Presentation on theme: "Are Translations of the Bible a Matter of Fellowship? Josh James Seminar for Bible Majors Spring 2006."— Presentation transcript:
Are Translations of the Bible a Matter of Fellowship? Josh James Seminar for Bible Majors Spring 2006
Thesis Translations of the Bible Are Not a Matter of Fellowship.
Argument If a translation of the Bible is not inspired, then it is not the sole authority among translations, and so translations of the Bible are not a matter of fellowship. –The KJV is not inspired. –Therefore, the KJV is not the sole authority among translations, and –Therefore, translations of the Bible are not a matter of fellowship.
If a translation of the Bible is not inspired, then it is not the sole authority among translations. If a translation was not inspired by God, how could it be the “perfect” translation? If a translation was not inspired by God, how could it be the “only accurate” translation? The answer: –It can’t.
Premise The KJV is not inspired.
We can see this by simply reading the preface to the KJV as written by the translators themselves: –“So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God’s holy Truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness…” The Holy Bible : King James Version. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., They were “poor instruments?”
The KJV is not inspired. The translators never claim to be inspired in their work. They never claim to have a perfect translation. They never claim that the KJV would be the sole authority. –It was merely a translation with a purpose to bring the people out of ignorance and darkness.
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers” –Paragraph six (in reference to the Septuagint): “ Againe, the Greeke tongue was wellknowen and made familiar to most inhabitants in Asia, by reason of the conquest that there the Grecians had made, as also by the Colonies, which thither they had sent. For the same causes also it was well understood in many places of Europe, yea, and of Affrike too. –http://www.kjvbibles.com/kjvpreface.htm
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers,” cont. “It is certaine, that the Translation was not so sound and so perfect, but that it needed in many places correction; and who had bene so sufficient for this worke as the Apostles or Apostolike men?” –Paragraph seven: “There were also within a few hundreth yeeres after CHRIST, translations many into the Latine tongue: for this tongue also was very fit to convey the Law and the Gospel by, because in those times very many Countreys of the West, yea of the South, East and North, spake or understood Latine, being made Provinces to the Romanes.”
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers,” cont. –Paragraph 11: “…they could not with good conscience subscribe to the Communion booke, since it maintained the Bible as it was there translated, which was as they said, a most corrupted translation. And although this was judged to be but a very poore and emptie shift; yet even hereupon did his Majestie beginne to bethinke himselfe of the good that might ensue by a new translation, and presently after gave order for this Translation which is now presented unto thee.”
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers,” cont. –Paragraph 12: “Now to the later we answere; that wee doe not deny, nay wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the Kings Speech which hee uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian and Latine, is still the Kings Speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expresly for sence, every where.”
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers,” cont. –Paragraph 12: “No cause therefore why the word translated should bee denied to be the word, or forbidden to be currant, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting foorth of it. For what ever was perfect under the Sunne, where Apostles or Apostolike men, that is, men indued with an extraordinary measure of Gods spirit, and priviledged with the priviledge of infallibilitie, had not their hand?”
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers,” cont. –Paragraph 13: “Yet before we end, we must answere a third cavill and objection of theirs against us, for altering and amending our Taanslations [sic] so oft; wherein truely they deale hardly, and strangely with us. For to whom ever was it imputed for a fault (by such as were wise) to goe over that which hee had done, and to amend it where he saw cause?”
The KJV is not inspired. The “Preface to the Readers,” cont. –Paragraph 15: “Some peradventure would have no varietie of sences to be set in the margine, lest the authoritie of the Scriptures for deciding of controversies by that shew of uncertaintie, should somewhat be shaken. But we hold their judgmet not to be so be so sound in this point.” –Again, this is from
The KJV is not inspired. Now, some questions for our dear brother to answer: –If the KJV translators were inspired, would they not have known, and if not, how do you know? –If the KJV translators were inspired so as to create a perfect translation of the Scriptures, why would they say that basically any “mean” translation of the Bible “is the word of God?”
The KJV is not inspired. Now, some questions for our dear brother to answer: –If the KJV translators were inspired, would there be any errors in their work? Why, then, would they feel a need to revise it? Why, then, would they be called “poor instruments” of its translation? Why, then, would they say that they were uninspired if, in fact, they were inspired? –Is this not a contradiction?
