TESTIMONY OF BOB HARRIS
You're about to read the account of a prejudiced man, whom
On the cruel cross of Calvary many, many years ago, the Lord
Jesus Christ died for my wicked soul. He shed His precious blood
at the foot of that cross, thus paying the penalty for my sins
forever. He was buried for three full days, and on the third day
rose again, according to the Scriptures, conquering death, hell
and the grave, and is set down at the right hand of God, making
intercession for my sins even now.
In April of 1971, I came to believe all of this. My name is
Bob Harris. I was born August 8, 1952, in Toledo, Ohio, and grew
up there and then later in California. My adolescent years were
spent during the turbulent '60s, when kids my age were
experimenting with drugs, "free love" (translation: fornication),
and protests against the Vietnam War. I engaged in my share of
wickedness and sinful pleasures, and you know where it got me? To
a time when I attempted suicide in 1969. Thank God, I didn't
succeed; otherwise, I'd be in hell today.
After recovering from the suicide attempt, my life was still
empty and meaningless, and I just sort of trudged along,
graduating from high school and entering a junior college in
Northern California, not knowing why I was alive.
One evening, a couple of fellow college students--I didn't
know them--showed up at my door and invited me to Sunday School
at the local Baptist church they attended. For me, that was a
monumental experience. Rarely had anybody shown enough interest
in me to invite me to ANYTHING--and CERTAINLY not to church! I
accepted with some hesitation, not knowing what I was getting
The following Sunday, the Sunday school teacher opened the
Scriptures and showed me what my soul hungered for:
I was a sinner: "As it is written, there is none righteous,
no, not one" (Romans 3:10).
That sin required punishment: "For the wages of sin is
death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
God loved me enough to send His Son to pay the penalty for
my sins in my stead by sacrificing Himself on the cross: "But God
commendeth his love for us in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
And all that was required of me was to call on Him and
receive this free gift of eternal life and redemption of my sin
debt: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall
be saved" (Romans 10:13). In April 1971, I received the Lord
Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
One day, bless God--perhaps today--He's coming back, and I
for the first time will be able to see my blessed Saviour face to
face, the One who loved me--a worthless, hell-deserving sinner--
enough to trade places with me. Because He bore my sins on that
tree, I wear His righteousness forever, and I shall dwell in the
house of my Lord forever and forever.
During these past several years of being a child of God, I
have grown in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There's a
blessed old Book that tells the story of God's love for mankind.
Thank God, we still have it! He promised to preserve it forever,
and He has done so!
It's crucial that you realize the importance of that last
statement. I didn't believe it until just recently. Though I've
grown as a Christian, I feel I haven't grown as much as I could
have, if only I believed that last statement earlier in my
Christian life. You see, I was taught to believe that God's Word
was inspired only in the so-called "original autographs"--the
manuscripts penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by
Moses, David, Samuel, Paul, Peter, Luke, Matthew, John, and the
prophets themselves. Then, once the manuscripts were copied and
translated into other languages, and the originals were lost or
destroyed, there was room for error. Only the "originals" were
without error. Thus, the King James Bible, according to my
teachers, had errors. They taught that, although its language was
beautiful and it still was their favorite version, it translated
some passages from the Greek New Testament wrongly. They could
have been translated into English better.
In fact, they taught that a series of Greek New Testament
manuscripts which were discovered in the 19th Century--nearly 300
years after the King James Bible was translated--were older, and
thus more reliable, than the Textus Receptus and the other texts
from which the King James translators worked. To the best of my
knowledge, ALL of the modern versions of the Bible--the New
American Standard, the Revised Standard, the New English, the New
International Version, the New King James--rely heavily on these
so-called "older" manuscripts. By the way, these "older"
manuscripts all stem from Alexandria, Egypt, a pagan center of
worldly intelligence and mystery religions, whereas the Textus
Receptus can be traced back to the church of Antioch, Syria--the
same church where the disciples were first called Christians and
from where Paul and Barnabas were sent out as missionaries.
Now there are two problems with the modern versions. First,
these older manuscripts differ markedly with the Textus Receptus.
