Archive for March, 2012

KJB Clarifications: Answers to Questions

March 2, 2012

Bible (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Rich Wendling says he doesn’t understand why anybody would be KJBO and he asks some questions in his blog:

Theological Positions I Don’t Understand, Part 1:

Apparently he has had people in his life who used to take a KJB-Only position but have changed. The sad thing is that this is more an indication that they themselves did not understand the reasons why it may be God‘s position, because they have moved away from that understanding.

There is a LOT more to insisting on the KJB as THE standard for Christians than just tradition.

Let’s take his questions in raw form, as is:

#1. There are several different texts used in Bible translation.  How do we know the texts upon which the King James was based are inerrant?

The supremacy of the KJB does not just depend on its based-on text, the Textus Receptus, which is also known as The Majority Text, as it comprises about 95 percent of the manuscripts and codexes from ancient times that exist today of the New Testament. The Hebrew text used for the Old Testament is for most translations the Mazoretic, which is pretty much agreed to by all scholars as best representing the originals.

There are two main body of texts. The Majority Text, which is majority for getting the most respect from the earliest Christians in most ancient times, the text the Byzantines-then-Greek Orthodox never gave up.

But we must understand anyway that today there is absolutely no existing “original” text of any book or part of the Bible in existence today. What we have are multiple generations of copies of copies. So when any of the modern version advocates or anti-KJB commenters talk about “only the originals are inspired”, what are they talking about?

Because they do not know WHAT they are talking about, because there are NO existing “original autographs” anywhere in the world today, those are long gone on the dust heap of history. So by their own claims, they have NO BASIS to back up what they say about fidelity to the so-called “originals”.

But it’s a good question, How do you know? There are good reasons for the Textus Receptus over the Alexandrian texts, among other things being that the Alexandrian texts claimed as basis and used in modern versions h ave bigger differences among themselves than they do from the Majority Text.

Another is “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

#2. How can any translation be inerrant, since we don’t know what some Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible actually mean?  How could they have been translated correctly?  For example, the Hebrew word תיבת or teiveh only appears twice in the Old Testament.  It is the word for Noah’s ark, and the word for Moses’ baby basket.  Nobody knows exactly what it means, though.

“Nobody knows exactly what it means” today, maybe, but this is another evidence of the excellent knowledge of the 70 or so brilliant scholars that worked on the King James Bible. These are people who had a dedicated, sincere love for the Lord, and at the same time did not lack for fluency in the Biblical languages. They wrote prose in those languages, they could hold debates in these languages, they could have revived them in a way similar to the Hebrew spoken today in Israel, except that their Greek would have been closer to the ancient Koine.

But they did not manifest the hubris, the pride, or the guesswork of the modern translators when it came to a word that they really did not understand.

For example, when they came across the Hebrew word “behemoth” in the book of Job, they did not take a wild guess like your modern versions. “Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.” -Job 40:15. They didn’t even add the misleading NIV footnote saying it could be a hippo or an elephant, which between the lines says “your guess is as good as ours”.

But the “elephant” guess is WORSE today than even just treating it like the KJB does, because it’s a sign of unbelief.

No the KJB scholars did not know the word so they transliterated it, and if you read the text you’ll understand it’s the description of a dinosaur without doubt. But the modern graduate of the dumbed-down schools of today cannot believe Genesis, they do not believe the Bible cover to cover, so they guess at something else.

#3. A related problem is that there are many Hebrew and Greek words for which we do know the meaning, but there is no corresponding English word with exactly the same meaning.  How can any translation in any language be inerrant?

Let’s explain by example.

Revelation 13: 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

Note that word “in”, as in “in their right hand”. The NKJV, NIV, NLT, that is really ALL the modern translations replace the word “in” with “on”.

At the following link find some amazing insights into the guiding hand of God and the expertise of the KJB translators in using the word “in” instead of the misleading “on”, and the wild perversion of the word with the word “tattoo” in some:

From John Hinton: The preposition epi can also mean in, to, at, with, along with, and a number of other similar meanings. It must be read in context before it is translated, and unlike the correctors of today, the KJV translators were able to do that. They did, and they realized that a xaragma, which is translated as mark, involves a scratching or etching into the skin. This, we could imply, would include injections, although the idea of injections was not known when the text was written. Any philologist of even meager ability realizes that prepositions cannot be put into neat little boxes. They virtually never translate perfectly from one language to another. For instance, if we were to make a word for word translation of “turn the light on” or “turn the light off” into any foreign language, we would not be understood at all. For another example, when one learns a preposition in Arabic like ‘ala, the meaning of “on” will be learned first. If we were to try to translate it as “on” in every instance, we would make a complete mess out of the language, because ‘ala means a whole lot more than just “on”, and it frequently requires either a lot of experience or a lot of thought to discern what it means in a given passage. I am sure that there is not a language in the world that uses prepositions that does not have other examples. The translators of old put their discernment to work when they translated epi; the modern version pseudo-translators did not.”

