A Critique of Gail Riplinger
and King James Version Only

Dan Corner

Copyright 1999 by Daniel D. Corner, the author. However, for the sake of truth and eternal souls,
you have our permission to copy this entire booklet for free distribution but NOT TO SELL.
ISBN: 0-9639076-1-1

Please see also Open letter to KJV Only Folks | The KJV Only Cult |
13 Facts About KJV Onlyism | Our response to an email regarding KJV onlyism |
Gail Riplinger Award | Understandest What Thou Readeth?

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[All bold emphasis in the following quotes is my own, unless otherwise stated. Brackets have also been used in quotes, and elsewhere, for the sake of clarity. Italics in quotes are in the orginal. Only a few selected parts from our book are reprinted here.]

Dear Mrs. Riplinger,

Greetings in Jesus' name.

Recently, I read your publication entitled, Blind Guides, which a KJV Onlyite sent me some time ago. Seemingly, it was sent to me to deter me from using any translation except the KJV. In the back of this same magazine you describe Blind Guides in your advertisement as:

Detailed answers to the myriad of lies written by critics ....
This recent work of yours is important, for you endeavor to refute those who have read and seen numerous errors in your book entitled New Age Bible Versions. From the beginning of Blind Guides to the very end, I have observed your detailed answers to be oftentimes misleading and fallacious. By these you reveal serious faults in your own reasonings and research abilities. Apparently, you must sometimes write without checking into the details or for some other unknown reason(s) have missed the clear and obvious in your attempt to discredit Bible versions other than the KJV. Unfortunately, many sincere and truth-loving Christians have been misled by your materials. It is imperative that the truth surfaces for the sake of the kingdom of God. Let me be specific with some of the many errors you are presenting to your readers in Blind Guides.

Is The KJV's Vocabulary Easier Than New Versions?

One of the incredible statements you cited in New Age Bible Versions (NABV) and which you repeat in Blind Guides is:
The research proving the KJV's vocabulary is easier than the so-called easy-to-read new versions.(1)
Mrs. Riplinger, that is an outlandish statement! As a Christian who personally spent years of quality time in the KJV, then started to read the NIV and other reputable translations, I'm amazed how anyone could think this way, yet go even further and put this in print. There are hundreds of words found in the KJV that are not used in our present-day English language, and therefore are a hindrance to one's comprehension of God's message. Please consider the following KJV words which convey no meaning to the reader of our day:
almug, algum, chode, charashim, chapt, earing, gat, habergeon, hosen, kab, knob, ligure, leasing, maranatha, nard, neesed, pate, pilled, rabboni, raca, ring-straked, stacte, strake, sycamyne, thyme wood, trode, wimples, ouches, tatches, brigandine, ambassage, occurrent, purtenance, bruit, fray, cracknels, nusings, mufflers, anathema, corban, talitha cumi, ephrata, aceldama, centurion, quarternion, delectable, sanctum sanctorum, carriage, let, pityful (for full of pity), wot, trow, sod, and swaddling clothes.(2)
Many other examples could also be cited.

The Classic Debates?

You also wrote in Blind Guides:
In the classic debates between Christians (i.e. Arminius vs. Calvin, Erasmus vs. Luther, etc.) none of the participants attempted to exaggerate, distort, or misrepresent the views of their opponent. They pointed out the areas where they disagree and presented their counter position. They did not call the points where there was disagreement—mistakes (p. 9).
You dogmatically make authoritative statements about classic debates, but can you prove any part of them? I also noticed that you provide no documentation of those classic debates between Arminius vs. Calvin or Erasmus vs. Luther to which you then stated that they didn't attempt to exaggerate, distort, or misrepresent the views of their opponent. Could the truth be, Mrs. Riplinger, you have never read any debate between Arminius and Calvin nor Erasmus and Luther though you imply that you have and even specifically claim expertise in the field of history? How do I know this with certainty? Mrs. Riplinger, there never was any classic debate between Arminius and Calvin, because Arminius was only four years of age when Calvin died! Anyone reading this can easily verify this information for themselves. Though you have exalted yourself as an authority in various areas, including history, you apparently didn't even know this basic fact about two of the most influential characters in Church history. This is exactly how you have described yourself:
My field of study and research for the past nine years has been exclusively textual criticism, linguistics, history, and the bible—resulting in the publication of two books.(3)
So when did Arminius and Calvin live and die? Arminius was born in 1560 and died in 1609, while Calvin lived from 1509 to 1564. Almost any book on church history can substantiate this.

