…The textual end justifies the textual means. They are motivated only in defending a modern printed text and any questions of methodology are irrelevant because they are governed by their a priori that the Textus Receptus (the Greek printed edition that lies behind the KJV) is without error.

   That is why you will often notice (I will provide a perfect, recent case in point) King James Only advocates cite in their defense “modernistic” textual critics when they agree with their conclusion, and in the next breath they will anathematize the very method of those same textual critics that led them to that conclusion! And yet when those same textual critics disagree with the Textus Receptus in other areas using the same methodology, King James Only advocates will be inconsistent and disagree with their results.

   Why is this? Once again, it bears repeating that to understand the King James Only phenomenon, it is imperative that you understand that the reasoning process of the hard textual and historical data is irrelevant, as long as their modern printed text of the Textus Receptus is defended. Once someone understands their fundamental presupposition, one can explain the particulars in this KJVO phenomenon, even predict their behavior at times.
   Daniel Wallace makes this acute observation as well,

…their perception of results determines allegiance. Questions of method rarely surface. All that matters is that the traditional text is affirmed. On the other hand, their perception of results is not based on an examination of a given scholar’s writings. Typically, little more is known about a scholar’s views than that he or she is theologically conservative, makes positive references to the TR, and criticizes Hort’s favored MSS. Because of such shibboleths, Majority text proponents [as well as TR proponents] have been repeatedly misled into soliciting unwitting support from the dead voices of the past. This practice is not only intellectually dishonest but also raises questions as to what drives this need for champions (emphasis his). p. 300, “The Majority text Theory: History, Methods, and Critique.” Studies & Documents: The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research.

   In short, a few pages later he says, “all their energy is expended in apologia, not investigatio.”
   A case in point, this fideistic and inconistent phenomenon is practiced by Steve Rafalsky in responding to a recent article I have written on a few related variants. Keeping in mind the a priori that was explained above, we will observe it in action in Rafalsky’s necessary defense of the King James readings.
   Since two of the three readings in the King James Bible I dealt with in Revelation 5:9-10 are only supported by the minority of manuscripts, this is problematic for many King James Only advocates since they are fond of citing the “majority” argument. By the way, the Textus Receptus is not the Majority text. There are 1,838 differences between the Textus Receptus (KJV) and the Majority text–a fact that many KJVO advocates wish did not exist. In other words, there are numerous readings in the KJV that are supported by only a sparse number of manuscripts, which, in addition, most of them are very late in date.
   The first variant that Rafalsky responds to me with is in Revelation 5:9 (“us to God” KJV; “to God” modern translations)   He writes,

The late Dr. Bruce Metzger, in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (1975 ed. [sic 1971] UBS) says regarding the CT reading, “Although the evidence for [to theo] is slight (A eth), this reading best accounts for the origin of the others.” The CT’s reading is given a {C} rating which indicates that in “the mind of the Committee….there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading” (p. xxviii).

