much criticism of the attitudes of those holding to a KJV-only
position, and the attitude of some of us isn't proper in some cases.
However, a worse attitude of the critics of our position is common,
and they call us "ignoramuses" or other such names, which
reveals their ignorance & non-Christian attitudes. The
unscholarly and uncivil aspects of such attacks are illustrated in a
few cases below; then we concentrate on the aspect of inaccurate
scholarship in various attacks by internet commentators.
A rancor against those who hold a KJV-only position is illustrated in regard to my own essay on the authenticity of the Johannine Comma. An internet critic calling himself Maestroh claims to have shredded the validity of my claim of the authenticity, but the only thing he shreds is his credibility as a judge of textual matters. He lacks objectivity in his support of the humanism of modern scholarship, and he doesn't seem to realize he is supporting scholarship that presents itself as the hope of mankind for recovery of a supposedly-lost or scattered scripture text. Such "scholarship" ignores God's power to preserve His Word for His people. Our Savior taught us the preservation principle in saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Mt.4:4) Every word from God is inerrant, and if we are to live by all of them, they must all be preserved for us, in an inerrant form, in our language and free from tinkering of men. A logical result of God's preservation of His true Word for all His people throughout the centuries is confinement of it to traditional texts, which in the case of the English language justifies a KJV- only position and a similar position for authorized translations in other languages of God's people.
The Lower end of the Spectrum of Criticism of the KJV-Only position
Maestroh's comments illustrate that people who just parrot the commentary of today's indoctrinated scholars, have no business at all criticizing the outstanding scholarship of the KJV translators.
Maestroh's internet site: forum.carm.org - Shredding Another Pro-Comma Site
Maestroh says: At another KJV Only site (http://www.kjvtextualtechnology.com/a--1-john-5--authenticity-of-the-johannine-comma.php) (aren't there enough of those), a guy who goes by the name of "Dr L Bednar" gives us a recapitulation of the entire pro-Comma charade:
(He immediately sets a tone of derision, in lieu of objectivity, which tells you to expect a lack of Christian civility and objectivity in his commentary)
What appears below is published comment of mine in the Comma essay, followed by Maestroh's response, which in turn is followed by my response to Maestroh.
1. The Johannine Comma is a highly discredited Received-Text passage, due to minor manuscript support,
This is almost the only TRUE thing said in this argument.
Maestroh begins with uncivil bias & judgmentalism, and he deals only with the brief essay introduction, not commenting on ~95% of the essay that is at the heart of all the technical internal evidence for authenticity.
2. but overwhelming textual proof establishes its authenticity.
So "minor manuscript support" and "overwhelming textual proof" are now considered synonyms. <Removed the comparison because who really cares?
That's just Maestroh's interpretation. They are not considered synonyms, the whole point being that internal evidence can trump external manuscript evidence, a point that Maestroh might understand better if he explored the internal evidence presented in the bulk of the essay. Further, he doesn't explain what he's talking about specifically in regard to removing a comparison, but continues to display a basic poor attitude and a lack of objectivity.
3. The Comma is in just ten 10th-18th century Greek manuscripts, in the margins of some.
Why do I suspect that if any pro-Hort writer said this that we'd get the usual fluff about "Metzger misleads his audience?" "In the margins of some" actually means "in the margins of MOST of these ten."
Why does Maestro employ a distraction here? Is he just trying to get past the fact that the Westcott/Hort type of text often offers nothing but 2 or 3 manuscripts supporting a critical text reading, making the 10 manuscripts supporting the Johannine Comma look relatively good in terms of external evidence. He could be accused of dishonesty here, which is what he accuses me of in the item #5 below. Regarding margin readings, there are 5 of these, as I pointed out in the body of the essay, and 5 out of 10 isn't most, indicating he didn't bother to read the bulk of the essay, and is not qualified to criticize it His attitude in regard to the presence of the Comma in margins indicates he views this as evidence of a lack of authenticity, but it can just as easily be a part of a process of restoration of an authentic reading. Evidently, he just can't admit this is a possibility, or it never occurred to him.
