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85 Large Pages of Scholarly Refutation

 


by James White

So reads the advertisement for a paper delivered by Dr. Kirk D. DiVietro, now being published by Dr. D.A. Waite's The Bible For Today. Dr. DiVietro delivered this paper at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Dean Burgon Society, July 12-13, 1995.

This paper is not the first response to my book, The King James Only Controversy. A smaller paper is being circulated privately that I saw very soon after my book was released. And, of course, Gail Riplinger has taken shots at me in her latest publication, which is unmatched in shrill silliness, to be sure. But Dr. DiVietro's paper is the first response that has enough length to be meaningful, and enough scholarly background to at least appear to carry weight. But, the question is, does it?

It is surely not my intention to respond to everything Dr. DiVietro says in his paper, just as it was not his intention to respond to everything I wrote in my book. I would invite any person who has both(1)

books to compare them, look up the references, and see for themselves if Dr. DiVietro scores any points or not. Instead, I would like to take a few moments to examine a block of the text, demonstrate some consistent methodological errors on Dr. DiVietro's part, and then address one other point of great importance.

A Sample Passage

While it is hardly a scientific way of doing it, I basically allowed my copy of Dr. DiVietro's work to open of its own accord to a particular page so as to choose, as randomly as possible, the block of text I would examine. It opened to pages 34 and 35, so I will look at these pages as my sample of his work.

We begin with the citation of my book at page 87. We immediately encounter our first problem: Dr. DiVietro neglects to tell his reader that he is citing part of an endnote! The entire work is filled with this kind of error: the reader is left thinking that Dr. DiVietro is giving a good, honest, scholarly response, when in fact he is picking and choosing a line here, an endnote there, and is not even beginning to deal with the text as it stands. He quotes only a part of endnote 49 from page 87 as follows:

King James Only advocates are quick to accuse modern Greek texts of being somehow "polluted" by Roman Catholicism, and yet it is the TR itself that often imports entire passages on the basis of the authority of the Latin Vulgate.

The rest of my endnote (which goes uncited by DiVietro) reads,

William Grady spends a great deal of time in his book, Final Authority, forging a link between the Vatican and modern texts, yet he overlooks passages such as these with remarks like that found on page 72, "Have a problem with the Textus Receptus? Tell it to the judge!"



Now, of course, an endnote is only as meaningful as the text to which it is attached, so I give the context of my endnote, indicated by the bracketed [49] below:

The TR often gives readings that place it in contrast with the united testimony of the Majority Text and the modern texts such as the United Bible Societies' 4th edition and the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland text. Often this is due to Erasmus' importing of entire passages from the Latin Vulgate. [49] This is how Erasmus came up with "the book of life" at Revelation 22:19 rather than the reading of the Greek manuscripts, "the tree of life." Seemingly the edition of the Latin Vulgate that Erasmus used to translate the last six verses of Revelation into Greek contained this reading, and it survived all the editorial work on the text over the next century to end up serving as the basis of the KJV.

How does Dr. DiVietro respond to this discussion? I quote from page 34:

We have already discounted the supposed "Vulgate" importations in the Received Text. The readings have been found in Greek manuscripts. The (sic) may be supported by the Vulgate, but they are found in the Greek manuscript evidence. On the other hand, the new text is in fact brought into closer alignment with Roman Christianity by its choice of variants. The Vulgate is Alexandrian in flavor. When the new text adopts the readings of a and B it is often adopting the Vulgate reading.

Dr. DiVietro begins by "discounting" something that all scholars recognize in the text of the TR, that being Erasmus' dependence upon the Vulgate. As we look at the preceding pages of Dr. DiVietro's work, we find that as long as any Greek manuscript contains the inserted passage, he "discounts" the Vulgate's role. I had noted on page 67 that Erasmus himself cited the Vulgate as his source for the insertion of material at Acts 9:5, to which Dr. DiVietro only says, "Again Erasmus made a judgment call using the Vulgate as a piece of supporting evidence. The reading does appear in Codex E." So? Did Erasmus have Codex E? Is Codex E sufficient basis for the insertion of this material? Dr. DiVietro forgets to mention that Codex E is a bilingual Latin-Greek manuscript, and the reading of the Greek simply follows the Latin.

