The Theological Illusions of King James Onlyism by Kevin Bauder (part 3)

One Bible Only? Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible may just be the best book on the King James Only debate, period. The posts in this series are tracing the arguments of Kevin Bauder, in his conclusion to the book: “An Appeal to Scripture”. He explains several theological arguments that KJV Onlyists resort to, in an effort to continue propagating their belief against a mass of contrary evidence. Bauder shows that these arguments are really illusions that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Part 1 set the stage, and part 2 dealt with “the appeal to faith”. Now in part 3, we come to “the appeal to reason”.

Bauder has in mind a specific argument that KJV Onlyists use in relation to preservation. They claim that “verbal inspiration… is useless unless it is followed by exactness in verbal preservation”. I have seen KJV Only materials which claim that verbal preservation (also known as perfect preservation), is a direct corollary of verbal inspiration. Bauder is quick to affirm verbal inspiration, but does not affirm perfect preservation. “While this argument from reason sounds plausible at first hearing,” he says, “it actually runs counter to God’s dealings in Scripture.” (pg. 158)

Bauder makes the case that this demand that perfect inspiration requires perfect preservation does not stand up to Scripture itself. First, he shows that not all of God’s spoken words were recorded in Scripture. Pre-flood instructions on sacrifices, the seven thunders of Revelation (Rev. 10:1-4), and Jesus’ words that aren’t recorded in Scripture (John 21:25) all are evidence that perfect words of God can be given and yet not preserved.

Bauder’s second line of argumentation here deals with the written words of Scripture comparing the actual record we have in Scripture with the KJV Onlyists requirement of perfect preservation. Bauder finds that the testimony of Scripture doesn’t support perfect preservation. His thoughts are worth repeating at length.

Even with regard to written words, it is demonstrably true that when someone’s spoken words were later recorded in Scripture, the “exact” words spoken were not necessarily the very words that were used in Scripture. For example, when the Gospel writers recorded words that Jesus had spoken during His lifetime, these authors, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, recorded the essence of Jesus’ words, not His exact words. This observation must be true because the recounting of Jesus’ words by the Gospel writers do not exactly agree (compare, for example, Matt. 13:1-13 with Mark 4:1-13 word for word). We affirm wholeheartedly that the Gospel writers were accurately employing the exact words that God wanted them to use to record Jesus’ speech under the perfect, supervisory ministry of the Holy Spirit. However, we also know that the Holy Spirit intended for these writers to record the essence of Jesus’ speech, not His exact words, for that is what they did. Also, remember that Jesus and His disciples frequently quoted the Old Testament (OT) in other than exact words. They sometimes quoted the Septuagint, the Masoretic text, a free rendition, or a combination thereof. In God’s method of propagating truth, it is apparent from the text of Scripture itself that He allowed some degree of latitude for the accurate and authoritative communication of that truth apart from the perfect preservation of all of the exact words in one particular place; and this latitude is observable even under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. (pt. 159, bold emphasis mine)

He then gave one final example from Scripture. “In one case,” he said, “the entire written revelation of God survived in a single manuscript that was hidden from public view (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chron. 34:15).”

From this, Bauder makes the following conclusion about “the appeal to reason”:

…In all of the cases enumerated herein, God gave specific, verbal revelation, but He did not necessarily see fit to preserve all of the words and exactly the words in a publicly accessible form. The doctrines of inspiration and inerrancy (which are absolute truths) and the King James-Only proponents’ postulate of perfect preservation (which is dubious speculation) are certainly not inextricable corollaries.

All parties to this debate acknowledge that God has superintended the choice of the precise words that would be used to communicate His truth. To accept this fact, however, is not to concede that God is obligated to preserve every word through which His truth has been revealed. He might preserve some words and He might permit some to be lost, depending upon His own purpose. The appeal to reason is not a sufficient ground for the King James-Only argument.

What Bauder has done here is extremely important, in my view. He goes to Scripture itself to see how important the preservation of the specific wording of a text is. When one can see parallel accounts in the OT and NT which do not line up perfectly in word order and precise wording, and when one sees quotations of other texts which are not word perfect, why shouldn’t one conclude that a certain latitude is permissible here, that minor variations among translations of Scripture do not affect their authority?

70 thoughts on “The Theological Illusions of King James Onlyism by Kevin Bauder (part 3)

  1. Roy Beacham July 22, 2010 / 2:36 pm

    I tend strongly to agree with Bauder as well! I could not have said it better myself!!

    • Bob Hayton July 22, 2010 / 2:42 pm

      Smiles! Wow, thanks for finding our little blog and adding your comment. Let me thank you for that book you edited with Kevin Bauder. It helped me along in my own journey and I hope it helps many others!

      In Christ,

      Bob Hayton

    • Steven Avery July 27, 2010 / 6:03 am

      Hi Folks,

      Keven Bauder
      “He might preserve some words and He might permit some to be lost, depending upon His own purpose. ”

      Bauder begs the question with a category switch here. Surely God might speak some words that are not the word of God, that were inspired, unto a purpose, that are today known only in the heavenlies. (Those to whom he spoke now deceased.)

      However Kevin Bauder has to answer the very specific question .. is he saying that words of scripture are lost ? Is it possible for words of scripture to be added ? Is man doomed to a place where he can never know for sure the word of God ?

      This is the basic question for all those straddling multiple text .. and working with probability texts .. how can they ever know for sure that any book, chapter and verse and word is the pure and perfect word of God. And if they cannot know, under their textual doctrine, would they be honest enough to say “I can not really know, I do the best I can”.

      Precisely this concern and acknowledgment spurred many of us in the the search for the word of God.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

    • Carl July 27, 2010 / 11:44 am

      Nice to see you here, Mr. Beacham. I hope you will join in the conversations.

    • Steven Avery July 28, 2010 / 3:21 am

      Hi Folks,

      Discussing one of Kevin Bauder’s main point. (I will have to place it in two parts…)

      “The doctrines of inspiration and inerrancy (which are absolute truths) …”

      Hmm… Nowhere do we find out what makes these doctrines or theories into “absolute truths” to Kevin Bauder. Note first that there is no tangible, readable text, in any language, that Bauder or any writer in the book ever points to and says

      “this text is inspired and inerrant” (or infallible, historically a more appropriate word that includes inerrancy).

      Thus how can this concept about unknown scripture be called an “absolute truth” ? The proposed application is only to an ethereal, unknown and unknowable text.

      This problem is actually acknowledged in another Appendix to the book, written by Larry D. Pettegrew

      “Some people might argue that the inspiration and inerrancy of lost documents are not significant. We believe that the inspiration and perfection of
      the autographa greatly affect all copies and translations of the autographa…”

      Clearly, having copies that are “affected” by inspiration and infallibility is far, far away from any absolute truth.

      In fact, Pettigrew directly denies infallibility of any version of the Bible he supports.

      “… biblical proof for the inerrancy of die autographa exists, but not for the inerrancy of the copies.”

      And even this limited support of inerrancy begs the question of how errant copies can give “biblical proofs” about anything at all .. much less yet about absolute truth ! How do errant copies prove absolute truth ? We never find out.

      You can see this also in Norman Geisler’s “Inerrancy” p. 177

      “Absolute truth can be attributed to God’s
      Word but not to the words that are the results of errors by scribes”

      In this ethereal inerrancy of Bauder and Geisler, every extant or distinct, recognizable text can have many errors that are the results of scribes. No text is immune,no book, no chapter, ergo inerrancy is only a theoretical entity. When the practical going gets tough (the swine marathon from Gerasa, the timing of the spear of Matthew 27:49, dozens of verses NT and OT) the fallback can be a vague appeal to scribal error.

      Even within the ethereal world of original autographs, if you read Benjamin Warfield carefully, you find that inerrancy can scarcely be called “absolute”. Similarly if you read st Daniel Wallace’s site, perhaps the leading proponent of the no-pure-KJB view, you find the exact opposite of Kevin Bauder :

      “Inerrancy has to do with truth, simple truth, as opposed to absolute truth. (i.e. the philosophically absolute.)” Inspiration and Inerrancy – M. James Sawyer.

      A view in harmony with Wallace’s own 1992 article on inspiration and preservation. Essentially, we are not dealing with any absolutes or certainties in our modern version textual theories. This deep-sizes the appeal of Bauder to derivative absolute truth.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

    • Steven Avery July 28, 2010 / 7:03 am

      Hi Folks,

      Ok, above we see that Kevin Bauder is out on a limb about the absolute truth of inspiration and inerrancy, since that is surely not a representation of the modern textual view.

      Kevin continues that this ..

      “and the King James-Only proponents’ postulate of perfect preservation (which is dubious speculation) are certainly not inextricable corollaries.”

      Let us take this one-by-one.

      “postulate of perfect preservation”.

      So-so. My view .. this is more a “spiritual imperative” that God’s communication by his word will be perfect .. God’s grace in presentation of his word.

      And I never see anybody actually call it a “postulate” which is a priori .. perfect preservation is given as the consistent interpretation and understanding of the place and claims and majesty of scripture.

      For many KJB-defenders this was the final major understanding .. we rejected the modern version theories, used various TR-based versions and then understood the imperative of inspiration unto preservation unto perfection and moved to the KJB. (This was combined with simple examination as well.)

      And I think it is important to understand the dynamic, since I find I am continually misrepresented as seeing this in reverse, (KJB first .. then applying backwards to textual ideas.) as does Kevin Bauder in referring to a non-existent postulate. Note that the writer who writes most eloquently about perfect preservation is Kent Brandenburg, for whom the TR is more the emphasis. Perhaps Jeffrey Khoo to an extent.

      “(which is dubious speculation)”

      This is simply silly, whatever your position. You may argue that perfect preservation is overstated, or has nuance, or does not apply to A-B-C, or was not visibly extant in 1500, or you interpret the words of “the Bible” differently, or you do not see it in your version or translation which translates Psalm 12 and Rev 22 and other verses differently. However perfect preservation is a perfectly sensible scriptural understanding, the words “dubious speculation” shows that the goal of Kevin Bauder is polemic, not analysis.

      “are certainly not inextricable corollaries”

      We are talking inspiration and inerrancy on one hand. Yet modern inerrancy flunked, as shown above, and much better would be to talk of inspiration and purity unto perfection. The inerrancy side-route was a bit of a canard.

      And “perfect preservation” on the other part of the corollary.

      Note what happens when we adjust
      “inspiration and inerrancy”
      to the proper
      “inspiration and perfection”

      then clearly “perfect preservation” is 100% the proper, even necessary, corollary. Such preservation is the pillar on which inspiration and perfection (full inerrancy, infallibility, purity) have meaning. Since there is no Bible perfection without tangible identity unto a readable and visible Book, the scriptures. Ergo, perfect preservation points to the precise book, the Bible pure.

      So by going slowly we found a few fatal flaws in the Kevin Bauder presentation, however it was a good helpful starting point in our coming to a more full and proper understanding.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

  2. Roy Beacham July 22, 2010 / 3:48 pm

    This book was compiled for folks like you and others who want to hear a reasonable yet tempered response to some who over-estimate what God has done with and through the wonderful King James Version of the Bible. Thank you for taking time to read our book, and thank you for recommending it to others. We, along with you, hope that it helps them better to understand our great God and his blessed revelation. That is what makes the effort of writing this book worthwhile.

    • Carl July 25, 2010 / 9:30 pm

      Thank you. I have a copy in my collection. It has proven to be worthwhile addition to my theological library and an excellent source for reference.

  3. bibleprotector July 25, 2010 / 7:47 am

    There is a vast difference between something God says (e.g. 1 Cor. 14:31) and the specific intent of God to have inspired words of Scripture.

    God has doubtless said an infinite amount of words, and yet Scripture is limited to 789,630 words.

    The fact that there are other non-Scriptural true words does not equal an argument that the words of Scripture are not so cared for by God.

    Even Revelation 22:18, 19 is a strong passage in favour of God’s rigidity regarding his chosen words, along with numerous other references like Deut. 4:2, Prov. 30:5 and the context of Matt. 4:4.

    The differences between NT quotes of the OT are to do with legitimate variations within inspiration. They do not grant credence for increasing or ongoing variety of translations. While God has granted that there has been sufficient communication of His Word in varying texts and translations over the years, this is neither the best, nor God’s end plan.

    “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deut. 32:4).

    There is, in reality, only one actual set of concepts (i.e. those intended by God) which constitute the true and perfect Scripture. These are fully transmittable and perfectly communicable; and seeing that God is almighty, must be accessible in both one text and one translation for the world before the end.

    “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26). This is not talking about near enough standards with near enough compliance.

    A sound and reasoned KJBO view is in line with God’s rigidity. This, I realise, leads to the conclusion that ultimately God would have none but one. I think that this will come to pass before Christ is King at Jerusalem.

    • Erik July 25, 2010 / 8:03 am

      BP: Scripture is limited to 789,630 words.

      ED: …and he created the earth on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC. Seriously, BP? Who made that exact calculation and in which language? Is that the count of words in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek? To project that kind of rigidity on language is, to be frank, untenable.

      BP: There is, in reality, only one actual set of concepts (i.e. those intended by God) which constitute the true and perfect Scripture. These are fully transmittable and perfectly communicable…

      ED: Then why weren’t they fully transmitted and perfectly communicated in Latin during the Medieval Period? Everyone freely admits that the Vulgate deviates from the TR in the New Testament and follows LXX in many places in the Hebrew Scriptures. Were the medieval Europeans unworthy of such full transmission and perfect communication? And don’t say that they had it in Greek, because they did not. The knowledge of Greek in Western Europe was virtually non-existent during the medieval period. They did not even have Aristotle in Greek. They had him in a Latin translation from Arabic.

      The logic of your argument is sound as long as we skip over a millennium and a half or so of European history and pretty much ignore the rest of the world. The Coptic, the Syriac, even the Goth all deviate at least in a few places (and in some cases a LOT of places) from the TR.

      Sorry, I just don’t see your view fitting with history and the reality of the world we live in.

    • Bob Hayton July 25, 2010 / 8:01 pm

      What’s more troubling to me about BP’s view is reflected in this quote from his above comment: “While God has granted that there has been sufficient communication of His Word in varying texts and translations over the years, this is neither the best, nor God’s end plan.” In previous discussions, BP deflects any such use of parallel passages or OT / NT quotes with discrepancies, in the same way he gets around the problem of their being no available perfect copy of Scripture’s 66 books for at least 1600 years. He makes an assertion unsupported in Scripture, about God’s supposed plans to provide a perfect text in one language (the English language) — perfect down to spelling and punctuation and everything. It was okay to have a pure text but an impure “presentation” of that text up until the late 1800s or the early 1900s (I don’t remember which year he claims the Pure Cambridge Edition was made, which he helped create a digital version thereof). But now it is not okay because God has plainly revealed (don’t know how He did that unless it is through direct revelations) that the PCE of the KJB is IT, THE PERFECT BIBLE the Church worldwide should use.

      I mean no disrespect, BP. I appreciate your interaction here. I just do not understand why it is okay for God to let us have some variation with OT – NT quotations, variation in different translations in various languages up until the 1800s, but now chooses English to give us a perfect Bible. I don’t see that as Scripturally warranted or demanded.

    • bibleprotector July 25, 2010 / 9:51 pm

      The variation with OT quotes in the NT is within the bounds of inspiration. God is not uncreative or rigid in that sense. It is completely right for God to give the wonderful variations which exist WITHIN inspired Scripture.

      But when it comes to actually fulfilling promises, God is rigid, in that He must do exactly what He said He would do. (By the way, I hold to a synthesis of historicist and futurist prophecy, which means I see the same passages in Revelation being fulfilled twice, e.g. the 1260 days is both the Papal temporal rule and a future 3.5 year period.)

      And so, since God’s Word is stedfast, when it comes to the Scripture being made known to all nations, certainly there have been plenty of languages used for evangelism, and plenty of different styles of preaching, and an array of spiritual gifts to help.

      But “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:4-6).

      We all know there is one actual text of Scripture. It’s whatever God inspired.

      It is from that foundation that Scriptural arguments can be made that say that the Church should have one regathered text of the entire canon in one entity in the latter days.

      You cannot really have one text and multiple translations, because we observe conceptual disparity. Either this would demand everyone in the world learning Hebrew and Greek to know the perfect text, or else, the world turning to another language to have one perfect translation of both testaments.

      This idea hinges on the outworking of providence, and to recognise or confute it is where the division is over the practical issues. For example, either global English is being set up for this purpose, or not.

      I suspect that some people have a bit of a human view on the quotations of the OT in the NT. They are not thinking of them as the Holy Ghost’s words, but a kind of scientific evidence of textual and/or translational differences. The reality is that the Holy Ghost did not inspire the LXX, but that the giving of OT quotes in the NT is exactly in line with the Holy Ghost’s intention and interpretation. It is incorrect to ascribe translations to be within the purview of “inspiration”. Thus, we cannot blame nor praise the Holy Ghost for varieties in Latin, for example. This is a historical fact that God allowed in His sufficient provision of Scripture through time. It was and is not God’s end plan to stay with ongoing textual and/or translational disparity and multiplicity.

    • Carl July 25, 2010 / 9:57 pm

      The questions I’d like for you to answer are as follows:

      Exactly how was it determined that Scripture is limited to 789,630 words?

      Were these English words, Spanish words, Koine Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew words, or…?

      Who specifically determined Scripture is limited to 789,630 words?

  4. Steven Avery July 25, 2010 / 11:23 pm

    Hi Folks,

    Erik:
    “Everyone freely admits that the Vulgate …follows LXX in many places in the Hebrew Scriptures.”

    Nope. Jerome translated the Vulgate OT directly from the Hebrew Bible, living in Bethlehem, studying Hebrew, learning with Jews, using the library at Casesarea. The Vulgate, like the Peshitta, is generally a witness to the Hebrew Bible. Rarely do you find it distant, in agreement with the Greek OT. The Greek OT has tons of oddball readings, including whole sections different in some books like Jeremiah. Check them, and you see the Vulgate lines up with the Hebrew Bible.

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery

    • Erik July 26, 2010 / 7:43 am

      Personally, I’m not interested in what you believe since you cannot (or will not) support it with any documentation. I’d ask you not to add your two cents to conversations I am having with others because frankly, I don’t like the way you argue with everyone and carry your agenda around like a bludgeon. Kindly go have a conversation with people who will accept your heavy-handed tactics.

  5. Steven Avery July 26, 2010 / 11:33 am

    Hi Folks,

    Erik, your Vulgate info was poor, and I showed why, simple enuf. Stop whining.

    Shalom,
    Steven

    • Erik July 26, 2010 / 11:59 am

      Since you insist on being a patronizing pseudo-intellectual, let me offer you some reasons you cannot be so definitive about how Jerome translated the Vulgate.

      The various manuscripts of the Vulgate DO follow LXX in places, and since I did not say Jerome didn’t translate the Hebrew Scriptures from Hebrew, you’re the one who is incorrect. You want to correct me whenever I say something you don’t like, so let’s just go through this.

      The Vulgate you buy bound today is itself a critical edition – either Stuttgart or Nova Vulgata. The various existing manuscripts of the Vulgate are all over the place in terms of readings.

      Jerome’s work is most likely drawn from a Hebrew original that is in variance with the Masoretic text (mostly in minor places, but it matters to your camp, so I mention it). It does not align with the Masoretic text in a number of places. Whether it follows LXX or another Hebrew text, it doesn’t matter since it means it is in variance with the (in your opinion) singularly inspired text.

      Since Jerome did at least three translations of the Psalms and apparently did several revisions of his text, and then the copies were transmitted by hand by imperfect people, there are many places where we cannot be certain of what the original readings were – we haven’t been certain for over a millennium.

      In the 6th century, Cassiodorus was already scrambling to figure out which readings really belonged. Alciun of York, Theodolphus of Orleans, Nicolaus Maniacoria and others were constantly trying to sort through the readings during the Middle Ages.

      The Complutensian Polyglot abandoned the idea of trying to figure out which readings were correct since the manuscripts were all over the place, and instead corrected the Vulgate to comply with the Greek texts available (and not, incidentally the Hebrew) and since the Stuttgart (the Vulgate most Protestants have in their possession or software) and the Nova Vulgata (the official RC edition) both required massive corrections and textual examination, I don’t see how you can make such definitive statements about the text of the Vulgate.

      The various copies of the Vulgate that we have extant have things in them that are at least as oddball as some of the things that appear in the Greek editions, and there are many Vulgate manuscripts which seem to follow LXX.

      Now, kindly butt out.

    • Erik July 26, 2010 / 7:07 pm

      I’ll admit the “patronizing pseudo-intellectual” bit was over the line, and I apologize to the readers.

      It is endlessly frustrating that people come to this site and try to pump their agendas. For some reason, they feel like they have to show the superiority of their arguments and try to do so by belittling others and using one-sided arguments. It gets under your skin.

      But that is still no excuse for my words. I would edit them out, but then I might be accused of changing the record, so I will leave them here along with this apology – not for opposing Steven but an apology for letting him get under my skin.

    • Andrew Suttles July 27, 2010 / 9:20 am

      Erik –

      People feel very defensive about their personal traditions. Remember what Rome did with those that dared to make other translations than the Vulgate? Remember the danger Erasums was in for attempting to correct and update the Latin based on the original Greek and the latest scholarship? Even the KJV translators were under fierce attack for their revision efforts.

    • Steven Avery July 27, 2010 / 10:18 am

      Hi Folks,

      “Remember what Rome did with those that dared to make other translations than the Vulgate?”

      The history here is often poorly understood. The Complutensian Polyglot was RCC-based and often differed from the Vulgate.

      Rome took a Vulgate-only position at Trent in 1564, quite a bit later, only in response to the superb success of the Reformation Bible and the proper acceptance of the Reformation Bible as the pure word of God.

      “Remember the danger Erasums was in for attempting to correct and update the Latin based on the original Greek and the latest scholarship?”

      It is true that Erasmus faced charges in Valledoid, the specific changes were at times considered based on supposed Arian or heretical views of Erasmus effecting his textual decisions .. remember also that having writing scathing satire on RCC abuses he was not endeared to all in the RCC establishment.

      “Even the KJV translators were under fierce attack for their revision efforts.”

      While this is sometimes over-stated by KJB-defenders, it definitely can give a strange impression. Most of the fierce attack was from other scholars like Hugh Broughton who wanted to revise in their own direction.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

    • Andrew Suttles July 29, 2010 / 8:48 am

      Doesn’t the Vulgate follow the order of the books in the LXX, including book names and splitting 1/2 Kings and 1/2 Samuel, for example. If you look at an index for a Hebrew Bible and an index for the LXX, you’ll see the Vulgate follows LXX.

  6. Steven Avery July 26, 2010 / 12:18 pm

    Hi Fols,

    The Nova Vulgata is irrelevant. Yes, there were three Psalms translations, so that can be considered exceptional, and one was directly from the Greek.

    Later Jerome switched to full Hebrew, completely rejecting the Greek OT as a translation source. At that time his Psalm translation would go verse-for-verse from our Hebrew Bible. Generally speaking, all of the Jerome Vulgate is verse-for-verse the Hebrew Bible.

    I appreciate your insults, Erik, since I know that means I am on the ball.

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery

    • Carl July 26, 2010 / 6:51 pm

      So how are your insults are acceptable and justifiable, Steven?

    • Steven Avery July 26, 2010 / 11:18 pm

      Hi Folks,

      Just a reminder that Carl has an open-ended accusation of slander against me, never specified, never retracted. He apparently is a CARM poster, identity also unspecified. Nuff said.

      Shalom,
      Steven

    • Carl July 26, 2010 / 11:36 pm

      You didn’t answer my question, Steven.

    • Steven Avery July 27, 2010 / 5:47 am

      Hi Folks,

      Yep.
      As on CARM, that will always be the case.

      Shalom,
      Steven

    • Carl July 27, 2010 / 11:26 am

      Answer the question Steven: how are your insults are acceptable and justifiable?

  7. Steven Avery July 26, 2010 / 12:25 pm

    Hi Folks,

    “Everyone freely admits that the Vulgate …follows LXX in many places in the Hebrew Scriptures.”

    Why not simply list a few of the many place where “everyone freely admits” ?

    This means you cannot choose the Greek Psalms translation, when you know there is a Jerome Vulgate that was later that from the Hebrew.

    If you supply the sections, I will happily acknowledge I was wrong. Remember though .. “many places” .. is that words, verses, chapters, books ? You are very unclear.

    Shalom,
    Steven

  8. d4v34x July 27, 2010 / 10:59 am

    Bob, small typo in paragraph 2, I think you meant Bauder doesn’t affirm perfect preservation.

    Brother Avery, you said: “Surely God might speak some words that are not the word of God, that were inspired, unto a purpose, that are today known only in the heavenlies . . .”

    A couple things. God’s words are His words regardless of purpose, no? His spoken unrecorded words are as authoritative and alive and powerful as the written, I would say.

    Secondly, Matt 4:4 is a favorite proof text of perfect preservationists yet seems that it must also include the words God has only(?) spoken- “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. This either negates your category switch assertion or at least puts KJVO’s in a position of needing to explain better. Their interpretation of that verse always starts with their preferred end in mind, it seems to me.

    • Bob Hayton July 30, 2010 / 10:34 pm

      Thanks for pointing out the typo. Sorry I haven’t responded sooner. I have a new baby and have been really busy with church leadership meetings and now have family coming. Plus I have a barrage of new comments many by one individual and I just don’t have time currently to interact in all the posts that have new comments waiting to read!

  9. d4v34x July 27, 2010 / 11:03 am

    And so that Brother Avery feels comfortable interacting with me, my name is David Oestreich, and I live in NW Ohio.

    • Andrew Suttles July 29, 2010 / 8:49 am

      Ohio is the bees knees. I’m in NE Ohio.

    • Bob Hayton July 30, 2010 / 10:35 pm

      Being from Michigan, I’m not all that enthused about Ohio! LOL…

    • Andrew Suttles July 31, 2010 / 1:59 pm

      Bob –

      I’m a Michigan native and I understand what you mean.

  10. Steven Avery July 27, 2010 / 8:55 pm

    Hi David,

    Greetings. Steven in newyawk here ..

    David
    “God’s words are His words regardless of purpose, no? His spoken unrecorded words are as authoritative and alive and powerful as the written.”

    A word from God to an individual (in conformity with scripture) is not a discussion point about the scriptures. e.g. Prophecy (before cessation for cessationists) would be God’s word to men, yet not the scripture. There is no opposition between the two.

    “Secondly, Matt 4:4 is a favorite proof text of perfect preservationists yet seems that it must also include the words God has only(?) spoken- “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. This either negates your category switch assertion or at least puts KJVO’s in a position of needing to explain better. Their interpretation of that verse always starts with their preferred end in mind, it seems to me.”

    Matthew 4:4
    But he answered and said,
    It is written,
    Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    The context is :

    Keven Bauder
    “He might preserve some words and He might permit some to be lost, depending upon His own purpose. ”

    And I say Matthew 4:4 can not be used to claim that doubt and uncertainty is today’s normative relationship to scripture, which is the category switch that I see in Bauder. In other words, some prophetic word to David or Simeon may today only be in the heavenlies .. yet the scripture is always pure and unbroken. Since I am not fulcrumizing much around Matthew 4:4 you will have to explain to me any perceived difficulty and why you are comfortable with the clear attempt of Bauder to make application to scripture of losing words .. if you are.

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery

    • Steven Avery July 31, 2010 / 7:37 pm

      Hi Folks,

      James Snapp
      “(1) Regarding the statement that God “might preserve some words and He might permit some to be lost, depending upon His own purpose,” this is fine in theory. But in real life, in what New Testament passages does Bauder propose that some words have been lost, and can only be recovered via a conjectural emendation? If he has no real-life examples then it would seem that he would himself have to grant that his theory is a possibility but a trivial one, like saying that the Colts could have beaten the Saints.”

      The only example given so far is 1 Sam 13:1 .. from that is supposed to be a flying leap to hundreds of potential lost words and phrases.

      And when you read the actual discussions and literature on the verse:

      1 Samuel 13:1
      Saul reigned one year;]
      and when he had reigned two years over Israel,

      There is a very simple case to be made that the Masoretic Text is fine, in a type of idiomatic writing. A very weak straw to mix a textual movement.

      Shalom,
      Steven

  11. PS Ferguson July 28, 2010 / 8:58 am

    I have a number of questions:

    (1) Bob said “I agree that faith in God’s promise requires us to hold 1) God has preserved His words 2) God saw fit to preserve the message of Scripture purely 3) Such Scripture as has been available to the Church is sufficiently clear on the important matters of faith and salvation.” – where in the Bible does Bob get proofs for statements (1) to (3)? Or are we just to take his word for it?

    Bauder states that a, “single manuscript that was hidden from public view (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chron. 34:15)” – now this argument has always mystified me. Moses was told to place a copy of the OT Scriptures in the Temple – this is where they were found!! How does that mean they were hidden? Secondly, what evidence does Bauder have that this was the only “single manuscript”? Clearly, Josiah knew some of the law of Moses to that point – where did that knowledge come from?

    Finally, Bauder’s argument seems to be in Part 3 here that it was very important for God to inspire all the Words perfectly but not preserve those words. Using his logic, no one has ever had a perfect copy of the 66 books autographs in his hand – so why was it so important that God inspired every Word if His general thoughts were sufficient for all of mankind?

    • Steven Avery July 30, 2010 / 9:32 pm

      Hi Folks,

      Paul
      “Using his logic, no one has ever had a perfect copy of the 66 books autographs in his hand – so why was it so important that God inspired every Word if His general thoughts were sufficient for all of mankind?”

      Or even if they did, for one fleeting moment, the downhill develoution process was immediately in play .. so from that point on, conceptual (ethereal) inspiration only became a guessing game through imperfect preservation. No verse, not one, could ever be surely inspired (primitive corruptions, no discoveries) .. so like inerrancy in ethereal autographs, inspiration is now defened only in a game sense. Nothing is ever able to be specified, or demonstrated. Even the proofs of inspiration and preservation must be done from texts and versions now imperfect .. thus making the very proofs defective.

      Shalom,
      Steven

    • Steven Avery July 30, 2010 / 9:33 pm

      (primitive corruptions, no discoveries)

      Correction . new discoveries

    • Bob Hayton July 30, 2010 / 10:39 pm

      I’ll be responding to comments from here down later. I honestly have been catching up on work and many other things and haven’t had time here. Thanks for the interest however.

    • Bob Hayton July 31, 2010 / 12:38 pm

      PS,

      I have Bible verses for point number 1. History confirms point number 2 – and that is something we’d expect given God’s nature and His promises to preserve His church. We don’t have specific Scriptural teaching on how God would preserve His word, just that He would. Point number 2 is a recognition of how that was done. Point number 3 is also. Scholars and church leaders down through the centuries have admitted point number 3.

      I disagree with Bauder that all of revelation was hidden but I do think the response of the king and his men indicates that it is likely a copy of Deuteronomy had disappeared from general knowledge, so his point does apply but he may read too much into it.

      Where’s the Scriptural support for your last paragraph. You are just reasoning from the importance of perfect inspiration to the assumption that minus perfect preservation what’s the point of perfect inspiration. Bauder’s point and mine too, is that Scripture itself doesn’t make that connection. It says the inspiration is perfect, but it doesn’t make a big deal about minor variances between OT – NT quotes or even parallel accounts of the same event. That should be instructive for this debate.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Bob

  12. James Snapp, Jr. July 28, 2010 / 2:54 pm

    Greetings in Christ, Bob.

    Figuring that your summary is accurate, I’d like to sort of poke Bauder’s position in a couple of ways:

    (1) Regarding the statement that God “might preserve some words and He might permit some to be lost, depending upon His own purpose,” this is fine in theory. But in real life, in what New Testament passages does Bauder propose that some words have been lost, and can only be recovered via a conjectural emendation? If he has no real-life examples then it would seem that he would himself have to grant that his theory is a possibility but a trivial one, like saying that the Colts could have beaten the Saints.

    (2) The question was asked, “Why shouldn’t one conclude that a certain latitude is permissible here, that minor variations among translations of Scripture do not affect their authority?” I think that even KJV-Onlyists will grant that certain *immense* variations among translations of Scripture do not necessarily diminish their authority: they grant that well-done formal translations into Spanish, French, Swahili, and so forth, if based on the TR, will be authoritative, to the extent that they convey the meaning that the original text conveyed.

    But there is a more significant aspect of the question to consider: the lengthy question amounted to asking, “If it’s okay for inspired authors to paraphrase or to give approximate citations of Scripture, they why isn’t it okay for non-inspired authors to do the same thing?” I would just draw your attention to the special guidance that the NT authors received: they were specially guided by the Holy Spirit to produce exactly the words that God wanted them to produce. Thus, whatever textual estimates they made, so to speak, are sufficiently accurate, and are divinely approved. But that cannot reasonably be taken as approval of all textual estimates whatsoever. There is an obvious difference in the authority of an inspired-and-divinely-approved estimate and an uninspired one.

    (Plus, many of the “minor variations among translations of Scripture” are rooted to differences in the base-texts; at those points, at least one of the base-texts is non-original and we would all agree that the authority of a non-original reading is less than the authority of the original reading — so there really is no latitude when it comes to the base-text; a reading is either original or not. And in some of those cases the variation is not minor at all.)

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    • Bob Hayton July 31, 2010 / 12:44 pm

      James,

      I believe real life examples of #1 are to be found in the Old Testament for sure. 1 Sam. 13:1 comes to mind.

      By faith we believe the originals were perfect however.

      As to #2, Gary answered you below and for time’s sake I can’t add more than that at this point.

      Bauder has several more points he makes, which we’ll get into in future posts.

      Thanks again,

      Bob

    • Steven Avery August 1, 2010 / 9:18 pm

      Hi Folks,

      Gary
      “For the OT, (Jerome) relied on Origen’s Hexapla and mainly worked from the LXX. Then in 389 he switched to using Hebrew only. He translated the Psalms (at least) twice, interestingly. At least once from Hebrew and once from Greek.”

      This gives a complete misimpression to the readers. Psalms is the one special case, where a significant Greek translation was done, then later the Hebrew translation. Thus Psalms should be put aside for the overall discussion of Jerome’s OT sources.

      When Jerome did the full OT translation (around 400 AD) Jerome had emphatically rejected the Greek OT as corrupt (very properly willing to take the heat from the Christian scholars who were Greek OT oriented), Jerome lived in Bethlehem, studied Hebrew with the Jews and used the library in Caesarea and utilized the Hebrew Bible text. Why would the Hexpla be relevant ?

      And this is why you can go verse to verse Hebrew Bible and Vulgate and the verses line up, while the Greek OT goes very wild in places.

      Why this is so difficult to understand is the puzzle. And if Philip Comfort is the source for the idea that Jerome was translating some columns of the Hexapla (which columns?) please supply the exact Comfort quote.

      Thanks.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

  13. Steven Avery July 28, 2010 / 5:07 pm

    Hi Folks,

    Thanks, James. One comment on your comment.

    James Snapp
    “asking, “If it’s okay for inspired authors to paraphrase or to give approximate citations of Scripture, they why isn’t it okay for non-inspired authors to do the same thing?” …special guidance that the NT authors received: … whatever textual estimates they made, so to speak, are sufficiently accurate, and are divinely approved.”

    You continue about “textual estimates”. However that is not the primary issue, they were not making textual determinations. They were speaking and then writing under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which can be looked upon as Holy Spirit midrash, or interpretation.

    Your dichotomy remains accurate. Clearly the Holy Spirit can inspire Paul to combine many verses together, with small inspired modifications to the literal text, in the letter to the Romans … yet that gives no liberty to modern scholars to change either the Tanach (OT) or NT text for their own ideas. This license to change the text (putting aside which text) is done in the Voice and the Message and the TNIV, yet to a certain extent in every modern version. Even when they decide to make “he was manifest in the flesh” instead of “who was manifest …”, to smooth the text along. Thus the dichotomy is real, what is appropriate for the NT inspired text is not appropriate for a modern translator, however I do not believe “textual estimates” were involved in any way.

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery

    • James Snapp, Jr. August 1, 2010 / 11:53 am

      To Bob H. and Steven A.: just a couple of comments before I address Gary S’s question.

      Bob: when I asked, “In real life, in what New Testament passages does Bauder propose that some words have been lost, and can only be recovered via a conjectural emendation?” you answered that real life examples “are to be found in the Old Testament for sure. 1 Sam. 13:1 comes to mind.” That’s not what I asked; OT passages are not NT passages. In what *New Testament* passages does Bauder propose that some words have been lost?

      Steven Avery: Regarding my references to “textual estimates,” I did not mean that the NT authors were making text-critical decisions, but simply that they were approximating the meaning, or giving the gist, of the passages they were using, instead of making exact citations.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.

    • Bob Hayton August 1, 2010 / 12:36 pm

      James,

      I can’t speak for Bauder. But the fact that there seem to be copyist errors in the OT gives credence to the idea that there could be some in the NT. Obviously saying a transmission error exists is only a last resort, and time may prove to enlighten us on the problem further. But what Scriptures tell us there won’t be human copyist errors?

    • Steven Avery August 1, 2010 / 6:15 pm

      Hi Folks,

      James Snapp
      “they were approximating the meaning, or giving the gist, of the passages they were using, instead of making exact citations. ”

      This is far more sensible, you understand how the earlier textual-analysis sounding language was s concern.

      However I think it is important to go one step further and acknowledge that they were giving Holy Spirit value-added :).

      That is my sense, at least, giving the Romans example and many others where you can read the reference and study the interpretations and see the deliberate, purposeful nature of the distinctions made, drawing out the Holy Spirit midrash (for those who do not mind the phrase).

      Shalom,
      Steven

    • Steven Avery August 1, 2010 / 9:27 pm

      Hi Folks,

      Boh Hayton
      “But the fact that there seem to be copyist errors in the OT gives credence to the idea that there could be some in the NT”

      KJB defenders are sympathetic to looking closely at the Bob Hayton argument here, including its slippery slope component.

      Copyist errors in the Hebrew ? Surely there are at least two significant places where there is a major textual variant to consider Psalm 22:16 and the two verses in Joshua 21:36-37. However a majority-minority Received Text decision probably is not what is meant. Similar situation with qere/ketiv.

      What Bob needs is actual corruption in the Received Masoretic Text. The attempt is generally made with the one verse 1 Samuel 13:1, since so many proposed conjectural emendations are really nothings, as you find out the moment you read the Hebraics and Reformation scholarship on the verses. And, as indicated above, I believe the same is true on 1 Samuel 13:1 .. although this is a neat long discussion on its own (the last time I had it, skeptics were trying to prove the Bible OT unreliable, and that was their one main verse). Suffice to say that I believe the Masoretic Text is pure on the verse, and the Hebraic and Reformation scholarship reflected in the KJB handles this verse quite fine.

      Personally it is hard for me to conjecture a “what if” discussion about an error in the Masoretic Text .. simply because I have not seen any.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

  14. Gary Simmons July 30, 2010 / 5:30 pm

    I spy with my editorial eye: “Bauder is quick to affirm verbal inspiration, but does not affirm perfect inspiration.”

    Suggested change: “but does not affirm perfect preservation” or “but does not affirm verbal preservation.”

    Regarding the Vulgate, I’ll take my cues from textual critic Philip Comfort: It took Jerome a while to translate the Vulgate. He started with the Gospels, relying mainly on the Old Latin translation, only changing the wording if his Alexandrian Greek text demanded it. Then, the rest of the NT. For the OT, he relied on Origen’s Hexapla and mainly worked from the LXX. Then in 389 he switched to using Hebrew only. He translated the Psalms (at least) twice, interestingly. At least once from Hebrew and once from Greek.

    I’m stealing this from Philip Comfort’s Essential Guide to Bible Versions page 132, in case anyone’s curious. You’ll have to expand the page and scroll up. It starts on the page before that. There’s a citation from a professional author and textual critic.

    As for this blog post: very good points made about the inconsistency of postulating perfect preservation. Somebody made the comment that just because writers inspired by the Holy Spirit can use variation, do you think that we non-inspired writers have license to do the same? Well that argument can be turned on its head: if the Holy Spirit does not prevent authors from doing it, then why do you prevent translators today from doing it?

    We see also a categorical problem when people try and make a distinction between Scripture and God’s words. If Scripture doesn’t have to quote itself verbatim, and Scripture doesn’t have to contain all of God’s words, and no original copy of all 66 books can be found that perfectly agrees with the KJV, then I think KJVO has a problem there. The problem I see is this mindset that God was ultimately working toward having the printing press and book binding so that all of God’s words (or the selective ones called Scripture) would be in one unit.

    Funny. I don’t think God is technocratic. God did not inspire the original OT or NT to be forced into one document. On what scriptural grounds can anyone claim God was eventually working toward that very thing? I think that is speaking where God did not speak, and limiting in a place where God gave freedom.

    • Erik July 30, 2010 / 5:34 pm

      Gary, thanks for stopping in. Great points.

      In pertaining to your final paragraph, as my father used to say: Where God is silent, be wise and be like God.

    • Bob Hayton July 31, 2010 / 12:42 pm

      Thanks Gary, I agree with your points.

    • Bob Hayton July 31, 2010 / 12:43 pm

      Oh, and I made the edit. David had suggested it earlier too. Thanks!

    • Gary Simmons July 31, 2010 / 2:14 pm

      Thanks. Personally, I am glad we have the ability to put all of the holy scriptures into one document. I believe in the inspiration of Scripture, but I do not believe in the inspiration of having all of them bound in one book. It is a good thing, but that doesn’t make it inspired.

      That mindset, I think, comes from using the KJV as a starting point and then working backwards to what God has done, rather than starting with what God has done and working forward.

  15. Nazaroo August 1, 2010 / 9:33 am

    When I was confronted with the whole idea back in the 70s/80s with inspiration/preservation issues, I naturally felt an emotional loyalty to God and the Bible, and felt a strong impulse to defend the Bible, even before I had sorted out many subtle nuances of these issues.

    As a young Christian, I found the usual problem: I would read a book or article/hear a preaching on Divine Inspiration or Preservation, and I would be swayed by the speaker’s sincerity, not careful understanding and analysis of the arguments. In a lot of ways, as a young Christian, I was like a leaf blowing about in the wind, in all doctrinal areas. It was a long learning curve (still going).

    When I started to read detailed explanations of Inerrancy doctrine, it made sense to me from a scientific/rational point of view, that God had given the message inerrantly, but that in many places and times, Man had corrupted or allowed corruption to enter (i.e., the non-perfection of hand-copies).

    Then later, I had to face the problem of how Jesus and Paul etc. used the O.T., and this made me realise both the fact that God can and does modify His message to match the stupidity/needs of His hearers.

    Thus it became obvious that Jesus and Paul under inspiration (no need to eject that doctrine!) could reference a previous Divine word or revelation in different words, and still be true either to the intent of the O.T. scriptures, or else reveal *New* truths to those in a new dispensation of abounding knowledge.

    Then I had to face the fact that what Jesus and Paul were doing was alot like what every preacher and pastor, every evangelist, every teacher does: He paraphrases, quotes from memory, exposes new insights into the meaning of Holy Scripture not previously known.

    But I began to realise that this does not depreciate what Jesus and Paul did, but is simply a kind of honour by imitation. I have seen such in my own work, which I can look back on decades later and realise that there is both inspiration and error. We are students and children, and remain so for a long time in our Christian walk.

    But I could not remain holding the “Inspired Autographs” view after reading criticisms of it, namely, it was moot, since we don’t have the autographs etc.

    All my experience continued to teach me that we CAN have the word of God in unambiguous language without error, if we will receive it, and that the doctrine of “inspired, inerrant autographs” (only) was seriously flawed.

    God’s inspiration, preservation AND inerrancy must and does extend to His public revelation (including but not limited to the Bible) available to real Christians and God-seekers today. God’s message IS inerrant, when it is clear and unambiguous, and when the Spirit reveals the truth of it to the hearer listener. How could it be otherwise?

    The difference in my view now, as a Christian wrestling with these issues for some 35 years, is that we can be sure by faith that Jesus and the Apostles were accurate and inerrant in their teaching, their inspired handling and even paraphrasing/modification of previous Scripture.

    And we can see modern preachers, pastors, teachers and prophets doing the same today. The difference is not that one group (Apostles) is inspired and the other is not (modern preachers).

    The difference is that God has chosen in His divine capacity and prerogative NOT to grant modern preachers the same authority by accompanying miracles and Divine signs and wonders.

    Why? Simple: That honour belongs to Jesus the Christ alone, and although apostles performed many miracles, they made no claims and had no expectations of owning that power and authority, except as humble servants so long as it pleased God.

    We know Jesus had the power to forgive sins, and the reason we know it is because He also had the power to restore crippled limbs, blindness, leprosy, and demon possession.

    We know that our own power to forgive sins is different in quality. Jesus had unique authority, not possessed by mere mortals, even apostles. We can forgive sins which are primarily *against us alone* (and also God), but this does not mean necessarily that those sins are simply ‘forgiven’ objectively.

    We can and must forgive sins, but that doesn’t mean we have the power to take any thieves off their crosses, or restore the damage they have done to others. A thief can forgive a murderer, but he cannot PARDON the murderer.

    We can forgive others, but we cannot pardon them. Only Jesus can ultimately do that. We can imitate Jesus in forgiveness, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but we cannot claim the power and authority of the Holy Spirit for ourselves. The Spirit comes and goes as He wills, and we don’t know whence He came or whither He goes.

    peace
    Nazaroo

  16. James Snapp, Jr. August 1, 2010 / 1:00 pm

    Gary:

    Despite Philip Comfort’s ability to write a lot, I think we should believe Jerome’s own description of the resources upon which he relied, rather than Comfort’s. Comfort seems to have reworded Jerome’s Preface to the Four Gospels without considering Jerome’s more candid statement in his Letter Marcella(#27) that he had intended to restore the Latin text to the form of the original Greek – something he obviously could not do if he had, as Comfort says, relied mainly on the Old Latin! It was the Old Latin that he was revising; he used Greek texts as the standard by which to purify the Old Latin texts.

    As for the OT, you can see that Comfort acknowledges that after 389, Jerome consciously used a Hebrew text as his primary base-text. Not the LXX.

    Gary, you wrote, “Somebody made the comment that just because writers inspired by the Holy Spirit can use variation, do you think that we non-inspired writers have license to do the same? Well that argument can be turned on its head: if the Holy Spirit does not prevent authors from doing it, then why do you prevent translators today from doing it?”

    One could just as easily ask, /if the Holy Spirit does not prevent authors from writing inspired Scripture, then who am I to prevent translators today from writing inspired Scripture?/ I, being only a human being, do not prevent translators from writing inspired Scripture. I merely observe that they have not been given the special divine guidance to do so. Similarly, if the governor authorizes policemen to forcibly take some people (criminals) to a place (jail) where those individuals do not want to go, I merely observe that this does not give me, or you, or anyone else, authority to kidnap anyone. The policemen have a level of authority that we do not have. And the authors of the New Testament had a level of authority that we (and our contemporaries) do not have.

    In addition, I think it is obvious that the New Testament authors, when they used passages from the Old Testament and cited them, precisely or imprecisely, were not setting out to do what a modern-day translator sets out to do. So it is not as if we can accurately say that a modern-day paraphraser is just doing something that Paul or Peter did, unless the modern-day paraphraser is doing his paraphrasing in the course of writing a letter or preaching a sermon.

    So I think that if you think about it a bit more, you will see that the objection stands intact. Unless you contend that since the Holy Spirit did not prevent authors from writing inspired Scripture, we should sit by without protest when someone today claims to do the same thing. But I don’t think that such is your view.

    There is something else you wrote that I should comment about. You wrote, “If Scripture doesn’t have to quote itself verbatim, and Scripture doesn’t have to contain all of God’s words, and no original copy of all 66 books can be found that perfectly agrees with the KJV, then I think KJVO has a problem there.” No no no; you do not want to take this approach! If you grant that our English Scriptures do not need to precisely reflect the original text, you thereby render all the text-critical advances of the past 400 years redundant! Admit that, and you forfeit practically the entire field to the KJV-Onlyists. (All that is left is the matter of the KJV’s translational inaccuracies and archaisms, and the KJV-Onlyists have adequate answers and/or remedies for objections about those things.)

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    • Gary Simmons August 1, 2010 / 6:05 pm

      James: If I am revising text A and using text B to revise text A, is it going to look more like text A or like a fresh translation of text B with no relation to text A? If it is a revision of the Old Latin, then it will look more like the Old Latin. Or else, it’s just a fresh translation. Can you give a citation wherein Jerome says that he intends the Vulgate to look more like the LXX than the Old Latin? If it agrees 51% or more with the Old Latin, then that means that he is using the Old Latin as the basis for it and using the Septuagint for fine-tuning. Which is more or less what Comfort was saying. That is what you do with revisions. You use the base text as the base text.

      Second point: you bring up an issue of authority. The apostles can make paraphrase for permanent documents that get passed down for 2,000 years, but we can’t paraphrase for a translation that certainly won’t last even that long. Is that your point? One can paraphrase in sermons, but not in permanent written texts? In that case, what’s the point of ever giving any sort of commentary or treating anybody’s commentary or teaching of scripture any degree of validity whatsoever?

      Third point: It would only be a “forfeit” in the sense that someone could be KJV-preferred. The KJVO position is based on the idea that there is a perfect copy of all 66 books exactly as God intended them to be, all rolled into one: the KJV itself. Since my position denies such a perfect rolled-into-one in any language, it therefore does not “forfeit practically the entire field” to the KJVO crowd; it just affords them a little place left-of-center.

  17. James Snapp, Jr. August 1, 2010 / 1:07 pm

    Bob,

    BH: “But the fact that there seem to be copyist errors in the OT gives credence to the idea that there could be some in the NT.”

    One can say “could be” about anything. Do you or Bauder propose any specific cases, or is this, as I suspected it might be, merely a trivial observation about a non-real scenario? If that is all it is then it’s just a concept, not evidence, and I don’t see how any case about anything could be built upon it.

    (Iow we need to start with real-life examples of copyist errors in the TR, not with proposed possibilities, if a convincing case against KJV-Onlyism is to be built.)

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    • Bob Hayton August 3, 2010 / 12:25 pm

      Just reading your reply now, James. I was kept away from the blog with out-of-town company and other obligations.

      I don’t have examples of places in the NT where we don’t have a preserved reading. There are copyist errors in the OT with regard to numbers and such, but we may have the actual reading preserved in other language copies most of the time. But it appears in 1 Sam. 13:1 and some other places that we don’t have the original reading preserved for us.

      When it comes to the TR or the MT, that is easier to show. Ps. 22:16 in the Masoretic Text is clearly an error. Now the true reading is preserved in the Latin, Greek and also in a couple Hebrew manuscripts. But the Hebrew MT as such has an error there. The TR has an error in Rev. 17:8 where a totally new Greek word was introduced by a copyist mistake into the TR. (See William Combs’ explanation here, at bottom of pg. 155-156)

      I do believe there are places in the NT where we don’t know with a high degree of certainty which of two or three competing readings is original, but I have no reason to suspect that the original reading isn’t there.

    • Bob Hayton August 3, 2010 / 12:27 pm

      However, I do agree with Bauder’s premise that it is possible. It appears that is the case with the Hebrew in the OT, and so it could be in some cases in the Greek NT. But by faith (in God’s explicit declarations about His Word), we believe the original autographs were error free.

