[Paleopsych] Where Was God During the Tsunami?, Part 2
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Thu Jan 13 17:57:32 UTC 2005
Where Was God During the Tsunami?, Part 2
1. An opinion piece by William Safire on the Book of Job.
2. The original of the Book of Job.
3. A warning about the spelling.
4. Theodicy from Wikipedia. A term usually used to mean accounting for God
allowing evil in the world.
5. While we're onto the King James Bible, here's the "The Translators to
the Readers," which is almost always omitted in reprintings, but it,
too, follows a later spelling.
6. A defense of multiple translations, which ignores the fact that the
Holy Ghost supervised the King James translation team, correcting errors
in the extant Hebrew and Greek MSS. In high compatibility with the
Mormon doctrine of continued revelation, the Holy Ghost left out at
least one verse. It pertains to the legal professions and was in the
original Book of Proverbs. It reads, "The large print giveth; the fine
print taketh away."
7. A NYTimes article on how other faiths are dealing with the tsunami.
Op-Ed Columnist: Where Was God?
NYTimes January 10, 2005
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
In the aftermath of a cataclysm, with pictures of parents
sobbing over dead infants driven into human consciousness
around the globe, faith-shaking questions arise: Where was
God? Why does a good and all-powerful deity permit such
evil and grief to fall on so many thousands of innocents?
What did these people do to deserve such suffering?
After a similar natural disaster wiped out tens of
thousands of lives in Lisbon in the 18th century, the
philosopher Voltaire wrote "Candide," savagely satirizing
optimists who still found comfort and hope in God. After
last month's Indian Ocean tsunami, the same anguished
questioning is in the minds of millions of religious
Turn to the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. It was written
some 2,500 years ago during what must have been a crisis of
faith. The covenant with Abraham - worship the one God, and
his people would be protected - didn't seem to be working.
The good died young, the wicked prospered; where was the
The poet-priest who wrote this book began with a dialogue
between God and the Satan, then a kind of prosecuting
angel. When God pointed to "my servant Job" as most upright
and devout, the Satan suggested Job worshipped God only
because he had been given power and riches. On a bet that
Job would stay faithful, God let the angel take the good
man's possessions, kill his children and afflict him with
The first point the Book of Job made was that suffering is
not evidence of sin. When Job's friends said that he must
have done something awful to deserve such misery, the
reader knows that is false. Job's suffering was a test of
his faith: even as he grew angry with God for being unjust
- wishing he could sue him in a court of law - he never
abandoned his belief.
And did this righteous Gentile get furious: "Damn the day
that I was born!" Forget the so-called "patience of Job";
that legend is blown away by the shockingly irreverent
biblical narrative. Job's famous expression of meek
acceptance in the 1611 King James Version - "though he slay
me, yet will I trust in him" - was a blatant misreading by
nervous translators. Modern scholarship offers a much
different translation: "He may slay me, I'll not quaver."
The point of Job's gutsy defiance of God's injustice -
right there in the Bible - is that it is not blasphemous to
challenge the highest authority when it inflicts a moral
wrong. (I titled a book on this "The First Dissident.")
Indeed, Job's demand that his unseen adversary show up at a
trial with a written indictment gets an unexpected
reaction: in a thunderous theophany, God appears before the
startled man with the longest and most beautifully poetic
speech attributed directly to him in Scripture.
Frankly, God's voice "out of the whirlwind" carries a
message not all that satisfying to those wondering about
moral mismanagement. Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal "I
read the Book of Job last night - I don't think God comes
well out of it."
The powerful voice demands of puny Man: "Where were you
when I laid the Earth's foundations?" Summoning an image of
the mythic sea-monster symbolizing Chaos, God asks, "Canst
thou draw out Leviathan with a hook?" The poet-priest's
point, I think, is that God is occupied bringing light to
darkness, imposing physical order on chaos, and leaves his
human creations free to work out moral justice on their
Job's moral outrage caused God to appear, thereby
demonstrating that the sufferer who believes is never
alone. Job abruptly stops complaining, and - in a prosaic
happy ending that strikes me as tacked on by other sages so
as to get the troublesome book accepted in the Hebrew canon
- he is rewarded. (Christianity promises to rectify earthly
injustice in an afterlife.)
Job's lessons for today:
(1) Victims of this cataclysm in no way "deserved" a fate
inflicted by the Leviathanic force of nature.
(2) Questioning God's inscrutable ways has its exemplar in
the Bible and need not undermine faith.
(3) Humanity's obligation to ameliorate injustice on earth
is being expressed in a surge of generosity that refutes
E-mail: safire at nytimes.com
Safire's is just one interpretation, of course. Here's the original text
itself, from what's probably the 1769 spelling:
THE BOOK OF JOB
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man
was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand
camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a
very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men
of the east.
4 And his sons went and feasted [in their] houses, every one his day;
and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with
5 And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that
Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and
offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job
said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their
hearts. Thus did Job continually.
6 ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves
before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered
the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking
up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job,
that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright
man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about
all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands,
and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will
curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy
power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth
from the presence of the LORD.
13 ¶ And there was a day when his sons and his daughters [were] eating
and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing,
and the asses feeding beside them:
15 And the Sabeans fell [upon them], and took them away; yea, they have
slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped
alone to tell thee.
16 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The
fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the
servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The
Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have
carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the
sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy
sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest
19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote
the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they
are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell
down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I
return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be
the name of the LORD.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves
before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself
before the LORD.
2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan
answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and
from walking up and down in it.
3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job,
that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright
man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast
his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him
4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a
man hath will he give for his life.
5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he
will curse thee to thy face.
6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save
7 ¶ So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job
with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down
among the ashes.
9 ¶ Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity?
curse God, and die.
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women
speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we
not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
11 ¶ Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come
upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite,
and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an
appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they
lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and
sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven
nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that [his] grief
was very great.
1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
2 And Job spake, and said,
3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night [in which] it was
said, There is a man child conceived.
4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither
let the light shine upon it.
5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon
it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 As [for] that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined
unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the
7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.
8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their
9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light,
but [have] none; neither let it see the dawning of the day:
10 Because it shut not up the doors of my [mother's] womb, nor hid
sorrow from mine eyes.
11 Why died I not from the womb? [why] did I [not] give up the ghost
when I came out of the belly?
12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept:
then had I been at rest,
14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places
15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:
16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants [which]
never saw light.
17 There the wicked cease [from] troubling; and there the weary be at
18 [There] the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the
19 The small and great are there; and the servant [is] free from his
20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the
bitter [in] soul;
21 Which long for death, but it [cometh] not; and dig for it more than
for hid treasures;
22 Which rejoice exceedingly, [and] are glad, when they can find the
23 [Why is light given] to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath
24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out
like the waters.
25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which
I was afraid of is come unto me.
26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2 [If] we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can
withhold himself from speaking?
3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak
4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast
strengthened the feeble knees.
5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and
thou art troubled.
6 [Is] not [this] thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the
uprightness of thy ways?
7 Remember, I pray thee, who [ever] perished, being innocent? or where
were the righteous cut off?
8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap
9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are
10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the
teeth of the young lions, are broken.
11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion's whelps
are scattered abroad.
12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a
13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on
14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image
[was] before mine eyes, [there was] silence, and I heard a voice,
17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than
18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged
19 How much less [in] them that dwell in houses of clay, whose
foundation [is] in the dust, [which] are crushed before the moth?
20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever
without any regarding [it].
21 Doth not their excellency [which is] in them go away? they die, even
1 Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the
saints wilt thou turn?
2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
3 I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his
4 His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate,
neither [is there] any to deliver [them].
5 Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the
thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance.
6 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble
spring out of the ground;
7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
8 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without
10 Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields:
11 To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be
exalted to safety.
12 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands
cannot perform [their] enterprise.
13 He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the
froward is carried headlong.
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as
in the night.
15 But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the
hand of the mighty.
16 So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
17 Behold, happy [is] the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not
thou the chastening of the Almighty:
18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make
19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no
evil touch thee.
20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power
of the sword.
21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou
be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
22 At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be
afraid of the beasts of the earth.
23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the
beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
24 And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle [shall be] in peace; and thou
shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
25 Thou shalt know also that thy seed [shall be] great, and thine
offspring as the grass of the earth.
26 Thou shalt come to [thy] grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn
cometh in in his season.
27 Lo this, we have searched it, so it [is]; hear it, and know thou [it]
for thy good.
1 But Job answered and said,
2 Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the
3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my
words are swallowed up.
4 For the arrows of the Almighty [are] within me, the poison whereof
drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array
5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his
6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there [any]
taste in the white of an egg?
7 The things [that] my soul refused to touch [are] as my sorrowful meat.
8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant [me] the
thing that I long for!
9 Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose
his hand, and cut me off!
10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow:
let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
11 What [is] my strength, that I should hope? and what [is] mine end,
that I should prolong my life?
12 [Is] my strength the strength of stones? or [is] my flesh of brass?
13 [Is] not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
14 To him that is afflicted pity [should be shewed] from his friend; but
he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
15 My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, [and] as the stream of
brooks they pass away;
16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, [and] wherein the snow is
17 What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are
consumed out of their place.
18 The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and
19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.
20 They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and
21 For now ye are nothing; ye see [my] casting down, and are afraid.
22 Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?
23 Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of
24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand
wherein I have erred.
25 How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?
26 Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is
desperate, [which are] as wind?
27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig [a pit] for your friend.
28 Now therefore be content, look upon me; for [it is] evident unto you
if I lie.
29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my
righteousness [is] in it.
30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse
1 [Is there] not an appointed time to man upon earth? [are not] his days
also like the days of an hireling?
2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh
for [the reward of] his work:
3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are
appointed to me.
4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and
I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken,
and become loathsome.
6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without
7 O remember that my life [is] wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no [more]: thine eyes
[are] upon me, and I [am] not.
9 [As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down
to the grave shall come up no [more].
10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know
him any more.
11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of
my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 [Am] I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?
13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my
14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:
15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, [and] death rather than my life.
16 I loathe [it]; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days
17 What [is] man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou
shouldest set thine heart upon him?
18 And [that] thou shouldest visit him every morning, [and] try him
19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I
swallow down my spittle?
20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men?
why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to
21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine
iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in
the morning, but I [shall] not [be].
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long wilt thou speak these [things]? and [how long shall] the
words of thy mouth [be like] a strong wind?
3 Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
4 If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away
for their transgression;
5 If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to
6 If thou [wert] pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee,
and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly
8 For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to
the search of their fathers:
9 (For we [are but of] yesterday, and know nothing, because our days
upon earth [are] a shadow:)
10 Shall not they teach thee, [and] tell thee, and utter words out of
11 Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?
12 Whilst it [is] yet in his greenness, [and] not cut down, it withereth
before any [other] herb.
13 So [are] the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope
14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust [shall be] a spider's
15 He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold
it fast, but it shall not endure.
16 He [is] green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his
17 His roots are wrapped about the heap, [and] seeth the place of
18 If he destroy him from his place, then [it] shall deny him, [saying],
I have not seen thee.
19 Behold, this [is] the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall
20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect [man], neither will he help
the evil doers:
21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling
place of the wicked shall come to nought.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I know [it is] so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
4 [He is] wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened
[himself] against him, and hath prospered?
5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth
them in his anger.
6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof
7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of
9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the
10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without
11 Lo, he goeth by me, and I see [him] not: he passeth on also, but I
perceive him not.
12 Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him,
What doest thou?
13 [If] God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop
14 How much less shall I answer him, [and] choose out my words [to
reason] with him?
15 Whom, though I were righteous, [yet] would I not answer, [but] I
would make supplication to my judge.
16 If I had called, and he had answered me; [yet] would I not believe
that he had hearkened unto my voice.
17 For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without
18 He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with
19 If [I speak] of strength, lo, [he is] strong: and if of judgment, who
shall set me a time [to plead]?
20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: [if I say], I
[am] perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
21 [Though] I [were] perfect, [yet] would I not know my soul: I would
despise my life.
22 This [is] one [thing], therefore I said [it], He destroyeth the
perfect and the wicked.
23 If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces
of the judges thereof; if not, where, [and] who [is] he?
25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no
26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle [that] hasteth
to the prey.
27 If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness,
and comfort [myself]:
28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me
29 [If] I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;
31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall
32 For [he is] not a man, as I [am, that] I should answer him, [and] we
should come together in judgment.
33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, [that] might lay his hand
upon us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
35 [Then] would I speak, and not fear him; but [it is] not so with me.
1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I
will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou
contendest with me.
3 [Is it] good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou
shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of
4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
5 [Are] thy days as the days of man? [are] thy years as man's days,
6 That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and [there is] none that can
deliver out of thine hand.
8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet
thou dost destroy me.
9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt
thou bring me into dust again?
10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with
bones and sinews.
12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath
preserved my spirit.
13 And these [things] hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this
[is] with thee.
14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine
15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and [if] I be righteous, [yet] will I
not lift up my head. [I am] full of confusion; therefore see thou mine
16 For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou
shewest thyself marvellous upon me.
17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine
indignation upon me; changes and war [are] against me.
18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I
had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!
19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been
carried from the womb to the grave.
20 [Are] not my days few? cease [then, and] let me alone, that I may
take comfort a little,
21 Before I go [whence] I shall not return, [even] to the land of
darkness and the shadow of death;
22 A land of darkness, as darkness [itself; and] of the shadow of death,
without any order, and [where] the light [is] as darkness.
1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
2 Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full
of talk be justified?
3 Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest,
shall no man make thee ashamed?
4 For thou hast said, My doctrine [is] pure, and I am clean in thine
5 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;
6 And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that [they are]
double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee [less]
than thine iniquity [deserveth].
7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty
8 [It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what
canst thou know?
9 The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the
10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder
11 For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then
12 For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass's
13 If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;
14 If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not
wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be
stedfast, and shalt not fear:
16 Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters
[that] pass away:
17 And [thine] age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine
forth, thou shalt be as the morning.
18 And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig
[about thee, and] thou shalt take thy rest in safety.
19 Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make [thee] afraid; yea,
many shall make suit unto thee.
20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and
their hope [shall be as] the giving up of the ghost.
1 And Job answered and said,
2 No doubt but ye [are] the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
3 But I have understanding as well as you; I [am] not inferior to you:
yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
4 I am [as] one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he
answereth him: the just upright [man is] laughed to scorn.
5 He that is ready to slip with [his] feet [is as] a lamp despised in
the thought of him that is at ease.
6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are
secure; into whose hand God bringeth [abundantly].
7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of
the air, and they shall tell thee:
8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the
sea shall declare unto thee.
9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought
10 In whose hand [is] the soul of every living thing, and the breath of
11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?
12 With the ancient [is] wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
13 With him [is] wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth
up a man, and there can be no opening.
15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth
them out, and they overturn the earth.
16 With him [is] strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver
17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.
18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.
19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.
20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the
understanding of the aged.
21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the
22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light
the shadow of death.
23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the
nations, and straiteneth them [again].
24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and
causeth them to wander in a wilderness [where there is] no way.
25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger
like [a] drunken [man].
1 Lo, mine eye hath seen all [this], mine ear hath heard and understood
2 What ye know, [the same] do I know also: I [am] not inferior unto you.
3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
4 But ye [are] forgers of lies, ye [are] all physicians of no value.
5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your
6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.
7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?
8 Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?
9 Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh
another, do ye [so] mock him?
10 He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.
11 Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon
12 Your remembrances [are] like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of
13 Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me
14 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine
15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine
own ways before him.
16 He also [shall be] my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come
17 Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
18 Behold now, I have ordered [my] cause; I know that I shall be
19 Who [is] he [that] will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue,
I shall give up the ghost.
20 Only do not two [things] unto me: then will I not hide myself from
21 Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me
22 Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou
23 How many [are] mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my
transgression and my sin.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?
25 Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the
26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess
the iniquities of my youth.
27 Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto
all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet.
28 And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth
1 Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.
2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a
shadow, and continueth not.
3 And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into
judgment with thee?
4 Who can bring a clean [thing] out of an unclean? not one.
5 Seeing his days [are] determined, the number of his months [are] with
thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
6 Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an
hireling, his day.
7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout
again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof
die in the ground;
9 [Yet] through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs
like a plant.
10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and
where [is] he?
11 [As] the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth
12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens [be] no more,
they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me
secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set
time, and remember me!
14 If a man die, shall he live [again]? all the days of my appointed
time will I wait, till my change come.
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to
the work of thine hands.
16 For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?
17 My transgression [is] sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine
18 And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is
removed out of his place.
19 The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow
[out] of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.
20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest
his countenance, and sendest him away.
21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth [it] not; and they are
brought low, but he perceiveth [it] not of them.
22 But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall
1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he
can do no good?
4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.
5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of
6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips
testify against thee.
7 [Art] thou the first man [that] was born? or wast thou made before the
8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to
9 What knowest thou, that we know not? [what] understandest thou, which
[is] not in us?
10 With us [are] both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than
11 [Are] the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret
thing with thee?
12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,
13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest [such] words go
out of thy mouth?
14 What [is] man, that he should be clean? and [he which is] born of a
woman, that he should be righteous?
15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not
clean in his sight.
16 How much more abominable and filthy [is] man, which drinketh iniquity
17 I will shew thee, hear me; and that [which] I have seen I will
18 Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid [it]:
19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among
20 The wicked man travaileth with pain all [his] days, and the number of
years is hidden to the oppressor.
21 A dreadful sound [is] in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall
come upon him.
22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is
waited for of the sword.
23 He wandereth abroad for bread, [saying], Where [is it]? he knoweth
that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against
him, as a king ready to the battle.
25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself
against the Almighty.
26 He runneth upon him, [even] on [his] neck, upon the thick bosses of
27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of
fat on [his] flanks.
28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, [and] in houses which no man
inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.
29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither
shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth.
30 He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his
branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.
31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be
33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off
his flower as the olive.
34 For the congregation of hypocrites [shall be] desolate, and fire
shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters [are] ye all.
3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou
4 I also could speak as ye [do]: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I
could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.
5 [But] I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips
should asswage [your grief].
6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and [though] I forbear, what
am I eased?
7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.
8 And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, [which] is a witness [against
me]: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.
9 He teareth [me] in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with
his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon
the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against
11 God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the
hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken [me]
by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
13 His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and
doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.
14 He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust.
16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids [is] the shadow of
17 Not for [any] injustice in mine hands: also my prayer [is] pure.
18 O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place.
19 Also now, behold, my witness [is] in heaven, and my record [is] on
20 My friends scorn me: [but] mine eye poureth out [tears] unto God.
21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man [pleadeth] for
22 When a few years are come, then I shall go the way [whence] I shall
1 My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves [are ready] for
2 [Are there] not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in
3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who [is] he [that] will
strike hands with me?
4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou
not exalt [them].
5 He that speaketh flattery to [his] friends, even the eyes of his
children shall fail.
6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a
7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members [are] as
8 Upright [men] shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir
up himself against the hypocrite.
9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands
shall be stronger and stronger.
10 But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find
[one] wise [man] among you.
11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, [even] the thoughts of
12 They change the night into day: the light [is] short because of
13 If I wait, the grave [is] mine house: I have made my bed in the
14 I have said to corruption, Thou [art] my father: to the worm, [Thou
art] my mother, and my sister.
15 And where [is] now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when [our] rest together
[is] in the dust.
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long [will it be ere] ye make an end of words? mark, and
afterwards we will speak.
3 Wherefore are we counted as beasts, [and] reputed vile in your sight?
4 He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee?
and shall the rock be removed out of his place?
5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his
fire shall not shine.
6 The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put
out with him.
7 The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel
shall cast him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a
9 The gin shall take [him] by the heel, [and] the robber shall prevail
10 The snare [is] laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the
11 Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to
12 His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction [shall be] ready
at his side.
13 It shall devour the strength of his skin: [even] the firstborn of
death shall devour his strength.
14 His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall
bring him to the king of terrors.
15 It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because [it is] none of his:
brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
16 His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be
17 His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no
name in the street.
18 He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the
19 He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any
remaining in his dwellings.
20 They that come after [him] shall be astonied at his day, as they that
went before were affrighted.
21 Surely such [are] the dwellings of the wicked, and this [is] the
place [of him that] knoweth not God.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed [that] ye
make yourselves strange to me.
4 And be it indeed [that] I have erred, mine error remaineth with
5 If indeed ye will magnify [yourselves] against me, and plead against
me my reproach:
6 Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his
7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but
[there is] no judgment.
8 He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness
in my paths.
9 He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown [from] my head.
10 He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath
he removed like a tree.
