The Living Bible: Word of God or Thoughts of Man?
The book entitled The Living Bible is being accepted and recommended. It can be found today in motel rooms replacing the Gideon Bible, which is in the familiar King James Version. It was not launched with the fanfare that introduced the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted by the National Council of Churches in the U.S.A. One man produced it. It is directed toward young people, with the stated purpose of making the Scriptures more understandable.
Already there are fourteen million copies in print. It is quoted in religious books as TLB, similar to the identifications of KJV and RSV and NEB (New English Bible). The effect it is having and the misunderstandings that it is producing are of such a nature that it is long past time for a factual, careful exposure of this book. A word-by-word comparison should be made with the King James Version, which does remain and has continued through these centuries to be the generally accepted English translation.
All the respect and honor which have been built up through the centuries on behalf of the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, are now being ascribed to this book. It is called The Way. Reach Out and The Greatest Is Lovedescribe The Living New Testament. The pictures inserted throughout are only of young people. The entire project has been developed, the book says, by "the editors of Campus Life magazine, Youth for Christ International."
For some reason there are many about today who do not believe that the Bible is acceptable to our younger generation and that therefore it must be adjusted, particularly to the youth of the twentieth century. The Bible must be brought down to the level where the youth are, rather than the youth being brought up to the standards that the Bible itself requires. This assumption is fallacious for it neglects entirely the fact that the language of the Scripture was the language of the common man. The New Testament is written not in classical Greek, but in Koine, the Greek of the marketplace.
For some reason or other, an exact translation of what the Bible itself says must be laid aside in favor of freer renderings and even what is called paraphrasing. Paraphrase represents the author's effort to put what he reads in different words and phrases which he thinks will make what originally was said more acceptable to those who are reading the paperbacks of our day.
I. The Infallible Word of God
The Bible is the Word of God, the only Word of God that there is. It was delivered by the prophets, the apostles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with the approval and the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only head of the Church. It is not an ordinary book; it is God's Book. It has been the confession of the Church through the centuries that it is indeed "the only infallible rule of faith and practice." It is inspired of God in a way that no other book ever has been or ever will be inspired. It is without error as given by the Holy Spirit to its authors.
The first thing that The Living Bible does is to abandon, totally abandon, three commitments of Scripture: (1) inerrancy, (2) infallibility, (3) verbal inspiration. Paraphrasing at the most can be nothing more than an attempt to communicate ideas in a better manner than a literal translation of what is actually said. The abandonment of the great doctrine of inspiration destroys the authority, the credibility and the historical factuality of the Holy Scriptures. Jesus Christ said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). Who then would be so presumptuous as to paraphrase die words of Jesus Christ for a twentieth-century generation of young people? All that anyone who loves the Lord should ever want is an exact, precise translation of what Jesus Christ Himself said. It is, Christ we want to hear, not a paraphraser. Surely the Son of God could use the terminology and the language which would be His means and media of communication in grace. Who could possibly improve on Jesus Christ! It is just this that The Living Bible is presumptuous enough to attempt.
Our twentieth century has been characterized primarily by an attack upon the Word of God- what was called modernism, higher criticism, claimed that the Bible had mistakes in it, and the statements of the Bible concerning itself were questioned and rejected. With the rejection of the truth and inspiration of the Holy Scripture came of course the questioning of the common doctrines or the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, including the virgin birth, the blood atonement, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection of our Saviour, His miracles, and His glorious return in the clouds of Heaven.
Once the trustworthiness of the Book was destroyed, away went its infallibility and its authority. This paraphrase has brought the Bible down to the level of the common, ordinary book, and its influence has been designed to be on the level of other books, commanding the interest of youth. Accepting it in the beginning on that level is supposed to make God's Word understandable. But how could that possibly be done when the actual Word itself, given by the Holy Spirit, is buried under the words of a man who is paraphrasing what God Himself has said? And when he has completed his paraphrase, it is his word and not the Word. Besides, let it be understood that the words of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Ghost. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). And now we have a translator who undoes all of this. For he certainly was not inspired in the same sense that Paul or Matthew or Daniel or Moses were inspired.
Thus the first observation that must be made in looking at this Living Bible, as it is called, is that it has been removed and demoted from the place that God gave the Bible, the place that He intended for it to have in the esteem and in the hearts of His servants and before an unbelieving world.
