The Bible and History
The King James Bible is the flawlessly true written word of God, which was produced by the guidance of The Holy Spirit over thousands of years and completed during the reign of King James of England. However, historical evidence will never convince many people, that the Bible is the infallible written word of God. The following was not written for those folks. Instead, I am writing this as a short treatise to prompt further study, primarily for those who have been redeemed by and know who they are in Christ. (Rom.12:3) (Eph.2:8) For them, this historical evidence can be a great intellectual conformation and outline to prompt further Holy Spirit inspired thought on the matter. To do this, I will try to build on a basic analogy that Jesus, himself, used. Jesus, in his analogy of the spreading of the word to that of seed being sown, made these remarks about the seed as it was sown.
Matthew 13:19-22 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
"But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
"Yet, he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
"Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
"But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
Next, Jesus described the evil reaction of Satan, which always occurs after the Word is sown.
Matthew 13:25-26 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
Now, for those of us who are able to make the truth of these bible verses our own, we can now look back at history and be more prepared to understand how the word of God not only influenced history but also understand why certain historical events occurred in the first place. Events in History can now be seen by the Christian for what they were, i. e. a progression of strategic battle campaigns orchestrated by spiritual powers instead of a bunch of disjointed, random events in time.
After the resurrection of Christ from the dead and His return to heaven Pentecost blossomed through Godís people, and they, in turn, passed it on to others. Immediately, the seeds of that word took root and produced fruit.
Constantine became Roman Emperor in 306AD but before Constantine, Satan had nourished the growth of Rome. It became his great sprawling tare to choke out Godís plan of redemption. When that didnít work, and when the continued persecution of the church by the Jews failed, Rome was still there to fill in the gap to continue choking the life out of Jew and Christian alike. All this evil was coordinated by Satan. Then, Constantine became a believer and made Christianity the state religion. That wasnít in Satanís plans. Now, Satan, always the reactionary, was forced to change tactics. After Constantine, Rome's powerful political reach was used by Satan like a vine, entwining Christianity with politics, therefore binding the fate of Christianity to that of the evil Roman tare. He then promoted the downfall of the Roman Empire by using Demonic tares made up of barbarian hordes which he used to destroy Rome, hoping Christianity would die with it. That didn't happen. Instead, over time, Barbarian cultures began to embrace Christianity. The great Roman tare died but Christianity grew, magnified by the power of Godís written word.
In 382, Pope Damasus I commissioned St. Jerome to revise the Old Latin Bible known as the Vetus Latina, which worked to further condense the written word of God into a single book. Shortly after completing this work, Satan, through scandal, forced St. Jerome to leave Rome. Once again the principle of the wheat and the tares was at work. St. Jeromeís Godly contribution to the harvest field was defamed by Satanís lies which tried to destroy him personally and thus discredit Godís word. Many years passed before St. Jeromeís work became generally accepted by the church and became commonly known as the Vulgate. More than a thousand years passed before the Vulgate became the official bible of the Catholic Church. In time the seeds of a righteous minister's work will always produce good fruit but time is an enemy to the devil and his workers. Sure, the Vulgate needed more Holy Spirit inspired refinement before becoming the perfected written word of God but it was well on the way because it contained the books of the bible that we know today. St. Jerome as well as all ministers of the gospel work toward the prize, but Jesus, himself, is the Author and finisher of that work. Two major factors weakened the Vulgate. It was not the completely perfected word of God and it was written in Latin, a dead language, understood by few.
After Constantine, the church gained more worldly authority and the masses relied more and more on the leadership of the church to interpret the written Word of God for them. Rome collapsed. Latin became a dead language. The average Christian of this period was spiritually anemic, illiterate, and had no personal access to the written word of God. Christian religious ceremonies became a large part of everyday life throughout Europe and Russia. With barbarian control of the world on the rise, the tares of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam were even more intensely cultivated by Satan throughout many of the largest cultures in the Orient, Middle East and India. Satan used these false beliefs the same way he does today. They are his herbicide to prevent the truth from sprouting. The Ottoman Empire spread Islam throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa, the Baltic States, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hinduism dominated India and Buddhism was embraced by many people in the Far East. Itís easy to see why this period in history is commonly referred to as the Dark Ages. The harvest field became very overgrown with the tares of political tyranny, rendered even more impotent by religious inquisitions which were enforced through the evil imaginations of corrupt religious Christian minds void of the Holy Spirit. Through fear Satan's tares flourished and the harvest field did not look like a harvest field at all. Yet, when the world is at its darkest point, The Holy Spirit always raises a standard, usually from a very unlikely source.
