"Hey Bill, how do you like my new Bible?" Joe was really thrilled with his new purchase. both he and Bill had just been saved a few weeks, and although they had first met in church just a few months before, already they were close friends.
"Say, it sure has a beautiful cover! How much did you pay for it?" Bill was visibly impressed. "I don't have a Bible yet. I sure would like to have a nice one like that."
After a few minutes of feeling the soft leather binding and examining the fine, white, goldedged paper Bill asked Joe to take him to the store where Joe had bought the beautiful Bible, and Bill paid out $36.95 for a Bible just like Joe's.
Boy, were they ever in for a shock that Sunday! Pastor Gillmore preached on "The Blood of Christ." Listed below is what Pastor Gillmore read from his King James Authorized Bible , and then what Joe and Bill read in their new Bibles:
For Colossians 1:14: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Their new Bibles read: "In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." "Through his blood" was deleted!
For Luke 22:19-20: "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." Their new Bibles read: "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body." Again, the phrase about the blood was missing!
Later, during the evening service, Pastor Gillmore preached about the "Virgin Birth of Christ". Pastor Gillmore again, as usual, read from his King James Bible "...Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." But Bill's and Joe's Bibles read: "Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Wow! Not all young women are virgins; some of them are harlots! Joe and Bill were really beginning to get upset about their new Bibles. They were just new converts and didn't know much about the Bible, but these seemed like very basic differences to them. The next verse Pastor Gillmore read to defend the virgin birth of Christ was Matthew 1:16: "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."
Pastor Gillmore explained carefully how that this verse shows that Joseph was not Jesus' father but only his stepfather, for if Joseph had been Jesus' actual father this verse would have read "And Joseph begat Jesus..." in consistency with the 15 verses before it. But in a footnote of Bill's and Joe's Bibles read: "Joseph, to whom was betrothed the virgin Mary, was the father of Jesus who is called Christ."
Later in his sermon Pastor Gillmore read Acts 8:37: "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Guess what? This whole verse was omitted in Joe's and Bill's Bibles! After the services they approached their pastor with this question: These Bibles don't read like yours; what kind of Bibles are these? Pastor Gillmore opened the front cover to see, and here is what was on the title page: Revised Standard Version.
The moral of this story so far is that you can't judge a Bible by it's cover. Before you make your purchase you would be very wise to at least read the cover page to make sure it is the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611. Almost all of the other versions are corruptions of God's sacred Word and should be avoided. Remembering that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (see Heb. 9:22), get a concordance (make sure it is a concordance of the KJV of 1611) and mark down all the verses that speak of the blood of Christ. Then look all these verses up in the new versions before you buy them. You will be surprised at how much many of the translators of the new translations hate the blood of Christ.
That Monday Bill and Joe took their new RSV (Revised Standard Version) Bibles back to the store to try to trade them for a King James Version. The lady who owned the store refused to receive them back, saying, "Why there is nothing wrong with the Revised Standard Version. You guys must be fanatics. Why about the only difference from this and the King James Version is that this one leaves out old words like 'thee' and 'thou;' this version is much easier to understand." However, Pastor Gillmore had warned Bill and Joe that this might happen, so they were ready. They said, "Lady, are you sure? Let us compare some scriptures." Here are some of the verses they compared:
Job 6:6 (KJV): "...or is there any taste in the white of an egg?" (RSV): "...or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane?" Much, much easier to understand!
Romans 8:34 (KJV): "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again..." (RSV): "Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised from the dead,...?" Clearer?
Isaiah 15:6 (KJV): "...there is no green thing." (RSV): "...the verdure is no more." Much easier to understand?
Numbers 21:14 (KJV): "...What he did in the Red Sea..." (RSV): "...Waheb in suphah..." Much, much clearer! Right?
After the above verses they showed her the following very clear verses: Matthew 12:47; 17:21; 18:11; 21:44; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44; 9:46; 11:26; 15:28; 16:9-20; Luke 17:36; 22:20; 24:12; 24:40; John 5:4; 7:53; 8:11; Acts 8:37; 28:29; Romans 16:24. These verses are especially easy to understand in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible because they are omitted.
We shall end our little parable with a few words to writers, translators and editors. Writer's take comfort. If modern editors have such gall as to even try to edit the very words of God, then don't feel too bad when they edit you! It is very obvious that editors are sometimes wrong! "Let God be true, but every man (including editors) a liar" (Romans 3:4). Of course we writers no doubt need to be edited sometimes, but to edit the infallible God is to be utterly presumptuous. "Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. I am small and despised; yet do not I forget thy precepts. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth." (Psalms 119:137-142)
Editors and translators take warning! There is a special place in Hell for Bible butchers. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19)
"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)