Should We Be Loyal to a Bible Translation?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest” (Exodus 34:1 KJV).

No autographs (original Bible manuscripts) exist today: these documents penned by God’s holy apostles and prophets are long gone (disintegrated through continued usage, deliberately destroyed, et cetera). Our link to the God-inspired autographs is apographs (manuscript copies). The Bibles we have today are based on manuscript copies (not the originals). Does that mean we do not have God’s Word today? NOT AT ALL.

Misinformed people (misled by “educated” seminarians) profess, “I owe my loyalty to the original Bible manuscripts, not to any one particular translation.” Utterly ridiculous—they owe loyalty to a non-entity (something that does not exist!)?!?

Indeed, the autographs were important (they contained the very words of God, first transcribed by God’s holy men; 2 Timothy 3:16). The problem is—the autographs do not exist anymore. Does that mean God’s Word is lost? GOD FORBID! Before the autographs were destroyed, God had saints copy them. God’s intention was to preserve the text of the autographs, not the autographs themselves.

Today’s Scripture provides an illustration of Bible preservation through copies. Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai, communing with the LORD and receiving His commandments (Exodus 24:18). As Moses descended the mount, carrying the two stone tablets (the Ten Commandments), he observed Israel dancing naked around a golden calf idol (Exodus 32:19-25). In anger, Moses literally broke the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were written.

What does today’s Scripture say? God would rewrite the stone tablets. According to God, the originals that Moses broke were not important. It was their text—their “words”—that was important.

One day, God will judge us using something we can read—an English Bible (specifically, the King James Bible). We can neither access nor read the original Greek and Hebrew Bibles (autographs). While we understand the autographs’ significance, we owe our loyalty to a copy of God’s Word that we can read and hold—the (English) King James Bible.