Debate Correspondence #I
Timothy S. Morton
|During the summer and fall of 1997 a religious columnist in a
local newspaper (The Nicholas Chronicle) ran a series of
articles in his column (called, A Christ Centered Message)
correcting the King James Bible. The columnist (an
insurance salesman) fancied himself to be an authority on the
subject since he read a couple books critical of the KJB. He was
boldly proclaiming some piece of trash called the New Living
Translation as much superior to the KJB. I read his column
for a few weeks with amusement. He used many of the same
old worn-out arguments people have used against the KJB for over
100 years; arguments that have been soundly answered by Bible
believers of the past. Nevertheless, he persisted in publicly
revealing his ignorance.
During this time my father-in-law, Manford Hypes (a graduate of Tennessee Temple), wrote a letter to the editor concerning homosexuality (entitled, "More Homosexual Discussion") and mentioned that he used and believed the KJB of 1611. Mr. H picked up on this and in his next column said my father-in-law was NOT using a 1611 KJ Bible, thus implying he was lying or ignorant. My father-in-law would not respond (he is a very humble man) but I did (maybe I'm not so humble). This man's mouth was "fast and loose with the truth," and some people were likely believing his words.
Below is an excerpt from his column where he criticizes my father-in-law and the KJB. Following will be my first open letter to him, and after that, his first reply. [I address him as "Mr. H" in these pages because he is the kind to give me trouble for placing his letters on the internet. I don't have time for such things.]
The positive response to our KJ messages has just been great. People are surprised to find out that the newer model of the KJ Bible which they have been carrying is actually a modern, for its day translation. People are now aware that since they are truly using a modern translation of the Bible themselves, it's okay to use other modern day translations. Actually, people who have not heard this truth honestly believe their modern day KJ Bible is actually the original 1611 Bible. My good friend Manford Hypes illustrated this well in his article, "More Homosexual Discussion," when he said, "I used my 1611 authorized King James Bible to find the answer to the problems that we face every day." Mr. Hypes was apparently unaware that he was not using the 1611 KJ Bible, as he went on to quote his newer version of the KJ Bible, a KJ Bible which was published 158 years after the original 1611 Bible. Mr. Hypes did a very good job proving his point, using his newer model KJ Bible,but he definitely did not use a 1611 Bible; he did not misspell, not even one word when writing his Chronicle article. If he had actually been quoting the original 1611 KJ Bible, one would have recognized the obvious spelling error.
Let me tell you how the cults are taking an obvious mistranslation made by the KJ translators, and how they are using that mistranslation to persuade people to leave God behind to follow their earthly god. Yes, they can honestly take these KJ translators mistranslation of the scriptures, and use it to prove Jesus is not God; when one takes a stand that the KJ Bible is "the only Bible" for today, how will he answer the cults when they point out this very obvious error to his friends? Friends, these obvious errors needed correcting. God did not make one error in the original manuscripts; the uninspired KJV translators made the error. Thank God for the NLT 1996 edition error correction Holy Bible!
The 1611 KJV, and the modern day KJV both say God and Jesus are not one and the same, yet the NLT Holy Bible corrects this translation error. Let me illustrate:
2 Peter 1:1 in the 1611 KJV wrongly says, "Imon Peter a seruant & an Apostle of lesus Christ, to them that haue obtained like precious faith with vs, through the righteousness of God, and our Sauiour lesus Christ." This version and the Modern day KJV both inaccurately translated this verse by splitting the terms "God" and "Saviour," thus distinguishing the person of God from the person of Jesus. This rendering wrongly implies two persons are spoken of: 1) The great God, and 2) our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Devil's cults use this very obvious incorrect translation to argue that Jesus Christ (the good person) is not "the Great God." And friends, let me tell you it worked on my friend.
Now lets look at this same verse as it is corrected in the NLT translation 1996 addition. "I am writing to all of you who share the same precious faith we have, faith given to us by Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, who makes us right with God." Now that's pure Bible truth. Amen! Praise God for Plain and simple, cult rendering truth!
