon’s] here leaves off, except that a few pencilled words are added in an incomplete form. I have been afraid to finish so clever and characteristic an essay.)



Original Footnotes:


(provided from the Edition by Edward Miller from Burgon’s notes and his own verifications and collations of same.)


1. Compare:
1 Sam 24:22 – ‘And Saul went home: But David and his men got them up into the hold.
1 Kings 18:42: ‘So Ahab went up to eat and to drink: and Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.
Esther 3:15: ‘And the king and Haman sat down to drink: but the city of Shushan was perplexed.‘ Such are the idioms of the Bible.

Return to footnote 1 reference above


2. Ammonius (Cord. Cat. p.216), with evident reference to it, remarks that our Lord’s words in verse 37 and 38 were intended as a viaticum which all might take home with them, at the close of this, ‘the last, the great day of the feast’.

Return to footnote 2 reference above


3. So Eusebius: οτε κατα το αυτο συναχθεντες οι των Ιουδαιων εθνους αρχοντες επι της Ιερουσαλημ, συνεδριον εποιησαντο και σκεψιν ορως αυτον απολεσωςιν εν ω οι μεν θανατον αυτου κατεψηφισαντο. ετεροι δε αντελεγον, ως ο Νικοδεημος, κ.τ.λ., (in Psalmos, p. 230a)

Return to footnote 3 reference above


4. Westcott and Hort’s prefatory matter (1870) to their revised Text of the New Testament, p. xxvii.

Return to footnote 4 reference above


5. So in the LXX. See Num. v. 11-31.

Return to footnote 5 reference above


6. Verse 17. So the LXX.

Return to footnote 6 reference above


7. 2 Cor. 4:7, 5:1.

Return to footnote 7 reference above


8. Compare ch. vi.6, 71: vii.39: xi.13, 51: xii 5, 33: xiii. 11,28: xxi. 19.

Return to footnote 8 reference above


9. Consider ch. xix.19,20,21,22: xx.30,31: xxi.24,25. – 1John i.4: ii.1,7,8,12,13,14,21,26: v.13. – 2 John 5,12. 3 John 9, 13. – Rev.passim., especially i.11,19: ii.11,19: ii.1, &c.: x.4: xiv.13: xvii.8: xix.9: xx.12,15: xxi.5,27: xxii18,29.

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10. Westcott and Hort, ibid. pp. xxvii, xxvi.

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11. Novum Testamentum, 1869, p. 829

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12. Plain Introduction, 1894, ii. 364.

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13. Printed Texts, 1854, p. 241.

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14. Developed Criticism, p. 82.

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15. Outlines, &c., p. 103.

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16. Nicholson’s Gospel according to the Hebrews, p. 141.

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17. Scrivener, ut supra, ii. 368.

Return

18. I insert this epithet on sufficient authority. Mr. Edw. A. Guy, an intelligent young American, – himself a very accurate observer and a competant judge, – collated a considerable part of Cod. A in 1875, and assured me that he scarcely ever found any discrepancy between the Codex and Woide’s reprint. One instance of italicism[itacism?] was in fact all that had been overlooked in the course of many pages.

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19. It is inaccurate also. His five lines contain eight mistakes. (Woide) Praefat. p. xxx, para. 86.

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20. (Jerome:) ii. 630, addressing Rufinus, A.D. 403. Also ii. 748-9.

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21. (Ambrose:) i. 291, 692, 707, 1367: ii. 668, 894, 1082: iii. 892-3, 896-7.

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22. (Augustine:) i. 30: ii. 527, 529-30: iii1. 774: iii2. 158, 183, 531-2 (where he quotes the place extensively and comments upon it): iv. 149, 466 (quoted largely), 1120: v.80, 1230 (quoted largely both places): vi 407, 413: viii. 377, 574.

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23. Pacian (372 A.D.) refers the Novatians to the narrative as something which all men knew. “Nolite in Evangelio legere quod pepercerit Dominus etiam adulterae confitenti, quam nemo damnarat?” Pacianus, Op. Epist. iii. Contr. Novat. (A.D. 372). Ap.Galland. vii. 267.

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24. (Faustus:) Ap. Augustin. viii. 463.

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25. (Rufinus:) In his translation of Eusebius. Nicholson, p. 53.

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26. Chrysologus (433 A.D.) Abp. of Ravenna. Venet. 1742. Ile mystically explains the entire incident. Serm. cxv. para.5.

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27. Sedulius the Scot (435 A.D.) makes it the subject of a poem, and devotes a whole chapter to it. Ap. Galland, ix. 553 and 590.

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28. (anonymous:) ‘Promiss.’ De Promissionibus dimid. temp. (saec. iv). Quotes Jn viii 4,5,9. P.2, c. 22, col. 147b. Ignot. Auct., De Vocatione omnium Gentium (circa, 440 A.D.), ap. OPp. Prosper. Aquit. (1782), i. p. 460-1: – “Adulteram ex legis constitutione lapidandam…liberavit…cum executores praecepti de conscientiis territi, trementem ream sub illius iudicio reliquissent…Et inclinatus, id est ad humana dimissus…”digito scribebat in terram,” ut legem mandatorum per gratiae decreta vacuaret,” &c.

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29. (Vigilius:) Wrongly ascribed to Idacius.

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30. Gelasius P. (492 A.D.) Conc. iv. 1235. Quotes Jn viii 3, 7, 10 , 11.

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31. Cassiodorus (514 A.D.) Venet. 1729. Quotes Jn viii 11. See ii. p. 96, 3, 5-180.

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32. (Gregory:) Dialogues, xiv. 15.

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33. (Jerome:) ii. 748: – “In evangelio secundum Ioannem in multis et Graecis et Latinis codicibus invenitur de adultera muliere, quae accusata est apud Dominum.”

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34. ενος εκαστου αυτων τας αμαρτιας Ev. 95. 40, 48, 64, 73, 100, 122, 127, 142, 234, 264, 267, 274, 433, 115, 121, 604, 736.

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35. (Hort:) Appendix, p. 88.

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36. (Augustine:)

Sed hoc videlicet infidelium sensus exhorret, ita ut nonnulli modicae fidei vel potius inimici verae fidei, (credo metuentes peccandi impunitatem dari mulieribus suis), illud quod de adulterae indulgentia Dominus fecit, auferrent de codicibus suis: quasi permissionem peccandi tribuerit qui dixit, ‘Iam deinceps noli peccare;’ aut ideo non debuerit mulier a medico Deo illius peccati remissione sanari, ne offenderentur insani.

