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Seekyethetruth Apologetics

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Feedback from Cult Members:

Often we receive feedback from "Message" cult members concerning either blog posts, research material, or pages from the website presenting our research. As one would expect, they are often less-than-polite and the person contacting us are not seeking any response. Those indoctrinated enjoy voicing their opinion, but are seldom willing to examine the information for themselves. Cult members are growing very aware of the issues, and are also aware of the substantial amount of information that raise our concerns with cult propaganda. In a large number of cases, such as the one we received today, no contact information is provided.

One of today's contact submissions, however, appears to be from a "Message" believer who is unaware of the research material. It is worth responding publicly, simply to spread awareness.

From "Joe":
Shame on you for trying to undermine the gospel! Vaguely affiliating someone from the rural south with the Klu Klux Klan is like affiliating a devout believer with the Mafia in New York. As a New York resident, I will tell you that everyone knows or has a friend/relative who knows a member of the Mafia. That does not make the person a criminal or a fake. You are accountable to God for what you say. Be careful because you will stand in judgement for every idle word just as we all will!


While some of William Branham's religious opinions are based on areas of scripture that one might consider to be vague or difficult to understand, Branham's connections to the Ku Klux Klan are very concrete. In fact, the trail of information left behind by Roy E. Davis, Imperial Grand Dragon of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the Klan appointed former Congressman William D. Upshaw is quite extensive.

More on the Klan's connections to William Branham's ministry:

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Our Stories - The Sum of All Error:

When I look back on all of the many things we believed in the "Message", there are many mixed emotions. I have to laugh at some of the things we believed, such as a man who could create squirrels simply to blast their tiny heads off with a shotgun. I get angry when I think of our twisted views of great men like Martin Luther King Jr., who took a stand against bigotry and racism in the face of fierce opposition and even death. I get mellow when I remember the feelings we had together in our small groups of "End-Time-Message" believers. Even though I'm aware that the doomsday focus of our cult was potentially dangerous, it brought us closer together. Maybe a little too close? No doubt it was. But it did not feel so at the time.

Any single strange thing we believed wasn't so problematic, with the obvious exceptions of promoting physical abuse, degrading women and racism. There is no harm in thinking the smoke trail of Vandenberg missile testing was the result of a prophesied "five angels" that turned into "seven angels", or that lighting in the auditoriums were "pillars of fire". Even if William Branham himself believed it, which I strongly question at this point, we are all human; we all fall into one error or another.

What I find unbelievable is the sum of all error each of these things contributed to and the lack of accountability for those in leadership positions who were aware of these things. Many of them, even after admitting they preached things that were categorically untrue, are still in leadership positions. Their doctrine has changed from an "Infallible William Branham" to a "more prone to error than other humans, William Branham".
Yet their positions (and income) has either remained the same or has increased. If William Branham was not the superhuman, infallible, absolute truth representative of God they promoted for years, and more apt to tell something untruthful than any single person in the congregation, would not that make those sitting in the pew closer to God than the "prophet?" And if the "prophet" wasn't quite truthful about his own prophecies, can we even give him this title?

It took some time to adjust after realizing that the level of brainwashing in the "Message" prevented us from this line of thinking. To some degree, I think we all experienced a level of anger against the "Message" after leaving, but after the full picture of what happened to us starts to become clear, there is much sadness for the people. They really can't help themselves while under that control. I know for myself, it was more painful to leave than anything I have experienced. I'm thankful so many people did realize the sum of all error, and I'm hopeful that many, many more will continue to do so.
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The Unforgiven:

Hyper-fundamentalist groups often lack the fundamental concept of forgiveness that Christ himself established and the Apostle Paul propagated throughout the many cities during his travel. Enforcing a rigid, literal interpretation of the text, specific passages are highlighted as a means to justify unrelenting condemnation, ostracizing of, and even excommunication from members of their own group. One of the most common passages from the Bible that is abused by hyper-fundamentalist groups is found in the Book of Hebrews.