What about Erasmus and Luther? When they engaged in disagreement, did they refrain from the things you stated—exaggerate, distort, or misrepresent the views of their opponent? Here's what the record shows:

The Erasmus-Luther controversy led to some further personalities in which both parties forgot what they owed to their cause and their own dignity. Erasmus wrote a bitter retort, entitled "Hyperaspistes," and drove Luther's predestinarian views to fatalistic and immoral consequences.(4)

Luther abandoned Erasmus, and abused him as the vainest creature in the world, as an enraged viper, a refined Epicurean, a modern Lucian, a scoffer, a disguised atheist, and enemy of all religion.(5)

So again, Mrs. Riplinger, what you have presented as evidence is the opposite to the truth! What you have authoritatively declared to your trusting readers to discredit your critics is now working against you.

Was Erasmus A Devout Christian?

Certainly one of the most disturbing misrepresentations of your literature is how you characterize Erasmus, as cited in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In regards to that entire section on Erasmus, you wrote:
... when seen in its entirety—gives the distinct impression that Erasmus was a devout Christian(6)
Mrs. Riplinger, if what you stated there was true, then how could so many other sources say something different about Erasmus? After scrutinizing the source you listed, I am amazed how you could have such a high appraisal of Erasmus. Let me cite a few excerpts about Erasmus from that same article in question for your re-examination and for the sake of your readers. (May many of them read this Critique):
Next he studied at s'Hertogenbosch, then became an Augustinian friar at St. Gregory's (near Gouda) and in 1492 was ordained a [Roman Catholic] priest.(7)

In 1514 he went to Basel to assist the publisher Johann Froben in preparing an edition of his works. While there he received a summons to return to monastic life, which he resisted strongly, and finally Pope Leo X granted him a dispensation allowing him to live in the world.(8)

... (Pope Paul III is supposed to have wanted to make him a cardinal) ...(9)

This may account for his refusal to leave the Church of Rome ...(10)

... Erasmus remained within the [Roman Catholic] church because he believed that it was better to preserve and improve what already existed than to risk the even greater abuses that might follow the destruction of the current order. Erasmus saw the Church of Rome as fossilized ...(11)

He told Luther, "I always freely submit my judgment to the decisions of the [Roman Catholic] Church whether I grasp or not the reasons which she prescribes."(12)

Mrs. Riplinger, again you stated that same article, which cites the above information, gives the distinct impression that Erasmus was a devout Christian, but it does no such thing! You have misled your readers! Though you cited a small excerpt from that article which stated that Erasmus was essentially conservative, you took it out of context, trying to force it to say something it isn't saying at all. Some of your readers trust you implicitly, yet you are feeding them false information.

The truth about Erasmus is that he was first a Roman Catholic monk who was later ordained and became a Roman Catholic priest, who opposed Luther and the Reformation, was offered by the Pope himself the high Roman Catholic church position of cardinal, refused to leave the Church of Rome and always freely submitted his judgments to the decisions of the Roman Church! Is that your understanding of a devout Christian(13)? Then on the other hand, since you attempt to discredit reliable Bible translations with a Catholic tie, if you presented these facts about Catholic Erasmus, you'd be inadvertently discrediting the KJV! But Mrs. Riplinger, the truth is the truth, even if it contradicts our beloved thesis.

Catholic Erasmus

The KJV is based on the Textus Receptus, which was formulated by Erasmus and edited by Stephanus and Beza. Of Erasmus, you also wrote:
... like Luther, he [Erasmus] died outside of the Catholic church (Schaff, History) ....(14)
Several comments are in order at this point. Mrs. Riplinger, your documentation is very much lacking here, since you didn't cite what volume or what page you quoted from Schaff. There are eight volumes in Schaff's History of the Christian Church, with each volume being about 800 pages. Such incomplete documentation(15) as this would greatly hinder one from disproving your quote. (As we both know, you have been charged in your past writings with taking quotes out of their context, which has just been shown.) So after considerable time searching throughout Schaff's History, I could not find anything that would substantiate your statement. Instead, I found the following conflicting material about Catholic Erasmus, but first let's clear up this important issue of Erasmus dying outside the Catholic church or not from two different sources:

Erasmus Died A Faithful Roman Catholic!

