In a recent Mark Ward video, discussed in this post, he attempts to defend his argument that Edification Requires Intelligibility by appealing to I Corinthians 14. Ward contends that while 1 Corinthians 14 is clearly dealing with the gift of and speaking in tongues during public worship, 1 Corinthians 14 also has immediate application to the Bible itself and specifically to translations.
He goes on to say that his historical theological argument regarding 1 Corinthians 14 is bolstered by the KJV translators themselves because the KJV translators reference 1 Corinthians 14 in the Translators Preface to the Reader. The place which Ward references is,
“But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue? as it is written, “Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh, a Barbarian, and he that speaketh, shall be a Barbarian to me.” [1 Cor 14]”Translation Necessity
Before making the central point of this post it is important to observe that the Preface only goes on to name languages foreign to the English reader: Hebrew, Greek, Scythian, Syrian, and Roman/Latin and even how they were considered foreign when compared among each other. What they do not mention is Wycliffe’s translation in Middle English, and we’ll get to why I think that is important in just a second. But first let’s talk a little bit about Middle English.
Most linguistic historians place Middle English between 1100 and 1500. Here is an example of what Middle English looks and sounds like compared to Old, Early Modern, and Modern English:
Anyone having trouble understanding “norissed” and “fyllyng”? Well you wouldn’t be the only ones. The image that heads this post is a portion of a gloss included in a compilation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tails printed in 1598, 200 years after Chaucer’s original work and only 13 years before the writing of the 1611 KJV.
The aforementioned gloss contained over 2,000 entries of what Mark Ward would probably call archaic words and “False Friends.” And yet, instead of changing the original text of Chaucer, the compiler offered an extensive gloss. Ward would have us abandon the KJV for a puny 56 “False Friends” while Chaucer enthusiasts of the 16th century were fine with over 2,000 such entries. When do Ward’s arguments turn from shallow linguistic commentary to outright calls for lethargy and laziness? For the sake of unity around a standard sacred text I’d think the religious academics like Ward would be at least as stalwart as Chaucer enthusiasts.
But it doesn’t stop here. When did Tyndale write his first New Testament in English? That’s right, 1523, only 23 years into the regular use of Early Modern English. Tyndale’s parents undoubtedly spoke Middle English. Tyndale grew up around it. And yet the KJV translators did not take Ward’s stance on 1 Corinthians 14. They said nothing of Middle English as foreign. Indeed, Wycliffe, before Tyndale, translated the Bible into Middle English but the KJV translators didn’t malign Wycliffe’s work for its “False Friends” and archaic words. No, no, they said,
“we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.”And Answer to the Imputations of Our Adversaries
Critical Text advocates love this line from the Preface, and now it’s time Ward owns it. Wycliffe’s translation was in Middle English, but it was not accounted as foreign by the writers of the preface and they certainly didn’t connect Wycliffe’s work to 1 Corinthians 14. Rather they affirmed it.
And how different is the Early Modern English from the Middle English? This article from the University of Kentucky observes,
“During the early modern period, between 10,000 and 25,000 new words entered the English vocabulary, primarily loan words adapted from Latin and foreign languages. Accordingly, many early modern writers stand as the first evidence for a particular word in the Oxford English Dictionary. As of May 9, 2017, Shakespeare is cited 1495 times as the first evidence of a word; dictionary writers Thomas Blount (1618–1679), Randle Cotgrave (d. 1634?), and John Florio (1553–1625) are cited as the first evidence for 1466, 1350, and 1201 words respectively; and John Milton holds 556 first citations for a word.”https://exhibits.lib.ku.edu/exhibits/show/english-language/middle-and-early-modern
Could you imagine being someone like Tyndale attempting a translation of the New Testament at the advent of Early Modern English? Some 10,000 to 25,000 new words enter English Vocabulary in the early modern period. That’s a lot of words, a lot of opportunities for False Friends, but of course the KJV translators make no mention of these radical shifts in English, nor does anyone of note mention 1 Corinthians 14 as a biblical proof for condemning this growth in the English language.
