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Posts Tagged ‘Bible Versions’

(revised 07/05/14)

Some readers (including some individuals in discernment ministries) have wondered why I hold so strongly to the King James Bible. Hopefully the following blog helps clarify my position.
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Born again Christians have a hard time agreeing on what version should be used, or if one version should be used. So, perhaps we can start with what versions should NOT be used, and work our way backwards in a process of elimination. We can thus work our way down to fewer versions, which means less doctrinal chaos.

So here’s a list I’m starting of the worst of the worst, in no particular order:

1) New Age-ish versions such as The Message (this was published before the advent of the Emergent movement)

2) Emergent versions such as The Voice

3) Contemplative versions/study Bibles such as Renovare Study Bible (renamed The Life with God Bible NRSV)

4) Bible versions that are specifically Catholic

5) Bible versions that are considered Protestant, but have some printings today which include the Catholic Deuterocanonical Books

6) Bible versions that are specifically liberal. (Example – the RSV, which was commissioned by the National Council of Churches. In Isaiah it refers to the Messiah as being born of a young woman, rather than being born of a virgin).

7) Bible versions that use dynamic equivalency rather than word-for-word translation (remember the warning about adding to and/or taking away from God’s Word – Rev. 22:18-19)

8) Bible versions such as the NIV that are trending toward gender neutral language (accurate word-for-word translations should never be sacrificed in the name of feminist political correctness). The newest revision of the NIV has been condemned by the Southern Baptist Convention for this reason.

9) Bible versions that water down biblically sound doctrine – such as replacing the word “Hell” with the word “Hades”. My question is, why remove the word “Hell”? Christians for 400 years have known exactly what doctrine “Hell” refers to (a place of eternal torment). If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

So what Bible version(s) does that leave us, that are acceptable? That is the million dollar question.

I believe very strongly that we should use only translations of the Textus Receptus New Testament and Masoretic Old Testament. (These are the source documents of the King James Bible.) Such translations DO NOT HAVE ANY of the nine problems itemized above.

And, ideally, there would be one “authorized version” in each language of the world. In the English-speaking world, I believe this should be the King James Bible. To help us understand its archaic vocabulary, I would suggest using a good Bible dictionary, a Webster’s classic (1800s) dictionary), and a good Bible commentary. I would not recommend a study Bible – too many erroneous or even heretical teachings are placed inside the covers of our study Bibles – even KJV study Bibles.

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(revised 08/02/17)

I stand strongly for the King James Bible. Although technically I am Textus Receptus-King James Bible only, not King James only – there is a difference. I hold the TR-KJB only position of Bro. David Cloud; here Bro. Cloud explains his position.

Following is a brief definition of the TR-KJB only position:

I believe that the only authoritative, preserved source text of God’s Word is the Textus Receptus New Testament and the Masoretic Old Testament. In the English speaking world, the King James Bible is the TR-MT translation which I accept as authoritative. In other languages of the world, translations directly from the TR New Testament and Masoretic Old Testament are acceptable. (King James only people – i.e. followers of Peter Ruckman – believe that users of every language of the world should learn English and use the King James Bible.)

From this point on, I will use the term KJV-only since it is more common (although I prefer the term KJB-only).

In this blog, I am using the term KJV-only in a more general sense, for all English speakers who use the King James Bible exclusively. (That is, TR-KJ followers as well as KJ-only adherents.)

Concerning the KJV, in the past I have recommended a fundamentalist school which I thought was still KJV-only, namely Bob Jones University. I have since pulled my blog recommending BJU. Turns out BJU is no longer KJV-only.

And BJU is not the only fundamentalist school which has stopped exclusively using the KJV. Check out the following excerpt from Bro. Cloud, found here:

If it is wrong for Pensacola Christian College, Heritage Baptist University, Maranatha Baptist Bible College  [no longer TR-KJ only – see the “Versions” section at https://www.mbu.edu/about/statement-of-faith/ – DM 08/02/17] , Landmark Baptist College, Fairhaven Baptist College, the Dean Burgon Society, etc. to preach on this issue and to issue warnings, why is [sic] not also wrong for Bob Jones University, Northland, Clearwater, Detroit, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, etc., to preach what they believe on the issue and to issue warnings? [The first  listing, in green, still holds to the KJV; the second listing, in red, is no longer KJV-only.]

