WHICH BIBLE IS PRESERVED OF
By David Otis Fuller
The following is from a message
recorded on audio cassette in the 1970s.
message of this nature we should begin with Scripture. I am now going to quote
one passage from the Old Testament and one passage from the New.
Isaiah 8:19-20--"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have
familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a
people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? to the law and to the
testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no
light in them."
Revelation 22:18-19--"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of
the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall
add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall
take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his
part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things
which are written in this book."
this message I will seek to give as clear account of this whole complex question
as I can, so that the ordinary layman who is not familiar with this particular
area of knowledge can get it without too much trouble. Victor Hugo, the great
French novelist, wrote upon one occasion: "Greater than the threat of mighty
armies, or the barriers of isolation, is the irresistible force of an idea whose
hour has come." You know what Thomas Edison did, don't you? Of course you do. He
had an idea that electricity could be put to good use in light, and heat, and
power, and look what we have today. That idea really was irresistible once it
started on its course. And then there were the Wright brothers, at Kitty Hawk,
North Carolina, who had an idea that they could fly a heavier than air machine,
and they did, and look what we have today. We have a measure of good from that,
but an awful measure of bad, too, when we think of the bombs that were dropped
from planes, and what's happening today across the world.
Now, let's go back to 1859 when Charles Darwin produced his Origin of the
Species. The intellectual world of that day grasped at it and swallowed it
whole. Why? Because the carnal mind, or the mind that is at enmity against God,
just does not want to retain God in his or her knowledge, but is willing to go
to any length to try and banish Him from their minds, and indeed from this
world, if it were possible. We know there is not one single shred of evidence to
support organic evolution.
REVISED VERSION OF 1881
Then in 1881, the Revised Version of the Scriptures was published. Brook Foss
Westcott, late Bishop of Durham, and Fenton John Anthony Hort, were both
professors at Cambridge University, and without question were two of the most
brilliant and erudite scholars of their day, and to this day, nearly a century
later. They command the attention and admiration of textual critics, both
liberal and conservative. The two together had been working for twenty years on
a Greek text of the New Testament. Around 1870 there was a demand made for
another version of the Scriptures. Westcott and Hort spearheaded this demand and
influenced many scholars and theologians to form a committee for a revised
version which appeared in 1881.
The Westcott and Hort text was based upon two of the oldest manuscripts extant,
Codex Aleph and Codex Vaticanus. One was found in the wastepaper basket by the
great scholar Tischendorf on Mt. Sinai. The other was found in an out of the way
place in the Vatican museum with dust over it. The former was discovered around
1859; the later some centuries before that; I believe in the thirteenth century
These manuscripts are two of the worst in existence. They are filled
with contradictions and errors, and they contradict each other. In the
Vatican manuscript all of Revelation is missing, as well as all the Pastoral
Epistles of Paul, and from the ninth to the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews. They
just aren't there. So it was quite a mutilated manuscript. But because they were
the oldest, going back to the fourth century, there were those scholars that
almost revered them and made much of the fact of these two manuscripts. The
theory was that the oldest manuscript was nearest to the original autographs
written by the Apostles and others.
But it so happens that this is not the case. The oldest manuscripts have proven
to be the worst, because in the early days of Christianity a war was raging
between Athanasius and Arius concerning the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We
cannot thank God enough that Athanasius won, even though he was banished five
times by the emperor, because he was so tenacious and would not let this matter
go. And when some of his friends came to him and said, "Athanasius, the world is
against you," he drew himself up and uttered those famous words, "Athanasius is
against the world." Arius and his followers were unitarian, and it is clear that
many manuscripts in those days were corrupted doctrinally.
Both ideas, evolution and that of the Westcott and Hort theory, have no
foundation whatever. They are made up of cobwebs, yet the Westcott and Hort
Greek text was founded squarely upon these two manuscripts, with a few others,
but in the main Codex Aleph and Codex Vaticanus were the ones that they relied
upon the most.
statement will make some of you who listen upset, but I'm going to make it
anyway. You and I at the present time are witnessing the most vicious and
malicious attack ever made upon the Word of God since the Garden of Eden.
And this modern attack began in 1881 with the publication of the Revised
the ten years that it took the committee in the Jerusalem Chamber in England to
produce this Revised Version, Westcott and Hort domineered, engineered, and
dominated the whole committee from beginning to end. They issued their Greek
text, which had not yet been released for publication, to all of the members and
swore them to secrecy that they would not tell anyone what they had done until
after the Revised Version was published. And if it had not been for Prebendary
Scrivener, who was a scholar as great as Westcott and Hort and who fought tooth
and nail against many of the things Westcott and Hort were constantly seeking to
insert into the Revised Version from their two oldest texts, we would have had a
far worse version of the Bible in the RV than we do now.
vast majority of the people are confused, and you can't blame them, with a
hundred versions of the Scriptures now extant. Some of them are good
versions, but for the most part they are perversions, vagrant versions, and in
some cases, plain bastard Bibles. If you, my friend, think that such a term is
too harsh, then will you please let me turn to the read the King James Version
in Psalm 22:16--"...they pierced my Lord and Savior, is it not? But what does
the NEB say? It says, "... they hacked off my hands and my feet." That is
blasphemy and comes straight from the pit of hell, and I don't care who knows
has from the very beginning hated two objects more than anything else in this
world and universe. One is the Bible, the holy, infallible, inerrant,
inspired Word of God, and the second is Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.
God has spoken once and for all in His Word, and He says in Proverbs 30:5,
"Every word of God is pure." In Psalm 138:2, "Thou hast magnified thy
word above all thy name." And in Exodus 34:14 we read these words concerning
God Himself: "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name
is Jealous, is a jealous God."
Lord Jesus Christ was on earth, the Father's voice was heard from heaven, and it
said in the plainest of terms, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased; hear ye him." And what He has said about His Son, He also can and
does say about His holy Word. When our Lord Jesus was in the wilderness, being
attacked for forty days by Satan, our Lord used the Old Testament, God's holy
Word, exclusively when meeting the attacks of Satan. That is exactly what we
should do today. If we have a Bible riddled with errors, how in the world can
we use it as our final authority? If all versions today have errors in them,
including the KJV, then where is the doctrine of inerrancy gone?
INERRANCY WITHOUT PRESERVATION IS SENSELESS
But someone replies, We believe in the inerrancy of the original manuscripts.
All right, I agree with you there. But then we ask the question, and it's a good
one, too: Was God careless? Or didn't He realize that these errors were creeping
in? Or was He impotent that He could not keep His Word even if He wanted to?
Look out yonder into space, will you please? Listen to some of the Christian
astronomers and scientists who study the stars and all the planets and
constellations there in outer space, and they will tell you that God has so
created them in such a meticulous fashion that they obey all the laws that He
has laid down for His whole vast creation. If God is that careful to keep His
universe, do you think He is going to be careless about His sacred, holy Word
upon which hangs the destiny of the souls of men, whether for heaven or hell?
You know good and well He could not possibly be careless about such a wonderful
Book. But if you want to go ahead and believe in a God who has just let his book
go and become filled with errors through the mistakes of men, you go ahead, but
please count me out as of now.
gave an illustration of how men are tampering with the Word of God in the New
English Bible over against the KJV. Now let me give you another one. In the New
American Standard Version, which has been heralded and advertised as the nearest
to the originals, we find that in sixteen different places the name of Christ is
left out of His title, and in twelve different places the name of the Lord is
are facing a gigantic, titanic battle that is raging all around us, and my
prayer is that the sleeping, snoring, satisfied Christians will become aroused
to the need of taking their stand for God's holy Word.
There are two books we have had the privilege of publishing, together over 600
pages, giving definite, positive proof, documented fully, that the King James
Version is the nearest to the original autographs. They are entitled Which Bible
and True Or False.. We are not making any money out of the royalties. I have
ordered the publisher to make out the last two royalty checks to the Wealthy
Street Baptist Church, and we are using the funds for the purpose of giving them
to missionaries and ministers who cannot afford them, so they may have something
solid to sink their teeth in and to stand upon when these so-called intellectual
critics begin to expound from their ivory towers and look down their long noses
at those who refuse to go along with them in their pernicious errors.
