Book Review: The Unbound Scriptures - Part 1 - Part 5 [of 17 Parts]
Part One - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris
Part Two - Those Dreadful Archaic Words
Part Three - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible
Part Four - Revision
Part Five - Printign Errers and Spellin
Next Set, Parts 6 through 12
Part One - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris
James D. Price Ph.D, one of the NKJV translators, writes the Foreward to Rick Norris' book called The Unbound Scriptures. In this preface Mr. Price sums up the conclusions of Mr. Norris saying: "Norris demonstrates that the doctrine of inerrancy can be successfully applied ONLY to THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS, but not to any translation, including the KJV." [Caps are mine throughout]
He also says: "Norris shows that the doctrine of preservation can be applied properly ONLY to the text of THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS, and that the application of this doctrine to subsequent copies or translations is not a historic Baptist doctrine."
Mr. Price is correct in his analysis of Mr. Norris' conclusions. It is ironic to see Mr. Norris use "logic" when he attempts to refute the King James only position. Mr. Norris says: "A conclusion can only be considered valid and true when the premises on which it is based are true....One false assumption or fallacious link can break a chain of evidence and render the whole argument a failure."
Norris' book is full of his references to "the inspired, inerrant original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures". He starts off his first chapter affirming "THE Bible IS the inspired word of God" - he doesn't say The Bible WAS the inspired word of God - yet he never identifies for us what this Bible IS nor WHERE we can find these ORIGINAL Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Norris' true Scriptures are so "unbound" they are not even found for sure in a loose leaf notebook nor in hundreds of scraps of "original language" manuscripts. A far more accurate name for Norris' book would be "The UNFOUND Scriptures". He doesn't know where they are and, of course, he can't tell you either.
Mr. Norris is very big on logic. He says: "The questions involved in this disagreement are not about what God can possibly do but are about what God has actually done. Only an open examination of the evidence can settle this issue. The validity of any claim or argument concerning this or any disagreement must be settled by the use of logical means." He goes into great detail explaining how we need logic to arrive at sound conclusions concerning the Bible version issue, yet it is blatantly obvious to me that Mr. Norris' logic has failed him miserably in arriving at his conclusions. He has built his entire argument upon a false assumption.
Mr. Norris concludes his first chapter saying: "God's preserved Word in THE ORIGINAL languages MUST BE THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY and Standard of truth for evaluating and validating all translations."
Mr. Norris has neglected to inform us of the fact that no such animal as "the original Hebrew and Greek" exists on this planet, and he knows it doesn't exist, yet this is the foundation of his anti-King James Only position.
THERE ARE NO ORIGINALS, and there is widespread and profound differences of opinion as to what they might have said, as is amply witnessed by the multitude of conflicting bible versions so prevalent today. The Bible consists of 66 books, and never has there been such a Book composed only of "the originals" all placed together in one book to form the Bible.
Mr. Norris makes abundant use of quotes from past theologians in an effort to prop up his "historical view" of inspiration and preservation. Here is one of many typical quotes which sounds good on the surface, but in fact says nothing of actual substance. He quotes Francis Turretin (1623-1687) who says: "Our teaching is that ONLY the Hebrew of the O.T. and the Greek of the New have been and ARE authentic in the sense that all controversies concerning faith and religion, and all versions, are to be tested and examined by them."
Well, this would be very nice indeed, if such a thing as THE Hebrew and THE Greek existed, but they don't, and everybody knows it. How then can we consult something that doesn't exist and use them to "test and examine all versions"?
It doesn't matter how many godly men of old said "only the originals are the standard". They were posturing a textual position that does not exist, and they knew it didn't exist when they said it! And Mr. Norris has the nerve to accuse the King James Bible believer of holding a false premise on which he bases his conclusions!
Regarding the practical outworking of the doctrine of the preservation of God's words, the modern version proponents either believe the true words of God are "out there somewhere" in all the variant manuscripts but we are not sure which ones they are; or they reduce "preservation" to the idea that the general, overall message is in all "reliable translations", though the particular words and numbers, many whole verses and the meaning of much of Scripture remains uncertain or even lost. Neither view really means that "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" has actually been divinely preserved through history to the present day.
Instead of "heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:36), the modern versionist really thinks along the lines of "heaven and earth shall pass away, but most of the general sense of what I said won't pass away."
Here are some quotes from several textual critics you won't find in Norris' book. These men prepared the way for and later adopted the textual theories of Westcott and Hort, whose Greek text forms the basis of most modern New Testament versions, as the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV, ISV.
As early is 1771 Griesbach wrote, "The New Testament abounds in more losses, additions, and interpolations, purposely introduced then any other book."
In 1908 Rendel Harris declared that the New Testament text had not at all been settled but was "more than ever, and perhaps finally, unsettled." Two years later Conybeare gave it as his opinion that "the ultimate (New Testament) text, if there ever was one that deserves to be so called, is for ever irrecoverable."
In 1941 Kirsopp Lake, after a life time spent in the study of the New Testament text, delivered the following judgment: "In spite of the claims of Westcott and Hort and of von Soden, we do not know the original form of the Gospels, and it is quite likely that we never shall."
In 1960 H. Greeven also has acknowledged the uncertainty of the neutral method of New Testament textual criticism - "In general, the whole thing is limited to probability judgments; the original text of the New Testament, according to its nature, must be and remains a hypothesis."
In 1963 R. M. Grant adopts a still more despairing attitude - "The primary goal of New Testament textual study remains the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that to achieve this goal is well-nigh impossible."
In contrast to the modern scholar's affirmation that the Standard or final authority is "the Bible AS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN", here are a couple examples of confessions of faith from the past. Notice there is no mention of "the originals only".
In 1678 the General Baptists of England published the Orthodox Creed. It says: "And by the holy Scriptures we understand the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, AS THEY ARE NOW TRANSLATED INTO OUR ENGLISH MOTHER TONGUE, of which there hath never been any doubt of their verity and authority in the protestant churches of Christ to this day." What Bible do you suppose these people were using in 1678?
Observe this personal confession of faith by a man named Mr. Kinney (no known relation) and the date when he wrote it. LeBaron W. Kinney wrote in 1942, "When a Bible teacher refers to the original languages of the Bible, there is a danger of giving a wrong impression about the authority and true value of the standard King James Version. Too many are ready to say that they have a better rendering, and often in such a way as to give an impression that the King James Version is faulty, or that other versions are much better. We believe that God overruled His gift of the King James Version of 1611, so that we have in it the very Word of God. We believe that no other English Version will ever take its place. Every one of the various English versions claims to be nearer the original than the others. This could not be true of more than one of them." (Hebrew Word Studies, Acres of Rubies" page 9, published by Loizeaux Brothers).
Examples of Norris' "logic" are found throughout his book. On page 11 he takes up the argument of a KJB believer. He says:"KJV-only advocate Ralph Yarnell claimed: "If the Holy Spirit was in the translation, then it is an inerrant translation, for the Holy Spirt would not be a party to anything less". Mr. Norris then responds: "If this claim were true, would it not also mean that believers must be 100% perfect, infallible, and sinless since the Holy Spirit is in them?"
What Norris misses here is the fact that the Bible itself claims to be the perfect, inspired word of God, whereas the same Bible tells us that believers are not perfect or sinless now, but one day shall be. This is an example of the logic Mr. Norris employs to build his case.
Commenting on a KJB believer who says the AV of 1611 is the standard by which all translations are judged, Mr. Norris says: "In contrast to the claims of KJV advocates, God's Word does not teach that God infallibly guided the KJV translators to restore perfectly the original text from a number of slightly imperfect printed editions of the Greek New Testament. Should the authority of God's Word in Hebrew and Greek be dethroned and replaced by the finite renderings of the uninspired KJV translators?"
Mr. Norris' "logic" has once again failed him here. He speaks of the authority of the Hebrew and Greek, yet does not identify WHICH GREEK and which Hebrew he is talking about. There are easily 25 to 30 very different Greek texts in print, and thousands of manuscripts which differ from each other. The NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV and most modern versions are based on a very different Greek text than those of Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishop's, the Geneva Bible, the King James Holy Bible and the NKJV. It omits some 3000 words in the New Testament alone and even these modern versions do not always follow the same Greek texts among themselves.
A very well done and easy to follow chart showing just SOME of the textual differences between the King James Bible and versions like the NIV, NASB is found here. These are not "minor differences". The equivalent number of words from the combined epistles of First and Second Peter have been omitted in most modern versions.
As for the NASB, NIV, and the ESV, they each reject ALL Hebrew texts in scores of places, thinking they have been corrupted, and often do not even agree with each other on which parts of the Hebrew text they think contain "scribal errors" or where they believe the text is incomplete and must be suplimented from some other source like the Syriac, Septuagint, or the Latin.
For factual documentation of where the NIV, NASB, and ESV depart from the Hebrew texts, and thus would be disqualified as legitimate Bible versions even by Mr. Norris's standards, see my articles on the NASB, NIV http://brandplucked.webs.com/nivnasbrejecthebrew.htm
And for the ESV, the 2001 English Standard Version now being used by many evangelical churches, which departs from the Hebrew texts much more than even the NIV, NASB see
It is true that God's word does not mention the King James Bible - But neither does it mention the NASB, NIV, or ESV. God does promise to preserve His words somewhere on this earth till heaven and earth pass away. Mr. Norris tries to give the impression that he knows what they are, but he NEVER ONCE tells us exactly WHERE we can find them.
Mr. Norris goes into great detail explaining how the KJB translators used a variety of Greek texts, manuscripts and other versions to put together the finished product, explaining for us that no two manuscripts are exactly the same and the KJB does not match any of them 100%.
However it should be noted that today's scholars go through the same sifting process in an attempt to restore what they think are the words of God and no manuscript reads the way the NASB, NIV, or ESV do either. Mr. Norris seems to dismiss the possibility that God has kept His promises to preserve His words and done so by guiding a group of men to put together a perfect Bible in the form of a translation. Only God knows for sure which readings are His and only He can guide men to put them in His Book.
The King James Bible believer puts his faith in Almighty God to fulfill His promises; not in any group of fallible and imperfect men, not in the King James translators, and certainly not in men like Westcott and Hort, Bruce Metzger, or cardinal Carlos Martini.
In Mr. Norris' view, only the originals are inerrant and inspired. Mr. Norris has never seen the originals nor has anyone else, mainly because they turned to dust a couple thousand years ago. Norris tells us that no translation can be the inspired word of God and they all are imperfect and limited. Yet throughout his book he says the non-existent "originals" are the Standard by which all versions are to be judged. The only logical conclusion we can then draw from his premise is that there is no inerrant, infallible, inspired Bible anywhere on this earth. Even though Mr. Norris continually speaks of "the inspired original Hebrew and Greek autographs" as the Final Standard, I challenge him to tell us where these can be found.
It is extremely important that from the outset we clearly see where Mr. Norris is coming from in his premise. He and others like him who criticize the Authorized Version have no objective, absolute, infallible Standard by which they sit in judgment on the King James Bible.
The Premise of the King James Bible Believer
In contrast to Mr. Norris' Final Standard premise, which is the non-existent "originals" and a mystical bible that exist only in his own mind, the King James Bible believer relies on the promises of God to preserve His infallible words.
Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
Psalm 12:6-7: "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Psalm 138:2: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy Truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalm 100:5: "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalm 33:11: "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."
Psalm 119:152, 160: "Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. ... Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Isaiah 59:21: "... My Spirit that is upon thee [Isaiah], and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."
Matthew 5:17-18: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
1 Peter 1:23-25: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever... But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
John 10:35: "... the Scripture cannot be broken."
God never promised to give every nation or individual a perfect Bible. I know God uses imperfect men and imperfect bible versions to bring people to Christ. The gospel is found in any version out there - this is not the issue. The issue is Did God keep His promises to preserve His complete, inerrant, pure and perfect words somewhere on this earth till the heavens pass away? I believe He did.
"He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 147:19-20.
Part Two - Those Dreadful Archaic Words
In chapter Two of Rick Norris' book, The Unbound Scriptures, he takes up the issue of archaic words. Mr. Norris says: "Nothing does more dishonor to God's Word than to leave it in the condition where there is a necessity for the ordinary preacher to update its archaic words, clarify some renderings, or correct its errors, whether errors of printing or of translation."
Mr. Norris asks: "How are differences in explaining the meaning of archaic words different from having an updated translation with the correct updated meaning of the archaic words?"
Mr. Norris overstates his case just a tad when he says: "Words used with quite different meaning from what they once possessed are like hidden rocks which give no notice of their presence but on which a boat is more likely to be shipwrecked than on rocks that can be seen above the water."
"When KJV-only advocates complain about claimed archaic words remaining in modern translations, in effect they are also condemning the greater number of archaic words in the KJV."
First of all, when Mr. Norris says "nothing dishonors God's word more than having to update or explain archaic words", I strongly disagree with his assessment. If I am to choose between an older version that occasionally uses archaic or difficult words yet is in fact the true, preserved, inerrant, and doctrinally sound words of God, and a more modern version that may be easier to understand but which omits thousands of God inspired words, waters down or perverts sound doctrine and changes the meaning of what God has said, then the choice is a clear and easy one to make.
Mr. Norris is being more than a little inconsistent in applying his standards. On the one hand he tells us ONLY the original Hebrew and Greek are the final authority for evaluating all translations. Yet the Hebrew and Greek languages are both far more difficult and archaic than anything you will find in the King James Bible.
Then he recommends we use a more modern bible version, without ever identifying WHICH Bible version he personally thinks is more accurate and true to "the originals".
I myself have not always been a King James Bible only believer. Several years ago I was presented with the claims of King James Onlyism and I began to examine what I really believed about the Bible. As I studied, prayed and compared the various versions out there, it soon became obvious that they are not all the same and that I can easily find proveable errors in them all except one - the King James Bible.
God has clearly set His providential mark of approval on the English Bible in the way He has used it throughout history. I believe in the sovereignty of God. It was the King James Bible and its underlying texts that was used from the late 1700's to the mid 1900's to carry out the worldwide missionary movement and to translate the Bible into hundreds of foreign languages.
It was the King James Bible that was used of God in every legitimate revival among English speaking people, including the First and Second Great Awakenings in both England and America. The King James Bible was the one taken to the moon and read from outer space - just a "coincidence".
It is the King James Bible that is defended as the only true, inerrant, complete word of God by many believing Christians not only in America, but also in England, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the Phillipines. None of the modern versionists seriously defend their versions as being the inerrant word of God.
It is the King James Bible that has been mercilessly attacked by its critics and yet after all this time not one single error has been proven to exist within its pages. Believe me, I have heard most of the allegations of error in the King James Bible and upon further examination they are found to be groundless.
The King James Bible has become the Standard for all other English translations. Tyndale's New Testament did not follow the same book order as is found in the KJB, and the Geneva Bible, which was the first English Bible to have chapter and verse numbering, did not match the King James Bible's verse numbers. Yet now every English bible version follows the chapter and verse numbers of the KJB, and even when versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, ISV omit whole verses, they simply "skip over" the numbered verse.
Of far greater dishonor to God's pure words is the perversion of sound doctrines and the subtle attacks on the character and deity of Christ found in ALL modern versions.
Various modern versions teach that God can be deceived; Jesus lied; Christ has an "origin"; there was a time when Christ was not the Son of God; Christ needed a sacrifice to atone for His sins when he was a baby; Satan is the ruler of this world; and our righteousness is our "good deeds".
For several examples of how modern versions detract from the Person of Christ and undermine sound doctrine see my article titled No Doctrines are Changed? at this site.
It seems that Mr. Norris cares little about what the various bible versions actually SAY, and which texts they are based on, just so long as they are "easy to understand".
Mr. Norris is mistaken when he says King James Bible believers "complain" about archaic words in the modern versions and thus condemn those that are found in the KJB. Rather we try to point out the inconsistency of those who attack the KJB for words hard to be understood when most modern versions contain many words that the typical high schooler would not know how to define.
Try giving this vocabulary test from the NIV to the average English speaker and see if they would get a passing score.
