That Book in your hand.

The following is an excerpt from a book I just finished reading a few days ago. About a week ago I posted a different excerpt from it as a note on facebook (you can read that here), and as of this morning, the discussion under said note is still going on.

~                    ~                    ~                    ~

So the question is this:  is the King James Bible “inspired” or “preserved?”  The answer is simple:  both!  It is not inspired in the same fashion as the Originals were.  In the case of the Originals, they started with a blank sheet of paper and when a man was done writing, the result was the inspired originals (Ps. 12:6).  We all know the King James translators did not sit in a room with a blank sheet of paper and write as did Isaiah.  No, they had both Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, numerous early English translations, as well as foreign language translations.  For that reason we say the King James Bible is the preserved Word of God (Ps. 12:7).

But, is the King James Bible inspired in that it is the preservation of the inspired Words of God?  Absolutely.  As one great preacher asked, “If the King James Bible isn’t inspired, at what point did inspiration ‘fall out’?”

The Real Test
There are some who, overwhelmed with feelings of inferiority when facing scholarship, will say, “That’s exactly what I believe!”  That isn’t what they believe at all.  They are dancing with semantics and hoping no one steps on their toes.  Pinning them down takes the same finesse you need in pinning down a Roman Catholic when he claims he’s “saved.”  He wants you to think he’s okay, so he gives the right answer but it means something different to him than it does to you.

It’s Ridiculous!
I once had an antagonist against the King James Bible tell me, “To believe that one English translation is the perfect Word of God is ridiculous!”

I responded, “You’re right. Would you believe anything so ridiculous?”

“Never.”

“But you believe the Red Sea parted and the Children of Israel crossed on dry ground. You believe that a man walked on top of water. You believe a donkey talked. You believe Jesus raised dead people. You believe that someday you’re going to fly through the air without an airplane. Right?”

“Yes.”

“All those things are ridiculous but we believe them. Believing the King James Bible is the perfect Word of God is truly ridiculous. But it is way down on a long list of “ridiculous” things that we believe.”

The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this.  The Word of God is not some pile of manuscripts that have been lost for thousands of years which we couldn’t read if we had them.  The Bible isn’t the Textus Receptus Greek from which we get our King James Bible.  The King James Bible is the Word and words of God and has no errors: not a comma, not a semicolon, not a word.  If it could have one mistake, it could have two, it could have twenty, it could have one thousand.  But it only needs one mistake to cease to be the perfect, inspired word of God. 

{taken from Is Our English Bible Inspired?  By Dr. Sam Gipp}

Any thoughts on this?

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Posted on April 15, 2011, in The Bible and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. I agree with you in the premise that “…it only needs one mistake to cease to be the perfect, inspired word of God.”. The problem of being dogmatic on this kind of issues is that, what if there is in fact a mistake? I believe we are to be dogmatic and non-negotiating when it comes to issues as the deity of Christ or the resurrection (Paul himself writes that our whole faith depends on it).
    I agree and abide to the Word of God’s perfection in its original form and writing, However, I would suggest that being dogmatic on the KJV or any other version/translation’s absolute perfection is dangerous.

    For instance, in John 15:1-3 (KJV) we read: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he *taketh away(A)*: and every branch that beareth fruit, he *purgeth(B)* it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” often times this passage is translated and taught as ‘if you don’t bear fruit, He will (A) ‘take you away'(KJV), ‘send you to hell’. ‘cut you off’, ‘remove you’
    On the other hand it is taught and translated the if you do bear fruit, you will be ‘purged’ (KJV), ‘hurt to be made better’, ‘pruned’ etc.
    The problem with this is that it doesn’t make sense theologically (gospel of works), contextually (flow of whole text), culturally (how farmers raised vine) or linguistically.
    – Considering that the original Greek word for (A)’take away’ [airō] can also mean -and is in most of the NT translated ‘lift up’, it may make more sense if we read “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he lifteth up” [God’s love restoring us as a farmer lifts up a fallen branch]
    – Also, considering that the Greek word for (B) ‘purgeth’ [kathairō] can also mean -and is in most of the NT translated ‘cleanse’ -and in fact it is the same word used in the following verse, it may make more sense if we read: “…and every branch that beareth fruit, he cleanses it, that it may bring forth even more fruit; Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you”
    This proposed interpretation , I think we would all agree, stays more in line with what the Bible as a whole tells us about God’s character and God’s economy.

    Although we still use the same original text, God’s word inherrancy is not violated. We would just be open to the possibility that the translation -as a human interpretation of God’s inspiration, could be wrong.

