Part 1 - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris

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James D. Price Ph.D, one of the NKJV translators, writes the Foreward to Rick Norris' book called The Unbound Scriptures. In this preface Mr. Price sums up the conclusions of Mr. Norris saying: "Norris demonstrates that the doctrine of inerrancy can be successfully applied ONLY to THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS, but not to any translation, including the KJV." [Caps are mine throughout]

He also says: "Norris shows that the doctrine of preservation can be applied properly ONLY to the text of THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPHS, and that the application of this doctrine to subsequent copies or translations is not a historic Baptist doctrine."

Mr. Price is correct in his analysis of Mr. Norris' conclusions. It is ironic to see Mr. Norris use "logic" when he attempts to refute the King James only position. Mr. Norris says: "A conclusion can only be considered valid and true when the premises on which it is based are true....One false assumption or fallacious link can break a chain of evidence and render the whole argument a failure."

Norris' book is full of his references to "the inspired, inerrant original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures". He starts off his first chapter affirming "THE Bible IS the inspired word of God" - he doesn't say The Bible WAS the inspired word of God - yet he never identifies for us what this Bible IS nor WHERE we can find these ORIGINAL Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Norris' true Scriptures are so "unbound" they are not even found for sure in a loose leaf notebook nor in hundreds of scraps of "original language" manuscripts. A far more accurate name for Norris' book would be "The UNFOUND Scriptures". He doesn't know where they are and, of course, he can't tell you either.

Mr. Norris is very big on logic. He says: "The questions involved in this disagreement are not about what God can possibly do but are about what God has actually done. Only an open examination of the evidence can settle this issue. The validity of any claim or argument concerning this or any disagreement must be settled by the use of logical means." He goes into great detail explaining how we need logic to arrive at sound conclusions concerning the Bible version issue, yet it is blatantly obvious to me that Mr. Norris' logic has failed him miserably in arriving at his conclusions. He has built his entire argument upon a false assumption.

Mr. Norris concludes his first chapter saying: "God's preserved Word in THE ORIGINAL languages MUST BE THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY and Standard of truth for evaluating and validating all translations."

Mr. Norris has neglected to inform us of the fact that no such animal as "the original Hebrew and Greek" exists on this planet, and he knows it doesn't exist, yet this is the foundation of his anti-King James Only position.

THERE ARE NO ORIGINALS, and there is widespread and profound differences of opinion as to what they might have said, as is amply witnessed by the multitude of conflicting bible versions so prevalent today. The Bible consists of 66 books, and never has there been such a Book composed only of "the originals" all placed together in one book to form the Bible.

Mr. Norris makes abundant use of quotes from past theologians in an effort to prop up his "historical view" of inspiration and preservation. Here is one of many typical quotes which sounds good on the surface, but in fact says nothing of actual substance. He quotes Francis Turretin (1623-1687) who says: "Our teaching is that ONLY the Hebrew of the O.T. and the Greek of the New have been and ARE authentic in the sense that all controversies concerning faith and religion, and all versions, are to be tested and examined by them."

Well, this would be very nice indeed, if such a thing as THE Hebrew and THE Greek existed, but they don't, and everybody knows it. How then can we consult something that doesn't exist and use them to "test and examine all versions"?

It doesn't matter how many godly men of old said "only the originals are the standard". They were posturing a textual position that does not exist, and they knew it didn't exist when they said it! And Mr. Norris has the nerve to accuse the King James Bible believer of holding a false premise on which he bases his conclusions!

Regarding the practical outworking of the doctrine of the preservation of God's words, the modern version proponents either believe the true words of God are "out there somewhere" in all the variant manuscripts but we are not sure which ones they are; or they reduce "preservation" to the idea that the general, overall message is in all "reliable translations", though the particular words and numbers, many whole verses and the meaning of much of Scripture remains uncertain or even lost. Neither view really means that "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" has actually been divinely preserved through history to the present day.

Instead of "heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:36), the modern versionist really thinks along the lines of "heaven and earth shall pass away, but most of the general sense of what I said won't pass away."

Here are some quotes from several textual critics you won't find in Norris' book. These men prepared the way for and later adopted the textual theories of Westcott and Hort, whose Greek text forms the basis of most modern New Testament versions, as the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV, ISV.

As early is 1771 Griesbach wrote, "The New Testament abounds in more losses, additions, and interpolations, purposely introduced then any other book."