  18. James Snapp, Jr. August 1, 2010 / 9:18 pm

    Gary,

    You asked, “If I am revising text A and using text B to revise text A, is it going to look more like text A or like a fresh translation of text B with no relation to text A?” It depends. And now back to real life: when Jerome made the Vulgate, he said in his Preface to the Gospels that he aspired to standardize the Latin text by using the text of old Greek copies as his standard, perpetuating Old Latin readings where they did not materially affect the sense, but otherwise adjusting the Latin to agree with his Greek text.

    As for Jerome’s work on the Old Testament, it should be plain as day that Jerome valued the Hebrew OT text as the pure fountain of the OT, in the way that he valued the Greek NT text as the pure fountain of the NT. I don’t know why you asked for a citation wherein Jerome says that he intends the Vulgate to look more like the LXX than the Old Latin; nor do I see why you propose that if the Vulgate agrees 51% or more with the Old Latin then Jerome must’ve been using the Old Latin as the basis for it and using the Septuagint for fine-tuning. That’s just a complete concoction, which could be easily shown to be such if I had the inclination to pursue such a tangent. Of course Jerome was using the Old Latin, in the sense that one uses something as one repairs it. But the model to which Jerome was conforming the Old Latin was not some Old Latin text; nor was it the LXX; it was a Hebrew text. Right?

    Regarding authority: you wrote, “The apostles can make paraphrase for permanent documents that get passed down for 2,000 years, but we can’t paraphrase for a translation that certainly won’t last even that long. Is that your point?” I think I expressed my points very clearly. If there is a particular point that was unclear, please specify which one it was, and we can revisit it.
    You asked, “One can paraphrase in sermons, but not in permanent written texts? In that case, what’s the point of ever giving any sort of commentary or treating anybody’s commentary or teaching of scripture any degree of validity whatsoever?” You’re overlooking the limited scope of my statement: you initially claimed that modern-day translators are just doing what the NT authors did. I answered that such a claim is specious because the NT authors’ Scripture-rewording was situated within Gospel-accounts, history-accounts, or in letters. The we’re-just-doing-what-the-apostles-did approach is thus invalid. (It’s also an oversimplification, because it takes more than trying to correctly do what the apostles did to correctly do what the apostles did, but that’s a side-point.) As for acknowledging the validity of commentaries or teachings, it is perfectly fine to recognize truth as truth, and it would be unreasonable to object to sound interpretation. That does not, however, justify writing statements about casseroles and microscopes and telescopes (as appear in The Message – Mt. 9:23-24, Col. 2:9-10) and presenting them as if they are Scripture. Right?

    Regarding the third point you mentioned: I think that if you experiment with your approach a bit, you will, if you happen to use it with a perceptive KJV-Onlyist, soon realize its shortcomings. If you concede that it is enough just to get the gist of the base-text’s meaning, then the KJV-Onlyist will seize upon that point by insisting that by your own admission, the KJV provides the gist of any base-text and thus not only are all other versions superfluous but the impetus for all modern versions – to update the text in light of new manuscript-discoveries – is insufficient. The KJV-Onlyist believes that the TR is the best available representation of the original Greek text, but he will not need to convince you of that to convince himself that the KJV is as good as your modern translations, because you’ve just told him, in effect, that the KJV is as good as your versions (with the minor qualifications that I already mentioned).

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    • Steven Avery August 1, 2010 / 9:37 pm

      Hi Folks,

      James – “Of course Jerome was using the Old Latin, ”

      Let’s try this again. Jerome clearly and specifically rejected the Greek OT for this Tanach (OT) translation. And the Old Latin OT is considered to be derivative of the Greek OT, of no independent worth. (Afaik, no large documents of the Old Latin OT are extant today.)

      Jerome was living in Israel, studying Hebrew, etc (see above) .. what is the evidence that he was “updating” any text rather than simply translating Hebrew –> Latin ?

      Now ‘m not saying he was taking a “clean room” approach and was unaware of various Greek and Old Latin mss, simply asking what is the precise indication that he was not simply translating Hebrew–>Latin, considering his own words and the physical and cultural and linguistic environment in Israel when he did the translation ? Again and again he even differs with the Greek OT on difficult words like birds and trees .. why ? He was asking the Hebrew speakers in Israel how they viewed those words.

      Shalom,
      Steven

  19. James Snapp, Jr. August 1, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    Bob –

    Btw, congratulations on the new baby!

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  20. James Snapp, Jr. August 2, 2010 / 3:40 am

    Stephen,

    Somehow my thoughts jumped back and forth from the Vulgate OT to the Vulgate Gospels and back, and the resultant combination of sentences at the end of the second paragraph was unclear.

    SA: “What is the evidence that he was “updating” any text rather than simply translating Hebrew –> Latin ?”

    Outside the Books of Poetry, there isn’t any. (There are some significant OL OT MSS, though; check out the list at the Vetus Latina site.) Comfort is wrong (I am shocked! Shocked!) and you are right. Now let’s see you object to that. 🙂

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  21. Steven Avery August 2, 2010 / 8:39 am

    Hi Folks,

    Right, it is frequently a concern when the Jerome Vulgate OT and NT dynamics get mixed .. they were very different, where they were done, the patronage, the source languages, the time period were all very different.

    And I looked at the Vetus Latina site for a few minutes and still have not found OT manuscripts, lots of references to early church writer citations and allusions .. if you have any links or lists, please share.

    As for Philip Comfort, before concluding too much I would like to read exactly what he said .. anybody have a quote involving Jerome, OT, Greek-Hebrew, Hexapla etc ? There is always a possibility he was misunderstood in transition.

    Shalom,
    Steven

    • James Snapp, Jr. August 2, 2010 / 10:11 am

      Steven,

      At VetusLatina, just use the left side-bar; a list of OT copies should be easy to find. (They include a fragment from Ezekiel in the Schoyen collection. Maybe search for that.)

      Regarding Comfort: if you really want to see it for yourself, consult Comfort’s “Esential Guide to Bible Versions, p. 132, which Gary referenced earlier.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.

    • Steven Avery August 2, 2010 / 9:57 pm

      Hi Folks,

      Thanks, James for the Philip Wesley Comfort reference, which is available online.
      http://books.google.com/books?id=FyB2nD5ZIckC&pg=PA132

      Comfort’s section on p. 132 might be using the following as a source. (Or there is a common source.)

      Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: the history of its interpretation (1996)
      By Magne Sæbø, Chris Brekelmans, Menahem Haran
      http://books.google.com/books?id=-G_oxWSQEVcC&pg=PA668

      The much greater detail in the “Interpretation” book makes it far less liable to be misunderstood, as seems common on this blog. In “Interpretation” it is made very clear that only the Gallican Psalter and much of Job is actually extant from the translation work of Jerome .. making it far easier to understand that the historic Vulgate Latin text is Hebrew-based.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

    • Steven Avery August 2, 2010 / 10:33 pm

      “is actually extant from the translation work of Jerome”

      ie. from the OT GREEK translation work of Jerome

  22. Steven Avery August 2, 2010 / 9:44 pm

    Hi Folks,

    “At VetusLatina, just use the left side-bar; a list of OT copies should be easy to find.”

    Not really, mostly it is left vague how much material is in the manuscripts (fragments, books, full texts) how late they are and .. really fundamental .. to what extent they are considered as representing the Vulgate Latin of Jerome from the Hebrew contra the Old Latin Tanach that was translated from the Greek. (Granted the Old Latin is used at times to help reconstruct “the Greek LXX” — adding to the complexity).

    Another work is suggested for details – “Altlateinische Handschriften/Manuscrits” – and a summary of that information I have not seen (granted I have not looked extensively).

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery

Comments are closed.