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The Translation That Refuses to Die

By P. Andrew Sandlin
June 01, 1997

The latest book from the preeminent scholarly defender of the Received Greek text of Holy Scripture (“The Ecclesiastical Text,” in Letis’ language) is actually a primer about and introduction to the question of why English-speaking Protestants should retain the old King James Version. As such the booklet is readily accessible to the intelligent layman and quite suitable as a church staple to offer to inquirers about a church’s official position regarding use of translations. Quantity purchase and wide distribution should be encouraged.

Letis deftly refutes the most common criticisms of retention of the KJV: it is based on relatively recent and therefore inferior manuscripts, its language is archaic or too hard, it’s not in what the Reformers would consider “the language of the people,” it can’t keep up with the changes in modern language and is thus a barrier to understanding, and so forth. The author draws attention, moreover, to the embarrassing matter of the commercial motives of many of the modern translation enterprises.

Letis introduces his readers to the sentiments of Anglican John William Burgon, brilliant Victorian supporter of the Received text and KJV against the introduction not merely of a new manuscript base, but a new (and procedurally agnostic) approach to the handling of the Bible.

This hook will especially benefit those saints who experience a vague uneasiness with the proliferation and use of modern English translations but who lack the equipment to counter with a principled rationale for retaining the old KJV.

The position Letis takes in this booklet is that for which Chalcedon has stood since its inception.


Topics: Biblical Commentary, Church, The, Reformed Thought, Theology

P. Andrew Sandlin

P. Andrew Sandlin is a Christian minister, theologian, and author.  He is the founder and president of the Center for Cultural Leadership in Coulterville, California.  He was formerly president of the National Reform Association and executive vice president of the Chalcedon Foundation.  He is a minister in the Fellowship of Mere Christianity.. He was formerly a pastor at Church of the Word in Painesville, Ohio (1984-1995) and Cornerstone Bible Church in Scotts Valley, California (2004-2014).

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