A Reply to Article in Together Magazine by Steve Waldron

Steve Waldron

The Bible is the most precious of all human possessions. It is settled in Heaven (Psalm 119:89), and has been delivered to man.

It should be obvious that no translation is perfect. Most people probably assume this but for those who were wondering: wonder no more. In "Together" magazine an article was published entitled “God’s Word in My Hands” by Steve Waldron. He apparently did not get the memo. "Together" magazine is the official magazine for the Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship. In this blog post we will look at his article.

It seems there is a minority within the Apostolic movement that hold similar views concerning the King James Version as do many fundamental Baptist groups. This appears to be a preference for the King James Version but is much more than preference. Waldron is guilty of pointing out the faults of other versions without any inspection of his own preferred version. All the while, it seems, it is assumed the King James Version has no faults.

Verses such as Psalm 119:89, above, are talking about something besides the written preservation of all the words of Scripture. Such passages are used particularly to support an English translation from the 17th Century: King James Version or the Authorized Version. This verse and others do declare that God's Word is settled forever in heaven. The next couple verses make the point clear: God's Word is infallible. Not God perfectly preserving the written words of Scripture as we know them in an English translation. In this Psalm, the word is preserved in heaven. Not on earth. Therefore, this verse is of no help to Waldron’s case.

People should believe that God has spoken inerrantly and authoritatively. They should do so because the Bible teaches such things. It is incorrect to further suggest God has inerrantly and authoritatively spoken through later Bible translators. That is a teaching completely foreign to Scripture. Waldron’s logic assumes that God has one particular translation of Scripture. Faith nor good reason require such a thing. Nowhere is it taught in Scripture that God will preserve His word in a particular edition or translation.

Angels have access to the Scripture in Heaven (Daniel 10:21).

Does this mean the angels are reading the King James Version or the Textus Receptus? It is unclear to me what Waldron really means. There is no indication that the “book of truth” referred in Daniel 10:21 is a copy of any inspired writing given to the people of Israel. Daniel uses the “book of truth” to refer to future events (Daniel 11:2ff.) and not as a collection of inspired writings.

God proclaims He has magnified His Word above all His Name (Psalm 138:2), for it is in the Word that God’s glorious Name is revealed.

Does this mean the King James Version or Hebrew Old Testament texts are now more important than the name of Jesus? There is a question as to how the actual Hebrew is translated her,not a matter of missing words or a conspiracy to undermine the Scriptures. The ESV reads:

“I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”

Satan hates the Bible, and has tried many ways to destroy it. Burning it, changing it, making folks apathetic towards it and trying to discredit the validity of it are some of the ways Satan has attempted to lessen the impact of the Word on the world and yet, the Bible reigns supreme! All fields of inquiry, when properly contextualized, show harmonious agreement with the Words of Holy Writ. The Bible truly is an anvil that has worn out many hammers of antagonism towards it.

Two rather new translations of the Bible in the English language have obtained a foothold in parts of the Evangelical world. The English Standard Version (ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION) (completed 2001; revised 2007) and the New Living Translation (NEW LIVING TRANSLATION) (completed 1996; revised in 2004 and again in 2007). They are part of a vanguard of new translations of the Bible in English, numbering nearly 200 that have been produced in the past 140 years. The Bible says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good? So with that in mind, we will look at these two modern English translations.

In the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION Old Testament, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia 2"d Edition (1983) was used, while in the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, the 1977 Edition of this volume was followed. ln the New Testament, both used the UBS (United Bible Societies) 4*h edition and the Nestles/ Aland 27th Edition of the Greek NT. The NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, in its Preface, admits it deviated from this Text at times, at the Translators discretion. The Texts used underlying the translations are the problem, at least for those who believe in the divine preservation of Scripture (Psalm 12:6-7).

Waldron assumes what he has yet to prove, and likely cannot prove. He assumes that since these modern versions do not contain the verses he cites that they were somehow “omitted” or now "missing". This presumes that those words or that particular wording was actually there in the first place. Anyone could make this claim against the King James Version as well. This is circular reasoning. Consider Matthew 27:44 in the KJV and ESV below. The phrase “cast the same in his teeth” was added by the King James Version translators and is not actually in the Greek text in the first place.

