DBS Emblem

Gateway to all our WebPages
OUR HOMEPAGE  -  ON-LINE DONATIONS  -  DBS NEWS UPDATES  -  DBS TIMELY ARTICLES  -  ALL ABOUT THE BIBLE  -  OUR ARTICLES OF FAITH  -  DBS ANNUAL MEETINGS  -  DBS AUDIO SERMONS  -  DBS VIDEO SERMONS  -  WOMEN'S MEETINGS  -  BECOME A MEMBER

   In Defense of Traditional Bible Texts

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
. . . Psalm 12:6-7 . . .
 

King James Bible Authority

The Dean Burgon Society's 2000 Annual Meeting

Dr. Robert Barnett, Dean Burgon Society Vice President

Introductionn
I. The Dean Burgon Society's Statement on the Biblee
II. The Dean Burgon Society's Statement on the Providential Preservation of the Holy Scripturess
Double Inspiration vs. Divine Inspirationn
Are the KJB English words inspired??
Are we Ruckmanites? Are we King James Only??
Can the profitability of inspiration be claimed for the KJB??
Can we call the KJB Holy Scripture??
Can we call the KJB "authentic" Holy Scriptures??
Can we call the KJB authentic Holy Scriptures which are "divine and infallible" in doctrine??
Can we call the KJB authentic, "perfect" Holy Scriptures, which are divine and infallible in doctrine??
Can we call the KJB authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine??
Can we call the KJB "the Word of God", authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine??
Can we call the KJB the Word of God, authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine, our canon and standard of faith and practice??
Can we call the KJB the Word of God, authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine, our canon and standard of faith and practice "to which the Holy Spirit bears witness"??

Introduction

We are blessed to be at the 22nd Annual Dean Burgon Society's 2000 Annual Meeting at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Elkton, MD, as guests of Dr. Allen P. Dickerson, Pastor. It is my privilege to publicly present the official position of the Dean Burgon Society and to help clarify reasons for some of the different uses of terms concerning Bible Authority by individual members of the Society. Just for public record, all members of our Executive and Advisory committees and all speakers at the DBS accept the official position of the Dean Burgon Society on Bible Inspiration and Preservation as presented below. Therefore, we would encourage both the critics and friends of the DBS to read and study it very carefully.

The Dean Burgon Society's Statement on the Providential Preservation of The Holy Scriptures Approved by the Executive Committee of the Dean Burgon Society, Incorporated July 29, 1982 in Philadelphia.

I. The Dean Burgon Society's Statement on the Bible
[ From the Articles of Faith ]

THE BIBLE

We believe in the plenary, verbal, Divine inspiration of the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and the New Testaments (from Genesis to Revelation) in the original languages, and in their consequent infallibility and inerrancy in all matters of which they speak (). The books known as the Apocrypha, however, are not the inspired Word of God in any sense whatsoever. As the Bible uses it, the term "inspiration" refers to the writings, not the writers (); the writers are spoken of as being "holy men of God" who were "moved," "carried" or "borne" along by the Holy Spirit () in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally, plenarily, and verbally inspired, free from any error, infallible, and inerrant, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.

We believe that the Texts which are the closest to the original autographs of the Bible are the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text for the Old Testament, and the traditional Greek Text for the New Testament underlying the King James Version (as found in "The Greek Text Underlying The English Authorized Version of 1611").

We, believe that the King James Version (or Authorized Version) of the English Bible is a true, faithful, and accurate translation of these two providentially preserved Texts, which in our time has no equal among all of the other English Translations. The translators did such a fine job in their translation task that we can without apology hold up the Authorized Version of 1611 and say "This is the WORD OF GOD!" while at the same time realizing that, in some verses, we must go back to the underlying original language Texts for complete clarity, and also compare Scripture with Scripture.

We believe that all the verses in the King James Version belong in the Old and the New Testaments because they represent words we believe were in the original texts, although there might be other renderings from the original languages which could also be acceptable to us today. For an exhaustive study of any of the words or verses in the Bible, we urge the student to return directly to the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text and the Traditional Received Greek Text rather than to any other translation for help.

II. The Dean Burgon Society's Statement on the Providential Preservation of the Holy Scriptures

A. The Importance of Both Inspiration and Preservation. Bible inspiration and Bible preservation are supremely important. The undermining or destroying of either doctrine renders the other meaningless. If the Bible is not verbally, plenarily, and inerrantly inspired, and if inspiration does not extend to all matters of which the Bible speaks, it does not matter if the Bible has been preserved or how it has been preserved. It also follows that, if the Bible has not been preserved, it does not matter how it was inspired.

