New Covenant Ministries
The vast majority of those who read the English Bible are entirely ignorant
of the Greek; of the non-translation of baptizo
and its signification.
Translation (1842), pg. 30]
As to our being "left without a standard," through the multiplicity
and variety of translations, we have only to say that there can, in the nature
of things, be no perfect standard but the Hebrew and Greek originals; these,
being written by inspired men, are infallible, while all translations by
men uninspired must be more or less imperfect. The number of translations
cannot affect the original. [ibid
Question: What is the Correct Principle on which
Translations of the Holy Scriptures should be made? To this I reply,
that they should be conformed, as nearly as possible, to the inspired
originals. Let it be remembered, that the Bible which we possess is
a translation. The words of our English version are invested with Divine
authority, only so far as they express just what the original expresses.
I present this thought because there is, in the minds of many, a superstitious
reverence for the words and phrases of our English version (KJV). This being
a translation, partakes more or less of the imperfections of the translators;
and, in every instance where the original is not clearly and fully translated,
it is the word of man, and not the Word of God. The Old Testament was originally
written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. In translating, therefore,
into English, or Burmese, or French, or German, or Benagli, or any other
language, it is evident to any one, that the Hebrew and the Greek should
be the standard to which these translations should be
conformed. [Baptists: The Only
Thorough Reformers (1876), pg. 128-129, used as
a textbook in Spurgeon's
note: this is not the Adams who was the 6th
(KJV) "Let us hold fast the
profession of our faith, without wavering..." We
have here an extraordinary example of the persistence of a blunder, through
centuries. The word FAITH, given here by the A.V., instead of
HOPE breaking up the beautiful triad of versus 22,
23, 24 ~ faith, hope, love was a mere mistake,
"hope" being accordingly the rendering of all the English
versions previously to 1611. And yet this is the version which some would
have us regard as infallible, and receive as the written word of God!
[The New Testament for English Readers
vol. 4, pg. 1546 (written ca. 1860)]
[His statement concerning Ambrose of Milan who died in 397
A.D.] Would you know, according to what standard he believed
the versions of the Scripture ought to be examined? He will answer you, that
it must be by the original. [The Ecclesiastical
History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont
(1690) pg. 15]
It is wrong to affirm that the existence of a perfect original is a
matter of no importance if that original is no longer available for examination.
[Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties
The Baptists cannot, consistently with their religious principles, in
any case where they are permitted to choose, consent to use or circulate
any version in which any important portion of divine truth is concealed or
obscured, either by non-translation or by ambiguity of expression.
[A History of the
Baptists (1890), pg. 895]
The more accurately a version is brought to the true standard, the more
accurately will it express the mind and will of God. And this is the real
foundation of the sacredness of the Bible. Any regard for it founded upon
the defects or faults of translation is superstition... For although we insist
upon the observance of a uniform principle in the full and faithful translation
of God's Word, so as to express in plain English, without ambiguity or vagueness,
the exact meaning of baptizo, as well as of all other words
relating to the Christian ordinances, yet this is but one of numerous errors,
which, in our estimation, demand correction.
Like his brethren, he believed that the word
'baptize' in the Bible meant to immerse and that
it was his duty to God so to preach it; but unlike them, he believed that
if it was his duty so to preach it, it was as clearly his duty so to print
it. [ibid pg.
Every communication of God is important, and we are not willing that
any, no matter how seemingly insignificant, should go misunderstood if we
have at our disposal the tools to understand.
[Understanding the Difficult Words of
Jesus pg. 117]
Once for all, we request it may be clearly understood that we do not,
by any means, claim perfection for the Received Text. We entertain no extravagant
notions on this subject. Again and again we shall have occasion to point
out that the Textus Receptus needs correction.