The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.” (KJV)
And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.” (ESV)

If we begin with the assumption that verses are being “omitted” then it begs the question. The real question regarding any rendering is what the original Hebrew or Greek text read. Given that he interprets passages such as Psalm 119:89 and Daniel 10:21 as referring to either the King James Version, original autographs, or manuscript evidence. Perhaps he will clarify in future articles but it appears he is suggesting that the King James Version or the underlying texts of that version are superior to the underlying texts of versions like the English Standard or New Living.

Desiderius Erasmus, the Catholic priest who compiled the Greek text for the King James Version, only had a handful of manuscripts; none earlier than the 10th to 12th centuries. This collection was later referred to, after other revisions or editions, as the Textus Receptus: the Greek text for the King James Version New Testament. There is no single Greek manuscript in existence that reads exactly like the Textus Receptus.

Yet, there are over 5,800 Greek manuscripts available and used to aid in translating our modern version New Testaments today. We are in a much better place as far as textual evidence goes than in the times of the King James translators. The King James Version was the best of its day.

In the NT for example, there are somewhere around 8,000 differences between the textual sources of the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, and the Traditional Text of the New Testament. The Traditional Text are the underlying manuscripts which have been the accepted as standard and authoritative in Bible believing Churches in most languages for many centuries.

So really the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION are translating from a different text than that which underlies traditional Bibles. Many of the changes are highly significant. The ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION lauds itself of being able to produce a reverse interlinear. It does so, but the text it’s translating from is significantly different than the standard text found in the great majority of manuscripts for many centuries.

For example, Matthew 12:47 in a traditional text Bible, regardless of the language, would read: “Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee?

Waldron is characterizing things here in a suspect manner. The differences between the English Standard Version and the King James Version are not that significant or abundant. The preface page of the English Standard Version clearly attributes some of its influence to the Tyndale-King James tradition which suggests the two are not too different. Clearly, he wants his readers to believe that the translators of other versions just excised certain verses like cancerous tumors. Anyone having studied textual criticism for even a short amount of time can figure out why certain passages are omitted or put in the footnotes.

It seems he is also suggesting the Traditional Text is the King James Version or maybe the Textus Receptus and that one of these texts is the one divinely preserved. It is unclear to me, exactly. If so, he is using arguments that, in reality, do not advance the case of the King James Version or its underlying texts. It appears Waldron is creating a standard against all other versions but especially the English Standard Version and the New Living Translation. Can this standard be equally applied to the King James Version? It certainly should.

The first example is actually counterproductive. He is comparing the King James Version against the English Standard Version and the New Living Translation. The 2007 edition of the New Living Translation actually includes the full quote of Matthew 12:47. The English Standard also includes the reference but in the footnotes. Yet, here he quotes the King James as the standard to compare against the English Standard and the New Living. If one is going to compare these translations it should be pointed out that these two versions use different methods of translation theory.

Let’s look at Matthew 12:46-47 in the King James Version and the Nestle Aland 27 Greek text:
Matt 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

NA27 | ‎Mt 12:46 Ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος τοῖς ὄχλοις ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ εἱστήκεισαν ἔξω ζητοῦντες αὐτῷ λαλῆσαι.  ‎47 [εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ· ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἔξω ἑστήκασιν ζητοῦντές σοι λαλῆσαι.]

Waldron prefers a majority reading here. A majority decision is not always right and therefore not sufficient in and of itself. There are older manuscripts that do not contain Matthew 12:47. This is not a matter of translation but whether or not this verse was to be included or excluded. Texts such as the English Standard, which use the Nestle-Aland Greek text, are arguing that it was never in the original in the first place. The same is done at passages such as 1 John 5:7.

