Thursday, March 4, 2010
John MacArthur on Bible Translations
I love John MacArthur. He is one of my favorite preachers and writers. He has greatly impacted my theology. One of the things I love about John is he is not afraid to stand for what he believes regardless of his peers or acquaintances. He is reformed. He admits it. He is proud of it. Many pastors today hide behind their Baptist label and will not admit who they are even though they preach reformed theology. Anyway here is A Man of God's view on Bible Translations. KJV onlyers I would love to hear your comments. I know you are reading!
by John MacArthur:
What approach should be used to determine the variant which accurately represents what God originally wrote? It is our opinion that the "balanced approach" is best. It gives equal weight to both internal and external evidence. It gives unbiased consideration to the various manuscript families.
The argument that defends the Byzantine tradition, by appealing to the fact that most manuscripts in the Greek New Testament attest the Byzantine, is logically and historically weak. It is not a truism that a majority of manuscripts necessarily preserve the best text.
The argument that defends the Byzantine text by appealing to the providence of God is theologically false. The determination of the best variant in an individual case is not a theological issue alone, but primarily a textual issue.
Textual arguments that depend on adopting the "textus receptus" and then comparing it to other text types are guilty of bias. To argue that because a modern version does not include something that's included in the TR, or adds something which the TR does not add, is to argue that the modern versions and their translators are guilty of adding to or subtracting from the true text.
It could be equally true that those who translated the TR were the ones who actually deleted or added. The charge that the non-Byzantine text types are theologically in error is wrong. This was evidenced earlier in our lengthy letter.There is no necessary connection between the adoption of the Byzantine text/King James Version and the inspiration of Scripture. There are equally godly, scholarly men on both sides of this issue who all strongly embrace the historic, orthodox understanding of the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures.
Adoption of the TR or King James Version should never be made a point of theological orthodoxy or ecclesiastical fellowship.
A believer should continue to use an accurate English translation which is personally most readable and understandable such as KJV, NASB, or NIV.
I appreciate a man who not only knows what he believes but is not afraid to stand for what he believes!