King James: Authorised for what and whom?

I note with incredulity on your list of  "don’t like’s" the inclusion of all bibles not authorised by King James. This on the same list as "interpretation’s of the bible".  (sorry)

No doubt the KJ is a monumental achievement of world literature; no doubt it is a resonant and fruity translation for reading aloud with Shakespearian pomp; but accurate it is not. Many modern translations  simplify with commercial intent, but many, many others are based on original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts rather than the Latin Vulgate that forms the basis of the KJ.

As a consequence, the better 20th Century translations really are as close as we need to be to every jot and tittle of the original manuscripts. Despite its grandiosity, the many well documented inaccuracies of the KJ mean that it is little better than an interpretation itself -  your inclusion of I John 5: 7 shows how risky it is to pin your faith on one translation. DYOR.

Seriously, get (and read) a number of good modern translations; it might bring you even closer to the truth.

Posted by Swikky on 16 replies


01. Jun 26, 2003 at 1:25pm by Anthony:

If you’re going to post something on my website, I’d appreciate it if you’d show a little respect.  I’d appreciate it if you didn’t make blind assumptions.  If you have reason to believe that I haven’t done my own research, then present those reasons; "DYOR" insinuates that I haven’t.

Similarly, if you have an argument to present, then present it, and support it with facts.  You’ve presented your argument but haven’t given any supporting data at all.

I’ll respond to the content of your argument within the next day or two.

02. Jun 26, 2003 at 1:55pm by Swikky:

No offense meant: I see many opinions forthrightly expressed here.
QUOTE: "Here I’ll tell you what I believe.  I’ll tell you because I think it’s important, and I think that you will too.  If you disagree, that’s fine; I still love you, we can still be friends.  I’ll believe that you’re wrong, but I won’t think any less of you. "
I was trying to be tactful in not spelling out the problem with I John 5: 7. Most scholars and commentators agree that this verse is a spurious insertion made much later than Peter’s original text ; it doesn’t appear in the early copies. I wouldn’t expect you to take my word for it on such a weighty matter - hence DYOR. You seem to be the kind of guy who appreciates accuracy.
Comparison of scribal copies is how we have arrived at such a good biblical text; early errors spawned later copies bearing the same flaw, like genetic inheritance - by analysing familial variance, scholars have been able to cross-check mistakes and extrapolate near-perfect originals.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to translate without a degree of interpretation: John 1: 1 is a good case in point. The Greek can be read in two ways, though contextual evidence strongly favours one reading over the other. It remains important to compare modern translations; this illuminates rather than obfuscates.
I’ve seen a whole bunch of sites like yours, but yours is the only one I’ve ever responded to. Check your log - I spent time here, and hope I can contribute something constructive. Peace.

03. Jun 26, 2003 at 2:02pm by Swikky:

With regard to hard data: I’ll DMOR(!) and supply a list of KJ inaccuracies for your consideration.

And don’t interpret the concluding comment above to the effect that I think your site is mediocre or uninteresting. I’m doing this because it isn’t.

Flammable/Inflammable? If ruthless why not Ruth? Similarly Couth.

04. Jun 27, 2003 at 7:10am by Swikky:

As promised – here’s some further reading . . .
For a defense of the idea that KJ is THE only version of the Bible, and that it enjoys specific divine protection, see *

For a well-reasoned defence of other translations (specifically the NIV) see

The KJ is broadly based on the third revision of Erasmus’ Greek text revised by Stephanus (the man to blame for the oft-wonky chapter and verse division) in 1550. This version included the spurious text from I John 5: 7/8 which was taken from the Vulgate, and is well documented as a later addition.
For a history of the Textus Receptus (TR) or received text on which the KJ is based, see
and for a very reasonable discussion of which Greek master text is better, see

Unless you want to get drawn into the morass of textual criticism, these will probably tell you all you need to know. It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that when it comes to tricky passages, and translations in general, Proverbs 15: 22 applies . . .

