One Pastors Response to a KJVO question

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Jimmy C, Sep 30, 2008.

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  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    I dont know how many of you read SBCImpact, it is a team blog by a group of conservative SBCers - who dont tend to fight much. Roger Ferrell was asked a question by a young man who was visiting his church about his use of the ESV - the young man was KJVO. Pastor Ferrell wrote him a very thoughtful response to his questions

    http://www.sbcimpact.net/

    I took the opportunity to do some research yesterday regarding your concern about bible translations and the ESV specifically. Though I am continuing to research and study, here are my initial conclusions. I look forward to further dialogue with you about this and other matters and am praying for you as you search for a church home.

    First, I should let you know that I am unlikely to change my mind about the viability of the ESV as a competent translation of scripture. I want you to know that up front. I simply do not find a lack of scholarship or a malicious intent on the part of the editors that would lead me to discard it. Also, the endorsement of many pastors and scholars I trust lends it credibility in my thinking. These men, such as John Piper, Wayne Grudem and Tim Keller are exemplary scholars and pastors and their integrity is noteworthy. And the ESV has already been to me a useful tool in teaching and preaching and my fellow pastors and small group leaders here agree that it is a worthy translation both in accuracy and readability.
    Second, I also hold the KJV in very high regard. It’s accuracy to the original texts is, as I understand it, very good. It is lyrical and rich in its language and has proven over time to be very useful indeed in communicating the truth of the Word of God. However, I do not use it for preaching or teaching except on occasion because its’ archaic language and 16th century idioms can be difficult for new readers of the bible, (or those with poor literacy) to understand. But I enjoy it greatly for study and encourage its use for those who are willing to take the time to research the vocabulary and the phrasing and grammar of the 1600’s. In my opinion, it is worth this investment of time. But in my practical experience, many people are better encouraged to read the bible when they understand it better, and a more modern translation can be a great help with that.
    Third, in my understanding of source texts, both the ESV and the KJV are true to canonical texts. The difference is that there are now more texts (and some older texts, in fact) available than when the KJV was translated. So the editors of the ESV are trying to be as accurate as possible to the source texts they feel are the most reliable. The omissions and changes from the KJV to the ESV are not designed to hide or manipulate the truth of scripture but to relate it as accurately as possible according to the source texts used. The KJV and the ESV simply use different source texts. I want to encourage you to search out those texts and do the research on which is the most reliable. This is hard to do if you do not write Greek or Latin, and even with that ability, is a lifelong task for some. But in order to declare the ESV unreliable or inaccurate, you must compare it not to another translation like the KJV, but to the source texts from which it came. To compare it to the KJV and declare it inaccurate simply because the two disagree in places, is the same as comparing the KJV to Tyndale’s bible and declaring the KJV inaccurate. In other words, in this way of thinking, the earlier version is always the more accurate, simply because it is the earlier version. If you believed that, you would reject the KJV in favor of earlier translations.
    But perhaps you truly feel that the KJV is just accurate because it is the KJV, and any scripture that differs in interpretation is faulty. This is a prevalent view in the South, primarily among independent Baptist churches, but the scholarship of this view is negligent. If the KJV is accurate, it must be for a reason, not simply by weight of being the KJV. My view is that there are many accurate versions of scripture that differ because they use different source texts, or because the era, scholarship, or doctrinal differences of the translators leads to differences in translation. This is why I support versions that do two things: 1) have a large editorial board of scholars from many different institutions and denominations to avoid doctrinal bias and to provide a system of checks and balances regarding errors, and 2) provide a verse-by-verse translation rather than a paraphrase or “dynamic equivalent.” That said, the articles below remind us that some paraphrasing is always required when translating from Greek because of the nature of Greek syntax. [ that is, Greek would refer to a “ruler wealthy not older”, rather than a “rich young ruler” ] The articles on the ESV website (www.esv.org) and blog do this topic better justice than I can here.
    Fourth, in researching this topic yesterday I found lists of errors, omissions and faulty inclusions for the KJV as well as for many other translations and versions of scripture. These include Matthew 27:35 (which I believe is one of the verses we talked about yesterday) which includes a section in the KJV that is erroneously derived from the Latin Vulgate, rather than the Greek text: “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” [This verse appears properly in John 19:24.] Also included is 1 Timothy 6:10 which erroneously states in the KJV that “the love of money is the root of all evil…” which is inaccurate and untrue, as many evil acts have been done by those who care nothing for financial gain. It should be translated “the love of money is [a] root of all evil,” or even better “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils…” I could go on and on with recognized errors in the KJV, but I don’t wish to do so. I like the KJV! And though it is because of the possibility of error (even typographical or printing error in specific copies of the bible) or confusion in interpretation of meaning that I recommend using several different translations in study, overall I find the KJV one of the most accurate, correct translations of scripture available. And so my goal is not to refute it, but to simply encourage you to see that though “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” and that the bible is without error, translators are not infallible. And so I see the history of bible translation not as a work of Satan to confuse and confound the people of God, but as a work of God to hold accountable all those in every era that would translate or interpret the word of God. I believe that both the KJV and the ESV and many others are products of this accountability. And so we at Woodland Creek will continue to use them both and be glad for them as the Word of God continues to shape us in wisdom and godliness.

