God's Perfect Word?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Man of War, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Man of War

    Man of War
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    (I know it's long... at least read the first part.)

    Hello,


    I am new and excited to be here. I enjoy going around to various Christian forums and discussing biblical topics with other Christians. Bible versions to me is an important topic. You can usually tell how conservative someone is based on their stance on God’s Word. Please forgive me if I rehash any old material (I know this will be impossible to avoid in such a specific forum). This post is not meant to be complex or confusing, but I encourage you to engage your mind and follow along carefully with the train of thought and tell me if you agree with the logic used.



    I am curious, how many of you would claim that we have God’s perfect Word here with us in the English language. If God is perfect (which he is) then His works can only be perfect. The Bible is a work of God (II Peter 1:21b) not a work of man (II Peter 1:21a). It was therefore originally perfect when inspired in the original languages. Hopefully nobody will argue with this. Throughout history men began to copy it and eventually translate it. From a human perspective we can be absolutely certain that mistakes should have been made along the way. This is the man factor (writers, copiers, and translators) and they being only humans should have messed up along the way. However there were two factors involved in getting God’s Word in our hands today. The first factor is the fallible man factor and the second factor is the infallible God factor. God promised to preserve His Word (Psalm 12:6,7) and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18, Exodus 23:19, I Samuel 15:29, Ezekiel 24:14). God’s Word is therefore perfectly preserved for us today because God’s works are only perfect (therefore his work of preservation must have been perfect). So of the two factors (man factor, and God factor) it should be clear that the infallible God factor overcame any flaws made by the fallible man factor (sadly many Christians automatically assume that the imperfect man factor prevailed over the perfect God factor). We can therefore conclude that God’s Word is not only in our hands today, but that it is perfect.



    My older brother once ran into some philosiphers as we were street witnessing down town. They invited him to a philosipher’s club that met on Friday nights. My brother, three friends, and I all went to the philosipher’s club the following week to present the gospel. We met about 15 college-age guys and girls in a small, crowded, dingy room in the back of a run-down coffee shop in the down-town area. About half-way into the evening the conversation had turned entirely into the five of us defending Christianity against their questions. After trying to show that if there is a God, His Word must be perfect, one question had to be asked. I ask you the same question that they asked us that evening—out of all of the Bible versions which one is God’s perfect Word? We did not try to answer this question then because it is not necessary to know this in order to be saved (and that’s what this group needed); however, as Christians desiring to be conformed to the image of God this is a critically important issue.



    Check up the word "perfect." In the dictionary I used it said perfect meant, “1. Without faults…2. Complete and whole…” Read this next statement carefully and it will make sense. It is impossible for two objects, that both claim to perfectly fulfill the same demand, to be different. God’s promise of perfect preservation cannot be fulfilled by two versions that are different in even one instance, and all Bible versions differ significantly. It would seem then that only one Bible version can be perfect and all others by default would be imperfect; which one is it?


    NOTE: This is where opinion starts. Again please tell me what you think.



    I write all of this really as an introduction to the issue. Obviously there are many factors involved in this discussion such as the different Greek texts used in translation, differences between versions, readibility issues, situational issues, and apparent fallacies in versions but these are not the real issues, they are merely sideshows. I support and defend the King James Version of the Bible, not because it’s easier to read, not because I like reading thee’s and thou’s, not because KJV has a nice ring to it, but because I believe the King James version of the Bible is the powerful, preserved, and perfect Word of the living God. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to reply to this message.


    Hold the Fort,
    Man of War - Exodus 15:3
     
    #1 Man of War, Jun 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2007
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Welcome to the BB.

    Please note that these issues have ben discussed here many, many times. The issue is very volatile and discussion become very heated. This is the most heavily moderated forum on this particular board.

    I am going to let the thread run, taking into account that you are new here. Please be aware that the thread may very well be closed through no fault of your own.


    Let us begin with a couple of regular questions?

    Why did you pick the KJV as your perfect translation?
    Is it perfect only for English?
    Does God do the same thing for every language, or must all translators work from the KJV?
    How perfect is perfect? Does it apply to every letter and punctuation mark? Your definition, especially the phrase "even one instance" would force us to decide which edition and printing of the KJV is perfect. Although the differences are slight, the KJV of 1611 and the KJV of 1769 do differ (as do all the other editions). Which is perfect according to your particular definition?


    A note to the old timers on both sides of the fence. Lets see if we can re-re-re-re-re-hash this issue without the usual rancour and attacks please. If not, I will close the thread with no notice and no warning.
     