Rather the works of Shakespeare and Milton survive as some of the greatest works ever written in English. And this leads me to another point. We are currently in a socio-cultural educational matrix where the literary brilliance of and like those mentioned above is maligned and/or ignored.
Rather than the English language growing more precise and enlightening it is growing more truncated and confused. You need look no further than the fact that so few, and especially academics, are unable to define what a woman is. Or the claim that homosexual civil unions are the same as divinely ordained marriage or the advent of safe-spaces or the obsession with microaggressions and hate speech or the fact that a human in the womb is regarded as a mere clump of cells. The list goes on and one. Words and what they mean are not being made better, more erudite, more beautiful. No, they are becoming more and more truncated, more like double-speak.
The KJV translators did not balk at the growth of the English language, rather they embraced it and translated a marvel of literary genius, the King James Version. Meanwhile, Ward and those of his ilk would have us cast off this marvel. Why? Because it doesn’t make sense to the common folk, he says.
So Ward would have us cast off the KJV and why not Shakespeare, and Milton while we are at it, only to embrace a truncated and deteriorated modern version based on a truncated and deteriorated version of the English language?
What happened to the spirit of the KJV translators who chose to translate the KJV into a language which was old even for their time, embraced a host of loan-words by receiving 10,000 to 25,000 new words into the contemporary vocabulary?
Ward’s arguments are taking us backward. His arguments explicitly and implicitly argue in favor of a devolution of the English language. Modern classical education demands that students read Shakespeare and Milton, and part of what we are saying is that the KJV ought to be retained for the same reasons we retain Shakespeare and Milton. Indeed, we ought to retain the KJV as the standard sacred text of the English-speaking Church.
Ward says the plowboy doesn’t understand KJV English and here my 15, 13, and 12 year old are reading Shakespeare, Milton, Kant, Aquinas and the KJV in high-school as part of the Great Books of the Western World curriculum or as part of Omnibus I-IV.
Do you know why there are words in the KJV that people don’t know? Simply because we stopped reading the Bible, we stopped preaching the Bible, and we stopped studying the Bible. The Multiple Version Onlyists divided the church on the version issue with their misguided and endless insistence on multiplying versions which has lead to greater and greater biblical illiteracy. Churches, individuals in churches, generations of Christians do not share a common biblical language. They don’t know what each other are saying and they don’t know what the Bible is saying. All it takes is a 10 minute look at your Facebook feed to prove that point.
And now that we are grossly illiterate regarding the words of Scripture, Ward would have us embrace a version of the Bible suited to that illiteracy while ignoring the fact that endless versions have drawn attention away from the KJV as the standard sacred text. Now, surprise surprise there are words in the KJV the plowboy doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand because those like Ward promised a better Bible and didn’t deliver only to turn around and blame the KJV for being archaic.
The early text-critics were glad to be emancipated from the Ecclesiastical Text, and in their pride they thought they could make their own, only to fail to replace the KJV as the standard sacred text. Disarray, confusion, and dissention arose within the church and instead of text-critics blaming themselves for inciting such disarray, confusion, and dissention they turn around and blame the KJV for being archaic. Ward continues to carry this same water from the same broken and godless well. His work is merely a variation on the same theme:
KJV bad > Ours better > Ok, ours not better > Ours only sufficiently reliable > “150 years later” > Now church cannot understand KJV > See, KJV bad.
In sum, 1.) while the KJV translators did cite 1 Corinthians 14 they only cited it regarding foreign languages. 2.) Early Modern English is significantly different than Middle English and yet the KJV translators made no such attempt to besmirch the work of Wycliffe, in fact they approved of it. 3.) Early Modern English was in significant flux during the time of the writing of the KJV and yet the translators did not take the opportunity either to associate 1 Corinthians 14 with earlier and advancing versions of the English language. 4.) Finally, the reason why the KJV is archaic is not because it is archaic in itself but because for the last 150 years scholarship and her ecclesiastical acolytes have variously redirected the attention of God’s people to other Bibles and as such the language of the standard sacred text has fallen out of use both in the church and day-to-day living. In short, those like Ward have contributed and continue to contribute to making the KJV unfamiliar only to turn around and blame the KJV for being unfamiliar.
