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Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Song in Praise of God’s Word

In Balthasar Hübmaier: the Leader of the Anabaptists (New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905, p. 311ff.), Henry Clay Vedder (1853-1935) includes what he called “A Forgotten Hymn of Hübmaier’s.”  In his source, this hymn is titled “Ein preiss lied göttlichs worts,” or “A Song in Praise of God’s Word.” The hymn is 18 stanzas, and each stanza in English ends with the line “God’s word stands sure for ever” (the German original “Dann Gottes wort bleybt ewig stan” is the next to last line in each stanza). It speaks of several Old Testament patriarchs, beginning with Adam, as well as New Testaments writers. It urges “blind man” to make his calling and election sure, all the time emphasizing Jesus Christ and his word. The meter is 8s.7s.D., but has never been set to music, so far as I know. Perhaps it might work with Ein Feste Burg. I only included the English translation of the hymn, and not the original. Vedder says the metrical translation is an attempt “to follow the original as closely as the exigencies of English versification would admit.” He, however, does not indicate who made the translation. All below comes from Vedder’s book, pages 311-321.

Much of the earliest Anabaptist literature is in the form of hymns, often crude in expression and halting in metre, but full of spiritual fervour. It would be surprising if so fertile a writer as Hübmaier had contributed nothing to this sort of literature; and still stranger, if he did write hymns, that none of them should be preserved. As a matter of fact, several of the old Anabaptist documents contain a hymn that is attributed to Hübmaier. It is not unknown, being printed in full, but anonymously, in Wackernagel’s great collection,1 vol. iii., p. 126 sq. The title there given is, “Ein preiss lied göttlichs worts” (A song in praise of God’s word). As to the authorship, the editor contents himself with remarking that the hymn has been attributed without satisfactory reason to Erasmus Alber. Beck, Hoschek, and Loserth agree that the hymn is undoubtedly Hübmaier’s. The text is herewith reprinted from Wackernagel, with a metrical translation, in which the attempt has been made to follow the original as closely as the exigencies of English versification would admit—at any rate, to represent fairly the spirit of the original.

1. Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, three vols., Leipzig, 1870.

1. Rejoice, rejoice, ye Christians all,
And break forth into singing!
Since far and wide on every side
The word of God is ringing.
And well we know, no human foe
Our souls from Christ can sever;
For to the base, and men of grace,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

2. O Adam, Adam, first of men,
What future did fate send you?
After your fall in Paradise
How did your God befriend you?
His holy word from him you heard,
That word which faileth never,
To tend’rest age, to hoary sage,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

3. O Noah, Noah, man of God,
Thy God hath thee selected
And sworn to thee an oath, since thou
His word hast not rejected:
“With flood again to drown all men
My wrath shall hasten never”;
To swollen pelf, to want itself, [pelf is wealth]
God’s word stands sure for ever.

4. And Abraham believed his God,
And so, for his devotion,
His faith became his righteousness,
His seed like sands of ocean.
Thus has God done for every one,
Who trust him perish never;
To every one who builds thereon
God’s word stands sure for ever.

5. And Lot, devout, God-fearing man,
Two angels came to find him,
And lead him out from Sodom safe,
Nor should he look behind him.
God’s fiery flood therein withstood
No living thing whatever;
All men, like Lot, must pay their scot,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

6. O David, David, king and lord,
A man of God’s own choosing,
God’s truth he hid within his heart
Beyond all fear of losing.
From David’s seed Christ should proceed,
He swore who changeth never;
In heaven and on earth the same
God’s word stands sure for ever.

7. Jesus the Christ, of Mary born
And of the Holy Spirit,
What all the prophets promisèd
We shall in him inherit.
“Hear him,” the call of God to all,
To save us his endeavour;
To him all praise and honour raise—
God’s word stands sure for ever.

8. Now hear, now hear, and mark with care
What else for us is written,
And learn from his new Covenant
What more to do we’re bidden.
And what of old has been foretold
Of Christ our Lord and Saviour;
To latest hour, in vaster power,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

9. Matthew, the first evangelist,
From Roman service taken,
Has now become chief counsellor
And has his sins forsaken;
Hears Jesus call, who says to all,
“Follow with best endeavour.”
In ample fame, always the same,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

10. And Mark, yes, Mark, the second is,
And richly he has taught us
The knowledge of that mighty power
Wherewith our Lord has brought us
To faith in God, to which is owed
All goodness whatsoever;
For all men’s tears, for all men’s jeers,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

11. Luke also follows in the train
And tells the gospel story:
The wondrous works of Christ, and how
From heaven the God of glory
To men undone has sent his Son
That men might perish never;
Believe we must, or bite the dust,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

12. And John, the fourth evangelist,
A youth of wondrous beauty,
Reveals to us the Word divine
And teaches us our duty.
With faith and love your calling prove
And seek no other lever;
It gives no aid to hoe or spade,
But God’s word stands for ever.

