Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The King James Version Bible


The Version commissioned by King James of England first came from the printing press in 1611 AD. It contained all the Apocrypha as well as the Old and New Testaments. It reflects the language spoken in Britain in the previous century, since it is a revision of the work of Tyndale circa 1525 AD. Because we use the same words, but with new and very different meanings, it is difficult to realize that as early as 1770, Benjamin Franklin said that people had ceased to read the Bible [the KJV] because they could not understand it. While the words were the same, the meanings were so different in places.

Dan Hedges wrote in Ministries Today, J/A 1999. "The paraphrases that are popular and not-so-popular also have their place. Who can question the value of how The Living Bible translation got an entire generation of frustrated King James nonreaders into daily devotional reading? The new paraphrases help us meet this need." Even if you violently disagree with what he said, this is a present challenge. Just now The Book NLT is being aggressively promoted by Walmart and others, and will continue to face us. The standard is the original Bible in the Ancient languages. What does it say???

The original KJV was printed in the Old English typeface. The alphabet was different. "i" and "j" were different forms of the same letter, as were "u" and "v". The Name of God was given as "Iehouah." Current editions of the KJV have been revised and the spelling changed. [Some editions have English spelling and some American spelling.]

Here is an example of the language difference. "I decided to go on a journey to the Camp Ground. I packed my utensils and my tabernacle into my car, taking along my dog. Arriving there, I set the dog free, and set about unpacking my gear. First, I unpacked my tabernacle and set it up. I was planning to stay the night and would need a spot for slumber. Then I gathered sticks and soon had a fire going. I filled the pot with water and set it over the fire. I shaved herbs into the pot: carrots, potatoes, some corns of barley, cumin, garlic, and finally a lump of kine flesh. I seethed it and in time had a mess of pottage. At this point I shrilled for the dog, and he came bounding from the distance. After doing the necessary things, we enjoyed our feast."

Campbell championed a new version, "The Living Oracles," by James McKnight, Phillip Doddridge, and George Campbell, which had been revised by himself. He published this new version in 1826. It reflected the English spoken by the American people of Scotch-Irish ancestry in Campbell's day. This is the Version which Campbell used to spark the "restoration" movement in our USA. It was used almost exclusively until the time of the Civil War.

Here is the "Lord's Prayer" [Luke 11:2-4] as it appears in some different "versions."

KJV of 1611. This is the original spelling. "Our Father which art in heauen, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdome come, Thy will be done as in heauen, so in earth. Giue vs day by day our dayly bread. And forgiue vs our sinnes: for we also forgiue euery one that is indebted to vs. And lead us not into temptation, but deliuer vs from euill."

Campbell's Living Oracles. "Father, thy name be hallowed; thy Reign come; give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for even we forgive all who offend us; and lead us not into temptation." [Note: the corrected Greek Text omits "deliver us from the evil one," and that Campbell followed this corrected Greek text."]

American Standard Version 1901. "Father, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation." [Note the ASV follows the NU Greek text.]

New KJV 1983. "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one."

CEV Basic English. "Father, help us to honor your name. Come and set up your kingdom. Give us each day the food we need. Forgive our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us. And keep us from being tempted."

J. W. McGarvey said, at the Missouri Christian Lectures, 1883: "The Canterbury revision of the New Testament should now totally supplant the King James Version, not only because it is a great improvement as a version, but because it is the only representative in English of the corrected Greek text. A man is not safe in venturing upon the exegesis of a single passage by the aid of the old version until he shall have compared it with the new; and rather than be continually making these comparisons, it is better to at once adopt the new into exclusive use."

We know the Canterbury revision as the American Standard Version of 1901. Johnson's Notes has the [English] Canterbury revision in the margin. The Gospel Advocate Commentaries use the American Standard Version as their basic text.

Black English, has recently been in the news, and some would make it become a separate language. The ABS recently published Luke in Gullah (Sea Island Creole). Here is the Lord's Prayer in that language [a variant of English]. "We Papa een heaben, leh ebrybody hona you nyame cause you da holy. We pray dat soon you gwine rule oba all ob we. Wasoneba ting you da want, leh um be een dis wol, same like e be dey en heaben. Gee we de food wa we need dis day yah an ebry day. Fagibe we fa de bad ting we da do. Cause we da fagibe dem people wa do bad ta we. Leh we don't habe haad test wen Satan try we. Keep we from ebil."

