We, the Synod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, met at Inverness this twentieth day of May 2015, taking into consideration the spate of newly translated versions of the Bible in English published in recent times, and particularly their increasing use in public and private worship among those professing Evangelical beliefs, reaffirm our adherence to the Authorised/ King James Version of 1611, as the only version to be used in the public worship, Bible Classes and Sabbath Schools of our Church, and as the only version recommended for use in family and private devotions.
We would urge our people not to be affected by the present tendency in professed Evangelical circles to use a variety of modern versions but to adhere to the Authorised Version of the Bible which is still unsurpassed in its fidelity to the original text of the Scriptures and in its beauty of language and diction.
We reaffirm the following principles expressed in the Synod Resolution on English Standard Version on 24 May 2006.
Modern versions are to a greater or lesser extent based upon a reconstructed Greek text that departs from the Received Text preserved by the special providence of God in all ages. Contrary to the false claim of modern textual critics that the Church lost the true Word of God for many generations, the Church has had God’s pure Word in all generations by copying and recopying the Word of God.
The Westminster Confession, to which we wholeheartedly subscribe, rejects and repudiates the view that the true Scripture was ever lost to the Church of God. It states:
“The Old Testament in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek, being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them” (1:8).
Unlike the Authorised Version, modern versions do not distinguish between the singular and plural second person, although the Hebrew and Greek original make this distinction and it is often essential for understanding the meaning of the text.
We also reaffirm the Synod Resolution on Versions of the Bible on 20 May 1981, which outlined the following points.
In our view, the use of modern English versions which are in many places unfaithful to the original text:
(1) undermines confidence in the Scriptures as the very Word of God, the inspired, infallible and inerrant revelation of His will to man;
(2) undermines the authority of the Scriptures in the minds of the people;
(3) opens the way for false teachings to be further spread abroad;
(4) increases the divisions in the Churches;
(5) makes the systematic learning by heart of portions of the Word of God much more difficult;
(6) increases the cost of the publication of the Scriptures and so curtails instead of extends the circulation of the Scriptures;
(7) above all, dishonours God, whose Word it is, and who has pronounced a “Woe” on all who tamper with His Word. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18,19).
[See more on the Authorised Version at this link.]