Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. ~ Psalms 25:5
In April of 1993 when I repented of the many years of sin I had been living in and was mercifully saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Bible I had was a coffee table sized King James Bible. Some eleven years earlier I had picked it up at a yard sale for the grand price of four dollars. Several people in the church that I had started to attend told me there were many Bible versions available that were, and I quote:
much easier to understand than the King James Bible.
After a confusing trip to the bookstore I could see for myself that there were indeed a surprising number of versions all claiming to be the Word of God. The sales clerk tried to be helpful but it just did not seem right to me that I could or should choose a Bible based on personal preference. How was that any different than deciding which color of shirt to wear? It was confusing to me and didn’t seem at all proper since God's Word is law and it is meant to be our guide in this life. Expecting to get Godly and expert guidance I consulted my then pastor for a recommendation as to which
Bible I should buy. Feeling a sense of relief that I would not have to search through version after version I promptly went out and bought what the pastor recommended, which was the New International Version (NIV). Suddenly life ahead was exciting because I was finally saved and I had my very own new copy of God's Word with which to begin my Christian life, or so I thought.
I am one of those folks who marks up most books I read and make notes in the margins and highlight with colored pen. Well by the time I had that NIV marked up and pages were beginning to fall out, (it was very inexpensive) I knew something was amiss because I was getting two different messages from two different books both claiming to be the Word of God.
The King James Bible was the only Bible I had ever had any contact with and it was the one both my grandparents used as well as the few other relatives I knew about who went to church or considered themselves to be Christian. As the weeks passed and I read more and more in my NIV Bible, the more uneasy I became. Increasingly I started finding myself wondering what the King James Bible said in that same passage and so I would open up my huge coffee table Bible and compare the two readings.
I am one of those folks who marks up most books I read and make notes in the margins and highlight with colored pen. Well by the time I had that NIV marked up and pages were beginning to fall out, (it was very inexpensive) I knew something was amiss because I was getting two different messages from two different books both claiming to be the Word of God. Then while in prayer one day I distinctly knew the Lord told me He wanted me to study the King James Bible. This really troubled me because by now I was going to the Nursing Home several days a week and reading to several of the 120 residents and many of them had questions. I told the Lord that I could not understand the King James Bible and I had people who were depending on me to help them. It was others telling me that the King James Bible was hard to understand rather than my own experience that had so easily convinced me. The Lord however did not argue with me He just left me with the unmistakable impression that I was to read and study the King James Bible, end of discussion.
For the next several weeks, on my trips to the nursing home I carried both the NIV and the King James Bible I had been given as a gift. Every time I opened my King James Bible I prayed for the Lord to teach me and to help me to understand His Word. Within the first week or so I was not even opening the NIV, and no one wanted to hear it read anyway! Tears often flowed from those elderly folks eyes as I would read from the King James Bible where dry eyes had been when I read the NIV. This fact did not escape my notice as I began to realize that the King James Bible is truly the LIVING Word of God!
Now the tables were turned and I was reading the King James Bible, and I would find myself wondering how it was worded in the NIV and so I would check it to see. The word
shocking is an understatement to describe my reaction when I began to find whole verses missing in the NIV. Believe it or not, at this same time I was beginning to see that the NIV is a book of mostly mans words and is Spiritually a
Many passages in the NIV are not only shallow lacking the rich depth of the King James Bible, but many of them are simply not clear. Yes, the NIV does contain some of God's Word, just like most lies contain some truth, but I was not seeing the power of the Holy Spirit working in the NIV like I was in the King James Bible. Many in the nursing home were responding positively to the King James Bible and souls began to be saved. In earlier readings with the NIV I had been met mostly with indifference by these same repentant folks.
Now I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had two books which both claimed to be
The Bible, and I also knew that one had shown fruit worthy of the Word of God and the other had only given me written assurances inside the cover. I needed more information and I would not rest until I knew the facts.
In those days I had a computer, but no Internet connection and so I went to the Public Library. There I spent several months doing research in the library and bringing other books home on everything from Moses day to the Dead Sea Scrolls and beyond. The devil was certainly at work as evidenced by the strange disappearance of two of the most conservative volumes I was researching. Those with the popish flavor (Roman Catholic influence) were never out of reach nor did they disappear. In the end I had to get inter-library loans from another city in order to continue my research. Months later, according to the very unsympathetic librarian the books still had not shown up or their whereabouts made known.
I don't say all of this to claim to be any kind of expert on the subject, because from an academic standpoint I most assuredly am not an expert, or even very knowledgeable by some standards. What I am saying though is that I learned what I needed to know, what God sent me to learn. As I studied those inked pages, time after time the Holy Spirit witnessed to the Spirit within me, confirming the Truth and exposing the deceit, the lies, and the blasphemous ways the enemy has worked for centuries to not only rob people of God's Word, but to ultimately try and destroy that Word from the face of the earth. He has, and will continue to fail in his efforts against those of us who diligently seek truth. The reason I know this is because I know what I have believed, I know what the Lord has shown me and others like me, and it can never be undone. I know the history of the King James Bible and the fruit of it’s existence over the last four-hundred years. Once the Holy Spirit teaches someone, there is no other possibility, there is no question, there is no hesitation. Unfortunately there are those who blindly accept what comes as the easiest path and compliments the pride of their intellectual endeavors.
However, for those willing to look under the surface there is another story concerning the Bible versions and it has been recorded throughout history. I consider the fact that I listened to that small voice of doubt, to be one of the greatest blessings I have received from God. It led me to seek and discover and to know that we can never just accept what is easiest and handiest.
There are times when I wonder if what those who know, love, and defend the King James Bible have been blessed to have a taste of, is not what the Saints of the Dark Ages feasted on. They were constrained to suffer the tortures and the cruelties of floggings, burnings, wild beasts, and unspeakable tortures at the hands of those who hate Jesus Christ and His people. Just as we who know the Truth today can not but help if our very lives be in jeopardy, we cannot deny the Truth of God and cannot deny His Holy written Word. There is no other true, complete, inerrant, trustworthy Bible besides the King James Bible and those based upon it or the Manuscripts it came from. All others are rife with leaven and as we know, that leaveneth the whole lump 1 Corinthians 5:6.
Friends, the truth is not always easy to find and it is seldom delivered up willingly in a corrupted world, nor is it always the popular story presented by well meaning pastors, friends, and family. However, for those willing to look under the surface there is another story concerning the Bible versions and it has been recorded throughout history. I consider the fact that I listened to that small voice of doubt, to be one of the greatest blessings I have received from God. It led me to seek and discover and to know that we can never just accept what is easiest and handiest.
Folks, it is my earnest prayer that you would not be fooled as I was early in my Christian life. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the power of God to preserve His Word, to guide His servants, and to teach those willing hungry souls that are satisfied only with what is genuine. Don’t make Satan’s job easy for him. For every thing that is real and genuine in this world there is a fake and a forgery, don’t be fooled by a dash of truth sprinkled in with error. ~ JimO