My Response to Gary R. Hudson's 7 Reasons Why KJO Spreads in Independent Baptist Churches

Those who have corresponded with me to any great degree, or who have read much of my material, know that one of my biggest pet peeves has to do with people who like to build up straw men which they then try to knock down. This activity, of course, is logically fallacious, and I've found that those who engage in it are generally prideful and self-seeking. They are looking for a quick and easy way to attack an opposing position, and do so in such a manner as to avoid dealing with the meat of that viewpoint. This allows them to puff themselves up in their own fleshly minds, putting across that they've won some sort of huge intellectual "victory", when all they have done is put some straw on a stick and then knocked if off again.

This is, I believe, what Gary Hudson has done in his essay entitled 7 Reasons why KJO Spreads in Independent Baptist Churches, the full text of which can be found here. What Hudson has done (and which his associates such as Doug Kutilek and Robert Joyner also make a habit of doing regularly) is attack what he considers the "cancer" of the KJV-Only movement, not with reasoned debate or arguments based upon facts, but rather with a whole cornfield full of straw men. The "KJV-Only" arguments and positions which he assaults are not those held by the vast majority of King James men, but instead are generally representative only of that small minority involved in the Ruckmanite camp (which, justifiably, can be called a cult, since Ruckman seems to be the centre of gravity instead of Christ). I must assume, however, that in his zeal to attack the "KJO position", that he is not limiting himself just to the Ruckmanites, but is implicitly including all the mainstream KJV-advocates such as D.A. Waite, E.F. Hills, and Harold Sightler as well. I assume this because he nowhere evinces even a recognition of the vast gulf that exists between the mainstream of KJV-only men and the Ruckmanites, whose views on the KJV and inspiration actually run counter to the views held by mainstream KJV-advocates. Further, he even attacks some of these men in other articles which he posts, without informing his readers of this very important distinction, so he basically lumps all KJV-onlyists together with the Ruckmanites so as to provide his straw men. In his article, which I shall proceed to rebut point by point below, Hudson dishes out quite a bit of straw-man argumentation, along with the strong doses of name-calling and back-handed insult for which the oft-self-proclaimed "anti-KJO" crowd has become notable.

Below, I will respond to Hudson's assertions through a mix of factual argumentation which I have gleaned from my personal study of the textual and Bible versions issues, as well as my own personal observations which have relevant bearing upon Hudson's claims.

Reason #1: Ignorance on the true nature and history of the Biblical manuscripts, ancient versions, and translations. Such ignorance is usually a result of pastors and Christian workers who have not given themselves to an accurate study of the facts or have not properly completed their academic training for the ministry. With all the resources and opportunities available in our time, there is hardly an excuse for this type of neglect. Impatience that results in entering the ministry at a premature state (I Timothy 3:6; 5:22), or just plain laziness (II Timothy 2:15), seem to be among the major causes of such neglect. The congregations that are led by men of such deficiencies are as susceptible as their leaders to erroneous and often misleading materials on Bible manuscripts and translations, and even to false information on the King James Version itself. Neither is lack of leadership an excuse for the ignorance of the individual layman who is admonished to personal study (I Thes. 5:21). Accuracy of information is very often all that is needed to clear away much of the confusion that abounds.

With Reason #1, Hudson enters full steam ahead into his carnival of disingenuity. He complains about "ignorance" on the part of KJV-advocates concerning the history of the manuscripts, ancient versions, and so forth. He then goes on to attribute this "ignorance" to either the laziness or impatience of men who enter the ministry. That this is a gross mischaracterisation, and simply slanderous falsehood to boot, goes without saying. I would daresay that the men who are at the forefront of the mainstream KJV-advocacy movement are much more adequately prepared, both intellectually and temperamentally, to deal with the textual issues underlying the issue at hand than the lion's share of Critical Text supporters.

Consider this: Many of the new version advocates, those who Hudson would presumably consider to be among the "knowing" (as opposed to the "ignorant" KJV-Onlyists) are people who uncritically accept anything and everything pushed their way by people like Bruce Metzger and Kurt Aland. Seriously, if Metzger says it, these people grip onto it white-knuckled like it was Gospel truth itself, and never consider the possibility that Metzger might be simply wrong, or revealing only part of the information. They rarely if ever question a statement or claim coming from the modernist textual critics, nor do they ever endeavour to educate themselves about the validity, or lack thereof, of the entire underlying basis of the Westcott-Hort textual critical methodology. Hence, you have people like Hudson condescendingly condemning KJV-advocates as "ignorant", while yet uncritically accepting as undeniable and inalterable truth everything handed down by Metzger and Co.(TM).

