tyranny of experts vs priesthood of all believers

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Mickey Carter wrote: "Best authorities in our viewpoint are the King James Version translators" (Things That Are Different Are Not the Same, p. 154). Donald Clarke noted: "The 'best authorities' become the final authority; the Bible must submit its message and authority to their critical scrutiny" (Bible Version Manual, p. 56). Bob Steward stated: "Final authorities are not to be questioned" (Biography of Erasmus, p. 4).

    Are the opinions and interpretations of the KJV translators not to be questioned? Does this high praise for the Church of England translators of the KJV which practically makes them into a committee of infallible cardinals or popes prove this claim that the KJV translators should be our final authority? The KJV-only view seems to grant to the KJV translators an absolute, perfect, infallible knowledge which is in reality attainable only by divine revelation. KJV-only advocates seem to have cloaked the KJV translators with such robes of superiority and infallibility that even a pope could only envy. Has the sufficiency of God's Word been replaced with a "unique priesthood" of the KJV translators? If God's Word was "wholly revealed" to the KJV translators, they become the ultimate standard for truth, beyond which there is no other. When the product of the KJV translators is made the final authority, it would make these men who produced it the final authority.

    This claim of superiority suggests that the authority of a translation depends on the authority of its translators. Should we accept a gnostic idea that a certain group, such as the KJV translators, were possessed of a special or secret knowledge (gnosis), totally beyond the understanding of other believers? Can any man or group of men including the KJV translators be trusted with the unlimited power of being infallible interpreters and authoritative translators? Do the combined scholarship and opinions of several men produce perfection? Charles Spurgeon observed: "For if you mass together a number of men, each one of whom is fallible, it is clear that you are no nearer infallibility" (The Infallible Word, p. 32).

    Do KJV-only advocates bind themselves to the opinions and interpretations of the finite and fallible KJV translators as their ultimate voice of authority? This dependence on the authority of the fallible KJV translators indicates a serious weakness with the KJV-only view. The KJV-only view depends on the inappropriate authority of fallible, uninspired men.

    The KJV-only view seems to abandon the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers as it implies the exclusive priesthood of only a group of Church of England scholars in 1611. Is the KJV-only view in effect a return to a form of sacerdotalism? If the KJV-only view did not depend on the authority of men (the KJV translators), there would have been no need to stress so much the scholarship of these men.

    Where does God's Word teach that any committee of a state church is superior to other believers in translating God's Word regardless of their scholarship? Where does the Bible teach that the KJV translators should be exalted to a role of being in effect mediators between the English-speaking believer and the Word of God? Were the KJV translators superior to the manuscripts and copies of God's Word in the original languages which they used? Did the KJV translators have the miraculous credentials of the prophets and apostles?

    KJV-only advocate Jack Moorman stated: "Within the New Testament Church there has never been any body of men to whom God has given any special authority to make decisions concerning the New Testament canon or the New Testament text" (Forever Settled, p. 46). Timothy Morton wrote: "God never intended for a 'priest class' of elite scholars to have a lock on the words of life" (Which Translation Should You Trust, p. 68). Wayne Williams claimed: "God placed no scholastic lords over His heritage" (Does God Have a Controversy, p. 66). R. B. Ouellette wrote: “It is wrong to commit--to any individual or exclusive group--the determination of truth for every person in matters relating to faith” (More Sure Word, p. 51). Ouellette wrote: “God did not appoint scholars to be the final authorities for the interpretation of Scripture” (p. 27). Moorman, Morton, and Williams fail to apply their statements to the KJV translators. However, it is obvious that God's Word does not teach that God gave the KJV translators special, superior, or ultimate authority to make decisions concerning the text or translation of His Word.

    No one man or group of men can have an exclusive and sole access to the truth or reach sinless perfection which makes them the ultimate translators/interpreters, beyond which there can be no other. Thomas Smyth’s statement about the doctrine of apostolic succession would seem to apply also to the KJV-only doctrine. Smyth disagreed with this doctrine‘s “teaching that prelates are the authoritative interpreters of scriptures, so that it must mean what they are pleased to say it does mean” (Prelatical Doctrine, p. 97).

    Does the KJV-only view result in the tyranny of the experts as it seems to give rule over all English-speaking churches and believers to a small group of scholars who are alone claimed or implied to be competent, authoritative, and trustworthy in understanding, interpreting, and translating the preserved Scriptures in the original languages?