13. And Saul, God’s chosen vessel he,
His early sin repented:
He stormed and strove against the saints
As if he were demented.
In vain the age ‘gainst us shall rage,
Our souls from Christ to sever;
In time of ill our stronghold still,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

14. O Paul, O Paul, what fruit of all
Thy writings in their season!
The truth thou hast declared shall stand
Against all human reason.
Sin is o’erthrown by faith alone,
And, though the great and clever
Were all employed to make it void,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

15. And Peter, Jude, and James, all three
Do follow in this teaching;
Repentance and confession they
Through Christ our Lord are preaching
In him men must put all their trust,
Or they shall see God never;
The wolf may tear, the lion, bear,—
God’s word stands sure for ever.

16. Ah, man, blind man, now hear the word,
Make sure your state and calling;
Believe the Scripture is the power
By which we’re kept from falling.
Your valued lore at once give o’er,
Renounce your vain endeavour;
This shows the way, no longer stray,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

17. O Jesus Christ, thou Son of God,
Let us not lack thy favour,
For what shall be our just reward
If the salt shall lose its savour?
With angry flame to efface thy name
In vain shall men endeavour;
Not for a day, the same for aye,
God’s word stands sure for ever.

18. Praise God, praise God in unity,
Ye Christian people sweetly,
That he his word has spread abroad—
His word, his work completely.
No human hand can him withstand,
No name how high soever;
And sing we then our glad Amen!
God’s word stands sure for ever.

Balthasar Hübmaier, “A Song in Praise of God’s Word”

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Famous remarks, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify if possible.)

“Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly.” -- by Simeon Strunsky (whether correctly quoted or not!)

“We have in the Bible a divine revelation and an inspired record of that divine revelation—God’s Word in God’s words.” -- Thomas Lawrence

“Every man is his own doctor of divinity, in the last resort.” -- Robert Louis Stevenson, in An Inland Voyage (1878)

“A man who will not use his freedom to defend his freedom does not deserve his freedom.” -- Carl McIntire

“Our character must be more persuasive than our speech.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon

“Two things that don’t coexist are whining and being grateful.” -- Sam Crabtree

“We live in a graceless society where people would rather silence alternate beliefs than engage in conversation.” -- Bill Mounce

“The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not arrogated by the critic to himself.” -- John Warwick Montgomery

“Faith is like gumbo; for it to be authentic, at some point you have to make it your own.” -- Kelly Pigott

“Trust is the coin of the realm.” -- George Shultz

“If you make your living off of your religion, you will eventually either lose your religion of your living.” -- Unknown

Friday, February 26, 2021

Doug Kutilek, wrong again?

Last Friday, I noticed Doug Kutilek’s selectively questionable attack on Benjamin Wilkinson’s and J. J. Ray’s view of Psalm 12:6-7. His modus operandi seems as much or more about distinguishing a particular history of the “King James Only Movement” that leads back to a Seventh Day Adventist beginning – as opposed to actually trying to understand the various streams of thought that bring us to our current situation. Kutilek further writes of Wilkinson.
“Wilkinson, for example, was the first person to assert that the Old Latin version, instead of the Vulgate, was the Bible of the medieval Waldensians and that the Old Latin corresponds textually with the Greek Textus Receptus, both of which assertions are demonstrably false.” (p. 44)
The chapter endnote for Waldenses and the Old Latin Bible – rather than referencing any pages in Wilkinson’s writings – leads to Kutilek’s supposed documentation of Wilkinson’s errors in “The Truth About the Waldensian Bible and the Old Latin Version,” Baptist Biblical Heritage 2, No. 2, Summer 1991). This (p. 54), rather than any reference to a page in Wilkinson’s book. Does he not wish us to inspect what Wilkinson wrote?