Textual differences aside the Bishops, Coverdale, Tyndale, and Wesley translations all render 12:47 in their English versions. Besides the New Living Translation, the Holman Christian Standard Bible, the New English Translation, and the International Standard Version, Lexham English Bible, New American Standard Version, New King James Version, and the New Revised Standard Version also include this verse either in footnotes or in brackets.

In the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION it would read — “ ’§blank, nothing, nada, nil. It skips from verse 46 to verse 48. Does this affect doctrine? Well, Iesus did say, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out ofthe mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). So I would assume that verse 47 has some intrinsic value to the human race, even if one wanted to quibble over its doctrinal significance. But if that were an isolated case, possibly you could take the remainder of the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION on its supposed merits, and nitpick over one verse. This definitely is not the case, in the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION or the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION as we shall see.

At least Waldron realizes the futility of his argument. There are no differences between the translations that affect sound doctrine. Instead of attempting to explain why the translations have differences he advances the King James Version. As suggested earlier, these verses are only “missing” or “omitted” if the King James Version is the standard used to compare the English Standard and New Living versions. That is what Waldron has yet to prove. The standard should be what did Moses, Ezra, Luke, John, Peter or Paul write? If there is evidence that they did not write some verses in the King James Version, as in Matthew 27:44 or 1 John 5:7, then those words should be removed.

If we were to go to the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION and the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION in Matthew 17:21, and compare it to a Traditional Text Bible, the comparison would be thus: K]\L “I·Iowbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting?

Reina Valera 1960, “Pero este género no sale sino con oracion y ayuno.

In the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION and the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION — “ ’§ it’s not there, missing, gone, poof.

The numbering system in the text skips from 20 to 22 in Matthew 17 in the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and NEW LIVING TRANSLATION. It’s just gone, based on humanistic, faulty textual critical methods, which don’t believe that in faith the Bible existed somewhere on earth from the lst century until now.

The English Standard Version and the New Living Translation do not have verse 21. Nor do many others. The Bishops, Coverdale, Tyndale, Wesley, New King James Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, New American Standard Bible, and the International Standard Version do contain the verse while others possibly put it in footnotes. Such an argument does nothing to advance the uniqueness of the King James Version actually since it is only using the King James Version as the standard. It merely assumes what it has yet to prove. The standard is not the King James Version but it should be what did Moses, Ezra, Peter, Paul or John write?

In the Gospels, the content is not really missing at all since it appears in another place. Waldron does not even consider this possibility. Mark 9:29 from the English Standard Version reads: And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer”. It is probable that verse 21 was added or inserted by a scribe to harmonize with the earlier form found in Mark 9:29.

The reason translations go from verse 20 to verse 22 is to keep the verses consistent with older translations so as to avoid confusion with their readers. Versification or the use of numbering verses is a method that started to be employed in Biblical literature around the 16th Century. This does nothing to neither educate his readers nor prepare them for those who would attack the Scriptures for other reasons than those done here.

Again we could do this repeatedly with entire verses, paragraphs, phrases, and words missing in the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and NEW LIVING TRANSLATION. Early scribes against the Apostolic faith would delete words and phrases in an attempt to prove their particular doctrine or belief These faulty manuscripts were then abandoned and unused for centuries, until discovered in our times.

Waldron provides no support for his assertions. While there is evidence of tampering with the text this was the case with Gnostic writers. Heretics such as Marcion even created his own canon of Scripture excising whole books he did not like. The changes needed to fit a theology into the text are not the kinds of differences we see in the manuscript evidence for our Bibles.

A Bible that is used gets worn out. One that is ignored is preserved. These changed manuscripts were preserved due to their errors. Yet, these newly found manuscripts d0n’t even agree amongst themselves. So it is left in the hand of evolutionary, mostly non-Christian critics, to subjectively reproduce what they feel is something close to the original manuscripts of the Holy Scripture.

If only those Bibles which were ignored were preserved then all of our manuscripts extant to this day have been preserved. According to Waldron they are also ignored because they were in error. That necessarily means that the Majority Text and the Critical Text are in error. This essentially undercuts his argument. It is simply not true that just because they are worn they are accurate.  

The cover of any Bible will wear and fade with use. However, this doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Muslims would have us believe the Quran is the word of Allah because it has withstood the test of time. Yet, the Quran and even the Mormon bible have covers that fade over pages of error and untruths.
In addition, the Textus Receptus does not agree with any other extant Greek manuscript. There is likely no manuscript extant that is identical to another. Manuscripts discovered since 1611 do have differences amongst themselves but this also applies to the Majority Text or the Byzantine tradition of manuscripts which also contain differences.

Waldron refers to “evolutionary” critics also above without substantiation. Many if not all of these translators are honest and godly men who have dedicated their lives to translating God’s Word. Although they may disagree with Waldron or even this author on doctrinal points their integrity and character should not be in question without some support.

This is also inconsistent for Waldron and inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument. If the standard is applied to the King James Version then one would realize that the translators that version were Church of England clergy who baptized infants. That King James had 15 rules for the translators. One of them was that he would not allow the Greek word ekklesia to be translated anything but church.

Let’s compare the KIV and the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION! NEW LIVING TRANSLATION as part of showing the differences between the text bases.

· K]V`Matthew 18:11 — “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost?
- Matthew 23:14 — “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’
houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation?
· K]V Mark 9:44 and 46: Iesus is describing hell “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched?
· KING JAMES VERSION Mark 11:26 — “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses?
· KIV Mark 15:28 — Wand the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the
· K]V Luke 17:36 — “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left?
Now this could go on for many pages. Texts such as Acts 8:37, Mark 7:16, Luke 23:17, Iohn 5:3b-4, parts of Acts 9:5-6, Acts 15:34, Acts 24:6b-7, Acts 28:29, Romans 16:24 are left out of the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION and ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This is more of the same as well as the list of discrepancies and deletions he lists below. His first two examples above (Matthew 18:11; 23:14) are both in older English versions predating the King James Version as well as those coming after the King James Version. Yet, this isn’t the point since Waldron assumes that they are missing because the texts are unreliable. As pointed out earlier I Matthew 17:21 there are good reasons why certain translations differ or offer shorter renderings. Waldron has yet to provide any evidence of a conspiracy to “omit” Scripture.

A few of the other discrepancies and deletions are:
· Phrases of how we are to treat our enemies are deleted from Matthew 5:44
- The Lord’s Prayer is shortened in Matthew 6:13 & Luke 11:2-4
- Phrases are left out in Matthew 20:16, 22, 23, 24:36.
· A large part of Mark 6:11, 7:8, 9:46 is missing.
Mark 10:24 removes a phrase and totally changes the meaning to false doctrine.

False doctrine? That is harsh. Notice verse 24 carefully from the King James Version: “And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!”

Notice, from the English Standard Version, verses 23-24: 23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”  ‎24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!

Notice that even though the phrase about “them that trust in riches” has been removed from verse 24 no change has been made to Scripture nor is false doctrine taught. Verse 23 clearly teaches the same thing! The New Living Translation does the same. What is being taught, by way of this article, is faulty logic. The context clearly indicates that those who trust in riches find it difficult to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus even fully explains what is meant three verses later, in verse 27, when he records: “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (KJV)

· Mark 14:19 and Luke 1:28 leave out important phrases.
- In Luke 9:55, 56, this is omitted in the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, “. .. and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them?
· Luke 11:11 omits the phrase by Iesus concerning receiving the Holy Ghost, “lf a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?”
· Romans 8:1 leaves out “. . .who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" greatly promoting “once saved always saved? in the text.

Waldron is here mishandling the Scriptures and indirectly attacking the Word of God found in versions such as the English Standard Version. He essentially has overblown his case. We will look at only two of these for sake of space.