II. The Deity of Christ
The next area where trouble is apparent is in the passages relative to the deity of Christ. No sooner did man assault the trustworthiness of the Scripture itself, than he attacked the person of our Lord, whom the Scriptures exalt. The pattern is the same in these various translations that offer themselves as an improvement of some sort.
John 3:16 in the King James Version reads: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The Living Bible reads: "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The words, "only begotten," are removed. It is in the text in the Greek.
Many a family has an only son, but only God the Father had the "only begotten Son," an eternal relationship that affirms the deity of Christ.
In a footnote to the word "only" the paraphraser says, "or 'unique son of God.'" Yet even this rendering of it leaves the Lord Jesus Christ below the level of His unity with God in the Godhead, expressed by the "only begotten."
Isaiah 7:14 is always a crucial passage. The RSV, The New English Bible - in fact almost any translation can be tested at this point.
The King James reads: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
The living Bible reads: "All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign - a child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning 'God is with-us.)"
A footnote alongside "virgin" reads: "The controversial Hebrew word used here sometimes means ‘virgin’ and sometimes 'young woman.'" The RSV translates it "young woman." That matter, however, has been forever settled for us by the Apostle Matthew who, writing under divine inspiration and authority, said, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin . . ." (Matthew. 1:23). The word must be translated "virgin" because that is the way the Holy Spirit sealed it from the pen of the apostle of our Saviour.
The Living Bible, however, does not operate on this high level of belief. It accommodates itself to the translators of unbelief. And this is exactly what the translators of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible themselves did.
It happens again and again throughout this entire volume that references that reveal the divine nature of Christ or His attributes in the fullness of His deity are paraphrased so that they no longer are seen.
In the King James John 3:13 reads: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
In this verse Jesus Christ is both on earth and in Heaven at the same time, which is gloriously true as a manifestation of His deity.
The living Bible reads: "For only I, the Messiah, have come to earth and will return to heaven again."
This does violence to the translation - of course, it is a paraphrase - but the author at this point could not conceive of Christ's being in Heaven and earth at the same time, so he wanted to make it clear to the young people, who would be reading, or others, that when Christ was on earth He could not be in Heaven, and after He left the earth, then it was possible for Him to go to Heaven.
Of all the passages which seem to be particularly offensive, outstanding is that one in Romans where Jesus Christ, having been clearly identified as a Jew, as a human being, is called God by the Apostle Paul.
The King James reads: "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen."
The Living Bible reads: "Great men of God were your fathers, and Christ himself was one of you, a Jew so far as his human nature is concerned, he who now rules over all things. Praise God forever!"
The literal translation in the King James requires twenty-two words, but the paraphrase required thirty-four and left out the deity of Christ. Every true believer will understand that the very purposes of the Scripture are to reveal unto us Jesus Christ. "It is they," Christ said, "that testify of me." He said to His disciples after His resurrection, "All things must be fulfilled, which are written in the Law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me." Thus "he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." A paraphrase such as this, eliminating and minimizing and downgrading the fullness of His glorious deity, involves an abuse and rejection of the Word of God.
One very excellent way by which to test this new book that comes representing itself as the Word of God is in the Book of Genesis, particularly the first chapter, the account of creation. The Devil has always focused his attacks upon the Word of God in its very beginning.
The King James Version reads: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1 ,2).
The Living Bible changes it thus: "When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was at first a shapeless, chaotic mass, with the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors."
Here the thought that is conveyed is that at the time God actually started to create, the earth was there. He had some material to work with in the beginning. Now the true revelation at this point is that he created out of nothing. The so-called Living Bible represents what God had at that time as "a chaotic mass." Nothing that God had made was chaotic, and the paraphrase of this entire verse makes possible what is presently being taught and accepted as theistic evolution in what is called the Neo-evangelical circles.
In this account, Genesis in the King James reads: "And the evening and the morning were the first day."
The paraphrase has it that this "all happened on the second day."
In reference to the actual creation of man, Genesis 1:27 reads, according to the King James Version: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
The living Bible reads: "So God made man like his Maker. Like God did God make man; Man and maid did he make them.
In the reference of Jesus Christ to this passage in Matthew 19, and a very precious confirmation it is from the lips of the Son of God, the King James remains faithful, calling them "male and female." But The Living Bible puts it "man and woman."
III. The Prophet Daniel
In the report of the three Hebrews being thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not bow down and worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar, the King James translation reads: "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God" (Daniel. 3:25).