Near the end of the Dark Ages that standard (Isaiah 59:19) was embodied in the person of a thirteen year old illiterate peasant girl named Joan. The Godly actions of Joan of Arc ensured the coronation of Charles VII as the king of France, ended the Hundred Years War between England and France and ensured that France would maintain its independence from England to later be there to support the American Patriots during the Revolution. If King George had reigned over both England and France during the American Revolution there would have been no French fleet to help Washington win the battle at Yorktown and thus win the fight for an independent United States of America. Make no mistake. The United States of America is a mighty standard raised by God, which prevented the Nazi Hordes from taking over the world, which prevented the U.S.S.R from enslaving the world under its godless doctrines and which will again rise up eventually to turn back the tide of radical Islamic terrorism. All this and much more was made possible through the Holy Spirit inspired actions taken by that young peasant girl many years ago.
In 1440 the Gutenberg printing press was invented. This event heralded a new dawn for civilization bringing the long night of the Dark Ages to a close. The Vulgate bible was printed in 1454. It was no coincidence, that shortly afterward, in 1492, a Christian named Columbus sailed across the Atlantic and opened up the new world for colonization. Around 1517 AD the Reformation was initiated by Martin Luther. Again, these were not disjointed random events. The reformation could only have happened after the invention of the printing press, which made the written word of God much more obtainable. For the first time, the word of God now became available to the masses. Shortly after these events, bibles could be found everywhere in Europe. Cultural explosions of enlightenment followed. So much light burst forth that this period has become known as the Renaissance. Enlightened ideas blossomed in the minds of Christians, who were influenced greatly by the availability of the written word of God, which was copied from Latin into the different languages and sown directly into the minds of the masses. But the messengers of Satan were also at work masquerading as angels of light. They also used this new mass media invention to sow their vain philosophies, as well. However, the word of God slowly gained ground as Godís church, though fraught with tares, became stronger.
Moving on. Did you know that the Puritans triggered the creation of the King James Bible when they submitted to King James what history recalls as the Millenary Petition?, In January 1604 The King of England convened the Hampton Court Conference in response to that petition, where he invited 47 leading members of the Church of England to attend. These men were the spiritual sprouts, no doubt cultivated by the Holy Spirit, to pollinate Godís flowering garden, producing the perfected written word of God, known today simply as The King James Bible. In a side note, this meeting also put into motion an undertaking, which would result in earthly kings being dethroned forever, in preparation for the return of the eternal King of both heaven and earth.
The King James Bible is the most powerful and influential book ever written, and it was written totally under the influence of The Holy Spirit through the ages. Other translations which came after the King James Bible are not perfect and while they may be used as a quick reference and may even clarify passages of the King James for the reader, they should always yield to the King James, when discrepancies occur.
Today, every living human being is reaping an unimaginable amount of good in their everyday lives because this book exists and is so obtainable. No other book comes close to exerting the same amount of change in the world, for good. The sowing of the word of God always brings life and this life always brings about changes for the better within any individual or any society which receives it. However, as righteous fruit increases, by His word, in any society, it is soon accompanied by an increase in the level of turmoil, as evil minds, influenced by the devil sow into a productive culture evil tares rooted in all types of sin such as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contention, jealousy, riotous wrath, self-centered ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness revelries and the like. Understanding this principle of the wheat and tares makes it easier to understand why the Puritans, after influencing King James to sanction the final scripting of the King James Bible, fell into confusion, persecuting others and being persecuted themselves. Evil actions, committed by the Puritans, such as the Salem Witch Trials, were the result of cumulative effects, over time, propagated through Satan's tireless sowing of his tares. These tares, sown into the unsanctified minds of Puritan leaders caused Puritan leadership to commit sins that would discredit the good works Godís word had produced through them. What we see in the checkered history of Puritans, as with everything the word of God touches, in this world, is good being commingled with evil reactions, tares amongst the wheat if you will, sown by the devil in response to the good fruits produced by the word of God. Enlightenment sown into an individual, or even whole societies, births righteous change. However, that action also elicits evil responses. Tares are sown. God then raises up a supernatural standard. One such standard as a result of the evil turmoil created within the Puritan Sect, was the creation of separatist groups of Puritans. One of those separatist groups called Pilgrims migrated to America in 1620 to escape the persecution they were experiencing in England by other Puritans.