When Dr. DiVietro "discounted" the Vulgate, he also made errors in the process. For example, in discussing Revelation 22:19 and Erasmus' reading of "book of life" over against the reading of the Greek manuscripts, "tree of life," (pp. 27-28 of his book), he makes a big deal, providing a long endnote on page 28, of saying that the Latin Vulgate doesn't read "book of life" but reads "tree of life," concluding that, "One thing is sure. Erasmus did not get 'book of life' from the Latin." Seemingly he neglected to consult a critical edition of the Vulgate, however, for if he had, he would have found that a number of Vulgate editions do read "libro" (book) rather than "ligno" (tree).(2)

This kind of basic error should cause the reader to consider well the accuracy of the response as a whole.



The reader should note that the point of the quoted section of footnote 49 is to highlight the double-standard used by KJV Only advocates. Does Dr. DiVietro respond to this meaningfully? He makes the assertion that since the Vulgate is "Alexandrian" in text, like a and B, adopting those readings will bring the text into "closer alignment" with "Roman Christianity." But does he illustrate this? No, he does not. In fact, as one who has far more experience debating the leading Roman Catholic apologists than Dr. DiVietro, I can say with confidence that such an assertion is simply wrong. I point the interested person to Romans 5:1 and the reading adopted by both the UBS and NA texts, "we have peace with God" over against the reading, "let us have peace with God." Roman Catholic apologists desire the second reading. If there was the slightest tendency toward a "Romanizing" of the text, that would be the reading provided. Yet it is not. Why not? Because even Roman Catholic scholars recognize that the second reading is totally out of line with Paul's thought at this point. Why, if the UBS text is "Romanized" (I mean, Archbishop Carlo Martini was on the editorial committee, and he is a front-runner to be the next Pope, so surely if there was ever a chance to "Romanize" the text, it was when he was on the committee!), does it read against the Roman viewpoint in this passage? I would very much like to hear how Dr. DiVietro would respond to such an issue.

Luke 2:22

The next passage cited by Dr. DiVietro is found on page 88 of my book, and it reads as follows:

It is interesting to note that Dr. D.A. Waite in a debate with me alleged that this reading of Luke 2:22 (found in Erasmus, Stephanus, and the text-type) makes Christ a sinner. Note his words from his book, p. 163:

The word, "her," is changed to "their," thus making the Lord Jesus Christ One Who needed "purification," and therefore was a sinner! This is unthinkable! One of these perversions was used in 1991, in my home church in the Christmas program they were using, making Christ a sinner thereby! . . . I hope you will check in advance your own church's CHRISTMAS and EASTER programs. Unless they use the KING JAMES BIBLE, they will be in serious doctrinal trouble!

Again, we note this is actually an endnote, #56, which refers to the chart on page 68 that demonstrates variant readings within the various versions of the TR (a chart that passes without comment by Dr. DiVietro). The reference is to the reading of the TR that reads "her purification" rather than "their purification." As the chart demonstrates,



Luke 2:22
their purification, (3)

Erasmus, Stephanus,

her purification, Beza, KJV, Complutensian, 76 and a few Greek minuscules, Vulgate



the reading "their purification" is the reading of Erasmus, Stephanus, and the Majority Text. The reading of "her purification" is that of Beza, the KJV, the Complutensian Polyglot, the fourteenth century minuscule 76, and a "few Greek minuscules." That is, 99% of all Greek manuscripts of Luke read differently than the TR. Even Erasmus and Beza read differently; seemingly, Theodore Beza emended the text on the basis of the Latin Vulgate. This is a clear instance of a plainly erroneous reading on the part of the TR. Ignoring the massive mountain of textual evidence against the reading, Dr. Waite instead misinterprets the text and assumes that the reading "their" would have to refer to both Mary and Jesus rather than to Mary and Joseph as a family unit. Does Dr. DiVietro show an ability to separate himself from Dr. Waite and the KJV Only perspective and deal honestly with the textual data? Here are his comments:

Dr. Waite is correct. Not only would it make Jesus a sinner needing to be purified, it would also be inconsistent with the Old Testament command. Moses commanded that a woman have a time of purification after child birth, and then come to the temple with a sacrifice to be declared clean.

