Thank God for the King James Bible

English-speakers have had such ready access to the Bible in our language for so long that it is easy to take the Scripture’s availability for granted. It is appropriate, therefore, occasionally to pause and reflect on God’s kindness in giving us His written Word and in providing and preserving it in our language. The 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version (KJV) of the English Bible provides such an occasion.

How we got our English Bible is a fascinating story. From Wycliffe to Tyndale to the Geneva Bible to the King James “Authorized” Bible, the effort to make God’s inscripturated Word available to the English speaking world reveals the providential ordering of men and movements. As the two major articles in this issue make plain, the King James version of the English Bible, as well as the predecessors that led up to it, have been mightily used of God to spread His truth throughout the world.

One need not acquiesce to the superstitions of the extreme forms of “King-James-Onlyism” in order to appreciate the accuracy, beauty and eloquence that were attained by the translators of the Authorized Version. It has been and continues to be a wonderful, useful English translation of Scripture. The story of its development reminds us that our Book has come to us from blood-stained hands. Furthermore, when one compares the vibrancy of Christian faith that characterized the Puritan era that gave us the KJV to that of the modern era with all of our modern translations, it becomes painfully obvious that a multitude of translations does not necessarily mean an increase in spiritual health.

So on this auspicious occasion of its 400th anniversary, let all English speaking Christians thank God for His mercy in giving us the Scriptures in our heart language. And let us likewise pray that He will raise up others who will do the hard work to make His Word known in the languages of the world’s remaining unreached people groups so that His truth will continue to spread throughout the earth.

Important Notice to Our Subscribers
In 2012 the Founders Journal will be going digital. The Winter 2012 issue (#87) will be made available for eBook readers in both ePUB and mobi formats. It will also be our final print edition.

Beginning with the Spring 2012 issue (#88), the journal will only be available as a digital download. It will no longer be necessary to purchase a subscription. New issues will be announced in the Founders eNews and will be available for purchase to download for $1.99 each in our online store.We will continue to offer past issues of the journal free in PDF format.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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