Luke 9:55, 56: No doctrine is missing or deleted. The earliest and perhaps most reliable manuscripts support the shorter reading. While the manuscript evidence supporting the longer readings are from late manuscripts. Perhaps, similarly to Matthew 17:21 or Matthew 18:10 a scribe inserted the authentic teaching of Luke to round out this verse. The theology of Luke is not lessened by the shorter reading since the teaching that the Son of man came to save the lost is present in Luke. Luke 19:10 records: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”(ESV)

Romans 8:1: The same phrase appears three verses later in Romans 8:4 which records: “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (ESV) This Biblical concept is not missing from Scripture even though one version reads differently than another. Even if it was the Scriptures would not be teaching Calvinism. Waldron has overblown his case here.

· I Corinthians 6:20 omits, “. . ,and in your spirit, which are God’s” totally changing the meaning of the verse. 
- Galatians 3:1 omits the following phrase, which is very important for the teaching of Apostolic doctrine, “. . .that ye should not obey the truth. . .”

Is he actually suggesting that these versions teach one should not obey the truth? Of course not and such arguments advance nothing but conspiracy and doubt. Such things are taught elsewhere in those same versions. The New King James Version also renders the latter portion of this verse. Notice Romans 6:17 from the New Living Translation: “Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you.”

· Ephesians 5:30 and Philippians 3:16 omit highly significant portions of the text.

- I Timothy 6:5 omits, “. . .from such withdraw thyself ” affecting the great doctrine of separation.

Friends, there are dozens of other examples that could be shown. I conclude with a brief look at some other aspects of the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION. The ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION is claimed to be a revision of the Revised Standard Version of 1971. It only changed 6% of the RSV’s text. It had to obtain permission from the ultra—liberal World Council of Churches to get the copyright to use the RSV as the basis for the new translation.

You may remember the RSV as being condemned universally in the early 1950’s in its original edition as an edition translated by communists, communist sympathizers, and atheists. A Position Paper was inserted in another Apostolic organizations manual stating a vehement objection to it due to its attacks on the deity of Jesus and other assaults on the Christian faith. This was not an isolated case, as Bible believers of all creeds rejected this humanistic liberal translation.

A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. The ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION has a humanistic and modernistic basis. It may claim to be a literal translation, with a reverse interlinear available. But it is translating from an incorrect set of humanistic manuscripts, so this negates its effectiveness.

The preface to the English Standard Version reads:

“The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work.”<!--[endif]-->

Here Waldron uses fallacious reasoning: ad hominem, guilt by association, and the genetic fallacy. He also refers to “humanistic manuscripts” without any indication of what those are. Perhaps, he is unfamiliar with the term “humanistic”.  The English Standard Version also rejects the liberal readings that caused the Revised Standard Version to be condemned, such as Isaiah 7:14 and Romans 9:5 (see below). Therefore, this argument simply does not work.

Just because a translator was associated with the World Council of Churchs' does not make their translation or work any less accurate or even wrong. Just because the English Standard utilized the Revised Standard does not mean it has a humanistic basis because he hasn't even proven they were humanistic. Just because someone is accused of something doesn’t make that accusation true. Even if they were “communist” it would be irrelevant to whether or not they actually translated the text accurately.

In reality, the English Standard Version grows out of the Tyndale and King James traditions as well as the Revised Standard Version. It is not an either/or as Waldron puts it in this article. The preface describes the Revised Standard Version as a starting point—not a finishing point. This is also ignored in the article. Many Bible versions claim to be revisions or versions based upon the King James Version (RSV, ASV, NRSV, and NASV). Waldron is apparently not interested in presenting these versions in an unbiased manner. The true bias is that the same standard and criticism of Waldron is not being applied to the King James Version.

The King James Version, English Standard Version and the New Living Translation were all translated by Trinitarians, not Oneness Pentecostals. Using Waldron’s logic above, then, even the King James Version should not be used. In fact, modern versions have helped Oneness Pentecostals by offering renderings that actually indicate the deity of Christ more clearly. 

Romans 9:5 is a verse where other versions clearly teach the deity of Christ by being faithful to the Scripture and what Paul actually wrote--not a 17th Century clergyman. Notice the King James reading and then compare it with the alternate readings below which more clearly teach that Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament in the flesh.