Some texts, like I John 5: 7/8 really matter because they radically alter doctrine; most ambiguous texts are insignificant. In any case, the bible always explains itself. My recipe for true bible understanding is as follows:
• Take one contentious topic (baptism, Trinity, earth’s destinty, immortality, hell, etc)
• Take a number of decent translations and a concordance (much easier if digitised).
• Put aside preconceptions.
• Find all scriptures bearing on the matter that appear to suggest a specific ’interpretation’.
• Weigh the evidence.
• Pray.
• Repeat until clear.

If there is a better route to the truth, I don’t know of one. People who do this rarely end up disagreeing.

A useful backup here is to trace the origin of particular interpretations:
• When did they first appear?
• Who originated or championed them?
• And why?

See what you find . . .

  • I can’t believe they claim on this site that only English-speaking people need a decent bible because it’s their job to convert the world!  Pass the white hood, please . . .

05. Jun 29, 2003 at 9:32am by Kelsey:

"Pass the white hood, please . . ."
-Did you just call someone racist?

06. Jun 29, 2003 at 10:27am by Swikky:

Acts 10: 34-35.

The site referred to ( implies that only English-speaking people deserve to be able to understand God’s word in their own language. Does this strike you as being in harmony with the bible?

Over the centuries many brave scholars have surrendered their lives so that people of all colours, languages and nations can properly understand the Bible. This contention not only insults their work and memory but it imputes that God is racist!

07. Jun 29, 2003 at 2:49pm by Anthony:

First of all it’s ridiculous to insinuate that someone is racist based on their endorsement of the English language.  English is undeniably the lingua franca of the world, crossing all lines of race.  Students in America (of all races) aren’t taught any single foreign language, but in very many other nations English is taught side by side with the native language.  You can argue whether this is "right" or "wrong," for America or for the other nations, but you can’t argue that it is the case, and it has nothing to do with being white.  I’d say that more people would be offended by your implication that English == white, than by the original suggestion regarding an English bible.

But in any event, listing as a proponent of the KJB is at least slightly unfair, since that site by most objective witnesses would be considered fanatical. is not only more informational, it’s more professional.

Now, you said:

> many others are based on original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts
> rather than the Latin Vulgate that forms the basis of the KJ.

I hope you don’t honestly believe that the King James bible was translated from Latin.  If you heard that, you were grossly misled.  (And just to clarify for people following this conversation, there are two "Latin Vulgates."  The "Old Latin Vulgate," completed in 157AD and sometimes known as the Italic or Itala, is a translation from the majority Antiochan line of Greek manuscripts; Jerome’s "Latin Vulgate" was completed in 380AD/405AD (depending on your source) and descends from the minority Alexandrian line of Greek manuscripts.  The latter was translated by mandate of the Roman church; the former was not.)  Furthermore, you reference this page in a later post, but that page contradicts what you just said about the Vulgate being the "basis" of the KJ: "Erasmus also consulted the Vulgate, but only from a few late manuscripts."

There are over 5000 extant Greek manuscripts, containing all or part of the new testament.  The vast majority of these (about 95%) are in agreement with each other, and with the Textus Receptus which formed the basis of the KJB.  However, there are 2 noteworthy manuscripts whose rendering of the text severely disagrees with the vast majority of MSS evidence: the Codex Sinaiticus (also known as Aleph), and the Codex Vaticanis (also known as B).  These disagree not only with the majority text, but also with eachother.  The modern versions of the bible (all versions since 1881) chose renderings from Aleph or B in cases of textual variance; the KJB chose the rendering found in the majority text.  The reason the modern versions favored the Alexandrian line is because they were "older" and therefore "must be more accurate."  However they are not the oldest at all, and they are arguably less accurate, since the ratio of manuscript witnesses against their rendering is something like 50:3, and those 3 don’t even agree with each other.

> I John 5: 7. Most scholars and commentators agree that this
> verse is a spurious insertion made much later than Peter’s
> original text; it doesn’t appear in the early copies.

