A Voice in the
Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. (Psa 119:89)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (Jn 1:1-2)
In the days we live, that which is labeled "christian" is fraught with controversy. This includes differences between versions of Scripture. One respondent whined that he uses "XYZ" and these discussions of translations are "divisive to the body." And then, there's the "KJV-only" crowd, who will reject anybody that is not KJV.
However, consider the "WORD of GOD." This will not be a discussion about translations. My support for NKJV [Link: VW & Translations] has been written in another article, and comments about the "KJV-only" controversy can be found at the Web Site in the "Bible" section.
MOST BASIC, is an understanding of: WHAT IS Scripture? When we understand this, the other arguments are easily answered. And we then understand the source of the conflicts.
"In the beginning was the Word...and the Word WAS God." We find ourselves in the realm of discussions of God's "essence." Who is God? We see that the "Word" was "God." Part of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life...the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."(Jn6:63) And further... "I am the way, the truth, and the life."(Jn14:6) Jesus, in these statements is making a claim about Himself. In one, He says HIS "words" are spirit and life. In the other He says that He, Himself, is "life." Another way to look at it, "He and His words are One." In other words, Jesus' words are part of His "essence."
"For the Word of God is living and powerful...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart...there is no creature hidden from His sight..all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Heb4:12-13) Notice the words here. The Word is a "discerner" and no creature is hidden from "His" sight. How many have mistakenly used this verse to thump the "little printed book" they carry around, not fully realizing that this Book, in a very true sense, repre- sents God's "essence." They are the "words that He speaks." They are "spirit, they are life." The words, themselves...are "one" with Christ.
Do we begin to understand the need to be faithful to Scripture? Faithful to WHAT IT SAYS? If we are not faithful to Scripture, we are not being faithful to God and His essence. If we have "some other word," in the most real sense, we are having "another god." Which, the first Commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Ex20:3)
This is why Jesus could say, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven..whoever does and teaches them..shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.(Mat5:17- 19)
Jesus Himself IS the "fulfillment" of the Law and Prophets, be- cause the words were part of His "essence." This is why He promised TOTAL fulfillment of His Word, because He was speaking about His own attributes. And you notice the solemn comment about disregarding His word...he is labeled "least."
Does it become apparent now, why there is such controversy over versions of Scripture? The controversy is not over pieces of paper with ink printed on them, but rather, about the very "essence" of Christ. This is why Jesus also said, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace...I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Mat 10:32-34)
Jesus promised "controversy." The arguments are not merely about translations, but about God Himself. Why do you suppose the most current versions are so blasphemous, watering down God's deity, and making Him into a gender-neutral wimp? Current versions are easy to spot. But this trend began more subtly...as people got USED-TO change from God's Truth.
If Joseph was Jesus' "father" then Jesus was illegitimate, and not Deity.(Lk2:33) If it is not the "[Holy] Spirit" Who teaches us (1Cor2:13), the door is left wide open for all sorts of "spirit-filled" experiences and "doctrines of demons" [spirits].(1Tim4:1)
Where did Scripture come from? "..holy men of God spoke as they were moved [vehemently propelled] by the Holy Spirit." (2Pet1:20-21) "God is Spirit.."(Jn4:24)
There are solemn warnings about tampering with Scripture. Moses commanded, "You shall not add to the word...nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God."(Deut4:2) John is even stronger, "If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life.."(Rev22:18-19)
There are those who say that some things in Scripture are "more important" than others. A man asked Jesus, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"(Mat 22:36) And Jesus obliged him with a quote from Deut 6:4-5, and then proceeded to berate the hypocrites swarming Him, and concludes, "But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant."(Mat 23:11) These people were not looking for Truth, but to test Jesus. And when He got done with them, they had no more taunts left.(Mt22:46)
We are told, "Every word of God is pure...do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."(Pr30:5-6) Where do liars end up? (Rev21:8)
James writes, For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. (Jas 2:10) And goes on to illustrate that it doesn't matter "which" law one breaks, if "any" law is broken, the WHOLE Law has been trangressed.
We do not have the option to pick and choose "which" parts of God's Word we wish to prefer over another. It is ALL God's Word, and ALL of "equal importance." BECAUSE... it is God's "essence." To say that one part of Scripture carries more weight than another, is to say that some "parts" of God are more or less important than another.
"Your word I have hidden in my heart..."(Ps119:11) When we read and hide God's Word in our hearts, we are fulfilling Christ's words, "Whoever eats My flesh...has eternal life...he who eats My flesh...abides in Me, and I in him...I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven...he who eats this bread will live forever." (~Jn6:54- 58) And Jesus' disciples summed up what He had just been saying, "You have the [WORDS] of eternal life."(vs.68)
When we consider the Deity of Christ, we CANNOT separate His "Person" from His "Word/s." If we start perverting His Word, we are actually perverting the "ESSENCE" of WHO JESUS IS. God warned Moses, "see to it that you make them (objects representing God's "presence" with Israel) according to the pattern which was shown you.."(Ex25:40) "...the copy and shadow of heavenly things..."(Heb8:5)
When we have God's Word, we have "Christ in you, the hope of glory."(Col1:27)