|Brother Paul Burbidge|
Why Only the
King James Bible?
Faith, Evidence, and Satan's Prolific Counterfeiting.
A thesis submitted to
Dr. Gary E. LaMore, Ph. D., D. D.
Historic Baptist Bible College and Seminary
In partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Bachelor of Theology
Paul Gregory Burbidge
Paul Gregory Burbidge
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
It has been a pleasure to continue to feed my personal interest in the defence of the King James Bible through the research required for this paper. I want to express my thanks to my pastor, Pastor Paul H. Parks, for his encouragement and support in this project. “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.” (Ecc. 12:11) I thank the Great Shepherd of my soul, Christ Jesus, for providing me with a pastor that cares for my soul.
Miss Kelly Throp has been my chief editor. She has laboured long and identified many needed corrections. Her numerous constructive recommendations for changes in words and wording have been of great help. Her clear and analytical thinking is coveted.
My wife Sandy deserves praise for her unfailing support and sacrifice of love. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Pro. 31:27) She has given me many hours of uninterrupted time for this project. She has also read the final draft and helped me fine tune the writing to the best of my ability. My three dear children have also been very understanding and their love always encourages me.
Sincerest thanks are extended to Dr. Gary E. LaMore, Pastor of Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Scarborough, Ontario and Principal of Historic Baptist Bible College and Seminary. This thesis exists because of the demands of their rewarding program.
The Lord is to be greatly praised. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” (Psa. 68:19) The Lord has supplied me with all that was needed to do this paper. Books are a necessity to a research project like this and the Lord has provided them through family and friends as well as supplying the money to buy books when needed. The benefits of the Lord are experienced most intensely through the word of God and the enabling of the Spirit of God. The Lord has ministered to me through this work and may He likewise minister to all that read it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Questions and issues that challenge the way people think occur on a daily basis. The number and variety of the issues that arise are only equalled by the number of the reactions to them. Regardless of how people in general deal with the challenges and issues of life, the children of the Living God are to be ruled by faith. This fact is clearly stated in Romans 14:23, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” It is imperative that all those that name the name of Christ, having departed from iniquity (2Tim. 2:19), deal with all of life’s issues according to faith.
One of the most controversial issues that has arisen in the lives of many Christians is the ‘which Bible’ issue. The Christian that has not yet dealt with this issue will not be able to escape it for long. Now is a good time to deal with it! Herein, the question to be posed and answered, by the grace of God, is, “Why Only the King James Bible?” It is asserted in answer to this most crucial question that there is every reason under both faith and evidence that an English speaking child of God should be using only the King James Bible.
It is most unfortunate to observe the prevailing disposition of faithlessness amongst those that claim to be the children of faith today. Rather than approaching the issues of life through faith there are an increasing number that have thrown off faith completely and entered the realm of opinion and human reasoning upon those opinions. This is the realm of subjective self-rule—a foundation of sand.
The nineteenth century saw an ever increasing critical approach by career academics to their respective fields of study. The Holy Bible, and the sacred science of theology, was not spared this critical handling. The Apostle to the Gentiles told Titus, “unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure” (Tit. 1:15). To some men nothing is holy and sacred. Out of the critical disposition of the 1800’s grew the increasingly popular notion that the English Bible required a revision.
A particular group within the Church of England took up the task of revision. Had they adhered to the rules of revision they may (maybe!) have produced something of value. This was not the case. The English Bible revision committee was not to make any unnecessary changes to the text, but simply to enact a judicial change where absolutely and undoubtedly needed. No good came of it; all was mischief. The mischief of the 1881 English revision committee included secrecy, a new and radically different Greek text, and thousands of changes to the majestic Authorized Version of 1611. There was little wisdom in the project. The foundations of faith in the lives of many Christians were shaken and this instability remains, and has grown, to this day. The wisdom of John Henry Todd, chaplain to the King of England for a period in the early 1800’s, was needed in both the days of the 1881 English Revised Version and today. “With regard to a revision,” Todd states, “it is of little importance that a few particles be adjusted, a few phrases polished, if the whole fabrick of that faith which was once delivered to the saints is thereby shaken to its foundations.”
Fear and concern are the emotions evoked upon discovering that the foundations have been destroyed in many churches and individual lives. The Word of God still stands sure, and ever will, but there are lamentably so few that cling to the Grand Old Book any more—“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Mat. 24:35).
Although not “one jot or one tittle shall” (Mat. 5:18) pass from the Word of God, Satan has whispered in the ears of the multitudes, “yea, hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1) Satan and the new version proponents have sown unbelief for at least two centuries now in regards to the King James Bible. The King James Bible’s steadfastness in the face of this fierce opposition is a testimony to its Divine origin. Nevertheless, the fruit of infidelity is abounding—even to the point where ears are closed to this issue. Since Christians are supposed to be seekers of objective and reasonable truth it is a perplexing situation that “there is a strange reluctance to be informed on this matter”? When people endeavour to present the ‘case’ for the King James Bible with a mean spirit and belligerent attitude it is obvious why others are turned off from this issue. While this has been a relatively small problem around the ‘which Bible’ issue, this is not the problem that plagues our entire land. The problem plaguing the land is an unwillingness to deal with the ‘which Bible’ issue at all, even when it is presented with gracious salt seasoned speech (Col. 4:6).
Those that name the name of Christ and walk in unbelief are rebellious children of God, at best. They have not adopted the Holy Bible as their only rule and authority of faith and practice. Three prevailing evil spirits (attitudes) possess the land. These should be identified before the subject proceeds. 1) There is a cold wind of spiritual lethargy blowing across the land filling many a child of God with the spirit of sleep. The soldiers of the kingdom of God are falling, or have already fallen asleep on their watch. 2) The carnal wind of ‘unity at all costs’—the ecumenical spirit—has blown multitudes away from the separated and consecrated life demanded by God in His holy Bible. 3) A pagan breeze of idolatry has arisen in Christendom and is increasing to hurricane proportions. Fundamentalists and other divisions within Christendom are all kneeling at the shrine of the scholar—scholarolatry, the spirit of human supremacy.
It is true that without a continual and diligent watch Christians can become lukewarm in the things of the kingdom of God. Paul spoke to the believers in Rome and told them to “awake out of sleep” (Rom. 13:11). He reminded them that their salvation was closer than ever and prescribed a cure for their illness—separation from the world (Rom. 13:12). This is the only cure for the sleepy Christian. As the spiritually sleepy Christian staggers out of the world and puts on the “armour of light” they will awake. In fact, separation from doctrinal error, ungodly methods, sin, and worldliness is the express command for all Christians.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17, 18
“And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Matthew 18:17
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:” 1 Corinthians 5:9
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;” Titus 3:10
“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 1:10, 11
John Bunyan even wrote of an enchanted ground in his Pilgrims Progress, in which place Christian and Hopeful were warned by the Shepherds not to fall asleep. Christians are given these places of comfort and rest, as Bunyan’s enchanted ground symbolizes, but they must not sleep there. Christians must remember that they are also soldiers, and soldiers must be ever-ready for the spiritual battles that will come.
Upon reflection it can also be realized that both the ecumenical spirit and the spirit of human supremacy are cured by Biblical separation. The ecumenical spirit (unity despite doctrinal error) that is so rampant in Christendom today follows logic based upon an assumption that doctrine (Bible truth) is not worth separation. The Lord Jesus, as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel 5:17-19, speaks to the great importance of Bible doctrine:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
The Lord Jesus is teaching His disciples, and all readers of the written Word of God, that He did not come to destroy or do away with the holy Law of God (the Bible; specifically the Old Testament), but to fulfil it, even to the smallest character of its written language. The Lord promises that even the smallest parts of the inspired words will not pass from the Law—all will be fulfilled. Jesus is warning us, based upon the eternal and immutable character of God’s words that Christians are to keep the smallest commandments. Those citizens of the kingdom of God that do not keep the smallest commandments and also teach others to break them are deemed the least in the kingdom of God. Whoever does and teaches all the commandments, even to the least, shall be called great.
The Lord Jesus bases this on the fact that the Law is eternal, even to the jots and tittles. No child of God has the freedom to claim some teachings of God’s Word fundamental and others unimportant. This is called being partial with God’s Law and is condemned by God through the prophet Malachi (2:9). The child of God has been commanded to follow the Apostles doctrine—all of it (2The. 3:6). It has become very popular to hear people say that Christians should stick to the important issues like salvation and let the divisive doctrines alone. The salvation of precious souls is not to be diminished. Similarly, neither is the smallest of the commandments of the Holy Scriptures. The Christian that disregards parts of the Bible and teaches others to do likewise are the least in the kingdom of God. Therefore, it is clear that if one sets aside Bible doctrine to achieve a false unity they do it without the blessing of God. The unity of the Scriptures is single-mindedness in the doctrines of the Bible (Rom. 15:6; Phil. 1:27). Having said this, it is clear that those who think the ‘which Bible’ question is of no importance are in disobedience to the command of Christ and do not have the mind of Christ on this matter.
Not far from the lazy and sleepy Christian problem grows the weed of reliance upon the academics of Christendom. The sleepy Christian becomes quite comfortable to lie back passively and be spoon fed their religion through television, video, audio cassettes, radio, or one of the popular pulp-Christian selections from the local religious book store. The person that follows this dangerous path breaks the “study” command of Second Timothy 2:15 and surrenders to another their soul-liberty.
The Bible command to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (2 Tim. 2:15) and the truth of individual soul-liberty are inseparably linked. It is not a difficult task to see that Paul is telling Timothy and all Christians to work hard in the study of the Scriptures. This study is to fulfil two purposes, that Christians may not be ashamed before the Lord God, and that they may rightly interpret the Scriptures for themselves. Soul-liberty is made functional in the life of a believer when they diligently study and obey the Word of God. Why? Soul-liberty is based upon such verses of Scripture as Second Corinthians 5:10, “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” As a result of God’s requirement that each individual stand before Christ in judgement for all their beliefs and deeds each person must have the liberty to follow Christ according to their convictions. Obviously, it is essential for a person’s eternal good that they use God’s holy Bible to derive all their beliefs and practice. When a Christian allows a scholar to tell them what the truth is and is not they are actually making an assumption as to truth and error based on trust in another person. The Christian that does this is actually adopting the beliefs of another person and not necessarily the Bible. Where that scholar is wrong the sleepy Christian is wrong before the Lord. At the Judgment Seat of Christ that Christian will have made themselves personally responsible for beliefs assumed to be true as received from a scholar. The scholar now becomes that person’s ‘bible.’ Yes, God has given pastors and teachers that they may teach the believers according to the Scriptures. Church members are commanded to follow and obey their pastor, but with the single qualification that they compare their instruction with the holy Word of God (Heb. 13:7; 1 Cor. 11:1).
There are a number of Bible doctrines that affect the “Why Only the KJB?” question directly. The doctrines of faith, inspiration, preservation, and profitability are to be discussed at length. One may wonder why such a large section is devoted to these doctrines when there is a great mass of material, external to the Bible that makes powerful arguments for the singular use and trust of the King James Bible for English speaking believers. The writer must proceed on this ground, “whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” “without faith it is impossible to please him,” and “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” May the significance of these truths become obvious in the proceeding pages.
The challenge is made! What will the reader do? Surrender his soul to the scholars, to the ecumenical spirit, joining the crowd that is yelling, away with this doctrine? How that should ring in the ears of all lovers of Christ and His Holy Book. The religious multitude once yelled at Pilate, “away with this man” as they rejected the Word veiled in human flesh. For those that have ears to hear, this time the multitude seeks to do away with the written Word of God! Does this not demand attention?
In coming face to face with the Bible issue, and dealing with the proposition, ‘Why Only the King James Bible?,’ it is necessary to start, finish, and remain on the foundation of faith. Hebrews 11:6 and Romans 14:23 should awake any child of God and bring them to a holy dedication to answer this question according to the Word of God. While advancing through the study of these Bible doctrines please keep the two truths given in these verses in mind: “without faith it is impossible to please him,” and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” May the words of C.H. Spurgeon see both the writer and the reader on their way and cause them to proceed with seriousness. “While faith is the simplest thing in all the world, yet it is one of the most difficult upon which to write.”
The central definition of faith is given in Hebrews chapter eleven, of which no improvement shall even be attempted, only an elaboration. Having said this, it is admitted that the chief danger in this venture is surely the complicating of simple truths.
The object and singularity (singleness) of faith is a matter of great importance. It is a matter pertaining to our eternal good. Real faith has a single and worthy object. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, instructed the hearers not to lay up treasure upon Earth, for there it would be corrupted. (Mat. 6:19-21) Further, Jesus instructs them that they should focus their lives upon laying up treasure in Heaven, which will last for eternity. As the Lord continues preaching the very important point is made that no man can serve two masters, with the obvious import that they should not allow the cares of this world to take them away from going after Christ with all their hearts. The Lord knows men’s feebleness, as is seen in the assurance given to Israel in Leviticus when Jehovah was instructing them regarding the year of rest (every seventh) for the land, in which they were not to plant crops: “And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years” (Lev. 25:20, 21). The Lord always supplies enough in the years of plenty to last through the dryness. Jesus brings the listeners into the realm of faith and challenges them to trust God Almighty with their lives, saying, “wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (Mat. 6:30). Jesus presents reasons in the preceding verses, based upon God’s character as revealed in nature (God’s care and provisions for creation), for trusting the Lord to supply their daily needs. Jesus then corrects them for their lack of trust in God. They should have known that God, as observed in nature, takes care of the smallest needs of creation; but, they were not personally applying this knowledge of the character of God. Therefore, the faith that Jesus is demanding here is complete reliance upon the character, ability, and veracity (truthfulness) of God. Not only is Jesus demanding a belief in the existence of God, but something deeper; faith based upon the revealed knowledge of God. He demands faith in the person of God—who God is. A person may be known, even face-to-face, and yet no faith in their character, in the veracity of their word, or in their ability to perform what they say is warranted. The premium example in the Scriptures is surely Abraham’s unquestioning and prompt obedience in the offering of his only son Isaac in Genesis 22. A man whose “faith” extends only to belief in the existence of God would never have been willing to sacrifice an only son! Abraham believed on God, and this faith was of such a character so as to place Abraham’s life and the lives of loved ones in God’s hands. God, as He is revealed in Scripture, is the proper object of faith.
The fact is that real Biblical faith, as opposed to faith falsely so called, finds its singular object in the God of the Holy Bible. Singleness is required in Biblical faith. This is seen in the Apostle Peter’s sermon, after Christ healed a lame man through Peter, where Peter exclaims, “and his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Act. 3:16). This lame man in Acts chapter three was healed only through Christ, as is demonstrated in the faith placed in Christ with singularity. Encased in the phrase, “in his name,” is the person, character, and work of Christ. Faith in just ‘any old christ’ will not due, it must be faith in the one and only Living Christ, the eternal Son of God. The true Lord Jesus Christ can only be known through the Word of God. Singleness of faith in Christ alone is essential to Gospel preaching. The preaching of the Apostles is summed up as, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Biblical faith clearly includes, in its character, the trait that it looks to the God of the Bible. The salvation of a person’s soul rests exclusively in Christ Jesus. The truth that Biblical faith rests only in Christ and all that is accomplished by Jesus for the redemption of souls is testified to in the “Resurrection Chapter.” “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1Co. 15:14) “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1Co. 15:17) The Biblical requirement for the proper object of faith runs all through the precious book of God. It should be said of all God’s Children as it was of those in Ephesus, “…I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus…” (Eph. 1:15)
Biblical faith demands singularity of object and God given books such as Romans and Galatians emphasise this fact. The opposite of faith is works. Paul teaching this says, “now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:4, 5). The fact that there must be no admixture of works with Biblical faith in the Living Lord Jesus Christ is imperative. The moment self-works are added to faith, faith ceases (Gal. 3:12; Rom. 4:14; 11:6). The singularity of faith goes hand in hand with the object of faith. You cannot mix objects of faith and have Biblical faith. Obviously if a person holds more than one object of faith their faith is compromised. Remember, “no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Mat. 6:24).
Faith and works are opposed to each other. The person that claims faith in Christ Jesus for the salvation of their soul and then endeavours through labour to gain merit before God the Father is living a lie. Yes, real faith works! Saving faith that works must never be confused with works for salvation. Abraham had saving faith, and of Abraham the Scriptures teach us that “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3). It was this faith of Abraham’s, the real stuff, on which James wrote, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (Jas. 2:20-23). The character of real faith is such that when it is present the holder of that faith will act. The Apostle Paul writes regarding the “spirit of faith,” saying, “according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (2Cor. 4:13). Think of it this way: Real faith has a natural fruit—obedient loving service to the object of that faith, God Almighty. The person that tries to earn good standing before God for salvation is not operating by faith. They have not believed the promise “whosoever believeth in him should not perish” (John 3:16). People that try to earn their way to acceptance before the holy God will find that “to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4).
Faith carries with it no merit. Faith commends no man to God. To believe the truth is no great feat. To believe the truth is only a man’s duty, and logical. Is a man to be counted a great scientist for holding the law of gravity as fact? No, certainly not. He would receive no reward, for there is no merit in believing the truth. There is no merit in believing God. In defining faith, this point is very important. Faith is of an unmeritorious nature. Salvation, which is by the grace of God, is to come through faith. Why? So that man has no part to claim in his own salvation. Paul, on this very subject writes, “where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (Rom. 3:27). When Bible faith is known personally, “we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28).
Faith is always contrasted with works in the Scriptures. Also, faith is a gift of God and not inherent in any person. It is an axiom that faith carries with it no merit at all. Other verses of Scripture that demonstrate this are readily found.
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5
“Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” Romans 4:9 Circumcision cannot even be used as merit, for Abraham was justified by faith before the seal of circumcision was given.
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” Romans 4:11
True Biblical faith is so far removed from human works that it is not even of man. Faith is a gift of God. The twelve Apostles understood this better than most. Upon receiving instruction form the Lord on unlimited forgiveness they, realizing their weakness to obey Christ in this area, implored, “Increase our faith” (Lk. 17:5). It is interesting that they did not ask for a greater forgiving spirit, but they asked for an increase of faith. They knew that they had to grow in their trust of Jesus if they were to do what He said. Remember, real faith works. If any child of God is having trouble obeying Christ’s Word it is due primarily to a lack of faith. If they believed sufficiently they would do it. The fact of the matter is that faith is foreign to the carnal minds of men. The Baptist preacher, C. H. Spurgeon knew this fact. “Salvation by Christ is so disagreeable to our carnal mind, so inconsistent with our love of human merit, that we never would take Christ to be our all in all, if the Spirit did not convince us that we were nothing at all, and did not so compel us to lay hold on Christ.” The Apostles were mature enough in the truth to know that such trust is not inherent to men, and they asked the Lord Jesus to give them more. If faith was a natural and inherent human trait than the Apostles request was vain. Had they been the originators of faith then they simply would have had to pull themselves up by their boot straps, so to speak, and increase their own faith. God supplies faith in the beginning and will continue increasing it in the lives of His saints.
Christians have been overlooking the fact that faith is a gift of God. This is leading to grave error. Yes, and errors in regards to the Bible! The Apostle Paul instructs the Roman Christians in their daily walk of faith and makes the point that they are to walk “according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3). Paul hoped that the members of the Corinthian Church would continue growing in the Lord and mature, “when your faith is increased” (2 Cor. 10:15). In discovering this fact, that faith is a gift of God and comes not by human invention, remember this, “for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).
Ephesians 2:8 places the reader squarely in the realm of justification through faith. It is clearly seen that faith is a gift. To the Philippians Paul wrote, “unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him” (Phil. 1:19). The holy Scriptures tell us clearly that “all men have not faith” (2 Thes. 3:2). At this point it needs to be remembered that all men are the same upon birth—dead in trespasses and sin—and no man has justifying faith inherent within him. Faith is a gift of God. Upon this point, Peter is not silent. “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pet. 1:1). In another place Peter says, “Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet. 1:21).
After all the contrasting of faith and human works, it is discovered that true Biblical faith is a work of God in the lives of men, women, and youths. Paul calls it such in Second Thessalonians 1:11, “wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” When the child of God realizes that faith is not inherent and finds faith lacking in their lives they can cry out with tears, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mk. 9:24).
Having proved the fact that faith is a gift the question, how does God give the gift of faith?, begs to be asked. The gift of faith comes by the operation of God through the Word of God—the Word of God preached, and the working of the Holy Spirit of God in giving understanding to the person.
The Scriptures teach that, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). God has chosen the ear-gate through which to work faith in men. Paul’s first missionary journey, as found in Acts chapters thirteen and fourteen, illustrates this fact wonderfully. At the end of their journey Paul and Barnabas “rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). Here, faith is likened unto a door, through which a lost person must pass for salvation. This statement here in Acts 14:27 is very important. The opening and closing of the door of faith is placed squarely in the hands of God.
Paul and Barnabas had been sent out on their first missionary journey. Great spiritual fruit attended their labours by the hand of God upon them. There is much to learn about faith, the operation of God in bringing a person to faith in Christ Jesus, and man’s part (responsibility) in coming to Christ in faith. The question is, how did the Lord open the door of faith? How was this attained? Simply stated, the missionary activity in the book of Acts consisted of two ingredients, the preaching of the word and the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was then, and is now, working to illuminate the Word of God, convict sinners of their sin, and regenerate the repentant believer. The natural (lost) man is in great need of illumination of spiritual truth. In other words, lost people need the lights turned on for them so that they can see the truth. The question is asked “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?” (1 Cor. 2:11). Certainly this is evident to all that will take a moment and think. Men understand other men because they are men. The person who, looking out of their window on a snowy day, watches their neighbour suddenly slip and fall knows the hurt and embarrassment that accompanies such a mishap.
Consider the case of a man who wants to take up the job of understanding God. It is submitted that all that have taken up so noble a cause without the aid of the Spirit of God have concocted nothing but lies. Such is the mind of man that he can conceive of no better a god than a Zeus or Apollo. It is very important to come to the truth of the matter, that “the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11). This is completely reasonable, if a man knows another man by their mutually like spirits then for a man to understand God, that man must have a mutually like spirit. God is merciful and works by His Spirit to give men understanding of the truth.
Paul and Barnabas preached the word of God continually as recorded in Acts—“they preached the word of God” (13:5). In Acts 13:16-41 a sermon is preached. In Iconium they had great successs and it is written, “long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord” (14:3) and as they went to another place “there they preached the gospel” (14:7). In Acts 14:15-18 another sermon is delivered in Lystra. In the city of Derbe the sacred historian records that “they…preached the gospel” (14:21), and finally, when heading back to Antioch they stopped in Perga and “preached the word” (14:25). The work of the Holy Spirit is seen in Paul and Barnabas being “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 13:9) as well as the fact that there were so many converts made and churches planted. In addition to this it is evident that the Holy Spirit was at work due to the fact that the enemies of the gospel were enraged. When the Gospel is preached clearly and boldly and the Holy Spirit is opening men’s eyes to the truth then people either get saved or get mad. Many got mad! Many got saved!
The reactions of the hearers of Paul and Barnabas are also recorded by Luke. Luke’s various observations are recorded in Acts 13:12 (“being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord”), 13:42 (“the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath”), 13:44 (“the whole city came together to hear the word of God”), and the various accounts of the Apostles being thrown out of cities and even stoned. What does this prove in relation to the method God uses to bestow the gift of faith? It proves that God’s method of opening the door of faith to sinners is through the preaching of the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
There are two verses that will further aid in revealing the fact that the gift of faith comes by the Word and the Spirit of God: Romans 10:8, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” And Colossians 1:23, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Paul makes it clear that the Word of God and the preaching of that Word are essential to the working of faith in a person’s life. In fact, Paul calls the Bible “the word of faith.” A survey of the Epistles shows us that Paul commends the Thessalonian Christians for the fact that they were sounding out of the Word of God. “From you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing (1 Thes. 1:8). Outside of the Word of God no person has any kind of foundation for real faith. The Apostle to the Gentiles instructs son Timothy, “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Tim. 1:4). Timothy was to “put the brethren in remembrance of these things” and that would prove Timothy to “be a good minister of Jesus Christ.” Timothy was “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6). The second letter to Timothy bears instructions to “hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). Timothy’s preparedness for the pastoral ministry started when, as a child the Scriptures made this youngster “wise unto salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15).
The letter to the Galatians is a book of battle. The battle was over salvation by grace through faith. The Apostle asks the Galatian Christians this important question, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:2). The answer is obvious from the context; the Galatians had received the Spirit of God “by the hearing of faith.” The same Apostle reminds the Ephesian believers that they had trusted in Christ “after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). It must be observed that these Ephesians believed and received the “holy Spirit of promise” after they had heard the “word of truth.” Those today that endeavour to “believe” and receive the Spirit without the word of God, as is so prevalent in “Christian” circles today, will not. Faith comes by the Word of God—the Word of God preached and the illumination (understanding) of the Holy Spirit.
The picture of true Bible faith is getting clearer as this study progresses. Faith that is a gift of God and comes by the agency of the Word of God and the Spirit of God will be expected to have the quality of endurance. It is a Scriptural axiom that “the just shall live by faith.” Throughout history various people have turned away from Bible faith that once followed after it. For a very long time the great battle has raged over whether or not a person could loose their salvation/faith. The Scriptures declare, “if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:38). Obviously, this does not answer the question fully. It does however establish the fact that if a professor of Biblical faith turns back from that faith they are rejected of God. The question is brought to a conclusion upon the Apostle John’s words. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (1 John 2:19). Peter is not silent on this issue, saying, “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Pet. 2:22). Real faith endures. Those that do not endure had never personally received the gift of faith. Real faith bears good fruit and false faith bears evil fruit (see the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 and 7:16-23).
Faith is of Divine origin. Therefore, when it is tested in this world the origin is revealed and glory gained for God Almighty, the giver of all good gifts. The children of God should expect their faith to be tried and proved. In fact, those that claim to have Biblical faith and never have it tried are suspect. Consider, dear reader, that Bible faith will be tried by the Bible issue. It is the writer’s object to challenge the reader with TRUTH on the Bible issue. The reactions of the readers will be tell-tale.
Examples of faith being tested and the Lord being glorified through the testing abound in the Gospels. Almost all the miracles fulfil this purpose. Matthew 9:29 furnishes one such example: “Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.” In the preceding verse (28) we find that the two blind men that have been following Jesus and requesting their sight are asked, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” Their answer is, “Yea, Lord.” Then Jesus heals them and demonstrates that their faith was sufficient. What was their faith sufficient for though? Certainly, it was not sufficient to directly heal them, for faith has no inherent power or ability. Their faith was sufficient in that these men really did believe that Jesus could heal them, for Jesus only applied the healing to the extent of their faith—“According to your faith be it unto you.” It is not the case that Jesus could not have done more. God has chosen to bestow gracious favour (grace) upon people based on the extent to which they believe God able and willing to do so. Jesus uses this “proving” of faith frequently. Remember, that “faith is…the evidence of things not seen.” To understand the meaning of the definition of faith we only have to look to the Scriptures. The Jews lacked faith and always looked for a sign. Therefore, there were no evidences given to them of God’s working and power amongst them. These two blind men were different. They trusted in the unseen. The evidence was their faith in the unseen power and ability of the Son of God.
The characteristic trial that goes along with Biblical faith is seen in Matthew 15:28, the account of the Canaanite woman. Jesus puts the ball in this woman’s court, so to speak. Jesus performs the work of healing on the woman’s daughter to the extent of this woman’s faith in Jesus’ ability to do so. Testing faith in such a way as this, and the many other examples like it in Scripture, shows the purpose for Jesus making this demonstration of faith. God’s method of giving evidence of the power and ability behind the Word of God and the God of the Word is through real faith. Real faith is inseparably linked to the character and ability of the object of faith. Restated, the Canaanite woman believed that the Lord Jesus has dominion over the spirit world, and based on this properly placed faith (evidence), Jesus demonstrates the substance of the woman’s belief. This example shows faith to be divorced from physical senses and to be based upon the invisible object of Jesus, including His person, character, ability, and veracity. It is the power of the Son of God that is on display, shinning through the window of this woman’s faith. It eclipses the woman and exalts Christ. Other examples to read that demonstrate this truth are found in Luke 17:19 and 18:42.
The demonstration of God’s person, power, veracity, and character is to be the daily joy of the Christian. “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God” (Mk. 11:22). Faith will be tried. Not all trials have to be life or death, so to speak. Every time the Christian reads and learns something new from the Holy Scriptures his or her faith will be tried. The question that attends every word of the book of God is “believest thou this?” Every day is a trial of faith. Every day God wants His children to experience the blessings of being the citizens of Heaven. This experiencing of God only comes through faith in God’s word. The Apostles found this out as recorded in the twenty-first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (Mat. 21:21). Jesus had cursed a fruitless fig tree and Peter (no doubt the others also) was surprised that the withering of the tree had come to pass. Jesus used this to teach them about faith, specifically “faith-full” praying. These Christians were to experience God’s character and blessings each and every day by faith. This is what Abraham did. He lived by faith; it was the law of his life.
Experiencing God through faith, and only through faith (God has given no other way), hits very close to home with the Bible issue. True knowledge of the veracity (truthfulness), flawless character and almighty ability of God is not carnally discerned. Meaning, it is not perceived by the physical fleshly senses of men. God and Christ Jesus are revealed to men by the Holy Ghost through the Holy Scriptures. The person that will truly believe on God’s Word will have the power and character of the Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated in their life, for God’s glory. Of Abraham it is said, “Abraham believed God.” This specific phrase is used four times in the New Testament—Rom. 4:3; 11:30; Gal. 3:6; Jas. 2:23. Abraham did not personally experience the goodness of God because of belief in the existence of God. God’s existence is never questioned by a man that will believe the words of God. People claiming to experience the Living God and are not willing to come to the Scriptures in singular faith will never experience God and His Christ. They may experience some carnal religiosity or be fooled by other gospels, other christs, and other spirits out there, but they will never experience the one true God.
The flesh and this world system are at enmity with God and no revelation of God comes through these means. It is only through faith in the Word and the gift of understanding by the Spirit of God that a person can personally know Christ. God has created man in such a way, and ordered Creation that faith, being a gift of God, is the only disposition (stance toward God) in which men can know and get to know the Living God. Remember, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). People that claim to want a better and deeper Christian life but constantly explain away the truths found in the Bible, or not spending any significant time therein, are either not genuine or are ignorant of the truth. Such will never have faith-filled lives. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. A warning is sounded to those, who upon hearing the Word of God explain it away instead of obeying out of belief in its truthfulness.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:3
God given faith will be tried. Expect that the trying of this faith will yield patience and not abandonment of the faith.
Having come some distance on expanding upon faith and its character a restatement of the definition of faith seems appropriate. The Divine definition of faith is given in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The man that has been given the gift of faith has that as the substance and evidence of the promises of God.
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die” (Rom. 5:7). No, not many will step up to hazard their lives for another. If a man did so hazard life for another does it not evidence the value of human life? Certainly it does. When Job exclaims, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15), does it not evidence the trustworthiness and greatness of God? The Psalmist knew this, writing, “I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted” (Ps. 116:10). A reading of the entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews will demonstrate this wonderfully. Men and women gave up this world, suffered greatly, and all due to faith in promises given by God Almighty.
Faith subjects the whole man to the object of that faith. Even the affections of man are involved. “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psa. 2:12). Faith has to do with all aspects of the man, not just intellect, but also the will and emotions.
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Psalms 20:7
“The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:12
The gift of faith is the substance of the unfulfilled promises of God and the evidence of the character of the unseen God who gave the promises. It is wrought in the heart by the revelation of God through Holy Scripture and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Cor. 2:10-15)
Under this definition, being completely Scriptural, confusion may occur with Scriptures that use phrases like “the faith of God” or “the faith of Jesus Christ.”
“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Romans 3:3
It does not take long, comparing a number of these verses in context, to discover God’s meaning. The term under discussion is applied to both the Father and the Son, as is seen by comparing Romans 3:3 and 3:22. The subject of each verse containing this phrase has to do with the justifying work of Christ at Calvary. Romans 3:22 says, “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” Galatians uses this phrase in 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” A man is not justified by personal works but by the meritorious work of Christ Jesus. It is the character, veracity, and ability of Christ Jesus that makes the bloody crucifixion of the Christ of God a meritorious work. Jesus Christ is the answer to all the promises of the Scriptures, the only one that has and can fulfill them. In other places it is written, “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Gal. 3:22), “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phi. 3:9), “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:12). The phrase “faith of God” and “faith of Christ Jesus” refers to the character and veracity of God in general and the meritorious work of Christ on Calvary in particular.