[The Revision Revised
(1883), pg. 21, as quoted in Theodore Letis'
The Revival of the Ecclesiastical
Text pg. 44]
Why Dean Burgon would NOT JOIN
" THE DEAN BURGON SOCIETY
(by Gary Hudson)
Versions, or translations, are not inspired. If they were, all of them
would be just alike. But the original manuscript was inspired. [as
quoted in James M. Gray's
A Coffer of Jewels About Our Infallible,
Eternal Word of God pg. 272]
But in our present translations, we don't go back, say, to the King
James Version and revise that and put that in modern English, but each time
we make a translation we get just as close back to the original standard
as possible, and in this way the translations become a great means for
determining the true text. ...God's leaving this kind of labor to be performed
by man has had a tremendous effect in bringing about a study of the Bible
that would never have been undertaken if to every nation there had been handed
down, in God's own handwriting, a text of the Bible in their language.
[The Inspiration of the Bible
Let me say further that only the original text of the books of the Bible
is inspired, not the copy or the translation. [as quoted in
Authority: The Critical Issue for Southern
Baptists pg. 64]
The Baptists of America had withdrawn from the American Bible Society
because it refused aid to the Bengalee and Burmese translations, made by
Baptist missionaries, in which the Greek term baptizo and its
cognates had been rendered by words signifying "immerse," "immersion," etc.
The English translation had been made the standard to which all other
translations should conform and not the inspired originals, and the founders
of the (American Bible) Union felt compelled by consistency to demand that
on the principle of fidelity, translations in all languages should be conformed
to the Hebrew and Greek texts. [The Baptist
Encyclopedia (1881), pg. 98]
Although the Scriptures were originally penned under the unerring guidance
of the Holy Spirit, it does not follow, that a continued miracle has been
wrought to preserve them from all error in transcribing. On the contrary,
we know that manuscripts differ from each other; and were readings are various,
but one of them can be correct. A miracle was needed in the original production
of the Scriptures; and accordingly, a miracle was wrought; but the preservation
of the inspired word, in as much perfection as was necessary to answer the
purpose for which it was given, did not require a miracle, and accordingly
it was committed to the providence of God.
Theology (1857), pg. 24]
Tyndale was writing for ordinary men and women reading the Greek New
Testament in English to themselves and to each other, round the table, in
the parlour, under the hedges, in the fields; not for those obediently sitting
in rows in stone churches being done good to by the squire at the lectern
it was the Authorised Version that was "Appointed to be
read in churches." [Introduction to TYNDALE'S
New Testament pg. xxvii]
When James I gave his Bible revisers the huge Bishops' Bible as their
foundation, which meant that the Vulgate-based Rheims version
would be attractive to them, he ensured that a wash of Latinity would be
spread over Tyndale's English. The result, and we must assume, the intention,
was to create a safer distance between the Scriptures and the people. Though
in the general working vocabulary there were more Latinate terms in use by
1611. Latin words and constructions have, as they had then, the ring of
Establishment authority, which is not the same as the koine Greek that Tyndale
was translating for the first time. [Introduction to the
modern-spelling edition of
TYNDALE'S New Testament
edition) pg. xxiv]
Allowing all due honour to the English translation of the Bible, it
must be granted to be a human performance, and, as such, subject to imperfection.
Where any passage appears to be mistranslated, it is doubtless proper for
those who are well acquainted with the original languages to point it out,
and to offer, according to the best of their judgment, the true meaning of
the Holy Spirit. [Andrew Fuller's
WORKS pg. 990]
This is to be understood of the Scriptures, as in the original languages
in which they were written, and not of translations: unless it could be thought,
that the translators of the Bible into the several languages of the nations
into which it has been translated, were under the divine inspiration also
in translating, and were directed of God to the use of words they have rendered
the original by; but this is not reasonable to suppose... To the Bible in
its original languages is every translation to be brought, and by it to be
examined, tried, and judged, and to be corrected and amended: and if this
was not the case, we should have no certain and infallible rule to go by;
for it must be either all the translations together, or some one of them;
not all of them, because they agree not in all things: not one; for then
the contest would be between one nation and another which it should be, whether
English, Dutch, French, etc. and could one be agree upon, it could not be
read and understood by all. [A Body of
Divinity pg. 13]
Are translations inspired? The position is here taken that so far as
a translation faithfully represents the original Scriptures, it is characterized
by the same inspiration with them. If it exactly coincides with the original
as to matter, it is substantially the same with it. So far as it deviates
from the original, it ceases to be inspired... The translation was effected
by fallible men, and therefore contains some errors... The translators were
uninspired men, and consequently liable to mistakes; the translation is inspired,
so far it exactly gives the original so far, no more.
