I have contended for some time that there are two types of Bible believers. There are those who are comforted by the historical antecedents of the King James Bible, and there are those who are persuaded by its internal evidence and exactness. As I have begun to interact on the Facebook Group King James Bible Debate, the split has become more obvious to me. Below is Chapter 7 from my book, Further Thoughts on the word of God.
Does changing a few words in the Bible here and there make any real difference? If just a couple minor words are changed or updated will it really dilute or change the Bible message? The answer, as we shall see, is yes. No one is smart enough to change the Bible. Even little changes, made ostensibly to modernize or clarify obscure passages, wreak havoc. The AV 1611 is perfect as it is. Little changes poison the product.
I well remember being briefed in an Air force classroom on the dangers of Ethylene Glycol used for anti-freeze. It was horribly poisonous but tasted sweet. Its molecular make-up was such that it was almost the same thing as sugar. There were just a few subtle changes. A chemist making sugar and who comes close to being perfect is a dangerous man. No one should eat anything he concocts. We will see that the Bible works the same way.
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, Rom 1:25a. New Bibles tend to read that same verse as "Who exchanged the truth". Twenty years ago my wife pointed out to me the insidiousness of that change. To exchange truth is to replace the truth with something entirely different. This is like trading the creation account for evolution, or swapping the Bible for Vedic or Hindu scriptures.
No doubt, this would be bad, but it's not what Paul is saying. He's talking about changing the truth, not exchanging it. If I buy the wrong size pants I can do one of two things. I can exchange them for a pair that fits or I can have them changed to fit me. Paul warns about those who change the truth. There have been an awful lot of alterations made to a King James Bible to make it fit individual theologies.
The most effective form of lying is not to totally fabricate a story. The most effective way is to subtly change a few little things here and there. Then the lie would so closely resemble the truth that the average person would never notice.
One observation I made during the Clinton impeachment crisis was that after all the charges had been made, and after the counter charges and excuses were made, the average person wearied of the whole process. When enough subtle little changes have been made to a given story, the process of correcting that story and exposing the lies becomes more and more complicated.
After a while the average person despairs to think that anyone is right. They throw their hands up and want everyone to just shut up. This reaction is always to the benefit of the liar. He has no love of the truth and he knows that the public has little stomach for the truth if it's going to cost them anything.
The public becomes like the whore in I Kings 3:26 that would gladly see the baby cut in two. They love not the truth. Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. How often do preachers hear the phrase "I think all Bibles are true"? The prevailing attitude is that all Bibles have a little error but a lot of truth. Just divide the glory among them all.
Once the churches have accepted this attitude the truth loses. Preachers who should be earnestly contending for the faith are all too often engaged in the side show of making subtle changes to the AV 1611 to make it fit their own theology. This is Hell's work not God's. What has a preacher really taught his people, if after uplifting the Word of God in their eyes, he then makes it subject to his theology in their sight?
We are going to look at three minor changes that are made in various bibles. The first change is found in the New King James Bible. I know that most fundamentalists have rejected the NKJV, but the change is illustrative as to just how damning a little change to a preposition can be. Fundamentalists, Textus Receptus men especially, find nothing wrong with retranslating the Received Text. In the case of this change the NKJV translators used the Received text but altered its translation slightly. The result is the single most blasphemous statement made in any Bible. It is not something written just a little more clearly. It renders the NKJV a poisonous book.
Romans 4:25 says Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Taken at face value, that is a simple verse. Some egghead on the NKJV translating committee thought he could speak Greek better than the King James translators. He wasn't happy with the thought that God raised Jesus for our justification. He changed it to Jesus being raised because of our justification.
Here is a case where a naïve reader who accepted what the verse said on face value would believe a Satanic lie. Think about what that verse said in the NKJV. God raised Jesus because of our justification? Did God wring his hands as Jesus lay in the tomb? Did he look for some reason to raise up Jesus and finally realize that the church was so just that he could raise Jesus from the dead?
