Question #366

I disagree that the ASV is more accurate than the KJV.

The text of the question appears below.

The Answer:

Ordinarily the question is first and followed by the answer. To make it easier to follow the answer more easily in this instance, the answer will be intertwined with the question. The first paragraph of the question is first, followed by each numbered objection, which is in turn followed by the answer to that objection.

FIRST PARAGRAPH OF QUESTION

I am writing this simply to warn you about the ASV bible you think is the most accurate, it has serious problems! I am going to share with you some of my observations about the American Standard Version of the Bible.

OBSERVATION FROM FIRST PARAGRAPH AND OBJECTIONS TO THE AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION (ASV).

While I cannot be certain, I assume that this “question” came from among those who believe that the King James Version is the only translation of scripture that God endorses. It certainly can’t be disputed that the King James Version is a good translation, but to say that any translation is “God’s” is to praise any translation beyond that which is justified. This is not to say that God’s providence was not involved in preserving his word; it is to say that the King James Version, along with all others, contains errors in translation. While I have said and say again that the American Standard Version of 1901 is the best translation, I have never said and will never say that it is a perfect translation. To say that it is the best translation is to say no more than that it is based on better manuscripts and that those manuscripts are better translated than any other translation. The new English Standard Version has been well received. Whether upon final analysis it will supplant the American Standard Version remains to be seen. With that said let’s look at the “problems” he has with the American Standard Version.”

OBJECTION ONE

Colossians 1:16 in the King James Bible reads, "For by him were all things created..." Notice that ALL things were created BY the Lord Jesus Christ. If you'll take a quick look at the ASV, you'll find that "BY" has been changed to "IN." This is no subtle difference. The Jehovah Witnesses false religion deny that Jesus is Almighty God, they believe that God created all things "IN" Christ; but not "BY" Christ Himself in His own Godhead power. It is a grave danger to translate this verse as the ASV has done. Jesus Christ is the Creator! Jesus was not created, but He did create all things. John 1;1-3 will affirm this! I am very leery of any publication that speaks of creation occurring "through" or "in" Christ. The issue is over the deity of Jesus Christ. As God Almighty, Jesus created ALL things by the very Word of His mouth (2nd Peter 3:5)!

ANSWER TO OBJECTION ONE

Col. 1:16. The KJV says all things were created “by” Christ; the ASV says all things were created “in” Christ. When two words are used in two translations for a single Greek word, it may arise from the manuscripts used or from the interpretation of the use of the word. Thus, the first thing to be done is to look at the manuscript support for the word used. The textual sources checked showed no manuscript support. However, Thayer did recognize and instrumental use of “en” that could be translated “by.” Thus, the difference here appears not to be based on the word used, but on the interpretation of the word. The next task, then, is to determine if the word used can be reasonably interpreted to be used instrumentally. To that question Lenski answers:

‘En is not instrumental: “by him were created” (A. V.) [Note: AV stands for “Authorized Version” or King James Version. It is not a typographical error for ASV or “American Standard Version.] It is an untenable idea to say that “in him” means that Christ was the archetype who in himself contained the ectype, “all things,” either in the sense that he furnished the pattern for them or that he eternal ideas existed in him (Philo’s Logos).

In this verse Paul begins giving the reason for the appellations he applied to Jesus in verse15. F. F. Bruce wrote of this:

Christ, then, is prior to all creation and, as the Fathers firstborn, he is heir to it all. But more: it was “in him” that all things were created. If it be asked why the preposition “in” is used here instead of the more usual “through,” the answer seems to be that Christ is the beginning “in” which, according to Gen. 1:1, “God created the heaven and the earth.” This is not mere surmise; he is expressly called “the beginning” in v. 18. The “sphere” within which the work of creation takes place; one might compare Eph. 1:4 where the people of God are said to have been chosen “in him” before time began. God’s creation, like his election, takes place “in Christ” and not apart from him.

But what about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Should scripture be misinterpreted in order to combat false doctrine? Paul did not think that we should do evil that good may come. Rom. 3:8. Our writer recognizes that other scriptures, of which he cites one, John 1:1-3, teach that Christ was the member of the Trinity that was the actual creator. But that is not to say that the concept of creation, which seems to be in view in Colossians 1:16, originated with him.

