Dear Brothers in Christ and all those interested in the Polish Bible Project,

 

            Greetings to you all in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is worthy of glory, honor and power. O that all nations would praise His wonderful name.

            In my previous addressI had hoped that it would be my last attempt at trying to defend the ongoing Polish Bible Project. I stated:

 

I went to great lengths to explain in detail my reasoning behind this project. I presented Scriptural and historical principles that have guided us in our decisions. I gave a fair and honest report of all the types of complaints from all perspectives. I’m not sure that I can present any better arguments in defense of this project than I have already given. If my reasonable arguments are not persuasive enough then I see no further point in arguing… If this project is of God, and I believe that it is, it will go on with or without your support.

 

I had some reservations about the worthiness of continuing the debate and the long-lasting benefits of American sponsorship[1] of a Polish Bible. But after stumbling across some notes I had on William Carey[2] I was brought to further reflection by the following Scripture:

 

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. Php 4:17 

 

You have faithfully and tirelessly endeavored through the years to get Textus Receptus Bibles into the hands of the common man throughout the world. You have faced, and are facing, many of the same difficulties and concerns that we have encountered while trying to complete this vital project. You are therefore worthy of the best arguments from those with the most experience and firsthand knowledge of Bible updating and translation.  I know you to be very good men who are confronting sincere and honest questions that require the best response that I can give. You need to hear all of the arguments clearly so that you can make the correct decision according to the dictates of your own conscience.  

 

Although I have become somewhat weary of the debate itself I am resolved by God’s grace to see this project through to its completion. The following words have deepened my resolve:

 

“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing” 2Th 3:13 .

 

“No matter how bad things got, no matter how anxious the staff became, the commander had to preserve optimism in himself and his command. Without confidence, enthusiasm and optimism in the command, victory is scarcely obtainable.”

General Dwight Eisenhower, D-Day, by Stephen E. Ambrose, pg 61.

           

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will. When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill.

When funds are low and the debts are high. And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit. Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns. As everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about. When he might have won had he stuck it out:

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out – The silver tint of the clouds of doubt

And you never can tell how close you are. It may be near when it seems so far:

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown -       

 

As I see it there are questions you will need to ask yourselves and answer to help you determine if you want to continue to support this work or any similar work in any given language:

 

I) Is God’s word the word of God[3] only as long as it remains in the form it was originally given?

-          Yes? You may not want to support this work.

-          No? You correctly recognize that the FORM of God’s word changes over time.

 

o       Note: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets Heb 1:1. God’s word shows up in various FORMS through out history: Spoken (God to Adam), appearances (God to Abram), dreams (God to Jacob), voice from Heaven (God to Israel), visions (God to the prophets), revelation (God to John), written (God given Scriptures), then copied (God to kings - Dt. 17:18-19) and translated (God's plan for men - Acts 2, 1Cor 14).

 

o       Does the older form (spoken) carry more authority than the newer form (written)? Yes? You may not want to continue to support this work, because we are working under different principles.

 

o       Should men question (reject) God’s word simply because it was given to them in a new or different form than it was previously given to other men, nations or generations? If yes, then you may not want to support this work.

 

o       Would you agree that there might have been some hesitation at first by sincere men about the new form in which God gave His word, but that hesitation should not be used as a valid excuse to question (reject) God’s word given in a new form? That is, men accustomed to having God’s word given to them by direct revelation might be hesitant, due to their tradition, to accept God speaking to them in written form. Their traditions (customs) or previous experiences are not valid reasons for rejecting the new form of God’s word.

 

II) Is God’s word in written form the word of God only as long as it remains in its original form

    originally written by God Himself?

-          Yes? We are working under different principles, you may not want to support this work.

-          No? You correctly recognize that the FORM of God’s word changes over time.

 

o       Note: Two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. Ex. 31:18   (see also, Ex. 24:12, 32:16, 34:1, Deut. 5:22, 9,10, etc.) Can the finger of God {God’s  authority} be manifest in different forms? Of course! See Ex 8:19 This is the finger of God and  Lk 11:20 if I with the finger of God.)

 

o       Note: The re-written forms of the Ten Commandments as written by Moses in Exodus and Deuteronomy. One of the two lists (if not both) must have been different from God’s original finger written copy as they both have NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCES. They are not word-for-word identical. The form is different. Note the changes: “no” to “none”, “beneath” to “under”, “unto” to “to”, “remember” to “keep”, “keep it holy” to “sanctify it”, additions of words, deletions of words, and word order changes. See my previous defense http://www.preachinginpoland.com/BibleProject2.htm.

 

o       Does the older form (written with God’s own finger) carry more authority than the newer form (written by the hand of Moses)? Yes? You may not want to continue to support this work, because we are working under different principles.

 

o       Should men question (reject) God’s word simply because it was given to them in a new or different form (copy written by Moses), than it was previously given (God’s own finger written copy) to other men, nations or generations? If yes, then you may not want to support this work.

 

o       We can imagine the “Finger of God Onlyists” criticizing Moses for changing the FORM of God’s original finger written copy. “Why, Moses added unto the word of God [he did in form] – look at the differences!”, they must have incorrectly accused.

 

o       Would you agree that there might have been some hesitation at first by sincere and honest men about the NEW FORM in which God gave His word, but that hesitation should not be used as a valid excuse to question (reject) God’s word given in a new form? That is, men having received the tables of stone (10 Commandments) with God’s very own handwriting on them, might have been hesitant, due to their tradition, to accept God speaking to them with final authority through Moses’ changes and handwriting. Their tradition (customs) would not have been valid reasons for rejecting the new form of God’s word.

 

III) Is God’s word in written form (written by men, inspired by God) the word of God only as long as it remains in the form (grammar) that it was originally written?

-          Yes? You may not want to support this work, we are working under different principles.

-          No? You correctly recognize that the FORM of God’s word changes over time.

 

o       Note: The original was allegedly written in Greek with uncial (all capital letters) without spacing and punctuation:

 

PAULOVAPOSTOLOVIHSOUCRISTOUDIAYELHMATOVYEOUTOIVAGIOIVTOIVOUSINENEFESW

KAIPISTOIVENCRISTWIHSOU

 

Which changed in form to minuscule (lowercase):

 

paulovapostolovihsoucristoudiayelhmatovyeoutoivagioivtoivousinenefesw

kaipistoivencristwihsou 

 

Which further changed in form over time to a mixture of uncial and minuscule with spacing and some punctuation:

 

Paulus apostolus Christi Iesu per voluntatem Dei sanctis omnibus qui sunt Ephesi et fidelibus in Christo Iesu.

