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KJV Only Reviews
By Rick Norris
William P. Final Authority:
A Christian's Guide to the King James Bible.
Schereville, IN: Grady Publications, 1993.
According to its book jacket, this book claims to be a scholarly defense of the King James Bible. Evangelist Dennis Corle says that this book is "irrefutable." This book is supposedly one of the best defenses of the KJV-only view. While this book has an impressive bibliography, the other contents and claims made by the author are not so impressive.
The author based some of his claims on several misleading and invalid arguments. Several times the author repeats the statement "Facts are stubborn things" while he ignores many important facts that relate to this subject that he was writing about. For example, Grady does not discuss the fact of the differences between the various editions of the Textus Receptus. He does not mention the fact of the important differences between the earlier English Bibles such as Tyndale's and the Geneva Bible and the KJV.
Grady repeatedly seems to attack logic and scholarship while he claims to be making a logical defense of the KJV-only view. Instead of consistent reasoning and logic, Grady uses informal fallacies to argue for his view.
For example, he uses the fallacy of complex question since he treats a statement involving a plurality of assumptions as if it required nothing more than a single, simple answer. He also uses the fallacy of composition when he assumes or implies that the Textus Receptus and the KJV are identical, but he offers no evidence or proof for his assumption. Even KJV defender Edward Hills admitted that the KJV is "an independent variety of the Textus Receptus," and he discussed some of the actual differences between the KJV and the various editions of the Textus Receptus.
When Grady claims that "the KJV-only position has been necessitated by the modern Bible movement," he uses the ad hominem fallacy that appeals to the situation or prejudices of the person to be convinced instead of logically proving the premises that pertain to the subject under discussion. His use of this fallacy is also seen in his many personal attacks against those who may disagree with his opinions.
For example, Grady labels Robert Sumner as a "tabloid-style editor" (p. 113), and he continually uses subjective, biased words such as "asinine" (p. 112), "desperation" (p. 166), "conniving" (p. 254), "pontificating" (p. 257), and "whimpering" (p. 263) to describe the words of those scholars he disagrees with.
Grady often uses the fallacy of accident by making some accidental, irrelevant factor the essential point of his argument. Without any proof, Grady makes modern Bible translations responsible for theistic evolution, Oral Roberts, Christian rock bands, Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, Rev. Ike, Tammy Baker's air-conditioned dog house, etc. (pp. 184-185).
Grady connects the totally unrelated events of the ASV (1901) and the first recorded occurrence of speaking in tongues (1901) (p. 59). Some of these speculations are based on the post hoc fallacy that claims that what is first temporally is necessarily the cause of what follows. Grady's use of so many unfounded and unproven speculations calls into question the validity of the case for his view.
A double standard seems to be used in the examination of the theological views of translators and others involved with this issue. Grady attacks the Anglican views of Westcott and Hort, but he doesn't apply the same standard to the Church of England views of the KJV translators or to the Roman Catholics views of Erasmus. Does Grady show a respect of persons toward the KJV translators (James 2:9)?
His bias or double standard even shows in his glossary where he lists Hort as an "unsaved" Cambridge professor, Westcott as a "liberal Anglican scholar who conspired" with Hort, but lists Erasmus as a "Dutch intellectual known as the 'journalist of scholarship.'" Surprisingly, Grady quotes with approval several times Seventh-Day Adventist Benjamin Wilkinson without informing the reader of Wilkinson's ties to to this group (pp. 254, 273, 275).
Grady labels the New King James Version as "particularly deceptive because it uses the name King James in its title" (p. 299). He claims that the NKJV "represents Satan's ultimate deception" (p. 303). Again, the tactic of "poisoning the well" is essential to his claim as he attempts to connect the NKJV with the RSV and the Alexandrian manuscripts. An actual examination of the evidence would show that many times Grady seems to bear false witness against the NKJV.
For example, some of the renderings that Grady claims came from the RSV can actually be found in various Bibles on the KJV-only view's own line or tree of good Bibles. Grady attacks the NKJV for its translation of 2Cor 2:17 ("peddling the word of God") while an earlier English translation he praises (the Geneva Bible) has a similar translation ("make merchandise of the word of God").
