Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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April 22, 2013
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April 22, 2013
Always And For Long Duration, Political Environment During King David's Reign, Enemies Within And Without, Dishonest And Deceptive Tactics Of KJV Extremists, Understanding God's Word In Context, Letter Of The Law Versus Freedom Of The Spirit, Lesson Regarding Being Persuaded In Our Own Minds, God's Unadulterated Word Is Forever Preserved And Settled In Heaven, Free Will And Personal Choice Have Given Man Power To Manipulate And Corrupt Written And Printed Word Of God, Were The Pre-KJV Versions Of The English Bible Inerrant?, Seven Different Editions Of KJV Bible, The 1769 Oxford Text, KJV Bible Was Translated And Designed To Support Church Of England And Strengthen Its Power Over English Common People, Rigid Physical Church System Versus Spiritual Global Body Of Christ, My Journey To Gain A Proper Perspective Regarding King James Bible, Doctrines And Practices Were Crafted As A Result Of Specific Word Translations, Blinded By Dogmatism And Zeal, Deception Or Verifiable Historical Truth, Harsh Response Of KJV Extremists, Check Those Eggs, My Longtime Dedication To The KJV Bible, My Long-Term Goal Is To Instill Faith In God's Word, Speaking Truth About KJV Bible Should Not Hinder Our Faith In God's Word, KJV Is Best We Have Got, Conduct Your Own Research, Small Textual Changes Throughout The Bible Which Affect Our Doctrinal Understanding, Spurious Text Debated By Theologians, Closing Remarks, Resources List
Concerning King David's words "from this generation for ever", this is the part of the verse which may confuse some people -- such as the KJV extremists -- and make them think that the king is referring to God preserving His Word for eternity. As we have seen, this is not what the verse is talking about whatsoever. Furthermore, it is important to understand that the Hebrew word which is translated here as "for ever" -- that is, "owlam" -- does not always signify forever, eternity or everlasting. Sometimes it simply means for a long duration or always. In other words, King David is simply praying that God will always protect the poor, the needy and the righteous from the machinations of the generation of the wicked.
Taking these thoughts a step further, if we consider the environment which prevailed during the time of King David's forty-year reign, it becomes even easier to understand the tone and meaning of these various Psalms, as written by the king. In a word, it was a time of political intrigue and treachery. Not only was there treachery and betrayal within David's own household, but there were many enemies without, being as it was a time of war and conquest. As if these two factors didn't already give the king enough problems, there were likewise the disgruntled members, friends and allies of former King Saul's household to deal with as well.
If you take the time to read some of the historical Books of the Old Testament, you will discover that these remnants of King Saul's reign were a constant thorn in David's side, and were continually trying to bring down the king. In a word, it seems to me that in writing some of his Psalms where the king prays for the protection and victory of the righteous over the wicked, David is probably talking about himself, and praying for the survival of his own royal lineage.
While I have gone to great lengths to explain these verses to you, the reason why I have done so, is because I suspect that if the KJV extremists have twisted the meaning of these two verses that are found in Psalm 12, and attempted to use them against me in order to prove that I am wrong, then it is more than likely that they have used the same two verses to convince other people of their views as well. For them to twist the meaning of these verses, so that they can use them like a club and knock people in the head with them when they don't agree with their insistence that the KJV Bible is the inerrant Word of God, is just plain wrong. In fact, it is being both dishonest and deceptive.
Before moving on in our current discussion, let me briefly mention another point which is related to reading the Bible in context, so that we draw a proper understanding from it. Being as I have brought up this point regarding not taking the Scriptures out of context, I don't doubt that there will be a few legalists and critics who will accuse me of doing that very thing, because some have made the same accusation against me before. However, what these KJV extremists are doing with the aforementioned two verses, and what I do in many of my articles is quite different.
