Some people don’t seem to mind looking silly. Comics will often employ absurdity as an agent of humor in their routines. But when a person claims to be a minister of the gospel, and yet engages in the most egregiously ridiculous thinking and arguing, something is seriously wrong.
Texe Marrs has gained quite a reputation for himself over the years. No action is beyond his ability to turn into evidence of some great New Age conspiracy. Serious apologists have known for a long time that Mr. Marrs’ writings are filled with wild speculations and leaps of illogic.
I discovered just how conspiratorially-driven Mr. Marrs is last year. When I sent many pages of documentation regarding the errors in Gail Riplinger’s book, New Age Bible Versions, to Mr. Marrs, I received a scribbled note in return that began,
Don’t write me again unless in sincere repentance. You are a devil, plain + simple. And I understand well why Mrs. Riplinger does not respond to your ridiculous assertions. Why dignify the lying claims of a servant of Satan!
When I responded to his note, it was returned to me with the following words written across it in red magic marker:
Mr. Marrs does not want your evil trash. Don’t write again except in repentance.
The envelope had “Revelation 1:1” written on the front. Marrs had said in his first letter that I am “a sinner in need of redemption, so arrogant + uninformed you do not even know that the new versions take out the “Alpha + Omega” — the very name of your Fake “ministry” in one passage of Revelation.” In my response I addressed Revelation 1:11, and demonstrated why the modern versions read as they do. It seems Mr. Marrs was not interested in looking into the topic, as he put the wrong citation on the envelope of his second letter.
A few weeks later I debated Dr. D.A. Waite on KIXL radio in Austin, Texas. Mr. Marrs called into the program, and in haranguing me he raised the topic of the Revelation passage, again mis-citing it as Revelation 1:1. When I managed to get a word in edge-wise I pointed out that he wasn’t even accurate in his reference, and that he was referring to Revelation 1:11, not Revelation 1:1. As the tape plainly records, Marrs refused to accept correction, but was willing to engage in simple dishonesty. He replied, “Well, that’s what I said. Revelation one . . . one . . . one.” The farce was so obvious that many in the radio studio could not control their laughter. Below we provide a scan of the envelope Marrs sent us, which plainly shows the reference, (Rev. 1:1):
Sadly, Mr. Marrs is just about as accurate and logical in his thinking in his written materials as he is in his off-the-cuff comments. This can be seen in a story that is currently circulating in the electronic realm titled, “Shocker! — Bible Scholar Loses Voice on The John Ankerberg TV Show” from Marrs’ newsletter titled “Flashpoint” (10/95). Marrs asserts that John Ankerberg was “afraid” that the KJV advocates would “get the upper hand” and that hence he attempted to “stack the deck.” Marrs asserts that five new version scholars were invited “but only three King James advocates.” He forgets, however, that at least six KJV advocates were invited. Three chose not to appear: Peter Ruckman, Gail Riplinger, and D.A. Waite.
Marrs’ “shocker” has to do with a brief incident that took place at the beginning of the fourth of the eight programs. Normally John Ankerberg would give us some warning as to what direction he wanted to go and to whom he was going to turn to begin the next program. For example, in the second program Dr. Ankerberg told me he would be coming to me to give the background on the transmission of the biblical text over the centuries. The fourth program, as I recall, was taped immediately after the lunch break. John Ankerberg told Dr. Don Wilkins that he was going to come to him to allow him to present some problems in Gail Riplinger’s book, New Age Bible Versions. Dr. Wilkins, who has worked on the New American Standard Bible, had flown all the way from Athens, Greece, to be a part of the program. When Dr. Ankerberg handed the question off to Dr. Wilkins he developed a frog in his throat, tried to cough it out, but was unsuccessful. As happens so often in taping television programs, we took a break, rolled the tape back, and started again. Dr. Wilkins drank a little water, and went right on with the second take.
