Which bible should we use? They all work, but....

The "New" King James version of the bible is supposedly made 
so it is clearer to understand;  But what is the real truth?
Also see http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/defense1.txt   and 
http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/defense2.txt  for more information  
on this important issue. 

A very thorough treatise on the history of bibles down through the centuries can be found at the Stewarton Bible School site. He says the 1611 King James is the only bible today that contains the most correct translation directly from  Hebrew and Greek scrolls. http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sbs777/vital/kjv/kjvbook.html

You can download a 1611 KJV Bible for free  here 
and at http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/download.htm
and see a whole list of places to get free bibles  here 

You can access a free easy to read KJV bible online  at www.justbible.com  

Go to here to buy a good inexpensive 1611 King James Bible. This page also has a great list of words found in the bible not in common use today and their meanings. Redefining some of these words in the NIV versions today wouldn't be bad if they didn't change context and intent at the same time. Also see 

Another opinion - One of my friends who is VERY on top of all this; he's like a walking theological encyclopedia,  says the bible he likes best for both correct scriptural content and understandability  is the New Revised Standard Version. 

He says, "I have, in the past, spent MONTHS studying the KJV controversy.  I started out with reading a number of books with the KJV defense/bias so that I went into the fray hearing that side first.  I was put off by the unchristian and arrogant attitude in those books and by those people in general who used bad argument techniques and manipulated data.  This was BEFORE I got to the arguments from the other side. . . which I found to be a breath of fresh air.   I do not believe for a moment that which bible you read has bearing on one's salvation or relationship with the Lord. The KJV camp has serious honesty issues on many points.  There is no sin in using either the KJV or the NIV.  We have to learn tolerance.  I find the "KJV cult" to be an intolerant lot.  They view us who read other "perversions" as second rate Christians drinking from polluted streams... just my two cents."

We have five different bibles here including a bible specifically written for teens, and use them all to compare notes when a passage needs clarification.  There are differences in wordage amongst them in places and there ARE passages completely removed from some of them.

In going to a Catholic history page at  http://www.biblebelievers.com/harmon11.html we find that Constantine's victory by supporting Christianity (he needed the manpower Christians provided - didn't have much to do with his beliefs at that point in time); led to his support of the church and in  313 A.D., Constantine signed the edict of toleration (no more persecution of the church). He declared himself to be the "Protector of Christianity" and  Constantine ordered the production of 50 copies of the Holy Scriptures. Eusebious produced these Bibles and he used the Hexapolis to translate from. This was a parallel Bible with six versions in it. He used the most corrupt of them; starting the origin of false bibles. My buddy  says there is nothing wrong with the NIV contrary to what the KJV crowd will tell you.  NIV is a good reliable study Bible and a worthy translation.  He  uses it as his main Bible, a study edition with a ton of maps, charts, and extra material, and excellent footnotes.  I use the KJVNIV myself as well as several others to compare verbage with when the issue requires more clarification but I go back to the original when specific words become an issue.  The "New Living Translation" is very readable and is a good "dynamic" translation, not a paraphrase as was The Living Bible (not good for serious study).  Same with The New Century Version, another dynamic translation.  These dynamic translations are a little more flexible in their renditions, for readability's sake.  The NRSV is more rigid and stiff, but very true to the text.  The truth is, most of these versions can be used and will probably not steer you too wrong until we get down to the nitty gritty and play on words where exact meanings make a difference. But there are a lot of passages actually MISSING from bibles other than the King James and these passages are shown in the Stewarton Bible School link above. I checked on them, he's right; they're not there.  

When we get to the play on wordage you need  a book called Strong's Dictionary.  Strong's is a concordance.  You can look up words, in English, and get the Greek or Hebrew word from the text, then go to the Greek  or Hebrew  section of the concordance and see what the original word in the original language actually means.  It is a way for you to cut away from the translators and see for yourself what is going on.  It can be very helpful.  You can also use a concordance to find all the texts in the Bible that use that English word and do "word studies."  This way, you can see that often a single word in English is rendered from two or more different words in the original.  Sometimes, there are bugs in translation and it becomes apparent through the use of a concordance.  My friend feels the  KJV is guilty of this.   He feels the KJV is really a re-rendering of the Latin Vulgate, the Catholic translation.  But there were too Latin Vulgates (vulgate means "common") , the original that was accurate taken directly from the Hebrew and Greek scrolls, and Jerome's Vulgate written for the Roman Catholic Church that was added to and detracted from.  Sometimes margin notes of scribes on the text became part of the text.  Take the word "Easter" in the KJV (It occurs only once).  There was never such a holiday at the time that the text was written.  It is a Catholic holiday and its origins are derived from paganism.  How many easter bunny rabbits and eggs do you find in bible text? Long story. See www.detailshere.com/easter.htm  for the origin of easter.  

The Jesus died and went to "Hell" issue is a good example of when the Strong's concordance becomes useful.  The bible says Jesus went to hell after he died. Or does it, when we get down to analyzing the words in Strong's. 

Acts 2:31  "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

 Mathew 12:40 tells us that hell is right here in our own earth, "in the depths of the earth". 
Ephesians 4:9  "It means that first he came down to the lowest depths of the earth".   This again infers to many that Jesus went to hell first. 
The apostles creed says that "... was crucifed, died and was buried.  And he descended into "hell" and on the third day he arose and ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father....

