Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Textus Receptus...What Have You Heard?

Ever heard of the Textus Receptus? It is the "Received Greek Text" that is the foundation of the King James Bible (and a few others). I was once an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) before I came over to the Reformed Baptist camp...and I was taught many things in Seminary and in numerous books on the subject of Textual Criticism and the origins of the Bible.

I am currently doing some personal research on the textual issue as my viewpoint has been stretching and growing. I have held the position that I am "TR-only" and not KJV only. What that means is I said I only supported Bibles that were used the TR for their Greek NT translation. I was never KJV only...I always believed that the KJV is the only English bible that used the TR...and so I was KJV-only in that sense.

Here's an idea...isn't it always good to be right about something for the right reasons? I want everything I teach and say to be based on truth. I've been finding out that much of what I was taught in the IFB camp on the TR issue was not 100% accurate. What I don't want to do is trade truth for certainty!

While it was comforting and easy to say that God preserved His NT Word in the TR this a true statement? If you hold that position let me ask you a few questions...and feel free to post your thoughts, websites and books that talk honestly about the issue (please don't give me the usual KJV-only blah, blah, blah!)...

Is there such a thing as one TR...or are there many? I've heard there are actually 30 and they don't all agree at all amongst themselves!

Is the New KJV based on the TR? I understand now that it really is, even though I was taught it isn't...still researching that one.

Is the TR based on the majority of the 5300 extant Greek manuscripts? I know that Erasmus only used a couple and part of Revelation was missing...he used the Latin Vulgate to fill in the blanks and translated backwards from Latin into Greek! We used to slam the Critical Text proponents for only using a small percentage of the the TR any different?

Food for thought...feel free to post and make comments! Still learning and seaching for truth...not phantom certainty!
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> posted by Jim Leavenworth at


Anonymous Mark S said...

I find it ironical that we have so many copies of "scripture" we argue over which one to use.
It often creates confusion in the churches which is a product of Satan

We should take the lesson of the Waldensians of the middle ages who often did not have scripture in print and under bloody persecution of Rome many of them reportedly memorized whole books of the Bible
That thought humbles me.

December 25, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Jim Leavenworth said...

I agree...Satan is the author of confusion...but I also believe that truth is what overcomes confusion.

Telling folks errors/lies (depending on who makes them) is not of the Lord, nor does it help. I was taught in seminary that the TR was created from over 90% of the 5300 manuscripts and the Critical text was only taken from a few...false.

I was told the TR was the 100% accurate Greek text...some of it is not even found in the Greek manuscripts at all.

My thought is that the Lord preserved the Word (all of it, plenarily and completely) in the existing manuscripts...but NOT in the TR alone as I've been taught.

I have no issues with using the TR or the KJV (I still do!) but I do have a problem when people are taught to ignore and not examine textual variants and are told that the TR is God's perfectly pure and only preserved Greek repository.

Again, trading truth for certainty does not alleviate only creates errors/falsehood.

As to memorizing Scripture, I'm all for it! We can all learn from the Waldensian example.

December 28, 2008 at 9:19 AM  

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