  2. Oh, dearest Heather. As much as my bowels are moved to remain in thy good graces, hitherto from which I have not been cast down, I have to respectfully disagree. Thou knowest not the struggle through which I have painfully laboured on behalf of the saints in my charge. Thou knowest not the condemnation I have endured as I hath chosen to abhor my tongue to be the pronouncer of “ass” and “piss” for two score minutes of exhortation. Please render unto me your mercy, and reckon me not as the heathen that doth blaspheme our Saviour.

  3. Interesting thoughts. The more I study the King James with a Strong’s Concordance and Greek/Hebrew Lexicon nearby, the less I’m convinced of error. There are a few things in there we need to clear up, like certain words that have changed meaning in English, and others have taken and twisted around, but they remain the same in Greek, like “doulos” (slave) and “baptizo” (immerse, not sprinkle) but that’s not a problem at all, just take out your Strong’s and get into a good book to find some answers. The only excuse for not being able to understand the KJB is by simply not studying it.

    As for the old language, I know unchurched six-year-olds on the church’s bus route that understand them, if an older, scholarly type can’t understand them then they have some serious issues.

    Thanks for posting.

  4. One very common sense factor to all of this is that fact that the whole reason the translations were made were so that they could be understood and read by the common person (koine Greek). Most of the Gospels were written in language so simple, one would think the writers were uneducated (imagine that). Now, as language has evolved and much has changed, what was common no longer is.

    I love Shakespeare. I asked my predominately-KJV-crowd how many loved to study Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. Only 2 (TWO!) raised their hands. What was the reason? The language was too hard to understand. What? This is the same old English that the Authorized Version uses, so what’s the problem? Take out a dictionary and figure out what old Bill is saying, people!

    When I read a letter from my dyslexic 10 year-old daughter, it takes me about twice as long to read it as it would any other letter. The reason is because she spells phonetically and literally. Now, because I am used to it, and am more familiar with her ways, I can read her letters, while most other people would not be able to. It IS because I have studied them. What if she needed to write an important letter to someone that needed to get the point really quick because of a great need in their life? There may be a problem.

    If a person of perfect wisdom and adequately educated picks up a Bible, as long as he has been educated in the classics, will probably be able to read the KJV with almost no problem. But, there are so many others that are the average, trailer-park believers who have not gone to college who will pick up this Love letter from God. How much better that they understand it in their language (truth and all, no meanings changed) without having to go to Lifeway and purchase a stack of study tools?

    If you refer back to my last comment, I used two KJV words which are considered un-polite in good company. Just because “pisseth against the wall” and “riding an ass” is KJV speak, that does not mean I am going to use those words in church. So, if I have to CHANGE the wording, am I doing an injustice? No, I don’t think so. If that is the case, then why can’t words like this be changed on the written page.

  5. I grew up NIV, but then one time while working at a Berean Christian bookstore I was told a bit about the whole KJV only debate. This started me being unsettled as to which translation to use. ACK. It lasted YEARS. I couldn’t settle down with just using the KJV or the NIV. I sort of wish I was innocent again in that regard and could go back to using my NIV, but when I heard there were verses missing out of the NIV that disturbed me. Then when I heard about the TNIV I was horrified that they’d PC’d it. But then when I actually read the TNIV I was like I like the wording better than the old NIV. Shocking I know. I’ve never really read the ESV, the RSV, or some of the other translations. I’m not a huge fan of the Message, but recently I reacquired a copy of it since I know for personal reading it’s easy, it’s just not meant to be read out loud.

  6. I absolutely agree. If we cannot trust it 100%, then how do we know when to trust it? When a scholar tells us to? I firmly believe we NEED an absolute authority in all areas. If this is not God’s word for English speaking people, the King James bible, then what is it?

  7. Here’s a couple links with some more information for anyone interested:
    1. Is the KJV Inspired or Preserved?
    2. What is that Book you hold in your hand?

  8. rainbowsoffaith

    Thanks Heather 🙂 I know, not exactly on the same subject, but back on Thanksgiving 2005 I Googled the history of Christmas and let’s just say I was floored by what I found out. It’s great to have the links. I’ll check those out. I think it’s crazy how many different translations/versions there are. No wonder it’s tough for people to pick out a Bible and considering all the different themed ones it’d be over whelming. What study Bible do you recommend Heather?