"Scholars" can (and do) believe whatever they like, but there are many witnesses to this verse, both in bible manuscripts and elsewhere:

1) 200 - Tertullian quotes the verse (Gill, "An exposition of the NT", Vol 2, pp. 907-8)
2) 250 - Cyprian, who writes, "And again concerning the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit it is written: ’and the Three are One’" (Vienna, vol. iii, p. 215)
3) 350 - Priscillian cites the verse (Vienna, vol. xviii, p. 6)
4) 350 - Idacius Clarus cites the verse (MPL, vol. 62, col. 359)
5) 350 - Athanasius cites the verse (Gill)
6) 415 - Council of Carthage appeals to the verse as a basic text proving a fundamental doctrine when contending with the Arians (Ruckman, "History of the NT Church", Vol. I, p. 146)
7) 450-530 - several orthodox African writers quote the verse when defending the doctrine of the Trinity against the gainsaying of the Vandals. These writers are:
A) Vigilius Tapensis (MPL, vol. 62, col. 243)
B) Victor Vitensis (Vienna, vol. vii, p. 60)
C) Fulgentius (MPL, vol. 65, col. 500)
7) 500 - Cassiodorus cites the verse (MPL, vol. 70, col. 1373)
8) 550 - Old Latin ms r has the verse
9) 550 - The "Speculum" contains the verse
10) 750 - Wianburgensis cites the verse
11) 800 - Jerome’s Vulgate includes the verse
12) 1150 - minuscule ms 88 in the margin
13) 1200-1400 - Waldensian Bibles have the verse
14) 1500 - ms 61 has the verse
15) various witnesses cited in Nestle’s 26th edition for a replacement of the text as it stands with the Comma: 221 v.l.; 2318 vg[cl]; 629; 61; 88; 429 v.l.; 636 v.l.; 918; l; r; and other important Latin mss.

It cannot be called a "spurious insertion" by any honest person when the independent witnesses to its existence begin within 150 years of the book’s inscription.  That is among the very oldest evidence available.

You reference this page:

The author of that page starts out with, and later repeats, a denial of the preservation of God’s Word.  God promised us in multiple passages of scripture (Psalm 12:6-7, Mark 13:31 for example) that he would preserve his word forever.  So, if this guy doesn’t believe that, well... that’s fine, but I have no reason to put any faith whatsoever in the things he says, nor should I expect to agree with any of his conclusions, when we start from a fundamentally different viewpoint.  I believe that God inspired (as scripture says) and preserved (as scripture says) the bible; this guy does not.

Even aside from the fact that God promised to preserve his Word for us, there is a logical problem with the idea that he didn’t actually do so.  What is the point of inspiring a perfect bible, and then letting it be lost (as the originals are)?  That’s contrary to what he promised, and it’s contrary to his nature.  II Peter 1 says:

...This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Peter says that we have a "more sure word of prophecy" than the voice of God coming from heaven.  How could we possibly have such a surety if God’s Word has not been preserved?  So, I submit that based on God’s promises and based on logic, it’s perfectly reasonable and in fact necessary to believe that if God inspired a perfect Word, then he also preserved a perfect Word.

Another fundamental problem with the modern versions is that they aren’t word-for-word translations.  They are so-called "thought-for-thought" translations, employing "dynamic equivalence" as opposed to "formal equivalence."  Instead of translating Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic words to English words, the authors of the modern versions would read a phrase from the manuscript, ascertain its meaning in their mind, then write that meaning in English.  The problem is that the resulting text cannot justifiably be called the Word of God, nor even said to contain the words of God, because the text was not preserved on a word-for-word basis; it rather contains the translator’s subjective reading of the text.

These sites are some sources that I have used over the years (and over the past couple days) in researching the bible versions issue:

Biblical Manuscripts Project’s bible versions page, dates and apologetics Dr. Thomas Holland’s Manuscript Evidence course Dr. Holland’s KJB page An Understandable History of the Bible, by Samuel C. Gipp Th.D.

By the way, I rather dislike writing (and reading) these monolithic posts.  If it’s alright with you (you being Swikky, but also anyone else who might join in) I much prefer to take one issue at a time, because it’s usually much easier to do, and to follow, and gets to the point more effectively not to mention efficiently.

08. Jun 29, 2003 at 7:38pm by Kelsey:

swikky, are you white?

