Confessions of a RIFB Girl of 20-something {I own other Bible versions than the KJV.}

One of the biggest (if not THE biggest) issues among Baptists — or even just Christians in general — is the Bible.  Yes, I’m going there.

I know the title of this post has already caused some of you to put up your guard. The walls have been furnished and you have your spears pointed in my direction… chill. (please.)

I’m not going to give this vlog much of an introduction, but I am going to say this: don’t get your shorts in a bunch at the beginning and decide to turn the video off. Please, watch the whole thing. I still believe exactly as I ever have about the Bible; and if you’re a little fuzzy on where I stand, then please read my post about “My thoughts on the King James Bible.”

As I stated in the vlog: if you wish to send me hate mail an e-mail, my address is:
growup318 [at] gmail [dot] com.

What Bible versions do you like to read and compare?

What are your beliefs about the preserved Word of God?


Posted on February 18, 2011, in Confessions of a Rebellious Independent Fundamental Baptist Girl of 20-something {Series} and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. I like your post. I use the New American Standard version, myself. The King James confuses me. There is a man at my church who’s son-in-law teases him because he uses the New King James version and wants him to use a more updated version. 🙂

  2. Mostly, I won’t get in this argument but will tell you an “it really happened” story about old and new versions.

    But first, as to my family, I like the Living Bible; my son reads the NIV; and both my wife and daughter use the New Living Translation. To us,he King James is a historic, classic version, much to be respected, excellent in its time 500 years ago, but reading it today is a bit like reading a book in Latin. Often hard to understand, and the result is we all find we miss a lot of the meaning. But that’s just our preference. We respect pretty much any version, and certainly don’t criticize anyone who likes the King James.

    The story? I was attending a very conservative church in southern California (in LaMesa). The pastor was preaching a sermon series on the family. One Sunday, one of his points was that parents should show affection to each other in front of the kids. There isn’t really a Bible passage on that, so he read Genesis 26: 6-11, where Isaac and Rebekah were guests of a Philistine king, Abimelech. Rebekah was so beautiful Isaac was afraid someone would kill him to get her, so they agreed to tell Abimelech she was his sister. It worked, briefly. Until, as the King James Version words it, “Abimelech looked out his window and saw Isaac sporting with Rebekah.”

    Then the pastor compared versions. First he went on to a more modern version (I’ve forgotten which one), which said “Abimelech saw Isaac fondling Rebekah.”

    Another newer version said “Abimelech saw Isaac petting Rebekah.”

    The Living Bible said “Abimelech saw Isaac and Rebekah making love.”

    At that point the quiet, scholarly pastor paused. He leaned forward, looked out over his highly conservative congregation, and grinned. Then he asked them “Now, how many of you want to know what the Amplified Bible says?”

    (The answer? Those of you who don’t want to know, please close your eyes. That’s it. But for the rest of you, the Amplified was a bit of an anticlimax. Again, just “making love.”)

    Wishing you all a good day!

    • Those are some pretty clear examples of abusing the word of God.

      • Hi Rick – and please let me say “friend:”

        I’ve enjoyed this whole group of comments. It’s been a good, lively discussion with everyone (of the 13 whose comments I’ve seen so far) making some important and valid points. Couldn’t watch Heather’s video, but that’s because we live far enough in the “boonies” it’d take 2 or 3 hours to download it, and we rarely want to tie up the phone that long. Just one of the prices of living where we do.

        If I could, I would like to caution against assuming the translations quoted in that story were examples of “abuse” – or even of confusion . Rather, they were honest efforts to translate what the original Hebrew says – as David notes below. And look at the words. They’re all words we might use today to say what “sporting” meant in the 1500’s. All have very similar meanings. (Today “sporting” might mean the Super Bowl. Not then!)

        As David pointed out below, there’s no perfect answer here. When we ask “which is the “right” version, the real answer is “the Hebrew and Greek ones.” We just do the best we can to translate that into the English language as we use it today. None is perfect. But most of those I’ve seen are quite good. When any two seem to disagree on some verse, it’s the Hebrew and Greek originals we need to look at (as best we can) to see which is most accurate.


        • Hey Pete,

          The problem is, there is no such thing as Hebrew and Greek originals. All we have is copies of copies of copies – and they all disagree. There’s over 5,000 different manuscripts. That’s where the element of faith has to come into the picture. If God promised to preserve His words – which He did in Ps. 12:6-7 – then where are they today?

          I believe the answer to that is they’re in the King James Version.

          • Hi Rick,

            As I remember my Bible College classes, yes, there are a lot of manuscripts, and it’s both simpler and more complicated than that makes it seem. Most fall into “families” or groups, which evidently each go back to one “original” – eg an old copy of Matthew found in the Holy Land will have a few specific differences from a copy of Matthew found in Rome. And newer manuscripts from each area will have nearly the same differences. By comparing them carefully, you can come very close to telling what the first “original” said (though, no, not perfectly).