Whether or not the Old Latin corresponds textually with the Textus Receptus is a question beyond the scope of this short piece. However, Kutilek is wrong to claim that Wilkinson is the first person to assert that the Old Latin version was the Bible of the medieval Waldenses. It appears that Frederick Nolan did so in his An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate or Received Text of The New Testament: in Which the Greek Manuscripts are Newly Classed, the Integrity of the Authorised Text Vindicated, and the Various Readings Traced to their Origin (pp. xvii-xviii) in 1815.
Another point to which the authour has directed his attention, has been the consideration of the old Italick translation...The circumstance is at present mentioned, as the authour thence formed a hope, that some remains of the primitive Italick version might be found in the early translations made by the Waldenses, who were the lineal descendants of the Italick Church; and who have asserted their independence against the usurpations of the Church of Rome, and have ever enjoyed the free use of the Scriptures. In the search to which these considerations have led the authour, his fondest expectations have been fully realized. It has furnished him with abundant proof on that point to which his Inquiry was chiefly directed; as it has supplied him with the unequivocal testimony of a truly apostolical branch of the primitive Church, that the celebrated text of the heavenly witnesses was adopted in the version which prevailed in the Latin Church, previously to the introduction of the modern Vulgate.
Next Kutilek writes,
“He was the first person to demonize Westcott and Hort, making them the ‘bogey men’ in the text and translation debate often by distorting their words.” (p. 44)
The chapter endnote for Westcott and Hort (p. 54 ) leads to articles in The Biblical Evangelist by Kutilek about Erasmus and his Greek Text, again rather than any actual reference to a page in Wilkinson’s book. Seems like some kind of pattern here! It is possible that Kutilek is correct, or at least partially so, in this assertion. Dean of Chichester, John William Burgon, forcefully attacked the work of Westcott and Hort, using words such as mischievous, untrustworthy, conspiracy, arbitrary, baseless, calamitous, secrecy, infatuation, servility, nonsense, and “blind leading the blind.” However, I have not thus far found that he attacked their theology. KJVOs and Anti-KJOs may cherry pick quotes from Westcott and Hort to either demonize or sanitize them. Nevertheless, quotes from them, taken in context – whatever one thinks of them – surely indicate plenty of theology that is unacceptable in fundamental circles, who would write, for example, “We assume from the start the historicity of Genesis and its Mosaic authorship.” [From The Fundamentals - A Testimony to the Truth, Volume 1] In contrast, compare the letter of B. F. Westcott “To the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
Cambridge, 4th March 1890. 
The picture which you draw is sad, but I too, in my way, know that it is true. We want and I know that I want, which is something a living faith. When we are quite sure that God is speaking now and He is speaking we shall not grow wild in discussing how He once spoke.

I have purposely refrained from reading Lux Mundi,1 but I am quite sure that our Christian faith ought not to be perilled on any predetermined view of what the history and character of the documents contained in the O.T. must be. What we are bound to hold is that the O.T., substantially as we receive it, is the Divine record of the discipline of Israel. This it remains, whatever criticism may determine or leave undetermined as to constituent parts. No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history. I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did yet they disclose to us a Gospel. So it is probably elsewhere. Are we not going through a trial in regard to the use of popular language on literary subjects like that through which we went, not without sad losses, in regard to the use of popular language on physical subjects? If you feel now that it was, to speak humanly, necessary that the Lord should speak of the ‘sun rising,’ it was no less necessary that He should use the names ‘Moses’ and ‘David’ as His contemporaries used them. There was no critical question at issue. (Poetry is, I think, a thousand times more true than History: this is a private parenthesis for myself alone.) As far as I can judge, the young High Church party need patient discipline, and they are quite out of sympathy with the generation above. It will be most disastrous if for want of loving sympathy they are driven to revolt . . . (From Life and Letters of Brooks Foss Westcott, Volume 2. fn1 Apparently this is Lux Mundi: a Series of Studies in the Religion of the Incarnation, a book edited by Charles Gore and published in 1889.)
The Westcott & Hort Resource Centre, by their own testimony, was created to help refute KJV-Only. In one case the site defends Westcott from an “assault” on his view of miracles – pointing out he was a 22-year-old student when the particular quote was written. The editor further points out that Westcott wrote Characteristics of the Gospel Miracles in 1859. Curiously, however, he leaves us to take his word that Westcott believed the “truth of the miracles as recorded in Scripture” rather than posting any quotes from the book. Nevertheless, they have performed a great service in making available books that were very hard to find.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

On Bible revisions and King James in newspapers

“Rev. James Challen, of Cincinnati, Ohio...assailed with great force the narrow feeling which seemed to regard the translation of King James’ Bible as inspired: that of which it professed to be a translation was inspired: but the translation itself was a work of human hands...”

