Category Archives: General

Bryan Ross’ rejection of jot and tittle perfection

PART ONE

Today, like a solar storm, a new contention has come to pass, which is something called the denial of the ultimate very jots and tittles of Scripture being manifest and known in the Earth.

Pastor Bryan Ross is an American teacher who has been investigating claims of various King James Bible only people. Like me, he has sought to distance himself from crazy claims and better articulate some claims that are made by King James Bible onlyists. For example, I think there is no such thing as an “Antioch stream” of Bibles.

I recently had a discussion with Bryan Ross, and he indicates he is not retreating to a mere Textus Receptus onlyist position. But on the other hand, when discussing the issues of variations in words like “stablish” versus “establish”, Ross appealed to the original languages and argued that these words were essentially the same.

In part, this is because Ross has seen in American KJB editions variations of spelling on words, and in order to justify this, he attempts to argue that since the Americans were varying around words (he claims just spellings) that something like “stablish” and “establish” must be synonymous. (After all variations of this sort are to be found even in 1611, in regard to “thoroughly” and “throughly”.)

These are different words with different meanings. As I’ve shown clearly in my book Glistering Truths (get it here), words like “alway” versus “always” or “farther” versus “further” are different, and so too are “stablish” and “establish”. It’s no use relying solely on 1611 when orthography and spelling was not yet standard, but we see huge progress in this through the early Cambridge editorial revisions and in Blayney’s Oxford work, to our final Pure Cambridge Edition of today.

Bryan Ross argues that because in Greek or Hebrew the same word might be translated to similar words, that those English words are really the same. Hence his ultimate appeal is to the original languages and not English of the KJB. This makes him look very much like a TRO, though he has stated that he thinks that the KJB is right.

I have taken the approach of relying on English alone, especially in relation to looking at the internal nature of the editing and grammar of the King James Bible.

Dean Burgon said, “If would really seem as if the Revisionists of 1611 had considered it a graceful achievement to vary the English phrase even on occasions where a marked identity of expression characterises the original Greek. When we find them turning ‘goodly apparel,’ (in S. James ii. 2,) into ‘gay clothing,’ (in ver. 3,) — we can but conjecture that they conceived themselves at liberty to act exactly as S. James himself would (possibly) have acted had he been writing English.” (Revision Revised, page 190). Now obviously this is talking about translation, but the principle applies directly into editorial distinctiveness, which does convey the translation (that is, the meaning).

There are subtleties of nuance, in a way, worlds of meaning between these different words in English. Those differences, just like the “stablish” and “establish” differences, are vital for conveying the very sense of the Scripture. It is said that Martin Luther taught that we must tremble before every syllable of Scripture, that no iota is in vain. And as the Westminster Confession lays out, Scripture is truly in our own language of English. Therefore, this right kind of zeal towards the very words and letters in English.

That’s why we should stay with the proper editing of the King James Bible and uphold the very accuracy of the letters as to be found in the Pure Cambridge Edition.

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Parris, Paris, Therond and Blayney

For the first time ever, we are able to uncover some new information on the editors of the King James Bible in the middle of the eighteenth century.

In 1703, Francis Sawyer Parris was born in Bythorn, Huntingdonshire. He was educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, from 1720, and continued studying, becoming Master of Sidney Sussex in 1746, he also served as University Librarian.

Joseph Bentham undertook to print Bibles at Cambridge, beginning at 1743. Apparently, Parris was invited to check and proofread the text. Parris therefore began to make small changes in the Bibles, such as with some punctuation, his work culminating in the 1760 edition, the year of his death.

A more substantive role was undertaken by another man, Thomas Paris. He was born in 1724 in the town of Cambridge, and enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1741, and went on to graduate, eventually serving as a priest at Ely.

By all accounts, Thomas Paris worked as an editor at Cambridge, leading to the substantive quarto edition of 1762, as printed by Joseph Bentham. Paris died in 1800. In 1763 Baskerville printed his own Bible, famous for its beautiful typography.