In 1908 Rendel Harris declared that the New Testament text had not at all been settled but was "more than ever, and perhaps finally, unsettled." Two years later Conybeare gave it as his opinion that "the ultimate (New Testament) text, if there ever was one that deserves to be so called, is for ever irrecoverable."

In 1941 Kirsopp Lake, after a life time spent in the study of the New Testament text, delivered the following judgment: "In spite of the claims of Westcott and Hort and of von Soden, we do not know the original form of the Gospels, and it is quite likely that we never shall."

In 1960 H. Greeven also has acknowledged the uncertainty of the neutral method of New Testament textual criticism - "In general, the whole thing is limited to probability judgments; the original text of the New Testament, according to its nature, must be and remains a hypothesis."

In 1963 R. M. Grant adopts a still more despairing attitude - "The primary goal of New Testament textual study remains the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that to achieve this goal is well-nigh impossible."

In contrast to the modern scholar's affirmation that the Standard or final authority is "the Bible AS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN", here are a couple examples of confessions of faith from the past. Notice there is no mention of "the originals only".

In 1678 the General Baptists of England published the Orthodox Creed. It says: "And by the holy Scriptures we understand the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, AS THEY ARE NOW TRANSLATED INTO OUR ENGLISH MOTHER TONGUE, of which there hath never been any doubt of their verity and authority in the protestant churches of Christ to this day." What Bible do you suppose these people were using in 1678?

Observe this personal confession of faith by a man named Mr. Kinney (no known relation) and the date when he wrote it. LeBaron W. Kinney wrote in 1942, "When a Bible teacher refers to the original languages of the Bible, there is a danger of giving a wrong impression about the authority and true value of the standard King James Version. Too many are ready to say that they have a better rendering, and often in such a way as to give an impression that the King James Version is faulty, or that other versions are much better. We believe that God overruled His gift of the King James Version of 1611, so that we have in it the very Word of God. We believe that no other English Version will ever take its place. Every one of the various English versions claims to be nearer the original than the others. This could not be true of more than one of them." (Hebrew Word Studies, Acres of Rubies" page 9, published by Loizeaux Brothers).

Examples of Norris' "logic" are found throughout his book. On page 11 he takes up the argument of a KJB believer. He says:"KJV-only advocate Ralph Yarnell claimed: "If the Holy Spirit was in the translation, then it is an inerrant translation, for the Holy Spirt would not be a party to anything less". Mr. Norris then responds: "If this claim were true, would it not also mean that believers must be 100% perfect, infallible, and sinless since the Holy Spirit is in them?"

What Norris misses here is the fact that the Bible itself claims to be the perfect, inspired word of God, whereas the same Bible tells us that believers are not perfect or sinless now, but one day shall be. This is an example of the logic Mr. Norris employs to build his case.

Commenting on a KJB believer who says the AV of 1611 is the standard by which all translations are judged, Mr. Norris says: "In contrast to the claims of KJV advocates, God's Word does not teach that God infallibly guided the KJV translators to restore perfectly the original text from a number of slightly imperfect printed editions of the Greek New Testament. Should the authority of God's Word in Hebrew and Greek be dethroned and replaced by the finite renderings of the uninspired KJV translators?"

Mr. Norris' "logic" has once again failed him here. He speaks of the authority of the Hebrew and Greek, yet does not identify WHICH GREEK and which Hebrew he is talking about. There are easily 25 to 30 very different Greek texts in print, and thousands of manuscripts which differ from each other. The NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV and most modern versions are based on a very different Greek text than those of Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishop's, the Geneva Bible, the King James Holy Bible and the NKJV. It omits some 3000 words in the New Testament alone and even these modern versions do not always follow the same Greek texts among themselves.

A very well done and easy to follow chart showing just SOME of the textual differences between the King James Bible and versions like the NIV, NASB is found here. These are not "minor differences". The equivalent number of words from the combined epistles of First and Second Peter have been omitted in most modern versions.

As for the NASB, NIV, and the ESV, they each reject ALL Hebrew texts in scores of places, thinking they have been corrupted, and often do not even agree with each other on which parts of the Hebrew text they think contain "scribal errors" or where they believe the text is incomplete and must be suplimented from some other source like the Syriac, Septuagint, or the Latin.