NIV Vocabulary Test
abashed, abominable, abutted, acclaim, adder, adhere, admonishing, advocate, alcove, algum, allocate, allots, ally, aloes, appease, ardent, armlets, arrayed, astir, atonement, awl, banishment, battlements, behemoth, belial, bereaves, betrothed, bier, blighted, booty, brayed, breaching, breakers, buffeted, burnished, calamus, capital (not a city), carnelian, carrion, centurions, chasm, chronic, chrysolite, cistern, citadel, citron, clefts, cohorts, colonnades, complacency, coney, concession, congealed, conjure, contrite, convocations, crest, cors, curds, dandled, dappled, debauchery, decimated, deluged, denarii, depose, derides, despoil, dire,dispossess, disrepute, dissipation, distill, dissuade, divination, dragnet, dropsy, duplicity, earthenware, ebony, emasculate, emission, encroach, enmity, enthralled, entreaty, ephod, epicurean, ewe, excrement, exodus, factions, felled, festal, fettered, figurehead, filigree, flagstaff, fomenting, forded, fowler, gadfly, galled, gird, gauntness, gecko, gloating, goiim, harrowing, haunt, hearld, henna, homers, hoopoe, ignoble, impaled, implore, incur, indignant, insatiable, insolence, intact, invoked, jambs, joists, jowls, lairs, lamentation, leviathan, libations, loins, magi, manifold, maritime, mattocks, maxims, mina, misdemeanor, mother-of-pearl, mustering, myrtles, naive, naught, Negev, Nephilim, nettles, nocturnal, nomad, notorious, Nubians, oblivion, obsolete, odious, offal, omer, oracles, overweening, parapet, parchments, pavilion, peals (noun, not the verb), perjurers, perpetuate, pestilence, pinions, phylacteries, plumage, pomp, porphyry, portent, potsherd, proconsul, propriety, poultice, Praetorium, pretext, profligate, promiscuity, provincial, providence, qualm, quarries, quivers (noun, not verb), ramparts, ransacked, ratified, ravish, rabble, rawboned, relish (not for hotdogs), recoils, recount, refrain, relent, rend, reposes, reprimanded, reputed, retinue, retorted, retribution, rifts, roebucks, rue, sachet, satraps, sated, shipwrights, siegeworks, sinews, sistrums, sledges, smelted, somber, soothsayer, sovereignty, spelt, stadia, stench, stipulation, sullen, tamarisk, tanner, temperate, tether, tetrarch, terebinth, thresher, throes, thronged, tiaras, tinder, tracts, transcends, tresses, turbulent, tyrannical, unscathed, unrelenting, usury, vassal, vaunts, vehemently, verdant, vexed, wadi, wanton, warranted, wield, winnowing and wrenched.
It is funny that I can put together the phrase from the KJB which says; "The very sad green giant was hungry" and in the NIV it would be: "The overweening dejected verdant Nephilim was famished."
So you see, the modern versions also have many words that are hard to be understood and Mr. Norris' "logic" has again been shown to be fallacious.
Many people clamor for updating the language of the King James Bible, and I will admit there are a few words that do need to be explained and that could be modernized, such as "conversation" when it means "manner of living" and "let" when it means "to hinder", and possibly "prevent" when it means "to go before or to precede", but who is going to do it and not mess with other things that make it worse?
The NKJV and several other modern versions have "modernized" these few words but in addition they have messed up scores if not hundreds of other passages. For some examples of this see my article on The Old Fashioned Language of the King James Bible
Is Archaic language always bad? What about all those "Ye"s, and "Thee"s? Would you change all those words like "ye, thee, thine, and thy"? Do you know the difference in meaning and why they are actually more accurate than the modernized, generic "you" as found in the NKJV, NIV, ESV?
Most languages have a singular and a plural form of the second person - the person being spoken to - "you". There is the singular "you" and then there is the plural, like "you all". This is found in the Hebrew and Greek languages as well as Spanish, French, Italian and many other world languages.
In English this distinction is expressed by "Thou" meaning "you singular, and you alone" and "Ye" meaning "all of you, plural". This distinction makes a big difference in hundreds of passages in the Bible.
For instance, in Luke 22:31-32 the Lord says to Peter: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have YOU, that he may sift YOU as wheat: But I have prayed for THEE, that THY faith fail not: and when THOU art converted, strengthen THY brethren."
Here the word YOU is plural in both the Greek and the English, meaning Satan was going to sift all of the disciples, "you all", but Jesus is letting Peter know that He had prayed for him (thee) specifically as an individual.
In John chapter four, the Samaritan woman at the well is speaking to Jesus and says: "Sir, I perceive that THOU art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and YE say (all you Jews)that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
Then the Lord says to this individual: "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when YE shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. YE worship Ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews." Here the YE means "all of you who are Samaritans", not just the individual woman to whom He was speaking.
One more of hundreds of such examples that could be given shows this important distinction between "thee" (an individual) and "you" meaning "you all". The young David had gone out to meet Goliath the Philistine and he was speaking to one individual, the giant. David says to him: "THOU comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield, but I come to THEE in the name of the LORD..for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give YOU into our hands." David was not just telling Goliath that God would deliver him up, but ALL of the Philistines - "you all".
A simple rule of thumb is if the word begins with a T, as in thou, thy, thee, then it is singular; and if it begins with a Y, as in you, your, ye, then it is plural, meaning "you all".
The use of "thou" and "ye" may be "archaic" because we don't speak this way today, but it is far more accurate and reflects the Hebrew and the Greek languages that underlie the King James text. In fact, not even in 1611 did they speak this way. Read the preface to the KJB and you will see they did not use the "thee"s and "ye"s as they are found in the Scriptures.
Not only does the King James Bible use "thy" and "thee" and "ye" but so also do the Revised Version, and the American Standard Version 1901, the Douay version 1950, Young's, Darby, the KJV 21st Century version and the Third Millenium Bible.
Even the RSV 1952 and the NASB in 1977 used "thee" and "thou" when addressing God in prayer, though the words "thee" and "thou" are not just used to show reverence for God, but rather express the second person singular of anyone, including the devil himself. The NASB, RSV both say in John 17:2 " thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him." But then in 1995 the NASB changed their texts again and now read the generic "You". So were "thou" and "thee" not archaic in 1977, but then became so in the next few years?
The King James Bible is more precise and accurate with its use of "thou" and "ye", and when you update and modernize these "archaic" words to the generic "you", you do so at the expense of sacrificing an important distinction God has placed in His inspired words.
Part Three - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible
In chapter three of Rick Norris' book, The Unbound Scriptures, he erects a straw man argument regarding what we believe about the men behind the King James Bible translation and attacks the character and beliefs of King James himself.
Mr. Norris asks a series of questions as though he is challenging what we believe, when in fact, no King James Bible believer that I know of believes any of these things. Mr. Norris says: "The KJV-only view seems to grant to the KJV translators an absolute, perfect, infallible knowledge which is in reality attainable only by divine revelation. When the product of the KJV translators is made the final authority, it would make these men who produced it the final authority. Do KJV-only advocates bind themselves to the opinions and interpretations of the finite and fallible KJV translators as their ultimate voice of authority? This dependence on the authority of the fallible KJV translators indicates a serious weakness with the KJV-only view."
Mr. Norris sums up his argument with: "If the Church of England translators of the KJV could be wrong in their doctrines, they could also be wrong in their interpreting and translating of God's Word."
Well, I would "logically conclude" from Mr. Norris' arguments, that if God requires perfect men who are correct in every doctrinal aspect to translate His words and give us a pure Holy Bible, then there would never be one. But that is already Mr. Norris' position, isn't it? He does not believe any Bible is the inspired word of God and his Final Authority -the originals- don't exist.
In fact, if God required perfect and infallible men to give us "the originals" in the first place, then we would never have had the Bible at all.
God used men like Noah (a drunkard Genesis 9:21), Moses (a murderer - Exodus 2:12, and who did not believe God - Numbers 20:12), David (murderer and adulterer), Solomon (murder in heart - 1 Kings 11:40, idolator and apostate 1 Kings 11:4), Peter ( denied Christ - Mark 14:71, and was an hypocrite - Galatians 2:11-13), Paul (who previously killed Christians, and later was about to offer a blood sacrifice to atone for sins after Christ had died and risen - Acts 21:26) and John (who twice worshipped an angel and was told not to, - Revelation 19:10; 22:8). These are the type of people God used to give us His words "in the originals".
Mr. Norris then launches into a series of smear tactics to defame King James himself. He produces a series of quotes from people who never knew the man personally and who refer to such things as "sexual license ruled", "tainted by sexual and financial scandal", "habit of heavy drinking", "profanity", and "all kinds of licentiousness" to describe the goings on at the king's court.
I got the impression from reading this section of Mr. Norris' book that if King James had a dog, Rick would have dug up some historian's quote that his dog was a flea-bitten, mangy bag of bones that trailed slobber down the palace halls, chewed on the furniture, messed on the rugs, and had the nasty habit of indiscriminately humping the legs of visiting dignitaries.
There are two sides to every story, and Stephen Coston Sr. has written a book called King James, Unjustly Accused?. This book gives a different view of the king with testimony from men who actually knew him. We do know that King James was married to the same wife, had 7 or 8 children with her, (most of whom died at childbirth or shortly thereafer, but three lived to adulthood), wrote love letters and poems to his wife, wrote theological discourses, made a personal translation of the Psalms and Revelation knowing Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and professed a personal faith in and a love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
In any event, the man King James had NOTHING TO DO with the Bible translation that now bears his name. The King James Bible was not even called the King James Version until many years later when other versions began to appear on the scene. It was simply called The Holy Bible. The king himself did not translate a single word of our Holy Bible.
A lot of Rick's friends and perhaps Rick himself are professing Calvinists. Could we not then follow the logic of Mr. Norris and bring up all sorts of nasty things about the character and actions of John Calvin and Martin Luther's virulent anti-Semitism, and then conclude that nothing they ever taught or believed could possibly be correct? This would also include such men who held similar views like Spurgeon, John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress), Johnathan Edwards, John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace, and Agustus Toplady who wrote Rock of Ages.
Later on in his book, Mr. Norris seems to reverse himself and says some things that I agree with. On page 171 he states: "The facts about Erasmus, King James, the Church of England translators of the KJV, Dean Burgon, Westcott, Hort, or present day translators are not the essential factor that should determine which translation of God's Word believers should use...Since all men are sinners, it is always possible to find something negative about the person presenting the truth. The imperfections of the person presenting truth does not change the truth presented."
I generally agree with what Mr. Norris says here but I still do not share his opinion about what the Truth of God's word is and how we arrive at this conclusion.
Remember this basic distinction between his views and mine. Mr. Norris says - 1. The Bible IS the inspired word of God. 2. No translation can be inspired. 3. ONLY the originals are the inspired Final Authority.
I therefore conclude from his premise that there is no inspired word of God on this earth today nor has there ever been an inspired Holy Bible consisting of 66 books bound into one volume. By his own definitions, his "inspired Bible" does not exist.
My premise and conclusion - 1. God inspired His words. 2. God promised to preserve them on this earth. 3. God is sovereign and does not lie. 4. We have an inspired Bible today that we can hold in our hands and believe every word. 5. All Bible versions are good to varying degrees, but not all of them are equally the complete, infallible, and pure words of God.
In the remainder of chapter three Mr. Norris criticizes the words "church" saying it should be "congregation", that "baptism" should properly be "immersion" and "charity" should always be "love". Apparently the NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV etc. do not meet Mr. Norris' rigorous standards either, since they also use the words "church" and "baptism".
I will close this section dealing with the word "charity" as found in the King James Bible.
1 Peter 4:8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
Many modern versionists criticize the King James Bible for using the word charity. If they would only consult a dictionary they would see that one of the principal meanings of the word "charity" is "Christian brotherly love".
The word charity expresses Christian love for other Christians. The word charity is never used in the King James Bible to express the love relationship between God and man, a husband and wife, between parents and their children, or between the believer and the nonbeliever. It is always used in reference to the love Christians should have for fellow believers.
Not only does the King James Bible use the word Charity, but so also do Coverdale 1535 - Romans 14:15 "walkest thou not after charite"; Jude 12 "feasts of charite", the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Mace's N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755 "salute ye one another with a kiss of charity" 1 Peter 5:14, Webster's 1833 translation, the Catholic Douay version of 1950, the KJV 21st Century, Green's Modern KJV 1998, and the Third Millenium Bible. It is not an archaic word and it is properly used in these various versions both old and new.
Part Four - Revision
In chapter Four of Mr. Norris' book, The Unbound Scriptures, he addresses an important issue and tries to build his case for what I would call The Uncertain Bible. Mr. Norris raises the question of Revisions of previous English versions and of the King James Bible itself.
Mr. Norris states: "KJV-only advocates imply that believers must not take any view that acknowledges the the KJV needs updating because it will put us on a slippery slope that leads to liberalism. Clearly, there is no logical connection between updating archaic words, correcting any incorrect translation of words, correcting spelling or grammar, AND OTHER TASKS OF PROPER REVISION on the one hand and the completely different evil of corrupting God's Word. The slippery slope fallacy depends on the assumption that all change is bad, leads to evil, and involves a conspiracy to corrupt God's Word...KJV-only advocates often fail to explain precisely what they think consitutes "correcting" or "corrupting" the Bible. Is their evidence for their KJV-only view so weak that they have to tear down all other translations in order to build up the KJV?"
First of all it should be noted that I and many other King James Bible believers would not have a problem with updating certain archaic words ("conversation, prevent, let"), nor of modernizing the spelling of a few words here and there. What we do see as a serious departure from Truth is to change the underlying Hebrew and Greek TEXTS that underlie the King James Bible, and THE MEANING of those texts as found in our English Bible.
We believe that God has Providentially guided the men behind the production of the King James Bible and that the TEXT itself is SETTLED FOR ALL TIME. Call us foolish backwater hicks, but we actually believe God has kept His promises to preserve His inerrant words in a place where we can find them.
What Mr. Norris' view would have us embrace is a variety of very different, unsettled, and constantly changing TEXTS and contrary MEANINGS found in a multitude of conflicting bible versions. The result is uncertainty, doubt, confusion, and a lack of reverence for God's holy words.
As for the slippery slope into liberalism and several clear examples of what we mean by "corruption" I strongly recommend you read my article "What Happens If You are Not King James Bible Only?" -
There you will see how others with whom I discuss this topic view the Bible and some objections they have to the King James Bible. I think you will find it very interesting.
The Bible itself warns of those who corrupt the word of God. "For we are not as MANY, which CORRUPT the word of God" - 2 Corinthians 2:17. "For ye have perverted the words of the living God" - Jeremiah 23:36.
Satan has not ceased his efforts to cast doubt about what God has said. The very first question recorded in Scripture is the devil himself asking: "Yeah, hath God said...? "But when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." - Mark 4:15.
The Bible itself predicts a falling away from the faith in the latter days. "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" - Luke 18:8.
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves (self-esteem?)...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." - 2 Timothy 3:1-7.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy..." - 1 Timothy 4:1.
"Now we beseech you, brethren,...that ye be not soon shaken in mind...as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man decieve you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first..." 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." Amos 8:11-12.
What do some of the men behind these modern versions actually believe about the Bible itself? I'm not talking about their character or their doctrinal stance on "the fundamentals", but what they actually believe about the Scriptures they are forming and translating into the modern versions.
The beliefs of Westcott and Hort have been well documented, so I will only mention in passing that never once did either of these men profess a faith that the Bible was the inspired word of God.
Westcott wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Old Testament criticism, March 4, 1890: "No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history ... I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did" (Westcott, Life of Westcott, II:69).
What about some of the men who are alive today and are responsible for the modern bible versions? Bruce Metzger is one of the chief editors of the Greek text of the United Bible Society, which is the basis for such versions as the NASB, NIV, Holman Christian Standard, and the ESV. What are his views of the Bible itself?
Brother David Cloud, in his book For the Love of the Bible, points out the following about Bruce Metzger, the late chief editor of the Nestle-Aland, UBS critical Greek texts. Bruce Metzger wrote the introductions to each of the books of the Reader's Digest Bible, and questions the authorship, traditional date, and supernatural inspiration of books penned by Moses, Daniel, and Peter. Consider some examples:
Genesis: "Nearly all modern scholars agree that, like the other books of the Pentateuch, [Genesis] is a composite of several sources, embodying traditions that go back in some cases to Moses."
1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus: "Judging by differences in style and vocabulary from Paul's other letters, many modern scholars think that the Pastorals were not written by Paul."
1 Peter: "According to tradition, the apostle Peter wrote the letter from Rome, perhaps after the outbreak of persecution by the emperor Nero in A.D. 64. But this is questioned by some modern scholars, who prefer to date the letter nearer A.D. 100, with authorship unknown"
2 Peter: "Because the author refers to the letters of Paul as 'scripture,' a term apparently not applied to them until long after Paul's death, most modern scholars think that this letter was drawn up in Peter's name sometime between A.D. 100 and 150."
Bruce Metzger co-edited the New Oxford Annotated Bible RSV (1973), with Herbert May. It first appeared in 1962 as the Oxford Annotated Bible and was the first Protestant annotated edition of the Bible to be approved by a Roman authority. Mr. Metzger wrote many of the notes in this volume and put his editorial stamp of approval on the rest. Consider the folowing from the notes to this version:
NOTES ON GENESIS:
"Genesis 2.4b-3.24 ... is a different tradition from that in 1.1-2,4a, as evidenced by the flowing style and the different order of events, e.g. man is created before vegetation, animals, and woman. ... 7:16b: The Lord shut him in, a note from the early tradition, which delights in anthropomorphic touches. 7:18-20: The waters covered all the high mountains, thus threatening a confluence of the upper and lower waters (1.6). Archaeological evidence suggests that traditions of a prehistoric flood covering the whole earth are heightened versions of local inundations, e.g. in the Tigris-Euphrates basin."