            If you were to pick a “best” version (which I don’t intend to even try to do), it seems you’d want the one that came closest to that combined “original.” Again, as I recall my Bible College classes, that would be some one of the modern ones. Sorry, but there really are many more differences (mostly minor ones) between the King James and what we know now of the “original” texts than there are between that “original” and most – probably any – of the more modern versions. Plus our language itself has changed enough to throw the apparent meaning off some more.

            But any version will teach you the same basic things, and any – including the King James – is clear enough to let you come to know God and grow in him. So all I say is choose the one you understand best.

            And I also agree with Heather’s intro, that we shouldn’t really be so hung up on this. Jesus said the two most important things to focus on are (1) to love (and obey) God, and (2) to love (and help) our neighbors as much as we love ourselves, and as much as He loves us. Paul said that if we do that, we’re covering everything. I hope we’ll all remember that.

            Blessings on you.

          • Amen, Rick. Preach. I know I have a pure and perfect Word. If all I had was a reasonable assumption that most of the parts I have are right…how could I trust any of it with all my heart?

            God is good, and He will preserve His Word long after the skeptics and correctors are dead and gone.

          • “God is good, and He will preserve His Word long after the skeptics and correctors are dead and gone.”

            Amen, Jessica.

    • Pete,
      Those are some classic examples of why I’m not a huge fan of other translations.

      God is not the Author of confusion, and alot of times all these newer versions are doing is causing mass confusion amongst Christians. I mean, did _________ happen, or did _________ happen…? Did that person mean _________, or did they really mean _________ by that statement?

      I feel alot of these newer translations are more about “money” than actually providing the population with an accurate, honest translation of the Word of God.

      “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.”

      • The probem is the KJV isn’t nessesarily broken, just broken down. Like a car from the 50’s, sure you can bang on it, tighten up some of the screws, and figure out what it will take to get you from point A to B. The KJV is the same way, sure you can get the truth out of it, if you whip out your 1600’s dictionary, study up on historical context, and have a understanding of the original greek and Hebrew to decipher some of the confusing areas.

        That being said, I use the KJV and only the KJV. Why? Because although I know it’s not in perfect working order, I know it’s reliable. I might have a hard time getting to the truth, but I know I’ll get there. I just haven’t found a newer moddel that I know will be reliable. Not that I’m opposed to finding one, but I just don’t have the expertise to decipher through which one of the newer versions really has the truth.

        So basically I use the KJV because I’m ignorant, and I believe thats what most of the KJVo’s are, they just aren’t willing to admit it. Kind of like a 70 year old saying a typewriter is better than a computer, when in truth they know that its just because they cant understand a computer.

        • I’d like to edit my statement from above “Because although I know it’s not in perfect working order, I know it’s reliable” to

          “Although I know it wont be the smoothest ride, I know I’ll get where I need to go”

          Thanks, just that the was a more acurate analogy. 🙂

        • I have to disagree with you that the KJV is “broken down.”
          Of course, we both know where each other stands on the issue ;] so I won’t bother dragging this comment out. lol

        • “…sure you can get the truth out of it, if you whip out your 1600′s dictionary, study up on historical context, and have a understanding of the original greek and Hebrew to decipher some of the confusing areas.”

          Your above statement is absolutely ridiculous and nothing could be further from the truth.

  3. super good topic! 🙂 … & i really have nothing to say because we see eye-to-eye on this one.

  4. There’s nothing wrong with owning or even “perusing” other versions. I’m KJVO, but I have other versions. I treat them as Bible commentaries though – they may contain the word of God or the principles and concepts of God, but the real words of God are found in the King James Version.

    Proponents of the other versions may get in a tiff about this, but if they’re really honest they don’t believe the perfect words of God are to be found anywhere on the Earth and that the version they use isn’t perfect anymore than I think it is. So why get mad at someone who agrees with you on your own version but just happens to think that God was powerful enough to keep His promise in Ps. 12:6-7 and did it with the KJV?

    God still uses people who use other versions, I’ve seen it firsthand. You can lead someone to the Lord with a Gospel tract or a colored “wordless Bible” – that doesn’t make those things the word of God.

    • Great comment, Rick! I like to cross-reference and compares various version… and use them as a sort of “commentary” as you said.

      “God still uses people who use other versions…”
      I’m glad you said that. I really get frustrated when people start saying that others can’t be saved from any other version than the KJV or things like that. My God is so much bigger than that… He can do what He wants with whoever He wants when He wants.
      To many people try to keep God and His ability to save contained in their little box. I don’t agree with that thinking at all.

  5. In my bible it doesn’t say “thou shalt use the KJV” just like it doesn’t say “thou shalt use any other specific translation”…

    I know for a fact that God has spoken to me through different versions.

