Received-Text Inerrancy: Exact Equivalence of literality
Preserves it, and Textual Evidence Reveals it
Some commentators view preservation of inerrancy in scripture as requiring an exact literal word correspondence. It is for this reason that they view a transfer of inerrancy from Hebrew/Aramaic & Greek texts to a translation as impossible, the differences in language syntax & word sense supposedly making this impossible.
However, the scripture is "Wonderful Words of Life," the written representative of our Savior who is the Living Word, the giver of life and the one who possesses power of life and death, as seen by John 12:48 that speaks of His Word as our judge in the final day of judgment. Justice in judgment requires that Word to be inerrant, and it is in written form today, requiring text inerrancy since we are expected to abide by the teaching, in expectation of final judgment. Obviously, the written form of concern to us is that of a translation in his own language, a totally reliable one based on a totally reliable Greek & Hebrew/Aramaic textual basis.
Now those who profess to be Bible-believers normally declare a belief that autograph originals of scripture were inspired by God, and thus inerrant. Yet today many have been convinced by scholars that considerable variance in extant manuscripts, especially those of the Greek texts, means that inerrancy did not transfer to biblical-language texts available today, having been lost long ago. But why would God endow inerrancy just to let it be lost early in text history so that thereafter, no one could have an inerrant text in any language, and could not be certain that he knows God's will for him? Why would God take His hand off scripture texts after inspiring them, and let the agents of darkness have their way with texts? He will be well aware of all the historical activities of agents who have sought to distort the Word and eradicate all copies at times.
The obvious basic problem here is that
manuscripts are the work of fallible men, and various copies would be
subjected to mistreatment or carelessness throughout the
centuries. There is no way to know how many, or when, manuscripts
have been lost or destroyed throughout the centuries of text history, but there are known major cases of manuscript destruction in history during persecution of early Christians, especially that of the Roman army.
Further, the tendency of modern scholars to make manuscript age
decisive in evaluating text merit is unwise since the fallible nature
of men has been a problem throughout text history. To trust in manuscript age or numbers is problematic, yet modern scholars and their followers do just that. Reliance on readings of a majority of manuscripts only increases the possibility of preserving accuracy, but will often be misleading since errors can be repeated many times in the history of text copying.
The Greek Received Text
Continuance of inerrancy of the autographs can occur by periodic restoration in the power and providence of God working through men He has chosen for the task. Periodic preservation would offer the world at large texts that catch-up with inerrant ones continually preserved exclusively by God's people in Israel and in true biblical churches throughout the centuries. The Greek Received Text is the most notable case of God's Hand on text restoration in history since it marked the end of the Dark Ages in Europe, and began restoration of biblical authority in churches throughout Europe & beyond. That its timing in history was Providential is indicated in that Traditional-Text manuscripts, that were the basis of the Received Text, were carried west at the fall of Constantinople in the eastern Roman empire in 1453 A.D, near in time to invention of movable-type printing that would soon cause the widest distribution of the biblical text in history at that time. Further, the Received Text appeared when the Reformation was on the near horizon, and this event would invoke spreading this text all throughout Europe. The Received Text merits our deepest respect, and most conscientious study.
Now the number of manuscripts has basic value since conscientious scribes are most likely to do the work of copying scripture, which would put the best manuscripts in the majority. The Traditional-Text family of manuscripts does constitute a great majority, and while it shows textual variance, the minor general nature of it contrasts starkly with the major doctrinal & textual variance in the competing critical type based mainly on Alexandrian texts, establishing the Traditional type as highly superior. In this group is where manuscripts preserving inerrancy are expected to reside, and textual evidence of text quality regarding context, word-choice & grammar will be the primary factor revealing an inerrant text in this group. Textual studies indicate Alexandrian texts exhibit poor quality indicative of considerable mishandling (see essay 3), yet scholars today promote critical Greek texts based mainly on these Alexandrian texts that they think are superior on the basis of age. The Traditional Text was the proven standard of the eastern church, and so is most likely the text God ordained for the entire church. Scholars can't properly resort to Alexandrian texts removed from churches for ~1400 years, and unavailable until the late 19th century A.D. Alexandrian texts cannot be part of God's plan to guide all His people of His church. Thus, studies aimed at determining the significance of manuscript variance will emphasize role of the Traditional Text and its descendant, the Received Text.
Since God hasn't yet obliterated sin and evil in our world, they still abide alongside that which is good. Thus in the manuscript evidence, we can expect a need to separate that which is true from that which is false, and man with his sin nature naturally inclines toward error, no matter how well educated he may be. However, if God enters into text history, we likely will find evidence of this in select manuscripts, those that were provi- dentially endowed upon His people who desire to serve Him in truth. Thus traditional texts of God's people in true churches would be those that show the evidence of inerrancy. Others might be left to devices of men in recognition of a lack of desire to serve God, and an inclination toward humanism. That is, attitudes of various peoples and nations toward serving God would be basic in determining the state of the scripture text among them, and it would be a basis for judgment of them. Thus, since a majority of Traditional-Text manuscripts resided in non-biblical Greek Orthodox churches during most of text history, the majority of these manuscripts would be at risk of some error, yet overall, these problems are minor, by contrast with the Alexandrian type.