Even if it should be translated “by,” the problem with the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not solved. Their New World Translation uses the word “by,” but adds interpretive language making it read “by means of.” Thus, even with the language of the KJV they still find a way to support their doctrine. When an incorrect translation is supported to combat an incorrect translation, both parties are in error.

OBJECTION NO. 2

The ASV attacks the Godhead by removing 1st John 5:7. The ASV reads, "And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth." The King James Bible (KJB) reads, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Though the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible; the word "Godhead" most certainly is (see Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9).

Only the King James retains the CORRECT translation of 1st John 5:7. I bought a Textus Receptus years ago for about $80. The Textus Receptus (or "received text") are the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts which the King James translators accepted as inspired by God. I looked in my Textus Receptus and was satisfied to find 1st John 5:7. Don't let anyone tell you that 1st John 5:7 is not in the Greek, I'm looking at it in front of me!

ANSWER TO OBJECTION NO. 2

His second objection is based on 1 John 5:7-8. The language missing in the ASV is found in the Textus Receptus (the Received Text). Based upon that, he shouts “Don’t tell me it is not in the Greek; I am looking at it.” Unfortunately he fails to recognize that the question is not whether the language can be found in a Greek text, but whether it belongs there. He further asserts that the Textus Receptus was based on the Greek manuscripts that the King James translators received as inspired by God. That God providentially preserved his word is agreed, but God has not “inspired” a manuscript since the originals came from the authors. Moreover, it ignores that many manuscripts have been discovered since 1611, and Textus Vaticanus, probably the best manuscript available in 1611, was not used by the King James translators because it was housed in the Vatican library.

But to the real question – should the language be in the KJV? The answer is no. While our writer purchased a copy of the Textus Receptus, he apparently did not check its history very well. Had he done so he would have found that the language relating to the three heavenly witnesses was not included until the third edition of 1522. The language was derived from Codex 61, written shortly before. The story is that Erasmus included it “for the sake of his oath.” The full story is that Erasmus resisted including the language, but finally said that he would include it if one Greek manuscript could be found with that language in it. Thereafter Codex 61 was brought to him. Erasmus included it “for the sake of his oath” but the suspicion was that it had been “specially prepared” after he made his unfortunate oath.

This story is not without challenge. Consider the following: “In the many retellings of this famous episode, it has become the common tradition that Erasmus rashly made a promise to his critics that he would include the Comma if a single Greek manuscript could be brought forward as evidence. However, Henk J. de Jonge has recently demonstrated that nothing in Erasmus’ writings indicates he formally made such a promise. DeJonge suggests that the notion of a promise came from a misinterpretation of a passage in a 1520 response to Edward Lee (Responsio ad Annotationes Eduardi Lei). Erasmus wrote:

‘If a single manuscript had come into my hands, in which stood what we read (sc. in the Latin Vulgate) then I would certainly have used it to fill in what was missing in the other manuscripts I had. Because that did not happen, I have taken the only course which was permissible, that is, I have indicated (sc. in the Annotationes) what was missing from the Greek manuscripts.’

De Jonge suggests that Erasmus included the Comma Johanneum because he did not want his reputation ruined over a minor detail in the Greek text that might prevent his Latin translation from receiving wide distribution. When Erasmus was informed that the passage had been found in Codex 61, a 16th century manuscript then in England, he included it, though he notes in his Annotationes that he did not believe the Comma was genuine."

Bruce Metzger wrote: “Another part of this episode has also been incorrectly reported. Again, Metzger, among others, has said that Erasmus believed that Codex 61 “had been prepared expressly in order to confute him.” And [J. Rendel] Harris has shown that Codex 61 was, in fact, probably produced at the time of the controversy for the purpose of refuting Erasmus. But Erasmus himself had a different theory as to why Codex 61 contained the Comma. He believed:

‘…that the Codex, like many other manuscripts, contained a text which had been revised after, and adapted to, the Vulgate. This was one of Erasmus’ stock theories, to which he repeatedly referred in evaluating Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He regarded manuscripts which deviated from the Byzantine text known to him, and showed parallels with the Vulgate, as having been influenced by the Vulgate.

