Praise God I was saved in 1963. The people who witnessed this saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ were part of a small bible believing church. This local church was full of faith, love and hope. We all rejoiced in our salvation and grew in a love and consideration of each other. We wanted the whole world to know the power and wonder of “sins forgiven.”
We had a hunger for the Word of God. We read & studied the King James Bible. This was not because of any conviction but simply because that was what was available. Two things happened about the same time.
1 we were introduced to the Amplified New Testament and started to hear sermons using this edition of the Bible. I was only a young man at this time (20 years old) and fresh out from the UK and Public School education – boarding school from 5 1/2 years old – filled with the classics but loving science subjects. My entrance into University College Oxford had been laid aside to come & join my mother at the end of her long illness (my parents had landed in Australia after being in Malaya). I came here angry & frustrated but Praise the Lord in his grace, he saved me and landed me in this small congregation of good honest workers. I must admit that I resisted the move to the AMP. We used to read the scriptures in the meetings out aloud as a response – the leader of the meeting read a verse & then the whole congregation together read the next verse & so on. Now that we had two bible versions we still read out loud but in turn from the bible that we had. So I kept reading my trusty King James Bible.
2 the next change was that the pastor came in & preached a message on “charity”. He said that the word meant a “social love.” I struggled with this – I knew that it did not mean acts of helping people as our word charity does today but was something special and was described in detail in 1 Corinthians 13.
Without knowing at the time I was being introduced to “higher criticism” of the text of the bible. For years, I preferred to stay with the simple wording of the King James Bible. As I got older I learnt more and more of what I would call the arrogance of “higher criticism” of the bible texts.
Suddenly, the church starts to hear all about the Greek originals. The fact, so called, that the New Testament was originally written in Greek in the same way that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew.
I thought that this was interesting as I could not find one single scripture that could support this notion. After all there are heaps of Scriptures that clearly state that the Jews had the calling of keeping the Old Testament. The language was Hebrew. The details told of how they were to preserve these Holy Scriptures. Great detail is given of how the Levities were to do this. The Lord God watches over them making certain that each generation has a pure copy of the written word of God. This goes on right up to the time of Jesus Christ. Instructions and details were given by the ton. The details include even the style of ink, the attitude of the copier, the method to be used. All this is set forth in great detail.
Where is there any instruction about the copying of the New Testament? Where is a single scripture to say that the original language was Greek or even the written word was now to be Greek? There is no such statement anywhere. There are plenty of scriptures about what languages were used but no single nation is entrusted with the faithful guarding of the purity of the New Testament scriptures. I find this interesting giving the current trend to go back to the original Greek text. The truth is that there is no original Greek text. So how can you go back there?
So then where is the original text residing? You may ask. Look in the scriptures themselves. Well, on the cross there were 3 well known common languages – Hebrew, Latin & Greek. The people of Palestine spoke Aramaic as a common language and don’t forget the Greek of the day is called Koine Greek of which there are no speakers or users left today. When I did the classics, I did a form of Greek that was older than the New Testament Greek. The Greek of the classics is that of the corrupt pagan writers who extolled the types of lifestyle forbidden by the scriptures. This Greek has absolutely nothing to do with the scriptures and certainly was never used to contain the holy words of God.
Which nation was entrusted to keep and preserve the word of God? Can you find a single scripture that will lead you in the right direction to be able to name a nation or language that was to preserve the New Testament? No, you can’t. So then, where was the word of God hidden or deposited for safety’s sake? There is clear evidence from the scriptures where God placed his word for safe keeping.
I will show you, from the scriptures what our God did to preserve his own word and keep it pure for each generation in another blog. Until then read your King James Bibles with faith, peace and confidence.