There are three prevailing reasons to preach the King James Version. First of all, it has Recognized Authority. For almost four centuries the KJV which was authorized by King James( i.e. the Authorized Version) making it the translation which the English speaking people have used since it was first available in 1611.
Although the copy we use today was last revised in 1789, it still holds sway over more people in the English speaking world than any other version. Now, I don’t want to get into a battle with the brethren over which one they use, but, let’s be honest, the KJV is the Authorized Version very much like the Septuagint of Jesus’ day.
Maybe you didn’t know this important fact, but, over 90% of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are taken from the Septuagint. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament which was the people’s Bible of that time. It is still used by the Greek Orthodox Church to this day.
One morning in New Jersey I stopped at a restaurant for a cup of Joe in an authentic fifties diner. I pulled my semi-rig into the “limited” parking and proceeded to go inside. When I sat down I noticed a Greek “tract” of sorts laying in front of me which the waitress was using and memorizing. When I asked her exactly what it was she handed me a copy and right away her Greek Orthodox background became evident.
I spoke with her briefly attempting to get more info’ in order to determine her spiritual condition. After some back and forth conversation she offered me her Greek Orthodox “manual” which I think was her attempt at evangelizing me!! I was in somewhat of a “pickle”…it took some time as I sipped my coffee to respond.
So, I prayed about the situation and ended up leaving her a “tip” and a tract and went on my way! This was a great learning experience for me because I learned there is still a “King James” type of controversy still raging among the Greek Orthodox over which version to use!! Whoa…how many centuries has this been going?
After being saved in 1980 and starting Bible school in 1981. I didn’t know the extent of the KJV controversy until I graduated in 1986. I spent most of my time in a cocoon type environment at BJU where not a word was spoken of this “Battle of the Bibles” but, instead I was given the Greek text used for the NASV not the KJV??
When first “translating” I saw that there was a “problem” as the English of the KJV did not always match the Greek New Testament that I had purchased for my first Greek class in 1982. You talk about confusion…but, I soon learned that there was a “method to their madness”…still not real sure what it was?
Oh, yeah, I was also told to use the KJV in every Bible class for memorization. I had earlier purchased a New Scofield Bible upon the recommendation of my brother while attending a Scofield Bible Class in the fall of 1980 which was taught by a local Pastor in Annville, PA.
Well, that version also created some consternation for me at BJU because it was not word for word like the KJV. But, after getting all these issues “straight” I was well on my way to a profitable five years of education to get a four year degree...remember, all good things take time…a lot of time, God is still working on me!
After starting in the Bible Institute in the fall of 1981 my BJU student neighbor convinced me to transfer to the University and take Greek for my minor. It seemed like a big chunk to bite off at the age of thirty-six, but the Lord said through my neighbor: “If you are going to spend time studying you might as well go all the way!”
So, after much prayer by my wife and I, I transferred to the University in the fall of 1982…Greek minor and all…it was quite a challenge! Now, I tell you all this in order to emphasize the importance of following the Lord’s leading…although I did not know it at the time, He was and still is preparing me for His will!
Which brings me back to the topic at hand. It was through the things that I learned while at BJU and the subsequent years of study that the Lord convinced me to use the KJV for memorization and public preaching. Right now is the time for bold proclamation of His Word…regardless of public outcry to the contrary!
The KJV has Recognized Authority as the Word of God with the saved and the lost alike. But, it also has unparalleled accuracy. This Recognized Accuracy is the second point, and even though it is placed in the second position in this message it is definitely not second place in importance!
The KJV is a word for word translation and has through the years been the Bible that has been recognized by multitudes of scholars and students alike for its faithfulness to the original manuscripts. Now, this is not the place nor the time to be discussing the multitudes and variations of all the different manuscripts.
I am neither an expert nor really a student of the many positions taken on this subject. I am simply one truck-driver/student of the Word that is saying…keep what has been proven to be the Word for multitudes of millions yea, even billions of people who have used and been blessed by the Recognized Accuracy of the KJV!
Although I am sure that there are many who will affirm and attest to the “Better, newer versions” don’t believe a word of it!. Better, and newer are not always the key to performance!! The old proven paths of the Lord will always prevail when tested against the so-called better and newer which appear on the scene.
What could be the reason for all these “better and newer” versions? It should be obvious to even the casual observer we live in the media age. Media right now is dictating policy in our government by its influence on those voters who do not evaluate people and movements by unchanging principles but instead are moved by pressure. Principle not Pressure must be the motivation and mover for the people of God!
But, when a large part of the electorate changes overnight because of the actions of a candidate like the former candidate ALGORE when he passionately kissed his wife in a desperation move to get votes…that is operating by Pressure not Principle…emotional pressure, not activated by a “thinking mind based on principle”.
These principles must be thought out way before its time to cast a vote…or make a decision and so much of what is done today is activated by Pressure in the good ‘ol USA…not time-proven Principles, and so the same media and the same pressure applied by advertising and often motivated by money not ministry can be the bottom line when it comes to the multitude of versions which have flooded the market in recent decades.
It is a well recognized fact that the Bible is the best seller of all times…and it has no copyright issues to be concerned with when considering the creation of a new version. There are now ‘special’ Bibles for almost every type of English speaking person and they are a “good investment” to those who embark on creating them.
Does their appearance on the market mean they are better because they are newer? Just because they focus on a certain type of person/issue does not make them valid. What makes them valid is their accuracy, authority and their ability to meet the needs of the times. That is exactly what the KJV has done through the centuries.
When the present-day times are considered the KJV wins the battle hands down!. The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is at the doorstep! Recognition of the Actual Hour we live in is the third point supporting the value of staying with the tried and proven paths that the Lord has prepared during the last four centuries.
Just as He prepared the earth and its peoples for centuries before His first Coming, He has been in the process of preparing the earth and His people for the last four centuries. While this statement will probably be met with raised eyebrows and skepticism, please consider the following information:
In this the year of our Lord, 2010, the signs of God’s working in the nation of Israel are abundant. His people are being gathered into their land and have become a recognized nation once again. The prophetic Scripture is abundantly clear concerning these events: “And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shall possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:5)
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people…And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12)
“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in My anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be My people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make and everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul.” (Jeremiah 32:37-41)
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you and heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
“Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel…Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:12, 21, 22)
The Jews continue to return to their land illustrating that God is definitely not finished with them just yet, for as the above Scriptures indicate, in due time He will perform His supernatural work of cleansing them and giving them “a new heart” at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel: “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord…And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26)
However, before the Lord comes to redeem the nation of Israel at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel, He will continue the preparation of His people as indicated in the following twelve prophecies which are necessary for the completion of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel and the Coming of Jesus the Messiah: