Riddle responds to Ward's review of "Why I preach from the Received Text"

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Riddle does a good job on responding to Ward's review on the book. After reading the book, and then reading Ward's review, I felt he completely missed (and did not engage with) the arguments concerning Providential Preservation in the book and only seemed to see the three letters "KJV" throughout.

I am glad to see Riddle do a capable job of responding to Ward's review.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding here.

Riddle says "after supposedly reading through our book...Mark Ward thinks that the main issue with the book is what it has to say about the intelligibility of the King James Version."

But that's not what Ward said. He said "And then I’ll examine what they said about the main issue at stake in the debate over the KJV: the current intelligibility of Elizabethan English."

Ward is fascinated by linguistics and has written extensively on his blog about the KJV. He has a youtube channel where he has a myriad of videos explaining what he calls "false friends", which are words or phrases that one thinks they know, but in which the meaning has actually shifted since it was translated. He "fixates" on that aspect because that is what is important to him in the "debate over the KJV". Not because he thinks that is the thrust of the book. Ward doesn't engage with the primary premise at all but focused on the secondary, tangential one which is [the subject] he usually engages with.
 
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B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
I read the transcript of the WM 247 rejoinder and listened to part of the audio and I don't believe Pastor Riddle responded well at all. From referring to Ward as an "anti-KJV activist" to questioning whether Ward actually even read the book, to making the rather lame comparison that the book has had 11 reviews on Amazon and Ward gave it two stars while every other reviewer gave it five stars....I found it hard to listen to. Pastor Riddle came across rather prideful and condescending in my opinion.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I read the transcript of the WM 247 rejoinder and listened to part of the audio and I don't believe Pastor Riddle responded well at all. From referring to Ward as an "anti-KJV activist" to questioning whether Ward actually even read the book, to making the rather lame comparison that the book has had 11 reviews on Amazon and Ward gave it two stars while every other reviewer gave it five stars....I found it hard to listen to. Pastor Riddle came across rather prideful and condescending in my opinion.
Remember, though, that by reading a transcript you cannot pick up on verbal cues such as tone. I listened to the actual podcast, and he didn’t come off as prideful at all. I thought he was rather measured.

And while Mark Ward is not technically anti-KJV, given his consistent demeanor toward the translation—i.e., scarcely making even a positive comment about it—his constant defense of himself that he “loves” the KJV does ring somewhat hollow.

I say all this as someone who has benefitted from Mark’s work. I enjoy his YouTube channel. I think he is helpful in discussing translations as translations, but I’m wondering if he is in a little over his head now that he is entering the text-critical ring. Not sure.
 
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Logan

Puritan Board Senior
That bothered me as well. The three opening remarks (setting the stage) were:

- Ward is a well-known anti-KJV activist (I'd not characterize him as that at all, no more than I am)
- Ward posted a "caustic review" (I didn't find it caustic or toxic, in tone or content)
- Ward gives the book 2 stars while every other review gives it 5

That's biasing the audience before you even get to the content.

Toward the end, Riddle completely mis-read Ward. He quotes Ward saying:
“I see in this book an effort to marginalize some TR defenders who cannot speak with any of the intelligence and grace (most of) these authors used.”

To which Riddle responds
"I see here a mark of inconsistency. In the previous paragraph he said our views are “almost always accompanied by a spirit of arrogance and strife,” but he now says the authors in this anthology generally speak with 'intelligence and grace.' Which is it?"

Riddle is referring to the remarks he had just quoted, where Ward said:
“The editors picked some of the most capable and gracious men of their sect, but at the lay and pastoral levels their views are almost always accompanied by a spirit of arrogance and strife."

There is no inconsistency: Ward clearly states that (most of) the authors in the collection of essays speak with intelligence and grace and contrasts that to the "lay and pastoral levels" which are almost always "accompanied by a spirit of arrogance and strife".
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Ward wrote a review that did not deal with the fundamental thesis of the book but dealt with the KJV. If that is what passes for a good or even honest review — I really don't know what to say. I'm simply astonished.

Ward does his fair share of poisoning the well. He says Myers is in sin for his view (take it to his Presbytery if so) and also says most KJV defenders are arrogant and full of strife.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Junior
Ward wrote a review that did not deal with the fundamental thesis of the book but dealt with the KJV. If that is what passes for a good or even honest review — I really don't know what to say. I'm simply astonished.

