The Biblical Doctrine of Preservation in Contrast to a Dangerous Position by Reg Kelly and Tim Krahn
Updated: Sep 23, 2022
Is a translated Bible such as the Authorized Version King James Bible (KJV), better than the originals and do they fulfill the promised preservation of God’s Word, as taught by Reg Kelly and Tim Krahn and others?
These are some of the questions I will answer in the following report, where I contrast the Biblical and right position with a dangerous position that puts the KJV above the Texts that God inspired and preserved.
To say there is much confusion on this subject would be an understatement. Though it wouldn’t have to be, the problem persists due to not approaching it from a Biblical perspective rather than from an experiential and man-centred one, where the words of man or humanistic reasoning is the standard, but not scripture. The unscriptural and dangerous error that the KJV is better than the originals and that it fulfills the promise of preservation, was concocted by the camp of Peter Ruckman and Gail Riplinger and then continues to be propagated by men such as Mike Hoggard, Sam Gipp, Reg Kelly of Liberty Faith church and Tim Krahn of Victory Faith Church.
The doctrine of preservation must start and finish with faith in what God’s Word says. What it actually says, not what you want it to say. That is the foundation. There are three main groups concerning the Bible:
Those who hold that the modern translations, based on the text of Westcott and Hort (aka., Critical Text, Nestle-Aland), are more reliable than the Authorized Version of 1611 (KJV) translation, which is based upon the Greek Textus Receptus and Hebrew Masoretic Text;
Those who hold that the KJV is most reliable (for English) because it was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus and Hebrew Masoretic Text,
Those who hold that a translation such as the KJV was given by inspiration and is the preserved Word of God and is the final authority in our present world.
The second is the right position, the one that Scripture attests to. The first one, the modern version position based upon the Critical Text, is a diabolical attack on God’s Word and under the condemnation of Rev 22:18-1 — not my focus here. I will say this though. Critical Text proponents are heretics and deceivers, blasphemously attempting to reconstruct the autographs. They cleverly and deceitfully re-define the term “Bible preservation” to mean that they have the “Word of God,” but not necessarily the “words of God.” Though in the Bible these terms are equated, to them there is a difference. These individuals falsely define and limit the “Word” of God to mean only the “message, ideas, thoughts, or concepts,” but not the “words” of God. Yes that is heresy but it is also blasphemy.
The last of these possibilities has come to be known as “Ruckmanism,” because its chief proponent was the late Peter Ruckman, a well-known Bible teacher who held and vigorously defended this view. While I have serious problems with Ruckman, I also have serious issue with many of his detractors. Many of Ruckman’s most bitter enemies (specifically those from the first group, the Critical Text and by extension, modern Bible perVersions) are trying to discredit the idea that there is an authoritative Bible anywhere in the world. They have their own rotten and ungodly agenda that trusts in the “scholars” rather than what Scripture says about itself, undermining men’s faith in the inspiration, preservation and inerrancy of God’s Word (in any practical sense), and then subsequent pollution of minds with strange, convoluted and ungodly theories of modern textual criticism.
The term KJV-Only was invented by these who oppose the defence of the KJV and its underlying original language texts. It was intended to be a term of approbation, and is usually defined in terms of extremism. Though I always appreciate a defence of the KJV, I’m not a Ruckmanite nor agree with the egregious and nonsensical claim that the KJV is the only Bible in the world, that it’s better than the originals or interprets the original texts, or that it was given by inspiration (i.e. “double inspiration”), or that it fulfills Gods promise of preservation of Scripture, or that it contains “advanced revelation.” These are heretical positions irreconcilable with Scripture. But it is scandalous to brush all who embrace the KJV as Ruckmanites, and slanderous to charge to those who embrace the actual true Biblical position with “intellectualism” or “rationalism.”
Like many English speaking people, I rely on the KJV for biblical reasons, primarily: the doctrine of divine, perfect preservation of the text of scripture in the language in which it was written. The Bible teaches its own perfect preservation, including how it was to be and is preserved by God. This view is also the historical view, the only view of believers for centuries. The KJV is translated from that text of scripture. There is no other English translation from that text. For that reason, along with the proper translation methodology, I trust the KJV. I happen to also love its splendour and magnificence in English linguistics, which is second to none.
God Has Promised Perfect Preservation of His Inspired Words
Not just Word but all the words in His Word right down to the jot and tittle. Perfect preservation applies to all his words as they were given, in Hebrew, Greek and some Aramaic. Passages that speak to this include: Ps 12:6-7; 33:11; 100:5; 111:7-8; 117:2; 119:89, 152, 160; Pr 30:5-6; Is 40:8; 59:21; Matt 5:18; 24:35; 1 Pe 1:23-25; Rev 22:18-19. Consider some important points concerning the doctrines of inspiration and preservation.
1. God’s Words were inspired perfectly in the autographs (2 Tim 3:16-18; 2 Pet 1:21). Copies of autographs are just as inspired as an original writing, and are considered perfectly equal in authority, and almost no one has ever handled an original wiring. Original manuscripts were destroyed at the hand of Emperor Diocletian's wrath between AD303 and AD313. Copies referenced in the Bible (such as 2 Tim 3:15) are not translations. They are copies of the original document, which was written in a certain language: Hebrew or Greek.
2. The Lord promised to preserve all these inspired words from His Word for each subsequent generation, just as they’re preserved eternally in Heaven (Ps 12:6-7; 119:89; Dan 10:21, 11:2 ff; Am 1:1; Matt 24:35; Jn 17:8; Rev 1:1). The Bible teaches the verbal, plenary preservation of the inspired autographa (Ps 12:6-7). The promise of preservation of the words was the words that were given, which were in what language? Right, Hebrew and Greek.
3. The Lord promises and affirms the perpetual availability of the preserved words of God to every generation of believers (Is 59:21).
4. The Lord used His chosen people Israel to preserve and guard the OT Scriptures in the Hebrew Masoretic Text (Ac 7:38; Rom 3:2) and the true NT churches to preserve and guard the NT Scriptures in the Greek Textus Receptus (Matt 28:19-20; Rev 22:7-10).
5. NT churches are to recognize, receive and preserve the Lord’s Words (Jn 17:8, 20; 1 Th 2:13) while rejecting manuscripts with added or deleted words or forged canons (2 Th 2:2) offered by Satan (Gen 3:1 ff; cf. De 13:1-5). The church, as the depository of God’s words (1 Tim 3:15), led by the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13), recognized and received (Jn 17:8) the words of God as they were given her by Christ her Saviour. Believers can have confidence that the words of Scripture, and, as a necessary consequence, the books of Scripture, and these alone, constitute the deposit of infallible revelation which forms their sole authority for faith and practice (2 Tim 3:15-17) and upon which they will be judged (Jn 12:48), because the Spirit led the church to accept these words, the words from the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus, and no others, as God’s Word. These true local churches have recognized the KJV as the Word of God in the English language because it came from the recognized, received, and preserved words that God gave, and thus have rejected all modern versions, including the ESV, NIV, NKJV, etc, as corrupted perversions and Gnostic laced readings in both text and translation.
6. The Lord has given His explicit Words of revelation to man in order that man may be able to demonstrate his stewardship with all of God’s Words at his respective judgment (Jn 12:48; Rev 20:12). That requires preservation.
7. The Lord Jesus Christ has inspired His autographa (2 Tim 3:16-17), promised to preserve all of His Words (Ps 12:6-7), expects man to receive by faith His revelation and produce perfect copies or accurate translations based on the Received Bible which originated with Him (Matt 28:19-20; Jn 17:8, 20; Rom 16:25-26; cf. Neh 8:8) which movement He began (cf. Ac 2:41; 8:14; 11:1; 17:11; 1 Th 2:13).
So to the question I sometimes get asked, where is the preserved Word of God today, my answer is this: exactly where it’s always been since its inception—in the inspired, inerrant, plenary preserved Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received Text, which are the very texts in which God originally inspired all His words and the very texts that the translators of the KJV used to translate the AV1611 (“translated out of the original languages,” the first page of your KJV)—the very preserved words of God to this day. God. Who by His singular care and providence, has kept His words pure in all ages, and are therefore authentic, that they may be used to convict, reprove, and call the sinner to repentance, to teach, edify, and comfort the believer, and to judge the world in the last day. Since God who cannot lie has promised the perfect preservation and general availability of the very consonants, vowels, and accent pointings of the Hebrew OT (being the Hebrew Masoretic Text), and of the words of the NT (being the Greek Received Text, or TR), those words have never been lost and therefore have never needed restoration or re-breathing, either in the original tongues or by any subsequent translation. The Divinely preserved words in the original languages are to be the authority for all translations. This position is based upon the following Scripture: Ps. 12:6-7; 19:8; Pr. 30:5; Is. 59:21; Matt. 4:4; 5:17-18; 24:35; Jn 5:39; 12:48; Heb. 4:12; 6:18; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Tit. 1:2; Luke 16:17; Rom. 10:8.
This happens to also be the same position as the translators and historical Bible believing churches over the centuries. The Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646, The 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1677 and 1689, have this as their textual position: “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.” [Emphasis mine]
The position of both Reg Kelly and Tim Krahn opposes not just the Bibles teaching on preservation, or these two major confessions of faith, but also all other major confessions of faith from yesteryears, including ones constructed by immersionist Anabaptists/ Baptists/ Mennonites: Schleitheim Confession of 1527 and Waterland Confession of 1580.
Was the King James Version Given by Inspiration and for Preservation?
Both inspiration and preservation deals with the Biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. English is not in that list, nor any other language. God didn’t give the English Bible by inspiration but by translation. The translators also knew that, and I think they of all people would know best. English words did not pass from the mouth of God, thus they were not given by inspiration. God preserved the originally inspired words in the Biblical languages for all subsequent generations and made them available for accurate translation such as the KJV. The doctrines of inspiration and preservation extend to the original language words only.
Some, often out of this same double-inspiration camp (the Ruckman, Riplinger, Hoggard, Kelly, Krahn group), teach that God preserved His Word by means of the English translation, the KJV. They don’t believe that Scripture is preserved in the underlying text, because they would say that we don’t have a whole Greek text of the NT from which the KJV was translated. The preservation of Scripture is allegedly found in the English, the KJV. Any reference to the underlying Greek text would be an attempt to correct the KJV they claim. A translation however is not preservation but the product thereof, a reflection of the inspired and preserved Word of God. This position actually rejects God’s promise to preserve His Word.
God preserved all His Words, in the language in which they were written, and those Words have been accessible to every generation of believers (Ps 12:6-7; Is 59:21; Matt 4:4; 5:18; 24:35). The KJV is the best English translation of those Words. This position is buttressed upon biblical and historic teaching on the preservation of scripture, and doesn’t say that every Word was preserved in any particular printed edition of the Textus Receptus previous to 1611, but that the perfectly preserved Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic Words were received by and accessible to true churches (local churches consisting of true saints) throughout all generations.
So we do not say the KJV words are the fulfilment of the perfect preservation of God’s inspired words, like Krahn teaches here: “By faith, I believe this KJB is the … persevered Word of God.” (The Preservation of God’s Word, Jan 16, 2022). Kelly in his article on “The Doctrine of Preservation,” defines preservation as “The Bible Truth that, irregardless of languages, ‘manuscripts', or translations… God has promised to ‘preserve’, to maintain His Holy Word, pure and perfect, unto all generations, and has done it.” This is seriously convoluted and not true to what Scripture teaches, to the actual doctrine of preservation in God’s Word. How would God preserve His Holy Word unto all generations, that very Word that is only available in written format, without preserving copies of the original? If He didn’t, then those promises aren’t true. But He did, and its Kelly that isn’t true. He, like Krahn, does not understand the doctrine of preservation and reveals excessive confusion over it.
Nevertheless (before people start gnashing upon me with their teeth), because it is a good and accurate translation based upon the preserved inspired words of God (Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received), we can have the same confidence in the KJV as if we were reading the original language texts, and can say that the KJV is the Word of God in the English language, since God is the author and creator of all language (even if indirectly, like with English, considering English to be a hybrid concoction derived from Angles and the Saxons). So that squashes the red herring put out by Krahn that, “if a translation cannot be equated with the actual Word of God then ultimately do you know what that leads us to? You gotta know Hebrew and Greek before you get saved. Not only that, but also to be built up in the faith.” (abid). Thats a position I have never heard anywhere, its pure fabrication made out of sheer cloth. It reveals the fallacy of his position.
So I can defend the KJV as the best and most accurate Word of God translation in the English language but it is impossible to Biblically defend the position that God inspired and preserved His Word through the English KJV, the position that Kelly and Krahn take. To the question Krahn has asked, “Can God not preserve His own Word?” I would answer: He did. Just like He promised but its not in an English Bible that came nearly 1,600 years after the completion of the canonization of Scripture. So that question must be bounced back and asked of him, because he does not believe that God “Can . . . preserve His own Word,” since he takes a new position that is entirely irreconcilable with Scripture.
Krahn has said, “since so few can read the original languages, Gods promise to preserve His Word has no practical relevance if it does not extend to translations. That’s what I’ve said before.” (abid). There is truth to that, but not what he means since he believes and teaches that the KJV is the practical relevance of the promise of preservation. The KJV is a byproduct of preservation, since God persevered His inspired Word, which was in what language? If God didn’t preserve His Word as He promised in that of the languages He gave His inspired in, we wouldn’t even have a King James Bible. There is a practical relevance to perseveration, and it's in that of translations into vernacular languages, just like Rom 16:26 implies. These men mock at the idea that when the Bible says “The words of the LORD are pure words” (Ps 12:6) that these “pure words” were the actual words that God gave, which were Hebrew and some Aramaic words in that case, and later Greek. Apparently that is running “into problems” but where the problem actually rests is when those words, such as Ps 12:16-7, are wrested into something that they don’t mean. The English language didn’t even exist when God inspired His Word, and there is NO such thing as “double inspiration” or “re-inspiration.”