I found a more detailed discussion and listing of  BIble schools (on both sides of the KJV issue) here. I am providing a lengthy excerpt below:

1 Access the web-sites below (the ones available) that were selected in alphabetical order (there are many more…) in the USA. They are Seminaries and Bible Colleges which are faithful to the King James Bible: Some, also, have courses by correspondence (see “Independent Baptist Bible College” and “Internet Bible Institute” below). Note the absence of the schools recognized by Regular Baptists, for the ones officially approved by GARBC have already slipped into apostasy about the issue of bibliology. It is more than proved that is the first step to fall into Neo-Evangelicalism, being only a matter of time the fall into total apostasy. These heresies begin inside the Unfaithful Seminaries and Colleges, for when they fly with their own wings, connected with the denominational machine, they become the source of heresies, apostasies that destroy fundamentalism. Notice, therefore, in alphabetical order, only 18 schools below, which represent the faithful remnant (there are more…):

BIBLE BAPTIST INSTITUTE 1618 Womrath Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124. (215) 288 5667
Pr. Victor M. Rivera / Pr. David Peterman, Sr., Director.

BLESSED HOPE BAPTIST COLLEGE 5386 Hwy. 67 South, Benton, Arkansas 72015, voice: 501 – 315 5005 Dr. Ken Graham

CAROLINA BAPTIST COLLEGE 116 S. Franklin St., Reidsville, NC 27320. (336) 634 1345
Dr. Jerry L. Carter, Pastor and President.

CROWN COLLEGE OF THE BIBLE 1700 Beaver Creek Drive, Powell, TN 37849. http://www.go4thecrown.com (web site). Dr. Clarence Sexton, President.

EMMANUEL BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Emmanuel Baptist Church, 296 New Britain Ave., Newington, CT 06111. 860-666-1055 (voice), 860-666-0146 (fax), http://www.emmanuel-newington.org (web site). Dr. J. Michael Bates, Pastor/President; Dr. Thomas Strouse, Dean.

FAIRHAVEN BAPTIST COLLEGE Fairhaven Baptist Church, 86 E. Oak Hill Road, Chesterton, IN 46304. 800-733-3422, 219-926-6636 (voice), 219-926-1111 (fax), http://www.fairhavenbaptist.org (web site), Fairhaven@CleanInter.net (e-mail). Roger Voegtlin, Pastor/President.

FAITH BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE Faith Baptist Church, Rt. 1 Box 464, Horsecreek Rd., Seneca, PA 16346. 814-677-5172 (voice), http://www.csonline.net/fbbc (web site), fbbc@csonline.net (e-mail). Larry Williams, Pastor/President.

FAITHWAY BAPTIST COLLEGE OF CANADA Faithway Baptist Church, 1964 Salem Rd., Ajax, Ontario L1S 4S7. 905-686-0951 (voice), 905-686-1450 (fax), faithway@faithway.org (e-mail), http://www.faithway.org (web site). Gregory Baker, Pastor and President. Extension graduate studies available.

FELLOWSHIP BAPTIST COLLEGE 1150 SR 144, Mooresville, Indiana 46158. voice: (317) 834 2170
Dr. Everett Barnard, President.

FOUNDATIONS BIBLE COLLEGE PO Box 1166, Dunn, NC 28335-1166. Phone (910) 892-8761, web site http://www.foundations.edu. Dr. H. T. Spence, President.

GULF COAST BIBLE INSTITUTE Post Office Box 1451, Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32549
Dr. M. H. Tabb, President and Founder.

HERITAGE BAPTIST UNIVERSITY AND SEMINARY 1301 W. County Line Rd., Greenwood, IN 46142. 317-882-2327 (voice), russjr2@hotmail.com (e-mail). Russell Dennis Jr., President.

INDEPENDENT BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE Independent Baptist Church, 9255 Piscataway Rd., P.O. Box 206, Clinton, MD 20735. 301-856-1616 (voice) Pastor Mike Creed. Extension training via the Internet.

INTERNET BIBLE INSTITUTE Mainville Baptist Church, 57 E. Foster-Maineville Rd., Maineville, OH 45039. drsteve@iglou.com (e-mail), http://www.biblebelievers.com/MBC1.html (web site). Pastor Steve Hammon. A two-year extension program.

