Excerpted from "Understandable History of the Bible" ©1989 Samuel C. Gipp. Reproduced by permission
From Chapter 9: The Authorized Version
In this chapter we will be
looking at some of the common misrepresentations of the
Authorized Version. Many of these misrepresentations are
unintentional. Most of the comments against the
Authorized Version are, in fact, simply repetitions of
what the commentator heard from a pulpit, read in a book,
or learned in a classroom.
Most of the fervency
against the Authorized Version is not so much due to a
conscious hatred against the Book, as much as it is a
show of one's education. This fact, which is a conscious
malice, is then coupled with the "flesh" or
"natural man," which may be an unconscious
malice, to form a constant antagonism toward the true
Word of God. This "old nature" exists in every
person, even Christians. It will not change until the
rapture. This nature manifests itself in an innate desire
not to submit to the authority of God.
Satan realizes this and
uses it to his own advantage by giving the flesh
ammunition to fight a battle which it naturally wants to
fight. The sad result of this spirit of judgment is that
the Word of God never really gets a fair trial.
Inspiration vs. Preservation
Today it is widely taught
and accepted that God wrote the originals perfectly, but
that there is no perfect translation. Yet, there is no
scripture that teaches any such thing! This teaching is
based on logic, man's logic. Christian educators of today
say that it is absurd to believe that God could use
sinful men to translate His Word perfectly. Such a
supposition of a perfect translation is no more absurd
than the teaching that God used sinful men to write the
Bible perfectly in the originals! Every argument
for innerrant, infallible inspiration applies
also for innerrant, infallible preservation. It
is the same God!
If a believer in perfect
inspiration says that God overpowered the writers'
ability to make a mistake, the believer in perfect
preservation can also state that God overpowered the
translators' ability to make a mistake. It can also very
happily be pointed out that a man who claims that God
preserved His Words can at least PRODUCE what he
claims to believe in!
Put Up or Shut Up
I personally believe that
God has perfectly preserved His Word in the King James or
Authorized Version. I can at least produce a King James
Bible to show what I believe in. Any person who claims
that God inspired the original autographs perfectly,
cannot produce those original manuscripts to prove it! I
do not believe that the King James Bible is a new
inspiration. "Inspiration" starts with a blank
sheet of paper, a man of God, and God. I am saying that
the Authorized Version is every word of God that was in
the original autographs, preserved to this day.
"Preservation" starts with God's manuscripts, a
man of God, and God. The end result of both is the same:
the perfect Word and words of God. It only makes sense.
Many of today's preachers
and self-proclaimed scholars slam their fists down on
their pulpits in simulated "righteous
indignation" while holding a Bible over their heads
and loudly proclaim, "This Book doesn't 'CONTAIN'
the word of God, it IS the Word of God! Perfect!
Infallible! Without admixture of error!" to the
delight of the audience. But ask them, while out
of their pulpit, if they believe that THE BOOK IN THEIR
HAND is truly without error, and they immediately go into
a song and dance routine about "just a translation
OF the Bible" and say something about
"Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
Try pressing the issue, and they will question your
authority to do so (Matthew 21:23), and if you persist
you will be labeled a "Ruckmanite."
All for simply believing
that this "godly man" really believed what he
had said when he was performing behind his pulpit!
We have studied the
history of the MSS, of the New Testament, and the
historical plans and attempts to overthrow God's
preservation of His Word. We have seen that the vast
majority of MSS and of historical evidence points to the
Authorized Version as God's preserved Word. Still, there
is an air of antagonism against the Authorized Version.