11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto
him as [one of] his enemies.
12 His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and
encamp round about my tabernacle.
13 He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily
estranged from me.
14 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
15 They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger:
I am an alien in their sight.
16 I called my servant, and he gave [me] no answer; I intreated him with
17 My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the
children's [sake] of mine own body.
18 Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned
20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with
the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand
of God hath touched me.
22 Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a
24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
25 For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at
the latter [day] upon the earth:
26 And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my
flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not
another; [though] my reins be consumed within me.
28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the
matter is found in me?
29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath [bringeth] the punishments of
the sword, that ye may know [there is] a judgment.
1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
2 Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for [this] I make
3 I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my
understanding causeth me to answer.
4 Knowest thou [not] this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
5 That the triumphing of the wicked [is] short, and the joy of the
hypocrite [but] for a moment?
6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto
7 [Yet] he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen
him shall say, Where [is] he?
8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be
chased away as a vision of the night.
9 The eye also [which] saw him shall [see him] no more; neither shall
his place any more behold him.
10 His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall
restore their goods.
11 His bones are full [of the sin] of his youth, which shall lie down
with him in the dust.
12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, [though] he hide it under
13 [Though] he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within
14 [Yet] his meat in his bowels is turned, [it is] the gall of asps
15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God
shall cast them out of his belly.
16 He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.
17 He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and
18 That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow
[it] down: according to [his] substance [shall] the restitution [be],
and he shall not rejoice [therein].
19 Because he hath oppressed [and] hath forsaken the poor; [because] he
hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;
20 Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of
that which he desired.
21 There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for
22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand
of the wicked shall come upon him.
23 [When] he is about to fill his belly, [God] shall cast the fury of
his wrath upon him, and shall rain [it] upon him while he is eating.
24 He shall flee from the iron weapon, [and] the bow of steel shall
strike him through.
25 It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword
cometh out of his gall: terrors [are] upon him.
26 All darkness [shall be] hid in his secret places: a fire not blown
shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his
27 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up
28 The increase of his house shall depart, [and his goods] shall flow
away in the day of his wrath.
29 This [is] the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage
appointed unto him by God.
1 But Job answered and said,
2 Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
3 Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, [is] my complaint to man? and if [it were so], why should
not my spirit be troubled?
5 Mark me, and be astonished, and lay [your] hand upon [your] mouth.
6 Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my
7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their
offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses [are] safe from fear, neither [is] the rod of God upon
10 Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth
not her calf.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children
12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the
13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the
14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the
knowledge of thy ways.
15 What [is] the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit
should we have, if we pray unto him?
16 Lo, their good [is] not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is
far from me.
17 How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and [how oft] cometh
their destruction upon them! [God] distributeth sorrows in his anger.
18 They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm
19 God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth him, and he
shall know [it].
20 His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath
of the Almighty.
21 For what pleasure [hath] he in his house after him, when the number
of his months is cut off in the midst?
22 Shall [any] teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are
23 One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.
24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with
25 And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth
26 They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover
27 Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices [which] ye wrongfully
imagine against me.
28 For ye say, Where [is] the house of the prince? and where [are] the
dwelling places of the wicked?
29 Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their
30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be
brought forth to the day of wrath.
31 Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him [what]
he hath done?
32 Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall
draw after him, as [there are] innumerable before him.
34 How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable
3 [Is it] any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or [is
it] gain [to him], that thou makest thy ways perfect?
4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into
5 [Is] not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?
6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped
the naked of their clothing.
7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast
withholden bread from the hungry.
8 But [as for] the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man
dwelt in it.
9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have
10 Therefore snares [are] round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth
11 Or darkness, [that] thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover
12 [Is] not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the
stars, how high they are!
13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark
14 Thick clouds [are] a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he
walketh in the circuit of heaven.
15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with
17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for
18 Yet he filled their houses with good [things]: but the counsel of the
wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see [it], and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to
20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the
21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall
come unto thee.
22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in
23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt
put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the
stones of the brooks.
25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of
26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift
up thy face unto God.
27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou
shalt pay thy vows.
28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto
thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
29 When [men] are cast down, then thou shalt say, [There is] lifting up;
and he shall save the humble person.
30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by
the pureness of thine hands.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 Even to day [is] my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my
3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! [that] I might come [even] to
4 I would order [my] cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words [which] he would answer me, and understand what
he would say unto me.
6 Will he plead against me with [his] great power? No; but he would put
[strength] in me.
7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered
for ever from my judge.
8 Behold, I go forward, but he [is] not [there]; and backward, but I
cannot perceive him:
9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold [him]: he
hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see [him]:
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall
come forth as gold.
11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have
esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].
13 But he [is] in one [mind], and who can turn him? and [what] his soul
desireth, even [that] he doeth.
14 For he performeth [the thing that is] appointed for me: and many such
[things are] with him.
15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid
16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:
17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, [neither] hath he
covered the darkness from my face.
1 Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know
him not see his days?
2 [Some] remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed
3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox
for a pledge.
4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide
5 Behold, [as] wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work;
rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness [yieldeth] food for them [and]
for [their] children.
6 They reap [every one] his corn in the field: and they gather the
vintage of the wicked.
7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that [they have] no
covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock
for want of a shelter.
9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the
10 They cause [him] to go naked without clothing, and they take away the
sheaf [from] the hungry;
11 [Which] make oil within their walls, [and] tread [their] winepresses,
and suffer thirst.
12 Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth
out: yet God layeth not folly [to them].
13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the
ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.
14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in
the night is as a thief.
15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No
eye shall see me: and disguiseth [his] face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses, [which] they had marked for
themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
17 For the morning [is] to them even as the shadow of death: if [one]
know [them, they are in] the terrors of the shadow of death.
18 He [is] swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he
beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: [so doth] the grave [those
which] have sinned.
20 The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he
shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.
21 He evil entreateth the barren [that] beareth not: and doeth not good
to the widow.
22 He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no [man]
is sure of life.
23 [Though] it be given him [to be] in safety, whereon he resteth; yet
his eyes [are] upon their ways.
24 They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low;
they are taken out of the way as all [other], and cut off as the tops of
the ears of corn.
25 And if [it be] not [so] now, who will make me a liar, and make my
speech nothing worth?
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 Dominion and fear [are] with him, he maketh peace in his high places.
3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light
4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean [that
is] born of a woman?
5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not
pure in his sight.
6 How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a
1 But Job answered and said,
2 How hast thou helped [him that is] without power? [how] savest thou
the arm [that hath] no strength?
3 How hast thou counselled [him that hath] no wisdom? and [how] hast
thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?
4 To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?
5 Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants
6 Hell [is] naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.
7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, [and] hangeth the
earth upon nothing.
8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not
rent under them.
9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, [and] spreadeth his cloud upon
10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night
come to an end.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.
12 He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he
smiteth through the proud.
13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the
14 Lo, these [are] parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard
of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
2 [As] God liveth, [who] hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty,
[who] hath vexed my soul;
3 All the while my breath [is] in me, and the spirit of God [is] in my
4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove
mine integrity from me.
6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall
not reproach [me] so long as I live.
7 Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as
8 For what [is] the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when
God taketh away his soul?
9 Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?
10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon
11 I will teach you by the hand of God: [that] which [is] with the
Almighty will I not conceal.
12 Behold, all ye yourselves have seen [it]; why then are ye thus
13 This [is] the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of
oppressors, [which] they shall receive of the Almighty.
14 If his children be multiplied, [it is] for the sword: and his
offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.
15 Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows
shall not weep.
16 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the
17 He may prepare [it], but the just shall put [it] on, and the innocent
shall divide the silver.
18 He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth [that] the keeper
19 The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth
his eyes, and he [is] not.
20 Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in
21 The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm
hurleth him out of his place.
22 For [God] shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out
of his hand.
23 [Men] shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his
1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold [where]
they fine [it].
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass [is] molten [out of] the
3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the
stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; [even the waters]
forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
5 [As for] the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up
as it were fire.
6 The stones of it [are] the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of
7 [There is] a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye
hath not seen:
8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by
9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains
by the roots.
10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every
11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and [the thing that is] hid
bringeth he forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where [is] the place of
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of
14 The depth saith, It [is] not in me: and the sea saith, [It is] not
15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed [for]
the price thereof.
16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx,
or the sapphire.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it
[shall not be for] jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of
wisdom [is] above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued
with pure gold.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where [is] the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the
fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our
23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, [and] seeth under the whole
25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom;
and to depart from evil [is] understanding.
1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
2 Oh that I were as [in] months past, as [in] the days [when] God
3 When his candle shined upon my head, [and when] by his light I walked
4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God [was] upon my
5 When the Almighty [was] yet with me, [when] my children [were] about
6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers
7 When I went out to the gate through the city, [when] I prepared my
seat in the street!
8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, [and]
9 The princes refrained talking, and laid [their] hand on their mouth.
10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of
11 When the ear heard [me], then it blessed me; and when the eye saw
[me], it gave witness to me:
12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and [him
that had] none to help him.
13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I
caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment [was] as a
robe and a diadem.
15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet [was] I to the lame.
16 I [was] a father to the poor: and the cause [which] I knew not I
17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his
18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [my] days
as the sand.
19 My root [was] spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night
upon my branch.
20 My glory [was] fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
21 Unto me [men] gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth
wide [as] for the latter rain.
24 [If] I laughed on them, they believed [it] not; and the light of my
countenance they cast not down.
25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the
army, as one [that] comforteth the mourners.
1 But now [they that are] younger than I have me in derision, whose
fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
2 Yea, whereto [might] the strength of their hands [profit] me, in whom
old age was perished?
3 For want and famine [they were] solitary; fleeing into the wilderness
in former time desolate and waste.
4 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots [for] their meat.
5 They were driven forth from among [men], (they cried after them as
[after] a thief;)
6 To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, [in] caves of the earth, and
[in] the rocks.
7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered
8 [They were] children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were
viler than the earth.
9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my
11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let
loose the bridle before me.
12 Upon [my] right [hand] rise the youth; they push away my feet, and
they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
14 They came [upon me] as a wide breaking in [of waters]: in the
desolation they rolled themselves [upon me].
15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my
welfare passeth away as a cloud.
16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have
taken hold upon me.
17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no
18 By the great force [of my disease] is my garment changed: it bindeth
me about as the collar of my coat.
19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou
regardest me [not].
21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest
thyself against me.
22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride [upon it],
and dissolvest my substance.
23 For I know [that] thou wilt bring me [to] death, and [to] the house
appointed for all living.
24 Howbeit he will not stretch out [his] hand to the grave, though they
cry in his destruction.
25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was [not] my soul grieved
for the poor?
26 When I looked for good, then evil came [unto me]: and when I waited
for light, there came darkness.
27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented
28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, [and] I cried in the
29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
31 My harp also is [turned] to mourning, and my organ into the voice of
them that weep.
1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
2 For what portion of God [is there] from above? and [what] inheritance
of the Almighty from on high?
3 [Is] not destruction to the wicked? and a strange [punishment] to the
workers of iniquity?
4 Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?
5 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;
6 Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine
7 If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after
mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;
8 [Then] let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be
9 If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or [if] I have laid wait
at my neighbour's door;
10 [Then] let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon
11 For this [is] an heinous crime; yea, it [is] an iniquity [to be
punished by] the judges.
12 For it [is] a fire [that] consumeth to destruction, and would root
out all mine increase.
13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant,
when they contended with me;
14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what
shall I answer him?
15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion
us in the womb?
16 If I have withheld the poor from [their] desire, or have caused the
eyes of the widow to fail;
17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not
18 (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as [with] a father, and
I have guided her from my mother's womb;)
19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without
20 If his loins have not blessed me, and [if] he were [not] warmed with
the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my
help in the gate:
22 [Then] let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be
broken from the bone.
23 For destruction [from] God [was] a terror to me, and by reason of his
highness I could not endure.
24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, [Thou
art] my confidence;
25 If I rejoiced because my wealth [was] great, and because mine hand
had gotten much;
26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking [in]
27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my
28 This also [were] an iniquity [to be punished by] the judge: for I
should have denied the God [that is] above.
29 If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up
myself when evil found him:
30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his
31 If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we
cannot be satisfied.
32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: [but] I opened my doors to
33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my
34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify
me, that I kept silence, [and] went not out of the door?
35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire [is, that] the Almighty
would answer me, and [that] mine adversary had written a book.
36 Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, [and] bind it [as] a crown
37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I
go near unto him.
38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof
39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the
owners thereof to lose their life:
40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The
words of Job are ended.
1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he [was] righteous in
his own eyes.
2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of
the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he
justified himself rather than God.
3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had
found no answer, and [yet] had condemned Job.
4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they [were] elder
5 When Elihu saw that [there was] no answer in the mouth of [these]
three men, then his wrath was kindled.
6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I [am]
young, and ye [are] very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew
you mine opinion.
7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
8 But [there is] a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty
giveth them understanding.
9 Great men are not [always] wise: neither do the aged understand
10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.
11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst
ye searched out what to say.
12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, [there was] none of you that
convinced Job, [or] that answered his words:
13 Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down,
14 Now he hath not directed [his] words against me: neither will I
answer him with your speeches.
15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.
16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, [and]
answered no more;)
17 [I said], I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.
18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.
19 Behold, my belly [is] as wine [which] hath no vent; it is ready to
burst like new bottles.
20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give
flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker
would soon take me away.
1 Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my
2 Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth.
3 My words [shall be of] the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall
utter knowledge clearly.
4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath
given me life.
5 If thou canst answer me, set [thy words] in order before me, stand up.
6 Behold, I [am] according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed
out of the clay.
7 Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be
heavy upon thee.
8 Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of
[thy] words, [saying],
9 I am clean without transgression, I [am] innocent; neither [is there]
iniquity in me.
10 Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his
11 He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths.
12 Behold, [in] this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is
greater than man.
13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of
14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon
men, in slumberings upon the bed;
16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
17 That he may withdraw man [from his] purpose, and hide pride from man.
18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by
19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his
bones with strong [pain]:
20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones
[that] were not seen stick out.
22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the
23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a
thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down
to the pit: I have found a ransom.
25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the
days of his youth:
26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he
shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his
27 He looketh upon men, and [if any] say, I have sinned, and perverted
[that which was] right, and it profited me not;
28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall
see the light.
29 Lo, all these [things] worketh God oftentimes with man,
30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light
of the living.
31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.
32 If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to
33 If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee
1 Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
2 Hear my words, O ye wise [men]; and give ear unto me, ye that have
3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
4 Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what [is]
5 For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my
6 Should I lie against my right? my wound [is] incurable without
7 What man [is] like Job, [who] drinketh up scorning like water?
8 Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with
9 For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight
himself with God.
10 Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from
God, [that he should do] wickedness; and [from] the Almighty, [that he
should commit] iniquity.
11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man
to find according to [his] ways.
12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty
13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the
14 If he set his heart upon man, [if] he gather unto himself his spirit
and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
16 If now [thou hast] understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of
17 Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him
that is most just?
18 [Is it fit] to say to a king, [Thou art] wicked? [and] to princes,
[Ye are] ungodly?
19 [How much less to him] that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor
regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all [are] the work of
20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at
midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without
21 For his eyes [are] upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
22 [There is] no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of
iniquity may hide themselves.
23 For he will not lay upon man more [than right]; that he should enter
into judgment with God.
24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in
25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth [them] in the
night, so that they are destroyed.
26 He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
27 Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his
28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he
heareth the cry of the afflicted.
29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he
hideth [his] face, who then can behold him? whether [it be done] against
a nation, or against a man only:
30 That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.
31 Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne [chastisement], I
will not offend [any more]:
32 [That which] I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will
do no more.
33 [Should it be] according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether
thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what
34 Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.
35 Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words [were] without
36 My desire [is that] Job may be tried unto the end because of [his]
answers for wicked men.
37 For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth [his hands] among
us, and multiplieth his words against God.
1 Elihu spake moreover, and said,
2 Thinkest thou this to be right, [that] thou saidst, My righteousness
[is] more than God's?
3 For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? [and], What
profit shall I have, [if I be cleansed] from my sin?
4 I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.
5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds [which] are
higher than thou.
6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or [if] thy
transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?
7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of
8 Thy wickedness [may hurt] a man as thou [art]; and thy righteousness
[may profit] the son of man.
9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make [the oppressed] to
cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.
10 But none saith, Where [is] God my maker, who giveth songs in the
11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us
wiser than the fowls of heaven?
12 There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil
13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.
14 Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, [yet] judgment [is]
before him; therefore trust thou in him.
15 But now, because [it is] not [so], he hath visited in his anger; yet
he knoweth [it] not in great extremity:
16 Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words
1 Elihu also proceeded, and said,
2 Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that [I have] yet to speak on
3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to
4 For truly my words [shall] not [be] false: he that is perfect in
knowledge [is] with thee.
5 Behold, God [is] mighty, and despiseth not [any: he is] mighty in
strength [and] wisdom.
6 He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the
7 He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings [are
they] on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are
8 And if [they be] bound in fetters, [and] be holden in cords of
9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they
10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they
return from iniquity.
11 If they obey and serve [him], they shall spend their days in
prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall
die without knowledge.
13 But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he
14 They die in youth, and their life [is] among the unclean.
15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in
16 Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait [into] a broad
place, where [there is] no straitness; and that which should be set on
thy table [should be] full of fatness.
17 But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and
justice take hold [on thee].
18 Because [there is] wrath, [beware] lest he take thee away with [his]
stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
19 Will he esteem thy riches? [no], not gold, nor all the forces of
20 Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.
21 Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than
22 Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?
23 Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
25 Every man may see it; man may behold [it] afar off.
26 Behold, God [is] great, and we know [him] not, neither can the number
of his years be searched out.
27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according
to the vapour thereof:
28 Which the clouds do drop [and] distil upon man abundantly.
29 Also can [any] understand the spreadings of the clouds, [or] the
noise of his tabernacle?
30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of
31 For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.
32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it [not to shine]
by [the cloud] that cometh betwixt.
33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning
1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.
2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound [that] goeth
out of his mouth.
3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the
ends of the earth.
4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his
excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.
5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he,
which we cannot comprehend.
6 For he saith to the snow, Be thou [on] the earth; likewise to the
small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.
7 He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.
8 Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.
9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.
10 By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is
11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his
12 And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do
whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.
13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or
14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous
works of God.
15 Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his
cloud to shine?
16 Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of
him which is perfect in knowledge?
17 How thy garments [are] warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south
18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, [which is] strong, [and] as a
molten looking glass?
19 Teach us what we shall say unto him; [for] we cannot order [our
speech] by reason of darkness.
20 Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be
21 And now [men] see not the bright light which [is] in the clouds: but
the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.
22 Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God [is] terrible majesty.
23 [Touching] the Almighty, we cannot find him out: [he is] excellent in
power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
24 Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any [that are] wise of
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and
answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if
thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath
stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted
8 Or [who] shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, [as if] it
had issued out of the womb?
9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a
swaddlingband for it,
10 And brake up for it my decreed [place], and set bars and doors,
11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall
thy proud waves be stayed?
12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; [and] caused the
dayspring to know his place;
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked
might be shaken out of it?
14 It is turned as clay [to] the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall
16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in
the search of the depth?
17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the
doors of the shadow of death?
18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest
19 Where [is] the way [where] light dwelleth? and [as for] darkness,
where [is] the place thereof,
20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou
shouldest know the paths [to] the house thereof?
21 Knowest thou [it], because thou wast then born? or [because] the
number of thy days [is] great?
22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen
the treasures of the hail,
23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of
battle and war?
24 By what way is the light parted, [which] scattereth the east wind
upon the earth?
25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a
way for the lightning of thunder;
26 To cause it to rain on the earth, [where] no man [is; on] the
wilderness, wherein [there is] no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate and waste [ground]; and to cause the bud of
the tender herb to spring forth?
28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who
hath gendered it?
30 The waters are hid as [with] a stone, and the face of the deep is
31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide
Arcturus with his sons?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion
thereof in the earth?
34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters
may cover thee?
35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here
36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given
understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of
38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast
39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the
40 When they couch in [their] dens, [and] abide in the covert to lie in
41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto
God, they wander for lack of meat.
1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth?
[or] canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
2 Canst thou number the months [that] they fulfil? or knowest thou the
time when they bring forth?
3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out
4 Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go
forth, and return not unto them.
5 Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of
the wild ass?
6 Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his
7 He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying
of the driver.
8 The range of the mountains [is] his pasture, and he searcheth after
every green thing.
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he
harrow the valleys after thee?
11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength [is] great? or wilt thou
leave thy labour to him?
12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather
[it into] thy barn?
13 [Gavest thou] the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and
feathers unto the ostrich?
14 Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
15 And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast
may break them.
16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though [they were] not
hers: her labour is in vain without fear;
17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to
18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and
19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with
20 Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his
nostrils [is] terrible.
21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in [his] strength: he goeth on
to meet the armed men.
22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back
from the sword.
23 The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.
24 He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth
he that [it is] the sound of the trumpet.
25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar
off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, [and] stretch her wings toward the
27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?
28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and
the strong place.
29 From thence she seeketh the prey, [and] her eyes behold afar off.
30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain [are], there
1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that
reproveth God, let him answer it.
3 ¶ Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon
5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will
proceed no further.
6 ¶ Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare
thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou
mayest be righteous?
9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like
10 Deck thyself now [with] majesty and excellency; and array thyself
with glory and beauty.
11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one [that is]
proud, and abase him.
12 Look on every one [that is] proud, [and] bring him low; and tread
down the wicked in their place.
13 Hide them in the dust together; [and] bind their faces in secret.
14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save
15 ¶ Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an
16 Lo now, his strength [is] in his loins, and his force [is] in the
navel of his belly.
17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped
18 His bones [are as] strong pieces of brass; his bones [are] like bars
19 He [is] the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his
sword to approach [unto him].
20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of
the field play.
21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
22 The shady trees cover him [with] their shadow; the willows of the
brook compass him about.
23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, [and] hasteth not: he trusteth that
he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
24 He taketh it with his eyes: [his] nose pierceth through snares.
1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord
[which] thou lettest down?
2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a
3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft [words]
4 Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant
5 Wilt thou play with him as [with] a bird? or wilt thou bind him for
6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among
7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish
8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.
9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not [one] be cast down even
at the sight of him?
10 None [is so] fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand
11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay [him? whatsoever is] under
the whole heaven is mine.
12 I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely
13 Who can discover the face of his garment? [or] who can come [to him]
with his double bridle?
14 Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth [are] terrible round
15 [His] scales [are his] pride, shut up together [as with] a close
16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot
18 By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes [are] like the
eyelids of the morning.
19 Out of his mouth go burning lamps, [and] sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as [out] of a seething pot or
21 His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.
22 In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before
23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in
themselves; they cannot be moved.
24 His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the
25 When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of
breakings they purify themselves.
26 The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart,
nor the habergeon.
27 He esteemeth iron as straw, [and] brass as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into
29 Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.
30 Sharp stones [are] under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon
31 He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot
32 He maketh a path to shine after him; [one] would think the deep [to
33 Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
34 He beholdeth all high [things]: he [is] a king over all the children
1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
2 I know that thou canst do every [thing], and [that] no thought can be
withholden from thee.
3 Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I
uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew
4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and
declare thou unto me.
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth
6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.
7 ¶ And it was [so], that after the LORD had spoken these words unto
Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against
thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me [the
thing that is] right, as my servant Job [hath].
8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to
my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my
servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with
you [after your] folly, in that ye have not spoken of me [the thing
which is] right, like my servant Job.
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite [and] Zophar the
Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD
also accepted Job.
10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his
friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and
all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread
with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all
the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a
piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:
for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a
thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the
second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch.
15 And in all the land were no women found [so] fair as the daughters of
Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons,
and his sons' sons, [even] four generations.
17 So Job died, [being] old and full of days.
"Not One Jote or One Title.." -- A Plea for Original KJV Spelling
by Sir JOHN BOOKMAN [a devout "KJV-Only Bible Believer"]
Just days ago, I realized we have not gone far enough in
insisting that the Bible be preserved unchanged "in the form God
intended for us to have." Of course, I speak of the infallible,
inerrant, verbally-inspired and unalterably preserved English Bible,
the Authorized Version (AV 1611), "the only Bible God uses -- and
Sure, there are lots of zealous defenders who have shielded
the KJV from the corruptions of such heinous "translations" as the
NIV, the NASB, and that most sinister NKJV, and have kept us from
returning to the now completely unnecessary, "original" Hebrew and
Greek. But while they kept their watch on one front, the Enemy has
come in unawares by another route and sown seeds of corruption that
have, I fear, already yielded a corrupt harvest.
What am I getting at ? Simply this -- we have insisted on
the verbal inspiration of the English, that is, that the very English
words were divinely chosen and given to the Learned Men [KJV
Translators]. But simply insisting on the perfecting of the English
words and preserving the words is not enough. A careful consideration
of the true intent and meaning of the words of Matthew 5:18 is
"Till heuven and earth passe, one iote or one title,
shall in no wise passe from the law, till all be
fulfilled." [I have made no mistake in my spelling, as I
shall shortly explain.]
Notice how Jesus insisted on the verbal inspiration, not
just of the words, but also of the very letters of the words of
Scripture. And since this verse is a specific promise of the
preservation of Scripture in our infallible English Bible, we must
insist on following, not just the original KJV words but also their
very spelling. What other meaning can we draw out of the words "one
iote or one title?" Every letter -- the very spelling -- is certainly
inspired, and to alter the spelling of a single word, to alter even a
single letter in a single word, is to deny and reject the inspiration
of the AV 1611. If God had wanted us to spell the words in the AV 1611
differently in today's revised KJV, He would have given them to us in
that form originally!
Modern spelling is as hideous and hateful a thing as modern
translations. It's New Age corruption, pure and simple. No one was
ever authorized to corrupt, to "modernize" the infallible original
spelling. There are eight spelling corruptions in John 3:16 alone!!
I'm sure some "liberal" apostate will say, "What difference
does spelling make?" Argue it out with Jesus brother! Didn't He say
that inspiration of the words included the very spelling, every iote,
not just the words? Will you reject the teaching of Matthew 5:18 of
letter/spelling inspiration of our preserved AV 1611? To stop at "word
inspiration" and not insist on spelling inspiration is to be second
cousin to mere "thought inspiration." It is creeping apostasy, through
and through. Next someone will deny the inspiration of the
chapter-and-verse numberings in the AV 1611. Where will it stop?
And I think we must recognize that Jesus' infallible English
word was "title" and not the now-corrupted "tittle." A tittle is part
of the ornamentation of a Hebrew letter [at least that's what I've
heard at Fellowship meetings, so I have assurance that it's right].
But a "title" is something else. I have complete confidence that this
promise of Jesus was a specific reference to the preservation of the
chapter and page headings, the titles found in the original AV 1611.
Sadly, those infallible titles, attached by the Learned Men under
divine inspiration at the top of each page and at the beginning of
each chapter have been removed from our modern editions. Without them,
we cannot claim that we have a perfectly preserved Bible, and by
allowing them to be removed, we have called God a liar, and denied
that He is able to preserve the inspired English Bible He has given
It is not secret that none of the commonly used English
Bibles published in our day have the original AV 1611 spelling, or
punctuation (that, too, is part of our directly inspired, infallible
English Bible) or titles of which Jesus spoke, so in reality, these
Bibles, even though they say "King James Version" or "Authorized
Version" are really not Bibles at all. Only the recent Thomas Nelson
Publishers reprint of the original 1611 AV is a real Bible; all the
other KJV's are sinister corruptions.
And there is growing upon me the deep conviction, as deep as
anything I've written in this article, that no English-speaking person
can be saved if he was not saved by an original, unaltered AV 1611,
with original spelling, original punctuation, and original chapter and
page titles. This simply means that anyone who thought he was "saved"
by reading a Revised "KJV" [Oxford, Cambridge, old Scofield, etc.],
or by hearing a sermon from such a "Bible," or by reading a Gospel
tract that quoted the words in a revised spelling form, even if it was
labelled "KJV," is not really saved, has never been saved, and never
will be saved until he gets a true, fully-preserved AV 1611.
That means that virtually all those who thought they were
saved -- preachers, deacons and all -- will have to go back and get
truly saved through a real AV 1611, then get rebaptized. Verbal
inspiration of the English requires inspiration of the very spelling
as well. Anything less is rank modernism.
I will confess to one further worry -- original type-style.
The real AV 1611 was printed in what printers call "black letter," a
very ornate type-style much like Gothic script, which is still used
many times for the banner at the top of newspapers. This original
type-style was subtly replaced with Roman type sometime in the 18th
century. Note that name -- Roman. I fear that once again, the Jesuits
have conspired to corrupt the pure word in English. They have taken
away the original Gothic [and as everyone knows, the Gothic Bible used
the Textus Receptus for its foundation which proves with certainty
that the Gothic was the correct script for a real Bible], and have
substituted the corrupt Roman script.
In a real sense, even the KJV has thus become a "Roman"
Bible, since its modern editions use Roman script and not the original
black letter. As further proof that Roman type is a corruption, notice
that all these apostate Bibles -- the ERV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, and
the rest, have always been printed in Roman type. That's proof enough
to me that any Bible in Roman type is no "Bible" at all, and that only
a Bible with the original script, the black letter given to us in the
form we should have it by the Learned Men, is a true Bible.
Perhaps even those "saved" by the true original spelling KJV
are not saved at all, and must locate a black-letter edition. The
Roman script Thomas Nelson reprint may not be enough [it's just like
those Bible corrupters at Thomas Nelson to pass off a "Roman script
KJV" as though it were a real Bible!].
Fortunately for me, my brother has a facsimile in the
original black-letter of the AV 1611, and I'm secure since I've
studied out of it several times.
It is a desperate situation! The shortage of black-letter,
original-spelling AV 1611 Bibles is severe! There is truly a famine of
the truly preserved word of God in the land. And all our efforts at
preaching, teaching, Bible study, and soul winning are completely
futile until we return to the real, unaltered, perfectly preserved
bonafied AV 1611! Perhaps the best thing to do for the present is to
send off and buy one of those pages from an "original KJV," and if
you can get a page that has a salvation verse, or part of the "Romans
road," perhaps there will be enough of the Gospel in the true
preserved English to rescue your soul.
As a service to you readers, so that you can be saved
through a real AV 1611, I quote John 3:16 below -- unfortunately, I
have no capacity to reproduce the original black-letter script, so
even believing the un-revised spelling may not be enough, but we can
hope for the best --
"For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only
begotten Sonne: that whosoeur beleeueth in him, should not
perish, but haue euerlasting life."
written by Doug Kutilek former co-editor of Baptist Biblical
published in THE PILGRIM Magazine
(Issue #19, Vol 6, No. 1, Summer 1995)
Theodicy is a branch of theology that studies how the existence of
a good or benevolent God is reconciled with the existence of
evil. An attempt to reconcile the co-existence of evil and God is
sometimes called "a theodicy". See the article on the problem of
evil for examples.
1 Origin of the term
2 The problem of evil
3 The nature of God
4 Examples of theodicy
5 Analysis of these solutions
5.1 The free will theodicy
5.2 The Calvinistic theodicy
5.3 Relativity of goodness -- evil is not absolute
5.4 Human nature
5.5 God is not omnipotent or omniscient
5.6 Contemporary philosophy of religion
5.7 Holocaust theology
5.8 Hindu answers to the problem of evil
6 Against theodicy
7 Evidential arguments from evil
8 External links
Origin of the term
The term theodicy comes from the Greek théos (meaning "god") and diké
(meaning "right" or "just"), meaning literally "the justice of God".
The term was coined in 1710 by the German philosopher
Gottfried Leibniz in a work entitled Essais de Théodicée sur la
bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l'homme et l'origine du mal. The purpose
of the essay was to show that the evil in the world does not conflict
with the goodness of God, that, indeed, notwithstanding its many
evils, the world is the best of all possible worlds (see
The problem of evil
The problem of evil has from earliest times engrossed the attention of
Western philosophers. In his Dictionnaire historique et critique,
the well-known sceptic Pierre Bayle denied the goodness and
omnipotence of God on account of the sufferings experienced in this
earthly life. The Théodicée of Leibniz was directed mainly against
Bayle. Imitating the example of Leibniz, other philosophers also
called their treatises on the problem of evil theodicies. In a
thorough treatment of the question, the proofs both of the existence
and of the attributes of God could not be disregarded, and the
knowledge of God was gradually brought within the domain of theodicy,
and theodicy came to be synonymous with natural theology (theologia
naturalis) that is, the department of metaphysics which presents
the positive proofs for the existence and attributes of God and solves
the opposing difficulties. Theodicy, therefore, may be defined as an
attempt to explain the nature of God through the exercise of
reason alone. This is in juxtaposition to theology, which attempts
to explain the nature of God using supernatural revelation and
Some have argued that the predetermined goal of theodicy (that of
justifying the existence of God with the existence of evil) tarnishes
any aspirations it might have to be a serious philosophical
discipline, because an intellectual pursuit having a predefined goal
and preassumed conclusions cannot be deemed in any reasonable way to
be methodical, scientific, or rational. Would we respect an inquiry
whose goal is not to find out the truth, but to prove by any means
possible that a particular thing reasonably doubted (Bayle and all who
follow him) is true? Would we accept similarly biased "analyses" from
Flat Earth proponents, holocaust revisionists, etc.?
Others argue that theodicy, like all of science and reason, begins
with a hypothesis, and then tests the hypothesis to see if the
hypothesis can be reconciled with experience and reason. They assert
that just as the existence of God may be reasonably doubted, it may
also be reasonably believed, because the existence or non-existence of
God is, by its very nature, beyond the realm of observable and
verifiable phenomena with which science concerns itself. Therefore,
since it is reasonable to believe that God exists, theodicy is a
reasonable attempt to reconcile the hypothesized existence of God with
the perceived existence of evil. While theodicy cannot prove the
existence of God, neither can philosophical naturalism disprove
the existence of God. Theodicy, however, can make belief in God
reasonable, by showing that the existence of God is not necessarily
incompatible with the existence of evil.
The nature of God
Theodicy investigates the question of to God's nature and attributes.
The latter are in part absolute (quiescentia) and in part relative
(operativa). In the first class belong traits such as infinity,
immutability, omnipresence, and eternity; to the second class the
knowledge, volition, and action of God. The action of God includes the
creation, maintenance, and government of the world, the co-operation
of God with the activity of the creature, and the working of miracles.
While many grant that all our cognition of God is incomplete, this
branch of theodicy attempts to explain those traits of God which we
have some understanding of. It includes, for instance, the classical
problem of how God can be infinitely good and yet allow evil to occur.
* Calvinism asserts that all events are part of God's plan, and
therefore, though they may appear to be evil to us, God intends
them for a higher purpose that only he knows, and they are not
evil in God's eyes.
* Open Theism asserts that although there is a basis for belief
in God, there is no basis for belief in God's omnipotence,
omniscience, or omnibenevolence; and that although God is the most
powerful, most loving, and most knowing, he is not infinite. Evil
therefore exists really, tangibly, and in direct conflict with
* Maltheism asserts that the "problem of evil" is not a problem
at all--the initial question has a simple answer, there is no way
that a benevolent omnipotent God would allow evil in the world.
Therefore, they reason, God is either not benevolent or not
* "modified Dualism", since the powers of good and evil are unequal,
and the evil power is merely tolerated by the good power, who
turns all the acts of the evil power into eventual good. Classical
Christianity, i.e, from the Apostolic Fathers to Augustine, has
been characterized as "modified Dualism". Sts. Augustine and
Basil the Great both explicitly mention this idea. St.
John of Damascus proposed that God deliberately leaves some
events "in our hands". In early modern times (1714) a modified
Dualism was advocated by St. John (Maximovitch) of Tobolsk.
Examples of theodicy
Resolutions to the problem of evil generally entail one of the
* What humans consider evil or suffering is an illusion or
+ Events thought to be evil are not really so (such as deaths
by natural disaster).
* A perfect God is not only good but also evil, since perfection
implies no lacking, including not lacking that which is evil. A
lacking of evil would imply that there is something external to
his all-encompassing perfection. This is related to monistic
philosophies such as advaita, or pantheism.
* Evil is the consequence of God permitting humans to have free
will, or God may intend evil and suffering as a test for humanity.
Without the possibility to choose to do good or evil acts humanity
would be nothing but robots.
* Evil is the consequence, not cause, of people not observing God's
revealed will. Universal reciprocated love would solve most of the
problems that lead to the evils discussed here.
* God's ultimate purpose is to glorify Himself (which, by
definition, He alone is infinitely entitled to, without vanity).
He allows evil to exist so that we will appreciate goodness all
the more, in the same way that the blind man healed by Jesus
appreciated his sight more so than those around him who had never
* God's divine plan is good. What we see as evil is not really evil;
rather, it is part of a divine design that is actually good. Our
limitations prevent us from seeing the big picture.
* God created perfect angels and perfect humans with a free will.
Some of his creations chose independence and lost their
perfection: they began to sin, which resulted in evil doing and
death. For a while God will allow this to continue, so that it can
be proven that his creations can not be happy while independent
from God because this was the challenge which caused the rebellion
in the first place. In due time God will restore the people who
choose to depend on God to perfection and so bring an end to sin
and with it an end to evil.
* God is a righteous judge; people get what they deserve. If someone
suffers, that is because they committed a sin that merits such
suffering. (This is also known as the just world hypothesis).
* Suffering is educational. It makes us better people.
* Evil is one way that God tests humanity, to see if we are worthy
of His grace.
* Evil and pain exist in this world only. This world is only a
prelude to the afterlife, where no pain will exist. The scales
of justice are balanced in the afterlife.
* Absolute evil is not actually real. Rather, it is only a condition
of not enough goodness. (See also mention of William Hatcher's
+ Evil is relative to good; neither good nor evil could exist
without both existing simultaneously.
* Karma: All good is balanced by evil, and it is only when we
achieve proper balance that our reincarnation ends. This
explains why an infant may be born into misery, due to experiences
they will have later in that life, or in previous or later lives.
* One of the conflicting assumptions is wrong: Drop either the
assumption that God is omniscient, or omnipotent, or perfectly
good. See the entry on the subject of God and omnipotence for
more details on this point.
* Religions such as Gnosticism and Manichaeism, and even
some Christian groups, dispense with the issue by embracing
various forms of dualism, in which God is opposed by an evil
counterpart, and is therefore not omnipotent.
* Maltheists go even further than the Gnostics, in a sense, by
saying that God simply is evil himself. To them, the problem of
evil is not a problem at all, and is neatly resolved by
acknowledging that an omnipotent benevolent God would not create a
world in which there was evil, concluding that God, assuming he
exists, is either not omnipotent, not benevolent, or perhaps both.
(They frequently add that if God is not omnipotent but claims that
he is, he is thus lying, and consequently is also justifiably
deemed evil in nature.)
* Most atheists believe that statements about God are
meaningless. Some atheists believe that the problem of evil can be
used to prove that God does not exist by the method of
reductio ad absurdum. However, as maltheists point out, this
method does not prove that God does not exist, but rather that if
he does exist he is not omnipotent or benevolent, as he and his
followers might claim him to be.
Analysis of these solutions
The following are detailed analyses of the above stated solutions.
The free will theodicy
Assume that both God and Man possess ultimate free will. Why
should free will lead to evil? The traditional answer is that humans
are corrupt at heart, and they consequently choose to harm their
fellows, but that would assume a will that is evil rather than free.
It is said to be true that, in order to be free, we must do evil, for
God is traditionally said to be both free and morally perfect. Rather,
as a matter of contingent fact, humans happen to choose evil by their
exercise of freedom. And if God were to 'get involved' and start
influencing human actions for the better, then the actions wouldn't be
free any longer. Human freedom means that God cannot guarantee human
perfection. (See incompatible-properties arguments).
Why should it be better for God to respect human freedom? What's so
great about free will? The response is that free will is what makes us
valuable moral agents, and that, if God were to deny us our freedom,
human society would be like an assemblage of robots. Perhaps there
would be some value in such a world, but it is said to be nothing
compared to the free moral agency possessed by God and actual humans.
All the cruelty that we humans freely perform is indeed regrettable,
but it is a small price to pay for freedom.
No matter how successful this response, it can only explain evil
caused by human free will. It does not explain any catastrophic horror
that has nothing to do with human choices. Think of earthquakes,
floods, and disease--so-called 'natural evil' or 'acts of God'. We
cannot confront a paralyzed, demented, and blind Tay-Sachs child
and his despondent parents and then chalk up the entire wretched
scenario to free will. No one chose it. Healing that child wouldn't
tread on anyone's freedom. At its best, the value of free will is
relevant to, and can only excuse God for, a mere portion of the evil
we find. Whether of not we call that 'evil', we must stick with the
evil that we humans freely create--so-called 'moral evil'.
