How a Textus Receptus Proponent Interprets the Evidence
How Someone Willing to Use Either Text Interprets the Evidence
Charles Surrett, DMin
Ambassador Baptist College
Mark L. Ward, Jr, PhD
By Faith We Understand
How a TR and a CT proponent interpret the evidence.
Charles Surrett, DMin
Ambassador Baptist College
Mark L. Ward, Jr., PhD
By Faith We Understand
I expect you to show charity toward brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with you on a complicated and arcane matter. If you cannot read Greek, it is best to be humble about textual criticism.
I expect you to understand that the vast majority of differences between English translations of the NT are not due to textual differences in the Greek. I expect you to look at the chapters on this site and be surprised, as I was, to see how few and insignificant the differences between NT manuscripts are.
I hope you’ll see how unlikely it is that all the differences between Greek texts are purposeful changes. So few of them make any discernible alteration to the meaning. It makes much more sense to see most of them as typos—something God never promised to spare us from—and yet which this site shows he largely did spare us from. No doctrines of the Christian faith are affected by whether the star came “to rest” over baby Jesus or came “and stood” over Him. It is remarkable how many verses (and even whole chapters) are precisely the same in each text. If the critical text represents a conspiracy to change God’s word, it was a rather poor one.
A few housekeeping points about KJVParallelBible.org:
- The specific version of the Textus Receptus used by this site is Scrivener’s TR, an edition of the TR F.H.A. Scrivener made in 1894 to demonstrate the textual critical choices made by the KJV translators. There are many other editions of the TR, with minor differences among them. Scrivener’s was the one used for this site.
- The specific version of the critical text used on this site is the Nestle-Aland 28, the current edition of the CT used by basically all major modern English Bible translations except the NKJV and MEV (which uses the same Greek text as the KJV).
- The specific edition of the KJV used on this site is the Authorized Version made available by Logos Bible Software.
- Every difference between texts on this site was marked (and checked) by hand, not generated by computer. The work was done by men from KJV-Only and non-KJV-Only institutions. Any errors will gladly be corrected if they are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scrivener’s Textus Receptus isn’t the only Textus Receptus, and Nestle-Aland isn’t the only critical text. Neither are “TR” and “CT” the only available options available among printed Greek New Testaments. But they are the two major options, practically, for English Bible readers. Basically, all major English translations of the New Testament are based on either the TR (KJV, NKJV, MEV, KJV 2000) or the CT (ESV, NASB, NIV, CSB, etc.).
- There are differences between the TR and the CT that do not appear on this site—because they are so minor that they don’t show up in English translation. Spelling and word order, in particular, sometimes differ slightly but make no impact on the text on the English page. Δαυίδ (dauid) and Δαβίδ (dabid), for example, are both translated “David.” For a 100% full accounting of the differences between Greek texts, you have to learn Koine Greek. There is no alternative. This site is the next best thing.
- There are also differences between the TR and the CT that do not appear on this site because the King James supplies in italics the very word that, though absent from Scrivener’s TR, is present in the CT. The word “me” in John 7:36 is an example.
- There are also differences between the TR and the CT that look big in English but are tiny in Greek: the difference between “receive such” (TR) and “support such” (CT) in 3 John 8 is one letter, ἀπολαμβάνειν (apolambanein) vs. ὑπολαμβάνειν (upolambanein). There are also differences which look big in Greek but not in English, such as “he” vs. “you” in 2 Thessalonians 3:6—παρελάβοσαν (parelabosan, CT) vs. παρέλαβε (parelabe, TR).
I, Mark Ward, am finally responsible for this website. Let me tell readers why I made it—and worked with my King James Only brothers to do so. I have no hidden intentions. I’ll reveal exactly what I’d like to accomplish with KJVParallelbible.org:
1. I want to be a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9) between sometimes warring factions of Christianity—the “KJV-Only” and “non-KJV-only” factions—who nonetheless do share important beliefs and a rich heritage.
2. I want to provide a resource for genuine seekers after truth, a resource that has never before existed in the history of the world: an easy-to-use record, in English, of all the differences—and, perhaps more importantly, all the similarities—between the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text.
3. I want readers of the Bible to see for themselves what all responsible defenders of the KJV agree is true: that the vast majority of differences between the KJV and modern translations of the New Testament have nothing to do with the underlying Greek text, but rather with language change, translation philosophy, and other factors.
4. I want people to read my irenic book, Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible.
My book, like this site, requires no knowledge of Greek. And the central point of my book, like this site, is neutral on questions of textual criticism. The book focuses instead on something we all know something about: English. I have some things to say about King James English that I’ve never seen anyone else say before. For example, I answer questions like these:
- What did thou and thee mean in the 16th and 17th centuries, and what bearing does that have on our interpretation of the KJV? (Hint: it’s not what you think.)
- Other than archaic words, how has language change affected our ability to read the KJV?
- What is the true reading level of the KJV? Fifth grade? Twelfth grade? Grad school?
These are things Christians don’t have to know Greek to understand. But they do have to read Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible.
Many thanks to the following volunteers who worked carefully through the entire New Testament and provided other help to the site. Special thanks to Dan Olinger, who worked through more chapters than anyone else—including the most difficult Greek of the New Testament, Acts and Hebrews.
- Dan Baker, PhD; Missionary, Australia
- Wesley Barley, MDiv; Missionary, Mexico
- Jon Bolin, PhD (ABD); Missionary, Eastern Europe
- Marshall Fant, MDiv; Pastor, SC
- Duncan Johnson, MDiv; Editor, Positive Action for Christ, NC
- Brent Karding, MA; Pastor, former Greek teacher at Faithway Baptist College
- Brent Niedergall, MDiv; Youth pastor
- Dan Olinger, PhD; Bible teacher at Bob Jones University
- Sam Sinclair, MDiv; Pastor, Greek teacher
- Gary Spaeth, ThM; Bible teacher at West Coast Baptist College
- Michael Frederick, MA; Missionary
- Mark Ward, PhD; Academic Editor, Lexham Press