THE INSPIRATION AND TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIPTURE

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Brother James, Jan 27, 2006.

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  1. Brother James

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    http://www.the-faith.org.uk/gill_bt.html


    THE INSPIRATION AND TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
    By Dr. John Gill


    John Gill (1697-1771), was a Particular Baptist of great learning and spiritual perception, who was in spiritual line of eminent servants of God. Gill was an indefatigable preacher and scribe, writing more than many people could read, and two years before his death he completed his final work A Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity. In Book1, Chap.2, Sec.1, (pp.13-14) Gill addresses the subject of the inspiration and translation of Holy Scripture as follows:-

    "Fourthly, This [inspiration] is to be understood of the Scriptures, as in the original languages in which they were written, and not of translations; unless it could be thought, that the translators of the Bible into the several languages of the nations into which it has been translated, were under divine inspiration also in translating, and were directed of God in the use of words they have rendered the original by; but this is not reasonable to suppose. The books of the Old Testament were written chiefly in the Hebrew language, unless some few passages in Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezra, and Esther in the Chaldee language; and the New Testament in Greek: in which languages they can only be reckoned canonical and authentic; for this is like the charters and diplomas of princes; the wills or testaments of men; or any deeds made by them; only the exemplar is authentic; and not translations, and transcriptions, and copies of them, though ever so perfect: and to the Bible, in its original languages, is every translation to be brought, and judged, and to be corrected and amended; and if this was not the case, we should have no certain and infallible rule to go by; for it must be either all the translations together, or some one of them; not all of them, because they agree not in all things: not one; for then the contest would be between one nation and another which it should be, whether English, Dutch, French, &c. and could one be agreed upon, it could not be read and understood by all: so the papists, they plead for their vulgate Latin version; which has been decreed authentic by the council of Trent; though it abounds with innumerable errors and mistakes; nay, so far do they carry this affair, that they even assert that the Scriptures, in their originals, ought to submit to, and be corrected by their version; which is absurd and ridiculous. Let not now any be uneasy in their minds about translations on this account, because they are not upon an equality with the original text, and especially about our own; for as it has been the will of God, and appears absolutely necessary that so it should be, that the Bible should be translated into different languages, that all may read it, and some particularly may receive benefit of it; he has taken care, in his providence, to raise up men capable of such a performance, in various nations, and particularly in ours; for whenever a set of men have been engaged in this work, as were in our nation, men well skilled in the languages, and partakers of the grace of God; of sound principles, and of integrity and faithfulness, having the fear of God before their eyes; they have never failed of producing a translation worthy of acceptance; and in which, though they have mistook some words and phrases, and erred in some lesser and lighter matters; yet not so as to affect any momentous article of faith or practice; and therefore such translations as ours may be regarded as the rule of faith. And if any scruple should remain on the minds of any on this account, it will be sufficient to remove it, when it observed, that the Scriptures, in our English translation, have been blessed of God, either by reading them in it, or by explaining them according to it, for the conversion, comfort, and edification of thousands and thousands. And the same may be said of all others, so far as they agree with the original, that they are the rule of faith and practice, and alike useful.

    "Here I cannot but observe the amazing ignorance and stupidity of some persons, who take it into their heads to decry learning and learned men; for what would they have done for a Bible, had it not been for them as instruments? and if they had it, so as to have been capable of reading it, God must have wrought a miracle for them; and continued that miracle in every nation, in every age, and to every individual; I mean the gift of tongues, in a supernatural way, as he bestowed upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost; which there is no reason in the world ever to have expected. Bless God, therefore, and be thankful that God has, in his providence, raised up such men to translate the Bible into the mother-tongue of every nation, and particularly ours; and that he still continues to raise up such who are able to defend the translations made, against erroneous persons, and enemies of the truth; and to correct and amend it in lesser matters, in which it may have failed, and clear and illustrate it by their learned notes."


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  2. Brother James

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    I posted this because it desribes a position I formally held. That of KJVO. I still am KJV only but not to the extent that I believe it is free from all possible error or that it should be used to correct the very text it was translated from. I now see that to believe that is to take the Roman Catholic position that thier translation is able to correct any other translation and is equal to the original. This is not a slap at the KJVO people here but an attempt to reason with them. I still believe that the recieved text is best and have no problem personally with the NKJV.
    I do not believe though that all other Bibles from the critical text are a conspiracy to overthrow the faith. However, there is too much missing from Vaticanus and Siniaticus for me to be comfortable with any translation based upon these manuscripts.
    Good day.
     
  3. Deacon

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  4. Brother James

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    These Presbyterian brethren have pretty summed up where I am at on the issue now. It's been a long way from Ruckmanism for the last 15 years to this:
    http://www.hpcministry.org/article.php?ArticleID=31

    Bible Versions


    With so many versions of the Bible available today to the English speaking world, many Christians wonder which one is best. When the number of versions offered is so large and varied, it can have an unsettling effect upon one who is careful to have the most accurate version to feed his or her soul. While marketing (financial gain) is probably the primary reason for all these versions, there is another issue that is more serious. This issue is the integrity of the Word of God itself. The issue of integrity involves two aspects: 1) the translation philosophy; and 2) the text from which the translation is made.