De coniug. adult. ii. cap. 7. i. 707: – “Fortasse non mediocrem scrupulum movere potuit imperitis Evangelii lectio, quae decursa est, in quo advertistis adulteram Christo oblatam, eamque sine damnatione dimissam. Nam profecto si quis ea auribus accipiat otiosis, incentivum erroris incurrit, cum leget quod Deus censuerit adulterium non esse damnandum.”

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37. (Ambrose:) Epist. 58. “Quid scribebat? nisi illud Propheticum (Jer. xxii. 29-30), Terra, terra, scribe hos vivos abdicatos.

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38. (Nicon:) Constt. App. (Gen. iii. 49), Nicon (Gen. iii. 250). (Miller:) I am not certain about these two references.

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39. (Lectionary Mutilations of Scripture:) Two precious verses (viz. the 43rd and 44th) used to be omitted from the lection for Tuesday before Quinquagesima, – viz. St. Luke xxii. 39 – xxiii. 1.

The lection for the preceding Sabbath (viz. St. Luke xxi. 8-36) consisted of only the following verses, – verse 8, 9, 25-27, 33-36. All the rest (viz. verses 10-24 and 28-32) was omitted.

On the ensuing Thursday, St Luke xxiii was handling in a similar style: viz. ver. 1-31, 33, 44-56 alone were read, – all the other verses being left out.

On the 1st Sabbath after Pentecost (All Saint’s), the lesson consisted of St. Matt. x. 32, 33, 37-38: xix. 27-30.

On the 15th Sabbath after Pentecost, the lesson was St. Matt. xxiv 1-9, 13 (leaving out 11, 12)

On the 16th Sabbath after Pentecost, the lesson was St. Matt. xxiv 34-37, 42-44 (leaving out 38-41).

On the 6th Sabbath of St Luke, – the lesson was ch. viii. 26-35 followed by verses 38 and 39.

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40. (Scrivener:) “This celebrated paragraph….was probably not contained in the first edition of St. John’s Gospel but added at the time when his last chapter was annexed to what had once been the close of his narrative, – xx. 30, 31.” Scrivener’s Introduction to Cod. D, p. 50.

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41. …in a so far unpublished paper.

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42. It is omitted in some MSS of the Peshitto.

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J/A

On March 8, 2016, in a blatantly dishonest diatribe against me, James White labeled King James Only advocates as “cultists”. What was his premise? That the King James doesn’t follow the erroneous Granville Sharp rule (“GSR”), which even Dan Wallace admitted is inconsistently applied throughout the NT, and can really be narrowed down to 2 passages (Titus 2:13, and 2 Peter 1:1). Essentially, James White accused the KJV of diminishing the deity of Christ based on these two passages (which he is wrong about anyway even IF he was right about the GSR, which he’s not) Now I have a ton of arguments against this view alone, but only one is necessary to completely blow White’s theory out of the water, and expose him for the dishonest hypocrite that he is.

Here is the most simple, common sense rebuttal to White’s blathering. In numerous responses to KJV advocates who point out that modern versions alter dozens of passages that eliminate the deity of Christ (John 1:18, 1 Tim 3:16, Rom 9:5, 1 Cor 10:9, 1 John 5:7-8, Dan 3:25, etc…), modern versionists like White claim we are mistaken to allege modern versions attack the deity of Christ IF THE DEITY OF CHRIST CAN BE ESTABLISHED BY OTHER PASSAGES. In other words, to White, it is irrelevant that even if KJVO advocates were right about those verses, it doesn’t matter because the charge can not be substantiated that modern versions alter the deity of Christ if His deity can be shown elsewhere.

Now here’s the kicker for that kind of defense against someone who in the same breath accuses KJVO advocates of being “cultists”. Let’s assume for argument’s sake White is right about the GSR in the KJV. IF THE KJV CAN SHOW THE DEITY OF CHRIST CAN BE PROVEN FROM OTHER PASSAGES, THEN WHITE CAN’T REALLY CRITICIZE KJVOS FOR BEING “CULTISTS” NOW CAN HE!! White always claims “inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument”, but he refuses to apply his own rules consistently. If the ability to show the deity of Christ in other places among modern versions vindicates THOSE versions, then how is it that the same analysis doesn’t vindicate the KJV if the deity of Christ can be shown in other passages if White is right about 2 passages where he [erroneously] contends the GSR proves it diminishes the deity of Christ? The deity of Christ in the KJV can be established in John 1:1, John 1:18, Romans 9:5, Matt 1:23, Isaiah 7:4, 9:6, Mark 2:7-10, John 8:58, John 10:31-35, Phil 2:6, Matt 19:6, Col 2:9-10, Heb 1:8, John 20:28, John 8:24, 1 John 5:7-8, 1 Tim 3:16 and a plethora of other OT and NT passages.

White uses equivocation and a special pleading fallacy of applying a rule to vindicate his modern version onlyism on the same grounds that he labels KJVO advocates cultists for. If the existence of the deity of Christ can be found outside of the verses that KJVOs attack modern versions over, then why doesn’t that same rule apply to White’s attacks against the KJV even if he was right about the GSR rule? The answer to that is simple, White knows that KJVOs have a better case against him, and to keep listeners from fairly judging both sides of the issue, he tries to put Bible believing Christians in the same category as other cultists like the Watchtower (in spite of the fact that some of the most aggressive defenders of the King James Bible are 1689 LBC Calvinists, like him). Ironically, the men behind White’s modern version onlyism were avid occultists and rationalists who did not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture (See, Heretics Behind Modern Bible Versions Supported By James White).

Regarding White’s charge about Titus 2:13, the result of White’s absurd assessment is that God permitted the Roman Catholic church to have the accurate readings (stored on library shelves, no less) while the rest of the church “erroneously” relied on these verses to support the Trinity for 1800 years. White claims that it “wasn’t the King James translators faults”, which means that not only were the King James translators ignorant of a 19th century Greek grammar rule in the 17th century, but so, too, was every Bible believing Christian that was martyred over these texts who translated it the same way until a bunch of rationalists decided it should be interpreted differently, rationalists that now include James White and his ilk. Anti King James Only advocates frequently ask us the dumbest question ever, “Where was the Bible before 1611?”, but if you look at their position, NONE OF US HAD IT BEFORE THE “BEST” and “OLDEST” MANUSCRIPTS WERE FOUND BETWEEN 1840-1881.