NOTES ON JOB:
"The ANCIENT FOLKTALE of a patient Job circulated orally among oriental sages in the second millennium B.C. and was probably written down in Hebrew at the time of David and Solomon or a century later (about 1000-800 B.C.)."
NOTES ON JONAH:
"The book is didactic narrative which has taken older material from the realm of POPULAR LEGEND and put it to a new, more consequential use."
Notes from "How to read the Bible with Understanding":
"The opening chapters of the Old Testament deal with human origins. They ARE NOT TO BE READ AS HISTORY... These chapters are followed by the stories of the patriarchs, though THEY CANNOT BE TREATED AS STRICTLY HISTORICAL. ... it is not for history but for religion that they are preserved ... When we come to the books of Samuel and Kings ... Not all in these books is of the same historical value, and especially in the stories of Elijah and Elisha there are LEGENDARY ELEMENTS ... We should always remember the variety of literary forms found in the Bible, and should read a passage in the light of its own particular literary character. Legend should be read as legend, and poetry as poetry, and NOT WITH A DULL, PROSAIC AND LITERALISTIC MIND."
Gleason "scribal error" Archer is one of the Hebrew scholars who worked on both the NASB and the NIV translations. He reveals a great deal about his own personal beliefs regarding the Bible itself in his book titled Bible Difficulties. This book is highly recommended by Hank Hannegraff.
Mr. Archer's book is full of statements such as these: "the Masoretic text has lost the number that must have been included in the original manuscript." (p.171); "the eye of the Hebrew scribe unfortunately jumped passing over 26 Hebrew words in between, but the LXX supplies us with all the missing words" (p. 40); "a word has been lost in the received Hebrew text. Sometimes this omission occurred before the third century B.C., and so not even the LXX can retrieve it for us" (p. 40); "probably a scribal error"; "in the course of transmission the notation was miscopied. The accurate preservation of statistics is notoriously difficult, and 1 Samuel has more than its share of textual errors." (p.173).
Mr. Archer recommends several "lost readings", including whole verses, that not even the NIV or the NASB adopt, but they are found in the more liberal RSV. All of these versions, the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV depart scores of times from the Hebrew texts and often not even in the same places as the others.
In the Scofield edition of the NIV we read these faith destroying words in a footnote at 1 Chronicles 11:11. "mistakes in numbers sometimes occur. Many disagreements between numbers in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are alleged. Actually, out of the approximately 150 instances of parallel numbers, fewer than one-sixth disagree...God gave us a Bible free from error in the original manuscripts. In its preservation, He providentially kept is from SERIOUS ERROR, although He permitted a few scribal mistakes...Some say that Chronicles has exaggerated numbers so as to enhance the reputation of ancient Israel."
Notice these words from the NEW KJV 1982 on page 1235: "It was the editors' conviction that the use of footnotes would encourage further inquiry by readers. THEY ALSO RECOGNIZED THAT IT WAS EASIER FOR THE AVERAGE READER TO DELETE SOMETHING HE OR SHE FELT WAS NOT PROPERLY A PART OF THE TEXT, than to insert a word or phrase which had been left out by the revisers."
These footnotes in the NKJV generally have to do with the 3000 -5000 words that have been omitted from the New Testament in such versions as the NIV, NASB, ESV. The NKJV editors are of the opinion that THE AVERAGE READER can DELETE something he FEELS is not part of the text.
The actual Greek texts of the modern versionists continues to change from one edition to the next, and the various bible versions themselves often do not agree among themselves. For a factual study of such examples see my articles about the true nature of this so called "science"
I am reminded of the Scripture at the end of the Judges - "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25.
Part 5 - Printign Errers and Spellin
In his book, The Unbound Scriptures, Mr. Norris brings up the issue of the various editions of the King James Bible and shows how they differ from one another. Anyone who has studied the Bible version issue for some time knows that printing errors have been made in the past and some still exist today when we compare the Cambridge King James edition with the Oxford edition.
Among the examples Mr. Norris lists are changes from "LORD" to "Lord"; "seek good" Psalm 69:32 - a clear printing error of one letter quickly changed to the correct "seek God", which is what the Hebrew text says; omitting "Amen" at the end of Ephesians to putting it in again, and examples like one KJB spelling as "enquire" while another spells it "inquire".
Throughout the history of Bible printing there have been some rather humorous examples of printing errors that have occurred. It should also be noted that there have been printing errors, even with today's advanced technology, in the NASB, NKJV, and NIV as well. Here are a few of the printing errors that have occurred in various King James Bible editions.
A 1631 edition became known as the "Wicked Bible" because the seventh commandment read, "thou shalt commit adultery." The printer was fined 300 pounds.
The printer of the "Fool Bible" had to pay 3,000 pounds for this mistake in Psalm 14:1: "The fool hath said in his heart there is a God."
In 1653, there was a misprint in I Corinthians 6:9 that read, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God" and one in Romans 6:13 that read, "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness unto sin." This Bible became known as "the Unrighteous Bible."
In 1716, the "Sin On Bible" commanded, "Go, and sin on more" in John 8:11.
In 1717, there was a misprint in a heading for the "parable of the vineyard" which called it the "Parable of the vinegar." This Bible was called "the Vinegar Bible."
In 1801, Jude 16 stated, "these are murderers" instead of "murmurers", and Mark 7:27 stated, "let the children first be killed" instead of "filled." This Bible was nicknamed "the Murderers Bible."
In 1820 a KJB edition was printed that had Jesus saying, "Who hath ears to ear, let him hear" in Matthew 13:43, and this was called "the Ears to Ear" Bible.
In 1823 another KJB printing had Genesis 24:61 read "Rebekah arose, and her camels", instead of "her damsels," in "Rebekah's Camels Bible."
The cause for all of these defects may be found in "the Printers' Bible" (1702), which states in Psalm 119:161, "printers have persecuted me" (instead of "princes" have persecuted me). If ever there was a misprint that carried a lot of irony, this is it. "Printers have persecuted me."
Three of the "big examples" that men like Mr. Norris and Doug Kutilek often bring up are Ruth 3:15, Song of Solomon 2:7, and Jeremiah 34:16.
Mr. Norris' friend, Doug Kutilek says: "It should be unnecessary to say much about variations which have always existed among various printings and editions of the KJV. They do exist, and have from the beginning (the two editions printed in 1611 differ in over 2,000 places, perhaps the most famous being "he" or "she" at Ruth 3:15)."
To address the example Mr. Kutilek gives us in Ruth 3:15, let's look at what happened. 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. In the original 1611 edition Ruth 3:15 read, "and HE went into the city", which would refer to Boaz. In the 1613 edition, this printing error of one letter was caught and changed to the correct reading of "and SHE went into the city", which refers to Ruth. These two editions became known as "the Great He Bible" and "the Great She Bible", respectively. The simple fact is they BOTH went into the city as we see from reading the rest of the chapter.
There still are differences among the many versions even today in Ruth 3:15.
Among the versions that read: "And HE went into the city" are the NIV, Revised Version, American Standard Version, Darby, Young's, the Jewish 1917 translation, World English Bible, New Living Translation, and the New Revised Standard Version.
The versions that read: "And SHE went into the city" are the King James Bible, NKJV, NASB, Revised Standard Version, Coverdale, Bishop's, Douay, Bible in Basic English, Geneva bible, 1936 Jewish translation, 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. Also observe that the two Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936 differ from one another.
The NKJV, which reads "SHE went into the city" as do the King James Bible and the NASB, has a footnote which says: "Masoretic text reads HE; some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, and Vulgate read SHE" - as do the NIV, RV, ASV, NRSV.
Additionally, I know of two places where the King James Bible Cambridge edition differs from the Oxford KJB edition still today. One is in Jeremiah 34:16 where the Cambridge KJB reads: "whom YE had set at liberty" while the Oxford edition says: "whom HE had set at liberty".
The second is found in the Song of Solomon 2:9 where the Cambridge KJB edition says: "that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till HE please", while the Oxford KJB says "nor awake my love, till SHE please." Mr. Norris also mentions these two in his book.
Song of Solomon 2:7
Song of Solomon 2:7 "O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till HE please."
In the original AV 1611 a printer's error occured and it read: "till SHE please". It was soon discovered and changed to read as it stands today in both the Oxford and Cambridge editions - "till HE please".
Here is how other Bible versions render this verse.
"till IT please" - Revised Version, NIV, NKJV
"till SHE please" - NASB, Geneva Bible
"till HE please" - American Standard Version 1901, Jewish translation 1917, King James Bible (Oxford and Cambridge editions)
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". Again, it makes perfect sense in the context and is a minor printing error that has not yet been corrected in some editions of the King James Bible.
Other Bible Versions in Jeremiah 34:16
"whom YE (or YOU) had set at liberty" - ASV, RV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NRSV, 1917 Jewish translation put out by Jewish Publication Society.
"whom HE had set at liberty" - NKJV, Youngs, 1936 Jewish translation put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York. Notice that both Jewish translations differ again between themselves and the NKJV sides with the Oxford edition.
Mr. Norris and Mr. Kutilek are all worked up about a little printing error they think they have found in the King James Bible, and they recommend we abandon this old relic to the dustbin and take up the modern versions, yet the Modern Versions continue to disagree even with each other in these minor examples. I firmly believe they are straining at gnats and swallowing a camel in the process.
On the other hand, there are huge differences that exist among the various bible versions, with literally thousands of words found in some but not in others, and hundreds of verses which have very different meanings in them, yet those who attack the King James Bible come up with examples like Ruth 3:15 and Jeremiah 34:16 where no doctrine is affected and it is nothing more than a simple printing error. It seems they think that if they can manage to find just one little "error" in the King James Bible, then their case for "No translation is the inspired word of God" can be made and the door is then wide open for the flood of conflicting and contradictory bible versions to come pouring in.
This whole "Printing Error" complaint the biblical relativists bring up, is really a non-issue. What I mean by this is that if every single copy of the King James Bible that has ever come off the presses read exactly the same with no minor printing errors found in any of them, it still would not change their opinion that the KJB is not the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is brought up as a smokescreen; not as a serious issue concerning the truth of Scripture and its preservation.
Most people who reject the King James Bible as being the inerrant, preserved words of God in English, do so for other reasons than printing errors. They have done so because they went to a seminary where they were taught that no Bible in any language and no text, be it Hebrew or Greek, is the inspired words of God. Or they visited some anti-KJV only website where they were told something like: "The KJV is not based on the best manuscripts", or that "God forbid" is wrong, or "1 John 5:7 does not belong in the Bible."
They previously assumed that all King James Bibles read the same since the very beginning. It wasn't till later they learned of the minor printing errors and now they gleefully toss this up as a dodge and a pretext. If someone is convinced the KJB is not the inspired word of God, no matter if all copies in its long history read exactly the same, his mind would not be changed by this fact. It is a non-issue of no importance.
For a more detailed study, read http://brandplucked.webs.com/printingerrors.htm
If one adopts the view that printing errors negate any Bible version, Hebrew or Greek text from being valid and true, then you end up with no inspired, inerrant Bible anywhere on this earth. This is the only logical conclusion to their argument. Guess who wants you to think this way?
God has preserved His inerrant words Providentially, not miraculously. He did not keep every copyist from making "printing errors", but He guided in such a way as to purify the text and bring it back to its original form and meaning.
The King James Bible we have today is the same as the one printed in 1611. Printing errors have occured and continue to occur from time to time, but the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible have not changed in the least.
Even the American Bible Society, which promotes and publishes most modern bible versions, 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).
I hope this helps you to better understand the nature of the so called "thousands of changes" that have occured in the King James Bible since 1611 to the present.
Since writing this article I have had fairly frequent contact with Rick Norris on the internet clubs. Here is one interchange we had in October of 2009 at the Fighting Fundamentalist Forum where Rick expressed his views about the "printing errors".
Rick, I think you have finally gone over the edge of reason and your mind has finally turned to mush.
Originally Posted by Rick Norris
An error is still an error regardless of whether it was supposedly made by a printer, editor, copier, or translator.
Copying errors, printing errors, or editing errors do not invalidate the true and greater standard for translations--the preserved Scriptures in the original languages.
You denigrate and deny my stated position that a few minor printing errors in the history of the various King James Bible editions do not invalidate it as being the one true Bible. And it IS a real and tangible Bible you can hold in your hands, read and believe every word.
And then in the very next breath you turn around and tell us that printing errors, copying errors or editing errors do NOT invalidate "the preserved Scriptures in the original languages" which not only have you never seen a day in your life but simply do NOT exist and you know it.
So, in other words, printing errors invalidate a real and tangible Book, but they do not invalidate a Book that doesn't even exist. (Looney Toons)
I think the saying is true: "If you mess with God's Book He will mess with your mind."
Book Review: The Unbound Scriptures - Part 6 - Part 12 [of 17 Parts]
Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy
Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible
Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways
Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?
Part 10 - Mules or Hot Springs?
Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?
Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?
Previous Set, Parts 1 through 5
Next Set, Parts 13 through 17
Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy
In chapter eight of his book, The Unbound Scriptures, Rick Norris takes up the topic of inspiration and inerrancy. Rick asks: "Does not God's Word IN THE ORIGINAL languages have divine authority to correct any translation including the KJV? Would they claim that God's Word IN THE ORIGINAL languages has passed away or was unacceptable as THE STANDARD OF AUTHORITY?...a few (KJV-only advocates) go to the extreme by denying the authority of the Word of God in Hebrew and Greek."
It is as clear to me as the noonday sun that Mr. Norris is sitting in judgment on the of the King James Bible by upholding a "standard of authority" (that is, "the originals") when no such thing as the originals in Hebrew or Greek exist - and he knows they don't exist even while he continues to say it!
Mr. Norris asks: "Would they claim that God's Word in the original languages has passed away as the standard of authority?" Yes, Rick, we would claim this. If you can show us the originals, then we will be glad to change our minds and admit that your standard of authority has merit.
Mr. Norris' entire premise has no factual basis, yet he continually refers to "the originals" as though he were looking at them while he writes his book and compares them to the King James Bible. Then he accuses the KJV advocates of holding to a man-made doctrine that God has preserved His inerrant words, and done so in the King James Bible, while at the same time he himself clings to a mystical bible he has never seen in his entire life. The irony is overwhelming.
Nowhere in the Bible does it ever mention "the originals", nor that "ONLY the originals can be inspired". Neither does the Bible ever teach the commonly accepted idea Mr. Norris promotes that "No Translation can be the Inspired Words of God". Where did he get this idea? Certainly not from any Bible I have read. The Bible itself clearly teaches by many examples that a translation CAN BE the inspired words of God. See my article on this called Can a Translation be Inspired?
Mr. Norris believes and quotes others who have stated "ONLY THE ORIGINAL is God-breathed." Where does this idea come from? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" - John 6:63. The Scriptures teach us that "the word of God LIVETH and ABIDETH for ever" - 1 Peter 1:23. The true and inspired words of God can be likened to water that sustains life. If the same water is removed from one vessel and placed into another, without addition or subtraction, it is the same water.
We are not claiming "double inspiration" for the King James Bible or that the KJB translators were inspired. It is God's words that are inspired. It is not a case of "once upon a time, long, long ago and far away the Scriptures WERE inspired ONLY in the originals". God did inspire certain men to speak and write His words of truth, but the words continue to be the inspired words of God. The inspiration of God's words did not cease when copies were made and the apostles and prophets died off.
Mr. Norris also says: "Because of the differences in languages, a translation cannot possibly reproduce all the exact meanings of the words in the other language. Therefore, all translations must at some points be inferior to the original although they may come very close to its meaning."
Again, Mr. Norris has no "the original" to compare anything to, but this has not stopped him from reaching his conclusions. His philosophy about translations is totally humanistic. God has no problem translating His words into another language. The Scriptures themselves show us that He has done this very thing many times. (Again, see my article, Can a Translation be Inspired?)
I and many other King James Bible believers hold the view that God Providentially guided the translators to give us His inerrant and perfect words in the English language. The translators themselves were imperfect and sinful men as we all are. They just happended to be the tools or vessels God chose to use in fulfilling His promises to preserve His inspired words.
Mr. Norris recognizes this is our view and tries to refute it. He says we King James Bible defenders "end up making an assumption that the KJV translators received infallible divine guidance in their translating which kept them from possibly making any errors in translation." Yes, Rick, I agree with you here. This is our assumption, though I prefer to call it faith in the promises of God based on substantial evidence. But you have nicely summed up what most of us believe.
Mr. Norris reveals his flawed premise when he concludes: "Making a translation the final authority makes it an authority above which there is no other, which means that God's Word in the original Hebrew and Greek would be of lesser authority than the KJV."
Does Mr. Norris need to be reminded again that he can not tell us where to find one single verse from "the original Hebrew and Greek"? He tells us his Final Authority is something that he has never seen and which no longer exists, and then accuses us of following a man-made doctrine. Rick, you are following a "made-up doctrine". THERE ARE NO ORIGINALS. Rick, will you please tell us all where we can get a copy of this original Greek and Hebrew you keep telling us about?
