Recommendations to Understand the KJV love.

Status
Not open for further replies.

Krak3n

Puritan Board Freshman
A little background: At one time in my life I was a KJV-only guy. I looked down on every other English translation because they were "garbage". (Some still are, but not all.)

It was through a handful of YouTube videos of James White that finally brought me out of that mindset. Now I don't fully enjoy the KJV because I feel that it's not that great a translation.

Because of my own past I tend to view the KJVers around here as either confused or "deceived" as I was. (I honestly think better of most of you than that, and that's why I'm asking for recommendations.)

So, can anyone recommend resources that deal with the KJV favorably without coming off as crazy-talk? Yes, I'm asking for something to read, listen to, or watch that is not from a heretic-hunting website. If someone has dealt with the arguments of James White regarding the KJV's underlying text I'd be for that too.

Also, I don't know Greek, so I'm not looking to read anyone's thesis paper.

Please be kind.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
So, can anyone recommend resources that deal with the KJV favorably without coming off as crazy-talk? Yes, I'm asking for something to read, listen to, or watch that is not from a heretic-hunting website

Here are two light-weight articles that were heartwarming to me. White is mentioned in the first article but without any valuable critique. If you look at these as just-for-fun tributes to the history and value of the KJV, you will not be disappointed.

Is the King James Bible still best after 400 years?
https://is.gd/ljwKjw

King James Bible - A National Geographic article
https://is.gd/J27vm5
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
There's a vast literature available here, brother Joshua.

So rather than overwhelm (and to stay away from the technical), I would recommend Leland Ryken's work, published by Crossway, on the KJV at its 400th anniversary in 2011: The Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years of the Most Influential English Translation.

The KJV was formative in shaping the English language and in influencing its style. It's certainly the best thing to come out of the Hampton Court Conference of 1604 (the response of James VI of Scotland and I of England to the 1603 Millenary Petition, a list of Puritan grievances, the forerunner to the PB!) at which King James said things to our Puritan fathers like, "ye shall conform or I shall harry ye out of the land!"

The KJV has had an incalculable effect on the culture of the UK and the USA, seen in the US, for instance, in countless political speeches (think of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address). All of this is a separate question from what are the best English versions for current ecclesiastical and personal use, which involves questions of textual transmission and of translation theories, none of which, I suspect, has engendered any controversy. ;)

Peace,
Alan
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Joshua,

I think the best introduction to this topic for one who has been through the wringer, so-to-speak, is Dr. Thomas Holland's Crowned With Glory : The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version. It's irenic, easy-to-understand, and yet scholarly, and deals with a lot of the issues that Dr. James White covers.

I would say (not to start a whole discussion on this one point - there is a thread open on that) it is "authorized" due to its wide usage by the Westminster Assembly men, and by the Reformed churches for centuries. Its authorization by a secular king does not "authorize" it in the churches.

Holland's book is a classic in the field.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Joshua, have you read much here on the PB from those who hold to 1. the preservation principle regarding the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts? And 2. having to do with the establishment principle, where the work of translation was done by a called ecclesiastical body, rather than a group of individuals who decided to get together. Those are both spiritual principles to those who hold them, and I found them to be powerful arguments for the continued use in the churches of the KJV, until and if a time comes that another ecclesiastical body can be called to provide a new translation.

If you reject both the principles of preservation and the ideas of establishmentarianism inherent in the 2nd view, then those arguments won't be compelling at all, of course.

I had already found, before I studied the above issues, that I preferred the KJV over the ESV, which I loved and still appreciate, largely because of translation choices in the book of Psalms which I was studying. Time and use of the KJV have only confirmed it to me. It's not that it's an inspired (edit to correct my misspeak, I do believe the KJV and others are the inspired word of God) or perfect translation, though- rather it has largely to do with principles which ultimately affect the unity of Christ's church. I'm a poor spokesman for all this and hope I haven't misrepresented these ideals, someone please correct me if so!
 
