The Inspiration and Preservation of the King James Bible
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:15 -16)
There are several things in the text that we will highlight by way of introduction to the subject of “The Inspiration and Preservation of the King James Bible.”
First of all, the Holy Scriptures mentioned in verse 15 were not the Originals but rather copies of copies of copies, and they were still able to make Timothy ‘wise unto salvation’ by producing faith in Christ.
Then in verse 16 it’s important to note that ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The word ‘inspiration’ has to do with God not only breathing the words, but breathing His Spirit and His Life into the words, as clarified by the Lord Jesus in John 6:63 where He declared that “… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
It is also important to note that in verse 15 the Scriptures are called ‘holy,’ which implies something that is set apart by God and to God, which makes them unique, one-of-a-kind, and complete. What is holy is not to be touched or tampered with by man. When Uzzah touched the ark of God, he died because it was holy, and because he had overstepped his bounds. His good intentions were no excuse.
To tamper with the Holy Scriptures is to overstep one’s bounds and tread dangerous ground, as is indicated in Revelation 22:18-19. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Although the primary application of these verses is the book of Revelation, the whole Bible is holy and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will judge those who tamper with any portion of the Holy Scriptures.
When God speaks of the Scriptures, it not only makes reference to the body of Scripture as a whole, or even to the words only. According to the Lord Jesus, it also deals with the letters. In Matthew chapter 5 verse 18, we read, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” A jot was the smallest Hebrew letter, and the tittle was the smallest projection on a letter.
It’s important to note that when Jesus made this statement, He was not referring to the Originals, but rather to copies, and His promise was that it would remain intact until Heaven and earth pass. Since Heaven and earth have not yet passed, I must assume that there is still an inspired, preserved Bible with every jot and tittle, or I must assume that Jesus lied. When we carry this concept over to the English Bible, it implies that He will preserve it in such a way so that not even a dot on an ‘i’ or a cross on a ‘t’ is missing.
Another important truth found in our text is the fact that this inspired Bible has a purpose. “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:17) Without the inspired Bible this purpose cannot be fulfilled, and the original reason for inspiration is defeated. Therefore, since all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, if it is Scripture, it is inspired. If it is not inspired, it is not Scripture. Do we have Scripture or not?
There are those who discount the supernatural oversight of God, and tell us that 3% to 5% was lost during translation. If this were true, how would I know that the error is not in John 3:16 or Romans 10:13, verses on which my salvation rests?
Why bother to preserve what has already been corrupted? I often preserve deer meat by canning it. A few years ago I had meat stored in a refrigerator. The refrigerator quit working, and by the time I realized it, some of the meat had already spoiled. I did not bother to can any of it because I didn’t know what was spoiled and what was not. I didn’t trust any of it. And after listening to some preachers, I understand why some people don’t trust any of the Bible. They throw the whole thing out like I did with the spoiled meat. In this manuscript I am not going to talk about the translators, but rather the promises of God Who cannot lie and cannot change. Let God be true and every man a liar.
In Matthew 4:4 God says that, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” If God requires me to live by every word, and He is a just God, would it be logical for me to assume that He made sure that I had all of the words? Anything less than that would be injustice on His part, because He is demanding that I live by what I don’t have, and He is the only one Who could have provided it.
It is important to note that when God speaks of inspiration, He is not implying that a man was inspired, and gave his inspired opinion, but rather that God spoke through that man and saw to it that what He dictated was accurately recorded and alive.
In Psalm 45:1 the Psalmist said, “…my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” The implication here is that God is the Ready Writer and He is using the tongue of the Psalmist. The following illustration adds insight, but does not completely explain the inspiration of Scripture. For instance, if I dictate a letter to my secretary word-for-word and she types it exactly as it was dictated, the final draft is not the work of an inspired secretary, but it is the breath, the wording, and the spirit of the one dictating it. It also carries the authority of the one who breathed it. There is a vast difference between a mere invitation and a court order or a summons to appear. The first is a request, but the second is a demand with all of the authority of the judge who issued it.
