Is the King James Translation Trustworthy?
This site uses only the King James translation, so it is vital to the life and welfare of the Believer to have full confidence and total trust in the preservation and accuracy of the Holy Scriptures.
"IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD
AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD,
AND THE WORD WAS GOD." JOHN 1:1
The integrity and faithfulness of the Lord are the basis for believing that the Bible we possess is altogether true, and totally trustworthy. Those who attack God's Word to cast doubt or deny it's accuracy are in fact charging our faithful Lord with unfaithfulness or inability to protect and preserve it.
The following study presents a small part of the testimony that refutes the doubters and detractors of the King James translation. The order of the study is:
*****1. The faithfulness of God
*****2. Satan's attack
*****3. God's own testimony about His Word
*****4. Testimony of prophecy
*****5. Testimony of history
*****6. Evidence of changed lives
THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
"For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
Thy faithfulness is unto all generations." Psalms 119:89-90
"He is the Lord our God; His judgements are in all the earth.
He hath remembered His covenant forever, the Word
which He commanded to a thousand generations." Psalms 105:7-8
These two scriptures taken from the King James translation and many others declare that one of the eternal attributes of God is His faithfulness. Psalms 36:5 describes God's faithfulness as reaching to the clouds. He is called the Faithful Witness in Revelation 1:5; His faithfulness is known to all generations, and He will not suffer his faithfulness to fail (Psalms 89:1, 33). Lamentations3:23 offers this invincible definition: "Great is thy faithfulness."
With so many clear statements regarding the absolute faithfulness of God, it is extraordinary that Satan can persuade believers to question that faithfulness in regard to the accuracy of the King James Bible. Charges against God's faithfulness are common among otherwise well-instructed believers.
Some questioning statements are:
---"Well, no translation is completely trustworthy becaue the original manuscripts were lost."
---"There are better and older manuscripts."
---"The language changes render the King James Bible obsolete."
---"God did not watch over the translators of the King James bible; they were left to their own wisdom."
When we hear remarks and teaching such as this against the King James translation we are witness to charges of unfaithfulness against God Himself. Such false statements can leave troubling doubts about the absolutefidelity of God's Holy Word. Most believers today have been deceived by Satan's lie and read the Bible with some reservations about it's accuracy.
The first recorded words of Satan show an attack on the veracity of God's Word (Genesis 3:1). The attack continues unabated as Satan and men wage a determined war to destroy or discredit the Word of God. Ingenious methods are employed, sometimes overt, sometimes subtle, to undermine thevery foundation of the faith of the people of God.
To the unsaved world Satan portrays the Word of God as a collection of worthless Jewish fables and in blatant terms rejects it outright. To the Christian world, Satan works with subtle doubts (hath God said?) and seeks to persuade the believer that throughout the ages the accuracy hasbeen lost until no one can be sure what really is true. Satan has achieved great success with this method.
Would our Faithful God allow the only true light for this world to be lost to man? Does He not have the power to create the universe and cleanse us of our sins? So what small act isit for Him to preserve His Word? The many various translations and mutilations of His Word have wrought confusion among Christians all over the world. These tactics by Satan haveproduced much doubt and mistrust to discredit the King James translation. "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." I Corinthians 14:33
In the early 1800's the challenge against the King James Bible gained momentum at the hand of two men, Wescott and Hort. They obtained access to manuscripts that had been in the possesion of the Roman church for over 1000 years. These manuscripts showed evidence of multiple erasures and over-copying. From these disfigured copies Wescott and Hort prepareda revision of the King James translation. They argued that because the Catholic manuscripts were older they were more accurate.
Almost all late revisions of the scripture have fallen prey to this device of Satan. Many marginal notes are based upon the perverted Siniatic (Vatican) manuscripts. Since1900 the translations have multiplied by the hundreds as every cult brings forth a translation to suit it's cause.
Some recent translators have worked to create a Bible so simple that the unsaved man may understand it. This has spawned ridiculous, paraphrased editions, such as the LivingBible and the Modern Language Version. In so doing they have ignored the fact that the "natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he knowthem." I Corinthians 2:14.
A number of other recent works, such as the New American Standard, the New Scofield, and the New International Version, have disregarded the clear admonition neither to add tonor diminish from the Word of God; presumptiously, they have both added and deleted (Revelation 22:18-19) arbitrarily, and in so doing have violated the basic principle of accuracy.
By contrast, the King James translation is based upon the Greek text compiled at the time of the Reformation. From a great collection of carefully hand copied manuscripts,an exceptional Greek scholar named Erasmus edited one text to be used by the whole church. He studied literally thousands of documents, many of which had been treasured by the saints during the 1000 years of persecution by the Roman Catholic Church.Erasmus found that the great majority of these surviving manuscripts were in total agreement and by the sheer weight of numbers of those that were identical he purposedto edit one text to represent the majority.