Significantly, this merciless critic of the current state of Roman Catholicism nevertheless found it impossible to affiliate himself with the Protestant Reformation when it arose, and he died a faithful, if unappreciated, member of the Roman Catholic Church.(16)
Almost as clear as the above is the fact that Erasmus was still saying Mass in 1534, two years before his death:
At Easter 1534, he had to say Mass in his room. His illness became more and more severe, sometimes intolerable.(17)
Beyond that, Schaff, whom you supposedly quote, wrote some general information about Erasmus:
He could drink no wine but Burgundy. He abhorred intemperance. He could not eat fish on fast days; the mere smell of it made him sick; his heart, he said, was Catholic, but his stomach Lutheran.(18)

So long as the Reformation moved within the church, Erasmus sympathized with it. But when Luther, who had at first as little notion of leaving the Catholic Church, burnt the Pope's bull and the decretals, and with them the bridge behind him, Erasmus shrank back, and feared that the remedy was worse than the evil.(19)

Erasmus Was Catholic In Doctrine

Erasmus' personal doctrinal beliefs might shock some of your KJV only devotees:
He [Erasmus] could not appreciate his [Luther's] cardinal doctrine of justification by faith alone,. and took offence at the denial of free-will and human merit. He held the Catholic views on these subjects. He wished a reform of the discipline, but not of the faith, of the church, and cared little for dogmatic controversies (italics his).(20)

Another contribution, and among the most notable which Erasmus made to the Reformation, was his penetrating criticism of Romish abuses. With unsparing hand he laid open the whole list of current follies and corruptions: the worldly ambitions and luxury of the popes, the abuse of the confessional, superstitious dependence upon the Virgin and the saints, jugglery with relics, and traffic in indulgences. Nor was it merely in such a work as the "Praise of Folly," where the barb of criticism was partly sheathed in the silken folds of wit and pleasantry, but in writings manifestly serious in their intent, that he exposed the defects and vices of the existing system. Yet this same Erasmus disowned the Reformation.(21)

... Erasmus Dedicated His Greek NT To The Pope

Your proof about Erasmus dying outside the Catholic church, which is impossible to verify or dispute due to your incomplete documentation, is the exact opposite to my findings. Beyond all of that, Mrs. Riplinger, did you ever inform your readers that Erasmus dedicated his 1516 edition of the Greek New Testament to Pope Leo X?
The Novum instrumentum, which appeared in 1516, was the first published version of the Greek text. Erasmus' work is far from the standards of modern scholarship in both method and content. He established his text on a limited number of MSS, rather haphazardly consulted ... The Novum instrumentum was dedicated to Leo X, whom Erasmus hailed as introducing a new age in which scholarship and arts would flourish and peace would reign.(24)

... Erasmus' Paean And Supplication To The Virgin

Erasmus was a prolific writer. Besides his Greek New Testament, which he dedicated to the Pope, he also wrote Paean and Supplication to the Virgin:
The Paean piles up praises of Mary, lists her titles, borrowed from ancient and medieval piety, not omitting mythological comparisons: Mary is Diana and Jesus is Jupiter! The Supplication to the Virgin was a text contemporary with the preceding one, but less subject to the learned rhetoric of humanism. The personal accents here are easily perceptible. Erasmus called the Virgin ‘my salvation' and ‘my refuge' .... Moreover, he added to the two prayers addressed to Mary an eloquent Prayer to Jesus, Son of God and of the Virgin.(27)
Halkin recorded what Erasmus wrote about Mary in Ciceronian:
Very often, he called Mary the Virgin Mary or the Mother of Jesus. He called her also Mother of God, Mother of Mercy, Queen of all, New Eve, Queen of Heaven and earth. He compared her to the morning star, the aurora, the rainbow, the dove, the tree of life, the tower of David, the throne of Solomon, the Cedar of Lebanon, and the rose of Jericho.(28)
Besides promoting prayers to Mary, she was Erasmus' salvation and refuge. But Erasmus' theology is still described by some as Christocentrism. This is what that means:
But this Christocentrism was not anti-Marian, for Erasmus wished for ‘salvation through Jesus, but not without his Mother.'(29)

... Out Of Context Again!

So the 1611 KJV translators recognized the importance of various translations and having Scripture written in an understandable way for the sake of the reader, unlike the present-day KJV Onlyite. This leads to another issue, that is, you partially quoted and removed from its context the following:
... the KJV Translators said, "[O]ur adversaries do make so many and so various editions themselves, and do err so much ..." They precede this by saying, "the worst of ours far better than their authentic vulgar [Vulgate] ..."(39)
If we examine the complete sentence of the first quote and don't stop where you did, it becomes apparent that the translators of the 1611 KJV did the same things themselves, that is, changing and correcting. This shows they were not opposed to that as you suggest! The following quote is the remainder of that same quote as it appeared in the 1611 KJV. (Your spelling is different.) The reader should note where you left off and how the rest of that sentence in the original changes how you represent their beliefs:
... our aduersaries doe make so many and so various editions themselues, and doe iarre so much about the worth and authoritie of them, they can with no show of equitie challenge vs for changing and correcting.(40)
Also, you misrepresented those 1611 KJV translators in a second way when you wrote they precede this by saying, "the worst of ours far better than their authentic vulgar [Vulgate] ...(41) Mrs. Riplinger, what you cited as preceding the first excerpt is found two pages before! By connecting two partial and disjointed sentences, like you did, any kind of untruth could be stated. Cults do this all the time, which leads to deception.

