Modern Bible Versions – Jerry C. Brewer

Jerry C. Brewer

The longer I live and observe the proliferation of so called “new versions” of the Bible, the more I despise and detest them. I abhor and abominate every one that has come from the presses in the last several decades. There has never been a need for them. Their purpose is, first and last, to make money for their publishers and those publishers are more than willing to print denominational error to make a wider appeal. At the Freed Hardeman Lectures in 1973, G.K. Wallace said, “If denominations cannot find their doctrines in the Bible, they will write them into it.” That is precisely what they have done.

In his book, published about the same time, A Review of The New Versions, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., wrote,

The apologists for the Revised Standard Version and the New English Bible, and other theological books that have been published under the pretext of modern speech translations and versions, have been wont to say that the dogmatic theology of the translators does not affect the integrity of the translations—but that is not true to the facts concerning the pseudo-versions and spurious translations now under review, for their theologcal interpretations pervade their versions and are evident on every page and in every verse of the alterations and changes, omissions and additions, throughout their translations. (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., A Review of The New Versions, Foy E. Wallace, Jr. Publications, 1973, p. 261).

It was the King James Bible that planted the Lord’s church on this continent, was used for centuries to refute denominational error, and has been instrumental in saving the souls of untold millions. Yet, this grand old Bible is the first target of apologists for the new, so called, “Bible versions.” One of the criticisms leveled against the King James Bible is its use of the pronouns “thee” and “thou.” Those pronouns came to be regarded as proper references—or solemn language—when praying to, or addressing Deity, and they still are regarded as such by many of us. But so called “translators” of modern versions who deny the Deity of Jesus Christ have eliminated that form of address and made you (a common address to man) their preferred language. The Revised Standard Version of 1946 stated that they retained the solemn form of address to God, but rendered Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:16 is, “You are…the Son of God,” indicating their denial of Christ as Deity. Of that change, Foy E. Wallace, Jr. wrote,

The rejection of the Deity of Jesus in applying the common pronoun you in Simon Peter’s confession of Matthew 16:16 (and other passages) in reference to Christ. In view of the stated policy of the translators to use Thee and Thou in all references to Deity—their omission of Thee and Thou, and the use of the common pronoun you, in reference to Jesus, is therefore an open renunciation of the Deity of Jesus, a disclaimer that He is divine in the sense of the only begotten Son of God. (ibid, p. 329).

The above is but a small example of the mutilation of the Divine Text to satisfy the theology of those who cannot find their doctrines in the Bible. No “new” Bible was ever needed and none is needed now.

The King James Bible has stood the test of time. It was brought to these shores by English settlers and used by the men who restored the New Testament church in America. Its beauty and diction is unparalleled and its simplicity is such that a child can understand it, yet the ripest of scholars will never plumb its depths. My Great Grandfather preached the Gospel in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia in the late 19th century, using the King James Bible and I have the one my Grandmother (his daughter) used a century ago. If he and his contemporaries, who had far less formal education than we possess today, could understand and obey its precepts, why is it that men today cannot understand it? They can!

As brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. said, These new Bibles “are not new translations. They are no translations.” They are but the dogmas of the sectarian world dressed up as the word of God. They are perversions of the Gospel which will lead men to perdition (Gal. 1:6-9).

The Northeast church in Elk City, Okla. began in 1997 and one of the first policies that the men discussed and decided upon was that no version of the Bible except the King James Version or the American Standard Version would be allowed in our pulpit or classrooms.

So called “new Bible versions” ought to be shunned like the plague and tossed into the garbage, as I was instructed to do when I preached in Texas. The elders in that congregation understood the dangers of the Revised Standard Version which they used for pew Bibles and told me to take them to the garbage. I did, and that’s where all others of their kind belong.

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