The Bible is a spiritual living book. Hebrews 4:12 KJV – “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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.” And it differs from other spiritual books like the Qur’an. The Bible has come into the 21st Century having been translated initially from the original Greek into Latin, and then into various forms of English and eventually into hundreds of other languages and dialects around the world. All Bibles today, including the KJV are not “word for word” translations. They can’t be. Because what the Greek may have as one word, there may not be a single corresponding word in English or another language that will match it. Sometimes more than one word or a phrase may be needed to translate from the original Greek New Testament into the language of the receptor.
Worldwide Status of Bible Translation (2015)
- More than 1,300 languages have access to the New Testament and some portions of Scripture in their language.
- More than 550 languages have the complete translated Bible.
- About 7,000 languages are known to be in use today.
- Up to 180 million people need Bible translation to begin in their language.
- Just under 2,300 languages across 130 countries have active translation and linguistic development work happening right now.
- Up to 1,800 languages still need a Bible translation project to begin.1
There are Bibles in circulation around the world (1,299) that are not the Authorized King James Bible. So my sincere question for those who believe only the KJV Bible is inspired is this: Does this mean that the people relying on these other (1,299) Bibles aren’t reading the inspired Word of God because it’s not the Authorized King James? In my opinion the answer is: Absolutely not. What they rely on is as inspired as the KJV. If this is true then we know that the KJV isn’t the only inspired Bible.
I have no argument or problems with the King James Bible. It was this text that brought me to the understanding of who Christ was and my need for Him in my life. However in the over 40 years that I have followed Christ, there have been many other versions of the Bible that I have read, studied, compared, and garnered great insight that has helped me to grow in my faith both spiritually and practically. None of these “modern” translations have shaken my faith. In fact they add to my faith.
What I am about to say, I say with humility and openness. Don’t misunderstand what I am going to say as “bashing” the KJV Bible. I saying this more to give you assurance that God has preserved his Word for all people. For those readers that don’t know it, the King James Bible that you hold in your hand, take to church, keep on the shelf or coffee table, is not the first Bible, it’s not the original Bible and it’s not the Bible that Paul used! Yet for many people the KJV Bible has become an “icon” almost an “idol.” It’s as if the “book” itself is more important than the “person,” Christ, whom the book reveals and they become more committed to the book than The Christ of the book. Tweet This
Undertaking this type of study isn’t easy. It is a complicated process that scholars have spent their entire adult lives reading, learning, studying, and sharing their knowledge so that we can approach God’s Word with confidence. I believe these series of posts will challenge you to rethink what you believe and understand about the Bible, NOT its contents, validity, or inspiration, but how and why we have come to rely upon it as the foundation of our Christian faith. This study is not meant to challenge your faith, but to challenge your knowledge of where the Bible came from and why we accept it as God’s Holy Word and thereby actually strengthening your faith through this study.
Remember, everything we have is a “copy” of some “original” writing of the Apostles or some other writer. We do not have any “original” or “autograph” of any book. So the question is; Can we trust the Bible to be God’s inspired and inerrant Word? I say yes…absolutely.
The following is from the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website from an article entitled: “Inerrancy and Inspiration of the Bible.”
“The copies are not themselves “inspired,” that is, they have no guarantee of being 100% textually pure. Does this then mean that we can’t trust the Bible? Not at all. The copies are so accurate that all of the Biblical documents are 98.5% textually pure. The 1.5% that is in question is mainly nothing more than spelling errors and occasional word omissions like the words “the,” “but,” etc. This reduces any serious textual issues to a fraction of the 1.5%. Nevertheless, nothing affects doctrinal truths. In fact, nothing in ancient history even comes close to the accuracy of the New Testament documents. If the New Testament is disallowed, then all other documents of ancient history (Plato, Aristotle, Homer, etc.,) must also be disallowed because the Biblical documents are far superior in their copying accuracy than any other ancient literature in existence.”2
Be assured the King James and many others are all inspired. God’s inspiration isn’t limited to only one book (the KJV Bible) just as His Spirit isn’t limited to one person. Tweet This
Next time I will share with you how even the translators of the 1611 KJV Bible felt it necessary to use a variety of translations to get a “sense of the scripture.”
— Keith Fife