just received recently a letter from a good friend of mine I have known for
years. He's one of the best Bible teachers in this country, and if I mentioned
his name I know that many of you would know who he was immediately. This is what
"If I knew how to repent in sackcloth and ashes, I would begin immediately for
the unpardonable delay in acknowledging receipt of two of the most helpful and
timely volumes I have ever owned. I have carried these titles with me all
summer and immersed myself in them. I have never underscored books so much as
I have done in these. They enhanced my appreciation of the King James Version
as the true revelation of God as no other writings. I appreciate so much your
sending them to me. As a member of the editorial committee in the production
of the Amplified New Testament, we honestly and conscientiously felt it was a
mark of intelligence to follow Westcott and Hort. Now, what you have in these
books strikes terror to my heart. It proves alarmingly that being
conscientiously wrong is a most dangerous state of being. God help us to be
more cautious lest we fall into the snare of the archdeceiver."
IS RIGHT WITH THE KJV?
Now let's ask another question. What is right with the King James Version? I
believe with all my heart that there was a time in the early church when God
blessed certain men to choose the twenty-seven books which comprise our New
Testament, and in this order we have them now. The proof for that is in the
Bible. There they are. Twenty-seven books in that particular order. Just so,
I believe God was very definitely in the choosing of the forty- seven scholars
who came together at the command of King James I around 1605 to produce a new
version of the Bible. We are bold enough to say that we don't believe there
was ever such a collection of great, I mean truly great, scholars as these who
were so chosen.
For instance, there was John Boys. What a scholar he was! At the age of five
years old, he could read the Bible in Hebrew, and at the age of fourteen he was
a proficient Greek scholar. And for years he spent from four o'clock in the
morning until eight o'clock at night at the Cambridge library studying
languages. You see, friend, listen, he was nor cursed with television, or
telephone, or radio. He had time to think, and to meditate, and to study. He
wasn't flitting from this Bible conference to another one, and being "oh'd" and
"ah'd" at by an adoring crowd.
Another was Lancelot Andrewes, who was the overall chairman of the committee. He
was the greatest linguist of his day. He knew, was familiar with, and spoke
nearly twenty languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, and many others. He spent
five hours a day in prayer.
Not only Lancelot Andrewes and John Boys, but practically all the other men
chosen for this monumental work of the King James Version were men of note
throughout, not only in their own country, but in other countries as well.
You see, God knows what he is doing. He always does, and He chose that
particular time and age when the English language was at its zenith, to use
these men for that purpose.
Something else of note should be mentioned here, too. I am sure some of you who
hear this message know of William Tyndale. He was one of the greatest of
scholars. He was the one who said the time will come when every plow boy in
England will be able to read the Bible. William Tyndale was at home in eight
languages. He translated all of the New Testament and some parts of the Old
Testament. He did such a tremendous job that the King James translators kept
well over sixty percent of his translation intact, just as it was, to be used in
the King James translation. William Tyndale was hounded like a wild animal by
those who hated him and wanted him burned at the stake. Finally King Henry VII,
through one of his stooges, caused Tyndale to be betrayed. He was thrown in
prison, and finally at Vilvord, just outside of Brussels, Belgium, he was
strangled to death by order of the king, and then his body was burned. Now, the
last thing he said before he died, was this: "Oh, God, open the eyes of the king
of England!" And do you know what? God answered that prayer in less than a year,
when all of England had the Bible in the English language. It has been my
privilege to stand there at that small monument that was erected some years
after in Tyndale's memory.
Another thing we need to note also is that practically every one of the
committee of the revisers of the King James Version had been through suffering
of one kind or another. Either they themselves had been apprehended and put in
jail, or loved ones of theirs had the same thing done to them. Now such men had
deep convictions and also a holy reverence for the Word of God which you
don't find in modern-day scholars. Many scholars of many versions this day,
such as the Revised Standard Version, or the New English Bible, or the Good News
for Modern Man, and many others, do not believe that the Bible should be
approached in any different way from any other book. They refuse to accept it
as the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God, and Westcott and Hort
believed this same thing. Nowhere can you find in their writings a statement
that they believed in the verbally, inspired Word of God.
Now let me say here before I go any further, I have never claimed to be a
scholar. I do not claim to be one now, and I never expect to claim to be one.
But there are two very definite claims that I make without hesitation, or
trepidation, or reservation. One is I claim to have studied under some of the
greatest scholars this country has ever produced, if not the world. It was my
privilege to be a student at Princeton Seminary and to graduate from that
institution just before the flood. I mean by that before the flood of modernism.
