An Analysis of Dr. D.A. Waite’s King James Only Seminar, Introduction

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Introduction – Why This Analysis Exists

Within the span of about a year, I twice attended a seminar on Bible Versions from the King James Only (KJVO) perspective featuring Dr. D.A. Waite, president of The Bible for Today and The Dean Burgon Societies, and pastor of The Bible for Today Baptist Church. The material in both seminars was identical.

Dr. Waite is probably the most important figure representing the non-Ruckmanite KJVO view today. He has great academic credentials, teaching experience, and is an expert in biblical languages. He has been defending the King James Only view for several decades. Having read his book, Defending the King James Version, several pamphlets of his, as many articles as I could find both on the Bible for Today website and the Dean Burgon Society website, including articles by Jeffrey Khoo, Jack Moorman, and Timothy Tow, no one can accuse me of not being acquainted with his position. Combine that with attending his seminar twice, and I can be basically considered an expert!

Well, maybe not an expert. But a common accusation about former KJVonlyists is that they were KJVO until they read a book by James White or something. This is not the case! As for me, I have read a plethora of King James Only material as well as opposing material. My rejection of this position has more to do with prayerful consideration of the issues than just reading one book. I hope I can articulate my objections to King James Only argumentation as I provide this analysis of Dr. Waite’s seminar. I believe a fair examination of Waite’s arguments will be a big step in understanding the King James Only position.

The first time I attended the seminar, I was slowly hesitant about King James Onlyism. I still embraced it as a default position as an Independent, Fundamental Baptist. However, I was looking into the issues with a little more depth since I graduated from Bible college. I had become vaguely acquainted with the works of Francis Turretin, Arthur Farstad, Zane Hodges, and Wilbur Pickering. I also read some articles online about the Majority Text position. It seemed to me that this position made more sense, both biblically and historically. It maintained a strong allegiance to the authority of the church, and the fact that God’s people used the Byzantine platform for so long and so much. Minority readings in the Textus Receptus, such as I John 5:7, could not be defended as well. So, going into the first conference, I considered myself on the verge of becoming Byzantine text-type preferred.

After the seminar, I went home to examine the reasoning behind the King James Only position as articulated by Waite. I also began to read the other side: James White, Dan Wallace, D.A. Carson, Doug Kutilek, Kevin Bauder, and others. After an honest examination of both sides, searching the scriptures, and a prayerful attitude for God to show me the truth despite my presuppositions, I came to the conclusion the King James Onlyism was fundamentally flawed.

By the time I attended the second seminar, I had rejected King James Onlyism as well as the Majority Text position. But I also prayed that morning that God would show me the truth. I did not want to assume I was right. I wanted to hear out Dr. Waite and consider everything he said. This analysis is a result of the notes I took during the second conference. Though there were 216 slides in his PowerPoint presentation, I stopped at slide #150. I believe the abbreviated analysis gives a clear representation of the entire seminar.

I hope this analysis could be utilized by those who are influenced by the works of Dr. D.A. Waite. I do not consider him an enemy; he is a brother in Christ. I have criticized him as a person before and felt guilty for doing so. Having seen him in person, I can conclude that he is doing the work that he sincerely believes he should do as a Christian. He believes he is defending the Word of God and protecting God’s people from harm. I only do two things: admire his character and analyze what he says. If the Bereans can analyze Paul, I think I can analyze Waite. I want to provide this a resource to either read before attending this seminar, bring with you at the seminar, or read after attending the seminar.

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15 comments so far

  1. fundyreformed on

    I’m looking forward to this analysis. I too didn’t leave my KJVO position after reading one book or anything. My last year in College I sat through one of Waite’s seminars. I was thorougly disappointed. I was a TR Onlyist and I had questions but was tenaciously holding on to my position and also saw many problems with other KJV Only positions. I hoped he’d deal with the big issues, the big weighty questions. I respected Waite, I was hoping. But alas, the answers were not given, and he seemed to repeat some of the same info again and again. I got some more resources out of the deal. But the pestering questions remained.

    It was either at that time or earlier that I had a Master’s class paper where I had to read several hundred pages for my research. I chose preservation, and read over 1500 pages of KJV Only and some anti-KJV Only materials. It was a slow exodus for me, but William Combs’ articles in the Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal and Dan Wallace’s articles were probably most influential.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Bob

  2. Will on

    Hey Damien,
    I’m glad you’re taking up all the effort to do this. I am not a scholar in this area, but when I read enough about the history of how we got our Bible, that was enough for me to reject KJVOism. Just the facts of history shoot down the KJVO claims. In spite of evidence to the contrary of a perfect, word for word preservation, KJVOists appeal to faith in their misunderstanding of scripture’s claims about its own promises of preservation.

  3. Kent Brandenburg on

    DT,

    With all due respect to D.A. Waite, I don’t believe that he is the most important figure in an understanding of preservation. I have never thought that he gives the best presentation of preservation either.