The living Bible considerably changes it:"'I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire, and they aren't even hurt by the flames! And the fourth looks like a god!' "
Even the footnote at this point makes it worse: "looks like a son of the gods."
IV. Vile Passages
The Bible is God's Word, and it condemns sin in the strongest terms. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> The effort, however, of the paraphraser to make it understandable has let him speak in levels of vulgarity and filth - supposedly to those who accept such expressions as regular and permissible. Several of these passages need to be recorded just as they are and without comment.
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord."
The Living Bible puts it thus: "Then Adam had sexual intercourse with Eve his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to a son, Cain (meaning ‘I have created). For, as she said, 'With God's help, I have created a man!'"
I Samuel 20:30
The King James reads: "Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion …"
The Living Bible reads: "Saul boiled with rage . 'You son of a bitch!' he yelled at him. Do you think I don't know that you want this son of a nobody to be king in your place, shaming yourself and your mother ?...'
The Bible was never intended to promote this sort of thing.
V. Familiar Passages
There are a number of very familiar passages, beloved by God's people, that can just be briefly touched upon to tell what paraphrasing does, not only in destroying the truth, but the beauty that accompanies the truth as God intended.
The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20
I shall alternate the passages. King James Version: "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
The living Bible: "Then God issued this edict: I am Jehovah your God who liberated you from your slavery in Egypt."
The King James Version: "'Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
The Living Bible: "'You may worship no other god than me."
The King James Version:"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."
The Living Bible: "You shall not make yourselves any idols: any images resembling animals, birds, or fish. You must never bow to an image or worship it in any way; for I, the Lord your God, am very possessive. I will not share your affection with any other god!"
The 23rd Psalm
Why should it be necessary in any way to tamper with this magnificent - perhaps the number one passage of all the Scriptures -known and beloved? But the paraphraser does it.
The King James reads: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake…"
The Living Bible puts it this way: "Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need! He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He restores my failing health. He helps me do what honors him the most. "
Verse 5 of the King James reads: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."
Verse 5 of The living Bible says: "You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!"
There is a footnote in which the paraphraser admits: "’Literally, ' You have anointed my head with oil, my cup runs over.'"
The King James reads: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Living Bible reports it: "'Humble men are very fortunate!' he told them, 'for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.'"
The King James again, verse 6: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
The Living Bible: "Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied."
John 14:1, 2
The King James: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
The Living Bible: "Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren't so, I would tell you plainly. "
VI. Ideological Imprint
The ideological or theological bent of any given translator - even more so in the case of the paraphraser inevitably affects the finished product. The National Council translators were modernists headed by Dean Weigle of Yale Divinity School. They talked of their scholarship and their objectivity, but it is impossible to have objectivity when it comes to dealing with the Scriptures. The ungodly are blind; the unregenerate do not see. This is why the scholars who translate the Bible should be born-again men, who have the Spirit within them. This was the case with the King James translators.
Mr. Kenneth N. Taylor, however, who is responsible for this paraphrase, has been one of the participants in the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents the Neo-Evangelical movement in the United States. These are the men who accepted inclusivism; they believe that it is all right to remain in the apostate churches, no matter how apostate or dark they may be, so that they can give their light within the circle of the church. They cannot honor the commands to separate. They violate them on the basis of expedience and the good that they can do. This whole concept is decidedly reflected in various passages in this Bible. Because of this, they undermine what today is called the separation movement, the doctrines of the purity of the church, the reformation cause, which have been established upon these passages in the King James Bible. These are the passages which established the Christian church in the first century in the first place. These have been modified and tampered with.
The Book of Jude is a classic example. Incidentally, the beautiful phrase, "beloved," which is one word in the Greek, turns out to be "dearly loved friends." The Christians of the Book of Jude were more than friends, they were brethren, beloved brethren, the redeemed ones, those who in the latter days were to contend earnestly for the faith. The words in the King James are "earnestly contend." The word in the Greek literally means "to fight." But this has been softened now simply to: "stoutly defend the truth." The word "faith" has been eliminated. It is when you come, however, to the conclusion of the book that Jude makes it clear that there has to be separation in order to preserve the true testimony. The King James has made this clear as the climax of the entire chapter in verses 22 and 23: "And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out - of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
If the church still can be saved by discipline, the difference must be made. These heretics must be removed. On the other hand, if the apostasy has taken control, where discipline is impossible and purity no longer can be secured, separation has to take place and men have to be pulled "out of the fire," the principle is "hating even the garment spotted." This is strict, compact, glorious separation. The Living Bible changes it all around. Verses 22 and 23 read as follows: "Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren't pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners. "
Here it has taken the paraphraser fifty-three words to say what the King James Version says in twenty-seven words, and he changes its entire meaning. The entire book deals with those who "crept in" the church, the visible fellowship.
