The Word of God is inspired and inerrant in the original autographs only. The Word of God has been providentially preserved through the rapid copying and spreading those copies in the original languages throughout the world. Many of those copies have been preserved in monasteries and libraries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many of those copies have been preserved in the sand where they have lasted over a thousand years in some cases. I believe that God used the rapid spread of Islam after the death of Muhammad to preserve original language manuscripts and papyri by having them buried in the sand for fear of destruction and persecution. We have also seen the providential preservation of the original language manuscripts in Communist countries like Albania where 43 ancient manuscripts have been discovered by CSNTM.
While we may not have the original autographs, that is to say we do not have the original parchment or papyri the autographs were written on, we do have the original words in the original languages.
Anyone who says we do not have the originals and believes in a perfect translation of the Word of God has absolutely zero basis for that belief other than blind faith. While the just are to live by faith, our faith is not in faith. It is substantive. Yet, this is the exact argument that Mr. Kinney advocates on his website at https://brandplucked.webs.com/absolutestandard.htm. Mr. Kinney writes:
Good points from brother John Word and Why the KJB is superior to the Greek and Hebrew.
John says: “I believe by faith that God preserved His words perfectly and purely in English in the KJB.
The originals are long gone. No Greek text or Hebrew text today contain all the readings of the KJB. Where they differ, the KJB is correct.
I believe that if God had given the originals in English they would match the KJB perfectly. They are equal here.
The originals are gone the KJB is here. Advantage KJB.
The KJB is in the defacto world language of today (English as medicine, diplomacy, financial services, industry, air traffic control, etc use English). The originals were in biblical Hebrew (not the same as modern Hebrew) Aramaic and Koine Greek (not modern Greek). So the KJB only requires one to learn one language. Advantage KJB.
The KJB has book, chapter and verse subdivisions. The originals had book divisions only. Advantage KJB.
These are just a few ways the KJB is better than the originals.”
Mr. Kinney makes this argument and then later writes this of MEV:
When the new Westcott-Hort, UBS-Catholic bible versions came on the scene, they omitted many entire verses from the New Testament like Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14, Mark 7:16; 9:44; 9:46, 11:26; 15:28; Luke 17:36; 23:17, John 5:4; Acts 8:37; 24:7; 28:29 and Romans 16:24. So what do these modern “Catholic” bibles like the Revised Version 1885, ASV 1901, NASB, NIV, ESV, RSVs do when they come to these verses? They simply skip the number.
Because his absolute standard is the KJV, he disregards the work of the Authorized Version translators and the textual decisions they made in producing the eclectic text that we now call the King James Version.
Thankfully, Mr. Kinney does not try to argue that the TR is inspired because the KJV differs from it hundreds of times and actually chooses the Latin Vulgate over the TR more than 60 times. Mr. Kinney is perfectly fine with the KJV translators siding with the pope’s personal secretary, Jerome, over the Greek text because the KJV is the absolute standard. He is perfectly fine with Beza’s textual emendation in Revelation 16:5 that matches no Greek manuscript anywhere in the world because the KJV is the absolute standard. Mr. Kinney does not care that the KJV differs from the Majority Text nearly 2,000 times because the KJV is the absolute standard.
Addressing the Question of a “Complete” and “Inerrant” Bible
Question: Is there any Bible in any language you can SHOW US – including “the” Hebrew and “the” Greek that you really believe is the complete and inerrant words of God?
Answer: Yes. Now, in order to support that answer, we must define “inerrancy”. Biblical inerrancy is the belief that the Bible “is without error or fault in all its teaching”; or, at least, that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact”. Some equate inerrancy with biblical infallibility; others do not.
Examples of “complete” and “inerrant” Bibles (some obviously being only one testament): NA 28th Edition, UBS 5th Edition, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (Hebrew Tanakh), the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), Erasmus’ Latin/Greek diglot, Stephanus’ and Beza’s Greek NT, and as the Authorized Version translators said in the preface:
Now to the latter we answer. That we do not deny, nay, 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 their’s of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: As the King’s speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where.
If you incorrectly define inerrant as infallable, then there is no extant “infallable” Word of God because no two manuscripts read alike. Even after the printing press was invented, printed editions were still prone to errors. Until the photocopier was invented on October 22, 1938, there was no such thing as an infallable copy.
Addressing the “Bible Agnostic Test”
https://brandplucked.webs.com/bibleagnostictest.htm asks the question, “Are you a Bible Agnostic?” It then states, “Most Christians today are. How about you?” The truth is we all are — unless we commit the fallacy of special pleading for a particular translation. And this is what KJVO (King James Version Onlyists) do.
