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The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism Paperback – 1979

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

D. A. Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author or editor of more than forty books and is one of the leaders of The Gospel Coalition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Book House Company; Third Printing edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801024277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801024276
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

D. A. Carson (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author or coauthor of over 45 books, including the Gold Medallion Award-winning book The Gagging of God and An Introduction to the New Testament, and is general editor of Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns and Worship by the Book. He has served as a pastor and is an active guest lecturer in church and academic settings around the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Brian Prucey on March 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
D. A. Carson's primary purpose in writing The King James Debate: A Plea for Realism is to refute those who advocate the superiority of the Greek textual tradition behind the King James Version of the Bible. As a consequence, his effort has produced a wonderful primer on textual criticism. The book is divided into two parts: Textual Question and Nontextual Questions. Carson makes every effort to treat the position of his opponents with respect although it is quite evident their position frustrates and even angers him.
The first six chapters are dedicated to surveying the different text-types and their historical traditions. He gives his readers a succinct overview of very complex issues regarding the rise of the four major textual traditions (Byzantine, Western, Alexandrian and Caesarean) and briefly discusses their strengths and weaknesses. Carson also navigates the thorny issue of how variations between these text-types developed.
Carson briefly discusses the origins of the Textus Receptus (TR) and makes the case that the TR is based upon the inferior and late Byzantine text-type. He traces the history of the TR through Erasmus's Greek Testament. He affirms that the KJV translators used the best manuscripts available to them at the time, but subsequent discoveries cast doubt upon the accuracy of the Byzantine text-type vis-à-vis the other traditions. In Chapter 7, Carson methodically summarizes the reasons why the TR is an inferior textual tradition.
Part Two deals with what Carson calls "Nontextual Issues." In actuality, this major division addresses Carson's thoughts on translating scripture. He deals with seven popular arguments some uses to support the superiority of the KJV translation over other modern English translations.
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84 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Robert Frazier on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
A response to a previous review:
"Mr. Carson does a good job of defending the modern versions."
Very true.
"Unfortunately, in order to do so, he must misrepresent the KJB only side and make it seem like Mr. Ruckman and Ms. Riplinger are actually representative of the KJB only position, which they are not."
Ruckman and Riplinger are NEVER mentioned in the book, nor are their writings.
"He ignores the scholarship of men like D. A. Waite, D. O. Fuller, Edward F. Hills, etc. to focus on two weirdos, Ruckman and Riplinger."
Carson didn't mention Waite, but he did deal with the theories of Fuller, Hills, Hodges, Ray and Pickering. Carson cannot honestly be accused of employing a straw-man argument. Thomas is either lying in saying he read the book, or lying about the book's contents.
"Of course, since Biblical preservation dictates the KJB only position, since the Textus Receptus is the vast majority text, it is necessary to distort the KJB only position to attack it."
Biblical preservation says nothing about the King James Version. The TR is not the Majority Text. It is never necessary to use a straw-man argument, on this topic or any other, and Carson does not do so. Rather, he deals with the best arguments available in favor of the proposition that the KJV is the best (or only!) Bible translation on earth, and he refutes them calmly and reasonably.
"However, if you want to defend the modern versions, this is as good as you'll get."
Unfortunately, if you are looking for honesty and sanity in KJV-Onlies, Thomas R.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
D.A. Carson's book, published in 1978, is a tremendous volume. However it has been surpassed by James White's KING JAMES ONLY CONTROVERSY published in 1995. Carson even endorses White's book. Buy both for a complete look at this convoluted subject.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. T. Kleven on April 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My position on textual criticism has evolved over the years. I grew up reading all the modern versions, but shortly after my conversion I became persuaded of the KJV-Only position, reading Ruckman and Riplinger before settling into a more reasonable position posited by Hills. I read White, and felt that while he refuted Ruckman and Riplinger, and raised some important questions, I still was unconvinced of the methodology of modern textual criticism. Recently, I decided to look at the issue again, reading this book by Carson and Pickering's The Identity of the New Testament Text back to back. The process has refined my thinking even more.

Carson's book is brief, irenic, logical, scholarly, historically informed, and thoroughly thought out, in other words, classic Carson. He starts by orienting the reader to basic textual criticism - the texts that we have, what they're like, the kinds of errors that are found in them, and how scholars try to sort it all out. He then gives a brief explanation of the Textus Receptus, and the modern defense of the Byzantine text-type. The bulk of the book is his middle chapter: "Fourteen Theses."

"1.
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