Now a printed finalized Received Text derived from the Traditional Text should be the representative of select Traditional-Text manuscripts preserving inerrancy, assuming God ordains periodic restoration of His Word. Preservation, despite hostility toward the text, is indicated by the fact that a few Received-Text readings have very slight, or no known, support by Traditional-Text manuscripts, yet are well supported by textual evidence. It is known that historical agents of darkness made extensive & thorough efforts to eliminate all manuscripts, which is especially true of the Roman army in its efforts to remove the authority by which early Christians refused to participate in pagan worship of emperors and other false gods. This persecution would result in loss of many true manuscripts until it ended in the 4th century, and restoration would then begin, which would explain why some true readings date no further back than the 4th century. Restoration would likely begin without delay, but the efforts of human scribes in general would fall far short of the goal, and God alone would be able to restore texts completely, final restoration of the Greek being the Received Text in printed form. God inspired scripture, and He is able to restore any lost readings. His restoration work, accomplished through His chosen men, would be mark a history of preservation, and this role of God clearly is to be preferred over mere human ability to preserve the true text. A case in which authenticity of a passage in the Received Text is established be- yond question by textual evidence, despite little manuscript support, and despite much doubt of its authenticity noted historically & today, is that of the Johannine Comma presented in essay 4a. Essay 4g presents various other cases of indicated restoration of authentic passages having very little, or no known, manuscript support. Restoration of authentic readings is also indicated in cases where manuscript support is notable, but not early enough to avoid doubts of authenticity by scholars, as in the case of the pass- age on the woman taken in adultery discussed in essay 4e. Some Received-Text pass- ages are said by scholars to derive from the Latin Vulgate, but even this version is expected to exhibit a major degree of accuracy that relates to the autographs if God is involved, so it could supply some readings appropriate for use in an inerrant Received Text. Texts of various types would be a potential source of inerrant readings; God alone is able to identify these, and men of His choosing would be the instruments by which He would make such readings available, judging by the way text history has unfolded.
Now even inerrant texts preserved for God's people can be expected to contain verses and passages that require careful study to resolve apparent difficulties that test faith in God's Word. These scripture portions may seem inaccurate, but will prove to be quite accurate through proper study, thus encouraging the kind of study required to develop confidence in God's Word. This is expected since we are all sinners, and must apply faith in our dealings with scripture in order to overcome all natural skeptical impulses toward questioning of truth. As scripture says, without faith it's impossible to please God (Heb.11:6), and we must develop a study habit based on faith that will eventually reveal the truth of God's Word in passages that seem erroneous. The primary purpose of the present website is to prove that passages in traditional texts (Hebrew/Aramaic, Greek and the English of the KJV) that are said by skeptical scholars to exhibit error, really are totally accurate. Such passages permit unregenerate readers to sneer at the accuracy of God's Word, which doubtless will be a factor in their judgment in that final day that scripture speaks of.
Crucial textual evidence reveals inerrancy
This view of manuscript history indicates great attention be given to context, grammar, word-choice & doctrinal soundness, separating manuscripts by such criteria of textual evidence. High quality of this type, along with great numbers of manuscripts, identifies a true text class. Older and few Alexandrian Greek texts that are preferred by scholars fail these basic qualifications of authenticity, as emphasized by some striking evidence of Alexandrian-text corruption by scribes having dogmatic motives, and careless scribes who likely were non-regenerate. When we apply to the Traditional Text the criteria of textual evidence, as is done on the present website, we conclude that certain manu- scripts of this type qualify as inerrant, and are represented by the Received Text derived from the Traditional Text. Inerrancy becomes recognizable, as expected if God reveals it to enable confidence in His Word.
Crucial exact equivalence of literality preserves inerrancy
Inerrancy means freedom from error, which most basically is freedom from an inexact sense in all passage meanings, and from grammatical error. Inerrancy preservation requires wording literality sustained adequately to attain exact equivalence with texts of long-lost autographs, which can only be judged today by the consistency & logic in copies of traditional texts (preservation over the centuries applies only to traditional texts). This doesn't require complete literality preservation, and copies of traditional texts all teaching the same concepts, exactly & totally, will preserve inerrancy, despite minor differences in rendering words, phrases or clauses. Inerrancy requires a state of the text teaching readers exactly & totally what God wants them to know, and what they are to practice when teaching takes the form of commandments or direction. This view of inerrancy recognizes the human factor involved as God preserves the text and individuality of human writers as they do their best to ensure accuracy. Exact equival- ence among traditional texts with minor literality differences is the form of inerrancy preservation that would result from combining the divine factor with the human one. It is vital to realize that different editions often don't exhibit exact equivalence, and in such cases textual evidence of context, word-choice & grammar distinguish inerrant readings. Either way, inerrancy is preserved, and readers should keep both of these concepts in mind.
