“If the foundations be destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”
By Ed Pfenninger
Used by permission
This Sunday, in churches throughout the
United States, the minister will enter the pulpit.
He will ask the congregation to open their Bibles to a particular verse. He will read the verse, asking the church to read along with him. More than likely, the Bible he and those in the pews will be using will be the King James Bible (1611). The congregation will eagerly follow along with the reading, only looking up to listen to the minister explain the text. If, however, that minister has graduated from one of the major ‘conservative’ seminaries in the United States, it is likely he will begin with a comment such as, “…A better reading would be…”, or, “…The original language translates this way…”, or, “…This reading is not in the better manuscripts.” The person in the pew, looking down at the pages of his Bible, will wonder to himself, ‘What am I reading…Am I reading the same words he’s reading…Are these the words of God?’
Thus, the poisoning of the soul begins. Leaven has entered in and begins its insidious work of doubt, apathy, fear and rejection. The minister himself may be unaware of what he has just done. Having been schooled in the Biblical languages and Textual Criticism, he firmly believes that, although there are no perfect translations, the King James included, the Bible is the ‘Word of God’ – as given by God in the Originals. Could he be wrong? Hadn’t he learned from ‘godly’ men at a conservative, doctrinally sound school? He had trusted them. That was his big mistake. He did not know that he was being deceived. He did not know that they were participants in a secret war to destroy the very foundations of the Church’s faith…the faith in the written words of God – the King James Bible.
To understand how this deception began, we must go back to the early Church. When the
Roman Empire finally broke up at the end of the 5th century, two separate empires basically remained that dominated the world. Western Europe formed the core of the Western Empire, while Eastern Europe along with the Middle East formed what became known as the Byzantine Empire in the east. In the west, Latin was the language that was used. In the east, Greek would be the dominant language. For many centuries, the Byzantine Empire in the east would remain intact and with it the preservation of God’s Word in the Greek texts. In the west, God preserved His Word in what came to be known as the ‘Old Latin’, which had been drawn from the Greek texts. In the west, however, Satan began to counter the Truth preserved in the Old Latin by developing his own translation. Through Jerome (347-419), a translation was developed which came to be known as The Vulgate. The Vulgate – Satan’s counterfeit – was based on corrupted Greek texts. Nevertheless, it became the ‘bible’ of the Roman Catholic Church. Like the pagans before her, the Roman Church did all it could to destroy the true words of God. As a result, only small pockets of true believers remained in the West. They protected the pure text in the Old Latin translations. The Vulgate, however, through the Roman Church, became the bible that dominated Europe during the Middle Ages. This was the true reason that this period would come to be known as the ‘Dark Ages’, for darkness did indeed reign. It seemed as though Satan had Western Europe under total control. However, although the light of God’s Truth had been dimmed…it had not been put out! Indeed, Satan would be totally unprepared for the burst of Light that was about to sweep over Western Europe.
Near the end of the 15th century, the Eastern half of the old Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, fell to the Moslems, resulting in a flood of scholars into
Western Europe. As a result, God’s words preserved in the Greek now found their way back into Western Europe. These Greek texts became known as the Textus Receptus, or the Received Text. Armed with these texts, the greatest genius of his age, Erasmus (1466?-1536), put together the first Greek New Testament. It would be this Greek New Testament, along with other Textus Receptus readings and some of the Old Latin, that would be the foundation of the King James Bible. It was the Textus Receptus that was used by Martin Luther (1483-1546), the father of the Protestant Reformation, to translate the Bible into German. Eventually, despite all efforts by Rome to stop it, translations were being made into almost every language in Western Europe. The people of Europe again had a pure Bible to read in their own language! For the English, however, God had something special planned. Since it would be their language – English – that would dominate the world in the last remaining centuries before Christ’s return, it would be an English Bible that would become the standard for all other translations. Hence, the uniqueness of the King James Version.
In 1611, King James of
England gave his stamp of approval to the Bible that he had authorized. It was the 7th major translation into English following the translations of Wycliff, Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthews, the Great Bible and the Geneva Bible. As such, it would be as ‘silver…purified seven times’. The translators themselves were unaware of the perfection of their work. They believed it to be the perfect Word of God, built on the great translations that had proceeded them. What they did not know…what they had no way of knowing…was that this final Bible for the ages. would be God’s.
As with the previous translations, however, criticism immediately arose. There were certain factions that felt the translation did not do justice to their particular predilections (e.g., using the word ‘baptism’ instead of ‘immersion’, etc.). For a number of years the sniping continued. Slowly, but methodically, the AV 1611 – later known as the King James Version – became the dominant translation of the English speaking world. The older translations were reverently set aside. Believers recognized the life and power of the translation. The Church now had its Bible. This was the Bible that God intended the English speaking world to have. What they did not know – but what God foreknew – was that they would be the ones to take this Bible to every corner of the world, spreading the Gospel to the farthest ends of the earth. For over two centuries the KJV swept the globe. Wherever the Book was carried, first by the English and later the Americans, missions, revival, and evangelicalism followed. Where the Book was taught, local churches came on fire for the Lord, preaching His Word, obeying His mandates, loving His Person.
However, Satan did not sleep while his world was attacked by the Truth. He would be patient, however, for he knew the right time would come to destroy the Book. He had attempted to destroy it through eradication during the reign of the Roman Catholic Church. He had almost succeeded. He would now have to employ a different tactic. He would bring about the creation of a text with leaven added to compete with the King James Version. Satan is the master counterfeiter. He attempts to duplicate everything God creates. It would be no different with the Bible. Thus, there would be two Bibles competing with each other – one from God and one from Satan. This type of counterfeit had worked well in the past. Satan was sure it would work again.
As the 19th century drew to a close, Satan launched his brilliant counterattack. Satan knew that the KJV was too firmly entrenched in the heart of the Church to be rooted out with a direct assault. He knew that to remove the confidence people had in the KJV would take time, patience and cunning. He formulated a plan to create confusion about the Book. He would raise up questions about the Book. He would find a way to cause people to wonder whether these really were the words of God; to ask how one could really be sure. He knew doing so would cause the Church to doubt the individual believer’s ability to understand the Book. He knew that this would ultimately create a ‘need’ for someone to interpret the true words for the Church. A specially trained class of scholars would be needed. There would rise up a special Protestant ‘priesthood’. Only they would be able to truly decipher the ‘real’ words of the Bible. This would successfully undermine one of the central tenets of the Reformation – that each believer is himself a priest, and it would, in turn, create even greater doubt about the purity of the Bible. Thus, Satan had planned, it would only be a matter of time before the Book would be set aside and ignored.
To aid in the accomplishment of his goals, Satan did all he could to bring about philosophies and schools of thought that would provide the fertile intellectual environment in which to plant his seeds of doubt. During the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, rationalism and empiricism came to dominate the universities
and the seminaries. Man began to doubt any truth not derived from the physical sciences. Satan’s time had come. He would put an end to this great threat, the King James Bible. The counterfeiting began. Satan found two men who would bring his counterfeit bible back into dominance. Enter Westcott and Hort.
These men, Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort, devised an ingenious theory that quite literally ‘put darkness for light, and light for darkness’. As one writer aptly describes what happened, “(b)y their evil genius of textual criticism Westcott and Hort overthrew the traditional Received Text (TR) from its undisputed 1500-year supremacy, and replaced it with their doctored Greek Text which, seated in the chair of authority, became the basis for all modern editions of the Greek New Testament in use today.” Simply put, they replaced the pure Greek texts (used to translate the KJV) with corrupt older manuscripts. These manuscripts were known as the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus. The argument used by Westcott and Hort was clever one. They maintained that the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts were older (3rd century) than the Textus Receptus (4th century), therefore, they must be closer to the Originals. They even argued that the Textus Receptus was corrupt, being a combination of manuscripts that had been devised from the older Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Their conclusion was that scholars should reject both the Textus Receptus and the King James Version along with it!