After all, these are the same folks who uncritically accept the complete removal of I John 5:7 from the Bible, pointing to manuscriptual arguments yes, but who entirely ignore the fact that Tertullian quoted the verse nearly a century and a half before the "oldest and best manuscripts" were copied. They will uncritically repeat the claim that "Tertullian doesn't really quote the verse", even though anybody who bothers to investigate can tell that Tertullian's Latin quotation is quite obviously made with the full trinitarian rendering of the verse in view. Similar can be said of Cyprian, who cites this verse 50 years later, and whose citation has likewise been denied on the basis of little more than what amounts to arguments by assertion. Why? Because if Tertullian and Cyprian both cited this verse in the 3rd century AD, then this would completely erode the foundational assumptions upon which the Critical Text arguments stand. It would show that the explicit assumptions made in the Westcott-Hort theory can (and do) lead to incorrect conclusions

Hudson, as well as his compatriots, could stand to read Pickering's The Identity of the New Testament Text as a starting point in completing their own academic training if they wish to have any credibility in speaking on this issue. Pickering (who himself is not a KJV-advocate) quite convincingly and intellectually refutes the entire basis of modern textual criticism, this being the Westcott-Hort methodology, and the assumptions explicitly exercised in that paradigm. Pickering demonstrates how these assumptions do not even approximate a realistic approach to resolving questions concerning textual transmission and the determination of the original readings, and he further destroys pretty much every major and minor argument advanced by advocates of the Critical texts of the New Testament. That, of course, is anathema to those who have invested much theological capital into the Critical Texts, which is why you will usually find Westcott-Hort supporters choosing to scoff at arguments for the Traditional text rather than actually engaging those arguments in an intellectual manner.

Hudson and his crew could begin by understanding the simple truth that not everything Bruce Metzger says is necessarily correct. Metzger and other Critical scholars can, and have, made false statements and errors of fact before, and most likely will again at points in the future. Simply put, they should turn from the personality cult of the "modern scholar" and begin to actually read and engage in some critical exploration of the scholarship that is out there for themselves. This would be preferable to the current insulting tendency to simply label those who disagree with them on this issue as "ignorant" or "lazy".

Reason #2: It is an “easy” way out. Doug Kutilek has suggested, “It’s easy; you don’t have to THINK or study much. By opting for KJVO, there is no need to learn Hebrew or Greek, to learn anything about manuscripts, or the history of the English Bible or about textual criticism or anything else. Hence--it is the lazy man’s way out of having to seriously think and consider on these issues” (email, 8/31/00). From my own experience as a former advocate of King James Onlyism, I can attest to this. It was commonplace in those days to hear from my colleagues that “all we need and all we use to study and prepare for sermons is a Strong’s Concordance and a King James Bible!” (It was taken for granted that the Greek and Hebrew were of no real significance). More than appealing itself as just a simplified approach, King James Onlyism is a luxury: a convenient “alternative” to the disciplined study of the Biblical languages.

What complete and utter bunkum. I have yet to meet a KJV-advocate in the mainstream of the KJV-Only movement (and I've met quite a few personally, as well as being informed of the views of others through their writings) who was opposed to or looked down upon the study of the original languages when seeking to exegete the Scriptures. Neither have I met any who were opposed to learning about the history of the manuscripts and the English Bible. This "point" of Hudson's is nothing more than a ridiculous straw man which has been set up to enable him to avoid having to deal with arguments from KJV-advocates about the original languages, the manuscripts, etc. which are difficult for Critical Text people to answer. I mean, this paragraph of Hudson's is not only insulting, but also so far removed from reality that one wonders if Hudson has ever really even met a real-life advocate of the KJV-only position, much less formerly been a member of the movement. As an example, my own pastor, a staunch KJV-only advocate, arrived at this position specifically because of intensive study into this issue. Rather that "taking the easy way", he rejected Hudson and Kutilek's position specifically because of self-disciplined study and investigation - hardly the "lazy man's way out". The same can be said for basically every KJV-advocate not of the Ruckmanite persuasion who is in the full-time ministry. Hudson's statement above is nothing more that ad hominem slander.

Further, a point should be noted that in his statement above, Hudson has actually contradicted himself where he says, "It was commonplace in those days to hear from my colleagues that 'all we need and all we use to study and prepare for sermons is a Strong’s Concordance and a King James Bible!' (It was taken for granted that the Greek and Hebrew were of no real significance)." For what purpose would one even use a Strong's concordinance, but as a tool for delving into the Greek and Hebrew so as to better understand the sense and meaning of a passage in the English Bible? By using a Strong's (a good tool, but by no means the terminus of original Biblical language studies), one is implicitly denying that the Greek and the Hebrew "have no real significance", as Hudson paints as KJV-onlyists believing.