This combination of divine & human factors in the written Word is perhaps meant to reflect the image of the Savior, the Living Word who is represented by the written Word. Christ the divine Son took on flesh, and had the nature of men to the fullest extent of love in its truest form of compassion, and was free of even the slightest tinge of sin & error. Yet even He was scorned by those of the world, as if He were like them, for they were unable to judge inerrant humanity. In related fashion, the divine Living Word works through merely human writers to give us an inerrant written guide to life, judgment and eternity, but various inerrant texts that present inerrant teachings show differences in literality due to human differences in language choice (like the variant renderings of a given teaching by different gospel writers). Thus the humanity of the writers provides grounds for rejection of the Word by scoffers who cannot discern the divine hand at work through human writers, just as the human form of the Savior provided grounds for scoffers to reject His deity.
The combination of divine and human aspects in inerrant texts applies to the various matured editions of the Greek Received Text. The Living Word evidently chooses to present His inerrant written Word in a way that logically reflects the humanity of us all, especially those involved in its transmission over the generations of mankind. We, as Adam's descendants, are made in the image of God, but the image is marred by sin, and the redeemed are transformed in a maturing process until they are ultimately perfected and made like the Savior, to the degree that they will behold Him in all His glory without being destroyed (1 Jn.3:2). Our inerrant Word of instruction, our guide to perfection that contains unimportant literality differences, seems meant to reflect the maturing process by which we are ultimately perfected in God's image. We are each identified by unimportant differences from other redeemed ones, as well as extreme differences from non-redeemed ones (paralleling the degrees of textual variance) who never show any basic change in their status, and even scoff at God's Word. One day all the redeemed, with minor differences today, will pass into a state of perfection in the image of Christ, all being made literally like the Living Word of God (1 John 3:2).
Textual evidence and exact literality equivalence establish inerrant render- ings preserved throughout the centuries
With manuscripts being subject to various early efforts to destroy all copies, connect- ions of most modern-day copies to autograph originals will be questionable, and use of majority readings will not resolve potential problems since all such can simply be the result of repeated copying of early copies not rightly linked to the autographs. The only way to identify preserved true readings will be to view texts in regard to the textual evidence, and/or exact equivalence of literality, and the best readings will often be in a minority, being linked to just a few early copies rightly connected to the autographs. With this in mind, we examine disputed readings.
Which Received-Text Edition(s) Preserve Inerrancy?
Received-Text editions exhibit minor literality differences from each other, yet the matured ones commonly present exact equivalence of literality in their readings, or inerrant ones can be distinguished by textual evidence, or even a combination of both factors. Noted below are passages that illustrate this, including those discussed by Dr. Hills in The King James Version Defended. He viewed differences in a given reading as minor & unimportant. The present writer views them as somewhat different ways to say the same thing, producing equivalent readings that preserve inerrant teaching, and thus preserve inerrancy. We'll find that matured Beza & Elzevir editions appear to achieve exact equivalence almost without exception, and that of Erasmus is close to them, but that of Stephanus is a bit less successful, and occasionally exhibits some grammatical error. Yet the Stephanus is close to the others in equivalence & textual evidence, thus supporting them, and pointing to the inerrant state, as illustrated by examples noted below. Further, the Stephanus too is vastly superior to modern critical texts that show much inaccurate teaching (essays 3,4a,b,c,f,g & essay 12 items 37,38, 39,41,65, 67,69). Critical Greek texts are based mainly on the Alexandrian type, and differ much from the Received Text, and from each other, to the point that teachings vary notably. The critical-type text is in a steadily-changing state due to the lack of certainty on many renderings, but it never exhibits any decisive overall improvement from a corrupt state.
Regarding translations, we find evidence that KJV translators consistently chose the best readings from differing equivalent ones in different Received-Text editions, so the inerrant state of the Received Text appears to have transferred to the KJV in English form, as judged by the substance of discussions below and by the textual perfection it exhibits in various topics of the present website. KJV literality evidently was optimized by very thorough consultation of related texts to corroborate & finalize all language, qualifying the KJV as completely representative of a literally-perfected English form of the Greek of God's Word. Now to reverse this process and derive a literally-perfected Greek text from KJV perfected English is impossible by human ability alone, only a good approximation of the best literality being feasible in this fashion, so literally-perfected versions can be providentially endowed independently & selectively upon all those truly devoted to God (as taught in Psalm 12 - essay 6a and in Jn.16:13 & 17:17 - See Principles of Bible Preservation by J. Moorman). This perfected state explains pre- KJV text history in England, the Dark Ages of Romanism & the partially-distorted Vulgate beginning to be dispelled with the work of Tyndale, and continuing with later English versions, until a perfected KJV based largely on exact equivalence in literality & good textual evidence (optimum possible in English form) appeared. This occurred in conjunction with establishment of biblical belief in the rise of dissenters & separatists, culminating in Baptists who became notable by 1611. Thus, some Baptists and those sympathetic to our cause remain as the parties holding exclusively to the KJV. On the other hand, departure from English-text perfection in popular modern versions relates t0 popular devotion to the humanism of self-exalting scholarship, in preference to a devotion to God's Word. Of course, satan can motivate some imposters who seem devoted to the KJV, but ignore doctrine taught by that true text, and thus distort the general view of devotion to the one true English version of God's Word.
