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KJV
 
The King James Bible

Is the book which we know as the Bible, truly God's word?  Has the Bible been kept pure and complete from the time it was written until the present day?  A natural question for any Bible-believing Christian to ask is whether  the very book which tells him of His Lord and Savior contains the precise words which God intended for him to have.  We live in an age which is dominated by evolutionary theory and humanistic thought.  In our present day, it is hard to know what is actually true. Has the Bible been passed down to us through the centuries without error?  Is it still preserved?  If you ask the typical Bible-believer whether he believes in the Biblical doctrine of preservation, the answer will almost certainly be "yes."  Any theologian who truly believes the Bible will aver that the word of God has been preserved.  However, in today's spiritually tepid, compromising environment it is wise to get a clear definition of terms from those who claim to hold to a particular doctrine.  What exactly do scholars mean by "preservation?"  They might mean that the Bible has been preserved in a general sense.  That the sixty-six books we now possess are those God intended for us to have; that the ideas and thoughts of God have been preserved, and perhaps even that every word of God is preserved for us -- somewhere.  Many of these same scholars will frequently make the claim that the Bible was inspired in the original autographs and subsequently "preserved" to some degree, to our present day.  After all, what good is it to have a perfect, inerrant, inspired word of God, if it has not been preserved to the present day?  What does the Bible have to say about its own preservation?  Does God value His word enough to preserve it? 

II. How much does God value His Word?

 

That God places supreme importance upon His written word is abundantly clear. The Lord has revealed this to man by His praise of His word, and by His condemnation of those who would tamper with it. The exaltation of God's word is a theme which runs throughout the Bible. In the 119th Psalm, God's servant, David, continually exalted the Scriptures. He wrote of his "delight" in His testimonies, and implored the Lord to teach him "the way of thy statutes." In the third chapter of 2 Thessalonians, the Bible reads: ".that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified." God's words are to be praised, and revered. The Lord highly esteems His word, elevating its importance even above that of His name. First, consider the following verse:

"If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;  Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses." (Deuteronomy 28:58-59

God's name is glorious and fearful. The penalty for not fearing God's name makes it obvious that He does not take disrespect for His name lightly. In light of the value the LORD places on His name, consider the following:

"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."   (Ps 138:2

The Lord also informed us of His view of His word by giving us three grave warnings to those who would corrupt the Scriptures. God warned against adding to His word:

"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Proverbs 30:5-6)

Note that He also warned would-be correctors that they were not to subtract from His word.

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."  (Deuteronomy 4:2

God gave us the words that He wanted us to have, and we dare not alter them. If we are to keep His commandments, we certainly need to know precisely what they are. Hence, the Lord provided ample warnings to us, so that we might not be tempted to change His words. Lest anyone be confused about the utter foolishness of tampering with the holy word of God, the Lord provided a fearsome final reminder in the last verses of His inspired word:

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Rev. 22:18-19

How can anyone read the preceding without recognizing the immense importance the LORD has placed on His word? God promised to severely punish anyone who adds to His word. Worse, He promised to expunge those who would take away from His words, from the book of life! In this light, should we not highly value the Holy word of the living God?

 

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KJV