Titus 2:13 IN THE 1611 KJV says, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our sauiour lesus Christ. "Now look as the NLT 1996 edition correctly describes one person, and not two like the KJV plainly says. The NLT 1996 edition says, "While we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.
Cults would have no ammunition to use against
our friends if they all had a NLT 1996 edition of the Holy Bible.The
NLT plainly says Jesus is truly God. I agree that Jesus in the flesh
was a good OLE boy, that is while he was walking on earth fulfilling
the requirements of the Law perfectly for us, and as he died a
complete second death for us on the cross. But now that he has risen,
he is fully God again. In other words, while Jesus walked on earth, he
was 100 percent man (good OLE boy), and 100 percent God. The religious
cult who deceived my friend, says, "That Jesus has come back to earth
and that he lives as their earthly Prophet within their religious
organization. he is not truly God, because their god is only Michael
the archangel, their prophet. They openly proclaim that Jesus is not
God, but only a created angel.
Dear Mr. H:
For the past several weeks in the Nicholas Chronicle, under your column entitled “A Christ Centered Message,” you have been relentlessly attacking the Authorized King James Bible as an error ridden, inferior Bible translation. That you would so lightly attack, criticize, and “correct” the Bible God has used almost exclusively for most of the last four centuries to further His word, cause, and gospel among English speaking people is your business, but thearguments you present to try to convince others of your position are groundless.
For example, in a recent column you suggested Manford Hypes, in a “letter to the editor” concerning homosexuality, was ignorant about his Bible when he stated it was the “1611 Authorized King James Bible.” You go on to imply there are significant differences between the 1611 edition of the KJB and the current 1769 edition, and you also claimed the 1611 edition contained “obvious spelling error(s).” First of all, what is your criteria for saying the 1611 edition contains “spelling errors”? I have read many volumes of material both for and against the KJB and nowhere in my research has anyone even suggested the 1611 edition contained “spelling errors.” True, there are spelling and typestyle differences between the editions (“feare” compared with “fear;” “loue” with “love;” etc.) but no spelling errors. Even secular English language history experts praise the 1611 edition for its spelling consistency while many authors of the same period spelled words at their own “whim and fancy” (see, The Story Of English). Spelling differences between the various editions of the KJB are NOT errors. Yet today there are spelling variations of many English words, which is obvious from looking in any good dictionary. Also, European English spelling is often different from American English spelling (“Saviour,” “Savior”), but neither is in error. Your charge that the 1611 edition contains spelling errors is imaginary.
According to a report given to the American Bible Society in 1852, 83 years after the present 1769 edition, a researcher stated: “The English Bible as left by the translators has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text. With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by orthography (spelling) in the English language, the text of our PRESENT Bibles remains UNCHANGED AND WITHOUT VARIATION FROM THE ORIGINAL COPY LEFT BY THE TRANSLATORS”! Thus the KJB we have today is as far as the TEXT is concerned IDENTICAL to the original copy given to the printers in 1611. Furthermore, modern reprints of the 1611 edition are readily available in many bookstores, and anyone can check for themselves. I have one of these reprints and there is no difference between its text and my 1769 editions. If one would read a 1611 edition of the KJB aloud anyone could follow along with any later edition and hear no difference between them (apart from an occasional typographical error, which even modern editions of any translation have). Spelling differences are not errors; neither do they change the meanings of words. Your over-emphasized differences between the editions of the KJB are really no differences at all.
Concerning alleged mistranslations of the KJB, you need to be more careful in your accusations in this area also, Mr. H. In the same column mentioned above, you claim the KJB translators mistranslated 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13 and also say the KJB says “God and Jesus are not one in the same.” It appears you need to spend some more time reading the KJB before you criticize it, for there are many places it states God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are the same God, including the two passages you mentioned: 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John. 5:7; Phil. 2:6; Luke 2:33; Matt. 19:16-17; John 1:1; etc. Again, your claims are baseless.