    I would like very much to continue our discussion and I continue to research the topic and dialogue on it with other leaders here. Thanks for bringing it to my attention with grace and gentleness.

    So where does this leave you? Are you committed to a King James Version–only church? If so, then blessings on you in your search. As I do not believe this bias has scholarly credibility, I fear where this will lead you. But perhaps there are churches who do not reject other translations outright and just prefer to use the KJV. I think this practice would be very sound and would have much hope for the ministry of those congregations. If, however, you are open to continuing your research and testing the validity of the ESV and other translations, then I hope you will do so here. I have not known you long, but I appreciate your courage and concern for the truth that led you to approach me in the first place, and we would be delighted to have you and your family in fellowship with us. If you would like to know more about what it means to be a member of Woodland Creek and study through our church covenant, we have a class in October with no obligation that allows people to hear more about what we believe and practice. I hope you will come and be a part of it.

    One thing you will find is that we will not run from the truth. We are committed to examining those issues that confront us or members of our church family, and discovering the truth from scripture and acting on it. I trust you will find this refreshing as I have.
    Blessings on you in the days ahead. Feel free to call me anytime.
    Joy to you,
    Roger Ferrell

     
  2. annsni

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    Thank you for that! What a Godly response to an issue with such volatility.
     
  3. Salamander

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    Nice response, but as usual, it places all the emphasis on the level of scholarly men of present day, (while men shall deceive and be deceived and evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse) who fall way short of those whom were appointed to give us the KJB.

    I know, I know, I just turned this into a "KJVO debate":rolleyes: by mentioning it. That is NOT mine intention but I'm sure it will be of some.

    I find all my studies of the Bible to place itsself in perfect alignment when I look deeply into the Scripture to confirm my choice as also God's choice.

    Although I respect the works of well-meaning men to grant us with an easily understood version, I find it reprehensible that one would omit the Spirit of God in this matter of translations.

    I just did an indepth study of the "first recorded miracle" of Jesus in his earthly ministry. The theme being what Jesus does verses the efforts of men, and guess what? God always comes out ahead!:godisgood:

    When one incorporates Is 1:18 in reasoning, the LORD has His way above and beyond the reasoning abilities of all men!

    We need to learn God's word as children of God, not re-write it.

    (I'm about to get excited here, so for the subtle of heart I'll.... awe, who cares Halelujah!
     
  4. Mexdeaf

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    I guess that means the men who translated the KJV were not scholars so it is okay to rely upon their work. :BangHead:
     
  5. sag38

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    "I find it reprehensible that one would omit the Spirit of God in this matter of translations."

    Are you suggesting that those who have developed other translations did so free of the Spirit of God in their efforts?
     