Last edited:

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Joshua, have you read much here on the PB from those who hold to 1. the preservation principle regarding the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts? And 2. having to do with the establishment principle, where the work of translation was done by a called ecclesiastical body, rather than a group of individuals who decided to get together. Those are both spiritual principles to those who hold them, and I found them to be powerful arguments for the continued use in the churches of the KJV, until and if a time comes that another ecclesiastical body can be called to provide a new translation.

If you reject both the principles of preservation and the ideas of establishmentarianism inherent in the 2nd view, then those arguments won't be compelling at all, of course.

I had already found, before I studied the above issues, that I preferred the KJV over the ESV, which I loved and still appreciate, largely because of translation choices in the book of Psalms which I was studying. Time and use of the KJV have only confirmed it to me. It's not that it's an inspired (edit to correct my misspeak, I do believe the KJV and others are the inspired word of God) or perfect translation, though- rather it has largely to do with principles which ultimately affect the unity of Christ's church. I'm a poor spokesman for all this and hope I haven't misrepresented these ideals, someone please correct me if so!
The truth though would be that the KJV was authorized in a sense to be used by the Church of England, but would not be said to be such over all branches of the Christian Church at large.
 
U

Username3000

Guest
My love of the KJV is one of the reasons I don't use it as my primary translation.

When I read it, I am so enamored with the beautiful language that I am distracted from what it is saying; being a lover of the English language, I stop at every word and phrase to relish in its quality, and can't focus on the overall message.

The ESV strikes a balance where I am satisfied in both respects.
 

Krak3n

Puritan Board Freshman
My thanks to all of you for your direction and input. I completely agree with you on the way the KJV has a certain majesty and place in the English language. I'm not one for "classic" literature, so the KJV was my way of learning "the old ways" of language without reading texts that I felt I was wasting my time with. I read the KJV almost every night in high school. It was beneficial in so many ways.

I really like the Trinitarian Bible Society's Westminster Reference Bible, it is my favorite "bells and whistles" Bible. Scripture interpreting Scripture is just great. Yet, a couple weeks after I bought it I started to become bothered by the KJV/Modern text conflict. (Not the translations specifically, but the underlying textual issues generally.)

Here are two light-weight articles that were heartwarming to me. White is mentioned in the first article but without any valuable critique. If you look at these as just-for-fun tributes to the history and value of the KJV, you will not be disappointed.

Thanks Ed. I read them, and the first article does raise an interesting view of this subject that I'd not considered before, namely, "What does the Eastern Church have to say concerning all this?" The National Geographic article was less liberal than I thought it would be. It was quite nice in the beginning but their worldview started to show, especially concerning the "anti-gay" nonsense an the bit about the Presbyterians being ruled by fear and not able to express themselves. (I guess you can't be a good progressive snowflake if you're worried about sinning and church discipline.)

There's a vast literature available here, brother Joshua.

So rather than overwhelm (and to stay away from the technical), I would recommend Leland Ryken's work, published by Crossway, on the KJV at its 400th anniversary in 2011: The Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years of the Most Influential English Translation.

The KJV was formative in shaping the English language and in influencing its style. It's certainly the best thing to come out of the Hampton Court Conference of 1604 (the response of James VI of Scotland and I of England to the 1603 Millenary Petition, a list of Puritan grievances, the forerunner to the PB!) at which King James said things to our Puritan fathers like, "ye shall conform or I shall harry ye out of the land!"

The KJV has had an incalculable effect on the culture of the UK and the USA, seen in the US, for instance, in countless political speeches (think of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address). All of this is a separate question from what are the best English versions for current ecclesiastical and personal use, which involves questions of textual transmission and of translation theories, none of which, I suspect, has engendered any controversy. ;)

I have not picked up Ryken's book. I'll try the library again on Monday. As mentioned, I am in agreement with you on what the KJV has done for our language and culture. Even as they wane the influence can still be seen.

Yes, the controversies are not my goal, so I'll ask a specific question below so that this doesn't turn into a "Mine's the best Bible!" thread.

