Translation Should You Trust?
Defense Of The Authorized King James Version Of 1611
THE PROMISE OF ITS PRESERVATION
Who Is The Preserver? Is This Really The Position Of Most One Example Of Unbelief Are We Too Critical? God's Methods Of Preservation Biblical Accounts Of Preservation Verbal And Plenary Translations? Are Translations Inferior?
All true Christians agree that God wrote a Bible. They believe "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"
(2 Peter 1:21), and that these men wrote down many of the words God
moved them to speak. These words they insist are God's very own words,
thus they are pure and free from error. True Christians further
proclaim, "The Bible does not contain God's word, it IS God's word."
With this we have no dispute. As mentioned before, however, most
scholars cannot stop here. They must make an additional statement, one
that is just as true as the others, but it also contains a dangerous
implication. They will place a condition on the infallibility of the
scriptures by saying: "We believe that the Bible as originally written
is the infallible word of God." Here the scholars reveal their
infidelity. This conditional statement shows they are obsessed with
something God abandoned nearly two thousand years ago—the
original manuscripts. If God wanted to preserve the "originals" for
every generation there is no doubt He could have, but He DID NOT choose
to. A Bible believing Christian has the same attitude toward them as He
does: the originals have served their purpose and are NO LONGER NEEDED.
It is interesting to note that these idolized original manuscripts never were compiled to make a completeKing James Version is a "mythological Bible," a final authority that is nothing but fantasy.
Bible. The word "Bible" means "book" or a "collection of books," but
the original autographs of the Old Testament writers were NEVER in a
single volume with the autographs of the New Testament writers! That
is, the "Bible" scholars and fundamentalists place so much emphasis on
NEVER EXISTED at any time in any language! The autographs of Moses,
David, Isaiah, etc., had vanished from the earth long before Paul,
Peter, John, and the other New Testament writers sat down to write (or
speak, 2 Peter 1:21). It is not only that the scholar's final authority
does not exist now in one volume, it NEVER existed! According to their
doctrine, there is no time or place in history where a person could
have had ALL of God's pure word (the complete canon). So the "Bible"
the "scholars" appeal to to change the
Now, of course, the original
manuscripts WERE scripture, but since they all dissolved into dust
centuries ago what kind of Bible do we have today? Do we have the pure
and inerrant words of God available to us today? This is where the
fireworks start. The issue we will address in this chapter is not
whether the Bible was originally "given by inspiration," but whether it has been preserved for all generations to have, believe, and enjoy.
Who Is The Preserver?
That God has promised to preserve His word should be obvious to the
most casual reader of the Bible. He not only loved man enough to give
him His word in the first place, but He also promised to keep it pure,
somewhere, for every generation. Psalm 12:6-7 is very plain on this.
6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Other verses to study
concerning preservation are: Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 119:89, 144, 152,
160; Isaiah 30:8, 40:6-8, 59:21; Jeremiah 30:2; Matthew 4:4, 5:17-18,
24:35; John 10:35; 1 Peter 1:23-25; etc. These verses prove to anyone
who is willing to believe them as they stand that God has sworn to preserve His word.
The way many of our fundamentalist friends handle them, however, is
with double-talk and flawed logic. These characters will quickly agree
that God has preserved His word, but then turn around and maintain that
it is impossible for it to be preserved without error! Their reasoning
behind this is since man is fallible, errors must have been made in
copying the manuscripts, thus corrupting them to some extent; how much
though they cannot determine. It is amazing how they can contradict
themselves in the same breath and claim to be credible. How can
something be preserved and not be preserved at the same time? How can
God give His pure word, promise to preserve its purity, and then
preserve it and it not be pure without Him being a liar (Romans 3:4)?
These so-called scholars cannot produce one Bible in any language from
anywhere on earth they believe to be completely pure and inerrant. What
would this say about God's integrity if it were true? Did God fail in
His promise? Perish the thought! When the Psalmist said "thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them..." in verse 7, he is referring to the "pure words" in verse 6! Furthermore, these "pure words" are not just some of God's words, they are all "The words of the Lord...."
If God cannot keep His word pure and free from error, what makes these
people think he can keep their SOUL! Both are spoken of as preserved (1
Concerning the words being purified "seven times," it is interesting to observe that the King James Version is the seventh major English translation. The six translations before it were: Wyclif's Bible (1382), Coverdale's Bible (1535, using Tyndale's New Testamentfrom 1525), Matthew's Bible (1537), The Great Bible (1539), The Geneva Bible (1560), and The Bishop's Bible (1568). Each of these Bibles was (and still is) a valuable translation, but the King James of 1611 is the purest—the seventh and final purification. It has completely replaced all six of its predecessors.
We have only looked at one
passage on preservation and it alone has destroyed the position of the
Bible correctors. The reader is encouraged to study the others so he
will have even more ammunition.
Is This Really The Position Of Most Fundamentalists?
If the reader has any doubt that what we have stated above is the
position of many of the leading fundamentalists, he should get some of
their books and check for himself. Or better yet, write one a letter
and ask him three simple questions:
1. Do you believe the King James Version of 1611 is the pure, inerrant word of God and absolute final authority for believers?
2. If no, does your FINAL AUTHORITY exist on earth today in pure, inerrant, tangible form in any language?
3. If yes, what and where is it? And if no, why not?
As simple as these questions
are, many of the leading "fundamentalists" in America refuse to answer
them. They refuse because they cannot answer them and still appear as
"defenders of the faith." The author has read the replies of some of
them who responded to questions similar to these, and they dance around
them without clearly answering one. All of their scholarly talk,
appeals to Greek authorities and historic positions, and references to
nonexistent "originals" is just a smokescreen to veil their unbelief.
They simply do not believe an infallible Bible exists. Ironically, all
of these questions can be answered by a Bible believer with no more
than a grade school education (or even less) in one word. To the first
he will answer "Yes," this also answers the others.
The refusal of these preachers to say the King James Version
is inerrant, however, does not mean they won't use it to their
advantage. Many of them USE it exclusively in public because it is the
version they want to be identified
with, yet personally they believe it contains errors and is not the
best translation. This is inconsistent to say the least. Why would a
preacher, who is supposed to preach the truth, preach from (and by
doing so recommend) a version he believes contains errors? If he really
believes the NASVKing James,
why doesn't he preach from it? Would it not be a more ethical practice
if he did? Do not his hearers deserve the "best" Bible? Some of the
more liberal preachers who have completely abandoned the Authorized Version
for the modern versions are more ethical in this regard than the above
fundamentalists. At least they use in public the version they think is
best! (or any other version) is better than the
If there is still some doubt in the reader's mind about these matters,
and he wants to check for himself to see if the statements we have made
concerning the critics of the King James Version are accurate (which he should), there are many books he can consult. One is John R. Rice's, Our God-breathed Book—The Bible, published by Sword of the Lord Publishers. It sets forth their inconsistent position as well as any.
The complete title on the cover of this book says: Our God-Breathed Book—The Bible. The Verbally Inspired, Eternal, Inerrant Word Of God.
In this book Mr. Rice does a very good job of documenting why a person
should believe the "Bible" is God's word, and he defends it as perfect
in every way. The tragedy is the Bible Mr. Rice defends so well DOES
NOT EXIST! He uses over 400 pages to explain why the Bible is "inspired," "eternal"(?), "perfect," and "inerrant," and then destroys it all by saying this Bible DOESN'T EXIST. He says on page 68 and 69 concerning inspiration (emphasis mine):
Inspiration is claimed for original autographs, NOT for translation or copying. When we say that the Bible is inspired, we do not refer to the translations or copies
but to the original autographs, written down under God's direction....
But WE DO NOT claim for ANY copy or ANY translation the absolute,
divine PERFECTION that was in the original autographs. Inspiration
refers to the original autographs.
Since the original autographs
no longer exist, Mr. Rice is actually saying that all the copies and
translations that do exist are NOT "inspired," "perfect," or
"inerrant," etc. He only allows these qualities to refer to the lost
originals. Statements like this are numerous in his book. On page 84 he
has a section headed, "There Are, Then, No Errors In The Original Word Of God,"
and continues insisting that inerrancy CANNOT apply to copies and
translations. Clearly he does not believe God has preserved His word in
its purity. As destructive as Mr. Rice's views are, they are typical
for the majority of America's fundamentalist preachers and "scholars."
Satan has pulled many of today's best preachers into his web of
Our intention in this book is
to slander or misrepresent no one. Again, if the reader questions some
of our statements concerning the typical views of many fundamentalists
and others, let him find their position out for himself by asking one
the three simple questions above. The answer he gets should settle the
Some may think we are being too critical of our fundamentalist brethren
since some are soul-winners and experienced preachers (as Mr. Rice).