Ward does his fair share of poisoning the well. He says Myers is in sin for his view (take it to his Presbytery if so) and also says most KJV defenders are arrogant and full of strife.
Seriously Rom? Every time we think someone in an entirely different denomination is in sin, we have to take it up with their presbytery? Have you ever tried taking up a matter of sin in a brother in your own presbytery, let alone another denomination? I have done it within my own presbytery when I thought it was necessary, and it was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I can't imagine pursuing a case against someone in a different denomination, even if he thinks the Bible to whose translation I contributed (the CSB) is "based on Satan's Bible" (which seems to me a clear calumny of God's Word). If he is in sin for saying that, well, he has a master to whom he is accountable and that isn't me. I have enough to deal with, seeking to repent of my own sins, without feeling obligated to police everyone else's outside my sphere of responsibility. And if every time I sin, people feel the need to inform my presbytery, we'd have no time to get anything done.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Seriously Rom? Every time we think someone in an entirely different denomination is in sin, we have to take it up with their presbytery? Have you ever tried taking up a matter of sin in a brother in your own presbytery, let alone another denomination? I have done it within my own presbytery when I thought it was necessary, and it was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I can't imagine pursuing a case against someone in a different denomination, even if he thinks the Bible to whose translation I contributed (the CSB) is "based on Satan's Bible" (which seems to me a clear calumny of God's Word). If he is in sin for saying that, well, he has a master to whom he is accountable and that isn't me. I have enough to deal with, seeking to repent of my own sins, without feeling obligated to police everyone else's outside my sphere of responsibility. And if every time I sin, people feel the need to inform my presbytery, we'd have no time to get anything done.
I am sorry this is a touchy subject. Ward made a very public accusation of a minister being in sin. You can discount my offhand parenthetical comment if you wish - my greater point still stands without it. I still believe that Ward's review misses the point of the book. I'll leave it at that.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
I still believe that Ward's review misses the point of the book. I'll leave it at that.

I'd agree with that. And perhaps it is in poor taste to leave a low public review of a book based primarily upon its coverage of a topic that is only tangential to the main topic.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
I reached out to @iainduguid about his response to my comment. He was very helpful in understanding where he was coming from. When I spoke about "take it up with his presbytery" - it was not intended to shut down criticism or critique hiding behind Matthew 18. I can see how my statement came across now. I was certainly careless in writing it. It was just jarring to see a review that directly charged a minister with sin - so I was taken aback by that. Mr. Ward can certainly criticize Mr. Myer's article. So, please forgive me, that I gave you the impression I was trying to use church discipline as a means to shield folks from public criticism. That was not my intention at all.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I'm admittedly wandering into this thread without having read the book or being familiar with Mark Ward at all before this thread, but I'm not sure why it's problematic to review a book from one angle of which someone is most familiar. Based on his review and even the table of contents of the book reviewed it seems that use of the KJV is a predominant theme in the book as well so I think it's worth looking there too. I'm not surprised as many TR advocates are also advocates of using the KJV, and we wandered into the same topic when discussing TR on this board before. The book is an anthology of essays not a unified work with a developed thesis.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
I'm admittedly wandering into this thread without having read the book or being familiar with Mark Ward at all before this thread, but I'm not sure why it's problematic to review a book from one angle of which someone is most familiar. Based on his review and even the table of contents of the book reviewed it seems that use of the KJV is a predominant theme in the book as well so I think it's worth looking there too. I'm not surprised as many TR advocates are also advocates of using the KJV, and we wandered into the same topic when discussing TR on this board before. The book is an anthology of essays not a unified work with a developed thesis.
This is true from my reading of the book so far. I have only come across a couple of essays that are truly advocating for the TR and not also the KJV. It really does seem that in many cases the received text is only the KJV.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Just piping in to remind that the KJV is the RT translation that became our common English Bible. It brought great unity to the church for many years and is still, in some denominations, doing so. That's why RT folks cling to the KJV, until the Lord sends such winds of the Spirit of unity and the time comes (if ever) to revise.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Just piping in to remind that the KJV is the RT translation that became our common English Bible. It brought great unity to the church for many years and is still, in some denominations, doing so. That's why RT folks cling to the KJV, until the Lord sends such winds of the Spirit of unity and the time comes (if ever) to revise.
Well, it has been revised, just not recently. In Romans, there is still a part that calls the Holy Spirit an "it". I would say the NKJV is the revision as it fixes many of the translation/printing errors in the KJV.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Well, it has been revised, just not recently. In Romans, there is still a part that calls the Holy Spirit an "it". I would say the NKJV is the revision as it fixes many of the translation/printing errors in the KJV.
I understand that it varies pretty substantially in some things from the KJV. But in any case my view is that a revision of our Bible should be an ecclesiastical undertaking, in times of reformation of the church.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
I understand that it varies pretty substantially in some things from the KJV. But in any case my view is that a revision of our Bible should be an ecclesiastical undertaking, in times of reformation of the church.
I would say it varies in good ways, as in it corrects the issues and it uses the beloved Scrivener TR.

