by David W. Daniels
Preachers all over the world are telling their congregations, "This book in my hands is NOT the Bible!"
Surprised? You shouldn`t be. But don`t go looking for them to say it out loud. It`s much more subtle than that. The first clue will likely be in the church`s "Statement of Faith." See if yours reads like this: "We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts." Sounds good at first glance.
But wait a minute! Only "in the original manuscripts?" Do we even have an original manuscript? Nope. And how would you make a Bible from the original manuscripts, anyway? You would have to find a way to bind together stone tablets, rolls of animal skins and papyrus all into one ridiculous book! Yet that is precisely the Bible that many people believe is inspired: a non-existent book, composed only of the originals handwritten by the prophets and apostles themselves. So the only perfect Bible that thousands of churches and colleges claim to believe in ... doesn`t exist!
Say this out loud to yourself. There has never been a Bible composed of original manuscripts. That would mean you don`t really have "the Bible," either. This is the big secret hiding in these "Statements of Faith." The only Bible that they believe is perfect —does not exist.
Thankfully, that`s not what God thinks at all. He calls perfect copies "scripture" — the inspired words of God. Read 2 Timothy 3:15 for yourself: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Did Timothy have the originals? Of course not! He had copies of copies of copies, generations removed from the originals. But God calls them "scripture!"
Look what God said about these copies in the very next verse: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The copies Timothy had learned from were scripture, the inspired words of God, through and through!
But what if we add to or remove a few words? Does that matter? Absolutely! Listen to what God said:
"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."(Proverbs 30:5-6) For those who add the unbiblical doctrine that "only the original manuscripts are inspired" God calls them liars. Scripture is not "original manuscripts" alone. It is perfect copies and accurate translations of those originals. God Himself said so. We can trust Him.
And, thank God, we have the scripture in English! Your King James Bible is scripture. It was accurately translated from perfect copies of God`s words. You can know exactly what God said, in your language. Just read and believe your King James Bible and you have — yes, you can say it: scripture.
But the people in your church need to know this. From childhood people are being taught that they do not have the Bible; they just have an error-ridden book that claims to resemble what God originally had men write. We have a small booklet that is perfect for every member of your church, young and old. It`s called, Why the King James Bible Is the Perfect Word of God. In five easy, fill-in-the-blank lessons, every member of your congregation and all of your friends can know they have God`s words in the English language. It`s worth the small cost. Once a person believes he has the scripture, the literal words of God, that changes everything.