Answering James White’s Question - Which King James Version is the infallible words of God?
You can now listen to the You Tube video of this teaching here:
As many of you know, James White is a King James Bible critic who thinks it is based on inferior texts and is full of inaccurate translations. James White says he believes “the Bible” is the inerrant words of God, but when asked to tell us where we can get a copy of this inerrant and complete Bible he will never tell you where to get one. Why? Simply because he doesn’t have one and doesn’t really believe such a thing exists in print anywhere on this earth. His “inerrant” Bible is an ever changing, nebulous, unidentified, hypothetical figment of his imagination and personal opinions. It is not a real and tangible Book in print that you or anyone else can actually hold in their hands, read for themselves and believe every word.
James White knows this to be true, in spite of his pious sounding words about believing “the Bible” (never identified by him) IS the inerrant words of God. So he has written his book, The King James Only Controversy, in an attempt to overthrow the faith of us Bible believers that we really do have such a thing as the complete, authoritative, 100% historically true and inspired words of the living God in our Authorized King James Holy Bible.
One of the last ditch tactics of those I refer to as “Bible Agnostics” resort to, in their efforts to undermine and overthrow the KJB only position, is to ask us “Which KJV is the inerrant words of God? the Cambridge edition or the Oxford edition? or the 1769 edition by Blayney? Which KJV is your inspired and inerrant Bible?
Please note that when I say I am a King James Bible onlyist, I do not mean by this that I believe that only those who read, use and believe the King James Bible are saved and real Christians. I do not mean this at all, nor do I believe that way. The gospel of salvation is found in any bible out there in print, no matter how contradictory, imperfect, lacking or poorly translated it might be. God can and does reach His people with the truth of the gospel of salvation that is found only in our Lord Jesus Christ, even using the multitude of conflicting and ever changing modern versions, that nobody believes or defends as being the complete and infallible words of God. Salvation is not limited to only those who use and believe the King James Bible is the true words of God.
NOBODY who uses and promotes any of these modern versions like the NASB, ESV, NIV, NKJV, NET or Holman Standard believes that any of them are the inspired and 100% historically true words of God. That is the crucial and fundamental difference between the Bible believers and the bible agnostics who do not know for sure what God may or may not have said in His Book.
We can also ask our modern version proponents "WHICH NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV or Nestle-Aland critical Greek text is the true words of God?" All of these have undergone several "revisions" over the years and yet you still call them "the" NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV and "the" Greek.
The NKJV came out with the New Testament in 1979, then in 1980 and 1982 different versions were published, and they kept on changing the text. The NASBs came out in 1960, 62, 63, 68, 71, 72, 73, 75, 1977 and the last revision was made in 1995. They are all different from each other in their texts. The NIV N.T. came out in 1973 again in 1974, then we have the 1978 edition, the 1984 and now the 2011 editions, and they are all different both textually and in translation from the others. The ESV has already undergone three different editions in just 10 years. We have the 2001 ESV, the ESV 2007 and the latest 2011 edition, and they all likewise keep changing the underlying texts as well as their English wording. And as for "the" Greek text behind most of these versions, they are now in the 28th edition in about 100 years time and they are already working on the 29th edition, and they keep changing their text. So which of these is James White's true Bible?
So, let’s take a closer look at what James White has to say in his book about the “revisions” of the King James Bible and what he has to offer us in its place.
James begins discussing what he calls “The Revisions of the KJV” on page 78 of his book. He starts off by telling us: “The KJV that is carried by the average KJV advocate today looks very different than the edition that came off the press of Robert Barker in 1611. Not only do many printings of the KJV today lack the marginal notes and references, but the form of the text, and the wording of the text, has undergone change over time. Editions with changes in the text came out as soon as 1612, another in 1613, followed by editions in 1616, 1629, and 1638...Most modern KJVs follow the revision made by Benjamin Blayney in 1769. Jack Lewis notes that Blayney “did extensive revision”...
He continues: “Does the modern edition of the KJV differ significantly from the 1611? That depends upon how one defines the term “significantly.” For the general audience who are seeking merely to understand the textual tradition of the KJV, no, most of the revisions have dealt with small matters of spelling, punctuation, etc. But for those who assert the absolute inerrancy of the KJV the question looms large: Which KJV?”
Mr. White then gives us a few examples of these “textual changes”, which I will address in a moment, and then he closes this section by saying: “How can one determine the “right” reading, when the KJV is made the absolute standard? Of course, the non-KJV Only believer has recourse to Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. But once a person has invested the English translation with inspiration itself, that route is no longer a consistent option.”
