Top Sites

The Fundamental Top 500

      

Is It Right to Judge?

IS IT RIGHT:
To Judge, To Expose Error, & To Call Names?

By Pastor E.L. Bynum.
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas. USA
http://www.tbaptist.com

Many today believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name names. Liberals have always seemed to believe this, but in recent times it has been widely espoused by evangelicals and charismatics. Now we are seeing the same fatal error being declared by those who profess to be Bible believing fundamentalists. Those who are faithful in exposing error according to the Bible are now being widely denounced, and are accused of being unloving and unkind. We intend here to present the teaching of the Bible on this vital subject.

I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgement.

One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand the true meaning. In vs. 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that v.1 is referring to hypocritical judgement. A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a mote in his eye. The lesson is plain, you cannot judge another for his sin if you are guilty of the same sin.

Those who cling to “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing…” (v.15). How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? If we know the false prophets, how can we fail to warn the sheep of these “ravening wolves?” All through the Bible we find proof that they should be identified and exposed.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit” (v.16,17). Did the Lord mean that we could not judge the tree (person), by the fruit of their life and doctrine? Certainly not, for you cannot know without judging. All judgement should be on the basis of Bible teaching, not according to whims or prejudices.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement” (John 7:24). Here our Lord commands that we are to “judge righteous judgement,” which is judgement based upon the Word of God. If judgement is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matt. 7:1. Webster’s Dictionary says that a judge is “one who declares the law.” The faithful Christian must discern or judge on the basis of God’s inspired law, the Bible.

A fornicator is described in 1 Cor. 5:1-13. Paul “judged” (v.3) the man even though he was absent, and he told the church at Corinth that they were to “judge” (v.12) those that were within. The Greek word for “judge” is the same here as in Matt. 7:1. Paul did not violate “judge not, that ye be not judged,” in judging the man, nor in instructing the Church to judge also. All of this judgement was according to the Word of God.

A person who is able to discern between good and evil, has at least one of the major marks of spiritual maturity. “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14). W.E. Vine says of the meaning of discern, “a distinguishing, a clear discrimination, discerning, judging; it is translated `discerning’ in 1 Cor. 12:10 of discerning spirits, judging by evidence whether they are evil or of God.” Strong also agrees that it means to judge.

Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience or their immaturity.

II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers.

False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines today because there is a conspiracy of silence among many bible believers. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many.

John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) “a generation of vipers” (snakes) (Matt. 3:7). Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian.

Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God.

Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them “hypocrites,” “blind guides,” “blind,” “whited sepulchres,” “serpents,” and “ye generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:13-33). Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees. Some who say they are Bible believing Christians insist on working with Roman Catholics and other assorted heretics. Yet, according to many, we are not supposed to rebuke them for their compromise.

Near the beginning of His ministry, “Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (John 2:13-16). Our Saviour is presented today as one who was meek, lowly, kind, and loving, even to false teachers, but this is entirely false. When dealing with false teachers and prophets, His words were sharp and His actions plain.

Near the end of His public ministry, Christ found it necessary to cleanse the temple once again. The exposure of false doctrines and practices is a never ending job. At that time He said, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17). Is it any different today? The thieves come into the house of God, and rob God’s people of the Bible and peddle their perverted Bibles instead. At the same time this den of thieves rob the people of the doctrine of separation and the doctrine of sanctification. Then you can hardly tell God’s people from the people of the world. In all honesty, should not these thieves (false teachers) be exposed?

In our day these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, literature, movies, psychology, seminars, and have turned the Father’s house into a den of thieves. It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for all to see.

The Bible Admonishes Us To Expose Error.

We are to TRY them.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). All doctrine and teachers are to be tried according to the Word of God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). Every message, messenger, and method is to be judged according to the Word of God. The church at Ephesus was commended because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” (Rev. 2:2). It is never right to tolerate false teachers, but they are to be tried by the Word of God, and exposed. Of course those who want to disobey the Word of God will seek by every means to avoid this teaching.

We are to MARK them and AVOID them.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God are to be marked and to be avoided. This requires discernment and judgement in the light of the Bible. The ecumenicalists, new evangelicals, and compromising fundamentalists will resist any effort to obey this Scripture. They cannot be marked and avoided, unless they are judged according to the Word of God.

We are to REBUKE them.
“Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13). This was written to Titus, because there were those going from house to house and subverting whole houses with false doctrine (v.10-16). Oral Roberts, Robert Schuller, Rodney Howard-Browne, Pat Robertson, and others are subverting whole houses with their false doctrine today. Are we to sit silently by, while they do this, without rebuking and admonishing people to avoid their teaching? No, the faithful servant of the Lord is to be “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).

We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP with them.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?

We are to WITHDRAW from them.
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us” (2 Thess. 3:6). We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God. The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind, for he says, “if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thess. 3:14-15). Paul admonished Timothy to “withdraw thyself” from those who “consent not to wholesome words … and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” (1 Timothy 6:3-5). This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.

We are NOT to RECEIVE them into our house.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10,11). There is no doubt about who John is speaking about, it is “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ…” (v.9). By radio, TV, and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!

We are to REJECT HERETICS.
“A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3:10). We should reject those why deny redemption by the blood of Christ. There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.

We are to look out for those who preach another gospel. Paul warned about those who preached “another Jesus….another spirit … or another gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:13). He explains in v.14-15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan.

Paul warned the Galatians about those who “pervert the gospel of Christ.” He also said, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (see Gal. 1:6-9). Multitudes today are preaching a perverted gospel. Those who teach salvation by baptism, or by works, are teaching a perverted gospel. Those who preach a salvation that you can lose, are preaching a perverted gospel. The charismatics, Catholics, many evangelicals, and many fundamentalists(?) are preaching a perverted gospel. Yet, we are supposed to cooperate with them in evangelism and Christian work, according to many today. If we fail to expose these false prophets, then we have betrayed Christ and His gospel.

We are to SEPARATE from them.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17). This makes it plain. God’s people are to come out of apostasy and religious error. How can any Bible believer remain in the National Council or World Council of Churches? How can they remain in the Southern Baptist Convention, or any of the other apostate organizations? How can they remain among compromising evangelicals and wishy-washy fundamentalists?

III. It Is Right To Name Names.

Many mistakenly believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name the guilty teachers; but they are wrong according to the Bible.

Paul named Peter publicly. Peter was guilty of unscriptural practice. “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed…But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” (Gal. 2:11-14). The whole issue revolved around salvation by the law or by grace. When the integrity and purity of the gospel is at stake, then we have no choice when it comes to the matter of exposing error and naming names.

Paul named Demas for loving the world. “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Tim. 4:10). Those who forsake the cause of Christ for worldly living and pleasure should be named and exposed.

Paul named Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul told Timothy to “war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some have put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:18-20). God’s true servants should war a good warfare, and name those who have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Paul is not here discussing the faith of salvation but the faith was a system of doctrine. These men had made shipwreck of it and Paul exposed them and called their names.

Paul named Hymenaeus and Philetus. He told Timothy to “study” that he might be able to “rightly” divide “the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth as canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:15-18). False doctrine overthrows the faith of some, so those who are proclaiming it must be exposed.

Paul named Alexander the coppersmith. “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words” (2 Tim. 4:14-15). It is clear that this is not a personality problem, but a doctrinal problem. Alexander had withstood the words and doctrine of Paul. He was an enemy to the truth. Godly pastors face the same problem every day. They stand and proclaim the truth, then their members go home and hear this truth disputed by radio and TV preachers. Often times these false prophets are sending their publications into the homes of members of true churches. Then the man of God is supposed to keep his mouth shut, according to many. Only a coward will be silent when the truth of the Bible is under attack.

John named Diotrephes. “I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not” (3 John 9). He related how this man had prated again him “with malicious words” (v.10). He further said, “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God, but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (v.11). It is not wrong to name those whose doctrine and practice is contrary to the Word of God.

In fact, the whole Bible abounds in examples of false prophets being named and exposed. All this modern day talk about love, used as an excuse for not exposing error, is not really biblical love but is really sloppy agape.

Moses called the name of Balaam. (See Num. 22-25). Peter exposed “the way of Balaam…who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Pet. 2:15). Balaam was a prophet that was in the work for money, just like some of the TV false prophets today. They beg for money and live like kings, while multitudes of innocent people send them hard earned money. They are always building colleges, hospitals, TV network satellites, and amusement parks that have a water slide for Jesus. And then we are supposed to keep our mouth shut about these religious charlatans. How can we be silent and be true to God?

Jude exposed “the error Balaam” (Jude 11). John exposed “the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication” (Rev. 2:14). This gets right to the heart of the matter, concerning the doctrine of separation. Balaam never did curse Israel even though he wanted the wages that he was offered to do so. The men of Israel committed “whoredom with the daughters of Moab …and bowed down to their gods” (Num. 25:1,2). Why did they do this? Because Balaam taught Balac how to break down the barrier of separation between the Moabites and the Israelites. We know this to be so because it is plainly stated in Rev. 2:14 and Num. 31:16. This sin resulted in 24,000 men of Israel dying under the judgement of God.

False teachers are breaking down the barrier of separation between God’s people and false religion. There is too little preaching and teaching on the doctrine of separation. Balaam breached the doctrine of personal separation by causing the men of Israel to commit fornication with the Moabite women. He breached the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation by causing the men of Israel to bow down to Baal. This bought a curse upon Israel. Until we get back to teaching the truth about personal and ecclesiastical separation, we can expect the continued widespread havoc that we have today.

It seems to be believed by many that some people are too high and mighty to be named or exposed. Men in high places, pastors of large churches, and those with great radio or TV audiences, are supposedly above criticism. Whatever they may do or say, no matter how contrary to the Bible it may be, is supposedly all right. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nathan identified the man. There was a man in a very high place who was a secret adulterer. Surely this man who held the highest office in the land could not be rebuked by a lowly unpopular prophet. Nathan went right into the presence of David, revealed the sin in a parable form, and then told the enraged David, “Thou art the man” (2 Sam. 12:7).

Hanani named king Jehoshophat. In many ways Jehoshophat was a good king, but he mistakenly forgot to practice religious separation. He caused his son to marry wicked king Ahab’s daughter. (See 2 Chron. 18:1; 21:1-6). He made an alliance with Ahab and went to the battle of Ramoth-Gilead with him (2 Chron. 19:2). We have a question for those who insist on working with charismatics, Catholics, and members of the National Council of Churches. “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?”

Yes, it is right to expose error and to name those who are in error.

It is right to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). It was once delivered and it has never been recalled for revision. We had better beware of “false teachers … who privily shall bring in damnable heresies” (2 Pet. 2:1). Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of these heretics, and identify them by name. It is not enough to broadly hint of their identity, for the young lambs will not understand and will be destroyed by the wolves.

Article Used With Permission.
To obtain this article in printed form, please contact Tabernacle Baptist Church at:
baptist@tbaptist.com

The Lord’s Deputy

The Lord’s Deputy stands in the night, face covered by the darkness. At the ready the Lord’s Deputy stands, prepared to defend the weak, help the helpless, and protect the innocent. He knows the risk and understands the dangers around him. He knows he may have to pay the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice, he knows he may have to give his life.

The Lord’s Deputy is not afraid. His heart is prepared; he is wearing his armor. The Armor is special, different from any other kind of armor ever fashioned. It is stronger than any bulletproof vest, harder than any helmet, more powerful than any weapon.

The Lord’s Deputy wears this special armor, never taking it off.

The Armor girds his loins with truth. Truth has no flaws, it can never change, and it is absolute.

His chest is covered with a special breastplate. It is the breastplate of righteousness. Nothing can penetrate it. Evil cannot stand against righteousness. Evil cannot hurt the Lord’s Deputy who is clad in armor.

On his feet are shoes like no other. Shoes of the gospel of peace. Ready to go to anyone, no matter where or who they are, if they are willing to hear the truth of Jesus Christ and be shown the way to eternal life.

He takes with him a shield. The Shield of Faith, knowing that faith in Jesus Christ is stronger than any weapon the enemy may fashion. He knows the enemy can kill the flesh, but can never hurt the soul. His soul belongs to the Lord.

He carries only one weapon; the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. It is sharper than any two edged sword which is able to penetrate even the heart of stone.

The Deputy of the Lord battles evil on the earth. He fights against not only flesh and blood, but also principalities and powers of this dark world. He must deal with the sin of man for the Lord does not bear the sword in vain.

Yes, the Lord’s Deputy knows the dangers, he knows the cost, but he is ready. He has on the Armor of God.

Written by Tim Fisher
Used With Permission

The Most Spiritual Churches in America

I have always been a part of the most spiritual Independent Baptist churches in America. God has been so good to me. Some may think that this is a very proud statement. You may ask why do you think that the churches that you have attended are so spiritual. Let me explain.

We all consider that being spiritual is submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We all know that the Holy Spirit enables us to do his work in the church. He also imparts to us the ability to perform special tasks in the church that no one else can do as well as we can. What a blessing to have a part in the Lord’s ministry.

Now, I think that the reason that I have attended the most spiritual churches in America is because even the most carnal, worldly, hateful, people in these churches have been given special gifts of a spirit and they exercise them regularly. Only in the best churches in America can you find carnal people exercising their gifts in the church.

You may ask what gifts these people exercise. By and large, they all have the gift of tongues. Their tongue goes a mile a minute. They are very well-exercised in that gift. Most of them also have the gift of wisdom because they always know more than everyone else. If you ever have a problem in the church, they are so wise that they can solve all of the church’s problems in a matter of minutes. The gifts of wisdom and tongues are usually exercised simultaneously. Most of them have the gift of interpretation. They know how to interpret the passages that that the preacher preaches “falsely”. You know, like women wearing pants, carnal music, worldliness, and so on. It is sure a blessing to have these Bible scholars in our church. A few of them have the gift of governments. They really know how a church should be run. They are experts on each and every program that the church has. They are financial geniuses and know where and how all of the money of the church should be spent. The final gift that these people have is the wonderful gift of teaching. They are ready to teach the preacher how and what to preach. They are experts in the substance and delivery of each sermon. They can teach a preacher correct grammar in a matter of minutes right after the sermon. What a blessing to have these people in our church.

The next time you get down and depressed about the state of affairs in your church just remember. You still have it pretty good. The majority of your worldly, backslidden, hateful, carnal, once-a-week Christians exercise their gifts daily. What a blessing to be part of the best Independent Baptist churches in America.

