I have been a Christian since 2010 and from that time on I collected a few versions of the Bible in English and in Polish. Within a few months I came to a conclusion that the most reliable Bible version for the English speaking people is the Authorized King James Version. It is not my intention to fight the Christians who use other versions. If you are saved by grace through faith in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, there is no difference which version of the Bible you study. However, I believe that, if you understand the history of the Scriptures and the dangers hidden behind the corruption of the modern versions, sooner or later you will come to the same conclusion, as many born-again Christians, that the King James Bible is both the inspired and the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people.
Byzantine Text Line (Textus Receptus):
Antioch – Apostles – Martin Luther Bible (1534 A.D.) – King James Bible (1611 A.D.) – Gdansk Bible (1632 A.D.)
The New Testament books were written shortly after the time when Jesus of Nazareth walked on the Earth, within the first century. In order to spread the Word of God, Christians were making copies. They didn’t have printing machines, so they had to make hand-written copies of the Scriptures, which took several months. There was a very sophisticated error checking system. Whenever an error was found, the copy would be burned, so they had to be very careful to do it in the right way. From the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Christians were persecuted, so they were making and spreading the copies of the Scriptures throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Every book in active use in not going to last more than several decades. The same thing happened to the original scrolls of the Bible. Because they were continually in active use, while reading or copying, after several decades they eventually wore out. However, by that time hundreds of exact copies of the original Scriptures were made. After several centuries Christians made thousands of exact copies of original scrolls. These exact copies of the original books of the Bible were called Textus Receptus (Received Text).
In the 16th century the reformation started by Martin Luther enabled Christians to get more access to Textus Receptus. In 1534, in Germany, Martin Luther translated the New Testament of the Bible into German from Textus Receptus. Around the same time, a few Bibles based on the same Greek text were translated into English, that is: William Tyndale Bible in 1525, Geneva Bible in 1560 and Bishops Bible in 1568. Finally, during the reign of King James I English scholars gathered over 5000 copies of the Scriptures and found that there were no differences between them except those in spelling like Peter and Pedro or John and Juan. In 1611, the King James Bible was made by 47 scholars whose major reliance was on Textus Receptus. They also had access to Hebrew, the remaining Greek and Latin texts of the Bible. In Poland, Gdansk Bible was made in 1632, which relied also on the same type of Greek manuscripts. This is the history of the Bible deriving from the copies of the original manuscripts. The place which was the springboard for the early church was Antioch. It became a centre to Gentile Christians, from where the apostle Paul started his missionary journeys. In the Book of Acts we read:
… And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. (Acts 11:26)
God always keeps His promises. He promised to preserve His Holy Word for future generations. We owe a great debt to our church fathers, who were tortured and murdered for spreading the Gosple of Christ in speech and in writing. A debt which we cannot pay. We thank You, Heavenly Father, that you filled our church fathers with unimaginable courage, so that now we, Christians, in the end times, can study the everlasting Word of God and embrace the awesome truth about Creation and Redemption fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Alexandrian Text Line: Alexandria – Clement & Origen – Vaticanus & Sinaiticus (331 A.D.) –
– Vulgate (382 A.D.) – Westcott & Hort Greek N.T. (1881 A.D.) – Modern Versions
While Christians were spreading and copying the Scriptures thoughout the world, the corruption of the texts started. In Egypt, there was a group calling themselves Alexandrians. They decided to makee their own version of the Bible. They took the original manuscripts and made a careful counterfeit. They changed the verses they didn’t like and expurgated some fragments. Just like Jehovah’s Witnesses today, they wanted everybody to think they were Christians, but in fact they were not. Alexandria was a centre of intellectualism. However, it was also noted as a place where every deviant sect was represented. Religious corruption and false doctrines like Arianism, Gnosticism and pagan philosophy influenced the corruption of the original Scriptures.
Two major representatives of Alexandrian cult were Clement and Origen. Clement (150 – 215 A.D.) aceepted Greek philosophy and the Apocrypha as divinely authoritative. He believed that salvation could be obtained through various means including baptism, faith and works etc. Origen (184 – 254 A.D.) denied the Bible’s historicity eternal punishment, the Holy Spirit’s eternality and salvation by grace. He was given to the allegorizing of the original Scriptures. In 331 A.D. two copies of Alexandrian corrupted manuscripts were made: Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. They disagree with each other in over 3000 places in the Gospels alone (H.C. Hoskler’s, Codex B and its Allies). In 382 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church ordered translation of those corrupted manuscripts into Latin. In 1582 and in 1610 the New Testament and the Old Testament in English was made respectively. It was made by the Jesuits and introduced as Rheims – Douay Bible. In 1881, two people: Westcott and Hort came along and made the Greek translation called Revised Version, also deriving from Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts. Westcott and Hort were both apostates.
Westcott did not accept Genesis 1-3, bodily resurrection of Christ, His miracles and literal Second Coming. …
Hort did not accept the infallibility of the Scripture. He also favoured Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Both men did not believe in eternal punishment or the vicarious atonement. (Life & letters, 1896, 1903)
This Revised Version forms the basis for all modern translations of the Bible like: ASV (American Standard Version), RSV (Revised Standard Version), NIV (New International Version), Jehovah’s Witness Bible. The first mention of the Alexandrians in the Bible is in Acts 6:9:
Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians,
and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
And, as in the early days of Christianity, the people disguised as Christians were disputing with Stephen, the real Christian and the first martyr of Christ, people argue today with the real Christians teaching false doctrines of men from the corrupted versions of the Bible. It is interesting that the apostle Peter warns us againts the corruption of the Scriptures:
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16)