I have known very intelligent people who got lost in the confusing maze of Bible versions. Some of them never find their way out, and end up with no faith in the Bible. Don’t be one of these who lose their faith in God’s Word! The Truth is there, but guiding principles are necessary to find it.
I could offer data, facts, a massive quantity of information, and a pile of books about the different Bibles; but you probably already have that. I could offer some basic comparisons of the different versions, but I’m sure you have access to that yourself. You probably already have a mountain of information to sort through, so I would like to offer you something more valuable:
The water is muddy, the air is foggy, there are lots of opinions both ways; but if you are a spiritually-minded Christian, all you want is God’s opinion. Let the theologians argue and the scholars debate, God hides truth from the proud and reveals himself to those who humbly seek his face. Do you want to figure this out?
Here are 6 guiding principles to help you navigate the labyrinth of the “Bible-version issue.”
- God’s Word Is Truth.
Jesus made an absolute statement in John 17:17: “Thy Word is truth.” So, If God has a Word, it must be 100% true.
Is every Word within the version true? Is it consistent with itself and Gods character? If not, I cannot claim it’s God’s Word. I would be insulting God by claiming that a lie came from His mouth.
Do you agree?
I hope so.
- God Communicates Well.
I approached my personal journey with the presupposition “God is able to communicate clearly, without confusion.” I hope that is also your presupposition. If you do not trust God’s Person, you will never come to a conclusion with which you are happy.
- When You Ask Questions, Expect Answers
As we discussed in a previous post, God is not afraid of questions. If the Bible can’t even answer questions about itself, how can we trust it to answer eternal questions? Ask God the serious questions, and expect Him to show you with time and study. Marinade on the question, look for the answer, you will find it.
- No Human Is All-Knowing.
Talk to Bible teachers, preachers, authors, etc. Get their take on the issue, but give God the final word. Realize that no individual person will be completely correct. Don’t allow any man to change your mind. Only allow God’s Spirit to change your mind.
- Intellect Is Deceitful.
Intellect without discernment is as unfocused as a telescope without a lens. You must have both if you are to see clearly. We know that intellect can be thwarted. Look at Richard Dawkins, Steven Hawking, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and an incredible number of people. Speaking objectively; these are very smart. If anyone could figure out which Bible is true, it would be “Bill Nye-the Science Guy,” right?!
But he is so very against God…
There are objectively “smart” people working on the versions issue as well; if anyone could figure this out, it would be people like them, right?! They have written books, papers, versions; but they obviously lack spiritual insight.
Just like many Christians.
Intellect is a servant; God is the Master. Anyone who puts their trust primarily in their minds will be confounded. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:19 “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Jesus said in Luke 10:21: “…O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes…” God hides himself from those who put their trust in themselves, and reveals to those who trust His character.
- Satan Is Involved.
Satan has spent 6,000 years trying to discredit God; how can any person pit themselves against Satan and win? Despite how smart you are or how much college you have; you are no match for the god of this World. If your intellect has the final authority, Satan will succeed in tricking, deceiving and confusing your mind. What’s the answer? Approach it with the Spirit of God having the final say, and don’t be convinced of anything until God convinces you.
The Bible is spiritual, and spiritual truth is known only to people who put God in His rightful place.
Satan has made this question more difficult than it really is; like a seemingly endless maze full of dead-ends, twists, turns and frustration. These difficulties threaten to overwhelm every person who approaches this serious question. These difficulties are not set up by God! God is not the Author of confusion. He intends for you to understand; and with his help, you are able.
Real Truth is out there. Satisfying answers are available, but you will never see them unless you adopt the principles taught here. Try this:
Ask (and trust) God to answer the question of “Which Bible;” adopt these principles of X-Ray vision, then start reading the Bible. God will guide you into all Truth.