Over at my team King James Only debate blog, Damien Garofalo has an excellent post up that’s well worth your time. The picture above captures the essence of it. Pre-1611 Bibles vary from the KJV as much as modern versions do. But to most KJV Onlyists, that’s okay. The modern versions are to be rejected but many pre-1611 Bibles are just fine because they are in the lineage of “Good Bibles” that eventually produced the 1611 gem, the King James Version.
Here’s a snippet from the post, but I encourage you to go read the whole thing.
…I\’m not sure if this sort of view has been pointed out before, but I refer to the \”Trail of Blood View of Preservation\” as basically the one that I was taught in Bible college. We can also call this the \”It\’s There Somewhere View.\” Obviously, I get the label from J. M. Carroll\’s Book, The Trail of Blood, which basically serves as an end-all textbook (though it\’s paper-thin) to the question of Baptist origins for many independent Baptists. The basic premise is that independent Baptists like the groups of the 20th century can be found all throughout history if you just look hard enough (and revise along the way). Heretical groups like the Cathari along with questionable groups like the Donatists and Albigenses are listed as forerunners of modern day independent Baptist churches. Though some of them may not have believed the deity of the Lord Jesus, they were opposed to the state church or even practiced anabaptism, so they were included in the lineage. When a reconsideration is brought up against this view, one is quickly reminded that the \”winners write the history books\” and we must \”take by faith\” that these groups were all Baptists.
Likewise, the Trial of Blood view of preservation does the same thing. Since the premise of this view is based on biblical passages of preservation, and the conclusion of this view is that the preserved words are in the King James Version of 1611, then logically there must be a version that is just as much the Word of God as the KJV for Christians throughout the ages. However, it doesn\’t have to be mainstream. It doesn\’t have to be the most widely read or known. It simple has to exist. So it\’s not the Vulgate, though the majority of Christians only knew of it for 1100 years. But less popular Bibles like the Italic, Old Latin, the Peshitta, and the Waldensen Bible make the list. Because some psuedo-scholars point out possibly Byzantine readings in these older versions, the Trail of Blood adherents believe they fulfill the requirements for a pre-1611 KJV. Where was the Word of God before 1611? Why, the Italic version of course! It is mainly this view that I am calling into question in this post.
The fact is that these versions do not fully agree with the King James. And this is the double standard. How can we approve of pre-1611 Bibles even though they\’re different than the KJV, but whole-heartedly reject modern versions for their differences? In all likelihood, many modern versions are closer to the KJV than any of the Bibles listed on the \”good\” tree. The Peshitta, for example, omitted entire books from its NT cannon. This means the NIV, ESV, NET Bible and others are closer to the KJV than the Peshitta. Yet, the Peshitta enjoys a place on the \”good line of Bibles\” in many a King James Only work….