Their argument was a specious one. Even if the manuscripts supporting the TR were written in the 4th century (one century later than the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus), it does not follow that they do not represent the best reading of the Originals. A better argument, if one is to use logic as a guide, is that if the TR were being used as Bibles, they would be wearing out and, therefore, they would need replacing. Hence, the more recent copies. In other words, a reasonable person could conclude that the Textus Receptus had been copied more recently because the older ones had worn out from use! Thus, the 4th century manuscripts (TR) should actually be considered to be in the direct line of the Originals since they had been received and used by the Church as the Scriptures. In fact, this is exactly what has been proven. The Textus Receptus has been found preserved in 2nd century papyrus and in the writings of the 3rd century Church Fathers. The Vaticanus and Sinaitcus, on the other hand, owe their preservation to the simple fact that they were not used as Bibles, and thus ignored! Hence, their preservation.
The scheme to overthrow the KJV has not gone unchallenged. A number of contemporary scholars saw through the ruse. Dean John William Burgon, one of the greatest experts in the study of manuscripts, stated that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were the “most scandalously corrupt…most shamefully mutilated…depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings, ancient blunders, and intentional perversions of Truth—which are discoverable in any known copies of the Word of God.” However, despite the resistance of many godly men who could see the danger coming, most conservative scholars strangely accepted the Westcott-Hort theory. As a result, today in conservative seminaries these manuscripts are regarded as the ‘better, more reliable’ ones. These ‘better manuscripts’ have served as the basis for many new Bible versions, starting with the Revised Standard Version (RSV) in 1881 through and including the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV) and the New King James Version (NKJV). The NKJV is not a version of the Authorized King James Version of 1611 and it carries many of the same corrupt readings as the NASB, the RSV and the NIV. These new versions of the Bible are being recommended by conservative ministers!
Has Satan succeeded in his attack on the King James Bible? To some extent, yes. However, the KJV is still the largest selling Bible today despite the fact that, unlike the other versions, it does no advertising whatsoever. Damage, however, has indeed been done. Fewer and fewer people read their Bibles. They have been taught by their Pastors who, in turn, were taught by their seminary professors that there is no perfect translation. Thus, they do not have the confidence to search the Scriptures. Indeed, if one maintains today that there is only one true Bible – the King James Version – that person is castigated and marginalized as a member of the ‘King James Only Cult’! It is shocking how far we have fallen. To believe that God not only preserved His Word but His words is now viewed as ‘extreme’ or ‘odd’. Moreover, this view is not only held by liberal theologians, it is also held by many conservative theologians…Men who adhere to the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Original manuscripts (which are gone)…Men who accept all 66 books of the Bible and who believe that God Himself preserved these books and gave us the exact number He wanted us to have. These are the same men who refuse to believe that an Omnipotent God could preserve the exact words in those Books! They reject the idea that this same God could raise up translators who would copy down the texts and translate them as He wanted them translated!
As a result, these conservative ‘scholars’ believe that they, in fact, have the right to change the translation that God has given us in the KJV, even while admitting they have no objective criteria with which to do so! In other words, they believe that they can stand in judgement on the Book which is their judge. They refuse to accept the idea that there can be a perfect translation. But could not a perfect
God create a perfect translation? These so-called scholars maintain that there are errors in the KJV. Where are these errors? This should prompt a reasonable person to ask ‘if they know there are errors then they should be able to correct them and, thus, give us a perfect Bible, right?’ Wrong they say. They maintain that we can never have a perfect Bible. Yet still, they attempt to reassure the Church that each new version is ‘closer’ to being perfect. And, they suggest, even if it isn’t perfect, we should not worry for they will be here to tell us the correct translation! In other words…do not trust your Bibles…trust them! Trust them to recommend so-called Bibles which cast doubt on God’s words with brackets, footnotes, omissions, additions and distortions. Their attitude towards the King James Bible, and truth itself, is aptly summed up by Dr. Peter Ruckman who writes, “If necessary, they (‘they’ includes every translation since 1800, bar none) will go against their own manuscripts, use manuscripts that are not written in Greek, place one manuscript against 20, slander a reading in the Receptus where it bolsters the Deity of Christ, change the punctuation and spelling to teach their own doctrines, omit words… refuse to give manuscript evidence for a reading they don’t like and lie about the source and contents of the manuscripts used!”
