What if...
By: Martin A. Shue

The older I get the more I realize just how little I actually know. When I was much younger I thought I knew it all and was convinced that I was always right. It wasnít until I left the security of my parentís house and began a family of my own that I realized just how deceived I had been. I quickly discovered that I was not always right and I didnít know everything. There are many times when I get it wrong---Iím subject to get the facts incorrect---or I just blow it altogether. There is even the possibility that I may be wrong about something today. However, the good news is that Iím not always wrong---Happily, I do get it right occasionally!

For years now I have diligently studied and prayed about the Bible translation issue. I realize (from past experiences) that there at least exists the possibility that I may be wrong regarding the King James Bible issue. It may be that Iíve completely misunderstood what the Scriptures themselves teach regarding the words of God and His promises of preservation. Afterall it does seem that many other Christians read these same scriptures and come to a completely different conclusion than I do. It is certain that we canít both be right. Since this is the case I canít help but wondering what the Lord will say to me when I stand before Him if IĎm wrong. Will the Lord rebuke me for literally applying His words? Will the Lord punish me for believing that He not only promised to preserve His words but He actually did preserve His very words (every one of them) and not just the Ďmessageí only? Will the Lord chasten me for believing and promoting Biblical inerrancy? Will He rebuke me for believing that His words are 100% perfect and have been handed down to us 100% perfect? Further, I wonder if the Lord will condemn me for applying Ps. 12:6-7, Matt. 24:35 and 1 Peter 1:23-25 to the doctrine of Biblical preservation?

In addition to the questions above I also wonder just how much trouble Iíll be in for recommending to others the Authorized King James Bible? This I wonder in light of the fact that God Himself seems to have greatly blessed it for nearly 400 years. Or could it be that I will be rebuked for my position of leaving it to each individual to decide for themselves what they will read? I canít help but wondering just how much punishment I will face for believing and promoting Biblical preservation; and for using, defending and believing every word of our Authorized Version?

While these questions frequent my mind Iím also confronted with the idea that I could just as easily be right. And, what if Iím right? What if it is true that God has promised (as the Scriptures indicate) to preserve every one of His words and that He has not allowed a single one of them to pass away (i.e. be lost in transmission)? If I am indeed right I must wonder how those that believe some parts of the originals have been lost, and believe it is only the ímessageí that needs to be preserved and not the very words of God, will fair when they stand before the Lord? How will they answer for their misplaced beliefs? And what will those who deny that any Bible is the actual preserved words of God have to say for themselves when they appear before the Lord? What reasons will they be able to utter to account for the fact that they believed every Bible contained errors and were the mere ďwork of menĒ and not the words of God?

And what if the Authorized King James Bible is indeed the preserved word of God for English speaking people? What will be the end of those who have scoffed at its text? What about those who have Ďcorrectedí it or who have pointed out what they call Ďerrorsí? What will the Lord have to say to them? What about those individuals that have produced hundreds of Bibles contrary to the Authorized King James Bible? What will the Lord say to those who have rejected many of His words that are found in the Authorized King James Bible choosing rather to believe what modern scholarship has said? If I am right, I must wonder what the Lord will say to these people and what will they have to say to the Lord for placing their trust in man (i.e. scholarship) and not in the power of God?

When I consider the Scriptures, and my current beliefs, I really canít think of any verse(s) that teaches I will face a greater judgment for actually believing what I read in the scriptures. I canít think of a single statement of condemnation in the Bible for those that unerringly believe what God has spoken or that literally believe that God has kept all His promises pertaining to His words---allowing nothing to be lost. I cannot think of a single reference indicating that only the Ďmessageí is important and not the actual words of God. I find no judgments pronounced upon those that believe Godís words are to be perfect, without error of any kind. I find no words of warning against believing in Biblical inspiration and Biblical preservation.

On the contrary, I can think of places where those who did not believe the promise(s) of God did not fair very well. And, I can think of twice in the OT where we are told not to add to or take from God's word (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6). I can also think of a place in the NT where we are told the very same thing. In fact, call it ironic if you wish but it is one of the last things the Lord has to say to us (Rev. 22:18-19).

As I said at the onset, Iíve been wrong before and there is a high probability Iíll be wrong again. But when it comes to this issue of Bible translations and the preservation (or lack thereof) of Godís every word I really want to make sure I have it right. In my understanding, it is highly possible that God will overlook my zeal to promote His word . . . but what about the zeal of those who correct it and/or deny it exists today?

What if Iím right?

What if youíre wrong?

Something to consider isnít it?