Learning the Way of God More Perfectly
King James Bible 1611 Then and Today

What Ever Happened to the "Originals"?
Does God Even Care?

Bill Grady has stated it well: All critics of the King James Bible will agree on two points of interpretation.

  • First: the word scripture is always used in reference to the missing originals;
  • Second: inspiration describes the singular act whereby God mysteriously breathed out the very words which comprise these autographs.
  • Combining these two concepts implies that the breath of God is in some way limited to the venerable originals and, of necessity, reduces all subsequent copies and translations to an inferior status.

    It is surprising that those who hate our beloved King James Bible are guilty of so blatantly disregarding God's omnipotence. Dr. Grady confirms this thought when he states that, "Without infallible preservation, we are forced to conclude that God's breath evaporated with the deterioration of His originals."

    The Bible contains 53 instances in which the words scripture(s)s are used. In every single instance, the word scripture(s) refers to a copy and not to the original autographs. Not even the critics claim that Timothy (II Timothy 3:15), Paul (Romans 15:4), Apollo (Acts 18:24-28), the Bereans (Acts 17:10), or even Christ (Luke 4:16-21) had the original autographs. Yet, the copies that each of these men read are referred to as "scripture."  Not even one of these individuals ever claimed the need to correct his respective copy.

    These simple yet profound truths do not bother the critic. He will point out that that which is applicable to a copy in the same language cannot be applied to a translation. These critics further claim that the translation must be a verbal (word for word) and plenary (completely and totally) identical copy for it to be inerrant, infallible scripture. This is a dishonest ploy on the part of any person trained in language studies and familiar with the work of translation.

    Such an educated person knows that one cannot translate from one language into another without introducing some variation, since certain words must be added in order to complete the sense of the new language. Thankfully, the King James translators indicated these added words by placing them in italics.

    Take note that many of the italicized words in the KJB are included in the modern deceptive per-versions without any indication of their absence from the Hebrew or Greek. For instance, Psalm 23:1 includes an italicized verb in the King James Bible in order to complete the sense of the verse: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." The NIV reads, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." The NIV gives no indication of the added word.

    In an attempt to degrade the King James Bible, the critic takes his two-pronged attack seriously. He magnifies the originals, while despising the italicized words. As is frequently the case, that which man magnifies, God generally abhors - Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The critic places the originals on a pedestal.

    What does God think about the originals? One of the clearest examples of God's complete lack of reverence for the originals would be His "protection" of the original Ten Commandments destroyed shortly after God produced them.

    There is more to the story than man generally recognizes. Many people think that these Ten Commandments written on stone were destroyed before the Nation of Israel had a chance to learn their contents. However, God gave the original Ten Commandments to the Nation of Israel verbally before any of the Ten Commandments were ever written in stone.

    Therefore, the people of Israel actually heard God give these commandments directly to them. This is easy to prove. Follow Moses' travels up and down the mountain and note that Moses is present at the bottom of the mountain when the Ten Commandments are originally given.

    Moses goes up:
    Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

    Moses goes down:
    Exodus 19:14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

    Moses goes up:
    Exodus 19:20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

    Moses goes down, as recorded in the final verse of chapter nineteen:
    Exodus 19:25  So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.

    Moses is down off the mountain among the people when God speaks. The next verses (beginning in the first verse of chapter 20) give the Ten Commandments. Many people would declare that the chapter break caused them to miss this important truth. I think God purposely put His Bible together in this fashion so that only a person that is interested in taking the time to study the truth will see it (II Timothy 2:15). Moses goes down to the people and God speaks to them (the people) and conveys God's Ten Commandments.

    Exodus 20:1 And God spakc all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me ...

    Thus begins the Ten Commandments. The Lord speaks the tenth and final commandment in verse 17. We pick up the sequence of events following the tenth commandment at Exodus 20:18-22  And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.  And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not. for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.  And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

    Why were the people afraid of God's speaking directly to them? Because they had just heard Him speak to them, and they did not enjoy the experience! As soon as God finished speaking the originals (verses 1 through 17), the people turned to Moses (verse 19) and spoke to him. The people told Moses that they did not want God to speak directly to them anymore!

    The pronouns in verse 22 of the King James Bible will shed additional light on this passage.  Thou is a singular second person pronoun; whereas ye and you are two forms of the plural second-person pronouns.

    Therefore, the LORD is speaking only to Moses when He says, "Thus thou shalt say..." He is instructing Moses to speak to the children of Israel. He tells Moses to say the following to the children of Israel: "Ye (Israel) have seen that I (God) have talked with you (Israel) from heaven." By understanding God's use of the pronouns in the King James Bible, one can understand exactly what has just transpired in this verse. God spoke to the Nation of Israel directly.

    In addition, God gives us further proof.  In case a person continues to doubt the manner in which these events occurred, two other passages clearly prove that God spoke His original Ten Commandments directly to the people.

    In Deuteronomy, we find the record of Moses speaking to the Nation of Israel. Deuteronomy 4:10-13 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them (the people) hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the LORD spake unto you (the people) out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.  And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

    Deuteronomy chapter four says that God told Moses to gather the people together to make them hear His words. Verse thirteen says these words were the Ten Commandments. Still doubting?

    Here is another proof from the dialog of Moses, speaking to the children of Israel.
    Deuteronomy 9:10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God, and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you (the people) in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. (As recorded in Exodus chapter 20)

    The people had received the original Ten Commandments verbally From God prior to their being broken while Moses was receiving the written word on the mountain. Notice that the verse says that the Lord spoke with the people and then delivered the two tables of stone to Moses - written with the finger of God.  Exodus 31 tells us about these two tables of stone. These are the written originals.

    Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

    Moses receives these two tables of stone written with the finger of God. Meanwhile, the people at the bottom of the mountain have gathered together to persuade Aaron to make a molten calf to be their god. They break the verbal commandments given to them by God (Exodus 32:8). Moses then comes down the mountain with these written "originals." Remember that these tables technically are not even the originals since the original words had already been given verbally to the people.

    Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.  And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
    One might assume that God would think very highly of these prized originals, possibly even instructing Moses to take special care of them. But instead, we read that Moses breaks up all Ten Commandments.

    Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount
    There go the originals! What is God going to do? God thought so highly of them that they did not even make it off the mountain. Because Moses breaks the originals, God has to inspire some more copies.

    In chapter 34, Moses is told to make two more tables and God will again write the Ten Commandments upon them. Exodus 34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
    Moses is told to hew out two new tables and the Lord will write upon them. We find later in chapter 34:21 that the Lord chose to write upon them with the hand of Moses! These copies are inspired. In verse four, Moses hews out the two tables of stone and goes back up the mountain.

    Exodus 34:4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
    Exodus 34:27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.  And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

    Moses is the one that writes the words, even though God said He would write them Himself (34:1). So, who wrote the words? God or man? God led Moses to write a perfect copy of the originals. This should give some indication of what God thinks about the originals and how He can inspire the copies as well. We should place no greater emphasis upon the originals than does Almighty God.

    Order Dr. Stauffers Book ONE BOOK STANDS ALONE - The Key to Believing the Bible,
    for the footnotes and other pertinent information about this subject.