That is the entirety of the response. No comment on the textual data. No comment on the fact that for the first 1000 years or more of the Christian Church no one had ever seen, to our knowledge, the reading "her" in a Greek manuscript of Luke. Nothing but a reiteration of Dr. Waite's errant assertions. Dr. DiVietro has indicated much impatience with being painted with the broad brush of Ruckmanism, yet, when faced with a golden opportunity to differentiate himself from the wildest forms of KJV Onlyism by acknowledging, as Edward F. Hills did, that this reading is by far a minority reading with almost no support at all, DiVietro instead leaves us having to believe that despite the lack of manuscript support, somehow, by some divine action, the TR edition of Beza was somehow providentially changed so as to have the "correct" reading. What is the functional difference between this and Ruckmanism? It's hard to tell.

Only Eight Places

Next we have another citation of an endnote, #74, which reads,

I was using the modern text, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Dr. Price noted in his response to Gail Riplinger that the differences between that Hebrew text and the text used by the KJV translators, known as the Ben Chayyim text, Bomberg edition of 1525 (sic) are "microscopic." He listed a grand total of eight places in the Old Testament where the textual difference (sic) between the two texts impacted the English translation, specifically Proverbs 8:16; Isaiah 10:16; Isaiah 27:2; Isaiah 38:14; Jeremiah 34:1; Ezekiel 30:18; Zephaniah 3:15; and Malachi 1:12.

Dr. DiVietro responds,

Does it matter that it only changes eight places? It does if Jesus' promise that not a jot or tittle would change until all was fulfilled. Of course jots and tittles are not all that important to modern textual scholars.

The fact that the BHS is so wonderfully identical to the Bomberg edition of 1525 is a great thing, for which we can be most thankful to God's providence. Of course, KJV Only advocates would like us to think that there are major, major differences, when there are not. In fact, it is fascinating to note that Dr. DiVietro completely skipped over the section in my book wherein I reproduced Dr. Price's comments to Gail Riplinger regarding the places in the Old Testament where the KJV translators departed from the Hebrew text (pp. 106-107). He provides not a word of comment when faced with this information. Instead, here he misinterprets the Lord's words regarding jots and tittles, applies these to textual matters (rather than to the establishment of the Law as just and holy that is the obvious meaning in the context), and does nothing more than insult "modern textual scholars" as a group in the process. Again, Dr. DiVietro is quite sensitive to being "lumped in" with Ruckman and others like him, yet, it seems rather strange that a person so sensitive to such an action would then lump all "modern textual scholars" into a whole and insult them with carelessness regarding the Scriptures. The double-standard is striking.

Surface Level Reviewing

Dr. DiVietro then moves on to chapter 5 of my book, beginning on page 35 of his response. He cites a very important paragraph of my book where I am discussing the very heart of the circular logic inherent in his own system. Unfortunately, he skips over the vast majority of the discussion found on pages 91 through 95, and I believe I know why: here I demonstrate that his own viewpoints are in fact self-contradictory and a-historical. If Dr. DiVietro wishes to honestly deal with The King James Only Controversy, he will have to deal with the material contained in these pages directly and forthrightly. It is most noteworthy to see how Dr. DiVietro, a member of the Dean Burgon Society, pastor of the church that will host the 1996 meeting of that Society, completely neglects to respond to the following material found on pages 91-92:

In my opinion many of the great scholars of the past who have defended the Byzantine textual tradition cannot honestly be included in the "KJV Only" camp (though they are often cited as if they were). Men like Dean Burgon, F.H.A. Scrivener, H.C. Hoskier--all of whom were true scholars of the first rank--were not KJV Only advocates. All saw the need for revision in the KJV and in the TR as well. Just to give an example from Dean Burgon, who is so often cited by KJV Only advocates, we provide his words regarding the need for revision of the TR, wherein he notes a textual variant at Matthew 10:8:

For, in not a few particulars, the "Textus Receptus" does call for Revision, certainly. . . . To mention a single instance:--When our Lord first sent forth His Twelve Apostles, it was certainly no part of His ministerial commission to them to 'raise the dead' (nekrou;" ejgeivrete, S. Matthew x. 8). This is easily demonstrable. Yet is the spurious clause retained by our Revisionists; because it is found in those corrupt witnesses--a B C D, and the Latin copies.

None of these scholars insisted that the KJV was "it." They did not believe that the KJV was completely without error, or that even the TR was infallible and inspired. Surely they differed with much of modern scholarship on the relative merits of various texts and manuscripts, but that is hardly the same as taking a KJV Only position.

