By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen and Dr. Mike Sproul
True Christianity is Bible-centered because the Bible is God’s Word in written form. The apostle Paul told his preacher-friend Timothy that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable……..” for a number of reasons. (See Second Timothy 3:15 – 17 quoted below.) In this statement, Paul was referring to the Old Testament. The apostle Peter also had something to say about the writers of the Old Testament: “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (See Second Peter 1:21.) What the apostles Paul and Peter said about the Old Testament is equally true of the New Testament. Therefore, whether we are reading the Old Testament portion of the Bible, or the New Testament portion of it, we are reading the Word of God.
This underscores the importance of Bible reading. Through the Bible, God speaks to us. As Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15 – 17, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” If we want to profit from the Bible, we must be avid readers of it! We need to read it from front to back, from beginning to end, from cover to cover. And we must do so over and over again. It is a good thing to read the Bible at least once a year. This can be done by reading only four chapters a day.
But what Bible translation should we read? Here are my suggestions: For old English, read the King James Version. For modern English, read the New King James Version, the New American Standard (updated edition), the English Standard Version, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible. If you do not have access to these translations, they can be read on this website: www.biblegateway.com.
Unfortunately, there are many well-meaning Christians who oppose any translation but the King James Version. They even oppose the New King James Version. These persons say that only the King James Version is the Word of God. Although they might recognize some good things about other Bible translations, they are what is called “King James Version-only, or “KJV-only,” or “King James Bible-only.” Many of these persons make using the King James Version a test of sound doctrine, and a test of Christian fellowship. Their view of the subject causes unnecessary division between Christians. These persons don’t only prefer the King James Version for thermselves. They believe everyone else should/must read it, too. Such persons will not join a church that is not King James Version-only, and they often will not even visit a church that does not promote their belief about the subject. But, it is best that they do not join a church with which they disagree. And they shouldn’t attend or visit one, if their intention is to gain converts to their viewpoint.
King James Version-onlyism needs to be refuted. It is based on false information on a number of subjects related to the Bible. For example, some Baptists claim that King James Version-onlyism is the long-held view of Baptists. This is easily proven false by consulting old Baptist books that deal with the subject. One such book is William Cathcart’s Baptist Encyclopedia, in which we find many articles on doctrines of Baptists of long ago. This book certainly does not promote King James Version-onlyism. Old-time Baptists did not promote King James Version-onlyism. And neither did King James and his translators. This is proved by reading the lengthy introductory article found in the front of the 1611 King James Version.
A excellent book refuting King James Version-onlyism. Dr. Mike Sproul has written an excellent book that refutes this error. Information about is given below. I have carefully read the book, and hope many others will do the same. It is an involved theological book, and will be read only by those who are willing to think through its 404 pages. But it is well worth the time and effort to do so!
God’s Word Preserved: A Defense of Historic Separatist Definitions and Beliefs
Definitions are important in any discussion. Dr. Sproul wishes to restate the historical Separatist beliefs concerning God’s communication of His Word to man. How have the “Separatist Fathers” understood this communication to His creatures? Are we removing their “ancient landmarks” concerning inspiration and preservation and replacing them with a man-made system of logic?
In this book Dr. Sproul expresses the historic Baptist and Fundamentalist definitions of key theological terms based on the long-held interpretations of key verses regarding “inspiration,” “inerrancy,” “infallibility,” “preservation,” “interpretation,” and “application,” etc. This work is much like an ancient apologetic. Dr. Sproul re-acquaints Separatists with their heritage regarding a fundamental of the faith, “inerrancy of the autograph.”
420 pages. Includes 13 photographs of ancient Bibles.
Click here to view comments from Baptist pastors about Dr. Sproul’s book.
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