While the story appears not to be so as far as the oath is concerned, the underlying facts are still the same. Erasmus included it after the language was found in a 16th Century manuscript, the authenticity of which Erasmus questioned. Yes, he was looking at it in the Greek. It was contained in one Greek manuscript prior to the TR, and the best construction that can be placed on it is that that Greek manuscript was, at least in 1 John 5:7-8, taken from the Roman Latin Vulgate. The KJV only proponents cannot win this argument and would be better off to remove it from their quiver!

OBJECTION NO. 3

James 5:16 in the ASV makes a horrible change. The ASV reads, "Confess therefore your sins one to another..." The KJB reads, "Confess your faults one to another..." We are never to confess our SINS to anyone except God alone (1st Timothy 2:5). The ASV is catering to the Catholics who believe that they must confess their sins to a priest. Of course, this is sheer heresy. We are never to confess our sins to a minister or priest, who are saturated with sins themselves! The Bible tells us to confess our FAULTS to one another, NOT sins. A fault may be coming to work cranky or perhaps lacking understanding when under pressure. We all have faults. Ephesians 4:30-32 commands us to be "kind, tenderhearted and forgiving to one another." We should be nice to people, but don't disclose anything which could come back to haunt you. We should let people know that we have feet of clay, but never show anyone your feet! Only God needs to know our sins, not man.

ANSWER TO OBJECTION NO. 3

Problem 3 – the ASV translates James 5:16 “confess your sins” and the KJV translates “confess your faults.” Here we have a problem with two words. There is textual support for “paraptoma” (KJV follows) and for “hamartia” (ASV follows). There is some textual support for the KJ wording, but most of the manuscripts, like the KJ, and in the tradition of the Textus Receptus. It has no support among the major and most reliable Greek manuscripts. Moreover, even if it were correct, it is questionable that it should be translated “faults.” W. E. Vine, in his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, lists “paraptoma” under “fault,” but he directs the reader to definition 2 under “sin.” There (under “verbs”) “paraptoma” is defined as “to sin previously (pro, before, and No. I [“hamartano”] )….” “Hamartis” (noun form) is the word used in manuscripts followed by the ASV. KJ translators recognize that “faults” is not a good translation. They translate the same word as “sin” in Eph. 1:7 and 2:5. In Col. 2:13 the word appears twice where the KJ translates it “sins” in its first use and “trespasses” in the second. This highlights another weakness of the KJV – translating the same Greek word with different English words for no apparent reason. Once again our writer uses a word poorly supported by the Greek and then mistranslated in the KJV. Unfortunately he clings to it because it helps him, he thinks, in arguing against a false doctrine. It is right to argue against false doctrine; it is not right to do so with wrong arguments. There are no false doctrines that cannot be overcome by scripture properly translated and applied.

OBJECTION NO. 4

Colossians 1:14 contains a vicious attack on the blood of Christ, it is REMOVED completely. The ASV reads, "in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins." However, the KJB reads, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" Did you see that phrase "THROUGH HIS BLOOD" that they removed? How wicked for anyone to diminish and corrupt the Word of God. All modern translations woefully attack Christ's deity and the blood of Christ.

ANSWER TO OBJECTION NO. 4

This objection is directed at Col. 1:4. The ASV does not have the phrase “through his blood” while the KJV does. Once again the KJV has little support and no support of major manuscripts. To accuse a translation of making a direct attack upon the deity of Christ because that phrase is not found in Col. 1:14 is rather foolish in light of the fact that the phrase is found in Eph. 1:7 where it belongs. If the ASV translators were making an attack on the deity of Christ they certainly did a sloppy job!

OBJECTION NO. 5

Acts 12:4 contains heresy in the ASV. The ASV reads, "...intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people..." The KJB reads correctly, "...intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people." Which is it, Passover or Easter? Passover is a sacred holyday, instituted by God for Israel. Easter is a pagan festival. They both cannot be correct! The King James Bible is very accurate. Notice in Acts 12:2 that is was already the "days of unleavened bread." Leviticus 23:5,6 clearly teaches that the Passover day fell upon the 14th day of the first month. The feast of unleavened bread began on the 15th day of the first month. So there is no way Acts 12:4 could be the Passover if the days of unleavened bread were already taking place in Acts 12:2. The King James Translators knew what they were doing.

