Thursday, May 04, 2006


In the first Shibboleth post, I mentioned that I could start a debate with just one word...tithing.

Now I am going to do that same thing with another "shibboleth", but this time I can "name that tune" with just three letters...


As in "KJV only".

This is a modern day "shibboleth" if there ever was one.

Don't get me wrong, I love the KJV, I use it, read it , study it, and meditate upon it. It is my primary Bible, and probably always will be. But why do people want to say that it is the only Word of God? What are the fears, and why the problem? My belief is that we have swallowed a rather unhealthy pill.

Let's not play "bible ping pong" too much, shall we?

On with the fireworks!

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Anonymous said...

Early in my Christian walk I listened to the "leaders" of the congregation "fight" (not debate) about this topic. Some even argued that it had to be the 1611 version. I was new in my faith and sad to say that I bought into that philosophy for a time.

I wonder how many of those new to the faith have been discouraged because of similar "shibboleths"? I now consider some of the newer easy reading versions as the "chocolate milk" you referred to in your last blog.

Appreciate your blog--has a lot of thoughts / ideas to "think on".

Even So... said...


Thanks for the comments. I find it

1. Spiritually irrational

2. Scripturally indefensible

3. Socially irresponsible

to believe that the NKJV, NASB, NIV, or the ESV are not giving glory to the same God as the KJV.

Perhaps we will expound on these three points.

What say you? Any of you?

Anonymous said...

Even So -

Your "about me" indicates you are a preacher. Could you explain why the "KJV only" camp has issues with the other versions? I know versions like the Message aren't translations but if it gets someone to at least read then wouldn't that be a good thing? What's the fear?

Even So... said...

The problems stem from the translation stream. The newer versions come from the Alexandrian family of texts, while the KJV was taken from the Byzantine stream.

The Byzantine are known as the majority because there is many more of these extant today, and have "always" been, at least since the ninth century. It is hard to find that stream of texts before that period, however, the earliest being the fourth century, and it did not come to be the dominant majority until much later.

The Alexandrian stream has extant some much earlier manuscripts, as early as 150 AD. These were discovered in the 1800's.

The idea is that the earlier the manuscript, the more relaible it ought to be. This may or may not be true, of course. Critics say the Alexandrian streams are earlier because no one used them, so they didn't wear out, and that they come from the Egypt area, with less climate problems for the papyri.

The Alexandrian school of scholars also produced numerous heretics, namely Origen, whose allegorical interpretation of scripture is widely villified today, as it was in the ancient past.

Also, the men that "found" these manuscripts, labeled today as Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, are reported to be cultists, Wescott and Hort are their names.

Sounds bad, huh? But this is only a small part of the true story. The textual streams agree virtually 95% of the time.

Much more to talk about, later.

Even So...

Anonymous said...

Me and my dad were discussing this issue, and i wanted to put out my opinion on this subject. If you have any advice or questions to any of the things that I am writing then please feel free to ask. Thanks

Some of the people that believe in KJV only has issues with other versions cause it was one of the first versions to be authorized to be transulated and that if you looked at a lot of the people who only read KJV were brought up in that kind of lifestyle. It is not the actual Word of God that they are reading it is the opinion of someone about the Word of God. The fear of that is like the Di Vinci code you are not learning about the facts, you are learning about the opinions of the writer.

Even So... said...

I believe that is true, Sean, though it won't be true for all people. The really twisted part is where some people are doing just what you said, and then they go into the Bible and "research" their point just to prove themselves.

It is like people who have a terrible doctrine (say Mormons and their polytheism) yet are morally pure, in a sense, so that this becomes their justification for their doctrine.

I might also liken it to those who have bad doctrine but are "nice"; everybody gets all over you if you try and tell them about their bad doctrine.

Sincerity is no substitute for truth, but lets go for truth, not just a second hand version of it. In that sense you are right on Sean.

Anonymous said...

James White writes in his book, "The King James Only Controversy"....Responsibility must be laid at the door of the KJV Only camp for the destruction of many Christian churches. Church splits have taken place as the direct result of the influence of KJV Only materials on elders, deacons, and other influential members. He further says...Our relationship with Jesus Christ is not based upon a particular Bible translation. Men and women had fine Christian lives for fifteen hundred years before the KJV came on the scene. ....The church should not be distracted be even well-meaning people who seek to force others to read one particular translation of the Bible.

Even So... said...


Dan said...

I find it amazing that people can claim that there is only one bible translation that was inspired by God.
I hear sermons and speakers on a daily basis that I truly believe were inspired by God. Wouln't that be the same thing? When one preaches or teaches from the Word they are "translating" the Word. If their theory were correct then it would be wrong to preach unless you just literally read word for word out of the Bible. There are times when I think that is neccessary but certainly God expects us to preach and teach in the native tongue of the land.

Even So... said...


There is a difference between being "inspired" and being "inerrant", or inspired in the canonical, Scriptural sense.