Evidently, Grady has not carefully read or examined the early English translations such as Tyndale's and the Geneva Bible that he praises. Grady claims that 90% of the KJV has Tyndale's words (p. 161). Is Grady aware of the fact that Tyndale's did not have Mark 11:26, Luke 17:36, as well as many phrases and clauses (Mark 15:3c, John 8:6, John 8:9b, John 19:38c, James 4:6b, 1John 2:23b, Rev 18:23a, Rev 21:26) when compared to the KJV? On what authority did the Church of England translators of the KJV add so many words to Tyndale's?
There are also places where one of the earlier good Bibles on the KJV-only view's tree of good Bibles have more words than the KJV. Tyndale translated Acts 14:23a as "And when they had ordained elders by election in every congregation" while the KJV has "And when they had ordained them elders in every church."
The two words "by election" missing in the KJV were found in all the earlier English Bibles (Tyndale's to Bishops'). Is it possible that the reason "by election" is missing is because the Church of England appoints bishops rather than allowing the congregation of believers to elect them?
There are many other differences between the KJV and the earlier good English Bibles. The first authorized Bible (the Great Bible) has over one hundred words in just one New Testament book (Acts) that are not found in the third authorized Bible (the KJV).
While the impressive number of illogical arguments may give some the impression that Grady has made an "irrefutable" case, the fact remains that even an infinite number of fallacies would not prove any view to be valid.
Grady tries to assume the status of a scholar who logically proves his case while at the same time he repudiates bona fide scholarship as the domain of unbelief. He cannot have it both ways. In the name of defending truth, it appears that Grady has been careless with the truth by using fallacies, false claims, and unfounded speculations as supposed proof for his view. Unsubstantiated speculations and illogical claims do not prove the validity of the KJV-only view. This book will only further confuse the confused or uninformed.
The truth is consistent. Perhaps KJV-only advocates should consider what the KJV says about the use of false claims and double standards. "Keep thee far from a false matter" (Exod 23:7). "No lie is of the truth" (1John 2:21). "Thou shalt not raise a false report" (Exod 23:1a). "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour" (Exod 20:16). "But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors" (James 2:9).
Bill. Purified Seven Times:
The Miracle of the English Bible
(Claysburg, PA: Revival Fires Publishing, 1998).
Evangelist Bill Bradley claims that anyone who reads his book Purified Seven Times "with an open heart and a mind not closed to truth" will come to share his KJV-only opinions. Let's examine a few of his opinions with an open mind and compare them to the facts.
Bradley wrote: "There has not been one English translation produced after the King James Bible that came from the true Bible text ...NOT ONE!" (p. 117). He added: "Every English bible produced after the King James Bible of 1611, the Authorized Version, came from the perverted, corrupted text fabricated by Westcott and Hort" (p. 117). He again emphasized: "Every English translation produced since 1611 (you read correctly--EVERY English translation produced since 1611) is based on the inferior, corrupt, minority text" (p. 118).
How can Bradley honestly claim that English translations such as the 1755 translation by John Wesley, the 1833 Bible by Noah Webster, the 1842 Bernard's Bible, the 1850 revision of the KJV N.T. by Baptists Spencer Cone and William Wyckoff, the 1853 English Old Testament by Issac Leeser, and the 1866 American Bible Union translation were based on a 1881 Greek text?
In addition, modern English translations such as the NKJV, MKJV, Jay Green's Literal Translation, Young's Literal Translation, the 1995 Revised Webster Bible, 21st Century KJV, and Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text by the Jewish Publication Society (OT only) were not translated from the Westcott-Hort Greek text [Note: Many of these modern versions are found on the Online Bible CD ROM].
Furthermore, Bradley was aware that there are at least two English translations of the Syriac Peshitta (a good Bible according to KJV-only advocates). Bradley himself referred to the 1851 Murdock's translation (p. 57).
