Posted by Travis Berry
We began this series yesterday with “King James Onlyism Pt. 1”. Before reading this post I would encourage you to read that one because it highlights the circular argumentation of the KJ onlyist and gives an example of a textual variation in the King James Version.
Like the last post, I am responding to the claims of pastor Hampton of Grace Bible Church. We only responded to his first point, which ended at about the 4 minute mark. So, in the video you can skip ahead to 4 minutes and that is where we will pick up.
Here pastor Hampton wants us to look at Mark 1:2. He points out that the KJV says, “As it is written in the prophets” and most of the modern translations have, “As it is written in Isaiah the prophet”.
He points out correctly that most modern translations do say that these passages are from Isaiah. So, I guess that means the modern translations had this all wrong, right?
Not at all.
It is common for New Testament writers to refer to Old Testament prophecies from different prophets and string them together. It is also common for the NT writer to only mention the major prophet when the quote comes from multiple prophets. This stringing together of multiple prophet’s writings and only mentioning one prophet occurs in the KJV along with the ESV as I will show you.
Matthew 27:9-10 in the ESV says:
“Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.’”
Matthew 27:9-10 in the KJV says:
“Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.‘”
So, why did I quote this text? This New Testament text shines light on the inconsistency of pastor Hampton’s argumentation.
In all of Jeremiah’s writings, “thirty pieces of silver,” is nowhere to be found. Matthew is quoting from Jeremiah 19 and Zechariah 11.
Zechariah 11:12-13 says:
“Then I said to them, ‘If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.’ And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.”
Notice the bold-faced phrases?
“Thirty pieces of silver,” does not show up in Jeremiah but the KJV only mentions him in Matt. 27:9-10. It is common for the NT writers to string together OT prophets and only mention the major prophet. The KJV does it this. So, is it fair for pastor Hampton to condemn modern texts for only mentioning Isaiah in Mark 1:2 when his Bible only mentions Jeremiah in Matt. 27:9-10?
Allow me to answer that for you…NO!
Posted by Travis Berry
I was debating whether I should write this series or not. The response could get a little crazy but the truth is important. The reason for this series is to highlight some arguments that the King James onlyist will throw out and how the average person can respond to them.
I also want to point out that there has been some great work on this subject. I highly recommend Dr. James White’s work entitled The King James Only Controversy for a more in-depth study on this subject.
For this series I want to respond to a video that I ran across on youtube from Grace Bible Church in Montgomery, Alabama entitled “King James Bible”. I am going to respond to each of his claims point by point. Each response will be brief but will be adequately answered…God willing. Here is the video:
Notice right off the bat that he claims the King James Bible is “the word of God”. I agree with him on this point but I do not agree with what he implies by that statement. What he means is the King James Bible is the only word of God. This implication is highlighted by his math equation.
I stop long enough to point out that his equation is misinterpreting the text of John 1:1. John 1:1 is not referring to the Scriptures. The Word = Jesus not the text of Scriptures.
With that, it is important to recognize the presuppositions of the KJV Onlyist. Dr. James White gives an equation when describing KJ Onlyism:
The King James alone = The Word of God alone
That equation describes every KJ Onlyist I have ever listened to. There is a huge problem with pastor Hampton’s equation and the equation that KJ Onlyist’s use. What’s the problem? The arguments are circular. Their starting point is their ending point.
We see clearly that pastor Hampton is operating under the equation Dr. James White points out. He asserts that the King James Bible is the only word of God then will argue all of his points back to it. Let’s start with his first text Matt. 18:11.
Pastor Hampton rightly points out that most of the modern translations remove Matt. 18:11 from the main body of the text. This does not mean they are editing the Bible. It also doesn’t mean they are completely omitting it from the text. I typically use the ESV when I study the Bible. When one opens an ESV and flips to Matthew 18 they will notice that the verse appears to be missing from the text. But, if you look at the bottom of the page it says, “Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost.” So, what does this mean? It means that the more reliable manuscripts do not have verse 11 in their texts but the ESV still wants to respect those other manuscripts by footnoting it. If the ESV wanted to hide this verse then why would they even bother to footnote it?
I also want to point out that the early KJV had textual notes in it describing the variations in the manuscripts. Here is a picture to give an example:
This textual variation comes from Judges 19:2 and it raises two questions. Was the traveller’s concubine at her father’s house for “foure whole monthes“? Or, for, “a yeare and foure monthes“? The KJV translators gave us both. It is hypocritical for the KJOnlyist to point out that the modern translations footnote variations when the 1611 KJV does the same.
We also need to recognize that pastor Hampton is using circular reasoning. He says, “in many versions of the Bible; you know what it does? It goes Matthew 18:10 and Matthew 18:12. I’ll give you a chance to go get your Bible.” So, verse 11 isn’t in the body of my Bible but what does he compare it to? The KJV. You cannot prove that the KJV is superior by starting with the KJV. Pastor Hampton would need to show us the manuscript evidence to prove his point but he does not do so.