Alexandrian Deceptions 6: The Promise Argument

In this article, we will look at chapter 4 of Fred Butler’s book, Royal Deceptions: Exposing The KING JAMES ONLY Conspiracies Against God’s Word.  This will probably be the last article in this series.  The foolishness in this chapter was the main inspiration for this series and so we will use this article to tie some things together and move on.  My apologies for taking so long to write this long article.  

In this chapter, Butler attempts to discredit the idea that we have the exact words of God in our hands and tries to show that actually all we have is the ideas of God in our hands today (more or less).  He writes, “The biblical idea of “God’s Word,” however, has always been God’s divine revelation and not the physical text as I noted in chapter 3.”  Now, you would think that there would be some kind of verse or precedent from the Bible that would be used to prove that an idea is “biblical” as Butler claims.  But there are no references in chapter 3 of Butler’s book to the Bible.  NONE.  He quotes Augustine, Ambrose, and some Reformers, but there is not one reference to the Bible in the chapter.  I hope you can see the problem here.  

It would be wise for Nothing-Onlyists to temper their statements about “the biblical idea of God’s Word…” when they have no references to the Bible.  They should be honest for once and write something like “the Alexandrian attitude towards God’s words aren’t in the Bible, but we believe it anyway”.  No one in the Bible said one word about “originals” and no one talks about “ideas” being preserved.  Both words (“originals” and “ideas”) are not found in the Bible.  “Divine revelation” is also absent from the Biblical text. Butler, in his LACK of wisdom, doesn’t temper his statements.  He just calls his ideas “biblical” and then leaves out the Biblical references so we can’t check him out.  He wants us to take his word for it.  We won’t.  

As always, we could spend a bunch of time speaking of the blasphemous attitude of Nothing-Onlyists toward the words of God as an introduction, but we’ve covered this ground already.  We will now look at Fred Butler’ supposed refutation of what he calls the “Promise Argument”.  

The Promise Argument Defined

Butler defines the “Promise Argument” this way, “According to KJVO advocates, God has promised throughout the pages of Scripture that He will preserve His Word. This promise of preservation entails more than just the message of God’s entire revelation, but the actual words in the physical, autographic text.”  He continues by saying that we believe that, “God does more than promise the preservation of His overall revelation, but has promised the preservation of the exact words as the prophets and apostles originally penned them.”

Does that sound bad to you?  Sometimes you have to step back and look at things from an eagle’s eye perspective.  If you will do that here, you will observe that no matter how much Butler doesn’t like us or our doctrine, our idea of Biblical preservation is sound.  Somehow fools like Butler can’t see that.  There are issues of the heart at play here.

Butler states that, “I fully affirm God’s preservation of His revelation as it is contained in the pages of the Bible.”  Now we are back to square one.  Which “Bible” is this preserved revelation found in?  He never says.  So we are to understand that somewhere there is a book with words in it.  Somewhere in these words in this nonexistent book is something that Butler believes is the preserved revelation of God.  He “fully affirm(s)” that.  What does he “fully affirm”?  Nothing.  Horse feathers.  All the theological liberals that Butler and his buddies (like Johnnyboy MacArthur) take “bold” stands against, believe exactly the same thing. 

As usual, he is proving our point.  By his own mouth, Butler cannot point to anything that is his Final Authority in writing on earth today.  That is our accusation.  Butler wants us to believe that he believes something, but by his own words, he believes nothing.  Hence we use the nomenclature: Nothing-Onlyist.

He continues by saying, “any reputable, conservative English translation conveys accurately what the original authors wrote.”  There are three problems with this perspective that any honest person has to admit.  

First, he must admit that he has no idea what the original authors wrote.  He and other Nothing-Onlyists are just guessing.  None of us alive in 2022 have ever seen what the original authors wrote.  The originals are gone as we have noted multiple times in this series of articles.  He can think they said whatever he wants, but it is nothing more than his opinion or the opinion of other critics of the Bible.

