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

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