Modern versionism: the slippery slope

Modern versionists are struggling to defend and maintain the doctrine of the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scripture.

By the 1970s, they were making all kinds of compromises, in three areas:
1. In claiming only the original autographs were perfect, implying that it was impossible to have God’s words exactly today in one form.
2. Modernist hermeneutics (Bible interpretation methods) which explained away relevance of the Bible to today.
3. Upholding the Infidel-based idea of human rights.

All three of these above listed ideas are found in the three “Chicago Statements”, while the first two are found in teachings of men such as John MacArthur.

By today, instead of saying that God’s Word is truth properly and consistently (see John 17:17, Psalm 119:160, etc.), the modern versionists slowly slip and falter, wondering why they are less effective than ever.

One example of the compromise now rampant is the idea that the Bible has mistakes. Consider arch-modern versionist, Robert V. Frazier, who writes, “2 Samuel 8 and 2 Chronicles 18 are parallel accounts of some of David’s battles. The numbers recorded in these two parallel accounts do not agree.” (In fact, it is 1 Chronicles 18.)

But instead of reconciling this with a believing approach, he says, “There is no possible explanation for the discrepancy between 700 and 7,000 except for the obvious: one or the other of these accounts must contain a copyist error. Possibly both do. But they cannot both be correct. 700 is not 7,000. You can’t account for it by one account rounding up and the other rounding down. You can’t account for it by saying these are accounts of different events. Obviously, when God inspired these accounts, they agreed perfectly. They do not agree perfectly now, and nobody can settle the matter. This side of Heaven, none of us will ever know for sure which figure is correct, 700 or 7,000.” Source:

Notice how the modern versionist concludes that one of the two numbers must be wrong, and must be a copyist error. He is saying that God failed to get His word to us properly, because there is something of a difference in it.

Those people can claim that such a minor difference does not matter, that it does not affect doctrine. But it does affect one thing: the integrity of the perfection and purity of scripture. Therefore it is of major importance to uphold the truth, that the Scripture is entirely correct to say the two different numbers, but that they are COMPLEMENTARY information, not CONTRADICTORY.

The easiest argument is to say that 700 is part of 7000.

2Sa 8:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.

1Ch 18:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.

Here is an answer to the accusation made against the accuracy of the King James Bible:

David’s war with Hadadezer was with two purposes, he went to recover his border at Euphrates, and he went to stablish his dominion by Euphrates. His military campaign to rule the area was made up of a string of military actions undertaken by himself, and others under him (allies, dominions and mercenaries). At the actual battle at the river border, he captured 700 horsemen, but in the entire campaign, he and his armies took a total of 7000 horsemen.

It is not many steps from Mr Frazier’s position to full blown atheism and unbelief. The only safeguard is the proper and sound view that the King James Bible is perfect. (This also goes to show that someone like John MacArthur is illequipped to “restore” the doctrine of Bible inerrrancy and infallibility, because modern versionism is intrinsically ultimately of the spirit of error, despite the good intentions of various teachers.)