Dr. Metzger is correct in saying that we must continue researching. That is what Erasmus, Beza, and Stephanus did in giving us what many refer to as the Textus Receptus (although it should rightly be referred to as Textus Recepti given the many editions). That is what Tyndale and the AV translators did. They researched. They made decisions using textual criticism. They reviewed the various editions of the TR that they had along with the Latin Vulgate and multiple English translations. They pick and chose. The Authorized Version is every bit an eclectic text as MEV (modern English versions).
Mr. Kinney defines an “agnostic” on his website as “one who does not know for sure.” I challenge that Mr. Kinney, himself, is a “Bible agnostic”. Even as one who holds that the KJV is the inerrant and infallable Word of God, he must admit that he does not know which KJV is inerrant or infallable — by his definition. As Mickey Carter titled his book, “Things That Are Different Are Not the Same”. Which KJV is perfect? Which is imperfect? Was it perfect in 1611? Which printing? There were two that year. Was it another printing in the 1600s or one in the 1700s? Is the 1769 Blaney revision infallable? Is it truly without error? Which edition is without error? Is it the Cambridge or Oxford edition? Or, will you claim one of the 1800 editions as did Peter Ruckman? Will you claim the 1900 Cambridge edition (used by most online KVJ sites) is without error? If you pick one, then all others are in error. Some have mutually exclusive statements in them. They cannot both be infallable.
The Bible Babble Buffet Versions
In a section called, “The Bible Babble Buffet Versions”, Kinney compares the KJV to MEV in order to show how they do not say the same thing. The same thing can and has been done with different versions of the KJV. If Mr. Kinney is not a “Bible agnostic”, which KJV is better than all the rest and which ones are corrupt perversions? Will the real KJV please stand up?
Mr. Kinney also holds to a faulty view of preservation. I assert that he doesn’t truly believe in “preservation” at all. Consider his quote:
It is my belief that God has kept his promises to preserve his words, and there was a historical process of a gradual purification from textual and translational corruptions and the final product is the English text of the King James Bible.
That which is perfect needs no purification. If Mr. Kinney believes that the Word of God had to be “gradually purified”, then by definition, it was not originally perfect. If it was pure in the original autographs and then had to undergo “gradual purification” from textual and translational corruptions, then the Word has not been preserved. It was lost and rediscovered or re-engineered or more accurately describing Mr. Kinney’s view, it was re-inspired. If the Word of God was truly preserved, it needs no purification. If it needs purification, it was not preserved. If it was preserved a little here and a little there, then Mr. Kinney and other KJVO have no right to demand an “every word Bible”. If many years passed without an “every word Bible”, then God has already failed in such a promise (although no such Biblical promise exists). In reality, Mr. Kinney is actually arguing for double inspiration or re-inspiration of the text.
The Absolute Standard
Mr. Kinney references https://brandplucked.webs.com/absolutestandard.htm in support of his position that the King James Version is the absolute standard. The first tragic flaw in this position is that, if he believes that an English translation is the absolute standard, and not the original languages, then any argument for preservation or the line of textual transmission such as the TR or Byzantine text-type manuscripts is immaterial. By making a 17th Century English translation the absolute standard, Mr. Kinney has no right to argue against the Critical Text of MEV. Why? It simply doesn’t matter. If it did, then the upstream sources would be the absolute standard. I cannot help but infer from his writings that as Sam Gipp said, “all questions of translation stopped in 1611”. The Greek and Hebrew do not matter to Mr. Kinney. But, this does not preclude his referencing upstream sources time and time again. This demonstrates an inconsistent hermeneutic and a self-defeating position. If the upstream sources matter, the KJV is not the absolute standard. If the KJV is the absolute standard, the TRs and the seven Byzantine text-type manuscripts used by Erasmus is as much rubbish as MEV are to him.
Numerics, Numerology, and “Coincidence” of Certain Numerical Patterns.
Mr. Kinney, like many KJVO, use numerology to support their position. Numerology (known prior to the 20th century as arithmancy) is the belief in an occult, divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value, via an alphanumeric system, of the letters in words and names. Numerology is associated with mysticism, witchcraft, and the occult — and rightfully so. For this reason, some KJVO have renamed their Bible numerology to “numerics”, chosing rather to indicate adherance to a system of numbers rather than the mystical relationship of numbers and meanings in the Bible. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
The same numerology used to argue for the divine approval of the KJV can be done with any large document. The law of truly large numbers, attributed to Persi Diaconis and Frederick Mosteller, states that with a large enough number of independent samples, any highly implausible (i.e. unlikely in any single sample, but with constant probability strictly greater than 0 in any sample) result is likely to be observed.