“Prof. A. Drury, of Ky., proceeded with an eloquent address in favor of the modification and improvement of the present translation of the Scriptures. He attacked the King James edition with a perfect tempest of ridicule, research, argument and learning...”
“Editorial Correspondence” (reporting on a convention on Bible revision), Tennessee Baptist (Nashville, Tennessee), Saturday, April 17, 1852, p. 2
“It must be remembered that our English Bible is only a translation from the original Greek and Hebrew, made by fifty learned men at the command of King James the First of England. Any true theory of plenary inspiration must be based on the supposition that the original writers and the translators were both inspired; and this being manifestly untenable, the theory falls to the ground.”
Lecture by James Freeman Clarke at the Music Hall, “What is Essential in the Bible,” The Boston Daily Globe, Monday, November 19, 1877, p. 8
“There is a class of persons who worship the Bible as the ignorant Romanist does the image of the Virgin, believing, even the translators of the King James’ version to be inspired, they accept the whole book as the direct work of God, and regard any attempt to subject it to the same critical examination as would be given by scholars to other ancient literature, as a desecration of the ‘holy-of-holiest,’ unless such criticism should exactly coincide with the preconceived ideas.” All such had better pass ‘The Bible of To-Day without even casting a glance toward it…There is a large class of intelligent and pious people who, while they feel that the spirit of the Bible is inspired of God, regard the letter as a totally different thing, and a subject on which scholarly criticism is not only allowable but desirable. To such Mr. Chadwick’s book will be interesting…”
“Literary Gossip,” M.B.C. reviewing The Bible of To-Day by John W. Chadwick, minister of the Second Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, The Observer (Raleigh, NC), Saturday, March 22, 1879, p. 3
“The revision of the New Testament is criticized because it omits certain passages which were not in the original, and changes others in accordance with the meaning of the writers. Such work ‘destroys the old landmarks,’ say the critics. Their idea is, that the old King James translation is an inspired work, not to be corrected or possible of improvement.”
Report on the General Assembly of the Scotch Free Church adopting a resolution that they considered Prof. J. Robertson “an unsafe teacher, and therefore unfit to continue in any college of the Free Church of Scotland.” “Bigotry,” The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), Friday, 27 May 27, 1881, p. 2
“A literal inspiration would be of no use unless God had provided at the same time for infallible transmission and preservation. That is, for infallible transcribers and infallible translators; for the great mass of men depend upon translations which are made by imperfect, fallible men, and differ much…

“To escape these facts the advocates of inerrancy are forced to confine inerrancy to the Hebrew and Greek autographs. There is a modern American invention and mere hypothesis in the air. It is scarcely worthy of a moment’s notice. Nobody has ever seen the autographs or is likely to find them; they are irretrievably lost.”
Article by Philip Schaff, printed the Minneapolis Sunday Star Tribune; “Schaff Defends Briggs,” Sunday Star Tribune, Sunday, May 31, 1891, p. 17
Charles A. Briggs taught things such as errors in the original writings of the Scriptures, Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch, and Isaiah did not write all the prophecy ascribed to him. At a heresy trial by the New York Presbyter, he was miraculously acquitted of these (and three other) charges – he clearly taught these things, so the acquittal effectively said those teachings were not heretical.
“Prof. Briggs Acquitted,” The Pittsburgh Dispatch, Saturday, December 31, 1892, p. 1 [However, in the Presbyterian General Assembly of 1893 also tried him, and he was convicted. “Dr. Briggs Must Go,” Chicago Tribune, Friday, June 9, 1893, p. 1]
“Then Dr. Buckley took the floor. He advocated more freedom in construing the Bible. He pointed out the possibility of human error in the setting down of the revelation as it came from God and in the translation. There are some even in these days, he said, who believed in the verbal infallibility of the King James version. ‘But,’ he added, ‘I do not believe that there are four men in this room who so believe. If there are four such men, and they are looking for a fifth, they need not count on me.”
James M. Buckley was editor of the Christian Advocate. Report of a meeting of the Methodist clergymen of the Metropolitan District. “Voted On The Bible. Methodist Minister Agree That All Isn’t God’s Word,” (copied from the New York Sun), Meriden Daily Republican (Meriden, Connecticut), Tuesday, February 16, 1897, p. 5
Opposition to “Professor Terry of the Garrett Biblical Institute” led Dr. Emory Miller to defend their work, stating, “The legitimate criticism, which operates from the standpoint of the supernatural revelation, may destroy the enthusiastic affirmation that the King James translation is all inspired; may destroy ultimately the prejudice against the later and better versions.”
“Higher Criticism at Evanston,” The Topeka Daily Herald (Topeka, KS), Monday, July 28, 1902, p. 4
“It is time that the people generally were emancipated from the ignorance that believes that King James’ Version dropped down out of heaven…The plea that the English of King James’ Version is verbally inspired is arrant nonsense, and has made pious fools of many lovers of the Bible.”
“The Baptist Bible,” The Word and Way, W. C. Bitting (Kansas City, MO), Thursday, December 19, 1912, p. 5

Repeat of above, credited to someone else:
“It is time that the people generally were emancipated from the ignorance that believes that King James Version dropped down out of heaven…The plea that the English of the King James Version is verbally inspired is arrant nonsense, and has made pious fools of many lovers of the Bible.”
“The Baptist Bible,” The Alliance Herald (Alliance, NE) George A. Witte, Thursday, January 2, 1913, p. 7
In an article that discusses a circular “distributed and signed by the Rev. George A. Cooke of Wilmington, Delaware,” charging George P. Mains with heterodoxy in his work Modern Thought and Traditional Faith, the article allows “that his views are ‘displeasing only to those who take literally every line of the Scriptures, and believe that mistakes of grammar in the King James version are inspired, and that Jonah was literally swallowed by the whale.”
“Heresy Charge Against Dr. Mains,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Sunday, April 9, 1916, p. 4, section 2
“Already there is much ado being made over Dr. Goodspeed’s translation of the New Testament into colloquial English.

