Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jesus and the Pharisees: Bible Versions

Over at the Return to Biblicism blog, Damien establishes that, contrary to KJVO assertions otherwise, Christ and the Apostles used the Septuagint, the standard OT text of the day. The following reflection of his is a real gem:

During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for a lot of very specific things. From their bad interpretation of the scriptures, to their missing the whole point of the scriptures, Jesus Christ criticized the religious in His day about their tithing habits, their praying habits, their hypocrisy, and more. Why did He not warn them about their Bible version? If everything the KJVO crowd says is so vitally important about having the “right” Bible is true, wouldn’t we find this taught by Jesus Himself? If other versions really water down theology, weaken the deity of Christ, and are produced by unholy apostates, and all of this has to be pointed out with vitriol by proponents of KJVO doctrine as if Christianity itself were at stake, why didn’t Jesus do the same? He certainly did not make an issue out of it, nor did His followers. Why should we? The King James translators themselves thought along these lines:

“The like we are to think of Translations. The translation of the Seventy dissenteth from the Original in many places, neither doth it come near it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the Apostles did condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it ….” (The Translators to the Reader, 1611 Authorized Version)

Also, where is the basis for the dogmatism in separation concerning Bible versions in the teachings of Jesus? If we accept that He used a different version Himself, how can we justify separating from those who use versions other than the KJV? How can we say, “you have to choose which Bible is the Word of God.”? Did Jesus teach that? How can we cut off fellowship with people, or cut of support from people trying to fulfill the Great Commission through church planting and missions simply because they employ another version of the Bible? Did Jesus teach that? The answer is clearly no.


The Puritan said...

There's no evidence the so-called Septuagint existed prior to the 2nd century AD. This is a subject modern day scholars have played very fast and loose with. Reformed theologians from the 1600s wrote about the ridiculousness of the claims that Jesus quoted the Septuagint. John Owen for one.

Please don't accept everything critical text scholars tell you. If you've come out of an environment where you think you were being an ill-informed follower then fine, learn about things, but don't make the mistake of thinking what critical text scholars feed you is real food.

David T. said...


EF Hills said the KJV is practically perfect, but not ideally perfect, so the question of whether Jesus' quotes completely match up with the KJV OT is less important. Nonetheless, they don't, regardless of what He was quoting from.
You know what I don't understand, is all my KJVO friends make the statement that I have swallowed everything the CT scholars say hook, line, and sinker, making them my authorities and heroes. I don't feel this way towards them at all.

The Puritan said...

It's not a question of Jesus' quotes matching up with the Masoretic Hebrew. That is a separate subject. The claim that Jesus was quoting a Greek translation is what is in question. Just know that the subject is very much *not* what the critical text scholars present it as. John Owen in his Biblical Theology written in the 1600s has an entire chapter on the Septuagint that critical text scholars will never direct you to. They don't want anyone to know their position is a very novel one, and necessarily so.