Summary: How we got our English Bible - A Simplified Version (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

• 2011 is the 400’th anniversary of the Kings James version of the Bible.

• We want to use this anniversary to encourage people to one again read the Bible.

• We are not promoting the KJB as such;

• But rather the reading of the Bible in a translation that is suitable for you!

‘Biblefresh’ is an initiative by the Bible Society;

• To encourage individuals and Churches to once again read, study, value the book!

• We come from a tradition that has always valued the Bible;

• And the teaching of the Bible is centre stage in all we do.

• So as a Church that values the Bible;

• We want to join in with that emphasis and reinforce it;

• And we are using this month to promote the personnel & public reading of the Bible.

• We have provided various resources e.g. ‘E100 Bible Reading Plan’.

• And over the next four Sunday Evenings ‘The Bible’ itself will be the topic.

• Tonight’s topic: Explanation – How we got our English Bible

• Followed by: Inspiration – Why the Bible is unique

• Application – Lessons from Ezra -Nehemiah chapter 8

• Illumination – Ways to read & study the Bible

Quote: Phillip Brooks:

• The Bible is like a telescope.

• If a man looks through his telescope he sees worlds beyond;

• But if he looks at his telescope,

• He does not see anything but that.

• The Bible is a thing to be looked through to see that which is beyond;

• But most people only look at it and so they see only the dead letter.

• Our prayer as Church Elders is that we might not meet with print on a page;

• But as we study and read God’s word individually & collectively;

• Once again God will speak to us;

• And build us up in ‘our most holy faith’.

The title of our talk tonight is: ‘How we got our English Bible’.

• Written over a 1,500 year span.

• Written over 40 generations.

• Written by over 40 authors from every walk of life:

• Written on three continents:

• Asia, Africa, and Europe

• Written in three languages:

• Hebrew, Greek and some Aramaic.

Now any translation from one language to another causes problems;

• e.g. Photo of sign ‘Welcum turist we spik inglish’

• Any translator always faces the same problem, the same difficulty.

• If you translate a text word for word, it does not flow,

• Often it does not read well in the translated langue.

• e.g. John chapter 1 verse 1:

• “In origin was the saying and the saying was towards God and God was the saying”.

• That is a word for word translation, but it is not easy to read or to understand.

• If you allow the translation to flow;

• It might not necessarily be an accurate translation.

• e.g. “Before there was anything the word existed, the word was and is the same as God”.

• Here you have the meaning but it is maybe not as accurate as other translations.

• So translations will always be flawed;

• If you want to find fault in ANY English translation of the Bible;

• You do not have to look too hard.

• If you show me any translation, within 1 minute I will show you an error.


• Only the original texts are error free.

• We no longer have the original text, the actual parchment Paul and others wrote on.

• Due to the perishable nature of the ancient scrolls made from papyrus,

• What we do have are over 5,000 New Testament ancient texts;

• That group together into families.

• From these we have four main codices;

• That scholars use to translate the Bible into other languages.


• No series critic of the Bible would doubt their authenticity;

• They pass every test that any other ancient book or manuscript would face;

• And they pass them in a far superior way than other non biblical sources .

Quote: In the Encyclopaedia Britannica (3rd edition) we read:

"This argument is so strong, that if we deny the authenticity of the New Testament we may

with a thousand times greater propriety reject all the other writings in the world".

• The big difference between the Bible and all other ancient books is the word ‘faith’.

• Scholars accept the manuscripts as historical and accurate documents.

• Christians would say that’s good - but there is more;

• We add ‘faith’ into the melting pot and call these texts ‘inspired’.

• Quote: 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 16:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

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