Text dumps of comments in the Matthew 5:18 debate

I am sorry that these answers are text dumps, copied from the comments sections of some youtube videos. I haven’t copied the accusations, just the answers.


If the difference between “and” and “or” at Psalm 24:3 is not substantive and merely one of verbal equivalence, then why did Blayney make any change at all? The correct answer is that there must be some specificity with “or” that is more correct, more preferable, more apt or even more sublime than “and”. Only when a person believes in the correctness and exactness of the jots and tittles and words in English would we have a high regard for the word “or” as it now stands, rather than the editorially inferior “and”. This doctrine of “verbal equivalence” to the point of smudging over the specificity of jots and tittles is brutish and unskillful. Believers would do far better to believe the promise of Jesus that we have access to know and understand the very truth of the Scripture to the jot and tittle than this smearing over distinctions in words trying to just make them alternates, mere equals and thereby rob us of precious and particular meanings of the Scripture. Dr Blayney made a morally superior choice here, and we ought to celebrate having exactness of Biblical English, instead of making it into the yells of beasts with the intellectual mire of “verbal equivalency”.


You have to wrongly mix the two differing fields of study of translation and editing in order to make that fake point. The English language, due to lack of standardisation, was not so “apt” or “sublime” in 1611. The translation could not be improved, whereas the printing and the English sure needed editorial work.


First, when we examine the internal editorial history of the King James Bible, reference to “Hebrew/Greek” or one of the former English translations is at best a tertiary thing. This is because those things are to do with translation, whereas editing really is about English itself, mainly, to do with print accuracy (a form of textual criticism) and English standardisation (i.e. the pattern of how English came to be after the 1750s). What you are doing, by appealing to Coverdale, Matthews, etc., is really treating the editorial situation as a translation issue, when it isn’t. Actually, your argument and points about “and” and “or” do actually apply when comparing the KJV of today with the Geneva etc., but not to the point of denying the translational accuracy of the KJB. But, as you could rightly argue with your points, there is no major translational issue when comparing “and” or “or”. However, that’s not how to deal with the internal editorial history of the KJB, at least, not in the primary or even secondary way. The editorial history from 1611-present is really only about English itself. Now, let me state positively as based on your point about the translators: while it is remotely possible that this is a typographical error in 1611, it is more likely that because of the state of unstandardised English at the time, that the translators deliberately did use the word “and”, however, what they were meaning is what we now use “or” to mean in English, so when Blayney was editing, he corrected the English (not the translation) to be in line with the way in which English is used. Only then do we come to the tertiary points you make which is that it happens the word appeared interchangeable anyway because of former translations. However, former translations are not an authority of standardised, post-1755 “neo-chancery” English. Therefore, the standardised, post-Blayney form of English in the KJB is more correct, and now due to Cambridge editing in the 20th century, completely correct. Also, when I wrote of the word choice being “apt and sublime”, I didn’t say it IS “more apt sublime”, I was in fact offering possible reasons why Blayney made the editorial choice. One of the reasons could be that such a choice is more apt and sublime. But let’s argue, for a moment, without the nuance of what I stated, that I was saying that Blayney did make that choice for that reason. Well, I mean, it is obvious: the orthography of 1611, their unstandardised spelling, their unstandardised grammar, the lack of nuance as what appears now with certain English word forms, and the lack of even post-1755 stylistic editing (i.e. Johnson’s Dictionary), meant that the translators’ work and the printing by Barker and even the Cambridge editing of the 17th C. did not yet conform to the level of English standards, as far as spelling and grammatical forms, and therefore by having this we have specificity as to link the concept with the word which was less sophisticated or manifest in say 1611. (Also, some editing has to do with regularisation, e.g. consistency.) In fact, I am even suggesting, when using “apt and sublime” that the reason for his change may merely have been as simple as “it sounds better in English”, or “it flows better”. I do not wish to suggest that it was just a whimsical or flippant choice, but I am saying that it could be as simple as that. I think actually it is more about standardisation and how we would rather use “or” to mean “or” rather than “and” to mean “or”, which is in line with your suggested meaning. I am not saying that a rendering (translation) is at stake, and your linking my description of standardised English to whatever was in Coverdale etc. is to totally misconstrue what I am saying. However, I do think that internal improvements of English ensure the best connection between the reader and God’s communication. So, when the KJB men translated, they translated correctly. They weren’t poor editors, they were people living in a time when English had not yet been “Johnsonised” standardised. Thus, they might spell “Sonne” or whatever. (And you can see I don’t use the Oxford or American “standardized” spelling.) When Blayney, some 158 years later edited in line with standard English, that’s what he was doing, he wasn’t re-translating the Bible or consciously going around reverting the 1611 translation to the Geneva etc., though with him, in a secondary sense, that may have occurred, since he did editing with a Greek or Hebrew copy in hand, to ensure that his editing was not actually destroying the sense, of course, but his work was focused on English and the accuracy of the orthography, spelling and grammar in English. Therefore, Blayney was not “reinstating” things from before 1611 and/or changing the translation of 1611, he was in fact doing editing on the English. In all of this, I think the editing really is about accuracy of both English presentation and its connection to meaning, and that is why jots and tittles do matter, and that’s why the implication of Matthew 5:18 is that ultimately the law of God is in a recorded written form and that the ultimate authority does rest there, not in some state that you seem to suggest by implication, which is that maybe just maybe the “or” in Psalm 24:3 could rightly and justly be turned back to “and” in English tomorrow because “it’s the vibe, yeah, verbal equivalence is a thing, man”.


