Is using the KJV compromise? - 2nd Attempt!

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Paul33, Feb 12, 2006.

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  1. Paul33

    Paul33
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    Hey guys,

    Keep it on topic so that this thread won't be closed. The question is compromise and ecclesiastical separation, not which translation is the best.

    Again, keep it on topic. For those of you are are "separatists," why would you use a Bible that the pilgrims (separatists) rejected. They died for their convictions.

    Fundamentalists talk about separation from apostates and those who fellowship with apostates (neo-evangelicals).

    Well, then, isn't using the KJV compromise? The pilgrims refused to use the KJV for this very reason. They were not about to compromise with the Church of England and use their translation of the Bible.

    Shouldn't fundamentalists recoil at its use in their churches?

    Title edited to reflect the true nature of the OP

    [ February 13, 2006, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    In 1762 and 1769 both Oxford and Cambridge
    (exact match can NOT be determined on
    the internet) University presses came out
    with new 'editions' of the KJV.
    Both taxes the 3 Pound Bibles one pound which
    went directly to the King of England at the time.
    Go read the declaration of Independance,
    it speaks of the opressive taxes levied by
    the King of England. A British Pound is
    now worth about US$2.40 back then a dime a
    day was a living wage, so a person would have
    to spend a whole months wages just to pay
    the Bible tax. In 1776 the the American 13
    colonies were in open rebellion.

    Do you really think folks were buying a
    lot of taxed Bibles?
     
  3. mcdirector

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    I am wondering, historically speaking, at what point the change was made from the Geneva Bible being prevalent to the switch to KJV? How many generations used the Geneva Bible? Was it only the one? Or was it several generations? How did the KJV come to replace it? My thoughts here are that we are so steeped in tradition that KJV is all some know. (Kind of like -- mama always did it that way.) So steeped in fact, that many would never delve into the history concerning it and separatists. I know I haven't.

    So, I think the KJV is used ONLY because of tradition -- with little thought about what it actually represents. AND yes, I think we should still be separate. In the world but not of the world (so to speak :D )

    As an aside, I would like to know more about the Geneva being based on Tyndale's work. Why didn't they just use Tyndale's translation?
     
  4. mcdirector

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    I did find an answer to this question in Lightfoot's How We Got the Bible. It was legible and small. I should have guessed!
     
  5. robycop3

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    Actually, the British govt. forced the AV upon the English-reading world in the 1600s when it banned the printing or sale of any other English-language version within the realm, which at the time, included just about all English-users. The Geneva Bible was last printed in 1644 until repros began being made in modern times. Thus, the AV/KJV held sway by monopoly for a long time.

    Therefore I don't believe it was a compromise as much as it was the will of the rulers of England for much of the 1600s.

    Note: This does not add to nor subtract from the merits of the KJV.
     
  6. Logos1560

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    King James and his state church had used their great powers to undermine the Geneva Bible. McGrath maintained that the secret agenda of James I was “to destroy, discredit, or displace it” [the Geneva Bible] (IN THE BEGINNING, p. 129). The Geneva Bible could not be printed in England after 1616. David Cloud claimed: “In 1616 the king [James I] issued a command that only the King James Bible was to be printed in England” (FAITH, p. 584). MacGregor wrote that the last quarto edition of the Geneva Bible printed in England was in 1615 and the last folio in 1616 (LITERARY HISTORY, p. 145). MacGregor wrote: "After the Geneva Bible ceased to be printed in England, about 150,000 copies of it were imported from Holland for English household use" (p. 146). McGrath observed that “official opposition to the Geneva Bible could not prevent it from becoming the most widely read Bible of the Elizabethan, and subsequently the Jacobean, era” (IN THE BEGINNING, p. 127).

