July 2, 1998
Sandy Springs, Georgia
An Examination of the views of the Rev.
S. Franklin Logsdon
on the King James Version and the New American Standard Version of the Holy Bible
Rev. Logsdon's address is posted on several sites on the www, and has become, ten years after his homecoming, a document of great moment. A copy is included here for reference.
So many years ago, I had the memorable pleasure of hearing Dr.
S. Franklin Logsdon, of Holland Michigan, during his several
visits to the annual Bible and Missionary Conferences at Colonial
Hills Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. And this revered Gospel
teacher was also a favorite at my wife's church in
Michigan Center, Michigan when she was a teen. Even yesterday, I
would not have dreamed of having to discuss him in this vein, ten
years after his homegoing. It is a sadness beyond all means of
A sweet, gentle man, but not a scholar, S. Franklin Logsdon, an originator and a kind of honorary Editor of the New American Standard Bible (1971) marred his memory by renouncing the translation he helped to foster, with his bosom friend Franklin Dewey Lockman. Several years ago, the Reverend Mr. Logsdon gave an address which is now being distributed on the Internet and in booklet format. This essay will examine the points Logsdon gives for his reversal.
The NASV was conceived and executed by Satan, declares Logsdon!
But, Frank Logsdon was the mid-wife who did the feasibility study that enabled his businessman friend, Lockman, to proceed with the expensive business venture. Well, that's a lot to be guilty of, and Logsdon's repentance does not seem to be quite contrite enough. He was an accomplished pastor and teacher; how could he have given himself so thoroughly to Satan? He gives no explanation. Did he do it for filthy lucre? Or was he just an uninformed, gullible Fundamentalist (as all of us are thought of from time to time)? He does not say that he returned any monies paid by his dear friend Mr. Lockman; he just wrote him a letter; a letter that dumbfounded Lockman.
Where is the Codex Sinaiticus (one of the three major source documents for modern translations)? Logsdon makes a major point, repeatedly, of his charges that it is in the custody of the Vatican, where he claims it has been since the 4th Century. The fact is, it has never belonged to Rome and is now in the British Museum. How could such a totally uninformed man make such pronouncements on the subject of the validity of specific translations? David Beale's wonderful book, published by Bob Jones University, on the history of our English Bible is very instructive in this area. Sinaiticus is an exciting, amazing story
Logsdon claims that over 5,000 words of God have been deleted
from the Bible by Satan and his NASV henchmen (hired by Logsdon).
That is a 5,000 word blatant twisting of reality. The facts are:
The NASV, or any modern language translation, without removing a
single word of God, will differ in more than 50,000
places from an ancient version. The King James Version differed
from the Bishop's Bible in thousands of places. And yet, maybe
80% of all the words in the King James Version are the very words
Tyndale choose decades before and were included in the Bishop's
Bible (this does not apply to phrases), while there were
tens of thousands of differences with the Tyndale Bible
and the Bishop's Bible (which remained the Authorized Version for
50 years, until Cromwell's death and the Restoration of the
Monarchy, 1661). The NASV does not omit one single word of the
original languages. To claim that it does is either overt
dishonesty or simple illogic. If a variation from the
former translation is a "deletion" from the
authoritative original, we waste any money spent on dictionaries.
Everyone has to agree that the King James Version and the NASV and the NIV use Greek and Hebrew texts that are in total word for word agreement 93% of the time. Because this is the Word of Almighty God, the smallest question of variation is important and is treated so by all translators. But this is not to say that any doctrine, precept, teaching, example, instruction or principle is affected by any of the disputed 7%. It is not the case. All these translations teach the exact same true religion in every point. They are all truth without error in matters of Faith and Practice. We have to forsake all common sense, spiritual intuition, and insight to deny this.
Brother Logsdon was not thinking clearly when he repeated his mistaken observation that no false doctrine has come from the King James Version (what about snake handling?). The facts are that hundreds of false cults have found it quite easy to base their strange and damning doctrines on proof texts from the King James Bible. The NASV has been around for about forty years and no false cults have grown out of its use or misuse (it will happen!!). The saddest fact is that one of the most foolish and dangerous doctrines ever to arise in America is this current idolatry around the human errors in translation made by the King James translators. This is idolatry that must be sternly exposed and rejected. It is most tragic because so many devout souls, like Brother Logsdon was, are being sucked into this illogic that is just a form of ancestor worship.
