Modern Bible Versions Exposed, Part 1

This is the first post examining a new video posted by Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church. The video is 59:36, too long to focus on in one post. Besides, who wants to hang out on my page for an hour? So, we are only dealing with the first nine minutes of the video. We will move further in future posts. Unlike other posts here, Scripture in these posts will be quoted from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
Technical FYI: For those familiar with the service, I tried to use Splicd to trim the video to the appropriate time, but to no avail. I didn't see a help link, so if you know any fixes, please send them my way. Or, if you know of another service, please let me know.

Anderson rightly states the importance of treating God's Word with care. We must approach the Bible with care, letting it speak for itself. We must not add to it or take away from it. It is from this starting point that I make my thesis for this and the other posts in this series: Anderson's case for a King-James-only approach to reading the Bible is not only flawed, it adds to what God has spoken.

Scripture, But Out of Context
If we are going to have valid beliefs about our faith, they must be informed by Scripture. That is, we must carefully examine the relevant texts. I'm sure Anderson would agree that picking verses from the Bible and arranging them haphazardly in order to prove a pet doctrine is not the correct way to read the Bible. It must be read in context in order to establish the correct meaning of the verses in question. Unfortunately, while I'm sure Anderson has the best intentions, a few of the verses he quotes are not valid to his argument because of the context from which they come.
  1. Psalm 12:6-7. Psalm 12 is not about God preserving His Word. It is about Him preserving the faithful in the midst of wicked men. First, note that verse 7 says "Thou shalt keep them, O LORD," referring back to His perfect words of verse 6 that solidify His promise in verse 5 to place the godly man in safety. Second, note that verse 7 also says "thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." This refers not to God's words but His protection of the righteous. The third-person pronoun in this verse is probably singular in Hebrew, not plural, which would make more sense in the flow of the passage. In other words, God shall "preserve him (the godly) from this generation for ever." Even if the "them" is understood to be His words in verse 6, that verse only supports God's claim to preserve the godly. The thought of verse 8, "The wicked walk on every side" is countered by the fact that God preserves the godly, as promised in verse 5, solidified by the knowledge of God's purity of speech in verse 6, and His reaffirmation in verse 7 of preservation. Thus, Psalm 12 is a great passage to go to when we doubt whether God can give His saints the strength to endure the wickedness of this age, but not a good place to turn if we want to prove God preserves the Bible throughout the ages.

  2. Proverb 30:5-6. Here, we see that God's Word is indeed pure and true, in contrast to those who speak falsehoods. There is no evidence here that new versions add to the Bible, unless you use the formula "The King James Bible alone=the Bible alone" and weigh other versions against the King James Version. Indeed, that view would be adding to Scripture, for God never commanded each language group (such as English-speakers) to use only one version or translation. The context of this proverb is that one should rest in what God has said, knowing that we are incapable of arriving at this knowledge on our own.

  3. Isaiah 59:21 refers to the covenant, and to the words of the Lord as delivered by Isaiah. The command is to repeat them in the father-to-child fashion of the Law. Deut 4:9 reads, "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons." Israel was not obeying this command, and God reiterates it here in Isaiah 59:21. This verse is not a promise of the divine preservation of the Bible.

  4. Acts 2:4. Anderson spends the better portion of this segment on this verse, a verse that shows the ability of God to speak through the Apostles in other languages. We will return to some of Anderson's comments momentarily, but first note that the context of this verse is pronounced judgment, not blessing. They speak in tongues as a fulfillment of Isaiah 28:11-12 that says God will speak in foreign tongues. Further, Peter spends the chapter explaining who Jesus is and what they did to Him, heaping condemnation upon them. It is only after this that many come to saving faith.
Yes, and also in the original languages
It is from the basis of Acts 2:4 that Anderson builds his argument that one need not go to the original Greek and Hebrew to read God's Word. I agree with that premise, but not on the basis of this verse. Further, to say that these men did not hear the Word spoken in the original languages is myopic. They had heard it before as believing Jews. They had probably memorized sizable portions of it, as many were possibly illiterate. They knew God's Word when they heard it because they had a basis by which to compare the Apostles' words.

Note that God granting the Apostles utterance is not akin to His dismissal of the original languages. After Pentecost, the Apostles still referenced God's Word, still taught in synagogues, and still called people back to what they already had in the Old Testament.  There is no divine replacing of God's Word occurring on Pentecost, which seems to be what Anderson is suggesting.

Note also the King James translators did not claim to be moved by the Holy Spirit--unlike the Apostles of Acts 2. Instead, they labored to communicate the Word of God in English from the original Greek and Hebrew. Now, to Anderson's credit, he does not suggest that the KJV dropped from the sky, and he speaks of translating the Word of God into various languages.  However, linking the KJV translators and the holy prophets and apostles of old, or the translation itself to an Acts 2 experience, is unwarranted biblically and is a leap in away from sound logic and theology. Acts 2 simply does not prove that God gave the KJ translation or translators holy utterance.

Wrapping up this part...

This part of the video opens many questions that require an answer if we are to accept that there is only one inspired version of the Bible God has for us in English.  I'll leave those questions until later, though, after we have finished reviewing the video.

For now, however, note that Pastor Anderson seems sincere. And since I not only know other KJV-Onlyists, I was once one, I can say with confidence that this message from Anderson is probably one born of heartfelt concern for his brothers and sistes to escape the snares of the enemy.  Even in our disagreements, we must treat those who are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone our brothers and sisters.

Until next time, God bless.

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