To question inspiration is to question the Authorship and the Authority, as well as the spirit and life of the Scriptures. Let me again emphasize that Acts 17:11 tells us that the Bereans searched the Scriptures daily, and they did not have the Originals. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.” They were looking at copies, and those copies are referred to as Scripture. Only what is inspired is Scripture.
In II Peter 1:16-21, Peter declared that the scriptures were a more sure word of prophecy than an eye-witness account or hearing the voice of God directly. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Peter declares that the prophecy of Scripture is more sure than what he saw as any eye-witness and what he heard with his ears. How can this be? I have seen Gospel magicians do things with my own eyes, but it was an illusion. My eyes deceived me. I have heard things with my own ears and misunderstood what was said. But the prophecy of Scripture is inspired by God, and preserved by God, and more sure than my sight or my hearing.
To question inspiration is blasphemous, and those who do so do it in the name of education. It is important to remember that ‘higher education’ has never been the friend of true Christianity, primarily because of the principle found in I Corinthians 8:1 where it says, “…Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” To be ‘puffed up’ is to be filled with pride, and pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
In reality, to question inspiration is an expression of intellectual arrogance rather than education. Those who do so have been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, and have begun to scrutinize the Infallible Book on the basis of information found in fallible books that are definitely not inspired, such as lexicons, dictionaries, and history books.
To do so is as foolish as trying to find the exact dimensions of an object while using an inaccurate ruler. Suppose I had a yardstick that was only 28 inches long instead of 36 inches, and I was measuring something that had already been measured by a perfect yardstick, and after I measure it by my imperfect standard, I then question its perfection, because I did not come up with the same number of yards.
These folks scoff at those of us who are simple enough to operate by faith. Faith is dependency upon God and expectancy from God to the point that the Word of God is enough. Those of us who walk by faith and not by sight believe that if God can keep the soul of a sinner saved, He can keep His Book intact, including the inspiration, which is the life of the Book. Because of the simplicity of our faith, they call us ‘ignorant and unlearned men,’ but fail to acknowledge that we have been with Jesus. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Who was it that had the truth, these called unlearned and ignorant men, or the doctors of the law with all of their education?
Faith is simple, but not blind. It is based on Biblical principle. Higher education complicates simple matters, and to complicate what God made simple is a form of corruption and will lead to utter apostasy in time.
In Psalm 138:2, it says, “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” If God’s Word is no good, then His name is no good, therefore He has elevated His Word above His name.
In Exodus 20:7 we are warned, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” My question is this: If God will not hold them guiltless who take His name in vain, and He has elevated His Word above His name, can those who question the inspiration and preservation of His Word be found guiltless?
To cast doubt on the Word of God is to destroy the foundations. This is exactly what the lawyers were guilty of in Luke 11:52, where Jesus said, “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” The key of knowledge is an inspired, preserved Bible that can be trusted. First John 5:13 is proof of this statement. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” The Scriptures that have been written are how I know that I have eternal life. They are the key to this knowledge. Since people enter by faith, you hinder them by raising doubts.
The Scriptures are the foundation of my faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” They are also the foundation of my salvation. In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Jesus talks about the seed being sown. In verse 19, when giving the explanation of the parable to His disciples, He tied the seed and the Word of the kingdom together, and made them understand that, to sow the seed is to communicate the Gospel which produces various responses, one of which is the salvation of the soul.
The Scriptures are also the foundation of my moral values, my ethics, my religious practice, my doctrine, and my hope. To cast doubt on the King James Bible is like building a house on a firm foundation and then, after completion, taking a jackhammer and beginning to chip away at the very foundation your house rests upon.