Work on the King James Bible started in 1604 and was completed in 1611. King James appointed 47 scholars to edit and publish it from previous church writings preserved over the ages. They compiled it from manuscripts written in Greek, Arabic and Hebrew. Simple human logic says it was an impossible feat. Compiling a coherent publication, from the writings of multiple authors over thousands of years, edited by 47 different people had never been done before and it will never be done again. Only God could champion an impossible achievement like this. It was and is the most significant event to happen on mankindís behalf since Pentecost.
In 1607, while the written word of God was being compiled, Captain John Smith was sailing into the James River to establish the first permanent English Colony, on the North American Continent. This English colony in Jamestown Virginia marked the beginning of what would grow into the greatest free society the world has ever known until now, and the stage, the underpinning and the infrastructure for this great self-governing society was the King James Bible. Without the Bible there could have been no United States of America, as we know it, ruled by a constitution and a self-governing peoples, instead of a king or some other type of totalitarian government. Free societies simply could not be sustained before the bible became available to every person who wanted one. Look at Rome. Look at Greece. They tried democracy and they failed. Look at India, the Chinese, and the Muslims. There has been no acceptance of the word of God to any large degree in any of these societies. Consequently, they are dark societies that gravitate toward tyranny and bondage. Although the Indian government is modeled after the democracy of Britain, there is no collective heart for freedom, within the vast majority of its populace, because there has been no Bible. (As of late that is starting to change through evangelism.) Although the Indian people are a very intellectually gifted people, as are the Chinese, and the Arabs, the nation of India is still largely an impoverished society. The simple truth is this. Without the continual infusion of the written word of God into the minds of younger generations coming up in a society, the human heart is just too black, too deceitful and too wicked, to allow freedom to flourish in any viable self-sustaining way. Only the healing potion of the written Word of God can shine enough light into dark minds, to allow societies to be lifted out of darkness and into a better place for their citizens.
By the mid sixteen hundreds the King James Bible had become standard reading material in the schools and homes of most Protestants across North America and Europe. Bible principles were applied by average citizens and then those principles were taught to their children. Enlightened growth followed. There was an industrial revolution. Government sanctioned slavery ended. Living conditions improved for the average person. Notable nations at the forefront of this advancement were England, France, Germany and the United States. Interestingly enough, other Christian nations fell short in their ability to advance their civilizations during this period in history. If we look a little closer at what was happening with the written Word of God in those societies, it is easy to understand why that happened. The dominate Christian faith in many of these nations was Catholicism where the Word of God was still taught by church leadership in Latin. The Catholic layman did not understand Latin. Although most of these nations tried to emulate the democratic governments of the other more advanced free nations, most fell prey to dictatorships of one kind or another. Notable, among these nations were Spain, Italy and the South American Countries. Pagan nations like China, India, and the Muslim countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa lagged even further behind. This was to be expected because these nations had very little Christian influence what-so-ever. If a bible was found by a Muslim it would have been burned and the missionary who brought it would most likely have lost his head unless he converted immediately to Islam. History tells us, when governments govern by bible principles, their societies flourish, creating major technological revolutions, with advancements in science and business which bless the godly and ungodly alike. This happens because the earthly viability of a nation is a reflection of the spiritual health of that nation and that spiritual health is measured by the percentage of its grass roots citizens who are able and willing to apply the truths of the bible to their everyday lives.
History clearly indicates to us the contributing causes of good and bad outcomes, and history is screaming to anyone who will listen, that the applied knowledge gleaned from the written word of God contains the seeds for producing the greatest harvest of good outcomes that has ever come down the pike, other than Jesus Christ, himself. However, the flip side of history's message says, if we turn a deaf ear to the message of the bible, there will be unimaginable suffering ahead for those future generations who do so.