While many Christians unfamiliar with the history of the Bible canon might strongly object to a study questioning the authenticity or apostleship of one of the sacred books, church history shows this to be fairly recent obstacle hindering critical examination. The Book of Hebrews originally believed to have been written by the Apostle Paul and included in the Bible canon on this premise, has been disputed since ancient times. In his "Preface to Hebrews", Martin Luther acknowledges this fact:

Up to this point we have had to do with the true and certain chief books of the New Testament. The four which follow have from ancient times had a different reputation.
- Martin Luther, Preface to the Epistle to the Hebrews

The majority of scholars today agree that Paul was not the author of Hebrews, and this belief is not only based on literary style, but also through a theological analysis of the text and a well-documented history of such analysis. Church fathers such as Tertullian noted the different manner in which the theology and doctrine appear in the text, as did Origen of Alexander and others. Martin Luther took issue with chapters 6 and 10, because in his opinion, it stood firmly against the Gospels by forbidding sinners to repentance:

Again, there is a hard knot in the fact that in chapters 6 and 10 it flatly denies and forbids to sinners repentance after baptism, and in Hebrews 12:17, it says that Esau sought repentance and did not find it. This seems, as it stands, to be against all the Gospels and St. Paul’s epistles; and although one might make a gloss on it, the words are so clear that I do not know whether that would be sufficient. My opinion is that it is an epistle of many pieces put together, and it does not deal with any one subject in an orderly way.
- Martin Luther, Preface to the Epistle to the Hebrews

For hyper-fundamentalist groups that make partial use of the Mosiac Law in the Old Covenant, the author of the book of Hebrews provides an ample amount of reverence to the Old Covenant for their theology. This, in stark contrast with the author of the letter to Philippians (believed by most scholars to be the Apostle Paul) who considered righteousness based on the Mosaic Law to be "dung". (Phil. 3:6-8). But to further Martin Luther's observation, scholars have for centuries noticed the statements used by isolationist sects concerning those who backslide:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
- Hebrews 6:4-8

Those who leave hyper-fundamentalist groups who practice ex-communication or shunning are sometimes uncomfortable with a backslidden Christian who returns to the church, further stressing Martin Luther's point about the difference in theology regarding repentance. Traditional Christianity, not enforcing a literal interpretation of the Bible, have theological leanings more towards the words of Jesus Christ:

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
- Matt. 18:21-22

Luther's Preface to Bible Books and Letters:
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When Did The Formal Church Organize:

Of the books attributed to the Apostle Paul that a majority of scholars believe to be pseudepigraphic, the books of Timothy are most interesting. For centuries, the instructions given by an author claiming to be Paul have been used for the organizational structure of the Church. Whether or not the author was actually the Apostle, the books have had widespread influence. The books, or rather the letters, to Timothy, describe the roles of women, qualifications for leaders, roles of bishops, and more. Hyper-fundamentalist groups adhere strictly to the statements in the letter as requirements for how their church should be organized, and as their basis for the exclusion of women from participating in certain roles in the church.

A majority of Christian scholars, however, do not believe this letter to be written by the Apostle Paul for both theological reasons and historical ones. In 1 Thessalonians, a letter believed by most scholars to have been written by St. Paul, the author states that he believes himself to be among those who "still alive and remain" when Christ returns. Considering the expected remaining time, the Apostle Paul would have not likely felt it necessary to establish an organizational structure for the church -- he was going to be "caught up in the clouds" to meet the Lord, and Christ himself would organize His people as He pleased. (1 Thess 4:17)

Instead, most scholars believe this letter to have been written sometime in the late 1st to mid 2nd century, based mostly upon the statements promoting an organizational structure. Evidence does not support this structure having existed in the Christian Church until years after the death of Paul, they claim, and the views on women are in conflict with Paul's statements of equality and his description of women who were active in the church. Further analysis by scholars has identified 306 words that the Apostle Paul does not use in his letters considered to be authentic, and their style of writing is that of a different personality. Though other "writers" of the books of the Bible were illiterate and made use of transcriptionists, Paul would have been able to both read and write based on what we currently know to be true.