Does that mean he went to a place deep within the earth full of flames and demons and a lake of fire that many of us have been programmed to believe is "hell"??  If you see our page at www.detailshere.com/hellisreal.htm   you see that hell is more than likely an event at the end of the millenium and if it is a place, earth will be the place that takes the heat in this cleansing event.  Eternal punishment has turned out to mean that people will be terminated permanently as their punishment, not tormented forever and ever which was taught before careful analysis of words in the bible.

Acts 2:31  "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption."
Bible Commentary says: Textual evidence favors the reading, "he was not left unto hades."  Remember  that hades is the grave.  We know what the Bible teaches about death.  See www.detailshere.com/death.htm .  There is ample evidence for "soul sleep."  The Strong's concordance renders the Greek in this text as: #86 "Hades" i.e., "unseen" or the place of departed souls: -- grave, hell.
Let us jump over to Psalm 16:10 for a moment, and have a look at the words soul and hell.  (For this is actually the sermon text that Paul is using in Acts 2:31)  "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
SOUL is rendered from the Hebrew "nephesh," a word occurring 755 time in the Old Testament and 144 times in the psalms.  (Good Bible software will help you in all this.)  This translation is unfortunate, for "soul" conveys to many English readers ideas that do not properly belong to nephesh.  (I do not believe in the KJV only arguments.  I have studied this extensively, also and have a range of books on the topic.  My conclusions from study from all sides have led me to view the KJV as one of the worst translations available and definitely, of all popular translations -- THE WORST.  I am not including hybrids or paraphrases in this statement, but TRANSLATIONS.  I still maintain that the New Revised Standard Version is the most accurate.)  Anyway, a brief analysis of the Hebrew word will help to clarify what the Bible writers meant when they used this word.
Nephesh comes from the root naphash, a verb occurring only three times in the OT (Ex. 23:12; 31:17; 2 Sam. 16:14), each time meaning "to revive oneself" or "to refresh oneself."  The verb seems to go back to the basic meaning of breathing.
A definition for nephesh may be derived from the Bible account of the creation of man (Gen. 2:7).  The record delares that when God gave life to the body He had formed, the man literally "became a soul of life."  The "soul" had not previously existed, but came into existence at the creation of Adam.  A new soul comes into existence every time a child is born.  Each birth represents a new unit of life uniquely different and separate from other similar units.  The new unit can never merge into another unit.  It will always be itself.  There may be countless individuals like it but none that is actually that unit.  This uniqueness of individuality seems to be the idea emphasized in the Hebrew term nephesh.
Nephesh is applied not only to men but also to animals.  The clause, "let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life" (Gen. 1:20), is literally, "let the waters swarm swarms of souls of life [individuals of life]."  Beasts and fowl are called "living creatures" literally, "souls of life," better, "individuals of life" (Gen. 2:19).  Hence animals as well as human beings are "souls."
This basic idea of "soul" being the individual rather than a constituent part of the individual, seems to underlie the various occurrences of nephesh.  It is therefore better to say a certain person or a certain animal is a soul than to say he or it has a soul.
From the basic idea of a nephesh being an individual, or a person, springs the idiomatic use of nephesh for the personal pronoun.  Expressions like "my soul" are idiomatic for "I," "me"; "thy soul" for "you"; "their soul" for "they,"  "them."
Since each new nephesh represents a new unit of life, nephesh is often used synonymously with life.  In 119 instances the KJV translates nephesh by "life," and there are other instances where "life" would have been a more accurate translation.
The majority of the occurrences of nephesh may be appropriately translated by "person," "individual," "life," or by the appropriate personal pronoun.  "The souls that they had gotten in Haran" (Gen. 12:5) is simply "the persons that they had gotten in Haran."  "My soul shall live because of thee" (Gen. 12:13) is simply, "I shall live because of thee."  "That soul shall be cut off" (Lev. 19:8) is simply, "he shall be cut off."
The word Hell in Ps. 16:10 (Remember, the Messianic verse we started with in this discourse, which prophesies that His soul would not be left in hell?) is the Hebrew word  "she'ol", the figurative dwelling place of the dead, where those who have departed from this life are represented as sleeping together.  The derivation of this word is uncertain.  Some think it may come from a root meaning "to ask," others, from a word which means "to be hollow," still others refrain from positive statement as to its etymology.  In the KJV she'ol is translated "grave" 31 times, "hell" 31 times, and "pit" 6 times.  An examination of the various verses in which she'ol appears shows that she'ol was used as a figurative expression denoting the place where men go at death (Gen. 37:35; 1 Sam. 2:6; Job 7:9; 14:13; Ps. 49:14,15).  From a strictly literal point of view she'ol may be equated with "grave," but Bible writers employing the figure described she'ol as a place where the dead sleep together, though not in a state of consciousness, unless figuratively (see Eze. 32:21).  She'ol is described as having bars (Job 17:16) and gates (Isa. 38:10).  It is said to be deep, in contrast with heaven, which is high (Deut. 32:22; Job 11:8; Ps. 86:13; 139:8).  She'ol is nowhere described as a place of punishment after death.  That concept was later attached to gehenna (Mark 9:43-48), not to hades,  the Greek word that properly translates she'ol, with one exception (Luke 16:23).
 So in conclusion it means that Jesus spent three days in the ground or grave, and not in some fiery place of tormented demons.

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