4. It’s said Erasmus adopted it on the basis of a falsified Greek manuscript, which is mere speculation.
No, that's actually true as well.
Maestroh ignores, or is unaware of, more recent evidence revealing that the falsified-manuscript theory has been refuted by an expert on textual matters of Erasmus. The scholar B. Metzger, who invented this theory, has admitted that he had no hard facts to support his position. Enclosed below is an excerpt from one of the various sources that comment on this matter (av1611.com/kjbp/faq/holland_1jo5_7.html)
"The first and second editions of Erasmus' Greek text did not contain the Comma. It is generally reported that Erasmus promised to include the Comma in his third edition if a single manuscript containing the Comma could be produced. A Franciscan friar, Froy, (or Roy) forged a Greek text containing it by translating the Comma from the Latin into Greek. Erasmus was then presented with this falsified manuscript and, being faithful to his word, reluctantly included the Comma in the 1522 edition. However, as has now been admitted by Dr. Bruce Metzger, this story is apocryphal (The Text Of The New Testament, 291). Metzger notes that H. J. de Jonge, a respected specialist on Erasmus, established that there is no evidence of such events occurring. Therefore, opponents of the Comma in light of the historical facts should no longer affirm this report."
5. Latin texts notably support the Comma,
Actually, he means Latin MANUSCRIPTS, not TEXTS, but since when are KJVOs honest?
I explained what I was referring to with the term texts in the very same sentence in which texts appears, yet Maestroh refers to this as dishonesty, and one wonders, not only about his objectivity, but also his grasp of English language. This latter aspect of his criticism is indicated in that he doesn't seem to realize that texts is a correct term to use when referring collectively to manuscripts (that each present a text) plus notes, as seen below in item 6. Does he think notes are better classified as manuscripts?
6. the oldest extant being 5th-8th century Old Latin manuscripts & 3rd–4th century notes.
Which 5th and 6th century OL manuscripts contain it? He doesn't list any.
The point was simply to show that Old Latin manuscript support, while ancient, does not extend all the way back. The references from which this information was taken are listed in the website essay for anyone to check on, but Maestroh neglects to mention the references. He could be accused of dishonesty in this matter.
7. Priscillian quoted it ~385 A.D, Cyprian in 250 A.D. said the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one (Word is Son), and Tertullian in 215 A.D. said of the Father, Son and Comforter, which three are one essence, which is a reference to the Comma.
Two of these three are wrong. Neither Cyprian nor Tertullian QUOTES the Comma. Priscillian does then adds a phrase that even the KJVOs reject, proof if any were need- ed of their selective evidence.
Maestroh doesn't seem to read very well, or he could be accused of misrepresentation. First, I didn't say that Tertullian quoted the Johannine Comma, but that he referenced it, which is proper since the content of his statement closely reflects the subject matter of the Comma. The content of Cyprian's statement is even closer to that of the Comma, and again I didn't say anything about a verbatim quote. That these two historic figures described the content of the Comma so well is evidence that they were familiar with scripture texts containing it.
8. The earliest known Latin text is a mid-2nd century Old-Latin Italic.
But there are no second century manuscripts in the OL that contain it, either - and ZERO evidence it was ever there.
I didn't say anything about the Comma being in the Italic, and again Maestroh could be accused of misrepresentation. I simply introduced this version into the discussion, and if Maestroh had bothered to read the bulk of the essay with some comprehension, he could have seen how the Old Latin version enters into the discussion.
9. A 17th-century scholar, Allix, said the Waldensen Bible was the ancient version called the Italic, and Kenyon said the Italic New Testament had a Traditional-Text basis (Received-Text ancestor). Tepl & Romaunt Waldensen and Vulgate New Testaments all reflect the Italic, but the two refute the Vulgate at places, likely at Jerome’s 4th-century variance from the Traditional Text.
Wild-eyed speculation. It was Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick.