   There are two glaring blunders on Steve Rafalsky’s use of Metzger.
   1) Notice that Rafalsky is citing one of the most authoritative modern textual critics! Did you see his a priori in action? That’s right, he cites Metzger’s conclusion, but what do you see missing? Bingo…a discussion of Metzger’s methodology (reasoned eclecticism) of how he reached his findings. Why is this? Simply because Metzger’s textual critical methodology is anathema to King James Only advocates. But since Metzger “C” rating of this variant casts doubt according to Rafalsky, then the “end justifies the means.”
   If you cite a conclusion, then to be consistent you should support the reasoning behind the conclusion otherwise one is participating in dishonest special pleading. And in this case, Metzger is being cited merely because of his authority but Rafalsky rejects his very reasoning to reach that conclusion!
   2) This second blunder is another example that the end justifies the means for King James Only advocates. He cites from the dated 1971 1st edition and conveniently does not mention that there is a 1994 updated second edition! Why is this? Why the silence on the UBS’s committee’s revaluation on this particular variant? We are not told. Possibly because the Revelation 5:9 variant has a “A” reading! Which means, “The letter {A} signifies that the text is certain” (emphasis mine, p. 14*)
   Now, it is very hard to believe that Rafalsky is not aware of the second edition. Apart from a Greek apparatus, Bruce Metzger’s second edition of his Textual Commentary is the most popular and commonly used resource in learning about New Testament variants. And maybe he does not think that his readers are aware of this or they will not double-check his facts. But this is consistent with the a priori. As long as the printed Textus Receptus is defended, the means is irrelevant, even using selectivity and citing their textual foes’ conclusions for support of the Textus Receptus, it is justified.
   Finally, any serious student of textual criticism knows that when you are evaluating a variant, you don’t pull off Metzger’s text from the bookshelf and flip open to the variant under question to see the “rating” and thus use it as an argument as Rafalsky does in this case. That is simply naive because the responsible critic examines arguments, reasoning, and data. And so if Rafalsky disagrees with the “A” rating, then that is fine, but he needs to give meaningful reasoning for a method to reach a conclusion. But again, this is not observable for KJVO advocates because textual principles and methodology do not exist for them.

   In conclusion, there are a couple of more errors that Rafalsky uses that I will take up another time, such as avoiding meaningful discussion on points I raised on the minority of support for the KJV readings in verse 10. Further, his attempt to explain how Revelation should be used in textual criticism is flawed; and omitting any germane discussion about how the same scribal habits are at play in the book of Revelation as they are with any other book, codex, manuscript. And this latter absence is relevant to our target variants in vv.9-10 since there was a tendency of scribes to clarify (change and add), rather than the other way around by obfuscating the text.
   Before I close, I should make a few comments regarding one other individual who responded to my article on this same forum.   Robert Paul Wieland (a.k.a. “CalvinandHodges”) does not even begin to attempt to interact with the textual data and my arguments, but throws some evasive non-sequiturs out there. I will only respond very briefly to a few of his remarks,

“First, the TR [Textus Receptus] is a text-type – just as the CT [Critical Text] is as well”

   Um…the TR and CT are not “text-types”…they are Greek editions. Text-types would be the “Byzantine,” “Alexandrian,” “Western” and “Cesarean.”

“Alan Kurschner theology seems a bit shaky. The “four and twenty elders” that sit before the throne in vs. 8 are singing. These elders are the Federal representatives of the Elect in all ages. (I think they are the 12 sons of Jacob, and the 12 apostles but that is speculation on my part.) Nevertheless, they do represent the Elect.”

   CH avoids dealing with the textual data since he turns the discussion toward the theology of the text—rather than what my article was about: textual considerations. But a few remarks nevertheless,
   i. My theology is determined by what the text says, not what I want it to say.
   ii. Nowhere does it say that the elders represent the elect of all ages. That is called eisegesis.
   iii. He must be consistent and say that Jesus died for the four celestial angels since they are singing about their redemption if he takes a KJV rendering.
   iv. As far as the identification of the twenty-four elders, that is the wrong question, since they are already identified: They are twenty-four elders of a special celestial order that suggests some leadership.
   v. And given the last point, maybe we should be more interested in the focal point of the text: The slain Lamb, Christ.   He continues,

“Third, the CT [Critical Text] relies on many “minority” readings in its text.”

   No, the CT does not “rely” on mere numbers since numbers of manuscripts is a naive way of doing textual criticism. The CT relies on the earliest, the best, and geographically widespread manuscripts. We don’t rely on very late Greek manuscripts, and in some cases as in the KJV more than a thousand years later (e.g. KJV reading of 1John 5:7-8).

“that to cite the handful of differences between the TR and majority readings is rather silly.”

   i. There are 1,838 differences between the TR and the Majority text—anything but a “handful.”
   ii. Often TR advocates cite the “majority” argument, but are far from consistent when it applies to readings in the KJV that have a minuscule (pun intended) number of manuscripts that support their reading (as is the case with two of the variant readings in Revelation 5:9-10.)

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