13 thoughts on “The Failure of Mark Ward’s Arguments Continue to Mount”
I wrote a similar comment under Ward’s video on this. You’ve done a much more thorough job at unmasking it. Ward has said himself that he wants to use this means to turn people from the King James Version. The underlying text approach wasn’t working with KJV advocates.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Excellent observations. Again, I want to thank you for your work. Back in the day, you defended me on your blog when I was going toe-to-toe with Aaron Blummer on the Sharper Iron forums over whether or not modern textual criticism was an act of will-worship. I remember it and appreciate it. Thanks for continuing to carry the torch.
This is my first time reading your blog. I am interested in issues related to text and translation. I did have one question, though I might have missed it. Where in the Preface to the 1611 do the King James translators explicitly mention John Wycliffe and Middle English? I ask in all sincerity, not merely to be argumentative. Thanks in advance for your time and attention to this question.
Grace & Peace,
Bryan C. Ross
Grace Life Bible Church
Grand Rapids, MI
Hey, Bryan. Thanks for the comment. As I understand Ward’s position he believes himself to be in the vein of the KJV translators when he makes the argument that Edification Requires Intelligibility [ERI]. As recently as yesterday he said so at the end of his first installment of the Textual Confidence Collective. He claims that ERI comes from 1 Corinthians 14 and makes a point to show that the KJV translators reference 1 Cor. 14 in their Preface to the Reader included at the beginning of most KJVs. Here Ward seeks to make two points: 1.) 1 Cor. 14 speaks of foreign languages not known by the people in Corinth. 2.) Based on #1, the Early Modern English is or is quickly approaching the status of “foreign language” not known by the people of America. Therefore, 1 Cor. 14 and the injunctions of ERI apply to the KJV and the continued insistence that the KJV be used and be the standard sacred text for the English-speaking Church is to violate ERI and 1 Cor. 14.
When you look at the place where the KJV translators reference 1 Cor. 14, you are correct, they do not mention the difficulties of the Middle English nor do they mention how difficult it must be to understand Wycliffe’s translation though they be so different from the Early Modern English into which the KJV translators translated the KJV. I infer from this that the KJV translators did not find the Middle English nor Wycliffe to be so different and therefore difficult to understand as to have them fall under the foreign language bit of 1 Cor. 14.
To tie this all together, Ward argues: 1.) The KJV translators taught ERI via 1 Cor. 14. 2.) Early Modern English falls into or nearly falls into the category of a foreign language 3.) Therefore, I [Ward] am arguing what the KJV translators were arguing 4.) Finally, the continued insistence that the KJV should be the standard sacred text of the English-speaking Church violate ERI and 1 Cor. 14, and for icing on the cake, strays from the KJV translators.
My retort in this post was: 1.) The KJV translators use of 1 Cor 14 is directly related to the use of foreign languages not known by the Corinthians. 2.) Middle English and Wycliffe did not fall into the category of a foreign language for the KJV translators even though Middle English and Wycliffe were so different and therefore hard to understand. 3.) Ward is NOT arguing what the KJV translators were arguing when using 1 Cor. 14 because while Middle English was so different it was not different enough to be considered a foreign language by the KJV translators. There is no indication that they did. 4.) What is more, the KJV translators claimed the “meanest” translation was to be received. This includes Wycliffe’s Middle English. 5.) The continued insistence that the KJV should be the standard sacred text of the English-speaking Church DOES NOT violate 1 Cor. 14 because the language of the KJV is NOT a foreign language to today’s English speakers. 6.) Finally, Ward is not in the same vein as the KJV translators.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any othe questions. Blessings.
I am mostly content for people to listen to what I say, listen to what you say, pray, read their Bibles, and come to their own conclusion.
