Saturday, July 28, 2018

WM 100: Rejoinder to Mark Ward: 3 Ways to Engage Modern Translation Onlyism

I have recorded and uploaded WM 100: Rejoinder to Mark Ward: 3 Ways to Engage Modern Translation Onlyism (listen here).

A friend called my attention to an article posted to the Gospel Coalition site this week (July 26, 2018), by Mark Ward and titled “3 Ways to Graciously Engage KJV-Only Believers” (read it here).

The article's author is Mark Ward (PhD Bob Jones University) an academic editor at Lexham Press and the author of Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible (Lexham Press).

WM 100 offers a review and critique of the article and closes with a suggestion of three ways to respond to those who suggest Christians should only use modern translations. Here are my notes for those three suggestions:

First: If they are willing to listen and understand, help them to understand the difference between a truly heretical KJV-Onlyist position and a KJV preferentialist position. Help them also to understand those who are Majority Text advocates and Confessional Text advocates. Help them to understand that it is not helpful or charitable to confuse these categories into a mishmash.

Second: Talk about a confessional view of text criticism. Walk them through WCF/2LBCF 1:8. Explain the historical roots of modern text criticism in the Enlightenment. Explain the difference between a reconstructionist view of the text and a preservationist view of the text. Explain how post-modern text criticism is no longer even interested in finding the original text and no one really knows what future editions of the modern critical text (and thus modern translations) will even look like.

Third: Talk about how important the KJV is as a treasure not only for the Protestant Christian English-speaking world, but for all of Western civilization. Suggest that rather than dumbing down the liturgical language of the church we should be lifting it up. Ask them why the KJV is loved in the English department but villainized in the religion department. Suggest they read Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death or T. S. Eliot’s review of the New English Bible (listen here). Explain that using the KJV might just be one small way in which we might swim against the tide of this world.


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