Another variant of "Black English" comes from New Guinea, and is called "Neo-Melanisian." Here is the Lord's Prayer. "Papa, nem bilong yu em i mas i stap holi. Kingdom bilong yu em i mas i kam. Kaikai bilong mipela inap long de, em yu givim mipela long olgeta de. Lusim sin bilong mipela. Mipela tu i lusim sin bilong olgeta man i bin mekim rong long mipela. Yu no bringim mipela long samting bilong traim mipela."

Campbell cited the instructions of King James to his translators as the reason certain words are not translated, but transliterated. He wrote of these instructions in his "Christian Baptist" paper. These may also be found in McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia.

For the better ordering of the proceedings of the translators, his Majesty recommended the following rules to them, to be very carefully observed: -

1. The ordinary Bible, read in the church, commonly called the Bishop's Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will permit.

2. The names of the prophets and the holy writers, with the other names in the text, to be retained, as near as may be, according as they are vulgarly [commonly] used.

3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; as the word church, not to be translated congregation, etc.

4. When any word hath divers significations, that to be kept which has been most commonly used by the most eminent, being agreeable to the propriety of the place, and the analogy of faith.

[Campbell includes the instructions through #14.]

Campbell comments: "It is evident from third of the King's instructions to the translators, that he forbade them to translate the old ecclesiastical words; and in rule fourth he commands, that when any word hath divers significations, they should retain that in their translation which has been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, being agreeable to the propriety of the place and the analogy of faith."

"Let it be particularly noticed, that among those words called consecrated ecclesiastical words, and which were forbidden by the king to be translated into English, are the words baptism and baptize.... and gives the word church not to be translated congregation with an & as a specimen of these words....When Tyndal[e] issued his translation of the Bible, because he had in it disregarded the words which the clergy esteemed sacred, they condemned it. He had, for instance, changed charity into love; church into congregation; priest into senior; grace into favor; confession into knowledge; penance into repentance; and a contrite heart into a troubled heart....For instance, the word church, he said, was, by the popish clergy, appropriated to themselves; [whereas, of right it was common to all the whole congregation of them that believe in Christ." [from Campbell's The Christian Baptist, Vol. 1, 1824]

There was a Church of the Jews in the wilderness [Acts 7:38] which was the congregation of the saved containing every Jewish person. The Church of the Lord is likewise one spiritual-congregation containing every saved person who is in Jesus Christ - One Body, One Kingdom, One Temple built of Living Stones. And so Campbell understood [cf. The Lunenburg Letter]. Note 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.

Guided by what God did say

Guided by What God Did Say
God gave Adam the gift of language. "Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name." Genesis 2:19-20. If Hebrew was the original language as some think, Adam would have said: "That looks like a parah (cow). This looks like a kelev (dog)."

God communicated with Adam in words. "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." Genesis 3:10.

The Bible speaks the message of God in words. Language was confused at Babel (Genesis 11:6-9). "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." But at Pentecost, through the power of The Spirit, "...we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:5-12).

1. Campbell said we believe Moses insofar as he spoke to us. Moses wrote to the people then living in the language they spoke and understood (Hebrew). But Moses also looked down the stream of time to Christ Jesus. "For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you'" (Acts 3:22; Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19).

2. Some things spoken are hard to understand. "as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the Scriptures" (2 Peter 3:16).

a) When Paul says faith and James says works and John says love - they are all saying the same thing and do not contradict one another.

b) Jesus said radical things. The scribes and Pharisees were spiritually blind & deaf. He spoke in vehement language to try to reach them. Read the context and compare.

"And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you."

"and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake."

"Enter in at the strait gate . . few there be that find it."