The only place I’d like to offer follow-up is on what you said here:
“The reason why the KJV is archaic is not because it is archaic in itself but because for the last 150 years scholarship and her ecclesiastical acolytes have variously redirected the attention of God’s people to other Bibles and as such the language of the standard sacred text has fallen out of use both in the church and day-to-day living.”
If this is the case, Peter, why did Noah Webster complain of many of the same false friends—in almost precisely the same way I did—way back in 1833, when the KJV was still the universal standard? Webster actually updated the KJV, and he wrote in the preface to his update:
“Some words have fallen into disuse [dead words]; and the signification of others, in current popular use, is not the same now as it was when they were introduced into the version. The effect of these changes, is, that some words are not understood by common readers, who have no access to commentaries, and who will always compose a great proportion of readers. While other words, being now used in a sense different from that which they had when the translation was made, present a wrong signification or false ideas [false friends!]. Whenever words are understood in a sense different from that which they had when introduced, and different from that of the original languages, they do not present to the reader the Word of God.”
A substantially less godly source, Benjamin Franklin, said something similar 50 years prior to Webster:
“It is now more than 170 years since the translation of our common English Bible. The language in that time is much changed, and the stile being obsolete, and thence less agreeable, is perhaps one reason why the reading of that excellent book is of late much neglected.”
Language changes over time, my friend. It isn’t my lack of sanctification or Christians’ past apostasy that led me to be ignorant of the words “fitches” (Ezk 4:9), “flakes” (Job 41:23), and “furbish” (Her 46:4). The reason I did not know these words was that I don’t speak the same English used by the KJV translators.
Mark, as always it is good to have you make your presence known on the blog here.
Unfortunately your appeal to Webster and to a lesser degree Franklin is to really betray your position’s rather myopic approach to history and specifically the Bible in history. I do not doubt Webster said those words and sincerely carried that sentiment regarding the AV. What it seems you have wholly missed is that by the time Webster gives that quote the ground and structure for modern textual criticism was already built by Lochmann and Griesbach. What is more Wescott and Hort’s work is only a couple decades in the future from Webster’s quote. The world at that time was ready to mistreat the Bible. Webster is merely a symptom of that reality.
Furthermore, by offering this historically uncontextualized quote simply to try to leverage an appeal to authority it seems clear to me that you have not read Carl Trueman’s Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. Else you would have realized that the mid-19th century was the place where the soul of Expressive Individualism came to be. Expressive Individualism regards the Bible and Christianity as a thing to be admired then conquered – a Deathwork. Right around the time you pull this quote from Webster, Marx is writing making the case that religion is a drug and must be overthrown. Rousseau has already laid the ground for Emotivism. The Bible is already under attack by the work of Greisbach and Lochmann and soon by Wescott and Hort. This time also included the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley which popularized the idea of sexual freedom, emancipation from religion, and the rise of Expressive Individualism. Only 20 years after your quote here the world of science was ready to hear Darwin’s theory of Biological Evolution. What is more, because of the men here named, in a generation or so the socio-cultural religious ground would be ready for Freud and his insistence that religion is mere wish fulfillment.
Then you quote Franklin who was at best a Deist who would regard the Bible as a hinderance to certain of his moral choices shall we say. Simply put, he would have an axe to grind with the Bible.
So are we to believe that Webster was untouched by the sinister evil rising up all around him in economics, textual studies, psychology, biology, and poetry? Trueman, a world renowned Church Historian says that all of us, including those in the present day Church are Expressive Individualists and don’t know it. So I infer, “No, Webster did not remain untouched by the evil around him.”
So all you’ve done by quoting Webster and Franklin is show that your arguments are strongly in line with those in the 1800’s who sought to diminish and destroy the power and value of God’s word for the Church and for the West and whose work has indeed done that and caused the Church great harm. And what is worse, you don’t appear to have the slightest idea that you have done so.
I fear your attempt to support your position by “proof-texting” Webster and Franklin has only shown that you neither understand your position nor do you understand mine.