    In fact, such KJV-only claims and reasoning seem to reveal a disregard for the Scriptural doctrine of the priesthood of the believer that KJV-only advocates say that they accept. Lloyd Streeter, a KJV-only author, wrote: “The doctrine of preservation of Scripture is wrapped up in the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, a Baptist distinctive” (Seventy-five Problems, p. 145). David Cloud cited where Jack Moorman also maintained that “preservation is brought to pass through the priesthood of believers” (Things Hard, p. 297). Is the KJV-only view in practice consistent with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers? Does a claim of superiority for the KJV translators conflict with the doctrine of the priesthood of believers? Is it Scriptural to suggest or imply that a small group of men in 1611 had a special, exclusive priesthood that made them exempt from error or mistake in translating which no other believers can have? Were the KJV translators superior in rank, position, or authority to other believers? Are certain men such as the KJV translators more important and superior to others in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:18-24)? No amount of education and scholarship could prevent the KJV translators from making any errors in translation. If we say that the KJV translators have not sinned or made any mistakes in translating without being supernaturally inspired, we make God a liar (1 John 1:10). Are some fundamentalist KJV-only advocates implying that education and scholarship can produce perfection and inerrancy in the translating of God's Word? Was the scholarship of the KJV translators so exhaustive and comprehensive that they could not possibly make a mistake in translating? Does the KJV-only view promote a form of environmental determinism that in effect argues that the KJV translators were so uniquely shaped by their environment and education that they alone could make a perfect translation? These questions were suggested by the claims and logical implications of the KJV-only view.

    Even if it could be demonstrated that the KJV translators were better or superior in translating than most, superiority does not mean or produce perfection and infallibility. Surely, KJV-only defenders are not claiming that the KJV translators' scholarship made them into the final and exclusive authority over God's Word. According to the consistent teachings of God's Word, the KJV translators are not to be regarded with blind devotion as though they possessed superhuman attributes or infallible scholarship with an exclusive exemption from any possibility of error or mistake. The knowledge and scholarship of all mankind including that of the KJV translators is partial, incomplete, and thus imperfect (1 Cor. 13:12). Noah Webster, who learned twenty-six languages, wisely noted in his 1828 dictionary: "No man is infallible; to be infallible is the prerogative of God only." Waite wrote: "Printers as well as translators are imperfect and subject to the same depravity as the rest of the world" (Foes of the KJB Refuted, p. 117). No uninspired human being is above possible correction.

    Does their claimed superior scholarship mean that all other believers including Baptists should accept their Church of England doctrines? How is it consistent to think that the KJV translators believed incorrect doctrines and yet claim that they are the only men who may rightly interpret and translate God's Word? Do the KJV translators' acceptance of some false doctrines such as baptismal regeneration cancel the claims concerning their scholarship? If the Church of England translators of the KJV could be wrong in their doctrines, they could also be wrong in their interpreting and translating of God's Word. Considering the preconceptions and assumptions of the KJV translators in following their Church of England doctrines, it is illogical to suggest that they were unbiased. If these supposedly spiritually mature, intellectually "superior," and Spirit-guided men believed and taught some false doctrines, it is inconsistent and even unscriptural to suggest that they were somehow 100% perfect in translating.
     
  2. Van

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    Thanks, a sound view. As far as "tyranny of experts" lets back up and consider the concept. Often times the actual scholars do not claim perfection, but others point to "the experts" and claim their view is the only one allowed. Thus it is an effort to disenfranchise the views of others. It is a compel rather than persuade mindset. It is ungodly.
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    Excellent!

    Couple of questions regarding this topic!

    There has been GREAT advances made in the areas of lexicons/dictionaries/historical knowledge/cultural awareness since 1611, are we really to believe those men would not have benefited by having those improved tools to use in their efforts to get an accurate translation made/

    Would they have benefited by more accurate revisions of their TR text?

    And why is it the KJVO claim for them and their translation what NONE ofthem ever claimed for it... that they did NOT see either themselves or their version as final and perfect bible?
     
  4. mactx

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    You know, when ever I hear "scholar" and Faith in the same discussion I am drawn to several scriptures.
    The gospel is a simple straight forward message given first to the uneducated because the "scholars" could not comprehend it. Saul was the first learned man among the church leaders, and his conversion was by no means easy on him.


    Then
    Wisdom as the world counts it is worthless. God's word is God's word. He did not give it to the wise but to the unlearned. Just because I can read and understand the Shakespearean style of language while it causes others to scratch their heads in wonder does not mean I am more worthy of salvation than one who can not read it. Nor am I more wise.

    I have studied several translations. Most have the same core message, The semantics are different not the meaning of the passages. There are a few I will not recommend because the core message becomes muddied and open to interpretation.

    That is not to say I do not like the KJV. I do. I use it along side my ESV, NIV and Amplified. (My 3 favorite translations but not the only 3 I own).

    I have never understood the anger I have seen coming form those who demand that the only language version allowed is the KJV. Even though the KJV itself has undergone many changes, sometimes a correct translation was not possible. It is not MY place to tell another they can not be saved unless they use xyz Bible. GOD can use a new paper column to bring a lost sheep home if HE so chooses to.