Strange as it may seem, the only things which Roman
Catholics, apostates, Protestants, and fundamentalists
can agree on is that the King James Bible should be
eliminated! This striking truth in itself should be
enough to shock born-again Christians into scrutinizing
their position to make sure of which side of the fence
they are on. When we find ourselves aligned with Satan's
church against Scripture, we find ourselves in a very
dangerous position. This is especially true when we
consider what the result would be if these groups were
successful in abolishing the King James Version. The
elimination of the Authorized Version finds us without a
Bible, at which time we find Rome rushing to the rescue
with her 1582 Jesuit translation, and the anti-God Local
Text of Alexandria. Knowing that no fundamentalist would
consciously use a Roman Catholic Bible, the Roman Church
has obliged us by changing the cover to Revised Version,
American Standard Version, Good News for Modern Man, the
Living Bible, the Amplified Bible, the Jerusalem Bible,
the Common Bible, the New International Version, the New
Scofield Reference Bible, and many more. The story is
true; the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Sowers of Discord
Rome realized that there
is not one of these new Roman Catholic translations which
will ever replace God's Authorized Version. Her plan is
to get any one of these translations to replace the
Authorized Version in any group of Christians. Let the
fundamentalists use one of the Revised Standard Version's
"twin sons," the New American Standard Version
or the New International Version. Convince the young
people that they cannot understand the "thees"
and "thous" in God's Authorized Version and
hand them a "Good News for Modern Man" or a
"Living Bible." Promote each new translation of
the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt, as "thoroughly
reliable" or "more accurate," until the
Authorized Version is removed from the hearts of
Christians little by little.
How many young
"preacher boys" have had their faith in God's
PERFECT Word trampled and destroyed while they sat in independent,
fundamental Bible colleges where they thought that
they were safe?!
How many found themselves,
upon graduation three or four years later indebted to
their "alma mater" for teaching them what the
"originals really said" and in so doing saved
them from being drawn into that group of "King James
fanatics," that "lunatic fringe," that
They found themselves
leaving college with the confidence (?) that the Book
under their arm was NOT perfect, and thanking God for the
school that had shown them that!
The only person happier
than they were was the Pope. After all, who wants someone
who speaks with authority? (Mark 1:22)
Many Shall Come
It must be remembered at
this time that every new Bible is introduced as being
"better than the Authorized Version." It may
also be noted that every false prophet is introduced as
"better" than Jesus Christ. Mohammed had
supposedly come to finish the work which Christ began.
Charles Manson claimed that he was Jesus Christ. Sun
Nyung Moon claims to have to finished the job which Jesus
Christ failed to finish. Jim Jones claimed to be Jesus
Christ. The Beatles claimed to be more popular than Jesus
Notice that Jim Jones did
not claim to be Mohammed. Notice that Moon did not claim
to be the replacement for Buddha. All of the false
prophets attack Jesus Christ. Notice that the Good News
for Modern Man does not claim to be better than the
American Standard Version, but it does claim to be better
than the Authorized Version. Notice also that the New
International Version does not claim to be better than
the American Standard Version; it claims to be better
than the Authorized Version. A false prophet can always
be recognized, because he attacks the true prophet. A
false Bible can be recognized, because it attacks the
The Super Sack Philosophy
LET ME ALLEGORIZE FOR A
MOMENT. The claims of the new Bibles are strikingly
similar to the claims of the famous "Super
Sack" grocery bag which has swept the country. The
bag producers wanted to cut production costs. The
"old reliable" double bag was just about
indestructible when it came to doing its job, but it was
too costly to produce. The manufacturers came up with the
idea of producing an inferior product but calling it
It has happened to us all.
One day, on a trip with our wives to the grocery store,
we picked up our groceries and noticed the bag. It wasn't
a double bag! "They've made them cheaper," we
thought. Then we noticed an official looking statement on
the side: "This new Super Sack is made from a new
high strength paper. There is no double bagging
realized, "then it isn't an inferior product after
all. It's new and better. That's good to know."
We "bought the
pitch." In our trusting, childlike manner, we
believed that the "Super Sack" was better than
the "old reliable" double bag, just because
someone told us that it was.
"This new Super Sack
... no double bagging needed."
How many times have these
words echoed through my head as I heard a horrifying,
tearing sound. I watched as the cans rolled across the
grocery store parking lot. I watched the flour break open
in the back seat of the car. After getting the survivors
into the car, we headed for home.
