A few years ago I started an online forum to debate KJV Onlyism. Most who joined where KJV Onlyists, except me and one other person vs scores of KJV Onlyists. We were badly outnumbered, and I wanted it that way. A few months later, it died because I had convinced everyone on the forum how erroneous the idea was and they could no longer defend that position.
During that time, I discovered that there were a number of underhanded debate tactics that KJV Onlyists LOVE to use. I ran into a LOT of problems with these folks not wanting to be honest at all about the history of Greek manuscripts.
Sometimes you wonder why people would argue over it. In reality, a letter-for-letter comparison shows the various Text Types in over 85% agreement and over 99% agreement when you get down to the content level and begin excluding things that don't matter, like whether David should be spelled "Dabid","Dabaid" or Hellenized to "DabiduV" and compare how they differ on a content level. The fact that manuscripts so different enough to be given different names based on their differences could have such little truly significant differences is a testimony to the accuracy of the Bible really. The biggest thing that creates differences between the text types are
- Spelling variants (E.G.; Alexandrian Text often (though not consistently) omits case endings to names, while the later (post-5th century AD) Byzantine Text always includes it. )
- Synonymously parallel words (At http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/sep2014/jovial97-4.htm I showed how in Luke 4:4, the Byz text says "saying" while the Western Text reads "speaking" - Pretty trivial stuff, huh?)
- Content in one manuscript that is missing from another (usually because a scribe skipped a line)
It is not as if someone took one text and totally rewrote it or anything like that. That is not what the differences are based on. But KJV Only folks want to argue about it and often try to lead people to think that. So I am going to list some of the common KJV Only deceptions about the Greek manuscripts, and then discuss what is wrong with them.
ACCUSING PEOPLE OF BEING "BIBLE CORRECTORS"
If you are walking around with a NIV in your hands, you are a "Bible Correcter" according to many KJV Onlyists. Why? Because the KJV really IS the Bible. The Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek manuscripts are not the Bible to their point of view. No, those manuscripts simply foreshadowed the English text that would come when the time was right. But the English KJV really IS the Bible. So those folks that created the NIV are "Bible Correcters", and if you buy one, you too are a "Bible Correcter" by financially enabling those folks to "correct" the Bible and you have shared in their sin by buying a copy of the NIV. Yes - it's twisted logic - but then it takes twisted logic to conclude that the KJV was "1611 straight from heaven".
The funny part to this is that the reason the KJV was created was because the KJV translators wanted to correct the Geneva Bible that came before it!!!!
The other funny part to it is that the KJV definitely needs correcting. I pointed out at http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/aug2014/jovial824-4.htm some of the errors in the King James such as
- Tells us God lies (Ezekiel 14:9), despite a different translation from most other versions.
- Tell us all men are omniscent
- The End of the world has already come.
- The Gospel has been preached to everyone
- That Yeshua was "made"
- Telling us "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death", while the Greek text actually says "...he shall not see death forever." in John 8:51.
Those kind of errors need correcting and no one is "correcting the Bible" when they decide to translate it correctly, they are correcting the erroneous King James when they translate it correctly. But you will be accused of being a "Bible Correcter" if you decide to translate the Bible correctly from the original language into English because to them, "The Bible" is an English text created in 1611 that all previous manuscripts merely prophecied the arrival of beforehand as best as Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek could foreshadow the English work of art to come.
ACCUSING SCHOLARS OF "CHANGING THE BIBLE"
Again, this is another variation on the accusation of being a "Bible Corrector". Sometimes they will use one phrase for a while, and if you point out what is wrong with that phrase, they will switch to the other phrase.
DISHONEST CLAIMS ABOUT GREEK MANUSCRIPTS
Another tactic used by KJV Onlyists is to misinform you about the content of Greek manuscripts. Among the false claims made, sometimes in ignorance, sometimes in complete dishonestly, are;
- FALSEHOOD: There are only two text Types; The Textus Receptus and the Alexandrian.
- TRUTH: The Textus Receptus the KJV is based on did not exist until the 16th century. It is a Critical Reading of the various Byzantine Text Type manuscripts that came before it, first published in 1516 by Erasmus. There are at least 4 major Greek text Types (Western, Alexandrian, Byzantine and Cesarean) that I documented at http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/sep2014/jovial97-4.htm with others that scholars debate as to whether they are minor variations of these mixes or whether they count as independent strains.