Here is my published review of Trueman’s book: https://seminary.bju.edu/files/2021/04/JBTW1.2-Book-Reviews.pdf
Now: can I get some clarity? Are you saying that the word “besom” changed to “broom” ultimately because of the rise of unbelief in post-Reformation Europe? That the phrase “by and by” once meant “immediately” and now means “eventually” in part because of expressive individualism? That English would not have changed—we’d all be speaking and writing like the Elizabethans now—if the English-speaking world had remained consistently as Christian as it was in 1611?
How about words and phrases that do not occur in the KJV whose meanings have changed? Were those changes morally licit? To pick an example I noticed recently on a BBC show my wife and I enjoy, was it wrong for some English speakers to start calling a “slaughterhouse” an “abattoir” instead? Or, probably a little more germane, you used the word “enthusiasts” in this post, and you used it (quite naturally, as I would expect) in its contemporary sense: “a person who feels or displays keen interest in, passion for, or enjoyment of a particular activity or subject” (OED). But the OED says that this sense is comparatively recent, that in 1611 the word would have normally been used to refer to “a person who falsely or erroneously claims to receive divine communication or inspiration.” Or perhaps “a person (supposedly) possessed by a god, demon, spirit.” The use of “enthusiast” has changed over time. You used it in a modern sense that came about only after the rise of the various kinds of unbelief you’ve named. Shouldn’t you insist on using it in the historical way, and reject any new sense(s)? With proper time, I feel quite certain I could repeat this exercise dozens of times—probably hundreds—using words from your blog. Language changes, Peter. Sometimes ideological forces push it, but usually not. I read an entire detailed Greek grammar in seminary (Nigel Turner on Syntax) that repeatedly said the same thing: “This construction used to have a more specific meaning in the Attic period, but this meaning had eroded by the Κοινή period.”
Peter, these are honest questions as far as they go. Not honest in the sense that I’m open to persuasion to the view I believe you are putting forward: I find your view of language change to be so baffling, so counter to everything I know about language, that I find it impossible to imagine entering your world. What you’re saying is, frankly, to me, completely bizarre. I don’t think even you can live in the world you’ve created, hence my argument about “enthusiast.” But my questions are honest in the sense that I’m open to the idea that I’m just misunderstanding you.
A final note: I ask that you get into specifics and not generalities. Talk about individual KJV words. I have 57 false friends on my YouTube channel. I talk specifics. To your credit, you’ve done some of that, too—more than almost all my opponents in this debate. And I do still hope to offer some thoughts on your lists of archaic words found in contemporary Bible translations. I think that is a fair argument strategy. And it gets into details in a way this philologist can appreciate. Help me understand you here, Peter.
LikeLiked by 1 person
> “Are you saying that the word “besom” changed to “broom” ultimately because of the rise of unbelief in post-Reformation Europe? That the phrase “by and by” once meant “immediately” and now means “eventually” in part because of expressive individualism? That English would not have changed—we’d all be speaking and writing like the Elizabethans now—if the English-speaking world had remained consistently as Christian as it was in 1611?”
No, I’m saying something far more modest. I’m saying that these old words should still bear their meaning in addition to the meanings they currently have. For example, “by and by” would mean “immediately” and “eventually” depending on the context. Thus the English would become more robust, more diverse, and more beautiful.
On the point of “enthusiast”, I hold all the definitions you mentioned to be viable definitions because such definitions are used regularly in the writings of the translations of the Reformers. Turretin comes to mind here. Again, you seem bent on excluding definitions for a given word while I am for the broadening of definitions. A word can have more than one meaning. The context limits the meaning of a word.
It seems to be a manifest truth that we are closer now to 1984’s Double-Speak than we are to Shakespeare’s English. I attribute this to, among other things, the rise of Rationalism and specifically the Enlightenment and its fruits. Trueman observes such downgrade in the fields of politics, sexuality, economics, biology, and psychology. His conclusions seem equally applicable to Post-Enlightenment textual criticism of which your position seems to be of the same species though more tepid.