Does Dr. DiVietro agree with Burgon on Matthew 10:8? He doesn't say. Does he agree with Burgon about the Comma Johanneum? Again, we don't know. His selective citations relieves him from the burden of having to deal with such issues. I here provide the paragraphs that preceded the one cited by Dr. DiVietro so that the reader can see how surface level is this review:

Dr. Hills' honesty is a breath of fresh air. If he had not begun with the assumption of the superiority of the TR, he would undoubtedly have been led to a conclusion in favor, at the very least, of the "Majority Text" rather than the modern critical texts. But another argument precluded his coming to any conclusions other than the ones he presented, and that was the "argument for certainty" as I call it. This argument is the "glue" that holds the KJV Only position together. It is the common thread that ties Dr. Hills to someone as completely different in approach and mannerism as Dr. Ruckman. Since it is central to the KJV Only position, we will take the opportunity to review the argument as presented in its best form by Dr. Hills. We can see how it functions in this quotation by Dr. Hills:

In short, unless we follow the logic of faith, we can be certain of nothing concerning the Bible and its text. For example, if we make the Bodmer and Chester Beatty Papyri our chief reliance, how do we know that even older New Testament papyri of an entirely different character have not been destroyed by the recent damming of the Nile and the consequent flooding of the Egyptian sands?

The desire for absolute certainty in all matters plainly lies behind statements such as this, and the much less polished (and much more emotional) versions of the same argument that are encountered in less scholarly KJV Only materials. It is argued that unless we embrace the KJV as our "final authority," we have no final authority at all, and hence all is subjectivity and uncertainty. People do not want subjectivity, but desire certainty and clarity, and so we must hold to the "traditional" text.

This argument is extremely powerful and should not be under-estimated. Many people fulfill their longing for "certainty" in religious matters by swearing allegiance to a particular leader or system. For example, many Roman Catholics find the idea of an infallible pope very "comforting," for when things get confusing they always have a source of certainty and absolute authority to turn to. In a similar way many Mormons look to the Prophet and the Apostles in Salt Lake City, and Jehovah's Witnesses look to the Governing Body in Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. Others find a TV preacher or evangelist and, without stating it in so many words, invest him or her with some level of infallible religious authority. The fact that groups that offer this kind of "trust us and we will give you absolute certainty in all religious matters" mentality continue to attract followers should tell us that the lure of "absolute certainty" is a strong one indeed.

Protestants, however, should be quick to question any such notion of absolute religious certainty. The concept of the individual's responsibility before God is deeply ingrained in Protestant theology. We cannot hand off our responsibility in religious matters to someone else. We cannot say "the pope told me to do that" or "the prophet instructed me to believe that doctrine." God holds us individually responsible for our beliefs and our actions. This was one of the great scandals of the Reformation: the idea of the plowman and the merchant carrying and reading the Bible was unthinkable to the medieval Catholic theologian. How could the layman understand religious things without asking the priest? The Reformers preached a radical concept: a man is responsible to learn God's Word as best he can, and to follow what he learns. We are called to be students, responsible men and women who make learning, and studying, God's Word a high priority in our lives. We cannot blame anyone else for our ignorance, or our errors.

As imperfect human beings we will make mistakes. As Paul said, we see in a glass darkly in this life. There are things that are unclear, things that are simply not as plain as they someday will be. The KJV translators themselves said in their Preface, quoted earlier, "For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident: so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption." Those who offer us certainty beyond all questions, the translators would rightly say, are being presumptuous with God's truth. Those who offer absolute certainty do so at a cost: individual responsibility.

This is a central and defining section of the book. Any meaningful response would have to focus upon these paragraphs, yet they pass in utter silence in Dr. DiVietro's review. Instead, he looks only at the next paragraph:

If we say that we can have no certainty regarding the biblical text unless we embrace the KJV (or the TR), we are simply moving the question one step back and hoping no one notices. How can we be certain of the textual choices of Desiderius Erasmus, or Stephanus, or Theodore Beza? [The following sentence is deleted by use of ellipses in DiVietro's citation: How can we be certain that the Anglican churchmen who chose amongst the variant readings of those three men were themselves inspired?] Are we not, in reality, saying, "Well, I must have certainty, therefore, without any factual or logical or even scriptural reason for doing so, I will invest the KJV translators with ultimate authority." This is, truly, what KJV Only advocates are doing when they close their eyes to the historical realities regarding the biblical text.