09. Jun 30, 2003 at 3:01am by Swikky:

As Homer once said: Mmmm . . . research.
As I said earlier:
" The KJ is broadly based on the third revision of Erasmus’ Greek text revised by Stephanus . . . . This version included the spurious text from I John 5: 7/8 which was taken from the Vulgate . . . " .
This thread has fragmented into three topics:
• Is 1 John 5: 7/8 part of the inspired bible?
• Is (or was) the KJ Translation the only inspired translation?
• Is it racist to believe that only English-speaking people deserve to be able to read God’s word?
I had no intent to bring ethnicity or nationality into the discussion, because I see no relevance to this topic. The days of God using one race as a receptacle for truth surely ended two thousand years ago!  Would our views about bible translations, or the Trinity, really be any different if we were Afro-Caribbean American English-speaking, or Indian English speaking? or Irish? Or Mandarin?
So I’ll stick to translations and 1 John 5: 7/8 . . . .

10. Jun 30, 2003 at 8:51am by JustInAgreement:

I have been reading this progression of posts, hopefully trying to draw something useful out of the discussion, but for a few days I had to ponder why race and the English language had anything to do with the Bible.  I then remembered how I tried to buy a KJV Bible in France, in French.  The bookstore owner laughed at this silly America!!  There is no such version written in French.  So I have to agree with what Swikky is saying about the racist bit.  I don’t think racist is the right word maybe but I understand what Swikky is trying to say.  If the KJV is the only inspired text then all those not able to read English have no access to the inspired word of God and quite frankly, that is ridiculous!

11. Jun 30, 2003 at 9:26am by Anthony:

From Dr. Sam Gipp’s "The Answer Book," Question #7:

QUESTION: If there is a perfect Bible in English, doesn’t there also have to be a perfect Bible in French, and German, and Japanese, etc?

ANSWER: No. God has always given His word to one people in one language to do one job; convert the world. The supposition that there must be a perfect translation in every language is erroneous and inconsistent with God’s proven practice.

EXPLANATION: This explanation comes in three parts: the Old Testament, the New Testament, the entire Bible.

(1) The Old Testament: It is an accepted fact that, with the exception of some portions of Ezra and Daniel, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. It is also accepted that it was divinely given to the Jews.

Thus God initiates His pattern of operation. He gave His words to one people in only one language.

God, apparently unintimidated by modem scholarship, did not feel obligated to supply His words in Egyptian, Chaldian, Syrian, Ethiopian, or any other of the languages in use on the earth at the time the Old Testament was written.

The Old Testament was given exclusively to the Jews. Anyone desiring the word of God would have to convert to Judaism. Ample provision was made for such occurrences.

(2) New Testament: It is also an accepted fact that the New Testament was written in Greek. Koine Greek to be exact. Again, the Lord apparently saw no reason to inspire a perfect original in all of the languages of the world extant at that time.

Only this time, instead of giving His Book to a nation, such as Israel, He simply gave it to the Christians who were told to go out and convert the world. (Matthew 28:19) His choice of Greek as the language of the New Testament was obvious in that it was the predominant language of the world at the time.

(3) The Entire Bible: It is obvious that God now needed to get both His Old Testament and His New Testament welded together in a language that was common to the world. Only English can be considered such a language.

The English language had been developing for many centuries until the late sixteenth century. About that time it finally reached a state of excellence that no language on earth has ever attained. It would seem that God did the rest. He chose this perfect language for the consummation of his perfect Book.

First England and later the United States swept the globe as the most powerful nations on earth, establishing English in all corners of the globe as either a primary or secondary language.

Today nations who do not speak English must still teach English to many of their citizens. Even nations antagonistic to the West such as Russia and Red China must teach English to their business and military personnel.

Thus in choosing English in which to combine His two Testaments, God chose the only language which the world would know. Just as He has shown in His choosing only one language for the Old Testament and only one language for the New Testament, He continued that practice by combining those two testaments in only one language.

But let us not forget the fact that, by choosing the English language, God has given us a mandate to carry out the great commission.

