• New Testament,  Scripture,  Textual Criticism

    Does it Burn, or is it Exposed? (2 Peter 3:10)

    Does it burn, or is it exposed in 2 Peter 3:10? Depending on which Bible translation you are reading, you could come away with a different perception. Note, for example, the way various translations treat 2 Peter 3:10. ESV But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. NASB But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. HCSB But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the…

  • Scripture

    Can We Trust Our Bible Translations?

    Can we trust our Bible translations? This question naturally belongs as part of our previous series on the King James Version. Some people claim that the King James Version is without any errors in it, thus being the authoritative, inerrant Word of God. However, as we demonstrated previously, there are mistakes in the translation of the KJV. This brings up the question, how can we trust other Bible translations (any of them) if there might be errors in them? This question not only applies to the KJV, but also the newer Bible translations (NASB, ESV, NIV, etc.). In order to work through this question, it will be helpful to consider the following points. 1. God’s Word is Inerrant Only in the Original, not in Translations Because every word of Scripture was given through prophecy, and since prophecy is considered authoritative and accurately representing God (cf. Deut 18:22; 2 Pet 1:21-22),…

  • Apologetics,  Scripture

    Can You Use the Bible to Prove the Bible?

    Christians are often accused of circular reasoning when they attempt to prove the Bible by citing the Bible. Those who level these accusations say that it is improper to attempt to prove that the Bible is God’s Word by using the Bible as evidence for that. This argument may appear strong at a surface level, but it neglects the real issues involved in epistemology (the study of how we know things). How do we know anything? Most people will acknowledge we can prove truth claims by three means: 1. Authority 2. Rationalism (reason or thought) 3. Empiricism (observation or experience) Which of the three options is most reliable in attempts to prove something? Either someone has the authority to tell us what is true (God), or we logically figure it out (reason with logic), or else we are able to observe or experience it (i.e., observe it through a scientific process).…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Scripture

    A Christian Critique of Personal Experience

    Personal experience is currently regarded as the primary means of knowledge and truth in our culture. Whether it is the current issues of racism or LGBT rights, or it is something like biblical interpretation; personal experience is regularly elevated as the controlling determiner of truth. Take for example the following claims of experience: “Systemic racism must exist because I have experienced it.” “You cannot judge a transgender individual because you don’t have his experience. You don’t know what it’s like for him.” “I have had the experience of speaking in tongues; therefore, Scripture has to be interpreted to allow for speaking in tongues.” Now at the outset, I freely acknowledge the value of personal experience. Scripture clearly expects wisdom to be possessed by the mature because of their many days of experience (Job 12:12). Also, many of the Psalms are based on a response to personal experience. Further, our personal…

  • Scripture

    Seven Posts about the King James Version

    I have done a fair bit of reading, research, and writing on the King James Version. Part of the reason I have spent much time on the issue is because I have often heard the teaching that modern English Bible translations are theologically dangerous. I have had many charitable exchanges with friends who have argued that we should only use the King James Version, and my heart desires people to think biblically and accurately about Bible translations. Thus, I thought it would be helpful to list all of the posts I have written about the King James Version for easy accessibility. In light of this, the following posts deal with various issues pertaining to the King James Version and Bible translation in general. 1. Thou Shalt Not Only Use the King James Version This post acts as an introduction to the King James Version and briefly discusses why it is…

  • Scripture

    The Received Text, the KJV, and Erasmus

    We can’t talk about the KJV without talking about the Received Text (often called the Textus Receptus, or TR for short). The Received Text is the Greek text which underlies the KJV. It is called the Received Text because that was the phrase used in the introduction of the Elzevir brothers 2nd edition of their Greek New Testament in 1633. The phrase “Received Text” became a moniker to refer to the Greek text from Erasmus in 1516 on.  This Greek text is largely different from the Greek text which underlies the modern versions (NASB, ESV, NIV, etc.). Why does that matter? Modern versions (NASB, ESV, NIV, etc) use a translation philosophy which is usually called an “eclectic approach,” This means they evaluate over 5,800 Greek manuscripts, looking at patterns, external and internal evidence, and thereby determining what the original Greek manuscript read. Some of these manuscripts that are utilized in the…

  • Scripture

    Common Arguments from Those Who Hold to KJV Only

    In the last two posts we have discussed some of the problems with holding to the KJV as the only translation that should be used today. The first post addressed the general background of the translators who worked on the KJV. The second post looked at differences between the 1611 KJV and the modern KJV. Today I want to address some of the common arguments that are used by those who hold to the KJV only position. 1. There has to be a Bible version that is completely inerrant, hence God gave us the KJV. There are multiple problems with this. First, is it true that God has to give us an inerrant translation? No, God never promised us an inerrant translation. He promises His Words are perfect and inerrant (which is in the form of the original text). However, saying that God has to now provide an inerrant translation…

  • Scripture

    Are there Errors in the King James Version (KJV)?

    Last time we looked at some of the reasons why one should not hold to a view that the KJV is the only version Christians should use. Today I want to go deeper into the issue and look at the KJV itself. We will note some of the corrections that have been made from the original publication to the modern version. The KJV was originally published in 1611 by translators who followed 15 principles of translation. However, as the years past, the KJV (also known as the Authorized Version) was in serious need of an update. Because English grammar and spellings had changed, in 1762 a Cambridge printer, Joseph Bentham, made many revisions. These revisions updated the spellings, punctuation, and the like. However, this version never caught on because the printing impressions were largely destroyed by fire. In 1769, however, Benjamin Blayney, took Bentham’s revisions and incorporated them into his…

  • Scripture

    Thou Shalt Not Only Use the King James Version

    My first Bible growing up was the King James version. I did not only use the KJV, but I memorized all my verses in the King James version and I learned much reading through its stories. Then, one day my parents got me the New King James version. It was a lot easier to read, and I memorized more verses. Years later, in high school I switched to the New American Standard Version. After college, I decided to make the switch to the English Standard Version. Thus, I have run the version gamut. In high school I first ran across people who said that you should only use the King James Version. This always struck me as a bit odd, but I better understand now where they were coming from. It is important to differentiate between two groups. First, there are people who only use the KJV because that is…

  • Scripture

    15 Rules of Translation for the King James (KJV)

    When King James commissioned the King James Version, he approved 15 principles of translation which were instituted by Richard Bancroft, the bishop of London in 1604. These translation principles are as follows: Translation rules 1, 6, and 14 are interesting. Rule #1 mandated that their translation use the Bishop’s Bible as a base text whenever possible. This was likely because the Bishop’s translation was the official Bible of the Church. However, Tyndale’s translation ended up being far more influential, accounting for 4/5 (80%) of the KJV New Testament. Rule #6 mandated no study notes in the margins of the new translation. The Geneva Bible (which was the most popular English translation of the time) had many marginal notations, some of which King James read as challenges to his royal authority. This was the main motivation for a new translation. Thus, the KJV translation was limited from study notes. Translation rule…