Ouellette, R. B. A More Sure Word: Which Bible Can You Trust? Lancaster, CA: Striving Together Publications, 2008.
The author of this book is a pastor in Michigan. Those who recommend this book suggest that it is “balanced” and is a “must read.” While this book may be better, more balanced, or less extreme than the typical KJV-only book, it is still clearly from a subjective, KJV-only perspective. Ouellette asserted that “the KJV position is the most consistent position with what the Bible says about itself,” that it “is clearly the most defensible position both scripturally and historically,” and that “it is the most logical position considering all the facts given” (p. 162). Ouellette seemed to imply that those “English-speaking people who believe in the promises and preserving power of God” (p. 155) would have to accept his position. His book does not demonstrate his assertions to be correct.
Ouellette maintained that “the Bible issues boil down to a basic thought: we either have a ‘preserved Word,’ or we have a ‘being restored Word'” (p. 85). Ouellette asked: “Do you want an evolving Bible or a solid foundation?” (p. 163). He asked: “Do you want a Bible that is preserved or one that is ‘being restored’?” (p 164). In effect, both believers who advocate a KJV-only view and those believers who disagree with a KJV-only view are misrepresented by such oversimplied broad-sweeping generalizations. Holders of a KJV-only view have not demonstrated that they hold to a consistent view of preservation. Ouellette wrote: “I believe that God preserved His Word for every generation through Bible-believing churches” (p. 62). However, Ouellette and other KJV-only advocates clearly do not apply their claims concerning preservation to translations such as Luther’s German Bible, the 1537 Matthew’s Bible, the 1560 Geneva Bible, 1607 Diodati’s Italian Bible, and 1637 Dutch Bible in the same way that they attempt to apply them to the KJV. Believers who disagree with a KJV-only view can hold just as consistent if not a more consistent view of preservation as those who hold a KJV-only position.
Ouellette maintained that it is a false statement to claim that “the King James Bible was based solely upon the Textus Receptus” (p. 146). Ouellette also wrote: “The only English Bible that emerges solely from the Received Text is the King James Version of the Bible” (p. 118). His statement seemed to ignore the pre-1611 English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision. He also ignored the fact that there have been English translations since 1611 that were based on the same original language texts as the KJV. Concerning the NKJV, Ouellette incorrectly claimed that “a completely different Old Testament text was used” (p. 57). The fact that a different printed edition of the Hebrew text was used is not convincing evidence for asserting that it was a “completely different” text. The preface of the NKJV pointed out that “frequent comparisons [of that different edition] being made with the Bomberg edition of 1524-25″ (p. xxiii). James D. Price, executive editor of the NKJV’s O. T., noted: “In those few places where the Bomberg text differed from the Stuttgart edition, the Bomberg reading was followed” (King James Onlyism, p. 307). Evidently, Ouellette is misinformed or uninformed concerning the facts about the NKJV and its underlying original language texts.
While at times Ouellette implied or asserted that he was avoiding the wrong, extreme KJV-only claims, at other times he seemed to indicate that there were no real essential differences between them. For example, Ouellette wrote: “What is the practical difference between a ‘divinely inspired Word of God’ and a ‘divinely preserved Word of God’? None. If God both inspired and preserved His Word, then we can have the confidence that the preserved Word is equal to the inspired Word for all practical purposes today–they are one in the same” (p. 156). Ouellette contended that “verbal inspiration demands verbal preservation” (p. 138). Does a consistent application of his own questions and comments suggest that there is no practical difference between his view and that of those he considered extreme and even “cultic”?
Ouellette wrote: “It is wrong to commit–to any individual or exclusive group–the determination of truth for every person in matters relating to faith” (p. 51). He wrote: “God did not appoint scholars to be the final authorities for the interpretation of Scripture” (p. 27). On the other hand, Ouellette seemed to accept the interpreting/translating of an exclusive group of Church of England scholars in 1611 as the final authorities for the translation of the Scriptures into English. Ouellette asked: “Has our English Bible been wrong for the last 360 years until a new team of translators finally got it right?” (p. 57). Evidently, it was acceptable for later English translators to revise, correct, update, and change the earlier 1380’s Wycliffe’s Bible, the 1526 Tyndale’s, the 1535 Coverdale’s Bible, the 1537 Matthew’s Bible, the 1539 Great Bible, the 1539 Taverner’s Bible, the 1560 Geneva Bible, and the 1568 Bishops’ Bible, but if the same-type changes are made to the KJV it supposedly became unacceptable. He seemed to imply concerning the KJV that he believed “we have today a ‘more sure word’ of prophecy that is tried, tested, true, and trustworthy” and that “He [God] has given us”(p. 143). Does he consider the interpreting/translating of an exclusive group of Church of England scholars in 1611 to be a “more sure word” than the preserved Scriptures in the original languages?
Along with not being very well-informed about the pre-1611 English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision, Ouellette does not seem that well-informed about KJV editions. He asserted that “modern-day printings of the King James Bible are either the Oxford 1769 edition or the Cambridge edition” (p. 153). Ouellette assumed and claimed: “Revisions of the King James Bible have been related to printing errors and spelling changes” (p. 153). However, he does not provide any evidence that demonstrated his statements to be correct. Some changes to the English text of the Oxford edition of the KJV were made as late as the 1880’s and to the English text of the three different Cambridge editions in print today as late as 1873 in one of them and after 1900 in the other two. There are as many as ten different varying editions of the KJV in print today.