Where Do We Stand?

Last week’s post generated plenty of conversation. I hope to highlight one of the points brought to light in a future post; namely, I will post on Tischendorf’s discovery of Sinaiticus and how the story is portrayed in the KJVO debate on all sides.

What got me thinking, though, is more along the lines of our personal backgrounds. I realize some of our regular guests have shared their own story, but I’m not sure that I even know where everyone stands on the issue. I see we have folks who regularly comment in support of the TR or MT but are not necessarily KJVO. We have others who are very critical of the CT but again, not KJVO. Then we have some who are indeed KJVO. I am also very interested in your theological leanings, as we’ve had people here who are not Christian at all. It helps to know who we’re talking to.

I’m wondering if those of you who regularly comment here (or who have in the past) would mind providing a little theological background and insight into your current thoughts on the Bible version issue. My fellow contributors are welcome to chime in as always. Even though we’ve given short bios on the authors page, and even though we all come from the IFB KJVO position, we have not all given our full position on this topic and I’m sure we even differ among ourselves.

To keep the commentary to the point, would you please follow these guidelines and answer these questions:

Guidelines: Please keep it brief yet specific. Please refrain from replying to a comment unless it addresses a specific point made (perhaps for an elaboration or clarification rather than an argument).

Questions:

1. What kind of church do you attend, if any?
2. What is your role in ministry, if any?
3. Has your position on the Bible version issue changed? If so, how?
4. How would you describe your current perspective on the TR, MT, and CT?
5. How important is this issue to you and how significant is it to your theology as a whole? (for example, do you practice separation if someone does not agree, etc)
6. What English Bibles do you recommend and use?
7. What resources have helped you, and which would you urge people to stay away from?
8. Finally, to keep things friendly, share with us what your favorite food is.

The above do not necessarily all have to be answered, or answered in order, but if you could frame your comments around these topics that would help us keep things clear and concise.

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Kevin Bauder on The King James Only Movement And Fundamentalism

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The error of the King James Only movement is opposite but equal to the error of the new evangelicalism. The new evangelicals wanted to remove the fundamentals (i.e., the gospel) as the boundary of Christian fellowship. The King James Only movement wishes to add to the fundamentals (i.e., the gospel) as the boundary of Christian fellowship. Neoevangelicalism could be called “sub-fundamentalist,” while the King James Only movement is hyper-fundamentalist.

Of course, the King James Only movement is only one species of hyper-fundamentalism. Hyper-fundamentalism may revolve around personal and institutional loyalties, idiosyncratic agendas, absurd ethical standards, or the elevation of incidental doctrines and practices. The thing that characterizes all versions of hyper-fundamentalism is the insistence upon draconian reactions for relatively pedestrian—or even imaginary—offenses.

Hyper-fundamentalism and the new evangelicalism are mirror images of each other. The old neoevangelicalsim damaged the gospel, not by denying it, but by attacking its role as a demarcator between Christianity and apostasy. The hyper-fundamentalist does the same kind of damage by adding something else alongside the gospel. If anything, King James Onlyism is worse, for it shows contempt for the Word of God. It attacks the heart of Christianity by sitting in judgment over its source of authority.

via Now, About Those Differences, Part Twenty Three | SharperIron.

Cross-posted on Re:Fundamentals.

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The Bible Version Issue and Separation

A quick detour into practical application

I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve enjoyed the discussions we’ve had on the blog lately. Particularly since the posting of the Maurice Robinson interview, the discussion on this site has been lively, engaging, and informative. I’m impressed with how this blog has grown in a short amount of time, and happy to be a part of it.

As I read the recent posts and the ensuing comments, I’m reminded of a principle that took me away from King James Onlyism in the first place: the issue of Bible versions is complicated.  No, I’m not saying the issue is too complicated to study or comprehend, but it is more technical than a simple grasping at one particular version and calling it a day. As former KJV onlyists, we can testify that, for the most part, this doctrine is presented as too simple.  “If it’s good enough for Paul. . .”

Thankfully, we haven’t encountered too much oversimplification in recent days here.  What is obvious is that the task of understanding the history of textual transmission is quite large and quite deep. Some base their conclusions on the church. But what church? Others on the manuscripts. Which ones? How do we know we’re receiving the right information? Who should we trust? The debate is not over.  One of the characteristics of our blog that I love is that we’re not textual critics. We don’t work at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. We’re not from Bible.org or evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com.  While my fellow contributors are widely read and have sharp minds, we all come to the table as analyzers of the facts that have been given, not the producers of those facts. Our practical, lay-centered understanding of the issues offers a perspective one may not find on sites dedicated solely to scholarship.

So what does all this mean? On an applicatory level, the depth of the issue of Bible versions shows that it is unnecessary, and in my opinion, sinful, to separate ecclesiastically from brethren who hold a different view of the text. In fact, debates such as we have will probably be more helpful as Christians with differing views come together to discuss rather than throw stones.

When I forsook my KJV onlyism, it became my opinion that the modern, critical texts were the most consistent and reliable. I am very comfortable in saying that may change. It doesn’t bother me to admit that. I think the majority text perspective, unnecessarily hindered by its unfortunate association with the shrill of King James onlyism, has merits that ought to be more publicized. And I don’t believe that King James Onlyists themselves offer no food for thought; they certainly do. All of this is to say that the issue isn’t completely settled in my mind and perhaps never will be, yet I’m not bothered by it. I wish to study more and watch as more light is shed on the issue over time. I believe that an approach like this, void of dogmatic declarations, conspiracy theories, and assumptions of heresy is the best approach to take on this issue. Those who oversimplify the issue, take hold of the King James, and work backwards from that position aren’t being true to the technicalities of the debate. My plea is for a continuation of good, honest, Christian discussion.