Satan has waged this secret war against the KJV since the end of the 19th century. While the Church faced outward toward the world, attempting to complete The Great Commission, it did not realize that Satan was stealing the Word. Moreover, Satan has used Christian scholars to do it!
What fruit have we seen born or reaped since the Church began to reject the KJV?? The 20th century has been the bloodiest in human history. We have gone through two World Wars (with more to come), seen the rise of Nazism, Communism, Fascism, The Holocaust, genocide, and geometric increases in murders, suicides, and perversions. In addition, we are now facing the rise of ecumenicalism, the New Age movement, philosophical relativism and a Biblical illiteracy rate that rivals that of the Dark Ages. The rejection of the KJV as the Church’s final authority has indeed, reaped a bitter harvest. Pastor Tow has insightfully observed, “Westcott and Hort, servants of Satan and doctors of deceit, sold the world their masterpiece of deception, their Greek New Testament, out of which the poison of false doctrine has seeped into a hundred modern English versions, and through them, into a multitude of translations around the world.”
Is there an antidote to the poison that has infected the Church? Yes. Believers must accept nothing except the King James Version 1611. Ministers must reject all temptations to correct it, to change it, to rewrite it or to modify it. Ministers must simply teach from it, preach from it, and proclaim the Book for what it is – God’s perfect gift of revelation.
“Every word of God is pure.”
Published by Charis Theological Seminary
Appendix A: Examples of Corrupt
 I Kings 13:18.
 The term, Textus Receptus, is often attributed to a statement made in a Greek New Testament published by Elzevirs in 1633. The preface of that edition stated in Latin that the reader now held in his hands ‘textum…receptum’, or the Received Text. Thus, the Greek text of the KJV became known as the ‘Textus Receptus’. The term itself, that this was the ‘Received Text’ of the Church was a true one and it had been accepted by the Church because the Holy Spirit gave witness to it.
 I John 5:7.
 Psalms 12:6.
 Hebrews 4:12.
 Matthew 13.33.
 James 3:16.
 Rationalism is a philosophical position that holds that reality can only be deduced through mathematical processes. Empiricism is the view that all knowledge is obtained through experience. Although both views opposed each other, they both denied the idea that truth could be obtained through Biblical revelation. Hence, each made Man – not God the center of the universe.
 Isaiah 5:20.
 Pastor S. H. Tow, p. 1688, The Defined King James Bible, The Bible For Today Press, 1998.
 Footnote to be added.
 The Revision Revised, Dean John Burgon, Dean Burgon Society Press, pp. 1-110, cited in Defined Bible, p. 1688.
 The New King James Version (NKJV) is probably the most deceptive of all the new bibles. It tries to pretend that it is an updated version of the 1611 King James Version and that it uses the Textus Receptus as its text. Yet, it still mixes leaven in with the pure Word by using readings from the Critical Text of Westcott and Hort. It’s endorsement by many conservative ministers such as Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rodgers add to the danger that it might grow in popularity.
 It is interesting to note that the text of the King James Version cannot itself be copyrighted. Only notes, study guides, concordances, etc., added to the version allow for a copyright. The text itself of the KJV can be duplicated without violating any copyright. All of the new versions, however, claim copyright over the actual words of God in their versions and, although many associated foundations, etc., to the publishing companies are stated to be non-profit, these versions result in massive profits.
 Acts 17:11.
 One of the ways that some ministers defend their belief in the inerrancy of Scripture while rejecting the idea of a perfect translation is to say they believe that God has given us the Word of God (capital W) meaning not the words but the message. This is neo-orthodoxy.
 See A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce Metzger, German Bible Society, 1975, p. xxviii.
 Hebrews 4:12.
 The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series, The Book of Matthew, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, Pensacola Bible Institute, p. 692.
 Mark 4:15.
 See Defined Bible, p. 1689.
Deuteronomy 8:3 (King James Bible)
3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Matthew 4:4 (King James Bible)
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.