Before leaving off the defining of Biblical faith a few more truths should prove beneficial. It needs to be noted that faith bears a particular attitude, that faith is contrary to humanistic reasoning, and finally, faith accesses the much coveted grace of God. The attitude of Bible faith is revealed in Hebrews 11:6, “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God’s existence has been revealed in creation and in his Word. Believing in the existence of God is not the Biblical faith discussed above. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (Jas. 2:19). Unfortunately, most men do not even tremble at the Almighty God. The attitude of faith rests in and obeys the almighty God. God cannot lie. He has given great and precious promises that are appropriated through belief in the Son of God. Faith stands against the carnality of men and this evil world. Faith stands against carnal reason and disbelief in the Living God. Faith diligently seeks God even though the reward will never be obtained in this world.
Faith and reason are not automatically opposed to each other. Reasoning, or logic, is not inherently sinful. Reasoning is only as good as the facts upon which it is predicated, the soundness of its progression of thought, and the verifiability of its conclusions. Faith is based solely and centrally upon God and His Word. Reasoning that is based upon unseen truths revealed in God’s Word is the reasoning of faith. Conversely, reasoning based upon any thought or action that is contrary to God and His Word is contrary to faith. It will be admitted by all that there is a great mass of thought (and action) that is contrary to God and faith in this world. This contrary thought is based upon and centered in man and the abilities of man to observe, know, and understand. It rejects God either completely or in part. Frequently this type of reasoning is called humanistic reasoning. With humanistic reasoning “faith is denied her office, because Reason fails to see the reasonableness of Faith: and accordingly, unbelief enters in with a flood-tide.” Reason that proceeds upon the physical/carnal resources of man is in disobedience to the Scriptures—“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Carnal reasoning is doomed to failure.
Faith is contrary to humanistic reasoning! Humanistic reasoning is contrary to faith. They mutually war against each other. The disciples, being all of like passions, provide a clear example of the opposition of faith and humanistic reasoning. After Jesus fed the 4,000 in Matthew 15 and a brief talk with the religious rulers in the first few verses of chapter sixteen the Lord and the apostles entered a ship and departed. Jesus instructs the disciples to “take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” In reading the account it is easy to wonder why the disciples did not understand. Upon reflection it will be seen that the disciples erred in their reasoning due to a lack of faith. Their lack of faith corrupted their understanding. The disciples understanding of Jesus’ mention of “the leaven of the Pharisees” was that Jesus was correcting them for not bringing any bread. Immediately, “when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?” (Mat. 16:8).
Jesus had just fed thousands and the apostles thought Jesus was upbraiding them because they didn’t bring anything to eat. These men lacked understanding due to lack of faith in the Lord Jesus. Their reasoning ability was seriously curtailed because they left Christ out of the equation. Jesus bade them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. The Apostles misinterpreted what Jesus meant for the simple reason that they did not take into account the character and ability of the Son of God—i.e. to produce bread upon will regardless of the fact that the disciples had none. Those that disregard the miracles of the Bible will never be able to understand the truth of the Scriptures. They will always be in error. Not because they are unintelligent, but because they are unbelieving. Not because they are illogical, but because their logic is based in man and not in God and His Word. To correct the misunderstanding Jesus points them to their lack of faith—“Oh ye of little faith … do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?” The logic of faith would proceed upon Jesus’ warning about the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees thusly. Jesus spoke of leaven, which has to do with bread, but Jesus could not be lamenting forgotten bread for the Son of God can command that into existence with the spoken word. Since Jesus just finished condemning the religious leaders as a “wicked and adulterous generation” then the obvious meaning of “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” is to beware of their false teachings.
The application of faith and the reasoning of faith are to be applied to the daily living, the worship, the Bible study, the witnessing, and the praying of every child of God. In all that the Christian thinks and does it is necessary to remember who Christ Jesus is and what He is able to do. Such consideration applied to the Bible issue and all of life will keep the children of God in the way of God. Dr. Jack Moorman has rightly deduced that those who come to the Bible in unbelief are not dealing with the Bible as it claims to be, inerrantly inspired and perfectly preserved right down to the words. They have created a “purely human Bible” in their minds. They deal with this imagined human book with human doubts. Is not faith and the reasoning of faith the essence of Proverbs 1:7a, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”? Had the Apostles feared Christ with a godly fear in the above incident then they would have gained knowledge. Instead, they applied human reasoning and found themselves in error of which Christ Jesus had to correct them. Faith is inseparable from the fear of the LORD. Proper fear of the Lord is based upon GOD’s character and attributes, so is faith. In dealing with the Bible issue do not be like the many that “have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).”
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Matthew 23:23
Faith is a command and a matter of law. The first commandment is “thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exo. 20:3). Jesus stated this in the New testament in these words, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind” (Lk. 10:27). Lack of faith breaks this first and greatest commandment. Doubt in God and God’s Word means that trust is placed elsewhere—i.e. self. Such faithlessness has in effect adopted another god and broken the Law of the true and living God. The Apostle to the Gentiles wrote, “now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1Tim. 1:5). Reasoning from a place of partial faith (partial belief in God’s Word) will cause departure from truth in that area. Previously it was mentioned that logic is only as good as the facts upon which it is based. If any person bases his or her thinking upon error he or she will never arrive at the truth. “You may believe Christ because he tells you to do so. That is a sure ground to stand on, and one which admits of no doubt.” In orienteering (following a course by map and compass) one must begin at the exact starting point given and proceed with exactness of measurement in order to arrive at the proper destination. A traveller may proceed with the strictest accuracy toward the destination but if the starting point is wrong, the destination will never be achieved.
Faith should never be placed in the devices of men, including one’s own devices. The Psalmist sung, “for I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me” (Psa. 44:6). Like Peter, all children of God need to look to Christ Jesus to strengthen their faith that they may walk in faith. Jesus said to Peter the night before He was crucified, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Lk. 22:32). The context of this statement is found in Luke 22:21-38, with the parallel accounts in Matthew 26:31-35, Mark 14:27-31, and John 13:31-38. Peter lacked faith, and Jesus prayed that his faith would not fail. Simon was instructed that after conversion (being born-again) he was to strengthen the brethren. The weakness of Peter’s faith is seen in that he did not believe the words of Jesus. Jesus told Peter at least twice, once collectively with the twelve and once individually, of the pending denial. Each of these times Peter denied the Word of the Lord and contradicted Jesus. Faith believes even when reason fails. Peter’s opinion that Jesus was wrong on this prediction came from reason that was predicated upon human feelings. Such reasoning brought Peter to contradict and attempt to correct the Lord of Glory. Strong faith, even that of the size of a mustard seed, would have caused Peter to be broken over the surety of the coming denial of his Lord and Saviour. Peter was trusting in self over the word of the impeccable Christ Jesus. Simon Peter stands here as an example that unbelief is always wrong! Unbelief in God is never correct in its assertions! Conversely, faith in God is always right in its assertions, those assertions being truth. The truth shall set men free!
God has ordained that through faith men shall know the Lord and access the grace of God for the good of their souls. It is written, “therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1), and “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Which of God’s children do not look to know Christ better and to receive the many spiritual blessings from His Word? A number that claim to be running hard after Christ deny their claim by their attitude toward God’s Word and their daily walk in fleshly reason instead of faith. The Bible and the Christ of the Bible can only be known and followed by faith.
The formal discussion of the definition of faith is coming to a close but it is essential, based upon the forgoing, that faith is the foundation of all that shall proceed. It is advanced at this point that in regards to the Bible issue Christians must walk fully in faith. When the attitude of the Christian is faithfully based upon the truth (the Scriptures) about who God is and what God is willing and able to perform, reason will have no battle with faith. Faith in the Almighty Living God has no problem with the historicity and inerrancy of the Bible, or verbal inerrant divine inspiration, or verbal plenary preservation, or particular providential translations of the Holy Scriptures. All of which the author seeks to discuss herein, based upon faith. God is able and willing to perform all that is written in God’s Word, and this is completely confluent with the character of the Almighty.
Man has a duty. That duty is to believe the Creator. Not just belief in the existence of the Creator, but also in the revealed Words of the Creator. Faith is essential; unbelief is sin. Man was never given the “right” of unbelief. People that name the name of Christ Jesus and yet walk in some degree of unbelief are living a double life—a lie—claiming one thing and living another. Such make strange creatures. “He assumes his right to disbelieve, and yet will not allow that he is an unbeliever.” Yes, men and women walk around living and talking in unbelief and upon being challenged as to the inconsistency of their life refuse to admit their unbelief. Burgon rightly asked, “what is to be thought of persons who disbelieve just whatever they dislike, and yet profess to be just as hearty believers as you or I?”
Unbelief is a cause of great concern in these days. Real, justifying (Biblical) faith is primarily a belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as God manifest in the flesh and then in the things Christ has accomplished for the salvation of a soul. Faith in the Scriptures as God’s perfect and holy written revelation to man is no different. It is based entirely upon the character and veracity of God. To question the inerrant verbal inspiration and preservation of the Scriptures is to walk in unbelief about God Himself. God teaches these truths in the Scriptures and as Jack Moorman asks, “if I cannot believe what God says about the preservation of His Word, then I cannot believe what He says about its inspiration either—all is sin.”
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). There is only one God, one revelation of God, and one Son of God who loved men and gave Himself for them. There is only one type of faith that is acceptable, and that comes by the hearing of the Word of God and the illumination of the Holy Ghost. There is only one object in which to place the gift of faith and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8
“The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” Psalm 34:22
Faith will stand against the sons of men, the world, and all their doubt and derision. Here is a challenge based upon eternal truth. The reader that doubts that the Word of the Lord is perfect needs to please continue reading. Go forward in faith upon the Scripture. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:22 is absolutely true. Maybe the reader is one who feels dryness in their Christian life. Could it be that the well from where the spiritual thirst quenching water is sought has very little or no pure eternal life-giving water in it? Take up God’s Holy Word in the English language and be blessed in your soul.
Faith is demanded by God! The definition of faith is given in the first few verses of Hebrews eleven and demonstrated in the remainder of that same chapter. Real God given faith in the Holy Scriptures is to be the foundation upon which men base their reasoning, interpret their scientific observations, and purify their carnal knowledge. Faith is connected entirely to the character and ability of the one true God. In the Scriptures men have been given the treasure of revelation of the personal knowledge of God and God’s will for them. The extent of faith is the complete abandonment of self and the world for complete reliance upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many times through their history the Israelites were faithless toward the living God. God “said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith” (Deu. 32:20). They were froward because they were faithless. If they would have believed God like father Abraham did they would not have run so frequently after dumb idols. In Deuteronomy chapter 32 and verse 37 God says, “where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted.” They continually refused to exercise faith in God, even after having so much revelation—for the oracles of God were committed unto them. (Rom. 3:2) As a result of this continual faithlessness and the evil fruit it produced, God let Israel alone for a time. God wanted to show them where their unbelief and disobedience would take them. God’s demand for obedience required faith on the part of the Lord’s subjects for they would never obey when they did not believe the words spoken by God. Only those that believe the promises, law and threatenings of God Almighty obey.
“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4
The above quote from the prophet Habakkuk remains close to the heart of any child of God—“the just shall live by faith.” This same phrase also appears in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. In fact this statement is of so great a magnitude that the spiritual understanding thereof is the difference between eternal life and eternal death. Faith is a pre-requisite to salvation. God demands faith.
“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). Each and every child of God is to walk by faith. All that the Christian does is to be by faith. The words, actions and thoughts of the child of God are to be based upon the holy Scriptures. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phi. 2:5). With the mind of Christ developed (and developing) in the believer from much time in the Word of God, loving obedience will follow based upon the conviction that whatever God’s Word says is true—faith. Faith is necessary for a sanctified Christian life. God demands faith.
The demonstrations of faith in the Scriptures are of a great multitude to say the least. One of the most striking was the faith of the centurion in Matthew 8:5-13 (parallel with Luke 7:1-10). This account furnishes an instance of great faith. Jesus marvelled, having never seen so great a faith in all Israel. The Apostle Luke’s account is somewhat more detailed regarding the thoughts of the Centurion. It is apparent that the Centurion reasoned from the divine revelation of God through Christ Jesus, including the works of God through Him, and believed the Jesus was able to heal. Being a man of authority, when the Centurion gave an order to a servant or soldier it was done. This Centurion had no doubt heard of this man named Jesus, for Jesus’ fame was spread abroad. This Jesus was such an one as to speak and have all creation obey—Heaven and Earth were moved. The Centurion, without ever meeting Jesus, knew that all that was necessary for Jesus to do was to speak and the beloved servant would be healed. Here is a man that believed, not only in God, but in the ability and character of God. This is a marvellous demonstration of faith.
“When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:10
“When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Luke 7:9
The background of this Centurion is not known. From the Bible account it is obvious that this man knew of the miracles of Jesus Christ and recognized the power of God. By faith the Centurion reasoned that it would be a small thing for Christ Jesus to speak the word and heal the sick servant. The wise words of John Burgon will aid the understanding that faith in the living God and the Word of God will never be contradicted by real science and sound reasoning based upon known truth. “Faith…does not object to the constant visits of Science to any part of her treasure. She does but insist that all discussion shall be conducted according to the rules of right Reason.” This is such an important point of understanding in any discussion of the Bible issue. At a particular point the reasoning of faith will need to be employed. Those that will deal with this essential subject must have a firm foundation of immovable trust in the Word of God and the God of the Word.
There are numerous parables that demonstrate faith. The parable of the sower is one such parable. (Lk. 8) Note verse thirteen. “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Lk. 8:13). Why do so many fall away from the faith in Christ Jesus? They receive the Word of God with joy but there is no root. Their faith is shallow. When temptations come their faith leaves. What of the Bible Issue? The truth Jesus is illustrating here is that those in whom there is no God-created root of faith in Christ Jesus alone will not continue in the Christian life. Peter spoke at length about this in his second letter, chapter two. When this principle is applied to any doctrinal issue (i.e. the Bible issue) it is obvious that those who refuse to follow Christ and the doctrine of Christ to the end have a fundamental problem in themselves. The problem is faithlessness. They simply lack real God given Biblical faith!
With a great lament it is admitted that those that reject faith in the holy Scriptures at the first sign of contradictory “evidence” (so-called) are just as the Pharisees and Sadducees of the first century A.D. “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). Jesus’ comment here rings like a lament over the faithlessness of the general population of the Jews. This faithlessness was sharply contrasted against the faith found during two days in Samaria (John 4).
The parallel to the Bible issue and Christendom’s handling of it is startling. Many today are completely unwilling to believe that God has perfectly inspired, preserved, and translated the holy Scriptures based upon God’s character and revelation ALONE. Rather, they seek to excuse their unbelief with a demand for signs and wonders. People are abandoning faith in the Living God for Satanically produced signs and the human reasoning based upon those signs. This approach to the Scriptures will get them nowhere, for they have left off faith. Therefore, they have left off God. To depart from God Almighty and Divine Revelation is to live in a lie (darkness) and no man’s reasoning can be remotely trusted that has his life based upon a lie. Men like Origen or Westcott or Hort are ludicrous in their reasoning and propositions, as will be seen later. John William Burgon termed the theories of Westcott and Hort a venture into cloud land in Revision Revised. Such thinkers start with false assumptions, use loose reasoning and never arrive at the truth. Any man that builds his house upon the sand will lose it.
“And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.” John 5:38
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” John 5:44
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” John 5:46
“But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:47
The end of chapter five of John’s Gospel is a very insightful passage in demonstrating faith. The Hebrews in question here were claiming to follow Moses. Jesus uncovers their hypocrisy by demonstrating that they did not really believe Moses’ writings. The word of God, through Moses, was not abiding in them (by faith) and therefore, when the “Prophet” that Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 came they knew him not. Jesus even told them, “I am come in my father’s name” (John 5:43), and “then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28), and “I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father” (John 8:38). In a nutshell, people that are faithless in a little revelation will be faithless in more revelation. Why did not the Hebrews, generally speaking, flock to the Messiah they had been waiting for? They had not been believing in the words of Moses and when one greater than Moses came they could not believe either.
This begs the question, in lieu of the Bible Issue, if a professing Believer cannot receive, in faith, the truth of the inerrant inspiration and preservation of the Holy Scriptures then is any of God’s word abiding therein? By treating God’s Word with faithlessness does not such a person prove, as the Jews did, to be a faithless and sign seeking person? The point needs to be made; if a man will judge himself he should not be judged (see 1 Cor.11:31).
Those that have doubts and fears brought on by weak faith, as all children of God may have at times, be assured that the Scriptures clearly demonstrate that faith in God and God’s Word is perfectly placed. “Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them” (Psa. 22:4). “They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded” (Psa. 22:5). The victory is sure, trust in the Lord.
“When we call the Bible an inspired book, we mean nothing more than the words of it are the very utterance of the Holy SPIRIT;—that the book is as much the Word of GOD as if high Heaven were open, and we heard GOD speaking to us with human voice.” The central verse on Biblical Inspiration is Second Timothy 3:16.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Inspiration is a noun denoting the “act of drawing air into the lungs…the act of breathing into any thing.” The inspiration of the Scriptures simply refers to God breathing out the words contained in the Scriptures. Words are breathed out from the speaker. All speaking requires the exhaling of breath.
Jesus asked, “have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying” (Matt. 22:31)? Clearly the Lord Jesus is referring to the Scriptures—“have ye not read?” The Lord Jesus is also equating the written Scriptures with the spoken words of God. The Scriptures are the spoken word of God recorded with a writing instrument and ink. The Bible is clear that the Scriptures are the voice of God. It is written, “as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice” (Heb. 3:7). The act of writing the spoken word of God was commanded of the Apostle John twice in the Revelation.
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:9
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5
Inspiration is by no means a complicated doctrine. God has breathed out words for mankind and had holy men of old write them down as God gave them. Many do not receive this simple, yet foundational doctrine, due to rebellion in their hearts. To have such an authoritative document as a transcript of the very words of God makes men accountable. The Word of God can either be received as the word of God or the word of men. To receive the Scriptures as the word of men is to deny the claims of those same Scriptures. Commendation is given to those who receive the Scriptures as the word of God. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers and said, “for this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when 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” (1 Thes. 2:13).
Having spoken of inspiration in general terms, it is needful that numerous specific statements of the Bible pertaining to inspiration are surveyed. The further details will furnish a more complete Biblical teaching on inspiration and provide a necessary base for the furtherance of this discussion. The Scriptures teach that their inspiration was inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbal, and by the agency of human writers.
The Scriptures were breathed by the God “that cannot lie” (Tit. 1:2). The Scriptures claim inerrancy for themselves; meaning that God spoke those words without any error whatsoever in the recording. Some of the claims for Biblical inerrancy are found in the following verses.
“Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” Psalm 119:140
“But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth.” Daniel 10:21
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15
“And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” Revelation 22:6
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:9
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:18
“If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Proverbs 30:5
The Bible is described as “very pure,” “faithful and true,” and “pure” in the above verses. This is by no means a complete list. The Bible is also called “the scripture of truth,” “holy scriptures,” true sayings of God,” and “the word of truth.” When Romans 9:17 and Exodus 9:13 and 16 are compared it is seen that the “thus saith the LORD God” of Exodus and “for the scripture saith” of Romans are equal. The Scriptures are the very words of God. A comparison of Genesis 12:1 and 3 with Galatians 3:8 will bring out this fact again.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.” Numbers 23:19
“in which it was impossible for God to lie” Hebrews 6:18b.
“which God, that cannot lie” Titus 1:2
Inerrant inspiration is based upon two truths, 1) direct statements for perfection of the Scriptures, and 2) the fact that each word came from the mouth of the God that cannot lie. Those that will keep in mind and believe that the God of the Bible is the holy, all-knowing, and all-powerful God that is presented in the pages of Scripture will have no problem believing that every utterance out of the Almighty’s mouth in absolutely true—without error. To question the inerrancy of the Scriptures is to call God a liar!
Inerrancy is absolute perfection in the Biblical record—it is all factual. In addition to inspiration being perfect in its record, it is also perfect in its teaching.
“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
Inspiration is inerrant and also infallible. The central verse on inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16) speaks of infallibility, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Infallibility refers to the Scriptures perfection in teaching. God has made the Holy Scriptures this way so “that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:17).
Inerrant and infallible inspiration pertains to the entire Book. Paul writes, “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God.” There is not a single part of the Bible that has not been inspired by God—“The Lord gave the word” (Psa. 68:11). It is a simple fact of the Scriptures that “every word of God is pure” (Pro. 30:5). This Scriptural truth is termed plenary inspiration.
A problem is advanced, by some, to the plenary nature of inspiration. This perceived problem arises out of statements such as, “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord,” made by the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 7:12. The opponents to plenary inspiration have used such verses to claim that the Apostle was writing sometimes under inspiration and other times by his own ability. The answer is not far away and obtained by reading the entire chapter. A careful reading reveals that Paul had been recounting previous revelation (from Matthew 19) and then went on to yield new revelation. A reading of the entire seventh chapter of First Corinthians, specifically verses 10, 25, and 40, will shed light on Paul’s meaning and put to rest any idea that Paul was inferring that some of his writing was inspired and some was not.
“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.” Isaiah 30:8
The whole is equal to the sum of its parts. If the entirety of holy Writ is perfectly inspired, than it is a necessity that its individual parts are inspired also. Inspiration is Verbal—each word is inspired. The sacred pages are filled with references to the “words” of God. The Holy Spirit’s use of the plural form of “word” is very significant, bringing inspiration down to each single word on the page. The Apostle Paul testified that “we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Cor. 2:13). From the very mouth of the Lord Jesus came, “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Mat. 24:35). God told the prophet Isaiah, “My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever” (Isa. 59:21). The same specific message was given to the weeping prophet: “then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth” (Jer. 1:9).
Some who like to theorize about theology instead of having doctrine revealed to them from the God breathed words of the Bible, have invented the theory of Conceptual Inspiration. Their claim is that the words of Scripture were not inspired, that only the ideas (concepts) were inspired. This is an out-right denial of verbal inspiration. As shown above, Jesus, the Apostle Paul, Isaiah, and Jeremiah all support verbal inspiration. What of the other prophets? God required Moses and Aaron to speak all the WORDS that He gave them (Exo. 4:28; 19:6; 24:4). God puts supreme importance upon His WORDS and connects them with learning of Him (Deu. 4:10; Pro. 1:23). The keeping of all God's WORDS is marked as proper obedience and not just the keeping of the concept expressed (1 Sam. 3:19; John 14:23). It is the WORDS of God that cause heart change and bring understanding to people’s lives (Neh. 8:9,12; Psa. 119:130). God's WORDS are of such purity that those who add to them would be found liars (Pro. 30:5, 6).
The Lord Jesus taught that His WORDS were “spirit” and “life,” and not just the message or concept (John 6:63). It is words, God's WORDS that bring salvation (Acts 11:14). The promise of blessing given in the Revelation is not to those who just hear the thoughts but to those who hear the WORDS (Rev. 1:3). Surely, it is ludicrous to think that any one can hear and understand a concept, thought, or truth if it is not conveyed in the proper words. Finally, the WORDS of God are guarded by a curse upon all who would add to or take from God's WORDS (Rev. 22:18, 19).
All must admit that letters make words. Words make sentences, and sentences make paragraphs. The words and sentences are the foundation for any thought or message, which is to be expressed. If the words of the Bible are not God-breathed than how can its sentences or its paragraphs be? If the foundation is not inspired of God, neither is the message. The holy Bible is inerrantly, infallibly inspired from its smallest parts to its whole. In fact, Jesus went deeper than the words, proclaiming, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat. 5:18). If Jesus taught it, it is true! The Scriptures are inspired to the smallest character of language!
“Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.” Isaiah 8:1, 2
God’s perfect out-breathed words were written down by holy men of old. “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 Pet. 1:21). Literally, the God chosen and separated men of the past were borne along by the Holy Spirit of God so as to record the very words of God perfectly and still maintain the characteristics of the human writer. This is the nature of the Scripture. God is the author of a perfectly inspired Book by which He used holy men to write. The characteristics of the individual writers come through in their respective books. King David wrote, “the Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). Jesus described how David was used of God in writing Scripture in these words, “David in spirit” (Mat. 22:43). This sounds like another way of saying “moved by the Holy Ghost.” In another place Jesus said, “David himself said by the Holy Ghost” (Mk. 12:36). God used the mouths and pens of these separated men. God “by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things” (Acts 4:25), and again “he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 13:35). The Apostle Paul said, “well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers” (Acts 28:25).
It must be strictly noted that nowhere in the Bible does it say that the human writers were inspired. It is the words of the Bible that are inspired and not the writers. Many have fallen into error here, thinking that the human writers were inspired something like Shakespeare. This false thinking degrades the holy Bible to just good art. Oh, the Bible is the finest of literature, but it is infinitely more. It is the very words of God Almighty! The Bible reveals the glory of God, the salvation of God, and the judgement of God. It reveals the original purpose of man, the fall of man, the frowardness of man, the redemption of men, and their end. To some the Bible is the “savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life” (2 Cor. 2:16).
When God breathed out His words the end result was a book. That book is inerrant in its record and infallible in its teaching. The Bible is inspired to the very words and characters (verbally) and the entire work is equal in perfection and inspiration as given through human writers who were moved by God. This is the core teaching of inspiration from the Scriptures. The above is by no means the entirety of the Bible’s teaching about itself. The characteristics of the Bible are heralded on every page. The scope of this thesis does not give way to an exhaustive study on the Bible but the four additional points are believed to be important for this particular discussion. 1) The holy Bible is backed by the almighty power of its Author. 2) The Bible is a living book. 3) The Bible is an unchanging book. Finally, 4) the Bible is a unique book.
After approximately four-thousand years of creation’s history, within which was written the Old Testament Scriptures, the incarnate Son of God came to earth as a man. He was born a baby in the town of Bethlehem, Judah. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, willingly suffered crucifixion and shed His blood for the sins of the world, rose bodily from the dead, and shortly thereafter ascended to the right hand of the Father in Heaven. Matthew speaks words like: “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying” (Mat. 1:22), “And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son” (Mat. 2:15), “then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying” (Mat. 2:17), “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23), “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying” (Mat. 4:14), “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Mat. 8:17), and “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying” (Mat. 12:17). The same phrases are used in Matthew 13:14, 35; 21:4; 24:34; 26:54, 56; 27:9, 35. Matthew is not the only Gospel writer, but since his Gospel is directed to the Jews, who were intimately familiar with the Law and the Prophets, he mentions it more than the other Gospel writers. Peter looks to the “must needs have been fulfilled” fulfillment of Scripture concerning Judas in Acts 1:16. Paul speaks of the promise, which God had “promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures” being fulfilled in Christ Jesus (Rom. 1:2). And in his arguments for justification by faith alone, put forward to the churches of Galatia, Paul went to the Old Testament Scriptures, saying, “and the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham” (Gal. 3:8). What is the point in all this? The point to be noted here is that the Scriptures have, inherent in their character, the power of the Almighty God that breathed them.
Those that doubt the resurrection of the dead err, “because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God” (Mk. 12:24). When God proclaims something, such as the resurrection of the dead in His Bible, it has His power and ability, wisdom and knowledge behind it. When the Son of God spoke on earth “they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power” (Lk. 4:32). The fact is that “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). The prophet Isaiah, in whom was placed the words of the Lord (Isa. 59:21), testified that God “hath made my mouth like a sharp sword” (Isa. 49:2). Thus saith the Lord, “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).
The questions asked by the Lord in Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?,” are obviously answered yes! In fact those that hear the Word of the Lord experience its power either in converting their souls or judging them in eternity. Many in the book of Acts were convicted and converted, “when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37)? At another time there was rejection, “when they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them” (Acts 5:33).
The judgement of wicked mankind and Satan in the end of this world will be by the word of God. “With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isa. 11:4). When Isaiah and Revelation are compared it is seen that the Lord Jesus Christ has in His “right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword” (Rev 1:16), and the command is given to “repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth” (Rev. 2:16). Of the second coming of the Son of God the description is given that “out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations” (Rev. 19:15), and “the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:21). Is it any wonder why the enemies of the Living God want to destroy His word? There is all-power in God’s words.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The universe was made by the spoken words of God. Nine times in the first chapter of Genesis it is recorded, “And God said.” Eight of these times refers to God’s creative acts (vss.3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). The word “universe” wonderfully illustrates the power of God’s Word. Universe has two parts, the prefix “uni” and the word “verse.” The prefix “uni” means one. The word “verse” means “a line of metrical writing; stanza.” Literally, the universe is one spoken sentence!
There is no power with the dead. Power can only be attributed to the living. A dead man has no inherent power. While he lived he possessed a limited power. Along that same line, if God were dead He would no longer have the power to execute His words. God certainly is not dead as is seen in the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Scriptures. Nor is God’s Word dead for it has power. The inspiration of God’s Word yielded a living book. The Scriptures are called “the lively oracles to give unto us” in Acts 7:38, and “quick, and powerful” in Hebrews 4:12. “Quick” means alive. In fact the Word of God not only is alive itself but can impart life to the dead souls of men. James writes that “of his own will begat he us with the word of truth” (Jas. 1:18). Peter testifies that the child of God is “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:23).
The inspired words of God are living and powerful and are of the same nature as their author. One characteristic both God and His words possess is unchangeable-ness (immutability). Inspiration yielded an unchanging book. The psalmist proclaimed, “for ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa.119:89). Truth never changes, contrary to the relativist philosophy that pervades our world. The person that would claim, either in word or deed, that there are no absolutes has revealed the lie of their statement by making an absolute statement. They are trapped in an absolute creation regardless of their relativism. The fact remains that “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good” (Num. 23:19)? James sounds some very pleasant words in the ears of God’s children when he writes, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (Jas. 1:17). But what is God’s good and perfect gift-giving based upon according to James? It is based upon God, “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17). Good gifts come from God upon the children of God because God does not change by whim or the erosion of time. If the God of the Word cannot change why do so many accept the false charge that God’s words have changed?
There is no book like the Bible. Divine inspiration yielded a unique book! The many truths spoken of above cannot be attributed to any other book on the face of this earth. Spotless character, amazing history, impeccable contents and supernatural power can only be attributed to the Holy Scriptures of the God of Israel.
“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” Psalm 119:72
“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
“It must…be acknowledged that there is a deep and sacred mystery in the formation of the Written Word on earth just as there had been in the incarnation and development of the Living Word.” And just as Christians must stand unfailingly on the person and work of Christ Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:1-14), so they must also stand fast for and on the written Word of God. Does it ever occur to those that, when attacking the King James Bible, it carries some of the same titles as Jesus Christ, the one they claim to serve?
The Old Testament prophets spoke and wrote the very words of God. These holy men of old believed that the Law and the Prophets were the inspired words of God. Moses was the pinnacle of the Old Testament prophets, for “there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deu. 34:10). The prophet Hosea certainly recognized Moses as speaking inspired revelation, calling him a prophet (Hos. 12:13). The significance of being a prophet of Jehovah is not to be taken lightly. These men were to speak only the words of the Lord or face judgement. They were out on a limb, so to speak, for God and if they were not faithful in speaking all the words of the Lord then they would be left to their enemies. Such was the case of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:17). Israel was commanded to stone those that claimed to be prophets and whose words did not come to pass or did not line up with known Divine revelation (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22). Samuel, Nathan, and Gad were God’s prophets (1 Chr. 29:29). King David was a prophet as testified to by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:30. Solomon and Daniel are also listed as prophets of God. (See 1 Kg. 11:9, with Num. 12:6; Mat. 24:15.) This is strong proof for the inspiration of the Old Testament from both the Old and New Testaments.
In addition to the above proofs of inspiration there are a multitude of direct claims by the Bible for its divine inspiration. The following verses are samples.
“And God spake all these words, saying.” Exodus 20:1
“And the LORD called unto Moses… as the LORD commanded Moses.” Leviticus 1:1; 8:9
“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai… And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying.” Numbers 1:1; 2:1
“And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them.” Deuteronomy 1:3
“And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.” Joshua 24:26, 27
“In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.” 1 Kings 16:34
“And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.” Judges 1:2
“Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer.” 1 Chronicles 29:29
“The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” 2 Samuel 23:2
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” 1 Kings 3:9, 10—fulfilled in Proverbs)
“The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.” Ecclesiastes 12:10
Thus far the proofs of inspiration reviewed have been centered in the Old Testament Scriptures. Proof for the inspiration of the New Testament rests upon three main factors:
1. The promise of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:26 and 16:13.
2. The direct statements made in the New Testament about itself.
3. The effects of the New Testament.
The promise of the Lord Jesus recorded in John’s Gospel pertaining to the inspiration of the New Testament reads, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). It is stated again thusly, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). The Apostles had it upon the authority of the Lord of Glory that they would be lead into all truth. Today, people can look back upon the writings of Paul, Peter, John, and the other New Testament writers and know that they were moved by the Holy Ghost to record the inspired words of the Lord God Almighty.
The New Testament makes many statements about
its inspiration. Peter testified that the Apostle Paul’s writings were
holy Scripture in these words, “And account that the
longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved
brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written
unto you” (2 Pet. 3:15). Paul says in First Timothy 5:18, “For the
scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the
corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward,” which includes
a quote from Luke 10:7. Paul refers to Luke’s Gospel as “scripture.”
Luke claimed to have “perfect understanding” of those things of which he
wrote (Lk. 1:1-4). Who would argue that perfect understanding does not
come from the Lord? Paul battled for the souls of the Galatians and
certified that the Gospel that he delivered unto them was not received
of man, neither was he taught it, but he received it “by the revelation
of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12). These statements from Paul and Peter
demonstrate the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to lead them into all
truth. Paul is clear that “by revelation [God]
In Deuteronomy chapter thirteen Israel was given warnings and instruction about false prophets. God instructed them that even if a prophet performed a sign or wonder, or told a dream that came true, but led Israel to worship and serve other gods than he was to be stoned (Deu. 13:1-3). The Apostle to the Gentiles was of the same mind, saying, “if any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). Those that claim to have a word from God, let them be in strict adherence to the known inspired Word of God as revealed through God’s holy Apostles.
The revealed Word of God in both the Old and New Testaments, carried by preachers, has turned the world upside down. The enemies of the Gospel soon complained about “these that have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The world has never been the same since the death and resurrection of the Son of God and the proliferation of the inspired Word of God across the surface of the earth. The Bible has enraged the enemies of God to frenzy and emboldened the servants of God to amazing service. The course of history has been changed, nations destroyed, and nations built by the Bible. People in darkness have seen great light. More on the effects of the Bible will be covered under the heading ‘Fruit of the KJB.’ No matter what language, Greek, Latin, English, German, or French, the effect of God’s holy words upon the hearts of men, women, and children is undeniable.
The doctrine of inspiration is not to be taken lightly. This is not a light matter. It is a matter that directly affects the eternal well-being of every person on the face of the earth. It has been seen that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). In addition to this is the fact that “for by grace are ye saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8). It will not take the reader long to reach the conclusion that without the impeccably inspired words of God his soul is left in doubt. “We reject as monstrous any ‘theory of Inspiration,’ (as it is called,) which imputes blunders to the work of the Holy Ghost.” He is the author of the holy Book!
Inspiration of the Scriptures is a highly abused doctrine. The liberal claims that the Bible only contains the Word of God and the neo-orthodox proposes that the Bible only becomes the Word of God through experience. One makes scholarship the rule of life and the other experience. Both are subjecting God to man, making man the authority. In reality, the Bible is the Word of God, an objective and external standard.
If the doctrine of inspiration is sorely abused then the doctrine of preservation is ignored with equal vigour. The Bible’s teaching of God’s promises and means of preserving His holy words is almost entirely ignored by pulpits, seminaries, and commentators. Considering the mass of Biblical statements, both direct and indirect, this precious doctrine must be known by the children of faith. Not only is preservation of such eternal value that it demands and deserves to be intimately known, this precious doctrine and its Author demand that it be believed and defended. Preservation is part of “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
The primary verses on the doctrine of Biblical preservation are verses six and seven of Psalm twelve.
“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.” Psalm 12:6, 7
The psalmist observes four things in regards to the holy WORDS of God. It is so very important to be understood that the subject of these statements by the psalmist is the WORDS of the Lord. Therefore, he is speaking on the verbal level, if you will, of holy Writ. Firstly, in regards to the words of the Lord the psalmist teaches that those words are “pure.” Secondly, he states that those words are tried words. Thirdly, David recognizes that the keeping of the words of the Lord is under the domain of Jehovah, the self-existent God who delights to reveal Himself. Lastly, it is inferred from David’s final phrase in verse seven that the words of God are to be kept on earth.
Firstly, in regards to the words of the Lord, the psalmist teaches that those words are “pure.” The Spirit moved psalmist states this simple fact that has been discussed previously under the section on the inspiration of the Scriptures. The verbally inspired words of God are pure. There are no adjectives modifying this noun. This is purity. The words of the Lord are absolutely pure. God has spoken these words and a good tree always brings forth good fruit. The words that proceed out of the mouth of God carry His perfection and purity. Yes, the Bible is of the same and equal character to God. His attributes are the Bible’s attributes.
On the second observation by David he states that those pure words are tried words. There is a popular commercial that uses the slogan “Tried, Tested, and True” for the promotion of a certain product. Such absolute statements can never refer to corruptible things like the works of men’s hands. The best that you can hope for in applying such an absolute statement to the products of a manufacture is that the manufacture’s product has been widely sold and generally appreciated by the consumer. It is the words of the Lord that fit this statement absolutely.
A review of the promises and prophecies that are contained in the Holy Scriptures and have been currently fulfilled will show the trying of the words of the Lord. A review of the historical attacks on the truthfulness of the biblical accounts will show that the words of the Lord have stood fast. The critics have not been shown the Bible to be false in one jot or tittle. It is the doctrine of the inerrancy of the Scriptures that answers the doubter (see above section). The children of faith, sometimes lacking knowledge to answer the swelling attacks of the God haters, need only trust God and His words. Faith is the evidence of the things not yet seen. There is a great cloud of witnesses, as Paul writes, that testify to the veracity of God’s holy utterances. (See Hebrews chapter eleven.)
Thirdly, David recognises that the keeping of the words of the Lord is under the domain of Jehovah, the self-existent God who delights to reveal Himself. The will, power, and responsibility for keeping (preservation) the individual words of the Lord resides with the LORD. The psalmist’s use of the name Jehovah (signified in the Authorized Version by “LORD”) is important here. The name Jehovah refers to God as the self-existent God who reveals Himself to men. The Holy Spirit is connecting the character of Jehovah with verbal preservation. Yes, VERBAL preservation. The term “verbal” was used previously to describe the Biblical doctrine of inspiration and means, in that context, that every individual word is breathed by God. In the context of Psalm twelve with the “words of the Lord” being the subject, the term “verbal” applies to the preservation of the Scriptures.
The connection between the words of the Lord being preserved by the self-existent God, who reveals Himself to men, is very significant. The fact, that God does desire to make Himself known, makes preservation essential to that purpose of God; He is not a God afar off. This is a direct biblical statement that the very words of the Lord are being kept by God Himself. People that have a difficult time with this truth, have trouble not because of the multitude of gainsayers out there, although they do not help, but because of a lack of faith in the faithful God.
“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” Exodus 3:13-15
One of God’s purposes is to make Himself known to mankind. This is exemplified in Jehovah’s communication with Moses at the burning bush in Horeb. The meaning of Jehovah being that of the self-existent God is made evident in God’s statement “I AM THAT I AM.” The fact that God wills to communicate Himself to men is included in the name Jehovah. This is seen in God sending Moses to speak for Him and reveal His plans to the Hebrew nation. And on the subject of love it should also be noted that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and love is self-communication. Literally, giving of yourself personally and intimately to another—“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Therefore, it is in the nature and will of God to preserve His holy words so that men might know Him.
The children of faith rest heavily in statements about the character and abilities of God. One such statement is, “with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Consequently, this statement is made in relation to man’s eternal salvation. Salvation is a work of Almighty God that required great effort (Isa. 53:1). Consider, creation was effected by the spoken word of God! King David places the responsibility of the preservation of the words of God squarely in the lap of the only being that is able to do things that are impossible to man and all other beings—“ Thou shalt keep them, O LORD.” The Spirit of God has revealed that it is in the nature of the Lord God to verbally preserve His word and that He has the will and the power to do so.
“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.” Isaiah 55:11
Lastly, David infers from the final phrase in verse seven that the words of God, preserved by God, are to be preserved on earth. This is in full agreement with the nature of God to reveal himself to man. If the Bible was not verbally preserved on earth than the objective and desire of God to reveal Himself would not be met. God wants His words to be available to the generations of men and He will and has made it so.
The misinterpretation of Psalm 119:89, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven,” has given the opponents of verbal preservation a tool to work unbelief in this beautiful Bible doctrine. Some are supposing that this verse means that the preserved word of God is only resident in Heaven and not on Earth. This is simply faulty. Verse 89 of Psalm 119 begins a new stanza; a reading of the following verses (to verse 96, inclusive) shows that the authority and supremacy of God is the subject—what God has established by His word will remain, all are God’s servants, and he makes alive with His word. Since God’s word is steadfast in heaven, which is higher and more glorious that earth, then it is fully expected that it is steadfast on earth. The authority behind the Word of God is not of this earth. The power behind its preservation is not earthly, but heavenly. The point of this verse is not that there is a perfect copy of the Bible in heaven only and not a perfect copy on earth; but rather, the authority by which the Word was given remains in heaven—God Almighty. The Lord that holds you responsible for obedience to His Word would not be unjust and keep it a secret. He has made it nigh to us—close. Two other verses of Scripture that speak to this are Isaiah 30:8 and John 10:35.
It is the preservation of the word of God on earth “for ever and ever” that God spoke to the prophet Isaiah about—“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (Isa. 30:8). It is the written words of God that are preserved—written in a book and preserved! No one in their right mind would argue that the message and will of God would ever pass from God Himself in Heaven. Some do, although, hold the position that pieces of the word of God have fallen away on Earth. This is obviously false according to God, the author of the Book. Jesus said, in John’s Gospel, “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). The Lord Jesus is teaching that the Scriptures cannot be refuted or made null and void. Scripture always refers to the written words of God, and would never refer to God’s unwritten but spoken words. No man has any idea what the unspoken words of God are, only what is written can be known.
Inspiration carried five delineations that aided in its defining. At this point, in the discussion of Biblical preservation, it should be noted that only verbal preservation of the inspired word has been discussed. Realize though that, by proving the Biblical teaching of verbal preservation, all the rest has been made sure. If every one of the smallest bricks of the foundation cannot be shaken, the entire foundation surely will stand. Preservation deals with the issue of one-hundred percent accurate copying of the original documents written by Moses, Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, etc. Inspiration speaks only to those original documents (termed, Original Autographs) written by the holy men of old. Since the original autographs were verbally breathed by God with the character of inerrancy and infallibility, and the preservation of every single word has been secured by the power and providence of God, then it is fully expected with full confidence that the inerrant and infallible WORDS of God exist today.
God has used His people to preserve the Old and New Testaments. More will be discussed, in regards to the instruments of preservation, before this section is completed. Those that claim that the Bible has been preserved as a book, but that there are pieces of that book missing, are not placing their faith in God and His words, nor are they thinking clearly. Remember, all clear thinking is in full agreement with Scripture and the only clear thinking is biblically accurate thinking. Once one’s thoughts begin to disagree with God, then stop thinking the thoughts. Logic is not inherently evil. Logic based on error is doomed to failure. It might be said that such logic is illogical. Nevertheless, if one starts at a known truth and applied tight logic to it, then the conclusion can be relied upon, as long as it never disagrees with Scripture. Edward F. Hills rightly reasons that the position that the Holy Spirit leads believers into the preservation of God’s New Testament words is only logical in light of the promise of Christ, that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth. In addition to this, the Holy Spirit has led believers to decide upon the New Testament canon, and why would He lead them to the proper canon of Scripture and not to the proper text? Yes, why preserve the entire book (canon) and let many of the words fall. This is neither logical nor biblical.
The direct statements and inferences for the preservation of the Holy Scriptures abound. As the volume of Scriptures brought forward teaching this biblical doctrine grows, it becomes all the more surprising to see those that call themselves fundamental Bible believers either ignorant of this doctrine or in out-right denial of the verbal preservation of the Scriptures. Those that have been challenged with this doctrine and still remain hardened should consider whether or not the “believer” in fundamental Bible believer should be changed to “unbeliever” or “selective-believer.” To those who are just coming up to speed on this doctrine, every kindness and patience should be extended. To those who are willingly ignorant, a loving, strong rebuke is necessary. God certainly does not take tampering with His word lightly.
Thus saith the Lord, “ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deu. 4:2). In the context of Biblical preservation this verse demands the question, how could God command against the adding to or subtracting from His word in the least amount (“ought”) and then allow pieces to fall by the wayside through the copying process that the Biblical text has gone through? To claim that God has not verbally preserved His Word in light of this verse and the curse found in Revelation chapter 22 is to make God a hypocrite.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18, 19
God’s command, that no one add or subtract from His Word and the promise of accompanying eternal damnation, proves that He would not allow words to fall from the pages of Scripture “accidentally.” God obviously puts great value in what He has said and will not suffer it to be tampered with at all. “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded” (Pro. 13:13).
Plenary inspiration is the term used to describe the biblical teaching that the Bible is God-given in every respect and all parts are equal. It has already been established that under the doctrine of biblical preservation the character of the original autographs are being kept completely. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit says, “know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab” in Second Kings 10:10, the same claim can be made for all of Scripture. None of the Scripture will fall to the ground and it will all be fulfilled. In addition to this reference in Second Kings, which is specific to the words given through the prophet Elijah, there are many Scriptures that speak of the preservation of the Bible as a whole, or plenary preservation.
“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” Psalm 33:11
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5c.
“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Psalm 111:7, 8
“For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 117:2
“Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.” … “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:152, 160
“Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:” Psalm 146:6
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8
There are a number of other Scripture verses that speak to the doctrine of preservation that are demanding to be brought to light. One such verse in Isaiah speaks to both verbal inspiration and verbal preservation. The Lord, speaking through the prophet exclaims, “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever” (Isa. 59:21). God moved the prophet Isaiah by His Spirit to speak the WORDS of the Lord, as the Spirit placed them in Isaiah’s mouth. Not only did God verbally inspire the words given to Isaiah, but He also promised that those same WORDS would remain “for ever.” The gospel writer, Luke, believed in the verbal inspiration and preservation of Isaiah. Luke writes, “As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet” (Lk. 3:4). These statements are in full agreement with the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35
“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17
“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” Luke 21:33
The operation of the churches of Christ, the salvation of men’s souls, and edification of the children of faith depends upon having the words of God. Jesus commands His churches, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Mt. 28:19, 20). With the command to teach new converts “all things” must come a perfect record of “all things” that Jesus taught. If words, phrases, verses, and paragraphs have been lost than the churches of Christ are in trouble and the Lord would have given a command that is impossible to obey. To claim that parts of the Bible have been lost is to charge God with being unjust—“Let God be true and every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
God is just and always reveals man’s responsibility to him before he is held accountable. A few men may only have the revelation of creation, but they are responsible to obey that revelation. Many, though, have the word of God and will be judged by that word. Jesus said, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47, 48). There are a couple of observations that proceed from this statement of Jesus’. First, men are required to believe the WORDS that Jesus spoke and if they do not receive His WORDS they will be judged by Jesus’ WORDS. Secondly, therefore, if Jesus holds men accountable to believe His WORDS then would He not preserve each and every one of them? If He did not preserve each and every one of them then how could He justly make you responsible for them?
If the above two reasons for God needing to preserve His holy words were not convincing enough, what if a person’s eternal destiny hinged upon the words of God? The Apostle Peter is clear, “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” (1 Pet. 1:23, 25). Friend, the character of the Word of God is that of incorruptibility. The Bible will never change. The Word of God cannot, by the providence of God, be corrupted, as has been demonstrated from the Scriptures themselves. Remember, that it is by the written Word of God that repentance and faith are given by the Holy Ghost in the life of a sinner. It is the Word of God and the Spirit of God that are mutually essential for the salvation of a lost soul. If parts are missing out of the Bible, does this not bring into question one’s salvation? Some will use the excuse that there are some good parts in the new English versions. But, is anything less than one-hundred percent assurance acceptable? God loves the souls of His enemies and He has promised a pure Word that they may be saved.
Some people have been foolish enough to think and promote the idea that “easy-reading” Bibles are needed to bring this generation to Christ. The complaint heaped upon the Authorized Version, of being too hard to understand, is very popular. Such thinking is wrong on two main fronts. 1) If the “easy-reading” Bibles have parts missing, they are no longer the incorruptible word of God that converts sinners into saints. They simply cannot be trusted. 2) There is nothing in the Bible that says that God’s word needs to be, or should be, “dumbed down.” It is by the foolishness of preaching the pure words of God that people are given understanding through the Holy Spirit. God is no slouch in clear communication. It is man’s understanding that is suspect. The truth that answers this weak complaint is found in First Corinthians 2:11—“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
There is no surer word than God’s preserved word. It is the apostle Peter, with John and James, who heard the audible voice of Almighty God on the mount of transfiguration (Mat. 17). Peter writes in regards to that audible voice and says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19). Peter is clear, stating that the written Word of God is “more sure” than the very voice of God. People today run crazy to try to gain some new and personal revelation from God, through dreams or visions, when He is giving no other revelation to men today than His precious and sure written Word. Men are thankless.
There are numerous names for the Bible and one that is used over fifty times in the Bible is “Scripture.” The Scriptures are a script written by God. Of the 53 times the word “scripture(s)” are used in the Bible one is found in the Old Testament and the remainder are in the New. When the word “scriptures” is used it always refers to copies.
We know that Daniel had a copy of the prophet Jeremiah from Daniel 9:2. The pre-incarnate Christ speaks with Daniel in chapter ten and refers to the Scriptures, no doubt referring to the ones Daniel had been reading, as “the scripture of truth” (Dan. 10:21). In the New Testament these copies are referred to as having great authority.
“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” Matthew 21:42
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29
“But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” Matthew 26:54
“But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” Matthew 26:56
When the realization strikes a person that the copies of Scripture are recognized by God as undiminished in authority, the doctrine of preservation will be quite firmly established in their lives. The apostles recognized that the Scriptures were the inspired Word of God and also worthy of faith, for it is recorded that “when therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said” (John 2:22). The written word of God is here delineated from the spoken words of Jesus.
It is those preserved Scriptures that men are commanded to “search” because they speak of Christ Jesus (John 5:39). Men that will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ “as the scripture hath said” will live unto God (John 7:38). When doubt enters the minds of men, or a truth needs to be defended the question is asked, “hath not the scripture said” (John 7:42)? It would be foolish to ask, ‘hath not the original autographs said?,’ for they do not exist for anyone to consult and the doctrine of preservation has made those original autographs unnecessary. Jesus attributed inerrant authority and accuracy to the copies of the Word of God, saying, “the scripture cannot be broken” (Jhn 10:35).
“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” John 13:18
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12
“They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.” John 19:24
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” John 19:28
“For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” John 19:36
“And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.” John 19:37
“For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” John 20:9
These copies were so highly regarded by the apostle Paul that he refers to them as “holy scriptures” twice (Rom. 1:2 & 2 Tim. 3:15). Holy is perfect, without flaw, and unique. That certainly describes the Scriptures. Paul refers to them in another place as the very voice of God—“For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh.” It would do all people eternal good to really view the Bible as it is, the very voice of God in printed form (Rom. 9:17). Since Jesus and His apostles treated the copies of the word of God with such reverence then the children of today should be doing the same. Remember, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
The doctrine of the preservation of the Scriptures is one that is practical to everyday life, as all Holy Spirit doctrine is. A person’s view on the copy of the word of God they have in front of them will decide the degree of blessing they receive and the amount of faith they walk in or doubt they entertain. What a massive weapon in the defeating of doubt in the minds of the children of God is this doctrine of preservation. God, who cannot lie, has promised and will perform the verbal and plenary preservation of His written Word. Those that hold pure copies of the Word of God today can say with those of old that read the original autographs, “every word of God is pure” (Pro. 30:5). The magnitude of this truth is life changing and enlivening to those that will receive it.
The verbal preservation of the Bible is a miracle of God. That God has so exercised His will and power and intervened in the lives of men to secure the perfect preservation of His words is amazing. Any person who tries to maintain the verbal preservation of the Scriptures by human means will fail. The writings of Homer, Aristotle, and other ancients have been preserved down through the centuries, but none of them are verbally preserved. There is no assurance as to the accuracy of the copies. The copies are few and their disagreement significant. It is obvious that the works called the Iliad and Odessey are books written by a Greek author named Homer. In regards to an assurance that all the individual words are the exact ones penned by Homer, no one would support. The preservation of the Scriptures rises and falls on the will of God to preserve them and His power to carry out His will.
God gave the part of the Scriptures that are referred to as the Old Testament to His people Israel—“unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2). Specifically, the keeping of the Old Testament manuscripts (copies) was committed unto the tribe of Levi. The Levites were the only ones allowed to copy the Scriptures except for the king of Israel, when he was anointed—“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites” (Deu. 17:18). The accuracy to which the Holy Spirit inspired the words and preserved them is impeccable. The orthodox American Presbyterian, Robert Dick Wilson, had learned approximately 45 languages and dialects that surrounded the Old Testament. Remember that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with a very small portion of Daniel in Syriac, but the languages of the civilizations that Israel came in contact with through trade and other reasons would have affected the Hebrew language. Wilson took up the task of answering the doubters to the accuracy of the text of the Old Testament. In Wilson’s book, Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?, he gives evidence of the accuracy of the Old Testament text. One such evidence, of both the accuracy of the original autograph and the copies that Wilson examined, is in the names of the various kings, not just of Israel but of numerous nations with different languages. “That the Hebrew writers should have transliterated these names with such accurateness and conformity to philological principles is a wonderful proof of their thorough care and scholarship and of their access to the original sources. That names should have been transmitted to us through so many copyings and so many centuries in so complete a state of preservation is a phenomenon unequaled in the history of literature.”
God has used human instruments to verbally preserve the text of Scripture, as he used them in recording the text of Scripture. God did not leave these copyists to their own abilities, but guided or moved them along so as to verbally preserve the Bible. Nevertheless, the Levitical scribes had developed an impressive system of checks and balances to guard against tainting the Old Testament text through errors of omissions or additions. A few of the more significant Talmudic rules were:
1. The columns of writing contained between forty-eight and sixty lines only. The rolls were to have the same number of columns throughout and each column was to be thirty letters wide.
2. No word or letter could be written from the memory of the scribe. Copying from an authentic copy only the scribe was required to read and pronounce each word individually before writing it.
3. Strict rules were applied for the use of the pen, shapes of the letters, and the spaces between letters, words, and sections.
4. The rolls had to be checked over for errors within thirty days or they were discarded.
5. One mistake would condemn the sheet.
6. Three mistakes on any page condemned the entire manuscript.
7. Every single word and letter was to be counted and compared to the manuscript being copied from. The manuscript was discarded if one letter was missing, added, or was touching another.
The above rules are just a few of those used by the Jewish scribes to make copies. When a copy passed all these and numerous other tests, being checked by others also, it was accepted into usage and regarded as Holy Scripture. It is clear that the age of the copy would not be an advantage, since all copies were identical. The older copies were actually at a disadvantage due to the marring that could occur over time. This truth will become very important as the theories of modern heretics like Westcott and Hort are examined.
Moving from the old dispensation where the words of the Lord came through the prophets, and was kept by the Levites, one arrives at the New Testament. With God’s institution of the new covenant in the blood of Christ Jesus came a new people—a people that are being taken out of every kindred and nation and people and are born from above. It is to these people that are indwelt by the Spirit of truth that the promise, “he will guide you into all truth,” was given. Dr. Moorman makes the sound observation that the preservation of the Old Testament text and the New Testament text was true to the nature of those dispensations. The Aaronic Priesthood was responsible for the Old Testament text and the universal priesthood of believers has been, and continues to be, the instrument whereby the New Testament is preserved.
Philip Mauro, in his book Which Version? Authorized or Revised? presented the following “Divine Safeguards to the Text” (summarized).
1. “Great and steadily increasing multiplication of copies.”
2. The “necessity that the Scriptures should be translated into diverse languages.”
3. The necessity of Bible defenders to prolifically quote from the New Testament to defend against the many heretics.
Mauro’s points on safeguarding the New Testament text are based upon, firstly, Scripture itself, and then the historical facts that are expected from scriptural principles, promises, and prophecies. The following is a development of the truths brought out by Mauro.
Firstly, God has always wanted to communicate Himself to men and it has been through the publication of the word of God that this has been done. The early missionaries, during and after the apostles, would not go far without the copies of the Scriptures available to them at that time. In the very early days after the ascension of the Lord Jesus it is written that “the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly” (Acts 6:7). Although there would have been no New Testament writings at this time it is obvious that the word of God was being proliferated through the prophetic ministry of the apostles and preachers. This same principle of proliferation through publication was used in the ministry of the apostle Paul, for Luke the sacred historian writes, “But the word of God grew and multiplied” (Acts 12:24), and again later, “so mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:20). The primary principle that God preserves His word in a multitude of copies (i.e. extensive publication) is not only found in the New Testament. The psalmist wrote, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psa. 68:11). This principle needs to be brought back around to faith. What should be the expectation of faith in regards to the publication of God’s word? Should not faith fully expect to see a large number of faithful copies of God’s word?
Secondly, it is God’s will to have His words available to people in their own language. This is exemplified on the day of Pentecost in Acts two. Also, it is generally recognized that when a government requires obedience to a law or laws that they provide copies of the law for all. God does this as revealed in the first two chapters of Romans. This point will be covered extensively under the sub-heading, ‘The Necessity of Translation.’
Third, and lastly, the Scriptures tell of the coming heretics and that they are to be put down by use of the Sword of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that he and his men were “not as many, which corrupt the word of God” (2 Cor. 2:17). The scriptural fact that there was to be, and still are, those that would corrupt the Word of God, and the doctrines found therein, following the method of their father the devil, will be seen under the heading, ‘Counterfeiting.’
The transmission of the New Testament through the prolific hand copying over the century and a half till the invention of the printing press, and then the extensive printing of the Bible, has been looked after by God, as He works through Christ’s churches and the universal priesthood of believers. Faith must also place an expectation on the Bible teaching that the inspired and written New Testament revelation was placed in the safe-keeping of believers and the faithful churches of Christ. In fact, as the history of the churches of Christ Jesus is studied out from the time of Christ to the present day, it is discovered that the same New Testament text that came from the apostles split into two streams; whereby, it has flowed down to the present.
The first stream started with the church of Antioch of Syria. This is the church that sent out Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13). This church was a definite hub of activity and for the accumulation of the New Testament writings as they were completed. Although the following history is sketchy, a sketch is all that is needed to aid the understanding. Within a couple of centuries after the death of the apostles (John being the last c. 100 A.D.) heresies were becoming wide spread and the church of Antioch of Syria was not spared. That does not mean that the New Testament text was in jeopardy. It means that God raised up other churches as the old ones gave way to heresy and eventually union with the Roman Empire in 313 A.D. under Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 A.D.). The centre of Roman authority was the city of Rome when Constantine came to the throne, but by the end of his reign he had moved the capital to Antioch of Syria. That city had been renamed Byzantium, since the days of Paul and Barnabas, and then Emperor Constantine renamed it Constantinople. Today it is the capital of Turkey and named Istanbul.
Time saw divisions developed between Constantinople and Rome over doctrine and power. The various bishops of both Rome and Constantinople were hungry for the chief seat over, what was then, the apostate churches. Coming to the point quickly, the language of Rome was Latin and the language of Constantinople was Greek. The formal division of Latin Rome and Greek Constantinople came in 1054 A.D.—forming the separate Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches. As childish battles go, each playmate takes his toys home and hordes them. This is a harsh way to describe this situation, but that is in effect what happened. God used this foolishness of men to His own purpose and one of the things (it is no toy) that the Greek Orthodox Church held to and refused to change, for reasons of tradition, was the Greek text of the apostles, which they possessed in copies.
This “stream” of text remained unchanged in the Greek Orthodox Church through the Dark Ages and unavailable to Europeans due to the power of Roman Catholicism. God would have these precious Greek texts surface again. Through the Dark Ages the religion of Mohammed rose violently and in 1453 A.D. Constantinople fell to invading Islamic armies. This basic time period is the beginning of the Renaissance—revival of learning. Many scribes and Greek Orthodox clergy made their way into Europe to escape the armies of Islam and brought with them their Greek New Testament manuscripts. The stage was being set for the Protestant reformation. With God’s word now gaining ground in the centres of learning the practices and some doctrines of Rome were being challenged.
There has been an oversight by many at this point. The thought that the only pure Scriptures were suppressed in Constantinople has dismayed some, thinking that God let the people of the Middle Ages go without His precious words. The Greek Orthodox “stream” of Greek texts has been titled by some as the dormant stream. Hope is alive with the God of all grace.
The Scriptures were available, the testimony of Jesus was alive, and missionaries were seeing God save souls out of hell and the hands of Rome during the Dark Ages. There were lights shining in the darkness. The command, “holding forth the word of life,” was given to the church at Philippi (Phi. 2:16), and teaches that the agents of Christ for the proliferation of the word of God are the saints, in general, and the churches of the living God in particular. The split in the stream of God’s preserved word began in c.150 A.D. when God’s words in Greek were translated into what is generally known as the Old Latin Bible. Early Baptists, the Donatists in North Africa and the Novatians in Southern Europe, kept this very important translation. The Baptists in those days were referred to under various names by their enemies, but were nonetheless Baptist in doctrine and practice.
In contrast to the Greek Orthodox, who shut the Scriptures up for their own use, the historian Faber observes that the Paulicians (Baptists) were vigorous in their missionary efforts and contended that the Scriptures should be “open to universal perusal.” It was these Baptist missionaries that migrated west from their western Asian homeland into Bulgaria and eventually into France and Italy. These migrations were the result of severe persecutions and began in the middle of the eight century. During these migrations many names were attributed to these faithful servants of the Most High. Names such as Cathari and Puritians were predominant, with the name Albigenses becoming well known for those that settled in the area of Albi, France, in the French Alps. When the Paulicians came into areas such as Albi, France they no doubt found those of like precious faith. The Albigenses possessed the Scriptures and both the people and their holy book have been traced back to the second century A.D. No honest historian would be able to write long on the Paulicians and Albigenses without noting their Bible. Waldensian opposition to Rome began as early as Emperor Constantine in the fourth century. They had the Italic Bible, which is of the same character as the Traditional text (from the apostles). The very name “Itala” is derived from the Italic district in Northern Italy, which is the region of the Vaudois (Waldenses). The Waldenses lived in the Alps where Italy and France meet and this is why references to this people occur in both countries. Faber notes that the Paulicians possessed the Scriptures in their purity and free from the corruptions of the heretics. Faber continues to recount that the Paulicians, at the start of the eighth century, had the four gospels and all of the Apostle Paul’s fourteen epistles, as well as “the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles of James and Jude, and the three epistles of St. John.” They were only missing, as accounted by Faber, the two epistles of Peter and the Revelation. Certainly, just because Faber did not detect that they had these books is not conclusive that they were actually missing them.
