When Did the KJVO Movement Start?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, May 5, 2014.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I say it started in 1970, when Ruckman came out with Manuscript Evidence and David Otis Fuller with Which Bible? That's the year I went to Bible College, and saw no evidence of such a movement at BJU or TTU, though the debate was beginning in the mid-'70's due to those two books.

    Notice I said "movement," not individuals who believed XYZ about the KJV. Proof must include evidence of an organized movement.

    Prophet says there was such a movement in the mid-18th century, due to Armitage's history of the Baptists. I read the chapter and I say he's wrong. If he's right, why do KJV authors such as Fuller, Ruckman, Grady, Waite and others never mention it?
     
  2. TCassidy

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    W. B. Riley stated in his book "The Menace of Modernism" (New York: Christian Alliance, 1917), the Modernist believes the Bible's "inspiration exists only in its ability to inspire...its interpretation is a matter of mental conscience." Dr. Riley goes on to say there were a group of men whom he describes as the "old conception," who believed the Authorized Version or King James Bible (hereafter AV) was inerrant. He states on page 11, "On this point we are inclined to think that, even unto comparatively recent years, such a theory has been entertained." He then ascribes this belief to ignorance, and says, "I think it would be accepted without fear of successful controversy that such fogies in Biblical knowledge are few, and their funerals are nigh at hand." Dr. Riley then states the AV inerrancy position by saying on page 13, "To claim, therefore, inerrancy for the King James Version...is to claim inerrancy for men who never professed it for themselves..."

    So then, it seems clear to me that Dr. Riley believed there were still a few of the "old conception" men in his day that still believed in an inerrant AV, that they were mostly old men, and were soon to pass away. If these men were old men when Riley wrote his book, they must have dated to at least the latter part of the 19th century. Over one hundred years ago, a group of "old conception" men existed who believed in the inerrancy of the AV. This appears to indicate the "King James Only" position is not of recent origin.
     
  3. robycop3

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    Dr. Cassidy is correct about W. B. Riley's book, but it seems there were KJVOs in the British Empire in the 1600s, while the Geneva Bible was still the most-popular English translation. Every version that's been well-publicized has had its homeboys.

    Strangely enough, a few KJVOs consider Dr. Riley one of their own! Just goesta show the desperate gasps some KJVOs will use to try to justify their myth.

    Here's a little article I wrote a number of years ago showing the origin of the MODERN KJVO myth that's active now:
    ____________________________________________________________

    The Origin of the Current KJVO myth
    By robycop3

    Ever wonder where KJVO-the false doctrine that the KJV is the only valid English Bible translation out there came from? Here's the skinny:

    In 1930, a 7th Day Adventist official, Dr. Benjamin Wilkinson(1872-1968), published a book he named "Our Authorized Bible Vindicated" in response to a squabble within the SDA cult. This book is a collection of snippets in favor of the KJV of God's holy word, and is full of goofs, such as the "Psalm 12:6-7 thingie". Apparently, Wilkinson didn't bother to check out the VERACITY of any of the info he gathered. And he copied PARTS of Dean John Burgon's writings, omitting anything that was critical of the Textus Receptus.

    He obtained a Scottish copyright for this book, which he apparently allowed to lapse many years ago, as interest in his book was mostly limited to the SDA cult, and for only a short time.

    There's no doubt that SDA is a pseudo/quasi-Christian cult, and that Dr. W was a full-fledged SDA official, teacher, and preacher, who often argued for the inerrancy of Ellen Gould White's writings, placing them on a par with Scripture. Several SDA buildings and libraries are named after him.

    In 1955, someone called J. J. Ray of Eugene, OR discovered that book, and wrote his/her own book, "God Wrote Only One Bible". Ray copied much of Dr. W's book verbatim in GWOOB without acknowledging him whatsoever, copying many of the goofs in Dr. W's book. Whether Ray obtained Dr. W's permission to use his book, or simply plagiarized it is unknown, but at any rate, Ray used the power of modern media to publicize his/her book, thus starting the idea of KJVO among some of the general public.

    Now, try Googling "J. J. Ray" in the Eugene, OR. area. The only one I've found whose lifetime fit the 1955 timeline was a used-car salesman, now deceased, who apparently never published any book. Ray's company, Eye-Opener Publishers, only published that one book. Apparently, "J. J. Ray" is a pseudonym. Now, why would any REAL MAN(or woman) OF GOD use a pseudonym? Apparently, "Ray" was concerned that Dr. W might speak out about his plagiarism.