Hudson further pontificates on this point,

Some KJO pastors have large and thriving churches, and will sometimes point to the “success” of their ministries (baptisms, buildings, big-money offerings, schools, etc.), and say, “See! I have been able to do all of these wonderful works with just a King James Bible and without your ‘original Greek.’” Such men immediately find themselves at variance with the KJV itself and its translators, who wrote, “translated out of the original Greek” at the front of their New Testament. If it was not for the foundational “original Greek,” we would not even have the KJV. Hence, these men actually did not build their ministries without the help of the original Greek. But, this does not address the worst problem with such KJO claims; the worst thing here is of course the appeal to experience-oriented theology, the same appeal of Pentecostals and Charismatics (Matt. 7:22, 23). (Not surprisingly, these last two mentioned groups also take “easy way outs” to both sanctification and serious Biblical study). Numbers, offerings, attractive auditoriums, and large staffs do not prove one’s theology correct or even one’s methods Biblical. If they did, the Mormon Church is equally a “monument to truth.”

More straw-man bunkum. I have yet to meet a KJV-advocate, either among Independent Fundamental Baptists or elsewhere (and yes, they do exist outside the IFB movement), who has attributed the success of his ministry, whether great or small, to anything other than God's grace and mercy. Nor have I ever met a KJV-advocate who didn't recognise that the KJV was translated out of the original languages. In fact, the whole point to the mainstream KJV-advocacy movement revolves around the original languages! The whole thrust of KJV-advocacy centres upon the belief in the superiority of the Textus Receptus and the Bomberg-Ben Chayyim Hebrew Masoretic texts (which, obviously, implies a belief in the "foundational" nature of these original languages). Now, if one wishes to argue the superiority of one textual set versus another, that is a matter for another day. However, Hudson cannot truthfully make the implied assertion that KJV-advocates are ignorant of the original language substructure of the KJV Bible.

And of course, concerning "experience-based theology", we should note that the Charismatics far and away are some of the biggest promoters of the multitude of new versions on the market, and that the spread of Charismatism into a church or denomination is usually quickly followed by a shifting to new versions of the Bible (usually the paraphrases like the Living Bible). Why? I suspect that it has something to do with the "anything goes" attitude which characterises religious emotionalism and experientialism. This attitude intrudes into the matter of which Bible to use, and encourages the use of less doctrinally rigourous versions which allow greater latitude in the personal interpretations of the individual worshippers, or which allow the use of varying new versions whose wording and particular editing can be fitted to the tailored belief system of the congregant.

Reason #3: It seems to appeal to Biblical fundamentalism. KJO presents itself as doing “honor to God’s Word” by emphasizing “final authority,” "preservation,” and even Scripture itself. The first level of KJO teaching usually attempts to discredit modern English translations with “verse-comparison charts” that reveal alarming word “omissions” as “doctrinal attacks.” The real reasons for these “omissions” are rarely if ever mentioned, much less the helpful benefits of the newer translations in numerous passages.

This is an argument which could only be made by one who is not aware of the situation in which the early churches, and the early transmission of the text, found themselves. It is quite evident that there were great attacks upon the integrity of the Scriptures in the time of the early churches. Textual scholars themselves acknowledge that there was a great amount of alteration and omission among transcribed manuscripts for the first two hundred years or so of the Christian age 1. Further, many, if not most, of these alterations were deliberately made by various of the Gnostic sects, among whom it was standard practice to twist and alter the stories and scriptures of other groups2. And there certainly do seem to exist doctrinal changes between the KJV and the new versions which reflect Gnostic tampering with the scriptures (see my article on this subject).

Hudson states, "The real reasons for these 'omissions' are rarely if ever mentioned, much less the helpful benefits of the newer translations in numerous passages", and here he is doing his readers a grave disservice. What are the "real" reasons for the omissions in the new versions which alter doctrine? Hudson perhaps doesn't know or doesn't want to face the answer, but the reason is very simple. The underlying texts from which the new versions are translated are themselves altered away from the readings provided by the vast majority of Greek mss., and the Critical Texts use only a small minority of carelessly transcribed and intertextually contradictory manuscripts which show the earmarks of Gnostic corruption and which almost uniformly hail from the hotbed of Gnosticism, Egypt. Critical Text people will of course rebut by pointing to the antiquity of this textual minority as evidence of their superiority. However, this is invalid, and the antiquity argument actually works against accepting the Alexandrian texts as the preferred strain of New Testament scriptural transmission, as the article linked above also shows.

For Hudson to blithely brush off the legitimate concerns about the doctrinal changes made at certain points in the new versions shows a disturbing lack of understanding about this issue. He does not seem to comprehend that, given the right contextual circumstances, the omission of a "Jesus" or a "Christ" or the change of "God" to "he" can very clearly and definitely signal the infiltration of Gnostic theological ideas into the Critical Texts, and therefore into the new versions which make use of these texts for translation purposes. In his rush to try to find some bugaboo in the KJV-advocacy camp, Hudson launches an attack based upon ignorance, one which he hopes will succeed through its ability to ridicule KJV-advocates, even if not through its ability to make a cogent argument against their positions.