 

o       This same type of change in form can be demonstrated in Hebrew as well – script without vowel points to script with vowel points. Ancient Hebrew to Modern Hebrew. Ancient Greek to Modern Greek.

 

o       Does the older form (uncial) carry more authority than the newer form (mixture)? Yes? You may not want to continue to support this work, because we are working under different principles.

 

o       Should men question (reject) God’s word simply because it was given to them in a new or different form (mixture), than it was previously given (uncial) to other men, nations or generations? If yes, then you may not want to support this work.

 

o       Did you notice how much shorter the sentences got over time? We can only imagine how the “Uncial Onlyists” complained about how the mixed form (uncial, minuscule with spaces and punctuation) reads like a novel or is more like a Living Bible than a the original uncial version.

 

·         It was said of William Carey, 1761-1834:

“While it is true that most of Carey's translation is now passed over, nobody could deny that his was a valiant attempt and that because of his attempt to coherently present long texts in prose closer to the spoken language, modern Indo-Aryan languages of India were blessed. http://www.languageinindia.com/april2001/carey.html

 

Comments: The shortening of sentences along with additions of spaces and punctuation do not change the text, they change only the form. Shorter sentences do not make a translation (copy) a novel, newspaper or Living Bible. Long sentences without spaces between letters and words, and without punctuation are not more godly and holier than shorter sentences with spaces and proper modern punctuation. If this is not true, then we

ALLBETTERGETBACKTOTHEORIGINALFORMORELSEWEWILLBEOUT

OFTHEWILLOFGODDONTYOUTHINKIHOPENOT.  

 

Any proper understanding of the doctrine of preservation (the preserved word of God) must come with the recognition that preservation does not include form! Form has changed indisputably over time. And that preservation must be understood as:

 

“We have what God said, the way He intended for us to have it.”

“With the words that God wants us to have it.”

“In the form that God wants us to have it.” Bro. Ruckman.

           

The Text – The fundamental distinction between “the text” and “form” must always be clear in the mind of a translator. The Text is the idea, sense, thought or meaning; form is the structure used to convey it from one person to another. Form may be written or spoken, seen or heard. It is built from such familiar elements as sounds, letters, words and what is commonly called “grammar.” Form is variable, the Text is not. Form is the wrapper, the Text is the food it contains; form is the suitcase, the Text is its contents; form is the body, the Text is the soul. The Text is transferred by forms but is almost always distinct from them.” Adapted from some translating book that I can’t find right now, but I think you get the idea.

 

IV) Is God’s word the word of God only as long as it remains in its original form - in the original language (supposedly Hebrew and Greek)?

-          Yes? You may not want to support this work, we are working under different principles.

-          No? You correctly recognize that God’s word can be translated (change form) and still retain its authority.

 

o       It was God who divided the languages at Babel (Gen 11:5-9) so that men might seek the LORD in God’s way and not man’s way. It was God who set the bounds of their habitation that they might seek the Lord (Acts 17:25-26). It was God who gave the Apostles the gift of tongues (languages) so that every man heard them speak the wonderful works of God in his own language (Acts 2:5-11). Their own language cannot be interpreted to mean “original Hebrew” or “original English”, nor can it be interpreted correctly to mean, “some special Bible language” – their own language with all the intricacies and complexities of their particular tongue.

 

o      The reformers, AV translators, men like William Carey, and all zealous Christians throughout history have recognized that the word of God must be translated into the languages of the common people in readable, clear and understandable form (grammar and vocabulary). So that a plowboy could understand the word of God[4].

 

o      Note: No translation in the history of translating is jot and tittle and word-for-word. It cannot be done, nor is it required in order to have a valid translation. Word counts differ, tenses change, word order changes, verbs change, words are ADDED, words are not included, etc. in all valid translations. All Bible believing translators understand that the goal of precise word-for-word translation is unattainable. Source and target languages will either help or hamper any attempts at reaching the ideal goal. The translator’s gifts and abilities given to him by God also come into play. Obviously, brilliant men like Luther, Tyndale, Carey and the AV translators are going to do a better job than the likes of Brent and Bro. Joe. To this, there is no doubt. It is highly doubtful that any modern update or translation in our generation is ever going to reach the lofty literary accomplishments of Luther, Tyndale, and the AV translators. This should not disturb us. The Church of God had the word of God in the form that God wanted her to have for over 1500 years without the same exalted literary form that the Church had during the Protestant Reformation.  It is highly unlikely that the form of God’s word given to the Church of God in the dark ages could have matched the grandeur of Luther’s German, Tyndale’s English or even Carey’s Sanskrit.  We might wish that we could have heard the sermons of Peter, James and John, the preaching of Luther, Whitfield, and Moody or the teaching of Calvin, Wesley and Torrey, but we can’t. According to the providence of God we never will. That does not mean our modern day preachers and teachers (despite their comparative weaknesses), are not God given, invalid or false. They are gifts given unto the Church of God in the form that God wants us to have for the edifying of the Church and the converting of the lost. Just as the word of God has come down to us in various forms today – in the form that God wants us to have. Some versions of the word of God were more skillfully translated than others, but nonetheless all were God given[5]. If you do not recognize these things then you probably will not want to support this work as we are working under different principles.

 

o       The AV does not follow any version of the TR word-for-word. There are “drastic changes” from the original form (Greek TR) to the new form (English). Bro. Waite calls these changes “tolerable ranges of translation”, Bro. Ruckman calls these changes “advanced revelation”, Bro. Hill calls these changes “the providence of God”. For example: “hell” to “grave” (1Cor 15:55),  “word of the Lord” to “word of God” (Acts 19:20), “sons” to “children” (Acts 9:15), “having departed from the synagogue of the Jews” to “Jews were gone out of the Synagogue”, italicized additions to the text (numbering in the thousands), non-italicized additions to the text - “immediately” (Lk 19:40), deletions of words - “indeed” (Acts 25:11), etc. These are real recognizable changes proving that jot and tittle preservation is not found in the AV itself nor any translation - ever. Nor is it required to be. We have God’s preserved word in the form that God wants us to have.  If “God’s preserved word” is not modified with “in the form that God wants us to have” then all the hullabaloo about God preserving His word is nothing more than theoretical rhetoric in my mind.  If preservation and inspiration are not transferable into other languages practically, the boys that hold such illusions can go back to the seminary and hash it all out in their laboratories. I myself, believe in practical, real and demonstrable preservation and inspiration. Don’t you? Please forgive me for that last foray into the caustic, I’ve been wading through (reading) Bro. Ruckman’s books again looking for marked quotes and was temporarily overcome by his biting sarcasm.

