Dr. Sam Gipp defends KJVO

Last week, I introduced Dr. Sam Gipp and a series of short films he’s produced explaining the KJVO position (see here). Now, I’d like to rewind to 1995.

In 1995, Christian TV host John Ankerberg moderated a debate on the subject of King James Onlyism.

Representing the KJVO position were three King James Only advocates: Dr. Thomas Strouse (Author of The Lord God Hath Spoken: A Guide to Bibliology), Dr. Joseph Chambers (an author and pastor) and our friend Dr. Samuel Gipp.

On the other side were Dr. Don Wilkins (Translator for the NASB update), Dr. Kenneth Barker (translator and general editor of the NIV study Bible) Dr. Art Arndstad (general editor of the NKJV), Dr. Daniel Wallace (renown New Testament textual critic), and James White (critical consultant for the NASB who had just authored the first edition of The King James Controversy and who’s work on introduced me to this debate, so a big tip of the hat to him. You can and should see his work on KJVO here).

So, obviously, with the lead guys on both sides of the issues in the same room, you’d think we could have the issue settled. You’ll have to judge for yourself. The entire debate is posted here for your viewing pleasure. And, if you have any interest in this question at all, you absolutely should grab some popcorn, a Bible and invest the time to see the whole thing.

But I want to focus on Dr. Gipp for a moment.

In the videos posted last week, Dr. Gipp seems reasonable and carefully studied. But, as one of my favorite proverbs goes, “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.” (Prov. 18:17 KJV). In the 1995 debate, we get to see Dr. Gipp with his neighbors.

Three highlights then a link where you can purchase the debate:

Firstly, at one point in the debate, he tells Dr. Wilkins, “Well, if you want to know the truth, I don’t go to the lexicon to change anything in the King James.” And, when asked by Dr. Wallace “What is your Greek authority?”, Dr. Gipp embarrassingly appears to confuse an interlinear New Testament with a lexicon:

Secondly when in a heated debate of the value of lexicons, a very revealing exchange happens between Dr. Barker and Dr. Gipp:

Dr. Kenneth Barker: Sam, Sam surly you’re not saying that we cannot increase in our knowledge and understanding over the years. Otherwise you’re claiming that knowledge in the field of textual studies, semantics or lexical studies, the understanding of the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek words used in the Bible that that all ceased in 1611 and we can’t learn anything more or increase our knowledge and understanding or gain new insights into the meanings of these words.

Dr. Sam Gipp: I don’t believe you can enlighten anything on the King James Bible by going to Hebrew or Greek.

The exchange starts at 2:08, but here’s the full exchange in context:

Thirdly, in Dr. Gipp’s view, the 1611 KJV stands in the same stream as Hebrew and Greek. Meaning, God inspires the Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic at the exclusion of the other languages. The same was done in Greek. Today, God “persevered” it in English.

This of course raises and interesting question asked by moderator John Ankerberg:

John Ankerberg: So if a guy’s in Russia, and he wants to really get to the truth of the word of God, would he have to learn English?

Dr. Sam Gipp: Yes.

The quote is from 2:05, but here is the whole exchange:

If you’re interested in purchasing the full debate, you can do so direct from Ankerberg’s web store here.

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