From "The Answer Book" ©1989 Samuel C. Gipp. Reproduced by permission
QUESTION: Is the King James Bible inspired or preserved?
ANSWER: The original autographs were inspired. The King
James Bible is those same autographs preserved up to today.
EXPLANATION: The best way to simply describe
inspiration and preservation of the Bible is as follows:
Inspiration is when God takes a blank piece of paper
(papyrus, vellum, etc.) and uses men to write His words.
Preservation is when God takes those words already written
and uses men to preserve them to today.
Both of these actions are DIVINE and are assured by God as
recorded in Psalm 12:6, 7.
6 "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried
in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, 0 LORD, thou shalt preserve them
from this generation for ever."
In Psalm 12:6 God assures us that His originals are perfect.
Even though penned by fallible men with the heinous sins of;
murder (Moses and David), adultery (David), idolatry (Solomon),
and denial of the lord (Peter), God's words are untainted by the
sins of the penmen.
That the originals were inspired perfect in their entirety is an
undisputed belief among fundamentalists today.
But most fundamentalists argue that only the "originals were
perfect. They say that today we have nothing but copies and
translations of those copies. They seem indignant at the thought
that any "mere translation" should be considered a perfect copy of
the originals. They claim that copies and translations are products
of uninspired men and therefore must all contain mistakes.
Fundamentalists clinging to this tenet are mislead. Their folly in
accepting this erroneous teaching is fourfold.
1. It is somewhat confusing and unexplainable that a person
could claim that God could not use, sinful men to preserve His
words when all fundamentalists believe that he used sinful men to
write His inspired words. Certainly a God who had enough
power to inspire His words would also have enough power to
preserve them. I highly doubt that He has lost such ability over the
2. Why would God inspire the originals and then lose them?
Why give a perfect Bible to men like Peter, John, James, Andrew
and company and not us? They had seen, heard, and touched the
Lord (I John 1:1). We haven't! If anyone ever needed a perfect
Bible it is us, nearly two thousand years separated from a Saviour
we have never seen!
Why did God inspire a perfect original if He didn't plan on
preserving it? Couldn't He have afforded some error, in His
originals just as some believe He has allowed some errors in
today's Bible! Or do critics of God's perfect Bible believe that
God was unable to prevent errors in the copies. It would seem
like only half of a God who had the power to do one but not the
3. It is a "convenient" faith which cannot be tested. In other
words, it is rather safe to believe in a perfect set of originals which
have been LOST. Since they are lost, no one can ever practically
challenge such a belief. Adherents to such a shallow persuasion
can rest safely in the fact that they will never be proven wrong
since the evidence needed to prove them wrong (the "originals") is
But if they dare put the same faith in a Bible available today,
they know that they will definitely be bloodied defending their faith.
Thus, to believe in a perfect set of originals, but not to believe in
a perfect English Bible, is to believe nothing at all.
4. Regardless of their arguments against the doctrine of a
preserved perfect Bible, such a fact as much guaranteed by
Scripture as the bodily return of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
Psalm 12:7 plainly states, thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou
shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Thus we have God promising to preserve the same words that
He inspired. Not too much of a feat to overwhelm such an
The fearful fundamentalist launches two attacks on the
Scriptural teaching found in Psalm 12:7.
1. They claim, "Verse 7 is talking about the Jews, not the
Bible." Then to add credence to their claim they rush out and
publish a translation that says just that in Psalm 12:7. Let's look at
this verse in the New International Version.
"O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such
This is an irresponsible and dishonest translation. The Hebrew
word "shamar" meaning "to keep" which the New International
Version translators render "you will keep us" is found in the future
second person singular "thou shalt keep" and is directed to the
THIRD person plural "them" and NOT the first person plural
"us" as the New International Version translators rendered it. Thus
we see it is the King James, Gods perfect, preserved Bible which
has accurately preserved the reading of the originals, not the
unreliable New International Version.
Psalm 12:7 is not God's promise to preserve the Jews, a
promise which flourishes elsewhere in Scripture. It is Gods
promise to preserve His words, and is a direct reference to those
words as described in Psalm 12:6.
2. Oftimes a Christian, whose faith is too weak to accept the
literal truth of Psalm 12:6, 7, will piously quote Psalm 119:89.
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Then they
will state that God actually meant that He preserved His perfect
Bible in Heaven, not on Earth. And they say this with a straight
face! This escape to a house of straw is embarrassingly humorous.
First, it is foolish for anyone to believe that God inspired a
perfect original on earth so that He could have it brought to
Heaven. Is that supposed to be the reason that He wrote the
originals? The answer is embarrassingly simple. The Bible is
addressed to man, not God. God did not write a perfect book
directed to man and then put it in a library in Heaven where man
cannot benefit from its existence. Again we ask, "What good to us,
here and now, is a perfect book locked up out of reach in
Secondly, Psalm 12:6 makes reference to His words being on
earth. To preserve them somewhere other than on earth is not to
preserve them at all. So we see then that God inspired the
originals perfectly. Then over the centuries He has preserved
those same word today. They are found in the Authorized
In the area of "inspired translations" it might be noted that the
double truth of Genesis 22:8 which in a King James Bible is plainly
revealed as a prophetic reference to Jesus Christ, is lost in such
weak translations as the New King James, the New International
Version, and the New American Standard Version.