"This new Super Sack
... no double bagging needed."
We hear that sound! We
watch broken eggs as they pour their contents out into
the driveway. The cereal has broken open, and now the
neighbors dog picks up our last package of hamburger. We
make a wild dash for the house, leaving a trail of canned
goods, broken jelly jars, and spilled milk in our wake.
We arrive at the back door holding nothing more than a
large piece of brown paper with words on the side
reading: "This Super Sack is made from a new high
strength paper. There is no double bagging
At times like that,
standing there, surveying the damage, I can hardly frame
the proper words with which to thank the manufacturers
for blessing me with this wonderful, new, improved
Sack" philosophy has existed in the field of Bible
translations for years.
Every new translation
published appears first with a giant "media
campaign" directed at the Christian community. This
campaign is designed to tell the Christians that they
"need" this new translation, because the
Christians do not know it. This is not an overstatement
but is proven true by the Preface to the New American
Standard Version of 1963. The last paragraph in the
Preface begins with this statement:
enthusiastically anticipated that the general public will
be grateful to learn of the availability, value and need
of the New American Standard Version." (Emphasis
The Lockman Foundation has
admitted translating a Bible that the general public
doesn't know that it needs! It is intended for the
general public to realize that they "need" this
Bible when they read the advertisement. This is just like
a laundry detergent.
The Sales Pitch
Let us look into the way
in which this "Bible advertising" works.
We read a few Christian
periodicals and observe that a new translation has been
published. It is, of course, compared to the Authorized
Version. The "mistakes" of the Authorized
Version are revealed to show us the "need" for
a new translation. Next, this new translation is unveiled
with exclamation of "thoroughly reliable,"
"true to the Original Greek," and
"starting a new tradition." We read but are
We proceed to the
"Bible" book store to look over this new
translation. After having the "sales pitch"
from the man behind the counter, we leave carrying a
grocery bag (Super Sack) full of "new,"
"modern," "easy to read" translations
in which we are assured that "all of the
fundamentals can be found." On the way home, we
decide to try out these "more accurate,"
"Christ exalting" versions.
The Let Down
We meet a Jehovah's
Witness. In the following discussion we try to convince
him that Jesus Christ was not a created God. He shows us
John 1:18 in his "New World Translation." It
reads that Christ was the "only begotten God."
We snicker. "That's just your version," we say,
reaching for a New International Version. To our
amazement it also reads "only begotten God!"
Being fully embarrassed,
we change the subject to the trinity. "I John
5:7!" we exclaim. Now we've got him! We turn to I
John 5:7 in the "Good News for Modern Man."
"There are three witnesses," it says.
Our Jehovahs Witness asks,
"So, what does that teach?" We stammer,
"Wait a minute," as we reach for a New American
Standard Version. "And it is the Spirit who bears
witness, because the Spirit is truth."
"So how is the
trinity taught from that verse?" he
With our face glowing red
and phrases like "thoroughly reliable" and
"faithful to the originals" spinning through
our head, we desperately grab a New King James Version.
"For there are three
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the
Holy Spirit; and these three are one." I John 5:7.
"There it is! There
it is!" We exclaim, "See there, the
"Read the footnote on
it," he states calmly. "Out loud!"
"The words from 'in
heaven' (v. 7) through 'on earth' (v. 8) are from the
Latin Bible, although three Greek mss. from the 15th
Century and later also contain them."
"You see," says
our adversary, "it doesn't belong there."
Thankfully he hasn't got
any more time to talk, and he leaves.
We tear our "Super
Sack" slightly as we pick it back up and head for
home, not quite understanding what has taken place. In
our mind we hear the Bible store salesman saying,
"But I can find the fundamentals in these new
In an attempt to boost our
own morale, we try to lead a man to Christ. We tell him
the simplicity of conversion. We relate to him how easy
it was for the Ethiopian eunuch. We open a Revised
Standard Version to show it to him. We read Acts 8:36 and
then the next verse, verse 38. "Wait just a second;
I seem to have skipped over a verse," we say
We read verse 36, then
carefully run our finger across the line to the next
verse, verse 38! There is no verse 37! This eunuch never
believed on the Lord Jesus Christ!