Similar text histories should apply to the authorized versions of God's people in other languages. Nonetheless, inerrancy of the type we have discussed may not apply to those people groups not fully devoted to God's Word, and variant degrees of text inaccuracy or unavailability might apply to nations & people groups with predominant populat- ions of those indifferent to God's Word. Thus ancient Judah lost its text of the law through its rebellion against God during the long reign of evil king Manasseh, but his grandson Josiah ascended to the throne, and restored loyalty to God, and the text was restored (2 Kings ch.22). And true biblical Christianity in the early church of Europe was marked by a true Italic Old-Latin Bible, while corruption of this text by Jerome produced the Vulgate adopted by dominant non-biblical Romanists of the Latin world. And failure of Luther to depart fully from the error of Rome explains the basing of his translation on the 2nd edition of Erasmus, a matured text of Erasmus not being pro- duced until the 3rd edition (e.g. 1 John 5:7,8, with the vital Johannine Comma that directly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity, did not appear until the 3rd edition).
Those people groups devoted to God would receive inerrant texts in their languages, not just in Greek & Hebrew/Aramaic, accounting for reports of various true versions following the Greek Received Text in various languages, like the French Olivetan, the Dutch Statenvertalog, the Italian Diodati, the Spanish Reina-Valera, the Portugese Almeida, etc. We can expect totally accurate versions for all believers who are devoted to God's Word. Even so, all accurate texts would be subject to deterioration in variant degree as predominant populations move away from a devotion to God, which has occurred in large measure, not being limited to the case of modern English versions.
In light of what has been said above, it's no surprise that Erasmus, basing his work on Traditional-Text manuscripts, would be chosen providentially to begin the history of the Received Text. Despite his affiliation with the Roman church, he was a true critic of Romanism, and sought to reform it from within, ending his days with the reformers in Geneva, and he & Luther were the outstanding scholars of that day. Thus it is not surprising that the great reformer Luther based his German bible on an edition of Erasmus, contributing to expanded use of the Received Text in Europe.
Comparing Editions of the Greek Received Text
We begin comparing editions of
the Received Text with examples from the internet* that illustrate
the lack of a detrimental effect of differences in literality on teachings. The initial
group is said to contain readings from the 1589 edition of Beza most closely followed in the
KJV, according to the author of the data, (the 1598 edition is the one usually referred to as most closely associated with the KJV), and contrasted with those of
the 1550 Stephanus edition. The Stephanus is the least consistent in adherence to good literality, yet commonly offers exact equivalence, indicating that autograph texts and their inerrancy have been well preserved among the Received Text editions.
*Dr. J. D. Price - www.KJVvariations.doc
1. Matthew 9:33
KJV: And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel
Stephanus has the added Greek word for the relative pronoun that, which makes the verse read...the multitudes marveled, saying, that it was never so seen...Clearly, there is not the slightest difference in the sense of meaning of the text verses, and grammar is quite proper in either case, the state of equivalence being exact.
2. Matthew 21:7
KJV: And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon
Stephanus has he sat,
making the verse read, and he sat thereon. Slightly different
spellings of a Greek term result in two different ways to say the
same thing, that Christ came to sit upon the two animals (at different times). The only difference is that the manner in which the Savior
came to sit on the animal isn't noted in the Stephanus, which is a minor literality difference of no consequence regarding basic truth.
Regarding the fact that He sat, or was set upon, the colt & its mother, this is indicative of His riding both, the pure young colt at the start of the trip & during the triumphal entry to Jerusalem, and its mother during the descent from the mount of Olives since the young colt wouldn't possess enough strength for this part of the trip. The Savior showed compassion for the colt in this way, and also by not separating it from its mother.
3. Matthew 23:13, 14
KJV 13 & 14
23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men...
23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows houses...
The only difference here in Stephanus is that the order of the verses is
inverted, verse 13 in Beza being verse 14 in Stephanus &
vice-versa, which has no effect on accuracy.
4. Mark 6:29
KJV: And when his (John the Baptist) disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Stephanus.....laid it in the tomb. The literality difference clearly has no effect on the truth being taught.
5. Mark 8:24
KJV: And he (formerly blind man), looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Stephanus...he said, I see the men, for as trees I see (them) walking.
The double use of see, an added the and the awkwardness caused by omitting them in Stephanus doesn't change anything of the equivalence of teaching, though the clearer expression of the verse sense illustrated in the KJV is to be preferred.
6. Mark 9:40
KJV: For he that is not against us is on our part
Stephanus: For he who is not against you is for you.
