This morning I received an email asking me to direct soldiers who are PCSing (moving) to community X to independent Baptist church XYZ. Obviously before I can make such a recommendation I have to investigate, so I did what I would expect every member of BBC to do. I went to their website and pulled up their statement of faith. I copied what their website said for your review. Item number one dealt with the Word of God. I appreciated that. Communicating one's stand on the Bible in the beginning is very important. So let's take a moment and examine this statement and see what we think. Now BBC uses the KJV and believes it to be a very good literal word for word translation of the Bible. Our Articles of Faith makes it clear that the KJV is the Bible we use, but this article of faith from church XYZ communicates a different message. Let me show you what I mean.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
1. ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES. We believe that only the Authorized King James Version (1611) is the inspired, preserved, and infallible Word of God.
First, I have to wonder why are we including the 1611 date? The 1611 AV KJV Bible is not readily available for purchase. It is impossible to get it in a good study Bible. Furthermore, the font types, character variations and different spellings would make it nearly impossible to read and comprehension would be exceptionally low.
Second, why would one include the 1611 date when the 1611 AV KJV was published and distributed with the Apocrypha? It had 80 books not 66 books. Now I know this preacher doesn't have the Apocrypha in his preaching Bible, and I am sure he does not reference any of the Apocrypha books, but it is important to realize that a direct reference to 1611 implies something. But what is the point of pointing someone to a date that isn't truly reflective of the Bible the church uses? BBC uses the KJV but not 1611. We use the most recent revision; the Authorized King James Version on my Logos Bible software is dated 1769.
Third, notice what is inspired, preserved and infallible—the 1611 is inspired, preserved and infallible. The translators were inspired, but there isn't a single Bible verse that justifies this statement. The original authors of the 66 canonical books were the ones inspired. That's what the Bible teaches. There are NO prophetical references to a time in the future in which God would inspire one particular group of translators unlike he has or ever will inspire such a group. Be careful joining a church in which the article of faith cannot be substantially supported by multiple scriptural references.
Fourth, the AV KJV is in English. Where is the scriptural support justifying God's exceptional love for English speaking people over and above all other languages? BBC has a Spanish body of Christ within the body of Christ—according to the above statement, only English speaking people have access to the inspired, preserved and infallible Word of God. How can this be? We also have a Korean Pastor in our congregation. Am I to tell him that unless he learns English and has a KJV Bible in his hands as he preaches he too cannot stand on the inspired infallible Word of God? What arrogant position. Where is the Bible proof that God is a respecter of English speaking people above others? Where are the prophetical references indicating God would in the future do something special in 1611 unlike anything he had previously done or would do again with a group of translators? I have heard all the arguments that God has used and blessed the KJV. I will submit to you that German scholars could have said the same thing concerning Martin Luther's biblical translation work in German. You can also be sure that there is a Korean Bible that God is blessing beyond the scope of the KJV in Southeast Asia as His Word is accurately translated into hundreds of languages all over the world, and it is NOT returning VOID.
What about when Jerome translated the Greek NT into Latin—what was that?
What about when Jews translated the Hebrew OT into Greek creating the Septuagint often quoted and referenced by Jesus and the Apostles—what was that?
What about the Tyndale Bible? What about the hundreds upon hundreds of Baptist preachers who use the NASB—are they all also NOT using something that is inspired and infallible? Notice very carefully the statement above uses the word ONLY. ONLY means ONLY.
There are some serious holes in the above statement of faith that should serve as significant red flags.
One must ask what other personal preferences will this preacher attempt to make authoritative as a matter of doctrine without sufficient Scriptural support. If he is willing to do it with his favorite translation, what is going to stop him from doing the same with a particular flavor of music he prefers or what about a particular style of dress—where does it end?
In Galatians 2, Paul confronted Peter to his face. Preachers who are declaring something as Scriptural which isn't must be confronted. A favorite or preferred translation is fine and acceptable, but don't take it too far.