The Albigenses and Paulicians of Europe have come to be known in our day by the name Waldenses. It was through these people that the pure text of the New Testament was preserved by God. It was with the meek and lowly that God chose to keep watch over His Bible and disseminate it into Europe and elsewhere by Waldensian missionary endeavour. The corrupt text remained with Rome and her scholars and due to the Waldensian’s practice of Biblical separation from error they were fit to keep the Scriptures. The Bible was the focus of labour for the Waldensian churches. The historian Orchard told of a Roman Catholic Inquisitor saying that the Waldensians “had the Old and New Testament in the vulgar tongue; and they teach and learn so well, that he had seen and heard a country clown recount all Job, word for word; and divers, who could perfectly deliver all the New Testament.” Through the long snow-bound winters the Waldensians would copy and memorize the Holy Scriptures in Latin. “They were required to commit to memory, and be able to accurately to recite, whole Gospels and Epistles.” Their memorization was not for self-serving purpose though, and “part of their time was occupied in transcribing the Holy Scriptures, or portions of them, which they were to distribute when they went forth as missionaries.” It is the missionary spirit of the Waldenses that kept the light shining in the Dark Ages of Europe. When many look at these times they see no light at all but this is not the truth. “The seed of the Divine Word was scattered throughout Europe more widely than is commonly supposed,” testifies Wylie. All the members of the Waldensian churches worked to get the Word of God to people. “Not only did preachers go out from the valleys to proclaim the glorious gospel, but humble pious peddlers, or itinerating merchants, of whom there were many in the middle ages, scattered the truth by carrying some leaves of the Word of Life, or some manuscript tracts, beneath their merchandize, which they engaged those whom they found to be favourably disposed, to receive and read.”
These precious people, that were the providential instruments to hold forth the word of life through the bloody years of the Dark Ages, were characterised by soundness of doctrine, holiness of life, and the retention of large portions of Scripture, even to the extent of the entire New Testament. This was not only the character of their pastors, but of their whole number. Peter Allix is bold in his assertion as to the soundness of the Waldenses, stating that the early Waldenses (300 A.D.) followed nothing but the Scriptures. Believing “that nothing ought to be laid down for certain, but what Jesus Christ hath taught, or the Apostles written, and left to the apostolical Churches as a sacred depositum.” What fit vessels for the Lord’s work.
These folks were the meek and lowly, not uneducated. Their education was of the Scriptures. As to their fitness to copy Scripture Dr. Moorman makes an excellent point that the cleanest manuscripts were most likely passed down and copied by the humble and lowly Christians over the centuries. The “non-scholarly” people would simply copy the text as it was, by faith believing it to be pure and not willing to make even marginal notes. Not only were the Waldensians being used of God to preserve His word in Latin, but also in French. As will be shown in a moment, the readers of the English Bible owe a debt to the Waldenses also. The Waldensian pastor, Robert Olivetan, certainly was not uneducated. In the mid-1500’s he translated the Italic Bible into the French language, no small task.
There is one remarkable demonstration that can be made of God’s providential preservation of His words through the Waldensians. In the First Epistle of John the phrase “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth” is missing from the majority of Greek manuscripts. This instantly raises the question as to authenticity. The answer, though, is found with the Waldensians and their Italic Bible, which will be recalled as dating back to 150 A.D., just 50 years after the death of the last apostle. This phrase (called the Johanne Comma) is found in the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, and a mass of Latin manuscripts of very significant weight. The textual and grammatical evidence is so significant for the authenticity of the phrase that this passage is in our Authorized English Bible. It was preserved in the Waldensian Italic Bible and their French translations, meaning that the phrase can be dated back to the second century. Frederick Nolan concludes that “the proof appears to me to be so far complete, that this passage was adopted in the authorized text used by the Waldenses.” From the Waldenses the Johanne Comma made its way back into the Greek text via Erasmus of Rotterdam and from there into our beloved King James Bible. It is very encouraging to note that decades before Erasmus, John Wycliffe included the Johanne Comma based on the Waldenses Italic Bible. “It thus easily made its way into Wicklef’s translation, through the Lollards, who were disciples of the Waldenses.” The words penned by the Scotsman, Christopher Anderson, in relation to the Authorized English Bible fit so well with the Latin text of the Waldenses and display that no matter what the instrument, the preservation of the holy Scriptures rests with the Lord God Almighty. “In holding on, throughout its entire course, ever independent of all associated bodies, as such, even the history of our Sacred Volume comes clothed with a prerogative, or sovereign authority, above everything else, in the shape of religious history.” Mr. Anderson’s statement applies to preservation of God’s words in any language.
“And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20
In Second Chronicles 20:20 Jehoshaphat spoke of material prosperity based upon believing obedience under the Mosaic Covenant for the nation Israel. For men and women that have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and brought into the New Covenant, their spiritual prosperity (fruitfulness) comes by the same principle—believe and obey the words of God.
All men are judged depraved sinners by the Word of God. There are two basic reactions to this judgement. One reaction is that a person is brought by God to believe the word of God and calls out in faith to Christ Jesus for mercy. Such a blessed person will have the gracious forgiveness of sins, based on the shed blood of Christ Jesus, and the gift of Christ’s righteousness. The other reaction is to act against the Word of God in unbelief, not agreeing with and embracing its judgements upon self. Both are confrontations with God through His Scriptures. The confrontation in this life that culminates in saving faith and the conversion of the lost soul by the power of God is ended, and peace is made with God through the blood of the cross of Christ Jesus (Col. 1:20). The confrontation with the Word of God in this life that is met with unbelief is not avoided; it is deferred till after death (Heb. 9:27). “He that rejecteth me,” says the Lord Jesus, “and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Remember, the basis upon which all inquiry into truth, and the arguments thereupon, is faith. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12).
It is by faith that the Scriptures become profitable to men. The Scriptures are absolutely necessary for men’s spiritual, emotional, and eternal well being. The Holy Scriptures are profitable in both this life and eternity. It shall become very evident that the Scriptures are the centre of the Christian life. They are the rule of faith and practice and all those that think that they can come to know Christ Jesus savingly, and then serve God well afterwards with little or no reliance upon the word of God are desperately mistaken.
For men the beginning of a peaceful relationship with the Living God is the new birth—salvation. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear,” (Isa. 59:2) says the prophet Isaiah. It is this simple fact of the sinfulness of man that brings condemnation and eternal punishment upon men. It the simple fact of man’s corruption that has so flared God’s wrath. It is the His love that has stirred up the God of the universe to act on men’s behalf by sending His only begotten Son into the world to save sinners by His bloody death.
It is Christ Jesus alone who has pleased God the Father. Jesus was made “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. 5:21) It is God that has appointed that the benefits of forgiveness of sin and an eternal inheritance with Him be gained not by the works of men’s hands but by the grace of God, channelled through living faith. So it is written, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8,9) Faith is an essential!
How does this reflect upon the profitability of the word of God? If faith is an essential than how does one obtain this faith? Faith is worked in the life of a person by God’s Holy Spirit through the ear gate. And what is to be heard in the ear that will produce living faith but the very words of the Living God? Paul writes, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) The psalmist exclaims, “the entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,” (Psa. 119:130) assuring men that sit in the darkness of sin that the way out is found by the proper use of God’s word. Men, women, and youths need to know the Bible. It is testified of Pastor Timothy, “that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:15)
Everlasting life is incorruptible, which is evident, for it is everlasting. That which is corrupt will not last; it is already decaying. The man that looks for eternal life and relies on the corruptible things of this world, like his own works, rests on a rotting foundation. They will be his end. The psalmist knew better, testifying that “the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psa. 19:7). It is the Lord Jesus, during His earthly sojourn, that commanded, “search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). The Bible reveals the living Christ of God, the only saviour of men’s souls.
If faith is placed in anything else except the pure words of God and the Lord and Saviour whom those pure words reveal, than faith is placed amiss and vainly. It is the Word of God that is profitable unto eternal salvation. Jesus corrected the Sadducces for their unbelief in the resurrection of the dead by asking them, “but as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God?” (Mat. 22:31) This is a most central question of life, “have ye not read?” To a person that struggles with unbelief in some or all of the truths discussed to this point it must be asked, “have ye not read;” to those that profess the name of Christ Jesus but are not departing from iniquity, “have ye not read?” The Scriptures are absolutely necessary for the salvation of souls. What is needed is the “sure word of prophecy,” “the words of the Lord.” The character of the Scriptures has been discussed at some length, and it should be remembered that the “sure word of prophecy” that Peter refers to is the verbally inspired and preserved Word of God. The Bible that is profitable to men is the “more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19).
With the profitability of the Word of God being firmly established for the purpose of eternal salvation, do not think that the Word of God is exhausted. The Holy Bible is not spent (tired-out) in bringing a soul to eternal life. It has infinite energy to work holiness and godly service in the lives of the redeemed of God. In Biblical Christianity, unlike the popular false Christianity that is nothing more than one of numerous world religions, God demands that doctrine, life, and service must all agree together with the Bible. The agreement of the beliefs, and life, and service of a professor of Christ together with the Bible is proof of the reality of God’s redemption work in their lives. The converse is also true; if a man’s walk and talk do not agree together in the Holy Scriptures he is found a liar. He may talk in agreement with the doctrine of the Bible but if those doctrines are not lived out daily by faith then he is a hypocrite. It is in the Bible that the people of God find the teachings, lessons, principles, and precepts (laws) upon which to believe and by which to live. It is written, “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. 3:16, 17). Before proceeding further the relationship between profitability and inspiration, shown in verse sixteen, needs to be explored.
The phrase in focus is, “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable.” The profitability of the Holy Scriptures exists because they are God’s words. Only the verbally and inerrantly inspired Word of God is profitable to men. If the Bible were, as some sceptics propose, the myths and legends surrounding their supposed evolution of monotheism (worship of a single god) then it would be no more than an interesting storybook. No one would dare trust it for the eternal destiny of their souls. That would place the Bible on the same plain as the writings of Shakespeare or Homer. Paul is firmly linking the profitability of the Bible to it being God breathed.
There is likely to be very few fundamental or orthodox Christians that would disagree with the profitability of the Scriptures being centered in the fact that they are the words of God. How is it then that some claim inspiration only for the original autographs? Yes, certainly, God only gave His words once; meaning that God only produced one set of original autographs. There was only one act of inspiration. However, the character of that inspiration, as discussed above, was plenary, verbal, inerrant, and infallible. Inspiration is usually only attributed to the original autographs, and this is an error. The first article in Northland Baptist Bible College’s Doctrinal Statement states, “We believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Holy Bible. The sixty-six books comprising the Old and New Testament canon were inerrant in the original writings and thus constitute the believer's final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17).” Northland is trying to pass-off an impossibility here, and there are many doctrinal statements published by churches, schools, and missions that read the same. Northland is saying that the original autographs were inerrant, this is true; but, they go on to say that those original “writings” are the “final authority for faith and practice.” That sounds very nice, except for two problems. Firstly, no one has those documents. Only copies survive. Secondly, in Second Timothy 3:16 Paul refers to copies (Old Testament Scriptures that Timothy had as a child) as the inspired word of God—given by God. Consider! If the effects of inspiration, being the production of a verbal and inerrant written revelation from God, were not passed on perfectly through the copies then on what out-landish basis does anyone have to claim the Bible as the final authority of faith and practice? The logic of faith and the doctrine of the providential verbal preservation of the Scriptures assure the Bible believer that he or she has the very words of God to profit them in every way. Amen!
Profitability extends to the copies of Scripture. It is from the preserved copies of Holy Scripture that men learn the infallible teaching of God Almighty—doctrine. It is the man or woman that will obey God’s command to “study” in Second Timothy 2:15 that will become a real scholar in the faith. The hearer and doer of the words of God will, with humility, be able to say with King David, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts” (Psa. 119: 99, 100). The song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 stands out for Christians as a goal—that they would know the word of the Lord so intimately to be able to say, “my doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass” (Deu. 32:2). Moses had come to know the Lord and His ways so well that Moses now possessed them personally. Moses called them “my doctrine.” Moses’ doctrine came from Jehovah. False doctrines abound, and the Bible calls them the doctrines of devils. Moses possessed the correct doctrine and the child of God should never settle for anything less than right and sound doctrine.
The doctrine that the child of God makes their own must not be derived from themselves. “My doctrine is not mine,” said Jesus, “but his that sent me” (John 7:16). If the Lord of Glory did not construct and teach His own doctrine then why would the children of men take such a liberty? Personal doctrine (beliefs, convictions, teachings) must only be from the Heavenly Father. Since the Lord Jesus Christ took such a submissive stand on doctrine, submitting to the Heavenly Father, then it only stands to reason that Christians ought only to adopt and accept their doctrine from the Heavenly Father.
It is the inspired and preserved Holy Scriptures—the Bible—that is alone profitable for doctrine. This is not to exclude teachers of the doctrines of the Bible, as there certainly are such men raised up by God, but the individual Christian must be exercised well in his Bible so as to discern between God’s doctrine and the devil’s. The man that has received his doctrine from the Book of God can say to those around him, with the apostle to the Gentiles, “thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience” (2 Tim. 3:10). The Christian that has God’s doctrine will be transparent in doctrine and life. They will feel no need to hide the truth. Men hide error and lies. A man that is being fed on the profitable doctrine of God will have no problem being examined before men as to his beliefs for he knows that if he were examined before God, the final judge, he would be in good stead.
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Pro. 6:23). The Bible is profitable for reproof. This is evident not only from direct claims, but also because men run from the Word of God. Jesus preached, “for every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20). Men run from the Bible for it displays their sin and error. Could this be the reason why so many pastors, preachers, and professors of Christ refuse to deal with the ‘which Bible’ issue? Those in sin and error need reproof. It is one of the purposes of the Bible to reprove both the lost and saved of sin.
The Scriptures cut deep due to its nature—“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). The profit of the reproving Scriptures is seen if one will consider the prospect of having never read or heard the Word of God through preaching or reading. Such a person would never know that they are a sinner and condemned before God. They would also have never heard that, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3). The Word of God is profitable for men’s eternal deliverance from the penalty, power, and presence of sin.
How does the Christian know how to live in this ungodly world? Certainly, through positive instruction in righteousness, but positive instruction alone is crippled, not being aided by “thou shalt not.” It is the Bible that reproves men when they are wrong. Where would men be without the entire word of God? Do they not need every single word of God? God thinks so!
“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Lk. 4:4)
Reproof and correction are very close in operation, but correction has more to do with the details of what is right and wrong where reproof states that you are wrong. Many professors of Christ Jesus are very confused today about the use of the Bible in their lives. This has come from a false view of what legalism is and an acceptance of a libertine (worldly) lifestyle. What saith the Scriptures about the Law of God and its use for Christians? “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:8-10). If a professor of Christ has departed from iniquity and is living the “law of liberty” (the word of God—Jas. 1:25; 2:12), from a heart of love to Christ, then he has no need of an external law. Remember, in the new birth the law of God is written on the heart of the convert. But, as soon as a Christian submits to the flesh and walks in the way of this world he or she is in need of a correction from God’s law. Enter the LAW!
The law is good; good and holy is Paul’s estimation (Rom. 7:12, 14). Christ did not do away with the Law of God at Calvary; He submitted to it and fulfilled its demands. Yes, Christian’s are redeemed from the curse of the Law, but they have been redeemed to fulfill the glorious Law of Liberty, not to live apart from it. (See Mat. 5:17; Rom. 3:31; 8:1-4; Gal. 6:2) To live apart from God’s word would be lawlessness. For the lost and the erring brethren the Scriptures are essential and profitable for correction. It will show the lost the error of their ways and the coming judgement upon their sin. For the children of God, the Bible shows wrong thoughts, beliefs, and actions—those things that are contrary to sound doctrine, as Paul says.
It is commonly said, “to err is human.” How true (although an understatement)! Where does our erring come from? “Do ye not therefore err,” asked the Saviour, “because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” (Mk. 12:24) Men need both the Holy Scripture and the power of God in their lives. As the prophet said, “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” (Hos. 10:13) To relate this back to the central issue, if men have not the pure words of God what will become of them?
The Bible certainly does contain much negative instruction, much reproof and correction. The Scriptures are God’s revelation of His person and mind to corrupt and contrary men. Is not much reproof and correction expected? Nevertheless, positive instruction in righteousness does abound in the Holy Scriptures. Ezra the scribe had the proper attitude; he desired positive instruction from God in the way of God. “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance” (Eza. 8:21). The child of God should not take one step in life without earnestly seeking the right way from the Lord. It should be of such importance that they will stay where they are until further instructions are received—until more is learned from God’s holy book. Without instruction in righteousness men would be ignorant of how God would have them deport themselves. Some argue that we have the spirit of God as teacher. Yes, the Spirit of God is essential. But do not use God’s Spirit as an excuse for SELF-rule. The Spirit of God always works through, not independently of, the written Word of God. God has given both His Holy Spirit of truth and the written TRUTH—God’s WORD.
“And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” Acts 13:10
“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 2:15
The cases of Elymas the Sorcerer and Balaam furnish examples of, with due warning, those that will pervert the right ways of the Lord. Without the inspired and preserved words of the Lord men would have no rule to measure those that would lead them astray. By not having the pure instruction in righteousness from the Holy Scripture people would have no armour against being misled by false teachers.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
The children of God are to be abundantly fruitful in the work of the Lord and it is through the Holy Scriptures that they grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants His children to be fully equipped for His service. Doubt not, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). Sufficiency and abundance in the work of the Lord comes from God’s Spirit, through His holy Book. God wants each of His children to be working in and through a New Testament Church. The equipping and preparation for such work will come from the word of God. The question, springing from the issue at hand is, if God allowed parts of the Bible to fall away what of His claimed sufficiency in all things and abundance?
The witnesses for Christ Jesus need a complete Bible, for it is the Bible that supplies what is needed to lead lost men to Christ. “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Mat. 13:52). The pastor, evangelist, or other Christian who is witnessing to the lost or teaching other believers can only impart what they have been given. The word of God is necessary and profitable for saints to grow in the knowledge of the kingdom of God. Without the Holy Bible, or without all of it, or with a “tempered with” version, how can the Christian be sure that they are learning and imparting the treasures of the kingdom of God or error? Solomon was wise, he “sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Ecc. 12:10, 11). Preachers and teachers should not settle for second best. Is the calling of ministering the Word of God not of supreme importance? Does not the work of the ministry require the pure words of the Lord? The answer is obvious.
“He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.” Proverbs 28:25
“So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.” Psalms 119:42
“They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” Psalms 125:1
How a person approaches the Bible makes all the difference in the Bible’s profitableness to them. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. Thankfully, some see the living water of the Word of God as their necessary food, as did Job. Regretfully, many see it as a play toy—the ideas of men from ancient days that are not as advanced as modern man.
The Bible teaches that it is THE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY OVER MAN and is completely independent of man. Those who believe this Biblical teaching will find that the Bible is an inexhaustible source of life and faith, joy and comfort.
There is another option, although it is not recommended. Many believe, with a few different shades and turns, that the Bible is nothing but a subjective set of ideas that can be modified as men see fit. This is the basic idea behind Theological Modernism and Neo-Orthodoxy. Such a position subjects the Word of God to the prevailing theological or philosophical winds of the day. Saying, that the Bible either just contains the word of God or that the Bible becomes the word of God as it affects you.
“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26
The Lord Jesus Christ did not take such a loose ended view. Suppose that choice number two is the truth of the matter. What remains? Is not mankind left to the rule of their own hearts and minds? No objective standard of right and wrong would exist. Anarchy would be the order of the day. Each person is left to follow that which they see as right in their own hearts. God condemns human self-rule. God told Israel, “Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes” (Deu. 12:8). Israel did not heed this, and before too many decades had passed it is written that, “in those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 17:6). Nothing changed as Israel’s history proceeded. By the end of the account of the days of the judges Israel was still at the place where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 21:25). Self-rule may sound fine, but in the end it is self-destructive. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (Pro. 12:15). Men love to think they have it all figured out, for “every way of a man is right in his own eyes,” but in reality they set themselves up for a sore judgement, for “the LORD pondereth the hearts” (Pro. 21:2). The man that rules himself above the Word of God, possibly even using the Bible to twist out his own religion, is a stranger to the profitability found in them. “Perceive you not that the unworthy spirit in which you approach the Book of God’s Law must effectually prevent you from getting any wisdom from it? Why, the pages which you look so coldly and carnally at, are written within and without, and burn from end to end with unutterable meaning!” It is the person who “cometh to God [believing] that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6) that will receive the blessing. Doubters get what they sow, doubt.
Even the true Bible believer that disobeys the Word of God makes themselves, at that point, a law unto themselves and exalts self above the Living God. Consider this in relation to the Bible issue. Brethren, balking at the “Bible Issue” because it is divisive, or such a large subject, which requires real time to get a good grasp of, puts one under the charge of either fearing man rather than God or laziness. Those that come face to face with revealed truth in God’s Word and reject it will not continue on growing as a Christian. Preachers speak of this spiritual truth in their preaching and Bible counselling all the time, because it is true.
Dean Burgon thoughtfully brings this to a head. “[T]he Gospel is now in the world, fulfilling the same office towards mankind, which our Saviour Christ Himself fulfilled, and experiencing the same treatment at the hands of men in return.” Christ Jesus was the “light of the world” (John 9:5) when He was here bodily. Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). Jesus Christ brought “truth and grace” (John 1:14, 17). The written word of God is also light, “for the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light” (Pro. 6:23). “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 Bible is truth—“thy word is truth” (John 17:17)—and grace, “the word of his grace” (Acts 14:3). This should not be a surprise to any student of the Bible for one of the names of Jesus is “the word of God” (Rev. 19:13). Burgon was also right on the mark with his claim that the treatment that the written Word of God is receiving today is equal to the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. Burgon lived in the 1800’s and he saw how the corruption of the Bible was an attack against God and His Christ. The attack has progressed greatly since then. This spiritual battle is worth fighting.
The profitability of the Bible in the lives of God’s children can be demonstrated extensively from the Scriptures. The central theme is that Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, and His Word are the answer to man’s corruption and separation from God. Daniel was a man of faith and trusted in what God said. Daniel knew it was the will of God for him to pray, and when a decree came from Daniel’s human authority he knew that he must obey the Lord of Hosts. God kept Daniel through the lion’s den. “Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” (Dan. 6:23) The application for the child of God is clear. The saint who will trust that God has preserved His holy words and use only God’s Holy Word for their rule of faith and practice (life) will find no manner of spiritual hurt upon them. Their soul will be delivered from the “devouring lion” (1 Pet. 5:8).
The Apostle Paul reverenced the words of God and wrote, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:10-13). Paul would only speak the words that were given him by the Holy Ghost. A brief consideration of the fruit produced in and through this man’s life in Christ should make all children of God demand only the pure words of the Lord.
A Priceless Treasure…
They Work Faith and Convert the Sinner Rom. 10:17; Jas. 1:18, 19;
1Pet. 1:23; John 6:63
They Clean the Dirty Saint Psa. 119:9, 11; John 15:3; 17:17;
…The Words of the LORD!
The reader is at a point of challenge, a challenge to their thinking and faith. At this point the Bible’s doctrines of faith, inspiration, preservation, and profitability have been defined and presented. Faith is the needed disposition in dealing with this issue of life. Lord, “increase our faith” (Lk. 17:5).
“So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” Ezekiel 3:2, 3
How tastes it to thee?
I read you, kills a sin,
Or lets a virtue in
To fight against it.
--Isaak Walton (1593-1683)
It is at this point that many may decide to depart and do depart from willingly following this argument. Men have the hardest time dealing in faith with God and the subject of translation is not spared their infidelity. It is the Scriptures that are the centre of life for the child of God because they reveal the Creator who created all things and for whom all things exist (Col. 1:16, 17). The Puritans called the study of the Scriptures and God (theology) the queen of sciences. The study of the Scriptures must take the throne because therein is the truth. All others sciences (biology, geology, etc.) are to be measured and compared to absolute truth—the Bible.
Lives here and in eternity are made or destroyed over the Scriptures, and if a man is to have peace with God in this world and the next He must be justified by faith in Christ Jesus and born-again by the incorruptible Word of God (Rom. 3:23-25; 1 Pet. 1:23). Translation of the Holy Scriptures is an absolute necessity because the Bible is essential to the conversion of a sinner and that person’s spiritual growth.
It is upon the doctrines of inspiration, preservation, and the profitability of the Scriptures that the proposition for the necessity of translation is based. At this point there will not be much argument from the fundamental camp. A number of ‘Amens’ will be heard! The fact that so much effort is placed into the translation of the Scriptures for missionary purposes by orthodox Protestants and fundamental Baptists proves that there is a general consensus to the need for the Scriptures to be translated.
Nevertheless, there is a lack of application of principle and doctrine in dealing with the translation of the Scriptures in general and with our grand old Authorized Bible. As stated previously, the necessity of translation is placed firmly on the shoulders of the profitability of the Scriptures. Meaning, if the Scriptures are going to be profitable to you than you MUST have them in your native tongue. God has made each individual man personally accountable to Him. Paul states this truth, referring to God as the God “with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13). At this point the person controlled by faith in the Living God asks, if God holds a person accountable for loving Him with all their heart, mind, and body then would He not give them a perfect copy of the rule book in their native tongue?
Yes, here is the point of contention on the issue of translation; are all translations flawed or are there perfectly reliable translations? If God is holding English, French, Italian, Russian, and Chinese men responsible to obey His holy Word then is it not unjust to keep the rules veiled in Greek and Hebrew? Such a belief would be blasphemous. The man of faith looks at the nature of the Bible, its inerrant inspiration, its promised verbal preservation, and its absolute necessity for the salvation of souls and knows that God will facilitate perfect translations in, at least, certain key languages. Considering the billions of people that speak English, is it not reasonable to expect a perfect translation of God’s words into English? If the Holy Scriptures cannot be translated into certain key languages with complete accuracy then the vast majority of mankind is left with no way to hear the words of life.
Anything less than this leaves men to the mercy of others for spiritual learning. Such thinking fights strongly against the personal accountability of each person before God. If one must rely upon a Greek and Hebrew scholar for revelation of the message of God, and that scholar is wrong (that might be possible), then why didn’t God make him responsible for the sins of the individuals he instructs and hold those individuals guiltless?
Men are individually responsible, and had better obtain and study a pure copy of God’s word so that they can discover their responsibilities. God’s providential hand has always been busy in the history of His creatures. A reading of the prophet Daniel and the book of Acts will display this truth. By faith Christian men must proceed through this issue and rest in God’s ability to provide for the needs of His creatures. God’s hand does extend to the translation of His Holy Words. There is much evidence to see, and the later half of this thesis will endeavour to bring that evidence to light. Before evidence will come to mean anything to a person they must first proceed in faith. If the people of God are not willing to proceed of the basis of faith, then to run after evidence is sin. There is nothing wrong with the evidence in this case, the sin is with the unbeliever—the one who refuses to believe the Word of God unless their physical senses and human reasoning can be satisfied. Human intellect that submits itself to the Bible by faith will soar as the Puritans of days past will testify.
If God has allowed some parts of the Bible to fall away in all translations then all of the commands of Scripture are null and void to those that do not speak Koine’ Greek. The commands become null and void because they would have to be edited and interpreted by scholars. Such indirect contact with the Word of God is contrary to the doctrines of soul-liberty and man’s personal and individual accountability before God.
The position that it is impossible to have, at least, certain key translations that can be proven to the eye of faith to be perfect finds itself questioning the very veracity of Scripture and the wisdom of God—“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk. 1:37). God is certainly able to preserve His very words in translation. Many fundamental Christians will readily adhere to the Bible teaching of inspiration through human writers and claim inerrancy for the original autographs. Why do so many doubt that God can guide consecrated translators to make an inerrant translation? Jesus stated that the Scriptures could not be broken and with the proper Greek and Hebrew texts, the proper translators, and the proper translation method the Scriptures will not be “broken” in translation (John 10:35).
Is not a step of logic that is firmly based on faith in the known facts appropriate here? It certainly is. God has ordained that by the hearing of the Word of God man shall come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God has, for His own purposes, providentially provided certain key translations (in various languages) of the words of God. This proposition is not some leap in the dark. Faith’s expectation in the Lord, to provide translations of the Scriptures, is based upon the doctrines of profitability, preservation, and inspiration. Those that would continue to hold the impossibility of inerrant translations are not dealing with God in faith, but in their un-consecrated human intellect. Certainly, faithless human observation and reasoning will perceive inerrant translation as impossible.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
The stand that the Received Greek and Masoretic Hebrew texts are God’s perfect word is prevalent among numerous conservative Christians, especially pastors. At the same time those same individuals will pick up the latest commentary or Greek-English lexicon (dictionary) and rely upon a scholar’s view for interpretation. Now, the first question that should come into people’s minds is what Greek text is that scholar using? If he is not using the Greek Received Text then he is in an entirely different ball field. This smacks of trying to learn about apples from an orange expert. If the preservation of the inspired Scriptures only extends to the Received Greek and Masoretic Hebrew texts then Christians that do not speak these languages will not be able to stay their minds upon the true and Living God. Without particular inerrant translations Christians are left to the instruction of scholars (many of whom are unbelieving) or their own imaginations. Neither is trustworthy!
For the Scriptures to be profitable to the sinner and individual Christian it must be possible to inerrantly translate the Bible into fit languages. There are numerous evidences that the English speaking world received their providentially preserved inerrant translation in 1611.
In looking at the possibility of inerrant translation of the Bible it would be very helpful to see if there is any precedence to demonstrate that God approves of His words being translated into other languages. Has God ever translated His word? If the answer is yes, what was the nature of the translated product?
There are multiple examples of the Holy Spirit translating His Old Testament Scriptures into the New Testament as He moved the Apostles to write the Gospels, Epistles, etc.
The prophet Malachi proclaimed…
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, 6
Then the Holy Spirit translated the Hebrew into Greek…
“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17
Examples like these can be multiplied hundreds of times and are internal Biblical precedence for the translation of the Scriptures from one language to another. God created language and has no trouble with translating. The Holy Spirit can certainly translate perfectly.
More examples are seen here:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” Isaiah 61:1, 2
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19
“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” Hebrews 1:5
“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Psalms 2:7
“I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee.” 1 Chronicles 17:3
Here is an extended quote…
“But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.” Hebrews 2: 6-8
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” Psalm 8:4-6
At this point someone is going to say, ‘I thought that the Apostles were quoting the Septuagint?’ (A.k.a. LXX) That is a very popular misunderstanding of the issue. It is held by many commentators and theologians that the apostles were quoting from the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. There definitely is a Greek translation of the Old Testament existing today called the Septuagint. The question is, did such a translation exist in the days of the apostles? The LXX is surrounded by fairy-tale. The LXX is said to have been translated a few hundred years before the first advent of Christ. That it was translated in Alexandria, Egypt by seventy Jewish scribes who locked themselves in seventy separate rooms for seventy days and all came out at the end with seventy identical translations of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. That certainly is a tall tale. The facts are this: There is only one known piece of evidence for a B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. The Ryland Papyrus (paper made from reeds) #458 is that evidence. It contains portions of five chapters of Deuteronomy in Greek. There is no other evidence for the LXX existing prior to the New Testament era. Therefore, all that can be proven is that there was a translation of five chapters of Deuteronomy into Greek before the apostolic era. Such scanty evidence is certainly not enough to declare that there was an official Jewish translation of the Old Testament in the first century A.D.
It is generally recognized that late in the first century A.D. and into the second and third centuries there were various Greek translations of at least portions of the Old Testament, with some complete translations later on. This still does not allow us to venture the claim that the apostles were quoting from a widely used Greek translation accepted by the Jews. It is obvious that there were a significant number of private Greek translations, but there was never a standardized (i.e. generally accepted) translation until Origin (185-254A.D.) made one in his six column “Bible” called the Hexapla.
God through the prophet Jeremiah puts the LXX question to rest. After Judah had been taken captive by Babylon, the few remaining Jews in Jerusalem and surrounding areas were very afraid of their local enemies and wanted to flee to Egypt. They asked Jeremiah what God wanted them to do and God told them to stay in Jerusalem and He would protect them. Obedience never seemed to be their purpose and a sizable group of Jews departed to Egypt—they finally went back to Egypt. God declared, “Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the LORD, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD liveth. Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them” (Jer. 44: 26-27).
The descendants of these men that ran away to Egypt are the proposed producers of the LXX. God would never have blessed such a venture as a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek by these people. The Egyptian Jews were living in sin, infiltrated by pagan philosophy, and were cursed by God. Even if it could be proven that there was a complete B.C. translation of the Hebrew Bible no man could trust it. Any translation not produced under the good hand of God is worthless.
The character of, and characters that surround, the LXX causes one to wonder about its value. That road shall remain un-traveled in this work. In looking at the ‘which Bible’ question, proceeding by faith, it is evident that any translation that could be considered useful in the life of the Christian and the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ must be fully congruent in nature with the Bible in Greek and Hebrew; that is, faithful to the nature of inspiration and preservation. The method and attitude taken by a translator, or translators, must be submitted to the character of the Bible—its inerrant, verbal, plenary, holy character. The character and methods of the translators involved in the Authorized English Bible will be considered in the next section.