LANDMARK BAPTIST COLLEGE AND SEMINARY Landmark Baptist Church, 2222 East Hinson Ave., Haines City, FL 33844. 800-700-5322, 941-421-2937 (voice), 941-422-0188 (fax). http://landmarkbaptistchurch.org (web site), LBCDOS@juno.com (e-mail). Dr. Mickey Carter, Pastor/President. Extension training also available.

MARYLAND BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE Maranatha Baptist Church, P.O. Box 246, 4131 Old Neck Elk Road, Elkton, MD 21922. 800-226-0869 (voice), 410-398-6667 (voice), http://www.findchurch.com/maranathabc/marylandbc.htm (web site). Dr. Allen Dickerson, Pastor. Dr. Robert Hitchens, President. Extension courses available.

PENSACOLA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE AND SEMINARY 25 Brent Lane, Box 18000, Pensacola, FL 32523-9160. 877-787-4723 (voice), 850-479-6548 (fax), 850-478-8496 (voice), pts-grad@pcci.edu (e-mail), http://www.pcci.edu/pts (web site). Arlin Horton, President. Dr. Dell Johnson, Dean of seminary.

TABERNACLE BAPTIST COLLEGE 3931 White Horse Road Greenville, SC 29611-5599 phone: (864) 269-2760, e-mail: college@tabernacleministries.org. President: W. Melvin Aiken, D.D., D.R. Ed.

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NOTE – Here are articles about  additional schools, associations and individuals I have found which still support the KJV ala the “Textus Receptus only” view:

Bible for Today’s author listing

Conservative Holiness schools and ministries – Most if not all of these are KJV/TR-only.

Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) article defending the TR-only view

Lighthouse Trails list: “Colleges That are Not Promoting Contemplative/ Emerging and Do Not Have a Spiritual Formation Program” – Note – these may or MAY NOT be KJV/TR only. I need to go through the list and examine each school’s website.

Trinitarian Bible Society’s website
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Now back to excerpts from “the Brazilian article”:


Attention: The American Schools and Seminaries cited below, ARE NOT RECOMMENDED because adopted or changed to the heretic position ( or eclectic – doesn’t matter) in relation to the text of the Bible:

If a missionary that you know in Brazil, fundamentalist friend, doesn’t use only the Bible Almeida Corrigida e Fiel (and King James Version in English) and came from one of these schools, now you know why!

NOT RECOMMENDED:

Bob Jones University – Greenville, SC

Note: All this is also valid for the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship (FBF), institution dominated by Bob Jones University.

1. They sell the corrupt Bible NASB in the University bookstore.

2. Produced a despicable book called “The Mind of Man”, conceived inside the president’s office of Bob Jones University, mocking the King James Bible, which was once defended.

3. They put in the front cover of this despicable book (making a clear advertisement), a picture of the corrupted Revised Standard Version, a scandal of Bible which copyright is owned by the apostate National Council of Churches! What a shameful disaster!

4. Bob Jones IV (son of the current president) went to study in Notre Dame, a Catholic University!

Below is what Dr. Bob Jones III forgot about his grandfather:

The following is from The Sword Scrapbook, Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 1969:

“The King James Version is, after all, the best translation we have ever had. The very words of the Bible in the original languages were inspired of the Holy Ghost. That is what the Bible claims for itself; and that is what the born-again, Bible-believing Christians believe about the Bible. We are to search the Scriptures as our Lord commanded us; but, remember, there is a curse to those that add to the Word or take away from the Word. The hottest place in Hell will be reserved for these modernistic conspirators who, in a subtle, pious way, are trying to steal the faith of humble Christians in the Word of God. Remember, you do not have to be a scholar. You do not have to be a great authority on languages. You do not have to be a great literary genius. Remember this: any man who wonders if the Bible is the Word of God has not been born again. All born again Christians believe the Word and love the Word.” —

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.

[see also this article critiquing BJU]

Calvary Baptist Seminary – Lansdale, PA

Central Baptist Seminary – Plymouth, MN

Cedarville College – Cedarville, OH (fell into neo evangelicalism – they had even jazz-concert on campus!)

