The battle over Bible versions rages on. However, I have settled that issue in my mind, based on the facts, many years ago. But, I know there are may people in the pews of our churches who still struggle with the Bible Version issue. I regularly get phone calls from people who have heard that I stand for the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received Text and the King James Bible. They ask me, “Why do you advocate the use of the King James Bible?” and/or “Isn’t this version or that version a good version?”
In a clear, concise and uncomplicated way, I want to explain to the Christian struggling with the version issue, why I came to the conclusion that the King James Bible is the best version available in the English language today.
Let me state it simply: There are basically only two foundations that Bible translations have been and are being built upon. It is either the foundation of faith or the foundation of doubt.
The Foundation Of Faith That Our King James Bible Is Built On
Let’s begin with the foundation of faith. The key issue is this: I believe that God inspired the original writings of the Bible, which are called the autographa. There are many verses that teach this. Here are two key verses that I want you to see…
2 Peter 1:20-21 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (that is, they did not originate with man). 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."
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:"
But, there is also the matter of verbal preservation of the apographa (copies of the originals). I believe that God has preserved His Words in the copies of those original writings in the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Traditional Text (Textus Receptus) of the New Testament.
I have FAITH that the God who inspired the original autographs can and did preserve the apographs so that we can say, “Thus saith the Lord; This IS the Word of God” when we hold up our King James Bibles.
Nineteenth century believing Bible scholar par excellent, 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."
The Westminster Confession of Faith published in the 1600’s says, "The Old Testament in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek, being immediately inspired by God and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical, so as in all controversies of religion the Church is finally to appeal unto them."
My point in quoting this document is simply this; Bible believing Christians in the past, for the most part, believed in the inspiration and providential preservation of the of the Word of God. It is only in the last quarter of the 19th century and 20th century that born again Christians have believed anything else!
In fact, the Bible teaches providential preservation! The Lord Jesus Christ taught providential preservation. In Matthew 4:4 we read, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Did you know that no original manuscripts existed in Christ’s day? Yet, Christ confidently quoted a portion of Deuteronomy 8:3 as the authoritative Word of God, and it was copy of the original without a doubt.
There are many Scriptures that indicate God has providentially preserved His Word. Here are just a few.
Psalms 12:6-7 "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Psalms 33:11 "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."
Psalms 100:5 "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Luke 16:17 "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."
1 Peter 1:23, 25 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
I believe God. What God promised, He is able to perform (Romans 4:21). He has promised to preserved His Word(s), and I believe Him. I have the faith that He has done it. Therefore, I have chosen to use the King James Bible, because it is built on the Traditional Text, which is laid on the foundation of faith.
Next: Part #2 - The Foundation of Doubt that the new Bible versions are built on.