 

o       The fact that Scholars, Modern Version users and pastors of all denominations have filled volumes of commentaries with accusations that the AV does “not following the Greek (TR) in every place” should suffice to verify my claim above about “manifest deviations” from the Greek TR. It is my understanding that the word of God translated into the modern vulgar is still the word of God despite these countless changes (differences). Remember it only takes one change to upset the apple-cart of absolute word-for-word preservation (jot and tittle preservation).

 

o      Does the older form (original Greek) carry more authority than the newer form (translation)? Yes? You may not want to continue to support this work, because we are working under different principles.

 

o      Should men question (reject) God’s word simply because it was given to them in a new or different form (translation), than it was previously given (original language) to other men, nations or generations? Of course not, this is the fundamental point of “KJV Onlyism”. This is the battle ground!  Once you get this clear in your head the other pieces will fall into place like dominoes. “English Onlyism” is just a perverted form of “Original Language Onlyism”. WARNING: If you don’t agree with this statement you may want to stop and consider why you support any foreign language translation. We are approaching the principle reason for the objections to this Polish Bible project from American English Onlyists.

“Moses and the prophets, for example, cannot possibly have foreseen all that their utterances would mean for the Gentiles when expounded to them by the teaching of Christ and His apostles in the New Testament. Nor can St. Paul have foreseen all that his epistles would convey to English readers. And yet, wherever the Greek application of the Old Testament or the English application of the New lies fairly within the confines of the original [read tolerable differences], the authority of the latest form of the Holy Scripture is as GREAT AS THAT OF THE EARLIER. IN THIS SENSE, even translations are practically the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD.” Peter S. Ruckman citing Spurgeon who cited C.H. Waller, How to Teach the “Original “ Greek, pg. 53.

 

o       Please seriously consider what I have previously wrote:

 

      Separate, but equal authority

“A university man met Bunyan on the road near Cambridge. Said he to Bunyan, “How dare you preach, not having the original Scriptures?” “Do you have them – the copies written by the apostles and prophets?” asked Bunyan. “No,” replied the scholar. “But I have what I believe to be a true copy of the original.” “And I,” said Bunyan, “believe the English Bible to be a true copy, too.”

John Bunyan The Immortal Dreamer, by W. Burgess McCreary, 1928, pg. 38.

 

      The TR Text was translated – albeit differently, yet all are the word of God

The Textus Receptus, from which it [AV] came, was being read in more than four hundred languages before the ASV of 1901 came out, and it stood through the Philadelphia church period (1500-1900) pointing more than forty million Europeans, Africans, Americans, and Asiatics to Jesus Christ:”

The Scholarhsip Only Controversy, 1996, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, pg. 72

 

      The TR text is the issue not the form (translation)

“What do you suppose will happen with a switch of Biblical texts, after one thousand years of old Jerome’s African Vulgate from Alexandria in Egypt? Every nation that adopted the Receptus translations and obeyed the missionary commission given therein rose to the top of the pile, and every nation that stuck with the Jerome’s African ‘Bible’ from Alexandria ‘hit the skids’.” Talking about the Textus Receptus printed in various editions Colinaeus 1534, Erasmus 1516-1527, Stephanus 1546, Beza 1598, Elzevir 1633

Biblical Scholarship, 1999 Reprint, Peter S. Ruckman, pg 141

 

“It is the God-honored Greek text preserved through Erasmus, Colineaus, Beza, Elzevir and Stephanus, and the God-honored English text as found in Tyndale (1525), the Geneva Bible (1562), and in the King James 1611 Authorized Version.”

The History of the New Testament Church, Volume 1, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, pg 40.

 

Comment: The Greek Bible did not “lose its authority” after it was translated into various European languages any more than the AV could possibly lose its authority to English speakers after being translated into some American Indian dialect. You would do well to consider that last statement, because it is a fundamental part of the Version Debate and reveals the blatant error of English Onlyism. The Greek Bible retained its authority and the new European language translations, once they were received and recognized by the Church of God, had equal authority with the Greek Bible in their respective languages. There are recognizable differences in Receptus Translations, these differences include: grammar changes, verb tense changes, word changes, word order changes, word additions, and word deletions, etc. These differences do not negate the God given authority placed on these translations. These differences are tolerable ranges of translation (Waite), the providence of God (Hill) and advanced revelation (Ruckman). The last comment by Brother Ruckman must be understood as: Do to the nature of the respective languages, readers of a translation can get things (advanced revelation) out of the Bible in their language that Greek readers cannot get out of the Greek Bible. Just as readers of the God given Greek Bible can get things (advanced revelation) out of the Greek language that readers of foreign language Bibles cannot get out their Bibles.

Bro. Ruckman states repeatedly: In the form that God wants us [Americans] to have. This truism holds true in foreign languages as well: In the form that God wants us [foreigners] to have. It applies to every language group that has the word of God. In fact, if I understand Romans 1-3 correctly, it even applies to those nations and peoples that do not have God’s word in “written form”. In other words God is going to hold every man accountable to the light given them[6]. If you can understand these principles then “differences” in foreign language Bibles become much more understandable. However, if you believe that the English language Bible is “advanced revelation for the last days for all peoples and nations” then you may not want to support this work because we are working under completely different principles. We are not translating the English AV.

 

V. Is God’s word the word of God only as long as it is in the English Authorized Version?

-          Yes? You may not want to support this work, we are working under completely different principles.

-          No? You correctly recognize that God’s word can be translated (change form) and still retain its authority no matter what language it is translated into.  See my previous point.

 

o       Were Luther’s German Bible and Carey’s multiple translations into Indian dialects the word of God? Of course they were. Did the word of God exist in English prior to 1611? That is, were the earlier English versions the word of God - Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva for example? Of course they were. If you don’t think so, then you may not want to support this work. We are working under a completely different set of principles. Note:

 

“Where was the word of God before 1611? All over the ever-lovin’ blue eyed world!” He lists French Bibles Lefevre (1530), Italain Diodati (1607), Valera (1602), Visoly Polish Bible (1590)? Biblical Scholarship, 1999 Reprint, Peter S. Ruckman, pg 150.