- FALSEHOOD: That it is immoral to put together a CRITICAL READING of the Biblical Manuscripts.
- TRUTH: The 1516 Textus Receptus that the KJV was translated from IS A CRITICAL READING of the Byzantine manuscripts. This is a truth that all scholars will recognize, but that the KJV Only cult will vehemently ignore. It is true. They know it is true. But if you point that out, they will ignore that you said it and go on as if it was never said. What they will refuse to do is DEAL WITH the truth of that issue.
- FALSEHOOD: That all Byzantine manuscripts prior to the Textus Receptus are 100% identical letter-for-letter to the 1516 Textus Receptus
- TRUTH: Read a few, and compare 1st to 4th century manuscripts to the 1516 Textus Receptus, and it won't take long to see that this is not the case.
- FALSEHOOD: That the 1516 Textus Receptus is the "Recieved Text" or the "Traditional Text" and the Alexandrian therefore is not.
- TRUTH: The word "Textus Receptus" means "Recieved Text". It was a propaganda title given to Erasmus' critical reading of the Byzantine manuscripts, and Erasmus' critical reading of 1516 was called The Textus Receptus as a marketing ploy. But the other Text Types are no more or less a traditional text than the "The Textus Receptus" and in fact, both the Alexdandrian and Western Text Type go back further in Christian tradition than the Byzantine manuscripts "The Textus Receptus" was based on since those did not start until the 5th century AD.
- The motive behind this propoganda is to label the "Textus Receptus" as authoritative, and everything else as not.
- If you really want to see a KJV Onlyist boil, translate the word "Textus Receptus" into Hebrew. In Hebrew, it would be "Ketuvat Kaballah", or the "Kabalistic Text". The word "Kaballah" in Hebrew means "to recieve". If you buy something at a store in Israel, the store clerk might hand you a reciept and say "ze kaballak" or "This is your reciept." Because most KJV Onlyists are part of a cult that wants to demonize Charismatics and Jews, and because they use the word "kaballah" differently from what it means in Hebrew as part of their anti-Jewish propganda to decieve people into thinking that all Jews practicing witchcraft, they really hate it when their attempts to rewrite the dictionary blows up in their face like this.
- FALSEHOOD: That all Western and Cesearean Text Type manuscripts are "Byzantine".
- TRUTH: KJV Onlyists HATE the fact that the Byzantine Text Type is the latest (post 5th century) of all recognized strains / versions of the Greek manuscripts (which all have pre-5th century witnesses); all other Text Types are OLDER than the Byzantine Type the KJV was based on. They hate this fact so much, that they have re-labelled all Western and Cesearean Text Type manuscripts as "Byzantine". It is dishonest, but it is what KJV Onlyists do. They will lie and tell you that 1st century Western Text Type manuscripts are in 100% agreement with the 1516 Textus Receptus when they are not. Part of the reason they propogate this lie is because if you know the truth, you probably know enough to read from the Greek and don't need a translation. If you don't know Greek, they might be able to fool you. And most of these people are not interested in truth, but in doctrine. Facts bow to doctrine with these people. What matters is that you believe what they believe, and they really don't care how much they have to twist the truth or outright LIE to get you to swallow their propoganda, they will try it.
- The motive behind this lie is so they can back date the "Textus Receptus" to the first century AD, when it did not exist until 1516 AD.
- FALSEHOOD: Dating the Alexandrian Manuscripts to 1881, and the "Textus Receptus" (TR) to "Centuries before that"
- TRUTH: Wescott and Hort put together a critical reading of 1st to 5th century Alexandrian manuscripts in 1881. I have heard many KJV Onlyists claim that the Alexandrian Text Type did not exist until 1881, and the TR is MUCH OLDER than that. What is important in dating a critical reading is not WHEN it was compiled / edited, but the dates of the manuscripts it was based on. The truthful comparison is that....
- The Wescott & Hort was compiled in 1881 based on 1st to 5th century manuscripts.
- The Textus Receptus was compiled in 1516 based on 5th to 15th century manuscripts.
- So if we are TRUTHFUL about the facts, the WH is older content, irregardless of which is the older compilations, and is truthfully the older critical reading because it is based on older content.