Clearwater Christian College – Clearwater, FL

Detroit Baptist Bible Seminary – Detroit, MI

Faith Baptist Bible College – Ankeny, IA   ( sell the corrupt NIV Bible in the College bookstore)

Maranatha Baptist Bible College – Watertown, WI

Moody Bible Institute – Chicago, Il

Northland Baptist Bible College – Dunbar, WI

Western Baptist College – Salem, OR

(fell into neo-evangelicalism: Had drums and had female students using shorts in Chapel! Maybe that’s the reason why an ABWE missionary, that promotes this institution, advertises the apostate ministry of Willow Creek and doesn’t bother with the corrupt Atualizada Bible nor the NVI.)

Wheaton College – Wheaton, Il   (fell into neo-evangelicalism since 1960’s)

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(revised 02/04/15)

To me, it’s becoming more and more obvious that one of the foundations of a biblically sound church is a biblically sound Bible version. And in a perfect world, I believe we would only have one authoritative Bible version in each language. In the English language, I believe this version should the King James Bible (and its source documents the Textus Receptus New Testament and Masoretic Old Testament).

There are many reasons I believe the King James Bible should be our go-to Bible version. For one, it has stood the test of time, having been used for over 400 years. Also, denominations and churches that switch from the King James Bible to another Bible per-version “that the youth like better and find easier to understand” almost invariably fall prey to various heresies. Today among evangelicals, the primary heresies seem to be Spiritual Formation (Contemplative Spirituality) and Postmodernism (Emerging/Emergent/Emergence teachings).

Note: I’m not speaking for King James only Free Will Baptists here – but I assume their position is very similar: my personal position on the King James Bible closely matches this article by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist David Cloud.

Background of the Free Will Baptist King James only debate

Concerning the dropping of the King James Bible (or the adding of other per-versions alongside it), this push among Free Will Baptists seems to be coming from “the power people” (denominational leaders and professors). But thank the Lord, many of the Free Will Baptist churches throughout the U.S. seem to be resisting this change, to the point of becoming more independent – officially or unofficially – from the national association.

I found background info here, showing that the Free Will Baptists have historically been King James only. (Warning – this comment is provided by one of today’s “progressive” FWB – I don’t recommend his blogs except for research.):

When we, as a denomination, discuss different bible translations, instead of agreeing to disagree, or valuing the diversity of scholarly opinion, we pass resolutions that require national speakers to only use the KJV; and not allow Randall House to reprint any translation but the KJV in their curriculum. [“Scholarly” is a biased term – it seems to me he is saying King James only people are not scholarly, while followers of other Bible per-versions are scholarly.]

A progressive FWB response to the above blog comment provides further insights:

It is true that national speakers have to use the KJV at the national. Although, that is the exception not the rule when it comes to how our broader, denomination wide FWB institutions have approached the KJV issue. Randall House now offers some NKJV and ESV curriculum. Chapel and conference speakers at FWBBC [renamed Welch College] can use differing translations, over the years I’ve heard the NIV, KJV, and every evangelical friendly translation in between used from the chapel pulpit. International missionaries are not required to use translations based on the textus receptus. And, I don’t think (but I could be wrong here) that Home Missions requires church planters to use the KJV. The theological commission has used time at the National for Dr. Pic to teach against the KJV only position. [I’ve provided links to two of Dr. Picirilli’s articles in the Endnotes below this blog.] So, if you look at the total picture, I think the national requirement for speakers is an anomaly – not the rule – when it comes to how our national boards and institutions have approached the bible translation issue. In fact, I think the KJV speaking rule at the national is a good gesture of peacemaking – while, we have moved toward the left in almost every other way on the national level. We certainly do not always denominationally lean right (FWB speaking) on this issue.

Now to a news flash over at Randall House Publications. I have reposted a press release below, which was published in early 2013; click here for the original source and scroll to page 49. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Randall House Publications, Inc. King James Version Statement
From the Randall House Board of Directors:

Several years ago Randall House added translation options for Sunday School curriculum to include King James Version (KJV), plus two reputable  recent translations: New King James Version (NKJV) and English Standard Version (ESV). [Reputable – how so? How can the NKJV and the ESV be reputable, when they are not 100% based on the same source texts as the King James Bible? Namely, the Textus Receptus NT and the Masoretic OT. For articles critiquing the NJKV and ESV, see the Endnotes following this blog.] The English Standard Version was added to the Bible memory options for the 2013 National Association Youth Competitive Activities.  Some have incorrectly concluded that Randall House will cease to publish King James curriculum and materials. Randall House, the publishing arm of the National Association of Free Will Baptists—the only publisher who teaches Free Will Baptist doctrine—will continue using the King James translation, as well as the NKJV and ESV. The Board of Directors (December 2012)[a pretty recent move] has approved the following statement to guide Randall House Publications and employees [who is on this Board of Directors?]:

In keeping with our long held tradition as Free Will Baptists, Randall House Publications continues to hold the widely used King James Version in high regard [but apparently not high enough to use the King James solely] as a translation of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages that comprise the Old and New Testaments. We believe God has supernaturally preserved Scripture to enable humanity to find redemption in Jesus Christ. [Historically, the term “preserved” has been used only for the King James Bible and similar translations based on the TR NT and Masoretic OT.] The Bible provides Christians with all that is needed for their faith and practice. For Randall House Publications to take a position that there is only one good English language translation would put Randall House outside of the doctrinal parameters of the Treatise of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. [So far I have found nothing in the Treatise – read here – to say using only the King James Bible does not line up with traditional Free Will Baptist doctrine. On the contrary, Free Will Baptists have used the King James solely for several centuries. Why the sudden supposed change in the denomination’s doctrinal stance?] To make an exclusive claim for the King James Version might call into question the Christian experience of the many believers who lived prior to the 17th century when the King James Version first became available, that of believers who do not speak English, or English-speaking believers who may not use the King James Version. [All three of these reasons are paper-thin arguments. The last reason especially irks me – are they saying all Bible per-versions are equally valid? They fail to say any  per-versions should be avoided. They could have at least warned against the worst per-versions, such as Eugene Peterson’s The Message and the Emerging/Emergent The Voice.]

Note – in this or another blog, I hope to add a discussion of the history of the KJV/TR-only debate in the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCHES AND INDIVIDUALS THAT STILL HOLD TO THE KING JAMES BIBLE ONLY
(as of 02/04/15; I will be adding to and updating this list)

MISSOURI
Bethel Church
Mike Hoggard, Pastor, Bethel Church
Facebook Page
personal ministry website

OHIO
DeGraff Free Will Baptist Church

FOR FURTHER READING

Free Will Baptist articles FOR using the King James Bible only

Degraff Free Will Baptist Church links to articles (the articles cover many subjects; a number of the articles defend the King James Bible)

Southeastern Free Will Baptist College’s statement defending the King James Bible [NOTE 02/04/15 – this is now a BROKEN LINK; I don’t know whether the school has changed its position, or whether they have simply moved the link]

Free Will Baptist articles AGAINST using the King James Bible only

Robert E. Picirilli, KING JAMES ONLY? (Part I)

Robert E. Picirilli, KING JAMES ONLY? (Part II) [besides this and the above link, I’m looking for additional writings by Picirilli regarding this issue]

Wikipedia article on Randall House Publications

Randall House Publications website

“[NAFWB] Leadership Conference Reaffirms the Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Preservation of Scriptures” (scroll down to p. 53 of this document to find the article)[Note this key comment: “These two days have reminded all of us that the Bible is the foundation of Free Will Baptist doctrine, no matter what translation one uses.” This conference’s title is deceptive in my opinion. As mentioned in my blog above, historically the term “preservation” is used only by adherents of the King James Bible only.]

Inspiration and Preservation of God’s Word: 17 Common Questions Answered by Six Free Will Baptist Scholars [ Note that most of the six scholars are against using the King James Bible only. Not to mention that the book is published by the Free Will Baptists’ now multi-version Randall House.]

Critiques of the NKJV

Wikipedia article on the NKJV

List of Google hits on the search string [“NKJV” “KJV”]

David Cloud (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist), What About the New King James Version? (I could not find this article on Bro. Cloud’s website)

James R. Roby (Pastor, DeGraff FWB Church), The “New” KJV is NOT a KJV at All!

Dr. Michael E. Todd, A Deadly Translation” The “New” KJV

The NKJV, is it a KJV?

Note – I found many additional critiques of the NKJV; I hope to add links to these critiques here, as I have time.

