Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
03/30/2005 - James White
Here's a picture of the sign the KJV Only Street Abusers were carrying in Mesa last week. As the picture is, of necessity, rather small, let me fill in what is hard to read. On the green, good tree you have "KJV Holy Bible," followed by "Every Vital Doctrine Preserved." Below this is "Deity of Christ," "Virgin Birth of Christ," and "Redemption by the Blood of the Lamb." It is called the "Good Tree," and below ground level you have "Good Translators, Godly Men" and "Good Technique, Formal Equivalence." Finally, at the bottom, "Good Text, Textus Receptus."
On the brown, corrupt tree we have "Modern English Bibles, 100 Perversions" and below that, "Every Vital Doctrine Attacked." Some of the translations included are the NIV, NKJV (odd, since it uses the Textus Receptus) and the ever-popular NASV (why can't they ever get that one right?). Underground we have a whole plethora of small boxes that read Ecumenism, Evolutionism, Rationalism, Romanism, Higher Criticism, and Liberalism. The little red box to the right, believe it or not, is the Book of Mormon, and then added as an afterthought, obviously, is the Koran. Below this we have "Corrupt Translators, Heretics & Unbelievers," "Corrupt Technique, Dynamic Equivalence" (yes, the NKJV and NASB are on the tree above, go figure), and finally at the bottom, "Corrupt Text, Minority MSS, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus."
Now, the young man carrying the sign adamantly denied that Desiderius Erasmus was involved in the compilation of the Textus Receptus, and to point out that the KJV was translated by paedobaptists without a single Baptist amongst them would surely have taken the poor lad beyond his range of church history (which probably extends all the way back to about 1990). But the sign itself is such a muddle of inconsistency and self-contradiction that it is almost humorous...almost, but not quite, given the context of those carrying it about at a Mormon gathering (as if the Mormons are known for their love of the NIV). There are godly men, for example, involved in the translation of modern versions just as some of the KJV translators were a tad bit less than saintly. And Erasmus' role in making textual decisions that end up in the KJV is no more damning than any textual choices in modern texts: all have to be equally evaluated and, thanks be to God, we are in a better situation to examine such decisions today than ever before, if we would but avail ourselves of the resources available. Any serious application of some historical facts to the claims of the sign would, of course, remove it from public view (they did stop carrying it, but something tells me, it will reappear elsewhere), but sadly, the folks who scream at the Mormons (aka, "preach") are, in the main, impervious to such logical, truthful, or rational refutations and examinations.