The character of a proper God guided translation should be equal to the character of the original languages. The character of an acceptable English Bible would be the character of the Bible in its original languages. Reluctance to denominate the King James Bible as inspired is troubling. Such reluctance is faithless and illogical. Dean Burgon hits the bulls-eye—“an uninspired Bible is no Bible at all.” Fear should not interfere with referring to the Authorized English Bible, or any other God-guided translation in another language, as inspired. No, God did not re-inspire the King James Bible but He did providentially guide its translators to enable the character and meaning of the inspired Scriptures in Greek and Hebrew to be moved over (translated) into the English language. In a proper God-guided translation of the Scriptures where the words, which include their meanings, are being translated, the character of the original product is also being translated. In other words, the inerrancy, the verbal and plenary nature, and the infallibility are brought over into the target language from the source language, to use two computer-age terms.
The fact that the Bible was originally inspired verbally (with individual words) demands that a proper translation give ample respect to those words in translation. This is the foundational reason why the modern translation method called Dynamic Equivalency (to be discussed in section four) is completely incongruous with Bible translation. It paraphrases perceived meaning and pays little or no attention to the words—a thought that hardly fits any kind of sound thinking. Meaning is not known except through proper words, properly used.
In addition to the Bible being translated with due respect and submission to its verbal nature the truths of plenary inspiration and the Bible’s holy character must also be kept in clear view. Plenary inspiration is the Biblical truth that God breathed the entire Bible fully and equally. Therefore, translators must treat all portions of the Bible with equal reverence and care. Partisan interpretations must be avoided like a poisonous serpent and the translator must allow the Bible to master him before he will be able to reverence God’s words enough to be used of God to translate them properly. All translators that do not come to the Scriptures with submission, humility, and faith are to be disregarded as translators. Treating the Bible and its translation like Homer’s Iliad is to treat the holy as profane. This is no small matter. Of Israel, God cried: “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” (Eze. 22:26) When the Word of God, which God has exalted above His own name, is made common God is made common. Unfortunately, treating God and His Word as holy is not the norm in this modern rock-and-roll-jesus-is-a-party-animal-christianity culture of today. Great caution in spiritual matters is the call of the day. Popular Christianity takes too much for granted and stands like ancient Rome. Rome stood tall in pride while she flirted with devils, committed abominations. Rome has fallen and so will pop-Christianity. “Whence is it that we dare to handle the pages of God’s Book as if they were a common thing,—doubting, questioning, cavilling, disbelieving, denying? Why choose for ourselves the soldiers’ part, who buffeted, reviled, spat upon Him?”
God breathed His written revelation in Hebrew and Greek. God used the Hebrew nation to witness to the world from Abraham up to the New Testament era. The portion of the Scriptures known as the Old Testament was committed to their keeping (Rom. 3:2). The New Testament believers and churches have been used of God (and are still being used) to preserve the New Testament Scriptures. When the ‘which Bible’ question is dealt with, frequently the Old Testament is completely forgotten. This has been due to the meticulous writings of the Jews about their procedures for copying the Hebrew Bible. As more and more people come to swallow the Septuagint (LXX) lie the scholars that do not honour God and His holy Book will develop a way to attack the Old Testament as they have the New Testament.
Up until the 1400’s the Hebrew Bible was copied by hand. In 1488 the Hebrew Bible was first printed. Since books of the same printing are all the same it was the printing press that standardized the Bible texts. The Hebrew texts’ integrity stands first in the promises of God to preserve His words and secondly in the Jews’ methods of copying. In the copying of the Old Testament by the Jewish scribes there was a multitude of tedious audit measures employed by the Masoretes (Jewish scribes of the Middle Ages) to ensure the perfect transmission of the words of Jehovah. Moorman lists some of these, such as, tallying the letters contained in a book and noting the middle letter, the same was done with the words, and they tallied “the number of times a particular word or phrase occurred.” In 1524 the Hebrew Bible, after being in print for 36 years, appeared with the name of one Jacob Ben Chayyim. Today, the Masoretic text is still referred to as the “Ben Chayyim” Text. It is the Ben Chayyim Text that underlies the King James Bible’s Old Testament, and it must, for this text alone has been preserved down through the centuries. It is the Hebrew Scriptures, Christianity’s Old Testament! Note that many of the Modern English translations use a different (modified) Hebrew language text than this.
The Greek text that has been viciously attacked over the past century or more is the Greek text that was preserved by the faithful churches of Christ Jesus throughout the early Christian era and the Middle Ages. Numerous details have been discussed about God’s preserved Greek text under the heading of “Preservation.” Therefore, the need for further identification here is small. The Greek text preserved by God has gained a number of names over the years as writers have taken up the Greek New Testament’s defence against its attackers. Some of the most used names are Traditional Text, Received Text, and Byzantine Text. The name Received Text has had the widest use, even to this day.
The Greek text of the faithful Christians and churches was given the name “Received” after the Protestant Reformation because it was the text that was generally (widely) accepted by the Protestant world. To make the point again, the Received Text was the text received and kept by the faithful churches of the Lord Jesus before the Protestant Reformation. Edward F. Hills, a Protestant scholar, was clear that the Received Text did not originate during the Reformation: “it was not produced by the Protestant Reformation but preceded the Reformation and made it possible.”
The antiquity of the Received Text is essential. The enemies of the Received Text claim it to be either a Reformation or a fourth century fabrication. It is obvious that the Received Text is older than the Reformation, but it must be at least traced to an earlier date than any other differing text. Ideally the Received Text needs to be traced to the apostles themselves. The evidence of the needed antiquity for the Received Text has been rehearsed many times, and that by some men who actually handled numerous ancient manuscripts. Men like Dean John William Burgon, Edward F. Hills, D. A. Waite, Jack Moorman, and David Cloud have written extensively and been widely read. Therefore, the evidence contained in Dr. Hills book, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed. (pgs. 91-98) will be summarized in point form to demonstrate the antiquity of the Received Text.
1. The Received Text is seen in Codex W, a Greek manuscript dated in the fourth or fifth century A.D. Codex W contains, along with corrupted portions, the entirety of Matthew and the last two-thirds of Luke’s Gospel in the Received Text. This evidence of the antiquity of the Received Text is very significant, but it is only one piece of a mass of evidence. Obviously, the name “Received Text” does not appear on Codex W, but through word by word comparison with printed editions of the Received Text it was determined to be the same. Two things that are the same cannot be different. Codex W’s date of the fourth or fifth century does not take the Received Text back to the apostles though. More evidence is needed.
2. Further evidence that places the Received Text in the fifth century is Codex A. The “Gospels” portion of this manuscript is generally the Received Text. If the reader is new to texts then words or phrases such as “generally” or “contains parts of” can be very disturbing. The amount of corruption of texts by heretics was significant in the first few centuries after the apostles died and some copies that exist today were obviously made from a number of different sources—some good and some corrupt. Don’t be faithless, God is faithful.
3. The Chester Beatty Papyri (reed-paper, codices are leather) demonstrate the Received Text as being in existence in the third century A.D. Other papyri manuscripts that demonstrate the Received Text are the Bodmer and the Birdsall.
4. Origen (185-254 A.D.) was a prolific writer and no friend of the Received Text. Nevertheless, the Received Text is found amongst Origen’s writings a significant number of times and places. This places the Received Text in the early third century.
5. The Peshitta Syriac version (a translation into Syriac) remains unmoved from its second century dating and is essentially the same as the Received Text.
6. The Gothic Version moves the source of evidence from the Middle East to Europe. A missionary to the Goths named Ulfilas translated the Scriptures into the Goth’s language in 350 A.D. The Gothic Version agrees with the Received Text. If Ulfilas made a translation in 350 A.D. of the Received Text than it is clear that one was in existence in those days.
Dr. D.A. Waite, in his book Defending the King James Bible, summarizes two pools of evidence that carry the date of the Received Text back to the Apostles. The following is adapted from this Defending the King James Bible. These two groups of evidence are the ancient versions and the church fathers. Waite writes, “the Peshitto Syriac, second century, about 150 A.D., is mostly based on the Received Text. The Curetonian Syriac, third century, is basically the Received Text. The Old Latin, or Vetus Itala, second century A.D. is from the Received Text.” The church fathers were pastors and other early theological writers. They are known by their writings that still exist today. Their writings, originally done in Latin or Greek, are available in English today in a set of over thirty large printed volumes. Just as Christian authors of today will quote and allude to Scripture verses in their writings, the church fathers did this same thing hundreds of years ago. Therefore, it is possible to take their writings and compare their quotations of Scripture with different texts like the Received Text and the Alexandrian Text and see which Bible they were using. Dr. Waite has summarized some of the work by Dean John William Burgon who, with help of staff, collated 86,000 quotations from the church fathers. The findings relative to the antiquity of the Received Text are given by Dr. Waite. “From 100-300 A.D. there were approximately 100 Church Fathers who wrote extensively and referred in some way to the New Testament verses. From 300-600 A.D. there were approximately 200 Fathers who wrote extensively.” The Received Text has now been traced to the Apostolic Age, which ended with the death of the last apostle—John in 100 A.D. The antiquity of the Received Text is unmovable.
The antiquity of the Received Text can be traced to the apostles and exists in numerous languages. The Old Latin Bible (not to be confused with the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate) is a fine example of this antiquity and connection with the apostles having come from the church in Antioch of which Paul the Apostle was a member. “The Old Latin was written in Antioch by missionaries to Africa; it was then copied out by the common Christians in North Africa.” This Bible has been traced to the middle of the second century A.D. The Received Text is not usually considered in the Latin. Usually it is the Greek language manuscripts that come under scrutiny. But the evidence is no less impressive amongst the Greek manuscripts.
The fidelity (faithfulness) of the Greek texts is very important. Dr. Hills summarizes data obtain from Kurt Aland, who was responsible for cataloguing Biblical manuscripts, in the 1960’s. There are 5,255 individual Greek manuscripts known and existing today. These manuscripts range from containing just a chapter or two (a fragment) to the entire New Testament. Out of these 5,255 manuscripts ninety percent are Received Text. Ninety percent of 5,255 is 4,729. In a court of law such a case could not lose. Nevertheless, those that refuse to proceed by faith on this issue will usually reject the overwhelming evidence also!
The chief enemies of the Received Text in the 1800’s were B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort. They concocted a theory that the Received Text was a product of a fourth century rescension (a thorough revision) of a presbyter at Antioch name Lucian. In other words, Westcott and Hort lied and caused many to believe that the Received Text was the product of men and not the pure text of God. The antiquity and fidelity of the Received Text has already been established above, but Dr. Hills makes the strong additional point that Westcott and Hort’s rescension theory has no basis in history; that revisions to the LXX and the Latin Vulgate have been duly noted as they took place. It is farcical to believe that a massive revision of the Greek New Testament could go unnoticed.
The fact is that even revisions of the text of Scripture that were of smaller magnitude than the imaginary rescension theory of Westcott and Hort have been recorded by history. History testifies that the revision of the sacred text of Scripture is always surrounded by theological heresy. Controversies such as the Arian and others have been very well documented, including the documenting of the respective group’s corruption of Scripture. Consequently, these controversies may very well have caused the Received text to gain in proliferation of copies as its pure text answered the heretics.
The mass of evidence supporting the Received Text as the text of the apostles and its faithfulness (i.e. verbal preservation) is staggering. The modern English Bible version supporters only have about five manuscripts that support their corrupt text and those manuscripts disagree as to the words and phrases of the Greek text amongst themselves thousands of times. “The extraordinary uniformity which pervades the copies of this edition [the Received Text], involves much more than a presumptive proof, that they have retained their fidelity to the common source, from which they have unquestionably descended.”
The name “Received Text” (Textus Receptus, in Latin) came into being after the Reformation and did refer to printed editions. Nevertheless, the old handwritten manuscripts are the Received Text. When the mass of Received Text manuscripts are brought together and collated it is found that the few and minor copying mistakes and smudged words are discovered and the majority speaks to the promise of God to verbally preserve His holy WORDS. Dr. Hills noted this and said, “by virtue of this providence the Textus Receptus is the God-guided revision of the Traditional manuscript text.” The security of the Received Text of Scripture is found in quantity, as well as quality. Dean Burgon reminds us “that the little handful of copies on which we rely for the texts of Herodotus and Thucydides, of Aeschylus and Sophocles, are removed from their originals by full 500 years more: and that, instead of a thousand, or half a thousand copies, we are dependent for the text of certain of these authors on as many copies as may be counted on the fingers of one hand. In truth the security which the Text of the New Testament enjoys is altogether unique and extraordinary.” Notice Burgon only claims a thousand copies of the Scriptures in manuscript form. In his day, the late 1800’s, a thousand manuscripts were all that were known. Burgon’s above observation would be all the stronger with the 5,255 manuscripts known today.
As it was necessary to progress logically through the doctrines of the Scriptures that pertain to the inspiration and preservation of those holy writings it is also necessary to progress through the evidence in like manner. Having viewed the Greek Received Text and Hebrew Masoretic Text the time has come to take up the English Bible.
The translators of the English Bible, especially the 1611 translators, have come under all sorts of charges, from incompetence to immorality. It would be an injustice to begin at the 1611 translators though, for the simple reason that the 1611 translators only finished (finished well) a work started by William Tyndale in the 1500’s. Any person that will take up a study of the English Bible translators and the development of the English Bible will receive a great blessing. Such a study will reveal that although William Tyndale lived some seventy years prior to the publication of the Authorized Version he was its chief translator. Since this is the case, it is well for all to consider Tyndale’s character, doctrine, and stated motive for translating.
Tyndale, an Englishman, loved his native land and worked hard to give England the Word of God in her native tongue. He wanted the farmer and the milk maid to read the words of the Living God for themselves. Great things are only ever accomplished at a great cost. This is the testimony of William Tyndale and his English translation of the Scriptures. The cost was Tyndale’s earthly home, his comfort, his personal security, and finally his life. He obviously was of a royal mind, the same mind with King David of old, for Tyndale lived the principle of offering nothing to the Lord that cost him nothing. The English Bible has been baptised in blood, and Tyndale’s was the first.
Publications in the 1500’s were not tracked and catalogued like they are today with ISBN numbers and the like. This makes tallying the various printings and editions of Tyndale’s translation work difficult. The following has been gleaned from Christopher Anderson’s book The Annals of the English Bible, 2nd ed., which was published in 1862 by Jackson, Walford, and Hodder in London.
1525 Gospels of Matthew and Mark (separately).
1526 Third edition of New Testament.
1529 Fifth edition of New Testament.
The first two editions of Tyndale’s New Testament do not bear his name. Tyndale was not after riches or fame. It was only after he was at risk of being misrepresented by a contemporary with an acid pen, so to speak, that Tyndale placed his name on the printed editions. Tyndale has never received much fame. His legacy is packaged up in the God given Bible for the English world. Tyndale did have a handful of close friends, and some of those were the merchants that helped smuggle this banned book into England. Anderson makes the observation that Tyndale was given the martyrs’ crown. He never had a prince for a patron like Luther, and the authorities of England, Germany, and Rome were aligned against him. Yet, God carried him through to the end of his work.
William Tyndale tried to do the work of translation in his beloved England but it quickly became apparent to him that this was impossible. Tyndale’s last year in England was spent in London, and it was during that time that Tyndale realized that he could not do the work there. He states in his Preface to the Pentateuch (1530), “that there was no place to do it, in all England, as experience doth now openly declare.” Tyndale went to Germany to work and there suffered privation of shelter and food, and was always hunted. The hard circumstances under which Tyndale did his landmark translation work strengthens the evidence that God was in this work. Having God’s guidance is essential!
Tyndale’s views on translation are very sound. It would do all modern translators well to follow Tyndale’s principles. Albert Cook quotes Tyndale “regarding the meaning to be conveyed” in translation as saying, “Believing that every part of Scripture had one sense and one only, the sense in the mind of the writer.” What a great necessity such a mind set is in a translator. It will undoubtedly guard against the translator forcing a private interpretation upon his work. Tyndale was conscious of this danger and was so convinced of his fidelity he proclaimed, “I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus Christ to give reckoning of our doings that I never altered one syllable of God’s word against my conscience, nor would to this day, if all that is in earth—whether it be honour, pleasure, or riches—might be given me.” Would the reader believe that the sodomite and the lesbian and the theological liberals of the New International Version’s translation team are of the same mind?
J. I. Mombert, D.D. was an expert on the English Bible and placed his research in a book of more than five hundred pages. Estimates range between 75 and 90 percent of Tyndale’s New Testament exists, in the Authorized Version, unchanged by the King James translators. If it is not broken, do not fix it was apparently the un-written motto of the 1611 translators. Therefore, all English speaking people can read Tyndale’s translation in the King James Bible. If a person desires to read Tyndale’s exact work it is available in reprints. Mombert’s assessment of Tyndale’s work was that “it is a noble translation, the basis of every subsequent English version (the Rhemish is not English), and on several accounts better than all subsequent versions; it has an individuality as pronounced as Luther’s, its Saxon is racy and strong, sometimes majestic, and above all things, it is hearty and true, the reader feels that the translator felt what he wrote, that his heart was in his work, and that he strove in prayer to reproduce in his own mother-tongue to the very best of his ability what he believed to be the true sense of the word of God, as he understood it.”
Tyndale’s translation is the foundation of all English Bibles up to and including the Authorized Version of 1611. These same Bibles used the Greek Received Text and the Hebrew Masoretic Text, and the King James translators in particular rejected the Alexandrian type of text as corrupt. With 75 to 90 percent of Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament standing unchanged now for almost 500 years it is painfully obvious that his expertise in Greek, Hebrew, and English was great. Mombert, in his English Versions of the Bible, takes the time to “prove an independent knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, and English.” Tyndale took great care to stay true to the Greek or Hebrew meaning and masterly placing that in English words and idiom.
Tyndale learned his Greek and Latin at Cambridge and Oxford (he attended both), but Hebrew was not taught in England in Tyndale’s day. Therefore, Tyndale’s knowledge of Hebrew is a slight mystery. But, “whether he got it from Busche, the Rabbis, Bugenhagen, or Luther and his friends at Wittenburg, he acquired it somehow and attained great proficiency in it.”
Tyndale was hunted on the European continent and his New Testaments and other Scripture portions were hunted in England. Tyndale suffered many hardships so that he might be used of God to give the English their Bible. Henry Guppy quotes Tyndale’s work, The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, where Tyndale stated that he “was content patiently to abide the reward of the last day.” In William Tyndale we see a man spent for the highest cause. “We are constrained to pause for a few moments, and observe more distinctly one marked or distinguishing feature in his character. His one object in life, was to gain over his native land to the faith of the Mediator. The foundation of all his hope of success, rested on the Word of God itself.” Master Tyndale was burned at the stake on foreign soil on October 6th, 1536 with the prayer on his lips to open the King of England’s eyes. Within the year King Henry VIII of England had given royal ascent to general public reading and sale of the English Bible in England. Tyndale’s name was still a hot potato but whatever name appeared on the book it was God’s word translated through William Tyndale.
The next two men and the respective editions of the English Bible that came from them were Miles Coverdale and John Rogers. They were contemporaries and both added to the development of the English Bible. Coverdale did not know William Tyndale, but was very familiar with Tyndale’s Bible. The Coverdale Bible was the one that found fast acceptance with Henry VIII within the year after Tyndale’s martyrdom. John Roger’s Matthew’s Bible followed closely.
Certainly, “no fault can ever be found with Coverdale’s amiable temper as a man, while his expressed humility as a scholar shines pre-eminent. Among his contemporaries he must ever be ranked very high.” That is all well and good but Coverdale was not a Greek and Hebrew scholar. Miles Coverdale edited and completed Tyndale’s work and so published a complete Bible in England. He escaped the persecuting hand of Sir Thomas More through the patronage of the rising Crumwell, soon to be Vicar-general. Anderson records Coverdale as, “at his disposal”—at Crumwell’s that is—and that Coverdale took up translation at the call of others. He would not have proceeded in such a solemn venture on his own initiative. Nevertheless, Coverdale is quoted as saying, “when I was instantly required, [to translate] though I could not do so well as I would, I thought it yet my duty to do my best, and that with a good will.” Coverdale did add some phrases to Tyndale that were kept by the 1611 translators, but it must be noted that Coverdale was using, mainly, the German translation of Luther.
William Tyndale was martyred in 1536 and within months the Coverdale Bible was in England. Of greater importance is the appearance of the Matthew’s bible in 1537, also with royal ascent. Thomas Matthew’s was not a real person, but the alias of John Rogers. Rogers would not have used his name because he was unquestionably tied to the chief translator of the Matthew’s Bible, and the name of William Tyndale was still enraging authorities both civil and religious. John Rogers is, relatively speaking, little known. He was born in 1500 and was a friend and co-worker of Master Tyndale’s in the later years of Tyndale’s sojourn. Rogers is “unquestionably the editor” of the Matthew’s Bible, but William Tyndale was the main translator. The Matthew’s Bible was two-thirds, or better, Tyndale’s work, taken by John Rogers and completed. Although Miles Coverdale had Tyndale’s New Testament, Pentateuch, and Job, John Rogers had these plus Joshua to Second Chronicles and chapters from Ester, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Hosea, Amos, and Zechariah in either print or manuscript form.
John Foxe (of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs) clearly tags Tyndale with responsibility for the translation work of the Matthew’s Bible. Since Tyndale had already printed the New Testament, Pentateuch, and Job the remainder could have been completed in manuscript form prior to his arrest and during his year in prison. John Rogers acted as the corrector for the printing and the work was put forward by the alias Thomas Matthews. The exact proportions and details of Tyndale’s and Roger’s work on the Matthews Bible will only be known in eternity. Nevertheless, Tyndale’s dying prayer to open the King of England’s eyes was answered wonderfully by God Almighty. Interestingly enough, John Rogers was the first martyr under Bloody Mary. He was condemned by Roman Catholic judges and burned at the stake on the fourth of February, 1555. As John Rogers walked to the staked he repeated the fifty-first Psalm.
ave mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
urge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
eliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
Time brought the Great Bible and the Bishop’s Bible. They are only given mention for they were not well accepted, nor were they as significant in the development of the English Bible. The development of the English took its first step with Wycliffe’s translation from the Latin Vulgate in the 1300’s. But, Tyndale’s work marks the first English Bible from the Greek Received Text and the Hebrew Masoretic Text. From Wycliffe’s to Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, Mathew’s, The Great, and Bishop’s Bibles we see a constant refining until the pinnacle of the Authorized Version. In 1604 all was laid on the table afresh and made subject to the Hebrew and Greek once again, and this was executed by the most able of men that English learning has produced.
Tyndale cannot be forgotten even when the King James Bible and the translators of 1611 are discussed. “It is agreed on all hands that the English of the Authorized Version is, in essentials, that of Tyndale. Minor modifications were made by translators and revisers for the next eighty years or so; but, speaking broadly, the Authorized Version is Tindale’s.” Therefore, when we consider the fitness of the King James translators, Tyndale must also be considered in their number although he preceded them by almost a full two generations.
If a man was simply translating some good literature he may ‘get by’ with an adequate knowledge of the languages involved. Even if he had a tremendous knowledge of the languages involved, but did not care for the literature and esteem it properly according to its value then he would be an inferior translator. Albert Cook spoke of the qualities of a good translator in his book, The “Authorised Version” and Its Influence.
“Among the qualifications of a good translator, the first, undoubtedely, is that he shall be penetrated by a sense of the surpassing value of his original, and a corresponding sense of the importance of his task. This will preserve him from flippancy and meanness, by imbuing him with earnestness and humility. It will make him ready to follow wherever he is led by the text, and will prevent him from pluming himself upon prettiness of phrase, or any fancies of his own. Such a translator will strive with all his might after fidelity to word and sense, and after the utmost clearness and simplicity of rendering, avoiding, on the one hand, the trivial, and, on the other, the ornate or pompous. He will conform to the genius of his own tongue while endeavouring to transfer to it the treasures of another; and, besides possessing naturally, he will cultivate, in every proper way, a sensitiveness to that music of the phrase, which, in the case of the Bible, is but another name for the music of the heart.”
Such an extended quote is certainly justified when the beauty of Cook’s description is considered. Upon reading this, one might reflect on the ideal nature of the proposed translator and ask, surely all Bible translators are required to strive for this mark? Unfortunately, this is not the case as will be examined under “Modern Heretics.” The reader may also reflect upon William Tyndale and realize that he was one translator that fit this standard well. Despair need not run the mind on this issue, “be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27) The character marked out by Cook above was found in Tyndale and also the King James translators of 1611. In fact, the Authorized Version is the King of English Bibles because it has the right texts, was produced using the right method, and by fit translators.
Richard Purvey wrote the Prologue to the second edition of the Wycliffe Bible and goes further than Cook in describing the needs of a translator. “A translator hath great need to study well the sense both before and after, and then also he hath need to live a clean life and be full devout in prayers, and have not his wit occupied about worldly things, that the Holy Spirit, Author of all wisdom and cunning and truth, dress him for his work and suffer him not to err.” Yes, a translator must be a scholar in the appropriate languages. A translator that is not a master of the languages he is dealing with will be at great disadvantage, but the translator that is lost or a spiritual baby is doomed. Purvey mentions five essential needs for the translator of God’s Book: meticulous study, holy living, consecrated mind, preparation by the Holy Spirit for the work, and the aid of the Holy Spirit in the work. The import of these words by Purvey will hardly be understood by the men of this generation; a generation of lazy, half-hearted, worldly, humanist-minded professors of Christianity who live like hell and claim to be going to heaven. ‘Christianity’ today is known for self-esteem instead of God-esteem, and reliance upon emotions instead of the Spirit of the Living God. Diligent study, holiness, consecration of mind, and being filled and led by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God is to be the normal Christian life. Any translator of the Bible must possess these characteristics in good measure.
The translators of the Authorized Version of 1611 were men of the highest learning and godliness. In fact, there were some renowned scholars in England in the 1600’s that were rejected because they lacked godly character. John Henry Todd, chaplain to the king of England in the early 1800’s, quotes one Mr. Whittaker to claim “that some names had been removed out of the king’s list, [of fifty-four] for the purpose of excluding persons of violent tempers, whose love of novelty, and inordinate self-conceit, might have been detrimental to the proposed Translation.” All of the biographical information on the 1611 translators would fill a small library, but brief sketches are offered here.
These sketches have been compiled from four works: John Henry Todd’s A Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, Christopher Anderson’s The Annals of the English Bible, J. I. Mombert’s English Versions of the Bible, and Alexander McClures, Translators Revived.
I. Dr. Lancelot Andrews, Dean of Westminster, was the pre-eminent scholar of the entire group of translators, being fluent in fifteen languages. “The world wanted learning to know how learned he was” (Mombert, 343). This able preacher converted many Papists through his preaching (McClure, 79). His Christianity was personal: “Many hours he spent each day in private and family devotions…His manual for his private devotions, prepared by himself, is wholly in the Greek language…He was exceedingly liberal in his gifts to poor and deserving scholars” (McClure, 86). Andrews has been described as “a right godly man…a prodigious student…that great gulf of learning” (McClure, 87). McClure makes the observation that had Dr. Andrews been at the Tower of Babel he would have been appointed “Interpreter-General” (McClure, 87).
II. Dr. John Overall was “Made King’s Professor of Divinity in 1596” (McClure, 88). Later he was made Dean of St. Paul’s in London. Overall’s “long familiarity with other languages may have made him somewhat inapt for continuous public discourse in his mother-tongue, he was thereby the better fitted to discern the sense of the sacred original” (McClure, 91).
III. Dr. Adrian Saravia, who studied at Oxford, was a master of literature and several languages. He was famed as a Hebraist. He was at one time sent by Queen Elizabeth to preach on the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, off the cost of France (McClure, 93).
IV. Dr. Richard Clarke, a student of Cambridge and a fellow of Christ College, was “One of the six preachers at Canterbury” (Mombert, 343).
V. Dr. John Layfield was a Fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge and “renowned for his knowledge of architecture, was specially consulted concerning the tabernacle and the temple” (Mombert, 343).
VI. Dr. Richard Teigh. Teigh was educated at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities (McClure, 98). He was denominated “an excellent textuary, and a profound linguist” (Todd, 50).
VII. Dr. Francis Burleigh, made Vicar of Bishop Stortford in 1590 (McClure, 98).
VIII. Dr. Geoffry King. Dr. King was Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and eventually became Regius Professor of Hebrew. “Men were not appointed in those days to such duties of instruction, with the expectation that they would qualify themselves after their induction into office” (McClure, 99).
IX. Mr. Richard Thompson, M.A. He was Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and was “reported to have been a fine philologer” (Mombert, 343).
X. Mr. William Bedwell was “Considered the principal Arabic Scholar of his time” (Todd, 51). Bedwell was the scholar’s scholar, many other notable Arabic scholars, such as Erpenius, would revert to Mr. Bedwell’s expertise (McClure, 101). He completed an “Arabic Lexicon in three volumes” (Todd, 52). “Some modern scholars have fancied, that we have an advantage in our times over the translators of King James’s day, by reason of the greater attention which is supposed to be paid at present to what are called the “cognate” and “Shemitic” languages, and especially the Arabic by which much light is thought to be reflected upon Hebrew words and phrases. It is evident, however, that Mr. Bedwell and others, among his fellow-labourers, were thoroughly conversant in this part of the broad field of sacred criticism” (McClure, 100-2).
XI. Dr. Edward Lively, was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge for thirty years (Anderson, 478). It is said that he was “exceeded by none of that period in acquaintance with the oriental languages,” (Todd, 53) and is remembered as “one of the best linguists in the world” (McClure, 103). Dr. Lively died in 1605 before translation work actually begun (McClure, 103).
XII. Dr. John Richardson was “Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, at that time  he became afterwards Master of Peterhouse, and then Trinity College” (Todd, 54). “A most excellent linguist” (Mombert, 344).
XIII. Dr. Laurence Chaderton. Young Mr. Chaderton was disowned by his father, who was a papist (McClure, 108). Chaderton was first in Christ College and then Master of Emmanuel College. He specialized in “Hebrew and rabbinical learning” (Todd, 55). Chaderton is heralded as “a grave, pious, and excellent preacher,” (McClure, 115) and lived to the age of 103, never requiring spectacles (b.1537, d.1640) (Anderson, 478). This man was born the year after William Tyndale was martyred!
XIV. Mr. Francis Dillingham was Fellow of Christ College. “A great Grecian,” (Mombert, 344) and an adversary of Romanism, (McClure, 117) as were most of these men.
XV. Mr. Thomas Harrison. Harrison was Vice-Master of Trinity College and a renowned Hebrew scholar. “Noted for his exquisite skill in Hebrew and Greek idioms” (Mombert, 344). He was also skilled in Latin (Anderson, 378).
XVI. Dr. Roger Andrews. (Brother of Lancelot) Dr. Roger Andrews was Doctor of Divinity and Master of Jesus College. A famous linguist (McClure, 117).
XVII. Dr. Robert Spalding. “Fellow of St. John’s College, and Regius Professor of Hebrew, in Cambridge” (Todd, 56).
XVIII. Mr. Andrew Byng. Mr. Byng was a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge and Regius Professor of Hebrew (McClure, 119).
XIX. Dr. John Harding. “Regius Professor of Hebrew, and President of Magdalen College” (Todd, 56-57).
XX. Dr. John Reinolds. Reinolds entered university at the ripe old age of thirteen and was a Fellow at Corpus Christi College by age seventeen (McClure, 121). He later became President of Corpus Christi College. Reinolds died during the translation work on May 21, 1607 (Todd, 57). Reinolds was masterly in all tongues surrounding the Bible texts. “His memory and reading were near to a miracle” (Mombert, 345).
XXI. Dr. Thomas Holland. Holland was educated at Exeter College, Oxford (McClure, 134). Holland was a Fellow of Balliol College and later Regius Professor of Divinity in Oxford. He was said to be “another Apollos, mighty in the Scriptures” (Todd, 57). Holland was “regarded as a universal scholar, and a prodigy of literature” (McClure, 135).