Those leaving hyper-fundamentalist groups often struggle to integrate with other Christian churches after having been under a militant literal interpretation of passages from the book of Timothy. It is very difficult for them to be comfortable with a female participating in active roles in the church, or to understand how church elders can agree to an organizational structure that does not fully match that laid out by "Paul" in the book of Timothy. Though pseudepigraphy is but one of the many aspects considered by mainstream Christianity for their doctrinal beliefs, it is also one of the most difficult to understand or accept after having been influenced to reject the human element of the Bible's creation.
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Voices of Each Author:

For hyper-fundamentalist groups, the authors of the Bible are of little concern. Believing the Bible to be one single book, penned by God, the authors become simply vessels from which to hold the "pen". Any analysis of their individual theologies, cultural backgrounds, or other outside factors contributing to the way in which they wrote is largely overlooked. This is not the case with the majority of Christians. Most Christians want to know more about the book from which they base their faith -- authors included.

Like many early church fathers did in the past, most Christians today understand that the books were written by individual authors, with individual voices, each offering a different perspective into the Christian faith. From a casual reading perspective, many Christians recognize that a book written by Paul will have Paul's emotion, ambition, and dedication to the Christian cause that is apparent in his life story of travels and persecution. They understand that this voice will be different than James, who was more strongly devoted to "works" of the faith than Paul's "salvation by grace and not of 'works'". It is the Christian theologians, however, who are more intimately familiar with the literary styles, authorship, and authenticity of the books of the Bible. They critically analyze the statements made by each author to compare the "voices".

This type of critical analysis has been widely used among Christians since the early fathers debated as to which books were written by Apostles, and which books were written by others claiming to be an apostle. Martin Luther, aware the debate, voiced his opinion that the book of James was not written by an apostle, using letters written by St. Paul as his comparison. He also questioned the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and the Revelation of John based on the same critical examination. Scholars today recognize different literary styles, historical aspects, and theological differences further separating (or categorizing) the books of the Bible. This is best explained by examining what scholars believe about the letters attributed to St. Paul.

The majority of scholars agree that seven letters attributed to St. Paul are authentic. A large majority of scholars believe that four of the letters, however, were pseudepigraphic, or written by someone else claiming to be St. Paul. This is not to imply that the majority of Christians reject these letters, however, as the letters are still regarded as "holy" by almost all Christians. While hyper-fundamentalist groups would reject the opinion of this majority of scholars as "heretic", most Christians are interested in their study to learn more about the books and the men who wrote them. Scholars use this information to better understand the text and its alignment with the Apostle Paul's theology, as well as to understand what the early Christians believed, and why. To better understand this concept, one must first understand the doctrinal variance and other known issues found in the books scholars consider to be pseudepigraphic.
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Individual Voices of Individual Books:

Though most Christian fundamentalist and hyper-fundamentalist groups view the Bible as one Book, with one Author, having one Personality speaking in unison through a divine "pen" held by multiple men, this view is not common among all Christianity. From the men who debated to determine which books and letters to include in the Bible Canon, to the early apologists and Christian historians, to respected Christian ministers both past and present, a large majority of Christians throughout time were and are still aware that the books in the Bible have a very human element.

The books were chosen for a variety of reasons. If the book or letter was believed to have been written by an Apostle, Jesus' family members, or had historical significance in describing the background to the Christian faith, writings were generally accepted. Those written by others were mostly rejected. Some were believed to have been written by an apostle, but that claim was heavily disputed and often resulted in a book or letter being rejected. The writings that were accepted were viewed by a majority as "Holy", and used as a primary source for the basis of the fundamentals of Christianity. That is not to say authoritative, however, as we find with the book of James and its history.

It was believed by many that the book of James was written by the brother of Jesus, which was one of the primary reasons it was accepted into the Bible canon. It was later learned, however, that "James the Just" was the author, and this reason of its original inclusion was invalidated. Because the book was believed by some to be misaligned with the views of the Apostle Paul, it was rejected by many in the early church. This is confirmed by Martin Luther in his Antilegomena:

Though this epistle of St. James was rejected by the ancients, I praise it and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God. However, to state my own opinion about it, though without prejudice to anyone, I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle; and my reasons follow. In the first place, it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works.
- Martin Luther

Luther continues to evaluate the contents of the Book of James, topic-by-topic, comparing it to the writings of men whose authority he considered more significant, including St. Paul and Moses. Luther believed that the theology was not in alignment, and therefore could not have been written by an apostle:

Now although this epistle might be helped and an interpretation devised for this justification by works, it cannot be defended in its application to works of Moses' statement in Genesis 15. For Moses is speaking here only of Abraham's faith, and not of his works, as St. Paul demonstrates in Romans 4. This fault, therefore, proves that this epistle is not the work of any apostle.
- Martin Luther