    In short, translation philosophy can fall under one of two major headings which articulate the method of translating from the original languages in which the Bible was given (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek). The first method is called formal equivalence and the second is called dynamic equivalence. Formal equivalence seeks to make a word-for-word equivalent translation accurate to the text and language of the original language (e.g. Greek) into the target language (e.g. English). Dynamic equivalence is a more fluid translation and seeks to accurately reproduce the text with the correct thought of the author. Dynamic equivalence takes more liberty in interpreting the text into the target language. While a version of dynamic equivalence (e.g. NIV) may read more easily, or certain passages may seem clearer, than a formal equivalent text, it often misleads the reader by the interpretation of the translator which may not be the accurate interpretation at all. For instance, in 2 Corinthians 5:14, the phrase in the KJV is “the love of Christ constraineth us . . .” This phrase is a literal translation of a genitive construct and could mean “Christ love for me constraineth . . .” or “my love for Christ constraineth . . .” Either way is a valid interpretation of the text that the reader will have to wrestle with to determine which best fits the context. However, the NIV translates this phrase more liberally, “Christ’s love compels us . . .” What the translators of the NIV have done is choose for the reader what interpretation they think this phrase means and built the interpretation right into the translation.

    While we happen to agree on this particular passage that the NIV is correct, the point is that the NIV does not allow the reader to interpret the passage for himself, and in some cases the NIV will choose the wrong interpretation and the reader will be completely unaware, and therefore, unable to interpret Scripture for himself. To some degree, this principle removes the priesthood of the believer which is a key tenet of Protestant doctrine. For this reason the leadership at Heritage does not recommend the use of dynamic equivalent translations.

    The second issue of integrity involves the text from which translations are made. This is particularly true for the text of the NT. None of the original manuscripts (autograph) of either testament survives. We do, however, have many handwritten copies of the originals. The text of the NT Scripture does not exist in totality in one copy, so scholars have reconstructed the NT text from over 4000 NT copies.

    There exists three families of NT text reconstruction. First, the Received Text, which is also known as the Textus Receptus (TR) is the text from which our King James Version and New King James Version are based. Although the Textus Receptus was based on a few manuscripts that were available at the time, these were representative of far greater number of manuscripts later discovered.

    The second textual perspective is very close to the Textus Receptus, and for the most part they are the same text. This view is called the Majority Text and is based upon the consensus of the majority of the existing manuscripts. Since these first two texts are so close, I will equate them for the remainder of this article for the sake of simplicity, and refer to them as the Traditional Text (TT). This text has never been seriously challenged until late in the 19th century when two Cambridge scholars, B.F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort replaced the Textus Receptus (or TT) text with a Critical Text.

    The principle that sustains the critical text position is not which text has been received by the majority of the Church through the ages, but a new principle of choosing what the scholars think are the best texts. A key canon in this method is using the oldest texts in existence. The idea may sound plausible since the older texts are closer to the originals in time and therefore more accurate. However, the entire principle is based not upon thousands of old texts found, or even hundreds, but upon two.

    The two main texts that Westcott and Hort used to reconstruct the NT text (Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus) are known to be filled with errors, and were not received by the early Church because of them. Both internal evidence in the manuscripts themselves, and external evidence reveals these texts are greatly flawed. Biblical quotations from the early Church fathers are consistent with the Traditional Text, not the Critical Text. This is true for even the earliest fathers who predated any of the available manuscripts of the Traditional Text in existence. Therefore, the argument of antiquity does not mean that the oldest texts are always the best.

    Obviously then, the Church rejected the two main texts that Westcott and Hort used to construct a new Greek New Testament. What does all this have to do with Bible translations? Almost every modern English version available today has been translated from the Critical text. You will find many marginal notes in these modern versions that bring into question the integrity of the Word of God. For instance, in most (if not all) modern versions based upon the Critical Text, the last 12 verses of Mark are virtually omitted. While the English text is still there, it is footnoted. The marginal note reads, “some of the oldest manuscripts do not contain vv.9-20.” This kind of note is so frequent in the marginal notes of modern versions, that it can cause doubt in the reader’s mind to what is and is not the true Word of God.

    There are only two common and readily available translations that are translated from the Traditional Text and they are the KJV and the NKJV, both of which are Formal Equivalent translations. We at Heritage have standardized the ministry on a Traditional Text which means that the translations we use will either be a KJV or a NKJV.
     
  5. DesiderioDomini

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    It is encouraging to hear from someone who saw through the smoke and mirrors of Ruckman and came out the other side in one peice. I commend you brother, there arent many of you!!!
     
  6. Brother James

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    I went from a rabid KJV only position and hyper dispensationalism to repudiating both. I've read nearly every book that Ruckman wrote and have them in my library. The worst part of being schooled by this man is the hyper-critical spirit that it leaves you with.
     
  7. nate

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    Kudos Bro. James!
     
  8. Theodore Beza

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    Did you actually attend Ruckman's school? I made that mistake (1978-1981) and I am still paying for it.
     
