Reasons I adore the KJV #10: It’s an actual book

One of the reasons I adore the KJV is because it is an actual book.

I realize that sounds like a strange thing to say, so let me explain.

It stands to reason that when we talk of the Bible, we mean a book. An actual book that you can hold in your hands. In fact, the Bible has often been referred to as The Book. 

I mean, anytime we talk about any other book by any other author, we mean an actual book, right?

We don’t have multiple versions of that book lying around with different words that the author forgot to include. I can’t pick up multiple versions of East of Eden, or have a conversation with someone about what words Shakespeare really meant to say.

In this day and age, any work that is complete is presented in the form of an actual book. 

That you can hold in your hands.

That is unique from all other actual books.

Every word of God is pure. And preserved.

The Bible says that every word of God is pure. That all Scripture is inspired by God. That God himself will preserve his words.

“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

—Psalm 12:6-7

If what God says is true, then those pure, inspired words must be preserved and exist somewhere today. Not in past (another word for “in the originals”), but for every generation, including ours today.

By faith, I believe God has preserved his words, his actual words, just as he promised.

Also by faith, I believe I can find them in one book — and that book today in English is the King James Bible.

Why is it important to have all the words in a single book?

Here are some of the questions I asked in order to get to that answer:

  • If the words are scattered throughout multiple books, then that must mean I have to read multiple versions of the Bible to find them, and then that I have to decide myself which ones are his. That actually puts me in the position of playing God, of being the final judge and authority as to which words are his words. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that kind of responsibility!
  • If God’s words existed “in the originals” but we no longer have them today (as the textual critics claim), then I can’t trust the words I have in my hand to be the very words of God. And if I want to know what God’s actual words are, then I’d better get busy right now on a lifelong search to find the words that existed only at one point in time before God somehow “lost” them. Or I can trust the experts that say they’ll just keep translating versions because with every translation we are getting closer to knowing what God actually said?
  • If I need to pore over two, three, or more versions of the Bible to decide which one is closest to what I think God really meant, I am not being a good steward of the time God has given me. I’m pretty sure God would rather have me know his word is true so that I can get busy obeying it.
  • If the meaning behind God’s words is only evident in the original languages, that means one of two things. Either God expects every believer to become fluent in Hebrew and Greek. Or else he wants us to rely on the a higher class of priestly scholars to inform us what those words “actually mean.” How then can I be a Berean and searching the Scriptures daily to see “whether those things were so”? I would still have to rely on someone else (a pastor or priest, a concordance, or a Greek scholar) to know for sure if I got the meaning right.
  • If I’m poor and can’t afford to buy all the different versions of the Bible, shouldn’t I still be able to own just one book — and trust with confidence that it contains each and every one of God’s pure words?
  • If God wants me to have his words, his actual words, wouldn’t he put them in one place where I can find them? Does he love me in spite of my frailty and lack of understanding about him? And because he knows I so need him, does he want me to know him by his Word? Then why would he hide it from me? Just as he gave me the gift of salvation through one Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh in one person, so has he given me the gift of his written Word in one book I can read and trust.
  • Is “the Bible” only a nebulous term that refers to a mixture of the words found in the over 100 translations floating around today? If we aren’t sure which of the books contain the pure words … or even which words are pure … how can we know if we have them all?
  • What if we find a translation that is marketed as “the best” and “the truest to the originals,” only to find, five years from now, that the publisher has made some changes and claims the newer version is actually now better than the version you had before? (Wasn’t it perfect before?) What if what the Bible colleges and seminaries and publishers are right — that we can’t actually get our hands on God’s Words because they were inspired only in the “original manuscripts,” which do not in fact exist anywhere today? If those things were true, then it would mean God expects impossible obedience from us, telling us we need to live “by every word of God,” but then not providing us with every word. 

Here’s another question:

Do you think God decided that the only way we could truly know him was by having to learn Hebrew and Greek?

That the only way we could truly understand the perfectly plain words he gave us in English was to learn two other languages to find out what the English words “really mean”?

Before the advent of the printing press, God’s words were copied by hand and entrusted to the true believers and faithful men of God pass down through every generation. As they were being translated down through the ages, men paid with their very lives for the translation we now hold in our hands.

Now that we have not only the printing press, but also computers and digital information, it is easier than ever to reproduce and distribute God’s words. So really the question is, Do we have them?

Or are we still on a never-ending search for the “original manuscripts.”

God is the inventor of language, after all.

Can’t I trust him to take his words from their original languages and give them to the world in what he knew beforehand would be the universal language of the world in the last days? 

If I truly believe what he said in Psalm 12:6-7, there is no need for me to search elsewhere for God’s words.

I don’t need to get a seminary degree to find out “what God really meant in the Greek.”

I don’t need to have faith in “the original manuscripts” or believe that’s the only time God got his own word right.

What good would it do if God inspired his words — and then failed to preserve them?

And how can I trust a God who is so wimpy he can only cause men to write down his words, but he has no power to see ensure that they are preserved.

“Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof…”

—2 Timothy 3:5

“…Ever learning and never able to come to knowledge of the truth.”

—2 Timothy 3:7

What do the churches believe today?

One of the greatest travesties in American churches today is that so many don’t believe God’s pure words can be found in an actual book.

If you read their doctrinal statements of belief, you’ll see they believe God inspired his words “in the original manuscripts” — which is simply a way of saying they do not believe we have God’s actual, preserved words today.

Which means they do not believe Psalm 12:6-7.

Their very starting point, their statement of faith, highlights their lack of faith. Can you trust the preaching that comes from the pulpit of a church that doesn’t believe we have God’s actual words today? 

Originals vs. copies

For the record, no original manuscripts exist. We have copies of copies, and, just as in God’s word, those are just as good as the originals.

God delivered the Ten Commandments (the originals) and Moses broke them. So God delivered them again. God commanded Jeremiah to write a copy of his words a second time after Jehoikim the king of Judah burned them in the fire. Even Jesus read from copies of the scrolls in the temple.

This is a great study to do for yourself. See how many examples you can find. God honors his Word the first time it was given, and every time after that.

God’s pure words have been inspired, preserved, and passed down through every generation, just as God promised.

And they are in a book — one book — the King James Bible.

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