The Theology of Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
Baptist, Conservative, Dispensational
July 12, 2008
God is a personal Creator who is also all-knowing and all-powerful.
Therefore God is fully capable of preserving a written revelation of Himself for those whom He created.
It is absurd to teach (as many do) that God is personal but is incapable of preserving a dependable and trustworthy revelation of Himself. That insults his omnipotence and omniscience.
The Bible is that speccial direct revelation. Everything God needs mankind to know about Himself, His plan of salvation and the future is abundantly clear in the Bible.
While it may be true that the original “autographs” were verbally inspired and were inerrant in every way, the fact is that we do not possess those original “autographs.”
We do have an extremely large collection of very ancient documents to compare. By using strict rules to determine which documents are most accurate the best modern “translations” are extremely good and differ very little. The important thing is that the differences (as a whole) do not affect or change any major Christian doctrine.
It is also important to know that the most prolific documents are not necessarily the most accurate. They may merely be the best preserved.
Translations such as the King James, New King James, New American and Revised differ so little that it can be confidently asserted that our Personal God has preserved knowledge of Himself and especially His plan of salvation to His created beings. We can trust these translations as the true preserved Word of God. Although very minor doctrinal changes may exist in isolated texts among these excellent translations, each version can be taken as a whole to teach the same theology. For every text that is somewhat controversial there are many texts which are still absolutely clear.
Paraphrases and versions written predominantly by one person are to be avoided in the study of deeper theology. Also beware of versions written for the express use of a particular denomination or church which may have an ulterior aim for their own translation.
I consider the New International Version to be too much a blend of translation and paraphrase to be used to teach deeper theology. Its writers do not deny being such a blend. There are simply too many words in it which are not direct translations of the original Hebrew and Greek.
I find the New King James Version superior to the older one and both are translated from the Textus Receptus documents. Too many words in the KJV have lost their original meanings and KJV-only preachers waste much of their teaching and preaching time in explaining these difficult words and phrases. Since this is true and since many church-members do not understand the archaic KJV words, then I recommend switching to the New KJV.
I highly recomment Greek Interlinear Bibles. Check the comparative notes to see the differences between the ancient manuscripts. You will discover very little cosmetic differences. You wil also discover that the differences are not damaging to the true doctrrines of Christianity.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: