Reading the KJV Bible
A True Story
on Oct 22, 2021
The great American statesman Abraham Lincoln, who served as U.S. President for some years in the 19th century, once said, "I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book."
A dozen years later, another great American statesman named Theodore Roosevelt, who served as U.S. President early in the 20th century, pointed out that "a thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education".
Then Ronald Reagan, arguably the greatest American president since World War 2, quipped, "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face."
As you can see, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan were such great believers in the Bible. Recently, I asked myself: If those wise, learned and clear-thinking statesmen believed deeply in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, who am I to doubt it?
To tell you the truth, there was a time when I doubted the veracity of the Bible; that was in the years 2006 and 2007 when I was a student at Starehe Institute. I remember one night in April 2007 as I was having a conversation with some folks at Starehe, I dismissed the Bible, rather condescendingly, as a book of the Jews.
Around that time I made that condescending remark about the Bible, I joined a choir of All Saints' Cathedral church in Nairobi. Guess what! When it came time to be vetted whether I was fit to sing with the choir on Sundays, one of the choir committee members interviewing me asked me if I read the Bible. I lied to him that I did. And when he insisted on knowing which version of the Bible I read, I again lied to him that I read the King James Version (KJV).
As I have said, I didn't believe in the Bible at that time I was interviewed by a choir committee at All Saints' Cathedral. I just lied that I read the KJV Bible so that I could be permitted to sing with the choir and play the organ. And I don't know how the King James Version Bible came into my mind when one of the committee members insisted on knowing which version of the Bible I read. Maybe it's because it was the version I had heard about most.
The choir committee must have discerned that I was lying because they didn't permit me to sing with the choir. They had me stay on probation for quite a number of months. And during those months, I began warming towards the Bible. Eventually, I came to embrace it as the inerrant Word of God and as my code of conduct.
Over the years, I have managed to read the whole Bible but interestingly, I have never laid my hands on the King James Version (KJV) until this month. Well, I didn't read the whole of it; I only went through the books of Proverbs, Psalms and Matthew (in that order). Imagine since 2007 when I lied to a choir committee at All Saints' Cathedral that I read the KJV Bible, I only read it for the first time this month - that's more than 14 years later! I was such a big liar.
Now, the King James Version Bible is so named because it was published under the auspices of King James of England in the year of our Lord 1611. Having been published many years ago, the KJV Bible is full of such archaic words as "thee", "thou", "thy" and "ye".
Before I began reading the KJV Bible this month, I was a bit apprehensive that it would bore me to death with its archaic language. But wow! I actually enjoyed reading it, so much that I found myself underlining verse after verse which I'd love to read again in the future. Allow me, my dear reader, to briefly tell you the verses from the KJV Bible that stuck most in my memory.
From the book of Proverbs, the verse that I remember most is Proverbs 4:7 which says, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting, get understanding." That verse has inspired me to keep growing in wisdom, in knowledge and in understanding.
From the book of Psalms, the verse that I recall most is Psalm 37:5 which says, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." That verse has encouraged me to keep involving God in everything I do and to believe in Him.
And from the book of Matthew, the verses that I recollect most are Matthew 6:14-15 which say, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Those verses have reminded me that I need to forgive those who have wronged me just as I need to be forgiven for the many times I have erred. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on me reading the KJV Bible, you might also enjoy another one I wrote about two years ago on "Understanding the Bible". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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O ye of Little Faith!
A True Story
on Oct 17, 2021
If there was one virtue that Jesus admired most in people, it was faith. He was so moved by the deep belief that some folks had in Him that He healed them from their sicknesses on account of their faith. "I tell you the truth," Jesus preached, "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed ... nothing will be impossible for you."
Jesus placed such a premium on the virtue of faith that He criticized those who had little faith in God. He liked saying, "O ye, of little faith!" - a phrase He used to rebuke even His disciples who sometimes doubted His divinity. I find it strange that the disciples who traveled with Jesus and witnessed the miracles He performed doubted Him more than some other ordinary folks did.
While reflecting on my Christian faith recently, it dawned on me that I have been more like the disciples of Christ in that I have witnessed God answering some of my prayers and then doubted whether He will satisfy the desires of my heart. Will I ever get married? Will I ever build my own home? Will I ever own a car? Will I ever travel overseas? I have wondered.
Given how I have doubted whether God will satisfy the desires of my heart, I can relate to the following words of a favorite hymn of mine:
Don't get me wrong: I don't mean to say that I have doubted the existence of God. That God exists is a fact I have always held to be true. And I believe God exists in the same way I believe my heart exists. You see, I have never seen my heart and never will during my time on Earth. But I believe it exists not only from what I learnt in my high school Biology classes but also for the pulses I feel whenever I place my palms over my chest.
Let me at thy throne of mercy, find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition, help my unbelief.
Similarly, even though I have never seen God and never will during my time on Earth, I believe He exists not only from what I read in the Bible but also from the wonders of nature that I witness in my day-to-day living. Wonders such as the rising of the Sun in the East every morning, the beaming of the Moon at dusk and the twinkle of stars at night.
Yes, I believe God exists. What I have doubted is whether He will satisfy the desires of my heart as He promises in the Bible. And those doubts could work against me because the Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. The Bible advises us that when we approach God in prayer, we must believe He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Having learnt from the Bible the importance of possessing an unshakable belief in God and in His ability to fulfill the desires of our hearts, I have embarked on a faith-building program. About a year ago, I subscribed to be receiving in my email devotional articles which I have been reading every day before taking supper. Oh, how I have come to enjoy those articles!
Besides reading devotional articles, I have also memorized the lyrics of my favorite hymns which I croon when I am showering, washing my clothes and cleaning my room - all in an effort to bolster my faith in God and in His Word. So far, I have succeeded in memorizing the lyrics of about 35 hymns, a testament to the amazing power of our brains to store a lot of knowledge.
My efforts to grow in faith seem to be bearing fruit because this week, I woke up one morning having this firm belief in God and in the Bible as His inerrant Word. I intend to keep on that trajectory of growing my faith since this fallen world tends to erode the hard bumps of conviction that we acquire in life.
Like Apostle Paul put it in one of his epistles, I will strive to walk more by faith and less by sight. How? By believing that God loves me, that He has wonderful plans for my life, that He will satisfy the desires of my heart if I delight in Him, that He is fighting my battles for me and that He will make all things work out for my good.
God places seeds of faith in the heart of every believer. Our work is to water those seeds of faith with lots of prayers, fertilize them with words from the Bible and cultivate them with lots of love. So let's get to work on growing our belief in God, in His Word and in His wonderful promises, O ye of little faith!
NEW! NEW! NEW! If you missed my social media update three days ago, let me take this opportunity to inform you that I have produced a new hymn which is available in the videos' section of this blog. Just click on the "videos" link on the menu at the top of this blog to listen to the hymn.