What shall we say to these things? The KJV translators did not see their work as an inspired writing. In fact, they denied that any one translation done by men could be perfect. They asserted that the “meanest” translation is still the word of God. Since the KJV translation was not an inspired process, it is not the sole authority among translations.
If the KJV is not the sole authority among translations, translations of the Bible are not a matter of fellowship. We have affirmed that God did not inspire the KJV translation process. –As a result, we affirmed that the KJV is not the sole authority among translations. Since it is not the sole authority, it is not a fellowship issue. –Now, if this were an issue of canonicity or inspiration of the Bible, one might argue that it is a fellowship issue.
Arguments based on the History of Bible Translations If we look at the history of translations in the Bible, we will see a common trend: –When the Septuagint was translated, it was met with opposition from some conservative Jews who believed that the Scriptures should only be read in Hebrew. –When the Vulgate was translated by Jerome, Augustine reprimanded him for not using the LXX in his translation of the Old Testament. He was accused of driving a wedge between Greek and Jewish Christians.
Arguments based on the History of Bible Translations –When the KJV was translated, the translators (as we have earlier read) were maligned by the Catholic Church because they were not keeping the tradition of reading the Scriptures in Latin (Jerome’s Vulgate).
Arguments based on the History of Bible Translations Translators of modern versions (and the people who use them) are reprimanded because these versions are not the KJV, the “traditional” Bible, –Which was reprimanded for not being the “traditional” Bible, the Vulgate, Which was reprimanded for not being the “traditional” Bible, the LXX, –Which was reprimanded for not being the “traditional” Bible, the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.
Arguments Based on Methods of Textual Criticism
Many proponents of the KJV today also promote either the Majority Text or the Textus Receptus. –The TR is really not much more than a dozen manuscripts. –The MT is based on a rather fallacious assumption that the “majority is always right.”
The Textus Receptus This text was based on only a few manuscripts, most of which date only to a few hundred years before Erasmus (and the KJV, for that matter). What hurts TR proponents most is their condemnation of modern text-critical methods, because Erasmus used some of the same methods, as did Bengel and others.
The Textus Receptus Therefore, the TR editors used the same methods as are used today for compiling the critical texts, but did so without: –Significant manuscript findings from earlier centuries. –The aid of translational breakthroughs in both Hebrew and Greek that have been found in the last 400 years. –A large number of manuscripts for comparison.
The Majority Text The rule for the Majority Text is that the reading with the most manuscripts is to be preferred. This is not a problem when we are taking into account one generation of copies from the original. –It is when copies of copies are made that we find a difficulty with the Majority Text Method. Let us illustrate this.
The “Majority” of the Problem
How are we to account for this method based on the Majority Text? It is not logically supported!
The Critical Method Granted, the critical method may have its problems as well, because the scholar must use science to determine what would have been the original. However, in light of these three methods, at best, the opponent of this method can only say that one method is not enough, and therefore cannot be a matter of fellowship.
Objections to the KJV Alexander Campbell –“it is a paramount duty of the Christian Church of the nineteenth century to give the present age, in our vernacular, a perspicuous, exact, and faithful version of the living oracles of God.”
Some Objections to the Inerrancy of the KJV Genesis 18 – Abraham entertained angels? Comma Johannium – I John 5:7-8 “Lucifer” – Isaiah 14:12 “devils” – daimonia I Corinthians 3:17 – “defile” vs. “destroy” Matthew 25:46 – “eternal life” vs. “everlasting torment”
Some Objections to the Inerrancy of the KJV “Easter” vs. “Passover” – Acts 12:4 Retention of Ecclesiastical Words –Baptism, Church, etc. Calvinistic? –Such as should be saved? – Acts 2:47 –Ye cannot do the things ye would? – Gal. 5:17 Which KJV? Added phrases? – Luke 17:9
Translations of the Bible are not a Matter of Fellowship - Rejoinder The KJV is not inspired. The KJV was based on a Greek text compiled in a similar manner to the Greek text used as the basis for many modern versions. The KJV-Only philosophy follows after the “X”- only philosophies about previous translations of the Bible. It has the same weaknesses and strengths of modern translations. –Therefore translations are not a matter of fellowship.