Mr. White has a similar conclusion on page 81 where he says: “So how can we determine the correct reading? The person who does not make the KJV the absolute authority in all things has an easy answer: look at the Hebrew text and find out. But the KJV Only believer cannot do this without betraying his position. If we have to refer to the original languages here, then we would need to do the same thing in other places where the KJV is shown to be wanting, such as Acts 5:30 or Titus 2:13. Plainly, if we make the KJV the starting point (and this is exactly what radical KJV Onlyism does), there is simply no way of determining the correct text of Jeremiah 34:16. Thankfully we are not limited to the KJV as our only source of information. The Hebrew is plural here.”
[Note: James White is completely wrong when he says that Acts 5:30 and Titus 2:13 are “wanting”. They are both right. See Acts 5:30 here - http://brandplucked.webs.com/acts530slewhanged1920.htm
And Titus 2:13 here - http://brandplucked.webs.com/deityofchrist3verses.htm
James White is a very smooth talker and very tricky in the way he words things to give the impression he wishes you to have of him and his views. He piously tells us that the non King James Bible believer has “recourse to Greek and Hebrew manuscripts” and later on refers to “the Hebrew”. He seems to want you to think he actually has a real Bible “in the original languages” that he believes is the inerrant Standard of God’s inspired words. Yet it is as obvious as the noon day sun to those of us who have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the textual issues involved in the Bible version debate that James White and those like him have NO specific Hebrew and much less any Greek text that they believe are the complete and infallible words of God.
James will never tell you where you can find a complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible in ANY language, including his alluded to Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. He has no such Book and he knows it, but he apparently wants you to think that he does, or at least that he can piece one together if called upon to do so. His real “Absolute Standard” and “inerrant Bible” is a phantom, a vapor and a mist of nebulous, undefined and ever changing personal preferences and opinions.
The modern versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV he recommends to replace the King James Holy Bible are in fact the new “Catholic” bibles put together by the Catholic/Evangelical Combine to produce an “interconfessional” common text bible that rejects scores of Hebrew readings, which all modern version promoters think have been either corrupted or lost, and they are based on an ever changing eclectic Greek text that both modern day Evangelicals and Catholics can agree upon that omits literally thousands of words from the New Testaments of all Reformation Bibles.
Can I prove these allegations about the modern versions like the NIV, NASB, ESV, NET and Holman Standard being the "new" Catholic bibles? Absolutely. See my article Undeniable Proof that the NIV, NASB, ESV are today’s new Catholic bibles -
In part One you will also find the links where we show many examples of where these modern versions often reject the Hebrew manuscripts James White makes reference to.
And here is part Two with numerous, concrete textual examples of how the modern, “united” UBS critical Greek text Catholic and Evangelical scholars are coming out with a common text that nobody seriously believes is the infallible words of God -
Now, let’s take a look at the examples of the so called “Revisions of the KJV” that James White mentions in his book.
First of all, the King James Bible has NEVER been “revised”. By this we simply mean that the King James Bible’s underlying Hebrew and Greek texts have never changed in over 400 years. When the bible agnostics speak of the alleged “thousands of changes” in the various editions or printings of the King James Bible, what has really changed is the type font from Gothic print to the Roman type, the spelling of many words like sinne to sin, and doore to door, Goe to go and hee to he. The spelling has been modernized, but the text itself has never changed.
The examples James White brings up in his book are nothing more than minor and easily explained printing errors that have occurred over the course of 400 years of printing history.
Even the American Bible Society, no friend to the King James Bible, had this to say about the "revisions" of the King James Bible. The American Bible Society wrote, "The English Bible, as left by the translators (of 1611), has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text." They further stated, "With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by the progress of orthography in the English language, the text of our present Bibles remains unchanged, and without variation from the original copy as left by the translators" (Committee on Versions to the Board of Managers, American Bible Society, 1852).
See my article called “The Printing Error Ploy” -
In my opinion James White creates a false standard by either saying or implying that we King James Bible believers are not allowed to have “recourse to the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts”, which, by the way, he will never identify for you.
The King James Bible English translation obviously did come from very specific Hebrew and Greek texts. We do not deny this at all. As a King James Bible believer I frequently consult the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie this magnificent English translation called the King James Holy Bible. But I never try to use these same specific Hebrew and Greek texts to “correct” or change or alter in any way what is written in the King James Bible I have in my possession and read every day.
We King James Bible believers maintain that not only did the Sovereign God of the Universe lead and guide the King James Bible translators to the correct and SPECIFIC inspired Hebrew and Greek texts (after all - only He knows for sure what He inspired among all the thousands of variant readings) but that He also guided them to put INTO THE ENGLISH TEXT ITSELF exactly what meanings He wants to be there in the English language.
The examples James White comes up with in his book are nothing more than minor printing errors that were soon caught and corrected. Even Mr. White himself explains: “Of course, the process of printing such a large and cumbersome work created printer’s errors as well. Even today we find such things in our computer type-set Bibles, so it is easy to understand how mistakes could creep into the text of the Bible, printed as it was in a much more laborious and difficult manner.” (pages 77-78)
Indeed, the printing process was very cumbersome and extremely difficult. They had to set the individual letters one letter at a time, upside down and backwards and it would have been very easy for a tired and harried printer to easily overlook or confuse a few letters or words as he went about placing the hand written text into the printed format.
