"ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. II Timothy 3:16-17
"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword; piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein; for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalms 1:2
There are many ideas floating around about the Bible, and many people who ask, "How do you know the Bible is God's Word instead of the writing of men and totally uninspired?" The answer for me is very simple, but rarely understood or accepted by those who have never come to know God as I have. The obvious answer is that I know the Author personally! Now people will accept that if you have a copy of a book with an inscription from the author addressed to you personally when it comes to any other book written by men, however with the Bible it is different. The inscription dedicated to me personally is written outside the book and in my heart as proven by the salvation graciously given to me by the Author. It is his word written on my heart that has sealed his authorship to me, and his continued speaking to me through his word that keeps that inscription real. It is in the many answered prayers that were brought to the Author alone and based on this book that proves over and over that the Bible is indeed his word to me and millions of other believers across the world. Although this book was written by many servants of the Author over many years by men of varied backgrounds and experiences, they have all been presenting one unified theme from the Old Testament through the New Testament, and that theme is the redemption of mankind through the grace of the Author.
In II Timothy 3:16 above the word for inspired is theopneustos which means "God breathed." The implication here is that God used the minds, hearts, and personal style of the writers to present his word to mankind in a way that all men for all time would understand if they took the time to study it as they should. It is interesting that the Bible was written by a wide diversity of people over thousands of years, and even though none of them communicated with the others in their writing, there is one message of love and reconciliation for those who will receive it, and a message of condemnation for those who don't. To believe that this is the mere work of man apart from divine intervention and direction is particularly strong evidence of the corruption of the heart.
1 Chronicles 16:29 - Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
My Personal Preference There are many different versions and paraphrases of the Bible available today, but my preference is the King James Version. My reasons for this are as follows: This version of the Bible has stood the test of time for many, many years and, in my view is the most direct speaking version of scripture in existence. Unlike many of today's versions, which, in my opinion soften the message of the Word of God. the King James doesn't mince words but gets straight to the point. It contains a clear and unmistakable message that goes to the heart and brings conviction and demands action. There is no reason for me to debate this with anyone because that is my personal preference only. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to use whatever version of the Bible he or she wishes.
I must say something about the perversion of scripture which the Jehovah's Witnesses use; "The New World Translation." The Watchtower Society of New York refused to give anyone the names of the translators which is suspect in and of itself. The translation committee was headed by (then vice president of the Jehovah's Witnesses) Frederick W.Franz. Other members included Nathan H. Knorr (then president of the Jehovah's Witnesses), Albert D. Schroeder, George D. Gangas and Milton Henschel.
The information as to the identity of the translation committee was made known by former Jehovah's Witness William Cetnar. Cetnar was to supply this information as he worked at the International Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses during the time the translation was being prepared. In addition, former member of the Watchtower's Governing Body, Raymond V. Franz, in his book, Crisis of Conscience, lists the translators' names as Franz, Knorr, Schroeder and Cangas. His list omits Henschel. Franz further acknowledges his uncle Frederick Franz as the "principal translator of the Society's New World Translation" The men who comprised this committee had no adequate schooling or background to function as skilled critical Bible translators. Frederick Franz was found guilty of lying in court about his claims to understand the languages of the Bible when he was asked to translate the English version of scripture into Hebrew during his trial.
The translation committee is guilty of inventing non-existent Greek grammar (and then follows these made up rules only when necessary to support the theology of the Watchtower) and inserting words into Scripture that change the meaning of God's Word. There is sufficient information online to prove this to be a justifiable and scholarly critique of this book.
A paraphrase is simply a book produced when someone read the Bible and then wrote down their thoughts as to what it was saying. It is the most unreliable form of scripture presented in the Bibles available in any generation. The favorite paraphrase of the Bible is the "Good News Bible" to the best of my knowledge. I suggest that anyone who intends to use the scripture examine what is said online about the various versions of scripture if you intend to give God's Word to other students and want to be accurate in your presentation. Some are missing verses, some are missing vitally important words and some have distorted the meanings of words and or verses or pulled them out of context. I have done my own study on this issue and will stick with the King James Version. You will have to do your own study.
The video presented below gives what I consider to be a great overall presentation of the scripture's value to mankind.
The Anvil - God's Word
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith's door And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime: Then looking in, I saw upon the floor Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
"How many anvils have you had," said I, "To wear and batter all these hammers so?" "Just one," said he, and then, with twinkling eye, "The anvil wears the hammers out, you know."
And so, thought I, the anvil of God's word, For ages skeptic blows have beat upon; Yet though the noise of falling blows was heard, The anvil is unharmed . . . the hammer's gone.