[Discussions of Theological
Questions (1905), pgs.
There may be errors in the transcription of the ancient manuscripts;
there may be errors in translation, and errors many in interpretation, but
that the original Scriptures are the words of the living God, He most explicitly
declares them to be. [Seven
Dispensations pg. 24]
There is no translation absolutely without error, nor could there be,
considering the infirmities of human copyists, unless God were pleased to
perform a perpetual miracle to secure it.
[A Coffer of Jewels About Our Infallible
Eternal Word of God pg. 158, and
The Fundamentals for Today pg.
There are a few places in which the Textus Receptus differs from the
Traditional text found in the majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts.
The most important of these differences are due to the fact that Erasmus,
influenced by the usage of the Latin-speaking Church in which
he was reared, sometimes followed the Latin Vulgate rather than the Traditional
Greek text. [The King James Version Defended
The King James Version, however, is mainly a revision of the Bishop's
Bible, which in turn was a slightly revised edition of Tyndale's Bible.
As the marginal notes indicate, the King James translators did not regard
their work as perfect or inspired, but they did consider it to be a trustworthy
reproduction of God's holy Word. [ibid
At John 8:6 the King James translators followed
the Bishop's Bible in adding the clause, "as though He heard them
not..." After 1769, it was placed in
italics in the King James Version.
(& B. B.
WARFIELD) We do not assert that the common text, but
only the original autographic text, was inspired.
The Word of God... is contained exactly and most purely in the Originals,
and in all translations, so far as they agree therewith. Now though some
translations may exceed others in Propriety, and significant rendering of
the Originals: yet they generally, (even the most imperfect that we know
of) express and hold forth so much of the Mind, Will, and Counsel of God,
as is sufficient, by the Blessing of God upon a conscientious Reading thereof,
to acquaint a man with the mysteries of salvation, to work in him true faith,
and bring him to live godly, righteously, and soberly in this world, and
to salvation in the next. [The Baptist
Catechism (17th century), pg. 21]
All subsequent copies or translations are "inspired" only to the extent
that they accurately represent the autographs.
[Spire (Fall, 1983),
We affirm and avow, that the very meanest
[poorest or least
translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of
our profession... contains the Word of God, nay, is the Word of God. Though
it be not interpreted by every Translator with like grace, the King's speech
is still the King's speech; no cause therefore why the word translated should
be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be currant
[used], notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes
may be noted in the setting forth [translating] of it.
Variety of translations is profitable for finding out of the sense of the
scriptures. [Translators to the Readers
Preface of the King James Version 1611]
NOTE: John R. Kohlenberger III is a graduate of Multnomah School
of the Bible with an M.A. in Old Testament studies from Western Conservative
Baptist Seminary (Portland, Oregon), and has been a
part-time faculty member at Multnomah. He is a leading
expert and editor on the application of computers to Bible-related
reference projects and has produced the NIV
Triglot, the NIV Interlinear
Hebrew-English Old Testament, and co-authored both
The NIV Complete Concordance and
The NIV Exhaustive Concordance. In
the summer of '97, he hosted a workshop called
"Understanding the Bible Controversy"
which discussed many issues, primarily the use of "inclusive language"
in Bible translations. The workshop was videotaped by C-Span and aired
in August '97. To order the video, call (800) C-Span-98,
also, an audio cassette is available for $ 8 from the
Christian Booksellers Association
at (800) 252-1950. A short summary of his views follows, compiled
by Lynn Waalkes & published in the September '97
According to Kohlenberger, there's no such thing as a completely
literal translation: both
equivalence) translation styles have been used since the 14th
century. Neither translation style determines translation accuracy, he
pointed out. Gender-inclusive language has been used in the
Greek-Septuagint, the Greek New Testament, and historic English
versions including the King James Version. In fact,
the KJV preface stated, "We have not tied ourselves
to a uniformity of phrasing, or to an identify or words, as some peradventure
would wish that we had
FEMINIST HOTBED ? Kohlenberger discussed
the use of inclusive language in
the Septuagint by Jewish rabbis "hardly a hotbed of feminism"
and by the Apostle Paul when he quoted
2 Samuel 7:14. Modern inclusive translations
with the exception of the Oxford Inclusive Version
(New Testament & Psalms, 1995)
aren't driven by a feminist agenda, Kohlenberger added. He emphasized
that translators aren't changing the text, just the expression, so that the
message will be understood the same way today as when it was written.
