|The Text &
A Study in the
[Originally published by DECKER & ROSS PUBLISHING; G-2388 N. Linden Rd.; Flint, MI
“Why is my Bible different from your Bible?” That was the question I was asked in the mid
1970’s after approximately six months of teaching the adult Bible class in Benson, Arizona.
We had been studying the Gospels, and it seemed not a single week went by that there
was not some difference between the King James Version I was using and the versions
being used by the members of the congregation. Why was there a difference?
I honestly did not know the answer to the question I had been asked. I set out to find an
answer. Having obtained a copy of Foy E. Wallace, Jr.’s book, A Review of the New
Versions, and a copy of Sakae Kubo and Walter Specht’s book, So Many Versions?
Twentieth Century English Versions of the Bible, my wife and I started to study. We took
the King James Version, the American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version,
the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, Today’s English Version,
the Living Bible, the New World Translation, and others (utilizing my twenty-six translation
New Testament), and compared them verse by verse. We also checked with the United
Bible Societies Third Edition Greek New Testament. We spent about 1,200 hours in
research to find the answer to the question.
About the same time, I began studies with Mormon missionaries which caused me to
study the history of the Bible, its manuscript evidence and validity in comparison with the
Book of Mormon. Both studies brought up questions about passages such as Mark 16:9-
20; John 7:53-8:11; and Acts 8:37. That lead to further study of textual criticism.
I have read every book on the subject I have been able to lay my hands on. I have indexed
the textual evidence cited in the UBS critical apparatus for each whole verse omitted or
greatly questioned by Greek texts and English translations. I have spent literally thousands
of hours in research.
When the elders of the Benton Harbor church of Christ in Benton Harbor, Michigan, invited
me to speak on the subject of the text and translations, I wanted to prepare something
which would leave the congregation with something to study. This booklet is the result.
It was suggested that I add questions to each lesson to make it suitable for a class book,
so I have done so.
There is a need to study the version issue. It is creating confusion among many, even as it
did in Benson, Arizona. The confusion is found in congregational Bible classes, as well as
Do we have the word of God? Can we be sure what it is, and what it says? These are
important and very fundamental matters we must be willing to study and be able to deal
It is hoped that this booklet will help to enlighten some to the questions involved. It is
necessarily a short, and in many ways, an inadequate study of the problems involved. Yet,
hopefully it will help to make some sense out of why Bibles differ so greatly. If it
accomplishes no more than to spur further study, it will have been worth the time and effort.
May God bless you in your studies in and about His word, that your faith may increase and
your knowledge not only guide you but help you to teach others the way of the Lord more
September 22, 1988