Brother Logsdon has been with the LORD for a number of years now. He was evidently mistaken in his view about the "last days." The fact was that he was in his own "last days" just as you and I probably are; certainly if we are in advanced years. He was basing a lot on his view of a final apostasy (that he confesses to having a major part in forwarding). All of this "end time" business is vain opinion based on the teaching of a man who died 115 years ago, John Nelson Darby. But, ironically, Darby was a Greek scholar, and he accepted the older manuscripts as authoritative, basing his own translation (obviously not fully satisfied with the King James translation) on these older texts. Darbyism fathered the Scofield Reference Bible (whose notes have been accepted as equally authoritative as the King James text; if that is doubted, just try contradicting the Jehovah's Witnesses-like eschatology of the Scofield). This doctrine of "repent because the last days are here" is common to all false cults, from Mormonism to David Koresh. Te old-time-religion truth is that Eternity is just a heart-beat away, and men and women must prepare to meet God AND NOTHING ELSE compares with this. What else could there be when Eternity looms and is at risk. If we had 150 Sam P. Joneses in this country, the Millennium Madness distraction would get a major setback before bed-time.
Now Erasmus; the patron saint of the Humanists, was either a Roman Catholic or he was not. Brother Logsdon seemed to have not known what he was; but he had nothing but praise for him. The fact is that Erasmus was a Roman Catholic; he never became a Protestant, much less a Fundamentalist like Logsdon and the King James cultists of today. Logsdon himself, points out that Erasmus was so well thought of by the Pope that he offered the great Humanist a Cardinals hat. (The Homosexuals claim both Erasmus and King James I, and some Geneva Bible enthusiasts agree in this. I have not investigated their claims, and mention them only because many King James Onlyists now are engaging in all kinds of ad hominine attacks on newer translations.) I do know that all of Erasmus' writings refute the untenable position of anyone who would claim perfection for any Greek Text or any translation thereof. It is not honest history or honest thinking and arguing to claim Erasmus as an ally for positions he vigorously opposed. It should be noted that Erasmus was not a Secular Humanist, he just believed that humans could use their minds (but he was not a Protestant either).
Logsdon loudly shouts that he will have no contact with any Bible of Roman roots.
Good luck, if you think you can accomplish that. The fact is that the text of Erasmus, a Romanist, has more Catholic roots than the NASV and the NIV. The King James Version began with the Bible of Wycliffe, which was translated directly from the Latin Vulgate. Codex Alexandrius and Codex Sinaiticus are in the British Museum, reaching that destination with no sojourn in Rome. Codex Vaticanus was hidden by Rome (it is the one in the Vatican) for centuries because it did not support Rome's heresies.
Did Rome invent the Jesuits to destroy the Greek of Erasmus
and promote the Greek of the NASV and other man-on-the-20th
Century street (the "ploughboy" of the 16th Century)
version? In those days Rome was against all ("vulgar")
man-on-the-street versions. A reading of the KJV "Translators to the Reader" will
give full knowledge of the antipathy of Rome, not to the
Erasmus text per se, but to the very thing that opponents of
modern translations argue against-- a text that simple unschooled
folk could understand.
Something must be said about the contest over the use of the word "Lord." And this involves the subject of conventions used in translations. A convention is a rule of usage or punctuation, or typesetting that is created somewhat arbitrarily by translators. But the conventions are essential for uniformity of meaning and understanding. In the OT, The LORD (all capital letters) refers to the name of the true Deity. "God" is the term for referring to the true Deity. Sometimes the two are used together. This is a very ancient convention, well in use in New Testament times. But, an anomaly: this convention is forsaken in all translations of the NT. This is due to the fact that the Greek simply says "kurios," which means "lord" or "sir" in Greek (and is sometimes translated "master" meaning "teacher" by the King James translators). In the Hebrew, "LORD" is not a translation, but an invention of translators, a convention. So the NT translators must decide from the context if the true Deity is being addressed or referenced. In the OT "YHWH" appears as "LORD;" "Elohim" is "God," and "Adonai" is "Almighty," and there are some combinations involving variations. But in the Greek NT it is just "kurios:" "the angel of The "Kurios." When "kurios" is joined with "Jesus," "Lord Jesus" sometimes means "King Jesus." "Jesus" standing alone answers to "YHWH" of the OT in the hearts and minds of all believers.. I would prefer that in all translations instances such as "the angel of The Lord" would have "...LORD," just as in the OT (but it may be too complicated textually). The NT speaks many time of "Jesus" without "Lord." In our country some Christians will never speak of "Jesus" without "Lord." That is a sub-culture convention, quite alright, but not one to force on anyone. It appears to most linguists philologists and semanticists that "Lord" was, for this very reason--a localized convention of speech, sometimes added to various Greek manuscripts of more recent origin (around the 10th Century). So, Logsdon's lament over the fact that the NASV has followed the older manuscripts in a dozen or so instances, differing with the KJV, is another example of plain incompetence (however devout). It is an inadvertent dishonesty to say that the NASV deletes when it is just the other way 'round.