As to the other comment about an ecclesiastical undertaking, who gets to decide that? Like would this be reformed churches? Reformed plus Anglican? Reformed plus Anglican plus Lutheran? Shouldn't reformation be an ongoing thing in the reformed church. Also, were the revisions of the KJV and the TR ecclesiastical undertakings or were they undertakings of specific men like Beza and Erasmus (honest question)?
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
I would say it varies in good ways, as in it corrects the issues and it uses the beloved Scrivener TR.

As to the other comment about an ecclesiastical undertaking, who gets to decide that? Like would this be reformed churches? Reformed plus Anglican? Reformed plus Anglican plus Lutheran? Shouldn't reformation be an ongoing thing in the reformed church. Also, were the revisions of the KJV and the TR ecclesiastical undertakings or were they undertakings of specific men like Beza and Erasmus (honest question)?
God must bring these things about.
I would say that Beza and Erasmus did textual work that was good, no problems with scholars doing such. But they didn't publish new translations of the Bible for the use of the church.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
God must bring these things about.
I would say that Beza and Erasmus did textual work that was good, no problems with scholars doing such. But they didn't publish new translations of the Bible for the use of the church.
This seems like a standard that cannot really be defined. Also, since God is sovereign over all things, wouldn't he ultimately be the one that allowed all of the numerous other translations to come out as well? I could argue that God brought about the NKJV to correct all of the errors in the KJV. Another could argue that God brought about the CT manuscripts to correct the TR issues. It doesn't seem like this is a sound way to go about deciding what is allowed and not allowed. Also, where in scripture do we see standards for translation work? Keep in mind, we are talking about just the TR at this point.
 
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danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
God must bring these things about.
I would say that Beza and Erasmus did textual work that was good, no problems with scholars doing such. But they didn't publish new translations of the Bible for the use of the church.
Just an aside, Both Beza and Erasmus published translations for use in the church that were fairly widely used, and it can even be argued that their primary impetus for dealing with the Greek text at all was for the purpose of supporting their translations (especially in Erasmus' case).
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
I understand that it varies pretty substantially in some things from the KJV. But in any case my view is that a revision of our Bible should be an ecclesiastical undertaking, in times of reformation of the church.

The Tyndale and Coverdale Bibles weren't an ecclesiastical undertaking. They was primarily the work of individuals publishing "new translations of the Bible for the use of the church."
The Geneva Bible was a handful of refugees not particularly representing any ecclesiastical body or bodies.
The KJV wasn't a particularly ecclesiastical undertaking either.

It's also arguable that these translations, particularly the first three, were a cause of reformation, rather than it being done in times of reformation.

I guess it's fine to have that view, or even see that as the ideal, but I also want to point out that that view would not have produced the most impactful translations we've had in history. I'd rather judge the translation primarily upon its own merits than judge it primarily by the circumstances under which it was produced.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
The KJV wasn't a particularly ecclesiastical undertaking either.
I guess you need to define for me ecclesiastical. It was the one thing all agreed on at the famous puritan, prelate conference with King James and it was undertaken by a team of English ecclesiastics, so by the church. That sounds ecclesiastical.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
I’m thinking in terms of those reformation things which have come to us from times of reformation and of church establishment; a key element, historically, of thorough reformation (I know this is not the view of many on the PB). This was the milieu, with all its imperfections, in which the KJV was commissioned and translated, and though maybe the authorized version didn’t take hold immediately with many reformers it did eventually, and in God’s providence served to unite and bless the reformed English speaking churches.

I don’t hold that the KJV, as a translation, cannot be improved or that even a whole new translation using the received reformation family of texts should never be undertaken, but believe that it should and should have come about in a future time of reformation and unity, when God was/will be pleased once again to bestow that upon his church. Publishing and promoting and selling the first alternative to the received texts of our “common English Bible” (happened to be the RSV) was injurious and divisive. Kind of like introducing organs and man-made hymns into Protestant churches; all that coming about in times of the decline of the purity of the church.

Just making these broad statements knowing there’s a lot of disagreement about these issues on the PB. It is in the end a doctrinal issue at root, so understandable.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
I am sorry this is a touchy subject. Ward made a very public accusation of a minister being in sin. You can discount my offhand parenthetical comment if you wish - my greater point still stands without it. I still believe that Ward's review misses the point of the book. I'll leave it at that.
While I am glad that you and Iain worked things out, I would merely like to point out that Myers accused most of the Reformed world (given that the TR and the KJV is a minority position in the Reformed world) of being in sin by using Bibles based on Satan's Bible. The rest of us are in collusion with Satan, according to Myers. That is a very plain implication of his claim. That statement doesn't bother you, Rom, but Ward calling out Myers for his uncharitable statement is a problem? From where I stand, Ward used a rifle, and Myers a tactical nuclear weapon. Why didn't Myers take it up with all the presbyteries in the entire world instead of accusing them through this statement?
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
I guess you need to define for me ecclesiastical. It was the one thing all agreed on at the famous puritan, prelate conference with King James and it was undertaken by a team of English ecclesiastics, so by the church. That sounds ecclesiastical.

