Revelation 22:18-19 And Perfect Textual Preservation

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Does Revelation 22:18-19 Teach Perfect Textual Preservation?

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. ” (Revelation 22:18–19)

The above verses have been used to argue for the King James Version against other translations of the Bible. Simply stated, the argument is that the original text is preserved in the KJV and that all other translations add to, or take away from the original text.

Our question is this, “Does this passage actually teach said doctrine?” Some say that it does, and others say that it does not. What do the Scriptures say?

Words

First of all, let us ask what words are. That is what we are warned against embellishing or removing. Words are expressions of thought. The form of words change over time so that words become archaic and are replaced by other words that convey the same meaning. One instance of this is that we use the word “let” to mean “to allow”. In the King James Version the word was used to mean “to hinder”. We must ask ourselves, then, whether the use of synonyms is acceptable in Bible translation. We must then ask ourselves whether a sentence in a more recent English translation of the Bible could have more or less words in it than a sentence in the KJV contains and yet still convey the same thought.

In the Scriptures we find that sometimes the very word “word” is used to express the decree, or command of God. One example can be found in Psalm 33:6-9 where we know that it simply means that God spoke the command and the worlds were made. We again see this in Hebrews 1:3 where we find that universe is sustained by the word, or decree of God.

The meaning of “word” does not have to be the lexical form of a word, but can be a word, its synonym, or the command of God.

The Bible does not condemn the use of synonyms or loose quotations of Scripture, as long as the thought of the Scripture is conveyed. Most students of the Bible are aware of the fact that the New Testament writers sometimes quoted the Old Testament in ways that were definitely not verbatim quotations. One interesting instance is found in James’ writing. James said, “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” (James 4:5) Have you ever tried to find the instance in the Old Testament where that statement is made? Most of us will admit that there is no place in the Old Testament where one can find this statement verbatim. It will not do for someone to claim that the Bible writers were inspired and could use Scripture in such a fashion, because to do so would be to charge the Bible writers and God the Holy Spirit with inconsistency. After all, if God tells us not to change the form of one single word, we can be sure that He would be inconsistent to command one to do so even if he were inspired.

Jots And Tittles

What, then, of the jots and tittles of Matthew 5:17-18? What is that all about? Simply put, it means that the Scriptures will be perfectly fulfilled. We have a saying today that goes something like this: “He follows the rules to the letter.” What we mean is that a person strictly adheres to the meaning and intent of the rules. So it is with God’s Word. All will come to pass perfectly, just as God has told us.

The words of Jesus concerning jots and tittles cannot teach perfect textual preservation, because the law itself neither teaches, nor is presented as an example of perfect textual preservation. This truth is seen in a comparison of the ten commandments as given in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. When Moses spoke the law to Israel the second time he did not speak it verbatim, but actually added words to what he said previously. We will find, too, that it is this same Moses who said that we are not to add to the words of God.

Revelation 22:18-19

What is meant by the adding to and taking away of Revelation 22:18-19? The answer to that question has to be found by considering the previous places in which we were warned not to add to, or take away from the words of God.

Moses told Israel, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. ” (Deuteronomy 4:2) Why was Israel warned not to add to, or take away from the words of God? So that they would obey God. The issue that is before us is that the message cannot be changed by adding commandments, or taking away commandments. Either one would be sin. Either one would lead people into disobedience. That is why Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, because they were adding commandments to God’s Word, and taking away commandments, also. (See Matthew 5:33-35;15:1-10) Furthermore, Moses told Israel, “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. ” (Deuteronomy 5:22) We already saw that Moses did not give a verbatim quotation of the ten commandments here. Now he adds that God gave them no more words. In other words, the law that God gave at Sinai was all the word that they needed at that time. Simply put, “Ye shall not add unto”, or “He added no more” simply means that what they had been given was all that they needed. The message that God had given Israel through Moses was sufficient for them at that time, and was not to be changed so as to make the message say something that God did not say.

In the same vein of thought, we read in the Proverbs, “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, Lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. ” (Proverbs 30:5–6) Those who add to the words of God will be shown to be wrong, and demonstrated to be liars. One is not a liar who uses synonyms and yet retains the message accurately. He is a liar who changes the words to the extent that the message is changed. God’s warning is for us to not change the message. This is the foundation of Paul’s anathema in Galatians 1:7-9. The message IS NOT TO BE CHANGED!