    Then, in 1970, Dr. D. O. Fuller, a Baptist pastor, published "Which Bible?"(3rd revision, 1972), a book which copied much from both Ray and Wilkinson, including many of the original goofs. Like W and Ray before him, he didn't bother to check out the VERACITY of the material he published. And, while he at least acknowledged W, he made absolutely NO mention of W's CULT AFFILIATION. It was this book which brought the public's attention, especially in Baptist circles, to the other two boox, and to KJVO in general. Soon, a whole genre was developed of KJVO boox, all of which drew a large portion of their material from those first three boox.

    Now, while Ray's plagiarism and Fuller's deliberate omission of W's CULT AFFILIATION might've been legal, it was certainly DISHONEST, not something any devout Christian would do!

    Now, I have not forgotten Dr. Peter S. Ruckman's 1964 works, "Manuscript Evidence" and "Bible Babel". These goof-filled worx was derived largely from Wilkinson's and Ray's books, repeating many of their booboos, such as the "Psalm 12:6-7 thingie". and copying an erroneous chart from Ray's book. Ruckman referred to the title of Ray's book as "God Only Wrote One Book", which hints at the inaccuracy of Ruckman's work. However, Ruckman's works was not among the "foundation stones" of the KJVO myth, as were Ray's and Fuller's boox, both derived from Wilkinson's book.

    Virtually every current KJVO author, from Riplinger to Bynum to Melton to Grady to whomever, uses material from those first three boox in their own work, often re-worded, but still the same garbage in a different dumpster. About the only newer material in any of these boox is their criticism of newer Bible versions as they came out. We see a pattern of DISHONESTY in KJVO authorship, as many of its authors copy from each other without any acknowledgement, all of them drawing from a KNOWN CULT OFFICIAL'S book! HOW CAN ANY CHRISTIAN, SEEING ALL THIS DISHONESTY AND ATTEMPTS TO CONCEAL OR JUSTIFY IT, BELIEVE KJVO IS FROM GOD?

    These facts are easily verified, either on the Internet or in most public libraries. Unlike KJVOs, we Freedom Readers deal in VERIFIABLE FACT, not fishing stories, opinion, and guesswork. All the boox I mentioned are available online legally, in public libraries, many religious bookstores, or are for sale at various web sites of many religious book stores.
     
  4. Greektim

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    You mean it is not an apostolic doctrine found in the historic creeds of orthodoxy???
     
  5. TCassidy

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    I have run into such persons on a couple of occasions. The problem is they have obviously never read Riley's books.

    Almost without exception he refers to the ASV of 1901 as his preferred English rendering.

    :)
     
  6. Salty

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    Could be people like to take credit for themselves...?
     
  7. Rippon

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    Can you please explain or elaborate.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    I would say you can see some of the initial discussions of it in the early parts of the 20th century during the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy.

    During that time other "modern" translations began coming out and there was a backlash from the fundamentalists like J Frank Norris, Bob Jones Sr, and some others of that time. Now, it wasn't nearly as refined as Ruckman's arguments would get to by the 70s, but that was the seedbed of its origination imho.

    Prior to this, the KJV was pretty much the only translation in English so there wasn't much to rebel against. Once we get into the 20th century the ASV is produced, along with a few other translations. This is where the fundamentalists began their campaign.

    Just my $.02
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

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    While there were many TR supporters (Burgeon and Scrivner come to mind), the KJVO movement didn't gain steam until the publishing of the NASB. What threw gas into the fire was Dr. Stewart Custer's (Greek professor at BJU) support for the publication. This brought the matter inside "the tent."
     
  10. robycop3

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    Yes. While the AV was meant to be the official Bible of the Anglican Church, the general public of the British Isles, and their English-speaking colonies abroad, favored the Geneva bible, while the Great Bible of Henry VIII remained in use in much of Scotland.

    Archbishop William Laud prohibited the printing or importation of the Geneva Bible in 1637, and thus earns the title of the most-prominent "KJVO" of that day. However, his proclamation didn't alter public opinion, and the GB was printed in Amsterdam in large numbers & was surreptitiously imported to England and other English-speaking nations. And Laud's "KJVOism" was far-different from that of today. The "Geneva-Bible-Onlyists" of the day were closer in modus operandi to today's KJVO. And Oliver Cromwell's Soldiers' Bible consisted of select passages from the Geneva Bible.