This raises some interesting points to consider for those leaving hyper-fundamentalist groups. Not only were respected members of the Christian faith unafraid to critically examine the books of the Bible, they studied them intently to recognize variances in theology. Also, they knew the theology of authors of the books or letters in the Bible enough to understand how they differed. Most importantly, if their understanding of a single author's writing was not in alignment with Christian fundamentals, they were not afraid to disagree with the text. As a result, and whether right or wrong in their assessment, they continually re-evaluated their theology to ensure accuracy, consistency, and legitimacy instead of conforming without critical thought.

Luther's Antilegomena:
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Our Stories - The Religious Clown Car:

In the "Message", there are a variety of strange beliefs that go far beyond what William Branham said during his sermons and revivals. Each person who came into the "Message" had different religious backgrounds and those backgrounds often influenced their "Message" beliefs in many ways. Especially the pastors.

If a pastor came out of a Pentecostal church, the "Message" church will have a strong mixture of mainstream Pentecostalism and William Branham's altered version of Pentecostalism: Branhamism. If a pastor was Methodist, a mixture of Branhamism and Methodist. There's Baptist Branhamism, Apostolic Branhamism, and more. This cafeteria-style "non-denominational" variety of beliefs has created many divided "Message" churches.

Our "Message" church had elders that came out of the Amish, which had its own unique set of problems. Some of them were quite funny. The majority of the church had little or no experience with the Amish, yet some of the elders tried to enforce a very strict, very rigid set of rules similar to their religious background. We all must have looked really funny to other people -- "Message" or not -- when the men gathered for gender-segregated swimming in the "cement pond" forced to swim in blue jeans and t-shirts instead of swimming trunks.
One memory stands out among all the rest, and I often laugh when thinking about it. Our church was in the hills, and most of the younger crowd drove about forty minutes to a bigger city for a meal after dinner. Because of the Amish influence, boys were not permitted to ride with girls. On one particular Sunday, there were only two girls, one of which had a large sedan with empty seats. There were eleven boys, with only two vehicles -- one of which drove off with all four seats filled without realizing the "Amish Message" rule. The remaining car was a tiny sports car with four tiny bucket seats.

The former Amish elder stood there making sure we all obeyed the rule, sending the two girls off with their big, plush, empty seats, and helping the boys into the sports car. We had the driver and front passenger with a boy laying across both front seats in their lap. We had the back two passengers with a boy laying across both back seats in their lap. And one poor fellow lay on top of all of this, headfirst from the front end of the car to the back on top of everyone. It was like a human game of Jenga! For what ended up to be a forty-five-minute drive!

When we pulled into the restaurant parking lot and started pouring out of the car, I'm sure we were quite a riot. We could feel the eyes of the people near the windows staring at us as we unstacked each other, taking an occasional knee to the face or foot to the groin. It was like a clown car, but without our round, shiny red noses! We were "Message" clowns!
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An Unsuspected Idol:

When asked, hyper-fundamentalist Christians would firmly state that their specific translation of the Bible was the only Book God used to instruct, describe Himself to, or communicate with Christians. Because of a hyper-literal interpretation of the first few paragraphs in the Gospel of John, and because fundamentalist Christianity has associated the phrase "Word of God" solely to their translation of the Bible, they literally view their translation as a text-based version of God Himself. Like the ancient Pagan worshippers who viewed their statues made of stone as a stone-based version of their gods, hyper-fundamentalist Christians worship cotton, linen, and flax formed into pages of their Bible as an idol.

Most are unaware that the statements made by each individual author were written several hundreds of years before their scrolls or letters were combined with other scrolls or letters to form the Bible Canon or that the Christian Bible used to contain several additional books. Most of all, they are unaware that the pages between the leather bindings used to be considered by the early Church as a "library" rather than a "book", and that a countless number of men violently argued and debated as to which "books" their "library" should contain. It was not until 367 A.D. that the list of scrolls and letters was circulated by Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, which finally established the content of the New Testament.