Mr. Norris further states: "To claim the action of the KJV translators was free from all the effects of sin and any possibility of error without any act of divine inspiration would be in effect to contradict the Scriptural doctrine of the depravity of man."
I don't know of any KJB defender who claims what Mr. Norris just said. We claim the Providential guidance of God Almighty, not an "act of divine inspiration". As for the depravity of man, no one denies this. God has always used depraved, fallen men to give us His words, even in the originals. Don't the modern version translators assume they can receive divine guidance and providential direction when they pray to God and ask Him for wisdom in their translational work? Cannot God work in this way? Why deny the possibility that God providentially guided the KJB translators and then assume it can happen for others?
In this chapter, Mr. Norris mentions one specific example of what he thinks is a typographical error still found in the KJB. He says the King James reading in Matthew 23:24 is a misprint. He says "strain AT a gnat" should be "strain OUT a gnat."
Let's take a moment to look at and discuss Matthew 23:24
"Ye blind guides, which strain AT a gnat, and swallow a camel."
There are many who criticize the King James reading of "strain at a gnat". Some tell us this is a printing error, yet I would ask how do they know this? It is a mere assumption on their part.
The word "to strain" (diulizo) is found only once in the New Testament. How to translate this word is a matter of perspective. There are at least two different ways I know of to look at the verse as it stands in the King James Bible, and both make sense.
#1. The rendering of "strain at" a gnat, implies only the effort to try to strain out the gnats that might ceremoniously defile their drink and food; it does not necessarily mean they succeeded in always getting them out. The modern versions like the NKJV, NASB, NIV, and even the older English versions of Tyndale and Geneva say "strain OUT a gnat", as though they accomplished what they intended.
In 1729 Daniel Mace made a translation of the New Testament, and in Matthew 23:24 he translated as: "strain..FOR a gnat", which carries the same meaning as that found in the Authorized Version.
There is nothing wrong with the KJB reading of "strain at a gnat." Other commentators in the past have had no problem with the way the phrase stands in the King James Bible.
John Gill - "To this practice Christ alluded here; and so very strict and careful were they in this matter, that to strain AT (caps mine) a gnat, and swallow a camel, became at length a proverb, to signify much solicitude about little things, and none about greater."
Matthew Henry - "they strained AT a gnat, and swallowed a camel. In their doctrine they strained AT gnats, warned people against every the least violation of the tradition of the elders. In their practice they strained AT gnats, heaved AT them, with a seeming dread, as if they had a great abhorrence of sin, and were afraid of it in the least instance"
These two commentators do not try to change the King James reading here, though they both do so in other parts of the Scriptures. They affirm that the Pharisees had a great outward revulsion for minor sins, yet they swallowed a camel.
How many gnats do you suppose were on that camel they swallowed?
#2 Another way to look at this verse was suggested at a Bible club I belong to. It makes a lot of sense. This brother said that since the word gnat is in the singular and not the plural, the idea is that the Pharisees would strain AT a gnat, which is among the smallest of creatures, in the sense of "at discovering a gnat" or "at finding a gnat in their drink", they would begin the process of straining.
He pointed out the following: "The KJV is speaking of the Pharisitical practice of straining wine after a gnat is found in it - hence, straining at the discovered presence of a gnat. When a gnat was found in wine, of course it was removed by hand. Insects aren't kosher, though some locusts are. What, according to Jewish law, allowed the remaining wine to be kosher was straining it, just in case any more impurities might be found in it. If you couldn't strain it, all the wine was to be thrown away. So - they strained AT the discovery of a gnat, which may or may not strain additional gnats.
I understand many KJV opponents love this "error", but in my opinion, the only error here is with their understanding of English and Jewish law.
Please see my full article on Matthew 23:24 "strain AT a gnat" here where I show clearly that this is not a printing error at all but a very common quote and expression found in the literature and preaching of many of those who worked on the King James Bible.
This construction in English is very clear to me and to the editors of what is arguably the utmost authority on the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary. Jews strained when an insect was found - that is, at (the discovery of) a gnat.
Again, far from being an error in the KJV, the KJV has the best translation which fits all the facts. The King James Bible has the better translation."
Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible
In this Response to Mr. Norris' book, The Unbound Scriptures, I would like to follow a different order of topics and address a couple of issues he brings up regarding the King James Bible. Lord willing, we will then address the supremely important doctrine of the preservation of Scripture; Where was the inerrant word of God before 1611?; and then a summation of the principal arguments and some closing thoughts.
But first - On page 103 of his book, Mr. Norris asks the question: "Is their evidence for their KJV-only view so weak that they have to tear down all other translations in order to build up the KJV?"
Later in his book Mr. Norris himself dedicates three whole chapters consisting of 60 pages to "tearing down" the King James Bible by alleging a whole series of mistranslations, errors, and assorted blunders as being "an unhappy translation", "this is not correct", "the incorrect rendering" and "a mere oversight of our KJV translators".
I think one of the main reasons many of us who are King James Bible defenders are so fervent about this whole Bible version issue is because the attack first began by those who placed their individual learning, scholarship, and opinions as the final authority of what God REALLY said, and tried to rob us of our faith in an inspired Bible.
This process began years ago in various commentaries where the author would write "the Authorized Version has an unfortunate rendering here", or "It really says...", or "the Greek really means...". They were in effect distancing us from the sure words of God and making themselves a type of intermediary between us and hearing God's voice directly through His written word. We just got tired of it and decided to believe what The Book says about itself.
Various new bible versions were not even subtle about this attack on our beloved Bible. When the Revised Standard Version came out in 1952 it contained these remarks in the Preface.
"The King James Version has GRAVE DEFECTS. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manuscripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that THESE DEFECTS ARE SO MANY AND SO SERIOUS as to call for revision of the English translation."
Ronald F. Youngblood, one of the NIV translators has this to say regarding the underlying Greek texts of the King James Bible. "It is now almost universally recognized that the Textus Receptus (TR) contains so many significant departures from the original manuscripts of the various New Testament books that it cannot be relied on as a basis for translation into other languages."
"It is simply to point out that in most cases the readings found in older manuscripts, particularly the Greek uncials Vaticanus and Sinaiticus of the fourth century A.D., are to be preferred to those found in later manuscripts, such as those that reflect the TR." The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, Kenneth L. Barker (Editor), pp. 111-112 .
Edwin H. Palmer, the executive secretary for the committee on Bible translation for the NIV, wrote the following. "The KJV is not, however, the best translation to use today. This is so for two reasons: (1) it adds to the word of God and (2) it has now obscure and misleading renderings of God's Word. They did their best, but all they had to work with was a handful of copies of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament books. In a few sections they had no Greek manuscript at all! Instead, they had to rely on the Latin Vulgate's rendering of what they thought must have originally been in the Greek!
"Through the providence of God, many more Greek manuscripts had been preserved and were subsequently discovered in fact, more than five thousand of them. Some of the Greek manuscripts date back to the four hundreds and three hundreds even to about A.D. 200. These ancient manuscripts were more reliable and more accurate, not being corrupted by errors made during countless times of copying, such as occurred with the late manuscripts used by the KJV." The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, Kenneth L. Barker (Editor), pp. 142-143.
Mr. Palmer, of the NIV committee, closed with these words: "Do not give them a loaf of bread, covered with an inedible, impenetrable crust, fossilized by three and a half centuries. Give them the Word of God as fresh and warm and clear as the Holy Spirit gave it to the authors of the Bible ... For any preacher or theologian who loves God's Word to allow that Word to go on being misunderstood because of the veneration of an archaic, not-understood version of four centuries ago is inexcusable, and almost unconscionable." (The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, Kenneth L. Barker (Editor), p. 156.)
So later on, when Mr. Norris addresses the textual differences that separate the King James Bible readings from most modern versions, and he tries to minimize them to the point of prevarication, he would do well to consider that not everyone on the other side of this issue is as unconcerned and conciliatory about them as he is.
Mr. Norris begins his personal critique of the King James Bible by pointing out what he considers to be various mistranslations and inconsistencies. On page 302 Mr. Norris asks: "Why did the KJV translators translate the same Hebrew word qaath as "pelican" in Leviticus 11:18, Deut. 14:17, and Psalm 102:6 but as "cormorant" at Isaiah 34:11 and Zephaniah 2:14?"
Mr. Norris and anyone else who has a minimum amount of understanding regarding the Hebrew language, should know that one Hebrew word can have an astounding array of very different meanings.
We could also ask: Why do the NASB and the NIV translate the same Hebrew word #47 ab-beer as "angels, bulls, mighty men, stouthearted, stallions, strong ones, steeds, and stubborn minded"?
The NASB has translated the same Hebrew word as "dragon, monster, sea monster, and serpent."
The NASB, NIV have translated the same Greek word as both "eagle" and "vulture."
The NIV has translated the same Hebrew word as "jackals" and "foxes".
The NKJV has translated the same Hebrew word as both "bittern" (a type of bird - Zephaniah 2:14) and as "porcupine" (Isaiah 14:23); the same word as both "caterillar" and "grasshopper", the same word as "scorpions" and "scourges", the same word as both "jackals" and "foxes", and the same word as "turquoise" and "emerald".
In fact, both the NASB and the NIV have translated the same Hebrew word yom, which usually means "day" as: "afternoon, battle, birthday, daylight, each, entire, eternity, fate, first, forever, future, holiday, later, length, live, long, now, older, once, period, perpetually, recently, reigns, ripe age, short-lived, so long, survived, time, usual, very old, when, whenever, while, yesterday, yearly, and years."!
There is a great deal of similarity between a pelican and a cormorant; both are fish eating birds with a large pouch.
Webster's dictionary 1999 - Cormorant - any of various typically dark-plummaged diving seabirds of worldwide distribution, having a long neck and a throat pouch for holding fish.
Pelican - any of several large, web-footed birds having an expandable throat pouch.
Not only does the King James Bible translate this single Hebrew word as both "pelican" and as "cormorant" but so also do Webster's 1833 translation, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company Jewish translation, the KJV 21st Century, and the Third Millenium Bible.
Let's take a look at one of the verses Mr. Norris mentions here - Isaiah 34:11. Remember, all these translators went to seminary and learned "the original Hebrew and Greek languages".
Isaiah 34:11 "But the CORMORANT and the BITTERN shall possess it."
King James Bible, Webster's 1833, KJV 21st Century, 1936 Jewish translation Hebrew Publishing Company, Third Millenium Bible - CORMORANT - BITTERN ASV 1901, NKJV 1982 - PELICAN - PORCUPINE
NASB - PELICAN - HEDGEHOG
RSV 1952 - HAWK - BITTERN
NRSV 1989 - HAWK - HEDGEHOG
ESV 2001 - HAWK - PORCUPINE
Darby - PELICAN - BITTERN
Douay - BITTERN - ERICIUS
NIV - DESERT OWL - SCREECH OWL
The MESSAGE - VULTURES - SKUNKS
Now, I will admit that Zoology is not my strongest subject, but I am reasonably certain there is a difference between a bittern (a bird of the heron family) and a procupine, a hedgehog or a skunk.
So, which of all these would Mr. Norris like to make his Final Authority? Oh, wait a minute. I almost forgot. His view is that no translation is inspired or inerrant, so we must go to "the original Hebrew". But didn't all these scholars do the very thing Mr. Norris suggests - go to the Hebrew?
Let's try another one or two and see if we can do any better, shall we?
How about Exodus 26:14
"Thou shalt make a covering for the tent of ram's skins dyed red, and a covering of BADGER'S skins".
The NKJV, Geneva, Darby,Young's, Webster's, KJB 21, Third Millenium Bible, Rotherham's Emphatic Bible, and the Spanish all agree with the King James Bible - Badger's skins.
The NASB says the covering would be "of PORPOISE skins" while the NIV has "SEA COWS". The RSV and the 2001 ESV both have "GOATSKINS".
While wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, badger's skins might be troublesome to get, but how many "porpoises" (NASB) or "sea cows" (NIV) do you think they could have scrounged up?
Let's go to the original Hebrew again and see what we can come up with in Zechariah 13:5.
"But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; FOR MAN TAUGHT ME TO KEEP CATTLE FROM MY YOUTH."
Agreeing with the KJB are the Geneva Bible, the NKJV, KJV 21st Century, Webster's 1833 translation, the Third Millenium Bible, the 1936 Jewish translation,and the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909.
NIV - "I am a farmer; THE LAND HAS BEEN MY LIVELIHOOD SINCE MY YOUTH."
NASB - "I am a tiller of the ground, FOR A MAN SOLD ME AS A SLAVE IN MY YOUTH."
Lamsa translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "AND A MAN MADE ME ZEALOUS TO PROPHESY from my youth."
New English Bible - "I AM A TILLER OF THE SOIL WHO HAS BEEN SCHOOLED IN LUST from boyhood."
Douay version 1950 - "ADAM IS MY EXAMPLE from my youth."
Aren't you glad that we can follow the advice of men like James White and compare the various versions so we can get a better understanding of the true meaning of the text?
Let's try just one more for now and see if we can do any better.
Job 39:13 "GAVEST THOU THE GOODLY WINGS UNTO THE PEACOCKS? OR WINGS AND FEATHERS UNTO THE OSTRICH?"
So read the King James Bible as well as the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1999 edition (Diste las hermosas alas al pavo real, o alas y plumas al avestruz?), the Italian Diodati, Geneva Bible, Webster's translation, KJV 21st Century and the Third Millenium Bible.
Now for a list of various translations, all of which were done by men who went to "the original Hebrew language texts".
NKJV: "The wings of the OSTRICH WAVE PROUDLY, BUT ARE HER WINGS AND PINIONS LIKE THE KINDLY STORK?"
NASB: "The ostriches' wings FLAP JOYOUSLY with the PINIONS AND PLUMAGE OF LOVE."
NIV: "The wings of the ostrich flap joyously BUT THEY CANNOT COMPARE WITH the pinions and feathers OF THE STORK."
Young's: "literal": "The wings OF THE RATTLING ONES EXULTETH whether the pinions of the ostrich OR HAWK."
NRSV: "The ostrich's wings flap wildly THOUGH ITS PINIONS LACK PLUMMAGE."
Lamsa's: "The ostrich ROUSES HERSELP UP HAUGHTILY, THEN SHE COMES AND MAKES HER NEST."
LXX: "A wing of DELIGHTED ONES is the PEACOCK IF THE STORK AND THE OSTRICH CONCEIVE."
New English Bible: "The wings of the ostrich ARE STUNTED; her pinions and plummage ARE SO SCANTY."
Bible in Basic English: "IS the wing of the ostrich FEEBLE, OR IS IT BECAUSE SHE HAS NO FEATHERS?"
And finally the Message says: "The ostrich flaps her wings FUTILY - ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL FEATHERS, BUT USELESS!"
"Every man did that which was right in his own eyes" Judges 21:25
Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways
It seems brother Rick Norris and James White have a lot in common. Both of them have written anti-King James Only books and both have similar scholarly findings regarding the counting of words.
On page 303, among other things, Mr. Norris complains about the actual words of the King James Bible. He says: "APPOINT is used in the KJV as a translation of 30 different Hebrew words and 12 different Greek verbs."
This may sound shocking at first glance, but if he would have looked at the NIV he would have seen that it has 27 different Hebrew words translated as "appoint" and 15 different Greek verbs as "appoint".
Mr. Norris further states that the KJV has Seven different Hebrew words translated as "ax" or "axes". A quick look at the NKJV, NIV, and NASB concordances shows they each have Six different Hebrew words translated as "ax" or "axes".
Mr. Norris saves the big one for last. He says Robert Young of Young's literal translation observed that the verb "destroy" is used for no less than 49 Hebrew words. Mr. Norris continues: "When one English word is used for many different Hebrew or Greek words, the subtle distinctions and nuances between these different words may not be detected by the English reader."
This part is always so boring, but I actually checked the NASB and counted 40 different Hebrew words translated as "destroy" while the NIV has 45 different Hebrew words translated as "destroy".
I really wish these two brothers would count their own "reliable versions" before they print such alarming statistics. Do they do it for shock value? One of several things about Mr. Norris' book that I do appreciate is that he does make a good case for eliminating shoddy study of the issues and shock value statements. I agree with him that both sides of the Bible version issue need to be open to a reasonable presentation of the truth. We still may not draw the same conclusions, but we should try to be more factual than inflammatory.
We all make mistakes and sometimes present false or unsubstantiated arguments. When shown to be clearly in error, we should revise and adjust our statements to better fit the facts. In the heat of battle I have also said things that were too harsh or unfounded. God is still working on me and hopefully I will learn as I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
James White, in his book The King James Only Controversy, has an even more outrageous "shock value" claim of comparison.