“We have little patience with such protests…

“Rev. Dr. Willett, of Chicago…[says] some folks talk as though the King James translation came directly down from heaven. They seem to think every phrase was dictated by the holy spirit without change or error.”
“The New Version,” The Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH) Wednesday, September 19, 1923, p. 6
“Times have changed, and we have changed in them. Whatever Protestantism stands for, it no longer recognizes every sentence, every word, every letter of the King James version as divinely inspired. That it therefore needs to seek new anchorages is an interesting reflection.” (This article is more about receiving the Bible as inspired as a practical matter, specifically addressing changing views on divorce and birth control. “It is clear than Protestant theology has drifted from the old standards.”)
“The Church and Sociology,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Friday, December 9, 1932, p. 22
An editor or contributor to the Calgary Herald wrote of varying codexes and copying errors, and stated, “Recognition of this truth is likely to prove a shock to those who still cling to the idea that the whole record of the Bible in the King James version is the inspired Word from which there can be no deviation with safety.”
“Peregrinations of a Church Tramp,” The Calgary Daily Herald (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), Saturday, July 28, 1934, p. 8
“Many who can’t read Greek, and are familiar with the King James version only, may feel like some of this is tampering with the Bible, which they believe from cover to cover.”
“New Translation Compared With the Old,” John G. Garth (Presbyterian minister in Charlotte), The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), Sunday, 31 March 31, 1946, p. 15, section C

RSV Reviewers, 1946, Louis F. Martin and Ray Summers (Southwestern Seminary):
“The Star Telegram has asked two Fort Worth Protestant clergymen to prepare articles discussing the need for the [Revised Standard Version]…” It appears that the statement below is from Louis F. Martin, Rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

“There at some who think the King James Version is or contains the word of God and that anything recent or modern cannot be good.”
“Revised New Testament Hailed by Reviewers Here as Superb Work,” Louis F. Martin and Ray Summers, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), Sunday, May 5, 1946, page 10, section 1
“I think it is very wrong to change the wording. The King James version is beautiful and was written by the inspired men of God.
“In the last chapter of Revelations, verses 18 and 19, we read where it is wrong to take away or add to God’s Word. When we read our Bible and ask God to give us an insight as to the meaning, we need not have it simplified to understand it. The Bible should not be changed in any way; let us keep the King James version.” 
Sara Hines Claiborne, Richmond, Virginia; “Doesn’t Like New Bible; Prefers King James Version,” in “Voice of the People” in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) Sunday, October 26, 1952, p. 2-B
“Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion and there is no one who can change mine in regard to the King James Version, which was good enough for our forefathers and is good enough for me.”
Norma Webb Todd-Davis, Bremo Bluff, Virginia; “More on Why She Prefers The King James Bible,” in “Voice of the People” in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), Wednesday, November 5, 1952, p. 18
“As to this controversy over the new Bible translation, where are our ‘born again’ Christians, our pastors, our teachers, our ‘watchman on the wall’? Do we believe in our Lord Jesus as the only begotten of God, or was He born of an ordinary ‘young woman’?
“I, for one, will stand up and be counted as one that believes in the inspired word of the King James version—inspired of God, written by men led by the Holy Spirit—and condemn the new version, men led by the son of perdition, trying to take from and add to the Bible as spoken of in the last chapter of Revelation.” 
Edna Carpenter of Duane, Virginia; “Reader Strongly Condemns New Version of the Bible,” in “Voice of the People” in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), Friday, December 12, 1952, p. 24
“A denunciation of the recently published revised version of the Bible was voiced by the Rev. Kenneth Vertz, pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, in his sermon Sunday.

“He termed it a ‘devil-inspired’ attempt to destroy the Bible’s Old Testament.

“‘The translators have thrown overboard almost everything that God himself put into His holy word through His inspired penmen.’”
“Revised Bible Attacked By Owosso Minister,” Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan), Tuesday, December 16, 1952, p. 3
“Generally speaking, the liberal groups have authorized or recommended the use of the new version of the Bible in the church service while the conservatives are sticking with the King James Version.” 
“Differences on Revised Bible Mostly Theological in Nature,” The Miami Herald, Saturday, April 25, 1953, p. 11-A.
Inter-denominational “Crusade for Christ” held in Kittanning, Pennsylvania June 13-16, featured evangelist Bob Persson, described as a “former song-leader for Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., and Dr. Ruckman.” “This is a special rally of those who stand uncompromisely for the Lord—the King James Version of the Bible, the A.C.C. as opposed to the N.C.C. salvation through Christ.”
Leader-Times (Kittanning, Pennsylvania) Friday, June 14, 1963, p. 11
In an ad inviting the people of Montgomery “to see and hear illustrated message by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman,” we find that one of the two messages to be presented was “How We Can Know the King James Bible to be the Word of God.” The services were sponsored by Faith Rescue Mission.
Alabama Journal (Montgomery, Alabama), Friday, November 26, 1965, p. 18

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

KJV and Conformity with Greek

In the New Testament, the KJV often follows the Greek word order more closely than most translations.  For example, Matthew 17:19 says, “Then came the disciples to Jesus.”  This syntax, which has the verb preceding the subject, may seem peculiar to contemporary English-speaking audiences; but the word order in the KJV follows the Greek word order (“τοτε προσελθοντες οι μαθηται τω ιησου”).  Mimicking the exact style and structure of the Greek can sometimes preserve what is emphasized in the Greek.  Another feature common in the KJV is the historical present tense.  The KJV often uses the present tense to describe past action: e.g. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John” (Matthew 3:13).  This is because the KJV faithfully translates the Greek which is also in the present tense.  Greek writers used the historical present tense to add emphasis to important past actions.  The historical present tense has the effect of making past narratives more vivid.  Modern translations unfortunately tend to translate the historical present tense in the simple past tense.

From Why read the Bible in the King James Version?

Hebraisms in the King James Bible

The KJV preserves lexicographical and syntactical Hebraisms (William Rosenau, Hebraisms in the Authorized Version of the Bible).[i]  Many contemporary translations, in an attempt to make the Bible sound more familiar to readers, dilute the Hebrew feel of the Bible. Much of the peculiarity of the language of the KJV is due to its faithful mimicry of the Hebrew language. Some Hebraic expressions such as the Hebraic anticipatorial accusative (“God saw the light, that it was good” Genesis 1:4) and Hebraic double prepositions (“Abram went up out of Egypt” Genesis 13:1) are completely removed even in translations that are purported to be essentially literal, such as the NASB and the ESV.  Acclaimed Greek teacher John Dobson, author of Learn New Testament Greek, 3rd ed., invites his students to pay close attention to the Hebraic influence in the Greek New Testament. Due to his apparent preference for dynamic translations, he does not seem to prefer the KJV. However, he acknowledges that the KJV “follows Hebrew style more closely than a modern translator would normally do” (305).[ii]

From Why read the Bible in the King James Version?, with footnotes added.


[i] A Hebraism is a Hebrew idiom or expression; an expression or construction distinctive of the Hebrew language; a linguistic element borrowed from Hebrew by another language, including words, phrases, and language traits.
[ii] Dobson gives an example of translating εγενετο in Luke 1:5 as “it came to pass,” which he notes “is English of the style of the Authorized Version, which itself follows Hebrew style more closely than a modern translator would normally do.” (Oddly, considering his comment, the King James does not translate εγενετο as it came to pass in that verse.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Name That Sticks, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Hypocrites in the church

 A lady invited her friend to attend the services at her church, emphasizing, “We would love to have you visit us.”

“No, I won’t,” her friend curtly responded, “There are too many hypocrites in the church.”

The lady quickly countered, “That’s not so! We have room for several more. Keep that in mind in case you change your mind and want to come.”


Monday, February 22, 2021

Bill Combs and KJVO

The links below are to posts written by W. W. “Bill” Combs. Combs is currently an Associate Pastor at Community Bible Church in Trenton, Michigan. Formerly he served at the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. There is a series on his theory of the KJVO movement and its origins, and then some other related posts. I don’t agreed with Combs on any number of things, but think the series is interesting enough to recommend. Unlike some of his counterparts in the anti-KJVO movement, Combs places the origin of the KJVO as a movement in 1881. He also puts Dean John William Burgon is a more prominent place in its origins – as do KJV-Only proponents and as KJV-Only detractors do not.

Forewarned is forearmed

What is the origin of the phrase “To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” or “forewarned is forearmed”?

The English phrase first appeared in the 1500s. Shakespeare used an expression similar to this in his play Henry VI, Part 3:

“Well I will arm me, being thus forewarn’d.”

The English phrase probably derives from the Latin “Praemonitus, praemunitus.” Translated into English it means, “Forewarned is forearmed.” Various scholars report that the proverb can been traced to Treatises of Fistula by J. Arderne (circa 1425). In 1615, it was used by Miguel de Cervantes used it in Don Quixote.

The proverb suggests that prior knowledge of something allows one to be prepared for it.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

How wondrous are the works of God

1. How wondrous are the works of God,
Displayed through all the world abroad!
Immensely great! Immensely small!
Yet one strange work exceeds them all.