XXII. Dr. Richard Kilby. Todd quotes Kilby’s biographer, Isaac Walton: “The doctor was to ride a journey into Derbyshire, and took Mr. Sanderson to bear him company; and they resting on a Sunday with the doctor’s friend, and going together to that parish church where they then were, found the young preacher to have no more discretion, than to waste a great part of the hour allotted for his sermon in exceptions against the late translation of several words, (not expecting such a hearer as Dr. Kilbie,) and shewed three reasons why a particular word should have been otherwise translated. When Evening Prayer was ended, the preacher was invited to the doctor’s friend’s house, where after some other conference the doctor told him, he might have preached more useful doctrine, and not have filled his auditor’s ears with needless exceptions against the late Translation; and for that word, for which he offered to that poor congregation three reasons why it ought to have been translated as he said, he and others had considered all of them, and found thirteen more considerable reasons why it was translated as now printed!” (Todd, 58) Wow, this rebuke is quite contemporary! “Professor of Hebrew and a great rabbinist” (Mombert, 345).
XXIII. Dr. Miles Smith, who was fluent in Chaldaic, Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew was said to have had “Hebrew at his fingers’ ends” (Mombert, 345). Dr. Smith was the writer of the “Preface” to the Authorized Version of 1611. He was called an “incomparable theologist”…and…”a very walking library” (McClure, 141, 143).
XXIV. Dr. Richard Brett, of Lincoln College, was “Skilled and versed to a criticism in the Latin, Greek, Chaldee, Arabic and Ethiopic tongues” (Mombert, 345). McClure adds Hebrew to the list of languages and records this man’s character, writing, “he was a most vigilant pastor, a diligent preacher of God’s word, a liberal benefactor to the poor, a faithful friend, and a good neighbor” (McClure, 144).
XXV. Mr. Fairclough/Dr. Daniel Featley. McClure has identified this man as Dr. Daniel Featley, noting that the name Fairclough is a corruption of Featley (McClure, 145). Dr. Featley was only twenty-six when the translators were nominated, which speaks for the young man’s learning, being included amongst so many learned elders. Dr. Featley preached the funeral sermon of Dr. Reinolds (McClure, 145).
XXVI. Dr. William Barlow. Dean of Chester. Died in 1608.
XXVII. Dr. Ralph Hutchinson. President of St. John’s College, Oxford.
XXVIII. Dr. John Spencer was elected Greek lecturer at Corpus Christi College at the age of nineteen (McClure, 177). After the translation was completed he became president of that college.
XXIX. Dr. Roger Fenton, a Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. The people of his parish church remembered him as “a pastor eminent for his piety and learning” (McClure, 181).
XXX. Mr. Michael Rabbett, B.D. was Rector of St. Vedast, Foster Lane, London.
XXXI. Dr. Thomas Sanderson. Possibly the Thomas Sanderson, D.D. of Baliol College, Oxford.
XXXII. Mr. William Dakins. Dakins was a Greek lecturer and Professor of Divinity at Gresham College. He was secured as a translator due to “his skill in the original languages” (Todd, 60).
XXXIII. Dr. Thomas Ravis was Dean of Christ Church. He was characterized by “eminent learning, gravity, and prudence” (Todd, 61).
XXXIV. Dr. George Abbot entered Baliol College, Oxford, at the age of fourteen (McClure, 152). Abbot achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury at the age of forty-seven (McClure, 154).
XXXV. Dr. Richard Eades died in 1604 before translation work had begun.
XXXVI. Dr. Giles Thompson “took a great deal of pains in his part of the translation of the Bible, which he did not long survive,” dying on June 14th, 1612 (McClure, 164).
XXXVII. Sir Henry Savile, of Merton College, Oxford was Tutor of Greek and mathematics to Queen Elizabeth (McClure, 165).
XXXVIII. Dr. John Perin of St. John’s College, Oxford, held the seat of King’s Professor of Greek (McClure, 169).
XXXIX. Dr. Ralph Ravens.
XL. Dr. John Harmer. Harmer was heralded for fluency in Greek, Latin, and divinity. “His translation of Beza’s Sermons, bespeaks him an excellent writer of English” (Todd, 62). “He stood high in the crowd of tall scholars, the literary giants of the time…the master of an excellent English style” (McClure, 171).
XLI. Dr. John Duport was Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, for almost thirty years (McClure, 186).
XLII. Dr. William Branthwaite was Master of Gonvil and Caius College, Cambridge.
XLIII. Dr. Jeremiah Radcliffe. Dr. Radcliffe was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and made “Doctor of Divinity, both at Cambridge and Oxford” (McClure, 190).
XLIV. Dr. Samuel Ward. Dr. Ward was Master of Sidney College and the Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University. Ward has been denominated “a vast scholar” (McClure, 190).
XLV. Mr. Andrew Downes was Greek Professor at Cambridge. “One composed of Greek and industry” (Mombert, 347).
XLVI. Dr. John Bois. Bois was “considered one of the first Greek scholars in the kingdom” (Todd, 64). He acquired a deep knowledge of Hebrew at a “very early age” (Todd, 64). In fact young Bois “was carefully taught by his father; and at the age of five years, he had read the Bible in Hebrew. By the time he was six years old, he not only wrote Hebrew legibly, but in a fair and elegant character” (McClure, 200). John Bois entered St. John’s College, Cambridge, at the age of fifteen and was writing letters to the Master and Senior Fellows before half of his first year had passed (McClure, 200). Bois was well known to enter the library “at four o’clock in the morning, and stay without intermission till eight in the evening” (McClure, 201). Bois entered College in 1575. One can imagine his volume and depth of learning, due to his hard work, over the following thirty years, when he was made a translator of the Monarch of Books—the Holy Bible.
XLVII. Dr. John Ward. Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.
It is amazing to see the dedication and hard work that these men had for their studies in general. They were giants, but not in a land of small men. These men were the cream of a crop of giants. This period of time has produced the best of England. Consider William Shakespeare (1564-1616)—Literature, John Milton (1608-74)—Literature, and John Bunyan (1628-88)—Literature/Theology. The Puritans were giants in theology; like Richard Baxter (1615-1691) and John Owen (1616-83). The works of James Ussher (1581-1656) on History and Bible chronology and Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) on Science are landmarks. Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) was a pioneer in Law. None can spend any time in British history and not know Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) or Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Some in the above list were not Christians, but the King James translators were, and stood above them all in learning and Christian piety. If the biographical information is too scanty to convince of their supreme abilities then let the fruit of their labours speak for itself—the proof is in the pudding!
“Something other than an acquaintanceship, more or less, with a crushing mass of intricate details in the Hebrew and the Greek is necessary to be a successful translator of God’s Holy Word. God’s Holy Spirit must assist.” It is by faith that a child of God can come to the conviction that the Holy Spirit certainly did lead these translators to yield God’s preserved words in the English language. The King James Bible is the crown of the English language and the fountain of life for all English speaking people that will partake.
Mombert draws a sound conclusion about the translators based upon the character of their work when he writes, “the superior scholarship, excellent judgment, and exquisite taste of the translators is apparent throughout the volume.” And again, “their reverence for the sacred Scriptures induced them to be as literal as they could, to avoid obscurity; and it must be acknowledged that they were extremely happy in the simplicity and dignity of their expressions.”
One of the products of being too long under the hearing of the philosophy of evolution is that men assume all things are getting better—proceeding to a higher state of order. The law of atrophy would disagree—all things tend to decay. Of greater authority, God disagrees! It is hard to believe that there are more learned scholars of language today. The learning of Greek had been skyrocketing since the early days of the Renaissance. Continuous study was the scholar’s recreation. In the days of Tyndale Hebrew studies had not yet reached England. Nevertheless, that changed within a few decades. “One hundred and fifty years of printing had permitted the Jewish rabbis to place at the disposal of scholars all the treasures in the Hebrew tongue which they had been accumulating for over two thousand years.” Who is at the disadvantage? At the beginning of the twentieth century Mombert writes, “those who have compared most of the European translations with the original, have not scrupled to say, that the English translation of the Bible, made under the direction of King James the First, is the most accurate and faithful of the whole…Nor is this its only praise: the translators have seized the very spirit and soul of the original, and expressed this almost everywhere with pathos and energy. Besides, our translators have not only made a standard translation, but they have made their translation the standard of our language.” The full import of this quote from Mombert will become clearer as the language of the King James Bible is investigated. In the interim John Henry Todd will properly introduce the subject of the English language in the 1600’s and of the Authorized Version.
“When the Translators in James the first’s time began their work, they prescribed to themselves some rules, which it may not be amiss for all translators to follow. Their reverence for the Sacred Scriptures induced them to be as literal as they could, to avoid obscurity; and it must be acknowledged, that they were extremely happy in the simplicity and dignity of their expressions. Their adherence to the Hebrew idiom is supposed at once to have enriched and adorned our language; and as they laboured for the general benefit of the learned and the unlearned, they avoided all words of Latin original, when they could find words in their own language, even with the aid of adverbs and prepositions, which would express their meaning. Therefore, make is better than constitute; and look into is better than inspect. Another rule they adopted was, to exclude technical expressions. Instead of cavalry, they put horsemen; instead of muster, they put number. In this there was a dignity, a superior reverence to the Word of God. The revival of learning introduced a practice of transposing words, from their grammatical order, into an order somewhat resembling the Greek and Roman. In this respect too they consulted the genius of our own language, which rarely admits of such a transposition.”
It is any wonder why the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures has stayed current and understandable for almost four hundred years now?
One final direct note on the dedication of the translators pertains to their remuneration for the work. Basically, there was none. Anderson clearly brings out this point. They certainly did not receive any compensation from James the First personally or through the Parliament. The group of twelve that met in London were supported by way of an allowance for room and board from the printer, Mr. Robert Baker.
With the creation of man on the sixth day of the creation week came the gift from God to speak and write (language/communication). God spoke to Adam and Eve and they spoke to God. To state that God understands language perfectly is almost redundant, but possibly the reader has never considered the divine origin of language.
God demonstrates His control and understanding of language in Genesis 11. In the days after the world-wide flood (and before the flood) the “whole earth was of one language, and of one speech” (Gen. 11:1). Verse seven of this chapter gives the key to differentiating between “language” and “speech.” “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Gen. 11:7). In this context “language” refers to the sounds, or series of sounds, made to denote words which have a particular definition, along with the respective written symbols (alphabet). “Speech” is the actual act of speaking. There are other places in the Scriptures where “language” and “speech” are used in these ways.
In Exodus Moses complained to God about his slow speech—“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exo. 4:10). All will understand this to mean that Moses was not an adequate communicator—he spoke slowly. Job spoke to his friends, clearly using the word “speech” in the context of verbal communication—“Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears” (Job 13:17).
A clear example of the word “language” as meaning a group of phonetic sounds that represent words of particular meaning is seen in Second Kings. Rabshakeh has come to Jerusalem to relay a message of intimidation to the residents. It is written, “Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall” (2 Kg. 18:26). A language is a particular vocabulary that has been given particular and respective phonetic sounds, and usually an accompanying written form. When a person or people have a different set of sounds to denote their vocabulary then it is said they have a different language. This definition of language is demonstrated in the account, in Second Kings 18, of the conversation between the Hebrew representatives and the Syrian emissary, Babshakeh. The Syrian and Hebrew (Jews’) languages had (have) different sounds to the ear and different appearances to the eye when written. The Hebrews did not want the people of Jerusalem to panic at the threatening words of Rabshakeh so they asked him to speak with different sounds connected to a different vocabulary—the Syrian language. The events of Acts two also prove this.
God also had no problem confusing the language of man at the Tower of Babel—“the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth” (Gen. 11:9). Each particular sound (or group of sounds) in a language represents, in the mind of the speaker, a definition, whether a concept, idea, object, etc. This is a person’s vocabulary. When you have a group of two or more people that all relate the same sound(s) to the same definition then they can communicate effectively. At Babel, God simply took the sound to definition relationship and confused it in people’s minds. Restated, God changed the people’s thinking and sound/speech patterns so that there were various different sounds to represent a given definition. Consequently, communication could only take place amongst small groups having the same sound-vocabulary relationship. Communication amongst the whole of humanity became impossible, at least until translation could be executed.
Language is of divine origin, and language is one of the major characteristics of man that separates him from the brute beasts. The evolutionary-humanistic mindset (including liberal theologians) considers language as having evolved along with man.
God’s control and perfect understanding of language comes into operation in the inspiration of His words—the inspiration of the Bible. With the confusion of the tongues at Babel it is only reasonable to look to the language of Shem as the original, singular language of all mankind before Babel, hence, before the world flood; and therefore, the language given to Adam on the sixth day of creation. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 10:1). After Ham had looked upon his father’s nakedness Noah made a prophecy, cursing Ham and giving blessings to Shem and Japheth. This prophecy has been playing itself out on the stage of the world ever since it was given. Shem is clearly identified as being focused upon God, as Noah exclaims, “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem” (Gen. 10:26).
Shem is the father of the Hebrews (Gen. 10:21). Shem was Abram’s (later Abraham) grandfather of nine generations back. (Gen. 11:11-26) This identifies the Hebrew language as the language of Shem and, by extension, the language of Adam, the first man. Therefore, the language of the Old Testament is the language originally given by God to Adam. Languages do naturally change with usage over generations, but, the language that Adam spoke would be expected to change very slowly. Such an expectation is based on Adam’s lifespan of 930 years (Gen. 5:5). He lived across many generations. This would slow the natural change of language that happens after generations, because Adam would have been there to preserve it.
One more proof of the connection between the language of Adam and the Hebrew language is the fact that the majority of words in the Hebrew language are root words. That means they are original words given to a particular thing or idea. This is what should be expected of Adam’s language, for it was Adam that named the living creatures in Genesis 2:19. Out of this process of giving original names to the different creatures it would be expected to see many single syllable words; such as, dog, pig, cow, or bird. It is only after time and much usage that a language develops a compounding of words—Newfoundland Dog, Berkshire Pig, Jersey Cow. It is only reasonable to expect the Hebrew language to be very well suited for communication, as God gave it to Adam for mutual communication.
Having identified the language of the Old Testament as the language of Adam, given by God, it is time to move on to the Greek of the New Testament (Koine Greek). It is a common phrase, ‘you are what you eat.’ With writing, or communication in general, a person is affected by what they read. Things like sentence structure, phraseology, and choosing between synonyms are all affected by what the writer or speaker reads or hears. This is why it is obvious when a writer is familiar with the Bible; his or her writing will be filled with Biblical phraseology and illusions. No less should be expected from the New Testament writers. Not only were they borne along by the Holy Ghost, which should be enough to convince one that their Greek was a sanctified way of speaking on paper, but they were also all immersed in the Hebrew Old Testament from little children. The much respected, late, Professor A.T. Robertson wrote in his Greek Grammar of New Testament Greek, “The Christian spirit put a new flavour into this vernacular and lifted it to a new elevation of thought and dignity of style that unify and glorify the language.” In fact, because the New Testament writers were common working men, the Hebrew Bible (and possibly an Aramaic translation) could have been the sole literary influence in Peter’s, John’s, and James’ lives. The Apostle Paul would have had other influences due to his extended education, but the mass of his reading would have been the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinical writings about the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Hills, an accomplished Greek scholar, recognized that the New Testament writers did not write in the contemporary tone of the day. Peter, John, Paul, and the others wrote in the holy and reverent flavour of the Hebrew Old Testament.
Two men can both write in the same language, and even address the same topic, but their choice of words and expressions can give their writings a distinctive flavour. God’s words are spiritual and holy and righteous and life giving. Negatively stated, God’s words are not carnal, rebellious, or sensual. Not only is the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures a translation of the words of God, it also carries the holy flavour of the Greek and Hebrew texts.
The three main periods of English language development are…
Old English (until 1100 A.D.),
Middle English (1100 to 1450), and
Modern English (1450 to present).
Old English is basically unintelligible to the reader of Modern English, but Middle English is not so far removed. Wycliffe did his English translation in 1380, placing him in the Middle English period. The King James translation was made in the Modern English period.
“for bi grace ye ben saued bi feith: and this not of you, for it is the gift of god, not of werkis: that no man haue glorie:” Ephesians 2:8—Wycliffe, 1380.
“For by grace are ye saued, through faith, and that not of your selues: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8—Authorized, 1611.
“For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8—Authorized, 1769 (today’s edition: note orthography changes)
The Authorized Version was translated during the Elizabethan era (1558-1642) of the Modern English period. The language of the Authorized Version is a very peculiar language. The English language developed with the English Bible, and the Authorized Version contains the English language in its noblest usage and expression. The beginning of the Modern English period is only seventy years prior to the translation work of Tyndale, who is known to have used an English style significantly superior to the general tone of literature in his day. Mombert comments, “Tyndale’s English is decidedly superior to the writings of his time which have come down to us.”
Here is a most important point. The New Testament writers wrote a consecrated Koine Greek. It was a cut above the common speech. They wrote this way because they were influenced by the Old Testament. Just as Peter and Paul were affected by the Hebrew Bible, so were the translators of the English Bible affected by the influence of the Hebrew and Greek upon them. It is of the largest import to realize that the development of the English language and the translation of the English Bible went together from Wycliffe to 1611. This was a period of approximately 250 years. As the English Bible became more and more prolific then the English language developed toward that style, and that style was of the Greek and Hebrew. The English of the 1611 achieves a simplicity of vocabulary and expression that is matched only by the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament. God’s providential hand of blessing must surely be seen here by the honest student.
It is the mind of God that is expressed in the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek Received text. The effect upon the English population during (and since) the translation and publication of the mind of God into English must be that of 1) learning the mind of God, and 2) becoming conformed to Hebrew thinking and literature.
Mrs. Gail Riplinger has done some impressive studies on the English language in relation to the Authorized Version and contends that the development of the English Bible and the English language have been both complimentary and parallel; that with the publication of the Authorized Version in 1611 the English language became a set and distinct language of its own. The Authorized Version is the standard of the English language and literature. Riplinger is not alone in this claim. Joseph Oscar notes that it is the opinion of some that the effect of the Authorized Version on English grammar is “greater than that of Shakespeare.” Since Tyndale translated the Hebrew idiom into English we have such phrases in our literature as “heart of hearts,” “place of all places,” “holy of holies,” and “evil of all evils.” These have come from Hebrew. After all this it is with no amazement to hear a 1700’s writer state that “the translators of our Bible were masters of an English style much fitter for that work than any which we see in our present writings, which I take to be owing to the simplicity that runs through the whole.”
It is the nature of language that is under review at this point. Albert S. Cook, L.H.D., LL.D was Professor of the English Language and Literature in Yale University (c. 1910). Cook recognized that the nature of a language into which the Bible will best be translated into must carry the characteristics of the languages from which it is being translated. Cook, in The “Authorised Version” and Its Influence, (p.13), lists some qualities necessary for a host language that will properly receive the Hebrew and Greek of God’s word.
(i) The language (vocabulary) must be “popular” as opposed to “artificial or scholastic.” For example: Using a dialect of English only found in a particular geographical area of the English speaking world would be inappropriate. This was one of the minor problems of Tyndale’s version. He had translated it for the common man and therefore used a number of local phrases that fell out of use quickly.
(ii) “It will abound in concrete expressions.” This is opposed to abstract or what might be called “learned” terms.
(iii) Words need to “exhibit their primitive meaning.” The meaning should be central and not obscure.
(iv) The work should “be free from degrading or belittling associations.” Slang and words that have carnal illusions should be avoided completely.
(v) The character of the words and the structure of the sentences and paragraphs should have “a scale of melodious effects.” There should be a noticeable character of music/poetry in the prose.
Cook’s description above certainly describes seventeenth century English. Hebrew, Koine Greek, and 1600’s English all have these qualities. Jack Moorman speaks to the elasticity of the words in English. “Each word of the language was broad, simple and generic. That is to say, words were capable of containing in themselves not only their central thoughts, but also all the different shades of meaning were attached to that central thought.” Words that are solid in their central meaning, yet allow for wide use in various situations are very useful. A language like Hebrew, Koine Greek, or 1600’s English will be able to maintain a manageable vocabulary while not being limited in expression of thought.
The King James Version has always been the Bible to memorize. This is due to the rhythm of the text. The modern English versions do not exhibit this characteristic. Cook further points out that “if the rhythmical effects of a language are attained through the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables, such a language will so far resemble the Hebrew, and serve as a natural medium for the transmission of the original effect.” “Natural medium” is a phrase that fits 1600’s English. The Hebrew language is very rhythmical. “Their poetry was measured, not by feet, as in ancient Latin and Greek, but by word-accents, as in the most ancient poetry of many nations, including that of our English ancestors.”
The compatibility of the seventeenth century English with the Hebrew and Greek is astounding. Tyndale recognized this agreement of nature between English, Greek, and the Hebrew. “The Greek tongue agreeth more with the English than with the Latin. And the properties of the Hebrew tongue agreeth a thousand times more with the English than with the Latin. The manner of speaking is both one, so that in a thousand places thou needest not but to translate it into the English word for word.” Tyndale is claiming that even the sentence structure of these languages is agreeable.
In regards to the agreeableness of 1600’s English, Hebrew, and New Testament Greek a comparison of vocabularies stands as another proof. Cook cites Shakespeare as using a vocabulary of 21,000 words, John Milton with 13,000, the Hebrew Old Testament with 5,642, the Greek New Testament with 4,800, and the Authorized Version of 6,000 words. This certainly is not a vocabulary school children will have any problem with if someone would teach them.
The words in modern English are approximately fifty percent of Latin origin. This is to be expected since Latin has been a key language in western religion, education, and science over the past four or five hundred years. The beginnings of the English language were of Germanic origin, hence, the name Anglo-Saxon. Anglo-Saxon words make up the majority of words in the Authorized Version. This is very good for the reader, and is a major reason why the King James Bible has lasted for so long. Its words are, for the most part, simple single syllable words that form the basis for all English. The vast majority of compound words in the English language are of Latin origin and harder to understand, in varying degrees.
Mombert calls this a “striking feature;” that is, “the predominance of Saxon, as will be seen by the following comparison. Gibon uses about seventy, Johnson about seventy-five, Swift eighty-nine, Shakespeare about eighty-five, and the Authorized Version more than ninety Saxon words in every hundred employed.” Cook concurs with this, citing one, Marsh, “about 93 percent of the words of the Authorised Version, counting repetitions of the same word, are native English.”
Anglo-Saxon is a providential language. Its supreme fitness in the early 1600’s is a testimony to the providential working of Almighty God to pass His holy words into a language that was to be spoken by a vast number of the earth’s population. In addition to providing a Bible for vast numbers of precious souls to read, God also developed the Saxon language so that it would survive for, now, almost four-hundred years and counting. This gave the Authorized Version great longevity.
It is clear that the English language is not in the same dynamic shape as it was in 1611. English is a living language, or maybe it would be appropriate to say, dying; but, because it is still living it changes over time. The English language of the twenty-first century has hundreds of thousands of words in it that are of a Latin origin (also French and others). This means that the English world has adopted words from other languages and made them to fit English. This is very common in American English. The Saxon base of the English language does still exist, however, and it is understood well by the majority of English speaking people in the world.
There is a risk posed by the Americanisation of the English language. American English and World-British English are developing differently. Riplinger is clear that the English of the United States of America is different than the World-British English of the King James Bible. She shows that “magazines like English Worldwide, World English, and English as a World Language, prove the World speaks English like that in the King James Bible and not that of the New King James Version.”
One more nail is added to the coffin (a good Saxon word) of ‘that archaic version’ complaint when it is realized that “the KJV vocabulary is said to be 95% Anglo-Saxon words,” and that “the 100 most used English words [today] are of Anglo-Saxon origin.” The excuse of antiquation is really based upon laziness. Professors of Christianity are not known to obey the Scriptural command to study found in Second Timothy 2:15. This laziness breads ignorance (lack of knowledge), and many are found to not know their own language well enough to handle any kind of literature, let alone Holy Writ. How many can handle Shakespeare? Milton? or the Puritan writings? Laziness is the foundation of ignorance. Most professors of Christ get their high school “education” and never want to crack another book, not even the Bible. They would rather sit mesmerized in from of the TV or between pounding headphones and just “veg.” A man sows what he reaps!
The claim that the King James Bible is “too hard” is invalid. Riplinger, in The Language of the King James Bible, uses the Flesch-Kincaid ‘Grade Level Indicator’ to show that the King James Bible progresses in its reading level from Genesis through to Revelation and has an easier overall reading level than the NIV, NASB, TEV, and the NKJV. Her findings are charted as follows.
People that expect God to communicate with mankind at a pre-school level are surely not thinking rationally. Logically, God would be expected to communicate with men at a level that is understandable to the majority. The King James Bible fits this demand well. In fact, the English Bible, in addition to its eternal value will afford an English language education to any who will read and study it. “Tindale proved to the world that it was possible to express the highest truths in the clearest manner with simplicity and with grace.”
“The translation of the King James Version was the culmination of one hundred years of spiritual, textual, and translational preparation.” The Authorized Version is a product of the Greek Received Text and the Hebrew Masoretic Text translated into the English of Tyndale and then honed to its pinnacle in 1611. The King James Bible carries on its pages the very words of God in the providentially prepared vehicle of 16th-17th century Anglo-Saxon. “The men of 1611—above all, that William Tyndale 77 years before them—produced a work of real genius; seizing with generous warmth the meaning and intention of the sacred Writers.”
The method by which the 1611 translators produced the Authorized Version was careful and full of Biblical principle. The Bible teaches that “in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Pro. 11:14). There were forty-seven men that we know positively were involved in the translation work. These men were divided into six companies, two companies at Oxford, two at Cambridge, and two at Westminster. To each company a particular portion of the Scriptures were assigned. Each individual member of the companies made a translation of his respective company’s portion before the company met. At the meetings of the various companies each member would read his translation. Todd quotes one Seldon, a contemporary of the 1611 translators, who passed away in 1654 at the age of seventy. “The English Translation of the Bible is the best Translation in the world, and renders the sense of the Original best, taking in for the English Translation the Bishop’s Bible, as well as King James’s. The Translators in King James’s time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given to him, who was most excellent in such a tongue; as the Apocrypha to Andrew Downes: and then they met together, and one read the Translation, the rest holding in their hands some Bible, either of the learned tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, &c. If they found any fault, they spoke; if not, he read on. There is no book so translated as the Bible for the purpose.”
The 1611 translators diligently compared many sources. The foundation of the King James Bible is the Masoretic and Received Texts, but the translators are known to have had the following other resources for meticulous comparison: Tyndale’s New Testament and pieces of his Old Testament, Matthew’s Bible, The Geneva Bible, The Bishop’s Bible, Complutensian Polyglot, Antwerp Polyglot, Targums, Peshitta, Olivetan Bible (French), Diodati Bible (Italian), Luther’s Bible (German), Waldensian Bible (Old Italic), Rheims-Douay New Testament, Spanish translations (un-named), Tremellius’ Latin Version, Beza’s Latin Version, and the Latin Vulgate. The 1611 translators knew of the Alexandrian Text, upon which the modern English versions rest, through the Catholic Latin Vulgate and the Jesuit-Catholic Rheims-Douay New Testament. They rejected these texts as Erasmus did in the 1500’s when he inspected over three hundred readings from Codex Vaticanus.
Upon the completion of a Book of the Bible the company would make copies and distribute them to each of the other companies for their critical assessment. The whole Bible was translated in this way. At the completion of this stage a committee of twelve men, two from each company, was selected to go over any difficulties and finalize the text for the final printing committee. This printing committee simply got the new translation ready for the printer.
The translation method used to translate the King James Bible is called “Formal Equivalence” and “Verbal Equivalence.” “The KING JAMES translators adopted a method of verbal equivalence; and formal equivalence, that is, the words from the Greek or Hebrew were rendered as closely as possible into the English. The same is true for the forms of those words. This is called formal equivalence. We have verbs in English. We have nouns, adjectives, prepositions, participles, and so on…If you have a verb, they brought it over as a verb instead of changing it or transforming it into a noun.” This translation method is in full compliance with verbal inspiration and preservation. In addition to this, the attentive reader will also pick up, in Dr. Wait’s description of formal equivalence, the agreement of this method of translation with the development of the English language. Tyndale’s remarks were…
“The Greek tongue agreeth more with the English than with the Latin. And the properties of the Hebrew tongue agreeth a thousand times more with the English than with the Latin. The manner of speaking is both one, so that in a thousand places thou needest not but to translate it into the English word for word.”
The nature of the English language in 1611 and the translation method used by the 1611 translators were such as to work together by the providence of God to produce the Authorized Version of the Bible. The modern translators do not use this method. Dynamic Equivalence is the method of modern translators. The destructiveness of this method will be discussed shortly.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Mat. 7:16) The following documentation and proofs of the abundant godly fruit produced by the King James Bible is not meant to be in the least way exhaustive. An adequate look at the fruit of the King James Bible would require a larger number of pages than can be herein committed. Therefore, the goal of the following section is to simply give reference to a few high points in the history of the fruit bearing King James Bible.
The revival of learning (Renaissance) in Europe between 1300 and 1600 preceded and overlapped the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s. In 1453 the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) fell into the hands of the Turks. This caused scholars from the Orthodox Greek Church to flee into Europe with their Greek New Testament manuscripts. The arrival of the Greek New Testament gave a new dimension to the Renaissance and no doubt aided the snowballing of learning. Now, Greek was an important language of study. The blessing of studying and learning God’s Word, free from the corruptions of Roman Catholicism and her Latin Vulgate, was made realized. The Traditional Text (another name for the Received Text) was brought into Western Europe and printed. This allowed for extensive distribution. Soon after this came English, French, and German translations and the result was the spiritual explosion of the Reformation and post-Reformation periods.
It is the publishing of the King James Bible that marks the height of the Renaissance and Reformation. The Puritan movement came after this with its extensive study of the Scripture. None of the Protestant groups became as pure doctrinally as the churches of Christ were through the Middle Ages, Reformation, and post-Reformation, but they made some very significant advances. The laws and politics of England and New England were shaped over the next centuries by the Bible—the King James Bible!
The national revivals known as the First and Second Great Awakenings happened under the King James Bible, and the preaching of it. It is a glaring blight on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that there are no revivals of any consequence. Interestingly enough, this dryness of the Spirit of God coincides with the rise of the corrupt modern Bibles and the preachers of these Bibles.
Under the King James Bible the western world has seen great momentum in the spread of the Word of God amongst the nations and tongues of the world. Consider the English Baptist missionary William Carey. “In thirty years Carey and his brethren rendered the Word of God accessible to one-third of the world. And even this is not all: before Carey’s death 212,000 copies of the Scriptures were issued from Serampore in 40 different languages, the tongues of 330,000,000 of the human family.” And what did Carey use as the basis of translation? He used the Received Text, the same Greek text that underlies the King James Bible.
Another Baptist missionary that laboured through great difficulty to bring the lost of Asia was Adoniram Judson. Judson worked seventeen years on the translation of the Scriptures into the Burmese tongue, with an additional seven years on a revision of his work. The twenty-four years of labour over the words of God was completed on October of 1840. Judson, who spent his life for the Lord ministering to the Burmese people, speaks very differently from the modern translator. Judson prayed, “May he make His own inspired word, now complete in the Burmese tongue, the grand instrument of filling all Burmah with songs of praise to our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” Judson’s Bible, in English, was the King James Bible, and he had no problem claiming the inspired words of God to be translated into another language. Judson also realized that it is in the proliferation of the Bible in the people’s language that would open that land to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What was going on with Judson? He felt his duty was to conquer Burma for Christ. “What did they propose to do, this man of twenty-five and his young wife, standing amid the level rice fields on the cost of Lower Burmah, with their faces turned landward toward towns and cities swarming with idolaters, and hill-tops crowned with heathen temples and pagodas? Their purpose was to undermine an ancient religion, deeply fixed in the hearts and habits of four hundred millions of human beings. They did not propose to bring to bear influences by which Christianity was to be introduced as a State religion and reluctant knees be forced to bow to the Christ. This would have been indeed an audacious undertaking. But they sought to work out a more searching revolution, nothing less than a change of belief and heart in each individual.” Only by God’s power through God’s Word could such a feat be accomplished. It has been the same with the King James Bible, and still is. It changes hearts and lives from the inside out.
