That’s a Stupid Idea

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).

This Interruption is equal parts confession and an exhortation, as it reads in the King James Version, to rightly dividing the word of truth.

Let me explain.

Recently, I was sitting in a local restaurant discussing the Book of Job with my wife and a friend of hers. My wife’s friend has a renewed interest in the Bible and had questions about evil and why God allows suffering—topics the Book of Job engenders.

Suddenly, a young man sitting near to us inserted himself into our conversation by saying, “Only the King James Version is the Word of God.”

I was irritated and a little protective of my wife’s friend, so I turned to him and said, “That statement is textually and theologically unsustainable.” Okay, okay, I confess, I really said… 

That’s a stupid idea!

There are sincere believers who believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the best translation. But the guy sitting next to me was inferring that the KJV is the only Word of God.

When I mentioned to the guy that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, he said, “I know this, but the King James Version is based upon the Textus Receptus, and all the scholars agree it’s the inspired original Greek manuscript.”

In answer to this, I said, “That’s ridiculous, all the scholars don’t agree.”  (I think “ridiculous” is less inflammatory than “stupid.”)

When I saw a stunned look on his face because I had not accepted his “all the scholars agree” ploy, I pressed my case by asking, “Can you name two of these “all scholars” who agree?

He couldn’t!

I then calmed down and began asking him questions about his background and theology. His ideas had come from listening to YouTube® videos of an obscure preacher from a small church in Nashville, Tennessee. This preacher had used the unsubstantiated “scholars agree” quote to support his teaching on the Textus Receptus.

During further conversation, the guy sitting at the next table also said:

  • Miracles only existed in the New Testament.
  • Satan is not real but just our flesh and a figment of our imagination.
  • We are saved by irresistible grace, and we don’t have free will.
  • He now lives in Oklahoma, and he doesn’t attend a local church because he cannot find one that teaches the right doctrine, like the small church in Nashville.

This Interruption isn’t a discussion of the veracity of the King James Version. I like the KJV and read it often, but I know that much of what the guy was saying…

…isn’t taught in the King James Version!

The King James Version does say, “rightly dividing the Word of truth!” The same message is found in the NASB1995, NIV, ESV, NLT, and all the translations of the New Testament.

It’s the end times. False teachers will arise and lead many astray. 

We will also hear statements like, “All scholars agree that the Creation story in the Bible is a myth.” Or a mantra like, “Science teaches miracles are impossible.” Or, “The Bible must be re-imagined progressively.” 

These are stupid ideas too.

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