In Psalm 11:3 the danger of the foundations being destroyed is pointed out. The verse says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” It’s important to note that the word ‘foundations’ is a plural word, which implies there is more than one. According to I Corinthians 3:11, Jesus is the foundation of salvation. But the Scriptures are the foundation on which we build our lives.
If the foundations be destroyed, the righteous will be swept away, as was the foolish man who built his life upon the sand in Matthew 7:24-27. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
This is happening before our eyes as the old-time religion is being swept away and replaced with contemporary religion, as Bible standards are being swept away and replaced with worldliness. Soulwinning is being swept away and replaced by marketing. Biblical marriage is being swept away and replaced by immorality and sodomy. These things are happening as a result of the foundation of the Word of God being removed from society and now from our churches, or at least being questioned by some of our preachers.
Through the ages there have been a number of theological battles over the authority of the Scriptures. Several years ago the Southern Baptists battled over inspiration. The most liberal group did not believe that there ever was an inspired Bible, and the most conservative group of them believed that there was an inspired Bible in the Originals, but none of them believed that one presently existed.
My question is: What good is inspiration without preservation? Who cares if there ever was an inspired Bible if we don’t have it today? The whole point of inspiration is defeated without God supernaturally preserving the Book.
During the same time period that the Southern Baptists were battling over inspiration, independent fundamental Baptists were arguing over preservation. In other words, which English Bible is the inspired, preserved, every-word Bible that God promised would exist until the world passed away? It can’t be the Originals, because they do not exist. It can’t be every Bible, because they do not agree. As my good friend, Dr. Mickey Carter pointed out, “Things that are different are not the same.”
There was a battle, and somewhat of a split in our ranks over this issue, and Bible believers concluded that the King James Bible is the very inspired, preserved Word of God. Some are now calling that battle “The King James Controversy” and condemning those who fought the battle for the foundation of our faith, implying that they hindered the growth of our churches by their stand. Let me remind you that in Nehemiah’s day, they had a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. They were building and battling.
After these accusations were made, I asked many Bible-believing preachers this question. “How many people have you lost because you believe that the King James Bible is the inspired, preserved Word of God?” Most of them told me they could not remember losing anyone over that issue. Then I asked them, “How many have you lost over standards?” They all said, “Too many to count!” My point is this: If you are not willing to take a stand and make waves over inspiration, you certainly can’t justify losing ten times as many people over standards. The next thing to go will be standards. If you won’t fight for the foundations of faith, you certainly won’t fight for the garnishings of faith. By garnishings I’m not minimizing the importance of standards of separation, but implying that it has to do with the outward expression of our faith, which testifies to a lost and dying world. This ‘growth at all cost’ mentality is dangerously close to that of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. I am to ‘contend for the faith’ once delivered and forever preserved.
As we already learned in Matthew 4:4 and 5:18, somewhere there must be an every word and every jot and tittle Bible. If it is not in the King James Bible, where is it? Put a copy in my hand. Even common sense would lead one to believe that the King James Bible is the Scripture spoken of by Jesus and Paul, since every great revival that the English-speaking world has ever experienced was in conjunction with the use of a King James Bible. There has been no NIV revival, no ASV revival, no Living Bible revival, no Revised Standard Version revival, no Good News for Modern Man revival, but rather since the Bible-a-month club has started, apostasy has become more rampant both in society and in our churches.
Recently a new theological discussion has surfaced. It is based on the false idea that the King James Bible is preserved but it is not inspired. My question is very simple. If we begin with something inspired, and we preserve it, how do we lose inspiration in the process of preservation? This is theological double-talk. Furthermore, it is important to note that both inspiration and preservation are supernatural acts of God. Everyone involved in this debate believes that the Bible was inspired by God in the Originals, but some believe that inspiration was lost in translation.