I am the one who said that Dr Blayney made a morally superior choice. But I have been grossly misrepresented. I have never said that the 1611 printing could not be improved. It has been and should have been. But what I have said is the text/version/readings and translation of the KJB of 1611 should not be altered. If you just went to my website, you will see I am the biggest advocate for the rightful editing that did occur, being, print errors corrected, standardisation of spelling and grammar, and other editorial regulariation. I said that Blayney was essentially morally obligated to ensure better typography, better spelling and grammar and so forth, it would be wrong, as an editor, to not correct errors of the press, for example. Therefore it is a moral issue. Please be very clear, the work of 1611 should NOT be updated, being the version and the translation. But the work of 1769 was a needful update in the English only, as made on editorial standards, not designed to change the readings or translation of 1611. So PLEASE get your facts straight! I am the one who has continually brought up Matthew 5:18, because I believe the real issue is that Bryan Ross is not interpreting it properly. I believe he has a “single interpretation” view of that verse, which says that Jesus is going to fulfil all the promises, but he misses out the second and required ultimate sense, that the law of God is written, meaning there is literally a law of God written in Heaven which Jesus is going to fulfil to the letter. Also, you seem to have missed the point on other things too. I have criticised various “troupes” of KJBO just as Brian Ross does, including the current issue which is that editing has corrected more than typographical errors of the press. The actual issue is around whether Matthew 5:18 demands that there is a need for exactness in wording and lettering of the Scripture, or whether there is merely a box of orthodoxy, like a matrix, and a variety of variation is permitted within the parameters of “verbal equivalency”. No one (even the most extreme KJBOs) thinks that what God inspired, say in the writings of the Gospels, and what is printed in the KJB is dot for dot and letter stroke for letter stroke the same. No one is an absolute “scribal verbatim identicalist”. That is a straw man. I certainly am one who knows there is no perfect Bible in history, as far as jot and tittle perfection. I didn’t use Matthew 5:18 to “throw down” Bryan Ross’ view of and/or in Psalm 24:3. Instead, I showed that his view only applied in a translation sense when comparing the KJB with the Geneva, Bishops’ etc. versions, but that when we are examining the internal print history of the KJB, the progress towards standardised English in history etc. is also the same reason why Dr Blayney changed the 1611 word to the 1769 word. The problem is that because Bryan Ross does not have a stated belief in a perfect Bible in Heaven, nor in God’s providential outworking in history to jot and tittle perfection (because of his lack of fully interpreting Matthew 5:18), he begins to also be misled then in how to deal with the distinctions and purposes of differences between the Reformation Bibles and more especially, the reason and rightness of the editing of Dr Blayney in this regard. You see, in the Bryan Ross universe, Blayney did not have to make the change (i.e. there is no “moral obligation” to conform to the divine outworking in history towards anagogic perfection of jots and tittles), and further (and more worrying) in the Ross ice shelf, he or some other editor can now freely change the word back! So, Matthew 5:18 ultimately teaches that God has knowledge of an exact set of words, and they are written in Heaven: God is outworking in the Earth so that we also have knowledge of these exact words, so that we can have a conceptually accurate form of Scripture. Evidently, God in His grace allowed conceptual “semantic range” but now in the end of the world, He is bringing to pass an exact knowledge of His exact words, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31).

By the way, if you take the word “jot” and the word “tittle” in Matthew 5:18 and then apply them to Hebrew, and deny the English, you would have committed a logical error. 1. Scripture should not be limited to its “historical context”. This is an error of modernism. It tries to make the Bible only true at the moment it was written or relative to the time it was written in. But, as Romans 15:4 teaches, the Scripture was actually written for us. 2. The word “jot” and “tittle” are English words describing parts of English letters. While it is true and historically right to assert the meaning of Jesus’ immediate audience as He is speaking, and to Matthew’s immediate audience he is writing to, the fact is that we are reading the Bible in English, with English words and English definitions. Therefore, we should not limit the Bible to just the time and language it was written in. 3. Jesus was not referring to any known manifest perfect copy of the Scripture in Hebrew. He must ultimately have been referring to the Scripture written in Heaven, and as it was first written without error. This is not to deny that the Scripture was present in copies in New Testament times, but when taken to the ultimate thought, an ultimate conclusion of having one perfect Bible standard for the world before the end is required. Therefore, we have one perfect Bible made common for the world in a global language of the world in our day.