Thus it is that Revelation 22:18-19 is the last in a long chain of warnings against changing the message of God, and not a text that supports the doctrine of perfect textual preservation.

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The Theological Illusions of King James Onlyism by Kevin Bauder (part 4)

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”. Part 3, covered “the appeal to reason”. Now we’re picking it back up at “the appeal to evidence”.

For this argument, I’m going to quote Kevin Bauder at length and then chime in some of my own thoughts.

The third illusion that attends the King James-Only position involves the evaluation of the actual evidence. King James-Only advocates are extremely reluctant to allow the empirical evidence to stand on its own merits. On the one hand, they are fond of insisting that “the majority rules” in textual matters. On the other hand, they are very careful about what they allow to count as a majority. For example, if all manuscripts of the ancient translations of the New Testament are counted, then manuscripts that support the Textus Receptus form a distinct minority. Moreover, according to the actual manuscript evidence, the manuscripts that support the Textus Receptus are not in the majority even of Greek manuscripts until the fourth century or even later. If the theory that “the majority rules” is correct, then the next two questions are, Majority of what? and, Majority from when?

The King James-Only movement can survive only by deploying a highly prejudicial definition of the word majority. Its defenders insist that very late Greek manuscripts be included in this majority but that very early translations be excluded from it. They revise history to explain the paucity of manuscripts that support the Textus Receptus before the fourth century. In fact, historical revisionism is a mainstay of the King James-Only argument. Their carefully reworked history is filled with heretics who deliberately miscopied the Scriptures; churches that rejected Alexandrian manuscripts; ecumenical councils that endorsed the Byzantine tradition; secret plots of Jesuits, Masons, Nazis, and Communists; and a variety of other irresponsible speculations, none of which can be shown to have happened. (pg. 160)

I’ve previously made similar points about the nebulous idea of “majority”. In my Majority Rules: Fact or Fiction? series I delved into this. Also, the Greek support for the TR wasn’t really a majority of manuscripts until the 9th Century, per James White.

The impression I got in my experience of King James Onlyism was that the “evidence” and the role of “the majority of manuscripts” was quite important. That is what made the whole theory appeal to me as solid. When I found out that often King James Onlyists manipulated the evidence to suit their cause, I started down the disillusionment path.

Were the Early Fundamentalists King James Only?

Jason S, one of the contributors here, answers this question over at Re-Fundamentals.org. After marshaling several quotations from a variety of early Fundamentalists, Jason concludes with the following:

Whatever else may be said about the Scriptures (and there is much to say), we must state the the issue of translations was not a fundamental issue among the early Fundamentalists. Though they weighed in heavily against the RSV, the early Fundamentalists were not King James Only. That was not a fundamental issue to them. They were more interested in inspiration, authority, inerrancy, as well as the other fundamentals of the faith. We can conclude that the early Fundamentalists believed that God’s Word was to be found in every honest and faithful translation of the Scriptures.

I encourage you to go read the whole post.

The Definition of Corrupt and the KJVO Issue

Corrupt

–adjective

1. guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.

2. debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.

3. made inferior by errors or alterations, as a text.

4. infected; tainted.

5. decayed; putrid. *

What do the above definitions have to do with the King James Only issue? Much, I think. You see, there is a difference between the definition that is in use by those who are KJVO and those who are not. (This is a blanket statement that is not representative of everyone involved.) The definition is applied to NT manuscripts.

Those who are not KJVO tend to use the definition of corrupt that is seen in number 3. Their view is that many texts have been tainted (thus a little of number 4 enters in) and made inferior. That means that there are some NT manuscripts which are better than others.

Those who are KJVO will tend to use the definition of corrupt that is seen in numbers 1,2,4, and 5. Their idea is that there are manuscripts that are dishonest, depraved, wicked, evil, tainted, and putrid. This means that there are some NT manuscripts that are hopelessly tainted and are to be totally rejected.