I would agree with the statement, “The Bibles use of the word preserve demonstrates that it’s an absolute and not a relative term. It’s today. It’s either preserved or or isn’t. It either has error or it hasn’t” (abid), but this statement is incompatible with the actual position Krahn takes on the KJV being Gods fulfilled promise of preservation. If preservation is absolute, which it is, would God not have absolutely preserved His words that He gave? When did He give us those words? When the LORD spoke to the OT prophets, the result being inspiration of scripture, did He not say He would absolutely preserve those very words? And likewise with the NT apostles and other writers? Yes He did. So when the Psalmist said “The words of the LORD are pure words: . . . Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever,” (Ps 12:6-7) what “words” was he referring to? Could it be the very words that were being written at that point? Obviously it would be, since that is the actual context, and anything else applied to it, such as the language of Egyptian (which existed at that time) or English (which didn’t exist for another over 2,500 years) or any other language, would be eisegetically spiritualizing of scripture. It is certainly not referring to a language that wouldn’t come into existence for roughly another two and half millennia, and then re-inspired (as Kelly and Krahn both believe) into the King James Bible. That is an unscriptural position unattainable in the Word of God.
Preservation entails preserving something. It preserves something that was there already. If it wasn't there, it isn't preservation. God gave the Bible in Hebrew and Greek and we are not closed off from the original language of scripture. Men understood it to translate it into English or we wouldn't have an English translation. The position that men like Reg Kelly and Tim Krahn take is in complete opposition to the Bible and even to KJV Translators themselves. They knew that the words they translated were “Translated out of the Original Languages” as the cover page of your King James Bible says.
God persevered the originally inspired words for all subsequent generations, just like Ps 12:6-7 says, and made them available for accurate translations, such as the KJV. When the Bible speaks of inspiration and preservation, it extends to the words of the original languages only, which are available to us today (I have copies of both the OT and NT in my home). God did not use the English language to inspire or preserve His Word. Those who believe that the English of the KJV is inspired or God’s promise of preservation or better than the originals, are wrong and transgressing Rev 22:18, where we’re warned not to add to the “words of the prophecy of this book.” No translator was inspired; though they were likely helped by the Lord, of that I have no doubt. Inspiration applies to the original manuscripts and their copies, and Divine Inspiration ceased with the Apostle John in A.D. 96, upon completion of the Book of Revelation.
Since there is no way that God preserved His Words in the English, what is the actual position being espoused here? I don’t think some have thought this through all the way to the end. I don't know. The position, however, which many do attain to is that of “double inspiration.” If the English takes precedent over the original language, then the English has authority over the original language. Something in the way of inspiration occurred with the translators, the Holy Spirit moving on them like He did with the human authors of the originals.
But it’s not true. Nowhere is this concept even remotely found in Scripture.
Rather than believe what the Scriptures say, Kelly continually and repeatedly, sermon after sermon, rages over the very inspired and preserved Word of God and spats at the truth and those who stand upon the truth. Ironically, in one of those sermons (Beware of Leaven) among the many times that he lashes out against the original language texts, he admits that he has anger problems (time 30:20). He professes to be always getting angry when something goes wrong. He admits he even had “one big hill billy fit this week” (time 41:20). It’s good that he admits it but then he went on to excuse the fleshly behaviour. It runs in the human blood, so then it’s okay. What he fails to see is his anger issue is directly related to the issue of blaspheming God’s very Word. Maybe if he stopped doing that, his anger issue would dissipate?
When the Bible Speaks of Divine Preservation of Scripture, Can it Not Also Refer to Translations as Well?
A typical statement of faith where the pastor and church believe that the KJV is Gods fulfillment of promised preservation goes something like this: “the Holy Bible . . . is preserved for us today in the King James Authorized Version of 1611.” (Victory Faith Church website). But it’s not true on a number of fronts. God didn’t wait about 1,500 years to preserve His Word in a language that He didn’t inspire His words in. Furthermore, “today” you don’t use the “King James Authorized Version of 1611.” You use the 1769 revision, which was the fourth revision after 1611 (revised in 1629, 1638, 1762, and then 1769), that made corrections upwards of 40,000 times, some of which were errors. Actual word errors, not just spelling and typographical, such as changing “lamb” to “ram” in Num 6:14, and adding the word “not” to Ezk. 24:7 (which now reads, “poured it not on the ground”), and changed “the Lord” to “his lord” in Jn 15:20 (which now reads, “the servant is not greater than his lord”).
