"Did God really preserve His Word for us today?" This question is central to all Bible version arguments.
If God intended to give us a reliable guide to live by, it seems highly unlikely He would not take steps to preserve it intact for all generations. Otherwise, how can we know for sure when we are pleasing Him and even if it is possible to know Him personally?
Dr. Thomas Holland, pastor and author of Crowned With Glory: The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version, tells how he was brought face to face with this question by one of his church members:
"Early in my pastoral ministry, a member of my church challenged me in regard to Biblical preservation. At that time, I believed that the Word of God was preserved, but was not sure where those preserved words could be found. I thought all translations contained mistakes, and that Biblical preservation would not entail any one version. Consequently, I set out to prove him wrong on this issue.
"One afternoon, I brought to my office all the books I had concerning textual criticism and Biblical preservation. I placed the books supporting modern versions on one side of my desk, those supporting the Textus Receptus and Authorized Version on the other, and my open Bible turned to Psalm 12 between the two stacks of books.
"What I discovered in my deliberations that day was that the arguments favoring mistranslations in the King James Version didn't hold water. Even when I could find scholars on the modern version side who said the Bible was preserved, I would later find those same scholars pointing out places where words had been lost, thus defeating the very concept of preservation.
"In fact, I could find nothing to convince either my friend or myself that the Authorized Version was anything less than the preserved Word of God in English.
"Ultimately, it was the words of Scripture found in Psalm 12:6-7 that convinced me beyond doubt of Biblical preservation. According to those verses, "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."
"Because the Word of the Lord is pure, as verse six assures us, it must reach us in an incorruptible form. That form, for the English speaking world, is the Authorized Version.
"I prayed that afternoon with thanksgiving to God for giving me His preserved Word, and for making the promise of preservation found in Psalm 12:6-7 just as true and certain as the promise of salvation found in John 3:16.
"It has been twenty-two years since that time, and everything since then has proven that step of faith to be correct. Much of my ministry has been devoted to the issue of Biblical preservation and textual criticism.
"Whether preaching, teaching, writing about or debating the issue, I still find joy today in the riches and promises of God's preserved word in English, the Authorized Version."