Dr. James A., PhD
Member Dean Burgon Society

whatyouhavetobelieve

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.

Dr James Ach and J/A (PMI PhD Student)

Lest anyone deem my response as unkind, I’m going to begin this article by showing how Colby Bonham treated Matthew Flynn (the subject of this article), so that nobody whines when I treat Colby’s article with the same fervor in which he treated Flynn’s.

I hope you have the discernment to see the idiocy of Mr. Flynn’s argument.

Although I’ve had this debate a million times- and no KJVO (King James Version Only) critic has ever raised a logical or Biblical defense to their criticism of the KJVO position on Psalm 12- from time to time some buffoon thinks he’s smarter than God and can just rewrite the Scriptures-in any language-and even alter basic rules of grammar-in any language.

Some Bible corrector named Colby Bonham decided to send me a link to his blog in response to an argument he had with another Twitter friend who is KJVO. The blog can be found here  . This is not a new attack on Psalm 12, but certainly one of the worst I’ve ever seen. The logic employed here is a stretch even for critics like James White and Daniel Wallace. But for the sake of a few of my friends that this guy repeatedly harasses, I’m going to peel his onion blog.*

Colby first states his goal is not to “critique KJVO position in its entirety”, but yet he maintains that anyone who holds to the KJVO view is mislead, dangerous, and teaching false doctrine. If that’s not a critique of the KJVO position in its entirety I don’t know what is.

I can’t speak on the points where he is apparently rebutting “Flynn’s” arguments because I do not have access to that blog’s content, so I will simply respond to the errors of Colby’s attacks on the KJVO position and specifically his ridiculous arguments on Psalm 12:6-7.

Traditional King James Only View of Psalm 12:6-7

Most people who understand the Bible and take it literally view Psalm 12:7 as referring to the words of the LORD in verse 6. When read naturally line upon line and in the normal flow of context and syntax, that’s how the passage reads. The words of the LORD are the natural antecedent of what God preserves. However, Bible correcting “scholars” have introduced a monkey wrench into this passage by claiming that it what God preserves are the poor of Psalm 12:5 instead of the words of the LORD of verse 6.  Colby is one of such that takes this foolish position and we shall dismantle his major errors below.

Colby  Error #1 Purified Silver

Colby admits that there is some symbolism used here. But he misses the point and presumes that “KJVOS assume God’s word needs purifying”. That’s the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever heard, and a blatant strawman attack that no KJVO holds to. Yes, the silver is a finished product being compared to the words of the LORD, but the TRYING OF THE SILVER isn’t to purify God’s words, it’s the process of bringing them to light to US.

Now I am not so dogmatic as to boldly claim that Psalm 12 refers to 7 translations prior to the KJV in 1611. I think it is certainly a shocking coincidence, but not one that I can claim with certainty. I think Laurence Vance has offered some convincing arguments for it, but it’s not a position that I am convinced is a MUST or necessity for a KJVO advocate. What I CAN claim with certainty is that Psalm 12:7 is a reference to the words of the LORD, not the poor of verse 5. More on that later but Colby was not merely attacking this view, but cited Doug Kutilek’s article in support of his argument in which Kutilek attacks the entire view that Psalm 12:7 is not a reference to the words of the LORD at all, and also, the commentators cited by Colby support this view as well.

Thus for Colby to claim that he is merely attacking the KJVO position of Psalm 12:7 as being a prophetic reference to the English translations that preceded the KJV is disingenuous and dishonest in light of the resources he cited in support of his position that ALL agree with each other (with the exception of a few that Colby misquoted), that Psalm 12:7 refers to “the poor” instead of the words of the LORD of Psalm 12:6. Colby is in fact attacking 2 different positions even though he claims to only be attacking one. This is an obvious attempt to “win by default” where if there is shown disagreement among even KJVOs and other commentators on Psalm 12 regarding the versions preceding the KJV, then by default that means Psalm 12:7 is not a reference to the words of the LORD. Quite a deceptive sleight-of-hand indeed.

Colby  Error #2 Hebrew Grammar

Naturally, as an Israeli born Hebrew speaking Jew, this one got my attention. I was eagerly waiting for the punch line of Colby’s devastating Hebrew analysis, and it never materialized. When I asked him where it went? He replied on Twitter “I never said I knew Hebrew”. Wait! Yes you did. You said, “The rules of Hebrew grammar prove that KJVOs are wrong on Psalm 12”. It’s one thing to quote someone else and claim that THEY SAID Hebrew grammar rules support their view, quite another to assert it as a fact of your argument when you admittedly don’t know Hebrew.

Colby cites Doug Kutilek, someone who’s NOT a Hebrew scholar, just a KJVO critic that many of us have dealt with before. Kutilek’s only real challenge offered where grammar is concerned is that the pronominal suffix in “keep them” a masculine gender and “the words of the LORD” (v6)  feminine in gender, and so he concludes the “them” must be a reference to the “people” of verse 5.

Gesenius, a Hebrew scholar, states,

“Through a weakening in the distinction of gender … masculine suffixes (especially in the plural) are not infrequently used to refer to feminine substantives (E Kautzsch, ed,Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, 2nd ed by A E Cowley [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1910], 440, sect O).

Other examples include, Genesis 31:8-9, “Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your [masculine plural pronoun suffix—refering to Rachel and Leah] father, and given them to me.”;  Genesis 32:15, “Thirty milch camels with their [masculine plural pronoun suffix—referring to the 30 female camels] colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.”; Exodus 1:21, “And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them [masculine plural pronoun suffix — a reference to the midwives] houses.

Speaking on the remainder of grammar issues, Quek Suan Yew from Far Eastern Bible College states:

Anti-preservationists also argue that the pronominal suffix in “preserve them” (v7b) is in the singular, and so the KJV translators were wrong to render it as “them” (plural). It is true that the pronominal suffix for “preserve them” in verse 7b is a third person masculine singular suffix (him). Why did the KJV translators translate it as “them?” The answer is in the attaching of the energetic nun (the Hebrew letter n) to the pronominal suffix. When this occurs an additional rule applies in the Hebrew language. It is important to note that there is no masculine plural pronominal suffix in the third person when the energetic nun is applied to a verb (see Gesenius, 157-8,l sect 4, I). Hence the Scripture writer, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used the singular masculine pronominal suffix, retaining the same gender as in “keep them” in verse 7a. It is again very legitimate and consistent with Hebrew grammar for the KJV translators to translate the masculine singular pronominal suffix with the energetic nun as a masculine plural pronoun — “them.”

When we speak of context, it is the immediate context that is considered first, and not the distant context. The immediate context speaks of the words of the Lord. Hence the preservation and keeping (guarding) would be the words of the Lord. We know that the grammar and syntax allow it. Verse 6 is what is known as an emblematic parallelism where the purity of God’s Word is likened to the sevenfold purification (as pure as you can ever get) process of purging silver of every bit of dross leaving behind the purest silver (see Tremper Longman III, How to Read the Psalms [Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1988], 100). This verse teaches that the words of the Lord are without error or fallibility and it is 100% perfect.

Verse 7 is known as a synonymous parallelism where the second line restates what is mentioned in the first, but using different words (Longman III, 99). As mentioned before, the use of the energetic nun emphasises the act of preservation. This preservation is forever. The relationship between verses 6 and 7 is what we callsynthetic parallelism where the second verse adds or expands on the teaching mentioned in the first verse. These two verses combined teach that the words of God are forever perfect; like silver purified seven times, they will be preserved by God for eternity.

The contrast within the psalm would be the words of these evil men versus the words of the Lord. These evil men speak vanity and flattery (v2), and boast that their words will prevail and no one is lord over them (v4). The psalmist counters this by declaring that it is the words of the Lord that will prevail over the words of the evil ones. This is the assurance and comfort that the Lord gives to His people. Do not fear the words of these evil flatterers and boasters; trust in the words of the Lord that is purified seven times as opposed to the words of the evil men which are vain, proud and stem from a double heart (v2). God will keep (guard) His holy words and preserve (action is emphasised by the energetic nun) them from this generation forever. The Lord gave this verbal assurance to that generation and after because He knew they needed it. God’s people were distressed by the many wicked and confusing words that came from proud and evil men. But the thrice holy and perfect God encouraged His people by reminding them that His words and promises are ever true and will forever remain.

Published in The Burning Bush, Volume 10 Number 2 (July 2004)

Furthermore from Gesenius,

“The suffix gains still more strength, when instead of the union-vowels there is inserted between it and the verb a union-syllable n-, which, when the syllable has the tone, becomes n- (commonly called Nûn epenthetic or Nûn demonstrative), which, however, occurs only in the Imperfect and chiefly in pause, e.g. yebarkenehu he will bless him (Ps. 72,15)… This Nûn is, however, for the most part incorporated with the suffixes, and hence we get a new series of forms … Rem. The uncontracted forms with Nûn written distincly are rare and only poetic (Ex. 15,2) Deut. 32,10, Jer. 5,22,, 22,24) and do not occur at all in 3 fem. sing. and 1 plur. The contracted forms (with the Nûn assimilated) are rahter frequent also in prose, especially in pause (very seldom -nu as first pers. pl. Hosea 12, 5) This Nûn is of a demonstrative nature, and gives more emphasis to the word, and is therefore chiefly found in pause. But it occurs also in the union of the suffixes with certain particles.” Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, London: Asher & Co., 1903, p. 146. 

Interesting that the NASV altered the nun form in Psalm 12:7 even though they followed the rules in hundreds of other places (In Genesis alone Genesis  5:29; 9:5; 21:13; 42:4; 42:15; 43:9; Ex 21:29; 21:33; 22:21; 22:26; 23:4; 23:29; 25:2; 25:11; Le 1:3; 1:10; 3:1; 6:5; 7:6;  13:11; 13:44; 13:55; 13:57; 17:9; 23:11; 25:49; 25:53; 27:8; 27:10; 27:33; Nu 6:9; 9:16; 18:13; 22:6; 23:13; 23:25; 24:9; 24:17; 30:13; De 7:26; 12:15; 12:16; 12:18; 12:22; 12:24; 12:25; 13:9; 14:27; 15:8; 15:12; 15:13; 15:20; 15:21; 15:22; 15:23; 20:5; 20:6; 21:23; 23:21; 25:3; 28:30; 28:48; 30:13; 31:14-Thank you Brandon Staggs).

The masculine pronominal suffixes “them (תשׁמרם)”/”him (תצרנו)” and the feminine “words (אמרות)” are not an uncommon unpaired match and in this context when it is semantically masculine as a whole phrase (“אמרות יהוה”) the entire phrase takes on a masculine construction.

For more examples and a THOROUGH Hebrew analysis of the grammatical issues of Psalm 12:6-7 see Dr. Thomas Strauss

For a thorough response to Doug Kutilek’s butchering of Psalm 12, see Will Kinney, Answering Doug Kutilek’s anti- Preservation in Psalms 12

We also won’t mention that Kutilek relies much on “19th century writers..like Simon Patrick”, who lived from 1626-1707, hardly “19th century”, or how Doug lied about Rashi’s claims about Psalm 12:7 never referencing the words of the LORD, but who said Doug was good with FACTS!

See also Gender Discord by Kent Brandenburg and Sam Gipp Is the King James Bible inspired or preserved?

Colby Error #3 The King James Translators View of Psalm 12

Apparently, Colby seems to think that the KJV translators share his view of Psalm 12. He has obviously never seen the footnote in the 1611 KJV in context with the verse, “Heb. him. i. every one of them“. The translators knew it was grammatically singular and translated the pronoun as semantically plural in reference to the masculine being THEM-the words of God! For whatever reason Colby doesn’t get the footnote reference by the KJV translators. (More below as to the grammatical nature used here.)

Colby Error #4 Commentators Vs Hebrew Scholars

Colby seems to think that a person who blogs about KJVOs or writes commentaries qualifies as an expert in Hebrew grammar. He can’t seem to tell the difference between a textual scholar, linguistic expert, and a commentator.

But let’s look at the logic of some of the commentators.

Colby cites the Pulpit Commentary as follows:

Ver. 7. — Thou shalt keep them, O Lord. God having promised to set the righteous, who are oppressed, in a place of safety (ver. 5), the psalmist is sure that he will keep them and preserve them from the wicked“generation,”  which has possession of the earth, and bears rule in it

First of all, NOWHERE in Psalm 12 are the poor referred to as “the righteous”.  This is eisegetical suicide invented to make Psalm 12:7 fit their view. God commanded Israel to be courteous to the poor because they themselves were oppressed and strangers in Egypt.  Deut 15:11, 23:5-7, Ex 23:6. In fact, Deut 15:11 shows a distinction between “thy brother” and “the poor”. Just because God defends the poor doesn’t mean they are saved. More on this point later.