From this approach, KJOnlys proceed to discussions of how “God promised to preserve His Word” to the point of arguing that we must have it “every jot and tittle somewhere!” Hence, they badger questions, such as, “Which Bible is God’s Word?” and, “Where is the preserved Word of God???” These carefully worded ultimatums are hidden under the false and impractical demand for an absolutely infallible text or translation, supposing that only the most “orthodox” have the “answer” in the “infallible AV 1611.” (For a good treatment on KJO’s confusion of technical and generic terms, see “Holy Spirit Leadership and the Bible Translation Controversy” by Dr. Ron Minton on this website).

Hudson's words here beg the question: even though he seems to think it is sufficient to ridicule KJV-advocates who support the preservation of Scripture, and who ask the legitimate question of "which Bible is the correct one", he never does actually deal with why they are asking these questions in the first place.

And very legitimate questions these are, too. Concerning the matter of preservation, Hudson makes fun of preservationists for taking seriously God's numerous promises to preserve His Word for all generations. Sometimes, those of Hudson's camp try to carry out hurried and shallow analyses of these passages with the specific purpose of finding a way to say "these don't really support preservation!". This is, of course, called eisegesis, and constitutes a seriously flawed way of interpreting Scripture. Further, they ignore the array of scholarly work which has been fielded in support of the principle of preservation as taught in the Scriptures. As only the latest example, Hudson should prayerfully examine Thomas Strouse's defense of preservationism as taught in Psalm 12:6-73, which (*gasp*) relies upon arguments drawn directly from the exegesis of the Hebrew text itself.

Further, one is tempted to ask, without preservation, what is the point to inspiration? Really, I would urge my readers now to really sit down and think about this for a while, think it through. I've seen many cast ridicule upon those asking this question, but I've yet to see anything in the way of a truly logical response in opposition to preservationism. If we do not have the preservation of God's words, then inspiration is absolutely meaningless. That is the only logical conclusion at which one can arrive. Without the preservation of each individual word of God as revealed to man, somewhere and in some format, then inspiration has failed in its purpose. What point is there to having a perfectly revealed set of scriptures if it is then uncertain that these scriptures will be maintained, some way or another, in that full and complete body? There is no point.

Further then, one must ask why it is so unreasonable to ask questions like, "Which one is the true Word of God"? Let us start with the premise that the KJV and the modern versions do indeed differ at some points, many times in ways which directly affect doctrine. This premise ought to be self-evident to anyone who bothers to make comparison between, say, the NIV and the KJV. Further, we then understand that the reason for these differences has to do with the differences between the underlying textual sets which form the basis of the KJV contra the new versions. So, we essentially have a situation where we have two different general sets of words. They may indeed be in agreement for the most part, but they do yet have differences, and these differences affect the sense and teaching which the texts impart to a degree far out of proportion to the numerical weight of dissimilarity between the letters and words. In essence, you have two different sets of teachings, varying to a certain degree. Where one set has at a particular point a verse which clearly teaches the omnipresence of Christ even while on earth, the other set fails to teach this due to the absence of this wording at that verse, etc. Given this, it then behooves us to ask whether one or the other of these two Bibles, each containing a different reading caused by a difference in the underlying text, is superior to the other in its faithfulness to the original inspired texts. I am not certain as to why this simple point is so hard to comprehend, nor why it is so unreasonable to ask questions concerning it.

The fact that the KJO position turns out to be flawed, inconsistent, impractical, non-historic, and even unbiblical reveals problem areas on its paper-trail of “logic.” Somewhere, somehow, on the “road to reason and faith” they have introduced logical fallacies. What “comes out in the wash” is a confused view of the “Word of God” under the guise of “honoring” it (I Cor. 14:33). The KJO position thus masquerades as “Biblical” and “Bible-believing” while actually believing myth (II Tim. 4:3, 4).

Again, this section of Hudson's writing is more ad hominem which lacks substantiation on the part of its author. Further, the statements which Hudson makes can rightly be turned right back around upon those who hold to his own Critical Text position.

Is not supporting the Critical Texts, based as they are upon a very small set of Greek manuscripts which are recognised even by modern textual critics to be of poor quality and which disagree with each other nearly as often as they agree (e.g. 3000+ major differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in the Gospels alone4), a flawed position to take?

Is not the production of each year's "hot, new version" based upon some latest edition of the Nestle-Aland or UBS texts, inconsistent?

Is not the wholesale trashing of roughly 99% of the Greek textual witness in favour of a tiny number of Alexandrian texts, all based upon a specious argument from antiquity, and done at the demand of a demonstrably inferior textual critical method, impractical?

Is not the use of Bibles based upon these Alexandrian texts, which we can rightly surmise were rejected by early Christians in favour of the Byzantine/Traditional textual set (which explains the differences in antiquity, see the link above), non-historical?

Is not the clear rejection of God's very precise and oft-repeated promise to preserve His words, and the replacement of this promise with a spurious, man-made textual critical scheme designed to give the engineered results desired by Mssrs. Westcott and Hort, unbiblical?

