The intent of this short statement concerning the King James Authorized Bible is to explain our beliefs and cite the reasons why we believe as we do. It is not intended as an in-depth study of all the issues involved when dealing with the Bible. That will be left to the reader to seek out other sources of information and come to a conclusion, because ultimately, believing the Bible is a faith issue. We no longer have the original manuscripts to compare, but even if they were to be discovered, our faith in the perfection of the Authorized Version would not be diminished or changed.
As we come to the Bible believing it is God's perfectly preserved word, the issue today is, which Bible? The version issue continues to rage, with new versions and translations being introduced on a constant basis. Entire volumes have been written in defense of, and against the Authorized Version. A knowledge of the history of the transmission of the existing manuscript evidences that we now possess is the only way to arrive at an answer to the "which Bible" question.
Looking back at the men who were responsible for either the preservation, or the perversion of the original manuscripts, we find that there are defining points in Bible history that present themselves as turning points. Even during the lifetime of the Apostle Paul, men were corrupting the word of God (2Cor 2:17). We then find Origen, a teacher of Greek philosophy in the Alexandrian school, translating the Hebrew Septuagint into the Hexapola, a liberal translation that denies the miracles of the Bible and denies that Christ is fully God. In Origen's writings, we find the Arian heresy, the belief that Jesus Christ was a created, lessor god than God the Father. Here we find historical evidence of the corruption of God's word and a dividing of two streams of manuscripts, those of the majority text which compromise almost 96 percent of all available manuscripts, and the minority text which makes up the remaining 4 percent. Of course, the Roman Catholic church and most protestant denominations would cite Origen as one of the church fathers, a man of God working to preserve the text. This willingness to accept an interpretation of the texts that is tainted with Greek philosophy and rationalism is evidence of a religious system that denies the infallibility of the Bible, and places that position with their church leaders. The unwillingness to accept God at His word is also seen in forms of idol worship, Mariology, and the perversion of doctrine, even that which has survived in the line of texts that is used in the Catholic and new Bible versions.
The text of Origen, the Hexapola, was used by Eusebius to translate 50 copies of the Bible for the emperor Constantine, the Sumas Pontifex, the first pope of Rome. Eusebius was a student and supporter or Origen and his theological views. One of Eusebius's writings, On The Discrepancy of The Gospels, calls into question the genealogy of Jesus and raises questions concerning the validity of the resurrection. These writings of Eusebius were particularly influential on the beliefs of Jerome (331-420 ad) who, by his own admission, had great difficulty separating himself from the hedonistic pleasures of the world in and around Rome. This, in and of itself, does not impugn Jerome, but his belief system was greatly influenced and closely resembled that of Origen and Eusebius. This same line of perverted Greek manuscripts were used by Jerome in translating the Latin Vulgate, the text used for the Douay Rheims Catholic Bible of 1610. Meanwhile, since the time of the apostle Paul, there have been men faithful to the preservation of the original texts. These are the men that God has used throughout the centuries to keep His word pure, and available. The Textus Receptus is the Greek manuscript that avoided the corruption of Origen and Eusebius, and along with the Hebrew Masoratic texts of the Old Testament, were kept and used by the True Church, that which was persecuted by Rome for more than one thousand years during the Dark Ages.
As the world is coming out of the Dark Ages, we see something wonderful starting to emerge. It is the Textus Receptus in which Martin Luther found out that "the just shall live by faith" (Ro 1:17). This was information that was hidden for centuries by the Roman church, for if salvation is by faith, then the position and importance of the Church of Rome is diminished, and it's power over the lives of people, both concerning religious and civil matters is reduced. No longer should should the people accept the selling of indulgences, the Catholic "pay for salvation" system that sparked the protestant reformation of Martin Luther. The information contained in the preserved word of God was coming to light, and Pauline doctrine which had been hidden was at that time being reveled and used in Bible translations such as the Tyndale, the Bishops, and the Geneva bibles. These translations along with all others available at the time, and the Textus Receptus, and even the Latin Vulgate were compared by the translators of the 1611 Authorized Version, the culmination of the recovery of the majority text and Pauline truth, written in the English language.
As the world moved into the 1800's, the desire to reconcile the King James Authorized Version written from the majority text, with that of the Vaticanus and Siniaticus minority texts, became the issue of the day. Here we find two men, Wescott and Hort, both scholars in their own right, but both the product of the German rationalistic thinking of the time, and a philosophy that denied the supernatural events of the Bible and questioned the deity of Christ. These two men translated the Greek New Testament using both the majority and minority texts into an admixture using a method known as Textural Criticism. Textural Criticism's basic tenant says, "older is better". Using that tenant, and knowing that the oldest available manuscript evidences at that time were Vaticanus and Siniaticus of the Catholic, minority texts, wherever there was deviation in the texts, the minority reading was used. The text of Wescott and Hort has been the basis for every new translation since 1881, and contains the doctrines found in and adhered to by the Roman church. Meanwhile, the King James Authorized Version remains unchanged in content since it was written in "modern" English in 1769.
To those who would be intellectually honest concerning the Bible version issue, it is interesting that the same manuscripts used for the Roman Catholic bible are now the manuscripts used for every new translation used by denominational Protestant churches. Interesting still is the recent move of the denominations and Catholics to "reconcile" and find common ground in belief, a move which by it's nature can only lead to more compromise of doctrine. It is also not surprising to learn that the current pope, Benedict, has re-introduced the selling of indulgences for the forgiveness of sin.
Our choice is to not be fooled by the slick marketing and hype that surround the new versions. We choose to place our faith in the book that emerged from the texts that God promised to preserve, the King James Authorized Version.
We believe the Bible has been given to us by God in order to reveal God's spiritual truth and knowledge as He would want us to have it. God's word is revealed to us via progressive revelation, whereby God, reveals to man, new "updates" of information as the Bible progresses. This is evident when you consider for instance, Adam knew nothing about a flood. Noah knew nothing about the law as given to Moses. Moses knew nothing about Israel's New Testament. None of the prophets of God before the Apostle Paul knew anything concerning the Revelation of the Mystery as given to Paul starting in Acts 9. As scripture is studied, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1Cor 2:13), it becomes evident and undeniable that the Bible is not a work conceived by man, and would be beyond the scope of human endeavor and understanding, if not for the inspiration given the writers by the Holy Spirit. Containing 66 books written by 40 authors over a span of 1600 years, the content is divine in nature and in it's order, and has a continuity in agreement from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:20.
God is faithful (1Cor 1:9) and cannot lie (Num 23:19) and has promised to keep His word, the Bible, pure and perfect (Pm 12:6; Pm 33:4; Pm 119:89; Pm 119:140;). God has placed more importance on the keeping of His word than His name (Pm 138:2). While citing the Bible to prove the Bible is indeed circular reasoning, again the issue is a matter of faith. The choice is one for the individual. We can choose to believe the words and ways of man, or take God at His word and let that stand as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice (Ro 3:4).
God has placed in His Bible a record of His creation of all things, seen and unseen, including the origin of the world, the heavens, spirit beings, man, and all that we know to be true and evident (Ro 1:20). He has made known to us though the Bible His attributes, His thoughts, His eternal purpose for all things, and His will for us as men.
The function of the Bible is then, to provide written instruction concerning doctrine, reproof, correction and righteousness (2Tim 3:16). Without a Bible, given and preserved by God, in a language that the everyday person can read and understand, the final authority on all these matters becomes man. By using the Bible as our standard, we are able to access God's wisdom, rather than relying upon our own.