Monday, September 21, 2015

John R. Rice's "Sword of the Lord" Not KJV Only

We’ve had a previous article or two about the fact John R. Rice, R. L. Sumner, and the Sword of the Lord were not King James Version only. In other words, they did not believe in, and spoke against, the idea that the KJV is the only version for the English speaking world. Of course, after the death of Dr. Rice the Sword of the Lord leadership adopted the modern doctrine of KJV Only. 

The question was raised about a statement of faith the Sword of the Lord founding editor, John R. Rice, required his board to sign. And how that statement was not KJV Only.

Former board member and Associate Editor of the Sword of the Lord, R. L. Sumner recently spoke to this in The Biblical Evangelist:

Some time ago, during a KJVOnly discussion, I made mention of the fact that Dr. John R. Rice had his board members sign a Statement of Faith annually that limited the inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God to the original manuscripts. Someone asked for a copy and I couldn’t find one in my files. The other day, while looking through his longtime secretary’s semi-biography, John R. Rice: “The Captain of Our Team,” I saw where she printed it out in reporting our1965 annual meeting (on pages 251-252 of Captain).

Here is the first point, dealing with inspiration, inerrancy:


1. In the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures and the absolute reliability and authority, without error, in the original manuscripts.

That was what Dr. Rice believed and what he insisted those associated with him believe. Note carefully those words: in the original manuscripts! It was not in the KJV, the NIV, the NASB, or any of the other versions/translations/paraphrases of the day. It was “absolute reliability,” “authority,” and “without error” in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. That was it; and that alone!

Signing that year, as Miss Viola reported it in her book, in the order she reported it, was Dr. John R. Rice, president; Dr. Bill Rice; Dr. Jack Hyles; Dr. R. L. Sumner; Dr. Tom Malone, Al Byers, Evangelist Bud Lyles; Rev. Paul Raker; Mrs. John R. Rice; Miss Fairy Shappard; “and I, Viola Walden.”

It is interesting that Jack Hyles, who announced he was KJVOnly before Rice’s body had time to turn to dust, signed that statement! And it is also interesting that the public position of The Sword of the Lord today is KJVOnly – very definitely not in the tradition of Dr. John R. Rice – or the original position of The Sword of the Lord.

Times change; but Truth doesn’t!

-R. L. Sumner, Biblical Evangelist; August-October, 2015.

The historic, fundamental doctrine of inspiration is that the 66 books of the Bible were inspired by God in the original manuscripts and is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. No particular translation of the Bible has that supernatural divine inspiration, only the original manuscripts. The job of the translator is to have his translation as close to, and as accurate to the original manuscripts as possible. 

The 1611 King James Version was translated by Anglican / Episcopalian Bible scholars. They did an outstanding job, but freely admitted their’s was not a perfect translation. The Bible is the perfect Word of God, not a particular translation.

Good English translations include: KJV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, HCSB. My favorite continues to be the New King James Version. Studying more than one English translation, however, can help in better understanding a particular passage of Scripture.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, September 21, AD 2015. 

John R. Rice and KJV Only
John R. Rice and the Sword of the Lord; Part 1
B. H. Carroll on Inspiration of Bible
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Basic Baptist Doctrines / Beliefs
Scofield Bible, First 100 Years
Bob Jones, Sr. on Wine, Alcohol, Christian Drinking
Lester Roloff Letter to Joe Brumbelow / Separation
R. L. Sumner and the Biblical Evangelist

More articles in lower right margin. 


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