    Norton indicated that William Laud played a “role in securing the dominance of the KJB” (HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE AS LITERATURE, p. 104). Conant noted: "So pertinaciously, indeed, did the people cling to it [the Geneva Bible], and so injurious was its influence to the interests of Episcopacy and of the 'authorized version,' that in the reign of Charles I, Archbishop Laud made the vending, binding, or importation of it a high-commission crime" (ENGLISH BIBLE, p. 367). Norton pointed out that Laud gave “the Geneva Bible’s commercial success as one of his reasons for its suppression” (HISTORY, p. 91). Laud’s decree to prohibit the importing of the Geneva Bible was around 1637. From 1637, some foreign publishers were said to print Geneva Bibles with a false date of 1599 perhaps to try to keep those who obtained them from getting in trouble with Archbishop Laud and the High Commission Court. Jack Lewis pointed out that Archbishop Laud even ordered copies of the Geneva Bible burned (ENGLISH BIBLE, p. 32). Bobrick asserted that Laud "even inserted Catholic prints of the life of the Virgin into Scottish editions of the King James Version of the New Testament and burned every copy of the Geneva Bible he could find" (WIDE AS THE WATERS, p. 278). Daniell also confirmed that in 1646 William Prynne wrote that “he [Laud] would suffer no English Bibles to be printed or sold with marginal notes [i. e. the Geneva version] to instruct the people, all such must be seized and burnt . . . but himself gives special approbation for the venting of Bibles [KJV’s] with Popish pictures taken out of the very Mass book, to seduce the people to Popery and idolatry” (BIBLE IN ENGLISH, p. 458). Carter acknowledged that "the Geneva Bible was hated by the Catholic Church" (THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT, p. 48). Daniell confirmed that the Geneva Bible "was suppressed in the seventeenth century" (Tyndale's N. T., p. xii). Norton indicated that “in fair competition” with the Geneva, the KJV “would probably have lost, but its supporters had foul means at their disposal” (HISTORY, p. 91). Did the KJV ever face such extreme suppression and opposition from an ungodly king and state church? McGrath pointed out that the Geneva Bible did not need any “endorsement by the political and religious establishment to gain enthusiastic and widespread acceptance” (IN THE BEGINNING, p. 127).

    In spite of all the opposition and suppression, Paul Wegner noted that "the Geneva Bible gave it [the KJV] competition for about fifty years" (JOURNEY FROM TEXTS, p. 311). David Beale pointed out that the Geneva Bible "would remain the household English Bible until the 1650's" (MAYFLOWER PURITANS, p. 22). John Kerr maintained that “the Geneva Bible continued to be the most popular version of the Bible for a generation after the King James Version came out in 1611” (ANCIENTS TEXTS, p. 92). James Baikie stated: "In England the popularity of the Geneva Bible, in spite of the efforts made to supersede it, lasted up to and through the Civil War" (ENGLISH BIBLE, p. 243). Edwin Robertson wrote: "It was not until the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 that the AV really became the Bible of England" (MAKERS, p. 111). Bradstreet maintained that the Geneva Bible was the most popular English Bible “until the 1660’s” (KJV in History, p. 49). Thuesen also confirmed that with the Restoration the KJV “finally became the Bible for the English people” (In Discordance, p. 29). Worth also maintained that the KJV finally won the battle for supremacy with the Geneva Bible by the 1660's (Church, Monarch, and Bible, p. 158). Norton pointed out: “It was one thing for the KJB to defeat the Geneva, another for it to be the Bible” (History, pp. 106-107).

    In 1660, the monarchy was restored, and the supremacy of the Anglican Church was also restored. McGrath observed that after 1660 "the King James Bible was now seen as a pillar of Restoration society, holding together church and state, the bishops and monarch, at a time when social cohesion was essential to England's future as a nation" (In the Beginning, pp. 288-289). McGrath added that "the most significant factor" in the KJV's final triumph over the Geneva Bible "appears to have been the fact that it was associated with the authority of the monarch at a time when such authority was viewed positively" (p. 289). McGrath noted that the Geneva Bible came to be viewed as a "seditious text" in Great Britain "because it had been the preferred translation of the detested Puritan faction" (p. 289). Bradstreet suggested that “the distaste with which the English people viewed the Puritan excesses under Cromwell led to a general repudiation of all things Puritan, and the fate of the Geneva Bible was sealed” (KJV in History, p. 106).