    • I actually don’t use a “study” Bible. I simply have a wide-margin KJV that I read.
      I do, however, have a copy of this that I use from time to time: Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible: King James Version

      • Interesting Fact: Spiros Zodhiates gave me the “go-ahead” to marry my wife back in ’94, based on his understanding of biblical divorce (long story – read my blog). AMG publishers is in my town, you know. Dr. Zodhiates had/has an awesome library of out-of-print works which was/is (haven’t been there in a while) open to the public – you just couldn’t take anything out.

        His death is every Bible student’s loss.

  9. I read a book about KJVO-ism from this guy (Sam Gipp; and, it was quite a long book) – I had to admit it made me even more anti-KJVO, because it showed further the absurdity of the position.

    “The King James Bible is the Word and words of God and has no errors: not a comma, not a semicolon, not a word.”
    Well, there’s a problem…There were no semicolons or commas in Hebrew/Greek, and some of the words are italicized.

    Also, there are words obviously mistranslated in the KJV; e.g., baptizo. It is not really translated at all, it is just “rendered” from Greek into English as baptize, baptist, etc., when it clearly means immerse. If this had been rendered rightly, doubtless we would known as Independent Immersers, not Independent Baptists.

    God bless.

    P.S. – The book I read was entitled, “An Understandable History of the Bible.” I read it on Chick.com.

  10. rainbowsoffaith

    Thanks for the link Heather. I know you own a lot of different translations to compare when reading to help get the full meaning of things. Which other translations are your favorite when comparing?

    • I can’t really say that I have a “favorite version” outside of the KJV, because I don’t.
      I haven’t done as much comparing between the versions as I would like to.
      But for my devotions and reading the Bible for encouragement or answers, I only use the KJV.

  11. I think we all agree that God breathed or inspired the authors and we all agree that the original documents were exactly as god wanted them to be -inherent word of God. We all agree that God says that is His Word.
    The problem is that nowhere God says that the KJV is His English translation of preference; it is just a human interpretation.

    If we are elevating our opinions, ideas and traditions to the same level -or even more importance of God’s commandments, would not that make us the same as the pharisees?

    http://thoughtswithaccent.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/my-name-is-luis-and-i-am-a-pharisee-ive-been-clean-for-48-hrs/

  12. rainbowsoffaith

    Good point Thoughts With Accent. I think we get too wrapped up on which is the right one we don’t read it. I know God can speak through any translation because his Word does not come back void. But I can also see the security in viewing the KJV is the only trust worthy translation (not that I hold this view). There are so many differences between all the translations I can see how sticking to the oldest one would make sense. I also, think the King’s English is hard to read, but I also, think most of society is too lazy to let it be challenging and to let God speak through his Word. They want it watered down and fed to them in a easy to drink sippy cup. I’m guilty of wanting the Truth to go down easier too. I also, think because being a believer has become more of a fad that, that has influenced a lot of the study Bibles. They’ve become more fufu and sugary sweet. Not that God’s Word is supposed to be dark, depressing and legalistic, but eating up too many sweets makes us sickk and blind to the difficult stuff to swallow.

  13. People reject the authority of the King James Bible because they love the idea of being able to stand in judgment of the word of God.

    I ran into a Charismatic once who misquoted that verse in Romans about prayer as being “…groanings which cannot be understood.” That was a proof text for tongues for him. I corrected him by telling him it said, “…groaning which cannot be uttered.” and that it was talking about silent, deep, heartfelt prayer that had nothing to do with tongues.

    He told me “another possible translation” was “understood.”

    Baloney. And baloney on the supposed Agape and Phileo lie as well.

    http://ricksarticles.blogspot.com/2010/06/eight-hidden-doctrines-we-can-learn.html

    We have the word of God exactly how God wants us to have it today in the King James Bible. It is the Bible of the Reformation and the greatest period of revival the world has ever known. The church has become more and more apostate since the introduction of Wescott and Hort’s translation, and all the other ones that came with it, since 1881.

    http://ricksarticles.blogspot.com/2010/07/bible-versions-since-1881.html

    It doesn’t need to be corrected or rewritten, it needs to be obeyed and reread.

  14. Interesting that he says in one sentence, “If the King James Bible isn’t inspired, at what point did inspiration ‘fall out’?” and then goes right on to make light of the original manuscripts and the received text. If the Textus Receptus ISN’T the Bible—as he stated—then obviously he believes it fell out right there.
    There is no advanced revelation or inspiration in the KJV and it holds no superiority over the original manuscripts. Since we don’t have any of the originals, than practically speaking of course the King James is better… because it exists. A translation can NOT improve upon what it is translating. That is just a logical truth; it can only mirror perfection. And for the record, yes, I believe the KJV is the preserved word of God in English, but not that it is better than the originals if we had them, or that everyone should have to learn English to read the word of God like Sam Gipp does.
    To quote Gipp himself again: “They are dancing with semantics.” He’s doing the same thing. Read between the lines! That last section gives it all away.