B. The Original Process of Inspiration. Inspiration deals with God's revelation of truth which man did not know and which man could not know apart from Divine revelation. God used men whom He chose and prepared in order to write these Words upon the original manuscripts. Since God made no mistakes in inspiration, these original manuscripts were, inerrant. The very Words were written down exactly as God intended. These manuscripts were ultimately collected and formed into a canon and then preserved for the benefit of later generations. This entire process from the writing of the manuscripts to their ultimate preservation was not accidental, nor did it happen by chance; rather, the entire process was superintended by God the Holy Spirit.

C. The Results of Inspiration Extended to Exact Copies of the Originals. The results of Inspiration, however, cannot be limited to the original manuscripts, but must be extended to include exact copies which were made of the originals. This is evident because it was the Words which were inspired rather than the ink, the writing materials, the handwriting, or even the writers. It was these Words which were infallibly "breathed out" by God the Holy Spirit through His human writers. These Words were in Hebrew/Aramaic in the Old Testament, and in Greek in the New Testament. This process of inspiration will never again be repeated because the canon has been closed. However, the product of inspiration, which is the exact Words which God the Holy Spirit breathed out in the original languages, remains, even though the original manuscripts are no longer in existence. Any exact copy of the Words of the original manuscripts is as much the inspired and inerrant Word of God as were the original manuscripts.

D. God Promised to Preserve His Word. This should not be surprising because God has promised to preserve His Word. The Bible says, "Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever" (). It also says, "The Words of the Lord are PURE Words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" (). It also says, "For ever, O Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven" (), and the Word of God is described as that which "liveth and abideth for ever" (). Peter also wrote, ". . . The Word of the Lord endureth for ever" (). Christ also said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my. Words shall not pass away" ().

E. God's Word is Preserved in Accurate Translations of the Original Language Texts. God has preserved these Scriptures not only in the original languages, but also in accurate translations made of them. Must one learn Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic to be able to read God's truth? Did God intend that the whole world be taught Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic before the gospel could be preached to them? Must Pastors be Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic scholars in order that they may teach people the Holy Word of God? Certainly not. On the day of Pentecost, as recorded in , "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven" (verse 5). As the Apostles spoke, they were all amazed and asked, "How hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" This supernatural witness of the church at Jerusalem showed the Word of God going out to all the nations of the world in their own individual languages. God's Word went out with equal authority in all those languages to all those nations on the day of Pentecost.

F. God Intended That His Word be Translated Accurately in All Languages. Without question, God intended that His Word be translated accurately into all languages to fulfill the Great Commission to preach the gospel to every creature (). This is further substantiated by Paul's version of the Great Commission to the Gentiles which is found in , "But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." First comes the preaching of the gospel to the peoples of all the nations in verse 25, and then comes the circulation of the Scriptures in their own languages in verse 26. God is commanding that the Scriptures must be made known to all nations for their obedience to the faith.

G. An Accurate Translation of the Proper Original Language Texts Can Be Called the "Word of God". Can an accurate translation of the Bible be called the true "WORD OF GOD"? Yes it can. God's truth is in no way confined to the original language texts of Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic and available only to those who understand these original languages. We believe God made it clear in His Word that He intended that all the nations of the world hear His true Word in their own languages.

H. Accurate Translation Aims for a Complete Equivalence From the Original Language Into the Second Language. The English word, "water," is known to the chemist as H2O. In Latin it is "aqua." In Hebrew it is "mayim." In Greek it is "hudor." Now when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4 and called Himself the Living "water," does this English word have less truth than "hudor" in the original Greek? Of course not. However, not every word in one language has an exact or complete equivalent in another language. Sometimes a single word in one language must be translated by several words in another language. Also, in order to clarify the meaning of the translation, translators must frequently add words which are implied but not actually present in the original text. The Authorized Version placed many of these added words in italics in order to distinguish them from the Words which are actually found in the original text. In addition, the order of the words in each sentence in one language may differ from the order of the words in the same sentence in another language. However, to the extent that a translation provides the actual or complete equivalence in another language of the word counterparts of the original Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic, it is an accurate translation of the true, inerrant, infallible Word of God, and therefore is the true Word of God in that language.