    I think this is more of an American debate. The UK is more chilled about this kind of thing.

    I’m for whichever translation helps a particular person in their walk with God more. If a young person gets saved because they read the Street paraphrased Bible – then fantastic!

    • I think you’re right that this may be a debate more among Christians here in America. I wonder why that is…?

      “If a young person gets saved because they read the Street paraphrased Bible – then fantastic!”I don’t think the Lord is limited to who He can save through what version. I believe if a person truly understands they’re a sinner, and they repent of their sin, and they ask the Lord to save them – then it really doesn’t matter what version they’re holding in their hands. The road that leads to Heaven is a straight one – and I believe that people can be saved using (as Rick stated earlier) a Gospel tract or a colored wordless-Bible.

      God is not limited in His resources and methods… nor should we try to limit Him.
      Thanks for the comment, Jay.

      • That’s because those versions still contain the Word of God. In many place they still identically agree with the KJV. Where they agree is not the problem.

        Where the new versionists divert from the path, is whenever (look at the “what we believe” area of churches and colleges) they state “We believe the Bible was pure/inspired/God-breathed/perfect in the originals/as originally written/in the original manuscripts.

        This has become COMMON rhetoric in MANY Bible college. In my own alma mater, they had a similar statement of faith which they had copied from somewhere when someone redid their website, and DID NOT REALIZE IT until I emailed the dean and asked if their position on the KJV had changed. They immediately fixed it, to their credit.

        To many young people (in fact, this came up in conversation a few hours ago with my daughter) the wording is a moot point. In fact, it is a deeply valid and important point. If we have the inspired and pure and perfect Word of God only in the originals (which NO LONGER EXIST), than we do not have the Word of God, and He has failed in His promise to provide them to every generation.

        In fact, much confusion is made about the verse “when that which is perfect is come” – some people thinking it must be themselves, when they are holy or mature… no! It is the Bible! The reason we do not NEED pophets or signs or tongues, or such gifts to valididate what is being said as coming from God, who only can do miracles, is because those things are done away with because we now HAVE the perfect and complete Word of God. It had not “come” in Corinthians yet, as, of course, it was still being written!

        This does not only mean complete…it means PERFECT. And we still have it and will always have it. There will not be need to tongues for the Christian, or for a prophet to “tell us what God says”…we can get it for ourselves. You see, the KJV topic, is not unimportant or a side topic. It is a key cornerstone. Other doctrines rest on having the Word of God. When these doctrines are corrupted in newer versions…even little by little, damage is done.

  6. I’m sorry, but to say that ‘the real words of God are contained in the KJV’, as if no other translation contains the real words of God, is incorrect. My question is “What was the Bible before the KJV?”

    Considering that the Hebrew contained no punctuation or vowels, how do we know what’s accurate? Considering that Koine Greek is hardly a modern language, again, how are we to know absolutely what’s accurate? There is an answer to this question, I just wonder what ya’ll would say???

    To answer Heather’s question, I have several. But all of them have 72 books. I have a New Jerusalem Bible, a New American Bible, a Douey-Rheims and a Latin Vulgate, which was translated a lot closer to the actual events than any that’s out today. The truth is that every translation has problems. No translation is totally accurate, because the human doing the translation has a point of view. Those I totally shun are the ones that try to use inclusive language (where God is not the Father, for example) or those that misrepresent what’s being taught. For the record, I love the KJV Bible. The majesty! “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” You can’t beat the King’s English. It still has it’s own point of view.

  7. If you want well made wide margin KJV Bibles at cost (without some corporation marking them up 200%), buy them from Christians! (And down the road for you)

    • Hey, I know them! Bro. Green and his family are very dear friends of my church. I just saw a few of the Greens about a month or two ago. :]
      I did check their website when I first started looking for one, but at the time I was dead-set on getting a red-letter edition. Eventually, I realized they don’t make red-letter wide margin Bibles yet. Soooo…
      I did buy my journal through them though at a Baptist Heritage Conference I attended — at least I think it was through them.

  8. Hello today I am very confussed about which Bible I should be using! I have several Bibles also and use the NIV mostly. I just found out a lesbian woman name Virginia Molloncott helped orkistrate the NIV Bible. I guess you could say, I’m truly surprised”
    Then I stumbled on your website (not by accident) and listened to your blog. You did a good job. Like you said, just because you have different Bibles on hand doesn’t mean you don’t BELIEVE.
    I feel I can not use the NIV any longer, please pray for me to find some answers in this struggle I’m having about different Bibles other than the KJ.
    Blessings to you

  9. Heather, I love you no matter which version you use… 🙂

  10. I use the New American Standard Bible. When I was using another translation (NIV) I kept having to double check it with the Greek, but NASB seems to be a bit more accurate and I do it less.

