Crossway Publishers Waffle on a "Permanent" Bible
Crossway publishers’ recent decision to make their English Standard Version (ESV) a “permanent” text, earned them considerable wash-back. Opponents argued that occasional updating is necessary to keep up with popular expressions. Others claimed that Bibles need to reflect “scholars’ new understandings of the text.”
This highlights a debate over the whole landscape of Bible translation work: Once a language is done, should it be updated every time the language changes?
On one side, advocates of “King James Only” claim that its 1611 classic English is still good enough. We only need to learn a few hundred “less familiar” words to get a clear meaning of God’s preserved will.
On the other side, in making the ESV and all other modern translations, the theory was that as the language changes, so should the text, so “modern man” could better understand God’s will.
In explaining the background of Crossway’s decision, Craig Bloomberg, New Testament Professor at Denver Seminary, revealed a more serious question for Bible readers: do we have a reliable Bible today?
In a statement by the Crossway Translation Oversight Committee they “…affirm that their highest responsibility is to ‘guard the deposit entrusted to you’ (1 Timothy 6:20) —to guard and preserve the very words of God as translated in the ESV Bible.”
But Bloomberg claims that we no longer have the “very words of God.” In a discussion on Christianity Today’s “Quick to Listen” blog, 9/16/16, he states: “The vast majority of Christian statements that have been made over the centuries have regularly said that what we believe is inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative is the original text, the original manuscripts in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; and it has really only been a very tiny minority in the history of the church represented notably today in the King James Only movement that has tried to argue for infallible preservation of the text....”
Of course, the only way for “The vast majority of Christian statements…” to be true is to include Roman Catholicism as Christian. And the “Original Autographs Only” doctrine was invented in 1881, just before the English Revised Version of Westcott and Hort was released. (See “The Christian’s Golden Plates” at https://youtu.be/JCG4SJlSqdg) “Providential preservation” of the text into English has been believed by the true church as far back as the 1640s, but consistently denied by the Vatican counterfeit church.
So, Bloomberg is saying that the “very words of God” that the Oversight Committee was so carefully guarding were lost long ago when the “original manuscripts” wore out. Now, all we can do today is trust the scholars and “hope” we have His words.
Bloomberg goes on to admit that the “King James only movement” has to “…simply make a faith commitment that somewhere in the welter of manuscripts is one that has preserved it accurately…”
So, anyone who trusts Matt. 24:35, Mark 13:31 or Luke 21:33, where Jesus says that heaven and earth will pass away but His words will not, is out on a limb of “faith!” That limb of trusting God’s promise is way sturdier than the thin one of doubting that Jesus was able to keep His promise. From the beginning, God opted to use written language to communicate His will. Would He leave us in doubt of what He said, just as the church received the Great Commission to bring the gospel to all the world?
Bloomberg also states that “infallible preservation” is a “…myth that can’t actually be defended.” (Actually, there are over 5,700 manuscripts that support God preserving His words, all the way up to the KJV.)
Bloomberg doesn’t trust Christ’s promise to preserve His words. But he trusts textual “scientists” to give him a text worth “carefully guarding?” He admits that what he is guarding is not “inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative.” [And this is a “professor” in a “Christian” Seminary?!]
Author David W. Daniels is right that all the modern versions can do is stir up doubt and confusion for those who refuse to “make a faith commitment” to Christ’s promise to preserve His words. Daniels proves that we can trust that promise given to us in the Classic English KJV. Visit www.chick.com/information/bibleversions or www.chick.com/bible for more information.