Without any proof, Bradley also claimed, "Every word change in the text of the New King James Version was taken directly from the text that produced the Revised Standard Version, the New International Version and all the other so-called bibles--the minority text of Westcott and Hort" (pp. 121-122). Bradley, who promotes himself as an authority in the history of the English Bible, should know that his statement is false and perhaps libelous. The NKJV was translated from the traditional Hebrew and Greek texts.
At Genesis 1:28, the NKJV translated a Hebrew word as "fill" in agreement with Wycliffe's, Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Geneva Bible while the KJV translated it as "replenish" in agreement with the Bishops' and Catholic Douay-Rheims. At Matthew 23:24, the NKJV has "strain out" in agreement with all the early English Bibles before 1611 on the KJV-only line of good Bibles. At Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8, the NKJV has "Joshua" in agreement with Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Great, and Luther's. At Hebrews 10:23, the NKJV has "hope," which is also the rendering of all the earlier English Bibles before 1611 and which is the same way that the KJV translated this same Greek word every other time.
The NKJV has "our God and Savior Jesus Christ" in agreement with the earlier English good Bibles at 2 Peter 1:1. At Revelation 18:13, the NKJV has "bodies" in agreement with Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Great, and Bishops' while KJV has "slaves" in agreement with the Douay-Rheims. More examples could be given. Will any amount of evidence convince those who have closed their minds to the facts?
Bradley's book is built on a faulty understanding of the phrase "purified seven times." This phrase means that God's Word was completely or perfectly pure when given. It does not mean as Bradley implied that God's Word needed to go through a "process of refining and purifying" by translators (p. 117). Translators cannot add anything to the perfection and purity of God's Word in the originals.
This liberal concept of a process of purification through seven English translations is just as unscriptural as Ruckman's additional revelation claims. Bradley actually listed a total of eight English translations in his two consecutive paragraphs (p. 116 - Wycliffe's, Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Great, Geneva, Bishops', and KJV), which destroys his own faulty claim.
Therefore, it is clear that several of the most important statements emphasized by Bradley as being truth on pages 116-131 in his book are actually falsehoods. It takes only one example of one exception to an absolute or universal blanket statement to prove it false. Any believer with his mind open to the truth will be greatly disappointed by this book. How can Bradley expect others to open their minds to the truth when he seems to close his mind to it?
D. A. Foes of the King James Bible Refuted
(Collingswood, NJ: The Bible for Today Press, 1997).
In his recent book in response to a debate on the Bible translation issue, D. A. Waite labeled believers who disagree with his KJV-only view as "foes" of the KJV. On the other hand, Waite also strongly condemned the KJV-only view of Peter Ruckman and Samuel Gipp as being "serious heresy" (pp. 6-7); but he does not label them "foes" of the KJV.
Waite noted: "You cannot corrupt and change the Greek and Hebrew text and correct it with the English King James Bible or any other language version" (p. 6). Again he stated: "Truth is gone when you take the truth out of the Hebrew or out of the Greek texts" (p. 121).
Allowing Waite once again to speak for himself, he wrote: "That is a misleading statement to say that the King James Bible is 'perfect' if you mean 100% 'perfect' and is 'inerrant,' without any errors of any kind, even spelling or typographical" (p. 65). Several times he points out the errors in Ruckman and Gipp's position (pp. 6-10, 34, 39, 46-47, 58-59, 65).
Waite admitted that he has "found at least 3 errors in the Oxford edition of the KJV" (pp. 117, 66). Furthermore, his argument on page 19 that it is not needed and is forbidden to add the name of God when it is not in the Hebrew or Greek texts implied that the KJV is also in error when it added the name of God in phrases such as "God save the king," "God forbid," "God speed," and "would God."
He acknowledged that the Greek for the KJV's "God forbid" would be literally translated as "may it not be" (p. 96). Although not applying his statement to the KJV, he claimed that such adding, subtracting, or changing of God's words is a "diabolical methodology" (p. 47). At Revelation 22:19, Waite contended that the correct rendering is "tree of life" (p. 43) although I think that he meant to write "book of life."
