An Analysis of Dr. D.A. Waite’s King James Only Seminar, Slides #66-83: “Things that are different are. . .?”

 

2-biblesPart V: The Differences Between the Texts (Slides #67-83)

Slide #67, titled “the Battleground”,  introduces the next part in the seminar: the differences between the texts. Waite repeats the statistic of difference also used by the Trinitarian Bible society, a 7% difference. This stands in contrast to the more common statistic of a 2% difference given by most textual scholars. But Waite does support this in slide #68 with the numbers of changes in the Westcott/Hort text. It seems possible that any little change in a word, such as spelling, was considered to be a “change”, thereby producing a larger number than is more commonly given. He also cites Jack Moorman’s count of 2,886 words “missing” in the Nestle Aland text. The problem here is that he didn’t prove that they were “missing” anymore than he can prove whether they should have been there in the first place. The credible theories of harmonization, homoioteleuton (similar endings omitted), and fuller readings due to the expansion of piety (“The Lord Jesus Christ” rather than just “Jesus”) are not even mentioned or refuted. The topic of the percentage of differences between the texts will be addressed later. But it’s obvious that the slides in Waite’s seminar do not tell the whole story. Rather, they leave the audience with an emotional sense of being robbed.

Slide #72, in speaking of the differences between Aleph and B, accuses Westcott and Hort of worshiping Vaticanus (B). That’s rather slanderous. Sure, they may have leaned on it more heavily, because they were sincerely convinced of its superiority, but is that a basis for that kind of accusation? With all the books, seminars, and sentiments for the King James Version, wouldn’t it be more appropriate, following Waite’s reasoning, to charge him and his followers with worshiping the King James? 

But what of these differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus? Do they not matter?

Of course they are significant. It’s strange how King James Onlyists point these things out as if no one noticed them before. If textual critics only knew there are thousands of differences between Aleph and B, they’d recant and become King James Only! Well, not quite. The truth is, they do notice this, and it is taken into consideration. The theory is that, because of their age, they are each several generations removed from the earliest generation of copying, or perhaps the original itself. Yet they are closer to it than the overwhelming majority of extant manuscripts. The differences came about because of multiple authors for each, as well as corrections, and they were written before the advent of scriptoriums, printing presses, and more precise copying techniques. The record of the earliest manuscripts shows more diversity due to this issue. The differences between them prove there was no conspired effort to put together a different textual tradition. So the differences actually help, because when they agree, their combined testimony is very strong evidence in favor of an original reading. For more on this, see Bible.org’s short explanation on the issue, as well as Bob Hayton addressing it in a recent post on the new and improved KJV only blog (yes, that was a plug).

Slides #73-82 all bear the title, “37 Historical Links Supporting the TEXTUS RECEPTUS KIND of Greek Manuscripts.” Here’s where one of King James Onlyism’s biggest double standards becomes very evident. The word “kind” reveals this, and it’s a very big problem for those KJVO who wish to distance themselves from Ruckman. Earlier in the seminar, we were given the proposition that the King James Version is “God’s words kept intact.” Waite is careful to use “words” and not “word.” The idea is that anything that differs from the KJV is not “intact” and therefore is not God’s words. This is the basis for rejecting all other English versions which came after 1611. We constantly hear things like “God only wrote one Bible” and “things that are different are not the same.” Yet, all of these arguments seem to not apply before 1611. Somehow, a Bible that came out in the 2nd or 4th century or even in the 15th century is ok of it’s a “kind” of Textus Receptus. But what exactly does “kind” even mean? The fact is none of the Bibles listed by Waite or any other supporter of King James Onlyism as being prototypes of the KJV fully agree with the KJV. So why are they able to be included in some sort of elusive “godly line” of Bibles? Can I not say that NA27 is a “kind” of TR since it is (at least) 93% similar? If the Peshitta really is a “kind” of TR (which it undoubtedly is not), shouldn’t the ESV be as well? The difference must lie in degree, it seems. For example, the Geneva is a lot closer to the KJV (let’s assume 98%) than the NIV (let’s assume 93%), so it apparently is allowed to be included as part of the “good” Bibles. (See the award winning, Microsoft Paint-based chart below)

things-different1

The problem with Waite’s reasoning here is at least 3 fold:

1. How can he avoid Ruckmanism here? The Ruckmanite believes God did something akin to re-inspiration in 1611, therefore readings in the KJV unsubstantiated by history are no problem. Yet, Waite refers to Bibles that disagree with the KJV in numerous places so that the KJV, which is the pinnacle of English Bible translation, contains readings not found in these other Bibles. How then, can he still hold to God’s words being “intact”, if “intact” didn’t occur until 1611? It begs the proverbial, counter-KJVO question, “where was the Word of God before 1611?”

2. A number of scholars have refuted the idea that these early versions contained a “received kind of text.” They agree with the Byzatine platform in some cases, but it has been pointed out that it’s mainly the Western text they support, and only mimic the Byzatine when the Byzatine mimics the Western. Secondly, these versions also agree with the other text families and versions, often with a degree far exceeding the agreement with the Byzantine (James D. Price’s Book, King James Onlyism: A New Sect, shows the percentage for some portions. For example, the Italic version, which KJVO advocates claim is a TR prototype, agrees  42.4% of the time with the Latin Vulgate alone in the book of Thessalonians as opposed to 5.6% Byzantine alone.). A big problem is that most of the Bibles he lists do not contain late, secondary Byzantine readings like I John 5:7. Finally, these versions were also diverse and there’s disagreement as to their origins and date. For example, the idea that the Peshitta came from the 2nd century (about 150 AD) has long since been moved to the 4th century, though few KJVO actually bother to recognize this.

3. Again, we see the use of textual-critical external evidence used to justify the uniqueness of the TR/KJV. Why is this ok to do, but not ok when eclectic text supporters do it? Why do KJVO shun the “oldest is best” reasoning, yet seek to prove that the TR is old? Waite is engaging textual scholars on their own grounds, but doesn’t allow for their counter-arguments.

Dr. Waite ends the section with an outdated chart showing the percentage of extant manuscripts supporting the Westcott/Hort text as opposed to the Textus Receptus. It concludes with the result of 1% – 99% in favor of the TR. This makes the audience believe that only 1% of the extant manuscript witness attests to the modern Greek texts, while 99% attest to the Textus Receptus. But this is a bit deceptive. What’s not mentioned is the fact that, since the two agree over 93% of the time, then obviously over 93% of extant manuscripts agree with the modern texts as well. Also, it must be kept in mind that majority doesn’t mean right anymore than oldest means right. If an addition to the text were made in the 4th century, but that addition made its way into a geographic area where copying was more precise and done with more frequency, it would obviously become a majority over time. In this seminar, Waite never offers these counter arguments, and the audience is left feeling as though they’ve been given enough ammunition to continue the King James Only doctrine. The rest of Christianity is assumed to be blinded. “The reason everyone’s duped,” says Waite, “is the devilishness of Professor Hort.”

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3 comments so far

  1. fundyreformed on

    I love the chart, brilliant argument. It is a double-minded tactic to on the one hand marshal up support for the KJV from historical and textual sources, and on the other hand say textual critics are rationalists who depend on textual criticism and historical sources for their beliefs. I love how many of the papyrii are claimed as evidence for the KJV when in fact they aren’t.

  2. […] chart was taken from a portion of my analysis of Dr. D.A. Waite’s King James Only seminars. Excuse me, but I use MS Paint to make my […]

  3. […] chart was taken from a portion of my analysis of Dr. D.A. Waite’s King James Only seminars. Excuse me, but I use MS Paint to make my […]


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