My comments about statements of scholars are all backed-up by stated references, and again Maestroh never mentions the references, and he could be accused of dishonesty. The note about variance in the Vulgate is a reasonable likelihood, and it is Maestroh who seems to have a penchant for wild-eyed speculation in the language he uses as he criticizes support for the authenticity of the Comma.
10. Italic history links the Received Text, and potentially the Comma, to the 2nd century.
In other words, we just ignore all them there vast majority of MSS all throughout the world that don't have it and make an imaginary line connecting it to the autograph.
Maestroh misses the point: If a known historic version contained the Comma, it would not likely be an invention, but should derive from a Greek source early in text history, and I spoke of this matter simply as a potential one. Maestroh reveals a likelihood that he hurriedly passed judgment upon my essay in that his language is notably foolish (all them there vast majority of MSS...). Perhaps he was trying to imitate what he considers to be a lack of erudition in those who dare to oppose his views, or maybe he again displays serious difficulty with the English language.
11. Actually the Comma proves to be authentic, tying it to the 1st-century autograph, to the Italic of the 2nd century & medieval era, to the Received Text, to the KJV.
This is simply a dogmatic statement with zero evidence to support it.
Maestroh doesn't realize this statement is introductory to the internal proof of Comma authenticity that I offered in the 95% of the essay that he evidently ignored. I guess it's necessary to make the intent of a statement read very plainly for a reader like him.
12. Censorship marks Comma history, even in the Latin west.
It was a conspiracy!!!!!!
This is the typical comment aimed at making an argument seem silly when you can't defeat it any other way. It's a response of those who ignore the history of movements that sought to overthrow the biblical basis of the early church, Gnosticism & Arianism being notable in this regard. Scholars today must scoff at such concepts if they are to promote supposedly-superior critical texts based upon Alexandrian-type manuscripts produced in Alexandria, Egypt, a very notable center of early Gnostic activity. Why does Satan's influence on the history of texts seem incredible to Maestroh and those who think like him? Don't they see that this world is heavily influenced by Satan, as seen by all the unending warfare, gross immorality and gross political dishonesty? Perhaps they just accept such behavior as normal, and view Satan as the boogey man.
13. A Vulgate prologue notes its removal in 4th-century manuscripts.
Which will never overturn the fact Jerome didn't include it....
The point is that Jerome verified the reality of the Comma in texts of his day, and he might very well have included it originally, removal being the later work of others. If he did exclude it, this could easily be the result of an adverse religious-type influence.
14. In a 5th century council of Carthage, 400 North African bishops affirmed its authenticity, despite anti-Comma Arian threats,
But what about those multiple councils before that affirmed the Deity of Christ AND
the Trinity but never mention it?
The point is that this is more evidence of the historical authenticity of the Comma, and absence of its mention in earlier councils may only relate to the fact that the Arian controversy did not reach the peak of its influence until the 4th century, and its wide popularity at that time could easily delay reaction against it for a substantial time. It appears that Maestroh has no ability to grasp what a textual statement really means.
15. so it was a holy standard under attack then.
No, it just means a bunch of ignoramuses who had it in their in-hand Bible declared it true, just like the ignorant KJVOs do today.
The ignorance here relates entirely to Maestroh and his ignorant speaking of valiant men of the early centuries who risked their lives to defend biblical truth. What has he done that in any way compares with their devotion to truth? He seems concerned only with defending the humanism of modern scholarship.
16. Facundus, 6th-century Latin bishop, censored it, claiming that Cyprian quoted the 1 Jn.5:8 three agree in one.
He did quote what is now verse eight. The only part Cyprian quoted is in there.
Maestroh just buys into the modern position on this matter as if it were proven fact; it is merely an opinion of those who refute Comma authenticity. Cyprian's statement, which I referred to in item 7 above, differs substantially from the language of verse 8, and is decidedly closer to the language of the Comma in verse 7, as readers can plainly see. If Maestroh had bothered to read the bulk of my essay, and if he had done so in a spirit of objectivity, he would have seen evidence that verse 8 is complementary to Comma language in verse 7, and thus is meant to read in a related, but different, fashion, further supporting the authenticity of the Comma.
