Welcome to CalvaryCFN's Exhibition of

The KJV Letters!

I am excited to finally present The KJV Letters to the public, as it concerns a controversial topic which is very near and dear to my heart. In certain "Fundamental" churches, the debate rages over the King James Bible, and whether it is the only true Bible for English speaking peoples.

Is it OK for a Christian to read the NIV, NLT, or NASB? Should we confine ourselves to the KJV as the only reliable English translation? These are questions which many, perhaps most in the Church have never even thought about, yet they are questions about which some in the Church have very grave concerns.

To those who have never encountered the KJV-only controversy, I say your Spiritual life is better off without it, and do not be bothered with this page; but to those, like me, who have struggled with it and against it for most of their lives, I say, I hope you are one day freed from the chains of it, and may this page be used by the Lord to bring liberty and relief!

To all who come to this page, I ask that you leave comments. This may be easily done by clicking on the title of each post, then scrolling to the end where the comment box may be found. I invite everyone to comment, whether you agree or disagree.

It is true that many of my statements presume the reader has read the following books: Final Authority, by Bill Grady, and Which Bible? by Otis Fuller, as well as the various writings by Gail Riplinger on "Hell" and "The Blood". It is not my intention to exhibit these letters for those who have fortunately never encountered Grady or Riplinger, but rather to help those who have been stifled in their spiritual life by the works of these "accusers of the brethren", and the many others who follow after them.

The following letters were exchanged between myself, Michael La Framboise, and Jeremy Munson, and Jared Munson over the last decade. Also included is an e-mail from Dr. Bill Grady himself! 

Challenging Which Bible

Posted by Michael A. La Framboise on Wednesday, November 23, 2011
As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Iron sharpeneth iron;
so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

Dear Jared,

   Indeed the question is asked, Which Bible? Are they all equally Holy?

   First, I must briefly explain my point of view. I prefer the NKJV; yet I sincerely believe in the integrity of all the Major Bible Translations. I am, however, definitive in my use of that term:

   I refer only to the...

King James Version (KJV-1762 revision, the common and familiar edition),
New King James Version (NKJV-1982),
New International Version (NIV-1973),
New American Standard Bible (NASB-1971, updated in 1995),
and the New Living Translation (NLT-1996).
   While this may seem rather broad in scope, it will become relatively narrow in our discussion.

   Remember, my statements ONLY include the Major Translations. I speak of no others than the one's listed above. Of course, I have a personal affection for the Jerusalem Bible, as you may well remember. But, since it is not a popular translation, I see no reason to include it here.

   The aforementioned is very important in understanding my comments on the [very boring] book, Which Bible? by David Otis Fuller; since he in no way addresses the Major Translations of our day.

   The book speaks to a time long since passed. It was written before the NIV, NKJV, and the NLT were ever published. The NASB was partially published in 1963, and completed in 1971; but it is never mentioned in Which Bible? nor in subsequent revisions of it. (My copy is the 3rd edition, revised in 1972.) The book is fundamentally a treatise against the Revised Version and its American counterpart, the American Standard Version.

   It spends many pages in attempting to prove a Catholic conspiracy
which allegedly lies at the root of the 19th century movement to revise the Scriptures. As usual, the book is heavily weighted in its attention given to Drs. Westcott and Hort, a dire mistake in contemporary debate of this issue. Also discussed at length is the probability of ancient corruption.

   These three themes provide the background for the basic thesis which asserts the weakness and corruption of the RV and ASV .

   With respect, I say that 50-100 years ago, this book would've been of great importance. I certainly see value in its particular criticisms of the Revision Committee.

   However, I have never met anyone who still uses the RV or the ASV. It would appear that Dr. Fuller accomplished his intended objective. Today the common translations are the KJV, NKJV, NIV, and NLT; and in my "humblest opinion", the arguments against the RV cannot and should not be used to refute the newer translations.

   The newer major translations (I continue to use the term "major translation", to distinguish from kooky paraphrases, biased interpretations, and various minor translations; none of which I endorse. In this way the debate remains relevant to the issues at hand.)
   --are not tainted by any Catholic movement to influence Protestantism.
   --lack any evidence that would indicate a lingering Gnostic conspiracy.
   --do not lend themselves toward an alleged perversion by Westcott/Hort.

While I personally view the NKJV as generally superior in every way; I also recognize the value of other translations. They faithfully and accurately represent their underlying Alexandrian texts; and while there are variations, they are neither dramatic, nor significant. The NU-Text (Nestle's/United Bible Societies Text) of the NIV, NASB, and NLT is far superior to its Westcott and Hort predecessor; and at times, I concede to it the better rendering of various passages.