Today Princeton is modernistic in every sense of the world, but not then. There
were giants in the earth in those days. Consider Robert Dick Wilson. He was one
of the greatest linguists this country has ever seen. He was at home in, and
knew, and spoke forty-five languages and dialects. He was a contemporary of the
great scholar of Oxford, England, Dr. Driver, who claimed that the book of
Daniel was wrong because of certain statements or phrases in it. Dr. Wilson
spent years going through some 50,000 manuscripts to prove that Driver was wrong
and that Daniel was right.
second claim is that I can tell a true Christian scholar when I hear him, or
read his works, or talk with him. By Christian I mean one who holds to and
reverences the Word of God as being THE Word of God, and as being different from
any other book that has ever been published because it is the only book that God
And the men of Princeton in my day believed just that. When we went out of
their classes, we were strengthened in our faith concerning the Word of God to
be just what it is. Today they tear it down, criticize it, emasculate it,
make fun of it. May God help such men when they stand before a holy God.
Some of you have heard the name Desiderius Erasmus. He was born in 1466 and died
in 1536. He was known as a Renaissance humanist, born in Rotterdam, Holland,
educated by the Brethren of the Common Life. He entered an Augustinian
monastery; he was ordained a priest in 1492 and became secretary to the Bishop
of Cambrai. Later, after studying four years of theology at the Sorbonne in
Paris, he became disgusted with the decadent scholasticism. In 1499 he went to
England where he became friends with John Colet and Thomas More. It was Colet
that revealed to him his true vocation, the rejuvenation of theology by basing
it on scientific, accurate documents, especially the Greek originals of the New
Testament and the earliest fathers of the church.
Erasmus could do the work of ten men. He was that brilliant. And such an
indefatigable worker. He was courted by kings. The reigning king of England
offered him anything in his realm if he would become a citizen of that nation.
The king of France did the same thing. Holland made great preparations to
advertise him as their own native son.
refused to take sides when the Reformation storm broke with Luther's 95 Theses,
but I honestly believe that Erasmus was saved. He held in the deepest reverence
the Word of God. We are told that he had access to Codex Vaticanus and was
offered it to be used in his studies. He rejected it because he had found it
untrustworthy. He was offered the cardinal's hat by the pope of Rome. This he
refused. It is also said that he could have become pope if he had engineered it
in the right way and pulled the right strings, but he refused to do this because
in his famous book, In Praise of Folly, in a very satirical way he exposed the
terrible sins of the Roman Catholic Church of that day.
Erasmus was responsible for the Textus Receptus, or the Received Text,
that Greek text upon which the King James Version is founded. He made
five editions of it, we are told, and in each one he made small changes that
enhanced the meaning of certain phrases, or verses. Then the Elzevir brothers
brought out several editions of it, and so did Stephens, and Beza, the successor
of Calvin, who brought out nine editions. All in all there were some twenty-one
editions of the Textus Receptus from Erasmus through Beza, but from the first
edition to the last there were no major changes, but merely minor ones, which is
another proof of the way in which God kept His Word all through the ages.
I have said before so say I now again, there are those people who tell us today
that there is no version of the Scripture that is without error. Very well,
then, where does the doctrine of inerrancy go if there are errors in the Bible?
They come back with that statement, Well, we believe that the original
autographs were inspired, but not those copies of them. We agree that the
originals were inspired, but my question is simply this: If God wrote this Book
in the beginning, wasn't He able to keep it intact and pure and without error
all through the ages? My answer to that is that He certainly was and He still is
so capable. I would remind you again that God is jealous for His Word, just as
much as He is jealous for His blessed Son, Jesus Christ.
someone says to you that all manuscripts and all versions today have errors in
them, then ask them in return what kind of a God they worship. A careless or
impotent God in my book is a monstrosity. I believe that the King James Version
does not have any errors.