I. The Biblical Use of the Word "Inspiration". Notwithstanding the many extraneous and non-Biblical definitions of the word "inspiration," this word is found only once in the New Testament. Much insight is given to this term by studying the context where it was used:

"And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make these wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." The Scriptures spoken of here were the Old Testament Scriptures studied as a child. These Scriptures had been copied many times from the original Hebrew. After centuries of Providential preservation, they were still called the "Holy Scriptures." They were originally inspired to have a lasting effect "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, [and] for instruction in righteousness." They were also originally inspired in order that every man of God "may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

J. The Providential Preservation of the Original Language Texts Has Been Held Throughout Church History. The following doctrinal statement testifying to various historical churches' belief in the providential preservation of the original language texts of Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek is found virtually word for word in the following Historic Confessions: (1) The London Baptist Confession of 1677 and 1689; (2) the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of about 1743; (3) the Westminster Confession of 1646; (4) and the Savoy Confession of 1652. The wording from the LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION of 1689 is:

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old,) and the New Testament in Greek, (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, AND BY HIS SINGULAR, CARE AND PROVIDENCE KEPT PURE IN ALL AGES, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.13 But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read16 and search them,17 therefore, they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,18 that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope (Chapter I, "OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES" "g," pp. 9-10 of "Things Most Surely Believed Among Us--The BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH OF 1689", Evangelical Press, 136 Rosendale Road, London, S.E.21.)

K. The Superiority of the Authorized Version Even Today. The Authorized Version has been, and continues to be, the God honored, most accurate, and best translation from the proper original language texts of the inspired, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word of God for the English-speaking nations. Spurgeon said of it, "We are all fully assured that our own English version (meaning the A.V. of 1611) of the Scriptures is sufficient for plain men for all purposes of life, salvation, and godliness." Although there have been many changes in spelling and punctuation since 1611, there are very few words that are different from our Authorized King James Bibles of today. These changes were not the fault of the translators of the Authorized Version, but the result of changes in the spelling and punctuation of our English language.

L. The Dean Burgon Society's Continued Recommendation of the Authorized Version. We expect that the Authorized Version will continue to occupy this honored position in the foreseeable future as well, and we hereby re-affirm our confidence in it and recommend its continued use in Bible believing church pulpits, Pastors' studies, homes, Bible School. classes, and formal classes in Bible Institutes, colleges, and theological seminaries.

(Above underlying added for emphasis.)

The remaining portion of this paper does not represent the official position of the DBS, but is for mutual edification. It is intended to be conciliatory rather than divisive. It is being presented to better enable us to reflect and meditate upon some terminology that often creates confusion in Bible defense circles.

Double Inspiration vs. Divine Inspiration

The Dean Burgon Society has from it's inception officially used the term inspiration as it applies only to the divine process which produced the original autographs and the resulting product preserved in the apographs underlying our KJB. First, to claim any inspiration for the KJB apart from it's own underlying text is to cut the King James Bible off from the authority of it's own divine historical roots. Second, because the text underlying the KJB is divinely inspired, there is no need to seek or claim any additional inspiration for any translation including the KJB. The process that produced the KJB was not inspiration, but accurate translation of divine words already inspired.

Are the KJB English words inspired?

Therefore, there is not a single English word in the KJB given by inspiration of God, but rather accurately translated by formal equivalence from God's inspired words. To claim the KJB was given by inspiration of either the translators or the English words in the KJB confuse and confound the doctrine of divine inspiration. Furthermore, it either implies or promotes belief in double inspiration. To hold or even to imply belief in double inspiration is either to question and/or deny the divine preservation of inspiration within the original autographs and present apographs underlying the KJB. Even though belief in double inspiration may be held in ignorance, and I believe it often is, it is in reality a very serious sin of unbelief in God's promises of divine providential preservation of His originally inspired words. KJB defenders cannot have it both ways.

Are we Ruckmanites? Are we King James Only?

Are we Ruckmanites? Are we King James Only? Enemies of the King James Bible who attempt to brand all believers in the KJB as radical extremists coined these terms. Anyone defending the accuracy and authority of the KJB will be branded a "Ruckmanite" or "King James Only" just as a Socialist or a Marxist will brand any anticommunist as a "McCarthite" or a "John Bircher". We would recommend you read Dr. D.A. Waite's little tract "King James Only" to get an excellent explanation of that term. Name-calling has been used by liberals down through the centuries to intimidate and silence the truth. The modern version crowd, no matter what we say or do, will always brand us Ruckmanites, King James Only, uneducated, unloving, bigoted, narrow-minded, blinded, trouble makers, etc.

