Question Box

As to the Bible-Text 

On this I received the following question: 

Dear Rev. Hoeksema: 

I would like to have your judgment on the different versions of the Bible. Which one do you prefer, what is the difference, and why do you prefer either one or all, please? 

David J. Broek, 

Steen, Minn. 

Answer: 

1. The different versions of the Bible are not merely different translations, but they represent different Copies of the original manuscripts. The King James Version is the oldest. Since that time many different copies of Scripture have been found. This refers, we must understand, especially to the Greek New Testament. It is by a critical comparison of all these original texts that the text is discovered and established which constitutes the basis for the revised versions. 

2. It stands to reason that, in many respects, because of the labors of the science of what is called textual criticism, the revised versions are more accurate than the King James Version, although in some instances I still prefer the latter. 

3. Which do I prefer? In answer let me say: 

a. At home I always use the King James Version. I prefer this especially because of the language. I like it very much when the very language of the Bible differs from every day English as is largely used in the other versions. 

b. For the same reason, we still use the King James Version in our church, and I dare say, in our churches both in the pews and on the pulpit. 

c. For my own use, in my study, and also in our theological school, I always use the original and, if the original tests differ, I try to determine for myself what is the best text.

—H.H.