The equivalence of the two renderings is exact, despite a difference in word choice. The teaching is the same, despite the
pronoun difference. Anyone against Christ's people takes that
position because he is against Christ, and against teaching of righteous living that is quite contrary to the natural bent of mankind.
7. Mark 12:20
KJV: Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed...
Stephanus: Now is absent - Again an exact equivalence of teaching is obvious.
8. Acts 17:25
KJV: Neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he (God) needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath and all things.
Stephanus .....life and breath in all (things).
The teaching of the two texts is essentially equivalent, but textal evidence of word choice in the KJV is superior since it correctly teaches that God is the source of all things for all of mankind.
9. Romans 7:6
KJV: But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Stephanus...having died in which we were held...
Here there is no real difference in the teaching since the reason we are dead to the law is that the law first died to us, through the sacrifice of Christ, so the two renderings are exactly equivalent in an unusual way (see essay 12, item 20 for further comment).
10. Colossians 2:13
KJV: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses
Stephanus.......having forgiven us all the trespasses.
Paul speaks to Colossian Christians,
and whether or not he includes himself in the teaching has no effect since it is obvious that he too is a Christian and the equivalence is exact. Nonetheless, you is the better contextual choice since Paul is directing his words to his audience, and you grammatically corresponds to your better than to us.
A second group of examples illustrate the superiority of matured Beza & Elzevir texts as the best in terms of exact equivalence & textual evidence, and thus best preserving autograph texts, and that of Erasmus is not far behind in this matter. The examples derive from Dr. Edward Hills, who offered nine cases of differences in the editions to show that they were unimportant, and he viewed the KJV as the best English form of the text. The present writer takes that a step further, viewing the KJV as entirely accurate and perfected in literality. This results in viewing Beza's 1598 edition, the one favored by the translators, as the Greek text closest to literality perfection. The nine examples of literality differences noted below relate to the editions in the manner noted by Dr. Hills. His work is greatly appreciated, as is the good manuscript research of Dr. Thomas Holland and brother Will Kinney in various textual matters.
Beza & Elzevir Greek texts are nearly always exactly equivalent, and other editions of the Received Text are normally exactly equivalent to them, so the text of the autograph originals appears to be well established. The Elzevir-type text was released after the publication of the 1611 KJV, and appears to have followed Beza primarily.
1. John 16:33 - shall have tribulation or have tribulation
KJV: In the world ye shall have tribulation...
The two renderings are exact equivalents, for in the world ye have tribulation speaks of an ongoing situation from the present to the future, and in the world ye shall have tribulation does the same. These are two slightly different ways of saying tribulation is an ongoing part of the Christian life.
Shall have: KJV, Beza, Elzevir
have: Erasmus, Stephanus
2. Romans 8:11 -by His Spirit or because of His Spirit
KJV...he that raises up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Some Received-Text editions have because in place of by, but this is just two slightly different ways to say the same thing, so equivalence is exact. Yet by is preferred since quicken in conjunction with by refers directly to application of God's power.
by his Spirit: KJV, Beza, Elzevir
because of his Spirit: Erasmus, Stephanus
3. Luke 2:22 -her purification or their purification.
KJV: And when the days of her purification (Mary at the birth of Jesus) according to the law of Moses were accomplished...
KJV her is the correct rendering of this verse referring to Mary in regard to the teaching of the
Mosaic law about a woman giving birth to a male child and associated purification, so textual evidence favors the KJV here. Some editions of the Received Text have their, yet retain an inexact equivalence in the verse since Mary is included, and the total purification process involves the Savior whether her or their is utilized. The Savior would be circumcised, a type of purification included in the law of Moses at the time of the birth of a male child. However, the immediate context in Lk.2:22 is the crucial factor, and it only mentions the circumcision in regard to the Savior being named Jesus, so her is correct, and is also the pronoun appearing in Lev.12:1-4 where the specifics of the law are noted. The purification spoken of in Luke 2:22 relates to taking the Child to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord, and the 40-day purification of Mary is the one that must be completed to permit this, circumcision of the Child being accomplished earlier on the 8th day of her purification, as noted in Lev.12:1-4. This is a case in which the Beza & Elzevir texts alone sustain inerrancy.
Erasmus usually is close to the standard of exact equivalence, and Stephanus is only a little less consistent, and with Beza & Elzevir texts nearly always achieving an exact equivalence, the autograph texts and their inerrancy appear to be well preserved. The KJV follows up with the fully correct term in English.
KJV, Beza, Elzevir
their: Erasmus, Stephanus
4. Romans 12:11 - serving the Lord or serving the time
KJV...fervent in spirit; serving the Lord
theme here is the various types of service Christians are to perform
in their work with each other and with the unsaved, and this is
serving the Lord, but the service can only apply to the time in
history in which Christians live. Thus serving the Lord during the
time that the saints live is what the teaching is all about, and the
variance presents two different ways to refer to one teaching. Even so, Lord is more direct and literal contextually, so textual evidence favors the KJV rendering as the inerrant one.
