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God’s Word or Not

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalms 12:6-7

In my lifetime, I have seen America’s leadership begin to “…hate the good, and love the evil…” (Micah 3:2.) This hate of good and love of evil seems to parallel with the changing of one Bible translation right after another. Like the Athenians on Mars’ hill, today’s religious (not necessarily Christian) crowd seem to spend “their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” (Acts 17:21) {C}You would think that any sincere Christian would want to know if God left us His word or not. You would think that any dedicated believer would want to settle the issue of which Bible is correct. One thing any rational person knows is that they cannot all be correct. They can all be wrong, but they cannot all be right! Do we have God’s words in a book or do we not? If we do, which version is it? If we do not, why do we use whatever book we have? If it is not God’s infallible word why even use it?

Whether one is easier to read is immaterial if it is not the truth anyway! That is as stupid as saying “I’d rather take poison than medicine because it tastes better.” Did God leave us in this world like a ship with no rudder or did He leave us His word, unadulterated and pure? The psalmist said He “preserved” His words. Why would anyone want to change the subject from “words” to people? Satan’s first conversation with man was over what God said (His words.) First, Satan cast doubt on what God has said (Genesis 3:1,) then Satan outright accused God of lying (Genesis 3:4.) Satan wants to be God and all of his minions want to be God too. They want to tell you what God says or means. A people with solid faith in God’s words cannot be turned into slaves (John 8:32.)

How does one know what to believe if he flip-flops from one translation to another? For instance, in John 15:1-5, Christ’s discourse on bearing fruit includes “purging” in the King James Bible. (John 15:2) The other versions use the word “prunes.” You do not have to have a GED to know that purging means cleaning and pruning means cutting off. Does it make any difference? Does Christ “cut off” His branches (people, in this context) or does He cleanse them? I don’t know about you, but it is very important to me to know which is right.

In 2 Timothy 2:15, The KJV says “Study to show thyself approved…;” all others remove the word “study.” Many of the other versions say “…be diligent to present yourselves…” What does “diligent” mean? According to Webster, it means “steady in application to business; constant in effort…” This certainly is not a synonym for study. You could be “steady” and never open your Bible. The New Living Translation says “work hard so you can present yourself to God…” You could do that and never own or open a Bible. What are the motives of these people wanting to change these simple, plain, easy to understand words?

Please do not start on what “the Greek” or “the Hebrew” says. “The Greek” and “The Hebrew” do not exist! There is no such thing and the people making such statements know it too. There are at least 24 Greek New Testaments. The 25th edition of the Nestles-Aland Greek New Testament has been changed in over 600 places. There are no such manuscripts as the “original.”

If we do not have a Divine Book, how can we be sure we have a Divine Being? Do you realize that the entire scope of Christianity rises or falls on whether God has preserved His words or not? If we do not have the very words of God, then we are left without any standard or measurement or any Divine Authority. The world hates God’s Book. Someone has correctly said that the more wicked, nastier and meaner this world becomes, the more narrow and strict the KJV will become.

Nearly 30 years ago, I fought this inward battle. Did I have God’s words or not? I wrote letters, I asked questions, I read both pro and con. In our prison classes, men would bring in as many as six different translations…which led to more confusion and uncertainty. After weighing all the evidence I could find, I cast my lot with the King James Bible as God’s words, pure and perfect, to man. If I had found, in my mind, that there was no book on earth that was all pure and holy, not only would I have stopped doing the Bible class, I would have never opened my Bible again. If there is not a perfect Bible, what can you say from an imperfect one? If part of the book is incorrect, how do you know which part is incorrect? If most of the Bible is true, but a few places are not; how do I (or you) know which ones are which?

If one is making his living “preaching” or “teaching” the Bible, he must be very subtle. He cannot be dogmatic about one translation because that projects him as “illiterate,” “old fashioned,” “behind times” and his church probably won’t grow much. On the other hand, who knows? Jack Hyles had the largest Sunday School in the world with “hell fire” preaching from the KJV, (which he went on record as believing it to be the words of God.) Remember, when a man who is honestly mistaken, hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or he will quit being honest.

Keep Looking Up! Leland Maples

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