 

“Where was the Bible before 1611? All over the cotton pickin’ continent!” He lists Luther,

Holland (1523), Denmark (1524), Iceland (1540), Yugoslavia (1584) Croatia (1562), Poland

(1551) [John Seklucyan, a personal friend of Luther, NT only], Finland (1548), Ibid pg 149

 

o       If none of the above versions listed by Bro. Ruckman and myself are in your estimation the word of God then you may not want to support this work. I am compelled to ask, however, what version other than the AV is the word of God? Why? Because once you give me any extant version, in any language that you consider to be the word of God also, I can demonstrate to you that our project has not exceeded the types of changes found in those versions. If you cannot produce an extant version other than the current form of the English AV that you believe is the word of God, then your belief in preservation is only theoretical. Any talk about the word of God being preserved from this generation for ever (Ps 12,6) that fails to demonstrate how this preservation comes to pass without differences (changes in punctuation, vocabulary, verb tenses, word counts, word order, additions and subtractions of words, etc.) is nothing more than theoretical rhetoric and a waste of everyone’s time.  Maintaining such a position is no different than the “scholars” who mistakenly claim that any translation is only inspired (perfect, inerrant, has final authority, etc.) insomuch as it matches the original inspired languages. Both positions erroneously force the common man (read Bible believer) to come to the experts (or supreme race-language) in order to get the “real word of God”. I personally feel that one of the reasons that we are at an impasse with Bro. X and Bro. Y is because they have failed to provide me any extant example of the word of God in any language that represents their tolerable deviations. I know for a fact that translating, updating and revision always involves changes – adding, deleting, expansion, emphasis, etc. And also, that translating, updating and revision should have as its goal an improvement of the previous form with the purpose of edifying the Church of God and bringing the lost to Christ. This is troubling for them. If it is troubling for you then you may not want to support this work. Notice:

 

      Differences in earlier English versions compared to the AV -

·         Mt 2:6 “a captain” (Bishop’s, Tyndale) verses “Governor”

·         Lk 2:41 “feast of Easter” (Tyndale) verses “feast of Passover

·         Lk 12:47 his masters will” (Bishop’s, Tyndale, Geneva) verses “his lord's will”

·         Jn 3:3 “born anew” (Tyndale) verses “born again”.

·         Acts 12:4 “after the Passover” (Geneva) verses “after Easter

·         1Cor 16:14 “done in love” (Tyndale, Bishop’s) verses “done with charity

·         Eph 2:22in the spirit” (Tyndale) “by the Spirit” (Geneva) verses “through the Spirit”

·         1Tm 3:6 “the evil speaker” (Tyndale) vs “the devil

     

      Changes in the AV –

·         Gender Changes:

her lord” to “his lord” Gen 39:16

“there is he” to “there is sheJob 39:30

children of Netophah” to “men of Netophah” Ezra 2:22

·         Singular/plural changes:

“the fenced cities” to “the fenced city2Ki 18:8

·         Emphasis, words added:

“keep --- my commandments” verses “keep all my commandments” Deut 5:29

”then --- Solomon” verses “then king Solomon” 1Ki 9:11

“the Lord” verse “the LORD thy God” Deut. 26:1

·         Changes of punctuation:

“helps in governments” to “helps, governments” 1Cor 12:28

                        “unto God, My rock” to “unto God my rock” Ps 49:2  

·         Word changes:

“seek good” to “seek GodPs 49:32

“there is no man good, but one” to “there is none good, but one” Mk 10:18

·         Tense changes:

“the face thereof was” to “the face thereof is Jer 1:13

·         Words deleted:

“Jesus answered them ---“ to “Jesus answered them, and saidJn 7:16

·         Words added:

                  “yet he shall not find it” Ecc. 8:17

            “of the children” Joshua 13:29

            “of the Lord” 2 Kings 11:10

 

Comments: The question, “Where was God’s word before 1611?”, must be answered if we truly believe that God’s word was preserved from David’s generation onto ours and we want to retain any type of credibility before our detractors. The Reformers knew where it was and Bro. Ruckman concurred when he emphatically stated that the word of God was “All over the ever-lovin’ blue eyed world!”. I agree, do you? Your answer has direct implications on your attitude towards this project.

 

VI. Is God’s word the word of God only as long as it retains archaic forms (grammar and vocabulary)?

-          Yes? You may not want to support this work, we are working under completely different principles.

 

o       Did you really mean yes? Then why not stick with the archaic Latin, archaic Greek or archaic Hebrew? Surely, those archaisms are much older than any form of archaic English – the English language itself is modern.

 

-          No? You correctly recognize that God’s word can be updated (change form) and still retain its authority.  You understand correctly that valid revisions in a given language are both justified and the duty of the Church of God in its responsibility to get the word of God to a lost and dying world. These revisions must be in clear understandable tongues. Note that the revisions from Wycliffe to Tyndale, from the Geneva to the AV, and the revisions of the AV itself included drastic grammar and vocabulary changes, yet remained the word of God.

o        So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 1Cor 14:9-11 Paul’s point isn’t that “words easy to understand” could not be profound, spiritual or mysterious. This is where many KJV Onlyists go awry. They confuse the form (easy to understand, grammatically correct and modern) with the text (profound, spiritual and mysterious). They confound archaic with profound, outdated with spiritual and confusing with mysterious. They erroneously and repeatedly, I might add, give an improper exegesis of 1Cor 2:11-13. They mistakenly interpret “spiritual things” for “archaic words” and that “which the Holy Ghost teaches” for “old syntax” and the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” for the common man’s (plowboy’s) desire and need for “easy to understand vocabulary”. You would do well to consider these things for they will enlighten you to the grave errors of extreme KJV Onlyism.

 

o        There is nothing grammatically, linguistically or syntactically difficult about anything in 1John 5:7 and yet the words are profound, spiritual and mysterious. The valid updating of the archaic grammar and vocabulary from Wycliffe to our present day AV are demonstrations of this principle:

 

For thre ben, that yyuen witnessing in heuene, the Fadir, the Sone, and the Hooli Goost; and these thre ben oon. Wycliffe 1395 1John 5:7

 

(For ther are thre which beare recorde in heuen the father the worde and the wholy goost. And these thre are one) Tyndale 1525 1John 5:7

 

For there are three, which beare recorde in heauen, the Father, the Worde, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one. Geneva 1587 1John 5:7

 

For there are three that beare record in heauen, the Father, the Word, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one. AV 1611 1John 5:7

 

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. AV 1769 1John 5:7

 

The text has not been changed simply because the word “witnessing” was changed to the words “bear record”. Nor was the text tampered with when “father”, “worde” and “wholly goost” were capitalized and changed into “Father”, “Word” and “Holy Ghost”. And once again with emphasis: changing “be one” to “are one” is NOT a textual change even though the form of the words changed! However, modern Textual Critics have deleted this verse on the biased rejection of the TR - the text. See my previous post. This is where we find the real battle, not the change of the form. If you can understand these things and agree that they are true, then I see no reason why you cannot support our Polish Bible project. For we are working under these principles.