The Middle of the Spectrum of Criticism of the KJV-Only Position
Here a fellow who rightly criticizes serious cultic/blasphemous/insane human error, carries this type of thinking to an erroneous ridiculous extreme by calling KJV-only people a "dangerous sect of false Christians." He offers nothing but some encounters with unknowledgeable parties to support his characterization of all of us. He evidently has no knowledge that modern English versions have removed the standard historical Greek text of the New Testament, substituting their own preference based mainly on a few manuscripts lost to churches for ~1400 years. Thus they deny the preservation of God's Word throughout most of the church age, which would leave His people without His New-Testament Word of guidance throughout that long period. Further, modern scholars impose their opinions in translation, which results in a hodge-podge of private interpretation. Is that what God ordained to guide His people? Does "scholarship" like that promote God's true Word, or does it illustrate self-exaltation of today's scholars? And we are supposed to be a dangerous sect of false Christians? Who is the dangerous sect? Is it we who oppose modern "scholarship," and advocate God's preserved Word as our guide into eternity, which can only be an unchanged historic Hebrew/Aramaic & Greek text, culminating in English form in the traditional KJV? Or is it scholars of this modern day & their followers who would replace God's preserved Word with their preferences & opinions as our guide into eternity?
This fellow needs to be reminded that true 1st-century Christians were branded as a dangerous sect since they converted people from a false worship of Caesar and other errors of the Roman empire. In the case of Rome, the branding was due to a desire to preserve the popular views that kept the empire in its position of final authority, and in our case, scholars seem bent on establishing themselves as the final authority. This fellow classifying us as a dangerous sect of false Christians should study scholarship issues supporting the KJV-only position, and he might discover that we advocate an orthodox view of text history based on God's providential preservation of His Word of inerrant guidance for His people, rather than on preferences & opinions of modern scholars. Scholars today seem to want everyone to rely totally on them, which would make their role more important than that of God. That is dangerous in the extreme.
The Upper End of the Spectrum of Criticism of the KJV-Only Position
Supposed mistranslation in the KJV
Here we encounter a fellow characteristic of critics devoted to attacking the KJV-Only position through discussions of textual matters slanted toward their own viewpoints. He is civil in his overall tone, and does concentrate on real textual issues, but he shows no convincing evidence of a good grasp of translation scholarship. He seems to rely on lexicons & interlinears and the indoctrinated views of modern scholars. As is the case with modern scholars, he relies fully upon manuscript evidence in his criticism, while admitting to the fact of unavoidable error in copying of hand-written manuscripts. He concurs with the modern view of inerrancy as being exclusive to autograph originals, which if true, would lead us to believe that error may abound in texts of today so that our only guide to God's will would be unreliable to some unknown degree. He doesn't discuss the many limitations & errors that characterize Alexandrian-type texts favored by modern scholars. He never shows any effort to understand elements of the KJV text that are open to interpretation different from his own. Some examples of what he calls error in the KJV are noted below.
1. The critic calls The Spirit itself in the KJV Rom.8:16 a "disastrous mistranslation." Here he ignores his own advice on translating in accord with the context, and itself is contextually correct here in Romans, as noted below in a portion of text taken from essay 5c of the present website.
Natural masculine gender of the Holy Spirit is veiled, and the natural neuter-gender it applies in His identity or persona roles. It applies in His salvation-peace identity role of a dove, it (Jn.1:32). It applies in His persona role as part of Jesus’ person in 1 Pet.1: 11, as our spirit is it, part of our person, not the whole, so Romans says Spirit of Christ in 8:9 and Spirit itself in 8:16,26, and in Jn.3:34 Jesus has the Spirit without measure, or the Spirit as an integral unlimited power in His person. Spirit is inherently He, as is evident at times (Acts 8:29, 10:19, 13:2). But at times He has identity or persona roles veiling His natural masculine gender (in Acts 2:17,18 the Spirit is poured out, which cannot relate to He), and in 4 such cases the roles invoke pronoun use, requiring it or itself. The KJV has the correct renderings in these 4 verses, while other versions have some incorrect ones there.