Waite defended the early English Bibles such as Coverdale's, Great, Geneva, and Bishops as being based on the Traditional text (p. 38). Nevertheless, he seems to be willing to overlook renderings in these early good translations that he would probably condemn in the NKJV and other modern translations. At Genesis 1:28, Wycliffe's, Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Geneva Bibles have "fill" in agreement with the NKJV and other modern translations. At Deuteronomy 28:67, Coverdale's Bible did not add the word "God" that is not in the Hebrew.
Coverdale's has "leviathan" at Job 3:8 while Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Great have "ostriches" at Job 30:29. Coverdale's and the Geneva Bibles have "pelican" at Zephaniah 2:14. The old Syriac Peshitta, Luther's German Bible, and several of the earlier English Bibles have "Joshua" at Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8. At 1 Corinthians 14:4, Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Great Bibles did not add the word "unknown." Also at 1 Corinthians 16:2, Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Great Bibles did not add "God."
All the earlier English Bibles have "hope" at Hebrews 10:23. At 2 Peter 1:1, all the earlier English Bibles have "our God and Saviour Jesus Christ." The phrase "of God" added in italics at 1 John 3:16 in the KJV [perhaps from the Latin Vulgate] was not added in Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Great, Geneva, or Bishops. Many more examples could be given.
When the earlier English translations are compared to the KJV, there are differences in number of words, in meanings of words, in whether a noun or pronoun is used, in use of italics, etc. For example, the 1540 edition of the Great Bible has over one hundred words in just one New Testament book (Acts) that are not found in the KJV. Such facts must be unimportant to KJV-only advocates since surely they would not want the truth covered up.
In his book, Waite defends the views of Gail Riplinger, even though she promotes the same incorrect position as Ruckman. She implied that the added words in italics in the KJV are inspired (Blind Guides, p. 41). Riplinger also promotes and sells the writings of Ruckman and Gipp in her 97-98 catalogue. Waite seemed to imply that her writing of four or five books in her field of interior design qualifies her as a careful researcher in the completely different field of Bible translation. He also claimed: "If she has made an error of fact or quotation, she is willing to admit it and correct it" (p. 55).
Has Riplinger corrected her false and perhaps libelous claims that the NKJV copied the Jehovah Witness's Version in several places? Her false claim, which attempts to condemn the NKJV by associating it with a cult, is based on the ad hominem (poisoning the well) fallacy. Did Riplinger correct the problems and errors in her writing pointed out by David Cloud, a fellow KJV-only advocate, or did she attack him personally under the heading "O Madmen" (Blind Guides, p. 22)? Does Waite believe that Riplinger's unscriptural practice of teaching doctrine to adult men and even pastors in local churches is acceptable?
Logically, if disagreeing with Waite's opinions actually makes a believer a foe of the KJV, than his disagreeing with Ruckman's KJV-only opinions could be said to make him a foe of the KJV. The truth is that disagreeing with the opinions of men does not make any person a foe of God's Word. Thus, as the title of his book indicated, Waite seemed to have misrepresented other believers who may disagree with his opinions as "foes" of the Bible.
Since justice to the truth demands the correction of false claims, surely Waite will correct his misrepresentations of his fellow believers.
Does Love for the KJV Justify Printing Falsehoods about the NKJV?
In her interview with Jack Hyles at Hyles' 1996 Pastors' School, Gail Riplinger boldly announced that she had written a tract that prounced a "Death Certificate for the NKJV." Wally Beebe reprinted a portion of this tract as an official column by Riplinger in his publication Church Bus News (April-June, 1996, 1996, p. 26).
Since Riplinger claimed "God as author" of her book New Age Bible Versions (The End Times, Jan./Feb., 1994, p. 15), I wonder if she would claim that God is the author of her tract. It is interesting that Riplinger's claim that God is the author of her writings (a claim of inspiration) is similar to the claim of Jehovah Witnesses that God is the author of their Watchtower magazine (MacArthur, How to get the Most from Gods Word, p. 84). Having read all three KJV-only books written by Riplinger, her tract seems to be typical of her misleading attacks on various translations of God's Word.