Mark, it seems to me that the reason you cannot “enter into my world” is because your entire position is bent on the supposed virtue of truncating the English language. My response is that all the words you have referenced could and in many places still are used e.g., in pulpits where the KJV is preached out of. Indeed, the real virtue is in retaining the words and in retaining the meaning of the words in the KJV along with the words and meaning of the words currently held.
In the end, my position contra yours has little to do with textual criticism. Rather, my opposition to your arguments is grounded in my philosophy of education. Part of that philosophy is that having less words in the English language is a bad thing. Having more words is a good thing. Less meaning given to a word is a bad thing. More meanings given to a word is a good thing. It is virtuous/excellent to expand our vocabularies, expand our understandings of words. Your position on the other hand recognizes the deterioration of the English language and instead of trying to stem the tide you are simply going with the flow which I think is bad enough. But then you ask others to follow your lead and question the reliability of the KJV while your at it.
On another point regarding my philosophy of education, the word for school comes from the Latin, scholae. Scholae means leisure. Only those who have leisure have time to go to school. When you aren’t fighting for your life, constantly hunting for food, or searching for clean water you have time for scholae. The American Church has more scholae than any other Church in the history of mankind. But instead of learning more words and more meaning of words, the American Church finds other more important things to do like calling the Creation story mytho-history, or binging Netflix, or watching hours of every sport imaginable and on and on. Many Christians can hardly use their scholae to attend one church service a week, or hand out one track or say one word for Christ or pray over their food in a public place.
Then comes your arguments which make excuses for why the Church’s misuse of scholae has nothing to do with why they don’t understand the KJV. In fact, anytime myself or Riddle challenge your suppositions with “study more” you treat our challenge with nothing more than a hand wave. In this sense, your arguments contribute to the American Church’s misappropriation of scholae and do so without even touching the breaks.
And why is it that the American Church so regularly misappropriates her scholae? Consumerism, Expressive Individualism, political entities have become her socio-cultural savior [Obama or Trump depending on which side of the isle you affiliate with], church-hopping, pastor-hopping, church services centered on emotionalism, and on and on are all culprits in the degradation of American culture, society, and church. And instead of resisting this degradation your arguments make way for it with something like, “Hey if the plowboy of this degraded American culture, society, and church can’t understand the KJV the answer is not to employ the plowboys scholae in learning it. No, the answer is absorb the plowboy’s degraded American culture, society, and church, and choose a Bible more consistent with that degradation because then he’ll understand the Bible.” Which of course only kicks the can down the road where your kids will have to fight the next downgrade, but such things don’t appear to be on your radar.
There is so much more I have to say on this topic. I am disappointed that “everything you know about language” does not seem to include the broad reaching socio-cultural and ecclesiastical affects of your arguments. The assault on the KJV is more than an assault on a version of the Bible, it is an assault on the very precondition of truth for Western society of the last 400 years.
Wow, this is an escalation of rather epic proportions; besides the working from the myth of the enlightenment (while there is a single enlightenment period, there is no singular movement known as the “enlightenment,”), the continued fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, and assuming correlations prove causalities, your argument seems to assume God isn’t working within His church. This presents a view that is more reminiscent of those looking to burn Tyndale than it does to anything in Protestant theology. Should the Plowboy in 1520 have been shamed that he did not know Latin as you would shame those who do not read early modern English? Afterall, the schoolmen might have raised the same arguments, suggesting that he should learn Latin, it was beneficial to do so to be able to enjoy the great gifts of civilization. While I do believe that those who seek higher education ought to read the King James at some point in their lives (just as they ought to read some Shakespeare, Plato, or Augustine), this is not the life God which God has appointed for all of His saints.
Peter, your view makes God small in His church, as if the believer is not being sanctified, (or you take a stance of judging other believers that truly would violate the point Jesus made in Matthew 7), and yet, if one is in Christ, then Sanctification is something that will come; faith in God requires us to see Him in our Church history and Church present. I would suggest the move to modern translations at this point in history is likely God’s working within His church, in a similar manner to when the Vulgate developed through a period of multiple translations. The King James likewise came about through a period of a multiplication of translations, it seems to me we are simply in the middle or perhaps late stages of a similar period of time.
