(Shifting from the Original B-P
The perfect Bible is acceptable in the Christian Church. We must have a
perfect Bible. Our Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God. This is
seen in the original copies of the Old and New Testament, written in
Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT) which is known as the Autographs. This has
always been the Bible-Presbyterian position since it’s founding in 1950.
The founding father of the
B-P Church, Rev Timothy Tow, has taught us in the Far Eastern Bible
College (FEBC) this wonderful truth.
“Men talk of “mistakes of Scripture.” I
thank God that I have never met any. Mistakes of translation there may be,
for translators are men. But mistakes of the original word there never can
be, for the God who spoke it is infallible, and so is every word he
speaks, and in that confidence we find delight”
Only the original copies of the OT
and NT are the inspired Word of God. Throughout the centuries, God has, in
His infinite wisdom kept for us the Word of God. The preservation of the
Bible is an amazing truth. We have the Bible in our hands today. Bible
translators have done an amazing job in producing for us the Word of God
in its entirety. We have in our hands the perfect Word of God. We believe
we have the perfect Bible, but not the perfect version!
A Perfect Version?
There seems to be a shift today in
the B-P Church (certain B-P Church) that says that the perfect Bible has
reference to the King James Version (KJV). Proponents of this view say
that God has preserved for the English-speaking world, a perfect Bible in
the KJV. Thus it is the perfect Bible to them. This version is like the
original autographs, because they say that the Greek text, which was used
for the English translation into KJV, is the “inspired” one. They have
even gone as far as to say that every Bible translation must use the Greek
text which produced the KJV. So if any Bible today that does not use this
Greek text in the translations, these Bibles are considered corrupt
versions/Bibles and they speak of another Jesus.
A Strange Teaching
This is a strange teaching. For
more than 50 years the B-P Church has understood that the original Hebrew
and Greek texts were the inspired Word of God. FEBC championed this truth.
The founding father of the B-P Church taught his students this doctrine.
Today everything has changed and we are told that the autographs have been
preserved (in a photo-copied manner) for us in the Greek text which
underlines the KJV. Where did this strange idea come from? Have the
founding father and FEBC change their doctrine? It looks like it.
A Plea from B-P Pastors
Almost one and a half years ago,
five B-P pastors: the late Rev (Dr) Burt Subramaniam, Rev Anthony Tan, Rev
Tan Choon Seng, Rev Yap Beng Shin and myself met up with Rev Timothy Tow
and Mrs Tow. Five of us pastors shared with Rev Tow our concern that FEBC
was heading towards an extreme view (KJV-Only view). We asked him to stop
certain people from advocating this view, and we expressed our fear to him
that the B-P church is heading towards another split if nothing is being
done to nip this problem in the bud.
Five of us pastors were all
trained in FEBC. We have the highest respect for the principal, Rev Tow.
We love FEBC. It was the college that gave us the fundamentals of the
Christian faith. We do not wish to see the college take an extreme view
and we do not wish to see another split in the B-P church.
We grew up with the
Bible-Presbyterian Church. I was with Galilee BPC since 1960. Having been
in the Synod of the BPC we have seen many problems and splits in our
denomination and we do not wish to see another one taking place over a
strange and unbiblical teaching.
We have done our part to express
our feelings and to warn of an impending split, which may occur if nothing
is done by the founding father of the B-P movement and the principal of
FEBC over this extreme belief. We are seeing the effect of this strange
God’s Word with Us Today
Throughout the centuries, godly
men have given the Christian church the Bible in their own language
(German, English etc). Even before the KJV came into existence in 1611,
there were many Bibles (translations) done for the common people to read.
Don’t tell me those people in the days of Luther and Tyndale never had the
Bible until the KJV was printed? It is absurd.
Concerning the need to revise the KJV,
even Charles Haddon Spurgeon, more than 150 years ago stated:
“It was a holy thing to translate the
Scriptures into the mother tongue; he that shall effect a thorough
revision of the present translation will deserve as high need of honour as
the first translators. Despite the outcry of reverend doctors against any
attempt at revision, it ought to be done.”
Today, many Bible translators are
doing their best to produce for the church a readable Bible in the
language of the common people. Many newer manuscripts have been discovered
since the days of Erasmus who used the Greek text which underlines the KJV.
Language change! The KJV of 1611
can never be understood today therefore the KJV went through several
changes to update the language. Its language is too difficult for the
common people to appreciate and understand even in today’s context. I have
a problem understanding it too. I have used the KJV all my Christian
The literal, word for word
translation of the KJV also has its setback. The meaning cannot be easily
understood (see Ruth 2: 3; 3: 16). It becomes a burden to read the Bible
instead. I am not suggesting that we replace the KJV for the B-P church or
for our own church. There are many good Bible versions/translations other
than the KJV only. It is not wrong for any Christian to consult these
versions to get a clear translation or meaning. Reading the Bible must be
a joy, not a burden.
There are many good Bible versions
today, like the New King James Version (NKJV), New American Standard Bible
(NASB), English Standard Version (ESV) etc. Why deprive God’s people from
reading the Bible if they don’t like the KJV or if they do not understand
The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in
the days of the dark ages refused to let their church members read the
Bible in other languages except in the Latin (Vulgate Bible). This is
similar with what is happening in Christendom today with KJV-Only
Do not Judge Others
KJV-Only proponents tend to be
judgmental of others who do not use the KJV only. One of their method is
name-calling (neo-fundamental, neo-evangelical, liars etc.). They think
they are the only ones with the truth (KJV Bible only). They can be
merciless when it comes to dealing with those who do not take their view.
Their obsession with the KJV Only will drive them to talk and write about
this subject all year round. It seems that the KJV is to be defended even
with their life.
This is strange that one should
give his/her whole heart to a version. My greatest fear for such
people is that they will become a KJV-Only cult.
The In-Fighting Must Stop
The B-P church can’t go on like
this. The in-fighting must stop or we will die. As it is, we have already
split so many times from within. Now comes this strange idea. When will we
ever be united again? When will we come together as we were in the heydays
of the 70s, when the B-P Church was the fastest growing denomination in
The name-calling must stop. The
judgmental attitude must give way to brotherly love. John
13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another;
as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men
know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Heaven is not compartmentalized.
There is no section for the KJV-Only people or the B-Ps only. You will
find a Baptist there, and a Christian who uses a NKJV or a NASB etc.
“And be at peace among
yourselves” (I Thess. 5: 13)
Rev Tan Eng Boo
The Constitution of
Grace Bible-Presbyterian Church
“We believe in the divine, verbal and
plenary inspiration of Scriptures in the original languages, their
consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and, as the Word of God, the
Supreme and final authority in faith and life.”