Riplinger claimed that the "NKJV copies Jehovah Witness Version" at Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 by having the rendering "Joshua" instead of the KJV rendering "Jesus." Where is the proof and documentation that proves the NKJV translators copied or even consulted the Jehovah Witnesses' Version? Riplinger had claimed that "even simple statements in New Age Bible Versions were not made without years of study behind them" (Blind Guides, p. 51).
After her years of study, it is amazing that she was unaware of the fact that the KJV translators stated in the margin of the 1611 KJV concerning their rendering "Jesus" at Hebrews 4:8 the following: "That is Joshua." The Hebrew word translated "Joshua" when translated into Greek is the same Greek word as the word for "Jesus." It is also surprising that Riplinger was unaware of the fact that several of the early English Bibles before the KJV including Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Coverdale's Duoglott, Great, Taverner's, and Whittingham's had "Joshua" at Hebrews 4:8. At Acts 7:45, Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Great Bibles have "Joshua." How is it possible that these 1500's English Bibles that have "Joshua" in these two verses would be supposedly copying a 1950's Jehovah Witnesses' Version that did not exist yet?
The old Peshitta Syraic Version that is on the line of good Bibles in KJV-only books also has a name that would be translated "Joshua" in English at these two verses. Both the 1851 translation of the Syraic by James Murdock and the 1933 translation by George Lamsa have "Joshua" at these two verses. The Peshitta even added "the son of Nun" at Hebrews 4:8.
The old Spanish Bibles have "Josue" (Joshua) at these two verses. Luther's German Bible had a name meaning "Joshua" at these verses. John Wesley in his 1754 New Testament had "Joshua" in both these verses as did the 1866 American Bible Union New Testament. The fact should be obvious that a 1950's Jehovah Witnesses' Version did not even exist when the old Syriac, the old Spanish Bibles, Luther's German Bible, and several of the early English Bibles had "Joshua" in these two verses.
It is also interesting to note that Wally Beebe's Bus Worker's Edition of the KJV has "Joshua" in the text at Acts 7:45 and that it has a note listing "Joshua" as an alternative translation at the end of Hebrews 4:8. Would Riplinger say that Beebe's Bus Worker's Bible copied from the Jehovah Witnesses?
The evidence is clear and overwhelming that it was wrong and false to claim that the NKJV copied the Jehovah Witnesses' Version at Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8. This false claim that attempts to condemn the NKJV by associating it with a cult is based on the ad hominem (poisoning the well) fallacy. Riplinger wrote: "This ad hominem technique is not scholarly and is usually only employed as a last resort by opponents who cannot win a debate on a rational and factual level" (Blind Guides, p. 2).
To make Hebrews 4:8 refer to Jesus Christ also presents serious theological problems for KJV-only advocates. In his commentary on the book of Hebrews, Oliver B. Greene noted the following about this verse: "The truth set forth here is this: If the Canaan rest that the Israelites received under Joshua had been the rest of God for His people, then God would not have spoken through David of another day, when His people enter into rest" (p. 141). In order to distinguish between the Canaan rest and the promised rest of God, the writer of Hebrews even used a different Greek word for "rest" in verse 9.
Any honest and objective examination of the evidence proves that the NKJV did not copy the Jehovah Witnesses' Version in Acts 7:45, Hebrews 4:8, or in any other verse. Is the evidence for the KJV-only view so weak that such false claims are needed to defend it? Why do KJV-only publish and repeat such misleading, inaccurate, and even false statements about the NKJV and other translations? Does love for the KJV justify such false and seemingly malicious attacks on the NKJV? Justice to the truth demands the exposure of falsehoods such as this one that claimed the "NKJV copies Jehovah Witness Version."
D. A. Waite claimed: "If she [Riplinger] has made an error of fact or quotation, she is willing to admit it and correct it" (Foes of the KJB Refuted, p. 55). After two years, I have not found where Riplinger has admitted and corrected this falsehood. Should not Riplinger and Beebe apologize to the translators of the NKJV for writing and printing such inaccurate and false claims?