What I have presented above is certainly sufficient to let any person who is really interested in finding out what God has said and what He intends for us to do recognize that The Living Bible is not a living Bible at all. In fact, it is not even a Bible. The paraphrasing has destroyed the Bible. Anyone who thinks when he reads this that God is speaking to him is being deceived. A man is speaking to him who has taken the liberty of paraphrasing the things that God has revealed, directly, specifically and gloriously for man to know, the revelation of God.
This book should not be offered as a gift to anyone; money should not be wasted in the purchase of it. It should not even be called the Bible. The writer has ruined the book. Now it is time to recognize that the primary moving spirit in all of this has been none other than Youth for Christ. This ought to completely change the attitude of all Bible-believing Christians in regard to this organization.
The infallible and inerrant Word of God has been laid aside and an inadequate paraphrase, the product of one man's mind, is being offered to the youth of the land and of the nation as The Way. It is the whole Word of God, the whole counsel of God, the fullness of what God has revealed to us which we must maintain. The revealed things are for us and for our children, but "the secret things belong to the Lord our God." But once it has been revealed it is for us to guard, to protect, to cherish, to make certain that exactly what God has said will be communicated to those who are lost and who needed to be saved and be given to those who are saved that they may therefore be edified by it. It is the Word of God that is the means of grace, not a paraphrase.
What perhaps is even more surprising - and it will certainly be shocking to an untold number of people who have been unaware of what has actually been happening so far as the Christian movement in the United States is concerned - is that this book concludes with a full-page presentation of The Living Bible in an unqualified endorsement by Evangelist Billy Graham. He is quoted directly: "In this book I have read the age-abiding truths of the Scriptures with renewed interest and inspiration, as though coming to me direct from God. This paraphrase communicates the message of Christ to our generation. Your reading it will give you a new understanding of the Scriptures."
This paraphrase butchers the message of Christ. This paraphrase could not possibly be "the age-abiding truths of the Scriptures ... coming ... direct from God." The endorsement of Billy Graham, perhaps more than any other factor has made possible the acceptance of this book which calls itself The Living Bible.
An interview with Kenneth N. Taylor, who produced The Living Bible, which was carried in the Wall Street Journal, New York, March 1, 1974, reports, "One morning in 1954, as he [Taylor] rode the commuter train to his job as director of Chicago's Moody Bible Institute Press, he began paraphrasing the Bible into contemporary American idiom. Doing much of the work on the train, over the next 16 years he produced a version he called The Living Bible." Of course, it is not a version at all. The Journal reveals, "Mr. Taylor admits to only a superficial knowledge of ancient Biblical languages." So he could not do too much on a scholarly basis. He is directly quoted, "I wasn't tied to the literal word-for-word translation style." He went his own free way. He added, "I feel I've been able to restore the fascination and gripping nature of the original work." But his departures from the original words so permeate the entire book that what he has produced is his own and not the Word of God. One man has sought to improve upon what God Himself delivered to the prophets and the apostles to be His Word for all ages, all time, and all eternity! This well finishes it for those who seek God's Word!
The story reveals further, "Last year, Mr. Graham purchased 1.4 million Living Bibles for several of his television crusades." The backing of Dr. Graham in this project has been primarily responsible for the attention and commendation of the work. Royalties in 1973 the Journal reports have been eight million dollars. Some of this is to be used to translate The Living Bible into some 100 foreign languages." So the damage which has been done is going to be further extended throughout the whole world. Mr. Taylor himself has been identified with the National Association of Evangelicals or what is known today as the Neo-Evangelicals, and it is reported here in the Wall Street Journal that he is disbursing funds from his Tyndale House Foundation "to various religious causes."
Just as the royalties from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible now go to help strengthen the cause of the National Council and the ecumenical movement throughout the world, so Mr. Taylor is using returns from his project to support the causes he in involved in. These are the causes generally represented by the N.A.E.