In James White's book, The KJV Only Controversy, in the ninth chapter, titled "Problems in the KJV", on page 231 Mr. White states: "Jack Lewis notes that the KJV is also well known for the large variety of ways in which it will translate the same word. Now certainly there are many times when one will wish to use synonyms to translate particular terms, and context is vitally important in determining the actual meaning of a word, but the KJV goes beyond the bounds a number of times. For example, the Hebrew term for "word" or "thing" is rendered by EIGHTY FOUR different English words in the KJV! Another term, "to turn back" is rendered in one particular grammatical form by SIXTY different English words! Those who have attempted to follow the usage of a particular Hebrew or Greek term through the AV know how difficult such a task can be, and the inconsistency of the KJV in translating terms only makes the job that much harder." - End of quote.
Most people who read this in Mr. White's book would think something like: "Oh, that nasty KJV. What a lousy translation it is and how unscholarly. Why would anybody want to use that?"
Most people would never take the time to verify if there is any validity to what Mr. White says here; they would just accept his "scholarly" statements as facts. The word for "word" or "thing" is # 1697 Dabar. I only counted 78 different meanings found in the KJB, but I'll give Mr. White the benefit of the doubt and let him have his 84.
James White now works for the New American Standard Bible organization. He knows both Hebrew and Greek and professes to be an expert in textual matters. He either didn't check the validity of the claims of Jack Lewis, or he is deliberately misrepresenting the facts to bolster his attacks on God's preserved words in the King James Bible. In either case, his word count example is inexcusable.
A simple look at the complete NASB concordance shows that the NASB has translated this single word Dabar in at least NINETY THREE very different ways while the NIV has over 200 different English meanings for this single Hebrew word.
Among the 94 different English words the NASB uses to translate this single Hebrew word are: account, act, advice, affair, agreement, amount, annals, answer, anything, asked, because, business, case, cause, charge, Chronicles, claims, commandment, compliments, concerned, conclusion, conditions, conduct, conferred, consultation, conversation, counsel, custom, dealings, decree, deed, defect, desires, dispute, doings, duty, edict, eloquent, event, fulfillment, harm, idea, instructed, manner, matter, message, nothing, oath, obligations, one, order, parts, pertains, plan, plot, portion, promise, proposal, proven, purpose, question, ration, reason, records, regard, reports, request, required, rule, said, same thing, saying, so much, some, something, songs, speaks, speech, talk, task, theme, thing, this, thoughts, threats, thus, told, trouble, verdict, way, what, whatever, word and work.
As I said, the NIV has over twice this amount of different meanings - well over 200 - as compared to the KJB's 84.
The second word mentioned by Mr. White is "to turn back" and it is # 7725 Shub, and in this case Mr. White is correct in that the KJB does translate it some 60 different ways. However what James forgot to mention is that his favorite NASB has translated this same single Hebrew word at least 104 different ways while the NIV again has over 200 different meanings!
This is the type of baseless, pseudo-scholarship that both sides should avoid. What makes this even more amazing is the fact that Jack Lewis, who is quoted by James White and brings us the two examples of "word" and "turn" is one of the NIV translators!
I'm not going to address every example Mr. Norris presents in these three chapters of alleged "incorrect renderings". Most of them are quite easy to respond to and refute, but I will try to answer the more difficult ones by way of example.
In chapter fourteen Mr. Norris continues his unfounded premise by which he sits in judgment on the King James Bible. He says: "Of course, not all translations of God's Word are good since some translations are inaccurate because of a liberal bias." Yet Mr. Norris never tells us which translations he thinks are not good and inaccurate.
He continues: "Because of the plenary, verbal inspiration of God's Word IN THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS, the translator must follow THE TEXT as closely as possible."
This all sounds very good indeed, but Mr. Norris has no "the original manuscripts" to follow and there is a vast difference of opinion among Bible translators as to what THE TEXT really is. Mr. Norris is constructing an edifice whose foundation is empty air.
Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?
Revelation 4:6-8 - "Beasts" versus "living creatures"
"and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind." - Revelation 4:6
In Mr. Norris' book, The Unbound Scriptures, he says: "An additional example where the KJV does not present a distinction that exists in the Greek is the book of Revelation. In this example, the KJV is following all the other English Bibles which also did not indicate this distinction."
Mr. Norris then goes on to quote several "experts" who criticize the King James Bible's translation of this word, saying: "Concerning Revelation 4:6-8 in his commentary, John Walvoord observed: "The translation 'beasts' is QUITE INACCURATE and should be changed to 'living ones'...Barnes' Notes on the N.T. has this comment about the rendering 'four beasts': "This is A VERY UNHAPPY TRANSLATION, as the word beasts BY NO MEANS conveys a correct idea of the original word."
John Rice noted: "The four beasts should be called "living creatures".
OK... So let's look at this example a bit more closely to see if there is any merit to Mr. Norris' complaint. One scholar says it should be "living ones" and the other says it should be "living creatures". Apparently they all do agree that the King James rendering of "beasts" is totally inappropriate and by no means conveys the idea of the original word.
As Mr. Norris correctly pointed out, all the previous English Bible versions translated this word as "beasts" including Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishop's Bible 1568, and the Geneva Bible 1599. In addition to these earlier English versions, the modern Bible in Basic English 1961, which is based on the Westcott-Hort Greek text, also translates the word as "beasts" in Revelation 4:6-8.
A few versions like the Jerusalem Bible, Goodspeed, and others translate the word as "animals". In all fairness we ask, If rendering the word zoon as beasts "by no means conveys the correct idea of the original word", then why does the NIV translate this exact same word as "beasts" in 2 Peter 2:12 "like BEASTS they too will perish."
Why does the NKJV translate this same word as "beasts" in Hebrews 13:11 "the bodies of those BEASTS are burned outside the camp"; and in 2 Peter 2:12 "beasts made to be caught and destroyed", and in Jude 10 - "what they know naturally, as brute BEASTS"? Maybe the NIV and the NKJV also "by no means convey the correct idea of the original word".
If they are so concerned about subtle distinctions in the Greek, why then does the NIV translate two very different Greek words (ktisma and zoon) as "living creature" in the book of Revelation, and the NKJV has the misfortune to translate Three different Greek words in the book of Revelation as "living creature"? (zoon, ktisma, and psukee) See Revelation 4:7; 8:9, and 16:3. Could we then not equally charge that a reader using the NIV, or the NKJV could become confused upon reading that a third of the "living creatures" died?
In the New Testament, the NIV uses three different Greek words and translates them as "creatures", while the NASB has a whopping 7 different Greek words translated as "creatures" (therion, ktisis, zoon, herpeton, ktisma, enalios, and phusikos). Are the subtle distinctions likewise lost in the NIV, NASB?
Looking at Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon 1978 edition on page 274, under the word zoon it gives the following definitions of this Greek word: "a living being, animal, a brute, a BEAST."
We could also look at the Hebrew language. For example, the NASB translates the word chayyah # 2421 as "beasts, creatures, living thing, animals, living being, and wild beasts".
See how funny some scholars are? Get ten of them in a room and you end up with twelve different opinions. There is nothing wrong with the King James Bible nor all the others Bible versions which likewise have translated this word as "beasts" in Revelation 4:6-8.
I have never confused the four beasts round about the throne who worshipped God with the many headed beast in Revelation 13:1 who rose up out of the sea speaking blasphemy and making war. But what could confuse some Bible students are the totally different readings found in Revelation 13 in the various bible versions out there today.
In the King James Bible, NKJV and several others we read in Revelation 13:1 - "And I STOOD upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the NAME of blasphemy."
However the NIV reads: "And THE DRAGON STOOD on the shore of the sea. (Not "I" but the dragon) And I saw a beast coming out of the sea...and on each head a blasphemous NAME."
The NASB read differently from 1960 through 1977. It said: "And HE stood on the sand of the seashore. AND I saw a beast coming up out of the sea...and on his head were blasphemous NAMES."
Then in 1995 the NASB once again changed to now read: "And THE DRAGON stood on the sand of the seashore. THEN I saw a beast coming up out of the sea..and on his head were blasphemous NAMES."
So is it " I " who stood on the sand of the sea, or "He" who stood on the sand of the sea, or "the dragon" who stood on the sand of the sea? Is it "the name" of blasphemy (singular) or "names" of blasphemy (plural)?
In Revelation 13:8 the KJB, NKJV, and the NIV tell us: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the beast), whose names are not written in the book of life of the LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD." But the NASB doesn't teach that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, but reverses the Greek order of words and says: "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain."
Apparently these "subtle distinctions" are less important to some Bible experts than the difference between "beasts" and "living creatures". Go figure.
Part 10 - Genesis 36:24 - Mules or Hot Springs?
Everyone is biased one way or another regarding the Bible version controversy. I am biased and I freely admit it. I believe God has kept His promises to preserve His inerrant words, and after having prayed a lot and examined much of the evidence, I came to the conclusion they are found in all their purity only in the King James Holy Bible. I don't know all the answers to every objection that is raised against my beliefs, but I believe I have seen enough confirmed to me by God over and over again to give me this conviction. So now I start from the position that the King James Bible is correct - always.
Mr. Norris says in his book, the Unbound Scriptures, that we should examine the evidence on both sides and then make our decision. From reading his book and having interacted with him several times on the Christian internet boards it is patently obvious that the decision Mr. Norris has come to is that there is no such thing as a complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible in any language that he can show you. Yet he is tenacious in his efforts to "prove" that the King James Bible is not the inerrant, complete and inspired words of God. He does this not only by what he says, but by what he doesn't say. A clear example of this is found in his opening salvo of verses he thinks are incorrect as found in the King James Bible.
The first example on page 322 in large, highlighted and underlined letters is Genesis 36:24.
The King James Bible says: "...this was that Anah that found THE MULES in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father."
Mr. Norris says: "In Genesis 36:24, ALL HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS have a word THAT MEANS "water or hot springs" according to MOST Bible scholars, but the KJV translators followed the rendering of the Talmud and Luther (mules). The old Syriac Peshitta an the Latin Vulgate also have a word meaning "waters" or "springs".
Mr. Norris then quotes a whole bunch of scholars that agree with him who tell us there is no way the Hebrew word can be rendered as "mules", but only as "hot springs". He tells us nothing about the other side of the story in defense of the KJB reading.
Among the bible versions that read "hot springs" are the NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV, and the Catholic versions. The NKJV 1982 says "found THE WATER in the wilderness." Young's 'literal' (hah!) either had no idea what it meant or he went with the "giant" theory and he translates it as "Ana found the IMIM in the wilderness". What Mr. Norris fails to mention is how many equally qualified scholars and Bible translators have sided with the King James reading of "mules".
"Mules" is the reading not only of the King James Bible but also of the 1936 Jewish translation by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York, the more modern Jewish translation called the Judaica Press Tanach of 2004 - “Aiah and Anah he is Anah who found THE MULES in the wilderness when he pastured the donkeys for his father Zibeon.", the Holy Scriptures Revised of 1997 put out by the Jewish Publication Society, the 1993 The Word of Jah Bible and the Torah Transliterational Scriptures of 2008. Besides all these modern day Jewish translations that agree with the KJB we have Coverdale's Bible 1535, the Great Bible of 1540, Matthew's Bible of 1549, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the 1569 Spanish Sagradas Escrituras, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602 and 1909 (but not the 1960, 95 RV), the Reina Valera 1865, the 1929 Versión Moderna by Enrique Pratt, Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1998 (los mulos en el desierto), and the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez, the Italian Diodati of 1649 - "de' muli nel deserto", the French Martin 1744 -”est celui qui trouva LES MULETS au désert", the Dutch Staten Vertaling- "die Ana, die de muilen in de woestijn gevonden heeft", Luther's German Bible 1545 - "Ana, der in der Wüste Maulpferde erfand", Webster's 1833 translation, the Lesser Bible of 1853 the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, and even the New English Bible of 1970.
Several modern versions are at least a bit more honest as to the uncertainty of what this Hebrew word really means, and they tell us so in their footnotes. The NRSV footnote says the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain or obscure. The NIV gives this informative footnote: "the Vulgate and Syriac say he discovered water, but the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain."
Mr. Norris makes it sound as though it is a slam dunk certainty that the King James Bible is wrong, when a more thorough examination of the evidence reveals that there are real differences of opinion even among those who have gone to "the original languages".
John Calvin gives us his translation and exposition of this verse in Latin. He translates the specific word as "mules" and not as "hot springs" - MULOS in deserto, quum passceret asinos Sibhon patris sui.
Calvin then remarks in his commentary : "This was that Anah that found the mules. Mules are the adulterous offspring of the horse and the ass..."
Adam Clarke remarks in his commentary on this verse: "St Jerome, who renders it aquas calidas, (warm springs) says THERE ARE AS MANY OPINIONS CONCERNING IT AS THERE ARE COMMENTATORS."
Mr. Clarke further states of the Syriac: "The Syriac renders it "many waters"; the author of this version having read in the Hebrew copy from which he translated µym mayim, waters, for µmy yemim, the first letters being transposed. The Targum of Johnathan ben Uzziel paraphrases the place thus: "This is the Anah who united the onager with the tame ass, and in process of time he found mules produced by them." R.D. Kimchi says: "This Anah...caused asses and horses to copulate, and so produced mules. R.S. Jarchi is of the same opinion.
Gusset, in Comment. Heb. Ling., supposes that mules, not the Emin, were found by Anah. Wagenseil thought stronger reasons led him to believe that the word means a sort of PLANT.
Mr. Clarke concludes: "From the above opinions and versions the reader may choose which he likes best or invent one for himself." He then states that he personally favors the reading of mules.
Matthew Poole comments on the verse: "Mules; so most understand the word Jemim, which is no where else used, and give this sense of it, that he found out the way of the generation of mules by the copulation of a horse and a mare."
John Gill comments: "The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "hot waters"; but then to the fixing of either of these versions, the word must be altered either in its points or letters, for which there is no authority. The Targum of Onkelos renders it mighty ones or GIANTS...and with this AGREES THE SAMARITAN VERSION, "he found giants, in the wilderness"; Aben Ezra observes that many interpret the word of PLANTS OR HERBS ; and Wagenseil is of opinion that the word used is the name of an useful herb or plant, first discovered by Anah."
So, do you see how the game is played? I like to call this process Scholar Poker. "Well, my scholar can beat your scholar." "No, he can't. I'll see your scholar and raise you two more." "Ok, you're on. I call." - and they're both bluffing.
Mr. Norris and "his hand" of scholars can assert all they want about the meaning of the word, but they have merely chosen the one they like. There are many others who just as vehemently would disagree with them.
Again, "Mules" is the reading not only of the King James Bible but also of the 1936 Jewish translation by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York, the more modern Jewish translation called the Judaica Press Tanach of 2004 - “Aiah and Anah he is Anah who found THE MULES in the wilderness when he pastured the donkeys for his father Zibeon.", the Holy Scriptures Revised of 1997 put out by the Jewish Publication Society, the 1993 The Word of Jah Bible and the Torah Transliterational Scriptures of 2008. Besides all these modern day Jewish translations that agree with the KJB we have Coverdale's Bible 1535, the Great Bible of 1540, Matthew's Bible of 1549, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the 1569 Spanish Sagradas Escrituras, the Spanish Reina Valera 1602 and 1909 (but not the 1960, 95 RV), the Reina Valera 1865, the 1929 Versión Moderna by Enrique Pratt, Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1998 (los mulos en el desierto), and the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez, the Italian Diodati of 1649 - "de' muli nel deserto", the French Martin 1744 -”est celui qui trouva LES MULETS au désert", the Dutch Staten Vertaling- "die Ana, die de muilen in de woestijn gevonden heeft", Luther's German Bible 1545 - "Ana, der in der Wüste Maulpferde erfand", Webster's 1833 translation, the Lesser Bible of 1853 the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, and even the New English Bible of 1970.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?
In Rick Norris's book, The Unbound Scriptures, he plays the same game of Scholar Poker. He amasses his various scholars who all tell us the King James reading of "in their selfwill, they digged down a wall" is totally incorrect and the true reading should be "in their self-will they hamstrung an ox" as the NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, and most Catholic versions have it.
In Genesis chapter 49 Jacob is telling each of his sons something about what will befall them in the last days, and of their blessings or penalties. There we read what Jacob said concerning his two sons Simeon and Levi. "Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill THEY DIGGED DOWN A WALL."
Genesis 49:6 = "They digged down a wall" is the reading of the King James Bible 1611 - "in their selfwill THEY DIGGED DOWN A WALL." Wycliffe 1395 - "for in her woodnesse thei killiden a man, and in her wille thei myneden the wal", the Great Bible 1540, - "in their selfe wyll they, digged downe a wall." the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Webster's Bible 1833, 1936 Jewish Publication Society translation, the Torah Transliteration Scripture 2008, the Douay-Rheims Bible 1609 - "Let not my soul go into their counsel, nor my glory be in their assembly: because in their fury they slew a man, and in their selfwill they undermined a wall." Douay 1950, Hebrew Names Bible, the 2000 Holy Scriptures Jubilee Bible, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version, the Knox Bible 'You' Version 2009 -"raging, they slew their enemy, recklessly they broke down a city wall.",the Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Reina Valera 1602 - "y en su voluntad arrancaron muro.", the Reina Valera 1865 Angel de Mora - "y en su voluntad arrancaron muro." the 2004 Reina Valera Gómez Bible - "que en su furor mataron varón, y en su voluntad arrancaron muro." the Italian Diodati 1649 - "spianato il muro.", the Modern Greek Bible - "εν τω πεισματι αυτων κατηδαφισαν τειχος.", the KJV 21st Century 1994, Third Millenium Bible 1998 = KJB.