  9. Brother James

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    Did you actually attend Ruckman's school? I made that mistake (1978-1981) and I am still paying for it. </font>[/QUOTE]No, but I may as well have. I was schooled under Lackey down in MT. Airy N.C. and Ruckman was there every year for the Jubilee. I read all of the mans books that I could consume. I pastored a church in Galax VA just across the border where for about 6 years I beat those poor people to death with Ruckmans wierd doctrines and Lackeys legalism. It's a wonder that I ever got my mind right. All I can say is thank GOD he got me away from that crowd before I killed myself.
     
  10. robycop3

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    I have a bro-in-law near Sebastian, FL. & Cape Canaveral. He'd often heard me denouncing Ruckman before he moved there, and he recently went to his church and attended one of his lectures. He came away amazed. He said Ruckman was as slick a "chalk-talker" as he'd ever seen, and neither in his lecture nor his sermon was any of the bombast of his books present. But as a "veteran" Christian, he sensed something was missing from his preaching. It finally dawned upon him that Doc didn't seem to be too fervent about trying to lead others to Christ, that he was preaching to the choir, as the saying goes. However, he acknowledged that it coulda been just that one sermon.

    Why he was so amazed was that he was so much different in person than he was in his books. But then a master deceiver always is.

    As for KJVO...I was looking for a reason to believe it, as it woulda been so convenient, but the more I studied, the more I saw it wasn't true.

    But I'm wondering if we should simply reject any of the ancient manuscripts God has allowed or caused us to find. He's allowed them to keep existing for a reason. I suspect He wants us to make some use outta ALL of them.
     
  11. Terry_Herrington

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    Been there; done that! [​IMG]
     
  12. Linda64

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    Not everyone who uses, defends and loves the KJV translation of the Bible is a follower of Dr. Peter Ruckman. Ruckmanites (followers of Dr. Peter Ruckman) put the KJV in a bad light because they are extreme in their teachings on the KJV. There are many who are KJV only because they believe that the KJV was translated from a superior Greek (Textus Receptus) and Hebrew (Masoretic Text). I am NOT a Greek or Hebrew scholar, however, I did do my own bible study over the years and by comparing some of the MVs to the KJV, I've decided to stick with the KJV. I am NOT a follower of Peter Ruckman.

    If you are interested in learning just what Peter Ruckman teaches about the KJV, here is an excellent article:

    http://www.wayoflife.org/articles/ruckman.htm

    Yes, it's written by David Cloud--Ruckman is against David Cloud too!!

    Please don't categorize all KJV only people with Peter Ruckman's extremism.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I will not allow this to become a KJVO/anti-KJVO thread. I will close it if it continues in this vein.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    Might I offer that I have less than no interest on pro-KJV/anti-KJVO, but DO wonder how you start with John Gill and wind up with Peter Ruckman in less than one page? :rolleyes: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Obviously, I musta' missed somethi...! :confused:
    Ed [​IMG]
     
  15. Phillip

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    I have to agree with Dr. Cassidy (hoping that I do not take him out of context here), as far as the OT is concerned there is so little difference between the two major text sets of the OT that the only real issue is in the NT manuscripts.

    This is where it really get confusing, but many of the people here (nothing to do with KJVonlyism) prefer the Byzantine textform, especially to that of some of the older Alexandrian manuscripts. In this case, I would recommend using the NKJV as a modern English alternative, if you find the KJV a little difficult to read. I myself tend to lean toward the Byzantine textform, but not necessarily the Textus Receptus--which I look at as "sort of a" (for lack of a better set of terms) 'reverse engineered' manuscript.

    As long as a Modern Bible will be honest in their translation and place alternative readings of the Byzantine either in the text and then marking it with a footnote as alternative text or even placing alternative text itself in footnotes where I can see what other manuscripts do say, I have little problems with the background text used for any of the main-steam translations, because I get the best of both by being able to know differences in the manuscripts.

    Footnotes, or side-notes can be wonderful things for in-depth study, as the readers of the original 1611 version KJV readers found out.
     
  16. Ed Edwards

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    Phillip: //Footnotes, or side-notes can be wonderful
    things for in-depth study, as the readers of
    the original 1611 version KJV readers found out.//

    Amen, Brother Phillip -- Preach it! [​IMG]

    People need to realize that 'Textus Receptus' is PLURAL
    and that 'KJV' is PLURAL. The translator footnotes in the
    KJV1611 Edition show that 'Textus Receptus' is plural
    (in that the KJV translator used the TR [​IMG]
     
  17. Phillip

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    If only my grammar would improve---after reading my 1611. . .
     
  18. Eliyahu

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    Brother James, thanks for your post.I enjoy yours often thanks again.
     
  19. Brother James

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    Thanks you my dear brother. I know I come over a little rough sometimes but the Lord is still workin' on me. [​IMG]
     
  20. Brother James

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    BTW, I really am enjoying the NKJV. I read the entire New Testament and am into Jeremiah in the Old. Expect to finish the Old very soon. Believe me, this is a big step for one who was once RABID KJVO.
     
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