The Infallible Bible
6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Preparing the church world for the Latter Rain of Pentecost is extremely important. Noting is important for a move of Holy Ghost than God’s Holy Word. Our God watches over His truth, “to perform it.” He honors His Word because it is “forever settled in Heaven.” (Psalm 119:89) The devil hates the Bible because he cannot break or destroy one promise. It will be performed. Modern Bible versions have almost destroyed the church.
A confessed lesbian, feminist, and mystic, who worked as a consultant and stylist for the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, has been calling for a de-absolutionized (without absolutes) Bible for many years. The market is now flooded with such Bibles and the church will never be the same. It’s mainly the Evangelical church that is now being affected by this new trend. Long ago the majority of the older, staid denominations had rejected the authorized venerable text, known as the King James, for the Revised Standard Version or one of the other newer versions. The earlier evangelical leaders and, especially the fundamentalists, rejected such a thought as paramount to blasphemy. Times have changed.
First, let’s explore what appears to be the result of this change and then what has created the atmosphere to allow for such destructive action. The evangelicals have become the main force of church growth and influence in the past twenty years. Theologically, these churches are very different, from historic Calvinism, with its doctrine of sovereignty and predestination, to the new Pentecostal/Charismatics, with their flare for sensational worship and a PTL type entertainment/stagism. The uniting factor with these different theologies is their evangelical or evangelistic approach to church life. Hence, all of them find common ground in their church personality rather than their theology. It’s a smorgasbord of different theologies, united with a common thread of commitment to rechurch America. But, something is missing.
At least the facts suggest that something is woefully wrong and absent from this new twentieth century force of Christendom. They are able to marshal tremendous political power and could well be credited with the Ronald Reagan years. They are certainly able to send an army into the political arena of pro-life, education choice, and other debates and have impacted these arguments measurably. But, the facts suggest that their revival of church attendance, building program, and political power has far exceeded their ability to change lives. It is common knowledge that the present evangelical revival abhors any idea of Biblical separation or Christ-centered holiness that characterized the Moody, Finney, or Taylor years. While most evangelicals decried Jim Bakker and the PTL lifestyle, there is very little substance difference in the larger community of evangelicals.
Two recent reports suggest that this is fact beyond debate. Dr. D. James Kennedy was speaking at a leading evangelical affair in Washington, D.C. This event represented the force of television and radio personalities from the evangelical church world. He reported research that had been compiled from the previous event in the same city. The overwhelming majority of those registered for this annual conference had ordered questionable pornographic movies in their hotel rooms.
Gallup Poll was commission by the Christian Broadcasting Network to conduct a campus survey on the effect of religious teachings on behavior. Here is a direct quote from that article, “Nearly ninety percent of college students say religion is important, but it has relatively little impact on their sexual behavior.” It would appear that neither the ministers and their wives or the youth of our churches understand the absolutes of Biblical Holiness. If they do indeed understand them, the reasons for obedience has been either weakened or destroyed. Listen to this recent quote from the new exciting magazine, World. This expresses the church’s present condition better than I would dare state: “Little more than a year ago a national leader swore an oath to uphold our national confession, the Constitution. Since that time he has ignored it. Are we outraged? We shouldn’t be, not because the behavior is not outrageous, but because we should not expect the world to outperform the church. Is the administration crawling with liars and cheats? SO are our churches. Is the administration playing fast and loose with our fundamental documents? So are our churches.” (World, Volume 8, Number 37, February 26, 1994, p. 26.)
This certainly suggests that the moral and effectual impact of their church life is far inferior to the religious awakening of the past. Something is wrong. The absolutes of the Holy Scripture that guided the church in the past is missing. I believe the new versions of the Bible are at least part of the problem. There are very few main leaders in the evangelical community that teach our responsibility to live within the guidelines of Holy Scripture. They give lip service to the Ten Commandments, etc. and continue to defile most of them. The excuse is always heard, “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.”
3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Indeed, I agree that Christians are not perfect, but to use that cheap cliché to justify careless living is deplorable. The only crowd that cannot see the woeful condition of our evangelical churches are the churches themselves. The hype and public relations that characterizes the church has blinded them to the truth. We have heard high-sounding puff about how great things are continually from denominational publications, pulpits, radio, television, and the self-esteem conscious leaders until it is believed.
