In the introductory message, I touched on a topic that I would like to spend some time expounding upon. Like you, over the years, I too have found myself reading from several bible translations in the name of getting a better understanding of what I am reading. I probably have a copy of every translation known to man…give or take a few. However, I now only read from one translation, and that is the King James Version. What???? You say!!! That translation with thees and thous and begats…who in their right mind could ever understand anything written in that bible you say. Trust me, I felt the exact same way! Now, I read it as fluently as when reading the other versions and love every minute of it. My twelve and eight year old read and love it too! I would like to spend a few minutes sharing why I switched and why I will never read any other translation.
Firstly, I not only read the King James version, but I read the original 1611 version from which all other versions were translated. This version does not have the letter ‘J’ (which did not come into existence until about five hundred years ago), and an ‘s’ in the middle of a word is written as ‘f’, such that Genesis is written Genefis and Isaiah is written Ifaiah. Even with these seeming complexities, it is a joy to pick up and read daily. Why the 1611 version? Well, this is actually the fully complete bible. This version includes the fourteen books that have been taken out of all other versions. These books are called the Apocrypha and were taken out by those in religious leadership several years ago. The reason cited for them being taken out…they are not inspirational and not about Christ. My question is, who really has the right to tell me what they think is inspirational or not when it comes to the bible? According to 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Can someone explain to me why these fourteen books don’t make the cut? Something to consider, in the bible the book of Esther has ten chapters, with the tenth chapter only having three verses. No other book in the bible has only three verses. In the Apocrypha, there is a book called ‘the rest of Esther’ (seriously you say? yes…seriously!), and guess where it begins…yep, you got it, chapter ten verse four. How about that for some meddling!
These fourteen books are so rich in information, I am blown away just thinking about it. In it are the details of how the children of Israel made it over to a land where no man dwelt, and are now scattered throughout the world. It also gives a full description of what actually happens to our spirits immediately after we die and the days that follow, and where we eventually spend eternity based on how we lived while here on earth. Those books also hold the mystery of the times and how to truly decipher when the new year begins and when the year ends and so much more. The Apocrypha is not only inspirational, but also educational, excellent for reproof and correction and contains a slew of doctrine, more than you can ever imagine. Our children are being deprived of a very rich and sound foundation and history, and we need to get it back! If you have a relationship with your pastor, I would ask him or her where the rest of Esther is and why they don’t read out of the Apochrypha and listen to their response. For the most part, some responses will be silence because they had no clue such a book existed. Another response will be a spiritually political answer to get out of answering the question altogether, because they do know the book exists, but due to tradition, simply won’t teach from it. Either way, neither answer is acceptable!
The Apocrypha contains the following books, 1st and 2nd Esdras, Tobit, Judith, The rest of Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, The song of the three children, The story of Susanna, The idol Bel and the dragon, The prayer of Manasseh and 1st and 2nd Maccabees. The good news is if you already have a King James version bible, all you need to do is buy an Apocrypha and you have yourself the complete bible. If you don’t have a King James version, then it is quite worth it to invest in a 1611 version so you have all the books in one. A lot of the bible applications on your mobile devices also have the apocrypha available to download and there are pdf versions that can be downloaded off of the internet for free.
Another huge reason for my change in bible version was, missing or should I say verses that are flat out and boldly removed from other versions. Yeah I know you’re thinking its not possible, well I felt the same way too. Open your New International version (or whatever version you currently cannot do without) and look for Matthew 18:11…nope, its not there is it? Try these other ones, maybe you’ll get lucky Acts 8:37, Matthew 12:47, Mathew 17:21, Matthew 21:44, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44, 46 or 1 John 5:7…no luck huh? There are over 20 verses missing from other versions that are clearly in the KJV, and it makes you wonder why they were removed and who authorized it. Some versions have those missing verses in the footnotes. My question is how many of us go looking at the footnotes after every reading session? Once again, a clear cut case of something being meddled with! There are other minor reasons why I read the KJV, but I won’t bore you with those details.
In the meantime, I gently urge you to consider picking up a KJV bible today, and add a Strong’s concordance to it, while you’re at it (there is so much to discover). Till next week!
Shalom and blessings,