    • I believe the note I posted on facebook echoed what you said, “…but not that it is better than the originals if we had them…”

      Also, I agree with your disagreement that all tribes and races must learn English if they want to read the Word of God. You can see my thoughts on it {here}.

  15. I Don’t think that anyone was implying that any translation of the Bible is superior to the original. This would be absurd. I, and I believe Heather, am merely saying that the KJB is the translation for the English speaking people of the world. Not everybody speaks English. God chose to reveal Himself to us in this time through His word. He spoke to ancient people. He chooses not to do that today. Our faith must be anchored firmly in the foundation He has given. If there are errors, or differences in His words, how can we be steadfast?

  16. @Rick (howdy, stranger! :-D): “We have the word of God exactly how God wants us to have it today in the King James Bible. It is the Bible of the Reformation and the greatest period of revival the world has ever known. The church has become more and more apostate since the introduction of Wescott and Hort’s translation, and all the other ones that came with it, since 1881.”
    There is no evidence whatsoever to support these claims. If the Church is more wicked now than it used to be (for one, so many false converts, who are not of the Church at all), it has nothing to do us not using the KJV solely. Saying it has anything to do with it – perhaps a large amount, even – is committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy (after this, therefore, because of this).

    I have heard the arguments, I have seen the “evidences”, I have read an entire book on the subject, and I would stake my life on the veracity of my position. Here I stand; I can do no other.

  17. Well, here we go again! I recently saw a massive SermonIndex thread on this topic, and while I didn’t participate, it was quite heated and very interesting.

    I use the King James, it’s what I know and am familiar with and so far I know I can trust it. I have looked into it’s history and have seen it for myself. I have not looked into the history of other versions, so I can’t say that I trust them or not. One college student I know says that the NASB and the KJV are two of the closest he’s found to be to the original languages. (He knows Greek and Hebrew, so he actually has some credibility) While there are extreme positions on this, (*cough* Ruckmanism, *cough*) We can’t lump up all people who stick to the King James with them!

    By the same token, we cannot lump all of the people who use other versions with the rest of them that don’t. That is really an unfair outlook. I’m glad some people here have been doing research on this and that is probably the best way to establish a more biblical position.

    Is the KJB more inspired? Certainly not! If so, then why do we still study the original texts? That is one of those things that gets blown way out of proportion all of the time.

    Is the KJB less accurate because it translates certain words differently? No, because most other translations do that exact same thing! (For instance ‘baptizo’, brought up in this thread. My personal favorite change, ‘doulos’ (means slave, translated servant) but that’s me.)

    I own a few other translations, like the NIV (I don’t like that one, it’s an interpretive translation) NKJV and a Recovery Version New Testament. I glance at them from time to time when I’m studying words to see if they translate it differently, and rarely, if at all, find a difference. So pitting one version against another is really foolish.

    When it comes to the Reformation, we must also remember that that was the only Bible version they had. Good thought, but not a good argument. As for books, it is good to read more than one, for instance try finding one with a balanced outlook and see what you find. I’ve tried to come at this issue pretty honestly like I have other issues, like Calvinism and cessationism vs. continuationism. Look at it from both sides and see what you get. Baptize, (or immerse) it in prayer and see where God leaves you.

    My honest, humble opinion.

  18. It was the Bible of the Reformation?
    Martin Luther made a German translation, and also died, 60 years before the KJV was published. Calvin, and the others in Switzerland, published the Geneva Bible also a good 40 years before the KJV.

  19. rainbowsoffaith

    It would be interesting to compare Luther’s German translation with the Geneva Bible.

    • Well, I know the Geneva came out of Tyndale’s, and Tyndale used both Erasmus’ greek text and (actually) Luther’s German translation. Luther, I’m pretty sure, also used the received text through Erasmus’ work, too. So you’d think they’d be fairly similar. I can tell you one thing, though, I guarantee they’re both very anti-Catholic!

  20. Oh, well I was quoting from a comment so I don’t know if it was the Bible of the Reformation or not. I wasn’t quite sure of that myself.

    It was probably produced from the fruits of the Reformation, but probably not the Bible of the Reformation.

  21. Alex Madlinger

    Have you consider the fact that the Greek didn’t have punctuation? How then could a translation be accurate down to commas and semicolons?

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