Through the decades all historians acknowledged Thomas Paris’ role until Michael Black in 1984, David McKitterick in 1984, and afterwards David Norton, who essentially attempted to delete Thomas Paris from history, acknowledging only F. S. Parris, who had done some work at Cambridge University Press up to 1760.

The work on the 1762 edition was also undertaken by Henry Therond, 1735-1782. Therond had done his junior education in London before he enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1753. He graduated, became a Fellow in 1758 and eventually Junior Proctor in 1776.

In 1769, Dr Benjamin Blayney of Oxford used the 1762 Edition as a foundation for his own editorial work, which led to the 1769 Edition. It is ultimately Dr Blayney who gets the credit for the work even though the preparation was undertaken by others for his famous edition.

Since 1769, Blayney’s work has undergone some fairly minor revisions, in relation to spellings, etc., the culmination of which is the Pure Cambridge Edition.

Seven major editions of the King James Bible

1611 EDITION BARKER FOLIO [HE BIBLE]

https://archive.org/details/bim_early-english-books-1475-1640_the-holy-bible-conteyni_bible-english_1611_0/mode/2up

1611 EDITION BARKER FOLIO [SHE BIBLE]

https://archive.org/details/bim_early-english-books-1475-1640_the-holy-bible-conteyni_bible-english_1611/mode/2up

1613 EDITION BARKER FOLIO

https://archive.org/details/bim_early-english-books-1475-1640_the-holy-bible-_bible-english_1613/mode/2up

1629 EDITION CAMBRIDGE FOLIO

https://archive.org/details/bim_early-english-books-1475-1640_the-holy-bible_bible-english_1629/mode/2up

1638 EDITION CAMBRIDGE FOLIO

https://archive.org/details/bim_early-english-books-1475-1640_the-holy-bible-containin_bible-english_1638/mode/2up

1769 EDITION OXFORD FOLIO

https://archive.org/details/kjv-1769-oxford-edition-full-bible/mode/2up

PURE CAMBRIDGE EDITION

https://www.bibleprotector.com

A book on the Pure Cambridge Edition by Matthew Verschuur

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OvPV46NKLxcH5UT8v7y_SNNnhqeif4CW/view?usp=drive_link

KJB words not dying: Mark Ward countered

UPDATE. After this article was published, I was contacted by the King James Bible onlyist Mark Ward mentioned, who gave me an account of his conversation with Mark Ward, and explained his views, which differed significantly to how Mark Ward reported the conversation. I have therefore edited this article to reflect this further information.

In a propaganda piece (a youtube video dated 26/1/24), Mark Ward openly argues and states that the King James Bible is maybe 5 to 8% unintelligible. He shows that this number is not strictly the case, but gives the general impression that the King James Bible is to some degree, apparently, containing misunderstood, obsolete, dead and unintelligible words.

To bolster his propaganda, and to justify his “ministry”, he speaks about some dialogue he had with a certain King James Bible onlyist, though Ward misrepresents him as being a “Textus Receptus onlyist” for propaganda reasons.

(And, with his mildly entertaining manner, semi-professional videography and dorky attempt at nerdiness, his propaganda should be considered dangerous.)

The way Mark Ward presents it, naïve TROs are buying into his propaganda. The potential for this to be the case induces us to sound an alarm.

Mark Ward reported that he had a discussion with this King James Bible-supporting young person about their views on the eventual alleged need to edit, update or retranslate the KJB. Remember, Mark Ward already thinks the KJB is maybe 5% misunderstood, so with a purely naturalistic view of the world, one day apparently the KJB will need to be changed.

Mark Ward is taking on a kind of a role of being a “prophet” by estimating the change will be needed at some point, it would seem the thinking is maybe in 150 years, but who knows with these people, they’d probably be saying it should be a lot sooner.

