Posts Tagged ‘Edward F Hills’

The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

PREFACE

If, indeed, we are in the midst of “a revival of the almost century-old view of J.W. Burgon” (Eldon Jay Epp, “New Testament Textual Criticism in America: Requiem for a Discipline,” Journal of Biblical Literature 98 [March 1979]: 94-98.), the question naturally arises: How did such a development come to pass? Our answer in a large measure is to be found at the doorstep of Edward F. Hills (1912-1981), in his comprehensive work The King James Version Defended: A Christian View of the New Testament Manuscripts (1956). This publication was, in its day, an indication to the established school of New Testament text criticism that Burgon was not without an advocate from within its own ranks, even if such a position were only to be regarded as an anomaly (v. Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration [1968], p. 136 n. l; J. Harold Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism [1964], p. 82 n. 2).

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

INTRODUCTION

TEXTUAL CRITICISM AND CHRISTIAN FAITH

Old books have sometimes been likened to little ships which have sailed across the tides of time, bearing within themselves their precious freight of ancient knowledge and culture. None of these books, however, has enjoyed an uninterrupted voyage over the century stretching seas. The vessels which commenced the journey have perished, and their cargoes have been subject to frequent re-shipment in the course of their perilous passage. The original manuscripts of these ancient works have long since been lost, and they have come down to us only in copies and copies of copies, which were produced by the pens of scribes during the progress of the intervening ages. And just as cargoes of merchandise are likely to incur damage whenever they are transferred from one vessel to another, so the copying and recopying of manuscripts has resulted in some damage to their cargoes of words, which are commonly called their texts. Textual criticism, therefore, is the attempt to estimate this damage and, if possible, to repair it.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER ONE

GOD’S THREE-FOLD REVELATION OF HIMSELF

How do we know that there is a God? How do we know that the Bible is God’s Word, infallibly inspired and providentially preserved? How do we know that Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son? We know all this because of God’s revelation of Himself. In nature, in the Scriptures, and in the Gospel of Christ God reveals Himself, not mere evidences of His existence, not mere doctrines concerning Himself, not a mere history of His dealings with men, but HIMSELF. In nature God reveals Himself as the almighty Creator God, in the Scriptures God reveals Himself as the faithful Covenant God, and in the Gospel of Christ, which is the saving message of the Scriptures, God reveals Himself as the triune Saviour God. In this present chapter, therefore, we will discuss God’s three-fold revelation of Himself, the foundation of the Christian view of the world and of the Bible and its text.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER TWO

A SHORT HISTORY OF UNBELIEF

God reveals Himself in the world which He has made, in the holy Scriptures and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ His Son. In this three-fold way God reveals not merely information about Himself but HIMSELF. But if God reveals Himself so openly and plainly as this why are there so few that know Him? Why is His very existence denied and ignored by so many? The Bible gives us the answer to this question. It tells us that this prevailing ignorance concerning God is because of sin and the blinding power of Satan. If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

A SHORT HISTORY OF MODERNISM

There are many scholars today who claim to be orthodox Christians and yet insist that the New Testament text ought not to be studied from the believing point of view but from a neutral point of view. (1) The New Testament text, they maintain, ought to be treated just as the texts of other ancient books are treated. And in this they are followers of Westcott and Hort (1881), who still remain the best known advocates of this neutral principle.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER FOUR

A CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE BIBLICAL TEXT

In the Bible God reveals Himself in three ways: First, He reveals Himself as the God of creation, the almighty Creator God. In revealing Himself in this way, God not only repeats the revelation which He has already made of Himself in nature but also amplifies this revelation and makes it clearer. Hence the Scriptures are the God-given eyeglasses which correct our faulty spiritual vision and enable our sin-darkened minds to see aright the revelation which God makes of Himself in the world which He has created. Second, God reveals Himself as the God of history, the faithful Covenant God. In the Bible God gives a full account of His dealings with men by way of covenant. Third, God reveals Himself as the God of salvation. In the Gospel of Christ He offers Himself to sinners as the triune Saviour God.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER FIVE

THE FACTS OF NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM

Facts are the temporal truths which God, the eternal Truth, establishes by His works of creation and providence. God reveals facts to men through their thought processes, and in and through the facts God reveals Himself. In the facts of nature God reveals Himself as the almighty Creator God, in the facts of Scripture God reveals Himself as the faithful Covenant God, and in the facts of the Gospel God reveals Himself as the triune Saviour God. Certainty is our clear perception of the clearly revealed facts. Probability is our dimmer perception of the less clearly revealed facts. Error is the sinful rejection of the facts, and especially of God’s revelation of Himself in and through the facts.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER SIX

DEAN BURGON AND THE TRADITIONAL

NEW TESTAMENT TEXT

Since 1881 many, perhaps most, orthodox Christian scholars have agreed with Westcott and Hort that textual criticism is a strictly neutral science that must be applied in the same way to any document whatever, including the Bible. Yet there have been some orthodox theologians who have dissented from this neutral point of view. One of them was Abraham Kuyper (1894), who pointed out that the publication of the Textus Receptus was "no accident," affirming that the Textus Receptus, "as a foundation from which to begin critical operations, can, in a certain sense, even deserve preference.'' (1) Another was Francis Pieper (1924), who emphasized the fact that "in the Bible which is in our hands we have the word of Christ which is to be taught by and in the Church until the last day." (2)

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE TRADITIONAL NEW TESTAMENT TEXT

The Bible is the Book of the Covenant. Its origin is eternal, its inspiration infallible, its preservation providential and sure. In it God reveals Himself as the almighty Creator God, the faithful Covenant God, and the triune Saviour God. In it Christ reveals Himself to sinners as Prophet, Priest, and King. Hence the Bible is unique! divine! No other book is like the Bible. And because this is so, we must reject every type of naturalistic Bible study, every tendency to deal with the Bible as other ancient books are dealt with. Above all we must be alert to the dangers of naturalistic New Testament textual criticism. For this is naturalistic Bible study of a most insidious sort. It begins by persuading an unsuspecting Christian to ignore God’s providential preservation of the Scriptures and then leads him on to ignore other divine aspects of the Bible until almost before he knows it he finds himself bereft of faith and almost completely modernistic in outlook.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS AND THE KING JAMES VERSION

What about all the modern Bible versions and paraphrases which are being sold today by bookstores and publishing houses? Are all these modern-speech Bibles “holy” Bibles? Does God reveal Himself in them? Ought Christians today to rely on them for guidance and send the King James Version into honorable retirement? In order to answer these questions let us first consider the claims of the Textus Receptus and the King James Version and then those of the modern versions that seek to supplant them.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

CHAPTER NINE

CHRIST’S HOLY WAR WITH SATAN

As Dean Burgon (1883) pointed out, the history of the New Testament text is the history of a conflict between God and Satan. Soon after the New Testament books were written Satan corrupted their texts by means of heretics and misguided critics whom he had raised up. These assaults, however, on the integrity of the Word were repulsed by the providence of God, who guided true believers to reject these false readings and to preserve the True Text in the majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts. And at the end of the middle ages this True Text was placed in print and became the Textus Receptus, the foundation of the glorious Protestant Reformation.

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The King James Bible Defended

by Edward F. Hills

RESEARCH NOTES

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