ANSWER TO OBJECTION NO. 5

This objection is directed at the ASV’s translation of Acts 12:4 which reads “Passover” while the KJV reads “Easter.” He goes to great lengths to “prove” that Easter is the right word. That is strange because the Greek word pa¿sca is used 29 times in the Textus Receptus, including Acts 12:4, and in each of the other 28 it is translated in the King James as “Passover.” Could it be that they were right once and wrong 28 times? But according to our writer, it has to be Easter, which he called a Pagan Festival, and could not be the Passover. Since Acts 12:2 says that the was already the “days of unleavened bread” and since the Passover day fell upon the 14th day of the first month, there was no way that Acts 12 could refer to the Passover since the days of unleavened bread were already taking place. Here, again, our objector failed to do his homework. Listen to a quote from John Phillips who is such a staunch supporter of the KJV that he based his New Testament commentary series upon it, which is unique among modern commentaries (copyrighted 1986, published in 2001):

The feast of unleavened bread was closely associated with the annual feast of Passover. The Jews were required to scour their houses to make sure no corrupting leaven remained. Thus, while the Jews were ridding their houses of leaven in accordance with their ritual law, their hearts were fermenting with the hidden leaven of malice and wickedness.

The feast of unleavened bread lasted a week, from Nisan 14 (Passover Eve) to the 21st. The whole period began with the keeping of the Passover. Herod’s intention was to keep Peter imprisoned during that period and then bring him out for execution. It must have been a trying week for Peter, who was essentially a man of action, to be cooped up behind bars counting down the days to his death.

Finally, it is not likely that the Jews in Jerusalem in that day would have been celebrating a pagan festival that according to some historians had its origin among the Anglos-Saxons. See, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

In this objection our objector fails both Greek and history.

OBJECTION NO. 6

1st Timothy 3:16 in the ASV reads, "...He who was manifested in the flesh..." The KJB correctly reads, "...God was manifest in the flesh..." Why would anyone removed "God" to be replaced with "He." This Scripture directly teaches that God became flesh in the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. The NIV is even worse, reducing this precious Scripture down to "...He was revealed in a body..." It is sacrilegious blasphemy!

ANSWER TO OBJECTION 6

The manuscript record shows that the two best manuscripts cited in relation to this verse both originally read “he” and were both changed to read “God.” Greek text scholar Metzger observes that there is no “first hand” uncial earlier than the eighth or ninth century that supports “God, that all ancient versions presuppose “os” or “o,” and that no patristic writer prior to the last third of the fourth century testifies to the reading “theos.” Scribal changes were sometimes made to harmonize one passage with another. For instance, compare Col. 1:14 and Eph. 1:7 above, the latter containing the expression “through his blood” and the former not containing that expression in the best Greek manuscripts. Here the change was most likely made to clarify the reference of the pronoun “he,” which is not clear because it has no immediate antecedent. The ASV’s translation simply returned to the reading for which there was better support. In this case the change of the KJV does no harm to the text; however, that does not justify failing to follow the better attested reading. The type of change made here is the very type of change that the KJV only proponents detest in modern translations. The scribe determined what he thought the pronoun meant and changed the text accordingly. One of the great problems (and it is only one of the problems) of many modern translations is that they are “thought for thought” translations. The translators determine what they think the language means and then express that thought in their own words instead of the words used by inspiration. Clearly a change has been made here, but it was not by the ASV. True, the ASV varied from the KJV, but the KJV varied from the best text.

OBJECTION NO. 7

Philippians 2:6 should be sufficient in itself to make you mad enough to burn your American Standard Version. The ASV reads a shocking, "who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped." So the ASV says that Jesus couldn't grasp being equal with God. Let's look at the King James Bible which reads, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Big difference huh! Jesus was equal with God in every way because He is Almighty God. The ASV (as well as ALL modern translations) attacks Christ's deity in numerous places. The ASV may not be as bad as the NIV, but they were BOTH cut from the SAME cloth (i.e., the same corrupt Greek text). Danger!