Let them remember, however, that no matter how godly, devoted, or
educated a person may be, this in no way equips him to stand in
judgment on the scriptures. Since God has magnified His word above His own name
(Psalm 138:2!), no mere human should even think about passing judgment
on them or on God's ability to preserve them. The author read the works
of many of these "authorities" (like Mr. Rice's book above) soon after
his conversion and was persuaded by their "scholarship" that the King James Version
contained many errors and was not the best Bible (or even the second
best) to use for "serious study." He swallowed their "only the original
manuscripts are inspired" mentality and abandoned the Authorized
Version as his final authority. They took his one infallible Bible away
and put several conflicting "reliable translations" in its place! And
since the translations they recommended contradicted each other in many
places, this left him in a void WITHOUT a written final authority. It
was nearly three years later before God could convince him of the
fallacy of this position.
This does not mean that a
believer should not follow what is scriptural in the lives of these men
(soul-winning, prayer, etc.), but only that he should not be gullible
enough to follow them when they correct the Bible. Follow them where
they follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), and where they do not follow
Christ (and His word), ABANDON THEM! A TRUE Bible scholar is one who
uses his knowledge and education to DEFEND the Bible. Many who claim
scholarship, however, use their education as a basis to QUESTION it.
Unfortunately, in this age of apostasy, there are more of the latter
than the former.
Furthermore, the reader should
not think the author does not believe the "fundamentals of the faith"
just because of the way he speaks of "fundamentalists." He not only
believes all the fundamentals, he also believes the book they came out of (KJV)! A true Bible Believer believes the entire Bible (KJV), not just some truths extracted from it.
Can God Use "Sinners" To Preserve His Word?
When one considers the above reason the scholars give for manuscript
copies not being preserved without flaw their situation becomes even
more ludicrous. They will admit the original human writers were
"sinners" and that God used them to produce an infallible text, but
they will not allow other sinners to be used in preserving that text.
If God can use a sinner to write His pure word, why can't He use one to preserve it?
Also, what possible reason could He have for giving His word by
inspiration and having it written down and then allowing it to be
hopelessly corrupted? When the scholars are confronted with questions
like this they will usually produce some Greek texts that were
miss-copied by someone centuries ago and say, "We have proof that
manuscripts have been corrupted." This, however, does not prove that
ALL the manuscripts have been. And if one believes God meant what He
said, he knows that some have not been. God did not have to guarantee
that all the manuscripts had to be perfect anyway, only that His word
would be preserved in some manner in pure form. The reader will find as
we go along that it is much easier, safer, and more logical to take God
at His word than follow the reasoning of the "doctors."
God's Methods Of Preservation
Romans 3:2 says concerning the Jews that "unto them were committed the oracles of God."
That is, instead of speaking or revealing Himself to mankind as a
whole, God spoke (with very few exceptions) only to the nation of
Israel (Acts 7:38). Consequently, Israel had a monopoly on God and His
words, and this was according to God's good pleasure (Deuteronomy 4:7).
However, with the great honor of having the God of Heaven dwelling in
their midst and the added blessing of hearing His words, came
responsibility. God wanted the Jews to be a light unto the Gentiles and also to KEEP His words, PRESERVING them for themselves and future generations.
The group of Jews that was responsible for keeping and preserving His words were the Levitical priests.
They were to keep the Law safe by putting it beside the Ark of the
Covenant in the tabernacle (Deuteronomy 31:24-26). Since the priests
were the only group of Jews that had access to the Ark and the Holy
Place in the tabernacle, they were responsible for making the Law known
unto the people (Deuteronomy 31:12). And when copies of it were
required, they had the duty of making these also (Deuteronomy 17:18).
Later in Israel's history there
were times when the priests neglected their duties, and during these
dark periods God's word became unavailable for a time (2 Chronicles
15:3). God, in His providence, however, protected His word in spite of
their failures (examples shortly). Even during the Babylonian captivity
(which was caused in part by the priests failure to teach the people,
(Micah 3:11-12), His word was available to those who wanted it (Daniel
When the Jews returned from
their captivity to rebuild Jerusalem, the scriptures were still pure
and intact. Ezra, the scribe (Ezra 7:10-11), spent nearly six hours
one day reading them to the people, and the Levites caused them to
understand what he read (Nehemiah 8:1-8). During the 400 years from
Ezra to the time of Christ the last books of the Old Testament were
added to the canon, and copies of it were made so meticulously and
carefully that when the Lord came He made NO DISTINCTION between them
and the originals! God had faithfully preserved His word, parts of it
for nearly 1500 years!