6-14-03
Pastor Danny Vanhoose
http://www.graceindependentbaptist.org/
(Used With Permission)

Seven Reasons I Believe the Bible Is the Word of God

From the book CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS
by Dr. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley

THE BIBLE IS the Grand Charter of Christianity. To undermine, discredit and reject the Bible is to undermine, discredit and reject Christianity. Christianity is rooted and grounded upon the Bible and if the foundations be destroyed what will Christians do?

The popular assertion of present-day shallow thinkers that their Christianity rejects the Old Testament but accepts the New is, to say the least, unrealistic, for the New Testament is based on the Old. Both are inseparably united and of necessity when one is rejected the other also must be refused. What the seed is to the plant so is the Old to the New. How can the plant be received and the seed which produced it rejected?

The first task then of any inquiry into Christianity must be an examination of the claims of the Bible.
THE CLAIMS OF THE BIBLE

The Bible claims to be the Word of God and by staking this claim the Bible simply but plainly declares its divine authority, complete infallibility and absolute sufficiency.

(a) Its Divine Authority. Its authority is grounded upon God Himself. 1 Thessalonians 2:13– “Ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

The Bible’s authority is not derived from reason. The Bible does not appeal to reason and demand obedience because our reason sanctions its teachings. Its authority is not rational in that sense, although we believe the Bible to be reasonable ultimately, because it is the Word of Him Who is the source of all reason. Our reason needs to be approved by the Bible and not the Bible by our reason.

The Bible’s authority is not derived from the emotions. The Bible does not appeal to our feelings and demand obedience because our feelings acquiesce in its teachings. Its authority is not emotional, and our feelings need to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by our feelings.

The Bible’s authority is not derived from the Church. The Bible does not appeal to the Church and demand obedience because the Church decrees its teachings. Its authority is not ecclesiastical and the Church needs to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by the Church.

The Bible claims that its authority is derived from the God Who breathed it. Its authority is divine.

(b) Its Complete Infallibility. Its infallibility is complete. John 10:35– “The Scripture cannot be broken.”

In all its words it can make no mistake. All it says, in the sense in which it says it, is true. What it records as history is real history. Its descriptions of the processes of nature, though not described in scientific language, are as popular statements infallibly true to what appears and hence scientifically correct. When the mistakes of men or the lies of Satan are given it is an infallible record of mistakes or of lies that we have.

(c) Its Absolute Sufficiency. Its sufficiency is absolute. Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

All that we require to know in regard to faith and practice is contained in the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation. John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”

Thus the Bible claims to be the Word of God, and as such is divinely authoritative, completely infallible and absolutely sufficient.
VERBAL INSPIRATION

When I say that I believe the Bible is the Word of God, then I affirm that I believe it to be of divine authority, completely infallible and absolutely sufficient.

In these days when theological definitions are discountenanced and human speculation has attempted to eclipse divine revelation it is essential that we define what we mean when we say the Bible is the Inspired Word of God.

The old line modernists speak of the inspiration of the Bible but inspiration is also ascribed to Shakespeare and other masters of literature. For them inspiration stands for “human genius.” The new modernists of the neo-orthodox (so near and yet so far) schools of Barth and Brunner define inspiration in another manner. The Bible is the Word of God because particular passages have conveyed from time to time a divine message to man. To man at times the Bible becomes a word of God. This theory does not hold the Bible to be the Word of God but rather declares that under some circumstances parts of it become a word of God. As both these views dethrone the whole idea of a real divine revelation I reject them.

When I speak of the Bible as the Word of God I do not only mean that it contains the Word of God but that it is the Word of God.

I affirm that the Bible is an authoritative revelation to us from God in which God’s thoughts are conveyed to us with infallible accuracy and that the very words which clothe the thoughts are from God Himself. This is what is known as verbal inspiration.

Let me quote two great statements which set out the historic Protestant belief in regard to the Bible. The first is from the pen of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, rightly acclaimed as the Prince of Preachers. After his withdrawal from, and censure by, the modernistic Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland and a little time before his call to higher service, Mr. Spurgeon along with six like-minded brethren, drew up a doctrinal statement which they called “A Confession.” This confession contained the following concise statement on the Inspiration of the Bible:–

“We the undersigned, banded together in fraternal union, observing with growing pain and sorrow the loosening hold of many upon the truths of Revelation, are constrained to avow our firmest belief in the verbal inspiration of all Holy Scripture as originally given. To us, the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but is the Word of God. From beginning to end, we accept it, believe it, and continue to preach it. To us, the Old Testament is no less inspired than the New, the Book is an organic whole. Reverence for the New Testament accompanied by scepticism as to the Old appears to us absurd. The two must stand or fall together. We accept Christ’s own verdict concerning ‘Moses and all the prophets’ in preference to any of the supposed discoveries of so-called higher criticism.”

The second statement constitutes the finding of one of the greatest of Presbyterian Assemblies ever convened. In 1893 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America, an assembly whose membership included America’s greatest merchants, jurists, educators and statesmen as well as her greatest missionaries, evangelists, and theologians, put the following of record:–

“The Bible as we now have it, in its various translations and revisions, when freed from all errors and mistakes of translators, copyists and printers, IS THE VERY WORD OF GOD and consequently without error.”

It is for the historic Protestant position as defined in these statements that I contend.
VERBAL INSPIRATION ESSENTIAL

Only verbal inspiration could secure an infallible revelation. Dr. James Gray, for many years head of the famous Moody Bible Institute, often used the following illustration:–

“A stenographer in a mercantile house was asked by his employer to write as follows: ‘Gentlemen: We misunderstood your letter and will now fill your order.’ Imagine the employer’s surprise, however, when a little later this was set before him for his signature: ‘Gentlemen: We misunderstood your letter and will not fill your order.’ The mistake was only of a single letter, but it was entirely subversive of his meaning. And yet the thought was given clearly to the stenographer, and the words, too, for that matter. Moreover, the latter was capable and faithful, but he was human, and it is human to err. Had not his employer controlled his expression down to the very letter, the thought intended to be conveyed would have failed of utterance.”

If in simple matters such verbal superintendence is necessary in order to secure accuracy how much more when the mysterious and transcendent revelation of God is being communicated. Without verbal inspiration no written revelation could be reliable.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BELIEVED IN VERBAL INSPIRATION

It is clear from a study of the language of the Lord that He believed in verbal inspiration. In confounding the Sadducees He built the doctrine of the immortality of the spirit and the resurrection of the body on the tense of the verb “to be.”

He drew attention to the Bible statement “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” and not that God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (see Matthew 22:32– “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”)

Again, in Matthew 5:18 He emphasized that inspiration extended to the smallest Hebrew letter, the yod, and to the smallest distinguishing mark, the tittle. “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.”

To sum up, all Scripture is inspired of God

(2 Timothy 3:16– “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”);

the writers are inspired of God

(2 Peter 1:21– “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”);

every letter is also inspired

(Galatians 3:16– “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”)

and inspiration extents to every jot and tittle

(Matthew 5:18– “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.”).

No better testimony to the extent of inspiration could be borne than that by Dean Burgon:

“The Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth on the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High.”

Having defined what I mean when I say the Bible is the Word of God, I now want to give seven reasons why I believe it to be so.
FIRST REASON: THE INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE FACT OF THE BIBLE

The greatest fact of all time is the Bible. How a book which has been so universally attacked could survive and attain to such a place of eminence is a miracle eloquently testifying to its supernatural origin.

Because the Bible forthrightly condemns sin, the hatred of sinners has been hurled against it. Because the Bible in plain and unmistakable language debases the pride of man, proud man has set himself the task to discredit it. Because the Bible uncovers the satanic underworld it is the object of the diabolical attacks of hell. Because the Bible declares that salvation is by grace alone all false religions have sought to extinguish it.

The Bible condemns every man and condones no man; it accuses every man and excuses no man; it abases human reason and exalts revelation; it repudiates the natural and rejoices in the spiritual, glorying not in flesh but in faith.

Attacked from all quarters and giving no quarter, the Bible has an Ishmaelite experience, its hand is against every man and every man’s hand is against it, but wonder of wonders, it continues to dwell in the midst of the brethren.

Princes, philosophers, prelates, politicians and poets have all conspired against it. It has been insulted by the scorn of fools. It has become the jest of infidels and the joke of sceptics. It has been assailed consistently and persistently by professed scholars and has been made the butt of the critic. Assaulted by every known plan of hell, it has come forth unscathed from the inferno. Like the three Hebrew children it has been in the fire and like them it has been wonderfully preserved and there is not a smell of burning upon it.

The fire has yet to be lit that can destroy it. The steel has yet to be forged that can scar it. The weapon has yet to be devised that can overthrow it. The scholarship has yet to be developed that can discredit it. The science has yet to be created that can demolish it. The plan has yet to be devised that can annihilate it.

The cunning of hell and the craft of earth have combined against the Bible but it stands unmoved, for it is as W. E. Gladstone, one of England’s greatest Premiers has described it, the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture.

As the Bible has stood the hottest broadsides of hell it will not be affected by the popguns of modernism.

In the past century Voltaire thought he had demolished it and boasted that in one hundred years Christianity would be a museum piece. As a result, infidelity ran riot in France. Voltaire, however, passed screaming into eternity, but the Bible has not passed away. Moreover, Voltaire’s printing press was used to print the very Scriptures which he boasted he had demolished and his house became a depot for the Geneva Bible Society.
“WILL THE OLD BOOK STAND?”

Will the Old Book stand, when the “higher critics” state
That grave errors are discovered on its page?
Will it save the sinful soul? Will it make the wounded whole?
Will its glorious truth abide from age to age?

Will its message still abide, when the scientists decide
That its record of Creation is untrue?
Tell us the ascent of man is by evolution’s plan;
Will its principles the sinful heart renew?

When in language wondrous fair, “Christian Scientists” declare
That there is no evil, only mortal mind.
When mental treatment fails, and seeming death prevails,
May we in the Bible consolation find?

When infidels parade the mistakes which Moses made,
When the truth of Revelation they deny,
Will the Ten Commandments still the demands of justice fill?
Will its word support us when we come to die?

Yes, the Word of God shall stand, though assailed on every hand,
Its foundations are eternally secure;
It will bear the critic’s test, and the idle scoffer’s jest,
Its saving truth forever shall endure.

So I believe the Bible is the Word of God because it remains with the passing and injuries of time, a temple unprofaned by the foot of the enemy, a building of God, amidst the crumbling ruins of the centuries.
SECOND REASON: THE UNITY OF THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

The unity of the Bible is one of the greatest evidences of its supernatural origin.
This unity stands out in bold relief as we consider–
The Diversity of the Bible’s Writers

This diversity extends to their historical position. The Bible consists of sixty-six books written by some forty different authors over a period of a millennium-and-a-half (1,500 years). The first writer, Moses, died about 1450 years before the last writer, John, was born. Yet none of these writers ever denounced, criticised or condemned any inspired teaching in the books of the others. Their historical position was diverse, but their spiritual position was one and the same. Such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Mind was behind this One Book.

This diversity also extends to their social condition. The writers of the Bible, socially speaking, had no common denominator. They were men actually very diverse in social condition, physical temperament and mental ability. Some were sovereigns, others were subjects; some were lawyers, others were labourers; some were conquerors, others were captives; some were farmers, others were fishermen; some were scholars, others were shepherds; some were priests and others were physicians, and some were prophets and others were poets. From such a motley and heterogeneous group one could expect but pandemonium, but behold instead a Pentecost! Their social condition was diverse, but their spiritual condition was one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Plan was behind this One Book.

Further, this diversity extends to their particular language. The writers employed three different languages– Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. If the works of any forty authors up to A. D. 100 written in three different languages on any one subject were translated and bound in one volume what a volume we would have, a volume full of diverse theories and mutually destructive tenets, scarcely understandable, its only unity being material, having been bound in the same volume, printed on the same paper and upon the same press. Although the last book of the Bible was written about 1500 years after the first book was written, yet it harmonises perfectly with it, and the whole Book is such a perfect whole, every truth being so dovetailed and every doctrine being so interwoven that the effect of the different languages employed adds rather than detracts from the harmony of the whole Book, which instead of being behind the times is actually always ahead of the times. The writers’ particular languages were diverse, but their spiritual language was one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Power was behind this One Book.

Again, this diversity extends to their actual style. The Bible contains the loftiest kind of poetry and the profoundest type of prose. Symbolism and imagery woven into the highest oratory, arguments and reasonings sharpened with the keenest logic, lamentation of the deepest pathos and joy expressed in the most exalted language, are all intermingled together to form a symmetry of golden truth. The actual style is diverse, but the spiritual tone is one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Purpose was behind this One Book.

Finally, this diversity extends to their characteristic outlook. The characteristic outlook of each writer is plainly portrayed in the several writings. The personality of each writer tinges the inspired message from their pens. Characteristic expressions and manners peculiar to the writers are subtly embalmed in their writings, but the whole, even to the very words, is divinely given. As different wind instruments all playing the same notes retain their own particular individuality though sounded by the same breath, so the writers of the Bible, though absolutely controlled by the same divine breath of inspiration nevertheless retain their own particular individuality. The characteristic outlook is diverse, but the controlling uplook is one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underline the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Person was behind this One Book.

The unity of the Bible is further manifested in:
The Details of its Wording.

For example, take the word “sweat” as it occurs in the Bible. It is mentioned only three times:

(1) Genesis 3:19– “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.”

(2) Ezekiel 44:18– “They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.”

(3) Luke 22:44– “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Notice the complete symbolic and doctrinal harmony and symmetry. In Genesis 3:19 “sweat” is part of the curse of sin. In Ezekiel 44:18, no garments which would cause “sweat” were to be worn by the priests in the service of the sanctuary. This service was holy, hence no symbol of sin was permitted even in the priest’s garment. Again, these priests were typical of the sinless One Who alone could be our Great High Priest. In Luke 22:44 He Who was made sin was identified with the curse, and therefore was bathed in the bloody “sweat” of Gethsemane’s passion and agony. Think a moment of the fact that Ezekiel wrote about 1000 years after Moses, and Luke about 500 years after Ezekiel. Though there could be absolutely no collusion, yet there is absolutely no collision. In view of this we can assert that no artful conniver could devise such unity. The Power behind such harmony in detail is surely divine. Many such examples of profound unanimity could be given, but this one is sufficient to affirm the unity of the Bible as manifested in the details of its wording.

The Unity of the Bible is further demonstrated in:
The Doctrine of its Writings.