When one looks at the position forwarded by Hudson, Kutilek and compatriots, one sees obscurantism hiding behind the wall of sharp words and slanders against other men of God.

A Christian who has become infected with KJOnlyism is unable to “stand” and “prove all things” (Eph. 6:13; II Thes. 5:21; Phil. 4:8).

Au contraire, Mr. Hudson. My experience and the testimony which I have heard and seen suggests that those who stand by the Authorised Version are generally some of the strongest wielders of the Word around, and are able to give the best answers and defences of the faith. My experience has also been that when individuals or churches begin to fall away from the truth and into error, especially the errors of Charismatism or liberalism, they begin to reject the KJV in favour for the new versions as they remove from themselves the means by which to try and to prove the error they are being confronted with.

KJO in reality weakens the body of believers, renders their “view of the Bible” indefensible, and occasionally even wages assaults on the original language text itself (see article, “Easter in Acts 12:4,” etc., article on this website). It also puts fundamental Baptists in a position of being mocked as fools and unwise. When you have an attack on the original text, poking fun at the faith, and the spread of divisiveness and confusion in the body of believers, Satan is just around the corner.

My question for Mr. Hudson would be which concerns him more - the admiration and acceptance of the unbelieving world, or finding out the truth about which translation is really most faithful to the original revelation? Mr. Hudson again throws up another Ruckmanite scarecrow when he suggests that KJV-advocates "attack the original text". This is, of course, not true. In fact, it is a concern for the original text that motivates preservationists to emphasise the perfect preservation of Scripture. If there is no preservation, that there is simply no way to really ever know what the original text said, and the whole question becomes moot. Those such as Mr. Hudson who mock at preservation or who deny the necessity of this phenomenon are the ones who, in essence, are attacking the original text, since they believe that the mere wisdom of man, working with a limited number of texts and without having a knowledge of the history of these texts, can somehow "assuredly" give us the full and complete Word of God in translation. We should note, however, that the Critical Text people don't KNOW that they have really produced a perfect replica of the originals, and without faith in the preservation of God's Word, they CANNOT know. They essentially must content themselves with, "well, we think we're pretty close...." And faith in this doctrine is just like anything else about the Christian belief system which we put faith in - it will be mocked as foolish and unwise by the unbelieving world system regardless, so why should Mr. Hudson be concerned about that?

Reason #4: “It soothes and consoles the spiritual insecurity of weak believers” (Doug Kutilek, ibid.). KJO advocates, particularly pastors, know they are playing-up to the minds of the insecure by presenting it as an “all or nothing” axiom: “Unless every word of my Bible (KJV) is infallible, I can’t trust any of it!” They are actually making a delicate area far more complicated by introducing KJO as a “solution.” The honorable and faithful role of Bible copying and translating is made “suspect,” and the problem of English mistranslation is made into a false dilemma. The KJO advocate cleverly sets up this false dilemma as a straw-man argument. KJO advocates seek for the weak and insecure because they know their teachings prey on such. This point is closely related to the next--

Again, here we find another straw-man presupposition, not to mention one which is simply insulting and derogatory to hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of very strong, very knowledgable, and very secure believers the world over. Essentially, what Mr. Hudson is saying is this: if you are a KJV-advocate, it is because you are a weak-minded idiot. One can only wonder about Mr. Hudson's professed love for the brethren.

However, to the meat of this point, we find that Mr. Kutilek and Mr. Hudson present a gross misrepresentation of the arguments presented by KJV-advocates. No mainstream (i.e. non-Ruckmanite) KJV man would argue that unless every word of a translation is infallible, that none of it can be trusted. As remarked above, at most places, the Traditional and the Alexandrian texts confess the same testimony. However, in many important places, they do not, and anybody with even an ounce of Greek in their repertoire knows this. In the majority of places, the NIV, the NASB, etc. would be essentially correct and would reflect the same preserved words of God as the KJV, and thus could be trusted. However, in those many doctrinally-important places where they differ, and where these differences are based upon the testimony of a handful of corrupted, worthless manuscripts, the new versions cannot be trusted. Again, despite Mr. Hudson's claims to the contrary, the whole issue for the KJV-advocates goes right back to the original language texts, and to which textual set is more trustworthy and can rightly be said to have been preserved by God's churches throughout the ages.

Reason #5: The strong appeal to human emotion. The emotional aspect of King James Onlyism makes its appeal in three areas: (1) fear, (2) pride, and (3) sensationalism.

1. Fear. There is a false fear of “snowballing into apostasy” if any other translation is used except the KJV. There is the fear of rejection and ridicule by “Bible-believers” if one is caught “red-handed” in church or elsewhere with the NIV or some other modern translation. There is the fear of everything from missing Sunday School to the “mark of the beast” if one questions a word of the KJV or uses another English translation. KJO often uses legalistic intimidation to push these issues.