In 1516 he produced the Greek text that is now known as the Received Text. From that day to this, this precious text has been under furious attack: yet it stands today as the text from which God has instructed and nourished His church.
The criticism most often used against the King James translation relates to the language peculiarities of 1611. There are obsolete words and phrases that were commonthen, but are no longer used today. These pose no real problem to those who will give attendance to reading, I Timothy 4:13.
It is possible for any English reader to find a number of credible volumes of research, such as the Strong's Concordance, to make clear the obsolete wordsor sentence construction and to compare the semantics and idioms of Bible times, and the language of 1611 to our modern language usage.
Probably the most troublesome to the student of scripture is the use of the ecclesiastical synonym by the translators. Certain religious words became entrenched in the English language through centuries of use during the Middle Ages, and hadbecome acceptable synonyms at the time of the King James translation. We will look at three illustrations that have been called mistakes by those who do not know the history of the language.
The word "bishop" is used in place of overseer in I Timothy 3:1-2. A bishop was originally a village magistrate with limited authority. But in the Middle Ageswhen the church leaders intruded into politics, the church overseer took the office and for hundreds of years served as town bishop and sat as judge. Bishop became a common synonym for overseer and was so used by the translator of 1611.
The word "atonement" was used in Romans 5:11 as an acceptable synonym for the word reconciliation. Atonement was used for centuries to describe the whole scope of the redemption plan. This use is still found in some of the old songs. It was in this broad sense that it was used in Romans 5:11 by the translator.
The word "easter" is found in Acts 12:4, used in place of passover. All through the Dark Ages it was the common synonym because it was celebrated on the sameday as the Jewish passover. In fact, it was also called Paschaltide, incorporating the Greek word for passover (paschal). The English Bible translated before 1611 usedeaster frequently for the word passover. The King James translation retained it only once. These were acceptable synonyms for the English verbal equivalent of theGreek word at that time.
These words are typical of the language difference found often in the King James translation, and are sometimes called mistakes by those who fail to take into account370 years of language evolution.
Is it reasonable that God would fail to preserve and guard His precious Word for each generation? Are we left with a message from the mouth of God that is only generally tue, but specifically full of detail errors? Are we required to repeatthe feeble argument of many who say that God gave the Word in perfection to the writers, even choosing word by word it's content, but then He was unfaithful to all succeeding generations and now we can only guess at what He really said in the beginning?
Many believers today have accepted this satanic logic. May God help us to reject such an argument against the faithfulness of God. Let us not accept the world's view that tells us that God either could not, or would not watch over and guide the translators, or that His care for His Word ended with the original manuscripts.
God contradicts all such arguments: He Himself has preserved His Word for us in the King James Bible. He tells us so over and over. Let's look at some.
"Thous shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them
from this generation for ever." Psalms 12:7
"Forever, o Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." Psalms 119:89
"Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle
shall in no wise pass from the law,
till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:18
"The scripture cannot be broken." John 10:35
(The word 'broken' is a Greek word meaning to be loosed. The Lord will not allow even one word to be loosed from the whole.)
GOD'S OWN TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS WORD
The authorship of the Holy Scriptures is credited to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Over 1900 times the Lord claims it as His Word ("thus saith the Lord,God saith"). Clear statements abound as in II Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God..."; and Psalm 68:11, "The Lord gave the Word."
The Lord uses the most exalted terms to describe and illutrate the glory of His Word. He ascribes to it His own perfections: "Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalms 138:2. He tells us that it is not a vain thing, but "it is your life" Deuteronomy 32:47. It is the only source of truth for a lost world; the only source of truth for the growth and welfare of His children.
The Lord Jesus Christ is said to be the Word incarnate in John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...full of grace and truth." In Revelation 19:13 "His name is called Word of God." In I john 1:1 He is called the Word of life, and I Corinthians 2:16 once we believe he died for our sins, "We have the mind of Christ."
The Holy Spirit also proclaims that He gave the Word in II Peter 1:21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by theHoly Ghost."
God's special relationship and identification with the Holy scripture makes it the most valuable treasure of wisdom and knowledge that the world can know. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3.
The Lord declares His Word to be living and powerful as in Hebrews 4:12. It is called the witness of God in I John 5:9-13, and is said to be "In truth the Word of God" inI Thessalonians 2:13. The Word of our Lord is without alloy; Psalms 12:6 states that His Word is like silver purified seven times. He also proclaims that "Every Word of Godis pure" in Proverb 30:5.
THE TESTIMONY OF PROPHECY
A most unassailable proof of the heavenly origin of the King James translation is found in prophecy fulfilled. In God's infinite foreknowledge, He writes detailed history centuries before it happens.