Incidentally, the older ASV was rejected by the public because it unwisely tried to limit the use of "The LORD" with the substitution of "Jehovah;" a major blunder. (I wish the KJV translators had not used "Jehovah" the very few times they did, and I wish the NASV and NIV would avoid all variances.) "The LORD" is the name of our Deity, now and forever more in all translations, hopefully. The NASV and the NIV have been and will be beloved by the public that loves God and His Word. It has, in large part, already happened, it is a fact. The Holy Spirit, Who teaches, has endorsed these "language of the people" Bibles. It is a slander on God to say otherwise. And it evidences the utmost human hubris to parade ignorance as piety.
Logsdon's other objections are just not factual:
The new versions have created zero confusion. If any one of them claimed to be perfect, a lot of scorn would be created. They are top sellers because they evaporate much fog of confusion.
Memorization has not been hampered. I wish you could hear the Rev. Sam Bruce quote the NIV, chapter after chapter. Anyone can memorize anything they want to whenever they want to. Understanding is the great value proffered in the Scriptures, and the new versions greatly assist in that. Dr. Miles Smith, final editor of the KJV, said, in defense of his new translation (infuriatingly new in 1611), that a man would rather spend time with his dog than with a stranger [book he could not understand]. Bishop Smith goes on, in his great "The Translators to the Reader" preface, to discuss at great length how uncommitted the Apostles were to any idea of attacking imperfect translations. They used extremely imperfect translations, sometimes correcting as they quoted them (when they chose to), and made no issue about it. Anyone interested in this discussion should (must!) read carefully KJV translator and Editor Miles Smith's preface to the King James Version. Incidentally, the English public was so content with the beloved Geneva bible, that Miles Smite quotes only from it in his Preface. And for many years Smith quoted primarily from the Geneva in his sermons. And more that thirty years after publication of the KJV, a typesetter's error (inserting "ye" for "we," in a passage in Acts discussing church government, an error seemingly to favor Evangelical Republicanism) was incorrectly and slanderously attributed to bribery on the part of the great Fundamentalist Freedom Fighter Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell could not have done it, and he would not have; but the Monarchists were paranoid in their hopes that the KJV would enhance absolute rule by the Crown. It is a wonderful irony that the KJV has been used so powerfully (especially in the hands of 19th Century Methodists) to enhance the greatest democratic Republic in all of history: the USA. Please remember that King James I's mother, Bloody Mary, and his son, Charles I, were both executed for abuse of power. And the Separatists of that day were constantly fearful of James' reported attempts to restore Roman Catholicism (by marrying Charles to a Catholic). The English Republic (the only Fundamentalist Christian Republic in hisorty) could not be sustained, but the Divine Right of Kings had been dealt a fatal blow. And more democratic England was ready to build the greatest empire (by far) in the history of the world. People who held fast to their Geneva Bible did this. Yet the King James was truly superior. Both were, and are, along with the NASV, the NIV and others, the infallible Word of God.
Back to Brother Logsdon. He was fearful of the demise of concordances. All kinds of concordances are flourishing. Logsdon's concern in this area is incomprehensible.
More people are studying the Bible than ever before. The new translations have boosted Bible study; that is a fact beyond gainsaying. The church and our civilization are being destroyed while these folk build cults on the human errors (minor) of a translation and teach strange and erroneous escapist doctrines full of Judiaizing convolutions and unchristian pessimism. All spiritual pessimism is contrary to Faith, Hope and Love.
Logsdon thinks new translations engender arguments. NO! It is the cultists that are changing the name of their churches to "King James ...Church" and condemning everyone else to apostasy and Hell. One site on the Internet says plainly that the translators of the NIV deserve to die. One of the most offensive idolaters of the KJV is mentioned by Logsdon as a good friend. On the Internet site where I found Logsdon's message, I also found an expose of this man as a "cultist" for his preachments on related matters. Logsdon, in this article, admits of imperfections in the King James Version, an admission that might cost him his soul (at least every human curse imaginable) in the view of many advocates, including this "friend."
In closing, Logsdon claims a great history for the King James. True; but it cannot compare with the heritage of the Geneva Bible that laid the foundations of America (so said President John Adams), overthrew the English Monarchy and established a Republic, and inspired Milton and John Bunyan, the Baptist nonconformist whose PILGRIM'S PROGRESS was published in 1778; to say nothing of its presence in Shakespeare. Edward DeVere's, (Earl of Oxford) Geneva Bible is in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. and displays hundreds of markings in red where DeVere (many think Shakespeare was his pen name) noted allusions and quotations in Shakespeare's works. Nobody attacks the Geneva Bible (though King James I certainly did) and no one attacks the King James Version (although, in straw-man style of logic, the KJV Onlyists claim it is under attack). It is quite true, as agnostic H. L. Mencken observed, that the KJV is far better than the Greek and Hebrew as a literary masterpiece, and it is true that many attempts to improve it, as President Harry S. Truman observed are "prissy." But the NASV and the NIV are more accurate than any former version, and the common man perceives them to be more readable and understandable, and that is why they are outselling the KJV eight to two. The King James Version will live forever. As President Truman said, all "prissy" attempts to improve it will fail, and have failed. The NASV and NIV (and maybe others) are not of that ilk; they have passed the test of the people. The King James Version will be sung forever in Handel's Messiah--maybe the single greatest accomplishment of that beloved, revered Version. Handel's Messiah can never be changed, just as many elements of the King James Version will never be changed in any translation. But, as John Newton (Amazing Grace) observed in his famous 52 sermons on the text of Handel's Messiah, understanding The Messiah is of infinitely greater value that appreciating its literary and musical genius. Every Bible will still have to be preached, explicated and applied by God's ministers and His Church.