ANSWER TO OBJECTION 7

The problem here is not textual. It involves the meaning of the word translated “robbery” in the KJV and “grasped” in the ASV. The word is used only here in the N.T. Lexicons suggest both meanings. Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states:

In Phil 2:6 sense a. would imply that “He did not see equality with God in a snatching to Himself of the honour and glory bound up with it.” But the lack of an object makes this impossible…. Sense b. is unintelligible unless we paraphrase as Chrysostom does…. This leaves only c. which gives us the rendering: “He did not regard equality with God as a gain, either in the sense of something not to be let slip, or in the sense of something not to be left unutilised…. [He refers to another who says] in the context of the Epistle, seeks in the whole passage from v. 6 onwards, the voluntary self-abnegation which runs through the whole life of Jesus, is amply expressed in v. 7b and 8. Hence we may translate; “He did not regard it as a gain to be equal with God.” The negative formulation is readily understandable, for it is a great gain to be equal with God and “everyone” would utilise it.

He ends the discussion by observing that “[t]he expositions of the fathers, with trifling exceptions, are all to be understood in terms of c. Particularly those which consciously or less consciously give an independent paraphrase, i.e., one which is not dependent on the word group [harpagein] etc., point in this direction. This must not be overlooked in relation to the passage.

In W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the entry for “robbery” directs the reader to the entry for “prize.” After discussing the meaning in both the active and passive sense, Vine directs the reader to Gifford’s The Incarnation which states:

In order to express the meaning of the clause quite clearly, a slight alteration is required in the R.V., “Counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God.” The form “to be” is ambiguous and easily lends itself to the erroneous notion that to be on equality with God was something to be acquired in the future. The rendering “counted it not a prize that He was on an equality with God,” is quite as accurate and more free from ambiguity…. Assuming, as we now may, that the equality was a thing which Christ possessed prior to His Incarnation, and then for a time resigned, we have…to choose between two meanings of the word harpagmos: (1) with the active sense “robbery” or “usurpation” we get the following meaning: “Who because he was subsisting in the essential form of God, but yet emptied Himself of that co-equal glory….” (2) The passive sense gives a different meaning to the passage: “Who though He was subsisting in the essential for of God, yet did not regard His being on an equality of glory and majesty with God as a prize and a treasure to be held fast, but emptied himself thereof.”

Vine then observes that after discussing the arguments for and against the two positions, Gifford took position (2) as the right meaning, conveying the purpose of the passage “to set forth Christ as the supreme example of humility and self-renunciation.”

Since both renderings are possible, I don’t have an argument with our friend here even though I believe the strength of the evidence supports the ASV. As I read them, they both say the same thing in different words. What I do disagree with is the accusation that he makes against the ASV. It is absolutely and completely unjustified. It sounds as if he is using “grasp” in a wrong sense, saying that Jesus could not “grasp” in the sense of being able even to fathom the concept of his being equal with God. That is not the use of the English word here and it is not the meaning of the Greek.

OBJECTION NO. 8

John 1:3 has a subtle, but detrimental change. The ASV reads, "All things were made through him..." The KJB reads, "All things were made by him..." It may not seem like a big deal unless you understand that the Jehovah Witnesses (and other false religions) don't believe that Jesus created the world in His own power. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is as omnipotent (i.e., all powerful) as God the Father, for He is God the Father (Isaiah 9:6; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 1:8). Jesus solely created the universe. All the power of the Holy Spirit belongs to Christ (John 3:34). So God didn't create anything "through" Jesus; but rather, ALL THINGS were made "BY" Jesus, Who is Almighty God.

ANSWER TO OBJECTION 8

Arguments such as this deserve little response. Indeed, such arguments demonstrate the weakness of the proponent. It is hardly worth the time and trouble it takes to respond to an argument that asserts that “God didn’t create anything.” True, that is not the entire sentence, but it is the logical conclusion to the argument that God didn’t create anything through Christ. If Christ created all things then no things are left for God to create. The argument is as bad as that of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. One asserts that Christ created nothing and the other asserts that God created nothing. It sounds as if he asserts that God does not have any of the power of the Holy Spirit because Christ has it all, but surely he understands that each member of the Trinity is God with all of the attributes of God. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (KJV).