But: "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness" (Matt. 8:11-12).

c) Peter said: "The righteous are scarcely saved." But he also said: "for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:11).

d) Paul warned: "not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers" (2 Timothy 2:14; Titus 3:9). Barnes wrote: "He then exhorts Timothy to study to perform his duties in such a way that he would not be ashamed, and to avoid the unimportant strifes which were then raging; and to enforce this, he refers to a real case with which Timothy was acquainted-- that of Hymeneus and Philetus, who, by unprofitable speculations, had been led to deny a fundamental doctrine of religion. Yet, Paul says, he should not be discouraged because some had been led into dangerous errors. The foundation of God remained firm." 2 Timothy 2:19

Campbell wrote in 1826: "We have, in writing, all the Hebrew and Greek that is necessary to perpetuate to the end of time, all the ideas which the Spirit of God has communicated to the world; and these languages, being dead, have long since ceased to change. The meaning of the words used by the sacred penman, is fixed and immutable; which it could not have been, had these languages continued to have been spoken." [Note: modern Hebrew and modern Greek are not the same as the ancient languages.]

Lienhard wrote: "For the earliest Christians, who were Jews, the Sacred Scriptures (O.T.) were the fixed authority, and they were used to demonstrate that Jesus was Messiah and Lord." Compare Paul in Acts 13:13-41. "Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead."

Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrews


"The cow grazes in many pastures, but the milk she gives is her own." Just so writers are influenced by many and much as they generate the written word.
Many years ago I came into contact with this little book of "Devotions" written by Lancelot Andrewes during his lifetime. He died in 1624.
Andrewes was a leader and scholar of the English Church. He was appointed as one of the translators of the King James Version Bible in 1604. He translated Joshua through Second Chronicles.
He had a "gift" with language. His Devotions are a kind of "prose-poetry." He wrote in the language of the 16th century. I have attempted to keep the spirit of his writings, while condensing and revising certain things. Although his "world view" was quite different from ours, he loved God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, etc. He may have been overly pessimistic, which was likely due to the times in which he lived. This world is a dangerous and difficult place! Yet Christ Jesus brought in a Living Hope!
May we all be people of hope! R.D.Ice

A Preface to the Lord's Prayer:

Grant, O Lord, to remember me
according to the multitude
of Thy mercies,
wink at mine infirmities,
O Lord, and cast me not away:
But sovereign Lord which lovest
After Thine unspeakable love
account me worthy, O Lord,
remove mine iniquities:
without condemnation,
with clean heart,
with contrite soul,
with face unashamed,
with hallowed lips,
to make bold to call upon Thee
the Holy God and Father which
art in heaven.
Do not by reason of me and my sins
refrain Thy readiness to hear
my service and my prayer.
Holy is Thy Name above every Name!


O God the Father, of heaven,
who hast marvellously created
the world out of nothing,
who dost govern and uphold heaven
and earth with Thy power,
who didst deliver Thy Only-begotten
for us unto death:

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
who didst will to be incarnate of
a virgin,
who hast washed us from our sins
by Thy precious blood,
who rising from the dead didst ascend
victorious to heaven:

O God the Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
who didst descend upon Jesus in
the form of a dove,
who coming upon the apostles didst
appear in fiery tongues,
who dost visit and confirm with
Thy grace the hearts of the saints:

O sacred, highest, eternal, blissful,
blessed Trinity,
always to be praised, yet always
O Father good -
O Son loving -
O Spirit kind -
whose majesty is unspeakable,
whose power is incomparable,
whose goodness is inestimable:
whose work is life,
whose love is grace,
whose contemplation is glory:

Deity, Divinity, Unity, Trinity:
Thee I worship, Thee I call upon,
with the whole affection of my heart
I bless now and forever:
through Jesus Christ our Lord,

* References:
1 Timothy 6:15-16
1 Timothy 2:3-6
Hebrews l:5-7
John 14:15-17
Romans 11:33-36

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Holy Spirit - Bishop of the Church


"Don't give me any of that Holy Spirit stuff." That is what some in the church keep saying. Then they wonder where the absent Lord could be and why things are not happening. Jesus instructed us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Our God is a "trinity" - three-in-one, one-in-three. God is beyond any possible understanding on our part, yet HE revealed Himself to us in the Bible as Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

The church in the Book of Acts came forth from the 120 in the Upper Room, fresh in her first love of JESUS (compare Rev. 2:4). Filled with the Holy Spirit, with power, with the gifts and graces of the Spirit, and with a 100% consecration to God. This was the secret of her success. They prayed for boldness and the house was shaken as a sign. She - the church - was all for God and God was all for her. This principle will apply to all ages of time. If there is no "sacrifice on the altar,"there will be no fire. The fire of God never falls on an empty altar. The greater the sacrifice of love and praise, the greater fire. When the prodigal brings himself back home and the church is filled by God, we will have the same power, the same life - and also the same persecution. Opposition may come from our own "brothers & sisters." When that happens we must either surrender or fight. (Note Matt. 10:21-22 "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."

