July 1, 1987 Issue
Gary Barrett

Sometimes this question is almost pressed to the point of division among God's people. It is a desire to make for peace and unity so please consider my answer to this question. After I obeyed the Gospel of Christ I continued my Bible study. I didn't know much about the scriptures but was learning. I believed the Bible was God's word and it came through inspiration but that's all I knew. I noticed when I read certain chapters and brethren preached upon the same chapters I had read, they got much more out of it than I did. I just couldn't figure it out. Brethren would define clearer. I began to realize that in order to understand the Bible I had to know the proper meaning of words. How can you know God's will for your life if you cant understand what he's saying in his word? When I came upon a word I didn't understand I would get out my Webster dictionary. Looking up the word "Hell" Webster gave two or three definitions which raised another question, which definition of the word fit the passage I was studying? Someone said, "you need a Bible dictionary which will define the word as was used in the days of the Apostles." I purchased a W.E. Vine Bible dictionary. In the dictionary it would have the word I was looking for plus the Greek word which was its equivalent. I guess I thought the King James Version was given by Jesus directly and that was all anyone needed. Later I found the scriptures were inspired in the Greek language and the King James Version followed many years later. When I mentioned my new findings to the brethren many were already aware of it but some said," I take just the bible (King James Version) and that only. If man needs any more than that then Ill just end up in hell!" Well that kind of made sense but I began to think, if I didn't know how to read how could I know God's will but I learned to read in school. Learning to read is a prerequisite to Bible study. Secondly, you must know the meaning of words because they are the vehicle God uses to convey his mind to us." I began to ask brethren who would say, "I use only the Bible and let it define itself!" a few questions; What is concupiscence Rom 7:8, implacable Rom 1:31, lasciviousness Gal 5:19, incontinency 1 Cor 7:5? Of course they couldn't answer and without a good dictionary. I couldn't either. Many good preachers have said from the pulpit, "all you need is the Bible" but in the next breath talk about their Bible library, dictionaries, and helps. Was that a contradiction of statements? "NO" We need no manuals or man made disciplines to do God's will but good Bible helps, dictionaries, etc. are of great value. I've had some brethren say, "I wish the preacher would preach just the Bible and that's all." That to me is the same as saying, "get up read a chapter, don't make a single comment then sit down." I wonder if some brethren realize just as soon as they begin to comment on the word of God that is their commentary? Adam Clark, Mac Knight, or my brethren all have a commentary. I must consider what I hear or read in light of the scriptures then decide what is right. Now back to the question, did Jesus give us the King James Version? Ill let him answer that question. I personally use the beloved King James because so many of my brethren do. On page three it reads, "James by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc. The translators of the Bible wish Grace, Mercy, and Peace through Jesus Christ our Lord." Here it is plainly stated, translators translated the scriptures to give us the King James Version. Notice further, page four, "that out of the original sacred tongue, together with comparing of the labours both in our own and in other foreign languages of many worthy men who went before us there should be one more exact translation of the Holy scriptures into the English tongue." King James said, "one more translation." Let me mention just a few versions that existed before the beloved King James Version. 1384 Wyclif, 1526 Tyndale, 1535 Coverdale, 1537 Matthews Authorized Version, 1539 Taverners, 1539 Cranmers, 1560 Geneva, 1568 Bishops Bible, 1582 Rheims and Douay, and 1621 King James version by forty seven scholars using Hebrew and Greek texts. Coverdale used German and Latin texts while the Rheims and Douay was one of the poorest versions into the English tongue. King James Version was made to correspond to the Bishops Bible. For the most part these translations were translated from Greek texts because the scriptures were originally given in the Greek language not in English version based on the Greek texts. The more familiar we become with the Bible dictionary the better off well be. Thus we can avoid such pitfalls as calling a cup; fruit of the vine, and implacable; something that you can't hang on a wall.

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