    Bob, Dan Wallace’s article is wrought with errors that I have received only silence about. It shows the desperation on the other side.

  4. Kent Brandenburg on

    I’m still waiting for someone to stop dodging and start explaining Wallace’s errors in his article on “preservation,” actually “against preservation.”

  5. Damien T Garofalo on

    Kent,

    Ok, I really have no argument for that, it’s an opinion. I singled out Waite because he is the spokesman for the type of KJVO propagated by David Cloud, Jack Moorman, Thomas Strause, and many pastors who wish not to be identified with Ruckmanism. But he doesn’t represent every non-Ruckamanite, especially yourself. You have been the most thought-out KJVO I’ve come across, quite honestly, in that you try to cover all your bases. I respect that you have a strong opinion though I strongly disagree with it. But I think your brand or style of argumentation isn’t as publicized as Waite’s, hence, “probably the most important”

    And I, on the “other side”, can say with utmost confidence that I’m not desperate. People have responded ( I believe I was one of them) on your blog when you wrote about Wallace. Perhaps the “silence” you experience isn’t a sign of desperation, but a sign of an irrelevant argument. No one claims perfection for Wallace, and he’s just one guy. Even if you win this argument against him it doesn’t prove the KJVO position.

  6. fundyreformed on

    Let’s just say I’m more convinced of Wallace’s view than Brandenburg’s. I’m not under an obligation to defend Wallace in all his particulars against any and every rebuttal. I’ve thought through my position on this, and Wallace’s articles (more than 1), particularly influenced me. One of the things I remember that he did was rid me of the “majority rules” mindset I had from Waite and Hills. He shows that the Latin manuscripts outnumber Greek 3-1 and they are not TR approving manuscripts, by and large. He also explained the church fathers point that KJV Only authors used.

  7. Kent Brandenburg on

    Well, here’s the thing, Bob, with you and others and Wallace with his article. You point to it as the end-all of exegesis on passages on preservation. Then when you read it, it is filled with errors. Does he care about that? No. He stays defensive even though the errors are obvious. Does anyone dare admit that he made errors? No. Not willing to admit that, but believe me, if I make an error, people will be on it like gravy on rice. It doesn’t sound like people looking for the truth, but turf protection.

    DT,

    My position isn’t a new position. It is the position of believers pre-enlightenment. I clarify some arguments. I make some new ones. Strouse ((not Strause), argues more like I do. Hills is similar to the ones I make.

    And I don’t dodge anything. That’s a lie.

  8. Damien T Garofalo on

    I don’t think anyone has considered Wallace an end-all. I surely have not.

    King James Onlyism is very new. It has to post-date 1611 of course. Wycliff talks about the Bible being the Vulgate and so did Luther. If believers had the same view of perfect preservation before the KJV, then they applied it to Bibles other than the KJV, which, of course, differ from the KJV in many places. Some of them, therefore, had to be wrong.

  9. fundyreformed on

    Also, I don’t look to Wallace for exegesis on passages of preservation. I look to him for some of the facts of textual evidence and the big picture arguments comparing different approaches.

  10. […] Daniels, Chick, Marrs, Strouse, Holland, Sorenson, and many others. I attended D.A. Waite’s KJVO seminar twice. None of these things filled the void. I still had biblical, historical, and logical doubts. […]

  11. Maestroh on

    Since Mr. Brandenburg is so insistent that Dr. Wallace’s paper on preservation is ‘full of errors,’ I don’t think it too much to ask him to provide three errors as well as their proper resolutions.

    Otherwise, I think it fair to say we have another grandstander here.

  12. Damien T Garofalo on

    Actually Kent has published his criticism of Wallace on his blog, a multi-part series called “Criticizing Professor Wallace.” I recommend reading and interacting with those posts because I believe he does point out those things he believes are errors.

  13. Maestroh on

    Yes. Except for one problem: Kent Brandenburg showed up at CARM all ready for a fight and taking issue with what somebody said about him – and then vanished.

    It seems to me to be quite hypocritical to say that a professor as busy as Daniel Wallace is under any obligation to answer a nobody like Kent Brandenburg when Kent himself doesn’t answer pointed questions about things – like his reviewing the Ehrman-White debate before he’d even listened to it.

  14. […] Daniels, Chick, Marrs, Strouse, Holland, Sorenson, and many others. I attended D.A. Waite’s KJVO seminar twice. None of these things filled the void. I still had biblical, historical, and logical doubts. […]

  15. David E. Kaus on

    It is entirely note worthy that when corrupt verses are made evident in the Roman Catholic Westcott, and Hort corrupt revisions that they always lead to a diminished account of Jesus Christ, salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ, and the Blood Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is not by accident. The agnostic Alexandrian Greek text of the corrupt revisions rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ, His miracles, and salvation through to Grace of God. The proof is in the pudding as they say. The entire apostate unity with Roman Catholicism totally embraces the corrupt Westcott, and Hort revisions and rejects only one translation that being the KJV. For those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear this should speak very loudly.


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