"The King James Bible is Perfect Without a Single Error!"

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by christianasbookshelf, Jun 30, 2008.

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  1. christianasbookshelf

    christianasbookshelf
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    Can anyone who has studied in detail the history of the KJV-only position tell me who first started claiming that the KJV is without error in any way, shape or form?

    Let me state that I only use the KJV. That's all I've used my entire Christian life. I understand the arguments for the KJV-only position. But I'm hard pressed to find any reputable Greek scholar who believed the KJV was "perfect" and without error in all of Christian history from 1611 onward. Even Dean Burgon, who I respect very much for his understanding of Greek and who is a friend of the KJV-only position, didn't believe it was perfect and felt that it had clear errors that needed to be corrected (albeit with GREAT care).

    Thank you!
     
  2. EdSutton

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    [Sigh!] [Bemused look!]

    May I suggest the many 'KJVO' threads in the BB archives, for some info on this, perhaps

    But I do like your 'handle'.

    And welcome to the Baptist Board. :thumbs:

    Ed
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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  4. Ed Edwards

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    I also used only the KJV, but only for the first 20 years (1952-1972) that I was a Christian. But I have used the KJV (not exclusively) for the last 36 years (1972-2008) in which I've also been a Christian. Strangely, 98% of the history of the KJVO movement has come to me as NEWS not as HISTORY.

    I will be back.
     
  5. christianasbookshelf

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    Thanks, Ed. That much I did know. I was hoping to save some time if someone could give me a quick answer like, "Oh yeah, it was Lester Roloff," or something like that. Then I could use that as a starting point for my research.

    I'm just curious who started this idea that the KJV is perfect when none (that I can see) of the great men of God from the 19th century and before claimed such a thing. God bless.
     
  6. EdSutton

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    How about King James I, himself? & :D

    Seriously, as to the particular "Tom, Dick or Susie" that came up with this idea, I have no idea of who it might be. It certainly did not come from the KJV translators, themselves, by any stretch of the imagination.

    My own first encounter with this effective, even if not technically held, view (which I would rate on a par with some who regularly post on this board) was in a book written by the late Dr. Edward F. Hills, but I do not think he was the first to espouse such a view, by any means.

    Ed

    & Or did I confuse King James I with someone else?? :laugh: :laugh:
     
    #6 EdSutton, Jul 1, 2008
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  7. John of Japan

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    Welcome to the Baptist Board! :wavey:

    Burgon was what I would call Majority Preferred rather than KJV-only or even TR only. He believed there were translation errors in the KJV, and did not even believe the TR to be perfect.

    The first I know of who took a KJV position on this issue was Seventh Day Adventist Benjamin C. Wilkinson, whose book Our Authorized Version Vindicated (1930) was included in Which Bible by David Otis Fuller in 1970. However, I would include both of these men as TR-only rather than KJV-only, and I don't believe either believed in an inerrant KJV, at least at the time of the landmark Which Bible? though it's been a long time since I read the book.

    Jasper J. Ray's little book God Only Wrote One Bible was originally printed back in 1955, and he may have been the first to write defending the KJV as inerrant. Again, I havn't read his book in a long time, and don't actually have it, so I can't say that for sure. But he was surely strong on the KJV. However, his book and his own lack of influence did not have enough power to kick off a movement.

    If it was not Ray, then the first to portray the KJV as an inerrant translation was definitely Peter Ruckman. IMO, his book The Christian's Book of Manuscript Evidence (1970), along with Which Bible? kicked off the KJV-only movement. Just paging through Ruckman's book I find on p. 7 the phrase, "the A. V. 1611 as the final authority 'in all matters of faith and practice.'" So with that book Ruckman was already taking a position that the KJV was inerrant. :type:

    Edited in: I just found in Wilkinson's 1930 book as produced in Fuller's 1970 book the following statement: "The original Scriptures were written by direct inspiration of God. This can hardly be said of any translation" (p. 316 of Which Bible?).
     
    #7 John of Japan, Jul 1, 2008
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  8. John of Japan

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    Hi, Ed. Hope you're doing well. :wavey:

    Actually, Hills did not believe that the KJV was inerrant. I would call him TR-preferred.
     
  9. Logos1560

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    It does not seem to have been J. J. Ray. At least in the 1983 edition of his book, J. J. Ray admitted: "There are a few mis-translations in the King James English" (p. 102).

    Peter Ruckman would seem to be a good candidate to consider for the first one or one of the first to propose this view in writing.
     
  10. Logos1560

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    Edward F. Hills did use or advocate several of the ideas or arguments that are used to defend a KJV-only view. Although he came close to claiming it, Hills did not actually claim that the KJV was inerrant.

    Hills wrote: "Admittedly the King James Version is not ideally perfect. No translation ever can be. But it is the product of such God-guided scholarship that it is practically perfect. Its errors are very few and very minor" (Believing Bible Study, Third Edition, p. 83).