 

Koine vs. Attic, Archaic vs. Modern

It is interesting to watch the sudden and dramatic shift of argumentation when one observes modern KJV Onlyists battling with their archrivals Original Language Onlyists. KJV Onlyists are zealous to point out that God’s word was originally written in Koine Greek – they mean: the common, every day, spoken language of that time period.  

 

“What kind of Greek is the New Testament written in? The student is told that it was the language commonly used in the Greek speaking world from the time of Alexander the Great to about 400 A.D. It is called “koine,” in distinction “from the classical Greek of the world of letters.” “Attic” was the language of Thucydides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, and other demoniac bullshooters [sic] (see The Christian’s Handbook of Science and Philosophy, 1987, chapters 1-2). The literary style of the Attic is more ‘stilted and fixed, less flexible and changeable than the vernacular.’ Robertson will tell you that some Greek teachers consider only literary ATTIC to be ‘first class’ Greek; these were the educated jugheads [sic] (see Gen. 3:1-3) who thought if the new Testament was inspired, it had to be written in COLLEGIATE GREEK. As it turns out, the language of the New Testament is the common, ordinary, everyday language of New Testament times. Then quietly, subtlety [sic], in the most inobtrusive [sic] manner possible, Dr. A. T. Robertson tells us that “There was developed also a LITERARY KOINE, seen in such writers as Polybius, Josephus, and Plutarch.” How to Teach the “Original” Greek, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, pg. 4.

 

When engaging Original Language Onlyists they will cite Luther, Tyndale, and Carey with vindictive glee pointing out that Tyndale wrote in such a way that a “plowboy” could understand his translation. Luther spent time rambling around the fishing docks, the market places, the street corners, and the shops, picking up the expressions of his own people so that he might write in good German because that is the way in which any German would speak. And Carey employed pundits to verify the syntax and clarity (easy to understand) of his translation.

 

“It may be interesting to see him [William Cary] at work. “ I employ,” he says, “ a pundit merely for this purpose. With him I go through the whole in an exact a manner as I can. He judges the style and syntax, and I of the faithfulness of the translation. I have, however, translated several chapters together, which have not required any alteration whatever in the syntax. Yet I always submit this article to his judgment. I can also, by hearing him read, judge whether he understands his subject, by his accenting, reading properly, and laying the emphasis on the right words. If he fails, I immediately suspect the translation, though it is not an easy matter for an ordinary reader to lay the emphasis properly in reading Bengali, in which there is not pointing at all…I expect the New Testament will be complete before you receive this, except a very few words which may want attention on a third and fourth revisal , and now I wish the printing to be thought of… The Bible work of the brethren was viewed with great satisfaction by the friends at home. “ You must not,” wrote Fuller to Carey, “ even if you can afford it, deny us the pleasure of participating with you in the expense. The public is generous, and what shall we do with our money but appropriate it to the service of God ?”  The Centenary Volume of the Baptist Missionary Society 1792-1892, page 273 Bible Translation as recorded at: http://www.wmcarey.edu/carey/bibles/271.1.jpg.

 

KJV Onlyists argue vehemently against any type of scholarly language – Greek or otherwise – when fighting Original Language Onlyists. “The word of God needs to be in common every day street language so that the average man on the street can understand it!”, they fervently persuade their listeners. They argue  passionately that the word of God must be readable, understandable and available to the common man so that the ordinary man on the street might comprehend God’s word in his own language. Yet, remarkably these same KJV Onlyists suddenly reverse field when it comes to updating archaic, old and stilted literary language as found in authorized versions of the Bible in any language. Suddenly this “Attic”, “literary” and “scholarly” grammar and syntax converts itself into “holy”, “fixed” and “unchangeable” Bible language. Out of the blue “common every day street language” is interpreted to mean “gutter language” and “the modern reader couldn’t handle real street language”, “blah, blah, blah”.  Amazingly “older and more difficult” now becomes “a reason for the average man to expand his vocabulary”.  Who would have thought that “archaic and obsolete” now means “we have to preserve God’s holy language”. Proper grammar and vocabulary is neither “scholarly” nor “gutter language”. Archaic grammar and vocabulary is not holier than modern grammar and vocabulary. If you have been reading a Bible written with archaic grammar and vocabulary all your life and then suddenly begin reading a Bible written with modern grammar and vocabulary of course you will notice a difference. That is only natural, but DON’T mistake that noticeable difference as something spiritual or holy! Or worldly and unholy! May God help everyone to understand this point. And a point of reminder to our scholarly brothers who may eventually find themselves reading this letter, let me remind them that archaic words are not proof of error! Archaic is just an antiquated way of saying something. – outdated, not wrong. The stated purpose of our update is to modernize the archaic (outdated) grammar (sentence structure, word order, syntax) and vocabulary (words) of the Old Gdank Bible.  

 

Everyone (Poles and Americans) said prior to the beginning of this project:

 

The grammar of the Gdańsk Bible is outdated and difficult to understand, completely outdated, and absolutely foreign to Poles today that often, they cannot make out what it is saying, except with great effort.

“The church in Poland is no longer using the Gdańsk Bible not because its text is corrupt, but because it is difficult to read.”

“The Gdańsk Bible is very archaic, outdated, and hard to understand.”

“Somebody needs to update the Gdańsk Bible because it is filled with archaisms and is too difficult for the average reader to understand.”

“The state of the Gdańsk Bible can be compared with the old English Bibles. It would be a cross between the Old Wycliffe Bible and the Tyndale Bible as far as archaic grammar, language structure and vocabulary.”

“If the archaic grammar is updated and the text is retained then perhaps God will take the ‘time honored text of the Reformation and again bless its use here in Poland.”

“Use the Gdańsk Bible and attempt to improve on its outdated words and grammar.”

 

Bro. Joe and I correctly understood these complaints and concerns to mean that the archaic, outdated, old grammar and vocabulary (form) needed to be improved by updating, modernizing, making it easier to read and understand so that the average Pole[7] could read and comprehend the word of God in Polish easily. Improved in such a way so as the form would not be a hindrance to the common man’s understanding of God’s word even if the text remained profound, spiritual and mysterious. I’m personally not amused by the sudden back peddling, retractions and turnabout by those apposing this project. That which was previously “difficult to understand” is now “not that difficult”. That which was “completely outdated” is now “only partially outdated”. That which was “difficult to read” is now “readable”. That which was previously “archaic” is now “Bible language”. That which needed “improvement” is now “ok like it is”.  Yes, we updated the grammar and the vocabulary, that was the goal from the beginning. Changing the form of the text in the Gdańsk Bible (or any Bible for that matter) does not make the Bible UNHOLY or a novel.