"We may not like changes in our language,"
Kohlenberger concluded: "but we have to recognize them and respond
to them, or we will miscommunicate or fail to communicate. If we are
misunderstood, we have
miscommunicated, and we
the Word of
The Holy Spirit chose as the language of the New Testament revelation
the colloquial language of everyday people, not an ancient classical idea.
The modern insistence upon the supremacy of the King James Version of 1611
represents a reversal of the action of the Holy Spirit by insisting that
for us the best idiom for the word of God is not the modern colloquial idiom,
but the ancient classical language of Shakespeare.
[The New Testament and Criticism
Those who objected to [the Revised Standard Version's] being copyrighted
should know that all English Bibles, including the KJV and ASV, were copyrighted
when first issued. The King James still enjoys copyright protection in Britain.
It is only right that the purity of the text be protected and that the investment
made by the publisher be safeguarded.
[The English Bible: From KJV to
NIV pg. 107]
More than 400 errors in the first edition of the King James Bible were
corrected in a subsequent edition two years later.
[How We Got the Bible
Why so strenuous of exact inspiration of the words, when you admit there
may be errors of transcription? What do you gain? We answer, we gain all
the difference there is between an inspired and an uninspired original; all
the difference between a document truly divine and authoritative to begin
with though the copies or translations may have in minute
particulars varied from it and a document faulty and unreliable
at the outset, and never really divine... There is even now, with some ignorant
persons, an assumption of the infallibility and equality with the original
of some particular translation, as the Vulgate, or King James, or Luthers.
[The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration
(1888) pg. 84]
It is not true the plenary inspiration of the original would be useless,
unless the copies were secured by a perpetual miracle against the effects
of time and of careless and corrupt transmission. A truly divine original,
even if copied with no more than ordinary human care and fidelity, is vastly
superior to an original, however accurately preserved, that never had divine
authority. And obviously the fact that it was recognized and accepted as
from God would serve greatly to insure its being preserved with more than
ordinary care... Neither can it be justly said that there is no probability
that God would supernaturally inspire the writings, unless he also miraculously
preserved them from erroneous transcription. He might do the one, which He
alone could do, and leave the other, as in so many other matters, to the
faithfulness of his servants intrusted with that responsibility.
If the history of the Textus Receptus itself is a history of revision,
why is it beyond revision today?
[Accuracy of Translation and the NIV
The nature of language does not permit a
'perfect' translation the semantic
area of words differs between languages so that there is seldom complete
overlap. A 'perfect' translation of John 3:16
from Greek into English is impossible, for we have no perfect equivalent
for "agapao" [translated "loved" in John
3:16]. [The Identity of the New
Testament Text (1977, 1980)]
It is nothing less than a mockery and a sin that the word for baptism
[baptizo] should be transliterated instead
of being translated. [The World's Debt
to the Baptists (1914) pg. 139]
Probably the most accurate translation of the Scriptures is the American
Bible Union Version, which is solely a Baptist production.
[ibid pg. 137]
For any preacher or theologian who loves God's Word to allow that Word
to go on being misunderstood because of the veneration of an archaic,
not-understood version of four centuries ago is inexcusable,
and almost unconscionable. [as quoted in D.
