Comments from a recent debate:
Again thank you for the great debate! You have debated with charity and integrity for this I am grateful.
A few comments are in order:
1) You stated: “I’m against KJVO but not against the KJV. I think it’s a completely valid and respectable translation, as good for the purposes of 2 Timothy 3:14-17as any other…”
The only thing good for the purposes of 2 Timothy 3:14-17 is Scripture which is given by inspiration of God. Yet, you have stated that the KJV has errors in it. I’m persuaded that Scripture being given by inspiration of God is without error.
Along these lines it has been stated that “no copy or translation is given by inspiration of God despite the fact that every time the Scriptures mentions the word Scripture or Scriptures it is referring to non-original copies/translations which were indeed given by inspiration of God.
“As any other”? That is a pretty broad statement that is usually qualified with “any other VALID version”. This debate being centered upon the definition of “valid versions”. One wit on this board has stated repeatedly that “all valid versions are given by inspiration of God…the AV is a valid version…valid versions are 100% pure, perfect, inerrant, etc.” When I agreed with him he retorted that the AV is not 100% pure, perfect or inerrant, it has boo-boos and goofs in it. This to me is inconsistent.
2) You stated: “Yes, I acknowledge all valid translations as the word of God.”
Again we would have to define valid versions, but in theory you are correct. All valid versions are indeed the word of God. Which makes me wonder why you would think there are errors/mistakes in the AV which admittedly is a valid version and thus, the word of God.
I don’t believe the word of God has mistakes, errors or boo-boos in it. Your profession seems inconsistent to me.
3) You stated: “I don’t find the differences between them to be a problem, and if they are, we can always go to the Greek and Hebrew.”
You acknowledge differences and don’t find them to be a problem. So far so good! But then, “if they are, we can always go to the Greek and Hebrew”. This is confounding to me because you and I don’t read Hebrew and Greek and are therefore in no position to appeal to the Hebrew and Greek.
I have multiple contentions with those who appeal to the Greek and Hebrew.
a) The majority of those whom I have encountered are like you and I – ignorant of the Hebrew and Greek languages.
b) Which Greek and Hebrew are we appealing to? To accuse the AV of error for not following the original when the original hasn’t been defined is appalling to me.
c) Many of those appealing to the Greek and Hebrew are using a DIFFERENT recently compiled edition of the Hebrew and Greek and then accuse the AV of error for not following that compilation!
That my dear sister is just WRONG!
4) You stated: “I actually prefer the ESV to the NIV; I look for the best version, not the most popular.”
I think this has already been addressed, but I’ll remind you that “preference” should not be the criteria when looking for the word of God.
How do we determine what is “best”? Certainly not the “coolest”, “your favorite”, what we are “in the mood” for or what we are “fond of”. Would not the best be God’s choice recognized by a consensus of born again Spirit filled orthodox (no capital letter, thanks!) Christians? If what we “determine for ourselves” disagreed with the consensus view held by born again Spirit filled orthodox Christians shouldn’t that cause us to ponder our personal decision?
(5) You stated, “I believe the CT to be a more accurate family of manuscripts.”
I certainly have great respect for all genuine belief and especially yours, but how do you know that the Critical Text is the more accurate “family of manuscripts”? You haven’t compared them yourself. You admit that “I am not personally enough of a scholar to have any kind of authoritative opinion on the best manuscripts” and “I have to rely on scholars I trust not to lead me astray…Gordon D. Fee is my main man on that”. This to me is putting more trust in the opinion of “scholars” than the Scriptures themselves. We should judge the scholars by the Scriptures and not the Scriptures by the opinion of the scholars.
If I may here insert my opinion of “families of manuscripts”. I personally feel, after years of reading about manuscript evidence, that “families” is an invented term and in my opinion comes out like giving the “White Family”, the “Black Family”, the “Latino family” and “the Oriental family” each one vote in the next American presidential election because of biases against the “White Family” not really representing “original America”. That is to say the “Received Text Family” (Traditional Text, Majority Text) is marginalized because of bias and only given one vote (witness) despite holding the majority of witnesses. I’m saying that ALL the witnesses should be allowed to take the stand and bear witness. The classification of manuscripts into families is deceptive in my opinion. I’ll send you $1.50 that and my opinion might get you a coffee at Starbucks!
6) You stated, “And again, all but a few of us here are in the same boat”.
I agree. Very few born again Spirit filled orthodox Christians in all of history were able to recognize the Scriptures by a careful examination of the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages, Qere readings, Kethib readings, extant manuscript counts, axioms of textual criticism, biases of translators, the theological background of copiests and translators, the age of the Dead Sea scrolls, Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Wescott & Hort, Dean Burgon, etc.
God expects average every day Christians like you and I to be able to recognize the word of God without the need of any of the above. You readily admit that a consensus of born again Spirit filled orthodox Christians recognized the Authorized Version as the very word of God in English. You would do well to consider that evidence when you are looking for “the best” instead of relying upon scholars who may or may not be biased against the TEXT of the AV
7) You stated, “I don’t believe the exact words of any translation.” and “I have never made any claim to being fundamentalist, except that I believe the 1910 ‘five fundamentals’, and being called “neo-evangelical” doesn’t particularly bother me.”
I respect your right to believe as you wish. However, this is supposedly a Fundamentalist Board and Fundamentalists have notoriously had problems with “neo-evangelicals” over this very point – i.e. the Bible only contains the word of God, portions of it (exact words) are just the word of men.
I’m a saved born again Christian who believes all the words of the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures. I’m not concerned about what labels others put on me. I know whom and what I beleive.