This has to be one of the most ridiculously caricatured misrepresentations of the views of a segment of God's people that I have ever read, and this includes some of the trash that one can find on Muslim or atheist websites. If Mr. Hudson really thinks that KJV-advocates believe this way, then this can only serve as confirmation that he probably never even met any mainstream KJV men, and doesn't know what he is talking about.

2. Pride. KJOnlyism appeals to a form of exclusiveness and superiority that is found among members of non-Christian cults. It gives its adherents the feeling of having something greater than the average believer, an “edge” on “final authority” that makes them feel “above.” It reminds us of the “tongues” movement and its “baptism-in-the-holyghost initial evidence” exclusiveness: “You may be saved, but have you had ‘the baptism’?” is as divisive and exclusive as, “You may be saved, but do you have a copy of the Word of God?--If you do, where is it?? Which Bible?? Does your translation have mistakes?--Then how can it be God’s Word?? You see, I am not just a ‘believer,’ I don’t just use the Bible, I am a Bible-believer and I believe the Bible!” What they really mean is that they believe in infallible English translation, something no one in the Bible itself ever “believed” or even heard of.

Considering the way I've seen a good number of anti-KJV men speak and write (especially Doug Kutilek, anyone whose read some of his material will know exactly what I am talking about), I would think that this accusation applies more fittingly to Mr. Hudson's own camp. After all, looking at the attitude which Mr. Hudson displays in the very article which I'm critiquing, I am compelled to wonder at the hypocrisy of his statement.

Again, I've never met a KJV-advocate who thinks he is superior to other Christians because he uses the KJV, who looks down on those Christians who don't use the KJV. And remember, I'm speaking from the experience of having been a member of a KJV-only Independent Baptist church for over four years, having attended KJV-only Bible and preaching conferences on several occasions, and having corresponded with a great number of staunch and vocal KJV-advocates. I've found that some of the most vigourous KJV-men I've ever met, men like David Cloud and Donald Waite, are some of the humblest men I've encountered.

3. Sensationalism. This “hype” usually finds its performance in the style of “sermon delivery” that preaches King James Onlyism. “They’re ATTACKING THE DEITY, THE VIRGIN BIRTH, AND THE BLOOD IN THESE NEW VERSIONS!!” “Why, they’ve HACKED MY BIBLE UP INTO LITTLE BITSY PIECES AND HANDED IT BACK TO ME AS ‘MORE ACCURATE TO THE ORIGINAL’!!” Why, they’re PER-VERSIONS, I TELL YOU, THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE!!” “I don’t know about YOU, brother, but I’ve got a Bible that’s inspired and infallible, WHAT DO YOU GOT??” And on and on it goes, priming the emotional pump. Sadly, there are too many people in our churches who accept what is said on the basis of how it is said, and KJO preachers know that how they say something has a great deal to do with whether or not the people will listen to it. Added to this current of spiraling emotion is the beautiful and poetic language of the KJV itself when quoted, together with “Old English-style” praying offered on the assumption of “reverence.”

The only sensationalism going on here is Mr. Hudson's repeated tossing of straw onto the lit fire of his own imagination. However, his statement "They’re ATTACKING THE DEITY, THE VIRGIN BIRTH, AND THE BLOOD IN THESE NEW VERSIONS", does beg the question - Isn't this what is essentially happening in versions which, you know, remove statements about Christ's deity, His virgin birth, and the efficacy and necessity for His blood atonement, etc., all at the instigation of Gnostic theology which sought to alter these very concepts (and others) right at the time in the early churches when the greatest amount of textual fluxuation was being perpetrated? Again, ignorance of the spiritual conditions faced by the early churches, and the very serious threat which Gnosticism mounted against God's people, underlies his mockery of the warnings against doctrinal impurity in the new versions. They say that doctrine divides - and this is true. It divides those who care about doctrine and the purity of the faith from those who don't care and who seek to mock those that do. Mr. Hudson can mock the viewpoint he caricatures all he wants, but this will not change the simple fact that the NIV and other new versions do contain doctrinal changes which are absolutely consistent with Gnostic theology and cosmology.

Reason #6: Ignorance of our Baptist heritage. King James Onlyism is completely foreign to all of historic Christianity and even to the founders of the Independent Baptist movement in America. The historic view is and has always been the inspiration and inerrancy of the original language text alone and no translation thereof. Ignorance of this historic view is largely the fault of our church leaders who have not accurately expounded our roots. To the contrary, King James Onlyism is presented oftentimes as the “historic position” (see, for example, “David Otis Fuller’s Deceptive Treatment of Spurgeon Regarding the King James Version” by Doug Kutilek on this website; also, “The Unlearned Men” by Doug Kutilek also on this website). The very founders of our fundamental movement, if they were alive today and attempted from the pulpit their accepted practice of referring to the Greek to correct a word in the KJV, would, in some places, indeed be denounced as "apostates” and “Bible correctors.” If this does not reveal the level to which such ignorance has permeated, what does?

