Vol.X No.II Pg.5
April 1973

"Eye Opener" Indeed

Robert F. Turner

A book, "God Wrote Only One Bible" has been sent to me from EYE OPENER PUBLISHERS, Junction City, Oregon. As I did not order it, I presume it is for review. It is surely the most prejudicial and unlearned attempt at Bible textual criticism since Watchtower publication of "New World Translation" -- and I am sympathetic with the author's love for the K.J. Bible.

But the King James version doesn't need this kind of "defense". The author makes ridiculous claims for the Textus Receptus, a Greek text used by the K.J. translators. He says, "This was the text used by the Apostles in separate manuscript form". He also says the Syrian Bible "...the Peshitta, even today, generally follows the Received Text". (Imagine a 5th. century text (or, as some claim, one dating from 150 A. D.) following a 16th. century text.). The author grossly misuses his sources; ex.: "Kenyon recognizes that the Italic Latin Bible was translated from the Received Greek text..., etc;" and has the gall to cite page numbers from Kenyon's "Our Bible and Ancient MSS". Of course Kenyon said no such thing. We could charitably assume that the author was honest, but expressed himself poorly.

Erasmus, in 1516, gave the world the first printed copy of the Greek NT, based on six or seven mms., of which only one was even moderately ancient or valuable, and none was complete. (The last six verses of REV. were retranslated by Erasmus into Greek from the Vulgate Latin.) Textus Receptus (from a claim in a later preface) was public by Stephanus in 1546, based mainly on later editions of Erasmus. Elzovir's 1624 edition incorporated corrections from the work of the great French scholar Beza. I'm afraid the EYE OPENER writer first decided the KJ version was the only authentic word of God, hence it must have come from the only authentic Greek text, hence the Textus Receptus must have been the text used by the Apostles, etc. etc. Prejudice is blinding. He would judge such mms. as the Sinaitic and Vatican (dating back to 340 A.D.) by his 16th century pet; and discredit Wescott and Hort by association with Mary-worship. (What of Erasmus, encouraged in his work by Pope Leo X.) Those who question today's Bible text will not be brought nearer, but driven further away, by such reasoning.

And finally, guess what?? EYE OPENER is selling "An interlinear literal translation of this Textus Receptus". I have compared the sample section used in advertisement with my George Ricker Berry interlinear (copyrighted 1897, Wilcox & Follett, Chicago) and find them the same. So, that is thatl

I love the King James version, despite (or, maybe even because of) its early English. I recognize valid critical objections to its textual source but feel its translator's faithful use of the text they had is better than interpolative commentaries that are sometimes offered as translations of today's better texts. And I firmly believe that saving truth is available to all who will conscientiously "search the Scriptures" -- either KJ or revised versions. God's word is far from being overcome.