Second, as we have noted on this blog dozens of times, the “reputable, conservative English translation(s)” say DIFFERENT things.  We have recently noted where the NIV and the ESV differ.  They both cannot be correct.  (See my replies to Clark Morledge here.)  Nothing-Onlyism fails on the first day of Logic 101.

Third, who gets to decide which English versions are” reputable” or not?  Or “conservative”?  Who gets to decide which versions “convey(s) accurately what the original authors wrote?  Won’t we just end up with little Protestant popes who tell us what to believe and what not to believe? If you’re honest, you know that Butler intends to step up and be that man.  All scholars end up pushing some form of private “popeism” with themselves as the pope and their friends as the hierarchy.  They just aren’t honest enough to admit it.  

Butler claims that, “KJVO advocates falsely equate the idea of “God’s Word” or “words” with the exactness of the physical text.”  Here, Butler has shown, beyond any reasonable doubt, the cognitive dissonance of the Nothing-Only movement.  The term, “written words” is absolutely equivalent to “the exactness of the physical text”.  In reality, we know that it is the Nothing-Onlyist who has falsely equated the idea of “God’s Word” or “words” with the “message of God’s entire revelation”.  If KJV-Onlyists are charged with believing that “words” means “words”, then we happily plead guilty.

In no sphere of human activity does “words” mean anything other than words, except where you are dealing with the lies of Nothing-Onlyists.  To pretend KJV-Onlyists are the ones trying to change the meaning of “words” is absolute nonsense and anyone should be able to see that.  But we have come to expect Nothing-Onlyists to be flippant with their words, for they believe in a God who is flippant with his words.  Obviously, I know we believe in the same God, they have just attributed a major flaw to his character.  Of course, Butler’s Calvinism teaches him to do the same thing so it has become commonplace for him and his pals.

We must deal with the fact that if God is powerful enough to say that He only intended to preserve His ideas and precepts and not his words.  I am able to do that and if I am powerful enough to write those words, then God is powerful enough, too.  

Butler then adds more error into the toxic mix by saying, “The mistakes found in the physical texts of copied Scripture, however, do not equate the loss of the divine revelation.”  Now, think about that statement for a minute.  Do you honestly think that taking out the last 12 verses of Mark doesn’t result in the loss of divine revelation?  Or would adding them result in the addition of lies (assuming that textual criticism was correct)?  The same thought could be said of every place where there is a question from the text critics.  Remember, they question hundreds of verses.  The modern versions cannot even agree with how to handle these issues.  And Butler wants you to think that these issues don’t “equate the loss of the divine revelation”?  Give me a break!  

After looking at 5 headscratchers from Butler, we move on to his really terrible mistakes. (Yes, it really does get worse…)

Butler Stumbles At The Scripture

After all the false accusations and ridiculous philosophy of Butler’s book, he finally gets to looking at some Bible verses.  He exultingly claims that, “the KJVO promise argument falls apart is with the abuse of Scripture the KJVO advocates employ in order to defend their claim of God’s promise.”  We shall see, Freddy.  We shall see!

He is going to attempt to show the incorrect use of the proof texts that KJV-Onlyists use to prove their doctrine.  He makes the following comment about these verses, “none of them have any relevance to God promising to preserve His Word on a textual level exactly as the original authors wrote it and then becoming fixed in the English of the King James Bible.”  As usual (like the Devil in Gen 3), he is mixing truth and error.  

While we admit that none of them directly reference the KJB, we stand by our assertion that none of them directly reference Butler’s Nothing-Onlyism, either.  No verse in the Bible teaches Nothing-Onlyism.  So, since neither of these doctrines are absolutely explicit in Scripture, we must move on to the next question and ask which doctrine fits the parameters of the Scripture better.  Or which doctrine is closer to the doctrine held by Moses, David, Christ, Paul, etc?  Beyond any reasonable doubt, KJV-Onlyism is more Biblical than Nothing-Onlyism.

We have to admit that Butler is right about a few of Waite’s verses in that they have no relevance to the topic at hand.  Waite’s list is far from perfect as is Waite’s doctrine as a whole.  We know that Waite is ultimately TR-Only and not KJV-Only.  Somehow, Butler doesn’t think that’s a big deal.  Purposely conflating TR and KJV-Onlyism is a standard practice for men like Butler.

