Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Centuri0n on Kurschner - Some Comments

Brother Centuri0n has posted a brief article (link) commending Kurschner's eight reasons (link), which the present author had previously addressed (link).

I'm not sure whether Centuri0n actually read the article (he mistakenly claims that AK lists 10 reasons), and Centuri0n's post may be taken as representing support of the anti-KJV position more than anything else.

Nevertheless, the present author wishes to clarify a few things in response to Centuri0n's comments:

1) Yes, in Western Europe the primary language in which the Bible was preserved was Latin, and the Latin Bible transformed Western Europe. This is actually a significant argument in favor of the KJV preferred and "majority" argument and especially the Textus Receptus argument, as the Latin tends to frequently align with the Textus Receptus and to be reflected in the KJV translation.

2) History does matter, and it is important to recognize that the English Bible was first a translation from the Latin (first with a partial translation by Bede and later a New Testament translation by Wycliffe) and only after printed Greek Testaments were made available in the form of Erasmus' 1516 edition did the Bible get translated with reference to the Greek. The Latin influenced the English translators resolution of many Greek ambiguities, as well it should.

3) Centuri0n makes a great point, which is that God has a plan for His word, and that God preserves His word. Francis Turretin (the original, not the present author) made the same point before there was a KJVO movement.

4) The Vulgate may have defects, but it gained traction because it was an excellent translation, not despite being an inferior translation. That traction was assisted by the fact that it was given assistance by the bishops of Rome. Nevertheless, the very reason that Jerome's work was commissioned was to improve on the various Latin translations that were in circulation in his day.

5) Centuri0n's last paragraph is a tad bit off-target. He writes:

This is not an argument against integrity in translation, or having right methods -- because we are receivers of the text, and we ought to receive it with some kind of faith-fortified, Christ-exalting humility. But the purpose of right methods is discipleship and evangelism (not necessarily in that order). Right methods ought to lead us to the right view of what God is doing and has done, rather than replacing one human work with another and then arguing which is really the least-errant.

TurretinFan responds:

That sounds great, but the only way to try to achieve high integrity in translation and collation is by replacing one human work with another and debating the relative merit of each. The purpose of the right methods is to maintain the text in as close to its original, unaltered state as possible. It is the purpose of commentaters and evangelists to expound upon the text for the purpose of edifying and adding to the flock (not in that order).

6) Finally, it is worth noting that there are other important ecclesiastical texts besides the Vulgate, the KJV, and the Byzantine Greek. There are also the Slavonic, Armenian, Syriac, Georgian, the Coptic, and even the Ethiopic (and others in addition to those). They are not all equally good, and they are not necessarily good in proportion to the number of Christians who used them. Nevertheless, they play a role in reconstructing the original text, a role that many anti-KJV advocates tend to overlook.


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