The KJB will never be unintelligible, it is inconceivable that it would be, and there will not be any need for an update/change in so many hundreds of years.

According to Mark Ward’s account, he then says that his strawman “TRO” was volunteering to even change the KJB himself, if it was even allegedly so many percent “unintelligible”, though laughably knew no Hebrew or Greek, and would use Strongs Concordance (the lexicon part) to do the work.

It seems however that Mark Ward’s account of this conversation differs significantly to what the King James Bible supporter says he actually said.

As to some amateurish attempt to update the KJB, anyone who understands about this area will know that Strongs is completely subjective. If Strongs suggests a meaning for a Hebrew or Greek word, that meaning is as good (i.e. as poor as) a modern translation. Strongs’ work is often in conflict with the KJB, and since Strong himself was influenced by modernism, it is obvious that using his definitions would be inaccurate anyway.

Further, if English is allegedly changing, in this fictional hypothesis that the KJB’s wording is becoming harder to understand by the year, wouldn’t that mean that the English used in Strongs would be equally out of date?

Any supporter of the King James Bible who thinks that the KJB to be somewhat (5%) unintelligible, or will become so one day in so many decades, is wrong. This is because there simply are no “dead words”, “obsolete words” or any percentage of “unintelligible” words in the KJB.

I mean, we know that there are religious concepts that need to be taught, that there are hard and dark teachings in the Bible, but this is different to the concept that the actual language of the KJB is dying. The KJB’s words are NOT dying.

This is because the KJB’s English, which is Biblical English, is like a special religious language. This religious English is special as it is used to describe concepts, which are doctrines. Therefore, any doctrine, say “propitiation” or “sanctification”, is itself also relying on the fact that certain concepts are attached to certain English words. And the entirety of the KJB with its “ands” and punctuation marks (jots and tittles too) should be approached like this, as if it is a sacred language, a special language, because it is: it was designed by Providence to convey the very accurate truths of the Scripture to the whole world in the last days.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword” (Hebrews 4:12a).

Preservation is not just in transmission of the Scripture from the past to the present, but is keeping it in the present.

You see, English is not a product of accidents, nor is its future mere random chaos.

Mark Ward used to say, “Usage determines meaning”. Such a view was the very opposite of a (Platonic) Christian presuppositional view that in fact God predetermined words, concepts, meanings. Instead, Mark Ward aligned to the opposite view, that (ultimately) the King James Bible is just a product of its times and the naturalistic tides of deistic history. God apparently was not guiding English, nor the passage of the Scripture to the world via English, nor raising up the succession of Reformers, Puritans, Evangelicals and today’s pygmies who stand on giants’ shoulders.

Mark Ward’s evolutionary view of language seems no different to the evolutionary/atheistic view of languages. But he has noticeably quietened on that front.

Instead, we believe that the English-using people, the success of English-speaking nations and the destiny of the English language with the gospel for the world is all designed by God. We are living in a providential continuum. (What a privilege it is to understand this and to cooperate with God’s Spirit, yet on the other hand, what a terror it is that the sword now dangles so precipitously over the likes of Mark Ward!)

Here are several reasons why the KJB is fully intelligible, and why it will be so into the future.

First, the Oxford English Dictionary people said, as long as someone knows a word, its meaning and use, it is not dead. “Our own words never become obsolete … Even after we cease to use a word, the memory of it survives, and the word itself survives as a possibility; it is only when no one is left to whom its use is still possible, that the word is wholly dead … They are alive to some speakers, and dead to others”.

Now, as long as the KJB is being used, and its words known, then no word in it can be called “archaic”, “obsolete”, “dead”, etc. As the fact is, the KJB is in widespread and current use, and exists all around the place.

Someone could point the OED itself and say that is lists this or that word in the KJB as “obsolete” etc., but such labelling is itself incorrect. The OED is not infallible, it is not comprehensive, it is not a religious text and it is not strictly speaking the dictionary of Biblical English.

