Where was the word of God before 1611 and where is it today?

Those who promote the modern bible versions do not believe any Bible is the inspired, infallible, preserved, and pure words of the living God. They tell us “the original Hebrew and Greek” is their final authority, hoping no one will notice that there is no such animal on the face of this earth. They don’t have it, have never seen it, and wouldn’t recognize it if it fell on their heads.

There are no original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts anywhere. There are several different Hebrew texts plus the conflicting Dead Sea Scrolls. There are over 25 different conflicting Greek texts. The multitude of modern versions, like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, depart scores of times from the Hebrew Masoretic texts, and often not in the same places. They are also based on very different Greek texts than that of the King James Bible, though none of them always follows the same Greek text as the others. The NKJV does not always follow the same Greek text as the KJB and the meaning has been radically changed in scores of verses. They often differ among themselves in both text and meaning, and contain several proveable theological errors.

We who believe God meant what He said about preserving His words are ridiculed as ignorant, backwater fanatics. We believe God is the sovereign ruler of history and has preserved for us today all His pure words in the King James Bible. God knew what would become of the English language and how the great modern missionary movement of the late 1700’s through the 1950’s would be carried out by American and English missionaries carrying one Bible and translating it into hundreds of foreign languages and dialects. No Bible in history has been used, honored and hated as much as the King James Bible. The King James Bible was even read outloud from space as the astronauts orbited the moon.

God also knew the great battle concerning the preservation of His words would take place during the times of the falling away from the faith before the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think it quite possible that we are living in those times now. Never before has the Holy Bible itself been under such fierce attack. The supreme irony is that those who now attack the Bible are those who bear the name of Christians.

They refuse to believe that God has in fact preserved His words in the one Book that has been used and blessed by God a hundred times more than any other. History and the sovereignty of God bear witness that the King James Bible is that one Book, without proven error.

Many Whateverists of the “No Bible is inerrant” crowd ask the following questions: (These are actual quotes from one of the Bible clubs) “Why are you hung up on a translation since no translation is perfect? What about the other translations of the other nations of the world? Do you have an answer for them?

You King James Bible only people limit yourselves to just one language – English. Why are you so afraid to talk about other languages. What about the aboriginals of our nation? Do they have a Bible? If they do, would their translation be just as “perfect” as the KJV? Why or why not? Is your God so narrow-minded and bigoted that He only speaks to 10% or the world–the English part, and consigns 90% of the world to Hell because they cannot read and understand English, particularly Shakespearean English? My God is not that narrow-minded. The Bible says that God so loved the world, not just the KJV understanding crowd. He loves the Crees, the Punjabis, the Hindis, the Maoris, the Inuits, those that speak Urdu and Arabic, etc. But all of these are condemned to Hell because they have not the KJV, right?”

First of all, God does not condemn people to hell because they are not King James Bible only. God can and does save His people using a multitude of translations in hundreds of foreign languages. The gospel of salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in any bible version out there, no matter how incompletely or poorly translated it may be. Christ only promised that the gospel would be preached throughout all the world.

Secondly, God never promised that every nation or individual would have a perfect Bible, but He did promise to preserve His pure, complete and 100% true words in a Book somewhere on this earth. “Seek ye out of the Book of the LORD and read…” Isaiah 34:16.

God is under no obligation to give equal light or gifts to all people. There was a period of time when for about 2000 years only one small nation had the true and pure words of God. Psalm 147:19,20 says: “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.”

God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. God will hold us accountable for the light He has been pleased to give us. We who have the preserved and inerrant words of God in the English language of the King James Bible will be held far more accountable for what we have done with this book than those who cannot read English. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48

And thirdly, the people who pose such questions as this individual asks are actually promoting the idea that there is no complete, inerrant and 100% true Bible in ANY language on this earth today. Not the Hebrew or the Greek, nor in any language. This is what they are being taught in most seminaries today. A recent poll shows that 85% of the students in America’s largest Evangelical seminary openly admit that they do not believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture, and the percentages are getting higher each year.

God has promised to preserve His words, not in every language or to every people, but in such a way as they would be known by many of God’s believing people. The Lord Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

God testifies through Isaiah in chapter 59:21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.”

“For the LORD is good: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6-7

“The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:25

We who believe the King James Bible to be the inerrant word of God do not place our trust in the King James translators. We do not defend their comments in the Preface, nor their theology, though I agree with much of it. We trust in God alone Who has fulfilled His promises to preserve His inspired words. He just happened to use the believing men of the 1611 Holy Bible as His instruments to continue this preservation.

They were not perfect nor without error in themselves. Just as God used Peter, though he denied the Lord and later separated himself from the Gentile believers and was to be blamed for his actions, (See Galatians 2:12-14) or Paul who was about to offer another blood sacrifice to appease the Jewish law-keepers in Acts 21:26, or John who twice fell down to worship an angel and was rebuked for it (See Rev. 19:10 and 22:8-9). God always uses imperfect vessels for His glory; if He didn’t, nothing would ever get done.

Those who promote today’s multiple, conflicting versions of God’s words think they finally have the question that will stump the Bible believer and finally rob him of his faith in God’s inerrant word. They ask us, “Well, where was the pure word of God BEFORE 1611?”

