The third part of the characteristics of the first-century church was exclusivity. To what? The Word. There are no additions, nothing to be added or taken away from the concepts and the teachings of the Scriptures. Now, that's easy to say, but there's probably 32 bible translations out there. Many differing, totally adding, taking away, changing, paraphrases.
All kinds of things have come into the translations of the Word. What is the truth? Has it become just relative, or is truth absolute? Jesus said, I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." - John 14:6
That's baseline. He is the way; He is the truth; He is the life. And in Him, we live, and we move and have our being. Baseline. Baseline thinking. Now, I know in today's world, translations are a matter of debate. I'm not here to debate, but you might check us out later as to why we use the King James version. You know, it's almost 90% accurate to the Tyndall Bible, which was written a hundred years before. We looked at the Greek. We look at the Hebrew. We like a Strong's concordance because it helps us understand root Greek and Hebrew meaning.
I love the integrity of the King James Version. I'll tell you why I like the King James because the words that are added in English, to give a sentence structure, those words are italicized. You won't find a Greek or Hebrew definitions for those italicized words. Other translations, who knows? You have no way of checking it. And one translation, they offer a concordance that's based on a paraphrase synonyms of words they used. Multiple choice. Take your pick. These are serious times. I love doing a word study, but I want to make sure the words I'm using can be someone verified in the Hebrew and the Greek. It's a journey to find the best translation work, but it's a foundational position we've taken.
False religions have come along with another gospel by adding to or taking away from the Word. All these actions against the Word are dangerous. You know, one of the first things that happened within the first hundred years of the first century is Gnosticism.
In the late 1800s, you had Westcott and Hort. Neither one of these men were born again. One was a unitarian universalist; the other was agnostic. Can people that don't have the Spirit of God tell you how God thinks? The work of Westcott and Hort has become the foundation for nearly every translation in your marketplace today except the King James.
I say this because I'm concerned. Let's understand how God thinks as clearly as possible. The ACTS Association of Churches must stay true to what we feel is the most accurate rendition of what God has said. The versions of the Bible coming through the Alexandrian texts by way of Egypt and the Roman Catholic Church are inferior to the Syrian texts in the first century. And there are lots of debates about these two. I'm not here to debate. I'm just here to tell you the characteristic of the first-century church was the adherence to the Word of God, mixing it with your faith, believing it, and being a doer of the Word. The more authentic the translation, the more the Holy Spirit will have to use in a believer's life.