A Voice in the
September 9, 2005
Re: the "Defined King James Bible"
Several months ago a subscriber asked my thoughts on the DKJB, the "DEFINED King James Bible", from Collingswood, NJ, www.biblefortoday.org My answer at the time was brief, based only on visits to some websites that had reviewed it, because I had not seen one personally. Now, more recently a subscriber sent me a copy, which I have taken a look at. And based on my perusals, it is necessary to warn the reader 'away' from it.
While it contains much useful information, it also contains errors, and thus, is also deceptive. In its appendix area it warns against the deceitfulness of the modern perversions; but in many ways, due to its own biases, it may actually be a greater danger, than the perversions it purports to counter.
In that its base text is KJV, it is God's Word; as is any other (1769) KJV one might buy off the shelf. But, whereas they condemn the NKJV for its marginal notes regarding the NU renderings, this DKJB's Appendix philosophies are more insidiously dangerous than what it claims the NKJV to be. For instance: if you read the NKJV 'text', but don't pay attention to the marginal notes, you are reading God's Word, because, in spite of the biases of its translation scholars, its underlying text is the Mazoretic and Textus Receptus sets of Heb/Grk texts. If you own a Scofield Reference Bible, and don't read any of the Scofield notes, you are reading the KJV, which is God's Word, coming from the correct Heb/Grk texts, in spite of its translator biases. Likewise, if you own a DKJB, and don't pay any attention to the notes or other writings in front and back, you are reading the KJV. The text of the KJV is KJV.
Thus, this review is NOT about -the- 'KJV', specifically. This review is
about that which has been added IN-and-AROUND the KJV text in the DKJB.
The primary purpose of the "Defined" of [D]KJB is to provide a note reference system to alert the reader to the 'archaic' words used in the KJV, providing definitions at the bottoms of the pages. As the binding edge says, "Uncommon words defined". A person can read along the text, and read -only- 'KJV' (the notes are not embedded, like an "amplified" might be); and the words in question are emboldened with little superscripted numbers referencing the notes. That part is good. And the notes at the page footers are also easy to make sense of.
The edition sent to me is the "Large Print" version. In the front it has the Preface, Introduction, Yearly Bible Reading schedule, Synopsis of each book, and then Genesis begins. In the Appendix section is Old Verb Endings, Urgent Plea for Christian Fervency in these "Last Days" and a Defense of the Authorized King James Bible, charts depicting the origins of the KJV etc, "About" the various people involved in its compilation, Christ our Passover, and maps.
What I'd like to do here is 1) Observe a few Passages, 2) Give caution
regarding their philosophy as presented in the "Urgent Plea..." section,
and then give a 3) Conclusion. Please forgive if my Passages
"observations" contain a hint of 'slant' to them; I mapped out a few
places I wanted to compare, then read/skimmed the "Urgent Plea", and
then came back and 'detailed' the observations. Thus, my observations
are based on the background of having read their philosophy...and I
suspect that will come through in my 'comments', although I trust my
'observations' are balanced.
my observations (2nd line and following paragraph)
Gen1:20 fowl= flying creatures: birds, flying insects.
Gen19:34 morrow= next day, next morning
Gen19:34 yesternight= last night, the night before
Gen20:6 yea= yes
2Co2:17 corrupt= debase; deceitfully peddle
1Th5:22 appearance= no note
Lk11:28 yea= yes
Ac12:4 easter= Ishtar--ancient pagan festival, etc.etc.
Ec2:8 musical instruments= no note
1Tim3:1 bishop= overseer
2Co10:5 imaginations= foolish notions; evil plans
Zec2:2 thereof= of it; of that
Mt24:49 smite= strike or hit hard; attack; destroy; kill
Mt24:51 hypocrites= pretenders
Mt25:44 an hungered= hungry
Mt19:16 master= teacher, rabbi
For a complete reading of their philosophy please check out the PDF file at their website: www.biblefortoday.org/towplea.pdf There is a lot of good that Tow (of Singapore) has to say. A lot of the same things we fervently address here. But there are also some grave errors, which greatly overshadow the good. For the sake of this discussion, so that I don't have to quote reams of text to give you the context, I'm going to assume you have read the pdf file, and will 'walk along' here through it, and make observations where I put little pencil marks as I was reading through it. Some "red flags". Or as I responded to the person who sent me this copy, asking about my prior comments about "red flags"; having read this, those red flags are now "big banners, flashing lights and wailing sirens"!
One of their claimed purposes for the DKJB is "to call God's people back to the old faithful KJB, the English Bible closest to the Divine Original" This, essentially, is the opening premise. But is this what they -really- believe? Do they -really-, in their hearts, adhere to the "Divine Original"? ...or to something else?