A bit later James states: “For most people the changes are both minor and essentially trivial, for no one would seriously consider the idea that a printer’s error, or even a difference in the final printed editions that ends up being copied by other publishing companies, is truly relevant to the Word of God.” (page 79)
Well, I agree with him in these statements he makes about the printing errors.
The King James Bible believer has something the modern versionists do not have. They themselves do not believe that any Bible in any language IS or ever was the complete and infallible words of God. On the other hand, we do, and we have a “double check system” they do not have because their Hebrew and Greek texts are constantly changing and they often reject the Hebrew readings.
We King James Bible believers have BOTH the underlying, specific Hebrew and Greek texts that have never changed to consult AND the God given English text that we believe and read every day. If we find what might be a printing error in the English text, all we have to do is take a look at the Hebrew or Greek texts that form the underlying basis of our English translation. This is what has traditionally been done with the King James Bible. No Bible in history has been so minutely examined, compared and cared for so as to maintain its purity and precision as the King James Bible.
The examples James brings up on page 79 of his book are the following. After asking “Which KJV?” he lists Deuteronomy 26:1 where “the LORD” was changed to “the LORD thy God”. This easily explained printing error was found and corrected in 1629.
In Joshua 13:29 “Manasseh” was changed to “the children of Manasseh”. This printing error was found and corrected in 1638.
In Psalm 69:32 “seek good” was changed to “seek God”. This easily explained printing error of just one letter was caught and changed to the correct reading of “seek God” in 1617 merely by comparing the Hebrew text and the previous English bibles.
In Jeremiah 49:1 a similar thing occurred when “inherit God” was caught and corrected in 1616 to correctly read “inherit Gad”.
In Mark 10:18 “there is no man good, but one” was changed in 1638 to “there is none good but one”, and in 1616 the “approved unto death” was caught and corrected to “appointed unto death” in 1 Corinthians 4:9 as it had read in Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew’s Bible, Bishops’ bible and the Geneva Bible.
The one that seems highly important to the bible agnostic crowd is found in 1 John 5:12 where the original printing in 1611 accidentally omitted the words “of God” and read: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” This minor error did not change the meaning of the verse at all, and was caught and changed to “he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” in 1629. How did they discover this minor printing error? (They are ALL minor) They merely consulted the underlying, specific Greek texts that form part of our inspired and infallible Bible and then made the necessary correction to the English text. This correction was made in 1629.
It is important to note that none of these King James Bibles with their minor, past printing errors are around today and nobody uses them. If you ever find one that has one of these past printing errors in them, they would be worth thousands upon thousands of dollars and of interest only to rare book collectors.
You can find out for yourself about the correction of these minor printing errors by picking up a copy of ‘The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611) It’s Subsequent Reprints And Modern Representatives” by F.H.A. Scrivener, Cambridge: at the University Press 1884. You can purchase a copy from the Bible For Today at www.BibleForToday.org Telephone 856-854-4452. Notice they are called “Reprints” NOT “Revisions”!
These previous minor printing errors have been found and corrected over the years, most within the first 25 to 30 years of the first printing of the Holy Bible in 1611. James White mentions a couple that still exist between the Oxford editions and the Cambridge editions. We will take a closer look at these two examples, both of extremely minor importance to the overall issue of an inspired and infallible Bible.
James mentions Ruth 3:15 where the 1611 printing said “and HE went into the city” (speaking of Boaz) whereas the present Cambridge printing says “and SHE went into the city” (speaking of Ruth).
Ruth 3:15. The Cambridge edition, which I use, says: "Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and SHE went into the city."
There was a discrepancy between the edition published in 1611 and the one published in 1613. The verse in question was Ruth 3:15. In the 1611 edition, it read, “HE went into the city,” referring to Boaz. In the 1613 edition, it read, “SHE went into the city,” referring to Ruth. These two editions became known as “the Great He Bible” and “the Great She Bible,” respectively.
This printing error was soon discovered and changed back to the reading of "she" went into the city.
There still continue to be differences among the many versions even in Ruth 3:15. Those versions that read: "And HE went into the city" are the NIV 1984 and 2011 editions, Revised Version 1885, American Standard Version 1901, Darby 1890, Young's, the Jewish 1917 translation, the 1998 Complete Jewish Bible translation, the World English Bible, New Century Version 1991, New Living Translation, the New Revised Standard Version 1989, and the 2005 TNIV (Today's NIV).