The problem with the KJVO stance on this issue is that it is a subtle move from defining corruption as something being made inferior by changes or alterations to defining corruption as something that is absolutely corrupt. It is a move from relative corruption to absolute corruption. It is a move from partial corruption to total corruption. Whether this subtle move is intentional or not, it clouds the issue at hand and makes the debate more difficult.

The other problem with this is that the KJVO believer tends to present the text which is not the Textus Receptus as being totally and hopelessly corrupt. This is a logical fallacy. It’s throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Finally, the KJVO believer must demonstrate, then, that those texts outside of the TR are totally and hopelessly corrupt in the sense that they are theologically deviant and depraved to the point that the Word of God is not there in any recognizable form. If not, then we must return to using the word corrupt in the sense of definition number three.

*It might be useful to note as well that when someone writing in Latin (like say Erasmus) would have used the word corruptus as meaning ‘broken into pieces’ rather than the Anglicized definition we now use. So there is a 6th definition as well – broken into pieces. (Erik D.)

Diversity of Modern Translations pt 5 – Updating the King James Version

When I started this series of posts, I had no idea it would attract such invective. There has been a lot of criticism and even a fair bit of ridicule for the versions I have included and the ones I have not. Let me reiterate for all the readers – this series is what it is. Some versions people think should be included haven’t been included. Some positions people think should be taken haven’t been taken. It is perfectly fine to disagree with the content of these articles. Your disagreement will be noted.

On to the final post, “Updating the King James Version.”

In the first post of the series, we explored the major revisions of the Authorized Version or King James Version of the Bible (AV or KJV). More than one commenter noted the absence of the New King James Version (NKJV). I intentionally omitted the NKJV from that post because it is part of a different line of thinking than the other revisions (RV, ASV, RSV, NASB, NRSV, ESV). The NKJV is different for a number of reasons:

  • The translators attempted to retain as much of the KJV wording as possible.
  • For the most part, the translators adhered to the same textual tradition from which the KJV was rendered.
  • The translators were overwhelming conservative evangelicals  – which was not true of most of the other revisions (except the NASB and ESV).
  • The translation itself was not intended to be a standard version – for use in all English-speaking denominations.

Although various of the other revisions might share one or two of these characteristics, the NKJV is the only one which intentionally employed all of them.

A Brief Contextual History

The New King James Version came about because of some conversations that Arthur Farstad (who was later responsible for the Holman Christian Standard Bible) had with prominent conservatives in the late 70’s. These conversations culminated in the publication of the New King James Version in 1982, but the conversation that spawned it came out of a broader context that we need to explore.

You might think that this information is extraneous, but it does have a direct bearing on the reasons the NKJV was developed.

Getting to the King James Version…

The original King James Version was actually an overhaul of William Tyndale’s translations of the previous century. Tyndale had the misfortune of doing his work during the reign of Henry VIII, who hated Protestants, even after he became one in the 1530’s. As a result, Tyndale worked in exile, and his New Testaments were smuggled into England. He was eventually burned at the stake, but his work continued to influence English translation works.

Henry VIII died, followed quickly by his son Edward VI. Then came his slightly mad, Catholic daughter Mary and then his long-lived and intriguing youngest daughter Elizabeth I. She ruled for decades, but eventually also died – leaving no heir. Her cousin once removed, James VI of Scotland, was summoned to take the throne of England.

In 1603, James was on his way to take his throne in London as James I. He made a number of stops along the way, ostensibly to hear from supplicants but actually just to avoid the outbreak of plague in London. At Hampton Court, James heard from a number of Puritans who made a number of requests – all of which he denied except their request for his sponsorship of a new translation of the Scripture. This was nothing new. Both Henry and Elizabeth had authorized Bibles.

This project however was massive, spreading over Oxford and Cambridge’s campuses. James made a few easily followed rules, and the translators were supplied with copies of the Bishop’s Bible as well as permission to draw from several other English Bibles. The work took the better part of seven years and in the end, the result is a masterful work of translation and English composition. It is truthfully, as I have pointed out before, the last translation into English that has forced English to conform to the original texts rather than the other way round.

…and then Stopping?

After the 1611 publication of the KJV, there were several small revisions made to the English text – usually correcting spelling or printer’s errors but also some minor reworking – until 1769. One assumes that these revisions should have gone on but they did not. (To be fair, there were some minor corrections that went on, but nothing ‘official’.)