The phrases “...of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” in 2 Peter 1:1 and “of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” in Titus 2:13 do not disallow the unity of God and Jesus Christ as you claim. If you would have done a little research on the subject you would have found these passages make use of afigure of speech that is common in the Bible, known as a “hendiady.” “Hendiady” simply means, “two words used, but one thing meant.” That is the Holy Spirit uses two different words or statements to refer to one thing or person. Zechariah 9:9 gives two clear examples of this. The “daughter of Zion” and “daughter of Jerusalem” in this verse does not refer to two different daughters. The second statement simply restates the first in different words. Also, “...and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” does not mean Christ rode upon two asses at once. The two statements refer to one ass. The same situation is found in 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13. Jesus Christ is our great God and Saviour as these verses state.
Finally, Mr. H, you have entitled your column “A Christ Centered
Message” yet the translation you use to “correct” the KJB, the New
Living Translation, along with ALL the other modern translations, destroys
many key passages that refer to the deity of Christ, His atonement,
and His ministry, thus demeaning my Saviour. That is the main
reason I and many, many other Christians believe the KJB of 1611 is
the Bible God wants the English people to use and believe. It
exalts Christ at every opportunity its underlying Greek text will
allow. This is why we believe God has so greatly blessed the KJB
over the centuries, it exalts His Son to the highest level; much more
than any modern translation, especially the NLT. We are not about
to abandon the Bible that led us to Christ, taught us, and comforted
us for years so easily, Mr. H. There has been in the last 100
years over 100 new translations that have attempted to replace the KJB
and none of them have succeeded. Most of them are no longer in print
yet the KJB is going strong. Ever wonder why this is so, Mr. H?
In His Grace,
[This was in the same edition of the paper my open letter was. The editor gave him an advance copy!]
I do believe Mr. Timothy S. Morton is misunderstanding what I am writing about. I am not in any way criticizing the Holy Word nor defending a book, I am defending the Savior (the Word). God inspired men to write the original manuscripts, and by the way, the newer version of the King James Bible Mr. Morton refers to is not God's original inspired Bible nor was the 1611 Holy Bible. The modern day King James Bible I carry and preach out of each and every week is not the 1611 Bible, and I am sure that Mr. Morton does not use a 1611 Bible either. The thing I want to get across to God's people is that the people who claim the 1611 King James Bible is the only inspired Bible, do not use a 1611 King James Bible themselves. They are actually using a new updated, for it's time, modern translation of the old 1611 Bible, which corrects only part of the mistranslation error and say it's wrong for others to do the same thing they are doing.
Keep reading each and every week and you will know if our Christ Centered Messages are correct or if Mr. Morton is correct. Listen and be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Never be bound by leather and paper.
As for the statement Mr. Morton made about my statement concerning Manford Hypes, I think that this one speaks for itself. Mr. Hypes truly said he used the 1611 King James Bible, then quoted modern day King James Bible, and did a very good job of proving his point in his modern translation King James Bible. Calling modern day King James Bible 1611 Bible in no way makes it 1611 Bible. That would be like (saying you are a car because you are standing in a garage.
I am not going to waste a lot of Chronicle space on this rebuttal but I will say this: The New Living Translation does not take away from the deity of Christ. No, in truth God's deity is restored.
Friends, keep reading week by week as the finished work of Jesus' Christ is restored among God’s" people. Please refuse to worship paper and leather! I promise you that will prove God right when he said (Jesus is the "Word of God." The 1611, the modern day King James Version or the New Living Translation are not the word, no Jesus is the Word, and He lives in my heart.
A man's version of the word did not lead me to Christ, nor does it teach me, and comfort me. No Friends, I am led totally by the Holy Spirit, taught totally by the Holy Spirit, and comforted totally by the Holy Spirit.
[This is just the beginning. The situation gets a little more lively as we gone on.]