Marginal readings in the King James Bible are an interesting window into the translation process. Far from giving license for the reader (or preacher) to substitute words or regard “or” as a synonym for “50-50 coin flip,” they show “possible” translations that the translators ultimately regarded as incorrect for the text. It’s interesting to listen to a preacher “trade” words in the text to make his point only because the word exists in a lexicon entry (among so many others) as if the translators were unaware of the possibility. Unlike today’s armchair translators who run to Strong’s lexicon as if it were a Biblical thesaurus, 47 translators under the guidance of the Holy Ghost actually understood the languages they were working with. If an amature translator changes a word in the text to prove a point he is making, he is subjecting the word of God to his personal theology and has decided that his ability to read a lexicon trumps the learned efforts of translators who could actually speak the language– learned efforts that God has honored with over 400 years of blessing and dissemination.
Eight years is a long time on the internet.
That’s how long it’s been since I did a full site redesign for AV1611.com and the King James Bible Page.
Eight years ago, hardly anyone visited this site with a smartphone.
Now, almost half of all visits are from mobile devices. An eight year-old layout designed for desktop PCs doesn’t make for a great experience on smartphones.
So, I’ve spent the last two weeks completely overhauling AV1611.com with a fresh, clean look for both desktop browsers and mobile devices. I hope you like it! All of the old content is here.
Major updates have especially occurred with the KJV text pages. You can now conveniently browse Bible chapters on a smartphone with no zoom issues.
Also, lots of little fixes and updates to the VerseClick reference tagger were made. In particular, tapping a VerseClick link (like this: Psalm 68:11) doesn’t leave behind an unwieldy pop-up on mobile devices.
Finally, everything has been moved to secure https:// URLs, since Google Chrome is going to start “complaining” about “insecure” sites served over http:// in a few months. If you’re using VerseClick on your web sites, you’ll want to update the script src to the new https URL. See the VerseClick page for the link.
I still have a few more things to do. For one thing, I’d like to ditch the Google-provided site search with a comprehensive ad-free search system hosted on the local server. Hopefully I will get to that in the coming weeks.
So, please let me know if you’ve got any difficulties with the new design. (If anything doesn’t look quite “new,” like it should, hold down CTRL while you click refresh on your browser. It could take up to a week for cached files to get refreshed.)
Once this work is behind me, I hope to work on new content for the site. There is always more to do.
Not to spoil the ending too badly for you, but: nowhere.
Let me back up a bit.
There are a class of questions one hears when discussing the Bible version issue that I call “stumpers.” I use the word derisively, because of course, none of these questions are really stumpers at all. These are questions usually asked as if they end the debate and are rarely posed by someone interested in an honest answer or examination of the question.
Here is a good one:
Where in the Bible does God say the KJV is perfect?
To the uninitiated, maybe this seems like a logical question that any King James Bible proponent must be expected to answer and defend, right? If somebody is telling you the King James Bible is pure, you can just ask this simple question, to which he has no answer, so you can just mosey right along and give the issue of Bible versions nary another thought.
I was informed a moment ago, by someone refusing to answer the very real problems that deleting verses from the Bible represent, that this is “the most important question.”
For a moment, let’s focus on two things we can all agree came long before the King James Bible was translated, or before even Tyndale set out to make ploughboys know more of the Scriptures than the Pope. Before we got there:
- 66 books were written and eventually were adopted as the standard Christian scriptural canon.
- Perfect divine authorship of these books was assumed — we have the general ideas of infallibility and inerrancy because of this.
- Yet, few if any of these books have clear claims of perfection, and some of these books even include claims of personal opinion, like 2Co 8:8 could imply.
So, in the spirit of the question “Where does God say the KJV is perfect:”
- Can somebody show me which verse in the Bible says the book of Jude is Scripture? Or the other 65 books?
- Can somebody show me where these books are each called out as “perfect?”
- Try to do so without begging the question. Citing a verse that says God’s word is pure (Ps 119:140; Pr 30:5) only returns us to the first question.
Don’t misunderstand me. I believe the 66 book canon is correct. I believe all of the text from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 are God’s pure, perfect word. I even take the “extreme” position that God’s hand was in the division of that text into its 31,102 verses of 1,189 chapters, but I digress.
Here is what I am getting at: Can the same guy who demands a Bible verse to state that the King James Bible is perfect show a Bible verse that says the 66 book canon is correct?
No, of course, he cannot. There are no such verses. Period. They do not exist.
But here’s where it gets fun: the same guy will not ask (or answer) these questions:
What verse of the Bible says only the originals are inspired, infallible, and inerrant?
Where does God say that he permits competing, conflicting “versions” in English that are all to be considered equally “the Bible” and chosen based on personal preference?
Where does God say that his word can only be perfect in Greek or Hebrew? Or that it is only to be preserved in those two languages?
Nowhere, of course.
You see, the minister of questions who asks “where does God say the KJV is perfect?” is not consistent in his own thoughts. He is double minded, and we know what that means (well, Bible readers do. James 1:8). He doesn’t care to find a Biblical basis for his ideas that “only the originals are inspired.” He isn’t interested too much in finding a “God-breathed” list of the contents of the Bible so he can know for sure that 2nd Sam 1:18 is supposed to be in the Bible but the book of Jasher that it mentions is not. He doesn’t much care that there are no verses that say God doesn’t involve himself in translations of his word, even though he strongly believes that any translation of the Bible is merely the work of sinful man.
There are, in fact, many verses and precepts in the Bible that address all these issues, and all quite to the contrary of the opinions of the modern versionist. This website is full of such discussions and answers, of course.
Now here is the crux of the matter:
Hebrews 11:6 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.
Start with faith, because without it, your questions are pointless.
And then go here:
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Once you come to the point of faith where you recognize that the book you hold really is God’s word, and therefor must be pure, you don’t need much help “making the leap” calling your Bible perfect. And if you can’t muster the faith to call your Bible PERFECT, maybe you have the wrong one. Nobody calls the ESV or NIV perfect, and for good reason!
Now I already know what many of the “no perfect Bible” proponents will say: “King James Onlysim is man-made doctrine,” or “you aren’t answering the question,” etc., etc. All of the things I point out in this post go right over the heads of people who adamantly refuse to begin from a position of faith on the topic.
You aren’t going to find “a verse” that says “the King James Bible is the Bible in English” because it’s right next to the verse that says which 66 books are supposed to be in the Bible.
And Esther. Where does God say the book of Esther is perfect, let alone part of the Bible? It doesn’t even directly mention God anywhere.
Once you can honestly answer that question, maybe you will be able to handle the really hard ones.
The AV1611.com VerseClick script for webmasters will now work with the https protocol. Webmasters using the VerseClick script to make Bible references automatically hyperlinked on their websites can use the https link to avoid annoying security warnings in web browsers when their site is using SSL.
VerseClick is a free tool for webmasters to use with Bible-related material on their web sites. It’s the same script used on AV1611.com to automatically link verse references for popups. Click here for full details.
We all know that the phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. It’s one of those false proverbs that people who don’t read the Bible think comes from the Bible. But how many phrases do you think you know of the Bible are actually nothing more than phrases spoken by men? Here’s an example, one that I am often asked about in fact:
“The lion and the lamb shall lie down together.”
The convenient alliteration “lion and lamb” is easy to remember. But it is not out of the Bible, at least not as a direct quote. The phrase goes back at most a few centuries and appears in sermons and commentaries, but never as a direct Bible quote. But because of the picture it paints, and the alliteration of the spoken words said, it took hold and many people assume that is a direct Bible quote. So when they read the actual verse, they can be caught off-guard:
Isaiah 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
A lion and a lamb do also appear in one verse in Isaiah 65:25, but again, the Bible paints the picture of a wolf and a lamb together:
Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
The force of memory is so strong that many people have emailed me when reading these verses assuming that something happened to their Bibles because it doesn’t match up with what they have heard preached. “The lion and the lamb shall lie together” is an allusion to verses in Isaiah that appeared in sermons and commentaries, but eventually became remembered as Bible quotes. Here is an example. In a few minutes of research this is the oldest quotation of this phrase I found in the commentaries I have easy access to (there may be others that are older, but this one is certainly the oldest well read use):
“And peace there shall be no end; this respects both the increase and perpetuity of the peace of Christ’s kingdom. The peace of believers, under the Gospel dispensation, is greater than that of the saints under the legal dispensation, whose sacrifices could not remove a consciousness of sin and its guilt; and who, through various laws threatening with death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage; but great is the peace of New Testament saints, through the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, and which may be increased more and more; and in the latter day there will be more peace among themselves; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; the sticks of Joseph and Judah shall be one nor will there ever be any more discord between Jew and Gentile, the lion and the lamb shall lie down together; there will be no more war among the nations, after the battle of Armageddon; and no more persecution, after the slaughter of the witnesses; and this abundance of peace, spiritual and temporal, will be as long as the moon endures, Ps 72:7 and all this will issue in eternal peace in the world to come:…” -John Gill, comments on Isaiah 9:7, 18th century.
Carefully notice that Dr. Gill includes the phrase but does not offer attribution to the Bible for it. Thus we see Gill’s allusion (not quotation) worked its way into collective memory through other speakers and teachers who used the same (non-Bible) phrase.
In 1995 I posted a collection of articles and verse charts to my personal “home page” space provided by my internet service at the time. I called it, quite unimaginatively, The King James Bible Page. “Page” referred to the web page itself.
Fast-forward almost 20 years. The site has gone through many redesigns and changed domain names twice. Some of you may even remember a brief period where AV1611.com offered a public email service, where you could have firstname.lastname@example.org. For a while there was a public forum. Through it all, the title and core has stuck. Even after acquiring the AV1611.com domain name, and adding features such as a KJV dictionary, an Online Bible, and VerseClick, the primary title is still the same: The King James Bible Page.
But more importantly, and to the point of this post: the structure of the substance of the site has not changed. It’s always been a collection of articles and FAQs about the Bible version issue.
This is a good format, but it has always presented a barrier to adding shorter or different formats of content. Posting one or two paragraphs, or a video, just doesn’t fit well with an article structure.
So begins the new AV1611.com blog. The articles, FAQs, and other features will remain, but adding new content (with the will and blessing of the Lord) will become more frequent. Also, as time permits, I plan to record and post a series of videos, which can be easily embedded here.
More to come soon!