The Great Bible Debate

The Great Bible Debate
How it got its start

This is part 1 of 4.  Part 2 is here.

Have you ever wondered how all this confusion over Bible Versions got it’s start?  You may be surprised to know that this all started long before we had the Bible as we know it.

Genesis 1:1-4

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. [2] 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. [3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. [4] And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:25

    And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:31

    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

After the creation, everything was in order.  God had placed Adam and Eve into the garden and had given them specific instructions as to what they were allowed and not allowed to do.  His instructions were relatively simple.  What did he tell them?

Genesis 2:15-17

    And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. [16] And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

After God gave Adam these instructions, he determined that it wasn’t good that the man should be alone, so he created the animals - then out of Adam he created Eve to be his wife.

Genesis 2:21-23

    And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; [22] And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. [23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The stage was now set … Adam, who had been given complete instructions, his wife to whom he may or may not have transmitted these instructions clearly.

A serpent in the ointment!

The crux of the problem today, all this confusion over God’s Word, started right there in the Garden of Eden!  Let’s pick up on the action where the very first new Bible Version debate began.  It might surprise you just exactly how early this debate began!  (Italics mine)

Genesis 3:1-6

    Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

 [2] And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: [3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. [4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: [5] For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. [6] And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Aha!  See it?  What just happened here?  God’s word was corrupted, in literal translation, in practically the first time it was used!  Eve made a critical blunder here - she misquoted the Word of God.  However, lest we blame Eve for her poor judgement, is it possible that good old Adam might have slipped in translating it to Eve?

Regardless of where the actual mistranslation may have taken place, the Word of God became (in modern terms) watered down.  Look at how Satan (the Serpent) used this to his advantage.  He did not even so much as question the Word of God - instead he trapped Eve in a misquotation.  God didn’t say not to touch the fruit, he said only not to eat it!  It was easy, therefore, for him to confuse Eve by saying Ye shall not surely die.

In looking at this example, it is clear that God’s word became corrupted by mis-use or mis-translation.  God himself has promised to provide his Word for us:

Psalm 12:6-7 (AV)

    The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. [7] Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Side Note:  The NIV even corrupts this verse!  

Psalm 12:6-7 (NIV)

    And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.  [7] O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.

Deut. 4:1-2

    Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. [2] Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Proverbs 30:5

    Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Mark 13:31

    Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Rev. 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: [19] 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.

Again, the modern versions corrupt what is really being said in the Word!

Rev. 22:18-19 (NIV)

    I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. [19] And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

This doesn't sound like God inspired only the "concepts" in Scripture. He clearly directed every word and will not tolerate man's meddling with it. He calls them "His Words."

If your Bible is a King James Bible, it preserves God's words because it was translated using "formal equivalence." All other Bibles were translated using "dynamic equivalence," in which the translator is free to change words as long as he conveys the "idea."


What are the side-effects of the corruption of God’s Word?  Primarily confusion which takes on different forms.

Hooked yet?  There’s more!  Click here for Part 2!