St. Paul says that everything must be in the most understandable form possible. That has been the goal of all translators of the Word of God in the broad Evangelical stream. In this century, thousands of dialects have been given God's Words. What an offense to God and mankind are these attacks on the selfless missionaries who have labored to this end, not to preserve a literary masterpiece, but to give the words of salvation, purity, freedom and eternal happiness in the most direct, simple, understandable syllables possible.
For the Old Time Religion
Here is the site where I first read Logsdon's address. The sitemanager declined to post my article. In many respects, this is a great site, with good music, including music to surf the web by. http://www.lovejesus.org
REV. S. F. LOGSDON'S ADDRESS
Two questions were handed me tonight which if I could answer them would take care of almost all the other questions:
"Please tell us why we should use the Authorized Version and why the New American Standard is not a good version, and the background fromwhich it came."
"What is your opinion of the 1881, 1901 and other variations of the Biblein relation to the Authorized Version?"
May I point out to you very specifically, not that you do not know but to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, we are in the end time. And this end time is characterized by a falling away, and of course that is apostasy. That is the meaning of the word: Falling away from truth. And when there is a falling away from truth, concurrently there is always confusion because they are sort of Siamese twins.
With confusion there is mental and heart disturbance, and people naturally come short of the high standard of the Lord. Everything we haveor ever will have will be found here [in the Bible], as we have said so many times. All that God does for us, in us, with us, through us, to us must come by the way of this Word. It's the only material the Spirit of God uses to produce life and to promote it. Name it, and it has to be here.
So you can understand why the archenemy of God and man would want to do something to destroy this book. I ought to whisper to you, and this is no compliment to the devil, but he knows it can't be destroyed. He tried to destroy the Living Word. You don't see this depicted on Christmas cards, but the night Jesus Christ was born the devil was there in that stable with one third of the fallen angels whom he had dragged down, to devour the manchild as soon as He was born. Rev. 12:5. Now he couldn't do it. Just think. Satan was there when Jesus was born, with all of those cohorts, those fallen angels, for one purpose: to devour the manchild. He couldn't do it. So failing to abort the Saviorhood of Jesus Christ both at the manger and at the cross--when he said come down from the cross, that is, before your work is finished come down--he is going to do what he knows is the next most effective thing, that is try to destroy the Written Word.
You understand, I am sure, there are places in
this book where you can't differentiate between the Living Word
and the Written Word. You know that. John 14:6--"I am the
life." John 6:63--"My words are life."
Differentlife? The same life. You can't differentiate because
after all the Written Word is the breath, if you please, of God,
and Jesus Christ is God made flesh or the Word that came to
THE DEVIL'S ATTACK ON THE BIBLE
Nevertheless, getting back to this, the devil is too wise to try to destroy the Bible. He knows he can't. He can't destroy the Word of God. But he can do a lot of things to try to supplant it, or to corrupt it in the minds and hearts of God's people.
Now he can only do it in one of two ways: either by adding to the Scriptures or by subtracting from the Scriptures. And you mark it down in your little red book: He's too wise to add to because those who have been in the Word for a long time would say, "Wait a minute; this is not in the Bible." So he subtracts from it. The deletions are absolutely frightening.
For instance, there are in the revisions (1881 and 1901), so we are told 5337 deletions, subtractions if you please. And here is the way it is done. It is done so subtly that very few would discover it. For instance, in the New American standard we are told that 16 times the word "Christ" is gone. When you are reading through you perhaps wouldn't miss many of them. Some you might. And 10 or 12 times the word "Lord" is gone. For instance, if you were in a church when the pastor is speaking on the words of the Lord Jesus in his temptation, "Get thee behind me, Satan," ifyou have a New American Standard you wouldn't even find it. It's not even in there. And there are so many such deletions.
So this is done in order to get around it and further blind the minds and hearts of people, even though it may be done conscientiously. There isn't any worse kind of error than to have conscientious error. If you are conscientiously wrong it's a terrible situation to be in.