  6. EdSutton

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    [​IMG]

    :sleeping_2:

    Ed
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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    Roger, I don't see how you could have written that letter any better. God Bless you Brother.:thumbs:
     
  8. Salamander

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    off topic post
     
    #8 Salamander, Oct 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2008
  9. Salamander

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    No, just the "pastor's response" didn't seem to place much influence of the Spirit's work so I guess anyone could conclude he didn't think it was all that important.

    What is so often telling is that we see very little emphasis on the Spirit's guiding men in translations. Two things are evident: either they rely upon their intellectual abilities or they forgot who inspired the Scriptures.

    I receive alot of speculative remarks about my walk with the Lord for simply mentioning the guiding of the Holy Ghost in matters of Christianity, your post isn't innocent of alluding to those very same types. Most remarks are as if I am somehow less of a believer and get accused of being a charismatic of sorts!:laugh: (and I'm not rolling around in the floor barking like a dog or acting like a chimpanzee) I preach against the emotional outbursts that are nothing but attributes adding to the entertainment value of too many "services" these days.

    Let's see a comparison of the scholars in their fluency of other languages and make certain to allow the degradation effect of every language to approbate a conclusion?

    Modern scholars don't seem to have the handle on languages like they had before. Much of this is due to the ever changing words we use, but those words we find in the KJB taken in context and that day's definition, there is no mistaking what thus saith the Lord. In fact, we find the word to be alive and applicable to every aspect of life in principles to be placed into practice!:godisgood:
     
  10. Salamander

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    Guess again.
     
  11. robycop3

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    Salamander: Nice response, but as usual, it places all the emphasis on the level of scholarly men of present day, (while men shall deceive and be deceived and evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse) who fall way short of those whom were appointed to give us the KJB.

    Ya vannot prove one worda the above. You're guessing. Do ya ACTUALLY believe God doesn't use scholars. IMO, Paul a SCHOLAR was the 2nd-wisest man who ever lived, after Solomon, whom the Bible sez is #1.(Not counting the special case of JESUS, of course.) Now, did God use Paul, or not?

    I know, I know, I just turned this into a "KJVO debate" by mentioning it. That is NOT mine intention but I'm sure it will be of some.

    The OP mentioned the KJV as well as the ESV. Can you prove any of the letter wrong? Betcha CAN'T.

    I find all my studies of the Bible to place itsself in perfect alignment when I look deeply into the Scripture to confirm my choice as also God's choice.

    There's nothing in Scripture confirming your choice, and ABSOLUTELY nothing to confirm it as GOD'S choice. keep guessing, butcha aint gonna win no kewpie doll.

    Although I respect the works of well-meaning men to grant us with an easily understood version, I find it reprehensible that one would omit the Spirit of God in this matter of translations.

    I believe the involvement of the HOLY SPIRIT is a gimme for any valid version in any language, old or new version.

    I just did an indepth study of the "first recorded miracle" of Jesus in his earthly ministry. The theme being what Jesus does verses the efforts of men, and guess what? God always comes out ahead!

    just as he does in presenting His word to men. many folx, from he RCC to the current KJVOs, have resisted God's presenting His word as HE chooses, but He goes right on doing it HIS way despite man-s efforts to the contrary.

    When one incorporates Is 1:18 in reasoning, the LORD has His way above and beyond the reasoning abilities of all men!

    And that's why we have His word for us in the various versions He's caused/allowed to be made.

    We need to learn God's word as children of God, not re-write it.

    Then, if you practice whatcha preach, you shouldn't use any translation(s) at all. Or, you can simply go on accepting errors such as the letter points out(and have been pointed out here) as correct, in yer own mind.
     
  12. robycop3

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    Salamander:No, just the "pastor's response" didn't seem to place much influence of the Spirit's work so I guess anyone could conclude he didn't think it was all that important.

    Actually, you're finding fault because he hammers your KJVO doctrine.

    What is so often telling is that we see very little emphasis on the Spirit's guiding men in translations. Two things are evident: either they rely upon their intellectual abilities or they forgot who inspired the Scriptures.