Now, I understand that there is an underlying textual issue concerning the Greek behind the New Testament. I hate that there is, as I would really prefer it to just be a flavor disagreement.

I think the best introduction to this topic for one who has been through the wringer, so-to-speak, is Dr. Thomas Holland's Crowned With Glory : The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version. It's irenic, easy-to-understand, and yet scholarly, and deals with a lot of the issues that Dr. James White covers.

I would say (not to start a whole discussion on this one point - there is a thread open on that) it is "authorized" due to its wide usage by the Westminster Assembly men, and by the Reformed churches for centuries. Its authorization by a secular king does not "authorize" it in the churches.

Holland's book is a classic in the field.

I was quite confident Jerusalem Blade would show up, I was looking forward to it! I have read many of your posts regarding this subject. So, per your recommendation, I was looking to acquire the Holland book. It's $20, which is more than I'm wanting to spend to just get an idea of the kind of arguments made. If the KJV were something I was truly sold on I'd probably pick it up to bolster my conviction. I hate to sound like I've already made my decision, but James White has made arguments that I really have trouble overcoming.

It has been a few days since my original post, and I have not spent them idle. Though the Holland book is being sold for more than I am wanting to spend, I thought I might be able to get it from the library. Our library does not have it, and it seems there is not a sharing library with a copy in all of Ohio.

What I could find from the library was an article from TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism, titled: "Erasmus and the Text of Revelation 22:19: A Critique of Thomas Holland's Crowned With Glory", by Jan Krans. I went ahead and pulled up the article and read it. I felt fortunate to find that it spoke on the translation of Revelation 22:19. That was specifically one of the issues that I found memorable in James White's explanations. The Krans article can be found online without going through the library here: http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/v16/index.html

The gist of the Rev. 22:19 issue is that Erasmus' Greek text says "book of life" and the Critical Texts have "tree of life". The problem arises when there are no Greek texts that read "book of life". Erasmus didn't have the last 6 verses of Revelation and so he translated from Latin to Greek to complete his text. This went on to be the basis for the KJV.

The article I mentioned above says that Holland disagrees with Erasmus' own words concerning where he got his material for his Greek Text, because Holland couldn't find the references, and that Holland feels that even if Erasmus did translate from the Latin, it doesn't matter.

Holland is quoted:

Even if he did translate from the Latin into Greek it would have no bearing on the doctrine of biblical preservation. Preservation simply demands that God has kept and preserved the words throughout the generations from the time of their inception until this present day and even beyond. It does not demand that these words be preserved in the original languages only. (p. 170)​

This is starting to remind me of the crazy-talk that I was hoping to stay away from. I've heard it argued, by a KJV-only guy on an old Ankerberg program, that we ought to translate all Bibles in any new language from the KJV. I know no one here is arguing that, but if it really doesn't matter what language a text comes from, as long as it is divinely preserved, then why would he (the Ankerberg KJV-only proponent) be wrong?

Now, I asked for non-scholarly articles, and the article I referred to is "scholarly but understandable" throughout and definitely takes a "scholarly and I don't have any idea what's going on" turn at the end where the different Greek texts are compared, along with the Latin. I cannot read those or the many places the article references Greek or Latin words. I admit this article is beyond my comprehension, but what I could understand didn't help in my confidence of the KJV.

I don't want to give anyone more to do, for you have all been very gracious so far, but if someone could tell me why this article is wrong or not applicable I'd appreciate it. If a portion of the text of the KJV is based on something that is not proven by any Greek text, well, that's kind of disheartening.

Joshua, have you read much here on the PB from those who hold to 1. the preservation principle regarding the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts? And 2. having to do with the establishment principle, where the work of translation was done by a called ecclesiastical body, rather than a group of individuals who decided to get together. Those are both spiritual principles to those who hold them, and I found them to be powerful arguments for the continued use in the churches of the KJV, until and if a time comes that another ecclesiastical body can be called to provide a new translation.

If you reject both the principles of preservation and the ideas of establishmentarianism inherent in the 2nd view, then those arguments won't be compelling at all, of course.