For some KJVO advocates, this is because the text reached perfection and needed no further work. But if you look closely at the history of the world during the period between 1769 and Arthur Farstad’s suggestion of a revision of the KJV over 200 years later, you see something more was going on in the world.

The Rise of Modernity…

A lot of things happened shortly before and after 1769 which altered the world forever, most of which never get discussed in the Bible version debate. Chief among them, there was a shift in Europe to a new view of the world – what became modernity. This shift had many reasons, but ‘religion’ was becoming something of an anathema in academic circles. Theology became more and more anthropocentric. Textual studies became increasingly concerned with nuance and minutiae. Biological and cultural evolution became all the rage in academic circles.

In short, Western mankind felt like they were ‘growing’ out of the need for religion. One of the most stunning event that gave credence to this was the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. It struck while thousands were in church, and people were killed in their pews. Those who escaped to the shoreline were drowned by a massive tsunami. Theologians of the time wrote extensively about the event, asking how God could possibly allow this to happen.

Although not necessarily the cause of the rise of modernity, it was things like it that gave credence to the ideas of deism and ultimately humanism. The Age of Modernity was one in which religion and ‘intellectual pursuits’ became distinct. Particularly in Europe, academia questioned everything about faith and turn radically against it.

This happened even as imperial ambitions motivated the European powers to expand ever outward into ‘unknown’ lands. The British Empire in particular expanded immeasurably. Human progress seemed to be moving onward unchecked and often with nothing more than a nod in the general direction of faith.

It is a mistake then to assume that the KJV was not revised after 1769 because it had reached perfection. One has only to sit in a liturgical Anglican church and you realize that the Church of England is frozen in its heyday – frozen in Tudor and Jacobean England. The KJV was reasserted as the English Bible after the English Civil War and the Commonwealth failed miserably, and the English welcomed back their monarchy in the person of Charles II in 1660. Revisions picked up again, but then faltered with the coming of the House of Hanover and particularly with the rule of George III. Modernity made church, even a state church, purely perfunctory. Why revise a Bible which worked perfectly well with a religion that was increasingly pressed to the margins?

(The same was not true in America where once printers were freed from the British Crown’s right to the printing of the KJV, they printed it with typical American gusto. Unfortunately, in their rush, they often misprinted it as well. It wasn’t until the late 19th century and early 20th century that it all got sorted out on this side of the Atlantic.)

And when the task of revision was undertaken in the 1881, it was undertaken by men of Victorian England – men who saw their own society as the pinnacle of humanity’s march toward perfection. They believed their science was superior to anything that had come before it, and the translation they produced (and the texts they used to produce it) were symptomatic of their times. This is neither good nor bad. It simply is.

The turn of the 19th to the 20th century was often heralded as the age of mankind’s greatest accomplishments and advancement. We as a race believed we had overcome all opposition, discovered all there was to know and were all around doing just fine. If there was a God, he would soon show up to pat us on the back for setting up his perfect kingdom for him.

…and the Fall of Modernity

And then, the world descended into war. First it was small local conflicts which grew into greater conflicts. In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Austra declared war on Bosnia. Before the end of the year, virtually the entire known world west of the Urals was at war. Four years later, 15 million people were dead.

The enlightened human race had left 15 million of their own people dead on battlefields, fighting a war which (and I don’t have time to go over all of this) had been fought off and on since the 9th century. What’s more, the victors subjected the losers to a so harshly unjust peace that inevitably war broke out again. This time, it truly was a world war – raging on every continent except Antarctica and ending with another 60 million people dead, including some from mass genocide and others from the only detonation of atomic bombs in warfare.

Clearly, ‘modern’ man was not all that progressive. The only thing he had evolved was better weapons to kill more of his fellow man. The myth of modernity began to fall apart, and in its wake came a movement of trying to make sense of things. This movement, known as postmodernity, has gone many different directions; but perhaps its most fruitful has been the attempt to recover what was good and true prior to the rise of modernity.

Reconnecting with the pre-Modern KJV

This brings us to Arthur Farstad and the NKJV. Frustrated with the numerous modern revisions of the KJV, Farstad and company proposed that a translation committee skip over the work of the previous revisions and go back to the KJV. The translation would be a minimal update utilizing what they called complete equivalence – a form of formal equivalence that permitted dynamic translation only when absolutely impossible to avoid.