English didn't exist in the 1st century, and not till 1,400 years after. The English language began with the arrival of three Germanic tribes (the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) crossing the North Sea from now Denmark to Britain during the 5th century. I stress, "began," since there was still no English for quite awhile; the Angles and the Saxons still needed to amalgamate to the degree that a hybrid, AngloSaxon, could become a different and new language. Old English was until 1100 AD and doesn’t exist anymore. Middle English, the language of Chaucer and Canterbury Tales, is not the English of the KJV. The KJV translators translated into Modern English, the language of William Shakespeare. The English of today is still Modern English, even though it is late Modern English. God did not move holy men of God to write and preserve His Word in Old, Middle, or Modern English. The KJV is not the only English Bible that meets the Biblical criteria for being an accurate English translation. There are also the Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishop's, Great, and Geneva Bibles. All come out of the same text and all used the same translation methodology. If the KJV was given by inspiration and is now the preserved Word of God, what about Tyndale's NT (the one Testament he was able to finish prior to his martyrdom), from whence the KJV is almost word for word compared to (concerning the NT)? Or what about the other ones listed above? Why can't they be the inspired Word of God, or are they also? So we have triple, quadruple, etc, inspirations of Scripture? There are also differences between those five English translations before the KJV, all of which, again, came out of the same Greek and Hebrew text and were translated by formal equivalence. Not a single person involved in any of those transactions, or in other vernacular translations that are faithful to the underlying text and Scriptural translation methodology, would hold to the convoluted position of Kelly and Krahn.
Translations are translations and its certainly possible for human errors to come into them but Gods inspired and persevered text on the other hand, that of the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Textus Receptus, has NEVER had a single correction or change or revision made to it. Not even one. Not even at the “jot” or “tittle” level. It can't. Gods Word is truth and it is true to the truth, just like God says. Every word of God is preserved, right down to the jot and tittle. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt 5:24). Right down to every "jot" and "tittle," God's Word is preserved, but that is certainly not true concerning the KJV, since there have been tens of thousands of changes and to much more than a jot or tittle.
Neither Ps 12:6-7 and Pr 30:5-6 or any other passage on preservation of God’s Word, apply to translations. Yet these men force the meaning into an unscriptural application, neither of which directly apply to the KJV but to the inspired and preserved texts the KJV was translated from. God’s promise of the preservation of Scripture wasn’t to a translation but to the very words He gave, the words He spoke, breathed out, the words He inspired, which He did in Hebrew (concerning the OT) and Greek (concerning the NT). The KJV is an accurate transition from God’s preserved Word, and this is, again, also the position of the KJV translators. Men like Reg Kelly have evil and blasphemous things to say about the words that God inspired. In a post on FB last summer, Kelly claimed the very words that God inspired, that of the Hebrew and Greek, are “garbage” (Aug 11, 2021). And apparently those that believe God inspired and thus preserved His Word in Hebrew and Greek are “false believers” according to Kelly. Anyone that thinks that these original language texts are greater than the KJV (a translation), is a false believer and heretic according to Kelly. When someone attempts to oppose his opposite by arguing the Biblical position in a godly manner, he is immediately censored and silenced. This practice of denigrating the original language Bible Texts, and exalting a translation over the text it translated from, is a very common practice for this man. Even though it’s unBiblical and blasphemous, it denominates his emotional frothing-at-the-mouth screaming (some call it preaching), noted in many sermons, such as “Beware of Leaven,” “Don’t Sell Your Vineyard” and “The Devils Favourite Verse.” In “Don’t Sell Your Vineyard” and “Beware of Leaven,” he made a mockery of the very inspired Word of God and completely corrupted the doctrine of preservation, while claiming to believe in the preservation of Gods Word. He mocked, scorned, hissed and spat at the inspired Word of God and at those who believe that God inspired and preserved His Word in Greek and Hebrew just like the Bible says He would, claiming that this is “Saduceeism” and “Phariseeism” and “intellectualism” and “rationalism” and “putting the mind above the Bible.” Obviously he doesn’t understand what those words mean, since words have meaning, nor what the doctrine of preservation means in the Bible. God didn’t “double-inspire” His Word. He didn’t wait till 1611 to bring us His Bible or bring another Bible. It is illogical, nonsensical and unbiblical. God says His Word is eternal and will never fade way, and matter of fact heaven and earth would disappear before even a jot or tittle would pass away (that’s the smallest vowel in the Hebrew alphabet ironically), so where was God’s Word on earth before 1611? This position is actually completely untenable and contradictory to Scripture and to the actual position of the KJV translators themselves. Reg Kelly “art the man” who denies the preservation of God’s Word, and denies “that God Almighty can persevere His Word even though He said He will persevere His Word,” and “denies the supernatural” and does not actually believe in the plain promises of God but makes a mockery of them. He mockingly and scornfully asks “Whose Greek you are going to follow? Whose Hebrew you’re going to follow?” The answer to that? The very same Greek and Hebrew that the KJV translators did, the same ones they used to translate the KJV, the very same ones that God said He would preserve forever. Those. We have concordances, doctrinaires (NOT only the 1828 Websters Dictionary), lexicons and other helps that very easily assist us with this, such as Strong’s and BDAG, two popular lexicons.