I had already found, before I studied the above issues, that I preferred the KJV over the ESV, which I loved and still appreciate, largely because of translation choices in the book of Psalms which I was studying. Time and use of the KJV have only confirmed it to me. It's not that it's an inspired (edit to correct my misspeak, I do believe the KJV and others are the inspired word of God) or perfect translation, though- rather it has largely to do with principles which ultimately affect the unity of Christ's church. I'm a poor spokesman for all this and hope I haven't misrepresented these ideals, someone please correct me if so!

Those are both excellent points! I have not considered them deeply, probably because I come from a very fractured line of churches. (Personally, locally, spiritually, and any other "ally" word you want to throw in.) Perhaps if I would have converted to a Presbyterian I would have thought about this long ago. I will have to return another time after I've processed this.


That list of articles looks great. I'm especially looking forward to the "Bible passages" section. Thanks!
 

Beezer

Puritan Board Freshman
Does anyone have any familiarity with Edward F Hills and his book "The King James Version Defended"? It's available for $14 at Reformation Heritage Books.

Product Description
The Bible in English has fallen on hard times. Not only do some feminists see it as a format from which to transform Ancient Near Eastern, patriarchal religions into modern, 20th century paradigms of egalitarianism, but the American Bible publishing industry has reduced it to a commodity, hoping to maximize gains by imposing a marketing-manufactured consensus on conservative evangelicals, calling it the beginning of a ‘new tradition.’

Edward F. Hills in his work The King James Version Defended represents a sober and compelling argument for the ‘old tradition.’ As a well trained classicist and internationally recognized New Testament text critic, he analyzes the problems of both modern language translations and current New Testament text criticism methodology. With the sometimes widespread and uncritical acceptance of such translations as New International Version by pastors as well as laymen, this defense of the historic, English Protestant Bible should be read by all who share an interest in these areas.

Table of Contents:

  1. God’s Three-Fold Revelation of Himself
  2. A Short History of Unbelief
  3. A Short History of Modernism
  4. A Christian View of The Biblical Text
  5. The Facts of New Testament Textual Criticism
  6. Dean Burgon and the Traditional New Testament Text
  7. The Traditional New Testament Text
  8. The Textus Receptus and the King James Version
  9. Christ’s Holy War With Satan
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Joshua, I have walked a few miles in your shoes so to speak. In many of those threads on the debate, where Reverend Winzer and Jerusalem Blade are 'set for the defense of the Gospel' I am present defending the CT.
James White's book, and D.A. Carson's 'The King James Version Controversy: A Plea For Realism' were the primary texts that formed my opinion in favor of the CT.
Over the past few years I've come to embrace the KJV wholeheartedly 'warts and all.' I began reading the KJV 35 years ago, supplementing it with the NIV to clarify portions that I found difficult.
Over the past few years, doing the M'Cheyne 1 year reading plan in the KJV and continuing to supplement that text with NIV, ESV, NASB, and NKJV, I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the KJV is still my main source for Scripture.
Of course I haven't compared every verse between TR and CT translations, but leaving aside the well known controversial CT exclusions, the KJV and the modern translations are so often saying the same thing in different word choices, that I am comfortable with sticking with the former.
To paraphrase a blurb from an old movie, Dr Strangelove, 'How I stopped worrying, and learned to love the KJV.'
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Joshua, just wanted to say that you have such a great way and attitude in approaching a controversial subject, especially considering you have the extra distaste of past KJVO to deal with. I can't pass up the opportunity to tell you how refreshing it is and to commend it. I know it's God's grace, and it also serves as a great model to the rest of us. The Lord's blessing on your studies and research!
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
Does anyone have any familiarity with Edward F Hills and his book "The King James Version Defended"? It's available for $14 at Reformation Heritage Books.

Product Description
The Bible in English has fallen on hard times. Not only do some feminists see it as a format from which to transform Ancient Near Eastern, patriarchal religions into modern, 20th century paradigms of egalitarianism, but the American Bible publishing industry has reduced it to a commodity, hoping to maximize gains by imposing a marketing-manufactured consensus on conservative evangelicals, calling it the beginning of a ‘new tradition.’