"Excuse me," we
apologize. "I seem to have picked up the wrong
Bible." We lay down the Revised Standard Version and
pick up the New American Standard Version. We read again.
This time we arrive at verse 37.
It says, "See
"No thank you!"
we say to ourselves.
Having lost his train of
thought, our lost friend walks off shaking his head and
wondering why Christians don't know their Bibles better.
Of all things, we run into
an infidel before we can reach the safety of our home.
"Jesus Christ was not
God in the flesh," he states.
"Oh yes He was!"
we retort confidently, happy to have the opportunity to
redeem ourselves for the bad showing earlier. "Look
at I Timothy 3:16."
We pick the Living Bible.
"But the answer lies
in Christ, who came to earth as a man...."
"There's no 'God' in
that verse," he declares.
The statement of the
salesmen comes to mind again. "But I can find the
fundamentals in these."
"Where?" we ask
ourselves returning to the Revised Standard Version.
"He was manifested in
"Where is God?"
demands our infidel. We wonder the same thing!
"He appeared in human
form," says the Good News for Modern Man.
"He who was revealed
in the flesh," states the New American Standard
"Where is God?"
demands our infidel with finality.
"I don't know. I
really don't know," we reply with our heads down in
We drag our wounded
spirits home. Words cannot describe our
"gratitude" to the Lockman Foundation and all
the rest of those "godly, conservative
scholars" who gave us these "accurate,
reliable, true to the original" translations. We
hear a horrifying, tearing sound as we reach the back
The next morning the
garbage man finds a garbage bag full of brand new, unused
"Bibles" covered by a large, torn piece of
brown paper with the words on the side saying: "This
new Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper.
There is no double bagging needed."
No thank you, we will
stick with our "old, reliable" King James,
The story has been an
allegory, but the philosophy it describes is very true.
We shall now look at some
of the complaints against the Authorized Version.
Remember, being able to "find the fundamentals"
in a version is not enough. This was the claim of the
corrupt Revised Version! As Wilkenson points out,
"There are many who claim that the changes in the
Revised Version did not affect any doctrine."
The problem with this
statement is that even if the major doctrines can be
found in these new Roman Catholic Bibles, these doctrines
always appear in a watered down form.
Yes, the blood of
atonement can be taught in spite of the removal of the
word "blood" from Colossians 1:14. The doctrine
of the blood atonement is found in other passages. The
danger is this. Where the Authorized Version teaches a
given doctrine in maybe thirty different places, the New
American Standard Version may teach the same doctrine in
only twenty. The New International Version may only teach
this doctrine in fifteen passages. The next "new and
improved" version may teach it only three or four,
until it is reduced to only one passage. How then can we
teach a new convert this "major" doctrine from
only one passage?
All of the doctrines,
which today's fundamentalists claim to be able to
"find" in these new translations, have been
taught to these same fundamentalists through the use of a
King James Bible. How will the next generation of
Christians learn pure doctrine from a watered down Bible?
How can we even call something a "major"
doctrine which is taught only in one or two verses?
Remember, Satan is not
worried at all about what people think of Jesus if he can
just keep us from being able to prove that He was virgin
born, shed His blood for our sins, rose from the dead, or
is coming back physically. Without scripture to prove the
above, Jesus was just a man.
The new Bibles have no
blood in them, no Lord, no second coming, nor other vital
doctrines. In other words, the new Bibles have all of the
convictions of B.F. Westcott.
"The Scholar Scam"
Many Christian educators,
(especially scholars) claim that the scholarship of today
is greater than that of the days of King James. How can
they say such a thing? How can men who say that the Bible
teaches that everything will get worse and worse with
time claim that education is the exception? We see the
signs of apostasy all around us. They are evident in
world economic systems. They are evident in educational
systems. They are evident in the apostasy of religious
groups which were formerly loyal to the Bible. They are
evident in the worldly learnings of many once separated
Christian colleges. Are we to believe that
"scholarship" has avoided the "downhill
progress?" That is far from being realistic.