What happens when someone gives a text of scripture a different meaning then what it actually is, such as all the doctrine of preservation passage’s — is that not wresting (2 Pet 3:16-17) and corrupting (2 Cor 2:17) God’s Word? I would ask “chapter and verse” to these unBiblical teachings. These men really should heed the words they quote, “study the word of God, rightly divide it” instead of appealing to human reasoning, logic and emotion, which will actually cause them and their listeners to go down a slippery slope to apostasy, holding on to a position that is novel and contradictory to scripture. This is the leaven that leads to apostasy, that Kelly should be warning of. No one can take the Sword of the Lord and twist it to their their own liking and get away with it. Don’t deceive yourself; opposing such unscriptural teachings isn’t of “the devil,” its not “shooting fiery darts and unbelief” at these men and their followers. I’m trying to help them. Consider these things and be wise.
Again, God has providentially and perfectly preserved His Word in the Greek Textus Receptus and Hebrew Masoretic texts. When the Bible speaks of preservation, that is what God is referring to. You can’t preserve something that doesn’t exist. When you preserve your vegetables this coming fall, will you preserve vegetables that won’t exist for another 1,500 years? If you can do that, let me know how it goes for you. A person who believes that God preserved His Words in English is denying the preservation of scripture. God preserves what He wrote. He didn't write English. He wrote Hebrew, Greek and some Aramaic. This is so simple, it should insult anyone’s intelligence. I'm hoping this insults your intelligence and not because I'm saying God’s promise of preservation wasn’t an English Bible translation.
So the promise of divine, perfect, verbal plenary preservation is not to a translation but to all the words God gave in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek (Ps 12:6-7; Matt 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16). By extension, preservation will indirectly apply to any translation that accurately and faithfully renders of the inspired and preserved Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words (Rom 16:25-26) by formal equivalence (Neh 8:8), but translation itself is not preservation. What is preserved existed already. The promises of preservation as found in Scripture are to those words that existed already, the ones that God inspired. With a prescience of what would occur regarding His Word, God in the Bible says that He would preserve "jots and tittles," which are letters in the Hebrew alphabet. "Scripture" itself refers to the writings, the actual etchings or markings. God would preserve the Words He inspired. We should all be happy about that.
The position that some people take, such as Reg Kelly and Tim Krahn, is a novel and untenable English-preservation position. If you believe that God has preserved His Word in the English language, then you do not believe the biblical or historical position. You definitely don’t believe in the position of the very translators of the KJV. You don't even believe in divine, perfect preservation. There is no way that you could. You deny preservation. You deny the biblical doctrine. Your position doesn’t start or end with Scripture. You take a strange, new doctrine not even passed down by His people in true churches but made up by the likes of Ruckman, Sam Gipp, Reg Kelly, Mike Hoggard, and others.
It is an appalling and unnerving error for a professing believer to undermine, malign, slander and mock Gods inspired Word as given in the original languages, as these aforementioned men do, not appealing to the Greek and Hebrew but rather denigrating them, but wasn't that a key thing that undermined the dominance of Roman Catholicism historically at the time of the reformation, a return to the study of Greek and Hebrew, which produced our KJV? We should all be thankful that our forefather Menno Simons didn't hold to such a fictitious position.
Furthermore, knowing God's Word as deeply as possible contributes to Christ-like humility, not “intellectualism” or pride (Jn 17:17) as slandered by men like Kelly, so studying the underlying Greek and Hebrew contributes to humility, not pride, though I have seen pride come about over this issue and also the undermining of the KJV, but that is not the fault of the Hebrew and Greek texts but the man using those languages for some self-serving purpose.
So no, when the Bible speaks of Divine preservation of Scripture, it cannot also refer to translations as well. The Bible does give us guidelines for accurate translations such as in Neh 8:8, which must come from the preserved O.T. and N.T. texts which the Lord expects local churches to employ in making translations (Matt 28:19-20). Accurate, faithful and true translations coming from the Received Text can be called “the words of God” in that respective language, and they don’t hold any less power than the original writings of God, but they are not the product of God’s promise of preservation.
Where was the Word of God before 1611?
If the KJV was inspired in 1611, where was the inspired Word before then? ‘Well we didn’t have it.’ ‘It was done away with, to make room for the KJV.’ I have heard such arguments and then perverting scripture such as 1 Pet 1:24-25 by spiritualizing it to make it fit. What?! Thats nonsense and contrary to God’s Word.
The preserved inspired Word of God before 1611 was where it’s always been, in the “Traditional” or “Received” Old and New Testaments Texts (Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus), the texts behind the translations of the Syrian Peschitta (2nd century), Waldensians (predated the reformation by about 300-500 years), Luthers German Bible (1522), Tyndales English NT (1525), Matthew’s Bible (1537), the Great English Bible (1539), the Geneva English Bible (1560) and many other translations such as the Dutch Statenvertaling (1637), Elliott Algonquin Bible (1661-- the first Bible translated and printed in North America) and the Arabic Van Dyke (1865).
Does the King James Version Interpret the Originals?
