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Readers' Bible Versions Experiences - 1998
I present My Bible Versions Experiences on this site. In the following e-mails which I received in 1998, readers expressed their experiences in this matter. The e-mailers' comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
Just wanted to let you know your web site has help me immensely in understanding Bible versions and the difference in Greek texts.
I myself was "hoodwinked" by the "KJV only" folks and also taken in by their mostly "legalist/ separatist" philosophies. Not that all of it was bad because it forced me to examine what I really believed, and I feel that God introduced that element to make me grow in His Grace. Another web site that has helped me a lot is the Grace Evangelical Society.
Anyways, I'll just say that I am like many others who don't trust the Critical Text modern versions, (I was of course told to buy an NIV as soon as I became a Christian) and yet I was saddened by the conclusion that the only reliable Bible version was in "Old English."
The KJV only folks just won't allow any latitude for a more understandable translation and to me that's the worst kind of heresy and venom. Of course I was warned about the "dangerous and counterfeit" NKJV and it's "occult like Triquetra" on the cover. Well anyway, I gave up trusting in these folks quite a while ago but I was still confused as to what Bible I should be reading (seeing as I couldn't read one verse from my KJV out loud to my wife without stopping 5 times!).
Thanks to your site I now feel very comfortable with my NKJV and I have an LITV on the way.(I'll let you know what I think)....
Your Brother in Christ,
I am thankful I could be of help. And I will check out the Web site you mentioned. Your story sounds very familiar to many I have received. And I hope you enjoy your LITV.
>Gary: I am writing to say how very much I appreciate your efforts in placing before the "cyber- Christian-public" the issues concerned with the Bible Versions question. Your page is most excellent!<
Thank you very much.
>You might be interested to know that my experiences with the various versions are similar to yours. Like you, I graduated from a seminary that strongly pushed the NIV and the "eclectic text" (Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia) and like you I was not convinced by the arguments.
I heard or read. I was then and remain a committed New King James Version user. I also use the AV, the MKJV, and occasionally consult the NIV, the CEV, and the NASB, among others for different renderings, but my primary Bible for preaching and study is the NKJV.
I certainly do not consider it perfect but I do consider it the best available today. I think that my "ideal Bible" would be an AV (old KJV) with the "thee's" and the "thous" LEFT IN, but the obvious archaisms changed and in some cases, sentence structures re arranged to be more readable. I know that in some cases this is not the best thing to do, and I know that the AV translators in many cases came up with sentences structures that were exactly as they were in Greek and Hebrew, and I applaud such fidelity to the texts.
Like you I am not convinced by the rantings of such well meaning but poorly informed KJV Only advocates as Gipp and Ruckman.<
We do seem to agree on many points, except for the use of "thee" and "thou." Actually, I have had many people e-mail me and tell me they had similar experiences to mine. Just shows all the indoctrination of the CT/ dynamic equivalence people don't convince everyone. The KJV only people are even less effective. Thank God.
>Thanks again for a great set of pages!
Rev. C.H.R., D.Min
Pastor, Ballston Center Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
God bless you too. I checked out your church's Web site. It looks nice.
Dear Gary, Excellent stuff! Again and again I am thankful to clear all my controversies in one sitting, reading all the correspondences between you and Gregg [see Correspondence on KJV vs. NKJV], and the many other pages provided by your website all very straight-forward and non-elitist.
Reading much material on "KJV Onlyism" I had to agree with many of their findings but I couldn't agree with their exclusive outlooks. I have encountered too many exclusive trains of thought in Christendom to know that anything exclusive is NOT of God! God died for all people, not just the KJV readers, or the people who speak in tongues, or the people who can trace their church authority back to the apostles etc. etc! But we still need the Holy Spirit to guide us all in truth, and boy is that hard to find sometimes!
So I am thankful to yourself and to God Almighty for his guiding hand on the topic of "which version?" I have recently bought a NKJV and have not looked back, after reading the NIV for five years, and frequently the NRSV before that. I see many things I didn't before in the Bible and find your findings most comforting to know there is a reason for this - some translations are closer to God's inspired Word than others.
God bless your awesome ministry,
>FINALLY ... I Found an answer to my prayer. Ive been going through a lot of confusion over the Bible translation issue. It started with noticing deletions in the NIV. I changed to the NKJV, which I enjoyed much more and found to be more powerful. I also purchased a NASB which I liked but found to be very dry and lifeless in its renderings.
Then, of course, I got plunged headlong into the whole KJV argument. This has caused me more grief and anguish then anything. Either I had to be a KJV reader or I was deceived, not to mention nobody I know reads it. Well, I came across your page and I felt the breath of God. Finally ... the truth ... and no cultic-King James only, anti-20th century nonsense.
I will be visiting again. I think Ill be dusting off my old NKJV and possibly buying a good hard back edition of it. The KJV has been driving me nutz...NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT. God bless you on this wonderful webpage and for showing me I was [not] the only one out there that felt like you guys and that I dont need to believe the KJV only propaganda anymore. Thank you a million times over. Forgive me for rambling. :-)
In Him, Brett
Thank you for the very kind comments. Your "ramblings" sound very similar to what I express in my article My Bible Versions Experiences.
Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light
Note: All Scripture references from: The New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982, unless otherwise indicated.
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