As many of my longtime readers will already know, whenever I write my articles, I always strive to fill them with as many verses from the Bible as possible. I do this for two primary reasons. First, I want my readers to see that my opinions are supported by the Scriptures; and second, I want them to place their faith in God's Word, and not just in what I say. After all, as the Apostle Paul writes, faith comes by hearing the Word of God:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:17, KJV
Now, the problem which I have seen, is that in their desire to remain faithful to God's Word, and to keep their teaching in context, some Christians tend to go to the extreme. In other words, they become overly legalistic in their approach to understanding the Scriptures, and they lose the freedom of the Spirit. I am reminded of the following verse:
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
2 Corinthians 3:6, KJV
While the Apostle Paul is discussing the Laws of Moses versus the freedom of the Spirit in that verse, the point I wish to make is this: If we become overly legalistic in our approach, we can miss sharing many valuable lessons from the Bible with our friends and readers, simply because the verses where the lesson is found, may not in any way be related to our current discussion. No doubt some of you will probably not understand what I just stated, so let me give you an example by using a portion of a verse which I use often in my articles, on my Facebook timeline, and in various other ways with my friends.
As some of you will know, in the fourteenth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul discusses the issue of the legalism of the law versus the freedom of the Spirit. More specifically, the chapter concerns those Disciples who believe that certain foods should not be eaten -- because they do not conform to Jewish dietary laws and are thus not considered "kosher" -- versus those people who believe that they have the spiritual freedom to eat whatever they want. In similar fashion, Paul also discusses those Disciples who feel obligated to observe certain Jewish feast days, versus those who believe that they are free from such legalistic restrictions.
In summarizing his own opinion regarding these matters, Paul states that whatever we do, we should always strive to do it in love, so that we do not stumble our brethren. Yet at the same time, Paul also writes the following counsel:
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind . . . Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."
Romans 14:5, 22, KJV
As you can see, there is a very important lesson which is contained in these verses, and it happens to be one which I personally like a lot. For this reason, I will often quote the second half of verse five by itself in this manner: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." What Paul is stating here, is that the bottom line is that regardless of what other people may think or say, we must each live our lives according to our own faith and personal convictions. While Paul is discussing Jewish dietary laws and feast days in this chapter, nevertheless, his wise counsel is a lesson which we can apply to many different facets of our lives, even if they are not directly related to these two specific subjects. We may view this is a "universal lesson".
Now, if I were a legalist, I might say to myself "Well, yes, that is a really good lesson; but unless I am specifically discussing Jewish dietary laws and feast days, I should not share that verse anywhere in my articles, because I will be taking it out of context." However, Paul also said that "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Thus, because I have the freedom and the flexibility of the Spirit, I remain convinced that it is appropriate, applicable and suitable to share Paul's advice in other articles, even if they are not related to Jewish dietary laws and feast days, if it is going to teach my readers something, and be a blessing to them. In contrast, legalists will say "No, you should not do that. You are taking the verse out of context." I say "Hogwash!"
Do you understand the difference between what I do, and what these KJV extremists are doing when they intentionally twist the meaning of verses six and seven in Psalm 12? By sharing the portion of verse five from Romans chapter fourteen, I am not changing its meaning whatsoever. I am merely applying the same lesson to another situation. I haven't really taken the words of the Apostle Paul out of context or attempted to make them say something which they are not meant to say, which is that we should stand our ground, and live our life according to our own faith. In stark contrast, the KJV extremists have totally corrupted the two verses in Psalm 12, so that they mean something vastly different from what King David actually intended.
While the aforementioned two verses have nothing to do with preserving God's Word forever, there are clearly other verses in the Bible where we are in fact told that God's Word and Counsel stands forever, and is settled and preserved forever. Consider these sample verses:
". . . For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
Psalms 119:89, KJV
"The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."
Psalms 33:11, KJV
"Remember the former things of old: for 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 46:9-10, KJV
So what can we gather from all of these verses, and from similar verses which I have not shared here? My view is that God's Word indeed remains pure -- or inerrant if you prefer -- and is settled and eternally preserved in Heaven. As I point out in a number of my Facebook timeline graphics, it cannot be altered or shaken in any way. It is immutable, or unchangeable. However, I believe that the key which helps to unlock our understanding is in realizing that these verses are referring to the words which are spoken by the Lord in Heaven. Those are the words which are pure. Those are the words which are "settled in heaven". Man cannot possibly touch or alter those words.