Lord: KJV, Beza, Elzevir, Erasmus 1
time: Stephanus D,G & Erasmus 2,3,4,5
5. 1 Timothy 1:4 -godly edifying or dispensation of God
KJV: Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
This speaks of avoiding fables and various false doctrines that minister puzzlement, instead of true teaching. Paul tells Timothy to help the saints with godly edifying, and that's what the dispensation of God (administration of His doctrine) is all about in this verse, so these are two different ways to say the same thing, and the equivalence is exact, but the term godly edifying is preferred since it is more direct.
godly edifying: KJV, Beza, Elzevir, Erasmus
dispensation of God: Stephanus
6. Luke 17:36
17:34 I tell you in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
17:35 Two women shall be grinding together: the one shall be taken, and the other left.
17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left
Verse 36 is missing in some Received-Text editions, but the teaching isn't affected, for the three verses teach one concept that is retained even when verse 36 is absent. The three verses deal with Christ's description of events in a future day when the Son of man is revealed, and the three provide examples of how men will be taken away or left behind at that day, and how women will be taken away or left behind. Verses 34 & 35 deal with the situation with men and women so absence of verse 36, though doubtless authentic, doesn't affect the concept taught. Inclusion of verse 36 is not essential since its absence just results in one less example of the teaching that is the same in either case. Even so, the absence of one verse is an error in grammar & syntax, and the KJV reading with all three verses should be the true rendering by textual evidence.
Verse present: KJV, Beza, Elzevir, Stephanus 4
Verse absent: Erasmus, Stephanus, 1,2,3
7. John 1:28
KJV: These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Some editions have Bethany, rather than Bethabara. One school of thought is that the two names refer to the same place. Actually, names of Hebrew towns or locations have names reflecting some significant history, and Bethabara seems to refer to the specific place that the baptism occurred, while Bethany is likely the name of a town in the near vicinity. This is likely since Bethabara means house of a ford (a shallow watercourse that would be well-suited for baptizing), and Bethabara may even be a symbolic name for the specific place. Bethany would not be the specific place since the name means house of the afflicted one. Bethany cannot refer to the place near Jerusalem where the terrain is hilly and removed from the vicinity of the Jordan river.
All this would explain divided manuscript evidence favoring one or the other. Either name would be contextually correct, and if the two were names for one specific or one general place, they would be equivalent. We need to keep in mind that any one correct term isn't known from history, and manuscript evidence numerically favors Bethany. Nonetheless, we can consider either name as applicable, and they can be considered as equivalent since they both can only refer to the place where John was baptizing at this time. The crucial aspect of the verse is the fact that it speaks of the baptism of John as occurring beyond Jordan, and this baptism is what related context is all about. The identity of the name isn't crucial to this teaching, nonetheless grammatical/syntactical error in non-matured Stephanus editions is likely. At any rate, the KJV Bethabara is more specific and more logical, being contextually favored by textual evidence.
Bethabara: KJV, Beza, Elzevir, Erasmus, Stephanus 3,4
Bethany: Stephanus 1,2
8. James 2:18
KJV: Yea a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works
Some editions have by in lieu of without. The theme is true faith that produces works. One man may emphasize faith and another works (18a), but the two are never to be separated. The text speaker says, in effect, show me thy faith without thy works (18b), and I'll show you a dead faith, or show me thy faith by thy works (no actual faith), and I'll show you my faith by my works produced by actual faith (18c). Thus the sense of verse teaching is the same whether by or without is utilized. The equivalence is exact, despite a seemingly opposite sense of meaning, but the KJV without is best since the contextual sense is more direct.
without: KJV, Beza (last 3 editions)
by: Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza (1565 edition)
9. Hebrews 9:1
8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary
Beza and the KJV, eliminate tabernacle in 9:1, but the KJV alone substitutes covenant in its place, as implied by context, the last verse of chapter 8 contrasting the New covenant with the Old, and this thought continues in verse 9:1. The sanctuary of the tabernacle of the Old Covenant appears in verse 9:1, and then the tabernacle itself is introduced in verse 9:2. The KJV alone correctly adds covenant, which is evidence that the KJV finalizes perfection of the literality of the Received Text, but the contrast of the Old and New Covenants is taught in any case. The KJV & Beza are inerrant on the basis of textual evidence that rejects tabernacle as appearing too soon in verse 9:1, but the KJV is contextually preferred by its rendering of covenant in verse 9:1 to adhere to the proper order of introduction.
tabernacle not present in 9:1: KJV, Beza, Erasmus
tabernacle present in 9:1: Stephanus
Acts 9:4,5 Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me …I am Jesus whom thou persecute- st: It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Textual evidence: Paul quotes the underlined Acts 26:14 clause, proving its validity. Indeed, the Acts passage is spoken by Christ Himself to Paul, so the contested clause must be part of what was spoken to Paul in both Acts passages.
Historical Evidence: The underlined clause is not in most mss: modern versions omit it. It's in Received-Text editions, a few Traditional-Text. mss. and the Old Latin & Peshitta translations of true churches of the 2nd century, versions much closer to the autographs than any extant mss are (4th century are the oldest extant mss.).