    In an article in the Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, Daniell wrote; "Contrary to the later prevailing view, it [the KJV] was disliked on its first appearance, and only overtook the Geneva Bible for commercial and political reasons. Idolization of the King James Version did not begin until the later eighteenth century" (Vol. I, p. 225). Norton also confirmed: “In spite of the later perception of the KJB’s superiority, this publishing triumph owed nothing to its merits (or Geneva’s demerits) as a scholarly or literary rendering of the originals: economics and politics were the key factors” (History, p. 90).
     
  7. Paul33

    Paul33
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    Logos,

    Thank you for your post. You did all of us a wonderful service.

    Understanding the history of the KJV and its political link to the monarchy, and the persecution endured by the Puritans, is it not ironic that today's modern separatists (fundamentalists) endorse it so highly?
     
  8. Keith M

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    If no other version but the KJV was available in the middle and the latter parts of the 17th century, then it stands to reason that the KJV would become the Bible for people of that time - if you can get only one version of the Bible then that is the Bible version that you will read. Tradition also plays a very big roll in matters of choice - the idea that "if it was good enough for my parents and my parets' parents, then it's good enough for me." Humans in general are resistant to change. Generation after generation of Christians have read the KJV, and it is the only Bible version that many English-speaking folks have read. Many of today's modern separatists (fundamentalists) endorse the KJV so highly because, to them, the KJV is the Bible. Let's not throw it out yet for it (as well as other English Bible versions) still spreads the word of God - and that is a mighty purpose indeed! As long as one person is saved through the reading of the KJV, then it has not lost its usefulness - it isn't ready for the rubbish pile yet.
     
  9. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    I agree. I use the KJV today 95% of the time if not more, I use the ASV 1901 most of the other time. I have the NASB, NKJV and a few others but don't know when I've used them, it has been awhile. Any Bible a person is saved reading is the Word of God.
     
  10. Brother James

    Brother James
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    I am not a KJV only man in the since that I believe all other translations are of the devil. However, I do believe it stands head and shoulders above all the rest and I believe history tells the story. I am posting this article by J.C. Philpot, who being a particular baptist was no friend of the Church of England. If the AV had not been a true and faithful translation then men like Philpot and Henry would have never accepted it:


    Merits of the Authorized Version
    Remarks by J. C. Philpot, M.A., 1802-1869
    Strict Baptist Minister, England
    and Editor of the "Gospel Standard Magazine," 1849-69
    "The more a man's heart is alive unto God, the more will he read his Bible; nor can there be a surer sign of a sickly state of soul than distaste to the Word of God…But we made a remark also on the grace and wisdom bestowed upon our translators to give us such a faithful and noble, clear and beautiful, yet simple and plain version. The blessing which has rested upon our English Bible in the thousands of souls who by it have been quickened and fed, liberated, sanctified, and saved, eternity alone can unfold. But much of this, under the blessing of God, has been due to the plain, simple, yet strong and expressive language which our translators were led to adopt. They were deeply penetrated with a reverence for the Word of God, and therefore they felt themselves bound by a holy constraint to discharge their trust in the most faithful possible way. Under that divine constraint they were led to give us a translation unequalled for faithfulness to the original, and yet at the same time clothed in the purest and simplest English. How suitable is all this to the simplest understanding, and how in this way the most precious truths of God are brought down to the plainest and most uncultivated mind.

    "No one can read, with an enlightened eye, the discourses of our blessed Lord without seeing what a divine simplicity ran through all His words; and our translators were favoured with heavenly wisdom to translate these words of the Lord into language as simple as that in which they first fell from His lips. What can exceed the simplicity and yet the beauty and blessedness of such declarations as these? – "I am the bread of life"; "I am the door"; "I am the way, the truth, and the life"; "I lay down my life for the sheep"; "I am the vine"; "God is love"; "By grace are ye saved". Even where the words are not monosyllabic, they are of the simplest kind, and as such are adapted to the capacity of every child of God, in whatever rank of life he may be.