So then, this “Biblical English” differs to, yet remains conversant with, English.

There are KJB words out there all over the internet, and used in plenty of churches, so therefore no word’s meaning in the KJB is being lost, nor have they been lost.

To charge the KJB as being the repository of a growing list of “dead” words (i.e. unintelligible words) is wrong.

Another reason why the KJB is not dying is because of the role of the Holy Ghost, and teachers in the church, and the whole heritage of prior learning (library/internet), which is that we may learn and be taught words, concepts, meaning and knowledge, so again, no word KJB word is obsolete, lost, dead and/or unintelligible, nor will they be.

Importantly, the KJB was made in line with modern English, and the very print history KJB reflects the stabilising of English, to our present day. English, due to its global position, proliferation and its connection with technology, is ensuring that English in the bigger sense is not varying, evolving or dialectising to the point of incompatibility with the KJB. Instead, the global rise and diverse sectors where English is being used are providential factors keeping English within the aegis of God’s divine English in the KJB. (As language serves God, then English is servant to the Word of God.)

So English is being kept in a stable place, meaning that the words of the KJB are still relevant and intelligible. God is in control, and it is ironic that a Reformed guy like Mark Ward does not have a view about God’s special care and sovereignty guiding English and the KJB, instead, his view seems to be linked to a naturalistic view of language “evolution” that atheists and infidels teach.

As for the hypothetical “TRO” that Mark Ward boasted about, they both would do well to read Edward Hills’ books and extend that logic in such a way as I have outlined. (As for the real person Mark Ward dialogued with, I suspect that Mark Ward misrepresented him for his own ends.)

“For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” (Zephaniah 3:9).

The word “besom” should not be replaced

In the King James Bible, we find the word “besom”. This is an example enemies of the KJB point to trying to make out the KJB is hard to understand and using old fashioned language. They say that word should be changed to “broom”. But is that right?

Getting rid of a specific word like “besom” is in fact an assault on the sacred language of the Scripture, it is an assault on the exact meaning of words and it is an assault on a good tradition that we have had for years.

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Pure Cambridge Edition not debunked, despite the opinion of a tiny handful

Someone made a video attempting to debunk the Pure Cambridge Edition. They and commenters underneath the video on youtube made the following statements.

CLAIM ONE. All King James Bibles are “pure” so their KJB cannot be more pure than yours.

CLAIM TWO. “Geba” at Ezra 2:26 doesn’t seem to be necessarily more right than “Gaba”, because “Geba” appears only after 1900, because of Joshua 18:24, and because of the Hebrew.

CLAIM THREE. The claim that the use of italic font at places it is used is itself inspired.

CLAIM FOUR. Italics at 1 John 2:23 in the PCE don’t match 1611.

CLAIM FIVE. The word “and” (in italic font) “the Hivites” doesn’t hold up in Exodus 23:23.

CLAIM SIX. Cambridge University Press denies that they are authors of the “Pure Cambridge Edition”.

CLAIM SEVEN. The PCE is tainted by Matthew Verschuur’s Pentecostal biases. He improperly has lowercase “spirit” in Acts 11:12 and 28 despite these verses clearly talking about the Holy Ghost.

All these claims are answerable, refutable and really they are wrong claims.

Here are the answers.

CLAIM ONE. All King James Bibles are “pure” so their KJB cannot be more pure than yours.

ANSWER ONE. The King James Bible as a version and a translation is pure, so obviously all editions of that version and translation are pure, because all editions have the same text and translation! The person here is mixing up the concept of editorial purity with textual and translational purity. Editorial purity is about having no typographical errors and having standard spellings, etc.

CLAIM TWO. “Geba” at Ezra 2:26 doesn’t seem to be necessarily more right than “Gaba”, because “Geba” appears only after 1900, because of Joshua 18:24, and because of the Hebrew.