After apostolic times, the Jews continued to keep the Old Testament pure. A group of them known as the Masoretes
is credited for keeping it pure until the invention of the printing
press. The first complete Hebrew text was printed in 1488. This text is
called the Masoretic
Text in memory of the Jews who so faithfully (though in blindness)
preserved it through the centuries. This is the Old Testament text that
was used by the King James translators.
Here, you may ask, "I
understand how the Jews were responsible for preserving the Old
Testament, but what about the New Testament? The Jews do not believe
the New Testament to be scripture, so how was it preserved?" In much
the same way as the Old Testament, only through Bible believing
Christians instead of Jews.
The Lord said in Matthew 24:35, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,"
indicating that His words would be preserved through eternity.
Furthermore, all the Old Testament passages which refer to preservation
refer to His words too because He is the same "LORD"
speaking (Psalm 12:6). Christ also said that after He ascended back to
His Father, the Holy Spirit would guide the disciples in all truth and
speak to them of Christ and of things to come (John 14:25-26;
16:12-14). Many of these words were written down (or dictated) by the
apostles as epistles or other letters, thus completing the New
At this point another question
arises: Since Christ's death on the cross destroyed the Levitical
priesthood, and He did not establish a special priest hood of
Christians to take its place, how did early Christians determine the
New Testament canon and how did they preserve it after they found it?
The answer to this is found in 2 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:5-6. EVERY
CHRISTIAN IS A PRIEST; a member of the "royal priesthood." No believer has to go through any other priest to get to his "High Priest:"
the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Christians of the late first
century, including the apostle John, through the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, determined the true New Testament canon and separated it from
all the phony "epistles" which were numerous at the time. This may be
one reason why God allowed John to outlive the other apostles, so he
could sort the true books from the false and finish the canon with Revelation.
The contention of the Catholics
and many Protestant Denominations that the New Testament canon was not
officially established until the council of Carthage in 397 A.D. is
silly. Did the first, second, third, and fourth
century Christians not know which books were scripture until a Catholic
council determined it for them? Nonsense. After John penned Revelation
the matter was settled for Bible believers. The Bible was
complete—66 books, each witnessed by the Holy Spirit.
Concerning the New Testament's
preservation, it is only reasonable to conclude that God used the same
group of people to preserve His word as He used to form the canon: the universal priesthood of believers.
After the New Testament was completed (and even before), true believers
were at work faithfully making copies for their own use and for the use
of local churches. As the copies they used wore out they would make
even more copies to replace them. In this manner the New Testament
became widespread and its copies numerous. Needless to say, however,
Satan was active in trying to stop this flood of Bibles, and he
retaliated by "inspiring" counterfeit gospels and phony epistles. But
the Bible believers were not fooled, they steadfastly kept God's word
During this period (100 AD to
500 AD) Satan devised another devious tactic to try and stop the spread
of Christianity; he raised up "scholars" to rationalize, criticize, and
"revise" the scriptures. One of them, a man named Origen,
is probably more responsible for the mass of translations we have today
than anyone else in history. When he read the New Testament, the
passages he couldn't understand he freely "revised," claiming the
original had been miscopied. He was his OWN final authority, just like
his counterparts today. Origen's humanistic attitude toward the
scriptures was popular to the educated people of his day, and many so
called "church fathers" became engaged in "correcting" the Bible also.
Some of these "revisions" still exist today and are called "the oldest
and best texts" by modern translators. It is true they are older than
the majority of manuscripts, but the main reason they still exist is
because Christians down through history knew they were corrupt and
never used them. The "scholars" today who accept them are much more
gullible than the average Christian of the fifth century. The "Textus Receptus" copies of the New Testament we have today are newer only because the believers were constantly handling and reading their parent copies, they simply WORE THEM OUT!
Near the beginning of the "dark ages" (now called the "middle ages"
by those who ignore the millennium of Catholic inquisition) Satan made
one of his most ingenious and diabolical moves. He "Christianized" the
pagan religion of Rome and formed what is now known as the Roman Catholic Church.
He led the Roman emperor Constantine to prepare the way for his brand
of Christianity to become the state religion, making it illegal for
Christians to "worship" except through the church at Rome. Though many
believers were deceived and joined with the "MOTHER OF HARLOTS" (Revelation 17:5), many others refused and were sorely persecuted (see Foxe's Book Of Martyrs).