... Beza's Erroneous Doctrinal Influence On The KJV

Stanch Calvinist, Theodore Beza was one of the editors of the Textus Receptus:
Beza produced ten editions, four folio and six octavo, beginning in 1565 .... the last folios of 1588-98 exerted a great influence upon the King James Version, especially through the Geneva Bible, and Beza's authority helped fix the current Greek text.(67)
For the Greek New Testament they [the King James translators] had Beza's improvements on Erasmus and on Stephanus.(68)
Beza's doctrinal errors have been unjustly transferred into the KJV Bible, thereby misleading the readers, according to Adam Clarke. The following are Clarke's comments on the KJV's error in Heb. 6:6:
If they shall fall away. "And having fallen away." I can express my own mind on this translation nearly in the words of Dr. Macknight: "The participles who were enlightened, have tasted, and were made partakers, being aorists, are properly rendered by our translators in the past time; wherefore parapesontas, being an aorist, ought likewise to have been translated in the past time, ‘HAVE fallen away.' Nevertheless, our translators, following Beza, who without any authority from ancient MSS. has inserted in his version the word ‘if,' have rendered this clause, IF they fall away, that this text might not appear to contradict the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. But as no translator should take upon him to add to or alter the Scriptures, for the sake of any favourite doctrine, I have translated parapesontas in the past time, ‘have fallen away,' according to the true import of the word, as standing in connection with the other aorists in the preceding verses" (italics and capitals his).(69)
Adam Clarke does not stand alone in his understanding of the Greek. Young's literal translation reads:
And having fallen away, again to renew them to reformation, having crucified gain to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame (v. 6).
Please note, the NASB also renders this passage without the word if:
And then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.
Furthermore, Clarke went on to comment about Heb.10:38, as it appears in the KJV:
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him (KJV).
His comments are as follows:
Now the just shall live by faith. "But the just by faith," i.e., he who is justified by faith, shall live—shall be preserved when this overflowing scourge shall come. But if any man draw back. "But if he draw back"; he, the man who is justified by faith; for it is of him, and none other, that the text speaks. The insertion of the words any man, if done to serve the purpose of a particular creed, is a wicked perversion of the words of God. They were evidently intended to turn away the relative from the antecedent, in order to save the doctrine of final and unconditional perseverance, which doctrine this text destroys.(70)
Clarke was not alone in believing the KJV unjustly inserted Calvinistic renderings:
Robert Gell insisted that both the views of Calvinism and those of the Prelate party in England were reflected in the translation. John Lewis, however, while not denying that these teachings were in the translation, felt that in some instances the views of the translators and those of the king may have been identical. Attention has been focused on certain renderings as leaning toward Calvinism. These include the phrases "such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47), "ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17), and "if they shall fall away" (Heb. 6:6). The last phrase is continued from Tyndale and is thought to lend encouragement to the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. In Greek it is not a contingent statement and should be rendered "and have fallen away." Perseverance is also thought to be supported by the insertion of "any man" in Hebrews 10:38.(71)

The KJV Is Calvinistically Biased At The Expense Of Accuracy

The Geneva Bible ... had a very great influence in the shaping of the King James Bible .... At any rate, as already indicated, in leaning upon the Geneva version, the newer translation [1611 KJV] reflected a large measure of the strong Calvinistic tone of its predecessor. The long standard Smith's BIBLE DICTIONARY reports of the 1611 effort, "Dogmatic interests were in some cases allowed to bias the translation, and the Calvinism of one party, the prelatic views of another, were both represented at the expense of accuracy."(72)
Beyond all of that, of all of the 1611 KJV translators, Miles Smith of the Oxford group is also significant. Besides writing the preface in the KJV, we read of him:
Because he was the final critic who looked for flaws and smoothed out the whole translation, there is perhaps more of Dr. Miles Smith in the King James version than of any other man.(73)
Of this same man we read:
In the end he went over the whole Bible as editor, taking the greatest pains from first to last .... Like John Rainolds, Smith was a Calvinist who conformed enough to meet the Church of England halfway.(74)
Again, there is no way to know how many people have been misled by the KJV's inaccuracies over the centuries. The truth is the Bible teaches a conditional security for the believer. Scripture does not teach the perseverance of the saints, once saved always saved or eternal security, even though Beza's adverse influence on the KJV might help preserve such! [For a detailed explanation of what the Bible teaches about the security of the believer, consult our 801 page book, The Believer's Conditional Security. It can be purchased through Evangelical Outreach, P. O. Box 265, Washington, PA 15301 for $23.15 which will also cover the postage.]