You can call God’s methods ridiculous, but you cannot argue the historicity of the facts on this matter.  God never promised to preserve his perfect word in every language spoken on earth.  He didn’t do that in the past, and he didn’t say that he would ever do it, so it’s an entirely defensible position to believe that he isn’t doing it now.  It’s not politically correct, and that makes it wrong it many people’s eyes, apparently even to the point where it’s contorted into a form of racism or some-other-word-ism.  But that is how God chose to act in the past, and it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if he held the same position on this issue today.

12. Jun 30, 2003 at 10:45am by JustInAgreement:

So what about those who cannot read English?

13. Jun 30, 2003 at 11:16am by Anthony:

That’s the same question as, "What about people who have never heard of Jesus, they shouldn’t go to hell, that’s not fair, God didn’t give them a chance, etc."  I know that you and I have talked through this before (though long ago), but I want to say it again for everyone else to consider.

First of all, God didn’t make this life the way it is.  God made a perfect planet and man wrecked it by sinning.  God never intended for there to be sin, and therefore a need for salvation, let alone people on the earth who might not have heard of the savior.

Second, these "people who haven’t heard" ... you have no idea whether God has provided opportunities in their lives to learn the truth.

In any case, God did provide the solution to our problem.  Still, that solution requires our acceptance and our efforts to spread the word about it.  It might seem more "fair" if God were to appear to the entire earth one day, and say "Hey, it’s me, God... now look, you’re all wretched, and you need salvation, but I’m not going to force you, you have to choose it yourself and believe in it.  And here’s a hint: it’s Jesus, not Buddha or Mohammed or any of the other wanna-be saviors."  That would settle the question of "the people who haven’t heard of Jesus / don’t have a bible in their native tongue / etc" ... but that would not require any faith whatsoever.  If God provided undeniable proof (speaking to the whole earth from heaven), there is no faith involved in believing that, it’s simply fact.

Another popular "more fair" solution is that we should just be able to choose where we go after we die.  First of all, that’s obviously absurd, because no one in their right mind would choose hell.  But it’s also only "fair" if you lived as a serial killer and denied God and Jesus and intentionally disobeyed everything he commands.  That’s not "fair" to someone who accepted Christ and tried to live after the type that he cast.

My point is that all these things address the same issue, the question of whether the circumstances on earth, in particular with regard to God’s Word and the only means of salvation, are "fair."  And my response is that even though some aspects seem unfair, 1) God didn’t make it that way, 2) God provides the way out, and 3) if God has set a precedent on it (providing the OT in Hebrew and the NT in Greek and neglecting all other languages at the time, while commanding Christians to spread the word), then I, personally, will say that I believe in the explanation that is most consistent with God’s nature and past actions.

14. Jul 6, 2003 at 5:03pm by Swikky:

Apologies for the delay: literally working the clock around here . . .

Bit concerned that we are speculating about God’s will on this thread - with little reference to God’s word. In 36CE, Peter himself was surprised to come to this conclusion:

"For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him." (Acts 10: 34/5) The evident demonstration of God’s will initially shocked him, but he brought his thinking into line.

Later, Paul explained to Timothy what God’s will was - and is:
"This is good and acceptable in the sight of our saviour, God, whose will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of the truth."  (I Tim. 2: 4) *

I can buy that the KJ was used by God to disseminate the truth in 16th Century England. Radically, it put the whole bible into the hands of the common man, in language he could understand. It was a big step forward.

I can also buy that God logically would faithfully preserve his word in an accurate form. But who is to say that God didn’t also inspire the translation work of other equally faithful men later? Why the King James only? The logic of your argument applies with equal force to any translation that intelligibly preserves God’s thoughts.

Do you really believe that all the faithful  Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, African, Italian, Inuit, Indian, Japanese, German, (etc) Christians who don’t speak English are somehow less acceptable to God than us English speakers - just because they learnt the truth from a bible that wasn’t authorised by some long-dead despotic English monarch?

Sam Gipp’s argument is subtle, and interesting, but nullified by hard evidence. All over the world, people ARE coming to an accurate knowledge of truth from all kinds of bibles, and changing their lives for the better as proof of the Holy Spirit’s blessing. QED.