He claims that the KJB is the "culminating gem of the 16th century English Reformation" What was the English Reformation? and...does this support their premise? More on this later.
He claims that "satan hates the KJB". Oh, really? Then, why do satanists use the KJV for many of their spells and incantations? Why does satan's religion, the Mormons (the name of a demon), use & give away free KJVs?
He does a "God's Word vs Satan's word" comparison. He equates KJV with "God", but does not acknowledge that there are some non-corrupted 'modern' versions, coming from the non-corrupted Heb/Grk texts, such as LITV, MKJV, NKJV, etc.
He claims that the emergence of the KJV was the "mightiest act of deliverance since Pentecost". What were the poor saints doing for 1500 years during that intervening time? They were 'without' God's Word? Well, the 'deliverance' he is talking about, is delivering England out of catholicism, into the church of England reformation. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and converted people from death to Life. The Reformation moved people from one form of death to another...both of them with their roots in Rome/Babylon.
He questions: "Whose side are you on: God's or Satan's?" In the context, if you are not using the KJV, you are on satan's side.
He proclaims the "clarion call". To what? God's Word? No! The 16th century Reformation! ...with these distinctives:
They rightly proclaim "sola fide" when it is in the context of: "apart from the works of the law" (Rom3:28) But if remission of sins comes about with repentance, it is NOT "sola" fide, is it. It is repentance -AND- faith; as Paul reviewed, "..repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ac20:21)
And so, where does the KJV fit into this sequence? "The KJB was the crowning glory of a MIGHTY STREAM OF PROTESTANT BIBLE TRANSLATIONS"
He lists John Wycliffe at the top of that list. The Wycliffe was a 'catholic' Bible, including the catholic "apocrypha". He claims that Wycliffe was the "morning star of the reformation", but fails to note that Wycliffe was a catholic priest, and -continued- in the catholic system and institutions of learning.
He does not bother to note that the KJV 1611 was a 'catholic' Bible, including the catholic "apocrypha". (It baffles me: Why do KJ-onlyists not acknowledge this fact? They insist on calling it a "protestant" Bible. Are they ostriches? The KJV was produced as a kind of 'antidote' against the -true- 'protestant' Bible of the day, the Geneva 1599. James didn't want people reading the Geneva, so he commissioned the KJV.)
He speaks of the KJV coming about when "there was a prevailing spirit of Protestantism", and yet those who 'protested' were "catholics" and retained most of Rome's liturgy, icons and traditions.
He repeats the party-line that the translators were of "unquestioned fidelity to Holy Scripture, whose one commitment was to translate the text as faithfully as possible" and yet fails to note how some of those translators, along with Prince James, persecuted and killed anabaptists -for- believing in "immersion", not Rome's method of dabbing water as the pagans did before them; and they took the Scriptural word that means "immerse" (or dunk/dip) and in order to not violate their traditions, trans-LITERATED the word into "baptism". We'll see a bit later 'why' this was so.
He touts the translators' company the "high churchmen of the church of England and puritan scholars", not noting how the only difference between the church of England and Rome, was name and allegiance (or not) to the pope...oh, yes, and that pesky little matter of "divorce", for which reason the church of England came into existence in the first place. Otherwise, England was "catholic". When he says this, he is avowing the KJV to be a work of Roman heritage.
He claims that the KJB's "banner" was fluttering supremely over "protestant England". Who does the KJV honor? The Most High God....or the church of England? The KJB was a "national treasure"...of England. And if you don't believe this, look at a standard Cambridge edition and see who owns the rights to it. Which "crown" is it? And read the preface "to the most high and mighty prince James" their "most dread Sovereign". To whose honor was it created? To God? ...or -to- "Prince James"?
So, what is the claimed "criteria of a good version"? (in brief)
Not only is scholarly 'interpretation' done through "lenses", but so is 'translation' work? Who devised those 8 points? A translation must agree with those 8 points? Where is any mention of WHAT GOD -SAID-?
You who love the Lord aren't going to believe this next bit...! Here we find their (true) core belief; not the one, given as a smoke screen, that pretends to be about the "Divine Original".
Here's what he says, and notice what I emphasize in all-caps: "A good Bible version must uphold faithfully every ESSENTIAL article of Christian faith and doctrine in all of its parts. No part of the version must in any way compromise, contradict, or undermine any one of these ESSENTIAL articles either because of its UNDERLYING TEXT, or because of its technique of translation.
Did you get that? The "underlying texts" for the KJV and other good translations are the Mazoretic and Textus Receptus. Most of today's perversions come from the "underlying texts" from Westcott/Hort. In other words, to take his statement at face value, if the TR (Greek) text says something different than the ESSENTIAL articles of faith, coming from the Reformation and Church of England, the translation must agree with those "articles of faith", NOT the Greek text.