I always come back to these basic truths:
   --We all use the same Old Testament Hebrew text, the Masoretic Text; there really are no competent disputes in this area (variations are well founded).
   --The New Testament Greek text is the point of contention; but if you carefully investigate the matter, all the major translations are doctrinally sound. There is no diminishing of the Deity of Christ, or His Atoning sacrifice, for example. This is often alleged, but has no support.
   --Also, to their credit, they all, even the RV and ASV, include the controversial passages in Mark 1:1 ("... the Son of God");Mark 16:9- 20; and John 8. This, and many other examples, prove an
academic/spiritual balance that should ease any fears of Gnostic corruption or liberal agenda.

   The book is therefore obsolete in that it deals with issues and arguments which have no affect on major Bible translations; it is also irrelevant in that it does not speak to the pertinent issues that do matter, today (to be fair, it could not). The KJV-Only camp needs something up-to-date. But since I have already sliced and diced Grady and Riplinger, I don't know who they can turn to!

   Now, if I may be a little more critical...

   First, I point out a flaw in the research: A non-objective approach.
On page 213, the secondary author, Benjamin G. Wilkinson, (far less capable than Dr. Fuller), announces his faulty mindset. "In the search to which these considerations have led the author, his fondest expectations have been fully realized. it has furnished him with abundant proof on that point to which his inquiry was chiefly directed..." The gathering of facts should lead one to his conclusion; not the other way around. If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything! Furthermore, the secondary author is far less civilized than Dr. Fuller, as seen in his remarks against Jerome on page 217. I'm sure ol' Jerome was a fine Catholic fellow. I would personally vouch for his credentials.

   I certainly would, however, applaud Alfred Martin for his respectful comments about Dr. Tregelles on page 150; and his generous evaluation of the venerable Westcott and Hort, on pages 154-155.
On pages 3, 6, 27, 37, the author confuses the distinction between the Received Text (TR) and the Majority Text (M-Text) of the New Testament. I found this to be dishonest and self-serving. The M-Text and the TR do not always agree; and in many places where they do not, the M-Text agrees with the NU-Text (Alexandrian text)-- in omission, addition, and variation! This is especially true in the book of Revelation.

   Let me illustrate this using the KJV and NASB-updated, since they are both literal translations, yet with opposing Greek sub-texts...

Rev 1:5 (KJV= TR)
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Rev 1:5 (NASU= M-Text/NU-Text)
To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood --

   Here the TR stands alone, while the M-Text (remember this is the majority of Byzantine texts-- from which the TR is derived-- associated with the Antioch school of text, which is the textual source contrary to the Alexandrian school, ie. the Vaticanus and Sinaiaticus.) is in agreement with the NU-Text, or Alexandrian Text.

   Next example...

Rev 1:8 (KJV= TR)
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,
which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Rev 1:8 (NASU= M-Text/NU-Text)
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God,
"who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

   Here the TR is unique in adding, " the beginning and the ending"; also unique in it's omission of God, after Lord. The M-text agrees with the NU-Text in both instances. Here we have examples of additions, omissions, and variations of the Greek text of the New Testament, where the Alexandrian texts and the Majority of Byzantine texts agree, with only the Received Text (a Byzantine derivative) dissenting. Thus, it incorrect to imply that the TR and M-text are synonymous.

   The book does indeed confess this mis-application of the facts on page 194, but only in the footnotes. I think the intention of raising the TR to a mythical status is obvious, and requires no further comment from me.

   I find it self-serving, however, that the KJV-only crowd never mention the places where the King James "omits" the name of Jesus! Check out Acts 5:41 and Jude 25.
   In the Acts reference, the KJV sides with the NIV and its underlying "Westcott & Hort" Greek text and omits "Jesus"; whereas the Majority Text, from which the Textus Receptus is compiled, actually reads, "...rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the Name of Jesus."

   In Jude 25 the NIV and its underlying Greek text reads, "To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Quite a bit stronger than the KJV which changes "the only God", and omits "Jesus Christ our Lord", and "before all ages". Should I tell everyone that the KJV betrays a Gnostic heritage, and that the translators were attempting to minimize the Godhead, let alone the Name of Jesus?! Yet people who ascribe to the KJV-Only cult continually spew such wretched gobblygook!

   Another quibble of mine may be found on pages 187, 263, and 267, where the author insinuates that the term "Received Text" refers to the whole of the Greek AND Hebrew texts which underlies our Bible. Any giddy ol' schoolboy knows that the term, "Received Text" only refers to the Greek text of the New Testament. I think this gives the impression that the KJV uses a different and superior Hebrew text in its O.T; while in reality, every translation uses the same one. The differences in texts only relate to the N.T. Greek.