Furthermore, when David wrote Psalm 12, Israel was the dominant kingdom of the earth, not their enemies. Israel was not taken into captivity until well after Saul, David, and Solomon were memories. So to claim that Psalm 12 is about keeping the “righteous” away from the wicked who are IN POSSESSION AND RULE THE EARTH is a blunder of mammoth proportions because no wicked nation ruled the earth at that time, Israel did.

Colby erroneously relies on a handful of commentators to prove that the historicity of commentators debunks the KJVO position. That is just patently absurd. In the same breath, the existence of just as many commentators who say otherwise would therefore vindicate the KJVO position.

John Wesley, June 5, 1765 says,

Psalm 12:6. Pure-Without the least mixture of falsehood; and therefore shall infallibly be fulfilled.

V.7. Thou shalt keep them-Thy words or promises: these thou wilt observe and keep, both now, and from this generation for ever.

Noah Webster,

“Webster’s 1833 translation, and the Lesser Bible 1853 – “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan,

The psalmist breaks out into praise of the purity of His words, and declares that Jehovah will ‘keep them’ and ‘preserve them.’ The ‘them’ here refers to his words. There is no promise made of widespread revival or renewal. It is the salvation of a remnant and the preservation of His own words which Jehovah promises.” Exposition of the whole Bible, Psalms, pg 32

Hebrew Scholar J.H. Eaton,

…but we may rather follow the main Hebrew tradition: “Thou O Lord shalt keep them (i.e. watch over the words to fulfill them, Jer. 1:12)…” (Torch Bible Commentaries, 1967). [Confirming that the interpretation of ‘thou shalt keep them’ as referring to the words of God was in fact, established Hebrew tradition].

David Guzik, Study Guide for Psalm 12, 2008,

B.1.(b). You shall keep them, O LORD, You shall preserve them: This was David’s declaration of confidence in God’s ability to preserve His own words. He did not only give His word to mankind; His providential hand has protected the existence and integrity of His word through the centuries.

Trinitarian Bible Society,

Furthermore, since these Scriptures were placed near the ark, in theheart of the tabernacle or temple, they were separated from all common books. They were manifestly declared to be holy. Certainly, God’s written Word is pure and sublime. It is truth, without any mixture of error. “The
words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).” Malcom H. Watts, The Lord Gave the Word, 1998, page 5.

Henry Ainsworth (1526)

the sayings” [of Psalm 12:7] are “words” or “promises” that are “tried” or “examined” “as in a fire.”

Dr. W. Gary Crampton,

Textual criticism over the last century has moved away from the textual critical principles of the Reformers and Puritans that was grounded in the doctrines of inspiration and preservation, and has led the church astray. We have been told that a few texts upon which the new translations are based are better than the majority of texts upon which the King James and the New King James versions are based. As this article has shown, however, this is not true. The Westcott-Hort critical text is not dependable. As Pickering wrote, it is unproved at every point. Neither the Westcott-Hort theory nor the Modern Critical Text theory of eclecticism (often called “reasoned eclecticism”) can rationally claim to believe that God has providentially preserved His Word throughout the centuries. Any view that disclaims passages such as Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53-8-11, and 1 John 5:7 (which have been “received” as a part of the New Testament for centuries) shows this to be the case. When God tell us that He will preserve His Word for us from generation to generation, as He does in Psalm 12:7; 119:152, 160; and Isaiah 40:8, then He will do so, because He “is not a man that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19).” Crampton: Bart D. Ehrman & Daniel B. Wallace in Dialogue: The Reliability of the New Testament

For more scholars on Psalm 12:7, see David Cloud’s exhaustive research in For the Love of the Bible.

Suffice it to say “history” is not on Colby’s side because common sense would tell us that if history itself was the benchmark, then the earliest comment wins, and the evidence shows that the earlier commentators and Hebrew scholars (as opposed to Colby’s citation of recent ones) supported the Psalm 12:7 view as applied to the words of the Lord of verse 6. The paradigm shift in Psalm 12:7 among some scholars is a recent one, certainly not a “historical” position.

Colby Error #5 The Benjamin Wilkinson Fallacy

Most KJVO critics erroneously blame a 7th Day Adventist for many of the KJVO claims bypassing the common sense notion of figuring out where Wilkinson got HIS ideas from. They weren’t original, and in fact, even James White admits that most of what Wilkinson wrote in defense of the Textus Receptus and King James Version he got from An Inquiry Into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate by Dr. Frederick Nolan  (1784-1864) (White’s critique of Wilkinson’s book). Thus the claims made by Wilkinson were derived from a CALVINIST nearly 100 years BEFORE Wilkinson wrote his book. The idea of 7-fold purification was also mentioned by G. Campbell Morgan well before Wilkinson.

The very fact that Colby quotes John Gill who died in 1771 (long before Wilkinson was born) who shows his disagreement with Aben Ezra on Psalm 12 shows that there were Hebrew scholars that held this position long before Benjamin Wilkinson.

This is a classic “guilt by association” fallacy. The KJVO critics ignore the fact that a large amount of KJV translators were Calvinists and pick out folks like a 7th Day Adventist to slander the KJVO position. Granted, KJVOs have done this with the beliefs of Westcott & Hort, but neither of these men believed that the Scriptures were infallible and/or perfectly preserved and thus at this point what they believed made quite a difference in their bias in translation whereas in spite of the different views among the KJV translators, what they all DID have in common was that the word of God was preserved and was the final authority on all matters of faith and practice, hardly the same view held by the Catholic Bible translators (including the lesbians on the NIV committee).

What is really silly about this accusation is that there’s not one 7th Day Adventist today that holds Wilkinson’s position. In fact, the 7DA publication “Amazing Facts” is adamantly opposed to King James Only advocacy.

Nevertheless, when it comes to associations, I can hardly think of any worse association than a manuscript that is named after the Vatican (Codex Vaticanus) and a Roman Catholic owned monastery (St. Catherine’s, Codex Siniaticus) -both of which are the primary underlying texts that make up the critical text apparatus and all modern versions (including the Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘New World Translation’)- by those who claim to oppose the Roman Catholic Church.

Colby Error #7 God Never Uses Exclusiveness of Language

For nearly 2000 years, God used ONLY the Hebrew language to preserve and communicate His word to Israel. To claim that it is wrong for KJVOs to expect others to learn English because God wouldn’t require that of anyone defies the fact that that’s EXACTLY how God operated for 2,000 years. English is the universal language. It is impossible to conduct international business without knowledge of English. It is even impossible to get the right time zone without setting it to the standard of Greenwich, England. Why is that the rest of the world is fine with learning English for business and trade, but the KJVO critic is opposed to it for learning the Bible?

Moreover, it is even more absurd to claim that instead of learning English, the only way to truly know the Bible is to have a thorough knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. In other words, KJVO critics, in chastising us for expecting others to learn English, expect everyone else to learn TWO different languages in order to “properly” interpret and convey God’s “original” meaning.

This silly argument also ignores the fact that the KJV has been translated into hundreds of other languages. Thus the KJV is NOT JUST AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION. A little gloss that KJVO critics frequently (deliberately in my opinion) ignore.

Critics forget that God is the one that confounded the languages of man in the first place (Genesis ch 11). God did not WANT there to be common communication. He reserved ONE LANGUAGE for His people (Hebrew: and for the idiots who argue “you left out Aramaic”, Aramaic is a form of Hebrew, genius). There’s no reason to dismiss God using an exclusive GENTILE language during the times of the Gentiles.

Other Ridiculous Questions by Colby

“Why would God allow His people to remain in such an error all the way up until 1930?”

Considering that his ‘camp’ of Bible agnostics say the same thing about Codex Siniaticus and Codex Vaticanus, this is quite the accusation coming from KJVO critics. Let me explain. Critics like James White and ..well…every other KJVO critic and modern version proponent claim that neither Erasmus nor any of the KJV translators had the manuscripts available to them that were available to the Westcott & Hort Revision Committee that released their critical text and “revision” between 1881-1885. Thus according to all KJVO critics, not only did the KJV translators not have the word of God in 1611, neither did anyone else until at least the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus in 1859 by Constantine von Tischendorf, which gave credence to Codex Vaticanus, both of which the Revision Committee used to rewrite the Greek New Testament and overthrow the Textus Receptus.

In other words, the position that critical text scholars and their fans take against the KJVO is the exact same position that should equally apply to their own position. But of course, KJVO critics are never consistent in their accusations. They make the absurd claim that KJVO proponents don’t think the word of God showed up until 1611, yet their own position doesn’t allow for the complete word of God to be discovered until over 200 years later, and published in 1865.

Furthermore, critics like James White chide KJVO advocates for not being ‘open minded’ enough to accept new discoveries. So like the evolutionist, new discoveries may some day prove that evolution is true, and shame on those closed-minded creationists for accepting as truth -right NOW- that the matter of creation is settled without one more bit of “scientific evidence” needed to vindicate creationism. For the KJV Bible critic, the issue of preservation is never settled. In fact, it is this very point that Muslims have used against James White to reinforce their attacks against the Bible. (See proof in our article “Jesus Didn’t Forgive Them” with Will Kinney , and video evidence citing by a Muslim).

For more, see Will Kinney’s Where Was The Bible Before 1611?

God Only Preserved His Word In the “Original Languages”

An oldie but a goodie. This is the Alexandrian Cult’s favorite line. Nevermind that Moses destroyed the originals that God made of the Ten Commandments, or a king destroying the “original” in Jeremiah 36, or that God reveals that COPIES of His word were still inspired Scripture (See Deut 17:18). While Colby uses a childish argument such as “where does the Bible say Psalm 12 refers to the King James”, there’s nothing in the Bible that says inspiration and preservation are limited to the “original languages”, and for that matter, where does the Bible mention NIV, ESV, ASV, NASB? #StupidArgument. If it were limited to God’s spoken words, then there are spoken words that John admits were never recorded that should actually be a part of Scripture, but they’re not. John 21:25. This Alexandrian logic leaves us with a blatant contradiction in the promise of preservation if preservation meant that ONLY God’s “original” spoken words were to be Scripture.

Apparently it is “OK” for the KJV to change/eliminate words, but it is not “OK” for the modern translations to change/eliminate words.

The KJV corrected printing errors and updated some of the language. That is NOT what modern versions have done, and every KJVO critic knows that. Changing a middle English “f” to a modern English “s” isn’t the same as eliminating an entire half of a chapter (Mark 16:9-21), or whole verses (Acts 28:29, 1 John 5:7-8, Acts 8:37), or making changes like “The Son of God” (KJV) to “a son of the gods” (All others) in Daniel 3:25. The modern versions are making corrections that alter the text from a Greek text that has been fabricated by Bible hating scoffers influenced by German Rationalists. THAT is the issue, and these KJVO critics are well aware of that, but they attempt to cloud the issue by comparing the changes the KJV translators made to the deliberate alterations and corruptions made by modern versions since 1881.

Forget of course, that KJV translators as well as Erasmus rejected many manuscripts as corrupt. That tells you that men of the Reformation discriminated against manuscripts they believed were corrupt. But today even many of those who call themselves Reformers scoff at the idea of choosing one manuscript over another or labeling ANY of them as corrupt. The one thing that the Reformers had in common was they all knew what a corrupt Greek, Hebrew, and Latin manuscript looked like, and refused to acknowledge it/them as the word(s) of God. It is only in recent times that this centuries accepted practice since the foundation of the church has been questioned, shunned, and anathematized in the church. Anyone today who practices the same textual discrimination that ALL of the early churches did is labeled “divisive”.

For more on the preposterous logic of “originals only” arguments, see Will Kinney’s Can Translations Be Inspired? 

 The Absurd Conclusion: Salvation of All Poor People

The conclusion we are left with if Colby’s (and his citations) are taken seriously is that all poor people are saved without exception or distinction: universalist salvation of all poor and oppressed. Colby did not offer any proof that God preserved any of the poor forever. Common sense and logic would tell us that for a person to be preserved forever they would have to be saved, yet according to the logic of KJVO critics, we can bypass the gospel and just become poor enough to be eternally secure. No repentance, no faith, no belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, ignore the deity of Christ, because according to this view of Psalm 12, poverty=salvation. Colby & Co have invented an exemption to the gospel for the poor, not to mention that the poor are then purified by fire in a furnace of earth!

This is the kind of “scholarship” and “logic” you deal with from MVO (Modern Version Onlyist) and “Original Onlyist” Googleogians. The clear and obvious antecedent to “thou shalt preserve THEM” is not a skip over verse 6 as if it’s just a parenthetical side comment, but a reference to the words of the LORD being preserved forever. It is obvious why greedy for filthy lucre scholars don’t want evidence of preservation, because it allows them to continue setting themselves up as the authority on the Bible, and to add to the word of God when they see fit. The Bible then can’t be added to or new discoveries uncovered to reveal some altering revelation that would revolutionize Christianity if Psalm 12:7 shows that God is the one that keeps and preserves His words. It also emphasizes man’s self efforts to maintain God’s words instead of having any real faith in God’s ability to transmit His own Scriptures. It is the Jesuit method of replacing the Dark Ages priest with the modern day “scholar” (Malachi 2:12).

