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At the Church at Gun Hill, we prefer to use the Authorised Version of the Bible, sometimes known as the
King James Version. Some also use the New King James Version when a modernised text is desired.
There is a reason and it is not simply the usual one of beauty of language, however true that may be.
Nor is it because we want to cling religiously to tradition. As Christians we know that there is an enemy,
opposed to God's Word, who will do all that he can to corrupt it in order to lead people astray. It was
Satan who, in the Garden of Eden, questioned, "Hath God said?"
Today, there is a bewildering array of versions of the Bible and young believers can be deceived
into thinking that it is simply a question of translation, and that, therefore, a modern translation
might be more suitable for them. It is not. If we concentrate mainly on modern versions of the
New Testament for the sake of this booklet, the big question is, "Which Greek text is being
translated?" At this point, those who are unaware of Biblical origins may well be excused for
replying, "Well, surely the original Greek text!" There lies the problem. The original manuscripts,
those written by the NT authors, no longer exist. All we have are copies, some early but many
late. The Greek manuscripts do not always agree with each other. Which are the most reliable?
Now some say that the differences between the Greek texts and, therefore, between the different
translations, is so small as to make no overall difference. Why then does the Preface to the Revised
Standard Version of the Bible say:
"Yet the King James Version has grave defects...
The King James Version was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing
the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying."
How was it decided where the errors lay, apart from supposition that the older must be better than
the younger manuscripts? If there is a difference in text might it not be possible that the older
manuscripts contain the grave defects, not the younger? This, we shall seek to show, is the true
position. On its own admission, the RSV confesses that the differences are NOT trivial.
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