From "The Answer Book" ©1989 Samuel C. Gipp. Reproduced by permission
QUESTION: Isn't the devil behind all the confusion and fighting over Bible versions?
EXPLANATION: It is a great irony that many of the critics of the Bible claim rather indignantly that the devil is behind the battle over the King James Bible. In this they are correct. But somehow they have managed to assume that it is the people claiming perfection for the Bible who the devil is guiding. Is this a correct assumption? Let us consider the history of the battle.
From the time of its publication in 1611 the King James Bible has grown in popularity. Although not mandated by the King to be used in the churches of England, it did, in a matter of a few years, manage to supplant all of the great versions translated before it. Though it was not advertised in the Madison Avenue fashion of today's versions, it soon swept all other versions from the hearts and hands of the citizenry of England and its colonies.
With the conquest of the British Empire behind it, it crossed the Atlantic to the United States. Landing here it overwhelmed the double foothold of the Roman Catholic Church planted previously under the flags of Spain and France.
It then began to permeate young America with its ideals. Its truths led to the establishment of an educational system, based on Scripture, that was unparalleled in the world. It instilled in men the ideals of freedom and personal liberty, thoughts so foreign to the minds of men that their inclusion in our Constitution could only be described as an "experiment" in government.
It commissioned preachers of righteousness who, on foot and horseback, broke trails into the wilderness and spread the truth of the gospel and of right living. In its wake was left what could only be described..."one nation, under God..." This accomplished, it set out for the conquest of the heathen world. Bible colleges (Princeton, Harvard, Yale) were founded. Mission societies formed. And eager young missionaries began to scour the globe with little more than a King James Bible and God's Holy Spirit.
But these activities did not go unnoticed by Satan. He who had successfully counterfeited God's church, ministers and powers certainly could not be expected to let God's Bible roam the world unchallenged. Through agents such as Brook Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort, he published his own translation in 1884. (The New Testament had been published in 1881.) Though there had been sporadic personal translations between 1611 and 1884, this new translation, called the Revised Version, was the first ever to be designed from its outset to replace God's Authorized Bible. It failed to replace God's Bible, but the arguments of its adherents were the first shots fired in a nearly 400 year battle for the hearts and minds of God's people concerning the authority and fidelity of Scripture.
In 1901 another round was fired in the form of the American Revised Version, later called the American Standard Version. (An intentional misnomer since it never became the "standard" for anything.) This version, other than being the darling of critical American scholarship met a dismal end when, twenty-three years later, it was so totally rejected by God's people that its copyright had to be sold. (Does this sound like God's blessing?)
The ASV was further revised and republished in 1954 as the Revised Standard Version. This sequence of events has repeated itself innumerable times, resulting in the New American Standard Version of 1960, the New Scofield Version of 1967, the New International Version of 1978, and the New King James Version of 1979 to name a few.
The process has never changed. Every new version that has been launched has been, without exception, a product of Satan's Alexandrian philosophy which rejects the premise of a perfect Bible. Furthermore, they have been copied, on the most part, from the corrupt Alexandrian manuscript. (Although a few have been translated from pure Antiochian manuscripts after they were tainted by the Alexandrian philosophy.)
THIS then was Satan's battle in print, BUT by no means was it his exclusive onslaught. He used a standard military "two-pronged" attack.
While popularizing his Alexandrian manuscripts via the press, he began to promote his Alexandrian philosophy in and through Christian Bible colleges.
Soon sincere, naive, young, Bible students attending FUNDAMENTAL Bible colleges began to hear the infallibility of the Bible challenged in their classrooms. In chapel services the Bible's perfection was much touted. But then, the very same speakers, would debase, degrade, and even mock the English Bible, always assuring their students that they were not a "liberal" or "modernist" because they believed that the Bible was infallible in "the originals". That non-existent, unobtainable, mystical entity which ALL apostates shield their unbelief behind.
Soon stalwartness gave in to acceptance and fidelity to a perfect bible became fidelity to one's "Alma Mater". Young graduates, disheartened and disarmed by their education, found themselves in pulpits across America parroting the professor's shameful criticism of the Word of God. They readily accepted new versions hot off the Alexandrian presses.
Then, when some Christian approached them claiming to believe the Bible (one you could hold in your HAND, not a lost relic from bygone days) was word perfect (a belief they had once held before their education stole it from them) they felt threatened. They try to dispel this "fanatic," this "cultist". Finally they look this faith filled Christian in the eye and piously ask, "Don't you feel that the devil is using this Bible version issue to divide and hinder the cause of Christ?"
"Undoubtedly," comes back the answer "But I'm certainly glad it's not MY CROWD that he's using."
Who's side are YOU on?
Here's something that you need to think about. If we King James Bible believers have our way, a Preacher would stand in a pulpit to read Scripture and everyone else in the church would read from the same Bible. Isn't that UNITY?
But if the Bible-correctors have their way everyone would read from a different bible. That's confusion. And who is the author of confusion? (I Cor. 14:33)