At the time I leaned over to Dr. Art Farstad of the New King James Version and said, “I bet some KJV Only person will turn this into some story of divine intervention.” I think Dr. Farstad thought I was over-reacting, but as Texe Marrs has proven, I was quite correct.
Marrs’ facts, as usual, are inaccurate. He says, “It happened when Ankerberg asked Dr. Don Wilkins, head of the New King James Version translation committee a key question.” You’ll notice Marrs connects Dr. Wilkins with the NKJV, when he is in fact connected with the NASB. Then note how Marrs changes history to make his story sound better: “Is it true, asked Ankerberg, as Gail Riplinger reported in her best-selling book, New Age Bible Versions, that a number of the scholars who worked on the new translation committees lost their voice as punishment by God?” Actually, Ankerberg asked Dr. Wilkins his opinion of the research and data in Gail Riplinger’s book.
Marrs continued to embellish and exaggerate: “Ankerberg and the other new version scholars were visibly startled. Finally, an embarrassed and frightened Wilkins was able to screech out in a cracking, almost inaudible manner, ‘I… I’ve… lost… my voice!'” Why we would be startled at a frog in the throat is a little beyond me, and Dr. Wilkins, while embarrassed, was hardly “frightened.” Marrs neglects to mention that after a quick drink of water we picked right back up and Dr. Wilkins was able to go right on and demonstrate some of the many errors in Riplinger’s book.
The fact that this little incident has grown to current proportions only shows how bankrupt the defenders of KJV Onlyism really are. The simple fact of the matter is that this is all they can latch onto to attempt to rescue some of their leading advocates from the simple fact that they lost the debate badly. I have received comments from many people about the programs, and the consistent comment of those who were not aware of the controversy, and who approached the topic without prejudice, has been, “It really seems the KJV Only folks were really out of their league. They were unable to provide any kind of meaningful defense of their position.” Given the fact that there is little positive that KJV Only advocates can glean from the four hours worth of debate, it says a lot that they have to focus upon a frog in the throat as evidence of divine judgment.
But we can learn more about Mr. Marrs’ thinking by looking at this entire situation. Dr. Wilkins had one single problem; he immediately recovered and went on to demonstrate errors in KJV Only viewpoints. Dr. Wallace had flown in just an hour before the program began, yet he had no problems. I had no problems, Dr. Barker had no problems, and Dr. Farstad had no problems, either. Can’t we use the term “desperation” to describe the KJV Only attempt to read into this incident some divine judgment? Why didn’t God keep us all from discussing Riplinger’s errors? Why did Dr. Wilkins’ problem last for just a few seconds? And why did God allow us to repeatedly refute the KJV Only arguments all through all eight programs? If one of the KJV Only men had developed a frog in his throat, would this amount to evidence of divine intervention as well? And what of the refusal of Riplinger, Ruckman, and Waite to even attend? Could we not read something sinister into this?
The kind of conspiratorial thinking that goes into the writing of Texe Marrs and others of his school illustrates yet once again the irrationality of KJV Onlyism. The arguments used by Marrs could just as easily be used against him. When Gail Riplinger, who has frequent physical problems, has to cancel a speaking engagement, does this not prove that she is under the wrath of God? Is this not judgment? If a frog in a throat is “pure justice, a sign from God,” as Marrs put it, isn’t Riplinger’s physical problem just as much a sign from God? Of course, neither are signs from God. People who think this way are thinking illogically and irrationally, and what is more, they are thinking in an unChristian manner. To have the mind of Christ is not to think irrationally. To have a spiritual mind is not to engage in silly argumentation through the use of double standards. Those who serve He who is the Truth should have the highest standards of truth themselves. Sadly, this is obviously not the case with many KJV Only advocates.
Someone needs to write to Texe Marrs and ask him to quit spreading silly rumors and get busy doing something worthwhile for the kingdom of God. I’ve already tried telling him he’s off the track, and have received my lumps in reply. Someone else will have to undertake that task this time.