    #2 NaasPreacher (C4K), Jun 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2007
  3. EdSutton

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    Welcome to the BB. Hard hats, flak jackets, and asbestos suits are recommended along with your Bible, IMO. :laugh:

    I am curious why you chose the name of a famous horse, a sailing ship, or a Portuguese jellyfish for your 'handle', though. :confused:

    Seriously, there are 30 pages of previous threads you can call up to read about various topics discussed in this forum. You might read a few of those, and see some of the "old material" has been already been posted in this forum. The moderators and administrators will treat you fairly, here. But there are also some specific rules for posting in various forums, including this one. You would be well served to read them, IMO.

    Having said all that, have at it. Just remember that this forum is, like most of the others here, a debate forum, and not all will agree with you, in every point, but not all will "take it personal", and many, including me, will feel free to disagree with anything you might post. And speaking of such, I wdo not consider anyone's opinion as fact, per se, but I cannot speak for any other on this. I am curious why the English language of four centuries ago is considered by some to be the repository of the perfect langauge, however, since that seems to pop up frequently, here??

    Anywho! Happy posting! :thumbsup:

    Ed
     
    #3 EdSutton, Jun 7, 2007
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  4. mcdirector

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    Hi Man of War! Welcome to the BB! We have a place where you can introduce yourself formally if you'd like: http://baptistboard.com/forumdisplay.php?f=11

    Now to this post . . . I highlighted a phrase from your post above. I'd love to know why you believe this is so. Thanks for your response.
     
  5. Keith M

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    Welcome to Baptist Board, Man of War!

    I agree that the KJV is the perfectly preserved word of God. But I am also convicted that God's word is perfectly preserved in other English Bible versions.

    Many people become confused between the preservation of English words and the preservation of God's word (the Gospel message). English words are merely a translation of God's holy word, the Gospel. Meanings of words change in living languages. And there is no 100% acurate way to translate all the nuances of one language into a different language with mere words.

    God's word, the Gospel message, is inerrantly and perfectly preserved in all the modern versions I have read. I have seen no modern version that says we can be saved by praying to a tree, a rock or the sky. In this way the modern versions DO[/i} inerrantly and perfectly preserve God's word.

    A question you may want to consider is this: If God actually did perfectly preserve His word through the translation process repeatedly until it got down to the KJV, was He not able to keep printing errors out of the finished product? I am convinced and convicted that if God actually preserved His word perfectly in English words that He had the power to keep human error from creeping in. But when we consider how perfectly preserved the Gospel message is after all these years we find that God truly preserved His word inerrantly and perfectly.
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    Welcome to the forum, Man of War. (BTW, the horse's name was Man O' War, Ed.)

    Without question, God is perfect. The scriptures tell us that God created the world perfectly ("good"), but is now full of disease, destruction, and death. The scriptures tell us that God's perfect "will" is that all humankind come to a saving knowledge of Him, but the scriptures also indicate that some will be lost. Do you remember the story of the blind man in John chapter 9? Some things seem imperfect by our definition and from our perspective, because His ways are much beyond our comprehension. Can fallible humans be inerrant judges of perfection?

    Sorry to disappoint you, but you have made some 'leaps' of logic without explanation or supporting evidence. Let's look at what the verse really states in context (II Peter 1:19-21, KJV) --
    We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.​
    Verse 21 doesn't really say anthing about a "Bible" at all; what it does state is that ("old time") "prophecy" was received as a result of God's influence upon holy men that "spake" it. That is, messages from God were verbally proclaimed. In case you're wondering about "spake", the underlying Greek word is laleo (Strong's #2980) which definately means to utter a voice, to emit a sound, to use the tongue in the faculty of speech, and to articulate words.

    Notice that verse 20 mentions "scripture". However, it is the "prophecy of scripture" that is of primary importance here. It is clear that "prophecy" and "scripture" are not wholly the same thing.

    Our common concept of the Protestant "Bible" is that it includes both the sacred ancient Hebrew text ("old time") & the canonical 1st century Greek text (which was not yet finished or compiled at the writing of the verse). You have not logically proven that any complete physical book now known as a "Bible" is the word of God and must contain no imperfection under human inspection, therefore the rest of your assertions cannot yet be accepted.
     
    #6 franklinmonroe, Jun 7, 2007
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  7. SBCPreacher

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    1. Welcome! Glad you're here. Make yourself at home!

    2. You'd better have all your ducks in a row about this one, because there are some here whose ducks are in a mighty straight line on this. A good number of us believe that there is no evidence - Scriptural or other - to support the claim that the KJV is the ONLY "powerful, preserved, and perfect Word of the living God."

    3. Make sure your helmet is secure in place. Fasten your seat belt. It's gonna be a wild ride!
     
  8. kubel

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    Welcome to Baptist Board, Man of War.

    Here, most of us are not King James Version Only (KJVO). Most are, as RobyCop3 likes to say, "Freedom Readers", meaning they don't limit themselves to only one translation. I myself am classified as a King James Version Preferred (KJVP). I do not believe God intended there to be just one translation for all the world. I don't even believe he intended there to be just one translation for English speaking people. But I do prefer the KJV as the translation I primarily use for study at home, and for reading at church (I actually attend a KJVO church).

    Psalms 12 cannot be applied to the KJV because firstly, it does not mention the KJV at all, and secondly, it's not even talking about the preservation of God's word, it's speaking of people (see the highlighted [forgive the highlighting of verse 8, I meant to highlight verse 6 & 7 when I photoshopped it]. The scan is a 1611 facsimile, without blackletter, but preserving the translators margin notes. The KJV translators themselves knew it was speaking of people, "them").

    But that's not to say I don't believe God's word isn't preserved. The abundance of translations that we have access to is proof that the scriptures have been preserved, and that it has been spread not just to the English language once, but to it many many times. As times change, so does our language, and so must our translations. I'm glad that God has willed for us to have the KJV. But I'm also glad that God has willed for other languages to have their translations, and that so many languages are blessed to have updated translations to fit these evolving languages.

    Another interesting tid-bit (as it was previously mentioned) is that preservation does not necessarily need to be according to our human definition. As God has promised to preserve His people, I still remember there being saints martyred. What this tells us isn't that God doesn't preserve his people, it just means he preserves in a different way. God works in ways that aren't so familiar or comfortable for many of us. We don't need to make up doctrine on the methods and tools of Gods preservation, especially when there is no scripture to support them.

    There is no scriptural support to back KJVO any more than there is to back NIVO or NKJVO or [insert-a-translation-acronym-here]O. That's why onlyism is a doctrine that cannot be taken by faith. Here's why:

    Doctrine must come from the Bible:
    2 Timothy 3:16
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:​

    Faith is based on the Bible:
    Romans 10:17
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.​

    What is acceptable is personal preference. I see no one condemning the use of the KJV if it's best for an individual. I grew up with the KJV, so I am comfortable understanding many of the difficult passages and archaic words used in it. I actually prefer it above all other translations. Other people, however, are not comfortable with the KJV, and they should not be forced to read from a version that is 400 years old in a style of English that you cannot find active anywhere on earth.

    So it's good that you and I prefer the KJV. But I think it's inappropriate for onlyism to be taken as part of our faith when it does not quality, and also inappropriate for onlyism to be taught as a scriptural doctrine when it is not.

    That's just my $.02. I hope my post hasn't made you feel unwelcome, I was just addressing the topic that was brought up.

    Anyway, welcome to BB! :thumbs:
     
    #8 kubel, Jun 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2007
  9. DQuixote

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    I guess a literalist would have some problems with some translations. However, all scripture is spiritually discerned. There is no other way. A born again Believer will be led in h/her study of the Word. Where there is a problem with a translation, the Holy Spirit will make that obvious.

    No non-Christian philosopher on earth can read and understand clearly the Holy Bible in any translation. There are scriptures to that effect throughout God's Word. Find all of them! Write them all down! Start with 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. Where is says "we have the mind of Christ" draw a line thru 'mind' and insert 'the spiritual insight and understanding of Christ', which is today, of course, provided by none other than the Holy Spirit. Wow!

    No non-Christian philosopher can make that claim. Let them know.

    :thumbs:
     
  10. Ed Edwards

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    Exodus 15:3 (Geneva Bible, 1587 Edition):
    The Lord is a man of warre,
    his Name is Iehouah.


    Exodus XV:3 (KJV1611 Edition):
    The Lord is a man of warre:
    the Lord is his Name.


    Exodus 15:3 (KJV1769 Edition):
    The LORD is a man of war:
    the LORD is his name.


    Exodus 15:3(NIV):
    The Lord is a warrior;
    the Lord is his name.


    Exodus 15:3 (HCSB = Christian Standard Bible /Holman, 2003/ )
    The Lord is a warrior;
    Yahweh is His name.


    Tee Hee (old fashioned :) ),
    the NIV is more like the KJV1611 Edition
    than the KJV1769 Edition is like the KJV1611 Edition???

    Man of War: //I ask you the same question that they
    asked us that evening—out of all of the Bible
    versions which one is God’s perfect Word?
    We did not try to answer this question then because
    it is not necessary to know this in order to be
    saved (and that’s what this group needed);
    however, as Christians desiring to be conformed
    to the image of God this is a critically important issue.//

    That is a poor question and is not 'critically important an issue'
    regarding salvation. Why limit God to one and only one
    perfect word?