From the onset, Mr. Hudson's argument above is something of a red herring. "King James Onlyism" of whatever stripe could only exist within the framework of the existence of the KJV to begin with. Hence, the issue would be moot before 1611. Further, the issue would be virtually meaningless within the English-speaking world up until the time of the revision committee of 1881, before which there were few challengers to the KJV, and none of any repute.

However, Mr. Hudson seems to be unaware of the fact that the old time fundamentalists (most all of whom were denomination men at least for a time before coming out and separating from apostasy within their denominations) did stand for the KJV over and against the new versions which existed even in their time. The fundamentalists who fought the modernist controversies stood for the Olde Booke because many of the liberal doctrinal attacks made by modernists, such as denying the virgin birth or the efficacy of the sanguinary atonement, were mounted under the auspices of changes appearing in the new versions at the behest of so-called "discoveries" made by "scholars". Further, if one looks at the beginnings of the Independent Baptist movement, one likewise finds KJV men filling the early ranks. It wasn't until later, when many in the IFB camp began to compromise, that the issue of the new versions grew within the body of IFB churches.

Also, we must now note, again, that the issue involved in mainstream KJV-advocacy is that of the superiority of the Textus Receptus and the Ben Chayyim Masoretic over the textual collations preferred by Critical Text supporters. Ultimately, the issue becomes one of preservation, as already noted previously. Did God preserve His words as He promised, or did He not? Those who stand for the KJV say that He did, and that this was done without the need for modern textual critics, applying the demonstrably erroneous Westcott-Hort theories, to "discover" a closer approximation of the true text after so many centuries of disuse. The point of preservation is even supported by Dr. Ron Minton, in an article appearing on Mr. Hudson's own website,

"By God's grace, he ensured a kind of providential preservation of Scripture. The Spirit, it seems fair to say, led many to copy or translate the written Word. Amazingly, through the providence of God, there now exist around 6,000 ancient Greek manuscripts and around 20,000 translation manuscripts of the New Testament. Believers are certainly ensured that his Word was abundantly preserved through the ages. However, none of the ancient copiers and translators was supernaturally kept from error and mistake."

This is a statement with which KJV-advocates can certainly agree. We also believe that God supernaturally preserved His words throughout all those centuries of copying and translation. Likewise, we would affirm that individual manuscripts can (and do) have errors in them, and that this is not a problem when we understand that preservation involves the "big picture", the safeguarding of God's words across the spectrum of ancient versions, copied manuscripts, and evidential quotations. My question, then, would be why it is so out of bounds for KJV-advocates to believe that exactly this sort of preservation occurred with the KJV? Dr. Minton (and derivatively Mr. Hudson, since it's posted on his website even though he at times ridicules KJV-advocates for it) acknowledges that God's words are preserved across the process of copying and translation, so why can't this then apply to the KJV? After all, when we again make a comparison between the textual bases of the New Testament, for instance, in the KJV and the new versions, we see that one (the KJV) is based upon a text which is in general agreement with over 95% of the total Greek manuscripts, a grouping which also shows remarkable intertextual consistency. The other (the new versions) are based upon various textual revisions which find their basis in a very small number of Greek manuscripts, the group of which is eclectic with little relative intertextual agreement, and the primary specimens of which are noted by textual scholars for their poor quality5. Even Hort acknowledged the extremely poor quality of the scribal copying in Codex Vaticanus6. The smart money says that it is the KJV which can lay a much more plausible claim to being the preserved Word of God than any of the new versions.

This belief in the preservation of Scripture is a historic position within the churches. The Westminster Confession (1646) at one point states,

"The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God who have right unto, and interest in, the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the language of every people unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope"7

Further, we see the same idea affirmed in the closely modeled Baptist Confession of 1689,

"The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.8

Thus, within the churches, including the Baptist heritage, the belief in the preservation of Scripture, not just its original inspiration, is indeed historical. We can presume that the same belief was held among the early churches as well. Because of the extreme preponderance of the Traditional text type (suggesting its widespread use and transcription), as well as the antiquity of the nearly sole representatives of the eclectic and Alexandrian texts (suggesting that these texts were disused by early Christians), and because of the preponderance of Traditional text quotations among the body of the patristic writers even to the very earliest, and because of the increasingly recognised general appearance of the Traditional text in the once-believed "Alexandrian" papyri, we can plausibly argue that even within the early churches, there was a preference for the Traditional text type over the Alexandrian/eclectic types, which suggests that preservation was going on in God's churches at this early date as well. As such, it is not implausible to say that these early Christians, while not being "KJV-only", were indeed consciously choosing the Traditional style of text, which would be an ancient analogue of our modern day KJV-advocacy, except in the original language itself. As such, Mr. Hudson's point, narrowly and somewhat misleadingly made, turns out to be wrong - advocacy of the same style of Greek text which undergirds the KJV does indeed seem to be the historic position within Christianity.

