an excuse for King James?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Logos1560, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Peter Ruckman wrote: "King James did not turn against Baptists or Puritans until he was over fifty-four years old, in a weakened condition, sickly, and under the domination of High Church Anglican Bishops" (Biblical Scholarship, pp. 222-223).

    Does that statement seem to be an excuse for King James' persecution of professed believers?

    Is Ruckman's statement accurate or inaccurate?
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

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    Well now I am confused I thought it was the Anglican scholars who translated :tonofbricks: and revised the Bible the KJO's many who are Baptist treasure so much.
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    This is a history thread. I am moving it there. Please stick to historical topics and do not address the version which bears his name.
     
  4. billwald

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    Back then church (denomination) affiliation was more political than religious.
     
  5. larryjf

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    The Puritans were actually part of the Church of England. It was the Pilgrims who were separatists.

    If i'm not mistaken about half of the KJV translators were Puritan.

    It's also my understanding that King James was more strict towards the Puritans at the beginning of his reign than at the end of it.
     
  6. Logos1560

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    Here is some evidence that relates to the claim in Ruckman's statement. King James was born in 1566. Everyone is invited to do the math and check the evidence out for yourself.

    Was King James 54 years old in 1599 when he send a copy of his book entitled Basilicon Doron to his son Prince Henry?

    James himself even advised his son to hate Puritans (Basilican Doran, p. 51).

    Was King James 54 years old in 1604 when he approved canons that resulted in the persecution of Puritans or the forcing of Puritans to conform?

    Hunt noted that King James I had approved canons in 1604 that "required subscription to the entire Book of Common Prayer and the endorsement of all Thirty-nine Articles" (Puritan Moment, p. 108). Lee wrote: "The canons of 1604 demanded that every benefice-holder subscribe to a statement that the Prayer Book and the Thirty-nine Articles were entirely agreeable to the word of God" (Great Britain's Solomon, p. 172). Fisher observed that Bancroft "procured from Convocation, with the King's approval, the passage of a series of canons which forbade, under penalty of excommunication, the least deviation from the Prayer Book, or any disparagement of the established system of government and worship in the Church" (History, p. 398). Gardiner pointed out that after the 1604 canons "conformity--thorough and unhesitating conformity--was to the unbending rule of the English Church" (History, IV, p. 148).

    Was King James 54 years old in 1607 when he imprisoned Scottish reformer Andrew Melville?

    King James I summoned Andrew Melville, the leader of the Scottish Reformation after John Knox, to London in 1606, threw him into the Tower, imprisoned him four years (1607-1611), and afterwards forced him into exile. Instead of speaking up for this godly preacher or asking him to assist in their translating, the KJV translators were assisting King James in persecuting him. For a while Melville was placed in the custody of translator John Overall and later in that of translator Thomas Bilson. The Dictionary of National Biography noted that part of Melville's confinement was solitary and that "pen, ink, and paper were forbidden him" (Vol. XIII, p. 235).

    Was King James 54 years old in 1611-1612 when he authorized the burning at the stake of Edward Wightman?

    In his history of English Baptists published in 1871, J. J. Goadby described King James I as "the meanest and most despicable sovereign that ever held an English sceptre" (Bye-Paths in Baptist History, p. 80). He described how James I dealt roughly with Baptists. Another history of English Baptists by Thomas Crosby also told how King James and his state church persecuted Baptists with fines, imprisonments, dispossessions of property, beatings, expulsions, and even burning at the stake. S. H. Ford wrote that "almost canonized head of the Episcopal Church [King James] thus, in the name of Christ, authorized poor Wightman's death" (Origin of the Baptist, p. 21). KJV-only author Phil Stringer observed that Wightman was burned at the stake "for declaring that baptism of infants was an abominable custom" or "for being a Baptist" (Faithful Baptist Witness, p. 7). Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia noted that King James treated Baptists with "royal barbarity" (p. 75). J. W. Griffith observed that King James and his government "vigorously tried to prevent the preaching of Baptists, driving them into hiding, imprisoning their ministers and deacons and sometimes entire congregations, imposing enormous and ruinous fines on those arrested for unlawful assembly and preaching" (Manual of Church History, III, p. 84). J. M. Cramp contented that Baptists suffered severely during the reign of James I (Baptist History, p. 260).