    The AV translators didn't give Him all that much credit, either. And you CANNOT prove the HS influenced the making of other versions any more or any less than he did the KJV.

    I receive alot of speculative remarks about my walk with the Lord for simply mentioning the guiding of the Holy Ghost in matters of Christianity, your post isn't innocent of alluding to those very same types. Most remarks are as if I am somehow less of a believer and get accused of being a charismatic of sorts! (and I'm not rolling around in the floor barking like a dog or acting like a chimpanzee) I preach against the emotional outbursts that are nothing but attributes adding to the entertainment value of too many "services" these days.

    While advocating a doctrine(KJVO) that's definitely NOT from the Holy Spirit.

    Let's see a comparison of the scholars in their fluency of other languages and make certain to allow the degradation effect of every language to approbate a conclusion?

    Modern scholars don't seem to have the handle on languages like they had before.


    If YOU'RE not such a scholar, and a jolly GOOD one at that, you cannot prove your above statement whatsoever.



    Much of this is due to the ever changing words we use,

    No, your view is dueta your wishing the language DIDN'T change. Well, GOD causes/allows each & every one of those changes. After all, HE made the language to begin with.


    but those words we find in the KJB taken in context and that day's definition, there is no mistaking what thus saith the Lord. In fact, we find the word to be alive and applicable to every aspect of life in principles to be placed into practice!

    In fact, we find more than one undeniable GOOF in the KJV. We find that the KJVOs incorrectly criticize some other versions for their use of a different rendering from the KJV, although, according to the parent language, that rendering is perfectly OK. Thus, we ignore the KJVO codwallop while still using the KJV, among other versions.
     
  13. mcdirector

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    Excellent find!

    If you haven't followed the link in the OP, there is decent discussion (with a weird exception) on the blog.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    :wavey: :wavey:

    I really have nothing particularly substantial to add, at this time.

    (But this does help to get my post count up.)

    So, I just wanted to go ahead and wave to a thread that I think will soon be gone "Bye-Bye!" :rolleyes:

    This way, I can beat the rush. :thumbs:

    Ed
     
  15. Rippon

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    Thanks for your insubstantial comment.Here's my own.
     
  16. annsni

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    So what you're saying is that we're forgetting the Holy Spirit's contribution to the translation - that we're relying too much on scholarship - but then you defend the KJV translators with their scholarship?

    Can't have your cake and eat it too. Last I checked, we have the same Holy Spirit that was around in the early 1600s. And I'd guess that He's just as powerful today as back then.
     
  17. rbell

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    It isn't possible to deal with such a comprehensive subject as this (I'm referring to the OP's response) and cover every single facet of every issue to everyone's liking. The fact that he didn't spend as much time discussing the role of the Holy Spirit as you would like in no way indicates he doesn't believe the role exists.

    When we assign motives to a perceived "argument from silence," we often jump to conclusions. I think you did so here.
     
  18. Ed Edwards

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    Amen, Brother Rippon - you took the words right out of my fingertips.
    (pre-Internet form) 'you took the words right out of my mouth'
    (deaf form) 'you took the words right out of my hands'

    (dynamic translation form: 'you said what I would have said & beat me to it' :godisgood:
     
  19. Salamander

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    Has the Holy Ghost actually only made a "contribution" to your version???:laugh:

    There it is, PROOF man had more to do with other translations than the Holy Ghost did!

    My Bible PROCLAIMS that the Holy Ghost moved upon HOLY men as they were inspired . This means he DIRECTED the writings not simply CONTRIBUTED to them!:godisgood:

    The Holy Ghost isn't a baker last I checked, but I'm sure he could DIRECT some one to bake mighty fine confections! Afterall, look what He did with the KJB over the last 400 years! Then compare that to the multiplicity of versions man taunts as paramount!:laugh:
     
    #19 Salamander, Oct 2, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  20. Rippon

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    How does one attempt to appear 'move' intellectual?



    You're probably the only BB member who hasn't learned this technique.[/quote]

    Hey! What about me?
     
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