 

I’m not sure how we can modernize a Polish Bible, but be compelled to keep American archaisms. If it is archaic in English we have to keep it archaic in the Polish? How does that work?

 

No one has shown me proof that that any Bible in history was originally written “archaically” because the translators thought “archaic” was a sign of Bible language. All translators begin with the premise that their translation should be done with the best grammar and vocabulary possible. Hence, I’m convinced that our version must be in the BEST POLISH possible, not at expense of the text as some falsely imply. I sincerely doubt that any version, update or translation is ever going to reach the beauty of Luther’s, the AV or even the original Gdańsk. I think that time period of history was an exception. The old was beautiful and the new may never be as beautiful as the old, but that doesn’t mean that the new is bad, wrong or in error. Take a look at the old architecture in Łódź and compare it with the modern architecture in Warsaw. Which is more beautiful? The answer is SUBJECTIVE!!! It depends on who is looking at it. Our generation (that’s reality) has stated emphatically that modern may not be as beautiful as the old, but it is more practical. Some like the old look, the old feel, some prefer the new look and the new feel – neither are wrong. I remind you of the Scriptural principle: Men do not put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. There is your proper preservation!

 

By changing the endings of the verbs we automatically destroy the rhythmic beauty of the Old Gdańsk. We end up trying to put a piece of new cloth unto an old garment and by doing so take from the garment, and the rent is made worse. We aren’t Poles, we can’t make those types of decisions. What we can do and have succeeded in doing is to confirm that we have put new wine into new bottles and new cloth onto new garments. This to me has been confirmed by the grammarians and comments from other Poles that aren’t participants of the current heated debate. They have nothing to gain or lose by their frank comments. Our Polish brothers, those involved in this debate, have stated that our “szyk” (word order) is not wrong! I agree, so do the professional grammarians - it is good Polish! It doesn’t change the MEANING of the text. Just because some of our Polish brethren are accustomed to the old word order and hesitant to accept change does not mean that we should keep the old. We can’t pour new wine into old bottles.

 

My position is reasonable, logical and based on demonstrable history of translation and Biblical principles. By insisting on changing only the endings of the verbs and a few obviously archaic words, our detractors want to pour new wine into an old bottle and sow new clothe onto an old garment. It can be done no doubt, but the results are going to be spilled wine and rent clothes. By doing so we will retain a semblance of unity, but ONLY among our two very, very small churches. In my opinion such a work will not be received by the Church of God in Poland as a whole. My vision goes beyond the very few Poles in our current churches, it goes to 38,000,000 Poles and future generations.

 

Our work has not converted the Gdańsk Bible into a novel. Not unless one means by “a novel” that it now can be read without putting it down (a good novel), that entire chapters can be read without the need to wonder about the meaning of single words, that it reads smoothly and easily. If that is what was meant by the barb – “it reads like a novel” - then yes, it does, and we have succeeded in accomplishing a great thing, wouldn’t you agree? Poles have said (even those complaining) that the text is now clear and understandable. We have not changed the Holy word of God into a “Living Bible” unless the dig was meant to mean “life giving” as in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

“the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (Jn 6:63).

 

I have a Polish “Living Bible” on my desk in front of me, our work is not a “Living Bible” in the derogatory sense. As further proof I’ll repeat a conversation I had with one of the Polish critics who was correcting my Polish one day:

 

“Michał (Brent), you keep saying that your work is in “potoczny” [popular] form. Your work is not in “POTOCZNY” form, here is copy [the one I now have on my desk] of the New Testament in “popular” form [read Living Bible derogatorily]. The correct Polish word you want to use is “uwspółcześniony” [updated, modernized].”

 

Looking at the second word “uwspółcześniony” you may or may not realize why I gravitated to the easier to pronounce “potoczny”!  Our update is in updated, modern, common Polish nothing more. It is not “street language” where street language is implied to mean gutter language or comic book language.

 

A few concerns:

I am persuaded that Americans, through no fault of their own, are reading into the archaic text of the Gdańsk Bible their understanding (meaning) of the AV text which no longer exists in the Gdańsk Bible. Time has changed the meaning of the Gdańsk Bible in such a way that it no longer conveys its original sense. I’ve done it myself unknowingly, so has Bro. Joe and Bro. Y unwittingly demonstrated this by his work on 1 Corinthians that he sent to you all. I am also convinced that Poles are reading into the Gdańsk modern definitions and coming to wrong conclusions. I have seen this firsthand in listening to the preaching of our Polish men. This is demonstrated by some of their objections to our word changes.

 

Can the word of God be improved? Can perfection be perfected?

Surprisingly, yes it can. However, there is a need for recognition that improvement and perfecting apply only to the form and not to the text of God’s word. The word of God (form) was improved when it was transferred from tablets (stone) to scrolls (skin, papyrus) to codices (parchment, paper) to books (paper) to computer (electronic). The word of God was perfected when it was copied from uncial (capitals) to miniscule (lowercase) to punctuated (spaces and punctuation) to archaic grammar (non-pointed Hebrew, ancient Greek, etc.) to modern grammar (Wycliffe-Tyndale-Geneva-AV for example). The word of God was also improved when handwriting changed to typesetting. Old fonts to modern fonts. The word of God was perfected (for the perfecting of the saints) when it was translated from ancient languages (ancient Hebrew, Greek, Latin, etc.) to the modern vulgar. The word of God was also improved when chapters and verses were added. All of these types of changes were improvements and the valid work of the Church of God to perfect God’s word (form) so that the common man might more easily comprehend the text of His word. We are trying to improve the form of God’s word in Polish.

 

 

 

Form vs Text

The AV translators recognized (even if Original Language and English Onlyists don’t) that a variety of words can be correctly used and still retain the underlying text. The AV translators had no problem dismissing the unfounded charges of  “you are changing the words of God” , because they understood that a variety of phrasing was both good and useful.