In agreement with the previous verses that I shared, I also believe that the words which were conveyed to the Prophets of old in past millennia were also pure and unadulterated, because they were moved, motivated and inspired by the Holy Spirit to write them. I do not believe that this means that every single word that was written was verbatim or straight from the mouth of God. After all, we do use our own minds when we speak and write and craft our words. Furthermore, I don't believe that God really speaks in King James English. However, generally speaking, the words of the Prophets were inspired by God.
However, as a result of free will and personal choice, what has happened to God's Word here on Earth since those times is an entirely different story. Man does possess the power to manipulate and corrupt both the written and the printed Word of God; and to ignore this truth is ludicrous. From the evidence which I have provided here, it becomes obvious that physical texts have most certainly not been protected from intentional human manipulation. Tragically, our beloved KJV Bible has not remained immune to this human tampering. On a related note, if we accept the KJV extremists' opinion that the 1611 King James Version of the Bible is the one and only inerrant Word of God, what kind of statement is that making regarding the various English versions of the Bible which preceded it? I am referring to the following versions:
1380's - Wycliffe Bible
1525-26 - Tyndale New Testament
1535 - Coverdale Bible
1537 - Matthew's Bible
1539 - Great Bible
1560 - Geneva Bible
1568 - Bishop's Bible
If the 1611 KJV Bible is the only inerrant Word of God, are we to assume then that all of these previous English versions of the Scriptures were full of errors? Before you decide to take that position, let me remind you again that every Bible that was printed after Tyndale's New Testament -- including our beloved KJV Bible itself -- was about ninety per cent based on William Tyndale's work. So if the KJV is inerrant, does this not imply that Tyndale's work must have also been inerrant as well? In fact, if the Lord has fully preserved the inerrancy of His Word in the manuscripts and texts since the time when it was first given to us by way of the Prophets and Apostles of old, doesn't this demand that we accept that all of these previous versions were inerrant as well? Based on the KJV extremists' point of view, to believe otherwise would seem to suggest that God has failed in His own purpose.
According to what the KJV extremists believe regarding God preserving the pureness and integrity of His Word, this is what we are forced to accept. To believe that God suddenly preserved His Word perfectly in the KJV Bible, but for some inexplicable reason chose not to do the same in all of the previous English versions is ludicrous to say the least. Not only that, but it goes against the very argument which has been presented by the KJV extremists. This leaves us with a troubling question to address. If William Tyndale's work was inerrant, then why was there a need to continue publishing any newer versions of the Bible after that time, including the KJV itself? Do you see my point? In other words, once we adopt the position of the KJV extremists, we create a new set of problems for ourselves.
That is not the end of the issue either. As I stated earlier, the Apocrypha was included in the original 1611 version of the King James Bible. If this is the one true inerrant Word of God as the KJV extremists claim, what right did the Church of England have to take it out during the 1646 Westminster Assembly? Does their action not make the indirect statement that God apparently made a mistake when He inspired the 1611 translators to include it in their original KJV Bible? The idea of men having to "fix" God's mistake is again silly.
The truth of the matter is that none of these Bibles were perfect in every way -- they all had errors -- and neither is the King James Version of the Bible. That is in fact why seven different editions of the KJV Bible were ultimately published, with the seventh edition -- the 1769 Oxford text -- being the one which is still passed off as the 1611 King James Version today. It is not the original 1611 KJV Bible. It is a later edition which includes printer corrections and other improvements in the text. If the original 1611 edition of the KJV Bible was the inerrant Word of God -- obviously meaning that it had no errors -- then these later editions would have been totally unnecessary. All of this evidence shouts out one big truth: the printed Word of God has been filled with human errors for a very long time. It is not perfect. It is not inerrant. Inspired? Yes. Inerrant? No.