You can see this latest Catholic bible called the Catholic Public Domain Version of 2009 here -
In Mr. Norris' previous example of "hot springs" versus "mules" he summoned the Syriac Peshitta version to his side; however this time Lamsa's 1957 Ancient Eastern Manuscript Translation of the Syriac Peshitta reads the same as the KJB -”"in their rage they destroyed a town wall." Also agreeing with the Authorized Version's "digged down a wall" are the Arabic, the Targum of Jonathan, the Targum of Onkelos, the commentary by Hebrew scholar Ibn Ezra, the Vulgate, the Ebionites, Aquilla, and Symmachus!
Steven Schwenke, another King James Bible believer, comments on this verse saying: "Considering the FACT that the KJV translators were not only FLUENT in Greek, Hebrew, and many other related languages, which gave them a better understanding of the the "nuances" of the vocabulary, idioms, and figures of speech, It is no surprise to me that they would translate things in a way that modern "scholars" don't quite understand. Our modern scholars are not even fluent in Greek or Hebrew, let alone the related languages, which puts a very strong limitation on their abilities to grasp these concepts.
However the NKJV says "THEY HAMSTRUNG AN OX", the NIV "they hamstrung OXEN" and the NASB says "they LAMED AN OX." Likewise, several modern Catholic versions agree with the other Vatican Versions and the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 says "they have hamstrung oxen at their whim" and the St. Joseph NAB 1970 has: "they maimed oxen." Young's has "THEY ERADICATED A PRINCE"! So what is going on here?
From what I have read by some it all has to do with the pointed consonants introduced in the 6th century after Christ, and the points are not considered inspired. It is well know that an individual Hebrew word can multiple meanings. Only God can guide as to the true meaning of a text or word. We believe He has done this in the King James Bible.
John Calvin sides with the King James reading. He translates into Latin " et voluntate sua eradicaverunt murum". Then he comments: "Interpreters also differ respecting the meaning of the word (shor.) Some translate it "bullock," ... But a different exposition is far preferable, namely, that they "overturned a wall." For Jacob magnifies the atrociousness of their crime, from the fact, that they did not even spare buildings in their rage."
The King James Bible translators themselves were not unaware of the possible meanings of the Hebrew text. Some 47 of the greatest scholars ever assembled in one place were used of God to bring forth His masterpiece called the King James Holy Bible. In many instances individual differences of opinion existed of how to translate a passage. The KJB margin gives this note here: "digged down a wall, or, houghed oxen." They were well aware of this other reading, but God had them put into THE TEXT that which He intended them to put there. That is what we Bible believers maintain. The reading of "digged down a wall" makes more contextual sense than "houghed oxen" since Simeon and Levi "came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house." Genesis 34:27-29. Rather than maiming the oxen to make them of no use and of little value, they instead took them to themselves as their own wealth.
John Wesley notes: Genesis 49:6 They slew a man - Shechem himself, and many others; and to effect that, they digged down a wall, broke the houses to plunder them, and murder the inhabitants.
J.N. Darby also writes in his footnotes that some translators read this as “digged down a wall”.
To show the confusion among scholars, let’s look at what some others have said. Adam Clarke in his commentary on the whole Bible says: “They murdered a prince-Hamor, the father of Shechem. Instead of shor, which we have translated a wall, and others an ox, I read sar, a prince, which makes a consistent sense.”
Matthew Henry comments: “They slew a man, Shechem himself, and many others; and, to effect that, they digged down a wall, broke the houses, to plunder them, and murder the inhabitants.”
The reading of "hamstrung an ox or oxen", as found in the NKJV, is also contrary to the context. We are told in Genesis 34:27-29 that Simeon and Levi came upon the city of Hamor and Shechem his son and slew all the males; they spoiled the city and took their sheep, oxen and their asses and carried away all their wealth, their wives and children. They did in fact destroy the city but they did not kill or hamstring the oxen, but rather took them alive for themselves. Why would they damage what was now their own property?
The King James Bible is right, as always. Don’t let the Bible Correctors, who themselves do not believe that ANY Bible in ANY language is the complete, preserved, inspired and 100% true words of God, fool you into not believing The Book.
Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?
In his book, The Unbound Scriptures, Rick Norris criticizes the King James Bible for using the word "steel". He quotes several Bible dictionaries and scholars who say emphatically that the Hebrew word should never be translated as "steel". It is claimed, he says, that steel was not known during Bible times until the first century A.D.
Mr. Norris then asks: "Can KJV-only advocates offer any consistent evidence that shows that these two Hebrew words should be translated as "steel" in some verses?" Yes, brother Rick, we can, and will do so presently.
As for the claim he makes about the date of the invention and use of steel, there are many who would disagree about his supposition. A friend and fellow King James Bible believer, brother Jim, is an excellent researcher. He located a site for me by a Professor David K. Jordan, professor or Anthropology and Provost at Earl Warren College, University of California, San Diego. This professor has written an article about metalurgy and he discusses brass, iron and steel production.Here are some of his findings.
An important technique in modern and late historic steel production is "quenching," that is, heating the metal and then rapidly lowering its temperature again by plunging it into water. The result is a dramatic increase in the strength of the metal, which can be increased yet further by repeating the process. THE EARLIEST QUENCH-HARDENED STEEL THAT WE KNOW ABOUT DATES FROM ABOUT 1200 BC or so. (Homer refers to the process.) Obviously there is a fine line between iron and steel, and some metallic products are difficult to classify as quite one or quite the other.
At another site we find a discussion of ancient Indian steel production dating from the 8th century B.C.
The Ancient Indian Steel by D.P. Agrawal - J. Le Coze, of the Centre for Materials Science, France, has come out with an interesting essay about the different names of steel in different parts of the world that the ancient Indian steel known as wootz inspired. This steel making process was practiced in peninsular India since great antiquity. The ancient Indian steel was known as Damascene steel in Persia and was in great demand in the Persian courts of the First Millennium BC. Even Alexander was presented a sword made of such steel.
Coze informs that in ancient Greek, three names were attributed to steel: stomoma, adamas and chalybs. Since Hesiode (8th BC), adamas signifies inflexible or hard. It was systematically translated into "hard as steel".
I'm not going to base my defense of the King James reading of "steel" solely on the debateable timeline of the use of this material in making weaponry. It may be literal steel or a composite of various hard metals that are referred to by "a bow of steel"; but it may also be figurative.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary lists the second definition of "steel" as: Figuratively, weapons; particularly, offensive weapons, swords, spears and the like.
The word steel is found four times in the King James Bible. Three times the KJB refers to "a bow of steel" - 2 Samuel 22:35 "He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms." Job 20:24 "He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through." Psalm 18:34 "He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms." In Jeremiah 15:12 we read: "Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?"
The first three times the Hebrew word is # 5154 nekh-oo-shaw. This word has a variety of meanings as translated in many different Bibles, both old and new. Among the meanings found in the King James Bible for this word are: "brass" (7 times) and "steel" (3 times)
The second word for steel found in Jeremiah 15:12 is #5178 and this word likewise has several meanings including: "brass, steel, copper, fetters, and chains."
Mr. Norris says: "M'Clintock wrote: In all cases where the word 'steel' is used in the A.V. the true rendering of the Hebrew is copper." Unfortunately for Mr. Norris and Mr. M'Clintock (whoever he is), not even the NASB, NIV, or NKJV have translated it as "copper" but as "bronze".
Observe the differences of opinions various men maintain about what this particular Hebrew word means in Psalm 18:34 "a bow of STEEL is broken by mine arms". John Gill comments on Psalm 18:34 saying: "so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms; that is, the bow of an enemy falling into his hands, which might be literally true of David. It is in the Hebrew text, "a bow of brass"; and so Apollinarius renders it; which Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret strong iron, that is, steel; and so the Targum; see (Job 20:24) "He shall flew from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through."
Examples of multiple meanings for a single word abound even in the modern versions. For instance, the NASB translates the Hebrew word #5178 as brass -2 times, bronze - 130 times, and copper - one time. The NASB also translates #1270 as "axe, iron, axe head, and chains."
The NIV translates the same word as "bronze" 128 times and as "copper" 4 times.
When it suits the purposes of Mr. Norris, he refers to various older Bible versions that differ from the King James Bible to show, in his opinion, how they differ from the KJB. However these same older Bible versions often agree with the KJB against the modern versions.
The word "steel" as in the expression "a bow of steel" can be used figuratively to express something that is very strong, and not necessarily made of literal steel. We sometimes speak of someone having nerves of steel, but we mean that he is of a strong constitution and not literally made of steel. We also use the expression of having to "steel ourselves" for the coming difficulties.
One possible explanation of the expression "a bow of steel" as found in the King James Bible is that they are figurative rather than literal. In Psalms 18 David says of God that He is a BUCKLER (a shield), and A ROCK, and that God "maketh my feet like HINDS' FEET, and setteth me upon my HIGH PLACES. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a BOW OF STEEL is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the SHIELD of thy salvation, and THY RIGHT HAND hath holden me up...Then did I BEAT THEM SMALL AS THE DUST."
None of these things mentioned are literal. God is not a buckler nor a Rock, and neither did God literally hold David up with His right hand. The "high places" were not literal but figurative of exaltation and victory, and David did not literally beat anyone "small as the dust". These are all figurative expressions.
Some people like to criticize the King James Bible when it is too literal, as in the expression "to cut off him that pisseth against the wall" (1 Kings 14:10), which is literally what the Hebrew texts and older Bible versions read. Then they criticize it for being too loose in expressing figurative concepts "in the receptor language".
The King James Bible is not the only one to use the word "steel" in its translation.
Webster's 1833 translation follows all four verses exactly the same as the King James Bible, as do the KJV 21st Century Version and the Third Millenium Bible.
The 1936 Jewish translation, put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company, New York, has "steel" in Job 20:24; Psalm 18:34, and in Jeremiah 15:12.
The Geneva Bible renders this same word as "steel" in Job 20:24
The Bishop's Bible 1568 has "steel" in 2 Samuel 22:35; Job 20:24, and Psalms 18:34
The Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 and the Reina Valera of 1909 as well as the 2019 Reina Valera Gómez translations have "steel" (acero) in 2 Samuel 22:35, Job 20:24, and Psalms 18:34. Likewise Las Sagradas Escrituras 1999 edition reads "steel" (acero) in these verses.
Rotherham's 1902 Emphasized Bible has steel in Ezekiel 27:19 "Wedan and Javan, from Uzal, Brought into thy traffic, - Steel, cassia and calamus, Were, in thy merchandise:"
The Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha 1952 has "steel" in Sirach 31:26 - Fire and water prove the temper of steel, so wine tests hearts in the strife of the proud.
Even the New English Bible 1970 reads in Jeremiah 15:12 "Can iron break STEEL from the north?"
The 2002 version called The Message actually has the word "steel" 10 times in the Old Testament. Here are a few examples:
Job 40:18 - His skeleton is made of steel, every bone in his body hard as steel.
Proverbs 27:17 - You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.
Jeremiah 15:20 - I'll turn you into a steel wall, a thick steel wall, impregnable.
Jeremiah 17:1 - "Judah's sin is engraved with a steel chisel, A steel chisel with a diamond point-- engraved on their granite hearts, engraved on the stone corners of their altars.
Some other modern versions also have the word "steel" in them, but these do not agree even among themselves. In Nahum 2:3 the ASV 1901, the 1917 Jewish translation (JPS), Darby, Amplified 1987, and the NASB 1995 say: "the chariots are enveloped in flashing STEEL".
The brand new 1998 Complete Jewish Bible says: "The STEEL of the chariots flashes like fire as they prepare for battle", but the NIV, ESV say: "the METAL on the chariots flashes", the RSV has: "the chariots flash like FLAME", while the NKJV has: "the chariots come with flaming TORCHES." Isn't it nice that all these Bible scholars are in such total agreement with each other?
BRASS or 'bronze'?
Another oft repeated criticism of the King James Bible is its use of the word "brass" as opposed to the modern version "bronze". Brother Daryl R. Coats has written a good article refuting this silly complaint. You may see it here.
And there is another article about Brass here -
Book Review: The Unbound Scriptures - Part 13 - Part 17 [of 17 Parts]
Part 13 - The Usual Suspects
Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God
Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument
Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?
Part 17 - Final Thoughts
Part 13 - The Usual Suspects
Among the various scriptural readings found in the King James Bible that Mr. Rick Norris criticizes in his book, The Unbound Scriptures, are "the usual suspects" that every anti-KJV critic brings up. These include 1. the Unicorns (Deuteronomy 33:17), 2. Lucifer versus Morning Star Isaiah 14:12, 3. Three verses dealing with the deity of Christ (Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, and 2 Peter 1:1), and 4. "the profession of our FAITH" Hebrews 10:23, instead of "the profession of our HOPE".
I have written separate articles concerning these four common objections which can be found at my website. Every King James Bible defender has to face these at one time or another, and they are not that hard to deal with once the facts are known.
The subject of Unicorns is addressed at this site: http://brandplucked.webs.com/unicorns.htm
Lucifer versus Morning Star can be found at:
Three verses of the deity of Christ is here:
Hebrews 10:23 "the profession of our faith" is dealt with here:
Another verse in the King James Bible that is often criticized is Isaiah 19:10.
Isaiah 19:10 "ponds for fish" versus "Anybody's guess"
On page 337 Mr. Norris asks: "Is Isaiah 19:10 a possible example of the influence of the Latin Vulgate on the KJV?" He also quotes a series of scholarly experts including James D. Price who claimed that in Isaiah 19:10 "all Hebrew manuscripts have a word which means "soul" while the KJV reads "fish" following the Latin Vulgate."
Mr. Norris says: "While the Catholic Douay-Rheims version from the Latin Vulgate has "fishes" in this verse, The English translation of the Masoretic Text BY JEWS has "soul".
Neither statement is completely true. The word "fish" does not come from the Latin INSTEAD OF the Hebrew, as we shall shortly see, and not all Jewish translations have "soul". The two Jewish translations found on the internet are completely different from each other and don't even come close in meaning. The Jewish Publication Society 1917 version says: "And HER FOUNDATIONS shall be crushed, all THEY THAT MAKE DAMS shall be GRIEVED IN SOUL", BUT the brand new 1998 Complete Jewish Bible does not translate this word as "soul" but omits the word entirely and gives a completey different meaning to the verse saying: "THE SPINNERS will be crushed, the HIRED WORKERS DEJECTED."
Here we begin to see the problems associated with this verse. "her foundations" = " the spinners", and "they that make dams" = "the hired workers". Say What?! And remember, both of these groups of Jewish translators went to "the original Hebrew texts" to come up with these entirely different meanings.
Mr. Norris continues with his list of scholars by telling us that Arthur Farstad, of the NKJV translation, also maintained that the KJV followed the Latin Vulgate with its rendering "fish" at Isaiah 19:10 in his book NKJV: In the Great Tradition, page 50.
James White, who wrote The KJV Controversy, also says the KJV has "fish" following the Latin Vulgate rather than the Hebrew text.
So, after this impressive introductory attack on the King James reading of "fish" instead of "soul", let's take a closer look at what the various bible translators have done with this verse and why the KJB translated the word as "fish" instead of "soul".
Let's compare several versions and see if we can determine whether the KJB reading comes from the Latin Vulage, as Mr. White and Mr. Farstad assert or if it comes from a legitimate interpretation of the Hebrew text.
KJB - "And THEY SHALL BE BROKEN IN THE PURPOSES THEREOF, ALL THAT MAKE SLUICES AND PONDS FOR FISH."
This is also the reading of the Wycliffe Bible 1395, the Bishop's Bible 1568, Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21st Century, the Third Millenium Bible, and the 1950 Douay Version. Not only do these English translations render the Hebrew phrase found here as "fish" but so also do the Spanish Reina Valera versions of 1909 and 1960. The 1999 Spanish Sagradas Escrituras (Holy Scriptures) also reads as does the King James Bible. They all say: "todos los que hacen viveros para PECES." - FISH. If you don't know Spanish, you might recognize the similarity to Pices, or the sign of the fish.
Now, let's take a look at the various modern versions to see what they have come up with by going to "the original Hebrew texts".
NKJV - " And ITS FOUNDATIONS will be broken. ALL WHO MAKE WAGES WILL BE TROUBLED OF SOUL.
NASB - "And THE PILLARS OF EGYPT will be crushed. All the HIRED LABORERS will be grieved in soul.
NIV - "The WORKERS OF CLOTH WILL BE DEJECTED, and all WAGE EARNERS WILL BE SICK AT HEART.