The NKJV Preface contains a very telling statement, linking their own postmodern world with the academic pursuits of 17th century England:

Although the Elizabethan period and our own era share in zeal for technical advance, the former period was more aggressively devoted to classical learning.

Notice the connection, perhaps unconscious, to a period that the translators acknowledge to be superior to their own. The modernists would never have made such a concession, but the translators do so freely.

They state their reverence for the work of their predecessors, while subtly denying the quality of the works that lie between them and the present day:

The real character of the Authorized Version does not reside in its archaic pronouns or verbs or other grammatical forms of the seventeenth century, but rather in the care taken by its scholars to impart the letter and spirit of the original text in a majestic and reverent style.

While KJVO advocates often criticize the NKJV for not maintaining their standard of a Bible translation (namely, replicating the KJV exactly), the NKJV translators were doing their best to strike a middle ground between the knowledge that English had changed since the 17th century and a desire to return to the pre-modern faith which the KJV reflects.

(Author’s Note) Some People Don’t Like the KJV…

And that’s ok. The NKJV is not a perfect redux of the KJV. You can’t capture lightning in a bottle. For me personally, the NKJV feels like a fuzzy KJV. It is hard to explain, but because I grew up with the KJV, I actually struggle with the NKJV. The English Standard Bible feels, to me, more like a formal translation than the New King James does. But that’s a preference and it has more to do with my style of thinking/preaching/worshiping than it does with the quality of the work.

The NKJV is definitely a step backward in the right direction, in my opinion. I would love to see the work continue on the KJV, reworking and taking into consideration our growing knowledge of koine Greek without having to completely retranslate it.

Other KJV Updates

There are a number of alternative KJV’s in circulation – the 21st century KJV, the Modern KJV (1963) – but they are generally one-man or small group updates of the KJV. the Modern KJV is available in e-sword, but I am not sure if it is still available in print.

These are not translations but edits of the KJV – just as there were a number of edits made by various publishers in America during the 19th century, and they don’t even approach the NKJV in scope or in sales.

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?

The Theological Illusions of King James Onlyism by Kevin Bauder (part 2)

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 one of the editors, Kevin Bauder, in his conclusion to the book: “An Appeal to Scripture”.  Bauder explains several theological arguments that KJV Onlyists resort to, in an effort to continue propagating their belief against a mass of contrary evidence.  Bauder illustrates how these arguments really are illusions that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Part 1 set the stage, and now we get to the first of the theological arguments for KJV Onlyism.

The first illusion is the appeal to faith. According to its leading defenders, the King James-Only movement is fundamentally a “faith position.” Genuine, biblical faith, however, must rest in the promise of God. To be believed, the promise of God must be clearly revealed in the pages of Scripture itself. The question is not whether the Bible contains a promise that God will preserve His Word. King James-Only advocates go much further. They insist that God has preserved His words and preserved them exactly in a singular, identifiable, and accessible form. So the question is whether the Bible contains a promise that God will preserve, word for word, the text of the original documents of Scripture in a particular manuscript, textual tradition, printed text, or version. As this book has shown, the Bible contains no promise whatsoever that includes the preservation of all the words of the autographa (without addition or deletion) in a single, publicly accessible source. Without such a promise, the appeal to faith does not rest in the promise of God, but in the untestable and unverifiable speculation of the King James-Only advocates themselves. Until they can produce a Scripture that (properly and contextually understood) does promise all that they assert, they have no legitimate right to appeal to faith.

(Bolded emphasis mine. Excerpted from pg. 158, One Bible Only? Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible, edited by Roy Beacham and Kevin Bauder; Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids, 2001.)

?This is the rub in my opinion.  The various texts that apply to a doctrine of preservation, do not make the explicit claim that all the words of Scripture will be preserved in an accessible form.  For at least 1500 years, most KJV Onlyists allow that the words of Scripture weren’t together in a printed text or version that is accessible too.  Especially when one considers what E.F. Hills points out that several of the TR passages are preserved in the Latin language texts rather than the Greek language texts, and the New Testament was purified when the two streams were brought together.