Testimonies about Bible Translations by past leaders of Bible Christianity

Topic:   Bible Translations Type:   Articles Author:   W. B. Riley

William B. Riley

Is the King James version absolutely inerrant?

On this point we are inclined to think that, even unto comparatively recent years, such a theory has been entertained. The result, of course, is to make a sort of fetish of the book. That is why, in many a family, it is kept on the center table and seldom used. They do not want to soil its sacredness. Dr. Arthur T. Pierson tells the story of a Karen village into which a travelling Mussulman had come bearing a mysterious book, which he told the Karens [a group of peoples from S and SE Burma] was sacred and entitled to divine honors. It was accepted, and wrapped in muslin and encased in a basket work of reeds, like Moses’ cradle. The mysterious book became deified and venerated . . . . When Boardman came to the village he was asked by the Karens to examine it, and it was found to be the "Book of Common Prayer and Psalms," an Oxford edition in English, and Mr. Boardman, with joy, entered upon its exposition, and like Paul at Athens, declared unto them the true God. And even now in more remote districts, where educational advantages have been few, the history of the Bible is unknown. Of its translation from language to language they have never learned, and yet I think it would be accepted without fear of successful controversy that such fogies in Biblical knowledge are few, and their funerals are nigh at hand.

To be sure, there are multitudes who do not understand that the Scriptures were originally written either in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek; that all the original versions were lost, and that the copies of the New Testament date many years this side of Jesus, and that our Scriptures are translations which have come by the way of the Septuagint and Coptic versions, and have been improved in the passage by Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, and others; that in 1611, seventy of the most scholarly men, at the Kings command, gave us our "authorized version," and that between 1870 and 1885 the Canterbury Revision Committee, made up of a hundred of the world’s most accurate scholars, accomplished the text of the Revised Version. To claim, therefore, inerrancy for the King James Version, or even for the Revised Version, is to claim inerrancy for men who never professed it for themselves; to clothe with the claim of verbal inspiration a company of men who would almost quit their graves to repudiate, such equality with prophet and apostle.

Riley, William B., The Menace of Modernism. 1917, New York: NY, Christian Alliance Publishing Co., pp. 11-13.

Bob Jones, Jr. William B. Riley James M. Gray

Louis Gaussen

R. A. Torrey Charles H. Spurgeon
John Gill

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This Page Last Updated: 12/09/98 A. Allison Lewis aalewis@christianbeliefs.org