For factual documentation of where the NIV, NASB, and ESV depart from the Hebrew texts, and thus would be disqualified as legitimate Bible versions even by Mr. Norris's standards, see my articles on the NASB, NIV

and here

And for the ESV, the 2001 English Standard Version now being used by many evangelical churches, which departs from the Hebrew texts much more than even the NIV, NASB see

It is true that God's word does not mention the King James Bible - But neither does it mention the NASB, NIV, or ESV. God does promise to preserve His words somewhere on this earth till heaven and earth pass away. Mr. Norris tries to give the impression that he knows what they are, but he NEVER ONCE tells us exactly WHERE we can find them.

Mr. Norris goes into great detail explaining how the KJB translators used a variety of Greek texts, manuscripts and other versions to put together the finished product, explaining for us that no two manuscripts are exactly the same and the KJB does not match any of them 100%.

However it should be noted that today's scholars go through the same sifting process in an attempt to restore what they think are the words of God and no manuscript reads the way the NASB, NIV, or ESV do either. Mr. Norris seems to dismiss the possibility that God has kept His promises to preserve His words and done so by guiding a group of men to put together a perfect Bible in the form of a translation. Only God knows for sure which readings are His and only He can guide men to put them in His Book.

The King James Bible believer puts his faith in Almighty God to fulfill His promises; not in any group of fallible and imperfect men, not in the King James translators, and certainly not in men like Westcott and Hort, Bruce Metzger, or cardinal Carlos Martini.

In Mr. Norris' view, only the originals are inerrant and inspired. Mr. Norris has never seen the originals nor has anyone else, mainly because they turned to dust a couple thousand years ago. Norris tells us that no translation can be the inspired word of God and they all are imperfect and limited. Yet throughout his book he says the non-existent "originals" are the Standard by which all versions are to be judged. The only logical conclusion we can then draw from his premise is that there is no inerrant, infallible, inspired Bible anywhere on this earth. Even though Mr. Norris continually speaks of "the inspired original Hebrew and Greek autographs" as the Final Standard, I challenge him to tell us where these can be found.

It is extremely important that from the outset we clearly see where Mr. Norris is coming from in his premise. He and others like him who criticize the Authorized Version have no objective, absolute, infallible Standard by which they sit in judgment on the King James Bible.

The Premise of the King James Bible Believer

In contrast to Mr. Norris' Final Standard premise, which is the non-existent "originals" and a mystical bible that exist only in his own mind, the King James Bible believer relies on the promises of God to preserve His infallible words.

Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."

Psalm 12:6-7: "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

Psalm 138:2: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy Truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

Psalm 100:5: "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Psalm 33:11: "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."

Psalm 119:152, 160: "Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. ... Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Isaiah 59:21: "... My Spirit that is upon thee [Isaiah], and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."

Matthew 5:17-18: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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."

Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

1 Peter 1:23-25: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever... But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

John 10:35: "... the Scripture cannot be broken."

God never promised to give every nation or individual a perfect Bible. I know God uses imperfect men and imperfect bible versions to bring people to Christ. The gospel is found in any version out there - this is not the issue. The issue is Did God keep His promises to preserve His complete, inerrant, pure and perfect words somewhere on this earth till the heavens pass away? I believe He did.

"He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 147:19-20.

External Link

Other Artilces by Will Kinney

Other Artilces by Will Kinney in the Textus Receptus database ~

Old Testament

Genesis Genesis 1:28 Replenish or Fill? - Genesis 6:6 Can God repent? - Genesis 22:1 Did God "Tempt" Abraham? Exodus Exodus 20:13 Thou Shalt Not KILL - Exodus - the Israelites "borrowed" of the Egyptians Numbers Numbers 22 Why was God Angry with Balaam? Job Bible Babel in Job - a comparative study 1 Samuel 1 Samuel 13:21 "a file" a "pim" or "two-thirds of a shekel"? 2 Samuel 2 Samuel 21:8 Michal or Merab? - 2 Samuel 21:19 Who Killed Goliath? 1 Kings 1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face - 1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed" NKJV Nonsense Psalms Psalm 8:5 Lower than the Angels, or a little lower than God? - Answering Doug Kutilek's anti-Preservation in Psalm 12 - Psalm 74:8 the synagogues of God; Psalm 77:2 my sore ran in the night - Psalms 1 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 2 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 3 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 4 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 5 How Different the Versions! Proverbs NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs - Bible Babel in Proverbs Isaiah Isaiah - a Comparative Study - Does God Create Evil? Isaiah 45:7 Jeremiah Jeremiah 8:8 the pen of the scribes is in vain - Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim or Zedekiah? - Ezekiel Ezekiel 29:7 Hebrew, Greek or Syriac? Hosea Hosea - a Comparative Study