The Doctrine of the Bible is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2– “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”) Christ alone could say, “In the volume of the Book it is written of Me.” (Psalm 40:7). The Subject of the Bible is Christ. The Object of the Bible is Christ. Its symbols symbolise Christ; its types typify Christ; its predictions predict Christ; its gospels glorify Christ; and its epistles expound Christ. He is the genesis and genius of the Book. He Himself is its unifying principle and person and hence, no potency can disintegrate the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture. Touch the Bible anywhere and you touch Christ somewhere. Only by revelation could those who lived generations before Christ describe Him so accurately and intimately and the unanimity in regard to His Person and Work is an irrefutable demonstration that He Himself must have revealed Himself to them. They must supernaturally, like Abraham, have “seen His Day” as no other satisfactory explanation can account for their intimate accuracy.

Surely this impregnable unity is a most convincing testimony to the Bible’s authenticity, infallibility and divinity.
THIRD REASON: THE VERACITY OF THE FULFILLED PROPHECY OF THE BIBLE

The Bible is unique. Hundreds of years and in some cases over a thousand years before certain events took place, the Bible made precise predictions concerning those events. No other sacred book ventured to make such predictions. The Bible is the only book which dared to stake its claim to divinity on the accuracy of its prophecies.

In the following passage in Isaiah God challenges the idol-gods of the heathen to predict future happenings. Isaiah 41:21-23– “Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.”

The idol-gods are impotent in this matter, and in contrast to their impotency God declares His Omnipotence. Isaiah 46:10– “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:”

The fulfilled prophecies of Scripture amply demonstrate the truth of this statement of Jehovah.

It is surely to be regretted that the vast field of fulfilled prophecy is largely forsaken by Bible students today. The devil knows that here conclusive proof of the divine origin of the Bible is furnished, so Higher Criticism which is only Infidelity in an ecclesiastical suit, has set about to destroy these great prophetic Scriptures.

Five Rules by which the Truthfulness and Supernaturalness of any Prophecy can be Demonstrated.

Any prophecy can be tested by the application of the following five rules:–

1. Anticipation.
The prophecy must declare something concerning future events. It must be of such a nature that not only a lapse of time must take place between the giving of the prophecy and its fulfillment but also it must be fulfilled in such a way which precludes any possibility of the prophet himself effecting it.

2. Revelation.
That which is predicted must be such an unveiling that no human foresight could have guessed it. It must be of such a kind that it could not possibly have been deduced from known facts and principles.

3. Specification.
The prophecy must be definite and precise in its details. General statements may often give a remarkable forecast of events but exact and precise predictions which forecast accurately even the smallest details preclude the utter impossibility of any thing else but supernatural revelation.

4. Inspiration.
The prophecy must stake a definite claim that it is divine.

5. Realisation.
The prophecy must be fulfilled at such a time and in such a manner that the whole prediction is completely and unassailably realised.

If these rules are applied to the fulfilled prophecies of Scripture, it will be found that on every occasion these prophecies stand the test.

The prophetic field in Scripture includes predictions concerning Christ, the Jews and the Gentile nations.

Christ

We can only consider on prophecy concerning Christ, the great prophecy of Isaiah, chapter fifty-three.

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Even if this prophecy is brought down to the very latest date to which the “higher critics” have assigned it, it was still uttered many hundreds of years before the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Even a casual examination of the precise details of the prophecy and their exact realisation in the sufferings of Christ cannot but impress the candid reader. No wonder such attempts have been made to explain away this prophecy. For example, the sceptic Bolingbroke asserted that Jesus by a series of deliberate provocative actions brought on His own crucifixion in order to give His disciples the triumph of an appeal to this old prophecy.

The invincible power of fulfilled prophecy is thus demonstrated when infidels are compelled to invent absurdities in order to evade the force of its almighty appeal.

Our Lord is not only predicted in direct prophecies but the characters, institutions, ceremonies, offerings and feasts of the Old Testament are also prophetical. These types all point to Christ. Dr. R. A. Torrey has well said:–

“The modern critical theories regarding the construction of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy go all to pieces when considered in the light of the meaning of the types of the Old Testament. I have never known a destructive critic that knew anything to speak of regarding the types. One cannot study them thoroughly without being profoundly convinced that the real author of the Old Testament, back of the human authors, is God.”

The Jews

The court chaplain of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was asked by his royal master to prove the inspiration of the Scripture in a word. He answered, “Your Majesty, the Jews.”

The Jewish race is the living monument to every generation that the Bible is the Book of God. Take, for example, the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. Here we have predicted by Moses the tragic history of the rebellious Jewish nation.

Deut. 28:49-53,68– “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee… And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.”

The Roman power here is clearly indicated by Moses, although that power had not yet come into being. Notice the mention of the eagle, the very symbol of Imperial Rome.

The invader was to be of a tongue unknown to the Jews. History affirms that the Jews were ignorant of the Latin language. The wars of the Jews with their many terrible sieges fulfil in every detail the awful predictions here made.

The return of the Jews to Egypt as slaves whom no one wanted to purchase was also fully realised. Those Jews who did not perish in the destruction of Jerusalem were shipped to Egypt. There some were sent to the mines to labour constantly until they died. Others were sold into slavery. Josephus records that 100,000 slaves glutted the markets of Egypt. Hence the prophecy of Moses was fulfilled to its last detail, “no man shall buy you.”

The Gentile Nations

Many great prophecies of the Gentile nations lie scattered through the Old Testament. Take but one, the great prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two. Here the three great world empires, Medo-Persian, Graeco-Macedonian and the Roman, which were to follow the Babylonian empire were clearly predicted. The division of the Roman empire was indicated by the two legs, while the rise of democracies, the rule of the people, was declared by the symbol of clay. Part of the iron was still to remain however, so today monarchies and republics exist side by side in the very territory once occupied by the Roman Empire.

After even a brief consideration of the field of fulfilled prophecy, the divinity of the Bible is remarkably demonstrated. The Inspired Word as well as the Incarnate Word can declare, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29.

FOURTH REASON: THE INEXHAUSTIBILITY OF THE WISDOM OF THE BIBLE

“We present you with this book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is wisdom, this is the royal law, these are the lively oracles of God.”

These words, used in the presentation of the Bible in the Coronation ceremony of the British monarchs simply sum up the fact that the Bible is an inexhaustible Book.

Man can exhaust what man has produced and written. Man cannot exhaust what God has produced and written.

The inexhaustibility of the Bible is an evident token of the divinity of its origin. The greatest of intellects singly and in concert have studied the sacred volume, but the depths of the riches of the Book are still unmined. Fresh light and truth continually burst forth from its bosom, enlightening and instructing the diligent student of its contents.

Other volumes have soon been outdated both in their principles and precepts but the Bible still remains ahead of fast moving time. Humanity has outgrown its own productions but the fact that humanity has never yet grown up to the Bible proves that it is divine.

What book can interpret the past like the Bible? What book can interpret the present like the Bible? What book can interpret the future like the Bible?

Select any individual book of the sacred volume and with careful study an meditation, unending fields of investigation open up before us. The wisdom of God and His overruling superintending care for the Bible are continually demonstrated.

Take for example, the book of Isaiah. We examine it and discover that its chapters are the same in number as the books of the Bible, sixty-six. How fascinating our study becomes when we consider the contents of the book and find that it is indeed the Bible in miniature.

In 1250 one Cardinal Hugo divided the Bible into chapters. Was it mere coincidence or the overruling providence of God which determined that Isaiah should have its sixty-six chapters? I am not contending for the divine right of all Hugo’s chapter divisions, but I am drawing attention to the fact of the overruling superintendence of God in both the preservation and regulation of the Books of the Bible. This is also demonstrated in the very order in which the books of the Scriptures are arranged in our Bible today. A study of this order shows that the books of the Old and New Testaments are placed in wondrous parallel according to their historical, doctrinal and prophetic contents.

Further, the Bible has a two-fold division, the Old and New Testaments. How intriguing when we discover that Isaiah has its two-fold division, the first section containing the same number of chapters as there are books in the Old Testament, thirty-nine, and the second containing the same number as there are books in the New Testament, twenty-seven.

In the opening of Genesis we have “The heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 2:1) and in the opening of Isaiah we have the prophet’s appeal to the “heavens and earth.” –“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken.” Isaiah 1:2.

The burden of Genesis is man’s way of ruin and God’s way of redemption. A similar theme is the burden of the first chapter of Isaiah, the genesis of this miniature Bible.

The second book of the Bible is Exodus, dealing with the going out of the Israelites from Egypt and the giving of the law at the holy mount. In the Exodus of Isaiah, which is chapter two, we read:– “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2:3.

The last words of Malachi are judgment and judgment is the theme of Isaiah chapter thirty-nine.

Chapter forty commences the second division of Isaiah, the division which corresponds to the New Testament. The New Testament opens, of course, with the gospels which tell of Christ at whose birth the angels shouted “Peace on earth”. Isaiah forty commences with the gospel (the good tidings) “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.” Isaiah 40:1. Notice the very expression “good tidings” in verse nine. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” Isaiah 40:9.

The first great character of the New Testament is John the Baptist. Isaiah speaks of him in verse three of this chapter, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness.”

At His baptism by John our Lord Jesus was manifested to Israel. Then the heavens were opened and the Father’s voice rang forth “This is My beloved Son.” We have the corollary of that in Isaiah 40:9 in the exclamation “Behold your God.”

The great doctrinal centre of the New Testament is the Cross Work of Christ. How wonderful that the exact centre of Isaiah’s New Testament in miniature is the great fifty-third chapter. What other chapter in the whole Bible depicts the Cross so grandly?

The forty-fourth chapter is the Acts of Isaiah’s New Testament. How appropriate is verse three “For I will pour waters on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground.”

The forty-fifth chapter is the Romans of Isaiah’s New Testament. The theme of the Roman Epistle is Justification by Faith. How fitting then that this chapter should close with the words “In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified.”

Keeping in mind that the New Testament was not written until many hundreds of years after Isaiah’s death, how can we account for this unique New Testament in miniature on a mere human basis? Man could not have planned such a thing. Undoubtedly this is the finger of God.

As we stand on the brink of the unbounded ocean of the fullness of Scripture, definition and description become impossible. With arms uplifted in adoration to the great Source of the Book we can but break forth in the awed and exultant exclamation of Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33.

FIFTH REASON: THE ADAPTABILITY OF THE TEACHING OF THE BIBLE

It is surely a striking fact that although the Jews were the privileged depositories of the Bible revelation, and the greater part of the Bible was therefore primarily national in character, yet the Bible is an international Book. This fact is even more remarkable when we consider that the Hebrew was the most exclusive and continues to be the most exclusive race on the face of the earth, and that the Bible writers were characteristically dominated with this Jewish exclusivism. By divine choice the Jewish people were severed in feeling, religion, policy and destiny from the rest of the race in such a manner that even adversity and dispersion could not destroy their peculiar isolation. How strange that such an exclusive race could produce an inclusive Book. Only the high-born origin of the Bible can explain the mystery. It is plainly manifested that the Jewish race became not merely the recipients of the divine message but also the spokesmen to proclaim that message to the ear and heart of the entire world. The Bible’s adaptability is self-evident being demonstrated in:

(1) The Bible, the most translatable of all books– a Book for all races. There is a universal standing about the Bible which cannot be denied. The Bible is the World Book, and as the World Book it is national and yet international, local yet worldwide, bounded yet unbounded, and limited yet unlimited.

It is enclosed in little space, yet it encloses all. “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:3-11). Prof. T. Lewis wisely comments:

“Every other assumed revelation has been addressed to but one phase of humanity. They have been adapted to one age, to one people or one peculiar style of human thought. Their books have never assumed international character or been capable of any catholic expansion. They could never be accommodated to other ages or other parts of the world. They are indigenous plants that can never grow out of the zone that gave them birth. Zoraster never made a disciple beyond Persia or its immediate neighbourhood. Confucius is wholly Chinese as Socrates is wholly Greek.”

The Scriptures and the Scriptures alone speak to both north and south, east and west. The fact that the Bible is the most translatable and the most translated of all books indicates its universal character. Translations at best are both unappealing and unfamiliar, but the Bible adapts itself to the language in which it is clothed and to the land into which it comes. It is readily admitted that the most English of all books is the Authorised Version of the Scriptures, yet in seeming paradox there is no book so German as the German Bible. Only the scholarly linguist thinks of the Greek and Hebrew originals when the living Word is read. It matters not the language, the mode of life or the degree of civilisation, the Bible adapts itself miraculously to all. To the European and the Eskimo, the African and the American, the Asiatic and the Australian, the Bible becomes singularly their own Book. In the lands which have already a vast library of sacred and venerated literature, the Bible enters, and like the sun outshines all lesser lights. In other lands the written language has to be created in order that the sacred volume might be translated, and even with the advent to these lands of the best of literature, the Bible easily retains foremost place for the divine crystal spring unsullied will be preferred to the muddy stream of human intellect. In view of this surely we can but say that the God who made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth hath also made one Book for all nations of men who dwell on the face of the earth.

Again, the Bible’s adaptability is demonstrated in:

(2) The Bible, the most seasonable of all books– a book for all ages.

The Bible is never outdated. It is always in advance of the advancing ages, and yet its unchanging message is equally adaptable to all. Studied by the far-off schools of the prophets in the hoary ages of the past, it still retains its place in the curriculum of the greatest universities of the present. Many other volumes have been perused, patronised and praised by past generations, but their literary glory died with the generation which gave them birth. They were but productions of time and products of clay, and with the passing of time in common with their authors, they returned to the dust.

Not so with the Bible, for passing time, instead of diminishing its glory has but added greater luster to its shining, and in its passing the grip of this one Book upon the world has been forged into an indissoluble bond. The fast flowing currents of passing millenniums which have erased the imprint of innumerable volumes from the sands of man’s knowledge have had no damaging effect on this one volume. Other volumes have been washed out of the consciousness of the race, while this volume has been indelibly washed in.

The Bible stands today in solitary grandeur like a rock of white marble rearing its head majestically out of a dark lonely sea in defiance of the surging billows which hurl themselves unrelentingly against its base.

Not only is it unerasable by the passing times, but it is always abreast of the times and the advancing times in all those fields which really matter actually gain momentum from it. Progression is the natural outcome of obedience to its precepts, while fleet of foot retrogression follows hard on the heels of disobedience to its commands. It is the bold crusader of every movement, marking the real progress of the race being always wiser than man’s highest wisdom and always purer than his holiest ideal. Even a cursory study of the secular history of the nations of Europe amply illustrates this. The answer which the enquiring prince received from the great British Queen when he desired to gain the secret of the Imperial Empire’s might, “The secret of England’s greatness is the open Bible” was without doubt the right answer. The Bible open and obeyed casts prosperity with both hands upon its faithful exponents. In contradistinction the Bible closed and condemned casts adversity with both hands on its faithless opponents.