Critiques of the ESV

Wikipedia article on the ESV

List of Google hits  on the search string [“ESV” “KJV”]

Mark Andrew, English Standard Version (ESV) is examined against the Majority Text, King James Version (KJV)

Will Kinney, The English Standard Version (ESV)

Dr. Ken Matto, The ESV and its attack on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ

David J. Stewart, The Damnable English Standard Version

Dr. Terry Watkins, The Truth About The English SUBStandard Version

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I believe we have God’s Word today as inerrant and preserved – praise the Lord! Regarding the Bible’s inerrancy and preservation, I came across an excellent article which I am reposting below. Click here for the original source. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Disarming the Saints: The Bible as Defective Weaponry

©2008 Brandon Staggs

In Ephesians 6, the Bible calls itself “the sword of the Spirit.” Believers are told to take “the whole armour of God” so that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day.” Scripture is hereby likened to a weapon, and we are therefore expected to wield it. 2 Corinthians 10:4 makes it clear that we as followers of Christ are in a state of warfare. As believers, we are furnished by God with a variety of armaments with which to fight our battles. Since God has given us the ultimate offensive weapon, his word, it is to be used, not ignored or shunned.

Further, it is imperative that the believer trust his weaponry. No soldier wishes to go to battle with defective or unreliable armaments, and in the case of we saints, our God has not demanded of us that we fight battles with tools in a state of disrepair.

Knowing this, Satan has fought his side of the battle in part by attacking God’s word itself, and by convincing believers that they can not, and should not, rely upon it.

The Power of Scripture for the Believer

Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we read that we are to actively resist “every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” and that we are to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” How are we to do this, though? How do we take our thoughts captive and maintain obedience? The Bible tells us:

Hebrews 4:12 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.

It is through God’s word that our thoughts are discerened. It is also knowledge of Scripture that prevents error:

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Scripture is our source of knowledge of doctrine and righteousness; our means of reproof and correction:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 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.

Many Christians believe that they will stay away from error simply through prayer and influence of the Holy Spirit. And yet in denying the power of God’s word, and refusing to rely on it, they reject the very means God has given them to avoid error. Is it any wonder that the Lord said:

Matthew 4:4 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.

The Power of Scripture Against Satan

We see the power of Scripture in the temptation of Jesus Christ by Satan:

Matthew 4:1-11 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. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Three times Satan tempted the Lord, and three times the Creator of the universe (John 1:3), who had the power to simply strike Satan out of all existence, answered: it is written. Let this sink in. Consider that your God in the flesh, while being tempted by the Devil himself, used the sword of the spirit as his rebuke! If Scripture is the weapon of choice for Christ, how dare anyone who claims to follow Christ assume a greater weapon is at our disposal.

Satan’s Attack on God’s Word: Yea, Hath God Said?

Satan knows the power of God’s word. In the temptation of Christ, we saw Satan twist Scripture to his own ends. Satan’s attack on the words of God is as old as Man:

Genesis 3:1 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?

From the very beginning, Satan has cast doubt on God’s word in man, and then moving from doubt to outright denial:

Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

We see in Eve’s deception that Satan’s attack on God’s word begins with a seed of doubt, and then grows into open denial of God’s promises. Any such form of attack on God’s word, beginning with “Yea, hath God said,” must be instantly and completely rejected.

The Threat from Within: Manufacturing Defective Weaponry

2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Satan’s outward attack on God’s word is not enough for him. His battle against truth continues:

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Scoffing Scholars and Dull Swords: a Seed of Unbelief

As we saw in the temptation of Christ, “it is written” is the ultimate rebuke against temptation and error. Remember that the Bible likens Scripture to a sword, which is a weapon used both offensively and defensively. In our protracted spiritual warfare, we must take on the armor God has promised us — we have no right to request otherwise, and will have no excuse if we ignore the Sword at our disposal.

Recall Satan’s method of planting the seed of doubt in Eve: “yea, hath God said?” And now consider how modern scholarship has planted seeds of doubt in believers about the trustworthiness of God’s words, in effect doing Satan’s bidding and asking, “yea, hath God said?”

Example: The deity of Jesus Christ

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Have you ever been asked by someone caught up in a cult about the deity of Christ? Where do you turn to to answer? Can you say “it is written?” The above scripture quotation is taken from the King James Bible and it leaves no doubt whatsoever about the deity of Christ. It is written: God was manifest in the flesh!

But what of the “other swords” Christians may use?

