Where was the word of God before 1611 and where is it today?
Those who promote the modern bible versions do not believe any Bible is the inspired, infallible, preserved, and pure words of the living God. They piously tell us «the original Hebrew and Greek» is their final authority, hoping no one will notice that there is no such animal on the face of this earth. They don’t have it, have never seen it, and wouldn’t recognize it if it fell on their heads.
There are no original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts anywhere. There are several different Hebrew texts plus the conflicting Dead Sea Scrolls. There are over 20 different conflicting Greek texts. The multitude of modern versions, like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, depart scores of times from the Hebrew masoretic texts, and often not in the same places. They are also based on very different Greek texts than that of the King James Bible, though none of them always follows the same Greek text as the others. The NKJV does not always follow the same Greek text as the KJB and the meaning has been radically changed in scores of verses. They often differ among themselves in both text and meaning, and contain several proveable theological errors.
We who believe God meant what He said about preserving His words are ridiculed as ignorant, backwater fanatics. We believe God is the sovereign ruler of history and has preserved for us today all His pure words in the King James Bible. God knew what would become of the English language and how the great modern missionary movement of the late 1700’s through the 1950’s would be carried out by American and English missionaries carrying one Bible and translating it into hundreds of foreign languages and dialects. No Bible in history has been used, honored and hated as much as the King James Bible. The King James Bible was even read outloud from space as the astronauts orbited the moon.
God also knew the great battle concerning the preservation of His words would take place during the times of the falling away from the faith before the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are living in those times now. Never before has the Holy Bible itself been under such fierce attack. The supreme irony is that those who now attack the Bible are those who bear the name of Christians.
They cannot believe that God in fact preserved His words in the one Book that has been used and blessed by God a hundred times more than any other. History and the sovereignty of God bear witness that the King James Bible is that one Book, without proven error.
God has promised to preserve His words, not in every language or to every people, but in such a way as they would be known by many of God’s believing people. The Lord Jesus said: «Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.» Matthew 24:35
God testifies through Isaiah in chapter 59:21 «As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.»
«For the LORD is good: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.» Psalm 100:5
«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.» Psalm 12:6-7
«The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.» 1 Peter 1:25
We who believe the King James Bible to be the inerrant word of God do not place our trust in the King James translators. We do not defend their comments in the Preface, nor their theology, though I agree with much of it. We trust in God alone Who has fulfilled His promises to preserve His inspired words. He just happened to use the believing men of the 1611 Holy Bible as His instruments to continue this preservation.
They were not perfect nor without error in themselves. Just as God used Peter, though he denied the Lord and even later separated himself from the Gentile believers and was to be blamed for his actions, (See Galatians 2:12-14) or Paul who was about to offer another blood sacrifice to appease the Jewish law-keepers in Acts 21:26, or John who twice fell down to worship an angel and was rebuked for it (See Rev. 19:10 and 22:8-9). God always uses imperfect vessels for His glory; if He didn’t, nothing would ever get done.
Those who promote today’s multiple, conflicting perversions of God’s words think they finally have the question that will stump the Bible believer and finally rob him of his faith in God’s inerrant word. They ask us, «Well, where was the pure word of God BEFORE 1611?»
It will greatly enlighten your mind if you ask them the same question. They don’t know where it was before 1611 either, or more importantly, where it is now. An educated guess would be that God preserved His perfect words in the Old Latin Bibles and then in the Waldensian latinized Bibles till the time of the Reformation. Theodore Beza, whose Greek text was used by the KJB translators, traces the Waldensian believers from around 120 A.D. to the Reformation. They were killed off by the thousands and their Bibles were burned by the Catholic persecutors. The Waldensians believed in the priesthood of every believer and the doctrines of grace. Then God’s perfect words passed over to what was named simply The Holy Bible, later to be known as the King James Version. That is where they remain today in all their purity.
We have only a very small portion remaining of all the Bibles and manuscripts that ever existed. Perhaps as little as one one hundreth, so there is no sure way of knowing what the other manuscripts and Bibles said — just as we do not have the «originals» and can’t prove what they said. Of those that remain, no two are exactly alike in every detail, but of the approximately 5,000 portions and fragments that we have today, about 95% agree about 99% of the time with the King James Bible readings. The other 5% differs a great deal even among themselves, and it is this 5% that is used in most of today’s»bibles».
It is supremely important to have faith in God, both for our salvation and for believing that He has kept and preserved His words throughout every generation as He promised to do. If you cannot believe God has preserved His words, then how can you believe He will preserve your soul?
Ask any modern version promoter if he believes the originals were given by inspiration of God. He will enthusiastically respond in the affirmative. Yes, they were inspired. Then ask him how he knows this to be true. He has never seen them because they don’t exist. He believes it by faith. In the same way we too have faith that God both inspired His original words and that He has preserved them through history and today they are found in the King James Bible.
The new version promoter and King James basher has no final authority but his own mind or his favorite scholar-priest to tell him what God probably said. He has no infallible Bible and doesn’t want you to have one either. He can’t tell you where you can get a copy of God’s pure words today, let alone where they were before 1611. «Thus saith the LORD» has been replaced
with «Well, how does this version render it?»