My words, your words, or Luther or Spurgeon's words may well be inpsired in the sense that they were empowered by God,but they were not meant as Scripture.

Our words illustrate the truth and illumuinate it. They are perhaps God-backed, but the Apostles and Biblical writers' words were God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16, the words rendered "inspiration of God" are theopneustos, or "God-breathed" in the Greek - cf.2 Peter 1:20-21).

That being said,the comments about preaching in the native tongues are correct.

If you go to Wycliffe Bible Translators HQ in Orlando, Fl, you will see and hear languages that are only "noises" like clicks and such; it is truly amazing.

Something tells me this fact about languages and translation tells us that you have to be insistent to leave your eyes closed on this issue if you want to remain KJV only.

Even So... said...

The original manuscripts, according to an orthodox interpretation, are indeed the only inspired translation.

Your point about having more than only one correct translation is still valid.

Of course, we do not possess any originals, but we do have a pure Word when combining all the credible extant manuscripts we have today, and being diligent.

No vital doctrine has been changed by the "new" manuscripts, and that is a main point.

Anonymous said...

The following is taken from a little book I have entitled "Let's Weigh the Evidence" (Which Bible is the REAL Word of God)? By Barry Burton

The issue of the modern translations is controversial, even in fundamental circles. The issue is not one of inspiration, of course....The issue is one of preservation. Did God Preserve His Word perfect for us today, or was it only perfect "in the original autographs"? If God has not preserved His Word perfect, but has allowed some errors, then, since we don't have the "orginal autographs," we must assume that we have been teaching and preaching out of a book that is not completely reliable.

If we believe that the Bible is still perfect, then we must still answer the question, "Which Bible is the one that God has preserved for us?" Since the modern translations are different from the KJV, not just in wording but in doctrine, and since two conflicting books cannot both be perfect, we must make a choice.

We believe that the Bible (KJV) is the Word of God, and we also believe that God has preserved it perfect for us today. It was not just perfect in the original autographs.........

What say you, Even So

Even So... said...

Now we're getting going. I knew we couldn't go to this issue, even in a remote corner of the blogosphere, a complete unknown, and still not have someone come up and say "shibboleth".

Your logic is flawed.

Your assumptions are false.

The explanation for these statements will come in a following post.

Barry Burton is not the final arbiter, and neither am I.

I imagine we are about to play bible ping pong, after we get through with the philisophical items.

Even So... said...

Thanks for bringing it up. It will be good for us to go through these things.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I was invited to come here to argue the other side of this issue. First, the KJV only side is not one monolythic, homogenous group. Why am I KJV only? This really comes down to what I believe on the preservation of Scripture. I start with a Scriptural predisposition and then look to see what God did. I see perfect preservation of Scripture taught in the Bible. I won't go into how and what it teaches about that at this moment. I believe the standard for Scripture is perfection. God promised general accessibility of all His Words. If He expects us to live by every Word (not every idea), then He would preserve every one of them. In a printed, available edition, the church had only the Words (Hebrew, Greek) behind the KJV for nearly 300 years. The churches agreed that these were the Words of God, and the Spirit of the living God through the churches canonizes the Words. God inspired only the words of the original manuscripts, but He perfectly preserved them. Based on Scriptural predisposition, those Words must be the Words behind the KJV. The Words behind the new versions were not available for use for at least 400 years, but probably more like 1500 years. They cannot represent God's preserved Words.

Even So... said...

Thank you very much Kent.

Now we are getting somewhere.

Okay, you see the basics, laid out in a clearly seen rationale. I didn't see one ounce of vitriol (bad form, bad language, bad attitude)from Kent, did you?

Now you know why we have him over here, he tells it like it is, but gives us the "light" not just the "heat".

Yes, we can have an intelligent, God honoring conversation where we are all edified. Trolls (those looking to start a fight for no other reason than to be obstreperous, pugnacious, and mean) beware; I will stomp you out immediately upon discovery.

What are your questions? Not, what does pastor JD think, but what do you think?

This is your chance, we have some good things going, let's prayerfully continue.

Are we ready to grow? Then lets go!

Dave Mallinak said...

Even So, I really appreciate what you are doing here, although we may not see eye to eye on this issue. I am a good friend (at least in my own mind) of Pastor Brandenburg, have him preach for me more than anyone else, and have enjoyed watching him debate on other forums. But I have been disappointed to watch all the teeth come out when he speaks, and then the accusations that he is being "mean". So, I thank you for encouraging him. Of all the arguments I have seen for "KJV only", his is the only one I have seen that makes sense and is Scripturally based (in my opinion). I do think it is an important issue. And, something I read that Douglas Wilson (of all people) said was that making more and more translations is anything but helpful (I paraphrased).

Anyway, I'm not necessarily qualified to debate this, but I just wanted to thank you for doing this. I think it is unusual. And I'll be back!

Even So... said...

If you want some further explanation of Kent's position, be sure to check out his book Thou Shalt Keep Them; it's worth the time if you are serious about this issue.