As we have already discussed, the primary impetus behind the publication of the KJV Bible was to create a version of the Scriptures which conformed to the beliefs of the court of King James I, which lent support to the specific doctrines of the Church of England, and which strengthened the power of the Church of England over the common people through its ecclesiastical structure, which it justified through its particular interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. As we have seen, that interpretation was purposely designed to support the physical religious system of church buildings, and all that is associated with it, as opposed to a spiritual, global Church -- that is, the Body of Christ -- which worships God in spirit and in truth, and which is knit together by love, and their common belief in Christ as the Savior of the world.
To be quite honest, when I first began to study God's Word in earnest many years ago, I did not view the KJV Bible as I now do. I was very much like those KJV extremists. However, over the years during which I have engaged in this writing ministry, and studied the KJV Bible, and conducted online research, the evidence began to slowly mount, to the point that I finally came to realize that while what we have come to cherish today as God's Word is in fact inspired, it is clearly not perfect in every way. It is not inerrant. It has in fact been adulterated, corrupted and manipulated by both political and religious forces, each of which has had their particular agendas; primary of which has been to preserve their own political or ecclesiastical power, as well as to justify their own actions.
While you may possibly not agree with me today as you read this series, I assure you that if you are truly a serious student of God's Word, if your mind and heart are open to the truth and have not been clouded by personal prejudices and doctrinal filters, if you continue to earnestly dig into the Bible, and frequently use Hebrew and Greek lexicons, you will eventually discover -- as I have -- that certain words have been translated in a particular way, so as to convey a doctrinal position which was embraced by the translators, and in turn by the Church of England. Because of this, there are doctrines and practices which we embrace even today that are the result of the way in which some of these words were intentionally translated, such as the word "ekklesia" being translated as "church", instead of as "called out ones" or "congregation".
To reiterate, to believe that the KJV Bible is the inerrant Word of God, as it was originally received and written by the holy Prophets and Apostles thousands of years ago, in my view, is to purposely deceive oneself. Tragically, this is exactly what KJV extremists do. Whether they realize it or not, they have been blinded by their own dogmatism and zeal. They prefer deception over verifiable, historical truth. They willingly choose to ignore the intentional manipulation of the Sacred Texts, in order to support an idealistic belief. Worse yet, they endeavor to deceive other Christians as well with their extremism, by trying to convince them that the King James Version of the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
Anyone who resists their endeavors at persuasion -- such as myself -- are met with a harsh, judgmental response. As I mentioned earlier, I have been accused by such individuals of being a liar and a false prophet. The KJV extremists claim that I am misguided and deceived. Some of them have even gone to the length of removing me from their Facebook friends list and blocking me. Aside from their personal attacks against me, one of their harshest criticisms is that by publicizing my position regarding the KJV Bible, I am causing people to lose faith in God's Word. One fellow went so far as to ask how I can repeatedly quote from a Bible in which -- according to him, at least -- I don't believe, thus revealing his own lack of understanding regarding exactly what my position is.
Personally, I prefer honesty and truth. It is just like when I go food shopping. For many years now, I have had the habit of always opening the egg carton in order to check the eggs. Not only will I visually check them for cracks and such, but I will also place my finger on each egg -- all twelve of them one at a time -- and roll it a bit to make certain that it is not cracked and stuck to the carton. I am sure you all realize what happens when you try to take a stuck egg out of the egg carton. It can create quite a mess if one is not careful.
In short, whether it is food shopping, or reading the Bible, I like to know what I am getting. I want to know what kind of condition it is in. I want to know how much it can be trusted. The misguided accusation that I am quoting from something in which I don't really believe -- meaning the KJV Bible -- is absolutely absurd. Anyone who has read a fair number of my articles, or who has enjoyed my Facebook graphics, knows how much I thoroughly believe in and enjoy sharing God's Word from the King James Version of the Bible. Furthermore, as I have mentioned on a number of occasions, I have been reading strictly from the King James Version of the Bible, as well as teaching strictly from the KJV Bible, for more than forty-one years now. Does anyone honestly believe that I would do this if I didn't have a strong degree of faith in its reliability and accuracy compared to more modern versions of the Bible?