The Climate for a De-Absolutionized Bible
Now, let’s talk about the reason for the acceptance and promotion of these de-absolutionized versions of the Holy Book. There are many scholarly sounding answers for why they are mostly moving in this direction. My remarks will certainly touch only a few areas in this debate.
Several years ago in the general meetings of my former denominational affiliation, the idea that the Bible was cultural became a big argument against certain Biblical taboos. When a Biblical lifestyle did not fit the new direction, it was simply labeled as a cultural teaching for the generation directly addressed. It is easy to see that this opens the door for every absolute of Scripture to be reinterpreted. Nothing is concrete when such excuses are accepted. This plays a large part in present Biblical translations.
Second, progressive thought is the hallmark of present scholarship. Anyone that clings to the old is immediately labeled archaic and out of touch. Everything representing accepted truth of the past must be dissected for its relevance to the present. One of the dominate words of this intellectual generation is relevant or contemporary. These are not bad words until they take precedence over absolutes that cannot be changed. A book extolling the NIV Version of the Bible was entitled, “The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation.” I’m sorry to be a kill joy, but I believe the Bible has always been contemporary.
Thirdly, and of extreme importance, is the claim that the new versions date back considerably further to older manuscripts than the King James Version and its Greek text. This effort at sounding scholarly and eloquent has been soundly rebuffed. The main ancient manuscripts that fit these claims are Alexandrian texts that arose during an Egyptian period of proven heretical teachings. The Egyptian scholars, plus others who played a part in the copying of these manuscripts were mainly within a limited class of rejected heretics. These facts have been documented by a tremendous number of scholars. One such scholar, Dean John W. Burgeon, spent 30 years studying the original Greek text in conjunction with the corrupted text used by today’s translators and documented over 86,000 text proofs that the King James English Version and the Textus Receptus Greek Version dated back to the original autographs used in the New Testament church.
Another reason often quoted for using the new versions is dubious indeed. You will hear individuals say that the new translations are closer to the Greek language than the King James. Many of these persons have no background in research to understand the difference in the Greek text they are comparing to these new versions. Most pastors, teachers, and Bible readers do not know that the Greek text itself has been altered and these versions simply reflect the change.
There are three different Greek texts other than the Received Text (Textus Receptus) that are used by today’s translators and passed on in bookstores to anyone researching the Bible. These texts themselves are a main part of the problem. Two men who played dominant roles in the first of these three Greek texts were B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort. They helped produce the main Greek text that has replaced the Received Text that had been followed for hundreds of years. The other texts (Nestle’s and USB) simply reflect in large degree the changes of Westcott and Hort (especially the USB).
These two men have been identified as heretics and spiritualists. They had one basic hatred, which was the original Greek text and its English version, the King James Authorized Bible. Westcott spoke of “evangelical believers as dangerous and unsound.” (Westcott, Vol. I, pp. 44-45) Hort referred to the “fanaticism of Bibliolaters.” (Hort, Vol. I, pp. 76-77) These men knew that the only way to defeat these Bible believers was to change their text and remove their authority. To change true Christianity, they had to destroy the “absolute Bible” into a de-abolutionized text. The new versions are their dream.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Reading of their scheme and seeing the present results is enough to make you heartsick. Hort recorded in his writings of a “Mr. Daniel MacMillan suggested to him (Hort) that he should take part in an interesting and comprehensive New Testament scheme.” He continued by stating that “he (Hort) was to edit the text in conjunction with Mr. Westcott, the latter was to be responsible for a commentary, and Lightfoot (a name well known to Bible scholars) was to contribute a New Testament grammar and Lexicon.” (Hort, Vol. I, p. 250)
Sodomy Removed, Homosexuality Accepted
Virginia Mollenkott, lesbian, feminist, and mystic, gave me a personal telephone interview in which she described her involvement in the New International Version of the Bible. With her own words, she described the new language in this version, clearly stating that the Greek Text (New Greek Text) does not condemn a homosexual lifestyle if it is monogamous. That version (NIV) agrees completely.