Whether the Textus Receptus is a better basis than later master texts such as Westcott & Hort or Nestlé-Alland is a scholarly issue that I suspect is beyond the scope of anyone on this forum to judge. Here’s where we have to play ’rent-an-expert’. Personally, I believe in the benefits of a couple of hundred years more scholarship on the matter. But to be on the safe side, I really find it enlightening to use a number of different, respected, translations. Again - show me evidence that ANY one translation is exclusively the RIGHT one. If anyone is interested in a detailed comparison of rendering consistency and how the sources were used, please start a new thread . . .

Fact is, I don’t speak Medieval English. I was born in 1971. If I read about Esau, I want to know that he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew, not ’Sod Potage’. How can it be God’s will for me to waste my time learning Shakespearian vocabulary when I could be learning the bible in my own tongue - like they did in 16th Century England? Contrary to popular belief, Moses didn’t talk like Shakespeare, or Charlton Heston.

So fare ye welle in thine studyes my grummalds, and spare not ye strain in comprendifying all manner of goodly matters spake thusly by folk of yore - whose bodkins were upright before the Lorde. (Apologies if post too monolithic).

  • A modern translation chosen here to properly translate ’epignosis’ as ACCURATE knowledge, rather than many translations which render it as if it were simply ’gnosis’, (knowledge, or acquaintance)

15. Jul 6, 2003 at 10:21pm by Anthony:

> I can also buy that God logically would faithfully
> preserve his word in an accurate form.

You don’t have to buy it, God promised it.  Psalm 12?  Mark 13?  He said it clearly.

> But who is to say that God didn’t also inspire the
> translation work of other equally faithful men later?

I brought up the inspiration/preservation issue because one source that you referenced specifically denied that God preserved his Word for us... not to say that God didn’t inspire other translators later.  However I do believe that God did no such thing.  I don’t believe the modern translations to be preservations of God’s Word because they are a confusing mess.  Where they disagree with the >5000 witnesses that agree with the KJB’s rendering, they take their rendering from among 45 other witnesses, and those 45 don’t even agree among each other.  The only reason any rational person would choose to ignore >5000 concurring witnesses, and instead favor 45 witnesses that disagree with each other, is if they have some other agenda.  That’s exactly the present situation: the Catholic Church is pushing the use of the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus (the 2 most important of those 45), because as history has shown, the agenda of the Catholic Church is to destroy/replace Christianity by killing Christians and presenting false doctrines.

> Do you really believe that all the faithful  Chinese,
> Russian, Spanish, French, African, Italian, Inuit,
> Indian, Japanese, German, (etc) Christians who don’t
> speak English are somehow less acceptable to God than
> us English speakers

No, and I said no such thing.  Were people who got saved in the first century, but didn’t speak Greek, "less acceptable" to God?  Of course not, and I didn’t say anything like that, and I have no idea where you’re pulling that from.  The fact that God has historically preserved his Word in the the most widespread languages of the times doesn’t make any other people "less acceptable."

> just because they learnt the truth from a bible that
> wasn’t authorised by some long-dead despotic English
> monarch?

That is pure propaganda.  The KJB’s value comes from the fact that it’s rendering of the text agrees with the vast majority of extant manuscript evidence, both ancient and modern... not from the fact that its inception occurred under the reign of King James.  But still, because many anti-KJB people seem to harp on this misguided statement, here are some things to consider:

"Although it is often called the ’Authorized Version,’ it actually was never authorized by any official action on the part of the Church or State. On the contrary, it’s universal reception by the common people of all denominations seems clearly to be another instance of the providence of God working through the God-guided usage of the Church."
--Hills, Edward F., Believer’s Bible Study, (The Christian Research Press, Des Moines, 1967), pp. 120-122.

"As anyone knows, the A.V. 1611 had no royal backing, no royal promoting, no act of Parliament behind it, and the University Press was allowed to print any other version of the Bible along with it."
--Ruckman, Peter, Christian’s Handbook on Manuscript Evidence, (Pensacola Bible Press, Pensacola, 1970), p. 24.

