(A small review and recommendation of Jack McElroy’s book, Which Bible Would Jesus Use?)
It would be foolish to say he would use no Bible, since he used one during his earthly ministry (Luke 4:16-20; 24:27, etc.).
Would he use a Bible that makes him a liar, as the NIV and ESV do in John 7:8?
John 7:8-10 (KJV) Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
(NIV) “You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
(ESV) “You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe how many Christians will accept version upon version of the Bible that shows their Lord to be a liar, as the NIV, ESV, and so many others plainly do, but it would be crazy to think Jesus would carry a book to the pulpit that has him breaking the law he came to fulfil.
The mere question would be laughed off by modern scholarship as too absurd to consider.
But this question deserves serious consideration by any genuine follower of Christ. After all, the Bible is Jesus’ book, and so picking the one he would have us use is certainly something we should do!
Would Jesus use a Bible that gives Satan his own title in Isaiah 14:12?
Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Revelation 22:16 (KJV) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
The NIV gives Satan the title Jesus has plainly reserved for himself:
Isa 14:12 (NIV) How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
Are you okay with that? Do you think Jesus is okay with that? (See this article for more on Lucifer vs the Morning Star.)
McElroy’s book is an excellent addition to the many on the “Which Bible” topic. The tone is easy and conversational, laying out the issues in a manner that makes the answers obvious. In fact, I suspect this will be my new “go to” introductory book for believers new to the topic.
McElroy gives an excellent overview of the preservation and translation of the Bible, presenting a clear and compelling case for why we should trust that the King James Bible is in fact the very word of God without error. His deductive logical arguments are enough to convince any sincere seeker that we can have faith in God’s book as it is preserved to us today.
But he does not stop there — McElroy isn’t afraid to point out the deficiencies of the modern and commonly held definition of inspiration, getting to the heart of the matter and demonstrating that not only do modern experts have a flawed theology of inspiration, with their own words they show that they don’t believe there ever was a perfect “act of inspiration” in the first place.
Even if you’re already a King James Bible Believer and need no convincing, this book is still a great read. I’ve had a public presence on the Internet defending the Authorized Bible for almost 20 years now, and I’ve heard it all. McElroy must have had a peek into my inbox, because all the common “gotcha” questions are here. More importantly, they’re all answered ably.
Yeah? So where was God’s word before 1611?
- The NIV and ESV are no different than the different “revisions” of the KJV.
- So Which Edition of the KJV is perfect? What about the differences between editions?
Now, we know that in the end this is still a matter of faith. After all:
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Any time someone demands “proof” that the King James is God’s word they are seeking to avoid the issue of faith and excuse the egregious errors in their favorite Bible versions. However, it can be (and has many times been) proven beyond any reasonable doubt that modern Bible versions contain error. As McElroy demonstrates with their own writings, modern Bible editors actually believe that imperfection is often a sign of a more genuine reading.
But it’s not enough to demonstrate the corruptions of modern Bible versions, because the question will still remain: why the KJV? There are deductive reasons good enough to answer the sincere seeker willing to place faith in God that he would preserve his word, and Which Bible Would Jesus Use? provides these reasons and more.
Jack McElroy has kindly made chapter 8 of his book available in full here: Why can’t the Lord choose the ©1982 New King James Version?