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matthew 24:35

For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89

______________________

*It is interesting, as a side-note, that one of the first observations I had made about Colby’s blog was his erroneous use of descriptions of logic. He had initially referred to “laws of logic” as #1 being “law of contradiction”. He vehemently argued with me that this was correct even though no Christian scholar from Geisler to William Lane Craig uses it. Colby has now changed his blog to reflect the proper term, “Law of NON contradiction”. It is called the law of NON contradiction because the law asserts that truth does NOT contradict truth. Law of contradiction would imply that contradictions are necessary elements of logic.

Colby also doesn’t seem to grasp what logical fallacies are. The simple explaining of a contradiction does not itself identify what the logical fallacy is. Not all logical fallacies apply to the categorical syllogisms that Colby seems to be referring to. The law of Non Contradiction simply shows that a thing can not be both A and be NOT A at the same time. That is not the definition “logical fallacies”. Yet in all of Colby’s parading his new found Googlisms, he failed to expound on any known logical fallacies as applied in his arguments.

Colby also seems to think he was victorious in that I had “blocked” him a month or so ago (Ignored. If Colby had actually bothered to check he isn’t blocked, he just assumed so because I obviously never responded to him because I didn’t see any of his comments). My “blocking” him then had nothing to do with any inability to respond, but because every comment he made even if it was about which topping to put on a sandwich had my named tagged to it, and with 70 thousand followers it’s a little hard to follow comments when one person yields over 100 notifications that have nothing to do with a conversation I am involved in.

______________________________

I have quite a few debates over the issue of whether or not James White, author of the King James Only Controversy, actually shares the same sentiment as his heroes Westcott & Hort, who proclaimed that the Textus Receptus underlying the King James Bible was vile.

James White and his defenders claims that White only hates King James Only exclusivism, not the King James Bible itself. Although we beg to differ, there’s picture perfect proof of this now with James White’s recent reply on Twitter to a person asking if White would sign his KJV’s.

White KJV Burn - Copy

White did try to “clean up” a little after realizing it was probably too late to delete the comment because there were too many responses to it already, and he does so by this crazy reply:

BTW, my comment had nothing to do with the KJV…it had to do with FREEZING TO DEATH. 🙂

OK. Considering that James White lives in ARIZONA, I highly doubt he is ever concerned about “freezing to death”, and the weather had absolutely nothing to do with the context of the initial question nor his initial response. If he’s referring to Norway, well it’s 77 degrees there. He can’t blame it on being a “Jack Hyles” version either, remember, his clean up statement was about “freezing to death” not about the edition of the KJV. James White has always been a good professional liar, but I expected a little better of him in his clean up attempt because *that* one was pathetic.

Now even though James White’s hand has been caught in the cookie jar, he will likely figure out additional ways to spin this, the number one being that he will call us dooky faces for being King James Only advocates, and utter something along the lines of how incapable we are of reason and rational thinking, the usual pejoratives…

…but it’s James White’s own words that clearly demonstrate that he would prefer to burn the KJV “for warmth”.  Do you think he would have said that about the NASB or ESV? I’m sure Muslim ‘scholar’ Shabir Ally just texted White, “that’s right, burn em.. burn em..”

 

___________________

Waiting to see how many people catch the “January” reference. Averages about 30-35 degrees F for U.S. citizens (we use C in the east) Better bring LOTS of KJVs for that freezing 35 degree weather. And of course, White’s rebuttal will be he’s so used to Arizona that anything below 70 is a freeze advisory. Anything to burn them KJVs I tell you 🙂

If Jesus Preached in Your Church, Which Bible Would He Use?

 

(A small review and recommendation of Jack McElroy’s book, Which Bible Would Jesus Use?)

It would be foolish to say he would use no Bible, since he used one during his earthly ministry (Luke 4:16-20; 24:27, etc.).

Would he use a Bible that makes him a liar, as the NIV and ESV do in John 7:8?

John 7:8-10 (KJV) Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

(NIV) “You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

(ESV) “You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe how many Christians will accept version upon version of the Bible that shows their Lord to be a liar, as the NIV, ESV, and so many others plainly do, but it would be crazy to think Jesus would carry a book to the pulpit that has him breaking the law he came to fulfil.

This is the simple question asked by Jack McElroy in his book, Which Bible Would Jesus Use? (Also available for Kindle.)

The mere question would be laughed off by modern scholarship as too absurd to consider.

But this question deserves serious consideration by any genuine follower of Christ. After all, the Bible is Jesus’ book, and so picking the one he would have us use is certainly something we should do!

Would Jesus use a Bible that gives Satan his own title in Isaiah 14:12?

Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Revelation 22:16 (KJVI Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, andthe bright and morning star.

The NIV gives Satan the title Jesus has plainly reserved for himself:

Isa 14:12 (NIV) How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

Are you okay with that? Do you think Jesus is okay with that? (See this article for more on Lucifer vs the Morning Star.)

McElroy’s book is an excellent addition to the many on the “Which Bible” topic. The tone is easy and conversational, laying out the issues in a manner that makes the answers obvious. In fact, I suspect this will be my new “go to” introductory book for believers new to the topic.

McElroy gives an excellent overview of the preservation and translation of the Bible, presenting a clear and compelling case for why we should trust that the King James Bible is in fact the very word of God without error. His deductive logical arguments are enough to convince any sincere seeker that we can have faith in God’s book as it is preserved to us today.

But he does not stop there — McElroy isn’t afraid to point out the deficiencies of the modern and commonly held definition of inspiration, getting to the heart of the matter and demonstrating that not only do modern experts have a flawed theology of inspiration, with their own words they show that they don’t believe there ever was a perfect “act of inspiration” in the first place.

Even if you’re already a King James Bible Believer and need no convincing, this book is still a great read. I’ve had a public presence on the Internet defending the Authorized Bible for almost 20 years now, and I’ve heard it all.  McElroy must have had a peek into my inbox, because all the common “gotcha” questions are here. More importantly, they’re all answered ably.

  • Yeah? So where was God’s word before 1611?
  • The NIV and ESV are no different than the different “revisions” of the KJV.
  • So Which Edition of the KJV is perfect? What about the differences between editions?

