“Dr.” Gipp is At It Again

Sam Gipp’s most recent “What’s the Big Deal about the KJV?” video tackles two questions:

  • Did the King James translators add words to the Bible?
  • Does the KJV correct the original Hebrew and Greek?

[1:26] Gipp’s first slight-of-hand is to state that no Bible believer would say that the English “corrects” the original Hebrew and Greek, but then says that no one has the original Greek and Hebrew. What he says without saying it is that the KJV is intact but the original languages are not. It is a distinction without a difference. He still believes the original languages have been superseded by the English.

[1:51] Gipp’s assertion that the italicized words of the KJV represent only words added to smooth out the translation is patently false. While this was certainly the most common reason, they also used italics for phrases they added which did not appear in the text, such as the brother of in 2 Samuel 21:19. This addition was made solely to synchronize this passage with 1 Chronicles 20:5. There is absolutely no textual evidence for changing the reading.

[2:09] When he recasts honest questions as “this friend of yours would be upset” about using the KJV, he is pulling another fast one. I do not know of any honest, English-speaking believer who would be upset about the italicized phrases in the KJV. What upsets people is the assertion that KJVO people make concerning the inspiration of those italicized words as being on par with the underlying text.

[2:50] Dr. Gipp shows his young friend the italicized phrase who had been the wife of in Matthew 1:6 as evidence of the necessity of KJV translators adding phrases for ease of reading, and then says, “Surprise! This is not a King James Bible! It is New King James.” He claims this proves that the guy’s friend is ignorant because if they have a problem with additions to the text, they would have a problem with every translation. He creates a straw man – plain and simple.

Dr. Gipp is also ignorant of the development of the English text here. The particular line he is citing is not from the KJV. It dates back to the Vulgate. Only the word wife was added (by Tyndale, not by the KJV translators). This is a case where the translation is implied by the original. He ignores passages like Psalm 7:11 where the translators supplied the words the wicked to demonstrate a particular view of God. He also ignores passages where the Old Testament translation is adapted to the New Testament quotes or paraphrases, such as when Peter quotes Psalm 16:8 in Acts 2:25. While these additions do make the finished translation more cohesive, they give a false impression that the NT writers knew these passages verbatim, which they did not.

[3:42] Another case of Dr. Gipp being either disingenuous or ignorant. He claims that the KJV supplies something lacking in the text by clarifying that “flies” in Exodus 8 is in italics. He completely misses that “swarms of flies” was idiomatic and a perfectly acceptable translation of the Hebrew עָרֹב, as evidenced by its use in Cranmer and Geneva. That the KJV translators put “flies” in italics is actually unfortunate. There was no reason to do that.

[4:36] Gipp’s explanation of the addition of italics in 2 Samuel 21:19 is the same weak argument used by everyone who just has to have the KJV be perfect. He refers to modern translations as “pulling those italics out” when in fact, this is not what happens at all. Modern translations do not utilize the system of using italics because a translation is a translation. The italics should be removed in 2 Samuel 21:19. They do not belong to the text, and saying anything else is acknowledging exactly what Gipp says he does not believe – that the KJV corrects the shortcomings of the original languages.

[5:51] Arguing that the KJV does not have contradictions in it and therefore prevents confusion is absurdity. There is no contradiction to say two people killed someone named Goliath. The Philistines often used the same title for multiple people who filled the same office. Two people killing someone named Goliath does not make a contradiction, anymore than saying I like Sam and I don’t like Sam is a contradiction if I am talking about two different people named Sam. Gipp’s argument boils down to “Choose the Bible that is easier” instead of “honor the text.” And then he throws a coloring book into the situation.

Once again, Gipp would rather be confident in the KJV than rely upon the text or do any kind of hard work. The KJV is just easier for him – there’s no way around it. He is dismissive of any kind of historical or textual work that might be needed to deal with the realities of the manuscript evidence and the process of translation. He asserts that if it is in the KJV, it is absolutely true; and then solves all his problems by putting that presupposition ahead of any other evidence.

It would be nice if the situation were that simple; but it is not. To be honest, if I were that guy sitting across from Gipp, I would not just smile at his simple hand-waving dismissals and ignore my friend who is asking good questions. I would want to research this further. Fortunately (for him), Gipp is surrounded by people who just accept his explanations as absolute.


A Reader Comments on Manuscript Evidence for a Pre-Origen Septuagint

Readers of this debate blog will be aware of the position by some influential KJV Onlyists that the Septuagint is a post-Christian creation.  Some say it didn’t exist before Origen.  Others are more nuanced and say that we can’t know if the Septuagint as an entity existed before that time.

The rationale for this tactic is to avoid the implications of the New Testament’s prolific use of the Septuagint.  John Owen and Jerome and others are put forth as defendants for a position which claims that the New Testament shaped the creation of the Septuagint, and scribes amended the LXX to conform to the NT.

While I would agree that an entire monolithic Septuagint was not to be found, I would nevertheless say that there is plenty of evidence for multiple translations of the Old Testament into Greek.  The variations between the Greek editions themselves, and between them and the New Testament quotations, point toward an inescapable conclusion.  Some harmonization by the New Testament’s influence may have happened, but by and large, the New Testament unmistakably leans heavily on the Septuagint.

All this is agreed on, I believe, by most scholars today.  In fact we recently had a reader leave an insightful comment as he was baffled by our defense of a pre-Origen LXX.  Since the comment may have been missed by our readers, and since it is worthy of repetition, I thought I’d share it here.

I tend not to use the KJV as I prefer to use a Hebrew OT and a Greek NT. For English translations my favourite is the KJV for its beauty – so please don’t react to what I have to say with any assumption that I must be some sort of KJV hater – I’m not.

May I suggest that many of the blog posters spend less time arguing, less time quoting whatever popular apologetic works they have read as “proof” that they are right when the popular apologetic works are usually badly researched – and spend serious time actually reading and researching the topics – I’ve spent the last 25+ years researching early biblical manuscripts, and work as a theological librarian in an academic institution. I’m also an evangelical Protestant Christian – I might even be described as a fundamentalist!

I have just read the blog posts about the Septuagint – it contains some incredibly stupid comments about no early Septuagint manuscripts, and none among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Please feel free to share the following with your blog posters.

Early Septuagint – pre-dating the third century A.D.

1. MS 89 of P.Foud 266 – remains of 24 chapters from Genesis and Deuteronomy, mid 1st century BC.
2. P Yale I 1 – remains of 1 chapter from Genesis, 1st or 2nd century AD
3. P.Oxy.656 – remains of 6 chapters from Genesis, 2nd or perhaps early 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a borderline case
4. P. Deissman – remains of 1 chapter from Exodus, 2nd or 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
5. P.Baden 56, remains of 4 chapters of Exodus and Deuteronomy, 2nd century AD
6. Schoyen Collection MS 2649 – remains of 6 chapters of Leviticus, late 2nd or early 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
7. P.Beatty IV + P.Mich.5554 – remains of 38 chapters of Numbers and Deuteronomy, late 2nd or early 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
8. P.Ryl.458 – remains of 6 chapters of Deuteronomy, 2nd century BC
9. Schoyen Collection MS 2648 – remains of 3 chapters of Joshua, late 2nd or early 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
10. P.Montserrat Inv.3 – remains of 2 chpaters of 2 Chronicles, late 2nd century AD
11. P.Chester Beatty IX+X + John H. Scheide 3 + P.Colon theo.3-40 + P.Montserrat 42+43 + P.Matr.bibl.1 (the manuscript was broken up and ended up in 5 collections!) – remains of 58 chapters of Esther, Ezekiel and Daniel, 2nd century AD
12. P.Oxy.4443 – remains of 2 chapters of Esther, 1st or 2nd century AD
13. P.Oxy.3522 – remains of 1 chapter of Job, 1st century AD
14. P.Taur.27 – remains of 1 chapter of Psalms, 2nd century AD
15. PSI inv.1989 – remains of 1 chapter of Psalms, late 2nd century AD
16. P.Montserrat Inv.2 – remains of 1 chapter of Psalms, 2nd century AD
17. P.Bodmer XXIV – remains of almost all of Psalms, 2nd or 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
18. Bodleian MS.Gr.Bib.g.5 (P) – remains of 2 chapters of Psalms, 2nd century AD
19. PSI.inv.921 – remains of 1 chapter of Psalms, 2nd century AD
20. P.Antin.7 – remains of 2 chapters of Psalms, 2nd century AD
21. Leipzig Uni.Bib.Pap.170 – remains of 1 chapter of Psalms, 2nd or 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
22. Garrett Deposit 1924, H.I. Bell II G: small flat box 5 – remains of 1 chapter of Isaiah, 2nd or 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
23. P.Beatty VIII – remains of 2 chapters of Jerimiah, 2nd or 3rd century AD – imprecise dating of this manuscript makes it a boarderline case
24. 4Q119 – remains of 1 chapter of Leviticus, pre First Jewish Revolt (pre destruction of the Temple)
25. 4Q120 – remains of 6 chapters of Leviticus, pre First Jewish Revolt
26. 4Q121 – remains of 2 chapters of Numbers, pre First Jewish Revolt
27. 4Q122 – remains of 1 chapter of Deuteronomy, pre First Jewish Revolt
28. 7Q1 – remains of 1 chapter of Exodus, pre First Jewish Revolt
29. 8Hev 1 – remaains of 24 chapters of the Minor Prophets, 1st century BC or 1st century AD

So we have 29 manuscripts of which 20 are unquestionably 2nd century or earlier.

I won’t give the all bibliographical details from all of the mansucripts listed above, but here is a start of just 3 books for the Septuagint manuscripts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls:

  • Qumran Cave 4: IV. Palaeo-Hebrew and Greek Biblical Manuscripts, by P.W. Skehan, E. Ulrich and J.E. Sanderson; with a contribution by P.J. Parsons (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992), Discoveries in the Judaean Desert volume IX
  • Les ‘Petites Grottes’ de Qumrân: Exploration de la falaise, Les grottes 2Q, 3Q, 5Q, 6Q, 7Q, à 10Q, Le rouleau de cuivre, by M. Baillet, J.T. Milik and R. de Vaux; with a contribution by H.W. Baker (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), Discoveries in the Judaean Desert volume III
  • The Greek Minor Prophets Scroll from Nahal Hever (8HevXIIgr), (The Seiyâl Collection I), by E. Tov; with the collaboration of R.A. Kraft; and a contribution of P.J. Parsons (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990), Discoveries in the Judaean Desert volume VIII

Matthew Hamilton
Sydney, Australia

Jack the Ripper and the King James Bible

What does Jack the Ripper have to do with the King James Bible? Well, apparently he represents judgment on those of us who abandoned that old faithful translation of generations past. In 1881 the Revised Version came out and met with widespread approval. So seven years later, in 1888, 5 women faced a gruesome death at the heads of a maniac dubbed Jack the Ripper. Who’d have known this was retribution for abandoning the King James Bible?

Here’s the comment we received right here yesterday which alleges this very thing, that Jack the Ripper was judgment on Britain for abandoning the King James Bible.

I would think 1881 is a good year to note as a line of demarcation of overlap and underlap of the Church of the Laodiceans and the Church in Philadelphia because after all, that is when the Laodiceans started to accept the old/new Bible which after 7 years were rewarded for their deeds by being visited by Jack the Ripper (by their fruits ye shall know them). The Philadelphian Church Age will continue as long as the Rapture because there are going to be those who stand for the faith once delivered to the saints until that time. Revelation 3 says (well at least it does in my Bible) …

Re 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Now of course, the 2001 ESV is to blame for America’s tragic terror incident of 911. But we could turn the tables on the KJB. In 1607 the translation work for the KJB was being done in earnest. That’s also the year that the England’s Bristol Channel flooded, killing over 2,000 people. (That’s a lot more than 5.) Then around the time the King James Bible was finally gaining or surpassing the place of the Geneva Bible as the most used English Bible, there was the Great Plague of London which killed over 100,000 people (1665-1666). Surely that was judgment on England for abandoning the old Geneva Bible.

This comment illustrates that sometimes, people will see connections where they want to see them. It’s hard reasoning with this mentality. For those on either side of the KJB debate, let us work toward a careful and calm interaction, not a conspiracy theory-driven mentality that frankly doesn’t edify anyone.

**Picture adapted from an 1880 Punch cartoon, “The Nemesis of Neglect”, accessed at Wikipedia, 12/27/2010.