    Regarding English Bible translations… I think it is helpful to remember that some of the major players in the Reformation (Tyndale) were also people who translated the Bible. (Tyndale translated the Bible into English, and Luther translated portions into German)

    The reformation happened because men immersed themselves in the scriptures and found that the RCC wasn’t in harmony with it. These men were moved with zeal for the Lord and His ways. This is the nature of anyone who is immersed in the Word with a humble heart. (2 Chron 34:19)

    This awesome inspiration these men had in taking part of the reformation… happened without the King James Bible.

    I think translations are fine, but they’re still only translations. The only one I think I’ve had major issues with was “TNIV” which is being put to death. (It was a translation that was gender neutral … which is a no-no.)

    God bless, Richie

  11. I think you’re adorable, but you do not want to know what I really think so I’m not going to stir the unnecessary pot. 😉

    I grew up with the NIV, moved to the NLT for something different and currently use the ESV.
    And my dad was a Bible translator and scholar. So you really don’t want to know what I think.

    The important thing is that people are reading the Bible.

    Check this out: photo album from this past summer of an exhibit of historical Bible artifacts and translations through the centuries. It’s amazing really. I need to put these pics on my blog, but check it out here for now, on my fb.

    • Hi Lori Jo, thank you for the comment!
      Thank you for sharing the link to all those pictures of the Bible. I checked them out and found them very interesting!
      Blessings to you and your family!

  12. Hi Heather,
    I noticed in your video you had a Living Bible. Depending on what printing it is, the rendition of I Samuel 20:30 is quite shocking. Several printings had it translated with a very vulgar expression (basically a swear word). I’ve noticed though that it was changed in later additions because once I looked it up when I was in a Christian books store, and it was different. I can’t figure out though what made anyone put that in a “Bible” in the first place! It’s kinda scary what some of these versions are saying and the changes they are making!

    • I just checked the version of The Living Bible I have, and it’s there.
      I’m surprised they chose that particular word to place in the Bible as well.

      I wonder, though, we’re people above “swearing” or “cussing” back in those days?
      Did they have words for such expressions?
      Interesting thought to ponder…

  13. It IS an interesting thought, and I don’t doubt that Saul was angry enough to swear right at that moment.
    Matthew 5:37 comes to mind… “Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” That would seem to indicate that there were words and sayings that were inappropriate for godly people to use. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’d have a hard time listening to a preacher read I Sam. 20:30 in church out of the Living Bible, without getting up and leaving as soon as I heard him say that word!

  14. Hi Heather.

    Interesting topic. I’m not much of a KJV fan myself; though that is a topic for a future discussion and as a member of Gideon’s I have seen a few saved through it and still carry a pocket NKJV around with me.

    What does interest me is in how you describe, understand and call the word of God; the word of God. Take the psalms for instance. They are not a record of God speaking to man. Rather they are words of men; lamenting and having a big whine… songs of praise, some prayers and curses etc… the same is said of the rest of the wisdom books.

  15. Hi Brenda 🙂

    like you I got mixed up on which translation was the best one to use, or rather which Bible is the best one, most accurate, etc. I grew up NIV, but then while working at a Christian bookstore a few years ago I had a customer mention that the KJV was the only right Bible to use, so then I promptly went and got a KJV, but then I was still torn which one was right. That lasted a good number of years. Needless to say I now only own a KJV and NLT.

    I used to own a TNIV (horrors of horrors I know) which I actually liked better than the regular NIV, but then I felt like I owned too many Bibles, so I parred down to just my KJV and my NLT. I guess one could say I sort of have a Bible fetish which I’m sure sounds strange. Now if I could just crack it open and read it that’d be even better.

    I just discovered your blog via SABO Jesus blog you’d commented on regarding the topic of adoption so I thought I’d come check out your blog. I’m greatly enjoying it! 🙂

    • RainbowsofFaith, I myself love the KJV. As I said in the vlog, I do own other versions (apparently I have a Bible fetish as well) and I will occasionally pull them off the shelf and read a bit, compare versions, look up stuff, etc.

      I’m so glad you visited Grow Up!, and I’m glad that you’re enjoying your visit! There’s alot going on in this neck of the woods blogosphere.

    • Thank you RainbowsofFaith for your comment. I have prayed about this and even spoke to my pastor about it. A friend of mine believes we all should be using ONLY the KJV because God spoke to him and told him to use only the KJV.
      I opened my heart to God on this subject and my answer this morning was Romans 14:1~23. I believe God’s not going to condemn us to hell because we all use different Bibles. I am at peace now using my NIV. Have a blessed weekend!

  16. This is not just an American debate. This debate is also going on in New Zealand as well. And I believe that if it’s going on there, than it’s also going on other places too. This is not just confined to USA.

  1. Pingback: What’s the Big Deal About the KJV? {episode 1}: it’s just coffee. « Grow Up!

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