Excerpt from "Answers ToYour Bible Version Questions"
© 2002 by David W. Daniels
Question: Can I read the NIV and still be saved?
Why do KJV only Christians
believe that those who read the NIV are stupid, that somehow
they don't know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of
God, the second person of the Godhead, part of the Trinity,
that no man can be saved outside belief in the atoning work
of Jesus Christ and his shed blood for the remission of our sins?
Word twisters and people without common sense who don't read
things in their proper context tend to have an "us against
everyone else" attitude. I don't see where the NIV, NASB,
NKJV pervert the doctrines of church Jesus began. Your
arguments only serve to divide Christians by placing doubt
where none should be. I came to Christ through a Chick Tract
when I was 12, and believe it is an essential ministry.
Everything about your organization and what you are doing
for the Kingdom of God is admirable, but this continue bashing
of those who are not KJV believers only tend to ruin what you
are doing in the first place. I challenge you to show me that
I am lost and am going to hell because I read the NIV, you won't
have a leg to stand on.
Answer: I know no person who
gauges Christianity (salvation, I mean)
by which Bible he reads.
Salvation Only Based on One Thing
I too, as you, have a Chick Tract to thank for my salvation, as
I do Almighty God. But when I got saved, I was immediately turned to the
NASV. I didn't lose my salvation. Then I read the ASV 1901. I didn't lose
my salvation. Then I read the RSV, the NKJV, then the NIV, then the NKJV
again for another decade. I have been saved over 21 years, and I guarantee
you, I never lost my salvation for reading another Bible, even when I spent
time reading the Roman Catholic New American Bible, and the Jesuit-written
Douay-Rheims, the latter because it was SO SIMILAR to the United Bible
Society's 3rd edition Greek Text.
Salvation is based on the shed blood of our precious Lord and Saviour,
God the Son and Son of God, Jesus Christ, and faith in His atoning death.
It is NEVER based upon a preference of book reading!
If anyone has said that, then almost all of us at Chick Publications would
be going to hell, for having read the "other" Bibles.
All Bibles Are NOT OK
That said, I cannot then say that "all Bibles are OK." Have you read
the Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible? One day I read to my church a number
of verses. I asked them if they sounded right. None agreed. They agreed
to a one that something was wrong. Then I showed them the camouflaged
Bible I read from was a JW's New World Translation. Everyone
was relieved. Then I told them: "Every verse you heard is essentially
the same in the NIV." Mouths were stopped. People gasped. It was a great
effect! I had made a point.
But I'm not some dyed-in-the-wool, born in the Appalachians
(not to offend anyone from there), raised in a FundaMENTAList church and
never grown beyond my instilled doctrines Christian, either.
I got my Bachelors of Arts at what is now called Hope University,
Fullerton, California, in Linguistics and Bible. I got my Masters
of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California,
in General Theology, majoring in Linguistics. I took the three year Summer
Institute of Linguistics courses with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I was
top Greek student in Bible college and walked into Advanced Greek in seminary,
thrilling my ASV/NIV/NASV using denomination. After that, I spent
years as a curious post-graduate, buying books about the co-called Majority
Text (Hodges/Farstad), the newer Nestles/UBS Greek texts, buying copies
of ancient versions, etc. No one who has known me the last two decades can
deny that. I am far from an ignoramous on these issues, to be blunt.
When one (count them: ONE) of my friends brought up the issue of the
King James (he's a full-grown father, grandfather, college-educated, etc.),
I really disagreed, but he prayed for me anyway! He would bring up a
small thought, a seminal idea, and I would (as is my nature) go crazy
looking up references, versions, Greek, Hebrew, linguistics and history.
(Funny I'm so big on history now: I got a C in History years ago. I guess
I wanted to find out the truth, and I just got better at it.) Gradually
he started making points with me.
I spent years researching the Roman Catholic religion, simultaneously
to the Bible history and version issue. A few years ago, the
research began to dovetail: Roman Catholic names were found involved
with what happened to change the Protestant Bible into a Jesuit Roman