Fruit abounded from these and other missionaries like them. The fruit of missions grew out of such missionaries because of the personal relationship they had with Christ Jesus, which was made possible by the King James Bible—the Bible that they read and loved. The success of the translations these men made into hundreds of different languages stems from the fact that their Greek text was God’s preserved word—the Received Text.
The late Philip Mauro saw the grand effect of the King James Bible and recognized that society, moral, institutions, and individuals have been and are affected by it.
Among the separated people of God there really is no contest between the King James Bible and the modern versions. The King James Bible is the Bible of choice for the lover of Christ Jesus. Any Bible school student that has taken at least one year of training has no doubt taken a Bibliology course. Therein, they would have learned the four tests of canonicity—acceptance of a book to be included in the Bible. The canonicity tests are the writer, the contents, the acceptance, and the inspiration and authority. Surely Christians, pastors especially, have not become so shallow and frivolous as to not apply these tests to translations? Must not a translation also be tested by its translators, its texts (contents & inspiration), its acceptance, and its translation method?
The authority for the Authorized Version never came from men. Christopher Anderson is sharp to demonstrate that there was no human authority that advanced the King James Bible. There were no royal decrees, no legislation by the Privy Council, and no “church” Convocations that were ever brought to bear on our Bible to make it popular or give it acceptance among the Redeemed. The Redeemed accepted the King James Bible on their own as they came to recognise it as God’s Holy Word. This acceptance has authorized the Authorized Version!
All attacks have shrivelled under the preserved Word of God in the English. Todd knew this in the early 1800’s, writing, “The industry, learning, and abilities which have been sedulously exerted in collecting the mistakes and inaccuracies, which are said to exist in the received Version, have scarcely been able to produce a single error, by which any material fact, or doctrine, is affected.” Faith takes the step, upon the promises of God, and says that the King James Bible is proven to be the perfect Word of God in the English language by promise and evidence.
The attitude that must be maintained by all children of God in dealing with all matters of belief and living is the attitude of faith. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Pro. 3:5). It should be familiar ground for the child of God to approach the doctrines and promises in the Bible by faith. Faith also expects to find historical evidence flowing from God’s sovereign execution of His promises (if they are to be fulfilled now). The child of God is constantly looking to the Bible to reveal how God operates. This is certainly an excellent, and central, reason to study the Scriptures. The Scriptures also reveal the operation of Satan, the chief enemy of God and man.
Since it has been claimed at various points, herein, that the modern Bibles are the product of corruption and that corruption by Satan; then, faith demands that God’s words speak to some extent on this issue.
Satan’s treatment and use of the Word of God is revealed in two key places in the Scriptures. The first incidence is the deception of Eve in Genesis three and the second is the temptation of Christ Jesus in the gospels.
In Genesis 3:1-5, it is revealed…
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
In the account of the deception of Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan’s mode of dealing with the words of God is made known to the careful reader.
· Satan cast doubt upon God’s Words—verse 1—“Yea, hath God said?”
· Eve dilutes God’s Words—verse 2—“We may eat,” (Gen. 2:16c “thou mayest freely eat”)
· Eve distends (adds to) God’s Words—verse 3d—“neither shall ye touch it”
· Eve diminishes God’s Words—verse 3e—“lest ye die” (Gen. 2:17 “thou shalt surely die”)
· Satan denies God’s Words—verse 4—“ye shall not surely die”
· Satan displaces God’s Words—verse 5—“ye shall be as gods”
Satan sets a word trap for Eve, and she falls in headlong. He begins his conversation with her by casting doubt upon God’s words in regards to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Bible is clear that Eve was deceived here and not being wilfully rebellious (1 Tim. 2:14). Nevertheless, rather than fall back upon the actual words of God for her defence she makes the three mistakes of diluting what God had said, distending (addition) what God had said, and finally, diminishing what God had said. She changed God’s words, seemingly in a insignificant way, with grave consequences.
Eve’s careless handling of the words of God gave Satan the advantage and his deception is successful. Eve first takes away from what God had commanded in Genesis 2:16—“thou mayest eat freely.” This cast dispersion upon God’s character, of which Satan builds upon when he replies to Eve in verses four and five. Eve infers that God has been less than generous in providing them with food. Eve continues to provide ammunition for the Old Dragon’s deception by adding to God’s words—“neither shall ye touch it.” God did not say that. God had commanded not to eat of this one tree. On top of subtracting from God’s words Eve then diminishes what God had said claiming that if they partook of the forbidden fruit there was a chance that they would not die—“lest ye die.” God had clearly stated, “thou shalt surely die.”
Upon Eve’s slight modifications to a few words Satan makes his final two statements. Satan builds upon Eve’s diminishing of God’s words revealing the consequence of rebellion by outright denial—“ye shall not surely die.” Eve obviously accepts this lie. Notice that Satan uses the same phrase God uses—“ye shall…surely die”—but just adds the negative, “not.” It does not take many changes in individual words before all is destroyed. Lastly, Satan uses Eve’s inference that God is not being as kind as He could from verse two and infers that God does not want her to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because that will allow her to be like God—“ye shall be as gods.”
All children of God must take this as a supreme warning of how the enemy operates. And if the enemy is to be defeated in daily living and Christians to walk in the light of God and not the deception of the Devil than the very words of God are necessities. To have a Bible that has had doubt cast upon the words of God, words added, words subtracted, words denied, and scholars placed over the words of God as judges of what God said and did not say is to have a “bible” with the fingerprints of Satan all over it!
Satan’s mode of operation in Genesis three is the same mode of operation of modern textual criticism and the corruptions that have been attempted on the New Testament text.
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 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. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:1-10
The second temptation Satan presented to Christ Jesus was very similar to that which he used on Eve. Only this time Satan did not change the Word of God, but used it out of context. It certainly would have been fruitless for Satan to have tried to deceive Jesus by mutilating the words of God, for Jesus is the Word of God incarnate. The point is this: Satan has not changed his mode of operation. He will use the words of God either in a mutilated state, or out of context, to deceive and work sin and rebellion on this earth. Jesus’ response each time was from the word of God; but, note the second response is a correction of Satan’s purposeful misapplication of Scripture. The Christian that will escape deception must have the pure words of the Lord, know them, and do them.
The Apostle Paul warned the church at Colosse about two things. The first adds to the Word of God and the second subtracts from the Word of God. Paul wrote, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Philosophy and vain deceit want to subtract God Himself and the truth about depraved man, and tow the humanist line that man is his own ruler, in charge of his own destiny. Philosophy subtracts from the Word of God in substance and authority. Tradition, on the other hand, adds to the Word of God. Judaism is a prime example of this. Paul wrote the book of Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews specifically against the addition of tradition to the Word of God and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Faith is clear in its expectation of false teachers and malicious corrupters of the Word of God. The Christian should be as wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove (Mat. 10:16). The command to watch and be sober (1 Thes. 5:6; 1 Pet. 4:7) was given because Christians are like sheep living in a world of wolves. An unquestioning and unqualified trust of everyone that names the name of Christ Jesus is unwise—“Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).
Corruption of the Word of God was happening in Paul’s day. He wrote to the church at Corinth, “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God” (2 Cor. 2:17). Faith acts upon the words of God and the person walking with the Biblical type of faith will not be paranoid, but watchful and even expectant of corruption of the Word of God. The existence of corrupters and their corruptions of the Bible should not surprise the faith-full Christian.
“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a 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 Timothy 2:14-18
Paul warned the Christians of his day that there were corrupters of the word of God. He warned Pastor Timothy about this, pointing out that such people were heretics (including corrupters of the Word of God) and that their word ate like a canker—cancer. Their teaching overthrew the faith of some. This is the story of early heretics like Marcion and Arius who were widely noted for their mutilation of the Scriptures. They mutilated Scripture to support their heretical teachings.
Someone might ask, how could anyone handle the Bible deceitfully? It would be nice to think that no one would dare do such a thing. This is not reality though. The Apostle Paul had “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully” (2 Cor. 4:2). Corruption has been prophesied to happen at the hands of the ministers of Satan.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
The Scriptures speak often about the problem of heretics and heresy. It is not the external heretics that are the biggest threat. It is the heretics that rise up from within churches and Christian circles.
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4
The presence of false prophets is not new. They were prolific in the days of Jeremiah and in the days preceding him.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jeremiah 5:31
People that do not like the words of the Lord obviously feel at great liberty just to cut out that with which they do not agree. It was this way with the writings of Jeremiah under King Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah. “And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.” (Jer. 36:23) Notice that once Jehudi began cutting out parts that were chaffing their hides he ended up throwing the entire roll in the fire. It is naive to think that those scholars, pastors, and others who begin making little changes here and there to the words of God—a deletion here, an addition there—will stop before the whole book is consumed.
Jesus has sounded the warning loud and clear…
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24
Who is behind all these lies and corruption? Paul wrote, “now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim. 4:1) Satan and the powers and principalities of this ungodly world are the masterminds and propagators of these abominations. Jesus said that in Lucifer “there is no truth…when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Proper identification of the enemy and his methods is very important. The Apostle John warned, “many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist…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 1:7-11). Separation from error and the makers of error is essential to the well being of churches and individual Christians.
God is against all false prophets, including those that mutilate His holy Book. “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD” (Jer. 23:27-32). Jeremiah was, for the most part, the only prophet of God in his day. There were a multitude of false prophets though. It was not the prophets of Baal that were the biggest problem. It was the false prophets of Jehovah that were the real problem. They gave the people the false sense of security that they were obeying Jehovah and then when calamity came upon them because of their sin they blamed God. God is against false prophets, preachers, and scholars that steal God’s words, whether through the doctrinal errors of liberalism, neo-orthodoxy, or neo-evangelicalism, or through modern textual criticism. Such take some of God’s words, the ones that they can use for their purpose, and twist them to teach error and heresy in the name of the God of Truth. They say, ‘thus saith the Lord,’ and then spew lies coated with the claim of godliness. Whether done by false teaching or the corruption of Bibles the sin is the same and God’s hatred of it is the same.
Before proceeding to specifics about the heretics involved in the Bible issue it is very important to touch on the motive of Bible corruption. Christ spoke to the church at Pergamos and warned, “I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Rev. 2:14-15).
What is the doctrine of Balaam? (See Numbers 22:1—25:3.) The doctrine of Balaam was one of infiltration for victory. Balaam was a prophet for profit. His message went where the money was (Jude 11). The first motive behind Bible corruption is covetousness—greed of material gain. Another of the warnings that Christ gives here is against the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. This is the teaching that there is a clergy-class over the laity-class. This second motive is simply a development out of the first. The Nicolaitans coveted power and privilege. Both of these false doctrines are central driving forces behind the modern Bible perversions. The love of lucre is evident in the copyrighting and massive marketing campaigns behind these versions. In order to achieve a copyright each successive new version is required to be significantly different in its text. In other words, changes must be made not because they have a better text, or because some scholar has discovered some new earth shaking textual improvement, but because they must have the copyright.
The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is seen in the scholarolotry (scholar worship) that is so rampant today, especially in the field of textual criticism and Bible translation. Scholars, due to their training, expect their opinions to be taken as law, and when they are questioned the dissenter is treated as an ignoramus. God hates this!
Pastors must be current with this issue. Pastors must be Biblical on this issue. Pastors are the first line of defence. Pastors are to be beating off the wolves that would devour the sheep.
Jack Moorman quotes the following…
“The overwhelming majority of variant readings were created before the year 200.”—Colwell.
“The worst corruptions to which the N.T. has ever been subjected originated within a hundred years after it was composed.”—Scrivener.
“The creation of new variants ceased by 200 A.D. because it became impossible to sell them.”—Kilpatrick.
(Note: A “variant reading” is a word, phrase, or sentence in a manuscript that is different than another because it has been changed. The difference of one word constitutes a “variant reading.” This terminology comes from the textual critics.)
Moorman also cites Eusebius (260-340 A.D.) as claiming that after the Apostle John died in 100 A.D. that heretics came out of the “woodwork,” and that these heretics had proliferated corrupt copies of the Scriptures. These corrupt manuscripts were noted for neither agreeing between themselves nor with the pure Traditional copies.
A brief survey of some of the early heretics and their beliefs will aid in recognizing their sentiments that still exist in the twenty-first century and in establishing the fact of prolific textual corruption.
Marcion (c. 150 A.D.) was an early Gnostic heretic who denied the material substance of Christ’s body (1 John 4:3). This was not unusual, for the Gnostics generally believed that all matter was evil. Marcion is known to have seriously altered the text of Luke’s Gospel to reflect his views that Christ’s body was just an illusion (Docetism). Marcion rejected the other Gospels outright. The entire first Epistle of John is dedicated to combating Gnosticism.
Clement of Alexandria (150-215) is much better known than Marcion. He is important to note because he is the predecessor of Origin who is the chief Bible corrupter of the opening centuries of Christianity. “Although Clement recorded many truths, he gave far too much importance to philosophy and intellect and marks a milestone in accelerated, heretical departure from the apostolic faith.”
This acceleration of philosophy and intellect over revealed Biblical truth came to a peak in the man named Origin (185-254 A.D.). “He is considered by many to be the most profound mind in the history of the church. But in fact it may be said that he had a greater corrupting influence on the early church and on the Bible itself than any man.” Origin was of great intellect—“there is no doubt of Origin’s monumental intelligence, demonstrated at an early age.” The hurt was that “he was heavily contaminated by Greek philosophy (especially Neoplatonism).” Neoplatonism is very similar to today’s New Age.
Origin’s “philosophical speculations led him to bizarre postulations contrary to accurate exegesis of scripture.” Origin espoused baptismal regeneration, purgatory, universal salvation, the pre-existence of men’s souls, and that the Holy Spirit was the first created being. Origin was also a master of allegorizing Scripture—he saw everything as figurative instead of literal.
Origin was a prolific writer. His crowning work was his Hexapla (six-column Bible). The six columns were all different translations and versions of the Old Testament. They are identified as follows.
Column No. 1: A Hebrew text basically identical to the Masoretic Text.
Column No. 2: A Greek translation of the Hebrew.
Column No. 3: The Greek translation of the Greek Jew Aquila (95-137 A.D.). Aquila was heavily into astrology.
Column No. 4: The Greek version of Symmachus (160-211 A.D.), who was an Ebionite. (A combination of Gnosticism and the Judaizers teaching.)
Column No. 5: This column contained Origin’s own Greek translation that is now commonly know as the Septuagint (LXX).
Column No. 6: Another Greek translation by the Ebionite Theodotian (160-211 A.D.).
One of Origin’s most damaging methods for handling Biblical texts, especially the New Testament, was called conjectural emendation. A conjecture is a guess. Emendation is alteration with the intent to correct. In reality this means, to change the parts of God’s Word that the scholar does not believe to be true according to his guess at what is correct.
The next man in the chain is Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340). Eusebius and Pamphilus were dedicated to Origin and his works. They were “his professed apologists and imitators.” Eusebius’ integral connection with Origin is very important. The Roman emperor Constantine I requested Eusebius to make fifty official Bibles for the state of Rome. These fifty Bibles were written on the finest leather pages. It is common knowledge now that modern textual scholars like Tischendorf and Hort believed that the Vaticanus manuscript (Codex Vaticanus) is one of these fifty Bibles. The character of this manuscript will be dealt with later. Eusebius was a semi-Arian, denying the deity of Christ.
Today’s Latin Vulgate Bible of the Roman Catholic Church is essentially that of Jerome (340-420). Jerome’s Latin Bible is of the same corrupt texts as Origin is known for, and that the modern Bibles are based upon. Jerome was a celibate; he practiced the veneration of “holy relics,” prayed to saints, believed Mary was a co-redemptrix and a perpetual sinless virgin. Jerome was a devout Roman Catholic.
Men that propagate error need some kind of authority behind what they are doing. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, is a prime example of this with his Book of Mormon and other writings. The initial centuries after the apostles were no different. “The ancient Gnostics and Marcionites and Manicheans, conscious that their own allied systems and the genuine Gospel could not subsist together, were notorious for their unprincipled erasures and adulterations.” What does this mean? The learned F. H. A. Scrivner observes, in his Introduction to the Text of the New Testament, as quoted by Philip Mauro: “It is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected originated within a hundred years after it was composed; that Irenaeus and the African Fathers, and the whole Western church, with a portion of the Syrian, had far inferior manuscripts to those employed by Stunica, or Erasmus, or Stephens, thirteen centuries later, when moulding the Textus Receptus.” To return to manuscripts that date back to the third and fourth century is to return to a time of wide spread corruption of Biblical manuscripts.
The Received Text dates to the apostles that were moved by the Holy Ghost to write it. But, the fact that the vast number of Received Text manuscripts are of a late date, like 12th century, frequently catches Christians off guard. The question “Is not an older manuscript better?” will no doubt be heard at this time. This is a valid question that comes with a very good answer. God’s preserved Word has been preserved through the great proliferation of manuscripts; these are all of a relatively late date. Christians have copies of the Word of God to use and that is what the children of God do, they use the Bible, not archive it. Copies of the Bible are eternal treasures, but of no good to the soul unless read, believed, and applied. Today, every Christian in the Western world most likely has at least one copy of the Bible. This single copy could last from ten years to a lifetime, depending on the quality of binding and use. After that copy wears out it will probably be thrown away. Another copy of the Scriptures will be obtained.
Before the invention of printing this process of deterioration of the physical copies of the Scriptures and their replacement would be more pronounced. A manuscript copy of the Bible is very large and it takes a long time to produce. Since copies would generally only be held by communities of Christians (churches), due to the expense and low availability, then they would be subject to constant use. This would cause them to wear out fast. No doubt copies would be made from it, and these copies would be put into use, while the old copy would be destroyed. The late dates of the manuscripts bearing God’s preserved New Testament are to be expected.
On the other hand, manuscripts that were known to be corrupt and not respected by the people of God would not be used or copied by Christians. The manuscripts that are relied upon by the modern Bible translators are all early copies and full of errors. That is why a return to manuscripts that date back to the third and fourth century is a return to a time of wide spread corruption of Biblical manuscripts. It would be dangerous, disastrous.
The Arian heretics were notorious for mutilating the text of Scripture. In fact, Nolan calls the fourth century, “that age of corrupting the Scriptures.” Nolan also observes that “the Marcionites … had rejected the principle part of the Canon, and corrupted the remainder.” These corruptions are well documented. Each heresy and corruption of Scripture came with a countering defence of the faith. The process of heresy and corruption being answered by God’s faithful still goes on today. The corruptions of the early centuries are well documented—“we know that Origin in Palestine, Lucian at Antioch, Hesychius in Egypt, “revised” the text of the N.T.”
It was from Origin’s corruptions of the Biblical text that Eusebius constructed the fifty Bibles for Constantine I. Nolan makes this observation about these fifty Bible, “the edition thus dispersed, as altered by Eusebius, was peculiarly accommodated to the opinions of the Arians.” It must be recalled at this time that the “wonder” manuscripts of the modern textual critics and Bible translators, the Vaticanus and Sinaticus, are thought to be either of the number of the original fifty Constantine Bibles or copies of them. The connection of the Vatican manuscript with Eusebius and from there to Origin explains many things concerning why the modern English Bibles are so corrupt. The Greek texts from which they are translated from are the texts of Bible-corrupting heretics.
Appendix one will demonstrate a number of textual corruptions that have changed doctrine. One such example is found in the New American Standard Bible’s rendition of John 1:18 where the Gnostics denial of the deity of Jesus is seen. The Gnostics generally held that the man Jesus was inhabited by what they call the supreme aeon Logos and that this inhabiting began at Jesus’ baptism and ended before his death. The corrupt texts of the early centuries that display this Gnostic heresy carry over into the modern English Bible translations. The NASB’s translation of John 1:18 reads, “the only begotten God”. This bears out the Gnostic heresy from the corrupt text from which the NASB was translated. Jesus is not a begotten god. There is only ONE GOD. Jesus is the God and the title “only begotten Son” speaks to His appointed position as Messiah. The NASB is teaching pantheism in John 1:18.
God preserved His New Testament by the agency of the priesthood of believers and the churches of Christ Jesus through the centuries. Over 5,000 Greek manuscripts exist. Satan has also preserved his corruptions of the early texts in a handful of Greek manuscripts.
The Roman Catholic Church is predominantly the agent of these corrupt texts. The Vaticanus manuscript is the property of the Vatican and Sinaticus manuscript was found at a Roman Catholic monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. These manuscripts and others known for corruption will be discussed under the texts of the modern heretics.
“the logic of unbelief…begins with the use of these modern-speech New Testament versions and ends in complete uncertainty about everything.”
The founders of modern textual criticism, who rehash Origin’s textual criticism, are J. J. Griesbach (1745-1812), Carl Lachmann (1793-1851), and Friedrich Constantine Tischendorf (1815-1874). All these men were theological liberals. David Cloud notes that “Griesbach was a student of one of the fathers of Modernism, Johann Salomo Semler.” Tischendorf rejected God’s providential preservation of the Scriptures, and held “that the pure word of God needed to be recovered.” Such unbelief is not surprising. The liberal theologian operates on human reasoning and senses and rejects all that cannot be proven—“faith is…the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).
Westcott and Hort are next in the line of liberal scholars. Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) of England have become the two poster-boys of modern textual criticism. Although it is not the object of this thesis to enter into in-depth biographical information on each of these modern textual scholars, it is proper to list the heresies of Mr. Westcott and Mr. Hort. The following list was gleaned from the various chapters in Dr. Wait’s very revealing book, Heresies of Westcott & Hort (see Bibliography for publisher information).
· Westcott espoused the doctrine of the universal fatherhood of God. This doctrine teaches that all men will eventually be saved, irrespective of their relationship to Christ Jesus.
· Westcott believed in the evolution theory.
· Westcott and Hort referred to Satan as a power and not a personality.
· Westcott believed that Christ’s redemptive work was in His whole life and not in His death only.
· Westcott questions the “pre-existence” of Christ.
· Westcott and Hort deny or question the deity of Jesus Christ.
· Westcott espouses Arian ideas about Jesus Christ, referring to Jesus as having a perfect human life of which other men can attain.
· Westcott and Hort deny the literal bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Westcott and Hort denied the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ in His death alone. They held that it was Christ’s life, teachings, death, and resurrection (see previous point) that were redemptive. This fits with the liberal theological idea of Jesus Christ as offering redemption to men by making himself an example—i.e. WWJD, What Would Jesus Do?
Men like Westcott and Hort, as well as some that were orthodox in their theology, were on the first English Bible revision committee in England that produced the Revised Version of 1881. Another of their type that joined Westcott and Hort in the 1881 Revision was William Robertson Smith (1846-1894). “He denied the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. He denied the accuracy of the Masoretic Hebrew Text.” Smith must have been quite bold in his heresy for he was defrocked by the Free Church Theological College for his liberal theology.
The minister of St. Saviour’s Gate Unitarian Chapel in York, UK was George Vance Smith (1816-1902) during the revision of 1881. Smith was on the revision committee and created quite a stir with his Unitarian views, denying the Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ. David Cloud notes that Smith is bold in his assertions that Jesus was not God, just a man, and that the English Revised Version of 1881 reflects his beliefs. Such a statement should cause all lovers of God and His holy Book to cringe—weep! George Vance Smith testifies with his own pen to his denial of the divine inspiration of the Holy Bible, the blood atonement of Christ, and the personality of the Holy Spirit.
Ten years after the 1881 Revision in England came the American Standard Version (ASV) in the United States. Ezra Abbot (1819-1884) and Joseph Henry Thayer (1828-1901), of Thayer’s Lexicon fame, were both on the ASV committee. Both of these men were Christ denying Unitarians. These men were not closet heretics, they promoted their views. In fact, Baker Book House Company published Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament in 1977 and felt they had to warn the reader of Thayer’s heresy. In the middle of the “Publisher’s Introduction” Baker Book House prints, “A word of caution is necessary. Thayer was a Unitarian, and the errors of this sect occasionally come through in the explanatory notes. The reader should be alert for both subtle and blatant denials of such doctrines as the Trinity (Thayer regarded Christ as a mere man and the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force emanating from God), the inherent and total depravity of fallen human nature, the eternal punishment of the wicked, and Biblical inerrancy.” Does this not beg the question, if Thayer’s Unitarianism and general theological Liberalism affected his lexicon should it not also be expected to affect his translation work? The answer is obvious, is it not?
Thayer and Abbot were not the only black spots on the ASV committee. The president of the committee, Philip Schaff (1819-1893), was a Tractarian, meaning he held many Roman Catholic views.
Numerous more heretics have laid their hands to the pen-knife and further mutilated God’s words since the nineteenth century. The Modern English Bible versions are now generally translated from a Greek text printed by the United Bible Societies. This text has been compiled from the ancient corrupt manuscripts previously mentioned. The editors of the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament are Eugene Nida, Cardinal Carlo Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger.
Eugene Nida (1914 - ) is the father of the blasphemous Dynamic Equivalence Theory of translation. David Cloud places Nida firmly in the thick of unbelief as he quotes from Nida’s 1969 book, Theory and Practice. Nida denies the blood atonement of Christ Jesus and the doctrine of justification by faith. He denies that Christ’s death was a legal transaction between God the Father and the Son. Nida is no better when it comes to God’s word. Cloud again quotes Nida, this time from Nida’s book, Message and Mission, “God’s revelation involves limitations … Biblical revelation is not absolute and all divine revelation is essentially incarnational … Even if a truth is given only in words, it has no real validity, until it has been translated into life … The words are in a sense nothing in and of themselves … the word is void unless related to experience.” Nida is simply espousing the philosophy of the Liberals that the Bible becomes the word of God as you experience it. The affect of this heresy is that man becomes the authority—what men experience is deemed truth—and the Bible just a religious fairy-tale.
Cardinal Carlo Martin (1908 - ) is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Milan. He is of the Order of Jesus (a.k.a the Jesuits). Not much should need to be said here. The question does arise: What are Protestants and Baptists doing accepting Bibles from the hands the scarlet whore of Revelation seventeen—the Roman Catholic Church?
Bruce M. Metzger (1914 - ) is probably the singularly most influential voice in modern Bible translation circles today. Metzger was the chairman for the Reader’s Digest Condensed Bible, which removes 40 percent of the text. Metzger denies that Daniel was written during the Babylonian captivity, dating that book between 168-165 B.C. He also claims that the Old Testament is nothing but myth and fairy-tale.
The coupling of theological modernism and the call for the revision of the Bible is nothing new. Todd recognized this in the early 1800’s. He noted that those that were calling for a revision of the Authorized Version were the same men that were pushing theological modernism. Todd was not so naive as to believe their motives were pure. Neither is faith naive! The statement of one Mr. Middleton, quoted by Todd, is magnified in today’s climate of rank unbelief. “The style of our present Version is incomparably superior to any thing which might be expected from the finical and perverted taste of our own age?”
Will many not join the lament of Mr. Moorman when he writes, “all too often much of the research in the transmission of the Text of Scripture has been done by men who do not hold God honoring views regarding the inspiration and preservation of the Bible”?
All these men, infamous for there heresy, have their pet texts. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are the two manuscripts that have won the hearts of the modern scholars. It was Friedrich Constantine Tischendorf that began raising these two old manuscripts to popularity. “Tischendorf was so enamored with the Sinai manuscript that he altered the eight edition of his Greek text (1869-72) in 3,369 instances largely in compliance with the Sinaitic.” Tischendorf had found this manuscript, commonly know as Codex Sinaiticus, in St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai in Egypt. Strangely, Tischendorf found this valuable (?) manuscript in a trash box ready to stoke the fire. It is certainly surprising that a man would change his Greek Text of the New Testament in over 3,000 places based upon a piece of garbage.
Tischendorf later went after the Vatican manuscript—Codex Vaticanus. Tischendorf went to the Vatican Library in 1843 and examined the manuscript for six hours. Two years later Mr. Tregelles was allowed to see it, but was not allowed to copy a single word. A break through came in 1866 when Tischendorf was allow to peruse the document again. This time he was given three hours per day for two weeks. This brought about Tischendorf’s less than perfect printed edition of Vaticanus in 1867.
The identity of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus has already been linked back to the Eusebio/Constantine Bible of the fourth century. Frederick Nolan was a scholar par-excellence. He also linked the Vaticanus manuscript with the fifty copies of Constantine’s ecumenical (acceptable to all in the realm) Bible. Nolan notes that Eusebius introduced a mode of dividing the Scripture text that was confluent with his Canons. The Bible Eusebius constructed for Constantine was characterized by these particular divisions. Nolan further observes that Codex Vaticanus exhibits these same divisions, saying, “they are found in the oldest of those which have descended to us; some of which contain declarations that they were adopted from older.” Nolan is not saying that Vaticanus is one of the fifty Eusebio/Constantine Bibles but a copy of one. He trails Vaticanus back to another manuscript that was in the Vatican Library in his day (1815), marked “Urbin.2,” which contains “a striking coincidence in its peculiar readings” to Vaticanus. He states the “Urbin.2” manuscript is “directly allied to the text of Palestine, it is identified with the edition of Eusebius, in having his Canons prefixed to it, and his sections and references accurately noted in it margin.” In other words, the Urbin.2 manuscript is the equivalent to a study Bible and might well be called the Eusebius Study Bible. Codex Vaticanus’ text (it does not contain the notes) is essentially the same as the Urbin.2 manuscript. Therefore, Vaticanus, which underlies the modern English perversions is a copy (indirectly or directly) of Eusebius’ corrupt Bible.
It is also important to note that the Vatican manuscript is essentially the same as the Latin Vulgate of Rome. “The striking coincidence of the Greek of the Vatican manuscript with the Latin of the Vulgate leads to the establishment of the same conclusion.” The Latin of the time “received the corrections of St. Jerome during his abode in Palestine.” Nolan gives the secret away that the Greek manuscripts Jerome used “were of the edition of Eusebius.” The conclusion is obvious that the manuscripts underlying the modern English versions are of the same corrupt tree as the Roman Catholic Vulgate; these all grow out of the evil root of Eusebius and Origin.
Are separated Bible-believers going to drop their Biblical separation from Rome and now look to the whore for their Bible? “The Roman Catholic Church—after anathematizing Bible translation in the vernacular languages for hundreds of years, after putting Bible translators and distributors and readers to death and tormenting them in unspeakably cruel ways for hundreds of years, after cursing the Bible societies throughout the 19th century—in the 20th century joined hands with Bible societies to promote the Bible.” David Cloud rightly asks, “What kind of Bible?” It is completely contrary to faith in the Holy Scriptures to think that Rome, in an instant, stopped burning the Bible and Bible-believers and joined them to promote the Bible. Surely suspicion is warranted? What kind of Bible would Rome accept and promote? Certainly they would not accept or promote a Bible that they had been burning, but one that would support their heresy. One of the chief men in textual criticism today is Cardinal Carlo Martini. He is a Jesuit and the Archbishop of Milan. In 1967 he was one of five editors of the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament. Martini is “professor of New Testament Textual Criticism at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.”
Dean Burgon realized, in the late 1800’s, the massive impact that Vaticanus and Siniaticus would have in the future. “Those two documents are caused to cast their sombre shadows a long way ahead, and to darken all our future.” Vaticanus and Siniaticus do have a small group of peer manuscripts. Manuscripts are assigned an alphabetic character to designate them. The five old manuscripts that engender such devotion are Codex B (Vaticanus), Codex a (This is the Hebrew character Aleph, Siniaticus), Codex D (Bezae), Codex A (Alexandrian), and Codex C. Burgon, in Revision Revised, compares three of these ancient witnesses to the Received Text to demonstrate their horrible corruption.
Codex B: (Dated 4th century.) In the Gospels “B” omits 2,877, words; adds, 536; substitutes, 935; transposes, 2,098; and modifies, 1,132. This totals 7,578 differences.
Codex a: (Dated 4th century.) In the Gospels “a” omits 3,455; adds, 839; substitutes, 1,114; transposes, 2,299; and modifies, 1,265. This totals 8,972 differences.
Codex D: (Dated 6th century.) In the Gospels “D” omits, 3,704 ; adds, 2,213; substitutes, 2,121; transposes, 3,471; and modifies, 1,772. This totals 13,281 differences. [Codices A and C are both dated 5th century.]
