KJV Onlyism – A House of Cards

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In this piece, I’ll be continuing my critique of the book by David Daniels and Jack Chick, Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible?

One thing I want you to realize is that the King James Version-only position is majorly built on two weak and faulty pillars – conspiracy theories and poisoning the well. Take these two “pillars” away from it and little will remain.

When some information – whether true or false – is presented with pictures, it evokes a stronger emotion and has greater impact on people. For instance, if someone writes an article titled “Donald Trump is the Antichrist” accompanied by a picture of Trump looking mean, dressed in black, with a ram’s horn shown on his head and a pentagram drawn on his chest, it will strike a chord.

Some folks would only see that picture and never see Trump in a positive light again. This is an appeal to emotion, and Chick materials frequently utilize this tactic in their illustrations.

The back cover of the Give Us The Bible book shows its basic premises:

Written in a down-to-earth style, and packed with cartoon illustrations by Jack Chick, this book shows that the Bibles Rome gave us are really clever counterfeits, designed to eliminate God’s preserved Word in English, the KJV.”

There are two unproven axioms here. One, the idea that other Bible versions except the KJV are from the Catholic Church (or the Whore of Babylon).

Two, that God chose English as the only language in which His Word has been preserved. The next line written by Chick is also instructive:

It took 300 years of clever maneuvering to bring us where we are today.”

This is how a conspiracy-driven mind works. Virtually every conflict of interest or opposing information is linked with an age-long clever maneuvering of the powers that be.

While some KJV onlyists assert Rome as the force behind all modern Bible versions, others point to New Age cults or the New World Order.

Well, maybe that’s not so much of a problem since Mr. Chick has said “the Roman Catholic institution … the Jesuits, the Illuminati, the Opus Dei, and Masons are guiding” the activities of the “New Age Movement.” (Smokescreens, Chick Publications, 1983, p. 92)

Now, let’s examine some of the main arguments in the book:

1. “Origen made up a strange Greek Bible. He pasted together his own Greek Old Testament, mixed with some old folks tales called the Apocrypha and added on his own perverted New Testament … Satan used unbelieving Origen to make the first counterfeit Bible, adding and removing what he wanted” (p. 36).

The strange “Greek Old Testament” being alluded to is the Septuagint (LXX) translation which they also termed “Origen’s Septuagint” (p. 53). Actually, the LXX pre-dates Origen.

Philo of Alexandria (20 B.C.-55 A.D.) extensively quoted from the OT in Greek in a text that corresponds to the LXX. Josephus Flavius (d. 100 AD) made reference to it, since it was a translation made between 250- 150 B.C.

Most of the Old Testament passages quoted in the New Testament are from the LXX. Christian writers before Origen (185-254 AD) such as Justin Martyr, also quoted from the LXX. since it was uniformly used among Greek-speaking Jewish communities. In fact, several pre-Christian and pre-Origen Bible manuscripts of the OT in a Greek translation have been found e.g. Papyrus Ms. 458 (dated second century BC).

There is no evidence that the LXX in its original form contained the apocrypha or that it was added by Origen. Daniels and Chick offered no proof or specific dates to support their claims, because they have none. It’s one thing to make a claim, it’s another to back it up – which you will have to do if you say it too loudly.

Origen did compile a scholarly edition of the OT called the Hexapla which included the LXX, the Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus versions of the LXX. How this “one-man perversion” wasn’t exposed by all the keen scholars in early church is what Daniels and Chick will have to explain.

2. On page 40, the Vaudois were said to travel to Antioch to translate the Bible into Latin in 120 AD and complete it in 157 AD. It says: “At last the Old Latin Bible was finished!” (p. 41).

This is pure fiction. The Vaudois didn’t exist until the 12th century. In the appendix, Daniels says Frederick Scrivener “shows that the Vaudois Bible was dated by historians at no later than 142-157 AD” (p. 145). But he didn’t quote this work, why? Because the author doesn’t say what he claims.

What Frederick Scrivener said was that John Mills (1645-1707) believed the Old Latin version arose in Italy by 157 AD. Scrivener then dissents from this view stating that the Old Latin came from North Africa (A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 2:341-342).

Both authors also conveniently hid from their readers that the Old Latin Bible was directly translated from the LXX – which they dubbed “Origen’s counterfeit!” (p. 52). Such forthright honesty would have been fatal to their cause.

3. Page 41: “The Old Latin Bible spread so wide … Vaudois missionaries spread God’s words even down to Rome.” It’s inferred that the Vaudois rejected the Catholic Latin Vulgate.

The cartoon on page 53 shows a Pope fuming with rage saying: “WHAT? They still use the Old Latin? I’ll kill them all and destroy their Bibles!

