This ministry is committed to the promotion of the most reliable English bible text of all time: namely the Authorized Version (AV) originally published some 400 years ago (in May of 1611). The AV exposed English-speaking people around the globe to the very words of God. Its influence is beyond any other single book throughout all of man's history. The Authorized Version of the Holy Bible, sometimes affectionately referred to as the King James Bible, arose from the Received Text (Textus Receptus or TR). Over the course of time, the once universal language of Greek became outdated; and God chose the language of English to further preserve his word. And in his providential wisdom, English has become the universal language of the Globe. And the AV 1611 has been dutifully accurate these past four centuries. I now ask this delicate question to my bible-believing brethren: Is it perhaps time for an update to the spelling of our beloved book? After all, the words "divers" and "thou" are not often utilized by our now multi-cultural nation. Accordingly, many Independent Baptist Churches who have held fast to the book and contended for the faith are experiencing a dearth of young couples among the congregation and an increasingly aged church.

I ask another sensitive question: Must it be so? Are we perhaps religiously hanging on to spelling of a language which has become so universal that its original elegance has been supplanted by a newer simplicity? And along with a newer simplicity a greater audience? To avoid the alarm of my zealous brethren with whom I can deeply sympathize, let me clarify a few items that may be your sincere concern. First, I myself do not have any intention of abandoning my own AV bible. The words of the great Shepherd uttered in the simple beauty of the "Queen's English" are like poetry to my heart. I will hold and read this book until my death. Yet wouldn't it be wonderful if you could hear the "liberal" pastors, teachers, and radio evangelists quoting scripture that is nearly word-for-word to your beloved book? Would it perhaps be palatable to hear "you" in place of "ye" and "thou". And even "your" in place of "thine". If we were to replace even just a handful of words we could diffuse the simple-minded arguments from those who malign the very Word of God. Of course, the printed text could superscript the original old english words for deeper bible study. I know that in teaching scripture to children I have been pronouncing "hast" as "has" for at least 10 years. And if I spell out a verse in a handout with the word "divers", I certainly add an "e". If you've ever watched British TV, you should be quite certain that a preacher of 1611 would have pronounced the words of scripture far differently than you yourself do today. Are we American Christians less faithful to the King James Bible just because we have Americanized our pronunciations?

Let me also attempt to persuade you by agreeing with my conservative brethren that I reject the New King James, The New American Standard, The New International Version and even the new English Standard Version. These books are not 100% faithful translations and are therefore lessor works than the Authorized Version. But what if two things happened with respect to a new English translation:

1) Only spelling is updated
2) The updating process were to be managed by the church (actually a collection of bible-believing local churches who have well-known reputations for standing on the authority of the AV). There were 47 original translators. Perhaps there should be 47 new testament local [Baptist] churches involved. In most cases we can somewhat mechanically update the spellings [much like they did in 1769]. It should be possible to get unanimous agreement on which spellings should be updated (call me idealistic, but I truly believe that if the Spirit of God is involved, we Baptists can do this).

Every business man of any culture recognizes the power of modern English to expand his enterprise. Are we handicapping our great churches by dogmatically clinging to antiquated spellings? My bible is alive and as new tomorrow morning as it was at the resurrection. But perhaps the spellings need a modern refreshing. Please send email to me if you happen to agree or disagree. To really kick-off this ministry, I'd like to obtain some endorsements. Longer term, I'd like to capture [at the linguistical level] key concepts within the AV text not just to modernize the AV spellings but to create a translator's workbench which can be used by missionaries and linguists on the mission field to use our modernized AV as a basis for translating God's Holy Word into other languages (We Baptists don't have the same level of broad support that some of our more liberal brethren have such as Wycliffe Bible Translators). I'd love to hear if you share my vision. And I'm also interested to hear from those who would provide me with words of caution. If God is not in this, I will gladly shut it down. But certainly, if Jesus tarries his coming, some day we may need to consider how He would want us to operate as faithful stewards of his Holy words.

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