The camp of Ruckmanites, Kelly and Krahn thinks the KJV is greater and better than the original language language texts. They malign, belittle, condescend, and slander Gods inspired Word. Statements such as the following are not uncommon by either. In one of the sermons, Kelly claims that the KJV and the Greek and Hebrew Bibles “are not an equal authority” and then twisted Matt 6:24 (“no man can have two masters”) entirely out of its meaning and context to support this teaching. Wow. This is the work of very confused man, bending and twisting and wresting Scripture to fit his beliefs (2 Pet 1:16-2:3; 3:16-17). He did the same with the text of his sermon “Don’t Sell Your Vineyard,” which he took from 1 Kings 21 on Naboth’s vineyard, and eisegetically interpreted, since it has absolutely nothing to do with Bible preservation or selling out the KJV since the KJV didn’t even exist in that day!
I have heard 1 Cor 14:27 twisted allegorically and horribly out of its actual meaning to purvey this false philosophy, by Krahn, but in the process Scripture was horribly wrested and the doctrines of inspiration and preservation corrupted. This passage which reads, “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret,” has absolutely nothing to do with “two, or at the most by three” unknown languages of Hebrew, Aramaic the Greek, being interpreted by the “one” English KJV. The KJV does NOT interpret the original language autographs. The passage itself has nothing to do with Bible languages and Bibles. It is referring to the gift of tongues (miraculous speaking of real languages by the apostles and believers in the first century), which passed away at the end of the first century and completion of the canonization of scripture (1 Cor 13:8). Spiritualizing Scripture is not of God (Pr 22:20-21; 2 Pet 3:16-17).
The KJV does not interpret the original languages that God inspired. The KJV is a translation. It was “Translated out of the Original Languages…” just like the King James Bible declares. The KJV translators would spin in their graves if they heard someone claim their translation is greater than, and interpreting the original inspired texts! To the contrary, if anything, the original texts interpret the translation, just like they did in A.D. 1604–1611.
Proper Translations are Good, Though There Are Difficulties.
The original languages are brought into the NT, when Jesus says, “jot and tittle,” Hebrew letters in Matt. 5, and even full words “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” in Matt 27:46. This is not to say that everyone has to learn the Hebrew and Greek. Translations can be depended upon, even as seen in the quotations of the OT in the NT, using a different language. However, the people responsible to teach and preach should study and work, be a workman not ashamed, in rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15), so they should be studying the underlying words in the Hebrew and Greek, and thereby gleaning a much greater understanding of the text and words.
We know translations are good because Jesus translated. His translation was accepted as the Word of God. The apostles translated. However, there is qualifying criteria, as mentioned briefly already. The only translation that can be considered to be the Word of God is one translated from the inspired and preserved Word of God as found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus (which has nearly 6,000 supporting manuscripts) and NOT from the Critical Text (which is largely made up of 2 corrupted manuscripts, and from whence all English versions besides the KJV hail) and then translated by the formal equivalence methodology (not the ungodly dynamic methodology, which is most other English versions).
God knew translation was necessary, as noted in the OT (Neh 8:8) and NT (Rom 16:26). God's Word isn't lost through translation. A major reason for this is that God created language and man in His image with the capacity of language. Languages can be translated into other languages, because God created it that way. You can read the Complete Works of Menno Simons in English even though it was written in Dutch. Naturally, there will be issues with translating, as anyone knows that knows multiple languages, and which God is fully aware of. Consider an example. In Lk 12:51 Jesus starts with “I tell you, Nah,” while the Greek order is “Nah, I tell you,” the word order here would make the “Nah” part emphatic but that isn’t good English, thus the translation. The word order in the Greek is different.
Almost anyone that can speak more than one language understands the difficulty in translating between two languages, even just conveying ideas and concepts between two languages. We may tell a joke in Plautdietsch and its funny, but the laughter is lost when translated into English, maybe even embarrassing. What adds to the difficulty is that words in the Divine Original have several meanings according to context and grammar. The KJV translates the same Greek words several ways in different passages. For example, the Greek word translated “power” in Jn 1:12, is also translated “authority” elsewhere in the KJV (e.g. Jn 5:27). Alternative renderings can be helpful. Matt 16:25-26, in v. 25 “psuche” is translated twice "life" and then in v. 26, same exact word, “psuche,” identical, translated twice "soul." What if the translators translated it life all four times or soul all four times? Would that be an error or translational flexibility or preference?
In 1 Cor 13:8, the word, “katergeo,” is translated "shall fail" and also "shall vanish away." Those are two different English words translating from the same Greek word. What if they had translated “katergeo” the same both times? Prophecy shall vanish away and knowledge shall vanish away. By the way, the same word, “katergeo,” is translated a third way in v. 10, same chapter, "done away." What if we translated it "vanish away" for all three? Would those be errors? They are different. I don't believe so. However, if I'm right about where some are coming from, changing these words would be an error. I don't think it would be. So I say the KJV is an accurate and reliable translation, because of the "trap" that is involved there.
