Terry Joe Kee
The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, plenary inspired Word of God. We are so fortunate to have given into our hands the revealed mind of God. The only way for anyone to know what is in the mind of another is to have that one reveal it to him. No one can know the mind of God except God reveals Himself. The Holy Spirit has searched out the mind of God and revealed it to us in words (1 Cor. 2:9-14). The Bible is God’s means of revealing Himself to man.
The Bible is inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The word inspired means “God-breathed.” What gives life to the words of the Bible is God having breathed into it. Adam was formed from the dust of the ground and lifeless until God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God has breathed into the words of His revelation, life. The Hebrews writer says the Word of God is “quick [living], and powerful” (Heb. 4:12). The sixty-six books which comprise the Bible are alive.
Life can only come from life. Dead matter cannot produce life. Neither can a dead Bible produce spiritual life. The only way for a man to be spiritually alive today is to obey the life-giving Word of God. If we take that which is alive and healthy and insert into it poison, it will decay and die. It matters greatly what version of the Bible I read, study, recommend and obey. Whenever fatal, damnable error is inserted into the text of the Word of God and men obey it, they are fatally wounded and damned.
The danger of the modern versions is their subtlety. Surely, there are out-and-out blatant errors in them, but perhaps more damaging are their subtle changes in the text. Error is not commonly accepted immediately, but gradually over a period of time. When churches begin to stray from the Truth and bring in mechanical instruments of music; have solos, choirs, and choruses; women leading prayers, or leading singing, or waiting on the Lord’s table; teach that salvation is totally and completely of God without man “adding one whit” to his own salvation; salvation by grace alone; the non-necessity of baptism; and on and on the list can go; it must be because we have lost our respect for the Word of God and divine authority.
One of the most devastating weapons the Devil has used is perverting the Word of God. He simply, subtly inserted into God’s Word a little “not” and caused Adam and Eve to die and be cast from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:4). He tried this with Jesus (Matt. 4:5-7), but Jesus answered by quoting Scripture and refusing to be taken in by Satan’s perversion of the text of God. Oh to God, that our brethren would follow the lead of our Lord and not be taken in by perversions of the inspired Word of God.
When these versions began coming onto the market in the forties and fifties many brethren openly opposed and condemned them. In the 70s and 80s Satan quit trying to convince mature, faithful Christians to accept these perversions of the sacred text and began aiming them at our young people. Elders and Bible class teachers wanted to encourage young people to read their Bibles and handed out these modern versions to them, no doubt thinking they would encourage reading and studying of the Bible. Churches have sown to the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind! We have reared a generation which knows not God and has no concept of Bible authority or how it is ascertained. Further, some of those preachers who supported these versions quietly in the early years now openly endorse them, because they have established a base of support among our young folks. Study the history of liberalism in the churches of Christ and see if it does not parallel the rise of modern versions among us!