A couple days ago, a friend forwarded me an article written to discredit the KJV position. My friend is KJV, but his church is having a vote about removing the KJV standard from their church covenant, and it looks like the vote will succeed.
Someone had sent him the article to try to persuade him to drop his own KJV convictions. Well, he didn’t (and he won’t).
I was a little leery of reading the article at first, concerned that it may raise some new issues I hadn’t confronted before and therefore require me to spend time doing research myself. Surprisingly, there was nothing new in it.
In fact, the article itself was about four decades old, and much has been published in the interceding 30-40 years to rebuff the inaccurate assertions it made. It was alarming, though, that an article with that much error was still floating around the Internet and being used to tear down people’s faith.
Even more alarming, however, is that the foundational argument in the article was that we don’t really know what the Word of God is. In an attempt to discredit the Textus Receptus and the King James Version of the Bible, it begins by attempting to befuddle the reader with a pseudo-scholarly recitation of Greek manuscript names and dates, and reasons why certain ones are better than others, and none are perfect.
You know, if someone said to me that they believe that the NIV is the Word of God and they had a coherent, well-reasoned argument for that position, I’d respect them for that. I would disagree, but I would respect them.
But to take the position that we don’t really know what the Word of God is because there are hundreds of disagreeing Greek manuscripts, and therefore we need Greek scholars to choose the best wordings for us, is simply illogical.
Bible scholars pointing to this manuscript or that manuscript for evidence of their pet interpretations is so much like paleontologists pointing to this cheekbone or that tooth or that fossil as evidence of evolution.
Either God inspired and preserved His Word, or He didn’t. If someone takes the position that the Word of God has not been divinely inspired and preserved for today, then the only natural, logical conclusion of that argument is that God does not exist.
That was the most troubling thing about the article my friend forwarded to me. It established as the foundation of its argument that we don’t really know what God’s Word is. Oh, they said that we know for sure about 90% of the words based on manuscript evidence and textual criticism, and to them that was good enough.
But, 90% is not good enough for me. I need to know what 100% of God’s Word says, not 90%. I could not speak with any authority on any spiritual topic if I thought that 10% of my Bible could be wrong.
God is not 90% perfect. He is 100% perfect. The Bible is not 90% accurate. It is 100% accurate.
That’s why I could have respect for someone who came to me with another Bible version, saying it is the Word of God, and presenting a well-reasoned argument for it. I would disagree and try to dissuade them, but I would respect them, because at least their argument is based upon the premise that God does exist.
These folks who believe that Bible scholars have to reconstruct God’s Word for Him (because apparently God did such a poor job preserving it for us – isn’t God lucky to have these scholars to help Him!), are a completely different matter. If you follow their line of reasoning, the natural, logical conclusion is that God does not exist, since He obviously did not preserve His inspired Word for us.
If God exists, then He has preserved His Word. If we have no preserved Word, then there can be no God because if there were, He would have preserved His Word for us.
This Bible versions debate is a whole lot more significant than most folks realize. If we are to live for God, we need to have His Word in our hands. To say that we cannot know for sure what the Word of God is, is to deny the very existence of God.