When Jesus told the Pharisees, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39), he was not talking about the King James Bible, the NIV, or any version of any bible, for bibles were not in existence at this time. The "scriptures" Jesus was referring to were the original Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint).
Copyright God's Word???
The mere fact that most bible translations are copyrighted proves the true motives of the Revision Committees of those particular translations (240 and counting); To change God's Word!
"To be copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a 'new work' or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a pre-existing work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes." --The Derivative Copyright Law (partial).
Did you read that? In order for a bible to be copyrighted, it must be "substantially different" from the original texts! No wonder there are so many different doctrines going around today. No wonder there are so many contradictions in bibles! No wonder copyrighted bibles are so different from one another and say completely different things! They must be substantially different from one another in order to be copyrighted! Dear reader, the copyrighted bible you have in your possession is not the Holy Scripture, it is a translation which is substantially different from the scripture!
Copyright: "The legal protection given to authors and artists to prevent reproduction of their work without their consent. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to print, reprint, publish, copy and sell the material covered by the copyright." The New Standard Encyclopedia, volume 3, page 565.
First of all, who is the "owner" of God's Word? Well obviously, the one who created it; God. Certainly, not mere man. So how can any man copyright God's Word? The answer is he can't and he doesn't, because man can only copyright "their own words," and not the words of another. Therefore, copyrighted bibles contain the words of man and not the words of God.
Secondly, did you know if you quote from, or copy from, or preach from, one of these copyrighted bibles, without the written permission of the "author" of that work, did you know you can be fined, imprisoned, and penalized for doing so? In other words, whoever owns the copyright to a bible is preventing you from repeating what is contained in that bible! Does mere man have the authority to prevent someone from sharing God's Word with others? No, he doesn't. But since copyrighted bibles contain the words of men, only some man's personal interpretation of the words of God, they can prevent others from using "their" bibles.
And think about this, if you have to get the bible "author's" permission, then obviously this work is "created" by some man who believes he himself is the "author" of this bible. He is basically saying, “Before you can preach God's Word, you must go through me and ask my permission!” This is basically what copyrighted bibles demand!
Look at any copyrighted bible for proof of this. Here is the copyright notice to the New International Version (the NIV Bible - © Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984):
The NIV text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.
In other words, we must ask permission from the NIV bible publishers to use more than 25% of any book of the bible, or more than 500 verses. The NIV bible is preventing you from preaching over 500 verses of their bible, and is also preventing you from repeating an entire book of the bible! For example, if I wanted to read the entire book of Jude (which contains only a total of 25 verses) to a congregation, I am forbidden to do so from the NIV bible!!! I will be persecuted if I do, because I would be quoting a "complete book" from their bible. The most I can quote from the book of Jude would be 25% of this book, which would mean I cannot read, print, or duplicate more than 6 verses from this book! I cannot read more than 25% of any book of their bible!
We must ask ourselves these questions, "Why are the publishers of copyrighted bibles threatening to persecute us if we quote from their bibles? Is this the character of someone who wants God's Word spread abroad to others? Or is this the character of someone who is preventing God's Word from being spread to others?"
Dear reader, how would you feel if some man said you could not preach God's Word unless you asked them for permission? Well, this is exactly what copyrighted bibles demand, on pain of being fined, imprisoned, and penalized for preaching from their bibles. So, why give power to the beast? Why use some man's bible if he is threatening you? Why not go to scripture instead, where you will receive blessings and not cursings. Why not use scripture instead, where you need not worry about being persecuted from some man who thinks he owns the words you are quoting from?
How serious of an offense can copyright infringement be? According to the Copyright Law itself, from Title 17, Chapter 12, of the U.S.Code, Section 1204, the criminal offenses and penalties of someone who violates a copyright shall be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, for the first offense; and shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, for any subsequent offense.
You might ask, "Why are bibles copyrighted?" The answer is because merchants want to make money, and the only way for them to make a buck off of God's Word is to substantially change it and pass it off as the real thing, so they can sell their merchandise. In addition, the reason why they demand that you ask them for permission to use their bibles is so they can make even more money off of you, because when you ask permission, you must either pay them money or advertise their book!
Hosea 12:7, "He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress."
Revelation 18:23, "...the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies...for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."
Ecclesiasticus 26:29, "A merchant shall hardly keep himself from doing wrong; and an huckster shall not be freed from sin."
Now, to clarify, bibles do contain a lot of God's Truth, but they are also mixed with man's opinions and personal interpretations. It is possible to understand the True meaning of God's Word through some bibles, but it is a lot more difficult to do. For example, one can understand the meaning of certain words by reading verses in its context, and by comparing the use of those same words in other passages. Also, by studying the Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, one can understand more accurately certain words. So, even though words and meanings have been changed in bibles, it is possible to understand its true meaning, but it will take a lot more effort on the part of the reader.
We do use the King James bible, because it is not copyrighed. And it's New Testament is taken from the Majority Text Manuscripts. But there are words in this bible that are watered down, and we must go to the original Greek, or at least a word for word translation, to really understand what it's saying.
Is it Possible to be Saved through Bibles?
Well, yes, the facts surrounding the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the simplicity of salvation, are found intact even in the grossest perversions of bibles. It must be remembered, though, that the scriptures are a weapon in the hands of the servants of God (Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17, 2 Timothy 3:16,). It is also food that we may grow properly (I Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:13-14). It is in these areas, and many others, that bibles are weakened and corrupted. In fact, the very verses given above are altered in many new bible versions, thus weakening scripture. It is, therefore, possible to get saved through bibles, but you will never be a threat to an adversary.
Hebrews 5:13-14, "For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
If you flip on a religious TV station, for example, or walk into a Church, you watch and listen to these guys expound on their theories of who God is, and all you're getting is the milk. You can't survive on milk. And if all you get is milk, you end up dying in the end, spiritually. This is why we fail to see the fruits of the spirit being manifest in people today; the love, the peace, the joy, and the other fruits of the spirit. If you look around the world today, there is no joy. The abundant life is gone. And it's all due to the fact that they haven't matured in the Word, they've stayed on the milk and have not eaten more solid food. If you keep someone on milk forever, they'll wind up dying on you. You have to move on to more solid food.
The same thing happens when you read from the Bible for instance. If you don't move on from its milk, and get into a more meatier substance (i.e. Brenton's Edition of The Septuagint, and George Ricker Berry's Interlinear Greek English New Testament), you will end up dying, your bones start to get soft, your muscles start to wither, you're no longer exercising.
A soldier is always out there exercising so that he may be ready and useful for battle. But if you're going to use inferior tools, or if you're not going to be fully exercised, or you're only going to go through the motions but never really do them, then all you're ending up with is a fat, lazy military who, when the order is given to march, they sit back and say, "Well, according to my interpretation of this passage of the order, it doesn't mean this", and so the order is never executed.
Then another order comes down. Now you've got a second order when the first order hasn't even been executed yet, because we've re-interpreted the first order. When the second order comes down, we re-interpret that, and that one doesn't get executed. And this is what we have today, many "soldiers of Christ" who do not exercise the His commands.
Then where can we read God's Word?
The other articles under "Scripture And Bibles" topic will go into more detail on this, but basically, for the Old Testament books, the Septuagint is the scripture cited by Christ and by the Apostles. As far as the New Testament books are concerned, we should use the Interlinear Greek English New Testament, because it is a transcription, not a translation. A transcription is done word for word as close to the original as possible. But as soon as you start translating to a bible, you are interjection your own knowledge and your own opinions.
For those who would like to get a copy of these scriptures, you can order them from most any book store. The following texts are not copyrighted, and are in the Public Domain. Here's more info for you about these books:
"The Septuagint with Apocrypha" Brenton's edition (Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton), by Hendrickson Publishers.Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851.
"Interlinear Greek-English New Testament" (King James Version) with a Greek-English Lexicon and New Testament Synonyms, by George Ricker Berry, published by Baker Books. Originally published by Handy Book Company, Reading Pennsylvania, 1897.
The Brenton Edition of the Septuagint is the most accurate. It has the Greek translation on one side of the page, and the English on the other. There are corrupted Septuagint manuscripts as well, so make sure you get the Brenton Edition.
The Berry's Interlinear is the most accurate. It has the Greek text, and under each Greek word is the English equivalent. It also has the King James Version text in the columns on the same page, so you can compare the differences side by side. Be aware, there are Interlinear bibles based upon the minority texts (based upon mainly 2 out of the 5,000 manuscripts found) which are corrupted, so make sure you get the Berry's edition.
Note: Both of the above books are in the Public Domain. The 1897 Copyright notice on the George Ricker Berry is not in reference to the text itself, but only the added material, such as the introduction, index, glossary, and lexicon. The United States Public Domain and Copyright Rules state:
Works first published before January 1, 1923 with proper copyright notice entered the public domain no later than 75 years from the date copyright was first secured. Hence, all works whose copyrights were secured before 1923 are now in the public domain.
If you would like any more information about these books, please contact us, or read the following articles.
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