Again, we cannot claim any inspiration, inerrancy, or infallibility for the KJB apart from its accurate translation from the inspired, inerrant, infallible foundation of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek which gave it birth. We are wise to speak of the Bible in total as a unit to honor the full authority within the KJB. God inspired but one inerrant, infallible Bible. Just as the purity of a stream depends upon it's source, so also, we cannot claim more for the KJB than the source from whence it came. Neither can we claim any authority for the KJB apart from its source. But we dare not deny any of God's authority as translated into the KJB from its source.

But how much of God's authority and divine truth is possessed and communicated to us by the KJB? A Canadian Bible professor has claimed a pastor cannot know for sure he is preaching and teaching God's truth from any certain passage of the KJB unless he has first studied the underlying Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek text. If this is so, then our average congregations cannot obey : "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." The theological world of our day has rendered the KJB a book with little or no absolute authority from God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father in : "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Will the truth of God sanctify us when using the KJB? Is the KJB God's word of truth for the English speaking world?

Can the profitability of inspiration be claimed for the KJB?

But the Bible context for inspiration involves more than the accuracy of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words. We cannot limit inspiration profitability to either the process, which produced the Bible autographs, or the divine providential preservation, which preserved the apographs underlying our KJB. Let us examine again the only verses in the New Testament which use the word inspiration: "And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make these wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (). Bible inspiration involves not only the process and product, but also the continuing profitability. As the above DBS statement on Bible Preservation states: "They were originally inspired to have a lasting effect "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, [and] for instruction in righteousness." They were also originally inspired in order that every man of God "may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Is the KJB "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"? Is the KJB capable of making the Man of God perfect and throughly furnishing him unto all good works? If so, doesn't the KJB carry out God's profitability of inspiration for the English speaking world?

Can we call the KJB Holy Scripture?

Is the KJB Holy Scripture? Francis Turretin (1623-87) said in his Institutio Theologicae Elencticae, first published in 1679-85, that the term Scripture can be used in two senses, "either materially, with regard to the doctrine delivered, or formally with regard to the writing and mode of delivery."

Turretin said, "...The word "Scripture" is used in two senses: either materially, with regard to the doctrine delivered; or formally with regard to the writing and mode of delivery. In the former sense (as we said before), we hold it to be necessary simply and absolutely, so that the church can never spar it." So according to Turretin, we cannot call the English words of our KJB Holy Scripture, but we can call the divine truth or doctrine these words communicate, Holy Scripture. I believe this is implied in our DBS Statement of Faith: We believe in the plenary, verbal, Divine inspiration of the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and the New Testaments (from Genesis to Revelation) in the original languages, and in their consequent infallibility and inerrancy in all matters of which they speak (). It is the divine inspired truth "in their consequent infallibility and inerrancy in all matters of which they speak" that is the subject of this paper. I believe the "consequent infallibility and inerrancy in all matters of which they speak" is carried over into the KJB as Holy Scriptures. Not in any of the English words, but rather in the divine doctrinal truth translated into English, making the KJB God's Holy Scriptures in English.

Our Baptist forefathers agreed in the LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION of 1689 that our KJB can be called Holy Scriptures: "8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old,) and the New Testament in Greek, (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, AND BY HIS SINGULAR, CARE AND PROVIDENCE KEPT PURE IN ALL AGES, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.13 But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read16 and search them,17 therefore, they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,18 that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope (Chapter I, "OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES" "g," pp. 9-10 of "Things Most Surely Believed Among Us--The BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH OF 1689", Evangelical Press, 136 Rosendale Road, London, S.E.21.) The above paragraph is also quoted in paragraph J of the DBS position above.

Can we call the KJB "authentic" Holy Scriptures?

Can we call the English Holy Scriptures of the KJB "authentic" when that term to normally used to identify only the accuracy and authority of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text? Again Turretin said, "Although the versions are not authentic formally and as to the mode of enunciation, yet they ought nevertheless to be used in the church because if they are accurate and agree with the sources, they are always authentic materially and as to the things expressed." While the English words in the KJB cannot be called "authentic", the KJB can still be called doctrinally authentic because of the divine truth it possesses"

Turretin added, "Hence we gather what the authority of the versions is. Although their utility is great for the instruction of believers, yet no version either can or ought to be put on equality with the original, much less be preferred to it. (1) For no version has anything important which the Hebrew or Greek source does not have more fully, since in the sources not only the matter and sentences, but even the very words were directly dictated by the Holy Spirit." As Turretin said, "Conformity to the original is different from equality." The KJB conforms doctrinally to the originals from which it was translated. Yet, it is not equal to the inspired originals because it only communicates divine inspired truth through uninspired English words selected by the translators, and not the inspired original words given by the Holy Spirit.

