Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FBCH and Schaap Respond

See the PDF here.

I find it amazing that they are willing to admit that Hyles was not always KJVO. It is a refreshing burst of honesty.
Most of the arguments they make for KJVO are well responded to in the "New Bible Versions" link in the sidebar. I will simply make a couple observations.
FIRST, the claim that no one has the originals. Well, the KJV translators didn't either, but they put out the KJV anyway. Also, we no longer have the original translator's manuscript of the KJV. Does that make it untrustworthy? Absolutely not!
SECOND, the claim that the KJV is the exclusive representation of God's preservation in the English language. On what Scriptural basis? I am not asking for a Scriptural basis for preservation, I am asking for a Scriptural basis for the idea that the KJV is the only representation of the preserved Word of God in the English language. We had a perfectly acceptable version before 1611, the Geneva (which by the way was no more difficult to read than the first 1611 edition.) What was wrong with that?
THIRD, the fact that Greek manuscripts don't agree. Again, this didn't stop the KJV translators from producing the KJV. Why should it stop us from producing an even better version now?
FOURTH, most people can't read Greek and Hebrew (and Aramaic, etc., etc.) But the differences in those manuscripts are well represented by the Critical Text and the TR, both of which have English translations. It's as simple as comparing the KJV or NKJV (TR) with an NIV or NASB (CT) to get an essential understanding of the differences. If you want to compare against the lesser known Pierpont/Robinson Majority Text, grab a WEB.

Again, let me repeat this quote:
"If we say that we can have no certainty regarding the biblical text unless we embrace the KJV (or the TR), we are simply moving the question one step back and hoping no one notices. How can we be certain of the textual choices of Desiderus Erasmus, or Stephanus, or Theodore Beza? How can we be certain that the Anglican churchmen who chose amongst the variant readings of those three men were themselves inspired? Are we not, in reality, saying, 'Well I _must_ have certainty, therefore, without any factual or logical or even _scriptural_ reason to do so, I will invest the KJV translators with ultimate authority.' This is, truly, what KJV Only advocates are doing when they close their eyes to the historical realities regarding the biblical text."
-James White, The King James Only Controversy, p.95

I find a lot to like in some of what Schaap says:

p. 15 Observation 2:
I am concerned that we are quickly becoming an ignorant clergy. We have discouraged the use of a good dictionary or lexicon, and I’m concerned that we are becoming proud of our ignorance. The Board of Deacons recently voted to teach Hebrew, Greek, and Latin starting in kindergarten at Hammond Baptist Schools beginning in the fall of 2009.
God chose to preserve the divine truths of eternity in words (I Corinthians 2). God loves words, He is brilliant with words, He knows what those words mean, and He knows how to use those words.
The men who translated the King James Version were learned men. God used their learning and their disciplined training. He did not use ignorant men to write the Scriptures or to translate them.
While the Scriptures teach that knowledge “puffeth up,” they also teach that God’s people are destroyed for “lack of knowledge.”
When men don’t learn to read, they forfeit the knowledge that comes from reading God’s Word. When men don’t learn how to define words, they start making up their own definitions or fall victim to deceitful scholars.
Truth and learning are not the enemies of Scripture, but ignorance is!

p. 15 Observation 3:
In my opinion, we independent Baptists have not learned how to discuss our differences with each other without becoming almost explosive in our rhetoric. Many of us have been guilty of this through the years. How many letters or responses have been enflamed by words of injury or anger!
Oh, let us review Psalm 133; let us practice Matthew 18:15-17! Can we not grow in our gentlemanliness and discuss our doctrines with wisdom and grace? I pray so.
I fear that we are unwilling or afraid to work calmly through our perceived differences. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” That word heareth means “to call together” or “give diligent attention.”

P.S. Schaap said the Chinese version(s) were based on the same text as the ESV(English Standard Version). This is not the case. The ESV was based on the Nestle-Aland 27th, whereas no Chinese version is based on that. I think what he meant was the ERV, more commonly known as the RV or Revised Version, the NT of which was produced in 1881, which was based on Westcott & Hort's original 1881 Greek text. These would be the source for the most widely used Chinese version, the Chinese Union Version.

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