The 2001 ESV - "THOSE WHO ARE THE PILLARS of the land will be crushed, and all who work for pay will be grieved."
NRSV 1989 - "Its WEAVERS will be dismayed, and all who work for wages will be grieved.
The 2001 Easy to Read Version - "The PEOPLE THAT MAKE DAMS TO SAVE WATER will have no work, so they will be sad."
The 1998 Complete Jewish Bible - " The SPINNERS will be crushed, the hired workers dejected."
Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac - "And all those who make STRONG DRINK FOR THE DRINKING OF THE PEOPLE shall be humiliated."
The Greek Septuagint (LXX) reads: "And ALL THAT MAKE BEER shall be grieved, and be pained in their souls."
Coverdale 1535 - "All the PONDS of Egypt, all the POLICY of their MOATS & DITCHES shall come to naught."
Geneva Bible 1599 - "For their NETS shall be broken, and all THEY THAT MAKE PONDS shall be heavy in heart."
Bible in Basic English 1961 actually omits words reading: "And the makers of twisted thread will be crushed, and those who ... will be sad in heart."
The 1970 New English Bible - "Egypt's spinners shall be downcast, and ALL HER ARTISANS sick at heart."
See how reading a variety of translations can clear things up for us?
Now let's see what some other Bible commentators, who are not KJB onlies, have to say.
Adam Clarke - All that make sluices and ponds for fish-"All that make a gain of pools for FISH." This obscure line is rendered by different interpreters in very different manners. I translate gain, and which some take for nets or inclosures, the Septuagint is 'And all they that make barley wine shall mourn, and be grieved in soul.' I submit these very different interpretations to the reader's judgment."
John Calvin comments on this verse: "And all that make ponds. As to the word (secher) there is no absolute necessity, in my opinion, for translating it a net; for the derivation shews it, on the contrary, to denote a lucrative occupation. Where fishes are very abundant, they are also preserved in pools and ponds; because the fishers would otherwise be constrained to sell them at a very low price. Besides, when they throw a net, they are not always successful. He therefore follows out the same subject, "It will not be possible either to take or to preserve fishes. Pools will be of no use."
John Gill - "All that make sluices and ponds for fish; or, "all that make an enclosure of ponds of soul" ; or for delight and pleasure; that is, not only such shall be broken in their purposes, ashamed and confounded, and be dispirited, mourn and lament, whose business and employment it is to catch FISH, or make nets for that end, and get their livelihood thereby; but even such who enclose a confluence of water, and MAKE FISHPONDS in their fields and gardens for their pleasure, will be disappointed; for their waters there will be dried up, and the FISH die, as well as in the common rivers.
Robert Young gives the definition of "breathing creature" for Isa. 19:10.
Jamieson, Faussett & Brown - "all that make sluices, ‹"makers of dams," made to confine the waters which overflow from the Nile in artificial FISH-ponds."
They accurately portray what the verse and the first part of the chapter is talking about. Isaiah is speaking about those that made sluices or an artificial channel of water. These sluices were designed in such a way as to lure fish into them. Then once in the man-made pond the fish were captured and sold by those that made their livelihood thereby. We find that all such people that depend on these sluices will mourn and lament along with the fishers because their ponds will be dried up and their livelihood taken from them.
The word renderd "fish" in the King James Bible and other versions is the Hebrew word nephesh. This particular Hebrew word has a great variety of meanings even in the NASB, NIV and other modern versions.
For example, some of the meanings given in the NASB for this same Hebrew word include "a living being, a life, appetite, body, breath, corpse, CREATURE, craving, desire, discontented, heart, feelings, greed, human, hunger, livelihood, longing, men, mind, mortal, murders, number, passion, people, soul, person, slave, strength, thirst, throat, will and wish".
Likewise the NIV renders this same word as "life, soul, heart, people, appetite, CREATURES, spirit, body, corpse, needs, desires, dead body, hunger, members, being, feel, greed, perfume, slave, throats, wishes and zeal." The NIV concordance likewise shows that 46 times they did not translate the word at all. The Hebrew word can have a great variety of meanings depending on the context.
Isaiah 19:8 reads: "The FISHERS also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish." Then we have verse 10 "And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for FISH." Once the context is determined to refer to "sluices and ponds", we can reasonably conclude that type of the creatures that live in the ponds are FISH, not "souls".
As has been shown, other Bible commentators have agreed with the meaning of the reading found in the King James Bible and others versions. The meaning of "fish" in this context is derived from the Hebrew text itself, and not from the Latin.
The Latin Vulgate has nothing to do with the King James rendering here, but rather the KJB translators referred to the Hebrew text. So what if the KJB happens to agree with the Latin? All bible versions are going to agreee in many places. If the Latin has "Christ died for sinners" and the KJB says "Christ died for sinners", do we then conclude that the KJB borrowed this from the Latin? The translations found in Isaiah 19:10 are a matter of different interpretations and perspective; not a difference of Hebrew versus the Latin Vulgate.
A similar example of the literal word "soul" is found in the New Testament Greek in Revelation 16:3. The King James Bible says: "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living SOUL (psukee) died in the sea."
However in the NIV, NASB, ESV we read every living "soul" translated as "every living THING", while the NKJV says: "every living CREATURE died in the sea." Obviously the word "soul" here refers to the fish and other sea creatures that lived in the sea. Are we then to criticize these versions as well for doing the same thing?
To repeat - not only does the King James Bible render this word as "fish" in Isaiah 19:10 but so also do the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909 and 1960, Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1999, the Douay version 1950, Wycliffe 1395, Bishops' Bible 1568, Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21, and the Third Millenium Bible.
Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God
In his book, The Unbound Scriptures, Mr. Rick Norris reveals a great deal about how he views the doctrine of the Preservation of the words of God.
On page 207 he says: "Most defenders of the KJV refuse to name any certain Hebrew or Greek manuscript as inerrant and pure or any one certain printed text as inerrant."
This seems to me like the pot calling the kettle black. Mr. Norris has repeatedly referred to "the original Hebrew and Greek texts" knowing full well that there is no such thing on the face of this earth. He hasn't given us any certain Hebrew or Greek manuscripts either.
Most King James Bible believers I know do not name any specific Hebrew or Greek text as being the inspired, inerrant, and complete words of God because we do not believe this is where they are preserved. We have no problem with the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible, but there is no ONE single Hebrew text or ONE single Greek text that is like any other.
We believe God has promised to preserve His pure words on this earth till heaven and earth pass away, and that He has done so, both in the past and in the present. Today, and for the last almost 400 years they are found in the King James Holy Bible.
Mr. Norris asks: "If the KJV translators could use their reason, scholarship, or other fallible means to pick out any errors in the differing manuscripts they used, then translators today must also be permitted to use these means to do the same. Since the manuscripts and the various old translations they consulted had some differences, how did the KJV translators determine which reading was the providentially preserved one?"
What Mr. Norris fails to see here is the Providential guidance of Almighty God. He sees only the natural, limited talents of sinful man and assumes that the preservation of God's words depends on man's fallible reason and scholarship to determine the true readings. It is a totally humanistic and naturalistic point of view.
If God is providentially behind the multitude of conflicting and contradictory bible versions that keep rolling off the presses, then this God is very confused about what He said or didn't say, and what He meant when He said it.
I do agree with Mr. Norris when he says on page 239: "By acknowledging the positive degree and admitting that other imperfect translations such as the earlier English Bibles and Luther's German Bible are good, KJV-only advocates are also admitting that some other present day translations in various languages including English may also be good while imperfect."
Yes, we do not deny that God can and does use imperfect Bibles in both English and other languages. Where we differ from the Bible of the Month Club promoters is that we believe there is one perfect, complete, inerrant, pure Holy Bible on this earth right now.
God never promised to give every nation or every individual a perfect Bible in their language. The Scriptures tell us that the gospel would be preached to every nation and that God will have a great company of the redeemed out of "all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" - Revelation 7:9. Every imperfect bible I am aware of has enough of God's true words in them to bring people to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They all contain the gospel of salvation through faith in our crucified and risen Lord. We do not dispute this but affirm it.
We repudiate the idea that ONLY those who read the King James Bible can get saved or serve God in any way.
However we do believe the promises of God regarding the preservation of His words have been literally fulfilled. The Bible cannot be clearer concerning it's preservation.
Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
Psalm 12:6-7: "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Psalm 100:5: "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalm 33:11: "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."
Psalm 119:152, 160: "Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. ... Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Isaiah 59:21: "... My Spirit that is upon thee [Isaiah], and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."
Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
1 Peter 1:23-25: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
John 10:35: "... the Scripture cannot be broken."
Mr. Norris brings up the common argument about why should we think that only the English translation of the King James Bible is the pure words of God and not the Spanish Reina Valera or Luther's German. Isn't it a form of sinful pride to think that WE have the pure word of God and others do not?
First, let me say that I firmly believe in the sovereignty of God. "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" - Ephesians 1:11. God could have placed His pure words in Spanish, or German, or Swahili if He had wanted to do so. As Rick says on page 273: "The issue of Bible translation is not about what God COULD DO but about what God HAS ACTUALLY DONE."
I am an American, but I do not consider any American bible (ASV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, etc.) to be the pure words of God. The pure word of God is an ENGLISH Bible from England. Before 1800 the Bible had been translated into only about 40 languages world-wide. God alone sees the end from the beginning and He knew what He would do with the English speaking people and the English language, which in 1611 was spoken by only about 2% of the world population.
Previous English bibles were good but not perfect. They contained minor theological errors and were not textually complete, but they were far better than the modern ones being used today. We believe God providentially preserved His perfect words and placed them in the Holy Bible, which later became known as the King James Version. Once it became firmly established as THE Bible of the English speaking people, who by the late 1700's had spread the influence of the British empire to the far ends of the globe, God raised up primarily English and American Christians to carry out the great modern day missionary movement. From the late 1700's to the mid 1950's the Bible was translated into hundreds of foreign languages and they were all based on either the King James Bible itself or the general Hebrew and Greek texts behind it. This is the sovereignty of God in action and what He ACTUALLY DID.
Mr. Norris speaks of "the original Hebrew and Greek texts" and yet he cannot produce them for us nor tell us where to get a copy of this mystical Final Authority. What God did NOT DO, was preserve His complete and inerrant words in any single Hebrew and Greek manuscript Rick demands we name, nor which Mr. Norris himself can point us to.
There are two fundamental reasons I believe the true and pure words of God are found today only in the King James Bible - 1. the Sovereignty of God Almighty, and 2. something so simple and yet extremely profound - The Truth and nothing but the truth.
Only the King James Bible always gives us the Truth unmixed with theological, historical or factual error. Again, I suggest you read the article I put together called "No Doctrines Are Changed?" - http://brandplucked.webs.com/nodoctrinechanged.htm and compare the examples of doctrinal error with the older English bible versions and especially with today's modern versions.
Some modern version promoters will admit that there are untrue or misleading statements found in their versions, but they insist we must compare all the verses together to get the correct doctrine. I believe God always tells us the truth in every verse of Scripture, and only the King James Bible meets this standard. "A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies." Proverbs 14:5. "Therefore I esteem ALL thy precepts concerning ALL things to be right; and I hate every false way." Psalm 119:128.
I have noticed at various Bible clubs on the internet and from books like those of James White and Bob Ross, that many modern version promoters are Calvinistic in their theology. For those who are Calvinistic Baptists like C.H. Spurgeon, or the Baptist street preacher John Bunyan who also wrote Pilgrim's Progress, or believe in the doctrines of sovereign grace, as did John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace, or Agustus Toplady who wrote Rock of Ages, and as were most of the King James translators themselves, I suggest you read the article titled "Calvinism and the King James Bible" - http://brandplucked.webs.com/calvinismkjb.htm
If you are a Calvinist and are concerned about the truths of what you think the Bible teaches concerning these doctrines, then compare the King James Bible to your NASB, NIV, ESV, NKJV or whatever you presently use. All the modern versions water down or change the truth and even create contradictions with the rest of Scripture.
I personally am not much concerned if a Christian is a Calvinist or an Arminian, or what some like to call a Calminian. This is not my personal battle or main area of interest. I believe everyone who has repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as his only Lord and Saviour is forgiven their sins and will be in glory. When He appears, then shall we know even as we are known. In the meantime, we all "see through a glass darkly" and none of us has a complete understanding of all revealed truth.
Regarding the doctrine of the Preservation of God's words, Mr. Norris makes some statements that I find to be irrational and contradictory. He says on page 312: "Many KJV-only advocates seem to overemphasize the variations between existing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. By exaggerating variations between manuscripts and the variations between translations, KJV-only advocates may unintentionally promote a feeling of uncertainty about the accuracy and preservation of God's Word. The accuracy of our present-day New Testament text depends on the multiplicity of the manuscripts."
That Mr. Norris could draw these conclusions is mind-boggling to me. We are not overemphasizing anything; we are merely pointing out to people what is blatantly obvious to anyone who would take the time to actually read and compare the different Bible versions. Rather it is the fact that there are literally thousands of words missing from most versions today and hundreds of verses have totally different meanings, that there is doubt arising about the certainty of preservation and accuracy of the New Testament as well as the Old. How in the world he can say "the accuracy of our New Testament text depends on the multiplicity of manuscripts" is a mystery to me. I confess I do not understand this way of thinking at all.
Mr. Norris tries to downplay the textual differences that exist by quoting Edward Goodrick who says: "If all the uncertain words were assembled in a 500 page Greek Testament, they would occupy only four-tenths of a single page." (Is My Bible the Inspired Word of God, page 57)
Now I ask any of you who are aware of the textual differences that exist between the King James Bible, NKJV, TMB, and Green's MKJV, which are generally based on the Traditional Greek Text, and those like the NASB, NIV, ESV which are generally based on the Westcott-Hort texts, if all the variants between these two types of bibles and the Greek texts behind them could fit on 20 or even 30 pages of a 500 page Greek N.T. The present UBS Greek text is 886 pages long, and only some of the thousands of textual variants are listed on its pages, yet numerous pages are a third or even half full of these partial variants right now. And this is not ALL of them!
Again, I would suggest that you look at this PARTIAL list of the missing verses, words and phrases that exist between the King James Bible and versions like the NASB, NIV, and ESV. Then try to put all that on four-tenths of a single page if you can. Be sure to see both sections.
Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument
One common complaint I hear all the time and mentioned by Mr. Norris in his book is that we who believe there is only one Bible that is the pure, complete, and infallible word of God is that this is similar to the Catholic view concerning the Latin Vulgate.
Allow me to briefly address this accusation. The Council of Trent met from 1545 to 1563 in an effort to rally the forces of the Catholic church to combat what they considered the heresies of the Reformation and their Bibles.
The Catholic church decided that the Latin Vulgate should be their official bible and none other allowed. Problem was, even when they made this decree, there was no settled text or single Latin Vulgate considered authoritative. Their own language reveals this. Here is a quote taken from the Council of Trent's own decree issued in 1556 "Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,--considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, IF IT BE MADE KNOWN WHICH OUT OF ALL THE LATIN EDITIONS, NOW IN CIRCULATION, of the sacred books, IS TO BE HELD AS AUTHENTIC,--ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever. Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, --wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold." (end of quote)
A papal commission worked for many years after the Council of Trent, but was not able to produce an authentic edition. Pope Sixtus took matters into his own hands and produced his own revision, which appeared in May 1590. The Sixtus Latin Vulgate was full of errors, "some two thousand of them introduced by the Pope himself" (Janus, The Pope and the Council, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870). In September 1590 the College of Cardinals stopped all sales and bought up and destroyed as many copies as possible. Another edition finally appeared in 1592, which became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church (H. Wheeler Robinson, Ancient and English Versions of the Bible, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940, p. 120).
There are several fundamental differences and similarities to what the Catholic church tried to do with the Latin Vulgate, and the Bible version issue as it stands today.
First - the Catholic church wanted to place the words of God in a DEAD LANGUAGE which most people could not read and they forbad translations into other languages to be made. Thus they were keeping the words of God out of the hands of the common people and making them dependent on a special class of priests to interpret it for them.
Second - This official bible had no settled text at the time the decrees were made. There were several competing Latin Vulgate bibles circulating at the time and one was not settled upon till 36 years later.
Third - This official bible was produced by an apostate church which denied salvation by faith alone in the finished work of Christ; denied salvation outside of this Catholic church system, and established a special group of priests who alone could interpret the Scriptures for us.
The King James Bible believer does not deny salvation to anyone who happens to read any Bible version other than the KJB. We approve of the translation of Scripture into other languages, desiring only that they attempt to follow the same underlying Hebrew and Greek texts, and the meaning as found in the King James Bible, as best as possible and not omit some 3000 to 4000 words, including 17 to 45 whole verses, from the New Testament as do versions such as the RSV, NASB, NIV, ESV. All these modern versions just mentioned also depart frequently from the Hebrew texts that underlie our King James Bible.
