Grady, William P. Final Authority: A Christian’s Guide to the King James Bible. Schererville, IN: Grady Publications, 1993.
According to its book jacket, this book claimed to be a scholarly defense of the King James Bible. Evangelist Dennis Corle asserted that this book is “irrefutable.” This book is supposedly one of the best defenses of the KJV-only view. While this book may have an impressive bibliography, the actual contents and claims made by its author are not so impressive. It is interesting that this bibliography included no books written by Peter Ruckman even though Ruckman seemed clearly to be the source for some of its claims. Years later in his own 2005 sermon entitled “Seven Signs of Pseudo King James Onlyism,” Grady indicated an indebtedness to Peter Ruckman and his book Manuscript Evidence. Grady reported that Ruckman advised him not to mention his name in the book or to quote him. In his later 2010 book entitled Given by Inspiration, Grady also acknowledged his reading Ruckman’s book in 1988 (p. ix), which he indicated opened his eyes “to the supremacy of the King James Bible” (p. 48). In this new book, Grady credited Ruckman with being “a man of God who was used of God to open our eyes to the word of God” (p. 51). Do those who recommend and endorse Grady’s book know that they are also in effect endorsing the arguments, claims, or information that Grady borrowed from Ruckman?
Grady based some of his claims on several misleading and invalid arguments. Several times this author repeated the statement “Facts are stubborn things” while he ignored many important facts that relate to this subject about which he was writing. For example, Grady does not discuss the fact of the differences between the various editions of the Textus Receptus. He does not mention the fact of the important differences between the earlier English Bibles such as Tyndale’s and the Geneva Bible and the KJV.
Grady repeatedly seemed to attack logic and scholarship while he claimed to be making a logical defense of the KJV-only view. Instead of consistent reasoning and logic, Grady used informal fallacies to argue for his view. For example, he used the fallacy of complex question since he treated a statement involving a plurality of assumptions as if it required nothing more than a single, simple answer. He also used the fallacy of composition when he assumed or implied that the Textus Receptus and the KJV are identical without valid evidence or proof for his assertion. Even KJV defender Edward Hills admitted that the KJV is “an independent variety of the Textus Receptus,” and he discussed some of the actual differences between the KJV and the various editions of the Textus Receptus.
When Grady claimed that “the KJV-only position has been necessitated by the modern Bible movement,” he used the ad hominem fallacy that appeals to the situation or prejudices of the person to be convinced instead of logically proving the premises that pertain to the subject under discussion. His use of this fallacy is also seen in his many personal attacks against those who may disagree with his opinions. For example, Grady labelled Robert Sumner as a “tabloid-style editor” (p. 113), and he continually used subjective, emotionally-charged, biased words such as “asinine” (p. 112), “desperation” (p. 166), “conniving” (p. 254), “pontificating” (p. 257), and “whimpering” (p. 263) to describe the words of those scholars he disagreed with.
Grady often used the fallacy of accident by making some accidental, irrelevant factor the essential point of his argument. Without any valid proof, Grady made modern Bible translations responsible for theistic evolution, Oral Roberts, Christian rock bands, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Rev. Ike, Tammy Baker’s air-conditioned dog house, etc. (pp. 184-185). Grady connected the totally unrelated events of the ASV (1901) and the first recorded occurrence of speaking in tongues (1901) (p. 59). Some of these speculations are based on the post hoc fallacy that claims that what is first temporally is necessarily the cause of what follows. Grady’s use of so many unfounded and unproven speculations calls into question the validity of the case for his view.
A double standard seemed to be used in the examination of the theological views of translators and others involved with this issue. Grady attacked the Anglican views of Westcott and Hort, but he didn’t apply the same standards to the Church of England views of the KJV translators or to the Roman Catholics views of Erasmus. Did Grady in effect show a respect of persons toward the KJV translators (James 2:9)?
His bias or double standard can even be seen in his glossary where he listed Hort as an “unsaved” Cambridge professor, Westcott as a “liberal Anglican scholar who conspired” with Hort, but listed Erasmus as a “Dutch intellectual known as the ‘journalist of scholarship.'” Surprisingly, Grady quoted with approval several times Seventh-Day Adventist Benjamin Wilkinson without informing the reader of Wilkinson’s ties to to this group (pp. 254, 273, 275).
Grady attacked the New King James Version as “particularly deceptive because it uses the name King James in its title” (p. 299). He claimed that the NKJV “represents Satan’s ultimate deception” (p. 303). Again, the tactic of “poisoning the well” is essential to his claim as he attempted to connect the NKJV with the RSV and the Alexandrian manuscripts. An actual examination of the evidence would show that many times Grady seemed to bear false witness against the NKJV. For example, some of the renderings that Grady claims came from the RSV can actually be found in various Bibles on the KJV-only view’s own line or tree of good Bibles. In one case, the fact that the 1560 Geneva Bible has the same translation as the NKJV at Song of Solomon 5:12 is ignored. Grady attacked the NKJV for its translation of 2 Cor 2:17 (“peddling the word of God”) while an earlier English translation he praised (the Geneva Bible) has a similar translation (“make merchandise of the word of God”).
Evidently, Grady has not carefully read or examined the early English translations such as Tyndale’s and the Geneva Bible that he praised. Grady claimed that 90% of the KJV has Tyndale’s words (p. 161). Was Grady aware of the fact that Tyndale’s did not have Mark 11:26, Luke 17:36, as well as many phrases and clauses (Mark 15:3c, John 8:6, John 8:9b, John 19:38c, James 4:6b, 1John 2:23b, Rev 18:23a, Rev 21:26) when compared to the KJV? On what authority did the Church of England translators of the KJV add so many words to Tyndale’s?
There are also places where one of the earlier good Bibles on the KJV-only view’s tree of good Bibles have more words than the KJV. Tyndale translated Acts 14:23a as “And when they had ordained elders by election in every congregation” while the KJV has “And when they had ordained them elders in every church.” The two words “by election” missing in the KJV were found in all the earlier English Bibles (Tyndale’s to Bishops’). Is it possible that the reason “by election” is missing is because of bias on the part of the KJV translators for Episcopal church government?
There are many other differences between the KJV and the earlier good English Bibles. The first authorized Bible (the Great Bible) has over one hundred words in one New Testament book (Acts) and over one hundred words in an Old Testament book (Psalms) that are not found in the third authorized Bible (the KJV) .
While the impressive number of illogical arguments may give some the impression that Grady has made an “irrefutable” case, the fact remains that even an infinite number of fallacies would not prove any view to be valid. Grady tried to assume the status of a scholar who logically proved his case while at the same time he in effect repudiated bona fide scholarship as the domain of unbelief. He cannot have it both ways. In the name of defending truth, it appears that Grady has been careless with the truth by using fallacies, false claims, and unfounded speculations as supposed proof for his view. Unsubstantiated speculations and illogical claims do not prove the validity of the KJV-only view. In the opinion of this review, this book will only further confuse the confused or uninformed.
The truth is consistent. Perhaps KJV-only advocates should consider what the KJV says about the use of false claims and double standards. “Keep thee far from a false matter” (Exod 23:7). “No lie is of the truth” (1John 2:21). “Thou shalt not raise a false report” (Exod 23:1a). “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exod 20:16). “But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:9).