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Progressive Revelation

November 19, 2019

       And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know, 1st Corinthians 8:2.  

 

       I have recently been asked to expound upon progressive revelation.  To be precise, the person asked, "What do you have on progressive revelation?".  In a nutshell, I believe in progressive revelation.  Since I now have a few Gladys Kravitz viewers to this site, I will first send some time explaining what progressive revelation is not.  For those of you not so unfortunate as to have watched 1960's television, Gladys Kravitz was a character who only looked out the window at her neighbor to scream and have fainting spells at what she saw.    

    I do not believe that there is any advanced revelation in a King James Bible which is not contained in the original languages. What I do believe is that a person who reads the King James Bible will receive revelation from reading the exact translation of over 40 men who could think, write and meditate in those languages that he simply could not get from reading the original languages.  That is not because those revelations are not in the underlying original languages.  It is because I do not have one single reader of this blog who can read the underlying languages well enough to discern subtil turns of phrase, or any other literary tool infused by authors to make a point known. 

   I have an occasional reader from Israel who can read biblical Hebrew as well as he can read English.  Though he can read Ancient Greek, he cannot do so as well as he reads English.  I simply have no other readership who would ever be able to pick through the precise thoughts of the original authors or detect subtil shifts in meaning as well as the King James Bible gives it to them in English. 

       If I increased my readership a thousandfold that would not change.  In that regard, all but maybe one or two people on earth will find reading the King James Bible to be an advanced revelation from God over any reading that they will ever do in the underlying texts.  That was not always so.  There is much evidence that a few centuries ago, men were highly literate in Ancient Greek.  It is interesting to note that they are not the generation who sought to change the King James Bible.  

      When such a generation did arise, the leading textual critic and Greek scholar of the day John Burgon, Dean of Chichester College in England said that he was reminded of stupid little boys who just can't get it right.     If he said that about Westcott, Scrivener and Hort who were all well versed in Greek, imagine what he would say to some silly little geek with a few years of Greek who was attempting to glean things out of the underlying texts that he felt that he would miss by reading the King James Bible.  

      I think the most cruel thing that has been done in the last 50 years to the English-Speaking clergy is to have convinced them that the underlying text to the bible held the key to true knowledge.  2000 years ago, the Holy Ghost using the writings of the Apostle Paul said, Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret, 1st Corinthians 14:3.  Yes, 2000 years ago, God spake to man in Greek.  Do you think that he failed to take his own advice? 

       Do you think that he wails and wrings his hands because no one has spent the 20 to 40 years of intensive Greek immersion that the King James Translators did?  Or, would it make a lot more sense that he interpreted what he said for future generations?  The King James Bible is the Holy Ghost's interpretation of the words of God in the English Language.  In that sense, it is far advanced revelation in English over what any common man could ever get from Greek or Hebrew.

      What is happening in reality is that men are flitting through the pages of lexicons and commentaries looking for advanced revelation from the Greek or Hebrew above what is in their King James Bible.  Some nit wit college professor who himself is incompetent in Greek convinced them that they were truly a noble and enlightened breed because they could look up alternative renderings to certain translated passages by thumbing through selected materials until it said something about which they felt better.   Then garbed in their short pants and armed with plastic swords they boldly sashayed into their backyards to do battle with lions and tigers.  

     I heard a story of Stonewall Jackson when his army bivouacked for a night next to a river that had halted their advance.  He ordered his engineers to construct a bridge to get his army across.  They immediately retired to a tent and began drawing up plans.  An enterprising private saw the problem and with a few of his buddies felled a tree and got over the river.    As the night went on and others saw that they had crossed, more trees were felled and crews managed to muscle their cannons and wagons over the river.  In the morning Jackson was delighted at the salute of the private who stood organizing the last of the crossing.  He asked the private, "Where are the engineers?" "Oh" he said, "they are still in the tent making plans." 

       I can think of no other story which better illustrates the folly of the men huddled in their studies trying to draw up plans to bridge the gulf between what God said and what men today can hear.  While they toil through the night (The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light, Romans 13:12.) looking for the true words of God, countless men have reached the common English-speaking population with our simple King James Bible. 

     Where the analogy of Jackson's engineers breaks down when compared to the preachers using King James Bibles, is that those engineers weren't so dumb as to have then built colleges to convince people that their way would have been better. 

    Go today and sit for a couple of services in a church which rightly eschews modernization but wrongly espouses the blind thought that only the original languages can be inspired.  I would rather drink a glass full of dry sawdust.  

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