I don't say that the KJV has errors, but I don't speak of a translation not having errors like I would the original text due to the possibility of human errors occurring, like we see between the 1611 and 1769 editions. If the original text was missing one letter that would be an error because not even a jot or tittle will pass away. If the KJV were held to that same standard, then it would have errors because it has been changed between 1611 and 1769, in thousands of places. Scripture does tell us what would be a good translation in any language, with every word translated from the inspired preserved Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Textus Receptus and those may be called “the Word of God” in their respective language.
Preservation on the other hand means that every Word and letter are the same. Inerrant. That's God's standard. If the KJV were the same level of that, then none of us would use the 1769 edition, but the 1611, because every letter and jot must be the same. If a change occurs, it must have been an error. There were over 40,000 changes to the KJV between 1611 and 1769, consisting of spelling updates, punctuation, grammar and italic standardizations, and even some word changes. If Gods promise of inerrancy and preservation is applied to the KJV, which version? And if it’s 1769, how about the changes made from the 1611 edition, which was the translated edition by the 50+ men? The inerrant text of what Scripture speaks of, needed NO updates or changes.
Though I haven’t answered all objections to the Biblical position of preservation, I’m happy to hear how any of this is scripturally wrong. I understand there is some repetition in this report; I tried to avoid it but it's difficult when dealing with this subject. And repetition is also important, something we note throughout Scripture.
Nothing I have quoted here from Reg Kelly or Tim Krahn is “taken apart” as might be insinuated by these men or their loyal followers, as Tim does in the sermon “The Preservation of Gods Word.” When a preacher preaches, he needs to stand behind the words he says and not shirk responsibility by throwing out invectives at people discerning and testing and proving his words as the Bible commands. He said, “I can mess up and say things wrong. I ought not but I do but want not to. By thats what gets picked apart. But if you have the word of God, they can try, but you can stand on it and say that’s the verse and I don’t care how you take it but this is the verse. It’s authority. It’s power.” Yes the scripture is authority and power but so are also your words preached when God’s Word has been rightly interpreted and divided, so that faith can come by hearing the Word of God preached (Rom 10:17) and people can be saved through the preaching as the Bible says (1 Cor 1:21) or edified and perfected (Eph 4:12). That is why we have “evangelists . . . pastors and teachers” (Eph 4:11). The power and authority is lost when Scripture is misused, abused and corrupted. A common refrain from Krahn is speaking freely but refusing to take responsibility for his words; noted not only above but also in the same sermon: “you can’t trust me.” ‘Trust the Bible but don’t trust me.’ This is false humility and a ridiculous statement to make by a preacher, who is to be preaching “sound doctrine” (Ti 2:1). We are to trust their preaching, as we note everywhere in the Bible. The issue arises when their own conscience is convicted that their preaching is wrong, so they appeal to the Word of God; trust it but don't trust me. If the preacher can't be trusted, he shouldn't behind the pulpit. Many times when a preacher says “you can’t trust me” — it’s from a position of false humility and deception. He doesn’t actually truly mean it but merely stating it to shirk responsibility for his preaching. That is tested out when someone actually challenges the preacher on something “he doesn’t trust,” only to find out he is lambasted and slandered as “divisive,” “sower of discord,” “trouble-maker,” etc. Even in that same sermon, people allegedly picking apart his words. It is true though, no one should trust this position but study it out in scripture and use a smidgen of common sense. As stated prior, this is so simple, it should insult anyone’s intelligence. I'm hoping this insults your intelligence and not because I'm saying God’s promise of preservation wasn’t through an English Bible translation.
The only biblical position is that God preserved His words, all of them, in the language in which they were written. If you believe that God has preserved His Word in the English language, then you do not believe the biblical and historical position. You don't even believe in divine, perfect preservation. There is no way that you could. You actually deny preservation just like those who don’t even put the doctrine into their statement of faith (something Krahn spoke of in that same sermon). You deny the biblical doctrine. You take a strange, new doctrine not even passed down by His people in true churches, but concocted by heretics like Peter Ruckman and others. That is not Christ-honouring bibliology but fake opinionated news.
If you believe the KJV is better or has authority over the original inspired texts, or that it somehow interprets the original inspired texts, that it was given by inspiration or that the doctrine of perfect preservation of Scripture is referring to the KJV, you are not living by faith. You do not actually believe in the promises of God in His Word. You are not pleasing God. Though you hold to a fairly common position, it is nevertheless both false and dangerous. You should indeed rely on the KJV, not because its God's final authority for all of mankind but because of the text from which it is translated, which is His final authority. That text is the one preserved. The doctrine is the preservation of scripture. You should believe “the word of God” rather than “the word of men” (1 Th 2:13).
"Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” (Ps 119:127-128).
For further reading on this subject, see here: Not All King James Bible Views Are the Same