Years ago, in the April 16, 1986 issue of the The Biblical Evangelist, Thomas Nelson Publishers ran an ad titled "Isn't it about time you had a standard Bible for your church?" I saved the ad, which was promoting the deceptively named New King James version, for this article. With over 18 years having passed by, it is past time to consider the contents of that ad, which read as follows:
It's been getting a little confusing out there, what with so many versions, paraphrases, and translations vying for your attention. This Sunday look around---four, five or more different versions in use. How can you have a congregational responsive reading using their Bibles? It would be pure bedlam. And Bible study---more time is spent trying to figure which one is right, then spending time understanding what God's Word says. We need a standard. One that's understandable. Accurate. And literary enough to inspire us with all the beauty and power of God's Word. Consider the options. We think once you really know the New King James, you'll make it the standard for your church.
"It's been getting a little confusing out there, what with so many versions, paraphrases, and translations vying for your attention."
Confusing! How very true! That is, in fact, a tremendous understatement! The many modern perversions of the Bible do not promote greater understanding of God's Word, but rather promote utter confusion. Even this perverted-version-Bible publisher recognized that fact.
Now, "God is not the author of confusion..." (1 Cor. 14:30). Who then is the author of this modern Bible perversions confusion mess? Quite obviously it is Satan---the one who comes "to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10).
"This Sunday look around---four, five or more different versions in use. How can you have a congregational responsive reading using their Bibles? It would be pure bedlam."
Amen, amen, and amen! The modern perversions of God's Word do not promote worship of God, but rather promote "pure bedlam." I didn't say it, but I amen it!
"And Bible study---more time is spent trying to figure which one is right, then spending time understanding what God's Word says."
Now this is a very true and interesting statement! The texts of the modern perversions of God's Word do not agree with the text of the true Bible. Nor do texts of the modern perversions agree with each other! In verse after verse after verse serious differences in meanings are found. In many cases the perversions contradict the true Bible, and even contradict each other. Thomas Nelson publisher indirectly admitted this fact by making the above statement.
Note also that by making the above statement, Thomas Nelson Publishers is admitting that the modern perversions are time wasters. They do not promote productive Bible study, but rather waste the readers' time, frustrating them, destroying their faith in God's Word, keeping them from learning the vital truths contained therein.
"We need a standard. One that's understandable. Accurate. And literary enough to inspire us with all the beauty and power of God's Word."
We need a standard Bible! What an exceedingly obvious truth. Standards are vital in every aspect of life. An inch is a standard of measure. Please consider carefully that if you make any change to the inch and you no longer have a true inch, and your "new" inch would cause you untold problems and trouble. If you are a carpenter, your doors would not fit into the frames made to the true inch standard. If someone ordered a new kitchen cabinet to fit into a 120 inch long space, and you make it according to your new inch instead of according to the true inch, it will either be too big or too small. This will not make your customer happy, and he very likely will not want to accept your product. In fact, he may not pay you, or if he prepaid, he may sue you. Whether you like the standard inch or not, you are not at liberty to come up with a new inch. This is only common sense, but common sense is woefully lacking among the false religion crowd.
"One that's understandable."
Understandable? This is Satan's trick to slip in counterfiets. God's true Word IS understandable, but that does not mean that all parts of it are EASY to understand. Consider the following verses:
2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.Peter very clearly tells us in these verses that some things in Paul's writings are "hard to be understood." These "hard to be understood" passages are in the original writings, and cannot be made easy by any translation. It takes a lot of direct study of God's Word to understand the difficult passages. You cannot understand such passages by reading what someone else said about them. That is why many men with doctorates are actually "unlearned and unstable." They have learned what their college professors taught them about the Bible, but they have not studied the Bible itself enough to be able to understand those hard to understand passages. Such are the men that wrest the scriptures unto their own destruction. Among such men are found the (mis-)translators of the modern (per)versions.
Virtually all of the modern translations claim to be the most accurate, but they cannot all be the most accurate. If one Bible is the most accurate, then all the rest are automatically excluded from that honor.
The fact is that all of the modern translations have one characteristic in common that excludes them all from being the most accurate English translation of the Bible---they all use modern English pronouns which do not reveal number, instead of the more accurate old English pronouns (Singular: thee, thou, thine. Plural: ye, you, your) which do show number. Because of this one characteristic, the modern perversion are less accurate than the King Jame Version of 1611 in thousands of places. And, sadly, there are a multitude of other inaccuracies in them also.
"And literary enough to inspire us with all the beauty and power of God's Word."
Which has better literary style (I'll list a King James of 1611 passage first, then the same verse from one of the modern perversions)?
KJV John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. NAB John 1:5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
KJV John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. NIV John 1:6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. NAB John 1:6 A man named John was sent from God.
KJV John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. NIV John 1:9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
KJV John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. NIV John 1:13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
KJV John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. NIV John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
KJV John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. NRS John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
KJV John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. NLT John 1:51 Then he said, "The truth is, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down upon the Son of Man."
Note that not only does the King James Version of 1611 sound more beautiful, authoritative, and like God's Word, but also that there is more than style at stake. In many cases the meanings of the verses have also been changed.
"Consider the options. We think once you really know the New King James, you'll make it the standard for your church."
Well, 18 years have passed since this was written. Has any church made the New King James Version the standard for their church? So, far as I know, not one church has done so! One preacher wrote to tell me that he preaches from the New King James Version, but I doubt seriously that all of his members use it, or that it has become the standard for his church. After considering the options, all Bible believers decided that the New King James Version does not match up to the standard, and so rejected it. The unbelievers also rejected the New King James Version for something a little more corrupt, like the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901, the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1952, the New American Standard Bible (NAS) of 1977 or the New American Standard Bible of 1995 (NAU), or the New International Version (NIV) of 1984.
Note how many of these corruptions are called "the standard"! Obviously, they cannot all be the standard. Calling something the standard does not make it the standard. When it comes to the Bible, God, not man, determines the standard. The standard English language Bible translation to which all other English Bible translations are compared is still the King James Version of 1611, and this is as likely to change as the inch is to be redefined to a different length.
Every English speaking church needs the standard King James Version of 1611 to separate it from the confusion and bedlam of this present apostate age, and to make possible accurate, understandable Bible study.