This persecution continued for centuries, but small remnants of
believers, scattered throughout Europe and western Asia, remained true
to God and continued to preserve His word in various languages. These
believers were known by many different names (Waldensians, Albigensians, Lollards,
and others), but they all believed they had God's word and were not
about to let the pope take it from them. Many of them died horrible
deaths at the hands of the Catholics because of their steadfast refusal
to conform to Rome's doctrines or give up their beloved Bible. There
were times when the Romanists would find some of their Bible texts and
burn them in great piles with much ceremony, but there were always some
copies that escaped detection. During this millennium of darkness
untold gallons of blood was shed to preserve the purity of the
scriptures. Does your Bible mean that much to you?
As with the Old Testament, the
invention of the printing press changed things, and in 1516 some New
Testament manuscripts were compiled together to make a complete text
and was printed. The press made the Bible much more available to the
public and thus harder to destroy. This directly led to the Protestant
Reformation. This text, after some revision, became known as the Traditional Text or the Received Text (Textus Receptus). The corrupt text that came from Origen is called the Alexandrian Text. It was named this because it originated in Alexandria Egypt (a type of the world). The Textus Receptus originated in Antioch Syria; the place where the disciples were first called "Christians" (Acts 11:26), and the center of operations for Paul's missionary journeys (Acts 13:1-3).
For an enlightening study, the reader is encouraged to check all the verses in the Bible which mention "Alexandria" or "Antioch." "Alexandria"
is usually mentioned in a negative light (Acts 6:9) and "Antioch" in a
positive (Acts 11:26). Is the Holy Spirit trying to tell us something?
The two most "universally esteemed" representatives of the Alexandrian Text are the vile Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts. These two corruptions are considered "the oldest and best texts" by most scholars, yet they have hundreds of contradictory readings between them and THOUSANDS compared with the Textus Receptus. Furthermore, these two manuscripts were LOST to humanity for nearly one thousand years! Vaticanus "turned up" in the Vatican in 1481; Sinaiticus
was discovered in a Catholic monastery in the mid nineteenth century.
Did God lose His "best" manuscripts until then? Did the Christians
before this time not have access to the "most reliable and accurate
texts?" Nonsense. The Bible believers of the past knew these
manuscripts were corrupt because they didn't agree with their pure
Bibles and because their sworn enemy the Catholics had them. "By their fruits ye shall know them"
In short, the Authorized Version was translated from the God honored Received Text
which is covered with the blood of countless martyrs; nearly all the
"new" translations came (at least partially) from the corrupt Alexandrian Text which no one shed a drop of blood to protect. This alone should make any Christian think twice before he abandons the King James Version for a modern translation.
Biblical Accounts Of Preservation
"Now," you may ask, "your brief appeal to church history was interesting, but are there any examples in the Bible
of God preserving His Word?" I am glad you asked, of course there are.
To list just a few, check where the high priest during Josiah's reign
found the "book of the law" hidden in the "house of the Lord"
(2 Kings chapter 22). God kept a pure copy hidden during the years of
rebellion and idolatry so the good king Josiah could find it and bring
about reforms in the land.
For another example check in Jeremiah chapter 36, where Jeremiah had "all the words of the Lord""all the former words"
(vs. 28) upon another roll, plus, some NEW WORDS (vs. 32)! This is very
significant. The ORIGINAL is destroyed and Jeremiah makes a COPY of all
the original words and then adds MORE. The copy is NOT identical to the
original yet BOTH are scripture!a copy does not have to be verbally and plenarily identical to the original to be scripture (more on this later).
written upon a roll (vs. 4). Then see how after the roll was cut up and
burned (by a Bible revisor), God commanded him to write They do not contradict but complement each other, similar to how each
of the four Gospels complements the others without contradiction. The
lesson here is:
For a New Testament account showing preservation, look in Luke chapter 4 where the Lord goes into the synagogue to read "the book of the prophet Esaias..."
remembering that He read from a COPY of Isaiah and NOT the original. He
did not once correct any "errors that crept into the text" or omit any
words which were "added" by scribes. The copy He read from was just as pure as the original. If it wasn't He would have said so (Matthew 4:4)!
The above reference leads us to consider the critic's argument that copies cannot be as pure as the original. The King James Version
completely decimates the logic of those who hold this view. To quickly
settle this "problem," one needs only to believe two verses: 2 Timothy
3:15-16. This is the classic passage on the inspiration of the
scriptures. Most Christians are familiar with verse 16, but let's look
at verse 15 with it. Paul says in verse 15 that Timothy had known the "holy scriptures" since he was a child, and in verse 16 he says "all scripture is given by inspiration of God...." It is clear Paul considered the "scriptures" (copies) Timothy had to be "given by inspiration," since he says in the next verse that "all scripture" is. These two verses alone prove that COPIES can be "given by inspiration."
What a terrible passage to face if one has "originalitis"! These verses
are so plain in declaring that copies can be scripture that some of the
new "Bibles" change them so their scholars can "save face." The reader
should carefully note that verse 16 does not say the original writings
WERE given by inspiration, but that all scripture IS (present tense).
Scholars use this passage to
teach that only the "originals" were inspired, but it says no such
thing! Not one time in the Bible is the word "scripture(s)" a reference to an original autograph. It ALWAYS refers to a copy! The originals were "given by inspiration"
not because they were original manuscripts, but because they were
SCRIPTURE. The key word is SCRIPTURE. Do not make the mistake of
forcing the Bible to teach something it does not say, but remember, for
a text to be scripture it does NOT have to be the original. God makes
no distinction between the purity of an original and of an accurate
copy made of it, even a copy made from another copy hundreds of years after the original!
Since "all scripture is given by inspiration of God," the "scripture" Christ quoted in Luke 4 was pure, as were the "scriptures" He commanded the Jews to search in John 5. Likewise, the "scripture""scriptures" the Bereans had in Acts 17 were pure; the "scripture"
Paul had in Romans 4 was pure; and also, according to Peter, all the
epistles of Paul are scripture and thus pure (2 Peter 3:16). Every
reference to scripture in the Bible is a reference to God's infallible,
inerrant word. Whether the scripture is an original autograph or a copy
is immaterial. God does not esteem the former above the latter in any
way and neither should we. the Ethiopian eunuch had in Acts 8 was pure; the
Now that we have shown that
God's word must exist somewhere on earth in pure form you may ask: "How
does one determine where God's word is or which Bible it is"? Or, "How
can one know the King James Version
is pure and free from error"? In the following chapters we will address
these questions, but there is something else we must look into first.
"Verbal" And "Plenary" Translations?
Fundamentalists often say they believe in the "verbal (word for word)
and plenary (complete and total) inspiration of the scriptures." One
could say this about the originals, but they purposely say "scripture,"identical
(word for word) with the original. This is the principal reason they
insist only the originals can be inspired. They maintain no one can
know for certain if he has a pure Bible because he cannot prove that
the text he has is an exact duplicate of the autograph (exact as far as
the words are concerned). The folly in this is assuming that all
scripture must be verbally and plenarily identical to the original.
leading Christians to think only the originals are scripture. According
to the way most scholars use these two terms, before any text can truly
be scripture, it has to be
The Holy Spirit does not use the terms "verbal" and "plenary" to describe scripture. He simply says it is "given by inspiration" (God-breathed). Verbal and plenary are terms theologians use to define their idea
of inspiration. Evidently, the Holy Spirit's choice of words is not
enough for them. At this point you may be thinking: "Do you mean to
tell me that the Bible is not inspired word for word and completely and
totally? I have believed this all my life and...." Well, "hold your
horses" and don't jump to conclusions. We just mentioned how we believe
"the words of the Lord are pure words,"
how we believe all scripture is infallible, inerrant, "God-breathed,"
and how we believe we have a copy. What we are referring to here is
terminology. How words and terms are used and the implications that
result from their use. If verbalplenary
are used the way most scholars use them, no one could know he had a
perfect Bible or not because the standard or authority to appeal to no
longer exists. However, if we use Bible terminology, i.e. "given by inspiration,"
and do not force the scriptures to say something they do not, a person
can know he has the words God wants him to have. This is really the
heart of the Bible controversy: can a person KNOW he has a copy of the
Scriptures—the pure words of the living God? We contend that
he can; not because of man's ability, but because of God's promise of
Concerning translations, the
Bible critic's mentality compels him to dogmatically proclaim that NO
translation can be inspired because it is impossible for it to be verbally and plenarily
identical to the original. In their way of thinking, it could be
possible for a Greek text to be identical with the "original Greek,"
but never a translation. They insist translated words cannot have
precisely the same meaning as the words in the original language.
Granted they can't, but who says they have to?
The Bible doesn't. This argument is based on the assumption that only
the original language can convey the exact words God wants man to have,
but the Bible makes no such requirement. In fact, it allows for the alternative.
There are several places in the scriptures where a translation is "given by inspiration." Joseph, when he was a ruler in Egypt, spoke to his brethren in Egyptian (Genesis 42:23). There is no record of anything he said to them being written down in Egyptian. Moses later made an account in Hebrew,
and this Hebrew text is the text given by inspiration. To say that a
translation cannot be "word-perfect" is to invent a problem where no
problem exists. It does not bother God that languages are dissimilar,
He can give man the words He wants him to have without worrying about
being "word-perfect." Likewise, when Moses and Pharaoh talked to each
other concerning the release of the Israelites they also conversed in
Egyptian (Exodus chapters 4-14). Moses, again, recorded all the words
Suppose Pharaoh's court
recorder recorded all the words spoken between Moses and Pharaoh in
Egyptian. Would it not be the original and Moses' account a mere
translation? Would not this "original Egyptian" text be the "verbal and
plenary" account of what was said? Yet which one is given by
inspiration? See the problems scholars make for themselves? If one
follows their reasoning, the account of Moses we have today has two
strikes against it: it is a COPY AND A TRANSLATION! Does this mean
anything regarding it being scripture? Of course not! Suppose we had
the Egyptian original before us today, would it be better than the copies we have of Moses' translation? Not at all. The writings of Moses are scripture (2 Timothy 3:16); the first-hand account of a recorder is not, even if it is the "original"!
For another example, look in
Acts 22, where Paul speaks to the Jews in Hebrew and Luke records it in
Greek! There is no Hebrew manuscript of Paul's words in existence. Does
this affect their purity? You should know the answer. Each one of these
three translations (and there are over thirty more) God has honored and "given by inspiration."
They all are scripture, yet God did not see fit to record them in the
Bible in their original language. Some people behave like they have
forgotten that God knows all languages. He knows German as well as
Hebrew and English as well as Greek. Of course, every believer will
agree with this, but many act like they do not. What God sees as no
problem (having an translation "given by inspiration"), Bible scholars
and translators see as a great problem. God can give His words to anyone in any language
EXACTLY the way He wants them to have them, without the words being
"verbally" and "plenarily" identical to the original language. Many
Christians, from listening to the "scholars" humanistic rhetoric to
long, have been brainwashed and cannot understand this, but it is no
problem for a Bible reading Bible believer.
Are Translations Inferior?
Another fact concerning translations is that in the three verses the
word "translate" (or forms of it) is found in the Bible, the object
translated is BETTER than it was to start with! I know this is heresy
to the "scholars", but look at the passages yourself. The first verse
is 2 Samuel 3:10. There, the kingdom is to be "translated" from the
house of Saul to David. When one reads the context of this passage, and
of the reign of David after, he finds the kingdom becomes better
than it was in its original state! It is unified under one king, and he
is the best king they will ever have until Christ returns! The second
translation is found in Colossians 1:13. The translation here is the
conversion of a lost sinner to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. No
Christian can say this is not a translation for the better! The last
mention is in Hebrews 11:5 where Enoch is spoken of as being "translated."
Again, no believer in his right mind can say a person would not be
better off to bypass death and go directly to Heaven. Enoch's
translation is a vast improvement over his original condition.
As mentioned before, we agree
that no translation can be "word-perfect" with the original, but this
in no way means, as scholars assume, that a translation is of a lesser
quality. It could just as easily be (as we have just seen) BETTER in quality than the original!
The word of God does NOT lose its purity and authority by being
translated. God can easily direct or influence translators to choose
words that say what He wants said in any language. The words chosen may
have a slightly different meaning than the original word, or they may
not convey all of its "idioms" and "inflections" and the like, but so
what? Many English words also have a uniqueness about them and can
convey thoughts that no single Greek or Hebrew word can. It works both
ways. God knew this, and He directed the Authorized Version
translators accordingly. This is not to say that the translators
themselves were inspired, but only that God used them to preserve His
word in its purity in the English language.
Now that we have seen how God
has promised to preserve His word, how He did preserve it, and how
copies and translations can be scripture, we will begin to look at the King James Version in particular and see why it is to be preferred above all others.
Go To Chapter III