Understanding Bible Versions

The Doctrine of Preservation and Inspiration


Timothy was told by Paul to study the Word of God. Timothy did not have the original manuscript. He had a copy and what he did have was called holy. Inerrancy and infallibility is not limited to the original writings.

Where is the Word of God today? Multitudes of translations are available to us today; how do we know which translation is the word of God?

There are two groups today:

  1. Those who say that we do not have access to a book that in every case is infallible and inerrant. This group says that there is a preservation of thoughts, concepts and the basic message. In other words, they idea is that God's word is preserved by the basic message and basic concept; i.e. Christ died, was buried and rose again. They say that it does not matter if the exact words are not preserved.
  2. Those who say that the very words of God have been preserved. If this is so, then there must be an accessible book available that is the word of God today and that book can be called Scriptures. There is no need to have this book updated and/or corrected.

Doctrine of Preservation - has to deal with the very words of God. Then there must be a book that is indeed the word of God. This book IS the Word of God not merely containing the Word of God.

Translations are different, they do not always say the same thing.

Compare these verses with the KJV and the other modern translations:

  • Colossians 1:14 - THROUGH THE BLOOD 
  • Colossians 2:18 - which he hath NOT seen 
  • Hebrews 1:3 - When He had BY HIMSELF 
  • Rev 1:11 - I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA (this connects with Isaiah 48:12)
  • Acts 8:37 - this verse is not in some manuscripts 
  • Mark 1:2 - written in the PROPHETS (references Malachi 3:2 and Isaiah 40:3). The other translations say that it was written in Isaiah. 

What is the reason for these differences? There is a difference in the Greek manuscripts from which they were produced.

  1. Westcott and Hort Greek Text
    1. Alexandrinus
    2. Sinaiticus
    3. Vaticanus
      1. These three often do not even agree with one another
  2. Majority Text - Textus Recptus (TR)

Does the Word of God maintain its inerrancy and infallibility in a translation? Yes!

(Genesis 42:23 KJV) And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

Here is an example where Joseph spoke through a translator; Joseph spoke Egyptian and the translator spoke Hebrew. Moses wrote this account in Hebrew.

In Exodus, Moses spoke Egyptian to Pharaoh but when he wrote the account, he wrote it in Hebrew.

Acts 21-39-40, 22:1-22; Paul is speaking to them in Hebrew but the book of Acts was written in Greek. The translation is inerrant and infallible. (How do we know it is infallible? It is an assumption.)

Infallibility is not limited to the original manuscripts and is not limited to the original language it was spoken. Language is not a barrier. The word of God is not limited to the King James Version of the Bible. The Word of God existed before King James and before the English language was developed.

Contain the Word of God versus IS the Word of God

In order for it to be the Word of God, it has to be right every single time. Other translations contain the word of God but cannot be the Word of God as a whole if it has errors in it. (Mark 1:2 for instance.)

English is a relatively young language. The doctrine of Preservation demands that God has preserved His word in other languages.

How do you tell if it is the right Bible to use? Look at the verses to check which text it was taken from. Romans 8:1 is good one to use. If you speak another language, we have a standard in our English Language to check Bibles in other languages.

God promised to preserve His word and that issue deals with the words.

English is the language is language of business and commerce today. It is almost like the Greek back in Paul's day, a language that is common among the people.

(Hebrews 3:16 KJV) For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

Here we have an example of a statement versus a question. The King James Version makes a statement and the other versions ask a question, asking if all that came out of Egypt led by Moses provoked God. Also note the use of "some" compared with "all"; Joshua and Caleb did not provoke God.

(2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

It is Satan's objective to corrupt the Word of God. In Genesis 3, Satan attacks the Word of God when he asks, "Yeah, hath God said..."

Not all translations are the same.

(Romans 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We must have God's word to have faith; faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

When it comes to the Doctrine of Preservation, we must approach the issue by faith, not by human viewpoint, archeologists etc. We need to base what we believe by what the word of God says about it. We accept many things by faith: virgin birth, death of Christ, trinity etc. we believe because we read it in a Bible and we believe it through faith.

(1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Paul said that what he spoke was the word of God.

(Hebrews 4:12 KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.
(Matthew 22:31 KJV) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

The Bible itself claims to be the word of God, "Have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God."

(John 17:17 KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

If a book if going to claim to be the word of God, it must be infallible and inerrant; thy word is truth.

(Proverbs 30:5 KJV) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

If you claim your Bible is the word of God then it must be true in all things written in it. There has always been an attack to pervert the Word of God from the beginning.

How did the Bible get to be the word of God? Where do we get the Scriptures?

