21 October, 2006

Mother Kirk and Her Translations

I have not read the book- but here are some quotes that were sent to me from a fellow seminarian during a discussion on translation and textual traditions. If the quotes are reflective of the quality of the book, then it is quite worthy as a read.

'Now when the Reformers first rejected the abuses of the Roman Catholic church, they did so on the basis of Sola Scriptura - the Roman Catholic church responded by collecting all the variant textual readings and then holding them up in front of the Reformers and asked, which one is scripture alone? you need the Roman Catholic church and the Pope to tell you.'

'The Reformers responded, not as scientists, examining every textual manuscript (which they couldn't anyway, because the Vatican had most of them), but as confessing Christians, and said that the Sola Scriptura was contained in the manuscript family which contained the overwhelming number of manuscripts = the Received Text. (80% of all manuscripts).'

'The Reformers looked at the variant texts and saw what man can do (that is, thousands of scribal errors). Then they looked to the Received Text (or Textus Receptus; not the same as the Majority Text), and saw what God does (that is, He uphold His Word accurately).'

'All the protestant bible tanslations up to the KJV used the Received Text, until the NIV introduced textual criticism. Now most Bibles include the variant texts, because they're thought to be older and better. This is leaving the thoughts of the Reformers.'


Rob Somers said...

I find it ironic that Doug Wilson seems to eschew the 'scientists' who work with textual variants. He gives no weight to them, but arrogates to himself the right to choose which text is best. In this case, it's the KJV.

If I could borrow this book from someone, I would consider reading it to see what else he had to say on the matter; but I would not bother to spend the money on it buying it myself. Chances are, even if I could borrow it I would not choose to do so, as there are so many other things I would like to read before I die. ;)

Nate said...


I do not see how he is promoting the KJV, but instead the Textus Receptus which happens to stand behind the KJV.

Most people who use the KJV in Reformed circles would call themselves TR only, not KJV only.

Rob Somers said...

Fair enough.

John Dekker said...

And the point that Wilson is making is that it was Received by the Church. (Presumably it's not just an advertising slogan!) More to the point, the Authorised Version is authorised by the Church. It's a shame when our church Bible has a copyright owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The Wittenberg Door said...

Intriguing thoughts. The quote defiantly piques my interest. (I have some work to do in this area.) Thank you for posting it.

Also, great blog. Keep up the good work. I’m going to link to it over at mine.

Rob Somers said...

Yet does the church today have no authority to re-examine the issue today? We dare not admit there are none in the church qualified to make judgements on the text, otherwise Mr. Wilson loses his own authority to speak on the matter.

And if today's textual critics fall under the ire of Doug Wilson, should not men like Desiderius Erasmus (a catholic who was instrumental in working on our TR) also? Some would consider him a pioneer of textual criticism.

Nate said...


It is amazing some of the lengths that our sovereign GOd has gone to inorder to preserve his word. We praise him for that!

As for the Authorized Version- it has been authorized by the Church of England- hence the name AV.

I am sure that some other denominations have authorized it, but that does not make it authorized by the entire Church of Christ.

Remember that the Puritans despised it because it took out the notes that so many grew to love- as well as Anglicanized it to the point of having Bishops instead of Presbyters.

A good Reformed Chrisitan would use the Geneva bible (1566-1590)! [Tongue-in-cheek]

Anonymous said...

I've got the book and have read it twice. It's a pretty solid read for the most part. If you want to borrow it, just let me know.

Rob Somers said...


I believe you are answering my posts in a Christian manner, and I thank you for that.

After some thought, I believe my position would be that some good (Christian) discourse on matters of the church is beneficial. Therefore, reading Doug Wilson's book would most likely also be helpful, if for no other reason than to see things from a broader perspective. (In other words, I take back the second half of my first comment.)

Nate said...

Thank you for the compliment Rob. I attempt to practice charity, but it is not always the case.

(Sin still abounds though grace much more abounds!)