I received the following comment:

Dear Nate, I would suggest that you read some of the books written by Gail Riplinger. She has spent a great many of her years showing that the only pure Word of God preserved in English is the KJB, or KJV, both are the same. To say that God is unable to keep His Word pure and perservered is saying God is lying to us. I can find no wrong in the KJB. If you can than maybe you need to study to show yourself approved unto God and not follow the traditions of men.

I am afraid that you start this issue off with the wrong idea immediately by talking about “preserving” the Word of God in English. The fact is that the Word of God was never written in English. The Bible was, in fact, written in Hebrew and Greek, with a smattering of Aramaic mixed in. When we are talking about “preservation” of the Word, we can only really discuss it in terms of these languages in which the Word was originally written. In a language in which God never wrote, we cannot discuss preservation, except perhaps as it regards the manuscripts from which our English versions were translated.

Who is saying that God is unable to keep His Word pure and preserved? God’s ability is not in question here. God can do many, many things. He can do much more than He is doing today, more perhaps than we can fathom. The question is not what can God do, but what is He doing?

I happen to believe that God has worked over the years to preserve His Word. Satan seeks in many different ways to damage it, and only with God’s help could the Word have survived all his attacks. Yet it has, and it continues to work with power throughout the world. I believe this shows the care God has taken to maintain it.

This said, that does not mean that there are no errors in any of the English versions. God Himself would have to inspire an English translation in order for it to be free from errors, and He has not done this. This would not be consistent with the time of God’s silence, and the way He is working in the dispensation of grace.

Your statement about God lying to us is rather ridiculous. God makes no claims for any English version. You are the one making such claims. If God wrote something that was incorrect in the Hebrew or the Greek, that would be Him lying to us. If some translator writing from his own knowledge and experience writes something that is incorrect in his version of the Bible, that error cannot be blamed on God. Some people have taken my writings on the Internet and used online translation software to translate them to other languages. I know that translation software is notoriously bad. I cannot be held responsible for what may be written in these translations of my material. If the translation software renders what I wrote badly, then that is the fault of the software, and not of my writing.

If you have not found any errors in the King James, then let me help you find some. For example, take the Greek word poimen, which means “shepherd.” This word occurs 18 times in the Greek New Testament. 17 of those times, it is translated “shepherd” or “shepherds.” Yet in one occurrence, Ephesians 4:11, the King James translators rendered it “pastors.” Why would they do this, when they showed seventeen times that they knew the word means “shepherds”?

Or take the word pascha, which means “Passover.” This word occurs 29 times in the New Testament, and 28 of these are translated “Passover.” Yet in one occurrence, in Acts 12:4, the King James translators have translated this word as “Easter.” Why would they do this, when they showed twenty-eight times that they knew that the word means “Passover”?

I could continue, but I think these examples are sufficient to illustrate my point. The King James translators have sometimes translated a word wrongly for no other reason than to slip one of the doctrines or practices of the church of their day into the Bible.

I do not think it is very wise of you to try to bring dispensationalism into this. If you actually consider what dispensationalism is about, then you should realize that it is fatal to your argument. As a dispensationalist, you should know that gifts like the gift of prophecy or of interpretation of tongues ceased in the first century. If you know anything about history, you should know that English did not even exist in the first century, at least not in any form we would recognize today. The King James Version, on the other hand, was translated in the seventeenth century, long after the gift of prophecy had been done away with. This should tell you that the men who translated it were not inspired, but were working from their own knowledge and intelligence, which granted was considerable, but not perfect.

I do like the King James Version, and use it quite often. However, I have compared it to Greek often enough to know that it is flawed in many, many ways.

I can sympathize with your desire to have the perfect Word of God in English, and not to have to worry about going back to the Greek or the Hebrew. This is a lot of work, and sometimes taxes us beyond our knowledge. There is much truth to be found from the English translations, and the King James is one of the best of these. Yet to read the words that God actually spoke, we have to go back to the Hebrew and Greek. We just do not have any choice about this.

I wonder if you have even thought out your position. If God has preserved the Word of God in English, and if He hadn’t He would be a liar, then what about other languages?  Or do you only care about English, since it is the language you speak? Did He preserve His Word in Spanish, for example? Which Spanish Version, then, is the preserved one? What about German? Or Norwegian or Finnish? Or Hindi or Swahili? What about languages that have no translated version of the Bible? How has He “preserved” His Word in these languages? Do they have perfect versions too, or has God lied to them?

The fact is that your position is indefensible. You have taken it, not because you rightly divide, but because the King James Version is the one you grew up with and are comfortable with. You cling to it, just like a Baptist clings to his baptism, a Catholic to his mass, or a Lutheran to his confirmation. It is you who cling to the traditions of men, and make them out to be the commandments of God.

You really need to put in the effort to study the Word of God in Greek and Hebrew if you want to go the limit in following the truth of God. The Word of God is not preserved perfectly in English. That is just the way it is.

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