While hyper-fundamentalists and even many traditional Christians affirm the current selection of books in the Bible, historically this was not the case. Books and letters were selected based upon a consensus of agreement as to authenticity, and the consensus was far from unanimous. In fact, there were several books which were contested enough to be categorized as "disputed writings" by several early church fathers, a term called "Antilegomena". The "disputed writings" were widely read in the Early Church and included the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache. Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, further questioned the authenticity of some text and attempted to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation from the canon.

Though some might find this concept offensive, the term "disputed" should not be misunderstood to mean "false" or "heretical". For the point being made, however, it can correctly mean "non-idolatrous". Both the founding fathers of Christianity and the founder of the Protestant Reformation did not consider the combination of books to be "God", nor were they afraid to critically examine the content presented by the authors. Regardless of whether or not their critical examination was justified, this is a significant difference from the way in which hyper-fundamentalists view their translation of the Bible. Christians today should note, however, that the views of the early church and up until well past the Protestant Reformation were significantly different than today. If a passage of text in the Bible was in question, the reader or translator critically examined it. There was not and should never be any fear of being accurate.
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Conceptually Avoiding Concepts:

While there are some issues with the interpretation of the Bible because of text variance among hyper-fundamentalist groups, conflicts often arise that are outside of the boundaries of textual accuracy. Especially among hyper-fundamentalist groups who appoint men or women as the ultimate authority over scriptural interpretation or application, many hyper-fundamentalist Christians base their faith on doctrines that are not found in the text of the Bible. These extra-biblical "revelations" are sometimes the result of doctrine that developed through misunderstanding or misinterpreting the text, but often include opinions, "spiritual" experiences, and even politically or financially motivated agenda.

The early Christian Church argued for the importance of a variety of translations to better understand the concepts described by the authors of the Bible scrolls. One single translation, though good enough for casual reading, did not accurately describe the full meaning of overloaded words in the original language. One Greek word might require an entire paragraph to explain in English, while one English word might contain overloaded meanings that did not exist in the Greek language. The Greek word "logos", for instance, is highly complex. Translated to "Word" in the prologue to the Gospel of John in John 1:1, the Christian usage of Jesus Christ as the "Logos" implies "Divine Word", "Divine Discourse" or "Divine Reason". The Greek word was also used, however, for "ground", "plea", "opinion", "expectation", "speech", "account", "reason", and "proportion". Logos was used as the "logic" behind an argument, as a term of persuasion, especially by Ancient Greek philosophers.

This problem of enforcing the literal interpretation of a different translation of the ancient text becomes progressively worse as the phrases and meanings of words in the 1611 English language have shifted over time. An example of this is found in Isaiah 11:5. The King James Version translated the Hebrew word describing "loins" with "reins", which has no modern usage. Newer versions have adapted this text to use "waist", which has a better modern understanding. In some cases, such as the KJV usage of the word "conversation", the instruction to the reader significantly changes. In Ephesians 4:22-24, the KJV translators instruct readers to avoid their former "conversation", which at the time was a word describing "conduct or behavior". Newer translations, such as the English Standard Version, correctly translate the word as "manner of life".

Hyper-fundamentalist groups which militantly defend the text of language used centuries in our past effectively build doctrines around their ignorance how the multiple languages have changed over time. Worse, by giving such significant importance to words of specific sentences rather than the concept being presented by the author, many of these doctrines conflict with the author's overall message to the reader or concepts being presented by other authors of other books of the Bible. As a result, many hyper-fundamentalist groups avoid studying the Bible conceptually; the themes presented by the authors are sometimes in direct opposition to doctrinal positions of hyper-fundamentalist groups. Those who leave these groups must learn to recognize overloaded words or phrases they were taught and understand how they were misused. In many cases, the overloading was doctrinally or even morally incorrect. In the worst cases, they are destructive or dangerous.

More about changes to the language used in the KJV:
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The 1611 Embarrassment To Hyper-Fundamentalism:

Many hyper-fundamentalist groups indoctrinate their followers to militantly defend the New King James Version Bible as the ultimate translation, ultimate authority, and effectively "only accurate" version of the Christian Bible. In doing so, they are not only promoting ignorance of the vast amount of complex history behind their freedom to read the Bible in their own language, they are in direct violation of the instructions given to readers by the fifty-four translators who originally produced the manuscript through the authority of King James VI and I.