But history shows that the Bible used by the Vaudois – followers of Peter Waldo – was translated from the Catholic Latin Vulgate:

“The Latin Vulgate Bible was the only edition of the Scriptures at that time in Europe; but that language was inaccessible to all, except one in an hundred of its inhabitants. Happily for Waldo, his situation in life enabled him to surmount that obstacle … [H]e either translated, or procured some one else to translate the Gospels into French” (William Jones, History of the Christian Church, 1826, 2:7, 9, 10).

Another source says:

“He [Waldo] employed Stephen of Ansa and Bernard Ydross to translate the Gospels from the Latin Vulgate of Jerome into the Romance dialect for the common people” (Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists, 1890, 295).

Scholars have shown that very minute agreements existed between the Old Latin versions and the Roumance Bible. So, if the LXX was “Satan’s perversion,” that means the Old Latin as well as the German, French, Italian and English bibles translated from it (as asserted on p. 80) were also Satan’s perversions!

4. The Latin Vulgate is called a “Catholic perversion by Jerome” (p. 41), but John Wycliffe translated his English Bible from it. How did the authors get around this uncomfortable fact?

As soon as Wycliffe died, soon-to-be Catholic John Purvey started perverting that Bible! Each year, Wycliffe’s Bible was changed to look like an English version of a Roman Catholic Vulgate!” (p. 61).

No evidence, documentation or footnote was given here. This is not merely a case of sloppy research, but a premeditated intention of the authors to re-write history when it doesn’t play their game.

5. Erasmus is said to have “read handwritten Bibles that were based on the preserved Old Latin” which he then translated as “the Received Text.” (p. 69)

This is false. The Old Latin Bible differs from Erasmus’ “Received Text,” and this has been documented by Bible scholars.

Perhaps KJV onlyists will be shocked to learn that Erasmus had only one Greek manuscript for the book of Revelation which lacked its 6 last verses, so he translated them from the Catholic Latin Vulgate into Greek.

He also inserted Acts 9:5-6 into his work from the Vulgate; those verses not found in any extant Greek manuscript. Erasmus even consulted the Catholic Complutesian Polygot, a Greek text by Archbishop Ximenez de Cisneros which formed the basis of his revisions of the Received Text.

This shouldn’t be surprising since Erasmus was a Catholic priest and his “Received Text” was purely a Catholic effort. The elaborate claim that Erasmus was “God’s undercover agent” popular in KJV onlyist circles is wishful thinking.

6. The book presents the reader with intricate Jesuit and papal conspiracies against the KJV. Daniels and Chick seem to be privy to the devious thoughts and master plans of all their characters (even Satan) all through history.

To explain away the inclusion of the Catholic apocrypha in the KJV 1611, Chick claims that “two agents” from Rome infiltrated the translation committees (p. 96) Of course, no evidence was provided.

We are told Jesuits “hated one Bible with a bloodthirsty passion: THE KING JAMES BIBLE! They vowed to destroy it” (p. 111), but all modern versions are “Catholic Bibles … whorish Bibles… [from] the Great Whore” which are dragging people to Rome (pp. 134, 136).

The ugly fact is that the KJV was closer to the Catholic church than modern versions. Both King James and the KJV translators were Anglicans, and the Church of England at the time, differed little from the Catholic Church in the area of baptismal regeneration, denial of salvation outside the church, union of the church and state, and persecution of “heretics.”

King James himself, had “enormous concessions to the Church of Rome” and said: “It has ever been my way, to go with the Church of Rome, usque ad aras [Latin: to the very altars]” (The Works of Augustus Toplady, by Toplady Augustus, J. Chidley, 1837, 247)

A Bible scholar points out at least 60 places where the New Testament of the KJV follows the reading of the Vulgate without any support from a single Greek text. (A. Scrivener, The New Testament in Greek, 1881, p ix).

The KJV translators also depended on the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible. About 2803 readings and 140 marginal readings in the KJV are straight from the Rheims version.

Bible scholar, Doug Kutilek, notes a total of 40 places in 5 chapters in the book of James alone where the KJV reproduces the exact wording of the Rheims version against all previous English versions.

To dismiss these evidence with the “magic wand” of Jesuit conspiracies is blind fanaticism akin to a cult.

7. As I re-read this book, one thing strikes me about the authors – their desperation. They concluded:

In which of these will you place your complete trust: 1. God’s blessed and faithfully preserved words in English, the King James Bible? OR 2. The ability of “scholars” to decide what they think God meant? Either way: you will have to face Jesus and tell him why you made that choice” (p. 142).

When you consider how almost every page of this book bleats with various tactics the authors used to suck the reader into their theories – slander, false assumptions, anachronisms, scholarly craftiness, revisionism, emotional epithets and fear-mongering – this preaching line rings hollow.

Disseminating KJV onlyism – an unbiblical, illogical man-made theory – is bad enough; attempting to tailor the Lord Jesus into such a view is reprehensible and sub-Christian at any level.

When a Christian ministry positions itself as a citadel of informing and educating others, it owes it to itself and the church at large, a responsibility of presenting facts and credible information instead of conjectures and lies.