2. Two other cases noted in essay 4h, can be shown to be indicative of Beza's render- ings as superior, and we also reference a few others not included in essay 4h.
a. Rev.17:8. It's said in a passage about a beast representing a vile empire cult, the KJV when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is should say the beast that was, and is not, and is present/come. The difference is due to different terms in the KJV and Greek texts and manuscripts in general, however, is present offers a sense similar to yet is, which is conducive to variance by faulty copying. Despite a degree of similarity in the two renderings, is present/come offers only a trivial sense, that an empire beast once present before all, and later absent from all, is now pre- sent/come before all so that it was simply out of view for a time. The KJV yet is off- ers the best sense, that the empire/beast was in existence, then was not in existence, having been wounded fatally, yet is now in existence (Rev.13:3,14 & 17:11 note the fatal wound). The contextual textual evidence identifies the inerrant reading.
b. Rev.16:5 Scholars reject the KJV/Beza, O Lord, which art, and wast and shalt be, but it replaces illogical language of earlier Greek texts that read who art and who wast and who/ the holy one (no verb). Now who/the holy one interrupts continuity of the reference to God's eternality, and omits a logical third verb. Beza's rendering speaks of eternal God of the past, present and future, as expected of a true reading, and in accord with the reading of Rev. 1:4 that says...him which is, and which was, and which is to come, and in accord with similar readings in Rev.1:8, 1:18, 4:8 & 11:17 that all acknowledge God's eternality by a future aspect.
The empire beast has no ultimate future, for Rev.17:11 describes him only in past & present tense as, the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Because of close context- ual proximity, omission of the future aspect in Rev.16:5 can make this verse seem to say that God, despite His great power, is like the beast in having no ultimate future, and can't secure the eternal future of His people. This looks like satan's influence on text copying to suggest that, despite God's destruction of satan, antichrist & their forces and all other acts of judgment in the nearby text, God's people have reason to doubt their eternal security. This is reminiscent of Gen.3:1-5 where satan, through the serpent, puts doubt in the mind of Eve about God's command on not eating of the tree of the know-ledge of good and evil. Further, the holy one reading looks like a scribe's faulty effort to ensure a clear reference to God in a faulty reading caused by loss of manuscript support, by the 4th century most likely. Thus shall be is theologically and linguistically correct in this context, and the popular alternative is unsound, and Providential renewal of a lost true reading in Beza's 1598 edition is indicated. God, through Beza, corrects a faulty phrase in all Greek texts/manuscripts and earlier translations, correcting a vile interpretation, and the KJV alone supports this, as expected of an inerrant translation selectively ordained by God.
KJV translation, begun in 1604, favored the then-recent 1598 Beza edition. This timing made the edition prominent to the translators, and allowed study of it before translation began, so it looks Providential. The timing was so precise that Beza's final 1604 edition, issuing the same year KJV translation began, appeared too late to allow useful prior study by KJV translators, which likely happened because of new non-ordained changes by Beza in the 1604 edition.
Scholars say Beza’s reading is conjecture refuted by all Greek manuscripts/ texts & earlier versions. Yet in the 4th century, Gregory of Nyssa evidently quoted the Beza- type rendering with shall be to indicate there once was a Greek text reading this way, pointing to early Greek manuscript loss and a need to verify authenticity by the textual evidence. Beza appears to be part of the inerrancy restoration plan of God, as context identifies an inerrant reading.
3. John 8:6 Regarding the account of the adulterous woman, the KJV reads with Stephanus, and the clause as though he (Jesus) heard them not isn't in the Beza.
Stephanus: This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
There is little manuscript support for the additional clause in Stephanus, and the KJV recognizes this by italicizing it. Nonetheless, the clause is clearly implied by contextual textual evidence as part of the sense of meaning. The teaching isn't changed by the presence of the clause, italicized or not, the verse sense being that Jesus ignored His accusers for a brief period as they tried to create an incident by which they might accuse Him of not complying with the law regarding adultery.
4. 1 John 2:23 As in the case of John 8:6, the KJV italicizes a clause to reflect minimal manuscript support, and this portion is found in Beza, but not in Stephanus.
Beza: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowled- geth the Son hath the Father also.
The lengthy clause is again implied as part of the sense of meaning of the contextual textual evidence, and it does not change the teaching in any way, being a logical corollary, of the prior part of the verse. The italics serve an additional purpose here since the clause is in the small Alexandrian-text family, and it is important to provide some distance from that type of text. That is not to say that everything about this type of text is suspect, but that its association with major error makes it prudent to provide distance from it when there is important doctrine involved. Here the clause is ortho- dox, doubtless as part of a general Providence of God on those exposed to these texts.
5. Titus 2:10 Here the KJV renders with Beza & Erasmus our Savior, in contrast with your Savior in Stephanus, which is a minor difference characteristic of that among the matured editions.