That’s why he felt compelled to introduce the above paragraph with this commentary:

Revelation 13:16 is one of those verses that fakes and second-rate Greek scholars use to puff themselves up, and it requires only the most elementary level of study. Yes, indeed, when epi is used as a preposition it is most often translated as “on” just as all dictionaries will tell us. I did learn this the very first day that I began studying koine Greek, and probably learned it the first day that I began studying Greek twenty some years ago when my focus was on Modern Greek. This is as basic as it gets, so why do these Bible “correcting” pipsqueaks think that these great scholars of old, who were far more educated than they will ever be, did not know the most common meaning of epi? This is not just ignorance, but the worst kind of arrogance. The fact that they chose not to translate epi as “on” demonstrates that they knew something the modern quasi or pseudo-scholar does not know. These 53 men (the 54th died early) knowingly translated or approved of the translation of epi as “in” in its context for a reason.

#4. Even if it were possible to have a perfect, inerrant translation – how do we know it’s the King James?

That’s the best question yet. You can just follow the word itself for this one, even the modern perversions haven’t been able to cover up the Biblical basis for this.

While we’re into this one, keep in mind that the modern translators have absolutely no Biblical basis whatsoever to say that God cannot have inspired a translation for modern times. None. Their “Biblical” objections are actually ad hoc character assassinations mostly, and the use of the word “cult” as pejorative, and other irrelevant noise.

God promised in Psalm 12:8 to keep his pure words preserved, as silver purified in the furnace and tried seven times.

The most important thing God has to tell us, to show us, is his word. Some anti-KJBO screeds take exception to Psalm 12, saying it means something else. Even based on their mouthings, even if you think it’s a promise to preserve the poor, what do you think is more valuable to God but the word. After all, that’s Jesus without the flesh (John 1:1)

God knew that English would be the standard language around the world in today’s troubled times. It is the international language of commerce, trade, diplomacy, business, journalism, science, technology, and as a software developer I can tell you that ALL programming languages are based on English. To be a real hacker, take it from Eric Steven Raymond, one of the original group that invented the word at MIT in the earliest computing days:

“As an American and native English-speaker myself, I have previously been reluctant to suggest this, lest it be taken as a sort of cultural imperialism. But several native speakers of other languages have urged me to point out that English is the working language of the hacker culture and the Internet, and that you will need to know it to function in the hacker community.”

At every international airport in the world, if you cannot speak fluent English enough to handle fast-talking emergencies, you cannot be an air traffic controller. I’ve lived in Latin America, and doctors follow developments in medicine in the English journals.

That’s merely evidence that it would be most likely according to God’s desire to have us “make disciples of all nations”, to use English.

If it hadn’t have been ‘er, who’d have been ‘er, as the saying goes. If not the KJB, which? Every criticism of the KJB that I have ever seen, every one, without exception , has been itself flawed and has proven to be without merit.

God is not the author of confusion. There are more than 100 English language translations and “paraphrases” oday on sale. I Corinthians 14 says God is not the author of confusion, and it’s talking about interpretation of tongues.

Can God inspire a translation? There are at least a dozen places in scripture that were obviously first written as translations from a different language, including Joseph’s conversations in the Egyptian, Daniel’s in Babylonian, and “King of the Jews”, and modern translators claim that those original translations were inspired, so they agree that a God can guide a translation.

There is internal consistency in the King James, it does not contradict itself. Doctrine testifies to it. In the King James you put out a heretic from fellowship, in the NIV you put out Jesus, because it says to remove anybody who is “divisive”.

#5. Even if the King James Bible was inerrant in 1611, when it was written, how can it be inerrant now, since the English language has changed so much in the last 400 years?  Many English words do not mean the same thing in today’s English as they did in 1611 English.

The King James Bible kept the English language stable over 400 years, after its previous erratic wanderings. The KJB is just as understandable today as then. A lot of the words that have been called “archaic” by people who did not know better are simply a matter of simply learning English, not archaic at all.

Along those lines, this is one complaint about the “thee”s and “thou”. But those words had gone generally out of use by the 13th or 14th century. The reason those words are in the KJB is for accuracy. It distinguishes the second person singular pronoun from the second person plural. There are a number of passages where this makes much difference.