While I heartily agree that the Catholic church did not give us the Bible, this book by Daniels and Chick is totally unconvincing to any unbiased or informed reader. Only those who already agree with its basic premises and are easily carried away by tabloid sensationalism would absorb it.

A Case Study of Watchtower Falsehood (Part II)

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The most ridiculous part of the “Should You Believe in the Trinity?” booklet was when it began to quote patristic sources to support its assertions.

On page 7 under the heading “What the Ante-Nicene Fathers Taught,” quotes from Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus and Origen were presented as if these men were second century Jehovah’s Witnesses who believed in a supreme God and archangel Michael called Jesus.

Interestingly, none of the sources they obtained their quotes from were indicated. I will quote from the booklet (which will appear in blue) and provide the real quotes from the early church fathers below each one.

Justin Martyr, who died about 165 C. E., called the prehuman Jesus a created angel who is “other than the God who made all things.” He said that Jesus was inferior to God and “never did anything except what the Creator … willed him to do and say” (p. 7)

Yes, Justin Martyr did say that Jesus manifested as an ‘Angel’ in the Old Testament:

“[He] is called an Angel and apostle, for he declares whatever we are to know, and is sent forth to declare what is revealed.”

But he also said: ” [the] Son who also, being the first begotten Word of God, is even God” (First Apology, LXIII cited in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1994, 1:184).

Irenaeus, who died about 200 C.E., said that the prehuman Jesus had a separate existence from God and was inferior to him. He showed that Jesus is not equal to the “One true and only God” who is “supreme over all, and beside whom there is no other.”

But here is what he really taught:

“We have already shown from Scripture that not one of these sons of Adam is called ‘god’ in the proper sense of the term or named ‘lord’. But that He (Jesus) is Himself, in His own right, beyond all men who have ever lived, God and Lord and king Eternal, and Incarnate Word, proclaimed by the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself” (Against Heresies III, 6, p. 419)

While Irenaeus argued against the modalist heresy by stressing that Jesus was a different person from God the Father, he never taught that he had a “separate existence from God.”

The Watchtower writer is trying to put their own beliefs in Irenaeus’ mouth!

He refuted their belief in the same work:

“Christ Himself, therefore, together with the Father, is of God of the living, who spake to Moses, and who was also manifested to the fathers.” (p. 467)

Clement of Alexandria, who died about 215 C. E., called God “the uncreated and imperishable and only true God.” He said that the Son”is next to the only omnipotent Father” but not equal to him. (p. 7)

Clement of Alexandria didn’t call Jesus a creature. In his writings, he stated that Jesus is eternally pre-existent and uncreated.

“There was then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; and also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreated” (Clement, Fragments Part 1, Sec. III 190 A.D)

He also wrote:

“I understand nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third is the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made according to the will of the Father” (Stromata Book V, ch. 14).

Tertullian, who died about 230 C.E., taught the supremacy of God … He also said: “There was a time when the Son was not … Before all things, God was alone.” (p 7)

This is a shameless misquoting of Tertullian. The full quote says:

“For before all things God was alone–being in Himself and for Himself universe, space and all things. Moreover, He was alone, because there was nothing external to Him but Himself. Yet even not then was He alone for He has with Him that which He possessed in Himself that is to say, His own Reason … which term we also designate Word or Discourse … the Word was in the beginning with God.” (Against Praexe Ch. 2, Vol. III, p 300).

Origen, who died about 250 C.E., said that “the Father and Son are two substances … two things as to their essence,” and that “compared with the Father, [the Son] is a very small light”

JWs are trying to make Origen say what they think he should say. What he really wrote was:

“[Jesus is] the perfect essence of God the Father; for these things cannot be severed from Him or separated from His essence… In their nature and essence they are one, and in them is the fullness of divinity” (On First Principles, IV, 28).

Origen in fact, rightly call those like JWs who believe that Jesus was created heretics:

“For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a substance outside Himself, so that there was a time when He did not exist” (De Principis, Bk. V Summary, Sec 28).

Perhaps realizing that their patristic quotations do not fly above the roof, JWs concluded the paragraph by quoting Alvan Lamson’s The Church of the First Three Centuries:

“The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity derives no support from the language of Justin [Martyr]; and this observation may be extended to all the ante-Nicene Fathers; that is to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ.”

Now, if the Watchtower Society had a modicum of integrity on their side, they should have informed their readers that Alvan Lamson was a Unitarian heretic and therefore can’t be relied on for Christian orthodoxy.

Why did they need a quote from a Unitarian (a 19th century cult) to cement their views if it was well-affirmed by history?

The truth is, JWs will not mind quoting a heretic who shares their anti-Trinitarian view to reinforce their belief, and to make it worse, they had to misrepresent patristic works (which are easily accessible) to support their position. This indicates a high disregard for historical facts.

Read part 3 here