The Sadness of "KJV Only"
Can someone be so "in love" with the Bible that they forget Who wrote it? Can someone be so in love with the Bible that they miss what is being said within its bindings? The Bible is a living, breathing document that has survived thousands of years. It has not survived due to anything man has done. God has preserved His own words so that we can have some guidance.
There are those out there that have their seats in church. Have you ever tried to sit in "their" seat? What about when their "jam" comes on, oooh, sorry, a hymn is sung that they love? You can hear them all over the sanctuary. Their Bible? You better be reading from whatever version "they" approve. You are damned to hell if you do not read the version that "they" suggest. Does anyone else see a problem here? Wasn't this the very thing Jesus came to set us free from? Maybe everyone isn't as well read as you are. Maybe everyone isn't as experienced in the Word as you are. Maybe, just maybe everyone is a little bit closer to Jesus than you are?
The following are actual things I have heard:
"I don't need the Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic. I have the English of the old authorized King James Bible"
"By God's grace, I have the old authorized King James Bible"
"We have the Holy Ghost teaching us"
"You are so blinded"
"The only authority is the true word of God, the old authorized King James Bible"
"Why would I use anything the Greeks had to offer. They were wicked, evil people that didn't love things of God at all"
"Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are dead languages"
and my favorite, "If it was good enough for Paul (the apostle), it is good enough for me"
In any other context, these statements would be funny. However, those that said these things actually believe what they are saying. Maybe it would make sense if we took five minutes and helped understand where our Bible actually came from. For those that believe King James is the only version, that would mean that for about 3,500 years, the previous scriptures were obsolete and therefore had no value since they were originally in these "dead languages" of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
The first mention of God's Word, oddly enough, has Satan questioning it. In Genesis 3, Satan first questions God's Word in verse 1 and then denies what God says in verse 4. The point here is God's Word has been challenged since the beginning of time. Stay with me here. As a side note, if you would like to know the power of God's Word, simply look at crime statistics and how they have skyrocketed since 1963. What happened in 1963? The Bible was taken out of our society as a whole.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". When you read this in the "good old King James Bible" you miss what the Holy Spirit is really trying to tell you because the original was written in that "dead language", Greek. The word inspiration means divinely breathed in. In other words, some guys weren't really "inspired" and wrote some stuff. God gave it to them to write.
Specific men and women were chosen. Notice I said "and women". The Bible is put together in what is called a "canon". It simply means rule or standard of measurement. Man influenced the form, but not the content. He couldn't have since it is a prophetic book. There are 8,362 predictive verses on 1,817 predictions on 737 separate matters. No man could have done that, not even with the power of the "King James Bible".
The Bible is 2 major sections: The Old Testament and The New Testament. A testament is simply a covenant. The best way to view this is The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and The Old Testament is in The New Testament revealed. The Old Testament is the account of a nation and The New Testament is the account of a man from that nation.
All of the original scriptures, up to the point of Jesus, were written in Hebrew and a brief portion of Daniel was written in Aramaic. The Hebrew texts at that time were known as the Vorlage. From 285 to 270 B.C., 70 scholars in Alexandria, Egypt translated the Vorlage into Greek. You know, one of those "dead languages" spoken by those "evil, wicked people"? Because the new sect of "Christians" used this as their text, the council of Jamnia in 90 A.D. rejected the text known as the Septuagint (fancy word for 70). Perhaps they were the precursor to the "King James Only" group.
The Vorlage later became known as the Masoretic text. It is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. In other words, it is the chosen version to read of the Hebrew language. Yes, that "dead language". Something to keep in mind that early translations, including "Original King James Bible 1611" was translated from this Masoretic text. The Masoretes were medieval scribes of Tiberias. Here is the really interesting part. A fourth century copy of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) was discoverd and found 6,000 differences from the Masoretic text. Remember that the Masoretic text is where the King James Original 1611 Bible was translated from. Those 6,000 differences were not differences in the Septuagint. You remember that the Septuagint is the translation that the early Christians used and the Jews banned because of that "heretical group" using it.
As languages have changed, so have translations. From 390 to 405 A.D., Jerome had the scriptures translated into Latin. It is called the Latin Vulgate. The Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered, oddly enough, verify the Latin Vulgate and the Septuagint. Perhaps there was an "original King James Bible" in that stack somewhere that was overlooked?
While the debate will always be there as to which version of the Bible to read, Bible Pass has a recommendation to which version to read. Keep in mind that many years of research has gone into this recommendation. With over 2,000 versions of the Bible currently available, it is with much prayer and research that Bible Pass recommends LARGE PRINT!
You see, if your heart is truly toward God, He will direct you as to which version to read. To say that one is better than the other would only discount His ultimate power. The chains of tyranny continue in religious circles as we tell folks what they should and shouldn't wear, watch, drink, do, and of course, read. If a person's heart is toward God, He will do that. If they're heart is NOT toward God, do they really care what you suggest?
In closing, I read the King James Bible. Why? Because I always have and all of my study material accumulated over the years is predominantly King James reference. For my friends who are so adamant about a particular version, try Bible Pass's suggestion of LARGE PRINT. It may take the stress off your eyes and you might be able to see the Lord more clearly.