Nevertheless, when there is an omission that
might be observed, they put in the margin, "Not in the
oldest manuscripts." But they don't tell you what those
oldest manuscripts are. What oldest manuscripts? Or they say,
"Not in the best manuscripts." What are the best
manuscripts? They don't tell you. You see how subtle that is? The
average man sees a little note in the margin which says "not
in the better manuscripts" and he takesfor granted they are
scholars and they must know, and then he goes on.
That's how easily one can be deceived.
THE HISTORY OF THE CRITICAL GREEK TEXT
Let's go back to say 352 A.D., when Constantine, the Old Pagan Wolf, as he was called, was concerned because his kingdom was threatened with a schism. There were those who held to the Babylon doctrine of the mother and child coming up through history, and there were others who held to the Roman doctrine of mother and child. In order to cement his kingdom, he felt he ought to bring about a Bible that would satisfy both sides which were threatening to destroy his kingdom. So he called upon Eusibius. (There were two men of that period called by this name, but I am referring to Eusibius the historian.)
Who was Eusibius? He was a protege of Origin. And
who was Origin? Origin was one who believed that Christ was a
created being, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, therefore he's not
divine. Now a man who studies under a teacher like that certainly
would imbibe some of it. Nevertheless, Eusibius brought into
being a Bible that would somehow or other not offend those who
had the Babylonian doctrine or those who had the Roman doctrine
of the mother and the child.
ROME IS THE CUSTODIAN OF THE CRITICAL TEXT
There are two copies of those Bibles in existence, A and B, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus. And where are they? They are in thecustodial care of Rome. Now almost all of our revisions, of recent years in particular, come through that stream. And that necessitates this comment: There is the false and the true streams of manuscripts. And either our manuscripts come through the false stream, or they come through the approved stream of manuscripts.
When people speak of the oldest manuscripts, they usually mean the A and the B, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus. But nobody has seen [Vaticanus. It has] been under lock and key in Rome. And the only copies we have are the copies that Rome decided to give to the outside world, and I don't trust them one inch. Never, never, never! And I'll tell you why in just a moment.
None of our scholars today have seen Codex B [Vaticanus], unless they've seen just a page or two through a glass case. But that's not enough to get the feel of the whole thing, just to see a page that is open atone place. So here we have the stream of manuscripts and the stream of Greek texts coming down through the "custodial care" of Rome. And if it's in the custodial care of Rome, I don't want anything to do with it.
I've come to this place now: I can't stand toe to
toe with the scholars, with those who have delved into the
manuscripts and textual criticism for years and years. I've had
too many other things to do. And you haven't been able to,
either. So what do you do? I don't argue with them anymore. I'm
not going to argue with any of them. I'm just going to ask, On
what manuscript or manuscripts is this version based? And if it's
based upon a manuscript that came down through this Roman stream,
I don't want anything to do with it.
You say, How can we know? Well, when God was ready to tell the world through a converted monk that the just shall live by faith, he raised up a man--and I'm sure that God raised him up; couldn't be otherwise--by the name of Erasmus. Erasmus is said by those who seem to know--scholars, we have to take their word for something--that he was the wisest man this side of Solomon that ever lived. It was said that he could do ten days work in one day. Brilliant. I forgot how many languages he spoke; they say he was at home in eighteen or twenty different languages as easily as we can move around in the English
He knew the manuscripts that were available, and he brought about a Greek text. Now he was so brilliant that the pope offered him--that is to keep him, I suppose, from doing this Greek text--offered him the position of a cardinal, which is a high-ranking position for those in the Catholic Church. I know a little bit about it because my father's people were from Ireland and were Roman Catholic all the way back. I have three cousins in Chicago who are priests. I have a cousin in the Chicago area who is a nun. That was quite an offer to be offered the position of a cardinal, yet he refused it.
The British government, I am told, offered him one of the highest positions possible in the British commonwealth. And at his own price he turned it down. Germany did the same thing, but he turned it down because he felt God had called him to bring about the pure Greek text.
All of this goes off into so many areas. We have a friend in one of our Baptist churches, very delightful chap, very educated, and he speaks against Erasmus because he had some attachment to the Roman church. Even our friend Peter Ruckman speaks against Erasmus. But how could you speak against a man, claiming that he is Roman, when he turned down the offer of a cardinalship and campaigned against monasticism, against the liturgy of the Catholic church, and was detested by the Catholic people?
And not only that, but listen to this: Do you know one of the reasons the Jesuits came into being under Loyola? Their main project was to supplant the Erasmus text, get it out of the way somehow, just undermine it. And this is their pledge. You can go to the library and get this directly, if you care. They said, `In order to supplant the Erasmus text we'll send our men to Protestant seminaries, Protestant Bible schools; we'll get them into teaching positions in seminaries; we'll get them into pulpits of churches.' To do what? The whole aim around the world is to destroy theErasmus text, and the Authorized Version of course came from the Erasmus text.