    "The blessedness of having not only such a Bible, but possessing such a translation of it can never be sufficiently valued. If the Scriptures had been written in a style of language which required a refined education and a cultivated mind to understand, how could they have been adapted to the poor of the flock? Or had our translators wrapped up the simple language of the original in high flown expressions, how it would have set the Word of truth beyond the grasp of he poor of the flock! But now, as soon as the Blessed Spirit is pleased to communicate light and life to the soul, the Bible is open to the simplest man to read and to understand; and as the Lord by His Spirit is pleased to raise up faith in his heart to believe His testimony, he can not only understand what he thus reads without the necessity of a worldly education, but, under the unction of His grace, can also feel its power and blessedness in his own soul.

    "But apart from the blessing which it has been thus made to the family of God, our English Bible has been a national treasure. It has much interwoven itself with our national character, has set up a pure standard of religion and morality, and is daily influencing thousands of hearts to actions of goodness and benevolence, as well as exercising a widely spread power in upholding good and condemning evil. This natural effect of the Bible, as distinct from its spiritual effect, is sometimes too much overlooked or undervalued, but is not less real and substantial. It is something akin to the effect produced on a congregation where truth is preached, or in a family where its heads are partakers of the grace of God. In a congregation many are influenced by the truth, who are not regenerated by it; in a family the children are often affected by the parents' example and admonitions, who are not reached by their grace. So, apart from its sanctifying influence upon the vessels of mercy, the Bible has exercised an amazing amount of good on society at large; and in this way it has been made a great national blessing.

    "But it is because the language of our Bible is such pure, simple, unaffected, idiomatic, intelligible English, that it has become so thoroughly English a book, and has interwoven itself with our very laws and language…"

    – Selected from Volume II of "Reviews by the late J. C. Philpot, M.A."


    In the following remarks, Mr. Philpot expresses his opinion upon the question of whether it would be desirable to have a new, or at least a revised translation of the Scriptures (Authorized Version).

    "We fully admit that there are here and there passages, of which the translation might be improved; as for instance, "love" for "charity" all through I Cor. 13; but we deprecate any alteration as a measure that for the smallest sprinkling of good would deluge us with a flood of evil. The following are our reasons:

    "1. Who are to undertake it? Into whose hands would the revision fall? What an opportunity for the enemies of truth to give us a mutilated false Bible! Of course, they must be learned men, great critics, scholars, and divines. But these are notoriously either Puseyites or Neologians; in other words, deeply tainted with either popery or infidelity. Where are there learned men sound in the truth, not to say alive unto God, who possess the necessary qualifications for so important a work? And can erroneous men, men dead in trespasses and sins, carnal, worldly, ungodly persons, spiritually translate a book written by the blessed Spirit? We have not the slightest ground for hope that they would be godly men, such as we have reason to believe translated the Scriptures into our present version.

    "2. Again, it would unsettle the minds of thousands, as to which was the word of God, the old translation or the new. What a door it would open for the workings of infidelity, or the temptations of Satan! What a gloom too it would cast over the minds of many of God's saints, to have those passages which had been applied to their souls translated in a different way, and how it would seem to shake all their experience of the power and preciousness of God's word!

    "3. But besides this, there would be two Bibles spread through the land, the old and the new, and what confusion would this create in almost every place1 At present, all sects and denominations agree in acknowledging our present version as the standard of appeal. Nothing settles disputes so soon as when the contending parties have confidence in the same umpire, and are willing to abide by his decision. But this judge of all dispute, this umpire of all controversy, would cease to be the looser of strife if present acknowledged authority were put an end to by a rival.

    "4. Again, if the revision and re-translation were once to begin, where would it end? It is good to let well alone, as it is easier to mar than mend. The Socianising Neologian would blot out "God" in I Timothy 3:16, and stroke out I John 5:7-8 as an interpolation. The Puseyite would mend it to suit Tractarian views. He would read "priest" where we now read "elder," and put "penance" in the place of "repentance." Once set up a notice, "The old Bible to be mended," and there would be plenty of workmen, who, trying to mend the cover, would pull the pages to pieces. The Arminian would soften down the words "election" and "predestination" into some term less displeasing to Pharisaic ears. "Righteousness" would be turned into "justice," and "reprobate" into "undiscerning." All our good Bible terms would be so mutilated that they would cease to convey the Spirit's meaning, and instead of the noble simplicity, faithfulness, and truth of our present version, we should have a Bible that nobody would accept as the word of God, to which none could safely appeal, and on which none implicitly reply.