And...That's what the KJV scholars did in places.
Folks...just a little wake-up call here. Is there any other entity that believes the same way? If there is a difference between Scripture and (their) 'tradition', what do (they) hold to? -TRADITION- And who are "(they)"? Indeed! The Roman catholic 'church'.
You've been reading me proclaim for some time, now, that catholicism and protestantism are merely two sides of the same coin. Do these statements from a KJ-onlyist start to help you understand? You've read me writing that the KJV is a 'catholic' work. Do you now understand? Does it begin to make more sense, now, when some KJ-onlyists would 'correct' the Greek texts from which the KJV came, -with- the KJV and church fathers and church tradition/beliefs as their prooftexts?
And again... What part of God's Word, is non-ESSENTIAL? "EVERY Word of God is pure.." (Pr30:5) Man lives "...by EVERY Word of God" (Lk4:4)
People have been exhorting us non-scholarly simpletons to make sure our faith in the Scriptures is firmly-rooted by reading the Puritan writers, and the fathers of the reformation. I've been proclaiming that by such statements they are elevating the "church fathers" above God's Word. And indeed they do. Even their idea of God's Word, translated, must also be rooted in the Reformation. Oh, those poor prior souls who for 1500 years didn't have these "church fathers"! (said, tongue-in-cheek)
And then he "examines" some modern versions. I'm not going to bother with most of them, because indeed they are perversions; except to observe a couple of things about his take on the NKJV:
He complains that references to NU exist in the margins. When talking about NKJV's scholars, by comparison he claims the KJV translators' "theology was pure and godly, untainted by the godless ideologies which abound today". Well, but, as we observed above, they -were- 'tainted' by the ideologies of Rome of 'their' day. He does like many KJ-only sites do, claiming the NKJV has words missing, thrown out, deleted, ejected or cast out xx number of times, but when one sees specific examples, one wonders in how many of those cases the NKJV did right? For example, he lists references out of Matthew where KJV says "master" and NKJV says "teacher" (remember "this is choice" above?) In every single case he lists, when I look up those references in the DKJB, they -all- have notes indicating that "master" means "teacher/rabbi".
So, what's the deal? He complains about the NKJV for having marginal notes to alternate readings, complains that the NKJV changes certain things; when the DKJB has tons of notes and alternate readings, and some of the things he complains about being in the NKJB, the DKJB also has! So, which is it? You can't complain about somebody else doing something, when you do the very same thing! Just like Susie tattling that Johnny "had his eyes open during the prayer"; and so, Susie, how do -you- know that Johnny's eyes were open? ....unless, -your- eyes were open, too! As Paul writes, "You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, Do not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" (Rom2:21-22)
His closing section is entitled, "All Roads Lead to Rome". I wonder if
he has looked in a mirror? 'Probably where he got that from!
If you are totally new to the KJV, the DKJB -might- be a useful tool. But as I've shown from a few examples, some of the notes are good; some even correct some of KJ's errors, as it truly needs to be done. Some notes, however, perpetuate KJ-onlyism, and KJV's Romish errors. And in some places where notes 'should' be, they don't exist.
Of course, I've only checked out a few references; some at random, paging here and there, wherever my eye happened to land. A few passages I 'deliberately' looked up, knowing them to be 'proof' passages.
But for all those that it would take me a year of reading (and comparing) to verify them all, on what basis would I either recommend this work, or not? The basic philosophy, as verbosely presented. And when the editors don't even believe in the elementary concept of the "underlying" Hebrew and Greek (Even in the compiler's notes he claims to have used primarily English dictionaries, and only -occasionally- did he check the Heb/Grk lexicons), from which the translation comes, HOW, pray tell, can they claim to render proper definitions to words? When they are resting on the beliefs of the Reformation and the church of England, rather than the underlying texts, copied down from the very "Divine Originals" over the centuries, any claim on their part to impart definitions is totally unreliable and unpredictable. It cannot be trusted.
Thus, I unequivocally do NOT RECOMMEND the DKJB.... that is: the NOTES and COMMENTARIES thereof.
The KJV 'text', which it contains, being the "KJV" (God's Word) -IS-
recommended. If you have a DKJB, don't necessarily throw it out; but do
not (totally) rely on its notes; if a note seems suspicious, double
check it against a Websters 1828 dictionary or a KJ-dictionary such as
one you can download at www.pc-shareware.com/kjdict.htm It has some
good mediocre-resolution maps in the back. I did not check out the book
synopses; because, based on the general philosophy, I'm not too much
interested to see what they might have to say, and I'm not wasting my
time to find out.