    The officials and clergy of the Anglican Church, after 1611, were the first KJVOs. King James himself can also be considered one, of course. But again, those early KJVOs were far-different from those of today.

    The apparent death knell of the GB came with the restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, when the GB was held to be politically-suspect, a relic of the then-ended Puritan era. And, as copies of the GB disintegrated, the AV became the only readily-available English translation.

    No, the AV was not received with open arms by the English-speaking world in general for awhile, but over time, with a strong push by the British govt. it became the standard Anglican & Protestant English Bible version, unchallenged until the 1880s.
     
  11. robycop3

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    And I believe that Dr. D. O. Fuller's Which Bible? threw magnesium powder into the gasoline, far as the indie fundy Baptist movement's association with the KJVO myth goes. As an indie fundy Baptist myself, I'm ashamed of that association.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    While I appreciate the informative and thoughtful posts so far, none of them address the OP, which is to discuss the KJVO "movement," not simply whether people had a similar belief before 1970, in particular in the 19th century.

    Note the following definition of a movement: "A series of actions, plans, etc., tending toward some end: the temperance movement; also, organizations, persons, etc., of a particular tendency,: the right-wing movement" (The Standard College Dictionary, Funk & Wagnalls, in The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1975, p. 887).

    For a KJVO movement to exist then, it should have leaders, organizations, publications and recruitment efforts. Is there any evidence of this before 1970?
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    Alexander Campbell's translation entitled Sacred Writings (1826) is briefly discussed in Bible Translations: A History Through Source Documents (1992) by Roland H. Worth, Jr.
    Following Worth's description of the translation comes an 1870 Campbell quote (from p.154 under the heading of "79. No Word of God without the King James Version?")--

    So badly taught are many christians that they cannot think that any translation of the scriptures deserves the the title of the Word of God except that of king James. ...
     
  14. robycop3

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    They probably know the foundation-stone book of the current KJVO myth was written by a CULT OFFICIAL, and they don't wanna be linked with that. They also know relatively-few people have read Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, that it's not too well-known by the general public, and, by slightly re-wording material from it, they can pass its ideas off as their own.

    Thus, we see dishonesty upon dishonesty piled onto the KJVO myth, and it mystifies me that any real Christian could continue to believe such tomfoolery after its dubious and dishonest beginnings become known to them. NOTHING so steeped in dishonesty and prevarication could possibly be from GOD!
     
  15. go2church

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    Seems I read somewhere that some of the KJVO business really got rolling, grew out the criticism of the publication of the RSV New Testament in 1946 and Old Testament in 1952 and the whole kerfuffle over Isaiah 7:14.
     
  16. robycop3

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    I've read more of Dr. Cassidy's writings concerning Dr. Riley, who was called "The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism". Seems as if some KJVOs were, and are, fooled by the title of Dr. Riley's book in question, The Menace of Modernism, without having bothered to have read the book. But Dr. Cassidy is spot on about what Dr. Riley wrote.

    I'll be the first to admit that KJVOism has existed in some form almost from 1611 onward, but only in modern times has it become an entity of its own, a full-blown modern myth, false as a wig compared to naturally-growing hair, phony as a Ford Corvette, complete with a whole industry and a genre of literature devoted to it.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    "Prophet" wrote on the "1 John 5:7,8" thread:
    In defense of this he claimed that Armitage said that the American Bible Society had as a rule that translations must be made from the KJV, but for the life of me I can find no such rule in the chapter prophet pointed me to: "Bible Translation and Bible Societies," in Arimitage's book, A History of the Baptists.

    On the other thread, in order to find evidence in the chapter, prophet instructed me:
    I did a search of an MS Word version of the book, but found no such reference at all. Come on, prophet, help me out here: where is the quote that proves that the Bible society required translations to be made from the KJV?

    Among missionary translations up to 1900 I've read about, the following were made from the original languages: all of Carey's translations into Indian languages, Morrison's into Chinese, Judson's into Burmese, those of Gutzlaff into Thai & Chinese & Japanese, Martyn into Persian, etc. At one time I had read that the Japanese Motoyaku ("Original Translation") was from the KJV, but I no longer believe that. So I don't know of a single missionary translation in the 19th century made from the KJV.

    If there was a 19th century KJVO movement, what missionary translation was done from the KJV? Prophet? I'm waiting.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Great quote, but was there an actual movement in the 19th century?
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Okay, but was there an actual movement before 1900?
     
  20. prophet

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    Ever read B.G.Wilkinson's book?
     

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