Beza & Erasmus: Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things
Now our Savior is equivalent to
your Savior since Paul, the speaker is among all those who
have God as Savior. There is no effect at all on the teaching
since it is obvious that Paul isn't exempting himself from the ranks
of the saved. The Beza/Erasmus reading is also found in the small
Minor Literality Differences in the Oxford & Cambridge KJV Editions
We've seen how the KJV associates with the best renderings of the Received Text, and now we examine differences that appear among the two common editions of our KJV. It's been
said that these differences are errors, which just illustrates the extremes of opinion common among scholars
today. Inerrancy preservation extends to English-language texts, the most important ones to the typical reader. We need to know if the two editions are exactly equivalent in cases where they differ in literality due to the human factor, so we offer a few examples of the minor importance of such differences. They are all insignificant, yet a few are complex, despite their insignificance.
We begin with two cases that illustrate a typical insignificance of literality differences.
1. 2 Chronicles 33:19 Speaking of a repentant formerly-evil king Manasseh
Oxford: His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sins, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled...
Cambridge...and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin...
While grammar (pointing) favors singular sin, there's not the slightest difference in the sense of meaning here, sin & sins being two common different ways of saying exactly the same thing. The result is a slight difference in literality so that the Oxford presents the plurality of the errors of this king, while the Cambridge treats them collectively.
2. Nahum 3:16
Oxford: Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven; the canker- worm spoileth, and fleeth away.
Cambridge...the cankerworm spoileth and flieth away.
The cankerworm is a term referring to the larva stage of a moth or locust, and in this stage it creeps, though it will eventually fly away, and the Hebrew
verb here does mean to fly. The verse speaks of merchants
figuratively as like the cankerworm that spoils goods (takes them without compensation), then flying away. Here grammar (spelling of the Hebrew) favors flieth, but fleeth teaches exactly the same thing in an exact equivalent, despite a small difference in literality due to the human factor.
We conclude with an example of occasional complex differences that are nonetheless insignificant in regard to literality.
3. Joshua 19:2 Speaking of towns inherited by Simeon & his descendants
Oxford: And they had in their inheritance Beer-Sheba, and Sheba, and Moladah.
Cambridge: And they had in their inheritance Beer-Sheba, or Sheba, and Moladah.
Here we have an issue of ambiguity in the Hebrew text that doesn't affect its inerrancy since this just illustrates language known to Hebrews, but not to Gentiles, and we can defer to Hebrew scholars to resolve it. The basic problem is that the number of cities given to Simeon and his descendants as an inheritance totals 13 in verse 6, whereas Sheba as a city separate from Beer-Sheba would make the total equal 14 cities. Hebrew scholars Kimchi & Ben Melech say that the name Sheba refers to the city Beer-Sheba so that the total of 13 cities is correct. Indeed, Sheba is just the Hebrew for the number 7, which it has in common with Beer-Sheba, in reference to the fact that Abraham originally donated 7 lambs to seal ownership of a well - the name means well of seven). Further, the cities inherited by the tribe of Simeon are noted again at a much later date in 1 Chronicles 4:28-32 where the name Sheba doesn't appear, so this is indeed a name associated with Beer-sheba. Here in 1 Chronicles names of certain of the cities are changed somewhat, indicating up-dating of spelling, which evidently resulted in the elimination of Sheba as a secondary shorter name linked to Beer-Sheba.
Some scholars think the Oxford and Sheba is erroneous, and the Cambridge or Sheba is correct. Hebrew grammar does not identify the conjunction here, so or or and can apply grammatically. Actually, either one is correct since here and selectively joins Sheba to Beer-Sheba, in contrast with other uses of and in the passage. This joining is very clear contextually in that these two names are the only related ones among the 13, and they uniquely appear together, like a pair. Thus context removes the need for grammatical differentiation, which may be the very reason why no such differentiation appears in the Hebrew, strong contextual orientation characterizing this language. Of course, joining of Sheba to Beer-Sheba is also in accord with a knowledge of Hebrew scholars that the two names specify one city. Actually, all those who trust in the accuracy of God's Word need only to see that treating all of the names as separate cities would suggest that the number 13 in verse 6 is erroneous, which isn't acceptable, and it is obvious that Sheba as a name relates to Beer-Sheba, resolving the difficulty in the number of cities so that textual inerrancy is not violated. A very minor literality difference, with an associated ambiguity, causes no actual problems, and is in accord with exact equivalence
The KJV finalizes the literality perfection of textual evidence, and examples from Greek-text editions noted above indicate Beza is closest to the KJV, which is no surprise since his 1598 edition was the main one followed by the translators. Yet all the Greek editions in the matured state usually offer readings exactly equivalent to those finalized in the KJV, which is the crucial issue on inerrancy since this makes it possible to know them with total certainty. Opinions of modern scholars regarding the identity and accuracy of the true text will be avoided scrupulously by those who trust God in preference to men. These scholars should point out matters that can relate to Received-Text preservation of inerrant teachings, but they never do, likely because of their bias for Alexandrian texts.