Kevin, you have known me for about 24 hours. These assertions you have made about my arguments “assuming God isn’t working in the Church” and “making God small in the Church” are simply unfounded. I have over 400 posts up on this blog and participated in 4 books written in the last year. If you would be gracious enough to take more than a day to understand who you are talking to, then perhaps you would walk most of this back.
I’ve studied with Gary Habermas [the author of the Minimal Facts Argument], Scot Oliphant [the heir apparent to Cornelius Van Til], David Baggett [a world premier moral apologist], and Richard Muller [the former J.P. Zondervan Chair of Historical Theology]. All of these men readily and confidently referred to the Enlightenment. So perhaps there are two schools: Your school which readily calls the Enlightenment a myth to a practical stranger and the school of which I am a part which is in line with the men named. So I suppose you can add mythical Enlightenment studies to your hobbies along with logic chopping.
> “I would suggest the move to modern translations at this point in history is likely God’s working within His church, in a similar manner to when the Vulgate developed through a period of multiple translations.”
And I would assert that the myriad of diverse and competing translations has only led to the weakening and confusion of the Church. The hilarity of it all is this [and I’m thinking of writing a blog post on it in the near future]. In my UBS 4th Revised the editors give an [A] to omit the long ending in Mark and the story of the woman caught in adultery, where [A] means they are certain it should be omitted. Then they go on to print both of those passages in the body of the NT while putting brackets around them. And the KJV guys are supposedly the illogical ones, the inconsistent ones?! Then to make matters worse after an [A] to omit they print those supposed-to-be omitted passages in the body of the vast majority of modern English translations.
The best minds who hold your position include passages in the Greek NT which they are certain do not belong there. But when I include the same passages in the TR and KJV, and I am certain they belong in there, the CT folks can’t help but chide us in the most professional way possible. And then I get to hear you lecture me about irrational and illogical thinking while you give your own a free pass. That’s very Mark Ward of you which I’m sure you’ll take as a compliment.
Very interesting discussion, which I had missed out own until today, and to which I will add my silver dollar (two cents is meaningless in these days of high inflation!).
When I read Peter’s statement that “The reason why the KJV is archaic is not because it is archaic in itself but because for the last 150 years scholarship and her ecclesiastical acolytes have variously redirected the attention of God’s people to other Bibles and as such the language of the standard sacred text has fallen out of use both in the church and day-to-day living” my mind did not go to the possibility that some previous person might have disagreed with this. Instead, my mind went to our failure in our churches to continue to faithfully pass down what we have been taught. Whether or not English changes, if the meaning of English words we use in church were taught in our churches, we would continue to know what they mean. Even if we admit ERI® is a valid principle (which I do not to extent Mark proposes it), it is not the only principle in the Bible. How about this one? “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Or, if you prefer, from the ESV: “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” ERE®, endurance requireth entrustability. Perhaps more than any Christian culture, Americans have perpetuated the idea of “lone ranger” Christians who sit at home in their chairs and interpret their Bibles apart from faithful biblical leaders and congregations. Oh, maybe there’s another principle, ERO®, edification requireth one-anothering (Eph. 4:12; Rom. 145:29; 15:1-3). When the Bereans searched the scriptures daily, it is unlikely that every household had its own copy of the OT, but that congregationally searched the scriptures.
Additionally, when I contemplate the biblical, moral, and spiritual failures of my life, very few of them seem to be related to not knowing a besom is a broom. To paraphrase our Lord (hopefully respectfully), “Woe unto you, Vaughns, Van Kleecks, and Wards! for ye know/don’t know besom and fitches and halt, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” And perhaps Mark Twain, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”
LikeLiked by 1 person
Good stuff. Thanks for the reminder. I was thinking this just the other day. Defending the Bible does us no good if we ourselves will not read it, study it, and teach it. Blessings.