... They Are Still The Word Of God

In spite of the aforementioned criticisms, the KJV is still the Word of God as is the NIV, NKJV and NASB. No doctrine is omitted in any of these translations. The KJV still teaches the deity of Christ and the NIV teaches the Trinity. God's Word has been preserved, that is, no doctrine has been lost! Besides this, people have been born again by reading all of these translations, which is the real acid test to identify the word of God, according to Scripture itself. For your benefit, let me cite the KJV here:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (1 Pet. 1:23).
So, if one has ever been born again through the NIV, NASB or NKJV, then these translations are the word of God, according to 1 Pet. 1:23! Without a doubt, many people have been saved by the Word of God, as cited in these Bible translations.

So, Mrs. Riplinger, after reading Blind Guides, I have not been convinced by your weak, fallacious and inconsistent arguments, which are sometimes based on incomplete or missing documentation and a double standard. The NIV, NASB and NKJV are all reputable translations and should be studied, with or without the KJV. To study more than one version of the Bible is the best and safest way to learn the Scriptures. However, regarding clarity, indisputably, the KJV cannot compete with the NIV, NASB or NKJV. Almost anyone who has read these Bible versions will agree.

One final thought for all KJV Onlyites to ponder. According to Prov. 6:16-19, there is a list of sins that seems to be especially detestable to God. A person who soweth discord among brethren is included:

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (KJV).
Following Jesus,
Dan Corner


Endnotes

1. Gail Riplinger, Blind Guides (A. V. Publications Corp.), p. 3. (return)
2. Jack P. Lewis, The English Bible From KJV to NIV (Baker Book House, 1981), p. 55. (return)
3. Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 41. (return)
4. Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Eerdmans, 1995), Vol. VII, p. 433. (return)
5. Ibid., p. 434. (return)
6. Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 15. (return)
7. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 3, p. 42. (return)
8. Ibid., p. 42. (return)
9. Ibid., p. 43. (return)
10. Ibid. (return)
11. Ibid. (return)
12. Ibid. (return)
13. Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 15. (return)
14. Ibid., p. 16. (return)
15. Riplinger also gives incomplete documentation in Blind Guides, where she attacks Westcott and Hort (p. 14). Then she attempts to disprove the ad hominem argument, which she herself uses, when cited by a particular critic (p. 19)! Furthermore, in Riplinger’s efforts to discredit Westcott in her New Age Bible Versions, she attempts to connect an occultist, W. W. Westcott, to B. F. Westcott. On page 677, she admits at the very end of a footnote that this connection is "speculation on my part"! (return)
16. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed. (1997), Vol. 26, p. 887. (return)
17. Léon-e Halkin, Erasmus: A Critical Biography (Blackwell, 1993), p. 253. (return)
18. Schaff, History, Vol. VII, p. 411. (return)
19. Ibid., p. 423. (return)
20. Ibid., p. 424. (return)
21. Henry Sheldon, History of the Christian Church (Hendrickson, 1994), Vol. 3, Part One, p. 30. (return)
24. New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 5 (1967), pp. 509, 510. (return)
27. Halkin, Erasmus: A Critical Biography, p. 224. (return)
28. Ibid., p. 229. (return)
29. Ibid., p. 230. (return)
39. Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 13. (return)
40. The Holy Bible, 1611 KJV Edition, The Translators to the Reader. (return)
41. Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 13. (return)
67. Ira Price, The Ancestry of Our English Bible (NY: Harper & Brothers, third revised edition by Irwin and Wikgren, 1956), p. 204. (return)
68. Ibid., p. 274. Stephanus was also of the Reformed faith (The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, Zondervan, 1974, p. 353). (return)
69. Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, Abridged by Ralph Earle (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1967), p. 1260. [Theodore Beza (1519-1605) was John Calvin’s successor in Geneva.] (return)
70. Ibid., pp. 1274, 1275. (return)
71. Lewis, The English Bible From KJV to NIV, p. 62. (return)
72. Samuel Fisk, Calvinistic Paths Retraced (Biblical Evangelism Press, 1985), pp. 74, 75. (return)
73. Gustavus S. Paine, The Learned Men (Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1959), p. 50. (return)
74. Ibid., p. 49. (return)


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