The versions that read: "And SHE went into the city" are the KJB, NKJV, NASB, Revised Standard Version, Coverdale, Bishop's, Douay, Bible in Basic English, Geneva bible, 1936 Jewish translation, Holman Standard, New English Bible 1970, Douay 1950, New Jerusalem Bible 1985, and the 2001 English Standard Version. Notice in the case of the RSV, NRSV, and ESV, each of which is a revision of the other, that the RSV went with "he", then the NRSV read "she", and the latest ESV has now gone back to "he" again.
We even get conflicting footnotes in some of these versions. The NKJV which reads SHE, just as the KJB and NASB, has a footnote which says: "Masoretic text reads HE; some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, and Vulgate read SHE. But the NASB footnote reads “many manuscripts read “she”, Masoretic text has “he”.
However the NIV, NRSV, both of which still say HE, have footnotes telling us: "Most Hebrew manuscripts read HE, but many Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac read SHE." So, the multitude of modern versions continue to disagree among themselves in their textual reading.
In neither example is the meaning of the English text changed. In Ruth 3:15 there are Hebrew texts that read “he” and others that read “she”. In either case, both Boaz and Ruth ended up going into the city.
The other example James White brings up in his book on page 80 is Jeremiah 34:16. He has a chart which shows the Cambridge edition reading “whom YE had set at liberty” while the Oxford edition says: “whom HE had set at liberty”. He says he consulted with James Price (another bible agnostic) who was largely responsible for the NKJV translation and the Hebrew word is plural and so it should be “ye” or “you” and not “he”, as the NKJV has it.
Jeremiah 34:16 "But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom YE had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection..."
The original 1611 said "YE" as does the Cambridge edition today, but the Oxford KJB edition says "whom HE had set at liberty".
Other Bible Versions in Jeremiah 34:16 - "whom YE (or YOU) had set at liberty" - Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’s Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the ASV, RV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, the 1917 Jewish translation put out by Jewish Publication Society, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.
However other versions say "whom HE had set at liberty" - including the NKJV, Youngs, 1936 Jewish translation put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York, and Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac. The NIV Spanish translation has made it a singular instead of the Hebrew plural as found in the NIV English translation. The Spanish Reina Valera's read as does the KJB with "que habíais liberado" (whom ye had set at liberty) but the NIV Nueva Versión Internacional has made it a singular with "que había liberado." (whom he had set at liberty).
As for Jeremiah 34:16 the plural “ye” is the more correct Hebrew reading, but even if we go with “he” the basic meaning of the passage is still not changed at all. The “he” would be just each individual member of the group referred to collectively as “ye”. If those who strain at gnats and swallow the camel of the bogus modern day Bible Babble Buffet versions that reject the Hebrew readings in scores of places, add hundreds of words from the so called Greek Septuagint, continue to change the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts as well as their English translations from one edition to the next, and are based on the wrong, corrupted Catholic Greek texts in their the New Testaments that omit anywhere from 17 to 45 entire verses plus another couple thousand words on top of that, then let them choke on their camel of unbelief in the infallibility of the Bible. They will never be satisfied until you go along with them in their unbelief in an inspired and inerrant Bible.
By the way, this alleged printing error found in Matthew 23:24 of “strain AT a gnat” is NOT a printing error at all. Here is why:
Conclusion - Which King James Bible?
The King James Bible believer, when asked by others where we can get God’s complete, inspired and 100% historically true words of God can confidently say that God’s pure words of truth are found in any King James Bible you can buy in the stores today. If you are still hung up on the "ye" or "he" thingy in Jeremiah 34:16, then go with the Cambridge printings of the King James Holy Bible. There, we have answered your question, Mr. White. Satisfied? No? I didn't think you would be.
Bible agnostics like James White will never submit to the final authority of God's written words as found in the King James Holy Bible. They prefer to be their own final authority (and none of them agrees 100% of the time with anybody else on the matter either). It's pretty heady stuff when you get to have the "final say" (though subject to change at a moment's notice) about what God really said. They like it this way. It is like a drug to them. Easy to get into; very hard to get out of it.
Men like James White SAY they believe The Bible IS the inerrant words of God, but when you back them into a corner to tell us exactly where we can get this infallible Book they profess to believe in, they have nothing to give us. I have personally asked James White where we can get a copy of the "infallible Bible" he SAYS he believes in. He immediately tried to change the subject. It is one thing to say you don't believe that any translation or any complete Bible text is the infallible words of God, and more and more Christians are doing this now. It is unbelief but at least it is honest unbelief. But to SAY you believe the Bible is the infallible words of God when in fact you have no infallible Bible to give to anyone and you know you don't, this is dishonest and is in fact a bald faced lie. James White is a proven liar.
If you want to get a copy of God's complete, inspired and inerrant words, simply get a Cambridge printing of the King James Bible. You can also get one at either of these two publishing houses.
All of grace, believing The Book and kept by the power of God through faith,
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Well done movie-documentary on The King James Bible - the Book that Changed the World.