ANSWER TWO. The person here is really objecting to the idea that one spelling is insisted upon, when places like this have had variations within the history of the KJB. Some editions have “Gaba” at Nehemiah 7:30, others have “Geba”. Also, in 1626 a London edition had “Geba” at Ezra 2:26, and so did a 1750 London edition. Going to the Hebrew to look at these places is subjective (which Hebrew anyway?). And since editorial work includes regularisation, this is the likely reason why both Ezra and Nehemiah have “Geba”. See also http://www.bibleprotector.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4&p=4

CLAIM THREE. The claim that the use of italic font at places it is used is itself inspired.

ANSWER THREE. I’ve never claimed that either the making of the KJB nor its editing was done by inspiration. And like the maker of the video, I agree that words in italics are inspired words, but I’ve never said that the italics were placed by inspiration. I do, of course, think that the italics as we now have them are rightly placed in that font style.

CLAIM FOUR. Italics at 1 John 2:23 in the PCE don’t match 1611.

ANSWER FOUR. The italics of 1611 have been edited over the years. But attacking 1 John 2:23’s italics would be to attack Dr Blayney’s 1769 Edition and many others. The fact is that the italics have been improved after 1611, which exhibited various editorial issues and mistakes in places, so of course we should understand that many editions to this day match 1769 and the PCE at this place.

CLAIM FIVE. The word “and” (in italic font) “the Hivites” doesn’t hold up in Exodus 23:23.

ANSWER FIVE. The word “and” editorially belongs in Exodus 23:23, it was there in 1612, 1616 and the 1629, it was there in italics in Cambridge’s editions from the 1830s. Various other editions did not have the word “and” there, it is true, but using the Hebrew to prove anything about this is misguided. Instead, we should trust that the word “and” is an implied sense in the Hebrew, and that’s why it is there in English, in italics. The PCE is not wrong, nor are other historical editions, to have this.

CLAIM SIX. Cambridge University Press denies that they are authors of the “Pure Cambridge Edition”.

ANSWER SIX. It is true that CUP has not used the wording “PCE” nor did it actually create the electronic documents on the bibleprotector website, BUT there were printings of the Bible with the word “Cambridge” on them, in Pica Antiqua (quarto), Turquoise 8vo, (New) Brevier 8vo, (Pitt) Minion, Cameo 16mo, Sapphire 16mo, Ruby 24mo and Ruby Amethyst — printed from around the late 1920s to 1985 — and these printings all had “Geba” at Ezra 2:26, “and” (in italics) “the Hivites” at Exodus 23:23, “spirit” lower case at Acts 11:12; 11:28 and 1 John 5:8, etc. — and bearing the printer’s names of Walter Lewis and Brooke Crutchley. Do Cambridge University Press deny the existence of their own work? What were they changing in 1985 when they stated that they were changing 1 John 5:8 to “Spirit”? And while I said from the late 1920s, in fact, there are Cambridge Bibles from the World War One era that are almost PCEs, except for a few places, like having “spirit” when it should be “Spirit” at Mark 1:12. At some point under Walter Lewis those changes were made, leading to decades of an Edition that Cambridge should go back to printing today in all its offerings.

CLAIM SEVEN. The PCE is tainted by Matthew Verschuur’s Pentecostal biases. He improperly has lowercase “spirit” in Acts 11:12 and 28 despite these verses clearly talking about the Holy Ghost.

ANSWER SEVEN. The word “spirit” was lower case in Acts 11:12 and Acts 11:28 in 1769, before 1769, after 1769, in Cambridge printings through much of the 20th century before I was ever born, so obviously my Pentecostal “biases” had nothing to with that. Furthermore, there are many verses in all editions of the KJB that have the word “spirit” relating to the work of God and it is obviously nothing to do with to do with Pentecostalism or biases. This is just how many historical editions of the KJB read.

The fact is that I don’t invoke any specific Pentecostal doctrine or necessitate some Pentecostal practice to be able to know and understand why the word “spirit” has been used in certain places throughout the KJB. And seeing as jots and tittles matter (jot and tittle are English words in the English dictionary that have English definitions) then it follows that the capital or lower case in God’s word is important, and that the PCE is presenting an editorial accurate form of the KJB.