Getting back to this one matter that really
impresses me a great deal. When God was ready to tell the world
that the just shall live by faith, he got hold of the heart of
Luther and he tacked his thesis to the door--"the just shall
live by faith"--and took all the persecution that comes to
one who turns against the church of Rome. If the just shall live
by faith, where do we get faith? Romans 10:17--"Faith cometh
by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." If they're
going to have pure faith they had to have the pure Word of God.
Doesn't that make sense? And so God raised up Erasmus to bring
about what was called the pure Greek text, and had it completed
when Luther came thundering forth "the just shall live by
faith." He had the Greek text of Erasmus to translate.
Someone put it this way: Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched
it. Just at the right time he had
the text, and all he had to do was to translate it into German.
I think I mentioned the other night, since there is so much concern about these versions and paraphrases and so on, it is a marvelous opportunity for the devil to get in his strokes, you know. Through computerized procedures they have tried to determine the accuracy right down the line. You have lists of those in various books. The Authorized Version is right at the top. Friends, you can say the Authorized Version is absolutely correct. How correct? 100% correct! Because biblical correctness is predicated upon doctrinal accuracy, and not one enemy of this Book of God has ever proved a wrong doctrine in the Authorized Version. You've never heard of anyone's intellect being thwarted because he believed this Authorized Version, have you? And you never will. You've never heard of anyone anytime going astray who embraced the precepts of the Authorized Version, and you never will.
I tell you, I used to laugh with others when a
person would try to slander the intelligence, perhaps, of some
who say, "Well, if the Authorized Version was good enough
for Paul it's good enough for me." You get a lot of ha,
ha's. Say, that perhaps is true. If this is the Word of God, and
Paul had the Word of God, then things equal to the same thing are
equal to each other. We have the Book that Paul had! It's true
there could be, and perhaps should be, some few corrections of
words that are archaic.
And a few places where it could read just a little more freely.
But after all, as I said to the men this morning in the class, just think of the countless millions of dollars of God's money spent on all these versions and translations which could have been spent on God's service. There are 100 of them right now. Think of it.
When I say corrected, I mean just some of the archaic words such as "he who lets will let until he be taken out of the way." Now we don't use the word that way, but you can find out what it means by taking just a moment to look it up.
Back in Jeremiah 4:22 we read, "My people are sottish." There wouldn't be two people in the congregation that would know what that means. But I like it because when I looked it up, I found that it had more meaning than any other word you could put there. It means thickheaded. God says, "I can't get through to you because you are thickheaded." And maybe He wants it to stay there. If a persons looks it up he gets a better understanding of it than if another word were put in there to change it.
There are places where I believe the Spirit of God led the translators of the Authorized Version. You read their biographies. They were mighty men of God; spent as much as five hours daily in prayer; and some of them knew twenty-some languages. And it was before modernism filled the air, and before their attention was diverted by so many other things, television and so on.
Actually, after I've listened in so many places to all these arguments and I've listened to the scholars and sat with the translators, to be honest with you I haven't found anything seriously wrong anywhere with the Authorized Version. Really. Really! Just a couple of archaic words that are not in usage today. Well, they could be changed.
I personally don't think the "thous" and the "thees" should be changed. God's thoughts are above our thoughts, higher than our thoughts, and these words are expression of His thoughts, and I like to see it a little different here and there from men's ways and men's thoughts.
Actually I don't think there is anything wrong
with this [the Authorized Version], and it has been tested for
362 years. Are you ready to throw it overboard because the
scholars have come along and said, "Well now, this is
better; reads better; you can understand it better"? I mean
to tell you, with all their self-justification [of the new,
easier to read versions], people know less and less about God's
THE 1881 ENGLISH REVISED VERSION
To begin with, the revisers for the 1881 weren't to be revisers; they weren't to bring out a new Book. They were revisers to bring some of the words up to date because the language had changed. They were to be revisers, but the fact is--and believe me, this can't be refuted--there wasn't enough in the Authorized Version to revise to make it worth the while, to cater to the ego of scholars.
So when they saw that there wasn't much to revise, here they had their committee arranged. One was a Unitarian, a man by the name of Smith. That's why you find on verses concerning the incarnation there's something wrong. Such as 1 Timothy 3:16--"By common consent great is the mystery of godliness." Don't you believe that the mystery of godliness depends upon what man thinks, or his opinion. The verse continues in the 1881 version--"he who was manifest in the flesh." You've been manifest in the flesh; I've been manifest; [that statement alone is meaningless]. It's God who was manifest in the flesh. Do you see the Unitarian flavor there? He got in some blows somewhere, and that must be one of them.