These manuscripts do not differ from the Received Text in all the same places. They also differ amongst themselves in thousands of places. These manuscripts are the textual evidence that the modern textual scholars place almost exclusive weight upon when making the decisions as to what the modern English Bibles should say. This is very troublesome. Not court of law would find a man guilty of murder with three or five witnesses that disagree amongst themselves in thousands of places.
It is essential to realize that the five old manuscripts mentioned above are stand alone manuscripts. Burgon points this out: They have no “antecedents of any kind.” Nolan did connect the Vaticanus manuscript with the Urbin.2 manuscript but this does not alter the validity of Burgon’s statement. The Received Text is possessed in late manuscripts but the existence of antecedent manuscripts is unquestionably attested to by ancient versions and quotations from the church fathers dating back to the early second century. The conclusion to this matter, historical data supporting, that the five old manuscripts are copies of manuscripts manufactured by the minds of heretics. These five corrupted manuscripts have a history that does not reach back to Christ and His apostles. Burgon called the amazing reliance of the modern textual scholars upon these five old manuscripts “blind superstition.” Burgon was a fine student. He took great pains to show the folly of unbelieving modern textual scholars. Burgon recounts that it is “always instructive, it is sometimes even entertaining to trace the history of a mistake which, dating from the 2nd or 3rd century, has remained without a patron all down the subsequent ages, until at last it has been suddenly taken up in our times by an Editor of the sacred Text, and straightway palmed off upon an unlearned generation as the genuine work of the Holy Ghost.” This is exactly what the scholars have done with manuscripts like the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. They have taken the discarded corruption of ancient days and resurrected them as pure and holy under the banner of old age. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness (Pro. 16:31). Vaticanus and Sinaiticus have not been found in the way of righteousness.
It is this “blind superstition” that accounts for the textual method behind the Greek Texts of the United Bible Society and others like them. Faith is based upon the unchangeable and almighty God; superstition is based in idolatry. This is far from scientific; it is completely subjective. The method of the textual scholars is to arbitrarily select the words and reading they like best. Their preference is strong toward one or two manuscripts of an entirely corrupt nature. A modern English version may be a very accurate translation, but if it is translated from a corrupt Greek text it is impossible for the translation to be pure.
Some of the methods of the textual critics have been mentioned in passing. One of the worst theories upon which the unbelieving and unscientific methods of the textual scholars are based upon is the “oldest is best” theory. To understand that this theory is a lie and destructive will help Christians that are using the modern versions, as well as study Bibles using the King James text, to understand the marginal notes that claim “not in the oldest,” “omitted in the oldest,” “the oldest manuscripts say,” and like statements.
It was the claim of the unbelieving textual scholars in the early days of modern textual criticism that they were recovering the long lost text of the New Testament. Nolan saw the fallacy of this very early, stating, “So far from having established the integrity of any particular text, that they have unsettled the foundation on which the entire canon is rested.” Carl Lachmann (1793-1851) was the originator of the “oldest is best” theory that really spawned the supposed restoration of the New Testament text. In reality the ‘oldest is best’ theory is just a bare-faced and unsupported assumption that because a manuscript is older it must be purer. Tischendorf and Tregelles both used this theory to steer their textual work, but it was Westcott and Hort that gave this lie wings and made it fly. It was Drs. Westcott and Hort that charged forward in their conjectures and dream making in the formation of their infamous new Greek New Testament. It was constructed on the baseless idea that in the fourth century there existed a purer form of the Greek New Testament. This they undoubtedly adopted from Lachmann. It is common historical knowledge that just the opposite is true. The worst, most vile, corruptions of the Greek text took place in the second to fourth centuries with heretics like Arius, Marcion, and Origin. Texts from this time period are naturally suspect.
This ‘oldest is best’ theory is only a ploy to excuse the idolatrous bias that these men have toward Codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and their small group of friends. Even more damning is that the “oldest is best” principle is not applied consistently. It is almost always abandoned in light of testimony that is older than the fourth century. There is much textual evidence that precedes the fourth century and the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts. This evidence is systematically discarded. It is not that the second and third centuries have such a small amount of evidence that it is of no consequence. There is a large mass of ancient versions and writings that abide in these early centuries. Faced with such a subjective and blatant disregard for consistent scientific method the conclusion of purposeful manipulation of historical evidence is forced upon the objective researcher.
Mauro was conscious of the fountain-head of the oldest is best theory. He states that it “had its spring in the school of German criticism, just then starting on its devastating career.” It is the “school of German criticism” that spawned such infidelity as the denials of the literal Creation, the world-wide flood, all miracles, the deity of Christ, the personality of the Holy Spirit, the bodily resurrection of Christ, as well as others. German criticism (Higher Criticism) questions and doubts the contents of the Bible and textual criticism (Lower Criticism) questions and doubts the text of the Bible.
The idea behind such treatment of the Word of God and the God of the word is that the Bible is not supernatural in character, but natural. It was Carl Lachmann who introduced the idea of dealing with Holy Scripture in the same way that scholars deal with profane literature (i.e. Plato, Homer). The faithlessness of such a proposition is immediately seen by the Bible believer. It is reported about Westcott and Hort that “these renowned scholars prided themselves on treating the text of the New Testament like the text of any other book.”
It is amazing that some would define the field of modern textual criticism as scientific. It is equally amazing that those who reject faith and rely on reason act so illogically. Surely it is because they have rejected the fear of the Lord, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Pro. 1:7; 1:20-33). The illogical theories and methods, of the men spoken of, grow from their unbelief and contrariety to God and His inerrant Word. Dr. Waite is right to recognize that any man that carries theological heresy, especially of a modernistic strain, will not be interested in a Bible that is theologically sound. “He doesn’t really care about the exact wording, spelling, and phrasing of the Bible because he denies that the Bible was verbally inspired and inerrant and infallible in the original writings. A man’s theology determines how he deals with God’s Word.” Dean Burgon’s lament should be sounded louder over the “impatient self-sufficiency of these last days, which is for breaking away from the old restraints; and for erecting the individual conscience into an authority from which there shall be no appeal.” Burgon later adds a specific comment in this regard about Dr. Hort. “Dr. Hort is for setting up what his own inner consciousness ‘pronounces to be right,’ against ‘Documentary Evidence,’ however multitudinous.”
The textual rules of J. J. Griesbach will help to solidify the reality of the insanity and complete subjectivity of the modern textual scholars in the reader’s mind. Griesbach approached the Bible text in the following manner.
1. Any reading in a text that favours orthodoxy is suspect.
2. A short reading is to be favoured above the long.
3. A reading that is difficult is to be favoured above the simple.
This sounds like a blueprint for the destruction of God’s Word. The subjective methodology seen here is the basis of Conjectural Emendation already discussed as originating with Origin. Dean Burgon quotes Dr. Hort from Hort’s Introduction and Appendix to the New Testament. “The Art of Conjectural Emendation depends for its success so much on personal endowments, fertility of resource in the first instance, and even more an appreciation of language too delicate to acquiesce in merely plausible corrections, that it is easy to forget its true character as a critical operation founded on knowledge and method.” Is this not called “tooting your own horn?” Mauro said it best, writing, “Our suspicions are aroused to begin with, by the circumstance that Drs. Westcott and Hort have arrive at their conclusions by the exercise of that mysterious faculty of “critical intuition,” wherewith the “higher critics” of modern times claim to be endowed, but of the nature and workings of which they can give no explanation whatever. We refer to the faculty whereby certain scholars of the German School of higher criticism claim ability to discern that various books of the Bible—as Genesis, Isaiah, and even the gospels—are of composite character…” Scholarly arrogance and unbelief are a pair of nasty devils of which to be possessed.
Burgon’s words border on the prophetic…
“the mischief has proven infectious.”
Up to this point the focus has been on the men, methods, and texts behind the modern English translations. The simple facts that the men who have constructed the Greek texts behind the modern versions are unbelieving heretics, the methods used to construct the Greek texts behind the modern versions are corrupt and deceitful, and the texts are corrupt in thousands of places should be sufficient evidence of the Satanic character of the modern English perversions. One last nail will be driven into this coffin.
The translation method used in the translation of the vast majority of modern English perversions is commonly called Dynamic Equivalence. Despite its fancy name the substance of the matter is that it is just a fancy paraphrase. Without qualification one might take from the term “Dynamic Equivalence” some idea of great accuracy. Mr. Cloud points out though, “Dynamic equivalency translations are NOT equal in meaning to the original text, though. The term “dynamic” in modern translation methodology refers not merely to energetic, but to “fluid, changing.” The dynamic equivalency translator looks upon a literal version of the Bible as dull and lifeless. He proposes to create a lively Bible by his clever rephrasing of Scripture into colloquial language. “Equivalency” no longer means that the translator strives as perfectly as possible for an equal transfer of the words and structure of the original. Rather, the emphasis is on a general (even vague) equivalency, with the translator having great freedom to restate, change, add to, and take away from the original text.” Dynamic Equivalency is to the modern translator what conjectural emendation is to the textual critic. Both change the text to what they think it should be.
The inventor of the Dynamic Equivalence method is Eugene Nida. Nida has been involved with Wycliffe Bible Translators, United Bible Societies, and the American Bible Society. Nida, and his corrupt translation method, has affected Bible translation work in over eighty-five countries and two-hundred languages. David Cloud lists the principles of dynamic equivalence as follows.
1. “Dynamic Equivalency Aims to Translate Thoughts Rather than Words.”
2. “Dynamic Equivalency Aims at the Use of Simple Language and Style Throughout.”
3. “Dynamic Equivalency Aims to Make the Bible Entirely Understandable to Non-Christians.”
4. “Dynamic Equivalency Avoids Traditional Ecclesiastical Terms.”
5. “Dynamic Equivalency Adapts the Wording of the Translation to the Culture of the Receptor People.”
6. “Dynamic Equivalency Assumes That the Bible Was Written in Language Easily Understood by the People then Living.”
These principles sound just lovely at first, but a cursory comparison with truth yields the following respective corrections.
1. God inspired the words. To translate just the thoughts is to convey the translator’s perception and destroy inspiration, preservation, and profitability. (See above sections on these respective doctrines.)
2. It is the style, structure, and sense of the original that should be sought after. (See section on the Language of the King James Bible.)
3. The Bible is a spiritual book and only understandable to those given understanding by the Spirit. There are historical facts that can be learned, but the message is spiritually discerned. (Also see 1 Cor. 2:1-14.)
4. The Old Testament was given to the Jews and the New Testament was given through the apostles, who were mostly Jewish. This is the culture of the Bible. To understand the Scriptures an understanding of the Jewish culture of the day is essential. To change the culture of the Bible is to change the Bible. This principle would change such things as the “Lamb of God,” unheard of in Asian cultures, to “the rooster of God.” This is exactly the application of this principle. How much damage has been done by “missionary translators” operating under these principles is unknown.
5. The Scriptures are a holy language, and although it is not written in some mysterious code, it is not a first grade reader either. Men have to come up to God’s words. God’s Word must never be lowered. To lower that which is holy is to make it profane (common).
Dynamic Equivalency comes under other names such as Thought translation, Paraphrasing, Impact translation, Idiomatic translation, Functional Equivalence translation, or Common Language translation.
Translating using a Biblically sound method of translation is essential. Having translators that are highly qualified, born-again, and consecrated is essential. Translating from God’s text is essential. Not one of these can be compromised. If one or more of these is compromised the result is perversion of God’s Word, doctrinal anarchy, and false Christianity. This is exactly the character of the twenty-first century!
The beginning and the end of all argument for the child of God is faith, faith in the God of the Scriptures and the Scriptures of God. Through much of the foregoing discussion it should have been evident that God has a great purpose for His Word. The Holy Scriptures convict men of sin, work saving faith, produce growth in grace, the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as other fruit. Men will be judged by the words of the Bible! All of these purposes stand as arguments in favour of the providential preservation of the Scriptures.
The purposes for the Word of God listed above centre around the redemption of men’s souls. This is of the greatest importance. When Adam sinned against God he did not only cast the whole human race into sin, he also brought this earth under the curse of sin and lost the dominion to Satan. Satan is currently the “god of this world” (2Cor. 4:4). In God’s plan to redeem men’s souls He will also be casting out the usurper—Satan—and taking back dominion of this earth by His Son, Christ Jesus. How God intends to do this, in special relation to God’s purposes for His Holy Scriptures is seen in Revelation chapter five.
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:1-10
Revelation 5:1-10 reveals a wonderful future event. The event is the opening of the title deed of the earth—God’s Written Word. God teaches the principle of title deeds in Jeremiah 32:1-25. Jeremiah was commanded to buy a certain piece of land in lieu of the coming Babylonian deportation and occupation of the land of Judah. Two identical copies of the title deed, showing ownership of the land, were made. One copy was kept open, for public viewing, and the other copy was sealed to secure the contents from tampering. When the land was to be reclaimed the two documents, the one open and the other sealed, would be compared. Upon the public copy perfectly matching the sealed copy the land would revert to the proper owner.
The principle of the title deed certainly brings a new dimension to the verse, “thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89). Revelation chapter five reveals that there is a sealed title deed in the hand of God in Heaven. Verse ten identifies this particular book as the title deed to the earth—“and we shall reign on the earth”—for its opening is the beginning of the retaking of the possession (redemption of earth). Note that this book is complete, for it is “written within and on the backside.” There is nothing that can be added to this book; if there were words removed it would be painfully obvious. It is God’s holy Word that comes from His hand and is complete. God has kept a copy of this book in Heaven and copies on earth. This title deed to the earth is God’s Holy Book, the Bible. The public copy of the Bible is on earth and the sealed copy is in Heaven. Perfect preservation of the copy on earth is essential under the title deed principle established by God. God has made the preservation of the Scriptures essential to Christ’s redemption of the earth. The two copies MUST match! According to the promises of the Scriptures the two copies will match, regardless of the language—Hebrew, Greek, English, French, or any other language. In the day of Christ’s return will the reader have an identical copy to the Heavenly copy?
Faith is the beginning and ending of all dealings for the child of God. Professors of the name of Christ Jesus that refuse to come to the ‘which Bible’ issue, or any other issue of life, in complete abandoned trust in the veracity of God Almighty are not walking in faith, but unbelief. A warning must be sounded that “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8). Some Christians simply need to wake up and pay attention to the Bible issue. They need to stop being lazy and allowing themselves to be fed like babies, instead of picking up the Word of Life and feasting on the Heavenly manna. On the other side are those that profess to be children of God but walk like the world. They claim to be citizens of Heaven but walk in treachery—unbelief. May this day provide a crisis of faith for such people and let them “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5).
It is in the light of the Bible issue, as viewed from the Scriptures, that Jesus’ question in Luke 18:8 receives some explanation—“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
The contextual position of this question is between Jesus teaching the disciples on faithful and importunate praying in the face of severe persecution, and the parable of the publican and Pharisee followed with instruction on child-like faith. Firstly, in the last days (this also applies to all trials) there will seem to be no escape or victory for the children of God. When all is devastation and sore trials, when the eyes and ears and human reason know nothing but despair, that is when complete reliance upon the word, veracity, and power of God Almighty (FAITH) must be maintained. Jesus is clear that God will avenge the persecutors speedily, and then says, “Nevertheless”—“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” The question is rhetorical and begs the answer, no! God has chosen to use faith as the conduit through which He demonstrates His power and grace, but, there are many things that God will do regardless of the existence of faith. Bringing down vengeance upon His enemies is one of those things.
Jesus then speaks the parable of the publican and Pharisee, which contrasts real faith and self-faith. The publican came in contrite faith, repenting of his sin, and was justified before God by the grace of God. The Pharisee came in self-faith; he believed his good had already justified him before God. Immediately after this parable arises the incident of the disciples forbidding the children coming to Jesus. Jesus rebuked this and further taught them regarding the nature of true faith. True faith is child-like—simple and complete. All of this teaching on faith accents the crisis of faith in Israel during that time.
In these last days it is said that…
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:1-5
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” 2 Pet. 3:3
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” 1 Tim. 4:1, 2
The same crisis of faith that was characteristic in Israel in the early first century A.D. is the same crisis that is to come in the last days. The last days are here and the type of faith that abounds today is a complicated self-faith. The scholars that profess to be children of God and yet exalt themselves above His Holy Scriptures, judging what are or are not His words, prove that “Christendom” is in a great crisis of faith. Preachers that have a year or two of Greek (many times much less) stand in their pulpits and destroy people’s faith in the Scriptures by correcting God’s words. Such men are exhibiting the self-faith of the Pharisee and forbidding the children to come to Jesus. This self-faith is fleshly and has become an epidemic. The majority of the professors of Christ walk carnal and faithless lives. They read the pop-Christianity fluff that they buy in the local “Christian” book stores but refuse to depart from sin and walk by faith as the Holy Scriptures command. As the people, preachers, and scholars fall farther and farther from the pure Word of the Lord they will forget what faith is. Preachers are no longer preaching Biblical faith, they have a message of self-faith—a salvation by prayer, by walking the isle, and the like (by works). The professors of Christ are over their heads in law-works. They rest in their church-going or feelings instead of the unchangeable Word of Almighty God.
It is no doubt that Jesus’ question as to the existence of faith on the earth at His return has much to do with the prolific deletion and degradation of the Word of God. Even one error in a translation is unacceptable, but the modern versions are so degraded that it is questionable whether they even contain some of the words of God. Consider the origin of faith once again. Faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17). If the majority of professors of Christ no longer read the pure words of the Lord it is evident that there will be no real faith.
The promise of preservation stands and God’s verbally and inerrantly inspired words can never be destroyed or lost from the face of the earth. Copies of the pure Word will always remain! Nevertheless, the Word of God has been suppressed at various times in history, the Dark Ages being the chief example. As unbelieving scholars and false preachers continue to diminish the Bible in both substance and in the people’s perception, the source of the faithlessness on the earth when Jesus Christ returns is seen.
The call must be sounded forth for preachers and pastors and professors of Christ to stand fast on the words of God. “Be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).
Faith does not rest in the translators of 1611. Faith must singularly rest in the promises of God. But with the eyes of faith the fulfillment of the promises of God can be seen coming through the translators from Wycliffe and Tyndale to the 1611 translators. Burgon affectionately describes the 1611 translators as men who “understood their craft.” He exclaims that “there were giants in those days.” He records the reason for the success of their 1611 translation as, “the SPIRIT of their God was mighty upon them.” The translators from Wycliffe, Tyndale and up to 1611 believed in the one true and living God, the eternal God-man Jesus Christ, and the written verbally and inerrantly inspired Word, preserved for all eternity. The modern Bible pervert-ers do not!
On that question, “Why Only the King James Bible?,” a voice from the past brings this discussion to an end.
“Hitherto it [KJV] hath had the honour to be esteemed, and will so still have; having on it that divine impress, which will maintain its right and dignity against all that can be opposed.” [Todd quoting Dr. E. Pocock, D.D., Regius Professor of the Hebrew Tongue, Oxford University, 1676.]
Allix, Peter, D.D. The Ecclessiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont and of the Albigenes. 1821. Reprint, Gallatin, TN: Church History Research & Archives, 1989.
Anderson, Christopher. The Annals of the English Bible. 2nd ed. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder, 1862.
Baird, Robert. Sketches of Protestantism in Italy. Boston: Benjamin Perkins & Co., 1845.
Burgon, John William. Inspiration and Interpretation. 1861. Reprint, Collingswood, NJ: The Dean Burgon Society, 1999.
_______________. The Revision Revised. 1883. Reprint, Collingswood, NJ: The Dean Burgon Society, 2000.
Cathcart, William. The Baptist Encyclopedia. 1881. Reprint, Paris, AK: The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., 1988.
Cloud, David W. For Love of the Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Way of Life Literature, 1995.
_______________. Myths about Modern Bible Versions. Oak Harbor, WA: Way of Life Literature, 1999.
_______________. Rome and the Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Way of Life Literature, 1996.
Cook, Albert S., LL. D. The "Authorized Version" and its Influence. 1910. Reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001.
Faber, George Stanley. The History of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses. 1837. Reprint, Gallatin, TN: Church History Research & Archives, 1990.
Dearmore, Roy. Biblical Missions. Garland, TX: Rodgers Baptist Church, 1997.
Guppy, Henry. "William Tindale: Scholar and Martyr, 1536---6th October---1936.” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 20, July-August 1936, 258-267. [Reprinted in one volume, William Tyndale and the English Bible. Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001 with original page numbers.]
_______________. "William Tindale and the Earlier Translators of the Bible into English." Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 9, July 1925, 542-584. [Reprinted in one volume, William Tyndale and the English Bible. Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001 with original page numbers.]
Hills, Edward F., Th.D. Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed. Des Moines, IA: The Christian Research Press, 1977.
Joseph, Oscar. The Influence of the English Bible Upon the English Language and Upon English and American Literature. 1935. Reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001.
Judson, Edward. The Life of Adoniram Judson. New York: Anson, D.F. Randolph & Company, 1883.
Mauro, Philip. Which Version?: Authorized or Revised? 1924. Reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001.
McClure, Alexander. The Translators Revived. 1858. Reprint, Mobile, AL: R E Publications, n.d.
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Incorporated.
Mombert, J. I., D.D. English Versions of the Bible: A Handbook. 1906. Reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001.
Moorman, Dr. Jack. Forever Settled. Collingswood, NJ: The Dean Burgeon Society Press, 1999.
Nolan, Frederick. Inquiry into the Integrity of the Received Text. 1815. Reprint, Collingswood, NJ: The Bible For Today, n.d.
Orchard, G.H. A Concise History of Baptists. Texarkana, TX: Bogard Press, 1996.
Thayer, Joseph H. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977.
Ravenhill, Leonard. Why Revival Tarries. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1959.
Riplinger, Gail. The Language of the King James Bible. Ararat, VA: A. V. Publications Corp., 1998.
Spurgeon, C. H. Faith. Tain, Scotland: Christain Focus Publications, 1987.
Todd, Hebry John, M.A. Vindication of our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible. 1819. Reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001.
Waite, D. A., Th.D., Ph.D. Defending the King James Bible. Collingswood, NJ: The Bible for Today Press, 1998.
_______________. Heresies of Westcott & Hort. Collingswood, NJ: The Bible for Today Press, 2001.
Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language. 1828. Reprint, San Francisco, CA: Foundation For American Christian Education, 1996.
Wilson, Robert Dick, Ph.D., D.D. Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?, 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: The Sunday School Times Company, 1953.
www.nbbc.edu. “Doctrinal Statement.” (http://www.nbbc.edu/nbbc/ general_info/doctrinal_statement.htm). August 19, 2002.
Wyle, J.A., LL.D. History of the Waldenses. n.d. Reprint, Gallatin, TN: Church History Research & Archives, 1985.
 John H. Todd, M.A., Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators, (1819; reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001), 78.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, (Collingswood, NJ: The Dean Burgon Society Press, 1999), 57.
 Over the years the King James Version has come to be known by various names. Other names that have been given to it are Authorized Version, King James Bible, A. V. 1611. These names all denote one and the same book, God’s inspired word in the English language, and the reader will find all these names used in the following work.
 C.H. Spurgeon, Faith, (Tain, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1987), n.p.
 C. H. Spurgeon, Faith, 9.
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, (1861; reprint, Collingswood, NJ: The Dean Burgon Society, 1999), 46.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 53.
 Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1959), 69.
 C. H. Spurgeon, Faith, 18.
 Peter was a saved man but not yet born-again. He was justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through the forbearance of God—Romans 3:25. The New Birth came after the crucifixion and resurrection (John 20:22), justification has always been by faith—Romans 4:3.
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, 59.
 Ibid., 41.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 50.
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, lxi.
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, 102.
 Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, (1828; reprint, San Francisco, CA: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1996).
 “uni-,” Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.
 “verse,” Ibid.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 60.
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, 4.
 Jeremiah 23:3 “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?”
 Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., (Des Moines, IA: The Christian Research Press, 1977), 33.
 Robert Dick Wilson, Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?, 10th ed., (Philadelphia, PA: The Sunday School Times Company, 1953), 19, 20.
 John 14:17 “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 62.
 Philip Mauro, Which Version? Authorized or Revised?, (1924; reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001), 56-58.
 2 Timothy 4:13 “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.”
 George S. Faber, The History of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenes, (1838; reprint, Gallatin, TN: Church History Research & Archives, 1990), 55.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 141.
 Faber, op. cit., 50-1.
 Ibid., 50.
 G. H. Orchard, A Concise History of Baptists, (Texarkana, TX: Bogard Press, 1996), 266.
 J. A. Wylie, History of the Waldenses, (n.d.; reprint, Gallatin, TN: Church History Research & Archives, 1985), 14.
 Robert Baird, Sketches of Protestantism in Italy, (Boston: Benjamin Perkins & Co., 1845), 339.
 Faber, op. cit., 74.
 Peter Allix, The Ecclessiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont and of the Albigenes, (1821; reprint, Gallatin, TN: Church History Research & Archives, 1989), 7.
 Moorman, op. cit., 69-70.
 Baird, op. cit., 346.
 Frederick Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Received Text, (London: F. C. and J. Rivington, 1815), xviii, xix.
 Christopher Anderson, The Annals of the English Bible, 2nd ed., (London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder, 1862), 623.
 2 Timothy 2:19 “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
 1 John 1:6 and 2:4 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth…He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
 I am aware of the case of Jeremiah and King Jehoiakim as recorded in Jeremiah 36. Where an original autograph was burned and then given again to Jeremiah by God. This in no way impacts the above argument. It does prove God’s providential preservation.
 www.nbbc.edu, “Doctrinal Statement,” (www.nbbc.edu/nbbc/general_info/doctrinal_statement.htm), n.d.
 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
 Jeremiah 31:33 “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
 Job 23:12 “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
 John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, 76.
 Ibid., 5.
 Oscar Joseph, The Influence of the English Bible, (1935; reprint, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001), 17.
 Please realize that the author is not espousing Dr. Peter Ruckman’s heresy of second inspiration and the false view that the Authorized English Version supersedes the Greek Received Text and the Hebrew Masoretic Text. This false doctrine is rejected. This thesis contends for the equality of the Greek and Hebrew and the King James Bible. Proper, and God lead, translation of perfection will yield perfection!
 The reader must realize that modern commentators like J. Vernon McGee, Jamison-Faussett-Brown all use corrupt Greek texts and not the Received Text. Lexicons by W. E. Vine, Brown-Driver-Briggs, Thayer (a Unitarian), A. T. Robertson, and others all use corrupt Greek texts. Therefore, every place they comment on a word or phrase from those corrupt Greek texts that is not also in the pure Received Text they are wrong by default. The level of their scholarship can not even be considered at that point.
 John Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, xix
 The computer terminology of “target” and “source” refers to the copying of data from one media (source) to another media (target). This is analogous of translation where the meaning and import of God’s words in one language are “copied” (to use another computer term) to another language. This analogy may fall apart if pushed too far but does illustrate the basic truth.
 Burgon, op.cit., 124.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 9.
 Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 62-3.
 D. A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, 56.
 Ibid., 57.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 135.
 Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 215.
 Ibid., 100.
 Ibid., 106.
 Frederick Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Received Text, 118.
 Hills, op. cit., 34.
 John W. Burgon, The Revision Revised, 11.
 Christopher Anderson, Annals of the English Bible, 2nd ed., 3.
 Ibid., 21.
 Albert S. Cook, The “Authorised Version” and Its Influence, (reprint; 1910, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001), 17.
 Ibid., 18.
 J. I. Mombert, English Versions of the Bible, 2nd ed., (reprint; 1906, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001), 93.
 Ibid., 116.
 Ibid., 115.
 Henry Guppy, “William Tindale: Scholar and Martyr, 1536—6th October—1936,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 20, 263.
 Anderson, op. cit., 192.
 Ibid., 290.
 Ibid., 286.
 Ibid., 284-7.
 Mombert, op. cit., 170.
 Ibid., 176.
 Anderson, op. cit., 295.
 Mombert, op.cit., 179.
 Albert S. Cook, The “Authorised Version” and Its Influence, 17.
 Ibid., 12.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 186.
 John H. Todd, Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, (reprint; 1819, Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2001), 5.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 251.
 J. I. Mombert, English Versions of the Bible, 2nd ed., 383.
 Ibid., 384.
 Moorman, op. cit., 244.
 Mombert, op. cit., 386.
 John H. Todd, Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, 76-7.
 Christopher Anderson, The Annals of the English Bible, 2nd ed., 481-3.
 Oscar Joseph, The Influence of the English Bible, 7.
 Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 84.
 See John 6:63; Romans 7:12, 14; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Timothy 4:6; 6:3.
 J. I. Mombert, English Versions of the Bible, 2nd ed., 93.
 The author realizes that Wycliffe did not translate from the Hebrew and Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate. Nevertheless, he is very important to the English Bible.
 Gail Riplinger, The Language of the King James Bible, (Ararat, VA: A.V. Publications Corp., 1998), 5.
 Oscar Joseph, The Influence of the English Bible, 7.
 Albert S. Cook, The “Authorised Version” and Its Influence, 24.
 Ibid., 13.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 245.
 Cook, loc. cit., 13.
 Ibid., 10.
 Ibid., 17.
 Ibid., 25.
 J. I. Mombert, English Versions of the Bible, 2nd ed., 383.
 Cook, op. cit., 14.
 Gail Riplinger, The Language of the King James Bible, 62.
 Ibid., 63.
 Ibid., 31.
 Hebry Guppy, “William Tindale: Scholar and Martyr, 1536—6th October—1936,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 20, July-August 1936, 263.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 244.
 John Burgon, The Revision Revised, 167.
 John H. Todd, Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, 68.
 D.A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, 90.
 Albert S. Cook, The “Authorised Version” and Its Influence, 17.
 Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 112.
 William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia, (1881; reprint, Paris, AK: The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., 1988), 183.
 Edward Judson, The Life of Adoniram Judson, (New York: Anson D.F. Randolph & Company, 1883), 404, 409.
 Ibid., 405.
 Ibid., 81.
 Philip Mauro, Which Version?: Authorized or Revised?, 8, 9.
 Christopher Anderson, The Annals of the English Bible, 2nd ed., 484-5.
 John H. Todd, Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, 79.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 81.
 Ibid., 129.
 Edward F. Hills, Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 71-2.
 Roy Dearmore, Biblical Missions, 62.
 Moorman, op. cit., 91.
 Dearmore, op. cit., 63.
 Ibid., 64.
 Frederick Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Received Text, 12.
 George S. Faber, The History of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses, 55.
 Philip Mauro, Which Version?: Authorized or Revised?, 29-30.
 Nolan, op. cit., 145.
 Ibid., 209.
 John Burgon, Revision Revised, 29.
 Nolan, op. cit., 28.
 Edward Hills, Th.D., Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 55.
 David Cloud, For Love of the Bible, 18.
 Ibid., 20.
 Ibid., 27.
 Ibid., 28-9.
 Ibid., 29-30.
 Thayer, Joseph H., Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977), vii.
 Cloud, op. cit., 32.
 Ibid., 38-9.
 Ibid., 38.
 David Cloud, For Love of the Bible, 39-44.
 John H. Todd, Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, 79.
 Ibid., 80.
 Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, 9.
 Cloud, op. cit., 28.
 Frederick Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Received Text, 33-5.
 Ibid., 81.
 Ibid., 83.
 Cloud, op. cit., 153.
 Ibid., 154.
 John Burgon, The Revision Revised, 312.
 Ibid., 12-3.
 Ibid., 14.
 Ibid., 14.
 Ibid., 11.
 Ibid., 51.
 Ibid., 307-8.
 Frederick Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Received Text, viii.
 Philip Mauro, Which Version?: Authorized or Revised?, 32.
 Ibid., 28.
 Ibid., 54.
 Ibid., 111.
 David Cloud, For Love of the Bible, 20.
 Edward Hills, Th.D., Believing Bible Study, 2nd ed., 67.
 D. A. Waite, Heresies of Westcott & Hort, (Collingswood, NJ: The Bible For Today, 1998), 25.
 John Burgon, The Revision Revised, xxv.
 Ibid., 253.
 Ibid., 351.
 Philip Mauro, Which Version?: Authorized or Revised?, 103.
 Burgon, op. cit., 289.
 David Cloud, Myths about Modern Bible Versions, 284-5.
 Ibid., 286.
 Ibid., 306.
 Ibid., 289-300.
 See Romans chapter 8.
 John Burgon, The Revision Revised, 196.
 John H. Todd, Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible, 72.