I say it wasn't a particularly ecclesiastical undertaking because it was driven by a king who was clearly politically motivated to bring others into conformity with the church he claimed to be head of. The committee was made up exclusively of members of the Anglican church, while those of other Reformed traditions (e.g., the Scottish Reformed), were intentionally excluded. That's why I wouldn't call it a particularly ecclesiastical endeavor despite being primarily performed by members of one ecclesiastical body (Anglican). Especially since many (most?) English-speaking Protestants would much rather have continued to use the Geneva.
 
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Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I would merely like to point out that Myers accused most of the Reformed world (given that the TR and the KJV is a minority position in the Reformed world) of being in sin by using Bibles based on Satan's Bible. The rest of us are in collusion with Satan, according to Myers.

I think again you are seemingly taking things too emotionally, or you are too easily offended. Consider the arguments presented and respond to them. Myers calls the men who followed the CT position after Westcott and Hort "men of God" (Warfield, Hodge, etc.) even though they held a view contrary to his [Myers'] own. He's not calling anyone who doesn't hold his view satan's children or anything like that. Can a minister conclude that a great multitude of the Church is in sin? The question that should be asked is whether Myers' statements that lead to his conclusion are correct or not.

What you are asserting is based on an argument ad populum. Is it not possible that the majority of 2020's Reformed world is in great error, in sin? Has a majority of the church at times throughout Scripture and history been in great error? And if so, how would you characterize that great error? I'm sure one possible description is "satanic". Influenced of course by Satan, the great deceiver. In sin. Are there other issues in the Church that one could characterize as Satanic or in sin? How about a good multitude of the Church believing abortion is fine? Or holding to Arminianism or dispensationalism? Wicked doctrines, deceiving many? Satanic? Sinful? Yes, hopefully, all on the PB would agree. Does that mean they are in collusion with Satan? No, we would all hopefully say they are deceived. So if we are talking about the bedrock of all doctrine -- the Scriptures. Is it possible, that the vast majority of the Church is deceived? Yes, it is possible. So instead of responding emotionally or being offended too easily, perhaps the response is looking at the arguments, examining your heart/faith, and then responding. Never consider the reformed world as being above reproach or as having all the answers.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I say it wasn't a particularly ecclesiastical undertaking because it was driven by a king who was clearly politically motivated to bring others into conformity with the church he claimed to be head of. The committee was made up exclusively of members of the Anglican church, while those of other Reformed traditions (e.g., the Scottish Reformed), were intentionally excluded. That's why I wouldn't call it a particularly ecclesiastical endeavor despite being primarily performed by members of one ecclesiastical body (Anglican). Especially since many (most?) English-speaking Protestants would much rather have continued to use the Geneva.
Okay; I understand it wasn't perfect and the King had an agenda, but it actually was something the puritans wanted at Hampton Court in 1604 and eventually saw as superior to the Geneva. So I think ecclesiastical is more apt than not particularly. By Gillespie's time writing in the mid 1630s he called it "our English" translation even with its imperfections. So one Scotsman two decades later saw it as not just England's bible.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Okay; I understand it wasn't perfect and the King had an agenda, but it actually was something the puritans wanted at Hampton Court in 1604 and eventually saw as superior to the Geneva. So I think ecclesiastical is more apt than not particularly. By Gillespie's time writing in the mid 1630s he called it "our English" translation even with its imperfections. So one Scotsman two decades later saw it as not just England's bible.

Agreed with the eventual acceptance, but at the time I don't think it would have fit Jeri's criteria.
Didn't the Puritans agree to a new translation as an alternative to the Bishop's Bible being forced on them? Not because they thought they needed a new one? Everything I've read indicates they would have kept the Geneva if that was an option.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
Agreed with the eventual acceptance, but at the time I don't think it would have fit Jeri's criteria.
Didn't the Puritans agree to a new translation as an alternative to the Bishop's Bible being forced on them? Not because they thought they needed a new one?
I meant that God intended it, no matter the motives of the king or expectations of others. Edited to add that these are the kinds of things that come out of reformation and an established church. Similar to councils being called by kings with perhaps mixed or even wrong motives but God intending good for the church out of it.
 
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