Can we call the KJB authentic Holy Scriptures which are "divine and infallible" in doctrine?

Can we call the KJB authentic Holy Scripture with doctrinally divine and infallible authority? Turretin said, "Nevertheless all authority must not be denied to versions. Here we must carefully distinguish a twofold divine authority: one of things, the other of words. The former relates to the substance of doctrine which constitutes the internal form of the Scriptures. The latter relates to the accident of writing, the external and accidental form. The source has both, being God-inspired (theopneustos) both as to the words and the things; (or doctrinal truth) but versions have only the first, (things or doctrinal truth) being expressed in human and not in divine words."

"Hence it follows that the versions as such are not authentic and canonical in themselves (because made by human labor and talent). Therefore, under this relation (schesei), they may be exposed to errors and admit of corrections, but nevertheless are authentic as to the doctrine they contain (which is divine and infallible). Thus they do not, as such, formally support divine faith as to the words, but materially as to the substance of doctrine expressed in them." If you agree with Turretin, the English words in the KJB cannot be called authentic, divine, or infallible because human translators chose them. Yet, the doctrinal truth within the KJB is authentic, divine, and infallible in authority.

Can we call the KJB authentic, "perfect" Holy Scriptures, which are divine and infallible in doctrine?

Can we call the KJB "perfect" as authentic Holy Scripture because the doctrine therein is divine and infallible truth? Turretin says, "There is one perfection of thing and truth to which nothing can be added and from which nothing can be taken away; another perfection of the version itself. The former is strictly divine work and is absolutely and in every way self-credible (autopiston). Such perfection is in the word carried over into the versions. The latter is a human work and they're liable to error and correction - to which indeed authority can belong, but only human (according to the fidelity and conformity with the original text), not divine." So, while the translated English words of the KJB cannot be called perfect, the divine, infallible truth of the doctrine within the KJB can be called perfect. So to the extent we exclude all English words in the KJB and refer only to the divine, infallible, doctrines of truth within the KJB we can call it God's perfect, authentic, Holy Scripture for the English speaking world. The late Dr. Edward F. Hills used the term "practically perfect" rather than absolutely perfect for the KJB. So we might say the KJB in total is practically perfect, because it communicates perfect, infallible, divine, doctrinal truth through uninspired English words.

Can we call the KJB authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine?

But how can we call the KJB perfect, authentic, Holy Scriptures, which are divine and infallible in doctrine and not call the divine infallible truth therein inspired? Because the divine and infallible doctrine in the KJB was inspired at the same time the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words were inspired. Since none of the English words in the KJB were given by inspiration of God, and none of the translators of the KJB were inspired of God, can't we still claim that the KJB communicates divinely inspired, infallible doctrine in spite of the English translators and English words, and not because of them? We can claim nothing inspired in the KJB except the divine infallible doctrines of truth it derived from it's own underlying Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text. Only these infallible doctrines of truth possess the original breath of God's inspiration. As Dr. Hollowood has said, "Modern versions of the Bible give God bad breath." In other words, by altering the inspired underlying text, and by bad translations of that text modern Bible versions do not communicate the divine truth as God inspired it.

Can we call the KJB "the Word of God", authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine?

What about calling the KJB the Word of God. We state in our DBS position on Bible Preservation: ". Can an accurate translation of the Bible be called the true "WORD OF GOD"? Yes it can. God's truth is in no way confined to the original language texts of Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic and available only to those who understand these original languages. We believe God made it clear in His Word that He intended that all the nations of the world hear His true Word in their own languages. "

How can we call any translation the Word of God when the words within that Word of God are not the words God gave by inspiration? The KJB is made up of uninspired English words translated from the words of the original text, which God inspired only in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages. If we refer to the English words, then we cannot even call the KJB the Word of God. But, if by "Word" of God we mean the logos or divinely inspired, infallible truth communicated into the KJB by accurate translation, only then can we technically even call the KJB the Word of God. In fact, if we do not carefully separate the English words of the KJB from the divine doctrinal truth within them, we can claim no authority at all for the KJB.

Can we call the KJB the Word of God, authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine, our canon and standard of faith and practice?

Only if we claim all KJB doctrinal authority is derived from its own underlying Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text.