Scholar for scholar, the
men on the King James translating committee were far
greater men of God than Westcott, Hort, or any other new
translator. They were not only educated in a powerful,
anti-Roman atmosphere, but they looked at the MSS which
they handled as the Holy Word of God. They state such in
the Dedicatory to King James:
"So that if, on
the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish
persons at home or abroad, who therefore will
malign us, because we are poor instruments to
make God's holy Truth to be yet more and more
known unto the people, whom they desire still to
keep in ignorance and darkness; or if, on the
other side, we shall be maligned by
self-conceited brethren, who run their own ways,
and give liking unto nothing, but what is framed
by themselves, and hammered on their
As can be seen, they
considered themselves "unworthy instruments,"
for these were humble men.
Compare the words of the
King James translators to the pride of the anonymous
of this translation were imbued with the
conviction that interest in the American Standard
Version should be renewed and increased. Perhaps
the most weighty impetus for this undertaking can
be attributed to a disturbing awareness that the
American Standard Version of 1901 was fast
disappearing from the scene. As a generation
"which knew not Joseph" was born, even
so a generation unacquainted with this great and
important work has come into being. Recognizing a
responsibility to posterity, the Lockman
Foundation felt an urgency to rescue this noble
achievement from an inevitable demise, to reserve
it as a heritage for coming generations, and to
do so in such a form as the demands of passing
time dictate. It is enthusiastically anticipated
that the general public will be grateful to learn
of the availability, value and need of the New
American Standard Bible. It is released with the
strong confidence that those who seek a knowledge
of the scriptures will find herein a source of
genuine satisfaction for a clear and accurate
rendering of divinely-revealed truth."196
The mysterious Lockman
Foundation seems not only to believe that they have done
us a great service, but seems also to feel that we
"ignorant" members of the general public should
be grateful to them for their "clear and
accurate" translation. Of course we are grateful. We
are just as grateful to the Lockman Foundation as we are
to the manufacturers of the "Super Sack." Their
products seem to be equal in quality.
As stated earlier, the
translation of the King James Bible was achieved at a
"parenthesis of purity" in English history. It
was produced during a brief period following the
overthrow of Roman authority and prior to the apostasy of
the Church of England. It was translated in the era when
the still young English language was at its height of
purity. Dr. McClure succeeds in aptly describing this
esteemed company of translators:
"As to the
capability of those men, we say again, that, by
the good providence of God, their work was
undertaken in a fortunate time. Not only had the
English language, that singular compound, then
ripened to its full perfection, but the study of
Greek and of the Oriental tongues and/or
rabbinical lore had then been carried to a
greater extent in England than ever before or
field of learning has never been so highly
cultivated among English divines as it was at
that day. To evidence this fact, so far as
necessary limits will admit, it will be requisite
to sketch the characters and scholarship of those
men, who have made all coming ages their debtors.
When this pleasing task is done, it is
confidently expected that the reader of these
pages will yield to the conviction, that all of
the colleges of Great Britian and America, even
in this proud day of boastings, could not bring
together the same number of divines equally
qualified by learning and piety for the great
undertaking. Few indeed are the living names
worthy to be enrolled with those mighty men. It
would be impossible to convene out of any one
Christian denomination, or out of all, a body of
translators on whom the whole Christian community
would bestow such a confidence as is reposed upon
that illustrious company, or who would prove
themselves as deserving of such confidence. Very
many self-styled "improved versions" of
the Bible, or of parts of it, have been paraded
before the world, but the religious public has
doomed them all, without exception, to utter
As Dr. McClure has already
stated, to fully appreciate the depth of true scholarship
present at the translation of the King James Bible, it is
necessary to investigate the character of the individuals
on the translating committee. His excellent book, Translator
Revived, will be the primary source of the following
brief biographical comments.