 

“An other things we think good to admonish thee of (gentle Reader) that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe, that some learned men somewhere, have been as exact as they could that way.  Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified that same in both places (for there be some words that be not the same sense everywhere) we were especially careful, and made a conscience, according to our duty.  But, that we should express the same notion in the same particular word; as for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek word once by PURPOSE, never to call it INTENT; if one where JOURNEYING, never TRAVELLING; if one where THINK, never SUPPOSE; if one where PAIN, never ACHE; if one where JOY, never GLADNESS, &c.  Thus to mince the matter, we thought to savour more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather it would breed scorn in the Atheist, than bring profit to the godly Reader.  For is the kingdom of God to become words or syllables?  why should we be in bondage to them if we may be free, use one precisely when we may use another no less fit, as commodiously? … also that we cannot follow a better pattern for elocution than God himself; therefore he using divers words, in his holy writ, and indifferently for one thing in nature: (see Euseb. li.12. ex Platon.) we, if we will not be superstitious, may use the same liberty in our English versions out of Hebrew and Greek, for that copy or store that he hath given us. Lastly, we have on the one side avoided the scrupulosity of the Puritans, who leave the old Ecclesiastical words, and betake them to other, as when they put WASHING for BAPTISM, and CONGREGATION instead of CHURCH: as also on the other side we have shunned the obscurity of the Papists, in their AZIMES, TUNIKE, RATIONAL, HOLOCAUSTS, PRAEPUCE, PASCHE, and a number of such like, whereof their late Translation is full, and that of purpose to darken the sense, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof, it may be kept from being understood.  But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar.”

Translators to the Reader, the Preface to the Authorized Version (1611)

http://cwhisonant.gotdns.com/documents/docs/1611preface.htm

 

“Today our chief concern must be to create a climate of Christian thought and learning which God can use providentially should the need for such a new English version ever arise. This would ensure that only the English wording would be revised and not the underlying Hebrew and Greek Text.”

The King James Version Defended, Edwards F. Hill, 1984, pg. 230

 

It has been undeniably determined that the Gdańsk Bible needs to be revised (updated). According to Hill “wording can be revised” and not change the “underlying text”. I agree. That has been our endeavor.

 

Should you support this project?

Would you have supported Tyndale at the time of his translation? Would you have supported Luther? Carey? How about the AV translators themselves prior to 1611? What ever PRINCIPLES guided born again Bible believers who supported these works must be used to support or reject our work.

 

Are you afraid that this project might fail? Flop? Not pan out? Do you ever support inexperienced missionaries? How do you know that they will get the language down right? How do you know that they will ever lead a soul to Christ? Do you wait until they have “great success” and then begin supporting them? Bro. Joe and I had great success in Mexico, 20 completely independent churches, 22 formally recognized pastors, 11 full-time missionaries supported completely out of their home churches, and about 125 regular street preachers. Yet here in Poland we are struggling with two churches which combined can barely keep their attendance levels above 30 adults. None of our men have shown themselves to be confident and competent street preachers. Does the word of God always succeed? Well, of course, His word will not return unto Him void. But, will we always be able to see the results? Where was the word of God in the Dark Ages? Evident results? Was the word of God any less the word of God in the dark Ages as it was in the Protestant Reformation? When the word of God is sowed by the way side, on stony ground or among the thorns where is the fruit? We must ever remember that the underlying debate is over UNBELIEF of what God has given to us and not “words and syllables”. God blessed America because they were BELIEVERS not because their Bible had a highly desirable literary form.

 

Should those who supported Trinitarian Bible Society’s New Testament be castigated because the Trinitarian New Testament flopped in Poland even though it must have had the “right text”. I’m convinced that one of the reasons (not the only reason) that the Trinitarian flopped was because it failed to update completely its archaic form. I’m also convinced that the place we will end up, if we go back and start over according to the limited changes desired by our detractors, will be right where the Trinitarian NT already is! If they want a New Testament with very few modifications they already have one in print in the form of the Trinitarian NT. It was already determined before we began updating that using the Trinitarian was not an option. .

 

Read over my previous arguments and this present discourse and evaluate the reasonableness of my arguments. What points do you disagree with? Do the those points outweigh the benefits of my valid points? If you don’t think that I have made any valid points then your decision is easy – don’t support this work. I suspect the problem in your minds is you see that my arguments as a whole are SOUND, CONVINCING and REALISTIC, yet you still have concerns about given particulars. You may not like a given choice of words or phrases.

 

“We find ourselves almost wanting to sit on the sidelines, waiting for 100 years to see if God really blesses a work or not!   Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of that amount of time.” RE: Some clarification on the Polish Bible Project from Bro. Joe West, Brother Z in response to Bro. Joe’s West’s previous e-mail.

 

There is no way that God expected the believers in Luther’s day, Tyndale’s day, Carey’s day or the AV translator’s day to wait “100 years” to see if things pan out. We support missionaries based on reasonable expectations – we expect them to be faithful, honest, diligent, sincere, etc. in all their endeavors. Not that they will always make perfect decisions, or that their decisions will always agree with ours.

 

Now each translation, just as each missionary, is going to demonstrate the abilities and weaknesses of those doing the work. See the comments made by the AV translators. Some are going to do a better job than others. Some are going to be more notable than others. Paul and Apollos and the Sons of thunder were probably better preachers than other preachers found throughout church history, but it is quite clear that God chooses all types men with differing abilities  in order to build the Church of God. I will repeat what I have said before, I have no illusions that our update is ever going to reach the literary beauty of Luther, Tyndale, the Reina Valera, the Gdańsk or AV translators. That is no shame on our work. Carey’s translations were no doubt much better than ours will ever be, yet probably did not reach the excellence of Luther’s or our own beloved AV.

 

I would love to be able to write with the literary beauty of the AV translators or even the original Gdańsk translators. I cannot attain to such heights even in English much less in Polish! There are very few translations throughout history that reached the heights of Tyndale, Luther and the AV. However, and here we must be very careful to discern the difference between LITERARY beauty (form) and the text of the word of God. You see the AV translators in a very practical way of improved the word of God (form). They dressed up the word of God in the most eloquent of clothes. The Word of God can be dressed in swaddling clothes (Lk 2;7) and still be the Word of God. God Himself can be manifested in the weakness of man and still be God. God’s word is still God’s word no matter what the dress – English, German, Polish – or the designer – Luther, Tyndale, Carey. Ok, some people get their clothes by the providence of God at Sach’s Fifth avenue and other people are relegated to garage sales. Ah, the brutal honesty of that last statement. Nevertheless, it is still the word of God.