    As far as the demanding and arguing over it, I am convicted to leave the discussions with this.

    Because arguing is not to be done among the saints. Calm loving discussion is fine, heated debate is not and some how this always ends in heated debate, at least as far as I have observed.
     
  5. Yeshua1

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    You think that we argue, just imagine how it went down when paul tried to show Jewish believers gentiles were to get saved apart from keeping the law!
     
  6. mactx

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    Yes I can imagine. However I also imagine the man of God calmly, not losing his temper (which I found irritates the sanctimonious more than anything) showing from the scripture where the "scholars" got it wrong.

    The difference though is he was trying to teach unbelievers. Believers should never bicker among themselves.
     
  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    think of it as being stimulating conversation, for i am sure peter/paul and John had some interesting discussions at times!
     
  8. just-want-peace

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    Re: post #4, the following comes to mind:
    1 "Some people are educated beyond their intelligence", &
    2 The message is simple enough for common folk to grasp, while there can be/are deeper gems to be mined by deeper study.
    However when these "deeper" gems negate, or weaken the basic message, then, IMHO, item #1 applies.
     
  9. Oldtimer

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    Why the King James Version? - Written by Charles V. Turner, Ph.D.
    The Preservation of the Bible By Faithful Churches
    From Biblical Bible Translating by Charles V. Turner, Ph.D.
    http://www.baptisttranslators.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemid=50

    Quote from one section of the article referenced that includes the phrase "the tyranny of the experts."

    Anyone studying this issue, IMO, should read both sides of this debate. In this case, both sides can discuss "tyranny of experts". Please consider taking the time to read the entire article.

    Closing with words from the Bible.

    Amos 8: KJB
    11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:

    12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
     
  10. Logos1560

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    I have read both sides of this debate. I have read over 100 books by KJV-only authors and have checked out their claims.

    I have likely read many more books for the KJV-only side than the
    few books that answer the arguments for a KJV-only view.
     
  11. Logos1560

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    Thanks for providing a link to this article with the above quotation that in effect shows how KJV-only advocates do not apply their own assertions and reasoning consistently.

    A different standard or different rules are evidently applied to the KJV translators than to other translators. Use of divers measures or weights can be seen in how the KJV-only side avoids applying the same standards to the KJV translators that they try to apply to other Bible translators and Bible text editors.

    Do not KJV-only advocates in effect seem to have the gall to tell English-speaking believers that the word of God should in be bound and limited to the textual criticism decisions and translation decisions of one exclusive group of Church of England critics and scholars in 1611?

    According to what consistent standard or principles is one exclusive group of scholars in 1611 selectively excluded from being those that some try to make them into "popelings" or infallible "experts"?

    The KJV translators did not claim infalliblility for themselves, but it seems that some seek to give it to them.
     
  12. Oldtimer

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    Rick, didn't mean to imply that you, personally, hadn't read many books on this subject. Since I've read some of your works going back to the late 90's, it is apparent that you are well read. I apologize if my words implied otherwise.

    My comment was/is for those who may be new to this controversy and would like to see opinions on both sides of the debate.
     
  13. Oldtimer

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    I find it quite revealing that of all the information contained in that article that you could choose to "debate" you chose that sentence. I read it, but didn't quote it, as there are more important aspects to consider than becoming caught up in the name calling that goes on with both sides of this issue. Should I quote some of the much more appalling name calling done, by those on the other side of this issue to keep everything in balance?

    Doctor Turner, laid out, step by step, his position (opinion) regarding the underlying sources for the KJB vs those used by most who apply textual criticism of God's word.
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    they hold to real circular reasoning, as hold that NO originals exist, in fact that God replaced those with the perfect KJV version, yet w/o the originals intact, how can they claim the translation off imperfect texts came out perfect/ Perfect as compared to what?
     
  15. Oldtimer

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    Did you bother to read the linked article?
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    tried, 404 error message!
     
  17. Oldtimer

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  18. Rippon

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    You are aware,are you not,that C.H.S. quoted approvingly from the RV when it was likely that no one in his congregation had a copy?

    You are aware that Erasmus,Beza and others used textual criticism of sorts to arrive at a textual basis,do you not?
     
  19. Oldtimer

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    That's the heart of this matter.
     
  20. humblethinker

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    On the article found at the link Turner says, "We have the many manuscripts that have been preserved by God through His faithful churches. It is a simple matter of reading them and finding what is the correct reading in the majority of the manuscripts."

    Ummm... yeah... that sounds like a 'critical' approach...
    So, which of the manuscripts is he talking about exactly? He should be specific, but he won't because vagaries, obfuscation, appeal to authority, reductionism, being selective, etc. is the best way to make his case.
     

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