But remember what Butler said about the list.  He said, “none of them have any relevance to God promising to preserve His Word on a textual level exactly as the original authors wrote it and then becoming fixed in the English of the King James Bible.”  He said, “none”.  If it can be proven that there is one or more that “have any relevance” then we have proven Butler to be a liar again.  It will be proven most certainly.  

You must note the deceptive way that Butler handles this list of verses.  HE WRITES THAT THE LIST IS OF 15 REFERENCES.  HE THEN PROCEEDS TO ONLY LOOK AT 2 OF THEM!  He not only doesn’t write about all 15 references, he doesn’t even give the list!  Now that oughta tell you something!  What about the other 13, Fred?  That’s a red flag if there ever was one.  Yet, KJB haters drink up Butler’s material like water.

I’ll give you Waite’s list.  Psalm 12:6-7; 78:1-8; 105:8; 119:89, 111, 152,160; Proverbs

22:20-21; Ecclesiastes 3:14; Matthew 4:4; 5:17-18; 24:35; John 10:35; Colossians 1:17; and 1 Peter 1:23-25.

And here is what they say:

  1. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psa 12:6-7
  1. “Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” Psa 78:1-8
  1. “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.” Psa 105:8
  1. “LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psa 119:89
  1. “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.” Psa 119:111
  1. “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.” Psa 119:152
  1. “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psa 119:160
  1. “Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” Pro 22:20-21
  1. “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” Ecc 3:14
  1. “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Mat 4:4
  1. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Mat 5:17-18
  1. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Mat 24:35
  1. “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;” John 10:35
  1. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Col 1:17
  1. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Pet 1:23-25

Now, I wouldn’t use all of them in my lists.  I would say that at least seven of the verses absolutely overthrow the ideas about the Bible that are espoused by Nothing-Onlyism.  Because Butler won’t clearly articulate the issue, I’ll do it here again.  KJV-Onlyists believe that God’s words exist somewhere.  Alexandrian, Nothing-Onlyists don’t.  We believe the KJV is God’s word is the best possible fulfillment of that, beyond any reasonable doubt.  With the bottom line here articulated, we look at the verses from this list that prove Butler’s doctrines wrong.

Psa 119:160. Pro 22:20-21. Mat 4:4.  Mat 5:17-18.  Mat 24:35.  1 Pet 1:23-25. Psalm 12:6-7. 

  • “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psa 119:160

If the doctrine and ideas of Nothing-Onlyism are true, then “everyone of thy righteous judgments endureth” not “for ever”.  Butler believes that they are lost by scribal error and the processes of preservation that happen to man made texts.  Sure, “judgments” isn’t exactly equivalent to “words”, but all honest people know that the change of one word in a “judgment” can change the “judgment”.  This is how the real world works and if you don’t like it, you can go hide in a hole.  

This verse fits the doctrines and ideas of KJV-Onlyism just fine.  “Every one of thy righteous judgments” were written down thousands of years ago and “endureth” to this day in the King James Bible.  

I’d say the verse has “relevance” contrary to what Butler would have us believe.  

  • “Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” Pro 22:20-21

We can be absolutely “certain” that Butler’s ideas don’t “make thee know the certainty of the words of truth”.  I don’t give much personal information on this blog, but I’ll say this: I wasn’t always KJV-Only.  I grew up thinking that you had to delve into the original languages and manuscripts to be able to find what God really said.  When I got to secular university, I found that the Catholics and Atheists were making the exact same claim and using that “chink in the armour” as a foundation for attacking our faith.  Nothing-Onlyists end up with the exact same level of “certainty of the words of truth” as those Catholics and Atheists.  They all think we can’t really know for sure.  Before I had ever heard of Peter Ruckman, I knew that God wasn’t in Nothing-Onlyism.  Soon after coming to these conclusions, God put some Bible Believers in my path who got me the answers God was trying to give me.  