    Concerning the KJV, Hills wrote: "Admittedly this venerable version is not absolutely perfect, but it is trustworthy" (KJV Defended, p. 230).
     
  11. TCGreek

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    What more can I add?
     
  12. EdSutton

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    Believing Bible Study by Dr. Hills, is the first book where I encountered this.

    And as I said, this was the effective, although not technically held view, of Dr. Edward F. Hills, which would seem to be consistent with the quote from his book.

    Ed
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Good post. As you say, many KJVO writers depend on the ideas of Hills, including Ruckman--though I much prefer Hills' gentle approach.

    For Christianbookshelf: for your timeline, Hills published Believing Bible Study in 1967. I loaned out his other book quoted above and never got it back. It was first published in 1956.
     
  14. christianasbookshelf

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    I believe this to be correct. I have Hills' book "The King James Version Defended" and had to use it way back in Bible school for "Manuscript Evidence." It's been years since I've read it, but I remember him being a "TR man" vs. a KJV-only man.

    Another thing I remember about it was that it was scholarly, which to me was a big deal (and still is). Hill didn't take the in-your-face position we see a lot of today. The "bless God, if you don't like the KJV, lump it!" yadda, yadda, yadda, that goes against everything 1 Cor. 13 states. I think my professor had us read Hills' book for that same reason. He's a thinker and liked the style of that book.
     
  15. christianasbookshelf

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    So is it safe to say that there really isn't any scholarly historical evidence to claim perfection in the King James version? I ask that honestly. If some out here who hold to the KJV=perfection idea want to present evidence which we have not considered, please do so. I want to know the truth.

    But allow me to add a few things that, IMO, need to be guarded against:

    1. Knee-jerking. Just because some hold, and have held, extreme views on the KJV issue (and proclaim them with all the charity of a snake) doesn't mean one should throw out the KJV and read everything but the KJV. There are reasons why the KJV is so highly esteemed. Don't disregard that.

    2. Saying that the KJV can't be the best English translation because of the division caused by those who hold it to be the only word of God. That's silly reasoning: "It must be wrong because it causes division." Did not our Lord come to "bring a sword"? Did he not say that he would divide families? (Luke 12:49-53) Is then Christ the wrong way to God? God forbid! So the KJV cannot be considered a faulty translation because of the fruits of extremists who claim perfection with uncharitable zeal, any more than we can consider the Gospel to be faulty because it divides families. Truth is truth no matter what people do with it--good OR bad.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    I once was at a church on furlough that had Ruckman's books on a table for sale. In a car with the pastor, other missionaries and a deacon headed to a store, the deacon asked me, "Bro. John, what do you think of Peter Ruckman?" Nothing like putting the missionary on the spot! I gave my standard answer, "He is what the KJV calls a railer, and we are told by the KJV to have nothing to do with a railer. If someone is going to defend the KJV, Hills is much better." They took us on for support, and the next time we were there we didn't see Ruckman's books! :thumbs:

    Hills taught one thing that has really stuck with me and influenced me. That is that the priests of the OT were the ones entrusted with actually preserving the Word of God, and we believe in the priesthood of the believer, so all saints of this age are to preserve the Word of God. Hills didn't take it much further, but instead went in the direction of considering divine preservation.

    In my view, we as priests have a sacred responsibility to preserve the Word of God by: having our own Bible, studying it, memorizing it, translating it, printing it, distributing it. If we'd all concentrate on doing that and leave divine preservation up to the Divine Preserver, there would be a lot less fighting among Fundamentalists and a lot more Bible loving and translating and distributing. :type:
     
  17. christianasbookshelf

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    I sell old, rare, and used Christian books for a living. Once I was selling a bunch of Ruckman's books that someone gave me to sell. One "Ruckmanite" pastor on my email list, upon seeing my advertisement, said, "Why are you selling your Ruckman books? Do you think you know it all now? Why don't you just give them to me?" I was pretty bothered by the arrogance of those comments. To imply that because I'm selling Ruckman's books I must "know it all" is crazy. I'M A BOOKSELLER! :tonofbricks:

    I would agree with you, but I would be careful about the translating part. I believe the translating needs to be done by qualified people and not your average "Joe mechanic Christian" who studies the Bible and then gets it in his head that he can change it to read it any certain way he thinks best.
     
  18. Thinkingstuff

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    Who is this Ruckman person? What does he believe? Is he a Heretic?
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Well, my momma once told me if I couldn't say something nice about somone, to say nothing at all.

    Dr. Peter J. Ruckman is a graduate of the Univ. of AL, and a grad of Bob Jones University, with a Master's and Ph.D., and is the founder and the President of Pensacola Bible Institute of Pensacola, FL.

    There, I said some things that are 'nice'.

    That said, I would offer that Dr. Peter J. Ruckman is the only individual I have ever known that could make Col. R. B. Thieme, Jr. and David Cloud, put together on their worst days, look like Dale Carnegie. [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  20. Salamander

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    God; Psalm 12:6,7
     
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