Important phrases--sometimes whole verses and whole passages--are
taken out, and sometimes things are put in. The deity of Christ,
His blood atonement, His virgin birth, His bodily resurrection--
all of these doctrines are watered down in the Alexandrian
manuscripts. Second, all of the modern versions claim to make the
Bible more readable and understandable. Who says we're supposed
to take it upon ourselves to make it more understandable? I
thought Jesus said that was the job of the Holy Spirit--to guide
us into all truth! He's the one who's supposed to help us
understand the word of God. Why are we robbing Him of His work?
Until about five years ago, I bought the Alexandrian cult
theory--that the Alexandrian manuscripts are older and thus more
reliable. The cult teaches that we no longer have the word of
God--the best we have are translations, and we must rely on
something that comes as close as it can to the original
autographs. But every translation will not be an exact copy of
the original autographs--therefore we don't have the pure word of
God now! So which Bible is the best one? Which Bible IS the word
of God? How do I know I now have ALL of God's word? Is there
something missing, that God wanted me to have, but it became
And, finally, when God said, "All Scripture is given by
inspiration of God," was He in fact talking only about the
original autographs? Or was He referring to a particular
All of these questions began to trouble me about a year ago.
I wanted to know the truth. Is the King James Bible the word of
God? Or should I reject it in favor of the New International
Version? Or the New American Standard Bible?
It all came to a head during a Bible Conference held at the
Bayview Baptist Church, San Pedro, California. My pastor, Terry
Prather of Fundamental Baptist Church, Ventura, California, had
invited me to attend this conference. Chip Williams, the pastor
of Bayview, had invited several Bible-believing, fundamental
preachers from across the country, including Dr. Herbert Noe of
Livonia, Michigan, Rex Harrison of Akron, Ohio, and Dr. Roland
Rasmussen of Canoga Park, California, to teach about the
superiority of the King James Bible, AV 1611, over all other so-
But the keynote speaker during these two days of meetings
was Dr. Peter Ruckman, pastor of the Bible Baptist Church of
Pensacola, Florida, and president of the Pensacola Bible
Institute. I marveled as I heard him teach about the King James
Bible and manuscript evidence. I listened as he told that the
main problem of Christians in this Laodicean age is a lack of
final authority. We make ourselves and our intelligence the final
authority when we tamper with the word of God. We say a passage
might better be translated such-and-such; well, who gives us the
right to make that judgment? We give ourselves the right! We
boast of our knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, and try to impress
people with our ability to go into the "original languages" of
the Bible and come up with a better way to translate a passage
than the King James translators.
As I've said, I went away from that conference deeply
troubled. Is Ruckman right? Are these pastors and teachers right?
Have we tampered with the pure word of God? Am I myself being
used in Satan's efforts to destroy the word of God, by going
along with the Alexandrian cult teachings?
Well, I've seen both sides. I've investigated this matter
deeply. On one occasion, I even called up Walter Martin's Bible
Answer Man radio program, and asked him on the air if Dr. Ruckman
is right about the King James Bible. Dr. Martin said no, he's not
right, the Alexandrian manuscripts are more reliable, and gave me
the name of a book to read--"The King James Version Debate" by
D.A. Carson. I read the book; it didn't even seem to skim the
surface of the issue. I read some of Dr. Ruckman's writings. I
read another book.
Then I decided to go to the Final Authority! One night, as I
thought about this matter, I prayed to God and asked Him, "Lord,
who's right?" I prayed about it all night long--agonizing over
that one question alone.
Now, mind you, I'm definitely NOT charismatic, and I heard
no audible voice. But, by daybreak, I was impressed with an
Here it is: The King James Bible, AV1611, IS the word of
God! Every page has the breath of God! It has NO errors in it,
and every word of it is God's Holy Book, from cover to cover,
including the covers.
Now, I spent all of this time telling you this, so you'll
understand my prejudice. Since that wonderful morning with God
five years ago, I have a new outlook on my Bible. I have a new
love for God's Word that I didn't have before. I have a new
desire to read it, to study it, and to obey it! And nobody is
ever going to take my Bible away from me again. "Thy word have I
hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
It is my prayer that, first of all, you'll receive the Lord
Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, who redeemed your sin debt
and died on the cross for your sins, was buried, rose again the
third day--for YOU. And, second of all, that God will
continually bless you as you study His Holy Word, and realize
that His Word is pure!
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