The history of man’s dealings with man written in the books of man can be superseded, but the history of God’s dealings with man written in the Book of God can never be superseded.

The prophecy of man concerning man, written in the books of man fails, but the prophecy of God concerning man written in the Book of God never fails. Man’s words to man written in the books of man are soon forgotten, but God’s Word to man written in the Book of God can never be forgotten. Man’s promises to man written in the books of man are broken, but God’s promises to man written in the Book of God can never be broken. Man’s speech to man written in the books of man is soon outdated by passing time, but God’s speech to man recorded in the book of God outdates passing time. Man’s language to man written in the books of man soon decays, but God’s language to man written in the Book of God never decays, having ever a dew-like freshness. The Bible is a solitary book. In contrast to other volumes it can be said of it as of its Maker– “They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment… But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end.” –Psalm 102:26,27.

Its nature is as the nature of God, for like God it is not the I WAS, but the I AM– the Immediate, the Present, and the Ever Now.

A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun.
It gives a light to every age:
It gives, but borrows none.
The Hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat.
Its truths upon the nations rise,
They rise, but never set.

The Bible’s adaptability is further demonstrated in:

(3) The Bible, the most practical of all books– a Book for all peoples.

The message of the Bible is the most practical message ever embalmed in writing. There is not an experience known to the pilgrims of this planet for which the Bible has not a word either of direction or correction. It prescribes for all cases ever known or ever to be known by man.

There are seven Greek words used to describe the seven stages of man’s development according to Philo:

1. Infancy, paidion, child.
2. Childhood, pais, boy.
3. Youth, meirakion, lad.
4. Adolescence, neaniskos, young man.
5. Manhood, aner, man.
6. Decline, prebutes, old man.
7. Senility, geron, aged man.

In infancy, childhood, youth, adolescence, manhood, decline and senility, yes, in every stage of man’s physical and spiritual history the Bible has a message which is adaptable to all.

How children delight in the stories of the Bible. All classes and conditions of young folk find something fascinating and appealing in the immortal records of Bible history. Adam driven out from the Garden and Abraham brought into Canaan, Noah building the Ark and Nehemiah building the walls, Joseph the slave boy and statesman and Joshua the servant and soldier, and David the shepherd boy giant killer, and Daniel the dreamer lion tamer are stories which enshrine themselves in the hearts of the young; while nothing touches tender innocency like the glad tidings of Bethlehem and Calvary. Parts of the Bible may remain closed for the present but children have more than enough to go on with in these great Bible histories which are able to make them wise unto salvation.

When innocency is scarred with sin and upon the horizon of expectant youth there breaks the storm of irresistible temptation, wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way but by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.

In the trials and tribulations of life’s rugged pathway, in the joys and pleasures of life’s sunshine the Bible has always a message suitable to our experience and need.

Indeed, as the night alone reveals to us the stars of celestial glory, and the firmament then becomes crowded to its farthest depths with orbs of light, so in the night of sorrow the stars of promise otherwise hidden come out to cheer our hearts until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

In old age the Bible still has a fresh message for our tired hearts, while the silence of death itself is broken for us with the assurance from the sweetest lips that ever spake, “Certainly I will be with you.” –“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).

“Bring me the Book,” said Sir Walter Scott on his deathbed. “What book?” his attendant inquired, not knowing to which volume the dying author referred. “Can you ask?” was the reproving answer, “there is but ONE.”

SIXTH REASON: THE VITALITY OF THE HEARING OF THE BIBLE

“So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” –Romans 10:17.

A friend of mine, Ted Sherwood, an ex-welterweight champion boxer, once told me this story. Ted was saved from the depths of sin and, fired with the zeal of an unabated first love, was very anxious to win others to Christ. When he preached he went through all the movements of the boxing ring and to all criticisms of his peculiar mannerisms he would innocently reply, “Well, ain’t I fighting the devil anyway?” One night Ted found himself amongst the throngs at Hyde Park. Disgusted at so many people listening to so much verbal trash, he decided he must attract as many of the crowd as possible away from the various meetings and preach to them the gospel which transformed his life. Tugging at his Bible– Ted’s Bible always seemed too large for his pocket– he eventually got it out and set it on the ground. Taking off his coat he placed it over the Bible. Then he started to jump around the coat, shouting in consternation “It’s alive! it’s alive!” The crowd ran from the other meetings to see what was happening, and when Ted had a very large congregation around him he picked up his coat, lifted up his Bible and shouted “It’s alive!” “What did you do then?” I questioned. “O told them how this Book found me dead in the graveyard of pollution and how it imparted new life to Teddy Sherwood the debauched, drunken and blaspheming boxer,” he replied.

Yes, Ted was right. The Bible is a living book. It is a volume of vital power. The power of the Bible is seven-fold in its nature. It has power–

1. To convict of sin. Acts 2:37.
2. To regenerate the heart. 1 Peter 1:23.
3. To produce faith. Romans 10:17.
4. To cleanse the life. John 15:3.
5. To edify the believer. Acts 20:32.
6. To impart eternal life. 1 John 5:13.
7. To perfect the whole man. 2 Timothy 3:17.

A sailing vessel was wrecked off one of the South Sea islands. A member of the crew who, along with some others managed to reach the shore, became greatly alarmed, for he recognised the island as the home of a notorious cannibal tribe. He left his companions and climbed the summit which skirted the shore to reconnoitre and when he reached the summit his shipmates saw him swing his arms in terrific excitement, and then point to something over the hill. They soon clambered up to where he was and with great delight saw the steeple of a meeting house which had been built in the former cannibal village. That building took all the fear out of their troubled hearts. Their necks were safe on that cannibal island. The advent of what other book could have wrought such a change?

The living power of the Scriptures demonstrated daily in the glorious transformation of lives is an irresistible proof that the Bible is what it claims to be, the very Word of God.

SEVENTH REASON: THE CALAMITY OF REJECTING THE BIBLE

“Lo they have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” –Jeremiah 8:9

One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is the Word of God is the tragic calamities which follow on its rejection. The alternative to accepting the Bible is a potent argument in favour of the divine origin of the Book. That alternative as illustrated in the corrupted lives of infidels and sceptics, in the wrecking of families and the debasing of communities and even nations, goes to form a dark background against which the Bible shines forth in heavenly purity.

The transformation of those who have accepted from the heart the Bible as the Word of God and the degradation of those who have rejected from the heart the Bible as the Word of God, are stubborn facts which mere denials cannot obliterate.

Dr. R. A. Torrey once issued a challenge, a challenge which no one was able to accept. Here is Torrey’s challenge:

“Show me a man that is living a life of absolute surrender to God, living under the control of the Spirit of God, living a life of devotion to the Spirit of God, living a life of devotion to the highest welfare of his fellow-men, a life of humility and of prayer, and I will show you every time a man who believes the Bible to be God’s Word.

“On the other hand, show me a man who denies or persistently questions whether the Bible is the Word of God and I will show you a man that is leading either (mind you, I say ‘either’ not ‘all’) a life of greed for gold or of lust, or of self-will or of spiritual pride.

“I challenge any man to furnish me an exception. I have been looking for one literally round the world, and I have never found one.”

Whether men like it or not, a loose theology is bound up with loose living and unbelief in the head is the child of sin in the heart. Does infidelity flourish in the company of the pure in heart? Never! Infidelity is at its strongest in the public-house, the gambling den and the blasphemer’s club.

The testimony of Joseph Baker, a member of the Mother of Parliaments and an ex-President of the British National Secular Society cannot be invalidated.

“I have seen the dreadful effects which infidelity produces on men’s characters; I have had proof of its deteriorating effects in my own experience; its tendency is to utter debasement.”

Mrs. Mary Benjamin, an eyewitness of the deathbed agonies of the notorious infidel Thomas Paine writes:

“I was invited by a distant connection… to go and see T. Paine on his deathbed… The scene to me was appalling, and I wished to leave at once. I remember him as he lay, his head near and close to the door we entered, his glaring rolling eyes; uttering imprecations; apparently in agony of body and mind; his screams could be heard at a great distance. As I shrank back they said (there were many there) he called on Jesus Christ for mercy, and next blasphemed.”

Such was the end of one who rejected the Bible.

The awful results following the dethronement of the Bible are around us today. We are now reaping the harvest of the sowing of modernism. Lawlessness is the great characteristic of the hour. The rising tides of sinful pleasure have engulfed the nation. Crime is on the increase. Divorce courts are glutted with business. Ethical standards have given way. Morals have gone to pieces. The home, the bulwark of society, has been breached. Sodom has been resurrected. Hell has broken loose, and daily the appalling downgrade gathers momentum. Believing he evolved from the beast, man has become a beast.

Our lamentation is that of the prophet, “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the streets and equity cannot enter.” –Isaiah 59:14.

“Where will it all end?” I have been asked. “In hell,” is the only reply. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Well may Jeremiah say, “Lo, they have rejected the Word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?… Therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD..” Jeremiah 8:9,12.

To reject the Bible is to reject the God of the Bible. To reject God is to reject the Commandments of God. To reject the Commandments of God is to reject the Authority of Heaven. To reject the authority of Heaven is to accept the Anarchy of Hell.

The more I study the calamity which follows the rejection of the Bible the more I am convinced that the Bible is the inbreathed Word of God.

In view of this impregnable fact, surely we need to get back to the Bible, back to Bible preaching, back to Bible praying and back to Bible practicing. A revival of Bible Christianity alone can save the situation. A rediscovery of the Word of God brought about the glorious Reformation of four-hundred years ago and thank God the Bible dynamite is just as potent today.

Let us then let the Bible rule our hearts and homes and refuse to support those who dare to trifle with it in the pulpit. Above all things, let us seize the unfailing promises of the Book and never rest night nor day from prayer until the God of the Bible visits us with a gracious revival.

“Go, search the Scriptures,” saith our Lord,
“They testify of Me”;
“Tis truth’s eternal, great record,
From every error free.

There my eternal Godhead shines
With bright, refulgent rays;
There beam Jehovah’s great designs,
From everlasting days.

There the great gospel scheme behold,
Chief of the works of God,
Replete with grace and love untold,
And pardon, bought with blood.

There’s armour for the trying day,
Both shield and helmet too;
And grace, the fainting soul to stay,
And always something new.

There’s balm to heal the wounds of sin,
On life’s fair tree it grows;
And blood to wash your garments in,
From Jesus’ side it flows.”

O may the Spirit’s influence sweet
Shine on the glorious whole,
Its precepts guide my roving feet,
And promise feast my soul.

Let Revelation’s glories shine,
And spread from sea to sea;
Till reason stoops to faith divine,
And owns her sovereign sway.

(WStS Note: This etext was typed and reformatted by Katie Stewart from a reprint (1971– uncopyrighted) of the original edition.)

Regarding The KJV Issue

Most of us who devoutly believe and defend the King James Bible are well aware of how “stupid” “ignorant” “backward” “cultic” “unloving” and “narrow minded” we are IN YOUR EYES.

You do not need to tell us again, we heard you the first time and have been hearing you for hundreds of years. The trouble is that we are a loyal and faithful lot finding it difficult to change our stand and beliefs. Even with all of your books, magazines, articles, and posts, you have not given us any evidence, either material or Spiritual, to show that you offer us anything better than what we already have. In fact there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that you could even offer us anything as good as we have!

Therefore to listen to your insults, blasphemies, and offers, is a repeat of history and a waste of our time but we thank you for your concern (you did come out of true concern didn’t you?) but we are really not interested in your offers.

We will however pray that you come to know and believe in something to the point that you are willing to stand as a true defender of the faith in the face of any and all opposition just as most of us do.

We DO however stand with open invitation to all who come sincerely seeking the truth in the matter of the King James Bible versus the Modern Versions. I don’t know of a single KJBible defender who will lie to you or twist History or the Scriptures to make a point. If any do then they have other problems that need dealt with before the Lord and have no fellowship with the true defenders of God’s Word.

We ask the seeker to look beneath all the hype and the arguments found in every public KJBible forum, for the devil sends such events to keep you discouraged and in the dark. Be not detoured from your mission of truth, for in the end the Spirit of God will testify to the spirit in you as to what is true and what is not.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26

Written by Jim Oakley and used by permission.

What About Those Printing Errors in the 1611 Holy Bible?

By: Will J. Kinney

Pastor David F. Reagan has written an excellent article about The Myth of Early Revisions of the Authorized King James Holy Bible. In his article he discusses the conditions of the printing process in 1611, and shows how the so called revisions are actually only examples of updating the spelling of words and the correction of minor printing errors.

His article can be seen here – Myth of Early Revisions

Pastor Reagan rightly says: “We need to establish one thing from the out-set. The authority for our preserved English text is not found in any human work. The authority for our preserved and infallible English text is in God! Printers may foul up at times and humans will still make plenty of errors, but God in His power and mercy will preserve His text despite the weaknesses of fallible man.”

Dr. Donald Waite also has written a booklet titled The Authorized Version 1611 Compared to Today’s King James Version. In this booklet Dr. Waite discusses the “thousands of changes”, and he clearly shows that the vast majority of the changes have to do with changing the printing type from Gothic print to Roman, and updating the spelling of such words as Sonne to Son, and sinne to sin, seede to seed and blesse to bless.

There are also a number of minor printing errors such as omitting or duplicating a word, or mispelling a simple word. These are things like “the shearer” to “his shearer” (Acts 8:32); “sacrifice” to “sacrifices” (1 Peter 2:5) ; and “made a” to “made thee a” (Isaiah 57:8).

In his book, Dr. Waite lists the words that had been changed if you could HEAR the difference. You cannot hear the difference between “sonne” and “son”; “weepe” and “weep”; “owne” and “own”.

First, the facts… The King James Bible contains 791,328 words. Since the first King James Bible rolled off the press in 1611 to the King James Bible you buy off the shelf today, there have been – are you ready – there have been a grand total of 421 word changes! That’s it!

From 1611 until now, the King James Bible has undergone a grand total of 421 word changes, amounting to only five one-hundredths of a percent of the text! But that’s not all. It gets better.

Out of the 421 total changes amounting to only five one-hundredths of a percent, the following should be noted –

TOWARDS has been changed to TOWARD 14 times.

BURNT has been changed to BURNED 31 times.

AMONGST has been changed to AMONG 36 times.

LIFT has been changed to LIFTED 51 times.

YOU has been changed to YE 82 times.

Out of a grand total of 421 changes from 1611 to the present, almost 300 of the 421 are of this exact nature!

We see that 214 of the 421 changes of the changes are from 5 simple words. Towards was changed to toward (14 times); Burnt changed to burned (31 times); Amongst to among (36 times); Lift changed to lifted (51 times); and You was changed to Ye (82 times). As you can see, the text itself was not changed and the meaning is exactly the same in both cases, but Mr. Waite included these among the 421 “translational changes”. Of these 421 changes in form, 136 of them are, according to Dr. Waite, “substantial”.

Of these 136 examples 46 are changing the letter Y, which used to be employed at times in place of “the”. So where the 1611 said “Y”, the change now reads “the”. Another change not usually mentioned is that the original 1611 would use the ampersand, or the “&” sign, but that was later changed to the common word “and”.

Of the remaining 90 “substantial changes” all of them are simple printing errors of the nature I mentioned previously. Other examples among these remaining 90 changes are: “thy people” to “the children of thy people” in Ezekiel 3:11 (easily a printing error of skipping three words); “wayes” to “ways” 2 Kings 22:2; “wee shall” to “for we shall” Romans 14:10. All of these are easily explained as minor printing errors; the text itself has never changed.

The biggest printing error occured in Exodus 14:10 “and…afraid” where 21 words were accidently omitted due most likely to the printer’s eyes having skipped from one “and” to the next “and”.

At a Bible club I belong to, one Christian brought up two examples he thought were textual changes rather than spelling errors. He said to me: “Brother Kinney, if you will continue to look at Dr. Waite’s excellent booklet you will notice on page 20, item numbers 0144 and 0177 where “GOD” was changed to “LORD” twice. (Once in 2 Chronicles 28:11, and again in Isaiah 49:13) On page 21, item number 0067 where “LAMBE” was changed to “RAM.” (Numbers 6:14) I am sure you do not dismiss those as corrections of printer’s errors. They are actual word changes. How do you address those actual word changes in view of your position on the perfect nature of the KJV?”

To which I answered: “These two examples are really quite easy to explain. I believe they are simple printing errors. The words God, Lord, GOD, LORD, are found with what a printer might consider monotonous regularity throughout those passages. It would have been quite easy for a tired and weary printer to skip over or misread the word God and put Lord instead, or vice versa. The fact is that out of the thousands of times the words “Lord, LORD, God, and GOD” occur in the Old Testament, only twice did this easily explained printing error occur.”

“As for the second example, the verse in question – Numbers 6:14- actually contains three printing errors. I will highlight the printing errors in capital letters. Also notice the old style spelling of some words, which later were updated, and which the critics love to number among their “thousands of changes”. In the reprint of the original 1611 Bible, put out by Thomas Nelson Publishers, it reads: “And he shall offer his OFFRING unto the LORD, one hee lambe of the first yeere without blemish, for a burnt offering, OFFERING, and one ewe lambe of the first yeere without blemish, for a sinne offering, and one LAMBE without blemish for peace offerings.”

You will notice here the three printing errors in this one verse. The printer mispelled offering once as “offring”, he also repeated the word “offering, offering”, and instead of reading “lamb”, “lamb” and “ram”, he accidentally printed “lamb, lamb, lamb”. The word “lamb” occurs twice already in Numbers 6:14, and the third time the original 1611 misprinted the word “lamb” for “ram”, which is in the Hebrew and in the present day KJB editions. This mistake would have been quite easy to do for the printer who was hand setting the type. He most likely saw the word “lamb” twice already and mistook “ram”, which shares both the “a” and the “m”, with the word “lamb”.

As you can see, there is no deliberate change in the text or meaning from 1611 to the present. To compare these extremely minor changes in spelling and accidental printing errors of no real significance, to the wholesale changes in both text, meaning and translation that occurs in the modern versions is totally unjustified. There is no reasonable comparison at all.

Throughout the history of Bible printing there have been some rather humorous examples of errors that have occurred. It should also be noted that there have been printing errors, even with today’s advanced technology, in the NASB, NKJV, and NIV as well. Here are a few of the printing errors that have occurred in various King James Bible editions.

A 1631 edition became known as the “Wicked Bible” because the seventh commandment read, “thou shalt commit adultery.” The printer was fined 300 pounds.

The printer of the “Fool Bible” had to pay 3,000 pounds for this mistake in Psalm 14:1: “The fool hath said in his heart there is a God.”

In 1653, there was a misprint in I Corinthians 6:9 that read, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God” and one in Romans 6:13 that read, “”Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness unto sin.” This Bible became known as “the Unrighteous Bible.”

In 1716, the “Sin On Bible” commanded, “Go, and sin on more” in John 8:11.

In 1717, there was a misprint in a heading for the “parable of the vineyard,” which called it the “Parable of the vinegar.” This Bible was called “the Vinegar Bible.”

In 1801, Jude 16 stated, “these are murderers” instead of “murmurers”, and Mark 7:27 stated, “let the children first be killed” instead of “filled.” This Bible was nicknamed “the Murderers Bible.”

In 1820, Jesus says, “Who hath ears to ear, let him hear” in Matthew 13:43, and this was called “the Ears to Ear” Bible.

In 1823, Genesis 24:61 states “Rebekah arose, and her camels”, instead of “her damsels,” in “Rebekah’s Camels Bible.”

The cause for all of these defects may be found in “the Printers’ Bible” (1702), which states in Psalm 119:161, “printers have persecuted me” (instead of “princes.” have persecuted me). If ever there was a misprint that carried a lot of legitimate meaning, this is it. “Printers have persecuted me.”

The whole “Printing Error” complaint the biblical relativists bring up, is really a non issue. What I mean by this is that if every single copy of the King James Bible that has ever come off the presses read exactly the same with no minor printing errors found in any of them, it still would not change their opinion that the KJB is not the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is brought up as a smokescreen; not as a serious issue concerning the ultimate truth of Scripture and its preservation.

I know of people who studied the issue of 1 John 5:7 and considered the historical, textual and grammatical evidence for it being the true, God inspired Scripture. They became convinced it should be in the Bible, and they became a King James Bible believer.

Likewise I know of another person who compared the meaning of Revelation 19:8 in the KJB and the NKJV, and since he was well grounded in sound doctrine, he became a KJB believer and rejected the NKJV. But these decisions had to do with the truth of Scripture, not minor mistakes in the printing process.

Most people who reject the KJB as being the inerrant, preserved words of God in English, do so for other reasons than printing errors. They have done so because they went to a seminary where they were taught that no Bible in any language and no text, be it Hebrew or Greek, is the inspired words of God. Or they visited some anti-KJV only website where they were told something like: “The KJV is not based on the best texts”, “God forbid” is wrong, or “1 John 5:7 does not belong in the Bible.” They most likely assumed that all KJB Bibles read the same since the very beginning; it wasn’t till later they learned of the minor printing errors and now they toss this up as a smokescreen. Like I said, if someone is convinced the KJB is not the inspired word of God, no matter if all copies in its long history read exactly the same, his mind would not be changed by this fact. It is a non-issue of no importance.

If one adopts the view that printing errors negate any Bible version or Hebrew or Greek text, from being valid or true, then you end up with no inspired, inerrant Bible anywhere on this earth. That too is carrying the argument to its logical conclusion. Guess who wants you to think this way?

Another member at one of the internet Bible clubs brought up this very common objection. He asked: “Why did God guide the hands and minds of the KJV translators to produce a perfect Bible, only to have it corrupted by printers? I’ll await your answer.”

To which I answered: Hi…, excellent question. Here is what I believe about this. The production of the KJB mirrors exactly what happened in the case of the originals and all good copies of the correct texts.

God inspired the originals. Scribes then copied these originals into other manuscripts but all of the correct line of good copies introduced “printing errors”, inversion of word order, slight omissions, and such like. God’s word was not lost but needed some degree of purification as a result of the human element.

God has preserved His inerrant words Providentially, not miraculously. He did not keep every copyist from making “printing errors”, but He guided in such a way as to purify the text and bring it back to its original state.

It seems you would have to admit that the stated purpose of modern scholarship is to accomplish this same end. They believe they need to examine the evidence, purge the texts of errors and false readings, and try to restore the texts to their original state.

Yet their results are exceedingly flawed, and some even admit it is hopeless. Witness the textual differences between the ESV, the NASB, and the NIV. Literally hundreds of words from the texts themselves are different between the ESV and the NASB.

The scholars today, all of whom have the same training and access to the same information, all come up with very different conclusions, and the various, conflicting bible versions reflect these differences.

My belief is that God has kept His promises to preserve His inerrant words, and He has already providentially guided certain chosen men through this same “scholarly process” to select both the correct texts and the correct meaning for those texts. After all, only God really knows which readings are His and which are not.

The KJB believer first looks to God and His promises to preserve His words, and believes that God has done what He said He would do.

The “No Bible is Inspired” group, or the biblical relativist, seems to think that he and his buddies are capable of “restoring” what God never lost, and denies that God has already preserved His words in the King James Bible, or any other bible.

This is the fundamental difference in our approach to the doctrines of inspiration and preservation. We KJB believers are convinced God has done what He said He would do. The Bible of the Month Club member thinks it is still an ongoing process and his results are getting more scattered and divergent as time goes by. The Nestle-Aland, UBS Greek texts, upon which most modern versions are based, continue to change every few years, and the modern versions have introduced hundreds of variations into the Old Testament Scriptures. They often reject the Hebrew readings in favor of the alleged pre-Christian Septuagint, Syriac, Samaritan Pentateuch, or Vulgate texts. Just look at the differences between the KJB, NASB, and the ESV in this regard.

The “Probably Close Enuf” side ends up with no inspired, complete, inerrant, sure words of God, and maximum uncertainty. = “Yea, hath God said…?”

The King James Bible believer is convinced he has the inerrant words of God and enjoys maximum certainty and rest in the fulfilled promises of Almighty God. = “Thus saith the LORD”.

The King James Bible we have today is the same as the one in 1611. Even the American Bible Society, which promotes and publishes most modern versions, wrote, “The English Bible, as left by the translators (of 1611), has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text…” They further stated, “With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by the progress of orthography in the English language, the text of our present Bibles remains unchanged, and without variation from the original copy as left by the translators” (Committee on Versions to the Board of Managers, American Bible Society, 1852).

I hope this helps you to better understand the nature of the so called “thousands of changes” that have occured in the King James Bible since 1611 to the present.

AVDefense 1611
(Used With Permission)

Myth Of Early Revisions

By Pastor David F. Reagan

INTRODUCTION

Men have been “handling the word of God deceitfully” (II Cor. 4:2) ever since the devil first taught Eve how. From Cain to Balaam, from Jehudi to the scribes and Pharisees, from the Dark Age theologians to present-day scholars, the living words of the Almighty God have been prime targets for man’s corrupting hand.  The attacks on the Word of God are threefold: addition, subtraction, and substitution. From Adam’s day to the computer age, the strategies have remained the same. There is nothing new under the sun.

One attack which is receiving quite a bit of attention these days is a direct attack on the Word of God as preserved in the English language: the King James Version of 1611. The attack referred to is the myth which claims that since the King James Version of 1611 has already been revised four times, there should be and can be no valid objection to other revisions. This myth was used by the English Revisers of 1881 and has been revived in recent years by fundamentalist scholars hoping to sell their latest translation. This book is given as an answer to this attack. The purpose of the material is not to convince those who would deny this preservation but to strengthen the faith of those who already believe in a preserved English Bible.

One major question often arises in any attack such as this. How far should we go in answering the critics? If we were to attempt to answer every shallow objection to the infallibility of the English Bible, we would never be able to accomplish anything else. Sanity must prevail somewhere. As always, the answer is in God’s Word. Proverbs 26:4-5 states:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Obviously, there are times when a foolish query should be ignored and times when it should be met with an answer. If to answer the attack will make you look as foolish as the attacker, then the best answer is to ignore the question. For instance, if you are told that the Bible cannot be infallible because so-and–so believes that it is, and he is divorced, then you may safely assume that silence is the best answer. On the other hand, there are often questions and problems that, if true, would be serious. To ignore these issues would be to leave the Bible attacker wise in his own conceit. I believe that the question of revisions to the King James Version of 1611 is a question of the second class. If the King James Version has undergone four major revisions of its text, then to oppose further revisions on the basis of an established English text would truly be faulty. For this reason, this attack should and must be answered. Can the argument be answered? Certainly! That is the purpose of this book.

I.   THE PRINTING CONDITIONS OF 1611

If God did preserve His Word in the English language through the Authorized Version of 1611 (and He did), then where is our authority for the infallible wording? Is it in the notes of the translators? Or is it to be found in the proof copy sent to the printers? If so, then our authority is lost because these papers are lost. But, you say, the authority is in the first copy, which came off the printing press. Alas, that copy has also certainly perished. In fact, if the printing of the English Bible followed the pattern of most printing jobs, the first copy was probably discarded because of bad quality. That leaves us with existing copies of the first printing. They are the ones often pointed out as the standard by which all other King James Bibles are to be compared. But are they? Can those early printers of the first edition not be allowed to make printing errors? We need to establish one thing from the out-set. The authority for our preserved English text is not found in any human work. The authority for our preserved and infallible English text is in God! Printers may foul up at times and humans will still make plenty of errors, but God in His power and mercy will preserve His text despite the weaknesses of fallible man. Now, let us look at the pressures on a printer in the year of 1611.

Although the printing press had been invented in 1450 by Johann Gutenburg in Germany (161 years before the 1611 printing), the equipment used by the printer had changed very little. Printing was still very slow and difficult. All type was set by hand, one piece at a time (that’s one piece at a time through the whole Bible), and errors were an expected part of any completed book. Because of this difficulty and also because the 1611 printers had no earlier editions from which to profit, the very first edition the King James Version had a number of printing errors. As shall later be demonstrated, these were not the sort of textual alterations, which are freely made in modern bibles. They were simple, obvious printing errors of the sort that can still be found at times in recent editions even with all of the advantages of modern printing. These errors do not render a Bible useless, but they should be corrected in later editions.

The two original printings of the Authorized Version demonstrate the difficulty of printing in 1611 without making mistakes. Both editions were printed in Oxford. Both were printed in the same year: 1611. The same printers did both jobs. Most likely, both editions were printed on the same printing press. Yet, in a strict comparison of the two editions, approximately 100 textual differences can be found. In the same vein the King James critics can find only about 400 alleged textual alterations in the King James Version after 375 years of printing and four so-called revisions! Something is rotten in Scholarsville! The time has come to examine these “revisions.”

II.  THE FOUR SO-CALLED REVISIONS OF THE 1611 KJV

Much of the information in this section is taken from a book by F.H.A. Scrivener called The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611), Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives. This book is as pedantic as its title indicates. The interesting point is that Scrivener, who published this book in 1884, was a member of the Revision Committee of 1881. He was not a King James Bible believer, and therefore his material is not biased toward the Authorized Version.

In the section of Scrivener’s book dealing with the KJV “revisions,” one initial detail is striking. The first two so-called major revisions of the King James Bible occurred within 27 years of the original printing. (The language must have been changing very rapidly in those days.) The 1629 edition of the Bible printed in Cambridge is said to have been the first revision. A revision it was not, but simply a careful correction of earlier printing errors. Not only was this edition completed just eighteen years after the translation, but two of the men who participated in this printing, Dr. Samuel Ward and John Bois, had worked on the original translation of the King James Version. Who better to correct early errors than two that had worked on the original translation! Only nine years later and in Cambridge again, another edition came out which is supposed to have been the second major revision. Both Ward and Bois were still alive, but it is not known of they participated at this time. But even Scrivener, who as you remember worked on the English Revised Version of 1881, admitted that the Cambridge printers had simply reinstated words and clauses overlooked by the 1611 printers and amended manifest errors. According to a study which will be detailed later, 72% of the approximately 400 textual corrections in the KJV were completed by the time of the 1638 Cambridge edition, only 27 years after the original printing!

Just as the first two so-called revisions were actually two stages of one process: the purification of early printing errors, so the last two so-called revisions were two stages in another process: the standardization of the spelling. These two editions were only seven years apart (1762 and 1769) with the second one completing what the first had started. But when the scholars are numbering revisions, two sounds better than one. Very few textual corrections were necessary at this time. The thousands of alleged changes are spelling changes made to match the established correct forms. These spelling changes will be discussed later. Suffice it to say at this time that the tale of four major revisions is truly a fraud and a myth. But you say there are still changes whether they are few or many. What are you going to do with the changes that are still there? Let us now examine the character of these changes.

III. THE SO-CALLED THOUSANDS OF CHANGES

Suppose someone were to take you to a museum to see an original copy of the King James Version. You come to the glass case where the Bible is displayed and look down at the opened Bible through the glass. Although you are not allowed to flip through its pages, you can readily tell that there are some very different things about this Bible from the one you own. You can hardly read its words, and those you can make out are spelled in odd and strange ways. Like others before you, you leave with the impression that the King James Version has undergone a multitude of changes since its original printing in 1611. But beware, you have just been taken by a very clever ploy. The differences you saw are not what they seem to be. Let’s examine the evidence.

PRINTING CHANGES

For proper examination, the changes can be divided into three kinds: printing changes, spelling changes, and textual changes. Printing changes will be considered first. The type style used in 1611 by the KJV translators was the Gothic Type Style. The typestyle you are reading right now and are familiar with is Roman Type. Gothic Type is sometimes called Germanic because it originated in Germany. Remember that that is where printings were invented. The Gothic letters were formed to resemble the hand-drawn manuscript lettering of the Middle ages. At first, it was the only style in use. The Roman Type Style was invented fairly early, but many years passed before it became the predominate style in most European countries. Gothic continued to be used in Germany until recent years. In 1611 in England, Roman Type was already very popular and would soon supercede the Gothic. However, the original printers chose the Gothic Style for the KJV because it was considered to be more beautiful and eloquent than the Roman. But the change to Roman Type was not long in coming. In 1612, the first King James Version using Roman Type was printed. Within a few years, all the Bibles printed used the Roman Type Style.

Please realize that a change in type style no more alters the text of the Bible than a change in format or type size does. However, the modern reader who has not become familiar with Gothic can find it very difficult to understand. Besides some general change in form, several specific letter changes need to be observed. For instance, the Gothic s looks like the Roman s when used as a capital letter or at the end of a word. But when it is used as a lower case s at the beginning or in the middle of a word, the letter looks like our f. Therefore, also becomes alfo and set becomes fet. Another variation is found in the German v and u. The Gothic v looks like a Roman u while the Gothic u looks like the Roman v. This explains why our w is called a double-u and not a double-v. Sound confusing? It is until you get used to it. In the 1611 edition, love is loue, us is vs, and ever is euer. But remember, these are not even spelling changes. They are simply type style changes. In another instance, the Gothic j looks like our i. So Jesus becomes Iefus (notice the middle s changed to f) and Joy becomes ioy. Even the Gothic d is shaped quite differently from the Roman d with the stem leaning back over the circle in a shape resembling that of the Greek Delta. These changes account for a large percentage of the “thousands” of changes in the KJV, yet they do no harm whatsoever to the text. They are nothing more than a smokescreen set up by the attackers of our English Bible.

SPELLING CHANGES

Another kind of change found in the history of the Authorized Version are changes of orthography or spelling. Most histories date the beginning of Modern English around the 1500. Therefore, by 1611 the grammatical structure and basic vocabulary of present-day English had long been established. However, the spelling did not stabilize at the same time. In the 1600’s spelling was according to whim. There was no such thing as correct spelling. No standards had been established. An author often spelled the same word several different ways, often in the same book and sometimes on the same page. And these were the educated people. Some of you reading this today would have found the 1600’s a spelling paradise. Not until the eighteenth century did the spelling begin to take a stable form. Therefore, in the last half of the eighteenth century, the spelling of the King James Version of 1611 was standardized.

What kind of spelling variations can you expect to find between your present edition and the 1611 printing? Although every spelling difference cannot be categorized, several characteristics are very common. Additional e’s were often found at the end of the words such as feare, darke, and beare. Also, double vowels were much more common than they are today. You would find mee, bee, and mooued instead me, be, and moved. Double consonants were also much more common. What would ranne, euill, and ftarres be according to present-day spelling? See if you can figure them out. The present-day spellings would be ran, evil, and stars. These typographical and spelling changes account for almost all of the so-called thousands of changes in the King James Bible. None of them alter the text in any way. Therefore they cannot be honestly compared with thousands of true textual changes which are blatantly made in the modern versions.

TEXTUAL CHANGES

Almost all of the alleged changes have been accounted for. We now come to the question of actual textual differences between our present edition and that of 1611. There are some differences between the two, but they are not the changes of a revision. They are instead the correction of early printing errors. That this is a fact may be seen in three things: That this is a fact may be seen in three things: 1) the character of the changes, 2) the frequency of the changes throughout the Bible, and 3) the time the changes were made. First, let us look at the character of the changes were made. First, let us look at the character of the changes made from the time of the first printing of the Authorized English Bible.

The changes from the 1611 edition that are admittedly textual are obviously printing errors because of the nature of these changes. They are not textual changes made to alter the reading. In the first printing, words were sometimes inverted. Sometimes a plural was written as singular or visa versa. At times a word was miswritten for one that was similar. A few times a word or even a phrase was omitted. The omissions were obvious and did not have the doctrinal implications of those found in modern translations. In fact, there is really no comparison between the corrections made in the King James text and those proposed by the scholars of today.

F. H. A. Scrivener, in the appendix of his book, lists the variations between the 1611 edition of the KJV and later printings. A sampling of these corrections is given below.  In order to be objective, the samples give the first textual correction on consecutive left-hand pages of Scrivener’s book. The 1611 reading is given first; then the present reading: and finally, the date the correction was first made.

  • 1   this thing – this thing also (1638)
  • 2   shalt have remained – ye shall have remained (1762)
  • 3   Achzib, nor Helbath, nor Aphik – of Achzib, nor of Helbath, nor of Aphik (1762)
  • 4   requite good – requite me good (1629)
  • 5   this book of the Covenant – the book of this covenant (1629)
  • 6   chief rulers – chief ruler (1629)
  • 7   And Parbar – At Parbar (1638)
  • 8   For this cause – And for this cause (1638)
  • 9   For the king had appointed – for so the king had appointed (1629)
  • 10   Seek good – seek God (1617)
  • 11   The cormorant – But the cormorant (1629)
  • 12   returned – turned (1769)
  • 13   a fiery furnace – a burning fiery furnace (1638)
  • 14   The crowned – Thy crowned (1629)
  • 15   thy right doeth – thy right hand doeth (1613)
  • 16   the wayes side – the way side (1743)
  • 17   which was a Jew – which was a Jewess (1629)
  • 18   the city – the city of the Damascenes (1629)
  • 19   now and ever – both now and ever (1638)
  • 20   which was of our father’s – which was our fathers (1616)

Before your eyes are 5% of the textual changes made in the King James Version in 375 years. Even if they were not corrections of previous errors, they would be of no comparison to modern alterations. But they are corrections of printing errors, and therefore no comparison is at all possible. Look at the list for yourself and you will find only one that has serious doctrinal implications. In fact, in an examination of Scrivener’s entire appendix, it is the only variation found by this author that could be accused of being doctrinal. I am referring to Psalm 69:32 where the 1611 edition has “seek good” when the Bible should have read “seek God.” Yet, even with this error, two points demonstrate that this was indeed a printing error. First, the similarity of the words ”good” and “God” in spelling shows how easily a weary typesetter could misread the proof and put the wrong word in the text. Second, this error was so obvious that it was caught and corrected in the year 1617, only six years after the original printing and well before the first so-called revision. The myth that there are several major revisions to the 1611 KJV should be getting clearer. But there is more.

Not only does the character of the changes show them to be printing errors, so does their frequency. Fundamentalist scholars refer to the thousands of revisions made to the 1611 as if they were on a par with the recent Bible versions. They are not. The overwhelming majority of them are either type style or spelling changes. The few which do remain are clearly corrections of printing errors made because of the tediousness involved in the early printing process. The sample list given above will demonstrate just how careful Scrivener was in listing all the variations. Yet, even with this great care, only approximately 400 variations are named between the 1611 edition and modern copies. Remember that there were 100 variations between the first two Oxford editions which were both printed in 1611. Since there are almost 1200 chapters in the Bible, the average variation per chapter (after 375 years) is one third, i.e. one correction per every three chapters. These are changes such as “chief rulers” to “chief ruler” and “And Parbar” to “At Parbar.” But there is yet one more evidence that these variations are simply corrected printing errors: the early date at which they were corrected.

The character and frequency of the textual changes clearly separate them from modern alterations. But the time the changes were made settles the issue absolutely. The great majority of the 400 corrections were made within a few years of the original printing. Take, for example, our earlier sampling. Of the twenty corrections listed, one was made in 1613, one in 1616, one in 1617, eight in 1629, five in 1638, one in 1743, two in 1762, and one in 1769. That means that 16 out of 20 corrections, or 80%, were made within twenty-seven years of the 1611 printing. That is hardly the long drawn out series of revisions the scholars would have you to believe. In another study made by examining every other page of Scrivener’s appendix in detail, 72% of the textual corrections were made by 1638. There is no “revision” issue.

The character of the textual changes is that of obvious errors. The frequency of the textual changes is sparse, occurring only once per three chapters. The chronology of the textual changes is early with about three fourths of them occurring within twenty-seven years of the first printing. All of these details establish the fact that there were no true revisions in the sense of updating the language or correcting translation errors. There were only editions which corrected early typographical errors. Our source of authority for the exact wording of the 1611 Authorized Version is not in the existing copies of the first printing. Our source of authority for the exact wording of our English Bible is in the preserving power of Almighty God. Just as God did not leave us the original autographs to fight and squabble over, so He did not see fit to leave us the proof copy of the translation. Our authority is in the hand of God as always. You can praise the Lord for that!

IV.  CHANGES IN THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES

An in-depth study of the changes made in the book of Ecclesiastes should help to illustrate the principles stated above. The author is grateful to Dr. Dave Reese of Millbrook, Alabama, for his work in this area. By comparing a 1611 reprint of the original edition put out by Thomas Nelson & Sons with a recent printing of the King James Version, Dr. Reese was able to locate four variations in the book of Ecclesiastes. The reference is given first; then the text of the Thomas Nelson 1611 reprint. This is followed by the reading of the present editions of the 1611 KJV and the date the change was made.

  • 1   1:5       the place – his place (1638)
  • 2   2:16     shall be – shall all be (1629)
  • 3   8:17     out, yea further – out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther (1629)
  • 4   11:17  thing is it – thing it is (?)

Several things should be noted about these changes. The last variation (“thing is it” to “thing it is”) is not mentioned by Scrivener who was a very careful and accurate scholar. Therefore, this change may be a misprint in the Thomas Nelson reprint. That would be interesting. The corrected omission in chapter eight is one of the longest corrections of the original printing. But notice that it was corrected in 1629. The frequency of printing errors is average (four errors in twelve chapters). But the most outstanding fact is that the entire book of Ecclesiastes reads exactly like our present editions without even printing errors by the year 1638. That’s approximately 350 years ago. By that time, the Bible was being printed in Roman type. Therefore, all (and I mean all) that has changed in 350 years in the book of Ecclesiastes is that the spelling has been standardized! As stated before, the main purpose of the 1629 and 1638 Cambridge editions was the correction of earlier printing errors. And the main purpose of the 1762 and 1769 editions was the standardization of spelling.

V.  THE SO-CALLED JUSTIFICATION FOR OTHER REVISIONS

Maybe now you see that the King James Version of 1611 has not been revised but only corrected. But why does it make that much difference? Although there are several reasons why this issue is important, the most pressing one is that fundamentalist scholars are using this myth of past revisions to justify their own tampering with the text. The editors of the New King James Version have probably been the worst in recent years to use this propaganda ploy. In the preface of the New King James they have stated, “For nearly four hundred years, and throughout several revisions of its English form, the King James Bible has been deeply revered among the English-speaking peoples of the world.” In the midst of their flowery rhetoric, they strongly imply that their edition is only a continuation of the revisions that have been going on for the past 375 years. This implication, which has been stated directly by others, could not be more false. To prove this point, we will go back to the book of Ecclesiastes.

An examination of the first chapter in Ecclesiastes in the New King James Version reveals approximately 50 changes from our present edition. In order to be fair, spelling changes (cometh to comes; labour to labor; etc.) were not included in this count.  That means there are probably about 600 alterations in the book of Ecclesiastes and approximately 60,000 changes in the entire Bible. If you accuse me of including every recognizable change, you are correct. But I am only counting the sort of changes which were identified in analyzing the 1611 King James. That’s only fair. Still, the number of changes is especially baffling for a version which claims to be an updating in the same vein as earlier revisions. According to the fundamentalist scholar, the New King James is only a fifth in a series of revisions. Then pray tell me how four “revisions” and 375 years brought only 400 changes while the fifth revision brought about 60,000 additional changes? That means that the fifth revision made 150 times more changes than the total number of changes in the first four! That’s preposterous!

Not only is the frequency of the changes unbelievable, but the character of the alterations are serious. Although many of the alterations seem harmless enough at first glance, many are much more serious. The editors of the New King James Version were sly enough not to alter the most serious blunders of the modern bibles. Yet, they were not afraid to change the reading in those places that are unfamiliar to the average fundamentalist. In these areas, the New King James Version is dangerous. Below are some of the more harmful alterations made in the book of Ecclesiastes. The reference is given first; then the reading as found in the King James Version: and last, the reading as found in the New King James Version.

  • 1:13 sore travail; grievous task
  • 1:14 vexation of spirit; grasping for the wind
  • 1:16 my heart had great experience of wisdom; My heart has understood great wisdom
  • 2:3 to give myself unto; to gratify my flesh with
  • 2:3 acquainting; guiding
  • 2:21 equity; skill
  • 3:10 the travail, which God hath given; the God-given task
  • 3:11 the world; eternity
  • 3:18 that God might manifest them; God tests them
  • 3:18 they themselves are beasts; they themselves are like beasts
  • 3:22 portion; heritage
  • 4:4 right work; skillful work
  • 5:1 Keep thy foot; Walk prudently
  • 5:6 the angel; the messenger of God
  • 5:6 thy voice; your excuse
  • 5:8 he that is higher than the highest; high official
  • 5:20 God answereth him; God keeps him busy
  • 6:3 untimely birth; stillborn child
  • 7:29 inventions; schemes
  • 8:1 boldness; sterness
  • 8:10 the place of the holy; the place of holiness
  • 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour; Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment
  • 10:10 If the iron be blunt; If the ax is dull
  • 10:10 wisdom is profitable to direct; wisdom brings success
  • 12:9 gave good heed; pondered
  • 12:11 the masters of assemblies; scholars

This is only a sampling of the changes in the book, but notice what is done. Equity, which is a trait of godliness, becomes skill (2:21). The world becomes eternity (3:11) Man without God is no longer a beast but just like a beast (3:18). The clear reference to deity in Ecclesiastes 5:8 (“he that is higher than the highest”) is successfully removed  (“higher official”). But since success is what wisdom is supposed to bring us (10:10), this must be progress. At least God is keeping the scholars busy (5:20). Probably the most revealing of the above mentioned changes is the last one listed where “the masters of assemblies” become “scholars.” According to the New King James, “the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.” The masters of assemblies are replaced by the scholars who become the source of the Shepherd’s words. That is what these scholars would like us to think, but it is not true.

In conclusion, the New King James is not a revision in the vein of former revisions of the King James Version. It is instead an entirely new translation. As stated in the introduction, the purpose of this book is not to convince those who use the other versions. The purpose of this book is to expose a fallacious argument that has been circulating in fundamentalist circles for what it is: an overblown myth. That is, the myth that the New King James Version and others like it are nothing more than continuation of revisions which have periodically been made to the King James Version since 1611. There is one problem with this theory. There are no such revisions.

The King James Bible of 1611 has not undergone four (or any) major revisions. Therefore, the New King James Version is not a continuation of what has gone on before. It should in fact be called the Thomas Nelson Version. They hold the copyright. The King James Version we have today has not been revised but purified. We still have no reason to doubt that the Bible we hold in our hands is the very word of God preserved for us in the English language. The authority for its veracity lies not in the first printing of the King James Version in 1611, or in the character of King James I, or in the scholarship of the 1611 translators, or in the literary accomplishments of Elizabethan England, or even in the Greek Received Text. Our authority for the infallible words of the English Bible lies in the power and promise of God to preserve His Word! God has the power. We have His Word.

© Copyrighted by David F. Reagan. As long as this notice is included, permission is granted to copy and distribute this material (electronically or in print form) for individual use or for small groups. All other rights (such as use in books, periodicals, on web pages, etc.) are reserved and must be obtained by permission from the author. Contact David Reagan at Antioch Baptist Church, 5709 N. Broadway, Knoxville, TN, 37918 – (865) 688-0780 – Fax (865) 689-1611 – doit55@juno.com

Used With Permission
http://www.learnthebible.org/

Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God

I was brought up to believe that the Bible was the Word of God. In early life I accepted it as such upon the authority of my parents, and never gave the question any serious thought. But later in life my faith in the Bible was utterly shattered through the influence of the writings of a very celebrated, scholarly and brilliant sceptic. I found myself face to face with the question, Why do you believe the Bible is the Word of God? Read the rest of this entry »

Principles Of Bible Preservation

By Jack Moorman
(From Missing In Modern Bibles)


One hundred years ago John Burgon wrote:

“If you and I believe that the original writings of the Scriptures were verbally inspired by God, then of necessity they must have been providentially preserved through the ages.”

This is the crux of the matter; does God preserve that Word which He originally inspired? And if so, to what extent? Is it merely the concepts and basic message that is kept intact; or does preservation, as inspiration, extend to the words themselves?

That the Bible declares both the fact and extent of its preservation is made abundantly clear in the following:

“Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD” (2 Kings 10:10).

“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).

“The law of the LORD is perfect converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psa. 19:7).

“The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psa. 33:11).

“For the LORD is good, his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psa. 100:5).

“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89).

“Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it” (Psa. 119:140).

“Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever” (Psa. 119:152).

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

“Every word of God is pure” (Prov. 30:5).

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isa. 40:8).

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11).

“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” (Matt. 5:18).

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17).

“The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:23).

“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:25).

We have a strange anomaly today; Christians claim to believe what the Bible says about it’s own inspiration but virtually ignore the equally direct statements concerning preservation. To say that you believe in the full inspiration of Scripture while at the same time accepting the textual theories inherent in the modern versions, is about as incongruous as taking Genesis one literally while holding to the theories of Darwin.

One: The starting point of apostasy

The questioning of the Bible’s preservation is the starting point of all other kinds of apostasy. Satan in Genesis 3 did not begin his attack by questioning whether there was a God, or whether God created, or whether the doctrine of the Trinity is true. Nor did it begin with the question of whether God’s word was inspired in the originals. Apostasy began when Satan asked Eve, “Yea hath God said?” “Eve, are you certain that you presently have a full recollection of what God said?” When doubt was given a bridgehead at this point, the other defenses soon fell. The same principle applies today: Has God preserved His word and kept intact His original work of inspiration or has He not? It is a fact that the one common denominator in all the varied errors, deviations, and heresies is that their advocates will first criticize the standard received edition or translation of Scripture.

Two: Preservation must be approached in an attitude of faith

Like all other Bible truths, the Scripture’s teaching on its own preservation is to be in the first instance accepted by faith. Edward F. Hills in his outstanding book, The King James Version Defended calls it “the logic of faith.” The facts and evidence of such preservation will then follow.

Three: Preservation is grounded in the eternal counsels of God

The Bible’s preservation is rooted in the eternal counsels of God. The Scriptures are as eternal as God Himself.

“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89).

Four: Preservation is brought to pass through the priesthood of believers

The preservation of the Scriptures took place through the priesthood of believers. The Old Testament text was preserved by the Aaronic priests and the scribes who grouped around them. “Unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2).

In the New Testament dispensation every believer is a priest under Christ. Hence, the New Testament text has been preserved by faithful Christians in every walk of life. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

It was not the pronouncements of church fathers or counsels that determined the text and canon of the New Testament. Rather, the Holy Spirit guided His own into the acceptance of the true word of God. Such copies proliferated, while defective ones were ignored. The Holy Spirit continues this work today in the questions that arise over the wording in the modern versions.

Five: Preservation extends to the actual words

Preservation has to do with the actual words of Scripture, not merely the general teaching or concepts. This is made clear in the list of verses just given. Advocates of the modern versions commonly say: “There is not a single doctrine missing.” But what they fail to tell you is that the words which support and develop these doctrines are frequently missing. Thus, the force of the doctrine is diminished. As inspiration of the Scriptures is verbal so also is preservation.

Six: Preservation is operative in the spread of the Scriptures

Preservation has taken place in the diffusion of God’s word, not in its being hidden or stored. Stewart Custer, in seeking to somehow equate the use of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus with the doctrine of preservation, said:

“God has preserved His word in the sands of Egypt.” (This statement was made in a debate at the Marquette Manor Baptist Church in Chicago, 1984.)

To take such a position would mean that believers have had the wrong text for 1800 years, and it has been only with the advent of two liberal British churchmen, and the retrieval of two disused Alexandrian manuscripts that we now have the “true preserved” Word of God. No! The miracle of preservation was operative while the Scriptures were being disseminated.

“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psa. 68:11).

“Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world” (Rom. 10:18).

Seven: preservation must of necessity apply to key translations

As so few can read the original languages, God’s promise to preserve His Word has no practical relevance if it does not extend to translations. The Scripture frequently affirms “that we are born again by the Word of God” (James 1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:23). If a translation cannot be equated with the actual Word of God, then ultimately this leads to the situation that one must know Hebrew and Greek before they can be saved, or built up in the faith (Rom. 10:17; Matt. 4:4).

Further, the Bible’s use of the term “preserved” demonstrates that it is an absolute and not a relative term. To speak of the Bible, or in this discussion, a translation as being “almost preserved” is a misnomer. Either it is preserved or it isn’t, either it has errors or it doesn’t. Either the flower fades and the grass withers or it does not.

Eight: The meaning of the term “Scripture”

While it may be assumed that the Bible usage of the word “Scripture” has reference to the original autographs; yet virtually each time the word is used it is the copies or even translations of the Scriptures that are in view, e.g. it is the Scriptures that the people had access to.

“But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth” (Dan. 10:21).

“Did ye never read in the scriptures?” (Matt. 21:42)

“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” (Matt. 22:29).

“How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:54)?

“That the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56).

“That the scriptures must be fulfilled” (Mark 14:49).

“The scripture was fulfilled, which saith” (Mark 15:28).

“This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21).

“He expounded unto them in all the scriptures” (Luke 24:27).

“And while he opened to us the scriptures” (Luke 24:32).

“That they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

“They believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said” (Jn.2:22).

“Search the scriptures” (Jn. 5:39).

“He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said” (Jn. 7:38).

“Hath not the scripture said” (Jn. 7:42).

“The scripture cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35).

“That the scripture may be fulfilled” (Jn. 13:18).

“That the scripture might be fulfilled” (Jn. 17:12; 19:24; 19:36).

“Another scripture saith” (Jn. 19:37).

“They knew not the scriptures” (Jn. 20:9).

“This scripture must needs have been fulfilled” (Acts 1:16).

“The place of the scripture which he read” (Acts 8:32).

“And began at the same scripture and preached ” (Acts 8:35).

“Reasoned with them out of the scriptures” (Acts 17:2).

“They searched the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11).

“Mighty in the scriptures” (Acts 18:24).

“Showing by the scriptures” (Acts 18:28).

“Promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures” (Rom. 1:2).

“What saith the scripture” (Rom. 4:3)?

“The scripture saith unto Pharaoh” (Rom. 9:17).

“The scripture saith” (Rom. 10:11).

“Wot ye not what the scripture saith” (Rom. 11:2).

“Comfort of the scriptures” (Rom. 15:4).

“Scriptures of the prophets” (Rom. 16:26).

“Christ died… according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).

“He rose again… according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4).

“The scripture, foreseeing that God would justify” (Gal. 3:8).

“The scripture hath concluded all under sin ” (Gal. 3:22).

“What saith the scripture” (Gal. 4:30)?

“The scripture saith” (1 Tim. 5:18).

“That from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures” (2 Tim. 3:15).

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16).

“The royal law according to the scripture” (James 2:8).

“The scripture was fulfilled which saith” (James 2:23).

“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain?” (James 4:5)

“It is contained in the scripture” (1 Pet. 2:6).

“No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Pet. 1:20).

“Wrest, as they do the other scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:16).

The above shows clearly that the word “Scripture” refers to what the people had access to, what was at hand, what was current, what they could then actually read and hear. Therefore, the biblical usage of the word refers primarily to copies rather than the original autographs.

The fact that these copies and possibly even translations are called “Scripture” strongly implies their preservation, and that the very qualities of the inspired original have been brought over unto them.

These copies are holy (2 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 1:2).
These copies are true (Dan. 10:21).
These copies are not broken (Jn. 10:35).
These copies are worthy of belief (Jn. 2:22).
The prophecies contained in these copies have been fulfilled to the very letter and await fulfillment (Luke 4:21).
These copies are the very voice of God.

This can be shown by a comparison of the following:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews… For this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Ex. 9:13-16).

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth” (Rom. 9:17).

And again:

Now the LORD had said unto Abram… In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:1-3).

And the scripture… preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying in thee shall all nations be blessed” (Gal. 3:8).

And further:

Wherefore she [Sarah] said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac” (Gen. 21:10).

Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman” (Gal. 4:30).

These verses establish the fact that there is no difference between the Scriptures speaking and God speaking. And as the Scriptures refer to that which is current and available, it follows that our copies are as much the voice of God as the original is.

Consider also that classic passage on inspiration:

“And that from a child thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

There are some remarkable things about this passage that are often overlooked. The words “is given by inspiration of God” are translated from the one Greek word, theopneustos (God-breathed). And “is profitable” is from Ophelimos. These two words are joined by the conjunction kai. Thus, all scripture (graphe) is said to be “God-breathed and profitable.”

The Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Commentary says of this phrase:

“Graphe is never used in the Bible of any writings except the sacred Scriptures. The position of the two Greek adjectives (theopneustos kai ophelimos) forbids taking the one as a modifier and the other as a predicate. i.e. ‘every God-breathed scripture is also profitable.’ The adjectives are so closely connected that as one is a predicate the other must be too.”

Therefore, the translation “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof…” must be adhered to.

But what is remarkable here, is that while the Scriptures were inspired in the past and their profitability has to do with the present, yet both facts are joined together in an identical grammatical construction. Therefore, it is the work of past inspiration which makes the Scriptures profitable in the present. And conversely, the Scriptures cannot be profitable in the present if the manifold blessings of inspiration have not been preserved. Past inspiration is inseparably linked to present profitability.

Nine: The bearing of John 16:13 upon the translation and preservation process

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

God has promised to guide His people into all truth. “All” here does not mean “basically,” “generally,” “almost,” “nearly,” “relatively.” It must surely mean ALL!

“Truth” is defined in the next chapter of John as referring to the Bible. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).

Through the priesthood of believers, God guided His people into all truth as to the canon of Scripture, e.g. which books were and were not inspired. He also guided them into all truth as to the text of Scripture (which were and were not the correct readings). And in order to make this relevant and practical He must also guide them into all truth concerning the translation of Scripture.

