The Bible is unique from the rest of the books in the world. Other books need the reader to be highly educated and intellectual to be able to fully comprehend the content of what he is reading. Because the author of the Bible is God, if that is the requirement in understanding His Word then God would be unfair. How about those who are not highly educated? How about those who are not brilliant? How about those who don’t have the luxury of having Bible commentaries and different translations for comparison? What one can easily do is refer to the only translation of God’s Word available to him that is written in his own spoken language to be able to read and understand it. But does one need to go to a theological seminary to fully comprehend the Bible? How about those who cannot afford to go? Can he still understand God’s Word? Again, if that is the only requirement in understanding His Word, to be privileged and highly educated, then there is no fairness in God.
Charles Darwin was a brilliant man who earned his Bachelors Degree in Theology in 1831 at Cambridge University to become a minister. However, he ended up teaching theories that totally contradicted the teaching of the Bible. How that did happen and why was he deluded? There are a lot of brilliant and highly educated people who studied the Bible but came out teaching doctrines that contradict the whole teaching of God’s Word. The big question here is why?
The very first word that came out from the lips of Jesus when He began to preach was; “Repent”. (Matthew 4:17) The very first phrase the Lord Jesus uttered in His sermon in the mount was: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) Poor in spirit are people who are willing to be humble before God. Again Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, “I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Pride and hypocrisy are absent from the heart of a little child, so to humble ourselves before God and to repent immediately when we see and realize we violated God’s law. That is the only key to understanding God’s Word. Repent immediately and the Holy Spirit will open your mind. Fair enough isn’t it?
When we hear God’s Word but we won’t humble ourselves before Him and not repent, then there is a great tendency to become deluded like Darwin and so many others who become fanatics and even some cult leaders.
In studying the Bible it is helpful to compare different versions because the more you compare the more God’s Word become clearer. It is true that there are those who attempted to distort, to twist or to pervert verses from the Bible to suit or to agree to their false and cultic doctrines, but to make translation of the Bible is a tedious and difficult task that without God’s Divine Grace to inspire man to do the toil, no one can translate it.
There are those who suggest that only the King James Version is the true English translation and the rests are purposely translated to mislead people. Because of this tentative statement, a lot of Christians are hesitant to even open or read other versions. This adamant attitude becomes a problem and those who only read the King James Version become fanatics.
Whatever version of the Bible one may have, Hebrews 11:6 is the same in meaning. Let us compare: (NIV) “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (NLT) “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (TEV) “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.” (KJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (NAS) “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
As I said, the more you compare different versions the more it becomes clearer when you read the Bible. Because of this fanatical belief of some Christians that only one version is to be relied upon (the King James Version), “TRUST” in God who gives wisdom is thrust in thin air.
Trust in God’s Word and to seek Him diligently is the key:
In the New Living Translation, “sincerely seek him”. In King James Version, “diligently seek him”. In New International Version and the New American Version, “earnestly seek him”. The key are these words, “sincerely, diligently and earnestly”, that means one must thirst for God’s Words and to seek the Bible as if you are seeking for priceless treasures.
Let us go back to what I have said that God is not unfair. How about those who don’t understand English language? What one can easily do is refer to the only translation of God’s Word available to him that is written in his own spoken language to be able to read and understand it? Can God give him wisdom while he doesn’t have a King James Version to read? Man is the one who limits God’s power and thus unbelief creeps in his heart. Because the Bible is God’s Word, whatever version one may have, it is unique or different from the rest of the books in the world.
James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, he shall pray to God, who will give it to him; because God gives generously and graciously to all.” (Today’s English Version)