“Is the Word of God on planet earth today? If so, where is it? Why do the modern versions read so differently from all the older English versions?”
After 62 pages, I abandoned reading the book, Which Version is the Bible? by Floyd Nolen Jones. Basically, the book reads to me as a defense of the King James-only belief — a belief held by many that the King James Authorized Version is one of the only true and accurate translations into English of God’s holy word. There are other acceptable English translations, but none of our modern translations (NIV, NASB, RSV, NLT) are acceptable to those who hold this King James-only belief. We have been attending a King James-only fundamentalist baptist church, and I wanted to understand the nature of this belief because I was raised on the NIV and have found pleasure in reading the NASB.
Most of the pages I read were filled with comparisons of sections of scripture from the KJV and one of the more modern versions, to demonstrate the alleged omission or addition. For instance, Colossians 1:14 reads in the KJV, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” whereas in the NIV it reads, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” The point being that the NIV has completely removed Christ’s blood from the redemptive process. Another example is in Matthew 9:13, where the KJV reads, “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” and the NIV reads, “for I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
The point made by the author is that God promised to preserve His word to us and that the KJV is that preserved word. All of these newer translations are based on an adulterated version of the Greek text. My thought is that the deletions that the author perceives could be additions from scribes over the years. It is true that there are words that disappear between the KJV and the NIV, but could this not be words that were added by scribes in an effort to make the word of God clearer? Or just because it seemed appropriate to the scribe, it seemed like those words belonged? In any event, the author started to launch into a discuss of Erasmus, Hort, and Westcott, a discussion I probably would have had a hard enough time following had I believed there was a problem, a discussion which I found it wholly impossible to follow given my lack of conviction that a problem exists.
In the end, I must do as the pastor of the church I currently attend said. I must pray on it and listen to God. God is not convicting me that there is a problem with the Bible I choose to read. In the end, I was saved while reading the NIV. If the KJV is a more accurate translation, it is not the only translation that has a claim to having led thousands of people to Christ.