Edward F. Hills in his work The King James Version Defended represents a sober and compelling argument for the ‘old tradition.’ As a well trained classicist and internationally recognized New Testament text critic, he analyzes the problems of both modern language translations and current New Testament text criticism methodology. With the sometimes widespread and uncritical acceptance of such translations as New International Version by pastors as well as laymen, this defense of the historic, English Protestant Bible should be read by all who share an interest in these areas.

Table of Contents:

  1. God’s Three-Fold Revelation of Himself
  2. A Short History of Unbelief
  3. A Short History of Modernism
  4. A Christian View of The Biblical Text
  5. The Facts of New Testament Textual Criticism
  6. Dean Burgon and the Traditional New Testament Text
  7. The Traditional New Testament Text
  8. The Textus Receptus and the King James Version
  9. Christ’s Holy War With Satan

Buy it! It’s worth every cent.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
One book that I have found valuable is “Has the Bible been kept pure? The Westminster Confession of Faith and the providential preservation of Scripture” by Garnet Howard Milne
 

RBachman

Puritan Board Freshman
Here are two light-weight articles that were heartwarming to me. White is mentioned in the first article but without any valuable critique. If you look at these as just-for-fun tributes to the history and value of the KJV, you will not be disappointed.

Is the King James Bible still best after 400 years?
https://is.gd/ljwKjw

King James Bible - A National Geographic article
https://is.gd/J27vm5
Thank you for both of these articles.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
There's a vast literature available here, brother Joshua.

So rather than overwhelm (and to stay away from the technical), I would recommend Leland Ryken's work, published by Crossway, on the KJV at its 400th anniversary in 2011: The Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years of the Most Influential English Translation.

The KJV was formative in shaping the English language and in influencing its style. It's certainly the best thing to come out of the Hampton Court Conference of 1604 (the response of James VI of Scotland and I of England to the 1603 Millenary Petition, a list of Puritan grievances, the forerunner to the PB!) at which King James said things to our Puritan fathers like, "ye shall conform or I shall harry ye out of the land!"

The KJV has had an incalculable effect on the culture of the UK and the USA, seen in the US, for instance, in countless political speeches (think of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address). All of this is a separate question from what are the best English versions for current ecclesiastical and personal use, which involves questions of textual transmission and of translation theories, none of which, I suspect, has engendered any controversy. ;)

Peace,
Alan

An interesting article in this regard is: "The Literary Influence of the Authorized Version" by C. S. Lewis. It's currently accessible in Selected Literary Essays by C. S. Lewis; edited by Walter Hooper (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), pp. 126-145. It was originally a lecture Lewis delivered in 1950.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
An interesting article in this regard is: "The Literary Influence of the Authorized Version" by C. S. Lewis. It's currently accessible in Selected Literary Essays by C. S. Lewis; edited by Walter Hooper (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), pp. 126-145. It was originally a lecture Lewis delivered in 1950.
I still see a big basic difference here between the positions being advocated that some see there being a must to have both Greek and English text being perfect in order to have a real and valid word of God to us for today.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
I still see a big basic difference here between the positions being advocated that some see there being a must to have both Greek and English text being perfect in order to have a real and valid word of God to us for today.

This might be beneficial.

“IV. The question does not concern the irregular writing of words or the punctuation or the various readings (which all acknowledge do often occur); or whether the copies which we have so agree with the originals as to vary from them not even in a little point or letter. Rather the question is whether they so differ as to make the genuine corrupt and to hinder us from receiving the original text as a rule of faith and practice.

V. The question is not as to the particular corruption of some manuscripts or as to the errors which have crept into the books of particular editions through the negligence of copyists or printers. All acknowledge the existence of many such small corruptions. The question is whether there are universal corruptions and errors so diffused through all the copies (both manuscript and edited) as that they cannot be restored and corrected by any collation of various copies, or of Scripture itself and of parallel passages. Are there real and true, and not merely apparent, contradictions? We deny the former.