But there is another, similar problem. Some instances of moral evil
already involve violations of free will--e.g., rape. For God to step
in and deny the violator his freedom would also be to protect the
victim's freedom. In such cases, it all comes down to whose free will
is more valuable--which instance of coercion would be worse? And it is
morally implausible that the best thing to do is to respect a rapist's
freedom to rape unhindered rather than protecting the victim's
freedom. So, for a large category of moral evil--all moral evil
involving coercion--it's automatically implausible that the value of
free will can justify God's inaction. We must then narrow the domain
of admissible evil yet again.
With the candidate evil suitably restricted, we can ask: Is God off
the hook? Many say no. Some deny the existence of free will, and so
can dismiss the entire proposal as mere fiction. Compatibilists
sometimes attack the essential premise that God cannot influence our
choices without thereby cancelling our freedom. After all,
compatibilists believe that determinism is consistent with human
freedom. And if determinism can allow for freedom, perhaps so can
appropriate divine meddling with our decisions. The upshot of these
challenges is that, to absolve God, we need a reason to think that he
really couldn't influence our choices without cancelling our freedom.
The customary theistic appeal is to a libertarian conception of free
will, but such a conception is under heavy fire from its rivals.
Another challenge focuses on different ways to interfere with freedom.
One way is to 'jump in' and take control of the agent, dictating its
every movement and thought. This is the kind of coercion we
envision in mad scientist stories. But it might also be the kind of
coercion that motivates our above intuition that if God got involved,
we'd all be 'robots'. We should remember that there are other, softer
kinds of coercion. Look to policemen and jailers. They don't take
control of an agent's decisions. They just threaten the agent with
physical force and restraint, and carry out their threats if
necessary. Policemen and jailers restrict our freedom, but it is a
restriction we're willing to accept, for our own protection and
safety. Now, return to God. If he were to get involved as a Divine
Policeman, making threats and enforcing them, then would we be
'robots'? Seemingly not. Instead, we'd be citizens of a divine
nation-state, and a very safe and reliable nation-state at that. But
then the moral claim is dubious--it's no longer clear that God should
hold back. Taking total control of our decisions would be wrong, but
laying down the law might be right. So why hasn't God done it?
Several further challenges attack the idea that evil-eliminating
divine interventions must cancel human freedom. These challenges
suggest different ways for God to eliminate evil, all the while
leaving our free will untouched--"innocent interventions". One
proposal is for God to fortify humans as to render us less vulnerable
to the sins of our fellows. We could be bullet-proof, invulnerable to
poison, etc. That way, humans would retain the capacity for evil
choices and activities; it's just that such evil behavior would be
harmless to the 'victims' and futile for the evildoers.
Another proposal is that God allow sinful acts, but stop their evil
consequences. So if I fire a rifle at your head, God allows me to make
the decision, but then makes the trigger stick, or the rifle misfire,
or the bullet pop out of existence. Such interventions would, happily,
divorce evil choices from the subsequent suffering. A common objection
to this solution would be that without observing the evil consequences
of our actions we would not truly be freely choosing between good and
evil. In other words it is not only important for us to have freedom
to choose our actions but also to have freedom to choose evil actions.
Presumably, a world where guns only fired when aimed at just targets
would not truly present us the option to choose evil since it would be
apparent that no harm comes from our actions. Of course this requires
a justification of why it is good or necessary to have situations
which tempt us to evil.
However, it might be claimed that the supposed conflict between the
freedom to choose evil and suffering is merely a figment of our
limited human imaginations. Presumably an omnipotent god could isolate
each of us in a 'virtual' world where others appear to suffer but in
reality are soulless, experience free imitations of life, i.e., each
soul could inhabit its own matrix filled entirely with programs
imitating human suffering but not actually experiencing it.
Admittedly, nothing prevents one from believing this is actually the
case and may present a way out of the dilemma for those who are merely
committed to an omnipotent, omnibenevolent god. However, a theology
which rests on the delibrate deception that our acts can do evil
orchestrated by the supreme being is not a comfortable match for any
religion dependent on revelation and hence implicitly the veracity of
The Calvinistic theodicy
John Calvin and other Reformed Christians have held to a form
of theological determinism and compatibilism, and thus have
denied that man possesses free will in the libertarian sense.
So for them the problem of evil could not find resolution in appeals
to such freedom. For them, the issue had to be resolved within the
very nature of the compatibilistic relationship itself.
For God to hold man morally accountable, yet to predestine
everything that man thinks or does, something other than the "freedom
of contraries" must ground this accountability. Calvinists believe
that this something is the capacity of man to choose and act according
to his moral state of being, the "freedom of choice". But man's moral
state of being is presently subject to sin, and this fact, itself, is
part of the problem of evil. So one must inquire as to the cause of
man's subjection to sin.
Reformed theology places the cause of this condition in the first man,
Adam, whom they believe to be the legal representative of the
entire human race. This doctrine, called Federal Headship, is also
present in the doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement (and its
corollary, Justification by Faith). As a representative of the
race, when he sinned against God by eating the forbidden
fruit, the entire race fell under the curse of God with him. Various
explanations of the exact relationship of Adam to his posterity have
been offered, but what concerns us at present is only the doctrine of
Adam's legal representation of the race.
Here another question presents itself. How could Adam be held
accountable (and with him the entire human race), if he was not free
to do other than he did do--if God really intended for him to do
exactly as he did? With this question we come to the heart of the
Reformed Theodicy. The main points are, firstly, that no one has ever
been held accountable for what they could have thought or done, only
for what they have thought or done, and for their purposes in thinking
or doing it; and, secondly, that though both Adam and God intended
that evil should come about, their purposes were distinct, God's being
ultimately good, Adam's being ultimately evil.
The Reformed Theodicy boils down to the distinction of purposes
between the primary agent (God) and the secondary agents (humans).
While it is true that God intends to bring about evil, God's purpose
is not, of itself, evil (cf. Gen. 50:20). This idea can be
expressed by analogy:
Picture a man holding down a child while other men stick pieces of
metal into the child's eye, all the while the child is screaming in
pain, crying out for them to stop. On the surface it seems like a
horrible, cruel thing these men are doing to the child. But if we add
the information that the child is bleeding to death from the nasal
cavity, that there is no time for anesthetic, that the man holding him
down is his loving father, and that the men sticking the metal into
his eye are doctors trying to save his life, then the problem of evil
disappears. The evil doesn't disappear, it is still there (just ask
the child!), but the problem of evil is no longer present, because the
intention is good.
In other words not all actions which bring about suffering or even
evil acts are necessarily evil themselves. There is no problem of evil
in the example with the father, and arguably no evil in the sense of
moral failing, because his actions serve a greater good. Similarly one
can serve a greater good even if you know that your choice will bring
about some immoral action. In either case the Calvinist must still
claim that God's choice to create a flawed man who would engage in sin
or evil does serve a greater good. Thus it seems this position allows
us no choice but to accept that some mysterious good is served by
having a world filled with imperfect and sometimes evil men as opposed
to a world where only those souls who will choose to be good and holy
Opponents of this position have argued that it endorses an "ends
justifies the means" system of ethics, but this charge is suspect
since Reformed Christians claim that the means, of themselves, are
truly evil, and therefore subject to punishment, not justified by the
ends to which God intends them.
Proponents have argued that the Free Will Theodicy is actually, in
principle, no different from the Reformed Theodicy, it simply places
the bare possession of libertarian free will as the good that
God intented to bring about by the existence of evil, and that the
Reformed Theodicy does more justice to the Biblical account of God and
Relativity of goodness -- evil is not absolute
A less well known approach has been that of the mathematical logician
). He has written about the problem of evil from a relational logic
point of view. Hatcher has argued that the problem may be resolved
with a minimum of theological assumptions. This is quite appealing
because it does not tie the traditional problem to any particular
brand of theology. It is part of an approach to traditional
philosophical problems that Hatcher calls Minimalism (not to be
confused with the use of the same term in art and pop culture).
Briefly, Hatcher uses relational logic to show that very simple models
of moral value that include a minimalist concept of "God" cannot be
consistent with the premise of evil as an absolute, whereas goodness
as an absolute is entirely consistent with the other postulates
concerning moral value. In Hatcher's view one can only validly talk
about an act A being "less good" than an act B, one cannot logically
commit to saying that A is absolutely evil, unles one is prepared to
abandon other more reasonable principles.
Another, more subtle proposal is for God to alter human nature for the
better. Now, talk of improving our nature immediately strikes us as
coercive -- surely, it would rob us our freedom as moral beings! But
remember that we already have a nature, a bundle of tendencies that
influences our choices. Now, the most ardent determinist must grant
that human nature alone does not determine our choices. But the most
ardent libertarian must in turn grant that our choices are
significantly influenced by our natures. It is easier for a sociopath
to kill a child than it is for the rest of us. It is easier for us to
send money to help our children than to help complete strangers. This
is true, even if ultimately we each have final say on our decisions.
Now note that this human nature is flawed. We are disposed to be cruel
and callous in many ways. The world might be a better place if humans
shared a more virtuous and generous nature.
But would it violate our freedom for God to have given us a better
nature? Perhaps not. We might choose a kinder nature, if, for example,
virtue came in pill form. We might wish it were easier for us to do
good. This suggests that an improved nature may be in accordance with
our free will, and not contrary to it. Moreover, if God exists, then
surely he had a large hand in crafting human nature. As long as he's
giving us some nature or another, why not shoot for a virtuous nature?
If it's wrong to make humans virtuous, then why should it be less
wrong to make humans corrupt?
One salient theistic reply is that our corrupt nature is due to the
Original Sin of the first human couple. Their free choice changed
us for the worse, and for God to change us for the better would be to
disrespect their free choice. But this reply raises too many troubling
issues of its own. First, the wholesale corruption of mankind was, for
Adam and Eve anyway, an unforeseeable consequence of Original Sin; one
can no more allege that they truly chose human corruption than that
Gavrilo Princip truly chose to plunge Europe into war. Big
mistakes don't count as freely chosen outcomes. Second, even if Adam
and Eve really did choose human nature for the rest of us, why should
their choice count for so much? Don't the rest of us have a say?
Invoking Original Sin only makes God look more and more morally
God is not omnipotent or omniscient
The problem of evil only exists when one simultaneously holds that God
is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) and
omnibenevolent (all good). The problem of evil does not exist if one
gives up any of these three beliefs.
Some schools of the Kabbalah (esoteric Jewish mysticism) argue
that the creation of the universe required a self-limitation on the
part of God, and that evil is a consequence of God's self-imposed
exile from the universe He created. In some readings of this theology,
God has deliberately created an imperfect world. The question then
arises as to why God would create such a world, and the standard
response is to maximize human freedom and free will. Other readings of
the same Kabbalistic texts one can hold that this is the best world
that God could possibly create, and that God is not omnipotent. Given
this reading, the problem of evil does not exist.
In Unitarian Universalism, in much of Conservative and
Reform Judaism, and in some liberal wings of Protestant
Christianity, God is said to be capable of acting in the world only
through persuasion, and not by coercion. God makes Himself manifest in
the world through inspiration and the creation of
possibility, and not by miracles or violations of the
laws of nature. God relinquishes his omnipotence, in order that
humanity might have absolute free will. In this view, the problem
of evil does not exist.
In Judaism the most popular works espousing this point are from Rabbi
Harold Kushner; many of his works have also become popular with
Christians as well.
The idea of a non-omnipotent God was developed by philosophers
Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, in the
theological system known as process theology.
In the Evangelical movement of the Protestant churches,
Open Theism (also called Free Will Theism), similarly asserts
that God acts only cooperatively, and lacks omniscience
concerning the future.
Contemporary philosophy of religion
J. L. Mackie, in his now classic article "Evil and Omnipotence",
argued that human freedom is consistent with human perfection, and
that God should have opted for both. Mackie asserts that human
misconduct is a contingent matter--we can choose to do good or evil,
with both alternatives being possible. He then asks us to imagine a
world in which everyone always chooses good and never chooses evil--a
virtuous and sinless world. Finally, he notes that God could have
chosen to bring about any possible world, from the one that is actual,
to a world in which people choose more wickedly, to the good world
Mackie just described. So why not go with the good world? The only
reply can be that, in choosing to bring about that world, God would
thereby deny humans their freedom. But that can't be true. For if it
were, then God would have denied us our freedom by bringing about the
actual world. Bringing about a world in which people make choices is
not freedom-cancelling, and so God should have brought about a world
in which people make better choices. This argument is the seed of
contemporary discussions of the logical argument from evil, which
aims to show that theism and evil are logically incompatible.
Alvin Plantinga, in a response that has also achieved 'classic'
status, rebuts Mackie. Plantinga's celebrated "free will defense"
argues that evil is consistent with God's existence, because there are
some possible worlds that God cannot bring about. This seems curious
enough, if we assume that God is omnipotent. Shouldn't he be able to
bring about any possible world he wants? But Plantinga reminds us that
there are always trivial limits on omnipotence--God can't make 2 + 2 =
5 or create a married bachelor. Plantinga's trick is stretching these
trivial limits to very non-trivial results.
Step one: Plantinga proposes that there are logical truths--so-called
"counterfactuals of freedom"--about our free choices in various
possible situations, with one choice dictated for every situation. On
Plantinga's example, where S is a situation in which Curley is free to
take or refuse a bribe, it is either true that "If Curley were to be
free in S, he would take the bribe" or "If Curley were to be free in
S, he would refuse the bribe" (assume that exactly one can be true).
These truths about what we would freely do in possible situations help
make us what we are, and are timelessly and necessarily true--and so,
crucially, out of God's hands. Consequently, if the first proposition
is true (and Curley would take the bribe), then God cannot bring about
the possible world in which Curley refuses the bribe. God can only
bring about S and sadly watch Curley's freely chosen venality manifest
itself, as timelessly reported by that unchangeable counterfactual of
Step two: Plantinga argues for the possibility of a person who will
sin at least once, no matter what situation God puts him in. Such a
person suffers from so-called "transworld depravity". Though he can
choose to do good in each situation, though it is possible that he
does good in each situation, it is nevertheless true that he will
choose to sin, a sad fact reported by his counterfactuals of freedom.
And God can do nothing to bring about the sinless possible
worlds--that's up to the sinner, who will, as a matter of fact, choose
We've arrived at the conclusion that perhaps even God cannot bring
about Mackie's virtuous and sinless worlds. God may be omnipotent, but
he can't change people's free decisions, and he can't change the fact
that they will freely choose as they do. And if people will make nasty
choices, then those possible worlds in which they choose good are
beyond God's reach. Plantinga proposes that perhaps all persons suffer
from transworld depravity, that perhaps the actual world, though not
the best possible world, is the best one that God could bring about,
if he is to respect the free choices of the creatures therein. Natural
evil? Perhaps it's also the result of sinful actions--the actions of
invisible, powerful moral agents like demons. And this scenario is one
in which God's moral perfection is squared with having created a
horrid world like our own.
(Here another problem arises, related to God's claim (in many
religions) that, after the end of the world, a paradise will be
created where evil is defeated. The whole argument that God in his
omnipotence could not create the "virtuous sinless world" described
above seems to be contradicted by his own claim to plan to do this
very thing! Heaven is the promised paradise of infinite bounty
that fully matches the criteria of this virtuous sinless world. If
such a world is not possible, then God is lying about the promise of
Heaven. If such a world is possible, and God plans to make one world
that way, why wasn't our world also made this way?)
One recent, friendly response to Plantinga is from Daniel
Howard-Snyder and John O'Leary-Hawthorne. They claim that, to
show the compatibility of theism and evil, Plantinga needs to support
the possibility of his sketched scenario--it mustn't be reasonable to
doubt its possibility. And they claim that the possibility of all
persons being transworld depraved is unsupported. After all, there is
another prima facie possibility, that all persons are in fact
transworld sanctified (and so would do no wrong). Both 'possibilities'
seem equally possible, and since they rule each other out, only one of
them can be possible. Thus it is reasonable to doubt the possibility
of either, and it is reasonable to doubt that Plantinga's scenario is
possible; so it is reasonable to doubt that God really is consistent
with evil. The two critics take to repairing Plantinga's argument, by
replacing the "it is possible that" propositions with similar "for all
we reasonably believe, it is possible that" propositions. The
conclusion is then not that theism and evil are compatible, but that,
for all we reasonably believe, theism and evil are compatible. The
compatibility is not proven, but the incompatibility isn't reasonable,
either. Mackie is still rebutted.
Another, stronger challenge comes from Richard Gale. In
Plantinga's scenario, God's decisions cause human behavior and the
psychological makeup whence that behavior stems; consequently, Gale
maintains, human freedom gets cancelled by God's decisions.
Ironically, then, Plantinga's "free will defense" story is a story
without human freedom. Now, as Gale notes, Plantinga's God can't
change peoples' counterfactuals of freedom; the truth of these
propositions is up to the relevant people. But, by Plantinga, God does
decide which possible persons get actualized, knowing full well their
counterfactuals of freedom; it's up to God who gets to exist and then
do their stuff. Moreover, God crafts his creatures' psychological
makeup, which in turn exercises significant influence over their
decisions. This is freedom-cancelling, even if our psychology doesn't
determine our decisions, for it makes God like a mad scientist who
implants a test subject with new dispositions and preferences to make
her more agreeable. And to decide who gets instantiated is to be a
sufficient cause of what decisions get made, even if the persons
themselves are sufficient causes in their own right. The result is
that Plantinga's God is in charge of too much, robbing humans of their
freedom. Or so Gale avers.
In his book The Problem of Pain the literary critic and popular
theologian C. S. Lewis called pain "God's megaphone to rouse a
Yet another intriguing rebutal holds that there may not be any best
possible worlds, i.e., given any possible world there is another
possible world which is preferable. If we accept that our world is
better than none we can't fault god for failing to create the best
possible world, there is no such entity. As an analogy we might
consider the following dilema: A magical genie appears and offers you
the chance to improve the world, name any integer and the total world
happiness (or whatever it is you think is good) will be increased by
that amount. Clearly no matter what number you choose there was a
better choice. If you choose to add n units of happiness n+1 would
have been better. Yet surely you can't be said to be guilty of a moral
fault for choosing some number. By analogy how can we say God is not
omnibenevolent simply because he chose some world when no matter what
choice he made a better one was availible.
Main article: Holocaust theology
In light of the magnitude of evil seen in the Holocaust, many
people have re-examined the classical theological views on God's
goodness and actions in the world. How can people still have any faith
after the Holocaust? There is a separate entry which discusses the
theological responses that people have had in response to the
Hindu answers to the problem of evil
* Hindu philosophers, especially those from the Vedanta school
have also attempted to craft solutions to the problem of evil. The
whole notions of karma and reincarnation were possible
explanations. Shri Madhvacharya, with his beliefs of dualism,
has crafted his own solutions to the problem of evil that persists
in spite of an all-loving omnipotent supreme Being.
The late Mennonite theologian, John Howard Yoder, wrote an
htm) entitled "Trinity Versus Theodicy: Hebraic Realism And The
Temptation To Judge God" (1996). Yoder argues that "if God be God"
then theodicy is an oxymoron and idolatry. As is evident
from the subtitle, Yoder is not opposed to attempts to reconcile the
existence of a God with the existence of evil; rather, he is against a
particular approach to the problem. He does not "deny that there are
ways in which forms of discourse in the mode of theodicy may have a
function, subject to the discipline of a wider setting."
Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Yoder's life and work
would realize that he was deeply concerned and engaged with the
problem of evil; specifically, the evil of violence and war
and how we resist it. Yoder's "case [is] against garden variety
'theodicy' "--in particular, theodicy as a judgment or defense of God.
* a) Where do you get the criteria by which you evaluate God? Why
are the criteria you use the right ones?
* b) Why [do] you think you are qualified for the business of
* c) If you think you are qualified for that business, how does the
adjudication proceed? [W]hat are the lexical rules?
Yoder's argument is against theodicy, strictly speaking. This is the
narrow sense Zachary
mentions in (God) After Auschwitz: Tradition and Change in
Thought (http://pup.princeton.edu/titles/6415.html) (1998). He
writes (http://pup.princeton.edu/chapters/s6415.html), "Theodicy
is a familiar technical term, coined by the German philosopher
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to mean 'the justification of God.' "
In his book, Braiterman coins the term "antitheodicy" meaning
"refusing to justify, explain, or accept" the relationship between
"God (or some other form of ultimate reality), evil, and suffering."
Braiterman uses the term "in order to account for a particular
religious sensibility, based (in part) on fragments selectively culled
from classical Jewish texts, that dominates post-Holocaust Jewish
thought." Braiterman asserts, "Although it often borders on blasphemy,
antitheodicy does not constitute atheism; it might even express
stubborn love that human persons have for God. After all, the author
of a genuine antitheodic statement must believe that an actual
relationship subsists between God and evil in order to reject it; and
they must love God in order to be offended by that relationship."