My good friend, Dr. Rick Sowell, asked a very probing question while preaching out of Jeremiah 36. The question was this: Where does inspiration end? Does it end when God speaks to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 36:2? Or does it end with Jeremiah repeating it verbatim to Baruch in Jeremiah 36:4? Or does it end with Baruch writing it in Jeremiah 36:4? Or does it continue to the second manuscript that Jeremiah dictated at the command of God after the king had cut the first manuscript and cast it into the fire in Jeremiah 36:32? Verse 32 declares that the second roll had all the words of the first roll that the king had thrown into the fire, and there were added many like words.
Brother Sowell made the statement that, “Inspiration is more of a process than a singular act.” I tend to agree because both inspiration and preservation are the work of God and do not depend on the translating ability of man. And if God did not supernaturally preserve His Word and it’s life, there would have been no point in Him breathing it or inspiring it to start with. Regardless of whether it is a process singular in nature or two separate supernatural acts, the outcome is the same. We have the inspired, preserved Word of God.
Please pay close attention to the wording of Jeremiah 36:32, where it says, “Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.” I want to remind you that Jeremiah was not copying from the Originals which had been burned in the fire, and it does not tell us that God spoke the words a second time to Jeremiah, but rather that Jeremiah once again spoke the words and Baruch penned them. It certainly was not of Jeremiah alone that ‘all the words’ that had been in the first roll were in the second. God both inspired it and preserved it, and used Jeremiah as the instrument or tool to accomplish it.
Remember that II Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. Inspiration is not only to breathe the words, but to infuse them with life. The breath of God is equivalent to the Spirit of God, according to John 20:22, where it says, “…he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”
The breath of God is the breath of life. This is clearly pointed out in Genesis 2:7 where it says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Let me point out a couple of things. First of all, God formed man, and I am certain that if he formed man, it was a perfect form. But there was no life in that form until God breathed life into it. The breath of God is the breath of life. Whatever He breathes into has life. If you take the breath away from man he dies, according to Psalm 104:29 which says, “…thou takest away their breath; they die…”
It is equally true that if you take the breath or the inspiration out of the Scriptures, it is a dead book. If our Bible is not inspired, then it is equivalent to an embalmed Bible. The form is still there, but the life is gone. Second Timothy 3:5 speaks of those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. To have a preserved Bible and deny its inspiration is to have the form or the shell of the Bible, but to deny the power thereof. A sea shell is the outward form of a sea creature, but the life is gone. Adam, when formed, had all of his fingers and toes, but without the spirit being breathed into him, he was lifeless.
I don’t need an embalmed Bible. I need one that is alive, as well as complete. If I go to the hospital, I want them to preserve more than my form. The mortician can do that. I want them to preserve my life. God promised to preserve an inspired Bible. As already stated, the Lord Jesus declared, “… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) which means that they were inspired.
When God breathed into Adam the breath of life, he became a living soul. Is that soul still alive? Absolutely! For those of you who might argue that Adam was the ‘original’ human being and God breathed life directly into him only, I agree that only Adam and Eve were formed by direct creation. Since I am not the original, God did not breathe life into me by direct creation. However, I too am a living soul. That same life that was breathed into Adam directly has been transmitted from one generation to another for over 6,000 years by way of reproduction, not by way of direct creation. I am a descendent and a copy of Adam, over 6,000 years removed from his direct creation, and yet I have the same spirit of life in me that God breathed into Adam.
My point is this: God did not need to re-inspire the translators. He breathed the Originals and breathed His spirit and life into them, and He has seen to it that the life is carried on to every generation by way of reproduction, not re-inspiration. So if I have a preserved copy of the Bible, I also have an inspired copy of the Bible, because it is impossible to start with something inspired and to preserve it, without it continuing to be inspired. A little later in this manuscript I will define preservation which will make this statement abundantly clear.
The fact that God breathed the Bible is clearly stated in the Bible itself. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1-2) “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:” (Luke 1:70) “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1:21) In each of these passages the declaration is made that ‘God spake’ or moved them to speak through them. The words of the Bible are God’s words.
