What do you suppose was God's purpose in providing inspired originals. We don't have them any more. Therefore, what continuing purpose do they serve? I have thought about this through the years and the only answer I can come up with is that they served to provide a self defining contextual pattern. Many of you have seen an afgan with a complex but clear pattern. The afgan may become worn and torn but by carefully examining the contextual pattern around the tears and holes it can be determined what was in that hole. We tell our people constantly to interpret scripture by scripture. Isn't that another way of saying the Bible is self-defining book? Certainly God realized that there would be copyist and translator errors but I believe that through divine providence God made sure that such errors never destroyed the self-defining contextual pattern. For example, in translation from one language to another language some subtle points are lost and language is in continual flux as terms change in meaning from one generation to another. However, at the point when the translation is being made it is being transferred into the meaning of words fixed in that time frame and therefore the contextual pattern is transferred over into another language where the study of that language at the time of translation sheds light on the words. That is why we look up archaic English words to understand the KJV. That is why we all have Greek lexicons to study the use of words at the time they were written. The abundance of source materials in both family lines provide additional aide in filling in the copyist and translation holes. However, the self-defining contextual pattern provided by the originals continues to be the basis for determining what reading best fits in questionable areas. For example, the ecclesiastical terms "baptism" and "church" we know are not truly representative of the Greek terms they are used to translate. The former is a transliteration and only conveys equivilent sounds rather than equivilent meaning. The latter is derived from a completely different Greek word (kuriakos). However, the the self-defining contextual pattern of scripture defines "baptism" to be immersion as that is the only mode that identifies with being "buried" (Rom. 6:5; Col. 2:12). The term "church" is placed in so many contexts that establish it as something visible, local and institutional. I for one limit my manuscript references to the Byzantine line because my research has led me to believe that is the best preserved for several reasons. I stick with "a" King James Version because it is one of the few English translations that is based upon that textual line of transmission. I recognize the superior scholarship of the KJV translators to my own and so I simply use the alternative readings in that line along with a thorough study of the context to determine what the clearest meaning of any text may be. However, if I did not know any language but English, I am fully confident that by studying my KJV contextually and letting scripture intepret scripture that I would arrive at the same doctrines and practices. The same could be said about any other translation. However, the process becomes easier when you have more available valid data to work with. There are those who have demonstrated by studying the New World Translation of the scripture contextually with aide by the Holy Spirit you would still come to the truth of Christ's absolute divinity even though the translators have intentionally tried to pervert it in their translation.