The N.A.E. is made up of churches and individuals that refuse to take a stand on the National Council or the World Council of Churches or any of these great issues that relate to the ongoing struggle of the twentieth century to preserve the "faith once delivered" and to maintain the true testimony of the churches of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The tragedy of it all is that that which is not the Word of God is now being offered as the Word of God, and it carries with it the historic connotation that the Word of God itself has sustained in the esteem and the love of God's people throughout the world. There is a twist here that is deceptive. "Take heed that no man deceive you," our Lord said. Mr. Taylor is presenting his project under various names: a New Testament for Blacks he calls "Soul Food"; a paperback for hippies he calls "The Jesus Book." What the world needs is the unity, the authority, the glory of an accurate, honest translation of the text as given by the Holy Spirit to the prophets and the apostles of old. The King James is still the best and most generally accepted version. The world needs the Word of God, not just what one man thinks the Word of God ought to say, or how he can adjust it so he thinks it will be more acceptable to a generation of the twentieth century.
These accommodations of man to man, and the adjustment of God's Word to sinful men, so that what man has is not indeed the fullness of God's revelation or even His Word and truth, will only contribute further to the confusion that exists about whether there is a Word from God or not.
Jesus Christ said, "Thy Word is truth." Let us have it, love it, believe it, obey it, and die for it. Here are the words of eternal life!
There is something presumptuous about the words, The Living Bible, as though the other books that call themselves the Bible are not quite alive. Jesus Christ said, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." He said in His great intercessory prayer, "Thy word is truth." And here we have a paraphrase, a man-made garment spread over it, perversions put into it. Ideas that are not contained in a given passage are introduced. To take that which is not the Word of God and offer it as "direct from God" is a travesty of the truth.
For Evangelist Billy Graham, the confidante of President Nixon, and one who attracts thousands to his crusades, to commend something in this particular manner to the souls of men will do them untold damage. This is no book for Christians. This is no help to those who desire the fullness of God's revelation concerning Jesus Christ in its accuracy and its light and power.
If we are going to believe that the Scriptures are infallible, inerrant, and that every word of God is pure, then why should anyone even attempt to give us a paraphrase? Did not God give His Word to His church in all time and to the world? Must we improve on what God Himself designed and planned and did? No wonder we are having trouble with the young people, who demand that Christianity and the culture which is produced be conformed to them rather than their being transformed.
The teaching of the Scripture has been very emphatic. Paul insisted, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1,2).
Indeed "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward" (Psalms 19:7-11).
The King James Version still remains to be the best translation. The arguments of the liberals to destroy it, to take it away from the church have failed. It is a version; it is a translation, but it is the truest, the best, the most beautiful, the most beloved. The tragedy of these various translations is that they have produced a condition in which there is no longer any common text that the church memorizes and lives on. God's people should insist that the King James continue to be read in the public worship and that it be used in their private ministry, for who can possibly improve upon John 3:16, the most beloved text of all Scripture?
Let it be recognized that the first assault upon the Scripture in our century has come from the modernist, now it comes from the Neo-Evangelicals for the very purpose of unsettling the church and weakening her commitment and her knowledge both of the Word and of her Lord. It is time for the Christians to arise and repudiate the so-called Living Bible and especially watch where it is being used on the same level of recognition in books, Sunday school literature, tracts, as the King James Version.
The National Council failed in its announced purpose of having the Revised Standard Version replace the King James Version. Now they have gone so far in 1973 as to produce what they call The Common Bible in which the Revised Standard Version of the National Council of Churches has been combined with the Roman Catholic Edition of the RSV. And after having included the Apocrypha, they call it "The Ecumenical Bible."
God's people need and must have what God has been pleased to give to His church. It is the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments, which are indeed the Word of God, "the only infallible rule of faith and practice." A paraphrase of what God has said has nothing to offer, for who on this earth could possibly improve on what God Himself has said? All of this tampering with the Bible affects the prophecies and especially those that relate to the end time.
The old Devil is determined to break the blessings that belong to God's people as the remnants of the last days. He wants confusion so that people will not understand that God is going to deal with him. And He wants the way to be prepared for his man, the Antichrist, the man of sin, the beast of the Book of the Revelation, to arise who will deceive the whole world.
Let Christians come back to the Bible, love it, read it, delight in it, honor it, and recognize that in it God speaks directly to their souls and satisfies their minds and gives them the grace they need to serve Him until our Saviour appears and gathers to himself His bride, the church. In these days every true Christian must stand as John the beloved said, "For the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9)."
(Distributed by 20th Century Reformation Hour, Dr. Carl McIntire, Director, Sponsored by The Christian Beacon, Collingswood, N.J.)