VI. The reasons are: (1) The Scriptures are inspired of God (theopneustos, 2 Tim. 3:16). The word of God cannot lie (Ps. 19:8, 9; Heb. 6:18); cannot pass away and be destroyed (Mt. 5:18); shall endure forever (1 Pet. 1:25); and is truth itself (Jn. 17:17). For how could such things be predicated of it, if it contained dangerous contradictions, and if God suffered either the sacred writers to err and to slip in memory, or incurable blemishes to creep into it?”

Turretin, Institutes, 1:71

The CT position cannot hold to this consistently.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
This might be beneficial.

“IV. The question does not concern the irregular writing of words or the punctuation or the various readings (which all acknowledge do often occur); or whether the copies which we have so agree with the originals as to vary from them not even in a little point or letter. Rather the question is whether they so differ as to make the genuine corrupt and to hinder us from receiving the original text as a rule of faith and practice.

V. The question is not as to the particular corruption of some manuscripts or as to the errors which have crept into the books of particular editions through the negligence of copyists or printers. All acknowledge the existence of many such small corruptions. The question is whether there are universal corruptions and errors so diffused through all the copies (both manuscript and edited) as that they cannot be restored and corrected by any collation of various copies, or of Scripture itself and of parallel passages. Are there real and true, and not merely apparent, contradictions? We deny the former.

VI. The reasons are: (1) The Scriptures are inspired of God (theopneustos, 2 Tim. 3:16). The word of God cannot lie (Ps. 19:8, 9; Heb. 6:18); cannot pass away and be destroyed (Mt. 5:18); shall endure forever (1 Pet. 1:25); and is truth itself (Jn. 17:17). For how could such things be predicated of it, if it contained dangerous contradictions, and if God suffered either the sacred writers to err and to slip in memory, or incurable blemishes to creep into it?”

Turretin, Institutes, 1:71

The CT position cannot hold to this consistently.
Yes, as those holding to the CT viewpoint would see the correlations and bringing together the various variants and manuscripts would be the way to edit and compile and get back to the original text themselves.
 

RBachman

Puritan Board Freshman
Hope its not late to post a thought. In reading all of the excellent posts, and attached links I was smitten with the KJV once again. I bought my first Bible (Dickson KJV) as a new-convert teenager from a door-to-door Bible sales man. Had to make 10 $5 payments or something like that. It was KJV. That is what I read for years until the NIV came out. I worked at a Christian Bookstore at the time and so was able to get a first edition NT, and then the full Bible! It was exciting and my friends at church were jealous because they were in short supply initially. So I Left the KJV behind for the newer NIV, then the NASB, then the ESV, etc. So many years, and countless hours studying Hebrew and Greek later, I find myself now reading my KJV again. And I am loving it. I have even set my iPad aside in favor of a real leather-bound Bible. I guess I am getting old, but I hope they find my corpse clutching that Bible when God takes me into Glory.
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Freshman
One thing I always wondered, why do so many Reformed seminaries use the CT text? I can only think of PRC/PRTS seminary which uses the KJV.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
For one thing, there are a lot more CT Versions to choose from. For another, I think the KJV is looked down upon by academics.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Joshua,

Here are some thoughts with respect to Dr. Jan Krans’ critique of Dr. Holland’s defense of Rev 22:19, among other things.

Dr. Krans does seem to be an astute textual critic, although it seems he is an academician and not a church man. I have been able to find no connection between him and any church, and an inquiry to a friend showed nothing to that effect either.

In the critical article you linked to Krans made it clear that he is no friend of the doctrine of divine preservation, and he says, “Let me state from the start that the entire enterprise of trying to defend the Greek Textus Receptus is pointless. . . The defence of the sixteenth-century text can only be inspired by an—unfortunate—theological a priori, not by the historical facts.”

This view goes against your own confession (the 1689), which says at 1.8,

“The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic…”.​

This is virtually identical to the WCF at 1.8. The framers of our confessions operated on the presupposition that what God had inspired He would preserve, and they based this on Scripture, not human reasoning. For all I know Krans is not a believer.