But nevertheless, they didn't have enough to revise. So what are they going to do? Well, two brilliant Cambridge scholars by the name of Dr. Hort and Dr. Westcott had been collaborating on a new Greek text built on the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus which they believed were the very best manuscripts, held by Rome. So they said to the committee when they saw there wasn't enough to revise--I don't know if they said these exact words, but they said, "We would suggest that we bring about a new version." And they had those men pledge themselves to secrecy that they wouldn't tell anybody about the text they were using until after the book was out. Afraid, I guess, that they would be curbed, that the King of England or somebody would prevent them.
Twice British royalty refused to have anything to do with the 1881 revision. But at any rate it was deception to begin with. Their own text hadn't even been published yet, hadn't stood the scrutiny of the public. So the 1881 was built upon that. And the only fundamentalist who stayed on the board was Dr. F.H.A. Scrivener, and before he died he felt he had to break his promise to this group of men, and he let the world know that they took advantage after advantage in the text. That's where we've gotten the number of something like 5,337 deletions. [That was his count.] And he said, "Every time I raised an objection I was voted down, and they took liberties with God's Word." He was right there at almost every meeting, and he revealed that to the world before he died.
[Our readers can read Scrivener's own words about
this deception by ordering Scrivener's The Authorized Edition of
the English Bible. A reprint of this is available from Bible for
Today, 900 Park Avenue, Collingswood, New Jersey 08108. Order
Item # 1757. Which Bible, edited by David Otis Fuller, also
contains information about Scrivener and his protests against the
ERV. Scrivener is listed 20 times in the index to that volume.
Which Bible can also be obtained from Bible for Today.] Now when
the 1881 came out many people liked it because it said Jehovah
instead of Lord in many places. Well, that's minor; you can say
that with the Authorized Version. But it was scarcely 10 years
before it proved to be a failure. That is, it didn't get
THE 1901 AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION
Within 10 years they started communicating with spiritual leaders on this side of the water to work with them on another printing called the 1901 edition, feeling, I suppose, that if the Americans cooperated that they would have a wider sales range. Well, just think. When the 1901 came out it had gone 10 years when it was practically a failure, because in 1911 in the third centenary of the Authorized Version the publishers had 34 outstanding scholars to go over the Authorized Version and see what legitimate changes could be made here and there. You know, they took the 1901 edition and they could only take two out of every 100 corrections in that. Only two percent. And immediately they discovered that the 1901 was not trustworthy. And it didn't go very long until it died out. In all of my pastorates I can only remember one person who ever owned one of those 1901 American Standard Version Bibles.
THE NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION
Back in 1956-57 Mr. F. Dewey Lockman of the Lockman Foundation [contacted me. He was] one of the dearest friends we've ever had for 25 years, a big man, some 300 pounds, snow white hair, one of the most terrific businessmen I have ever met. I always said he was like Nehemiah; he was building a wall. You couldn't get in his way when he had his mind on something; he went right to it; he couldn't be daunted. I never saw anything like it; most unusual man. I spent weeks and weeks and weeks in their home, real close friends of the family.
Well, he discovered that the copyright [on the American Standard Version of 1901] was just as loose as a fumbled ball on a football field. Nobody wanted it. The publishers didn't want it. It didn't get anywhere. Mr. Lockman got in touch with me and said, "Would you and Ann come out and spend some weeks with us, and we'll work on a feasibility report; I can pick up the copyright to the 1901 if it seems advisable."
Well, up to that time I thought the Westcott and Hort was the text. You were intelligent if you believed the Westcott and Hort. Some of the finest people in the world believe in that Greek text, the finest leaders that we have today. You'd be surprised; if I told you you wouldn't believe it. They haven't gone into it just as I hadn't gone into it; [they're] just taking it for granted.
At any rate we went out and started on a feasibility report, and I encouraged him to go ahead with it. I'm afraid I'm in trouble with the Lord, because I encouraged him to go ahead with it. We laid the groundwork; I wrote the format; I helped to interview some of the translators; I sat with the translators; I wrote the preface. When you see the preface to the New American Standard, those are my words.
I got one of the fifty deluxe copies which were printed; mine was number seven, with a light blue cover. But it was rather big and I couldn't carry it with me, and I never really looked at it. I just took for granted that it was done as we started it, you know, until some of my friends across the country began to learn that I had some part in it and they started saying, "What about this; what about that?"
Dr. David Otis Fuller in Grand Rapids [Michigan]. I've known him for 35 years, and he would say (he would call me Frank; I'd call him Duke), "Frank, what about this? You had a part in it; what about this; what about that?" And at first I thought, Now, wait a minute; let's don't go overboard; let's don't be too critical. You know how you justify yourself the last minute.