God is a Spirit, (John 4:24). His words are spirit, (John 6:63). And according to I Corinthians 2:13-14, the Bible is a spiritual Book written in a language that the natural man, who is spiritually dead, cannot discern. “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:13-14)
According to Ephesians 2:1, before we were born of the Spirit and infused with Spirit-life, we were described as ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ We were physically alive, but spiritually dead. This is the condition of the ‘natural man’ mentioned in I Corinthians 2:14.
The King James Bible is both a spiritual Book and a living Book, and I might add, it is the only such Book in English in the universe. This is why the natural man, who is dead spiritually, cannot discern its contents. In Job 32:8 he declares, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” This spirit was put into man by the inspiration of the Almighty and is taught by the same breath of inspiration, now contained in the Scriptures.. To understand the Book, I must have the same breath of life in me that the Bible has in it. Otherwise, I cannot get on the same wavelength. The words are spirit, and therefore spiritual. To those who are dead spiritually there can be no communion nor witness with the spirit or spiritual, thus the statement, “…neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” It is not possible for the lost man to know them.
This is also declared in Romans 8:16 where it says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” It is not mere accuracy that makes the Bible undiscernible to the lost man, but its inspiration — its Spirit-life. To read the inspired words of God as a lost man is like someone trying to understand a book written in Chinese when they can only read English, or like a dead man trying to communicate with the living.
If the Bible is not the very Word of God, then it cannot be a good Book, because it would be filled with lies. Four hundred thirteen times we find the expression, “Thus saith the Lord.” Two hundred thirty-five times the Bible describes itself as “the Word of the Lord.” Forty-eight times it describes itself as “the Word of God.” Eight times, speaking of its contents, it says, “the Spirit saith.”
Inspiration is what sets the Bible apart from all other religious books, such as the Koran or the Book of Mormon. A preserved Koran has no life in it, even if it is a perfect copy of the original, because there was no inspiration of God in it to start with. If you take the inspiration out of the Bible and have a perfect copy of the words, you have reduced it to just another religious book, rather than ‘the power of God unto salvation.’
In Hebrews 4:12 it says, “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.” In this verse there are attributed to the Bible certain qualities that could only be attributed to something or someone that is alive.
First it says that the Word of God is quick. The very word ‘quick’ speaks of life. The ink and paper cannot be alive, but God has infused the words with His breath, and made them spirit. If the King James Bible is not alive, it is not the Word of God, because the Word of God is quick, or alive.
In I Peter 1:23 it says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” Both the Lord Jesus and the Bible are called the Word of God, and both live forever and abide forever. If the Lord Jesus had died at Calvary and never risen, He would have no power to save, because only what has life has power. It is equally true that if we have a Book that is perfect in content, but has lost its inspiration and life in translation, it has no power to produce life. Only what is alive can beget life.
Not only is the Word of God declared to be quick, but to be powerful. Power speaks of authority, and the wise man taught us that ‘where the word of the king is, there is power.’ Power also speaks of ability to perform. In II Timothy 3:15 we learned that the scriptures are ‘able’ to make thee wise unto salvation. In Romans 1:16 we learn that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Also attributed to the Word of God is the ability to pierce by way of conviction, to divide by establishing a holy standard, and to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. Discernment has to do with probing and searching, which could only be done by a living Book. And the life of the Book is its inspiration. God’s Word is alive and has power to produce life, as is indicated in Genesis 1:24 which says, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind… and it was so.”
My question is, “Do we have a copy of the Word of God which is alive and powerful in the King James Bible?” If not, show me where to get a copy, since God promised that it would both live and abide forever. I do not believe in what some would call ‘dual inspiration’, but I do believe in divine preservation, as it is promised in Scripture. Psalm 100:6 says, “…his truth endureth to all generations.” This would imply that no generation is skipped over or left out.