2. John 2:4, KJV Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. The critic thinks the KJV Woman here is improper because the reference is to Mary, the mother of Jesus, requiring more respect. Actually, the critic again fails to follow his own point on the need to follow context. The contextual key begins with Mary telling Jesus that there is no wine for guests at the wedding feast in Galilee. The context relates to what have I to do with thee, which tells readers that the role of Mary as the mother of the earthly form of Jesus is not involved here; mine hour is not yet come refers to the Crucifixion, and wine signifies His shed blood. Here there is a subtle reference to the wedding feast as signifying the marriage Supper of the Lamb, where Mary is not recognized as the mother of Jesus, but simply as a Redeemed one, a woman who will participate in the Supper made possible by shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God. Scripture at times links a subtle contextual factor to a simple one. The critic says the KJV follows the denotative sense, and ignores a connotative sense requiring more respect for Mary, but he misses the true connotative sense. He seems unable to grasp the unique nature of passage wording here.
This critic speaks of John 4:27 where the Greek refers to the woman at the well; here woman is the obvious correct term in a simple context involving a stranger. Contrary to his assertion, use of woman here does not in any way indicate error in the KJV use of woman in John 2:4, John 4:27 context being simplistic & straightforward. Further, his suggestion that the woman in the KJV John 4:27 is incorrect, since here there is not a definite article in the Greek, is silly. This use of the definite article is a common type of translation practice in that once a woman has been introduced in 4:7, readers tend to think of the woman from that point on. Indeed, all other references after a woman in verse 7 have the definite article in the Greek. Either the or a can apply in verse 27, and the latter is okay since the woman is a woman to the disciples entering the context at this verse, even though the Greek itself never utilizes the indefinite article. This is just normal lattitude in use of the article in translation, and here there is a valid translator choice between two alternatives, one focusing on the reader, and the other focusing on the disciples. This dual possible focus allowing either choice should be the very reason why the Greek text has no definite article here, despite its usage elsewhere throughout the rest of the entire passage, after the initial a woman appears in verse 4:7.
3. 1 Peter 3:1, KJV Likewise ye wives,, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (or conduct) of the wives; the critic says the underlined phrase should read without a word, due to the absence of the definite article in the Greek here, which is the reading of most modern versions, but that is nonsense since conversation/conduct necessarily includes what we speak (we don't behave like mutes in any part of life), and our words, as well as our behavior, are required to be seasoned in speaking to unredeemed ones. The only sense implied by absence of a definite article in the Greek, in this context, is that of not speaking a word of the word (scripture) since that would stifle any response by the unredeemed who hate the very high moral standards of the word. However, it is quite possible that the unredeemed husband will eventually be impressed by his wife's brand new submission to him, that he knows can only be due to the brand new effect of the word upon her, and this can begin to stir in him an interest in the word that can lead to his salvation.
The critic doesn't reason properly since he suggests the KJV is teaching the opposite of what God desires of a godly woman, supposedly saying her speaking (conversation), without the word (scripture) can lead to her husband's salvation, yet he says that most readers will know that conversation in the KJV means conduct. He does not grasp the fact that the conduct of a wife, which includes her speaking, is that which can lead her husband to consider the word that has the power of salvation. Actually, her submissive manner of speaking alone is the main factor that is likely to impress her husband, and cause him to consider the word, so even the modern sense of conversation makes the primary point of 1 Peter 3:1 teaching, and thus correctly leads the reader. Yet the critic actually suggests the KJV reading might cause an unsaved husband to remain without Christ, which illustrates how unqualified the critic is to judge textual/linguistic issues, and illustrates the fact that he should never operate a website criticizing the KJV.