   However, on balance, I am surprised with the candid remarks concerning the Received Text on pages 148-150. Here, directly quoted, the author admits that, the Traditional Text is not synonymous with the Received Text, but the latter does embody it in a corrupt form (148); and that, one cannot say that the Textus Receptus, for example is verbally inspired. It contains many plain and clear errors... (149); and finally, that Erasmus wasn't infallible in that, He undoubtedly could have done much better than he did [in formulating his Greek N.T. which became known as the Textus Receptus in 1633] (150). I appreciate the honesty here, but it becomes very confusing when taken with other parts of the book.

   On a similar note, I was disenchanted with page 181, wherein my beloved Septuagint (the Greek translation of the O.T., completed in 285 BC; typically abbreviated LXX.) is maligned, although never named specifically. It is demonstrably fallacious to assert that, "by the time of Christ, the Old Testament was in a settled condition. Since then the Hebrew Scriptures had been carried down intact to the day of printing (about 1450 AD) by... perfect Hebrew manuscripts." This statement can easily be refuted and the LXX vindicated by cross- referencing Hebrews 1:6 with Deuteronomy 32:43.

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world,
he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Heb 1:6 (KJV)

   The Writer of Hebrews quotes from Deuteronomy 32: 43, which reads in the Hebrew Maseretic Text, and in the KJV, as follows...

Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
Deut 32:43 (KJV)

   Hey! what's going on here Mr. Fuller? That isn't even a close paraphrase of what the author of Hebrews said in his quotation. What the author of Which Bible? overlooked is the Council of Jamnia!
In AD 90, Jewish scribes came together to standardize the Hebrew Text. They rejected the LXX and the Hebrew version on which it was based, since it had become the Bible of the Christians. They produced a unified text of the Tenach (Hebrew term for the O.T.) and ensured that divergent texts were destroyed. This became the basis of the text preserved by the Masoretes, who handled the responsibility of copying the Scriptures between AD 500-- AD 950; hence the term "Masoretic Text".
The Apostles used and quoted from the Septuagint; this was their Bible!

   Yet, on page 181, the author declares, "whatever perplexing problems there are with the Old Testament, these have largely been produced by translating it into Greek and uniting that translation to the Greek New Testament." I beg to differ Mr. Fuller! It seems to me, that the Hebrew has been tampered with by Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah, thereby removing a text which was used by the Writer of Hebrews (30 years before Jamnia) to prove the Divinity of Messiah Jesus to Jews.

   Here is how Deuteronomy 32:43 reads in the Septuagint (which was translated from Hebrew manuscripts pre-dating 270 BC), a reading that is absolutely validated and authenticated by the Holy Spirit, as seen in the book of Hebrews.

Rejoice, ye heavens, with him,
and let all the angels of God worship him:
rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people,
and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him;
for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance,
and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him;
and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.
Deuteronomy 32:43 (LXX)

   He shoots, (SWISH!) he scores... 3 points! He's on fire!

Don't under-estimate the Septuagint.

   On page 275, the author uses the most contrived examples of modern-day Bible translations to prove the superiority of the KJV. He criticizes Moffat's Version for using the phrase, "Eclipse of the sun" in Luke 23:45, which reads, "the sun was darkened" in the KJV; stating that "Moffat and the revisers both used the same manuscript". The problem is that every Major Translation today, and back then (including the RV and the ASV), translates this passage just as faithfully as the KJV.

the sun's light failed

the sun's light failing:

the sun stopped shining

the sun being obscured

   The author falsely implied that the problem was with the Alexandrian Greek text, when in reality, the discrepancy was due to Moffat's own interpretation; which by the way, does have some validity. The fact is that in Luke 23:45 there is a variation in the Greek texts. The TR uses the verb "skotizo" (Strong's #4654), meaning to obscure; "was darkened" in the KJV. The NU-Text reads, "eklipontos" (Strong's #1587), meaning to omit; by implication, to cease; translated elsewhere in the KJV, "fail". Obviously, Moffat simply brought "eklipontos" over into the English, basically untranslated as, "eclipse".

   A similar misrepresentation of the truth is found on pages 176 and 309, which both deal with David and Goliath. Well, who did kill Goliath? Was it David or Elhanan?

2 Sam 21:19

Elha'nan... slew Goliath...

Elhanan... slew the brother of Goliath...

   This is interesting, because a good case can be made for either translation. The fact is, the Hebrew text does not contain the KJV addition, "the brother of", which of course is why it is in italics. The KJV, NKJV, and NLT borrow the words from the parallel account in 1 Chronicles 20:5. In this case the other translations contain the most faithful and literal rendering; although I believe the KJV, NKJV, and NLT contain the best interpretation. This, of course, is one of many reasons why I use the NKJV; I think there is wisdom here in the italicized/added phrase. Regardless, both are right; because although David most certainly did kill Goliath, the Hebrew of 2 Samuel 21 states otherwise.
   Allow the commentator to explain:

2 Samuel 21:19
...Where Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite,
slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite...
['Elchaanaan (Strong's OT:445), "God-bestowed"] - one of David's warriors.
[Ya`ªreey-'Orgiym (Strong's OT:3296), "forest of weavers".

It is evident that 'irgiym, is spurious, and has been introduced by mistake from the eye of a transcriber catching the end of the following line, where oregim (weavers) stands.]
This word being rejected, the clause is identical with that in the parallel passage,
1 Chron 20:5. Elhanan, the son of Jair "slew ... Goliath the Gittite."

The incidents associated with the feat of Elhanan show it to have occurred in an advanced period of David's reign; and therefore, regarding the statement of the chronicler as the correct one, we consider the word "brother" as properly borrowed from that passage, and, [the word] a Beth-lehemite, as corrupt; so that the clause should be, 'Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite.'
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

   The other textual example I found given in the book, is on page 110. Here the author employs senseless Banta-fodder-- or, to quote Sebulba, the great Pod Racer of a by-gone era, "Banta poo-doo". I simply do not see the big deal here. Whether or not the word in 1 Timothy 3:16 is rendered "God" or "He", the context plainly presents Christ as the person in view. For a scholars perspective, I direct you to Adam Clarke and his commentary on the matter; also Barne's Notes for a more thorough examination.

   On page 275, the author puts forth the worst examples possible to illustrate the danger of the modern Bibles. He employs conversation and criticism over the Poly-chrome Bible and the Shorter Bible (also the Fenton Ferrar Translation on page 309). Give me a break! While I agree with the author in his criticism, I must point out that this was a waste of time. Let's argue over Translations, not paraphrases. Let's talk about Bibles that people have actually heard of before.

   Concerning the "Many" changes in newer Bibles (page 298): see my comments in "Challenging Final Authority and the Grady Deceit".

   On page 311 the author advocates for a standard version, namely the KJV. While I think it beneficial to have the same Bible as your pastor in church; I do not see the necessity of an accepted standardized version in general (Isn't this ecclesiastical socialism?). However this is simply "opinion" on both my part and on the part of the author. We may agree to disagree, agreeably here. Frankly, I am very appreciative for the many good and dependable Translations.

   Finally, I come to the most important facet of Which Bible?...
I refer you to pages 151, 247, and 304 where the author establishes the foundation and need for a "New" King James Version.

   On page 151, the author emphasizes the necessity of the textual controversy to be "aired again among Bible-believing Christians"; to the affect that the Textus Receptus might be re-evaluated, so as to be recognized as a worthy Greek text. This re-evaluation indeed took place, and the preface to the NKJV bears this out: "Recent studies have caused significant changes... and a growing number of scholars now regard the Received Text as far more reliable than previously thought. In light of this... the New King James New Testament has been based on this Received Text, thus perpetuating the tradition begun by William Tyndale in 1525 and continued by the 1611 translators in rendering the Authorized Version."

   On page 247, an acknowledgment of the "vast" devolution of the English language since 1611, lays the framework for the comments made on page 304 concerning the great potential and "wonderful opportunity" of a truly sound revision of the KJV: "They might have made a few changes and removed a few archaic expressions, and made the Authorized Version the most acceptable and beautiful and wonderful book of all time to come." No doubt the NKJV has fulfilled this great desire; albeit, those who should most benefit from its qualities, sadly refuse it on baseless absurdities.

   Without question, the KJV is an excellent Old English translation, as pages 246 and 284 detail quite efficiently. Furthermore, I confess that the Pastors and Bible teachers I most admire use the KJV: Jerry Osborne, founder of the Community Bible Church of Norwalk; Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel; Jon Courson and Chuck Missler among others. And I must say, It works just fine... as you certainly know.

   In my case, I need the best I can get, so I use the NKJV.
   Now look who's biased, shame on me!

   Bottom line, I completely enjoy going back and forth over this awesome controversy.
Thank you for your time, dear cousin.

Response From Jared R. Munson
An E-mail entitled, “I’m Tickled”

Believe it or not I've been reading your work on Which Bible and must say it's always enjoyable to hear how you can take a complicated subject and so eloquently put it down on the bottom shelf for us simple folk.

No doubt you've done your homework and have worked hard on this to find the truth. I really believe God has blessed you with a great gift in communicating what you have learned into writings. You seriously need to work on a book, anything you write I think would be a help to Christians because of the way you write. With some writers they get stuck on hearing themselves talk and get too intellectual but you don't do that it's like a perfect puzzle or a masterpiece painting, music to my ears, I think I'm rambling now, anyways I'm trying to say it flows together very nicely.

When you do write your first book I got dibs on the first autographed copy.
Now if I can challenge anything or not remains to be seen. I have my work cut out for me.

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