New Testament

Did Jesus Tell Them to Take a Staff or Not? Matthew Is Matthew 23:14 Scripture or not? - Matthew 27:44 cast in teeth Mark Gospel of Mark - a Modern Version Mix-up Luke Is "cousin" wrong in Luke 1:36 - Luke 17:36 Is it inspired Scripture or not? John John 1:18 the only begotten Son Acts Act 3:19 times of refreshing; 7:20 Moses was exceeding fair - Acts 9:5-7 hear the voice; 7:20 exceeding fair - Acts 5:30 slew and hanged; 19:20 word of GOD - Acts 13:33 this day have I begotten thee - Acts 19:9 DIVERS were hardened, and believed not - Acts 19:35 Diana or Artemis? Jupiter, Zeus or Heaven? - The So-called "Science" of Textual Criticism. Science or Hocus-Pocus? Gospels through Acts Romans James White discussing Romans 6:17 Philippians Textual Studies in Philippians 2 Timothy 2 Timothy 3:16 Inspiration of God or God Breathed? Hebrews The Book of Hebrews - a Comparative Study 1 Peter 1 Peter - Shifting Sands of Scholarship 1 John And These Three Are One Article defending the inclusion of 1 John 5:7. - 1 John 5:7 These three are one Jude The Book of Jude - James White's "inferior" texts Revelations Revelation 13 Confusion - Vials or Bowls in the book of Revelation - Rev.16:5 and SHALT BE; 5:8-10 redeemed US - Revelation 17:8 "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" - Acts 28:13 We Fetched a Compass; 1 Tim5:4 Nephews - Matthew 24:3; Hebrews 9:26 End of World or Age?

Modern Versions

Bible Babel 1 - Bible Babel 2 - Bible Babel 3 - Bible Babel 4 - The Oldest and Best Manuscripts? - Every Man for Himself Bible Versions - the HCSB, NET, ESV, TNIV, NKJV - The Inerrancy of Scripture - are you a Bible believer or a Bible agnostic? - True Bible? - Modern Versions Teach Racism - Modern Versions Teach Pride as a Virtue - Do Ghosts Exist? Modern Versions say Yes ESV The English Standard Version 2001 NASB The Ever Changing NASB's NKJV NKJV Word Changes - When the NKJV departs from the TR - The New KJV is a Hack Job Translation - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - Is the NKJV the same as the KJB? - Don't go on Safari with a New KJV Translator - The NKJV is a Poor Substitute for the True Bible - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs

King James Word Definitions

Lucifer - Jehovah - Unicorns - Is the word "Easter" an error in the King James Bible? - Are the words "CHURCH" and 'BISHOP' wrong? - Hell and Damnation in the King James Bible - "By and by" versus "the-by-and-by" - Servants or Slaves? - Is "charity" an error in the KJB? - The Grace of God Destroyed - "Would to God" - Another alleged 'error' bites the dustIs "bottles" an inaccurate word in the King James Bible?

King James Bible

Is King James onlyism Scriptural? - Does the KJB only position "blow up"? - What About Those Printing Errors in 1611? - Does the King James Bible depart from the Hebrew Texts? - Why do you King James Bible onlyies Attack the word of God? - The Historic Confessions support the KJB position - Can a Translation be Inspired? - The Old Latin versions and the KJB


NO LXX Part 1 - NO LXX - the Fictitious Use of Septuagint

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco

Hebrew Text

The NIV, NASB reject the Hebrew Texts - NIV, NASB reject Hebrew texts Part 2 - How to Destroy Messianic Prophecies

Greek Text

"The Greek" and Hebrew Games

Gender Inclusive Versions

Gender Inclusive Versions Dealing with the TNIV

Answering Critics

E mail exchange with Bible Agnostic Doug Kutilek - John MacArthur - Pastor with NO Infallible Bible - A Bible Believer's Response to James Price's book King James Onlyism - a New Sect - A King James Bible Believer's Response to Rick Norris' book 'The Unbound Scriptures' - 17 Parts

Part 1 - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris

Part 2 - Those Dreadful Archaic Words

Part 3 - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible

Part 4 - Revision

Part 5 - Printing Errors and Spelling

Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy

Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible

Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways

Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?

Part 10 - Mules or Hot Springs?

Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?

Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?

Part 13 - The Usual Suspects

Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God

Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument

Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?

Part 17 - Final Thoughts

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