Can anyone possibly imagine God saying that the reason he raised Jesus is because of our justification? I thought he did it because Jesus had been perfectly obedient in offering himself on the cross. I thought that the shedding of his blood and his atonement were sufficient reason for God to raise him and that in doing so, he did it for our justification.
Now we find out that God was able to raise Jesus because we were so just. Read the verse in a NKJV bible if you don't believe that. If the NKJV were taken at face value we were already justified before Jesus arose. God raised him from the dead because of it. It seems to me that Calvinists believe that our justification was something settled by the sovereignty of God in eternity past. It looks like one managed to play a cute little game with the Greek language to slip in a little Calvinism under the wire. The result is a blasphemy.
The next correction of the King James Bible is by far the most common. Even good King James men cannot leave this one alone. They take the lead of the New Scofield Bible and change charity to love. Charity is not love. Love is not charity.
The King James Bible reverted back to the Wycliffe reading in I Corinthians 13. Tyndale had used the word love in his Bible, but the King James translators did some thing they rarely did. They rejected his translation of the word agape. In the context of I Corinthians 13 it is impossible for the word love to be used. The King James translators realized that Greek is like every other language, a word can have shades of meaning.
I Corinthians 13 challenges the reader to consider the state of the Apostle Paul if he were to have all faith but have not charity. If the Apostle Paul had all faith we can assume that he had saving faith. If he has saving faith he is saved. It would be impossible for someone to have all faith and not be saved. After all, we are saved by faith.
Every single person who has saving faith has love. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love, I John 4:2. For the Apostle Paul to write that he might have all faith but not have love would be an absurdity. That would be to suppose that Paul did not understand the most basic rudiments of God's nature. The King James translators recognized this and realized that agape in this circumstance was not love itself. It is charity, which is the character of love. The context demands it regardless of what any lexicon says. Regardless of how Noah Webster defined the word charity, charity is the mechanics of how to make love visible.
One of the most persistent things I hear from men who have put away a wife or women who are put away, is that they still love their old spouse, they just can't live with them anymore. Love is not lacking. The marriage did not fail for lack of love. It failed for lack of charity. They failed to long suffer each other. They thought evil of each other. They behaved unseemly. They sought their own. They may have had faith. They may have had a sure hope. Yet, by lacking charity, their Christian witness was destroyed. Their marriage was destroyed. Their love was intact, but it was like a person who had lost his arms, his legs, his tongue and his eyes. It was powerless to do anything. Charity is greater than faith or hope; it makes love visible.
Two unsaved Japanese or Asian Indians can meet at a marriage altar for the first time and have a more successful marriage than two American Christians. All of their lives they have been trained in the character of love. Without loving each other, they will by training obey the precepts of I Corinthians 13. They will long suffer. They will not think evil. They will not behave unseemly. They will not vaunt themselves. They will not be puffed up. Their marriage will last and under the sweet umbrella of charity a true love will grow and flourish. The spoiled brat Americans who married for love will most likely stumble at each of the prerequisites of charity. Hopefully, the Lord will get involved and show them how to express their love by using his character.
Unfortunately, far too many Christian couples mistake their lack of charity for a lack of love. There was a time when Hollywood, paperback romance books and the television combined to convince the public that love died when the outward manifestations died. Divorce skyrocketed in America. Now fundamentalist preachers have entered the fray. They have added their voices on the devil's side. They have gotten rid of charity and told Christians that they don't have love if they don't long suffer. They have fallen for the Hollywood trap of believing that love is the outward manifestations.
Having thrown out charity they have become nothing. Rattle your keys and your change in your pocket. This is the sound of the average fundamentalist who has become a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. He'll humph and grumph about Christians divorcing and then go back in his pulpit and take away the clearest most definitive verses ever written on how to make a marriage work.