    Was King James 54 years old in 1612 when he imprisoned Baptist Thomas Helwys?


    In 1612, Baptist pastor Thomas Helwys returned to England and established a Baptist church. Helwys wrote a book in defense of the right of religious liberty and was imprisoned in Newgate Prison by order of King James for distribution of his book (Southwestern Journal of Theology, April, 1964, pp. 44-45). Robert Torbet affirmed that Helwys was imprisoned "by order of the irate monarch, James I" (History of the Baptists, p. 67).
     
  7. Logos1560

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    Yes, the Puritans were still part of the Church of England. They wanted to purify the Church of England of some things that they considered to be Roman Catholic traditions. Even though they were part of the Church of England, they were still persecuted for their views by that same Church of England and the head of that state Church--King James I.

    A few of the KJV translators had once been Puritans or had been associated with the Puritan party in the Church of England. I know of no exact count or list, but it would be fewer than one half. Perhaps twelve or fewer had once been considered Puritans. Over half were considered to be in agreement with Archbishop Bancroft's High Church views. Because of the 1604 canons made by Archbishop Richard Bancroft and approved by King James I, any Puritan that was a translator had been forced by those 1604 canons to conform to the official Church of England positions that opposed Puritan views. Thus, none of the translators could openly or publicly express Puritan views. By being forced to accept those 1604 canons or be persecuted, they could no longer advocate or defend those views that had been considered Puritan views and in effect were publicly no longer Puritans. Based on their acceptance of those 1604 canons, it could be argued that none of them were still Puritans.
     
  8. larryjf

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    Can you give an exact quote...i'm having a hard time finding this reference to the Puritans in Basilicon Doran.
     
  9. larryjf

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    At that time Parliament had the authority to inact canon law, not the Bishops. At Parliament's demand King James withdrew Bancroft's canons.
     
  10. larryjf

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    The death penalties for hereticks was common in that era. Wightman was nothing less than an Arian, he was in no way an orthodox Christian.
     
  11. larryjf

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    More specifically, Wightman believed the following:

    That there is no the trinity of personsin the Deity.

    That Jesus Christ was only a man, not God and man.

    That the three creeds, The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed, and Athanasius's Creed, are the heresies of the Nicolaitanes.

    That he was the person spoken of in Deuteronomy and Isaiah - 'I will raise them up a prophet', 'I alone, have trodden the winepress', 'Whose fan is in his hand'

    That he was the Holy Ghost

    That he was Elias to come

    That he was sent by God to save the world from the heresy of the Nicolaitanes.
     
  12. rsr

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    The following (in which spelling has been modernized):

     
  13. larryjf

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    RSR,

    Thanks for the quote.
    I still can't find it anywhere in "Basilicon Doran" but i'm glad that i have the actual text to look at from your post.
     
  14. rsr

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    The quotations are purportedly adapted from King James VI and I: Political Writings, Johann P. Sommerville, editor, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
     
  15. Logos1560

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    In what year was this said to occur? What is the source of this information?

    Gustavus Paine observed that by 1606 "all the Puritan translators had conformed enough to escape being banished or direly punished in other ways" (Men Behind the KJV, p. 97). For example, Thomas Sparke, a KJV translator who had earlier been one of the four Puritan representatives at the Hampton Court Conference, conformed. Milward noted that in 1607 Sparke published a book or pamphlet “to encourage the Puritan ministers to follow his example and to justify himself against this ’hard censure of many for conforming myself as I have to the orders of our Church” (Religious Controversies, p. 15). Tyacke suggested that Sparke “claimed to have conformed even before the [Hampton Court]conference” (Anti-Calvinists, p. 13).

