The Life Foundations Nexus
IS THE KING JAMES BIBLE INSPIRED?
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
Is the King James Bible inspired? First, of course, we must understand what it means for something to be “inspired.” Here are the informal (short and approximate) and formal (long and accurate) definitions/explanations of “inspiration” (the main discussion resumes below).
Inspiration, as it applies to the question we are addressing, means “the miraculous provision by God of the expression of the message of God.”
Inspiration, as it applies to the question we are addressing, means “the miraculous (‘miraculous,’ of course, meaning ‘a gift from God provided in a manner that involves the setting aside of one or more laws of nature.’ In this case, the law of nature of entropy of the human mind [entropy is the tendency, varying in degree from one person to another, of the human mind to draw incorrect conclusions] and the law of nature of circumscription of the human mind [circumscription is the inability of the human mind to acquire knowledge beyond the limits of sensory perception, native intuition, and rational thought] of each of the writers of the Word of God [the Bible] were set aside) provision by God of the ‘expression’ (we add the quotes to indicate that the expression of the message of God is actually a multifaceted and varied set of expressions of messages of God) of the ‘message’ (we add the quotes to indicate that the message of God is actually a multifaceted and varied set of messages of God) of God.”
RESUMPTION OF MAIN DISCUSSION
The key thing we need to address is whether the process of the creation of the King James Bible involved “miraculous provision” (see informal i./e. above). More specifically, we must answer whether the King James Bible translators experienced a setting aside of “the law of entropy” (see formal i./e. above) and “the law of circumscription” (see formal i./e. above).
THE KING JAMES BIBLE TRANSLATORS AND THE LAW OF ENTROPY
Historical documents make it abundantly clear that the King James Bible translators used processes of rational thought while they were translating. DURING THE PROCESS OF TRANSLATION THEY CREATED ROUGH DRAFTS THAT THEY THEN CORRECTED. This is DIFFERENT from the process of being “moved by the Holy Ghost” described in the Bible, WHERE THE WRITERS MADE NO CORRECTIONS. This alone proves that the King James Bible translators were not inspired.
THE KING JAMES BIBLE TRANSLATORS AND THE LAW OF CIRCUMSCRIPTION
Historical documents make it abundantly clear that the King James Bible translators used processes of sensory perception, native intuition, and rational thought while they were translating. DURING THE PROCESS OF TRANSLATION THEY USED THEIR PHYSICAL SENSES TO EXAMINE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE MANUSCRIPTS AND NATIVE INTUITION TO DETERMINE NUANCES OF MEANING AND RATIONAL THOUGHT TO DEDUCE SIGNIFICATIONS OF THE HEBREW, ARAMAIC, GREEK, AND OTHER LANGUAGE TEXTS. This is DIFFERENT from the process of being “moved by the Holy Ghost” described in the Bible, WHERE THE WRITERS DID NOT USE THEIR PHYSICAL SENSES TO GATHER INFORMATION AND DID NOT DETERMINE NUANCES OF MEANING AND DID NOT DEDUCE SIGNIFICATIONS FROM ANY TEXTUAL SOURCE. This alone proves that the King James Bible translators were not inspired.
WHY THE KING JAMES BIBLE TRANSLATORS HAD TO BE INSPIRED
There is a reason that Christians NEED to believe that the King James Bible is inspired. Very simply, how else could the King James Bible be considered the infallible Word of God if it were NOT inspired?
Actually, the Bible teaches that there is MORE THAN ONE WAY to guarantee infallibility. Job 32:7-9 says:
(7) I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
(8) But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
(9) Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.
Note in verse 8 the words “the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” This verse is NOT talking about inspiration in the way we usually talk about inspiration. Normally, when we speak of inspiration we are talking about “scriptural inspiration.” In Job 32:8 the Lord is talking about something else. The Lord is talking about “spiritual inspiration.” This is the “inspiration of the wise.” This is the “inspiration of one walking in the Spirit.” This is the “inspiration of one ‘filled with the Spirit.’” In other words, this is the “inspiration of one doing the will of God.” This type of inspiration ASSURES ONE MOMENTARILY (FOR THE PRESENT MOMENT AND THE PRESENT MOMENT ONLY) THAT THEY POSSESS THE TRUTH. The King James Bible translators had SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION. THEREFORE, THEY POSSESSED THE TRUTH WITH REGARD TO KNOWING HOW TO CORRECTLY TRANSLATE THE WORD OF GOD (THE BIBLE) FROM THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES.
Now, have we, therefore, established that we can tell others that the King James Bible is inspired? No. Why not? Because, though we might be technically correct in making such a statement, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE TO USE LANGUAGE THAT WILL NOT BE MISUNDERSTOOD BY OTHERS. The statement that “The King James Bible is inspired” WILL BE MISUNDERSTOOD BY OTHERS. THEY WILL THINK WE ARE TALKING ABOUT “SCRIPTURAL INSPIRATION” WHEN WE ARE ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT “SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION.”
Still, we need to be able to convey to others that the King James Bible, though not scripturally inspired, is spiritually inspired. How do we do this? Well, we could just say, “The King James Bible is spiritually inspired.” However, this will lead to a long discussion in which you would have to explain the things that you have just read. Instead, just say, “The King James Bible is completely authoritative.” Now, someone might challenge this statement by responding, “Yes, it is completely authoritative but that doesn’t mean you can rely on it to ALWAYS communicate the truth of God.” At that point, tell them, “Let me tell you about ‘spiritual inspiration,’” as we have explained it above. Of course, as you know if you have discussed and debated the Bible version issue in the past, they may have other challenges. IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO ANSWER A CHALLENGE, TELL THEM, “I WILL GET BACK TO YOU ON THIS.” Then, find the answer. You know the first place to look – the Word of God (the Bible). If you can’t find the answer there, then, remember that there are many books, Bible teachers, pastors, other informed Christians, and others who can help you. Then, of course, there is the Internet. We have documented that 90% of the answers you need are available on the Internet. There are abundant resources for finding answers both on our website and on a host of other websites. If you can’t find the answer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org but, PLEASE, try first to find the answer on your own. Due to the thousands of emails we receive every day, we may be very slow in responding to your email. Also, try to limit your emails to the really tough, seemingly-impossible-to-answer questions. By the grace of God, we have the answer. By the grace of God, WE HAVE ALL OF THE ANSWERS.
Finally, you will need one other bit of information to bolster your declarations regarding spiritual inspiration and that is that the King James Bible translators were, to the man, GODLY MEN! For an ungodly man CANNOT PRODUCE A TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE THAT IS TRUE TO THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES TEXT OF THE BIBLE.