As a boy I remember watching a ridiculous comedy show called Hogan's Heroes. In one episode the German army had parked a truck loaded with heavy water for atomic experiments in the prison compound. The crafty Americans convinced the buffoon German commander that the water was intended for Berlin as a fountain of youth to make the top brass young and virile again.
He snuck by the guards and snuck some of the water for himself. He played into the American spy's hands. When the Gestapo agent in charge caught the moronic commander drinking the water he told him that it was for atomic experiments. The commander was horrified and asked him if it was harmful. The Gestapo agent told him "only if Berlin finds out".
Whenever I hear some poor fundamentalist changing the word charity to love I think of poor Colonel Klink. The Devil has convinced them that the four or five years of Greek they took have made them smarter than the King James translators. Here they are, the supposed defenders of the Word of God, sipping the waters of pseudo-intellectualism. Meanwhile, Hollywood teaches their people how to run a marriage. The results are showing up all over.
Will it hurt them? It will hurt if Heaven finds out. Preachers are sent to preach the word as it stands, not change it to fit the current fashions. The judgment seat of Christ will not be pretty for preachers who could not honestly see the difference between love itself as in I John 4, and loves outward workings as in I Corinthians 13.
The last word we will look at is the word "throughly". Even as I typed the word on my word processor, the spell check mechanism changed it to thoroughly. Those are two different words. There are Bible publishers who are without warrant changing that word at will. A person can buy a Bible marked as a King James Bible and have a verse like I Timothy3: 17 altered to make it a lie; That the man of God might be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Counterfeit King James Bibles are now reading thoroughly furnished unto all good works. That statement is a lie. He is not thoroughly furnished. He is throughly furnished.
Is being a Christian doctor a good work? Of course it is. If a person were stupid enough to believe a counterfeit King James Bible at face value they might believe they were furnished for such. Their furnishing should have been thorough. If something is done thoroughly it is done completely. Nothing is lacking. Why should they go to medical school?
I can assure them that they need to go to medical school, but if they do go they will be different than the other students. Their Bible has throughly furnished them. In other words, whether we are dealing with their choice of profession, their marriage, or their ministry, their private character, their public conduct, or their dreams, the word of God has verses that will temper those things for God's honor and glory. Throughout every aspect of their lives there is a godly biblical admonition on how to conduct themselves. By using the word throughly, the Lord is telling us that his word reaches to every aspect of our lives.
There is not a thorough teaching on how to do any of those things. If you want a thorough education on how to be a diesel mechanic go find a good one and have him teach you. You will not find out how from a King James Bible. What you will find from a King James Bible is that throughout every decision you make as a mechanic will be scriptures beckoning you to hard work and integrity.
The change is made again in Psalm 51: 2. David said; wash me throughly from mine iniquity. As every experienced Christian knows, iniquity tends to creep into every aspect of our lives. Our careers, our pray life, our home life, our conversations, our love life, our witness, and whatsoever other aspect we can think of, is subject to have iniquity manifest itself. We will never reach sinless perfection in this body.
David is inviting the Lord to go into every aspect of his life and wash him from iniquity. This is a washing throughout every part of his life. A person thoroughly washed from iniquity is a person with no sin left in him. There is no such person, I John 1:8.
A Bible that changes the word throughly to thoroughly is a Bible teaching a lie. No lie is of the truth, I John 2:21b. It is confusion. Churches all over America are having the truth of God turned into a lie and very few preachers are catching on.
Years ago I attended a service in a Neo-Evangelical church. A lady stood up to testify and warned everyone "they are going to come and take our bibles away". She was holding an NIV. I remember thinking "they already have lady". Now I've begun thinking that in King James churches, preachers who can defend the authenticity of their Bible's textual lineage cannot defend the actual English they are reading. Cheap thrill if somewhere out there is a perfect Greek text that no one in the congregation can read. Right in front of them is the Word of God and very few preachers can defend it. Worse yet, some are actively attacking it.