I have tried to contact Dr. Holland to see if he would respond to Krans, but it may be he is agèd now, or even gone to be with the Lord. I had contacted him some 10 or 12 years ago, and he responded then. As with Jakob van Bruggen, he seems to have dropped out of sight.

Further, I would consider Krans an academic elitist, from his saying, “As his [Holland’s] Th.D. is from ‘Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary’, it can probably not be considered academic. I will therefore refrain from using the title ‘Dr.’ which he himself consistently uses.”

We have seen what many supposed Hebrew and Greek “experts” think to do to the church's Bible (as well disagreeing among themselves), and some of us will have none of it, instead gathering materials to help understand the original languages so as to not be under “the tyranny of experts” (to quote J. Gresham Machen's pertinent phrase). The experts and scholars all too often have been enemies of the faith, and we do well to learn to live without them. The rare Hebrew or Greek scholar who supports the faith and its Scriptures is a treasure, and we do have a few of them, by the providence of God.

At any rate, in the absence of a rebuttal by Dr. Holland, I am of a mind to hold his particular defense of Rev 22:19 with suspended judgment. It can be defended otherwise!

Regarding Erasmus’ manuscripts, and later editors and their editions using them, Dr. F.H.A. Scrivener writes,

“He [Erasmus] had seen the Complutensian Polyglott in 1522, shortly after the publication of his third edition, and had now the good sense to avail himself of its aid in the improvement of the text, especially in the Apocalypse, wherein he amended from it at least ninety readings” [in preparation for his 4th Edition]. – A Plain Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the NT, 4th Ed, Vol II, p 186.​

John Gill said in his commentary:

God shall take away his part out of the book of life; by which is meant eternal election, which is the meaning of the phrase throughout this book, in which whoever are written shall certainly be saved. The worshippers of the beast, or the antichristian party, who are chiefly regarded here, are not written in it, Revelation 13:8 wherefore taking away the part of such, is only taking away that which they seemed to have; see Luke 8:18. “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have” and the sense is, that such shall be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death, and will be the portion of all that are not written in the book of life, Revelation 20:15. The Alexandrian copy, one of Stephens's, and the Complutensian edition, read, "the tree of life".​

Gill stated that “one of Stephen’s” reads tree of life. In other words, other manuscripts that Stephens employed contained “the book of life” in Revelation 22:19, and there were at least 16 manuscripts employed by Stephanus. (source)

Steven Avery’s research on this verse has shown that church writer references that support the reading “book of life” are:

Ambrose (c 390 AD)
Bachiarius (c 420)
Andreas of Cappadocia (c 500)
Primasius of Adrumentum (552 AD) - Commentary on Revelation
Speculum treatise (mss c. 8th century, many consider as Augustine 427 AD origin)
Haymo of Halberstadt (9th century) - Commentary on Revelation
Pseudo-Augustine (1160)

Among the ancient Bible versions that also support "book of life" are the following:

Bohairic Coptic
Old Latin line
Latin Vulgate (some read "book" and others have "tree") auferet Deus partem ejus de libro vitæ, et de civitate sancta,
Syriac
Armenian
Ethiopic
Arabic
Tepl

Latin Manuscripts

Codex Fuldensis (~ A.D. 545)
Codex Karolinus (9th century);
Codex Ulmensis (9th century);
Codex Uallicellanus (9th century);
corrector of Codex Parisinus (9th century)
Codex Oxoniensis (12th to 13th century)
Codex Sarisburiensis (thirteenth century)

(Avery source)

Regarding using manuscript evidence from languages and versions other than the Greek, consider these quotes (from another thread),

[Holland saying to James White re Luke 2:22] …as for "secondary language(s)" not being "relevant," I am afraid that modern textual scholars would not agree with your statement. Kurt Aland wrote:



“The transmission of the New Testament textual tradition is characterized by an extremely impressive degree of tenacity. Once a reading occurs it will persist with obstinacy. It is precisely the overwhelming mass of the New Testament textual tradition, assuming the hugainousa didaskalia of New Testament textual criticism (we trust the reader will not be offended by this application of 1 Tim. 1:10), which provides an assurance of certainty in establishing the original text. Even apart from the lectionaries (cf. p. 163), there is still the evidence of approximately 3,200 manuscripts of the New Testament text, not to mention the early versions and the patristic quotations--we can be certain that among these there is still a group of witnesses which preserves the original form of the text, despite the pervasive authority of ecclesiastical tradition and the prestige of the later text.” (The Text of the New Testament, p. 291-292)
Please note that Aland believes the “tenacity” of a reading can be found not only in the evidence of the Greek manuscripts, but also among the “early versions and the patristic quotations.” He states that we can be CERTAIN that, “among these there is still a group of witness which preserves the original form of the text. . .” Therefore, early versions are to be used and considered evidence in the science of textual criticism.

Dr. Alexander Souter noted:

"The second (source of the NT text) is translations made from this original Greek, especially if directly made from it, and not through the medium of another language, which is itself a direct translation from the original Greek. If such a translation was carefully made, and has survived in the precise form and text in which the translator himself issued it, what we possess in it is tantamount to the Greek copy in front of the translators when he made his translation." (The Text And Canon Of The New Testament, p.10.)


Since the Old Latin manuscripts are almost unanimous in their reading "of her" and since the Latin Vulgate likewise possesses the reading "ejus" (of her), it is highly likely that there was an early Greek text with this reading which we no longer possess, at least according to the logic of textual criticism as just expressed by Souter. I do not believe that there is any reason to continue with additional citations which agree with this point. However the same may be found in the writings of Metzger, Geisler and Nix, Jack Finegan, and others.

In the first and later letters Holland questions White as to why he made the allegation that in Luke 2:22 Beza made a “conjectural emendation” as Beza knew of the early Latin readings, and this would show it was rather a well-informed textual decision.​
[End Holland]

All this to show, Joshua, that attestations from “secondary languages” and versions (other than the Greek) are legitimate in discerning how God “by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages” our Bible texts.

We have seen above from Scrivener’s testimony that Erasmus had access to other MSS which he used to correct his later editions (eliminating the charge he got a bad reading from the Vulgate), and also John Gill’s testimony that Stephanus had a number of MSS with the book reading, and it was also in Beza’s edition. So the AV translators had a number of Greek MSS with the reading, as well as other language versions descended from ancient sources, such as the Waldenses.

I’m sorry to go on so long like this, but the attack on Holland and Rev 22:19 by Krans warranted some defense. I still hold Holland’s book a classic in the field, highly recommending it, and will simply suspend judgment on his stand re Rev 22:19, finding support for it elsewhere.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Edward,

Well, I think it was politics – albeit under the hand of Providence – that undid the prevalence of the Geneva. Archbishop William Laud under king Charles I, forbade the printing of the Geneva in England, and later forbade the importing of them from the continent. The king and the bishops did not like the anti-monarchial (divine right of kings) and anti-bishop annotations in the Geneva. By 1644 there were no Genevas printed or imported, by law. Though things did change law-wise (Laud was executed in 1645, and Charles I four years later).

The percentage of the Westminster divines I do not know.

It proved dangerous to the Geneva to take to itself “study notes” with political / religious views, rather than the bare word of God – however sound those views may or may not have been.

To this day I do not like Bibles with study notes.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I had understood that it took about 50 years for the KJV to catch on with the reformed folks. What percentage of the Westminster divines used the KJV vs those who used the Geneva?
Many still kept using the Geneva, as they saw it as being a superior version, and one reason for KJV also was that the King did not like the Calvinistic study notes provided in the GB itself.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I had understood that it took about 50 years for the KJV to catch on with the reformed folks. What percentage of the Westminster divines used the KJV vs those who used the Geneva?

The Shorter Catechism Q 103 uses the language of the KJV instead of the Geneva and it was written 1647. It appears to be more like 30 years at the most.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top