Discussion on the Validity of the Authorized Version (King James’ Bible)
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter to you in the hope that you are the kind of person who, before making up your mind on an important issue, tries to make an honest effort to carefully examine all sides of that issue. If you are a Christian the issue of which Bible is the Word Of God should be very important to you. You should want to know if the Bible you are reading and studying can be trusted as the TRUE Revelation of God and if you can rely on It to be free from all error. I would think that any sincere person would want to know if any Bible can be trusted to be the TRUE WORD OF GOD. The issue of which Bible, if any, constitutes the Word of God is a very controversial subject. Personal Bias and Prejudice are very difficult to set aside, especially when a person’s religion or personal belief is involved. However, I believe that the TRUTH can always stand an open inquiry and that no one should be afraid to have their beliefs examined unless they are unsure of what they believe. I first became acquainted with this controversial subject (Which Bible?) in 1969, and have spent hundreds of hours in study and research through more than 50 books and many booklets and pamphlets. This issue is not only very controversial it is also somewhat confusing since the subject of the History of the Transmission of the Text of the Bible cannot not be taught in the “Public” ie. Government Schools, and is not taught in most of the churches in the United States today. Ignorance may be “bliss” for some people, but I would think that any thinking, reasonable person who is honest and sincere would want to know if there is present in the world today a physical copy (a Book you can hold in your hands) of God’s Revelation to man. I would also think that it would be good to know if that Book (the Bible) is Pure, Holy and without admixture of error. If you are unfamiliar with the Bible; If you do not know much about Church History; If you have never studied the History of the Transmission of the Text of the Bible; If you are not familiar with the so called “science” of Textual Criticism; If you have never examined, weighed and carefully investigated New Testament Manuscript evidence; and if you have never made a comparative study of Bible Translations, You may be a target for mis information, propaganda, deception and lies. Be extra “Careful” about what you accept as TRUTH! Take the time to “Check Out” everything you hear or read. And “Make Sure” of the PEOPLE (teachers, professors, friends, relatives and loved ones) and the INSTITUTIONS (schools colleges universities “christian” or not, churches fellowships etc.) that you put your trust in.
Let’s clear the air of any misconceptions that may cloud this issue. The following FACTS are signifiant and irrefutable: 1. ALL of the ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS to the Bible are LOST!
2. The Major Battle over which WORDS “belong” in the Bible has taken place in the New Testament Text. (As opposed to the Old Testament)
3. The Major Battle over which MANUSCRIPTS are to be “trusted” has taken place over the known New Testament Manuscripts. (As opposed to the known Old Testament Manuscripts)
4. From 100 A.D. to 1611 A.D. There were fewer than ten (10) complete Bibles in English.
5. From A.D. 1611 first printing of the AUTHORIZED VERSION [A.V.] (Now known as The King James Bible) until 1881 a few new translations were made, usually by individuals unhappy with the A.V. 1611, and without any success.
6. From 1881 to the present day NEARLY ONE (1) NEW TRANSLATION PER YEAR has come off the presses, again without much lasting success.
7. Nearly all the “new” Translations are based on just a FEW, A VERY FEW MANUSCRIPTS: (Vaticanus & Sinaiticus Primary “Authorities”)
8. The many GREEK TEXTS for the “new” Translations are different from the GREEK TEXT of the A.V. 1611 in over 5000 places!
9. ALL the GREEK TEXTS for the “new” Translations are derived from and modeled after the Westcott and Hort GREEK TEXT.
10. The vast majority of the “Textual Critics” and “Biblical Scholars” subscribe, at least in part, to the complex Westcott and Hort textual “THEORY”.
11. Most of the “critics” and “scholars” embrace Griesbach’s elaborate Manuscript FAMILIES “HYPOTHESIS”.
12. Most of the “new” Translations DIFFER from the A.V. 1611 in as many as 5000 places in the New Testament alone!
13. ALL The “new” Translations are ALIKE, that is they RESEMBLE EACH OTHER in contrast to the A.V. 1611, King James Bible.