In the original King James Version of 1611, an eleven-page preface introduced the Bible Canon that was the combination of multiple translations of translations from the original Greek and Hebrew into multiple variations of Greek, Latin, and other languages. The translators, aware of the unavoidable errors due to the complexity, openly discussed what they described as "imperfections and blemishes", and gave examples to further explain their struggle. The extent of which was so great that they did not feel the result of their work was worthy of being a replacement translation; it was simply the best translation possible that could be created by improving the previous ones. Some of the discrepancies between translations were so great, they admitted, that one could not rely on their text as the literal truth. For these instances, the King James translators provided both examples and explanations. Like any who study the history of the text would agree, and as St. Augustine noted, a "variety of translations is profitable for finding out the sense of the Scriptures".

From the 1611 KJV Translators:
Now to the later we answere; that wee doe not deny, nay wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the Kings Speech which hee uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian and Latine, is still the Kings Speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expresly for sence, every where. For it is confessed, that things are to take their denomination of the greater part; and a naturall man could say, Verùm ubi multa nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendor maculis, &c. A man may be counted a vertuous man, though hee have made many slips in his life, (els, there were none vertuous, for in many things we offend all) also a comely man and lovely, though hee have some warts upon his hand, yea, not onely freakles upon his face, but all skarres. No cause therefore why the word translated should bee denied to be the word, or forbidden to be currant, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting foorth of it. For what ever was perfect under the Sunne, where Apostles or Apostolike men, that is, men indued with an extraordinary measure of Gods spirit, and priviledged with the priviledge of infallibilitie, had not their hand? The Romanistes therefore in refusing to heare, and daring to burne the Word translated, did no lesse then despite the spirit of grace, from whom originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, as well as mans weaknesse would enable, it did expresse. Judge by an example or two. Plutarch writeth, that after that Rome had beene burnt by the Galles, they fell soone to builde it againe: but doing it in haste, they did not cast the streets, nor proportion the houses in such comely fashion, as had bene most sightly and convenient; was Catiline therefore an honest man, or a good Patriot, that sought to bring it to a combustion? or Nero a good Prince, that did indeed set it on fire? So, by the story of Ezrah, and the prophesie of Haggai it may be gathered, that the Temple build by Zerubbabel after the returne from Babylon, was by no meanes to bee compared to the former built by Solomon (for they that remembred the former, wept when they considered the latter) notwithstanding, might this later either have bene abhorred and forsaken by the Jewes, or prophaned by the Greekes? The like wee are to thinke of Translations. The translation of the Seventie dissenteth from the Originall in many places, neither doeth it come neere it, for perspicuitie, gratvitie, majestie; yet which of the Apostles did condemne it? Condemne it? Nay, they used it, (as it is apparent, and as Saint Jerome and most learned men doe confesse) which they would not have done, nor by their example of using it, so grace and commend it to the Church, if it had bene unworthy the appellation and name of the word of God.
- 1611 King James Bible Preface

At the same time, the KJV translators took liberties with their choice of wording, which they failed to admit in the preface. The most obvious example of this is found in 1 Corinthians 13, when a translator chose the word "charity" instead of "love" to translate the word "agape" (Greek for divine love). While some translators correctly translated "agape" to "love" in several instances throughout the KJV, other translators (or likely one small group of translators) incorrectly chose "charity" -- which had a different meaning both in the early 1600's and in today's English. Though it could be argued that there is no harm in their mistake, or even that promoting charitable contributions was beneficial to the Cristian community, this translation has been abused by many situations. It is especially noticeable among the hyper-fundamentalist groups who practice forced Old Covenant tithing while ignoring the entire set of laws surrounding tithing in the Mosaic Law.

Those who leave hyper-fundamentalist groups must be aware of the complex issues with translation in order to better understand the Protestant faith and ultimately the Christian religion. The hardcore stance to preserve one single translation as authoritative is a relatively new concept and one that originated with those whose doctrine often conflicts with the overarching themes of the text of other translations. Instead of favoring accuracy, these groups favor specific wording by the King James translators who cautioned readers about an inaccurate result. Those who were aware of the text variance during the translation process were fully in favor of and even promoted text criticism. Their motive was to produce the most accurate result possible while understanding that without the original manuscripts, some variance could never be eliminated.
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