Psalm 12:6-7 declares that, “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.” Please note that in verse seven it is declared that God would preserve His words from that generation for ever. It is God’s job to preserve His Word, in spite of man. Do you think He is up to the task? If God cannot keep or preserve His own words, how can He keep the soul of a saved sinner such as you or me, as He promised to do in I Peter 1:5, where it declares that we are ‘kept by the power of God’. This is apart from any human work, and the preservation of the Bible is apart from any human work. Let me remind you that the things which are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 18:27)
Question #1 If God could inspire His Word through one man, could He preserve it through another, or in another language? Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” Would that include King James, who authorized the translation? Would it also include the translators?
Question #2 If God could overrule in the affairs of Joseph concerning his brothers’ evil intentions toward him and turn their evil intentions into something good as He did in Genesis 50:20, could He also overrule in the good intentions of these fallible translators? Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
Let me remind you that God has always used fallible man to achieve His infallible goals. Much of the Bible was originally penned by three murderers: Moses, who killed and Egyptian and buried him, David who killed Uriah, and Saul of Tarsus, who gave consent to the stoning of Stephen. All of these men were forgiven and cleansed before they were used, but my point is this: It was originally inspired through these frail, fallible human beings, and everyone involved in the debate believes that. Does God have any less power to preserve than He had to inspire? Is preservation any more dependent upon man than inspiration was?
Question #3 If God could see to it that all the words were re-written by Jeremiah that had been written in the previous scroll destroyed by Jehoiakim, could He oversee the translation of an existing document? Jeremiah 36:28 “Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.”
I believe that God preserved all the words. (Matthew 4:4) I also believe that He preserved the inspiration, which is the spirit and life of the words. As already stated, anything less than this would be the equivalent of an embalmed Bible. A corpse has all the body parts, but the breath and life is gone. It has no power to pierce, to divide, to discern, nor to save.
Remember, everybody involved in the discussion believes that we started with something inspired in its original form. If we preserve what is inspired, how can we possibly lose inspiration in the process of preservation?
Let me define the word ‘preservation’ from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. It means a) to keep or save from injury, decay, or destruction. b) to uphold or sustain c) to keep in a sound state, d) to defend from corruption and to make last e) to prevent what is preserved from changing. If we begin with something that is inspired and keep it from decay, sustain it, keep it in a sound state, defend it from corruption, make it last, and prevent it from changing, is it still inspired?
If I preserve peaches by canning them, after they are preserved, are they still peaches, or have they now become generic fruit? We do not need a good translation. Nor do we need the best translation. We need the inspired, preserved Word of God that was promised to us by God Himself. Because preservation without inspiration is equivalent to no inspiration to start with.
It is inspiration that gives the Bible life. (Hebrews 4:12) It is inspiration that gives it power. (II Timothy 3:5) It is inspiration that makes it holy. (II Timothy 3:15) It is inspiration which makes it able. (II Timothy 3:15) It is inspiration that makes it Scripture. (II Timothy 3:16) It is inspiration that guarantees its authenticity as the Word of God. To question inspiration is to question the Source and authenticity of the document, as well as to remove any force and power that it had in its origin. We have an inspired and preserved King James Bible. It is perfect, it is complete, and it is alive. It has as much life and as much force to transform the lives of people as it had in its original form.
Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the black race from slavery, was destroyed in the Chicago fire. When the Originals were destroyed, and only exact copies remained, did the power and force of the document disappear and the black race get plunged back into slavery? Absolutely not!
The fact that we do not have the Original Autographs does not reduce or eliminate the breath and power of the Word of God. There are those today who speak of re-writing the King James Bible. Several years ago they put out a New King James in an attempt to improve what was already perfect. It was a disaster, as you might imagine.
I like what was said in an article in the Wall Street Journal, which I’m sure you’re aware is not a Christian newspaper. The writer of the article said, “To try to re-write the King James Bible would be like turning an amateur watchmaker loose on Big Ben.” Amen!