"I am God, and there is none else, I Am God, and
there is none like me, declaring the end from the
beginning, and from ancient times the things that
are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and
I will do all my pleasure." Isaiah 46:8-10.
"I have even from the beginning declared it unto thee,
before it came to pass I showed thee." Isaiah 48:5.
Hundreds of prophesies pointing to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world have been fulfilled to the letter, even to the smallest details. Only the foreknowledgeof God could produce such accuracy as written in the King James Bible. Just a few examples are shown below:
Isaiah 7:14..........Born of a virgin...............Matthew 1:18-25
Micah 5:2............Born in Bethleham..............Matthew 2:1
Zechariah 9:9........Comes to Jerusalem.............Luke 19:35-40
Isaiah 53:12.........Numbered with transgressors....Mark 15:28
Psalms 22:16.........Hands and feet pierced.........John 20:25-29
Psalms 22:18.........Gambled for his garments.......John 19:23-24
Psalms 34:20.........No bone of Him broken..........John 19:33-36
Psalms 16:10.........Not see corruption.............I Corinthians 15:4
Hundreds of predictions about Israel and the Gentiles could be written, such as Abraham's descendants, and Gentile kings and nations. Cyrus was named in Isaiah 44:28....176 years before he was born. Josiah was named in I Kings 13:2-3, 300 years before he was born.
The evidence of prophecy leaves no room for any other conclusion than that this King James translation is from the Lord. Only blind unbelief can question the accuracy of God's record.
THE TESTIMONY OF HISTORY
One of the most profound proofs of the power and accuracy of the Word of God is clearly seen in world history. God declares "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." in Psalms 33:12, wherein is the promise of blessing for our own nation's beginning. Proverbs 14:34 says, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." In Jeremiah 18:5-9 we learn that the Lord lifts up a nation at His will, and puts down at His will.
Down through the history of the Gentile nations, we can see how prosperity and peace have been given to those who accepted God's Word, and used the King James translation. Our own nation was founded in the fear of God and we experienced unparalleled blessing.
When the Word of God was received in England after the overthrow of Roman Catholicism in 1534, the rise and expansion of the British Empire slowly gained momentum until the zenith was reached under the reign of Queen Victoria. She was a dedicated Christian who loved the Lord and His Word. God blessed the nation until at the close of her reign it was commonly stated that the sun never sets on the British Empire, a reference to the global superiority of England. God had proven the power of His Word: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
Everywhere the Word of God spread, God's blessings followed. The history of the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Holland show that as long as the Word of God was honored, the nations were honored by the Lord.
By gross contrast, look at the devil worship of Haiti, Asia, Africa, and India where God's Word is refused. Desperate oppression and deadly poverty reign. Nations under the tyranny of Roman Catholocism also show the effect of denying the Word of God: unrest and oppression afflict the people generation after generation. Also note, that they do not use the King James Bible.
It must be observed that with the beginning of the 1900's a movement known as 'higher criticism' aimed at discrediting the Word of God, sprang up in Germany and soon infected all of Europe and brought with it doubt and a turning away from the Word of God. As a consquence God began to lift His hand of blessing and we now see a continual decline.
EVIDENCE OF CHANGED LIVES
According to II Timothy 3:15-16, the Word of God is able to make men wise unto salvation and change our lives to conform to God's will, and fit us for service to Him. From the very beginning of the history of man, until this very day, the changed lives of believers is proof that His Word is indeed living and powerful.
"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." Hebrews 4:12
It has turned sinners into saints and changed our destructive course to a course of service to Him. Even our very base nature is brought under subjection by the power of His Word. His Word, using the King James translation, will root out evil and replace it with a righteous life pattern.
Education, philosophy, religion, government, and 'new-age' thought all attempt in various ways to improve the heart of man. No earthly force can ever accomplish such a thing. Only God's Word is capable of such a mission, and all around us we see Christians as living examples of that change. The effect of His Word in our lives is illustrated in Deuteronomy 32:2 and Isaiah 55:1-11, where the Word is pictured as the rain from heaven that is essential to spiritual growth and fruit.
Is the King James translation trustworthy? The evidence is clear to those willing to see it in faith. No other translation has moved the King James version from the hearts and minds of true believers; no translation has improved upon it's accuracy. It stands today as an undeniable testimony to the faithfulness of God.
It is significant and noteworthy that those who constantly cast doubts upon the King James translation offer no credible alternative to the authorized text. God did not forsake His Word into the feeble hands of men, but because He is faithful, He preserved it for this generation and every generation to come (Psalms 12:7). We can read the King James Bible knowing with full assurance that it is the true light shining out from the very throne of God.
"THE COUNSEL OF THE LORD STANDETH FOREVER
THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART TO ALL GENERATIONS.
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