A. Carson's The King James Version
Debate pg. 102]
word overseers in this passage is "episcopous" in the Greek
the word which
is usually translated bishops: but to have rendered it bishops
in this place, would have shown that elder and bishop is the
same office, which would have condemned the church
[Anglican] of the translators.
[Baptist Succession pg.
A perfect translation of the Bible is humanly impossible. The words
in one language do not have exactly the same color and meaning as opposite
words in another language, and human frailty and imperfection enter in. So,
let us say, there are no perfect translations.
[Our God-Breathed Book
The Bible pg. 376]
To claim, therefore, inerrancy for the King James Version, or even for
the Revised Version, is to claim inerrancy for men who never professed it
for themselves; is to clothe with the claim of verbal inspiration a company
of men who would almost quit their graves to repudiate such equality with
Prophet and Apostle. [his message, The
Meaning of Modernism]
I've NEVER said that the King James Bible was inspired, although I've
broadly intimated it sometimes. [his booklet,
Why I Believe the King James Version Is the Word of
God pg. 6]
Not one time did God guarantee that ONE of the translations was
Bulletin Nov. 91, pg.
Now, at no time have I stated flatly that the A. V. 1611 was the "verbally
inspired Word of God." Verbal inspiration has to do with 2
Timothy 3:16 and deals with the Original Autographs, as we all
Letter to Robert
That was Charles Haddon Spurgeon waving a King James Bible at his
congregation and telling them that he saw God's Book and they could read
it...Why, you bunch of conceited asses, Spurgeon was the most radical
that ever lived on the face of this earth if you accept the statements
of his regenerated nature.
June 1989, pg.
To make sure you miss the truth of the passage entirely, the Kenneth
Taylor paraphrase (The "Living"go play with
yourself Buster, Bible) mistranslates the
It is now 1989. Personally, I think
the Lord is coming in the late spring. If I were to hazard a guess now (after
receiving an orthodox Jewish calendar from a Jew), I would guess somewhere
between the 14th of May and the 20th of June... As the last few months of
the Church age close out (a few months at the
most), the Laodicean, lukewarm Christians
(Rev. 3) have picked for their target the King James 1611
January 1989, pg. 5, and May 1989,
This is one reason why I have never allowed myself an occasional
"slip" when dealing with the Authorized Holy
Bible. They won't get that alibi from me. They will have to get it from someone
March 1990, pg.
I do not say that those who wrote copies of the original Hebrew and
Greek Scriptures were incapable of making mistakes, and never left out or
added a word. I lay no claim to the inspiration of every word in the various
versions and translations of God's Word. So far as these translations and
versions are faithfully and correctly done so far they are practically, of
equal authority with the original Hebrew and Greek.
[The Inspiration of the
[In contending for verbal and plenary inspiration
of the Bible, he says...] In making this statement I ask the
reader not to misunderstand my meaning. I do not forget that the Old Testament
was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. The inspiration of
every word, for which I contend, is the inspiration of every original Hebrew
and Greek word, as the Bible writers first wrote it down. I stand up for
nothing more and nothing less than this. I lay no claim to the inspiration
of every word in the various versions and translations of God's Word. So
far as those translations and versions are faithfully and correctly done,
so far they are of equal authority with the original Hebrew and Greek. We
have no reason to thank God that many of the translations are, in the main,
faithful and accurate. At any rate our own English Bible, if not perfect
is so far correct, that in reading it we have a right to believe that we
are reading in our own tongue not the word of man, but of God.
[Old Paths (1877) pgs.
[Ryle also explicitly denies the infallible preservation
of the text, saying...] No doubt we may have lost a
few of the original words. We have no right to expect infallibility in
transcribers and copyists, before the invention of printing. But there is
not a single doctrine in Scripture which would be affected or altered if
all the various readings were allowed, and all the disputed or doubtful words
were omitted. [ibid pgs.
[Glenn Conjurske comments...
"Observe, Ryle contends for the general accuracy and consequent
adequacy of the common English version, in the same paragraph in which
he explicitly denies the inspiration or infallibility of its every word.
This was the position of all Protestants. In our own day, alas, a great host
of men have risen up, none of them worthy to bear Ryles's shoes, who deny
both the accuracy and the adequacy of the old version, and hence we have
a rash of new ones designed to replace it
and hence, as a
reaction against that, the exaltation of the old version (A.V.) to
the place of infallibility. But this doctrine is as new as the new
versions, or a little newer. Let those who believe this new doctrine, and
who suppose it to be an old doctrine, let them now prove it old, by producing
a single statement from old times which explicitly attributes inerrancy to
the King James translation."]
Most readers will be aware that numberless and not inconsiderable departures
from the original or standard edition of the Authorized Translation as published
in 1611, are to be found in the modern [KJV] Bibles which
issue from the press by thousands every year. Some of these differences must
be imputed to oversight and negligence, from which no work of man can be
entirely free; but much the greater part of them are deliberate changes,
introduced silently and without authority by men whose very names are often
unknown. [The Authorized Edition of the
(1611) pg. 3]
For many years which followed the publication of the edition of 1769,
even after its glaring imperfections had become in some measure known, the
King's Printer and the two English Universities continued to reproduce what
was in substance Dr. Blayney's work, when the public attention was claimed
in 1831 by Mr. Curtis of Islington, who complained that all modern reprints
of Holy Scripture departed widely from the original edition of 1611, to the
great deterioration of our Vernacular Translation.
I do not hesitate to say that I believe that
there is no mistake whatever in the original Holy Scriptures from
beginning to end. There may be, and there are MISTAKES of translation
are NOT INSPIRED
but even the
historical facts are correct... there is not an error in the whole compass
of them. These words come from him who can make no mistake, and who can have
no wish to deceive his creatures. [from
The Bible Tried and
Vol 35, Year
1889, pg. 257,
Believers in verbal inspiration should be studiously careful to be verbally
correct. The gentlemen who see errors in Scripture may think themselves competent
to amend the language of the Lord of hosts; but we who believe God, and accept
the very words He uses, may not make so presumptuous an attempt. Let us quote
the words as they stand in the best possible translation, and it will be
better still if we know the original, and can tell if our version fails to
give the sense. [Greatest Fight in the
When quoting from the prophecy of Isaiah, our blessed Lord not only
used a translation, but he gave the sense freely; thus rebuking the mere
word-chopping of the Rabbis. They could count the letters of
a sacred book, and yet utterly miss its meaning.
of the Kingdom pg. 121]
Do not needlessly amend our authorized version. It is faulty in many
places, but still it is a grand work taking it for all in all, and it is
unwise to be making every old lady distrust the only Bible she can get at,
or what is more likely, mistrust you for falling out with her cherished treasure.
Correct where correction must be for truth's sake, but never for the vainglorious
display of your critical ability.
Commentaries from Lectures
To My Students pg. 31]
That was a grand action of old
Jerome, when he laid all his pressing
engagements aside to achieve a purpose to which he felt a call from heaven...
Away he went with his manuscripts, and prayed and labored, and produced a
which will last as long as the
world stands; on the whole a most wonderful translation of Holy Scripture.
[ Lectures To My Students
Series I, pg. 51]
I feel vexed with the fellow who chopped the Bible up into chapters;
I forget his name just now, and I am sure it is not worth recollecting
[actually it was Sir Robert
Stephens in 1551]. I have heard that he did the most
of his carving of the New Testament, between London and Paris, and rough
work he made of it. Surely he was chaptering the Gospel of Matthew while
he was crossing the Channel, for he has divided it in such queer
1873, pg. 466,
Matt. 9:37-38, 10:1]
When the English Revised Version New Testament appeared in
1881, Spurgeon did not heap scorn upon it as some did then and as some do
today. In fact, from 1881 on, Spurgeon not infrequently expressly referred
to the Revised English translation, commending it either in text or translation
or both. In 1881, the very year the revision appeared, Spurgeon preached
a sermon in which he expressly refers to the new Revised Version, noting
its difference in text from the KJV and acknowledging the RV as here correct;
he then lays down some principles regarding the questions of the text and
translation of Scripture to which all Baptist ought to give hearty assent.