KJV | Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
ESV | Romans 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
NASV | Romans 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen

Much the same holds true for the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION. While the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION has only been updated once in unspecified ways in 2007, the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION has already gone thru 2 revisions from its inception in 1996 (2004 and 2007).

The King James Bible has undergone four major revisions and a number of minor revisions since its publication in 1611, incorporating more than 100,000 changes. Most King James Version Bibles in use today are the fourth revision made in 1769 by Dr. Benjamin Blayney. In reality, most revisions are actually needed because of style, spelling or grammar. The evidence of this in ANY version (KJV or ESV) does not suggest that version is not credible.

 'Ihe NEW LIVING TRANSLATION comes from Kenneth Taylor’s paraphrase of the ASV of 1901 called the Living Bible. Billy Graham popularized it in the 1960’s, being handed out at his crusades. I have met Kenneth Taylor. He speaks in a whisper. A ]uly 1972 Time magazine article reports that a psychiatrist says this is Kenneth Taylor’s self-punishment for tampering with God’s Word. The NEW LIVING TRANSLATION definitely comes from a bad tree system.

Here Waldron employs pure unsubstantiated speculation. He is also wrong. The New Living Translation is actually a new translation, not a revision of the Living Bible, which is a paraphrase. Alarms should go off when Apostolic author’s use such tactics to critique the accuracy of a Bible translation.

In conclusion, with just a brief, cursory look at both the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION and the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION in this article, it seems to me they are weighed in the balances and found wanting. Among English speaking people, I would stick with the King Iames Version of the Bible. Hard to read you say? Much easier than Shakespeare, and nobody tries to dumb it down. The average syllable length of a word in the K]V is 1.39 syllables — incredibly simple. The average word in the K]V is 3.968 letters — you can’t get any simpler than that.

Yes, it could get simpler than that but we are not wanting simple. Perhaps Waldron misses the point. Accuracy and readability is required of a good translation, not a specified word length or syllabic construction. The King James Version contains over 300 words that do not have a corresponding English word or meaning today. Anyone interested in reading comprehension would be concerned.

Matthew 19:14 from the King James reads, “Suffer little children…to come unto me.” 2 Timothy 2:15 says  “Study to shew…” and Job 16:5 has “my lips should asswage your grief.” Jesus did not mean to let children suffer. He meant “Let the little children come…” (ESV) Words like “shew” and “asswage” definitely leave the modern reader scratching their head.

At this point, one wonders if the “Traditional Text” that Waldron has in mind also comes with a dictionary and concordance. Perhaps a small library just to find out what it says in English--never mind Hebrew or Greek. Let’s look at Revelation 16:5 in the following versions and see how well Waldron's standard works on the King James Version:

KJV | And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
ESV | And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, “Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments.
NASV | And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things; 

Notice the difference? The King James does not have “Holy One”. Yet, the Greek for holy (hosios) should be translated as it is in the English Standard and New American Standard above.

In addition, at Revelation 22:19 all Greek manuscripts have “tree of life” rather than “book of life”. Yet, Erasmus went with “book” instead. This is likely due to him not having a Greek manuscript for the reading, so he went with the Latin Vulgate reading, “book”. If Waldron goes with the King James Version in either of these verses he prefers the Textus Receptus over all Greek manuscripts since none of them read that way. Here, he would be choosing a non-existent reading over the majority witness of the Greek manuscripts.

When we apply Waldron’s standard we clearly see that the King James Version also uses English phrases such as “God save the king” or “God forbid” which are not present in any underlying text. The King James Verson had marginal notes concerning optional readings. Those marginal references have been removed in modern King James Version Bibles. At Romans 1:4 the King James Version also doesn’t even translate the phrase “Jesus Christ our Lord” when it is even included in the Textus Receptus!

With the endtime rapidly approaching, and evil men and seducers waxing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, I wouldn’t want to change my sword in the midst of the battle.

Here Waldron weaves words from the King James Version with his fear mongering by appealing to endtime events, just to get the heart rate pumping. Who would want to read the New King James or the English Standard Versions since the endtimes are upon us? That sounds like a scare tactic.

