Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chief of Sinners

The King James translators chose to use the word “chief” in 1 Timothy 15, rather than “foremost” which is in the NASB and ESV, or “worst” which is in the NIV.  What makes “chief” the more excellent choice?

1 Timothy 1:15-16
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

First of all, I have more confidence in the KJB translators and their understanding of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.  I have studied out the manuscript evidence, but I doubt the supporters of the new versions have.  Brother Richard Jordan’s course on manuscript evidence takes months of study to complete, but if a person is willing to do that and they still feel the need to ‘correct’ the KJB, they are free to.  But most people who find fault with the KJB hold an uneducated opinion regarding the reasoning behind the choice of words by the KJB translators.

I tell people they should not get mad because those men were smarter than them.  If you don’t understand some words in scripture, usually you can study out how a word is used to by looking at each passage in context.  I just want to remind everyone that God has made his word to be studied.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What it comes down to is that a person who rejects the excellency of the KJB does not have a Final Authority.  They believe that not only does the KJB have errors, but also the new versions, which don’t even use the same underlying text as the KJB.  The manuscripts that are the basis of the new versions are corrupted [from Alexandria, Egypt], as opposed to the Authorized Version [from Antioch].

As for Paul being the chief of sinners, those translators knew what the word meant; and it was used 273 times.  There is a richness and depth to the [so-called] archaic English of the KJB, but we have dumbed down the English language.  You can study out the word “chief” and get a feel for the richness of what the word means. Chief of sinners means more than being the “head of the line.” There is something significant going on.

Paul is not saying he is the first sinner; he wasn’t the first sinner.  He is talking about something new that God was doing in the new dispensation of grace.  God was beginning a new age.

Colossians 1:25
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Paul is the first in line of many.  He is the pattern.

1 Timothy 1:16
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Think about an Indian Chief; he is the head of the tribe.  All others look to him.  It’s not just being first in line; it’s being the pattern.

I hear people say that they would ‘prefer it to read like this….’, or that they ‘take exception with what the KJB says,’ and that is the problem.  They don’t like the authority of God’s word.  They don’t have a Final Authority.  The bigger question is do they have a problem with God’s authority in this dispensation of grace in the apostle Paul?

Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Paul makes it clear not only in this verse, but throughout his 13 epistles, that he is the apostle of the gentiles.  Not only that, but the Lord Jesus Christ makes that clear.

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

The apostle Paul is his ‘sent one,’ his chosen one.

Ephesians 3:1
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Is anyone else called an apostle of the Gentiles?  Galatians 2 says that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto Paul.

Galatians 2:7
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Romans 15:15 - 16
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,  That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Paul calls it my gospel to distinguish it from anyone else.

Romans 2:16
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

2 Timothy 2:8
Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

So remember that some want to dumb down the language to suit themselves, instead of understanding that these men who went before them knew much more about the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic than men do today.

Proverbs 26:12
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

What is the difference between what they are doing and what Satan did in Genesis 3 – “Yea hath God said”?  He got Eve to water down what God had said and add to it.

Genesis 3:3
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

She ultimately denied God’s word.  Notice that when the apostle Paul talks about the things of Almighty God, he refers to what he has written over 30 times in his epistles.  For example…

Galatians 3:13
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

He magnifies God’s word, as did the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 4:8
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

God himself has magnified his word.

Psalm 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Isaiah 42:21
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

When people ask me if our church is ‘King James only’ I tell them, “No, but the pulpit is” because I have been persuaded through the manuscript evidence and by knowing that Satan’s policy of evil is to cast him down from his Excellency.

Psalm 62:4
They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

All new versions of the Bible, including the New King James, take glory away from the Lord Jesus Christ.  The only Bible that gives him his full glory is the KJB.

Regarding the issue of ‘inspiration,’ I believe that the KJB translators were not inspired to write every individual word; for example, they would sometimes add articles such as “the’ not because they were inspired, but to make it understandable.

Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

The Greek does not have an equivalent for the word “the” in that verse, but it has that sense.  Adding “the” makes the translation into English more understandable without changing the meaning.

We can trust God’s word.  God promised to preserve it and we have it in the King James Bible.  We each have to come to that conclusion and be persuaded in our own minds.

Romans 14:5b
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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