It will greatly enlighten your mind if you ask them the same question. They don’t know where it was before 1611 either, or more importantly, where it is now. A very good educated guess would be that God preserved His perfect words in the Old Latin Bibles and then in the Waldensian latinized Bibles till the time of the Reformation. Theodore Beza, whose Greek text was used by the KJB translators, traces the Waldensian believers from around 120 A.D. to the Reformation. They were killed off by the thousands and their Bibles were burned by the Catholic persecutors. The Waldensians believed in the priesthood of every believer and the doctrines of grace. Then God’s perfect words passed over to what was named simply The Holy Bible, later to be known as the King James Version. That is where they remain today in all their purity.

Regarding the Old Latin, which is not the same thing as the Catholic Vulgate, Agustine and Tertullian both speak of this ancient version as existing since 157-190 A.D.

“The Italic or pre-Waldensian Church produced a version of the New Testament which was translated from the Received Text by the year A.D. 157” Fredrick Henry Scrivner, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament , 1874

“The Bible translation of the Italic Church came to be known as the Itala translation. The point of all this is that the Itala Bible was translated from the Received Text” Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts , 1859.

Some like Doug Kutilek try to discredit the testimony of the Old Latin bearing witness to the readings found in the KJB but not in versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, and they cherry-pick a few verses to show divergent readings. There are only about 35 remaining portions or fragments of the Old Latin around today, but these bear ample witness to every one of the disputed verses that are omitted by most modern versions.

I have studied the issue myself and can prove that the following whole verses are included in all, most, or at least some of the Old Latin copies. This information is confirmed by using the Nestle-Aland Greek text critical notes – certainly no friend to the KJB.

The following verses which are omitted in the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV, etc. are all found in copies of the Old Latin texts. Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44, 46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 9:55.56; 17:36; 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24, and 1 John 5:7.

I have compiled a study of the major disputed readings found in the King James Bible as opposed to the modern versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV, Holman versions, and what the Old Latin texts say. You can see this study at this link on my website:

Old Latin

We have only a very small portion remaining of all the Bibles and manuscripts that ever existed. Perhaps as little as one one hundreth, so there is no sure way of knowing what the other manuscripts and Bibles said – just as we do not have the “originals” and can’t prove what they said. Of those that remain, no two are exactly alike in every detail, but of the approximately 5,000 portions and fragments that we have today, about 95% agree about 99% of the time with the King James Bible readings. The other 5% differs a great deal even among themselves, and it is this 5% that is used in most of today’s “bibles”.

Even the editors of the UBS Critical Greek text admit that multitudes of Greek manuscripts that once exited are no longer accessible.

Consider this statement by Kurt and Barbara Aland: “INNUMERABLE MANUSCRIPTS WERE DESTROYED during the persecutions and had to be replaced. The result was a widespread scarcity of New Testament manuscripts which became all the more acute when the persecution ceased… There also followed a sudden demand for large numbers of New Testament manuscripts in all provinces of the empire” (Aland, The Text of the New Testament, p. 65)

It is supremely important to have faith in God, both for our salvation and for believing that He has kept and preserved His words throughout every generation as He promised to do. If you cannot believe God has kept His promise to preserve His words, then how can you believe He will keep His promise to preserve your soul?

Ask any modern version promoter if he believes the originals were given by inspiration of God. He will enthusiastically respond in the affirmative. Yes, they were inspired. Then ask him how he knows this to be true. He has never seen them because they don’t exist. He believes it by faith. In the same way we too have faith that God both inspired His original words and that He has preserved them through history and today they are found in the King James Bible.

At one of the Bible clubs I belong to, after referring an inquiring “Reverend” to this article, he wrote back: “Will, Your article really never answered the question. If, as you claim God has “PRESERVED” his perfect words then it must have always existed and you would be able to show it to us through out history. Is this the case or not? If not then you cannot claim preservation. – Dennis”

To which I responded: “Hi Dennis, you and I are approaching the issue of an inspired, inerrant, complete and 100% true Holy Bible from completely different ways. Your position is that no such thing as an inerrant Bible ever existed and certainly does not now exist. So, you draw your conclusions from your premise.

I and many others actually believe in the existence of an infallible Book called the Bible. We believe it exists now and can tell anyone where to get a copy. We also believe the perfect words of God once existed in times past too. We’re not totally sure where it was, but most of us generally believe the Old Latin (not the Vulgate) and the Waldensian bibles contained the perfect New Testament.

Just because we cannot produce an exact copy now does not mean that such a thing did not once exist. Think about the argument of those on the other side who at least believe in the “originals only” position. They tell us the originals were inspired, but yet they do not have a single copy or even a single word from any of these originals, and cannot prove beyond all doubt what ANY reading is for any single verse.

If you accuse the KJB believer of not being able to back up his position with historical evidence that is 100% verifiable, then doesn’t this same argument completely destroy the position of those who are originals only? Most certainly it does.

We at least have what we believe are the written promises of God to preserve His words till heaven and earth pass away, and we believe He has kept His promises. Your side, on the other hand, does not believe that God has in fact kept His pure words in any “book of the LORD” that is found on the earth today. Think about it.” – Will

The new version promoter and King James critic has no final authority but his own mind or his favorite scholar to tell him what God probably said. He has no infallible Bible and doesn’t want you to have one either. He can’t tell you where you can get a copy of God’s pure words today, let alone where they were before 1611. “Thus saith the LORD” has been replaced with “Well, how does this version render it?”

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16

Will Kinney