(Though again, it must be recognized that there is a presumptive bent
in this assertion: it is not God that such people would love in order
to be thus offended, but rather good. The whole basis of theodicy, if
it is to be regarded as a genuine intellectual pursuit and not a
rationalizing source of pro-God cheerleading propaganda, is that God
just might be distinguishable from good. As a discipline, theodicy by
all means ought to logically demonstrate that there is such a
distinction or there isn't, and to carefully explain why or why not.
It is disappointing that historically it has done neither.)
Two of the Jewish post-Shoah thinkers that Braiterman cites as
antitheodicists--Emil Fackenheim and Richard Rubinstein--are
also cited by Yoder. Yoder describes their approach as "the Jewish
complaint against God, dramatically updated (and philosophically
unfolded) since Auschwitz ... The faithful under the pogrom proceed
with their prayers, after denouncing JHWH/Adonai for what He has let
happen." Yoder sees this as a valid form of discourse in the mode of
theodicy but he claims it is "the opposite of theodicy."
The conclusions of such so-called anti-theodicists can be summed up as
1. The contradictions inherent in our universe preclude the
possibility that an omnibenevolent God could exist. We can try to
build towers of rationalization that "explain" the "real" reasons
why bad things happen and assert vainly that our own perspective
on what is good is unimportant, but these are not convincing
arguments. Those who say plainly that, if God is omnipotent, then
he cannot be deemed benevolent because of the evil present in the
world, are thus correct.
2. With that in mind, a being or entity that fulfills the criteria
established when asking "if God be God" cannot exist.
3. In conclusion, a being or entity claiming to have those
characteristics is simply lying.
4. Assuming that lying is by definition not good, such an entity
would not qualify as good.
It seems we need to distinguish between two varieties of
1. one of which dismisses the very notion that humanity has any right
to judge God (but not giving any reason for this assertion beyond
"if God be God", which any freshman logic student recognizes as an
act of assuming one's conclusion by declaring the nature of God as
an a priori),
2. the other of which reaches a conclusion contrary to what the
"pro-theodicists" desire to reach.
Given that the nature of objective intellectual pursuit requires that
those seeking answers must not have a desired conclusion already
mapped out in advance, perhaps we need a new word to describe the
objective discipline of determining God's associations (or lack
thereof) with good.
Evidential arguments from evil
Evidential arguments from evil seek to show that the existence of evil
provides evidence for God's nonexistence, rather than implying the
logical impossibility of God. Philosophers arguing from this point of
view are less interested in whether the existence God is logically
compatible or incompatible with the existence of evil, often thinking
that the arguments about this are inconclusive, with some saying that
such "logical arguments" are dead. They focus instead on whether evil
provides evidence for or against the existence of God. Their line of
argument is: the existence of God may be logically compatible with the
existence of evil, but the logical possibility of his existence does
not mean that we are justified in believing that He does in fact
exist. For such a belief to be justified, evidence is needed, and in
the balance of evidence for and against the existence of God, the
facts about evil weigh heavily on the negative side of the scales. The
classic proponent of this line of argument is William Rowe.
THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER
Preface to the King James Version 1611
THE BEST THINGS HAVE BEEN CALUMNIATED
Zeal to promote the common good, whether it be by devising anything
ourselves, or revising that which hath been laboured by others,
deserveth certainly much respect and esteem, but yet findeth but cold
entertainment in the world. It is welcomed with suspicion instead of
love, and with emulation instead of thanks: and if there be any hole
left for cavil to enter, (and cavil, if it do not find a hole, will
make one) it is sure to be misconstrued, and in danger to be
condemned. This will easily be granted by as many as know story, or
have any experience. For, was there ever any-projected, that savoured
any way of newness or renewing, but the same endured many a storm of
gainsaying, or opposition? A man would think that Civility, wholesome
Laws, learning and eloquence, Synods, and Church-maintenance, (that we
speak of no more things of this kind) should be as safe as a
Sanctuary, and out of shot, as they say, that no man would lift up the
heel, no, nor dog move his tongue against the motioners of them. For
by the first, we are distinguished from brute beasts lead with
sensuality; By the second, we are bridled and restrained from
outrageous behaviour, and from doing of injuries, whether by fraud or
by violence; By the third, we are enabled to inform and reform others,
by the light and feeling that we have attained unto ourselves;
Briefly, by the fourth being brought together to a parley face to
face, we sooner compose our differences than by writings which are
endless; And lastly, that the Church be sufficiently provided for, is
so agreeable to good reason and conscience, that those mothers are
holden to be less cruel, that kill their children as soon as they are
born, than those nursing fathers and mothers (wheresoever they be)
that withdraw from them who hang upon their breasts (and upon whose
breasts again themselves do hang to receive the Spiritual and sincere
milk of the word) livelihood and support fit for their estates. Thus
it is apparent, that these things which we speak of, are of most
necessary use, and therefore, that none, either without absurdity can
speak against them, or without note of wickedness can spurn against
Yet for all that, the learned know that certain worthy men [Anacharsis
with others] have been brought to untimely death for none other fault,
but for seeking to reduce their Countrymen to god order and
discipline; and that in some Commonwealths [e.g. Locri] it was made a
capital crime, once to motion the making of a new Law for the
abrogating of an old, though the same were most pernicious; And that
certain [Cato the elder], which would be counted pillars of the State,
and patterns of Virtue and Prudence, could not be brought for a long
time to give way to good Letters and refined speech, but bare
themselves as averse from them, as from rocks or boxes of poison; And
fourthly, that he was no babe, but a great clerk [Gregory the Divine],
that gave forth (and in writing to remain to posterity) in passion
peradventure, but yet he gave forth, that he had not seen any profit
to come by any Synod, or meeting of the Clergy, but rather the
contrary; And lastly, against Church-maintenance and allowance, in
such sort, as the Ambassadors and messengers of the great King of
Kings should be furnished, it is not unknown what a fiction or fable
(so it is esteemed, and for no better by the reporter himself
[Nauclerus], though superstitious) was devised; Namely, that at such a
time as the professors and teachers of Christianity in the Church of
Rome, then a true Church, were liberally endowed, a voice forsooth was
heard from heaven, saying: Now is poison poured down into the Church,
etc. Thus not only as oft as we speak, as one saith, but also as oft
as we do anything of note or consequence, we subject ourselves to
everyone's censure, and happy is he that is least tossed upon tongues;
for utterly to escape the snatch of them it is impossible. If any man
conceit, that this is the lot and portion of the meaner sort only, and
that Princes are privileged by their high estate, he is deceived. "As
the sword devoureth as well one as the other," as it is in Samuel [2
Sam 11:25], nay as the great Commander charged his soldiers in a
certain battle, to strike at no part of the enemy, but at the face;
And as the King of Syria commanded his chief Captains to "fight
neither with small nor great, save only against the King of Israel:"
[1 Kings 22:31] so it is too true, that Envy striketh most spitefully
at the fairest, and at the chiefest. David was a worthy Prince, and no
man to be compared to him for his first deeds, and yet for as worthy
as act as ever he did (even for bringing back the Ark of God in
solemnity) he was scorned and scoffed at by his own wife [2 Sam 6:16].
Solomon was greater than David, though not in virtue, yet in power:
and by his power and wisdom he built a Temple to the Lord, such a one
as was the glory of the land of Israel, and the wonder of the whole
world. But was that his magnificence liked of by all? We doubt it.
Otherwise, why do they lay it in his son's dish, and call unto him for
easing the burden, "Make", say they, "the grievous servitude of thy
father, and his sore yoke, lighter?" [1 Kings 12:4] Belike he had
charged them with some levies, and troubled them with some carriages;
Hereupon they raise up a tragedy, and wish in their heart the Temple
had never been built. So hard a thing it is to please all, even when
we please God best, and do seek to approve ourselves to every ones
If we will descend to later times, we shall find many the like
examples of such kind, or rather unkind acceptance. The first Roman
Emperor [C. Caesar. Plutarch] did never do a more pleasing deed to the
learned, nor more profitable to posterity, for conserving the record
of times in true supputation; than when he corrected the Calendar, and
ordered the year according to the course of the Sun; and yet this was
imputed to him for novelty, and arrogance, and procured to him great
obloguy. So the first Christened Emperor [Constantine] (at the
leastwise that openly professed the faith himself, and allowed others
to do the like) for strengthening the Empire at his great charges, and
providing for the Church, as he did, got for his labour the name
Pupillus, as who would say, a wasteful Prince, that had need of a
Guardian or overseer [Aurel. Victor]. So the best Christened Emperor
[Theodosius], for the love that he bare unto peace, thereby to enrich
both himself and his subjects, and because he did not see war but find
it, was judged to be no man at arms [Zosimus], (though indeed he
excelled in feats of chivalry, and showed so much when he was
provoked) and condemned for giving himself to his ease, and to his
pleasure. To be short, the most learned Emperor of former times
[Justinian], (at the least, the greatest politician) what thanks had
he for cutting off the superfluities of the laws, and digesting them
into some order and method? This, that he had been blotted by some to
be an Epitomist, that is, one that extinguishes worthy whole volumes,
to bring his abridgments into request. This is the measure that hath
been rendered to excellent Princes in former times, even, Cum bene
facerent, male audire, For their good deeds to be evil spoken of.
Neither is there any likelihood, that envy and malignity died, and
were buried with the ancient. No, no, the reproof of Moses taketh hold
of most ages; "You are risen up in your fathers' stead, and increase
of sinful men." [Num 32:14] "What is that that hath been done? that
which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the Sun," saith
the wiseman: [Ecc 1:9] and S. Stephen, "As your fathers did, so do
you." [Acts 7:51]
HIS MAJESTY'S CONSTANCY, NOTWITHSTANDING CULMINATION, FOR THE SURVEY
OF THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
This, and more to this purpose, His Majesty that now reigneth (and
long, and long may he reign, and his offspring forever, "Himself and
children, and children's always) knew full well, according to the
singular wisdom given unto him by God, and the rare learning and
experience that he hath attained unto; namely that whosoever
attempteth anything for the public (especially if it pertain to
Religion, and to the opening and clearing of the word of God) the same
setteth himself upon a stage to be gloated upon by every evil eye,
yea, he casteth himself headlong upon pikes, to be gored by every
sharp tongue. For he that medleth with men's Religion in any part,
medleth with their custom, nay, with their freehold; and though they
find no content in that which they have, yet they cannot abide to hear
of altering. Notwithstanding his Royal heart was not daunted or
discouraged for this that colour, but stood resolute, "as a statue
immovable, and an anvil not easy to be beaten into plates," as one
[Suidas] saith; he knew who had chosen him to be a Soldier, or rather
a Captain, and being assured that the course which he intended made
for the glory of God, and the building up of his Church, he would not
suffer it to be broken off for whatsoever speeches or practices. It
doth certainly belong unto Kings, yea, it doth specially belong unto
them, to have care of Religion, yea, it doth specially belong unto
them, to have care of Religion, yea, to know it aright, yea, to
profess it zealously, yea to promote it to the uttermost of their
power. This is their glory before all nations which mean well, and
this will bring unto them a far most excellent weight of glory in the
day of the Lord Jesus. For the Scripture saith not in vain, "Them that
honor me, I will honor," [1 Sam 2:30] neither was it a vain word that
Eusebius delivered long ago, that piety towards God was the weapon and
the only weapon, that both preserved Constantine's person, and avenged
him of his enemies [Eusebius lib 10 cap 8].
THE PRAISE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
But now what piety without truth? what truth (what saving truth)
without the word of God? What word of God (whereof we may be sure)
without the Scripture? The Scriptures we are commanded to search. John
5:39. Isa 8:20. They are commended that searched and studied them.
Acts 17:11 and 8:28,29. They are reproved that were unskilful in them,
or slow to believe them. Matt 22:29. Luke 24:25. They can make us wise
unto salvation. 2 Tim 3:15. If we be ignorant, they will instruct us;
if out of the way, they will bring us home; if out of order, they will
reform us; if in heaviness, comfort us; if dull, quicken us; if cold,
inflame us. Tolle, lege; Tolle, lege, Take up and read, take up and
read the Scriptures [S. August. confess. lib 8 cap 12], (for unto them
was the direction) it was said unto S. Augustine by a supernatural
voice. "Whatsoever is in the Scriptures, believe me," saith the same
S. Augustine, "is high and divine; there is verily truth, and a
doctrine most fit for the refreshing of men's minds, and truly so
tempered, that everyone may draw from thence that which is sufficient
for him, if he come to draw with a devout and pious mind, as true
Religion requireth." [S. August. de utilit. credendi cap. 6] Thus S.
Augustine. and S. Jerome: "Ama scripturas, et amabit te sapientia
etc." [S. Jerome. ad Demetriad] Love the Scriptures, and wisdom will
love thee. And S. Cyril against Julian; "Even boys that are bred up in
the Scriptures, become most religious, etc." [S. Cyril. 7 contra
Iulianum] But what mention we three or four uses of the Scripture,
whereas whatsoever is to be believed or practiced, or hoped for, is
contained in them? or three or four sentences of the Fathers, since
whosoever is worthy the name of a Father, from Christ's time downward,
hath likewise written not only of the riches, but also of the
perfection of the Scripture? "I adore the fulness of the Scripture,"
saith Tertullian against Hermogenes. [Tertul. advers. Hermo.] And
again, to Apelles an heretic of the like stamp, he saith; "I do not
admit that which thou bringest in (or concludest) of thine own (head
or store, de tuo) without Scripture." [Tertul. de carne Christi.] So
Saint Justin Martyr before him; "We must know by all means," saith he,
"that it is not lawful (or possible) to learn (anything) of God or of
right piety, save only out of the Prophets, who teach us by divine
inspiration." So Saint Basil after Tertullian, "It is a manifest
falling way from the Faith, and a fault of presumption, either to
reject any of those things that are written, or to bring in (upon the
head of them) any of those things that are not written. We omit to
cite to the same effect, S. Cyril B. of Jerusalem in his 4::Cataches.,
Saint Jerome against Helvidius, Saint Augustine in his 3::book against
the letters of Petilian, and in very many other places of his works.
Also we forebear to descend to later Fathers, because we will not
weary the reader. The Scriptures then being acknowledged to be so full
and so perfect, how can we excuse ourselves of negligence, if we do
not study them, of curiosity, if we be not content with them? Men talk
much of [an olive bow wrapped about with wood, whereupon did hang
figs, and bread, honey in a pot, and oil], how many sweet and goodly
things it had hanging on it; of the Philosopher's stone, that it
turned copper into gold; of Cornu-copia, that it had all things
necessary for food in it, of Panaces the herb, that it was good for
diseases, of Catholicon the drug, that it is instead of all purges; of
Vulcan's armor, that it was an armor of proof against all thrusts, and
all blows, etc. Well, that which they falsely or vainly attributed to
these things for bodily god, we may justly and with full measure
ascribe unto the Scripture, for spiritual. It is not only an armor,
but also a whole armory of weapons, both offensive and defensive;
whereby we may save ourselves and put the enemy to flight. It is not
an herb, but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life,
which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit thereof is for
meat, and the leaves for medicine. It is not a pot of Manna, or a
cruse of oil, which were for memory only, or for a meal's meat or two,
but as it were a shower of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole host,
be it never so great; and as it were a whole cellar full of oil
vessels; whereby all our necessities may be provided for, and our
debts discharged. In a word, it is a Panary of wholesome food, against
fenowed traditions; a Physician's shop (Saint Basil called it) [S.
Basil in Psal. primum.] of preservatives against poisoned heresies; a
Pandect of profitable laws, against rebellious spirits; a treasury of
most costly jewels, against beggarly rudiments; finally a fountain of
most pure water springing up unto everlasting life. And what marvel?
The original thereof being from heaven, not from earth; the author
being God, not man; the inditer, the holy spirit, not the wit of the
Apostles or Prophets; the Penmen such as were sanctified from the
womb, and endued with a principal portion of God's spirit; the matter,
verity, piety, purity, uprightness; the form, God's word, God's
testimony, God's oracles, the word of truth, the word of salvation,
etc.; the effects, light of understanding, stableness of persuasion,
repentance from dead works, newness of life, holiness, peace, joy in
the holy Ghost; lastly, the end and reward of the study thereof,
fellowship with the Saints, participation of the heavenly nature,
fruition of an inheritance immortal, undefiled, and that never shall
fade away: Happy is the man that delighted in the Scripture, and
thrice happy that meditateth in it day and night.
But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How
shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?
as it is written, "Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be
tohim that speaketh, a Barbarian, and he that speaketh, shall be a
Barbarian to me." [1 Cor 14] The Apostle excepteth no tongue; not
Hebrew the ancientest, not Greek the most copious, not Latin the
finest. Nature taught a natural man to confess, that all of us in
those tongues which we do not understand, are plainly deaf; we may
turn the deaf ear unto them. The Scythian counted the Athenian, whom
he did not understand, barbarous; [Clem. Alex. 1 Strom.] so the Roman
did the Syrian, and the Jew (even S. Jerome himself called the Hebrew
tongue barbarous, belike because it was strange to so many) [S.
Jerome. Damaso.] so the Emperor of Constantinople [Michael, Theophili
fil.] calleth the Latin tongue, barbarous, though Pope Nicolas do
storm at it: [2::Tom. Concil. ex edit. Petri Crab] so the Jews long
before Christ called all other nations, Lognazim, which islittle
better than barbarous. Therefore as one complaineth, that always in
the Senate of Rome, there was one or other that called for an
interpreter: [Cicero 5::de finibus.] so lest the Church be driven to
the like exigent, it is necessary to have translations in a readiness.
Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that
breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the
curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the
cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled
away thestone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of
Laban were watered [Gen 29:10]. Indeed without translation into the
vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well
(which is deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw
with; or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed
book was delivered, with this motion, "Read this, I pray thee," he was
fain to make this answer, "I cannot, for it is sealed." [Isa 29:11]
THE TRANSLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT OUT OF THE HEBREW INTO GREEK
While God would be known only in Jacob, and have his Name great in
Israel, and in none other place, while the dew lay on Gideon's fleece
only, and all the earth besides was dry; then for one and the same
people, which spake all of them the language of Canaan, that is,
Hebrew, one and the same original in Hebrew was sufficient. [S.
August. lib 12 contra Faust c32] But, when the fulness of time drew
near, that the Sun of righteousness, the Son of God should come into
the world, whom God ordained to be a reconciliation through faith in
his blood, not of the Jew only, but also of the Greek, yea, of all
them that were scattered abroad; then lo, it pleased the Lord to stir
up the spirit of a Greek Prince (Greek for descent and language) even
of Ptolemy Philadelph King of Egypt, to procure the translating of the
Book of God out of Hebrew into Greek. This is the translation of the
Seventy Interpreters, commonly so called, which prepared the way for
our Saviour among the Gentiles by written preaching, as Saint John
Baptist did among the Jews by vocal. For the Grecians being desirous
of learning, were not wont to suffer books of worth to lie moulding in
Kings' libraries, but had many of their servants, ready scribes, to
copy them out, and so they were dispersed and made common. Again, the
Greek tongue was well known and made familiar to most inhabitants in
Asia, by reason of the conquest that there the Grecians had made, as
also by the Colonies, which thither they had sent. For the same causes
also it was well understood in many places of Europe, yea, and of
Africa too. Therefore the word of God being set forth in Greek,
becometh hereby like a candle set upon a candlestick, which giveth
light to all that are in the house, or like a proclamation sounded
forth in the market place, which most men presently take knowledge of;
and therefore that language was fittest to contain the Scriptures,
both for the first Preachers of the Gospel to appeal unto for witness,
and for the learners also of those times to make search and trial by.
It is certain, that that Translation was not so sound and so perfect,
but it needed in many places correction; and who had been so
sufficient for this work as the Apostles or Apostolic men? Yet it
seemed good to the holy Ghost and to them, to take that which they
found, (the same being for the greatest part true and sufficient)
rather than making a new, in that new world and green age of the
Church, to expose themselves to many exceptions and cavillations, as
though they made a Translations to serve their own turn, and therefore
bearing a witness to themselves, their witness not to be regarded.
This may be supposed to be some cause, why the Translation of the
Seventy was allowed to pass for current. Notwithstanding, though it
was commended generally, yet it did not fully content the learned, no
not of the Jews. For not long after Christ, Aquila fell in hand with a
new Translation, and after him Theodotion, and after him Symmachus;
yea, there was a fifth and a sixth edition, the Authors whereof were
not known. [Epiphan. de mensur. et ponderibus.] These with the Seventy
made up the Hexapla and were worthily and to great purpose compiled
together by Origen. Howbeit the Edition of the Seventy went away with
the credit, and therefore not only was placed in the midst by Origen
(for the worth and excellency thereof above the rest, as Epiphanius
gathered) but also was used by the Greek fathers for the ground and
foundation of their Commentaries. Yea, Epiphanius above named doeth
attribute so much unto it, that he holdeth the Authors thereof not
only for Interpreters, but also for Prophets in some respect [S.