Three important things can be seen in John 16:13:

(1) The Guide – “the Spirit of Truth”
(2) The Journey – “will guide you”
(3) The Arrival – “into all truth”

The history of how our Bible came down to us after its inspiration in the original autographs is to be found under these three points. These must be considered in the history of every Bible of every language.

The Guide

The same Holy Spirit of Truth who verbally inspired the Word in the autographs is committed also to its verbal preservation in the textual, transmissional, and translation process.

The Journey

The statement “will guide you” indicates that a process is in view. In the history of a given Bible where God was actively guiding there will be at least three key periods:

(1) The Manuscript Period
(2) The Early Printed Edition Period
(3) The Period of an Authoritative Standard Edition

In each of these periods God’s Word will be current and available to His people. “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart that thou mayest do it” (Deut. 30:14).

In the first two periods God’s Word may not have been available from the same written source. Relatively minor variations existed in the hand copied manuscripts of the Received Text tradition. The early printed Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza had some variation, as did the early printed English versions. Yet, God’s promise of guiding into all truth could still be counted on, and through the comparing of several sources He would put upon the heart of his people which of the variants was the true reading.

For example, Wycliffe’s Bible was based on the Latin Vulgate and was therefore flawed. Yet it could be clarified with the Celtic, Waldensian, and Old Latin translations which had a Received Text tradition.

This same general principle could hold even today in those remote and primitive areas where only a preliminary translation is available. The earnest seeker of truth can know what a true reading is, for God has promised to “guide into all truth.” There is, however, the disadvantage today that many missionary Bibles are based on the Alexandrian text.

The Arrival

If “will guide you” refers to the process or journey; then “into all truth” must refer to the arrival at a destination. This destination refers to that point when a given language receives an authoritative standardized Bible accepted over a considerable period of time by the great mass of believers. By any criterion the publication of the King James Version in that language which is most used in international communication is the single most important event in the transmissional history of Scripture.

Certainly here we see the biblical principle of 1 Corinthians 13:10 (at least in a secondary application): “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

History has shown this version in its widespread appeal to tower above the other great standard versions of Europe. Even to this day it is the measuring rod against which all others are judged.

The King James Version is the grand culmination of God’s promise to guide His people into all truth. Our conviction that this pinnacle was reached in 1611 is enforced by the fact that since then textual scholarship has been rationalistic, has denied the inspiration of Scripture, and has moved in precisely the opposite direction.

Ten: Lifegiving qualities in a translation

Inspiration in the originals will not only ensure preservation in certain key translations, but also animation. It is this quality which enables a translation to convict the sinner and bring manifold grace to the believer: Heb. 4:12; Acts 2:37; Isa. 55:11; Psa. 119:9,11,130; Rom. 10:17. It is this which ensures that a translation will become an enduring standard among the humble people of God. The Old Latin, Syriac Peshitta, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, Slavonic, Luther, Tyndale, Geneva, and King James are examples of versions which in a sweetly natural way worked their way into the hearts of millions of God’s people. High pressured promotion was not needed as in the case of Constantine’s Bible, the Latin Vulgate, or the New International Version.

Thus when a translation is being prepared in accordance with the will of God, the life giving breath of God will be felt in that translation. Modern versions claim to be the “results of the most recent scholarship,” but there is no life in them and they fall flat after a few years.

God’s work of preservation does more than keep the Bible from error in its transmission and translation, it gives to the Bible an enduring freshness. Therefore, a translation can be as much the Sword of the Spirit as the original autographs. When God is active in the work of a translation (and is there reason to think that He would not be?), the manifold blessings of the once delivered work of inspiration are transmitted to that translation. Our standard translation is not a valley of dry bones, it has breath! To test this fact, read John 14 in the New International Version and then in the Authorized Version.

Eleven: A standard translation should be accepted as the preserved Word of God

It is only God who can make a translation or version a true Standard. Such a Standard will endure the test of time, receive universal acceptance, and result in widespread conversion. Such a Standard will spawn and encourage the publication of vast amounts of supplemental literature: commentaries, concordances, theological works, study helps of all kinds. And such a Standard will evoke the wrath of Satan. Since it’s inception, the King James Version has been called “the paper pope of the Protestants.”

That the Authorized Version is such a Standard and the only Standard in the English language for nearly 400 years argues convincingly that it is God’s preserved word in that language. In response to God’s promises of preservation and the abundant evidence of the same, the believer may be fully confident that the AV has no blemishes and is without proven error. There are places that may need explanation, and it is right for the teacher within reasonable limits to amplify, elucidate, and expound the English as well as the underlying text. But this must not be done in such a way as to imply to the listener that errors exist. For example, “This word means” is acceptable; but, “A better rendering would be” is not. Certainly also, before being too concerned about the “force of the Greek or Hebrew,” the reader should be certain that he has a grasp on “the force of the English”!

I say that the KJV is without “proven error” because I am not aware of errors having been proven! Given all that can be said in behalf of the King James Bible, the burden of proof must rest with the one making the charge. If he feels he has better understanding and spiritual insight at a given point than did the fifty AV translators – not to mention the translators of the seven Bibles from Tyndale to the Bishops which prepared the groundwork of the AV – then he must set forth his evidence.

That this is not so easy can be seen from the following incident involving one of the AV translators:

Dr. Richard Kilby, the translator in the Old Testament group at Oxford, heard a young parson complain in an earnest sermon that a certain passage should read in a way he stated. After the sermon Dr. Kilby took the young man aside and told him that the group had discussed at length not only his proposed reading but thirteen others; only then had they decided on the phrasing as it appeared (Gustavis S. Paine, The Men Behind the KJV [Baker Book House, 1959], pgs. 137,138).

Great and totally unnecessary harm has been done by “young parsons” (and old ones too!) who do this.

Long ago it was said:

Nothing can be more unseemly than for the unskillful to be always correcting with their literal translations and various readings, distressing simple souls rather than seeking that which tends to godly edifying. Anyone who approaches a so-called problem passage in an attitude of honour toward God’s Word will find the solution equally honoring. He will find that God’s promise of preservation has been vindicated.

Twelve: Will there be another standard Bible?

It is possible that in the providence of God another universally accepted standard translation could be produced. However, given the lateness of the hour, the lack of spiritual scholarship, and the fact that our language no longer has the depth and vitality it once had, this seems most unlikely. All indications point to the KJV as the Bible God would have His people use in these last days before the Second Coming of Christ.

A final word

What is it that make the King James Version unique? Does it indeed have a sense of the supernatural that is lacking in the modern versions? That is does, is given remarkable confirmation in the following extended quotation from the research of a secular author:

Can a committee produce a work of art? Many would say no, yet we have seen that this large group of the king’s translators, almost threescore of them, together gave the world a work greater not only in scope but in excellence than any could have done singly. How did this come to be? How explain that sixty or more men, none a genius, none even as great a writer as Marlowe or Ben Jonson, together produced writings to be compared with (and confused with) the words of Shakespeare?

…If hard work alone were the secret of success, we would have the answer, for we know that the learned men worked hard. Many of them labored like monks in rooms so cold and damp, except close to the fires, that fingers and joints got stiff even though they swathed themselves in their thick gowns. They worked at odd hours, early in the mornings and late at night, as other duties permitted. They endured rigors that we would think beyond us.

But hard work alone, singly or in groups, does not insure a great result. Were the learned men saints, under direct inspiration?

As we have seen, these men who made the translation for King James were subject to like passions as we are. Even as they gave themselves to the great work, they yielded also to petty vanities and ambition and prejudice zeal for the great undertaking survived their own wrangles over doctrine and their differences of opinion in personal matters. The quarrels that are recorded were over such differences rather than the work in hand. There they must have learned to rise above themselves for the good of the whole, an act of grace deserving of reward. But does even this account for the result?

To know that the Bible words were beyond the choosing of the best of them, we have only to look at their individual writing. And this writing of theirs in books or sermons or attempted poetry also answers the suggestion that their work on the Bible was great because they lived in a great age. It was an age of great writing, in which poets and dramatists flourished, yet these men as individuals lacked the skills of those who made the Mermaid Tavern and the Globe Theater live in literature. In vain do we look to the eloquent Lancelot Andrewes or even to Miles Smith for the dulcet temper and torrents of sound in concord that mark the religious prose of Sir Thomas Browne, or for the dooming ire, like a knell, of Dr. John Donne. At the same time their Bible surpassed others in an excellence not to be attributed wholly to the original writers in the ancient tongues, so that Lytton Strachey could say of the prophets, “Isaiah and Jeremiah had the extraordinary good fortune to be translated into English by a committee of Elizabethan bishops.” Badly as some of the committee could write on other occasions, not only was theirs the best of the English Bibles; there is, in no modern language a Bible worthy to be compared with it as literature.

Though such verse as we have of their own lacks value for us, they were poets who fashioned prose without knowing how expert they were Keats, silent on a peak as he marveled at Chapman’s Homer, might have marveled still more if he had much traveled through the realms of gold in the King James Bible. Chapman’s Homer of those same years no longer has the power to dazzle us, while the Bible’s power has shown increase. At Oxford and Cambridge the learned men breathed the air of noble language, amid brilliant buildings and gardens which could excite them to lofty efforts in a domain that seemed timeless. And they produced a timeless book.

Are we to say that God walked with them in their gardens? Insofar as they believed in their own calling and election, they must have believed that they would have God’s help in their task. We marvel that they could both submerge themselves and assert themselves, could meekly agree yet firmly declare, and hold to the words they preferred as just and fitting. At the same time they could write and they could listen, speak clearly, and hearken to the sounds they tested, as well as to the voice of what they deemed the divine Author. And that must have been the secret of their grace and their assurance: they agreed, not with the other men like themselves, but with God as their guide, and they followed not as thinking themselves righteous but as led by a righteousness beyond them.

…So they put down what they had to put down; their writing flows with a sense of must. Some of it they took wholly from former works, yet the must extends to what the 1611 scholars had the wisdom to adopt and, as it were, to inlay in the rest.

…They knew how to make the Bible scare the wits out of you and then calm you, all in English as superb as the Hebrew and the Greek. They could make their phrasing proceed as though caused by the First Cause, without shadow of turning; they could make the stately language of threat and wrath or the promises of tender mercy come word for word from God Himself.

…Soul and body, the work of the learned men still moves the world because they wrought inside each sentence a certain balance of letter and spirit. If other versions have their day and pass, it is because this balance is somehow marred.

Miles Smith in his preface bears out this idea that the work carried them above themselves. “The Scripture is not an herb but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medicine… And what marvel? The original thereof being from heaven, not from earth; the author being God, not man; the inditer, the Holy Spirit, not the wit of the Apostles or prophets. But how shall men… understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue? As it is written, `Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian to me’.”

“Translation it is,” Smith continued, “that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water.”

…”After the endeavors of them that were before us, we take the best pains we can in the house of God… Truly (good Christian reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make a bad one a good one but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal one.”

…”Neither did we disdain,” Smith declared, “to revise that which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered: but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at the length, through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to the pass that you see.”

…”And in what sort did these assemble? In the trust of their own knowledge, or of their sharpness of it, or deepness of judgment, as it were in an arm of flesh? At no hand. They trusted in him that hath the key of David, opening and no man shutting; they prayed to the Lord” (Gustavus Paine, The Men Behind The KJV, pgs. 167-76).

God has preserved in the King James Version His original work of inspiration. The flower has not faded. The sword is as sharp as in the day it was first whetted.

NIV Bible Test

It has been said by many that the NIV is the most readable and accurate Bible on the market today and that it is based on older and more reliable manuscripts than the King James Bible. In regard to the above statements an “acid test” is the only fair way to put the NIV and the KJV “to the test” as one might say… so get out you NIV, a pen and when you have completed the test I encourage you to then take a KJV and see the result…

INSTRUCTIONS:

Using the New International Version (NIV) Bible, answer the following questions. Do not rely on your memory. As the Bible is the final authority, you must take the answer from the Bible verse (not from footnotes but from the text).


1. Fill in the missing words in Matthew 5:44. “Love your enemies,__________ them that curse you, ______________ to them that hate you, and pray for them that __________ and persecute you.”

2. According to Matthew 17:21, what two things are required to cast out this type of demon? a. ______ b. _______

3. According to Matthew 18:11, why did Jesus come to earth? _______________

4. According to Matthew 27:2, what was Pilate’s first name? ________

5. In Matthew 27:35, when the wicked soldiers parted His garments, they were fulfilling the words of the prophet. Copy what the prophet said in Matthew 27:35 from the NIV. ________________

6. In Mark 3:15, Jesus gave the apostles power to cast out demons and to: ____________

7. According to Mark 7:16, what does a man need to be able to hear? ____________

8. According to Luke 7:28, what was John? (teacher, prophet, carpenter, etc.). What is his title or last name? _____________

9. In Luke 9:55, what did the disciples not know? _______________

10. In Luke 9:56, what did the Son of man not come to do? According to this verse, what did He come to do? a. _______ b. ________

11. In Luke 22:14, how many apostles were with Jesus? ___

12. According to Luke 23:38, in what three languages was the superscription written? a. _______ b. _______ c. ________

13. In Luke 24:42, what did they give Jesus to eat with His fish? ______________

14. John 3:13 is a very important verse, proving the deity of Christ. According to this verse (as Jesus spoke), where is the Son of man? __________

15. What happened each year as told in John 5:4? ____________

16. In John 7:50, what time of day did Nicodemus come to Jesus? _______

17. In Acts 8:37, what is the one requirement for baptism? _______

18. What did Saul ask Jesus in Acts 9:6? _______

19. Write the name of the man mentioned in Acts 15:34. _______

20. Study Acts 24:6-8. What would the Jew have done with Paul? What was the chief captain’s name? What did the chief captain command? a. _______ b._______ c. _______

21. Copy Romans 16:24 word for word from the NIV. _____________

22. First Timothy 3:16 is perhaps the greatest verse in the New Testament concerning the deity of Christ. In this verse, who was manifested in the flesh? _______

23. In the second part of First Peter 4:14, how do [they] speak of Christ? And, what do we Christians do? a. _______ b. _______

24. Who are the three Persons of the Trinity in First John 5:7? a. ___ b.___ c. ___

25. Revelation 1:11 is another very important verse that proves the deity of Christ. In the first part of this verse Jesus said, “I am the A______________ and O___________, the _________ and the _______:”

Conclusion: Little space is provided for your answers, but it’s much more than needed. If you followed the instructions above, you not only failed the test, you receive a big goose egg.

If you would like to improve your score, and in fact score 100%, you can take this test using the Authorized (King James) Bible.