Thursday, March 31, 2011

James White's Definition of KJV Only

Jamin Hubner, a member of the AOMIN blogging team, is involved in a debate regarding the definition of KJV only. He notes:

Dr. White identifies at least 5 kinds of King-James Only advocates p. 23-28):

1. "I Like the KJV Best"
2. "The Textual Argument" - Group A (Majority Text advocates), Group B (TR Advocates) Group C (others)
3. "Received Text Only" - TR is inspired or is inerrant by providence of God.
4. Inspired KJV Group - KJV itself is inspired and inerrant (some would also affirm inspiration and inerrancy of TR, and thus also hold to group 3); KJV Alone = Word of God Alone
5. "The KJV as New Revelation" - God re-inspired the AV 1611 text rendering it in English language (thus, Hebrew and Greek texts should actually be changed to reflect KJV readings) (link)

However, as a counter-point, I should be noted that James White also says the following:

One group that would strongly reject the term KJV Only but believe that the Greek texts used by the KJV translators are superior to those used by modern translations would be the Majority Text advocates. (White. The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations? Bethany House, 2009 P. 24)

King James Onlyism is to be distinguished from the scholarly defense of either the Majority Text or the Byzantine Priority Theory. (p73)

This is of interest to me because I like the arguments in favor of the Majority Text but I have never considered myself KJV Only.  It would seem wrong to call me KJV only, given I use other translations.  I just think a normal transmission of the text would naturally yield a majority text.  Why lump me in with people who think the KJV itself is inspired? 

I hope that Robinson/Pierpont's work will one day be expanded to include a broader range if not all Greek manuscripts.  This would provided a better foundation for translating than is available today.


The Seeking Disciple said...

I believe Robert Picirilli supports the majority text as well though he is not a KJV only advocate. Few people are.

Godismyjudge said...

Yep, thinking the KJV is inspired is just strange. Didn't know that about Picirilli, but I like him even better now.

God be with you,

Jim714 said...

There are lots of new books out about the King James Bible due to the 400th Anniversary this year. One of them is "Verily, Verily" by Jon M. Sweeney. Sweeney is a KJB admirer, but not an Onlyist. On page 113 he writes:

"The boto mline is this: the KJV is as reliable as any good mondern translation, and -- this is what KJV-only proponents fail to understand -- any good modern translation is as reliable as the KJV. Crucially, no translation, whether KJV or contemporary, has passed directly from God's mouth to our page; each is a 'received text,' and each faithfully teaches the story of Yahweh and the gospel of Jesus Christ."

I admire this summation. I prefer the KJV and read it daily. I also read and consul the NKJV, ESV, Douay-Rheims, NRSV, and NASB. I don't think this makes me a KJV Only. Like Sweeney, I do think the KJV is at least as good as the best contemporary translations and better than at least some of them.

Where is this debate going on? Is it online?



Godismyjudge said...

Hey Jim,

Sounds like wise council from Sweeney.

Here's some links to the debate.

You may have to drill down somewhat to get to the beginning.

God be with you,

A.M. Mallett said...

I think it is hasty and ill advised to consider those who favor the majority text to be in any sense KJV only. I use both the KJV and NASB regularly preferring the former in some instances and the latter for others yet I believe the majority text is preferred.

Godismyjudge said...

Yes, that's my impression too. There's a huge difference between saying the KJV is inspired and saying the MT is of higher quality than other texts. James White seems on the fence on this, leaving the door open to real problems with labling people KJV only when they are not.

God be with you,