14. ALL the “new” Translations have been made in a period of time marked by DISBELIEF, DISOBEDIENCE and APOSTASY.
15. ALL the “new” Translations have a COPYRIGHT.
Please note that up to this point I have made no accusations, neither have I presented any charges against anyone or made any claims of any sort. So far I have presented some of the “FACTS” having to do with this issue. (“Facts” that can easily be verified through a little bit of research and study.) Here are some “FACTS” about the King James Bible (A.V. 1611) you may not have known: 1. The A.V. (King James Bible) was translated near the begining of the Reformation.
2. The A.V. (King James Bible) was the 7th complete translation of the Bible to be made in English from the beginning of the Reformation.
3. The A.V. (King James Bible) was translated by over 50 men divided into three groups: the Westminster Group; the Oxford Group; and the Cambridge Group.
4. Many of the translators, their families and friends had personally endured hardship and persecution for their personal beliefs.
5. The high caliber and qualifications of these truly scholarly men has NEVER never been matched by ANY group of translators since.
6. The A.V. (King James Bible) was translated after nearly 1000 YEARS of Spiritual DARKNESS, At the dawning of a Spiritual AWAKENING.
7. Except for the PRIVATE “Reference” and “Study” materials found in some King James Bibles. There is NO Copyright on a King James Bible (A.V.).
8. The A.V. (King James Bible) has been called, by beleivers and non believers, the most beautiful piece of English literature in all the world.
9. The A.V. (King James Bible) has reigned supreme over ALL the other Bibles ever printed for 375 years.
10. The A.V. (King James Bible) is the MOST popular book in the WORLD. There have been more A.V.’S (King James Bibles) PRINTED than ANY OTHER Book or Bible in existence.
A careful review of the Bible on the subject of It’s Own Authority reveals that the Bible should be the Sole Source of AUTHORITY on all matters of faith and practice for the Christian. With the exception of God Himself, a Christian should place nothing above the Bible nor should the Bible be put in subjection to the Christian’s own culture, prejudices and biases. No church; no ecclesiastical organization; no group; no government; no school; no man or movement should be placed above the Bible. When approaching the subject of which Bible constitutes God’s Word it is very important that we do not allow our own prejudices to “color” the issue. We should not be asking: Which Bible do we “prefer”? or which Bible is “EASIER” for me to read? or which Bible do my friends like? or which Bible does my Bible School or Church recommend?. Instead we should be asking: Which Bible does God Prefer? or Which Bible has God obviously Blessed the use of? or Which Bible does God witness to? or Which Bible does God want us to use? or Which Bible did God PRESERVE? Choosing the Bible that you are going to use should not be based on anyone’s personal taste, likes, preferences etc., the choosing should be done after a thorough study of the facts. In choosing “Which Bible” be careful of assumptions and suppositions. The Bible, by It’s own claim, is no ordinary book and anyone studying any of the various subjects involved in this issue must keep in mind that there is a Spiritual Dimension to this issue that must be taken into account in every area of study. In Psalms 12:6&7 ( In the A.V.) God says; “His WORDS are PURE WORDS.” and that He, that is God, is going to “PRESERVE HIS WORDS FOREVER!” The Lord Jesus Christ said; that the “SAME WORDS” that He spoke nearly 2000 years ago are going to be used to JUDGE the world and mankind. (Jn. 12:48) The Lord also said that Heaven and Earth will pass away but,”His WORDS shall not pass away.” There are many more verses showing that God’s Word has been preserved, but I don’t have the space to repeat them here. However, in I Peter 1:23 God states that those of us who have received Christ as our Saviour have been “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth FOREVER.” Is God a man that He should Lie? (Numbers 23:19) It should be noted that “The Bible” was known as the “Authorized Version” from 1611 A.D. until the early 1900’s when the Publishers ($$$$) of the “new” Bibles changed the name of “The Bible” from The Authorized Version to The King James Version ………. trying to make it look like the King of England was responsible for it’s creation. About the same time (1901), these Publishers (Remember they are in the business of SELLING “NEW” BOOKS $$$$$$$$) dropped the “Forward to the Reader” from the Translators of the A.V., and yet they print page after page of the forwards to the “new” Bibles. (Does this mean anything to you? Does it make you wonder at all?) In your study of which Bible constitutes God’s Word you should seek