August. 2::de dectrin. Christian c. 15]; and Justinian the Emperor
enjoining the Jews his subjects to use especially the Translation of
the Seventy, rendreth this reason thereof, because they were as it
were enlightened with prophetical grace. Yet for all that, as the
Egyptians are said of the Prophet to be men and not God, and their
horses flesh and not spirit [Isa 31:3]; so it is evident, (and Saint
Jerome affirmeth as much) [S. Jerome. de optimo genere interpret.]
that the Seventy were Interpreters, they were not Prophets; they did
many things well, as learned men; but yet as men they stumbled and
fell, one while through oversight, another while through ignorance,
yea, sometimes they may be noted to add to the Original, and sometimes
to take from it; which made the Apostles to leave them many times,
when they left the Hebrew, and to deliver the sense thereof according
to the truth of the word, as the spirit gave them utterance. This may
suffice touching the Greek Translations of the Old Testament.
TRANSLATION OUT OF HEBREW AND GREEK INTO LATIN
There were also within a few hundred years after CHRIST, translations
many into the Latin tongue: for this tongue also was very fit to
convey the Law and the Gospel by, because in those times very many
Countries of the West, yea of the South, East and North, spake or
understood Latin, being made Provinces to the Romans. But now the
Latin Translations were too many to be all good, for they were
infinite (Latini Interprets nullo modo numerari possunt, saith S.
Augustine.) [S. Augustin. de doctr. Christ. lib 2 cap II]. Again they
were not out of the Hebrew fountain (we speak of the Latin
Translations of the Old Testament) but out of the Greek stream,
therefore the Greek being not altogether clear, the Latin derived from
it must needs be muddy. This moved S. Jerome a most learned father,
and the best linguist without controversy, of his age, or of any that
went before him, to undertake the translating of the Old Testament,
out of the very fountain with that evidence of great learning,
judgment, industry, and faithfulness, that he had forever bound the
Church unto him, in a debt of special remembrance and thankfulness.
THE TRANSLATING OF THE SCRIPTURE INTO THE VULGAR TONGUES
Now through the Church were thus furnished with Greek and Latin
Translations, even before the faith of CHRIST was generally embraced
in the Empire; (for the learned know that even in S. Jerome's time,
the Consul of Rome and his wife were both Ethnics, and about the same
time the greatest part of the Senate also) [S. Jerome. Marcell.Zosim]
yet for all that the godly-learned were not content to have the
Scriptures in the Language which they themselves understood, Greek and
Latin, (as the good Lepers were not content to fare well themselves,
but acquainted their neighbors with the store that God had sent, that
they also might provide for themselves) [2 Kings 7:9] but also for the
behoof andedifying of the unlearned which hungered and thirsted after
righteousness, and had souls to be saved as well as they, they
provided Translations into the vulgar for their Countrymen, insomuch
that most nations under heaven did shortly after their conversion,
hear CHRIST speaking unto them in their mother tongue, not by the
voice of their Minister only, but also by the written word translated.
If any doubt hereof, he may be satisfied by examples enough, if enough
will serve the turn. First S. Jerome saith, Multarum gentium linguis
Scriptura ante translata, docet falsa esse quae addita sunt, etc. i.e.
"The Scripture being translated before in the languages of many
Nations, doth show that those things that were added (by Lucian and
Hesychius) are false." [S. Jerome. praef. in 4::Evangel.] So S. Jerome
in that place. The same Jerome elsewhere affirmeth that he, the time
was, had set forth the translation of the Seventy suae linguae
hominibus, i.e., for his countrymen of Dalmatia [S. Jerome.
Sophronio.] Which words not only Erasmus doth understand to purport,
that S. Jerome translated the Scripture into the Dalmatian tongue, but
also Sixtus Senensis [Six. Sen. lib 4], and Alphonsus a` Castro
[Alphon. lb 1 ca 23] (that we speak of no more) men not to be excepted
against by them of Rome, do ingenuously confess as much. So, S.
Chrysostom that lived in S. Jerome's time, giveth evidence with him:
"The doctrine of S. John [saith he] did not in such sort [as the
Philosophers' did] vanish away: but the Syrians, Egyptians, Indians,
Persians, Ethiopians, and infinite other nations being barbarous
people translated it into their [mother] tongue, and have learned to
be [true] Philosophers," he meaneth Christians. [S. Chrysost. in
Johan. cap.I. hom.I.] To this may be added Theodoret, as next unto
him, both for antiquity, and for learning. His words be these, "Every
Country that is under the Sun, is full of these words (of the Apostles
and Prophets) and the Hebrew tongue [he meaneth the Scriptures in the
Hebrew tongue] is turned not only into the Language of the Grecians,
but also of the Romans, and Egyptians, and Persians, and Indians, and
Armenians, and Scythians, and Sauromatians, and briefly into all the
Languages that any Nation useth. [Theodor. 5. Therapeut.] So he. In
like manner, Ulfilas is reported by Paulus Diaconus and Isidor (and
before them by Sozomen) to have translated the Scriptures into the
Gothic tongue: [P. Diacon. li. 12.] John Bishop of Sevil by Vasseus,
to have turned them into Arabic, about the year of our Lord 717;
[Vaseus in Chron. Hispan.] Bede by Cistertiensis, to have turned a
great part of them into Saxon: Efnard by Trithemius, to have abridged
the French Psalter, as Beded had done the Hebrew, about the year 800:
King Alfred by the said Cistertiensis, to have turned the Psalter into
Saxon: [Polydor. Virg. 5 histor.] Methodius by Aventinus (printed at
Ingolstadt) to have turned the Scriptures into Slavonian: [Aventin.
lib. 4.] Valdo, Bishop of Frising by Beatus Rhenanus, to have caused
about that time, the Gospels to be translated into Dutch rhythm, yet
extant in the Library of Corbinian: [Circa annum 900. B. Rhenan. rerum
German. lib 2.] Valdus, by divers to have turned them himself into
French, about the year 1160: Charles the Fifth of that name, surnamed
the Wise, to have caused them to be turned into French, about 200
years after Valdus his time, of which translation there be many copies
yet extant, as witnesseth Beroaldus. Much about that time, even in our
King Richard the second's days, John Trevisa translated them into
English, and many English Bibles in written hand are yet to be seen
with divers, translated as it is very probable, in that age. So the
Syrian translation of the New Testament is in most learned men's
Libraries, of Widminstadius his setting forth, and the Psalter in
Arabic is with many, of Augustinus Nebiensis' setting forth. So Postel
affirmeth, that in his travel he saw the Gospels in the Ethiopian
tongue; And Ambrose Thesius allegeth the Pslater of the Indians, which
he testifieth to have been set forth by Potken in Syrian characters.
So that, to have the Scriptures in the mother tongue is not a quaint
conceit lately taken up, either by the Lord Cromwell in England,
[Thuan.] or by the Lord Radevile in Polony, or by the Lord Ungnadius
in the Emperor's dominion, but hath been thought upon, and put in
practice of old, even from the first times of the conversion of any
Nation; no doubt, because it was esteemed most profitable, to cause
faith to grow in men's hearts the sooner, and to make them to be able
to say with the words of the Psalms, "As we have heard, so we have
seen." [Ps 48:8]
THE UNWILLINGNESS OF OUR CHIEF ADVERSARIES, THAT THE SCRIPTURES SHOULD
BE DIVULGED IN THE MOTHER TONGUE, ETC.
Now the Church of Rome would seem at the length to bear a motherly
affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in
their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be
called a gift, an unprofitable gift: [Sophecles] they must first get a
licence in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they
must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as
are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their
superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth that
there should be any Licence granted to have them in the vulgar tongue,
and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the
Fourth. [See the observation (set forth by Clemen. his authority) upon
the 4. rule of Pius the 4. his making in the index, lib. prohib. pag.
15. ver. 5.] So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture,
(Lucifugae Scripturarum, as Tertulian speaketh) that they will not
trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by their own sworn
men, no not with the Licence of their own Bishops and Inquisitors.
Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the
people's understanding in any sort, that theyare not ashamed to
confess, that we forced them to translate it into English against
their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience,
or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is
afraid to bring it to the touchstone, but he that hath the
counterfeit; [Tertul. de resur. carnis.] neither is it the true man
that shunneth the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be
reproved [John 3:20]: neither is it the plaindealing Merchant that is
unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard brought in place, but
he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and
return to translation.
THE SPEECHES AND REASONS, BOTH OF OUR BRETHREN, AND OF OUR ADVERSARIES
AGAINST THIS WORK
Many men's mouths have been open a good while (and yet are not
stopped) with speeches about the Translation so long in hand, or
rather perusals of Translations made before: and ask what may be the
reason, what the necessity of the employment: Hath the Church been
deceived, say they, all this while? Hath her sweet bread been mingled
with leaven, here silver with dross, her wine with water, her milk
with lime? (Lacte gypsum male miscetur, saith S. Ireney,) [S. Iren. 3.
lib. cap. 19.] We hoped that we had been in the right way, that we had
the Oracles of God delivered unto us, and that though all the world
had cause to be offended and to complain, yet that we had none. Hath
the nurse holden out the breast, and nothing but wind in it? Hath the
bread been delivered by the fathers of the Church, and the same proved
to be lapidosus, as Seneca speaketh? What is it to handle the word of
God deceitfully, if this be not? Thus certain brethren. Also the
adversaries of Judah and Jerusalem, like Sanballat in Nehemiah, mock,
as we hear, both the work and the workmen, saying; "What do these weak
Jews, etc. will they make the stones whole again out of the heaps of
dust which are burnt? although they build, yet if a fox go up, he
shall even break down their stony wall." [Neh 4:3] Was their
Translation good before? Why do they now mend it? Was it not good? Why
then was it obtruded to the people? Yea, why did the Catholics
(meaning Popish Romanists) always go in jeopardy, for refusing to go
to hear it? Nay, if it must be translated into English, Catholics are
fittest to do it. They have learning, and they know when a thing is
well, they can manum de tabula. We will answer them both briefly: and
the former, being brethren, thus, with S. Jerome, "Damnamus veteres?
Mineme, sed post priorum studia in domo Domini quod possums
laboramus." [S. Jerome. Apolog. advers. Ruffin.] That is, "Do we
condemn the ancient? In no case: but after the endeavors of them that
were before us, we take the best pains we can in the house of God." As
if he said, Being provoked by the example of the learned men that
lived before my time, I have thought it my duty, to assay whether my
talent in the knowledge of the tongues, may be profitable in any
measure to God's Church, lest I should seem to laboured in them in
vain, and lest I should be thought to glory in men, (although
ancient,) above that which was in them. Thus S. Jerome may be thought
A SATISFACTION TO OUR BRETHREN
And to the same effect say we, that we are so far off from condemning
any of their labors that travailed before us in this kind, either in
this land or beyond sea, either in King Henry's time, or King Edward's
(if there were any translation, or correction of a translation in his
time) or Queen Elizabeth's of ever renowned memory, that we
acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and
furnishing of his Church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of
posterity in everlasting remembrance. The judgment of Aristotle is
worthy and well known: "If Timotheus had not been, we had not had much
sweet music; but if Phrynis [Timotheus his master] had not been, we
had not had Timotheus." Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured
be their name, that break the ice, and giveth onset upon that which
helpeth forward to the saving of souls. Now what can be more available
thereto, than to deliver God's book unto God's people in a tongue
which they understand? Since of a hidden treasure, and of a fountain
that is sealed, there is no profit, as Ptolemy Philadelph wrote to the
Rabbins or masters of the Jews, as witnesseth Epiphanius: [S. Epiphan.
loco ante citato.] and as S. Augustine saith; "A man had rather be
with his dog than with a stranger (whose tongue is strange unto him)."
[S. Augustin. lib. 19. de civil. Dei. c. 7.] Yet for all that, as
nothing is begun and perfected at the same time, and the later
thoughts are thought to be the wiser: so, if we building upon their
foundation that went before us, and being holpen by their labours, do
endeavor to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are
sure, hath cause to mislike us; they, we persuade ourselves, if they
were alive, would thank us. The vintage of Abienzer, that strake the
stroke: yet the gleaning of grapes of Ephraim was not to be despised.
See Judges 8:2. Joash the king of Israel did not satisfy himself, till
he had smitten the ground three times; and yet he offended the
Prophet, for giving over then. [2 Kings 13:18-19] Aquila, of whom we
spake before, translated the Bible as carefully, and as skilfully as
he could; and yet he thought good to go over it again, and then it got
the credit with the Jews, to be called accurately done, as Saint
Jerome witnesseth. [S. Jerome. in Ezech. cap. 3.] How many books of
profane learning have been gone over again and again, by the same
translators, by others? Of one and the same book of Aristotle's
Ethics, there are extant not so few as six or seven several
translations. Now if this cost may be bestowed upon the gourd, which
affordeth us a little shade, and which today flourisheth, but tomorrow
is cut down; what may we bestow, nay what ought we not to bestow upon
the Vine, the fruit whereof maketh glad the conscience of man, and the
stem whereof abideth forever? And this is the word of God, which we
translate. "What is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord?" [Jer
23:28] Tanti vitreum, quanti verum margaritum (saith Tertullian,)
[Tertul. ad Martyr.] if a toy of glass be of that reckoning with us,
how ought we to value the true pearl? [Jerome. ad Salvin.] Therefore
let no man's eye be evil, because his Majesty's is good; neither let
any be grieved, that we have a Prince that seeketh the increase of the
spiritual wealth of Israel (let Sanballats and Tobiahs do so, which
therefore do bear their just reproof) but let us rather bless God from
the ground of our heart, for working this religious care in him, to
have the translations of the Bible maturely considered of and
examined. For by this means it cometh to pass, that whatsoever is
sound already (and all is sound for substance, in one or other of our
editions, and the worst of ours far better than their authentic
vulgar) the same will shine as gold more brightly, being rubbed and
polished; also, if anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so
agreeable to the original, the same may be corrected, and the truth
set in place. And what can the King command to be done, that will
bring him more true honour than this? and wherein could they that have
been set a work, approve their duty to the King, yea their obedience
to God, and love to his Saints more, than by yielding their service,
and all that is within them, for the furnishing of the work? But
besides all this, they were the principal motives of it, and therefore
ought least toquarrel it: for the very Historical truth is, that upon
the importunate petitions of the Puritans, at his Majesty's coming to
this Crown, the Conference at Hampton Court having been appointed for
hearing their complaints: when by force of reason they were put from
other grounds, they had recourse at the last, to this shift, that they
could not with good conscience subscribe to the Communion book, since
it maintained the Bible as it was there translated, which was as they
said, a most corrupted translation. And although this was judged to be
but a very poor and empty shift; yet even hereupon did his Majesty
begin to bethink himself of the good that might ensue by a new
translation, and presently after gave order for this Translation which
is now presented unto thee. Thus much to satisfy our scrupulous
AN ANSWER TO THE IMPUTATIONS OF OUR ADVERSARIES
Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and
avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set
forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of
the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word
of God. As the King's speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being
translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King's
speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like
grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for
sense, everywhere. For it is confessed, that things are to take their
denomination of the greater part; and a natural man could say, Verum
ubi multa nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendor maculis, etc.
[Horace.] A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made
many slips in his life, (else, there were none virtuous, for in many
things we offend all) [James 3:2] also a comely man and lovely, though
he have some warts upon his hand, yea, not only freckles upon his
face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the word translated
should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current,
notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in
the setting forth of it. For whatever was perfect under the Sun, where
Apostles or Apostolic men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary
measure of God's spirit, and privileged with the privilege of
infallibility, had not their hand? The Romanists therefore in refusing
to hear, and daring to burn the Word translated, did no less than
despite the spirit of grace, from whom originally it proceeded, and
whose sense and meaning, as well as man's weakness would enable, it
did express. Judge by an example or two. Plutarch writeth, that after
that Rome had been burnt by the Gauls, they fell soon to build it
again: but doing it in haste, they did not cast the streets, nor
proportion the houses in such comely fashion, as had been most
slightly and convenient; [Plutarch in Camillo.] 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 Ezra, and the prophecy of Haggai it may be gathered,
that the Temple built by Zerubbabel after the return from Babylon, was
by no means to be compared to the former built by Solomon (for they
that remembered the former, wept when they considered the latter)
[Ezra 3:12] notwithstanding, might this latter either have been
abhorred and forsaken by the Jews, or profaned by the Greeks? The like
we are to think of Translations. The translation of the Seventy
dissenteth from the Original in many places, neither doth it come near
it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the Apostles did
condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it, (as it is apparent, and as
Saint Jerome and most learned men do confess) which they would not
have done, nor by their example of using it, so grace and commend it
to the Church, if it had been unworthy of the appellation and name of
the word of God. And whereas they urge for their second defence of
their vilifying and abusing of the English Bibles, or some pieces
thereof, which they meet with, for that heretics (forsooth) were the
Authors of the translations, (heretics they call us by the same right
that they call themselves Catholics, both being wrong) we marvel what
divinity taught them so. We are sure Tertullian was of another mind:
Ex personis probamus fidem, an ex fide personas? [Tertul. de
praescript. contra haereses.] Do we try men's faith by their persons?
we should try their persons by their faith. Also S. Augustine was of
another mind: for he lighting upon certain rules made by Tychonius a
Donatist, for the better understanding of the word, was not ashamed to
make use of them, yea, to insert them into his own book, with giving
commendation to them so far forth as they were worthy to be commended,
as is to be seen in S. Augustine's third book De doctrina Christiana.
[S. August. 3. de doct. Christ. cap. 30.] To be short, Origen, and the
whole Church of God for certain hundred years, were of another mind:
for they were so far from treading under foot, (much more from
burning) the Translation of Aquila a Proselyte, that is, one that had
turned Jew; of Symmachus, and Theodotion, both Ebionites, that is,
most vile heretics, that they joined together with the Hebrew
Original, and the Translation of the Seventy (as hath been before
signified out of Epiphanius) and set them forth openly to be
considered of and perused by all. But we weary the unlearned, who need
not know so much, and trouble the learned, who know it already.
Yet before we end, we must answer a third cavil and objection of
theirs against us, for altering and amending our Translations so oft;
wherein truly they deal hardly, and strangely with us. For to whomever
was it imputed for a fault (by such as were wise) to go over that
which he had done, and to amend it where he saw cause? Saint Augustine
was not afraid to exhort S. Jerome to a Palinodia or recantation; [S.
Aug. Epist. 9.] and doth even glory that he seeth his infirmities. [S.
Aug. Epist. 8.] If we be sons of the Truth, we must consider what it
speaketh, and trample upon our own credit, yea, and upon other men's
too, if either be any way an hindrance to it. This to the cause: then
to the persons we say, that of all men they ought to be most silent in
this case. For what varieties have they, and what alterations have
they made, not only of their Service books, Portesses and Breviaries,
but also of their Latin Translation? The Service book supposed to be
made by S. Ambrose (Officium Ambrosianum) was a great while in special
use and request; but Pope Hadrian calling a Council with the aid of
Charles the Emperor, abolished it, yea, burnt it, and commanded the
Service book of Saint Gregory universally to be used. [Durand. lib. 5.
cap. 2.] Well, Officium Gregorianum gets by this means to be in
credit, but doth it continue without change or altering? No, the very
Roman Service was of two fashions, the New fashion, and the Old, (the
one used in one Church, the other in another) as is to be seen in
Pamelius a Romanist, his Preface, before Micrologus. the same Pamelius
reporteth out Radulphus de Rivo, that about the year of our Lord,
1277, Pope Nicolas the Third removed out of the Churches of Rome, the
more ancient books (of Service) and brought into use the Missals of
the Friers Minorites, and commanded them to be observed there;
insomuch that about an hundred years after, when the above name
Radulphus happened to be at Rome, he found all the books to be new,
(of the new stamp). Neither were there this chopping and changing in
the more ancient times only, but also of late: Pius Quintus himself
confesseth, that every Bishopric almost had a peculiar kind of
service, most unlike to that which others had: which moved him to
abolish all other Breviaries, though never so ancient, and privileged
and published by Bishops in their Dioceses, and to establish and
ratify that only which was of his own setting forth, in the year 1568.
Now when the father of their Church, who gladly would heal the sore of
the daughter of his people softly and slightly, and make the best of
it, findeth so great fault with them for their odds and jarring; we
hope the children have no great cause to vaunt of their uniformity.