Once again there is no textual problem. The Greek word used is translated both “by” and “through.” How shall we choose? Shall we choose on the basis of which gives us the best position against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or shall we choose on the basis of which makes the most sense? One who wants to be true to the text of the word of God will not even consider the first. Can God and Christ both be creators? In Gen. 1:1 the “God” who created is a plural masculine noun. It sounds as if not only the Father and Son were involved, but perhaps the Holy Spirit as well. It is certain that at least two of the three were involved. In what sense were they involved. Col. 1:16 asserts that Christ created all things. Do we then have a contradiction with Gen. 1:1? Absolutely not. In Rom. 11:36 the same language is used of God the Father. Is it not clear that the Father was the conceptual creator or architect and the Son was the agent or contractor on the job? God, plural, created the heavens and earth and then said “let US” create man in our image. Such an understanding honors all of scripture and the God who inspired it. Here, then, our writer is not wrong because of the text; he is wrong because he has drawn false conclusions from it for a wrong reason. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have many more problems with their doctrine of Christ than John 1:3 in the ASV. By the way, the same word the ASV translates “through” in John 1:3 is also translated “through” in Rom. 11:36.

OBJECTION NO. 9

2nd Timothy 2:15 in the ASV reads, "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God..." The KJB reads, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God..." The word "study" is much more direct and clear than to simply say "give diligence." Of all the bible versions sold on the market today, only the King James commands us to STUDY! Of course, greedy heretics don't want you to study your Bible. For centuries, Catholics have been discouraged from studying the Bible. The Vatican wants you to be stupid enough to allow your priest to fill your head with vain traditions and lies of the devil. You had better study! Jesus commanded us in John 5:39... SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!! Of course, if you have an ASV then you have no command to study do you?

ANSWER TO OBJECTION NO. 9

By this time illogical arguments are becoming aggravating. The question is not whether the KJV commands to study. The question is whether it should so command. Tee research above is already sufficient to demonstrate the falsity of the KJV only position, so perhaps the best thing to do here is to let the KJV debate itself. The word “diligence” appears in the KJV New Testament seven times. Each time it is translated from a form of the same word that is translated “study” in 2 Tim. 2:15. The word “study” appears twice in the KJV New Testament. The second appearance is in 1 Thess. 4:11 and it is from the Greek word “philotimeomai” which actually means “study.” The word was in Paul’s vocabulary and thus could have been used if he had been inspired to do so. You are correct, of course, that there is no direct command in the ASV New Testament to study, but then you have no command with your KJV to give diligence to show yourself approved unto God. That, of course, is answering silliness with silliness. A more reasoned reply is that if you feel there is no other passage in scripture that encourages a Christian to study the precious word of God, you are shortsighted and bereft of understanding.

OUR WRITER’S FINAL WORD

Also you need to know Rome and her Jesuits hate the AV KJV Bible and set out to destroy it through corrupted modern day per-versions and textual criticism. Don’t continue to buy Rome’s lies about modern day bibles.

RESPONSE TO OUR WRITER’S FINAL WORD

Believe it or not, I haven’t cited a single Romanist or Jesuit in this response. And by the way, our writer has not cited a single example of that which he alleges. Please keep in mind that I am not belittling the KJV. I grew up with it. I still have in a case the first “real bible” that my parents gave me the Christmas after I was baptized. It is greatly worn and encased in my library beside a Bible that my father purchased with the $5.00 he received when he preached his first sermon. My picture rests upon my Bible. My father’s picture rests upon his Bible. And between the two is a picture of my son (who is the webmaster of thywordistruth.com) and me taken in the old broken down pulpit in the brush arbor where my father preached that first sermon. Do I love the KJV? How could it be otherwise? But I do not worship it. Neither do I worship the ASV. I worship God! I certainly believe the some translations are better than others. The KJV is better than many, but I cannot accept that it is the most accurate record of the message that God inspired long ago and providentially preserved through the ages. It has been nearly 4 centuries since the King James was translated and over 1 century since the arrival of the ASV. Many new sources have been discovered during those years. Some of those have been manuscripts of scripture. Others have been of other documents from the early days of Christianity and they have given us greater insights into the use and meaning of the language in which scripture was written. To ignore all of that is to belittle the God whose providential care and protection of his word have provided us with those tools.

It is true that Rome has always had trouble with scripture since it was unchained from the pulpit and made available to the common man. But in spite of all of Rome’s machinations and unbelievers’ claims, the Bible remains THE BOOK! The French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) proclaimed, “One hundred years from my day there will not be a Bible in the earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker. Voltaire is dead over twice the length of his prediction and GOD STILL SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD!


God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)