Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


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and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Correction of doctrinal errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible

Dr Joel Beeke, General Editor of The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible, has announced the correction of some errors to future editions of the Study Bible. These corrections have already been made in the electronic version and will be incorporated into future printing of the hard copies.

These corrections were announced via a post on his Blog. Dr Beeke announced that these corrected errors did indeed "impinge on doctrinal issues". This is a welcome acknowledgment, as a number have questioned the validity of the posts on this Blog pointing out these doctrinal errors.

Error One - False teaching on Justification in the footnotes to Romans 6:1-4.  
The corrected version will now read: Justification is not the change of man’s moral nature, but every justified man is a changed man (Titus 3:4–7). Having been previously told that the sentence only needed the word 'not' inserted, to make it correct, it turns out that a second word, 'but', is also needed and has also been added, dividing the sentence somewhat, and turning the second part into a contrast. 

At the time when this doctrinal error was pointed out, it was suggested that to add only the word 'not' was merely going to turn the sentence into a statement of the obvious. That turns out to be the case, as a second word also needed to be added, which does now connect the two statements in a meaningful way. 

Dr Beeke has explained how the word 'not' came to be left out. I wonder how the word 'but' was left out? Was this deleted by an outside firm as well or omitted by some other means? 

Dr Beeke went on to make a further statement at the end of this section of his Blog post. It reads: Happily, in the introduction to Romans as well as in several other places in the notes to Romans and throughout the Bible, we made abundantly clear that we strongly affirm justification by faith alone. I wonder did someone else question this matter of justification by faith alone. This Blog questioned whether justification brought about a change in man's moral nature, but didn't raise the matter of justification by faith alone. Maybe someone else has!

It is certainly hoped that this is not the old diversionary tactic of asserting the correctness of something that was never questioned!

Error Two - False teaching on who is the rock upon which the Church is built, Matthew 16:18
Although Dr Beeke says it was only a matter of not being clear on the issue, a complete change in the wording and meaning of this sentence has taken place. 

Not being clear has necessitated the change of the meaning of Peter's name, along with any suggestion that Peter and the apostles are, in any way, the bedrock upon which the church is built. According to the Study Bible the rock is now Peter and the other apostles' confession of Christ. 

Interestingly, the Study Bible, in a new development, now claims that it was all the apostles, and not just Peter, who made this confession of Christ: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, Matthew 16:16.

These corrections are very welcome. As they are of such a serious nature, that they warrant a public correction, will those who have bought copies be able to get a refund or a replacement copy when the next edition is printed? I am aware of some who have sought to do so!

The acknowledgement of these corrections begs the question: will the other errors, specifically, the historical error regarding the crossing of the Red Sea and the foolish comment about drinking, be also corrected? 

3 comments:

Andrew Stewart said...

Well done for responding in a more measured way than the Rev. Ivan Foster has. This is admirable.

Some points to note:

-- Your highlighting of doctrinal areas for concern was not the issue many of us had with your blog posts. Rather it was the manner in which this was done -- frenzied scaremongering, suggestions of compliance in Romanist conspiracy, assuming the worst of brothers in Christ, no acknowledgment of what is good or admirable in this publication, etc.

-- You paint Dr. Beeke's reference to justification by faith alone as a "diversionary tactic" as you did not raise the issue. Yet one of your posts reacting to this issue quotes A.W. Pink mentioning "faith alone". The matter of sola fide is not irrelevant when criticisms of the wording in the RHKJVSB are introduced as the possible "incorporation of false teaching, even Roman Catholic teaching, into this Study Bible regarding the important truth of Justification".

-- The emendations to be made in future editions have merited a public announcement because they have been so vociferously criticised. To persist in referring to these as serious errors, as though these were instances of persistent and nefarious promulgation of false teaching, is overwrought and seems like an attempt at self-justification (ironically). Dr. Beeke's public statement should lay to rest allegations of Romish machinations, not used as an opportunity to perpetuate them.

Rev Brian McClung said...

Andrew

You seem a little sore. I think it is worth remembering that these errors would have been left to circulate in the Study Bible, if they hadn't been pointed out. It has been in circulation for six months and not a cheep out of anyone about the errors.

What about those so far left uncorrected?

My quotation from Pink also mentioned the operation of the Spirit, did I question that in the study Bible as well? The issue was solely about the moral change on man's nature.

I would say doctrinal error is serious error. Maybe you do not!

Brian McClung

Alexander said...

It is a good thing these errors were pointed out so they could be corrected; accusing Mr. Beeke of all sorts of ulterior motives was not appropriate. Mistakes get made when books are written and printed. Sometimes people don't express themselves as clearly as they ought; sometimes typographical errors are made in the editing. Could any of us withstand people going through all our written- and spoken- words, word by word, comma by comma? Especially those, it would appear, who are expressly looking for error.

Of course people have a responsibility to be careful about what they say and especially about what they write, but as Christians we should also give our brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt.

I admit that I put the best spin on the comment on Peter, because I hold to the view that in that verse Christ is referring to Peter's confession and because I don't, for one minute, think Mr. Beeke is an undercover agent for Rome. I also admit that, taken at face value, the wording was too vague and too brief when dealing with what is- as you said- a highly controverted passage. But equally, the tenor of your raising this problem was not helpful.

You also have mentioned a few times the comment's complete lack of mention of the interpretation that Christ could be the rock referred to. However, the comment is a comment on this particular verse. Clearly the editors of the Study Bible do not hold to the view that this particular verse is teaching that particular position (Christ being the rock of the church). As both Matthew Henry and Matthew Poole say, that Christ is the rock of the church is beyond question true. But whilst it is a true doctrine, it isn't necessarily the doctrine taught in this particular verse. Study Bibles do not allow for much comment on each verse and the editors clearly thought it best to mention only what they believe the verse to teach. One may argue that, again, with such a disputed verse it is better to be safe than sorry. But it is unfair to criticise the editors for not including a reading of the verse which they- and many other esteemed Reformed divines- reject as the teaching of this particular verse.
(Continued.)