When we read the Book of Acts we are impressed by the fact that God-the-Holy-Spirit stands out on its pages. The Lord's church in Acts is both holy and "charismatic" in the best sense of the word. ( Charismatic is a word greatly misused. But like so many words with a biblical base, it is too good a word to be abandoned because of differing meanings and connotations. The danger is too great that in banning the word we may inadvertently close the door to an important area of truth or restrict the free operation of the Holy Spirit among us. Note Paul wrote: "Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thess. 5:19)

Salvation is too important to be left entirely in human hands. (Yet God does not "twist our arm" to force us to obey.) Satan tries to steal the life, the power, the joy, everything - and then trick us into the "leaven of the Pharisees" (that is, "beating a dead horse"). The early church ran well for a season. We see the Holy Spirit taking a very active role in getting things together. The day of Pentecost, of course, with the spiritual excitement and power and 3,000 being baptized into Christ. The prayer in Acts 4 and the Holy Spirit shaking the house. Something like Pentecost when Philip preached to the Samaritans. Peter seeing the vision of the sheet & animals, then being sent to Cornelius, and the Holy Spirit fell upon them as at the beginning (Acts 11). Paul being sent out as a missionary by The Holy Spirit from the church at Antioch , then being directed to Macedonia. Heaven was real to the early church - far more real than earth. Their longing, their goal, their hope, was to be delivered from "this present evil world." They included in their prayers, "Come quickly Lord Jesus!" [Maranatha.]

It is the office/work of the Holy Spirit to preside over the entire work of God on earth. Jesus Himself is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25). He continues to be our Advocate/Paraclete (1 John 2:1). But Jesus, as He was about to ascend back to heaven, promised to send another Comforter (Paraclete) so that we would not be orphans (comfortless). HE - the Holy Spirit - was to abide with us forever (John 14:16-18). Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to take His place (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7-14). Jesus promised: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

We must be co-workers with Christ, partakers of the Holy Spirit. The church has the right idea that we need bishops/elders. But they must be given authority by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And their qualifications must be the endowment of the Holy Spirit (compare Acts 6:3). We read: "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). But note each and every Christian has the authority to be a "witness" to Jesus. Following the endowment of Pentecost, when persecution struck the church, they were scattered. "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). This was like "pouring gasoline on a fire." Christianity exploded across the world!

The early church believed in God the Holy Spirit - while many today are afraid of the Holy Spirit. The church knew the Holy Spirit personally by their own experience (compare Gal. 3:1-3). Man is all right in his place, as God intended. It is God the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus from the glory land, who works through this "tabernacle of clay" which we are. When the Holy Spirit is chairman/bishop of the assembly, you will find a fruitful assembly. God chooses human instruments to preach the word. The Holy Spirit gives birth to everyone who "receives with meekness the engrafted word" (James 1:21; Titus 3:4-7). Just as it takes a father and a mother to bring forth children of this natural life, so it takes the Word and the Spirit to bring forth children of the spiritual birth. Oh thank God for this holy way! "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Rev. 2:7.

Ask yourself: Is my life making an impact where God has put me? Am I channel through which the rivers of living water are flowing day by day (John 7:37-39)? Am I willing to allow this to be true? "Lord, whatever it may involve, make my life a channel for Your rivers of living water! Continue to restore and revive Your church, according to Your great purpose. And let me be a living part of that glorious recovery of the first love of Jesus and the power of the early church!"

On the far reef the breakers
Recoil in shattered foam,
Yet still the sea behind them
Urges its forces home;
Its chant of triumph surges
Through all the thunderous din -
The wave may break in failure,
But the tide is sure to win.

O mighty sea, thy message
In changing spray is cast:
Within God's plans of progress
It matters not at last
How wide the shores of evil,
How strong the reefs of sin -
The wave may be defeated,
But the tide is sure to win.