2. He formed the sun, fair fount of light;
The moon, and stars to rule the night;
But night, and stars, and moon, and sun,
Are little works compared with one.

3. He rolled the seas and spread the skies;
Made valleys sink and mountains rise;
The meadows clothed with native green;
And bade the rivers glide between.

4. But what are seas, or skies, or hills;
Or verdant vales,or gliding rills,
To wonders man was born to prove?
The wonders of redeeming love!

5. ’Tis far beyond what words express,
What saints can feel,or angels guess;
Angels, that hymn the great I Am,
Fall down and veil before the Lamb.

6. The highest heavens are short of this,
’Tis deeper then than the vast abyss,
’Tis more than thought can e’er conceive,
Or hope expect, or faith believe.

7. Almighty God sighed human breath,
The Lord of life experienced death;
How it was done we can’t discuss;
But this we know, ‘twas done for us.

8. Blest with this faith then let us raise
Our hearts in love, our voice in praise,
All things to us must work for good,
For whom the Lord hath shed his blood.

9. Trials may press of every sort;
They may be sore; they must be shore,
We now believe but soon shall view,
The greatest glories God can show.

Joseph Hart, in The Christian’s duty, Exhibited in a Series of Hymns, 1791

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Three Modern Versions, and other reviews

The posting of reviews does not constitute endorsement of the products or reviews that are linked.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Wilkinson, Ray, and Kutilek on Psalm 12:6-7

Did Doug Kutilek get this wrong?

The book Only One Bible appears to take only a moderately negative approach in its opposition to the “King James Only Movement.” On page 17 Kevin Bauder writes,
“A second risk is that the mere publication of this book might raise the temperature of the debate. Unfortunately, the debate has too often descended to the level of name calling, guilt by association, bandwagoning, and truth-twisting.”
You would think, then, that the authors and editor would strive to keep the temperature turned down, keeping “name calling, guilt by association, bandwagoning, and truth-twisting” at arms length. Enter Douglas K. Kutilek. In Chapter 1, “The Background and Origin of the Version Debate,” where he writes,
“Wilkinson was also the first person to misapply Psalm 12:6-7 as though it were a promise of preservation of the KJV.” (p. 44 )
“Among other errors. Ray adopts Wilkinson’s misinterpretation and misapplication of Psalm 12:6-7 as though it were a promise of preservation of the KJV.” (p. 45 )
Oddly, rather than showing where this claim is found in Wilkinson’s book, the chapter endnote only refers to another place Kutilek supposedly refuted it in the 1983 Biblical Evangelist! I could not readily find this writing to check out his claims there. Seems if you refute a claim someone has made, you should at least play the man and show where what you are refuting is found.

Concerning J. J. Ray adopting “Wilkinson’s misinterpretation and misapplication of Psalm 12:6-7,” the chapter endnote refers to page 122 in the 1970 printing of Ray’s book. However in the copy I have (a 1983 printing) and another I checked (a 1976 printing), page 122 does not even mention Psalm 12:6-7! Perhaps it can be found in the 1970 printing, but at this time I can neither validate or invalidate Kutilek’s accuracy regarding this being on page 122 (though I suspect he is not accurate). The words in Ray’s book on page 106, however, state something different. Ray claims preservation of the Textus Receptus, not the King James Bible.
“The words of God are pure words: as silver I tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt PRESERVE THEM EVERY ONE from this generation forever,” (Psalm 12:6-7).
“God has preserved these very words for us in the TEXTUS RECEPTUS; and until we get an honest, trustworthy revision of the King James Bible; the King James will remain our very best English translation of the TEXTUS RECEPTUS.”
“The Bible God wrote has been providentially preserved for us in the Greek Textus Receptus, from which the King James Bible was translated in 1611. Any version of the Bible that does not agree with this text, is certainly founded upon corrupted manuscripts.”
These quotes are from page 106 of God Wrote Only One Bible. They do not show that J. J. Ray thought “of Psalm 12:6-7 as though it were a promise of preservation of the KJV.” [Note: as far as “them” referring to the words of God in Psalm 12:7 being some recent notion, refer to any number of old commentaries to find that there has long been disagreement on how “them” should be interpreted.] 

