“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Which version of the Bible?

I’ve been hearing about this subject lately, which doesn’t mean it’s a new point of contention. Its probably thousands of years old. It speaks of the idea that the KJV is the only good Bible because it was based on the Textus Receptus (TR) and the newer versions are not. I looked up the TR on the internet and found this site. It seems to say that there were many versions of the TR and that they all differed from each other. I thought the TR came from the days of the apostles or early thereafter.

The book, Truth Triumphant says of the Textus Receptus and Lucian (c. A.D. 250-312):

Lucian's Gift of the Genuine New Testament
The Protestant denominations are built upon that manuscript of the Greek New Testament sometimes called the Textus Receptus, or Received Text. It is that Greek New Testament from which the writings of the apostles in Greek have been translated into English, German, Dutch, and other languages. During the Dark Ages, the Received Text was practically unknown outside the Greek Church. It was restored to Christendom by the labors of that great scholar, Erasmus. It is altogether too little known that the real editor of the received text was Lucian. None of Lucian's enemies fails to credit him with this work. Neither Lucian nor Erasmus, but rather the apostles, wrote the Greek New Testament. However, Lucian's day was an age of apostasy when a flood of depravations was systematically attempting to devastate both the Bible manuscripts and Bible theology. Origen, of the Alexandrian college, made his editions and commentaries of the Bible a secure retreat for all errors, and deformed them with philosophical speculations introducing casuistry and lying.13 Lucian's unrivaled success in verifying, safeguarding, and transmitting those divine writings left a heritage for which all generations should be thankful.
Mutilations of the Sacred Scriptures abounded.14 There were at least eighty heretical sects all striving for supremacy.15 Each took unwarranted license in removing or adding pages to Bible manuscripts.16
Consider how masterly must have been Lucian's collection of the evidences which identified and protected the writings left to the church by the apostles. From that day to this the Received Text and the New Testaments translated from it are far in the lead of any other Bibles in use.

My question: Is there one TR, i.e. the one from Lucian, or did his survive? It sounds like it did not survive and thus many versions of his work are the result of sending his NT down the centuries to us today.

Does this invalidate the KJV? According to the above website on the TR, the KJV wasn’t totally based on the TR, but was a conglomeration of several previous texts. Don’t get me wrong, I have the KJV and it’s the only version I use, except on occasion for verification of old English.

But I do have another problem with the KJV. There seems to be a difficulty in tying it all together. What I mean is, EGW tied it all together in the Conflict series, through special inspiration. Why can’t we do the same with the KJV without special inspiration? Is it because, like the above website alleges, the writers of the KJV didn’t understand the theology of the Bible, some of whom were very secular, ambitious, and ungodly men, so they couldn’t tie it all together correctly? Thus, even the KJV, as a translation, is dysfunctional. It demands a thorough study to eek out the consistent line of truth God gave to the 40 men who wrote His will. They were consistent, but the translation of their writings wasn’t. And maybe having to eek out truth from the KJV writers is in God’s plan. We shouldn’t eat food someone else has chewed up and emulsified with their saliva.

Having said all that, what can we say about the fact that Paul and even Christ used the Septuagint (Heb. 10:5;Matt. 21:16) instead of the origial Hebrew Scriptures? The LXX was a relatively new version of the OT and probably considered, by the Pharisees, to be corrupted and not worthy of reading. Are we doing the same when we get caught up in warring against new editions of the Bible? Are we guilty of worshiping letters and type, instead of depending on God and studying His word for His will, receiving His Spirit through His thoughts and through obedience to His obvious commandments (2Pet. 1:8,9), and thus, gaining a knowledge of Him and His grace? Are we relying on “word” inspiration instead of “thought” inspiration?


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