A Shame We Ever Left! - A Review
A Review of: Today's Christian & The Church's Bible A Time to Return to the Authorized Version
by Theodore P. Letis, PhD The Greater Heritage and Kept Pure Press LLC July 2023
I was graciously sent a copy of this 4 3/4 by 7 1/2 inch 73 page helpful booklet republished by Greater Heritage and Kept Pure Press if I would publish a review of this booklet on our church's web-site. The following is that review.
The fact that I used the word "helpful" to describe this booklet captures, I hope, the tone of this review. This does not mean that I did not find a couple of things that were not helpful. I will briefly mention them at the end of this positive review.
Having just had to navigate the plethora of new washing machines, (for why do washers need internet connectivity?), I appreciated how Dr. Letis applied this desire for "...multiple choices for everything from toothpaste to gravestones...(and)… now we have Bibles to suit any temperament."(page xiii) - a sad fact that has not helped, but hurt true church unity, which is a reason why he states in his introduction the reason why the King James Version (KJV) or Authorized Version (AV) "should be retained in the churches, in Bible studies, and in the classroom, because of the superiority of its Greek text, translation, and English usage; and because it is a link with our past as well as a unifying factor for the present." (page xiv) To which I wrote an "Amen" in my copy.
This little booklet is very helpful for it gives more than one reason for why I call the heretical minority text method an emperor without clothes. May this booklet help the many in the churches and pulpits who need to see this i.e. everyone.
Chapter 1 "The Scrolls and the Parchments" exposes how the poster child manuscripts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, used for the majority of what I call "almost bibles"...differ from one another in over 3000 places in the gospels alone." (page 1) He then states: "in what way do these two ancient documents differ from the majority? It can be summed up in one word: omissions -- close to five thousand altogether." (page 3)
Chapter 2 "The Revised Version of 1881-84" has a wonderful quote by John Burgon where he uses the word "Shame" four times (page 10) to which I had to put "Amen!" in the margin.
Chapter 3 In "Biblical English" he continues to show the nakedness of the too popular attacks on the AV for its lack of contemporary language by quoting Dr. Edward F. Hills: "...The King James Version... owes its merit not to 17th century English -- which was very different -- but to its faithful translation of the original... its style is that of the Hebrew and of the New Testament Greek." This book is a concise summary of how false so many of the canards leveled against the AV are, and continue to be!
Chapter 4 "Thees and Thous" is an excellent chapter exposing the ignorance of those ridiculing the AV's use of "thees" and "thous. I speak from experience! The issue is accuracy. Does the church not want an accurate Bible today? The table on page 24 should be drilled into the heads of all those who think the "thees and "thouss" are just archaic instead of precise!
Chapter 5 "The Language of the People" should be read by all who think seeing the Bible as the Verbal Plenary Inspired Word of God is the reason for all the modern almost bibles. Hint: It wasn't.
Chapter 6 "Historical Ethos: The Forgotten Factor" exposes the truth that "Modern does not always equal better" (page 40) by describing the level of scholarship of the men the Lord used to produce the A.V. "Amazing" is all I can say.
Chapter 7 "The Modern Approach to Translation (Utilitarian)" exposes the weaknesses and inaccuracies associated with so many of dynamic equivalent almost bibles. A question that came to my mind when reading this chapter of these types of "translations" in comparison to the AV is, "Are "dynamic equivalent translators" trying to do the work of God the Holy Spirit?"
Chapter 8 "The Renaissance/Reformation Approach to Translation (Theological)" helped me to see two things:
First, how the too popular assault on the language of the KJV is an attack on how the "... Authorized Version of 1611... has been acclaimed as the pinnacle of English expression and the standard by which all great English Literature has been judged." (page 52) Do we want the English language judged by the "Living Bible"!?
Second, the view of the translators of the KJV: "... the seventeenth-century Anglican divines who produced the AV held to a high, orthodox view of inspiration, which believed every word, and even syntax was inspired." (page 53 emphasis added) Should the churches of Christ be using almost bibles that are translated(?) by men who don't believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible as well as those who deny the gospel of justification by faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone?
Chapter 9 "Historical Cycles and the Modern Situation" summarizes the historical times out of which the AV arose in comparison to the modern situation in which: "The Bible has in our age passed from the oversight of the Church into the hands of corporate Bible landlords, each with their own copyrighted editions of Holy Writ." (page 59) What are all these "copyrighted" almost bibles saying? Is the ultimate author of the Bible - God or man? This chapter also reveals how doubt-producing and logically fallacious "...footnotes (that) were first employed in the RV (1881)" are. (page 66)
In light of the above I heartily concur with the opening statement of the "Summary" "In conclusion, the Authorized Version should be retained by the churches, as well as in Bible study and in the classroom". In conclusion I plan to obtain copies of this excellent booklet for a Bible study so others will see that the proponents of the heretical minority text theory are minority emperors without clothes! I would encourage others to obtain a copy as well for personal and group use.
But to mention the two things I did not find helpful. First I would have preferred if Dr. Letis had not used the words "seem" and "seems" more than once (pages 3, 37 and 65) in the true statements he made after his use of these two words. The second, I wish he had left out the last quote by John Alfred Faulkner on pages 40 and 41 due to how this long quote about the AV ends with "...and sometimes even right." This man is talking about the accurate translation of the Bible, the AV, that the LORD God has been pleased to use to the blessing, salvation and spiritual growth of how many who read and speak English including myself. I had to put "arrogance!" beside this statement in my copy.