Please remember this. You and I are facing, as I have said before, the most
vicious and malicious attack upon the Word of God that has ever been made since
the garden of Eden, and the modern attack began with the publication of the
Revised Version of 1881. This is an unpopular cause at present in Christian
circles. I have found this out again and again, and I am going to find it out in
the future. But I can say as far as I am concerned it doesn't make any
difference what happens to me, but it makes a whale of a difference what happens
to the cause of Jesus Christ. And someday you and I, my friend, will have to
stand before a holy God and give an account to what we did or did not do in
seeking to open the eyes of people to the facts that have been covered up for so
long concerning His holy, indestructible, impregnable Word.
hour is late; the time is short; hell is filling; Christ is coming; and what do
we had better do in a hurry. I have told my people, and I am telling you, if
you are willing to sweep the television cobwebs out of your brain and put that
boob tube down in the basement two, three, or four weeks, or even longer, as far
as I am concerned, and sit down and study these books and other material, you
will learn firsthand just what the score is. And it will increase your faith
immeasurably, even as it has done mine.
give all the credit to God Himself for having these books published. The
material that we have collected for these books, I want to be frank with you, I
marvel again and again at how God led me to this source, and to that source, and
helped me to put it together. I don't want to take one bit of credit for this. I
want to give God all of the glory and the honor, and I am hoping that those who
are listening will get the vision of this whole situation, because if we do not
have an infallible, inerrant, inspired Book to rest our weary souls upon for
time and eternity, then your salvation and mine isn't worth the paper it's
the most important question anybody could ever discuss in Christian circles, far
more than your salvation and mine. The reason for that is that the battleground
is the Bible. Is it true, or is it not true? Is it without error, or is it
filled with error? I maintain that the whole reason why there are nearly one
hundred versions in print is because of one main reason: MONEY. And you can
spell that with capitals, and you can underscore it, and put it in red, if you
want to. May God help us! May God help you listening now to take your stand for
what you know is right, and not budge or move for one single minute. You may be
laughed at, scorned and scoffed at, and treated with contempt, but so what. If
God be for us who can be against us? Those in the past who have done a
tremendous work for God have had these same things to face. We need men, we need
women, we need young people today with backbone made out of pig iron instead of
want you to keep clearly in mind this, which is a basic essential to
understanding something about this complex question, namely, the King James
Version is founded squarely on the Textus Receptus, which is in 90-95% agreement
with the five thousand extant Greek manuscripts. But the Westcott and Hort text
is in disagreement with them just about as much, and is founded upon two of the
worst of texts, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Thus if you reject or
look down upon the KJV, and settle for a mutilated Bible, you go ahead, but
count me out. I do not say that you cannot profit from reading other
versions. You can. But if they are based on the Westcott and Hort text, they are
immediately suspect and you should be mighty careful that you check that version
with the KJV as closely as possible.
Now practically all versions of the Scriptures today, with exception to the King
James, are based upon the Westcott and Hort Greek text. So there you are; take
your choice. When you see that the King James Version is nearest to the original
manuscripts, in spite of what hundreds and thousands of others say, it's going
to be an uphill battle and it's going to be a rough. But, then, who are we "to
be taken to the skies on flowery beds of ease, while others fought to win the
prize and sailed through bloody seas?"
There is so much at stake just now--the authority, the accuracy, the inerrancy
of the holy Word of a holy God. And if ever the Lord needed those of His
followers to take a stand for His Word and refuse to budge, it is now.
Over one hundred years ago, in 1863, a convocation of the bishops and
archbishops of the Church of England was held. They were meeting to protest and
censor the heresy of one of their number, Bishop Colenzo, concerning the Word of
God. They issued the following statement: "All our hopes for eternity, the very
foundation of our faith, our nearest and dearest consolation, are taken away
from us if one line of that sacred book, the Bible, be declared unfaithful or
man wants the world to know that he stands squarely with these great scholars of
the last century on this all-important subject, the infallibility and inerrancy
of the Holy Scriptures. It is true that God can use almost anything or anyone to
bring souls to Himself. He used Balaam to utter some of the greatest prophecies,
and God also used a dumb animal to rebuke the madness of the prophet (2 Peter
2:16). And God uses perversions of His Word in the salvation of souls, but
this fact does not for one moment warrant us in keeping quiet when the holy
Bible is being treated in such a slipshod, untrustworthy manner.
are desperate days. They are filling with fear and foreboding. The end is in
sight. Multitudes of Christians are confused, with nearly a hundred versions, or
paraphrases, of God's Holy Word in print. We dare not, if we truly love Him,
play with the living Word of the living God. I urge my listener to keep before
him the KJV as the one safe, sure standard to go by in measuring other versions.
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