The word “sodomy” has been completely removed. It is no longer in the text and all has been replaced with an ambiguous phrase “temple prostitute.” One of the plainest statements in Scripture concerning the deviate conduct of sodomy has become a text that could actually be used to label men homophobic (those who resist the homosexual conduct as an acceptable lifestyle). The word “effeminate” (meaning a soft and feminine male or homosexual) was changed to “male prostitute,” and the phrase “nor abusers of themselves with mankind” was changed to “homosexual offenders.” Both changes clearly remove homosexuality as a contrary lifestyle leaving only the thought (in the latter) of either the homosexual offending someone or someone offending the homosexual. Again, the truth of the Holy Scripture has been de-absolutionized for an ambiguous wording that anyone may interpret as they please (1 Corinthians 6:9).
The Eternal Fire Is Gone
Literally, the new versions have either de-emphasized or eliminated the idea of an eternal hell. Again, the New International Version is a classic example. The writers and editors made no qualms about their belief. They clearly stated that hell was no more than the grave of complete decay. While this was stated on several occasions, the following quote will explain their position. They stated, “The passage teaches us that similar references to Sheol (Hebrew word for hell, added) elsewhere also mean no more than the darkness, dissolution and dust of the tomb.” (The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, p. 68) Their translation reflects this view.
The Old Testament (NIV) replaces the Hebrew word for “Hell” (Sheol) in every instance with the word “grave.” The Hebrew does not allow this kind of translation. The editors simply changed the text to reflect their liberal theology. On this subject, the New Testament does not appear on surface to be as badly translated, but upon examination shows the same general thinking. The word “hell” is changed in several key instances to the word “Hades.” The idea of hell is still present, but the thought of hell being nothing but the grave is clearly the theme.
The Greek Text
Please note the chart that was prepared by an esteemed member and leader of the First Baptist Church of New York City, Mr. Everett W. Fowler. This chart was published in a book entitled, Evaluating Versions of the New Testament. These three Greek texts used in this chart form the basis of all modern translations. They are different from the Received Text over 2,200 times each. The names of Biblical Deity have been downgraded over 400 times. When it is documented that all of these changes are supported by less than 1% of all the manuscripts, portions thereof, and other document supporting the Holy Scripture, it becomes a travesty. The Received Text and the Greek Text (Textus Receptus that underpins it) are themselves supported by well over 90% of all ancient Biblical data. The one thing that all the Greek texts and the new translations have in common is their distaste for the authorized (King James Version) Bible.
89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
The Lord’s Prayer Destroyed
Nothing shatters you more in the NIV translation than the destruction of the Lord’s Prayer. Only the Son of God or the Holy Spirit could have spoken such a perfect and complete expression of prayer and the surrender to God that this prayer reflects. Look at the rending of this prayer in the King James text and then in the NIV:
“And he said unto them, When he pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4)
“He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each daily our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4 NIV)
St. Matthew documents a closing statement to this prayer that St. Luke did not record, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” The NIV eliminates that closing statement completely.
There are many, many instances in these new versions where God’s absolutes are destroyed. The subtle attack is to create a book that can be treated like a list of suggestions for successful living, while providing the individual with hope for eternity. These New Versions are more of a psychological tool than the Holy Authority of a Sovereign God. The only hope for a revival in the church is to return to an unquestionable revelation and to follow it in absolute surrender.
A video I found at the public library expresses by conclusion perfectly. Entitled, “The Bible and History,” this educational tool of liberal thinkers gave the same results that I have witnessed. The cover stated, “This program investigates the progress of the Bible from the Reformation to the present day: on the one hand, simple and unquestioning faith in the Book has been largely destroyed, while scientists continue to add discoveries that provide historical dimensions to the text.” (“Testament: The Bible and History, ‘Paradise Lost’”)
While the above statement was written on the back of the video cover, an opening statement of the host was even more revealing. He said, “How it has gone from being a sacred object to being a profane one. How it has gone from having golden covers on it to being a paperback. This change is a part of the biggest change the west has ever seen. From a sacred to a profane world, it changed the way that men looked at his universe, the way he looked at God, and the order of His society.
The host, John Romer, stated near the end of this study as he discussed the Bible in the past, “Sacredness was in the Tyndale Bible, sacredness was in the King James Bible…That Bible was made in the ancient age of Faith.” (Testament: The Bible and History, ‘Paradise Lost,’ filmed for the Humanities)
The Bible has indeed lost its golden cover and has become a paperback for most of the church world. Instead of being a Revelation from God to be cherished and obeyed, it is a football for diverse translations and preachers. One gentleman said to me a few days ago, “When the congregation reads the Bible at our church, it sounds like ‘speaking in tongues.’” The church may be confused, but God is not.