Since the days of Jesus believers have been anticipating the return of Jesus and in many ways may have felt like their generation was the one to experience the return of Christ. Each generation should feel this anticipation and nearness of His return. We should work out our salvation with fear and trembling but using fear of the endtimes to support the King James Version is fear mongering. 

I can imagine a pastor in the early 1600’s warning his people of the coming King James Version. Encouraging them not to abandon the Geneva Bible since those were the endtimes. Before the King James Version was ever translated in 1611 there were several English translations available going back to John Wycliffe’s handwritten version in 1380 (also Tyndale, Coverdale, “Great Bible”, Geneva, Bishops, Douay-Rheims). Such an argument is only a scare tactic.

A quote by Franklin Logsdon, who wrote the Preface to the New American Standard Bible seems in order here. He wrote: “I must under God renounce every attachment to the New American Standard,   I’m afraid I’m in trouble with the Lord   We laid the groundwork; I wrote the format; I helped interview some of the translators; I sat with the translator; I wrote the preface ...I’m in trouble; I can’t refute these arguments; its wrong, its terribly wrong; its frighteningly wrong and what am I going to do about it?   I can no longer ignore these criticisms I am hearing and I can’t refute them ...When questions began to reach me at first I was quite offended. However; in attempting to answer; I began to sense that something was not right about the NASV Upon investigation, I wrote my very dear friend, Mr; Lockman, explaining that I was forced to renounce all attachment to the NASV   The product is grievous to my heart and heqos to complicate matters in these already troublous times. The deletions are absolutely frightening... there are so many  Are we so naive that we do not suspect Satanic deception in all of this? ...I don’t want anything to do with it ...The finest leaders that we have today .. haven’t gone into it [the new versions use of a corrupted Greek text], just as I hadn’t gone into it   Thats how easily one can be deceived   I ’m going to talk to him [Dr George Sweeting, then president of Moody Bible Institute] about these things ...You can say the Authorized Version [KIV] is absolutely correct, How correct? 100% correct!  You must stand against everyone else, stand.” - Dr. Frank Logsdon ‘

This is an unsubstantiated claim and Waldron’s reading material needs to be adjusted. This is essentially rumor mongering between Logsdon and the Lockman Foundation when there may not even be clear evidence that Logsdon actually said or even wrote all of those words. It is possible that some of it may have been constructed through other authors of the King James Only position.

It is public information and easy to figure out that Frank Logsdon was not a translator nor did he write the preface for the New American Standard Version. Dr. Jay L. Wile has also researched this quote and has found it inadequate. Dr. Wiles affirms that the following quote is an official quote from The Lockman Foundation. The Lockman Foundation replied to a book by Gale Riplinger which used this quote in her preface. Here is a quote from The Lockman Foundation about Riplinger and Logsdon:

“She also includes an introductory "endorsement" paragraph by Franklin Logsdon wherein he disassociates himself from the New American Standard Bible, and refers to himself as the co-founder of NASB. We wish to clarify his statements and offer the following information:

The Board of Directors of The Lockman Foundation launched the NASB translation work in the late 1950's following the completion of the Amplified New Testament. Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon was acquainted with Dewey Lockman, president of The Lockman Foundation. Mr. Logsdon was never a member of the Board of Directors, nor was he an employee of The Lockman Foundation. Mr. Logsdon had no authority to hire employees or translators for the Foundation, to set policy, to vote, to hold office, to incur expenses, etc. He cannot be considered "co-founder" of the NASB or part of the Lockman Foundation. According to our records, he was present as a guest at a board meeting on two occasions -- once to hear a travel report; and once to deliver an "inspirational thought."

Mr. Logsdon wrote to Mr. Lockman in fall of 1973 saying that he was moving to Florida. Mr. Lockman replied that he was surprised and saddened by his decision to leave the area. Mr. Lockman passed away in January of 1974, and no further correspondence was exchanged between Frank Logsdon and The Lockman Foundation. He lived in Largo, FL until his death.”