God clearly says that he didn’t write the Bible for the level of certainty inherent in Nothing-Onlyism.  God knows that with that level of certainty, you can’t take a Bible and “answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee”.  Armed with the King James Bible, some good doctrine, and the grace of God, I’ve been privileged to “answer the words of truth” to men, women, and children across America in pulpits, jails, and on the street.  I now do the same thing in Asia.  It comes from the “certainty” that God speaks about in this verse.  

Regardless of a man’s opinions on the matter, Nothing-Onlyists can’t have the certainty of this verse.  They admit it and it doesn’t bother them at all.  Whatever other problems KJV-Onlyists might have, they can at least have this certainty.  We are watching the doctrines of Nothing-Onlyism fall to pieces in light of the Holy Scriptures.  

  • “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Mat 4:4

There exists no technique in the intellectual arsenal of an honest man to make “every word” mean anything other than “every word”.  Trying to make it mean something else is an example of absolute dishonesty.  Pretending that this verse doesn’t have anything to do with the debate about KJV-Onlyism is pathetically dishonest.  Butler is pathetically dishonest.  

Where is the “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” if it is not the King James Bible?  If it is only in the originals, then we are doomed to spiritual starvation.  The originals no longer exist in spite of the Butler’s sophistry that he has employed to get around this absolute fact.  It cannot be in the myriad of different English translations as they say different things (ie. The ending of Mark and John 8).  The conclusion of that line of thought would be that some versions either contain extra biblical poison or are lacking some of the “every word”. If there is another option, then we’d love to hear it.  But if we’re honest, then there isn’t.

Nothing-Onlyism fails to meet the standard given by the Lord himself in Matthew 4.  Butler is so unconcerned about the issue that he fails to even reference the verse in his book.  If he were to address it, we know exactly how he would handle it.  He would spend a page writing about “the Greek” and try to tell you that it doesn’t mean what it says.  Same old standard junk.

Nothing-Onlyism is anti-biblical heresy.  

  • “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Mat 5:17-18

Whatever problems there may be in trying to square this verse with KJV-Onlyism, a greater and more obvious question remains:  How does the promised preservation of every single “jot” and “tittle” square with Nothing-Onlyism?  Butler has just gotten done putting in writing that he is certain that “jots” and “tittles” have passed from the law.  Butler wrote, “Variants are an unavoidable reality with handwritten documents like the manuscripts for the Bible.”  

The evidence is overwhelming.  It is an open and shut case.  Butler does not believe in Matt 5:17-18.  Apparently, he is smarter than the Lord.  If only Christ had known about textual criticism, then he would have been as smart as Fred Butler.  

It seems to be that somehow this verse is fulfilled in the King James Bible on my desk. I don’t exactly know how the process worked to get it there, but that is my simple faith.  The Lord is smarter than me and he can figure out how that process occurred.  I’ve always considered this verse to be tough, but unless someone can come up with a better alternative, I will continue to believe that this verse is fulfilled in my personal KJV Bible.

  • “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Mat 24:35

Butler’s belief in Nothing-Onlyism requires him to look at this verse and believe that even though it says that Christ’s “words shall not pass away”, it means that Christ’s general principles and ideas shall not pass away.  Apparently, God is unable to use plain speech like normal human beings.  

Maybe we can formulate an example of how this would play out.  If I were to say that “the words of this blog will still exist in 2190”.   We could then, hypothetically, fast forward to 2190 and see that the only “words of this blog” that existed were a handful of general rewritings and scraps and fragments.  Would you honestly say that my words still existed?  No.  You would correctly say that my words didn’t exist and that I was a false prophet.

Now apply this to Matt 24:25.  Nothing-Onlyists are saying that Christ is a false prophet by the way that they handle this verse.  Yes, I know that the vast majority of evangelicals and protestants in America are ignorant of this verse and its implications, but the teachers, like Butler, of Nothing-Onlyism are guilty of calling Christ a false prophet.  

  • “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Pet 1:23-25

We see in these verses that the word of God is “incorruptible”, it “liveth and abideth forever”, and then for a second time, God emphasizes that “the word of the Lord endureth for ever.”.  Can you honestly say that this squares with Nothing-Onlyism?  The answer is obvious.  

Butler believes, whether he would ever admit it or not, that the word of the Lord is corruptible.  He believes and teaches and writes books that say that the word of the Lord does NOT liveth, abideth, or endure for ever.  We believe the verse.  They don’t.  It’s simple.

The Elephant in the Room: Psalm 12:6,7

Now we turn our attention to the final verse of this article.  It is a verse that can be called the most hated verse in this debate.  If you want to trigger a Nothing-Onlyist, the verse’s mere mention is enough to bring lava out of the eyes and ears of men like Butler.  

  • “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psa 12:6-7

Butler argues that we remove, “it from its immediate context and read with KJVO presuppositional glasses.”  And so we will show that beyond any reasonable doubt, the verses say what they mean and mean what they say.  We will leave the verses in context and “presuppositional glasses” will be shown to be the eyewear of the Nothing-Only heretics.  

So the first issue is this: who believes that the “words of the LORD” are “pure”?  KJV-Onlyists or Nothing-Onlyists?  You don’t have to flip a coin, folks.  You know the answer.  You either believe the verse or you don’t.  Bible Believers believe the book they hold in their hand and read and preach is “pure”.  Nothing-Onlyists don’t.  They don’t believe that they’ve ever read, seen, or held the “pure” “words of the LORD”.   If you don’t believe the verse as it stands, then YOU are the one wearing presuppositional glasses.

Next we see that those words are “as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”  This fits the doctrine of KJV-Onlyism even if we don’t all always agree on what exactly the seven purifications are.  At least we try to show how the thing fits.  Nothing-Onlyists don’t even try. It means nothing to them.  There are no seven purifications in Nothing-Onlyism.  Their doctrine doesn’t fit the Bible.  This is example number 783493.  

Butler’s answer to vs 6 is to blatantly ignore it and move along to the Hebrew text of vs 7.  If that doesn’t bother you then you are not thinking straight.  Regardless of what vs 7 says, vs 6 is a slam dunk for KJV-Onlyism and the only reason for not discussing it is an implicit admission that it doesn’t “fit” your theology.   

So after ignoring vs 6, Butler nose dives into the Hebrew grammar to try to show us, with a foolish certainty that comes from ignorance of Asian languages, that the “them” of vs 7 isn’t a reference to the “words” of vs 6.  He admits that the immediate antecedent of the pronoun them is the “words” of vs 6.  But (watch the birdie) if you go to the Hebrew, then the real antecedent is the “poor” and “needy” of vs 5.  

Anyone with a modicum of familiarity with the languages of the continent of Asia should be more careful when dealing with these types of absolute statements about grammar.  All languages have goofy constructions like this but the languages of Asia stand out.  Of course when you dig into the issue, you will find that although Butler might be right, there is no reasonable cause for rejecting the King James reading.  

Again, brother Will Kinney has the best material and links to the actual problems with the grammatical argument brought forth by Butler.  Read his article here.  This evidence is more than enough for an honest judge to throw out the case.  

We can be sure that God is promising to “preserve” “the words of the LORD” “from this generation for ever” as the verse says.  

Conclusion

And so, after looking at all this, if you will go back to Butler’s original idea and say, “See, he admits that none of the verses say anything about the King James Bible…” All that will prove is that you have a crooked heart.  Butler has framed the argument poorly.  You should know by now that the real issue is which system fits the evidence that we have given to us is the Holy Scriptures by God himself.  If you don’t think that has “any relevance”, then that is a personal problem.  These verses have “relevance” to the debate. They thoroughly point to KJV-Onlyism being the best fit for what the Bible says about itself.  Nothing-Onlyism should be rejected as unbiblical garbage.  

Men like Butler can scream that we are “CONSPIRACY THEORISTS” all they want.  It shouldn’t matter.  We close this series of articles about Butler’s book by saying, “let God be true, but every man a liar.”  

Psalm 12:6,7

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