By Timothy Johnson
Since 1611 the King James Bible was the Bible used by English-speaking people. Around the year 1900, the first modern translations of the English Bible started hitting bookshelves.
Many claim that newer translations are easier to read. The Bible tells us, however, our understanding, or lack of understanding, of the Scripture is a spiritual issue, not an educational one. 1 Corinthians 2:11-14, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
We all know the spirit of man because we are all born with it. How often have you heard a parent say to a toddler, “Where did you learn that?”? Odds are, it was in him all along.
For example, when I was in second grade, a boy found one of his dad’s magazines and brought it to school. Nearly every boy in the class gathered around this magazine and looked at the pictures. Remember, it was a different time back then. Eight-year-olds were not exposed to sex like they are today. None of us knew the birds and the bees yet; we did not see sex on television or at the movies. What we saw in those photos was entirely new to us, and even though we had no knowledge of sex, something inside us kept us looking. What was that “something” that kept us looking? The spirit of man.
On the flip side, we must teach children to do the right thing. “Don’t hit.” “Give that back. You don’t take other kid’s toys.” “Share with your sister.” Every parent has said a version of these statements and more to their children. Doing the right thing comes from the Spirit of God. Teaching must take place.
Regarding understanding the Scripture, the Holy Spirit moves into a person’s heart upon salvation. The Spirit of God is the author of the Bible (2 Peter 1:21). Once the Holy Spirit is in the heart, He begins revealing the Scripture. That is what the passage from 1 Corinthians 2 explains above.
The understanding does take time. Just as a first grader is not ready for algebra, a new Christian needs to study as they grow in Biblical knowledge (2 Timothy 2:15).
The King James Bible also provides a deeper meaning of the Scripture. A good example is “the love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13.
All the modern translations contain the word “love” throughout 1 Corinthians 13. The King James uses the word “charity.”
Love today is considered a feeling, an emotion. Still, the Bible teaches that godly love, true love, has action behind it. This thought is seen in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” Love is the giving of yourself to someone or something else. Hence the word charity provides a deeper meaning. Biblical love is far more than a strong emotion toward something. I love spaghetti, but I have not given my life to it. I hope that shows the difference.
God gave the Old Testament to the Hebrews; therefore, Hebrew is the language of most of the Old Testament. Part of the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonians. The Hebrews were living in Babylon at the time of Daniel’s writing. God wanted His people to read and study His word.
When Jesus arrived, the Romans may have ruled the world, but Greek was the trade language of the day. A person could go anyplace in the world and find someone who spoke Greek. As the Romans built roads, everyone spoke Greek along the trade routes. God, therefore, had the New Testament written in Greek. Using Greek as the New Testament language allowed more of the populace to read it without an interpreter.
As time passed, usage of the Greek language waned, and English became the trade language of the world. Even today, every air traffic controller in every airport in the world speak English.
With English, the language now spoken worldwide, God translated His Word into English. The King James is the seventh main translation of God’s Word into English. Seven translations are how God purified it from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into English. Psalm 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”
God did not intend for more English translations. He purified it as many times as He wanted.
A watered-down Bible brings Christians who lack depth in their relationship with Christ and their Christian walk. It brings churches that concentrate on feelings and emotions as opposed to doctrine. It brings a society that calls right wrong and wrong right.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.