Now, as is obvious, this is a vitally important section of the book. The central issues of certainty are here clearly addressed. How well does Dr. DiVietro do in responding to this challenge? Does he really deal with what I said? Let the reader decide. Here is his reply in full:

Closing their eyes to the historic realities of the biblical text? Are the King James Defenders the ones who created a "Lucian Recension" to explain how the Byzantine Text became so dominant in the world? It is the King James defenders who hide the manuscript evidence they used to change a reading in Scripture so that it looks like the King James translator (sic) "made up" their text? Is it the King James defenders who ignore the providential dominance of the King James Bible for 350 years? Is it the King James defenders who ignore the translational intricacies of the King James translation which preserve Greek grammatical intent in the English language? Is it the King James defenders who ignore the obvious anti-TR bias of the men who concocted the modern textual criticism rules? Is it the King James defenders who ignore the scribal tendencies of Alexandria which explain the readings of a and B?

It is painfully obvious that Dr. DiVietro has no intention of dealing with the issues that are so plainly presented in the text of my book. Instead, this is nothing but a smoke-filled response that has little, if anything at all, to do with what is being discussed in the text. Sadly, the majority of the review partakes of this same kind of illogical reply. Dr. DiVietro's scholarship is not well highlighted by such obviously emotional responses.

Defending Gail Riplinger

The final section of the block of text we are looking at has to do with Gail Riplinger. Sadly, Dr. DiVietro lends his support to the rantings of Mrs. Riplinger in her recent publication, KJV Ditches Blind Guides, a book that attacks not only me, but everyone else who would dare say anything against Riplinger, including KJV Only advocate David Cloud. Just to give the reader a taste of Riplinger's writing, I cite from the opening "poem" (Mrs. Riplinger plays games with alliteration, rhyme, etc., throughout her works):

Blind mice and "scribes" will never see

their names in Matthew 23

--The word slips from their NIV!

To get it back, they will not flee,

but sit and search for gnats on me.

Blind guides would rather strain for lice

than search within for their own vice

They'll swallow some unsavory story,

cooked-up by White, McMahon, or Morey,

their caravan of camels served

with humps and truth severely curved.

Woe to these scribes, who having swerved,

have turned aside from God's pure words.

This is the same authoress who claims "G.A. Riplinger" means, to her, "God and Riplinger," that being God as author, and Riplinger as secretary. This is the same woman who, when asked where she got "acrostic algebra" (in which she "adds" the NIV and NASV, subtracts the AV, and ends up with the word "SIN," proving that these versions are evil), indicated that "God gave it to her," and when asked why she used NASV for her "acrostic algebra" but "NASB" throughout her book, she responded, "Well, that's what God calls it." This is the same writer who has told audiences of preachers to avoid using Greek Lexicons because the last four letters of the word "lexicon" spell "icon." Yes, this is the same woman who, upon concluding her wild-eyed response to KJV Only advocate David Cloud, wrote about him, "Pilots know that Clouds are dense and full of hot air; consequently, they detour around them when they can. I'd recommend the same course" (KJV Ditches Blind Guides, p. 34). This is the same lady who likes to play games with the names of those she dislikes. The darling of Peter Ruckman and Texe Marrs, this is the same lady to which Dr. DiVietro refers when he writes, "Gail Riplinger has prepared a detailed, written response to Mr. White's slanderous claims." Slanderous? Perhaps Dr. DiVietro would like to prove this claim? He makes no attempt to do so in his book, other than telling people where to get Riplinger's attack. For someone who is so sensitive about being painted as a Ruckmanite, it does seem strange that he'd be supporting a . . . Ruckmanite!

DiVietro most dishonestly avoids dealing with the repeated documentation of error on Riplinger's part in this section. He focuses only upon one citation, that of Isaiah 26:3, ignoring both the context in which Mrs. Riplinger raised the question about the passage (both regarding the time as well as the comments she herself made on the Action 60's television program) and the obvious problem with Riplinger's comments. But this is not to surprise us much: Dr. DiVietro, as well as many others in the KJV Only movement, have proven themselves unwilling to stand up to Riplinger (unlike David Cloud). Fearing her reprisals, they timidly allow her to drag their entire movement through the mud with her incredible claims and statements. I invite the reader to examine very carefully the section of my book about Mrs. Riplinger, compare her own citations, and decide for yourself.

