Wednesday, June 11, 2014

James White's "The King James Only Controversy"

Back in 1995 a man named James R. White wrote a 271 page book on how no Greek or Hebrew text/manuscript is the inspired word of God and neither is any translation in any language and certainly not an Authorized King James Version. The first 219 pages pretty much state that nothing is preserved perfectly and that the modern "bible" versions really aren't all that bad. Then from 223 to 238 "problems" with the AV. Let's look at all of his "problems" with the AV. 

"Error" #1
Mark 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

James White says that the word should be "kept safe" rather than "observed". Did Herod observe John? Yes. Did he keep John safe? No.

Mark 6:27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,  

"Error" #2
Mark 9:18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.  

James White thinks "pineth away" should be "stiffens out" or "becomes rigid". Why he does that I do not know. The Strong's definition of "stiffens out" has "pineth away" or "withered away". Withered things are stiff. I do not see how this is an error, I do not know anyone that has ever felt lost or confused because of that reading. I imagine James White is the only one who could get thrown off by that reading. 

"Error" #3
Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.    

James White says "posses" should be "get". What he does not tell you is that at the time of 1611 it was not a passive verb. Not to mention the definition of "posses" includes the "getting". I do not see how this is an error, again I do not know anyone that has ever felt lost or confused because of that reading. I imagine James White is the only one who could get thrown off by that reading.   

"Error" #4
Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Another "error" that only James White could get confused by. He says that "and" should actually be "by". But the passage does not say, "whom ye slew and then hung on a tree", it just says, "whom ye slew and hung on a tree". The Jews slew Christ and they hung Him on a tree--that is a perfectly true statement. If James White is going to get confused over that reading I am not sure how good of a theologian he really is. 

Also, the idea is clearly a double charge to the Jews. Such as you killed Him, and not only that you did it by hanging Him on a tree--which was the form of punishment for extreme criminals. Peter said the same thing about the Jews when talking to the Gentiles in Acts 10.

Acts 10:
[38] How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
[39] And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree

"Error" #5
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.   

James White says the reading should be "for we all stumble in many ways" because "Christians don't offend all people". If a Christian is doing his job he should be offending all people. James White is offended that some of us believe we have the perfect and inspired word of God in the form of the King James Bible. We offend lost sinners when we tell them they are filthy and sinful and are about to go to hell if they do not trust Christ and His plan of salvation (1 Cor. 15:1-4, Eph. 1:13). That category includes all non-christians. I offended a Church of Christ cambellite just the other day by telling him water baptism is not required to be saved. I offend most every Christian by saying we are not under the commission of Mark 16 and Matthew 28 (see 1 Corinthians 1:17). I offend a lot of people by saying that the body of Christ did not start until Paul's conversion. I offended a "local church only" brother just earlier today by saying that the body of Christ is the one universal and spiritual body of all believers in the church age rather than each local assembly. We offend people if we do not baptize in the name of Christ or the name of the Trinity (though it does not matter Col. 2:9) or if we do not baptize converts with same same mode of baptism as others. I have offended my pastor before and several other brothers at the church I attend. 

My guess would be that if James White does not offend all men than he has never done anything for Christ and does not take a solid stand on any Bible truth. 

"Error" #6 
1 Corinthians 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

James White says that it should say, "for I am conscious of nothing against myself"--apparently James White thinks he does know something by himself. What Paul is saying is clear from the context, where is the error? James White just has to have a Bible that fits his personal favorite wordings. The Bible is God's book, not James White's. 

"Error" #7
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

James White says that it should say, "sins of the people committed in ignorance". But what about the sins not done in ignorance but rather were done consciously and deliberately? James White's now claiming that the "error" in the Bible is an error--absurd. 

"Error" #8
Isaiah 65:11 But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.  

James White thinks that the troop and number should be named, Gad and Meni. Again, no error. James White just decided that he wanted things more specific. 

"Error" #9
1 Kings 10:28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 

James White thinks the passage should include where the items were purchased, Kue, rather than that linen yarn was also bought. Why he does that I do not really know. 

"Error" #10
1 Chronicles 5:26 And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.

James White thinks "and" should be "even". However, the Hebrew conjunctions are inexact and it is at the translators discretion on which to use. Clearly the passage is just referring to both the king's titles. Such as 2 Thessalonians 1:12 "That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." Sometimes the word "and" is used for emphasis on the two titles, there is no contradiction. 

"Error" #11
Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

Mormons taught James White that this is a contradiction, but he actually just misread the verses. Acts 22:9 says that they did not hear Jesus Christ talking to Paul, so the voice they DID hear in Acts 9:7 had to have been Paul's voice and did not see who Paul was talking to.

"Error" #12
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

James White says that the verse should say "when ye believed" rather than "since ye believed". The problem here is that James White does not know anything about baptism. Baptism with the Holy Ghost is given upon the laying on of hands and it is for power to do signs. He has confused this with the Holy Spirit sealing the church age believer. For more information on baptism look at this post Meanwhile look at Acts 8 and 9.

Acts 8:
[14] Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
[15] Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
[16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
[17] Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 

James White does not know anything about right division and so it is messing up his Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15) and that is what messed him and all his buddies up in Acts 8:37. (See

"Error" #13
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 

I am not sure what James White thinks is an error there. Joseph's brothers thought evil against him but God meant that evil unto good. James White wants "thought" to be replaced with "meant", but I do not know why.

"Error" #14
Acts 12:
[3] And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
[4] And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 

James White thinks "Easter" should be "passover", but there is no error. Both words are clearly in chronological reference to the same period of time. Also, at the time of the AV translation the word "Easter" was somewhat synonymous with "Passover". See the Luther Bible of 1545.

AV: 1 Corinthians 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Luther Bible: 1 Corinthians 5:7 Darum feget den alten Sauerteig aus, auf daß ihr ein neuer Teig seid, gleichwie ihr ungesäuert seid. Denn wir haben auch ein Osterlamm, das ist Christus, für uns geopfert.

"Osterlamm" = "Easter Lamb" 

"Easter" clearly is no error in the AV given that the words refer to the same period of time and were once synonymous. The Luther Bible also has the same reading of Acts 12:4 as the AV does.

However, it is also very likely that Herod was observing the Roman holiday, Easter. Either way there is no error in the AV. 

Nice try James White! --Eli "Hoss" Caldwell



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