Wednesday, October 27

A Few More Thoughts on the KJVO Doctrinal Statement

If you haven't read this post, you'll probably be lost on this one. This post contains just a few more thoughts on the doctinal statement quoted in that post. They really don't effect the argument of that post too much, but since I can't stop thinking about them, I thought I'd post them in hopes they'd go away!

Here's the whole statement I'm considering:
We believe the Holy Scriptures, composed of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, are the verbally inspired Word and Revelation of God. The Bible is inerrant, infallible-God-breathed. The initial miracle of divine inspiration of the original autographs also extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day. We have, therefore, the very Word of God preserved through the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. In the English language, the only Bible translated from the aforementioned texts is the King James Version. (Link.)

I think I have begun to see how the people who wrote this statement can claim to believe in "sola scriptura" and adhere to the statement we have here. I don't think they are right, or that their argument is not fallacious, but I think I see in a clearer way how they got where they have arrived. Here's what I've come to suspect.

I think they think that that middle statement--"The initial miracle of divine inspiration of the original autographs also extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day"--is a scriptural one because they interpret (wrongly in my opinion) the statement that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" to mean that anything they call scripture today is inspired by God in the same way the original autographs were, since "all scripture" is given by inspirition. So every step along the way to the present King James Version (the only version they would call scripture) you had God's inspirational work. In their thinking, that is what the scripture plainly teaches, so they are not going beyond the Bible as rule of faith and practice when they make this statement.

And then the "therefore" in the next sentence begins to make a little more sense. If the scripture is "inspirationally preserved" infallibly and inerrently in the KJV, then the texts from which the KJV "inspirationally derives" must also be "the very Word of God" (KJV-speak for pure and inerrent, or word perfect).

Of course, the whole argument depends on their particular definition of the King James Version as the only true scripture in the English language--a definition that is hard to maintain in the face of the historical fact that the words of "word perfect" King James Version of scripture have undergone revisions throughout history. It's also a definition that goes beyond what we are told in scripture. But it's this assumed definition that the whole argument stands or falls on--this assumed definition taken together with that one statement of scripture that "all scripture is given by inspiration".

It's a really nice example of a circular argument. The definition of scripture is assumed to be the King James Version only, and that definition is used as part of the proof that the King James Version is the only true representation of the pure texts of scripture.

Anyway, I've done this up rather quickly, mostly just to see what you think. So, what think ye?