    "5. Instead of our good old Saxon Bible, simple and solid, with few words really obsolete, and alike majestic and beautiful, we should have a modern English translation in pert and flippant language of the day. Besides its authority, as the word of God, our present version is the great English Classic – generally accepted as the standard of the English language. The great classics of a language cannot be modernised. What an outcry there would be against modernising Shakespere, or making Hooker, Bacon, or Milton, talk the English of the newspapers or of the House of Commons.

    "6. The present English Bible has been blessed to thousands of the saints of God; and not only so, it has become part of our national inheritance which we have received unimpaired from our fathers, and are bound to hand down unimpaired to our children. It is, we believe, the grand bulwark of Protestantism; the safeguard of the Gospel, and the treasure of the Church; and we should be traitors in every sense of the word if we consented to give it up to be rifled by the sacrilegious hands of the Puseyites, concealed Papists, German Neologians, infidel divines, Arminians, Socinians and the whole tribe of enemies of God and godliness."
     
  11. Slambo

    Slambo
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    What do you mean YET?

    It's outlived just about everything thrown at it!
     
  12. Pastor_Bob

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    Since when did the actions of the pilgrims become our standard of conduct? The pilgrims held many theological differences from what I hold today. Why would I determine my choice of English translation of God's Word based upon what they did or didn't think? Maybe the pilgrims were just stubborn.

    The pilgrims would have been opposed to anything the CoE endorsed. That is like saying if a liberal democrat introduces a law that I happen to agree with, I cannot support this law because of its association to the legislator. Right is still right even if nobody else is doing it. Wrong is still wrong even if everyone else is doing it.
     
  13. Logos1560

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    Actually, the Puritans and Pilgrims were not opposed to everything and every doctrine that the Church of England accepted or endorsed. The Puritans remained in the Church of England that they hoped to purify. The Pilgrims were Separtists who became independent of the Church of England, but most of their disagreement with the Church of England involved the same matters that concerned the Puritans.

    What the Puritans and Pilgrims especially objected to or opposed were the Roman Catholic doctrines and practices that remained in the Church of England that they thought should be removed or purified.

    Some arguments used in defense of the KJV imply "guilt by association" claims about other translations. If such arguments were applied consistently, they would be a serious problem for holders of a KJV-only view. The doctrinal views and claimed associations for other text editors and translators seems to be considered an important matter to those who defend the KJV, but the Church of England doctrinal views and associations of the KJV translators is supposedly irrelevant. When the doctrine of separation is used to condemn other translations because of text editors or translators' claimed doctrinal views and associations, how are the same issues irrelevant when applied to the KJV?
     
  14. Paul33

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    Using your logic, then why did the fundamentalists throw out Billy Graham? Certainly he has been useful to the spread of the gospel.
     
  15. standingfirminChrist

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    If using the KJV is compromise, then brand me as a compromiser.
     
  16. Paul33

    Paul33
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    Logos,

    Once again I am impressed!

    Thanks.
     
  17. Paul33

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    The sponsorship issue alone branded Billy Graham a compromiser.

    How then can the KJV translation be endorsed by fundamentalists? The same issue - sponsorship - is in play!

    If you use it you are compromising in the same way Billy Graham was accused of compromising!
     
  18. Linda64

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    Amen Ron!!

    I see this thread as just another attack on the KJV.
     
  19. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    There is no attack. The OP simply asked a question. If ecclesiastical separation is so important to fundamentalists, why do we use a Bible tranlsated by the Church of England. This has nothing to do with the KJV as a translation. It has to do with consistancy in our view of separation.

    There is no attack on the Bible in that question.

    [ February 13, 2006, 02:50 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  20. DesiderioDomini

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    I would love to see those who are KJVO actually have the courage to ANSWER this question, rather than crying foul.

    Is that possible, those 3 KJVO that I know of who have posted so far? Would you mind actually answering the question?
     
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