Of course the Holy Ghost is directly involved when the word “spirit” is used in lower case in these examples, though it is about His effects and knowledge in the human heart. For a good overview read this short article: http://www.bibleprotector.com/blog/?p=957

IN CONCLUSION the PCE and its history have not been debunked, and the opinions of a small handful who are trying to say something is just mistaken. The PCE is a valid edition of the KJB, and the PCE is an accurate, acceptable and proper standard to represent the KJB now and into the future.

Why is lower case “s” on “spirit” right?

The question is asked, “Why is having a lower case ‘s’ on the word ‘spirit’ right at 1 John 5:8 (and Acts 11:12 and Acts 11:28)?

Here’s an answer I gave someone on a comment on a youtube video:

There’s a lot of info on my bibleprotector website about this, but there is a distinction between the person of the Holy Ghost and His outworking/function/effect particularly in human knowledge.

For example, in Joel it says God will pour out “my spirit” but in Acts 2 Peter says “of my Spirit”. Thus, “spirit” is of the “Spirit”.

Notice also 1 Cor. 2:12, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” And again, Prov. 1:23, “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”

Simply, if you look at this use of “spirit” as received knowledge from the Holy Ghost, you would get how it is being used, like Exodus 31:3 “And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship”.

Importantly, the capital and lower case distinction is there before and in Dr Blayney’s 1769 Edition etc. With this understanding in mind, you can then see how it was and is rightly “spirit” lower case at: Acts 11:12; Acts 11:28 and 1 John 5:8.

The Oxfords in the late 19th century changed from Dr Blayney’s “spirit” to “Spirit” in some places, and when the Concord Cambridge was made in the 1950s, it too followed Oxford. Then from 1985 Cambridge changed normal editions at 1 John 5:8 and in the coming years beyond that silently changed the places at Acts as well. In fact, by the year 2000 some of its new Bibles available for sale still had “spirit” lower case at (at least one of) the Acts places.

Then, an article was written in the Trinitarian Bible Society’s April 2013 magazine, they said that they were going to review all of the places throughout the KJB that ALL editions still rightly had lower case “spirit”, such as at, Genesis 6:3, Exodus 28:3, 31:3, 35:31, Numbers 11:29, Numbers 24:2, 27:18, Nehemiah 9:20, 30, Job 26:13, 27:3, Psalm 51:11, 12, 104:30, 106:33, 139:7, Psalm 143:10, Proverbs 1:23, Isaiah 4:4, 11:2, 34:16, 40:7, 42:1, 44:3, 59:21, Ezekiel 36:27, 37:1, 27:14, 39:29, Joel 2:28, 29, Micah 2:7, 3:8, Zechariah 4:6, 7:12, John 4:23, 6:63, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 3:6, 8, 12:18, Philippians 1:27, 3:3, 1 Peter 4:6, 14, 1 John 4:6 etc.

I don’t know what exactly played out, but I would hope they would come back to their roots and to the proper and distinct usage, as was present with Dr Blayney in 1769 and the 20th century Cambridge tradition (i.e. the Pure Cambridge Edition), with the standard use of “spirit” at the places I mentioned.

In short, there are plenty of examples where the word “spirit” is used, and spirit is directly connected with the Holy Ghost, it is His effect and impartation that comes into our soul/understanding. Of course other uses of the word “spirit” include the spiritual realm and of course human, angelic and evil spirits. When “Spirit” is used, obviously that means the Holy Ghost.

Finally, in Romans 8 it says in verse 6 to be “spiritually minded” yet the chapter is talking about the Holy Ghost, and so I want to make it clear that the word “spirit” at places like 1 John 5:8 is not a rejection of the Holy Ghost, but is completely based on Him. Particular knowledge is from God.