His sermon text is part of Isaiah 61:1, "He hath sent
me to bind up the broken-hearted..."
I intended to have preached from these words in Luke 4:18,
but when I looked at the Revised Version and found that the words were not
there at all I was somewhat startled. I began to ask whether the omission
was a correct one or not
without making pretence to scholarship
feel convinced that the revisers are acting honestly in leaving it out. It
was not in the original manuscript of Luke, but probably some pious person
added it with the intention of making the quotation more complete. Whatever
the intention may have been, and however natural the added words may appear,
it is a pity that the unknown brother ventured to improve that which was
perfect from the beginning...
...Concerning the fact of difference between the Revised
and Authorized Versions, I would say that no Baptist should ever fear any
honest attempt to produce the correct text, & an accurate interpretation
of the Old/New Testaments. For many years Baptists have insisted upon it
that we ought to have the Word of God translated in the best possible manner,
whether it would comfirm certain religious opinions and practices, or work
against them. All we want is the exact mind of the Spirit, as far as we can
get it. Beyond all other Christians we are concerned in this, seeing we have
not other sacred book; we have no prayer book or binding creek, or authoritative
minutes of conference
have nothing but the Bible
we would have that as pure as ever we can get it. By the best and most honest
scholarship that can be found we desire that the common version may be purged
of every blunder of transcribers, or addition of human ignorance, or human
knowledge, that so the Word of God may come to us as it came from his own
1881, pgs. 341,
342-3, Isaiah 61:1]
We have no right to expect that the inspiration of the original writer
will be followed by a miracle in the case of every copyist. Why believe in
infallible copyists, more than in infallible printers? God educates us to
care for his word, and for its correct transmission. Reverence has kept the
Scriptures more free from various readings than are other ancient manuscripts.
None of the existing variations endanger any important article of faith.
Yet some mistakes in transcription there probably are.
No one, as far as I know, holds that the English translation of the
Bible is absolutely infallible and inerrant. The doctrine held by many is
that the Scriptures as originally given were absolutely infallible and inerrant,
and that our English translation (KJV) is a substantially accurate rendering
of the Scriptures as originally given.
[Difficulties in the Bible
Are we really to believe that the happy possessors of the
so-called "wicked Bible" held "thou shalt commit adultery"
to be as divinely inerrant as the genuine text of the seventh commandment,
on the ground that the inerrance of the original autographs of the Holy
Scriptures must not be asserted as distinguished from the Holy Scriptures
which we now possess? [Selected Shorter
Writings of B. B. Warfield pg. 585]
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... The Bible is the chief moral
cause of all that is good, and the best corrector of all that is evil, in
human society; the best book for regulating the temporal concerns of men,
and the only book that can serve as an infallible guide to future felicity.
With this estimate of its value, I have attempted to render the English version
more useful, by correcting a few obvious errors, and removing some obscurities,
with objectionable words and phrases; and my earnest prayer is, that my labors
may not be wholly unsuccessful. [The Holy
Bible in the Common Version with Amendments of the
Language (1883), preface, pg. 5]
Every obstacle to a right understanding of the scriptures, however small,
should be removed, when it can be done in consistency with truth.
[The Webster Bible (1883),
introduction, pg. 16]
Consecration of error, can never be approved by the God of truth. To
retain it, because it is consecrated, must displease Him. The meaning of
a word is the idea which it conveys. The English word BAPTIZE does
not convey to the majority of those who hear and read it the idea of IMMERSION.
But the idea of the Greek word BAPTIZO is IMMERSION. As BAPTIZE does
not convey this idea, it is not a true and faithful translation.
[Baptize and Immerse
tract published by the American Bible
Union in the 1800's, pg. 2]
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This Page was Created on 27 November 1998