 

I see the beauty of Tyndale and the eloquence of the AV. Wycliffe is like watching a grainy scratchy black and white film. Reading the Old Spanish version had a flow to it that even a “gringo” could appreciate its beauty. As an American reading the Old Gdańsk I can see the old flashes of beauty and eloquence of the Gdańsk, but its garment has been worn with age. No amount of sowing new clothe unto that old garment is going to help it – in fact it will hurt it, if our Lord’s words are considered! That to me is the problem with the recommendations of those who object to our project. They want to sow new clothe unto an old garment. They want to take the endings off of the pronouns, change words, etc. and still expect to retain the old grandeur of the Gdańsk.  It’s like trying to carry over the poetical beauty of the Hebrew into the English. It can’t be done no matter how much we want to try. This new version is going to have its own strengths and its own weaknesses. It will have its particular beauty. Probably not with the same splendor as the old, depending on the reader. Those accustomed to the grandeur of the old are always reluctant to change to the new and modern. Horse and buggies were seen long after the  invention of the automobile. Mexican immigration officials were still using typewriters long after computers abounded. It took 50 years before the last remnants of the Geneva stalwarts gave into the New Modern AV. Some never gave in, they went to their graves riding horses, typing on typewriters and carrying the Geneva. For this reason I have no problem with allowing those Polish men who want to cling to the archaic Gdansk to keep on doing so. My vision goes way beyond a few resistant Poles. Their resistance is no proof that OLD is holier than the MODERN!

 

It was in David’s heart to build the temple of God unto the LORD. If the Lord doesn’t grant us our desires for an Authorized Version in Poland rivaling other versions in history, that should not discourage us. He may eventually use the very materials that we have amassed to build what He wants, exactly the WAY He wants it. Until then it is in our hearts (1Ki 8:18) to do great things for God. “Do you want to do great things for God, attempt great things for God.” I must go on with this project until the Lord tells me clearly “thou shalt not build the house”. For the life of me I see no reason why you would not want to help supply the materials for such a house. I realize each man has to do what the Lord tells him to do. May God be with you in your decision.

 

Bro. Joe and I have listened to, and will continue to listen to every suggestion, complaint, and advice.

Where clear, sound, and reasonable arguments were given Bro. Joe and I have made changes without regret. Where unclear, unsound and unreasonable arguments were given we deposited them in the trashcan along with our own erroneous suggestions without compunction. Where arguments are reasonable, but unclear; sound, but not irrefutable, we worry over them, flip flop on what to do, and will probably do so right up until the day of printing. Ever wondering if we made the best choice in those places.

 

To honestly evaluate this work please take note of the 1100 word list put out by Trinitarian Bible Society[8] which I sent to you previously and note that we have not changed the text. Please also note Ray’s 200+ verses and be comforted by the fact that we have not changed “the text”. Bro. Joe and I are still going over this work and will continue to do so until we feel absolutely confident that we can no longer improve on it with our limited abilities.

 

As Bro. Joe so ably said:

 

“I would rather you not support our work and that we remain friends and co-workers for the furtherance of the Gospel, than to have you have a falling out with another brother over this issue and then hate us for it.”

 

I will simply add that which I have stated previously:

 

"I understand the dilemma you all face - trying to make a decision to support this work from afar is extremely difficult. I do not know what else I could do to state my position more clearly. If Y's and X's arguments seem persuasive to you all please feel no compunction or need to continue to support this project. If changes such as "devils" to "demons", "temptations" to "trials" or "Easter" to "Passover" give you any type of qualms, then please feel free to stop supporting this project. Bro. Joe and I will not be offended in the least. We understand that all honest men must follow the dictates of their consciences. If this project is of God, and I believe that it is, it will go on with or without your support.

    Let me assure you that Bro. Joe and I have labored diligently, sincerely and with integrity over the years on this project trying to please the Lord in all things. When we began this project I was fully aware of the types of Bibles that XYZ and ABC had published in the past i.e. Spanish Reina Valera 1909 and the Old Russian Bible. I can assure you that our updated version even in its unfinished form, is closer to the text of the English AV than any of the above translations.

 

It is my prayer that we have not offended you all in any way. That would indeed be grievous to my heart if we have. If so, I beg your forgiveness. If you feel that we have betrayed you in any way, or took advantage of your kindness, please let us know and we will do our best to make amends.

 

We have reached the place of subjective differences. If there was a clear answer to the problems we have encountered all of us good men would not be debating this issue. Since there does not exist any clear verse of Scripture or clear moving of the Spirit of God we must each make a decision on the best arguments made available to us. I have convinced myself that I am right in principle where I may be wrong on any given word or phrase. I leave it to you my worthy brothers to decide if my sound and reasonable arguments will carry the day. I have every reason to believe that the Lord will continue to use and bless all of us involved in this important debate no matter what the outcome. He knows better then we do, what is in our hearts.

 

I must end here. I am physically exhausted having typed for eight hours straight in order to get this to you today. I have not exhausted my arguments and I am sure I have missed a few points, and failed to clarify others. If you have any questions or concerns, as always please let me know.

 

As the Lord said unto Habakkuk: Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

 

By God’s grace I intend to do jest that: Make this update as plain as God allows and to do it in faith.

May God richly bless each and every one of you.

 

In Jesus’ Name,

 

 

Brent Riggs

www.preachinginpoland.com


 

[1] If we flood Poland with “free Bibles” will we really know if this version is of God? There must be some type of balance between “Gospel outreach” (free Bibles) and “a clear moving of God” (people receiving a free Bible is no proof of God’s clear approval of that version). This issue needs to be thought through. I am more than willing to discuss the difficulties of this issue, but not in this post.

[2] The Bible work of the brethren was viewed with great satisfaction by the friends at home. “ You must not,” wrote Fuller to Carey, “ even if you can afford it, deny us the pleasure of participating with you in the expense. The public is generous, and what shall we do with our money but appropriate it to the service of God ?” The Centenary Volume of the Baptist Missionary Society 1792-1892, page 273 Bible Translation as recorded at: http://www.wmcarey.edu/carey/bibles/271.1.jpg.

 

[3] By word of God I mean: pure, perfect, inspired, having infallible authority – final authority in all matters of faith and practice – in the Biblical sense of the word.

[4] See comments later on Attic Greek and Koine Greek later.

[5] See the AV translator’s comments – not interpreted by every man with like grace.

[6] This leads us into an entirely different discussion. I will let it rest here.

[7] Please take into consideration when weighing the concerns of our three Polish men, that they cannot be considered “average Poles” as they have been exposed to the archaic for a number of years. What was once uncommon and strange to them has become common and familiar. Also, consider the positive comments of Poles outside of our church.

[8] I’m not completely convinced that this list was a comparison of the Greek TR and not just a comparison of the AV with other English versions. I have no time or energy to prove otherwise.

 

Please do write if you have any questions or comments!

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