"To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men's souls are ensnared."--Thornwell
Now, believe it or not, the topic of Bible Versions is one of importance in the life of the Believer. So most certainly, we will discuss the different Versions of the Bible.
Before we begin though, I want to make it clear that I am not here to cry out any hateful words to anyone at all. There are some who may believe that I am, but I am not. I am not seeking to create division, or havoc within the body of Christ. Quite the opposite, because I care deeply for the body of Christ, I wish for the Truth to be known, and told to as many as I can possibly tell it.
Why all this fair warning? Because there is great controversy between Bible Versions actually. And because I am what many claim as a "KJV Only" person (Click here for Questions About "KJV Onlyism"). I did not come to this through being told it by some person. I was not as a kid told, "Look here, these new versions are corrupt. The King James Version of the Bible is the Only Preserved Word of God!" To speak honestly, if I were told that by someone, I probably would not be wanting so badly to tell others about Bible Versions. I would have been given the answers on a silver platter and would probably not feel an urgency to tell others because I would feel that if I were so easily given these answers, then everyone else must already know them too!
But it was not so, I learned and came to believe the Only True and Perfect, Infallible and Inerrant Copy of the Word of God today, is found in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible . . . and I came to know this, by my own research that was started by God putting a hunger for the Truth and letting me know something was wrong with the Modern Bibles. He had me do research, had me study the different versions, comparing verses and doctrines from one version to another. He had me do it alone, and I thank Him for that because it can not be said of me that I am merely repeating what I've been told and taught by others. Though it is very important that we do teach all truths we may know, to others. Otherwise we risk their never learning it, when we could have helped them dearly.
Now, when I was younger, I read at first the New International Version. When I did read it though, I felt nothing from it. I had a hard time reading it, I actually had to force myself to read it! I believe many people feel that way, perhaps from reading Modern Versions . . . maybe because they simply may not like to read! However, after forcing myself to read the NIV for a while, God led me to the King James Version. I was at first a little worried because the King James Version was supposed to be harder to read. So I prayed each time I read, that I would get the proper understanding of what He really said, and truly He did help me. It is important to pray before you read the Word of God!
After starting to read the KJV, I found an eagerness to read more. I didn't have to force myself to read it. It had such beautiful and unique words not used in the world's everyday talk. And I also started to grow so much more than before! All thanks to God though, without Him, we cannot grow spiritually at all!
At the same time, God revealed to me certain things, and I looked at the different versions of the Bible (First one being the NIV, which I readily had and was familiar with already). I daily looked at and compared different verses of God's Word, among different Versions of God's Word. It's easier to have a "Comparative Study" type of Bible with different versions side by side, to do this! I didn't at the time, but now I do now (Whew! Thank God for that)!
Now, as we look at the different versions, I want you to be assured that I am not putting this information to spread my own belief. Rather, as is all the information on this website, it is put because it is Truth. If I find that my personal beliefs are not true or are unbiblical, I'll admit it, and I most certainly will forsake them for the Real Truth found in God's Word.
Considering all this, do not think that I hate those who use other versions! Do not think that I believe absolutely NOTHING good can come from other versions (I myself was not brought to salvation by reading a KJV, but another Bible. And Remember, I first started out by reading the NIV). Rather, I truly love others whether or not they read the KJV. I will not fight with them, bickering and arguing. I will state the Truth, and leave it at that, and then continue loving them, but still holding onto that which is true. The "Bible Version Questions" or "Controversy" as some call it . . . I see it as a matter of One Sword being whole, the Sword of the Spirit, and many others having cracks in it that make it weaker. Do we hate one who uses one sword, and love the other? Definitely not! But if we did love the person holding the sword, we would tell them about it wouldn't we? Love demands it. I'm not against the person using a Modern Version of the Bible, I merely want to tell that person, of the mistakes, contradictions, and corruptions within that version---to try to help that person and warn him or her!
Now, with all that said, let's actually get on with the Information, shall we?In handling ALL versions . . .
New King James Version
The Amplified Bible
New International Version
Now . . .
The King James Version
Now, some ask about the footnotes. If something is removed from the Bible, and placed in a footnote, is that good enough? Most certainly not. This causes one to doubt if God really said that thing. Also, many times references are in the footnotes which say, "The oldest manuscripts don't include . . ." This causes one to cast a shadow of doubt upon what they are reading as well. Basically, footnotes pretty much take the focus off God's word, most of the time for the worse.
Another thing so many people speak of, is the use of more than one version for Bible Study. While it is a decent thought, I have to say it is a bad idea to do so. Very often it is done to try to "get a better picture of what God meant." God would not have us use something that is corrupted, to show us what He meant. Use the Pure, True, and Perfect Word of God, to know what God meant. It isn't even good to use Lexicons or such in Bible Study. Yes, I have many shelves full of Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries, books on Biblical History, and so many others about the Bible. But I don't use them to help me study the Word of God (I use them purely for Research purposes). Why go to men's words for help, which--concerning Lexicons and other versions--lie many times and twist the Word of Truth, when I can simply pray and study the Word of God itself? Don't use multiple versions for Bible study. Do you use multiple swords which are cracked, weak, and feeble, in addition to your Mighty Sword of the Spirit? No, the other swords will get in the way. Rely on the One Sword which has proven itself to be True and Pure! Rely on the One True and Pure Bible which has proven itself to be the Word of God in its Truth!