"Says Dr. Lee, Principal of the University of Edinburgh: ’I do not find that there was any canon, proclamation, or act of parliament, to enforce the use of it. ’The present version’ says Dr. Symonds, as quoted in Anderson’s Annuals, ’appears to have made its way, without the interposition of any authority whatsoever; for it is not easy to discover any traces of a proclamation, canon or statute published to enforce the use of it.’ It has been lately ascertained that neither the King’s private purse, nor the public exchequer, contributed a farthing toward the expense of the translation or publication of the work.’"
--McClure, Alexander, Translators Revived, (Maranatha Publications, Worthington), p. 60.

(All quoted from "An Understandable History of the Bible.")

> Sam Gipp’s argument is subtle, and interesting, but
> nullified by hard evidence. All over the world, people
> ARE coming to an accurate knowledge of truth from all
> kinds of bibles

The fact that God used just a couple languages when authoring the old and new testaments is also hard evidence.  He ignored the other languages of the world, and told Christians to take care of that.  Sam Gipp’s point stands IMO.  Regardless, I’m not saying that bibles in other languages hold no value.  I’m saying that if you have a bunch of bibles in one language, one of which is supported by the vast majority of evidence, and the rest of which disagree with the evidence and with each other, then that one is clearly better.

> Whether the Textus Receptus is a better basis than
> later master texts such as Westcott & Hort or
> Nestlé-Alland is a scholarly issue

I’m not very familiar with the latter, but Westcott and Hort, by their own admission, didn’t believe in the infallibility of the scriptures, nor that they were any different from any other ancient writings.  Hort didn’t believe in a literal Eden, nor that Christ’s death alone was sufficient to pay for a man’s sins, but he believed in purgatory and salvation through baptism.  Westcott didn’t believe in a literal biblical creation, nor that heaven is a different place from earth.  It doesn’t make any sense to me that God, who claims that he is "not the author of confusion," would use two men who didn’t even believe in fundamental biblical principles, to write a new biblical text.  And again, this is especially hard for me to believe when you consider that their text is in such disagreement with the vast majority of the evidence.

> Personally, I believe in the benefits of a couple of
> hundred years more scholarship on the matter.

I would believe in such a thing, if it could honestly be called "scholarship."  But I see no way to refer to it as such when it ignores nearly all the manuscript evidence.

> Again - show me evidence that ANY one translation is
> exclusively the RIGHT one.

I’m not sure how to make it any clearer.  As I see it, the evidence of 5321 (as of 2001) manuscripts, vs 45 manuscripts, forces one to conclude that clearly there is one "right" text.

> Fact is, I don’t speak Medieval English.

Neither do I.  However I do speak American English, and it’s very similar to proper English, which is used in my KJB.

> If I read about Esau, I want to know that
> he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew,
> not ’Sod Potage’.

Maybe I’m an English scholar, but I have no difficulty comprehending this:

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint...
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way...

"It’s too hard to understand" is a typical argument used by anti-KJB people, but frankly it doesn’t hold up.  The language just isn’t that different.  If you read it every day, you pick it up rather quickly.  Furthermore, I personally think that the Word of God is a pretty good reason to learn to understand proper English.

> A modern translation chosen here to properly translate
> ’epignosis’ as ACCURATE knowledge, rather than many
> translations which render it as if it were simply
> ’gnosis’, (knowledge, or acquaintance)

"The knowledge of the truth" leaves no room for "including truths which may be inaccurate."  The KJB rendering is clear; "the knowledge of the truth" clearly indicates that the truth is marked by accuracy.  And your simplified definitions of the Greek are misleading.  The lexicon at says:

1. precise and correct knowledge
a. used in the NT of the knowledge of things ethical and divine

1. knowledge signified in general intelligence, understanding
a. the general knowledge of Christian religion
b. the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
c. esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
d. moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living

To say that only the first means "accurate" knowledge is misleading, since knowledge "of things lawful and unlawful for Christians" isn’t some vague "acquaintance" as you suggest, but it’s the kind of knowledge that is either accurate or inaccurate.  There is no basis for saying that "the knowledge of the truth" isn’t proper for epignosis at 1 Timothy 2:4.  Furthermore, it’s redundant to render epignosis as "an accurate knowledge of the truth" because "a knowledge of the truth" that isn’t accurate is oxymoronic.  You cannot possess the knowledge of the truth and do so inaccurately; if your "knowledge" is inaccurate, then you don’t actually have the knowledge of the truth.