Link to list of translators on the New American Standard Version: http://www.bible-researcher.com/nasb.html

Link to Dr. Jay L. Wile’s blog: http://blog.drwile.com/?p=6732

Link to The Lockman Foundation’s reply to author Gail Riplinger and her book: New Age Bible Versions. http://www.kjvonly.org/other/riplinger_lockman_pr.htm

Personally, I will stick with the Bible that gave the world political freedom with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Many books have been written on the K]V’s influence on these two seminal documents. It’s the Book that gave us science, Western Protestant civilization, its liberties and morally Christian culture. It’s the Bible that freed us from Catholic superstition and false doctrine. It’s the Bible that gave rise to America being a moral lighthouse in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The King James Bible was the Word of God of the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings, the Bible of Apostolics that tilled the English—speaking world even before Azusa Street. It’s the Bible of Wesley, Finney, Edwards, Tozer, Moody, and Spurgeon among others. It’s the Bible that freed the slaves. The Bible that gave us Stone’s Folly, Azusa Street and Arroyo Seco. The Bible that Fauss wept and prayed over, when receiving the wonderful ]esus’ Name revelation in the woods of Louisiana. The Bible that Cook and Ewart used to proclaim Iesus all over America and then it went all over the world. The Bible that G.T. Haywood saw the truth in, and left the AOG to follow the Truth of the Word of God. Yes, here in the endtime, I think I’ll just cleave my hand to that sword that still works to save soulds and defeat thedevil. I think that sword can still give us the greatest revival since Pentecost, instead of the confusion of tongues in Polyscripturae that reigns over the religious landscape in America today. 'The KIV is the most cutting edge progressive, powerful tool for revival among the English speaking peoples. Use it, don’t change it or make fun of it. With a weapon that has lasted the centuries, and still uniiies the English language, it is impossible that we will lose this war. It has defeated Satan for centuries, and will continue to do so if used properly. Amen!

Here Waldron engages in appeal to emotion. He has not adequately demonstrated the superiority of neither the King James Bible nor its underlying text over all others and so he must appeal to the heart strings of his readers. Bibles that came to America did so by way of ship from England. The Bible of the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower was the Geneva Bible not the King James Version. It was not until 1782 that the patent holder would allow the King James Version to be printed in America.

Our response to the issue of modern versions should not be to imply one translation is valid and the rest are not. That is the tone of this article. Yet, no objective glances or looks were even given to the King James Version. It was only preferred. Our response should be to educate ourselves on why modern versions differ, and do our best to figure out which ones have come closest to getting it right. 

God has providentially preserved His Word in and through all of the versions, ancient manuscripts, and other copies of inspired Scripture. Yet, God only inspired the ACTUAL Bible writers to write Holy Scripture—no one else.

We cannot use textual criticism to suggest all the other translations are wrong without actually examining the textual criticism that produced the King James Version. Using this logic we could argue against the King James Version using earlier versions such as Wycliffe, Geneva or the Latin Vulgate as historical standards. This is not good enough. The standard is what did Moses, Ezra, Peter, James or John write?

The language of Jesus and the original Bible writers was not English nor did anyone speak English at that time. It wasn't until several thousand years later that the Scriptures were translated into our English language. Neither the translations nor the translators are inspired. Moving the words from those ancient languages into our own involves the human element and a degree of interpretation, whether it is the King James Version or the English Standard Version.

Research and discoveries over the last few hundred years has given Biblical scholars an advantage that was not available in 1611. The King James Version was the best of its day and is still a good translation. The credibility of the King James Version was never in question. Yet, if we are to evaluate and compare modern versions with a certain standard we should also evaluate the King James Version using that same standard.


Evangelical Esquire- said...

You did a good job James

Pastor Scott Davidson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Mallery said...

So we should believe that all bibles are printed to lead us to God is your stance.
This seems to be a very dangerous thought in my eyes. The KJV of 1611 was written by the most part as a choice from the corrupt Roman Catholic bibles which trinitarian doctrine was founded. I will follow the doctrine of God not man. I will seek his word in the purest form I can get Bravo Pastor Waldron for standing for truth.

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)