Early English Versions
Directors Note: I e-mail the reviewer, Rick Norris, and asked how it was he knew what the readings were in so many early English versions. I asked if he owned all these versions and if so, where did he get them. Below is his response:
Hello, Gary, I received your e-mail. I have reprints or copies of some of the earlier English Bibles, and have examined other copies at several libraries. For example, Duke University has many of the early English Bibles on microfilm. I have a facsimile reprint of a 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible. I have modern-spelling editions of Tyndale's New Testament and Old Testament by David Daniell.
I have modern-spelling editions of a 1526 Tyndale's N.T., Matthew's Bible N.T., and 1557 Whittingham's N.T. edited by a KJV-only advocate John Wesley Sawyer. I obtained a copy of THE NEW TESTAMENT OCTAPLA edited by Luther Weigle that has the New Testaments of Tyndale, Great, Geneva, Bishops', Rheims, KJV, RV, and RSV.
I have a photocopied copy of a 1535 whole Coverdale's Bible, and a photocopied copy of a 1538 Latin-English New Testament by Coverdale. I have a reprint edition of a 1611 KJV. I have a 1987 reprint by Baker Book House of the 1833 Webster's Bible plus copies of several other translations.
The reprint of the 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible was available from Great Christian Books ~ PO Box 8000 ~ Elkton, MD 21922-8000 ~ 1-800-775-5422 and from Christian Book Distributors ~ P. O. Box 7000 ~ Peabody, MA 01961-7000 ~ 1-978- 977-5000.
The modern-spelling editions of Tyndale's New Testament and Old Testament by David Daniell and published by Yale University Press (c.1989) had been available, but I didn't see them listed in the last couple catalogs. The modern spelling editions by John Wesley Sawyer of Tyndale's, Matthew's, and Whittingham's had been available from Peter W. Van Kleeck, Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 2233 Michigan N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-456-8190.
There was a 1975 reprint edition by William Dawson & Sons of THE COVERDALE BIBLE 1535 with introduction by S. L. Grenslade, but I haven't been able to find a copy of it at used books sources so far.
In Christ, Rick
Directors Comment: The following book review by Rick Norris does not really concern KJV Only-ism; but I did not know where else to put this particular review. So, for now, I am adding it to this page with other reviews by Rick.
John with Clifford and Barbara Wilson.
Decoding the Bible Codes
(Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1998).
This book is a response to several very popular books advocating a Bible Code found by using Equidistant Letter Sequences.
In his thought-provoking book, Weldon advocates a call to caution before believers jump on "the Bible Code" bandwagon. He wisely observed: "When we are dealing with something as important as the credibility and authority of Scripture, we must be very careful not to hold fast to claims that may not be true" (p. 103).
In chapter five entitled "Interpreting the Code: Some Key Dilemmas," Weldon asked: "Is the Bible Code a superior revelation to what we have in the plain text of the Bible?" (p. 57). Chapter six discussed the "Problems within the Bible Code."
In chapter seven entitled "The Dangers of the Bible Code," several important cautions are given. "The Danger of Incorrect Claims" (p. 102), The Danger of False Prophecies" (p. 112), and The Danger of Occult Influences" (p. 118) are noted. Using the same methodology as advocates of the Bible Code, some Jewish researchers have claimed that "a person can 'prove' that Jesus is a false prophet, a false messiah, and that Christianity is a false religion" (p. 109). Using the same method, these researchers also found the encoded name of Mohammed 2,328 times, Koresh (David) 2,729 times, and Krishna 104 times in the Torah (p. 107).
One matter that must be examined is the connection of the idea for the code with "a Jewish form of mysticism/occultism known as kabbalism" (p. 118). Chapter eight deals with Understanding the Kabbalah" (pp. 145-161).
This book gives some wise words of caution to believers. It should be read by all who are interested in this concept of a Bible code.
Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light
The above reviews were posted on this Web site
March 20, 1998, May 10, 1998, and June 20, 1999.
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