    The Perfect HCSB changes above verse
    from the change the KJVs made
    back to the wording of the
    Geneva Bible, 1587 Edition.

    Man of War: //I am curious, how many of you
    would claim that we have God’s perfect Word
    here with us in the English language.//

    The HCSB is God's Perfect Written Word preserved
    by the Divine Providence of God for the English Speakers of the
    21st Century (2001-2100).
     
  11. Ed Edwards

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    OP: //It is impossible for two objects, that both claim
    to perfectly fulfill the same demand, to be different.//

    OK, assume that is true. It has nothing to do with
    the one-and-only-one PERFECT Bible error.

    My Bible, the HCSB = Christain Standard Bible
    (Holman, 2003) is God's perfect Written Word
    in 21st Century (2001-2100) English.
    The Geneva Bible, 1587 Edition is
    God's perfect Written Word
    in 16th Century (1501-1600) English.
    The KJV1611 Edition is God's perfect Written Word
    in 17th Century (1601-1700) English.
    The KJV1769 Edition is God'sperfect Written Word
    in 18th Century (1701-1800) English.
     
  12. Keith M

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    Amen, Brother Ed! Preach it!

    When one takes the extremely narrow definition of "inerrant preservation" demanded by the KJVO view then all English Bible versions must be eliminated. Why? Because, with differences between various languages, no translation from one language to another can be 100% accurate in word use.

    However, when one accepts a broader definition of "inerrant preservation" and applies it to the message of the Bible (the plan of salvation) as God intended, then one realizes this "inerrant preservation" is found in many Bible versions. I don't know a single MV that preaches an alternate means of salvation. All the MVs I have read teach salvation only through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The preservation of this message is the preservation God promised - not the preservation of a set of English words found in one particular Bible version that would not be published for centuries after the Bible was originally written.
     
  13. Chessic

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    Lately, I've been wondering if God allowed the English language, and English Bible translations to become as unclear as they have to force us to research His Word more deeply. I don't like the thought, but I admit if this was the plan, it has worked in my case.

    I don't believe any English translations are perfect. God's perfect Word is filtered through the imperfect language, education, philosophy, beliefs, and biases of multiple sets of men: translators, readers, and teachers. The more the ages pass, the less perfect language gets and the less we understand the meaning of the words of the original authors.

    Some fully trust the KJV, and I don't wish to change or argue their point of view. Trusting a translation can be a beautiful gift for one's faith, even if it is, arguably, a type of rose-colored glasses. I would dearly love to have an English translation I felt good about, but the more I research them, the more disappointed I become. I've always used the Word of God as my Rock, but now English translations are starting to seem like quicksand. The KJV is, imo, as good as any English version, and better than some, if one doesn't mind the enormous amount of study required to accurately translate it. Its use of words like "Easter" and "scottish" is enough to give me doubts about it being perfect. There are other reasons, of course, but I don't want to get too specific and contribute to another debate.

    English is going through some remarkable changes, and has been for centuries. Sentence structures have changed form, and many that used to be accepted have been discarded. Words constantly change meaning, in rare cases becoming more complex, usually becoming more basic. When a word loses some of its meaning, modern translators have a choice: add words that aren't in the texts in an effort to clarify or express the full meaning of a word, or they can use a word that does not express the full meaning of the text. Either way, Bible-readers will be dissatisfied, claiming "Heresy! They added words to Scripture!" in the former case, and "Heresy! They removed words from Scripture!" in the latter.
     
  14. SBCPreacher

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    Where's the guy that started this thread?
     
  15. Chessic

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    Well, it was his first post. Hopefully it wasn't a one-hit wonder.
     
  16. mcdirector

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    Hopefully indeed ;)
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Well "if" he were a pot stirrer I am glad we have been mature enough to show how the issue can be discussed!
     
  18. Salamander

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    To remain standing upon that affirmation you cannot be 100% sure you know what you're talking about.

    Reminds me of the conclusion science came to that any man is never more capable of using the maximum of 14% of his minds capability at any given time. So one can only deduce they were only using 14% of their brains to come to that conclusion.

    Salvation didn't stop at that moment, you seem to forget the importance of clear doctrine that God works sanctification into the heart and lives of His dear children.:sleeping_2:
     
  19. Salamander

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    Where would you like for me to pin that badge of self-recognition upon your clothing?:laugh:
     
  20. Keith M

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    Salamander, your post is about as on-track as a freight train on a dirt road. Try to stick to the topic for once, please. Is there a point you would like to make?
     

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