Editorial: How Firm a Foundation!
By Ron Staley
Youth has its wonders; things that are new, often strangely captivating to the mind. I can say with David, “I have been young, and now am old” (Psalm 37:25). Well, not really so old, just in my mid 60’s! But I can remember how learning to read captivated my imagination as a young boy. It opened an avenue to new wonders. Then, at eight or nine years old, my Sunday School teacher began leading us boys to memorize Scripture. Verses like John 3:16 and whole passages like Psalm 23 and Psalm 100 were among what I would call the classic ones.
Somehow, in those early years even before the Lord brought me to know Him and trust Him who died for my sins, I was fascinated with the teaching of the life of Jesus. And then in memorizing certain passages of Scripture, I would think about what I was memorizing. One of the strongest impressions came from Psalm 100, which in the last verse declares “his truth endureth to all generations.” I would not have been able to articulate or even know of what we call “the providential preservation of the Scriptures,” but there was that which made the greatest of impressions. I equated “truth” in Psalm 100 with the Word of God. Only much later would I come to understand that the “truth” involved both the Scriptures and He of whom they testified. But I can remember thinking something like: “Wow, this is great! When I get to be old, the truth will still be the truth because God will make sure that it is still there.”
At such a young age, knowing nothing of “original autographs” or even that the Scriptures were an English translation of the Hebrew and Greek, I knew that I was reading the very Word of God. Never did I entertain a doubt of that. And I read the KJV because that alone was used by the churches claiming to be Evangelical.
It is by conviction that I now use the KJV for study, memorization, teaching and preaching. It is the standard used in our church. After much study, believing what God Himself says about the preservation of His Word; rejecting emphatically the thought that God kept the so-called “better manuscripts” from His people for over eighteen hundred years; knowing the incredible blessing God has brought through this “Standard English Bible,” the KJV, for four hundred years, blessing it as no other translation during this time; I am thoroughly convinced that God has faithfully preserved His Word through the Received Text and the King James Bible.
What God, by grace, put in my heart as a young boy is still there. We could never have the spiritual understanding and heart knowledge that the Word of God is indeed word for word inspired by God, or have any true knowledge of its contents, without the work of God in the soul. When the spiritual factor is removed for a purely academic one, the life is also removed. The spiritual factor is the Divinely given heart-knowledge that rests in the faith that “God gave the Word”; that God keeps His own Word; that we may fully trust in the One revealed therein. “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverb 30:5). To the prophet, Jeremiah, God said, “I have put my words in thy mouth” (Jeremiah 1:8). To that same prophet, God commanded, “Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book” (Jeremiah 30:2). The Prophet of prophets, the Son of God, said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). How dare we trust the work of men, claiming a revision of the Scriptures (1881), who denied their verbal inspiration?
We agree with Spurgeon, whose article is found on pages 22-23, for it is faith and not just scholarship that must read “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Spurgeon wrote, “God revealeth himself rather to babes than to the wise and prudent, and we are fully assured that our own old English version of the Scriptures is sufficient for plain men for all purposes of life, salvation, and godliness. We do not despise learning, but we will never say of culture or criticism, "These be thy gods, O Israel!’"