If we apply Bible Numerology to any large source, we can support almost anything. When the law of truly large numbers is applied to Moby Dick, we find that it predicts the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Yitzhak Rabin, Princess Dianna, and John F. Kennedy. (source: The Hidden Codes of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick | More Than Cake).
What Mr. Kinney calls “numerology”, is nothing more than the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy is a logical fallacy based on the metaphor of a gunman shooting the side of a barn, then drawing targets around the bullethole clusters to make it look like he hit the target. It illustrates how people look for similarities, ignoring differences, and do not account for randomness.
“I’ll Take KJVO Potpouri for $1000, Alex”
Mr. Kinney steps out farther on the limb of KJVO than most others. Mr. Kinney says the measurement of time itself is a “silent witness” of the authority of the KJV:
England, the country God used to give us the King James Holy Bible, just “happens to be” the one nation from which we measure true Time (Greenwich time, zero hour) and from which we measure true Position on this earth, zero longitude. Just a “coincidence”, huh?
Time zones were not invented until 1883. Does that mean that there was less of a divine witness of the KJV being the absolute standard prior to 1883? Did it become more inspired or further purified on November 18, 1883? I am also curious to know if there is a spiritual significance to the fact that the USA is the country that determined Greenwich as the basis for its own national time zone system. Since America determined the Prime Meridian would be the standard, is that a witness that God has his hand on America? Or, is the miracle that 19th Century sea-charts already used Greenwich as the Prime Meridian? Since the Prime Meridian runs through France and Spain, could someone claim French or Spanish versions are actually what God is stamping his approval on? How silent is this silent witness?
He also says that the differences in verse numbering is evidence of the divine stamp of approval upon the KJV. He lists a number of chapters that have verse differences between the KJV and the Geneva Bible. Mr. Kinney writes:
…when the King James Bible came out it basically followed the Chapter and Verse number divisions of the previous Geneva Bible but it changed it in a few places and the King James Bible became the Standard.
Here was have another chronological problem. Verse numbers were first implemented by Stephanus (Robert Estienne) in the Greek printed editions. If the KJV is the absolute standard, then verse numbering argument cannot be used to support the KJV because the upstream sources do not count. The fact that it “changed” does not mean that it was inspired of God.
Boasting of the sheer volume of sales of the KJV, Mr. Kinney writes:
Oh, and by the way, the King James Bible is the all time Number One Best Selling Book EVER, and that BY FAR! No other book in print even comes close. It is the only Bible God has providentially used in these ways.
By this measurement, does Mr. Kinney believe that the KJV will no longer be the absolute standard when it is passed by the NIV? Here are a list of top selling Bibles as of March, 2022:
Rankings as of March 2022 (numbers in parentheses are June 2021 rankings).
- New International Version (NIV) (1)
- New Living Translation (4)
- English Standard Version (ESV) (3)
- King James Version (KJV) (2)
- Christian Standard Bible (CSB) (5)
- New King James Version (NKJV) (6)
- Reina Valera (RV) (7)
- New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) (8)
- The Message (Message) (9)
- New American Standard (NASB) (not ranked)
Does popularity signify God’s approval? Does that mean that the NIV is actually the new standard because of its many years at the top spot of best selling Bible translations? This is another worthless argument based clearly upon a cherry-picked statistic.
Mr. Kinney’s arguments are non-scholarly, unbiblical, pseudo-scientific (numerology), conjectural (volume of sales), laughable (time zones) , special pleading (verse numbering, additions/deletions compared to MEVs), and utterly baseless when criticizing MEVs. Mr. Kinney nullifies any ability to utilize somewhat scholarly positions such as Byzantine priority, Byzantine Majority Text, TR preferred, or even TR only. In doing so, none of these arguments made by him matter. Not a single one. Why? He has no reason for his absolute standard other than it is the absolute standard. It is difficult to even call it circular reasoning. He isn’t using a thing to prove a thing. He is simply declaring it so and cutting the cord from any upstream source. The KJV may have well appeared out of thin air. It would make no difference to Mr. Kinney’s argument.
This puts Mr. Kinney in strange company. His absolute standard is unquestionable, just like the Quran to Muslims and the Book of Mormon to Latter Day Saints. The Quran cannot be questioned. It must be accepted as perfect. How did Muslims get it? It doesn’t matter. It just is. He can no more argue his KJV from a scholarly perspective than a Latter Day Saint can who’s scriptures were miraculously translated from golden tablets when Joseph Smith stuck his head under a sheet. No one else ever saw them. But we just have to take a dead man’s word for it. Mr. Kinney has nothing better to contribute to his defense of the scripture than this same argument. It reminds me of a line from “Joe Dirt” when his dad quips, “How exactly does a posi trac rear end in a plymouth work? It just does.”
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