Overcoming the Reign of Error

One modern textual critic told me, “The difference between KJV Onlyists and the rest of Protestantism is that we believe in the God who overcomes human error, while you believe in the one who must prevent it.”

What he means is that he thinks God is at work, despite human error; whereas, he thinks that we think the work of God is to stop human error.

This is not quite right: modern versionists believe in prevailing error, though at least some believe that God is scarcely saving them. They also wrongly think that we think that basically God made the KJB by divine inspiration.

Here is what I concluded in my response:

God does not prevent human error, it exists. We just deny its right to rule over us.

“and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4b).


The fact is that while obviously Erasmus began with some finite number of manuscript copies, yet consultation was being made of more and more over the years, thus it would be wrong to imply that the textual basis of the KJB NT is merely locked to say 16 manuscripts.

One can play word games (semantics) with definitions, e.g. what does it mean to be a Rationalist. The fact is that proto-rationalist ideas were part of Griesbach’s methodology. This is obvious from the fact that his work and conclusions differed to the traditional view. For example, he engaged in Higher Criticism in regards the Gospels, and also was closely following known Higher Critic and unbeliever, Semler (the Father of German Rationalism).

Actually, you have misunderstood KJBO. There are those who might seem to you like they being from “the KJB is only Scripture” as their starting point, however, I am not: if we begin from Scripture, that is, using Scripture without reference to which version, the Scripture itself points to the KJB.

Secondly, your claim that Jesus and the Apostles used different versions is only a hypothesis. Scripture itself contains variations in quotations of the OT in the NT because the Holy Ghost varied the quotes, which is the view of eminent Bible teachers. The fact of the LXX being available in the NT period has nothing to do with the Holy Ghost’s inspiration of NT passages where the OT is quoted. We have no specific indicators of the LXX in Scripture (by quotation, though numbers of NT examples are used to indicate that possibility). We must remember that the NT is inspired, rather than have a naturalistic, causal view.

Thirdly, your quotation of the KJB translators and their quote of Augustine does not say as you imagine. They said, basically, that there are different possible translations of a word into English, but that they operated in such a way as to find out the sense, i.e. resolve, and allow the reader to investigate, so resolving by agreeing, on translation variations. Obviously, the KJB main rendering has been accepted, and the marginal variant translations seen as being less, even though some great probability was induced for them. This is further attested to by John Bois’ notes, the testimony of Richard Kilbye and later comments on the margins.

Fourth, you have a non-absolute interpretation, that is, that the KJB men were commending a set of renderings, to be received as absolute without pontification. You misinterpret this to mean that they were never resolving, never advocating finding finality, because you are reading that in with your modern bias: modernism and post-modernism is very anti-absolute (i.e. perpetual subjectivity). It is “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3:7) versus “seek, and ye shall find” (Matt 7:7).

Fifth, your view seems to be that sin prevails, therefore Scripture is imperfect. Your view is wrong:
a. God is perfect; Jesus saves from sin actually; Christians are given righteousness as a gift; Christians are therefore not sinners
b. Seeing then that God is of power, both to create and end the world, and in overcoming Satan, the work of God is perfect (Deut. 32:4)
c. Hence, it is easily possible for God to have His Scripture perfect in Earth today
Moreover, your defense of the modernist methodology is incorrect, for the Scripture speaks of a wisdom of this world, that is not of God. Testing all things meant spiritually and biblically, not by a rationalistic/naturalistic/modernistic paradigm. It is incorrect then to think that judgment must be on human knowledge, and by what manuscripts we can find out, when the standard is actually to begin from truth itself, not some external standard like a textual apparatus. Truth itself is not arbitrated by present day analysis or umpires trying to determine what “historical truth” is. Truth is manifested as self-authenticating without requirement for human intervention or contrivance (e.g. modern textual criticism).

Lastly, modern textual criticism is not a believing position, for it is fundamentally against God’s operation in time. What it calls “Providence” is actually fatalistic. While a modern version adherent may believe that the essentials of Scripture have been kept (and therefore be a genuinely saved Christian), that person is still in a weaker position than what would be if they not only believed in sufficiency, but perfection. Sufficiency is not wrong, but there is more. Who wants to be sufficiency saved, but have no fruits? Who wants to be having 30 fold fruits when there is 100?

As for the conclusion, you state that you believe that God overcomes human error, while apparently I must believe that God prevents it. This is not quite correct. In fact, you believe that humans are in and subject to error but God is able to get you saved anyway. (Or worse, God muddles through.) But your view is not high enough. The Saviour’s job was not merely to guarantee you place with God, but also to bring you into the fulness. Thus, even at this time, His work should be evident, in a whole range of things, having a perfect Bible, not committing habitual sins, coming to understand the full counsel of God (i.e. proper doctrines exactly), walking in complete charity (i.e love), health, prosperity, divine protection, etc. God does not prevent human error, it exists. We just deny its right to rule over us.

“and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5.4).