In the year 1611, an English version of the Bible was published, more accurate than any English version that had ever been produced before it, or that has ever been produced after it: the Authorised or King James Version.
There are those who would challenge that statement; but not one could ever prove it to be false. The evidence supporting it is simply overwhelming.
This being so–that the King James Version is the most faithful, most accurate translation of the Word of God into English–no other version of the Bible in English should be used by the Christian who loves the Word of God, and who desires to read it and study it in its purity and entirety. Unlike the King James Version, the many modern versions contain serious errors, omissions, and additions, and should be rejected. Why settle for less than the best? Why, in fact, be satisfied with an incomplete, inaccurate version, when a complete and accurate version is available?
It is important not to be misunderstood. We are not claiming that the King James Version is divinely inspired, as some critics of our position often attempt to lead others to believe. We are well aware that there are certain heretics who make such a claim. We are not to be numbered amongst them. Let our position be emphatically clear:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim.3:16); "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" (2 Pet.1:21). Holy men such as Moses and David and Isaiah and Paul and Peter and others wrote by divine inspiration. Their writings were perfect, free of all error. Miraculous inspiration applied only to the original writings, and not to the copies of those writings that were made in subsequent centuries.
However, in addition to the divine inspiration of the Scriptures as originally given, the Christian must hold firmly to another doctrine, without which the first would be of no use whatsoever: and that is the doctrine of the preservation of the Holy Scriptures! That the Lord has promised to preserve his Word is as certainly taught as that he gave the original writings by inspiration. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt.24:35). Peter wrote of "the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever…the word of the Lord endureth for ever" (1 Pet.1:23-25), and he was quoting Isa.40:8. If there was no preservation of the Word of God, of what use would its inspiration have been? If the Lord had given the original Scriptures by inspiration, this would have been of benefit to those believers who originally had them; but of what use would it have been to believers of later ages? For the original manuscripts have long since perished! They have rotted away. We, therefore, would not have the Word of God today, if it were not for the fact that the Lord has kept his promise to preserve his Word for ever.
Now, how has God's Word been preserved? As the various books of the Bible were circulated (Col.4:16; 1 Thess.5:27), they were copied, and the copies were copied, and so on. And in the multiplication of copies the Word of God was preserved. This is not to say that there were no corrupt manuscripts circulated as well. Just as there were (and are) false teachers among the churches (2 Pet.2:1), so there were (and are) false copies of the Scriptures among the true. And yet all Scripture is preserved within the body of manuscripts. This brings us to the subject of the text of God's Word.
This article, of necessity, can only deal with all these matters very briefly. Much more could be said on each point. There are, in fact, essentially only two texts of the Greek New Testament: the true and the false. There are over 5000 Greek manuscripts that have been discovered to date. Of these, over 90%, perhaps as many as 95%, contain essentially the same text. This text has been called various things, but for brevity's sake we shall call by perhaps its most well-known name, the Received Text. In the early sixteenth century, this text was printed for the first time, and disseminated throughout Europe. This `Received Text' is the TRUE text of God's Word. How do we know?