This little exercise gives us a very important lesson. This "Urgent Plea" section is somewhat lengthy, and I doubt most people will likely wade through the whole thing. Indeed, I did not read every last little thing, myself.
The necessary lesson for us, however, when investigating things, is to delve deeply enough to ferret out the facts. If I had been browsing along, checking out the various sections, and had stopped at the initial statement of (5-fold) purpose, regarding: Bringing people back to a "faithful" English translation that is "closest to the Divine Original", I might have come away 'satisfied' that the people who assembled this edition are of Godly intentions. I would have missed their Reformation and church of England bias. I would have missed how their 'standard' by which to gauge a translation is not AT ALL the "Divine Original", as they state at the get-go, but "articles" of faith as devised by man.
Regarding this, I know the errors that are possible. Growing up I held to one particular Reformation doctrine, and knew how to defend it from the Scriptures. I had been taught it, both at home, at Bible school, and heard it from many pulpits. But then, when I actually "searched the Scriptures" to see if it was really "so" (Ac17:11), I was horrified to be awakened to God's Truth regarding that doctrine.
What we have here is that which proliferates throughout the world. Communism used to 'agree' with the global mantra of "Peace, peace". Do communists want peace? Of course they do. Who doesn't! And so, many would become brainwashed into thinking that communism wasn't so 'bad' after all. But the true communist doctrine was that... Peace would be achieved once the entire world had become communist.
In more recent years, the various one-world-church factions have been drumming, "Love and unity". Let's forget about denominational differences, tear down the walls of doctrinal differences, don't concentrate so much on the things that divide us, but focus on those things we all can agree on, like Jesus, God, the cross, Heaven, God's love, blah, blah, blah. In 1995 the catholic pope promulgated his encyclical "Ut Unun Sint" (That they may be one) It is a very lengthy document. And for most of it, the first 95% of it, one reads about "love" and "unity", many voluminous words. Mesmerizing, actually. And I wonder how many people have actually read the whole thing, all the way to the end... But it isn't until near the end where the 'truth' is stated: that "unity" will have occurred, when all religions have returned 'home' to the "mother church", the catholic church. (Just like communism)
In the same way, it's one thing to open a discourse about "faithfulness" to the "Divine Original", in speaking of Bible translations. But when 'truth' is ferreted out, their motives are something completely different. Do we verify whether or not God's Word is correct, by comparing it to our doctrinal beliefs? Or do we check our beliefs against God's Word, to see if we are believing the right things? Who pays homage to whom? Does God cater to our whims? Well, for most of what today calls itself "church", that's what they think. They -pray- "hard", and expect God to acquiesce, rather than asking, "what do You have in mind for me to do?" (Ac9:6) Do we pray, asking God to come alongside us in the way we are going? Or can we say that the -Lord- "led me"? (Gen24:27,48) How does a young man "cleanse his way? By taking heed according to [God's] Word" (Ps119:9) But if that translation is based on man's "articles" of faith...whose word are they taking heed to?
Like we stated, this is not a review of the KJV. We've done that in other contexts. This is a review of those purporting to provide explanatory notes/definitions of KJV's archaisms. But in a round-about way, this also becomes a review of their view of the KJV; -their- explanations as to why they think the KJV is so perfect; and in so-doing, we naturally have discussed philosophy of translation. And we have, thus, also just had a peek into the hearts of one segment of the cult called KJ-onlyism.
The DEFINED King James Bible, being the work of a KJ-only cult, is not reliable. It is based on a lie: the lie of the claim to desire closeness to the Divine Original, but in reality following Babylon; that which God's people are called to "come out of". (Re18:4)
While the concept of -a- "defined" KJV might be an idea; (But rather, why not have a translation that not only defines the KJV archaisms, but that also corrects KJV's problems, where it is all right there in the text, without superscripts and notes? There is such a work. Oh, but... that would not satisfy those who worship the KJV, would it) this particular one coming from "The Bible for Today" is NOT recommended.
And you know... in my spirit I -knew- this would be the case, even before I had opened this edition the first time, upon pulling it out of the box. Earlier this year in "Discernment Strategies" where "Gospel for Asia" was briefly investigated, I spoke of the Holy Spirit's 'witness' about such entities even when initially approaching its website, before ever actually looking at specifics within the site...the Holy Spirit witnesses (Rom8:16) as to whether it is good or evil. I had a 'creepy' witness of abhorrence about this DKJB, while looking at its cover with its title in combination Helvetica Bold and Olde English font. If I had not been opening it out of its box on a table, I might have accidentally dropped it, from my hands shuddering in revulsion, when as yet I had not seen a single page of print.
So... the question was asked; and is now answered.