the answers to many questions some of which are: Do we have God’s WORDS today? Just exactly as He would want us to have them? Where does one find the WORDS of God today? Does God require all Christians to be “experts” in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin? Can today’s Christian TRUST modern “christian scholarship” to provide us with a Holy Bible? Or even honest answers to questions about the History, the Manuscripts, the Text or the Transmission of the Bible? Did God go to all the trouble of Inspiring ” All Scripture” (II Tim. 3:16) and then just left His Words alone to the luckless winds and shifting sands of time? In order to cover the subject of “Which Bible” more completely certain Warnings, Claims and Charges must be made I would encourage the reader to carefully check out any and all of the following: ALL the “new’ Translations low rate, play down or omit references to the DIETY of the Lord Jesus Christ. ALL the “new” Translations slander, omit, or change the WORDS of God. ALL the “new” Translations are much harder to MEMORIZE. ALL the “new” Translations attack the GODHEAD i.e. the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as being ONE, by omitting and changing references to it. ALL the “new” Translations attack the VIRGIN BIRTH by omitting or changing references to it. ALL the “new” Translations are result of modern, unbelieving, humanistic so called “scientific sholarship”. Why do the Translators and Scholars avoid identifying the “older”, “better”, or “more ancient” manuscripts that they cite when they change the WORDS of God? How can the “new” Translations be God’s HOLY WORD when they differ with the A.V. (King James Bible) in better than 5000 places? If the “new” Translations are God’s HOLY WORD what does that make the A.V. (King James Bible)? Why do ALL the “new’ Translations compare themselves to the A.V. (King James Bible), instead of each other? Why do most of the “textual critics” and “bible scholars” continually attack and downgrade the A.V. (King James Bible) in their classrooms? In their schools? In their papers? and in their books? Why have ALL the major Bible publishers stopped printing the forward (not the dedicatory) to the A.V. King James Bible? As you can see this issue is complex, controversial and confusing. To help you get at the “FACTS” you will find a list of books enclosed with this letter. The “FACTS” are very hard to find unless you read some of the not so well known “unpopular” Authors:
IN THE PAST:
John W. Burgon, Edward Miller, F. H. Scrivener, Herman Hoskier, Bishop Wordsworth, Canon Cook, Sir Robert Anderson, Philip Mauro, Joseph C. Philpot, George Sayles Bishop, Benjamen C. Wilkinson, Robert Dick Wilson and Edward F. Hills.
J.J Ray, Terence H. Brown, Henry Coray, Zane C. Hodges, Alfred Martin, David Otis Fuller, Peter S. Ruckman, David Fountain, Gordon P. Gardiner, Wilbur N. Pickering, Donald T. Clarke, Bruce Cummins, Dick Cimino, Barry Burton, Perry F. Rockwood, Greg Estepp, Billy Bartlett, Larry Bartlett and Herbert Noe.
Every one of these men have defended the Word of God or are still defending It as best they could from the 1880’s up to the present day. You can’t find these books in most bookstores, major publishers will not print these men’s works, “christian” newspapers, magazines etc. won’t advertise these books, “christian” radio and T.V. programs won’t have these men on the air. Most modern Bible “scholars and critics” either haven’t heard of these men or their books, or they just choose to “ignore” what they have to say. In this world the truth is sometimes difficult to find, especially when you are dealing with the WORDS of God.
I hope this letter will challenge you to dig deeper into this controversial subject. The books in the following list cover the following subjects: 1. The Question: Which Bible?
2. The Internal Evidence: What Does God Say?
3. Old Testament History Of The Text.
4. New Testament History Of The Text.
5. The History Of The Transmission Of The Text Of The Bible In The Church Age.
6. The Manuscript Evidence.
7. A Comparison Of Versions.
If you don’t have the time to read all of the books on the list, I hope that you will try to read a broad representative sampling of them. Don’t be deceived; Don’t be complacent; and whatever you do don’t take anyone’s opinion, (including any that you may find in this letter) for granted. Check it out, search out the truth, sift the facts, read the “other side” also. there are lots of books on the market that are on the opposite side of this issue check them out. Should you need any other information or if you have any questions I would be happy to assist you in your search for the Truth. In these evil days God is looking for men who will be “Valiant for the Truth” and not like God’s People in Jer. 9:1 5.
Yours for Christ and His Word, George H. Anderson Jr. (Heb. 4:12)