  • And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (NASB)
  • Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (NIV)

Much has been written about the reading of this verse, but the point here is that the reading “he who” does not provide for an authoritative “it is written” rebuke. Just “who” is he? The scholars say that you can go to another verse or footnote to deduce who “he” is, and that may well be the case2. But those scholars have given you a dull sword: the one God has given us answers with one swift slash, while the others require thrusts upon thrusts to deliver a similar blow.

Example: The Triune Nature of God

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Notice the powerfully decisive text of the King James Bible. In one verse, the very nature of God as a triune being is disclosed clearly. This is the most clear statement of the Trinity in the entire Bible. It is the only verse that mentions all three persons of the Godhead as being one. It should come as no surprise that the true reading of this verse has been viciously and ruthlessly under attack since the book of 1st John was written3. But what of the modern “swords?”

  • And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. (NASB)
  • For there are three that testify: (NIV)

These modern swords, when it comes to the Trinity, are rusty and dull.

Instead of boldly proclaiming “it is written,” mounds of commentators have sheathed their swords with comments like these:

“It would be much easier to prove the doctrine of the Trinity from other texts, than to demonstrate the genuineness of this.” —Albert Barnes

“Though a conscientious believer in the doctrine of the ever blessed, holy, and undivided Trinity, and in the proper and essential Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, which doctrines I have defended by many, and even new, arguments in the course of this work, I cannot help doubting the authenticity of the text in question…” —Adam Clarke

“It is generally agreed that v.7 has no real authority, and has been inserted.” —C. I. Scofield

All three of the above commentators have generally good teachings in their writings, but they have all fallen prey to Satan’s attack on the veracity of Scripture in this instance. Contrast the unbelieving tone of the above statements with these bold writings:

an express testimony of the triune Deity, by whatsoever carelessness or ill design left out of some copies, but sufficiently demonstrated by many most ancient ones” —Matthew Poole

That there are three persons, yet but one God, that do bear witness to the divinity of Christ, and of the plenteous redemption wrought by him” —William Burkitt

“…which is to be understood, not only of their unity and agreement in their testimony, they testifying of the same thing, the sonship of Christ; but of their unity in essence or nature, they being the one God. So that, this passage holds forth and asserts the unity of God, a trinity of persons in the Godhead, the proper deity of each person, and their distinct personality, the unity of essence in that they are one; a trinity of persons in that they are three, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and are neither more nor fewer; the deity of each person, for otherwise their testimony would not be the testimony of God…” —John Gill

Mighty in the Scriptures or Just Disarmed?

Apollos was “mighty in the scriptures.” (Acts 18:24). One can scarcely imagine Apollos afraid to use the sword God gave him because a scholar claimed it wasn’t trustworthy. He “spoke boldly” (verse 18:26), and once he had the way of God expounded to him more perfectly, “he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” (verse 28)

The critic will argue that there are no doctrines missing from modern versions, and that even when one verse is weaker than in the KJV, the whole of the doctrine can be found elsewhere. But this attitude towards God’s word is not Scriptural. Modern scholarship cannot deny that its teachings are often started with “yea, hath God said?” When their new versions of the Bible contain footnotes telling the reader that the “oldest and best” manuscripts do not contain the last twelve verses of mark, or that 1st John 5:7 does not belong in the Bible, what is it except a seed of doubt? We have seen that this method of questioning what God said is Satan’s method for growing outright rebellion against God, as in the case of Eve’s deception. It is also clear that Satan wishes Christians to be ineffective warriors, and has been at work deceiving many into accepting defective weaponry. It is Satan’s goal to dull our sword, making us unwilling to trust it and wield it boldly.

Claiming that every doctrine is in there somewhere, each time something is weakened or deleted from the Bible, is not being “mighty in the scriptures.” Instead of clinging to a rusty, dull sword, boldly wield the complete and sharp sword of the Spirit: the King James Bible.


Footnotes:

1 Indeed, James White claims that the weaker reading is unimportant because the NIV and NASB include the stronger reading in the margin. (The King James Only Controversy, James R. White, Bethany House Publishers, 1995, p. 207) The question is why the seed of doubt should be allowed to be planted by contradicting the text in footnotes, and how long it will be before the footnote is removed entirely.

2 See http://av1611.com/kjbp/faq/holland_1jo5_7.html, excerpted from Crowned With Glory, Dr. Thomas Holland, Writers Club Press, 2000, pp. 163-168. See also John Reynolds’ comments on this verse (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume 6).

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