16. Jul 7, 2003 at 8:05am by Swikky:

In reverse order:

The crosswalk lexicon usefully enlarges on my much simplified comparison of gnosis and epignosis - and clearly makes the point that there IS a distinction between the two words.

Paul could have said gnosis here, but he didn’t. He used EPIgnosis - why?

Because he wanted to highlight that "a general knowledge of the Christian religion" was not enough to be saved; what is required is "precise and correct knowledge" of truth. I have a general knowledge of what happens under my car’s bonnet (hood), but I couldn’t build a combustion engine - because I don’t have epignosis of its detailed workings. The difference between a driver and a mechanic is that of gnosis and epignosis.

Obviously two languages don’t always one-for-one semantic matches - but I would expect my English translation to tell me when the penman used gnosis and when he used epignosis, rather than glossing over the difference by rendering both as knowledge. Paul was careful to distinguish between gnosis and epignosis in concept and detail.

Compare the following:
1 Timothy: 6: 20 "O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee, turning away from the profane bablings and oppositions of the knowledge (GNOSIS) which is falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith"
Philippians 1: 9: "This is what I continue praying, that your love may abound yet more and more with accurate knowledge (EPIGNOSIS) and full discernment, that you make sure of the more important things . . ."

Paul is therefore the basis for translating 1 Timothy 2: 4 as accurate knowledge. If Paul said epignosis, I want to know. If he said gnosis, I want to know. I don’t want my translation to pretend the word is the same, or that Paul used them interchangeably - because he didn’t.

This admittedly is a pretty trivial example. However, a key test of any translation is consistency of rendering, and the KJ is particuarly weak handling expressions such as sheol, gehenna, and pneuma, for instance, which would more helpfully be rendered by the same English word when possible.

Where this is done, it gives evidence that the translators are "handling the word of truth aright" by being diligent about expressing the original meaning without exegesis.


If I understand you right, you’re now saying that you believe the KJ to be an inspired translation because it is based on the Textus Receptus which you believe to be more reliable than later master texts - not simply because it’s in English.

There’s no question that Erasmus was one of the good guys, but W+H also firmly believed in the divine inspiration of the scriptures.

Erasmus lived in the 16th Century - with 16th Century technology, communication, storage and travel. The fact is that, with the best will in the world, Erasmus only had access to a handful of LATE cursive manuscripts  - at worst three, at most eight - from which to prepare his Greek text. Stephanus was able to make corrections to Erasmus’ text by consultation with the Complutensian Polyglott of 1522 and another 15 late manuscripts.

Sincere though they were, they had no way of consulting the more than 13,000 manuscripts that now exist - and here we’re justing talking about the Greek scriptures! Nearly 500 years of archaeology and the explosion of biblical scholarship in the 19th Century have brought to light literally hundreds of key documents useful in determining the shape of early manuscripts, not least of which the Dead Sea Scrolls, only discovered in 1947.

The KJ made possible for the first time in maybe 1500 years for the ploughboy to read God’s word, and for that we’re all eternally grateful. My point is that it’s absurd to ignore modern master texts which, rather than being a mess, are better established than the venerable TR. It is certainly not the case that the KJ is supported by > 5000 witnesses and a modern text by only 45.

Bear in mind that a 20th Century master text INCORPORATES the TR and thousands of other manuscripts combined. How the TR can in any way be better is nonsensical. How these texts are translated into English, Spanish, African, etc is another question . . . again, why not consult many translations, as Erasmus and Stephanus did?

Point taken on the King James angle - a little rhetoric licence! My copy says Authorised by King James on the flysheet.

Also, I’ve no beef with your view on the Catholic Church - though who you believe they are persecuting in today’s world is not made clear. Who today do you think is the true equivalent of the first century congregations?

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