If we want to get the American Church back on track with a standard sacred text for English-speaking people we would need to do a few of things.
1.) We need to recognize that everyone apparently wants a standard text. We here at StandardSacredText.com certainly do. It also seems the New American Standard folks want one as to the English Standard folks and the Christian Standard folks and the Legacy Standard folks and on and on. According to the most recent data the King James Version is by far and away the Bible most read by Bible readers. Seeing this is the case and the fact that the KJV has served the church for over 400 years, it seems from both a faith-based and evidence-based perspective that the KJV is were we need to start.
2.) Scholarship and the work of the academy is important in the fields of textual work, archeology, and original language work and there surrogates. That said, the academy needs to be repositioned with regard to its sway and authority in the church. The academy and the scholar are the humble servant of the person in the pew and the church at large. As such the scholar’s opinion on this or that passage should be no more authoritative than the plumbers or nurses or business owners. In the end the church does not wish to hear the voice of the scholar. We wish to hear the voice of the Spirit in the word of God by faith.
3.) Building off of #3, while it is true that the church must grow in sanctification and therefore may be pruned or corrected from time to time, it is of the utmost importance that the academy and scholar come to the church with the greatest of gravity if they come to “correct” the text. They are not merely editing a classic like that of Dante or the Illiad. They are making the claim that a word or a set of words held by the Church to be God’s words are in fact not God’s words. If the academy and scholar are right, the church is better for it. If they are wrong then they have committed a grievous sin by questioning God’s word, causing brothers to stumble, and sowing discord among the brethren. As such they must repent of that/those sin(s) and turn from it/them with true godly sorrow.
4.) If the academy and scholar are right and an amendment must be made to the text, it is not the academy and scholar that determine the rightness of their conclusions. It is the church, the pastor and the person in the pew that make that conclusion. The academy and the scholar are the lawyers and the church is the judge and jury led by faith through the the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately the academy and scholar have overstepped their bounds in the last 150 years in this regard and have opened Pandora’s Box and like Pandora cannot put their evil and mischief back in the box. Now the church, the people in the pew, are worse off because of it.
5.) Seeing we can’t rewind time and undo the ramifications of the Scholar’s Box, what are we to do? For the KJV crowd, be encouraged, hold the line, and maintain your post. For those who are unsure, the Scripture teaches that we have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and one Father, why not have one Bible and be one with 400 years of saints in holding to the Bible they held to? For those who believe in your Bible on a merely evidential basis, consider the fact that the KJV remained the standard sacred text of the believing community for over 400 years even though the church was well aware of many textual variants and the scholarship of the Roman Catholic church which questioned the Protestant Scripture at every turn. For those in the same camp who also don’t have a seminary education in New Testament Greek, consider the fact that you trust these Greek scholars in a very similar way Pre-Reformation saints who did not know Latin had to trust the Roman Catholic Priest and/or the Pope regarding what the Bible “really” says. For those who hold to a version other than than the KJV because you believe that a different version is the exclusive word of God for the English-speaking church, let us pray for each other and have vigorous discussions together as the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth.
6.) The Scripture can no longer be the copywritten possession of a corporation. The Scriptures belong to the believing community. Seeing that the Scriptures are the possession of the church, no company, no publisher should have the moral right to discontinue the printing of the Scriptures nor should they have the power to without eternal ramifications. The publishers in the business of printing Bibles are merely servants of the church called to do their duty for Christ’s Kingdom. If they will not then they are no better than the oppressors in Roman Catholic church trying to stamp out Tyndale’s New Testament.
7.) Most importantly, the church needs to read the Bible every day and study the Bible often. Biblical illiteracy in the American church is astonishing, bewildering, staggering, appalling. The Scripture is your lamp. It is your light. It is the source of faith. It is the sword of the Spirit to defend and fight against all that would seek to harm you, your family, your church, and your country. Read it. Know it. Love it. Teach it to your children.