But the difference that appeareth between our Translations, and our
often correcting of them, is the thing that we are specially charged
with; let us see therefore whether they themselves be without fault
this way, (if it be to be counted a fault, to correct) and whether
they be fit men to throw stones at us: O tandem maior parcas insane
minori: they that are less sound themselves, out not to object
infirmities to others. [Horat.] If we should tell them that Valla,
Stapulensis, Erasmus, and Vives found fault with their vulgar
Translation, and consequently wished the same to be mended, or a new
one to be made, they would answer peradventure, that we produced their
enemies for witnesses against them; albeit, they were in no other sort
enemies, than as S. Paul was to the Galatians, for telling them the
truth [Gal 4:16]: and it were to be wished, that they had dared to
tell it them plainlier and oftener. But what will they say to this,
that Pope Leo the Tenth allowed Erasmus' Translation of the New
Testament, so much different from the vulgar, by his Apostolic Letter
and Bull; that the same Leo exhorted Pagnine to translate the whole
Bible, and bare whatsoever charges was necessary for the work? [Sixtus
Senens.] Surely, as the Apostle reasoneth to the Hebrews, that if the
former Law and Testament had been sufficient, there had been no need
of the latter: [Heb 7:11 and 8:7] so we may say, that if the old
vulgar had been at all points allowable, to small purpose had labour
and charges been undergone, about framing of a new. If they say, it
was one Pope's private opinion, and that he consulted only himself;
then we are able to go further with them, and to aver, that more of
their chief men of all sorts, even their own Trent champions Paiva and
Vega, and their own Inquisitors, Hieronymus ab Oleastro, and their own
Bishop Isidorus Clarius, and their own Cardinal Thomas a Vio Caietan,
do either make new Translations themselves, or follow new ones of
other men's making, or note the vulgar Interpreter for halting; none
of them fear to dissent from him, nor yet to except against him. And
call they this an uniform tenor of text and judgment about the text,
so many of their Worthies disclaiming the now received conceit? Nay,
we will yet come nearer the quick: doth not their Paris edition differ
from the Lovaine, and Hentenius his from them both, and yet all of
them allowed by authority? Nay, doth not Sixtus Quintus confess, that
certain Catholics (he meaneth certain of his own side) were in such an
humor of translating the Scriptures into Latin, that Satan taking
occasion by them, though they thought of no such matter, did strive
what he could, out of so uncertain and manifold a variety of
Translations, so to mingle all things, that nothing might seem to be
left certain and firm in them, etc.? [Sixtus 5. praefat. fixa
Bibliis.] Nay, further, did not the same Sixtus ordain by an
inviolable decree, and that with the counsel and consent of his
Cardinals, that the Latin edition of the old and new Testament, which
the Council of Trent would have to be authentic, is the same without
controversy which he then set forth, being diligently corrected and
printed in the Printing-house of Vatican? Thus Sixtus in his Preface
before his Bible. And yet Clement the Eighth his immediate successor,
published another edition of the Bible, containing in it infinite
differences from that of Sixtus, (and many of them weighty and
material) and yet this must be authentic by all means. What is to have
the faith of our glorious Lord JESUS CHRIST with Yea or Nay, if this
be not? Again, what is sweet harmony and consent, if this be?
Therefore, as Demaratus of Corinth advised a great King, before he
talked of the dissensions of the Grecians, to compose his domestic
broils (for at that time his Queen and his son and heir were at deadly
feud with him) so all the while that our adversaries do make so many
and so various editions themselves, and do jar so much about the worth
and authority of them, they can with no show of equity challenge us
for changing and correcting.
THE PURPOSE OF THE TRANSLATORS, WITH THEIR NUMBER, FURNITURE, CARE, ETC.
But it is high time to leave them, and to show in brief what we
proposed to ourselves, and what course we held in this our perusal and
survey of the Bible. Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought
from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor
yet to make of a bad one a good one, (for then the imputation of
Sixtus had been true in some sort, that our people had been fed with
gall of Dragons instead of wine, with whey instead of milk:) but to
make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good
one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavor,
that our mark. To that purpose there were many chosen, that were
greater in other men's eyes than in their own, and that sought the
truth rather than their own praise. Again, they came or were thought
to come to the work, not exercendi causa (as one saith) but
exercitati, that is, learned, not to learn: For the chief overseer and
[NOTE: Greek letters omitted] under his Majesty, to whom not only we,
but also our whole Church was much bound, knew by his wisdom, which
thing also Nazianzen taught so long ago, that it is a preposterous
order to teach first and to learn after, yea that [NOTE: Greek letters
omitted] to learn and practice together, is neither commendable for
the workman, nor safe for the work. [Idem in Apologet.] Therefore such
were thought upon, as could say modestly with Saint Jerome, Et
Hebreaeum Sermonem ex parte didicimus, et in Latino pene ab ipsis
incunabulis etc. detriti sumus. "Both we have learned the Hebrew
tongue in part, and in the Latin we have been exercised almost from
our very cradle." S. Jerome maketh no mention of the Greek tongue,
wherein yet he did excel, because he translated not the old Testament
out of Greek, but out of Hebrew. And in what sort did these assemble?
In the trust of their own knowledge, or of their sharpness of wit, or
deepness of judgment, as it were in an arm of flesh? At no hand. They
trusted in him that hath the key of David, opening and no man
shutting; they prayed to the Lord the Father of our Lord, to the
effect that S. Augustine did; "O let thy Scriptures be my pure
delight, let me not be deceived in them, neither let me deceive by
them." [S. Aug. lib. II. Confess. cap. 2.] In this confidence, and
with this devotion did they assemble together; not too many, lest one
should trouble another; and yet many, lest many things haply might
escape them. If you ask what they had before them, truly it was the
Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New. These are the
two golden pipes, or rather conduits, where-through the olive branches
empty themselves into the gold. Saint Augustine calleth them
precedent, or original tongues; [S. August. 3. de doctr. c. 3. etc.]
Saint Jerome, fountains. [S. Jerome. ad Suniam et Fretel.] The same
Saint Jerome affirmeth, [S. Jerome. ad Lucinium, Dist. 9 ut veterum.]
and Gratian hath not spared to put it into his Decree, That "as the
credit of the old Books" (he meaneth of the Old Testament) "is to be
tried by the Hebrew Volumes, so of the New by the Greek tongue," he
meaneth by the original Greek. If truth be tried by these tongues,
then whence should a Translation be made, but out of them? These
tongues therefore, the Scriptures we say in those tongues, we set
before us to translate, being the tongues wherein God was pleased to
speak to his Church by the Prophets and Apostles. Neither did we run
over the work with that posting haste that the Septuagint did, if that
be true which is reported of them, that they finished it in 72 days;
[Joseph. Antiq. lib. 12.] neither were we barred or hindered from
going over it again, having once done it, like S. Jerome, if that be
true which himself reporteth, that he could no sooner write anything,
but presently it was caught from him, and published, and he could not
have leave to mend it: [S. Jerome. ad Pammac. pro libr. advers.
Iovinian.] neither, to be short, were we the first that fell in hand
with translating the Scripture into English, and consequently
destitute of former helps, as it is written of Origen, that he was the
first in a manner, that put his hand to write Commentaries upon the
Scriptures, [Sophoc. in Elect.] and therefore no marvel, if he
overshot himself many times. None of these things: the work hath not
been huddled up in 72 days, but hath cost the workmen, as light as it
seemeth, the pains of twice seven times seventy two days and more:
matters of such weight and consequence are to be speeded with
maturity: for in a business of movement a man feareth not the blame of
convenient slackness. [S. Chrysost. in II. Thess. cap. 2.] Neither did
we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee,
Hebrew, Syrian, Greek or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian,
or Dutch; neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done, and
to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered: but having and
using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for
slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at length,
through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to that
pass that you see.
REASONS MOVING US TO SET DIVERSITY OF SENSES IN THE MARGIN, WHERE
THERE IS GREAT PROBABILITY FOR EACH
Some peradventure would have no variety of senses to be set in the
margin, lest the authority of the Scriptures for deciding of
controversies by that show of uncertainty, should somewhat be shaken.
But we hold their judgment not to be sound in this point. For though,
"whatsoever things are necessary are manifest," as S. Chrysostom
saith, [S. Chrysost. in II. Thess. cap. 2.] and as S. Augustine, "In
those things that are plainly set down in the Scriptures, all such
matters are found that concern Faith, Hope, and Charity." [S. Aug. 2.
de doctr. Christ. cap. 9.] Yet for all that it cannot be dissembled,
that partly to exercise and whet our wits, partly to wean the curious
from the loathing of them for their every-where plainness, partly also
to stir up our devotion to crave the assistance of God's spirit by
prayer, and lastly, that we might be forward to seek aid of our
brethren by conference, and never scorn those that be not in all
respects so complete as they should be, being to seek in many things
ourselves, it hath pleased God in his divine providence, here and
there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and
doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern salvation, (for in
such it hath been vouched that the Scriptures are plain) but in
matters of less moment, that fearfulness would better beseem us than
confidence, and if we will resolve upon modesty with S. Augustine,
(though not in this same case altogether, yet upon the same ground)
Melius est debitare de occultis, quam litigare de incertis, [S. Aug
li. S. de Genes. ad liter. cap. 5.] "it is better to make doubt of
those things which are secret, than to strive about those things that
are uncertain." There be many words in the Scriptures, which be never
found there but once, (having neither brother or neighbor, as the
Hebrews speak) so that we cannot be holpen by conference of places.
Again, there be many rare names of certain birds, beasts and precious
stones, etc. concerning the Hebrews themselves are so divided among
themselves for judgment, that they may seem to have defined this or
that, rather because they would say something, than because they were
sure of that which they said, as S. Jerome somewhere saith of the
Septuagint. Now in such a case, doth not a margin do well to admonish
the Reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this
or that peremptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of
those things that are evident: so to determine of such things as the
Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgment of the judicious)
questionable, can be no less than presumption. Therefore as S.
Augustine saith, that variety of Translations is profitable for the
finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: [S. Aug. 2. de doctr.
Christian. cap. 14.] so diversity of signification and sense in the
margin, where the text is no so clear, must needs do good, yea, is
necessary, as we are persuaded. We know that Sixtus Quintus expressly
forbiddeth, that any variety of readings of their vulgar edition,
should be put in the margin, [Sixtus 5. praef. Bibliae.] (which though
it be not altogether the same thing to that we have in hand, yet it
looketh that way) but we think he hath not all of his own side his
favorers, for this conceit. They that are wise, had rather have their
judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than to be captivated
to one, when it may be the other. If they were sure that their high
Priest had all laws shut up in his breast, as Paul the Second bragged,
[Plat. in Paulo secundo.] and that he were as free from error by
special privilege, as the Dictators of Rome were made by law
inviolable, it were another matter; then his word were an Oracle, his
opinion a decision. But the eyes of the world are now open, God be
thanked, and have been a great while, they find that he is subject to
the same affections and infirmities that others be, that his skin is
penetrable, and therefore so much as he proveth, not as much as he
claimeth, they grant and embrace.
REASONS INDUCING US NOT TO STAND CURIOUSLY UPON AN IDENTITY OF
Another things we think good to admonish thee of (gentle Reader) that
we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an
identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done,
because they observe, that some learned men somewhere, have been as
exact as they could that way. Truly, that we might not vary from the
sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified
that same in both places (for there be some words that be not the same
sense everywhere) we were especially careful, and made a conscience,
according to our duty. But, that we should express the same notion in
the same particular word; as for example, if we translate the Hebrew
or Greek word once by PURPOSE, never to call it INTENT; if one where
JOURNEYING, never TRAVELING; if one where THINK, never SUPPOSE; if one
where PAIN, never ACHE; if one where JOY, never GLADNESS, etc. Thus to
mince the matter, we thought to savour more of curiosity than wisdom,
and that rather it would breed scorn in the Atheist, than bring profit
to the godly Reader. For is the kingdom of God to become words or
syllables? why should we be in bondage to them if we may be free, use
one precisely when we may use another no less fit, as commodiously? A
godly Father in the Primitive time showed himself greatly moved, that
one of newfangledness called [NOTE: Greek omitted but was a dispute
over the word for "a bed"] [Niceph. Calist. lib.8. cap.42.] though the
difference be little or none; and another reporteth that he was much
abused for turning "Cucurbita" (to which reading the people had been
used) into "Hedera". [S. Jerome in 4. Ionae. See S. Aug: epist. 10.]
Now if this happens in better times, and upon so small occasions, we
might justly fear hard censure, if generally we should make verbal and
unnecessary changings. We might also be charged (by scoffers) with
some unequal dealing towards a great number of good English words. For
as it is written of a certain great Philosopher, that he should say ,
that those logs were happy that were made images to be worshipped; for
their fellows, as good as they, lay for blocks behind the fire: so if
we should say, as it were, unto certain words, Stand up higher, have a
place in the Bible always, and to others of like quality, Get ye
hence, be banished forever, we might be taxed peradventure with S.
James his words, namely, "To be partial in ourselves and judges of
evil thoughts." Add hereunto, that niceness in words was always
counted the next step to trifling, and so was to be curious about
names too: also that we cannot follow a better pattern for elocution
than God himself; therefore he using divers words, in his holy writ,
and indifferently for one thing in nature: [see Euseb. li. 12. ex
Platon.] we, if we will not be superstitious, may use the same liberty
in our English versions out of Hebrew and Greek, for that copy or
store that he hath given us. Lastly, we have on the one side avoided
the scrupulosity of the Puritans, who leave the old Ecclesiastical
words, and betake them to other, as when they put WASHING for BAPTISM,
and CONGREGATION instead of CHURCH: as also on the other side we have
shunned the obscurity of the Papists, in their AZIMES, TUNIKE,
RATIONAL, HOLOCAUSTS, PRAEPUCE, PASCHE, and a number of such like,
whereof their late Translation is full, and that of purpose to darken
the sense, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the
language thereof, it may be kept from being understood. But we desire
that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of
Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar.
Many other things we might give thee warning of (gentle Reader) if we
had not exceeded the measure of a Preface already. It remaineth, that
we commend thee to God, and to the Spirit of his grace, which is able
to build further than we can ask or think. He removeth the scales from
our eyes, the vail from our hearts, opening our wits that we may
understand his word, enlarging our hearts, yea correcting our
affections, that we may love it to the end. Ye are brought unto
fountains of living water which ye digged not; do not cast earth into
them with the Philistines, neither prefer broken pits before them with
the wicked Jews. [Gen 26:15. Jer 2:13.] Others have laboured, and you
may enter into their labours; O receive not so great things in vain, O
despise not so great salvation! Be not like swine to tread under foot
so precious things, neither yet like dogs to tear and abuse holy
things. Say not to our Saviour with the Gergesites, Depart out of our
coast [Matt 8:34]; neither yet with Esau sell your birthright for a
mess of pottage [Heb 12:16]. If light be come into the world, love not
darkness more than light; if food, if clothing be offered, go not
naked, starve not yourselves. Remember the advice of Nazianzene, "It
is a grievous thing" (or dangerous) "to neglect a great fair, and to
seek to make markets afterwards:" also the encouragement of S.
Chrysostom, "It is altogether impossible, that he that is sober" (and
watchful) "should at any time be neglected:" [S. Chrysost. in epist.
ad Rom. cap. 14. oral. 26.] Lastly, the admonition and menacing of S.
Augustine, "They that despise God's will inviting them, shall feel
God's will taking vengeance of them." [S. August. ad artic. sibi falso
object. Artic. 16.] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of
the living God; [Heb 10:31] but a blessed thing it is, and will bring
us to everlasting blessedness in the end, when God speaketh unto us,
to hearken; when he setteth his word before us, to read it; when he
stretcheth out his hand and calleth, to answer, Here am I, here we are
to do thy will, O God. The Lord work a care and conscience in us to
know him and serve him, that we may be acknowledged of him at the
appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the holy Ghost, be
all praise and thanksgiving.
A DEFENSE of the K.J.V. BIBLE @ Pilgrim Publications
DON'T BLAME the KJV for "KING JAMES ONLYISM" !!
by BOB L. ROSS
I have often been upset by reading or hearing someone in the
news media refer to what the "Christians" did to the Jews in Germany
during World War II. For example, a religious magazine published a
speech by a U. S. Senator entitled, "How Could Christians Have Done
This?" -- as if to say that Hitler and his henchmen were indeed
authentic Christians simply because they may have identified with some
"branch" of professed "Christendom".
Years ago, in the time of one of our "cussin'" presidents, I
often winced when I would read the foul language of the "Baptist" who
occupied the White House. It made me a little ashamed to be a Baptist
when he humiliated us before the rest of the nation.
When I first moved to Pasadena, Texas, you would know you
were close to "home" when you could smell the stenchy odors which
occasionally defiled the air, rising from some of the Houston-based
industries along the nearby Houston ship channel. To tell people in
Houston that you lived in "Pasadena" would often draw a little grin
and a remark about "Stinkadena" where "the air is greener".
A "Jehovah's Witness" is not necessarily a witness for
Jehovah. And a "Christian Scientist" is not necessarily either a
Christian or a scientist. A member of the group called "People for the
American Way" is not necessarily traditional American for advocates of
the traditional American way.
Likewise, "King James Version-Onlyism" is just as much a
misnomer as the foregoing names and the vain use of those names. I am
a reader and user of the KJV, yet I am as much an opponent of the
heresy of "KJV Onlyism" as I am an opponent of the cult which is
called "Church of Christ", and that is because of the heresies of
both. The KJV itself, its Translators, and its teachings -- are NOT
responsible for the modern wolf-in-sheep's clothing which parades as
I will use the Translators to the Readers preface to the 1611 King
James Version [the 1611 KJV is no longer in use, but was recently
reprinted by Thomas Nelson Publishers/Nashville TN] to expose a few of
the Fallacies of the modern day "KJV-Only" cult. The translators
were NOT "KJV-Onlyites". Do you suppose, in your wildest
imagination... that John Rainolds, Lancelot Andrewes, Miles Smith and
the other scholars who were chosen to work on the English translation,
would appreciate the "defense" of their creation by the likes of
Benjamin Wilkinson, J. J. Ray, David Otis Fuller, Peter S. Ruckman,
Gail Riplinger, Jack Hyles, Jack Chick, Texe Marrs, D. A. Waite, Sam
Gipp, William Grady, Larry Vance, The Flaming Torch and their
cadre? I rather suspect that these "defenders" of the KJV would more
likely receive the type of reaction which Paul made to the woman who
commended the Apostle [Acts 16:17-18].
| 1 |
The KJV Translators had respect for and recommended
Far from being "KJV Onlyism", the men who translated the
King James Version respected the validity and usefulness of other
translations. In the preface of the 1611 KJV, we read: "...we affirm
and avow, that the very meanest [poorest or least esteemed]
translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our
profession... contains the Word of God, nay, IS THE WORD OF GOD". They
said that "though it be not interpreted by every Translator with like
grace", the King's speech is "still the King's speech"; thus, "No
cause therefore why the Word translated should be denied to be the
Word, or forbidden to be currant [used], notwithstanding that some
imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth
[translating] of it." This is completely opposite to the modern
cultism of "KJV-Onlyism!" This statement would be immediately
deprecated as "apostasy" and "New Ageism" by so many "KJV Onlyites"
such as Ruckman, Riplinger, Hyles, Gipp, Grady, etc., etc.
| 2 |
The KJV Translators believed in the validity of the
One of the modern notions of some "KJV-Onlyites" is to
deprecate the Septuagint, the ancient Greek Old Testament used in the
time of Jesus and the Apostles. The KJV translators, however, refer to
the Septuagint as being used by the Apostles and as being the "Word of
God". The modern writers of fiction, in the "KJV Only" camp,
contrarily spin-off the "tale" that Origen is responsible for the
Septuagint and that it is a "post-apostolic creation".
| 3 |
The KJV Translators defended the practice of
"amending" ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
of the Bible.
One of the "cavils and objection" against the KJV to which
the translators replied was the idea that there was no need for any
alternation of the current translation in common use. They summon the
history of Bible revisions to demonstrate the fact that such an
objection is contrary to the perpetuity of the Bible from the past to
the present. The Bible, at any given time, is what it is as a result
of the translating and revision of the Hebrew and Greek scholars
across time. From Jerome to Wycliff to Erasmus to Tyndale and on to
our present time, arriving at the most authentic translation of the
"Originals", has been sought by such men as the Translators of the
KJV. This was their attitude in contradiction to modern "KJV-Onlyism".
| 4 |
The King James Translators believed that
OTHER VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS
"Therefore", they say, "as St. Augustine saith, that variety
of translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the
Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin,
where the text is not so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary,
as we are persuaded." The KJV translators placed hundreds of notations
& alternative readings in the margins of the 1611 translation. They
made use of other translations, not only in English, but other
languages, past and current to arrive at what appeared to them to be
| 5 |
KJV Translators were NOT, in any form, "KJV-ONLYites."
