I almost hesitate to even begin this series, but on the other hand, I feel like I "need" to as a result of some things I've written on this blog in the past. I've realized that it's time to "set the record straight," (as far as my view point) so as carefully as I know how, that's what I'm going to try to do this week.
Looking back at some of my previous posts, I've mentioned before how I "cringe" at some of the things I've written. Just the other day, I was looking back at a post where I was discussing something that God has completely changed my heart on. I was tempted to delete the entire post, but instead, I added a "NOTE:" at the end describing my current feelings. I like to look back and see how God has worked in my life, but I don't want to be a stumblingblock to anyone either, so I felt it necessary to add an "addendum" just in case anyone should ever have an occasion to read it.
In this particular post, I was talking about Bible versions and how the many different versions are to blame for the many different churches, false doctrines, etc. I now clearly see that was a statement made out of ignorance. While there may be some funky versions out there that are just wrong, I have now come to believe that the most popular ones that people are using (NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV among others) are not to be counted in that number.
In another post, I commented about how an author of a particular book had confused me by using so many different Bible versions to prove her points. I now have a better understanding of why she did that.
This topic is going to have to be divided up into a few different posts so I don't overwhelm anyone who cares to read on, and I'll start with a bit of the story here.
The only churches I've attended in my life have been small Southern Baptist churches or independent Baptist churches. It is mainly within these denominations (of course there are others, but these are the main ones - and to be fair, there are probably some that don't fit into this category either) that you will hear the "KJV Only" discussions or see the "KJV 1611" on their church signs. Those are the churches that I've been a part of. These churches have been huge blessings in my life, and I'm not taking away from any of that. I'm just saying that "KJV only" is the usual stance taken. So, that's all I've ever known. At one church, D.A. Waite did a week long seminar about the whole subject, so after hearing all he had to say, I was pretty much set for life as far as my "chosen" Bible version.
Along the way, I would hear preachers and teachers and meet with women that I greatly respected who were using different versions, and I would question why they were doing so but never really enough to look deeper into it.
A couple of years ago, we began reading websites, studying books, and listening to sermons by men like John Piper, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, etc. During their teaching, they would use NASB, NKJV, ESV, etc., and having come to respect these men as men who were strong in their teaching of doctrine and presenting the "whole counsel of God," I was questioning - "now how are they doing this without using the KJV?"
So, Brad and I approached our pastor about this subject, and as always, he was able to give us all the information we were seeking.
Now, I could have just started using the other versions without having a good reason except that men and women I respected were using them, but I needed to know for sure that it was "okay" first. I'm not one to do things just because others are doing it. I need to know that it is okay with God.
So, he and his family invited us over for supper one evening, and afterwards he brought out several books and also had copies of several different Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. In the space of a few hours, he gave us a quick lesson in how the new versions have been translated, and to add to the information he had provided, he also recommended two books for us to read. We purchased both, and I am almost finished with one of them "The King James Only Controversy" by James R. White (interestingly, he cites many quotes by D.A. Waite).
As I've been studying this through, I have to say it has been like a burden that I didn't even know I had has been lifted. When your KJV only, you are caught up in a very emotional issue. And let me just say that I think it is okay to be KJV only, but I no longer think it is okay to say that everyone should be that way and that the other versions are wrong and only the KJV is right. Over the next few posts, I'm going to share with you how God changed my heart on this issue. There were some particular reasons why I never wanted to use any other version - things I had been taught - and I want to share the other side of this story.