Intro to Textual Variants, TR Onlyism, KJV Onlyism

“TR” = “the Textus Receptus” – the Greek printed text behind the King James Version (1611) of the Bible, that developed through several editions that began with Erasmus (1516) collection of ONLY about 7 Greek manuscripts available to him at the time to form his basis for his Greek printed text, which was the text that inspired Luther to translate the NT into German and later Tyndale to translate the NT into English.

These are 5 different resources by James White, related to the Text of the Greek New Testament issues: (There are many more; this is only an introduction to the issue. I am still learning also.)

  1.  Lecture that James White did on the Reliability of the NT text,
  2. Two of James White’s Dividing Line programs and
  3. Two of his books that explores the issues of the reliability of the New Testament, textual variants, TR Onlyism (TR = Textus Receptus – the Greek text platform developed from Erasmus’ original 1516 Greek Text) and King James Onlyism.  There is much more to be said in these areas, but this is just an intro to the subject.

1.Start here with an overview of NT Reliability – a lecture James White did in 2011 –  One of my earliest posts here at my blog.

2.  Then listen to this about the position of the TR Ecclesiastical Text only position:



3.  The book that is a written debate between James White and Douglas Wilson on the TR only (Textus Receptus) or the “Ecclesiastical Text” position:



4.  The DL podcast that prompted the one after it (above) about questions about the TR (Textus Receptus)



5.  The Book:  “The King James Only Controversy” – in many ways, a person should start with this and number 1 above, then the other 3 resources.


Addendum: (June 18, 2020)

6.  A Great Summary of the issues from one of Dr. White’s debates: (Part 3 of a debate vs. a KJV Onlyist)



About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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5 Responses to Intro to Textual Variants, TR Onlyism, KJV Onlyism

  1. Jesse says:

    TR/KJV onlyists are such a cult. I once refuted a post by a certain Kent Brandenburg and he sent me emails insisting that I had slandered him, etc. I also remember a James Snaap Jr. guy trying to harass Micheal Brown on a podcast where quick answers to questions are provided on the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20. I think such a question was a little too deep to be answered in such a format…He even harasses bloggers posting links to his material as if it is scholarly. I tell you that these guys are obnoxious and unpleasant.

    • Jesse says:

      I typed that a little too quickly. I mean a podcast where general questions are answered. The guy came on to Mr. Brown’s show to try starting a debate on a more complicated question concerning textual transmission which has a history associated with it.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Thanks Jesse for your input.
      “such a cult” – ? – I would say that they have cultic tendencies, especially the KJV onlyists like the late Peter Ruckman, and those that are close to his ideas. (Steven Anderson, Sam Gipp, etc.)

      I can see the KJV Onlyists as cultic, but the TR only – are they a cult or are they cultic ?

      The TR Only folks would be hurt that you lump in together with the KJV Onlyists, like Peter Ruckman, Steven Anderson, and Sam Gipp types.

      James Snaap has some pretty good points sometimes.

      • Jesse says:

        Yes, cultic would be a much better choice of words. I was not lumping the two together as I was speaking broadly.

  2. Jesse says:

    Here is an article which might bolster some people’s confidence in the reliability of the Old and New Testament texts:

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