The Scriptures of the Christian Church, and not the writings of the great masters of secular letters, are the fons et origo of sacred eloquence. – Oswald Chambers
People wonder, with so many different Bible versions out there, which Bible should they read or what are the differences in the various Bible versions. There have been some 233 Bible versions since 1880 and more keep coming out so it’s no small wonder that many Christians and new believers are wanting to know which Bible they should read. If you are wondering which Bible version is for you then I would pray that the Holy Spirit has led you to this very article.
Why are there so many bible versions? That’s a good question. The Authorized Version (King James Bible) has been around since 1611 and for over 250 years was and is the standard Bible, it is the Holy Scriptures in the English language… so what changed and why are there so many Bible versions out there trying to compete with it?
Jesus said “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;” (Luke 20:46)
Obviously, the modern “Bible movement” is one facet of a tremendous apostasy within twentieth-century Christendom. To discern the singular cause for such a widespread and unnatural resistance to the Holy Spirit, consider the following passage:
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
Here our Savior declares categorically that no human can submit to God and money simultaneously. All men, saved or lost, must choose between the two. Therefore, the central observation to make is that our unparalleled variety of “Bibles” just happens to coincide with an unparalleled age of materialism. To put it another way, America’s Bible selection increases with her standard of living. Appreciating the reason for this will explain the growing animosity toward the King James Bible.
Because no man can serve two masters, the Christian who chooses to sell out for materialism becomes incapable of submission to God. He who willfully succumbs to the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches could not submit to God if he wanted! “No man can serve two masters”!
Once the apostate “goes for the gold,” his singular, face-saving profile becomes unmistakable: “Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5) Is there any doubt that the Bible is the power of godliness?
Because the rich young rulers of our day have become spiritually incapacitated, they will not embrace a Bible that lays exclusive claim to the English-speaking world. Instead, they will take cover behind the assurances of Christian scholarship that one conscientious translation is as good as the next. They’ll embrace anything but a dreaded submission to one book (Final Authority by William P. Grady p. 2,3 ISBN 0-9628809-1-4)
Let us also understand that Jesus commanded us to read and study the Scriptures. He said “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39 KJV.
Now, if you read one of the modern Bible versions such as the NIV they don’t have Jesus saying that as a command, rather, they have Jesus saying “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life…” (John 5:39 NIV) You see how they dropped the command to SEARCH the Scriptures?
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV)
That’s not what Jesus said. He said “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV) The modern translators apparently don’t want you to study the Bible!
Why would they change those verses? In short, they use the MINORITY Greek text instead of the MAJORITY Greek text which the king James Bible was translated from. If you want serious study on that subject matter I would recommend reading The King James Version Defended by Edward F. Hills and Final Authority by William “Bill” Grady.
Which Bible should I read? Let’s look at more Bible version comparisons and you decide which Bible you should read:
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 NIV)
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Tiomthy 3:16 KJV)
Why didn’t the NIV translators tell you that “God was manifest in the flesh”? In fact, none of the modern translations tell you that “God was manifest in the flesh” except that good ol’ black book, the King James Bible.
We have a page dedicated to the John 3:16 controversy. In short, the modern translations do not say “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, (KJV)” referring to Jesus, rather, they say “one and only son,” or “only son,” which is absolutely not the same thing. In fact, you could argue this is a gross error in the modern translations because Romans 8:14 says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Genesis 6:2 says “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair;” we know the term sons of God is sometimes in reference to angels because in Job 1:6 when speaking about angels it says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD,” but only Jesus is and could be the only begotten Son of God.
Would people dare corrupt the word of God? Not only would they, not only has that been what Satan has always done, but we are warned of such things.
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:17
Omissions from the modern Bible versions are also a very telling sign.
Check your NIV, ESV or NLT for Matthew 18:11 you won’t find a verse there, however, in the KJV you will find “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Why would they omit that?
Again, check your NIV, ESV or NLT for Acts 8:37 but you won’t find anything there. However, the KJV reads “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Why would they omit that?
In Luke 4:4 the KJV reads “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” But not in the modern versions, they take out the last part “but by every word of God.” Why would they do that?
You see what’s going on here? These are not the only omissions or modern perversions either, just a good sampling.
Despite what your pastor or local Seminary scholar might tell you these are no small matters. In Deuteronomy 4:2 it is written “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” And in Revelation 22:18-19 it is written “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Which King James Version? – A Feeble Rebuttal
Opponents of the King James Version often try to refute us by asking us which edition of the King James Version we receive as authoritative. For example, a professor in a well known Bible school writes as follows: “With specific reference to the King James translation, I must ask you which revision you refer to as the one to be accepted? It has been revised at least three times. The first translation of 1611 included the Apocrypha, which I do not accept as authoritative.”
This retort, however, is very weak. All the editions of the King James Version from 1611 onward are still extant and have been examined minutely by F. H. A. Scrivener and other careful scholars. Aside from printers errors, these editions differ from each other only in regard to spelling, punctuation, and, in a few places, italics. Hence any one of them may be used by a Bible-believing Christian. The fact that some of them include the Apocrypha is beside the point, since this does not affect their accuracy in the Old and New Testaments.
Christ’s Holy War With Satan
As Dean Burgon (1883) pointed out, the history of the New Testament text is the history of a conflict between God and Satan. Soon after the New Testament books were written Satan corrupted their texts by means of heretics and misguided critics whom he had raised up. These assaults, however, on the integrity of the Word were repulsed by the providence of God, who guided true believers to reject these false readings and to preserve the True Text in the majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts. And at the end of the middle ages this True Text was placed in print and became the Textus Receptus, the foundation of the glorious Protestant Reformation.
But Satan was not defeated. Instead he staged a clever come-back by means of naturalistic New Testament textual criticism. Old corrupt manuscripts, which had been discarded by the God-guided usage of the believing Church, were brought out of their hiding places and re-instated. Through naturalistic textual criticism also the fatal logic of unbelief was set in motion. Not only the text but every aspect of the Bible and of Christianity came to be regarded as purely natural phenomenon. And today thousands of Bible-believing Christians are falling into this devil’s trap through their use of modern-speech versions which are based on naturalistic textual criticism and so introduce the reader to the naturalistic point of view. By means of these modern-speech versions Satan deprives his victims of both the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit and leaves them unarmed and helpless before the terrors and tempations of this modern, apostate world. What a clever come-back! How Satan must be hugging himself with glee over the seeming success of his devilish strategy (Defending the King James Version by Edward F. Hills p. 230,231 ISBN 0-915923-00-9).
So which Bible should I read?
One more thing to consider when deciding the matter of which Bible you should read. The King James version, unlike any other version, does not and never had a copyright. God does not want people to peddle his word for gain.
If you are a Bible-believing Christian then I hope and pray this has answered your question as to which Bible you should read.