Turretin said, "The Scriptures are called canonical for a double reason, both with regard to the doctrines (because they are the canon and standard of faith and practice, derived from the Hebrew QNH, which signifies a "reed" or surveyor's pen and is so used in ) and with respect to the books (because it contains all the canonical books)." The KJB can be called our English canon and standard of faith and practice only if we claim that all such doctrinal authority within the KJB is derived from its own underlying Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text.

Only because all 66 books of the Old and New Testament, and all the traditional verses, phrases, and words within those 66 books are accurately translated into the KJB can it be considered our English canon and standard of faith and practice. (This rules out all other modern Bible versions in English.)

As Turretin said, "(2) Unless unimpaired integrity characterize the Scriptures, they could not be regarded as the sole rule of faith and practice, and the door would be thrown wide open to atheists, libertines, enthusiasts and other profane persons like them for destroying its authenticity (authentian) and overthrowing the foundation of salvation. For since nothing false can be an object of faith, how could the Scriptures be held as authentic and reckoned divine if liable to contradictions....For if once the authenticity (authentia) of the Scriptures is taken away (which would result even from the incurable corruption of one passage), how could our faith rest on what remains" And if corruption is admitted in those of lesser importance, why not in others of greater?"

Can we call the KJB the Word of God, authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine, our canon and standard of faith and practice "to which the Holy Spirit bears witness"?

Can we call the KJB the Word of God, authentic, perfect, Holy Scriptures which are divinely inspired and infallible in doctrine, our canon and standard of faith and practice because of the witness of the Holy Spirit of Truth? Turretin combines the witness of the Scriptures and of the Spirit together saying, "We prove the Scriptures by the Spirit as the efficient cause by which we believe. But we prove the Spirit from the Scriptures as the object and argument on account of which we believe." As Turretin said, ""the word must never be separated from the Spirit (Is. 59:21). The former works objectively, the latter efficiently; the former strikes the ears from without, the latter opens the heart within. The Spirit is the teacher; Scripture is the doctrine which he teaches us." Our Baptist forefathers said in the London Confession of Faith under Article #5 "...our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts." Does the Spirit of Truth use the perfect KJB as authentic Holy Scriptures, which are divine and infallible in doctrine to lead us into all truth?

For centuries English believers have held up their KJB and called it the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. Even liberals in the early 1900s held up the KJB and said it merely "contains" the inspired word of God. Bible-believing scholars have held up the same KJB and said it "is" the inspired Word of God, while referring in their minds only to the lost original autographs. Other Bible-believing scholars have said the same thing often referring in their own minds only to the underlying Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek text. Some Bible-believers have said the same thing believing only in the inspiration of the KJB. Because of the growing confusion caused by these misunderstandings, I believe that when we use the term inspiration it is wise as Dr. D. A. Waite suggests to clarify our position with qualifiers. Each of us may choose to use different adjectives to describe the authority of the KJB. We may choose to call the KJB God's perfect, authentic, Holy Scriptures in English because of the divine, infallible doctrinal truth therein, derived by translation from God's inspired Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek underlying text.

The great problem arises when we attempt to apply any of these authoritative terms to our English words and not to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words God gave by inspiration. God wrote only one Bible. It was in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words. These are the only inspired words of Holy Scripture from God we have ever received, or will receive. We need to always make that distinction very clear to promote truth and preserve our doctrinal integrity. I agree fully with Dr. D. A. Waite that when using these authoritative words for the KJB, we must carefully qualify them and connect them to their divine source in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. When we use any of these terms of authority concerning the KJB alone without qualifications we only weaken the doctrinal authority in our KJB, and our own intended Bible defense.

Most of our differences in the use of authoritative terms regarding the KJB are a matter of semantics rather than doctrinal differences. We understand why the Dean Burgon Society has held the position it holds on the use of the term inspiration these many years. While modern theologians are attempting to remove all authority from the Bible we hold in our hands, we must defend and declare all the divine authority possible to our traditional Bible texts, including the original autographs, apographs, and accurate translations like our authorized King James Bible.

Dr. Robert J. Barnett, Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church & Academy
6504 West M-72
Grayling, MI 49738

The Dean Burgon Society


Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

 
 
 
the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY
Box 354 - Collingswood
New Jersey 08108, U.S.A.
Phone: (856) 854-4452
Fax: (856) 854-2464
E-mail:
DBS@DeanBurgonSociety.org
Dean Burgon Society Symbol

Copyright 2012 - 2015 The Dean Burgon Society - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

WebSite PageViews