Reason #7: It is a political football ($$$). Several traditionally orthodox Bible colleges have become King James Only--not because its leaders necessarily hold to the teaching’s tenets, but because it gets students ($$$). Particularly, it gets people from KJO churches to attend their school, where “the KJV is believed,” etc. Pastors and churches also play this political game (especially in a day when “transfer growth” rather than conversion has become the norm), stealing members of other churches by assuring “a strong stand on the KJV.” Mission boards, too, have played this political football game, assuring supporting churches ($$$) of their “preserved KJV” view, even though these board directors themselves will privately disagree with KJOnlyism. We are living in a sad day indeed when the leaders of our fundamental Baptist movement can be bought and bribed by a divisive, reckless fringe.

This point is simply ridiculous. He's claiming that schools and churches are going to the KJV-advocacy position to make money and gain members?? Where exactly is Mr. Hudson getting this from? For anyone paying attention, the trend for the past couple of decades has been the exact opposite. Schools and churches are going AWAY from taking a firm stand for the KJV specifically because they've found that they can network and hook up with and attract the big Neo-Evangelical ministries, which bring large amounts of money with them, by removing the stumblingblock of a "divisive" or "ignorant" KJV-advocacy stance. Further, many schools are going to support of the Critical texts because this position ingratiates them with the worldly scholars whose respect they hope to gain, along with the grant money and funding that comes with that respect.

The only reason that I've ever seen that any school will advertise its KJV-only position is solely as a service to students from KJV-supportive churches who are looking for a school that supports their own personal convictions. I have personally had representatives of KJV-advocating schools tell me that it is more important that I go to where God specifically leads me than it is that I absolutely have to come to their school to spend my money.

Mr. Hudson decries churches who gain members because of a KJV-only stance. He seems to have missed the point that the reason these churches gain members for this issue is because the members themselves hold to a reverence for and support of the KJV, and want to go to a church which holds the same. For Mr. Hudson to complain about this is analogous to someone complaining that Spanish-speaking churches are attracting members who speak Spanish by using Spanish in their services. People are going to go to a church where they are comfortable, where their convictions are respected and taught (not derided and ridiculed, as happens in many formerly fundamentalist churches which have switched over to using the new versions). If someone is looking for the happy-clappy worship-tainment that goes on in a Charismatic church, that's where they'll go. If they want a church which relies upon the new versions of the Bible, they will go to a Neo-Evangelical new versions church. If they want a church which uses the KJV and stands by the Booke, they will go there.

Lastly, Mr. Hudson closes his article with this little doozie,

The time has come for those of us who know and believe the truth to stand up to KJO and determine that we just will not tolerate or coddle it in any way shape or form. Every “cell” of this “cancer” needs to be traced down and obliterated so that it no longer reproduces itself in our ranks. The entire KJO movement needs to be exposed for the fraud that it is. The “politicians” who exploit this issue need to be faced and held accountable for their views. We must not fear what man may say about us or may do to us in this regard. Let it be clearly understood that KJO is a cult, and must be distinguished from true Biblical Christianity. Let the KJO movement become more exclusive and let it distinguish itself outside of and apart from the Church of Jesus Christ.

Now readers, did you see what just happened above? Mr. Hudson has gone so far as to basically state that KJV-only people are not Christians. He arrogates to himself the authority to make a judgment upon the salvation of an entire group of believers, solely because they do not accept the specious and obscurantist position which he supports. I'd be happy to debate Mr. Hudson all day long on the facts involved in the issues surrounding the Bible versions question. I'd debate him until I'm blue in the face, because I strongly believe that he is completely wrong in his support for the corrupt new versions and the corrupt texts behind them. However, I would never challenge the genuineness of his faith in Christ or in his standing with the Master, just because he holds a different opinion from me on this issue. With his statements above, Mr. Hudson has stepped far over a line which he has no authority to cross.

I will conclude by noting that this response has touched on a number of facets of the Bible versions debate, without really getting into the meat of any of them. My words here were not meant to delve deeply, but rather to provide a simple response to an article which I felt was in extremely poor taste (not to mention simply factually incorrect on numerous occasions), which was written out and posted by Mr. Hudson on his website.

End Notes

(1) - see F.H.A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. II, p. 264; E.C. Colwell, "The Origin of Texttypes of New Testament Manuscripts," Early Christian Origins, ed. A. Wikgren, p. 138
(2) - H. Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, pp. 91-97, 145-146
(3) - see T.M. Strouse, "The Permanent Preservation of God's Words - Psalm 12:6,7", Thou Shalt Keep Them - A Biblical Theology of the Perfect Preservation of Scripture, Chapter 1, ed. K. Brandenburg
(4) - W.N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, p.54
(5) - see, for example, J. Burgon, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established, p. 84; J. Burgon, The Revision Revised, pp. 30-31; F.H.A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. I, p. 120
(6) - B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, Vol. I, p. 233
(7) - Westminster Confession of 1646, I.8
(8) - Baptist Confession of 1689, I.8