(Psalms 119:89 KJV) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
(Psalms 119:152 KJV) Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

God's word has been settled forever. It was settled in heaven before Adam, before God began to communicate those words to man and man put those words in writing.

(Psalms 138:2 KJV) I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

God has magnified His word above His name.

(Psalms 33:6 KJV) By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

God spoke the heavens and universe into existence. In Genesis, we see that creation was brought into existence by God speaking.

(2 Timothy 3:15-16 KJV) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The scriptures are given by inspiration down through the ages using different men. The men wrote down what God spoke to them. God spoke the written word into existence. As the men wrote it down then those words became scripture.


Inspiration is in reference to the words that were written not the men who wrote down those words. It is not the writers that were inspired but the very words they wrote.

(Matthew 4:4 KJV) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
(Luke 4:4 KJV) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
(Acts 1:16 KJV) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

The Holy Ghost by mouth of David spoke and then it was written down.

(2 Samuel 23:2 KJV) The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

The word that was written down became scripture.

(Romans 9:17 KJV) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

This verse is showing that back when it happened it was Moses conveying the message yet here it says that the scripture says...

Inspiration is not a reference to writers but words. Scripture is not conveying ideas and concepts but the very words of God. God promised to preserve His Word.

(Psalms 12:6-7 KJV) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. {7} Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

The words of God are pure and the words will be preserved, not just the general message.

(Psalms 33:11 KJV) The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
(Psalms 119:152 KJV) Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
(John 10:34-35 KJV) Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? {35} If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Here Jesus refers to what was written in the Law and he calls it scripture, words that were written down.

Satan attempt to corrupt the Word of God is to counteract God's promise to preserve His Word.

(Luke 2:33 KJV) And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

What were the things spoken of him? Simeon spoke what was written in Isaiah 42:6; he quoted scripture, that which was written. The issue is the words, not just the general message. God's words will never pass away.

(1 Peter 1:23-25 KJV) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. {24} For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:{25} But the word of the Lord endureth for ever...

The word of God abides and lives forever.

In Isaiah 29, we learn that when Jesus Christ returns to establish His kingdom the Jews will have the word of God to study. The tribulation saints will have the Word of God to be able to identify where they are in the timeline.

God's Word Preserved Through Copies

Preserving His word is not a promise to preserve the original manuscripts. What happened to the original copy of the Ten Commandments? Moses broke the tablets on which they were written. Preservation is done through the multiplicity of copies. Copies of God's word carried the same weight of authority as the original.

(Exodus 34:1 KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
(Deuteronomy 10:1-2 KJV) At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. {2} And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
(Deuteronomy 17:14-20 KJV) When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; {15} Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. {16} But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. {17} Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. {18} And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: {19} And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: {20} That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Notice verses 18 and 19, "write him a copy of this law" and "he shall read therein". The king was to make a copy of the words, not just the idea or general message. The copy will carry the same infallibility, inerrancy and authority of the original. God is preserving His words by the people making copies of the words.

(2 Timothy 3:15-16 KJV) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Timothy knew the holy scriptures, that which was given by the inspiration of God, that which was spoken and written down. Timothy did not have the original copies of the scriptures he was reading. Paul said of that which Timothy had were holy, they were called scripture but they were not the originals. Paul discerned that the book Timothy had was the word of God.

(Luke 4:17 KJV) And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

What was delivered unto him was a copy of the book of Esaias, not the original.

(Luke 4:18-21 KJV) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, {19} To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. {20} And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. {21} And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Jesus reads from the copy of Isaiah and he calls it scripture.

(Acts 8:27-35 KJV) And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, {28} Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. {29} Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. {30} And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? {31} And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. {32} The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: {33} In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. {34} And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? {35} Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Here we see that the eunuch also had a copy of Esaias. It was not the same copy that Jesus read in the temple; the eunuch had his own copy. In verses 32 and 35, refers to what was being read as scripture.

(John 5:39 KJV) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Scriptures came by the inspiration of God. The very books they had were called scripture and they were copies, which contained the very word of God.

(Acts 1:16 KJV) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

Peter had a book to check out what it said. It was a copy not the original.

(Acts 17:2 KJV) And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Paul was not in Jerusalem, yet he had a copy of scriptures.

(Acts 17:11 KJV) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Copies of scriptures carry the same authority and accuracy as the original word of God written.

(Acts 18:24 KJV) And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

Scripture which God gave to man has been preserved to have the same accuracy and inerrancy as the original words that were written down.

Understanding the Grace Alternative
Bible Versions - The Doctrine of Inspiration and Preservation