Abandoning the Deity of Christ for the KJV

Before concluding our brief response to Dr. DiVietro's review, I wish to note some comments made by him in review of chapter 8 of my book, the chapter dealing with the deity of Christ. While the Church History professor in me would most enjoy asking Dr. DiVietro to document for us such claims as those he makes on page 65, where he presents the most amazingly erroneous view of Origen (and Mormonism, for that matter), and while I'd love to see him honestly deal with the proper translation of monogenhv" qeov", ("the unique One, by nature God"), I hasten instead to focus our attention upon his comments on Granville Sharp's Rule and Titus 2:13, found on page 65 of his review. Dr. DiVietro takes up almost an entire page with a chart that provides, seemingly, a comparison of the KJV and TR against the modern Greek texts and a modern translation. He cites my own words as follows:

The insertion of the second "our" in the AV translation makes it possible to separate "God" from "Savior," as indeed those who deny the deity of Christ would assert. But this is an error, as is demonstrated elsewhere. The simple fact is that the KJV provides an inferior translation in these passages, one that unintentionally detracts from the presentation of the full deity of Jesus Christ.

The full discussion I presented is:

Twice the New Testament identifies Jesus Christ by the phrase "our God and Savior, Jesus Christ." The first reference is found at Titus 2:13:

looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (NASB).

This is the consistent translation of nearly all of the modern translations. Note the NKJV and NIV renderings:

while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (NIV).

looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (NKJV).

In each instance we find the same great truth: Jesus Christ is our God and Savior. All these translations make it plain that both "God" and "Savior" are being applied to one person: Jesus Christ. The same is true for the second reference, 2 Peter 1:1:

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (NASB).

Again the NIV and NKJV agree with the NASB in speaking of Christ as our God and Savior. Yet the King James Version is at best ambiguous in its translation of both of these passages:

(Titus 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

(2 Peter 1:1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

The insertion of the second "our" in the AV translation makes it possible to separate "God" from "Savior," as indeed those who deny the deity of Christ would assert. But this is an error, as is demonstrated elsewhere. The simple fact is that the KJV provides an inferior translation in these passages, one that unintentionally detracts from the presentation of the full deity of Jesus Christ. The willingness of KJV defenders to overlook this fact is most disturbing. Indeed, Barry Burton provides the following comments on Titus 2:13, and while he attacks the perfectly acceptable translation of the NASB at this point he ignores the inferior translation of the KJV and writes:

LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!

Here they changed it from the "glorious appearing of Christ

to . . .

the appearing of "the glory".

What kind of "glory" are we supposed to look for? If that isn't CHANGING the Word of God, I don't know what is!!!

Such inconsistency is a hallmark of KJV Only materials.

Dr. DiVietro produces a chart comparing the translations and the Greek (the Greek does not differ, this is a translational, not a textual, issue) and writes exactly three lines in response:

The King James Bible "obscures" this great statement of the deity of Christ because it is true to the text from which it comes. The King James translators did not exercise the liberty of moving things around in a verse assuming they knew better than God what He wanted to say.

I have asked Dr. DiVietro what he means by this, but he has refused to respond to my inquiries. It is hard to avoid concluding that either 1) Dr. DiVietro is ignorant of the Greek construction here and does not understand Granville Sharp's Rule, or 2) he rejects this rule as valid. If it is number one, then he needs to read the final sections of my book, which contain a long explanation of the rule of grammar followed here. If #2, then he joins the Jehovah's Witnesses, who likewise reject the rule, but for solely theological reasons. He must also explain why, then, the KJV follows the rule in four out of five times it occurs in the second epistle of Peter (1:11; 2:20; 3:2; and 3:18).

Dr. DiVietro claims the modern translations are "moving things around in a verse assuming they know better than God what He wanted to say." This is simply ridiculous. No one is moving anything around at all. It is a matter of correctly translating a particular grammatical form, in this case, two nominative nouns connected by the term "and," the first having the article, the second lacking it. Dr. DiVietro can't deal with the actual passage and the grammar, because to do so would be to admit the KJV's rendering is inferior. And since he is committed to the superiority of the KJV on all grounds, he can't allow the passage to say what it obviously says.

And it is just here that we can see the tremendous danger of KJV Onlyism. Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 are important passages in defining and defending the deity of Christ. The best translations of these passages should be foremost in the minds of Christian men. Yet here Dr. Kirk DiVietro undermines these passages without a shred of basis in the text or grammar, and for what reason? Simply to uphold the superiority of the KJV over all other translations. There can be no other reason. Surely Dr. DiVietro believes in the deity of Christ, does he not? Of course! But, sad to say, it seems there is a higher authority working here: the commitment to KJV Onlyism.

In Conclusion

On page 47 of his review, Dr. DiVietro writes, "Well what do you know. White actually got one right. A blind dog will find a bone once in a while." Anyone even slightly familiar with the writings of Peter Ruckman will find themselves at home with such terminology. Yet, DiVietro is tremendously concerned about being treated as a Ruckmanite. He wants people to realize that you can be a KJV Only advocate and be intelligent, well-read, and well-trained. Yet, when he is given the golden opportunity to demonstrate that his view of KJV Onlyism is far removed from Ruckmanism, what happens?

He refuses to engage the central issues of the book, choosing instead to take potshots at other issues (just like Ruckman).

2) He refuses to reject Gail Riplinger's wild conspiracy theories and her off-the-wall comments on biblical issues, choosing instead to promote her works (just like Ruckman).

He subjugates the grammar of the Greek New Testament (even when the text is not disputed) to the translation provided by the KJV translators at Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 (just like Ruckman).

How can we differentiate Dr. DiVietro's brand of KJV Onlyism from Dr. Ruckman's? All we can say is Dr. DiVietro includes much less vitriol in his writings than Dr. Ruckman. That's about all we can say. Other than that, functionally, the systems end up at the same point.

What is more, we began by noting the advertisement produced by Dr. Waite's ministry, "85 Large Pages of Scholarly Refutation!" Yet, have we found Dr. DiVietro's work to be scholarly? I think not. Have we found anything "refuted"? Hardly. Yet, this is the best the KJV Only perspective has to offer. I strongly encourage the reader to obtain my book, and a copy of Dr. DiVietro's work, and do some reading. A little homework, a little research into the cited sources, and you will see why I can only believe the advertisement should read, "85 Long Pages of Scholarly Obfuscation."

James White, B.A., M.A.
Director of Ministries
Alpha and Omega Ministries
Scholar in Residence, College of Christian Studies, Grand Canyon University


For more information contact please James White, A&O Ministries at Orthopodeo@aol.com.


Note: I would very much like to challenge Dr. Kirk D. DiVietro, or Dr. D.A. Waite, or Dr. Strouse, or any other member of the Dean Burgon Society, or any other published KJV Only Advocate, to a public debate on the issues regarding Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, John 1:18, and the entire topic of the deity of Christ in the modern translations and the KJV. The claim that the NASB, the NIV, and the NKJV, somehow "deny" the deity of Christ is simply absurd; and those who continue to make the claim do so at the expense of truth itself. I stand ready to demonstrate this in a public forum in formal, moderated, and scholarly debate. One-on-one, or one-on-as many as they would like, on television or radio. Allow the Christian people to hear both sides at the same time.

1. I emphasize "both" because I recently corresponded with a KJV Only advocate who cited DiVietro's work. This person wrote, "I haven't read your book, but I have read enough by Dr. Kirk D. DiVietro who quotes you at length and 'refutes' you quite well concerning 'The King James Only Controversy'."

2. See, for example, the UBS edition of the Vulgate, p. 1906, which provides the following textual information: 19 ligno ] libro F S F c .

3. It is interesting to note that Dr. D.A. Waite in a debate with me alleged that this reading of Luke 2:22 (found in Erasmus, Stephanus, and the text-type) makes Christ a sinner. Note his words from his book, p. 163:

The word, "her," is changed to "their," thus making the Lord Jesus Christ One Who needed "purification," and therefore was a sinner! This is unthinkable! One of these perversions was used in 1991, in my home church in the Christmas program they were using, making Christ a sinner thereby! . . . I hope you will check in advance your own church's CHRISTMAS and EASTER programs. Unless they use the KING JAMES BIBLE, they will be in serious doctrinal trouble!


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