    Alexander McClure claimed that "the great majority of the translators were of his [Bancroft's] way of thinking" (KJV Translators, p. 220). William Bradstreet affirmed that the “vast majority” of the KJV translators “were High Church Anglicans in their church politics” (KJV in History, p. 110). Bradstreet maintained that it is “clear that this Catholic doctrine perspective, articulated by Andrews, represented the view of all but a handful of the translators, and represented the official theology of the Anglican Church in general” (p. 116). KJV-only author D. A. Waite noted that he thinks “approximately eight to ten” of the translators “were Puritans,” but he does not name them or gave any evidence to support his statement (Defending the KJB, p. 242).
     
  16. rsr

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    My understanding is that the canons were challenged by Parliament, which enacted a bill requiring that such canons issued within the last decade that had force "to impeach, or hurt any person in his life, liberty, lands or good" must be confirmed by legislation. (Edward Carpenter and Adrian Hastings, in Cantuar: The Archbishops and Their Office, p. 178.) The result was that Bancroft was often in court prosecuting such cases against laity.

    However, it appears that Bancroft was able to successfully enforce the canons against ministers, with the result that hundreds (estimates vary) were deprived of their positions.
     
  17. rsr

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    Well, there were puritans and then there were Puritans. The hard-line Puritans, had raised the king's ire (and that of Bancroft) and were generally hounded out of their posts. Most conformed, that is, they accepted the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles. Obviously, only those who had conformed sufficiently would be invited to help with translation.

    In God's Secretaries, Adam Nicolson says that:

     
  18. Logos1560

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    John Reynolds was one of the four Puritans invited to the Hampton Court conference by King James. John Eadie noted that Reynolds “was not chosen in any way by his own [Puritan] party” (English Bible, II, p. 172).


    The doctrinal views of John Reynolds may not have been typical of the Puritans who had signed the Millenary Petition. Eadie maintained that “his own [Puritan] party disowned Reynolds and his colleagues, as being ‘not of their nomination or choosing, or of one judgment’ with them” (English Bible, II, p. 205). In a letter, John Reynolds joined Archbishop Bancroft and King James "in arguing that the Church of England had wholly correct descent from St. Peter, and its clergy were in the direct, sacred line from the first Christian bishops" (Men Behind the KJV, p. 84). Thomas Fuller claimed that John Reynolds in his own practice "did willingly submit, constantly wearing hood and surplice, and kneeling at the sacrament" and that on his death-bed "he earnestly desired absolution" (Church History of Britain, V, p. 380). Anthony Johnson reported that “Dr. Reynolds, notwithstanding his appearing for the dissenters at the Hampton-Court Conference, conformed himself to the Church ceremonies” (Historical Account, p. 91). Bobrick noted that Reynolds "was not averse to some aspects of High Church practice, such as kneeling to receive the Sacraments, which Nonconformists abhorred; and he accepted the Anglo-Catholic dogma of the apostolic succession" (Wide as the Waters, p. 228). MacGregor cited that one of Reynolds’ students affirmed that Reynolds “wore a surplice in the college chapel and knelt at the Sacrament” (Literary History, p. 198).
     
  19. securityofficer2008

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    That does sound like Ruckman is trying to excuse King James I from his persecution of believers. I am not to keen on what Ruckman writes because he believes in Dual-inspiration (which simply stated is that the King James Version was re-inspired). I believe that the original text (the original autographs) were inspired by God and that He perserved them to this day through the KJB. I would not quote Ruckman as truth though. He doesn't quite line up.
     
  20. joyce

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    An excuse for King James

    Security Officer 2008: I happen to like Dr. Ruckman and own his commentaries, which I go to frequently in understanding the Word of God, and yes; I am a kjver myself, and Dr. Ruckman never talks about "the original autographs" that would be the Greek scholars that do that; just as the Greek scholars love to change one word in the Bible to another word; but then leave the rest unchanged, as to change the same word to the word they changed in one verse to the same word would make the Bible not make sense. There are not originals, the Greek scholars like to claim they have them; but, can never show them to you; because they don't have them. I would like to see where this an excuse for King James was taken from to see how it was used myself. (smiles)
    YSIC
    Joyce
     

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