- Because the 1516 TR loses the date war, having no known manuscripts in its Text Type family until the 5th century AD, they try to win the debate war by redefining it and dating the Alexandrian Text Type to 1881, which was the date of the first critical reading. But that is not the date of the manuscripts it was based on. It is an attempt to play fast and loose with deceptive dating practices, dating all Alexandrian texts to 1881 - as it it came out of nowhere in 1881 - and the 1516 Textus Receptus to an ambiguous date they will avoid mentioning, other than to describe it as "centuries before" or "older" or some other label that could only be considered true if you compare apples to oranges, but still an attempt to avoid admitting to the truth.
- FALSEHOOD: That the Alexandrian Manuscript came from heretics.
- TRUTH: KJV Onlyists will try to tell you that the Alexandrian manuscripts resulted from heretics who did not believe in the Gospel, and for that reason, they removed verses that promote the Gospel. While there are some verses omitted from the Alexandrian manuscripts that were included in the Western, Cesarean, and even the much later Byzatine Texts the 1516 Textus Receptus (and even later the KJV) was based on, the Alexandrian manuscripts still record that out salvation is based on the sacrifice of the Messiah at the cross, and His shed blood, and nothing else. There's enough verses retained in the Alexandrian Text that no one will miss the Gospel story from it, and there are places where the 1516 Textus Receptus omits critical verses that are in the Alexandrian text as well. The Alexandrian scribes were a bit sloppy and did not copy all the verses from their sources, but that does NOT mean they were heretics, just sloppy.
- FALSEHOOD: That anyone rejecting the idea the 1516 TEXTUS RECEPTUS is not "IT" is a "liberal" or a "heretic" or a "Bible Corrector".
- TRUTH: This is what can be called a "bully tactic". Either agree with Mr KJV, or he is going to call you a bad name. And since you don't want to be called a "liberal", then just repeat after Mr KJV; "The Textus Receptus is the best Greek Text and all other manuscripts are heretical." Say that, and you will be safe from name calling. Truth is, where did this tactic come from? Oh.....Political Liberals!!!! We call it "political correctness", and yes, KJV Onlyists are BIG on using political correctness tactics to bully people into confessing that all versions of Scripture other than the English King James are just poor shadows of the real things.
- Part of the reason they do this is KJV inerrancy is not a thinking man's position. You've got to ignore logic to fall for it. So they have to go after the non-thinking crowd by being mean and nasty and name calling to win people over.
- FALSEHOOD: OVERWHELM PEOPLE WITH SO MUCH MISINFORMATION THEY THINK IT IS TRUE.
- TRUTH: Another tactic used by KJV Onlyists is to write LONG Dissertations, with a LONG LIST of alleged facts, but without citing cross-examinable facts. By "cross examinable", that is , they won't give you enough info to go look it up and see if they are telling you the truth. Quite often, these long lists are nothing but long lists of errors, one after another.
- FALSEHOOD: Ignore people who correct KJV Misinformation with the truth as if they did not say it, and keep saying what was proven wrong.
- TRUTH: This is basically an implementation of the Nazi tactic of "Say something OFTEN enough and people will believe it." I've run into a lot of KJV Onlyists who knew their misinformation was wrong, but didn't care. Ultimately, their agenda was to convert people to KJV Onlyism. Truth is not important to many of these people.
None of these tactics really work under true scrutiny. They work when no one is around to tell the other side of the story. For example, if a Pastor wants to promote any of this propoganda to his flock, no one is going to rise up in the middle of the sermon and debate him. So he can say whatever he wants and not get rebuked and the crowd will never know. But have a one-on-one conversation with someone who is EDUCATED, and none of these tactics will work.
I've seen some KJV folks who have parroted what they heard in the pulpit and repeated this stuff just as their pastor preached it and been shocked to find out that there was more to the story than they were told.
But there are other KJV who know that this misinformation is wrong and teach it anyway. It is sad, but how it is. and keep this in mind; if the conclusion is obviously faulty, it doesn't matter how long winded they get talking about something you don't know enough Greek to research for yourself. If the conclusion is faulty, the logic leading to that conclusion has to be faulty too. And I proved at http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/aug2014/jovial824-4.htm that the conclusion is faulty.