Where Is The Perfect Bible?

It seems that one question that keeps cropping up over and over again is this:

..tell us where we can get a copy of this complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible you seem to want us to think you believe in. Tell us what it is called, or was called and if any copy of it exists in print.Do you have such a Book? Or is it just that you like the philosophical and hypothetical concept of an inspired and infallible Bible but don’t really have one?  (See here.)

One of my first posts on the King James Only issue was a commentary on the King James “Translators to The Reader”.  Here is what the translators said:

..we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the Word of God, nay, is the Word of God…

I expect to find the Word of God in every faithful translation of the Scriptures.  So, too, did the translators of our beloved Authorized Version.

These men also said:

..No cause therefore why the Word translated should be denied to be the Word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it.
For whatever was perfect under the sun, where Apostles or apostolic men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God’s Spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand?

Do you understand what they’re saying?  They ask why a translation should be denied to be the Word of God simply because there are some errors in translation.  In fact, they ask the question, “What perfect Bible is to be found except the one that was given under inspiration?”  These men believed in the inerrancy of the originals, yet recognized that every translation that would be made would have human errors in it due to the fact that God was not renewing the process of inspiration.

It would serve us well to understand, too, that these men didn’t embrace the KJVO concept of preservation.  They accepted that they/we have the Word of God, but they did not present a belief that God would preserve it without printing errors (such as the Wicked Bible) or translation errors.  They knew that God would preserve His  Word in spite of those things, and they expected God’s people to be reasonable enough to understand that.  In fact, should one read the whole of the “Translators to The Reader”, they would find that the ones from whom these men expected to receive opposition were the Roman Catholics.

Why, then, do these KJVO believers accept the translation work of these men, but reject their words concerning translations?  Why, then do they insist on tearing up churches, schools, fellowships, friendships, and spewing vitriolic words and ad hominem arguments?

Methinks the KJVO believers don’t truly embrace the work of the King James Version translators as much as they profess.

Where  is this perfect Bible, then?  Look at the one in your hand, or on your desk.  Is it a translation made by those who seek to be true to God’s Word?  It is the Word of God.

I have More Respect for the KJVOx than the KJVO

I have more respect for the double inspiration KJVO Xtremists than I do your run-of-the-mill KJV Onlyist. Why? Because they’re the only ones with the guts to take their lunacy to it’s fullest logical conclusion. In this post, I just found out that a KJVO Bible college has just made it public that they will not be teaching Greek in preparing men for ministry because their preserved KJV Bible for the English speaking people makes Greek obsolete. This is the official statement of Grace Baptist College in Gaylord Michigan.

Other colleges such as West Coast Baptist College which states to believe that the KJV is also the perfect preserved version for English people as well as the entire Sword of the Lord constituency won’t go that far, but it’s the next necessary step to take if you are going to take a “perfectly-preserved-English-version” position. How could it be ‘perfectly translated’ unless it was a work of inspiration by the Holy Spirit to ensure it to be perfect? Has man done anything other than the original manuscripts as perfectly?  Nobody in their right mind would dare presume that. Yet these KJVOXtremists take it that far and the other KJVOnlyists don’t have the guts to take that next logically necessary step into utter lunacy. They’ve got more conviction about their error than those who they think are going liberal, like Hyles Anderson College (I have to laugh). Well, at least they’re being consistent. Consistently showing how intellectually bankrupt they are without any pretense.

Luke 4:18 and the LXX (part 1)

Perhaps no passage in Scripture presents such a problem to the KJV Only view¹, as Luke 4:16-22.  In this first post, we will offer a brief explanation of the text, an examination of the quotation in verses 18-19, and a some historical support for our position.  In future posts, we will draw out the implications from the text which impact the version debate, and provide some answers to common KJV Only counter-arguments.

Explanation of the Text

Luke 4:16 explains Christ stood to read the text in the synagogue.  This was the common practice.  Jesus will read and then expound the text.  Vs. 17 explains he will read from the scroll of Isaiah, and he opens the scroll and proceeds to read.

Bibles that provide Jesus’ words in red, do a disservice to our text.  An ESV Bible I have sitting here, has vs. 18-19 in red.  But if we examine vs. 17 more closely, we’ll see that Luke is not telling us what Jesus “said” but what was written in the book that was in Jesus’ hand.

Luke says (using the KJV text here), “when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written”.  Then follows vs. 18-19.  Luke does not say Jesus said those words.  From vs. 20, it is clear that he had read them, as he rolls the scroll back up and sits down (to begin his teaching, as the custom prescribed).  So clearly Jesus read from that passage of Scripture.  But Luke gives us what the scroll said.  He tells us what was written (or what “stood written”, to better reflect the perfect tense of the Greek words here).

Luke as the inspired author of Scripture is making a statement concerning what was written on the scroll in the Nazareth synagogue.  Now we’ll look more closely at what Luke tells us was written there.

Examination of the Quotation

Using the KJV English as a comparison, the chart below shows where the quote in Luke 4:18-19 departs from the Hebrew Original as translated by the KJV in Isaiah 61:1-2. (You may want to click on the image to enlarge it.)

You’ll notice that some of the differences are quite minor (“to”/”unto”, “poor”/”meek”, “preach deliverance”/”proclaim liberty”).  Others are more significant: “Lord GOD” (Adonai Jehovah) becomes “Lord”, “LORD” (Jehovah) becomes “he”, “bruised” becomes “bound”.  And even more problematic, an entire phrase is found in Luke that is not in Isaiah 61: “recovering of sight to the blind”.  A similar phrase is found in Isaiah 42:7, but it doesn’t match up exactly.  It was common for readers in the prophets to skip around a bit, and read portions of verses from the nearby chapters.  Even allowing for this, it does not appear that the exact wording Luke records in Luke 4 is found in the King James Version in Isaiah (and we would assume in the Hebrew Masoretic Text behind the KJV).

Now this all gets very interesting once we compare the Greek of Luke 4 with the Greek of the Septuagint Old Testament (LXX) in Isaiah 61.

Here we see the differences are much less.  The first two involve alternate spellings of the same word.  In the NA27 and the Majority Text Greek, the spelling of the LXX is followed.  The third instance of a difference, followed by the TR and MT,² and in English it amounts to “the broken of heart” vs. “the broken of hearts” (or as often translated, “brokenhearted”).  The fourth instance is similar to the English example in the KJV, “preach” vs. “declare”.

Most interesting to note here, is that the phrase above which the KJV/Hebrew does not have in Isaiah 61, “the recovering of sight to the blind” is found in the Greek LXX and matches the wording exactly in all the versions of the Greek NT (TR, MT & NA27).  There is a missing phrase found in Luke and not in Isaiah LXX, however.  “To set at liberty them that are bruised” is not in the LXX.  However an almost exact form of this phrase is found in Is. 58:6.  That form matches more perfectly than the missing English phrase does from Is. 42 (see above).  So again, if we consider the common practice of reading from nearby chapters, then we have a much clearer story of where the quotation came from that Luke says was written in the scroll at the Nazareth synagogue. Continue reading