The Corrosive Effects of KJV/Textus Receptus Onlyism

KJV Onlyism is simply a sentimentalism for modern tradition in the Baptist church. Most of those who lean toward KJV Onlyism subscribe to many conspiracy theories that cannot be substantiated in history or the Bible. Many in this movement equate the destruction of America with the decline of the popularity of the KJV. Sort of a "God is judging because of our leaving the KJV thing." However, the judgment is here because people have abandoned "all" Bibles and God Himself. I am a Baptist, and the KJV arguments were once attractive to me because of the way they are positioned. It sounded so good because I have a great appreciation for the history of the KJV and the saints that have faithfully used it in the past. I love the poetic language and usage of words like "longsuffering" and "bowels of mercies." I also submit that the KJV is still more accurate in many places than most of the new translations. Nevertheless, that is not a reason to be an Onlyist. I grew up Lutheran and was raised on reformed teaching; but when in College, I was led to Christ by a Baptist minister and then the education began. I started out as an Independent, Fundamentalist, KJV Only Baptist with a bur under my saddle. But, I have almost made a full circle back to my Lutheran roots. I am still a Baptist but more specifically, I am a Reformed Baptist. The only reason I didn't return to the Lutheran tradition is because of their teachings on Baptism. The 1689 Baptist Confession is a great example of my views and those of my friends. I will continue to share more of the 1689 Confession on this blog soon.

It is no secret that I prefer the Byzantine readings of the New Testament; but I am nowhere near to subscribing to Dr Sam Gipp's crazy analysis below displayed in the first video. Dr. James White in the 5 videos below refutes Dr Gipp's position with textual, historical, and Biblical arguments. The KJV Only position has so many problems that I don't even want to begin describing the issue in more detail. I will just let Dr. James White do that. I will say that the Modern Eclectic method of textual criticism of which Dr White subscribes has some problems in its methodology. However, there are few problems with White's view compared to the KJV Only position. I personally prefer the Byzantine-Priority method and will submit that I have recently moved to this view.  Most recently I held a more traditional view of preferring the Majority Text, but there are some issues there that I believe are indefensible. As far as Traditional text preference, I think that the Byzantine-Priority method of textual criticism is the strongest over the popular modern eclectic method and textus receptus onlyism method. When KJV Onlyists want to refer to the Greek, they go to the "textus receptus." However, there are many problems to this line of reasoning, and Dr White will reference this below. One key way I can distinguish between the Byzantine-Priority, the modern eclectic view, and the KJV/TR only view is illustrated in the quote below by Dr. Maurice Robinson:

"Certainly the Textus Receptus had its problems, not the least of which was its failure to reflect the Byzantine Textform in an accurate manner. But the Byzantine Textform is not the TR, nor need it be associated with the TR or those defending such in any manner. Rather, the Byzantine Textform is the form of text which is known to have predominated in the Greek-speaking world from at least the fourth century until the invention of printing in the sixteenth century. The issue which needs to be explained by any theory of NT textual criticism is the origin, rise and virtual dominance of the Byzantine Textform within the history of transmission. Various attempts have been made in this direction, postulating either the "AD 350 Byzantine recension" hypothesis of Westcott and Hort, or the current "process" view promulgated by modern schools of eclectic methodology. Yet neither of these explanations sufficiently account for the phenomenon, as even some of their own prophets have declared."

 Mainly the "textus receptus" was made after the KJV, and is a compilation of a few Byzantine and Latin texts. It is a good compilation, but there are many variants that need to be addressed there. One thing that is true which hasn't been sufficiently answered by modern eclectic scholars is that the Byzantine text forms dominated after AD 350 to the late 1900's. In comparison, the Alexandrian text forms along with a few others were limited to one region of the world and didn't move beyond those areas. That isn't to say that the those manuscripts are not good. In fact, they are very helpful to the Byzantine-Priority view. There are some textual and historical references from Alexandria that support Byzantine related writings and influence, and vice-versa. Athanasius of Alexandria and Augustine of Hippo are two that come to mind from Alexandria that supported orthodox Christianity and referenced Byzantine related texts. Athanasius distanced himself from the teachings of Origen and restored an orthodox doctrine to the school of Alexandria. KJV Onlyists commonly link Origen to the Alexandrian based manuscripts to discredit them. However, it is a shallow argument and cannot be accurately substantiated. Augustine made the quote below about John 7:53-8:11 which doesn't appear in the Alexandrian based manuscripts that we have. This text is the story of the woman caught in adultery. Many in the Alexandrian school were taking it out and Augustine claimed that the passage may have been improperly excluded from some manuscripts in order to avoid the impression that Christ had sanctioned adultery:

"Certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if he who had said, Sin no more, had granted permission to sin."
 Some of the Alexandrian manuscripts we have may in fact be among those Augustine referenced. The main question is: "Can we delete this story from the Bible simply because the Alexandrian text is older?" I personally don't think so.

The main thing to take away here in reference to KJV/textus receptus onlyism issue is that both Alexandrian and Byzantine witnesses have variants and that this subject is complex and needs careful attention. As for Dr Gipp and the video referenced below, his attempt to oversimplify the issue will lead many well-meaning Christians into error. Dr White is right to address this.

For more on the Byzantine-Priority, check out the link: "The Case for Byzantine Priority." Dr James White also has a great article on it too. It is called "Traditional Text Positions- Byzantine Priority."

In the videos below, Dr White goes into many reasons we shouldn't be sucked into the KJV Only position. Their arguments are attractive (Trust me, I know!), but they cannot be substantiated with history, textual evidence, nor the Bible.  The first video is the topic of discussion made by Dr Sam Gipp who is an avowed KJV Onlyist.

The last video is the link below. I was having some technical difficulties getting it on here. I will put it on as soon as I can. Here it is:

What's the Big Deal with King James Onlyism? Part 5