First - the modern versionist has no settled text, just as the Council of Trent did not when they made their decree. The Greek text that underlies the modern versions such as the NIV, NASB, ESV, ISV, Holman Standard, etc. is in a continual state of flux and constant change. Every new version changes the actual TEXT, as well as the meanings of other verses, from the previous versions.
Second - The modern versionist would likewise place the Final Authority in the hands of a special group of religious leaders - the scholars. They affirm that no translation is the inspired words of God and that we must "go to the original Hebrew and Greek texts" (which don't even exist). Thus they remove the common people from the words of God by appealing to DEAD LANGUAGES as their final authority.
However, it is painfully obvious that these same scholars cannot agree among themselves WHICH Hebrew and WHICH Greek texts are authentic. This is similar to the case of the conflicting Latin Vulgate versions that were circulating at the time of the decree of the Council of Trent in 1556.
Third - The ever changing Greek text now used to translate most modern versions is compiled by men who themselves are apostates who believe no Bible is inspired and much of what we do have is "ancient folktale, popular legend, and traditions penned by unknown authors". (See Bruce Metzger, Cardinal Carlo Martini, and the other liberal editors of the UBS Greek text.)
ANY modern version like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, etc. that is based on the ever changing UBS (United Bible Society) Nestle-Aland critical Greek text is a product of the direction of the Vatican to create an "inter confessional" text that is an attempt to unite "the separated brethren" with a common New Testament text.
I can prove this with direct quotes right out of the Nestle-Aland Greek textbook, the UBS's own site and that of the Vatican.
See Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB are the new "Vatican Versions"
Satan counterfeits every spiritual truth. If there really is One true Holy Bible, then the devil will say there is only one true bible and it is the Catholic bible. Guess which bibles today generally OMIT ALL THE SAME VERSES from the New Testament as do modern Catholic bible versions. You got it.
Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?
Mr. Norris finally gets around to asking the big question we've all been waiting for. King James Bible believers are always hit with this zinger as though this will finally shut the door on our "man-made theory" that God has actually preserved His complete, inerrant words in One Book called the Holy Bible. They ask us: "Well then, were was the true word of God BEFORE 1611?"
Those who promote the modern bible versions do not believe any Bible is the inspired, infallible, preserved, and pure words of the living God. They tell us "the original Hebrew and Greek" is their final authority, hoping no one will notice that there is no such animal on the face of this earth. They don't have it, have never seen it, and wouldn't recognize it if it fell on their heads.
There are no original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts anywhere. There are several different Hebrew texts plus the conflicting Dead Sea Scrolls. There are over 25 different conflicting Greek texts. The multitude of modern versions, like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, depart scores of times from the Hebrew Masoretic texts, and often not in the same places. They are also based on very different Greek texts than that of the King James Bible, though none of them always follows the same Greek text as the others. The NKJV does not always follow the same Greek text as the KJB and the meaning has been radically changed in scores of verses. They often differ among themselves in both text and meaning, and contain several proveable theological errors.
We who believe God meant what He said about preserving His words are ridiculed as being ignorant fanatics who follow a man-made doctrine. Isn't it ironic that the Christian who believes we have the inspired and inerrant words of God today in a Book we call the Holy Bible is called a heretic, while those who deny any Bible or text is the inerrant word of God is looked upon as a great scholar?
We believe God is the sovereign ruler of history and has preserved for us today all His pure words in the King James Bible. God knew what would become of the English language and how the great modern missionary movement of the late 1700's through the 1950's would be carried out by American and English missionaries carrying one Bible and translating it into hundreds of foreign languages and dialects. No Bible in history has been used, honored and hated as much as the King James Bible.
God also knew the great battle concerning the preservation of His words would take place during the times of the falling away from the faith before the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think it quite possible that we are living in those times now. Never before has the Holy Bible itself been under such fierce attack. The supreme irony is that those who now attack the King James Bible are those who call themselves Christians.
God has promised to preserve His words, not in every language or to every people, but in such a way as they would be known by many of God's believing people. The Lord Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matthew 24:35
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:6-7
"The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever." 1 Peter 1:25
We who believe the King James Bible to be the inerrant word of God do not place our trust in the King James translators. We do not defend their comments in the Preface, nor their theology, nor their marginal notes. We trust in God alone Who has fulfilled His promises to preserve His inspired words. He just happened to use the believing men of the 1611 Holy Bible as His instruments to continue this preservation.
"Well, where was the pure word of God BEFORE 1611?"
It will greatly enlighten your mind if you ask the Bible critic the same question. They don't know where it was before 1611, or more importantly, where it is now. A very good educated guess would be that God preserved His perfect words in the Old Latin Bibles and then in the Waldensian latinized Bibles till the time of the Reformation. Theodore Beza, whose Greek text was used by the KJB translators, traces the Waldensian believers from around 120 A.D. to the Reformation. They were killed off by the thousands and their Bibles were burned by the Catholic persecutors. The Waldensians believed in the priesthood of every believer and the doctrines of grace. Then God's perfect words passed over to what was named simply The Holy Bible, later to be known as the King James Version. That is where they remain today in all their purity.
Regarding the Old Latin, which is not the same thing as the Catholic Vulgate, Agustine and Tertullian both speak of this ancient version as existing since 157-190 A.D.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia of 1915 has this to say concerning the early Latin and Syriac translations of the Holy Bible.
"The claim of Christianity to be the one true religion has carried with it from the beginning the obligation to make its Holy Scriptures, containing the Divine message of salvation and life eternal, known to all mankind. Accordingly, wherever the first Christian evangelists carried the gospel beyond the limits of the Greek-speaking world, one of the first requirements of their work was to give the newly evangelized peoples the record of God's revelation of Himself in their mother tongue. It is generally agreed that, as Christianity spread, the Syriac and the Latin versions were the first to be produced; and translations of the Gospels, and of other books of the Old and New Testament in Greek, were in all probability to be found in these languages before the close of the 2nd century."
In his book Final Authority, William P Grady quotes John Burgon on pages 33-34 concerning the reliability of a version over any single manuscript. "I suppose it may be laid down that an ancient Version outweighs any single Codex, ancient or modern, which can be named: the reason being, that it is scarcely credible that a Version can have been executed from a single exemplar (copy). A second reason for the value of ancient versions is in their ability to exhibit a text which antedates the oldest Greek manuscripts. Readings which are challenged in the Authorized Version for their non-existence in the 'two most ancient authorities' (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, fourth century) are frequently discovered in the Syrian and Latin translations of the second century."
In his book An Understandable History of the Bible, Rev. Samuel Gipp Th.D writes: "The Old Latin Vulgate was used by the Christians in the churches of the Waldenses, Gauls, Celts, Albegenses and other fundamental groups throughout Europe."
David Fuller confirms this fact: "It is clearly evident that the Latin Bible of early British Christianity was not the Latin Bible (Vulgate) of the Papacy. The Italic Bible (AD157) - Italy, France and Great Britain were once provinces of the old Roman Empire. Latin was then the language of the common people. So the first translations of the Bible in these countries were made from the Greek Vulgate into Latin. One of the first of these Latin Bibles was for the Waldenses in northern Italy, translated not later than 157 AD and was known as the Italic Version. The renowned scholar Beza states that the Italic Church dates from 120 AD. Allix, an outstanding scholar, testifies that enemies had corrupted many manuscripts, while the Italic Church handed them down in their apostolic purity."
We have only a very small portion remaining of all the Bibles and manuscripts that ever existed. Perhaps as little as one one hundreth, so there is no sure way of knowing what the other manuscripts and Bibles said - just as we do not have the "originals" and can't prove what they said. Of those that remain, no two are exactly alike in every detail, but of the approximately 5,000 portions and fragments that we have today, about 95% agree about 99% of the time with the King James Bible readings. The other 5% differs a great deal even among themselves, and it is this 5% that is used in most of today's "bibles".
It is supremely important to have faith in God, both for our salvation and for believing that He has kept and preserved His words throughout every generation as He promised to do. If you cannot believe God has kept His promise to preserve His words, then how can you believe He will keep His promise to preserve your soul? Can you have the one without the other?
Ask any modern version promoter if he believes the originals were given by inspiration of God. He will enthusiastically respond in the affirmative. Yes, they were inspired. Then ask him how he knows this to be true. He has never seen them because they don't exist. He believes it by faith. In the same way we too have faith that God both inspired His original words and that He has preserved them through history and today they are found in the King James Bible.
The Old Latin Version and the King James Bible Readings
There are at least 17 entire verses omitted from the New Testament in such modern versions as the NIV, RSV, ESV, and the NASB. The NIV omits all 17 of these verses, while the RSV, ESV omit even more, and the NASBs vary from one edition to the next, omitting all these verses in some editions and replacing some of them in others. The following whole verses are included in all, most, or at least some of the Old Latin copies. This information is confirmed by using the Nestle-Aland Greek text critical notes - certainly no friend to the KJB.
The following verses which are omitted in the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV, etc. are all found in copies of the Old Latin texts. Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44, 46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 9:55.56; 17:36; 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24, and 1 John 5:7.
All these seventeen whole verses are found in the ancient Old Latin Version which dates from around 157 A.D., and was in use through the 1500's. These 17 whole verses are also found in the Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible. All of the major disputed textual readings are found this ancient Bible version that is approximately 200 years older than the Greek texts used in the translation of most modern bible versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, and the new ESV all of which are based primarily on the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts.
The critical text apparatus of the UBS usually lists only about 10 Old Latin manuscripts of the hundreds if not thousands that once existed. The vast majority of these Old Latin Bibles are no longer with us but were either burned by the Catholic persecutors or turned to dust with age.
Let's do the math. Found within these few remaining Old Latin copies are every one of the major disputed verses in the New Testament. Though men like Doug Kutilek try to discount the similarity between the Old Latin readings and the King James Bible by "practically at random" selecting individual words and phrases, he is basing his conclusions on only 1 to 10% of the evidence that once existed.
Even with these 10 or so remaining partial Old Latin manuscripts, all of the major and about 90% of the minor disputed readings in the King James Bible are found to exist. We cannot "prove" beyond all doubt that the hundreds or even thousands of other Old Latin manuscripts contained all the readings found in the King James Bible, but it is quite probable that they did. God said He would preserve His words through history, and we believe He has done so.
Brother Kent Hovind, a creationist and a KJB believer, gives a good illustration. He was once talking to a large High School group about the existence of God and an atheist said there was no "proof" of His existence. Mr. Hovind asked the young man if he knew everything. The youth admitted that he didn't know everything. Mr. Hovind then asked him if he knew half of everything. The young man said No, he didn't. Then Mr. Hovind said, Well, let's suppose you do know half of everything. Do you think that God could exist in that half of everything that you do not know?
Just as no one knows exactly what "the originals" said, because they no longer exist, we do have evidence that points us in the right direction, and we have the promises of God that He would preserve His words. I believe God's inerrant words were once found within the majority of the hundreds of Old Latin copies and now are found in the King James Bible.
The Principal Disputed Verses in the King James Bible
Matthew 17:21 "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
Matthew 18:11 "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."
Matthew 23:14 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall recieve the greater damnation."
Mark 7:16 "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear."
Mark 9:44-46 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched...into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Mark 11:26 "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
Mark 15:28 "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors."
Luke 9:55-56 "But he turned and rebuked them, AND SAID, YE KNOW NOT WHAT MANNER OF SPIRIT YE ARE OF. FOR THE SON OF MAN IS NOT COME TO DESTROY MEN'S LIVES, BUT TO SAVE THEM. And they went to another village." All the capital lettered words are missing from the NIV, NASB, RSV.
Luke 17:36 "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
Luke 23:17 "For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast."
John 5: 3b - 4 "waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."
Acts 8:37 "And Phillip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
Acts 9:5-6 "And he said, Who art thou Lord? And THE LORD SAID, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: IT IS HARD FOR THEE TO KICK AGAINST THE PRICKS. AND HE TREMBLING AND ASTONISHED SAID, LORD, WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME TO DO? AND THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." All the capital lettered words are missing in the NASB, NIV, RSV, but found in the Old Latin and the KJB.
Acts 15:34 "Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still."
Acts 24:6-8 "Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, AND WOULD HAVE JUDGED ACCORDING TO OUR LAW. BUT THE CHIEF CAPTAIN LYSIAS CAME UPON US, AND WITH GREAT VIOLENCE TOOK HIM AWAY OUT OF OUR HANDS, COMMANDING HIS ACCUSERS TO COME UNTO THEE; by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him." Again, all the capital lettered words are omitted in the modern versions.
Acts 28:29 "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves."
Romans 16:24 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
1 John 5:7-8 "For there are three that bear record IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE. AND THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."
All these whole verses or the capital lettered portions of the others are missing or bracketed in the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, but are found in the Old Latin manuscripts and in the King James Bible.
For those of you who may be interested in examining in more detail the examples mentioned by Doug Kutilek in his attempt to discredit the Old Latin version as compared to the King James Bible readings, I have addressed these in my article called The Old Latin Bible and the KJB Readings found here: http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/OldLatin.html
For me and thousands of other King James Bible believers, we confidently trust God has fulfilled His promises to preserve His inerrant words in a Bible we can actually hold in our hands, read, memorize, and believe every word. We take literally what our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Where do you stand on this most important issue?
The new version promoter and King James critic has no final authority but his own mind or his favorite scholar to tell him what God probably said. He has no infallible Bible and takes great offence when you tell him you believe we do. He can't tell you where you can get a copy of God's pure words today, let alone where they were before 1611. "Thus saith the LORD" has been replaced with "Well, how does this version render it?"
"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." Jeremiah 6:16
Part 17 - Final Thoughts
Some final thoughts in this Response to the book, The Unbound Scriptures, by Rick Norris.
I want to thank Mr. Norris for writing his book; not because I agree with his premise or his conclusions, but because it has caused me to think more carefully about this extremely important and crucial topic of the Bible version issue.
I have had to re-evaluate my whole position and examime why I believe what I do about God's words. It has also been very good for my prayer life, since I have had to continually ask our heavenly Father for wisdom, faith, and understanding; and this is always a good thing.
The basic beliefs of Mr. Norris are summed up at the beginning of his book by James D. Price Ph.D, one of the NKJV translators, who states: "Norris demonstrates that the doctrine of inerrancy can be successfully applied ONLY to THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS, but not to any translation, including the KJV ... Norris shows that the doctrine of preservation can be applied properly ONLY to the text of THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS."
I hope that I have demonstrated in my Response that the only logical conclusion of this premise is that you end up with no inspired Bible, no Final Authority, and Preservation is reduced to a cloudy concept of hoping we have a general idea of what God wanted to tell us "out there somewhere".
I am sorry to see the church of the Lord Jesus Christ divided over this issue of the Final Authority of the Inspired words of God, but the Scriptures themselves teach us that both Satan and men corrupt, pervert, and wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction.
I do not believe we KJB defenders will turn this thing around and get every English speaking person in the world to go back to the King James Bible. I have had way too much personal contact with modern version promoters to ever believe that they will change their minds. No matter what evidence or arguments you present, they continue to affirm that KJV-Onlyism is a man-made myth and that only the originals were inspired. Either they hold the "originals only" position, or they masquerade their unbelief by saying "All reliable versions are the inspired word of God", in spite of the fact that they differ from each other in literally hundreds of verses in both underlying Greek and Hebrew texts, and meaning.
As I understand the Scriptures, there will be a falling away from the faith before the glorious return of our Lord and Saviour. It is prophesied to so happen and nothing will change it. "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8.
However, God will always have some of His people who believe His promises to preserve His words are literally true and that we have them today. As our Lord so often said: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
The authority of God's inerrant words is being undermined today as never before. This will inevitably lead to a weakening of the faith of many of God's people. In spite of numerous "easy to understand" bible versions, or perhaps more accurately, BECAUSE OF the multitude of conflicting and watered-down bible versions out there today, we live in the most Biblically illiterate generation in America's history. We are a mile wide and an inch deep.
There is much about God, His word, and His ways that I do not understand. I don't know why Mr. Norris in on one side of this issue and I am on the other.
I can't explain why Christians who love the Lord believe so many different things about the Bible and what it teaches. Maybe one of God's ways of dealing with our pride is to humble us in the dust at that final Day when He reveals to us just how much we got wrong.
"And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day." Isaiah 2:17.
As Job said when God finally opened the curtains and revealed Himself to him: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6
I firmly believe that if we know anything that is true or do anything that is right, it is solely by the grace of God. Without Him we can do nothing.
"Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" 1 Corinthians 4:7
I hold the conviction that God has in fact preserved His complete, inerrant and inspired words in the Book we have today called the King James Bible. I believe this conviction comes from God, not because I am smarter or more spiritual than other Christians who hold a different view, but solely by the grace of God.
If I am wrong about this, then God will reveal the truth either in this short life on earth or definitely when I stand before Him on that coming Day. In the meantime, by God's grace, I will cling to His words, believing what is written in His Book.
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16
"It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law."
"Thy word is very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it."
"Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever."
"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."
Psalm 119:126,140, 152, 160. May God encourage and guide each of you as we together "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18
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