[Notes: One Bible Only?: Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible, Roy E. Beacham, editor. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001. Oddly enough, on page 122 Ray seems to place salvation only through the Textus Receptus and translations that agree with it: It is impossible to be saved without ‘FAITH,’ and perfect-saving-faith can only be produced by the ‘ONE’ Bible God wrote, and that we find only in translations which agree with the Greek Textus Receptus refused by Westcott and Hort. God Wrote Only One Bible]

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Briefs from the life of Carl McIntire

Some excerpts from various places, mostly CarlMcIntire.org

Charles Curtis “Carl” McIntire, Jr. was born on May 17, 1906 in the manse of the First Presbyterian Church of Ypsilanti, Michigan where his father was pastor. Dr. McIntire either founded or was an integral part of the Bible Presbyterian denomination in 1938, the American Council of Christian Churches, the International Council of Christian Churches, the Independent Board of Presbyterian Home and Foreign Missions, Faith Theological Seminary, and the Christian Beacon, a weekly newspaper. His radio broadcast was called the Twentieth Century Reformation Hour. Dr. McIntire went to be with the Lord on March 19, 2002.

Graduating from Park College, Parkville, Missouri, in 1927, McIntire attended Princeton University seminary, where he was a devoted student of J. Gresham Machen. When Machen and a group of conservatives left Princeton to form Westminster in 1929, McIntire followed them and graduated from Westminster in 1931. McIntire as an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. until he was defrocked by his presbytery in 1935 for his involvement in the conservatives’ Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. [He was tried for “refusing to obey an order of the Presbyterian General Assembly than he resign from an Independent Board for Foreign Missions which was set up in opposition to the official board.”]

In 1936 McIntire joined Machen in the newly founded church that eventually became known as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Three years later, however, McIntire led a group that separated to form the Bible Presbyterian Church. In 1941 McIntire founded the American Council of Churches as a counter to the Federal Council of Churches (later National Council of Churches), which he considered too liberal.

Carl McIntire was a staunch supporter of the King James Bible, but not to the extent that nothing could ever be changed. He accepted the possibility of a faithful update of its words:
The Bible belongs to all the people of God. The King James Version has its position in the Christian world simply because it has commended itself universally to Christian people. Woven into the hearts and memories of millions, it must continue to have first place in the English-speaking world until the day when a faithful translation, honoring the Hebrew and Greek text and including the changes in meaning of the few English words, may be forthcoming.
In the early 1950s, McIntire and the American Council of Churches led the charge against the Revised Standard Version, which, most notably, changed the prophecy of the virgin mother of Jesus from a virgin to a young woman (see Isaiah 7:14). This and other differences resulted from the RSV’s differing translation philosophy and differing textual basis. The catalyst for “King James Only” as a “movement” rose from the ashes of this conflict, and conflicts over other liberal Bible translations. The rhetoric of McIntire and others used against the RSV found a happy home in the “King James Only movement.”

Some booklets written by Carl McIntire include:

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Bible debate in 1927

In 1927 Carl A. Hansen (Seventh Day Baptist and director of the People’s Bible Institute in Rock Island, Illinois) and Gordon Kent (Pastor of the Unitarian Church in Moline, Illinois) engaged in a public debate on the inspiration of the Bible. Hansen maintained “that the bible in the King James version is verbally inspired by God, and is the final authority in matters of belief and conduct.”

The Rock Island Argus, Wednesday, February 16, 1927, page 13

The Rock Island Argus, Saturday, February 5, 1927, page 7

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A Version of Scripture is the Divine Word

The following excerpt was written by Thomas Lawrence (1832-1915), a Presbyterian preacher who served as President of the Normal and Collegiate Institute at Asheville, North Carolina 1892-1907. It is found in “The Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures; Or, The Divine and Human in the Written Word,” Asheville Citizen-Times (NC) Tuesday, August 28, 1900, p. 2 “A paper by the Rev. Thomas Lawrence, read in the Mills River church, Henderson county, N. C., before the Elders’ and Deacons’ institute, held under the joint auspices of the Presbyteries of Asheville and French Broad, representing, respectively, the sister Presbyterian churches, north and south. The paper is published at the request of the institute.”

“Fifth. It is objected, that though we may concede the verbal inspiration of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, the question is but of little moment to the mass of men after all, who have access to the sacred writings only in the form of a translation. But the objection is not well taken. If the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures are verbally inspired, then they form an infallible standard with which the version may be continuously compared and corrected until it perfectly reproduces, not merely the thought, but the very form and structure of the original, and in so far forth as the version faithfully reproduces the original, is it the inspired word, invested with all its divine inherent and awful authority. We have the highest of all authority for saying that a version of Scripture is the Divine Word—that of the divine author of the Scriptures himself. During our Lord’s earthly ministry he frequently quotes from the Septuagent (sic) version of the Hebrew Bible. He cites it as ‘the Scriptures,’and Paul, quoting from the Septuagent (sic) version of Psl. 95-7, speaks of it as the words of the Holy Ghost. ‘As the Holy Ghost saith, If ye will hear his voice.’ Were the great apostle today—nay the Master Himself, on a mission to the English speaking people, He would doubtless use our common English Bible—the most perfect of all versions, in the noblest of modern tongues.”