A Lesson For The KJVOx From Early American History
In this simple paragraph from the Massachusetts General School Law of 1647, aka “The Old Deluder Satan Law”
Yt being one cheife piect of ye ould deluder, Satan, to keepe men from the knowledge of ye Scriptures, as in formr times by keeping ym in an unknowne tongue, so in these lattr times by pswading from ye use of tongues, yt so at least ye true sense & meaning of ye originall might be clouded by false glosses of saint seeming deceivers, yt learning may not be buried in ye grave of or fathrs in ye church & comonwealth, the Lord assisting or endeavors,—
lt is therefore ordred yt evry towneship in this jurisdiction, aftr ye Lord hath increased ym to ye number of 50 householdrs, shall then forthwth appoint one wthin their towne to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write & reade, whose wages whall be paid eithr by ye parents or mastrs of such children, or by ye inhabitants in genrall, by way of supply, as ye maior pt of those yt ordr ye prudentials of ye towne shall appoint; pvided, those yt send their children be not oppressed by paying much more ytn they can have tm taught for in othr townes; & it is furthr ordered, yt where any towne shall increase to ye numbr of 100 families or househouldrs, they shall set up a gramer schoole, ye mr thereof being able to instruct youth so farr as they may be fited for ye university, pvided, yt if any towne neglect ye pformance hereof above one yeare, yt every such towne shall pay 5 Ito ye next schoole till they shall pforme this order.
Now, let me revise the above highlighted clause in order to make it easier to read.
“. . . so in these latter times by persuading from the use of tongues, that so at least the true sense and meaning of the original [Old Testament Hebrew & New Testament Greek, that is] might be clouded by false glosses of saint-seeming deceivers . . . ”
What is the moral of this story? If you simply prefer the use of the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures for your own personal study and devotional reading, or even if you believe after a considerate examination of the issues of textual criticism, that it is best to retain the Byzantine readings of the New Testament, and therefore ought to not revise the King James Version with a modern, eclectic, critical Greek text, this post does not criticize your view (even though I certainly disagree with your view). But if you believe that the King James Version of the Bible was given by the special inspiration of God, and that it’s English text is superior to the lost original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for the simple reason that we can hold the KJV in our hands, while we cannot hold the original manuscripts in our hands, and that therefore, we need not bother burdening our congregations with recourse to the original languages to properly interpret the words of the KJV, the Massachusetts General School Law of 1647 identifies those who would undermine the need to understand the Word of God in the original languages as “saint-seeming deceivers” whose efforts would in effect, bury learning in the graves of our fathers in the church. If only you would see the error of your ways, and stop deceiving unlearned believers under your care that it’s dangerous to “correct the King James” with anything, even the sense of the original Hebrew and Greek languages.