But I finally got to the place where I said, "Ann, I'm in trouble; I can't refute these arguments; it's wrong; it's terribly wrong; it's frightfully wrong; and what am I going to do about it?" Well, I went through some real soul searching for about four months, and I sat down and wrote one of the most difficult letters of my life, I think.
I wrote to my friend Dewey, and I said, "Dewey, I don't want to add to your problems," (he had lost his wife some three years before; I was there for the funeral; also a doctor had made a mistake in operating on a cataract and he had lost the sight of one eye and had to have an operation on the other one; he had a slight heart attack; had sugar diabetes; a man seventy- four years of age) "but I can no longer ignore these criticisms I am hearing and I can't refute them. The only thing I can do--and dear Brother, I haven't a thing against you and I can witness at the judgment of Christ and before men wherever I go that you were 100% sincere," (he wasn't schooled in language or anything; he was just a business man; he did it for money; he did it conscientiously; he wantedit absolutely right and he thought it was right; I guess nobody pointed out some of these things to him) "I must under God renounce every attachment to the New American Standard."
I have a copy of the letter. I have his letter. I've shown it to some people. The Roberts saw it; Mike saw it. He stated that he was bowled over; he was shocked beyond words. He said that was putting it mildly, but he said, "I will write you in three weeks, and I still love you. To me you're going to be Franklin, my friend, throughout the course." And he said, "I'll write you in three weeks."
But he won't write me now. He was to be married. He sent an invitation to come to the reception. Standing in the courtroom, in the county court by the desk, the clerk said, "What is your full name, Sir?" And he said, "Franklin Dewey..." And that is the last word he spoke on this earth. So he was buried two days before he was supposed to be married, and he's with the Lord. And he loves the Lord. He knows different now.
I tell you, dear people, somebody is going to have to stand. If you must stand against everyone else, stand. Don't get obnoxious; don't argue. There's no sense in arguing.
But nevertheless, that's where the New American stands in connection with the Authorized Version.
I just jotted down what these versions, translations, and paraphrases are doing. Consider:
One, they cause widespread confusion, because everywhere we go people say, What do you think of this; what do you think of that? What do young people think when they hear all of that?
Two, they discourage memorization. Who's going to memorize when each one has a different Bible, a different translation?
Three, they obviate the use of a concordance. Where are you going to find a concordance for the Good News for Modern Man and all these others? You aren't going to find one. We're going to have a concordancefor every one; you're going to have to have a lot of concordances.
Four, they provide opportunity for perverting the truth. There are all these translations and versions, each one trying to get a little different slant from the others. They must make it different, because if it isn't different why have a new version? It makes a marvelous opportunity for the devil to slip in his perverting influence.
Five, these many translations make teaching of the Bible difficult. And I'mfinding that more and more as I go around the country. I mentioned this thing the other night. How could a mathematics professor or instructor teach a certain problem in a class if the class had six or eight different textbooks? How about that? How could you do it?
Six, they elicit profitless argumentation. Because everywhere we go they say this one is more accurate. Which one is more accurate? How do they know? And this is not a reflection against those saying this, because I would have done this a few years ago.
Lest I forget, in one of these questions somebody said, "How can we know that we have the whole truth?" Well, just simply by believing God. And what do I mean by that? John 16:13--"When he the Spirit of Truth is come he will guide you into" how much? Tell me. Tell me, now. "All truth." And if we don't have all truth, the Holy Spirit isn't doing His work. We have to have all truth for Him to lead us into all truth. And there are many, many other passages which teach this.
If we could hear His voice we would have no trouble learning His Word from the Authorized Version. Let me tell you this: You might not be able to answer the arguments, and you won't be [able to]. I can't answer some of them, either. Some of these university professors come along and say, What about this; what about that? They go into areas that I haven't even had time to get into.
As I said to you a couple of minutes ago. You don't need to defend yourself, and you don't need to defend God's Word. Don't defend it; you don't need to defend it; you don't need to apologize for it. Just say, "Well, did this version or this translation come down through the Roman stream? If so, count me out. Whatever you say about Erasmus and Tyndale, that's what I want."
And besides this, we've had the AV for 362 years. It's been tested as no other piece of literature has ever been tested. Word by word; syllable by syllable. And think even until this moment no one has ever found any wrong doctrine in it, and that's the main thing. He that wills to do the will of God shall KNOW the doctrine.
Well, time is up. Let's be people of the Book. It took my mother to heaven; and my dad, my grandfather, my grandmother. It was Moody's Book; it was Livingstone's Book. J.C. Studd gave up his fortune to take this Book to Africa. And I don't feel ashamed to carry it the rest of my journey. It's God's Book.
"Our Father, we thank Thee and praise Thee for Thy Word.
Help us to love it, and preach it, and teach it, and tell
everybody we can the Good News through thy Word. In Jesus' name.
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