Now, we know that in the end this is still a matter of faith. After all:

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Any time someone demands “proof” that the King James is God’s word they are seeking to avoid the issue of faith and excuse the egregious errors in their favorite Bible versions. However, it can be (and has many times been) proven beyond any reasonable doubt that modern Bible versions contain error. As McElroy demonstrates with their own writings, modern Bible editors actually believe that imperfection is often a sign of a more genuine reading.

But it’s not enough to demonstrate the corruptions of modern Bible versions, because the question will still remain: why the KJV? There are deductive reasons good enough to answer the sincere seeker willing to place faith in God that he would preserve his word, and Which Bible Would Jesus Use? provides these reasons and more.

Highly recommended!

Jack McElroy has kindly made chapter 8 of his book available in full here: Why can’t the Lord choose the ©1982 New King James Version?

Which Bible Would Jesus Use? is available in print from Amazon.com and also on Kindle. You can read more about Jack at his website.

Dr. Elisha Weismann

Contrary to critics like James White, Rick Norris, Fred Butler, JD Hall, Doug Cutelick, and all modern professional liars, the King James Only view did not begin with Peter Ruckman, Ruckman was merely instrumental in causing professing Baptists to quit riding the fence on the issue.

Thomas Morris posted the following quote in a group on Facebook ran by a great Jewish brother of mine (“Boaz Baptist”):

Hey look! William Lyon Phelps was “King James only” in 1922. Phelps was an honored Professor of English at Yale for over 30 years. Listen to what he says,

“The Elizabethan period — a term loosely applied to the years between 1558 and 1642 — is properly regarded as the most important era in English literature…the crowning achievement of those spacious times was the Authorized Translation of the Bible, which appeared in 1611…our English translation is even better than the original Hebrew and Greek. There is only one way to explain this…I am confident that the Authorized Version was inspired. Now as the English-speaking people have the best Bible in the world, and as it is the most beautiful monument ever erected with the English alphabet, we ought to make the most of it, for it is an incomparably rich inheritance, free to all who can read. This means that we ought invariably in the church and on public occasions to use the’ Authorized Version; all others are inferior.”

(Phelps, William L. Human Nature in the Bible. New York: Scribner, 1922, pp. ix-xii)

This is just one of many such authors that we know that have supported, promoted, endorsed, and defended the King James Bible Only position long before Peter Ruckman started challenging the Bible agnostics at Bob Jones University and writing books about the professional con artists that they helped produce and send into “fundamental Baptist” churches.

Just a little reminder that the KJVO critics are wrong (as usual).

The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn’t What You Think It Is

Source: Christianity Today

NIV vs. KJV: Surveys and searches suggest the translation that most Americans are reading is actually not the bookstore bestseller.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
[ POSTED 3/13/2014 11:17AM ]
The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn't What You Think It Is

PAUL KELLER/FLICKR

When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.

The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.

So concludes “The Bible in American Life,” a lengthy report by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Funded by the Lilly Foundation, researchers asked questions on what David Briggs of the ARDA, which first reported the results, calls “two of the most highly respected data sources for American religion”—the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study.

The numbers are surprising, given the strong sales of NIV translations in bookstores. The NIV has topped the CBA’s bestselling Bible translation list for decades, and continued to sell robustly in 2013.

The high numbers of KJV readers confirm the findings of last year’s American Bible Society (ABS) State of the Bible report. On behalf of ABS, Barna Group found that 52 percent of Americans read the King James or the New King James Version, compared with 11 percent who read the NIV.

The KJV also received almost 45 percent of the Bible translation-related searches on Google, compared with almost 24 percent for the NIV, according to Bible Gateway’s Stephen Smith.

In fact, searches for the KJV seem to be rising distinctly since 2005, while most other English translations are staying flat or are declining, according to Smith’s Google research.

Smith, whose research on how technology is shaping Bible use is profiled in this month’s CT cover story, blended data from Google Trends and the Google Keyword Tool to see how English Bible translations compare in search terms. Bible translation searches may not necessarily be an indicator of Bible transation usage—a Bible Gateway study earlier this year found dramatic differencesbetween the cities most likely to search for Bible verses and the American Bible Society’s list of top “Bible-minded” cities.

Nevertheless, other studies also indicate that the KJV remains the translation powerhouse. A 2011 Lifeway study, for example, found that 62 percent of Americans—and 82 percent of Americans who regularly read the Bible—own a copy of the KJV.

“Although the bookstores are now crowded with alternative versions, and although several different translations are now widely used in church services and for preaching, the large presence of the KJV testifies to the extraordinary power of this one classic English text,” Noll commented in the IUPUI report. “It also raises most interesting questions about the role of religious and linguistic tradition in the makeup of contemporary American culture.”

Noll, a leading evangelical scholar, wrote a cover story for CT on where the world would be without the KJV.

The study from IUPUI in some ways paints a more religious picture of Americans than the ABS/Barna study, recording that 78 percent read their Bibles monthly, compared with the 41 percent found by Barna and the 53 percent found by Lifeway.

But IUPUI also found that fewer Americans read their Bibles every day—just 9 percent, less than the 13 percent recorded by Barna and half of the 18 percent found by Lifeway.

IUPUI also noted several main tells: You’re more likely to read the Bible if you’re female (56 percent compared with 39 percent of men), African American (70 percent read at least once a year, compared with 46 percent of Hispanics and 44 percent of whites), and older (56 percent of those over 70 years old, compared with 44 percent of those between 18 and 29). You’re also more likely to read the Bible if you live in the South (61 percent) rather than the Northeast (36 percent).

While IUPUI found that readers name Psalm 23 as their favorite scripture, followed by John 3:16, Barna found that more people liked John 3:16 the best, followed by Psalm 23. (CT covered the 10 most-searched Bible verses of 2013.)

CT has reported on ABS’s State of the Bible reports, including how the Biblegained 6 million new antagonists in 2013.

CT’s previous coverage of the KJV includes a history of the translation, itsinfluence, and how the KJV compares to other translations.

CT’s previous coverage of the NIV includes the Southern Baptist Convention’s rejection of the 2011 version for avoiding male pronouns where both genders are intended and responses from Lifeway and CT.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Keller/Flickr)

 

Can you say, “Egg on Face”!

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James White‏@DrOakley1689

@NazarenePete Yes, it looks like it will be a true conspiracy film, sadly. KJVOism is dying, but the corpse still twitches once in a while.