To such people who are aware of my love for the King James Bible, it should be obvious that my intention in writing this series, and in sharing my views regarding the debate surrounding its claimed inerrancy, is certainly not to cause people to lose faith in God's Word. Quite to the contrary, I have worked very hard over the years to instill strong faith in that very thing. I have also written three articles now in support of the KJV Bible. Furthermore, speaking the truth regarding the KJV Bible should not hinder our faith in God's Word. It is my view that if we cannot honestly discuss the history of this wonderful tome, both the positive and the negative, then there is something wrong somewhere. Not only that, but if anyone does lose their faith in God's Word as a result of such discussions, then their faith must have been weak to begin with.
To reiterate, I simply believe that we need to recognize what we have in the King James Version of the Bible, and be honest about the situation. Returning to the eggs example for just a moment, I am not going to bring home a carton which contains a few cracked eggs, and pretend that they are all in perfect condition. In similar fashion, I am not going to pretend that the King James Version of the Bible is the perfect, inerrant Word of God, when I know that it does not meet that standard.
Let's simply admit that the KJV Bible has suffered from some degree of corruption and manipulation by both political and religious authorities, whether we like to hear that truth or not. Exactly to what degree, I cannot say, because I have not mastered either Hebrew or Greek. Therefore, I cannot make a qualified comparison. Nevertheless, I still view the KJV as the best and most reliable English version of the Bible that we have today. Not only that, but I have huge respect for the KJV, due to the serious price which was paid in persecution and blood by the early Reformers, so that we can have this precious tome in our hands today. More modern versions cannot make such a claim.
So, how about you? Do you prefer the deception of the KJV extremists who can be dogmatic -- and sometimes vicious and aggressive -- when it comes to defending the KJV inerrancy doctrine, or do you want the verifiable, historical truth, even if it slightly tarnishes the grandeur of the King James Version of the Bible?
In conclusion, if after reading this series you still doubt what I have shared here, then I urge you to conduct your own personal research. You will discover that you won't be able to refute anything which I have stated here, because it is all documented historical fact. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, I have barely touched the tip of the ice berg with this series. The plain truth of the matter is that there are small textual changes which have been made throughout God's Word. On their own, each one of these changes may not seem to be that important or significant. However, in reality, the combined effect of these manipulated translations and textual changes is that they can alter how we think and believe. They can have a direct effect on our doctrinal stance.
Some of these manipulations have been argued and debated by serious-minded theologians for centuries. In fact, there are some verses in the KJV Bible which certain theologians have long suspected may be spurious text. In other words, these verses may be false text which was inserted later by other parties, and which may not have been written by the original author of the Book or Epistle in question. I believe that I discuss a few of these questionable verses in other articles. So the manipulation is real. For any of us to say otherwise, is to purposely deceive ourselves.
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. I trust that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life. If you have enjoyed reading this series, please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information and further study, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to the topics which were discussed in this series. All of them are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
Are You Just a Baby Huey?
Backsliding, Divine Chastisement and the Divine Agreement
Churchianity or Christianity: Which Do You Practice?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Endless Genealogies and Endtime Deception
Gargoyles: Satan Loves Church Buildings!
History of the Authorized King James Bible
In Defense of the KJV Bible
Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?
Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen
Money-Making Bible Hucksters and Mammon
MP3's, Commercialized Christianity and Christian Hypocrisy
Not Everyone is a Child of God
Once Upon a Time: A True Story
Pontifex Maximus: Pagan High Priest to Roman Catholic Pope
So You Really Think You Are So Humble?
Sorry . . . Jesus is Not Coming at Any Moment
Study, Work and Don't Be Ashamed
The Blood Atonement: In Jesus' Own Words
The Fruits of Disobedience
Where Are the First Century Churches?