Even though they diligently sought to set forth an accurate
translation, the King James translators did NOT believe in
translation-bias "final authority", nor claim to have produced a
"final" Bible free of any further alternation. They say that "if
anything be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the
original, the same may be corrected, and the truer set in place." And,
indeed, subsequent Revisions of the KJV were made, with the 1769
edition best representing the KJV used today, 6 times revised since
the "Original 1611" KJV.
Most would find the English of 1611 cumbersome and difficult
to read, since spelling has changed so much. Even the meaning of some
English words of the 17th century have significantly changed,
necessitating clarification in certain passages. Many "KJV Onlyites"
say our language has degenerated & we need to go "back" to the 17th
century English! Fortunately, sanity is still dominant as opposed to
such "looney-toons". Some word changes in today's KJV [1850 revision]
are erroneous, while others are mainly incidental; ** yet most "KJV
Onlyites" (thinking they have an "infallible" 1611 edition in their
hands) state it is "perfect", including the added italicized words!
The KJV translators certainly did NOT think so as they added hundreds
of alternate readings (translations) in the 1611's margin. With
today's "KJV Only" mindset, these additional word comparisons would be
considered rank heresy!
** [see "KJV Revision is No 'Myth'!" by Gary Hudson -- Proof
of actual word changes in the KJV revisions which sometimes, but not
always, affect the sense of passages] -- examples: 1 John 5:12 1611
KJV--"he that hath not the Son, hath not life" || Current KJV--"he
that hath not the Son of God hath not life" ~~ or Matthew 16:16 1611
KJV--"Thou art Christ" || Current KJV--"Thou art the Christ." It must
be a shock to "KJV Onlyites" that the 1611 KJV is different than the
current KJV since they affirm that the "1611 KJV is God's perfectly
preserved words:" but yet, even with the different words, the actual
meaning here is the SAME for both KJV editions. This is the ongoing
goal of bible translating, using different, various, easier words to
arrive at the same meaning of the original Hebrew / Greek / Aramaic
words; and we all have the ability to study languages and compare
translations. All translations in all languages PRESERVE the Word of
God everywhere they properly translate the original languages.
>>> But wait ! What does the KJV-Onlyite say about this word change:
Jeremiah 34:16 (Cambridge KJV's) -- "...whom YE had set at
liberty..." || or || (Oxford KJV's & most other publishers' KJV's) --
"...whom HE had set at liberty..." Which KJV is "perfect?" Which one
do YOU have? Is yours INFALLIBLE and INERRANT? Are you sure that your
KJV is THE "perfect" one? There is quite a difference between whether
you are addressing a "ye" or speaking about a "he". Well, the original
1611 KJV reads "whom ye", but this cannot be the decisive reference
because the original 1611 contained numerous variations, including
"he" instead of "she" at Ruth 3:15 ("she went into the city"). The
context of Jeremiah 34:16 seems to support "whom ye", but the HEBREW
MASORETIC OLD TESTAMENT settles the matter, reading in the second
person ("whom ye"). It is the HEBREW TEXT that reveals the correct
reading. God tells us whether He said "whom ye" or "whom he", just as
He tells us whether He said "he went" or "she went." [It is to be
understood here that not all Nelson and World KJV's follow the Oxford
tradition, yet, ONLY KJV's following the Cambridge printing are
Dr. F. H. A. Scrivener, perhaps the greatest authority on the history
of the Authorized Version, aptly said concerning these word changes
that "much of the greater part of them are deliberate changes,
introduced silently and without authority by men whose very names are
often unknown." [The Authorized Edition of the English Bible,
1611--Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives, Cambridge,
1884, pg. 3] Also, Dr. Benjamin Blayney, whose 1769 edition best
represents the current KJV, said concerning his KJV revision that,
"many errors that were found in former editions have been corrected,
and the text reformed to such a standard of purity, as, it is
presumed, is not to be met with in any other edition hitherto extant"
(Scrivener, pg. 238, emphasis ours). Most importantly, however, is a
key reason for many of Blayney's 1769 "corrections" when he says,
"Frequent recourse has been made to the Hebrew and Greek
Originals." -- "KJV Revision is No 'Myth'!" available from
Now, what we have written above is NOT an "attack on the KJV", but an
attack on ERROR. We are not "fault finding" our King James Bibles,
only revealing the logical inconsistency of those who so boldly
expound the theory of "KJV-inerrancy". And it is indeed a MAN-MADE
teaching not supported ANYWHERE in Scripture! One variant in our KJV's
(such as with Jeremiah 34:16) demolishes Ruckman's entire theory of
"KJV-inerrancy and exact versionism". That, and that alone has been
our purpose in presenting the above material.
| 6 |
"KJV-ONLYism," -- a form of  ROMANISM .
When one reads the preface to the 1611 King James Bible, he
discovers that many of the objections offered today against
"modern" bible translations were some of the very same objections
offered against the KJV [of course, some objections today --
Riplinger, etc. -- are simply ridiculous and ignorant.] "Why a new
translation? Wasn't the former translation not a good one? Has the
church been deceived all this time?" In fact, due to the overwhelming
use and popularity of the Geneva Bible (first produced under John
Calvin and John Knox in the 1560s), it took 50 years after 1611 for
the KJV to surpass it in readership and distribution [a feat that the
New International Version/NIV equaled in less than 20 years -- since
1991, among all English translations in print, it is now the most
popular Bible sold].
The chief opponent of Bible translating has been the Roman
church which venerated its Latin Vulgate as the "one-and-only
authentic Word of God." The KJV translators, members of the Church of
England, a "split" off the Roman Church, were criticized for the fact
that their translation would further denigrate the Latin Vulgate. In
the 20th century, that same attitude is prevalent in KJV-Only
"theories": every new English translation is an "attack upon the KJV"
-- "only done for $$" -- "promoting the 'New Age'" -- "blah, blah,
blah..." To the many "KJV-Onlyites", the KJV is their "Latin Vulgate"
...it and it alone [!] is the "one-and-only perfectly, preserved" Word
But, the KJV Translators were NOT OF THAT MIND. And "KJV
Onlyism" is NOT a product of the translators NOR the King James Bible.
One does NOT endorse "KJV Onlyism" by using the KJV, and one is NOT an
apostate by using other translations. "KJV Onlyism" is a cultic
philosophy and has victimized the KJV by deceiving people so as to
reap various benefits from the victims -- namely, their devotion and
dollars. It is basically the Romanist mentality of the Dark Ages.
written by  Bob L. Ross
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"THE TRANSLATORS WERE UNINSPIRED MEN, AND CONSEQUENTLY LIABLE
TO MISTAKES; THE TRANSLATION IS 'INSPIRED', SO FAR AS IT
EXACTLY GIVES THE ORIGINAL ...SO FAR, NO MORE"
| JOHN GIRARDEAU |
"VARIETY OF TRANSLATIONS IS PROFITABLE FOR FINDING OUT OF
THE SENSE OF THE SCRIPTURES."
| the TRANSLATORS of the KING JAMES VERSION to the READERS |
"THERE IS EVEN NOW, WITH SOME IGNORANT PERSONS, AN ASSUMPTION
OF THE INFALLIBILITY AND EQUALITY WITH THE ORIGINAL, OF SOME
PARTICULAR TRANSLATION--AS TO THE VULGATE, OR KING JAMES, OR
| Basil Manley |
Visit this developing site for more excellent material on...
NOTES OF INTEREST
by Bob L. Ross
"CORRUPT" MANUSCRIPTS ?
Many times I hear KJV-Onlyites mention manuscripts other
than the textus receptus as "corrupt". Well, since there are no
"originals" or exact copies of them in existence, & since no two
existing manuscripts are exactly alike, IF one uses the term "corrupt"
to include any manuscript which is NOT exactly as the "originals" --
then you have to say that ALL of them are "corrupt!" There is no
single manuscript in existence which can be placed side-by-side with
ANY translation to exactly parallel it.
Beza put together a text in the 16th century that most
KJV-Onlyites hold up as being "essentially" the original New
Testament. Yet the KJV does NOT exactly parallel that text. The
Trinitarian Bible Society publishes a "TR" which was put together by
F. H. A. Scrivener to "match" the current KJV, but that was not
available in "one" until the last century. The "Majority Text" does
not match the KJV, either.
According to most KJV-Only "scholars", they admit there is
only a small percentage of difference between the "TR" family of
manuscripts and the other "family". They also admit that there is not
a single important or major difference between them in their vital
teachings. No doctrine is "corrupted" by either "family" of
manuscripts. Even in the translations, KJV-Onlys admit that the
all-important truth of Salvation is in them so that a person could be
saved. God HAS preserved His Word in both "families" of manuscripts,
despite any "omissions" or "additions" that copyists have made in
A good book on this subject is Norman Pickering's The
Identity of the New Testament Text [Thomas Nelson, 1977, 1980]. To my
knowledge, Pickering does NOT affirm that any particular manuscript or
"family" of manuscripts is exactly reproduced by a translation, not
even the KJV Bible. He was one of the Consulting Editors on the
"Majority Text", and it omits, for example, the disputed words of 1
John 5:7--used in the KJV but controversial as to its textual
[ A History of the Debate Over 1 John 5:7-8 - see Michael
Maynard's book for a study on this scripture. Also, one of the most
thorough articles I have read in regard to the controversy about
this passage was published in "Olde Paths and Ancient Landmarks"
magazine of October 1993. If you would like a copy, write to Editor
Glen Conjurske, 3540 Hwy 47 N, Rhinelander WI 54501 -- enclosed $
1.00 to cover cost]
In a letter published in our magazine first's issue (1990),
Mr. Pickering said: "The nature of language does not permit a
'perfect' translation -- the semantic area of words differs between
languages so that there is seldom complete overlap. A 'perfect'
translation of John 3:16 from Greek into English is impossible, for we
have no perfect equivalent for "agapao" [translated "loved" in Jn.
3:16]." He says that IF the KJV is the only "infallible" Bible, "then
no one who lived before that date had access to it -- & with the 6
subsequent revisions of the original 1611 KJV, containing hundreds of
word changes, this would mean God's "infallible translation" is... NOT
infallible! -- those "infallibly translated words" -- have CHANGED.
This is just another KJV-Only theory I refer to as PURE HOKEY! No
one even uses a "1611 KJV" today!
Do you know a single cult which originally developed from
the use of a version other than the KJV? Even the "Jehovah Witnesses"
originally used the KJV. The only "cult" I know that has developed in
relation to a translation is... the "KJV-Only" cult itself!
"KJV-Onlyism" is simply a "hobby-horse" promoted to sell
books, videos, magazines, pamphlets, trinkets, and all types of other
merchandise to people who are misled to think such stuff is vital to
the "defense of the faith".
While we oppose the type of "KJV-Onlyism" which is of the
cultic variety mentioned above and elsewhere in our articles, I want
to make it clear that we are not doing either of the following: 1)
"repudiating" the KJV, and 2) "promoting" other versions. What we are
DOING is defending the very same "rights" assumed by the KJV
Translators when they made their translation. We have as much "right"
as they did to study Greek and Hebrew texts and manuscripts, past and
present Bible translations, lexicons, etc and expound what appears to
us to be Scripture and its teaching.
The 57 translators who worked on the KJV are not the "Final
Authority", as inferred by Gail Riplinger in her "Nite Line" video
wherein she repudiates the study of the same and similar sources as
used by the translators. We repudiate making authoritarian "elitists"
out of the KJV translators (which they themselves did NOT do), just as
we repudiate the Romanist "elitists" who claim "authority" via
"apostolic succession". Neither Rome nor the "KJV-Onlyites" will tell
us what we can and cannot do. Who appointed Ruckman, Sam Gipp,
Riplinger, Fuller, Hyles, Waite, etc. etc., over the Lord's vineyard?
Through no fault of the KJV or its translators, the KJV has been
unjustly victimized by modern professed "defenders" who in some
instances actually believe very little of the doctrine that it
While some of our comments are "facetious" and "satirical",
we are simply "answering a fool according to his folly" [Proverbs
26:5]. We don't cast pearls before "swine" [Matthew 7:6]. We are not
"gifted" in the category of slobbering about "love" and "gentleness"
when dealing with Pharisees and Sadducees [Matthew 23] and others who
are to be "rebuked sharply" [1 Timothy 5:20]. If you don't approve and
you think we are wrong, just charge it to our less-than-perfect human
nature [James 3:2]. Replying to false teachers is not the most
pleasant nor the easiest thing to do, but for the sake of the Truth it
is necessary [Jude 3].
"If the history of the Textus Receptus itself is a history of
revision, why is it beyond revision today?" [ROBERT MARTIN, Accuracy
of Translation and the NIV pg. 76]
ACCURACY OF TRANSLATION for the "English
Why DEAN BURGON Would NOT Join the "Dean Burgon
"KING JAMES ONLY HOKEY"
What IS "KING JAMES ONLYISM ?"
KJV REVISION is NO "MYTH" !
The KJV IS A COPYRIGHTED TRANSLATION !
Are MODERN English Bible Translations IRREVERENT?
"NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS" -- A Critical Review
"Not One Jote or One Title..." -- A Plea for
"Original KJV" Spelling
"Original 1611" KJV FOREVER LOST !
QUESTIONS for the KJV-ONLY CULT
QUOTES on BIBLE TRANSLATIONS
IS REVISION of a Bible Translation Always
Does the TEXTUS RECEPTUS "ATTACK" the
"Through his Blood" of COLOSSIANS 1:14 &
UNLEARNED MEN -- True Genealogy & Genesis of
WESTCOTT & HORT -- Were They Members of a
"Ghost Society ?"
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PAGE UPDATED September 21 - 1998
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Religions: Faith Divides the Survivors and It Unites Them, Too
NYTimes January 12, 2005
By AMY WALDMAN
HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka - Next door to four houses flattened
by the tsunami, three rooms of Poorima Jayaratne's home
still stood intact. She had a ready explanation for that
anomaly, and her entire family's survival: she was a
Buddhist, and her neighbors were not.
"Most of the people who lost relatives were Muslim," said
Ms. Jayaratne, 30, adding for good measure that two
Christians were also missing. As proof, she pointed to the
poster of Lord Buddha that still clung to the standing
portion of her house.
The earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 150,000
people reached from Indonesia, the world's most populous
Muslim majority nation, to India, the world's largest Hindu
one. It hit Thailand's Buddhist majority and Muslim
minority, and this tiny island country, which is mostly
Buddhist but has sizable Hindu, Muslim and Christian
Across nations and religions there has been a search for
explanations of not only why the tsunami came but why it
killed some and not others - and a vibrant, sometimes
virulent cottage industry is supplying them.
Some discern a lesson that humanity should unite, citing
the bodies of people of all religions tumbling together
into mass graves, while others see affirmations of the
rightness of their own path. Amid sympathy, there is
judgment; beneath public compassion, a private moralizing.
The tsunami may also deepen religious and ethnic
divisions, perhaps dangerously. In Sri Lanka in recent
years, dozens of churches have been attacked by militant
Buddhists. It is the Christians, some Buddhists say, who
are to blame for the tsunami.
Din Syamsuddin, a cleric and deputy chief of Muhammadiyah,
one of Indonesia's largest Muslim organizations, said the
people of the Aceh region near the epicenter had calmly
accepted the tragedy as a sign of God's disapproval and a
divine examination to test their faith.
Natural disasters are an indication that man has strayed
from the path of God, he said: "We believe it is an
examination, and we face it with passion and submission."
Because a physical tragedy is only a test, Acehnese Muslims
believe, the real punishment may come later, he said.
According to Islamic doctrine, only after critical
self-evaluation and positive deeds can people begin to
repair their relationship with God.
Rebuilding after the tsunami really means "returning to the
center of life, which is God," Mr. Syamsuddin said.
In mostly Hindu India, some see a divine reaction to a
society whose changing economy is feeding corruption and
greed. Muthuvel, 55, a fisherman in Nagappattinam whose
wife is missing, said, "Fishermen are becoming greedy and
jealous of other richer colleagues."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a guru in India who has built a huge
following among the country's growing and stressed middle
class, said: "If you forget nature, this is the way nature
reminds you. Crime and stress punish nature."
Here in Sri Lanka, four religions - Buddhism, Hinduism,
Islam and Christianity - coexist. Their followers'
explanations often exhibit a commonness of belief,
reflecting the primal reasons the religions evolve and the
ways they have influenced one another over time.
Most of the population follows the Theravada school of
Buddhism, in which understanding dukkha, or suffering, is a
central concept, as is accepting the inability to control
it. The Venerable Battapola Nanda, a priest near Galle
whose temple has become a relief camp, said the tsunami
reinforced a central Buddhist tenet: "If you think
something will happen, it never will," he said. "If you
think it never will happen, it will."
A similar sense of the limits of man and the greatness of
God informed the words of Nasir Mohammad, a Muslim textile
shop owner in Hambantota. It is not for humans to explain
why so many children died, but to accept it, he said. "God
makes the world," he said. "He can give, he can take.
Sometimes he gives more. Sometimes he takes."
Always, there is a search for signs, as in the conviction
of Rose Jayasuriya, 59, that her older sister Patricia, 74,
still missing, died blessed because she had just taken
communion when the sea invaded their church. Sri Lankan
Buddhists believe that rebirth follows death, and that sin
and good deeds determine one's future in this life and the
next. Many Buddhists said they suspected that those who had
lost children had done something wrong in a previous life.
M. Vilmot, 49, a baker whose 14 family members survived,
was sure that those who had lost loved ones were being
punished for some sin.
"We earn money the correct way," he said. "That's why it
didn't happen to us." His bakery, perhaps 30 feet from the
sea, was damaged but not destroyed. He said he followed the
five Theravada Buddhist precepts of not lying, stealing,
drinking, philandering or killing animals, while others
only gave money to temples and then misbehaved.
G. H. Bandusile, 44, a fisherman's wife in Koggala, was
certain that punishment was being meted out to the
survivors, not the dead. "The good people are gone," said
Ms. Bandusile, who lost her mother. "The bad people must
stay and suffer."
On a back road in the village of Nagurasa in the Galle
district, T. G. David, a Buddhist farmer and strict
vegetarian whose beard gave him the look of a prophet, said
the fishermen devastated by the tsunami had paid the price
for their work.
"Fishermen are taking life," said Mr. David, who is 72.
"Farmers have no problems."
Sri Lankans of all religions tried to link the ferocity of
nature to the fallibility of man. At the Sri Kathiresan
Temple in Galle, a Hindu temple, A. P. Sethuraman, the
trustee, blamed activities like drinking and drug use by
foreigners in particular.
"Many bad things happen along the seaside," he said. It was
a lesson sent by Lord Shiva, he said: "You must live the
His proof was the local shrine to Vishnu and Kanda, two
Hindu gods. It survived where the buildings all around it
did not. Ramzy Mohammad, 32, a Muslim businessman, said
many Sri Lankan Muslims believed God was angry about
dissension in families, growing drug use and rape.
"He got angry and washed up the water," said Mr. Mohammad,
who lost 11 family members.
The Rev. Charles Hewawasam, a Roman Catholic priest who
lost a nun and 18 members of his congregation in Matara,
Sri Lanka, saw the tsunami as a reaction to ethnic and
"Nature is saying: 'You may have your powers, your
fighting. I can destroy within a second the whole thing,' "
he said. The dead, he added, "have sacrificed their lives
for us to teach a lesson: be together, treat one another as
But for some the kind of divisions he cited seem to have
only been deepened by the disaster.
At the Buddhist temple in Kalatura, Sri Lanka, Nimal Ranjit
Perera blamed an apocryphal Christian who had made a cake
in the shape of Lord Buddha and then cut it with a knife.
Indonesia, he added as an aside, was struck because
Indonesians had been manufacturing and wearing underwear
with the image of Lord Buddha.
At the same temple, Thenahandy Asha, 26, blamed carnivorous
Christians who had "killed many animals" on Christmas, the
day before the tsunami. "God was angry," she said, so on
the next day poya, or full moon day, holy in Buddhism, he
delivered his punishment. Samantha Silva, 24, agreed: God
was angry that so many people had eaten meat, and consumed
alcohol, on Christmas.
But he could not explain why so many Buddhists had died, or
so many children - his own girl and boy, ages 5 and 2,
His brain was too upset to puzzle that out, he said. All he
could do was leave flowers and light lamps at the temple,
and pray that his children's next lives would be good ones.
Evelyn Rusli contributed reporting from Indonesia for this
article, and Hari Kumar from India.
More information about the paleopsych